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The NU Lady Bulldogs outlast the AdU Lady Falcons in 4 sets, taking their first trip to the Shakey's V-league finals.read more
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#18 A CLASH OF KINGS (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2)
Author: George R.R. Martin
No. of Pages: 1040, Paperback
Date Started: 3-Apr-12
Date Finished: 24-May-12
So far, the saga remains interesting and unpredictable. And always, Tyrion Lannister has the best lines. George R.R. Martin did not disappoint, I'm certainly looking forward to reading the third book.
Still here. I'm just waiting for my first month at work to be done and over with para I can have spare time. Adjustment stage for moi.
As You Are
Read on May 27, 2012
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars
I'd like to start on a positive note, so: this was pretty funny and sweet. I picked it up because it had my favorite trope: 'right-in-front-of-you-but-dating-someone-else-jealousy!!' While it did have a bit of that and some quirky humor, I was mostly annoyed by the storytelling, specifically the use of flashbacks.
Using flashbacks are supposed to enrich a story. Maybe there are details needed that can't be revealed at a certain point, which makes a flashback necessary. Or maybe something's been published, and the author just thought of something that should have happened when s/he's writing the second book so she uses a flashback to include it.
This book makes horrendous and frankly, overuses flashbacks. There are things you need to flashback on, and there are things that you can simply narrate because doing them in a flashback does not do anything for the story. In this case, the flashbacks did not add suspense or flavor to the story nor did I find the flashbacks interesting. The soccer game? Jeannie? Granted, the jokes were funny, but the book could have done without them and developed the story in a different way. Such as more attention to what's written in the blurb, maybe romance developing in the bookstore or the bar or whatever. Because in all honesty, the love interest (Danny) could have been a bartender, a novelist, or have any other profession. I don't see why 'he owns a bookstore!' even made it to the back cover as it wasn't a significant detail in the story. Yes, the leads may have met there (in a quick flashback, i might add)--but that's it. They could have met while peeing at a public bathroom and it would've been the same.
I have mixed feelings about the lead. While out, loud, proud and funny, the fact that he's got more or less a perfect life (and figure despite having chocolate as a major food group) and is practically floating in money given by his parents, annoys me. He's a hopeless romantic and you know he'll get love. He even corrects the small mistakes he commits at exactly the right time! HE HAS EVERYTHING. Those are the leads I hate the most--yet I can't hate the lead too much because he reminds me so much of a lot of my friends. And the other off thing is that in his romantic fantasies, he is very much content to be a trophy boyfriend and not achieve anything for himself. While I know that some people are happy with that, it seems kind of off to someone who is "always the favorite" in class and is smart enough to understand which political and religious beliefs belly gay rights.
Overall, the story was pretty boring and safe. It is pretty funny though, so that's the saving grace.
1. A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes Novel) by Arthur Conan Doyle
2. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
3. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
4.Tales of Beedle the Bard by JK Rowling
5. The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot
6. Boy Meets Girl by Meg Cabot
7. Every Boy's Got One by Meg Cabot
8.Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
9. The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan
10.Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
11.Percy Jackson: The Demigod Files
12. Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth
13. Percy Jackson and the Titan's Curse
14. Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters
15. The Witches by Roald Dahl
16. Makeup Manual by Bobbi Brown
17. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Conan Doyle
18. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
19. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
20. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
21. The Best of Chico and Delamar's The Morning Rush Top 10
22. The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice
23. Sweet Lyric by Lisa Marie Davis
24. Hot Head by Damon Suede
25. Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
26. As You Are by Ethan Day
31. kafka on the shore - haruki murakami
(30) Inside Out
Author: Maria Snyder
The whole story happened in this place so called Inside. Itís a very big cube divided into 3 rows and 3 columns with 4 floors and assigned as sectors or quadrants. The people living in the upper most floor are called the Uppers, they live in a life of luxury where they are allowed to have a family and a space of their own. The lower level people are called Scrubs. They are called such because their main job is to scrub clean the pipes that sustain their everyday needs, air, water, electricity. The main protagonist is Trella, she is labeled as the Queen of the Pipes because she knows basically all the cris crossing of the pipes and the gaps. One time, her friend Cog introduced her to a prophet who knows something about the Gateway or the way to the Outside. It all started on that and as the story progressed Trella became the hope of everyone both the Scrubs and the Uppers. There where people helping her and with much sacrifice she found the gateway but only to discover that they are currently traversing the outer space and only on the millionth week will they be able to arrive to their final destination, the planet Earth.
