Top Ten Tuesdays: Halloween Reads

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This is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke And The Bookish 🙂

I don’t usually celebrate Halloween, unless it’s a party and it involves school, but I do love to read books that revolve around relationships between the dead and the living. However, I am an utter wuss when it comes to hair-raising covers, so I’m usually lily-livered at the thought of reading books that wear disturbing dresses. However, I did manage to come up with this list, and I hope that you share in my appreciation for it!

Happy reading 😉

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Recommended Reads

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1. The Body Finder (Kimberly Derting)

The content itself isn’t as creepy, but I find that this is perfect for Halloween especially if you’re into heroines who can hear echoes of the dead who have left this world behind (A bit morbid I know, but I think you’ll love her, if you still don’t, that is!)

2. The Raven Boys (Maggie Stiefvater)

Not at all scary either, yet the fact that Blue grapples with spirits everyday (even if she can’t really see them) gives me an excuse to place it under this category.

3. The Immortal Rules (Julie Kagawa)

If you haven’t already figured out that I DON’T like reading scary-ass books, then here is your ticket towards the all-imparting knowledge. I was a bit apprehensive of this one at first, because of the vampires (yet again?! Blech), but I did find this book quite interesting, if not at all horrifying. Trust me, the romance and the action supersedes all.

4. Something Strange And Deadly (Susan Dennard)

Well… the title did warn you. Strange? Check. Deadly? Check. Recommended? Double check.

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Chilling Covers From Books Read

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5. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs)

I didn’t like this book as much as I thought I would, but what I did like was the fact that I managed to plow through it despite the cover. That kid. Scares the living daylights out of me.

6. Anna Dressed In Blood (Kendare Blake)

SO MUCH LOVE. If you manage to get past the, well uhm, blood, I urge you to give this book a try. No regrets.

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Chilling Covers From Books Yet To Read

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7. Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea (April Geneviene Tucholke)

Thank god for ginormous font. It helps hide the eerie background, which has for so long been deterring me from this book. Too bad the title actually reads something even creepier (Did I ever get around to telling you that I particularly dislike deep bodies of water?)

8. Bad Girls Don’t Die (Katie Alender)

I mean, she has a veil to cover her face. One can only wonder what’s behind it! As for me, I’d rather back away with caution lest she jumps out of the cover and comes straight at me.

9. Some Quiet Place (Kelsey Sutton)

I LOVE the premise of the book. I’ve been meaning to read this, but I can’t even stand to look at the cover. Don’t get me wrong though, it’s pretty, but it scares me. Look at the girl’s face (or lack thereof)! She looks like a corpse. Great sense of style, though.

10. Ten (Gretchen McNeil)

Ten for Top Ten! Haha, okay just had to get over that. I’m a fan of the Gretchen McNeil, but I’m not a fan of the lonely island.

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So what do you think? If you have any opinions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to comment and tell me!

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Awards Catch-Up!

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I’ve been meaning to do an awards post for the longest time, but I’ve just had neither the time nor the willpower to accomplish it. I’m not actually sure if people appreciate random facts about me, or answers to questions that I’ve been asked, and since I consider viewer satisfaction a premium, I wasn’t sure if this post was worth it. In addition, I have a personal policy of voting for new bloggers each time I receive an award, because I don’t wish to burden the same blogger twice with having to post something similar, especially if they’ve received the same award before (forgive my earlier persistence Chiara!), or don’t actually accept them to begin with. However, I would like to show some gratitude to the four AMAZING bloggers who have nominated me, and I did think that it would be a little fun to answer the questions and share them with you. I’m also going to pass on the awards to one blogger each, to keep the love going 😉

Many thanks, by the way, to

Emz (Icy Cold Reads) for the Liebster Award

Lillian (For Books And Cake) for the Liebster Award

Lauren (Books, Tea & Me) for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, and

Jenna (Rather Be Reading YA) for the Shine On Award

PLEASE check out their blogs if you haven’t already! They are awesome. And now it’s time for some Q&A.

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Emz Asked:

What inspired you to start a blog?

