Top Ten Books that Stayed with Me in Some Ways

I was recently tagged by a lot of my Facebook friends on their statuses about a list of the books that have stayed with me in some way. I want to return the favor to them by posting but I'm afraid my non-reader friends might get annoyed with my redundant Facebook status. Plus, my list constantly changes! So I decided to just share this list on my blog. I think this is the most accurate list so far.

Rules: Don't take more than a few minutes and do not think too hard. They do not have to be right and great works of literature. (But to turn it up a notch, maybe you can share a line or two on why these books stayed with you.)

Not in a particular order, but these are the top ten books that stayed with me in some way:


The book talks about four stories connected, and Cheryl's doodle on her notes "God is nowhere, God is now here". It talks about love, pain, family, miracles, and God. Included in the list 101 Books to Read Before You Die, Hey, Nostradamus! made me feel the connected with the characters and the the trauma they felt by the characters because of the high school massacre. Read my (very amateurish) review here.




For the love of vampires! This is the first vampire book I've read and I love the series! Who wouldn't fall in love with Alexander, anyway? I really wanna feel how to be loved and protected by a vampire and Alexander made me feel it even if I'm just reading... You can check out my review here.


This novel is a book not mainly about death, but about acceptance and letting go. AND FALLING INLOVE ALL OVER AGAIN. There's also a twist in the story that made me confused at first, "the other life" of Brie.  This, so far, is the most touching and heart melting contemporary novel I ever read. I never expected this to be so great. I love this. I absolutely love this novel!

“You can obsess and obsess over how things ended- what you did wrong or could have done differently- but there's not much of a point. It's not like it'll change anything. So really, why worry?”

The fact that I was so moved by the story, the way it touched my deepest emotions within, the way it made me feel loved, the way it broke my heart... I can say that this is a very good book. Not all books can leave you crying in the end, and feel like you're really a part of the story.

“When first love ends, most people eventually know there will be more to come. They are not through with love. Love is not through with them. It will never be the same as the first, but it will be better in different ways.”

The love story between Sky and Holder is perfect. No instalove happened. But in Holder's case, there has always been something about Sky the moment he saw her. And Sky have no idea about Holder's interest for her. It's because he has always been gentle to her. No pressure at all. But he's always there for her and promised to protect her with all his life. They were both broken, but they gave each other the strength and hope they needed. Gaaaah! I just loved every single page in this book.

“When I touch you, I’m touching you because I want to make you happy. When I kiss you, I’m kissing you because you have the most incredible mouth I’ve ever seen and you know I can’t not kiss it. And when I make love to you—I’m doing exactly that. I’m making love to you because I’m in love with you.” 

This is a simple, classy and nostalgic novel that will bring you back to those days where it all began. When you first felt something weird in your chest, the fast heartbeat, when you first felt the butterflies swarming around the insides of your stomach, when you first felt the heat on your cheeks, when you first felt conscious about how you look... and so many other first times when it comes to falling in love.

"You never forget your first love."

At first, I thought this will be another love story about a girl and a boy who were bestfriends then ended up marrying each other. But I was wrong. This is a story about Hope, a mother, who lost her son. Not only did he lost her son, but also her husband's heart. He blames her for the tragic incident and she can do nothing but to take the blame. I am not a mother (yet) but through Beth's writing, I can feel the exact feelings of Hope. If I were her, I wouldn't know what to do. It's too much heartbreak for me and I can't bear that kind of pain. . .

"My two greatest fears in life were losing my child and dying myself. Since I had already faced one of those fears head on, I no longer feared the second."

So far, this is the best Contemporary book I've read this year! Stephanie Perkins  is the Contemporary Romance Queen! There are no words to describe how lovely this book is!

“Do adults realize how lucky they are? Or do they forget that these small moments are actually small miracles? I don’t want to ever forget.” 
“There's no story,' I say. 'I saw you one day, and I just knew.” 
I actually have a looooooooooooooooong list of books that stayed with me in some ways. But, like the rule said, "Don't take more than a few minutes and do not think too hard." and these books are what entered my thoughts immediately. Some are what I have read just this year, while some I read years ago. Either way, great books are timeless. :)


Trailer Release + Giveaway: PRESS PLAY by Eric Devine

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Expected publication: October 28th 2014 by Running Press Kids

Greg Dunsmore, a.k.a. Dun the Ton, is focused on one thing: making a documentary that will guarantee his admission into the film school of his choice. Every day, Greg films his intense weight-loss focused workouts as well as the nonstop bullying that comes from his classmates. But when he captures footage of violent, extreme hazing by his high school’s championship-winning lacrosse team in the presence of his principal, Greg’s field of view is in for a readjustment.
Greg knows there is a story to be told, but it is not clear exactly what. And his attempts to find out the truth only create more obstacles, not to mention physical harm upon himself. Yet if Greg wants to make his exposé his ticket out of town rather than a veritable death sentence, he will have to learn to play the game and find a team to help him.
Combine the underbelly of Friday Night Lights with the unflinching honesty of Walter Dean Myers, and you will find yourself with Eric Devine’s novel of debatable truths, consequences, and realities.


