As The World Dies: The First Days

Happy Halloween to all of you guys! And I decided that since it's Halloween, I might as well do a review about this certain zombie trilogy that I've read not-so-long ago. Sorry for the lack of Synopsis, as I couldn't find a reliable one at the net. 

I'm a big zombie fan. Period. There is something about these mindless, excruciatingly slow, flesh-eating but lethal creatures that scares the hell out of me. I mean, sure, ghosts are scarier for me but zombies never fail to give me an adrenaline rush everytime I read, watch or hear about them. So that explains why, aside from reading romance, historical fiction, chick-lit and YA novels, I also make it a point to check out zombie novels. I've read The Zombie Survival Guide and The World War Z by Max Brooks and I enjoyed both of them. 

But it's about time that I need to replenish my bookshelf with another zombie novel. And this one caught my attention. 

As The World Dies is a zombie trilogy written by newcomer Rhiannon Frater. Both the first and second installment of the book won the Dead Letter Award for Best Zombie Novel of the Year. And because of such acclaims, I have high expectations for the trilogy. 

As The World Dies tells the story of two women named Jenni and Katie who banded together to survive the onslaught of the zombie apocalypse. It's Thelma and Louise meets The Walking Dead, in my opinion.

The plot didn't disappoint me. It's full of action and gore, which I look for in a zombie novel. But the quality of the writing is subpar. The redundancies present in the paragraph were kind of annoying, but you shouldn't really expect much from a novel that was only self-published. Maybe it was wrong of me to expect highly from the author, since it was her first time to write a book. Going back to the redundancies, here's a few snippet from the opening scene:

"So small.

So very, very small.

The fingers pressed under the front door of her home were so very small. She could not stop staring at those baby fingers straining desperately to reach her as she stood trembling on the porch. The cool, morning air lightly puffed out her pink nightgown. Her pale fingers clutched the thin bathrobe tightly closed at her throat as she continued to stare at the child's hand grasping in her direction.

I knew we needed weather stripping, she thought vaguely. Texas weather could change so fast and this early March morning was crisp.

The gap under the front door was far too large. These new modern homes looked so fancy, but were actually not very well built. If they had bought the nice Victorian she had wanted there wouldn't be a gap under the front door. A gap large enough for that little hand to slide underneath.

The tiny fingers clawed desperately under the edge of the door.

The banging from inside the house had reached a steady staccato. It had a rhythm now, as did the grunts and groans. The sound terrified her. But what was truly horrible were those tiny, desperate fingers pressed under the front door of her home.

Straining fingers.

Straining to reach her.

Her voice caught in her throat as blood began to trickle out from beneath the door."

I felt that there was too much 'door' word for me but nonetheless, the opening scene started off with a bang! As a reader who imagines the story on her head, I didn't have a hard time making a movie out of it. 

However, Jenni, one of the main characters, was very, very annoying! Yes, I understand that she's a battered, friendless, trophy wife but her dialogues were waaay too amateurish. I felt like she was always trying to do that 'baby talk' for the sake of being cute, which definitely, isn't by the way. And not to mention, flirting with their uber hot rescuer not less than a week right after witnessing her own children die! Wow. Seriously. Wow. Shouldn't she give herself a little more time to grieve from the death of her sons rather than flirting like she's a horny high schooler? That, for me, isn't very realistic at all! I also find myself rolling my eyes a lot of times when in just less than a day after the zombie apocalypse started, Jenni has developed this uncanny ability to shoot zombies point black in the head. An ability that takes sharpshooters and skilled marksmen years to develop.

On the other hand, Katie sucks less. She's way more mature than Jenni in terms of both thinking and action. But almost everything that were written about her was her sexuality. Also, it didn't make any sense to me that Katie decided to keep her real sexuality a secret and entrust it to a 12-year-old, very moody teenager, which happens to be Jenni's stepson. I mean, what was really wrong in admitting that you're actually a bisexual and not a lesbian? Right? Right?

But you know what? Jenni and Katie were the characters that I don't really mind dying. Sure, they were the heroines of the story but I felt that the sub-characters were much stronger than the main ones. 

All in all, I recommend this novel for the zombie enthusiasts out there who are looking for a 'guilty pleasure' read.



The Frustrated Writer's Attempt To Write A Novel

Yeah. Seriously. No kidding.

I, Rhia Song, is writing a novel.

To be honest, I'd attempted to write several novels during my free time but because of procrastination (Should I put the blame on me? Or in my busy schedule? But it doesn't matter, since procrastination is procrastination), it will always be left unfinished. 

But this novel is very important to me. It has been on my head for so long (Since my highschool days, if I can still remember it right) that the desire to write it is insatiable. The original title of this story is Evergreen. 

