The Ultimate Bookish Event: Veronica Rossi, Tahereh Mafi, and Ransom Riggs in Manila!

April 26, 2014. I looked forward to this day since National Book Store broke the news that New York Times Bestselling authors Veronica Rossi,Tahereh Mafi, and Ransom Riggs were going to have a signing in Manila! The grand event happened yesterday and I can say it was EPIC. 🙂

First on the agenda was the bloggers forum which I’m enthusiastic to attend every time. I enjoyed listening to Veronica, Tahereh, and Ransom talk about their books, writing, and random stuff about themselves! Profound and enlightening, their answers helped me get to know them better as well as appreciate their craft more. It’s really cool to get to know the people behind the stories we love!  The Q&A was short since we had very limited time. We immediately had the book signing (which was also very quick) because the authors had to rush to the Glorietta Activity Center for the public signing.

After the forum, we went to the Glorietta Activity Center and was greeted by a massive crowd of people. The sight was truly overwhelming! I was very happy to see all those bookworms there! Filipino bookworms ROCK! 🙂 My fellow bloggers and I didn’t attend the public signing anymore seeing that the venue was fully packed. We already had our chance of meeting the authors at the forum so that moment was for the bookworms who waited patiently in line for hours. That moment was THEIRS and THEIRS ALONE.

Bonding with my book blogger friends was a perfect ending to this fantabulous day. Every moment I spent laughing, talking about books, and goofing around with them whenever we see each other in person never fail to make me happy and alive. I love you guys! *HUGS*

A huge thank you to National Book Store for making this event possible! You guys are incredible! It’s always a delight and an honor to help promote your awesome bookish events. You made my book blogging adventure worthwhile so thank you from the bottom of my heart. 🙂 Thank you Veronica Rossi, Tahereh Mafi, and Ransom Riggs for visiting the Philippines! I hope to see you again someday!

 

PICTURES!!

 

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The Power Books “Throne” 🙂

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Book display!

Q&A with VTR_BloggersForum

Q&A with Ransom Riggs, Tahereh Mafi, and Veronica Rossi

Pictures with VTR_BloggersForum

Pictures with VTR!

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#PHYABookBloggers with Ransom, Tahereh, and Veronica

Blogger selfies

Selfies with a few blogger friends!

(With Sab of Sab The Book Eater, Hazel of Stay Bookish, Kazhy of My Library in The Making,

Louisse of The Soul Sisters, Kate of The Bookaholic Blurbs, Lyra of Defiantly Deviant,

and Dianne of Oops! I Read A Book Again)

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The crowd at the Glorietta Activity Center for the book signing

I’m greatly amazed by the patience of these bookworms! I salute you, guys!

Signed books_forum

Signed books! Hooray! 🙂

It was my first time to meet Ransom Riggs yesterday! Such a thrilling experience to chat with him while he signed my books! I met Tahereh Mafi last year when I interviewed her for a teen magazine and I was so glad when she remembered me! She recalled me not wearing glasses when we met and now I’m wearing one! I told her it’s because of too much reading. 🙂 Last but not the least, Veronica Rossi! Perhaps you’re wondering why I don’t have pictures of signed Under The Never Sky trilogy books. Well, it’s because I met Veronica the day before (April 25th) to interview her for the teen magazine. Veronica’s kind and friendly in person. I had a great time interviewing her! I’ll share that experience with you guys in another post that includes pictures! So please do watch out for that. 🙂 But at the forum, Veronica remembered me! *fangirl moment* We chatted for a little while she signed my fellow book blogger Dani’s book.

Were you at the VTR signing event? Share your experience on the comment section below! 🙂

Blog Tour: The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith [Review]

The Geography of You and Me

Title: The Geography of You and Me

Author: Jennifer E. Smith

Publication date: April 15, 2013

Publisher: Poppy

Pages: 352

Source: Signed ARC gifted by the author (Thank you, Jennifer!)

Purchase the book: Amazon / Barnes & Noble Book Depository / Fully Booked National Book Store 

Synopsis:

Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they’re rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen’s relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and — finally — a reunion in the city where they first met.

A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith’s new novel shows that the center of the world isn’t necessarily a place. It can be a person, too.

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads 

My review: 

Most people spend time looking for love, when all the while, it is everywhere. Love exists in all corners of the world, in the most unusual setting ever imagined, and yes, even in the absence of light. A beautiful serendipity—this is the kind of magic that Jennifer E. Smith’s newest young adult novel brings.

Poignant and captivating, The Geography of You and Me gives chance encounters and long distance relationships a deeper and meaningful essence. Moreover, The Geography of You and Me presents a compelling and realistic story of a blossoming relationship between the main characters, Lucy and Owen. However, just as Lucy and Owen develop feelings for each other, both characters move toward separate ways shortly after they met. Owen and his father set off to the West in pursuit of a better life. On the other hand, Lucy travels with her parents to Europe. Even with distance and time difference between them, Lucy and Owen manage to preserve the spark they shared on that dark September day.

