Bookish Survey: Greek Mythology Style!

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Many of you know I’m a quiz-loving person, so for this month I decided to go with a Percy Jackson – themed survey, it being one of my all time favorite series, and Percy being my single most beloved protagonist.

So how does it work? Basically, it’s a survey of sorts, where for the first half, I list down the major gods of Olympus (the Twelve Olympians, and then some), and you answer with the title of a book or the name of a character that relates to the gods’ representation. For the second half, I list down notable characters from the series and you answer with yet another set of titles or characters that comes in congruence with the examples. If you wish to use any of the given PJO and HOO personalities as answers, feel free to do so (I did much the same thing). Instead of just commenting your results below, I’d love to see you create your own post! Feel free to grab the banner if you do so wish. Of course, this activity is not exclusive to fanatics–every book lover is welcome to join in! Even if you don’t want to create your own post, do share some of your picks with me. And in the case that you do, I’d love to see a comment-link to your post on it 😀

If you find this survey too hefty for your liking, feel free to split your posts into two (as per usual), according to the way I divided them below, or choose to do one but not the other. But of course you can always partition it to suit your fancies– remember, this is a free for all!

Before anything else though, you may be wondering where this came from and why I decided to do this. That’s a long story, but I’ll try to explain it coherently. Well, basically…

I got bored. And so it begins.

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gods

Zeus (Jupiter)

God of the Sky and Thunder / King of the Gods

Favorite book (choose your own category!): I don’t think I’ve ever asked this question before, so I’ll go with my Favorite Novella (but of course you don’t have to!) This would have to be Destroy Me (Tahereh Mafi), because I loved Warner’s portrayal in this book and never would have adored Chapter 62 Unravel Me just as much without it. Fracture Me was less than stellar though, and I just wish novellas didn’t necessarily come in e-book format! They’d look cute on the shelves, haha.

Poseidon (Neptune)

God of the Seas and Earthquakes

Book that drowned you in feels: Love Is All You Need (Deb Caletti). This is actually a collection of three different books in one, and the thing is, I loved every single one of them. Love is all I need. Amen.

Hades (Pluto)

God of the Underworld

Favorite book with a dark / ominous plot: Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Laini Taylor). People say that this book is child’s play as compared to Days of Blood and Starlight, but I loved how the author incorporated the idea of angels and demons into the story without making it sound all too cliché (there is simply NO way you can disapprove of Akiva).

Hera (Juno)

Goddess of Marriage and Family

Cutest fictional couple: Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters (The Fault In Our Stars, John Green). I mean, their dialogue is witty, and they entertain each other with venn diagram humor, and one accepts the imperfections of the other, and you just can’t go wrong with any of that. Love this pure could not have been portrayed so effortlessly out of a John Green novel, so I think the book well deserved its widespread reception.

Athena(Minerva)

Goddess of Wisdom, Handicraft and Strategic Warfare

Series with the best world-building: Harry Potter (J.K. Rowling). She built an entire world of literal magic from scratch, and up to now I can’t seem to fathom how she imagined all of it up. Hogwarts alone is an amazing concept, but with so many names, places, and spells to remember, I can hardly even grasp the little details anymore! Needless to say that I loved this series (and their movies!) nonetheless.

Aphrodite (Venus)

Goddess of Love and Beauty

Most beautiful cover on a 2014 release: Infinite (Jodi Meadows). Have you even seen the cover to this one? I mean, it reminds me of colourful birds and masquerade parties, and pretty much anything with a gorgeous façade, and though I haven’t actually read the previous books, I think the cover alone is enough to entice me into doing so (Seriously, LOOK AT THEM).

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Ares (Mars)

God of War and Bloodshed

Most violent book you’ve ever read: A Game of Thrones (George R.R. Martin). I’m not into horror books, at all, though medieval settings do somehow require excessive bloodshed, for some reason. The setting of this book isn’t exactly a place on Earth, although the customs and the costumes are reminiscent of both the dark and chivalrous ages, where of course knights spear through each other like butter, and army soldiers tear one another limb from limb. Good times.

