don't call me baby
Title:
 Don’t Call Me Baby
Author: Gwendolyn Heasley
Publication: April 22nd 2014 by HarperTeen
Format: eARC, 288 pages
Source: Edelweiss
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Chick Lit
Goodreads / The Book Depository / Amazon

Synopsis: 

All her life, Imogene has been known as the girl on THAT blog.

Imogene’s mother has been writing an incredibly embarrassing, and incredibly popular, blog about her since before she was born. Hundreds of thousands of perfect strangers knew when Imogene had her first period. Imogene’s crush saw her “before and after” orthodontia photos. But Imogene is fifteen now, and her mother is still blogging about her, in gruesome detail, against her will.

When a mandatory school project compels Imogene to start her own blog, Imogene is reluctant to expose even more of her life online…until she realizes that the project is the opportunity she’s been waiting for to tell the truth about her life under the virtual microscope and to define herself for the first time.

Review:

People don’t know what it’s like to be a daughter of a blogger. Imogene, widely known by her mom’s blog readers as Babylicious, is tired of being the subject and focus of MommyliciousMeg.com. She’s sick of people reading about her every move and every experience through her mom and is especially sick of having zero privacy. Don’t Call Me Baby is Imogene’s side of the story- the story that should have only been hers to tell to begin with.

It’s rare for me to see a YA book that shows exactly how our generation is dominated by social media nowadays and even rarer to find one that centers on the blogosphere. Don’t Call Me Baby’s prologue grabbed my attention easily and it’s safe to say that I was truly interested in the author’s take on blogging. Despite the fact that the main character, Imogene, dislikes the idea of blogging due to her situation, I’m glad that Heasley shows how blogging and social media affects lives in different ways.

It’s funny how you want to separate events in your life into either good or bad piles, but sometimes, the same thing fits into both categories.

I can’t say that I was able to connect on a deep level with Imogene at all or that I was totally invested in her story but I liked how realistic her voice was, as a teenager who’s struggling to get to control her own life. She hates that her classmates know her as That Girl On That Blog instead of her actual self and resents her mother for it. Seeing everything through Imogene’s eyes- I could see why she felt the way she did. Her mom posts about the most embarrassing things, as in kill-me-now embarrassing, from her period to the fact that she has no date yet to a school dance, and the thing is- her mom’s a really successful blogger, meaning thousands of people got to read about all this. If I were in Imogene’s place, I’d be just as mortified, so in a way, I did kind of understand her.

Loving once is easy. Loving twice is harder, but love any time is always worth it.

When Imogene discovers that she’s required to start a blog of her own for a school project, she’s against it at first. Then, she realizes, along with her BFF, Sage, who also happens to be the daughter of a Vegan blogger and is the only one who really gets Imogene, that this is the perfect opportunity to change her image as Babylicious and finally get her mom to stop posting about her. Don’t Call Me Baby features both Imogene’s and Sage’s blog posts, collectively known as Mommy Blogger’s Daughters, as well as MommyliciousMeg’s posts, which I thought was quirky. Aside from this, I like that the book is well-rounded, not only revealing Imogene’s thoughts, but also showing dynamic relationships with her family, friends and people from school. We get various opinions on blogging through these characters that Imogene interact with, which was nice to read about. Imogene’s Grandma Hope, who happened to be an ace golfer, was my favorite character- I just adored her!

Sometimes you have to disconnect to reconnect.

If you’ve ever wondered about why people blog, Imogene’s story might help you answer that question. While I wasn’t head over heels with Don’t Call Me Baby, I did enjoy it quite a lot. I liked that it tried to understand and comprehend blogging, social media, and the internet. I also liked that it encourages us to get in touch with reality and disconnect once in a while from our virtual lives. For a quick, fun read about the age of the internet and a story of a girl hoping to get through the awkward stages of being a teenager without it being blogged by her mother, you might want to pick this one up.

Rating:

three

TRV_Posterbooksigningtour

Pinoy book nerds, three fabuloso authors are coming to see us here in the Philippines this coming Saturday! I am flailing in excitement! *fangirl feels*

TRV_Posterbooksigningtour

I’ve already met both Tahereh and Ransom before and although it’s only been a year, it already feels like forever! I can’t wait to see them again! Here are some photos from Tahereh’s awesome signing last year:

with Tahereh Mafi (2013) with Ransom Riggs (2013)

You can check out my short recap of last year’s event here.

No doubt this year’s signing will be just as fun, especially now that we get VRossi too! *squeaaaals* Really looking forward to meeting these fantastic authors and of course seeing my fellow book nerds! (Maybe meeting some of my Stay Bookish readers too?)

Anyway, DON’T MISS OUT ON THIS EVENT YOU GUYS! It is the signing of the year, I tell you. To know more about the deets of the event, do read on:

National Book Store brings three New York Times bestselling authors—Veronica Rossi, Tahereh Mafi and Ransom Riggs—for book signing events on April 26 at 2 pm in the Glorietta Activity Center and on April 27 at 2 pm in The Gallery of Ayala Center Cebu.

Frequently Asked Questions 

When and where are the book signings? 
April 26, 2014, 2:00 pm, at the Glorietta Activity Center
April 27, 2014, 2:00 pm, at The Gallery of Ayala Center Cebu

When will the registration be? 
Registration opens at 10:00 am on April 26 at the Glorietta Activity Center and 10:00 am on April 27 at the Activity Center of Ayala Center Cebu. Each guest will be asked to fill out the registration form upon arrival. Separate registrations for each event is required should you wish to attend both events. First come, first served.

Is there a registration fee? 
No. There is no registration fee.

How many books can I have signed? Is there a limit as to how many people can have their books signed? 
You may have any number of books signed as long as they were purchased from National Book Store, Bestsellers or Powerbooks, and we do not have any preset limit as to the number of people.

However, although we will take every effort to get as many books signed as possible, depending on the number of attendees, we reserve the right to limit the number of copies per person or limit the number of people in line. First come, first served.

Can I bring old books or other editions of the books? 
Yes, as long as the books were purchased from National Book Store, Bestsellers or Powerbooks.

Do I need to buy on-site? 
No. You can buy books before or during the events.

Can I have other items signed? 
No. Only books will be allowed to be signed by the authors.

Can we have our photo taken with the authors? 
Yes, you can have your photo with each author when they sign your book. However, we strictly allow only one photo per person for each author.

How much are the books?

Veronica Rossi titles: 
Under the Never Sky (Trade Paperback – P349)
Through the Ever Night (Trade Paperback – P349)
Into the Still Blue (Trade Paperback – P349)

Tahereh Mafi titles: 
Shatter Me (Trade Paperback – P329; Hardcover – P599)
Unravel Me (Trade Paperback – P329; Hardcover – P599)
Ignite Me (Trade Paperback – P385)
Unite Me (Trade Paperback – P329)

Ransom Riggs titles: 
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Trade Paperback – P399; Hardcover – P699)
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Graphic Novel (Hardcover – P755)
Hollow City (Trade Paperback – P399; Hardcover – P699)

The events are made possible in partnership with Raffles Makati, Glorietta and Ayala Center Cebu.

Books by Veronica Rossi, Tahereh Mafi and Ransom Riggs are available in National Book Store and Powerbooks. Shop online and buy eBooks at nationalbookstore.com. Follow National Book Store on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@nbsalert) for updates on the latest events, promos and contests. 

If you have any other questions about the signing, just message me here and I’ll try my best to help!

Are you as excited as I am to meet Tahereh, Ransom and Veronica? Let me know if you’ll be attending the event too! Hope to see you there, book nerds!

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18599709

Viviane Divine Is Dead
Title: Vivian Divine Is Dead
Author: Lauren Sabel
Publication: June 3rd 2014 by Katherine Tegen Books
Format: eARC, 288 pages
Source: Edelweiss
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
Goodreads / The Book Depository / Amazon

Synopsis: 

When a death threat arrives with teen celebrity Vivian Divine’s fan mail, Vivian has no choice but to go on the run to Mexico. She soon discovers, though, that her Oscar-nominated performance killing villains on-screen did nothing to prepare her for escaping a madman in real life. Some people say he’s a hero, others tremble in his presence, but one thing is clear: he won’t stop until Vivian is in his grasp. Why didn’t she pay more attention during those judo lessons for her role in Zombie Killer?

Vivian finds an ally in the mysterious and charming Nick. He is everything Hollywood boys are not-genuine, kind, and determined to see Vivian for who she really is. But even he seems like he can’t be trusted-what could he be hiding?

Beat up, hungry, and more confused than ever about who she’s running from, Vivian is living in a real-life blockbuster horror flick. But there’s no option to yell “cut” like there is on set….

Lauren Sabel’s Vivian Divine Is Dead is a creepy, witty, fast-paced adventure about family, fame, and having the courage to save yourself.

Review:

Vivian Divine Is Dead sounded very interesting the first time I checked it out. The title and synopsis made me very curious. As I think about it now, the book did have some interesting things going on for it, things I haven’t read about much in other books, like celebrity deaths and mafias. While that may be, the book really didn’t leave a lasting impression on me aside from a certain dissatisfaction.

Vivian Divine happens to be a teen superstar with a tragic life. When I say tragic, I’m using it in the deepest sense of the word. Vivian’s tragedies include a murdered mother, a suicidal absent father, a cheating boyfriend. Up next? A death threat that has Vivian running to Mexico for cover. Despite leaving Hollywood to go into hiding, whoever threatened Vivian is definitely still looking for her. Along her attempt to escape her pursuer, she falls in love with with the hot guy who serves as her guide to Rosales.

Goodbyes have cracked me open wide and rained salt on my wounds, but maybe I’m stronger than I thought I was, because they haven’t killed me- yet.

I’m all for drama but this book is the one case that everything just felt like too much. Only a few chapters in, everything already felt theatrical and exaggerated and that drags on through the whole story. Viviane Divine Is Dead was so much like the local TV Dramas that I haaaate very much because everything felt orchestrated and unbelievable. The book was also rather painfully predictable. I was guessing left and right with every hint dropped and I prayed I wouldn’t be right once just because I wanted the book to get more surprising. That really didn’t happen though.

You’d think I’d be done complaining about this book by now… but wait, there’s more. I didn’t like the MC. Vivian was boring and shallow as a heroine. As a spoiled celebrity, I could understand her acting superficial. For a person who’s experienced the things she had though, I feel like she lacked in depth and pitied herself too much. There wasn’t that much character growth either. Because of all that, I never was able to feel myself rooting for her or appreciating her narration.

“Grief is like that. It starts off as a painful, bloody wound, then it crusts into a scab and eventually it faces into a scar,” Isabel says. “The scar’s always there, but it doesn’t hurt anymore.”

I’d love to say that at least the romance was to-die-for but that wasn’t the case either. The romance was also predictable, a little too fast for my taste, and quite cliched. I didn’t feel the chemistry and I disliked the way Vivian was always fawning how sexy Nick, her love interest, was. (I mean, girl, you’ve got bigger problems to think about!) I could understand if it you were in a different situation. However, I did like Nick as a character. He had snark and humor, plus he was a nice guy too despite coming off as a jerk at first.

All that said, I acknowledge that the book managed to keep me reading. Even though I thought that Vivian was a bore, the plot itself was eventful enough. Also, the story’s Mexico setting was nice to read about and I appreciated the inclusion of the place’s culture. Maybe if I connected with the protagonist or if the story were less dramatic, I would have liked this one. As a whole, I thought that Vivian Divine Is Dead was vexatious and a little less than average.

Rating:

two