I think I’m finally over my crazy New Adult novel phase, because really — there’s only so much sex and stress a reader can take.
And I wasn’t really in the mood to read any of the books I’m reviewing for Netgalley, so I opted for The Avery Shaw Experiment - a light, easy teen-romance-type read - thinking I could just put it down and fall asleep whenever I wanted.
Okay, SO NOT THE CASE. It was just too adorable.
Here’s the blurb from Amazon.
When Avery Shaw’s heart is shattered by her life-long best friend, she chooses to deal with it the only way she knows how—scientifically.
The state science fair is coming up and Avery decides to use her broken heart as the topic of her experiment. She’s going to find the cure. By forcing herself to experience the seven stages of grief through a series of social tests, she believes she will be able to get over Aiden Kennedy and make herself ready to love again. But she can’t do this experiment alone, and her partner (ex partner!) is the one who broke her heart.
Avery finds the solution to her troubles in the form of Aiden’s older brother Grayson. The gorgeous womanizer is about to be kicked off the school basketball team for failing physics. He’s in need of a good tutor and some serious extra credit. But when Avery recruits the lovable Grayson to be her “objective outside observer,” she gets a whole lot more than she bargained for, because Grayson has a theory of his own: Avery doesn’t need to grieve. She needs to live. And if there’s one thing Grayson Kennedy is good at, it’s living life to the fullest.
Hee! So kilig. I was like this until 2am.
Also, like this, because her characters are pretty hilarious.
I know, I know, I’m WAY too old for this type of teen romance shiz, but I don’t care. After reading The Avery Shaw Experiment, I’m totally grabbing all of Kelly Oram’s other books.
(Photo c/o http://glitterintheairamm.blogspot.com)
So yeah, if you’re looking for a light, funny, squee-filled read, go check Kelly Oram out. Or whatever, get your daughter to check her out, if your tastes are little more mature than mine. :)
What are YOU reading right now? Let me know!
p.s. I actually already read Serial Hottie. In fact that’s how I discovered Kelly Oram in the first place. My friend Ledz had given it a 2-star rating, and since we never like the same books, I was all “AHA!!”
And true enough, I did. :) Enjoy!
I’m really behind on my book reviews for Netgalley, so I decided that yesterday would be totally dedicated to reading. Because Saturday is “Cycle of Sloth” day after all.
That plan was a bit of a bust, though, because for some reason I just couldn’t tear myself away from the Internet. I spent a good part of the morning wondering WTH is up with Amanda Bynes.
Seriously, she used to be so adorable. I want someone to fix her.
And then from there I just kind of went a little crazy online shopping. Because American holiday sales are like CRACK, and I’m a sucker for promos and coupon codes.
This was just the beginning of the spree. One link led to another, and soon I was not only shopping-crazed, but also delusional. I’m pretty sure I’ll kick myself when some of those deliveries arrive.
I don’t know why the hell it took me so long to read it, but some new NA novels got in the way — and when you’re on New Adult novel mode, it’s a little difficult to get into the groove for YA Vampire-Dystopia.
So don’t let the fact that it took me a month to finish this book put you off. It’s not Julie, it’s me. I actually really liked this sequel to The Immortal Rules. In fact I liked it even better than the first book. Well, except for that MOFO of a cliffhanger ending.
Seriously, you’re evil, Julie Kagawa.
Anyway, you can read the synopsis on Amazon or whatever, but basically the story is about Allie the reluctant teenage vamp, who has to find her sire Kanin (LOL.You have to be Filipino to find this name funny.) — because the batshit-crazy vamp who took him prisoner has the cure to a deadly disease that’s killing both vamps and humans.
So she goes off on this quest, joined by her sarcastic and slightly evil vamp brother Jackal (also sired by Kanin, and hands down the most amusing character in the story) and her human love interest Zeke.
Now I won’t tell you what happens, of course, but I will tell you why I Iiked the book so much.
