BOOK REVIEW: What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum #WTSNPhBlogTour

Title: What to Say Next

Author/s: Julie Buxbaum

Publication Date: July 11, 2017

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Format: Paperback

Number of Pages: 272

Purchase at: Amazon

synopsis

From the New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me Three Things comes a charming and poignant story about two struggling teenagers who find an unexpected connection just when they need it most. For fans of Sophie Kinsella, Jennifer Niven, and Rainbow Rowell.

Sometimes a new perspective is all that is needed to make sense of the world.

KIT: I don’t know why I decide not to sit with Annie and Violet at lunch. It feels like no one here gets what I’m going through. How could they? I don’t even understand.

DAVID: In the 622 days I’ve attended Mapleview High, Kit Lowell is the first person to sit at my lunch table. I mean, I’ve never once sat with someone until now. “So your dad is dead,” I say to Kit, because this is a fact I’ve recently learned about her. 

When an unlikely friendship is sparked between relatively popular Kit Lowell and socially isolated David Drucker, everyone is surprised, most of all Kit and David. Kit appreciates David’s blunt honesty—in fact, she finds it bizarrely refreshing. David welcomes Kit’s attention and her inquisitive nature. When she asks for his help figuring out the how and why of her dad’s tragic car accident, David is all in. But neither of them can predict what they’ll find. Can their friendship survive the truth?

My Thoughts

 I remember it too clearly, right after I finished reading Julie’s Tell Me Three Things, I said to myself: “Julia Buxbaum now belongs to my auto-buy-authors list.” 
And here it is, I’ve been given a chance to be a part of a PH Blog Tour, hosted by a fellow Filipino, and sponsored by Penguin Random House International. Thank you so much, guys!
This quick, sweet, and interesting read would have gotten a perfect 5 stars if it wasn’t for the fact that I thought the book centered on death, and I am soooo tired of stories with such subject. (I am not telling you that this novel is mainly about death)
I was once a high school student, and as everyone knows, being one is not a joke. Especially if you’re around people who are mean (the total jerk and bitches). You will be afraid to speak out. You wouldn’t like each other. You will want to be someone else. Wish that you’re in a different place. But that is high school, that is life. And you need to have courage to stand for yourself, because only you can.
I sometimes find myself connected to the characters. And that’s what makes me like this book even more, the connection. The diversity present in the novel, and the characters who have strong voices make the story stand out. I enjoyed reading about David’s qualities, as well as being inside his head, I liked that I got to learn more information about such mentality. 
Overall, this novel made it to my 2017-favorite-reads, and this has been another beautiful book written by such a lovely author.

Rating

5stars


author

Julie Buxbaum is A New York Times best selling author of Tell Me Three Things, her young adult debut, and the critically acclaimed novels The Opposite of Love and After You.  Her work has been translated into twenty-five languages. Julie’s writing has appeared in various publications, including The New York Times. She is a former lawyer and graduate of Harvard Law School and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two young children, and an immortal goldfish.

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BOOK REVIEW: Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

Title: Flawed

Author/s: Cecelia Ahern

Publication Date: April 5th 2016

Publisher: by Feiwel and Friends

Format: Paperback

Number of Pages: 336

Purchase at: Amazon

synopsis

You will be punished…

Celestine North lives a perfect life. She’s a model daughter and sister, she’s well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she’s dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.

But then Celestine encounters a situation where she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule and now faces life-changing repercussions. She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found flawed.

In her breathtaking young adult debut, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society where perfection is paramount and flaws lead to punishment. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything.

My Thoughts

**Thank you Macmillan International for providing a copy of Flawed by Cecelia Ahern, in exchange of an honest review.**

Flawed grabbed me from its very first line: “I am a girl of definitions, of logic, of black and white.”

I don’t know why, but it happened that I used to avoid this book. No, I used to avoid books with a concept like this one. I am not a fan of Dystopian. However, Karina of @afirepages ‘ love for this book made me really curious, and got me asking for a review copy to read. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

In the first few chapters, we were introduced to the main character and the Guild- government’s temporary solution to people’s wrongdoings. If you are branded as Flawed (literally) it may be because you made a bad decision, you lied, you committed theft, or you’ve been disloyal to the Guild. The branding location will depend on the error of one’s judgement. And there are only a few things branded people are allowed to do.

Celestine North, Art Crevan’s girlfriend, daughter of an admired couple, a girl who’s been Perfect her entire life not until she made a choice of helping an old flawed man. Now she must face the consequences of her decision.

The pacing is another factor why this book was rated 5 stars. It was quick-paced but it’s pleasing enough since it has thrilling events. I think the pacing also worked for the novel’s world building.

Did I mention that this books
is diverse? Celestine having a black father and a white mother.

I liked how the main character, as well as SOME of the minor ones improved. Their development are pretty much satisfying knowing that Celestine was once a people-pleaser, as well as her mother. They used to obey the rules and make sure that they aren’t doing anything that will ruin them. All of those changed when one had the courage to stand and fight for what she knows is right. Needless to say, the characters, almost all of them has loud voices. Just read between the lines and you’ll get the messages they convey.

“Remember, in this world, image is everything.”

Flawed is has perfect storyline with an amazing concept and a wonderful writing style. Hats off to Ahern!

This novel was my most favorite read last month. And Cecelia Ahern, surprisingly, made it to my “auto-buy authors” list.

Piqued your curiosity? Please do read the book.

Rating

5stars


author

Cecelia Ahern was born and grew up in Dublin. She is now published in nearly fifty countries, and has sold over twenty-five million copies of her novels worldwide. Two of her books have been adapted as films and she has created several TV series.

 


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BOOK REVIEW: The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

Title: The Love Interest

Author/s: Cale Dietrich

Publication Date: May 16th 2017

Publisher: by Feiwel & Friends

Format: Paperback

Number of Pages: 384

Purchase at: Amazon

synopsis

“There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

My Thoughts

Thank you Macmillan International for providing an ARC of The Love Interest. Being provided a review copy doesn’t affect nor influence my thoughts about the book.

Welcome to Love Interest Compound wherein young men and women are trained in the art of seduction. Two LI’s will be picked. One is a Bad, while one will be the Nice, their mission it to make the high-profiled Chosen fall for them, the winner will have a chance to experience real life in exchange of continuing his/her service by being a spy providing information to the secret compound.

Both Dylan and Caden act so damn good even I -as a reader who’s supposed to know the thoughts of the MC, was always left conflicted. The unpredictability of the characters were amazing. I loved how they slowly realized things, not just between the two of them. But the things about themselves, finding out what they truly want, what they honestly desire, and deciding to fight for it.

And Juliet, how I loved her character. We aren’t blinded by the fact that girls are known for being greatly sensitive, impulsive and emotional when it comes to a lot of things. So I was truly impressed when I knew her character. She isn’t like most girls. Juliet’s personality is far from those. She didn’t even dare to have revenge, to resent them, but instead, she decided to show forgiveness and understanding. She even offered help to the ones who did her wrong.

Though I mentioned a lot of times that I liked and loved the characters of this novel, I didn’t feel any connection to anyone. Not to single character, so I felt detached.

Caden’s first meeting with Juliet happened so fast. I disliked yet I liked (I know I know, I’m confusing) how SCRIPTED some parts were, how behind all their actions are persons who direct them. Yes, they have coaches and almost everything they do is all in their SCRIPT. They are like dolls! They undergo plastic surgeries (yes, they are unnaturally beautiful.) so that it’s certain that their Chosen will not dare to look at others. They even have a category, a Nice and a Bad. No need for me to explain for the explanation is already the word itself.

The novel started pretty interesting, then got more intriguing along the way, I’ve been trying to figure out what’s true and what’s not. Who’s being fake and who isn’t. The storyline’s doing good, it’s satisfying. Well not until the story reached its culminating point and the pace became fast. It seemed rushed up until 1/4 of the book’s part III.

So foolish of me to think that the romance will be another annoying love triangle. I should’ve guessed it when I first read the blurb. To my surprise and relief, it wasn’t. Funny how I started thinking that Juliet was used as a tool to Dylan and Caden’s romance. Oh god, I never swooned this much. The problem is, I never felt a deep connection between the two, nothing more but the sensual tension.

The ending, sadly, seemed like it wasn’t carefully handled. The sudden revelation made me think about the LIC system and how much secret they’re still hiding. Regarding the Stalkers (killing machines), and the implants (trackers?) on the love interests, the Science Fiction part of the book took place, and for the first time, I liked it.

For a debut novel, Cale Dietrich made an impressive masterpiece. Hats off, Mr. Dietrich.

Overall, I highly recommend this sexually diverse, fast-paced, and action-packed novel to every YA Contemporary and Sci-Fi fans out there.

Rating

4stars


author

14541076Twitter

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BOOK REVIEW: A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess

Title: A Shadow Bright and Burning

Author/s: Jessica Cluess

Publication Date: September 20th 2016

Publisher: Random House BFYR

Format: paperback

Number of Pages: 416

Purchase at: Amazon

synopsis

I am Henrietta Howel. The first female sorcerer. The prophesied one. Or am I?

Henrietta Howel can burst into flames. When she is brought to London to train with Her Majesty’s sorcerers, she meets her fellow sorcerer trainees, young men eager to test her powers and her heart. One will challenge her. One will fight for her. One will betray her. As Henrietta discovers the secrets hiding behind the glamour of sorcerer life, she begins to doubt that she’s the true prophesied one. With battle looming, how much will she risk to save the city–and the one she loves?

thoughts

Penguin Random House International was nice and considerate enough to provide a review copy of A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess. Thank you so much!

Henrietta is the Chosen One, but she isn’t.”

I am someone who reads a lot of YA Fantasy. I fancy novels with any sorcery or magical aspects. Aside from such a promising blurb, that is one of the reasons why A Shadow Bright and Burning caught my attention. And I loved almost ALL of the YA Fantasy books that I’ve read. Being a fan of such gente, I expected a lot from this book. Expectations do lead to disappointments.

Reasons why I gave this book only 3 stars:

•Characters’ name are way too confusing. Sometimes one character approaches another with a different name. Like Agripa-Cornelius, Julian-Marcus, Isaac-Wolff, and many more.

•The story started really slow, it only got interesting and exciting in the middle part, whilst everything intense happened fast at the end.

•Henrietta Howel, our main protagonist, is most of the time stubborn. She’s sometimes a conceited bitch, but with a heart of gold. I liked how she cared too much for her friend, and that’s why I hated her. She only cares about Rook. Howel developed, still, it wasn’t enough. It’s pretty obvious that she has great potential.

Those are all. As for the positive review, I liked how Cluess crafted the world-building. There’s this enigmatic history between the witches, the magicians, and the sorcerers. Some unknown occurrences are yet to be told in the second book.

As for the romance, I was afraid that it will be another book that will deal with the main protagonist’s love interest. There were guys involved with Howel, however, the story didn’t focus on them. I was thankful that it didn’t evolve around the love interest, doing so will only make me dislike the book. I can’t read another book with a main character who’s having dilemmas just because of her confused feelings.

I wanted to scream right after reading the book. This is such a cliche statement but the ending left me hanging there’s something that the magician is trying to tell Howel but every time he gets the chance, he loses it. So damn intriguing. That’s what made me ache for the book’s second installment.

Overall, I still recommend this book to anyone who’s up for a magical and mysterious read.

Rating

3stars


author


6916708Jessica Cluess is a writer, a graduate of Northwestern University, and an unapologetic nerd. After college, she moved to Los Angeles, where she served coffee to the rich and famous while working on her first novel. When she’s not writing books, she’s an instructor at Writopia Lab, helping kids and teens tell their own stories.

 


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BOOK REVIEW: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Title: Nevernight

Author/s: Jay Kristoff

Publication Date: August 11, 2016

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Format: Paperback

Number of Pages: 643

Purchase at:

synopsis

“Destined to destroy empires, Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.

Six years later, the child raised in shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything.

But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.

The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student.

The shadows love her. And they drink her fear.

thoughts

**First of all, I want to thank ate Kate @BookishBlurber for giving me the opportunity to join the #NevernightPHBlogTour**
Let’s be honest, most readers had too many expectations to this book; due to the fact that a lot of bookworms loved Mr. Kristoff’s Illuminae. I, as someone who have never read any of his books, made high expectations from Nevernight.
The story follows a young girl’s quest to avenge the horrible death of her family. She was on a training to harness her abilities, later on, to learn more she entered Red Church wherein she’s again; trained to become a completely developed killer.
For a young protagonist, Mia Covare’s quiet a thing. She’s always forbidding. She’s so full of herself and too proud to an irritating degree, but who can blame her? The girl’s ridiculously good at everything. I just hated her guts. What I loved about her, is her shadow cat- Mister Kindly, her “fear drinker”. I liked how the shadow cat stood by her side. It’s like a friend we’ll forever hope for. 
Nevernight’s world-building blew my mind. I tried to get my head into it, read several parts about it; but boy, I found it really complex to understand it. There were just too many details, no; it’s too detailed. I came to a point wherein I don’t want to read anything about the book’s locale anymore.
The greatest problem that I faced reading the novel, is the writing of Mister Kristoff. I can compare it to Laini Taylor’s writing style (which I personally loved and envied), but it’s too much. Nevernight was flowered with too many figurative language. Another issue is that it started off with a really slow pace then it the story came crashing down ’til the end.
Though I had problems with those beyond and some elements are obviously cliché. I liked Nevernight’s plot. It was simple, but there were too many layers, too many puzzle pieces and when they ended up to their rightful places; I just lost it. I loved the story. But mind you people, there are brutality (tho not much), for a young character- it’s too sexual, offensive languages were not missed.
Having said those, it’s clear that I had high hopes; and I was undeniably disappointed.
To sum it up, I enjoyed reading Nevernight. It’s a compelling start for the series. I’m hoping it gets better in the second installment. 

Rating


author

4735144Jay Kristoff is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of THE LOTUS WAR, THE ILLUMINAE FILES and THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLE. He is the winner of two Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, nominee for the David Gemmell Morningstar and Legend awards, named multiple times in the Kirkus and Amazon Best Teen Books list and published in over twenty-five countries, most of which he has never visited. He is as surprised about all of this as you are. He is 6’7 and has approximately 13030 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell.

He does not believe in happy endings.

 

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BOOK REVIEW: Songs of Our Breakup by Jay E. Tria

Title: Songs of Our Breakup

Author/s: Jay E. Tria

Publication Date: August 22nd 2015

Publisher:

Format: Kindle

Number of Pages: 183

Purchase at:

synopsis

“Every breakup has its playlist.

How do you get over a seven-year relationship? 21-year-old Jill is trying to find out. But moving on is a harder job when Kim, her ex-boyfriend, is the lead guitarist of the band, and Jill is the vocalist. Every song they play together feels like slicing open a barely healed tattoo.

Jill’s best friend Miki says she will be out of this gloom soon. Breakups have a probation period, he says. Jill is on the last month of hers and Miki is patiently keeping her company.

But the real silver lining is Shinta. Having a hot Japanese actor friend in times like these is a welcome distraction. This gorgeous celebrity has been defying time zones and distance through the years to be there for Jill. Now he is here, physically present, and together he and Jill go through old lyrics, vivid memories, walks in the rain, and bottles of beer. Together they try to answer the question: what do you do when forever ends?

thoughts

** Thank you ms. Jay Tria for providing an e-copy of your book.**

What I loved most are the book’s characters. I can’t help but like all of them; their personalities, attitudes, how they handle things, everything. Seems like I can feel what they feel. Each has their own experiences that I can tell it happened to me too. Especially Miki, my love for him will stay here forever in my heart.

