REVIEW | Serenity

Series: the Shelby Alexander Thriller #1
 Craig A. Hart
 adult, mystery, thriller
 October 14, 2016
Purchase: Amazon

Do You Love Thrillers? The New Shelby Alexander Thriller Series Is Here! Don't Forget To Breathe... 
A woman dies in his arms...a drug dealer offers him $10,000...a gunman is determined to kill him. And then everything goes to hell. 
Shelby Alexander is an aging ex-boxer and retired fixer, whose activities often flirted with the wrong side of the law. Looking for a little peace and a slower pace of life, he moved to Serenity, the small Michigan town where he grew up. But trouble follows men like Shelby, and he finds himself embroiled in an underworld of drugs and violence that may prove to be his undoing. The first book in the new Shelby Alexander Thriller Series, Serenity is an action-packed read with a lovingly rendered cast, witty dialogue, and a main character who doesn't know when to quit. 
If You Love These Authors, You'll Love the Shelby Alexander Series: Nick Stephenson Mark Dawson David Archer John Hemmings Christopher Greyson 

REVIEW | The Masterminds

Series: Masterful #2
 Olivia Wildenstein
 young adult, contemporary, thriller, romance
 October 12, 2016
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

From prisons and reality TV to mansions and safe houses, THE MASTERMINDS revisits THE MASTERPIECERS and closes the twins’ story. It is a tale of imperfect love and imperfect people. 
The only downside to Joshua Cooper’s investigation of a mob runner is not being able to discuss it with his two best friends, nineteen-year-old twins, Aster and Ivy Redd. However, when Ivy sells one of her quilts to the mob runner, and Aster hits him with her car in a motel parking lot, they become entangled in his investigation. The FBI even believes the twins could knowingly be involved with the mob. Joshua will do everything he can to disprove their suspicion and nail the true criminal. 
Brook Jackson is a judge on the Masterpiecers’s art competition. That is his official job; his unofficial job is running questionable errands against easy cash. But a ripped quilt and the girl who sewed it will make Brook’s life and heart spiral out of control. 
Accused of money laundering, Brook becomes the fall guy. After three weeks of imprisonment, he cuts a deal with Joshua: his freedom for the real felons and a meeting with Ivy. Although eager to clear his name, Brook wants to win Ivy’s forgiveness—and if she’s willing to give it to him—her love. 

OCTOBER BOOK HAUL (aka my unexpected buys haul)

unexpected hauls.
Murder at the Book Group by Maggie King | Everlost by Neal Shusterman | The Midnight Star by Marie Lu | Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven | Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo | Rescue at Lost Baños by Bruce Henderson

I said I'll be gone by October but then I still have unfinished business. So I'll probably take up the next couple of weeks of November to post around four reviews -- one YA contemporary thriller and three adult mystery-thrillers. After those, I'll work on my new book blog to be shared on 2017. I'm honestly excited for that :)

For now, here are the books I unexpectedly acquired last October :)

REVIEW | At Risk

Series: N/A
 S.G. Redling
 adult, mystery, thriller
 September 20, 2016
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Colleen McElroy grew up wealthy and pampered, the daughter of a prominent society family in Lexington, Kentucky. But her privileged upbringing could not prepare or protect her from her cruel and abusive first husband. Although her calamitous marriage left her with physical and emotional scars that have yet to heal, they haven’t prevented her from doing her best to rebuild her life. 
Charismatic Patrick McElroy has scars of his own from his traumatic childhood in the foster care system, but with his business partner, John, he has built a celebrated, state-of-the-art home for at-risk youths. When one goes missing, Colleen is plunged into a nightmare of uncertainty about the girl’s disappearance. Is she paranoid, seeing disasters where there is just bad luck, or does an unspeakable evil lurk behind the new life she’s made for herself? No longer sure of whom she can trust, Colleen will have to rely on herself to discover the truth. 

REVIEW | Forbidden Birth

Series: Chris Ravello #1
 William Rubin
 adult, mystery, thriller
 August 30, 2016
Purchase: Amazon | Kobo

“Deep breaths filled my lungs as I purged the anxiety and fear that clawed at me from within. Who was the serial killer… and why were our vics all missing the same body part?” 
Doctor Christopher Ravello is driven by an unquenchable desire to avenge his mother’s senseless murder. He forsakes a lucrative career in medicine, and plunges headlong into the brutal, unforgiving world of a New York City homicide detective. Head of the new Division of Medical Crimes, Ravello’s first case pits him against a brilliant, sadistic serial killer. Known only as The Giver, he is hell bent on subjecting young women and their unborn babies to his illicit experiments. As the body count rises, New York City is engulfed in fear. Fighting an illness which threatens his job, immersed in turmoil at home due to his radical career change, Ravello struggles to understand who The Giver is and where he will strike next. Just as he discovers the killer’s identity the unspeakable happens, and Ravello is confronted with an agonizing choice: will he play it safe or make the ultimate sacrifice to save his loved ones and the city he is sworn to protect and serve?  

BLOG TOUR | Blood Red Snow White

full tour schedule can be found at: The Fantastic Flying Book Club
Series: N/A
 Marcus Sedgwick
 young adult, historical fiction
Published: October 25, 2016
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | iTunes | Kobo

It is 1917, and the world is tearing itself to pieces in a dreadful war, but far to the east of the trenches, another battle is breaking out - the Russian Revolution has just begun...  
Blood Red, Snow White captures the mood of this huge moment in history through the adventure of one man who was in the middle of it all; Arthur Ransome, a young British journalist who had first run away to Russia to collect fairy tales.  
Told as three linked novellas, part one captures the days of revolution but retells the story as Russian Fairy Tale, with typical humour and unashamed brutality. Part two is a spy story, set over the course of one evening, as Ransome faces up to his biggest challenge, and part three is a love story, full of tragedy and hope, as every good Russian love story should be.

REVIEW | Savage Reckoning

Series: Backwoods Justice #1
Author: C. Hoyt Caldwell
 mystery, thriller
Publish: Octoer 4, 2016
Publisher: Alibi
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

In the vein of Elmore Leonard’s Justified, C. Hoyt Caldwell introduces a thriller series set in the dark side of the Appalachian mountains—featuring a heroine who’s playing both sides of the law. 
Deputy Dani Savage would like nothing better than to shoot the wife beaters, carjackers, drug dealers, and all the rest of the low-life good ol’ boys that make policing Baptist Flats, Tennessee, near impossible. Instead, she grits her teeth and serves the God-fearing townsfolk without complaint. The “little deputy,” as she’s known, is often overlooked and ridiculed for being a small-statured woman in a big man’s world. But while investigating a cold case involving a missing teen, Dani stumbles onto some disturbing facts that cannot be ignored. 
Soon Dani realizes that this case goes back decades. There’s a history of young women being stolen from the Tennessee hills, and a legacy of corrupt cops looking the other way. Dani’s investigation leads her to the “closeout kings,” a pair of hired killers with a tale to tell—a tale of a missing girl and a crime worse than murder. Somehow these two deranged hit men are Dani’s last, best allies. They know that it’s time for payback—and in the backwoods, justice takes only one form.

UPDATE POST | September book haul + reading slump + future plans

old photo i took that i never shared anywhere :)

I've been out for around two or three weeks now. I've been busy with uni. We had an event and I was one of the heads of the event. It turned out okay. Not what I was hoping for but I'm super glad it's done. Then, our thesis deadline was pushed one week earlier than usual so I had to work on it immediately after the event. It was super stressful. And a new problem rose during that time and until now, topic defense done and all, we did not talk about it. I still hope things work out though.

ANYWAY, setting all sad talks aside, let me get on with things.

Wuthering Heights (Random House UK, 2016) by Emily Bronte | Wuthering Heights (Penguin Books, 2012) by Emily Bronte | Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie | The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins | Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins | Mocking Jay by Suzanne Collins | Seveneves by Neal Stephenson | A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab | The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman | The Last Star by Rick Yancey | Dark Matter by Blake Crouch| Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

This is a suuuuuuuper late book haul post. But better late than never, yes? These are my #MIBF2016 book haul. I mentioned them before but never had the chance to actually post them here :)

WEEKEND READS | Reading Thrillers!

ohlook, a new Agatha Christie book on my shelf!

This week is the Manila International Book Fair week (#MIBF2016) and the Mystery-a-Thon. Let's briefly talk about both, okay?

I've had a couple of school works to do yadah-yadah-yadah. Stuff like thesis, and events management, and short write-up, and stuff like that. THESE THINGS are the reasons why I'm so behind on my mystery-a-thon. And of course, I may just be making excuses (which I possibly am) but I'm almost halfway through my 2nd read for the readathon which is Savage Reckoning by C. Hoyt Caldwell. Along with this, I took this readathon as an opportunity to get back to reading In Gallup, Greed by Tower Lowe. Read my thoughts on both below!!

NOW on to my #MIBF2016 experience! I went on Friday and Saturday with a different friend a day. I jumped in to an impromptu invite for Friday because I really, REALLY want to go on a weekday because it's more convenient. No long lines and the books are still not so messed up (because they literally get from one shelf to another!). My book hauls can be found on my instagram page :)

All in all, I bought 12 books from #MIBF2016. I had to give up a lot of books I really, really want to have (because of my budget) like Dangerous Girls, Nightingale, Six of Crows, and Vicious. AND I was going to grab a copy of A Court of Mist and Fury by there was NO PAPERBACK! I am not going to grab the hardcover no matter what because (1) it's expensive and I'm poor && (2) it won't be the same as my ACOTAR 'cause it's in paperback. So next time. Definitely.

Despite all those things, I'm still happy for the books I bought. I FINALLY got The Hunger Games trilogy boxset. THE FOIL BOXSET WHICH I ACTUALLY PREFER!! Oh look at those shiny covers!! They are so pretty!!!! And don't shame me but I haven't read Catching Fire and Mockingjay (although I have seen the movie except for Mockingjay part 2). Also, I finally got a copy of Illuminae!! I don't know when I'll read it though. Possibly on November when I'm not too busy. AND I also got my hands on two editions of Wuthering Heights! Their covers are just sooooo pretty!!

Pretty much, these are the highlights of my week. Now, to my reads!!
At Risk | S.G. Redling
This book kept me up until 2:00AM! I like the slow build up, how well established the characters were, how well developed the main character is, and how much suspense the climax holds. The revelation and the thrilling climax was great! Really wished there was more though. Maybe like an epilogue or something. Oh well~
Review will be up soon!!

WEEKEND READS | Mystery-a-thon anyone?

Agatha Christie is QUEEN.

As usual, I've been out. Procrastinating. It's the first time I opened my laptop since I posted my rant-astic review of Into the Light. I haven't commented on anyone's blog since. But I will. You guys wait on that. I have things to do tomorrow like majorly editing out thesis and and layouting posters for events.

ALSO, I'm starting a lettering project tomorrow. It's really personal. I want to discipline myself in regularly practicing and trying out different styles. SO tomorrow on my instagram account, I'm going to post one song title a day. I want to introduce the songs I listen to and the bands and artists I love to everyone while practicing my lettering. I'm still suuuuuuuper NOT GOOD but I hope you see some improvements as days go by. I'm also adding the #100DaysofSongTitlesLettering hashtag at the of each post because basically that's what I'll try to accomplish :)

On other things, I'm hoping to participate on Ely @ Tea & Titles's mystery-a-thon just because I LOVE mystery. I'm sure you guys know how much I love mystery may it be YA mystery or cozy mystery or historical mystery or mystery thriller or crime fiction. As long as there's (good) mystery (and good writing) I'm IN!
Walk on Earth a Stranger (The Gold Seer Trilogy #1) | Rae Carson
I enjoyed Walk on Earth a Stranger but I didn't love it. Don't hate me, please. It's basically one of my most anticipated reads of 2015. And as I said I enjoyed it. I LIKE a lot of the book's historical aspect -- how the other basically explored the time period. BUT the book as a whole didn't made me feel so much. I basically just read the ups and downs of Leah's adventure to California. It was good but it wasn't exciting or magical or emotional for me. I like how her relationship with all the people she traveled with developed though :)
Into the Light (Into the Dark #2) | Caroline T. Patti
This book was a disaster for me. Admittedly there were good things which I pointed out at the end of my review. Read my thoughts here!!

REVIEW | Into the Light

Series: Into the Dark #2
 Caroline T. Patti
 young adult, fantasy, paranormal, romance
 August 23, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Mercy’s family is back together and the threat of danger appears to have passed. But any relief she feels is short lived as she is ripped from her body and thrown in jail. Gage and Nathaniel’s plans to break Mercy out won’t exactly be easy. Stuffed full of a chemical binding agent, Mercy is trapped inside the body of a convict without the ability to breach and set herself free. Unfortunately for Mercy, being trapped in jail becomes the least of her problems when she meets her evil twin, Justice. 

REVIEW | Mortom

Series: N/A
 Erik Therme
 adult, mystery, thriller
 April 28, 2015
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Andy Crowl barely knew his recently deceased cousin, Craig Moore, so he’s especially surprised to be named as the sole beneficiary in Craig’s will. Not that there’s much to inherit: just an empty bank account and a run-down house. 
Once Andy arrives in the town of Mortom, however, he’s drawn into his puzzle-obsessed cousin’s true legacy: a twisted and ominous treasure hunt. Beckoned by macabre clues of dead rats and cemetery keys, Andy jumps into the game, hoping to discover untold wealth. But unsavory secrets—and unanswered questions about Craig’s untimely demise—arise at every turn, leading Andy to wonder if he’s playing the game…or if the game is playing him. 
Something’s rotten in Mortom. And this dead man’s game might not be all that Andy is doomed to lose. 

REVIEW | The Reaper

Series: Children of Wisdom #2 
 Stephanie Erickson
 contemporary, fantasy, mythology
 March 5, 2016
Publisher: Pickles Press
Purchase: Amazon

"The Thread of life is a delicate thing. It is so easily broken..."  
My name is Michaela, and I'm a Reaper. I help the humans transition from their home on Earth after they die. Up until a short time ago, things were going well. But then, one of our best Fates was banished to Earth, people started dying before their time, and things went rapidly downhill from there.  
Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, I found seven misplaced souls trapped in the depths of hell. It didn't matter to me who had put them there, or even why they had. All I knew was I had to get them out. I couldn't just leave them there to suffer.  
Who knew trying to find out and fix what had gone so horribly wrong would end with me surrounded by misfit Fates while racing through the depths of hell? Trying to save not only the seven trapped souls, but also the entire human race, is not exactly in my job description...  

WEEKEND READS | Walk on Earth a Stranger + Mortom

one of my 2015 most anticipated reads.

I talked about how life has been for me during this past month in my book haul post yesterday. It was mixture of good and bad. But I survived it. I'm done with that and I'm going to focus on things to come right now.

This past week I finally picked up Walk on Earth a Stranger which I'm sooooo happy about. I placed In Gallup, Greed on-hold but I'll get back to it after Walk on Earth. I think I'm kind of getting burnt out with all these mystery-thriller. I still like them, really. Mortom which is my other read for this weekend is a mystery-thriller but I think that I need a tiny break from them.

I know I kind of promised a couple of reviews last week but I didn't made it. I have them written out already but haven't formatted them on the blog. I'm generally just procrastinating. haha.
Bullet in the Blue Sky | Bill Larkin
This is a very intriguing book that had me reading fast. There's this search mission then there's this non-stop action. There's always something going on. But that isn't the only thing that had me going on this book. Once Detective Shaw was found, this just started getting even more interesting. So really... check out my review, check out other reviews, and hopefully you decide to read this book :)
The Reaper (the Children of Wisdom #2) | Stephanie Erickson
Middle. Book. Syndrome. Book one, The Fate, was a pretty decent read. I liked it. I liked Penn. I like the writing. I like the progression of the story. But this one? There are questionable things. Really slow progression. Annoying Penn. Unimportant events. I'll have a mini-review soon!!

AUGUST BOOK HAUL (aka the Birthday Month Haul)

birthday haul.
S.  by J.J. Abrahams & Doug Dorst | Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel | The Passage by Jutsin Cronin | Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick | The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson | All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr | In Gallup, Greed by Tower Lowe (not in photo)

My birthday month was a mixture of good things and not so good things. First off, these books I got came from my dad who's totally supporting my reading hobby. I was about to get A TON MORE BOOKS but decided not to (had to drop a lot which includes ACOMAF and The Wrath and The Dawn and Dark Matter and a few more). I really don't think it's right to take soooo much -- I mean take advantage of the offer. I don't even know why I'm like that. I'll get those books some other time. I'm sure of it.

Second, I mentioned in my last weekend reads post that things have not been going well with my undergraduate thesis. I'm having some issues with this thesis group mate and friend. It's quite difficult to tell her that she's doing things wrong. My other group mate and I keep on telling her that we don't need this, we have to scrap this, blah-blah-blah. She doesn't listen. I want to save you, friends, all the trouble. So I'd just say that things are not going well for us and we're completely off schedule and I'm trying not to be angry at her.

REVIEW | Into the Dark

Series: Into the Dark #1
 Caroline T. Patti
 young adult, fantasy, paranormal, romance
 August 18, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

A “sweet sixteen” party is supposed to be among the most memorable events of a girl’s life. But on the night of her party, Mercy Clare wakes up in the waiting room of a hospital with no memory of how she got there. To make matters worse, she’s wearing something she would never be caught dead in: her best friend Lyla’s clothes. Mercy’s nightmare is just beginning. The doctor tells her, referring to her as Lyla, that Mercy is lying in the hospital bed waiting to die. A trip to the bathroom confirms Mercy’s fears, as Lyla’s face stares back at her and Lyla’s curvy figure pokes through her tight clothes. But finding out what’s really going on won’t be easy. Because if Mercy wants her body back . . . it might just cost her Lyla’s life.

BLOG TOUR | Bullet in the Blue Sky

Series: N/A
Author: Bil Larkin
 adult, thriller, suspense, crime fiction
Publish: August 4, 2016
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

In the chaotic aftermath of a massive earthquake that leveled much of the Los Angeles region, a LAPD deputy chief sends an elite team of detectives on a rescue mission. They are ordered to set aside all law enforcement duties, to ignore the destruction and to focus on one task: Find LAPD Detective Gavin Shaw, who disappeared just before the earthquake. 
Kevin “Schmitty” Schmidt of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department joins five others on the rescue team. With rioting, looting, attacks and homicides rampant in the streets, the six cops have to defend themselves while chasing down leads on the whereabouts of Shaw. The mission takes them through the dizzying war zone and the more they encounter, the more they wonder why they are searching for one man in these extreme circumstances. Why is this man so important to the deputy chief, and why now? 
Schmitty discovers that others with high connections are also after Shaw. The questions pile even higher when they learn of a shadowy history between Shaw and the deputy chief. A history with deadly consequences for the team as they uncover a threat that elevates the mission to a race against time.

WEEKEND READS | Mystery Thriller Reads!!

current read.

Life has been stressful and my undergraduate thesis is killing me. I mean not literally of course. I'm just getting into some really unhappy moments with a friend because of what's going on with our schedule. Nothing big (possibly... hopefully...).

ANYWAY, on better things, I think, the weather's finally better. YAY! And I've finally given up on the Epic Reads's #ReadingDecathlon. LOL. It's already Day 8 of my pledge and I've read 4 books. I'll definitely get back to that on some other time. Well that doesn't sound so good. Possibly this week was not really good for me now that I've thought of about -- wrecked schedule, that suck-y workshop I attended yesterday, that uninteresting event we're setting up for a class requirement. Ugh.
There Once Were Stars | Melanie McFarlane
The world is really good.. Reminded me a bit of Sunset Rising but There Once Were Stars has its own thrilling scifi story from the mentioned series. The heroine is also pretty good but the romance wasn't exactly a strong point. Review (+ giveaway) can be found here!!
Thirteen (The Last Thirteen #1) | James Phelan
This book is a complete waste of my time. Review will be up soon!!
Into the Dark (Into the Dark #1) | Caroline T. Patti
I really like the concept of this book -- breaching bodies, a group of people assigned to kill them. Aside from all of these Into the Dark involves family and, of course, romance. There's always something going on. I enjoyed it. Not completely stellar though. Review soon!!

BLOG TOUR | There Once Were Stars

full tour schedule can be found at: Xpresso Book Tours
Author: Melanie McFarlane
 young adult, science fiction, dystopia
Publish: April 26, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

Peace. Love. Order. Dome. That’s the motto that the Order has given the residents of Dome 1618 to live by. Natalia Greyes is a resident of Dome 1618, a covered city protected from the deadly radiation that has poisoned the world outside for four generations. Nat never questioned the Order, until one day she sees a stranger on the outside of the dome. Now Nat wants answers. Is there life outside the dome and if so, what has the Order been hiding from everyone?


Series: N/A (at least for now...)
Author: Neal Shusterman
Genre: young adult, science fiction, dystopia

Publisher: Simon & Schuster BfYR
Expected Publication: November 2016

In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed (“gleaned”) by professional reapers (“scythes”). Citra and Rowan are teenagers who have been selected to be scythe’s apprentices, and—despite wanting nothing to do with the vocation—they must learn the art of killing and come to understand the necessity of what they do.  
Only one of them will be chosen as a scythe’s apprentice. And when it becomes clear that the winning apprentice’s first task will be to glean the loser, Citra and Rowan are pitted against one another in a fight for their lives.

WEEKEND READS | Zodiac + Into the Dark

current read.

I've been a bit inactive but that's because I've been reading. A bit of school stuff happening but nothing completely major right now. Anyway, the weather has been gloomy this past few days. Classes get suspended. It's raining almost non-stop. I hate it. I mean rain is fine but I really wish it doesn't go for an entire day or two or three. It scares me.

I hope we get a better weather next week!!

ALSO, I'm 10 books away from finishing my Goodreads Reading Challenger 2016 and it's only August. I'm thinking of moving my goal from 70 to 80 or 90. For 2 years, I go for 70 books because that's the most manageable for my reading pace. But this year, I got waaaay ahead of my schedule. So I think an increase in my goal is just right :)
Genesis Girl (Blank Slate #1) | Jennifer Bardsley
I really, really like the world of this book. I had mixed feelings for it though but I still really enjoy it. I like its idea -- a dystopian world where a few children are sent to Tabula Rasa School. They are taught of the evils of technology and are raised to stay away from it. After graduation from Tabula Rasa, they are sold to the highest bidders as models/advertisers of products. The idea is that because Tabula Rasa graduates called Vestals do not have any 'virtual footprint', it makes them the most reliable advertisers. Blanca, unlike her fellow Vestals, became a Geisha -- a Vestal bought not by a company but by a private person for private purposes.
The story really has a lot of interesting turns. I wouldn't say that they are like plot twist or anything. They made me confused a bit -- like at times, I don't even know what's going to happen next, I had no idea where the story is heading. Good thing? Bad thing? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I still ended up enjoying it though. Full review soon!!

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