Books I Want to Feature on my Blog (First Half of 2019)

(aka Bianca needs to pick from her 2019 reads so it can actually be a realistic goal)

2019 is slating to become a big year for me. I can already feel it in my bones that it will definitely be one heck of a year. The same sentiment can be said for all of the amazing and various books slated to come out this year. For some reason, it seems like the bookish gods agreed to drop releases that are sure to make me all fired up. Alas, I am but a fangirl with limits. I am aware that I am not the fastest reader out there. So I want to be a girl with a plan; if I specifically put my energy on these books then I will be able to promote them efficiently and effectively. After all, they are the crème de la crème out of all the to-be released books on the first half of my 2019 radar. There is this eerie feeling in my bones that draws me to these books. To be quite honest, some of them seem to already scream “Pick me! Pick me! You know you’ll love me.” I mean, how can I say no to that?

This is a realistic version of myself speaking. Also since we are going at it: yes, the covers made an impact on the decision making process. I can’t resist a good cover, okay? Yes, I included links because I’m extra like that. Yes, this is listed by release date. AND YES, I am aware that this list consists of Asian releases because I am officially joining the Year of the Asian reading challenge hosted by Shealea at Shut Up, Shealea, CW at The Quiet Pond, Vicky at Vicky Who Reads, and Lily at Sprinkles of Dreams. It is a year-long reading challenge where to goal is to read as many books as you can written by Asian authors. Sounds fun, right? (If you want to know more about the reading challenge, the blogs are linked to the host’s official sign-ups and more can be found on their official Twitter.) I’m actually aiming for the lowest badge for this challenge, which is the Philippine Tarsier, equivalent of reading 1 – 10 books. I mean, it’s a great place to start. Quite honestly, earning this tarsier already warms my heart.

I feel so accomplished.

I am also hyper aware that it is already March. It is still just the first quarter so who is keeping tabs? *nervous laughs* With that in mind, here are the top ten books that I would love to read and feature on my blog for the first half of 2019.

The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf

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Release Date: February 5, 2019

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A music-loving teen with OCD does everything she can to find her way back to her mother during the historic race riots in 1969 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in this heart-pounding literary debut.

Melati Ahmad looks like your typical moviegoing, Beatles-obsessed sixteen-year-old. Unlike most other sixteen-year-olds though, Mel also believes that she harbors a djinn inside her, one who threatens her with horrific images of her mother’s death unless she adheres to an elaborate ritual of counting and tapping to keep him satisfied.

But there are things that Melati can’t protect her mother from. On the evening of May 13th, 1969, racial tensions in her home city of Kuala Lumpur boil over. The Chinese and Malays are at war, and Mel and her mother become separated by a city in flames. 

With a 24-hour curfew in place and all lines of communication down, it will take the help of a Chinese boy named Vincent and all of the courage and grit in Melati’s arsenal to overcome the violence on the streets, her own prejudices, and her djinn’s surging power to make it back to the one person she can’t risk losing.

Buy on: Amazon || The Book Depository

Why I want to feature it: A Southeast Asian historical fiction? YES PLEASE. I am genuinely sad that this book almost slipped my radar in 2018. Luckily, even readers who do not usually go for historical fiction were raving about this book endlessly. I believe that it is a very important with all of the topics that it has under its belt, and I am drawn to books like that. It has all the elements that I want in a book, and even with the content warnings, I want to wholeheartedly embrace it. Now that it is officially released, I’m hoping to get myself a copy. In the hopes of staying optimistic, this better be released in our local bookstores soon.

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

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Release Date: April 2, 2019

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Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant and alluring investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.

Pre-order on: Amazon || The Book Depository

Why I want to feature it: Full disclosure, it was the cover and the title that hooked me in. When I saw it, I was on that high from Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix and Empress of All Seasons. I’m still craving for good fantasy stories, so I’m really stoked to read about Joan He’s take on a tale ala Game of Thrones. Granted, I am not really into that kind of high level fantasy, but I am always open to reading out of my comfort zone to what seems to be such a promising read.

Side note and progress tracker: This is the first book that I have successfully requested from Edelweiss. I swear, the bookish gods are onto something. I’m also a few pages in and it has definitely made my morning commute far more interesting.

Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo

36992163Release Date: May 7, 2019

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10 00 p.m.: Lucky is the biggest K-pop star on the scene, and she’s just performed her hit song “Heartbeat” in Hong Kong to thousands of adoring fans. She’s about to debut on The Tonight Show in America, hopefully a breakout performance for her career. But right now? She’s in her fancy hotel, trying to fall asleep but dying for a hamburger.

11 00 p.m.: Jack is sneaking into a fancy hotel, on assignment for his tabloid job that he keeps secret from his parents. On his way out of the hotel, he runs into a girl wearing slippers, a girl who is single-mindedly determined to find a hamburger. She looks kind of familiar. She’s very cute. He’s maybe curious.

12:00 a.m.: Nothing will ever be the same.

Pre-order on: Amazon || The Book Depository

Why I want to feature it: I simply adored Maurene Goo’s The Way You Make Me Feel in 2018. There is a certain appeal to her writing style and character dynamics that hook me in, and those aspects are what I’m anticipating to read. Maybe this is the closet K-drama admirer in me, but these types of stories always manage to hook me in a heartbeat. (Also, I know the main guy Jack is cropped on the cover. But believe me when I say that girls will go head-over-heels for him and they will demand an uncropped version. Call me out, but I’m betting a dollar on it.)

The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad

39821312Release Date: May 14, 2019

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Fatima lives in the city of Noor, a thriving stop along the Silk Road. There the music of myriad languages fills the air, and people of all faiths weave their lives together. However, the city bears scars of its recent past, when the chaotic tribe of Shayateen djinn slaughtered its entire population — except for Fatima and two other humans. Now ruled by a new maharajah, Noor is protected from the Shayateen by the Ifrit, djinn of order and reason, and by their commander, Zulfikar.

But when one of the most potent of the Ifrit dies, Fatima is changed in ways she cannot fathom, ways that scare even those who love her. Oud in hand, Fatima is drawn into the intrigues of the maharajah and his sister, the affairs of Zulfikar and the djinn, and the dangers of a magical battlefield.

Nafiza Azad weaves an immersive tale of magic and the importance of names; fiercely independent women; and, perhaps most importantly, the work for harmony within a city of a thousand cultures and cadences.

Pre-order on: Amazon || The Book Depository

Why I want to feature it: Again, despite the fantasy setting, I am down to read anything that has a historical ring to it. Color me a hopeless romantic, but these kinds of novels are worth screaming about every single time. The promise of an immersive tale? I’m simply sold. (Can we also talk about that cover and how I badly want to make it move?? I’m crying and I am dying. It would look so badass!)

