Discussion Post #1 |Are book blogs still relevant for book reviews?

discussion


You may be wondering why I’m even asking this question. It just started about a week ago when I came across a sign up form for a certain publisher’s ARC mailing list. There was a part in the form where it states that “you don’t need to have an official “blog” anymore to be a reviewer, but having social media presence definitely helps.” They then asked if I have accounts on certain social media platforms and my number of followers. Typical stuff publishers asks.
And that was when the question started to form in my head. Are book blogs still relevant for writing book reviews?
Honestly speaking this got me thinking hard if I’m still putting all my effort on the right platform. Sure, I talk about books on Twitter, I post Instagram photos of books I’m reading but, at the end of the day, I still put more effort when it comes to writing book reviews on my blog (which are also crossposted on Goodreads).
And what does “anymore” even mean? It appears to me that before, you have to have your own blog to be acknowledged as a reviewer by publishers, but now, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
I’m not generalizing and that just seem to be the preference of one or some publishers. But what do you think?
Maybe I just got a little confused when they used the word “anymore” which I took in a different way. Because if I don’t need to have a blog, where do they expect me to write my reviews for their books? Let’s say I really don’t have a blog but I’m on Twitter, do they expect me to write a review in 140 characters? Would that be enough as long as I have “social media presence”?
I guess things are really changing, and with the book community continuously growing bigger and bigger, it seems necessary to adjust to these changes. In all honesty, my greatest struggle is keeping up with my social media presence and that’s a huge part of blogging, we’re walking talking advertisements of the books we’re reviewing if you consider it. When I started blogging, I never really thought of these things cause I didn’t know about it. All I cared about was sharing my thoughts about the books I’m reading and that’s it. But today, I feel like I need to have people to actually listen to me and get them to read my review. Oh, the pressure. (I’m going a bit off-topic here, but I guess I found my next discussion post.)
So, going back to the main question, are book blogs still relevant?
I asked the question on Twitter and the results are below:
I can’t actually say the same for publishers but fellow book lovers who voted on the poll picked Goodreads as the most effective platform, and book blogs comes very close in second, followed by Instagram (Bookstagram) and Twitter respectively.
It was no surprise that Goodreads got the most votes for being the preferred platform for reading book reviews. That actually answers part of my question earlier, if I don’t have a blog, I can always post my reviews on Goodreads. But does it make personal book blogs irrelevant then?
I think otherwise.
Advertisements

Book Review | Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

31952703
Title: Words in Deep Blue
Author: Cath Crowley
Publication: June 6th 2017 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Format: Finished Copy
Source: Provided by the publisher
ISBN: 9781101937648
How Hard Can Love Be? (Normal, #2)

synopsis
Love lives between the lines.
Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came.

Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction, and the escape. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore. She can’t see her future.

Henry’s future isn’t looking too promising, either. His girlfriend dumped him. The bookstore is slipping away. And his family is breaking apart.

As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.


review
I received a finished copy of this book from Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review. By no means have my review been affected and/or influenced.
Books like Words in Deep Blue are the reason why I really enjoy reading contemporary YA. First, you’re only looking for some refreshing light read but then it gives something more, something with greater depth. I admit, I was only after the giddy feeling I know this book would give me based on the synopsis. I’m a total sucker for swoon but this book is more than just a cute romance, it also deals with loss, grief and what comes after.
Rachel likes Henry, her best friend. Before she moves away with her family, she confesses her feelings in a letter to Henry but he never replied. A wild guess here is that the letter never really reached Henry. But, Rachel doesn’t know that. She assumes that Henry is just ignoring the fact. But even so, Henry is crazy in love with another girl, Amy, so there’s that. Rachel comes back to town, and guess what, Henry is still crazy in love with Amy even after she dumps him. Rachel says that she doesn’t have feeling for Henry anymore. And Henry thinks that Rachel changed a lot, she’s rude and shuts everyone out especially him.
Told in alternating POVs of Henry and Rachel, we see how everything unfolds before us in 2 different voices, with some in-between stories, told by an exchange of letters. The thing I noticed about Rachel and Henry is that they both love to suffer. I don’t mean literally but you see them stuck in a situation they’re most likely to suffer but still makes decision that results to even longer suffering. In Henry’s case, it’s Amy. His love for her is blind that even if it hurts, he’s still chasing after her, she’s literally stepping over his dignity but he still see’s her as a saint or something. I really want to hit him in the head sometimes. And with Rachel, it’s her feelings for Henry (obviously) and the loss of her brother, Cal. Instead of facing the reality of his death, Rachel keeps putting it behind and doesn’t really open it up to everyone.
The characters go through a whole lot in this book and it’s done in such a way I haven’t read before. The development is spot on, character and plot wise. I love the originality of having the Letter Library where people can leave messages in between the pages of a book. The side story of George, Henry’s sister, exchanging letters with a certain “Pytheas” is so endearing I wish they have they’re own book. But I guess their exchange would have been enough, I mean it was enough, it made me feel genuine emotions.
In totality, this book is more than just a love story it’s about the many things that makes a love story. Friends who would do anything for you, family that may be falling apart but are always there for you. And words.
“Words matter, in fact. They’re not pointless, as you’ve suggested. If they were pointless, then they couldn’t start revolutions and they wouldn’t change history. If they were just words, we wouldn’t write songs or listen to them. We wouldn’t beg to be read to as kids. If they were just words, then stories wouldn’t have been around since before we could write. We wouldn’t have learned to write. If they were just words, people wouldn’t fall in love because of them, feel bad because of them, ache because of them, and stop aching because of them.”
Rating:
4

