Fablehaven has become one of my favorite and recommended series to lovers of Middle-Grade books. It's got everything from unicorns to adventure to deaFablehaven has become one of my favorite and recommended series to lovers of Middle-Grade books. It's got everything from unicorns to adventure to death to sarcasm. I really enjoyed Fablehaven, much more than I thought I would!...more
The Dressmakers is one of my favorite regency romance series. And while I am usually hesitant to read the sequels in series, I did not hesitate to reaThe Dressmakers is one of my favorite regency romance series. And while I am usually hesitant to read the sequels in series, I did not hesitate to read Ms. Chase's latest offering because based on experience from the second book, I know I'll only be happy with the book.
As a dress aficionado, I admit that one of my fascinations with the story are the gowns. Since I'm not an expert on regency-period dresses, I try to visualize what the author is trying to convey, and most of the time, I get excited. I hope Loretta publishes photos of her imaginary dress collections, and I think that will only make me love the story more!
In Vixen in Velvet, we are brought along to the charming and delicious discovery by Leonie and Simon of love. I like that there wasn't any complicated denial of their feelings. I like the discovery of both male and female protagonists, and I like that they seemed really suited to each other. There was instant attraction, but no foolish declarations of love. I like that it wasn't a case of insta love, and that I saw their gradual ascent into adoration for each other. I like that while Simon wasn't the silent but strong type, he knew how to handle Leonie's temper, and he was able to respect her whenever she said she was busy with work.
I especially like the Noirot sisters because they literally came from nothing and have built themselves up successfully through hard work and ambition. As Leonie is the last unmarried female, her fears about their beloved shop were reasonable. I was slightly disappointed that the husbands of her sisters Marcelline and Sophie became concerned about their running of the shop, even though they said the wives will still have free rein over it. But I suppose that in keeping with the rules of the ton and their elevated station, something had to give. That issue was deftly solved by Ms. Chase, and I, as a 21st century woman, became even more curious about the ways of the ton.
All in all, by the time I was finished, I was feeling very happy that I finally got to read Vixen in Velvet and that it was everything I hoped it would be. If you're a fan of regency romance and dresses and strong female protagonists, I really recommend The Dressmakers series :)...more
There's a new author I'm watching out for in this town...
I knew I was hooked when I realized I felt involved in the story. I attribute that to the firThere's a new author I'm watching out for in this town...
I knew I was hooked when I realized I felt involved in the story. I attribute that to the first person POV used in the story. Sidekick is right up my alley, with its (not so witty) banter, really adorkable love interest, interesting friends, fighting against crime, and crazy heroine-in-training. I love strong female characters, and while Bremy was not necessarily physically strong, heck, she does keep getting in the way of other people
What I didn't like was that Bremy was such a chatterbox. But then again, as she was told, her strength was getting in the way of other people's business. She has such a flair for dramatics. I like that even though she was just some barbie glitzy doll in her teen years, she toughened up and left her very cushy life behind. I like that she has principles, and she really wanted to do what's right.
I was caught up in the whirlwind story of Sidekick. It was definitely fast-paced, with one action after another. Before I knew it, I was done with the book, and hoping there were more to the pages, or at least a sneak peek.
The downtime was the sweet dates and phone calls between Bremy and hunky Pierce. I like how Pierce isn't your typical stoic dude who is as suave as they come. He's sort of bumbling around Bremy, and I really felt his attraction to her.
One thing I didn't like about Sidekick were some loose ends that were unaddressed or which only gave rise to more questions. I definitely hope there will be a continuation to the story, and that this will have at least three to four books more.
If you're into kick-ass funny heroines, I really recommend Sidekick for a fun afternoon :)...more
I am so happy to be talking about Carlo Vergara's Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady (How I Became Leading Lady). Carlo Vergara has fast became one ofI am so happy to be talking about Carlo Vergara's Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady (How I Became Leading Lady). Carlo Vergara has fast became one of my must-buys and must-read authors since I started reading Zsazsa Zaturnnah (warning: for mature readers only). Anne Plaza, author of In Over Her Head, was the one who recommended the book to me.
His vein of writing of fantasy superheroes continues with Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady. Mely finds herself working for a group of international superheroes and becomes one of their biggest supporters as she is the one who does the everyday tasks that enables the superheroes to concentrate on saving the world.
As with Zsazsa Zaturnnah, Vergara introduced an unlikely heroine in the form of everyday, ordinary Mely, who is almost an old maid at the time of the story. I bought this in National Bookstore last February, but I've put it off until last April. The story was surprisingly engaging, beautiful, funny, with the right amount of humor. It was also heart-wrenching, and unlike other stories where the villainy is one-sided, I was able to somewhat empathize with the nemesis and her reasoning.
Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady is the adaptation of the one-act play. Since I started blogging, I've discovered the beauty of short stories and one-acts, and instead of faulting the story for making me frustrated by the lack of more pages, I actually look at it as a credit. And Carlo Vergara has perfected this craft of leaving me hanging and wanting for more and more of his stories, whether from his naughty gay superheroine and Zaturnnah's double-entendre lover Dodong, or from Mely.
Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady is fast-paced but much is already packed in this short story. But the flow of the story-telling runs so smoothly that I didn't even realize it has 72 pages. I know this is a one-act play or short story, but I hope Vergara finds it in himself to provide the next installment (and soon!) for Mely's escapades.
Note: Recommended for mature readers, and contains dialogues in Filipino.
**Quickstop Tuesdays is a feature in My Book Musings where I review books/comic books/graphic novels that have less than 200 pages, on Tuesdays....more
It's been a while since I read a historical romance book, and I'm so glad I read Meredith Duran's Fool Me Twice. This is the third book I've read fromIt's been a while since I read a historical romance book, and I'm so glad I read Meredith Duran's Fool Me Twice. This is the third book I've read from the author, and so far I have always been enthralled by her stories!
Fool Me Twice's plot is not an original, but I didn't think about tropes, or overused plots, or whatnots while reading. Meredith Duran has managed to make me care for the Duke of Marwick and want him for myself in 384 pages. The Duke of Marwick was alpha without overbearing, or protective without being dangerous, possessive without being creepy. He was full of self-loathing, and I liked the line of reasoning why he did so, and how a man such as he, he who prided himself on his accomplishments, found out that all along he was dancing to the strings of an expert, devious puppeteer. If I was in his shoes, I would have been in despair as well.
Although I'm not totally able to relate to Olivia, I liked her. I empathize with strong female characters, and I liked that even though she became vulnerable due to her love for the duke, she was still strong and firm in her decisions and actions without being irritating. I also admired her tenacity and courage, and for being truly kind. She was the underdog, but one that you need not have pitied. And I like that she wasn't shy about the passion between them.
Some historical romance books err on the side of being too hot or being all of romance, or even bland, but Meredith found the right balance between romance and stoking the embers for passionate scenes. The plot was nothing new but the story was exciting, and the twists and turns about the story kept me engaged. Fool Me Twice was written so well, I stayed way past my bedtime just to finish it.
On the side of being historical, well there wasn't much reference to the history of England or the nobilities, actually, so if you like your historical romance to have, well, much historical info, you might be dissatisfied with this one. There wasn't even much allusion to fashion of that times. But with this story, I didn't mind, and it didn't feel lacking anyway.
Honestly, I erased almost all regency romance books in my tablet one day because I was getting tired of the genre, but Fool Me Twice has managed to revive my interest.
Can you recommend new, good regency romance books? :)...more
My sister has been telling me about The Mysterious Benedict Society, telling me it's a pretty good book and one she thinks I'll enjoy. And she's rightMy sister has been telling me about The Mysterious Benedict Society, telling me it's a pretty good book and one she thinks I'll enjoy. And she's right. The book was marvelous!
I was so amazed by how Trenton Lee Stewart created such a book with a lot of puzzles. I wonder how he was able to conceptualize that puzzle room and the test questions. I'm somehow half-convinced that he's Mr. Benedict himself! ;) I'm so interested to see the book turned into a movie, because I'm not very creative so I'd like to see if my interpretation of the book in my mind's eye while reading was correct.
The reasoning behind the plot is the same with other Middle Grade books is the usual: children are the ones needed to save the day because of their innocence/pureness, the like. I consider this Middle Grade rather than YA because the children are nowhere near their teens (I think?) and one was even a toddler during the whole fiasco! What brought the kids together was not because they aced the tests but because of their unique characteristics that Mr. Benedict insisted would be perfect for the plan, and because they were all alone, in various interpretations of the word.
The children had to fight against the brainwashing of the nation through the hands of the mysterious Mr. Curtain. I'm surprised that such an adult concept was mixed with children, but I guess that's part of the appeal to older readers. Since I believe in subliminal messages and that it, in fact, takes place through our media, it was interesting to read about a fictionised take on how it is carried out (but gosh I hope Mr. Curtain's Whisperer is not real!).
Reynie Muldoon stood out as sort of the leader, not just because he was smart but also because he had this aura of decisiveness that I think children look for as guidance. Kate Wetherall's penchant for acrobatics and bringing along tools was very entertaining. Sticky Washington's very absorbent mind was very useful. And Constance Contraire...well, what she brought to the table will be revealed in the end, and it's too good to spoil for you. I like that the children weren't your run-of-the-mill kid heroes, or had that "hero complex" where they believe that they are the ones to save the world. I like that they were conflicted with their own base desires while trying to succeed in their mission. I do wonder that in a place that big with so many kids, how come they were the only ones who got headaches? It would have been great if there were issues where a kid's head would suddenly ache, and Reynie and the others would have seen the consequences. Also, if the Executives and Messengers watched like a hawk, how come no one noticed their headaches? Plus, for a man who liked to have total control, there was no mention of cameras and listening devices in LIVE.
The Mysterious Benedict Society wasn't perfect, and I had a lot of questions, but they all pale in comparison to my enjoyment of the book. I only had an ebook copy, and I almost didn't want to finish it because I immediately wanted to buy a hardbound copy of the whole set - and that's just after reading three chapters! The bookstore I went to ran out of copies so I have to postpone my reading of the series because I really want my own copy of the whole set.
I think I just discovered another series worth fangirling over. If you're also into Middle Grade books, puzzles, and adventure, you might find The Mysterious Benedict Society your cup of tea. :-)