Tuesday, February 21, 2017

REVIEW: ALL THAT GLITTERS BY INES BAUTISTA-YAO.

Title: All That Glitters
Author: Ines Bautista-Yao
Series: Standalone
Edition: Paperback
Publication: 2017 by Spark Books
Source: Bought from National Bookstore
Pages: 124
Genre: New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:
hen they have nothing better to do, college students Billie Santiago and Carlos Angeles enjoy imagining what their lives will be like five years into the future. It’s never serious—just a whole lot of teasing and poking fun at each other. Until blindingly handsome, PR professional Iñigo Antonio saunters into the university bookstore where Billie works. All of a sudden, she finds herself face to face with the physical manifestation of the very dream she tells Carlos about.

Captivated by Iñigo’s magnetic personality, Billie is lured into his dazzlingly glamorous world—much to Carlos’s frustration. But as Billie notices Iñigo might not be playing by the rules, Carlos begs her to stay away from him. When Billie doesn’t listen, she realizes too late that she is in over her head and it may take a miracle (or a boy who cares deeply about her) to help get her out of it.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:
▴ National Bookstore▴ 


Bulleted thoughts:

  • Bestfriend turns lovers trope. Was absolutely stoked about this but then I was just underwhelmed.
  • The plot is too predictable.
  • Typos here and there (siiiiiigh).
  • Carlos Angeles, the bestfriend, is another character that is just too good to be true.
  • Billie, the female lead, the female-jealous-and-girl-hating lead. Why would you hate someone just because they like glittery things?
  • And then we have Iñigo, the hunk who Billie fancies the first time she saw him and then she started stalking him on social media.
  • Practically skimmed sixty pages of it because a) predictable and b) too flowery.
  • What happened (SPOILERY): Billie practically is drooling over Inigo. Carlos is with glittery girl Patricia (she's nice to be honest, she didn't deserve the hate and cold treatment from Billie). Billie hates Patricia. Inigo offered Billie a part time job but only to bust Inigo's extortionist ass. Billie is jealous with Patricia. Carlos is jealous with Inigo (and it's as if he used Patricia for distraction/diversion which is so unfair). Then Billie had undergone makeover. Carlos fell for her. Dafuq.
  • How shallow it is for a person to realize he's in love with someone right after her makeover. Women are more than their physical appearance so fuck you po Carlos. You could have assessed yourself in the middle of the story but no, you waited till she had her makeover. So fuck you po Carlos.
I definitely won't read this again. Sigh. I wish I loved it like a lot of people did but I just can't. Here's hoping Ines' other books would redeem me because this one certainly let me down.

"Quote to follow."

Saturday, February 18, 2017

REVIEW: SOUNDS LIKE SUMMER BY SIX DE LOS REYES.

Title: Sounds Like Summer
Author: Six de los Reyes
Series: Summer Storm Series but can be read as standalone
Edition: Paperback
Publication: 2016 by Anvil Publishing Inc.
Source: Bought from National Bookstore
Pages: 128
Genre: Mental Illness, Romance, New Adult, Contemporary

Synopsis:
It’s not just a weekend for Lux Castelo. She has a plan, of course.

Phase One: Escape to the beach for a music festival.
Phase Two: Deal with what she can’t control.
Phase Three: Return to reality whole and ready.

Nowhere in that plan is Micah Jacinto, self-proclaimed adventurer and the kind of boy with his head stuck in the clouds and the moon inked on his arm—everything her rational sense tells her to stay away from. And yet Lux finds herself welcoming the distraction. As they spend the entire weekend together, Micah leads her to rediscover the lost pieces of herself amidst the excitement and the confusion of a raving mosh pit.

But all weekends come to an end and Lux needs to return to the dreaded reality she’s running away from. Does being brave enough to leave summer behind mean being brave enough to ask Micah to stay?

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:
▴ National Bookstore ▴

My thoughts in bullet points:
  • Pacing is slow.
  • Coachella feels! HUHUHUHUH
  • Lux is sarcastic and I like it haha.
  • I think I've read lines bashing other girls though.
  • She's unbelievably uptight.
  • She's all self-preserving but agrees to share a room with a random guy like it fucking defeats the purpose.
  • There are bits and pieces of her I saw myself in like the sadness and how she shuts everyone out but most of the time I was just pissed off at her. I wanted to connect to her even for just a little bit but I can't.
  • She said she had perfect attendance but she cut classes?!
  • Micah is legit too good to be true but I am glad he's there for Lux.
  • I was so surprised to find out that Lux is depressed. I mean, nothing says depression in any of the publicity materials. Could be triggering to other readers.
  • When Kara confessed she would have dated Micah, it could have been the queue for Lux to kind of bridge them together but of course she didn't.
  • Typos here and there.
  • Yes to Cubao and Zambales! It always makes me happy to be able to easily imagine the setting because I know these places!
  • Six's writing legit is science plus a little bit methaphorical, I LOVE IT! (But this book made me stop being a user of "I love you to the moon and back" phrase)
  • Cover love because look at that beauty and music? MUSIC IS LIFE woohooo!
  • The connection between Micah and Lux strongly felt forced.
  • Leaves you that heavy feeling even if the ending isn't.
Sounds like Summer felt so different in ways that only made me feel upset (most of the time). Well, technicall I had mixed feelings about it. I know in my heart that this is a 2-star read for me but there are aspects I truly appreciated and enjoyed so I bumped it up by one star. Its just that I couldn't connect to and with the characters. The ending didn't lift that heavy feeling in my chest. You know that feeling when people expected for the pain to go away just right after a quick 'sorry' but it actually didn't? I don't know really. Maybe a re-read in the future would make me change my mind.

"This is where the scientific method fails me. This is where all my knowledge of the universe, of atoms and the molecular basis of life prove inadequate. I can tell you why the sky is blue, why Manila sunsets are so vivid, I can show you the chemical reaction in a kiss, but I cannot explain the brightness in Micah’s smile. I have no elegant solution to the problem wracking my head right now."

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

MINI REVIEWS: BREAK-UP ANNIVERSARY AND TLTIWAY BOTH BY DAWN LANUZA.

Title: Break-Up Anniversary
Author: Dawn Lanuza
Series: Standalone, Short Story
Edition: Kindle
Publication: April 8th 2016
Source: Freebie from the author
Genre: New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:
It’s Beck’s break-up anniversary! Not that she’s been counting the days but there’s a possibility of a relapse. So what’s a girl to do? Call her best friend and tag her cubicle-mate turned drinking buddy, Jamie, along for the ride.

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:
Buqo


Rebecca remembers it's the first anniversary of her break-up with Nat and she couldn't help but think of him. She relapsed actually. After a few months of not communicating, she emailed Nat about the disbandment of his fave band, The Steadfast. Her best friend Megan suggested she needed a distraction. And here is where Jamie enters the picture. He's a good friend of Rebecca and she kind of confided in him about Nat, he's cool about it and he's giving her the typical guy advice about exes. He's a nice guy and from way he talks to Beck, you can sense that there is this huge potential of them being an item. He said that the band's last tour is happening in Japan and he said Beck and him should go see them. End of story.

Like what the actually fuck. I NEED THIS JAPAN TRIP TO HAPPEN AND I WANT TO BE THERE WHEN IT DOES. I NEED A FULL NOVEL, DAWN. COME ON. STOP TORTURING ME. I've read this short story twice now and the feeling never gets old. I love how you can make your own continuation story and you just can't simply stop imagining what happens next. Though my heart hurts because of this cliffhanger, I still love the feeling of getting to know a new person and the fucking possibility of it being a beautiful friendship (or romance).

"I need more" wouldn't do justice to the need I feel for more Beck and Jamie. I NEED MORE. MORE. MOOOOOREEEE TIMES TWENTY.

"It's more like.. the acceptance that you're no longer that person for him, as much as he's no longer that person for you."


Title: The Last Time I'll Write About You
Author: Dawn Lanuza
Series: Standalone
Edition: Paperback
Publication: 2016
Source: Bought from the author
Genre: Poetry

Synopsis:
Should I be
Thankful
Or
Regretful
That my only idea
Of love
Is
You?

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:
 ▴ Amazon


This is the first poetry book I owned and I quite enjoyed it. It wasn't too deep as opposed to what I am accustomed to but it still pinches the heart. The lines are written as if you wrote them yourself in the middle of the night while nursing your broken heart and this one is absolutely relatable!

Made these by the way:


"I meant to keep you but I didn't want to be kept. You see the problem?"
"You are the dream but I've had wake-up calls"

Friday, February 10, 2017

BLOG TOUR REVIEW: KEEP THE FAITH BY ANA TEJANO.


My first blog tour for the year (and in a while actually) is Keep the Faith by Ana Tejano! Guys, I have so much love for this book and I couldn't seriously express all my feels but here's my review! Thank you Ana for having me!

Title: Keep the Faith
Author: Ana Tejano
Series: Standalone
Edition: Kindle
Publication: July 31st 2016
Source: Kindle copy provided by the author
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis:
As a community development worker, Faith was quite familiar with heartbreak and recovery after all the time she spent on disaster relief missions. So when her five-year relationship ends right before she left for a mission trip to a typhoon-stricken town in Iloilo, she tries not to make a big deal out of it. How can she be broken up about a breakup when she’s with people who literally lost everything?

But now that she’s back, all Faith wants is for her life to go back to normal and have people stop looking at her with pity. Never mind that she still has a lot of questions about the breakup, or that she feels a tiny ache every time her ex comes up in conversations. She’s okay now, and happily distracted by Nico Tamayo, the attractive new guy at work.

With new possibilities in the horizon, Faith thinks she is well on her way to moving on. But when her past comes calling back to her, will all the good things in her present be enough to keep her on the path? Or will she finally learn that there was more to heartbreak and recovery than what she knows?

PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE:

Whoa. I just finished reading Keep the Faith by Ana Tejano a few minutes ago and WHOAMYGOD, I didn't know that it would affect me this hard. I am literally ugly sobbing right now because of these emotions I couldn't handle all at once. It was such an amazing story that it massacred my heart and I think I will never recover. This book guys, it hot home and this one means the world to me. I am absolutely surprised how deeply in love I am with this story. Tejano writes so beautifully, it felt as if I am reading a 400-page novel when in reality, this is such a short one. There was no rush in it and I felt it in my bones how the story unfolded, how the characters developed and how my heart crushed. This one legit took me by surprise and swept me off of my feet. Words are not enough for me to express how gripping this one was. My God, it's truly beautifully written I cannot reiterate enough.

Keep the Faith is a story about Faith who was trying to move on from James. Her ex-boyfriend of 5 years dumped her before she left for Iloilo. Reasons for the break-up she's unsure of but in IloIlo, she tried to bury the breakup at the back of her mind because she's in denial. As a community development worker, focusing on helping others took most of her attention thus unable to really face the finality of her relationship, her broken heart. When she got back to Manila, most of the people around her were so careful about mentioning her ex. It appeared as if people wanted to cage her so she won't get hurt much further by which only aggravated her denials. Then she met a new employee, Nico. A possible rebound. Then everything went haywire from there.

The story mirrored my past feelings. I am all too familiar with the confusion, betrayal, false hopes, denial and anger enveloped in the story. There's no easy way to move on and it differs for each one of us but Keep the Faith made me relive the feelings. This book reminded me that those feelings were real, that those feelings made me a better person and those feelings are packaged with moments I would surely have with me for the rest of my life. Keep the Faith is as relatable as it gets and I am so thankful that I was given the opportunity to read such riveting story. The grief and the loss are two absolute reflections of our lives and it can't get any truer than that.

Would have given the book 8 stars if only the story ended at 91%. I just think that sometimes, not all stories have to end the way this has ended. And the full names. What's really up with the full names.

Keep the Faith just went up as my second favorite contemporary romance of all time. I am still incoherent because I am in awe. Tejano's writing style is so flawless and spontaneous. I wish I could write like that! And don't judge this book for being a thin one, you'd be surprised how heavy the feels it could throw right at your face! This book certainly set the bar high for Romance Class books and I am so thrilled know what's in store for me in my next Tejano book!

I loved Keep the Faith. I LOVED IT SO SO DAMN MUCH MY WHOLE LIFE ACHES. Strikingly executed and emotionally direct, it's a story that will touch your heart in unforgettable ways. READ THIS NOW!

Thank you Ana for sending me the Kindle copy!

"One thing so terrible about a relationship ending is you end up with having so much love left in your heart and no one to receive it."
"The thing about heartbreak, I realized, is it's not really about waiting for things to stop hurting before you start moving. A broken heart can and will heal in time, but for time to actually do its job, I needed to acknowledge what I had lost and move on. However, I knew it was going to take a while - that the road would be littered with bumps and possibly smaller heartbreaks that would punch me in the gut and make me grieve again.
Even with all the truths I held in my heart, there were so many uncertainties left and so many things that I had to learn over again on my own. I didn't know if things would turn out the way I wanted then to, until I got there. For now, all I needed to do was to keep moving, because at the one of the day, uncertainties were simply an exercise in faith."

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

#FeelsintheAir - THE CHASE OF A LIFETIME.

Remember when I said on Twitter that February will be dedicated to #RomanceClass books on the blog? Here I am with my first RC post for the month. Since February is the "love" month, I felt that featuring Romance Class books would be fitting. These books focus on romance but authors feature and write their takes on different tropes. I think I missed one blog tour review post yesterday (so sorry, my work just fucking eats up so much of my time but I'll make it up soon) but today, I just have to share my feels for this cutie from one of my fave RC books.
CHASE SEVILLA FROM THE BOYFRIEND BACKTRACK

Have you watched HOUSE yet? If yes, you then should know Dr. Robert Chase played by Jesse Spencer. The moment I learned Chase Sevilla is a doctor, Robert's the first one to come to mind. Aside from both are Chases and doctors, they have so much similarities in my head I automatically attached Chase to Robert. Tall, gorgeous, smart, caring, very smart, and did I say smart? Robert has sexy accent while Chase has sexy skin color (he's tan because of his travels I think lol). He's the best friend type, too. Like, uggggh I can't put it into words but Chase's written to be the man you would want your daughter to be with.


