#RomBkLove Day 26: New-To-Me Authors

RomBkLove Day 26 NewToMe

The theme for day 26 of #RomBkLove is New-To-Me Authors. For those who don’t know, #RomBkLove is a month-long celebration of romance books. The event was organized by Ana Coqui of Immersed in Books and you can check out her introduction post here. Various readers and bloggers have hosted each of the daily themes either on Ana’s blog or on their own platform. I have mostly been participating on Twitter, but I know some people have joined the conversation over at Instagram and Facebook. It has been so much fun seeing so many romance recs! I’ve been so tempted to one click a lot of titles.

I’m so excited to kick off today’s discussion about new-to-me authors because discovering new authors to enjoy and fangirl over is one of the reasons why I love being active on romancelandia. How new is new, you might ask? For the purpose of this discussion, let’s set it to authors you’ve discovered and loved in the past year or so. They don’t have to be new releases, just titles that are new to you. To start things off, here are some of the authors and books I’ve thoroughly enjoyed and would highly recommend:

Beginner's Luck Ghost of a Feeling Submission Moves - ebook

Beginner’s Luck by Kate Clayborn – Loved the slow burn romance between the heroine working in STEM and the hero trying to recruit her for his corporate firm. I found it really cute how they slowly got to know each other before acting on their attraction. Also the teasing and banter from friends and family were hilarious.

Ghost of a Feeling by Celestine Trinidad – The couple has such an unusual meet cute when the hero, dressed as a ghost for Halloween, stops the heroine from jumping off the building. Mental health rep! And an interesting look at how difficult it is for the heroine to build a medical career in the Philippines. The author herself is a doctor so everything feels very realistic.

Submission Moves by Camilla Sisco – Such a fun and steamy romance between a feminist heroine and a mixed martial arts hero who have a one night stand in Vegas, then meet a few years later. This is the only title that’s been written by this Filipino author and I keep hoping she’ll write more!

Captive Prince Queen's Game A Princess in Theory

Captive Prince trilogy by C.S. Pacat – I had the worst (or should I say best?) kind of book hangover after finishing this trilogy because it was SO GOOD! I loved this slow burn male/male romance between two princes of rival kingdoms. Enemies to lovers is one of my favorite tropes. So much political intrigue. And such smart writing. Exactly my type of fantasy series. Please feel free to rec anything similar but I think it’s in a class of its own.

The Queen’s Game by Carla de Guzman – The Filipino royal romance that we didn’t know we needed! Partially inspired by one of my dream vacation destinations in the Philippines: Batanes. A quick and sweet read featuring a romance between the prince and princess of neighboring kingdoms. I have expressed my desire for more books in the same setting and Carla has promised (putting it here for accountability) that there will be more.

A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole – Another non-European royal romance that I loved with a STEM heroine who first thinks it’s a joke that she’s betrothed to an African prince. Loved the worldbuilding and the witty banter in this one. Also, that gorgeous cover deserves a shout out! A custom African print dress on the heroine and a matching bowtie on the hero.

Slightly Dangerous Hot in Hellcat Canyon FLAIR You Out of Nowhere

Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh – I’m not much of a historical romance reader but this Pride and Prejudice retelling was so much fun to read! I love how the heroine blindsided the hero in this one.

Hot in Hellcat Canyon by Julie Anne Long – Really enjoyed this small town romance between two people who have such a strong connection in spite of the differences in their backgrounds.

You Out of Nowhere by Jay E. Tria – Last but certainly not the least, my introduction to romanceclass author Jay E. Tria’s writing was such a good one! This title has been fondly called tita (auntie) romance because of the older heroine. I was rooting for the couple right from their train meet cute.

These are the romance titles I discovered and enjoyed in the past year or so! I’ve been meaning to read more books from some of these authors, but I haven’t found time for that yet. Writing this post is a good reminder for me to start doing that soon. What about the rest of you, who are new-to-you romance authors you’d highly recommend? πŸ™‚ Hope you folks enjoy participating in today’s #RomBkLove topic!

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Impromptu Bookish Dinner: Sushi and Coffee

Impromptu meet ups and meals with bookish friends is one of the best things about being back home in Manila. Yesterday, I met up with Filipino authors Mina V. Esguerra and Layla Tanjutco. We had sushi for dinner, and then cake and coffee afterwards. That combo doesn’t make much sense but we had our reasons! The informal theme for yesterday’s meet up was Mina’s What You Wanted, because the hero in that book has his birthday on October 5. πŸ™‚ I really enjoyed reading What You Wanted back when it was released, and you can read my review here. It’s currently on sale for just 0.99usd and can be read as a standalone, go and grab a copy ASAP if you haven’t read it yet.

What You Wanted - Dinner with Mina and Layla

In one of the scenes of the book, the hero takes the heroine to a sushi place. So it totally made sense for us to have dinner at Genki Sushi:

What You Wanted - Genki Sushi

The hero is also a huge fan of coffee so we said we had to grab dessert and coffee after dinner. We ended up at a cafe called The Chocolate Kiss:

What You Wanted - The Chocolate Kiss

“Coffee isn’t exactly a sexy smell for other people, you know.”
“It’s not? They’re lying.”

I mentioned in an earlier blog post that bookish shirts are my current apparel of choice and I love pairing them with printed skirts. I love midi skirts but some of them look like maxi skirts on me because I’m hobbit-sized. Here are some OOTD shots for fun:

I M Reader OOTD

I M Reader OOTD 2

The photos above were taken by Layla. Thank you, Layla! πŸ˜€ And of course I also had to wear my bookish earrings, received as a gift from my friend Kat of Book Thingo:

Wearing bookish earrings

Bookish earrings

Bookish earrings 2

I’ve had people say that these earrings actually match my current blog banner. πŸ™‚

Last but not the least, I wanted to share this Twitter thread of Filipino-romance-in-English titles that are currently on sale. Click on this to see the thread with buy links:

I’m sure you can tell based on the pictures that it was a Saturday evening well-spent. I hope you had an equally good weekend! πŸ˜€

#romanceclass events: #FeelsSoHot and #romanceclasscovers

I have been back in Manila for a little over a week and it’s about time I gave an update! I flew back home just in time to attend two bookish events and both of them were so much fun. You might be wondering why my blog post’s title has so many hashtags, but I just got use to talking about these events on Twitter and Instagram where hashtags are used. I’ve talked about romanceclass before but as an introduction, romanceclass is a community of authors and readers of indie Filipino romance. You can find out more here. It is a pretty active group here in Manila and they’ve had a lot of events. Feels So Hot is the tenth romanceclass event where they host live readings of books, certain scenes from some titles are read out loud by local actors and actresses. It’s a great experience because everyone gets to see the actors breathe life into the story with the nuances and expressions that they act out for the characters. I had fun watching the live readings but for me, the best part was seeing the reactions of all the authors and readers during the event! I could really see how passionate everyone was about these books. Here are some pictures from the event, click the right arrow to see all of them:

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#romanceclass is a community of authors and readers of indie pubbed Filipino romance. #FeelsSoHot was the 10th event organized by the group, and the first one I was able to attend because I was in Singapore for all the previous ones. During the event, books were sold and the authors were there to sign them, as well as chat with the readers. Pic of my haul at the end of the album, all of those books will be given as gifts! . . Also, actors and actresses did live readings of certain scenes from the books (theme for the night was steamy romance πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯), and I think this is such an interesting way of bringing the story to life. More than anything, I enjoyed seeing how responsive the audience was to these readings. Fangirling at its finest. There was even a sleepover at a nearby hotel so attendees can process ALL THE FEELS. Always, always incredible to see so much passion in one place. I'm glad I was able to be a part of this community in whatever capacity I'm able to. It's moments like this that make me feel it's SO GOOD to be home.πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

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Feels So Hot was also the first romanceclass event where the live readings were of steamy scenes from the books. For extra feels! I think I arrived in Manila just in time? πŸ˜› I haven’t read all of books that were part of the program but after seeing the live readings, I’m now curious about all of them. Watch this space for future reviews (or maybe not since I haven’t been very good in reviewing books this year. Real life, tsk tsk).

The next romanceclass thing I was lucky enough to be a part of was a photo shoot for book covers! Since their books are indie pubbed, some romanceclass authors have relied on stock photos as the basis of their book covers. Unfortunately, there are slim pickings for Filipinos or Asians in stock photos. They came up with the brilliant idea to contribute and sponsor photo shoots for their books. For each photo session, models or actors are hired to pose for the authors and their cover artists. The authors contributing to the session have a say in what kind of outfits the models will wear and how they will pose for the photos. This was such a fun experience for me, especially when I got to help out with the blocking and staging of some of the poses (a friend mentioned later on that this is what art directors do?) I felt that the models, Cora and AJ, deserved a round of applause for being like chameleons for every photo set. They were able to channel different types of romances and it was amazing. Here are some photos from that day:

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Today's super fun activity was a photo shoot for @romanceclasscovers. #romanceclass is a community of authors and readers of indie pubbed Filipino romance. Stock photos have slim pickings when it comes to pictures that could be used as covers for Asian/Filipino books. So romanceclass authors chip in to fund photo shoots!πŸ“·πŸ“š In this session, models AJ and Cora took on various looks for books-to-be-published. These two were like chameleons - they were able to change their look and style for every backstory. Some themes they represented were young adult love story, beach romance, friends to lovers, hate to love. Authors, editors, cover artists were there to provide input. And everyone became even more energized about these upcoming titles because of the shots that came out. Really, really looking forward to seeing these books published! Such a vibrant and passionate community to be in.πŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™Œ Check out @instapach's feed for some high res samples.

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I honestly can’t wait to see the covers that will be designed based on these photos! Some of them I’m tempted to one-click without even knowing the synopsis. I wanted to share some romanceclass book covers that have photos from past sessions, to give you guys an idea of what the outcome will be:

No Strings Attached_New Cover Iris After the Incident

You Could Be the One Kate Finally

Holiday Book Haul

I think I may be allergic to the office. I went back to work on Tuesday and then I got a fever and a sore throat that evening. I kept going to the office and just slept as early as I can at night but I lost my voice yesterday evening so today, I gave in and went to the doctor to get a medical certificate so I could take the rest of the day off to rest.

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While I was able to take a nap this afternoon, I wasn’t able to get any reading done. In fact, I should be getting ready for bed now but I wanted to squeeze in a quick post about my book haul during the holiday season. The order is kind of a mess but these were the books I acquired:

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Last Friday's brunch meet up with Filipino readers and authors: Celina, Chris, Mina, Honey and Kim

Brunch meet up with Filipino readers and authors: Celina, Chris, Mina, Honey and Kim

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A visit to Cafe Breton will never be complete without an order of La Pinay, Philippine mango goodness in crepe form. I thought it would be fitting to include my shiny, new copy of Under the Sugar Sun because it's historical romance set in the Philippines. I totally blame @minavesguerra @dementedchris @fionvarre for this purchase because we talked about this in yesterday's meet up. I also blame @bookthingo's podcast. . . . #UndertheSugarSun #JenniferHallock #historicalromance #romance #bookblogger #bookstagram #instabooks #bibliophile #IGreads #IGbooks #booksPH #Litsy #Kindle #bookandcoffee #bookanddessert #CafeBreton #cafehopping #foodstagram #Manilafoodie #foodieManila #mangocrepe #crepe #dessert

