Monday, March 31, 2014

Out and About: Bloggers Forum + Book Signing with Becca Fitzpatrick + Giveaway!

Out and about is a feature here on Fragments of Life for events, book launches and movie adaptations.

For the third Out and about, I’ll talk about the Bloggers Forum and Book Signing with Becca Fitzpatrick.

The Basics:


Becca during the interview before the book signing. Photo credit to Algel of Literary Panda

The author is: Becca Fitzpatrick! *fangirls*
The Organizer is: National BookStore.

What books:

The Hush, Hush Saga + Black Ice

When: March 29, 2014 - 1:00 p.m. (Bloggers Forum) and 4:00 p.m. (actual book signing event)

Where: Powerbooks, Greenbelt 4 and National Book Store, Glorietta 4

How aka details: This is the longish part.

At the Bloggers Forum, we had a Q&A with Becca. When I was called on to ask her a question, Becca told me: "Have we met/talked before? You look familiar." The fangirldom commenced. I admitted that I was a big fan since waaay back and was a member of Fallenarcangel, the official fan site for the Hush, Hush Saga. So stoked that she remembers me! On to the details, *coughs*,I learned the following:
  • When Becca first wrote Hush, Hush, Patch was not a fallen angel. He was just a normal boy based on a real boy that she knew way back. Patch had a dark secret and Becca didn't know it when she first wrote the draft. She figured out that he was a fallen angel since fallen angels are the original bad boys.
  • The hardest book she wrote was Crescendo. Her editor made her delete all but 25 pages of the draft.
  • *teaser from Sapphire Skies* - quoted from The Bookaholic Blurbs
    It tells a story about a girl named Stella from Philadelphia and she witnesses a brutal crime. She's put to a witness protection program in Nebraska. She resents her situation and just wanted to get home. However, she's beginning to fall in love with this handsome cowboy who lives next door. So she's torn to stay for the cowboy or keep moving so the bad guys wouldn't find her.

Me and Black Ice! Photo Credit to Kai of Amaterasu Reads

Each one of us got a surprise ARC of Black Ice. Big thanks to Becca and NBS team! 

Me and Becca! Thanks to Kai of Amaterasu Reads

Becca and the blogger girls :) Thanks to Kayla for the photo!
Big thanks to National Book Store for the awesome forum + event! Now, because I love Patch and Becca and angels in general, I have a giveaway for those of you who were not able to make it to the Manila and Cebu signing. I asked Becca to even put in a little message for you...

So this is open to PH residents only, this time around. Might do an international giveaway for the next Tahereh-Ransom-Veronica signing. Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Review: Liv, Forever by Amy Talkington

Book Description:

When Liv Bloom lands an art scholarship at Wickham Hall, it’s her ticket out of the foster system. Liv isn’t sure what to make of the school’s weird traditions and rituals, but she couldn’t be happier. For the first time ever, she has her own studio, her own supply of paints. Everything she could want.

Then she meets Malcolm Astor, a legacy student, a fellow artist, and the one person who’s ever been able to melt her defenses. Liv’s only friend at Wickham, fellow scholarship kid Gabe Nichols, warns her not to get involved, but life is finally going Liv’s way, and all she wants to do is enjoy the ride.

But Liv’s bliss is doomed. Weeks after arriving, she is viciously murdered and, in death, she discovers that she’s the latest victim of a dark conspiracy that has claimed many lives. Cursed with the ability to see the many ghosts on Wickham’s campus, Gabe is now Liv’s only link to the world of the living. To Malcolm.

Together, Liv, Gabe, and Malcolm fight to expose the terrible truth that haunts the halls of Wickham. But Liv must fight alone to come to grips with the ultimate star-crossed love.

Hardcover, 280 pages
Published March 11th 2014 by Soho Teen

Reviewer's Copy: ARC

Source: Pinoy Book Tours (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

The story world of Liv, Forever reminded me of Hereafter with its living-and-dead-relationship, of Glimmer with its vibe, and of Anna Dressed in Blood with its bits and pieces of gore and violence. There was something positively sinister with the story that I just found my heart accelerating and found myself sitting at the edge of my seat as the events unfolded. The school kept a dark secret within its halls - something earth-shattering to shock all readers.

Liv was an admirable character. Expressive, a bit too persistent, fun and smart, she brightened up every scene in the book. Her death was a mystery to me and I, myself, struggled to find out how she died, why she died and who killed her. It was maddeningly to not know. It seemed that aside from her connection with Malcolm and the creepy mystery of Wickham Hall, her unanswered questions kept her feet tied to the ground.

The chapters were sandwiched between short narratives of the dead girls. This was something that thoroughly intrigued me throughout the book. Getting to know each and every one of the ghosts of Wickham Hall made me understand the story better and at the same time sympathize with them.

Malcolm was Liv's almost-boyfriend and lover. There were loss and constant hurt in both Liv and Malcolm's hearts because of her sudden death, leaving their love story and upcoming relationship suspended in the air. Thankfully, Gabe, someone who could see and hear ghosts, studied in Wickham Hall. He also happened to be Liv's friend. Serving as the middleman/messenger, he facilitated the communication between the couple. Though between silences, awkward moments and ghostly limitations, Liv and Malcolm had to make it work, how to express their feelings and make the other one feel his/her presence. I was amazed with their trust and loyalty towards one another. It was a difficult relationship to be in and I salute them for their strength.

The ending. That ending. To be honest, with this ending, I prayed and hoped that it would be a standalone. I couldn't think of a more bittersweet and more perfect ending. I love how Liv and Malcolm's relationship lasted until that point, strengthening and becoming even more intense. This was one of the few books that actually made me cry - it just made me remember of certain parts of my life. This was the point when I realized that throughout the book, Amy Talkington has made me emotionally invest in the story and in the characters. I love her for that.

Overall, Liv, Forever was a horror suspense that was a perfect read to finish in one sitting. Cute, heart-racing and very dark, Liv, Forever will made me flip through the pages and race to the end, continuously creeping me out with the story's dark side, surprising me with its twists and turns and making me smile with Liv and Malcolm's scenes.

4.5 Cupids = Obsessive book love.
Almost made it as one of my favorites! I strongly recommend this!