IMABOOKKEEPER check out my other reviews
1. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
2. The Girl who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
3. The Girl who Kicked the Hornetís Nest by Stieg Larsson
4. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
6. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
7. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
8. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
9. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
10. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
11. The Book Thief by Mark Zusak
12. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Housseini
13. On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
14. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Mariel Barbery (325 pages)
Review: I would not rate this as high as I gave it until the last few pages when the story came together. The first chapters were rather philosophical. The prose was beautiful but the message it conveys is somewhat pretentious and stereotypical. Once the characters realize this and views life in a different way, however, my feelings on this book turned 360 degrees. 4/5 stars.
1. A Study In Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
HunterXHunter Volume 1
May 31, 2012
My rating scale for this--and all subsequent volumes--will be based on story and art. I caught an episode of the 2011 anime on Animax and I realized, hey, I never knew what happened after the Zoaldyck arc (back when it was on GMA). I was also in the mood to read something gory, so I decided to read the manga.
Gon Freecss, 11 going on 12, is off to take the prestigious Hunter exam above the objections of his adoptive mother, Mito. The exam is an arduous one, where it is said that only one in hundreds of thousands can pass the test (personally, I think this is an exaggeration especially when one sees the amount of Hunters they meet in later volumes). Even if this is the cases, thousands still take the exam every year as being a Hunter gives you the best privileges in the world as well as access to places, things and occupations.
The first volume tackles the process of the Hunter exam. As soon as Gon steps off Whale Island, the exam begins. Because of the volume of people who want to take the exam every year, the elimination process starts on the transport he takes to the exam center. Here, he meets fellow examinees Kurapika and Leorio. Only the three of them pass the standards and are brought to a meeting place where they'll meet a navigator to take them to the test site. This also turns out to be a test which they also pass. They finally reach the hidden exam site. They meet recurring Hunter Exam takers Tonpa, Amori brothers, etc. During the first round, an endurance test, Gon befriends Killua Zoldyck
the only other examinee his age. Backgrounds for the other characters are revealed during the run: Killua comes from an assassin family and is rebelling by taking the Hunter Exam, Kurapika wants to be a Hunter to hunt down a bandit group [Genei Ryodan] who killed his tribe for their scarlet eyes and get access to places (rich collectors, black market, etc) where he can find their eyes, and Leorio wants the riches being a Hunter can provide to become a doctor for the poor.
During the test, examinee Hisoka (disqualified from last years examination since he killed a judge) decides to help with the selection process by getting rid of the weaker competition. The introduction of Hisoka is the first scene of gore and violence in the manga.
The manga is interesting and exciting, especially since half of the lead characters are morally ambiguous and have darkness in them. The details in the art are great, from backgrounds to shading.
Last edited by talkplaylove; Jun 2, 2012 at 12:45 AM.
HunterXHunter Volume 2
May 31, 2012
As Hisoka kills off the participants, readers realize he has blood lust--hence the killing spree. A large group of participants team up to attack him but he kills them single handedly, without getting a scratch on himself. Hisoka confronts Leorio and Kurapika, and seems to enjoy getting ready to face off with them more than he did killing the weaker contestants. Gon interferes before Hisoka can kill Leorio. Hisoka, in an interesting turn of events, seems to be taken by Gon. Gon confesses to Kurapika that the prospect of fighting for his life in a certain death situation excited him, something he has not felt before.
The next exam is given by Gourmet Hunters. The participants pass the first part easily. Everybody fails the second, as no one knows how to make sushi. Hunter Committee President Netero makes his appearance to resolve the situation. A replacement test is given, which a lot of participants pass. The examinees take Netero's blimp to the next hunting site. In the blimp, Tonpa tries to eliminate more examinees, Killua and Gon play ball with Netero (Netero remarks on both their abilities). Here we see the first darkness in Killua as he kills two examinees to ease his frustration of losing against Netero.
