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Sunday, October 5, 2014

[BLOG TOUR] NICOLE'S REVIEW: Love is the Drug by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Title: Love is the Drug
Author: Alaya Dawn Johnson
Format Acquired: ARC
Publication Date: September 30 2014
Publishing House:  Arthur A. Levine Books
ISBN: 0545417813
Source of Copy: Pinoy Book Tours


Emily Bird was raised not to ask questions. She has perfect hair, the perfect boyfriend, and a perfect Ivy-league future. But a chance meeting with Roosevelt David, a homeland security agent, at a party for Washington DC's elite leads to Bird waking up in a hospital, days later, with no memory of the end of the night.

Meanwhile, the world has fallen apart: A deadly flu virus is sweeping the nation, forcing quarantines, curfews, even martial law. And Roosevelt is certain that Bird knows something. Something about the virus - something about her parents' top secret scientific work - something she shouldn't know.

The only one bird can trust is Coffee, a quiet, outsider genius who deals drugs to their classmates and is a firm believer in conspiracy theories. And he believes in Bird. But as Bird and Coffee dig deeper into what really happened that night, Bird finds that she might know more than she remembers. And what she knows could unleash the biggest government scandal in US history.

        (Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


I've been meaning to get into the Summer Prince ever since I purchased a copy last year but I could never bring myself to read it. I don't know why. Lucky for me, PBT was planning on touring Love is the Drug and I thought, why not? 

Emily strives to be the perfect daughter the way her mother raised her. Everything was routinary until she woke up after a party with her memory in fragments and the world in shambles. A deadly virus is spreading and it's all quarantines and curfews and martial law and this creeper named David Roosevelt who insists Bird knows more than she lets on about her parents and their top secret government work. The only one she can trust is Coffee, drug dealer, genius chemist and the guy who calls her out on her bull and rips blinders off her eyes. But as Bird and Coffee try to unravel the events of that fateful night, they both start to realize that those conspiracy theories Coffee believes in might not be theories at all.

Truthfully, Love is the Drug is incredibly hard to rate. I'm fluctuating between a 3 and a 3.5 as I type. I mean I enjoyed this book, seeing as how my co-blogger and I are fans of conspiracy theories. And Johnson wrote this in such a way that it was actually believable and I really wouldn't be surprised if this happens. 

Aside from that, Love is the Drug focuses on Bird and the relationships she has with the people around her. How she's constantly trying to prove herself to her parents, to figure out her way in life. She doesn't want to disappoint them but that means giving up on what she wants because anything worth doing should not be done in half measures. She's trying to make sense of these in between trying to regain her memories and figuring out what the creepy Roosevelt wants from her. 

Bird is a likable heroine. She's not the best and yeah, she let herself get dragged around like a good little girl by her parents and her jerk ex-boyfriend, and she's constantly fighting herself over who she wants to be and who she's supposed to be but when she managed to find her backbone and decided to just be Bird, it was a moment to behold. I mean it's not exactly the easiest thing in the world to navigate through all the angst and drama of high school when the world threatens to crumble around you and succumb to a deadly virus.

The book's overall pacing was good. A little slow and slightly confusing when it started but easily overcome once you've reached the scene where Bird wakes up from her drug-induced coma. Some parts were a little predictable but that didn't take anything away from my enjoyment of the story.

The book is a standalone, the ending was wrapped up a little too nicely. All the T's crossed and the I's dotted but that was okay too. Now I'm off to dust off my copy of The Summer Prince because Johnson's writing has me intrigued.



Friday, October 3, 2014

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: One Two Three by Elodie Nowodazkij

Title: One Two Three
Author: Elodie Nowodazkij
Format Acquired: eARC
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Publishing House: Elodie Nowodazkij
ISBN: 9781495319617
Source of Copy: Requested from publisher via NetGalley


Last year, Natalya was attending the School of Performing Arts in New York City. Last year, she was well on her way to becoming a professional ballerina. Last year, her father was still alive.

But a car crash changed all that - and Natalya can't stop blaming herself. Now, she goes to a regular high school in New Jersey; lives with her onetime prima ballerina, now alcoholic mother; and has no hope of a dance career.