The romance in this book is wonderfully developed. It’s not insta-love, which I liked very much! Heartwarming, bittersweet, and natural, Lucy and Owen’s romance is so far my favorite. I felt the suppressed emotions and Lucy and Owen’s intense longing for each other through their thoughts, emails, and most of all, the postcards. I believe the postcards became the symbol of Lucy and Owen’s connection. Because of this story, I appreciated postcards more and its power to convey strong emotions through images and short messages. As Lucy and Owen go on with life miles away from each other, they both explore new things and learn more about themselves. Not only that, they get to resolve the issues they’re going through with their respective families. But still, there’s an indiscernible gravity that pulls Lucy and Owen back to where their story began.

The Geography of You and Me rendered me speechless after reading it. Brimming with hope, heartfelt promises, and limitless possibilities, the ending truly moved me. The way Lucy and Owen saw each other again was a priceless moment! It certainly projects indescribable and hopeful feelings.

I’m forever in love with Jennifer E. Smith’s effortless and expressive prose. Her words, in all their sparkling glory, flow with emotions that tug at your heartstrings—earnest, personal, and very much real. Jennifer Smith also makes simple words lovely and vibrant, which I believe explains why her writing style never fails to amaze me.

The Geography of You and Me proves that love travels distances. It always finds a way back to you no matter where you are in this world. You just have to trust your heart and the one you love.

 

Rating:

5/5 stars

 

Tahereh Mafi-Ransom Riggs-Veronica Rossi Philippine Book Signing Tour!

TRV_Poster book signing tour

 

Veronica Rossi, Tahereh Mafi and Ransom Riggs book signing tour in National Book Store

National Book Store brings three New York Times bestselling authors—Veronica Rossi, Tahereh Mafi and Ransom Riggs—for book signing events on April 26 at 2 pm in the Glorietta Activity Center and on April 27 at 2 pm in The Gallery of Ayala Center Cebu.

Veronica Rossi is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Under the Never Sky trilogy, a post-apocalyptic young adult series. Foreign rights to the trilogy have been sold in over 25 territories and film rights have been optioned by Warner Bros. entertainment. Described by Examiner.com as “an unforgettable dystopian masterpiece,” and deemed as one of the Best Books of the Year by School Library Journal, Under the Never Sky follows the story of Aria, who meets Perry after being exiled from the enclosed city of Reverie because of a terrible incident. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine who will survive the Death Shop, a place full of cannibals and violent energy storms. Aria’s journey continues in Through the Ever Night and Into the Still Blue.

Tahereh Mafi first visited her Filipino fans in 2013. She is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Shatter Me, the first book in a trilogy, which has received positive reviews from Booklist, Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly among others. Shatter Me is currently being sold in over 25 foreign territories and has been optioned for a movie adaptation by Twentieth Century Fox. Ostracized and incarcerated her whole life, seventeen-year-old Juliette is freed on the condition that she use her horrific abilities in support of The Reestablishment, a post-apocalyptic dictatorship, but Adam, the only person ever to show her affection, offers hope of a better future. The story of Juliette continues in the sequel Unravel Me, and the heart-stopping conclusion Ignite Me.

Ransom Riggs is the author of the bestselling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, which became part of the New York Times bestsellers list for 52 consecutive weeks. The movie adaptation is currently in production which will be directed by Tim Burton and penned by X-Men: First Class writer Jane Goldman. Sixteen-year-old Jacob journeys to a remote island off the coast of Wales as he tries to recover from the tragic death of his grandfather. There he discovers and explores the ruins of Miss Peregrine’s home where he meets the peculiar children who once lived there and finds out that they may still be alive and in danger. The sequel to the book, Hollow City, continues the journey of Jacob and his friends as they flee to London, the Peculiar capital of the world.

The events are made possible in partnership with Raffles Makati, Glorietta and Ayala Center Cebu.

Books by Veronica Rossi,Tahereh Mafi and Ransom Riggs are available in National Book Store and Powerbooks. Shop online and buy eBooks at nationalbookstore.com. Follow National Book Store on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@nbsalert) for updates on the latest events, promos and contests.

 

*Poster and press release from National Book Store

ARC Review: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Open Road SummerTitle: Open Road Summer

Author: Emery Lord

Publication date: April 15, 2014

Publisher: Walker Childrens

Pages: 352

Source: e-ARC from publisher via Netgalley (Thank you, Bloomsbury!)

Purchase the book: Purchase the book: Amazon / Barnes & Noble Book Depository

Synopsis:

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads

 

My review:

Falling in love is one of the most amazing experiences in the world. Oftentimes it’s with a person but it’s not limited to that. Everyone can fall in love even with a thing, especially if that thing means a lot to you. To me, it’s this book called Open Road Summer.

I fell in love with Open Road Summer the way a love song moves me the first time I hear it. An indescribable moment of connection, a spark that flows through my veins as the soulful rhythm lights me up inside and out. Alive and happy, just how being in love for the first time feels like.

Resembling a camera, Open Road Summer excellently captures the beauty of friendship and love. You don’t need to adjust the camera settings to get a great shot. Photo editing is also out of the question. The picture is as good as it is—natural light and all. Raw and imperfect, it reflects the true essence of the subject.

The characters are totally incredible. The main character, Reagan, is spunky, daring, and not afraid to speak her mind. But underneath that feisty outer surface is a broken and troubled soul. Then Reagan meets Matt Finch, a former star who joins her superstar best friend Dee’s tour as the opening act. He then becomes the highlight of her summer. With his boyish charm and sweet-as-funnel cake-smile, the sensible Matt is a good match for Reagan. Matt saw her through the broken version of herself, through her imperfections. He accepts Reagan’s vulnerability because he’s broken himself. Most of all, Matt made Reagan see her worth when she was blinded by her fears. THE FEELS! Reagan and Matt’s romance is unbelievably adorable! I liked that they took their time to know each other before going to the next level. Their relationship proves that love need not be rushed.

I really adore how Open Road Summer illustrates Reagan and Dee’s friendship. Their history explains their solid and priceless bond. Having known each other as friends for a very long time, Reagan and Dee act like sisters. They know everything about each other. The love in Reagan and Dee’s friendship goes beyond infinity and is the most authentic I’ve ever seen. Their bonding moments are comforting and heartwarming. Life is indeed so much better when you have a best friend who understands you deeply.

Another interesting thing about Open Road Summer is that it gives an exclusive behind the scenes access on celebrity life and what it’s like to be on tour. It’s really cool to discover that being a star is not all glitz and glamour. Oh and the swoon-worthy song lyrics in the story are precious! They made me smile and fangirl at a maximum level. 🙂

Emery Lord is a brilliant writer. With a realistic, stellar voice in contemporary YA, she is truly an author to watch! Her writing is magnificent—the kind of magnificent that makes you believe in magic and that, it exists in everyday reality. Words are coated with warm and sincere emotions that readers will, without a doubt, appreciate and put into heart.

Open Road Summer is a debut novel filled with infinitely beautiful and promising possibilities. Absolutely the perfect summer jam! Read this book NOW! 🙂

Rating:

5/5 stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARC Review: Elusion by Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam

ElusionTitle: Elusion

Authors: Claudia Gabel & Cheryl Klam

Publication date: March 18, 2014

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Pages: 400

Source: ARC from publisher (Thank you, HarperCollins!)

Purchase the book: Amazon / Barnes & Noble Book Depository / Fully Booked 

Synopsis: 

Soon, Elusion® will change the world and life as we know it.

A new technology called Elusion is sweeping the country. An app, visor and wristband will virtually transport you to an exotic destination where adventure can be pursued without the complications—or consequences—of real life.

Regan is an Elusion insider. Or at least she used to be. Her father invented the program, and her best friend, Patrick, heir to the tech giant Orexis, is about to release it nationwide. But ever since her father’s unexpected death, Regan can’t bear to Escape, especially since waking up from the dream means crashing back to her grim reality.

Still, when there are rumors of trouble in Elusion—accusations that it’s addictive and dangerous— Regan is determined to defend it. But the critics of Elusion come from surprising sources, including Josh, the handsome skeptic with his own personal stakes. As Regan investigates the claims, she discovers a disturbing web of secrets. She will soon have to choose between love and loyalty…a decision that will affect the lives of millions.

Suspense, thrills, and romance fuel this near-future story about the seductive nature of a perfect virtual world, and how far one girl will go to uncover the truth behind the illusions.

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads 

My review:

Embellished with an attractive cover and a promising story line, Elusion was automatically included in my Most Anticipated YA books in 2014 list. Mysterious and absorbing, its concept is like no other. Who wouldn’t want to escape reality and go to a virtual world where all things are anything but extraordinary?

What I liked about the storyare the vibrant descriptions and believable writing. Readers will feel like they’re being transported into Elusion as authors illustrated it with clarity and ingenuity. The scientific elements were presented in a factual and convincing tone that I very much acknowledge. However, I feel that the story needs background information on the “real” world of the characters in order for readers to understand its environment. Honestly, I wondered what Florapetro is the whole time I was reading the book.

The characters were flat and bland for me. There wasn’t anything about them that elicited my interest. And the romance was kind of annoying. It’s too insta-love! It was a whirlwind romance with no deep and significant reason to support the insta-love.

Reading Elusion felt like passing through a labyrinth. As lies and suspicions build up, questions and theories also arise. It was very confusing! I found it difficult to distinguish truth from a lie. It actually came to a point where I was determined to stop reading the book. Nevertheless, I continued because I was really anxious to find out if and how the mystery will be solved. Elusion is a bit predictable as there were roughly hints in the middle part of the story.

Although the ending raised more questions that left me hanging, I’m fine with how things turned out. At least one of the main character’s goals was accomplished. And that is to find her father. The revelations in the last four chapters were satisfactory. It’s good that Regan learned about the truth from her father. She deserves them after everything she’s been through.

Elusion did not work well for me yet I’m certain that those who enjoyed it are hoping for a sequel. As the ending suggests, there’s another world to look forward to.

 

Rating:

2.5/5 stars