Book Review: Ines’ Words by Haidji

29996977.jpgThe ending of this book – I didn’t expect it to be that way. I love it. Actually, I was hooked by the introduction of the book and the line that has been said, “Until the end of the world.” And I really think that the line is so much sweeter and has

“Until the end of the world.”

And I really think that the line is so much sweeter and has a deeper meaning when you are pertaining to your love one than “I love you.” Haidji has this way of knowing what kind of feelings she wants her readers to feel. I couldn’t comprehend nor describe what was – am feeling right now regarding the book. The cover may not seem that enticing but it was interesting enough to read. With the author’s break with this book, I am definitely going to read her works! You couldn’t imagine how fascinated I am right now and find a book to read about ‘The Death Queen.”

MY RATINGS: 4.5 STARS.


7202532.jpgHer interest in art began at the age of four when she got a blackboard for Christmas.
She then started to draw objects around the house: chairs, tables, and so on.
As she was 12 she started to write her stories and poems. Handwritten and hand painted books for family and friends.
Her University education was at the University of Applied Science at Idar-Oberstein, Germany, where she obtained a Diploma (equivalent to a Master’s Degree) in Jewelry and Precious Stones Design, and Painting. She is also a qualified Goldsmith.

Haidji is a talented and creative artist who produces abstract work that resonates with warmth and life.
Her stories create images in the reader’s mind, as would a word be a brushstroke painting inside your imagination.

www.haidji.blogspot.com
There is a very spiritual feel to her work, almost an otherworldliness.

A captiving blend of Brazilian flair, Teutonic precision and Dutch pragmatism makes Haidji’s work unique, appealing and thought-provoking.
Since 1995 Haidji has exhibited her work, realised her projects and told her stories in many countries: Germany, Brazil, Italy, Holland, Switzerland, England, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Australia, and the United States.

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Blogger Spotlight: Iridescence

Iridescence is one of my virtual friend who’ve I found thru Twitter! A blogger who constantly promote the books that she loves! Especially now, A Court of Wings and Ruin just released, she’s an avid fan! I tell you! Anyway, let’s welcome Iridescence from Light Up The Shining Night Stars!


PERSONAL LIFE

1. What book introduced you to fiction novels? Can you name 5 of your favorite books or series?

I used to read small comic books which my mom used to bring for me sometimes. But for actual novels, it was Awakened by P.C. and Kristen Cast which got me into fiction. I had joined newly to a library at 10 years old and liked the cover of this book, so I picked it up and liked it (even though it wasn’t the first book of the series).
 
My favorites: The Hunger Games trilogy—it got me into dystopia! Legend trilogy by Marie Lu. Definitely ACOTAR and Throne of Glass series. And the Shatter Me trilogy.
 
2. How did you start to like reading as a habit? Do you have any other habits aside from reading novels?
 
I spent a lot of time alone and my mom loved reading as a child herself so she used to bring short stories and comics for me to spend my time. After getting a library membership, books became an escape and I simply kept reading. 
I also like doing crafts, lettering, sketching and journaling.
3. If you are going to date someone, fictional or not, dead or alive, who would it be and why? What are the things that you are going to do on your date?
Honestly, no one comes to mind from real life, and I’m not an exact match for any of the perfect fictional boys. If I had to choose, I guess I would pick Aaron Warner from the Shatter Me trilogy. He’s exactly the guy I’d be good against as I’m quite fun-loving and kiddish, and that would loosen him up. (Gosh I’m saying this as if justifying our relationship). On our date, I guess we would go for an event like a flea market or something. I’m not a fan of the usual dinner and movies.
4. Name some of your favorite authors and give them a brief description of why are they your favorites. (I know that this question will be difficult, feel free to answer as many as you want!)
Sarah J. Maas: Because not only are her books awesome and give ALL THE FEELS, she’s really cool too, as a person. I’ve seen some of her interview clips and book signing clips where she’s just this person who can’t believe that people get tattoos about her books or that it means so much to them. 
 