However, sexy soccer player Antonio sees a brighter future for Natalya, or at least a more pleasant present, and his patient charms eventually draw her out of her shell. But when upsetting secrets come to light, Natalya quickly shuts down again, this time turning to alcohol herself.

Can Natalya learn to trust Antonio before she loses him - and destroys herself?

        (Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary courtesy of NetGalley)


Natalya was on the track to becoming a professional ballerina, when a car crash not only affects her career, but also her family. Her full-time mom has become a full-time alcoholic, and Natalya is pretty much left to her own devices most of the time. Now that her leg's busted, Natalya can't dance... but that doesn't mean she can't live.

This book was being promoted as a Perfect Chemistry meets Save the Last Dance book, and because I do so love the Perfect Chemistry series, I had to request it. Only, it's not as Perfect Chemistry-y as I would like.

I desperately tried to get Natalya, because actually liking her was bordering a bit on the difficult side. Her POV was pretty childlike, so just reading through them and getting to understand things from her standpoint was a bit unsettling. I really had a hard time trying to remind myself that this girl was old enough to get a few unsettling kisses of her own.

The secrets that unfolded weren't much to talk about either. It's feasible, sure, but the way the drama unloaded was anti-climatic, and to me, felt more like a cop-out to the readers who are already on to it from the get-go.

One Two Three is one of those books you pick up all the while knowing how it's going to end. I usually pick up these kinds of novels with a tiny, tiny hope that something new and fresh would grip me, or that I might just -fingers crossed! - be helplessly entertained by the story. 

Unfortunately, One Two Three is only one of the many books that offers nothing new to the already standard, generic formula.



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

[EVENT] World Dream Day Philippines

Event: Dreambook Project’s World Dream Day Philippines
Date and Time: September 27, 2014 (Saturday) 1-5 pm
Venue: Powerbooks, Greenbelt 4

Event Description: 
World Dream Day (WDD) is an international movement that is actually acknowledged by the United Nations. It seeks to unleash human potential and by doing so transform the world. You can browse <> for more info. The founder of World Dream Day, Ozioma Egwuonwu, has given the go signal for WDD Philippines.

WDD Philippines will use a few pages from our product, Dreambook, to help participants specify, clarify and celebrate their dreams or goals, and plan on how to reach these dreams and move these dreams forward. Life coach Claude Sta. Clara will be the speaker and facilitator for the program. Coach Claude is currently a consultant at Mind Pool, Organizational Change Consultants International, and Fullness of Life Foundation.

Do you need help in reaching your dreams? Do you want to get your goals faster and with more joy? Do you need help in clarifying your goals in the first place? Dreambook can help you with these concerns.

Dreambook is a life coaching journal. It guides people to unearth their dreams and inspires them to make those dreams reality. As a journal, it asks users to write their realizations and resolutions on its pages. And it has words and artworks that invite users to be inspired, take action, and stay true to their dreams.

Dreambook 2013 is inspired by the books "Christian Coaching: Helping Others Turn Potential Into Reality" by Gary R. Collins, Ph.D. and "The Dream Giver" series by Bruce Wilkinson. Bruce Wilkinson acknowledges God as "The Dream Giver", and so does the Dreambook. Dreambook is based on the belief that you have God-given passions, talents, skills and other gifts that equip you and guide you towards your dreams. Pursuing your dreams is both a celebration of these gifts and a responsibility. It is connected with your life purpose, molds values into you, and exercises your faith.

World Dream Day

Dreambook Project is participating in World Dream Day, an international movement that is actually acknowledged by the United Nations. It seeks to unleash human potential and by doing so transform the world. The founder of World Dream Day, Ozioma Egwuonwu, has given the go signal for WDD Philippines. World Dream Day Philippines will be celebrated on September 27, 2014 at PowerBooks Greenbelt.

WDD Philippines will use a few pages from Dreambook to help participants specify, clarify and celebrate their dreams or goals, and plan on how to reach these dreams. Life coach Claude Sta. Clara will be the speaker and facilitator for the program. Coach Claude is currently a consultant at coaching companies Mind Pool, Organizational Change Consultants International, and Fullness of Life Foundation. Dreambook Project will get participants to move their dreams forward on World Dream Day Philippines and begin a community of dreamers supporting each other.

Dreambooks are currently available at selected National Bookstore and Powerbooks branches. Please browse for sample pictures and more info.