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Archive for November 2010

Dear Secret Santa

So we have this secret santa gift giving at the office and the final event for our Christmas party would be a Christmas wishlist! So, without further adeu, I am listing down a list of things I would like to receive for this Christmas :) So, Secret Santa mummy or daddy, if you're reading this, this would serve as your guide!

Travel Related:
1. Pledges for my travels please -- monetary values are more than welcome :) I need this to purchase more plane tickets on sale or for my pocket money!
2. A set of aqua shoes/socks -- for a nature trip to Palawan and Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia in 2011.
3. A set of hiking sandals -- for a nature trip to Palawan and Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia in 2011.
4. Hotel vouchers abroad or anywhere in the Philippines [except Manila]!
5. A North Face backpack that I can use for handcarry luggage and for backpacking around Asia/Europe/America/Australia in the future.

Book Related:
1. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl -- because I love YA and paranormal books
2. Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris -- such a cute concept! And I <3 animals too, so there.
3. The Guardians of Ga'Hoole set by Kathryn Lasky. All books, because I love these owlsies.
4. The TinTin books - by Herge. Because my auntie gave some books to me when I was younger and I want to collect these!
5. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. Another YA Paranormal find.
6. Elixir by Hilary Duff. Well, I used to like Hilary Duff when I was younger and I want to read her book.
7. Tales of Beedle the Bard by JK Rowling. I'm such a loser. I'm hoping for a cheap copy of this to come out but I haven't found one yet!!
8. Soulless by Gail Carriger. Victorian London & Vampires - what more could I ask for?
9. Halo by Alexandra Adornetto. The cover is perfect, and what drew me to the book in the first place
10. Gone by Lisa McMann. Because the plot seems amazing.

[Review] Nola's Worlds # 1: Changing Moon by Mathieu Mariolle

Ilustrated by MiniKim and coloured by Pop. Nola's Worlds # 1 follows the life of Nola York-Stein. Her age isn't specifically said in the book, but looks like she is a tween or a teenager. She lives mostly alone, her parents are divorced, and her mom is a workaholic. One boring day at school [she was late again!], she met Damiano and his sister, and became intrigued at their life. She was convinced that these siblings are spies and gets to know both of them.

Review: The illustrations are very, very cute, although what I loved the most was the colours! They're so vibrant and eye-catching! As to the story, well, there's some open gaps that leave me thinking "huh?" and should have better explained how one character ended up in one place, and why they decided to go there in the first place rather than the reader trying to figure out everything, considering this book is marketed towards children. If they provided a bit more fluidity on the settings and the actions of the characters then it would have made this book so much better! So, yes, I guess the transitioning of the story would be a good thing to work on in the next few volumes.

However, on the story side, I do appreciate the fact that Nola is from a broken family, and explains a bit on how her mother isn't always at home [who is constantly engrossed in work], and her father is always away, and him giving her presents just to make up for the fact that he's never there. I haven't read much children's books wherein the main character is from a broken family [except maybe for the Princess Diaries, which I'm currently reading right now]. I guess it's a good tale for some kids who are from real-life broken families to know that they're not alone and no, the break-up is not their fault.

Illustrations - there are some scenes where I lost Nola, because she's in chibi mode or her appearance has completely changed but I guess it all depends on how the illustrator would interpret a certain scene in the tale! To each their own, I guess.

So, on to the summary.


Published: November 1, 2010
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
Available from: Everywhere!
Read it if: you want to read a new manga of sorts
Book was: provided by NetGalley and Lerner Publishing Group
Rating: So-So [3/5]

In My Mailbox # 15

Last week was a haul for me, and this week, looks like I've hauled a few other books too. I also forgot to include in my post last week that I got a couple of awesome necklaces and earrings to add to my accessory collection. Hmm...

So, what new books have I gotten this week?

  • The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan. Book # 1 of the Kane Chronicles. I've heard so much hype about it and my close friend swapped me her trade paperback copy because she wants to upgrade to a hardbound copy. Cool, huh?

