Saturday, September 23, 2017

Book Review: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Title: Finding Audrey
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Published on: June 9, 2017  



PLOT:


An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family. 



REVIEW:

       In this book you can truly see Sophie Kinsella's growth as an author from the Shopaholic series to Can You Keep a Secret? to this is wonderful book Finding Audrey. Her writing style and theme has improved and matured overtime.
        I love so many aspects about this book. First is the great family dynamics. I felt like I reading about my own family because of how realistic the portrayal of the members of Audrey's family are and how they interact with one another, which is loud and crazy but at the same time shows how they care for one another. My favorite scene is the jogging scene with Frank and their mother. It kinda reminds me of my siblings and I when we gang up on our mother for fun. I also like the genuine representation of a person suffering from Anxiety disorder and shows how that kind of disorder is a problem and can hinder a person in living their life to their fullest. In this book particularly, we can see how Audrey struggles to do simple daily task like going to a coffee shop or talking to other people aside from her family. And lastly, I like the relationship between Audrey and Linus. I think it is adorable, especially when they write each other notes and letters. I like that this book is not one of those "magically cured because of love kind" but rather Linus paved the way for Audrey's recovery with his little exercises. He is very patient and positive towards Audrey.
         My only problem is that it ended so abruptly. The author could have added a few more chapters after the ending. Nevertheless, I highly recommend this books. It is a fun and light read despite tackling a serious issue, which is mental health.



XOXO,
Isabel

Sunday, September 10, 2017

July 2017 Haul (Pouts and Fluffs Loot Box and Marauder's Dispatch Unboxing)


1. Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab 

THE WORLD IS BREAKING. AND SO ARE THEY.

KATE HARKER isn't afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she's good at it.

AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

THE WAR HAS BEGUN.

THE MONSTERS ARE WINNING.

Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waiting—one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims' inner demons.

Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?

2. The Mortal Instruments Coloring Book by Cassandra Clare
Experience Cassandra Clare’s internationally bestselling world of the Shadowhunters like never before with this intricate adult coloring book featuring forty-five all-new illustrations!

From the hallowed halls of the New York Institute to the glimmering glass buildings of Alicante, from the depths of the city of bones to the forests of faerie, the world of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series comes to life like never before in this stunning coloring book. The forty-five illustrations face text excerpts, highlighting never-before-illustrated scenes from The Mortal Instruments. With gorgeous original black-and-white drawings by Cassandra Jean, illustrator of The Bane Chronicles and Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, The Mortal Instruments Coloring Book is a must-have gift book for every Cassandra Clare fan in your life.


Marauder's Dispatch Unboxing



@maraudersdispatch is a Philippine Company that provides Monthly Bookish Subscription Box services. Their July theme was Swindlers


What is inside??
1. The Book of The Month - Little Monsters by Kara Thomas @kara thomas
2. Little Monsters Sampler
3. Little Monsters bookmark
4. Little Monsters art print
5. Author's signed plate
6. Swindler's button/pin
7. Collectible Bookish Card by @pandam_ph
8. Bookish Board Game
9. Bookish Bingo
10. Mason Jar with Chocolate Coins

  3. Little Monsters by Kara Thomas 

Kacey is the new girl in Broken Falls. When she moved in with her father, she stepped into a brand-new life. A life with a stepbrother, a stepmother, and strangest of all, an adoring younger half sister.

Kacey’s new life is eerily charming compared with the wild highs and lows of the old one she lived with her volatile mother. And everyone is so nice in Broken Falls—she’s even been welcomed into a tight new circle of friends. Bailey and Jade invite her to do everything with them.

Which is why it’s so odd when they start acting distant. And when they don’t invite her to the biggest party of the year, it doesn’t exactly feel like an accident.

But Kacey will never be able to ask, because Bailey never makes it home from that party. Suddenly, Broken Falls doesn’t seem so welcoming after all—especially once everyone starts looking to the new girl for answers.

Kacey is about to learn some very important lessons: Sometimes appearances can be deceiving. Sometimes when you’re the new girl, you shouldn’t trust anyone.


 Pouts and Fluffs Loot Box Unboxing 


@poutsandfluffs_lootbox is a Philippine based subscription box. Their July theme was 'Stay Alive'. .
Inside are the following:
1. "Furies" Scented Bookish Candle by @bookish.light
2. "Katniss Everdeen" Magnetic Bookmark by @abookiebookmark
3. Book Dragon Bookish Tote Bag by @poutsandfluffs.ph
4. A Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Inspired Necklace
5. ACOMAF-inspired pouch bag by @poutsandfluffs.ph
6. House of Furies Inspired prop set by @abookstaprops
7. House of Furies-inspired Artprint designed by Mr. Pouts of @poutsandfluffs.ph
8. House of Furies inspired bookmark
9. ACOMAF-inspired Personalized Printed bookmark
10. Hunger Games inspired printed bookmark
11. Mr. Morningside (of house of furies) sticker
12. And the Book of Month - House of Furies by Madeleine Roux ( @lil_wokling ) 

4. House of Furies by Madeleine Roux 


An all-new gothic horror series from the New York Times bestselling author of Asylum.

After escaping a harsh school where punishment was the lesson of the day, seventeen-year-old Louisa Ditton is thrilled to find employment as a maid at a boarding house. But soon after her arrival at Coldthistle House, Louisa begins to realize that the house’s mysterious owner, Mr. Morningside, is providing much more than lodging for his guests. Far from a place of rest, the house is a place of judgment, and Mr. Morningside and his unusual staff are meant to execute their own justice on those who are past being saved.

Louisa begins to fear for a young man named Lee who is not like the other guests. He is charismatic and kind, and Louisa knows that it may be up to her to save him from an untimely judgment. But in this house of distortions and lies, how can Louisa be sure whom to trust?

Featuring stunning interior illustrations from artist Iris Compiet, plus photo-collages that bring Coldthistle House to chilling life, House of Furies invites readers to a world where the line between monsters and men is ghostly thin.

XOXO,
Isabel

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

July 2017 Wrap Up

My challenge for this month was to read 10 books and guess what! I HAVE READ 12 BOOKS THIS MONTH, which is crazy. I also did participate in the Booktube-a-thon, which helped me in completing my goal.


1. A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by V.E Schwab

This is the perfect sequel! It's action pack, humorous dialogue, and amazing characters that I truly love!


2. The Edge of Falling by Rebecca Serle

3. Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack The Ripper #1) by Kerri Maniscalco
This book was super fun to read despite having a dark story filled with murder and gore. The author also did a great job with providing enjoyable characters. Audrey Rose is a very entertaining protagonist to read, as well as Thomas Cresswell with their love for forensic science and continuous bantering. Plus the mystery of who Jack The Ripper is was a real page turner. I was also right about who Jack was in this book because he/she was the not obvious choice, in terms of the storyline and the clues given (And most the time in mystery books, it is always the unsuspecting ones who are the killer). Plus of the weird habit he/she has, which is creepy. Furthermore, I can't wait for the next book, Hunting Prince Dracula, which will be release on September 19, 2017.

4. History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
This was such an emotional read. I love this more than "More Happy Than Not". I love the characters and their development. I also like the smart and intelligent dialogues in this book.

5. Because of Lila by Abbi Glines 
I am addicted to Abbi Glines' book and I want more!!!! This is a light read perfect for curing a reading slump. (Plus the steamy scenes never hurts)

6. A Conjuring of Light  (Shades of Magic #3) by V.E Schwab


Perfect conclusion to this wonderful trilogy. V.E Schwab is a truly gifted and amazing writer.

7. Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2)by Victoria Schwab


This book has brought me so much pain and emotion (in a good way) and I don't know if I could move on from this.
Victoria Schwab did it again with her phenomenal world building, complicated and imaginative plot that will leave you hanging on the edge of your seat, and complex characters.

8. Dumplin' by Julie Murphy 

It's good but not great. I am not in love with this book. It has funny moments and a bit of romance. Also some deep moments but still a light read overall. Will is somewhat relatable but there were times where I could not stand her.

9. The Wrath and The Dawn (The Wrath and The Dawn #1) by Renée Ahdieh

It has a great strong female character, which I like. A culture and adventure filled storyline. I just did not like that there were not enough dialogues. Thus, making me question the relationship between the two main characters because I did not feel their connection. But I do ship Jalal and Despina!

10. Batman Through The Looking Glass by Bruce Jones 

Not a big fan of the story. The story was not interesting it was a bit draggy and boring. It lacks action and depth. The art looks weird and not finish which I did not like.


11. Wintersong (Wintersong #1) by S. Jae Jones 

This book is written so beautiful and so poetic that it drags you in. It has some dark romanticism aspects. I love how music is interpreted in this story. It made me miss playing the violin, The romance aspect of the book was also great in the sense that it was not force and it comes off naturally.

