Blog Tour: My Fate According to the Butterfly (Book Review)

MFAttB coverTitle: My Fate According to the Butterfly

Author: Gail D. Villanueva

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Edition: ARC

Buy LinksAmazon




“Thank you to Miss Gail. Shealea, Kate and Cara for including me to the blog tour. Thank you also to Scholastic for providing the ARC”



Light and deep, smart and funny, crushing and hopeful all at the same time, My Fate According to the Butterfly will open your eyes to both the world’s potential for magic, and to its harsh realities.
* “Villanueva’s debut is a beautiful #ownvoices middle-grade novel. Tough topics — the brutal war on drugs in the Philippines, family reconciliation, and recovery — are addressed, but warmth and humor… bring lightness to Sab’s story. This immersive novel bursts with life.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

When superstitious Sab sees a giant black butterfly, an omen of death, she knows that she’s doomed! According to legend, she has one week before her fate catches up with her — on her 11th birthday. With her time running out, all she wants is to celebrate her birthday with her entire family. But her sister, Ate Nadine, stopped speaking to their father one year ago, and Sab doesn’t even know why.

If Sab’s going to get Ate Nadine and their father to reconcile, she’ll have to overcome her fears — of her sister’s anger, of leaving the bubble of her sheltered community, of her upcoming doom — and figure out the cause of their rift.

So Sab and her best friend Pepper start spying on Nadine and digging into their family’s past to determine why, exactly, Nadine won’t speak to their father. But Sab’s adventures across Manila reveal truths about her family more difficult — and dangerous — than she ever anticipated.

Was the Butterfly right? Perhaps Sab is doomed after all!





To be honest, the first time I saw the book I wasn’t interested at all as I don’t do Middle Grade except Rick Riordan. But when I learned that the author is Filipino, I told myself “Carmel, you  should definitely read and support it.”

Here in the Philippines, it is common that when you saw a butterfly it is more likely that someone is going to die or bad things will happen. Sabrina or Sab is a 10 year old character in the story that believes she is going to die because she saw a black butterfly inside their house. Now, torn between reconciling her sister and father Sab learns the harsh truth of what it is really happening in the Philippines.

Plotwise, Gail wrote My Fate According to the Butterfly with such ease that readers can vividly enjoy and imagine the reality of the world through the perspective of a young girl. Different scenarios like eating the famous dirty ice cream and kwek-kwek in the street is so refreshing to the eyes. There’s also the MRT scene which is a common scenario here that shows that a country has its flaws sometimes.

When reading the book, you can see how beautiful Sab and Pepper’s friendship is even they are just children. You can see that no matter what the world throws them they are still with each other’s side.

One specific thing in the book is where there’s an Operation Tokhang where Sab, Pepper, Nadine and Jepoy got a ittlee involve.  For those who didn’t know Operation Tokhang it is a thing here in the Philippines where police is raiding a specific place to capture the people who uses or sells drugs. And that for me is kinda alarming because a 10-year old child got to experience that kind of brutal thing. I know that even if your young you should be knowledgeable about it. But being a teacher, for me children should not see and experience it as their consciousness is still fragile. They are things that children should not experience as it may help them to have trauma and be accustomed with that thing. But with the world today we cannot avoid that and we mature and old people should just guide them.

One funny and interesting in the story is Sab’s pet. Not just like the other book, Sab’s pet is a freaking DUCK. Can you believe it? It’s a DUCK as in D-U-C-K. Nevertheless, it’s so cute and refreshing.

To wrap it all. My Fate According to the Butterfly is a refreshing story about the harsh truth of the world through a perspective of young girl.



Actual rating is 4.5 stars



About the Author


Gail D. Villanueva is a Filipino author born and based in the Philippines. She’s also a web designer, an entrepreneur, and a graphic artist. She loves pineapple pizza, seafood, and chocolate, but not in a single dish together (eww). Gail and her husband live in the outskirts of Manila with their dogs, ducks, turtles, cats, and one friendly but lonesome chicken. Her debut novel, My Fate According to the Butterfly, is coming from Scholastic Press on July 30, 2019

Author Links:

Website / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter




Patron Saints of Nothing (Book Review)

41941681.jpgTitle: Patron Saints of Nothing

Author: Randy Ribay

Publisher: Kokila

Edition: ARC

Pages: 319 pages

Buy Links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Book Depository





A powerful coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks a Filipino-American teenager takes to uncover the truth about his cousin’s murder.

Jay Reguero plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte’s war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to find out the real story.

Hoping to uncover more about Jun and the events that led to his death, Jay is forced to reckon with the many sides of his cousin before he can face the whole horrible truth — and the part he played in it.

As gripping as it is lyrical, Patron Saints of Nothing is a page-turning portrayal of the struggle to reconcile faith, family, and immigrant identity.





Thank you Kokila and PRH International for sending me an ARC in exchange of a review. With this, all the thoughts and opinion you will read are on my own.


Narrated in a single perspective, Patron Saints of Nothing is a timely relevant and eye opener about the beauty and ugly part of the Philippines. The story is about Jason, a Filipino-American who decided to travel to Philippines to find out about his cousin Jun’s death.

The first time that I stumble about the book on twitter I already knew that I will love it. And I was right, not just because I’m also Filipino same with the author and the protagonist but it is a book that will surely leave a significant mark on you.

Ribay wrote the plot in a manner that readers will surely grasp and devour what is happening in the story. It is in a way also where reader cannot predict what will happen next. Some topics that where discuss in the story are well research especially with the drugs. With regards of the other topic, the readers can easily understand it as Ribay wrote it perfectly.

The characters are well played wherein you will surely love and hate some of them. Despite Maning’s attitude towards Jay when they are touring around Manila, I came to the thinking that Maning in that scene is like a tour guide.  A tour guide where he shows not only Jay but also the reader the rich history and culture of Philippines. It is where readers who are not Filipino be taught and persuaded to learn the beauty of Filipino history and culture. Mia’s relationship to Jay is one of the kind where it is not forced. It also show the trait of a Pinoy who help someone even if you just met the person and you really don’t know him/her.

It is overwhelming that some of the parts of the story shows the tradition, culture and traits of every Filipino. You can also read some Tagalog words in the story like “Mano Po” where Pinoy are accustomed to do when meeting elderly people for their blessings and respect. The word “Po” is also introduced where in every Filipino used it after a sentence or part of the sentence as a sign of respect to the person you are talking to.

Regardless with the topic of drugs in the story, you can not deny that the Philippines have a positive side in every negative. You can see that not all people who are well fed and rich enough have the tendency to be successful or the one who will do good things. They are  some things that we surely cannot foresee and prevent with. But I surely know that with a proper guidance, love, and support that we can get not just from our parents, siblings, relatives and friends can have a large impact on how we saw and do things in our lives.

With everything that happens in the story. I ask myself. I’m I a good citizen? I’m a Filipino enough? Do I really know our history?  Is it enough that just because I live in my own country and speak the native language is utterly enough to say that I have done great and contributed well.

Patron Saints of Nothing is really an eye-opener for everyone to reconsider and do something relevant and good that will improve bot just yourself but the world you are walking.

So what are you waiting for, “GISING NA, PH”




5 stars


Blog Tour: The Flatshare

36478784Title: The Flatshare

Author: Beth O’Leary

Published: April 18th 2019 by Quercus

Edition: ARC

Buy Links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Book Depository



Before anything else, I would love to say a massive thank you to Quercus for sending me an ARC to review for this lovely blog tour. With this, my opinions and review are on my own.



After a bad breakup, Tiffy Moore needs a place to live. Fast. And cheap. But the apartments in her budget have her wondering if astonishingly colored mold on the walls counts as art.
Desperation makes her open-minded, so she answers an ad for a flatshare. Leon, a night-shift worker, will take the apartment during the day, and Tiffy can have it nights and weekends. He’ll only ever be there when she’s at the office. In fact, they’ll never even have to meet.
Tiffy and Leon start writing each other notes—first about what day is garbage day, and politely establishing what leftovers are up for grabs, and the evergreen question of whether the toilet seat should stay up or down. Even though they are opposites, they soon become friends. And then maybe more.
But falling in love with your roommate is probably a terrible idea…especially if you’ve never met.
A joyful, quirky romantic comedy, The Flatshare is a feel-good novel about finding love in the most unexpected of ways.
The moment I saw the cover and read what is it all about, I already know that I will love it. When the publisher ask me if I want to join the blog tour for this book I didn’t hesitate to join. And that I think is the best decision that I’m proud to say that I did. As The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary is a contemporary book that you shouldn’t wanna miss reading.
Romantic, cute, funny and unique. That is what The Flatshare is all about. It is the book that every contemporary reader will surely love.
At first, you will be confuse with the kind of writing style the author has. It is because some of the lines are in a dialogue form. Not with the typical type of paragraph that we are use when reading. But later on you will find it unique and interesting as it is not the kind of book that we are use to read. I like how some of it are in a dialogue type and in it, the author included not only the lines of the characters but also their feelings. This is the only book that I’ve read that the feelings is also included. And I find it cute and interesting rather than annoying.
Another interesting thing about the book is the plot line. I love how it is not the cliche instant love. In the story or half of the book, the characters haven’t even met yet in the story. They just know each other names and they just know a little bit of each other by the use of  exchanging notes through post its.
The main character, Tiffy is an editor in the story. With it, we can experience and learn the things that the writer, publisher, editor and other people is doing in creating a book. I know that us readers will surely love this thing as we can see the process in creating the book we love. We can also appreciate the people of what they are doing just to produce and create the books that we love reading.
I really wanna say more but I think I’ll just spoil you all. So I just want to advice you to just read the book and experience the love and enjoyment that I experience in reading it.
To wrap it all, I highly recommend the book if you are a sucker for a unique contemporary romance. I also would love the book will turn to a movie.


5 out of 5 owls

5 stars

About the Author:

Beth O’Leary worked in children’s publishing before becoming a full time author. THE FLATSHARE is her debut novel. The idea for The Flatshare came to Beth when her doctor boyfriend was doing long night shifts as part of his training and they could go weeks without seeing each other, but she could track his life by how many cups of coffee were left on the counter, by how much he’d eaten and whether the bookmark in his novel had changed locations. It made her wonder – what could you learn about someone if you lived together but never overlapped?

Blog Tour: Girl Gone Viral

41485133Title: Girl Gone Viral

Author: Arvin Ahmadi

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Edition: Hardback

Pages: 384 pages

Buy LinksAmazon / Barnes and Noble / Book Depository


Before anything else, I just wanna say a massive thank you to kuya JM of TheBookFreakRevelation for allowing me to join this International blog tour and to Penguin Random House International for gracing us this wonderful opportunity.


For seventeen-year-old Opal Hopper, code is magic. She builds entire worlds from scratch: Mars craters, shimmering lakes, any virtual experience her heart desires.

But she can’t code her dad back into her life. When he disappeared after her tenth birthday, leaving only a cryptic note, Opal tried desperately to find him. And when he never turned up, she enrolled at a boarding school for technical prodigies and tried to forget.

Until now. Because WAVE, the world’s biggest virtual reality platform, has announced a contest where the winner gets to meet its billionaire founder. The same billionaire who worked closely with Opal’s dad. The one she always believed might know where he went. The one who maybe even murdered him.

What begins as a small data hack to win the contest spirals out of control when Opal goes viral, digging her deeper into a hole of lies, hacks, and manipulation. How far will Opal go for the answers–or is it the attention–she’s wanted for years?





For the past months, years and decades. Technology already had a large impact in our lives. That we can’t even do simple things without using them in our daily routines. With this fast growing technology, do we really know the pros and cons in using them? Do it really help us or do it just simply dragging us to be dependent on it? Do we know what are the risks in using them? Do we really just giving others the opportunity to know private things about us?

I know you are wondering why I’m asking this simple but  intriguing questions. If you ought to find out I suggest that you should continue reading.

Girl Gone Viral is the second book by the one and only Arvin Ahmadi. Some of you probably don’t know or know him. But he is only the author behind the beautiful book Down and Across.

Just like in his first novel, he still enables us to grasp another gorgeous story that will surely hook us. In this novel, it captures the beauty and some of the ugly part of technology. The meaning of family, friendship, and how different the school works for us.

As for me who doesn’t know a little bit of virtual gaming, it is kinda hard  for me to understand some things on how it works. But with the author kind of writing style, it enables me to understand and learn what it really is it. And that folks is one thing that I like about Arvin. He let us not just to enjoy the pleasure of reading a story but let us learn new and understand things we don’t know.

With regards of choosing the character. I love how instead of he using a male protagonist he use a female one. We all know that when we talk about virtual gaming and in terms of using gadgets, it quickly comes in our mind that it will be a male one rather than a female.

As I said awhile ago, do we really know the deeper meaning of technology to us. What it gives us? I’am saying this and sharing this kind of things because there are some parts in the story where you will find that little did we know that other already know our private lives through hacking without us knowing it. That the hackers can simply sell this information to others and use it against us. I would really recommend that everyone should read Girl Gone Viral to enable us to use the internet with out most care and not giving your information on the net because you just found it amusing and because others are doing it.

All I can is that Girl Gone Viral is a book that will surely enable us to enjoy reading a good story and teaching us things at the same time.






Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith (ARC Review)


Title: Bloodleaf

Author: Crystal Smith

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Edition: ARC

Pages: 373 pages

Buy Links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Book Depository





Perfect for fans of RED QUEEN and UPROOTED, Crystal Smith’s debut novel, BLOODLEAF, is an imaginative retelling of the Grimm Fairy tale “The Goose Girl” that takes a ghostly mystery and sets it inside an epic fantasy world.

Aurelia is the first princess born to the Renalten crown in two hundred years, destined to fulfill a treaty by journeying to marry Valentin, the prince of Achelva – Renalt’s greatest enemy. Rumors of an unwell, cruel prince abound, and the only thing that eclipses Aurelia’s apprehension of her impending marriage is her fear of those who’d kill her to prevent it.

When an assassination attempt forces Aurelia to use forbidden magic to save a stranger, she is driven from Renalt by the witch-hunting Tribunal and a mob out for blood. But before she can claim asylum in the court of her betrothed, her travel party turns on her, forcing her to trade places with her treacherous lady-in-waiting, Lisette.

Now penniless in Achleva and bereft of her identity, Aurelia must decide if she wants to surrender to her new life or fight for her old one, all while navigating the complicated ties binding her to the enigmatic prince, the unquiet ghost of an ancient queen, and a poisonous plant called bloodleaf.

Aurelia is a pawn in a centuries-long game of love, power, and war— and if she can’t extricate herself from it before Lisette marries Valentin in her stead, she may face losses far more devastating than her crown.



Thank you so much to HMH teen for granting my request and sending me an ARC in exchange of a review. This doesn’t influence my review or opinion about the book.


Are you looking for a new fantasy read that will let you swoon and be mesmerized by the plot line? Then look no more as Bloodleaf is the one you are actually looking for your next great read.

Bloodleaf is the debut novel of Crystal Smith. And oh boy oh boy, all I can is that it is such a magnificent and fantastic read for those whore are fantasy lover.

Just like in the movie Final Destination, the main character Princess Aurelia also foresee events where a person dies. Every time the Harbinger  show herself to her she already knows that someone will die. Aurelia can also see the reason why a certain person dies.

Reaching the first 70 pages I’m already hooked with the story. Funny how there’s this scene where the Harbinger where introduces and I got scared because its night-time that I want to stop reading. But with how great the story is despite being scared with the Harbinger I’m more motivated to continue reading the story rather than to sleep.

With these scenario and experience, I already told myself that this books will be a 5 star read. And in the end, I wasn’t disappointed because I really end up rating it a 5 star.

The plot and characters are so incredibly written that when reading the book all you wanted to do is continue reading it and do knowing but to finish it. I love how Crystal Smith wrote the story line. I like how it really penetrate the souls of  the reader upon reading and discovering the beauty of the book.

The theme of the story is also lovely as it talks about how beautiful sacrifices, love for family and friendship is. The turns and twist of the story is also one of the factors that will surely love by the reader.

There’s this part where I cried a lot with a certain scene that I’ve been force to stop reading and cry and continue reading it again for me to cry again. This experience is one of the main reasons why I enjoy and love the book. And I know that this kind of thing will be loved and cherish by the reader upon reading.

In general, Bloodleaf is one of the book that I’ve read that I’m surely will have a great impact for readers out there. It  is a kind of story where readers will talk about it and recommend it non-stop to other people.

Kudos to Crystal Smith for writing this beautiful and tight griiping book that will surely loved by all who got the chance to read it.




5 stars


Grim Lovelies (Book Review)


Title: Grim Lovelies

Author: Megan Shepherd

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Edition: ARC

Pages: 374 pages

Buy Links: Amazon / Barnes and NobleBook Depository





Seventeen-year-old Anouk envies the human world, where people known as Pretties lavish themselves in fast cars, high fashion, and have the freedom to fall in love. But Anouk can never have those things, because she is not really human. Enchanted from animal to human girl and forbidden to venture beyond her familiar Parisian prison, Anouk is a Beastie: destined for a life surrounded by dust bunnies and cinders serving Mada Vittora, the evil witch who spelled her into existence. That is, until one day she finds her mistress murdered in a pool of blood—and Anouk is accused of the crime.

Now, the world she always dreamed of is rife with danger. Pursued through Paris by the underground magical society known as the Haute, Anouk and her fellow Beasties only have three days to find the real killer before the spell keeping them human fades away. If they fail, they will lose the only lives they’ve ever known…but if they succeed, they could be more powerful than anyone ever bargained for.

From New York Times bestselling author Megan Shepherd, Grim Lovelies is an epic and glittering YA fantasy. Prepare to be spellbound by the world of Grim Lovelies, where secrets have been long buried, friends can become enemies, and everything—especially humanity—comes at a price.




Dark, enchanting,  captivating and surprisingly wonderful.

Grim Lovelies is the book you shouldn’t wanna miss if you love politics, fairy tales, magical realism and plot twisting story.

The book started when five beasties Anouk, Beau, Luc, Viggo, Hunter Black and Cricket found out that their mistress was found dead in her own bedroom. Without their Mada, the beasties embark on a journey where they needed to know who the killer is before the spell that keeps them to be human vanished.

Anouk the protagonist is such a lovely character and a fresh breath of a person. I love how innocent she is at the beginning and how she gets stronger and stronger as day passed. She is the character that you will surely love immediately. Her relationship with the other beastie is one of the most adorable thing that I found about her. Love how she handle every situation well and how brilliant she is when coming up with a plan.

The other beasties and characters are also well portrayed. I love how each of them has complimented each other and how their friendship grows throughout the story.

With regards to the plot. The magical system in the story is so good that reading the story enables you to feel that magic is true. I love how the plot twist gave the readers more reason to finish the book and learn what will happen next in the story.

The story takes place in Paris. With this, I found and experienced how lovely Paris is even though I haven’t visited it yet in real life.

I found Grim Lovelies to be an interesting and amazing book. I can’t wait to read the next book to know what will happen.





Mirage (Book Review)


Title: Mirage

Author: Somaiya Daud

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Edition: Paperback

Pages: 320 pages






In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.




First of all, I would like to say thank you to Kaleena of  Reader Voracious for creating the Flapping Pages and Heather for passing her copy. Again, my deepest thank you to Kaleena and Heather.


In a world full of science fiction novels, Mirage is the only sci-fi fantasy book that hooked me for the year of 2018. Hooked in a way that there are times that I want to continue finishing it. And sometimes it frustrate me that I just don’t want to continue reading it. 

It has the elements of surprise where you seem to enjoy reading it as it gives as  the pleasure to be mesmerized on how the world was built. The story line is interesting as well as the character also.

What I like about the characters is how they are developed. How strong they where and it let you feel what they are feeling in the story.

The relationship between Amani and Idris is amazing. The love story on their part is not just like others where they feel in love with each other immediately. But it is where it let them grow and learn to know each other first.

With how rich the world building is the reason why you will also be bored about reading it. With this, you will be confused how many cultures, religions, plot lines are there in the story. That in reading it you just want to get a pen and paper and jot down all the info you are learning every time you are reading so that you will not forget it. And be confused on what is happening on the latter part of the story.

In general, I could say that Mirage is just a well balance book where you will definitely torn between enjoying it and not enjoying it. Because of this, I can’t seem to decide whether I should read the next book. But you can never can tell……






As I said below, I received the ARC from Heather through the use of FlappingPages Program which Kaleena build.

For those who didn’t know, the FlappingPages is where you can donate ARCs that you don’t want anymore or simply you want to share for our International friends who don’t have much access with it. The program also supported Intl. bloggers who want to receive books for review.

Attached here is where you can find more about FlappingPages Program.