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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers

BLURB:

  • Pub. Date: December 2008
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Format: Paperback , 224pp
  • Age Range: Young Adult
Perfect Parker Fadley isn’t so perfect anymore. She’s quit the cheerleading squad, she’s dumped her perfect boyfriend, and she’s failing school. Her parents are on a constant suicide watch and her counselors think she’s playing games…but what they don’t know, the real reason for this whole mess, isn’t something she can say out loud. It isn’t even something she can say to herself. A horrible thing has happened and it just might be her fault. If she can just remove herself from everybody—be totally alone—then everything will be okay...The problem is, nobody will let her.

REVIEW:
As you can read from the blurb above, Parker "used" to be popular. She also used to be really really good. Straight A students, does not talk back to her parents, does not drink and is a perfectionist through and through. Up until the end of the book, Parker will keep you wondering why exactly she became the unfriendly, inconsiderate, reckless person. She was not bullied, people around her did not actually gave up on her even if that is what she was trying to achieve. There were clues, she tell bit and pieces of that fateful night that changed her life but nothing concrete until the ending. To be honest Parker scares me, she was so unstable, you just don't know what she will do next. Will she snap out of it or will she commit suicide and be done with the guilt.

Cracked Up to Be is a story of a teenager both cracking up with the pressure of being perfect and being caught up between an unfortunate event that involves someone close to her life. I recommend it to students 12 and up, especially the ones struggling with their clique.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

BLURB:
  • Pub. Date: February 2011
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
  • Format: Hardcover , 441pp
  • Sales Rank: 5,493
  • Age Range: Young Adult
Where I got my copy? B&N

Ninety-five days, and then I'll be safe. I wonder whether the procedure will hurt. I want to get it over with. It's hard to be patient. It's hard not to be afraid while I'm still uncured, though so far the deliria hasn't touched me yet. Still, I worry. They say that in the old days, love drove people to madness. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don't.
Lauren Oliver astonished readers with her stunning debut, Before I Fall. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called it "raw, emotional, and, at times, beautiful. An end as brave as it is heartbreaking." Her much-awaited second novel fulfills her promise as an exceptionally talented and versatile writer.

REVIEW:
When I got this book, I didn't even read the summary I just grabbed it because I love Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall, so I have no idea that this is dystopian, I told me self after Divergent I would take a break from the genre and read something like a romance, bio or mystery, but as soon as I read the disease in this world, I have to read it.

They call it Amor Deliria Nervosa or Love Disease. Insane right? it is funny how they list all these symptoms of being in love and how it posed as a dangerous disease in their world. When people turn 18, they get this "procedure" to be free from it. According to their Book of Shhh (Safety, Health, Happiness Handbook). Other disease such as stress, anxiety, heart disease, depression and even bipolar disorder are caused by Love. A government who would test you in order to place in you in a society, a government wherein they give you qualified matches to spend the rest of your life with, a government who does not allow too much laughing, dancing and enforce regulation like its martial law. As soon as I read those, I can't put it down anymore.

Our heroine Lena, is a goody two shoes, well she tries to be. it has something to do with her family history, something awful that happened with her mom, something she was scared off. I love her friend Hanna, she had this rebellious streak , what a teenager should have. While reading it, I wanted to push Lena (if only I could) to be more daring and more adventurous, to tap in to her curiosity. She was so frigid and that is so annoying to me. If not for the strong background of her character, she might not have worked for me. I am glad that I managed to ignore the negative feeling of putting this book down because it got so much better. There is always something quite unsettling and fascinating about forbidden relationship and breaking the rules in general, especially if the rules might get you somewhere dangerous or something you'll regret. Ms. Oliver I love your writing.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

ArmChairBEA: Nurturing Book Blogging Relationships

I started book blogging in 2009, I used to have reviews in movies, products, technology, music, etc. on this one social network, called Multiply.com, I was happy there, until Precious @Confessionsofabookaholic introduced me to Blogger. I realized that I am happier here, although you'll find some product or movie review here, I decided to focus more in reviewing books.

I have an embarrassing story to share. The first time I started my book blog, I did not know that there was a huge community of it. I started my book blog so I can stop repeating what I think of a book to friends. It serves as a stop so they can get ideas on what this book or that book is all about. It was also for me, since I read so many books, I wanted to have an inventory of what I've read and how much I like or dislike parts of it. I was not expecting that this blog could be more than that, that I will meet and interview authors, and have the privilege to read advance copies of their work and share my thoughts globally.

