ARC Review: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

This Shattered WorldTitle: This Shattered World (Starbound #2)

Author: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Publication date: December 23, 2014

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Pages: 390

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

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

Synopsis: 

The second installment in the epic Starbound trilogy introduces a new pair of star-crossed lovers on two sides of a bloody war.

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet’s rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn’s blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war.

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads

My review:

The second installment in the Starbound trilogy, This Shattered World is one of the best books I’ve read in 2014. The first book, These Broken Stars, stole my heart last year so I’m very excited to read the next book! It felt so great to be back in the magnificent intergalactic world that authors Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner created.

Set in the same universe as These Broken Stars, this book introduces readers to two new protagonists, Jubilee and Flynn, and a new planet named Avon. This Shattered World is rich in vivid images, adrenaline rush-infused action, heart-dropping twists, and a hold-your-breath brand of tension. A sci-fi novel written in a cinematic manner such as this one always, I repeat, ALWAYS gets my 100% attention.

This Shattered World maintained the element of surprise and consistency of tension that readers experienced in These Broken Stars. Once again, my mind was completely blown! The build up of pressure kept me on the edge of my seat, with my heart racing and my mind continuously guessing what’s going to happen next. Everything is intriguing, mysterious, and strange—totally not how you thought things would be like. So head scratching and hair pulling moments are inevitable as you thumb through the pages of this book. I’m not kidding, people! Some of the questions you’ll keep on asking are “Why?” “How did that happen?” “Did (insert name of character) really do (insert incident)?” And when you try to put ideas together, they won’t add up! It’s crazy and at the same time fantastic! In addition, the world of the Starbound trilogy is more defined in This Shattered World as it gives a clear picture on what the people are up against and how its magnitude affects them. I really love that this book also delves into the world’s history that strengthened the foundation of the Starbound trilogy’s world. With this, readers are sure to appreciate it further.

Jubilee and Flynn are characters that you can’t help but become smitten with the moment you meet them. The two have strong voices, compelling personalities, and powerful distinctive opinions that make them unforgettable. Jubilee and Flynn’s sincere and poignant backstories helped me understand who they are as individuals. Not only that, I also saw how they are a perfect match. Both shattered by their world, Jubilee and Flynn meet and discover that they share the grief, hurt, sadness, and burden of what’s happening in their home. It was amazing to witness these characters fall in love slowly and passionately in a raw and deeply felt kind of romance.

An exquisite and gratifying second book in the Starbound trilogy, This Shattered World brings science fiction to a whole new level of extraordinary. I can’t wait for Book 3!

Rating:

5/5 stars

Book Review: My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories Edited by Stephanie Perkins

MTLGTMTitle: My True Love Gave To Me

Authors: Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt De La Pena, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Stephanie Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, and Kiersten White

Publication date: October 14, 2014

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Pages: 321

Source: Review copy from publisher (Thank you, Macmillan!)

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

Synopsis: If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins.

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads

My review:

Christmas is my favorite holiday ever and to get in a festive mood early, I read My True Love Gave To Me, an anthology composed of twelve holiday stories written by highly acclaimed authors in the YA world. Dear readers, this book is a sweet Christmas treat as it infuses you with the excitement and joy that the holiday season brings. I haven’t reviewed a short story collection before so I have no idea how to go about it. I thought of breaking down my thoughts into twelve points according to the order of stories for a perceptive review, instead of a general one for the whole book.

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell: A story that is simple, witty, and filled with love! Reading it was like eating the yummiest Chex mix in the world. Rainbow Rowell writes simple realities with a bang, making little moments big, magical, and ever so swoon-worthy. Infinite hearts for Midnights! 🙂

The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link: Personally, this one is a bit weird and dragging. I didn’t understand its concept nor identify with the characters. Also, there was a strange paranormal or fantasy thing going on that made the story confusing. It’s unfortunate to say that this story didn’t impress me. I’m sorry!

Angels in the Snow by Matt De La Pena: Feel-good with a little emotional punch. I like how it talked about family, being brave to face your problems, and being true to yourself. It’s a story that you’d want to read more of.

Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han: An unusual yet amusing story that has a cute concept! Although I found the ending bittersweet, I’d say it is really something that readers would enjoy.