It doesn’t romanticize vampires, like other vamp books do.
As entertaining as paranormal romance can sometimes be, I can never really be fully on board because I’m always like “WTH? He’s a thousand years old! You’re a teenager! Plus he’s dead! Eeew!”
In Julie’s Blood of Eden series, vamps are monsters, and everyone knows it. It’s a problem — as it should be, you crazy Twilight-lovers.
All throughout the book, Allie has to struggle to control her inner demon, and I like how the book shows that this can be done when you’re with the right people, and that it’s the human qualities - and not the supernatural powers or badass fighting skills - that make the characters strong and admirable.
Because if you really think about it, we all have inner demons. They might not involve wanting to rip people’s throats and drink their blood, but they can make monsters out of us nevertheless. For some people, the demon is fear. For others, pride or anger or envy. For some, an addiction to online shopping…
Whatevs. We all have a beast within. And it’s good to be reminded once in a while that it doesn’t have to consume us. Given the right motivation, and the willingness and determination to fight it, we can overcome whatever makes us less than human.
So thanks, Julie Kagawa. Now hurry up and finish the next book in the series, or I may have to kill you. :)
I’m off to Subic for the weekend, because my cousins Tina and Uey are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary there.
(They actually used this drawing for their invitation. :))
So… sorry, no blogging this weekend. I’ll be busy. And quite possibly drunk. Heehee!
Anyway, while I’m gone I’ll also be reading some new advance-copy books I got from Netgalley, that I’m kind of excited about because they’re by authors I really like. Hee! Netgalley really is the best website ever.
Here’s what I’ll be reading this weekend (if I am sober enough to concentrate):
The Eternity Cure is the sequel to The Immortal Rules, so if you haven’t read that yet, go ahead and get it first. To be honest, I like Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey Series better, but this vampire-dystopian series (IKR? Sounds really off :)) is pretty good too. Julie Kagawa is a gem.
I bought Touch - the first book in this series - on Amazon because it was on sale or something (can’t remember), and I liked it so much more than I expected to. I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of the story unfolds. Although I wish I could un-see that girl on the cover, because she looks kind of annoying, and the girl in the book sounds so much better.
I read everything Richelle Mead writes, so this is a no-brainer. This is a standalone, so no need to read anything else first, but if you’ve never read her other books - go grab ‘em. All very enjoyable.
Reviews to follow, either here or on Goodreads. ;)
Okay that’s it, gotta fly. Have a great weekend, everyone!
Award-winning author and illustrator, Gemini Adams, inspires us to examine the health of our high-tech habits in this entertaining gift book with a tongue-in-cheek look at our love of social media.
Featuring a series of 50 hilarious cartoons that complete the question, “You Know You’re a Facebook Addict When…?” Adams cleverly illustrates the more idiotic, embarrassing and cringe-worthy behaviors of our social networking excess. - Amazon
Luckily I was able to score a copy on Netgalley (because Netgalley is the best website EVER) and I finally read it a while ago while scarfing down a really sad diet lunch.
I finished in like 10 minutes — both the sad food AND the book.
I have to say, the book was pretty adorable (the food, not so much). I loved all the “You know you’re a Facebook addict when…” cartoons — even though some were a little too exagg, and others I just really couldn’t relate to. Like all the ones about poking. (Honestly, WHO STILL POKES THESE DAYS? Shame on you. That’s so 2009.) Anyway, here’s a sample cartoon c/o HuffPo. Too cute. ;)
I also have to say, however, that I was a little disappointed when I finished it, because it really didn’t teach me anything new. If you’re looking to find insights and useful suggestions to address Facebook addiction and other related issues (like Facebook envy, etc), this is not the book you want. You may prefer to just read this article on Psychology Today instead.
Some of the “unplugging”/Facebook detox suggestions in the book were fine, but some were just plain weird.
There was also another one about training to be a private detective so you can just stalk people in real life - which was pretty funny, but again… not very helpful.
Now it really bugs me to death when I handle a topic humorously on my blog and then people with no sense of humor start hatin’ on it…
…so I’ll quit with the nega-talk and just say that if you do get this book, bear in mind that it’s meant to amuse, and that’s it. Manage your expectations and just enjoy the illustrations. Because they’re adorable.
I personally think this book would make a great gift for anyone who spends a little too much time on Facebook, and it’s pretty cheap (less than $6 on Amazon for the paperback copy, which comes out on April 25th) — so go for it, and enjoy!
Note: The Kindle version is available now, but I wouldn’t really recommend it. It displayed okay on my Kindle Touch (no color though) but when I tried to view it in the Kindle app on my iPad so I could view in full color, the formatting was a little weird.
I just discovered Netgalley.com the other day, and I swear I’m in love.
Basically Netgalley is a book site where you can request advance copies of books that are soon to be published, so you can review or recommend them on your blog, or on social media, or whatever.
So once you sign up, you can browse through the book catalog (which has a pretty good selection across a wide range of genres btw), pick the ones you like and click the Request button to ask publishers for a free copy.
And then you wait. Kind of like a girl waiting for that next-day call after a great first date.
(Umm, the publishers will email you, they won’t actually call you on an ancient rotary dial phone, but you know what I mean.)
If you’re approved, then TA-DAAAH! You get an email, and the book magically appears in your Netgalley account and you can either send it to your Kindle, or download the file to read on some other device.
And just a few hours after I made my first bunch of requests, I got my very first book from Penguin Books Australia!
HEE! I was thrilled! Even if I had no idea what a WAG was.
Oh well, I figured I’d find out eventually. Except I really didn’t.
Whatevs. Anyway I wasn’t sure if my ignorance was due to being Filipino or sports-deficient (probably both) so I Googled it (though honestly, I feel I shouldn’t have had to, Ms. Costello) and apparently WAGs are “Wives and Girlfriends” of pro football players. Huh. Who knew.
Anyhoo — going back to the book. I REALLY wanted to like it and write a rockin’ review, since it was my first and all — plus it was about a football star (which is close enough to a rock star, and we all know rock stars are my weakness).
But NO. I just couldn’t. Here’s the story in a nutshell.
Merise the model sounded more like a naive 16-year old than someone in her twenties, and the story, their issues, and their “love” seemed pretty shallow, to be honest. I hate it when people think they’re in love when they barely know each other. Geez, they spent like a combined total of less than 20 hours together and 3/4 of that was spent bickering and/or misunderstanding each other — and suddenly they’re IN LOVE??
So MEH. With a side order of ho hum. I’m sorry, Penguin. This one’s not for me.
Luckily I got a few more approvals in my inbox today, so WHEE! More books to read and review. Here’s a sneak peek:
Apparently you can only release a review a week max before publication, and a couple of these will come out June & August, so I guess those’ll have to wait.
In the meantime, I’m off to check out and request more books… because NetGalley is the best website EVER, if you’re a rabid book fiend like me. Go check it out.
Happy Friday, folks! What are you reading this weekend? Let me know in the comments.
So umm, I’m rather embarrassed to report that I’m still pretty fixated on those New Adult novels I was talking about the other day. They’re just so friggin’ addictive!
Anyway, it turns out that I’m not the only one. I think I have enough co-addicts to start a support group, and everyone in my NAA (New Adultaholics Anonymous) group suggested that I read Slammed by Colleen Hoover.
So I read it last night, and I have to say, it’s lovely. But I didn’t love it as much as I though I would. Part of the reason is that it made me cry and I don’t really like books or movies that make me sad. (Oh relax, there’s a happy ending, just sad parts, you should still read it even if you’re like me.)
But the MAIN reason was the poetry slams - which are a pretty big part of the book. If you don’t know what a poetry slam is, then welcome to the club, I didn’t either until last night. Basically it’s a competition where poets read or recite original work. (Thanks, Wikipedia)
And for some reason, I just found the whole concept of poetry slamming super duper AWKWARD. People who know me will find this really weird, because I actually used to be quite the poetess. But while I have no problem whatsoever WRITING poetry (or speaking in public, for that matter), for some reason reading poetry out loud just embarrasses me to death. Seriously.
I was once invited to be one of several women to record a spoken word album called Romancing Venus, and this was me the entire time.
I didn’t even have an audience, just a sound technician and Kooky, the poet whose work I was reciting, and I seriously just wanted to curl up into a fetal position in some corner somewhere and cry for my mama.
So yeah, that didn’t go very well. Good thing the poem was about some breakup or lost love or something because I sounded really lame and quivery, which I guess could pass off as lovelorn and wistful. But GAH! Nightmare. SO awkward.
Anyway I guess this explains why the whole poetry slam thing didn’t go over very well with me, but there is one part of the book that really made me glad I read it, and it’s the part where the heroine’s mom tells her to ask herself 3 questions before she commits. And the questions were so great, I thought I’d make another cheat sheet. Here it is.
3 Things to Ask Yourself Before You Commit
As Lake’s mom said in the book “If you can’t answer yes to these three questions, don’t even waste your time on a relationship.”
And I completely agree. You go, Lake’s Mom. *high five*
It’s something worth thinking about, whether you’re about to embark on a new relationship, or you’re already in one. So think, and ASK. This stuff matters.
Here’s hoping your answer to all 3 is a resounding YES. Happy Friday, folks!
For some bizarre reason, I’ve been devouring all these New Adult novels involving girls falling in love with rock stars. I’m really quite ashamed. Also, angsty. Because OMG the angst level in NA novels is just off the charts.
Anyway, don’t even ask me why I’m so fixated on the whole rock star romance thing right now, because I really have no good reason to give you. Well, except maybe that I think every woman is secretly a sucker for a talented musician. At the very least, for a few minutes while he’s performing on stage.
That’s why this doodle on svff.tumblr.com really cracked me up.
Hilarious. It’s relatable though, right? Because musicians are just… HAWT.
But oh wait, I almost forgot. I’m middle aged and married. Hehe. Oops. So let’s move on, shall we?
Anyway, I’ve only recently discovered that the New Adult fiction genre even existed, so I was a little surprised to discover that these were not in fact Adult-Adult novels. Because lemme tell ya, they’re pretty steamy. Like Adult movies steamy. Except with more plot. And angst.
This would be okay with me normally, except that the heroines are pretty young - usually college-age - so they kind of make me really glad I don’t have a daughter in college. Or a daughter in high school that reads this stuff and thinks that that’s how love and life and coming of age in college should be.
Now I think generalizations are the product of lazy minds, and I haven’t read enough NA books to make an intelligent judgment, so I won’t make any sweeping statements about NA fiction. Yet. Neither will I verbally bitchslap the angsty, indecisive college-age heroines I’ve been reading about, because frankly, we’re all pretty dumb and emotional at that age.
But I have to say there is one thing that really bugs me about the NA books that I have read so far (even the non-rock star-themed ones) —and it’s that the guy is always a major man-whore. (With bedroom hair and rock-hard abs, but that part I don’t mind so much.. er.. at all)
I mean, I get the appeal. (I was, after all, sucked into this stuff all weekend.) No one wants to read a romance about some average semi-flabby dude no one looks at, who’s majoring in Accounting or something. Because YAWN.
I’ll admit, bad boys are pretty irresistible. There’s a definite lure to the seemingly unattainable. Every girl wants to be “The One” to turn the resident man-ho hottie into a committed one-woman man, and kick all his attendant floozies to the curb. I get it.
But if you really think about it… YUCK. How icky is it to be with someone who’s been with everyone? And believe me, no matter how cool and civilized we may have become about these things, it’s always a little bit “Urgh. Gah. Don’t wanna think about it! Blarg!” when you interact with people whom you know have had intimate relations in the past with the person you love.
