Want Books: Dust City

Want Books? is a weekly meme hosted at Chachic’s Book Nook and features released books that you want but you can’t have for some reason. It can be because it’s not available in your country, in your library or you don’t have the money for it right now.

This is my first Want Books post, spurred by the fact that I really want this book I am featuring. It’s normal for me to want books, of course, but this is one of those books that has really made me curious. I know I could always get a Kindle edition of this book, but there are some books that I must get in print because of certain factors. For this book, it’s the cover. Look:

Dust City by Robert Paul Weston

Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

His son, that’s who.

Ever since his father’s arrest for the murder of Little Red Riding Hood, teen wolf Henry Whelp has kept a low profile in a Home for Wayward Wolves . . . until a murder at the Home leads Henry to believe his father may have been framed.

Now, with the help of his kleptomaniac roommate, Jack, and a daring she-wolf named Fiona, Henry will have to venture deep into the heart of Dust City: a rundown, gritty metropolis where fairydust is craved by everyone and controlled by a dangerous mob of Water Nixies and their crime boss leader, Skinner.

Can Henry solve the mystery of his family’s sinister past? Or, like his father before him, is he destined for life as a big bad wolf?

Look at that cover. I normally don’t judge books by their cover, bu this one is just…well, it’s not pretty, but it’s certainly very striking. It almost looks like a movie poster, don’t you think?

Okay, the first time I saw this book online and in the bookstore, I wasn’t really sure I wanted it. I’m on a dystopia kick lately, see, and my eyes generally glaze over things that aren’t of that sub-genre. But after I read Chelle‘s review of Dust City, I decided that I want the book. Another sort of re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood, with other fairy tale characters making appearances in the story? I’m sold! :)

I would have gotten this in Fully Booked last week if only (1) it’s not in hardcover (although lately I have been buying a bit more hardcover books) and (2) it’s wasn’t so expensive. Unfortunately, when I visited the store yesterday, the copy is gone. :(

Oh well. I can still wait.

In My Mailbox (7)

Another week has gone by and it’s time for another In My Mailbox post! 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.

Contrary to last week’s major stash, this week is pretty…small. :) I was a good girl this week, and my wallet is no longer that mad at me. *beams*

Bought:

  1. Grace by Elizabeth Scott (Fully Booked). I am not really the biggest fan of Elizabeth Scott, but after reading Stealing Heaven, I’ve decided to give her a chance. I WoW-ed this book after Adele’s rave review, and when I saw it at Fully Booked, I had it reserved immediately. This one will be for my YA-D2 reading challenge. :)
  2. The New World by Patrick Ness (Amazon Kindle Store – free). Much thanks to Aaron for the heads up for this novella. I don’t have to explain about why I want to get this book, too, right? :) I finished reading it last night and it did not disappoint. Review to follow soon. Review is up! :D If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the PDF here.
  3. Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness (Fully Booked). I don’t have to explain why I am very excited about this book, right? I’m so glad it went out in paperback this week, and I am so glad I can read all books straight after the other. :)

For review:

  • To Kill a Warlock and Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble by HP Mallory (via Smashwords). The author sent me an email asking if I wanted to review her books, and…well, right now I don’t say no to free books. I don’t know when I’ll be able to read this, but these books seem to be right up my alley. Let’s see if my view of paranormal romance change with these. :)

Other stuff:

I also received the One Lovely Blog Award from Grace of Fiction Spark. Thank you so much! :)

That’s pretty much it. See, I told you I was nice to my wallet this week. What’s in your mailbox this week?

When one falls, everybody falls

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Chaos Walking # 1
Publisher: Walker Books
Number of pages: 479
My copy: US paperback, bought from Fully Booked

Todd Hewitt is the last boy in Prentisstown.

But Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in a constant, overwhelming, never-ending Noise. There is no privacy. There are no secrets.

Or are there?

Just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd unexpectedly stumbles upon a spot of complete silence.

