Book Review: Oasis (The Last Humans Book 1)


Oasis Book Cover

Source: Goodreads.com

4 open books the girl in the steel corset

Author: Dima Zales
Genre: Dystopian / Science Fiction
Published: January 19, 2016 (Expected) by Mozaika Publications
Support the Author: 

amazon (pre-order)

Synopsis: 

My name is Theo, and I’m a resident of Oasis, the last habitable area on Earth. It’s meant to be a paradise, a place where we are all content. Vulgarity, violence, insanity, and other ills are but a distant memory, and even death no longer plagues us.

I was once content too, but now I’m different. Now I hear a voice in my head, and she tells me things no imaginary friend should know. Her name is Phoe, and she is my delusion.

Or is she?

Review: 

So I got a chance to give a review  on Oasis (The Last Humans Book 1) before it’s published, and I’m pretty excited to do.

Just so you know, this was sent to me by the publisher via Tomoson to provide a review, but all my opinions are my own and are not biased. Also, I didn’t receive any payment in any form for my honest review.

Okay, now we’re cleared on that, let’s proceed with my review.

I don’t recall ever reading sci-fi book so when I got an offer on my inbox, I thought I’d give it a try. Plus, the synopsis seemed interesting.

And it was.

I thought it was going to be something like the Maze Runner, The Hunger Games or Divergent, but it wasn’t. Although the story was set in a post-apocalyptic era, they weren’t enslaved or segregated by districts or personality types. There were no zombies either.

What it does have is technology so advanced that it’ll get  Star Trek fans excited. Augmented reality, virtual reality, nanocytes, hovering/flying disks, super smart AIs, mind control, mind manipulation, holograms, extrapolation — you name it, this book probably has it. I got lost in tracking everything because they were just too many than my brain can cope. Haha!

Don’t get me wrong when I compared Oasis to the top books mentioned above. I also love them — all three book series. This was just different.

What I like about the Oasis is that it had me guessing all throughout the book, except for Phoe. I knew right then and there that she’s an AI, what with her ability to hack into different systems and control Theo’s nanocytes inside him. Most of the time, it had me flipping through the pages of my Kendra (My Kindle’s name. She has a name and don’t laugh) because I just wanted to know what’s going to happen next.

I also like Theo’s character. Although he’s sort of skeptical, he’s open minded to a lot of things. And that’s probably led him to meet Phoe and to know more about their past and everything behind Oasis.

I also like Phoe. She kind of reminds me of Scarlet Johansson’s character in the movie, Her. 

As for the plot, I think it’s pretty unique, the goo and all. There were some parts, though, that kind of reminds me of Ender’s Game, Her, and Inception. Despite that, I enjoyed the book.

What I didn’t like, however, was that I got lost in some areas because I had a hard time following the conversation. For instance, the part when Phoe was explaining the rationality between being able to materialize objects through hand gestures. I didn’t get that part.

Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable one. As a matter of fact, I want to know what’s next now that Theo knows the truth behind Oasis.

Overall, I give it a four-open book rating because the plot was unique and hard to guess. I also want to know what’s going to happen next. I think the next book is going to be an interesting one. I do hope though that they’d be more characters as I feel like the entire book was focused on just Theo and Phoe. But then, I guess that’s how that story should go.

Anyway, if you enjoy reading dystopian novels and sci-fi, Oasis (The Last Humans) is worth the read. You can pre-order a copy on Amazon.

Favorite Quotes: 

Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

His sense of humor was permanently replaced by the Pythagorean Theorem.

The good of the society outweighs the good of an individual.

 

Book Review: Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & Park book cover

Source: Goodreads.com

5 open books

Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Young Adult
Published: February 26, 2013 by St. Martin’s Press
Support the Author:

amazon
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Synopsis:

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Review:
I got to say I love Eleanor & Park!

I first learned about the book when a friend of mine posted a film adaption about it on Facebook so I got curious. I thought hey if she’s excited about then it must be worth the read.

And dang was I right.

From the epilogue to the very last paragraph of the last chapter, I was hooked.

It’s one of those books that I can’t put down; that I was willing to stay up so late just so I could finish it; that if I stop, I’d still be wide awake wondering what’s going to happen next so I might as well just go on reading.

Oh, the feels. I still can’t get over it as of this writing.

Eleanor & Park is a story about two high school students who had didn’t have a good first impression about each other but who ended up falling in love. It tells the tale of teen romance, of how two common interests (music and comic books) can lead to a beautiful, heart-wrenching love story.

Another thing that I love about this story is that it isn’t shallow at all, even the drama. My eyes even got watery at the part when Park’s mom told him of what it’s like to be with a large family. I, myself, belong to a big family. Food was scarce growing up. I even remember my mom feeding us rice porridge with cut taro for a week because money was tight. Sure it filled our stomachs but it never fully satiated our hunger.

Anyway, I really like their tender romance. It definitely reminded me of the glory of my first love. I also warmed up to the characters, especially Eleanor. She doesn’t care about what she looks like and she doesn’t care if she’ different, and that’s make her cool. And Park, for me, is like a modern-day knight in shining armor.

What I like about his character is he stands by what he believes. He didn’t even care what his friends think when he started dating Eleanor. I think that’s something that we all should learn, especially those who are in the dating market looking for a partner. There’s more to a person than looks.

Overall, I give this book five open books because I couldn’t get enough of it. The ending is a cliffhanger, making me think that writer wants us to make our own interpretation about what she meant about the three-word long postcard Eleanor sent to park.

If you just want to feel giddy and in love, this book is worth the read.

Favorite Quotes: 

Maybe he was Filipino. Was that in Asia? Probably. Asias’s out-of-control huge.

Eleanor had only known one Asian person in her life — Paul, who was in her match class at her old school. Paul was Chinese. His parents had moved to Omaha to get away from the Chinese government. (Which seemed like an extreme choice. Like they’d looked at the globe and said, “Yup.. That’s as far away as possible.”)

(Because being assaulted with maxi pads is a great way to win friends and influence people.)

Sometimes she wondered if the shape of his eyes affected how he saw things. That was probably the most racist question of all time.

Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.

“I don’t like you, Park,” she said, sounding for a second like she actually meant it. “I…”– her voice nearly disappeared–“think I live for you.”

All I do when we’re apart is think about you, and all I do when we’re together is panic. Because every second feels important. And because I’m so out of control, I can’t help myself. I’m not even mind anymore, I’m yours, and what if you decide that you don’t want me? How could you want me like I want you?

“It’d be better if you thought I was pretty when I don’t.”

“Nothing before you counts,” he said. “And I can’t even imagine an after.”

Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like an art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.

 

Cebu Bloggers Society Presents Best Blogging Practices

Trying your knack on blogging but can’t seem to lift your blog off the ground (like I am)? Then you’re going to love this blogger event happening pretty soon. For more details, read on below:

Cebu Bloggers Society (CBS), Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino and Smart Communications present #CBSTalks: Best Blogging Practices

#CBSTalks: Best Blogging Practices is one of the major events that Cebu Bloggers Society is holding this year. This initiative manifests the Society’s commitment to promote best practices and nurture professionalism in blogging and social networking.

Patterned after the rousing TED Talks, it will feature Cebu and Davao’s best digital influencers who will share their personal inspiring stories of best practices related to content, website management, ethics, and online interactions, among others.

Their stories will be captured on film, edited and uploaded on Cebu Blogger Society’s YouTube channel, website and other social media channels.

Join us on November 28, 2015, 9AM-4PM at the Jimei Room of Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino. Admission is FREE! Visit http://www.cebubloggers.com/cbstalks for more registration details.

This FREE event is organized by the Cebu Bloggers Society, Cebu’s first and premier blogging organization, established on February 14, 2008.

CBSTalks Best Blogging Practices

Co-presentors

Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) is the Philippines’ leading wireless services provider.

Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino is the official venue of #CBSTalks. The hotel is grandly situated at the heart of the city’s commercial and business district. A convenient 30-minute drive from the Mactan International Airport, the hotel is home to 561 guestrooms and suites, 10 wining and dining outlets, and is popularly known for its superior meeting and conference facilities. With a seating capacity of up to 4,000, the hotel’s Convention Center is outfitted with 4 function rooms and 2 grand ballrooms designed to host all event types and sizes.

Gold Sponsor

Megaworld Corporation is the Philippines’ biggest developer of integrated urban townships and the largest lessor of office spaces. As the country’s pioneer in integrated urban township developments, Megaworld now has 18 townships all over the country. The Megaworld Group has around 4,000 hectares of land in its portfolio. Around 80 percent have been dedicated for LIVE-WORK-PLAY townships or mixed-use communities, the concept of property development that Megaworld pioneered in the Philippines way back in the 1990s. The townships combine the residential, office, commercial, retail, recreational and institutional components to form mixed-use communities.

Silver Sponsors

Islands Souvenirs revolutionized souvenir shopping by transforming cottage-industry type products and giving it a fresh take. It carved out a new niche for itself by providing premium quality souvenir items that are creatively designed and packaged in vibrant shopping environments.

Sheb’z Cakes and Brownies

Abiza

The Spa by Omnia Bellus

Maison des Fleurs Cebu Flower Shop is a flower shop in Cebu city and your personal florist online. They offer flower deliveries, wedding giveaways and party souvenirs like wines and perfumes.

Program Flow

8:00AM-9:00AM – Registration
9:00AM – Welcome Remarks
9:10AM – Morning Session
11:40AM-12:40PM – Lunch Break
1:00PM-3:40PM – Afternoon Session
3:40PM – Closing Remarks

The Speakers

For full list of speakers, their topics and profiles, visit http://cebubloggers.com/cbstalks/.

Isn’t it exciting? If you’re from Cebu or can come to Cebu City, don’t miss out on this event. Register now at http://cebubloggers.com/cbstalks/ADMISSION IS FREE! 

Book Review: A Spy Like Me (Circle of Spies Book 1)

A Spy Like Me on Kindle

2 open books

Author: Laura Pauling
Genre: Young Adult / Spy Thriller
Published: April 9, 2012 by Redpoint Press
Support the Author: 

amazon
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Synopsis:

Games can be deadly.

Eighteen-year-old Savvy Bent expects fireworks on her first date with Malcolm – in Paris! Except over a picnic of sparkling cider and strawberry tarts, a sniper shoots at them.

That’s only the beginning. From the top of the Eiffel Tower to the depths of the catacombs, Savvy must sneak, deceive, and spy to save her family and friends and figure out whether Malcolm is one of the bad guys before she completely falls for him.

Review: 

I’m not really a fan of teen espionage. For me, I find it superficial and over the top. However, I did enjoy that movie, Spy Kids, so when this was placed on a free offer on Bookbub, I thought I’d give it a try. Plus, the book cover looks really nice.

I know. I know.

I’m not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I can’t help it. I’m a sucker for great covers. So yeah, any one who’s planning on publishing a book some time in the future, it’s important to consider a really great cover for your book.

Moving on. The book, A Spy Like Me begins with Savvy Bent, the heroine, going out on a date with a hot waiter, Malcolm, in a river near the Eiffel Tower. The date started off pretty smooth before her expectations were crushed by a huge disappointment that her date failed to prepare something romantic. Despite that, they exchanged romantic banters and with a few flirtations here and there.

Now I can probably understand her sentiment, but c’mon. That was their first date. It’s not like they’ve been dating for months and it was a special day for them. So I find the opening scene pretty shallow.

And then while exchanging flirty banters at each other, bullets were suddenly raining on them, which was kind of a surprise on my part. So I thought, why it’s only the first chapter and I’m start to get some good action. Yay!

But the excitement only stayed as long as the first chapter.

Because after that I was like what was that all about?

Although I find that Savvy was a concerned about her date’s well-being, I think she could’ve done better than by lying to her dad and checking up on him at cafe he was working at the next day. It’s good that she remained calm during the whole the time but anyone who’s smart enough would report the incident to the police. I know I would.

After that first part, the next chapters where like a blur to me. I was having a hard time following who was who and what’s the reaction and all that. Sure, the plot was getting interesting the moment her friend Aimee disappeared and she was pulling some spy tricks to find her friend. I think that was pretty noble of her to do that.

However, the way I saw it, it seemed what Savvy was doing was all child’s play to her. And even though she was in the brink of death, she still didn’t take her situation seriously. Worse of all, most of the sticky situations she fell into was largely due to her own shallowness and, can I say, stupidity? If you’re going to stalk someone or spy on someone, you’re going to come prepared, right? Like I said, all child’s play despite being in a serious situation.

Another reason I’m giving this book a three-open-book rating is that the whole writing was pretty confusing, especially Savvy’s thoughts. Hers was all over the place. But since she’s a teenager, I’ll forgive her because her fickle mindedness is probably due to hormonal changers in her body, you know. Teenagers (cue: rolled eyeballs) Haha!

Anyway, I find the plot original for a spy book. However, the characters didn’t warm up to me. Even Malcolm, who’s supposed to be hot and gorgeous. The storyline was pretty confusing. It also lacked the element of thrill as it is expected in an espionage book. To be honest, as I ran the scenes in my mind, I felt like was watching a slapstick action movie. Irritating and not funny at all.

If you’re looking to pass the time, then this could be good for you. However, if you want something that will get your heart racing, you’re better off reading another book. The say the Gallagher Girls series is a better option.

As for me, I’m not sure if I’ll read the next two series. I might in the future if I have nothing else to read. But for now, the answer is no.

Favorite Quotes: 

None, unfortunately. As I said, Savvy’s thoughts were all over the place and the writing was pretty confusing.

 

One of the Best Sundays Ever!

Great food is best shared with great people.

So even though you’re on a diet, making the decision to make the day a “Cheat Day” is easy.  No qualms at all.

Besides, nothing is better than free food! Hahaha!

So I’ve been a two-day cheat day (not a first but not definitely the last, for sure) as November 7th marks the death anniversary of my mom. It also marks the second anniversary of the Yolanda devastation.

And to commemorate the occasion, we had a simple gathering with the rest of the fambam. I would’ve taken pictures of the feast for food porn’s sake, but then I’d prefer to concentrate on satiating my hunger after having a no-rice diet for the rest of the week. Anyone who’s been holding back would really understand.

Then on Sunday, I had no qualms again on declaring it a cheat day because my bro decided to surprise me with a mouth-watering chocolate mousse cake.

Yup. Who could resist it?

I definitely couldn’t. This delectable beauty was simply calling out to me to eat it. Hahaha!

Then at dinner time, as if my diet isn’t already ruined yet, the hubs and my siblings drove out of town just to eat Korean food. Imagine we had to cross one city just to reach Lapu-Lapu City. It was a 2-hour drive the most just to spend a few thousand pesos to satisfy our cravings for anything hot and spicy. There goes my allowance for the week. hahaha!

Regardless, the time and money spent was worth it.

Unlimited ssambap. Unlimited greens. Unlimited banchan (Korean side dishes). Unlimited water, too! 😀

Of course, the day wouldn’t end completely without receiving a gift from the hubs. 😀

Such a beautiful day, indeed. I wouldn’t exchange it for anything.

By the way, in case you’re wondering what’s all the fuss about this particular Sunday, it marks my 23rd year here on earth.

Happy Birthday to all the Scorpios out there!

P.S.
23 isn’t really my real age. 😛

P.S.S.
We had our Korean dinner at Mori Restaurant in Maribago, Lapu-Lapu City, Mactan Cebu.

 

Book Review: Geek Girl (Book 1)

Geek Girl Book 1 cover

Image Source: Goodreads.com4 open books the girl in the steel corset

Author: Holly Smale
Genre: Young Adult
Published:  February 28, 2013 by HarperCollins Children’s Books
Support the Author: 
amazon
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Synopsis: 

Harriet Manners knows a lot of things.

She knows that a cat has 32 muscles in each ear, a “jiffy” lasts 1/100th of a second, and the average person laughs 15 times per day. What she isn’t quite so sure about is why nobody at school seems to like her very much. So when she’s spotted by a top model agent, Harriet grabs the chance to reinvent herself. Even if it means stealing her Best Friend’s dream, incurring the wrath of her arch enemy Alexa, and repeatedly humiliating herself in front of the impossibly handsome supermodel Nick. Even if it means lying to the people she loves.

As Harriet veers from one couture disaster to the next with the help of her overly enthusiastic father and her uber-geeky stalker, Toby, she begins to realise that the world of fashion doesn’t seem to like her any more than the real world did.

And as her old life starts to fall apart, the question is: will Harriet be able to transform herself before she ruins everything?

Review:

 My name is Harriet Manners, and I’m a geek.

That had me from the start and couldn’t put down my Kendra (it’s what I call my Kindle. Haha) until I finished reading Geek Girl 1. And do you know what I think? I thought that was fun. It didn’t fail to make me a laugh a good hearty laughter. Hubby thought I was going crazy.

Anyway, on to my review.

I find the story quite similar to Anne Hathaway’s movie The Princess Diary in the sense that they’re both geeky and who turned in to a beautiful swan. In Harriet’s case, however, she turns to one only when she has a photo shoot or a modeling gig. Other than those days, she’s back to her normal, quirky style. Also, Harriet is not a princess.

Also, her discovery as a model was nothing like a fairy tale, which I liked because it’s something that can happen in real life, like this local model who was discovered while cleaning their yard outside.

What I enjoyed reading about the book is that there were a lot of geeky nice-to-know stuff inserted here and there to connect with what Harriet was feeling or experiencing, whether it’s feeling worried that her parents wouldn’t let her fly to Russia or feeling twitterpated because Lion Boy is noticing her. The trivia facts were fun to read. I even share some to hubby. I also got the Harriet fever because there were instances wherein I start a conversation with “Did you know…” Haha. Crazy, right?

Another thing that I like about the book is the characters. Harriet is surrounded by people with different personalities who loves her just as her, like her gay agent, her quirky dad, her serious step-mom and her stylish best friend. It also tackled about bullying, which is kind of a big deal for teens. What’s interesting is that despite the humiliation, Harriet never changed who she is just to please her bully. She stayed true to herself even though she’s fast becoming a super model.

Now, you may be wondering why I give this only four open books despite the positive feedback? Well, to be honest I really can’t remember. I read this back in August and I rated it on my Goodreads with four stars. For some reason, I really can’t recall but I’m sure there was a very good reason for it. Otherwise, I would’ve rated it with five open books. When I do remember, I’ll let you know.

In the mean time, Geek Girl is a teen romance with light comedy. It’s great if you want something to keep your mind off of things while having a good hearty laugh.

Favorite Quotes: 

Nobody hopped into a wardrobe to find Narnia; they hopped in, thinking it was just a wardrobe. They didn’t climb up the Faraway Tree, knowing it was a Faraway Tree; they thought it was just a really big tree. Harry Potter thought he was a normal boy; Mary Poppins was supposed to be a regular nanny. It’s the first and only rule. Magic comes when you’re not looking for it.

Your daughter is adorable. I’ve never seen such an alien duck in my entire life.

You need to stop caring what people who don’t matter think of you. Be who you are and let everybody else be who they are. Differences are a good thing.

This might surprise you, but here’s a fact: people who plan things thoroughly aren’t particularly connected with reality. It seems like they are, but they’re not: they’re focusing on making things bite-size, instead of having to look at the whole picture. It’s procrastination in its purest form because it convinces everyone—including the person who’s doing it—that they are very sensible and in touch with reality when they’re not. They’re obsessed with cutting it up into little pieces so they can pretend it’s not there at all.