[Review] Chewy Noh and the Phantasm of Winter (Chewy Noh, #2) by Tim Learn

chewy noh and the phantasm of winter

Title: Chewy Noh and the Phantasm of Winter
Author: Tim Learn
Publication: July 15th 2016
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Pages: 312
Format: Paperback

Chewy Noh has many problems. Besides his mom becoming a mu-dang—a Korean fortune-teller possessed by his dead grandmother who can read minds—the school bully, Kent, is still on the warpath to get Chewy kicked out of school. With his secret ability to win at everything, none of this bothers him until he starts disappearing for no reason while a mysterious force attacks his fellow students, and he must scramble to figure out what’s going on before he becomes its next and final victim.


Shelf it on Goodreads!

Also, you can buy it on: Amazon | Book Depository

My thoughts:

Chewy Noh and the Phantasm of Winter is the second installment in the Chewy Noh series. I personally loved this better than the first one because of its plot line and the character development. The author told me that there is no need to read the first book to read the second one. The first one is merely a background on how things work for Chewy and his grandmother being a mu-dang.

In this book, something ghastly is terrorizing the students in Chewy’s school in America. Even with his superpower, he has no idea what is happening because he always black out every time something bad happens. At the same time, the bully, Kent, is trying to make the teachers realize that Chewy having perfect scores is fake and a cheat, and he is trying to get Chewy get kicked out of school.

“Too many people know how to study, listen, and follow. Not enough know how to stand up for something, especially when everyone else seems to think it’s okay and lets it happen.”

I love the idea of the Korean mythology being incorporated in the book, especially when the gu-mi-ho was introduced since I have a little background about that creature. Yes, it is because of the Korean drama that is all about that guy falling in love with a girl who is apparently a gu-mi-ho (fox with nine tails). It’s the reason why this creature rang a bell to me.

Despite this, I had some trouble shifting from chapter to chapter because I don’t know who is the person talking. Especially when intermissions started to intercept with the present chapters where Death was introduced to us. Everything started to get baffling and complex, but I love how it adds a dark element to the story.

“Don’t you see? Jumping in to save someone, no matter what–that made you who you are, that made you the Great Chewy Noh. But sometimes, jumping in isn’t always the answer.”

I somehow find something unrealistic about Mrs. Wolf when she’s teaching because there were times that she is naming names who cheated on her tests, and I just don’t think teachers would do that to humiliate students specifically to children. Nevertheless, everything seems perfectly fine, unlike the first book where I encountered a lot of problems. Every problem that I found there was corrected in this sequel, making this one better.

All in all, nothing’s fine with the book. I love the idea and the plot behind it, but there were just some confusing chapters that made me re-read some lines to understand what’s happening. Chewy Noh is surely a series that give importance to Korean mythology, culture and tradition, while being interesting for the younger audience.

3 swords3 swords for the Great Chewy Noh!


About the author:

tim learnTim Learn has always loved books. While younger, he reads voraciously the classics and experimental forms of narrative. But, more recently, he’s backtracked and started enjoying authors like Gaimen, Sachar, and Clement. His writing tends to tackle issues of spirituality, paradigms, and the way we think. His love for reading and writing has only expanded by becoming an English teacher in Korea.


Which do you prefer? Young Adult or Middle Grade? Comment below and let’s talk about it.

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[Top Ten Tuesday] My Recent 5-Star Reads

It’s been a long time since I did a Top Ten Tuesday feature, and finally, I’m doing it. This feature is hosted by the amazing The Broke and the Bookish. For this day, I am going to list the 10 books that I’ve rated with 5 stars. Being the skeptic I am, it’s been a long time since I rated a book 5 stars.

Without further ado, here are the books that I rated with 5 stars:

  1. The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

the serpent king

This has been by far my number 1 contemporary read last year. Yes, it’s my most recent 5 star read. I haven’t rated 5 stars this month yet. Mostly 3 and 4 stars. But this one is completely phenomenal. Such a great book and such an amazing and friendly author. This book deserved all the hype that it’s getting nowadays.


2. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

queen of shadows

This is the only book by Sarah J. Maas which I’ve rated 5 stars. Despite its heftiness, I really enjoyed flipping the pages of this book. How it is written was breathtakingly beautiful with a descriptive world-building. Definitely an amazing fantasy series with a kick-ass female protagonist.