Eric Devine

Eric Devine is the author of multiple works of Young Adult fiction, most recently Dare Me, withPress Play being published 10/28. He is also a veteran high school English teacher who spends as much time teaching as he does completing field research for his novels. His work has been listed byYALSA and Booklist for reluctant readers and for Best in Sports. He is married to his high school sweetheart, and his wife and he have two wonderful daughters and two not-so-wonderful Labradors.

Find out more at
Twitter: @eric_devine


1 Winner will get a signed copy of PRESS PLAY and a PRESS PLAY phone case. (Winners chooses case size)

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Review: The FIFTY SHADES OF GREY Trilogy by E.L. James

Since Christian Grey will be portrayed by one of my man crushes, Jamie Dornan, while Anastasia Steele will be played by the gorgeous Dakota Johnson and will hit the screen next Valentines Day, let me write a short and quick review of the trilogy. Short and quick, because I don't actually write reviews under Erotica and BDSM. But I guess we can always make exceptions. :)

Click on the covers to redirect to their Goodreads links.


When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.
Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.
Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

Fifty Shades of Grey introduced us to the billion dollar businessman, Christian Grey, CEO of his own company, the Grey Enterprises Holdings, Inc. And to Anastasia Steele, a smart lit-major student who interviewed Mr. Grey in behalf of her best friend, Kate. Christian has a thing for brunettes so when he met Ana, he knew he can't just let her go. He did everything to spend time with her, while Ana, on the other hand didn't understand what Christian really wants from her if he's not into serious relationships.

“I gasp, and I'm Eve in the Garden of Eden, and he's the serpent, and I cannot resist.” 
Ana soon discovered Christians wants and needs from her. I think most of this book is about sex -- Ana's first time, Christian's unusual tastes and erotic fantasies, his "playroom", and the Dominant-Submissive contract between Christian and Ana. Yes, the sex is hot but no hint of romance was shown, just pure lust.

“There's a very fine line between pleasure and pain. They are two sides of the same coin, one not existing without the other.”
And I guess that's why a lot of people hates the first book and thinks this is just another crazy, book porn. So, I always encourage people to read the second and third book.

But why?

In the second (Fifty Shades Darker) and third book (Fifty Shades Freed), the spark between Christian and Ana started to lit. Romance was developed on the second book and a lot of issues were tackled to make the readers understand the reason behind Christian's behavior. Aside from this, I love how Christian became Ana's creepy but hot as hell boss. The sarcasm between these two whenever they send each other e-mails, is cute (I don't even know if cute is the right term). Also, in the second book, Christian tried his best to change his ways to prove his sincerity to Ana. Besides, Christian looks so cute when he tries to do sweet things to Ana. He's quite irresistible!

“This is me, Ana. All of me...and I'm all yours. What do I have to do to make you realize that? To make you see that I want you any way I can get you. That I love you.” 
As I continued to read the third and final installment *sobs* Fifty Shades Darker, I realized that all this time, what we see is that Christian is the boss. That he's in control of everything, that he holds the power. But if you actually try to read between the lines, Ana is the real boss. In the end, it is her that holds the power. She sets boundaries for him, and all this time, while Ana has been constantly defying Christian in many ways, Christian can't defy her. He's always waiting for her approval when he wants to do or change some things. Ana has triggered the great change in Christian's life.

“My world was ordered, calm, and controlled, then you came into my life with your smart mouth, your innocence, your beauty, and your quiet temerity ...and everything before you was just dull, empty, mediocre was nothing.” 
 I love how this book progressed from lust to love. I love how the characters developed and grew up. Just when I thought this is about sex, when I finished the three books, I knew there's more than sex -- love. I totally agree that there will always be someone out there who will change us into a better person and will make us feel that we are worthy of love and compassion. There will always be someone who will not take away our privilege and freedom to control and take hold of some things, but instead, they will share it with us. We'll just realize that we wanted to share it with that someone. Thank you, E.L. James for this love story. I'm glad it's a happy ending. :)

You Are My More
My Love, My Life


Alex London's Book Signing Event in PH

Last August 30, 2014, I met one of the MOST inspiring authors, Alex London. He is the author of the Young Adult Sci-Fi duology, Proxy and Guardian. They also fall under LGBT, which isn't really the kind of genre that I mostly read but hearing my friends fangirl over them, the story seems really interesting! Plus, Alex is probably the most funny and clever authors I've met. His words just continuously poured upon answering questions and I can say that I was really amused by how he answered each question for him. The question and answer portion with him is really satisfying and fulfilling! He is very generous of his answers that there were times when he fell off the topic. But we didn't really care! We love how loquacious he was during his stay here!

