PH Blog Tour: Down and Across {Review + Giveaway}

Before Reading:

As soon as it was announced, Down and Across easily became one of my most anticipated reads for 2018. I had a lot of rare moments regarding this book, especially since it is that ONE BOOK where I actually read the summary at the back. Then I cried, because ninjas began cutting onions. Kidding aside, I cried because at that very moment (believe me, I had the chills) I was feeling the exact same thing. EVERY STANZA OF THE SUMMARY hitting me like a pile of bricks. Just change ‘college applications’ to ‘company’ and we’re good to go. Actually, the comparison doesn’t stop there. Soon you’ll see that Scott’s story actually parallels many of our teenage dilemmas.

So when JM from Book Freak Revelations asked me if I wanted to join the tour for this book, I SAID YES immediately. No questions asked. I was too psyched to read it and I practically flailed because “HELLO I AM JUST ABOUT TO READ ONE OF MY MOST ANTICIPATED READ FOR 2018 EARLY. HOW LUCKY CAN I GET?” Forgive my random fangirling. Let’s get to it, shall we?

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35134061Title: Down and Across

Author: Arvin Ahmadi

Genre: Contemporary, Fiction

Age Bracket: Young Adult

Date Published: 6th of February 2018

Series: None

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Buy it on: National Bookstore | AmazonBook Depository

Summary:

Scott Ferdowsi has a track record of quitting. Writing the Great American Novel? Three chapters. His summer internship? One week. His best friends know exactly what they want to do with the rest of their lives, but Scott can hardly commit to a breakfast cereal, let alone a passion.

With college applications looming, Scott’s parents pressure him to get serious and settle on a career path like engineering or medicine. Desperate for help, he sneaks off to Washington, DC, to seek guidance from a famous professor who specializes in grit, the psychology of success.

He never expects an adventure to unfold out of what was supposed to be a one-day visit. But that’s what Scott gets when he meets Fiora Buchanan, a ballsy college student whose life ambition is to write crossword puzzles. When the bicycle she lends him gets Scott into a high-speed chase, he knows he’s in for the ride of his life. Soon, Scott finds himself sneaking into bars, attempting to pick up girls at the National Zoo, and even giving the crossword thing a try–all while opening his eyes to fundamental truths about who he is and who he wants to be.

After Reading:

Fangirl council: Raise your hand if you have been totally smitten by Scott “Saaket” Ferdowsi.

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You see, Down and Across is a wonderful gem. You read and in one way or another, you see yourself. After reading the story, I was keeping myself from screaming at the author himself. I seriously couldn’t contain myself because:

  1. I was contemplating if a flight to America is possible, just so I could personally hug Arvin Ahmadi for all the feels.
  2. Is Scott Ferdowsi real and if so, is he reachable by any means?
  3. This book is scarily accurate with all the feelings I thought I was messed up to think about.

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If I have to describe this book with using only one word, it would have to be: GRITTY. Scott made a decision that would make an impact on his life forever, by taking a risk and going to Washington, DC. He wants to find something he wants to be gritty about, and his adventures took it to another level. Now before you expect something, honestly it’s not grand if you think about it but it is one of a kind. There’s just thrill in the unknown because it works in mysterious ways. Down and Across knows what it wants to be, and it easily became a book solely about a boy who wants something to be passionate about in his life. As we go along through his journey, his thoughts were still profound and fascinating. The ‘puzzled’ teen that he is (yes, I know! Pun score!), he makes the absolute sense. And even with the array of characters, the focus remains on Scott, and how his character grows as a person through every unknown thrown at him. Fiora, who is unpredictable and witty. Dr. Cecilly Mallard, who piques Scott’s interest with grit. Trent, Fiora’s best friend and best guy in the whole world. And many more who are equally hilarious and horrible at the same time. *winks*

A runner-up word would have to be: RELATABLE. It was easy to relate to Scott on so many levels. Case in point: Parents who want the best for you but are very strict on what “the best” is? Check. Friends who know what they want to be? Check. Feeling like you’re not good, the best, because you’re not even sure if you want to do it all? CHECK. See my point? His journey alone remind us how we strive to find what to be gritty about. Why you even try and find yourself in the process. There’s this tiny bit of each and everyone in Scott. He just gets you and he will get you. This is the reason why you would want to tag along with him (and maybe in the process will make you think as well).

