Author Interview with Rich Paz!!!

Hey guys! It’s Kester here! You know, trying to read while volunteering a lot, editing almost a video every day or week, practicing violin and voice, and trying to pray as much as I can would leave sometimes little time to read. I now would be happy to read one book a week! Just one book and I’m happy. Since I do not have a review for you, I have an inteview! Here it is with my author friend Rich Paz, author of Enoch and the Stars Above!

 

1. In your own words, what is your book Enoch and the Stars Above about?img_6051-1

Enoch and the Stars Above is about human consciousness. It´s about how we all have the power to change everything around us.

2. What inspired you to write your book?

My wife Dafne. She was the inspiration for this book. She challenged me to accomplish this feat. I used to be a musician before writing this book. I haven´t written a song ever since. I enjoy writing books a whole lot more and always thank her for encouraging me to bring about this story and future stories I am working on.

3. The existence of alien life is a fascinating subject. Have you been fascinated with aliens as a little kid? Do you believe they exist?

Yes, I have always been fascinated with this subject. It´s actually always been my favorite topic, everything related to alien life and science fiction.

4. Who are your favorite authors, and which of them have impacted your writing style or your story?

I really don´t have a favorite author. I really started reading a lot about 5 years ago. I started by reading the Hunger Games series as well as Maze Runner. Since then I have read so many wonderful stories and I have gotten to know so many great authors. Maybe, my favorite writer could be Khaled Hosseini. I´ve read all his books and I cannot decide which of his books is my favorite because he is so gifted in his writing ability, but then again there are so many great authors I´ve discovered in the past 5 years. Thank God for authors and the stories and books they write!

5. What are your favorite genres to read and write? What are your favorite books?

I really love a good YA novel as well as Science Fiction more than anything. But I´ll read just about anything as long as it´s got a good story to tell.

6. I’m trying not to spoil some parts of the story, but did you mean to incorporate a lot of symbolism in the book?

Yes, it was my intention. I wanted people to come away with different things, to get different meanings from the characters and the story. I wanted readers to associate themselves with the book. I wanted for people to be able to immerse themselves into this story as much as possible.

7. When I was a child, I moved from the Philippines to here in America. What made you move from Miami to Mexico City? Do you like Mexico much better than Florida?

I moved to Mexico to discover a new culture. I wanted to go through a different type of experience. I moved to Mexico City in 2005 and I´m still here. I like both places. Miami and Mexico are very different, but they have their positives as well as their negatives. I just wish that I had both of them within driving distance of each other.

8. Who was your favorite character to write?

My favorite character to write was Enoch with Danica a close second. I felt it was a challenge to write for Enoch because I wanted to see the world through another person´s eyes and I can only hope I did the character the justice he so deserves.

9. Do you think an alien invasion could happen, like what happened in your book?

Yes, I think anything is possible.

10. Do you like watching alien invasion movies or TV shows, like the X-Files or Independence Day?

Yes, I like all things science fiction. But I have gone away a little bit from watching the movies and started to read the books instead. I feel like the books have a lot more to offer and are a lot more detailed than movies.

11. What do you do when you’re not writing? Is writing a part-time or a full-time job for you?

I am an English teacher and I teach mainly adults at companies in Mexico City. Right now, writing is something I do part-time, but I´d like for it to be my full-time job.

12. Have you written anything before this book? Are you currently working on anything?

No, this is my first book. This is like the fourth edition of my first book. I am also currently writing my second book titled the Fire Below, the sequel to Enoch and the Stars Above. I plan to make it a six-part series.

13. Do you have any tips to aspiring writers?

Yes, never give up. If you feel strongly about an idea you have in your head, continue with it. Don´t give up on your dreams. Also, listen to people. Listen to people that like the genre you are writing in. Your idea can benefit a great deal from constructive criticism. Your writing world can be immensely amplified from the comments.
Thank you so much Rich! I hope that your next book will come out well!

A Time to Die, by Nadine Brandes

DISCLAIMER: I received a free electronic copy of this book from the author herself in exchange for an honest review. This will not affect my review in any way.I have already previously received free book swag from the author. This is outside of the trade agreement, and this will not affect my review.

Rating: 3 Stars

I am a part of Nadine’s Ninjas Street Team and the “A Time to Rise” blog/review tour.

“A Time to Die” imagines a world where every single person knows the exact date, even the exact second of his or her death. Parvin Blackwater only has one year left on her Clock, or that’s what she thinks. With her days and minutes ticking down, she realizes that she has wasted her life until then, so she wants to be remembered and do something extraordinary with her last year left on Earth. Her wish soon spirals out of control, thrusting her into a whole new world, the West, where Radicals are thrown into to die, but she’s determined to survive with God’s help.

I have to say, this almost met my expectations. Almost. It was really nice, and I liked it, but there were some things that I just didn’t like about this book. I actually felt really compelled to read this at moments, and other times, I just didn’t. Based off of the reviews I’ve seen, I thought this would be a book like “Between Shades of Gray,” just super super super amazing! Sadly, though, I wouldn’t put this as one of my favorites. I really don’t know how to write this review, though. I really don’t. I don’t know what to say.

I really loved how the author incorporated Christianity in the book. I loved how Parvin had to rely on God so many times, and how she wanted to do what God wanted her to do. I feel connected to Parvin in that sense. We both just don’t know what we’re doing or where we’re going, but we both do know God’s going to lead us where He wants to lead us. I really liked that part. And also the parts where He talks to her. It’s pretty cool; I wish I could hear Him speak to me, but He speaks to each of us in different ways.

Another thing I liked is the action. There were so many moments where you could be on the edge of your seat! So much action and adventure and plot twists, oh my! There were moments that I was in shock. There were moments that I was in mourning. I felt really emotionally compelled in this book. I liked it.

Sadly, though, it didn’t feel “extraordinary” to me. I had some problems with the details. There were sometimes paragraphs of details that I just got bogged down, and I could skip entire sections and still know what happened. I sometimes got really confused, or I just couldn’t grasp the story sometimes.

Overall, this was a good book! I enjoyed it, and I think readers will enjoy it, too! Sadly, though, it wasn’t as amazing as the book I expected it to be. Nevertheless, it was nice!

Recommendation: Yes.

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick 

First off, my rating:

6/10 seems harsh, but I feel honest.

Hush, Hush was such an exciting book. I absolutely loved it. I adored the main character Nora and the myterious Patch. The plot was amazing and I had an awesome time reading it.

The summary of Crescendo:

Nora has been going relationship issues. She won’t stop jumping to conclusions and creates more problems for herself.

Sorry, sorry. Here’s the real summary:

“With summer starting and Patch-her extremely protective, extremely hot guardian angel-by her side, things seemed perfect for Nora Grey. Unfortunately, she has to take a summer scchool class, and Patch has suddenly grown distant and developed interest in Nora’sarchenemy, Marcie Millar.

If she hadn’t been so frustrated by Patch, Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old friend who moved back to town. His attitude alone is enough to drive her away, but Nora is myteriously drawn to him and the secrets he seems to have about her past.

On top of all that, Nora is suddenly haunted by images of her murdered father, and questions whether her Nephilim bloodline has anythinf to do with his death. Desperate for answers, Nora risks everybing despite warnings from everyone she knows that some things are better left buried.”

Okay, where do I start? Maybe start with the fact that I am not here to throw a hatred rant. I enjoyed the book. I really did. I couldn’t put it down. I can’t wait to get my hands on Silence. 

But the layout of the story was annoying at times. As I was reading, I caught myself asking these questions similar to: “Wait, didn’t you just say he was a killer?” Things like that. One moment it was all about one thing and the next it was something entirely different. It was really confusing.

Okay, spoiler time….. (read at your own risk).

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

The characters. Nora is so, so annoying in this book. So many times I had to stop reading it just because she was making these dumb decisions. Nora jumps to conclusions at the slightest piece of evidence. In the beginning, she breaks up with Patch because he was at Marcie’s house? Seriously. Patch was in the middle of explaining to her WHY she was at Marcie’s house, yet Nora cut him off completely. Beautiul way to start off a book about angels and murders: break up with your boyfriend over a stupid jealousy problem.

Patch isn’t innocent in this book either. He was a jerk. Instead of being clear with Nora about anything, he hinted that someone was trying to kill her. I understand the archangels are doing whatever they can to catch Patch in a bad moment with Nora, but I honestly didn’t even notice he was trying to tell Nora anything important until the very last dream Nora had of him.

Most of the characters made stupid decisions and had this annoying side to them. Vee, Patch, Nora, Scott. Rixon even.

The plot really dragged on to me. I liked it, but a lot of it was Nora getting mad at Patch for hanging out with Marcie all the time. When Nora was hearing her father and getting her arm pulled through a window, was I really getting into it. It wasn’t just about Patch anymore. It was about her and how she was going to find her father’s murderer.

The plot twist with Rixon really had me. Rixon? Really? Wasn’t Vee’s last boyfriend a psycho too? Okay, Vee. Let’s sit down and have a chat on your relationship choices. This is kind of going off what the YouTuber Book Reviewer CassJayTuck: Rixon’s explanation on how he formed his plan was very… risky. He took a lot of risks that sounded like he just took whatever chance he got to throw Nora off and got lucky.

Again, I honestly think the next book is going to be ten times better than Crescendo. I read the preview of it in my book and it starts off crazy. Really can’t wait to find out what Nora got herself into this time.

This sounded like a bad review over Crescendo. Honestly, it was a meh” for me. Not the best book I’ve read but I have hope that it was just because it was a second book.

Funday Monday!

Hi guys! This is the FIRST time I, Kester Nucum, will be blogging all the way from school! WordPress is now unblocked from the school server! Woo hoo!
I will start a special theme day for Mondays: Funday Monday! I will do something fun related to my current book for the week! It will usually be some sort of joke or something cool, like what today’s peeps like.

Today’s Theme is “Out of Time” by Nadine Brandes.
I am actually part of a review tour thingy, where I am almost about to finish her book and then review it. So, in the meantime, let’s do something fun!
Shoot. I am “Out of Time” for today. Well, that’s all for today!

Kester Reviews: We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart

Hi guys! I’ve finally gotten another book finished! So happy!

Rating: 8/10 stars
“We Were Liars”… I can’t really make a summary of this. It was too crazy. Here’s a 16-word (since today is September 16) summary:

Rich, crazy family. Four friends are Liars. Girl had accident. Private island. Love, Lies, Forgotten Memories.

This book. Gosh! I don’t know what to say about it! I’m left speechless! What. Just. Happened? This was quite a ride. You wouldn’t expect anything!

That ending. Just leaving it at that. It will change your entire perspective on the book! I didn’t even make a theory of what will happen at the end, but it still blew my mind! It makes so much sense! Gladly, it wasn’t one of those endings that I would throw the book at the wall and then be sad because I damaged it! I was left speechless. The author is very, very brilliant in how she wrote this. She is!

I can’t say much about this book without spoiling any details about the ending. It’s like you think you know everything about what’s going on, then you realize, you don’t! It’s the same way with me in Honors Algebra II yesterday. I thought I knew everything there is to know about functions and factoring. Turns out I was wrong! Did you know that if you divide a polynomial by (x – a) that if you substitute a into the polynomial, the answer is the remainder of the division problem! This was just like “We Were Liars”!

Now, I did not like this book in the first half. It wasn’t great. I just didn’t like it! It just felt either too dull or confusing at the beginning. I didn’t see how the events led up to the climax, though. Once it progressed, then it became better. A lot better. I just didn’t know how to feel about it. Before I reached the Finale, I was so neutral about the book! I hated it, but I liked it. It’s like when you eat something that you still want to eat because it kind of tastes good, but you don’t really like, but you still want to. I felt the same way with this book.

