Book Review: A Study in Charlotte

Title: A Study in Charlotte

Author: Brittany Cavallaro

Date of Publication: March 1, 2016

Pages: 321

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Format: Physical Book

Synopsis:

The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.

From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.

Rating: 2.75 stars

I love mysteries and murders, no worries, I’m not a psychopath, I just happen to develop an interest in such topics because I watched a lot of series and movies in the same genre.

Even with the books I read, I get drawn to reading mystery plots, it’s highly influenced by Nancy Drew and Sidney Sheldon’s (now known as Tilly Bagshaw’s) books.

I was so excited to have this trilogy, it’s been on my radar for almost a year and I was finally able to buy it last year during one of the book fairs in the Philippines.

A Study in Charlotte left me disappointed. The problem wasn’t in the plot, because it was generally a good mystery/thriller plot altogether. The writing style was too challenging and confusing, it felt like my book lacked pages — it would jump from one thought/topic to another. The backstory pops up like mushrooms in the most unexpected chapters.

I will read the second book, because I already bought a copy of it but I am not expecting anything just because writing styles are not easily “fixed”, plus the fact that this book probably appealed more to others, if they prefer or could at least follow the writing style.

One of the best mystery book I’ve read under YA was Prep School Confidential by Kara Thomas. It’s super intriguing and fast-paced!

It’s been a long time since I last reviewed a book, so forgive me if my post sound rushed or all-over the place, I need to get my groove back. I’ll do better in the next posts, I’m thinking of doing some stuff and styles for my posts so we’ll see.

Read and Reviewed,

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Review: Before We Were Strangers

Hi, Flamingos!

I trust that everyone is well and having a great start of the week! Mine pretty much starts out the same, no exciting news or happenings to look forward to. Given that my career is in events, this 9-hour job is just exhausting everything in me.

Honestly, if I didn’t need the money, I would rather just lounge around the house and spend my days reading. But oh well, I’m not privileged with such good life but in the future, I’m sure I’ll have all the time in the world to read ’til my heart’s content! I’m planning to launch my small business soon; it will be a side business until its fully ready to hold up on its own and increase the income to match my basic necessities.

Moving forward, a review is here! I finished Before We Were Strangers by Reneè Carlino, just last night. When I was around 10-years old, my mom didn’t have enough money to buy me brand new books and here in the Philippines, book sales consist mostly of medical and religious books but for fiction–it focuses highly on Adult Fiction. My mom loves to read, and I believe I got that from her; so to satisfy my hungry baby mind then, I dived into the works of fiction. My childhood consisted of Danielle Steel and Sidney Sheldon, hence the love for crimes and mystery.

Now that I’m earning my own money, and have a few ones to spare for books, I am finally able to buy more YA. However, my respect and appreciation for Adult Fiction had not faded completely. Earlier this year, I fell in love with Crazy Rich Asians trilogy by Kevin Kwan –it was a great start to accustom myself with adult fiction again.

I never would have known about Before We Were Strangers if it weren’t for GabbyReads youtube channel. She’d talked about the book constantly and how she loved it so much. I finally gave in, and got an ebook of the novel.

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Title: Before We Were Strangers

Author: Reneè Carlino

Publication Date: August 18, 2015

Publisher: Atria Books

Pages: 320 pages

Format: epub / ebook

Goodreads Synopsis:

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Sweet Thing and Nowhere But Here comes a love story about a Craigslist “missed connection” post that gives two people a second chance at love fifteen years after they were separated in New York City.

To the Green-eyed Lovebird:

We met fifteen years ago, almost to the day, when I moved my stuff into the NYU dorm room next to yours at Senior House.

You called us fast friends. I like to think it was more.

We lived on nothing but the excitement of finding ourselves through music (you were obsessed with Jeff Buckley), photography (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of you), hanging out in Washington Square Park, and all the weird things we did to make money. I learned more about myself that year than any other.

Yet, somehow, it all fell apart. We lost touch the summer after graduation when I went to South America to work for National Geographic. When I came back, you were gone. A part of me still wonders if I pushed you too hard after the wedding…

I didn’t see you again until a month ago. It was a Wednesday. You were rocking back on your heels, balancing on that thick yellow line that runs along the subway platform, waiting for the F train. I didn’t know it was you until it was too late, and then you were gone. Again. You said my name; I saw it on your lips. I tried to will the train to stop, just so I could say hello.

After seeing you, all of the youthful feelings and memories came flooding back to me, and now I’ve spent the better part of a month wondering what your life is like. I might be totally out of my mind, but would you like to get a drink with me and catch up on the last decade and a half?

M

Weren’t we though? Timeless? Nothing could change what we’d had all those years before, even the idea of what might’ve been lingered between us.

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Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

You can’t re-create the first time you promised to love someone or the first time you feel loved by another. You cannot relive the sensation of fear, admiration, self-consciousness, passion and desire all mixed into one because it never happens twice.

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• I loved the backstory of Matt and Grace. It was refreshing and bold, yet it flashes an invisible sign of proceed with caution or love at your own risk.
• ‎Before We Were Strangers is a well-written story about a love once lost, only to be found years later and realize nothing’s changed at all.
• ‎I loved the certainty of Matt towards Grace. His feelings have been direct and simple, no going around the bush. He’s loved her from the start and that was that.
• ‎I loved that it didn’t revolve around why the relationship didn’t work out the first time, or in the reasons why they grew apart in the past. Rather, it focused on the good things, the positive and the negatives of their past.
• ‎I love the simplicity of their relationship. It makes it so natural and relatable.
• ‎The emotions and actions of these characters felt real; they weren’t exaggerated or stretched out too thinly.
• ‎All the characters were memorable, despite having a few of them. They left an impact and a lasting memory in my head.

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• I didn’t so much enjoy too much discussion of their sex life. At some point, it felt as if all they did was that and that the relationship revolved around the excitement of touching and making love to each other. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that there are couples who see sex as an important component of their relationship. All I’m saying is, I would’ve liked to get more of their mushy couple activities, though there had been a lot of that too–in short I’m just asking for more.

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• I rated the book 4.5 because of some things that didn’t sit comfortably with me. One of them being, the deceit was handled all too easily. It caused strings of events to occur (and almost destroyed your life), and yet the book still managed to give it enough emphasis.
• ‎There were so many overwhelming happenings towards the last five or so chapters, and it felt a bit abrupt. It felt as if the author chose to speed things up, instead of increasing the length of the book at least another two chapters to cover and make the situation more reality-based. I would have loved to see more of their family’s new lives, how the characters adjusted.
• ‎Lastly, what ended the marriage of Matt–the very reason behind this, it makes my blood boil. It’s never okay, and you can never expect anyone to get over or forgive such a serious matter just because they apologized for it. I could just never accept and learn to understand that kind of betrayal and the reasons why some people do it. If you’ve read the book, you’ll understand this (I haven’t figured out how to write spoilers, then have them appear as a button for people’s option to read it or not.)

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All in all, it was such a great book. I am glad to be able to carry these characters, their experiences and their lives inside my heart for the rest of time.

I related a lot with Grace during their senior year at college. Having first fall in love, dealing with friends and first relationships, the reality of adult life where money is a necessity. Though all these, I’ve not gone through during my college days but just a year ago. It was hard dealing with excitement and moving forward in the relationship with caution, so as not to overdo or smother my partner. I can definitely see mysely recommending this continuously to a lot of people in the future.

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I’m sorry if that was quite long, guess I just have a lot of things to share that occurred over the weekend. Anyway, please don’t forget to visit and support my bookstagram account: @reeyuhbeegale, I will highly appreciate it. Also, I’ll be hosting an international giveaway soon as I reach 300 followers on Instagram!

Don’t hesitate to leave me some comments, I don’t bite! Watch out for an upcoming PH Blog Tour here at Reading Flamingo, for Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, towards the end of October.
QOTD: Do you have a “the one that got away” moment in your life? Do you still think about it until today?

With love,

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Abi, the Flamingo

A New Beginning

Hello, Flamingos!

 

You might be wondering, why does this girl keep on popping up here and there, AT RANDOM TIMES? Well, though I’ve always loved writing and blogging, I struggle with a self-confidence (though people I’m close with will disagree). I am a bit of a perfectionist, and I always want everything in order—done in 101%!

I’m sure you’ve noticed a huge change around here–MAJOR changes, indeed! Nope, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. I actually really changed my space’s title from Written Constellations to Reading Flamingo. To be honest, I was scared because I loved my blog’s title but I had a strong inkling towards this new identity. A few others that changed are,

1. Blog theme (cause I’m actually not good with codes and javascripts and all that jazz, I cannot make ny own theme. Yes, I rely on the “free” themes offered by wordpress)

2. Domain. It is now the same as the title, http://www.readingflamingo.wordpress.com

Don’t worry though, it’s still the same potato (that’s me, the author), with the same content–still about BOOKS and fandoms! Now, I cannot still promise to always post because I still have a job and it’s quite hard to think (or have to hurry) of things I want to write about while constantly looking behind my back to see if my boss (or my nosy co-workers) are creeping up on me. I will try my hardest to post a review and get back to my blogging habits–I will TRY!

Recently, my friend and I have started out a “book club” (which was planned a year ago)! I’ll talk about this more tomorrow, that’s the initial plan–the first official Flamingo content on my “revamped” blog. Are you excited? Me too!