Girl Gone Viral by Arvin Ahmadi

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Release Date: May 21, 2019

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The inventive and hauntingly timely story of a seventeen-year-old coder’s catapult to stardom, reminiscent of The Social Network with a Ready Player One twist.

For seventeen-year-old Opal Hopper, code is magic. She builds entire worlds from scratch: Mars craters, shimmering lakes, any virtual experience her heart desires.

But she can’t code her dad back into her life. When he disappeared after her tenth birthday, leaving only a cryptic note, Opal tried desperately to find him. And when he never turned up, she enrolled at a boarding school for technical prodigies and tried to forget.

Until now. Because WAVE, the world’s biggest virtual reality platform, has announced a contest where the winner gets to meet its billionaire founder. The same billionaire who worked closely with Opal’s dad. The one she always believed might know where he went. The one who maybe even murdered him.

What begins as a small data hack to win the contest spirals out of control when Opal goes viral, digging her deeper into a hole of lies, hacks, and manipulation. How far will Opal go for the answers–or is it the attention–she’s wanted for years?

Pre-order on: Amazon || The Book Depository

Why I want to feature it: I fell into a wonderful wonderland after reading Arvin’s debut novel Down and Across. It was love at first read, and the lingering thought of Scott Ferdowsi’s journey to DC to find his grit still makes me smile. It cemented the fact that I will probably read anything from Arvin, even his grocery list. Kidding aside, as a former student of technology, I would not want to pass up on a YA offering that deals with virtual and augmented reality. This is my jam. All this talk about an inevitable distant future is thrilling and exciting, and I’m here for it. If I missed out on Opal’s story… well, I wouldn’t dream of doing so.

Side note and progress tracker: It looks like I can count this as my first official read upon joining the challenge! GUYS, I kid you not this book delivered and my mind is juggling to find words. HOW IS MAY STILL SO FAR? I’M DYING TO DISCUSS.

Stronger Than A Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan

41150325Release Date: June 11, 2019

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When a powerful viceroy arrives with a fleet of mechanical dragons and stops an attack on Anlei’s village, the villagers see him as a godsend. They agree to give him their sacred, enchanted River Pearl in exchange for permanent protection—if he’ll marry one of the village girls to solidify the alliance. Anlei is appalled when the viceroy selects her as a bride, but with the fate of her people at stake, she sees no choice but to consent. Anlei’s noble plans are sent into a tailspin, however, when a young thief steals the River Pearl for himself.

Knowing the viceroy won’t protect her village without the jewel, she takes matters into her own hands. But once she catches the thief, she discovers he needs the pearl just as much as she does. The two embark on an epic quest across the land and into the Courts of Hell, taking Anlei on a journey that reveals more is at stake than she could have ever imagined.

With incredibly vivid world building and fast-paced storytelling, Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon is great for readers who are looking for something fresh in epic fantasy.

Pre-order on: Amazon || The Book Depository

Why I want to feature it: Something fresh in an epic fantasy? Alright, I’m sold! It’s easy as 1, 2, 3 to get me on board with this story. What’s not to love about mechanical dragons and yet another historical setting? What I am saying basically is that, “I am trash. This story makes my eyes light up. Please, I just want to read all the Asian lit this 2019.”

Side note and progress tracker: I got approved to join the international blog tour for this book! Call me a lucky shittake mushroom, but heck! I’m so happy to be able to be given the opportunity to feature it!

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

41941681Release Date: June 18, 2019

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A powerful coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks a Filipino-American teenager takes to uncover the truth about his cousin’s murder.

Jay Reguero plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte’s war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to find out the real story.

Hoping to uncover more about Jun and the events that led to his death, Jay is forced to reckon with the many sides of his cousin before he can face the whole horrible truth — and the part he played in it.

As gripping as it is lyrical, Patron Saints of Nothing is a page-turning portrayal of the struggle to reconcile faith, family, and immigrant identity.

Pre-order on: Amazon || The Book Depository

Why I want to feature it: For one, I want to support Randy Ribay and I want this book to be so gosh-darn successful. Second, it takes guts to even publish something like this because it is not everyday that we get a book like this. There was once a time in our country that a book like this could have led to serious consequences. And lastly, honestly I wish that the synopsis of this book is only half-true – but it’s not. A war on drugs is happening in my country. The mere mention of extrajudicial killings is already a heavy topic in on itself and it is a severe issue that needs to be addressed. For a book to tackle the subject is something we need to read right now, even if stories similar to the death Jay’s cousin Jun is all over the news. You see how important this book is, right?

Side note and progress tracker: We are all in. The flames are hot and animated. The reading will commence soon! We are ready to roll.

Wicked Fox by Kat Cho

Wicked Fox by Penguin Young ReadersRelease Date: June 25, 2019

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A fresh and addictive fantasy-romance set in modern-day Seoul.

No one in modern-day Seoul believes in the old fables anymore, which makes it the perfect place for Gu Miyoung and her mother to hide in plain sight. Miyoung is a Gumiho, a nine-tailed fox, who must eat the souls of men to survive. She feeds every full moon—eating the souls of men who have committed crimes, but have evaded justice. Her life is upended when she kills a dokkaebi, a murderous goblin, in the forest just to save the life of a human boy. But after Miyoung saves Jihoon’s life, the two develop a tenuous friendship that blooms into romance forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon’s.

Pre-order on: Amazon || The Book Depository

Why I want to feature it: It has been so long since I watched and adored Korean dramas. Specifically, it is My Girlfriend is A Gumiho, which I absolutely fell in love with. With this particular novel coming, I believe it’s time to rekindle that specific spark I had with the magnificent being. The elements are there: a gumiho, a young boy, and a friendship that promises to blossom into a romance. There is just so much excitement in the air and I cannot wait to love this book wholeheartedly.

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

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Release Date: July 30, 2019

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Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Pre-order on: Amazon || The Book Depository

Why I want to feature it: The minute I saw Mulan paired with that gorgeous cover, there was no question. This book will be the cause of many emotions to spur. I mean come on, how cool is this? How can I not pick it up? I’m already speechless with how it has presented itself. The MC herself looks so badass and downright ready to blow everyone in court away.

*melts into a puddle because what are words*

My Fate According to the Butterfly by Gail D. Villanueva

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Release Date: July 30, 2019

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Superstitious soon-to-be 11-year-old Sab believes her fate is sealed when she spots an ominous black butterfly. Determined to reconcile her journalist older sister and their father before her time is up, Sab embarks on a quest that sends her on a collision course with the realities of Manila and the war on drugs.