  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan. Book # 3 of the Percy Jackson tales. Yay. I finally can continue what happened to Percy.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan. Book # 4 of Percy. Just so I'll have some continuation on what happens to Percy
  • The 39 Clues: Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan. Heard lots of good stuff about the 39 clues book series, but I find the books a bit too expensive for my taste. Good thing one of my good friends has a complete set and let me borrow them! Wheee!
  • The 39 Clues: One False Note by Gordon Korman
  • The 39 Clues: The Sword Thief by Peter Lerangis. Probably the shortest hardcover book I've ever seen in my life at 100+ pages, with huge fonts. Seems like it's a novella to me!
  • The 39 Clues: Beyond the Grave by Jude Watson. Awesome cover!!
  • The 39 Clues: The Black Circle by Patrick Carman.
  • The 39 Clues: In Too Deep by Jude Watson.
  • Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel. HB. From National Bookstore's Book Bazaar -- it was only worth $2.50!! I can't say no to that, given that it was only published this year!
  • Unlikely Destinations: The Lonely Planet Story by Tony & Maureen Wheeler. TP. Again, from the NBS Book Bazaar -- bought this for one of my closest friends.
  • The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie. HB. From NBS Book Bazaar. I gasped when I saw this - I had to have it!! And it was only $2.50 too!

For Review:
  • Big Bouffant by Kate Hosford. From Netgalley. I'm starting to love this website! Read my review
  • Ruby Valentine Saves the Day by Laurie Friedman. From Netgalley. Read my review
  • Changing Moon by Mathieu Mariolle.  From Netgalley
  • Chrissie's Shell by Brooke Keith. From Netgalley
As you can see above, I went a wee bit overboard on borrowing the 39 Clues. My close friend wanted to let me borrow all 12 odd books [including the supplemental reading] but since it was too heavy for me to carry, had provided 6 books first!! Will review them all once I've done reading them! Yay for free reading! Teehee.

[Review] Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling

It's Harry's sixth year and Hogwarts, and the whole wizarding community already knows of Voldemort's return. Soon, Harry, Ron and Hermione and busily checking the Daily Prophet to see if anyone near and dear to them are found dead, they find more about Voldemort, and try to find the way to kill him.

Review: I finished Book 6 after I finished watching the 7th Harry Potter movie and so, I was also in a rush to start reading book 7! I love that this book has a lot of back stories [and I am such a sucker for back stories], and provides more insights on the life of Dumbledore and Voldemort. This year, a lot of deaths and injuries also occured in some of the characters, so it has become darker, but I figure it is definitely needed to continue on in the story, after all, no one does love forever.

I love also that the 6th books intertwine with the 5th and provides a prelude to the 7th book. Often times, as I was speaking to some of my Potterhead friends, I confuse which book a certain scene was from - either the 5th or the 6th because of the organization of JK Rowling. I also love that elements from the previous books have been incorporated in the 6th book- so you do have to read the other volumes of Harry to get their meaning or if you've forgotten that particular aspect, you'll end up flipping through the older volumes. Brilliant, just brilliant.

What I also love about this is the return of Dobby and Kreacher. I am such a sucker for these two characters. I first loved Dobby in the second book and I can't get enough of them. So, after that shock I received after watching the 7th movie [oh dobby, dobby, dobby], I was happy enough to enjoy these house elves.

The book also showed Harry maturing - him falling in love with Ginny [see, there is also a happy element in the Harry books!], and well, I guess everyone has matured a lot. The DA members have been more than loyal to Dumbledore too!

What I don't want. Oh the ending!! Such a sad, sad ending, but life goes on. I also loved that Harry has been more determined than ever to carry on a task that was previously left to him. He has stepped up, definitely, and accepted that he may have been the chosen one to finally end the horrible terror that Lord Voldemort has been spreading in the wizarding world.

Overall, an excellent read. I would definitely read the Harry Potter series again after I've finished the 7th book, in order, and complete, before the 2nd part of the movie about the 7th book is shown in the cinemas! That way, I could also relate to some of my friends as they discuss more trivial parts about the book and comparison with the movie!


Published: 2006
Publisher: Scholastic
Available from: Everywhere!
Read it if: It's Harry Potter! You should read it!
Book was: bought from Fully Booked
Rating: Loves [5/5]

Movie: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

The Potterhead in me squealed when I got a friend of mine, another Potterhead to reserve us tickets to Friday, November 19th's show. Now, I haven't read book 7 yet. *GASPS* In fact, as I write this, I haven't finished reading book 6 yet. *Even louder GASP*

Anyway, as I went to work last Friday, I can't concentrate - granted, there is quite a number of things to do as I was out of office the day before, but I just can't stop thinking about Harry!!! There's a mini countdown going on in my head and when it was time to go home, I immediately bolted out the door!

Met my friend at a local bookstore to get my invites to the Lauren Kate event signing, ate dinner, and off we went to the cinema!

So, thoughts on the movie: AMAZING!!! I never expected it to be this good and all the more, I wanted to finish reading book 6 and go read book 7 now so I could compare and find out if there are any elements that I'm missing out on. My Potterhead friends tried to discuss the movie without providing me too much spoilers on the book [love you guys for that], which made me even curious! My favourite parts - Dobby.... oh Dobby... and Kreacher too... and the story about the three brothers! Only complaint? Gah, I wanted the movie and the story to go on but I just have to wait until July 2011, won't I?? That gives me 8 months to read book 6-7, re-read books 1-7 again, and watch the 7 movies. Oh my gosh, what a long to do list... and on top of that, read some of the TBR mountain pile that I have... jeez! Favourite character in this movie? Hermione, of course! She's so smart! Ooooh Oooh Oooh! And can I add that I love the effects on the movie?? It's brilliant!

So, apologies if you happen to read this blog and find that I'm not making much sense at all! I just wanted to share the happiness and giddy feeling that's still my hangover from Potter!!

So, till the next movie!

Review: Ruby Valentine Saves the Day by Laurie Friedman

It's Valentine's Day and Ruby won't let anything spoil the celebration! In this follow-up to the popular Love, Ruby Valentine, Ruby's favorite day of the year rolls around again, and she and Lovebird work feverishly to plan the perfect party for everyone in Heartland. But when Valentine's Day arrives, an unexpected snowstorm threatens to ruin all of Ruby's plans. Will Ruby find a way to save the day, or will everyone in Heartland have to wait until next year to celebrate?

**Book Information from NetGalley**

Another children's book for me to read! Yay! Somehow if I read children's books during lag times at the office, I tend to be more relaxed and hyper and happy! Guess it's a stress-reliver for me. And I could review and preview new children's books too! Whee.

Okay, more serious stuff now: the review. I loved this book because the main character has the same name as myself - Ruby! Though the book is catered to elder children [ie Ruby has her own house and has the means to plan and prepare her own party], I also love that Ruby has a constant companion in the book - an anthropomorgic bird named LoveBird, who can talk and help Ruby out in her day to day life.
The book is very simple, yet the colours are soo striking, and would be a favourite for young girls - almost all the pages are coloured pink! How girly and cute! The book also provides scenarios on what happens in real life, and as all children's books go, a lesson at the end of the tale which everyone would enjoy and appreciate. I won't tell the lesson here though, just that you need to read the book to find out ;)
Can I just add that I love Lovebird? He/She seems to be one of the most loveable pets ever, and he knows how to talk too! How cool is that?

Published: November 1, 2010
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
Available from: Everywhere!
Read it if: you want to teach your child a valuable lesson that they could use in real life; oh and read it for the pictures!!
Book was: provided by NetGalley and Lerner Publishing Group
Rating: Loves [5/5]

[Review] The Big Bouffant by Kate Hosford

Annabelle is a girl who knows what she wants - when the kids in her school all sport boring hairdos: pigtails and ponytails, she decides to step out of the box and have an all-new hairdo! She comes across her grandmother's bouffant and decides to create one for herself.

This book is very entertaining, especially for kids. I wish I had read one of this when I was younger, as it promotes individuality and lets you realize that inspiration can come from even in the older generations. It also drives kids to try and experiment on new things (with the help and permission of your parents or guardians, of course), and your uniqueness will shine even more!

The illustrations are very colourful and cute! I couldn't take my eyes off it, and the writing is very good as well - it provides the rhyme that will make the kids remember the story, and coupled with the illustrations, I'm sure these will always be something parents would love to read out loud to their children, and a book they would all treasure forever.

Published: April 1, 2011
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group

Available from: Everywhere! [starting April 1, 2011 tho]
Read it if: you want something to read to your child to teach them about individuality
Book was: provided by NetGalley and Lerner Publishing Group
Rating: Loves [5/5]

In My Mailbox # 14

Okay, I've gotten lazy and kind of stopped doing this for the longest time. Anyway, I'm reviving it! Woohoo. I guess I'll see more of this now that I'm borrowing a lot of books from my friends and acquiring some dirt cheap books too. Oh my god, is there something bigger than a mountain now? Can I just call my TBR a galaxy now??

