T H E  M Y S T E R Y  O F  H O L L OW  P L A C E S
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Mystery
Expected Publication: January 26th, 2016 by Balzer & Bray
Format Acquired: ARC
Source: HarperCollins International

All Imogene Scott knows of her mother is the bedtime story her father told her as a child. It's the story of how her parents met: he, a forensic pathologist, she, a mysterious woman who came to identify a body. A woman who left Imogene and her father when she was a baby, a woman who was always possessed by a powerful loneliness, a woman who many referred to as troubled waters.
When Imogene is seventeen, her father, now a famous author of medical mysteries, strikes out in the middle of the night and doesn't come back. Neither Imogene's stepmother nor the police knows where he could've gone, but Imogene is convinced he's looking for her mother. She decides to put to use the skills she's gleaned from a lifetime of her father's books to track down a woman she's never known, in order to find him and, perhaps, the answer to the question she's carried with her for her entire life. 
Rebecca Podos' debut is a powerful, affecting story of the pieces of ourselves that remain mysteries even to us - the desperate search through empty spaces for something to hold on to.

"They could be lonely wherever they were, But not us, Immy. We have each other. So we'll never, ever have to feel that way."
I haven't read any mystery book in a while, so I thought, why not start the year with one? Besides, the title and synopsis of the book look interesting, so I decided to start reading this one.

The Mystery of Hollow Places is about a girl named Imogene, who is in search of her missing father. She looked up into the clues that she thought her father left for her, and, later on, found herself also searching for her mother who left them when she was two. I think it's really sad, not knowing the real reason why her parents ran away, and there she is, searching for clues, trying to track one of them so she could find the other. 
"I think he left the heart for me not as a clue, but as a map. Hoping just this once I would see it too, the picture in the stars, and use it to find my way to him."
Things got more exciting when Imogene used her dad's own novels to track him down. That's a really smart move for a girl of her age. and she's got a very positive character. I like that, unlike others who easily give up and start self-pitying for themselves when things get tough. Plus, there's Jessa, her only friend whom she can really rely on, who helped her more than enough. Jessa's character is like those Queen B's at high schools, but I liked her because of the things she did for Imogene.
"I don't know what it adds up to, but I know it leads somewhere. And how do I know that? Faith. In Dad, and in mysteries."
I also like the fact that this book didn't give any focus on romance, but gave a small hint of it. It didn't lose it's emphasis on Immy's search for her missing parents even though she's with a guy she's interested with -- Chad, Jessa's brother. Also, Lindy, her stepmom, played a huge role in this book. She has always been there for Imogene even when her father went missing. She tried to understand her and did her best to help with the case. In short, she's not one of those stepmoms you'd hate.

This book is about mental illness and depression, and how it can affect a person and his or her family, how selfless one may become because of it, how that person no longer cares about how the others would feel, as long as he/she knows it's for the better.

I'm glad this book didn't disappoint me. Take note, this is the author's first novel and she did a great job! Imogene now belongs to the strongest female characters I know. She's a smart and tough girl for her age! I admire her fighting spirit! I totes recommend this to everyone who's into mystery and positive girl fighting spirit.
"This Valentine's Day. . .maybe a stone heart counts as a Valentine after all."
4 out of 5 Pandas

Rebecca Podos' debut YA novel, THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES, is forthcoming from Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins) on 1/26/16. A graduate of the Writing, Literature, and Publishing program at Emerson College where she won the M.F.A. Award for Best Thesis, her fiction has been published in Glimmer Train, Glyph, CAJE, Paper Darts, Bellows American Review, and Smokelong Quarterly. Past Awards include the Helman Award for Short Fiction, the David Dornstein Memorial Creative Writing Prize for Young Adult Writers, and the Hillerman-McGarrity Scholarship for Creative Writing. She works as a YA and MG agent at the Rees Literary Agency in Boston



Category: Young Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: The Luminaries #2
Published September 17th, 2015 S.K. Anthony
Acquired Copy: Kindle Edition
Source: Author (Thanks, Katherine!)
Kevin Pierce is a teleporter, a ladies’ man, and a loyal friend . . . or so he thought.

As a genetically altered Luminary, he helps the government bring down some of the most dangerous criminals. Not very challenging if you have his special abilities. But when a group of rebel Luminaries attacks his Organization the fight for survival begins.

One shattering event after another tests the depth of his relationships, his sanity, and his powers. Emotionally torn, Kevin must choose carefully where his loyalty lies. In the middle of all the unexpected chaos, he gets the biggest shock of his life when he’s faced with a betrayal he never saw coming. Angry, injured, and ready to even the score, Kevin goes Static . . .

Kinetic was released more than a year ago, and I've been wondering when will the next book be released since then. I kept bugging Katherine (sorry. . .NOT sorry! ^_^) about the next book and she told me the reasons why it wasn't out yet during the time I asked her. I loved Kinetic that's why I was really anticipating this book. And when I finally heard the news about Static, I was so happy and excited to finally read it. Honestly, I needed to skim some parts of Static and reread my review to prepare for this book.

Static is about Kevin (my loves!) who have the power to teleport. . .and attract ladies! But seriously, this is also about whom Kevin (my loves!) can trust and where is loyalty truly lies. Since Kinetic, I observed that his powers, skills, and abilities improved. Plus, he's got a partner, Ryan, a sensor and an amplifier. And yes, she's a girl. Moving on, I felt sad when Kevin was betrayed by people he trusted so much and that he can't even decide if he still wants them to be part of his life. Just imagine someone you never expected to lie to you, to betray you. . .that's just. . .hard.

I loved that the first few chapters of this book were action packed already --- because that's what I'm looking for. Kinetic gave me a whole lot of action so I expected more from Static and I wasn't disappointed about what I read. And this one got more futuristic and the world building just got even better! There were also scenes of Annie and Nick! I recommend this one, and, of course, the first book, to those who wants action and more action. :)


 S. K. Anthony is a writer, a reader and a make-stuff-up-er who lives in New York with her husband and toddler twins. She is a wine connoisseur, which just really means she knows she loves it, and a caffeine addict. When she isn’t busy with her family she finds herself being transported into the world of imagination. Well, either that or running away from spiders…she is convinced they are out to get her!



NOT MY CUP OF TEA is a feature on my blog where I show the books that I did not finish reading. Shameful, I know. I hate not finishing books I started reading. I feel like I'm betraying the author, as well as the characters. I feel terrible for not being able to appreciate someone's writing especially when a lot of people raves about it. But we should not waste our time on things that don't work out well with us, right? I mean, Hello? I still dream of finishing my TBR pile!

by Kate Bloomfield
Series: The Fire Mage Trilogy #1
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Published February 28th, 2012
In a future where ignorance has destroyed the world that we know, humans are slaves and Mages - advanced beings with abilities beyond everyday reach - rule the land.

Avalon is one such Mage. Barely eighteen years of age, she wields the gift of fire yet she is unable to control it. She leaves her family in the dead of night and heads to the city of Frost Arch, her future seemingly grim. Will Avalon be able to overcome the trials that befall her? Will she be able to save the ones she loves and stay strong within herself?

Time will tell.

I have so many questions and there is a lot of confusion going on with this book. I think it has a great idea, but still, NOPE. I wanted to like it so much, plus, the cover totally bought me! But I don't think I could handle this one...

Total read: 11%

by Janet Gurtler
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Published April 7th, 2015 by Sourcebooks Fire
A powerful and gripping contemporary YA from the author of I'm Not Her that's "Just right for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jodi Picoult."-Booklist

The truth is that Jess knows she screwed up.
She's made mistakes, betrayed her best friend, and now she's paying for it. Her dad is making her spend the whole summer volunteering at the local soup kitchen.

The truth is she wishes she was the care-free party-girl everyone thinks she is.
She pretends it's all fine. That her "perfect" family is fine. But it's not. And no one notices the lie...until she meets Flynn. He's the only one who really sees her. The only one who listens.

The truth is that Jess is falling apart – and no one seems to care. 
But Flynn is the definition of "the wrong side of the tracks." When Jess's parents look at him they only see the differences, not how much they need each other. They don't get that the person who shouldn't fit in your world... might just be the one to make you feel like you belong.

I started reading this last year and I tried to continue but I just don't feel the story. The book did not make me feel like I'm a part of it and I grew tired of Jess and Flynn. They seemed to be just some characters I met along the road of reading, with nothing much to remember about. I feel so sorry for this one.

Total read: 40%



Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is a great way to showcase books you've recently added to your bookshelves. It is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and, of course, ebooks!

But for my STS, I'll be showing here only the physical copies of books I recently owned/borrowed/won. eBooks/eARCs will be showcased on my In My Mailbox posts.

Here's my first book haul this year! Special thanks to Sarah and Megan of HarperCollins International for these review copies!

I am a huge fan of Jodi Meadows! She's my writing goddess! I LOVE LOVE LOVE her Newsoul Trilogy!I started reading The Orphan Queen last year but unfortunately, it was affected by my reading slump. Thanks to my book fairy, Kazhy from My Library in the Making for the ARC! I love you!!! Hopefully, I could continue reading it sooner so I can indulge into this huge book as well!

I loved Falling Into Place so much! Amy Zhang gave me extreme kinds of feels and I can feel that this one will give me even more!

I think this book will also give me all kinds of feels this year. I'm glad I received a review copy of this because upon reading the synopsis on Goodreads, I already knew that this book will be one of those books that will get me back to my reading game. By the way, this is the first book that I'll read this year!

How about you? What's added to your haul? :)



Ni hao, everyone! Like I told you before, I wanted to bring back the old bookworm in me this year. I thought of resolutions that may help me win her back + make reading (and blogging) a regular thing for me again. Please support me on this one! :D

1. Read at least one book every week.
That would be a total of at least 52 books by the end of the year! Bring it on!

2. Finish reading the books on my "Currently reading" shelf on Goodreads from last year.
It's not that the books are not good... the problem is me. :/

3. ALWAYS read the last book in a series.
I have love-hate relationships with series enders. Maybe because I don't think I can handle endings... (BUT I did read Ignite Me and it took me only five hours to finish it!)

4. Read at least one book written by a Filipino author every month.
Because #LoveLocal!

5. Finish reading ARCs on or before their release dates.
THIS has been one of my problems ever since --- reading ARCs months (or a year!) after their release dates. Sorry! Huhu

6. Publish, at least, two blog posts every week.
One review, one anything under the sun.

Hmmm, I think that's it! I hope I could follow this list  throughout the year and get over my reading slump! Happy reading! :)



This year, I'll be back.

I'll bring back the old bookworm in me, who reads at least 3 books a week.

I wanted to bring back that old bookworm, that girl who cannot NOT read at least five chapters of her current read a day, and that girl who constantly tweets and updates her status on Facebook and Goodreads because of all the feels a book gives her. I miss that girl. So this year, I'll win her back.

Also, I challenged myself to read 52 books this year, which means I have to read at least one book every week. Let's see if I can pull this challenge off since 2015 has been a year of a major reading slump and bookworm bum for me.

Goodluck to everyone who joined this challenge! Happy New Year of reading! :)