WISHLIST TAG

Book Outlet is having a $5 off coupon today until the 14th so I figured, this is as good a time as any to post this tag. The code is TAKE5OFF, no minimum purchase – but you have to spend $35 to get free shipping. But hey, $5 off is pretty much free shipping because that’s the flat rate price for any purchase below $35. Anyway, on with the post!


I’m not so good with wishlists. I have them but no one really buys me stuff off of those wish lists. Besides, I put them there so I can buy them myself at a later date. Usually, I’m the only one who knows where to get that item the cheapest – or where to get it at all.

I hope one day my friends and/or family would think of checking out my wishlist. Not that I really care. Like I said, I can take care of it. It just gives me a bit of anxiety… what if they’ll think me strange once they see what’s on there. My wishlists tend to be so niche-y and highly specific. It’s the collector in me.

Pick the two books you most want to purchase/receive at this moment.

I saw Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh at Target the other day and the dedication had “엄마” on it or something. And immediately, I became more interested that I already was. Also, I literally just purchased The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson. I used the Book Outlet code above. I needed a hardback edition to complete my set (I bought books 1 and 3 hardback last week, also from Book Outlet). The book itself was $4.29. With the code, it’s essentially free… with $5 shipping.


Pick a book that you have wanted for the longest time.

Here’s the only wishlist that I actually care about — my Jane Eyre list. Especially the Fine edition.


Pick a sequel or companion story that you want to own.

I tend to complete series before even starting them. XD I’m currently trying out NA fiction where everything is a companion story. But I mostly get those on ebook or audio. So I guess, The Burning World by Isaac Marion, the sequel to Warm Bodies. I’ve been wanting to buy it since it came out but for some reason, I just never picked it up.


Pick an entire series (or boxed set) that you want to get your hands on.

I am notorious for acquiring an entire series before even reading the first book. I want to be able to have the option to marathon a book series – even though most of the time, I don’t do that. But lately, I’ve been thinking about finally jumping on the wagon of the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Time and time again, I would ask my brother, “Is it worth it to read Cinder?” And every time, he would reply, “I liked it. I don’t know if you would.” I probably ask him this at least twice a year. Probably when Winter is released in paperback. We’ll see.


Pick a book from a favorite author of yours that you want to own.

I’m “current” with a lot of my favorite authors. At least, those books that I know will interest me.


Pick a popular book that you want on your shelves.

I was at Target this afternoon and I finally physically touched a copy of Heartless by Marissa Meyer. I’m sure you already know how gorgeous the naked book is, right? While my heart also wants the UK edition, I want that naked book on my shelf. I think I may also want A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury in hardcover. I have A Court of Wings and Ruin in the Target hardcover special. I did wait for the paperback release of ACOMAF but I think I’ll be keeping this trilogy on my shelves and they don’t match. Sigh. Years ago, this wouldn’t have bothered me. XD


Pick a book that you just recently decided that you wished to own.

A good chunk of my “to-read” list on GoodReads are books that I already own but have not read. But on my last Kinokuniya run, I saw a couple of Japanese fiction books that interested me a lot; the latest being Orbital Cloud by Taiyo Fujii. I would also like a physical copy of Schoolgirl by Osamu Dazai.


Pick a book that is either in the mail or you are going to purchase next.

I am going to pre-order Warcross by Marie Lu soon. Mainly because the pre-order promo comes with a short story… Day’s POV of the ending of Champion. I am NOT ready for that. And also, Marie Lu is in my auto-buy list. But I’m waiting for her book tour schedule to see if she’s either stopping by somewhere near to me or if not, I’ll pre-order a signed copy from one of the stops.


Pick a hidden gem novel that you would like to read.

… how would I know that it’s a hidden gem when I haven’t read it or heard about it yet? 😉 So… I don’t know. What do you recommend?


Finally, pick a new release you really want to have.

I’m not much into new releases. I do have quite a few because there was a time when there were so many author events in a span of a few weeks and there were pre-order swag that I wanted. I’m not really updated when it comes to new releases either. But I’d probably would want a copy of The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro, the sequel to A Study in Charlotte. Preferably signed. 😉

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See, when it comes to books, I’m easy. If it’s signed, I’ll be interested. If it’s way discounted, I may pick it up. I’m a sucker for free Kindle books even though I’m never going to read them.

My anime-related wishlist is far longer than this one, trust me. An anime tag would look so much messier and all over the place. XD Hmm, maybe I’ll do that too… as a hint to my friends and family. That is, if I don’t buy them all first.