At first, I couldn't think of a justifiable enough reason of why should I title the novel Evergreen. But then it hit me.

I needed to be sure about it so I turn on to my BFF Wikipedia for clarifications. According to Wikipedia, Evergreen is a plant that has leaves on all seasons. And metaphorically speaking, it can refer to something that is continuously renewing or is self-renewing. 

So yeah, I'm a happy girl after that. Evergreen is a perfect title to my novel because it somehow connects to the plot. But for some reasons, I decided to change it to Back To You instead. I know it's a shallow title, but I like it that way. I don't want the novel to sound so 'poetic' because it's not well-written. :(

But, a girl can always dream, right? 

When I was done with the prologue and the first chapter, I decided to join Booksie. It's an online writing community, BTW wherein thousands of writers-in-the-making (And I swear I even encountered established writers, too like Edward Aubry!) from all over the globe showcase their talents in literature. It's free to join, so I realize that I have nothing to lose. 

I wrote the novel under the pseudonym of Trina Kerr. I even joined Wattpad but I find it too complex for my liking. 

Here's my Booksie account:

But I'm not logging into it anymore. And it's because of my clumsiness. I forgot my username and password :/

Anyways, I decided to do a major rewrite of my novel and redo the plot. :) And this time, I'm going to use my real name instead of a pseudonym. 

Here's the Prologue of the novel, just in case you're interested. It's rewritten:

I’m never really the type of person who often feels mixed emotions. I guess you can call it weird, but that’s who I really am. When I’m happy, I only smile or laugh. When I’m sad, I only cry. When I’m mad, then my brows will only furrow or when I’m really, really, really mad, then I will shout. But today, however, is different.

As I walk the aisle with my arms wrapped around my father’s, I can’t help but smile and cry at the same time as the sound of The Wedding March begins to fill the entire church. I take a glimpse of the man that I am going to marry – the man that I love the most – and I instantly find myself unable to breathe for a minute, finding it very hard to believe that such a wonderful moment can ever happen to me.

Me, of all people.

Two years ago, I stopped believing in love. It destroyed every part of me so bad that I didn’t know how am I going to put the missing pieces of my life back together, but then again, it was the very same word that rebuilt me.

And it’s all because of Tyler.

And it’s also because of Tyler why the reckless, rebellious and irresponsible Gianna Harrison is gone.

No more late-night drinking parties. No more DUI arrests. No more short-lived, unserious relationships with boys. And most importantly, no more grudges constricting her heart.

From this day forward, it will be replaced with a woman that is going to be named Giselle Anna Willis.

A woman. A wife. A daughter. And hopefully, a mother.

And as I clutch the necklace as tight as I can inside my hands, I know that finally, after very long years of separation, Edward and Margaret are back together again. 

So ummm... sorry for the crappy Prologue but I believe that there's still room for improvement, right? :( 

So please do drop a comment and lemme know what you guys think! Criticisms are highly appreciated. :)


The Girls' Global Guide To Guys


Fed up with a less than stellar love life and frustrated with a job that's going nowhere fast, aspiring travel writer Jadie Peregrine is in a rut. What she really wants to do is travel the world meeting smart, sexy guys and writing fascinating articles that magazines are eager to publish. 

Then it hits her... Why not just do it?

With her best friend Tate in tote, Jadie plans in their whirlwind trip to Europe. They'll see the sights, meet new people and hopefully hook up with some good-looking guys. What could be better? 

It turns out nothing is better than Justin Devlin, the hunky American they meet in Italy. He's got a fabulous sense of humor, a cute tush and the sexiest green eyes imaginable. Finally, a romance worth writing about! 

And what starts out as an innocent springtime fling for Jadie is soon becoming much more. But hold on a sec. Time for a reality check. Jadie has a "real life" waiting for her back home in the States. What is she thinking? Or rather, is she thinking? All Jadie knows is that love has come knocking on her door, and she's tempted to open it and discover what's waiting behind it. 


This book is a chick-lit and travel novel rolled into one. Sounds interesting, right? But definitely no! I remembered reading this book on a late night while tending my mama at the hospital. It was a light read, perfect with a hot cup of coffee and donuts. But the plot itself wasn't something to write home about. It wasn't even that entertaining. 

But I decided to give the novel a chance to see if it will improve - but no, oh no, was I disappointed! The first few chapters of the story were... okay, I guess but as it went further, it got boring to the point that I preferred to sleep rather than to stay up all night just to read. 

And oh, that rarely happens when I'm enjoying a novel. 