Songs of Our Breakup, oh god, this book is all emotions in one. It made me sad, it made me cry my heart out, it made me realize a lot of things. Especially when it comes to coping. SOB gave me the answers I’ve been looking for.

After a long stretch of silence, she spoke to the empty, inky sky. “Miki says breakups have a 3-month probation period.”

“What happens there?” Shinta murmured.

“You wait.”

“For what?”

“For someone to change their mind.”

“And if nobody does and the three months are over?”

“You move on. ”

Shinta sidled in closer beside her. “Why bother waiting that long?”

She turned to him, his face mere inches away that her breath grazed the tip of his nose when she answered. “A question I ask myself every day.”

 

There were lyrics that made me hope it’ll eventually be turned to a real music. Because damn those lyrics reverberates the emotions, the feelings, of its writer.

With all those, and ms. Tria’s amazing writing style, could I even ask for more? The second book maybe. I can’t wait to know more about the characters! I know there’s still too much than what has been written.

Went through a rough break-up? Can’t get over? Not sure about how you feel? Song lyrics? Emotional roller coaster? This one’s for you

 

Rating4stars


author

Jay E. TriaHi! I’m a writer of contemporary Young Adult and New Adult romance. These days I’m writing paranormal/fantasy too, and it’s a fun exercise. I’m often inspired by daydreams, celebrity crushes, a childhood fascination of Japanese drama and manga, and an incessant itch to travel.

 

 

 

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BOOK REVIEW: A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

Title: A Torch Against the Night

Author/s: Sabaa Tahir

Publication Date: August 30th 2016

Publisher: Razorbill

Format: Paperback

Number of Pages: 464

Purchase at: Amazon

synopsis

“A Torch Against the Night takes readers into the heart of the Empire as Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia’s brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison. Hunted by Empire soldiers, manipulated by the Commandant, and haunted by their pasts, Laia and Elias must outfox their enemies and confront the treacherousness of their own hearts.

In the city of Serra, Helene Aquilla finds herself bound to the will of the Empire’s twisted new leader, Marcus. When her loyalty is questioned, Helene finds herself taking on a mission to prove herself—a mission that might destroy her, instead.

thoughts
**I would like to give thanks to Penguin Random House International for the review copy of this book in exchange of an honest review. Also for giving me the opportunity to join A Torch Against the Night International  Blog Tour**
 A Torch Against the Night is the second installment of An Ember in the Ashes series, and boy should you believe that this book amazed the hell out of me.
Let me start off by saying I love how the sorcery in the book unravels. How it works, who has magic and who doesn’t, and how the magic intertwine within their world. I love the magic system, I find it interesting and cool. I want to know more. 
The characters! Reading the book, they grew more and more mysterious and unpredictable. Each of them blew my mind! I’m dying to figure out the mystery behind Cook’s sudden appearance in some parts, Laia’s abilities, Keenan, and the Commandant’s history.
The plot. Oh my, I never expected a plot like this one. The surprise ending caught me off-guard! I experienced lots of suspense and surprises in the midst of reading the book. Turning each page made me feel anxious. I like how Sabaa plotted out the book, I like the direction of it. It made me excited for the next book. I want to mention the way she gave small details on the first book that made huge impacts on this sequel, oh gosh, I loved it. 
As much as I’d like to give this book 5 stars, there’s this one reason why I didn’t. It’s said that going to Kauf takes longer than two months. Sharks, a long journey eh? I was disappointed when I expected it to be a slow but a sure on, but it ended up in a flash. The journey did start slow but ended quickly. In short, the inconsistency of the pace. 
It took me a long time before making a review for the simple reason that I was drained. I think I just expressed all my feelings through eating. Too cliche but the twist at the ending left me gasping for air. The brutality of ATATN is somewhere in between nerve-wrecking and entertaining. 
Brace yourself! 
Hello Ph bookdragons, you can ourchase the book at NATIONAL BOOKSTORE

Rating

4stars


author

7770873.jpg

Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s 18-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks and all things nerd. Sabaa currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.

 

 

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