There were some boring and draggy parts, which made me stop reading. I also did not like Liesl/Elisabeth narrative because there times where I was annoyed by her and she comes of as somewhat childish but I did sympathize with her situation, which was she was forced to stop her love for music. Meanwhile, the goblin king was so great. The author did a great job with his characterization. He was so complex. He first comes off as mischievous and villain-like but as the story unfolds we get to see another side of him, which is compassionate and full of love. We also see that he is also trapped underground like Elisabeth. 


12. The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater 

XOXO,
ISABEL 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Local Bookish Subscription Boxes

         Bookish subscription box has become a trend to book lovers and collectors. A box sometimes include a book, bookmarks, and other book related items such as bookish candle, tea and many more. There are a lot of popular international bookish subscription box services like owl crate and fairyloot but the shipping can be very expensive. So if you are looking for inexpensive bookish subscription box services I have 3 amazing company here to share with you. Plus, they are local so the shipping is very cheap and they also support local artist and companies as well. 

P.S The companies that I will mentions did not pay me to do this promotion. I just like the service they render and I like supporting local businesses. 

Moving on, the first company is...

1. Empire Crates 
Photo from Empire Crates's Instagram 

Empire Crates is a bookish merch subscription box that started this year (2017). They are a bi-monthly subscription box, which means they are releasing boxes one month apart, so in a year they will be releasing 6 boxes.

Photo from Empire Crates's Instagram 
The picture above is there June box, which is themed Wedding Bells. 
Inside are: 
- Magnetic bookmarks from @angeleillustrate
- Candle with "Wedding bells" label from @thehouseofwicks
- Artprint from @idlestuff -
- Necklace and earrings with infinity design
- Gold Crown
- Bookmark with empirecrates' name
- Personalized letter
- Shells and 2 doves
- And of course the book of the month, which is Once and For All by Sarah Dessen. 

Photo from Empire Crates's Instagram 

The pre-order for their August box is currently happening. The theme for the month of Vanguard. There will be no book of the month but it will include exclusive merchandise inspired by Six of Crows, Crooked Kingdom and DC Universe for the price of ₱850 (inclusive of shipping fee to anywhere in the Philippines). But there is a pre-order promo and the details for that is in the picture below.

Photo from Empire Crates's Instagram 
If you want to pre-order the August box click here

To know more about Empire Crate go to their Instagram 

2. Marauder's Dispatch 

Photo from the Marauder's dispatch's website
Marauder's dispatch is a Philippine-based, which includes 10-15 bookish goodies customized and style for the client's liking. 

 A box will include the following: 

- A newly released YA book every month! It's format can either be paper back or hard back.
- 6-10 bookish goodies! 
- With every box, they will be featuring items that are underrated and under appreciated... they feature these items because they need love and attention and because they aren't getting the hype they deserve!
Photo from Arianna Danganan's Instagram

Above is a picture of their June "Mystic Illusions' box, which includes the following:
- An hourglass
- Marauder's bookish hand scrub
- Pocketwatch/necklace
- A5 notebook with the cutest pouch
- Mini mason jar filled with chocolates
- Lightbulb bottle with blue sand
- Let's travel through the pages of a book pin
- Lady Julie candle from @idlestuff that smells of peppermint
- Two bookmarks from @markyourbookph
- And of course, The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein

Photo from the Marauder's dispatch's Instagram
Their August box is up for pre-order and the theme is Enchantments, which is inspired by magic and mischief namely; Alice in wonderland, Disney movies, Harry Potter, and a lot more. 

Pre-order their Enchantments box here

To know more about Marauder's Dispatch go to their Instagram 

3. Pouts & Fluffs Loot Box 
Photo from Pouts & Fluffs Loot box's Instagram

Pouts & Fluffs Loot Box is a Monthly Young-Adult Book Subscription Box that is based in the Philippines. Their box will include: 

- The Book of the Month (It may be hardbound or paperback and it may be about fantasy, romance, mystery, or adventure, as long as it's a YA Novel). 
- Bookish Merch 
- Printed Bookish Items 


Photo from Pouts & Fluffs Loot box's Instagram
Above is there June "Down the Memory Lane" box.
Inside are the following:
- An exclusive drawstring bag from our sub shop @poutsandfluffs.ph
- A Nostalgia candle by @bookish.light
- An exclusive vintage Harry Potter inspired bookmark by @literaryshop
- A mason jar full of Butterballs inspired by The Three Broomstick's Butterbeer from Harry Potter
- A pack of tea bags from @litearary.ph
- A Flame in the Mist inspired Art Print designed by Mr. Pouts
- A Flame in the Mist inspired printed bookmark
- An exclusive sticker adaptation of Flame in the Mist's main character "Mariko"
- A picture holder/hanger from @bookstaprops
- And of course, our book of the month "A Flame in the Mist" by Renee Ahdieh.

