Green (Ted Dekker)

Green by Ted Dekker

Green by Ted Dekker
The Circle # 0
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Number of pages:  392
My copy: hardbound, review copy from BookSneeze

AS FORETOLD BY ANCIENT PROPHETS, an apocalypse destroyed Earth during the twenty-first century. But two thousand years later Elyon set upon the earth a new Adam. This time, however, He gave humanity an advantage. What was once unseen became seen. It was good and it was called…Green.

But the evil Teeleh bided his time in a Black Forest.

Then, when least expected, a twenty-four year old named Thomas Hunter fell asleep in our world and woke up in that future Black Forest. A gateway was opened for Teeleh to ravage the land. Devastated by the ruin, Thomas Hunter and his Circle swore to fight the dark scourge until their dying breath.

But now The Circle has lost hope. Samuel, Thomas Hunter’s cherished son, has turned his back on his father. He gathers the dark forces to wage a final war. Thomas is crushed and desperately seeks a way back to our reality to find the one elusive hope that could save them all.

Enter an apocalyptic story like none you have read. A story with links to our own history so shocking that you will forget you are in another world at all. Welcome to GREEN. Book Zero.


The last time I read the Black, Red and White by Ted Dekker was almost three years ago, and it’s been a while since I picked them up. I was planning to reread it, but because of time and all the other things life threw my way, I couldn’t get to read it. When I heard about the release of Green, I was excited because it’s Ted Dekker, and I loved the Circle Trilogy.

When I got my copy of Green, I was excited to read it but hesitant to read it because I can hardly remember what happened to the three books. But then the book cover said that it can act as the last book or the first book, I plunged in and read.

And what a ride it was, because Green is just as awesome as the other three books. Even if my knowledge of the trilogy was rusty, the book reminded me enough of what happened in the three books. I liked how it sealed the trilogy into a complete circle. The story was solid, almost very believable. There was a time when I felt like I couldn’t read anymore because I did not want to see what will happen next. There was a time when I wanted to strangle some of the characters and tell them that they should not stop believing in Elyon, and what they were doing is silly and pointless and would make them die. Books that make readers react this way mean they actually reached their audience. :D

Reading Green makes me want to re-read the other three books again, to fully relive the story of Thomas Hunter and his romance with Elyon. Great work, Ted Dekker. :D


Note: Review originally posted at Refine Me

When It Happens

When It Happens by Susane Colasanti

When It Happens by Susane Colasanti
Publisher: Viking
Number of pages:  287
My copy: paperback, bought from Fully Booked

Sara and Tobey couldn’t be more different. She is focused on getting into her first-choice college; he wants to win Battle of the Bands. Sara’s other goal is to find true love, so when Dave, a popular jock, asks her out, she’s thrilled. But then there’s Tobey. His amazing blue eyes and quirky wit always creep into her thoughts. It just so happens that one of Tobey’s goals is also to make Sara fall in love with him. Told in alternating points of view, Sara and Tobey’s real connection will have everyone rooting for them from the minute they meet!

* * *

I’ve been wanting to read this book ever since I spotted it as a recommended read in Amazon, and it took a while before I finally got myself a copy. When I saw it at the newly opened Fully Booked in Eastwood Mall, I grabbed it (in an impulse, I might say).

It’s an interesting read. I think the last he-said/she-said novel I read was Flipped, and I loved that novel. This one is just…well, interesting. I liked the two characters fair enough, and even the supporting characters were more interesting. I did find myself rooting for Tobey and Sara, and I’m actually quite interested to watch Say Anything, the movie mentioned in the novel.

However, there’s just something in the storytelling that felt a little off for me. I don’t know if it’s the present tense format, but I felt like the story lacked a bit of description, except when Sara starts painting or drawing or something. I felt like it lacked a bit of the smooth flow that other books have. I mean, for example, during one party that the characters attended, there was a part there that says: “Going Under is playing. Evanescence rocks.” I know it may be because it’s written to make it sound like how teens probably think nowadays, and maybe it just doesn’t gel with me quite much. Maybe because I’m not so good with descriptions that I like books with long and flowing descriptions?

