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Book Review: The Romantics by Leah Konen

29917071Book Title: The Romantics
Author: Leah Konen
Series: N/A (Standalone)
Publication Date: November 1st 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Gael Brennan is about to have his heart broken when his first big relationship crumbles on the heels of his parents’ painful separation. Love intervenes with the intention of setting things right—but she doesn’t anticipate the intrusion of her dreaded nemesis: the Rebound. Love’s plans for Gael are sidetracked by Cara, Gael’s hot-sauce-wielding “dream girl.” The more Love meddles, the further Gael drifts from the one girl who can help him mend his heart. Soon Love starts breaking all her own rules—and in order to set Gael’s fate back on course, she has to make some tough decisions about what it means to truly care.


I totally forgot to publish this blog post from last month, my bad. But I guess now is the perfect time to do it since the e-book version of The Romantics is on sale for $2.99 on Amazon! That’s a very good deal, if you ask me.

 

MY THOUGHTS

The Romantics was so much fun to read. This is not an ordinary contemporary romance book because the story here is narrated by Love himself? herself? itself. Love is humorous and likable, and transitions into different moods appropriate for the situation so I really got the feel for the story. Love also wants the reader to see the best in every character here no matter how douche-y they have acted. Honestly, I think Love being the narrator is the best thing about this one because, come to think of it, if this was narrated by one of the characters, this book may have been a cliche one. And I really doubt that I’ll have enjoyed that.

Another great thing about this book was Sammy; I just love her. She is such a genuine character and I adore her enthusiasm for both chick flick and horror movies because I am a fan of those myself. I’ve actually finally watched the movie, When Harry Met Sally because Sammy mentioned it, and I enjoyed that movie so much it landed on my favorites.

I also need to mention that I appreciated that the flow of events here weren’t perfect. I just love that in books. It adds more thrill to the story that I am just all for.

Overall, I found The Romantics very enjoyable. As a fan of the genre, I really recommend you check this one out especially since the e-book is super cheap right now.

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Book Review: The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian

24157347Book Title: The Last Boy and Girl in the World
Author: Siobhan Vivian
Series: N/A (Standalone)
Publication Date: April 26th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

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What if your town was sliding underwater and everyone was ordered to pack up and leave? How would you and your friends spend your last days together?

While the adults plan for the future, box up their possessions, and find new places to live, Keeley Hewitt and her friends decide to go out with a bang. There are parties in abandoned houses. Canoe races down Main Street. The goal is to make the most of every minute they still have together.

And for Keeley, that means taking one last shot at the boy she’s loved forever.

There’s a weird sort of bravery that comes from knowing there’s nothing left to lose. You might do things you normally wouldn’t. Or say things you shouldn’t. The reward almost always outweighs the risk.

Almost.

It’s the end of Aberdeen, but the beginning of Keeley’s first love story. It just might not turn out the way she thought. Because it’s not always clear what’s worth fighting for and what you should let become a memory.


MY THOUGHTS

I am disappointed by this book. Well, to be honest, it may be partly my fault because I’ve set considerably high expectations for this one due to rave reviews of the author’s Burn for Burn series. I tried to like The Last Boy and Girl in the World but it just really let me down.

Let me mention the things I liked first. For one, there’s the type of conversations that Keeley and Jesse have. Keeley has this huge crush on Jesse and when they started texting each other, they exchange funny photos and videos. I liked that because I personally know how fun that is as compared to idle small talk.

And speaking of Jesse, there was this one time that he was nervous and he started rambling a lot. Despite being a bit out of character, I really liked reading about a boy rambles when agitated. I feel like only girl characters do that in books.

Also, I loved the friendship of Mrs. Hewitt (Keeley’s mom) and Mrs. Dorsey (Keeley’s best friend’s mom). They appear so close despite each having a family of their own, and they always look out for each other in the book. Likewise, Mrs. Dorsey’s daughter, Morgan, is Keeley’s best friend and I loved her character as well.

On the other hand, there are quite a few things that I didn’t like. I really liked the premise of this book but as I read more and more, I find my interest waning.

I didn’t really like most of the characters. Even the main character, Keeley, was hard to bear. She is insensitive, selfish, self-centered and really mean, especially to Levi. Also, I don’t like how all she can think about is her crush while the whole town is basically in shock of their situation.

The romance in the end also feels very forced. I did, however, pushed through until the end because I wanted to see how things would turn out for their town, Aberdeen.

The overall plot was good but most of the characters irked me. Despite this though, I still look forward to reading the author’s other books.

All book cover photos and book info (such as summary, publication, etc.) are taken from Goodreads.

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Book Review: The Row by J.R. Johansson

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Book Title: The Row
Author: J.R. Johansson
Series: N/A (Standalone)
Publication Date: October 11th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Suspense, Thriller, Young Adult
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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A death sentence. A family torn apart. One girl’s hunt for the truth.

Seventeen-year-old Riley Beckett is no stranger to prison. Her father is a convicted serial killer on death row who has always maintained that he was falsely accused. Riley has never missed a single visit with her father. She wholeheartedly believes that he is innocent.

Then, a month before the execution date, Riley’s world is rocked when, in an attempt to help her move on, her father secretly confesses to her that he actually did carry out the murders. He takes it back almost immediately, but she cannot forget what he’s told her. Determined to uncover the truth for her own sake, she discovers something that will forever change everything she’s believed about the family she loves.


MY THOUGHTS

Goddamn! This book is amazing. From the moment I read the summary, I knew I would enjoy this but I didn’t expect that I would love this so much. I think I read this book in less than a day, and considering how slow of a reader I’ve become, that just shows how much I’ve enjoyed reading this one.
To start off with this review, let me just say that this is very well-written. The scenes, however intense, are really easy to follow. Also, the way how the author gives  information a bit at a time didn’t irritate me as I thought it would. It just made me want to devour the book more.
Riley’s character, the protagonist, is also very well-written. Her emotions practically seep through the pages which made me empathize for her, and the character development is really evident. The things she was going through were really hard and I think the author did a great job in making Riley’s response to the situation realistic. Also, I like how Riley took it upon herself to find the answers she needs and not try to change her dad’s case because, let’s face it, what difference can a 17 year old make as compared to professionals. Likewise, I also appreciate how the other characters gradually become more open in giving Riley answers instead of thinking of her as a six year-old kid.
Moving on to Jordan, that perfect human being. I love him so much. He is really caring, determined, honest and smart. He also let his emotions take control at times which just shows that he is human too, and I absolutely love him for that. I honestly think that this book could have done with more scenes of Jordan and Riley because the romance here wasn’t really emphasized much. But I also think that the romance was perfect just the way it is. I don’t really understand myself, to be honest.
And can I talk about Matthew for a bit? He is Jordan’s younger brother and he just makes me smile! Scenes with Matthew are just so refreshing from the heavy drama related to the main plot. I miss that little ball of sunshine already. Now I want a younger brother as much as ever!
On the other hand, the mystery aspect in this book is great. I had a few guesses every now and then but I did not anticipate how things would unfold. The ending is amazing and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I recommend this to lovers of contemporary thriller. I can’t wait to try Johansson’s other works!
All book cover photos and book info (such as summary, publication, etc.) are taken from Goodreads.
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Book Review: Summer Constellations by Alisha Sevigny

40014443Book Title: Summer Constellations
Author: Alisha Sevigny
Series: N/A (Standalone)
Publication Date: May 1st 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Julia Ducharme is ready for a fresh start. Her little brother has finally recovered from a serious illness, and now she just wants to enjoy peak season at the campground her family owns. Maybe this will be the year her annual summer fling with Dan Schaeffer becomes something more?

But her summer dreams are quickly shattered. First, Dan arrives for vacation with a new girlfriend in tow, and then Julia discovers this may be her last summer in the only home she’s ever known.

Crushing medical bills have brought her single mom to the brink of bankruptcy, and a wealthy developer is sniffing around the campground. He sees what Julia sees: lush woods, a pristine lake, miles of trails for adventure. Unlike Julia, he thinks this is the perfect spot for a casino resort.

Heartbroken and afraid, Julia looks to the stars for some perspective. Taking her telescope down to the dock one night, she has a chance encounter with a guitar-playing boy who offers some helpful advice. Too bad this handsome stranger is the developer’s son, Nick Constantine.

As plans for a resort move forward, Julia is desperate to find a solution that doesn’t mean leaving the lake. Nick, in turn, is desperate to separate himself from his father’s aggressive business tactics. He promises that, together, they can thwart the sale.

But can Julia trust him to conspire against his own father? And could she ever she trust him with her heart?

SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS is a story of lost summers, hidden treasure and love written in the stars. It is also a thoughtful reflection on what it means to love — and leave — one’s childhood home.


I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review.

MY THOUGHTS

When I first saw this on Netgalley, I just knew that I had to request this. The book summary sounded great, and not to mention the gorgeous cover! I knew that I would like this, but I didn’t expect to love Summer Constellations.

To start off, Julia Ducharme is such an interesting character which I connected to instantly. Julia is witty, sweet, passionate, and I think her love for astronomy kinda rubbed off on me; I learned several cool facts! Aside from that, Julia wants to save their campground not only because it’s the only home she and her family grew up in, but she also wants to preserve the beautiful nature from being turned into a casino.

Nick Constantine, on the other hand, is the epitome of perfection. He is just so charming, gentle, and the best boyfriend anyone can ever ask for. He just knows what to say all the time, and he jumped in front of a freaking skunk for Julia and her little brother! Other than that, I love how Nick and Julia’s conversations are mostly about stuff that matter. Not just banter and small talk.

And don’t forget Caleb, Julia’s little brother. Oh, how I love that nine-year-old kid. He didn’t let his condition hinder him from helping out to save the campground. His passion and bravery is just so amazing to read about.

