26 Dec 2015

Review: Every Ugly Word by Aimee L. Salter

Publication: July 29th 2014 by Alloy Entertainment
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Paranormal
Format: Kindle Edition, 257 pages
Add this on: Goodreads
Rating:

When seventeen-year-old Ashley Watson walks through the halls of her high school bullies taunt and shove her. She can’t go a day without fighting with her mother. And no matter how hard she tries, she can’t make her best friend, Matt, fall in love with her. But Ashley also has something no one else does: a literal glimpse into the future. When Ashley looks into the mirror, she can see her twenty-three-year-old self. Her older self has been through it all already—she endured the bullying, survived the heartbreak, and heard every ugly word her classmates threw at her. But her older self is also keeping a dark secret: Something terrible is about to happen to Ashley. Something that will change her life forever. Something even her older self is powerless to stop.

"Their cruelty says a lot more about them than it does about you."

I have been bullied by my neighbors' kids before because I am skinny. I am still being bullied by now because I am still skinny. I don't think they hate me because I am skinny. Hate is not the word. I never held grudge on them. It's just what they see and what they feel. They just like bullying. They just like to hurt people's feelings. They just want you to see yourself in the mirror and say to your self that you don't deserve to breath in this world because you do not belong to the norm. You are different. You are something. You are something to their eyes - NO. You are nothing to them. But if I am nothing to them, why is it when I pass by they go silent and talk and giggle and shout that I'm a shit load skinny girl? I think that's nothing. I think you are something to them. Does that something means you are a hindrance to the beauty they see because you are not? I don't know. I just don't understand these bullies. I just don't. When you are bullied, you became a bully, too. I bully my own brother. I tell him things he is not. But he wasn't nothing to me. He is something. He is my brother. Still, I don't understand. I did not understand even myself.

There are not much sameness on me and Ashley throughout the book except for the love of art. It is true that art is where you can express it all but she didn't notice that not until someone approached her with her finished work. Anyway, we are talking about bully here. The way the book was portraying bully is disturbing and too much but it is possible in the real world. The author itself is a result of bully when she was in high school. Her story and Ashley's have similarities - happened in school and with about a found letter. You can read the article of Alloy Entertainment featuring Aimee's Hate Breeds essay.

I have not trusted any of the characters at first because the flow is disorienting. But when I knew Ashley is treated in a displeasing manner, I started to feel for her but she constantly betrays me with her mulishness. She's totally over with Matt! Her love for him is too much and it's pesky! But what's more irritating is Matt. I was never committed with his words. He was also confused with Ashley and happened to be near its peak unto one of Ashley's bully.

There are lot of bullies around Ashley and the number one of it is her mother. We can say sometimes that we are unlucky we have a mother like ours but Ashley is exceedingly unlucky. Besides all this people who are bullies, is Ashley's Older Me. She's seeing Older Me thru reflections and this what's make this book paranormal and more than necessary but it helped the book to go through. She's not a bully to Ashley but she is keeping what she experienced to Ashley tho she invariably advise her.

Every Ugly Word is a compelling read on stopping hate and those who deliberately intimidates other people out of their weakness. An absolute essential read intended for all and sundry.



Source: Publisher via Netgalley · I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content.

author image

Yani

Let's leave it up to this quote from Emily Brontë:
“And from the midst of cheerless gloom I passed to bright unclouded day.”

18 Nov 2015

Mini-Reviews: Trying To Catch Up Reviews But Are Five Stars

The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis
Publication: September 8th 2015 by Disney-Hyperion
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: ARC, 328 pages
Add this on: Goodreads
Rating:

The first half of the year was far the best. I won several ARCs and books. The One Thing was included on those ARCs and I am really thankful to the sweet author. If not because of her? I would never had the opportunity to read her extraordinarily good debut.

The One Thing is ripping-ly funny. The characters are with prudence or propriety. Maggie, the blind protagonist, is sometimes adored by yours truly – her I-don't-want-your-pity attitude bothers me. Regardless, Curtis' did a major break through in my reading history. It's anything you could ask for as a reader. You get annoyed, you'll laugh, you'll cry, your heart will wrench, you'll get the feeling that the characters are all right and so are you and in the very last word and period, you'll say "I'll read it again!".

Source: Author · I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content.


Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Publication: May 5th 2015 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: Paperback, 480 pages
Add this on: Goodreads
Rating:

"Nothing worth doing is easy," Frank said. "Especially not in the beginning. But I'm not about to give up."

Since this book was on my radar last year, it never left me, where it once appeared in my dreams that I was holding it, reading it, and I was Sloane, talking to Emily, making fun of Matson for making us a story. That was ridiculous. Yeah.

You think only Sloane can write such lists? I do, too. But more about Since You've Been Gone.
1.) Make a playlist in every book you read. The playlists of this book are my jam. I never thought the author of this has same taste as mine.
2.) Find Emily. This time, it's not Sloane that you'll be seeking for but a friend like Emily. She's all you could ask for. She sees you as a sister, never thought of the bad things you do, the best BFF and she works in a customer-free ice cream shoppe!!! And hey, if you have one already, you're lucky.
3.) Run with a Frank. He's the best run buddy and keeps your courage up especially when you ride a horse.
4.) Find Morgan Matson. AND LET HER WRITE YOUR STORY BECAUSE SHE WRITES LIKE KAPAWWW WOAAHHH LOVE THAT UHMMM?? HEY!! *GRINS* *FEELS*


All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Publication: January 6th 2015 by Random House Children's Books
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: Paperback, 388 pages
Add this on: Goodreads
Rating:

I thought I would rate this book five stars but (STOP: May spoil you.) that death was unacceptable. My reading interest was lost and decided after days to continue it. I was totally doubting to go on with the adventure when one is not there. It was like I was more fearful on facing the truth than Violet.

Talk about pulling you violently out of your seat, All The Bright Places is for you - all wander-gaiety-feels but painful debut.