The two things about the author’s style that bugged me were the sudden flashbacks and the choppiness. With the flashbacks, I didn’t know what was past and present. I read this book thinking it would be a linear progression through time. I was wrong. Many of the chapters were events from the past, rather than in the future. This confused me a lot! I didn’t know what was past and present, especially the author doesn’t “warn” you. She really doesn’t.

The other thing is choppiness. The first thing is that I didn’t like the stories at the beginning, but I liked them at the end. They felt too “sudden” for me, but as the story progressed, I liked them more. Then how the author’s style bugged me a bit in some places. She wrote in choppy lines

Like this.

It bugged me.

Since those chapters

Were not poems.

I did not

Like it.

It ruined

The flow

Of the story.

Can you imagine reading a story, a STORY, that writes like that? I understand with poetry, especially since that creates a nice rhythm. In a book, I want the sentences to be continuous. That was another thing that annoyed me a bit.

Overall, this was a decent book. The ending is what will get readers. This wasn’t the “perfect” book, but the ending was the “perfect” ending. I love these types of endings that will change you! Endings that you do not expect! Plot twists that will change the course of the entire story forever! I love them.

Recommendation: No. I’m Lying! Along with the characters of the book, we were liars. And now I tell the truth: Sure! Go ahead!

 

 

BLOG TOUR: Stalking Jack the Ripper, by Kerri Maniscalco

Hey guys! It’s Kester here. This is my first ever blog tour!!! stalking-jack-blog-tour

I’m a member of the

img_5877
and I’m here to publicize a book that sounds really interesting! I sadly am not able to read it yet, but I have heard a LOT of good things about it, so here it goes!

28962906
Here’s the Goodreads summary:

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life. 


Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world. 


The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.

Now here’s why you should read it!

Sherlock Holmes-esque story

Teenage protagonist! Teens rule!

Aubrey Rose Wadsworth is a cool girl. Rich, but full of secrets and sleuthing.

Lots of suspense and thrills and shockers!

Kerri Maniscalco’s debut book!

In the Victorian era

Nothing really graphic should be in this book, especially since this is a young adult book, right?

Girl protagonist! You go gurl!


James Patterson, THE JAMES PATTERSON, wrote a foreword, so it must be good!

Aubrey holds a knife in the cover. It’s so creepy yet daunting, which makes me intrigued by it.

Can she figure out who is Jack the Ripper? is a question you want to find out.

Killer that is a serial murderer. Parallels to Jack the Ripper.
There’s social/wealth conflict, especially since this is set in the Victorian era, which is full of wealthy society’s expectation and style.

Historical fiction

Everything about it- the cover, the synopsis, the book itself- sounds very interesting and cool.


Reviewers are raving about it!

It has 4.17 stars (as of 9/1/16) with 222 ratings and 139 reviews

Parts of it are very eerie and mysterious.

Probably will be a wonderful book!

Everyone in the book doesn’t want her to be a forensic analyst, which is an amazing and engrossing job.

Riddling and a murder mystery!

Go check out the book here!

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound
If you want to start Stalking Kerri Maniscalco on her social media pages, look here!

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website | Tumblr | Pinterest

9/11 15th Year Commemoration

On behalf of all the reviewers here at LILbooKlovers, I (Kester) would like to say that our thoughts and prayers tomorrow will go out to the victims and families of the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York City in 2001. Please remember those victims tomorrow, especially since it is a Sunday, so please offer up your prayers for those victims and those families, police officers, firefighters, first responders, rescuers, bystanders, and the entire nation of America and the whole world that terrorism may end. I pray that hatred and terrorism may end soon, so peace may spread throughout the world. This world has faced all sorts of acts of hatred, but we must face them and try to spread love throughout the world. This world is filling up with more hatred each day, but we must stand firm against the Devil trying to break apart families, friends, and even nations against each other. May the love and peace of Jesus Christ reign in your families and communities, and I pray that peace may spread in the world today. May God bless America and the entire Earth!

