Monday, February 8, 2016

2016 Reading Challenge

As I am writing this, there are fireworks now going off all around here for the welcoming of the Chinese New Year. Since I am a quarter Chinese, my family do celebrate but this year everyone is just tired from their hike in Mt. Pinatubo so we just had Chinese food delivered for dinner haha... Kung Hei Fat Choi! ^_^

Anyways, back to the main reason of this post. I would just like to share my 2016 reading goals. I was unable to achieve my goal last year since a lot had happened and I don't have enough time to read as many books as I want. So this year, I have 2 main goals:

1. To try more authors & genres (I have been good with this one so far).

2. To read a minimum of 50 100 books in 2016. Re-reads not counted. I have decided to up the count since I have already read a lot & it's only mid of February, also I include novellas in the counting so I think it's fair to put a higher number.

I have been trying to monitor my reading at Goodreads but my tracker doesn't move and it is still in 0% even though I have already read a couple of books since January. So I have decided to track my reading here as well in this post. I'm on a roll!!! =)

1. The Score by Elle Kennedy
2. Magic Stars by Ilona Andrews
3. Sweep in Peace by Ilona Andrews
4. The year we fell down by Sarina Bowen
5. The year we hid away by Sarina Bowen
6. Blonde date by Sarina Bowen
7. Sacked by Jen Frederick
8. #Nerd by Cambria Hebert
9. #Hater by Cambria Hebert
10. #Player by Cambria Hebert
11. #Selfie by Cambria Hebert
12. #Poser by Cambria Hebert
13. #Lovers gonna hate by Cambria Hebert
14. #Holiday by Cambria Hebert
15. The Perfect Play by Jaci Burton
16. Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
17. Breakaway by Catherine Gayle
18. On the fly by Catherine Gayle
19. Light in the lamp by Catherine Gayle
20. Delay of the game by Catherine Gayle
21. Double major by Catherine Gayle
22. Taking a shot by Catherine Gayle

Please do post your suggestions for good reads in the comment section below. I am always on the lookout for the next book to add on my To-Be-Read (TBR). ^_^

Thank you for dropping by!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Hello everyone!

Happy 2016! 

Are you all surprised with this post? haha actually I'm not even sure if any of my readers are still here to read this... especially my future posts if I do try to come back full time in the blogging world... BUT I really miss writing reviews and sharing my thoughts about the things I have tried or have watched or have read... so I have decided that even though it's almost 2 yrs since my last post, I will try again to come back & post reviews weekly. I am crossing my fingers that I will be able to keep this schedule since I am currently working night shift & only have weekends off to write a post, but I will definitely do it!

I hope everyone will join me again as I try out products after products, read a lot of books & watch a ton of Asian dramas. =D

Thank you!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Gale Reads: Empower [Violet Eden Chapters # 5] by Jessica Shirvington

Finally! I'm done reading the last book in the Violet Eden Chapters. It really a sort of an achievement for me whenever I finish a series because that meant I have completed the story :)

TITLE: Empower
AUTHOR: Jessica Shirvington
GENRE: Young Adult, Angels, Love Story, Paranormal
PUBLISHED DATE: November 12, 2013 
# of BOOKS IN THE SERIES: 5 titlse, this is the final installment

It has been two years since Violet Eden walked away from the city, her friends, her future and - most importantly - her soulmate, Lincoln. Part angel, part human, Violet is determined to stand by the promises she made to save the one she loves.
Living in the perpetual coldness of a broken soul she survives day to day as a Rogue Grigori in London.
But when an unexpected visitor shows up at her door, the news he bears about someone she swore to protect leaves Violet with no choice.
Even worse, she fears that this might all lead back to the night she tries hardest to forget. And what was taken without her permission.
Violet is going back to New York ... and she knows exactly who is going to be there.
With Phoenix in her dreams and Lincoln in her heart she knows it is only a matter of time before the final choice must be made.  