Furthermore, I love how the book mainly focuses on the relationship between Julia and her family, and Julia and Nick; the fact that Julia’s best friend, Paige, went to Osaka in the first chapter of the book contributed to that hence she wasn’t present in most of the book. I would have like a little bit more depth to Julia and Paige’s friendship, though.

From the way it was described, I think that the campground is breathtaking and the author did a great job in painting a picture of it in the readers’ mind. I actually have the urge to go to a campground as well for the summer.

I definitely recommend this book, especially for fans of contemporary books. This a short but sweet, humorous book perfect for the summer! I will surely be on the look-out for more of Sevigny’s works.

All book cover photos and book info (such as summary, publication, etc.) are taken from Goodreads.

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Book Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

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Book Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #3
Publication Date: August 14th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Age Range: 14+ years old
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.


MY THOUGHTS

I started reading this because it has been sitting on my shelf for so long, just waiting to be picked up. When I was about done though, a personal problem came up and then I was desperate. Desperate to escape the cruel reality, that is. Something horrible has happened and I don’t know how to make things easier for me and my family, so I decided to escape from my problems again. I couldn’t think of any other thing more perfect than reading. Despite the chaos going on outside the four walls of my bedroom, I read. And read, and read. I got lost in Isla’s world and before I knew it, I  forgot my problems and was closing the book, bawling my eyes out.

First of all, let me just say that  you don’t effing know how much I missed Anna and St. Clair… And Meredith, and Josh, and Lola and Cricket, and all the banter too. *stares guiltily at the floor* Okay, you caught me. A small part of me only wanted to read this one in hopes of getting a glimpse of Anna and St. Clair again.

This book just made me so nostalgic of Anna and the French Kiss, and you know how much I love that, you probably don’t but whateverI really love the setting, School of America in Paris (SOAP) because I kind of got this cozy and homely feel to it because of AatFK. And I really grew attached to that setting from the first book so it was so nice to have read another story that takes place there.

Now enough with Anna and the French Kiss. Although Isla and Josh technically already have had feelings for each other before this book started, I can’t shake the feeling of insta-love I’m getting.

You know how with some books you feel like the story unfolds right in front of you? Well, it technically does with all books because you’re reading the book in front of you, but I hope you get my point. But there’s those ones that just grab you out of reality and plunges you in its world; this is one of those books.

In terms of the female main characters of this series, I didn’t really feel attached to Lola and Isla compared to how I felt for Anna. About Lola, you can about read that on my review here. But let’s talk about Isla. When the book began, I was immediately starting to warm up to her. She’s just like me. Just minus the really high grades and the charisma, I can really see the few similarities with our personalities. But as the story goes on and as her relationship with Josh was tested, I was kind of unreasonably irked. Unreasonable because I still got annoyed with her although I know that it was the jealousy and insecurity fueling her insensitive words and actions. But as the development of her character goes on, my unease started to fade.

Josh is my absolute favorite character in this story. He is just one of the best boyfriends anyone can ever ask for. He is so considerate. Even though he often breaks rules, he becomes hesitant to do things that might endanger Isla’s record and reputation. He is such an understanding guy, I bet his patience is longer than the River Nile. Seriously. Despite all the hurtful things everyone tells him, he still doesn’t lose his shit. Plus he can freaking draw! He has unrealistic skills.

I would’ve loved to get to know Kurt a bit more. He’s just such a sweet guy and he seems like the ideal (boy) best friend for me. I was so sad when he got mentioned less and less when Isla and Josh started dating.

And Hattie, I just have to mention Hattie. She is Isla’s youngest sister and despite all her bitchiness, she isn’t as bad as she seem to be. And holy shit. This book might have just solved one of the things that I’m too stupid to realize: why my youngest sister always does stuff to get under my skin.

At first I thought that the majority—if not the entirety — of this story would focus on Isla’s relationship with Josh, so I was pleasantly surprised to find out that there was a bit of development in the family aspect as well.

And finally, the ending is so perfect. I won’t go on about it because of duh! spoilers.

I recommend this book to lovers of contemporary. Although I gave this one a perfect rating, it still isn’t gonna land on my favorites shelf simply because I didn’t like it enough for it to be put there. I don’t mean to be harsh as this book really is great, but that’s just how I feel about it.

All book cover photos and book info (such as summary, publication, etc.) are taken from Goodreads.


P.S. Hello friends, I’m back. Finally, I will admit defeat to myself since I’ve realized that it is impossible for me to keep this blog going all-year round. School is just so hectic as most of you probably know, but I just really love blogging so I can’t abandon this. Therefore, I made a compromise with myself that I would just keep on blogging every summer vacation then take a break whenever school starts again. And, oh, in case some of you were wondering this review was written almost a year ago, and it has been sitting in my drafts, waiting to be uploaded. I haven’t read any books this summer yet but I’m looking forward to reading tons. Thank you and have a great day!