BOOK REVIEW – EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING BY NICOLA YOON

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18692431BOOK: EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING

AUTHOR: NICOLA YOON

FORMAT / PUBLISHER: HARDCOVER / DELA CORTE PRESS


synopsisn

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.


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*i would like to thank PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE for sending me A FINISHED COPY OF THIS book. this doesn’t affect nor influence my review.*

Let me just tell you that this book is fast-paced. I finished reading this in a day! I (almost) loved everything about this book. This is my cup of tea (or coffee? just kidding!).

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.

Madeline. Madeline doesn’t leave her house. She has not left her house for seventeen FREAKING years. Holy guacamole. I know it sounds strange but you’ll know why she never left her house when you’re finally holding and reading the book. Teenagers nowadays usually go outside every single day or at least once a week. You get me? You get me. Madeline almost made me cry especially when I was reading the last few chapters of this book. OH GOSH. If you’ve read this book, you know what I mean.

Olly. He’s Madeline’s new neighbor. Let me just tell you that he’s the kind of friend or older brother I’m looking for. I badly want to have someone to accompany me whenever I want to go here, there, and wherever I want. Olly is best friend goals, tbh. I loved the way he treated Madeline throughout this book.

PLOT + TWIST.

Okay, guys. This book was pretty crazy. I won’t spill anything that happened in the book because it might spoil you but HOLY FREAKIN’ SHIZ, it went crazy until the last few chapters. I didn’t see that twist coming. Well, I expected a twist but not that kind of twist! *mind blown* *what the flying f*ck did just happen?*

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This is my most favorite line from this book. This is me sometimes. I know I’m not the only one. Hey, sometimes you need to sacrifice for someone you really love.

Also, these are some of the lines that I really loved from this book:

“There are entire worlds that exists just beneath our notice of them.”

“You learned your lesson the hard way. Some things you just have to experience for yourself.”

“Maybe I’m holding out hope that one day, someday, things will change.”

This book may (or may not) make you cry. Nevertheless, this will leave a mark on your heart. I’ll always remember this book.


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BOOK REVIEW – WE ALL LOOKED UP BY TOMMY WALLACH

we all looked up


18392459BOOK: WE ALL LOOKED UP

AUTHOR: TOMMY WALLACH

FORMAT / PUBLISHER: ARC / SIMON AND SCHUSTER


synopsisn

Before the asteroid we let ourselves be defined by labels:
The athlete, the outcast, the slacker, the overachiever.

But then we all looked up and everything changed.

They said it would be here in two months. That gave us two months to leave our labels behind. Two months to become something bigger than what we’d been, something that would last even after the end.

Two months to really live.


bookreviewn

*i would like to thank TOMMY WALLACH for sending me AN ARC OF THIS book. this doesn’t affect nor influence my review.*

welllookedupquote

To be honest with you, I had a rough start with this book. I don’t know if it’s because of the fact that I was thinking of finals and my grades or this is not the typical kind of YA I usually read.

What makes this book different?

  • There are 4 POVs. Yup, this means there are 4 persons describing what’s happening to them and to the world they’re living in. When I’m reading 2 POVs, I always get confused. (Screw my short memory retention) I always need to go back or reread some parts before going to the next page or else…….
  • These people have different personalities. Different blends. Different likes and dislikes. In the end, they proved that nothing will beat true friendship.

 

Okay, some parts really made me feel MEH but the last few chapters made me keep going. My favorite character is Eliza. She has a blog (just like me!) and she’s very frank. She’s very realistic (except the fact that she’s a fictional character) and straight forward. The ending? I liked it. I think it satisfied my feels for the book.

These are some of the lines that I’ll not forget from this book:

“And that means  you get to choose what you want to do with your life, instead of life choosing for you.”

 

“This may come as a shock for you, but some of us actually care about stuff.”

 

“Could love really disappear so quickly? Or did that mean it had never been there in the first place?”

 

“That was the problem with understanding someone too well – you couldn’t help but forgive them, no matter what they did.”

If you’re intrigued with what happened to them, you should read this book now.


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WHERE DO I USUALLY BUY MY BOOKS?

Where Do I Usually Buy My Books

A lot of you already know that our libraries here suck are not updated. Yup, they don’t have YA books and such. It makes me sad, to be honest. Not everyone (like me!) can afford to buy ALL new releases and pre-order upcoming releases. I’m really jealous with the libraries in other countries.

Also, a lot of people have been asking me where do I usually buy my books. Guys, here are my answers. These are the only places I usually buy my books. Please click the image to see their websites.