I don't want to talk & rate this anymore. The original book cover (left) is just so boring and has no appeal whatsoever. I love the other version (right, red) way way better because it has more personality :)

I would recommend you read my review of the first 4 books before reading this post because I have given a good intro for the series in those. Just click here.

I am so so glad that the author made the character of Violet Eden mature book after book. She turned from a whiny love crazed teenager with all those angst that is so immature for someone who has a big responsibility to a wonderful mature girl who knows what she is capable to do & what she must do. She is not totally ruled by her emotions anymore & can control her feelings & actions way better. I guess it's a nice touch for the author because it showed great character development not only for Violet but also to all the other character in the story because she's not the only one who matured. 

This finale is full of action & twists that it became a page turner, which is a little unexpected because I didn't have that much high hope with the series. I loved all the fight scenes that happened. And the ending is the best for each character. I just hoped she didn't have to kill the one that I liked since it's not essential to the story. Anyhow, I really admire each scene of this book and I am now adding this series on my to-buy list for physical copies :)

Perfect ending for a good series. If you love books about strong women then this is for you.

It is a good series, just not the best in the YA genre that I have read. It started slow in the first 3 books but started to pick up in book 4 & 5. I did love the concept about Gregoris & Nephilims & Angels but the premise & everything is not unique. I would have loved to see more depth to the story. But this is still a good series to read especially if you love books about angels.

Thanks for dropping by!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Gale Reads: Psy Changeling Series Book 8-12 by Nalini Singh

I decided to read the whole series for March & I did! I'm so happy to be able to accomplish my March To-Be-Read list. Its quite hard because I can only read a few pages at a time since I was quite busy at work. Anyhow, here's part 2 of my review of the Psy-Changeling Series!   

Click here to read part 1 of my review.

TITLES: Bonds of Justice, Play of Passion, Kiss of Snow, Tangle of Need, Heart of Obsidian
AUTHOR: Nalini Singh
GENRE: Urban fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Shapeshifters

Cover Talk:
As with my previous review, I'm not a fan of any of this book covers. I haven't found any of them to be in my liking, I guess Heart Of Obsidian is the most passable just because of it's mysterious aura. I hope they release a new version for the whole series when the time comes that I will buy them for my bookshelf.

*I hope my new room will be done sooner so that I can make a wall full of my books :)


The last 5 books are awesome! It's so full of action & happenings that it's so hard to sleep at night when it's time for bedtime because I still want to continue reading. Really a page turner. Kudos to Nalini Singh for making the story flow as smooth as possible because it's really hard to create 1 whole story divided into many books and for it to be told in different point of views. I love how she created this society by showing it through the eyes of the different Psy designations & the Changelings. It really created depth to the story & provided a clearer picture since it's not biased from just looking at it from one perspective. 

My favorite among the 12 books is definitely Heart of Obsidian. It's a perfect ending to begin a new chapter of how Psy and Changelings alike will live. There's so many twists in this book & I love how she created the character as both powerful & vulnerable at the same time. I so love Kaleb and I'm so excited to see more of him in the next books ahead.

My least favorite is Tangle of Need. I can safely say that this is a "bridge" book in the series because even though it is meant for Riaz & Adria, the whole book didn't focus on them. It had a lot of scenes w/Sienna & Hawke & the other important people and it seems this book is created to make the transition from Kiss of Snow to heart of Obsidian. Don't get me wrong, I love those 2 & enjoyed every part where they appeared in Tangle Of Need but I hoped Nalini created a more focused story on Riaz & Adria's love story since they both are broken in a way & I would love to see more interactions between them. Aside from that, everything is superb :)

I really love this series & the last 5 is awesome since it involves a lot more complex situations. I hope Nalini will continue making this series. And more novellas too please!

P.S. I can't wait for Vasic's story in the next book titled Shield Of Winter. It will be out in June 3, 2014.
wild invitation nalini singh

Thanks for dropping by!

