In My Mailbox: Birthday Week Edition

Monday, May 31, 2010

A lot of people have been asking if I received books for my birthday, and yes! I actually did. I'm very lucky to have family and friends who know me and my little book addiction. (Thank you!! Haha)

First, these two are books that I got myself. It only cost me $5 for both, so I couldn't resist.

These are the books my family (mostly my cousins) and my friends got for me.
Residence On Earth by Pablo Neruda
- If you know me, you'd know that Neruda is my favorite poet of all time. Apparently, my cousin and my friend knew this, because they both got me the same book. I ended up returning the other one and got store credit! So now, I'm trying to decide which books I'm going to get. I'm quite indecisive when it comes to my purchases, so if you have any suggestions, please feel free to let me know! :)

Still Alice by Lisa Genova
- I have read this one, but never bought a copy for myself.
- My review can be found here.

Willow by Julia Hoban
- This is another one I already read, but didn't have a copy of.
- my review here.

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
- I think I'm the only one that has not read this one yet, but will definitely do so very soon!

Wake by Lisa Mcmann
- Looking forward to reading this one. Have you read it already? What did you think of it? No spoilers please ;)

I Am An Emotional Creature by Eve Ensler
- Eve Ensler is the founder of V-day; a movement to end violence against women and girls. She is an amazing speaker and an amazing writer, and I am in love with her previous book, The Vagina Monologues. This one is also non-fiction, that tells different stories about different women, leading different lives. This is all about female empowerment, feminism, and our power as women. I highly recommend it!

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
- already read it, don't have a copy.
- my review here.

The Carrie Diaries by Candance Bushnell
- This is a YA book, about Carrie Bradshaw, before all the glitz and glamour of her 'writing life.' This is when she first comes to New York City, and is a prequel to Sex and The City.
- I am kind of obsessed with the show (even before the movie) so this one was an absolute must-read for me. I understand that the books are not at all like the series, but I don't really mind, haha.

I also got..

Gift cards to several bookstores. I have $30 worth! Ideas on what to get? :)

And last but definitely not the least..

New Bookshelves!!
- from Timbooktoo.
Plus this one, where I'd keep library books, and some from my TBR pile.
Woohoo! Again, thank you alll so very much especially to those who greeted me through e-mail; definitely unexpected, but I was pleasantly surprised! To those who greeted me also through comments, thank you!
I hope you all had a great weekend! Here's to the coming week; be happy everyone! Happy Reading :)

A Month of Reading: May 2010

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Books Read:
Fablehaven by Brandon Mull - review
The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan - review
Going Bovine by Libba Bray - still writing
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card - still writing
Life In The Fat Lane by Cherie Bennett - review
Lament by Maggie Stiefvater - review
If I Stay by Gayle Forman - review
Nanny Returns by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus - still writing
I Am An Emotional Creature by Eve Ensler - still writing

Total Number of Books Read This Month:

Favorite Reads:
The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
I Am An Emotional Creature by Eve Ensler

Not-So-Favorite Reads:
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
Life In The Fat Lane by Cherie Bennett

Overall Thoughts:
This month was exciting for me. I have to admit, I've been on such a YA kick lately, but there is definitely nothing wrong with that!
I got The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan the day it was released, and am looking forward to the next installment in that exciting series. I also discovered the world of Fablehaven (by Brandon Mull) and can not wait to read the rest of the books.
I still have not changed my mind about Life In The Fat Lane by Cherie Bennett -- still think it was one-sided, unfair, and hateful. I finally got to read Ender's Game, and though I don't usually like to read sci-fi, I ended up liking this one a lot.
Another new favorite of mine is I Am An Emotional Creature by Eve Ensler. This one's an absolute must for me, as it discusses different situations and lives of different women. It's an awesome book full of insights about feminism, female empowerment, our rights, and the power that women have. I highly recommend it!