whatiliked
  • Diverse characters – With strong voices too! I love George, Martin, Lola, Cal… They seriously should have their own story. Although they were side characters, their
  • Quotes from the book and quotes the book quotes from other books – This story involves a lot of books, a huge part of the plot does. And it’s a total gem for book lovers! It mentions a lot of literary works and how it has been a part of someone’s life. I also liked the some quotes from the book.
“We are the books we read and the things we love.”
“The broken heart. You think you will die, but you just keep living, day after day after terrible day.”  â€•Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
“The past is with me; the present is here. The future is unmapped and changeable. Ours for the imagining: spreading out before us. Sunlight filled, deep blue, and the darkness.”

end
Book description and cover image from Goodreads

Mash Up: Book + Fashion | September 2017

sept bfma

I know, my last mash up post was 3 months ago and I totally regret how I missed the previous months releases and their beautiful covers. I have a lot of catching up since I’ve been MIA, again. But anyway, I hope you like my set this month! I’m also gonna talk about my set this time unlike before where I just post the looks here with no explanation at all. Please let me know what you think and which covers would you like to see next!

Look # 1: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

genuine

With this look,  I picked a teal top to match the book cover’s color and paired it with a plaid skirt in the same color scheme. I then added a black leather jacket for texture and paired it with black hi-cut chucks. The faux-fur hat was added to since the book has this blonde hair detail on it and I thought it would really match with my outfit. I also found a pair of  scissor earrings in gold to match the look on the cover and added a gold necklace and watch. As for the bag, I picked a white leather backpack to match the title’s font face. I wasn’t really going for any look but it turned out to be some sort of rebel-preppy and I actually liked it.

Look # 2: A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland

semidefinitive

I literally just picked every detail on the book cover and looked for an article of clothing that could represent it. I used the lilac and black contrast and used it as inspiration for my overall look. I really liked how the lilac sweatshirt goes well with the denim skirt. I sort of hoped that the floral stud was violet, but the one I found still worked with the look. I then paired it with black combat booties & a black cat purse which is puuuur-fect! I then added some extra accessories like the purple phone case with black lining, round framed lens which are totally cute and the black choker with a skeleton pendant, another book detail right there.

Look # 3: Warcross (Warcross #1) by Marie Lu

warcross

This was the hardest look to put-together if you would ask me. The book’s cover basically had the color spectrum in it and the first thing that came to my mind was to go holographic which is what I was going for in this look, a little futurustic and some metallic details. I did’t use every color in the cover because it might end up looking tacky. My main item was actually the boots, because it’s iridescent with a touch of pink then I found a skirt that matches with it and the perfect silver halterneck crop top. The bag is literally holographic and the choker is the perfect accent color, same goes with the nail polish and watch.

So what do you think? Which book covers would you like to see in the next mash – up? Please leave a comment and let me know! 😉

ARC Review | I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

31145133
Title: I Believe in a Thing Called Love
Author: Maurene Goo
Publication: May 30th 2017 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Format: Advance Reading Copy
Source: Provided by the publisher
ISBN: 9780374304041
How Hard Can Love Be? (Normal, #2)

synopsis
Desi Lee believes anything is possible if you have a plan. That’s how she became student body president. Varsity soccer star. And it’s how she’ll get into Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds guidance in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Steps to True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and staged car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.

