Friday, December 18, 2015

Book Finished: Girl on the Train

It was 6 maybe 7 months ago that @livingproofinc had #jenniferaniston handle their account for a few days. Luckily #rachelgreen shared and posted this story of another rachel! A great great read! Intense! Only regret was I hadnt read it earlier. Oh by the way, the movie version is currently filming with her hubby, #justintheroux as one of its lead stars. #thegirlonthetrain #bookstagram
A photo posted by Ana Valenzuela (@ana_valenz) on
Blurb fro Goodreads: A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives. Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Finished: World of Ice and Fire

A definite must read for any ASoIaF afficionado.  A plus, plus is the amazing visuals.

To those who want George to speed up his writing, may I suggest that you try reading this book, the Dunk and Egg novellas, and even the Princess and the Queen and the Rogue Prince (the last two covers the Dance of the Dragon).

This are all in the same universe as Game of Thrones, plus it gives readers a richer perspective of the Targaryens.

Fire and Blood!

Oh by the way, take your time reading this book, as it will make you flip through read pages for some info.

09/27 marked as: currently-reading
11/19 page 260 79.0% "Now in the Free Cities! I am taking my time reading this book, as I don't want to be missing George RR Martin's song of Ice and Fire anytime soon (only have the last of the Dunk an Egg Series to read) and also because this book is as it says, it is history, that makes me backread and reread parts which I already have been through."
11/26 page 275 84.0% "On to the Summer Isles,"
12/07 marked as: read

Blurb from goodreads:

If the past is prologue, then George R. R. Martin’s masterwork—the most inventive and entertaining fantasy saga of our time—warrants one hell of an introduction. At long last, it has arrived with The World of Ice and Fire.

This lavishly illustrated volume is a comprehensive history of the Seven Kingdoms, providing vividly constructed accounts of the epic battles, bitter rivalries, and daring rebellions that lead to the events of A Song of Ice and Fire and HBO’s Game of Thrones. In a collaboration that’s been years in the making, Martin has teamed with Elio M. García, Jr., and Linda Antonsson, the founders of the renowned fan site—perhaps the only people who know this world almost as well as its visionary creator.

Collected here is all the accumulated knowledge, scholarly speculation, and inherited folk tales of maesters and septons, maegi and singers. It is a chronicle which stretches from the Dawn Age to the Age of Heroes; from the Coming of the First Men to the arrival of Aegon the Conqueror; from Aegon’s establishment of the Iron Throne to Robert’s Rebellion and the fall of the Mad King, Aerys II Targaryen, which has set into motion the “present-day” struggles of the Starks, Lannisters, Baratheons, and Targaryens. The definitive companion piece to George R. R. Martin’s dazzlingly conceived universe, The World of Ice and Fire is indeed proof that the pen is mightier than a storm of swords.

Finished: King, Kaiser, Tsar

What I think:

A good read about some of the European royalties who took part in World War I, and how that sparked the end of the monarchy in Russia and Germany. Covers from the three kings birth, up to their death. 

I cant help thinking that it was Wilhelm, always felt left out and was disable, who was the antagonist. Well, that's just my perspective.

Blurb from

During the last days of July 1914 telegrams flew between the King, the Kaiser and the Tsar. George V, Wilhelm II and Nicholas II, known in the family as Georgie, Willy and Nicky, were cousins. Between them they ruled over half the world. They had been friends since childhood. But by July 1914 the Trade Union of Kings was falling apart. Each was blaming the other for the impending disaster of the First World War. 'Have I gone mad?' Nicky asked his wife Alix in St Petersburg, showing her another telegram from Willy. 'What on earth does William mean pretending that it still depends on me whether war is averted or not!' Behind the friendliness of family gatherings lurked family quarrels, which were often played out in public. Drawing widely on previously unpublished documents, this is the extraordinary story of their overlapping lives, conducted in palaces of unimaginable opulence, surrounded by flattery and political intrigue. And through it runs the question: to what extent were the King, the Kaiser and the Tsar responsible for the outbreak of the war, and, as it turned out, for the end of autocratic monarchy?

Saturday, March 28, 2015

#BuqoYA, the full experience

This is the second time that I have joined Mina Esguerra's writing class.

I've thankfully finished my #BuqoYA story. It will be available on (you guessed it), an online bookstore really, really soon.

