Layap Vol V & VI Review

I’d first like to thank ading Angeline Ponce for the free review copies of these student publication editions of Layap c/o of University of Northern Philippines, Vigan City S.Y.0 2017

Layap Vol 5
New Tandem

This volume I suppose deals with red being a symbol of revolution, in which young people should really be aware about: a peaceful revolution starting with themselves, with the hope maybe to make the readership realize that speaking up and revolting about things; political, social, economical etc., is way too easy now, there is social media. Unlike in Rizal’s time, freedom of speech is low-key unappreciated, compared to what they had back then. The privilege shouldn’t really be devalued, especially these days. Who knows when our freedom of speech will be over, right? So why not make the most of it; social media or not.

I see that the print is of the normal size as during our time: 2015, I think. The cover page had literally improved. I’d say 3/5. It’s simple and that’s good. I’m not really a good judge of black and white; Polaroid style of printed materials, I’m a more of a color-inclined person. It’s good but the black pictures are kind of like too dark and  I can’t make out some of the photos. I think the contrast should be lightened a bit. And the font is inconsistent some are in bold and the others are light. I think it should be more consistent and if it’s all black and white, make it all black and white; if colored, make it consistent still.

I think it conveyed the message really well though and I hope the students really read this one and get involved, write, speak-up, do something.

Layap Vol 6
New Tandem
Memoir of a Millennial

I love how this volume is very aesthetic and minimalist. Compared to the last volume, I’d say I like this way better. I could give it a 10 to be honest, almost. The cover is very good, sleek, simple. I’ve never seen anything like it in my whole life as a student. Anyway it’s very modern, very relatable, if your readers are all these college teenagers and the so called millenials, us. The size is perfect. The pages are very nice, they even smell good. Plus points on that. I’m in love with the header for the titles and the font. The font is consistent, thus the force is strong for this one. The layout is flawless. I adore the choice of pictures. I’d also like to commend the resident illustrators and photographers, I. Am. In. Awe. I’m rooting for the watercolor cover pictures. Just one thing though; I don’t know if it’s intentional or not but the spacing in some articles is left out unchecked perhaps? Otherwise everything is cool with this one.

Most importantly the message and the readers; of the Millennials for the millennials. The context of this volume is A++. The poems, the articles, the stories are all excellent and on-point. I love this volume, this one’s my favorite student published material so far.

If you’re a UNPian, get yourself a copy and read it from first to last page, maybe it’d inspire and ignite something in you too. Anyway kudos to Team Layap, New Tandem, their advisers and publishers, job well done!


Lucky Boy Book Review

Title: Lucky Boy
Author: Shanthi Sekaran
Publisher: Pemguin Random House
Publication Date: 01/10/2017
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Literary Fiction

Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran


I’d just like to take a moment and thank Penguin Random House International for the review copies that I was sent even if I was away from home and reviewing for my CPA (certified public accountant) exams and being on a blog hiatus as much as I hate that I miss reading and reviewing these books so much so I’m sending over my warm caramel hugs and soft vanilla sundae smiles because I got to pass that exam and I’m already a CPA in my own right and I owe the publishers a toast for that. Thank you. I love you to bits and pieces.

The Gist:

Eighteen years old and fizzing with optimism, Solimar Castro-Valdez embarks on a perilous journey across the Mexican border. Weeks later, she arrives in Berkeley, California, dazed by first love found then lost, and pregnant. This was not the plan. Undocumented and unmoored, Soli discovers that her son, Ignacio, can become her touchstone, and motherhood her identity in a world where she’s otherwise invisible.

Kavya Reddy has created a beautiful life in Berkeley, but then she can’t get pregnant and that beautiful life seems suddenly empty. When Soli is placed in immigrant detention and Ignacio comes under Kavya’s care, Kavya finally gets to be the singing, story-telling kind of mother she dreamed of being. But she builds her love on a fault line, her heart wrapped around someone else’s child.

“Nacho” to Soli, and “Iggy” to Kavya, the boy is steeped in love, but his destiny and that of his two mothers teeters between two worlds as Soli fights to get back to him. Lucky Boy is a moving and revelatory ode to the ever-changing borders of love.

The Review:

I literally finished this book with a fever. As I mentioned on twitter I read this book with a feverish speed. I couldn’t stop reading it. If this was only the kind of home reading reports we did on high school not some stuff I can’t even remember. Maybe we would have been better young people these days. That we’d fight with and for people that can’t fight for themselves even in the smallest ways we possibly can.