review
I received an ARC of this book from Macmillan Publishers in exchange for an honest review. By no means have my review been affected and/or influenced.
“You can do this. You are NOT flailure girl tonight. You are a K drama heroine destined for love.”
I Believe In A Thing Called Love is one of my anticipated reads of the year, and it is, for one main reason: Kdrama. I haven’t read a single YA book that was inspired by korean drama so when I’ve learned about IBIATCL, I just jumped at the opportunity to read it (with high hopes of swoon and feels).
While I was expecting a whole lot of cute romance and mushy moments, which it actually has, there was a bit of let down with the execution and the flow of the story. And I find the problem in Desi’s list.
Desi, our “Kdrama heroine”, is prone to having flailure (flirt+flailure) moments with her long list of crushes. Cue the perfect specimen of a guy, Luca, who makes every girls pants drop, or in that case, Desi’s (another flailure moment). Flailures after flailures, Desi finally decides to put an end to this and win Luca’s affection, and the only way to success is by following “The K Drama Steps To True Love”, a list Desi made which is inspired by all the K Dramas she binge watched that all seem to have the same ending, the boy falls for the girl.
Like K dramas, the plot was loaded with cliche tropes and I guess it was difficult to avoid because that’s just how the story goes, for Desi to follow every step on her list. But for me, it became a bit boring since things seem to go in order and there’s really nothing much to expect. Don’t even get me started with how Desi went a bit too far a couple of times just to literally check off the things she must do on her list. A bit creepy and insane if you ask me.
But on the upside, I did get the feels I was looking for, if only Desi didn’t show much obsession with fulfilling her list, I would have reached a greater level of #FEELS.
With the writing style, I love how easy this was to read. The way the story was told in Desi’s narration I can say is perfect. There were times I found my self in her shoes which a younger me could relate to.
Overall, I Believe In A Thing Called Love, is indeed a cute contemporary read. A must read for K Drama lovers (it’s loaded with references!)
Rating:
3

whatiliked
  • It reminds you of that moment you first experience love – Like I said, a younger me could relate to Desi in some aspects and this is one of them. That time when I was lovestruck and it seems like hearts are flying everywhere!
“Everything reminds me of him: ramen, pencils, T-shirts, ice, my house, the Buick, my bed, trains, morning glories, the ocean, breathing.”
  • Father-daughter relationship – One of the adorable things in this book is Desi’s relationship with her father. They have this close-knit relationship that I rarely see in some YA books and it’s really refreshing to have a character like her dad.

end
Book description and cover image from Goodreads

ARC Review | Poison’s Kiss by Breeana Shields

25081261

Title: Poison’s Kiss (Poison’s Kiss #1)
Author: Breeana Shields
Publication: January 10th 2017 by Random House Books for Young Readers
Format: Advance Reading Copy
Source: Provided by the publisher
ISBN: 9781101937822

How Hard Can Love Be? (Normal, #2)


synopsis

Marinda has kissed dozens of boys. They all die afterward. It’s a miserable life, but being a visha kanya, a poison maiden, is what she was created to do. Marinda serves the Raja by dispatching his enemies with only her lips as a weapon.

Until now, the men she was ordered to kiss have been strangers, enemies of the kingdom. Then she receives orders to kiss Deven, a boy she knows too well to be convinced he needs to die. She begins to question who she s really working for. And that is a thread that, once pulled, will unravel more than she can afford to lose.

This rich, surprising, and accessible debut is based in Indian folklore and delivers a story that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.


review
I received an ARC of this book from Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review. By no means have my review been affected and/or influenced.

I usually don’t read much fantasy books as much as I do contemporaries and mysteries which are my “genre comfort zone”, so having to take a bit of a change of direction with Poison’s Kiss was kind of a journey for me. It takes patience for a reader to see how AMAZING Poison’s Kiss is.

The entire book is told in Marinda’s POV and with that, we get to explore Sundari in her shoes. The narration is told vividly that the world never felt so unknown; it’s like you’re really in it. I also love how the whole story unfolds with loads of twist and turns (some were predictable but most of them are surprising) and a great deal of adventure. The story telling and world building in this book are equally astounding. Marinda’s character indeed shines in the entire story, we get to see how strong and brave her character is as the story develops.

This book did give me THE feels, thanks to swoony Deven. I kind of wanted more of the love story between him and Marinda but we do get just the right amount of that so not to outshine the main plot. And as long as I’d get more of them in the next book, I’m not complaining! And yes, there’s a sequel! I was totally clueless about it when I picked up this book, thus only thinking that it’s a standalone so it really left me hanging in the end but I can totally wait for what happens next!

