2014/05/02 @ 11:26 am »

“THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN” GIVEAWAY WINNER! So sorry for the delay. Congratulations to Rose Ann F.! Please e-mail me (thegirlwhoread at gmail dot com) your Full Name, Complete Mailing Address, and Contact Number so that I can make arrangements to send you the book. Please e-mail me within 3 days so that you will not be disqualified, as per the contest rules. :) To everyone else who follows the blog, watch out for the next giveaway, which I will announce next week!

And also, to Rose Ann, in answer to your question for Mitch Albom: he did talk about some of his inspirations for his novels. You can read about them in my article here.

HBO, BBC to Produce J.K. Rowling’s ‘The Casual Vacancy’ as Miniseries

Meann ★:

This would be great as a mini-series, come to think of it. Excited to see how they will make it more…TV friendly!

Originally posted on Variety:

HBO and the BBC have teamed to adapt J.K. Rowling’s novel “The Casual Vacancy” as a three-hour miniseries.

Sarah Phelps (“EastEnders”) has penned the adaptation of the book about a seemingly idyllic English village where various factions are at war: rich vs. poor, teenagers vs. parents, wives vs. husbands etc.

Jonny Campbell (“In the Flesh”) is set to direct with Ruth Kenley-Letts (“The Hour”) producing. Production will begin this summer in south west England.

Rowling (pictured) is exec producing with Neil Blair, her partner in Bronte Film and Television. Paul Trijbits (“Saving Mr. Banks”) and Rick Senat also exec produce.

BBC commissioned the project from the creator of the “Harry Potter” franchise shortly after its publication in 2012.

View original

“The 39 Clues: Unstoppable” promo at National Book Store

Attention, all Pinoy Cahills! Enjoy the unstoppable heat of the summer season and collect limited edition The 39 Clues Branch Crest Leather Bookmarks only at National Book Store and Powerbooks! Every single purchase of 2 books of The 39 Clues series entitles you to 1 free bookmark! Promo runs from April 29, 2014 to May 30, 2014. Per DTI-NCR Permit No. 3292 Series of 2014. Click on the poster below for more details.

FINAL - 39 Clues Poster_Unstoppable Promo1 b

For those who are following the series, which branch are you part of? I’m an Ekaterina. :)

Cover Reveal: “Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle #3)” by Maggie Stiefvater

Holy Mystical Forests, Batman!


 
*asdfghjjlskdhglaksjdlkjg*

That’s an interesting departure from the pattern of the titles, by the way. And I wonder if this means the focus this time will be more on Blue’s part in the Cycle?

“Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor and ParkELEANOR & PARK
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Read Date: 19 April 2014
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Review summary: It was “Oh my gosh, it’s adorable” at first sight, but it did not sweep me off my feet.

*SPOILER WARNING FOR PLOT DETAILS* (more…)

“The Staff of Serapis” by Rick Riordan

Staff of SerapisTHE STAFF OF SERAPIS (Percy Jackson and Kane Chronicles Crossover #2)
Author: Rick Riordan
Read Date: 14 April 2014
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

In this adventure, Annabeth encounters more oddities in the subway than usual, including a two-headed monster and a younger blond girl who reminds her a little of herself.

Review Summary: A more cohesive, more imaginative, and mythologically richer crossover than “The Son of Sobek”, but still too formulaic.

*SPOILER WARNING FOR PLOT DETAILS* (more…)

“Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3)” by Laini Taylor

Dreams of Gods and MonstersDREAMS OF GODS & MONSTERS (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #3)
Author: Laini Taylor
Read Date: 10 April 2014
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

In this thrilling conclusion to the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, Karou is still not ready to forgive Akiva for killing the only family she’s ever known.

When a brutal angel army trespasses into the human world, Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat–and against larger dangers that loom on the horizon. They begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves–maybe even toward love.

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera, and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

Review summary: Perhaps too ambitious, but a dramatic finale that readers who have journeyed with Karou will certainly appreciate.

*SPOILER WARNING FOR PLOT DETAILS* (more…)

“Dreamer” by Brandon Sanderson (from the “Games Creatures Play” anthology)

games-creatures-playDREAMER (from the “Games Creatures Play” anthology)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Read Date: 6 April 2014
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Welcome to the wide world of paranormal pastimes, where striking out might strike you dead. Editors Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner are your announcers for this all-new story collection of the most peculiar plays ever made….