So just imagine being the girlfriend of someone like Kellan Kyle in S.C. Stephens’ Thoughtless series — who has slept with over 1000 girls?? WTH?? EW!! I have no idea why everyone on Goodreads is like “Kellan Kyle is the BEST BOYFRIEND EVERRR!” I mean okay fine, he’s a sweetie - and gorgeous as all get out - and but OMG! He’s a freaking menace! Public Enemy #1 of Peace of Mind, if you ask me.
So there’s that. But more disturbing, I think, is the way that the former man-hos suddenly do this major turnaround once they’re with “The One” —and all of a sudden they’re these choir boys who never even look at other women anymore, and can’t breathe or sleep at night when “The One” isn’t there.
Yeah, that doesn’t always happen, new adults.
When people fall in love and want their relationship to work out, they will make some changes to their lifestyle and behavior, true. But it’s terribly unwise to think they will change completely.
So when you enter a relationship, I don’t think it should be with the expectation of total transformation. You need to be able to accept that person as he is right now — and be okay with the assumption that he might not change at all. If you can, then good. Please proceed. If you can’t be with a person UNLESS he changes, you may want to rethink this whole relationship thing.
That’s what I think, anyway. What do YOU think? Agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments.
Cheers, people! Happy Holy Week!
A friend of mine mentioned Young Love Murder on her blog, and I thought it might be an interesting read because it’s about a teenage assassin who falls in love with her target’s son.
Little did I know that it would keep me up all night… yelling and wanting to hurl my Kindle at the wall in frustration and flabbergasted disbelief.
Oh gosh where do I even begin…
So as I mentioned earlier, it’s about this teenage assassin named Annabelle, who’s never really attended school in her life, which may explain why she apparently never learned the definition of MURDER.
She hooks up with this gorgeous (and kind of conceited, tbh) guy Gabriel because her target is his evil drug-dealing father — and they fall crazily in love. But whatevs, she kills his dad anyway. IN FRONT OF HIM.
And this is like in the first quarter of the book. There’s more.
Obviously she has to disappear after this, and young conflicted Gabriel is all “I wanna find her!! And kill her! And kiss her! Not necessarily in that order!” because he’s just so in love and hate it makes his head spin.
And she’s all over the world, still “not really murdering” people in reckless ways and in an alcoholic haze because she’s so heartbroken.
They do find each other again, and this is where the REALLY messed up stuff begins… like when she goes to stalk him at his graduation a few long months later, and then gets all devastated because he almost lets some floozy get down and dirty with him at his graduation party.
And he’s actually SORRY. Because you know, almost having casual sex with a high school ho when you’re single and no longer attached to your murdering girlfriend is SO much worse than shooting someone’s father in the head.
Then he goes off to tag along with her merry band of ridiculously good-looking assassins, chauffeuring her to missions in his dead dad’s private plane because he just HAS to be with her. And maybe still kill her at some point. Because loves her. And hates her.
And then all goes well for a while until Gabriel hears that his mom committed suicide because she can’t handle the grief… and he’s just so sad that when Annabelle walks into the hotel room, he shoots her. IN THE CHEST.
And then she’s like… dying and all… and he’s all “OMG! Sorry!!! I didn’t mean it! I was just sad!” RIGHT. Because that’s totally understandable. We ALL go off and shoot people in the chest when we’re grieving. It’s a thing.
So for two years or so he thinks she’s dead but he still loves her to pieces, and then Voila! One day he sees her out in Manhattan. And he’s all “Yay, you’re alive! Let’s be together again!” And she’s all “No way. You shot me. I’m pretty sure that means you don’t really love me.“
And so he comes up with a brilliant solution to this problem…
But she doesn’t. Until the next day, when she does. And then she leaves him again. But does this deter Gabriel in any way? NOOOOOOO….