 

Rating:

4


whatiliked
  • Marinda – Ahhhh she’s my absolute heroine! I just love everything about her. Even though she’s a visha kanya a.k.a. poison maiden (which I really think is badass), that’s not the only thing that defines her character. She’s very compassionate and dearly loves her brother. She’s also brave and smart and it really shines all throughout.
  • Indian folklore – The infusion of indian folklore into YA fiction is something I didn’t expect to love, but this book nailed it and I really learned to appreciate it. Even though sometimes, the terms were a bit difficult to remember, but with such great storytelling, you get to understand the history and all the other details.
  • World Building – I am always amazed with stories in a different world setting and I just love how I get to explore the kingdom of Sundari with clear images of it in my mind. It’s one of my favorite things in this book!

end
Book description and cover image from Goodreads

Unboxing | Owlcrate April 2017 Box (Head Over Heels) + Story Time

go exploreHey there! Today I’m gonna be doing something new on the blog which is an unboxing of something I bought recently. It’s kinda obvious what it is because it’s on the title (duh me) but yeeeep, it’s an Owlcrate unboxing!!! I have always wanted to subscribe to Owlcrate but poor me never had the chance to especially for someone who lives outside the US, I’m kind of scared that my box will get lost and everything that I paid for will just go to waste… but let’s talk about that later!
Anyway, another reason for this purchase is that I waited for the theme that would suit my taste especially for my first box, I made sure that the book will be something that I’d love, so finally, here it is!
Beware: SPOILERS, duh.
LTBC6009

This month’s theme is Head Over Heels which is perfect for those who loves swoon worthy and contemporary reads.
The first thing you’ll see when you open the box is this cute art print. Flip it over and you’ll see a spoiler list of everything inside. So if you love surprises, I advice you to skip reading it before the whole unboxing. 😉

BOIB5046

XZMB7973

 


More unboxing…

UFOD1806

1st item is a soy candle from Novelly Yours!!!

For this box, Novelly Yours made 3 candles inspired by Rainbow Rowell’s couples, the one I got is Park & Eleanor which is vanilla scented and it smells really really REALLY good! (spoiler: the other 2 candles are Levi & Cath which is Coffee, Pumpkin & Chocolate scented and Raspberry scented Baz & Simon candle). It is made exclusive for this Owlcrate box and you get 1 random candle per box so you really won’t know which one you’d get and I’m so glad I got Park & Eleanor!!!!!
I’m getting way ahead of myself by saying this but this is my favorite item in the box (I’m a bit biased here because I love bookish candles and Novelly Yours is literally my top pick when it comes to bookish merch).

VXYM5793

2nd item is a keychain designed by Bookworm Boutique!

I love how the keychain goes well with my copy of Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda! It even features a quote from the book which is perfect for the month’s theme! SML!!! ❀

VBYG9435

3rd item!! A book band headband by Storiarts!!

This Pride & Prejudice headband’s design is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen yet! I love the words on fabric like a page from a book turned into a headband, it’s literally just wow. I actually tried it on and it’s actually comfortable too!

DLUD4009

4th item is an print from, you’ve guessed it, Evie Bookish!

Evie Seo is the queen of graphic everything and I’m so glad that this box features and item designed by her! I haven’t read A Court of Mist and Fury but I’m seriously loving the quote in this print. I’m gonna be using this a lot for my bookstagram photos!

PPOW3680

5th item is an Anna and the French Kiss inspired tea from The Tea Spot!

I personally don’t drink tea but the cute packaging totally got me. It’s chocolate and cherry blended which keeps me wondering how it smells and tastes like! I might give this to my tea-drinking sister and ask her about it. I’ve no doubt that it’s gonna taste amazing!

Bonus Owlcrate exclusive items!!!

BEGB4381
This is an exclusive sneak peek for Umberland by Wendy Spinale. This is the 2nd book from the Everland series and it doesn’t come out until May 9th!

JASJ9069

A cute Early Birds Coffee button pin!

Finally, the 6th item and this month’s book pick…

IMG_5948

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli!!!

This is the main reason why I’ve decided to subscribe to this month’s Owlcrate + the theme is perfect for my comtemporary heart. I know, it should be a surprise but I just had to know, and the hints were pretty obvious. I’m very much in love with it and it also came with an emoji sticker inspired by the book’s cover, a letter and a signed bookplate from Ms. Becky! ❀ ❀ ❀

It’s not over yet…

EWVI3226

Right at the bottom of the box is a sneak peek for next month’s theme, on the other side of it is another sneak peek for an item that will be included in the next box.