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Some other books I bought/downloaded for free, but were only posted on Litsy and not Instagram so I can’t embed them here:
Dark Horse by Michelle Diener
The Future Chosen by Mina V. Esguerra
Big Rock by Lauren Blakely
The Art of Deception by Stephanie Burgis
Alex + Ada Volume 3 by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn

I was also very excited to receive these review copies of my anticipated books:

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A new Laura Florand is always something to be happy about. She's one of my favorite romance authors. I've loved all of the other titles in her La vie en Roses series set in Grasse, France, featuring a family in the perfume business. I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy this one too. I couldn't resist taking a pic of A Crown of Bitter Orange with this bottle of orange blossom EDT (I bought the cologne version). Maybe I should have done this for Once Upon a Rose and A Wish Upon Jasmine too? πŸ“–πŸŒΉ FYI, Once Upon a Rose is on sale for just 0.99usd now. Such a good bargain! . . . #LauraFlorand #ACrownofBitterOrange #LavieenRoses #romance #bookblogger #reviewcopy #bookstagram #instabooks #bibliophile #IGreads #IGbooks #booksPH #Litsy #ChristineLhuillierParfumerie #fragrance #perfume

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When I woke up this morning, I saw the notification that @berkleyromance approved my NetGalley request for Julie James' latest novel. Thank you!!πŸ“–πŸŽ‰ One of my most anticipated titles in 2017 because she writes the best romantic banter.πŸ’– I'm always surprised (in a good way) whenever I'm approved for a review copy because as an international reader/blogger, my default expectation is to be rejected.πŸ˜‚ @fantaghiro23, we were just talking about this book yesterday! . . . #JulieJames #TheThingAboutLove #BerkleyRomance #romance #bookblogger #reviewcopy #bookstagram #instabooks #bibliophile #IGreads #IGbooks #booksPH #Litsy #NetGalley #Kindle #bookandlunch #CafeBreton #cafehopping #foodstagram #Manilafoodie #foodieManila

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I feel like this moment of my book blogging experience should be highlighted because I have review copies by my favorite authors: Ilona Andrews, Andrea K. Host, Julie James, Laura Florand and Lucy Parker! πŸ™‚ I’ve already read White Hot and In Arcadia (short review on Litsy) but I’m having a difficult time choosing which one to prioritize among the remaining three. Now I just need Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner and The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein and I’ll be all set. πŸ˜€

I was also able to pass on some of the physical books that I have in my Manila bookshelf to friends when we had a get together. I really feel bad that my books have just been sitting neglected on my shelf and they’re aging fast because of heat and humidity. I feel better that they’re now with people who would potentially enjoy reading them. I think I’ve culled like half of my bookshelf back home, I’ve mostly kept signed books and the ones that I plan to reread.

I hope this post wasn’t too confusing with its mix of Instagram and Litsy links. As you can see, I’ve tried to be active on other social media sites but I know it’s also a good idea to consolidate all of those posts here on WordPress. I’m off to rest! What about you, have you received or bought any books recently? πŸ™‚

Meet up with Tina (Ana Tejano) in Singapore

In my last blog post, I mentioned that October kicked my butt and that’s why I haven’t been able to catch up on blogging. Looks like November is doing the same! But I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to set aside more time to write because I miss blogging. 😦 Let me kick things off with a quick update about my meet up yesterday with Tina a.k.a. Ana Tejano, who is in Singapore for a short trip. Tina and I have known each other for years – starting from when we were newbie Filipino book bloggers (she was blogging at I Like It Dog-Eared). I remember we were reading more YA back then and now I think both of us read more romance. We’ve also been part of various bookish groups/events in Manila like The Filipino Group in Goodreads and Filipino ReaderCon. And now she’s an author of #romanceclass novels! She writes under a pseudonym (Ana Tejano) and has already released several titles. I’m such a bad friend, I still haven’t had a chance to read her books. You guys know how it is – so many books, so little time. Anyway, I’m so glad we got to catch up one on one yesterday over tea time at Antoinette and a visit to Kinokuniya.

Here are the goodies that we had for tea time:

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And here we are in front of Christmas tree, as well as with our book purchases from Kinokuniya (which we were able to get at 20% off yay):

With Tina in Singapore

With Tina in Singapore - Kinokuniya

We both bought romance graphic novels so of course, we had to take a selfie in the romance section of the bookstore. πŸ™‚ As always, I had a lot of fun hanging out with a bookish friend especially since it feels like I haven’t had a chance to catch up with Tina one on one in years.

It’s almost midnight on Sunday over here and I’m in denial again that the weekend is over. Will probably squeeze in some reading before bed. If you don’t see me here on WordPress, I’m always on Twitter, Instagram and Litsy (username: Chachic) because it’s a lot easier for me to update apps that I have on my smartphone. Which reminds me that I still need to write a blog post about Litsy to convince the rest of you to join me over there. πŸ˜›

Meet Up With Honey

Yesterday was a public holiday in Singapore, which is a good thing because I was able to sleep in (haven’t been feeling well since Saturday) and I got to meet Honey while she’s here. Honey is the blogger behind Coffeespoons, co-founder and head of the annual Filipino ReaderCon and currently the Southeast Asia sales manager of Penguin Random House (a.k.a. dream job of book nerds). An all around bookish person! Because of various bookish events, we used to see each other on a regular basis back when I was still based in Manila. But we haven’t really had a chance to meet up since I moved to Singapore. So I was glad that Honey had enough time during her trip for a catch up. We met up at Ah Teng’s Bakery at Raffles Hotel:

Ah Teng's Bakery

I wasn’t able to take a pic of what we had because I wasn’t really planning to document this meet up. But I need to thank Honey for shouldering the cost of the first round of our merienda (snack time). Maraming salamat! πŸ˜€ Here we are at the courtyard of Raffles Hotel, one of Singapore’s historic places:

With Honey at Raffles Hotel

Raffles Hotel ourtyard

We walked around CHIJMES, which was a former convent that has been converted into a very commercial area with various bars and restaurants. Both of us were trying to figure out Instagram Stories while we were walking around:

CHIJMES

CHIJMES 2

CHIJMES 3

And then we headed to Tiong Bahru Bakery for a second round of merienda, which again I didn’t get to take a picture of. It was so much fun chatting with Honey for several hours because we had LOTS to catch up on. We talked about books, of course. Jobs, both previous and current ones. Life in general. I think we could have kept going on and on if we didn’t have other things that we wanted to do. A holiday well-spent. πŸ™‚ I hope more bookish friends get to visit Singapore soon.

Tweedle Book Cafe on a Friday Night

I’m back in Singapore soil but still behind on blog posts so I have a few more Manila-related posts that will (hopefully) go up in the coming days. I’ve been meaning to visit Tweedle Book Cafe again after my initial visit last December. So when friends asked me last Friday where I wanted to meet for dinner, I suggested this place. You know you’re a book nerd when you bring your friends to a book cafe on a Friday night. Woohoo, reading party! I’ve been encouraging them to read more so I wanted them to experience a book cafe. πŸ™‚

Tweedle Book Cafe - May 2016 - long table

Dinner (TWG first edition tea, salpicao with egg and kimchi) and signed copies of Agay Llanera’s books:

Tweedle Book Cafe - May 2016 - dinner

Only Vintage Love is mine, given by Chris Mariano as a gift back when it was launched and recently signed by the author when I met her in person. I’ve yet to read it! The rest are copies I got for my friends Ena, Chuchay and Mich to read and share. These three have inherited and borrowed books from me before, and were also super excited to get signed books as Christmas gifts last year. I love it when real life overlaps with my book blogging life.

