Book review: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s “Beautiful Creatures”


It was around 2009, I think, that I first heard about Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s young adult work, “Beautiful Creatures”. It came with such intense hype — Amazon named it one of the best books of 2009 only a month after its release — that I immediately snatched it up the moment it showed up in local bookstores.

I started reading “Beautiful Creatures” with a little bit of trepidation, as that large hype more often than not results in equally huge disappointment, but found myself pleasantly surprised by the book. When “Beautiful Darkness” came out a year later, I got myself a copy immediately.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I finally got myself a copy of the third book in the series, “Beautiful Chaos”, and I can’t wait to get started on it as soon as I get my suddenly jam-packed work schedule in order. But just so everyone has an idea about this series, I’ll be posting the reviews of “Beautiful Creatures” and “Beautiful Darkness” that I wrote for my day job while I’m reading “Beautiful Chaos”.

Continue reading Book review: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s “Beautiful Creatures”

Your week in books#24

  • Here’s a short and interesting clip where book cover designer Chip Kidd talks about how he designed the book jacket for Haruki Murakami’s “1Q84”.
  • Following this Murakami route, there’s a really great profile of him on the New York Times. (Source)
  • Fans of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and H&M are in for a treat as the retail chain releases a clothing line inspired by the book and the upcoming Hollywood adaptation. (Source)
  • “A Game of Thrones” author George R. R. Martin talks about Peter Dinklage, the TV adaptation of his famous series, and how he sometimes turns to Westeros.org to keep his facts straight. (Source)
  • The Guardian takes a look at the latest ‘Sherlock Holmes” story penned by “Stormbreaker” author Anthony Horowitz. (Source)
  • Check out this great illustration of Batman battling all his foes at the Wayne Manor! (Source)
  • Finally, “Harry Potter” characters drawn as hipsters. (Source)
  • Edited to add: “Hunger Games” character posters under the cut!

Continue reading Your week in books#24

Chapter by Chapter Review: Tyra Banks’ “Modelland” Chapter 6

The chapter title is actually this:

“Stunning, Statuesque, Strobotronic Stars with Stupefying Stratospheric Struts”

I want to lie down beside that chapter title, ply it with dark chocolate and white wine, and make sweet, sweet love to it until the break of dawn. And then do it again the next day.

In this chapter, Tyra finally delivers on the trip to LaDorno that she hinted at but never delivered in Chapter 5, finally introduces the Intoxibellas to the readers, and invites us all to play “Guess how to say this in proper English!”

Continue reading Chapter by Chapter Review: Tyra Banks’ “Modelland” Chapter 6

Book review: Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo’s “Trese 4: Last Seen After Midnight”

Because I’m one of those terminally uncool people who’s late to everything, I was way behind on getting onboard the “Trese” train. I knew of the Komikon’s but never went to any one of them, which is how I missed out on the genesis of so many great Filipino komiks like Carlo Vergara’s “Ang Kagilagilalas na Pakikipagsapalaran ni ZsaZsa Zaturnnah”.

I only found out about “Trese” when Budjette sent a copy of the graphic novels over to my editor, who promptly handed them to me and asked that I write a story about it. Turns out that was my lucky day as I absolutely loved “Trese” and how it filled in the dark corners of Metro Manila with various creatures that go bump in the night.

Since that time about two years ago, Budjette and Kajo have won the National Book Award for Graphic Literature and have now come out with “Trese 4: Last Seen After Midnight”, the fourth book in the series. Will it maintain the standard of excellence set by the previous three books?

Continue reading Book review: Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo’s “Trese 4: Last Seen After Midnight”

Your week in books#23

  • Of course, the big news is Nicholas Sparks’ impending arrival on our fair islands. Check him out at The Podium on October 28, 5 p.m.!
  • In much more controversial news, there’s been quite a ruckus over this year’s American National Book Awards’ finalists. “Shine”, a gay-themed YA novel revolving around a hate crime committed in the South, was removed from the list of nominees and replaced with “Chime”, a YA novel about a teen witch. The reason? Organizers misheard the title of the book. Messy, messy, messy. (Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4)
  • I don’t know what the age range of the readers of the blog are, but I am certainly old enough to remember the mindfuck that was the 1988 anime movie adaptation of the groundbreaking manga. And since Hollywood can’t leave good things alone, they’re apparently remaking the classic into a live action adaptation — set in Neo Manhattan. Rumored to play Kaneda? Garrett Hedlund from “Tron Legacy”. And as cute as I think he is, couldn’t anyone have found somebody Asian for a movie titled “Akira”? I mean, what the fuck. (Source)
  •  Julian Barnes wins the Man Booker Prize! (Source)
  • The Guardian lists down all of the authors who have expressed for the now global Occupy movement. Some of the big names include Salman Rushdie, Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, Jonathan Lethem, and Ursula K. Le Guin. (Source)
  • In a development that Bram Stoker himself could have written, one of Stoker’s descendants find an old notebook of his that offer “cryptic clues” to his own work. (Source)
  • Finally, “Immortals” is shaping up to be the must-see mythology inspired movie of the decade, at least by my standards. Kellan Lutz, who is playing the role of Poseidon, gives an interview to The Advocate that totally panders to the gay audience.  Now I’ll totally paner to you guys and include some shirtless Kellan Lutz pictures under the cut! (Source)