HTNG1756

May’s box will have a full-sized funko pop figure!!! AHHHHHH! I was planning on skipping next month’s box because my bank account needs to recover from this purchase LOL but I think… I’m gonna go for another purchase not only because of the funko-pop but the book pick! I might have an idea what it is and it’s gonna have an exclusive cover, another reason to not skip. 😉

So, that sums up my Owlcrate unboxing but that’s not everything for my first Owlcrate experience.

Quick story time…

I just want to share my experience especially to PH readers who are having doubts because of the shipping (time, costs and delivery). I’ve had 2nd, 3rd or even 100th thoughts at first before subscribing because of the expense. Before my first purchase, I have tried placing an order way, way back just to compute how much I will be paying LOL but yeah, for me it’s a bit expensive because of the shipping. I was also thinking about how long will it take before it arrives on my doorstep, or will it even be delivered right at my doorstep or does it have to be picked up at the post office (which I really don’t like because some customs officer likes to put their noses on other people’s packages and even asks it to be opened in front of you, which will totally ruin the whole unboxing experience, and I’ll have to pay for a storage fee of ₱112.00. (around $2.20) #sadbuttrue)
Anyway, as for the delivery time, my box did arrive earlier than expected. It arrived in the Philippines on April 21st. I also did receive an email from Owlcrate that my box has been shipped + the tracking number. I love how Owlcrate processes overseas orders way ahead of their actual shipping dates so those who live outside the US get their boxes on time. My tracking history shows that my box has been processed as early as April 6th, which is awesome customer service! ❀
My box did end up having to be picked up at the customs office and I did have to pay for the storage fee but I’m glad that they didn’t open it! (My boyfriend was the one who picked it up for me though, so I won’t be spoiled either way but that’s no fun when someone goes through your box before you!).
As for the shipping cost, I have to be honest that it’s really pricey and you’re almost paying for another box. International shipping can totally suck but when you get finally receive your box, you really wouldn’t mind it because it’s totally worth it!
Just a tip for those who wants to purchase their first Owlcrate but a bit tight on the budget, you can always use discount codes. They’re all over Instagram so you won’t have trouble getting a discount when you need one. Also, if you’re looking at a one time purchase, pick a box with a theme you know you’ll love. You don’t want to end up with a box you won’t enjoy (but is that even possible?). You can also purchase previous boxes unless their sold out.
So that’s it for my first Owlcrate experience and this is definitely not the last!

IMG_5949

Follow Owlcrate on Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
www.owlcrate.com

 

Mash Up: Books + Fashion | May 2017 Book Covers

bfmamay

It’s been a while since I last posted a fashion mash up, it’s actually been a year to be exact. Boo hoo. But, I hope this post makes up for it! Not only are the books featured here are covergasm, they’re also May’s most anticipated! Go check ’em out! 😉

Look # 1: The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

loveinterest


Look # 2: I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

Love


Look # 3: Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

Windfall


Let me know what you think about this set in the comments!

ARC Review | #famous by Jilly Gagnon

25116429

Title: #famous
Author: Jilly Gagnon
Publication: February 14th 2017 by Katherine Tegen Books
Format: Advance Reading Copy
Source: Provided by the publisher via Edelweiss
ISBN: 9780062430038

How Hard Can Love Be? (Normal, #2)


synopsisIn this modern-day love story, Girl likes Boy, Girl takes photo of Boy and posts it online, Boy becomes accidentally insta-famous. And what starts out as an innocent joke spirals into a whirlwind adventure that could change both their lives—and their hearts—forever. But are fame and love worth the price?

Told in alternating points of view, #famous captures the out-of-control thrill ride of falling for someone in front of everyone.


review

I received an ARC of this book from HarperCollins via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. By no means have my review been affected and/or influenced.
Let me begin by telling you that you must read this book for your dear life. #famous is just totally adorbs that I’m literally at a lost for words with it’s charm and pure adorableness that I even suffered a serious book hangover with this beauty.

With it’s modern day set-up, it wasn’t hard to relate to #famous and it’s narrators – Kyle and Rachel. There’s an instant connection that’s built between the reader and the book that pulls you like a magnet. It’s particularly realistic too but still with a hint of fantasy which gives a sense of fulfillment when it comes to our own imaginations.

The synopsis tells you this much but there’s a lot more when you read it. Not only does it deal with the “cutesy” content but also goes a little deeper. It deals with bullying, friendship, relationships and more. I can say that I haven’t read anything like this before. It’s entertaining which I can’t emphasize enough. You just have to read it!