Netero delays their arrival at the next testing site so Gon can rest. They arrive at Trick Tower, wherein they have 72 hours to reach the bottom alive, or be disqualified. Groups must proceed in teams of five and vote on everything. Gon, Killua, Leorio and Kurapika are joined by Tonpa. Tonpa tries to sabotage them at every turn, purposely voting against them and surrendering at the first fight against convicted criminals.
HunterXHunter Volume 3
May 31, 2012
The group has to win 3/5 fights against the convicted criminals. Tonpa forfeits, Gon uses his wits to win, Kurapika knocks out his opponent pretending to be a member of the Ryodan but refuses to kill him, Leorio makes bets--winning Kurapika's match for him (proving that the criminal was faking his condition) and loses his own match, costing the group 50 hours in a small room. The final match is with a convicted serial killer, well known for mutilating his victims bodies in the blink of an eye. Killua asks him, "you think it's better than dying than losing, don't you?" and kills him in less than a minute by pulling his heart out of his chest. With a smile on his face, he crushes the heart. This part was interesting because it made me think that if the criminal didn't chose death, would Killua have killed him? He obviously derives pleasure from killing, even as he tries to curb it. The rest of the group is told about his family background. Tonpa has successfully managed to wreck discord in the group using their differing opinions.
Hisoka's battle against a former Hunter exam judge is shown. This is the first time we see him injured in battle. He is the first one out of the tower, completing the challenge in six hours. Even though he isn't part of the group, all his exposure--and the fact that we're also following him--makes me believe he's one of the main characters. Once the fifty hours are up, the group proceeds to the final chamber. The room is filled with all kinds of weapons. With only three hours to go, they must make a decision between two doors that lead to the exit--one will get them out in minutes but can only take three, the other will take 45 hours but will take all five.
Gon thinks of a solution and as a result, all five manage to get to leave the tower in time. Hisoka watches the tower and smiles when the group makes their appearance. The next part of the test will take a week. The examinees have to accumulate six points by stealing the tags of their fellow examinees. Each one is given a target. The tag of their target is equivalent to three points, their own tag is three points, and other hunter tags are worth one point. Gon's target is Hisoka.
Hunter X Hunter Volume 4
May 31, 2011
Gon is terrified and exhilarated by the challenge of stealing a tag from Hisoka. He trains with his fishing hook to snatch the tag.
Leorio gets fooled by Tonpa and a teammate. Kurapika intervenes and proposes to team up with Leorio. Together, they catch Tonpa and his friend, and get their tags. Kurapika has completed his as Tonpa was his target. They look for Leorio's.
Hisoka doesn't seem to be hunting for his own target. Rather, he's collecting individual tags. He choses Kurapika and Leorio as his next targets. Kurapika bargains with him, offering the extra tag but willing to fight for his and Leorio's tag with their life.This pleases Hisoka and he accepts the extra tag. I think readers are getting a sense here that Hisoka does not only kill because he's bored but he enjoys facing off against people who are strong / have powerful potential. Hisoka is revealed to have a comrade in the exam--and the commrade is surprisingly in a disguise.
Gon is still stalking Hisoka and waits for the right moment to steal his tag. Gon manages to steal the tag while Hisoka is fighting another opponent which in turn catches Hisoka's interest. Gon is attacked immediately after by his hunter and has both tags stolen, leaving him paralyzed. Hisoka arrives soon after, holding the head of the hunter who tranquilized Gon, informs Gon of how long he'll remain in that state (interesting to note that he asked this of him just so he can relay the information to Gon) and returns both Gon and Hisoka's tag, complimenting on his technique. Gon refuses the charity so Hisoka punches him and tells him to return the tag once he's strong enough to punch Hisoka in the face.
The Amori brothers close in on Killua. Killua injures his hunter. He notices his tag and realizes one of his brother is his target. The other two are paralyzed with fear. He takes all their tags. He throws the two useless tags into the forest.
Gon he seeks out Kurapika and Leorio after he recovers from the tranquilizer, and helps them obtain Leorio's target tag. They manage to get stuck in a snake cave but Gon's wit and gut saves them. At the end, only nine examinees remain.