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  1. National Book Store

This is the nearest local bookstore from my house and uni. I’m 1 hour away from this bookstore and they just had their Cut Price Sale last month. If you’re following me on Twitter and Instagram, you know that I bought Scarlet and Cress at 20% off! They sell a wide variety collection of books but it’s still incomplete. Nevertheless, I love this bookstore.

fully booked

2. Fully Booked

Let me tell you that this bookstore is my most favorite. Yup, you’ve read it right. The nearest Fully Booked branch is 2 hours away from me. I badly want to go there every single time but the fare is quite expensive. The nearest Fully Booked branch from me has 4 floors full of books. How cool is that? That’s what you call, “HEAVEN”.

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3. The Book Depository

Okay, guys. I barely order something from The Book Depository because a) I don’t have a credit card. b) I only order books which are not available here. c) 2-3 weeks waiting time makes me crazy unless I’m busy doing things that I’ll forget about this. The thing that I really love about TBD is their free shipping. This is a great advantage to all international peeps! Another one is their bookmarks. They’re just so stunning that I badly want to have all of them.


 bookstore / bookseller goals:

bookoutlet

Where can you find a $2 – $5 worth of hardcover book? Book Outlet has it. I badly want to order from this online bookstore, tbh. The prices are SO cheap. The shipping fee is my worry. Bookworms from the US and Canada are so lucky to have this. Very lucky.

I hope you liked my post. Please comment down some of the places where you usually buy your books. Thank you! 😉

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GLOBAL BLOG TOUR: WHY NOT ME? BY MINDY KALING

Why Not Me Blog Tour Banner


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Book: Why Not Me?

Author: Mindy Kaling

Publisher: Crown Archetype

ISBN No: 9781101905579

ADD TO GOODREADS

Mindy Kaling also wrote Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me?


aboutthebookIn Why Not Me?, Kaling shares her ongoing journey to find contentment and excitement in her adult life, whether it’s falling in love at work, seeking new friendships in lonely places, attempting to be the first person in history to lose weight without any behavior modification whatsoever, or most important, believing that you have a place in Hollywood when you’re constantly reminded that no one looks like you.

In “How to Look Spectacular: A Starlet’s Confessions,” Kaling gives her tongue-in-cheek secrets for surefire on-camera beauty, (“Your natural hair color may be appropriate for your skin tone, but this isn’t the land of appropriate–this is Hollywood, baby. Out here, a dark-skinned woman’s traditional hair color is honey blonde.”) “Player” tells the story of Kaling being seduced and dumped by a female friend in L.A. (“I had been replaced by a younger model. And now they had matching bangs.”) In “Unlikely Leading Lady,” she muses on America’s fixation with the weight of actresses, (“Most women we see onscreen are either so thin that they’re walking clavicles or so huge that their only scenes involve them breaking furniture.”) And in “Soup Snakes,” Kaling spills some secrets on her relationship with her ex-boyfriend and close friend, B.J. Novak (“I will freely admit: my relationship with B.J. Novak is weird as hell.”)

Mindy turns the anxieties, the glamour, and the celebrations of her second coming-of-age into a laugh-out-loud funny collection of essays that anyone who’s ever been at a turning point in their life or career can relate to. And those who’ve never been at a turning point can skip to the parts where she talks about meeting Bradley Cooper.


book review

*I WOULD LIKE TO THANK PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE FOR SENDING ME A COPY OF THIS BOOK. THIS DOESN’T AFFECT NOR INFLUENCE MY REVIEW.*

To be honest with you, I don’t know much about Mindy Kaling. Also, it was my first time reading a memoir and Why Not Me? didn’t disappoint me. I can’t stop laughing when I was reading this. It’s just SO relatable and funny all the way.

This book has all the feels. Whether you’re a kid, a teenager, an adult, an alien, or whatsoever, you can totally relate and laugh your ass out (Have I said that enough?). Dead serious, guys. This book clarified that even though you’re in Hollywood, life isn’t perfect. Life is full of surprises. It doesn’t go the way it was planned. Mindy Kaling (almost) nailed everything!

WNM Quote

This line hit me. It totally hit me. Not all jokes are considered jokes. Just no.

With regard to Mindy Kaling’s writing style, it’s like she’s talking to a close friend or someone she knows for a very long time. It’s very easy to understand every single thing she’s trying to point out. Also, the photographs are funny and amazing. I admire her for being so true to herself and to everyone. *I’m running out of words while writing this review.* Words can’t fully describe how I admire Mindy Kaling right now. Trust me, you’ll LOVE this book.

If you’d like to read memoirs and choke with your own laugh, I’ll definitely recommend this to you! I’ll rate this book 4 shining stars! 🙂

P.S. If you’re from the Philippines and would love to buy this book, this is available at National Book Store and Fully Booked.


> WHY NOT ME? GLOBAL BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE <

Marjolein Reads : 10/19

Defiantly Deviant : 10/20

Jasmine Pearl Reads (me!) : 10/21

Home of a Book Lover : 10/22

Oops! I Read A Book Again : 10/23

The Bookaholic Blurbs : 10/24

The Soul Sisters : 10/25

When Books Defy Gravity : 10/26

Bibliophile Soprano : 10/27

Serendipity : 10/28

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S.F.D OPEN LETTER TO LYGIA DAY PENAFLOR (AUTHOR OF UNSCRIPTED JOSS BYRD)

Lygia Day Penaflor

If you missed my earlier post about the S.F.D., here is a recap: Sassy’s Fangirl Debuts was created by Talina from Sassy and Dangerous. It’s a feature wherein we, the secret agents, help the authors dominate the bookish nation. Today I am so excited to go on with my first mission for Sassy’s Fangirl Debuts and this mission is all about writing an open letter to a debut author! I have been assigned to write a letter to: Lygia Day Penaflor.


Letter ToDear Lygia,

I’m very glad that I’ve met a Filipina author through Twitter. I still remember the day you followed me on twitter and when I read your bio, I had a feeling that you were a Filipina. Your surname is the surname of one of my true friends in college! Coincidence? I believe not. I can’t wait to meet you soon. This will happen. I promise you. I’ll go to NY, we’ll have coffee, we’ll have a long chat about books, and we’ll fangirl.

“Lygia is a private academic teacher for young Hollywood stars. Her students have included the young casts of Gossip Girl and Boardwalk Empire as well as I Am Legend.” Let me just tell you how awesome you are. You’re already successful. Don’t give up with your dreams. We’re always here for you!

Let’s talk about your upcoming book entitled “Unscripted Joss Byrd”. Based from the synopsis, I can feel that this is very realistic. “Struggles. Expectations. Crushes. Work.” This is life. This is my favorite type of book. This is what I’m always looking for. I need this book now. I hope you can blurb something about your upcoming book soon. We need some hints! 😉

I won’t make this long but I’ll definitely keep in touch with you, always. Please remember that I love you. ❤

Love,

Jasmine Pearl ❤


There’s no cover for Unscripted Joss Byrd yet. Nevertheless, I’ll be leaving its goodreads link and synopsis.

Synopsis:

In this affecting debut novel, America’s most sought-after young actress navigates the pressure of working on a new film. Shooting on location in Montauk, NY, twelve-year-old Joss Byrd struggles with her mother’s expectations, a crush on her movie brother, and an ambitious director’s disturbingly gritty script. Joss’s emotional narrative reveals the hopes and fears of a child star on the verge of either greatness or colossal failure.

goodreads


If you want to read the letters of the other agents, feel free to check their blogs. I know they’re awesome-sauce! ❤

Name Twitter handle Blog
Talina (our fearless leader) @talinaroma http://sassyanddangerous.blogspot.mx/
Stefani @StefaniSloma http://caughtreadhanded.wordpress.com
Emily @Emren http://www.emilyreadseverything.com/
Heather @hermitlibrarian http://hermitlibrarian.blogspot.com/
Eileen @BookCatPin http://bookcatpin.blogspot.ca/
Karina @Watcha_Reading areaderunderthesea.blogspot.com
Deanna @deeschwazy booksablog.com
Nori @ReadWriteLove28 readwritelove28.com
Alexandra @lit_legionnaire http://literarylegionnaire.blogspot.com/
Claudia @penmarkings penmarkings.com
Kaitlin @NextPagePlease_ next-page-please.blogspot.com
Jasmine @JasmineRaymundo jasminepearlreads.wordpress.com
Angel @AvidReaderBlog avdreader.wordpress.com
Blessie @iBlessThee13th mischievousreads.blogspot.com
Bex @AureliaLit aurelmedia.wordpress.com
Melissa @MeliRobles http://www.thereaderandthechef.com
Kaitlin @KaitlinS16 readingismytreasure.blogspot.com/
Aila @aila_1woaa onewayoranauthor.wordpress.com
Jess @PrincessicaOB princessicaofbooks.wordpress.com
Jamie @booksandladders booksandladders.blogspot.ca
Lauren @BetweenDPages livelovereadya.wordpress.com
Aimee @AimeeReads deadlydarlings.wordpress.com
Erin @xerinxlynnx thehardcoverlover.blogspot.com
Lizzie @LizzieSarcastic bigbooksandgrandelattes.blogspot.com

AGENT JASMINE REPORTING FOR DUTY FOR SASSY’S FANGIRL DEBUTS :)

sassy's fangirl debut


AgentJasmineHello and welcome to Sassy’s Fangirl Debuts a feature that was created by Talina over at Sassy & Dangerous! The S.F.D is a top secret organization (AKA a debut author street team!) that helps authors dominate the book world and succeed in brainwashing their readers…(just kidding…but who knows…)

Over the past few weeks, Talina has put together a team of highly trained professional debut supporters and the S.F.D team has been planning a way to destroy reader’s TBRs and we believe, after careful planning and years of training, we have finally come to a conclusion: Sassy’s Fangirl Debuts.

