Thursday, May 26, 2016

[Book Review] The Naturals

The Naturals
By Jennifer Lynn Barnes
November 5, 2013
Young-Adult, Mystery, Thriller

The premise and book description were interesting. These were what drew me in. I love serial killer books, have been a long time fan of Criminal Minds, devoured The Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay (all seven books) with gusto, and even breezed through the Dexter TV series (all eight seasons of it). This is the reason why I gave this book 4 stars.

The protagonist is likable enough, even though she could be a little too ideal. Sometimes, she's a bit bland, or mundane, but when she starts doing her thing, that's what sets her apart from all others. I would have loved to see her with more layers of personality though.

The serial killer aspect was a nice twist. I totally did not predict who was aiming for Cassie until it was revealed. I had a gut feeling it was within the group, but I had no way of knowing if it was one of the teens in the program, or not. This added to my enjoyment of the story.

I also like how being a teenager complicated things for the major characters. There were personalities clashing, hormones raging, and emotions flaring between the teenage game-players. This is even aside from the attractions that were slowly building up between characters. Admittedly, I belong to #TeamDean on this one.

What bothered me though, was the reason why these teenagers had these preternatural abilities. Are they really just THAT talented? Why? Genetics, maybe? Bio-lab experiments? What's the cause for these abilities? I need a credible and plausible back story for this.

All in all, I really enjoyed the mystery-thriller bit. #TeamDean all the way!

LINKS: Goodreads // Amazon // Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

[Personal Update] Failures and Fighting Spirits

November last year, I took the bar exam full of eagerness and optimism. It was an experience in, and of itself. It was mentally-exhausting, and emotionally-challenging, and was something I hoped to never go through again.

May 3, 2016, the bar exam results came out, and I didn't make it.

I was hurt. I cried for a little bit. I mourned. It felt like all the hard work I put in was all for naught. I felt inadequate, I felt stupid, and I began doubting myself. It was a grand defeat, and although I fought with everything I had, the end-result was the same: I did not pass the bar.

Come May 9, 2016, it was the national elections.

I am an avid advocate of Miriam Defensor-Santiago for President. In my younger years, I may have thought of the woman as comical and insane. I clearly remember her promising on national television that she was going to jump out of a plane. However, after years and years of witnessing the woman achieve excellence beyond her co-leagues, she gained my respect. She became an inspiration, an icon for strong women, and an example of excellent leadership.

She had a dry wit about her. She's fond of hyperbole and exaggerated statements that become very effective catch-phrases and punch lines. And underneath the satirical nature of her statements, she remains steadfast and unyielding in delivering excellent public service. She has been a faithful public servant for several years, and has dedicated most of her life to serving her country.

When the partial and unofficial results of the election was announced on news programs last night, I felt a physical ache in my chest. It was so disheartening to see someone who has given her best to this country remain unappreciated.

To have dedicated the best years of your life to public service, and be failed again and again, yet still remain faithful to serving this country? How does she do it?

Witnessing her defeat, I felt my failure in the bar exams pale a million times in comparison.

I felt actual, physical heartbreak for the iron lady who stood alone and courageous against the face of corruption, death threats, and even her failing health. She could have chosen to work anywhere else in the world, and be compensated with thousands of dollars. Yet she still chose to be in public service.

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, you really are the best President we never had. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you. Thank you for fighting the good fight, and for standing firm in your principles. Thank you for being someone to look up to, and for being an example to the youth.

 As for my own failure, well, I am made of sterner stuff. I am still young, and I have my battles ahead of me. If Miriam can fight the good fight, so can I.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

[Linking Up] Feature & Follow #03

Follow me on Bloglovin, Twitter & Facebook.

What are your favorite genres in books?

I'm an eclectic reader, so my reading preference is all over the place. However, I would never say no to smart rom-coms, young-adults, and mystery thrillers. See? All over the place. haha!

I have a long-standing love affair with horror. Ever since my mom bought me a copy of Washington Irving's The Sleepy Hollow and a novelized Buffy the Vampire Slayer way back in high school, I love me some good ol' toe-curling horror. 

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