Review: Carmen Claire Shine Patrol Powder

How's everyone? We are currently celebrating a 4-day holiday right now here in the Philippines for Holy Week.  It's really the perfect opportunity to spend some quality time w/my family & to be thankful for all the blessings we have received. I just hoped that I am not spending it sick like now.. the changing of weather brought me cough & colds. anyhow, I'm feeling better now so I can do my thing here & review this product.

I first encounter this product in one of Say's Youtube video wherein she road-tested this Carmen Claire Shine Patrol powder throughout the day. I got intrigued because it is a local brand & based on their website they use high quality ingredients from the US. So I did purchase myself in Medium Light
*photo from 
Mine is still in the old packaging which is in a black square case w/o the plastic shield for the sponge.Pardon the state of my compact, it's well loved so it got a little battered inside my kikay kit hehe.

Net Wt: 0.4 oz or 11.3g
4 Shades available
Price: Php 415.00
Made in USA
More info regarding the product in the website.



 - It controls oil very well. I don't usually need to touch up throughout the day (maybe around 8hrs) if I applied this w/a sponge on top of my foundation. That is an important point, because when I applied it using a brush it didn't do well & I oiled up quite fast. I guess you need to pack in the product to do its job.

-It didn't made me itch even when I am perspiring. I have skin asthma & it's a good sign if I don't get irritated during hot weather.
- Cruelty free. It has a bunny logo in the label and it's really hard to find options for cruelty free brands here in the country so this is definitely a big plus.

- Talc & Paraben Free. For those sensitive skin ladies, this a good product to try.

- They add in 2 more shades now so they already have 4 shades available to choose from.


- Like I said, the oil control of this product is kind of a hit or miss every time I use it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It's great on top of foundation but if I use it alone on bare skin I still oil up. 

- Can give you a cakey matte look because you need to use the sponge for it to work well.
- Not sure if this is causing me comedones or not. I will try it again after my skin clear up to double check. 

- I can't use the whole pan because after a couple of uses, a hard surface on the powder appear & it stays even if I try to scrape the top layer.

- Quite pricey for almost P500. It's almost the same price as Ben Nye banana powder & that contains more product & it's a famous brand. 

It's a 4/5 if it works but a 2/5 on days it doesn't. So all in, I give this product a 3/5. There are better products out there for the price. I wouldn't repurchase this after I used it up because I love my products to be consistent in their performance.

What about you guys? Have you tried this or wanted to? Have you tried other  Carmen Claire Cosmetics products? Do share them in the comments section below so I can check them out :)

Thanks for dropping by!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Update: personal & derma stomp

Hello everyone! If you're following by blog, you'll know that I'm supposed to be putting up updates about my derma stamp experience. I am sorry to disappoint you all. I know I am supposed to but with my busy schedule, I really have no time to go to my dermatologist that frequently (it's peak season at work until June). AND I need to save up some moolah because I'm getting married next year! I want to have all my focus on that coz this is a once in a lifetime event & i need budget for my ideas to come to life hehe you know how girls are :) 

I hope you all understand my situation. I'll try to post more reviews of beauty products for you as soon as I can.

talk to you all soon! Bye :)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Gale Reads: Psy-Changeling Series Book 1-7 by Nalini Singh

I have been on a reading marathon all March. It's been quite some time since I had the urge to read & read so I rode it. I started the popular Psy-Changeling Series by Nalini Singh, the same author of one of my fave Guild Hunter Series. The first book is published in 2006 & the 13th book will be out on June 2014. I have finished reading 7 books & 2 novellas. I am currently halfway in of book 8 Bonds of Justice. I only have time to read during my MRT ride to the office in the morning & an hour or 2 at night before I sleep (if I'm not too tired) so it's taking me quite a few days before I finish 1 book. It's frustrating sometimes because I want to read them continuously hehe.

GENRE: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Shapeshifters, Romance
SERIES STATUS: On-going, 12 already out
I'm not actually fond of the cover. No offense meant but I personally prefer my books to have ambiguous or mysterious covers without the face of the cast. I really enjoy imaging the face & built for each them so I hope they can release some new covers. Luckily, I'm reading this series on my tablet so I don't get to see the covers that much hehe. Please please Nalini, do release new covers like the one in the Guild Hunter series.. 


I really love Nalini Singh! I can't believe I just started reading this series this month. I should've started it a long time ago! I love how each & every character is unique in some way from the others even though they should have the "same traits" because they came in the same group/pack. I also liked how each book is connected with each other but still separate at the same time. You can actually see hints & glimpses of the lives that previous (& even future) characters had as time goes by. It's like this series is one big story then each main character was given a book to tell their own story. Even the connecting people outside of the packs are given their own stories like how Max Shannon (the Dark River pack human police friend) was given his own book so that it can connect the dots & tell the story from the side of the Psy. 

I am so in love with all the characters but Lucas & Sascha is still my fave because if theirs is not good, I wouldn't read the 2nd book, then the 3rd & so on. 

I have decided to cluster this series for review because I felt like they should be viewed as a whole story instead of separate. Although you can definitely read any of it without reading the others (I tried jumping to the 10th book hehe), I would suggest you go & invest some time to read it from book 1 so that you can appreciate the wonderful world building & can follow the story as smoothly as possible.

This is really a page-turner & if only I have all the time in the world, I can definitely finish 1 book per day. No negatives for this series yet and I hope it won't end any time soon coz I would love to read the story of their kids too :)

Thanks for dropping by!

Movie Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Hello! How's everyone doing? I'm so glad I have a free time today so I can upload my review of the last movie I've watched :)

I have been waiting for this movie to come out for so long because I am a fan of the book. if you want to read my book review, you can read it here. I also liked how the trailer showed how "dark" it is and that the producers & director didn't made it a PG 13 movie like what they did to Vampire Academy (that's so disappointing). I watched this with my fiance (who haven't read the book) and his sister (another fan of the book) on the 1st weekend airing. 

And I am so glad Veronica Roth is a co-producer because this movie really came out right off the book! Just like a live-action version :)

"In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she's Divergent and won't fit in. When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it's too late." -IMDB
Shailene Woodley as Beatrice "Tris" Prior
Theo James as Four
Ashley Judd as Natalie Prior
Kate Winslet as Jeanine Matthews

To view all the cast click here.


I'll make this review sweet & short. This movie is awesome! I can't believe how good it is, really. It's like how Hunger Games the movie is made, with the right emotions & "reality" that the story has in the book. It also contains majority of the important scenes to create the story and I think it's enough for those viewers who have not read the book itself. I asked my fiance if he enjoyed the movie & if he understood the story, and he said yes to both. Even my officemates (both gender) who watched it w/o any background of the book enjoyed it too! 

The side of me that is a fan of the book? I really had no problem with any of it. I hoped there are more scenes included but I understand that they can't fit everything in the movie. Hey, it's already over 2 hrs hehe I shouldn't be complaining anymore :) 

I also have no complaints with the casts. They really did a great job in hiring everyone because they did a fantastic job in putting life to the characters that I loved so much in the book. I especially love Theo as Four (he's such a total hunk hehe) & Shailene as Tris (doesn't she look like Kate Winslet on some angle?) because they have a believable on-screen chemistry and I love how their characters developed throughout the story. I'm excited to see more of them :)

Over-all Rating: 5/5
The best book to movie translation so far in my opinion. The acting is great, the fight scenes are awesome & the setting/props/production is superb! I can't wait for Insurgent next year and my then hubby already agreed to watch it with me again. This is really a must see movie so do watch it with your special someone or friends and I promise that you won't regret any minute of it :)

Thank you for dropping by!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Gale Reads: Dark Slayer by Christine Feehan

I have found this book in the sale bin of National Bookstore last month for only Php30 (that's less than $1!) and I wanted to try reading works from other authors so I bought it. I learned after reading it that Dark Slayer is part of a series called The Dark Series and that it's a Carpathian novel
So without further ado, here's my "first impression" on Christine Feehan's work :)

GENRE: Romance, Fantasy, Vampires, Magic
Synopsis: (from
A rumor has persisted in the vampire world of a dark slayer—a woman—who travels with a wolf pack and who destroys any vampire who crosses her path.  Mysterious, elusive and seemingly impossible to kill, she is the one hunter who strikes terror into the hearts of the undead.
She is Ivory Malinov. Her only brethren, the wolves. Long ago betrayed by her people, abandoned by her family, and cast out by everyone she held dear, Ivory has lived a century without companionship or love. She has sustained her sanity by the habit of the hunt and the custom of the feeding. Until the night she picks up the scent of a man, her unexpected salvation. Her lifemate. The curse of all Carpathian women.

He is Razvan. Branded a criminal, detested and feared, he is a dragonseeker borne of one of the greatest Carpathian lineages, only to be raised as its most despised—and captive—enemy. Fleeing from his lifetime of imprisonment, Razvan now seeks the dawn to end his terrible existence. Instead he has found his deliverance in the Dark Slayer.

In spirit, in flesh and blood, in love, and in war, Ivory and Razvan are made for each other. For as long as they dare to live.

I read the whole story without researching anything about it or the series so from the point of view of someone who have no clear idea of the premise of the story, the author was able to make me understand the what, why, who, how questions I had for this story alone. I think this book even though is part of a series can also be read as a stand alone novel. It doesn't really require the readers to read the previous ones since it's already explained somewhat. But on the other hand, I think it would create a better impact on me if I do have read the earlier books prior to reading Dark Slayer as to know the start of the whole conflict and how it affected all the characters I have encountered. Over all, I can say that this is a good read and it has a very entertaining and somewhat unique fantasy world and concept. It's actually a fast read, which surprised me. I loved how the heroine is a very strong woman, that's what really pushed me to get this book after reading the synopsis.  I just can't put my finger on it, I kept on thinking it's good but it didn't wow me that much. I can't pinpoint the exact reason why I can't give it a grade higher.

oh, wait, I take that back. I believe what put me off was the way the dialogues are written. It actually bothered me that they "speak" in Russian (I believe) and then the author will put italized English translation after it or vice versa. It's a nice touch actually until I experienced it in the entire book! It's too redundant in my opinion. Especially the endearments because  you can just put the translation once in the beginning and then continuously use the Russian word throughout the book. Or put an appendix at the end to explain all the terminologies. But aside from that, I really liked the book :)

I enjoyed reading it & I am intrigued enough on this series. I am still debating whether to buy the other ones or just download ebook copies, but I am pretty sure that i will check out more books by Christine Feehan in the future. Though I won't be reading those until much later coz I still have a lot of book in my list to read first :) 

I would recommend this to those who are looking for an action packed romance novel w/lead the heroine as a warrior.  

Do comment below if you have read other works by her. What should I get next? :)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

K-Drama Review: The Heirs

I'm on a roll today! This is already my 2nd post of the day because I had quite a hard time signing in in blogger for 2 weeks now. Everytime I want to write something, I can't sign in. Luckily, i was able to today so here I am, uploading all the stuff I was supposed to upload in the last 2 weeks. 

I have actually finished this drama last December since I usually like watching dramas the same time it airs in South Korea. So yeah, this is a long overdue drama review but it's better late than never, right? :)

TITLE: The Heirs/The Inheritors
GENRE: Drama, love story
AIRING DATES: October 9 - December 12, 2013
AIRING TIME: Wednesday-Thursday
"He Who Wishes To Wear the Crown, Endure Its Weight – The Heirs" 
This is actually a high school drama revolving about the different kinds of heirs in the upper crust society. The drama showed how each class lives & the restrictions & responsibilities that comes with their family's fortune. It also showed how the commoners live day to day. It's full of family, money & love problems.

Lee Min-ho as Kim Tan
Park Shin-hye as Cha Eun Sang
Kim Woo-bin as Choi Young Do
Choi Jin-hyuk as Kim Won
Krystal Jung [of F(x)] as Lee Bo Na
Kim Ji-won as Yoo Rachel 
Kang Min-hyuk [of CN Blue] as Yoon Chan Young
Kang Ha-neul as Lee Hyo Shin 
  Park Hyung-sik [of ZE:A] as Jo Myung Soo 


I will start my review by saying I am a fan of Lee Min Ho. All of his dramas that I have watched were awesome! He is one of my fave Korean actors because he can act any character from a young innocent boy to a dangerous killer. He can pull off anything so I know he'll do great here, which he did, I love his acting in this drama. Now, I know it's not a good thing to compare all his works but you can't help but have some expectations. That's where my problem began with this drama, I had super high hopes about The Heirs. 

As I've said, the storyline itself is great. It's not unique coz the theme has been used a lot of time (Poor-girl-rich-boy-with-snobbish-parents-meets-in-a-prestigious-school) but it's not always that the focus of the story is the family & personal problems of the rich kids. Also, the setting is  beautiful especially the scenes in California. This drama is full of gorgeous sceneries & amazing outfits.

Another point is that all of the casts are good in acting, even the K-pop singers are great. i have no complaints in the acting department because everyone fit the role they are playing & they were able to portray it with the intensity needed for each scene. I really enjoyed watching them especially Minhyuk & Krystal because they really fit the role. I really think they have a future in the drama industry. Choi Jin Hyuk is always awesome & I'm glad he got another supporting role here. This is my first time watching Kim Woo Bin and I'm surprised that a model turned actor is good. His emotional scenes are really on the spot & full of emotions. Even w/o dialogue you will feel him. This is the 2nd time I've watched Kim Ji Won & I actually liked her role here coz she was able to portray the mean girl aura perfectly. Hyunshik has such a little role and it's a weird one so no comment. Kang Ha neul is okay, but he also don't have enough scenes for me to judge his acting. Overall, even the supporting casts (the parents) are great and believable.

Now, for the lead characters. I have watched Park Shin Hye since You're beautiful until Flowerboy Next Door. I liked her personally because she's really a talented girl, not to mention pretty. All of her dramas that I have watched, I never had any complaints with her acting skills. Even here in The Heirs, her acting is superb. My problem is, she really can't create an on-screen chemistry with his leading men (well, except w/Jang geun Suk). She always looks reserved in romantic scenes & boy can't she kiss. It's always two lips smacked together with the camera moving around and around. I mean, she's not underage anymore & her partners are all great kissers on other dramas, so I'm betting she's the reason why the kisses turned out like that. 

* man, what's with the facial expression? just relax those eyebrows please*

I really can't feel any connection with the main couple in this drama. No chemistry at all. I love everything except for their romantic scenes, even the hugs don't feel genuine. Kang Minhyuk & Krystal's scenes are way better coz that one's believable. I'm actually sad for Lee Min Ho especially on the highlight kissing scene inside the closet, he's giving it all but Park Shin Hye can't even show a good expression the whole time. If you watch this drama, do come back & share your thoughts about that scene with me, i'm really curious what you guys think...

That's it! Those are my thoughts on The Heirs. This drama got very high rating both domestically & internationally w/ reason. if you haven't watched it yet, do so because it's worth the time. I really enjoyed it :)

Not the best Lee Min Ho drama because of the lack of chemistry with Park Shin Hye but everything else was great! Really a good light high school themed drama for K-drama lovers out there that wants a somewhat romantic comedy w/lots of conflict behind it.

For English subbed videos click here DramaGo.

Note: I don't think I can watch another Park Shin Hye drama after this. I'm so bored in her roles already, no variety anymore :(

Thank you for dropping by! Stay safe :)