Our awards of the Best and Worst of 2013 is now live! Lots of books mentioned, a lot of laughs and tears, and most especially, a lot of potatoes doing... things. Visit the post and join the giveaway for a chance to win a book of your choice (as long as it's mentioned, that is). Click on the image to read away!
We would like to thank the following for their contributions:
Khanh from Bookistry
Hazel from Stay Bookish
Brittany from Brittany’s Book Reviews
Sab from Sab The Book Eater
Alyssa from Diary of a Book Maniac
Kim from Divergent Gryffindor
Filipino readers, you can read this book early! Head over to The Social Potato blog and fill up the rafflecopter form to get a chance to win an ARC of this beautiful novel. We're also giving away a Php 300 Fully Booked Giftcard on the blog!
International readers, you can also get a chance to snag a finished copy of this book via The Book Depository! If you win, we will pre-order for you, and you only need to wait until the release date to wait for your book to arrive! Head over to the blog now to get a chance to win!
To be completely honest, Alienated was a very surprising read. I was expecting hardcore science fiction that was mildly altered to suit young adult tastes with a bit of romance here and there, but it turned out to be the opposite. It's a fluffy read of two students from two different worlds, one from Earth and one from another galaxy hundreds, probably thousands of light years away, as they learn from each other's cultures and endure the widening protest and violence against the two civilization's mingling of each other. So it has a lot of fluff, a lot of politics, and a lot of science fiction. And you know what else? I LOVED IT!
The plot is actually pretty simple. Aelyx (pronounced A-licks) and two of his friends, Syrine and Eron, are to be sent to Earth in a sort of student exchange, a move that hopes to strengthen the relationship of the two planets. However, the trio has other plans, as they don't want their home to be influenced by the violence and discord human societies have showcased in their history, so they plan to sabotage everything. He later meets Cara, a human with a passionate and gentle heart and a fiery spirit, and she could just be the key to weakening Aelyx's resolve.
It may seem really cliché and worn-out due to the premise being written a hundred times in other novels, but reading this book, you'll find yourself grinning to yourself anyway, because the book's strongest point isn't the plot – it's the development between Cara and Aelyx as they learn more about each other. I swear, I laughed, I cried, and I grinned like a mad lunatic. It was so funny to read the alien guy being wary of human customs, of their food, of their sexual advances, of his OWN sexual reactions (to which he would try to recite the human periodic table afterwards... haha!!)... it felt like a learning experience for me, too. Aelyx was an adorable character, and even though as a reader you know he has other agendas, you kind of understand the reasons why he was willing to do what he planned (and honestly, if I were an alien from outer space, I wouldn't bother with humans, too. We're complicated beings =P).
As much as it was heartwarming, there were heartrending scenes too, in which I couldn't help but tear up a bit. There is a political backdrop here as many people are not keen on having aliens in their midst, and it results to a lot of betrayal and violence, and these take a toll on Cara. My heart swelled and my throat tightened whenever she would put her head up high despite all the bad things happening to her, and even more when Aelyx saw all of these and blamed himself for it. Sigh. If there's anything this book was, it was one hell of a roller coaster ride. I felt so connected to the characters that I could feel the emotions overflowing from the pages. Such a spectacular novel, this one.
All in all, this was a great read, and would be an excellent introduction to the science fiction genre to others out there who are hesitant to try it. It's full of heart and emotions, and a lot of scenes that would make you laugh, cry, and sweat (that making out scene was HOT, BABY!). 2014 will be a great year if all books are of this calibre!
Good news to those who've read VICIOUS by Victoria Schwab! Film rights have been acquired by Ridley Scott's Production Company! I loved VICIOUS and am totally excited to see this in live action, but after watching Ender's Game, I am now a bit fearful of movie adaptations. Ender's Game is a lovely book but is very character-driven, and the film was so fast-paced that it failed to show Ender's growth and frustrations. Heck, it didn't even show Peter when he was vital to Ender's breakdowns!
I am excited for Vicious, but I hope if this gets approved, they make it a miniseries instead. Like 6 episodes or something. Enough to polish the characters and give us that noir feel.
What do you guys think?