Alex London answering the questions for him during the blogger's forum

I tried recording the whole interview with him but I realized I'm not good at transcribing so I just wrote down some notes. Here are some facts I learned about him:
  • It hurts him so much when he kills a character from his books. And he never thought they would be killed or they would end up dead. Yes they hurt. But they will also heal. It hurts him as much as it hurts his readers.
  • He's the newest writer for the 39 Clues.
  • Got maried a week before and celebrates his honeymoon with his Filipino readers. How cool was that? We wished he brought his husband with him!
  • He loves all his books because he's all of them. He relates himself to all the characters in his books.
  • He got some help from Marie Lu because he knew she writes about these things and she knows how these things go. And the character Marie in Proxy is actually named after Marie Lu.
  • The Valve is actually based on some of the places he went. The child soldiers were also based in real life - some children in Africa.
  • "Even in the darkest places, beauty is possible."
  • He always made up stories. He wrote his first book when he was 8 and gave the 'only' copy to his mommy. Being a journalist taught him how to write.
  • Biggest influence? His sister. His sister would read to him and make him read.
  • When asked if he's planning to write a third book, take this answer: "I am not done these characters, yet. I  not done with this world, yet."
  • "You never stop improving as a writer."
  • The other writers show me what's possible. (If I Stay, Where She Went, Hollow City)
  • Proxy or Patron? "I'm not tough enough to be a Proxy. Sid is tough enough. I think I couldn't survive a day at the valve. I'd love to be a Patron and play with all the technology."
  • Favorite novel/s
    • F - A Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
    • MG - Charlotte's Web, The Little Prince
    • YA - Proxy, Feed by MT Anderson
  • His pieces of advice for aspiring writers:
    • 1. Read. Every author I know reads a lot. Read everything you can. That's fuel for your imagination.
    • 2. Write. It doesn't have to be good. You're allowed to suck at this. Write a lot and practice.
    • 3. Write your book. Don't write a book for somebody else. Don't write a book to chase the trend. If it's honest, there will always be a reader who will pick it up. You might get a lot of rejections. Stick to your guns and write the book you want.

Photos during the public signing:


Alex London with Pinoy Book Tours Bloggers
Photo with Alex London! He's so gorgeous!
Alex London's message for his Filipino readers:

Thank you so much National Book Store for another amazing event!


Cover Reveal: BLIND SIDE OF LOVE by Beth Rinyu

Excuse me, as I try to contain myself... Here's a new upcoming book from one of my favorite New Adult authors! I am so excited to read her new book and I'm pretty sure I'm going to love it! She never disappointed me, ever. Not once! So guys, here's the cover for Beth Rinyu's newest New Adult Romance book, Blind Side of Love!

Blind Side of Love
by Beth Rinyu
Genre: New Adult Romance
Expected Publication October 13th 2014
Cover image and design by: Lindee Robinson Photography
Models: Garrett A. Thierry & Megan A. George

My life as I knew it began on the day I met Drew Bryant. He taught me that it was okay to not always be perfect, that it was okay to loosen up and have a little fun in life, and that it was okay to fall in love.
My life as I knew it ended on the day I met Drew Bryant. He taught me that giving my heart to someone completely was the most dangerous thing I could ever do, and that the perfect world I was living in didn’t matter anymore without him in it. 
But the most important lesson that he taught me? A broken heart turns into a reckless one, and what we feel inside that heart at one particular moment can set our destiny, making us a stronger person, a weaker person, or leading us into a darkness from which we can never escape.

“Do you want to know what I see when I look at you?” The smile disappeared from her face and she nodded. I removed her hair clip, allowing her hair to fall down around her as I stared into her eyes. “I see a gorgeous woman with chestnut brown hair that falls to the middle of her back in natural, loose waves.” I gently tucked the strand that was hanging in her face behind her ear. “Her face is so beautiful that she doesn’t even need makeup. Her lips are a natural shade of red that no lipstick could ever match.” I could see her blushing every now and then, trying to hold back both a smile and tears. “But my favorite part of her is…. her eyes.  She has the most stunning eyes I have ever seen in my life. They remind me of the first really hot summer day and staring into a crystal clear swimming pool. The water looks so blue, so refreshing, and so inviting. You’re dying to jump in and cool off but you want to test the water first to make sure it’s okay. She swallowed hard as I leaned in and tasted her lips, unable to get enough of them. She opened her mouth, allowing my tongue access, and moved her hands down my back and I was instantly aching to be inside of her.

We were both breathing heavily as we ended our kiss. She placed her fingers on her bottom lip before sucking it in. “Is the water okay, Mason?”

“It’s perfect. What about for you?”

She nodded. “But I’m a little afraid. I haven’t swam in a while and the last time I did, I nearly drowned.”

I took her hands in mine. “I promise you, Becca, I won’t let you go under.

Now, let me show you the front and back covers of the book!


Gosh! I am really excited for this one! Watch out for my review in the near future!


Beth Rinyu

Ever since I can remember, I have always enjoyed Creative Writing. There was always something about being able to travel to a different place or become a different person with just the stroke of a pen - or in today's world a touch of the keyboard. I am the author of The Exception To The Rule, An Unplanned Lesson and Drowning In Love (releasing July 2013).

My life is not as interesting as my books or the characters in them, but then again whose life is? I was born and have lived in New Jersey my whole life. I'm a mom of twin teenage boys, a teenage stepson, a crazy Border Collie and a cat with an identity crisis! I guess you can say writing is my form of Calgon! I am married to a wonderful guy - but we'll keep that between us, I don't want him getting a big head! 

Thanks for taking the time to learn about my books and me! If you decide to read them (and I hope you do!) please be sure to go on and review it for me - yes, even if you don't like it!

Author Links:


Release Day: THE EMPRESS CHRONICLES by Suzy Vitello

First and foremost, I want to say congratulations and happy release day to The Empress Chronicles by Suzy Vitello! The blurb looks very interesting so I requested for a review copy of this book. Watch out for my review in the near future!

The Empress Chronicles
by Suzy Vitello
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
Published September 4th 2014 by Diversion Books
Purchase Links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / iBooks / Kobo

In this dazzling first book in the EMPRESS CHRONICLES series by the author of THE MOMENT BEFORE, one courageous girl seeks keys to the past to unlock the future…

When city girl Liz is banished to a rural goat farm on the outskirts of Portland, the 15-year-old feels her life spiraling out of control.  She can’t connect to her father or his young girlfriend, and past trauma adds to her sense of upheaval.  The only person who seems to keep her sane is a troubled boy who is fighting his own demons.  But all of this changes in one historical instant.

One-hundred fifty years earlier, Elisabeth of Bavaria has troubles of her own.  Her childhood is coming to a crashing end, and her destiny is written in the form of a soothsaying locket that has the ability to predict true love.  But evil is afoot in the form of a wicked enchantress who connives to wield the power of the locket for her own destructive ends.

When Liz finds a timeworn diary, and within it a locket, she discovers the secrets and desires of the young Bavarian princess who will one day grow up to be the legendary Empress of Austria. It is in the pages of the diary that these two heroines will meet, and it is through their interwoven story that Liz will discover she has the power to rewrite history—including her own…

Readers of books like Rachel Harris’s MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY will love THE EMPRESS CHRONICLES

Suzy Vitello

Suzy Vitello is a proud founding member of a critique group recently dubbed The Hottest Writing Group in Portland, and her short stories have won fellowships and prizes (including the Atlantic Monthly Student Writing Award, and an Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship).

Twitter: @suzy_vitello



Well, hello to my first ever monthly recap! I haven't posted much lately. I've been busy doing some freelance stuff and looking for my first job. And just last week, I was hired and I knew then that I will be busier this time around. My job requires me to work 10 hours per day at the office, and I spend another 4 hours at home for research. I need to learn new stuff for work and I admit it's not easy. I try to read as much as I can before going to sleep and during my way to the office. And I plan to use my weekend for my social and blogging life.

Books read:


Reviews: When I Break by Kendall Ryan | No One's Hero by Kelly Walker
Waiting On WednesdayThe Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows | Queen of Someday by Sherry Ficklin
Book Tours: Vortex by S.J. Sincaid | Fan Art by Sarah Tregay
Release Day: Begin With Love by Kelly Walker

Book Signing Event: I met one of the most bubbly and inspiring authors, Alex London! He's so funny and energetic and inspiring! His experience with the book The Little Prince brought me tears! It's one of the most inspiring stories I've heard this year!

I had a blast this month! Hoping for more bookish adventures next month!