Sarah’s Key, by Tatiana de Rosnay

Hi guys! It’s Kester here. Sorry for a late review, for this week has been jam-packed with all sorts of stuff. I had to finish up a HUGE chemistry project, visit a college fair and talk with different college representatives for a while, study for two tests, determine whether or not I should apply for a Governor’s School, practice and practice more for my All Northwest audition in a week, and try to cram violin practices in all that mess. And yet I only finished a book until now. Enjoy!

DISCLAIMER: The author had sent me a signed bookplate all the way from France (woo hoo!). This is not part of a review trade agreement.

 

Rating: 9/10 stars

 

Sarah’s Key intertwines the historical story of Sarah, a girl who was abducted from her home in 1942 France by surprisingly the French police for being a Jew, and the contemporary story of Julia Jarmond, an American reporter living in Paris who is researching the infamous Vel D’Hiv Round-up. Sarah locks her brother in a cupboard to keep him safe, promising she’ll come back to get him, but she realizes that she might never come back, but she wants to reunite with her brother still locked in the cupboard, in which his fate is still unknown. Julia’s life becomes attached to Sarah’s life, and soon Julia’s life changes completely ever since she’s learned the sinister secrets that are unlocked with Sarah’s Key.

 

*First of all, I love how when you give a synopsis and you tie in the title. Although this is not the real synopsis, I had to do this.*

 

This book was amazing! I loved it! It was magnifique, like how the Parisians say it! This book is similar to my ratings of Me Before You: wonderful, yet something didn’t make it the “perfect” book. Now is this a new favorite? Yes! I can’t say anything else in this intro, so let’s get onto the juicy review.
I love World War II! There’s just so many sides to the war. You can read hundreds of books on the subject matter than told different sides from different perspectives and places. The only topic of World War II that I cannot stand is Russia. I tried City of Thieves, but it was horrible. Then I attempted The Secret Speech, yet the main character blew up a church in the first few pages. Although it was an Russian Orthodox one (I think), it still struck my heart. I just couldn’t read it. This book, on the other hand, “unlocked” (man, I’m going to make so many key jokes) the infamous Vel D’Hiv, which actually was a REAL event! Learning about how the French police, not the Gestapo, the French police, abducted thousands of men, women, and children from their homes to their deaths later touched me. This book has proven to me that even the greatest of governments can have the worst of times. The French government has had the Vel D’Hiv and the French Revolution (which wasn’t very “enlightened” to me).

I actually enjoyed Julia’s story. A contemporary World War II book might not seem like a good idea, but it did! I loved how Julia was forever changed by these events, especially because of the secrets. I think we ALL need to look back at the past and connect to these events. This has shown me that we need to unite together to stop hatred like World War II. Sadly, it has spread throughout the world today. Julia really felt connected to Sarah’s story. I could actually feel her thoughts and emotions.

The plot line was great, too! Sarah’s part was well-written, full of emotion and suspense. Julia’s was filled with emotion, romance, ups and downs, and all sorts of things! It was like digging for treasure. The more you dig, the more the treasure gets better.

 

The big con that bugged me at the beginning was the dual-POV. It bugged me at first, but I embraced it later. Then, Sarah’s story just stopped, and I just wanted it to continue! I wished that Sarah’s story could have been more lengthened throughout Julia’s story, which will both parallel each other.  It annoyed me when it would stop Sarah’s POV too soon. I just want to finish it!

Name-dropping was another big problem for me. Too many names that were introduced without any introduction. For example, Julia might be talking about a (made-up) guy named Claude, but I don’t know who he is until chapters later. I didn’t like it. I still didn’t know who Bamber was and how he was “related” (as in their relationship) to Julia.

 

This book will be on my World War II book Hall of Fame. It deserves a spot with Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief and Ruta Sepetys’s Between Shades of Gray. It was unique. It was not the average, typical World War II book. It will hook you from the beginning to the end, especially since the event described in the book is unknown, yet very horrifying.

 

Recommendation: 100%

 

Cayli Reviews: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

If you haven’t heard of Becca Fitzpatrick, I recommend going to your local library to get a book or two from her. She’s one of my favortie authors. Black Ice was my first book read from her. An exciting adventure about the clichè cabin in the woods where a girl tries to get away from a psychopath. It was awesome! I personally love Cabin in the Woods stories; she put twists inside of it that made me absolutely fall in love with it.
But this isn’t what we’re reviewing. We’re reviewing her most prized book published: Hush, Hush.

Summary: (as said on the back of the book)

“When Nora and Patch are forced together as lab partners, Nora would rather fall to her death than put up with his elusive answers to her questions, his teasing, and his infuriatingly handsome dace and hypnotoizing eyes. It seems Patch was put on earth just to drive her crazy.

But before long, Nora’s defenses start to break down as her curiousity about Patch heats up. Why does he always seem to be wherever she is and know exactly what she’s thinking? How does he know what to say to both attract and repulse her? And what is up with those V-Shaped scars on his chiseled back?

As their connection grows stronger, Nora’s own life becomes increasingly fragile. Nora needs to decide: Is Patch the one who wants to do harm or the one who will keep her safe? Has she fallen for one of the fallen?”

Here we have it again: an outstanding cliche-but-still-entertaining story about a bad boy fallen angel falling in love with a normal human girl.

I rate it 10/10. I couldn’t put it down. At one point, I was in Art class, reading when I got to one part. I had to put the book down and recollect myself. “WHY? NO. NO. I DON’T ACCEPT THAT.” One the girls around the table looked over and asked me if I was all right. I wasn’t “all right.”

Usually when I read books, I can only really read when I have free time in school. At home, I get distracted by other things. This book had me laying on my bed, missing dinner and valuable time to do homework. It had me hooked!

So many characters to keep track of. When you’re focused on what one person is doing, you forget that this other character is in the back, plotting something you don’t expect. By the time they actual do it, you were already set on another person being the main antagonist. Oh, yeah… Forgot about him… Oops.

Patch is awesome. He’s hilarious. He’s a mystery to everyone. I fell in love with his character when he first sat down next to Nora and annoyed her for the entire length of class.

Nora is special girl. Very good main character. She’s strongwilled but it doesn’t take away the fear she has for the world she as sucked into. Maybe we’ll see her in action in the following books. This first book was mostly to get her aware of the new life she’s going to have to start living whether she likes it or not. Nora asks a lot of questions… A lot of questions… Pretty much all the questions a reader should be asking throughout the book. What does he mean? How does he know that? Where did he go? What is he planning?

Any bad reviews for this book? Hmm… Can’t say there are. I saw grammar mistakes. There are still some unanswered questions that will hopfully be answered in the next book Crescendo.

If you’re into the Bad Boy Protecting a Small Girl from the Dangers of the World type of thing then read this book! Fitzpatrick is good at what she does. Every character has a personality. The plot is full of crazy events. The mood of it all is creepy but endearing. I can’t wait to get started on Crescendo.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Cayli Reviews: Alibi Interrupted by J.L Pattison

img_5944LOVED IT. I seriously couldn’t get enough of it. 10/10

I really enjoyed the plot and how well it was. It slid from one event to the other, from past to present to future. It was just so wonderful!

There is literally nothing else I can say other than perfection. The characters, the plot, the story… They were all played together so nicely, creating something I wouldn’t be surprised reading from an actual book in my hand.

Everything explained itself. I was confused when Stewart said he would die soon, but I was easily answered later on in the story. I have seen authors (me included) that will give out a mystery they forget to answer so it is just this unanswered void that puts a hole in the plot. This author did everything correctly, leaving no unanswered questions!

Later on, it turned into so much more. Suddenly it wasn’t about his trip in specifics. It was the outcome of him never going. I felt horrible for Stacy and what happened to her. I have no idea what I’d do  in her situation.

Do I like it better than The Visitor? I’ll have to say yes. The characters were a lot cooler and the plot was much biggee. Not saying that The Visitor was awful (I loved it). Alibi Interrupted seemed to hold a lot of care into it, as if the author spent a lot more time into this story than any other.

This review came in very late and I apologize. I’ve been working on a lot of projects. Sorry about that!