NEWS LINK: http://collider.com/v-e-schwab-vicious-movie-ridley-scott/
Before going into this novel, I saw a few of my friends on Goodreads giving it low ratings, saying it felt “forced”, “weird”, and “boring”, three adjectives that would have sent any person in the right state of mind running. There was even one who put it into the DNF pile! Knowing these people were well-known bloggers whose opinions I hold in high regard, I was instantly wary, and obviously, afraid of meeting the same assessments. I may love books, but I dread reading a bad one because 1.) I do not want to waste time; and 2.) as much as possible, I want to avoid writing negative reviews, especially about a debut work.
So, moments before I commenced, I thought to myself that I should read with an open mind and let go of my prejudices and preconceived notions. The first ten pages are crucial to keeping my interest, and I vowed to see it through even if I meet the same problems my peers had.
That’s what I did. And when I finished reading the last page, I found myself feeling uplifted and teary-eyed. This book turned out to be a very pleasant surprise.
At first, I was also weirded out by the rather unique voice of Kippy Bushman, but reading more, I found myself gradually liking her. She was odd and quirky. She would blurt out the weirdest of things to herself and to other people in the most inopportune times. She has a rather dark and strange sense of humor that some people may find hard to appreciate (took me a while, too!). She was also an awkward person, but not in a sense that she was clumsy, but in an adorable, endearing way in which she would comment about a person’s ripped finger just to let them know she’s there. Here’s an example from a scene where she collaborates with Davey, her best friend’s brother, in order to investigate her murder:
I turn around and see him reaching underneath his gray sweater to tuck his blue plaid shirt behind his tan belt.
“I like your finger,” I blurt.
“You mentioned.” He raises his eyebrows. “Thanks.”
“You’re very welcome.” It comes out sounding too loud. Something about Davey makes me want to raise my voice and talk in all caps. Like, NO MATTER WHAT I’M SAYING I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW I’M HERE AND VERY EXCITED.
And when she finally realizes that things are not what they seem and considers finding things out herself…
I look out at Mrs. Klitch laughing in her folding chair, gleefully kicking her boots against the cold grass. Certain people might be able to ignore this but I can’t leave Davey alone with the knowledge that things just aren’t right – because he isn’t crazy, and it’d be mean to pretend he is just because that’s easier.
But what do I even do? Because honestly I don’t even know what I’m after or up against here. I mean, the cops won’t listen and everyone else has their heads inside their butts trying to be polite. Not to mention, Frienship is actually way less boring but maybe also much more weird and creepy than I thought it was, and nobody really prepared me for that.
I guess the real question is: How would a professional handle this? I know that if I were Diane Sawyer, I’d be serious and focused and composed and beautiful and perfect – wait, I’m getting off track. The point is that I’ve got to handle it correctly. Because who knows? Maybe if I do this right, and get to the bottom of things, it could be the sort of masterpiece that might even make Diane Sawyer cock her head and say, “Hey there, who the heck is that?”
I understand why some people would find these things “forced”, but I honestly enjoyed it and didn’t see it that way, because while she indeed had a lot of quirks, there was an abundance of internal monologue (as you can see above) that really made her personality shine. She felt like a genuine teenager with a real voice. When she would talk to us, sometimes she would get side-tracked, too – a habit perfectly normal even to the most of us. It was a very intimate experience reading her talk about herself and her relationships with other people. She was also a very flawed character and was not without her own mistakes. During her investigation, due to her bizarre quirks, she messed up a lot of times and shot herself in the foot as well. I am not denying that even I felt frustrated whenever she made obvious faults and avoidable errors, but I thought to myself that this made sense because of her personality and her inexperience in socializing with others outside Ruth, her dad, and Ralph. She was a darling, and quite possibly one of the most original characters I’ve ever read, with layers and layers of complexity underneath (yes, there is more to her than her awkwardness, but that would be spoilers!). All I can say is I enjoyed seeing the story and mystery unfold in her eyes. Adding to that was her growth, making it a very fulfilling experience.