But again, the overall story is good and a pretty much enjoyable, but it’s not really going to be in my favorites list. Maybe I was just too used to Sarah Dessen type novels, hence the conclusion. I’m still looking forward to reading Colasanti’s other novels, though. :)


Note: Review originally posted at Refine Me

Deadly Intent (Camy Tang)

Deadly Intent by Camy TangSCENE OF THE CRIME

The Grant family’s exclusive Sonoma spa is a place for rest and relaxation—not murder! Then Naomi Grant finds her client Jessica Ortiz bleeding to death in her massage room, and everything falls apart. The salon’s reputation is at stake…and so is Naomi’s freedom when she discovers that she is one of the main suspects! Her only solace is found with the other suspect—Dr. Devon Knightley, the victim’s ex-husband. But Devon is hiding secrets of his own. When they come to light, where can Naomi turn…and whom can she trust?

Camy comes back with a new book, this time not with sushi but with a spa, a new spa owner, a handsome doctor and a murder! It’s no secret that I love Camy’s books (see the reviews here, here and here) and having a chance to read this book is really exciting. :D

In this book, Naomi is taking over their family spa, and is not expecting it to be an easy job, but she also never expected that she would have to deal with the murder of her client! Naomi wonders what God has in store for her and if he really wanted her to be where she was. Not only that, but there’s also handsome Dr. Devon Knightley who always seems to be around ever since the murder…and it’s making Naomi not so comfortable because of her crush on Devon. I think Naomi definitely wouldn’t mind giving away wedding invitations with their names on it, but not at this time, when they’re both accused of murder!

This is a fun and quick read — just the right amount of mystery, suspense and dead bodies and it kept me hanging until the end. I was actually quite surprised to find out who the culprit was, and kind of sad to know why she did all those things. Naomi is a strong protagonist though, and I found myself rooting for her all through out the novel. The faith aspect is nicely tied in as well, and it never felt like it was too preachy — everything felt natural.

Another great book by Camy! :D


My copy: Paperback, free review copy from the author

Cover & blurb: From the author

→ Camy Tang’s website

Note: Review originally posted at Refine Me

Kapitan Sino (Bob Ong)

Kapitan Sino by Bob Ong

Kapitan Sino by Bob Ong
Visprint, 166 pages


Naunahan na naman ang mga pulis sa pagtugis sa mga holdaper ng isang jewelry shop. Bago noon, may iba na ring nakahuli sa isang carnaper; sumaklolo sa mga taong nasa itaas ng nasusunog na building; nagligtas sa sanggol na hinostage ng ama; tumulong para makatawid sa kalsada ang isnag matanda; tumiklo sa mga miyembro ng Akyat Bahay; sumagip sa mga mag-anak na tinagay ng tubig-baha; nag-landing ng maayos sa isang Boeing 747 na nasiraan ng engine; at nagpasabog s aisang iganteng robot. Pero sino ang taong ‘yon? Maliligtas nya ba sila Aling Baby? At ano nga ba talaga ang sabon ng mga artista?

Bob Ong is known for his funny yet thought provoking books about the life of a Filipino. I’m sure you’ve heard of him at one point, or have received a forwarded email regarding his little thoughts on life and love (ex. “Kung maghihintay ka nang lalandi sayo, walang mangyayari sa buhay mo. Dapat lumandi ka din.” Don’t wait for someone to flirt with you. Learn to flirt as well.) and I know that most people have certainly agreed with a lot of what he has written.

Kapitan Sino is Ong’s 7th book, and it takes us in an adventure in the town of Pelaez. There we find Rogelio, an ordinary man who makes a living by fixing different appliances in their shop named “Hasmin’s Sari-Sari Store” that they’ve planned to change but never got around to. He lives his life one day at at time, enjoying his little jokes with the kids who insist on buying candies at their sari-sari store turned electronic repair shop, listening to his neighbors Aling Precious and Aling Baby best each other and sing to the different songs he hears on the radio. All this changes one day when his friend Bok-Bok visits his place and they both find out Rogelio has super powers.

Kapitan Sino was born, and from there, Rogelio started saving other people’s lives, disguised in a silver costume and helmet that his blind friend and childhood love Tessa made. Pretty soon, Kapitan Sino was everywhere — on the children that play along the streets pretending to be the hero and the villains, on snacks, gums, newspaper, radio, TV. Everyone was thankful for Kapitan Sino’s heroism, and Rogelio was just happy that he was able to help. This was up until his encounter with the town’s monster, which he defeats but then fails to save someone that mattered to him.