Back to my the embarrassing story... A friend gave me a pdf copy of Marta Acosta's Casa Dracula, I reviewed it and I enjoyed it so much that I decided to upload it to a media share site so my other friends can read it too. Ignorant was not bliss let me tell you! Marta saw it and asked me to take it down. I DID NOT KNOW that it is considered piracy. I was naive, I thought piracy is when you make money out of the product. So I e-mailed Marta, apologize profusely. She forgave me (which was a great relief) and she became my first ever contact in the book world. She gave me tips and advise, ARCS and graced my site with an interview and sponsored contests. I will be forever grateful.

After Marta, I started researching for other reviewers. My first ever favorite was Darque Reviews and through her I discovered that I am not special! (LOL), there are probably millions of readers who are as passionate as I am in reading books, they decided to have a book blog too.

Advice on how to get ARCS?
I summon enough courage to e-mail the authors themselves. Compose an e-mail professionally and respectfully. Usually I get a reply from them directly and most of the time they refer me to their Assistant or publicist. It is not easy, sometimes you get one, sometimes you don't.

I met a lot of wonderful bloggers all through out my book blogging experience. My absence of a year and a half was painful but I had to do it for school. I missed reading so much, and I miss exchanging comments with the following people. I am extremely happy that they are still here and they are still a Tweet or an e-mail away if I have questions.

Bonded with her over Twitter, and been following her blog ever since. She is also the only book blogger friend that I've met in person. We were like two teenagers giddy to get autographs and take a photo with Lauren Kate (hehehe)

We worked with some other cool gals over at Smut Slut Sisterhood. Exchanged a bunch of twitter message and Facebook status comments. Even in my absence, we still kept in touch every now and then on Facebook. I love her witty comments.

Met her by following her blog and Twitter. I found out that we are both living in CA and that she have 5 kids. I keep wondering if she is Wonder Woman. I admire her as mother and as a book blogger.


Aside from being a paranormal junkie, she is also an awesome designer. I worked with her for some of my contest where in the winner would win a button or header designed by her. Which reminds me, I got to reconnect with her to get a design for my blog.

We bonded over our love of Vampire Academy, she gave me so much excitement about the series, every time I read the next book I go to her to review what happened in the book.

These wonderful book blogger, are always there for me. It is a great feeling knowing you know that there are people who share the same passion as you do. They are fun, awesome and reliable. Please make sure you follow their book blog and Twitter.

I have also met a lot of people from Twitter. Book blogger, PR, Authors and followers of my blog. I hope to meet more people now that I am back. Happy Thursday everyone.

CURRENT CONTEST: $50.00 Amazon Gift Card 
Read my ArmChairBEA: Who am I? How do I ArmChair?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Divergent by Veronica Roth

BLURB:
  • Pub. Date: May 2011
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
  • Format: Hardcover , 496pp
  • Sales Rank: 136
  • Age Range: Young Adult
Where I got my copy? B&N

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

REVIEW:
Last week I read a back to back dystopian novel, the first one was Enclave which I just reviewed, and right after that I immediately read this one, like Enclave this came highly recommended.

When I was reading the first three chapters it gave me an impression that I am reading a Utopian novel, but that is because I was only reading the part of Abnegation. I have to admit, I was bored, but then it picked up like I was hoping it would.

I love the words Roth used for her factions. It was impressive how she chose those words and weave it into a kingdom . Her main female character Beatrice was also impressive. I read this naive, confused and sometimes insecure skinny girl, grow into a heroine that I am expecting to follow. She passed each test with commendable attitude. She showed her enemy that she is not as fragile as they think. She is basically the description of bravery. The scenes were intense. Eric, the leader of Dauntless scares me. I think Four could be more impressive, he needs more character to match Tris'.


Their love story... honestly just something to made this book more interesting but I could do without it. It was the typical and predictable.The power hungry Erudite leader played the perfect villain for this world. She is smart and cruel. Someone that every fan hates. I hope she is as foul as President Snow. I am excited to read more about her. The plot in this story was very good, it was well planned. Roth made a really good debut on this book. I hope to read more of her work, especially the next book of this series.

Enclave by Ann Aguirre

BLURB:
  • Pub. Date: April 2011
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
  • Format: Hardcover , 272pp
  • Sales Rank: 39,053
  • Age Range: Young Adult
Where I got my copy? iBooks

New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20's. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters—or Freaks—who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight, in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs. As the two are guided by Fade’s long-ago memories, they face dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known.