I kind of wanted to crawl into my Kindle at this point and finish the job. But since I couldn’t, I just decided I’d had enough. Because really…
If you read it, just tell me how it ends. Or don’t. I don’t really care. Unlike Annabelle and Gabriel, I know how to give up and move on when things are too toxic.
So… on to better books. Any recommendations? Let me know in the comments!
Have a great day, everyone!
I know, I know. I’m writing about something Fifty-Shades-related again. But hey, this one’s a good review for a change, and I couldn’t say no to my friend Michelle’s reader request:
Besides, how can anyone NOT want to check out a 50 Shades parody written from the point of view of a young free-range hen?? Which, btw, also doubles as cookbook?? And has pictures of sexy chef abs?
I don’t know about you but it sounded pretty champ to me.
And IT WAS!
In fact, Fifty Shades of Chicken is such a great book, I actually bought it straight off instead of shadily trying to find a pirated copy. It’s a keeper. And it would make a great gift too, if you’re still scrounging around for Christmas presents.
Here’s why I loved it:
REASON #1: IT’S FUNNY.
And not the unintentional ”OMG this book’s so stupid I think I’ll just laugh because the other option is to strangle myself” type of funny of the original book. It’s funny for real.
I mean first of all it’s written by a horny chicken, so that’s already a win, as far as I’m concerned. It’s littered with all sorts of ludicrous innuendo, as well as witty chicken and cooking puns, which just killed me.
I think it’ll still be funny even if you haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey, but if you have, all the Anastasia-isms will really crack you up. Also, lines like “Taters, baby.” So if, like me, you read FSoG and hated yourself, you can comfort yourself with the knowledge that if you hadn’t labored through it, you wouldn’t have appreciated the awesome Chicken version as much.
REASONS #2-51: FIFTY CHICKEN RECIPES!
Aside from the hilarious narration, the book also contains 50 luscious-looking chicken recipes, which I’m dying to try out. Partly because they sound really yummy, and mostly because the names are so naughty. :)
Some of the other recipes include: Dripping Thighs, Learning to Truss You, Erect Chicken, Cream-Slicked Chick, Sticky Fingers… you get the drift. :)
Maybe not something to share with Grandma, but good for a cackle with the gals. And confusing your husband.
REASON #52: FOOD PORN!
Forgive me, but I really do think food porn is the best kind of porn there is. So I love that the recipes also have droolworthy photos to match. Like this one. With BACON.
So when you read the book, please note that you may actually find yourself a little conflicted at times… but in a good way.
Fine, maybe not so good if you’re on a diet. But whatevs - go check it out anyway! It’s a hoot. :)
I went to the Beyond the Bahay Kubo book launch last night because the Mañosas are like my favorite family ever (aside from my own)..
…and OMG I won the grand prize in the raffle!
I didn’t even realize it at first because I was too busy laughing at my husband’s story of how he’d just met President Ramos — who, it turns out, has a freakishly strong handshake and enjoys making younger men squirm.
Anyway I heard my name being called on stage, and everyone was clapping so I was like “OMG I won something!” I didn’t even know what it was.
Of course, I was all “Are you freaking kidding me??? A MILLION BUCKS?? I’m so lucky!!” — for about two minutes…until I talked to my friend Dino, who explained the sitch, and simultaneously proved the old saying that “If something seems too good to be true, then it probably is.”
So since I’m not shopping for a new townhouse any time soon, I basically got NOTHING. On the bright side though, the discount is transferable! So I can actually offer this discount to someone who does want to buy - for a friendly fee. Heehee. :)
Now I’m having visions of myself stalking potential buyers like some sort of residential real estate scalper…
Mañosa Properties’ Ylang Lane Townhomes are pretty gorgeous though, all posh and climate-conscious and designed by National Artist Francisco Mañosa… so if you know anyone who wants one, give me a holler and I’ll cut you in on some of the action. :)
Wish me luck!