Brief introduction though -- In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.  It features bought, borrowed, or received books as well as other cool stuff from the mail.

For this week:


  • City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare I just finished the first book but since I'm a cheapskate to buy a full priced copy of this book I just borrowed from a colleague of mine! Yay for bookworm colleagues
  • The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot. Borrowed from one of my closest friends who's also a bookworm! Wheee!
Quite a lot, I must say.
  • Fallen by Lauren Kate. TP. Bought from National Bookstore. I've read lots of reviews and buzz about this and blogs. When I found out she's coming to Manila on November 27th and 28th, I couldn't resist buying a copy to get an invite for the event. Only to find out there's another event under Powerbooks for the 28th at a venue closer to my house x_x Oh well. Better be worth it though.  
  • Torment by Lauren Kate. HB. Bought from National Bookstore. Same writeup as Fallen! :) There was a 20% off as well from NBS and I just had to buy them both!
  • The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd. HB. Bought for 50c USD from Booksale! Oh. My.God. I've been looking for this book forever and now I have it!!!!!!!!! And to top it off it was sooo cheap!! Squeeeeeeeee
  • Madapple by Christina Meldrum. HB. I've seen this on the Random Buzzers website before. I was absolutely happy when I saw this again at my favourite bargain bookstore!!! It only cost 75c as well! Waah! I'm on a roll! Good reviews opn this book as well even though I've no clue what it's really about.
  • The Chronicles of Vladimir Todd - Ninth Grade Slays by Heather Brewer. HB. Again, from my  favourite bargain bookstore. I saw this at a full price bookstore before and I was absolutely intrigued. Now I need to get book 1 so I can continue reading this.
  • Wild Roses by Deb Caletti. TP. Again, from my  favourite bargain bookstore. This was recommended to me by one of my closest friends and I just had to have it as well! It was only worth $1!
  • This Lullaby by Sara Dessen. HB. Again, from my favourite bargain bookstore. This was recommended to me by one of my closest friends and I just had to have it as well! She said it was one of her favourite Dessen books, and believe me, she read all of them.

  • Pretty Little Liars # 4: Unbelievable. HB. Again, from my favourite bargain bookstore. I've seen the tv show, and have book #2 [also from the bargain bookstore], so just need books 1 and 3 too!
So, my wallet was dented, spent over $20 on books this week! My In My Mailbox post for next week would probably be more books bought and borrowed as I'm about to meet up with a newly converted bookworm to borrow some other YA books and book hunt at a super sale of National Bookstore in Market Market [which is around 5 minutes walk from my office]. Be still my heart. Be quiet my wallet. Off to read and review faster now. Tah! Hope you had fun reading the books I got this week :)

Travel: A Gothic Tour of Chinese Cemetery, Manila

Last Friday, November 5th,  I got a text from Michelle: Rhett has organized a gothic tour of Manila: Chinese Cemetery, La Loma, Intramuros, Film Centre, Etc. Meet at Gateway tomorrow, 11AM. See you?

Being an avid traveler and since my plans for Ocean Park has been cancelled, I immediately accepted. I could not resist a chance to see other facets of Manila that I do not know about or haven't seen yet. I met the guys at Fully Booked Gateway [hah! I didn't get to buy anything - yay me for not succumbing to temptation], and ate lunch while waited for the rest of the party to arrive. Then, our first stop was the Chinese Cemetery!

The car stopped in front of the Chong Hock Tong Temple -- it was an amazing looking Temple. It's got these dragons perched on top and the red painted walls are definitely a stand out. From my research [via Wikipedia], the temple was built in the 1850s, making it the oldest Chinese temple in Manila. We made our way inside the altar, said silent prayers, took photos of the building and the gate and premises and left.

We walked a block or so to see some of the tombs that are overlooking a small river of sorts, and in front, there were domes and spires that look as if there's a lot of churches in the area, but I think they're also mausoleums.

It's amazing how the rich and the poor could also be divided in death. There's no apartment tombs in the Chinese Cemetery, compared to the ones that are more apparent in North Cemetery. Almost all the tombs are in intricate mausoleums, and since All Saints Day and All Souls Day had just finished the week before, there were coloured papers on top of the tombs, and the signs of burned material are still in the burners. Apparently the Chinese burn offerings [ie paper money, paper cars] to aide in the afterlife of their loved ones. [ie if they burn paper money, they in turn are sending money offerings to their deceased loved ones. Amazing.]

For me, there is something very enlightening in visiting a cemetery - never mind that it's full of deceased people, but it is a quiet area to meditate on your life as well. Facing death, how would you be able to make your life more worthwhile? And then the questions come in: if I die, would people look at my grave and visit me and pay their respects?

Anyway, moving on to the tour instead of my insights - we eventually got back in the car after walking through some gothic tombs. We eventually decided to try and find Andres Bonifacio's tomb, which was shaped like a pyramid. Then the questions pondered us: "Is Bonifacio Chinese?" Maybe. Maybe not. But we did find out for a fact that the non-Catholic people cannot be buried in La Loma or in North Cemetery so most Filipinos/Chinese were buried in Chinese Cemetery.

We eventually found ourselves in a memorial for General Yang Guangsheng. He was a Chinese Consul for the Philippines at the time, and as his plaque explained, he was shot to death in a grassy field when he tried to help the Filipino guerillas fight against the Japanese. Initially the Japanese wanted the General to call on his fellow Chinese to help the Japanese with their cause. His refusal ended in his and his entire staff's death. Way back in the World War II days, not much light has been given on the Battle of Manila, but it definitely is a shocking and interesting tale on how Manila has been a pivotal point in the War of the Pacific. I command the General for fighting with the Filipinos even though he himself is not of our race.

We saw a foreigner checking out the memorial of the General, and I was a bit happy to see that there are other foreigners who are touring Manila! By this time, one of our group saw a "tacky" crown on top of a mausoleum and we decided to check it out. They shrieked in delight when the mausoleum said "Ma Mon Luk." I honestly had no idea who this Ma Mon Luk was until Peter patiently told me that there is a restaurant named after him which serves the best siopao. Oh! So they paid their respects to Ma Mon Luk by having a photo in front of the mausoleum. I didn't join them because honestly, I'm a bit freaked of having my photo taken with a mausoleum -- I've seen some telly series where there are other people showing up in the photos and I'm not particularly keen on having that sort of experience if it does happen.

We then walked to Mabini's grave. It is found in Mabini St, but it is tucked in a little side street that's a wee bit hard to find, esp if you're not that familiar with the cemetery. Apparently the reason for the odd shape of Mabini's grave is that he was part of the Freemasons. Oooooh! Da Vinci Code, Philippine version anyone?? That would be a great book plot! LOL.

Anyway, some random bits about Mabini's grave from my friends:
1. Mabini's body is not found in this grave, it has been exhumed and is now located somewhere. I've honestly no clue where it is, to be honest. Bad me for not knowing much about PH history.

2. Apparently, Mabini died of syphilis instead of cholera. Ooooh. Cholera was just the press release because who would want a national hero to die of an STD, right?

3. He was the brains of the Katipunan, but sadly he did not get as much credit as Bonifacio did.

And there you go. You can see that there is a commemorative plaque found in his grave. However, it looks like its not maintained -- I can barely read some of the letters. And it's written in Filipino. >.<  I read Filipino like a turtle walks on dry land. If I read English slowly then I read Filipino even more slowly!!!

On the way back to the car, we passed this cutie little doggie!!!! He is such an angel and I want to take him home but he keeps on hiding and running away from us. Isn't he adorable??

So, that's the first stop of our tour. We went to La Loma Cemetery after, which you can read in a different blog post once I've got over my laziness. Teehee!

Tag : ,

Review: Wish You Were Dead by Todd Strasser

When anonymous blogger St-R-Sd writes an entry wishing that popular girl Lucy Cunningham would disappear, his/her dream came true. A few posts later, St-R-Sd blogs about the disappearance of two fellow students. Enter Madison Archer, one of Lucy's close friends who seeks to find out what had happened to the missing persons. She seeks the help of outcast Tyler, and tries to find out where her friends are before Madison eventually ends up in St-R-Sd's blog and disappears too.

Thoughts - The way the book was narrated and presented to the readers is awesome. With a mixture of blogs, comments to the blog, notes, and the narration of Madison, its certainly a new twist to me. Though the writer is male, he had presented the point of view of a female very accurately, in fact, I had to look at the back cover of the book to ensure that the author is indeed male and not a female since I throughly believed the female narration and what goes on in the mind of the girl, esp when they're attracted to someone.