Sorry I did a mini-reviews post. I'm so lazy to go through my notes when I was readings the books.
What have you read recently? Have you read any of these books? Or, Have you been on hiatus?



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Yani

I love to collect soundtracks from books and movies. It's cool to listen to their music and to live with them. Well, only those books and movies that are oh so aplomb to me.

14 Nov 2015

Review: The Nest

Publication: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 
Genre: Fantasy, Magical Realism
Format: Hardcover, 256 pages
Add this on: Goodreads

Steve is worried. He's worried about his baby brother, whose congenital birth defects mean constant illness. He's worried about his parents trying to handle it. He's worried about the wasp nest outside of the baby's window. But then the wasp queen appears in his dream, offering to fix his brother, promising to make all those worries go away, and all he has to do is say yes.

I quite enjoyed this one. I generally really enjoy Kenneth Oppel's writing, though I was a little underwhelmed by The Boundless. This one, though, I liked a lot. It is labelled as Middle Grade, but it is definitely enjoyable by older audiences looking for a strange, quick read.

Steve is a character that you don't really see all that often in protagonists for Middle Grade novels, in that he's serious, introverted, and struggles with anxiety. It isn't something you typically see explored in younger protagonists, and I really appreciated seeing it. It is something that makes this book is as much an internal plot as an external one, and adds a lot of complexity to what would otherwise be a fairly simple plot. This is a novel that I can easily see twelve-year-old Kelly reading.

This is a strange little book. I would probably describe it as magical realism- set in the real world, but with a magical or surreal element. In this case, that element was the wasps that offer to "fix" Steve's baby brother. As with most bargains with supernatural beings, the agreement isn't what it seems, and soon it takes a turn for the dark and dangerous. Its such a bizarre concept, and makes for a very interesting reading experience.

The way this book is packaged is beautiful (plastic dust jacket, patterned under the cover), but I'm of two minds on the illustrations. Though they added some visual interest, they weren't really to my personal taste. I don't think I would have missed them, but, that said, they do contribute a bit to the atmosphere. They're more eerie than illustrations you would typically find in a MG novel.

Overall, this book is a little strange and a little dark, a unique Middle Grade novel with a refreshing protagonist, and I would love to see more books along the same lines.
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Kelly

I'm a reader and reviewer from Ontario, Canada, which mean that sometimes library trips take place place through a foot or so of snow. I'm going into my third year of university, studying Environmental Sciences, which I juggle with my almost constant reading. I've been blogging at at my own blog since 2012, and I'll be helping Yani out here on Paper Boulevard as a co-blogger.

26 Oct 2015

Audiobook Review: Reawakened

Publication: August 11th 2015 by Listening Library
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Add this on: Goodreads

Lilliana Young has been the dutiful daughter of wealthy parents, living her life in a careful little box- that is, until she's inadvertently involved in the reawakening of an Egyptian mummy. Now a very confused Lilliana has been dragged into his quest, with the fate of the world as she knows it at stake.

I'm really hoping that, some day soon, I'll be able to post on this blog with a gushing review about how much I loved a book. But, sadly, that didn't happen here.

I'm wondering if maybe this book wasn't ideal as an audiobook, though the narrator wasn't terrible. Possibly the way this story moved wasn't ideal for audio? I made a lot of remarks on My Goodreads as a listened to it... There were times when this was a bit of a struggle for me to get through. The language perhaps isn't ideal for an audiobook- it was a bit dense for a spoken medium.

So listening to this as an audiobook may have impacted my experience a lot, but I also had a hard time with the plot. It was slow. There wasn't quite a flow to it, and I found myself questioning some narrative decisions. Some of it didn't quite mesh with my knowledge of Ancient Egyptian customs (though, admittedly, I am not a professor of Egyptology, just a person who spent a great deal of her childhood reading about it). Despite having never been to Egypt, even I could tell that the portrayal of Egyptian culture (both modern and ancient) is way off.

The biggest weakness in this novel was the amount of info-dumping that happened. The sharing of information was constant and obtuse, something made more obvious by the audiobook- the explanations went on for minutes at a time sometimes. This constant informing diverted from the plot, rather than explaining what was going on. No part of this story really seems to grow naturally.

I didn't particularly enjoy the characters, for the most part. They didn't feel like people to me... The info-dumping extended to the characters and their personalities. To give a character a personality trait, you can't just say they have that trait, you have to show it was well.

The romance was actually unpleasant for me to sit through. It was a lot of things that I don't like in a romance. For one thing he literally mind-controls her at one point, and threatens her, which is kind of downright creepy. (No "kind of" about it. I as creeped out.) For another I can't tell why they value each other except that they keep telling us they do. For a third, they're just boring together. Totally, completely uninteresting. I felt zero emotion for them, separately or together.

Overall, I don't think that I would recommend this, and I definitely wouldn't recommend the audiobook. It isn't my type of storytelling, and it definitely isn't the type of storytelling to work in the medium of an audiobook.

P.S. And worms are still not insects.

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Kelly

I'm a reader and reviewer from Ontario, Canada, which mean that sometimes library trips take place place through a foot or so of snow. I'm going into my third year of university, studying Environmental Sciences, which I juggle with my almost constant reading. I've been blogging at at my own blog since 2012, and I'll be helping Yani out here on Paper Boulevard as a co-blogger.

28 Sep 2015

Review: Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George

Publication: July 7th 2015 by Bloomsbury
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Format: Hardcover, 358 pages
Add this on: Goodreads

Dacia and Lou are cousins and best friends who've never known much about their Romanian heritage. Raised in America, they are on their first ever journey to meet their mysterious Romanian relatives. But as they draw closer to Romania, strange things start happening, and they begin to suspect their family of having some terrible secret- suspicions that in no way prepare them for what they learn when they arrive.