Although there was a slight delay due to a giant, angry green problem, (TOP SECRET clearance needed for more details!) everything is now back on course. With the help of a few other agents, our plans are finally being launched.

Sassy’s Fangirl Debuts (S.F.D. for short) is a fun, unique way in helping readers to keep track of all the debut authors and their new books that are coming out, and it is also a way for authors to promote their books and get readers interested. The feature, which Agent T has decided to make it into a debut author street team, will include author interrogations, (interviews), confidential file exposures (guest posts) and the radioactive surprises (giveaways) which will all be posted on her blog, Sassy & Dangerous.

Agent T’s highly skilled team of agents will be going on special missions that will include fun, awesome posts to feature these lovely debut authors and their books. Tomorrow will be the agents first mission, so don’t forget to stop by Jasmine Pearl Reads (this blog!) tomorrow and to also check out the list of rest of the agents blogs below!

Name Twitter handle Blog
Talina (our fearless leader) @talinaroma http://sassyanddangerous.blogspot.mx/
Stefani @StefaniSloma http://caughtreadhanded.wordpress.com
Emily @Emren http://www.emilyreadseverything.com/
Heather @hermitlibrarian http://hermitlibrarian.blogspot.com/
Eileen @BookCatPin http://bookcatpin.blogspot.ca/
Karina @Watcha_Reading areaderunderthesea.blogspot.com
Deanna @deeschwazy booksablog.com
Nori @ReadWriteLove28 readwritelove28.com
Alexandra @lit_legionnaire http://literarylegionnaire.blogspot.com/
Claudia @penmarkings penmarkings.com
Kaitlin @NextPagePlease_ next-page-please.blogspot.com
Jasmine @JasmineRaymundo jasminepearlreads.wordpress.com
Angel @AvidReaderBlog avdreader.wordpress.com
Blessie @iBlessThee13th mischievousreads.blogspot.com
Bex @AureliaLit aurelmedia.wordpress.com
Melissa @MeliRobles http://www.thereaderandthechef.com
Kaitlin @KaitlinS16 readingismytreasure.blogspot.com/
Aila @aila_1woaa onewayoranauthor.wordpress.com
Jess @PrincessicaOB princessicaofbooks.wordpress.com
Jamie @booksandladders booksandladders.blogspot.ca
Lauren @BetweenDPages livelovereadya.wordpress.com
Aimee @AimeeReads deadlydarlings.wordpress.com
Erin @xerinxlynnx thehardcoverlover.blogspot.com
Lizzie @LizzieSarcastic bigbooksandgrandelattes.blogspot.com

I really hope that you’ll like our missions and upcoming events. I assure you that this is a fabulous team. Plus, all the bookworms included in this team are sweet and amazeballs. You should definitely check them out! ❤

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LIVING FOR A DECADE AND (ALMOST) 8 YEARS!

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Hi there, bookworms! Just so you know, I’ll be turning 18 on the 22nd of November. I’ve been living for a decade and (almost) eight years. I’m proud to be part of the 90’s generation. There were many things that had happened way back then that we can’t experience anymore right now. My life ten years ago was very simple and not-so-techie. Agree? Agree.

I’ll consider 2015 as one of the most memorable years of my life. Why?

  • I met my favorite author, Michelle Hodkin, this year! I still remember the date, guys. That’s January 18 (Sunday). Huge thanks to Fully Booked for making it happen!
  • I started my book blog this year.
  • I met new bookish friends! Huge thanks to facebook, twitter, instagram and wordpress for giving me instant bookish friends.
  • My blogging career was SO blessed this year. I’m very thankful to everyone who entrusted me to review their books.
  • I’m a scholar at our uni. Yup, I got 100% scholarship but I’m (well, my parents are) still paying for the miscellaneous fee.
  • I’ve been into a lot of adventures this year. Dang, one of them is I had to sacrifice my 5 hour class for the sake of that freaking minor subject. We had to interview someone. My friend and I went to MNL. It took us 2 hours to get there and another 2 hours to return to our uni. No regrets though. I got the highest grade in midterm and he’s second to the highest. I never go to MNL without my parents but this forced me to go with my classmate. HOLY GUACAMOLE. What a crazy adventure. x)))
  • I’ve faced a lot of struggles this year. I slayed them. ^____^

I still have a ton of things to share but I don’t want you to get bored so……

You. Yes, you. If you’re reading this, I’m sending you virtual hugs. Thanks for stopping by. I love you, bookworm! To all my international followers, I’d love to have an international giveaway soon. I’m still planning on it. I’m still looking for someone to help me out. Great news for my PH followers, I have something for you! As part of my 18th birthday celebration, I’m going to give away a HARDCOVER FINISHED COPY of ILLUMINAE by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. Yup, you’ve read it right. Don’t miss this chance! 🙂


Rules:

  • This giveaway starts today (October 13, 2015) and it will end on my 18th birthday (November 22, 2015).
  • Again, this giveaway is only open to my PH followers.
  • Click the giveaway image to enter the rafflecopter giveaway.
  • May the odds be ever in your favor. ❤

giveaway

The winner of this giveaway will be announced on the 22nd of November on my twitter account (@JasmineRaymundo). 8AM EST / GMT +8 8PM.

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BLOG TOUR – THE POET’S SECRET BY KENNETH ZAK

blog tour


Book Cover_High ResABOUT THE BOOK

In The Poet’s Secret, Elia Aloundra, a young lit student, sees the reclusive poet Cameron Beck recite a poem at a campus pub before he vanishes—for a second time. Ten years earlier, Beck had dropped from the public eye, leaving only an acclaimed collection of odes to an anonymous muse and a decade of speculation over his disappearance.

Elia sets off in search of Beck, longing to know the man whose words have moved her so, hoping perhaps the ghost poet will unveil the secret to eternal love. What she doesn’t know is that as her quest begins, Beck is perched atop a cliff on a remote Caribbean island and about to attempt suicide. As Elia faces off with Beck’s protective circle on the exotic island hideaway, the same island where decades earlier a Spanish shipwreck entombing mystical Aztec relics was found, she finds herself swept up in the mystery of the muse. What Elia cannot fathom is that Beck’s secret will change both their lives forever.

abouttheauthorKenZak_headshot_hiresBorn in Parma, Ohio, Kenneth Zak is an aquatic nomad of Bohemian-Polish ancestry

Zak conceived of his debut novel, The Poet’s Secret, in a mountaintop village on the Greek isle of Crete while on a three­year sabbatical

An avid surfer and free diver, Zak continued to work on his manuscript and poetry in Bali, Mexico, Costa Rica, Thailand, Cambodia and South America

The Poet’s Secret was selected as a Golden Heart® Award finalist in romantic suspense by Romance Writers of America


AUTHORQ&A

What inspired you to write The Poet’s Secret?

At the time I wrote The Poet’s Secret, I was on a personal pilgrimage. I essentially took a three­year sabbatical, sort of an adult “time out,” and embarked on a new path. I dedicated myself to explore the meaning of life and love and particularly the arc of passion. I became consumed by the idea of living in the present, honoring the “now” as the only real moment in time, the only authentic eternity, which allowed me to both disconnect and connect like never before and let go of the constructs of past and future as fictions created by the mind. I gained a new appreciation for relatively brief moments and encounters as having potentially profound effects. I was living abroad, reading, writing, surfing and slowing down my existence.

The tale that became The Poet’s Secret was conceived in a hovel perched atop a one­table taverna in the hillside village of Avdou, just a scooter ride from the blue waters of the Aegean Sea on the island of Crete. I was sequestered alone, halfway around the world from my home, and recovering from a life, and a relationship, that had left me hollow, or at least I thought at the time. But it turned out words kept flowing out of me, first in raw, chunky verse that faintly resembled poetry and then in images and scenes that bore an even fainter resemblance to a novel. For months I wrote, swam in healing waters and disappeared into this remote, antiquated Greek village. I had never done anything like that before, but at the time it was the only existence that made any sense.

So many miracles happened during those months. I experienced a cleansing, a healing and an awakening, and I began to perceive light and water and imagery and words and the souls around me like never before. I eventually returned to California, and then traveled to Bali, Mexico, Costa Rica, Thailand, Cambodia and South America, following the sea and surf with laptop in hand and continuing to write. The backstory to writing The Poet’s Secret is a story in itself.

How did you select the locations for the novel?