Sports fans live and die by their teams’ successes and failures—though not literally. But these fourteen authors have written spirited—in more ways than one—new tales of killer competitions that would make even the most die-hard players ask to be benched.

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson’s “Dreamer,” a game of cops and robbers is a new challenge when the players are able to switch bodies at will.

Disclosure: Of course I only decided to read this anthology because Branderson has a story in it. ;)

I must admit I was surprised to see Brandon Sanderson’s name included in an anthology by Harris and Kelner because their collections often feature paranormal elements. But I did say I will read anything he publishes, so…

In his blog post on the release of the book, Branderson classified “Dreamer” as a horror short story. As I was reading it, though, it didn’t feel horror or paranormal.

It begins in the middle of a deadly chase and, as the synopsis says, the people involved can switch bodies at will. The entire story is, in fact, one continuous dynamic chase scene reminiscent of those in “Steelheart”.

I always expect a certain level of world-building and a well-defined magic system from Branderson no matter how short the story, and he doesn’t disappoint here. But perhaps that expectation is what killed this for me in the end. See, after the action-packed chase and after unraveling the rules of the world, I expected the ending to reveal some strange creatures or people with out-of-this-world abilities, but no. It was simple. So deceptively simple. Maybe that’s the downside to reading too much Sanderson–you don’t expect him to write something simple anymore. embarrassed But that is also the charm of the story–that something simple was set up so creatively. I just wish it felt more paranormal considering the anthology it was part of.

Harris and Co.’s usual readers will definitely enjoy this story, especially if they are new to Branderson. Sharders like me are in for a nice surprise.

2014/04/04 @ 10:06 am »

So I finished “Words of Radiance” by Brandon Sanderson around a week or so back (1,100 friggin’ pages; approx 24,000 e-book locations), and now I’m re-reading “The Way of Kings” because, predictably, I missed SO MANY THINGS from that first book. And now I am unable to move to any other book–not that very tempting “Black Ice” ARC, not even our book club book, “The Last Chinese Chef”–and I’m pretty sure I’ll re-read “Words of Radiance” after this. I feel like Branderson dropped me into one of the chasms in the Shattered Plains (Stormlight-assisted, of course) and did not leave a ladder so I can climb back out. Help! (or not.)

Giveaway: Signed copy of “The Five People You Meet In Heaven” by Mitch Albom

This contest is now CLOSED. Please check back soon for the announcement of the winner.
_______

It’s almost Holy Week, so I thought it would be a good time to finally post this giveaway. :)

If you missed Mitch Albom’s blockbuster-movie-level book signings here in the Philippines, here’s your chance to win a signed paperback copy of “The Five People You Meet In Heaven,” Albom’s first novel. There is a Filipino character in the novel named Tala, and the protagonist was based on Albom’s uncle, who served in the U.S. military and was deployed here to fight against the Japanese occupation during World War II.

TFPYMIH Giveawa7

MECHANICS: To join, just go to the Rafflecopter page for this giveaway and follow the instructions there.
⇨⇨⇨ Portkey to Rafflecopter (whoosh!)

REMINDER: When you comment here, please don’t forget to answer the contest question: Name 5 people you would like to meet in Heaven; they should be real people who have passed away, whether they are famous people or your relatives. Your points for this entry will be rendered invalid if you don’t post a comment.

The contest is open only to residents of the Philippines. If you are not a resident but know someone with a Philippine mailing address who is willing to mail you the prize if you win, then you are welcome to join the contest. Contest ends 20 April 2014 (Easter Sunday)..

Spread the word, and May the Odds Be Ever In Your Favor!

“Kids These Days: Stories from Luna East Arts Academy, Vol. 1″

luna east 1KIDS THESE DAYS: STORIES FROM LUNA EAST ARTS ACADEMY, VOL.1
Author: Various
Read Date: 28 February 2014
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The stories from LUNA EAST ARTS ACADEMY are about love. And also, friends, food, kissing, rumors, mean people, insecurities, birthdays, breakups, making up. We set it in an arts academy because we wanted everyone to have a talent, and know it. Because no one is ordinary, if you know them well enough.

Who are you, at LUNA EAST? Are you a popular kid, a wallflower, a drama club diva, a debate whiz? Visit lunaeastacademy.org to read more stories from #LUNAEAST, and submit your own. For readers 16 and up.

Luna East Arts Academy is a project of Mina V. Esguerra and the writers who were part of her online #romanceclass, but it is open to anyone who wishes to write a story. The school – Luna East – is a collaborative setting that Mina mentioned is a lot like the set-up for the Sweet Valley High series, where different stories establish characters, important events, the school structure, relationships, and other aspects of the world. The stories are Young Adult / Coming of Age, since Luna East is a high school.

The first volume contains 14 stories, most of which already make use of common characters and events. The collaborative aspect of the world-building seems to be working very well, and with continued editorial care and maybe the assignment of a continuity editor, hopefully that will not change (and only get better!) when the next volumes are published.

There are several very promising talents in this volume aside from those like Mina, who already have publishing credits. There are a few who are still a bit green, but I’m sure they will improve as they write more stories and as other more experienced collaborators give them advice.

The beauty of a project like this is that people are encouraged to start and finish their stories and are then given a medium by which to share them. When future volumes are published, though, I hope that more editorial direction (beyond just grammar checks) will be given to each story that will be included, and that there will be more variety in terms of the plot hooks and story arcs. I am aware that the setting will limit the variety a bit, but Sweet Valley was able to accomplish this to a certain extent, so I would really love to see the collaborators stretch their legs more.

My favorite stories in this volume are: Mina’s “Fifty-Two Weeks” (because the romance is really subtle), Ronald Lim’s “Yours Is The First Face That I Saw” (because indeed, Tyler and Sebastian’s story was kilig), Anne Plaza’s “Senpai’s #1 Fan” (because I can relate to the geekiness), D.R. Lee’s “Picture Me Naked” (because…well, I got valuable advice, ehem), and Stella Torres’ “Be Creative”.

Chrissie Peria’s “Sitting in a Tree” gets a special mention because of this dedication:

Sitting in a Tree

and because, hey, kissing booth.

And this calls for a Scoring the Book song (or Scoring the Story) because how appropriate is it that one of my favorite Korean artists, K. Will, came out with a collab song with Wheesung and the rookie group Mamamoo called “Peppermint Chocolate”? (He’s not in the video because he never appears in his music videos…except once, and then his character died…ummm, that’s another story.) So this is for you, Chrissie. ;)


English Translation, in case the closed captions don’t work for you: click!

On cyber-bullying authors and Cyber-Bullying Authors

The Guardian reports that Anne Rice has supported a petition for Amazon to implement an identity verification system for reviewers and message board posters in an effort to alleviate the bullying of authors on the site. Earlier this year, Rice herself was attacked by bullies, many posting anonymously or using multiple accounts, when she posted on the Amazon boards.

I didn’t witness the Rice incident, but I certainly followed the Charlaine Harris one. When the ending of the final book of the Southern Vampire Mysteries (a.k.a. Sookie Stackhouse series) was leaked, angry readers cancelled pre-orders and flocked to Amazon and other message boards to rage at Harris. There were many threats to inflict physical harm on her, and many more insults and name-calling.

I have been very unhappy about how the Sookie series shaped up myself, and until now, I have held out on buying the last two books. I can’t blame the people who cancelled pre-orders; it is their right as consumers. It is also within the rights of the fans to be unhappy about the story and to write that they did not like it. But calling Harris names and threatening her is too much.

Like a painting displayed in an art gallery, books are an author’s creative work that is being shared with the world. We are free to critique the paintings and say that the color palette is a visual nightmare or the book’s plot is shitty. But we do not have the right to say that the artist deserves to die or to bombard her webpage and social network accounts with threats or to harass the author with demands that the story end a certain way.

I’m not sure how Rice and the petitioners envision the identity verification system should work, but I’m hoping this also means that the system can alleviate Cyber-Bullying Authors on Amazon, and hopefully in other places like Goodreads as well. We know they exist, and they have a following who can turn into cyber bullies themselves; there is a lot of documentation online that this happened before.

If bullying authors is a problem, then authors who bully reviewers is equally a problem. Like a painting displayed in a gallery, when you publish a book, you open yourself up to criticism, no matter how much those comments stab and poke and bleed out your authorial pride. Authors, of course, have the right to complain against reviewers who go above and beyond just plain snarky or cruel criticisms on their blogs or SNS accounts, especially if death threats are involved and if they cause real mayhem. But targeting readers who blog about your work being shitty, and getting your friends and colleagues to target same readers, is just plain unprofessional.