Which is impossible.

Prentisstown has been lying to him.

And now he’s going to have to run…

* * *

I’ve heard a lot of good reviews for this book from various book blogs and book friends, but I never picked it up because I wasn’t into dystopia back then. In fact, I saw a copy of this book a couple of times in Fully Booked but I always ignored it. No time to read it, I always think.

After some really strong recommendations, I finally got a sample from Amazon and read the first few pages, thinking that if I really want it, I can always get the Kindle edition. But as I read on, I knew only one thing: I MUST HAVE THIS BOOK. Not the ebook, but the actual print book, because there are parts of the book that just looks better in print. Unfortunately, on the day I decided I wanted the book, the only copy in the Fully Booked branch nearest my office was gone. :( My friend Jana, who also wanted the book, got to the last copy first, so I would have to wait. *grumble* Thanks to the wonderful people of Fully Booked, though, for transferring a copy to Eastwood a week after I inquired to them about it. Of course, I wasn’t able to read this immediately, and it wasn’t until about a month from when I got this that I got to read it.

You can never go wrong with a book that starts with a talking dog, especially one that says, “Poo, poo.” The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness starts this way:

The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say. About anything.

“Need a poo, Todd.”

I must do a Russell from Up impression here: “BUT IT’S A TALKING DOG!” :) From that moment on, I knew that even if I didn’t like the book in the end, I’d still be fond of the talking dog.

I really wasn’t sure what to expect as I read this book because I stayed away from as many spoilers as possible, so I plunged into the book knowing only the basic stuff: Todd is the last boy in Prentisstown, where only men live and everyone can hear the other person’s thoughts. Then he discovers a “hole” in the noise, complete silence that is impossible in the world he grew up in. Todd is then made to run far, far away from Prentisstown for reasons he couldn’t understand, which leads to a chase to a world outside he thought never existed.

It took me a while to really get into the book, despite the talking dog, because of the way Todd talks. The Knife of Never Letting Go is written in Todd’s point of view, and growing up in the New World has given Todd a different way of talking, which may be because of the deterioration of education in Prentisstown since the boys don’t go to school nor read. Most of narration becomes Todd’s actual thoughts, most of which spill over each other and sometimes goes on and on without periods that I ran out of breath while reading it even if I was doing so silently. The language is reminiscent of The Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski, but more rough and raw as I wasn’t just seeing things happen, but feeling them since I had access to Todd’s thoughts (and whoever’s Noise he can hear).  It took me a while to get the hang of it, but when I did, the book gripped me and refused to let go.

Patrick Ness is one heck of a writer, and I admire him for never being afraid of hurting his characters. As a (wannabe) novelist, I always have problems with hurting my characters because they’ve grown close to my heart as I write them, and hurting them feels like I’m hurting myself. If you’re that type of reader who grows attached to characters they read and hate it when they get hurt…well, be prepared because Ness can be pretty ruthless. I always get a sense of dread whenever Todd would end up content and somewhat happy in one place because I know the author is just preparing to bring out another big gun that would send Todd and his companions running. It’s not bad, of course, but rather very effective because it kept me reading, rooting for Todd and wanting him to win it in the very end. The action scenes were satisfying, the running and the panic felt very real, and Ness kept the mystery of Todd’s history kept very well up until the revelation point, and he didn’t reveal everything so much that all questions were answered.

It’s not just senseless action or violence, either. Every action and everything that Todd does has a bearing in the end, one that helped him grow as needed at the climax of the novel. Todd’s realizations is not only applicable in his world, but also in our world and in how we strive to get something we want or to be someone we want to be. I find this quote from the book very true (emphasis mine, and don’t worry, no spoilers):

“Here’s what I think,” I say and my voice is stronger and thoughts are coming, thoughts that trickle into my noise like whispers of truth.

I think maybe everybody falls,” I say. “I think maybe we all do. And I don’t think that’s the asking…I think the asking is whether we get back up again.