It’s A Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins: This story charmed its way to my heart! It made me feel the extreme happy flutters and the spark that flickers inside you when you’ve made a connection with someone special. I swooned and smiled the whole time I was reading! If this story were a full-length novel, it would definitely receive a 5-star rating from me. 🙂

Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan: A bit introspective, raw, emotional, and funny at times. Surprisingly, for a David Levithan fan like me, it’s not the type of story that I’d like to read during the holidays because of its melancholic ambience. Nevertheless, it’s an honest tale and the writing is beautiful.

Krampuslauf by Holly Black: I like how this story is about believing in greater things. However, what didn’t work for me was the fantasy element. It’s bizarre to the point that it made the story vague, without clues as to why some events happened. I guess I’m really not that of a huge fantasy reader.  

What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman: Authentic and really interesting. I love the humor and diversity of characters!

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire: I have never read a Myra McEntire book and this story won my interest to check out the author’s novels. I enjoyed this a lot. It’s light, fun, and such a delight to read!

Welcome To Christmas, CA by Kiersten White: Fantastic, touching, and very memorable. This story is full of hope, love, and swoon-worthy moments that are sweeter than candy canes! Kiersten White brilliantly captured the true spirit of Christmas, which is HAPPINESS—the warm, genuine kind that makes you glow from the inside. It’s the happiness you’d want to infect other people with. Welcome To Christmas, CA is a story that you’ll read over and over again until it’s engraved in your memory. 

Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter: I loved this story! It’s about finding home at a time when things are complicated, finding one’s self, and discovering the true meaning of happiness. Heartwarming and worth reading! 

The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer by Laini Taylor: An enchanting, otherworldly story with remarkable writing and creative execution. Although there are some parts where I got lost and couldn’t understand the story, it still drew me in because of its bewitching and mysterious element.

My True Love Gave To Me is a wonderful holiday anthology! Truly, a must-have on your bookshelf!

 

 Rating:

4/5 stars

The Lifelong Bookworm’s Best Books of 2014

Hello everyone! Today I’m sharing with you the books that impressed me this year because of their brilliance and beauty. These books made me laugh, smile, cry, swoon, confused, frustrated, and all other feels that come with reading something extraordinary. Without further ado, I now present you The Lifelong Bookworm‘s 14 Best Books of 2014! 🙂

 

 

Open Road Summer

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

“Open Road Summer is a debut novel filled with infinitely beautiful and promising possibilities. Absolutely the perfect summer jam! Read this book NOW!” (Full review here.)

 

The Geography of You and Me

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

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.” (Full review here.)

 

Wish You Were Italian

Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae

“Charming and uplifting, Wish You Were Italian is a debut novel that will sweep you off your feet.” (Full review here.)

 

Bright Before Sunrise

Bright Before Sunrise by Tiffany Schmidt

“A fun and adorable read, Bright Before Sunrise is a charming reminder that love happens in magical and extraordinary ways.” (Full review here.)

 

COVER_Not_in_the_Script_for_Press_Kit

Not In The Script by Amy Finnegan

“Not In The Script is a complete Hollywood experience as it is packed with a well-structured plot, stellar cast, intense on-set drama, and irresistible romance.” (Full review here.)

 

Isla and the Happily Ever After

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

“Sweet and undeniably romantic, Isla and the Happily Ever After marvelously encapsulates the spellbinding magic of falling in love.” (Full review here.)

 

We Were Liars

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

“A gripping and mind-bending novel, We Were Liars transforms the sum and substance of a great YA thriller.” (Full review here.)

 

Wings

Wings by Elizabeth Richards

“Charged with electrifying action, mind-blowing revelations, and passionate romance, Wings is a breathtaking grand finale to a series that’s too remarkable to be forgotten. Captivating until the end!” (Full review here.)

 

Unhinged

Unhinged by A.G. Howard

“This dark, twisted, breathtaking sequel is tangible proof that magic exists even in reality.” (Full review here.)

 

Landline

Landline by Rainbow Rowell 

“Beautifully uplifting and legitimately remarkable, Landline is a novel that brims with hope, love, and lasting magic.” (Full review here.)

 

Cruel Beauty

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

“Cruel Beauty is a love story that hypnotizes in cruel yet beautiful ways. This book is too good to be missed!” (Full review here.)