Although I can't put the blame on Theresa Alan's writing skills (Hers was quite good, actually), I blame the disappointment to the main character, Jadie Peregrine. She's very, very unlikeable and annoying as hell, too! She was a woman full of insecurities and complaints like she was carrying all of the burdens in the world on her back. I even found myself rooting for Tate (Jadie's BFF) more than Jadie. Tate was spunky and straightforward, attributes that I am looking for in a main character.

However, the dating insights from the women all around the world were quite, interesting. But I guess, that's the only interesting part in the novel, after all. 

All in all, the novel was a disappointment. Not a good read. I felt like I just wasted my precious time in reading it. 




A Walk To Remember


Every April, when the wind blows from the sea and mingles with the scent of lilacs, Landon Carter remembers his last year at Beaufort High. It was 1958, and Landon had already dated a girl or two. He even swore that he had once been in love. Certainly the last person in town he thought he’d fall for was Jamie Sullivan, the daughter of the town’s Baptist minister. A quiet girl who always carried a Bible with her schoolbooks, Jamie seemed content living in a world apart from the other teens. She took care of her widowed father, rescued hurt animals, and helped out at the local orphanage. No boy had ever asked her out. Landon would never have dreamed of it. Then a twist of fate made Jamie his partner for the homecoming dance, and Landon Carter’s life would never be the same. Being with Jamie would show him the depths of the human heart and lead him to a decision so stunning it would send him irrevocably on the road to manhood…


As a self-confessed hopeless romantic, I have always been a fan of Nicholas Sparks' works. Although I have to admit that I still haven't read all of his novels, A Walk to Remember is certainly worthy of my Top 10 Most Favourite Books of all time, though I'm still not sure as of this writing where to place it. 

The story opens with a 57-year-old Landon Carter recalling the events of his past. It was in the year of 1958, and the then-17 year old Landon's life was changed by a kind-hearted girl named Jamie Sullivan. Jamie was the daughter of the town's Baptist minister Hegbert Sullivan, whom Landon and his family shares a not-so-fluid relationship with. 

*WARNING*: If you haven't read the novel yet, then I suggest you should stop reading this review immediately because this will have some spoilers that could seriously ruin the anticipation. 

I like how Nicholas Sparks devoted time to carefully develop his two principal characters and the supporting characters as well. Landon and Jamie are both relatable, in some ways. While I find Landon's character unlikeable at first, I soon grew to love him as he became a  responsible, fully grown man that will do everything for the love of his life. Well, it's a coming-of-age novel, after all. 

Jamie, on the other hand, is a likeable character for me. She has this way of seeing right through you and maybe that's the reason why Landon fell in-love with her in the first place. Alright, she wasn't your typical, drop-dead gorgeous heroine whom a hot-blooded male will fall in love with at first sight but it's her kindness and her devotion to help other people that makes her a truly special girl. 

The principal characters are worlds apart, but somehow, certain circumstances has brought them together. 

I also like the fact that Sparks ditched the typical, cliche 'love at first sight' scenario, which are, more often than not, present to some of the romance novels that I have read. Landon fell in love with Jamie, alright but it was a slow, gradual process. Love takes time, as they say. And that, for me, is a realistic way to portray true love. So, thumbs up for that!

According to Wikipedia, Sparks' main inspiration for this novel was his sister Danielle Sparks Lewis, who died from cancer in 2000. That explains why the pain was truly there when Landon found out that Jamie has leukemia. That scene was so heart-wrenching that it made me stop reading the novel for a while to give myself some time to cry. 

And when Landon proposed marriage to Jamie even though he knew that she was dying? That really made my heart skipped a beat! And it takes a special skill from the author for the readers to feel something like that. 

All in all, the novel made me smile, frown, fall in love, cry and sympathize for the characters. It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole night that I was reading it and I couldn't seem to put the book down. 




Hello everyone!

Hi I'm Rhia Song and I'm a 20's something girl living in the country called The Philippines.   Being a not-so-addict netizen for over three years now, I have been constantly dreaming about putting up a book blog that I can call my own. But being a shy girl that I am, I never mustered enough courage to do so until recently. 

So this is it guys! My very first book blog wherein I will make an honest, very frank review about the certain book that I have read. As a self-confessed book lover and a frustrated writer, I'm really not that choosy when it comes to genres. As long as the story keeps putting up with my expectations, then I'm all up for a reading-all-night fest!

But I mostly enjoy reading zombie novels, young adult fiction, romance and chick-lit. My favourite authors are: Meg Cabot, Nicholas Sparks (And I have to tell you that HE IS MY MOST FAVORITE AUTHOR IN THE WORLD!), Brian Keene, Stephen King, Mitch Albom and Laura Esquivel. 

So I think I have to cut this short. If you guys are also a book lover like me, then do follow me at: