Tag Archives: fiction

First Among Sequels (Jasper Fforde)

Rating: [rate 4.5]

First Among Sequels (Jasper Fforde) It is fourteen years since Thursday Next pegged out at the 1988 SuperHoop, and the Special Operations Network has been disbanded. Using Swindon’s Acme Carpets as a front, Thursday and her colleagues Bowden, Stig and Spike continue their same professions, but illegally.

Of course, this front is itself a front for Thursday’s continued work at Jurisfiction, the Policing agency within the bookworld, and she is soon grappling with a recalcitrant new apprentice, an inter-genre war or two, and the inexplicable departure of comedy from the once-hilarious Thomas Hardy books.

As the Council of Genres decree that making books interactive will boost flagging readership levels and Goliath attempt to perfect a trans-fictional tourist coach, Thursday finds herself in the onerous position of having to side with the enemy to destroy a greater evil that threatens the very fabric of the reading experience.

With Aornis Hades once again on the prowl, an idle sixteen-year-old son who would rather sleep in than save the world from the end of time, a government with a dangerously high stupidity surplus and the Swindon Stiltonistas trying to muscle in on her cheese-smuggling business, Thursday must once again travel to the very outer limits of acceptable narrative possibilities to triumph against increasing odds.
[from jasperfforde.com]

Finally I got a copy of this book! I’ve waited for a YEAR to get this one on paperback and thank God I found one last weekend. :) How I missed reading about Thursday Next!

Thursday is back, and it’s fourteen years later. It’s 2002, and things are fine, but not quite. Friday is not being the ChronoGuard trainee he is supposed to be, her uncle Mycroft who died six years ago is showing up as a ghost but he has no idea how, less and less people are reading books and more focused on reality shows and MP3 players, and she has to keep her undercover freelance SpecOps work and Jurisfiction duties from her love, Landen. Oh, and she has to train a Jurisfiction cadet, who is no other than Thursday Next-5, the character from a book based on her. Oh, and the world as they know it could end in a few days if Friday doesn’t shape up…yeah, everything’s fine. ;)

I won’t spoil anyone by revealing more of the plot, but if you’re new to Jasper Fforde and Thursday Next, I won’t recommend getting this book since there’s a lot of references from the previous four books. Also, if you haven’t read any of the Next novels in a while, it might take a while before you can really get with the flow of the story.

It’s a great read, and if you’re a Fforde fan you musn’t miss this. :D I did find some parts kind of dragging, but it builds up nicely up to the end, and it has such a cliffhanger ending that I can’t wait for the next one …which won’t be out until 2009.

But read it! This book series is best for people who likes books as well, so if you’re a certified bookworm, this is one book you should add to your must-reads! :D

Eclipse (Stephenie Meyer)

Rating: [rate 4.5]

Eclipse (Stephenie Meyer)“BELLA?”

Edward’s soft voice came from behind me. I turned to see him spring lightly up the porch steps, his hair windblown from running. He pulled me into his arms at once, just like he had in the parking lot, and kissed me again.

This kiss frightened me. There was too much tension, too strong an edge to the way his lips crushed mine—like he was afraid we had only so much time left to us.

* * *

As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob—knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which?

NOTE: If you haven’t read New Moon yet, DON’T READ THIS REVIEW! You’ll be spoiled. ^^;

I really wasn’t planning to buy this one yet. I was planning to wait it out, wait for the paperback to come out, which I bet would come out a bit before Breaking Dawn does, which means I would only have a short time waiting until book four. Buut…I couldn’t wait. Plus I saw that the copies of Eclipse were running out in the bookstore nearest me…so I grabbed it and it was on sale, so yay. :) This book definitely helped me through my fasting this past weekend, and I can’t believe I read it this fast. It must be really captivating, eh?

I don’t know how I could review this novel without spoiling anyone who plans to read this book. I think this book saved New Moon. As I mentioned, New Moon was saved by Jacob Black, and I’m glad there’s more Jacob AND Edward here, which are both favorite characters. I like how there’s so many realizations happening in the story, how the characters interacted with each other, and how this story flowed more easily than New Moon did. I love how Bella finally started being nervous about her decision to be a vampire in the previous book, instead of her just wanting and not thinking of how this decision would affect other people in her life who were not immortal.

Okay, I’ll talk about three things here: Edward and Bella, Jacob and Bella and how Stephenie Meyer portrayed love in the story. There might be potential spoilers in this post (sorry, I just can’t avoid it :D), so proceed with caution. ;)

Continue reading Eclipse (Stephenie Meyer)

Sushi for One? (Camy Tang)

Rating: [rate 5.0]

Sushi for One? By Camy Tang

Lex Sakai’s family is big, nosy and marriage-minded. When her cousin Mariko gets married, Lex will become the oldest single female cousin in the clan.

Lex has used her Bible study class on Ephesians to compile a list of traits for the perfect man. but the one man she keeps running into doesn’t seem to have a single quality on her list. It’s only when the always-in-control Lex starts to let God take over that all the pieces of this hilarious romance finally fall into place.

After being a visitor and reader of Camy’s blog since last year, I finally got a copy of her first book. I stumbled into Camy’s blog while searching for books to buy from Amazon from my dad, and I’ve been following her blog ever since. I waited for her book to come out here but it seems like it hasn’t yet (so sad), but I’m glad I finally got a copy of this now. :D

I read in one of the reviews from Amazon that the blurb at the back of the book (written above) does not do the book justice…and she’s right: it totally did not. There was so much happening in the story that I felt like I was watching a TV series. I couldn’t let the book go because of all the enjoyable characters and scenes — Lex’s very annoying grandmother, her silly brother who keeps on setting her up with every guy he meets, Aiden, the silent observer and her physical therapist, Mimi, the flirtier cousin and her three closest cousins and friends, Trish, Venus and Jenn. Even if there was a lot happening, everything went well together and was somehow significant as the story goes on.

Continue reading Sushi for One? (Camy Tang)

Dreaming in Technicolor (Laura Jensen Walker)

Rating: [rate 4.5]

Dreaming in Technicolor by Laura Jensen Walker

Everyone’s favorite film geek Phoebe Grant heads off to Merrie Old England-and changes her cinematic dreams from black and white to living color.

Phoebe’s family has money troubles. Her spiritual life is dragging. She misses her long-distance best friend, Lindsey, terribly. But all that’s bearable because of Alex, the gorgeous man who shares her love of movies and actually likes women with a little meat on their bones. At last-someone to kiss on New Year’s Eve!

But by New Year’s Eve, Alex is in London, called home by a family emergency. Newly engaged Lindsey has turned into a long-distance Bridezilla, and the snooze button still sabotages Phoebe’s morning quiet times. She needs a break, which is why she jumps at the cheap off-season fare to England.

She’s not chasing Alex. Really. She just wants to broaden her horizons. But what awaits Phoebe in the land of Mrs. Miniver and Notting Hill is nothing short of disaster . . . and nothing less than a miracle.

In this sequel to Dreaming in Black and White, Phoebe wonders when will she ever get her kiss from Alex Spencer, the man who seemed to be destined for her. With her best friend almost engaged (and then engaged at the middle of the novel), she feels like she should hurry up and get her lips locked with Mr. Movie-buff Alex.

But things didn’t turn out the way she wants them, when Alex had to go back to England to care for his father. Phoebe is resolved to just wait, until a certain loss prods her to go to England with her Barley best friend Mary Jo. Why? Not to chase Alex, of course, but because she’s always wanted to go to Europe.

Oh, and she had to do a favor for a friend too.

And maybe see Alex in passing.

The author paints England in a way that you feel like you’re also with Phoebe and Mary Jo (or MJ, as Phoebe calls her in England) in their trip. You’d laugh at Phoebe’s mental notes and trips to dreamland, but then feel bad for her when she ends up being disappointed.

Phoebe feels like someone you’d want to have for a friend: always game, always making sure things are okay for you and sometimes even forgetting herself in the process. She can get into her dreamland quite often, until the end of the novel, that is.

I read this book after I read With This Ring I’m Confused by Kristin Billerbeck that’s why I had strong points of comparison. Ashley Stockingdale may seem normal but Phoebe is a different kind of character. The novel encourages the readers to be content with the gift of singlehood, as well as taking the leap when God gives you the chance to. :) It’s quite empowering for singles and sad to say, it doesn’t really have the same happily-ever-after ending like the Stockingdale series has. It’s still a happy ending, but not quite what the readers would expect. :)

Great book. :) I wish there’d be another one…but then what would the title be? Dreaming in 3D? I don’t think Phoebe’s up to that yet. ;)

With This Ring, I'm Confused (Kristin Billerbeck)

With This Ring I'm Confused by Kristin BillerbeckRating: [rate 4]

“Confusion is part of God moving you out of a comfort zone. A comfort zone that should cease to exist. God’s way is never the easy path, but it’s by far the most exciting.”
Ashley Stockingdale

She’s got the rock, so when does happily ever after kick in?

At long last, Ashley Stockingdale–patent attorney, fasionista, and homeowner–can finally add “fiancee” to her spirited resume. That means the next four months will be a dizzying and decadent waltz through aisles of Vera Wang, Kenneth Cole, Sheridan sheets, Kate Spade place settings, and Oneida flatware. Well…maybe not.

For starters, the HR department has hired Ashley’s ex-boyfriend (yep, the one who ran off to India with that other woman) as the new director of software. And now her fiance is starting to sound crazy–something about moving across country, to Philadelphia of all places. Worst of all, right before her eyes, Scarlett-I-need-some-Prozac O’Hara is hijacking her wedding plans!

Life for our heroine is spinning from out of control to downright confusing. But whether she makes it to the end of the aisle or not, she’ll never be at a loss for drama!

This is the third and last installment of the Ashley Stockingdale series, and the book (obviously) focuses on Ashley’s wedding preparations. In this novel, it occured to me that Ashley is pretty normal for a protagonist — albeit a bit neurotic sometimes — but she does attract chaos quite often.

Ashley faces a lot of challenges in preparation for her wedding, mostly concentrating on her in-laws who seem to be driven to make Ashley’s most dreamt-of day to be a disaster. Her future sister-in-law (Emily) is determined to make Ashley a laughingstock in her own wedding by following a “theme” while her future mother-in-law (Elaine) is set to make her look unworthy of her son. Add her commitment-phobe ex Seth’s comeback into her life, her fiance Kevin is always out and he has plans of moving to Philadelphia, and the fact that she is broke, how will she plan the day she has been waiting for all her life?!

The characters of the past two novels make a comeback in this last installment, giving a particular familiarity with the wacky Silicon Valley bunch. Although Ashley’s struggles seem too far-fetched at times, it could happen to anyone still.

The Christian point of view of the novel is a bit hard to grasp at first, but then the author shows it all in the end: marriage requires a lot of hard work, and it doesn’t end at the wedding; in fact, it only starts there.

With This Ring, I’m Confused ends with a happily-ever-after-like ending, which is a great feel-good novel to read on a lazy afternoon. :)

3 Word Wednesday # 1 at Bitesized Fiction

As a way of practicing my writing skills, I opened up this little blog I call Bitesized Fiction. This is inspired by maganda.org‘s fr gm nts, although mine is a bit longer than it should be, I think. :P

Anyway, I put up a couple of entries already, and today I joined 3 Word Wednesday (even if it’s already a Thursday here). Three word Wednesday is:

Each week, I will post three (or more) random words. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write something using all of those words. It can be a few lines, a story, a poem, anything. I’ll also attempt to write something using the same three words.

Today’s three words are: packed, cozy and anticipation. What I wrote is some sort of an excerpt from my NaNoWriMo 2006 novel, a scene to be placed somewhere near the end. It’s written in third person and it’s barely edited so excuse the wrong grammars, discontinuity and whatnot. :P


The afternoon sun cast golden rays down the bustling streets of Ortigas. While some of the people got ready to leave their workplaces and others enjoyed a cozy afternoon coffee with some friends, Rain De Castro was in her condominium unit, busy packing her things for her upcoming move-slash-trip to Sydney, Australia. As she stood in the middle of her room, looking thoughtfully at the piles of clothing and other things in her room, the doorbell rang.

Ding dong!

“Come in, it’s open!” Rain yelled from her bedroom, not moving from her spot. She heard the door open and footsteps moving toward her bedroom and stopped at the doorway.

“Wow, and I always thought I was messy,” the newcomer commented. Rain looked up and saw her younger cousin and housemate for the past month, Lissa, clad in her usual black and silver rocker-chick ensemble. She leaned against the white doorframe, lips curved in an amused smile.

Read (and comment) the entire piece here –>

Savannah from Savannah (Denise Hildreth)

Rating: [rate 3.5]

Savannah from Savannah by Denise HildrethI’m coming home to prove something..to my city, my mother, and myself.It is a place known to most as Savannah. It is a place known to me as home. I wish I could tell you it was my love for this city that precipitated my return. But I did not return out of a mere longing for home. I returned because I have something to prove to home. I am Savannah…from Savannah.

Savannah from Savannah is the first part of the trilogy of Savannah Phillips, a twenty-four year old woman who has been named by her mother after their beloved Georgia town, Savannah. Savannah had just finished graduate school when she learns two things: 1) her favorite newspaper writer back home passed away and 2) her novel was chosen by a New York publishing house and it will be considered for publishing and she should go to their awards night. After a bit of squealing and all, she notices that the letter has her mother’s name. She puts two and two together and realized that her mother Victoria (Vicky) pulled some strings to get her there. She decided to go home and apply at the newspaper to continue the legacy of her favorite writer and to show her mom just who she is and that she doesn’t need any help — especially her’s — to reach her dreams.

Or does she? Savannah goes back home ready to prove things to her mother, but it turns out she has a lot more to find out not only about her mother but also about herself. (What a cheesy way to put it. :p)

Continue reading Savannah from Savannah (Denise Hildreth)

The Well of Lost Plots (Jasper Fforde)

Rating: [rate 5]

The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde“Anything is possible in the BookWorld. The only barriers are those of the human imagination.”
– Miss Havisham

Protecting the world’s greatest literature — not to mention keeping up with Miss Havisham — is tiring work for an expectant mother. And Thursday can definitely use a respite. So what better hideaway than inside the unread and unreadable Caversham Heights, a cliche-ridden pulp mystery in the hidden depths of the Well of Lost Plots, where all unpublished books reside? But peace and quiet remain elusive for Thursday, who soon discovers that the Well itself is a veritable linguistic free-for-all, where grammasites run rampant, plot devices are hawked on the black market, and lousy books — like Caversham Heights — are scrapped for salvage. To top it off, a murderer is stalking Jurisfiction personnel and nobody is safe — least of all Thursday.

This is the third novel in the Thursday Next novels, which tells of Thursday’s first adventures in the BookWorld while she “rests” from the real world. She resides in Caversham Heights as a part of the Character Exchange Program, lives in a houseboat with two Generics ibb and obb (eventually named Lola and Randolph), her pet dodo Pickwick who is warming her egg and her 108-year old Granny Next. She is apprenticed under Miss Havisham and meets lots of books characters including Trafford Bradshaw, Vern Deane, the Bellman, the Cat formerly known as Cheshire, detective partners Perkins and Snell and the only other Outlander (meaning a real person), Harris Tweed. As well as trying to learn her way around the Book World and playing her role as DS Mary, partner of DCI Jack Spratt in a totally unreadable novel in danger of being scrapped, she also has to battle Aornis Hades’ mindworm which threatens to erase all her memory of her eradicated husband, Landen Parke-Laine.

Continue reading The Well of Lost Plots (Jasper Fforde)

Lost in a Good Book (Jasper Fforde)

Rating: [rate 4]

Lost in a Good Book by Jasper FfordeHer adventures as a renowned Special Operative in literary detection have left Thursday Next yearning for a rest. But when the love of her life is eradicated by the corrupt multinational Goliath Corporation, Thursday must bite the bullet and moonlight as a Prose Resource Operative in the secret world of Jurisfiction, the police force inside books. There she is apprenticed to Miss Havisham, the famous man-hater from Dickens’ Great Expectations, who teaches her to book-jump like a pro. If she retrieves a supposedly vanquished enemy from the pages of Poe’s “The Raven,” she thinks Goliath might return her lost love, Landen. But her latest mission is endlessly complicated. Not only are there side trips to the works of Kafka and Austen, and even Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Flopsy Bunnies, Thursday finds herself a target of a series of potentially lethal coincidences, the authenticator of a newly discovered play by the Bard himself, and the only one who can prevent an unidentifiable pink sludge from engulfing all life on Earth.

Well, that summary surely said enough. Lost in a Good Book is the sequel to The Eyre Affair, which picks up just about two weeks from the last novel. The book is just as fun to read as the last one, with all the new characters coming in especially the ones from fiction.

Continue reading Lost in a Good Book (Jasper Fforde)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)

Rating: [rate 4.5]

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky “And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”

It’s a story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie’s letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. The world of sex, drugs and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, where all you need is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.– blurb from the back of the book

I’ve been trying to find this book for almost a year but always failing. This is just like The Virgin Suicides…a copy keeps evading me, until that day at National Bookstore when I finally spotted a copy of this. I bought it immediately, savoring the idea that I finally have this book. :P

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is an epistolary novel, filled with letters from Charlie who seems to be writing to you, the reader, because “she said you listen and understand and didn’t try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have.” Charlie begins to tell you of his adventures during his freshman year of high school, of how his friend Michael kills himself, on how he met his friends Patrick (aka Nothing) and Sam. Every letter is filled with stories of his experiences with his family (who is actually quite normal), his friends and their encounters with drugs, alcohol, smoking and sex. Continue reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)