The final exam is an elimination tournament. The winners are automatically Hunters and the losers can fight once more. This makes it so that only one will not become a Hunter at the end of the exam. Winning can be achieved by KO or by the other party admitting defeat, but killing is not allowed. Gon wins his match against Hanzo, with Hanzo admitting defeat as Gon wouldn't, even though he is beaten and clearly outmatched. Gon faints. When he wakes up, the exam is over. He is told that it is Killua who failed the exam.
This is the final chapter about the Hunter exam. After four volumes, the Hunter exam is over. It'll be interesting to see if being a hunter is all it's cracked up to be.
Last edited by talkplaylove; Jun 2, 2012 at 01:42 AM.
Hunter X Hunter Volume 5
May 31, 2011
Gon is told about the events of the Hunter exam. Kurapika and Hisoka fought, both getting injured in the fight. Hisoka whispers something to Kurapika and withdraws from the fight, making Kurapika the winner. Pokkuru and Hanzo fight, Hanzo wins. Killua withdraws from his first match against Pokkuru, wanting a stronger opponent. Hisoka beats up Bodoro, whispers something to him, and Bodoro admits defeat. Gittarakur (Hisoka's ally) removes his disguise and Killua is shocked to find out that it is his older brother Irumi, who is there to stop Killua from getting a license while getting one of his own. He threatens to kill Gon. Killua leaves the exam room but comes back and suddenly kills Bodoro. He is disqualified.
His disqualifiation is contested but Netero rules against it. Irumi reveals that Killua has gone home and tells them where his home is. Kurapika, Gon and Leorio decide to go to Killua's home and find him. Hisoka is surprised that Irumi revealed his whereabouts but Irumi says the location is famous because of them, anyway.
The way to the Zoldycks is interesting and funny. The trio ride a tour bus that goes to the Zoldycks gate. They apparently have an immense property that starts from the foot of a mountain forest and their house is at the top of the mountain. The trio undergo strength training given by the Zoldycks guard, face the Zoldyck bodyguards, and finally allowed to enter the servants mansion to wait for Killua. This happens in a span of three weeks.
Killua, meanwhile, is shackled to the wall in chains and is getting tortured by his brother, appearing to have fainted. He wakes up and greets his brother cheerfully when he is called to talk to his father. He breaks the chains off from the wall easily, revealing that he was just letting his brother torture him as an apology for beating him up to get out of the mansion. Killua tells his father of his Hunter exam adventures and his friends, which pleases his father. His father lets him go join his friends despite his mother's objections.
The group reunites happily. Kurapika reveals what Hisoka whispered during the match. It turns out to be something about the Ryodan. The group agrees to meet in six months at York Shin City, where Kurapika will meet Hisoka. Kurapika will look for a job to get enough money to go to the auction, Leorio will study for university and Gon and Killua head to Heavens Arena to earn money and train for Gon's fight with Hisoka so he can return Hisoka's tag.
Last edited by talkplaylove; Jun 2, 2012 at 01:54 AM.
[I have literally done nothing but lie in bed and read this manga all day]
Hunter X Hunter Volume 6
May 31, 2012
This volume follows Gon and Killua in Heavens Arena, where they battle other people to reach the highest level. The higher level they reach, the more money they win. They meet a boy their age, Zushi and his master, Wing.
Killua senses that Zushi is using a power similar to that of his brother and Hisoka. Wing refuses to teach them this technique.
Hisoka is waiting for the boys on the 200th floor. He has been fighting in the arena, killing all of his opponents and has never lost a match. Hisoka reveals he's been stalking the boys since they separated with Leorio and Kurapika. He prevents Killua and Gon from proceeding by sending out a wave of powerful energy. He reveals that all participants in the 200th floor and up are users of Nen.
Wing arrives and agrees to teach the boys this ability (Nen). In four hours, the boys learn the basics. They return to the 200th tower, pass through Hisoka's energy and register. Pleased, Hisoka tells Gon that if he wins one fight in that floor, he will fight him.
Gon tests out his new ability and loses his match. Hisoka fights Kastro, who manages to get the upper hand and cut of Hisoka's arm. Once Hisoka figures out Kastro's trick, he kills Kastro.
This volume was a bit boring because of all the Nen explanations. Although it'll play a big part throughout the manga, this volume was pretty technical and even during Hisoka and Kastro's fight, Hisoka was explaining some parts of Nen.