Hephaestus (Vulcan)

God of Blacksmiths and Fire

Scorching hot swoon worthy character: Based on a recent read, I would have to say Galen Forza (The Syrena Legacy, Anna Banks), because of course, you can’t be a mermaid syrena without being a good swimmer, which should of course equate to hunkiness and abs and a protective demeanor and am I allowed to swoon yet?

Artemis (Diana)

Goddess of the Hunt and Virginity

Favorite Kick-Ass Heroine: Juliette Ferrars (Shatter Me, Tahereh Mafi) hands down. I mean, she was abused and an outcast for practically her whole life, and instead of whimpering like a kicked dog in the corner, she chose to fight her inner demons and stand against their faulty government, kicking ass and literally squeezing the life out of her foes with her bare hands (I don’t actually ever recall her ever doing this, but might as well). Rewarding her with Warner’s love would probably a good idea right about now.

Phoebus Apollo (Apollo)

God of Light and Healing

Sequel book that redeemed its series: Unfortunately, it’s hard to come by any of these, and to be honest I don’t quite recall ever having encountered any one of them. So I think I’m going to tweak my answers up a bit and go with The House of Hades (Rick Riordan), because by the end of The Mark of Athena, I was losing hope that all seven of the demigods would survive, and that Leo would ever get himself a love interest (don’t get me wrong though, I am loyal and have loved every single one of these titles).

Hermes (Mercury)

Messenger God of Thieves and Commerce

Book with the best message: The Book Thief (Markus Zusak). I thought that this book was both touching and empowering at the same time, and because it spoke of love for the written word, I guess in that way it also spoke to me.

Hestia (Vesta)

Goddess of the Hearth and Home

Book with the most relatable story: Fangirl (Rainbow Rowell). Haha well what can I say? I’m a cheater. I haven’t read this book to be honest (though I intend to), but I don’t ever recall reading a book I could thoroughly relate to (and if I did, it would probably bore me senseless). Being a fandom hopper myself, however, I do think that Cath and I may find common ground. So if you’re willing to send a copy over, PLEASE PLEASE DO SO.

Demeter (Ceres)

Goddess of Fertility and Agriculture

Favorite bookish setting: I wouldn’t really wish a dystopian community onto myself, though most of the books I love are set in one of them, so I would have to go for Camp-Half Blood, because I love the sense of camaraderie, as well as the welcoming environment, and it’s obviously where I belong (confession bear: I’m a demigod). Oh and, I would really like to know for myself if it’s even possible to flunk out at monster fighting class.

Dionysus (Bacchus)

God of Wine and Celebration

2014 / 2015 release you are most anticipating: Ignite Me (Tahereh Mafi). SQUEEEEEEE it’s out next week!! BE STILL MY HEART. Of course, I’m excited because Chapter 62 all day everyday I do want to know who Juliette ends up with, and how she will manage to stand her ground against the Reestablishment (if my preferences on both counts aren’t fulfilled, shit will be flipped. Kidding, but still. Mafi, pretty please with cherry on top, don’t disappoint).

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heroes

Percy Jackson

a brave, spirited natural leader with a sarcastic sense of humor, and a will to save friends and enemies alike

Favorite protagonist: Let’s not stray far from the source, shall we? I think my favorite would have to be Percy Jackson (Heroes of Olympus, Rick Riordan) because he’s both funny and extremely gifted when it comes to making use of his demigod abilities (which are the bomb diggity, by the way), and I can’t exactly think of a heroine who hasn’t annoyed me at least once. So there you have it! And with Logan Lerman’s face attached to his persona, what more is there to ask for?

Annabeth Chase

intellectual genius with a strong mind, brave heart, and a love for architecture

Series / book with the cleverest plot: I was mighty impressed with Cinder(Marissa Meyer), because although the book didn’t incorporate the Disney classic as much as I thought it would, I loved how Cinder’s world clashed with Cinderella’s and how the key elements to the original fairytale were retold in a futuristic setting. And if truth be told, I quite like this heroine much better (and not to mention this Prince <3)

Jason Grace

 has a moderate sense of humor, but a strong sense of honor, justice and compassion, often described as perfect

Book with an epic finale: Clockwork Princess (Cassandra Clare). Nothing beats the way this series concluded in my opinion, and the finale of course was the main reason why it was 2013’s read of the year. I would have done just as well without the epilogue, but suffice it to say that the conclusion pretty much answered all my prayers (and confirmed my suspicion that Cassandra Clare is, indeed, a goddess).

Piper McLean

aggressive and persuasive but down to earth, caring and loving towards Jason, her friends and family

Book with a tempting synopsis (one you haven’t read!): Angelfall (Susan Ee). Riddle me this: how many recommendations should it take for one to give in and pick up a book? Well if you asked me, I’d say not too many, and to be honest, I have received well above enough for me to shit a brick. I have loved the idea of this book since the day I read its first review, so why is it taking me ages to get the job done? Hmm well, ask Fullybooked. Or any other bookstore that NEVER HAS IT IN STOCK (None of my family members own credit cards, because we’re impulsive buyers, which is a shame because they don’t run out online). I heave endless sighs. *siiiigh*

Leo Valdez

good-natured and energetic, funny but intelligent, honest and witty, and is skilled with machines

Book that made you laugh: My Life Next Door (Huntley Fitzpatrick). This wasn’t an easy favorite, though I adored it nonetheless—the Garretts’ crazy antics were hilarious, and I think I literally laughed out loud at more than one point during my read, which of course startled this peaceful household (conveniently in the middle of the night). GEORGE, though! Nothing could be any sweeter, believe me. And it gets a companion (The Boy Most Likely To, 2015)! The good vibes are everywhere.

Hazel Levesque

bright  and outgoing despite an unfortunate childhood, is mature for her age and has a love for horseback riding

Favorite character with a tragic past: I’m not too sure how I’m supposed to define tragic, but by my standards, I think Akiva (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor) fits the bill. He was the epitome of enigma for most of the book, and I loved him exponentially better after unravelling his mystery, and it was magic. And those eyes (I mean duh, I’ve never seen them, but can you even imagine how gorgeous they must be?)

Frank Zhang

somewhat shy, cynical, and clumsy, though he possesses a strong sense of duty, loyalty, and love

Book you loved more than you thought you would: Wither (Lauren DeStefano). I read this book recently, not expecting to like it as much, because after all, the synopsis didn’t quite speak to me (which should explain why it took me this long to read it), but suffice it to say that the book was a pleasant surprise.

Nico di Angelo

grim, solitary, powerful and mysterious, highly unpredictable and selectively affectionate

Most mysterious character you’ve ever encountered: Probably The Darkling (The Grisha, Leigh Bardugo), though almost a page before the big reveal, I totally called the shots regarding his true intentions. I still love him to death, regardless (he is seriously a weakness).

Grover Underwood

cheerful, upbeat and protective satyr who chews on furniture when he gets nervous

Book you won’t read due to warnings against them: Carrier of the Mark (Leigh Fallon). I read a review on this book over at PaperGrey, if I’m not mistaken, and the review was written well enough for me to completely make it a point to steer clear of this book once and for all. If you happened to have liked it, try to convince me otherwise by telling me why!

Clarisse La Rue

arrogant and hot-tempered, but brave, strong and protective of camp

Most annoying character: I hate to say this, because she does remind me of well, myself, but I think America Singer (The Selection, Kiera Cass) is the single most exacerbating heroine I have ever encountered on this bookish journey of a lifetime. I mean, there were two sides to her persona, one clever and the other rash, and unfortunately, she channeled the latter almost ten times as much. I’d like to say that I am rooting for her (because who else is there to root for), but after reading The Elite, I’m not so sure anymore.

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And that’s it for this feature. Now it’s your turn! comment some of your links and your answers to make my day, and join in the fun, because you know you want to 😉

And now a Logan Lerman collage for motivation (this took me 7 hours to upload. How is that even possible).

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See you next time! Hope you have fun 🙂

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Review: Secrets Of The Realm

  secretsTitle: Secrets of the Realm

  Author: Bev Stout

  Release Date: December 4, 2013

  Publisher: Bev Stout (thank you!)

  Description: 488 pages, Young Adult Historical Fiction

synopsis

Blamed for her uncle’s death, fifteen-year-old Annie is on the run. Knowing the perils she will face on the streets of eighteenth century London, she disguises herself as a boy. Her life on the streets is cut short when she becomes Captain Hawke’s cabin boy.
Not only must Annie work alongside the Realm’s motley crew of outcasts and gentlemen, she must also keep her superstitious shipmates from discovering she is a girl.
Annie vows she will never leave the Realm, where dreams are chased, shattered lives can mend, and secrets are stowed like keepsakes in an old desk drawer. But when her past catches up with her, can she return to the Realm? More importantly, will she have a choice?
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Despite having taken me roughly five months to clinch a discursive review on this novel, it was by no means due to the fact that I was wholly disinterested (it was a matter of time, and you knew that). If truth be told, Annie’s adventures on board The Realm was extensively piquant and engrossing, and her shipmates themselves were none less appealing, though the plot itself could have used more of an embellishment, and everything did progress much too quick for my taste. However, I found it quite intriguing that I was never altogether assured of which crew member to hold in trust and certitude, such that it made every encounter whimsical and incalculable, and it was always a blast to read on about their adventures onboard, their encounters with pirates, their crazy antics and individual quirks.

As a matter of fact, the only real thing that bothered me was my own bewilderment regarding seafaring matters, which meant that to me, most of the nautical terms were nothing short of unfamiliar, and even then none of them were given friendly explanations. Furthermore, other scenes were rather awkward and peculiar, still others considerably flabbergasting, though I attributed this to the fact that most of the sailors were uneducated, naturally churlish,  and accustomed to filth, which meant that I was the problem because to be honest, I’m somewhat prissy (confession bear).

So of course, this didn’t stop me from delighting in the book overall. Never was there a vapid, dreary moment at any time during Annie’s stay aboard The Realm, and despite the fact that her preferences were thoroughly averse to mine, I found myself in complete assimilation of her thought processes somewhere along the way. And though I couldn’t seem to find an absolute emotional attachment to her character, she could never really bear a grudge against the world for an extended period of time, which was refreshing to see in a teenage girl with rebellious tendencies. Suffice it to say that I embraced her personality.

The rest of the characters were painted colorfully, each with a unique dynamism that made set them apart from the rest. Ambrose Barrette would have to be my favorite, however, because apart from being apparent eye candy, he remained thoughtful and kept an open mind, and had a great sense of humor to boot. The rest of the men aboard the ship weren’t half as charismatic in my opinion, with the exception of Christopher, though of course the mystery that enshrouded most of them made it easy for me to eagerly turn each successive page in anticipation.

And though most of the predicaments were met with cursory solutions, which of course cut the foresight short, I was pleased to note that most of the twists were largely  unprecedented. And despite the fact that the ending didn’t exactly cater to my fancies, I’m quite sure that it would have been appreciated by many others, heart and soul. Believe me, this book deserves so much more attention than it’s getting.

So if you’re interested in adventures across the sea in 18th century London (though I’m pretty sure they strayed far from English territories across the seas) then this page-turner of a novel is sure to captivate you, just as much, or even more than it did me (which should impress you because this has never really been my thing).

P.S. To the author, Bev Stout (if you get to read this), my apologies for having taken this long to put the review up. I explained myself before, and the same reasons apply here. But here it is, nevertheless!

P.P.S. I’m embracing a new format for the new year, because I wanted to create a better basis for my ratings, and consequently provide a more comprehensive review. I hope you like it!

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So what do you think of this book? If you haven’t read it, will you? Sound off in the comments below!

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Blogger Bites: Am I A Blogging Resolution Fail?

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Let’s face it: In light of the recent events, I’ve been pretty much shit at keeping up with the blog. This is no doubt disheartening, and it sucks, because I haven’t even achieved my first year, and my statistics have forged ahead into monophonic decline. Not that I’ve been keeping tabs so much as I did as a blogger novitiate, but honestly, it’s a little frustrating that for months on end, my blog has sojourned at a virtual standstill. I know that blogging is all about sharing your thoughts and opinions, and not about reaching out to an expanding audience, but because I (like most others), thrive in progress, I hope you understand that lately I’ve been feeling dismal about the fact that I haven’t been on the blog regularly enough to keep it from standing on the brink of perpetual stagnation.

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So basically, what I’m trying to say here is that I feel like a failure. I know that up until this moment, I’ve shot the works at embodying a constant ray of sunshine, throwing around random bits of impromptu advice to bloggers who need the simple jolt of motivation I offer. However, I’m human in every respect, which means that I’m not sorrow / disappointment / despondency proof. Sometimes I feel as if I haven’t been pushing my boundaries brutally enough. Sometimes I think that if I tried to do things differently, I would be miles and miles ahead.

But the thing is, I’m not. I used to reply emphatically to comments I receive, no exceptions, to let my readers know that I take all of their thoughts into account– and I do. But lately, I’ve answered in response to some for the sake of getting it over with so I can start drafting a new post, sometimes not even letting the comment totally sink in (which is a total shame to admit, but there you have it). Furthermore, I’ve been promising a queued entry to help keep the blog updated during similar circumstances, but the reason why I can’t make them is the same reason why I need them in the first place: I’m pressed for time.

So what’s the rush, Jasmine? You can’t possibly be that busy.

As a matter of fact, I am, because a few months prior, I signed up for all these activities to keep my senior year productive, and somewhere along the way, my limit was consigned to oblivion. To add to this destitution, whatever it is that I’ve signed up for doesn’t exactly allow me the luxury of backing down.

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For a more comprehensive overview of my senior year, let me tell you that Parallax (the school fair) is in three days, and I have to print, sort out, and manually count chits, record T-shirt orders and prepare the sound system for the concert. Moreover, I have yet to design posters for charity events, which is deplorable if you’re a dilettante to Photoshop, and I’m even worse. As for my onus to the Yearbook Committee, I have to edit news articles, gather photos for the collage, abridge the student write-ups, write entries on important events and generate a compilation in timetable format. I was missing in action last week because my group had to make a toy for the Science and Technology Week, where we had to create a board game from magnets, transistor circuits, aluminum bars and lots of heavy plywood, assemble the circuit, solder the wires, and glue gun the light emitting diodes to the contraption. Yup, it’s about as fun as it sounds.

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Oh, and prom is in eight days, and I have yet to steeplechase for a ready-to-wear dress that won’t fall off my non-existent cleavage and would hug my almost non-existent waistline (sometimes, I just feel like a goddamned toothpick). And then of course there’s the matter of my academics, which means research papers, long tests, surprise quizzes, graded recitations, practical exams, presentations, lightning tasks, military training, and physical fitness tests (usually 5 laps around the campus in half an hour). Brain cells melt and my legs turn to jelly. Good times.

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So that pretty much sums up my life since I’ve dabbled in abrupt truancy. And likely until I graduate, none of that is going to change. So much for devoting my free time to the blog (though last I checked, I didn’t exactly have any to begin with). Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t write this post to whine about why I just can’t seem to blog the right way, although of course this fact deeply frustrates me.

The real reason why is because I need your help. I know that this is the first time that I’m asking to be on the receiving end of counsel, but if I can’t cope with the nervous tension within the confines of my being, I can’t expect to manage dishing out advise to cope with the tension without. I, however, refuse to believe that I am a blogging resolution failure this early. Yes, it may be problematic for me to find the drive to succeed in the midst of failure, but I’ve done it before, albeit to a lesser degree, and hopefully it’s not too late to change course.

So here’s the question: do you think it’s too early to claim that I am blogging resolution failure (or that anyone is, for that matter?) How do you manage your time when it comes to blogging? What gives you the drive to blog? Do tell me in the comments below!

And because I don’t want to end on a sour note, I just want to let you guys know that my efforts at school haven’t exactly come to naught— I passed the entrance exams for each of the three colleges I applied for, which of course makes it all worthwhile. In addition, I was chosen as a candidate for the IntarMed program at the University of the Philippines (which is an accelerated course for doctor-aspirants, and meant that by some miracle, I was one of the top 82 from thousands to take the test. At the moment, it hasn’t even begun to sink in). I also managed a spot as one of the Director’s Listers for the Ateneo (top 200 or so), which is pretty surreal principally because Management Engineering is math heavy and is an honors course, and as a matter of fact, I expected to fail the test itself (the maths churned my brain into zombie meat). So yeah, none of that would have happened without sacrificing some of the time I usually reserve for blogging and using it instead to study for these exams, so I do hope that if I have failed you in a way, you understand that I did, not intentionally, but at a worthy expense. But of course I won’t stop trying.

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So wish me luck, and I’ll see you later!

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