Oh and people have been asking me if I got books for my birthday, and yes, I did! My family&friends know me and my little book addiction, so they let me indulge. I might do an In My Mailbox post tomorrow! Perhaps a vlog? I have yet to decide ;)
In other random news: I did end up getting my own Twitter account. If you'd like to follow, you can click right here. I am surprisingly really liking it so far!
Anyway, overall, it was a really great month; in general and book-wise. I hope that you all had a great month as well! If you do a May-wrap up, do post your link in a comment. I'd love to hear from you too. But that is pretty much it for the month. Can you believe it's already June?? Hello, Summer :)

ArmchairBEA: I Imagine if I Went..

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

to Book Expo America..

I imagine stepping out of the airport, with my suitcase in tow and my purse on my shoulder. I will know exactly what to do and where to go, because I've spent the last week organizing my travel plans on a little notebook. I find myself reading them in my head, to myself, making sure I wouldn't get lost. I imagine texting my parents and best friends back home in San Francisco, trying not to freak out, shouting, "I'minNewYorkOhMyGoshICanNotBelieveI'm.." You get the point ;) Instead, I will contain myself and try to act like a normal person. I will simply tell them I made it to New York alive and well.

I imagine getting to the hotel, checking in. I imagine putting down my stuff, looking around the 'unlived' hotel room. After that, when I know I'm all alone, I shall let it all go and jump and down and do a little happy *cough, crazy, cough* dance around and around until I'm out of breath and I can't dance no more.

I imagine getting ready to go to Jacob K. Javits for the actual event! *happy dance required here as well* I will be so nervous, yet excited all at the same time.
When I get there, I already know the place and the people would definitely overwhelm me. There are so many things going on; Book signings, author events, discussion panels, publishing booths, speakers, etc.

I imagine bumping into one book blogger after another, finally having the opportunity to meet them in person! <-- This part would be pretty awesome, don't you think? With my tote bag that will be eventually be filled up with books, goodies, and all that lovely stuff, I will walk around until my feet hurt. The craziest thing is, I wouldn't really mind. I imagine feeling lucky to be at a place like this; a book lover's dream destination... eerrr, I mean, event. A place where we have the freedom to be the total bookworms that we are, as if it's the most natural thing in the world.
I imagine telling myself how crazy this is; that I have never been surrounded by so many book people before! I imagine smiling to myself, as Book Expo America, proves the great power of written art. Of books, words, and literature. I imagine it would be quite an unforgettable experience; one that I won't forget. One that I would want to repeat again and again. Perhaps.. annually. ;)

To those who are in NYC for BEA right now, I hope you are having the best time! :) And for those who were not able to go -- especially to the Armchair BEA participants -- maybe next year for us :)

'Followers Giveaway' Results!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The '165 followers' giveaway that ran from May 1st to May 24th is finally over and the results are here! There was a total of 470 entries (!!!) -- which was amazing, at least to me! So thankyouthankyou so much to those who entered this giveaway.
Like I mentioned, there will be two winners for this contest, picked from a randomized drawing. If you would like to see who won -- because it could be you! -- please do watch the video. It's just a short one. And sorry about the lighting! It's quite orange-y, I know.


I will be contacting you via e-mail. Please do respond in 48hours, or else I'd have to pick a new winner just to be fair. I am looking forward to hearing from you both! :)


As for your book recommendations.. thank you all! I've actually looked all of them up, and then decided which ones I am most likely going to enjoy. If your recommendation is not listed here, it's most likely because I have read it already, but thank you still! ;) Here's the books that I added to my TBR list, in no particular order!

1. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick : recommended by GMR, Mrs. Vanquish
2. Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by JR Ward : recommended by Outnumbered Mama, I Love Book Gossip
3. East by Edith Pattou : recommended by Cate
4. The Iron King by Julia Kagawa : recommended by throuthehaze, Natalie
5. Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev : recommended by Shy, DarLyn
6. Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert : recommended by Chris
7. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon : recommended by Mystee
8. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly : recommended by Okapi


Again, congratulations to the winners, thank you to those who entered this giveaway, and special thanks to those who contributed prizes. That is it for this contest. I had a lot of fun! Hope you did too. Have a great week and happy reading!