Despite the book being largely character-driven, it was still able to give me a deeper look into the town of Friendship and its inhabitants. Beneath the slangs (You betcha! Dontcha know? Oh my Gah!) is a rather creepy and disturbing backdrop, where each of the secondary characters have secrets up their sleeves and we are left uncertain who to trust and who to suspect. Many of these characters were very unconventional and were complex in their own way. There was Dom, the father and a psychiatrist who had a hard time handling Kippy since the death of his wife. He uses his trade on his daughter in hopes of being able to raise her properly (he even posted the five stages of grief on the refrigerator!). There was Libby, a popular girl with D-cups and a Christian background who insists on using “Gah” instead of “God” and who launches a campaign for Ruth despite not being friends. There’s Staake, the town’s sheriff who never finished high school and is in a power trip, using his position for many unethical things, who may or may not have an ulterior motive to arresting Colt, a football player who was a douchebag through and through. We even learn more about Ruth and her deeper, dark side through her diary. There were a lot of things going on in the background, and knowing that we have yet to unfold the bigger picture made me look forward to reading the next chapters. What I appreciated the most about these “strange” characters is how they illuminate or represent the many flaws and realities of our OWN community. Putting labels on you just because you fit a certain criteria, pushing you towards a particular direction because that’s the accepted norm, going the easy way even though it’s wrong, becoming biased towards a particular person or thing because of hidden grudges despite of the possibility he or she is innocent, and exploiting one’s power for one’s own gains… these were what made the town of Friendship in this book extra scary – the parallelism that hits close to home.
My only complaint was that somewhere in the 60-80% percent of the book, things got really weeeeird (read: fucked-up) and it left me confused for a little while. And also that bit where Kippy kissed a certain guy out of the blue and for no reason at all. I was shaking my head and raising my eyebrows to the high heavens at that scene as it didn’t make sense to me. I finally understood it later, though, when Kippy explained the reason why she did it. Just a bit of warning there in case you get off guard by that scene, too.
All in all, I thought this was a brilliant work. I didn’t find it cliché and I definitely didn’t find it boring. It may be unconventional, but this character-driven mystery book was a thrilling ride all the way, and I absolutely recommend it to those who want something new and out of the box.
I thought I'd hate it due to the DNF and low rating this book was getting, but I am REALLY enjoying it. Kippy's voice is real, genuine, and awkward. Not awkward as in like the prose is terrible, but awkward in a sense you can really feel her introvert-ness and shyness and her lack of social skills and everything else seeping from the pages. I don't think any of it are forced, because there is an abundance of great internal monologue that makes her personality shine.
It's also a pretty dark book, despite being character-driven. The parts where we get out of her mind and see the rest of the people in this town of Frienship can be disturbing, as there are layers of meaning underneath the dialogue.
Pretty unconventional book, but I LIKE it a lot.
Get a chance to win up to $100 in Amazon giftcards here! You can also buy the book for $0.99!
I was first approached by this author after I added The Midnight Thief to my To-Read list on Goodreads. The summary hypnotized me from the get-go. Assassins in a medieval-like fantasy backdrop has been one of my favorite settings in fiction. There's just something really intriguing about it because I always associate this kind of set-up with politics and conspiracies, internal or outside of the assassins' grasps. A chance to have a sneak-peek into The Midnight Thief's world was something I would never pass up, so I read this one in a jiffy and immediately found myself deeply engrossed in this short story.
The first thing I noticed about the book was the writing. Even thought there weren't many description of the surroundings, the prose and the words used in the dialogue made it easy for me to immerse myself and imagine what the scenes looked like. I sincerely believe it is the dialogue that makes the atmosphere of the book, and I think it's what really made this novella stand out - the conversations between the characters just jump out and take you there with them, at that place and at that moment. I've read so many books set in a similar setting, but more often than not, they don't give a medieval vibe at all because the words used as well as the sentence structures give the place a modern feel. It's like having a book set in a European city... unless you're going to do something to set the atmosphere, it's going to feel like any other city. What's the point of putting it elsewhere if you can't establish that, right?
“And you’re an assassin,” she said.
He took his time answering. It was no secret that he was a member of the Guild, but it wasn’t something usually announced on first meeting. “I may be.”
“I would retain your services.” Her tone was serious. She believed herself earnest, at least.
He gave a low chuckle. “Many think they would. But few have the coin, and even fewer truly have the stomach for it.”
“I have enough coin.”
“And how does a dancing lass come across so much money?” He dropped his eyes to her shapeless dress. “Unless your trade is not purely dancing.”
She flushed now, her nervousness replaced with anger. “My business is my own. Will you take my coin or not?”
It raised his opinion of her, that she didn’t meekly accept his insult. Nevertheless, he couldn’t help her. “It doesn’t work that way. I take orders from my guildleader.”
“But do you have to? I could pay you well.”
“I don’t need the trouble.”
