#T5W | B-Team Romance

This week, we are talking about Favorite Side Ships.

Or what my brother and I call “B-Team Romance”.  I can mention so many of these from anime. Who knows, maybe one or two will be on this list. It’s basically relationships that does not include the main character of the story. I am only including canon ships here so be warned of SPOILERS.

So technically, Ron/Hermione can be a side ship since Harry is the very main character but I personally consider Ron and Hermione main characters too. That is one of my very favorite ships and I am willing to fight anyone who says they should’ve ended up with different people. I know that even JKR is not a fan but this is a good example of characters having a life of their own. Fleur/Charlie is more side ship-y to me. Arthur/Molly, even. James/Lily. (Fun fact: I used to write James/Lily fics exclusively when I was in high school.)

Anyway, here’s my list… and some honorable mentions. Because I tend to like side ships more than the main ones. 😉

AZU & HAGITA, Orange.
While I am very firmly a lifetime member of #TeamSuwa, I was rooting for these two misfits the whole time. Hagita is that one odd and awkward friend in the group while Azu is the social butterfly. Even their friends are pairing them together. They are pairing themselves up. Hagita once invited Azu to train with him for the school race and Azu is always picking on Hagita. Although, she was the one who said that Hagita looked like an angel without his glasses… which I tend to agree.

ALUCARD / RHYS, Shades of Magic trilogy.
Notice the use of the slash there? Yes, they are the sweetest and most angsty pairing in this trilogy. Oh goodness, the pining… whoo, Alucard really punished himself for what he “had to do” to and for Rhys. I had legit tears in my eyes during their scenes; the scenes where they talk it out and where Rhys is pleading for Alucard to not leave again. That right there is my favorite kind of fanfiction (which I find in abundance in Yuri!!! ON ICE fics).

JOHN / TIMOFEI, Aerial Ethereal duology.
I’ve yet to decide whether to DNF Infini or not but these two might just be enough to keep me going. I don’t care about the main pairing in both books but I wanted John and Timofei to be canon so bad. They are so cute together! John pretends he’s jaded and fed up of the Aerial Ethereal performers having their way and here comes free spirited Timo trying to thaw him. So fcking cute!

GENYA & DAVID, The Grisha trilogy.
I will go as far as saying that they were the only pairing I cared about in this whole trilogy. Add Nikolai and there’s the list of the only characters I cared about. David doesn’t care about any other living being apart from Genya. I love that they complement each other even though on the outside, they are opposites.

JENNY & IAN, Outlander series.
Domestic bliss. Who said that everything changes once you get married? Jenny is a strong and capable woman who loves her equally strong and capable husband. The love they have for each other is so sweet and they’re the best couple in this whole book. Yes, more than Claire and Jamie.  Continue reading

#T5W | Slytherin Pride!

This week, we are talking about Books for your Hogwarts House.

I remember when Pottermore was in its beta stages, I received an invite to try out the sorting hat section. I’ve taken many of those fan made sorting quizzes and I was sorted into Gryffindor consistently. I was happy about that – being in the same house as the main protagonists of the books, not to mention Oliver Wood. But when I took the Pottermore quiz once, twice, three times… I was always sorted into SlytherinI never looked back ever since.

(My Pottermore handle is PhoenixSword207. I don’t go there often but if you so desire to add me as a Housemate or friend, feel free to do so.)

My hair may be red but my Quidditch robe and shirt underneath represent my House!

Slytherins are defined by the following traits:

  • Resourcefulness
  • Cunning
  • Cleverness
  • Strong sense of fraternity
  • Ambition
  • Self-Preservation
  • Determination

The books that I’m going to mention have characters that personify some or all of those qualities. In Harry Potter, a lot of people associate Slytherins as dark, bad, evil… misunderstood is more likely the case. Everyone needs a villain, right? And that’s okay. We’ll take it. But also do realize that Slytherins are good people too. We are as friendly as your nearest Hufflepuff, as loyal as the next Gryffindor, and as motivated as any Ravenclaw. 😉

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. I’m currently reading this and when I heard of this week’s topic, I immediately thought of this book. It’s not that any of them are terribly resourceful or determined but a good lot of them are cunning and ambitious. The Fae has this general thought of “I’m better that all of you” towards the mortals. Think of the pure blood/half blood/muggle born dynamic.

Vicious by VE Schwab. Talk about a book about anti-heroes. There’s no clear cut good guy in this book. Victor and Eli both have their devious sides but they’re very smart and cunning. This book has a rather dark vibe. It makes me think of long dark alleyways, trench coats, and stormy nights.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. Determination is the word for this book. And a little bit of self-preservation. This is about a man just living his life and then suddenly, he gets abducted and thrust into a world so very foreign to him. This book talks about his struggles and journey back to his own reality.

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. Arin is very resourceful. Kestrel is very clever. They both had their shining moments in this book.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore. Katsa’s “grace” is looked upon by many as something evil. But she goes on with her head held high and in the end, she survives is all with her quick wit and abilities.

I know I’m reaching a bit on some of these but I’m happy with these recommendations.

How about you? What’s your Hogwarts House?

#T5W | Former Fandoms

This week, we are talking about Fandoms You Are No Longer In.

This list was much harder to compose than I thought it would. I am a very multi-fandom person and I get obsessed with stuff quite easily. At first, I thought I never truly fell out of a fandom. Once I’m in, that’s for life. Like Anime, for example. I was born into the Anime fandom. Or the whole Lord of the Rings universe – both book and movie. I will and have dropped everything to attend a LOTR related event. While I can’t say I’m crazy over Harry Potter (I like to keep my distance and be a regular person fan), I’m still very much into the fandom judging by the amount of merch I have and how many times I find myself at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood. Years have passed and I’m still a big fan of F4, Yuyu Hakusho, Mythbusters, and Final Fantasy VIII. If you want a list of fandoms I still very much associate with, click here.

Unfortunately (for the purposes of this specific blog), I never got into any book fandom apart from Harry PotterLOTR. I’m sort of late on this YA fantasy train which I see as a good thing. I got into Tumblr super early and kind of stopped when I became too multi-fandom. It ate up most of my time and I then had no energy to deal with the drama. And I’m not a keyboard warrior. I go out there to the frontlines, as you will soon see.

Looking at my list, I realized that these are mostly from the time I still watched Western TV. I’m not saying I don’t watch it anymore but a couple of years ago, I would religiously watch these on live TV every night. Those were the days before DVR, TV subscription services, and the like. I don’t watch a lot of English-language shows lately so I don’t know what’s popular today. I did watch a bit of The Vampire Diaries when it first came out but that became ridiculous fast… and I hated the books. I could make a list of “TV shows I’ve stopped watching” but that’s for a different post, different blog.

But with this list, I’m going to make an exception. This will be mostly TV and music.

Spoiler alert: this list will look quite similar to this #T5W post.  Continue reading

#T5W | Bit Parts

This week, we are talking about Favorite Minor Characters.

First of all, everyone will have a different definition of “side character”. To you, Hermione and Ron are considered minor characters but to me, they’re not. Same with Hiroto Suwa from Orange. I still consider him a main character. The prompt itself provided a good explanation, “I’d consider Ron and Hermione side characters, while Lavender Brown, Oliver Wood, and Dean Thomas are minor characters.” So why don’t I start my list there…

Oliver Wood from Harry PotterThis character is the reason why Azkaban is my favorite book and least favorite movie. There were whole chapters dedicated to Quidditch in the book while it was totally scrapped in the movie. That never made any sense to me. Not to mention the actor who played him, Sean Biggerstaff, is a hottie. Fun fact, my first ever autographed anything was from him. A very younger me sent him fanmail, sent it to the ether and forgot about it. Months after, I receive a wallet-sized signed headshot photo, signed and personalized. I wish I knew where it is now… probably still in my childhood home in the Philippines.

The Phantomhive Servants – Finnian, Mey-rin, and Baldo – from Black Butler. Tanaka too and Snake. But there’s an entire arc and anime season touching into Snake’s backstory while we only got one episode/chapter for these three. They’re basically the comic relief of this whole series. They’re pretty much useless as actual servants. Finny destroys all the plants he’s supposed to take care of, Baldo’s idea of cooking is with explosives, and Mey-rin is so airheaded, she mistakes shoe polish to shine wax. But they’re not hired to cook and clean. Sebastian hired them for their combat skill to protect the manor and its Earl Ciel Phantomhive. The page and screen becomes so much brighter when they’re around.

Baghra from The Grisha trilogy. I love her character and her role in the story. Together with David and Nikolai, she is the best part of this whole trilogy. She’s headstrong and fierce, something Alina could only hope to be. I wouldn’t mind a novella about her earlier years and how she became that way.

Yagi Yuusuke from sweetness and lightning. He’s stuck in the ever-suffering role of supportive friend. He’s friends with Inazuma-sensei since high school and he sometimes babysits Tsumugi. He owns a restaurant and he at times lends a hand at Kotori and Inazuma-sensei’s cooking lessons. He gets his ingredients from Shinobu’s, Kotori’s best friend, grocery. I love how he gets flustered when they do stuff slowly or if he has a better method. He ends up staying and eating with them anyway.

Gyoza party!

Ham from The Mistborn trilogy. I debated about which Misting to put on this list but I decided on Ham. I love how he’s always positive and he brightens up the mood. His love for his family is unmatched. The other members of the group don’t have that. He’s a big softy.

I wish I could say more but here are my choices. I had one more, Fergus from the Outlander series, but there are enough books in that series to talk about him and his life.

Don’t you just wish that there is more material about the other characters in a book? Well, that is what fan fiction is for, yeah? 😉

#T5W | Summer 2017 Reads

This week, we are talking about Summer Reads.

Here is my list last year: Summer 2016. While my sentiments about seasonal reading still remains the same, my choices will be different. I do understand wanting to read a certain book or genre that is influenced by the weather outside. Even a book cover can (be) inspire(d) by the seasons. And some books are marketed and released to appeal to a certain overall mood for that season. Contemporaries tend to be more popular during spring and summer while darker reads such as horror and mystery make a comeback during fall and winter.

Personally, my kind of “summer read” is adventure stories. Fantasy stories whether they be light or high or epic. Long books. Finished series to binge read. Something to take me away from reality. I don’t really go anywhere for summer due to my dislike of scorching heat and glaring sunlight so books are my way to go. And I’m lazier in the summer. It’s too hot to move. LOL.

James Rollins books. You’re probably sick of me mentioning this author every so often. What can I say? He’s my favorite and I’ve grown comfortable with how he writes sci-fi mystery thrillers. I’m listening to one of his works right now, War Hawk, which he co-wrote with Grant Blackwood. Kane is my new favorite dog. I’ve read a good chunk of Rollins’ backlist and I’m actually looking forward to re-reading those that I’ve only listened to on audio. I’m sure I have copies of it lying around my room somewhere. I know for sure I have copies from Sandstorm to The Devil Colony in the Sigma Force series. I don’t mind them as mass market paperbacks, strangely enough. I just need to find that push to finally re-read it.

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. And I guess I’ll put A Court of Wings and Ruin on here too. I have both books. I waited for ACOMAF to be released in paperback to match my copy of ACOTAR. As for ACOWAR, I was sucked in by Target having an exclusive edition on their shelves. One of my weakness is any kind of signed whatever from the author may it be a book plate, a printed signature, or in this case, a stamped signature on the naked book. I’m not the biggest fan of ACOTAR but from what I heard, the next two books are way better. So no better time to marathon read these two.

Chain Mail: Addicted to You by Hiroshi Ishizaki. The title sounds like some cheesy New Adult-y novel. But this is a Japanese horror thriller. Yep. I don’t really know what it is about since the GoodReads blurb is a mere sentence or two. Really, this could be a placeholder for any of the Japanese fiction I have in my possession. I just picked this because while I was rearranging the literal stack of books by the foot of my bed, I saw this. I almost forgot I had it so I decided to include this book here. Who knows, maybe I will read it.

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson. And with this, binge read the rest of the series. I have this in digital and I actually wanted to read this last week. But I decided to go with Daughter of Smoke and Bone instead since I have physical copies of the whole trilogy. But I still want to read this as soon as possible. I’ve always been intrigued by the first book’s premise. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book and trilogy.

Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven. I have have physical copies of the whole trilogy. Two of them, I got in a haul last year. And the third one was graciously gifted to me. Actually, any New Adult read would do. I just chose this for this purpose because I have the whole trilogy in paperback. But it could be anything. Hopefully, I will find the drive to finish Infini or some other steamy NA I recently added to my TBR.

Summer is still a couple of weeks away. I’m still trying to work on my Spring TBR (4 out of 10, I keep getting distracted by other books). But I’m sure I’ll get to these eventually, summer or not.

#T5W | I like these authors. A lot.

This week, we are talking about Authors You Want to Read More From.

I am at a loss at how to kick off this post so I’ll just go straight to the list. I’m having a bad day at work today and I need a distraction. Wish.com, AliExpress, and several online book shops aren’t helping much. (LOL.)

  1. Roshani Chokshi. I met her last February and had my copy of The Star-Touched Queen signed and personalized. Then I read it. It’s quite purple prose-y but I truly enjoyed it. Instead of it being annoying and tiring with all the flowery words and metaphors, it set up the mood nicely and it made imagining the world she wrote so easy and enjoyable. I do have A Crown of Wishes which I will get to very soon. And she recently announced that she is releasing a middle grade book next year. Yaaasss!
  2. Marie Lu. I also met her at the same event that I mentioned above. Ever since reading the Legend trilogy last year, Marie Lu has become an auto-buy author. I just love how well she writes action and her characters are so simple yet rich. I have The Young Elites trilogy (signed and) waiting for me. And I cannot wait to get my hands on Warcross. And I also hope to have all of my copies of her books signed… eventually.
  3. Ryan Graudin. I read her Wolf by Wolf duology and instantly fell in love. So much that I plan to try her All that Glows duology even though I’m not a fan of fae. There’s something about her writing that feels so strong and solid. Both Wolf by Wolf and Blood for Blood blew me away. Yes, they are YA books but it had none of that shallowness that even dystopian YA has, whether intentional or not. Invictus is going to be released this year and I will surely read that.
  4. Brandon Sanderson. My 2017 project is to finish the Mistborn trilogy. I’ve read and absolutely loved The Final Empire. I might read the next one in the coming months and the last one by the end of the year. And this author has a LOT of other books. So many of them are well-loved by the book community, not just by the SFF readers. The Final Empire was so easy to read and follow despite the large cast of characters and rather complicated magic system.
  5. Keigo Higashino. I debated whether to mention him or another Japanese author here but I decided with Keigo Higashino. I own six of his translated works but have only read one. Which is strange because I enjoyed the one that I read, The Devotion of Suspect X. I don’t know what I’m waiting for. I love how he puts a spin on a detective story. What I love about Japanese fiction is that it has its own mood that is so distinct from Western mysteries. I really should pick up the other books by this author because all of them sound so interesting.

I have other picks. But looking at my list, I am most excited about these five authors.

#T5W | I’m (a) Game(r)

This week, we are talking about Books That Would Make Good Games.

One thing you may not know about me is that I’m a gamer. Sure, I spectate more than I actually play but I’ve always had a controller in my hand since the classic Nintendo Famicom. I had three PSX consoles, 2 PS One, 2 PS2, a PS3, 3 PSPs, a PS Vita, and a PS4 Pro. My brother and I are actually planning to buy another PS Vita because the one we have now is rooted in the Japanese PlayStation store. And if it’s not yet obvious, we’re Playstation fans. I’ve never even held a GameBoy or a Nintendo DS in my life. No joke. XD

My favorite genres are Japanese RPG, survival horror, and fighting games. Tekken 3 is like the national video game in the Philippines. Final Fantasy VIII was my top favorite JRPG until recently. And while kids spend the day with their dads in parks, malls, or fixing cars… I was helping him beat Silent Hill. Today, I still love Tekken and have grown to love Street Fighter. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel has dethroned FF8 as my favorite JRPG so much that I am seriously contemplating on buying a Windows system so I can play the game’s re-release with 5000 extra voice over clips. And I think Resident Evil: Biohazard is one of the scariest video games ever! I can talk you to the ground about video games like I can with books and anime.

Anyway, I figure this is going to be a long post. I will not only name 5 (or more) books that would make great video games but I will try to mention games that can be good books too. And I will be categorizing them into genres/modes instead of the book’s genres. This is going to be fun!

Continue reading