REVIEW:
Dystopian novels started emerging ever since the success of Hunger Games. I love The Giver, but the story was too short, the others were just ok. As most of you know I was in hiatus for about a year and a half, so this book only came in as a recommendation from four of my book blog friends. They are never wrong, the back summary sounds amazing, the book trailer was the best, I only needed to read it and here's what I found.

Deuce lives in a post apocalyptic world underground where in arrogance and tyranny still has not left humanity. (Frankly I do not think it will ever go away even if the world we know would end like this) She is one of the hunters, one of the best judging from her skills. Outside her enclave and in the darkness, a flesh eating creature or zombie called Freaks which threaten to consume them. There are two kinds: the dumb freaks (traditional zombie, stupid) and the smart freak (zombie like creatures that has developed intelligence or as I call the the ninja zombie, like the ones they have in Resident Evil Afterlife). Like any other dystopian novel, Deuce and her fellow enclave born citizen, they were led to believe that the enclave and the underground civilization is the only ones left in the world. Then she met Fade, an outsider, an equally skilled hunter like her and claims he came from the topside. As soon as Deuce and Fade became partners a series of unfortunate events happen, and frankly, that's were all the fun starts.

It is a clever idea, I enjoyed reading it yet I have this nagging feeling that I have read something similar before. I love all the gory details. For me that showed the seriousness of their situation. I felt the depression, the desperation, the violence in their very disturbing way of life, unconventional way of thinking and the very short life span. it really made an impressions and I cannot wait for the next installment.

Monday, May 23, 2011

ArmChairBEA: Who am I? How do I ArmChair?

My name is Patricia and I am the reviewer here at Peace Love and Reviews. 
I've been reviewing books since 2009, was in hiatus for a year and a half and now I am back.
I started reading when I was in 4th grade. The kick off series was Sweet Valley High and when I felt like I need to move on to other genres, I started raiding my sisters' book shelf. I was then introduced to Sidney Sheldon, R.L Stein, Stephen King and Anne Rice. Most of them were inappropriate for my age but the country where I grew up, was not really big on enforcing these rules. I turned out ok, I think. 
KIDS! Do not follow my foot steps. Read something suitable for your age.
Aside from being a book addict, I am also a huge fan of movies and music. But that is another story.
I used to think that only chicklit and mystery can interest me, but now, I would read whatever piques my interest.


 This is me.

This is my eReader

RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME or MY BLOG:
1. Over the weekend, my friends and I went camping.
2. I finished reading Enclave while at camping. I can't put it down.
3. I am still whining about not making it to BEA.
4. I realized that this year is the year of the dystopian novel. (I know I am late)
5. I'd love a recommendation on what books I missed last year.
 6. I have a contest for $50.00 Amazon Gift Card
7. I am trying to read only 1 book a day instead of 2, so I can focus when I am at work.
8. I love my book blogger friends.
9. My favorite author this month is Chloe Neill and Ann Aguirre.
10. My blog needs a revamp design.
11. I still prefer a hard copy of the book instead of an eBook.
12. One of the reasons why I took break from school is so I could read a lot of books again. DO NOT TELL my husband!
13. I am 12 weeks preggers.

This is our family dog Sumo.
He is our living, breathing, pooping and peeing stuff animal.
We love him like a baby should be love.

This is my son, Gavyn with Sumo.

And this is me and my hubby.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Cannes Film Festival - LA PIEL QUE HABITO (THE SKIN I LIVE IN)


I love me some contender from Cannes, every year I look through their selection and choose the best one (for me), this year, I am itching to watch Antonio Bandera's Spanish movie where he plays surgeon (borderline psycho) who is trying to invent skin to save his wife. And to haunt down the person(s) who raped her daughter.
It screams awesome to me. I cannot wait ti get a hold of a copy or see it in the movies.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

MAY GIVEAWAY - $50.00 Gfit card

I've been away for so long and I've missed everybody and I wanted to meet more awesome book lovers.
Here's a giveaway to show my appreciation to everyone.

***CONTEST CLOSED***
+3 Old followers who will reblog or retweet about this contest, leave the link on the comment box.
+2 New follower.
+3 for every retweet.
+4 when I receive new comment from you on 1-2 of my review(s)

Please leave your e-mail when commenting.

Contest ends: June 15, 2011
Open for international participants. Winner will receive the gift card via e-mail.



What I am reading right now?

Enclave by Ann Aguirre
(What an awesome trailer!!!)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe by J. Randy Taraborrelli

BLURB:
  • Pub. Date: August 2009
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Format: Hardcover , 576pp 
Where I got my copy? National Bookstore, Philippines

When Norma Jeane Baker became famous as Marilyn Monroe in the 1950s, she said her mother, Gladys Baker, was either dead or not a part of her life, depending on the publicity campaign of the moment. However, neither was true. Marilyn's mentally ill mother was very much present in her world, and the complex family drama that unfolded behind the scenes is a story that has never before been told ... until now.

Here J. Randy Taraborrelli draws detailed portraits of the people so influential in Marilyn's life. He tells the heartbreaking story of a world-famous daughter dealing secretly with a parent's severe paranoid schizophrenia-and exposes the shocking scope of Marilyn's own mental deterioration. Taraborrelli also uncovers the identity of Marilyn's real father and the half-brother she never knew, as well as the truth about her relationship with the Kennedys-Jack, Bobby, and Pat Kennedy Lawford. Based on decades of new research and including the most complete filmography ever compiled, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe is the final word on one of the most fascinating and elusive legends of the twentieth century.

REVIEW:
I don't know what possess me to read Marilyn Monroe's biography. I do not even idolize her or pay attention to her that much. But one day, I decided, I am going to read up on her. It was one heck of a story the first two chapters, I was depressed, so I have to put it down. Yet I itch to find out how life was for her. From the innocent Norma Jean whose most relatives and guardians are irresponsible and selfish. Seriously her family history and background set her to doom. I think I would have set to the same path of mental illness if my life was like hers, whether or not my family has mental illness. I extremely dislike Grace, while it clearly showed that she did love her best friend daughter, she was not really the fit guardian. I mourn that Norma Jean was forced to leave Ida's care. I was shocked that Grace married of Norma Jean at 16, so she could be done with responsibilities of her. Her life story was tragic, from beginning till the end. All those glitter, all that beauty, the fame. It was all a fascade to what she is actually feeling inside. Now I understand, why people love her, until now even if she's been long gone.

Jennifer Lawrence = Katniss, I think it might work

Saw this on Parajunkee's FB status. My doubts have been diminished. I still want to see if she can act the part.

Dead Reckoning (Southern Vampire #11) by CHarlaine Harris

BLURB:
  • Pub. Date: May 2011
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Format: Hardcover , 336pp
  • Series: Sookie Stackhouse/Southern Vampire Series , #11 
Where I got my copy? A gift bought @ Amazon

With her knack for being in trouble's way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte's, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. Sookie suspects otherwise, but her attention is divided when she realizes that her lover Eric Northman and his child" Pam are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, Sookie is drawn into the plot-which is much more complicated than she knows...

REVIEW:
After the mellow story of book 10, and a very serious doubt that Charlaine Harris could write as good as she did before, I finally finished book 11. I was beginning to loose interest in Sookie's world and the first few chapters did not really offer any encouragement, it was dull and dragging. not until I read the part about the the cluviel dor and then the issue that is bothering Eric. I was glad that it offered more juice for me to keep going, I like the twist in Sookie's family background and excited on what she'dd dow with the object she inherited from her grandmother.

As far as the big battle goes,I ma glad that the local enemy is gone, yet I am so disappointed on the new relationship test between Eric and Sookie. It seems like eric is going to chose the path Appius made for him and that a great drama would take place.  But like what Sookie said, assumptions are bad. I am disappointed with Sookie's character though. It seems like she is still the Sookie that I've read from book 3-4. I guess I am looking for more daredevil or death defying characteristics. Like become a vampire already! Or learn self defense or something, I would love a new activity for her in between conflicts. Her waitressing and house cleaning should be toned down a little bit.

All in all, not bad, not at all. When's book 12 coming out?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sinner takes All: A Memoir of Love & Porn - Tera Patrick by Carrie Borzillo

BLURB:
  • Pub. Date: December 2009
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Format: Hardcover , 287pp 
Where I got my copy? B&N

Sinner Takes All is a sexy and deeply personal memoir in which Tera bares all about baring all. Tera discusses leaving home as a teen to work as an international fashion model, losing her virginity at age fourteen to a man twice her age, working as a nurse at a senior citizen's home, her on- and off-screen sexual escapades, and the emotional obstacles that she's had to overcome, including a strained relationship with her mother, deadbeat boyfriends, and a suicide attempt that led to a stint in a locked-down psych ward.

An honest and naked look at a one-of-a-kind life, Sinner Takes All is a riveting memoir of the making of a modern sex goddess.

REVIEW:
In case, some of you doesn't know, Tera Patrick is one of the biggest porn star of our time. I will not be a hypocrite, yes I know of porn and porn stars, I have more guy friends than girlfriends and the girlfriends that I have (and me) are not prejudice to porn, it is per se, a very graphic form of adult entertainment. Anyway, I am not here for that. I am here to review Tera Patrick's account of her life.

Now, I know when we hear of the term porn star, we immediately associate this with someone who was abused sexually when they were young, daddy issue, to support a drug habit, for the money, or what not. That may be the case for most, but for Tera, she said she just loves sex and the money is just an added incentive. And yes as I read through the book, that is exactly what I saw. A women who knows what she wants and did not regret it. Sure there were negative attributions that came in with the profession. The tell all tale is really what it is. A story from her childhood, her young and brief modeling job overseas, her first time, and her many sexual adventures, and all her life problems. As memoir goes, this is the first that I cannot put down. Usually at the middle a life story would offer some boring nondescript details but hers was riveting till the end. I would love to meet her. She was a strong person with a good sense of humor. it was really more than what I expected.

Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vamps 4) by Chloe Neill

BLURB:
Chicago is beset by supernatural tensions, and Merit-vampire protector of a safe haven called Cadogan house-is worried that the humans will be reaching for their pitchforks any minute. It doesn't help that yet another vampire rave is broken up by the mayor, and a new inhibition- reducing drug is circulating through the community.
It's up to Merit to put her house in order-literally. And if that takes getting a little blood on her hands, so be it.

REVIEW:
I was very excited on the coming out of Hard Bitten, I was more excited on its return than the new Sookie Stackhouse book. Weird but true, I have chosen Merit instead of Eric this time. How could I not! The last book left me hanging; all those tension, frustration and action just couldn't sate my hunger for this series, even if a year has passed. Chicagoland Vampires is probably the only one left of the vampire lore books that I follow, that gives me that giddy feeling.

I love love love this book. I like how Merit has progressed from whiny vampire newbie to a serious house Sentinel. I was expecting the heavy drama and emotional petting that I would get from Merit and Ethan. I was not disappointed, I think I like the chase better, it leaves more excitement and anticipation.But nothing, could have ever prepared me for the ending. I was so distraught, as a person still in mourning of a friend, I understood it very well. When that WTF?! Did that just happened? scene happened, a slew of curses and a tear (seriously, I am a loser) was loose. Everything was doing so great. The Perp for the V drug was captured, the mastermind revealed. Ok well except for the demerits and file given to Merit and a receiver for the Cadogan house, but still that all seems to be a piece of cake compared to what had happened. For a brief second, I hated Chloe Neill, but now I am more excited on what's to come. I would love to think that they is a way to reverse all this, some form of magic or some reincarnation. A fan can only dream...


Friday, May 13, 2011

Movie: Student Services

REVIEW:
Student Services is a French movie with English subtitle. Laura  (Deborah Francois) is an 18 year old college student studying to be a language translator. She is a prostitute. The first part of the film shot Laura standing up in classto possible go to the bathroom, but she fainted. This then explains that laura was unable to make ends meet, no money to buy food, no money to come up with 50% of her rent and no money to pay for any bills. While she has a job it was not enough, in desperation she answered an ad for female companion. She then became a prostitute.


It was a classic tale of a college student needing extra money for school expenses, clothing, rent and food. While I would love to say that Laura's story was an exagerration, I know for a fact that it is happening, and not only in France but to other countries as well. I bare witness to this oldest trade in the world. My freshmen in college, I met two friends who moonlight as prostitutes at night so they can pay for their school and other expenses. They did not really go into details on how they started, all I was told are the arrangement that they have with their clients. It was not pretty. They were straight A students. When you look at them, you'll peg them as innocent. I understood why they did it. When I asked them, aren't you afraid that i am going to judge you? They said they do not care. They are not doing it to sustain a drug habit, nor have daddy issue, or was not raped when they were younger. It is not the career that they will stay it, it was something for them to get by. Laura's story reminds me so much on those two people I met in college. They have similar douchebag ex-boyfriends who took advantage of their vulnurability, and treat them like their profession. I guess they could have find something better but it was the path they've chosen.

It was a good indie movie, typical story line with good dialogue. It goes without saying that this movie is not for children.
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