At first I thought this was like some kind of those teledramas on tv that we have here in the Philippines, I was wrong. Those are nothing compared to this book. This book hurt me. This book made me mad. This book made me nauseous. This book made me think of how lucky am I as a girl and a young woman. I realized how ungrateful I am, how I take everything for granted, I wanted to slap myself.

I see Soli and what she’s been through. I can’t even count how many times she’s been used, harassed, objectified and raped. I was always crying with her with pity, with empathy, with hurt. If only I could get back and have revenge to the people who hurt her. I hate those smugglers, immigration guards and authorities who do these violent things to undocumented immigrants in real life. They have a special place in hell those people. I did some research and even found about an unseeable thing, the rape tree; they rape these smuggled in, immigrant girls under that tree and have them hang their underwears there. How…I don’t even have words. I’m so sorry.

(I’m actually writing this review with a tight thoat. I feel like crying again.) Soli is so soft yet so brave. I can’t even begin to wonder what she’s got to be that strong. She’s so young yet I see her as the perfect mother. She’s just 20. I’m even older than her and the things she’d already been through. That’s what got her going her child. Nacho is a lucky boy to have a mother like her. I’m glad that no matter how cruel this world can be there are still a few but has a good heart strangers. I feel a connection to the Maxicans because here in the Philippines it’s no different. You can see girls harassed and trafficked in the news, everywhere, just to have a chance to make their lives and their family’s lives in provinces far away. Even the Mexican expressions are so Filipino.

I high-key respect the Indian couple; Rishi and Kavya. If I ever decide to get married someday, I want a husband like Rishi. A supportive one, he’s with Kavya through her struggling of having a child, therapies and even adoption. I feel so sorry for them not having a child. If losing an unborn baby hurt how much more with a baby that isn’t yours but you’ve learned to love and raised your own.

But as hard as it really is, Rishi and Kavya doesn’t own Iggy so Soli have a right. I don’t know who to side with really but after all that Soli has been through for her baby boy, I think she deserves to be with him because he’s basically her life. I think Soli will never really survive or stop fighting for Iggy until death. These two women, is clearly a mother of the child in their own right.

These things let me just shout to the void; Immigrants, undocumented or not are human beings, they have a right to life, to be respected, to the law. They are humans and it is very unacceptable to treat them like animals. Because of this book, I’m thinking about pursuing law. And I’d probably spend my life helping girls like Soli. I’m with Soli and all the immigrant girls who experienced the things she experienced in spirit. Stop with the violence Down with the hate. I really hope that love and peace will someday rule the world, the kind of love like what Soli and Kavya for the boy, Ignacio.

The Verdict:

After I read this book I really got a headache and a fever. This book is that good, it makes your inside turn up and your heart hurt and burst with have and love. This is a blast of a book. Read it and get informed. Don’t be ignorant and speak up. Be brave, be soft. Fight for yourself, love and life. 5 stars, forever and ever.

Dreamfall Book Review

Title: Dreamfall
Author: Amy Plum
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: 05/30/2017
Genre: Science Fiction

Image result for dreamfall amy plum


I’d just like to take a moment and thank Harper Collins International for the review copies that I was sent even if I was away from home and reviewing for my CPA (certified public accountant) exams and being on a blog hiatus as much as I hate that I miss reading and reviewing these books so much so I’m sending over my warm caramel hugs and soft vanilla sundae smiles because I got to pass that exam and I’m already a CPA in my own right and I owe the publishers a toast for that. Thank you. I love you to bits and pieces.

The Gist:

Seven teenagers who suffer from debilitating insomnia agree to take part in an experimental new procedure to cure it because they think it can’t get any worse. But they couldn’t be more wrong.

When the lab equipment malfunctions, the patients are plunged into a terrifying dreamworld where their worst nightmares have come to life—and they have no memory of how they got there. Hunted by monsters from their darkest imaginations and tormented by secrets they’d rather keep buried, these seven strangers will be forced to band together to face their biggest fears. And if they can’t find a way to defeat their dreams, they will never wake up.

Dreamfall is perfect for fans of dark and edgy young adult novels from authors like Danielle Vega, Natasha Preston, Kendare Blake, and Madeleine Roux. It is the first book in a spine-tingling duology full of action, suspense, and horror that’s sure to keep readers on the edge of their seat until the very last page.

The Review:

I can’t say anything much as for this one. I picked it up because it’s a duology and I’m a sucker for one. It was an okay read. It didn’t scare me as what I thought. I read it though with the light on as what it said. I hate horror stories and horror movies. It’s just nonsense to me. These books are just not my type although I’ve read books kind of like this one in the past. This book is basically about nightmares, I do have my fair share of bad dreams but nothing is really reoccurring and I will probably forget them in the morning anyway.