3. November 9 by Colleen Hoover

november 9

I never thought that I would like the New Adult genre. Ever since I’ve immersed myself with Colleen Hoover’s book when she came to our country to visit, I was obsessed. Reading her books makes me feel like I’m watching a movie. How she writes her books is funny and heartbreaking at the same time.


4. The Rose Society by Marie Lu

the rose society.jpg

Marie Lu has been one of the two of my all-time favorite authors, and she has never ever disappointed me by her books. From her dystopian series to this dark fantasy series, she has completely blown me away. This book is amazing as you might hear it around. This is surely the best book she has ever written.


5. Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett

blood and salt

This book was way different. I love how Kim Liggett writes a new kind of genre. It’s a romance and horror genre or “hor-mance” as she stated. It was an easy read for me with dual point-of-views. Could’ve been a great fantasy read if it weren’t a horror book but I really enjoyed reading this one.


6. A Work in Progress by Connor Franta

a work in progress

I have never read a memoir before, and I never regret buying this one. I’ve been a fan of Connor Franta since I watched his YouTube videos. In his memoir, he brings realism and his encounters with the hardships in life as he comes out. My favorite part about this memoir is his passion for photography. I, myself, have a passion for it as well that’s why I enjoyed reading this one.


7. Confess by Colleen Hoover

confess

This is the first book by Colleen Hoover I have read. Story and concept-wise I enjoyed reading how Auburn and Owen met and how they started to be as lovers. I also love how artworks the character did were also included in this book. I confess that I love New Adult. Maybe, start reading one again.


8. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

everything, everything

I have received this book as an advanced copy, and how beautiful the cover is is also how beautiful the story itself is. This book deals with a girl with a sickness that she’s basically allergic to everything and can only stay at the house to be safe. How she copes with a new neighbor is definitely life-changing for her. The romance and the plot twist are totally everything, everything to me.


9. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

simon vs the homo sapiens agenda

I do not often read books with an LGBT element, but this one turns out to be so good. How the author adds cute and quirkiness of the characters and how she adds Oreos to the book definitely made this one so much better than expected. Really enjoyed reading this!


10. Stand-Off by Andrew Smith

stand off.jpg

Okay, like I always say on my blog or on my Instagram, Andrew Smith is a fantastic author and has been one of my all-time favorite authors since I’ve read Winger. I love how he writes simply but conveys a lot of values to the audience. Ever since I’ve read that book, I was in a hangover and don’t know if I’ll ever read again because the ending was so unexpectedly good, and as I read that book, I just kept laughing and laughing.


What’s your most recent 5-star read? Comment below and let’s talk about it.

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A Very, Very Precious Package

Just a few days ago, I acquired an amazing package that I have been waiting for my whole life. Well, not literally, but it’s okay to exaggerate a bit because I’m eagerly, impatiently waiting for this package to come when it got shipped, and since UPS provides tracking location on where the package is going, I’ve been eyeing and staring at my phone and computer to check on it once in a while.

So earlier, when it was its day of arrival, I was pumped to check it out. I was heading home from school, and I suddenly received an e-mail saying that the package has been received. Although, there were some misconceptions about me thinking that the mailman delivered the parcel at the wrong address because the e-mail stated another address which is totally not mine. Luckily, it was the parcel I’ve been waiting for. I NEED A LOT OF EXCLAMATION POINTS ON THIS ONE!!!!!!!!!!!

I couldn’t wait to open it up and see what’s inside. Of course I already know what’s inside. By the way, I haven’t told you yet what’s inside. It’s a timepiece from a very famous, renowned watch company– Daniel Wellington. Well, if you don’t know, I won’t blame you, but the watches they offer are completely amazing.

dw1.jpg

Since you visited this very blog post of mine, I shall offer you a discount code so that you can buy their breath-taking watches in a more affordable price. Here it is:

Get someone you love a special gift in danielwellington.com until 15/5/2016
by using the code “BOOKWORMANIAC15
” to get 15% off of all products on.

Also, they offer free worldwide shipping, so they got you covered. You can check out their website and social media below if you want to see some amazing pictures where people wore their timepieces.

dw2

Check them out here:

Website: www.danielwellington.com
Instagram: instagram.com/danielwellington
Facebook: facebook.com/danielwellingtonofficial


Do you consider buying their watches? Comment below and let’s talk about it.

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[Review] This Is Where the World Ends by Amy Zhang

this is where the world ends

Title: This Is Where the World Ends
Author: Amy Zhang
Publication: March 22nd 2016 by Greenwillow Books
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: ARC

Janie and Micah, Micah and Janie. That’s how it’s been ever since elementary school, when Janie Vivien moved next door. Janie says Micah is everything she is not. Where Micah is shy, Janie is outgoing. Where Micah loves music, Janie loves art. It’s the perfect friendship—as long as no one finds out about it. But then Janie goes missing and everything Micah thought he knew about his best friend is colored with doubt.


Shelf it on Goodreads!

Also, you can buy it on: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | KoboiBooks

My thoughts:

I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion.

God, this was a hard book to read even though it’s a very short book. It started dull and continued to be dull as I kept on reading the book. I had so much expectations set on Amy Zhang because her previous bestseller, Falling into Place, was getting a lot of hype, and this was a major let-down. I’ll tell you why.

Firstly, the writing is completely annoying. It has a factor that makes me want to cringe all day long while reading it. I definitely endured this and finished the book. Luckily, that started to disintegrate while I’m reaching the middle of the book which started to get interesting and the writing got less annoying.

“It’s easier like this, just to be us. It’s easier like this to see how beautiful the earth and life and we are. We are stars and the purple-red-blue sky in the background. We are streamers and ribbons tied to trees and balloons that dance in the wind. We are shadows, the too-sharp angle of his nose and the frizzy strands of hair falling into my face. We breathe in the helium and sing show tunes to each other in unrecognizable voices.”

Secondly, alternate chapters are a good aspect of the book wherein there is “past” and “future” chapters. Basically “before” and “after” in the book. What I didn’t like about this is that I started to lose interest with “before” and as much as I want to continue reading “after” (because it got interesting), “before” is slowly making me want to give up reading the book and the “after” parts.

Thirdly, this book is like something I have already read before, and it just bored me to read more and more, knowing the outcome over and over again. Expected, yes. Good thing that the ending was a good turn of events because I finally found something that I like about this book.

“If there is one thing that science and religion agree on, it’s the fact that the world is going to end. Maybe the sun will go out or God will rain his wrath down or a giant wolf will swallow the earth whole, but throughout it all is the pervasive idea of entropy. It’s all unraveling. Everything is stumbling toward an ending.”

Lastly, the inconsistency is horrible. On one hand, it finally gets better and I was happy to see some improvements, but then, on the other hand, it fell completely flat. What happened?  Moreover, most times, the book is more less interesting than more more interesting.

All in all, it is a great book with poor execution. Well, that’s just for me. A lot of people found it good because of her writing, and I completely believe that she played it well by using her words to create some melancholic parts of the book and its ending. She greatly ended the book, but she definitely forgot polishing the start which should be a page-turner. However, you all should still definitely check it out.

3 swords3 swords of disappointment and some satisfaction!


About the author:

amy zhang.jpg

Amy Zhang used to have lots of imaginary friends. When people told her to grow up, she turned her imaginary friends into characters and started telling their stories. When she isn’t writing, she can be found playing piano, hitting balls on the tennis court, or struggling through her weekly existential crisis. She lives in Wisconsin with her family.


Have you read any book by Amy Zhang? Comment below and let’s talk about it. 

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[Author Interview] Rahul Kanakia (Author of Enter Title Here)

A very, very long time ago, I interviewed Rahul Kanakia, the author of Enter Title Here which is a book I’m highly anticipating. It is his debut novel on the YA contemporary genre. His book comes out on August 2nd, published by Disney Hyperion.

About the book: (from Goodreads)

I’m your protagonist—Reshma Kapoor—and if you have the free time to read this book, then you’re probably nothing like me.

Reshma is a college counselor’s dream. She’s the top-ranked senior at her ultra-competitive Silicon Valley high school, with a spotless academic record and a long roster of extracurriculars. But there are plenty of perfect students in the country, and if Reshma wants to get into Stanford, and into med school after that, she needs the hook to beat them all.

What’s a habitual over-achiever to do? Land herself a literary agent, of course. Which is exactly what Reshma does after agent Linda Montrose spots an article she wrote for Huffington Post. Linda wants to represent Reshma, and, with her new agent’s help scoring a book deal, Reshma knows she’ll finally have the key to Stanford.

But she’s convinced no one would want to read a novel about a study machine like her. To make herself a more relatable protagonist, she must start doing all the regular American girl stuff she normally ignores. For starters, she has to make a friend, then get a boyfriend. And she’s already planned the perfect ending: after struggling for three hundred pages with her own perfectionism, Reshma will learn that meaningful relationships can be more important than success—a character arc librarians and critics alike will enjoy.

Of course, even with a mastermind like Reshma in charge, things can’t always go as planned. And when the valedictorian spot begins to slip from her grasp, she’ll have to decide just how far she’ll go for that satisfying ending. (Note: It’s pretty far.)

About the author:

Rahul Kanakia’s first book, a contemporary young adult novel called Enter Title Here, is coming out from Disney-Hyperion on August 2nd, 2016. Additionally, his stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Apex, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, The Indiana Review, and Nature. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins and a B.A. in Economics from Stanford, and he used to work in the field of international development. Originally from Washington, D.C., Rahul now lives in Berkeley.


Q&A

1. What/Who inspired you to write?
Honestly, since I was a little child I’ve often dreamed of becoming famous. And there aren’t that many ways to become famous. You can either go into politics and become some sort of public figure, or you can be an artist. Since I loved to read and was a bit shy, it’s natural that my ambitions came, over time, to center on writing fiction.

2. What is the title of your favorite book?
Growing up, I really loved Isaac Asimov’s Caves of Steel. It was a science fiction classic: my mom handed it to me–she’d read it when she was a little girl in India! I thought it was such a human story: it’s about a detective, on an overcrowded far-future Earth, who’s assigned to work the murder of one of the imperialists who’ve, basically, colonized the Earth. The detective finds his sympathy lies naturally with the murderer, whoever they might be, but he knows that if he doesn’t solve this case, he’ll lose his job and he’ll be forced onto the breadlines. It was one of the books that ignited my love of science fiction, and it taught me that big ideas can coexist with deeply personal and emotional stories.

3. Do you eat when writing? If so, what do you eat?
For about two years, I subsisted primarily on frozen pizza. No joke, like 75% of my calories came from frozen pizza. Then I became lactose intolerant.
Now I mostly eat frozen meals from Trader Joe’s. Wow, these are very stereotypical thirty year old bachelor answers…

4. What is your least favorite thing to do?
I do not enjoy traveling. I am a very settled soul. All my favorite things: my apartment, my friends, and my beautiful, sylvan neighborhood–are at home, and the world outside Berkeley often feels like nothing more than a series of cramped rooms.

5. When you are not writing, what do you do?
I’m a very social animal nowadays. If you invite me to a party, I will go to it. Sometimes this is pretty awkward, like when some college friend blanket-invites everybody he knows to his birthday party. But I’ve gotten some great friendships out of those awkward situations, and that’s why I keep doing it.

6. What is your all-time favorite movie and TV show/series?
All-time favorite? Maybe The West Wing? I rewatched it recently and was surprised by how much I loved it. The show is just so smart and so inspiring. I still can’t believe they made a political show that was both: a) honest; and b) idealistic. Nowadays I really like The Good Wife. I watch it mainly for Julianna Margulies’s eyebrows. Look at them sometime. They’re so thin and bladelike, and so marvelously expressive. I swear, they look slightly different in each episode.

7. Give your best ‘one’ word to describe your upcoming book: Enter Title Here
Hubris

8. What’s the feeling that your upcoming book will almost finally be released?
Fear. It’s great, at parties, to say, “I’ve got a book coming out soon!” What’s not so great is to say, “My book got terrible reviews and my publisher dropped me.”

9. Can you give an advice to aspiring writers out there?
Learn to submit. The saddest thing I’ve seen are all the writers who take class after class and never submit their work. I know they’re waiting for the day when their professor says, “This is good. You’re a good writer. You can sell this.” But the problem is that: a) many professors never give this kind of response; and b) even when they do, they’re often wrong and the work doesn’t sell. So much of what aspiring writers do is avoidance behavior: they’re afraid of rejection, so they polish and polish and polish and do their best to create an unrejectable manuscript.
Don’t do this. Just throw the work out there. It’ll get rejected. You’ll cry, and then you’ll write something else.

Have you added Enter Title Here to your TBR? Comment below and let’s talk about it.

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[Review] Broken Sky (Broken, #1) by L.A. Weatherly

broken sky

Title: Broken Sky
Author: L.A. Weatherly
Publication: March 1st 2016 by Usborne
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 500
Format: Paperback

Welcome to a ‘perfect’ world.

Where war is illegal, where harmony rules.

And where your date of birth marks your destiny.

But nothing is perfect.

And in a world this broken, who can Amity trust?


Shelf it on Goodreads!

Also, you can buy it on: Amazon | Book DepositoryiBooks

My thoughts:

A heart-pounding adventure of Amity Vancour as a Peacefighter of the Western Seaboard – being the one who fights other jet pilots with something large at stake to keep the country’s “peace” from other – started with a prologue that overshadows the climax of the story. Then, the book continued with chapters that spoke about the past before the prologue happened which made me intrigued to read more.

To be honest, the start of the book was incredibly slow which made me want to drop this book and start a new one. But since being a good reader and reviewer, I opt myself to finish the book without thinking that it is also hefty. I don’t like hefty books especially when it is really losing my interest as I read it.  Fortunately, as I read on, the book slowly picked up its pace and was starting to get interesting. I have also problems regarding the sudden shift of character’s perspectives because in some part, it is Amity we are talking about, then it moves on to the perspective of Kay, an astrologer who desperately wants to be noticed by Gunnison.

“Our heartbeats thudded together even through his jacket and my coat. I buried my face against his neck, breathing him in – the smell of machine oil, summertime, a thousand memories.”

With a touch of astrology, the people were affected by the power of Gunnison, the leader of Central States, who believes that the birth chart is the guide to knowing whether people are a threat to him or not. “Discordants” are what they call them and Gunnison is quickly eradicating their existence. With the help of astrology and some Tarot cards which he strongly believed in, he is slowly taking over to defeat the Western Seaboard’s pilots. This is one aspect that I admirably loved about the book because astrological signs were mentioned that determine the person himself as Discordant or not.

The style of writing  brought about was beautiful to read. There were times that it was difficult to read because of the technicalities it focused like the parts of the fighter jet the pilots used to fight other countries. Despite this, like I said, the writing was beautiful especially when used in fantasy books because its descriptions are detailed and will definitely give you a good picture of what is happening around.

“No one can judge your actions unless they’ve been there.”

Another thing commendable about this book is its romance. Not too light nor too much– just a perfect blend of romance with perfect characters to portray it. The romance had a fantastic role in bringing the audience a message that love is powerful, be it for another person or for family, but you have to control love to be able to accomplish your mission.

Ultimately, with the things mentioned above, they played an important role to creating a book filled with complexities in regards to the world-building. What I liked most about this book is the plot executed well by the author herself. This book also ended with a great cliffhanger, which I don’t like but giving this book an exception because it completely made me want to acquire the second installment. Definitely recommended to post-apocalyptic and flying-and-fighting jets lovers.

4 swords4 swords for this action-packed awesomeness!


About the author:

la weatherly.jpg

Lee Weatherly was born in 1967 and grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. She lives with her husband in Hampshire, England, where she writes, goes on walks, tries out new recipes and has a cat named Bernard.


Have you added this book to your TBR? Comment below and let’s talk about it.

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Full-Time Book-Modeling (Part 2)

It’s time for another book-modeling brought to you by me because that’s me in the pictures below. Obviously. They aren’t really that nice, but I still hope you appreciate the pictures. I just hope a book modeling agency exists then you would see me applying for that job. Prepare to feast your eyes on a fail book-modeling.

(ombré shirt from GU)

For now, these are the pictures I will show you. Believe me when I say that there are still a lot of pictures that I haven’t showed you yet with my book-modeling thing. If you want to see more, you can just go to my Instagram here.

(jacket from H&M)

I hope you enjoyed looking at this horrible person. Haha!


Do you guys want a part 3 for this? Comment below and let’s talk about it.

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