Book Review: Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian


I’ve never felt so betrayed in a book. This was the first time that I felt so many emotions that I couldn’t define in a book through its ending. May it be revelations, betrayal, or love – I’m confused. I don’t know whose side I should be, I don’t know who are the characters that I should believe in and I don’t know what is right and wrong anymore for Theodosia.

There are some glimpses of sadness at the beginning – living in your own country ruled by The Kaiserin who conquered your country for a decade and making you suffer whenever he wants? That’s insane. I started reading Ash Princess with so many expectations and it left me in pain. From the Guardian to the cruel choices that Theodosia has to make, there’s a punch on the gut – there’s a pinch of pain that will hurt you in the heart. It was hopeful and yet suffocating, it was terrifying but exciting, and it is romantic but deceitful.

With the Ash Princess, Theodosia, trying to venture out her escape plan. She never knew that after years, she will see the true color of Lady Cress. And for a decade, someone had her heart but couldn’t be with. It felt like I am reading a retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with more twist than I expected.

I think the best asset of this novel, it doesn’t cross the line. Laura Sebastian knows how to tease her readers with few magic scenes that can look forward to the next book. There are more elements that we can be anticipated on the sequel. I would like to know what will happen next after Theodosia met the Dragonsbane household, what would happen to Theodosia and Soren. Deep inside, I really want them to be together but the factors, situations, and variables couldn’t let them be. How could a Queen trade the life of someone – could be dear to her – to the thousand Astrean? Would the magic system will be emphasized in the next book? Will there be more world building and characters?

I have a lot of answers and I’m expecting more in the next installment. I hope, I won’t be disappointed as Ash Princess is the book that gets rid of my book slump.

Ash Princess is truly a magical, and brilliant book that will betray, play and give you twist on your feelings. It gave me so many emotions that I don’t know whom to trust in this book. It was remarkable on its own that will keep you enticed. I hope Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian will stand out as it should be.



15945524I write YA books and I’m also entrusted with taking care of other people’s children. I write books about girls who are strong in all different ways, usually with a healthy dollop of magic and a few dragons.

I live in NYC with my extraordinarily fluffy dog, Neville.


Travel Experience: Taal Volcano


One of my spontaneous adventures with my sister was in Taal Volcano. I was eager to see this place and try to hike to the top of the crater. One thing that I didn’t know was the trail to the top. Taal Volcano offers magnificent and beautiful scenery with an outstanding history. Taal is now called, “An island within a lake in a volcano in a lake on an island.”



Going to Talisay, Batangas for the registration on DENR and fetching our boat, the tranquil environment soothes my well-being. I could feel my adrenaline rush inside me despite lacking of sleep.

Taal is not just the ‘Taal’ or the volcano, alone. It was called Mount Taal – The World’s Smallest Active Volcano! Who would know that I would see the terrifying danger but the same time the exotic beauty of it?!


Also, I would like to point out that even the Taal Volcano is considered 2/9 in difficulty – don’t underestimate it. The Trail is pretty difficult. The trail from the bottom to the top requires more energy and strength than regular mountains because of the sandy or the beach-like, sand texture of the trail. There are few rocks at the top but all the way from the bottom, it was sandy. It was also advised to bring your own face mask to prevent inhaling a lot of dust from the trail. Another thing to note for is: Bring more water. A lot of water. Especially summer season in the Philippines because aside from the heat of the sun while hiking, the surrounding is too hot. There are some sulfuric rocks that emitting heat from the stone itself! Taal Volcano is an active volcano for a reason.

Sulfuric Rocks emitting hot smokes.

The locals in Taal said that they could hike Taal within 25 – 45 minutes. It must be from their experience and daily living but we made it 1 hour and 30 minutes! Regardless of how hard the trail is and how hot the environment is. It wouldn’t beat the beauty and the satisfaction when we reached the top. I was so speechless and I couldn’t get hold of how nature could unfold its stunning beauty in front of my eyes.


Now, feast on the marvelous and cinematic scenery of Taal Volcano!


Would you like me to continue this travel segment on my blog? If you do, please tell me what to visit next in the Philippines! It would be fun if you can name some provinces from Luzon first as it would be more accessible!

Until again. Travel More. Wander in Wonders!

Polar Bear

Travel Experience: Mt. Hapunang Banoi

It has been a while since I get back on my book blogging mojo. I was thinking if I should post this experience of mine with Mt. Hapunang Banoi in Rodriguez, Rizal, Philippines on my book blog. The other part of my brain keeps on saying no and the other side keeps on saying yes. Guess what side wins?

Anyway, if you know me. I am that Polar Bear who loves to wander and goes to wherever my spontaneity brought me. When 2018 started, the only way I know to get rid of my stress is to go to nature – which brought me to hiking. I went to three different mountains last January, none in February due to my upcoming licensure exam in March and due to my weak health condition. After passing the board exam, I decided to continue conquering mountains. I conquered the 3rd highest mountain in the Philippines, Mt. Pulag, as a registered pharmacist.

Mossy Forest, Mt. Pulag


After all those experiences, I still yearn for some conquering of mountains. It is so unusual for a Polar Bear to have this kind of motivation. To reach the summit of the mountains in a tropical country which never ever been habited by Polar Bears like me.

Mt. Hapunang Banoi


Those trekkings turned into hiking that became mountain climbing in Mt. Hapunang Banoi. For those of you who are reading this and not familiar with the Filipino Language. “Hapunang” means Afternoon and “Banoi” is the Tagalog word for Eagle. You could call this mountain as the Afternoon Eagles or Afternoon for the Eagles. This terrain was once believed to be nested by the popular “Pambansang Ibon ng Pilipinas” or the National Bird of the Philippines which is the Eagle but during my hike up in the mountain, I never once see an Eagle. Those could have been myths but regardless of the name of the mountain, it is the hardest mountain to climb in Rizal said by our tour guide.


Mt. Hapunang Banoi


The outstanding limestone would never betray you. The stunning cinematic view of a forest will make your heart beats fast. The rock formations and the experience along the way is a memory to cherish because nature will make you appreciate them more.

Mt. Hapunang Banoi


Few things to keep in mind; Don’t forget to remember the golden rule, “Leave No Trace”, Bring 2 – 3L of water when going to a hike, Talk to your physician if you are fit to climb, Don’t forget to bring trail foods like chocolate, Love the nature and appreciate them because it will give you more than you expected and lastly, Be a responsible mountaineer.


Mt. Hapunang Banoi


Mt. Hapunang Banoi


If you are planning to visit the Philippines, I would like to suggest you try mountain climbing. It will bring you pain because of the difficulty of the trail or maybe the steep of the mountain ranges or probably the sharp rocks that you will encounter along the way but in the end, at the summit; You will not just find joy but also satisfaction in return.


Mt. Hapunang Banoi (Going down)


With my sister conquering Mt. Hapunang Banoi


This is the Royal Polar Bear bringing you closer to nature!

Polar Bear.png


Also, If you are interested to hike Mt. Hapunang Banoi. You may contact Ma. Criztalyn Arevalo at 0929-2200-964. She is our tour guide and it will help her livelihood!


Cover Reveal: Star-Crossed by Pintip Dunn

Let us know what you think of the cover for Star-Crossed by Pintip Dunn, which releases October 2, 2018!

Star-Crossed Cover Reveal

This cover reveal is brought to you by Entangled Teen.

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About Star-Crossed

Only one can survive…

Want to read more? Pre-order your copy of Star-Crossed by Pintip Dunn today!

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About Pintip Dunn:

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Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL. Pintip’s debut novel, FORGET TOMORROW, won the RWA RITA® for Best First Book. In addition, it is a finalist for the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, the Japanese Sakura Medal, and the MASL Truman Award. THE DARKEST LIE was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her other books include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, the novella BEFORE TOMORROW, and GIRL ON THE VERGE. She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at

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