The only thing I probably appreciate in reading this one is that it kind of made you understand how lucky you are through discussing some teenagers go through like; aneurism, post traumatic disorder, narcolepsy, etc. The main thing here though is insomnia; it lets you know that sleeping and being able to sleep is such a blessing and sometimes a curse. To me it’s more of a blessing because I know that my body needs sleep as much as it needs food as sustenance. So from now on I’m not taking sleep for granted.

The book is pretty predictable and somehow pretty uncoordinated. I sometimes can follow through with what is happening. As the kids here is alternating between nightmares and a safe haven every so minutes just for them to have a chance in getting a good night’s sleep. I’d say the plot twist didn’t surprise me just as much but it’s a good one. I’m also so impatient with this that I keep on reading faster so that I can get to where they’re all awake, too bad I was cliff-hanged. Guess I’ll have to wait for the second book.

The Verdict:

Until then, I’m giving it a 3 stars!

Romancing the Throne Book Review

Title: Romancing the Throne
Author: Nadine Jolie Courtney
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: 05/30/2017
Genre: Contemporary

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I’d just like to take a moment and thank Harper Collins International for the review copies that I was sent even if I was away from home and reviewing for my CPA (certified public accountant) exams and being on a blog hiatus as much as I hate that I miss reading and reviewing these books so much so I’m sending over my warm caramel hugs and soft vanilla sundae smiles because I got to pass that exam and I’m already a CPA in my own right and I owe the publishers a toast for that. Thank you. I love you to bits and pieces.

The Gist:

For the first time ever, the Weston sisters are at the same boarding school. After an administration scandal at Libby’s all-girls school threatens her chances at a top university, she decides to join Charlotte at posh and picturesque Sussex Park. Social-climbing Charlotte considers it her sisterly duty to bring Libby into her circle: Britain’s young elites, glamorous teens who vacation in Hong Kong and the South of France and are just as comfortable at a polo match as they are at a party.

It’s a social circle that just so happens to include handsome seventeen-year-old Prince Edward, heir to Britain’s throne.

If there are any rules of sisterhood, “Don’t fall for the same guy” should be one of them. But sometimes chemistry—even love—grows where you least expect it. In the end, there may be a price to pay for romancing the throne…and more than one path to happily ever after.

The Review:

I definitely devoured this book. I actually left off on the third chapter when I started reading this book, since I didn’t have my reading mojo back on then, but when I got on track, damn this book has gripped me hard. I started to continue reading it at about 11 pm and I just couldn’t put the book down. I still had to sleep though with 3 remaining chapters unread.

I had a very serious love-hate relationship with this book. I hate it because for the first time in all the royal books I’ve literally read, this is the first time-literally the first time I was not into the prince (which basically I always am)-that I didn’t have a crush or was rooting for the prince. So now it’s a ground rule, I only like medieval princes not the modern day ones. They seem not so interesting anyway.

I have to say I was team Libby at first, but girl asking your sister if it’s okay to date her ex-boyfriend after she’s heart-broken, hurt and betrayed you still went for it. Nice try. But after that I hated you more than Charlotte ever did. I wish it was the law not to date your sibling exs. Because I don’t know, isn’t it awkward and all that mess. I just don’t approve. I tried.

Like I always say I like my girls bad, headstrong and trouble makers. I’m not very much into perfect picturesque girls. My faves are more of the broken, wounded, scarred ones. It’s opposite for the boys though. I like my boys soft. I utterly abhor heart-breakers, especially guys who wants dates the whole sisterhood. Because ew. Prince or no prince.

I basically followed Charlotte in her heels. I felt the emotions she felt, I felt her frustrations, her joys, everything. At first I thought she was this social climber and doesn’t really pick her friends well. But all that changed when everybody felt like they made her feel second best because she definitely isn’t. And everyone keeps on betraying her and she’s too good not to forgive. (That’s my girl) This is why I love her so much. I wanted her to have everything in the world. I wanted to protect her, from boys, from her sister, from her family. I love seeing from her perspective.

The Verdict:

This book is one hell of a royal read. If you’re a sucker for royal reads, put me on the slate for my word. GET THIS BOOK! Page-tuner, passion-flarer, game changer kind of read! Put it in your book cart already. 5 stars!

I see London, I see France Book Review

Title: I see London, I see France
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: 07/11/2017
Genre: Contemporary

Image result for i see london i see france book


I’d just like to take a moment and thank Harper Collins International for the review copies that I was sent even if I was away from home and reviewing for my CPA (certified public accountant) exams and being on a blog hiatus as much as I hate that I miss reading and reviewing these books so much so I’m sending over my warm caramel hugs and soft vanilla sundae smiles because I got to pass that exam and I’m already a CPA in my own right and I owe the publishers a toast for that. Thank you. I love you to bits and pieces.