The mystery component is presented with lots of red herrings. It drove me crazy that around 100 pages into the book, I snuck a peek at the last few pages of the book to see who the perpetuator was. I spoiled myself in the process and though this is not often the case, I was utterly disappointed that I did not get to figure out who the killer was by myself. Awww.. But anyway, just look at the clues presented in the book and I'm sure you'll come up with the killer too!

The characters were stereotypical to be honest - they are the rich, young kids who are living in private school and its set in a typical YA manner - a high school. It's all right though, as Tyler offered a breath of fresh air as well as Sharon and Laurie. Not many books delve in the topic of homosexuality too.

There is a second book out, called "Blood in Her Hands." Did I say this book was the first of a trilogy? If not, well, it is! As I checked out the blurb of the second book from Amazon, I think it's not related to the first book per se - ie, the characters are the same, but nevertheless, it does look interesting too! Although the series did not get as much buzz as I thought it would be, it's a nice read for Halloween as its a thriller and a whodunit type of thing!

So, on to the final summary of the review!

Published: 2009

Publisher: Egmont
Available from: Everywhere!
Read it if: you want to read a whodunit book, or want a thriller of a book that's of a young adult reading level
Book was: provided by A.S King as part of Lenore's International Book Blogging Mentoring Program
Rating: Likes [4/5]

Fallen: The Event. Lauren Kate in Manila

My heart literally pounded when I saw this from National Bookstore's Facebook page:

Lauren Kate is coming to Manila! Oh.My.God. I have to get to this event! 

Anyway, from snooping on the facebook site of NBS, I got information on how to secure invites for the event and have your book signed as well. 

To get invites, simply buy a copy of Fallen or Torment from today until the event -- there are papers on the back of the book that would serve as your invite for the event at the Podium on November 27th, 2010, 5pm. 
To get your book signed, well, its a different story -- if there are too many people that go to the event then the names would be raffled off. Lucky people who would get called would get their books signed, after all, Lauren can only sign a certain number of books. 

But oh my god. I am so stooooked! I guess I'll see you at the event then?? :) 

Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Clary was just your ordinary girl. Until one day at a club, she sees three people kill someone and her life was turned upside down: her mother was kidnapped, she finds out she's a daughter of a Shadowhunter, and can see the Downworlders [read: vampires, werewolves, faeries and other supernatural creatures]. Can Clary and her friends save her mother from the downworlders by finding the Mortal Cup, and along the way find out more about her ties to the downworlders too?

Review: I initially got to read this book because a friend of mine bought it and asked if I could try and finish the book for her. She stopped reading at around page 100 because the story already confused her too much. My thought? Yes, at first the book is utterly confusing. I guess that Cassandra Clare's type of writing isn't for me. Although the thought of the alternate world is there, and the setting is quite unique, a part of me is screaming out that maybe the story is not well-thought of in advance. There are several loose ends here and there, and there are more than one word trying to define the downworlders. Very confusing indeed, especially if you think that they are different beings at first only to realize that they are one and the same. Another annoyance I got was the excessive use of similes!! Ugh. Annoying as hell as well!! I do get what you were saying the first time Cassandra, I don't need to read it again and again and again. Gosh. Plot is not well-thought of too. But I'll give her this because it's the first book, maybe there's more that will happen in the other books then?

What else -- characters. Can Clary be more whiny? I swear, Clary is in the running for whiniest person in the world, I guess tied with Bella from Twilight. She is one of the most annoying characters I've ever read in books as well. Think about self-centered, reckless. Ugh. Jace is okay, on the other hand. Simon is also okay, I guess. Characters have their issues, which is quite good, but I would definitely love to read about the back stories of the other characters too. Maybe in Clockworld Angel? Hmmm..

Cover - the cover is one of the most gorgeous ones I've seen out there. It has this hologram effect where it changes colour [at least in my opinion] depending on the angle that the light!

Overall, this book took me longer than expected to read and complete. Why? Because I get so annoyed at times that I just had to put down this book and read another one to get over my annoyance! Will I read the other books in the series? Maybe, if I get to borrow a copy from my friend who has the complete series. But I would definitely not be purchasing it. The money could be used to buy other better books out there.