It was tempting to set the bulk of the novel in Greece, a country I adore. However, as the story evolved the compass for the island setting spun toward the West Indies, and the story’s life raft washed ashore on the fictional island of Mataki. I was fortunate to spend a good part of my sabbatical on tropical islands and coastal villages that certainly informed the setting. As for the early campus setting, I based it on a fictionalized version of my beloved alma mater, The Ohio State University.

What was your particular process in terms of plot, outlining and character?

I essentially began the novel with two scenes that were haunting me. First, I had a reclusive poet on a remote island cliff about to attempt suicide. Second, I had a bookish young woman captured within the confines of the great romances of literature. I really had no idea about their connection, if any, but those two images would not let go of me. As I began to write, the concept of the woman yearning for what nearly kills the poet began to take hold.

The process was fairly organic. I let the characters breathe and lead me into the story. I wasn’t even sure whose story it was until shortly after the first draft. Once the closing scene appeared to me I realized that it was really Elia’s story. I then just had to navigate getting there. While I did not develop any formal outline, I downloaded scenes as they appeared, stockpiled them and later wove them in when they seemed to make sense. It was a bit like swimming across a sea, not sure which direction land might be but hoping that if I kept going I would eventually find my way.

Stumbling, a bit blindly, through this creative process was both exasperating and exhilarating. As I was working on revisions, I attended several writers’ conferences that stressed the necessity of thorough plotting, which made me feel a tad vulnerable. I later read an interview about Michael Ondaatje’s process in writing The English Patient and realized I was in good company.

The novel is filled with excerpts of poetry, which came first, the poetry or the narrative arc?

Most of the poetry was written before any narrative took form. The poetry came in often painful and soul­searching flourishes, and then was revised over time. There is a line in The Poet’s Secret where Dean Baltutis refers to the poet’s inspiration being “survival.” That is precisely how it felt at times. I also wanted to combine both poetry and prose into one novel and attempt to slow down the reader a bit at the beginning of each chapter to contemplate and absorb the poetry, to be in that moment so to speak, before continuing on the narrative journey.

What in particular surprised you about the process of writing The Poet’s Secret?

I didn’t want to force plot twists or preconceived outcomes. I let the characters find the story. I let go of expectations and trusted the story to evolve. Tapping into this creative process was freeing, exhilarating and challenging, sort of like jumping off a cliff into the sea for the first time. I had never done anything quite like it, but this particular process for me felt authentic. I certainly was surprised how well the early drafts of the poetry and manuscript were received, which bolstered my confidence to pursue the project through publication.


excerptCHAPTER 5

Excerpted from The Poet’s Secret by Kenneth Zak, copyright 2015. Used with permission of Penju Publishing.

Stop the bells from ringing

Hush the infant’s cry

Lovers lower your gaze

For one moment of respite

I am among you no more.

Wind be calm


Birds keep your roosts

Clear the sky


If only for an instant

Because I need this.

Quell the tides


Let the sea fall placid


Quiet the ancient whale’s song

For there is but one honu now

And he is lost.

Elia huddled beside Dean Baltutis. The two of them were tucked away in a turreted alcove in Orton Hall. Massive blocks of native stone belted the fortress, stacked in the same stratified layers found in the underlying bedrock. It was as if the three-story building had sprouted from the earth’s crust. Arched bay windows, a gargoyle bell tower and a steep pitched roof gave the structure the look and feel of a castle. Ashen, columned walls and oak floors dominated its corridors.

The century-old bastion cradled the most rare books at the university, esoteric tomes ignored by most. But Elia found sanctuary within its musty corridors. She often wandered amongst forgotten titles and ran her fingers along crumbly, gold-leafed bindings older than the building itself, and nearly as ornate. She felt safe here. This stock house of words felt like a home.

What had lured them here, however, was the university’s extensive collection of maps. An atlas was spread across the table between them. Dean Baltutis scrawled his finger over a section of the map and circled a splash of baby blue, nothing more than a nondescript speck on a grand piece of glossy parchment. But within that imaginary circle lay a very real place.

“There’s nothing there,” Elia said.

She scooted forward. Her chair’s leg stuck in a crack between the floorboards and caused her to jerk forward. She felt herself blush, but the Dean didn’t seem to notice, or at least pretended not to.

“Hardly a blip on the radar,” he said.

He pointed at a barely legible word. Undeterred by the stubborn chair, she slid forward on the worn seat and squinted at lettering finer than an ant’s leg.

“I’ve never heard of it,” she said.

She felt her cheeks flush again. Of course she hadn’t. The mapmaker had barely spared it a droplet of ink.

“Few have. It’s due east of an old Spanish shipping route from the 1600s,” he explained. With his index finger he traced along an imaginary line just south of the West Indies.