Pre-order on: Amazon || The Book Depository

Why I want to feature it: Since reading Everlasting Nora last year, I feel pretty confident that seeing Filipino characters in the novel makes me feel more at ease to read middle grade novels. Growing up, I wanted these books for myself. Now with this book dawning upon us, the happy kid inside me is bursting with joy. Not only does it feature a Filipino girl on the cover, but it also tackles important issues etched in the country and the particular city that I live in. I will never tire of supporting novels made with heart.

Okay now I feel like I should add more but I really need to be realistic. Ten is actually still a stretch – not unless some sort of speed-reading deity entered my body. The possibilities aside, I can only hope to read and support the wonderful and awesome books on this list. We already share a certain connection, and I really would love to read all of these lovely books. I know we’re still early on into 2019, so anything can happen.

(I should really work on a master post or something. There’s too many releases and I should try to be an organized adult.)

How about you guys? What books do you want to feature on your blog for 2019?

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#Project14Lists: Books I Don’t Want to Read Anymore

It’s Day 3 of Project 14 List and wow, we’re still going strong and I’m still baffled with how I’m managing. Kidding aside, Project 14 Lists is an event created by Shealea from That Bookshelf Bitch. During the event, book bloggers are tasked to come up with creative bookish/blogging list ideas, and on each day, write a list and post it on their respective blogs.

*badly whistles* I didn’t exactly state that all of these lists will be positive. It’s okay to a negative nelly once in a while, and I like to think of this as a cleanse of some sort. A part of ones growth as a reader is having a change in taste or preference. Maybe you like this book one day then you just don’t. There are time where it you have to let go of some of the books that you clearly don’t see yourself reading anymore. I reflect this line of thinking when I update my socials. For 2 years now, I’m on a constant purge on Goodreads because I don’t want to kid myself when it comes to my TBR. With the recent addition of many (AND I MEAN MANY) books by diverse authors on my TBR, I decided to prioritize those and let go of some of the books that have lingered since the dawn of my account. Yes, I meant those some books that I would have loved back in circa 2012, but realized that it’s just not up to my liking anymore. It’s more of a mix, really. Let’s get onto the list.

Disclaimer: If a book you love is listed down below, please know that I don’t hold any grudge against the book itself or the author. I just purely lost any interest in reading these titles. I’m still open to adding these books again, but it will probably take a lot of energy to convince me to do so. I am also still considering some of the other works of the authors mentioned below. Finally, as a respect to the authors and the book itself, I won’t be linking these titles to their respective Goodreads page.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

17675462Why I removed it on my TBR: I tried reading it twice and what I read had me nodding, “Yes, yes, carry on.” But my brain just shut down one day and said, “The writing is a bit too lyrical, right?”. I was little bit concerned when the first line did not manage to hook me in. Petty, I know. It dawned on me that I might have fallen for the hype. Everyone’s always asking who I like best between Gansey, Adam, and oh-for-flip’s sake who knows? Maybe one day I’ll get what all the hype is about with this series, but I’m really not counting on it since I have so many issues with committing myself to a series and this one has 4 under its bracket. (Also no joke and I am generally curious: are there no other ominous birds besides a raven and a crow?)

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

11408650Why I removed it on my TBR: The journey with this series is like a love-hate relationship. One minute, I want to go for it. The next minute, I keep on asking myself exactly why do I want to read it. The book itself is genuinely interesting, but it falls on the spectrum of “Yes, I will save this book from a fire” to “Yes, I’m going to throw this book off a cliff.” There’s a lot of back-and-forth happening, but I ultimately decided to let go and focus my energy somewhere else. It also features a trope that I’m not really a fan of (foreshadowing??). Asides that, it’s a series. Hello commitment issues, my old friend.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

9464733Why I removed it on my TBR: A lot of people say this is not your regular book about beauty queens and I agree. I’ve been meaning to dive into a book written by Libba Bray for so long now. My curiosity peaked when I realized that it had footnotes, but I can’t just keep a book just because I want to read the extra details printed at the bottom, right? Right now, it’s wishful thinking that maybe – JUST MAYBE, I can finally understand the dark humor and the satire contained within its pages. It really sounds great and it features a diverse cast as well, but this is tea and I want hot chocolate. (No euphemisms intended, just really craving chocolate.)

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

17453983Why I removed it on my TBR: It’s not like I dropped this book like a hot potato or anything, but my suspicions were confirmed when I watched a book review about it by Lily C. Reads on booktube. My mind was already contradicting Anna when I read the first few chapters when she was complaining about moving to Paris. Let’s just say that early on, I wanted to tell Anna to stop with the nonsense and actually think for a second. If she loves film so much, then why on earth was she whining that she’s actually at the birthplace of cinema? People would kill to trade places with her and bask in the glory of the history of where it all started. I’m just… luckily I let this story go before it ended up in some sort of chute. (Semi-kidding.)

Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige

28260524Why I removed it on my TBR: I was really hyped for this book because I’m a simple girl. I see Frozen in the pitch of a certain retelling and I jump like the trash I am. Throw in a gorgeous cover in the mix, and it’s like I’m being called out. It had so much potential and the hype was real. Unfortunately with the lack of stellar reviews from close friends and fellow bloggers, I had to withdraw myself from attempting to read this and reconsider if I actually want to read it for what it offers. Yes, I have partially read Dorothy Must Die but I purged it from my TBR earlier in the year.

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

7664334Why I removed it on my TBR: *gasp* THE HORROR. Before you throw your sticks or deadly weapons at me, let me explain. This had all the boxes for a great contemporary read, and it is uncommon knowledge here on the blog that I am a sucker for it. What’s not to like about this book? Especially if it features road trips, playlists, and a cute guy? It sounds so simple and yes, I might like it and this is the only book on this list that has a 50% chance of getting back into my TBR for the next… well I don’t know but it’s going back and I just don’t know when. However, it’s not the book. It’s me, and I don’t feel like reading it with a mindset bitter with heterosexual relationships. Let’s carry on!

Flame In The Mist by Renee Ahdieh

2017Why I removed it on my TBR: There’s a little bit of conflict with this book. On one hand, I want some feudal Japanese Mulan action. On the other hand, I have the fear of being disappointed. I have zero patience for books that start slow, and it’s that one factor that people don’t seem to like about it. But the main issue that I have with this one is that the common pattern points to a direction where people don’t really see it as a Mulan retelling. I’m conflicted, not to mention wary of any YA book set in Japan because I love it the country too much that I set the bar high. So as to not disappoint myself, I decided to prioritize The Wrath and the Dawn instead to ease myself in Renee Ahdieh’s writing style. Not totally closing the door on this novel, but there’s still a lot to weigh.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

16096824Why I removed it on my TBR: I did my best for this one, but my best was not good enough. I tried getting into it not once, twice, or thrice. I gave this series FOUR chances before finally deciding to remove it completely on my TBR. Sure, the staggering reviews for the sequel momentarily made me keep it for the meantime but I felt like it was holding me back from trying other tomes. Another probable cause, and this is definitely a black sheep moment, I found the writing style and the pacing to be a little bit dragging. Plus, the tale it was loosely based on has already been done SO. MANY. FREAKIN. TIMES. For the meantime, I will respectfully admire people who love stories about fae in a distance. That’s one fandom on the horizon and whose train I may not be able to fully go on board yet.

*cricket noises* That’s about it, friends. Again, no hard feelings if you loved and liked some or most of the books on this list. I think it’s much more painful to hold onto something you can’t commit to rather than something you know you’ll absolutely love. (Eew, was that a cheesy line or something? Ugh, self no.) These are not the only books that I let go of in 2018, but these are definitely the ones with the most ~issue~ behind it. As of the moment, I have 260 books on my Goodreads TBR that I am hoping to narrow down in 2019. Nothing like a book purge towards the end of the year. Hopefully tomorrow’s list is a bit more jolly.

How about you guys? What books have you decided to remove from your TBR? Do you also do an annual book purge when things get too out of hand? How do you sleep at night knowing your towering TBR is looming over your head?

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#Project14Lists: Books I Have Yet to Rave About

Hey, and welcome to Day 1 of your daily Project 14 Lists from your ultra giddy fangirl – who is about to get ultra sappy. I haven’t been the best blogger this year, and there was so much that I wanted to say but didn’t push through in saying so. I also haven’t been the best reader, but I did prioritize the books that I was really genuinely excited for. There are a lot of things that I have overlooked. I’m still hung up with the missed opportunity to share the books that I loved in 2017. Okay, end scene. Let’s stop the sappiness and get on with the positivity.

To start things on a light note and now that we have the luxury, I think it’s about time I share my thoughts on these oh-so lovely books. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to individually curate a review for these, (Thanks uni! You’re so stressful!) but I really want to shout to the void that I truly and deeply love these books. Also despite joining a beat-the-backlist challenge for 2018, I ultimately failed it because I solely focused on reviewing new releases. (We’ll get to that. It’s a fangirl issue for another day.) With that in mind, these books in particular withstood the test of time. Remembering these books only reignited the certain feelings that I had whilst reading it, and my take on them definitely got better with time.

Here are some of the books that I absolutely adored, categorized by rating. (Curious about my rating system? Click here.)

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Well first of all, Darius is a big boy. When he felt conscious about eating in front of his dad, it just made me want to hug him tight because I found another teen who understands me. Second, the family dynamics in this story was emotional and raw, especially with Darius, his dad, and him knowing more about his Iranian roots. And third, it was a poignant story of self-discovery that really hits you. Yes, I can honestly say that this book managed to make me cry.

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Another family-oriented gem with an amazing MC to boot, the title itself radiates what this book wants to convey. Zuri Benitez is full of pride, and she’s an admirable character because of it. The book explores opening oneself to new things, the beauty of a community, and a slow burn romance (which I am honestly a sucker for). All I can say now is: “I get it now. I GET IT. I get the hype around Pride and Prejudice already.”

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

This was my first read for 2018, and it was an amazing book to set the standard of my reading for the year. I am honestly living for this story of self-exploration and questioning. Plus have I mentioned family dynamics (yet again because I live for it)? I swear if a book delivers more than a cheesy romantic story and tackles pressing issues, it deserves to be listed.

P. S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

You probably: Bianca, are you okay? Honey you read a sequel! Who are you even?

Well technically, it’s because I want some McClaren action. But the reason why I included it in this list is because I often do have a problem with sequels, yet this one was managed to hook me in better than the first one. Granted it didn’t solidify me rooting for Kavinsky because John has my heart over any day, but I truly honestly admire Lara Jean’s character development in this novel. It was definitely the best book in the trilogy.

Little Monsters and The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas

Every time Halloween passes and I still cannot pull off my review for these books, I die a little on the inside. Seriously, what better way to get chills than read a mystery thriller written by Kara Thomas? Little Monsters shook me with how things went down, and The Cheerleaders had a different kick to it, tackling deeper issues and delivered a morally gray ending. What more can you ask for with these? Probably why my bar is set so high for YA thrillers… But yes, it’s the reason why you should read it even if it’s not the season to get spooky. Kara’s writing is hands-down magnetic, and it’s basically like a glue that makes you want to keep reading. Just one more page? No, it’s more like you screaming, “I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT AGHHHHH!”

Check, Please by Ngozi Ukazu

Sports? Say no more because I’m immediately on board. It’s a no-brainer that this lovely graphic novel received a will-save-from-fire status from me. It was just so darn cute. Anything involving team dynamics, the thrill of winning a game, and maybe some shipping involved is just a whistle away from getting my fangirl seal of approval. So if you want to join me, read this lovely gem (It’s also available online, btw.)

Can you tell that the higher the rating goes, the more words and rambles come out? Lol

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

It’s a fantasy! Holy smokes who is this woman??? Give me a heist or give me nothing at all. I’ve been hesitant to read this one because I DNF’ed the Grisha trilogy. It was a ride, but the first book in this series had me on my toes the entire time. I swear, with the horror of a movie that is Suicide Squad, the song Heathens fits this crew better. I love it so much that it hurts me to read Crooked Kingdom. The characters are so dynamic, the world building is phenomenal, and the heist! just keeps me on my toes. I just didn’t want it to end. But trust me when I say, you need no convincing to pick this hefty book. It speaks for itself and reading it at your own pace is the best way to enjoy it.

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

Please do note the following trigger warnings for this book: rape, sexual assault, alcohol abuse, animal violence, graphic contents

Honestly I still have no words for this book despite giving it a must-save-from-a-fire status. But I will keep reiterating that this book needs to be read because it explores heavy topics, and we need books that talk about those particular topics. It left me speechless, yet I couldn’t stop reading because the writing had me hooked in. It’s dark, unsettling at times especially if you are triggered by the following topics I mentioned above, but it is definitely that one book that makes you feel a lot all at once.

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Hands down, one of the best historical fiction novels out there. I’m a basic Tudor era history nerd trash, so I am an easy target for this book. Despite that immediate bias however, it was the way the authors rewrote history and added their own fantastical twist that genuinely had me laughing and made me go head over heels love this book wholeheartedly. Guess who falls in love with a freakin’ horse? Me obvi. It’s unique, it’s different, and it easily became one of the best books I have read in 2017 because of the perfect blend of humor, history, and high society. And you thought I can’t shove enough books to your faces. I beg to differ, good friend. This is the historical fiction book that you need to conquer your fears of reading about history, especially if you’re craving for some sass and humor. It’s a darn fact.


Before I end this post, I would just like to give all the biggest virtual hugs to my dear friend Shealea for organizing this lovely event. Go show her some love, since she’s also celebrating her 3rd blogiversary.

And that’s about it for today’s list! Writing this list definitely made me want to read some faves all over again and finally give them the complete stellar review that they truly and utterly deserve. Join me again tomorrow as I share another list that will hopefully bring a smile on your faces.

What are some of the books that you feel like you haven’t raved enough about on the blogosphere or in the community in general?

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#Project14Lists: ‘Tis the Season to Crank Up Some Lists

It’s been a hot minute on this blog and I want to do something special for the holidays. It’s the perfect time to reminisce and look back on what actually went down this year. I’ve been planning to write lists for this blog since 2016, but it seems that I never get the chance to do so and just save it up in one compressed and exhaustively long list. Add a dose of having to feel the need of a deadline in the mix, and you’ve got yourself one fangirl who just ends up flailing and just not doing anything in the end. But this year, that’s all about to change.

2018 has been a year of ups and downs. It was a mix of emotions, sweat, and tears. I wish I meant it figuratively, but no. So here I am thinking, how the heck do I end this year with feeling awesome and actually lay out some goals for myself? I feel like I want to achieve so many things for 2019 that my head is going to explode. Thank the bookish gods, my dear friend Shealea from That Bookshelf Bitch decided to do #Project14Lists. It was just the boost that I needed to share my thoughts and feelings of wrapping this topsy-turvy of a year. But first, what is Project 14 Lists?

Project 14 Lists, otherwise known as #Project14Lists, is a 2-week blogging activity that will run from December 18th to December 31st. Book bloggers are tasked to come up with creative bookish/blogging list ideas, and on each day, write a list and post it on their respective blogs. Hence, the ideal goal is to create and post a total of 14 lists before the year ends (Of course, everyone is free to set their own goals, and writing less than 14 lists is just as great!).”

Sounds fun, right? I’m honestly stoked for this event to push me in a creative direction. There’s a lot more to be known about this blogging event but for more information, don’t hesitate to message Shealea for details.

I’m happy to say that while you’re reading this oh-so lovely announcement post, I have already a few lists ready and scheduled for the next few days. *gasps* Did my blogging mojo actually come back? Who is this person??? No, I just had sudden bursts of creativity and I’m ready to accomplish things. This post will serve as the masterpost of every Project List that I will be posting for the next couple of days. Despite having a busy schedule for December, I really have high hopes to achieve my goal of 14 posts. A majority of it are bookish, but of course I can’t just leave my other fandoms behind. 😉

Day 1: Books I Have Yet to Rave About

Day 2: Recommending Movie Like My 2018 Reads

Day 3: Books I Don’t Want to Read Anymore

Day 4: Books I Wish I Read in 2018

Day 5: 2018 In A Nutshell

Day 6: Best Movies I Watched in 2018

Day 7: 

Day 8: 

Day 9: 

Day 10: 

Day 11: 

Day 12: 

Day 13: 

Day 14: 

So, will you be joining Project 14 Lists as well? Or are you planning something a little more avant-garde for the end of the year?

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#Augvocacy2018: How Creating Stories Inspired by Our History Can Cultivate A Reading Culture

(filed under Fangirl Corner because history is a subject I fangirl on)

As part of Augvocacy spearheaded by Shealea from That Bookshelf Bitch, I decided to tackle the root of fostering a reading culture here in the Philippines for which I believe is HISTORY. Why history of all the subjects? Why not Filipino or any other subject? It is for the simple reason that history is what binds us all together. I believe that fostering a reading culture here in the Philippines can start with more stories that focus on our own history. How, you may ask when the subject that Filipinos don’t like is history? (Quote my Sociology professor on that.) Easy. You fight fire with fire.

There is a hidden beauty in knowing how things came to be, for the past is always linked to the present and the future. But sad to say, majority find the subject of history boring. There’s a stigma that when you learn history, you have to memorize tons of useless information. “Do I really have to know when Ferdinand Magellan left Spain?” Probably not the best information to keep in your brain forever, and I agree. I used to think that as well. But little did I know, I was just asking the wrong questions. “But why did he leave? How did he leave? Where did he head off next?” were the right questions, and it leads to more questioning, and in the end will give me the power to deduce what his character was like based on his actions with the events that surrounded him. Which is why when my Philippine History professor explained to us how Ferdinand Magellan executed his quest to find the Spice Islands, it played like a fantasy story in my head.

And that’s all it takes really. Think of where George R. R. Martin got his inspiration in writing Game of Thrones. It was the War of the Roses, an infamous war that left England in a constant civil war for the throne. Why can’t we do the same? It’s always easy to associate history with fantasy because it plays like one. After knowing that it was inspired from real-life events, I delved into history books that explain how it panned out. That’s what makes history so interesting because it fuels you with a ton of ideas. For example:

  • What if Jose Rizal actually had magical powers and the societies that he joined in were actually composed of powerful Filipino mages that migrated to Europe so that they can learn how to control their powers without the Spanish friars watching their every move?
  • What if during the Philippine-American war, two lovers were torn apart by both the terrain and the conflict for one is an American soldier and one is a leader of the resistance residing in the mountains of Sierra Madre?
  • What if we had more stories exploring the tales of our own gods and goddesses, each with a story that visits their love and tragedies?

The answer is easy enough. Now since Filipinos have a flair for the dramatic and the romantic, the way to encourage more people into reading and understanding our history is by creating fictional stories that are set and inspired by the different time periods that shaped us into what we are today. It has always been ingrained in our culture that we have always loved stories that delve into the supernatural and the paranormal, no matter how brutal our history may be. Why don’t we have more stories that revolve around our diwatas, the mananaggals, or kapres? Or maybe tackle how our present-day issues can have an effect on our future? What would it be like to live in the Philippines if this happened? With that in mind, who wouldn’t hesitate to pick up a book and find someone like themselves in it? The possibilities and the empowerment that comes with stories that feature a Filipino main character are endless.

It’s not that I have a problem with what we have in the market today. (Although sometimes I do think that it is over saturated by romance and mistresses.) But hey, sometimes all we need is a good story and maybe more historical fiction or Philippine-inspired fantasy is the way to go. (*side eyes* Or you know ban a book because Filipinos do have a rebellious spirit. I mean, you guys do know that boosted the sales of Noli me Tangere back then, right?) Picking up a book that revolves around our culture would be amazing to read. That’s just my two cents on the subject. I mean come on, give me my badass Katipuneros that fight with the paranormal on their side.

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Two winners, 1 PH reader and 1 international reader (as long as TBD ships) have a chance to win a paperback copy of The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly. The giveaway runs from August 1 to September 1. (Click the book button.)

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Essentially, Augvocacy aspires to bring together like-minded people in actively forwarding a particular advocacy. Held annually on the month of August, this project aims to forward a different, yet nonetheless important, agenda each year.

And that’s my take for this year’s Augvocacy. With that said, what genre do you think can encourage more readers? Any YA books that you can recommend to me that feature a Filipino MC?

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Fangirl Corner: 5 Stages of Fangirl Nostalgia

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(aka the stages of suddenly remembering a fandom that you have not caught up with in ages) This has been partially inspired by Leigh Lahav’s video, The 5 Stages of Fangirling.

Stage 1: Remembering

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There are all sorts of things that can make you remember what was once forgotten. We all have moved on to different fandoms and have switched from here and there, but something suddenly triggers you to remember the one. They have been long gone from your radar. Sort off like an friend that you were really close with but time made you drift apart. Since you remember it now, you incessantly Google the other things that will pull you to rekindle your lost love with this fandom.

Stage 2: Sticking

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Apparently this is the stage where your old self suddenly comes back. Suddenly, you’re stuck with playing your favorite song/album from them on loop. You have spent the day watching the first 2 seasons of your first favorite tv series. Or worse, you have been watching the same movie because you feel like there’s nothing good to watch.

Stage 3: Crying

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Nostalgia comes with tears. There’s that fact that your favorite boy band is still on hiatus. Your favorite anime / tv series is still eternally stuck with just one season because the network discontinued it. Your favorite actor hasn’t made movies since forever. Why is the world so cruel? This question lingers as you soon launch into a fandom depression again.

Stage 4: Stalking

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But wait… maybe there is still hope. You face your screen, and type in the keywords that only a professional fanboy/fangirl would know. It’s in your blood, plus you have done this before. It’s just a hiatus, right? I mean they must be bound to reunite soon. What has every member been up to? Is the director still convincing a network to pick up the anime/tv show to continue airing the second season? Does he plan to work on a movie soon? A director work even? I MEAN FOR GOODNESS SAKES, THE FANDOM WILL TAKE WHAT IT WILL GET.

Stage 5: Accepting

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After getting your fill from stalking, you have gathered enough information to stay stable. You accept the fact that maybe your favorite boy band may come back if they have finally settled, and if they don’t you can always hunt them down and listen to their old songs. There are plans for a reboot, a relaunch, or a re-airing, so you have to catch that one soon. They have their own lives, and you accept the fact that as things come and go, you are still a member of the fandom no matter what. But just in case, you keep tabs on their Twitter account and that notification on Youtube.

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A little backstory: This has been partially triggered by The Wanted, a British band that I used to listen to when I was a freshman in high school. Also influenced by the endless rewatching of Friends and Hetalia. Haha.

So what fandoms have made you experience this? Let’s chat in the comments.

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Historical Figures I Want To See in YA

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As much as I love the young adult genre, there seems to be an underlying note that historical fiction is either a hit or miss for readers. In some cases, it depends on the reader’s tastes. Sometimes they mix in a hint of fantasy, because authors are given the liberty to put small twists on some fix points. Exploring history can be quite fun if you find the right person to retell it for you. But in some cases, it could be disastrous. I always have room to read such books because not only do I love the young adult genre, but I am a sucker for historical fiction.

Fear not, with the right characters, one can develop a story that is unique and different than any other book out there. Which is why I created this list of historical people who would be amazing to cast as the leads for a young adult book. Inspired by Legacy of Kings written by Eleanor Herman, I decided to list down the top 4 historical figures that I want to see in YA literature. I believe that these historical figures are worth writing a book about, and despite being tricky, is all but worth it with the stories that they hold in their years as a young adult.

Note: Years indicated below are the years of their respective tenures on the throne/job.

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Elizabeth I, Queen of England and Ireland (1558 – 1603)

As one such as myself that is ridiculously fascinated by the Tudors, it is still unclear to me on how Elizabeth I managed to carry herself when she was declared a bastard and an illegitimate heir to the throne of England all while she is in her teens. We already got a sense of Edward VI’s POV in My Lady Jane, but I want to read more about this lady and how she became one of the most famous monarchs in Britain’s history. Is it possible that what developed in her years as a teen led to her brilliant ways of thinking and led England reach it’s golden age? There are tons of possibilities, and mind you, I am aware that there is a movie. But I need more!

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Elagabalus, Emperor of Rome (218 – 222)

Controversial, yes. A new spin on your usual history book? Most definitely, yes. Elagabalus is a controversial figure for being an emperor of the largest empire the world has ever seen. Rome, in the hands of a teenager? Elagabalus was barely fourteen when he was given an empire to rule. Calling him eccentric is a bit… off. I really want to see a YA book that focuses on him entirely. It is just ridiculous if you think about it, but his story will definitely be the most refreshing historical take that will ever exist in the genre. He can be the villain, or he could be this misunderstood boy who got misguided by the people around him.

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer (1762 – 1791)

If you have written a concerto at the age of four, a symphony at the age of seven, and a full scale opera at 12, I bet my cents that your life is nothing but extraordinary. Based on what I know about Mozart so far, being a child prodigy took him across Europe. It is no easy feat, because it can be quite intriguing to know what kind of a teenager he was. What went on in his life? And how majestically twisted is that brain of his? I have much to believe that his rise to fame happened while he was a teenager. I guess I don’t believe everything that I saw in the movie Amadeus…

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Marie Antoinette, Queen Consort of France and Navarre (1774 – 1791)

Imagine being queen of France at a young age? Not only that, but being the daughter of one of the largest dynasties is an extraordinary place to be. I might not want to imagine the pressure she’s on, but those are tasks that are too heavy to put on a teenager’s shoulders. Not only that, she’s being judged because she is a foreign consort. The Marie Antoinette movie that starred Kirsten Dunst is a favorite guilty pleasure movie of mine, but wouldn’t a book detailing it be a great idea?

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And that’s about it, guys and gals. Who are your favorite historical figures? Would they fit the bill as an amazing lead ? Share your thoughts below!

P.S. I’m saving Alexander Hamilton for a later date, just you wait. 😉

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Fangirl Corner: Epic Rap Battles of History

Fangirl Corner

Warning: Video-heavy blog post 🙂

Truth be told, I am a history nerd. I love everything about history. From the ancient civilizations to the 21st century, history is my forte. It is the only subject that I can study until the end of time. One day, when I was watching some videos on the React Channel, a video popped up in the suggestions labeled “Rasputin vs Joseph Stalin”. I was just blown away by the rapping and the ridiculous accuracy of the meanings behind the raps. I was so proud of myself because I know the references. I encountered this rap battle on a particular Youtube channel called Epic Rap Battles of History. (ERB for short) I immediately got interested. It slowly took over my life and I memorized the battles by heart. The beats in their rap battles are totally worth the replay button and you just can’t get those raps out of your head.

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The spear head of the channel is Nice Peter and Epic Lloyd, two insanely badass rappers and men of history. The rap battles actually started out on Nice Peter’s channel, but they continued doing the battles on their official channel.They quickly gained a huge following, reaching 6 million subscribers by the start of their 3rd season. The show is now on its 5th season, and they just released the first rap battle. I have huge expectations this season, because this premier was AWESOME. And who’s in the battle? J.R.R Tolkien and George R.R. Martin!

Here are the reasons why you should subscribe to their channel:

First of all, they live up to their name. Like moi, their battles are EPIC. I mean who would’ve thought that Darth Vader and Adolf Hitler would have the greatest rap battle ever?

Second, their process is magic. The lyrically inducing raps, the eerie up-to-point make-up and costumes, the ridiculous lot of dedication through research and the amazing editing. That is why no matter how many Behind The Scenes videos they upload, I will watch every single one of it.

Third, the creators are very nice. They take battle suggestions from us, the fans. Which makes the creative process challenging and brilliant at the same time.

Of course, I will not stop there. Since Tuesday is famous for its top ten’s (pun intended), I am not leaving you guys empty handed. I will gladly list down my top ten favorite rap battles in descending order. Despite being listed, all of these battles are equally awesome. Believe me, I had a hard time.

10. Albert Einstein vs. Stephen Hawking

Who knew Einstein and Hawking had some known differences? This rap is too catchy to pass up, plus the lines are oh so incredible. Watch out for Stephen Hawking.

9. Romeo and Juliet vs. Bonnie and Clyde

I have been gushing about this battle for ages. Despite making wrong decisions, I love Romeo and Juliet to bits. I have long history with the play. But Bonnie and Clyde are also wonderful two peas in a pod. Plus, who would not love this battle? Hannah Hart and Grace Helbig are in this!

8. Darth Vader vs Adolf Hitler

Granted, the rap battle that they started with is John Lennon vs. Bill O’ Reilly. But, this was the rap battle that had people talking. It was just their second battle, but you could their creativity in this one. Sick rhymes, guys.

7. Stephen King vs Edgar Allan Poe

Two literary agents of horror battle it out on this one. If this does validate what is to come, Stephen King himself actually tweeted about this rap battle!

6. Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates

Sense knows nothing. This is the ultimate nerd battle. Ever imagined what would happen if Steve Jobs and Bill Gates finally battle it out? I can say that this will already satisfy that longing. Forget Ashton Kutcher’s Jobs. You can never go wrong with this one.

5. Cleopatra vs. Marilyn Monroe

Still the best woman battle on the show (sorry Oprah!), and it slays! Cat claws here and there, plus these girls are downright hardcore. Personally, I hope they incorporate more women in the battle. There are a lot more women who can get facts straight in a rap battle.

4. Eastern Philosophers vs. Western Philosophers

I almost forgot to mention that Epic Rap Battles of History drops bombs like these every now and then. These people obviously have a lot of differences, clearly because they all gave significant insights in the world of philosophy. It’s like a boss battle, but with three great minds in each team.

3. Rasputin vs. Stalin

Probably the most epic finale still, they made sure they ended with a bang. And all are Russian figures. As I mentioned earlier, this is the rap battle that got me to hit that lovely subscribe button.

2. Dr. Seuss vs William Shakespeare

I am a George Watsky fangirl. I now admit that. 🙂 No really, thanks to ERB. This is an early battle, but you can see how it is just as cool and well-thought out. It is a fact that Dr. Seuss suffered from oral cancer, so you have to see how he plays it out in this battle.

1. Mozart vs. Skrillex

This one eventually won it out, because you cannot be wrong with fusing classic music with dubstep. How is that even possible? Magic, with a hint two accurately portrayed figures.

Runner-ups!

I feel bad for taking these guys out of my top ten, so I decided to include it here.

Gandhi vs. Martin Luther King Jr.

Steven Spielberg vs. Alfred Hitchcock

George Washington vs. William Wallace


Well, that turned out well. I hope I was able to convince you guys to appreciate your history more. To be honest, I have this weird feeling that they will probably have Alexander Hamilton in a future battle. Let’s keep our fingers (and toes) crossed for that.

What’s your favorite epic rap battle? Leave down on the comments below!

P.S. Yes, I am aware that I just posted a hiatus post. But this is a special case. 😛

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Fangirl Corner: ARCS? Chill.

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I noticed recently that there is a lot of stuff going on involving ARCs. In case you’re relatively new, an ARC stands for an Advanced Reader’s Copy. Meaning: It is the book before it gets released. There is a hype about ARCs, especially if it is surrounded by HYPE. Too much hype and all of that stuff. Meanwhile, this fangirl here is quite chill about it. Why so?

Let me explain how it goes down with ARCs:

  1. Since it is an Advanced Reader’s Copy, not everyone can have it. So it is practically like The Hunger Games. Publishers choose who gets the ARCs and who does not. They have to be picky, because: a) Not every single one of those who are given/granted the ARC reads it right away. b) Not every single one of those who are given/granted the ARC will add to the hype about that ARC. Some will dislike it because not every book pleases everyone.
  2. ARCs play a vital role when it comes to promoting the book. Which is why I have already used the word “hype” a lot because the ARCs cause the hype. If there’s hype, more people will be intrigued to read the book.
  3. Since not everyone gets ARCs, pangs of jealousy blossoms into other blogger’s hearts. If one blogger gets it and some don’t, they will not be okay because they know that they want that ARC so bad.
  4. ARCs give your blog a certain credibility, meaning that your blog can be noticed by other publishers. Hence, more ARCs for you.
  5. You get to spread the hype and build it up. Fun, if you liked the book. Depressing, if you didn’t like it.

So why am I relatively chill about this?

  1. I am a neurotic reader. If I sign-up on receiving ARCs, I cannot promise to get to it right away. They will probably pile up. But, the thing about me is that I will read it. Because I read 3-5 books a month. Yet, it will kill me if I don’t read before it’s released.
  2. Balancing studies, reading and blogging is hard enough. I mean, don’t get me wrong here. I love all of those things. But if one of those three puts me off, I go on a hiatus.
  3. ARCs eventually hit the shelves. If you guys live in the US, UK, or Australia, then lucky you. At least the books get there. Here in the Philippines on the other hand, you have to cross your fingers for the book to magically appear on your local bookstore. You also have to cross your fingers to have some money. And if you don’t have money, you have to cross your fingers for the book to be there once you have money. And yes, I am cool with it. Why? Because I make sure that I always do the first thing I mentioned. Savvy with money bookworms always have power in bookstores. Keep that in mind 😉
  4. It’s not a finished copy. Circa not-blogging-yet, I’ve always thought that there were no such things as ARCs. I thought there were only editor checks, third and fourth rechecks, and BOOM. You get a book. Then, I entered the book blogosphere and saw that people are getting books before they are released. So my attitude was like, “How do I get one?”. But as time passed, I realized that I’d rather have a finished copy. That way, I could support the authors by buying their books.
  5. I can still review a book after it comes out. And it will still give readers a sense of how much I liked or disliked what I read.

Why people should be chill about it will also have an effect on the system. Because people need to calm down first to think straight. I’m chill. It’s rare for a fangirl to be chill, but the topic about ARCs just make go “meh”. ARCs come by and go. So before you go get that ARC, ask yourself. Do you really want to read the book?

For the record, I have received ARCs. I have a NetGalley account and I also request ARCs there. But I only request what I can read. I haven’t received any ARCs in physical form, other than a loot that I won in a giveaway. And I’m entirely grateful for it.

I also don’t have anything against people who receive a lot of ARCs, because they worked really hard to get to the point where publishers trust them enough to let them know their take on the ARCs they receive.

That’s just me. What’s your take on this? I would love to hear from you.

(I just made a discussion post. Self-five.)

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Fangirl Corner: The Awesomes

Fangirl Corner

No, no, no. This TV show is not what you think it is. First of all, this is not your regular cartoon for kids. Second, I’m not even sure if it is for kids. And third, there is nothing more awesome than The Awesomes.

This week on Fangirl Corner, I am featuring The Awesomes.

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The Awesomes is a show on Hulu, created by Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker. You may know Seth Meyers as that guy who used to be on Weekend Update guy at Saturday Night Live and OR as the host of Late Night. I don’t know where or how I knew about The Awesomes (maybe I was stalking Seth Meyer’s wikipedia page… sshh) but after watching just the first episode, I was hooked.

Here’s the premise: All his life, Jeremy “Prock” Awesome just wanted his father’s attention. His father Mr. Awesome was America’s greatest superhero and is the leader of the greatest superhero team, The Awesomes. Unfornately, Prock did not inherit any of his dad’s abilities, making him a lesser hero.

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Poor Prock. Even the dog was more interesting than him.

One day, Mr. Awesome held a press conference stating that he is planning to retire. The leadership was passed on to a greater hero named Perfect Man, but he declined. Not wanting to let the world suffer, having the Awesomes disbanded, and let the opportunity to prove himself slip, Prock took responsiblity of taking over the leadership of The Awesomes. Much to his dismay, the team abandoned him, leaving him and his bestfriend Muscleman to carry on the team’s legacy.

Since he and his friend Muscleman were classified as lesser heroes, the government cut them off. Prock bargained that if he fills the team’s roster within 48 hours, they will have to be funded again. Thus, Prock’s team began to form. Here’s the catch though: they are all consisted of rejects.

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With the dilemma of having to prove that the new Awesomes were as good as the old one, Prock’s problems does not end there. The Awesome’s enemy Dr. Malocchio has escaped from prison and is planning to take over the world since Mr. Awesome is gone. Also, there’s a girl involved.


 

That’s just the first episode. Imagine how they made the rest of the season. Each season has 10 episodes each. And they just gave the conclusion for the third season of the show. Things pretty much escalated in Season 2. And Season 3 had the most shocking revelations.

What is it about this show that gives it a unique advantage?

The show’s heroes consist of reject superheroes. It is quite a refreshing take since they don’t have the usual powers that we are used to seeing. The Awesome’s team roster consists of:

Prock (Team Leader) voiced by Seth Meyers

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Power/s: Strong leadership skills, super intelligence, control of time (for 10 seconds)

Issues: Very fragile

Muscleman voiced by Ike Barinholtz

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Power/s: Super human strength

Issues: Hearing

Frantic voiced by Taran Killam

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Power/s: Super Speed (third fastest man)

Issues: Bat sh*t crazy

Impresario voiced by Kenan Thompson

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Power/s: Conjurer

Issues: Mother issues; Everything he conjures has his mama on it

Tim voiced by Bobby Lee

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Power/s: Turns into a sumo wrestler at will

Issues: Age

Gadget Gal voiced by Paula Pell

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Power/s: Gadget making (even junk can be a villain stopper)

Issues: Got hit by a rejuvinating ray but still talks like a grandma

Hotwire voiced by Rashida Jones

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Power/s: Ability to form electricity

Issues: Applied, probably has a hidden agenda

More people will join the roster. Just don’t go to Wikipedia or else you will be spoiled.


The viewers can also see how The Awesomes stumble and fall to reach the same glory Mr. Awesome has done. Ironically, they always end up saving the world but they don’t get enough recognition since the world still has doubts about them.

But what distinguishes this show the most is it’s sense of humor and themes. Yes, these superheroes cuss and discuss about innuendos sometimes. Which is why I don’t recommend that you watch it with kids. They deliver a good laugh though. Not surprising since most of the ensemble cast is affiliated with Saturday Night Live and other comedic shows.

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Nevertheless, the adventures of The Awesomes are the ones that you need to look out for. Thrilling and exciting in every turn with a sense of humor to go, I hope the show gets renewed for more seasons. I need this show. I love it.

How about you guys?  What other shows should we look out for? Any recommendations? Comment below.

I’ll just be here binge-watching The Awesomes in its entirety.

Brb

(Images mostly from The Awesomes wikia)