Cassandra Clare: For having tons of imagination and not being afraid of critics to continue writing about the world she loves. I know that many criticize how she keeps writing on the Shadowhunter world and should branch out or stop. But its her choice, and there are so many of us who would just welcome her writing.
5. If you are going to give advice to your 10-year-old self, what would it be?
You will still feel out of place, misunderstood, unnoticed and different, but embrace it because all of it simply makes you more beautiful, and one day you’ll find others who think the same. So be awkward, be weird, love books to no extent and be who you are. Stop trying to please everyone, and work on pleasing yourself.
 

BLOGGING LIFE

1. What made you start to do book blogging?

I was looking at Goodreads reviews and decided to post my own. A few reviews later I saw that Goodreads gave an HTML code to post reviews on our blogs, and in a second I decided that I’ll try that. I hopped on to WordPress, made a blog, chose names out of the blue and had my blog running in a few hours.
2. What was the most difficult part of book blogging?
I always feel incompetent looking at other blogs because I always find things that I could do better. But honestly, if I did all of that, I’d either have no time to read anymore or I’d have to quit school and sit at home for this all day. I guess the most difficult part was—is—to accept the way I blog and believe that people will love it too.
3. Interacting with people from different places, virtually, how did you gather so many followers? If you have one thing thanks to your followers, what would it be?
I honestly have no idea how I managed to get so many followers! It still gives me a shock to look at the digits in my stats or notifications. I simply went on other blogs and did the usual thing of commenting, liking and following when I wanted to. After that, I realized that I must add tags. Slowly, people started viewing my blog and it grew! I actually didn’t make a twitter or Instagram account for my blog for MONTHS. All the growth occurred solely through WordPress.
4. What do you think is the disadvantage of bloggers?
I guess it’s that we spend way more time online, for a whole new reason! Blogging—whether it’s about typing the actual posts, designing the blog, replying to comments, social media stuff—all of it takes a huge chunk of time from our schedules. I always feel a regret that I’m not doing anything worth my free time, that I’m not learning something new etc. I just spend so much time blogging.
5. Mention some Book Blogging Friends that you would love to see in person!
I would ABSOLUTELY LOVE to meet Elm, Aditi, and Charley. Sure, there are many others too, but I would jump at the first chance to meet these three.

BOOKISH LIFE

1. Name some favorite book of yours according to your genre preferences.

NA Romance: All Colleen Hoover books, really. But if I had to choose, definitely Hopeless. Also, Fighting Redemption by Kate McCarthy.
Dystopian: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi! Legend by Marie Lu, and the first three books of the Selection series by Keira Cass.
Fantasy: ACOTAR books and Throne of Glass series.
Fiction: Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, which is an all-time favorite of mine.
Middle Grade: Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, which is also an all-time favorite.
YA contemporary: Speak by Lauri Halse Anderson
Historical Fiction: My Lady Jane by Brodie Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows
2. How do you pick the books that you are going to read next?
Depending on my current mood, really! The amazing invention of ebooks helps my sporadic wishes. When I have the mood to read a certain genre, I go on Goodreads, surf a bit and get a book.
3. SHOW US YOUR BOOKSHELF! Describe it.
It isn’t very impressive considering most books I read came from the library or are in the form of ebooks. Right now, I only have one bookshelf for all my college stuff, art supplies etc along with books. It’s a crammed mess.
4. What are the books and authors that influence you as a reader?
Books on depression, anxiety, feminism and freedom touch me. I remember reading Speak and crying silently for hours after turning the last page. Books on sensitive issues that are still seen as taboo in many places influence me a lot.
5. What is your one ultimate favorite quote from a book and why?
I don’t really collect many quotes from books. All of them are the same to me, you know? The quotes I love tend to be ones which aren’t much noticed, don’t have an exact direct perfect meaning, but still describes so much. The one quote that comes to mind now is “I guess the world really does end with a whimper. A whole lot of quiet. A million things unsaid. Until it’s too late to say them.” This is from the book Suffer Llove by Ashley Herring Blake.

7e7cf9df07de692ed202e10890fa0843.jpeg18-year-old girl obsessed with music, books and everything words. You can come to fangirl with her, or volunteer as tribute and let her fangirl to you. She also gives free virtual hugs.

Book Review: A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

20764879.jpgI know. I’m such a reader. After finishing A Darker Shades of Magic, I literally jump into A Gathering of Shadows immediately. Despite on the hurtful, cliffhanger ending of A Darker Shades of Magic, the second installment provides us the huge character development of Lila. Who would imagine that this fair and strong lady is hiding a magnificent ability inside of her? Not just being the best thief of the crew but also the best woman I’ve ever encountered throughout the book.

Captain Alucard also introduces in the second book and I never imagine that I would ship Alucard with Lila. Guys, you wouldn’t imagine how my heart flutters when they are talking! Lila has this kind of way to talk like she was flirting and Alucard has this kind of talking that he is into Lila! I was about to die when I read that kind of part but don’t expect something from both of them because of this two? They are spontaneous and crave knowledge above all. They are both spectacular and mysterious!
I haven’t mentioned that I love Kell’s and Rhy’s Brotherly Love, right? Well, Rhy is a jack-of-all-trades personality, loves by all, and the Prince of Red London. I like him in the book one and I liked him more in book two. Despite everything that happened, Victoria Schwab amazingly crafted the character development of her characters. From their magic to anxieties to personalities to needs and wants. It is overwhelming and amazing.
I’m telling you guys that Victoria Schwab won’t betray you. It feels like I’m watching an anime or a movie on my mind produced by an imagination! It was so realistic!
Trying to put a warning, there are a bit of revelation that you wouldn’t expect. Sometimes, I was so shocked and another time, I was so eager to find out if the questions in my head have the right answer as I go along reading the book. I wonder why or how did Victoria think of the small details and put it as a plot twist. I never expected that her foreshadowing from the previous book will make a huge impact in the second one. Damn, her. She’s that great. I’m going to hail her and will follow her books. This is beyond amazing and I couldn’t get enough.
Guys! You’ll love this book as much as I love it. I hope you had the time to read it and tell me your thoughts! I’m wondering whether should I dive into the third book or not. I wanted to know what will happen next but both at the same time, I’m also afraid what will happen and I’m not yet prepared to say goodbye to Kell, Rhys, and Lila. They’ve been wonderful and I couldn’t say goodbye yet. After all, good books have to end. 

MY RATINGS: 5 STARS!


3099544Victoria is the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, she has been known to say “tom-ah-toes,” “like,” and “y’all.”

She also tells stories.

She loves fairy tales, and folklore, and stories that make her wonder if the world is really as it seems.

Book Review: A Darker Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab

22055262.jpgBefore anything else, I would like to thank VE Schwab because of her book I was able to lift my book slump for months! I was thrilled and overwhelmed by her world building that I was captivated and finished the book in less than 24 hours. I was hooked and the introducing of the characters are brilliant with each of their own spotlight. And showing the difference of the worlds in colors and feels and magic.

Kell’s character here is the male protagonist who is an Antari, wielder of all elements and can pass through doors to travel into different worlds. I’m hailing Queen Victoria (the author) for writing such a frowning, simplistic character that her readers would love. And then, there’s Lila, a lady who is struggling. Her survival skills let her live through the shadows and the poverty and dark, vast world of Grey London. Two people who cross paths each other, inevitable and unsure of what could happen next saves the Red London because a man who is blind to the Red Empire respect and a loyal Antari for the kingdom – serving the rightful King and Queen while the Lady is a risk taker, leaving people behind, trying to fit in the society – finding herself through this chance, become a witty and skilled woman that you would likely to fall in love with her personality.
What’s amazing about A Darker Shades of Magic is that there is a little piece of romance that I really love. I mean, the author doesn’t focus much on the romance but focuses solely on the adventure and the character development. It is so new to me that I never thought that I would love this book as much as I do.
Victoria’s writing style makes me captivated with her words and it flows easily through you. As if you are eating her words and slowly devouring her world. The flow of the story is amazing. I didn’t expect that her books will exceed my expectations I thought. Even the simplest details are vividly describing. To fans of Fantasy books out there, if you are in a book slump or you are finding something worth it to read. Believe me, this book needs to be read by YOU!

MY RATINGS: 5 STARS!


3099544.jpgVictoria is the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, she has been known to say “tom-ah-toes,” “like,” and “y’all.”

She also tells stories.

She loves fairy tales, and folklore, and stories that make her wonder if the world is really as it seems.

Book Review: Boyhood by Charlie Samuya Veric

240016_big.jpgI also acquired this poetry book from Dia Del Libro 2017 event here in Manila. Unlike Poems by Allan Poe, I think, I connected well with Boyhood by Charlie Samuya Veric. I was swayed by his words and I felt nostalgic, growing up and the thoughts of discovering. It felt like I was in a rural and urban all at once. He depicts the nature and controls his words to truly conspire the meaning he wants his readers to see in their imagination. What I felt with this lyric is raw, both pure and impure, self-discovery and finding thyself. I don’t know if I captured the meaning right, how should I put this, but at the end – from every last line, I could feel a longing in there. It was so confessional that I was hooked into it. And my verdict? I found this poetry intriguing and I would love to read more poetries by Sir Charlie Veric. Thank you, Ateneo de Manila University Press!

MY RATINGS: 3.5 STARS.


4272529.jpgBorn in Aklan, Veric was educated in Diliman, Katipunan, and New Haven where he earned his doctorate in American Studies from Yale University. A widely published author, he teaches at the Ateneo.

Mini Review: Poems by Allan Poe

This is my first time trying to read a Poem made by a Filipino Author that I crossed with Ateneo de Manila University Press – I don’t know what to feel when I was reading Poems by Allan Poe. It feels like, I don’t feel what was the author wants to portray or what he want us to see. There are phrases that I found connected with but there are a lot of times that I found myself lost while reading it. I was so confused or was it the exact feelings or experience that the author wants his readers to feel while reading his works? One way or another, this one is not for me but it is such a good thing that I found out that there’s a Filipino Literature, especially in Poetry, that Ateneo is conducting. More power to Filipinos and Thank you Dia Del Libro, if it wasn’t for that event I wouldn’t discover this.


Disclaimer: I couldn’t find a soft copy of the cover of the book. I checked the Ateneo de Manila University Press, the poetry book wasn’t listed there. I looked for the author’s Goodreads account and it seems that he is not registered as an author or a member of the community.


MY RATING: 1 STAR.

Blogger Spotlight: The Witch Queen Realm

It’s been a long time! I apologize for being hiatus for almost three months! But, don’t fret, The Royal Polar Bear is now back on blogging and getting inspired! To mark the first blog post for May 2017, I introduce to you the Witch Queen, herself! Jennylyn from The Witch Queen’s Realm for my Blogger Spotlight!



PERSONAL LIFE

  1. What book introduces you to fiction novels? Can you name 5 of your favorite books or series?

My father had this book when he was in college that is for their English class (I don’t know why an electrical engineering student has a book that should be for a Lit student, oh well). So it was a collection of short Filipino stories will analysis and questions and such, I love it! There was where I met F. Sionil Jose, Manuel Arguilla, Antonio Gabila, and many other Filipino authors that have been long forgotten. It’s where I grew to love Filipino literature and learned about the ways people have during the Martial Law era and the times before that. It’s just sad that I haven’t saved the book.

Five most favorite books/series! Now, this is hard. I love all my babies and I don’t want to play favorites among them, but here goes:

  • Harry Potter series (JK Rowling)
  • The Lord of The Rings (JRR Tolkien)
  • The Air Awakens series (Elise Kova)
  • The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffeneger)
  • And!!! Ugly Love (Colleen Hoover), All The Bright Places (Jennifer Niven), Slammed series (Colleen Hoover), The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald), Lila ang Kulay ng Pamamaalam (RM Palacio) [you have to read this book!!!], Para Kay B (Ricky Lee) and Bob Ong’s books (it’s full of satirical stories).

2. How did you start to like reading as a habit? Do you have any other habits aside from reading novels?

  • When I was a child, my uncle had a subscription to the local newspaper. I would read it every morning while drinking a hot cup of coffee. Kidding on the drinking coffee part, I was not allowed to drink coffee yet that time. But yeah, I would read the news every morning.
  • Other habits aside from reading? Hmmm, I write a lot. Poems and narratives and whatever comes flowing through my mind. Also, I love watching movies and musicals. And please listen to Hamilton!!!

3. If you are going to date someone, fictional or not, dead or alive, who would it be and why? What are the things that you are going to do on your date?

Jay Gatsby. He’s the most mysterious person I know and I want to know more about him. I want to know everything about him. We’ll go on a long walk and we’ll just talk. Maybe over coffee. Really, I just want to talk to him.

Also, I want to go out with a certain Polar Bear because I always miss him.

4. Name some of your favorite authors and give them a brief description of why are they your favorites. (I know that this question will be difficult, feel free to answer as many as you want!)

  • JK Rowling – I always admire the lady. Not just because she has created such a wonderful world for us witches and wizards, but I admire her guts and heart. I admire how strong she is and how much of an inspiration she is to many people.
  • Elise Kova – she’s the sweetest!! Also, I want to know more about her.
  • RM Palacio – I just discovered him last year (Dec 2016). I admire his work on Lila and I want to know if Lila is a real person. Also, it seems like he is someone I can talk to about anything. And I want to read more from him.
  • Ricky Lee – Sir Ricky is really good at telling stories about the current situation of the country and its people in an entertaining way. He can write about ordinary people and its lives that are parallel to the real world but also not. (If you know what I mean)

5. If you are going to give advice to your 10-year-old self, what would it be?

  • Don’t be too lazy. And do not hesitate to ask questions and speak up your mind.

BLOGGING LIFE

  1. What made you start to do book blogging?
    • I started blogging because I just want to have a place where I can dump in all my thoughts, poems, narratives and whatever that comes in my mind. I don’t really make reviews about the books I read because I don’t know how to put into words all emotions I had while reading the book. And then, someone (pointing finger at you) told me, why not book blog? I said why not, maybe that way I can influence people to read my favorite books.
  2. What was the most difficult part of book blogging?
    • Putting all my emotions into words! Really, it is hard. I always find it hard to make an unbiased book review sometimes especially when I already fell in love with the story.
  3. Interacting with people from different places, virtually, how did you gather so many followers? If you have one thing to thanks to your followers, what would it be?
    • I have many followers? Haha! Uhm, what to say to few people who spend the time to read my little blog? Thank you! I don’t know if anyone reads my little space but I’m grateful to those people who really read it. It’s not much but I love my little world.
  4. What do you think is the disadvantage of bloggers?
    • Bloggers are mostly stereotyped as nerds and introverts and people tend to think that they don’t have a life OUTSIDE the world that they created for themselves. But, in my opinion, bloggers are the most sociable people in the world. They can make friends anywhere they went. (Or it’s just me. Lol)
  5. Mention some Book Blogging Friends that you would love to see in person!
    • The Royal Polar Bear
    • The Nocturnal Fey
    • JM of Bookfreak Revelations

BOOKISH LIFE

  1. Name some favorite book of yours according to your genre preferences.
    • Fantasy/High-Fantasy  – LOTR/HP
    • NA-Contemporary – Bright Side series
    • YA-Contemporary – Stephanie Perkins books
    • LGBTQ – Simon Vs the Homo-Sapiens Agenda, Two Boys Kissing
    • Sci-Fi – Omnilogos
  2. How do you pick the books that you are going to read next?
    • Depending on my mood. Or depending on the genre of the last book I read.
  3. SHOW US YOUR BOOKSHELF! Describe it.
    • I don’t have a bookshelf! Okay, I have this small-ish shelf wherein I put all my TBR (and review books) and most of my books are in boxes (for easy relocating).
  4. What are the books and authors that influence you as a reader?
    • Same as the books and authors I listed above.
  5. What is your one ultimate favorite quote from a book and why?
    • “Do epic.” – Kate Sedgwick, Bright Side

28059e15772b6c291d95ef1ed01fec8a.jpegJen is a reader who is attracted to love and pain. She has a neutral personality where optimism balances her pessimist character. She’s an ambivert, who loves crowds as much as she loves being alone. Sunsets are the most beautiful thing for her, only because she doesn’t have the ability (and willpower) to wake up early. Bring her to any museum and bookstore out there; you will see her eyes shining. She loves coffee more than anything else, more than The Royal Polar Bear’s Chamomile Tea.