If you’ve been following this blog for as long as it’s been around – five years now? – you’d know that this blog has been an early supporter of Filipino author Kate Evangelista. I featured her as far back as 2012, when she only had Taste out in stores. Then, I featured her twice in 2014: one was an interview, while the other was a review of Savor.
She hasn’t stopped putting out books since then, and her most recent offering, set to be out in the wild on October 18 this year, is an M/M romance entitled No Holding Back. I was fortunate enough to be provided an ARC by Kate herself, and I’m more than happy to share my thoughts on the book under the cut!
So about four days ago, past and present participants of #romanceclass, as well as dozens of Filipino romance novel enthusiasts, met up at Pegi Waffles in San Juan to wallow in feels for most of the afternoon. It was a month in the planning, and to be quite frank, I thought it would just be a gathering of the usual suspects.
Hey guys! Guess what? I’m #FUnemployed! With no pesky job to get in the way, I will hopefully be able to blog more and more over the coming weeks! I hope to get to post actual, full reviews eventually, but for the moment, lemme recap your week in books!
Confession: I’ve only watched three episodes of Game of Thrones
George R. R. Martin says that there will be twists in the upcoming Winds of Winter that won’t be in the HBO show. As everyone knows, the series has already overtaken the books when it comes to the events that happen, so whatever happens from this point forward is anybody’s guess. (The Guardian)
If any of you guys follow me on my Goodreads account, you’ll know that I’ve taken up to reading comics again – yes, despite that horrible time in my childhood – and I’ve been having a really great time with it. As such, I’ve been keeping abreast of comic book news. io9 has news on Marvel’s Timely Comics imprint, its latest initiative to keep new and lapsed comic book readers up to date on what’s happening in the Marvel Universe. (io9)
I recently got myself a Netflix account, and it has been a glorious timesuck that has kept me from being productive during days off. While I haven’t gotten around to watching Making Murderer just yet, I do know that it’s immensely popular. That may be good for Netflix, but apparently it’s not so good for Wisconsin prosecutor Michael Griesbach – his book has experienced an upsurge in negative reviews ever since the documentary became popular. (Galleycat)
Just to keep the Game of Thrones thread going, The Hollywood Reporter says that Ser Loras Tyrell has been cast as Danny Rand, aka Iron Fist, in the latest Marvel Netflix series. As you can see via attached photo, Finn Jones is very white. A petition had been going around to have an Asian-American play the role of Danny Rand, so this bit of casting news has a lot of people disappointed. I, personally, echo the sentiment of Comic Book Resources Albert Ching: Isn’t having an Asian-American – specifically one partly East Asian – equally as racist? Just because it’s about martial arts, it has to be an Asian-American of East Asian descent? (The Hollywood Reporter, Comic Book Resources)
Finally, people my age grew up reading those Archie digests on the way to and from school. ADMIT IT. DECADES LATER, the CW is making a live action show out of it, and have assembled a cast of predictably hot teens and twentysomthings-as-teens. Kiwi actor KJ Apa has been cast as Archie Andrews, and just based on the photos you’ll see under the cut, I may just tune in and watch the show! (The Mary Sue)
Would you look at that? Yet another post, just a week after the last one! Am I getting back into the swing of things? I SURE HOPE SO.
This week, I was asked to be part of the blog tour for Lena Bourne’s His Whims, the first part in her His Forever serial. I thought that it would be a good choice as I start getting back into the swing of things, as it’s only 27 pages long and 9,000 words short. Will I end up regretting this choice? Or is this just what i need to get my blogging groove back?
I know, I know, it’s been two months since I last updated. In my defence, work has been…work, and I have spent whatever free time I have sleeping or curled up in a fetal position watching James Reid and Nadine Lustre videos.
BUT I’M HERE NOW. Let’s take a look back at the week in book news!
Back in 2011, Emma Donaghue’s Room was a book that I raved about. Since then, it’s been adapted into a critically-acclaimed movie, which was just nominated for Best Motion Picture – Drama, at the Golden Globes.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to watch this movie, as it’s not been screened here yet in the Philippines. BUT, Beth Kelly saw it a few weeks ago, and emailed me if I would be interested in posting her review of the movie on the blog. Of course, I agreed – and you can read all about it after the cut!
To be clear, 50 Shades is a very, very different animal from any of Anne Rice’s Beauty books.
I’ve talked about how I used to be a big Anne Rice fan before, and that fan worship certainly extended beyond her vampires and witchcraft books. It was a little difficult for me to work through The Feast of All Saints, but I did have a great time reading Violin, Belinda, and her BDSM books – Exit to Eden, The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, Beauty’s Punishment, and Beauty’s Release.
These non-supernatural books all have the sensuality that made Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles famous, and more often than not are much more explicit than any of Lestat and his cohorts. After all, Belinda is a riff on Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, while Exit to Eden, The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, Beauty’s Punishment, and Beauty’s Release all became a hit with the BDSM community at the time – something you can’t say about 50 Shades.
But that was literal decades ago, and Anne Rice has had a roller-coaster of a career since then. If Prince Lestat, is anything to go by, it looks like she may be getting her vampires back in line. But can the same be said for her erotica? The last book in her Sleeping Beauty series came out in 1985, Belinda came out in 1986, and bookstore shelves have so much more erotica now than they did back then. Does Rice still have what it takes to compete in a much more crowded field?
I am well aware that this video is about hedgehogs.
It’s been literal months, I know. But to be fair, I have been busy. With my job, with taking part in writing workshops – I finished nothing, by the way – etc., etc., etc. But I’ve now finally managed to carve out some time from my “busy” schedule to pencil in this review.
I got my copy of Bill Konigsberg’s The Porcupine of Truth from the fine, fine people over at Scholastic, who had emailed me about reviewing James Phelan’s Thirteen (which I will talk about once I finish reading it) and included this book as a bonus, I guess? But it just goes to show that they do know me well, because on the surface, The Porcupine of Truth is right up my alley.
LGBT characters? A healthy distrust of the pastor next door? A road trip? It was ticking all of my boxes and I ended up reading it first before Thirteen. But did this end up being a good decision on my part? Or did I just make another mistake in my long, long life of mistakes? Check under the cut to find out!
So the last time I was at the National Book Store Warehouse Sale, it was a little crazy. To quote my blog post at the time:
“I spent about 10 minutes just looking in disbelief at the whole mass of people that was there at the Warehouse Sale so early in the morning. Who are these people and what did they do the night before? Did they camp out in front of Crossings or something?”
This time, I was once again invited to a preview, and since i’m not that stupid (also it was my rest day from work), I accepted the invitation and went there posthaste. And boy was it a good decision!
While there’s admittedly a lot of excitement fighting it out with a crowd for a book you really want – and actually winning that fight, too! – there’s also a lot to be said about walking into a sale with no one to fight with and having the luxury to just take your time.
Maybe because of that relaxed atmosphere, I was able to buy more books than i did two years ago. To wit: