The Sky Changes by The Hour

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Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan

My Rating: 4 Stars

Beneath a Scarlet Sky captivates your interest. It forced me to ask questions that I later had to find answers to. The preface felt a bit desperate…sorry, but it did pique my interest. Actually when I first heard about this book, I really wanted to read it so much that I couldn’t wait for the publishers to grant my request and so I went ahead and bought it on Amazon. I must still thank Lake Union Publishing however, for granting me an advanced reader’s copy, though a bit late.

This book is about life’s abrupt changes and how we handle them when hope, just like other necessities become scarce and even forgotten. Pino Lella is your typical teenager up until he’s tasked to save Jews from Germans, carry the swastika and unexpectedly become a spy for the partisans. At times of war, it’s a constant choice between ourselves and other people. Who do we save? And so, this reminds me of a famous quote from my country’s National Hero:

“One only dies once, and if one does not die well, a good opportunity is lost and will not present itself again.

Finding love at this time is dangerous, however fate can’t be stopped. We naturally look for sunlight and turn our heads towards it. Pino finds escape with Anna-Marta amidst the war and together they create their own fantasy. It’s tragic, just as what you’d expect from a war novel however the author manages to keep his audience engaged. Although I must admit I did feel like some parts of the book lacked power where it’s needed. Nonetheless, I still learned so much and that’s really all that matters.

Overall, my rating is four stars for its potential and the symphony of love, history, and rich culture. Not recommended for people who aren’t interested in this genre. I do however highly recommend it to WWII fanatics like me. You just have to read this book.

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Travelling to The End

orphantraincover-001Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

My Rating: 5 stars

When pain becomes unbearable, we sometimes think that the answer is to stop feeling any attachment towards anyone else that could potentially hurt us. This book reminds us that it is simply how life gives us lessons. We live, we come across people that come and go, we hurt with goodbyes, we experience and then we learn.

I didn’t know what to expect from this book, but I ended up gaining so much. Looking around me now, I see what I’ve taken for granted. I see now that somehow, even amidst adversities, it could be so much more worse. There is always a good side, even when you can’t find one anymore, because there always comes a point where we choose not to believe and hope because we know it will hurt and cause more difficulties, and yet life forces us to keep going on and somehow we thrive even with nothing.

Both Vivian and Molly felt like outcasts; they’ve both developed ways to cope and survive. For a long time, the past has stayed up in the attics of our homes, but it’s never too late to go up there and relive the past; feel the fresh cuts of memories and be surrounded by ghosts of people who have touched our lives. This is what this book is about: the games of fate and destiny.

I believe that children who have seen and felt the cruelty of the world and the people, are forever changed to somewhere being more than mature, but experienced. These children now know better than to imagine fantasies and interlace them into reality; they expect the worst and brace themselves. There is no longer foolish expectations that things will come easy, instead they go about expecting and facing obstacles in their paths.

We never know what comes next; Life is full of the unknown. But expect that it will be difficult, it will be an adventure, and it will be painful. There is always a journey to an end that is inevitable. It now all depends on how we travel.

Love Me Please

​See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

My Rating: 3 stars


“I stepped towards him, hoping that being closer to him would release me, make me happy again, I want my daddy to love me.”


There are a lot we need in this life, but only one thing is most essential that we are lost without it. Love. As children, we seek our parents’ love, as adults we seek our love’s love and as parents ourselves, we seek our children’s love. 

See What I Have Done has perfectly portrayed what happens without love. To live trapped behind walls of torment, years of wrong, unsaid words, and dreams unlived. I’ve read about the Lizzie Borden Murder Case and have been more confused by what really happened, who really did it. In reality, Lizzie Borden remained the prime suspect however due to circumstances, was aquited. However Sarah Schmidt may have brought a whole new perspective here and honestly the last line on the acknowledgements gave me a chill. What does that mean, exactly??

Although it makes sense that perhaps a third person was involved however was not able to get the job done, I can’t make sense of it all. I don’t get what showing a piece of Abby’s skull and the axe head do anything to confirm Emma’s doubts? Would she really just believe a total stranger? She didn’t even confirm with her Uncle. But Emma always knew and suspected Lizzie, but her childhood promises kept her bound as it always had. She promised their mother she wouldn’t leave Lizzie alone and that she would take care and love her as long as she lived —something she had done until the very end. 

The murder of the pigeons likely was what made Lizzie snap. It actually happened in the actual case and I found it very morbid. Honestly the entire book is very morbid. But it’s really not new to have children murder their parents in cold blood. You see, abuse whatever the form, causes so much twisted thoughts and dark emotions from people especially at such a young age where we are not certain what we should do about all the darkness that lurks. It’s no brainer that a no good home as Bridget so delicately put, brings about no good at all. Our surroundings help shape us.

I felt for Emma and her yearning to be free and Lizzie and her yearning to please. I enjoyed the multiple points of view —all carefully unraveling the dark thoughts behind a person’s face. Sarah Schmidt made my heart race in anticipation. A part of me wished Lizzie hadn’t done it and that she thought of another way. But perhaps at that time, there was nothing else she could think of but putting an end to all her sufferings. The book made it clear that she’s become mental and weird in her ways, who wouldn’t? Perhaps everything else broke and was lost. She lost it.

Thank you Grove Atlantic for granting me an ARC of this book via NetGalley. Three stars for keeping me at the edge of my seat, for the eloquent writing that made me feel, fear, and vividly watch as love proves to determine and break a person’s being. 

The Irony of Love

Love and Gravity by Samantha Sotto

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

I’m not one for time travel books or sci-fi in general because it tends to be unrealistic, but not this time. Samantha Sotto completely convinced me everything was real. The emotions were so real, so heartfelt. The pain of love was so raw and pierced through the pages of every word she wrote.

The writing style was easy although it was eloquent. Old English tends to be difficult to understand but the writer made the words flow directly to the reader’s heart, surpassing the mind. It’s not every day you come across a book and really think: “Is this real?” I think writers are good at their craft when they convince their readers that their magic trick isn’t a trick but real magic.

Well I’m not going to lie, my name being used and turned into something magical did make me feel warm and finally secure about my unusual name. Indeed an odd name for a girl to have! I’ve always been slightly insecure about my name, for two reasons: 1. Some people find it hard to pronounce, and 2. It’s a boy’s name… But in any case, I thoroughly enjoyed having my name written and used for such a beautiful girl Samantha Sotto describes.

I think anyone can relate to this. Love is universal, love is unconditional and this book teaches you what it means to really love. Love makes you selfish and greedy; it makes you human. But love is never selfish and never finds itself facing a wall. It continues, it carries on, regardless whether or not the person you love is yours. Your love continues, it never fades. It’s painful but that’s when you know it’s real.

The ending, my goodness THE ENDING! It was just completely heartbreaking and yet it shows you what love really means. I honestly don’t usually read romance and while I waited for the publication date of this book, I was really hesitant to read it. For the sole purpose of having the word LOVE part of the title. I instantly recoil. But somehow, Samantha Sotto was just able to capture my interest. Isaac Newton, really? I have read fairytale retellings but this book is just…it’s unexpected. I mean we all grew up groaning at the mention of Isaac Newton and the three laws of motion. And yet here is this book reminding us that Isaac was human and he was very much capable of love –regardless if it was just a story. Sometimes I forget that people are capable of real love that has no boundaries or limitations.

I also can’t believe she lives right here in the Philippines! Wow. Talk about destiny. And yet the best irony in reading Love and Gravity is that I don’t believe in destiny. This book will make you believe even in things that don’t make sense. Because love requires no logic or reason. It only requires a leap of faith.