Tahereh Mafi + Ransom Riggs in Manila!

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I was scheduled to interview Tahereh Mafi (author of “Shatter Me,” “Unravel Me”) last Saturday prior to her bloggers’ forum at Powerbooks, and was delighted to find Ransom Riggs (author of “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”), who had flown in with her, had come along to check out her events as well. When I asked if I could interview him with Tahereh, Ransom graciously agreed, so I had a lovely hour chatting with these two YA authors!

Doing a joint interview was a great idea, not just because of the limited time before the start of the bloggers’ forum, but also because Tahereh and Ransom are friends, so they were very candid the whole time! From their books to their writing, down to what they’ve experienced of the Philippines so far, we certainly had a lot to talk about, and it was an amazing experience.

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The Raven Boys

I knew I’d definitely be reading more of Maggie Stiefvater’s work after The Scorpio Races, which was simply spectacular. I had read her Shiver trilogy earlier, and while I thought her prose was beautiful, I can’t say I’m a fan of the forsake-all-others teen romance (vampire, er, werewolf or no werewolf), so Maggie Stiefvater’s recent novels have been a welcome change.

From the fantasy of The Scorpio Races, Stiefvater returns to the paranormal realm with The Raven Boys. Nope, there are no werewolves in this one, but it ventures into the occult — my kind of paranormal. I do love a good ghost story!

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Fated and Alyson Noel

Before I left on my Angkor Wat vacation in late July, I got to interview New York Times bestselling YA author Alyson Noel, who was in Manila to promote her latest book, Fated, with a book signing organized by National Book Store and Powerbooks.

It was a rainy night, but we paid no heed to the downpour, as we were having a sumptuous Filipino dinner at Cafe Juanita. Alyson very gamely tried out the spread of local dishes, including crispy pata, kare-kare, torta and many more, while we discussed our mutual love for Judy Blume (squee!), the Hispanic influence on Filipino culture, and of course, her books and her work as a writer.

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Happy Hunger Games!

All weekend, people have been asking me how I found the Hunger Games movie so I decided a blog post was in order for the occasion.

I think I’ve been half-excited, half-scared ever since the movie was announced, the way I am whenever a favorite book hits the big screen. Everyone knows I’m not a big fan of film adaptations — I’d be perfectly happy leaving my favorite books as they are, in my imagination, where, in my experience, they’re a whole lot better.

Lately, though, I’ve been quite, erm, reckless (hehe!) in watching film adaptations — I think, now that Harry Potter is over, I’ve conditioned myself to thinking it can’t get any worse. I’ve caught quite a number of them in the past few months — and of books I love, too! — and I admit it hasn’t been half bad. The Adventures of Tintin was awesome (but underappreciated, I think!); The Girl with A Dragon Tattoo was a bit too Hollywood for my taste (too pretty!), and Noomi Rapace will always be my choice for Lisbeth Salander, but the Hollywood version did work well as a narrative. and Hugo — it was, hands down one of the best movies I have ever seen, and *gasp* I actually enjoyed it more than the book!

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The Scorpio Races

I can’t really say I’m all that fond of horses, although I’ve read my share of horses when I was younger, likeĀ  Black Beauty and The Summer of the Dancing Horse. I also haven’t had a lot of exposure to equines, other than the requisite carriage rides in Vigan or Old Manila, and long-ago pony rides in the highlands. In fact, of late, the closest I’ve gotten to these four-legged creatures is My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, to keep up with my *ahem* brony friends.

I’ve read Maggie Stiefvater‘s werewolf novels Shiver and Linger, and while they did not make a paranormal romance fan out of me, I thought they were among the better-written books in the genre. But when I first saw her latest novel, I honestly did not know what to make of it. Mainly because of the nondescript brown cover — you all know I judge a book by the cover! — and well, you’ve got to admit there is something off-putting about a story featuring flesh-eating water horses! Nevertheless, I decided to give it a chance.

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