Here are #romanceclass books available at the cafe:

Tweedle Book Cafe - May 2016 - romanceclass

Delicious hot chocolate infused with hibiscus, made in Cebu by The Chocolate Chamber. Served in a pretty tea cup:

Tweedle Book Cafe - May 2016 - hot chocolate

Last but certainly not the least, I brought books that I wanted to pass on with me. Unread books are sad books so I’ve been passing on physical copies of my books because they just get neglected in Manila while I’m in Singapore. Some of these I’ve read, some I’m not planning to read anytime soon. Most of them have pages that have started foxing (getting brown spots) and yellowing because of heat and humidity, even when they’ve been stored in a bookshelf with a glass cover:

Foxing - donated books

I didn’t want them to waste away so I thought it would be better to pass them on. The upright ones on the left went to my friend Ena, the right-most stack went to my friend Chuchay and the two stacks in the middle were donated to the cafe. You can visit the cafe and read those books if you wanted to.

Tweedle Book Cafe - May 2016 - donated books

I think it was a Friday well spent. I was back in Tweedle a week later, but only to drop off more books to be donated. I passed by the cafe right before heading to the airport for my flight back to Singapore. This was the stash I donated:

Tweedle Book Cafe - May 2016 - more donated books

I’m glad book cafes are becoming more of a thing in Manila. They aren’t as common in Singapore but I believe that’s because Singapore has a pretty good public library system, something that the Philippines doesn’t have. Obviously I want these book cafes to flourish, which is why I will try to keep donating books whenever I can. πŸ™‚

#romanceclass Meet Up at Books and Borders

According to the group’s website, #romanceclass are Filipinos who read and write romance and publish them independently. I know a few of the members through my blog and I’ve been jealous of all the meet-ups and activities that they’ve been having on a regular basis. Which was why I was thrilled to find out that there was going to be a meet up during the time I’m on vacation in Manila. We met last May 21 at the Books and Borders branch in Tomas Morato. A book cafe is the perfect location for a meet up with romance readers and authors. Here’s a picture of the cafe from my previous visit:

Book and Borders - tables

Book and Borders - couch

We talked about books, of course. From romance to everything else that we’ve read or we’re planning to read. We talked about the type of romances and type of heroes we like. And we also talked about the most random things, just anything that we could think of. We also passed around books and swag that we wanted to pass on to fellow readers. Being based in Singapore, I don’t get to attend bookish meet ups like this as often as I would want to, so I was somewhat starved for that kind of conversation. I think it goes without saying that I had a great time! Here’s a group picture from Kat of Book Thingo:

romanceclass meet up - May 2016

From left to right: Agay, Chris, Kim, Anna, Kat, Mina, Jothee, Tina, Ron and me. We all look like we’re having fun, right? My haul included signed books, a magazine, bookmarks, postcards, shortbread and Philippine MANGOES! Thank you for the goodies, friends. πŸ™‚

#romanceclass - May 2016 haul

I also just wanted to share the awesomeness that is the back cover of Choco Chip Hips by Agay Llanera, which includes a quote from my review of the book:

Choco Chip Hips - back copy

Too bad it’s a limited indie edition and there probably wouldn’t be more copies of it. I bought three to give to my friends! πŸ˜€

Graphic Novel / Manga Challenge: Giant Days

graphicnovelmangachallenge by espressodream

Image designed by my friend Kim of Dreaming of Espresso. Thanks for letting me use it!

Giant DaysThe only book challenge that I signed up for this year is the 2016 Graphic Novel / Manga Challenge, and I went for the Modern Age level. This challenge is kicking my ass! I thought it would be totally manageable, and I was half-right because it hasn’t been difficult to read at least one graphic novel a month. I just haven’t been able to keep up with the reviewing part. But hey, last month’s review was a 3 volumes in 1 review type of thing so I think I’m still good. πŸ˜› Giant Days, Vol. 1 by John Allison and Lissa Treiman was supposedly my March graphic novel but I’m posting my review late, because this work week has been tiring and I wasn’t able to find time to sit down and work on a post.