Last word to describe it would have to be: IMPORTANT. Arvin Ahmadi has truly delivered a must-read for young adults and basically anyone was has felt lost and out of the zone. A heart-gripping, truly fascinating, and unforgivably gritty coming-of-age story awaits you. I cannot state enough that this book has captured my heart with its honest writing and amazing male lead. I can already imagine myself fangirling over his next book. 5_1.jpg

(Know more about my rating system here.)

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Arvin Ahmadi grew up outside Washington, DC. He graduated from Columbia
University and has worked in the tech industry. When he’s not reading or writing
books, he can be found watching late-night talk show interviews and editing
Wikipedia pages. Down and Across is his first novel.

Connect with Arvin!

Website || Twitter || Instagram || Goodreads

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Up for grabs! An ARC of Down and Across, and it’s open internationally!

Again, huge thanks to JM from Book Freak Revelations for giving me the chance to review this oh-so lovely book. Hugs and fist pumps to Penguin Random House for providing copies for the tour. You guys are the absolute best.

What contemporary novel inspired you to be gritty?

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PH Blog Tour: It Only Happens In The Movies (Review, Playlist + Giveaway)

Before Reading:

This was me when I saw this book randomly popping out of timeline on Twitter. “A Holly Bourne book? WHERE? DUDE, GIVE ME THE BOOK ALREADY! WHAT DO I DO TO GET IT?” A mistake that my past self has made is to not prioritize Holly’s book. When she released her Normal series, there was probably something wrong with me. But when this one came out, there was a rush to it. You know, like that bit from It where Georgie hesitates first but then grabs the freakin boat anyway?

There was a bit of a drought between reading It Only Happens In The Movies and The Manifesto On How to Be Interesting, the latter I read back in 2015. Got sidetracked in 2016, because there was this monster in my head that felt that I was getting too old to relate to Holly’s books. Well, ladies and gents, that is all about to change. In a good world, romance is like the movies. *snorts* HAHAHAHA SURE. Whatever you say, buddy. Like that’s true. Like I can read 3 books a day. Sure.

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OnlyInTheMovies CoverTitle: It Only Happens In The Movies

Author: Holly Bourne

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Date Published: 1st of October 2017

Series: None

Publisher: Usborne Publishing

Buy it on: AmazonKobo | iBooks | Book Depository | Waterstones

Summary:

Audrey is over romance. Since her parents’ relationship imploded her mother’s been catatonic, so she takes a cinema job to get out of the house. But there she meets wannabe film-maker Harry. Nobody expects Audrey and Harry to fall in love as hard and fast as they do. But that doesn’t mean things are easy. Because real love isn’t like the movies…

The greatest love story ever told doesn’t feature kissing in the snow or racing to airports. It features pain and confusion and hope and wonder and a ban on cheesy clichés. Oh, and zombies… YA star Holly Bourne tackles real love in this hugely funny and poignant novel.

After Reading:

HOLD MY BEER. THIS BOOK IS LEGIT. Holly, I don’t know if you read reviews but just so you know, I love you. You broke my heart but thank you. I needed this book because it matched what I felt. Not physically, but emotionally. I may not be good at acting, involved with the drama club, or already had a love life for that matter. But Audrey speaks to my bitter soul. Girl has spunk, and she imperfectly gets me. Brb, crying like an idiot for a book that spoke to my soul.

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Great. Now I have to use coherent sentences. I will do my best. Wish me luck.

So dear reader, do you know what only happens in the movies? Actually, if I really think about it hard enough, it also happens in those super cheesy romance novels. I know you’re thinking of an example right now, and don’t worry because I am not judging you. I have my fair share of those. But back to the main point. The only thing that happens in the movies is the exaggeration of action, emotion, and impact to make it look human, when it’s actually not. So where does this book fit in the context, then? And where the heck am I going with this?

In hindsight, those qualities are also contained within the pages of It Only Happens In The Movies. You might be thinking that this will be your typical contemporary romance read. In a way, because it does give you the feels. But at the same time, it hits you right in the face with the reality. That is the reason why I love this book. It is blunt, it describes the proper emotions in the right tone, and I grew to love it as the story progressed. It suddenly clings to you, like an accidental perfume spray. (I don’t know why I went with this comparison but I hope it made sense.) And you get why things are like this and that, similar to romance movies and dramas where you just love the direction it went into. Add in a writing style that figuratively glues your eyes on each and every page, and you got yourself in for a ride. But is it the same thing as your regular contemporary romance? Of course not. And if you’re a film buff like me, all of the movie references can make you die and fly to geek heaven. A joke, but still, it’s just a delight.