The sounds of conversation in the dining room had died down, and James heard a talesinger’s theatrical voice projecting over the crowd. He turned to leave, and she took his arm. “You have a job tomorrow, don’t you?”
That stopped him. To know that he was in the Assassins Guild was one thing, but to know what he was doing the next day . . . “What of it?”
“If there’s anything in your quarters you’d rather keep hidden, move it somewhere else before you leave. And you may want to return early.”
He studied her face for any signs of deception. “I’ll keep that in mind.”
“And one more thing,” she said before he could turn away again.
“The rumors are right. Your guildleader is dead.”
I don't know about you, folks. It's a simple conversation between two people, but the magical, medieval feeling is still there, and you feel it from the words themselves. Is it just me? I don't know. But if there's one thing I am truly certain of, it's that I am so excited forThe Midnight Thief to come out come 2014, especially with prose and writing that let you into their world effortlessly.
As for the story itself, it's short, but it packs a lot of punch, so I'm not going to spoil it for you. There's a lot of characterization, a lot of intrigues, a lot of dark forces in the background, jam-packed in a measly 57 pages (yes, I was desperately wishing it was longer). The Midnight Thiefcan't come soon enough!
... when you have to open your laptop just to tell the world how awesome the book is. Hear that? THIS BOOK IS AWESOME!!!!
(I'm at 78% btw)
I’ve been blogging for about a year now, and submitted more than two hundred reviews. Lately however, I’ve rekindled with some of my… other hobbies… and don’t have as much time to read and review. I am therefore looking for two co-bloggers - ONE international and ONE Filipino / Two Filipinos - to join me and spread our love for books! It’s not a bad job, I swear! There are just some rules that are (unfortunately) set in stone just for quality control:
- You MUST submit a minimum of ONE review a week. It doesn’t have to be an ARC.
- You WILL have access to the ARCs I have. What you want to read and review, I will share it with you. However, I WILL NOT request books in your stead. You are instead welcome to use The Social Potato’s site statistics for requesting. I will give you a list of what I have and you can choose from there, and by borrowing my ARCs, you also give me the right to submit YOUR review to the publisher/s, with that review representing the blog.
- You CANNOT use The Social Potato for blog tours. I have decided to keep this blog a REVIEW-ONLY BLOG, with the occasional essay or two on book topics. I am open to guest posts and interviews, but you need to talk about it with me first. I am only willing to consider this if it were a personal request from the publisher/author.
- NO EROTICA OR HARDCORE ADULT MATERIAL. You can read those at your own discretion, but you’re not allowed to post the review here. We have a particular audience and I don’t want to make the material R18. Sarreh D:
- You MUST have a Twitter account.
- You MUST schedule your review, with at least a 24-hour gap before it gets posted on the site, to give me enough time to edit the formatting and to add a header for the slideshow on the front page. If you wrote a review on a Monday, the earliest it can be posted is Tuesday.
- You MUST be able to express yourself and your arguments clearly. I read serious reviews and write serious reviews and I expect you to do the same. If there’s something you didn’t like about a book, say why. If there’s a book that had a huge impact in your life, say how. If there’s a character you abhor, say who and let’s kill him with fire (JOKE!).
- You MUST have a good grasp of the English language.
Sorry, does it sound harsh? XD But yeah, those are the rules that I must enforce if you’re interested in becoming my co-blogger. In exchange, though, you get access to a LOT of ARCs. Even physical books (this will only be available to a Filipino blogger)! I’m very generous so you don’t have to worry about that.
Interested? Just send an e-mail to email@example.com with the following details:
Your own blog (If you have one. Not mandatory)
Your twitter handle
A little bit about yourself
A link to a POSITIVE REVIEW
A link to a NEGATIVE REVIEW
Please only send an e-mail if you are serious. Thank you so much guys and I really hope I can find these two lovely people soon!
When I first read The Nightmare Affair, I instantly became a fan of the author. I enjoyed the storyline, the writing, the humor and the pace in that particular paranormal book, and that's rare coming from me because I rank PNR very low in my preferred genres. Finding out Ms Arnett was going to write a Science Fiction complete with spaceships and interstellar travel psyched me up big time, especially since I favor that the most. If Mindee Arnett was able to hook me line and sinker with a PNR read, how much more would she be able to reel me in with a Sci-Fi?!
