Waiting on Wednesday: Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

And it’s time to post another entry about a book that I will be waiting and lusting over until it gets released. “Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating. I use the term “lusting” because it may just fit in this week’s WoW pick:

Personal Demons by Lisa DesrochersPersonal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
Release date: September 14, 2010

Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak. She’s spent years keeping everyone at a distance—even her closest friends—and it seems her senior year will be more of the same…until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can’t seem to stay away from him. What she doesn’t know is that Luc works in Acquisitions—for Hell—and she possesses a unique skill set that has the King of Hell tingling with anticipation. All Luc has to do is get her to sin, and he’s as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn’t stand a chance.

Unfortunately for Luc, Heaven has other plans, and the angel, Gabe, is going to do whatever it takes to make sure that Luc doesn’t get what he came for. And it isn’t long before they find themselves fighting for more than just her soul.

But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay…for all of them.

This book sounds absolutely yummy. :) I love the cover, and I love the blurb, and it seems like people who got ARCs for this seemed to like it very, very much, too! It also seems like it will be a series, so I hope it holds up. :)

Lisa Desrochers has previews of this novel on her blog, and fun — Luc and Frannie are narrating! :) But what about Gabe?

Wish list, wish list! I can’t wait for this book to be out. :)

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Teaser Tuesday: Superheroes and Creatures

It’s almost the end of June and I have a mini-goal for myself: finish reading 50 books by the end of the first half of the year. It’s funny that the books I chose for my 50th are just extraordinarily long. Can my reading speed keep up to my goal by Wednesday?

Let’s see! Good thing Wednesday is a holiday here.

To recognize this effort, I’ve got two teasers for this week’s Teaser Tuesday!

The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell

The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell

Sixteen-year-old Damien Locke has a plan: major in messing with people at the local supervillain university and become a professional evil genius, just like his supervillain mom. But when he discovers the shameful secret she’s been hiding all these years, that the one-night stand that spawned him was actually with a superhero, everything gets messed up. His father’s too moral for his own good, so when he finds out Damien exists, he actually wants him to come live with him and his goody-goody superhero family. Damien gets shipped off to stay with them in their suburban hellhole, and he has only six weeks to prove he’s not a hero in any way, or else he’s stuck living with them for the rest of his life, or until he turns eighteen, whichever comes first.

To get out of this mess, Damien has to survive his dad’s “flying lessons” that involve throwing him off the tallest building in the city–despite his nearly debilitating fear of heights–thwarting the eccentric teen scientist who insists she’s his sidekick, and keeping his supervillain girlfriend from finding out the truth. But when Damien uncovers a dastardly plot to turn all the superheroes into mindless zombie slaves, a plan hatched by his own mom, he discovers he cares about his new family more than he thought. Now he has to choose: go back to his life of villainy and let his family become zombies, or stand up to his mom and become a real hero.

I’m having fun reading this, and Damien is such a charming character for a supposed supervillain. :P

We’re quiet until we get to the store. Then Kat stands in front of the door and grins at me. “Tonight,” she says, “we’re real supervillains.”

I hope that’s not spoiling anyone — it’s pretty far into the book already.

The other book I’m reading is Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl:

Beautiful CreaturesThere were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.

At least, that’s what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

So far, this book feels like a male version of Twilight — I don’t know if that’s a good impression. But it’s dark and creepy and I’m enjoying it, I just hope it lives up to the hype?

“Sundown. Uncle Macon will be up, any minute. We have to put the Book away.” She closed it, zipping it back into my bag. “You take it. If my uncle finds it, he’ll just try to keep it from me, like everything else.”

Mystery in a small town. To Kill a Mocking Bird, anyone? :)

Happy Tuesday!

Welcome to Cafe Carmelo

Table for Two by Marla MinianoTable for Two by Marla Miniano
Publisher: Summit Books
Number of pages: 144
My copy: paperback, bought from National Bookstore

A corner table at a cozy coffee shop witnesses many things:

A long-time couple about to break up after college graduation. A young teacher accepting a dare from her teenage brother to quit dating for two months. A wedding photographer trying to convince his best friend not to get married. A boy meeting up with the girl he never quite got over. And a girl sitting alone, reading romance novels, wondering if today is the day she will stop being lonely.

Do their lives intersect and intertwine — spiraling them through an obstacle course of love and loss and hope and heartbreak? And can they each find the happy ending they so desperately want?

* * *

I normally pick up chick lit books because there’s a bigger chance that I can relate to the characters and their plight. More often than not, I’d find myself sighing the same time as the character does, wishing for the same love as she does, and…that’s where the similarities ended, because the character finds love while I watch her and be happy for her.

Not that I’m bitter, of course. :P

Marla Miniano is back with a new book, this time telling the story of four people who happen to hang out in the same coffee shop, and sometimes even at the same table. Table for Two is a collection of five stories of people from all walks of life, choosing a coffee shop to witness the changes in their lives, and ultimately connecting them in one way or another.

A bit of a spoiler warning starts here, but there’s nothing major. Just be forewarned. :)

Table for Two starts out with Fresh, a story of the end of the relationship of a long-time couple when they realized that after graduation, they need to go their separate ways. Timeout is about Jill, a teacher, who follows her brother’s advice to stop dating for two months to stop herself from dating losers. All the Best is about best friends Carl and Blake, and Carl’s attempt at stopping Blake from marrying Vicky out of concern for his best friend but failing to recognize that he was in more need of relationship advice. This Closure is about Lucas who never really got over Bettina and their shared kiss. The last story, Table for Two brings us to a full circle with Mandy and her independence and her penchant for romance novels.

Continue Reading →

In My Mailbox (1)

I don’t know how often I’ll be able to do this, but I thought I’d try whenever I do have a stash to blog about. In My Mailbox is a weekly book meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren, where bloggers post about what books received that week, be it via  mailbox, library or store.

Here’s what I got this week:

Table for Two by Marla MinianoTable for Two by Marla Miniano

A corner table at a cozy coffee shop witnesses many things:

A long-time couple about to break up after college graduation. A young teacher accepting a dare from her teenage brother to quit dating for two months. A wedding photographer trying to convince his best friend not to get married. A boy meeting up with the girl he never quite got over. And a girl sitting alone, reading romance novels, wondering if today is the day she will stop being lonely.

Do their lives intersect and intertwine — spiraling them through an obstacle course of love and loss and hope and heartbreak? And can they each find the happy ending they so desperately want?

I’ve already finished reading this book and I thought it was positively charming, and it has a lot — and I mean a lot — of quotable quotes. I’ll be posting a review of this book soon.

Amazing Grace by Tara FT Sering

Pre-school teacher, Grace Lim, thinks that she has finally found her man at age 27. Mr-Blind-Date-No.-7, Mike, has turned out to be everything that she s ever wanted, dreamt about, and more!

With a marriage proposal in hand, Grace thinks that she s set for life. Trouble begins to stir in paradise when Mike informs Grace that he is re-locating from Manila to sunny Singapore because of work.

But the conveniences of modern technology aren t enough to bridge the distance between Mike and Grace, and what of Mike s colleague Kaela who appears in every photo that Mike s uploaded online?

So Grace decides to give Mike a surprise visit in Singapore but is she ready for what she will find?

This is one of the new Asian chick lit published here by Anvil. I’ve seen this about a month ago but only got around today to buying myself a copy. A friend said it’s a good read, and I like that it’s thicker than the other local chick lit which makes the Php 150 (around $3-4) feel more worth it. The story is told in second person, though, and I’m really curious about how that works out.

The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles #1) by Rick Riordan

Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a “research experiment” at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them–Set–has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe–a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

I saw this last week and I didn’t mean to buy it today (I meant to buy Ever by Gail Carson Levine), but I realized I should get this one because this would be a more relevant book to review since it’s just out. Egypt and such adventures — should be fun. Funny because I haven’t even finished reading all Percy Jackson books yet, and here’s another Riordan. Funny, though, I’m trying to remember if I read any of his books before Percy, and I remembered: 39 Clues #1.

That’s it for my mailbox this week. I’m still kind of wary about buying actual books because I have no storage space yet. And impulse buys — eeep. Maybe when my room gets fixed, I’ll be more into impulse again? That won’t be too soon, though. :)

Don’t forget, Philippine residents, I’m giving away a copy of Feed by Mira Grant — you can enter until June 30! Have a great Sunday, everyone!

Karmic Retribution

Take Me There by Susane ColasantiTake Me There by Susane Colasanti
Publisher: Viking
Number of pages:  304
My copy: ebook

Rhiannon is completely devastated after the breakup with her boyfriend. She wants him back.

Nicole’s ex still wants to be with her, but she’s obsessed with someone else.

James is hopelessly in love with Rhiannon, who doesn’t see that their friendship can be so much more.

Will their desire to take a mean girl down a notch bring these three friends what they want . . . and more?

Set during one life-altering week and told in three realistic perspectives, this engaging, witty novel shows the ups and downs of love, friendship, and karma.

* * *

Okay, so how do I begin.

When I read Susane Colasanti’s When It Happens, I wasn’t terribly impressed. The story was cute and the characters were believable somewhat, but I didn’t really like how the story was written. I guess you could say it was too young for me, but then I’ve read other novels set in high school and liked it just fine.

But I wasn’t about to write Susane Colasanti off. I picked up her second book, Take Me There just recently and finally cracked its covers when I looked for a fantasy break. Take Me There tells the story of three friends: Rhiannon, Nicole and James, on the week that supposedly changed their lives forever. Rhiannon just got dumped, Nicole dumped her boyfriend and James is Rhiannon’s best friend and he wanted to be there for her. The first three days were told in Rhiannon’s point of view first, then the three days were recapped in Nicole’s POV and then James and then the next days were repeated in that order again.

I honestly don’t know how to go about this review without sounding too mean, because I felt really torn about this novel. There were cute moments, and there were a lot of things that I liked somewhat, but they were all shadowed by the glaring annoyances I had while reading the book. Let me count the ways:

  • I brought this up in my Teaser Tuesday post: I had a hard time reading this book because of the way it was written. True, it’s in written in a lot of detail, but half the time I found the details irrelevant, or at least they didn’t make too much impact in the story. It’s like I was in a mind of, well, a teen whose attention shifts from one item to another too quickly. ADD, but not quite. Yes, this is a book about teens, but the way it was written didn’t really appeal to me. Maybe that’s how teens speak, but why write it that way?
  • The story didn’t make sense (at least to me) up until about 100 pages into it. I know Rhiannon’s brokenhearted, but I didn’t want to read 50 pages of all that and only that. And it didn’t help that Nicole basically repeated what happened when it was her turn to tell the story, except that she did say something that Rhiannon didn’t know.
  • Rhiannon’s voice and Nicole’s voice sounded too similar for me, and they were both annoying, IMO. James was better, almost normal, but that was it. Rhiannon seemed to go around and around, and Nicole? Is like, absolutely annoying. With the way she talks? Like this. See what I mean?
  • It felt like there were a million characters in the book, because the other characters just kept on pointing out other people around them. Sure, they only pointed to characters that made sense in the story, but their purpose was dragged out up until the end. It may have been an attempt to put more depth in the story, that it’s not only just about Rhiannon’s heartbreak or Nicole’s ex or James’ love for Rhiannon, but it was hard to keep track of all of them, especially when they all sound alike.
  • By the end of the story, everyone was talking about karma, and all I could think of was, “Where did that come from?” Suddenly everyone seemed to sound like hippies, with all the “I feel so good with him and I realize he could take me there” thing. Maybe I just can’t appreciate it?

However, Take Me There‘s story did pick up quite well at the end, and I kind of liked how the last few chapters were written, because it made me want to know what happened next. I do have to give credit to Colasanti for creating a story that sounded real, despite its shortcomings. Maybe I couldn’t appreciate it as much because I’m not the target audience of the book.

Will I read more of Colasanti’s works? Probably, but not too soon. I kind of need a break from it, so maybe next time.