Inspiration: Halloween

Saturday, October 30, 2010

As I have mentioned on my previous halloween-themed post, this 'holiday' is one of my favorite events. It is just so much fun -- to be able to dress up as anyone or anything we want without limits (and without anyone thinking you're crazy)

What are your plans this Sunday?? Are you going trick-or-treating? Go to a corn maze or a haunt? Go to a party perhaps? Or maybe you want to have fun at the comfort of someone's house and carve some cute pumpkins!

If you are dressing up, what is your costume?! My friends and I (10 of us!) are all dressing up this year! Yeah, I told you we're all going to embrace this 'holiday' like it's nobody's business. Ha ha ha. Well, no matter what you're doing, I hope you all have a fun and safe one! Here's an inspiration post to well.. get you inspired for Sunday!

Trick or treat!!

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Genre: Young Adult - synopsis
Synopsis: No synopsis for this sequel to The Maze Runner to avoid spoilers.

Rating: 4 stars

Review: Pros: This has pretty much everything I loved in the first book. It is still as exciting, entertaining, and suspenseful. It kept me interested the entire time, wanting to figure out what's the true story behind all of that's been happening. I still find myself rooting for the main character, Thomas, as he is just the type you can easily empathize with. All the other characters -- and the new additions to the list -- are all very likable as they are very complex, and multidimensional.
I still love the way the author, James Dashner, writes as well. He just knows exactly what his readers craves for; excitement and suspense. If you liked the first one, then you will like this one.

Cons: I don't really have a lot of cons for this sequel. There were times that it did become a bit slow for me, but not enough to make me fall asleep -- if you know what I mean. Also, I didn't entirely love this book as much as I did with The Maze Runner, but still, I enjoyed it.

Overall: While it is not as great as the first one, I still really enjoyed this one and loved it to bits. I was entertained and it kept my interest all throughout, and it did not let me down. I can not wait for the final installment! Too bad I still have to wait another year for it..

for the love of Halloween.

Friday, October 29, 2010

I love Halloween. This year, my friends and I are all dressing up and celebrating this fun "holiday" together. Here on the blog, I decided to celebrate it by putting up a list of just some of, in my opinion, the best scary/horror/thrilling reads. I'm a huge chicken; I get scared so easily, but I have to admit, a good horror story here and there is just plain exciting. That may be weird now that I think about it.... Anyway, here are just some of the books that I actually did read (unfortunately) Let's just say that after reading these, I pretty much said goodbye to sleep for a couple of nights after..

the Shining by Stephen King
- Gah. This is the book that made me fear hotels and elevators.. not to mention, creepy looking kids.

the Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
- need I say more?

the Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
- I have to admit, the movie scared me a whole lot more than the book did, but needless to say, this still scared me so much! I read this when I was around 13 or so and I went to my grandparents' house. They had this book on one of the shelves, and for some reason, I just felt the need to torture myself with its horror. Bad idea.

the Hell bound Heart by Clive Barker
- Have you ever seen the 1987 movie, Hellraiser? Yeah, this is the book its based on. Enough said.

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
- This to me is the ultimate 'vampire' book. I was about 15 when I read this, having liked the movie. There's just something creepy about this one for sure.

Pet Sematary by Stephen King
- This book is so underrated. It is probably one of my favorites from Stephen King, and I feel like not a lot of people give it much credit. I recommend this one if you really do like horror. It's a wonderful (err horrific) read.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding
- This isn't exactly in the horror genre, but in my opinion, the idea is still pretty scary.


What are some of your favorite scary novels? They don't have to be horror, but just something that really scared you? And of course, happy Halloween!! :)

Why I Love Book Blogging # 2

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I have always been a huge book worm. However, starting a blog devoted to books and reading made the word, "book worm," mean and weigh so much more! Through book blogging, learning and discovering new things have become much more of a regular, if not a daily, occurence. First off, I feel like I'm a lot more open to new ideas now than I was before. I'm also more open to hearing other people's opinions on books. I have tried out so many new genres, authors, and titles. I picked up books that I would never even have considered in the past. And with book blogging, I have also become much more aware of the book industry; author events, book releases, and general news. Before, I was pretty much clueless with the industry. I mean who knew authors actually respond to emails, publishers send out reviewer copies, and that some book bloggers are actually considered as "Press??" I know I didn't.

Reading has also turned from just a simple hobby that I do for fun, to something I'm incredibly passionate about, and that has become very 'educational' and helpful for me. With discovering new books and reviewing them, I think a lot more critically, without bias. This, I truly believe, helps me greatly with a lot of different things in everyday life. With writing, with my job as a tutor, with school.. it really does make a huge difference.

Generally, I just feel as if my "book knowledge" so to speak, has become more broad than I ever expected it would be. I have gained more knowledge, and the best part is, I still continue to do so everyday.

So I wonder, are you like me; Has reading, writing, and books in general changed or evolved into something else for you since you started book blogging? Have you tried out genres you never thought you'd ever try? And are there things that book blogging and reviewing taught you that you are able to apply in your everyday life? Do share.

Why I Love Book Blogging # 1

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I constantly talk about books. A LOT. The problem is, with the exception of my boyfriend -- and no offense to my friends who are going to read this post (haha sorry) -- nobody else here reads "for fun!" That's very sad for me because well, who am I supposed to talk to when I want to rant or rave about something I've read or get all excited about an upcoming release or book event? Nobody really wants to hear me chat and chat about the same topic.. over and over again

Book blogging is awesome for this very purpose. I can talk freely about books whenever I want, and the best part is, I get to hear back from people -- you, of course!! -- who are equally (and some that are even more) interested and passionate about the same thing I am. This to me, would probably be my number 1 reason for loving blogging about books. What's yours?

The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Genre: Young Adult
Synopsis: When her mother moves them from the city to a small town to open up a cupcake bakery, Penny’s life isn’t what she expected. Her father has stayed behind, and Mom isn’t talking about what the future holds for their family. And then there’s Charity, the girl who plays mean pranks almost daily. There are also bright spots in Hog’s Hollow—like Tally, an expert in Rock Paper Scissors, and Marcus, the boy who is always running on the beach. But just when it looks as though Penny is settling in, her parents ask her to make a choice that will turn everything upside down again. A sweet novel about love, creativity, and accepting life’s unexpected turns.

Rating: 3 stars

Review: One word -- cute. It's definitely not a favorite, and I might not even remember this in just a few months from now, but during the time I was reading it, I was entertained. Sometimes, I just want a light read to get me through a hectic week. This served that purpose well, and for that, I gave it 3 stars.

The idea of reading a book about cupcakes and a bake shop is just irresistible to me. I love baking, and even "catered" (I use this term very loosely) a party and an event before. Having said that, it hooked me right in because of the cute and fun premise. The characters were interesting; though not memorable, they were likable. Overall, it's just a light, fun, and quirky read. Not everyone is going to have time to read this, and not everyone is going to like it, but for the reasons I stated above, go ahead and give it a chance.

Tag! :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I was tagged by Cj from Coffee N Crackers. Thanks for tagging me! Check out his blog!

The Rules
1) Accept the tag and link to the tagger at the beginning of your post.
2) Answer the questions honestly in your post by listing four things.
3) Pass on the love by picking four other people to tag and listing them at the bottom of your post. Notify them that you tagged them.

4 random things that are in my handbag
1. lip gloss
2. a movie ticket (watched Devil with my sister)
3. my library card!
4. receipts (that I should really throw away already!)

4 favorite things in my bedroom
1. My book shelf full of books!
2. my desk
3. my wall frames
4. my pink 10-drawer organizer

4 Things on My Desk
1. glass of water
2. notebooks
3. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
4. My laptop

4 Things I've Always Wanted To Do (but haven't yet)
1. Swim with dolphins!!
2. parasail
3. go scuba diving
4. go to Paris

4 Things I Enjoy Very Much At The Moment
1. The Scorch Trials
2. iced tea!
3. my mint chocolate candles -- so yummy smelling!
4. planning for Halloween :D

4 Things You Don't Know About Me
1. I play the guitar.
2. I might be a party/event planner in my past life. I love organizing events even if it's just a simple dinner thing with friends, haha.
3. My favorite Disney princess is Ariel.
4. I have never had an overdue book ever..... that is, until a month ago. It was $5 and it made me very sad.

4 Bloggers I am Tagging
I tag everyone!!

Book Recommendation of the Week

Friday, October 15, 2010

This is a regular feature here on the blog where I will basically recommend ONE specific book that I have read, and loved. It could be something I recently just read, or a one from five years ago. Doesn't matter when; if I feel as if a lot of people might like it as much as I do, then I'll recommend it! This week.. I recommend..

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Genre: Young Adult - contemporary
When I Read It: 2010
What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?
Samantha Kingston has it all—looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12th should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it’s her last. The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. In fact, she re-lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she had ever imagined.

Initial impression: I
hoped it would be good, since everyone was raving about it, and when I started to read it, I thought, "Okay, I've read about this before." But as I continued to read, I realized there was so much more depth to it than I originally expected. Yes, the plot may sound like it's been done before, but this book definitely surprised me and blew me away. It was so much better than I could have ever expected, and may be one of my favorite books this 2010!

Why I Loved It: Basically, it's a great story, it's wonderfully written, and it has a strong and lasting message.

Why you might like it: For the same reasons why I did. Also, I recommended this book to my friends, cousins, and some relatives. So far, everyone loved it; including the "non-readers." Book bloggers rave about it as well, making it one of the most talked about books so far this year. That must mean something, right? ;)

My official review for this book can be found here.
My interview with the author, Lauren Oliver, can be found here.
And if you're one of the ones that fell in love with this book as well, watch out for the author's second book called Delirium coming 2011 of February (If I'm not mistaken)

look what i got!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I haven't bought a book in about 5 months now, so today is pretty exciting for me! I got two books that I have been waiting for for a long time now and it actually feels good to splurge a little. I did get them both for 40% off each so that's a pretty good deal if I may say so myself.

The first one is The Lost Hero. I am obsessed with the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan, and The Lost Hero is a bit of a spin-off based off Greek mythology and Camp Half-Blood. I heard Percy Jackson himself will make an appearance here, so that's pretty cool. Also, I just love the way Rick Riordan writes, even though it could get repetitive sometimes, I just don't get tired of it!

The second book is the sequel to The Maze Runner -- one that I just love! If you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend you do. It's so exciting, original, and entertaining.

I can't wait to read these.. and as of now, I am trying to figure out which one to read first.. Hmm..

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

Monday, October 11, 2010

Genre: General Fiction - contemporary/romantic
Synopsis: When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family. But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her . . . a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo's empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.

RATING: 3 stars

Review: In Safe Haven, Sparks writes yet again with the same 'romantic-love-storyline.' The writing, the pace, and the flow are still as what you would expect coming from Sparks, and the characters are pretty complex. Unfortunately, the problem with being so familiar with an author, his style, his writing, and his stories, you get tired of it sooner or later if the said writer doesn't change it up. Since I have read all his books, this one just seemed like a repeat of all the other books he wrote; like a mash-up of some sort, if that makes any sense. It has the same style and the same plot lines. Having said that, it is a bit cliche and corny. Now that can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you like and on your mood as well.
If you like those things and if you're a fan of Sparks, you might enjoy this a lot more than I did. But if you're like me, then you probably might get bored with it just because you've seen the same story line multiple times before. Generally, it was entertaining, cute, and a nice read. Not bad, nothing special; just got to admit, I am a little tired of the "same old same old." Lovely cover though.

Book Recommendation of the Week

Thursday, October 7, 2010

This is a regular feature here on the blog where I will basically recommend ONE specific book that I have read, and loved. It could be something I recently just read, or a one from five years ago. Doesn't matter when; if I feel as if a lot of people might like it as much as I do, then I'll recommend it! This week.. I recommend..

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Genre: Young Adult - dystopian
When I Read It: 2010
Synopsis: Thomas wakes up in a strange lift, without any recollection whatsoever All her remembers is his first name. But he's not alone. When the lift's doors open, he finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade, a large expanse enclosed by stone walls. Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning, for as long as they could remember, the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night, they’ve closed tight. Every thirty days a new boy is delivered in the lift. And no one wants to be stuck in the maze after dark. Everything should be running normal, but then a girl arrives in the lift -- the first girl ever to arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. With this occasion, the Gladers realize that it’s looking more and more as if the maze is unsolvable. And something about the girl’s arrival is starting to make Thomas feel different. Something is telling him that he just might have some answers—if he can only find a way to retrieve the dark secrets locked within his own mind.

Recommended if: you like the dystopian subgenre and if you're looking for something original and exciting to read.

Why I Loved It: My official review for this book can be found here.

Blog Survey Results!

32 (!) people answered this survey so thank you so much for your feedback and all your help! Every single comment was read and is appreciated. Here are the questions I asked and the summary of the answers.

Do you stop by the blog frequently?
All the time - 17 people
Sometimes - 14 people
Not really - 1 person

What do you like about Random Ramblings? (I am going to list the top things you mentioned, in no specific order)
1. Top Ten Picks
2. the layout
3. that I respond to comments
4. the inspiration posts
5. conversational and open posts

What don't you like about Random Ramblings?
Most of you actually left this blank, but for those with the answers, the most common thing I saw was how Top Ten Picks is difficult sometimes to participate in because making a list of ten things every week is challenging. There were few (about 3 people) that said how they don't really like my style of reviewing. I wish I knew how to improve my reviewing for everyone, but the style I do now is what I'm most comfortable in, and I'm sorry if it doesn't please everyone.

Is/are there any post/s in particular that you really liked?
Almost everyone mentioned the Top Ten Picks posts :) Oh and I got really excited when you let me know that you really enjoy my "inspiration" posts and character-inspired outfits!! I love doing those! Few listed my "rants" as their favorites too, so thank you!! Haha.

Posts you don't really like or don't care about?
Only two people answered this part and said that they don't read the reviews.

What do you think of the TOPTENPICKS meme?
Most answered this question and stated that this is their favorite thing on the blog. Some also said that it is actually the reason why they followed me in the first place (as they saw this meme from other participant's blogs) As I mentioned though, most comment on the fact that it is about top ten lists, and sometimes, it's a little bit difficult to do that every week.

Do you mind reading posts that are not related to books?
Most say they don't mind, and sometimes would even like to see the variety, but agree that it really depends on what the other topics are. I rarely do posts that aren't related to books and bookish things, but it was great to know others' thoughts on this.

How about personal posts?
Everyone (all 32) they like personal posts. Personally, I love reading others' personal posts because to me, that's what sets them apart from the other book bloggers. Yes, good quality posts are a must, but the personalities of the blogger and the overall blog are what keeps me coming back.

Other comments:
Most say they enjoy this blog.

Thank you so much to those who took their time to fill out the form. If you haven't yet, but would like to, please feel free!

SEPTEMBER Favorites!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I didn't really get a lot of good reading the past month, so I won't have a favorite book, but.. I did have a great month in general. So I decided I'd do a "collective" and general favorites post. Some are book related, and some are not. I'd love to know your own favorites this month too! Oh, and speaking of, can you believe it's already October?? CRAZY!

Favorite blog posts this month:
Listen Hard
Why I Should Be Banned from IMM
A Reasonably Short, Fairly Impassioned Defense of Reading Fiction
Book Bloggers Speak Out
Reading Diary: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
How Popular Music Marks Of Time: Why I love Britney Spears

Favorite thing on TV/Movie/Music:
- Glee!! The season premiere was awesome (Filipinos ftw with Charice!) and um, hello, the BRITNEY episode??!
- Animals by Neon Trees
- Secrets by OneRepublic

Favorite Websites:

Favorite Beauty/Fashion/Miscellaneous stuff:
- NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils!
- Ecotools eye brushes
- - though I will not buy anything since their prizes are crazy!
- Yankee Candles!!