Sunday, September 27, 2015

Batman day + Batman Adventures: Mad Love review.




Yesterday (September 26) was Batman Day at Fullybooked Stores. I was fortunate enough to receive a free special edition Batman comic. Coincidentally, My reserved copy of Batman adventures: Mad love deluxe edition also arrived.



Batman Adventures: Mad Love is definitely a must read for any Harley Quinn fan like me. It is very funny. We see the origins of Harleen Quinzel into Harley Quinn. The relationship between her and the Joker is very comedic and we can see that it is one sided but still Harley, even though she is a psychiatrist, falls madly in love with him and would do anything for her puddin. In this we see how loving someone so much and recklessly has implications. The illustration is awesome. I like the very cartoonish drawing. I do recommend this. It a very light and quick read. Plus, Harley Quinn is a very fun character to read about.

Movie Review: Heneral Luna


        The film is about Heneral Antonio Luna (John Arcilla) during Philippine-American war. The film depicts how selfishness is the root of all evil and how the Filipinos, especially those in power are fighting with one another rather then the enemy, which are the Americans. We also see how lies and rumors can influence a decision of a person. Power is the main theme in the movie. The film centers around how power is being is played and how it is used to influence and coerce people.  Due to the self-interest of the people in power, such as Pedro Paterno and Felipe Buencamino, they would turn their backs to their country and fellowmen for their personal gain. They would even spread lies and rumors about Heneral Luna that would eventually lead to Luna’s murder.

Also, due to President Emilio Agunaldo’s self-interest of remaining into power and not letting Luna steal the power from him and Luna leading dictatorship, which is rumors spread by Paterno and Buencamino, led him into assassinating Luna. Different ideologies play a part in the argument of the Filipinos with one another. They have different views and approaches in handling the situation that they clash. Heneral Luna is seen as a Machiavellian. He is very cunning and he would rather be feared then be loved in order for his army to follow him. He is also keen on discipline. And because of this he is seen as the most brilliant and capable general during that time but he also gained a lot of enemies that did not agree to his way of governing and think that he was mad or a lunatic.

            Furthermore, what really struck me the most is how Prime Minister Apolinario Mabini stayed silent about the assassination. He has an idea of what happened to Luna. He saw the bloody machete on one of the Kawit soldiers and he did not say anything during the trial. In addition, the film shows the lack of nationalism of the Filipinos. They were divided and not united. They were more of a maka-bayan rather than a nationalistic due to the fact that they would fight for their bayan with other bayan rather then the Americans, as shown in the scene where in Hen. Tomas Mascardo and Hen. Luna were fighting with another rather than cooperating with one another in the fighting the Americans, which led to the Americans advancing and beginning a battle in Bagbag while the two henerals were in Pampanga.

            To assert, this film is great because even though this film is a historical depiction, it is still applicable to the present. Nowadays, we can still see how this kind of politics is still prevalent in the country. First, is how we still have a particularistic culture; where in the individuals is focus more on relationship rather than rules. This is shown when Heneral Luna was talking to Paterno and Buencamino on how they were sided with the Spaniards before and now with the Americans. In today’s politics, political parties members are changing political parties due to “pakikisama” and “utang na loob”. Second, is how selfishness plays a role in politics, where in people would violate the constitution for their personal gains. Third, is how rumors can influence a person’s ideas, decisions, and actions, especially now with the advancement of technology rumors can spread easily and faster. These rumors can lead to propagandas against a person.


            Finally, I would really recommend this movie due to it amazing historical depiction of the political system of the Philippines before, the cinematography, and the symbolism. Different symbolisms surround the film like the Philippine flag. At the first part of the film the flag is very clean and as the movie progress we see the flag becoming dirtier until it is burned at the end. This shows how politics is tuning into something bad and continues to violate the constitution. This film should be watch in order to be exposed and to look back into our country’s history. I also believe that the youth today should watch this film in order to be political aware of our country because by watching this film we can learn about the history of our politics and with that we can understand the current situation of our politics and government system.

Asia pop Comic Con Manila 2015 + Haul

      It was my first time to attend a comic-con and it was awesome! I was fangirling so much. It was a nice experience for a comic book fan like me. What really got me excited was the cool models of characters on display, like Beast from X-Men, the Avengers... etc. The cosplayers were phenomenal. These people dedicated a lot of time, creativity, and money into their costumes (well... the $10,000 did not hurt as well).



Diablo III demon hunter (She has the best costume I have ever seen
and she is so pretty). 


Black Canary!!! (Obligatory picture since I am an Arrow fan).

Harley Quinn! (Definitely Fangirling over this one).

  



Comic Book Haul 
Sadly all the pop funko figurines I wanted were not available so I just got comic books.


Check more pictures -----> Instagram video

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XOXO,
Isabel Samonte

Birthday Haul + piercing

I celebrated my 19th birthday last September 9 and I am definitely blessed to be surrounded by amazing people in my life who cares and love me for who I am. Thank you to my friends and family who continue to support me.

Birthday haul 




I finally got my ear cartilage pierce at needle juice. You can find them on instagram @needlejuiceph. They provide tattoo, henna and piercing services. They are very sanitize and the procedure did not hurt at all. It has been three weeks since the procedure and I had no trouble at all with infections. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Book Review: Next Stop Nina by Robin Raven


Disclaimer: I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an HONEST review.

Next Stop: Nina is a book that tackles serious issues like suicide and depression but at the same it has a science fiction element to it with the time travel, which is very interesting and different from the usual books I typically read. I love the concept and plot but I did not like the way it was delivered by the Ms. Robin Raven. In the sense that it left me with a lot of unanswered questions, which should have be answered as I was reading the book. I wished the author elaborated more about the Nina’s past/childhood, (so that the reader could fully understand her, what led her to be the person she is currently, and the family dynamics she had) and the revelation in the car. Also, the book did not have a good transition between chapters; it left with a few open-ended chapters. The story line was just all around. I mean I get that it is meant to be that way since she is time traveling but it was just confusing, since like I said earlier it left me with a lot of unanswered questions like what happened to penny? What did Nina’s ex said to the mystery guy that led him to kill Nina? And I want to know more about the time traveling group that the mystery guy was saying to Nina in the car.

In terms of the writing, I love how it was poetically written with quotes like “Happiness is sustainable if you don’t compromise who your really are…” and “That kind of love can survive, but it has to get more flexible as it grow stronger. Otherwise, it becomes unhealthy and only sustainable at an unbearable expense to the two people who love so strongly.” The writing just speaks to me, and makes me reflect on those beautifully written words. There are some grammatical errors throughout the book but I’m not strict of that because everyone makes mistakes.  
Furthermore, the characterization of Nina was on point she was very relatable we see her as a flawed character but she accepted her flaws at the end, which makes her human. The romance aspect of the book was also good. Nina and Lens are not the perfect character but the two of them together made them perfect. They compliment on another. They might fight once in a while but at the end they still love onw another. Overall, I still enjoyed the book and I thank Ms. Robin Raven for giving me an opportunity to read this book.


To Ms. Robin Raven, I can’t wait to read more from your book and I wish you the success you deserve. Thank you so much.

For more details about this book and the author click the links below 

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Thursday, July 2, 2015

July TBR

I am in the process of reading all the books in my TBR pile before I buy more because as all of you might know I am in a book buying ban till I finished my TBR pile or until September because it is my birthday and it is when the international book fair is happening.

For this month my goal is to read at least 6 books.

1. The Darkest Hour by Alexandra Bracken (Finished Reading)

2. Miss Peregrine's home for peculiar children by Ransom Riggs

*Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix by J.K Rowling (Re-reading)

3. More Than This by Patrick Ness

4. Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

5. Eon by Alison Goodman

6. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

That is all for my July TBR

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XOXO,
Isabel 

June Wrap Up

I have read a total of nine books this month. I know it is not a lot compared last month because I am currently busy with a lot of things and I have been working out more frequently this month. I might make a blog post about it very soon, so stay tuned for that one. 


1. Stardust by Neil Gaiman
4 stars
I love the story and the characters. I was fun to read. I enjoyed reading it and I really see myself re-reading this in the future.

2. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
3.5 stars

I had the opportunity to meet Leigh Bardugo in a signing here in Manila. And all I can say about this book is that I love the ending. I know some may not agree but I love how you have to lose something in order to gain something back. I love the politics and how it was written. The sense of humor, action and romance presented in the book were on point. My problems in this book was there were some parts that were predictable and there were some boring parts. Boring that I put the book down way to many times.

3. The Murder Complex by Lindsey Cummings
4 stars

The concept was great and how it was delivered by the author. The pacing was good that there were almost no boring parts. My problem was the romance it was to fast. I am not really a fan of sudden romance. Another problem for me was the characters they were not relatable. It was very hard for me to like the characters because I could not understand their point of views.

Moreover, I really enjoyed reading this. It's action pack and I would definitely watch this book if it turns into a movie.

4. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
4.5 stars

I love greek and roman mythology so it I enjoyed this very much. The pacing was good and the story was very interesting that I would not stop reading it. I love the characters and they were very relatable in a way that they deal with issues that most teens deals with even though they are demigods. The plot twist was very predictable but it is a very good plot twist that it would change your outlook on the percy jackson and the olympians series.

5. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
4.5 stars

This book makes me want to be an assassin. It's action pack and has a little romance and comedy in the side to make this book interesting. The world building was great and the characters were very likeable.

6. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
3 stars

This book is good enough to make me read the next book. The characters were a bit hard for me to like but in the end I ended up liking a few (WILL HERONDALE). It lacks qualities that would make it interesting rather than being boring, which I found the book to be. But I liked the concept but I not really hooked on the story yet that I am willing to read the next book to understand the hype over this trilogy.

7. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
5 stars

I always thought the second book of a trilogy or series were the boring ones in the trilogy or series (like Torment by Lauren Kate, New Moon by Stephanie Meyer, etc...) But this book proved my theory wrong. This book is even better than the first one.

This book made me feel a lot of things like love, fun, adventure, and despair. This book broke me!!!! The tragedies! oh the humanity! (hahaha I always wanted to use this line after watching the movie heathers) Moving on (there is no moving on in this book !!!) crown of midnight will make your emotions unstable with the plot twists.

P.S I am still rooting for Chaol!!!!!!

8. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K Rowling
Re-read for a million times and it was still as awesome as when I read it that first time.

That is all what I read in the month of June.
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XOXO,
Isabel Samonte

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Book and Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


PLOT:

The Book Thief is a novel that centers around the life of Liesel Meminger, a nine-year-old girl living in Germany during World War II. Liesel's experiences are narrated by Death, who details both the beauty and destruction that life in this era brought.
After her brother's death, Liesel arrives in a distraught state at the home of her new foster parents, Hans and Rosa Hubermann. During her time there, she is exposed to the horror of the Nazi regime and struggles to find a way to preserve the innocence of her childhood in the midst of her destructive surroundings. As the political situation in Germany deteriorates, her foster parents hide a Jewish man named Max, throwing the family into a state of danger. Hans, who has developed a close relationship with Liesel, teaches her to read in secret. Recognizing the power of writing and sharing the written word, Liesel begins to not only steal the books that the Nazi party is looking to destroy, but to also write her own stories and share the power of language with Max, the Jewish refugee. As Liesel copes with the trauma of her past and the violent horrors of the war-torn world around her, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery, the formation of a new family, and mostly, her life as "the book thief"

Review:
5 stars
The thing that really intrigue me with this book is how it was narrated. The book is being narrated by death, which is something new to me. Also, It is beautifully written in a way that is almost seems like poetry. I also like the fact that it shows how the Germans also suffered during WWII, that the children were greatly affected by the event, and that not all Germans like Hans Hubermann were supporters of the Nazi Movement.

Furthermore, repression is also present in this book. It is seen in Liesel Meminger in a way that she has to keep Max and their friendship as a secret, which she could not understand. And through Max Vandenburg in a way that he is a jew therefore he has no freedom and he has to hide from the Nazi just because he is jewish. The family dynamics featured in this books is very interesting in a way that Liesel is an adopted daughter but Hans and Rosa Humbermann loves and cares for like she is their own. Even though they both show it in a different way where in Hans is very close with Liesel. He teaches her how to read and write, while Rosa is very strict with Liesel but shows that she cares for her especially in the part where Liesel is in school and Rosa informs her that Max is awake. 

We also see the development of the characters, especially Liesel. She became more open to Rosa and Hans and she began mature in a way that as the book progress she understood the condition that was happening during her time. I also think that the death of Rosa, Hans, and Rudy is very significant and has to happen because it signifies her loss of innocence because those three were her "security blanket". 

In a feministic view, we see how the women and men treat one another indifferently. Rosa Humbermann is seen as superior to her husband Hans. And Liesel plays with boys and she also punched Franz Deutscher when he made fun of her. There is also a reverse in gender traits where in Rudy is seen as a hopeless romantic where as Liesel is seen as refusing Rudy's advances. 

To assert, I really recommend this book for those who likes historical fiction and coming to age novels. This is a really sad read so prepare your tissues cause you will cry like a baby. 

Getting into it: You get suck in after a few pages. 
New Words: You'll get to learn german words.
Funny: first half of the book then it becomes sad towards the end. 
Moving: Yes! you will cry I guarantee it.
Boring Parts: Almost Never:

Thanks for reading my review on the book thief by markus zusak. If you have other books you want me to review comment them down below. 

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XOXO,
Isabel Samonte

Book Signing: Leigh Bardugo





I love that she wrote a Harshaw Quote because
he is my favorite charater. He
is just funny and unique from the other characters in the books. 


June 21, 2015 I went to Leigh Bardugo’s book signing event in National Bookstore, Glorietta 1. I was so excited for this event because I love the Grisha Trilogy. The politics in books were amazing. It shows inferiority and superiority between the characters, and it shows how power is being used. The darkling was a very interesting character because in the book he is seen as this superior person but at the same time he was also inferior. And with that resulted his wanting to overthrow the current monarch. We are also presented with character that you will love, like harshaw, zoya, mal, etc… And even though they are different from one another they connect and create a perfect harmony between one another. Plus, it has a little bit action, romance and comedy that is not overbearing and will keep the reader entertained. The world building was exceptionally great. I love the Russian vibe to it.

Furthermore, meeting the author of one of my favorite books was such an honor. She is just an inspiring writer and she gives great advice to writers as well. I love that she is very active in social media and that she really talks to her readers.

I also met her lit agent, Joanne Volpe who is so nice. And I also want her job hahaha. 

 

Overall, the experience was so great. I can’t wait for Leigh Bardugo to be back and to read her next book six of crows. 








Thank you National Bookstore for this event. And to Leigh Bardugo and Joanne Volpe for the wonderful experience. 








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XOXO,
Isabel Samonte