Thursday, November 21, 2013

Review: All Our Yesterday (All Our Yesterday #1) by Cristin Terrill

Title: All Our Yesterday (All Our Yesterday #1)
Author: Cristin Terrill
Published: September 3rd 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
My rating: 4.5 stars
"You have to kill him." Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside.

Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was.

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.
Time travel is not exactly my favorite concept in a book and most of the time I avoid reading them. So it was actually quite surprising when I found myself picking this up, turning each page eagerly and digging the book with such enthusiasm in one night! Cristin Terrill's All Our Yesterday definitely took me by surprise with it's clever and thrilling concept, fantastic characters and sweet romance. And I just so so loved it!

Ironically enough, my favorite part of the story is actually the time-travel itself - the whole re-writing of history, the connection of the past and the present, how things turned out like that and how they all add-up in the end. It was very interesting and impressive as Terrill presented it in such a mind-boggling and clever manner. I enjoyed predicting and finding out how each turn around will affect and change the course of the story. 

With the way the story was presented, we were able to see the changes from the past Marina, Finn and James to the present them. The inbetweens during the time travel, what led to this and to that, things they had gone through - we were able to understand how all of these contributed to the development and growth of their characters. It was an effective presentation because I quickly became invested with the characters - with their relationship and the friendship and love between them - it's quite impossible not to be emotionally involve as well. 

And I wouldn't be ending this without, of course, the mention of romance. I loved the subtle way it was handled in this book but never lost the sweet and swooning effects it should invoke upon its readers. It was lovely, heartwarming and achingly sweet. 

Although I was satisfied with the overall of the story, I felt some things could still be add up and developed on the story so I was really happy when I found out that there would be a sequel for this book! It's a little hard to imagine what the next book would be especially with that pretty clean ending but of course, I certainly won't pass up another whole book with Finn! Lol!

This is a must read! I highly recommend Finn this! ;D     

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (#31) : What I Though Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine, that spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" is..

Title: What I Though Was True
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Expected Publication: April 15th 2014
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
From the author of My Life Next Door comes a swoony summertime romance full of expectation and regret, humor and hard questions. Gwen Castle's Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, is slumming it as a yard boy on her Nantucket-esque island this summer. He's a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen's dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.

A magnetic, push-me-pull-me romance with depth, this is for fans of Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Deb Caletti
After enjoying and loving Jase *coughs* I mean, My Life Next Door I made it a promise that I'll be looking out for any books coming from its author and I'd be sure to have it on my TBR. So when I discover that a new book is coming and when I realized what the book will be about well, I was just ecstatic! I can already feel it's going to be a great book full of swoon-worthy and adorable scene! I can't wait to meet Gwen and Cassidy. Hopefully they'll be as lovely as Sam and Jase! :D

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Review: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Title: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1)
Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Release Date: December 10, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
My rating: 5 stars!
It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.
Disclaimer: After more than two months of not writing a review and blogging I'm not sure I'd be able to give justice to any good books I've read much more to something totally as spectacular as These Broken Stars. So this review might be a little bit rusty but hopefully it would be convincing enough to make you want read this book - because this book is seriously fan-freaking-tastic! See, it made me want to blog/review back. That should say a lot! Lol!


I've been waiting for this book since May last year! And alas, after waiting for 17 months (Yes, I counted it! Oh well, I should probably make it only 15 months since I received the ARC two months ago! Heh.) I was finally able to read it and boy, did it not disappoint! The wait is totally worth it and I can say that this is definitely one of my best reads this year. Tarver, Lilac and their world universe is one of the most original concept I have ever come across reading and it has captivated me from the very first start until the end. Reading These Broken Stars is one hell of a freaking experience.

The combination of well-rounded characters, magnificent world-building, and thrilling but oddly creepy (the voices, yeah?) plot is what made this book such a fantastic and amazing read. I have to admit, I was fooled a little when I was only starting it because it totally reminds of Titanic and I thought it would just be like that. But boy was I wrong because in a blink of an eye it showed me just how far and deep it could go. It was more complex that I could have ever expected.

Lilac and Tarver are from two different worlds. Lilac, the daughter of the richest man in the universe and Tarver, a young war hero who came from a middle class family. It was fascinating witnessing how fate brought this two together and was put together in drastic and survival situations and having them learn to get over their prejudice to each other then trust and then soon fell in love with each other. 

The development of each character were very well crafted and presented. I especially loved how Lilac grew throughout the story from the naive, spoiled, daddy's girl to someone who'd learned to make a camp and light a fire by herself, question her life and beliefs, braved a room full of dead rotting bodies alone for days to get the things they needed and who'd sacrifice herself and her happiness to ensure he wouldn't suffer. I'd come to really loved her character as the story went on. Tarver, on the other hand, I adored him instantly (well, yeah, I'm that shallow) but I think I just easily saw through him. Behind the tough soldier mask was just a boy with soft heart and tender feelings. I loved his relationship with his family and how much he treasured them. I think he's even more sentimental than Lilac. Haha! And he writes poems! That pretty much sums everything up. The romantic development between the two was very well written, it didn't feel forces or too fast but slow and realistic. And definitely swoon-worthy. 