As this is one of m first times to write fiction, I'd like to share some takeaways:

Set deadlines for yourselfUnfortunately for me, I only realized this during the revisions stage, whenI rehashed most of the scenes, and I wished, I wished really hard that I have finished weeks even days earlier. As this is an online class, deadlines have already been set, but the key to good writing really is revising. So, that left me with little time to edit my work and fix the plot holes. 

Ask for opinions. The class reminded me of my creative writing class and the importance of beta readers. Different opinions (in my creative writing class wherein we critique each others non fiction works and poems) matter as this will help you get a feel of what the readers are thinking. 

Have a support group. The twitter hashtag #Buqo ya was a big help. Some of the girls were posting how many words they have already, and of course this made me nervous! I needed to catch up.

Read, read, read. Read the weekly discussions, read your classmates/friends tweet, read more about of the genre, read how to wrote in that certain genre, and do more more reading . A time-old advice for any writer, just keep on reading.

The first two weeks I was writing with a friend, KC, as she also needed to submit a story for another class. Unfortunately, we weren't able to finish anything as we were too busy chatting. Hahaha. Anyway,


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Check: a book turned into a movie. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.


If you think the movie was great, this is even better.

5/5 stars

Check: A book with a one-word title: Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

So much drama.

I thought this was supposed to be a YA romance. But honestly, it might be the plot of a telenovela, which is probably why they are turning it into a film.

Hoover's writing style excites me, specailly the parts where Holder and Sky are kissing but not really kissing. Hahah.

However, the last parts I was just skimming. Maybe because of all the drama thst was going on inside Sky's head. I understand that that was crucial, but you'll still get it even though you read pass through it.

3/5 stars

Checked: A book you can finish in a day: the Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

The Statiscal Probability of Love at First Sight by Stephanie Perkins.

Great title right? I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

How the story was resolved. Especially Hadley's trouble with her father, who was the reason why she was going to London anyway. How she resolved even her feelings for Charlotte, her new strepmother. Plus of course, Hadley and Oliver's story.

No suprise there, actually for me there were no surprises anywhere. There were no curveballs. The reader would always be one step ahead of the character, knowing this and that with the hints provided  for, but I guess the execution was worth it.

I dont mond spoilers or any obvious hints as long as the way the author tells it is indeed better than what we expect.

Plus, What's up woth the crying babies? It's like whenever there is a baby the author was quick to point out that it would be crying?

How are you doing with your reading challenge?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Checked:A book you set in high school

Book title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Author: Stephen Chbosky

This book gives us a glimpse, or more of a throwback, into our adolescence. 

It starts with innocent Charlie, who has lost his bestfriend and impassive about two teenagers performing oral sex in his room.

The book is very honest, as honest as Charlie. 

Charlie knows Nothing from Shop Class. He befriends him, whose real name by the way is Patrick. Charlie also makes friends with Patrick's stepsister Sam. As the days go by, he discovers more. He gets stoned. He develops feelings for Sam. He goes out on a date with Sam's friend, Mary Elizabeth. He makes out with the girl. 

“Because I know there are people who say all these things don’t happen. And there are people who forget what it’s like to be sixteen when they turn seventeen. I know these will all be stories some day, and our pictures will become old photographs. We all become somebody’s mom or dad. But right now, these moments are not stories. This is happening. I am here, and I am looking at her. And she is so beautiful. I can see it. This one moment when you know you’re not a sad story. You are alive. And you stand up and see the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder. And you’re listening to that song, and that drive with the people who you love most in this world. And in this moment, I swear, we are infinite.” 
― Stephen ChboskyThe Perks of Being a Wallflower

I was planning to spend my Saturday just reading.

Unfortunately, it was just a plan which did not come to fruition. The Pope is coming to visit Manila, and my sister mentioned something about volunteering for a human barricade.

So, I googled it Saturday morning, called the office, and talked to some friends about this. As it turns out, there is an orientation for the human barricade that Saturday. My friends and I wanted to go, and all the plans I made fell to pieces. 

We went to Loyola Heights, then had lunch at Tapsi ni Vivian, then went to Divisoria.

By this time, I had already read about 30 pages (on my ebook); the Perks of Being a Wallflower had about 139 pages. I thought about two hours would be enough to finish the book, but, it had been around one in the morning and I haven't yet finished it. The book was enticing, yes. Unfortunately my lids was giving into gravity and to my body's needs. The next morning, I woke up at around 8:30am, and finished the book before 9. So, there I read the book in less than 20 hours, that has to count as less than a day, right? 

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Check: A Trilogy---Anna and the French Kiss

Before you read my review, you should be forewarned that I am not a big YA fan.