 

Mortal Gods

Mortal Gods by Kendare Blake

“Heart-stopping and out of this world, Mortal Gods is a sequel that leaves you breathless and thirsty for more.” (Full review here.)

 

Rain

Rain by Amanda Sun

“Emblazoned with an electrifying and magnificent cinematic vibe, Rain is a sequel that’s definitely worth the wait! Amazing from beginning to end!” (Full review here.)

 

This Shattered World

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner 

This is a brilliant sequel to These Broken Stars! I have yet to review this book so please watch out for it! Book review will be up on its release day, December 23rd.

*All book covers from Goodreads 

How about you, guys? What books are on your best of 2014 list? I’d love to know! Share them on the comment section below! 🙂

Event Recap: Lang Leav in Manila!

LANG LEAV SIGNING BANNER

For the month of December, National Book Store brings Lang Leav, bestselling author of poetry books Love and Misadventure and Lullabies to the Philippines for a book signing tour! Fans of Lang Leav expressed their excitement on social media as news broke out that the well-loved contemporary writer and artist is coming to the country. Well, who wouldn’t be thrilled to meet Lang? She’s AMAZING. Her poems speak to the reader’s soul and fills the heart with all kinds of feels. Her words have touched so many people’s lives including mine. 🙂 Without further ado, here’s a rundown of the fun bookish event on December 7th!

Forum1_editedI had the opportunity to attend a Q & A with Lang Leav where she eagerly answered questions from bloggers. Her answers were brief yet insightful. We learned a lot about Lang and her writing even with a few words. Wonderful, yeah? Plus, her accent is awesome! 🙂

Forum collage

Q & A with Lang Leav

Here’s what we learned about Lang from the Q & A:

*She doesn’t really have a technique in writing poems. She just writes from instinct.

*When asked how she balances her time for her several passions such as art, fashion, and poetry, she said it’s the common misconception that she does all these things at once. She did the fashion many, many years ago, the same with art. The last two years have been about illustrations for the books and focusing on writing projects. “Writing has really taken over in the last couple of years,” she shared.

*Lang doesn’t really have a writing process. She said, “I guess I just write when I can, when I feel like it.” Lang writes generally at night, as she feels it is more for creativity. She doesn’t really have a set rule for that.

*Lang has spent the last couple of years with her poetry online and interacting with her readers. Her inspiration for her poems comes from the stories the readers tell her. Lang said, “I get a lot of sad stories and I guess my inspiration comes from that.”

*Love and Misadventure‘s success made the writing process for Lullabies easier for Lang because by then, she had already secured a publisher. That part was much easier because she didn’t have to go at it alone. In terms of writing, she was really writing anyway. “I like putting out new material for my readers. And pretty soon I had enough material for another book,” she stated.

*When asked if there was ever a time when she had to make a choice between artwork and poetry, Lang’s reply was: “I think in terms of choices, I’ve always just gone with my gut feeling and what I felt was working for me.” When the writing started taking off, it was clear to Lang that it was gonna be the forerunner because the response that she got for it was much, much bigger than she ever had for her artwork. And now it’s great that she has done the two because she likes to put them side by side. She thinks it’s really complimentary in the books.

*Bestselling Filipino author Noreen Capili asked Lang if there was ever a time when after finishing a poem, Lang felt that she has written a particular line or a poem before. And if yes, how does Lang reinvent herself herself without compromising the distinct voice. Lang’s response to that was: “I think when you do write a poem, you do get that feeling of deja vu sometimes. I guess you just got to weigh it up and down, and sit and think, ‘Was that too similar to something that I’ve said before or that something someone else has said before?’ And I think you just gotta find that balance and it’s really looking at it and making a call.”

*Lang has got another poetry book on its way. (HOORAY!!! *throws confetti*)

*Lang is halfway through a novel that she’s writing but she doesn’t know if that’s gonna have a 2015 release date.

*Lang loves it when someone reads her poem and comes up with an interpretation far from what she really means. She said, “I think it’s really fantastic that someone can take a poem and look at it in so many different ways. And I think that’s the beauty about poetry. You’re the protagonist, which means that you can put yourself into that poem.”

*Writing poems is just something that Lang has always done. Writing is her way of getting her feelings out. She tends to be more prolific when she’s going through a tough time. Lang cited an example in which her best friend’s mother passed away in 2007. That was a really, really tough year for her. She draws a lot from the incident as well for the sadness because her best friend’s mom was like a second mother to her.