Ms. Jilly’s beautiful storytelling also made #famous an easy and quick read. It’s never boring and slow-paced, everything that’s happening is kept interesting. It’s evident that both the plot and the characters had been equally given much attention.

And speaking of characters, Rachel and Kyle are these two different persons that has an undeniable chemistry. Rachel is your typical awkward teenager with her own weird and quirk (which I totally love) while Kyle is this charming teen that girls drool over, he can also be a bit insensitive at times but he’s nice. #famous did a good job in showing the character’s development throughout the story.

#famous is #relatable, #realistic, and #charming. It will automatically go to your list of favorite books and I solemnly swear, you won’t get tired of reading it over and over again.

Rating:

5stars


whatiliked
  • Rachel’s monologue – Not only Rachel and her personality captivated me throughout my reading experience but it’s also her internal banters that kept me LOLing.
Oh dear god, someone take this shovel away from me so I can stop digging my own fricking grave.
  • Kyle’s charm – No wonder Rachel has a crush on Kyle, he’s uber cute and swoon worthy. Although there were times that he was being a “tool” without realizing it, but it just shows how real he is. He’s cute and nice, a bit naive which makes him my #bookboyfriendgoals
  • Serious stuff – When Rachel was going through tough times, she can’t help but feel bad about herself. Rachel is everyone of us, and how she dealt with what she’s giong through is very inspiring.
I was fat, I was ugly, I was pathetic and deluded. Not like I’d never thought those things, but seeing other people say them almost made me vomit. It made them feel true.
No one seemed to think I was a waste of valuable oxygen. Nobody thought I was pathetic—if anything, people were openly jealous. No one even called me fat. One girl said I was curvy, but that’s good fat. Kyle was right. There wasn’t a single mean thought in the bunch. Even if there had been, I felt like I could have handled it. It felt less important. It was dumb that I still cared so much; it’s not like I didn’t know the people last week were trolls. But it still felt good that people were saying I was good enough—to be seen, and with Kyle no less. I thought

end
Book description and cover image from Goodreads

ARC Review | The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

29976645

Title: The Sun Is Also A Star
Author: Nicola Yoon
Publication: November 1st 2016 by Delacorte Press
Format: Advance Reading Copy
Source: Provided by the publisher
ISBN: 9780553496680

How Hard Can Love Be? (Normal, #2)


synopsis

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?


review

I received an ARC of this book from Penguin Random House in exchange for an honest review. By no means have my review been affected and/or influenced.

After having read Everything, Everything, I since have had a mental note that any book written by Nicola Yoon is one to anticipate. There’s no need to tell that I have high expectations for The Sun Is Also A Star because I definitely do. And now that I’ve finally read it, I don’t know how to begin with sharing how blown away I am with this incredible and one of a kind story.

The Sun Is Also A Star follows Natasha and Daniel and their love story set in a whole day around New York City. Natasha is bound to get deported back to Jamaica after she and her family are discovered to be undocumented immigrants, she’s desperate to stop the deportation and she has less than a day to make it happen. Meanwhile, Daniel has an admission interview with Yale, which he thinks is the beginning of the end of his future. Daniel doesn’t want to become a doctor, he doesn’t even want to go to Yale, so he spends his remaining hours before the interview to do whatever he feels like doing. Their paths cross, and the rest is up to fate to do its thing.

First of all, I just love stories of fate and destiny. I love that it’s something out of our control but still leads us to the moment that’s meant to be. Natasha is a non-believer of these things. She claims she’s a realist and doesn’t believe that things happen for a reason.

Things don’t happen for a reason. They just happen.
For a story that has a lot to do with fate, having a character like Natasha and Daniel made everything more interesting. While Natasha doesn’t believe in fate, Daniel is a romantic. (His Koi No Yokan thing? Ah… SWOOOON! Did I mention he’s Korean? MORE SWOON!) You can only imagine what’s gonna happen next or how the characters will react to the the events in this book. The character development is very natural and not forced that I sometimes forget that everything that’s going on is in a span of a single day. How is that even possible? Don’t doubt fate. Or the author.

Ms. Nicola has a distinct writing style that you can easily identify. It has the effect that will make you guarantee that you are reading a book written by her. The short chapters and the unconventional storytelling are definitely her niche. She just makes it work in every book she writes. I can’t think of a different way Natasha and Daniel’s story be told.

Speaking of the narrative, the book wasn’t only in Natasha or Daniel’s POV, there were a lot of different perspectives coming from people or things they encounter, and what’s great about it is that we get to see what lead them to that exact moment, how their choices and actions affected other people’s fate and just how everything works together and are bound to happen.