 

WRAP-UP | JUNE 2017

I apologize for the delay. I blame Anime Expo for that. I’m still on a post-con high. It was the best show so far and I’m so happy to have experienced it. It did get in the way of my reading towards the end of June but I still managed to have a good reading month. I discovered a new favorite and I may have found my preferred NA subgenre. *wink*

Now that the first half of the year has passed (really guys, JUNE is still a part of the first half of the year), I’m looking forward to reading more of what’s on my shelf, getting through more series, and making a dent on my ebook collection. See I didn’t put “buy less books” on there. I realized that I’m okay with buying books. I only buy when I really truly want something and then the other books are just there for free shipping. I feel another unhaul coming up so we’ll see how that goes.

TOTAL BOOKS READ: 10.

  • Digital Fortress by Dan Brown. I finally got to this book. And I have to say, it’s my least favorite Dan Brown to date. I thought it was just because it was on audio and I wasn’t giving my full attention to it. But I got lost so many times even though I was focused. I questioned a lot of their motives and a lot of it didn’t make sense. At least now, with the exception of the YA re-release of The Da Vinci Code, I can say that I have read all of Dan Brown’s published books. 3/5 stars.
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. More Azriel. Absolutely no Tamlin. I must say, this is not a “good book” but it is a good read. A guilty pleasure read. I don’t line SJM’s bland writing and her plot lines are so convoluted. But her characters have a life of their own. I love the Inner Circle and Azriel is Otabek Altin in my head. The sex scenes are like reading some Explicit fanfiction off Archive Of Our Own. Just… wow. Take that as you want – positively or negatively. 3.5/5 stars.
  • Another Episode S/0 by Yukito Ayatsuji. This is a companion novel to Another. It’s basically a conversation between Mei and Sakakibara about an incident that Mei experienced that linked to the strange events of the first book. It’s rather slow and I was ready to give it less than 5 stars but the ending happened. And yes, it deserved all the stars. 5/5 stars.
  • Black Butler, Volume 10 by Yana Toboso. I just realized why this arc was so familiar. It’s basically following And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. Our characters are trapped in the Phantomhive manor while a storm rages outside. Then one by one, a killer picks off the people in the manor. I loved this arc. Especially Finny’s tribute to Sebastian. My  heart! 4/5 stars.
  • Him by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy. New favorite alert! I breezed through this book in 24 hours. I loved it so much. Jamie and Wesley are hot and adorable and I was rooting for them so hard. And I realized that I love m/m romances – of course when done right. And this was done so right. 5/5 stars. More, if possible.
  • Girls und Panzer: Little Army, Volumes 1 &2 illustrated by Tsuchii. This is a prequel about how Miho got into Tankery and how she met her first in Middle School also through Tankery. I actually own all the Girls und Panzer manga. I love this anime. This prequel, not so much. I gave both 3 stars each. Although, I wouldn’t mind to see an anime for this.
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I finally read something by this author. On audio. I think I may need to re-read this in book form. The writing is great but it didn’t grip me. I kept waiting for the race to happen and… it didn’t. Sort of. I’m not quite sure. The pair of narrators did a good job but like I said, my mind wasn’t there. It’s the writing that kept me going. Yeah, I’ll get a copy of this and re-read it eventually. 4/5 stars.
  • Girls und PanzerVolume 1. I was so excited to read this. Girls und Panzer is now one of my favorite anime. I have almost all of the Petit Nendoroid figures from my extraordinary luck at grab boxes. I’m surprised to see that this is told in Yukari’s POV. I can’t wait to get to the rest. 4/5 stars.
  • Us by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy. I had to. Oh god, this was so cute. All the new characters are so precious. Jamie is a darling. I felt so many feelz. All of them are 5 stars.

STATS:

  • 3235 pages
  • 4 manga and 2 audio books

Yes, I bought them both. And the Funko Pop Draco Malfoy pen topper. I saw this marked as a “Hot Topic exclusive” but I bought this at Target way before I saw it at Hot Topic. *shrugs* Unfortunately, I haven’t re-read this yet. I know I said I would but I don’t know what it is about me and re-reading. I suddenly remember everything about that book once I start reading it. Eh, someday maybe. Hopefully.

I thought I was doing good with my book buying. Until I wrote everything down. Oh dear. Continue reading

2017 MID-YEAR BOOK FREAKOUT TAG

I wanted to post this when June officially is over – when it is truly midway through the year – but looking at my current reads and upcoming schedule, it’s not going to make a difference whether I do it now or later. I’m almost done with a light novel and an audio book and neither are to write home about. Also, starting tomorrow – June 30 – I’ll be in Anime Expo mode until the 4th of July. I am excite!