She stared at the map. Scaled distances vitiated. She wondered whether squinting might transform time as well, like those nights when her eyelids succumbed and she drifted asleep still transported off within the open pages on her nightstand.

She looked up at Dean Baltutis.

“But you know it?” she asked.

“I spent about a month there,” he said and nodded, “twenty years ago.”

“With Beck?”

She knew that was why he had brought her here, but she wanted to hear it just the same. She noticed crow’s feet creased his temple. Twenty years ago those lines likely weren’t there. She had never imagined the Dean in his youth. She brushed her fingertips against the skin alongside her own eyes, still smooth.

“Sort of. He was writing up in this mountain hut. I was pining away over a lost love. Heartbreak—I think that’s what finally prompted my island invite. It was the one time Cam shared his getaway with me, but even then he never allowed me up to that hut. That was off limits.”

A hazy watercolor of the island started to take form. She envisioned sand and warm, teal-blue water and palms trees. She began to contemplate how she would get there.

Steps approached. The two fell silent. A backpacked co-ed with a black, braided ponytail peeked into the alcove but found the hideaway occupied. The Dean pushed his glasses back up his nose and stared at the intruder. She glanced at Elia and the Dean, sighed and walked away. Elia wondered if their coupling looked odd.

“I never saw him during the day. But every couple of nights or so he came down to the village. We’d plop down in this shed of a seaside bar and thrash out life, love and eventually his writing.”

“Eventually?” she asked.

She had always assumed a writer spoke of nothing else.

“Yeah, we talked sometimes ’til dawn, the cantina long empty, just me and him and a bottle or two of wine, always red. Like a couple of candles burning into the night.”

He flashed a yellowed grin. She lifted her chair over the floor crack and felt the table press into her stomach.

“What is it?” she asked.

“It was strange. I would listen to him ramble, but he just knew.”

“What? What did he know?”

She heard a book thud down the corridor. She barely flinched. Instead she stared at the tiny speck on the map while he spoke.

“Everything I was feeling. One night Cam shared with me a few of his poems. I was sitting there, half past drunk, and listening to what became Secrets. I still remember the full moon flooding through the window. It lit him up like a spirit.”

She’d have to fly through Miami.

“Right then I knew. He was the real deal, a poet dancing naked. The stuff everyone else bullshits about. He had nailed it. And I began to tear up.”

She gave him some room to deflate.

“Cam looked at me, like what the hell is wrong, but those words hit me like they were my own. He had tapped into something I thought only I felt, but couldn’t describe, and had transformed it into something more.”

He glanced toward her and sighed. “That’s one humbling awakening.”

MY BOOK REVIEW FOR THIS BOOK WILL BE UP SOON.

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{BOOKISH TAGS} BEAUTIFUL BLOGGER AWARD

beautifulbookblogger

I would like to thank Melanie from Books Are My Children for tagging me to do the Beautiful Blogger Award. (I’m finally catching up with tags! Yessssss.)

beautifulblogger

Rules:
  1. Thank the person(s) who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  2. List the rules and display the award.
  3. Add 7 facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate some other bloggers and let them know by commenting on their blogs!

Hello everyone! I think it’s time to finally reveal some things about myself. If you’re excited, well, I’m totally nervous. Only a number of people know these things so……….. if you’re reading this, consider yourself special. Let’s get started!

  1. I used to be overweight. When I was in first year high school, I weighed 65 kilograms (Yup. Hahaha. *I’m laughing at myself*). I’ve been bullied because of my weight. I decided to lose some weight before the start of third year high school and TADAAAAH. I lost 13 kilograms in 2 months. I became so strict with my diet that I almost became underweight. I weighed 47 kilograms when I was in fourth year and that wasn’t a good thing. I had to change my diet a bit to gain some weight and I gained 5 kilograms. I’m weighing 52 kilograms until now (and my height is still at 5’2’’).
  1. I am a VERY conservative person. Yup. VERY. Believe me when I say “VERY”. I don’t wear sleeveless shirts, dresses, and tops. I also don’t wear shorts. Don’t consider asking me if I’m wearing short shorts or even microshorts (if there’s such a thing). I also don’t wear skirts unless it’s necessary (like corporate days in school). I just don’t like wearing those things. Okay? Okay. My close friends know these things about me. They sometimes tell me to wear these but they know that my answer will always be a “NO”.
  1. Whenever I order a Sundae from McDonalds, I always order PLAIN Vanilla Sundae. No syrup. Just plain. I don’t know why. It tastes better than the flavored one, tbh.
  1. My love for Sundae is the same as my love for coffee. Whenever I’m with my friends in Starbucks, I always order Coffee Jelly Frappe. My first order in Starbucks was Espresso and I really liked it. The smell of a coffeehouse makes me high. (Is it just me or…….?)
  1. I also love music and bands (just so you know)! I love Paramore, Lorde, Lana Del Rey, Cassadee Pope, and Air Supply. I still have my classic soul within me.
  1. Being a college student is not a joke. If you’re in high school and you’re already complaining about your school works, get ready for college. I’m not kidding, guys. Last last week, I went to class like a zombie. I did sleep from 11pm until 2am (Yup, 3 hours of sleep). I was awake from 2am until 9pm and it wasn’t a good feeling. I felt like I’m going to collapse while listening to our professors.
  1. I’m an over-thinker. I love thinking about things that may (or may not) happen in the future. I usually lie on my bed at 12am or something but I usually sleep at around 1am because of this. I have a ton of random thoughts inside my head. It feels like there are a lot of noises inside my head. I’m actually trying to remedy this by listening to music and it’s working so far.