Jessica Day George really seems to write for a younger audience, in a way that doesn't translate well to other age groups.The writing very much feels geared toward a more juvenile audience. There's just something simplistic about the way in which the story is told, which was a bit of a weakness in this case. I'm always hesitant about making a comment like this, because books written for younger audiences can absoloutely be enjoyed by adults- it just depends on the story and how it is told. This story is told in a slightly juvenile way, which reduced my engagement.

Moving on to the story. There isn't anything technically wrong with it, its just not interesting to me personally, I'm not sure why. Dacia and Lou go to meet their Romanian family who are more than a little strange. At first the girls have no idea what is going on, of course, and eventually they uncover their magical legacy. The way this story progressed just... didn't intrigue me, the plot structure just dropped off- the flow of the plot didn't work. Sometimes a weak plot can be pulled along by engaging characters, but that wasn't the case in this story.

The thing with Lou and Dacia is they both go through somewhat rapid character changes, and I found myself slightly left behind by how quickly some of those changes happened. I think the main reason for that was mostly because their most fundamental character traits weren't satisfactorily established. If you're going to have some of a character's traits change that rapidly, you have to have a pre-established basis for the sudden change (ex. their values drive them to react a certain way that would seem contradictory to some of their personality traits), if that makes sense. I also definitely found myself enjoying one character point of view more than the other, which is always a risk in dual POV novels.

All that said, I still enjoyed parts of the novel. There were moments of humour that I found myself really enjoying, and there were some aspects of the girls' characters and journeys that did interest me. It was just that a lot of the story and the storytelling didn't keep me engaged. There was no connection there.

Overall, it was alright as a light read, but wasn't terribly impressive as a book. There was nothing about it that will stand out to me when I look back on books that I read this year.

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Kelly

I'm a reader and reviewer from Ontario, Canada, which mean that sometimes library trips take place place through a foot or so of snow. I'm going into my third year of university, studying Environmental Sciences, which I juggle with my almost constant reading. I've been blogging at at my own blog since 2012, and I'll be helping Yani out here on Paper Boulevard as a co-blogger.

25 Sep 2015

Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Publication: September 1st 2015 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Add this on: Goodreads
Rating:

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

“Do you ever wonder what your life would be like if you could just change one thing?” he asks.  Nicola Yoon, Everything, Everything ARC

I have to admit that the title of this book is strikingly odd. Why is it Everything, Everything? That, I cannot answer. Every time I read a book, it is part of me to know why it was given such title. But in Everything, Everything, I never knew why. Or is it that this time I never figured it out because I was enormously into the book?

Everything, Everything is about Madeline Whittier. She’s a ‘surpass of the ordinary’. The story just moves freely as if in a stream with her. (This might spoil you so beware.) Maddy wanted to see the world but of course she can’t because of her valued for its uncommonness disease. Her wanting occurred when Olly, the boy next door, and Maddy started to exchanging IMs and. . .

Yoon delivered Everything, Everything to every reader with sincere intentions and strong feelings. Madeline was her model to portray every girl (could be a boy, too) in this world that relationship with parents, especially mothers, is tremendously important and should be with love and understanding. Another character for a typical girl is the daughter of Maddy’s nurse, Carla. Carla experienced sorrows towards her daughter where it does the normal girls do when they turn to wander, overnight and cute boys stage. But Carla still understood her daughter. Maddy didn’t have the understanding her mother needed. (Well, not until . . .) Also, her mother showed selfishness– it’s not what your children needs even if all you think about is for their own good.

What’s more pleasantly entertaining is the illustrations of Everything, Everything. Nicola’s husband David created such distinctive artwork.

Everything, Everything is a book of heartfelt and sympathy–for every member of the family. It may not be the everything for others, but it is to at least.



Interested to read 'Everything, Everything'?
Order at: Book Depository, Amazon, B&N

Source: Publisher via Netgalley · I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content.

author image

Yani

I love to collect soundtracks from books and movies. It's cool to listen to their music and to live with them. Well, only those books and movies that are oh so aplomb to me.

1 Sep 2015

Review: Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Publication: July 7th 2015 by NAL
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Format: Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Add this on: Goodreads

In a world where the Great Library of Alexandria was not destroyed, the library now rules supreme. Knowledge is both valued and strictly controlled. Jess has been sent to become a Librarian by his family of illegal booksellers, to spy on the library. As he endures the trials that come with becoming a Librarian, he begins to uncover disturbing secrets about the Library itself.

This is the first Rachel Caine novel that I've picked up, and also my first review on Paper Boulevard, so lots of firsts (on second though, perhaps two does not qualify as "lots", but I digress). Let's do this thing.

Jess took time to grow on me, but I found myself enjoying the cast of characters introduced once he got to Alexandria. Candidate Librarians of the Great Library come from all over the world, and are narrowed down from there, so the novel started off with a fairly broad cast of characters, and was narrowed down to focus on a few of them fairly quickly. I'm looking forward to seeing more of them in the next book.

A lot happens in the plot. We see Jess being sent by his family of pretty ruthless black market book sellers to the Library, his grueling training experience, including his first (somewhat unexpected) mission. With so much going on, and the new friendship Jess forms, the romance felt, honestly, rushed and unnecessary. It just didn't feel like there was an actual connection between them, and I can't quite put my finger on why.

I had mixed feelings about the world- on one hand I enjoyed it, on the other, I felt like there were unanswered questions. I imagine some of these will be answered in future novels, but some of the underlying aspects of the world still aren't entirely clear to me. If the Library took over during the time of Ancient Greece, how is the English language dominant, for one thing? How did the Library control effect how the world developed, aside from the obvious? Those questions aside, I'm looking forward to seeing more of this world, and I'm hoping to learn more about how the somewhat magical element works.

Overall, despite some elements that didn't work for me, I still enjoyed this novel, and I'm likely to pick up the sequel when it comes out, with hopes that some of my questions will be answered.