Kapitan Sino is a lot like his previous book MacArthur, but a bit more fun. The thing I did not like about MacArthur was how depressing it was, and I didn’t want to read it afterwards. Kapitan Sino is funny in the sense that it brings in a lot of late 80′s to 90′s Filipino culture, such as snacks like Rinbee, Bazooka Bubble Gum and TV shows like Pinoy Thriller or  Batibot — things that Generation X and Y will surely understand and remember. However, Kapitan Sino is kind of sad too, because it shows us just how our nation is, reflected in the small town of Pelaez: from the corrupt government officials to the people who spend time trying to best each other with their riches, spending more time gossiping than doing something productive and even blaming other people for things that are not their fault. It’s a startlingly accurate picture, and it’s kind of sad to realize the reality of what Bob Ong has written.

But do we really need superheroes to be able to fix our situation? Do we have to have super powers to be heroes? Or can we be heroes on our own?

I’ll leave that up to you to answer.


My copy: Paperback, Php250 (?) from Fully Booked

Cover: Visprint – Bob Ong Books
Blurb: Back of the book

Note: Review originally posted at Refine Me

A Little Ray of Sunsine (Lani Diane Rich)

A Little Ray of Sunshine by Lani Diane Rich A Little Ray of Sunshine by Lani Diane Rich
NAL Trade, 304 pages

Emmy James is not the kind of girl who attracts angels. In fact, after she sent her life into a nosedive six years ago, she’s tried to attract as little as possible -attention, people, or responsibility. She skips from town to town in an Airstream trailer, working odd jobs and keeping to herself until a sudden whim lets her know it’s time to move again.

And this works just fine, until the day two unexpected visitors show up at the New Jersey trailer park she calls home. One is a childhood friend with news: her mother and his father are getting married, and they want EJ to be there. The other is a sweet but odd woman named Jess, who says she’s an angel specializing in cosmic relationship mending…and blueberry pancakes. Jess doesn’t think it’s any coincidence that this is all happening at once, but EJ would rather run herself over with her own Airstream before reconnecting with her neglectful, self-absorbed mother. When she wakes up to find her trailer cruising down the highway with a determined angel at the wheel, however, EJ realizes that sometimes what you want and what the Universe intends for you can be two very different things…

I am really starting to love Lani Diane Rich‘s works. There’s something about what she writes and the people she writes about that really piques my interests, and this one is no different. (Plus, don’t you just love that cover? :P)

EJ is a girl who’s been around for the past six years, going from one place to another, taking jobs as a cashier, using a receipt printer and just living on her own. What people don’t know about her is that she’s the daughter of Lilly Lorraine, a famous actress, and it’s something she doesn’t really want people to know. Frankly, she’d rather bury her past and just live the way she lives now — it’s less painful that way.

But one day brings her two unexpected surprises: one is a visit from an old friend telling her that her mother is getting married yet again to his father and probably the closest and most real parent he’d ever had. And she gets a visit from an angel — or someone who thinks she is. Jess, the angel, is convinced that the Universe wants her to help EJ, and would stop at nothing in doing so — even going as far as “kidnapping” EJ.

After much reluctance, EJ finally decides to go home just for the wedding, but what she saw when she got back was something she never expected. Oh, and her old friend and ex-fiancee was there too — with a lot of old hurts that she never thought she’d have to deal with all over again.

A Little Ray of Sunshine is exactly what the title says — it’s a little ray of sunshine in a book. It’s a really entertaining story, with a wacky cast of characters. EJ, with all her rudeness to her mother and the people around her and her need to go to be alone, is still very endearing. Jess is such a darling, and I almost thought she was a real angel until her own secrets were revealed. Lilly was annoying and lovable at the same time. The tension between the characters was the kind of thing that you’d see in real life, and the resolution was realistic enough that you know it’s just the right way for the story to go to.

It’s a really good book, and I’m sure I’d want to read more of Lani Diane Rich’s work. :)


Cover & Blurb: Goodreads

→ Lani Diane Rich’s website

Note: Review originally posted at Refine Me