2015 reading challenge

Smaller and Smaller Circles by F.H. Batacan

1431558Title: Smaller and Smaller Circles

Author: F.H. Batacan

Genre: Mystery, Crime, Suspense, Filipino Literature

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary:

Smaller and Smaller Circles is unique in the Philippine literary scene – a Pinoy detective novel, both fast-paced and intelligent, with a Jesuit priest who also happens to be a forensic anthropologist as the sleuth. When it won the Carlos Palanca Grand Prize for the English Novel in 1999, it proved that fiction can be both popular and literary.

F.H. Batacan has a degree in Broadcast Communication and a master’s degree in Art Studies, both from the University of the Philippines in Diliman. She has worked as a policy researcher, broadcast journalist, web designer, and musician, and is currently a journalist based in Singapore. She previously won a prize for her short story “Door 59” in the 1997 Palanca awards, and her work has appeared in local magazines, as well as in the online literary magazine Web del Sol.

Smaller and Smaller Circles is one of those rare one-of-a-kind books that you discover by some lucky stroke of fate and treasure for a lifetime.

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The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Title: The Winner’s Crime

Author: Marie Rutkoski

Genre: High Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary:

Book two of the dazzling Winner’s Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement… if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

If there’s one thing to get you out of a slump (read: being too busy/lazy to blog and write reviews), it’s finding the perfect book to make you feel things that demand to be felt and written about. Or else you might explode from all the feels. I don’t think my sister will appreciate seeing my guts all over the house so…here have this messy review. X’D

I wasn’t planning on reading this for a long, long time, considering how long I’ll have to wait again for the next book, but thanks to peer pressure (Thanks Anj for threatening me with spoilers! I hate you! Joke lang haha), I caved in and read it. And couldn’t stop. I tried to read it whenever I could. Heck, I even woke up two hours too early and decided sleep wasn’t as important as finishing this book. Because 3 am decisions are the best decisions amirite?

Nope.

Don’t read this. I swear, you’ll regret it. As the sun started to rise this morning, I felt like crying for the two hours I spent reading. Why did I cave in? Why didn’t I just sleep? SLEEP WAS TOTALLY MORE IMPORTANT THAN THIS. So yeah, don’t read this if you don’t want your heart to be shattered in a million pieces, only for it to heal itself and start hoping for something better to come, only to have it crushed. Again. And again. And agaiiiiiin. (Or yes, if you’re a masochist, you should totally read this and join the rest of who are in agony right now.)

I TOTALLY DID NOT NEED THIS HEARTBREAK. How dare you toy with my emotions, book. How could you make me feel like I was Kestrel, so desperate and lonely and angry because everything was shitty and everything hurts. How could you make me taste Arin’s pain like it was so fucking real that I wanted to weep and tell him to not lose faith, to not give up, to make him just stop walking away because all is not as it seems but he can’t seem to fucking figure that out because he’s so uncertain and feel so much pain and I just want to hug these characters so badly okay ;A;

I am such a mess. Such a terrible mess that I kept stopping while writing this because I kinda want to roll around crying instead. Like all the fucking time. How am I going to survive until next year?

Mini-review spree: Shine, Trese, The False Prince, and Zombies vs. Unicorns

I’ve already read 5 books so far this year and I’m feeling slightly panicky because  something tells me that if I don’t blog about them soon, my lazy ass is gonna just shrug it off and I’ll ignore them forever…and I don’t really want that to happen. Lol.

So to counter my laziness, I figured I’ll do mini-reviews for each book I’ve devoured so far because I figured that if I attempt to blog about them one by one, they might end up as drafts that never see the light of day. (Ugh, I’m sorry I’m so lazy T_T)

These books deserve recognition. Plus, they’re part of my reading challenges. Yes, challenges with an “s” because I am a masochist who wasn’t content with just one challenge. Guess who’s going to be crying at the end of the year as she struggles to complete them all. XD

The first challenge is the one I posted here, and the second one is a personal goal I decided on not so long ago: read 20 books by Filipino authors this year. I really, definitely need (and want) to be more aware and discover the gems of my own country’s literature.

Anyway, TL;DR: here are the reviews (which are short and probably don’t make much sense because I scribbled them down during lunch, hah)!

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Planning for 2015!

2015 Reading Challenge!

Source: 9gag

My friend Patti shared this with me on Twitter and well, since I wasn’t able to do the previous challenge I posted (due to unforeseen circumstances XD), I am totally going to prepare for this one in advance.

I’ve already started making a list of books, although finding an author with the same initials is proving to be quite a challenge! More reasons to hate my name lolololol

What I like about taking this challenge is it’s gonna force me to read stuff I don’t usually read..like memoirs. Or nonfiction in general. I guess this is a case of me being ignorant about good books in that genre. So I’m excited because maybe this’ll be like my recent experience with Filipino literature – find a good book, start hunting down more like it on Goodreads, then proceed to stalk all the bookstores everywhere for more. Lol.

This is also gonna be good because I can finally make a dent in the pile of books stacked on my bed. for lack of space because of, well, too many books lying around. Isn’t this every bookworm’s problem though? Hahaha.

It seems like I’m going to be stalking the bookstore tomorrow to find some of the books on my list. Hmmm. (I smell trouble lmao)

Happy New Year everyone! \o/