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Kelly

I'm a reader and reviewer from Ontario, Canada, which mean that sometimes library trips take place place through a foot or so of snow. I'm going into my third year of university, studying Environmental Sciences, which I juggle with my almost constant reading. I've been blogging at at my own blog since 2012, and I'll be helping Yani out here on Paper Boulevard as a co-blogger.

31 Aug 2015

Review: Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler

Series: Daylight Falls #1
Publication: June 24th 2014 by Spencer Hill Press
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: eBook, 328 pages
Add this on: Goodreads
Rating:

High school senior Ally Duncan's best friend may be the Vanessa Park - star of TV's hottest new teen drama - but Ally's not interested in following in her BFF's Hollywood footsteps. In fact, the only thing Ally's ever really wanted is to go to Columbia and study abroad in Paris. But when her father's mounting medical bills threaten to stop her dream in its tracks, Ally nabs a position as Van's on-set assistant to get the cash she needs.

Spending the extra time with Van turns out to be fun, and getting to know her sexy co-star Liam is an added bonus. But when the actors' publicist arranges for Van and Liam to "date" for the tabloids just after he and Ally share their first kiss, Ally will have to decide exactly what role she's capable of playing in their world of make believe. If she can't play by Hollywood's rules, she may lose her best friend, her dream future, and her first shot at love.


Sometimes, before I read a book, I don’t read its synopsis. Maybe because I want to surprise myself? Or I just like it that way. I was taken “off-guard” to Dahlia Adler’s Behind the Scenes. I was expecting that it’s another Hollywood drama that I’m used to watch before and got sick of it, but this… is different.

I should be honest here, if I didn’t won the sequel Under the Lights, I would have not read this awing book.

Dahlia Adler wrote Behind the Scenes with a strong positive emotion of regard and affection to her characters, especially Ally, the protagonist. Ally Duncan, a high school senior with remarkable dreams set out to be best friends with Van, a Hollywood star. Ally has no interest with the industry but when her father is sick in a hospital bed because of a skin disease and left them out with family financial crisis, she apprehends being an assistant to her BFF—replying Van’s emails, picking up shopping bags, talking to publicists, etc. Still Ally is in need of more cash, and then here comes Liam to add help. Liam and Van lets Ally sell their used clothes to fans and Liam lets Ally her French tutor. And where did it go? Falling for Liam. Yeah, the usual.

The thing that surprised me is that I was delighted on reading Behind the Scenes. There are some points that are foreseeable but most of it is “pleasure” to read.  Maybe because I was in need of friendship reads those days. I also like how the friendship of Ally to Van and her relationship to Liam was well written and dissevered. It was never unfair. Readers would be greatly pleased with Ally’s relationship to the people around her. It’s what young adults need most to read and apply.

Thus, Behind the Scenes is a pleasing and delighting read of desirable and positive qualities of relationship towards friends, family and special someone. It is not just any Hollywood drama.


Interested to read 'Behind The Scenes'?
Order at: Book Depository, Amazon, B&N



22 Aug 2015

Welcome, Kelly and Hazel!


Hello dear readers. I know. I have been on hiatus for months so I'm really sorry. But my blog will not be lonely now that I have my co-reviewers, Kelly and Hazel! I hope everyone would welcome them warmly like you just welcomed me in the community. *Wink! It's almost a year since I thought of this but I just recently realized that I badly need a partner with my blog. Kelly is the one. She’s so lovely that she got interested to be my co-reviewer. As well as Hazel, who turns out to be my schoolmate!

Kelly is from Canada who also blogs at wanderingthroughbooks since 2012. You can follow her on her super awesome Tumblr and on Twitter. She's currently having a Shelf Cleaning. Check it out here. Books included are: Irises, The Well of Ascension, Something Strange and Deadly, Mortal Danger, The Death Catchers, The Hunger Games, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and more! She's pretty cool, right?

Hazel, as I have already mentioned, is my schoolmate. I asked her if she's interested to post her reviews on my blog since she just review books on Goodreads. I want her to be part of the blogsphere, too! So whenever we see each other at school, we have something to talk about. Wait? We always have things to talk about. Bands and books - our thing. Anyway, you can follow her Twitter where she always rant about her favorite bands, yes, bands... A total fangirl.

4 Jul 2015

Blogger Update 101


Hello dear readers! I apologize for the lack of bookish posts since my blog anniversary. When class started, I am rarely seen opening a good book to read and opening my laptop to update my blog. My spare time is already for sleep, reading text books and! studying well. Blessings came like I got an unexpected full scholarship. But as the sayings states, if something came you have to give up something too. Well, I'm not giving up book blogging, but I'll just not be that active. I will still have future reviews tho. UNFORTUNATELY! I am not reviewing books anymore from my Kindle and epubs from Netgalley or Edelweiss, only the books I have and available to read, BECAUSE I F-ING DELETED MY PHONE APPS BECAUSE OF VIRUSES OF SEVEN HELLS!!! I lost my Kindle app, virtual readers, including the ebooks I bought. I can download those apps again but the booooooooooookkkkkkksss!! They are already lost. I don't know how to retrieve them back. *Sobs.* *Crying again!!* I don't want to think of it again but it's good to share to you guys for you know the feeling. I can't express it to my family for they might think I'm just over-reacting. But who would not? My beloved books!

See you soon, lovelies! It's really good to think I still have you on the other side of the world. X

3 Jun 2015

Wrap Up: Goodbye Mighty May!

A wrap up! This is the very first in my one year of blogging. Wait? One year means. . . I am in the blogging world for a year already! Look at how time flies so fast? It's just a year a go since I first posted my post. It's actually on Tumblr that I started book blogging but I disliked the format of my blog post there so I moved to Blogger!

I am very much grateful to those people who me on book blogging. The first blog I visited is Hazel's Staybookish. I love how she is flawless on her posts and her blog design is so gorgeous! I also participated on the third blog anniversary celebration of The Notebook Sisters! I had fun answering their crazy questions and what's more cool is they got an Alice In Wonderland theme party! Wooot, wooot!

And because I'm lazy to send sweet messages, here's a list of those lovelies I am so thankful for!:
To authors, Isobel Harrop for her inspiring book The Isobel Journal, Sherrie Wouters for trusting me her book Life Lived Twice and everything she have told me, Jen Sanya Williamson by her urging lovely to read music on her book Six Strings (your book gave me a heart to music on books), Jill Knapp who entrusted me her book to be reviewed Chase, Milda Harris for letting me review her book Doppelganger, J.A. Buckle I will never forget your enthusiasm on your book and your trust in me, Katie Coyle for reading my request on Goodreads and lovely response, Nikki Kelly and to her lovely Styclar Saga, Leah Thomas and to her Ollie and Moritz, may you continue to inspire every single reader, and to Marci Lyn Curtis who inspired with her awesomeness, you rock my lady! I would never forget my first blog event The 2015 Young Adult Debut Novels. It would have never been successful without: Anne Boles Levy and her Temple of Doubt, Moriah McStay and her Everything That Makes You, Kelly Loy Gilbert and her Conviction, Lee Kelly and her City of Savages, Maggie Hall and her Conspiracy Of Us, Stacey Lee and her Under a Painted Sky, and David Arnold and his Mosquitoland.
To publishers, AuthorBuzz, Gemelli Press LLC, Capstone, Barbour Publishing, Inc., Kensington Books, In This Together Media, Simon & Schuster, Simon Pulse, AuthorBuzz, Hachette Children's Books, Orchard Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, Harper Teen, and to all publishers who approve my requests on Netgalley. AND, to Netgalley, without this team, I would never be reading great stories from great authors and never would know the person behind that great book.
To book blog tours, IFB, YA Book Bound, Xpresso Reads, Bookish Diaries Book Tours, Jen Halligan and Pinoy Book Tours. It's great to be one of your hosts, continue supporting great books!
And, to book blogger friends, there are lot of you that I want to mention but my time is ticking (for lunch and I'm hungry and note that I'm lazy, LOL, sorry) so. . . Hi! Stay Bookish, Paper Fury, Carmel & Kyla, Lily's Book Blog, Aimee at Deadly Darlings, Diva Booknerd, Her Book Thoughts!, Jules Bookshelf, Oops! I Read A Book Again, Sporadic Reads, These Paper Hearts and Writer For Misfits. You guys are awesome!

I know. There are tons of them and some I can't remember. But as much as possible (I am grateful for those people who usually visit my blog and leave some lovely comments), I thank them by putting their blog names on my blog roll. Also, they are the blogs I mostly visit.

Well, so much for this! Keep it up in mind that I am really thankful for you everyone! *Wink!


Last month went hella good but sort of sad because my internet have gone crazy. Here's what I have posted in the month of May.

Sup around the book blogging world:

Jess of My Reading Dress talked about Politically Prim and Proper: Have I Forgotten How To Free My Speech?. Her vocabulary nearly cracked my brain.
The Book Addicts Guide shared her Scarlet series review spoiler-free! She also recommended some books like the Scarlet Trilogy.
Lucia on Reading Is My Breathing gave out tips on How To Survive Vacation (For Book Junkies).

So how's your year of blogging, eh? Or whatever happened on your past month! Share some! I would love to read them.

P.S.: Sorry I don't have books to giveaway as a thank you. I'm saving things up for my birthday. I want my twenties to be fab! LOL.

2 Jun 2015

Review: The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi

Expected Publication: June 16th 2015 by Harper Teen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: ARC, Paperback, 304 pages
Add this on: Goodreads
Rating:

Before Matt, Ella had a plan. Get over her ex-boyfriend and graduate high school—simple as that. But Matt—the cute, shy bass player—was never part of that plan. And neither was spending an entire night saying "yes" to every crazy, fun thing they could think of. But then Matt leaves town, breaking Ella's heart. And when he shows up a year later, wanting to relive the night that brought them together, Ella isn't sure if re-creating the past can help them create a different future. Or maybe it can . . .

A light and worthwhile summer read that would reminisce readers of Paper Towns and The Last Year's Mistake.

The Night We Said Yes is written in the voice of Ella in alternating chapters between the present and a year in the past. Ella spent her summer night before senior year of high school with her best friend Meg and band friends Jake, who's also Meg's on and off boyfriend, and Matt, the band's new bassist. After running away from cops from a party, they end up in a restaurant and decided to kill the night by saying "yes" to whatever silly they could think—from drinking games at the high school rooftop, skinny dipping in the school pool, and rocking a local shop with the band's performance. Ella and Matt grows a closeness by discovering weird habits and cute pinkie touch. Readers would expect Ella and Matt's cunning relationship would last but Matt just. . . disappeared. No clues, no phone calls, nothing. But after a year of Ella trying on moving on, Matt appeared reliving that last night of saying yes.

What's cool to The Night We Said Yes is Ella, Matt, Meg and Jake's friendship. The teemingness of their relationship drama is tolerable. The purpose on their character is well-spread throughout the story. It's never unfair - like it's all about Ella's but we can also see Matt, Meg and Jake through her. Lauren Gibaldi made their relationship strong by a night of saying "yes" to every crackpot thing they could think of. Even though I'm not part of their circle of friends, I can feel the fun and craziness they are having, too. Which is very important on writing a story - to make your reader be part of it.

Gibaldi wrote The Night We Said Yes free from ambiguity and without dodging. Readers surely would enjoy this fast paced read. As previously mentioned, I have thought back the night of saying "yes" experience as of Paper Towns adventure - when Q and his friends drove off to find Margo. Not to mention the 'naked' part. LOL. And, to the The Last Year's Mistake alternating chapters between the present and the past.

I am not sure to recommend this for fans of Sarah Dessen and Susane Colasanti because unfortunately I have not read any books from these authors. Apologies guys. But I am having no doubt, for those fans of witty, audacious, romantic read, will relish The Night We Said Yes.

 Interested to read 'The Night We Said Yes'?
Pre-Order at: Book Depository, Amazon, B&N
Source: Author · I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content.


author image

Yani

I love to collect soundtracks from books and movies. It's cool to listen to their music and to live with them. Well, only those books and movies that are oh so aplomb to me.

30 May 2015

Author Interview + Audiobook Clip: Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas


My love for Because You'll Never Meet Me will never end and for this love, I interviewed the wonderful Leah Thomas and I am sharing it with you! First, I am grateful for the publisher Bloomsbury for letting me read the book in advance thru Netgalley and to the author herself for patiently providing the answers to my (yet silly) questions.

This book is very special to me for it talks lots of essentials and morals in life especially for teens. It started out with an unusual friendship between two unusual boys. Their friendship turned out to be lessons of trust, self-worth, courage, weakness and more. Because You'll Never Meet Me is a must read for every YA readers.

On this interview, I still want to warn with spoilers just like on my review. The questions and answers might spoil you on the book but I guarantee you that you will enjoy the book even after reading this interview. If you have not read the book yet and don't want to get spoiled with this interview, you can come back anytime when you're already done! Anyway, I'm psyched we'll all see the hand writing of the main characters!

Publication: June 2nd 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary


Ollie and Moritz are best friends, but they can never meet. Ollie is allergic to electricity. Contact with it causes debilitating seizures. Moritz’s weak heart is kept pumping by an electronic pacemaker. If they ever did meet, Ollie would seize. But Moritz would die without his pacemaker. Both hermits from society, the boys develop a fierce bond through letters that become a lifeline during dark times—as Ollie loses his only friend, Liz, to the normalcy of high school and Moritz deals with a bully set on destroying him.

A story of impossible friendship and hope under strange circumstances, this debut is powerful, dark and humorous in equal measure. These extraordinary voices bring readers into the hearts and minds of two special boys who, like many teens, are just waiting for their moment to shine.


The senior editor of Bloomsbury Children's Books have described Ollie and Moritz from the beginning of the book, can you describe them from your point, too?

When I want to be succinct about my boys, I say it like this: Ollie is an extrovert trapped outside of society, and Moritz is an introvert trapped inside society. Both of them feel trapped, and this huge similarity makes them friends despite their many differences.
Also, let us understand the difference of "blind" and "sightless"?
Moritz hates that people imply he has a disability. When people call him “blind,” he sees this as them dismissing the way he sees the world: through sound and smell and feeling. This is why he is so adamant that he is not blind; he’s just technically without the ability of “sight,” due to his lack of eyes. But Moritz still sees so much, in his own way, and that’s enough for him. The last thing he wants is pity.
Every time I read Ollie's letter, I really wonder his handwriting. I wish I could see his "drunk-doctor" handwriting from you! One photo will do. :D
Oh, this is such a fun request. And weirdly enough, I’ve written letters as Ollie, in thank you notes to booksellers and friends! So here’s an example of Ollie and Moritz writing to someone (I’ve blurred the names out). Truth is? My own handwriting is terrible! So this was very real for me. Ahaha.


Ollie said, "There are all kinds of adventures in the world." What kind of adventure you had for Ollie and Moritz that you would like your readers to seriously take and add on their bucketlists?

I would say, on a personal level, taking a chance on getting to know someone different from you. Some of the best friends I’ve ever made grew up in different countries, under different circumstances. People are the greatest adventure.
"I am less human somehow, I don't expect humanity from others." Moritz said this and it really hurts. Will you enlighten us more? I really don't know how to ask you about it. I just want you to tell something.
Well, I think when you finish reading the book, you’ll see where Moritz’s low sense of self-worth really comes from. But really, I think this is how a lot of people feel during their teen years. It’s so hard to find confidence in yourself, even when other people believe in you. Moritz can’t see past his own feelings of regret, his own dark history. 

What on earth are the faculties of Moritz's school thinking? They suspended him for being. . . sightless? Talk about discrimination.
You know, I worked in schools for a few years, very recently. And I can say with some confidence that the schools I worked in wouldn’t have made this mistake – or made it intentionally. But when violence occurs in schools, faculty can be galvanized into taking rash action. There’s no room for error when the community eye is on you. (For example, I read about a school just this morning that was taking its students to court over a relatively harmless senior prank). And it is also the policy in many, many schools that when two students partake in a fight, both are suspended, pending more information. Doesn't always matter who started it!

But yes, I do think Moritz is in a place that doesn’t make an effort to understand him. But he also doesn’t make an effort to make himself understood. Communication has to happen both ways! That's very hard for him; he's a very private person.
Tell us about yourself and why did you write Because You'll Never Meet Me. What's the start?
That’s such a big question! How can I answer that question? I was born on November 29th, 1989 in Tawas, Michigan –
Haha. No, no. I think I have a really hard time with questions like this – “What inspired you?” and “where did you get the idea?” – because for me, ideas come from a thousand places at once! So part of it was me, growing up alone in the woods. Part of it was me living abroad in Taipei for a year, far from my family. A lot of it was my love for misfit stories and science fiction. And the echolocation thing – I remember watching a youtube video, long ago, about people learning to echolocate. And that stuck, a bit. And I remember reading a little pieces online about people claiming to be allergic to their cellphones. And I did have a penpal, for a little while! And my family overseas in England sent me letters all the time! And!
And, and and!
I guess that ideas are never simple, but once you start writing, things sort themselves out. I hope that’s not too vague an answer! 
But mostly... I think we've all felt alone in a crowded room. This is a story about overcoming loneliness. Who hasn't been there? :P   



Listen To Because You'll Never Meet Me's Audiobook Clip


Released on June 2nd, 2015 by Audible Studios

28 May 2015

Review: Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas

Publication: June 2nd 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Format: ARC, Kindle Edition
Add this on: Goodreads
Rating:

Ollie and Moritz are best friends, but they can never meet. Ollie is allergic to electricity. Contact with it causes debilitating seizures. Moritz’s weak heart is kept pumping by an electronic pacemaker. If they ever did meet, Ollie would seize. But Moritz would die without his pacemaker. Both hermits from society, the boys develop a fierce bond through letters that become a lifeline during dark times—as Ollie loses his only friend, Liz, to the normalcy of high school and Moritz deals with a bully set on destroying him.

A story of impossible friendship and hope under strange circumstances, this debut is powerful, dark and humorous in equal measure. These extraordinary voices bring readers into the hearts and minds of two special boys who, like many teens, are just waiting for their moment to shine.

Leah Thomas will surely throw big hits on her debut Because You'll Never Meet Me - written flawlessly, and compelling and amusing. Moritz and Ollie's remarkable voices brought readers motivations based on ideas of right and wrong.

Note: This review might spoil you because of several quotes from the eARC.

Even if you are powerless, your words are not. — Leah Thomas, Because You'll Never Meet Me
Leah Thomas showed proof that even you're not physically normal, you can do anything. You just have to have the courage and trust in yourself - that you are capable just like a normal person. Ollie and Moritz exchanged encouragements on each other through their letters. The shift of their attitudes and self-esteem put a big mark on the book.

If I am less than human somehow, I don't expect humanity from others. — Leah Thomas, Because You'll Never Meet Me
Ouch. There are lots of circumstances from Moritz that's painful to read. But the twinge I felt from Mo sends more hope. I know then that whoever reads Because You'll Never Meet Me will surely feel the same way.

Your personality is as colorful as your vision. You should be grateful. — Leah Thomas, Because You'll Never Meet Me

What you look like isn't who you are. — Leah Thomas, Because You'll Never Meet Me
Individual's PERSONALITY refers to his appearance, characteristics, attitude, mindset and behavior with others. But in this story, crash out the appearance - it is wrong. Being YOU means everything. It's never on the appearance. It's how you groom your mindset.

And talk about 'discrimination'. Because You'll Never Meet Me depicts different teen experience - like bully and unfair treatment on a person. It sends us realization on how "unfair" a normal person to others who have physical abnormality. But who's normal nowadays? Everyone is in need of help. Because You'll Never Meet Me is the help for normal people - realization.

You're just too scared to trust me because you think if I ever met you I might shove you into a drinking fountain just like Lenz does. — Leah Thomas, Because You'll Never Meet Me
Trust is a very important part in friendship. There's no way you could explain how friendship would work between two persons without 'trust'. But where does friendship starts anyway? Hello, trust.

Sometimes friends in crappy situations can be unfriendly and crappy themselves. — Leah Thomas, Because You'll Never Meet Me
Ollie and Moritz didn't just had theirselves but they met others too - secondary characters. Leah Thomas wrote them as great supporting people on the two boys, making everything smooth according to their purpose.

People hurt each other all the time. Especially when they care for each other. — Leah Thomas, Because You'll Never Meet Me
Ollie is very different from Moritz. Their enthusiasm on their letters shifted extensively and in a good way. They both help each other on their ups and downs and on their deepest secrets.

Because You'll Never Meet Me is an openhearted and respectable read. I highly recommend it. I hope it would inspire everyone as it did to me. I am very grateful to writers like Leah Thomas who continues to motivate people.


Interested to read 'Because You'll Never Meet Me'?
Pre-Order at: Book Depository, Amazon, B&N
Source: Netgalley · I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content.

21 May 2015

Blitz + Author Interview: Gabriel by Nikki Kelly


Title: Gabriel
Author: Nikki Kelly
Series: The Styclar Saga #2 
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends 
Release Date: October 27th 2015
Pages: 352
The handsome Angel from Lailah gets center stage in this continuation of Wattpad sensation Nikki Kelly’s romantic and action-packed series about mortals, vampires, and angels.
Gabriel is an Angel Descendant. He's also an ally to a generation of vampires who want to break away from the demon who controls them. His faith in the power of good over evil wavers, however, when he discovers that Lailah, the woman he considers his only true love, may be both angel and demon. Is their love enough to overcome the dark forces who are ready to go to war with Gabriel, the vampire Jonah, and the angel and vampire forces? And can Gabriel compete with Jonah, who is also in love with Lailah?

Once again, Nikki Kelly looks deeply into the heart and soul of good and evil to create a romantic, action-packed reading adventure.

Interview:

Will we get a peek at Styclar Plena in the current action of the book or are we doomed to just hear about from Gabriel's memories only?
Lol doomed you say?! I can tell you exclusively, here in this interview, that in Book3 we get to go to to third dimension, and the first dimension (Styclar-Plena) in the current action of the book ;)

I need a sneak peak! What's going to happen with Jonah? *waves #TeamJonah flag*
...Now that would be telling ;) You can, however, get a sneak peek through the Gabriel cover reveal blog tour, where I shared 6 excerpts form Book2: http://www.thestyclarsaga.com/blog-tour/

Can you describe this second book in a tweet? (140 characters)
Just when you think you know... you have no idea ;) #TheStyclarSaga #GABRIEL #NoMercy

Best gif that describes Jonah and another for Gabriel?


How much of Jonah will we see in Gabriel?
Plenty, I promise! ;) The second book may be titled GABRIEL, but it is told from Lailah's POV. The reason the book is called GABRIEL is because there is a focus on what becomes of Gabriel's 'soul' if you will. Take my word for it though, Jonah gets plenty of 'screen time' ;)

If you were FORCED (hahahahha) to help Gabriel or Jonah train to be lifeguards, who would you choose?? Obviously they will only be wearing red speedos. ;)
Sadly, I wouldn't be able to help either train to be a lifeguard as my ability in water is non-existant... That said... *has idea!* I could quite easily throw myself in and begin to drown (because that would require no acting on my part what so ever) and then they would have to jump in and save me... In fact, I think that's exactly what we should do, that way we also get to see both of the boys in red speedos.. because #HellsYes !

In 10 words or less, what can we expect from Gabriel?
A definite need to *fist pump and plenty of *face palming!
(Okay, I know that was 11, but it was close!)

What's the ONE thing about the series that you'd like readers to know that they don't know already? : )
There are elements of my own life weaved through the story telling of the entire series. When I say I gave a part of myself to these novels, I wasn't joking!

What inspired you to mix vampires and angels together?
I wanted to tell a story about light and dark, good and evil if you will, and how things are never quite what they seem....To do this for the saga, I borrowed a little here and there from my own belief system, and I was able to create new worlds and beings, but utilize existing belief or myth on which to base them. For example, the two worlds the beings emerged from were based on the concept of Heaven and Hell. I then spun that into something else entirely. I took the myths about vampires and angels etc. and tried to demonstrate how, through storytelling and game of telephone, the idea of what they are has become quite different from the truth – the truth of course being the reality of things in my books! If you want to tell a story about light and dark, preconceived notions and perception, what two better candidates than Gabriel and Jonah, an Angel and a Vampire in which to explore those very themes!

What was the most challenging part of writing Gabriel?
Lailah picks her ship! That was not an easy thing to pen! **eep**

Lailah was such a successful start to this series, people seemed to really love it! Did that make you feel additional pressure to ensure the sequel was just as good?
When people express their love for your story it always adds to the pressure of making sure you get it right, not just for your characters, not just for you, but for the reader. But there will always be instances where the reader doesn't agree with something that happens as the journey progresses, for example which ship makes it out the port! ;) I always keep the readers in mind, but ultimately I have to be true and honest to the characters and their story, even if it means that sometimes people want to throw things at you! So yes, I guess the prospect of twitter bombs being slung my way adds to the pressure!

If you had a chance to re-live your life, what would you have done differently?
Not a single thing. Every shelf I ever stacked, every customer I ever served, every diary I ever organised... in fact, every minute of every day, all the laughs and all the tears led me tohere—and here is the most wonderful place. There is a very fine balance between having ambition and gumption to go out and make your dreams a reality, trying to find the 'good times' if you like, and being able to see and know exactly when you are in them! I'm in them now.

If a celebrity was going to play Gabriel, who would it be and why?
Alex Pettyfer for sure because he's a very talented English actor... yada, yada, yada... Okay people, lets keep it real #LeSwoon .. #NuffSaid

If you had to pick ONE song that either represents you or your books, what song would you pick? (You can totally pick one for you and one for your books if you want!)
For Styclar— Imagine Dragons:Demons For me—Boyzone:Words

Where did Gabriel and jonah come from? Any real life influences?
Gabriel and Jonah both possess qualities form my own bea :) He was a little more like Jonah when I met him (I was 16) and he's a little more like Gabriel now, but when I ask nicely he will still, from time to time, point his collar up ;)

ALSO, What do you love most about Jonah?
He's a bit rough around the edges, but give him a polish and he shines likes a diamond :)


And in case you haven't read Lailah yet. . . .

Title: Lailah
Author: Nikki Kelly
Series: The Styclar Saga #1
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.
On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.
In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?
Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.




NIKKI KELLY was born and raised only minutes away from the chocolately scent of Cadbury World in Birmingham, England. Lailah was first launched to Wattpad, an online readers and writers community. Within six months, the novel had over one million reads. Lailah is Nikki’s debut novel, and the first book in The Styclar Saga. She lives in London with her husband and their dogs, Alfie (a pug) and Goose (a Chihuahua).

LAILAH is my debut novel, and first launched in serial form to wattpad, a readers & writers community. Within just 6months, LAILAH had over a million reads and thousands of comments and votes.

Since then, The Styclar Saga has gone on to pick up a traditional deal with Feiwel & Friends, and LAILAH, the first book in the series is due for release on October 7th 2014.

These days I spend my time balancing my amazing job of writing fantasy fiction, with my other, very important role of Chocolate Connoisseur. I like to multitask and do the two together. It makes me happy.

19 May 2015

Conviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert


Publication: May 19th 2015 by Disney-Hyperion
Genre: Young Adult; Contemporary
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."
Ten years ago, God gave Braden a sign, a promise that his family wouldn’t fall apart the way he feared.
But Braden got it wrong: his older brother, Trey, has been estranged from the family for almost as long, and his father, the only parent Braden has ever known, has been accused of murder. The arrest of Braden’s father, a well-known Christian radio host, has sparked national media attention. His fate lies in his son’s hands; Braden is the key witness in the upcoming trial.
Braden has always measured himself through baseball. He is the star pitcher in his small town of Ornette, and his ninety-four-mile-per-hour pitch al- ready has minor league scouts buzzing in his junior year. Now the rules of the sport that has always been Braden’s saving grace are blurred in ways he never realized, and the prospect of playing against Alex Reyes, the nephew of the police officer his father is accused of killing, is haunting his every pitch.
Braden faces an impossible choice, one that will define him for the rest of his life, in this brutally honest debut novel about family, faith, and the ultimate test of conviction.
Ya'll should check out this book! It's good for all contemporary lovers. Read my interview of the author here and listen to the songs to hum with. Also add Conviction on Goodreads. Congratulations Miss Kelly! HAPPY RELEASE DAY!!



I’m a fiction writer who believes deeply in the power of stories to illuminate a shared humanity and give voice to complex, broken people. I am passionate about social justice, the San Francisco Giants, and organizing things by color. I studied writing at the University of California—San Diego and at San Francisco State, and enjoy serving on the NaNoWriMo Associate Board and leading creative writing workshops for teens. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area with my family in an apartment teeming with books. Add me on Goodreads: Kelly Gilbert / Follow me on Twitter: @KellyLoyGilbert
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