‘My love for books, duh’ is generally the answer to this one, but I don’t think this applies much to me. I HAVE loved books for as long as I can remember, but unless I manage to happen upon a book blog itself, I would never have known that such even existed. Am I the queen of LAME-O now? To be honest, I always did want to share my honest opinions on books with others—the problem was however, that I didn’t have anyone to share them with. My classmates loved reading, but they stop fangirling at ‘HE’S HOT AS FUCK’. I, on the other hand, wanted to go beyond that. I could have rambled on to my brother, but he likes pulling the eye-roll while I’m at it, and our discussions tend to culminate in bedroom doors slamming in complete synchrony. So of course, after I stumbled upon Cuddlebuggery, and I do love to say this because it rings so much of the truth: it came to me like an epiphany. I wasn’t really sure at the time, so I guess Asti’s A Bookish Heart came to be the true inspiration. I gave it one look and just knew I wanted to become something like her, but not exactly—it’s all about being the best version of myself, not a subpar copy of someone else. Hopefully, I’m fitting the bill (and this award is telling me that in some ways, I am!)

How do you balance blogging and school?

I’d love to give you a comprehensive answer, but since I can’t, refer to this post here.

Which  book are you looking forward to reading the most?

GUUUUURL, you cannot just ask moi to pick one! And as such, I pick three. HA!

  1. Ignite Me (Tahereh Mafi). Ohgods I just want to know EVERYTHING. If Juliette picks Warner, if Omega Point strikes back, if Kenji is still the same, awesomazing love of my life that he is—and if Chapter 62 in Unravel Me would equate to every single chapter in this one. Color me enthusiastic.
  2. What I Thought Was True (Huntley Fitzpatrick). Three cheers for auto-approval! I relished in My Life Next Door, and even though the synopsis to this one confounded me to a certain extreme (Is the name of the boy ACTUALLY Cassidy? Sounds like a girl’s name to me!), I’m still looking forward to what this book has to offer. And because it’s Huntley Fitz, I’m guessing it’s A LOT.
  3. Isla And The Happily Ever After (Stephanie Perkins). If truth be told, I did NOT expect to love this series as much as I did. If this is one of those scenarios wherein the books in the series progress from first to third, I am going to throw away my future to get my hands on this one (Well of course I’m not, but you get the picture).

Do you have any bookish recommendations?

None that I’d listen to myself (HAHAHAHAHA), but I guess if you’re willing to:

  1. Don’t buy a new book when you already have tons of them waiting for you at home. Help yourself keep up with your massive TBR pile.
  2. Read a book you genuinely want to, not one that has been forced upon you.
  3. Don’t obsess over book boyfriends. They’re not for real, and it will hurt every time you remind yourself that they aren’t.

(Once again, I’m not listening to my own advice. Proceed with caution).

If you could be any character from a book, who would you be and why?

I’d love to say Tessa Gray, but if I had to go through half of the shit she had to endure, I’d be dead before you can say ‘Carstairs’. I think I’m choosing Lola Nolan for this one because a) I’d love to be as confident as her in my own skin b) she doesn’t have to save the world to be a heroine c) Cricket Bell d) Refer to C.

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Lillian Asked:

Is there a book that you tell people you’ve read but honestly have not?

Err… no. I mean, I get why people would do this (because if, for example, I hadn’t read Harry Potter yet, I would probably feign it too), but there’s no such book I haven’t read that everyone else has, and everyone will grill you for if you haven’t. Fortunately!

If you could trade places with any famous person, who would it be?

I’d have to pick Zoella Sugg. And why not? Her life seems perfect.  She’s pretty, has a massive wardrobe, is quirky and adorable, has met One Direction, and most importantly is Alfie Deyes’ girlfriend. ALFIE DEYES.

What is your most frustrating book related pet peeve?

An annoying protagonist. Everything else falls to pieces, and my respect for the book is blown to smithereens 😦

If you could change one event in the history of fiction, what would it be?

I’ve come across a few horrible finales, but none I’m invested enough in to care. I think I would just give the book Before Ever After a more solid conclusion, but otherwise, the world of fiction has been exceeding expectations!

What is your guilty pleasure?

Books. Definitely a pleasure, but my bank account has been crying and I have so far been ignoring it.

Which is your favorite season?

Well damn, we don’t have any of that here, because this tropical country features only rainy days and sunny. I’m definitely all for the sunny though! If I did live in America, I don’t think my preference would change.

Which fictional character do you relate to?

NO ONE, because goddamn, they all seem to get their happily ever after’s with their smoking boyfriends. I mean, I’ve been in a relationship and found the counterpart particularly good looking, but nothing that life-changing has happened since.

If you had to choose one genre to read your entire life, which would it be?

My favorite of course— Young Adult Fiction. I think the ‘favorite’ explains itself.

Name five books you’d recommend to turn one into a book-lover.

FIVE SERIES!!

  1. The Infernal Devices
  2. The Raven Cycle
  3. Heist Society
  4. Chaos Walking
  5. The Heroes Of Olympus

If you could be anyone from the Hunger Games except Katniss, who would it be?

Effy Trinket. Well I’d die if I weren’t from The Capital, and besides, I’ve been meaning to master saying “May the odds be ev-ahh in your fa-vahh”.

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Fourteen Random Things about Moi

  1. I once had a pet Schnauzer named Skylark, but he ran away during a freak storm and hasn’t returned since. And yet I haven’t given up hope that he will (even if he won’t).
  2. I never really liked the yellow/orange/aquamarine palette before I experimented on it with the blog, but since I’ve grown used to seeing it on my computer screen, it has become my favorite combination.
  3. I used to hate reggae, because I couldn’t understand the lyrics—at the moment however, I am completely obsessed with this reggae-pop-rock band called Emblem 3 (I am a Chloe).
  4. I watch a lot of Youtube videos, mainly JacksGap (Jack and Finn Harries), Dicasp (Caspar Lee), PointlessBlog (Alfie Deyes), Troye Sivan (Troye Sivan), and sometimes even a bit of The Janoskians (Just Another Name Of Silly Kids In Another Nation).
  5. I have only one other sibling, a brother called Juan (pronounced ‘One’), who is currently my only guest blogger, and I think that he’s too young and awkward for a college sophomore (he’s only seventeen, and you should totally date him. Hahahahaha).
  6. I was born June 28th, and my brother was born on the 26th of the same month, year earlier. We celebrate our birthday together, and sometimes it makes me feel as if we’re actually twins.
  7. I can’t swim. My buoyancy seems to have the wrong formula, I get ugly tan lines whenever I attempt to, and I can’t drink a McDonalds Coke Float knowing that the ice cream can manage to swim on carbon molecules, whereas I can’t even swim, period.
  8. I used to be an avid gamer. I used to play a lot of Pokemon (Heart Gold, Black & White and I am seriously considering a 3DS for the all new X & Y), Final Fantasy Dissidia, Suikoden Tierkreis, Tekken, and other online role-playing games such as Flyff and Ragnarok. I can only embrace one passion at a time, however.
  9. I am currently designing Wall Art for my new home (some sort of bachelor pad I’ll be living on for college), and it’s basically a typography of various Harry Potter spells.
  10. The aforementioned project inspired a survey on the blog, about Casting HP Spells On Books.
  11. The five places on earth that I’d like to visit the most are: The Eiffel Tower, The Notre Dame Cathedral, The Arc De Triomphe (on the Champs- Elysees), the Sacre Couer (on Montmartre), and the Louvre Museum. And yes, they’re all in Paris, France. If you’re a millionaire and would like to sponsor my trip there, please don’t hesitate to approach me.
  12. If I were to leave my home and build a new one elsewhere in the Philippines, I would love to build it at Taguig (or Makati, whatever) somewhere near Bonifacio Global City, my current favorite place in the nation. I am totally frequenting the 4-story Fullybooked there, and it’s kind of frustrating that I have neither the money to splurge on books, nor the gas to get there in the first place.
  13. I am an impulsive shopper. And not just in terms of books—I buy clothes, shoes, accessories and other knick knacks on impulse every time I have the money, which is rare so it doesn’t make much a difference.
  14. For some time now, I’ve considered giving up my identity. I’m not sure if it creeps people out that they don’t know what I look like, but I’m just not sure if I’m ready to reconcile my real life with my blogger one. Rest assured, however, that I am human.

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Now it’s time for my nominees!

Liebster Award

Stephanie/Jessica (Hopeless Romantics). Apart from the interesting posts, this blog also gives out helpful advice for design– one could use a trick or two. If you’re in a cinch, check them out (and even if you’re grand, still do).

Charlotte (Thoughts And Pens). Charlotte is one of the most creative and brilliant bloggers I’ve known. She leaves meaningful comments, and generates good discussions with her own– and is, at the moment, the host at Thursdays With Luxa!

Questions for you!

1. What is your favorite debut novel and why?

2. If your favorite book were a movie, who would you cast for the lead roles?

3. What is one genre that you’d like to be more open about?

4. What is your most anticipated 2014 release?

5. If you could meet one character from a book in real life, who would it be and why?

6. What is your biggest bookish regret?

7. What is the origin of your blog’s name?

8. Share a snippet of the lyrics to the song that best describes you.

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Nara / Chantelle (Looking For The Panacea). This duo is certainly one to look up to. Though I usually stumble upon Nara’s posts, the content either way is amazing– the reviews are detailed, the quizzes are fun, and the discussions are contemplative. Nothing more to ask for 😉

Shine On Award

Lindsey (The Day Dreaming, Candy Eating, Red Headed Bookworm). Her voice is quirky, and her posts are well thought out, so in that sense, she does shine on!

P.S. If you don’t accept awards, please feel free to ignore this post.

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That’s it for this round of awards 🙂 Thank you once again to those who nominated me, and congratulations to those that I have! Till next time, and I do hope that I didn’t bore your socks off D:

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Day of Debate: Topics For YA To Explore

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This is a feature my brother came up with— wherein we tackle certain topics on books, young adult or not, and give you guys the low down on our opinions of them (which, mind you, generally differ). I’ll be encoding our conversation, and if you guys have any opinions of your own on the topic, or on the heated discussion, feel free to once again make my day and comment!

My brother is seventeen, a college sophomore, approximately one year and two days older. His name is Juan (that’s pronounced like the number, one), and he’s my best friend. No matter what anyone else says.

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Jasmine: Hellaaaaaaaaaaauuuuuuuw. (In reference to the way Marcus Butler says it)

Juan: Well hello there, you! And by the way, here’s a cautionary to serve as preface to this discussion: I’m not gonna be as energetic and knee-slappingly hilarious for today, because I have these colds. *sniffle*. ALTHOUGH I will still give out cookies. And hugs. And autographs and–

Jasmine: I STOPPED LISTENING AFTER DEM COOKIES. WHERE DEM COOKIES. Before that though– well, you have colds. There, there. Let me comfort you with a sisterly huggle!

*reaches out for a hug*

Juan: … Well this is mildly disturbing. Let’s just pretend that we can actually stomach this right now.

Jasmine: Been doing that since you walked into the room.

Juan: And that’s why I love you.

Jasmine: D’AAAAAAAW. Imma pretend you meant that. But anywaaaay, my brother and I are going to discuss something particularly interesting for today (at least in our humble opinion. Forgive us possibly lame definitions of interesting). It was originally on too much romance in YA, but that’s too much of a hot topic right now between this particularly chaotic siblinghood, so we decided to make a last minute change. So take it away bro!

Juan: Basically, this one’s about YA topics that authors should start exploring if they want to save their precious genre. Our humble opinions squared.

Jasmine: Right! SO. What’s you’re take on this one?

Juan: I just think they should try directing more attention to friendship and peer groups. YA books recurrently create scenarios where average guy/girl meets guy/girl of their dreams– it’s a form of escapism if you ask me, at least from reality. In these stories, most of the childhood / friends and peers are thrown to the side, functioning only to give random advice, the moving parts to a machine that operates to improve the protagonist’s relationship with his/her sex god love interest. And before you know it, another one bites the dust.

Jasmine: I do think that friends play vital roles in terms of the main protagonist’s development, but I don’t agree that what you defined as “escapism” is necessarily a bad thing. I know for a fact that a multitude of readers embrace Young Adult because of the genre’s ability to paint them desirable landscapes, which is probably the point. I myself read books for much same purpose, because reality is overrated, and I happen to like losing myself between the pages of a good book– they provide a safe haven of sorts from the harsh realities of life, you know? But of course, I have nothing against Contemporary books. I’ll get to that later. Meanwhile, where were you on your peer group thoughts?

Juan: Well each to his own, right! I’m still not convinced though! And to further strengthen my argument: seemingly, authors fail to realize that friends, masculine and feminine alike, biologically or otherwise, represent symbolic measures of time spent with the main protagonists. To a certain extreme, they even help shape the character’s habits and beliefs altogether. It would therefore be more interesting if the characters go through these story book experiences with their friends, people who’ve known them since genesis,  people who understand what makes them tick (or people who understand, period). This of course is in contrast to the trend nowadays, where someone a) new b) drop-dead gorgeous c) athletic d) brilliant e) head-over-heels in love with them or f) all of the above steps momentously in their lives, changing it forever. Cue insta-love and insta-heartbreak, which is by the way, getting too old too soon. Here’s an example: what if, in a peer group with 2 guys and 3 girls– two of the girls like the same guy? And then this same guy, is in love with their third friend, and the other guy in the group is falling for one of the girls that has a thing for the first guy.

Jasmine: AND THEN OHGOD THE GIRL THE FIRST GUY LIKES ACTUALLY LIKES DUDE NUMBER TWO—

Juan: NO you’re ruining the thought! This isn’t a random dating experiment. Back to my ideas though: the book could explore how the second guy always feels… how shall I put it,  inferior to the first, because the latter happens to have attracted the girl the former fancies. What then becomes of their friendship? Will they overcome their differences or will they let their brotherhood fall into discord over one vindictive twist of fate? Living in someone else’s shadow, striving towards acceptance, the sort of shit that teenagers can’t help but relate to— isn’t that closer to home than, for example, a situation where hot abs meets blonde hair + blue eyes and they practically save humanity from destruction, mid-pubescence? HOWEVER, it doesn’t always have to be contemporary, although I am in favor of such (I know it’s a girly genre but PLEASE LADIES don’t go crazy over me).

Jasmine: Don’t step on my pathetic face, is more like it. But as much as I hate to admit it, you seem to have some sort of point….

Juan: I choose to remain an ignoramus to that earlier smart-ass comment. But thank you. And ANYWAY, it’s about friends! We all have our own sets, real or imaginary, and maybe there should be more stories about them. Just a thought. That might just make us treasure these books more, as opposed to having them feature imaginary hot abs. YES, I’m angry at hot abs, I don’t have one.

Jasmine: BAHAHAHA ohh the bitter root, the BITTER ROOT.

Juan: I’m working on it, okay?! Now you put your own ideas forward. CHALLENGE ME, WEAKLING!

Jasmine: Well I don’t think that chemistry between peers in books is a bad thing, and it can never really be, unless we’re talking pseudo-friends whose true colors show halfway through. Honestly though, I’m satisfied with how they’re portrayed, mainly due to the fact that I haven’t given it much thought. As for me? I pine for the books that instigate rivers of tears and temporary despondency. NO brother, it’s not all about wanting more of the feels. Basically, I’m into books that deal with tough subjects— partly for the raw emotions, and partly to the prove the point that romance and sentiment don’t necessarily go hand in hand– there are other, more deep-seated means to achieve the latter. Now live with it, people!

Juan: Okay well,  I STILL think you just need more of the feels. I mean, what do you mean by tough subjects anyway? Homosexuality? Drugs? Disease? War? John Green?

Jasmine: All of the FREAKING above!! I’m not pathological at least not until further scrutiny, but I am particularly enraptured by stories that involve real life struggles, except for the piddling, negligible ones of course, such as the ‘OH I DON’T KNOW WHICH CEREAL TO EAT FOR BREAKFAST’ types (totes go for the Raisin Bran). As opposed to my love for books that introduce me to new spheres of being that may or may not lie parallel to the universe I belong in, I also much appreciate books that explore topics closer to home. The characters in these books are inclined towards relatability, genuineness, and charisma, and I definitely need more of that in YA these days. Though I am probably a walking oxymoron right now, being the the bro-professed ‘escapist’ here, this just goes to show that Young Adult has the potential to become one of the most diverse and three-dimensional genres out there. I know that a lot authors are afraid to explore topics officially addressed by society (Eleanor and Park was banned after all, and it was hands down one of the most poignant and inspirational books I’ve ever dared let myself succumb to), yet my belief stands that it’s a risk worth taking. But that’s just me, and that ends this feature!

Juan: Well that was staggering. OH, trivia! This post was inspired by an episode of Anohana, in English “The Flower We Saw That Day”. There should be a YA version of this. Let not the girly title deceive you.

Jasmine: Deceived I am not. Now let us dance to Maroon 5’s One More Night to celebrate.

Juan: CHALLENGE ME, WEAKLING!

Jasmine: To a dance off!!

*ridiculous amounts of twerks and pelvic thrusts legitimate dance moves to Adam Levine eargasm later*

Jasmine: …This goes on Youtube.

Juan: If we get views of the Justin Bieber variety, call me.

Jasmine: On it, bro.

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So what do you think?  Have any suggestions? Criticisms of the constructive variety? Life changing praise?  Comment if you do! 😀

P.S. We’d appreciate suggestions on future topics!

P.P.S. What do you think of our new format (I highlighted the main points. Does it help?)

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