Maybe he wasn’t meant to meet Natasha today. Maybe it was random chance after all.
But.
Once they met, the rest of it, the love between them, was inevitable.
The ending just proved how fate worked in Natasha and Daniel’s lives. It’s such a touching moment that I just keep reading it over and over. It’s a beautiful story and the ending was just perfect. Absoultely, incredibly, the best epilogue I’ve read.

The Sun Is Also A Star is a definite must-read. For lovers of swoon-worthy reads like me, this is not to be missed. For those who aren’t, maybe you’ll have a change of heart, just like Natasha? 🙂

Rating:

5stars


whatiliked

  • Natasha & Daniel – Of course, these 2! I love Natasha and Daniel and they will have a special place in my heart for being the most adorable characters ever. Anyway, I noticed how the characters names are somewhat a representation of Nicola and David??? Also, they’re Jamaican American and Korean American respectively and I’m not doubting that this was inspired by the story of how they met, and the rest is an adorable book called The Sun Is Also A Star. 🙂
  • The cover – Unlike some covers that are aesthetically pleasing, this one has a different reason why I like love it. TSIAAS’s cover is some sort of a representation of what the whole book is telling us. I couldn’t find the best words to explain it but the good thing is Nicola already did, in her letter for her readers, she said, “We are-all of us-connected. The threads weave through and around us all. It’s only for us to see them.” I don’t know why but it spoke to me more than what it is, a book cover. I really appreciate the fact that even that single detail is telling a story. Don’t even get me started with the effort put into making it, just go check out the cover making video!

end
Book description and cover image from Goodreads

Most Anticipated Reads | September 2016

sept2016HOHOHO! Merry Chirstmas! It’s September already and most Fall ’16 books I’ve been waiting to read is getting closer to it’s release day!!! Also, I missed posting my August MAR. Yikes! But anyway, check out these upcoming titles to read this month!

Like a River Glorious (The Gold Seer Trilogy #2) by Rae Carson
Publication: September 27th 2016 by Greenwillow

18054071After a harrowing journey across the country, Leah Westfall and her friends have finally arrived in California and are ready to make their fortunes in the Gold Rush. Lee has a special advantage over the other new arrivals in California—she has the ability to sense gold, a secret known only by her handsome best friend Jefferson and her murdering uncle Hiram.

Lee and her friends have the chance to be the most prosperous settlers in California, but Hiram hasn’t given up trying to control Lee and her power. Sabotage and kidnapping are the least of what he’ll do to make sure Lee is his own. His mine is the deepest and darkest in the territory, and there Lee learns the full extent of her magical gift, the worst of her uncle, and the true strength of her friendships. To save everyone, she vows to destroy her uncle and the empire he is building—even at the cost of her own freedom.


Going Geek by Charlotte Huang
Publication: September 13th 2016 by Delacorte Press

23471514A girl forced out of her comfort zone finds that being true to herself is the best way to live her life, in this second novel from the author of For the Record.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Skylar Hoffman’s senior year at her preppy East Coast boarding school should have been perfect:

Amazing boyfriend
The coolest friends
The most desirable dorm

But it’s far from it. To her dismay, Skylar’s not going to rule senior year because she’s stuck in Abbot House, a tiny dorm known for, well, nothing. Living with a group of strangers everyone thinks is lame is bad enough. Worse is that Skylar wasn’t exactly truthful about how she spent summer break in Los Angeles—and her little white lie is causing her once rock-solid romance to crumble fast. And when it turns out that Skylar’s best friend is the one responsible for having her booted from Lincoln? It’s an all-out war.

Stepping out of her comfort zone never felt so scary—or necessary. But everything is different now. Including, maybe, Skylar herself . . .


The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
Publication: September 20th 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books

25812109Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it. When her older sister, Anna, was murdered three years ago and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best. The language of violence.

While her crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people, even in her small hometown. She relegates herself to the shadows, a girl who goes unseen in plain sight, unremarkable in the high school hallways.

But Jack Fisher sees her. He’s the guy all other guys want to be: the star athlete gunning for valedictorian with the prom queen on his arm. Guilt over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered hasn’t let him forget Alex over the years, and now her green eyes amid a constellation of freckles have his attention. He doesn’t want to only see Alex Craft; he wants to know her.

So does Peekay, the preacher’s kid, a girl whose identity is entangled with her dad’s job, though that does not stop her from knowing the taste of beer or missing the touch of her ex-boyfriend. When Peekay and Alex start working together at the animal shelter, a friendship forms and Alex’s protective nature extends to more than just the dogs and cats they care for.

Circumstances bring Alex, Jack, and Peekay together as their senior year unfolds. While partying one night, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting the teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.


The Possibility of Somewhere by Julia Day
Publication: September 6th 2016 by St. Martin’s Griffin

28220966Together is somewhere they long to be.

Ash Gupta has a life full of possibility. His senior year is going exactly as he’s always wanted– he’s admired by his peers, enjoying his classes and getting the kind of grades that his wealthy, immigrant parents expect. There’s only one obstacle in Ash’s path: Eden Moore—the senior most likely to become class valedictorian. How could this unpopular, sharp-tongued girl from the wrong side of the tracks stand in his way?

All Eden’s ever wanted was a way out. Her perfect GPA should be enough to guarantee her a free ride to college — and an exit from her trailer-park existence for good. The last thing she needs is a bitter rivalry with Ash, who wants a prized scholarship for his own selfish reasons. Or so she thinks. . . When Eden ends up working with Ash on a class project, she discovers that the two have more in common than either of them could have imagined. They’re both in pursuit of a dream — one that feels within reach thanks to their new connection. But what does the future hold for two passionate souls from totally different worlds?


The Boy Who Killed Grant Parker by Kat Spears
Publication: September 13th 2016 by St. Martin’s Griffin

28220925Luke Grayson’s life might as well be over when he’s forced to go live in rural Tennessee with his Baptist pastor father. His reputation as a troublemaker has followed him there, and as an outsider, Luke is automatically under suspicion by everyone from the principal at his new school to the local police chief. His social life is no better. The new kid in town is an easy target for Grant Parker, the local golden boy with a violent streak who has the entire community of Ashland under his thumb.

But things go topsy-turvy when a freak accident removes Grant from the top of the social pyramid, replacing him with Luke. This fish out of water has suddenly gone from social outcast to hero in a matter of twenty-four hours. For the students who have lived in fear of Grant all their lives, this is a welcome change. But Luke’s new found fame comes with a price. Nobody knows the truth about what really happened to Grant Parker except for Luke, and the longer he keeps living the lie, the more like Grant Parker he becomes.


As I Descended by Robin Talley
Publication: September 6th 2016 by HarperTeen

28218948Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten are their school’s ultimate power couple—even if no one knows it but them.

Only one thing stands between them and their perfect future: campus superstar Delilah Dufrey.

Golden child Delilah is a legend at the exclusive Acheron Academy, and the presumptive winner of the distinguished Cawdor Kingsley Prize. She runs the school, and if she chose, she could blow up Maria and Lily’s whole world with a pointed look, or a carefully placed word.

But what Delilah doesn’t know is that Lily and Maria are willing to do anything—absolutely anything—to make their dreams come true. And the first step is unseating Delilah for the Kingsley Prize. The full scholarship, awarded to Maria, will lock in her attendance at Stanford―and four more years in a shared dorm room with Lily.

Maria and Lily will stop at nothing to ensure their victory—including harnessing the dark power long rumored to be present on the former plantation that houses their school.

But when feuds turn to fatalities, and madness begins to blur the distinction between what’s real and what is imagined, the girls must decide where they draw the line.


I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Gretchen McNeil
Publication: September 13th 2016 by Balzer + Bray

23594354Beatrice Maria Estrella Giovannini has life all figured out. She’s starting senior year at the top of her class, she’s a shoo-in for a scholarship to M.I.T., and she’s got a new boyfriend she’s crazy about. The only problem: All through high school Bea and her best friends Spencer and Gabe have been the targets of horrific bullying.

So Bea uses her math skills to come up with The Formula, a 100% mathematically-guaranteed path to social happiness in high school. Now Gabe is on his way to becoming Student Body President, and Spencer is finally getting his art noticed. But when her boyfriend dumps her for Toile, the quirky new girl at school, Bea realizes it’s time to use The Formula for herself. She’ll be reinvented as the eccentric and lovable Trixie—a quintessential manic pixie dream girl—in order to win her boyfriend back and beat new-girl Toile at her own game.

Unfortunately, being a manic pixie dream girl isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and “Trixie” is causing unexpected consequences for her friends. As The Formula begins to break down, can Bea find a way to reclaim her true identity, and fix everything she’s messed up? Or will the casualties of her manic pixie experiment go far deeper than she could possibly imagine?


Share your September TBR in the comments!
Thanks for stopping by!
Cover images link out to respective Goodreads page. Click and add them to your shelves.
Book description and cover image from Goodreads