Photo from Pouts & Fluffs Loot box's Instagram

Their August "Magical Encounters" box is up for pre-order, if you would like to purchase a box from them. This box will be very enchanting and it will also include 6-8 goodies (or more), some exclusively made for our box and will have items inspired by Alice in Wonderland and Percy Jackson. It will also be a signed copy and will have a letter from the author. Some exclusive goodies from the author will be included too. The price of the box is Php 1, 399.00 (exclusive of shipping fee)

Pre-Order your box here 
Also check out Pouts & Fluffs Lootbox's Instagram


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So those are the three local bookish subscription box services that I highly recommend. The owners are very nice and accommodating. Plus, I have also seen some great reviews about them. Furthermore, I have already ordered boxes from them and I will do an unboxing and review of the following boxes as soon as they arrive on my doorstep:
- Marauder's Dispatch's July 'Swindlers' box 
- Pouts & Fluffs Lootbox's July 'Stay Alive' box
- Empire Crates' August 'Vanguard' box. 

I love the concept of local bookish subscription boxes because you never know the items you are going to get, so it feels like Christmas. So... let me know in the comments section if there are other local bookish subscription box services that I need to try out. 

XOXO,
Isabel 


Friday, July 14, 2017

Book Review: Only A Kiss by Ines Bautista - Yao

Title: Only A Kiss
Author: Ines Bautista - Yao
Release Date: November 29, 2014
Publisher: Chamber Shell Publishing 
PLOT:
(Source: goodreads)

When she was nine-years-old, Katie knew she wanted Chris to give her her first kiss. It wasn’t because she was in love with him (no way, he was her best friend! Besides, she was in love with his fourteen-year-old big brother), it was because she could make him do anything she wanted.

Besides, it didn't really mean anything. It was only a kiss after all.

But then things started to change. They grew up. They parted ways and went to different high schools. And other girls and boys—well, just one particular boy—came into the picture, throwing their lives upside down.

Told from the alternating points of view of Katie and Chris, this love story between two best friends will tug at your heartstrings and leave you thinking how the simplest things can mean so much.


Purchase 'Only A Kiss' on:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Reading and writing are close to Ines Bautista Yao's heart ever since she was a child. She graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in AB Communication Arts. She has been a teacher at the Assumption College San Lorenzo and the Ateneo de Manila University's English department.

Her debut novel One Crazy Summer was first penned in 2007 when she was pregnant with her first daughter Addie. Being a mother has taken much of Ines' time so she was only able to write 13 pages of her novel. She completed her story in April 2011, while three-year-old Addie was sleeping and inspiration struck her again. Two months later her story was complete. After eight months, her dream of publishing her own book came true. The book was only launched last January 26, 2012, but Ines is already writing her second novel.

Most readers can remember Ines as the former editor-in-chief of K-Zone Magazine and Candy Magazine . At present, Ines is working as an editor of Summit Books. She is also married to photographer Marc Yao, whom she says she consults whenever she's stuck in the middle of a story she's writing.
Follow Ines on the following:

REVIEW: 
Disclaimer: I got this book free from amazon during a crazy promo and in return I would like to write an HONEST review. 


              This book follows Chris and Katie, and how their friendship blossomed into romance. I really like the friends to lovers trope. I think it's really cute when authors do that because I love the idea of your great love being your best friend. With that being said, a romantic story is nothing without emotions and this book has so much emotions in it. The author wrote it in a way that you can feel the characters' happiness, heartbreak, and etc... Her words are just so expressive. And I may have shed a tear or two while reading it. 

                  My only problem with this book is that it has a really fast pacing that I could not connect with the characters. The story jumps from milestone to another like from childhood to adolescence to adult years that we do not get to know the characters deeply or more in-depth. But I do like that in the style the author presented the story we get to see the development of the characters and their relationship with one another. 

                   Nevertheless, I did enjoy this book. It is a very light and fast read; it's nothing to deep and it's very entertaining. I think that the author did a great job in writing about love and friendship, and the ups and downs that comes with it. I devoured this book in one sitting because I am eager to know the ending that lies between the two characters. I wanted to know it was a happy or a tragic ending (Side note: I was very happy about the ending). To assert, I recommend this book if you are looking for a romance book that is fast paced and light to read. Plus it is a #RomanceClass book so it will definitely have a lot of kilig and swoon moments. 




P.S What is your favorite romance book? 


XOXO,
Isabel