But, unfortunately, it left me somewhat disappointed.I'm not even sure if it deserves the three stars from me given how I wasn't emotionally invested enough. Not that I found anything wrong with the plot... in fact, it was a bit refreshing to see two influential and equally bad institutions fighting for power with the main characters unfortunately placed in the middle of all the chaos, but for a few reasons which I will shortly disclose, the magic just did not work on me. *SAD FACE*
Okay, my first complaint: the world-building just wasn't polished enough and wasn't able to give me a clear picture of what the universe in Avalon looks like. My imagination can get pretty wild, but it can't function if you're not going to give it any description to feed on. For example, I appreciated that we were given a background of how ships in this book travel great distances, which was made possible due to a technology called Metatech (Thanks to EvE Online, an MMORPG I used to play, and Star Ocean, I have an idea how this could look like, so there's that). However, most of the time, I was never given any illustration of the ships' appearances. I guess this depends on the person (we all have our own preferences, after all), but as someone really into space and sci-fi, this is an aspect I look forward to the most. I don't care how many technical terms you put there, just give me something to imagine! You could even get inspiration from the Eve Online ship models (which are pretty awesome, btw). But like I said, there was almost no description, and if there were some, they were minimal and not engaging enough for me to create a picture in my head.
I also did not like Jeth, the main character. While I recognize his impressive love and care towards his sister, he came off as absolutely obnoxious, gullible, and selfish. He was given a truly dangerous mission, something that would threaten the lives of his crew, but instead of telling the truth to his mates, he opted to keep it from them instead to ensure he gets Avalon, his parents' ship, in the end. I'm sorry, try as I might, I just can't shake this off, and ever since that scene I've been wary of him. It doesn't help that the writing just wasn't as good as Arnett's The Nightmare Affair. I felt very detached and I just couldn't connect to him at all. There were also times when I felt the narration was a bit shallow. There are a lot of characters in this book who are more interesting than Jeth, but during my reading experience, I didn't think they were given the attention they deserved. It was all about Jeth and his obsession obtaining the Avalon from his boss.What's a reader to feel when her least favorite character is ALSO the focus of the narration?
There were also some things that I felt were placed there for convenience but never explained later on.See, there was this one scene where the main character was separated from the rest of the group. Then out of nowhere, his friends came running to his rescue, thanks to the love interest, of course! Unsure how she was able to make it happen, he asked her, and she replied (non-verbatim), "Oh, we created a special communication system with CharacterA when we were kids, so there!"
The thing here is, ladies and gentlemen, I wouldn't have had any qualms with that if the kind of special communication system and the way she was able to do this when the place was heavily guarded were explained. I just can't easily accept a rescue mission that conveniently popped out of nowhere if there were no descriptive account of how that came to be. I mean, come on, I read books to escape the real world, but my brain needs to make sense of it, too.
I also didn't appreciate the romance. It felt weird and rushed. There were not many scenes with them together that really justified their "love". Also, not to mention, I really had a hard time believing Jeth's sincerity when in the first few days of their meeting, all he ever thought about was making out with her. They go try to find something important (read: IMPORTANT), and his mind was occupied with thoughts of kissing her madly. In the middle of a life and death situation in a torture room, he thought of how beautiful she was... sigh. I don't know, I'm a romantic, but in these situations, my bullshit radar is alert as fuck, and logic trumps the hopeless lover in me. #Sorrynotsorry
All in all, it was an okay read. I definitely felt Arnett's PNR series was better, but I'll definitely check out the next book to see if it will successfully reel me in. For now, though, a low three stars.
This book made me really angry.
There's a lot to say about this, but it's not an easy book to digest. I need a lot of time to think about this.
But one thing is for sure: I believe it really portrayed the emotional trauma some girls go through once they're raped - that inability to cry out, that inability, due to being made to feel powerless, to say no, and that fear everything will change once word of it gets out. It made me really angry, and it made me feel I was in their shoes, and it's such a crappy, crappy feeling.
Sigh. It'll take a while for me to review this. I need to gather my thoughts.
What the flying fuck.
This guy was pretty much drunk and molesting her, and when her friend hit him to protect her, she still tried to save the former's ass by saying it was all a big misunderstanding? She wanted to stop, but didn't say stop, and so therefore thought she doesn't want him penalized because it was her fault anyway?
WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS MENTALITY
I know I'm not supposed to take this shit seriously, but... it's just really disturbing and I hate reading about it, despite the fact how common this happens.
Reading this right now and I'm at around 30%. So far, this retelling is quite impressive. Although I'm not too invested in the plot right now (I mean, I kind of have an idea how it'll go...), the writing is quite delicious to take in as it involves a lot of internal narration. My only complaint is I hope it stops inserting snippets of Greek/Roman god stories every 5 pages lol. Some of them were inserted randomly and I didn't think they served any purpose other than to showcase her "knowledge" of this particular field (not even sure how accurate they are... I'll leave this to you, Khanh. Haha.)
The publisher is going to hate me for this... but yeah.
One of the reasons why I didn't write a review right after I read this book was because I didn't really have anything to say, aside from the fact that it was forgettable. I thought I just needed a wee bit more time before officially submitting my insight, despite the dangers of forgetting it even more with the passing of time. But, hey, I live the dangerous life, so bring it on, yeah? #MedyoBadGirl
So here I am, almost more than a month has passed, and instead of providing criticism or praise, I am typing filler to at least give it a fair amount of character count (like I said, I live the dangerous life...). I search near and wide, even going as far as the deepest pits of my mind for anything...ANYTHING at all... but I still cannot scrounge up anything to say about this book. Aside, of course, from the fact that it was forgettable. But way back in University, I mainly survived by cramming (Cram Culture FTW), as when I am pinched for time is when my creative juices start to really come out and overflow, so let's just pretend I am in that situation (I am really typing filler here... #MedyoBadGirl).
So... let's just say this book is kind of Titanic-ish, but instead of a boat in water, it's a huge vessel soaring in the sky, an innovative technology made possible due to a certain kind of beetle that can somehow make stuff fly. There has been a hijacking, and the protagonists are set to find out who masterminded it and to stop it before... you know... things end up horribly wrong.
Sigh... this was really forgettable. Even that summary is mediocre by my standards. But, I digress.
Anyway, if I find something forgettable, it usually means I couldn't connect to the story or the characters, and I think that's what happened here. The narration, I felt, didn't leave much room for me to personally sympathize with their plight, although I'll blame the fact the chapters were kind of all over the place. There were three protagonists and it would often jump from one character to the other, with some dedicated to a backstory that happened back in time during the war, which we will later learn has a significant role in the hijacking. To be honest, I am not fond of this kind of writing as I would rather be emotionally invested in one or two characters, instead of having a broader view of many of them (as per the saying "Quality over quantity"). It didn't help that it also felt kind of monotonous, with little to no internal narration (at least from what I remember, because otherwise, I wouldn't have been bored to death).
I thought the plot was kind of confusing, too. When I was reading it, I remember scratching my heads at certain moments that seemed to come out of nowhere... like they were totally random. I definitely feel this would have worked better if it was targeted for teenagers or adults, as children protagonists handling a serious hijacking seems a bit unrealistic and doesn't leave room for a lot of drama and internal conflict.
Would I recommend this book? Although I didn't hate it, I obviously did not like it either, and it wasn't emotionally fulfilling enough for me to remember all the details even right after I finished it. While I wouldn't be running down the street cursing its name and warning people to get away from it, I also certainly wouldn't be busy urging people to get it, either. I wouldn't recommend something I didn't enjoy, lest alone even remember half of it, to my friends and family. :/ Hopefully, my next read of this author's works would be better.
Final Verdict: (?) 2.5
Image from HERE.
Friends, as you have seen on the news, a monstrous typhoon hit my country last week. It killed, swept away, and displaced many people. What used to be lively provinces with lush green trees and heritage churches became wastelands that reek of death. Within a few hours, many of my brethren lost their homes and their loved ones, and have been left with absolutely nothing. It terrifies me to think what they could be feeling right now. Up to this day, aid is still scarce, and many are dying.
On behalf of my fellowmen, I ask you to help and stand beside my helpless people rebuild their lives. I believe as citizens of the world, it is during these times that we have to help each other, especially those who have seen and felt the fury of nature's wrath.
If you can donate, please do so. Here is a link to many organizations that provide relief to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan: http://news.yahoo.com/how-to-help-donate-to-victims-of-super-typhoon-haiyan-195111618.html.
If you can't donate, that is fine as well. I instead ask you to keep the victims and families in your thoughts/prayers. Any of these is deeply appreciated.