Continue reading Your week in books#23

Chapter by Chapter Review: Tyra Banks’ “Modelland” Chapters 4 and 5


Smize, you skinny bitches! Smize!

OH. MY. GAWD. Did you like, totally hear about, like, that Forgetta-Girl Tookie de la Whatsis getting like, a SMIZE or whatever? She was, you know, at the faucet or something doing like, stuff, and it totally fell into her hand like whatever. Ugh. So not fetch. And now, like, of course her family’s going crazy and whatever and such as.

And like, whatever, it was SO. UNFAIR. Like really, because I like, wanted to be a top model and whatever since like, forever, and it like, really hurts and whatever that I didn’t like, get a SMIZE and such as. UGH.

I hope you guys at least snickered a little because I think I just had a mini-aneurysm typing those two paragraphs. I feel like a nosebleed is about to come on. Or the vapors. Or whatever quaint Victorian ailment suits this whole situation.

ANYWAY. The above paragraphs pretty much sum up what went down at the De La Creme residence in the previous chapter. And as previously stated in earlier chapters, getting a SMIZE increases your chances of being picked to go to Modelland by 91 percent. “91% Chance” is also the chapter title, so I guess we pretty much get that in this installment.

Continue reading Chapter by Chapter Review: Tyra Banks’ “Modelland” Chapters 4 and 5

Your week in books#22

  • Here’s the trailer for “The Raven”, where John Cusack plays Edgar Allan Poe as some kind of detective. It’s…different.
  • Did you hear that God — yes, God — wrote a memoir? He clears up that Adam and Steve thing. (Source)
  • Amazon is launching a science fiction and horror imprint, and some of the authors they have in their stable seem impressive! So far they have Neal Stephenson, Lee Goldberg, and William Rabkin. (Source)
  • The New York Times has a nice article about the New York Comic Con, which is happening Friday, New York time. (Source)
  • This week also saw the announcement of the finalists of the American National Book Awards. (Source)
  • Rebecca Skloot, author of the New York Times bestseller “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”, is coming out with a new book on the bond between people and animals. My copy of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” is still around here somewhere, unread. (Source)
  • Flavorwire has some great baby pictures of authors who went on to become famous. Check out the Vladimir Nabokov one! (Source)
  • Finally, check out some pictures from the loosely based on Greek mythology movie, “Immortals”, under the cut! There’s some crazy stuff going on! (Source)

Continue reading Your week in books#22

Book review: Erin Morgenstern’s “The Night Circus”

When “The Night Circus”, Erin Morgenstern’s debut novel, first made its way onto the bookstore shelves less than a month ago, it came with the sort of buzz and marketing that would make any reader’s eyebrows shoot straight up.

Aside from comparisons to “Harry Potter” and “Twilight”, the publicity machine behind “The Night Circus” was also putting it in the same league as New York Times’ bestselling authors Neil Gaiman and Susanna Clarke. The hype was further intensified when film rights to the novel were snapped up by Summit Entertainment, the same group behind the “Twilight” series of films.

Now that “The Night Cirucs” has come into town, readily available on your local bookstore’s shelves, will it live up to the immense expectations set by its own advance press? Or will all prove to be just smoke and mirrors in the end?

Continue reading Book review: Erin Morgenstern’s “The Night Circus”

Parting Shot#2: iWant

That's a big smudge right there...

iWent to the “Trese 4” book launch yesterday, and aside from meeting friends old and new, iAlso got a chance to look at this pretty baby up close. Hand drawn by “Trese” artist Kajo Baldisimo, it’s the prize up for grabs for those who grab a copy of the latest installment of “Trese”. iAm thinking of another i(Word) gag to insert here but iAm coming up short.