Friday, November 4, 2016

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch Review

Title: Dark Matter
Author: Blake Crouch
Published: July 26th 2016 by Crown

Synopsis from Goodreads:

“Are you happy with your life?” Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”

In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable--something impossible.

Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.

My thoughts:

Dark Matter is a really good and a really trippy book. you never know what's going on most of the time but you kind of know there's something going on with alternate universe. It's a good thriller and it was a fast pace read. The book got me hooked and I keep wondering what will happen next. I can imagine sci-fi movie scenes happening while I read this book. I feel for Jason, the main character, as he goes through his journey to find out what happen to his life. It's hard to imagine one day you wake up and your wife is not your wife anymore and your son doesn't exist. The science concept within Dark Matter is intriguing. I definitely recommend this book for people who like sci-fi, thriller, and suspense.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

B-Fest 2016 at Barnes & Noble Experience

Many of The Barnes & Noble bookstore in the US had their first B-Fest Teen Book Festival this year on June 10th- June 12th, 2016. They had lots of YA related events and giveaways. Here's a recap of my experience on this 3 day event.

B-Fest was fantastic. I'm really glad Barnes & Noble created this event. It definitely will help promote readers to come to the bookstore and read more books. I went to a few different B&N store throughout this whole B-Fest. If I had more time, I would have gone to more because there are just so many events happening.

June 10th: B-In the Know (Trivia Blast)

I headed out to my local B&N that evening for the first event at B-Fest. We played trivia games. The winner of the trivia got Advance readers copies (ARC) of upcoming YA titles and they get a postcard to send in to Penguin Teen so that they can be in the ARC mailing list. I got second place and they still gave me some book goodies. They were also nice enough to give everyone who played a prize too. The questions were moderately difficult. Some of the books I read years ago and some I recently finish but I still don't remember the answer. It was fun playing it and even the moms of the teens joined in too. It was a nice experience. The program coordinator was wonderful and the event host was great. Good times.

The prize I received were a tote bag, a t-shirt from paper town, and a copy of Scott Westerfeld's Afterworlds ^o^

Day 2: June 11th B-First @11 AM

This was a cool event. B&N were giving out ARCs, book samplers, and many other goodies at 11 AM on day 2. I specifically went to a B&N store that will give out Stalking Jack the Ripper ARC because I've been very interested in that book. I was able to get a copy \(^0^)/. To my surprise, I didn't expect to get even more ARCs (\^o^)/.

The line for the giveaway wasn't too bad. (I'll post the pics of the book swags I picked up at the end)

Day 2: June 11th B-Part of the Fun @2 PM

A few hours later I returned to play some pictionary and the spelling challenge. It was amazing how many people knew the titles of YA with just a few drawings. The spelling challenge was a tough one. I couldn't spell some words from the Harry Potter, the Lords of the Ring, and the Doctor Who series. In the end, I won a Scythe t-shirt as a consolation prize. I think the winner got a copy of the Nemesis ARC by Anna Banks and a tote. Once again B&N people were so nice and everyone else got a prize.

Day 3: June 12th B-Creative @2 PM

On day 3, I went back to my local B&N for the Adaptive Studio B-Creative discussions. We learned of the process Adaptive Studio do to bring different titles to the audiences. It's really cool to see how an old scripts can be turn into a novel and later turn into film. The workshop was a good way to introduce people to the process of writing books and bringing it to life. I'm hoping to come out with a novel and/or a movie scripts in the future so it's a good way to see how this work.

Guest Author: Kristen Tracy @3 PM

A casual meet and greet with our local author Kristen Tracy. She's really nice and really fun to talk to. It's great to hear her story of how she became an author. She read some passages from her new book and she was able to give tips about writing and the publishing process. She also signed a copy of Lost It and her new middle grade book Project [Un]popular for me. Can't wait to read them.

Overall, I had a great time at B-Fest. Thank you B&N for having these cool events and giving us so many stuff. Many hearts to you. I pretty much have books to read for the rest of the year. Hoping we'll have B-Fest again next year.

Advance Reader's Copy galore:

Frost by M. E. Kozolowsky (10/2016)
Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland (9/2016)
The hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti (1/2017)
History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera (1/2017)
We Know it Was You by Maggie Thrash (10/2016)
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco (9/2016)
Boy Robot by Simon Curtis (10/2016)
Fate of Flames by Sarah Raughley (11/2016)
Replica by Lauren Oliver (10/2016)

Book swags received:

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon Review

Title: Everything Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon

Goodreads synopsis:

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.

My thoughts:

Everything, Everything was a great read. It was fast pace, cute, and interesting. The premise intrigued me and the flow of the story was very well done. Seeing Maddy struggle to break free and trying to find ways to make her love come true was really fun. She’d been inside her house all her life and all she wanted was a friend. Suddenly a boy next door, Olly, appeared. Her relationship with Olly was awkward at first but they develop a bond as the story progressed. As their relationship deepened, unfortunate things happened. I was rooting for Maddy and Olly throughout the book. I wondered if she can maintain her love even if being allergic to the outside world. There was a twist at the end that was heart wrenching. Everything, Everything is everything I wanted in a romance YA novel. I’d definitely recommend Everything Everything to everyone.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Graphic Novels Review: Lumberjanes vol.1 and Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft

Lumberjanes vol. 1

by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters, Brooke A. Allen (Illustrator)

Lumberjanes is adorable and really fun. The stories revolves around a group of eccentric teenage girls who is in a girl scouts troop called Lumberjanes and they go on amazing adventures while trying to earn different scout badges. I like the different personalities each girl has. I love the strong female characters in this graphic novel. They might trouble makers but when difficult situation occurs, they are able to pull through by working together. It has friendship, love, and quite a bit of laughs. I also really like the character design and the color scheme in Lumberjanes. Can't wait to see what happens next. Volume 1 compile issue 1-4 of the Lumberjanes comic book.

Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft

by: Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodríguez (Artist)

Locke & Key vol.1 is dark but really good. The story introduces our three main characters: Tyler (big brother), Kinsey (middle sister), and Bode (younger brother) and their crazy adventures. Their father was murdered and they have to move to the Keyhouse, a big mansion filled with mystery that their father use to live in. Bode was playing around in the house and found a key that unlock the door and something magical happened. In addition, there's an ominous presence in the key house estate that may harm the family and want to use Bode. Even worst, the ominous presence is working with their father's murderer too, which will put the kids lives in danger. It's really fun to see how the three kids fight back and how each of them grow in this volume. The character design and the story is amazing. I'm curious to see what other keys and other doors they will find. Definitely check it out if you like a dark and intriguing story.

Monday, May 9, 2016

YALLWEST 2016: May 1st 2016 Experience

It's been a while since I've written in my book blog. I've been in a book slump for a while but the fun I had at YALLWEST this year cheered me right up. Now I just want to read more books ^O^

YALLWEST 2016 is a counter part Young Adult/Middle Grade book festivals of YALLFEST but happened in the West coast in Santa Monica, California. This event actually took place on April 30 - May 1 this year. I was working on April 30 so I was only able to attend on Sunday May 1st.

The last time I went to a book fest was 2 years ago at LA Times Festival of Books and that was amazing. I wasn't sure what to expect in YALLWEST but I knew it would be fun. The location was good. It was a sunny day but the breeze help cool the palce down. Santa Monica High School hosted YALLWEST this year and there was plenty of walking space and not too pact. Although I heard there were a bunch of people on Saturday. There was a nice atmosphere about it. They even have food trucks and In-N-Out too.

There were a bunch of YA/MG book lovers of different ages everywhere. I saw a ton of YA and middle grade book authors roaming around throughout the festival too. My plan for YALLWEST was to attend a few panels and get books sign by a few authors. The book signing part did not happened since I left my book in the car and I found out they were passing out free Advanced Reader Edition of upcoming YA books (I'll call them ARC for the rest of the post). I couldn't pass out on that. Planning ahead helped in a way. I got to attend three panels and got a bunch of book swags.

I started my day at the keynote panel where it's a conversation between authors Tehereh Mafi and Marie Lu. It was a fun panel where they talked about the struggles and what they've learn as an author. They even give advice and told us about how they came to be doing what they do and their previous career. I felt motivated to read and write more from this panel. It helped energized me for the rest of the day.

The next panel I attend was the ZOMG! AUTHORS AS FANS (MG/YA) panel. This panel was moderated by Margaret Stohl, with Victoria Aveyard, Alexandra Bracken, Soman Chainani, Danielle Paige, Neal Shusterman, Melissa de la Cruz. It was so nice to see that authors have fandom too. They talked about how books, TV shows, movies, and video games they like influence them in their work. Many of them like Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. One of them even like the Fire Emblem video game.

After the panels, I wanted to try out the spin the wheels at Epic Reads since they were giving out upcoming ARC. That was how I got to made friends with a few book lovers and one of them was an author and she gave me her book too. I was super happy that Jennifer signed her book Exist for me too. At the Epic Reads booth, I kept landing on the blank slot on their wheel so they just let me choose a book. I chose The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis. Afterward, I ended up with my author friend, Jennifer, and we line up for more ARC. We got The Savage Song by Victoria Schwab right after the wheel.

We walked around a little bit and saw a line at the Penguin Teen booth while they were passing out exclusive edition of The Young Elite by Marie Lu. I got a few more ARC later... A Walk in the Sun by Michelle Zink, A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess, and The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid.

I said goodbye to Jennifer while I went to see the YA STORYMOB FINALE. This was a pretty neat panel. It was hosted by Pseudonymous Bosch and C. Alexander London, featuring Victoria Aveyard, Ransom Riggs, and Veronica Roth. They authors had to make up a story with the help of volunteers. They story was very strange but ended well for each of the author's character. It was funny and relaxing. At the end, Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz came up to thank the sponsors and the volunteer as well as the Tehereh Mafi and Marie Lu for putting YALLWEST together.

Overall I had a wonderful time at YAAWEST 2016. I got to see lots of my favorite authors talked in various panels, I made new book loving friends, and I got lots of cool book swags. Harlequin Teen booth even give me a glass bowl since they were clearing out their table :) With all the activities happening, I forgot about the book signing. Maybe next year. I'm glad I was able to make it to YALLWEST. It reminded me of how much I love reading and talking to people about books. I'll even try to venture into writing too. I'd definitely recommend YALLWEST to YA/MG book lovers to attend.

Here's the book swags I got from YALLWEST

Book List(Can't wait to read all of them):

Exist by Jennifer Cazey Daniels
The Young Elite by Marie Lu
The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess
A Walk in the Sun by Michelle Zink
The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid