500 Words or Less, by Juleah del Rosario || A verse novel with heart-wrenching dysphoria & untapped potential (& a giveaway)


Title: 500 Words or Less
Author: Juleah del Rosario
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Poetry
Copy: Digital ARC
Rating:

* More about the book.
* More about the author.
* Purchase via Amazon or Book Depository.

Review:

To put it quite bluntly, I have a lot of mixed feelings about 500 Words or Less, especially when in relation to the expectations that I had before diving in. After learning that Juleah del Rosario is a Filipino author, I was incredibly excited to read her debut novel told in verse (being a Filipino myself and all that). I’ve only read one verse novel before — The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, which I ended up thoroughly enjoying. However, for me, 500 Words or Less seemed to pale in comparison.

500 Words or Less follows a Chinese-American girl who cheated on her now-ex-boyfriend with his best friend and, in doing so, lost her relationship and severely tainted her reputation in school. In an attempt to save face among her peers, Nic capitalizes on her writing skills and begins offering her fellow senior students to write their college admissions essays for them.

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#Augvocacy2018: Ask the Augvocates (Day 8) + book giveaway!

In case this is the first time you’ve heard of the (admittedly made-up) term ‘Augvocacy’, let me provide some quick context before we continue with the rest of this post.

If it isn’t obvious enough, ‘Augvocacy’ is a silly play on the words ‘August’ and ‘advocacy’, which can already give you a somewhat clear idea of what this event aspires to do: to bring together like-minded individuals in actively forwarding a particular advocacy throughout the month of August, which will hopefully carry over in small, indirect ways for the rest of the year. Participants of said event are referred to as Augvocates (💖). You can learn more about the origin of Augvocacy 2018 (or #Augvocacy2018) by reading my event launch post.

For 2018, twenty-four* (24) Filipino readers, bloggers (like me!), and authors are dedicating this month towards emphasizing a single message, that is, the importance of fostering a culture of reading in the Philippines.

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#Augvocacy2018: Ask the Augvocates (Day 7) + book giveaway!

In case this is the first time you’ve heard of the (admittedly made-up) term ‘Augvocacy’, let me provide some quick context before we continue with the rest of this post.

If it isn’t obvious enough, ‘Augvocacy’ is a silly play on the words ‘August’ and ‘advocacy’, which can already give you a somewhat clear idea of what this event aspires to do: to bring together like-minded individuals in actively forwarding a particular advocacy throughout the month of August, which will hopefully carry over in small, indirect ways for the rest of the year. Participants of said event are referred to as Augvocates (💖). You can learn more about the origin of Augvocacy 2018 (or #Augvocacy2018) by reading my event launch post.

For 2018, twenty-four* (24) Filipino readers, bloggers (like me!), and authors are dedicating this month towards emphasizing a single message, that is, the importance of fostering a culture of reading in the Philippines.

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#Augvocacy2018: How reading helped me overcome my depression – a guest post

Hi, I’m Shaira and reading helped me overcome my depression.

First of all,
Disclaimer: I’m not a specialist or something. This may vary to everyone, what worked for me might not work for you. I just really wanna share what I did to my life, how reading helped me. These are my personal opinions and experience. You do you, but I’m just gonna do me.

2 years ago, I suffered from depression. I call it myself, “teenage depression”. I was 13 years old that time, a lot of things are changing, I guess 13 year old me can’t really handle it all back then. On my own more mature diagnosis, it was caused by academic stress and social stress.

There were nights, I cry myself to sleep but I’m proud to say that I never ever harmed myself, like ever. I hate physical pain. In addition, my mentality was, if I’ll harm myself, my scars would be visible. I don’t want people to know I was going through things and I don’t ever want anyone to know from my skin that a 13-year-old is breaking apart inside.

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#Augvocacy2018: Thirteen reasons why reading for fun is important to the world today – a guest post

First of all, I would like to thank and congratulate Shealea for organizing #Augvocacy2018! Thank you, too, for letting me guest-post here today. This event is an important one that everyone, whether a reader or not, must be aware of. In light of the recent issues that often rose up in the book community, as well as outside it, advocating and encouraging people to read for the sake of entertainment is the first step in balancing and counter-attacking every single thing that tries to bring us down.

To formally start this post, I’m sure that you can smell some reference on the title: THIRTEEN REASONS WHY READING FOR FUN IS IMPORTANT TO THE WORLD TODAY. It might sound ironic because the reference is one neither I nor any humane moral person would recommend to read for fun. But here’s a fact: everyone I know knows how bad that book is. They know the issues, the gross romanticizing of social issues, and the unbelievable decision of adapting it to TV. For me, reading is not all ups and higher ups, but there are downs and ninth-circle-of-hell down. All of it is important.

Reading for fun is, well, fun. But it is more than that:

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Review || Second Wave Summer, by multiple #romanceclass authors


Title: Second Wave Summer
Author: Six de los Reyes, Tara Frejas, and Jay E. Tria
Genre: Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Copy: Digital
Rating:

* More about the book.
* More about the authors: Six, Tara & Jay.
* Purchase via Amazon.
* For Philippine residents, purchase a paperback edition by filling out this form (Jay) or this form (Tara).

Synopsis:

All roads lead to beachside music festival Summer Crush for another weekend of high waves, rock & roll, and the promise of summer romance.

On any given day, Michael Brian doesn’t need to do much to hit the right notes with a girl, but there’s something about this day—and there’ something about this girl—that’s got him out of tune. (A Taste of Summer, Six de los Reyes)

Indie filmmaker Datu puts on his dusty event videographer hat for Summer Crush. But memories of a love he let slip away resurface from every corner of this surf town. Now what he thought would be an easy job just isn’t so easy anymore. (Rushes, Tara Frejas)

Corporate-highflyer-on-vacation Ringo has a question to which cookie bar boss woman Kris has the answer, if only they’d stop getting in each other’s way. (Ask Me Nicely, Jay E. Tria)

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Review (and author interview + giveaway!) || The Heart Forger, by Rin Chupeco


Title: The Heart Forger
Author: Rin Chupeco
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Copy: Digital
Rating:

* More about the book.
* More about the author.
* More about the blog tour.
* Purchase via Amazon or Book Depository.

Synopsis:
In The Bone Witch, Tea mastered resurrection―now she’s after revenge…

No one knows death like Tea. A bone witch who can resurrect the dead, she has the power to take life…and return it. And she is done with her self-imposed exile. Her heart is set on vengeance, and she now possesses all she needs to command the mighty daeva. With the help of these terrifying beasts, she can finally enact revenge against the royals who wronged her―and took the life of her one true love.

But there are those who plot against her, those who would use Tea’s dark power for their own nefarious ends. Because you can’t kill someone who can never die…

War is brewing among the kingdoms, and when dark magic is at play, no one is safe.

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