Chase could easily be a constant thing in your life which you wouldn't mind being present all the time?? AT ALL? He's so good-hearted and easy-going. Funny, cheesy and definitely reliable. I'm obsessed to be honest. How I wish Dawn would write a 400-page novel all about Chase because damn, guuuuurl. HE. IS. IT.
WHO IS YOUR ULTIMATE BOOK BOYFRIEND/PARTNER WHAT QUALIFIED THEM?
THANK YOU APRIL FOR HOSTING #FEELSINTHEAIR!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

REVIEW: SERENADE BY CLAIRE DU.

Title: Serenade
Author: Claire Du
Series: Standalone
Edition: Paperback
Publication: 2017 by Spark Books
Source: Copy provided by the author
Pages: 86
Genre: New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:
What would you tell your 15 year-old self if you come face-to-face with your boy band crush, 10 years later?

Elise Rodriguez is a 25year-old corporate junkie who has everything she could ask for except for a boyfriend. So when her best friend dares her to join a dating website, she decides she should do at least one thing she will regret when she turns 30. No one meets her expectations better than handsome surgeon Julian, who becomes her boyfriend. To celebrate her 365th day with him, Elise flies to the Queen City of the South for some couple time and, yes, canoodling. But she finds out her perfect boyfriend isn’t so perfect after all.

Enters boy band has-been Connor Ortiz—snobbish, easy going, and hot. Connor challenged Elise to see the world in a different angle. Set in Cebu, Elise and Connor takes us to amazing tourist spot destinations.

PURCHASE THE BOOK:
▴ Any National Bookstore Branch ▴ Anvil

Alright, here we go. I've been stalling in posting this for a while now because my dislike outweighs my like in a way. Claire is a good friend of mine and I have been honest to her about my feelings towards the book. Serenade just hit shelves and I don't want my review to be the first one up. It might still influence people in a different way (as if people even read my reviews lol thanks to those who do though) and I don't want that. I want nothing but success for her and I am so SOOOO happy I got the chance to read her work. But I gotta do what I gotta do. So I guess, I'll start with the things I think and feel need to improve.

The major issue I can only tell you falls under the technical category. Story wise, the essence is there. But like, there are several LONG sentences I needed reread a few times over to get the gist, then my brain would kind of rephrase what I read and I'd come up with a shorter version? The conversations are so stiff I couldn't help but cringe at times. And I can see how rushed the printing process had been because I lost count on how many typos I saw. I wouldn't mind if this is an advanced copy but this is actually the finished copy. My reading experience was horribly bumpy for such a short story and that alone landed this one the one-star rating.

Serenade is a tiny book (less than a hundred pages) graced with a pretty cover. Serenade is something about your high school crush reappearing in your life and he happens to be the one to point out how shitty your current relationship is. Then he tours you around and treats you nice and when you finally kiss, it starts to rain. How much more cliche can we get? I hate how controlling, bossy and desperate Elise is. SERIOUSLY. I still can't understand what the hell this person really wants. She does a lot of stupid things, I'm totally okay with whatever she does but damn, Elise. You don't get to complain after you made shitty choices. There's a lot more to hate about this character but I'm afraid I need to stop. It's stressing me out. What a brat. (Wait for the part when she just got back to the office to know the brat part I'm talking about)

Now on to the part I really liked.

Giiiiiirl, the setting! It's in Cebu! I'll tell you this, I have only been there once but I instantly fell in love with the city! I can see myself moving there for good! So imagine when this book took me back to Cebu, I started making funny noises because I can legit imagine where I would possibly spot them and all that. Serenade reminded me of how beautiful the people in Cebu are and how home-y the city is. Aaaah, thank you Serenade for bringing me back. Now you made me crave for lechon. And this part redeemed two stars for the book.

Serenade could definitely use some more editing. If you're up for some puso (either the heart or the rice) and can ignore the typos, this is a quick and fun read I can still recommend.

Thank you so much Claire for sending me a copy!

"It's just that, it's tiring, you know. When all I ever wanted was for someone I love to love me back."

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

FEBRUARY 2017 NEW RELEASES.


I am so so excited to start reading Empress! I've heard nothing but positive things about it! So grateful to Penguin for sending me a review copy! Wooohooo!

Also, The Wish Granter made the list this month because as I have said before, I loved CJ's writing and this sequel is a must have! I still need to complete my hardbound collection though. I sold all my paperbacks! Thank you to Harper for the eARC!



What February book/s are you most excited for?