Sunday, August 28, 2016

ARC Review: Timekeeper (Timekeeper #1) by Tara Sim

Disclaimer: I received an advance reader's copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: November 1, 2016 
Source: Goodreads 
Two o’clock was missing. 

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

The stunning first novel in a new trilogy by debut author Tara Sim, Timekeeper is perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare and Victoria Schwab.

              I commend the author for giving us a detailed description and background of the world in the book. I guess that is my problem with other fantasy books is that some authors create amazing worlds but failed to give us a brief history or background of the world (or the magic system if there is any) and how it came to be, and that is important in order to add more dimension in the story. The uniqueness of the story is also astonishing. I have never read a fantasy book like this, which highlights clock towers, and that is what makes this book stand out from other books. Having read many fantasy books, this is a very refreshing story due to its extraordinary plot. 
             Furthermore, I love the dynamics of the characters. They are well thought of and well created. Danny is very relatable in a way that he represents a person who is going through a lot of changes with falling in love and his father being stuck in a stopped town. And he reacts in a humane way wherein he is in denial at first and he reacts in an angrily manner in confronting those changes and problems, which is what normal people do in reality. I also like how the author presented the problem in regards with discrimination towards the LGBT community. Even though the world is starting to accept them, there are still some people around throwing homophobic jokes and not really accepting them. But in the end, they are still people and we should love one another despite our differences in religion, sexuality, race, and so on and so forth. 
                In addition, one of the problems I had with this book is that it started really slow for me. I had a hard time getting hook on it and I had to read a couple of chapters just get the flow of things. Another problem is the some of the plot twists were predictable but in the end it was an entertaining read. The romance between Danny and Colton is just pure and sweet. Their personality complimented one another and Colton turned Danny from a broken boy to someone who is whole again and is capable of truly living his life. 

‘‘You’re chaos and order and everything in between. Like sunshine kept back by clouds. Like the entire world’s imploded inside you, but all I see are the stars are sewn into your skin. You’re filled with soft, dark music.” His smile was gentle. “I hear it all the time. Your music.”

                  Lastly, this book reminded me of my childhood wherein I was fascinated with clock towers. There was something magical about them when I was a child (I thought they were ran by elves). This book made me fell in love with clock towers again. 

Lesson learned: Love makes us do crazy things (yup I'm look at you Matthias)
More About The Author
Tara Sim is a YA author found in the wilds of the Bay Area, California. When she's not writing about magic, clocks, and boys, she drinks tea, wrangles cats, and sings opera.
Tara grew up in California, but braved the elements of Virginia to study English/Creative Writing at Hollins University.
Half-Indian and full geek, she eats too many samosas and awkwardly dances to Bhangra music.
TIMEKEEPER (Sky Pony Press, Fall '16) is her debut YA novel.
Purchase your book on: Amazon  and Book Depository




Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Book Review: Sula's Voyage by Catherine Torres

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
from: goodreads
Fifteen-year-old Sula has always known she is different. Even though her parents have shown her nothing but love and acceptance, she sees her dark skin as a reminder of how she doesn’t fit in with the rest of her family.

What’s worse is she also feels that her parents are hiding something from her. After getting expelled from school, Sula reluctantly goes to stay with her mother’s friends. There she unexpectedly finds herself on a journey of self-discovery — a journey that keeps drawing her to the sea. Sula must not only figure our her parents’ secret, but also just how different, and possibly magical, she really is.

         When Ms. Torres e-mailed me asking if I could review her book, I immediately said yes because I thought it was a Filipino mythology based novel and that I also wanted to support Filipino books. Thought it has some mystical elements it is not that heavily integrated. What I like about this book is that it featured a lot of Filipino culture and it made me realize how Western culture is prevalent in the Philippines that we often forget our own culture. Furthermore, using the post-colonial theory, this book showed how western culture have and is still influence our own culture. The relationship of Sula's family and friends was on point in a way that it reminded me of the typical Filipino family and my family as well. I love how the author highlight family, relationships, and food in this novel since those factors are very important in the Filipino culture, especially food! Like Sula's family, food is very important in our family. During family gatherings or fiestas in our province there will always be an obscene amount of food and its great that the author was able to showcase it in her book.
              In addition, the characterization of Sula was also exceptionally good. I was able to relate to her in a way that she experiences hardships, emotions, and growing up in general, which is very humane. She also acknowledges the fact that growing up hard and challenging. Reading Sula's story made me reflect on my past and the experiences I have gained such as first love, family problems, friendship, heartaches, and identity problems. Same with Sula, I think that most of us are still trying to figure out the answer to the question, "Who am I?". I guess that is what made this book very appealing for me. Also, the novel tackles issues that are affecting our country (the Philippines) such as environmental and political issues. In environmental issues, the book presented how we badly we treat the environment and the animals such as the dugongs, which is presented in the book. The novel also showed the implications of capitalism, specifically greed, in our relationship with other people and how we treat the environment. This book showed the importance of awareness in regards with those issue.
                Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone, especially younger readers because it is a coming of age type of book and I believe that many of readers will learn a lot of values and the importance of taking care of the environment. 

About the Author 
    Buy the Book: 
            It is also available in National Bookstore branches 
For those outside of Asia, here’s another option: The author will have a copy of the book mailed to you (regular postage) in exchange for a small donation to one of the following causes she support on Global Giving.
Stop the Sale of Badjao (Sama Laut) Girls with Roots of Health – Your $10 will purchase a life-skills training kit for one girl
Help provide education for 40 displaced members of the Badjao (Sama Laut) community in Zamboanga with Cartwheel Foundation, Inc. – Your $15 will support curriculum development and validation for one adult learner per program cycle.
Simply send Catherine the e-mail receipt or screenshot of your donation confirmation at together with your postal address, and the book will be on its way to you. Please do note that some countries tax books shipped from abroad.