It’s the same for Audrey, our main character. In every flip of the page, she grows and grows comfortable in her own train of thought. *For one, I didn’t hate Audrey when the book started and that already guarantees A++ points. She blossoms (literally) into a character that one can learn from. Personally speaking, I love how her character was handled. There were a lot of moments where I just want to scream “Girl, how am I relating to you so much? You get me! I wish you were real!” She’s imperfect. She makes the tough decisions. She loves, but she realizes what’s important. She challenged the norm of misogynistic standpoints. And she also has a thing for the media. I honestly was not expecting to find myself in the story, but I did. Honestly, you go, girl. Just… high praise for you and what you believe in. Make your voice loud because you deserve to be heard. PREACH TO THE HIGH HEAVENS.

*Bianca’s note: I have a history with reading dialogue lead by a female MC that makes me want to rip their heads off. I am only taking precautions. If I like how they talk, then I know it’s good. Sorry not sorry, but it’s true in some cases. Like I know, yeah you go girl. But sometimes, “No girl. You don’t go. Sit down because you need be lectured.” Carry on, child.

I love that the focus was on Audrey and Audrey alone, but it dabbled with situations that need to be challenged, such as consent, and literally everything that the movies have sugarcoated for us. Why can’t guys just love girls for what they are? Not the “you’re not like other girls” crap. And when picking top kisses, why are there no LGBTQIA+ kisses besides Brokeback Mountain? Plus, do why does the movie end after the kissy stuff?

So to sum it all up: Yes, I love this book. Yes, you should read it as well. Yes, of course I recommend it. It is a must-read, and the contemporary rage on this one is off the flipping charts. Just pick it up and thank me later. Oh, and Holly Bourne too because she is just the best. She also deserves a “You go, girl!” shout out more than anyone else for conjuring books that speak loud and clear, powerful to bend the constructed wall of ridiculousness that is sexism.

Oh, and zombies…

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(Know more about my rating system here.)

Surprise! I made a playlist in the spur of the moment. These songs honestly just remind me of Audrey. I hope you guys like it. It only has 10 tracks at the moment, so feel free to add more empowering songs that remind you of It Only Happens In The Movies.

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Holly Bourne

Holly Bourne writes YA novels and blogs about feminist issues. Her favourite things to complain loudly about are: the stigma of mental health, women’s rights, and the under-appreciation of Keanu Reeves’ acting ability.

Holly’s first two books, Soulmates and The Manifesto on How to be Interesting, have been critically acclaimed and translated into six languages. The first book in the ‘Normal’ series, Am I Normal Yet?, has been chosen as a World Book Night book for 2016 and has inspired the formation of Spinster Clubs around the country.

Before becoming a full-time author, Holly was editor and relationship advisor for a charity website.

Connect with Holly!

Blog | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads

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Up for grabs! Win a copy of It Only Happens In The Movies + Holly Bourne badges. PH only giveway though so sorry international peeps.

Huge thanks to Erika from The Nocturnal Fey for letting me join this tour and for Usborne Publishing in sponsoring the tour.

My review is an honest opinion, and I reviewed this book wholeheartedly and unbiased.

Question Time: What other books by Holly Bourne have you read? What books that tackle cinematic tropes have you read? Does your love story resemble a movie? Pray, do tell. 

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PH Blog Tour: History Is All You Left Me

Before Reading:

Yes, I am aware that this book will definitely make me cry. Yes, I am aware of the consequences that I will have to face once I start reading. I had a soft spot for Adam Silvera ever since I read More Happy Than Not. Now when it comes to things I cannot turn down, it can be books by authors I love very much, or any fandom stuff in between.

I was genuinely surprised because it was intertwined somehow. Alright, my eyes are ready. I have a bucket, just in case I need more reassurance that I will cry while I read this book. Adam, I give you the permission to tear out my heart again.

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25014114Title & Author: History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Genre:  Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT

Year Published: 17th of January 2017

Series: None

Pages: 320

Publisher: Soho Teen

Source: Hardback, provided for the tour

Rating:  4.5/5 stars

Buy it on: TBD || Amazon

Summary:

When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

After Reading:

Some memories have resurfaced, and some tears were shed. I love Griffin, and I love Theo as well. But my heart breaks as I continue to remember them. I swear, Adam Silvera must live off from his reader’s tears. Semi-kidding. Alright, let’s get to the review.

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A reader’s mind can conjure a lot of thoughts while reading a certain book. Meanwhile, an author has that power over the reader that can be effectively played out if you add the right tone to it. History Is All You Left Me has the capability to make a reader feel the highest and lowest emotions that can be felt, and there is no in between.

We have history, where we join Griffin as we go through a journey of being true and accepting who he is. We also get a glimpse of what Theo was like, making it somewhat difficult to transition to today. Because like Griffin, Theo is the kind of character that you can easily get attached to. But it’s like a spike in the heart to remember that he has already past in the beginning of the novel. History manages to capture the essence of young love, same-sex relationship, and accepting oneself (re: OCD). How Adam Silvera managed to capture all of that while talking about zombie pirates and alternative universe theories, I will never know how.

But we also have today, in which we join two significant others that left a mark in Theo’s life, one way or another. Dealing with grief and loss is not easy to do, and coping up with it is certainly tough. That is why we also get to see another side of the characters that we did not get to see in history. Today matters because it gives a new light to the brutally honest truth on what everyone has to face in the aftermath. Adam writes with the truth; the beautiful yet heartbreaking truth.

History Is All You Left Me is practically an invisible roller coaster. You cannot see it, but you don’t exactly know that you are on it. You ride it once you start reading, and you will get all of these honest human emotions reflected on every single page. The ride is enjoyable, but it is one that you won’t forget because it has that huge of an impact. If you want to read a book that is beautiful, wonderfully crafted, and a true expression of #ownvoices, then this one’s for you.

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(Know more about my rating system here.)

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Connect with Adam!

Twitter || His official site || Goodreads || Youtube

Adam Silvera was born and raised in the Bronx. He has worked in the publishing industry as a children’s bookseller, marketing assistant at a literary development company, and book reviewer of children’s and young adult novels. His debut novel, More Happy Than Not, received multiple starred reviews and is a New York Times bestseller, and Adam was selected as a Publishers Weekly Flying Start. He writes full-time in New York City and is tall for no reason.


Alright, I think that was enough tears in one review. Huge thanks to Nicka at Read by Nicka for letting me be a part of this tour. It has been wonderful. ❤

So, have you read History Is All You Left Me? If so, share your feels with me! If you haven’t read it yet, why not? You should soon! Or if you have not yet read a book by Adam Silvera, what exactly are you waiting for? GO PICK UP ONE OF HIS BOOKS BEFORE THE OTHER ONE COMES OUT. You will not regret it, I swear. Now we go big tonight, okay?

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The Sun Is Also A Star, and it shines so bright: A Review

Before Reading:

Okay. I am freaking out. Penguin Random House actually granted my request to read this much loved book. Can I get a holla? Well, to be honest, I am a bit skeptical about this book because I have not read anything by Nicola Yoon before. I don’t know if she and I will connect, but this story has touched so many lives and people raved about it. How good is this book? Honestly, I will probably go into this blindly. I stopped reading the blurb when I saw that it will have a guy’s perspective. Ah, some things never change. Alright, let’s get to it!

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28763485Title & Author: The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

Genre:  Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Year Published: 1st of November 2016

Series: None

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Source: eARC, provided by Netgalley

Buy it on: Amazon | TBD | National Bookstore | Fully Booked

Summary: Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

After Reading:

Oh my dear sweet lord that was so beautiful! This book is everything that I wanted in life and more! I have never read a book that tackled my philosophy in life. In this case, it goes like this: everything we do is interconnected.

All our actions have effect on every person that we interact with. Some are small, some are big. But it creates an impact either way.

I have been living with that mantra since my second year of high school. And I know it’s true, but I never thought that it could be beautifully manifested through a book. And then came The Sun Is Also A Star, and suddenly my dreams came true.

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The Sun Is Also A Star is a magnificently-written book. All of the feelings that can be felt while reading this book is too hard to be put into words. But I will try, even if it will probably be the equivalent of the incoherent noises composed of fangirl screams in real life.

In my case, a story about instalove can either be a hit or miss for me. A story with multiple perspectives often enchants me, and a story with mixed point of views is already a winner. The Sun Is Also A Star nailed all of those aspects and it hit the bullseye. Natasha and Daniel’s love story caught me just after they met. There was an immediate click. These two characters are meant to be together because all of the chain reactions that happened to them that day. They were meant to meet and fall in love that day, despite of all the prejudices breathing down their necks. Call me a hopeless romantic, but I do believe that this story is an example of one of the extraordinary cases where you just know that it’s young love, but also something more. Though a stretch from reality, the love that can be felt in this book is genuine.

Now if it has an overpowering instalove, what makes it so unique? Basically every other element in this book. The trouble with being deported, the prejudices of being pressured by an older generation, the aftermath of every single action has it’s equal opposite reaction. I am not about to go all science-y here, but that is just a fact. In those other perspectives, with something brief about how everyone has something to do with anything shows us a glimpse on how faith probably works. The inclusion of other people in the narrative makes the story more wholesome and compact, solidifying a solid standpoint on where the book wants to place itself. Now it is obvious on where The Sun Is Also A Star stands: on a pedestal, where a person can choose to read it and love it, or stand by and let them be overpowered by the tropes. Either way, it makes a reader feel something. And that will have an effect on another person. See how the ripple continues on the loop. 🙂

In summary, I loved this book. It is one of the best books that I have read in 2016, and it will definitely stand the test of time and I will probably put it on my best of the best shelf.

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(Know more about my rating system here.)

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Nicola Yoon grew up in Jamaica (the island) and Brooklyn (part of Long Island). She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and daughter, both of whom she loves beyond all reason. Everything, Everything is her first novel.


I think it is safe to say that I have jumped aboard the Nicola Yoon hype train. Believe me, once I get my hands on her other book Everything,  Everything… It will be devoured like hot fudge on a cold winter night. I just like fluffy things, okay? And her book is just the best. Honestly made 2016 a wee bit better.

Have you read Nicola Yoon’s books yet? If so, let’s fangirl/fanboy together in the comments below (but don’t leave spoilers for Everything, Everything, okay?) If you have not read Nicola’s books yet, what will you probably pick up first? Does her book remind you of any other book? Let’s chat, please! 🙂

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FBCYA Tour: Timekeeper (Review + Giveaway)

Before Reading:

Alright, I guess it is the proper time for me to say it. It started when I had this crazy idea to make things interesting for the book club. So I say, why not host blog tours and stuff like that? I was starting to lose hope because it did not seem like no one wanted to take a shot. But then, Sky Pony Press was kind enough to let us host a blog tour for Timekeeper. If you want to imagine what I was like, I was ridiculously giddy. Timekeeper is something special, because it deals with a lot of topics that I personally love. Okay, let’s get to it!

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25760792Title: Timekeeper

Author: Tara Sim

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Teen, Mental Illness

Date Published: 1st of November 2016

Series: Timekeeper #1

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Source: eARC from the publisher

Buy it on: Amazon / TBD

Summary:

Two o’clock was missing. 

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

After Reading:

Maybe… just maybe… this is the best alternate history book that I have read in a while. I have never felt this relieved about an ending since reading the Percy Jackson series. Everything was keyed in place like a smooth glove. It was ridiculously satisfying. I just want to hug all of Tara’s characters because this book is the perfect mix of fluffiness, history, and fantasy. I love it, okay?

final_thoughts

The three things that I mostly loved about Timekeeper are: the clock spirits, the boy love, and the historical setting. Those factors made Timekeeper a gem underneath everything.

The concept of clock spirits are oddly fascinating. The thought of having one for each clock in every city is unique in the sense that those clock spirits are essentially guardians. And not only that, but the spirits are humanlike. Not just in form but in terms how they act and feel. As a reader, knowing what the character feels is vital. The clock spirits give life to the pages that they are in, and that is just incredible. Also I want to note that the extra stories added a lot more for me to invest myself in the story. I’m already reading something from an alternate history retelling and I am still getting a mythology lesson in it. Dear gosh Tara, you spoil us too much with these lovely side stories. It is beyond fascinating.

Second, I’m a sucker for boy romance to begin with. I love a good story where the guys fall in love with each other. But since this is somehow my area, what makes Timekeeper so special? One of the boys, Colton, is a clock spirit. He can’t leave his tower because REASONS. Reading Timekeeper for Danny and Colton’s romance is like the cheesecake from Friends. You start with little bits of detail here and there, telling yourself that it is going to be bad for you (looking at you, Danny Hart) and then you fall so hard after you taste it. Legit, I was on the edge of my seat (or bed, rather) when the two of them were basically the sweetest things to grace this earth. Bless their romance so much. And all the things that Danny is willing to do for Colton, it’s honestly true love right there.

Third, historical settings are the bomb. Granted, it’s an alternate one. But it’s London. And it’s set in Victorian England. The world is as big as ever, stretching out to other places in the world. The book leaves a lot of room for the reader to imagine the setting. It is simply wonderful. It opens a lot of opportunity to be discovered.

Honorable mentions:
The lovely ladies in Timekeeper. Girl power all the way! This book knows how to empower women, I can tell you that.

Timekeeper is a really amazing book. It is a book that is not afraid on what it wants to be. It’s a refreshing story that can cure a reading slump. And it is amazingly satisfying till the end. There’s unique factor in there with the writing style that grips you and pulls you in once you get to dive in the story. Honestly, I loved every aspect.

Not only that, but this book inspired me to read more steampunk books. This one is a first for me, and since I loved Timekeeper, I may read a lot more books that belong in that genre.

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(Know more about my rating system here.)

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Tara Sim is a YA author found in the wilds of the Bay Area, California. When she’s not writing about magic, clocks, and boys, she drinks tea, wrangles cats, and sings opera.

Tara grew up in California, but braved the elements of Virginia to study English/Creative Writing at Hollins University.

Half-Indian and full geek, she eats too many samosas and awkwardly dances to Bhangra music.

TIMEKEEPER (Sky Pony Press, Fall ’16) is her debut YA novel.

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And of course, for you to know what I’m talking about, you have the chance to get Timekeeper into your lovely hands. This giveaway will end by the 20th of November and is only open for U.S. and Canada residents only. May you have all of the lucky stars to win this amazing book.

And that, fangirls and fanboys, is the end of our Timekeeper blog tour. But of course, our support for Timekeeper does not end there. Huge thanks to Sky Pony Press and Ms. Tara Sim for the endless support for this tour.

So what do you think? Ready to add Timekeeper to your TBRs? Let’s discuss below.

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PH Blog Tour: Everyone We’ve Been (Review + Giveaway)

Before Reading:

I love books like these. It seems promising, and I want a book to break my contemporary reading slump (Spoiler alert: it did cure my contemporary reading slump.) From the synopsis itself, the book draws attention and a lovely thought: loving oneself before anything else. I badly need this one, alright.

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28503699Title: Everyone We’ve Been

Author: Sarah Everett

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery

Date Published: 4th of October 2016

Series: None

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Source: Paperback, ARC for the blog tour

Buy it on: Amazon / TBD

Summary:

Addison Sullivan has been in an accident. In its aftermath, she has memory lapses and starts talking to a boy that no one else can see. It gets so bad that she’s worried she’s going crazy.

Addie takes drastic measures to fill in the blanks and visits a shadowy medical facility that promises to “help with your memory.” But at the clinic, Addie unwittingly discovers it is not her first visit. And when she presses, she finds out that she had certain memories erased. She had a boy erased.

But why? Who was that boy, and what happened that was too devastating to live with? And even if she gets the answers she’s looking for, will she ever be able to feel like a whole person again?

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Here’s why you need to read this lovely book:
1. It may sound clićhe, but it’s not.
Girl in a small town rediscovers herself with the help of the people from her past. That’s the general storyline. But the main point here is that it does not stop there. When things started to get a bit weird, I buckled myself in. I expected that there will be paranormal elements, since Addie is seeing things from her past that no one else can see. Yet it is so much more than that. What I can say without spoiling you guys is that it does not dive deep into the paranormal aspect as the story stays true to its form in the entire book. If less means more, then Everyone We’ve Been shines in that aspect. It delivered a poignant story that made the main character shine, and it succeeded that way.

2. Addie is wonderful lead to follow.
It is very comforting when we get a lead whose voice is easy to understand. She is equally relatable as well, and I find her charming and unique. Addie has this sweet and innocent voice, and it adds up to the build up of the story. Chapter by chapter, her voice intensifies, leading up to the point where the story takes its stand. She blossoms into this amazing girl who is one with her music.

3. It is all about support.
Last but not the least, it is not always smiles and sunshine when it comes to the family notion behind this story. Yet, it becomes a key to the story that puts pieces together.
Addie has a wonderful family that was pulled apart by a divorce. It was not an easy decision, and bit by bit, we see it unfold in the story. Developing the bond of this family is no easy task, and I admire the author for helping the character find herself through the people that she loves.

This book is refreshing on its own, and I love how different it is despite being cornered as a book that seem to be like other ones. It’s not really, and all you have to do is to pick this wonderful book up and see for yourself. Go on a journey with Addie, and you may find yourself as well.

4_

(Know more about my rating system here.)

Thank you so much to Inah at The Bibliophile Confessions for letting me join this blog tour. Check out the rest of the tour below:

Inah at The Bibliophile Confessions

Areli at Books at Photographs

Nicka at Read by Nicka

Hazel at Stay Bookish

JM at Book Freak Revelations

           giveaway_

(Click to proceed to giveaway)

Now, have you read Everything We’ve Been? Why have you not read it yet? How did you find it? Comment below!

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ARC Review: If The Dress Fits

Before Reading:

Since when have I turned down the chances of reading a Carla de Guzman book? Let’s say, never. (Well actually, once. But the reason behind that was because I badly wanted to interview her. Do you get me? I hope you do.) I was ridiculously anxious when she announced about this book, because the cover is gorgeous! Is it even possible to make grabby hands mentally? I think so, yep. And then, late at night while scrolling through Twitter,

Good news: There was an opportunity for me to read it.

Bad news: It was the most hectic week of my life so far.

I still signed up to read it. Because like I said, I never miss chances like this. Oh the things I would do for a favorite author, haha.

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Title: If The Dress Fits

Author: Carla de Guzman

Genre: Adult, Romance

Date Published: 15th of October 2016

Series: None

Publisher: Midnight Books

Source: eARC, provided by the author

Summary:

Martha Aguas kind of has it all–she’s an accountant who loves numbers, an accident-prone puppy that loves her, and the perfect wardrobe.

Yes, she wears a dress size 24, her bras don’t fit and she’s never had a boyfriend, but so what?

It becomes a big deal when her perfect cousin Regina announces her engagement to Enzo, the only boy she’s ever loved (he doesn’t know, so don’t tell him!) Suddenly Aguases from all corners of the globe are coming for the event, and the last thing Martha wants is to be asked why she still prefers her lattes with a waffle on the side.

Thank god for Max. Goofy, funny, dependable Max, who finds himself playing the fake boyfriend at the family festivities. But why does it feel like only one of them is pretending?

After Reading:

You might have guessed that I have actually read it since you are reading my review after all. How did I manage to pull it off, you ask? I read during breaks, when I felt like my workload lightened up just a little bit, and also on the jeepney rides on my way home. But the real MVP was the stressful day before I finished this book. I slept early, and then I read the rest of the book (around 40% if I recall my progress) the morning after. ALL. IN. ONE. SITTING. Because that is how good this book is.

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I received an eARC for review of this book from Ms. Carla herself. Please know that this is an honest review and all the thoughts and opinions that I have for this book are all mine.

Is it possible to feel all the feels? For some reason, I have been reading a lot of books that tell me that I should love myself. And it is probably why I liked this book very much.

First, the book shines as a character-driven story. Martha is this person who seems very collective, but is actually very down to earth and is like any other person who has insecurities. Max is this cool amd calm dude who just gets how things are done. Their duo has this amazing chemistry that is somehow electrifying. Gosh, if only Max exists. Martha is such a lucky gal to have him as a best friend. If you’re running low, and you need to feel some romance, I swear just think of the fluffiness that Martha and Max has to offer. I mean if I have to be honest, even their dogs have chemistry! Is that even possible? It is quite charming, haha.

The majority of the characters are within the Aguas clan, each one with their own quirk and funny side. I love how the family dynamic was embedded in this story because it was expanded up to the extended family, branching to Martha’s aunts, cousin, and lola. What shines in the story, besides the kilig moments, was the relationship between Martha and her cousin, Regina. We all have those wounds that never heal, and sometimes it opens up again when we see the person who caused it. That aspect of their relationship was really heart warming and it is also a good notion that there is nothing bad with being honest to oneself and to the family.

Second, I have to commend the author for her lovely writing. When this book is not giving me the feels, it makes me very hungry. And I mean that as a compliment! The writing style is as unique as ever, and it will really draw you into the story. I can’t help but to laugh out loud when Martha is in quite an awkward situation with her food or literally anything else. There’s humor and fun in it, but there is also seriousness since it also tackles a topic such as body shaming. There’s wittiness in conveying that topic in this book, as it is subtle yet the message is there. Throw in the mix of romance and every emotion, and you get to ride this rollercoaster of feels.

And third, I cannot put emphasis enough on how I was moved and how much I have swooned over the romance in this story. Color me a hopeless romantic, but this is one of those books that make me feel that love is literally everywhere. In short, pag hindi ka kinilig sa kacute-tan ni Martha at Max, i-assume ko na baka bato ka. Joke.

(English translation: If you don’t feel anything when it comes to Martha and Max’s cuteness, I will presume that you are a rock.)

Pick this book up and you will know what I am talking about, ladies and gents. It is such a lovely read, (and take it from someone who was stressed while reading it) and it will definitely take you away to a land where feels fly free.

5_

(Know more about my rating system here.)

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Carla

Employee by day and writer by night, she has a blog that serves as her free space to post things about her travels and her adventures as a self-published author. She is a proud part of #romanceclass and loves supporting Filipino authors and artists.

Follow Carla on social media!

Twitter || Blog || Goodreads

Alright! I neeed someone to talk to about feels. Are you dying to read If The Dress Fits? Comment below!

P.S. Max looks like someone I know IRL. Guess who’s still swooning?

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January Wrap-Up + February TBR

 

Wrap-Up

Goodbye January, hello February! As much as I hate to say it, but January is already over. I mean come on! Why did you have to come by so fast? I don’t want to take my final exams yet! You were a good month, January. I was so productive, even without a new year’s resolution. But darn, I actually smell a hiatus in February. Even though I am only practically on the verge of my 2nd year, I already have my thesis. And I am already panicking. 😦

Nonetheless, January gave me a lot of books to read during my spare time and it was delightful just to stare at them. But, I am not proud of the things that I have done with a certain books.



Books In The Freezer aka February TBR

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The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

I believe my e-book sickness has been cured thanks to this book. I just cannot put this book down. Literally, my phone needs to be charged 24/7 just for this one. I am too lucky to be granted an ARC by NetGalley! ❤

The Academy: Alignment by David Davis and Andra St. Ivanyi

Definitely one of the books that I hope can satisfy my craving for fantasy.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

This is the first read of the Fanboy Book Club! I am so excited to finally discuss it with people!

It’s Kind of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

I’m actually halfway through this baby already. I have been wanting read it before I got into book blogging but it was only available at Fully Booked so I never got the chance to request for it. And now I have it, I’m just gobbling it up. I am in love with Craig and all of his imperfections.



Books I Read

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Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Rating:

Stars 2 blah

I know a lot of you guys love this series so much. But I don’t think my reading experience with this book was healthy and very… primeval in the sense. It’s not that I didn’t like it because I was infatuated with the writing style. It’s just that the characters were really frustrating me. Except for Kenji and James. Because they make the sense happen.

Slippery Things by Lane Baker

Rating:

Stars 3 blah

Read my full review here

It was a refreshing read, but it lacked certain qualities that did not hook me up that much. I loved the family aspect and genuity of the heroine though.

Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford

Rating:

Stars 4 blah

Okay, I’ll just let it out. This book deals with certain that I cannot fathom with. The book made me realize some things, but it also hooked me up so bad that Jeff started to go to my head and let me be. I don’t regret knowing about the book for so long and but never reading the blurb properly. Jeff had a really nice voice for a character, which proves my point on why I’ve always loved male leads. Also, sneak peek. This book deals with LGBT topics. Although, I don’t really advise younger readers to read it. While I was reading, I had to double-check if I was 18. Luckily, I am. 😀



Book Haul

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Book Reviews

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Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Slippery Things by Lane Baker


 Well that’s a wrap everyone! I’m just here crossing my fingers and I am praying so hard because I really want to read and ace my finals all at the same time. Hope you had a lovely January 😀

Brb