As for the world building, the idea of a space ship that could travel light-year fast and of super advance technologies that enables one to teraform planets and move from one to another was very interesting and quite honestly, a little bit terrifying too. But I definitely enjoyed exploring it here and hopefully more on the next books. And for the plot, it was impressive and very entertaining, there were no dull moments. I loved seeing what Lilac and Tarver would do to survive each day and what things they'd discover along the way. The twists and turns were thrilling and exciting and at some point it even felt quite scary and sinister especially with the voices and visions! a! You guys have to look out for that but that's one of my favorite things in this book.

So there you go! With impressive concept, thrilling plot, fantastic characters, brilliant world-building and oh so swoon-worthy romance, this will definitely be shelved on your best reads this year. This would work not just from romance junkies but to those who love sci-fi and actions as well. This is a must read! I highly recommend this. 

Thank you Disney Hyperion for providing a copy of this book.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Cover Reveal: Without You by Brooklyn Skye

Release Date: 10/22/13

Summary from Goodreads:

*A novella to the best-selling New Adult novel STRIPPED*

I’m the knight on the white horse in her eyes, the one who broke down her defenses after her sister’s death until she realized she was capable of love. To her—aside from my name, Torrin Kingsley—I’m perfect.

But there’s a sliver of my past I’ve never shared with her. One that is now haunting me with every breath I take. One she is starting to raise her brow to.

I’m not certain how much longer I can keep it from her. To be honest, I don’t know that it would make a difference anyway, because it seems no matter which path I choose, they all lead to the same end point. A place without Quinn.

My demons run bone deep. I guess burying them forever wasn’t possible.

About the Author
Brooklyn Skye grew up in a small town where she quickly realized writing was an escape from small town life. Really, she’s just your average awkward girl who’s obsessed with words. Her Best-Selling New Adult debut, STRIPPED, is out NOW! Represented by Bree Ogden of D4EO Literary Agency.

After reading the first book and enjoyed it, I was surprised to see that there will be a follow up novella for it and in Torrin's pov. Although the first book isn't really something that was totally mind blowing, it was still a pretty good read and left enough lasting impression on me to look forward for this one. As for the cover, I'm not really sure what it was depicting and I do find it pretty far from the premise, but maybe when I get into the story I'd see more connection on it. Heh. :D

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Review: Triangles by Kimberly Ann Miller

Title: Triangle
Author: Kimberly Ann Miller
Published: June 18th 2013
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
My rating: 3 stars
A cruise ship. A beautiful island. Two sexy guys. What could possibly go wrong?

In the Bermuda Triangle—a lot.

Hoping to leave behind the reminders of her crappy life--her father's death years ago, her mother's medical problems, and the loser who’s practically stalking her--seventeen-year-old Autumn Taylor hops on a ship with her sister for a little distraction. When she wakes up in the Bermuda Triangle, she fears she's gone nuts for more than one reason: that loser’s suddenly claiming they're a happy couple... a hot guy is wrapping his arms around her and saying "Happy Anniversary"... and suddenly, she’s full of bruises, losing her hair, and getting IV medication. Autumn visits the ship's doctor, hoping for a pill or a shot to make the craziness go away. Instead, she's warned that these "alternate realities" could become permanent.

She just has to ask herself one question—how the hell is she going to get out of this mess?
While this book boasted some really interesting and unique ideas and concepts, I was unable to fully appreciate everything because I couldn't just say the same thing with its characters. I really had a hard time with the main character, Autumn. She had some issues and problems but it was awful how she was handling and how she kept on whining about her life. I understand that in order for the story to work her character has to be like that but I would probably like it more if the author tried harder to make us understand Autumn's line of thinking. 

Still there are things that I enjoyed in this book, mainly the alternate realities. I liked how the author thought of presenting different realities every each day with the things Autumn had been wishing only for her to realized that she didn't actually like them. It was what kept me on reading this, it was interesting to see how Autumn would react and handle things with each realities. I loved how the author made use of these alternate realities for Autumn to grow up, learn and see things in a different but much better ways. 

This book could have really been better. It has good materials, especially with that amazing concept of the Bermuda Triangle and alternate realities but I wished that we were able to get more connected with Autumn and in a much deeper level or at least, really understand her situation.

Overall, Triangle was a pretty decent read. Although a little improvement for the main character could have been made, the ideas and twists this book offers was still, I think, something you will enjoy reading about.

Thank you Spencer Hill Press for providing a copy of this book.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Cover Reveal: Running on Empty by Colette Ballard

Title: Running on Empty
Author: Colette Ballard
Expected Publication: November 15th 2013
Publisher: Tulip Romance (an imprint of Spencer Hill Press)
What does it feel like when you die—in those final moments? Do you feel the physical pain, or just the pain of your regrets? What does it feel like when you realize you can’t answer these questions because you’re not the victim?

You’re the killer.

River Daniels lives an ordinary life as a high school junior growing up in the confines of rural Texas until her boyfriend’s brutal attack leaves her both a murderer and a fugitive. When River’s closest girlfriends come to her aid, they make a hasty decision to not only help her, but leave their own troubled lives behind and join in her escape. The girls manage to elude police for months, but with every near-miss, River’s life spirals further out of control, until she finally hits rock bottom. Realizing she must stop endangering her friends and find evidence proving she acted in self-defense, the girls decide to make a risky move. River must face her ugly past and the one person she was protecting the night her world caved in, the guy she has loved for as long as she can remember.