Given as a recommended reading in a Young Adult Writing Class that I am currently taking, I never expected to fall in love with Anna (my katukayo, no less) and her wonderful story set in the City of Lights.

Enchanted by the first book, Anna and the French Kiss, I decided to read all three.

Anna and the French Kiss

Stephanie Perkins gives us a glimpse into the mind of an American teenager forced to study in Paris who ends up with a charming boy as her guide.

Does he like her or not? Always the question in play, which Anna always dismisses as St. Clair's sign of friendship. Even though they slept---and I mean slept, like two people snoring---together two nights in row and the way Anna keeps a mental calendar of how many days in a week she has been with the guy as opposed to his girlfriend (tee-hee).

Lola and the Boy Next Door

I was about to jump to the third book, as the two main characters of Isla had already made an appearance in the Anna and the French Kiss. Thankfully, Goodreads tells us that Anna and Etienne are in Lola's story. (I mean, why would you want to read a sequel if you're not gonna know what happens next in the first story.) So i sauntered on to reading Lola and the Boy Next Door,which is a decision that I won't regret.

Living with two gay dads and wearing wigs and statement outfits, Lola is not a caricature character. In fact, she dazzles with her flaws, such as the deal with Max (her boyfriend) and what's up between her and Cricket (the other titular character), and her talent, making a figure skater's costume in a day.

Isla and the Happily Ever After

Just like about every girl, she has a crush---a huge crush---on a guy. His name is Josh, and she has hid her feelings ever since her first year.  Because of that Isla is so relatable. I mean, I shudder when Josh and Isla has a moment, as it brings me back to old crushes.

However, Perkins fails to make me love Josh the way Isla does (unlike with Etienne and Cricket).

Sunday, January 04, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge


Before 2014 came to an end, a friend shared this photo on her FB timeline.

I am a bookworm who has never had guidance. No favorite book blogs (though I should get more into this), no author who I follow (well except George RR and recently Cara McKenna), basically i relied on my friends or whatever I see pretty on the book stands (LOL).

So 2015, I am changing this mindset, to read more reviews, and to have a to read list.

If you have any recommendations, that would be a really big help. Just comment below. Thanks!

1.A book with more than 500 pages

2. A classic romance - 

3. A book that became a movie - Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

4. A book published this year - 

5. A book with a number in the title

6. A book written by someone under 30 The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Wesiberger 

7. A book with nonhuman characters the death of Archie What, he's a teenager. 

8. A funny book

9. A book by a female author  Never Just Friends by Mina Esguerrs

10. A mystery or thriller Smaller and Smaller Circles by F.H. Batacan

11. A book with a one-word title -Creep by Jenifer Hiller

12. A book of short stories

13. A book set in a different country City of Thieves by David Benioff

14. A nonfiction book

15. A popular author’s first book

16. A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet The Sword Sword by George RR Martin

17. A book a friend recommended Unbound by Cara McKenna and Black Lies by Alessandra Torre recommended by KC

18. A Pulitzer Prize-winning book

19. A book based on a true story

20. A book at the bottom of your to-read list

21. A book your mom loves

22. A book that scares you

23. A book more than 100 years old

24. A book based entirely on its cover

25. A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t  The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

26. A memoir Falling into the Manhole by John Jack G. Wigley

27. A book you can finish in one day- The Statisical Probability of Love at First Sight by Stephanie Perkins

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

28. A book with antonyms in the title The Princess and the Queen by George RR Martin

29. A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit -  A Week in Paris by Rachel Hore

30. A book that came out the year you were born

31. A book with bad reviews

32, 33, 34. A trilogy- Anna and the French Kiss series by Stephanie Perkins 

35. A book from your childhood

36. A book with a love triangle Black Lies by Alessandra Torre

37. A book set in the future

38. A book set in high school Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

39. A book with a color in the title

40. A book that made you cry

41. A book with magic  The Rogue Prince by George RR Martin

42. A graphic novel Hawkeye: My Life as a Weapon

43. A book by an author you’ve never read before Mr. Write by MD Balangue

44. A book you own but have never read The Hagette by Katrina Ramos Atienza

45. A book that takes place in your hometown Mango Bride by Marivi Soliven

46. A book that was originally written in a different language

47. A book set during Christmas

48. A book written by an author with your same initials

49. A play

50. A banned book

51. A book based on or turned into a TV show Dance with Dragons by George RR Martin

52. A book you started but never finished