[Closed] One More Page – Anniversary Giveaway

One More Page Anniversary Giveaway

NOTE: This giveaway is closed! Thanks to everyone who joined. :-) Winners were announced here. :)

It’s Christmas Eve in my part of the world! :) I think I just about survived the most hectic Christmas season ever with parties, work and a wedding to attend, so now that things are winding down, it’s time to up some things here in the blog. :)

Other bloggers have set up their gratitude/Christmas/what-have-you giveaways in the past weeks, and I am kind of joining the bandwagon. My blog is about to celebrate its first anniversary in a couple of weeks (on January 9, to be exact), so what better way to celebrate that and Christmas (well, an extended reason to celebrate, anyway) than a book giveaway? :D Presenting:

One More Page Anniversary GiveawayOne More Page Anniversary Giveaway! I never really thought I’d be able to keep a niche blog for this long, and I have met so many people, read so many books and learned so many new things that I am really, really grateful. As a thank you to everyone who’s left comments, visited and followed my blog, I will be giving away copies of the following books:

I want to make this giveaway interactive, so instead of just making you fill out a form and making you do so many other things, all you need to do to enter this giveaway is leave a comment. Leave a comment in every entry from now up to January 9, 2011, and every comment will count as an entry to the giveaway. You can leave multiple comments on an entry, especially if it’s a discussion post. :) The more comments you leave, the more entries you get, and we will have meaningful conversations, too! :P

I will pick two winners at random: one in the Philippines and one international*. Winners get to pick one of the books listed above**. :)

Easy-peasy, right? :)

Again!

  • Contest runs starting today up to January 9, 2011
  • Every comment left starting this post up to January 9, 2011 will count as an entry to the contest (unless otherwise stated in the comment)***.
  • Two winners will be chosen at random (random.org), one in the Philippines and one international*
  • Winners get to pick one of the books listed above as their prize**

Alrightie then! Looking forward to hear from everyone! :)

* As long as Book Depository ships to your country
** In case the winner already has all of the books, they can pick any book worth $15 from Book Depository
*** I reserve the right not to include comments that are irrelevant to the entry or comments that are left just to leave a comment and nothing else. Again, one of the purposes of the contest is to encourage interaction, so meaningful/relevant comments, please. :)

Ten Ten Ten!

It’s October 10, 2010. You know what this means, of course?

I’m not one to believe in lucky numbers or days, but I can’t really pass up the chance to blog on this day, if only to remember what I did, or to say that I actually have a post on this once-in-a-lifetime date on my blogs.

So hi, happy 10.10.10!

I was supposed to join the 24 hour read-a-thon this weekend, but I decided to sit it out this year since my family and I were busy with my dad’s arrival and my brother’s upcoming wedding. It would’ve been an excellent way to spend 10.10.10 reading wise, but I have to face the fact that I have a life outside of books. But in the spirit of this binary date (I’m a geek, of course I have to point that out), I thought I’d sort of take a break from all the book reviews and squeeing and post something a little more personal, but still somehow related to reading (this is a book blog, after all). I know I’ve gained some new followers in the past months, so consider this a re-introduction post. :) Since it’s 10.10.10, let’s go for 3 sets of 10’s, shall we?

10 things about me:

  1. My name is Tina, and I’m a 24-year-old sort of all around geek from the beautiful (and sometimes chaotic) Philippines. :)
  2. I work as a full-time web content developer in one of the big multinational companies in the…well, world. I love my job even if it can be repetitive and somewhat frustrating sometimes. As of now I still see myself in that company for a few more years. I don’t know if I’ll be doing that I’m still doing, but I hope whatever it is, I would still love it. And since I’m a web content developer, you see now how I can manage to blog every now and then. ;) Blogging is practically second nature.
  3. I own three more blogs outside of my book blog, plus a semi-active Tumblr, a very active Twitter and a dead LJ and Plurk accounts. I’m also very active at Goodreads, more active than I was before ever since I met the Goodreads Filipino group people. :) I have a very big internet footprint, and it’s too late to do anything about that. ^^
  4. I love to run. I’m not sure if it loves me back, but I love it very much. :) I’m not really a sporty person, but running is not really a competitive sport so I caved in and joined the thousands of people who liked to run races here, too. I started running this year, after my friends and I set a goal to run races, and I haven’t stopped till then. I started with 5k distance then immediately stepped up to 10k, and been running 10k ever since. I’m hoping and planning and praying to run my first half marathon early in 2011. :)
  5. Speaking of praying — I’m a devout Catholic. I’d like to believe I’m not a religious nut, but rather spiritual. I value my faith and beliefs, hence it influences what I read and how I review the books I read.
  6. I dream of publishing my own novel someday. I need to get moving and keep on writing (hence my insistence on joining NaNoWriMo every year), and I need to find the courage to actually submit my work somewhere. One day, one day.
  7. My brother is a wedding videographer. I may be biased, but he’s a very good one, too. Just look at his works here. :)
  8. I am a semi-health nut. Ever since I lost a lot of weight in the past year, I’ve been very careful to keep the weight off. Hence the running, and lots of gym, and watching what I eat. I still love ice cream and sweets and other sinful stuff, though but always in moderation. ;)
  9. My most common random fact that I always share: I name all my gadgets. It helps me take care of them better. I have two laptops named Teo (work) and Aslan (personal), Macy the iPod, Elyon and Cornelia the mobile phones, Wes the external hard drive, Ginger the USB flash drive, Ashley the camera and Astrid the Kindle. I also name my credit cards in an attempt to not always use them, but I fail at that. ;)
  10. And for the 10th thing about me is…I don’t know why I keep on writing lists like these! I forgot how hard it is to write 10 things about myself! Hah. But I’m somewhat of a masochist sometimes. I like challenging myself. I’m not really a daredevil, but I try to find things that would make me try new thing and would (hopefully) make me a better person in the end. :)

10 Favorite Books read in 2010 so far:

  1. Fire by Kristin Cashore
  2. North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
  3. Feed by Mira Grant
  4. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
  5. Unwind by Neal Shusterman
  6. Happyface by Stephen Emond
  7. The Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce
  8. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
  9. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  10. Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews

10 books I can’t wait to get my hands on:
(Always subject to change ;))

  1. The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell
  2. Plain Kate by Erin Bow
  3. Archangel by Sharon Shinn
  4. AEIOU: An Easy Intimacy by Jeffrey Brown
  5. The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde
  6. Dust City by Robert Paul Weston
  7. Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
  8. Matched by Ally Condie
  9. What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
  10. Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Well that took a bit of time to post. Whew. What about you, do you have any 10’s to share? :)

Graced

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Graceling Realm # 1
Publisher: Harcourt

Number of pages:  471
My copy: paperback, bought from National Bookstore

Deadly Grace

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

* * *

I am in awe of authors like Kristin Cashore who could think of things like this. I am sorely deficient (at least, I think I am) in the supernatural/fantasy realm, so I am always in awe of people who can think of awesome story concepts like these. Don’t you think?

To those unfamiliar, here’s the basic premise of Graceling: Gracelings are humans who are born with an extraordinary skill. These skills don’t manifest until sometime later in the human’s life, and the clue to see if a human is a Graced is if they have two different colored eyes. Graces can range from the most useless — like reciting things backward or staying underwater for a long time — or useful, like sensing storms or like Katsa’s Grace, killing.

If a Grace is found useful, the Graceling will be acquired by the King to serve his court. This is what Katsa grew up in ever since she accidentally killed her cousin who tried to touch her during a party when she was young. Convinced that her Grace was killing, Katsa was trained to be a killer so she can serve her uncle, King Randa’s court. Simply put, Katsa was a thug, who threatens and kills people who the King of Middluns feel like punishing.

But Katsa soon grew tired of this life, and she secretly started a Council. Together with some of her closest companions — they weren’t friends because Katsa never considered them friends — they helped other people secretly. They arrested bandits, protected people and saved Prince Tealiff of Lienid, who was kidnapped and hidden in Murgon.

On the rescue mission, Katsa meets Po, another seemingly Graced fighter. Pretty soon, Po becomes a part of Katsa’s life, and thus started Katsa’s personal struggles. She soon learns to face her rage, stand up for herself, find love and realize an important thing about her Grace that she never thought was even possible.

If you think the summary I posted there was already good, well I tell you, the book is really way better than that. I loved every bit of the book. I thought I’d find some parts of it slow, like what a friend told me, but I never thought it was slow at any part. I was surprised with the discoveries that Katsa made about Po and herself. I felt that I was really in the story, like I was with Katsa and Po in their travels and fights to find out who was behind Po’s grandfather’s kidnapping.

Now, I don’t know if I would have had an entirely different reading experience with Graceling if I didn’t read Fire first. I was slightly spoiled about who King Leck really was and what he can do because of what I read in Fire. There were no other mentions of Gracelings in Fire so I don’t think it’s a really big effect in my reading experience, but I wonder if I would have been more surprised with what Leck could do in the novel.

Oh, but just thinking of Leck makes me think of a creepy man. Ugh.

Kristin Cashore is writing a third book, which is Bitterblue, who also appeared in this novel. I wonder if Kristin will somehow bring back the monsters from The Dells in this third book — that would be really interesting, I think.