Here is my last year’s post – 2016 Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag. I definitely read more this year with better diversity in genre and media. I’ve also made better book-buying choices. I’ve missed a couple of good sales even with the new free shipping option from Book Outlet and crazy deals from Better World Books and Thriftbooks. I became more excited about author events. Overall, this is shaping up to be a better reading year than the last.

As of this posting, I’ve read a total of 69 books and “currently reading” 3.

1. Best Book You’ve Read Yet in 2017
I’ve seen many bloggers and booktubers give multiple answers to this so I’m giving two: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson and Battle Royale by Koushun Takami. They’re brilliant in their own way. One has such a rich world that sucks you in from page one. The other has so much action that rivals even the goriest movies. I

2. Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2016
Spiral by Koji Suzuki, hands down. It’s my favorite out of the Ring series even though I rated it a star lower than the first one. I think it’s more twisted than Ring in a more psychological way vs actual ghost horror.

3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To
I pre-ordered a signed copy of Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab but I somehow got sort of spoiled for the ending so I’m not leaping through fire to read it right away. I don’t mind… at least I’m ready LOL. Also, A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas. I’m not the biggest fan of this series but it became sort of a guilty pleasure. I’m not really on top of new releases.

4. Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year
I have two: Warcross by Marie Lu. I am waiting for her tour schedule so I can either go (if they include Vroman’s Pasadena) or pre-order a signed copy. And Origin by Dan Brown. At this point, I’ve read all of his published work and he’s definitely one of my auto-buy authors, especially his Robert Langdon series.

5. Biggest Disappointment
No, it’s not Caraval by Stephanie Garber. Frankly, I never expected much from it based on the reviews from people I trust. The “honor” goes to The Grisha trilogy – or whatever it’s called now – by Leigh Bardugo. And this was tough. I met her at a book signing and I had a sort of signed bookplate (a Post-It, really) from her for Six of Crows. She was nice. The Grisha trilogy was so very hyped even years after the series ended. It almost sent me to a reading slump. I would put down the second book and have absolutely no desire to pick it back up. I didn’t like any of the main characters, especially Mal. I’ve been told that the Six of Crows duology is way better and I’m hoping it is. I also want to read her Wonder Woman book so I haven’t given up on her work.

6. Biggest Surprise
Not so much a book but a book format. Audio books. I’ve resisted for the longest time but I think I’ve found my niche. I love listening to mystery thrillers on audio. I’ve gone through most of James Rollins‘ back list through audio and loved it. I’m getting my audio books through Hoopla Digital. I mean, it still takes me ages to decide which book to listen to but I think I am getting the hang of listening to spoken word. After all, I love me some podcasts. It works for me because I do actually walk to work and that’s a little under an hour. Then I can just have it playing while I work. It’s not as immersive as reading words off a page but with the right narrator, it can be.

I could also say Him and Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy but I already know that I have a soft spot for m/m fiction… if my intake of yaoi fan fiction is any indication. 😉 Continue reading

#T5W | Hate-to-Love

This week, we are talking about Hate to Love ShipsBe aware of possible SPOILERS.

Okay, so this week’s list will be a bit half-assed. I’m currently in total planning mode for Anime Expo 2017 happening this weekend until Tuesday, 4th of July. They just announced the event schedules for the creators of Yuri!!! ON ICEMitsurou Kubo and Sayo Yamamoto and frankly, I’m freaking out. I’m looking at my July 1 plans and I’m low-key overwhelmed, a bit anxious, but so very excited. I never planned this extensively for any conventions but this year looks so jam packed.

(If you don’t know what Yuri!!! ON ICE is then you must remedy that right now. If you’re bitching about the book community’s lack of diversity, this anime will answer all your woes. It has LGBTQ+ themes, cultural diversity, mental illness, characters of different ages, races, species, love, life, friendship… everything!)

Hate-to-love ships. I thought this would be an easy list but as I looked through my shelves, either I haven’t read that many romances or I just don’t care about ships much. I tend to be more invested in screen ships – TV, anime, film – than book ships. I actually consider book ships more canon, if that makes any sense. Once the ink is dry, it’s official… something like that. But I managed to compose a decent list. I’m just so distracted right now with the AX2017 planning situation.

(By the way, who’s going to Anime Expo? Comment down below if you are.)

JANE EYRE & MR. ROCHESTER. Jane Eyre.
You can take your Mr. Darcy, I don’t care. I’m #TeamRochester all the way. These two have such a cat and mouse relationship. She’s no damsel in distress. His terms of endearment come in the form of insults. She honestly blurts out that he is not handsome. He teases her every chance he gets. But you know – YOU KNOW – that they have feelings for each other. It’s just that both of them are stubborn as hell.

MUSTANG & DARROW, Red Rising trilogy.
Now, Darrow “hated” Mustang at first because of she is one of the Golds. Darrow, a Red, hates that level of society as a whole. He kind of just lumps everyone in there just because. But later on, he gets to know Mustang. Mustang admires Darrow but from the outside, she had to keep up appearances, having to come from an esteemed family. They eventually find an ally in one another.

YAEL & LUKA, Wolf by Wolf duology.
Picture a world where Hitler and the Nazis won. She’s Jewish. He’s Aryan. They don’t even need to talk to hate each other. But when you experience something traumatic together, a special bond is going to form. I was rooting for these two characters from the first time they met. Yael is a strong female character and Luka is this arrogant yet goofy boy with a serious side. Sigh. My feelz!

JUNE & DAY, Legend trilogy.
Same with the above entries, these two hate each other by virtue to their social status. June is rich, Day is poor. June is the darling of the Republic while Day is Public Enemy Number One. Then they start to get to know each other, working with one another, and understanding where the other is coming from. Both of them eventually see the good in each other. The ending of this trilogy killed me. These two killed my feelz.

And I give in, guys. FEYRE & RHYSAND, A Court of Mist and Fury trilogy.
I knew from the get-go that these two will be the main ship of the series. Tamlin was just too unlikable to bear. This is a one-sided “hate” since it was only Feyre who disliked Rhysand. He’s been in love with her from the moment they met. And he’s so nice to her… granted I’ve only read the first two books. Rhysand’s Inner Circle is probably the best group of people in Fantasy YA in a long time. Everyone supports each other and all of them are likable. And I love how SJM handled this ship… I was convinced that Tamlin is going to be the one; I was ready to hate. But I felt like this change happened organically. I really like it.


This took four hours to type out, in between me doing actual work and Anime Expo stressing and planning. I hope you guys have a good rest of the week and an awesome Fourth of July weekend. I know I will.

TOP TEN TUESDAYS | Best of 2017 So Far

When I reviewed the topics for this month weeks ago, I thought to skip this topic. But when I saw that TTT is going on hiatus until August 15, I had to do it.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is the Top Ten Books You’ve Read in 2017 So Far.

I admit, I honestly thought that I will have a hard time with this topic. So far, I’ve finished 69 books – most of them manga and other sequential art. I remember liking most of what I read. Loving them is another story. I went through my Read list and had to check again just to make 10. Sigh. I hope the second half of 2017 is better.


The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson.
The first book in the Mistborn trilogy and the first book that I finished this year. The Mistborn trilogy is my series of the year, meaning I will read the books throughout the year just as long as I finish the entire thing by December 31. I’ve only read the first one so far. I love it. It’s a nice gateway from YA to Adult Fantasy. It actually feels more YA Fantasy because Vin is in that YA age, the language and world-building is very easy to follow even with how complicated it is and how many characters are in it. It’s an awesome book. I can’t wait to continue on with the rest.Orange manga series by Ichigo Takano.
Team Suwa forever! This manga series moved me. I loved everything about it in every format it came in. Anime, print, live action… it’s all perfection. I sincerely urge you to watch it or read it. It’s a 5-volume finished series about a group of friends in present day, coming together on the birthday of a friend they lost ten years ago. Then they write letters to their younger self, asking them to please save that friend in their own parallel universe. It’s not the best explanation but trust me, it will hit you in all the feelz… even those you didn’t know existed. Continue reading

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone turns 20

(I’m not from the UK or Canada. Thus, Sorcerer’s.)

Twenty years ago, we were introduced to The Boy Who Lived. Our eyes were opened to a magical world; a world that we wished were real. We’re no longer “normal people”. We became “muggles”. Or if you’re stubborn, you refused to be called a muggle. 

Twenty years ago, a little book was released. Twenty years later, this little book has changed the world and the lives of so many. 

Thank you, JK Rowling for sharing your world with the rest of us. It made us laugh, love, cry, fight, dream, and fly. Through this fandom, I made such good friends. It strengthened my relationship with my family. I learned how to enjoy life more. 

I was tempted to purchase all of the existing covers but… maybe when I own my own house. 😉 Pictured here are the ones I have: the illustrated version, the Filipino translated version, my Slytherin pride hard cover, my original copy that I bought in 2002, and a VHS copy of the first movie signed by Daniel Radcliffe and Chris Columbus.

I do have the Slytherin paperback on the way. And I also have the Scholastic hardcover. And these Funko. I tried to resist but I just had to get there. Dobby was hanging out with my LOTR ones at the shelf below though. 

I don’t think this celebration requires so many words. I owe this book series so much. My childhood revolved around this. Even my adulthood was affected so greatly. If ever I’ll be blessed with my own children, I will definitely introduce Harry and his friends to them. And yes, even Voldemort.

“Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.” – Albus Dumbledore.

What is your Hogwarts house? Pottermore-based, okay. I’m Gryffindor everywhere but Pottermore placed me in Slytherin. A very wise choice. Do add me at Pottermore, if you so desire. PhoenixSword207 is my name.

WRAP-UP | SPRING [3/21/17 through 6/20/17]

Check out my WINTER wrap-up here. 

I read 38 things during the Spring season. I don’t know but that felt entirely too short. We had crazy weather here; one day it’s in the 90s then the next day, it’s 30 degrees colder. We had rainy days then incredibly humid ones with 0% precipitation. I never wore my spring cardigans or boots because the day would start out cold then would end super warm. It was unpredictable. Just like my reading.

I read a lot of manga. As of today’s count, I’ve read 35 sequential art books vs 31 actual novels. Not sorry. I just got the whole collection of Girls und Panzer manga yesterday and I have the rest of Black Butler to read. Not a lot of audio books this time. I started/continued some well-loved YA series and dipped my feet into New Adult. I thought it would be easy to narrow down the list to five favorite titles but strangely, I found it easier to list down the books that I did not like. But most of these, I’m just okay.

So here’s a list of 5 titles that I liked this season and 3 that were disappointing.

  • Uzumaki by Junji Ito. I have the deluxe edition so I read all three volumes in one sitting. And oh boy, it was so intense. It got better as it went along and the art style is yet another aspect that made it so horrific. It scared me so much that I think I am now terrified of snails. Yup. I will definitely pick up his other works in the future. For sure.
  • Train Man by Hitori Nakano. An otaku meets a pretty girl on the train and decides to let his online buddies know about his progress with her. The book is told in message board format… think Reddit. It is just so cute! I was rooting for Train Man since his first post and I was just so happy with the events. There’s a live action adaptation of this that I have yet to watch but I will.
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I literally finished this yesterday but I’m putting it here not just because the book was very good, the writing is spectacular. It’s so lyrical and magical. This is my first Stiefvater read and if The Raven Cycle also has these writing aspects, gimme it!
  • The Kill Switch and War Hawk by James Rollins and Grant Blackwood. I’m putting these together because I’m loving this series as a whole. Tucker and Kain is an awesome team. And I enjoyed listening to this. The narrator uses a different voice for those in the dog’s point of view. And I have a rather hot image of Tucker in my head, just sayin’. I hope they write more about these two. And Jane. 🙂
  • Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy. I read this in cumulatively 24 hours. Oh boy, yes please. This was a surprise. Well, not really. I enjoy slash and yaoi fiction and this book is an m/m New Adult and it was so hot. Wes and Jamie are so adorable. I want more of them.

Now for the three that were disappointing. It’s sad because two of these are in my most anticipated reads list.

  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber. This was painful. Oh so painful. And that sucks because I was excited for this book. I met the author and she is so darling! I received a swag bag. But I didn’t like it one bit.
  • Loop by Koji Suzuki. My least favorite from the Ring series. I mean, it’s not bad but I wasn’t into the storyline as much as I was in the first two. This sort of rewrote and disregarded the sequence of events from Ring and Spiral. But it cemented the fact that Sadako is really not the main character of this series. It’s just scarier to portray a girl with long black hair than an older and fatter office worker man.
  • The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. I binge read this and it almost put me into a reading slump. I wanted to DNF Siege and Storm so bad but I wanted to get to the final one. I did not enjoy this trilogy at all. I didn’t care for Alina and Mal (geez step aside, boy). I wanted more Nikolai, David, and Genya. I now feel a bit apprehensive but I’m still moving forward with my Six of Crows marathon.

So it’s summer now. Happy Summer Solstice!