A Photo An Hour: Birthday!

A photo for every hour of a really good day.

Another personal post. Please bear with me!

Woke up at 9AM. But the 'day' really started at..


- leaving the house. Kobe is trying to block my way so I don't leave though -- he just doesn't want to get left behind.

- It was pretty great to have some "me" time for a change -- very solitary.





- Got myself these two books for only $5!

- At home getting ready to go out for dinner w/ the family
*don't really wear make-up, but it was my birthday so I decided to do it! haha*

Unfortunately, I have no pictures for this. This was the dinner with my family. It was so dark in the restaurant.

- drinks&dessert with my best friends!! We were there for a whiiilleee.
*we just ordered those for the sake of Sex&TheCity, haha!*


1:00AM - Home

It was a really good birthday :)

Oh, thank you again so, so much to my fellow book bloggers who sent me birthday greetings through e-mail -- I was quite surprised and very happy to hear from you!
And yes, about the '165 followers' contest.. I will use a randomized drawing to pick two winners. Hopefully, I'll announce the winners later today! Again, thanks for reading this post -- let me know if you like personal posts? And thank you some more! Just because ;) Have a greatttt day everyone.

Weekly Geeks: Character Comparison

Sunday, May 23, 2010

This is the first time I ever joined Dewey's Weekly Geeks, and I think this is the perfect topic for me. For this week, we're asked to take a closer look at some literary characters. Specifically, we're asked to name one character that you can relate to, is a complete opposite of you, and one that you wish you could be more like. So I'm going to go ahead and get started.

I can relate to..

Jo March
- Aside from writing, her family is her #1 priority and #1 love. She is independent. She is not naive. She can be both a tomboy and a girly girl. She doesn't say yes to the first boy that asks her out. She only falls in love when she knows she is ready. A bit of a feminist.
Did I mention she's always been an aspiring writer? Then finally, when she was ready, she goes out to the "real world" to show her talent and skill with her craft. She is not afraid to be by herself out there, which shows her determination to pursue her goals. At first, she can not take rejections, but eventually, learns to cope. She eventually learns not to get offended with negative feedback. She learns to accept the fact that everyone -- and every great writer -- has gone through negative feedback and criticisms. She learns that you can never learn enough; that it is the only way to improve your writing, and ultimately, yourself.

I am a complete opposite of...

Bella Swan
- Kind of needy. A total damsel in distress. A bit self-centered, if I may say so myself.

I wish I could be more like...

Annabeth Chase- "Annabeth is Percy's rational side. She can think through things and look at options that sometimes evade Percy in his moments of battle panic." - Rick Riordan
Annabeth knows what she wants and works hard to get it too. She is a strong fighter; very courageous; one that never gives up or backs out. She is a total opposite of a damsel in distress, is smart, wise, and independent. I want to be more like her for these reasons, but mostly because though she is a strong female character, she is not afraid to ask for help. She knows that asking for help is not a sign of weakness. This also shows that she doesn't think highly of herself. She knows it's better and more effective to be fighting with a team -- with her case, with her friends -- than alone.
- She also never "dies" for attention from Percy -- even though she does get jealous at times with other girls. When he does give her attention though, she doesn't deny it. She accepts it, because she knows she wants it too. This side of her kind of makes her human, which I love.

Do you agree? Disagree? And who would be your picks? I'd like to hear what you think.

Book Expo America + A Little Wishlist

Saturday, May 22, 2010

All this talk about the Book Expo America is kind of driving me crazy. Mainly because I wish I could go! I find myself reading other book blogger's posts on their blogs and on twitter about it, and I am honestly getting excited for them as well! So if you are one of the very lucky ones who get to go to this premiere event, I hope you have the awesome-est time :)
If you can't go though (ahem, like me) do check out Armchair BEA Central! It's almost the same version, but will all take place online. It sounds exciting, so I'm definitely in for this one.

If you don't what Book Expo America is, you can read more about it here. If you'd like to take my word for it though, here's a little explanation; Book Expo America or BEA is a publishing event here in North America. It takes place in New York City on May 25-27. It's the place to show our passion for books. Several publishers and authors will be there, with their own booths. Publishers give free ARCs, and some authors sign their books and give them to you for free. I'm not joking either. There will be discussions on several different topics, different panels, etc. Honestly though, it's not just those that I love about this event -- though that's always a little perk too, right? ;) -- it's the fact that this is the ultimate book lover/blogger/worm/nerd/dork/geek's event! Maybe next year attending this will be my birthday gift for myself :)

Wishlist Time!
1. Residence on Earth by Pablo Neruda
2. A Writer's San Francisco by Eric Maisel
3. I Am An Emotional Creature by Eve Ensler

I've actually read all of these, I just would love to have my own copies of them! Haha.
1. Still Alice by Lisa Genova
2. Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum
3. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
4. The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell
5. Willow by Julia Hoban

Hope you are having a great weekend so far! Happy reading :)

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Genre: Young Adult (I've been on such a YA kick lately!)
Source: Library
Synopsis: Mia and her family has just been in a terrible and fatal car accident. In an instant, she finds herself -- her physical self, at least -- at the hospital, as doctors and nurses struggle to keep her alive. While in a coma, she reminisces about the key events and stories in her life, as she tries to figure out what to do with herself. Soon, she realizes that what she ultimately has to do, is to choose and make the biggest decision in her life: Should she stay or should she go?

Review: If I Stay tells an original story through such a unique point-of-view. I don't think I've ever read a book like this before; plot-wise. And I have to say, this is one novel that deserves a 5-star rating. It is raw and honest, inspiring and sobering, heartbreaking and uplifting all at the same time.
First of all, I loved the main characters, and truly felt for them. I found that none of them fell into any of the character cliches that we all dislike so much. They were all believable and likable -- especially Mia herself, her best friend, Kim, and her boyfriend, Adam.
Aside from the characters, I also loved the overall flow of the story. I liked how it showed Mia's memories and her present life. I liked that the story took place in the course of just one night. It really gave emphasis on how heavy the events were as the hours went on.
I also kind of liked the fact that it was a very fast read, with just 196 pages. Like I already mentioned though, I think the flow helped a lot with the pace. I was never bored, and in fact, I literally could not put the book down. I know that's such a cliche thing to say, but it's definitely true for me.
Overall, I liked this book a lot. It is quite bittersweet, but I think that it just wouldn't have the same impact and feel to it, if it was done differently. That being said, this is one novel I'm glad I picked up, and one that I highly recommend.

Review Policy

Thank you so much for considering Random Ramblings. If you would like me to read and review your book, I am more than happy to do so. I accept review copies and already published books from both authors and publishers.

Genres I Read and Enjoy
First of all, I read everything. If the synopsis sounds interesting enough to catch my attention, I will read it, regardless of its genre.

However, some of my favorite books usually are:
  • General/Literary/Contemporary Fiction
  • Mysteries
  • Historical Fiction
I also typically enjoy:
  • Fantasy (for all ages)
  • Science Fiction
  • Memoirs/Travelogues
  • Poetry
  • Contemporary Young Adult 
  • Horror

What I Probably Won't Read:
  • Self-help books
  • General Christian 
  • Erotica
  • Paranormal Romance
Preferred Formats:
I am accepting either a physical copy or an e-book.

How long will it take me to read and review?

I do not get as much reading time as I would like to have. That being said, when I receive a book for review, I can only do so much and try to get to it as soon as possible. It usually doesn't take me more than a month. If something comes up, I will be sure to contact you to let you know.

What you can expect from me and my reviews

My reviews are based on my personal opinions on the book. They are completely original and honest. I am never biased or unfair. I try to look at it objectively as well as subjectively. I do not sugarcoat anything. However, I am not here to bash a book in any way whatsoever. As honest and straight-forward as my reviews will be, expect that I will still be tactful and respectful towards the book, its author, and/or anyone affiliated with it.

Other promotional requests:
I do participate in book tours, interviews, promotional giveaways, and collaborations.

Disclaimer: Every query will be read and considered, although my decisions will be a case-by-case basis. Some months are busier than others, and I pick books to review wisely so as to be fair to you and your time.
I look forward to hearing from and working with you. Thank you.


A Place To Visit in San Francisco, CA

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Note that this isn't a book-related post. I think I'll consider this as one of my 'inspiration' posts. It's random, but hey, this is 'Random Ramblings' after all ;)
Shakespeare Garden
Golden Gate Park - San Francisco, CA

If you are ever around the city of San Francisco, here's one beautiful place to visit. A quaint place to go, especially if you want to take a little break from the busy-ness of the city and the crowd. It's sort of a hidden garden, which I love. Not a lot of people know about it so it's really quiet and peaceful.
There are a lot of things you can do here; have a picnic, sit on one of the many benches, read, write, think, get some inspiration, or maybe just admire the simplicity of this beauty. I know my friends and I do all these whenever we go here. Definitely a wonderful place if you would like some quiet time to relax and unwind.
Another thing I love about Shakespeare Garden? The way that its looks change according to season.

Spring time!

In the Summer :)

End of Summer. Almost Autumn.


It's places like these that make me love San Francisco. It's so nice to be able to go to these kinds of spots; to be a part of a beautiful world, even for just a few hours on a nice afternoon.

Lament by Maggie Stiefvater

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Genre: Young Adult
Source: Library
Summary: Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan, an extremely talented musician, lives a fairly ordinary life. But when she meets a mysterious boy named Luke, she finds her whole world turned upside down. Soon, they develop a deep and undeniable bond of friendship, that eventually lead to romance. Here's where things get complicated; Deirdre finds out that she is a cloverleaf; one that has an ability to see faeries. Luke, on the other hand, is a gallowglass -- "a soulless faerie assassin." His next target? Deirdre.

Characters & Plot: 3 stars
The truth is, I didn't connect to the story and its characters as much as I wanted to. Even though the characters were believable and likable enough, I just did not quite get the "hang" of it. To me also, both the plot and the characters just didn't develop naturally.

Writing: 4 stars
I do have to say though, that I am impressed by Maggie Stiefvater's writing. She is very eloquent and romantic -- almost poetic. I felt that though I didn't care much about what's truly going on in the book, I wasn't getting tired of reading her words. They flowed without effort, and seemed very artistic in style. And in all fairness, never did it seem at all forced or contrived.

Overall: 3.5 stars
For me, Lament fell a little short. The story wasn't anything special, and I didn't get into the plot as much. Though I generally like the main characters -- as they are at least likable -- I'm afraid they didn't stand out as much. However, it's the poetic writing that ultimately made me appreciate it, and made me think that it was at least a worthwhile read.

if you have the time.. :)

Getting responses and feedback from you is one of the biggest perks of having this blog. To be able to share my love for books, writing, and literature in general is such a treat. The fact that you read and comment on them still amazes me. I always try to use your comments and suggestions to improve my blog. So here, I decided to do a survey, asking for your general thoughts about it.
If you have some time to spare, please answer this really short survey. It is completely anonymous, so please feel free to say whatever you'd like. Every answer is appreciated. Thank you so much! For reading, commenting, and supporting me and this little blog right here :)

Top Ten Picks: Best Villains

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Top Ten Picks is a meme here in Random Ramblings where I would be posting just about that -- my top 10 picks! Every week, there will be a different and specific topic given. I will then choose 10 of my picks from that given category, create the list, and post them up here!

For this week, the topic is on Best Villains. Of course, since we are talking about villains here, they can't possibly be anyone's" favorite." I mean, who could have a 'favorite' villain? Instead, I ask you, who are the fictional characters that aggravated you, pissed you off, and/or just plain scared you. In other words, in your opinion, who are the most effective, when it comes to playing the role as an evil antagonist?
For this topic, we can include characters from multiple -- and unlimited -- sources; books, TV, films, plays, etc. This was in order for a change, based on their levels of 'effectiveness' a.k.a "Who Scared Me The Most?!"

Here are my top ten picks, in order: according to their level of "effectiveness."


10. Severus Snape
Harry Potter series
- A character you love to hate, but can't help but love!
It doesn't matter how he turned out in the end -- spoiler here ;) -- he is still part-villain to me. For the most part, he has good intentions. But it's his cold stares and 'uncalled for' punishments that put him here. He is unfair, biased, and will grab any opportunity to make the main characters look bad. I would hate to have any professor like him!
I have to admit though, I never once doubted that Snape would turn out to be a "a good guy." And that is the reason why I've always liked Snape. He is complex and multifaceted, which definitely makes him one of my favorite characters of all time.

9. Phantom
Phantom of the Opera: Broadway Play
- At first you pity him. You feel bad. You think the world is simply unfair. He doesn't deserve all of the hardships he has been through, right?
But then he turns into this melodramatic character who becomes obsessed with the main female character, Christine. He thinks about her constantly, writes his music inspired by her, captures (ahem, kidnaps!) her, tells her she's his -- even though obviously she's not. And then, when things don't work out for him and Christine falls for someone else, he goes all crazy and kills innocent people. Oh Phantom, what a bitter man.

8. Professor Umbridge
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
- Wow. I remember reading about this creepy lady. I would definitely hate to have a teacher like her. With her creepy, fake smile and eerie, cheerful attitude, it was very easy to hate her. Oh, and how could I forget her extremely unfair -- not to mention, cruel! -- punishments during detention.
Writing sentences on paper = Literally writing on (or should we say, slicing?) your skin
And her whole wall of rules? Ugh. She really did get on my nerves. Such an awful old lady.

7. Cujo
Cujo by Stephen King (1981) film (1983)
- When I was little, I was chased by a dog. I developed a bad case of dog phobia. Reading the book (haven't seen the movie and am not planning on it) made my fears even worse. Cujo will make even the biggest dog lovers paranoid.. Seriously.
Fortunately, I got over it. Now, I want to own.. hmm.. about 4 dogs of different breeds! Just maybe not a St. Bernard.. ;|

6. Sauron
The Lord of The Rings trilogy
- Voldemort isn't on this list. Because next to Sauron, he just doesn't compare.
And if Darth Vader came across Sauron, he might just as well surrender right then and there, tears and all. I'm sorry HP fans (ahem, me) and Star Wars fanatics, but that is the truth! Sauron is not just evil, he is the definition of evil. Greedy, cruel, dark.. And to top it all off, destruction is all he thinks about. He doesn't care about anything else but himself (obviously!) He doesn't care who he steps on, and what he does. If he wants it, he's going to get it, no matter what the cost.
Sauron is about 100x more evil than anybody else. To me, he is, hands down, the darkest Dark Lord of all Dark Lords.. Nothing and nobody can compare.

5. Chucky
from Child's Play (1988)
Back in the Philippines, my sister and I both had life-size dolls. They were beautiful and delicate, and we both treasured it very much. Well... in a way, we still do.. but when I saw Child's Play when I was still very young?? Uh-oh, biggest mistake ever! Game over. I could not look at our dolls! Due to my overactive imagination though, I never asked to take the dolls down. Why, you ask? Well here's my 10year old self, thinking very logically: "What if when I wake up, it's back on the shelf again? THAT WOULD BE SCARIER!" *sigh*

4. Alex de Large
from A Clockwork Orange
novel by Anthony Burgess (1962)
movie by Stanley Kubrick (1971)
- His ultimate pleasure in life? Violence. To me, he is the epitome of cruelty. Enough said.

3. Hannibal Lecter
from The Silence of the Lambs
novel by Thomas Harris (1981)
movie (1991)
- Hannibal Lecter is incredibly frightening. He is a cannibalistic serial killer. If that doesn't scare you, I don't know what will!
I thought both the book and the film are very good, and I found both to be very effective. However, I do have to admit, Anthony Hopkins in the film definitely makes this gruesome and evil character alive.

2. Patrick Bateman
from American Psycho
novel by Bret Easton Ellis (1991)
film starring Christian Bale (2000)
- This story freaked me out a lot. Let me correct that, it still freaks me out whenever I think about it. I read the book when I was 15. I watched the movie right after. Maybe that wasn't such a good idea.
Patrick Bateman seems just like your average, stressed out guy.. but then of course, he isn't. He is the ultimate stereotype of a greedy, violent, and cruel murderer.
Hmm... Yeah. I'm going to stop now.

1. Freddy Krueger
The Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
The scariest of them all. In my honest opinion. I saw the original version of The Nightmare on Elm Street when I was ten years old. My cousins and I thought we were "brave" and "old" enough to face our fears. Oh we faced them all right, but I'm afraid we failed to conquer.
The thing is, I've always been a 'dreamer,' literally. I would dream really vivid dreams -- but quite nonsense -- every single night ever since I was young. Until now, I actually still do. The messed up thing is though I do dream good dreams, it's not as often as the nightmares. It's messed up, but that is that. And maybe that's exactly why I fear Freddy Krueger the most. He goes to your dreams, controls it, and bam - you know what happens.

Okay.. the photos of these villains are seriously freaking me out! Haha.

If you would like to join in, all you have to do is:
1. Do a post, listing all your answers. you do not have to include pictures, descriptions, or explanations, but if you would like to do so, feel free!
2. Please sign the Mr. Linky box below with the specific URL of your post.

Can't wait to hear from you this week!


I noticed I've been on such a survey-ish high lately, so forgive me, but I couldn't help it when I saw this over at Wordsmithonia. It just looked like a lot of fun to do, so I decided to go on ahead and answer it anyway.

If I was...
a month I'd be December
a day of the week I'd be Saturday
a time of the day I'd be Midnight

If I was...
a sea animal I'd be a dolphin (no doubt!)
a direction I'd be North
a piece of furniture I'd be a bookshelf
a liquid I'd be Iced Tea

If I was...
a gemstone I'd be Emerald
a tree I'd be a Maple tree
a kind of weather I'd be Sunny&Cloudy at the same time

If I was...
a musical instrument I'd be an Acoustic Guitar
a color I'd be Pink
an emotion I'd be Joyful
a fruit I'd be a Strawberry

If I was...
a food I'd be a Strawberry Tart
a material I'd be Lace
a scent I'd be a combination of White Peony and White Musk
a flavor I'd be Chocolate Chip

If I was...
a sound I'd be a Laugh
an element I'd be Water
a mammal I'd be an Orca
a phase of the moon I'd be Crescent

If I was...
a berry I'd be a Strawberry
a bird I'd be a Love bird
a book I'd be Love Poems by Pablo Neruda
a place I'd be Shakespeare Garden @ Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, CA

By the way, I gave in again and got a twitter account! You can follow me here.

Author Interview: Jay Asher

Monday, May 17, 2010

In 2009, I read Jay Asher's debut novel, Thirteen Reasons Why. A year later, the story is still as fresh and as new as if I had just finished it. In fact, it has become one of my favorite Young Adult novels of all time. If you have not read it yet, I highly recommend it. It is a MUST read.
Today, I am extremely honored to be given the privilege of interviewing the author of this honest, thought-provoking, and engrossing novel.


1. In one of your interviews, you mentioned you have always liked writing and you started with comic strips. Do you remember the very first comic strip you made? What was it about?
Nate the Gopher was the first comic where I made several strips based around the same characters. Much of it took place down in the hole where Nate lived, but he also traveled all over town by digging tunnels. Peanuts was a huge inspiration for me and I've always thought it would be fun to have one cast of characters to write about for many years, commenting on life in little snippets.

2. What is the best thing about being a writer/novelist?
My favorite part of this job is speaking at schools around the country. For one thing, it gives me a chance to meet my readers face-to-face. For another, I've always had a desire to be a stand-up comic, so this lets me get that out of my system a little bit. I don't think I could ever do straight stand-up because everyone would be sitting there expecting me to be funny. But if I'm talking about writing and happen to be funny, then it's an unexpected bonus for the audience.

3. Someone picks up Thirteen Reasons Why and asks, "What is this about?" In 1-3 word/s, how would you answer them?
I would tell them I can't do it in 2 or 3 words. I used to simply say the book was about suicide, but people immediately came to conclusions about the book that weren't necessarily true. Instead, when I describe the book, I concentrate on the suspense elements of the story, which is what I concentrated on while writing it.

4. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that I have to start with strong characters and then trust those characters to know more about their lives than I do. Sometimes Hannah would say something I didn't fully understand, but I wrote down her words anyway because they "sounded" right coming out of her mouth. Maybe a few pages or chapters later, suddenly her words made total sense.

5. Where is your favorite place to write? To read?
I love writing at Linnaea's Cafe, which is a coffeeshop downtown with an artsy vibe to it. It was the inspiration for Monet's Garden Cafe in Thirteen Reasons Why. I like hearing the buzz of conversation around me while I write. But when I read, I like the quiet of my home. I'm also learning to read on airplanes, which really helps the time fly by (pun absolutely intended).

6. What is the best advice about writing that you have received?
There's this cliche, "Write what you know", that gets repeated a lot (which, I suppose, is what makes it a cliche). Someone finally turned that cliche on its head and said, "Don't write what you know, write about what you want to know." Too many writers only tell stories about people and situations they're completely familiar with, which often leads to dull and predictable stories. But if you're excited about learning more the world of your characters, readers will be excited, too.

7. What is the best thing a reader has ever said to you about your novel?
My very first 'favorite quote' came when someone said the book made her want to "be wonderful to everyone." That's such a beautiful statement! Since then, I've had many people say they wouldn't be here had they not stumbled across my book. It's hard to top that.

8. You are to be stranded on a deserted island with five companions. If you could choose five fictional characters to accompany you, who would they be and why?
Wow! Most people ask what five books I'd bring along, but five characters? Well, I'd have to say Hannah and Clay from my own book, since I'm sure there's plenty I still don't know about them. And then, because it's only fair after all the crap I put them through, Hannah and Clay get to choose someone from their school to bring along. For my final fictional character, I'd have to bring Grover from The Monster at the End of this Book. Grover's so wacky, I'm sure he'd be able to keep us entertained on that desert island for a long time.

9. What can we all look forward to reading from you next? Any upcoming projects?
I'm working on a couple new YA novels, so I can't wait for everyone to read those. I'd also like to get some of the middle-grade novels I wrote several years ago published, but I'll definitely have to edit them quite a bit to make them publishable. But they're so fun, I'd love to have those out there.

10. Do you have any messages to your readers and fans?
It would have to be the same message Hannah gives on Cassette 7: Side B.


Thank you so much to Mr. Jay Asher for taking the time to answer some questions with us!
For more from the author himself, you can go to see his webpage and his blog. If you would like to read my review for this novel, you can see it here. To purchase Thirteen Reasons Why, click here.

Inspiration: 'Pretty' edition!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I love pretty photos of pretty things. In fact, I come up with my 'inspiration' posts usually just by looking at photos like these. So I thought, why not make a "Pretty Edition?" Just because.

1. pretty rooms

2. pretty flowers

3. pretty funny!

4. pretty true

5. i pretty much want this blanket
6. pretty beautiful necklaces
7. pretty darn cute

8. pretty awesome library!
9. pretty sweet handmade cards

10. pretty breakfast!

11. pretty building

12. pretty yummy

Don't mind the randomness ;)