Before I end this post, I just want to acknowledge my boyfriend’s artistic talent and vision for creating my logo! Even if you won’t read this (cause you’re a lazy melon), I still want you to know how thankful I am for your help! It’s one of my inspirations to really keep up with a blogging schedule!

Question of the Day: What are you currently reading?

Wishing you a bookish day!

Potato love,

Rave

Transition

Hi, Cabbages!

I know you’re all too tired to hear [read] my apology for being MIA (Missing In Action, just in case you didn’t know what it stood for) again. However, you’re all so precious to be left without an explanation; so from the bottom of my potato heart, I am truly sorry for not writing.

Please know that I will not be quitting this blog, I want us all to stay a family! I’ve never had any brothers or sisters, which makes everyone in this blog, my siblings. I cannot express how much gratitude I have for all of you, for not giving up on me.

For the most awaited news, as you can see from the title, Written Constellations be going through multiple revisions. I will be revamping my space and making it a new brand. Yes, as much as I would love to retain Written Constellations I can’t anymore. Recently, a revolutionary idea have been unearthed in my mind and with that comes a new brand. Don’t worry, it will still be ALL ABOUT BOOKS! I am still on aboard the nerd train, and I won’t be getting off any time soon (or in my words, NEVER). I hope you’re all excited as much as I am; I’ll be making bookish contents and still share thoughts and opinions about books.

I know what you must be thinking When are you planning to launch the new brand? Whoa, whoa. Hold off your horses, Cabbages (or is that what people usually say? Idk.) I’m just waiting for the artwork that will be used for my “art drop” marketing technique, and afterwards, I’ll be able to apply it all on my blog. My art drop will be around the city here in Philippines (because I’m a Filipina potato), which I’m hoping to spark interest for a lot of people.

If you’re interested to get more in-touched with me, please do leave me a message in the comments below. You can also look stalk me in my social media pages, and we can fangirl over fictional characters!

PS. I am blogging using my phone because my work computer doesn’t have an internet connection (I know, weird). My personal laptop is glitchy, so I’d rather just use my phone.

Stay tuned, Cabbages!

We’ll talk soon.

xo,

Spuds.

A Book Review: Everything, Everything

Hello, my dearest Cabbages!

The long wait is over, your Potato queen is back! Like I’ve said in my previous post, I was going through some personal struggle and went MIA. I have read a few books during my absence which you will also see in my Goodreads page.

Before I get to the actual part of this post, which is a book review, I’d like to let you in on a deal I recently had with my boyfriend–for the sake of my blog, we’ll call him “Pup” (for no specific reason, just cause I like it and I run this blog so…). A few days ago, Pup said I have too many books in my TBR’s and I still won’t stop buying so officially I was put in a book-buying ban *sobs*. However, we worked out on a deal which is for every 3 books I finish, Pup will buy me 1 book himself.

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Recently, I’ve come across this readathon for June entiled Emojiathon! I know I haven’t uploaded my list for this but I was too preoccupied with the actual reading and didn’t bother anymore to write a post. I’m planning to post a review for each book I’ll be reading during the said readathon and share which category they fall into.

👬 Read a book that is Marginalized.
-Deals with multiple races and color, or sexuality

For this category, I chose EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING by Nicola Yoon.

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*Funny story, I started this book yesterday and down to the last 80 pages by nighttime but because I HATE going to work without a book to read, I was afraid that I’d finish the book even before lunch time (which is bad because I’ll have 5 more hours before going home). What I did was fly through the book at 6 in the morning before getting ready for work! Now I’m done with it, with a brief review at Goodreads.*

GOODREADS PLOT:
My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house for seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla. But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black — black t-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly. Maybe we can’t predict the future but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

B

Rating: B (3.0)

Enjoyed! Just a few more sparkles here and there.

2-sentence plot summary:
Madeline Whittier have been diagnosed with SCID; a rare disease that makes her allergic to almost everything and prohibits her from going out. Then she met her new neighbor, Olly, who changed her view of the world and gave her courage to risk everything.

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Generally, I enjoyed the book. It was definitely fast-paced, with only 4 significant characters, so you can imagine how short it was, which is 310 pages. It’s actually shorter because there are illustrations on the book which can take up an entire page, while other pages only contained 2-7 sentences. At first I was uncomfortable because I don’t encounter a lot of books in such format, but as I go through it, I barely noticed my discomfort and just grew into it.

Also, I loved how the book highlighted the importance of mother-daughter bond. It touched a soft spot on me because I am close with my mom, and I hated myself when I kept secrets from her–how I use white lies back in college to stay out longer with my friends. I know the disappointments of a mother all too well because I saw my own mother go through it as she witness my failures.

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RAVE REVIEWS:

Plot
I have a few issues at some points in the book, though I like my books to be fast-paced, I don’t want it to be abrupt. There were open-ended matter for me, which is a bit unsettling because it was like they’re not even important to begin with when it fact, it does matter.

The deceit that transpired between Maddy and her mother was not fully addressed. It was like a 1-minute a day kind of disappointment between them. The secret that tore them apart was supposed to be big or monumental and yet it was passed off as if it was a simple thing, like an everyday matter.
There was no closure for their relationship. A lie divided them and in the end, I am still left hanging as to what happened, did they make and up and forgave each other or was there gonna be a grudge for the rest of their lives. If you’re one of the people who’ve read this book, please do let me know if you also felt this way. When trust broken between two people, things will never be the same again, especially a lie as life-changing as this.
Maddy’s life after she found out that she’d been lied to. All her life she’s been sheltered and to discover that your life is about to change, you can’t deal with it easily. I wish this book would have shown the readers a view of Maddy’s life after her discovery, then the whole book would have been more complete because let’s be honest, this book isn’t merely about falling in love, it’s about finding a courage to take risks, to challenge life. Her life afterwards, the new adventures she took, those would have been more important that just jetting off to somewhere for the boy she loves.

Characters:

Olly was the love interest of our sick heroine, Maddy. He was new to town with a dysfunctional family and brooding with teenage angst. However, his character fell flat for me, like he has no substance. I couldn’t relate to him because there’s nothing else that I know about him except that he parkours, he hates the ocean and he loves Math. He felt like a stranger; he could have even passed off as a modern-prince charming, where he’s there to complete the heroine or to drive her to what will change her view of life. He seemed to perfect, too good to be true but in real life, even the most adoring people have flaws–nobody’s perfect unless you’re a fictional character and the author said so.
Maddy was sweet and innocent, much what you’ll expect from someone treated like an infant. I like how she’s smart and loves to read, but her transition from being sheltered to wanting to see the world was unsettling for me. She ventures out to Hawaii with Olly to see a fish, and all the necessary preparations, she was able to get away with. I’m just weirded out how someone who didn’t have any experience with being out in the world, do so well on her first time. Her adventure was too perfect, plus the fact that she registered her own credit card. How is that possible? Wouldn’t her mom have found out immediately if someone registered an emergency credit card under hers. Maddy’s trip to Hawaii and she could’ve meet a lot of people but she wasn’t aloof or uncomfortably shy to interact with them, when during the first meeting with Olly (love interest or not), she was super careful and observant. Lastly, I found it quite unrealistic when a person who’s been sheltered, whose human interaction was limited, found the courage to have sex. She was so researched on how to kiss, and yet having sex came naturally for her character.

It was okay that there was teenage love involved, but I think this book would have been better if it focused on Maddy’s actual coming of age and discovery of the world and her identity. But still, it was a very interesting read for me, it kept me awake and intrigued as to what discovery she’ll have next. All in all, I still recommend this to all those who are starting out at reading, it’s very easy to understand and follow through. It’s a great summer contemporary read that you can finish in one-seating.

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So that’s about it, Cabbages. Review’s quite long because you know me, I tend to talk and say a lot. Can anyone actually teach me how to “hide” a spoiler part in this entry? I will highly appreciate it! It was honestly a struggle trying to review Everything, Everything in here because I was tiptoeing on what I say–I wouldn’t want to spoil anyone and I’m hoping I didn’t fail at that miserably. I still owe you all a post about my thoughts regarding the other book I finished, which is Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. Stay tuned for that post, it will be up soon (I hope, unless I completely forget about it).

I’m starting on a new book: WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI by Sandhya Menon

I’d love for you to be a part of our growing family garden, so do follow Written Constellations for your daily dose of bookish goodness. Also, leave some comment below on your thoughts and ideas, if you’ve read Everything Everything or planning to, I’d love to chat with you!

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Hiatus + Finding Yourself

Hello, Cabbages!

I believe it’s been over a year (?) since I last written a post here but I definitely missed out. However, some of you might still need an explanation and I’ve come prepared. So if you’re still a solid cabbage, please read on…

 

1. Work

-I’m not sure if most of you will remember or take the time to revisit my old post about getting a new job last November 2016 but that’s the main reason as to why I haven’t been blogging. I am in a marketing and events team, and dealing with a lot of brands and events, it just takes up most of my time. I do read, I just can’t find the time to write down a full-review or any review for that matter because I’m so caught up with making sure everything goes well for my day-job.

 

2. Inability to Find the Right Words

-I know a lot of people, both booktubers and bloggers, are struggling with this and some might say it’s not a valid reason. But actually, it is very valid and acceptable for me. I’ve been an aspiring writer ever since I was young and not being able to find the appropriate words to express my ideas and emotions is just frustrating. I’ll be honest and tell you all that it really brought my confidence down. I didn’t that other people might be interested with what write and that I’m just an average person playing make-believe that my blog is actually a worthy space. I’ve managed to get some writing in, I was helping my boyfriend for his script and screenplay in one of his projects we mean to submit to Cinemalaya–this is a platform to showcase short films and independent films in a month-long celebration in the Philippines.

 

3. Identity

-This to be honest is the major reason of my absence. Coming from working at a bookstore and moving to a corporate job with just having 6 members in a team, to actually being placed in a working environment where there are 21 of us who are all very young. I can’t relate to any of them in such a deep level, it’s always been casual talks and it did hurt my ego. Some might say this is shallow, but I’m the kind of person who likes having a stable friend beside me and knowing that I didn’t have any in my job now, really has got me down. I’ve slowly got over that phase and decided to do my own thing, regardless of how many friends I get or have over the course of my stay with the company. Another contributing factor was that I don’t have much bookish friends to discuss with and this has pulled me away from reading, causing me to develop a severe reading slump which lasted for almost 3-4 months.

 

4. (told you I have come prepared) Magic The Gathering

-I am not sure how many people actually are familiar with MTG (Magic The Gathering) but it’s a card game and it got me hooked for about at least 8 months. Back in my old work, I’ve been going on card hunts and adventures with my boyfriend and his friends. We competed a few times among certain areas in the Philippines. Also, as much as I hate to say this, my money was solely for MTG cards and my basic necessities, that there was no more room for a new book or two. But gladly, this phase is over and we haven’t played for such a long time–meaning, I’ve more reading opportunities.

 

5. Reading Slump

-This is basic, I don’t have to explain it. This lasted for about 4 months.

 

6. Weekend Getaways

-Getting a bit personal here, but I’ve been spending a lot of time with my boyfriend the past year, and to be honest we weren’t being productive to our passions and hobbies. Slowly, we are getting there, beinf understandable of each other’s time. Basically, we are just able to manage our time better now. For those of you who are “interested” or “nosy”, my boyfriend and I have been together for a year now. We still see each other every weekend, from time to time, weekdays too, and we just hang-out doing our own stuff (him with his arts–drawing and inking) and me reading. But though he won’t be reading this (I think), I do want to share my love and appreciation for him in this little space I’ve created for myself. He’s been so patient and supportive with all I was going through and I’m entirely grateful for that.

I think that’s about all the reasons I have. It’s really just a struggle of being lost and finding–building a new and improved Spuds. I’m actually thinking of making some changes here but I’m going to focus on getting back on track first. I have a few tags that I wanted to do, and a few reviews but I’m not going to post up a review for the books I’ve finished before coming back to blogging because that might just pull me down again. I don’t want blogging to be a responsibility but more of wanting to make friends online, talk to people with the same interest as me and to share my thoughts and ideas about the books I read.

I just need everyone to bear with me because I rarely use my laptop anymore because I find it such a hassle to set-up in my room. If you haven’t noticed I’m a very a lazy person. I know that’s so unnatural for someone to don’t use a laptop, but I’m actually more comfortable just using my phone.

Currently I’m reading Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. I used to read a lot of adult books because back then my mom was the only one who owns books, and because I am an avid reader, I would just accompany myself with a Sydney Sheldon or Danielle Steel novel. When I started working, I acquired so many YA books thar I haven’t read and have the space for in my bookshelf; then recently I’ve received recommendations to read Kevin Kwan’s trilogy. Despite being labeled as an adult book, I’ve been LOVING IT. I’m planning on continuing with the series as soon as I get my hands on the physical copies of book 2 & 3.

 

It’s good to be back and I hope that I will still receive your warm welcome, so don’t forget to leave a comment or follow me on my social so we can stay connected 24/7 (just kidding, maybe for a few hours). I’m figuring out how to blog using a phone so bear with me.

xo,

Spuds

Catching Up

Hi, Cabbages!

I know it’s been a while since I last posted (an entire month, to be exact). There’s just been a lot of things going on lately, and I haven’t had the time to catch up on any reading.

To be honest, this started out when my boyfriend and I hung out almost everyday, and are inseparable. He lives super far from me, and our weekends doesn’t suffice anymore. And then, he got us both a new phone to enjoy more hightech features together (which I’m using this very moment to post this blog).

Finally, I haven’t read anything lately, because I’m getting ready to leave my work soon. I’m moving to a new one, a much nearer workplace to my house.

Though I am not abandoning Written Constellations altogether, I wish a little more patience and understanding on your side, Cabbages. Just bear with me some more, and once everything’s settled and in order, I’ll pick up right where I left off.

For now, you can constantly catch up on my daily happenings:

Instagram & Snapchat: @reeyuhbeegale

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Current Fix? TV Shows

HELLO, Cabbages!

Alright, first things first—Written Constellations received 60 bookish cabbages! AAAAGGGH! I can’t even think straight when I saw the notifications in my email. A shout out to all the lovely cabbages who took notice of this galactic book blog; A MILLION THANKS! *sending some sparkles your way* Please accept this Filipino’s finest [freshest, not to mention] Strawberry Taho!

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I’m having a dilemma. I don’t know what book to read next. I’ve recently finished Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman, and I posted my review yesterday, so go check that out if you’re interested to read my thoughts about it. I gave it an A [3.80 stars]! Honestly, though, I am still looking into finishing the 2nd book in the School for Good and Evil trilogy [pray for the success of this].

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Anyway, today, we’re taking a break on books but we’re not straying too far. Welcome to Written Constellations’ TOP TEN TUESDAY! Originally, this bookish weekly meme was created and being hosted by the lovely ladies from the broke and the bookish. Alright, alright! Let’s get down to business—this week is all about MY FAVORITE TV SHOWS/TV SERIES.

I tend to watch a lot of these ever since I got addicted to America’s Next Top Model (ANTM). Now, I’m stuck with a bunch of back-logs from multiple TV series, but I am finding a way to get through all of them –and I’m quite behind on most popular shows airing recently [Game of Thrones and Stranger Things to be specific]. Of course, like any other normal person, I too have my favorites!

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5. H20: JUST ADD WATER

This is the only “mermaid” related that I don’t get crept out with. If I haven’t mentioned before, I’m way too terrified of mermaids due to an accidental encounter with a creepy under the sea documentation to prove the existence of mermaids.

Alright, so this is a popular “teen-ish/kiddie” TV series in Nickolodeon back in 2007? I don’t remember. It is about three girls who found out that they turn into mermaids when touched by water, equipped with special abilities. It was one of my most enjoyed series until I was 16 years-old [don’t you look at me like that], I’m weird.

4. BONES

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I’ve loved mysteries and crimes ever since I was old enough to watch CSI [by old, I meant 13]. I got interested with this because of its uniqueness; I mean come on, solving murder cases through the use of bones?! That requires too much intelligent juice, and I have never been that good with Science and Biology when I was younger.

I’ve fallen behind this because I got way too busy in College, and it required a lot of time investment which I couldn’t afford at the time. I have yet to finish this…is this still on-going?

3. GRIMM

In second year college, I didn’t know I’d enjoy Literature class as much as I did. I got to read some of the actual Grimm Brothers’ version of Disney’s popular fairytales, and boy, are those gruesome! This TV series though is quite different from what I expected, I deemed it to be telling me the original stories of Grimm Brothers but instead, I got supernatural creatures hiding among humankind and a descendant of Grimm blessed with the ability to see it easily. If you didn’t understand my explanation, the premise is similar to Spiderwick Chronicles, except that the characters are human with “Grimm creature” abilities.

2. CRIMINAL MINDS

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Need I explain more? It’s only the most awesome, most thrilling and most criminally strategic TV series EVER! If you haven’t watched this, where have you been? It’s a bunch of FBI agents who work in the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU), and are in charge of tracking down serial killers by observing patterns and acts of violence.

1. ONE TREE HILL

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 I love this series with all my heart, this 9-long season live in my mind and heart! I’ve marathon it starting 1st year college, until its last season came out back in 2014 [I think?]. It’s about a group of high school friends whose lives crossed ever since one of the main characters, Lucas Scott, started in the Ravens Basketball Team. From then on, the series continued until they were aged 24-26. One good thing about this is the balance in the variety of focus, ranging from friendship to romantic relationships, to family and to individual growth. Their story is not far from reality, which allowed the audience to feel as if this is happening in their own backyard.

As far as anyone’s concerned, it’s a bundle of goodness wrapped with a red ribbon.

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That’s it for today’s Top Ten Tuesday. Did you participate? Leave a link of your post down below and I’ll be sure to pass by your corner. Don’t be shy to leave me some messages, I’ll be more than happy to get to know each and everyone of you more!

Got a question for you, Cabbage! WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT TV SHOW ADDICTION?

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Rustic Roots

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portfolio_vengeanceRoadCoverTitle: Vengeance Road

Author: Erin Bowman

Pages: 336

Published Date: September 1, 2015

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Format: ebook

Goodreads Synopsis: When her father is killed by the notorious Rose Riders for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, eighteen year-old Kate Thompson disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers–and justice. In the spirit of “True Grit”,” “acclaimed young adult novelist Erin Bowman brings to life the unpredictable and cutthroat days of the Wild West.

RATING:

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3.80 stars

Love! It’s like strolling along the Milky Way!

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I’ve heard a lot of Booktubers talk about this, and when I researched on Goodreads, I loved the every review I read. If you’ve been lurking around Written Constellations, you’d know that I enjoy everything Country – how fitting right? I immediately knew I couldn’t pass it up.

It took me a while to sum up and organize my thoughts coherently; probably because this is the first book I’ve ever read that ventures out to the wild mountains of West. It wasn’t an easy read, especially because the expressions (eg. I’s or if’n)  took a lot of getting used to, but I managed – and this is one of the aspect that made the book seem real.

Setting wise? I LOVED IT. I enjoyed how the entire book focused on their trip up the mountains. Bowman’s narration was excellent! The description made me feel like I was on a horse riding up the uneven ground, sweating remarkably due to the hotness and I can feel the anxiety of getting shot by Apache or any of the Rose Riders any minute.

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Even in just 336 pages, the book managed to make the characters feel more than just paragraphs on a book. Their emotions seep through every line, and I understood each and everyone’s endeavors. Kate’s grief over her father’s death came out naturally that I instantly wanted to avenge him, as if I were his orphan. The characters were diverse in terms of their personality; Kate wasn’t all about taking Rose’s life, Jesse wasn’t all about the promise of gold and riches—even though they were presented for those reasons, they had other things going on for them. An aspect that gave life to these characters was that they weren’t limited to be just one emotion. In some parts, you’ll see how trusting (sometimes gullible) Kate can be, how Liluye wants to be seen like she doesn’t give a single care, and Jesse who appears strong-willed but can be clueless at times.

Word about this book was that it promised romance within the mountains, and I have do have major issues with books or movies that seem to play romance in either a cliché way or an insta-love or something that was either forced or out of place—and sometimes it’s just about these characters taking control of their hormones. I didn’t particularly like the “idea” of reading about gooey eyes and lip-locking (for that matter), while the characters are out being hunted by ruthless men. SUPRISINGLY (in a good way), Bowman wrote the romance in such a smooth-flowing way. It wasn’t quick, and forced—everything that happened was how you’d expect it to in real life. Like example, someone who’s lost a loved-one and is suffering from guilt doesn’t just get over their grief because they had a charming girl or boy to distract them.

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I can’t get over how mind-blowing the plot twist is in this book, the “reveal” came out of nowhere. For me, it’s the most exhilarating part in the book! It was satisfying that I was reading this book for a whole different reason than that of its synopsis.

You’d think this book isn’t complex or brutal, but it honestly showed how cruel and selfish people can be. There’s too much bloodshed, which of course you’d expect in Western stories but at times it can be too gruesome—one thing I’ll say is that, this isn’t something for the meek.  I highly recommend this to everyone who enjoys an real life action-packed plot! Like I’ve said, I haven’t read a lot of books in this genre, so if you have anything for me, please do leave some titles on the comment section below!

Life Corner (Tidbits General Life Update)

 

Some quick updates! MIBF (Manila International Bookfair) is coming up! It’ll be running from September 14-18 at SMX Convention Center! I got some free tickets from a good friend of mine, and I’m so excited! Most of the books will be at 20% off, can you say AWESOME?

Also, I’m enjoying browsing titles around Book Depository, but I have yet to purchase. Do you have any titles for me? I am looking into venturing out to new YA genres, and my heart can’t seem to be set on something. I’ll be ordering by the end of the month [I’m so undecided, but most probably yes], meaning I have a few more weeks to be indecisive of what books to order. I’ve wanted to subscribe to a monthly YA book box but SHIPPING FEE will be the death of me!

Another, I’ve recently taken an online job as a freelance writer. Hopefully this will improve my writing skills some more, with the promise of extra income, which will be for school. Let’s see if this will be a good turnout. I mean, I’ve got nothing to lose anyway.

Oh! And if you’ve been wondering, I didn’t make much progress with the ReadThemAllThon TBR. Vengeance Road didn’t really fall into any category, so that’s sad but I’m all good, there are a lot of other challenging read-a-thons right? By any chance, do you know any?

CABBAGES! We are almost to 60 lovely, healthy [and definitely bookish] cabbages! Thank you all, for your continuous support and patience, cause I upload a lot of late posts—I’m still getting used to keeping a blog again. I am however, a legit office ninja, being able to sneak posts here and there, but too many distractions in the office to formulate a decent post. But again, I appreciate all the love! Let’s keep our family growing, SPREAD THE HYPE!

P.S.  Pictures are from Google

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Dusted Books

HELLO, Cabbages!

How’s everyone? Have you seen my previous posts [from yesterday], they’re all updates for #ReadThemAllThon TBR.

Last night, while on my way home from work, I decided to read the almost 2-year sitting ebook copy of The Throne of Glass. At first, I wanted to join the hype, but apparently I have no patience for long series — it’s a 6-book series. My interest with it slowly went downhill, but I still tried yesterday, but to my dismay I just couldn’t get past Chapter 4. I placed a very short explanation in Goodreads as to why I DNF-ed (Did Not Finish) this overly-hyped novel. Safe to say that my apologies go out to all fans of this fantasy series, and to the fans of Sarah J. Maas–I think the world and these characters are just not to my liking.

Anyway, moving on to a lesser sad discussion, I’d like to post the question…

Which unread book has occupied your bookshelf for almost a year now?

You see that’s very fitting for what I’m about to share today! Today’s the time for TOP TEN TUESDAY! That book meme is created by Broke and the Bookish; so if you’re interested in joining, head over to their blog for the topics for each Tuesday of the month.

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BOOKS THAT HAVE BEEN ON YOUR TBR PILE EVEN BEFORE YOU STARTED BLOGGING

→ What you must know about me is that, prior to getting addicted to buying actual books, I’ve had almost 300++ ebooks [which most sit untouched]. If you just made the face that is likely to say this post will take us forever to finish or this post will have a long drop down list and think that you should leave…YOU SHOULD NOT. I will not be talking about all those “neglected” [sadly] books.

Let’s not delay this post any longer…

5. TIGER EYES by Judy Blume

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I’ve never read any books from Judy Blume, but I think she’s one of the most known authors for all time. After buying this book, I’ve been compelled to purchase more of her works and I did, Then Again, Maybe I Won’t.  If you haven’t figured out yet, that is also unread. I purchased both last year while I was still working at the bookstore [gave me a humongous discount]. One of these days, I shall get into this, especially because I love sad-themed books.

4. WILL GRAYSON, WILL GRAYSON by John Green

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I impulse-bought this book when I was working at the bookstore. I mean, I think impulse buying is something that people who work in bookstores develop easily [and quickly], due to first-hand caressing of books! I couldn’t say no to that cover, which by the way, I prefer over the original cover. I was a bit dubious about this book at first [back in college], cause I’m not keen on reading same-sex relationships in books–but I was told it’s not actually about that. To anyone who’s read this, please shed some light.

3. THE TRAGEDY PAPER by Elizabeth Laban

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This is another funny story, about how I got this book. I don’t remember how I found out about this book, but I remember obsessing about it. I searched for it prior to working at the bookstore, then when I was working there, I forgot all about it. I bought this book from another bookstore, a month after I’ve resigned, and then afterwards my previous co-workers told me we’ve had multiple stocks of the title in the bookstore I worked in. I was like…*mindblown*. I love books that has the same theme as these, star-crossed lovers, secret love affairs–I just love the controversy.

2. THE STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL SORROWS OF AVA LAVENDER by Leslye Walton

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Beautiful book–and definitely strange! I did start out this book after a customer fangirl in front of me in the bookstore, screaming how awesome it is. Too strange that I couldn’t finish it without having a headache, so basically, I put this aside until my mind has been trained with multiple magic realism books [this is one of them, right?]. I love sad books [as I have said so many times], and I get the vibe that this is one of those that will haunt my memory for the rest of my life. I’ll get to this…one day…

1. THE IMPROBABLE THEORY OF ANA & ZAC by Brian Katcher

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Guilty about this cute contemporary, which I searched 3 bookstores in the city where I worked just for a copy. Has anyone read this? I love how it looks like for people who loves math and other geeky stuff — perfect for me! But like I’ve said, the hype for this has died down a bit throughout the months [ehem, years], it’s sat collecting dust on my shelf. One of these days, one of these days…

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Well, that’s it for my Top Ten Tuesday–books I’ve left to accumulate dust on the shelf. To be honest I don’t remember when the anniversary of Written Constellations is, but let’s use the date when I revamped it–March 26, 2016. I’ve had way too many books to share here, but I only chose 5 books that really stood out.

Just a few updates, my application to become and affiliate of Abebooks has been approved! If you’ll notice the banner by the sidebar; if you can be nice enough to give me some love. I’ll be getting a small commission for every transaction you’ll do through that linked banner. They offer multiple discounts on books, and free shipping from time to time! So thank you in advance if you decide to help me out. THANK YOU, CABBAGE.

Link up your posts, and I’ll check them out! I’ve got a question for you at the very start of this post, so just leave your answers and recommendations down on the comment section below. Thank you! I hope to talk to you all soon, I’ll be back soon for a new content!

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