*A blogger asked Lang what piece of art or poetry does she most attribute her success as an artist and poet. She answered, “I think it’s been a combination of a lot of things.” Lang’s most popular poem ever would be Souls (the one about “goodnight”). She really likes it now than when she first wrote it and was surprised by the popularity of it. “I wrote that when I was still in a long distance relationship with Michael (Faudet) when he was living in New Zealand and I was in Australia. And every time we spoke on the phone, after we hung up the phone, there was like this horrible silence and this void and that was the inspiration for Souls.”

*Lang’s favorite saying or wisdom that she always brings with her: “Your words are your power. Never forget your words.”

You may listen to the audio recording of the Q & A here.

Forum signing

Lang Leav signing copies of Lullabies

Lang signed our copies of Lullabies right after the short Q & A. Her warm smile and charming disposition certainly lit up the whole room infecting everyone so we’re all smiles until after the event!

Selfies with Lang Leav

With the amazing Lang Leav! 🙂

IMG_2019

Hardest Selfie Ever 9.0 with Lyra of Defiantly Deviant! We missed our Hardest Selfie buddies Louisse of The Soul Sisters, Kate of The Bookaholic Blurbs, and Sab of Sab The Book Eater!

After the Q & A, we proceeded to Powerbooks Greenbelt 4 to check out the public signing. Boy, were there lots of people! The entire second floor of the bookstore was buzzing! I was so glad to see and feel the wholehearted support of Filipino bookworms for Lang Leav. 🙂

IMG_2022

A display of Lang Leav’s books at Powerbooks Greenbelt 4

Public signing collage

Filipino bookworms LOVE Lang Leav!

Enormous thanks to the ever prodigious National Book Store for bringing Lang Leav to the Philippines! And to Lang, thank you so much for visiting our country and for sharing your beautiful words to the world. You are truly remarkable! 🙂

Signed copy of Lullabies

Signed copy of Lullabies! 🙂

Fellow PH bookworms, did you attend any of Lang Leav’s book signing in Manila? Share your experience in the comment section below!

 

ARC Review: Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz Czukas

TOP TEN CLUESTitle: Top Ten Things You’re Clueless

Author: Liz Czukas

Publication date: December 9, 2014

Publisher: Harper Teen

Pages: 304

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

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

 

 

Synopsis:

Top Five Things That Are Ruining Chloe’s Day

5) Working the 6:30 a.m. shift at GoodFoods Market

4) Crashing a cart into a customer’s car right in front of her snarky coworker Sammi

3) Trying to rock the “drowned rat” look after being caught in a snowstorm

2) Making zero progress with her crush, Tyson (see #3)

1) Being accused—along with her fellow teenage employees—of stealing upwards of $10,000

Chloe would rather be anywhere than locked in work jail (aka the break room) with five of her coworkers . . . even if one of them is Tyson. But if they can band together to clear their names, what looks like a total disaster might just make Chloe’s list of Top Ten Best Moments.

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads

My review:

Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless is my first Liz Czukas book and I liked it! Anyone who loves comedy is sure to be entertained by the author’s witty and clear-cut writing style. With a set of highly likable characters and an interesting story line, this book is impossible not to be enjoyed. Its humor is not laugh out loud funny but it does make you burst into giggles instantly! Although Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless is minimalist, considering the short time frame of the story, the idea that a lot can happen in one day is fascinating. Plus, Liz Czukas presented the setting very well. Now I know what it’s like to work at a grocery store!

For me, Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless is not really a romance story but more of friendship. I love how the stealing incident brought main character Chloe and her co-workers close and become a team in solving the case. Because of that, they understood each other’s personalities well, even seeing each other as friends and not only as workmates. I perceive the thing between Chloe and her crush Tyson as a growing attraction full of potential that needs to be out in the open. If there would be a sequel or a novella that centers on Chloe and Tyson’s budding romance, I’d definitely read it! My two favorite things about TTCYC are the lists that are super amusing and the diverse characters. Oh, I love Liz Czukas for that! It’s so great to see characters with unique and admirable qualities. 🙂

I recommend this adorable novel to those looking for a fun story to read this holiday season!

Rating:

4/5 stars