The Gist:

I see London, I see France…I see Sydney’s underpants.

Nineteen-year-old Sydney has the perfect summer mapped out. She’s spending the next four and a half weeks travelling through Europe with her childhood best friend Leela. Their plans include Eiffel Tower selfies, eating cocco gelato, and making out with très hot strangers.

Her plans do not include Leela’s cheating ex-boyfriend showing up on the flight to London, falling for the cheating ex-boyfriend’s très hot friend, monitoring her mother’s spiraling mental health via texts, or feeling like the rope in a friendship tug of war.

In this hilarious and unforgettable adventure, New York Times bestselling author Sarah Mlynowski tells the story of a girl learning to navigate secret romances, thorny relationships, and the London Tube. As Sydney zigzags through Amsterdam, Switzerland, Italy, and France, she must learn when to hold on, when to keep moving, and when to jump into the Riviera…wearing only her polka dot underpants.

The Review:

I’ve read this for weeks now. I just procrastinated on writing the review. It’s long overdue. Because I either think too much or not think about anything at all, there is no in between.

Anyway, I liked this book. It made me want to teleport to Europe and just go on tour in like the middle of June since I don’t have the funds and a passport or visa to let me do that. It’s disheartening, really. Though someday I really want to, I’m planning on it and I’m definitely bringing this book on my Europe tour as a guide to places I’d visit.

Sydney. Sydney, the girl who has basically looked after her mom all her life because she’s got this random panic attacks which also basically held her off the things she wants to do in life. Like this travel in Europe thing with her friend, Leela. It’s the typical I want to be a better friend after being separated for too long and so their adventure goes on.
I love Leela, the supporting actress in this book. The pretty girl that just can’t get over her boyfriend no matter what suckup he totally is. Sydney though she’s the funny one. She made me laugh and she made her bestfriend laugh and she’s basically perfect except for her anxiety. In which she struggles with in this book and kind of I relate to so much like to a soul level.

This book is about the places in Europe and the best food to try and the best places to go. It’s really like being there with the two girls that instead of just being a duo, with you the reader it’s a legit trio. Also it’s about taking risks, not small risk but huge ones. It’s like a leap to the void but you know there’s a net that will catch you on the way down just like the dauntless leap on Divergent. Also to detach yourself from a person to let them cope up with their problems and let it be solved by them. I think sometimes leaving is the best thing to do. And also finding love in random adventures and how to make long distance relationships work. If you’re looking for a fluffy travel book get this one. I wish to read more books like this in the future! It’s so fun.

The Verdict:

Can’t say anything more about this book it’s just that you need to read it for yourself and enjoy the travel in Europe in the comforts of your bed at home. So on July make sure to grab this book on the bookstore and put Europe in your bag, okay? I’m giving it a definitely 5 star.

Lucky Girl Book Review

Title: Lucky Girl
Author: Amanda Maciel
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: 04/25/2017
Genre: Contemporary

Image result for lucky girl book


I’d just like to take a moment and thank Harper Collins International for the review copies that I was sent even if I was away from home and reviewing for my CPA (certified public accountant) exams and being on a blog hiatus as much as I hate that I miss reading and reviewing these books so much so I’m sending over my warm caramel hugs and soft vanilla sundae smiles because I got to pass that exam and I’m already a CPA in my own right and I owe the publishers a toast for that. Thank you. I love you to bits and pieces.

The Gist:

Rosie is a beautiful girl—and it’s always been enough. Boys crush on her, men stare at her, girls (begrudgingly) admire her. She’s lucky and she knows it.

But it’s the start of a new school year and she begins to realize that she wants to be more. Namely, she’s determined to be better to her best friend, Maddie, who’s just back from a summer program abroad having totally blossomed into her own looks. Rosie isn’t thrilled when Maddie connects with a football player who Rosie was hooking up with—but if it makes her friend happy, she’s prepared to get over it. Plus, someone even more interesting has moved to town: Alex, who became semi-famous after he stopped a classmate from carrying out a shooting rampage at his old high school. Rosie is drawn to Alex in a way she’s never experienced before—and she is surprised to discover that, unlike every other guy, he seems to see more to her than her beauty.

Then at a party one night, in the midst of a devastating storm, something happens that tears apart Rosie’s life and sets her on a journey of self-discovery that forces her to face uncomfortable truths about reputation, identity, and what it means to be a true friend.

The Review:

I had been on like a book slump for about 7 months so it’s really hard for me to get my gear up again and started reading and exploring these other worlds. I have trouble getting way past the third chapter lately but anyway I got into reading again through Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh but that’s another story.

So anyway this is perhaps my fourth book after that coping up with my book slump phase and this really got me triggered. I binge-read this one, I picked this one up because it’s just thin and the fonts are normal sized not the small ones so I thought I could just read it easily. When I read the prologue, what I thought was this was a book where the main girl or her friend gets raped, but apparently I was wrong (I blame binge-watching 13 reasons why), also when I was on the third or fifth chapter I already though I that I would be giving it a 3 star.

Yes it’s the normal high school drama, where the popular girl is too beautiful for her own good and jocks are into her and yeah that is where the plot kinda revolves around. The thing I liked about this book, is the normal thing I liked in books. In which in this case the friendship thing between Rosie and Maddie and the sister thing for Rosie and Ayla in which I relate to. Sort of. Let me just shout the message of the friendship: BFFS BEFORE DUDES! FRIENDSHIPS BEFORE BROS! FRIENDSHIP IS WAY MORE IMPORTANT THAN FIGHTING OVER NONSENSE STUFF LIKE BOYS! The siblings’ relationship though is where you now, the siblings don’t get along, they have fights, they have insecurities but at the end of the day they’re still siblings, blood is thicker than water and there is always that sibling bond. The romance was cute and sweet where Rosie finds love in the mysterious popular guy who doesn’t think of her the way most guys thinks about her and doesn’t droll at her face or her body for that matter. I also loved how a gentleman Alex is. I approve.

As for the plot, it was okay, the pace is fast which was really good since I was binge-reading. The plot was not about rape then it was sexual assault and beauty and self-worth and knowing that beauty comes with a certain price especially these days, more specifically with teenage girls. It’s always really hard to read these kind of books since it triggers me. In which I think did fulfill the purpose of this book and that is a very good thing about it.

I hate that boys and men in general sometimes forgets that women owns their bodies and that they are not objects they can just grab whenever they feel the need to or something to just stick their awful manhood with and that women deserves respect and gentleness and damn consent. What I hate so much is the disrespect shown to girls and like they can’t do anything about it and that some shitty nonsense pathetic worthless sport is more important than treating women the right way, treating girls the way they deserve; and that is with care and affection alone. Even if some people doesn’t know how it feels like to be sexually assaulted or harassed or raped or even get paranoid about men: at least these kinds of books pass that message on and I’m grateful for the eye-opener that they are.

The Verdict:

Since this got me triggered and it was in fact good, the message was crystal clear and I’ve felt different kinds of emotions: I’m giving it a 4, instead of just 3 stars.

The Beauty of Darkness Book Review

Title: The Beauty of Darkness

Author: Mary Pearson

Publisher: Macmillan

Publication Date: August 2, 2016

Genre: Fantasy

Rate: 5/5

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Lia and Rafe have escaped Venda and the path before them is winding and dangerous – what will happen now?

Let me first thank Mary for this beautiful book as the cover it definitely insinuate; from the cover, to the words, to the scenes down to the kisses. (Some books definitely lack the kisses.) And thank you very much Stacey for suggesting the kisses. We owe you so much. I literally loved everything about this book, no one could even stop me reading for a second. I gladly gulped it down in one swallow like the sweetest wine.

I couldn’t be more in love with Rafe and everything about him. From the first book of the remnant chronicles to this last one I have been so rooting for him. There’s no one I could love more than Rafe right now for I have not read so great sacrifices than what he had made for Lia. Risking his life, his crown, even his kingdom. Could I get a Rafe for myself please just a single piece or bit of him.

Lia now is too headstrong. She can’t be swayed by anyone. Not by one kingdom, not by a kingdom, not even by the man she loves. She became a queen yes, but too much of one I’d say. She’s been too dedicated in saving kingdoms and she hardly regarded what others had sacrificed and gave up to keep her alive. But that is what a queen should be right? To disregard the wants of her heart because the kingdom and the people came first. Sometimes it gets me thinking that if it was me, I’d be selfish for once. Easy for me to say though because I am not a queen, no responsibility that big whatsoever. But I still love her for loving Rafe.

I loved what turned out of Kaden. And Pauleen. I hated the guy but I guess he ultimately redeemed himself in the end. Rafe and Kaden teaming up in this book in every simple ways is the best thing ever. Strangely I wanted their own story, Pauleen and Kaden after the war.

I’m very very hapy and sad at the same time because this series I’ve adored has come to an end although I’m assured Mary has a lot of stories on store for us yet to read.

By the way I suggest playing Dangerously by Charlie Puth on your earphones while reading the book. 😉