Running on Empty is a debut novel for the newest imprint of Spencer Hill Press, Tulip Romance! The blurb sounds thrilling and intense though for some reason I find the thing about the girlfriends leaving their lives to help River a bit far-fetched but then I saw this,

which, I guess, is enough to convince me to give this book a try. Especially with a praise like this coming from one of my favorite contemporary author. Haha!

As for the cover, I think it's nice and  fits exactly what the book is all about.

*Giveaway is for US residents only
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (#30)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine, that spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" is..

Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Dutton Children's
Expected Publication: October 15th 2013
After spending an amazing day and night together in Paris, Just One Year is Willem's story, picking up where Just One Day ended. His story of their year of quiet longing and near misses is a perfect counterpoint to Allyson's own as Willem undergoes a transformative journey, questioning his path, finding love, and ultimately, redefining himself.

Well, who doesn't want this?! When I look this up again in Goodreads I saw that I have this book on my to-read shelf since 2011! I didn't realize I have been really waiting for this book that long. Lol! Anyway, I really can't wait for this book to come out because I promise myself that I won't read Just One Day until the second book become available. But I am really itching to meet Willem and Allyson so October please hurry up. I can feel that this book will have the same success as Where She Went and I know Gayle Forman won't disappoint us. Haha!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #7

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews as way to share all the great books you've received throughout the week.

Hi guys! Since I haven't done this meme for ages, what I'll be showing today are the books I have recently received, read and books I plan to read and review for this month. Check them out below.

I finally bought a paper back copy of The 5th Wave! I did it quite impulsively since I didn't know it was already available in our local book store so when I saw it, well there goes my money. Lol! Triangles and PODs are books I received from Spencer Hill Press last month but still wasn't able to review (sorry about that) but I'm currently reading Triangles now and I'm finding it pretty interesting, a review will hopefully be coming this week.

Shadows and Haze of the Rephaim Series by Paula Weston - I just finished this a week ago and totally loved it! You can see my review here. It's been a long time since the last time I read an angel book so I was really happy to find these jewels! Thanks Sam (Realm of Fiction) and Jasprit (The Readers' Den) for recommending this to me. First Grave on the Right and Second Grave on the Left are the first two books of the Charley Davidson Series by Darynda Jones. All I did while reading this book was laugh and laugh and laugh! Such a very funny and entertaining book. Mini reviews will be coming up probably this week. Left Drowning, this one has been recommended to me by Rachel over The Readers Den, honestly I'm quite scared to start this but Rachel assured me that all the tears a very worth it especially with how things turned out in the end, so let's see. Haha! Last, Of Beast and Beauty, this is my first book from this author and I've seen quite a number of amazing reviews for this book, hopefully this would work for me. 

*Did you notice there's only one contemporary read? Haha! I guess I'm taking a little break from them. So what books did you guys get for this week? Leave your links below so I could check them out too. :)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Series Review: Shadows (The Rephaim #1) and Haze (The Rephaim #2) by Paula Weston

Shadows (The Rephaim #1)
Paula Weston
July 2nd 2012
My rating: 4 stars
Haze (The Rephaim #2)
Paula Weston
May 22nd 2013
My rating: 4.5 stars
It has really been a very long time since the last time I started an angel book and I am really happy that when I finally decided to start one, a really fantastic and wonderfully written series was the one that landed on my lap. Rephaim was such an amazing series I definitely devoured in a very short time. I had a lot of fun reading this thrilling but beautiful world of half-angels Paula Weston created.

In Shadows, we were introduced to this intricate yet very interesting world of the Rephaim. The concept was intriguing especially with how Weston made of with the circumstances of Gabe's character. We learned as she learned, and it was a wonderful way for us to get a good grip of the story and the world but still continued to make us intrigued and curious throughout the book. This one had me sitting on the edge of my seat with all the thrilling and gripping action scenes, discoveries and revalations. The characters too were easily likable and interesting. While I think the first book is a lot more plot driven and is more focus on building a foundation, the main characters especially Gabe and Rafa certainly did left a very big and lasting impression on me. 

So on to the next book, Haze, which I think made me more obsessed with Gabe and Rafa. Haha.This sequel is a lot more focused now on the character development but still didn't lose on providing an exciting and intriguing plot line. I think what made me loved this more was because I finally found a much deeper connection with the characters which brought me more appreciation to them. Although I do think that there aren't that much action on this one than the first book, the focus on the characters, the growth and improvement, definitely made up for it. We were also finally introduced to this one character that was only being talked on the first book. And I was very to have finally met him and that he didn't end up to be on the bad side. 

Now, the ending did leave us on quite a predicament but for some reason it didn't quite bother me, I had my full trust on the characters and know that everything will be alright on the next book. Although I did feel a little disappointed since I wanted a lot more of alone time between Gabe and Rafa. Haha. :)

Overall, this series is absolutely now one of my favorite and best-read angel novels and I'd be definitely stalking this book and its author.  I highly recommend this. With all the angle books out there, I assure you this one is without a doubt a hit to your reading experience.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Review: Catching Liam (Good Girls Don't #1) by Sophie Bleu

Title: Catching Liam (Good Girls Don't #1)
Author: Sophie Bleu
Published: July 8th 2013
Publisher: Sophie Bleu
My rating: 4 stars
Twenty-one year-old Jillian Nichols only has one rule when it comes to boys: catch and release. Boy-catching isn't just a game for Jillian and her friends, it's a lifestyle. After all, boys might be good for a dance or a drink and certainly a little under-cover action of the scandalous variety, but expect much else and you're bound for heart ache.

So when her best friends and fellow boy catchers start dropping like flies junior year, Jillian is determined to keep boys in her bedroom and out of her heart. Until she meets Liam McAvoy, the kind of guy that sticks around to make waffles and who can't—or perhaps won't—take a hint.

Study abroad student Liam doesn't want to be another notch on Jillian's bedpost. Actually he has much more interesting ideas for Jillian and her bedposts, but his student visa's set expiration date means he can't promise her forever. That doesn't mean he's going to walk away from the challenge of discovering why Jillian is hell-bent at keeping people at a distance.

Before long, neither is sure who is catching who—or if they're playing for keeps. Jillian knows one thing though: falling in love will not only break the only rule of boy-catching, it could also break her heart.
From the influx of so many new-adult books the past months I'm really happy that I was able to find this little jewel and witnessed a really sweet and heartwarming contemporary story. Catching Liam was a fun and lighthearted read with enough emotional insight and depth that would definitely tug your heart strings and touch you. 

I was a little wary while reading this one especially after all my not so great experiences from this particular genre. But I'm glad to say that Sophie Blue manages to surprise me with how well she took things in this story. The characters were well developed, the plot was hilarious, romantic and touching, and the writing was surprisingly good. And I liked how this certain health condition was handled with knowledge and understanding. It isn't perfect but it has all what it takes for me to really like a contemporary novel. 

Jillian Nichols and Liam McAvoy were characters I really enjoyed reading about. They were easy characters to connect with and understand. Their relationship, although started in quite an unconventional way, grew naturally and genuinely. But with lots of swoon-worthy, giggle-inducing and steamy moments. 

Jillian's issues was something that saddened me and grab my heart and emotions especially with how hard she tried to hide it and how negatively it affected her thinking of self-worth. As the story progressed though, as her feelings with Liam developed and through his and her best friends' support she learned that she could face it together with them, with their help, with their love and care. 

And on to Liam, well I just have to say I second what JLA said about him in her review - definitely one of the swoon-worthiest male leads I'd ever read. Not just from his looks but from his overall characteristics - understanding, patient and very supportive. And did I mention he's a scot? Just imagine the accent. (Zachary Moore got himself some competition now on the kilt department. Haha.) 

The secondary characters too, I have to say, were well rounded especially Jess. Her friendship with Jillian was actually one of my favorite aspects in this book. It was very tender, heartwarming and amazing.

Quirky, sexy and fun but completely heartwarming. This book will definitely work out for those who enjoy contemporary reads without the worry of it being too stressing but with enough depth and insights that will still make you appreciate it in a deeper level. I recommend this. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Title: The Distance Between Us
Author: Kasie West
Published: July 2nd 2013
Publisher: Harper Teen
My Rating: 4.5 stars
Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.
When was the last time I felt like this over a book? You know, the warm fuzzy feeling, all giggly and swoony and you felt like you were floating on the clouds from all the sweetness and cuteness of a story? That's exactly how I felt the entire time I was reading The Distance Between Us. I was practically high over all the adorable-ness of it and it's something I wouldn't really mind getting dose after dose. This book was just that fun and enjoyable.  

Caymen Meyers was a character I thought I would have a hard time liking. I thought her sarcasm would grate on my nerves and made her look like a judgmental, bitter and whinny girl. But turns out she just really has a dry humor which I eventually found funny and endearing. She has a strong and understanding personality. I loved how even with her mom's experience in love and with the rich people it didn't completely cloud her judgment on Xander and still let him in in her life. 

Xander on the other hand was a character that was really easy to like. I started a little cautious with his character thinking he would be some cocky, arrogant rich kid but nooo, he was the opposite! He was so nice, considerate and kind. I loved how he plans and thinks through their "career day" and makes sure that it was something Caymen would enjoy.

The development and the romantic build-up between the two was the best treat on this book. The process and the in-betweens from being friends to lovers were just so so adorable. I loved the morning hot chocolate, the sip-first-before-giving-it to Caymen, the questions, the "career days", Eddie's addictive muffins and all the other things they did as their feelings grew and develop. It was a little slow yet it made it a lot more genuine and sweet. 

The only complain I could probably give to this book was that I wish it was longer and the family thing had been elaborated more. Still, it was a very satisfying and pleasing read. Hopefully, there would be a sequel or a companion novel seeing as how the ending left enough room for it. Maybe we could start asking and emailing Kasie West for a next book? Haha.

This book will definitely be right up the alley of those who enjoyed Anna and the French Kiss, My Life Next Door, Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, From What I Remember and First Comes Love! This was such a fun, sweet and quirky read. I highly recommend this! :)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Review: Faking It (Losing It #2) by Cora Carmack

Title: Faking It (Losing It #2)
Author: Cora Carmack
Published: June 4th 2013
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
My rating: 4 stars
Mackenzie “Max” Miller has a problem. Her parents have arrived in town for a surprise visit, and if they see her dyed hair, tattoos, and piercings, they just might disown her. Even worse, they’re expecting to meet a nice, wholesome boyfriend, not a guy named Mace who has a neck tattoo and plays in a band. All her lies are about to come crashing down around her, but then she meets Cade.

Cade moved to Philadelphia to act and to leave his problems behind in Texas. So far though, he’s kept the problems and had very little opportunity to take the stage. When Max approaches him in a coffee shop with a crazy request to pretend to be her boyfriend, he agrees to play the part. But when Cade plays the role a little too well, they’re forced to keep the ruse going. And the more they fake the relationship, the more real it begins to feel.
Cora Carmack, the first time I've seen your name on your debut novel, Losing It, I know you'd be a favorite author. Then I read it and totally loved it which just made you an official favorite. Months later you came back with another book, Faking It, which I have to say I absolutely adored! And that's when I knew I you just made your way through my heart as one of the authors I'll always be looking forward to. Thank you for writing these books.

Okay, where will I start with this one? Can I just say that I absolutely enjoyed it? Like really enjoyed it - great fun, with all the giggly, swoony and giddy feeling? Because that's what I think is missing on most of new-adult novels that's coming up lately. The fun. I don't know if you get what I mean but I've encountered a lot of NAs lately that were just too heavy, intense, dramatic and emotional (not to say frustrating as hell) that I'd end up feeling worried and anxious almost the entire time I just couldn't completely enjoy it. You know the feeling that even you, the reader, is tiptoeing around the story and characters, I slight wrong move will make everything bad. Wouldn't it be nice if even with all the issues and baggage the characters were carrying you could still feel relaxed and just enjoy their story? 

Thankfully, Faking It was exactly what I was looking for. It was a story with characters carrying emotional baggage and has to deal with their own personal demons yet it was also a story full of humor, laughs, sweetness and giddy feelings. It was a story where the author was able to make me really trust the characters and believed that even though one of them is expected to fucked things up they'd be able to still fix it in no time. 

I'm getting a lot of role reversal lately and I have to say that I'm absolutely loving it. Max is our rocker girl, who dropped out of college to pursue her dream of being a musician. She's a bad-ass who smokes, wears tattoos and dark sexy clothes with a no-nonsense attitude. While Cade is our golden all-American guy. The perfect gentleman, who goes to graduate school, a student volunteer and helps old ladies cross the street. 

How this two met and how their relationship started and developed was really funny and cute but it was still laced with deepness and seriousness as the story went on and as I learned more about each of them. I admit that there are moments that frustrated me quite a bit (although I know some of it were necessary for them to learn) but like I said, Carmack made me trust and understand them, so I was still able to relaxed and just see how they work things out. In the end I was rewarded with a really sweet and touching ending, with not so much drama, but still with great depth and insightfulness. 

Although I wouldn't completely disagree with those who said that it was quite predictable and that plot had already been used before I hope you wouldn't close your judgement in this book based on that because this book definitely has a lot more to offer than that. And as I've said it was really a very fun read. (And sexy!) I highly recommend this.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Blog Tour: Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols (Review + Excerpt)

Title: Dirty Little Secret
Author: Jennifer Echols
Expected Publication: July 16th 2013
Publisher: MTV Books
My rating: 4 stars
Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.

Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…
While I have read a number of Jennifer Echols' books before, they're usually either a hit or miss for me. So whenever I picked a book of hers there's always this little cautiousness that comes with it. Yet when I picked Dirty Little Secret, for some reason, I actually felt quite sure that I would enjoy it. Maybe because it was music-themed? Or because the main protag is a fiddle/violin player? (I have serious soft spot for violin players, i.e. Virtuosity)Or maybe because it was just really good? Oh well, whatever it was I'm just glad to say that Dirty Little Secret is definitely a hit for me! It certainly is one of my favorite Jennifer Echols' books.

Bailey Mayfield was a character I easily felt for even from the very start. The emotional baggage she was carrying was something I had easily understood. I could not entirely fault her for her past unwise actions because I can clearly see where it all came from. Instead, I blamed it all to her selfish, unfeeling parents! Bailey was a very likable character; she was a very good sister, daughter and musician. That's why I just couldn't fathom how her parents could easily disregard her like that. So I was really glad when she met Sam Handiman and his band. 

So onto Sam, this guy was someone you could so effortlessly fall into but just as easily you could get pissed off. YET, for some reason, it was hard not to remain too angry with him. This guy is very charming, talented, sweet and so so adorable (although he does carry some pretty intense emotional baggage too). But even with that I like how it was showed how flawed he is too. His strong drive and determination to reach his dream was admirable but sometimes it gets a little too much that he consciously/unconsciously ends up disregarding some other people's feelings. In the end though he learned that there are things or person that is much more important than what he think is.  

Although I don't know much about country music I actually still enjoyed exploring it through here. The dynamic between the band too was amazing. I love how they could easily work and produce a really wonderful music together. 

I'm not sure if this is the kind of book that would work for almost everybody. I admit there are moments that I get a little lost and disoriented in this one, especially with Sam, although I still always found my way back (to him) eventually. Lol! But there are a lot of good and great things that definitely make up for that. In the end, I still end up having a lot of fun reading this. I recommend this book.

Thank you MTV Books for providing a copy of this book.


“We’ll see about that,” I grumbled. With my circle skirt sweeping behind me, I spun in Ms. Lottie’s chair and stepped out of her hair-and-makeup alcove. I opened my fiddle case on an abandoned bookcase with a “Romance” sign on top. Better that than “Addiction” or “Family Planning,” which was where my parents thought I was parking my fiddle these days. I ran the bow across the strings, making minor adjustments with the tuning pegs. I didn’t need a tuning fork. I could tune my instrument by ear and I was always right. Other people didn’t believe me, though, and I often spent a whole set of songs gritting my teeth and playing A at a fourth of a step up or down from 440 hertz.

Determined not to let that happen this time, I marched across the bookstore with a smile on my face, which seemed a lot more natural while I was in costume. Mr. Cash and his son sat in chairs on opposite ends of the lounge area, playing their guitars. I would charm them into doing things the way I wanted. I watched them as I walked closer. Johnny Cash was a man about my dad’s age with his dark hair greased and combed into a pompadour. He wore a dark suit with a white shirt and a bolo tie, which worked fine for Mr. Cash but also wouldn’t have turned heads anywhere in Nashville. People around here were a little eccentric about bolo ties.

Ms. Lottie had coaxed his son’s hair into the same glossy pompadour, but his clothes could have passed for current, too, part of the Buddy Holly aesthetic so popular right now at Vanderbilt. He wore low-top black Chuck Taylors, black jeans folded up a few turns like greasers wore them in the 1950s, and a plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up above the elbows. The material stretched tight across his chest and biceps. He was big enough to have played football.

As I approached, Mr. Cash never looked up. There was no reason for him to. The lounge area was always busy at this time of the afternoon with musicians milling back and forth between the couches and Ms. Lottie’s area. A 1950s fiddle player coming closer shouldn’t have been an unusual sight.

But his son looked up. I was watching them, listening to the cacophony as they played two different songs in two different keys. I saw the exact moment when Cash Jr. realized someone was making a beeline for him. His dark eyes widened at me, his stare so unabashed and his expression so intent, as if reading my face that I felt myself blushing in response.

And then he grinned at me. His eyes sparkled. The corners of his mouth lifted through a day’s worth of dark stubble, which didn’t quite jive with the pompadour. He definitely was only a few years older than me, and so handsome that I wished for the millionth time I’d never cut my blond hair off and dyed it black. Then I remembered I was wearing my red ponytail wig, which was even worse.

Now I knew what Ms. Lottie had meant when she said he was a heartbreaker. And he hadn’t spoken one word to me yet.


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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Review: Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2) by Katie McGarry

Title: Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2)
Author: Katie McGarry
Published: May 28th 2013
Published: Harlequin Teen
My Rating: 3.75 stars
Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. "Dance with me, Beth."

"No." I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again....

"I dare you..."

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all....
Dare You To is another astounding novel from Katy McGarry that brought waves of emotions and feelings through me just like what she did me in her first novel, Pushing the Limits. Although I think the latter was a whole lot more intense and emotional, the former was still definitely a very sweet and enjoyable ride.  

I'm a sucker for opposite and antagonizing couples. So of course, Beth and Ryan were sold to me. But what I appreciated a whole lot more in this kind of arrangement was that their roles were reversed - it's now the bad girl and the good guy. It was refreshing to see the guy being the one who was more understanding, more patient and tolerating. The one who waits and supports. It definitely add more to the level sweetness and swoon-y-ness of the story.    

Beth wasn't a very easy character. This girl's tendency of self-sabotaging was quite alarming and frustrating. Although I loved her strong, sassy and fierce character, I did struggle some time understanding what was really up with her. Finally learning what had really happened when she was a kid that made her think that she owed her mother, I felt sadness and ache on what she had to suffer. 

Ryan, on the other hand, was a character that was easy to identify with and understand. The "golden boy" who seems so perfect and pieced together. But digging a little deeper will make you see that his character has some torn and frayed edges too. I love how both of he and Beth, despite the problems and flaws between them, was able to help each other developed and faced their own demons. 

Although the plot had been a bit standard and formulaic, I loved how Katie presented it through the characters of Beth and Ryan and how well she was able to emphasized the significant things - the understanding the forgiveness, the acceptance, the courage and of course, the love. 

I recommend this. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (#29)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine, that spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" is..

Title: Rearview Mirror
Author: Rachel Harris
Expected Publication: 2015
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Aubrie Guidry is living a lie. After the death of her best friend Krista in a devastating car accident—one where Aubrie was a passenger in the car—she’s given up her goth girl/performing arts persona and taken on, well, Krista’s.

She’s a cheerleader. She’s spunky. She’s blond.

The only time she’s able to admit to the pain she still suffers from is when she’s alone in her room, looking in the rearview mirror from her friend’s totaled car, and writing her true feelings in invisible ink on her bedroom walls. That is, until Ben, Krista’s brother, comes back to New Orleans from NYU. Ben sees right through Aubrie’s faΓ§ade, and is desperate to save her.

But when Krista’s voice starts speaking to both of them, can they uncover what really happened that fateful winter’s night?
I love love love the sound of this! Although it seems like this one is pretty dramatic and emotional I can feel that this is something I would love and enjoy. I've heard so much about the author and her other books too and most of them were positive so hopefully, this would be a great read. The only downside though is the release date, 2015 is too far!! *sigh*

Friday, June 21, 2013

Review: Apollyon (Covenant #4) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Apollyon (Covenant #4)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publication Date: April 4th 2013
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
My rating: 4 stars
Fate isn’t something to mess with… and now, neither is Alex.

Alex has always feared two things: losing herself in the Awakening and being placed on the Elixir. But love has always been stronger than Fate, and Aiden St. Delphi is willing to make war on the gods—and Alex herself—to bring her back.

The gods have killed thousands and could destroy entire cities in their quest to stop Seth from taking Alex’s power and becoming the all-powerful God Killer. But breaking Alex’s connection to Seth isn’t the only problem. There are a few pesky little loopholes in the whole “an Apollyon can’t be killed” theory, and the only person who might know how to stop the destruction has been dead for centuries.

Finding their way past the barriers that guard the Underworld, searching for one soul among countless millions, and then somehow returning will be hard enough. Alex might be able to keep Seth from becoming the God Killer… or she might become the God Killer herself.
I'll probably make this a little shorter than most of my reviews since it's been more than a month since I finished it and I'm afraid I'd forgotten some stuff about this one. But one thing I know and so sure about is that this book is absolutely fantastic! I know, I know, I've said that a million times in all of JLA's books but there was just something very definite in this one making me breathe and say that finally, everything is happening my way. 

One thing I like so much about this book was - okay, I don't know what this say about me starting this review with the hero/love interest, but it was just something very hard not to notice and has to be said right away - the change in Aiden's character here. After three books, I'm finally seeing this other side of Aiden that was just so refreshing. The side where he was a lot more open in his feelings, in his love and devotion to Alex. This Aiden who laughs and jokes and even flirts! Which was enough to send me over the edge and be gaga, but also sent warm fuzzy feelings in my chest. I seriously couldn't love him more. 

Alex too had undergone a significant change and development in this book. She matured a lot in here, especially given their situation. She had some reflecting too with her old self and her new self. It was actually very notable how she starts thinking first now before making any decisions and actions. 

The plot is ever fantastic. Before, most of the time I tend to forgot that this series is greek mythology inspired and not just urban fantasy/pnr story. I liked how the mythology stuff were more pronounced in this book, particularly with that scene in the Underworld. Other than that, the butt kicking action scenes were great and just as thrilling and exciting as in the previous books. 

Although the ending was sort of abrupt and a bit hanging, it still left me with a satisfied and confident feeling. I am definitely very much looking forward for the next and final book. (Huh, I just actually realized now that the series is actually ending in the next book. )= )

Monday, June 17, 2013

Pre-Order and Chapter Reveal: Frigid by J.Lynn (Jennifer L. Armentrout)

Title: Frigid 
Author: J.Lynn
Expected Publication: July 30th 2013
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
For twenty-one-year-old Sydney, being in love with Kyler isn't anything new. They'd been best friends ever since he pushed her down on the playground and she made him eat a mud pie. Somewhere over the years, she fell for him and fell hard. The big problem with that? Kyler puts the 'man' in man-whore. He's never stayed with a girl longer than a few nights, and with it being their last year in college, Syd doesn't want to risk their friendship by declaring her love.

Kyler has always put Syd on a pedestal that was too high for him to reach. To him, she's perfect and she's everything. But the feelings he has for her, he's always hidden away or focused on any other female. After all, Kyler will always be the poor boy from the wrong side of tracks, and Syd will always be the one girl he can never have.

But when they're stranded together at a posh ski resort due to a massive Nor'easter, there's nothing stopping their red-hot feelings for each other from coming to the surface. Can their friendship survive the attraction? Better yet, can they survive at all? Because as the snow falls, someone is stalking them, and this ski trip may be a life-changer in more ways than one.
Today is an exciting day - we have FOUR HUGE SURPRISES for you! Jennifer L. Armentrout's (writing as J. Lynn) FRIGID is set to release on e-book at the end of July. If you're anything like us, you're probably on pins and needles and just cannot wait to get your hands on a copy of this book.

FRIGID has already been given the honor of being named a Romantic Times Top Pick and we're super excited for you to be able to read it as well!

Well, there's good news! Are you ready for those four awesome surprises? Here we go!

1. Due to all the excitement surrounding FRIGID, we have decided to run a special e-book pre-order promotion. We have worked out a deal with the distributor to release FRIGID a full two weeks early -- on JULY 15th!!! -- if we meet our e-book pre-order goal. EEEEP! That's right, if you are like the rest of us and want to be able to read FRIGID in its entirety before its original release date, all you have to do is PRE-ORDER THE E-BOOK NOW! What are you waiting for? GO! Pre-order it!

Pre-order Links: Barnes & Noble / Amazon

2. Need something to hold you over until FRIGID releases? Well, starting right now, you can read the first three chapters of FRIGID for free! Just read below!

3. Can’t get enough of the hot FRIGID cover? Want to see some behind the scenes photos that are sure to make you swoon? You’re in luck! Below you can watch a slideshow of all the behind the scenes photos from the photo shoot! Go on and watch it. We’ll wait, because there is still one more great surprise!

4. And last but not least, if you live near Philadelphia, PA, you're in for a very special treat -- Jennifer will be in Philly in November signing not only FRIGID but also the last book in her immensely popular COVENANT series, SENTINEL! But that's not all, Adam, the super hot cover model from FRIGID will be there as well! So, yes, you'll get to meet Jennifer and Adam! Plus, there will be other great prizes that you seriously won't want to miss out on (dinner with the author and model, perhaps?)! Stay tuned for more details to come! 

We hope you're as excited as we are! So now....Go pre-order FRIGID! Go read those chapters! Go watch that slideshow! And Enjoy!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Review: Spirit (Elemental #3) by Brigid Kemmerer

Title: Spirit (Elemental #3)
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Published: May 28, 2013
Publisher: KTeen
My rating: 4 stars
With power comes enemies. Lots of them.

Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.

He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.

Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.

With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust…
This third book of the Elemental series is something I wasn't expecting to really like. It was the book I was least excited about and to be honest I even thought of not reading it. But since I was offered an advance copy and saw a lot of my friends getting excited about it I guess it kinda rub off me. And well, now that I've read it I'm actually very thankful it did. Because I did a total one-eighty in here! 

It was actually pretty funny how fast I change my mind in this book. From being indifferent to Hunter even after the first and second book to being a very loyal and devoted Team Hunter member in just a couple of chapters. I don't know how to explain that but I think I just have to give most of the credit to Brigid's awesome writing ability. 

Hunter wasn't exactly a very easy character. There were so much hidden and suppressed emotions in him, he was a very confused boy thrown into a complex situation with very tight options. He didn't know who to trust and what to make up with his life. I saw a very flawed and vulnerable Hunter in this book, with all his fears and insecurities too. He did some decisions and choices that were definitely quite frustrating and annoying (though I did understand where it's coming) but even through all that I saw how genuinely drawn-out and believable his character is. And I guess that's what made him a lot more easier to understand and like in this book.

Kate Sullivan, this girl was definitely a pretty surprising character. I mean, it was just that she was just totally different than the last two heroines in this series. She's feisty, confident and aggressive - characteristics that might not make you like her right away but I soon did warm up on her and find those things about her very admirable. Michael Merrick also had won a lot of love from me here. Haha. I just appreciate his character more here especially with him being so so understanding and mature (Nick, Gabriel and Chris, you don't know how lucky you are to have a brother like him!)

On top of everything, I have to say that I just love how Brigid wrote the story as realistic as it could be. Especially the emotional aspect of the story. I love how she addresses the issues in each kind of relationships - friendship, family, lover, and also finding one self. It was heartfelt, poignant and definitely very insightful. 

If you think you could only love a Merrick brother, think first and read this, it might change your mind. It definitely did to me. Fantastic plot, thrilling actions and twist and the ever so hot Merrick brothers and of course Hunter, this third book is something you wouldn't want to miss in this series. I recommend this.  

Thank you Wendy (The Midnight Garden) and Kensington Publishing for the copy of this book.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I'm finally and officially back! Yaaaay! :)

After being gone for a month and a half, I'm so happy to say that I'm finally and officially back on the blogging world. And boy, did I miss it so much! I never thought that it would take me this long to get back since at first the only problem was that my computer broke down, and when I finally got a new one another problem came up - my internet connection. *sigh* So you can imagine what my email looks like after all those weeks - it was a mess! Haha! But looking back I think it was actually a good time for me to have a hiatus because I doubt I would be able to blog daily with all the things that took place the last month, which was a lot. 

One was that I graduated! Ha. I got my degree in Bachelor of Science major in Tourism Management at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.! Eeeep!

One down on my check list of Top Things I Have to Accomplish in Life! Yay! Next thing to do - find a job. Haha. 

And then the next is that I had been part of the PR Team of Ms. Rochelle Romero for two awesome and cool events that took place last month.

The first one was the TW Steel Press Luncheon and Cocktail Party were I actually met the very young (he's only 31 yrs old!) and gorgeous CEO and co-founder of this Dutch watch brand - Jordy Cobelens. You know those stereotypical heroes in adult novel - those guys who were already able to accomplish a lot of things at a young age and were like the owner of their own company, has so many talents (yes, this one is a DJ too, isn't that hot? Ha!) and has to travel around the world the majority of time? I never actually quite believe they exist. Ha! But having met one definitely crashed that thought and I am definitely a big believer now. Haha. Here are some of the pictures during the event.

Anne, Me and Jac (PR Team Members)
Jordy Coblenes (CEO &co-founder) and Me
And the other event was the sneak peek preview and launch party of the first Cold Stone Creamery store in the Philippines! One of the best things of being a part of the PR team of this event was that I get to eat tons and tons of ice cream for free! Haha!

And last but not the least! 

I, of course, read tons of awesome books the whole month! Ha! Here are some of them:

I finished two trilogies - The Dairy Queen which is really fun and cute and Study which is quite amazing and Valek! He was just...*sigh*. Anyway, if you're wondering if I've only read Opal now, no. I was just in the mood re-reading it and have some Daemon time (although I did skip the ending. ha!) And yes, Spirit - I'm one of the participating blog for the tour but wasn't able to post a review during the week release because well, you know why. (I'm really sorry Wendy and Brigid, it will be the first review I'll be posting now that I'm back!)

So there you go. That's the summary of what I've done the post one and a half month. I have a lot of catching up to do but I'm definitely excited to be back and visit some of my favorite blogs and socialize with my favorite GR friends! I have missed you guys. Thanks to all those who keep on visiting this blog despite the lack of updates. 
See you guys around! :)


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