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:
Susan, Esther, and Daisy started at university three weeks ago and became fast friends. Now, away from home for the first time, all three want to reinvent themselves. But in the face of handwringing boys, β€œpersonal experimentation,” influenza, mystery mold, nuchauvinism, and the willful, unwanted intrusion of β€œacademia,” they may be lucky just to make it to spring alive.

Giant Days, Vol. 1 was the book that I read during my birthday. I bought a copy of it earlier this year based on the recommendation of my good friend Maggie. I don’t think I’ve ever read a graphic novel with a college setting so I was curious when I found out about Giant Days. I was also drawn to the bright yellow cover and the illustration on it, showing a girl concentrating hard while she’s typing away on her phone. The art style seemed fitting for the storyline, and it reminded me a bit of some cartoons that I watched growing up. It had a young and fun vibe to it. Right off the bat, readers are introduced to Susan, Esther and Daisy. Three college girls who have totally different personalities but have become close friends in a short span of time. It was easy to sink my teeth into Giant Days and I found it an enjoyable read, but I couldn’t really say that I loved it. It was fun to get to know the girls and to see them supporting each other through their college-related adventures, but I wasn’t as invested in them as I would have liked to be. The length felt too short for me to get to know them enough. It would have been a stronger read for me if it had more character development. As it was, I felt that the storylines were spread a bit thinly to shine the spotlight on each of the girls. While it’s an interesting graphic novel, I’m a little undecided on whether I’d pick up the second volume due to be released sometime in April. I should probably read the rest of the graphic novels on my TBR pile before deciding to buy more.

Meet Up with Aussie YA author, Pip Harry

Last Saturday, I met up with Aussie YA author Pip Harry for brunch. I’ve been meaning to blog about our meet up but have been busy with work so I haven’t gotten around to it until now. First, I have to thank another Aussie YA author, Kirsty Eagar, for helping Pip and I connect. I wouldn’t have known that Pip has moved to Singapore if Kirsty hadn’t mentioned it! (As an aside, I’m trying to be patient while waiting for my order of Kirsty’s latest book Summer Skin, I hope it arrives soon.)

Pip and I decided to meet at one of PS Cafe’s branches, she took a pic of the place and posted it here. While I took a shot of the food that I had and the copy of I’ll Tell You Mine that Pip generously gave me, uploaded here. I told her that Filipino YA isn’t as well-developed as Aussie YA so I gave her some Filipino romance instead. We both forgot to take a pic together though!

Pip Harry's signature

We started chatting away the moment I sat down and we barely came up for air. We talked about books, life, and everything in between. We discussed Aussie YA books, of course. Who are the authors we loved, and which titles we’re both looking forward to reading. Some of the authors we talked about: Kirsty Eagar, Melina Marchetta, Vikki Wakefield, Fiona Wood, Justine Larbalestier, Melissa Keil, Ellie Marney, Amie Kaufman, and so many others. She said the community of Aussie YA authors is such a tight-knit and supportive group, which I thought was so nice. I mentioned that the way she describes that community seems similar to how the Filipino romance is developing now. And I also mentioned that I wish that Filipino YA would grow just like Aussie YA did. I also remember she asked me how I first got into reading Aussie YA, so I mentioned book bloggers who got me into it like Nomes and Maggie and a couple of others who have gone on hiatus. I can’t even remember who first recommended it but Melina Marchetta’s Jellicoe Road was my gateway book into Aussie YA. Meeting Pip made me realize that I haven’t been reading that much Aussie YA books lately, which is a shame because I have more than a few of them on my TBR pile. I will try to bump them up! Aside from books, we also chatted about random things about living in Singapore, the Philippines and Australia.

Good food, great conversation and a personalized copy of a book that I’m looking forward to reading… Makes for a fun Saturday, right? πŸ™‚ I hope this wouldn’t be the one and only time that Pip and I would get to meet.