So, on to the summary of my review.

Published: 2007

Publisher: McElderly Books/Simon & Schuster
Available from: Everywhere!
Read it if: You want something to read after Twilight.
Book was: borrowed from a friend.
Rating: So-So [2.5/5 rating!]

Trash Book Launch

So, last Tuesday, Oct 19th, I got a chance to go to the book launch of "Trash" by Andy Mulligan at National Bookstore Glorietta 5. This is my third book launch so far, second of Andy Mulligan's, and I wouldn't pass up a chance to have a book signed! The launch was attended by a lot of British nationals [well, obviously since Andy Mulligan is also British, and taught at the British School Manila so his colleagues, and former students were out there to support him].

The launch started at 5pm, where he was introduced by a big boss of National Bookstore [NBS], and there was a brief question & answer by the audience and also by the host!

**me interviewing Andy Mulligan. Photo by National Bookstore from their Facebook site.

Some notable questions and his answers:

**What are you currently working on?
He's currently working on another book, due for next year. It's about a girl who falls in love with a boy from the streets. So Trash lives again [everyone laughs].  It was a work in progress but Mr. Mulligan's laptop was stolen so he has to rebuild everything from scratch!

Note: However, we should be able to get something new from him by Feb 2011! It will be a sequel to Ribblestrop, entitled "Return To Ribblestrop." Oooh! I can't wait for that! And ooh man, let's hope Andy gets to remember all the lines he typed when he was creating his new novel.. it's due to be sent to the publisher this December 2010 so here's hoping there's another book out after the Return to Ribblestrop novel!

**Will you hold another book launch when Return to Ribblestrop comes out? [personal question that I asked when I was having my booked signed]
Hopefully National Bookstore will invite me again, but we'll see how it goes.

**Will there be a sequel to Trash?
Unfortunately, no. The book in itself is simple and there's not much elements to place in a sequel.

**Will Trash be turned into a movie?
There is a British filmmaking company who has already bought the rights to the book. They are currently on pre-production and are scouting for the location. They did go to Brazil and were thinking of setting the movie there. He was trying to convince the film people to try and film it in Manila, but unless he is JK Rowling or some other money making author, he has no rights to the filmmaking process. And currently, he's not getting his hopes up too early as these film people tend to put the red light on projects very quickly and unexpectedly.

**Are the characters of Trash based on someone you know?
Yes, there is a boy in India from which the main character, Raphael is loosely based on.

**How did you make the transition from a light young adult read [Ribblestrop] to a more serious young adult read?
As a background, Andy Mulligan has already penned his debut novel titled Ribblestrop - it's about a group of kids in a school... well, they are very, very special kids and the school is quite special as well. Andy says that writing Ribblestrop was harder because there were too many characters involved and intertwining them in the novel takes far more time. Trash, on the other hand, only involves three characters and the story is far more simple than Ribblestrop.

**How do you feel that children reading your book may think how lucky they are that they are not living in the streets?
The novel wasn't written as a journalistic expose meant for kids to realize the realities of what's outside. It was just written as a tourist seeing what's real in MNL. If the kids realized that they are lucky then it's good that they learned something but the book definitely wasn't meant to be written in an expose form.

**No photos from the book launch from my camera yet! I've no idea when I'm going to get the time to upload them though!
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Halloween Hangover

It's currently October 31st as I type this. My cat is going wild outside for some unknown reason [perhaps she is seeing ghosts or ghouls or whatever?], my mum went out to visit my grandma's grave as part of the tradition of All Saint's/Soul's Day and I'm at home, having a readathon and a tv marathon of some scary tv shows and movies.

Right now I'm reading "Wish You Were Dead" by Todd Strasser and watching "Harper's Island" on DVD. Since I'm alone, I'm dead scared but hey, it's the whole spirit of Hallowen, right?

I wanted to stay at home and continue my scarefest but sadly, I've got work and it's only a PH holiday tomorrow, not a UK holiday. But oh well.

Surprisingly, I'm loving the horror/thriller genre of books!! And for some reason, I feel very brave whenever it's Halloween that I tend to dive in this genre! teehee! Oh well, back to regular programming now. Hopefully I'd have done finishing a book after this so I can post some reviews!

Which reminds me -- I haven't done an In My Mailbox for the past x number of months! Eeep!!!
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