#Project14Lists: Best Books I Read In 2018

Welcome to another list! Wow, I actually continued posting. Yes, I’m aware that no amount of catching up can change the fact that I am failing this challenge. I’ve been a busy adult (huhu no I am not comfortable saying it) for the past few days. I had a hurricane of a Christmas, and I was basically depended on to do chores the entire weekend. Let me tell you, cleaning up dishes on Christmas is not fun especially when everyone seemed to just want to stuff themselves silly. Then after a long day, you just want to lie down and sleep. I just want to discuss about my favorite books gosh darn it. Where do I get the energy??

Anyways, rant over. It’s time to talk about books again, hooray! Since it’s already the 31st here in the PH, I decided that I will be posting two lists today for Project 14 Lists created by Shealea from That Bookshelf Bitch. The goal is to blog about lists, but I’m kinda failing here haha. Though I digress, I think this project made me think out of the box. Hence, I have a lot prepared for the next year without hopefully burning out and I received a lot of positive feedback with the posts I put up in participation of this event. While I was not able to share the posts I planned to put up, I’m optimistic that those will kickstart 2019 with a bang. Now, where were we? Right, of course it’s going to be all about the books and I am genuinely excited to be talking about my favorites for this year.

Analyzing it real quick, I love that this list is generally diverse and each book is quite unique. According to my stats, I rated 5 books with a will-save-from-a-fire status this year. One of them is a read that I’m not comfortable in sharing my feels on… yet, so I will only be tackling four specific titles today. Also, since I’m so extra, I have some graphics prepared! I thought, “Hey, why not design CD covers inspired by these books?” Because when a book inspires you so much, it’s easy to shower it with love. Plus, it’s cool to think about the possible songs that can be associated with these titles. Here are the best books that I read in 2018:

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

33294200Have you ever read a book so powerful and capable of delivering such a beautiful story in the form most endearing to you? That was The Poet X for me. Not only was it written in verse, but it exuded a driving and riveting story that speaks magnitude. Xiomara’s hauntingly beautiful story about finding her voice amidst the chaos of tradition, rules, and conventions easily made this novel a personal favorite of mine. With the writing bursting with the raw and purest emotions, it’s groundbreaking and deserving of all the awards that it has received. Never have I ever felt so strongly connected to a book like this one. It just spoke to me on a personal level and at the right moment. This book has inspired me so much that I decided to write my review in verse as well. Check out my full raving here.

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

What If It's UsI still end up in a puddle of feels whenever I see or hear about this book. I’ve been itching to reread it since I was done reading it. (Count how many times Bianca says read.) That’s how good this book is for me. Nothing like magnetic and unputdownable writing to save me from the abyss of craving for a book I want to save from a fire. 2018 was a better year when it came to reading romance, and I was thankful for the type of relationship that Arrhur and Ben had. For one, it’s not picture perfect with the montage and everything. Two, they leave room to grow for each other. Finally, the ending that made my heart swell. It’s ridiculously rare for me to finish a book in a day – let alone a love story that’s 400+ pages long. Yet here we are and this book definitely surpassed all of my expectations and doubts. Read my full review here, and maybe have some earbuds at hand because this one’s accompanied with actual playlists.

Check, Please by Ngozi Ukazu

375345772018 really affirmed what I already knew about myself: I’m trash for stories as unique as Check, Please. It’s not common knowledge here on the blog, but I also love reading webcomics. They’re easy to read depending on the flow of the story, and you have a visual representation of what the characters look like. So when I heard that it was available online, I immediately jumped on the chance to read it. Now a public service reminder: Go do yourself a favor and update yourself with Ngozi’s fantastic work. Not only does it tackle hockey, but it also navigates through the topics of friendship, teamwork, and self-acceptance. Bitty’s pie-loving adorable self deserves all that is good in this world, and the slow burn romance makes you wonder if you should have been listening to Beyonce more. You’ll definitely fall in love with these characters faster than you can say “I can see your ha- YAAAAAAS THIS BOOK!” đŸ˜đŸ˜đŸ˜

Bloom by Kevin Panetta & Savanna Ganucheau

29225589Yet another graphic novel about boys falling in love, this one easily got me hooked because of the gorgeous art style and the color scheme. Little did I know that I was breezing through it, and in every turn I fell in love. Honestly, what more can I say? It’s lightheartedly heartbreaking because for me, I felt for Ari as a teen discovering themselves. At the same time, I’m falling for Hector’s charm and perseverance. It’s a one-of-a-kind slowburn summer romance that can make readers giddy with the feels. Not only that, but all the talk about the family working and earning their keep from making bread is both a joy and a treat to read about, and the friendship dynamics ring true. