Series: A Bakeshop Mystery #3
Author: Ellie Alexander
Genre: adult, mystery, cozy mystery
Published: December 29, 2015

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Amazon | B&N | Powells

Welcome to Torte-a small-town family bakeshop where the treats are killer good.
It's the dead of winter in the sleepy town of Ashland, which means no tourists-and fewer customers-for Jules Capshaw and her bakery. But when she's asked to cater an off-season retreat for the directors of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, business starts heating up...until Jules finds a dead body in the freezer.
"An intriguing new series." -Reader to Reader
Someone at the retreat has apparently iced the bartender, a well-known flirt with a legendary temper-that is, before a killer beat him to the punch. Then, from out of nowhere, Jules's own ex-husband shows up at the shop-and soon becomes a suspect. With accusations piling up higher than the snow-and thicker than a chocolate mousse cake-Jules has to think outside the (recipe) box to find the real culprit...and make sure he gets his just desserts.
"A delectable tale of murder and intrigue." -Portland Book Review on Meet Your Baker

DECEMBER BOOK HAUL (aka the Christmas Books!!)

Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger | On Such a Full Sea by Chang-rae Lee | Dumplin' by Julie Murphy


Merry Christmas!! Happy Holidays!!

I am so glad at myself for not buying any books and not downloading anything from Netgalley this month. These three are gifts from my friend, my sister, and my mom. I got so excited when I got Dumplin' because it's one of the books I've been hoping to get!

[WEEKLY MUSING] 2016 Releases I Can't Wait to Read


I usually post my weekly musings on Sundays but I didn't open my laptop (or maybe barely open it) since my Christmas vacation started. I've been so busy with wrapping my and my mom's gifts and buying them - definitely tiring but certainly one of my fave things about Christmas.

In my last weekly musing post, I shared books I'd like to read before the year ends. I'm currently reading Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas and I'm really loving it. I do see why everyone likes it more than the first book - the development that's going on around Celaena, Chaol, and Dorian is crazy. While I think my ship just sunk, I think that I'll still enjoy this series.

Anyway, here are books I'd really LOVE to get my hands on and immediately read once they are released this 2016:

Morning Star (Red Rising #3) by Pierce Brown. Golden Son ended in a cliffhanger - I mean just how did Darrow and Mustang ended there? And Fitchner!! And bloodydamn everything else!! ugh. I really just have a major NEED to read this book already!
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys. Ruta Sepetys is an auto-buy author for me. When I found out that she'll have a new novel more so that it's a WWII novel, I knew I should read it. Between Shades of Gray was a heartbreaking but lovely read. With that in mind, I'm sure this one will be as good or hopefully even better.
Stone Field by Christy Lenzi. Saw this on a WoW post a few months back and found out that it's a Wuthering Heights Retelling which is one of the few non-Agatha Christie classics I've read and liked.
The Last Star (the 5th Wave #3) by Rick Yancey. The Infinite Sea was full of revelations that I'm still quite confused about. This final book will obviously clear everything and hopefully will have a satisfying ending.
Stars Above (the Lunar Chronicles Novella Collection) by Marissa Meyer. I still haven't read Winter. I know, I suck. My local bookstores suck. Anyway, while my three of my paperback books have three of the novellas that will be featured here, I still haven't read them (I feel so weird for not reading them).

[REVIEW] Doll Parts

full tour schedule can be found at YA Bound Book Tours

Series: Anthology
Azzurra Nox
 adult, mystery, thriller
Published: December 8, 2015
Publisher: Twisted Wing Productions

Purchase: Amazon

A haunting trio of short stories about love, obsession, and secrets. Each short story is titled after a song, The National's Apartment Story, Placebo's Scared of Girls, and Skunk Anansie's Post Orgasmic Chill. 
Apartment Story
A lonely married woman nostalgically rekindles a friendship with a former lover and the apartment they shared. Dark secrets and mysteries surround the apartment building and its new tenants that delve deep into the woman's psyche and prove to be fatal. 

Scared of Girls
A glamorous go-go dancer and a failing university student are bound by a dark secret that may change their fates forever. 
Post Orgasmic Chill
The destinies of a cynical rock star, a groupie, an arrogant DJ, and naïve university student intertwine in a rainy London that serves as the backdrop to their tormented lives. Secrets and lies coincide in this dark tale of love gone wrong.

Hauntingly spare, beautiful, and twisted, Doll Parts is a disquieting and at times darkly morbid collection of short stories about normal people who suddenly discover their own dark possibilities.

[WEEKLY MUSING] Books I'd Like to Read Before 2016

some books I intend to read before the year ends

2015 was a really great reading year for me. As of today, goodreads told me I've read 82 books out of my goal of 70. Before the year ends, I'd really love to read a few more books and maybe go around 100 read books for year.

Today, I decided to list down books I'd love to read before the year ends. I have more or less (actually less) three weeks to go before 2016. Impossible? Some part of me thinks it is but who knows? Christmas vacation is coming up so I think that I'll have a decent amount of time to actually read.

[REVIEW] Red Queen

Series: Red Queen #1
Victoria Aveyard (@victoriaaveyard)
 young adult, fantasy, magic, romance, dystopia
 February 10, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Purchase: Amazon

Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood - those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steal what she can to help her family survive, but when her best friend is conscripted into the army, she gambles everything to win his freedom. A twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself, where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers a power of her own - an ability she didn't know she had.
Except... her blood is Red. 
To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks her new position to aid the Scarlet Guard - the leaders of a Red rebellion. Her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince and Mare against her own heart. 
From debut author Victoria Aveyard comes a lush, vivid fantasy series where loyalty and desire can tear you apart and the only certainty is betrayal.

[REVIEW] Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Series: Dash & Lily #1
Rachel Cohn (@RachelCohn); David Levithan
 young adult, contemporary, romance, realistic fiction, humor
 October 11, 2011 (first published 2010)
Publisher: Ember
Purchase: Amazon

 "I've left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don't, put the book back on the shelf, please." 
So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions? 
"Another surefire hit from the creators of Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist." -Booklist

[REVIEW] Cherry Blossom Baseball

Series: A Cherry Blossom Book #3
Jennifer Maruno
 middle grade, historical fiction, realistic fiction, sports
 December 5, 2015
Publisher: Dundurn
Purchase: Amazon

Is pretending to be someone else the only way Michiko can fit in? 
Michiko Minigawa’s life is nothing but a bad game of baseball. The Canadian government swung the bat once, knocking her family away from a Vancouver home base to an old farmhouse in the Kootenay Mountains. But when they move into town, the government swings the bat again, announcing that all Japanese must now move west of the Rockies or else go to Japan. 
Now in Ontario, Michiko once again has to adjust to a whole new kind of life. She is the only Japanese student in her school, and making friends is harder than it was before. When Michiko surprises an older student with her baseball skills and he encourages her to try out for the local team, she gives it a shot. But everyone thinks this new baseball star is a boy. Michiko has to make a decision: quit playing ball (and being harassed), or pitch like she’s never pitched before. 

NOVEMBER ROUNDUP (aka the back to UNI month!! but not really!)

current reads!!

November was supposed to end well. It was the ending of my vacation, the beginning of a new semester, and a successful personal reading challenge for me but things didn't go that well. Before going back to university, I got really, really sick. I was struck with dengue and was hospitalized for a week - one of the craziest (and scariest) eight days of my life. ugh.

Right now, I'm catching up with my reading, blogging, and school works. My mind's cooperating with me lately so somehow, I think that I'll be able to finalize several of my reviews from a week ago this weekend or throughout the coming week, hahaha.


[REVIEW] My Heart and Other Black Holes

Series: N/A
Jasmine Warga (@jasminewarga)
 young adult, contemporary, romance, realistic fiction, mental illness
 February 10, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Purchase: Amazon

Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.
There's only one problem: she's not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a selection called Suicide Partners, Aysel's convinced she's found her solution - Roman, a teenage boy who's haunted by a family tragedy, is looking for a partner. 
Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other's broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together. 
This is a gorgeously written and compulsively readable novel about the transformative power of love, heralding the arrival of an extraordinary new voice in teen fiction, Jasmine Warga.

[REVIEW] Veronika Decides to Die

Series: N/A
Paulo Coelho
 adult, contemporary, philosophy, drama, psychology, romance
 July 31, 2005 (first published 1998)
Publisher: HarperTorch (HarperCollins)
Purchase: Amazon

Twenty-four-year-old Veronika seems to have everything - you and beauty, boyfriends and a loving family, a fulfilling job. But something is missing in her life. So, one cold November morning, Veronika decides to die. She takes a handful of sleeping pills, expecting never to wake up. But she does - at a mental hospital where she is told that she has only days to live.
This poignant international bestseller by the author of The Alchemist and Eleven Minutes  takes readers on a quest to find the meaning in a culture overshadowed by angst, soulless routine, and perverse conformity. Based on events in Coelho's own life, Veronika Decides to Die questions the meaning of madness and celebrates individuals who do not fit into patterns society considers to be normal. Bold and illuminating, it is a dazzling portrait of a young woman at the crossroads of despair and liberation, and a poetic, exuberant appreciation of each day as a renewed opportunity.

[REVIEW] Nirvana

Series: Nirvana #1
J.R. Stewart
 young adult, science fiction, dystopia, romance, mystery, post apocalyptic
 November 10, 2015
Publisher: Blue Moon

When the real world is emptied of all that you love, how can you keep yourself from dependence on the virtual? 
Animal activist and punk rock star Larissa Kenders lives in a dystopian world where the real and the virtual intermingle. After the disappearance of her soulmate, Andrew, Kenders finds solace by escaping Nirvana, a virtual world controlled by Hexagon. In Nirvana, anyone's deepest desires may be realized - even visits with Andrew. 
Although Kenders knows that this version of Andrew is virtual, when he asks for her assistance revealing Hexagon's dark secret, she cannot help but comply. Soon after, Kenders and her closest allies find themselves in a battle with Hexagon, the very institution they have been taught to trust. After uncovering much more than she expected, Kenders' biggest challenge is determining what is real - and what is virtual. 
Nirvana is a fast-paced, page-turning young adult novel combining elements of science fiction, mystery, and romance. Part of a trilogy, this book introduces readers to a young woman who refuses to give up on the man she loves, even if it means taking on an entire government to do so.

[WEEKLY MUSING] What makes a slow reader read slow?

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga - one of the books I recently finish

The other day, I was talking but maybe more like complaining to my sister why I'm such a slow read and she, a fast one. I'm such a slow reader. It makes a couple of days to finish a book. Two days at least for a 300 to 400-paged book - that is, if I'm not doing anything important. If I have classes or I'm really busy with something, it takes me a week a least to finish one.

Yes, I know.. I'm such a shame. But lately, I decided not to really think about that. I mean, sure I'm a slow reader but that's just the way I am. So after talking to my sister, I ponder for a bit and was able to come up with reasons why I'm such a slow reader.

[REVIEW] Sleeping Murder

Series: Miss Marple #13
Agatha Christie
 adult, mystery, crime fiction, detective, thriller, classics
 May 1, 2000 (first published 1976)
Publisher: Signet

Gwenda Reed's new home, a charming Victorian villa, is giving the lovely new bride the strangest feeling of déjà vu - and an unnatural dread that's taking its toll. Perhaps her husband's aunt, Miss Marple, can calm the young woman's frayed nerves. But how can anyone solve a mystery such as this when the only clues are those in Gwenda's vivid imagination? As Aunt Jane digs a little deeper she's soon to discover just how truthful - and terrifying - the imagination can be...
"Has all the virtues of Agatha Christie's work: a coherent plot, firm and purposeful narration, and a pleasant style." - Times Literary Supplement 

[REVIEW] Beastly Bones

Series: Jackaby #2
William Ritter
 young adult, historical fiction, mystery, fantasy, supernatural, adventure
 September 22, 2015
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Purchase: Amazon

The highly anticipated follow-up to the “rich world”* of the “lighthearted and assured debut,” featuring an “irresistible character” whose first thrilling and original adventure “demands sequels.”* 
“I've found very little about private detective R. F. Jackaby to be standard in the time I've known him. Working as his assistant tends to call for a somewhat flexible relationship with reality.” 
In 1892, New Fiddleham, New England, things are never quite what they seem, especially when Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer, R. F. Jackaby, are called upon to investigate the supernatural. 
First, a vicious species of shape-shifters disguise themselves as a litter of kittens, and a day later, their owner is found murdered with a single mysterious puncture wound. Then in nearby Gad's Valley, now home to the exiled New Fiddleham police detective Charlie Cane, dinosaur bones from a recent dig mysteriously go missing, and an unidentifiable beast starts attacking animals and people, leaving their mangled bodies behind. Charlie calls on Abigail for help, and soon Abigail and Jackaby are on the hunt for a thief, a monster, and a murderer. 
Praise for Jackaby: 
“Ritter's debut skillfully blends science with the supernatual and balances whimsy with violence.” —*Kirkus Reviews, starred review 
“Toss together an alternate 19th-century New England city, a strong tradition of Sherlockian pastiche, and one seriously ugly hat, and this lighthearted and assured debut emerges, all action and quirk.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review 
“A riveting mash-up of mystery and folklore, with vivid details and striking turns of phrase. And Jackaby is an irresistible character.” —The Horn Book Magazine

[REVIEW] Bound

Series: the Caelian Cycle #2
Donnielle Tyner
 young adult, science fiction, dystopia, fantasy, romance
 October 19, 2015
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Smachwords

Bound by Vengeance.
Sadie has found the resolve to fight the man who caused so much pain in her life. Her tentative alliance with the HCA underground gives her the resources to train both her body and Talent for when she comes face to face with her grandfather.  
Bound by Loss.
Being separated from her friends at St Vincent’s is harder than she could have ever realized and it doesn’t help that Kian has withdrawn from her as well. With help from a new friend, Sadie uncovers more about her past and that someone close to her has been keeping secrets from Sadie her entire life. 
Bound by Fear.
Tragedy strikes close to home, giving a longstanding enemy, one desperate and willing to do anything to have Sadie on their side, an opportunity to arise. Allies and friends come together to stand against evil, but at a terrible cost. Sadie’s history and future collide while the world is thrown into chaos. 
Sadie must overcome or forever be Bound.

[REVIEW] A Little Something Different

Series: N/A
Sandy Hall
 young adult, contemporary, romance, chick lit, 
 August 26, 2014
Publisher: Swoon Reads

Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is a little aloof, Gabe is shy, and it looks like they are never going to work things out.
But something is happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at the local Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV series. The bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes Lea and Gabe were meant to be together. 
Fall in love with falling in love in this irresistibly romantic, completely original novel! 

[REVIEW] Throne of Glass

Series: Throne of Glass #1
Sarah J. Maas
 young adult, fantasy, high fantasy, romance, magic, adventure, mystery,
 August 2, 2012 (first published January 1, 2012)
Publisher: Bloomsbury

Meet Celaena Sardothien.
Beautiful. Deadly.
Destined for greatness.
In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught. 
Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament - fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin's heart be melted?

[REVIEW] Born of Shadow

Series: The Shadow Wars #1
 Sarah Benson
 young adult, fantasy, adventure, romance
August 18, 2014
Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

On her seventeenth birthday, Kami receives a mysterious artifact and a ticket to visit her estranged grandparents in Egypt. When she arrives, no one is there to meet her. Alone and in an unfamiliar country, she quickly discovers her missing grandparents are only part of a greater threat. Whispers of strange creatures made of a shadowy substance can be heard among the nomads of the desert. A new queen has quietly come to power, given strength by a powerful evil unleashed when she opens an ancient jar. She won't stop until she finds the remains of Alexander the Great, convinced that his body holds the secret to her becoming a god. Kami must rely on a band of misfit friends she makes along the way to save her grandparents and stop the queen. But does the handsome boy she just met have answers, or is he part of the reason for her grandparents' disappearance?

[REVIEW] Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai. Movie

English Title: We Still Don't Know the Name of the Flower We Saw That Day. Movie
Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: drama, slice of life, supernatural
Episodes: 1
Anime Director: Nagai Tatsuyuki (Honey and Clover II, Toradora!)
Adaptation: original
Prequel: AnoHana (TV Series)
Purchase: Amazon | Aniplex USA

Jinta Yadomi and his group of childhood friends have become estranged after a tragic accident split them apart. Now in their high school years, a sudden surprise forces each of them to confront their guilt over what happened that day and come to terms with the ghosts of their past. 
A year has passed since Menma's ghostly return to the Super Peace Busters. Although the time they spent together during that summer was short, the five members reminisce about what happened as they each write a letter to their lost friend.   
Source: MAL-AnoHana (TV Series) + ANN
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