The Knife of Never Letting Go truly lives up to its hype. I’m lucky that I read this now because I don’t think I could have waited so long to read the next book because the ending is just…well, I’d leave it to you to find out. And I must warn you as well: there may be a part when you’d want to stop reading the book and mull over what happened a bit, and maybe even shed a few tears. I did that. :P

I can’t wait to start reading the next book, The Ask and the Answer, which I am reserving for the YA-D2 reading challenge. The Knife of Never Letting Go is a dark, fast-paced and action-packed dystopian novel that will surely have you at the edge of your seat. If you see this in the bookstore, don’t think twice: just get it and read. I promise you won’t regret it.

Rating:

In My Mailbox (6)

Hi. My wallet is currently mad at me right now. I had to hide it away because it’s about to scream obscenities at me for…well, spending so much. I can feel it grumbling at me at the middle of the week, but as of today, it’s positively seething.

But, but, I have a very good justification why I spent so much this week. One thing is the Cebu vacation…and another…well, are books. :P It didn’t spend as much as if I buy a Branson Missouri vacation, anyway. That is a perfectly justifiable expense even if I know I have about what, 70 books that I have yet to read.

Yeah, yeah, like that means something.

So yeah, I’m doing an In My Mailbox post this week because I find that I have a pretty huge stash of books this week! Well, including Friday last week, since I kind of count that purchase as part of the weekend purchase, and it feels like I just bought it this week. 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.

And here we go. *throws wallet under the bag and ignores it angry screams*

Continue Reading →

Sort of Reading Vacation

Sorry for the lack of posts in the past days, I was on vacation. Last Friday, I flew to Cebu with some friends for a much-needed R&R. It was my third time to go there, but the second time I actually went around the city, and my first time to be the navigator. Challenging, but very fun.

I’ll be posting the details of my vacation on my personal blog, but I have to post the bookish part of my vacation here, of course. Ever since I keep on accumulating books in my TBR and I realize that I don’t have enough time to read them all, I’ve been wishing for a reading vacation. It’s kind of like a stay-cation (you know, a vacation somewhere out of town where you stay in and do nothing) but instead of just staying in, I read.

Preferably by the beach. With music. And good food. And lots of books, of course.

Ahhhh.

But I can only wish for that now, since I’ve been very busy lately, and I can’t afford an actual reading vacation.

Nevertheless, we didn’t let the sightseeing and all the food in Cebu to stop us from doing all bookish stuff. On our last day in the City, my friends and I trekked rode a cab to Ayala Center Cebu to eat the famous Cebu lechon and to go “home”. By home, we mean:

Fully Booked Cebu!

Of course we can’t miss visiting this! :) And it was a doubly special visit because we just had awesome gelato at Gelatissimo before going here. :P

Fully Booked in Cebu is just as neat as the other Fully Booked branches, but it was also cooler in some sense. Maybe it’s because it’s Fully Booked in another city, or maybe it’s really just because they seemed to have a lot more books than what I usually see in other branches. I mean, new books, sort of hard to find books and all that. Plus the place is small, but still so cozy and homey, it really feels like home. :)

I went home with the following:

Cebu Stash

  1. The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner
  2. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (I’ll post about #SpeakLoudly soon enough)
  3. Z by Michael Thomas Ford (zombies :D)

I wanted to get The Year of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty, but alas, budget doesn’t permit. I can get that delivered anyway.

It’s fun visiting another branch that I know I won’t be able to visit a lot. Plus, who says vacation stops me from getting books? :) No one, right?

I didn’t read the entire time I was in Cebu, of course, but I did manage to catch up on my reading while waiting for the plane to Manila to arrive. And this may be my first (?) picture taken while I was reading a book. Lame, I know.

That’s The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness that I finished earlier. Still reeling from it, but I have more reviews to write for now.

So what did you do during the weekend? :)