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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!

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Book Review: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

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Book Title: Rebel Belle
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Series: Rebel Belle #1
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication Date: April 8th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Romance, YA
Age Range: 12-17 years old
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts.

Just when life can’t get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him–and discovers that David’s own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

With snappy banter, cotillion dresses, non-stop action and a touch of magic, this new young adult series from bestseller Rachel Hawkins is going to make y’all beg for more.


MY THOUGHTS

I was a bit hesitant to pick this up when I did because I wasn’t really in the mood for being bombarded with new terms and whatever as I’m entering a new world reading a new series. But the cover made me think: Surely it would be a pleasant and light because look at that cover! And I was right, it is a humorous and fun read. I wasn’t aware that I was laughing so much until my sister told me to stop being an idiot.

I was surprised when I found myself liking the main character, Harper Price. I never thought I would admire a character who loves prom and frets about lip gloss. I mean, our personalities just seem a bit different from each other. But then again, she is really hilarious and bad-ass in her own way. I guess her wit and charisma won me over.

Let me just say this: How David Stark calls Harper “Pres” just brings back memories for me. Okay, story time! When I was in 7th grade, I had a crush on our class president. I call him “Pres” and it kinda became our thing. *sigh* Good times. But you don’t care about that, do you? Moving on…

The love element in this is totally what I’m looking for in the romance genre, not too rushed but not too slow. It’s not insta-love, but it’s not where-is-the-fucking-romance either. Also, it’s more on the subtle side, like it didn’t majorly affect the whole plot. Their relationship gave me butterflies in my stomach; they’re just so cute!

The ending was really unpredictable, I feel like. I laughed so much for some reason, one being I was certainly caught off guard. I don’t know, something about it just seems so damn amusing to me.

I would’ve liked a bit more action, if you ask me, but it was still a great story. This book is like an introduction to this new world that Harper’s been thrown into, so I’ll let the lack of action slide.

Although I tried not to (because I kept hearing people say that they didn’t really like the sequel), I have quite high expectations for the next books. I just really hope that my expectations won’t come biting me in the ass in the future.

Would I recommend it?

Yes, yes, yes, yes. Personally, I would buy it for the cover alone but the story and the characters are truly amazing. I suggest you try this out if you haven’t yet and if you have, go read it again!

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

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Book Review: Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

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Book Title: Twenty Boy Summer
Author: Sarah Ockler
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: June 1st 2009
Genres: Contemporary, Chick Lit, Realistic Fiction, Romance, YA
Age Range: 14-17 years old
My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

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“Don’t worry, Anna. I’ll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it.”
“Okay.”
“Promise me? Promise you won’t say anything?”
“Don’t worry.” I laughed. “It’s our secret, right?”

According to her best friend Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy ever day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie—she’s already had that kind of romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

Beautifully written and emotionally honest, this is a debut novel that explores what it truly means to love someone and what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every single moment this world has to offer.


MY THOUGHTS

I was really disappointed by this one.

I thought I was going to like it. I mean, look at that cover, and then read the summary, and then go through all its great ratings on Goodreads. It’s impossible to keep my hopes down.

Let me start by saying that the title is very misleading. Twenty Boy Summer? More like Not-Even-Half-Of-That Summer. (Lame, I know.)

I am a very character-centered reader. I don’t usually care if the plot isn’t amazing—with the exception of, you know, cut-my-eyes-off bad. I believe that the character/s of the book adds a lot more to the experience of a reader. That being said, I felt nothing for the characters in Twenty Boy Smumer. By “characters,” I mean Anna and Frankie. Maybe it’s because I didn’t get to know them as much as I would’ve like. Or maybe I don’t freaking see why they would be best friends in the first place! The only person I liked was Matt… but he dies! Ugh.

I know I said I felt nothing for the two main characters, but scratch that. I felt something for Frankie: pure hatred. Frankie is just as selfish and self-absorbed as I thought she would be. I get it, she’s grieving because her brother died. But for goodness’ sake, Anna loved Matt too—as a brother, best friend and a lover. Frankie keeps on acting like she’s the only person affected, and she doesn’t know how to consider other feelings but her own! I want to kick Anna for putting up with Frankie’s shit.

There was a lot of breaking the rules throughout their duration in Zanzibar Bay, and like the goody two shoes I am, I was really nervous with all of the duo’s rendezvous with the two hotties they meet on their summer holiday. But that’s not even the worse part, it is the fact that Anna and Frankie weren’t even caught and/or punished for sneaking out.

One of the aforementioned hotties is Anna’s “summer romance”, I guess you can say. But I can’t feel the romance. I literally cringe at some point.

I originally wanted to rate this a 1 out of 5, but decided against it. The only thing that earned the extra star was the first few chapters when Matt was still alive. I genuinely thought it would turn out as a great contemporary read, but it was a let down.

Would I recommend it?

Not really. It had potential in the first few chapters but I was unhappy on how it turns out. If you really think you like the plot, I suggest borrowing from a friend or your local library if they have it because I don’t think it’s worth the ten bucks.

All book cover photos and summaries are taken from Goodreads.

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Tag: Burn, Rewrite, Reread Tag

Burn - Rewrite - Reread

Welcome to the first ever book tag I’m posting on this blog! Although admittedly, not the first one I’ve done as I sometimes answer book tags in my spare time. They’re just so fun, I wonder why it took me this long to post one. Anyway, no one actually tagged me to do this one, I just saw Melia’s post at The Immortal Readers (do yourself a favor and check it out) and thought I’d do it to.

  • Randomly choose 3 books. (You can use the “random” option on your Goodreads read shelf but I didn’t do that, I let my sister pick randomly instead.)
  • For each group, decide which book to burn, which one to rewrite, and which to reread. (Who in their right minds would let me rewrite these books?! But let’s just pretend I’m an amazing writer for the sake of the tag.)
  • Repeat until you completed three rounds. (I’m gonna do five just because I can, plus it’s really fun.)

No books were harmed in the making of this blog post.


ROUND 1

Ooh, this one’s quite easy!

BURN: My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga – I pick this one for “burn” simply because I got bored halfway through the book. The 45%-ish of the book is interesting but after that, my attention was completely gone. I was so disappointed.
REWRITE: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – As I said earlier, I am by no means a decent writer, much less an amazing one who would rewrite a Rainbow Rowell book. So let’s just pretend, folks. I enjoyed this book so much, but I would like to give it a bit more plot.
REREAD: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – I actually reread this book quite a lot. This is by far my favorite book in the contemporary romance genre. Every time I read this, I instantly brighten up a lot more. This is my go-to book whenever I’m stressed, in a bad mood or just wants to feel loved (even though it’s not directed at me, if that makes sense). I highly recommend this one.

ROUND 2

BURN: Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler – This I would burn because I’ve encountered multiple problems while reading this. I gave this a rating of 2/5 stars because I only enjoyed the parts wherein Matt was still alive (I promise that’s not a spoiler).
REWRITE: Because I Love You by Tori Rigby – Although I absolutely loved this one, I’ll have to “rewrite” this to lessen the problems that Andrea Hamilton is juggling. As much as I believe that she’s strong enough to handle the dilemmas thrown at her, I’ll feel more comfortable about myself if I do poor Andie a favor.
REREAD: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – This is a favorite of mine. I’ve read this fairly recently but I’ll be no doubt rereading this multiple times in the future. This is such a lovely story and such lovely characters and such lovely writing. If you haven’t yet, I recommend reading this one because this is one of those books that speak to you (well, at least to me it did).

ROUND 3

I think my sister purposely chose these books she knew I love to see me suffer.

BURN: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West – I’m so sorry for this. I seriously never would have thought that I’d put this book in the “burn” category. I love this book to pieces! Caymen! Alexander! NOOOOOO! Okay, I may be getting carried away, but I really do adore this book. The only reason why I’d put this as burn is because I know that I’m not gonna be actually burning it I’d be reading more books by Kasie West. And I’ll buy another copy!
REWRITE: Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins  I really want this to be rewritten purely because I wanted more action for bad-ass Harper Price.
REREAD: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken1000000% reread. If that’s not enough zeroes for you to think that this is one, if not the only one, of my favorite dystopian series of all time, here’s some more: 100000000000000000000000%. I can’t express enough how much I love The Darkest Minds trilogy. Maybe I can, but that would take ages so you would have to do with those digits I left you.

ROUND 4

BURN: Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik  I gave this 4/5 stars—I can’t remember why because I currently think this deserves only 3 or, 3.5 tops. But I would burn this instead of rewrite it (I don’t want to!) because I see more potential in the other one. Read below.
REWRITE: Reboot by Amy Tintera – This I would rewrite because, as I said, I see potential. I only gave this a 2 out of 5 because I couldn’t bring myself to care for the most part. The first part of the book really got me going, but it fell through for me starting from the middle-ish part.
REREAD: Untethered by Katie Hayoz – This one, although I would’ve like several aspects to be altered, I would still gladly reread this.

 

ROUND 5

BURN: Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson  When I saw that this book is included in the group that was randomly picked, I knew right away that I had to burn it (not literally). The book was just too problematic for me. I didn’t like the main character, not one bit. And that’s one of my bookish pet peeves, not liking the main character/the person narrating.
REWRITE: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey – I actually really liked this book but I’d like to rewrite it for a couple of reasons. First is to fucking put a reminder of some sort of whose POV I’m reading because I got so confused. And the other is to discard of the cringey romance.
REREAD: Now May You Weep by Deborah Crombie – Another 5 star read for me. I am a huge mystery/crime novel fan. This book really thrilled me, although there were some parts wherein all they talk about is whiskey which I’m not a fan of, but I don’t see that as a problem of the book. Basically, this is just really great. And it takes place in Scotland’s Highlands!


So there we go. This was so much fun to do. Thanks again to Melia @ The Immortal Readers for introducing me to this tag. Do you agree with my choices? Why or why not? Let’s talk, leave a comment below! 😀

Book cover photos are taken from Goodreads.