BONUS!

                I’ll be turning 18 on the 22nd of November (next month) and I don’t have any concrete plans regarding this. The only thing that really comes to my mind is 18 books. If you’d like to be part of it, I’ll be forever grateful.


I nominate:

  1. Pearl of Biblio Pearl

  2. Janna of Bibliophile Mom

  3. Maw of Dear Maw: Book Enthusiast

  4. Beatrice of Confessions of a Pinay Bookaholic

  5. Jenna of Reading with Jenna

  6. Josephine of Josie’s Book Corner

  7. Jess of Princessica of Books

  8. JM of Book Freak Revelations

I hope you, guys, enjoyed reading my post. You know where to find me!

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BOOK REVIEW – A STEP TOWARD FALLING BY CAMMIE MCGOVERN

24605853BOOK: A STEP TOWARD FALLING

AUTHOR: CAMMIE MCGOVERN

FORMAT / PUBLISHER: ARC / HARPER TEEN


synopsis

Sometimes one mistake can change everything.

Emily doesn’t know why she froze. Or why Lucas did too. Afterward, she thought of different ways to rationalize it. But the truth is, they could have helped Belinda, and they didn’t. It’s a mistake they’ll both have to live with.

Sometimes doing nothing is the only way to cope.
Belinda doesn’t want to talk about what happened. Because when she does, it feels like it’s happening all over again.

Sometimes good can come from bad.

Emily and Lucas’s punishment is community service at a center for people with disabilities. People like Belinda. Soon they feel like maybe they’re starting to make a real difference. Like they would be able to do the right thing if they could do that night all over again. Like they could help not only those at the center but also each other.

But when Belinda returns to school, Emily and Lucas have to figure out if they can do anything that will actually help the one person they hurt most.


book review

*i would like to thank HARPER COLLINS INTERNATIONAL for sending me AN ARC OF THIS book. this doesn’t affect nor influence my review.*

A Step Toward Falling

Let me just tell you that this line made me weep deep inside. How true is this? How genuine is this line? This line sounds cliché to some people but the thought is on point. It is ALWAYS on point!

I’ll give you enough reasons on why you should read and buy this book when it comes out.

These were some of most heart-touching lines from this book:

“You deserve love as much as anyone else.”

“Sometimes what I do when I’m excited like this is close my eyes and imagine I’m the different parts of it.”

“You have good instincts and you’re a nicer person than I ever expected you’d be.”

I don’t want to blurb anything else aside from these. You deserve to read those other lines when you’re actually holding the book.

The character development. We all have flaws, right? It doesn’t mean that these flaws will last forever. There has to be a change. People change as time passes by. Some people change for the better. Emily was the kind of girl who tries to do the right thing. Belinda has developmental disabilities. Their worlds have MET. Emily did something which was against her will. As for Belinda, she managed to save herself. The characters simply showed that everyone must care for someone else. Everyone deserves to be loved. Everyone deserves to be special.

The story line was very realistic. All of us are different in our own ways. Some are different physically while some are different mentally. It’s all up to us on how we should treat these people. The story simply explained the world we’re living in right now.

Words can’t exactly describe how GREAT this book was.

This book is an eye-opener TO EVERYONE. Cammie McGovern’s writing style always touches my heart. ALWAYS. She didn’t disappoint me when I’ve read Say What You Will last year. I was quite hesitant to read SAY WHAT YOU WILL because of the hype buzzing around it but I think the book deserved the hype. If you haven’t read Say What You Will, now is the right time to read that book. After that one, you should go buy your copy of A Step toward Falling.

THIS BOOK DESERVES 5+ SHIMMERING STARS!


5url

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