Graceling is definitely one of the best YA fantasy books that I read this year. Awesome story, strong characters and a very satisfying ending. :)

Rating:

Teaser Tuesday: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

I know, I’m a day late, but I know it’s still Tuesday somewhere out there, so it’s not really late…right?

Yeah, excuses. Anyway, today’s Teaser Tuesday for yesterday comes from Graceling by Kristin Cashore, the sequel/companion novel to Fire.

Graceling by Kristin CashoreDeadly Grace

Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.

When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

I’ve just started reading it, and I’m liking it so far. Maybe I am a bit biased on this now because I loved Fire so much. But it’s turning out to be really good so far, and I can’t wait to find more time to sit down and just read this. Probably this Sunday, on the 14th. Heh.

Anyway, onto the teaser!

“Bitterblue,” he said into the trunk. “I’m your cousin Po, the son of Ror. We’ve come to protect you.” (p. 280)

And that line is about as vague as it can get. Interestingly, the title of Kristin Cashore’s next book is Bitterblue. :) Obviously, that would be the sequel to Graceling, sort of.

Anyway I better get back to work. :P Sshh, yes, I’m blogging at work! Oops! :P

Fire

Fire by Kristin Cashore

Fire by Kristin Cashore
Graceling Realm # 2
Publisher: Gollancz

Number of pages:  352
My copy: UK edition paperback, bought from Fully Booked

Fire is more than attractive.
Fire is mesmerising.

Fire’s exceptional beauty gives her influence and power. People who are susceptible to it will do anything for her attention, and for her affection. If she wished, they would abuse their power, crush nations and even destory their own kingdoms to please her.

But beauty is only skin deep, and beneath it Fire has a human appreciation of right and wrong. Aware of her ability to influence others, and afraid of it, she lives in a corner of the world away from people – not only to protect them, but also to protect herself from their attention, their distrust and even their hatred.

Yet Fire is not the only danger to the Dells. If she wants to protect her home, if she wants a chance to undo the wrongs of her past, she must face her fears, her abilities and a royal court full of powerful people with reason to distrust her.

Beauty is a weapon — and Fire is going to use it.

* * *

I often rely on blog reviews whenever I’m getting a new book from an author that I don’t know. Okay, usually, I rely on covers (shallow, I know), but that only works whenever the book is  anything in the realistic genre.

So one day, I was browsing through one of the new favorite YA book blog sites I started reading lately, Persnickety Snark, and saw her review for Fire by Kristin Cashore. Back then, I was looking for fantasy books to read to start my fantasy reading resolution, and I added Fire and Graceling (the companion book) to my mental list. That same afternoon, my friends and I found the latter book, but my friend bought it, so I told myself I’d buy it when 2010 comes in.

A few days before Christmas, I was feeling a bit restless and felt the need to buy a new book, regardless of how many other books I still have lying unread at home (we have that day, right? :P). I wanted to get Graceling, too, but instead found Fire, and went home with it despite my complaining wallet. :)

To put it simply, Fire was one of those books that I’m glad I bought on an impulse. It was one of those books that I couldn’t put down but I don’t want to rush reading simply because I didn’t want to leave the Dells too soon. I started reading this after Christmas and finished up until after New Year, which is already long for a book that I really loved.

So what did I really love about this book? Let’s see:

  1. Characters. I’m a sucker for strong characters. I love it when the characters in a book all leave imprints in me, and that their voice are so distinct that I could tell who was speaking even without the identifiers in the text. Fire, as a protagonist, is a well-developed character, with her physical beauty that could make her own anything she wants and her compassion for the people around her that makes her not like a monster. Even her guard Musa was a real person to me, and she was just a minor character (who probably wears muck boots from time to time). Every character in this book is crafted so carefully and splendidly that I felt that I was inside the story, like I was one of the people who actually got to know Fire as a person and not a monster.
  2. Plot. Fire isn’t the type of book that will make you keep on turning the pages. True, the story is captivating, but the story flows steadily, no actual highs or lows or quick action/battle parts that other novels have. It’s not that there’s no climax in this book — not like some other book I know hmph — it had one, but it didn’t consist of pages and pages of descriptions about the climax. The story flowed steadily. Every part of the novel was significant, and after a while, you’ll see the connection with all the little things mentioned in the previous pages. I don’t know about others, but I liked that. Why put a part in the story if it doesn’t have any significance, right?
  3. Concept. I mean, human monsters who can make you do anything? Monsters that will eat monsters and if they don’t get that, they can make other creatures with brains go out and convince them to be eaten? How can people come up of these kinds of stories?!

So I’m glad I went on an impulse and bought Fire. It’s the companion book for Graceling, which means I kind of know some of the characters in Graceling already because of that, but it’s okay, I think. :D This is definitely one of the best books I’ve read in 2010.

Rating: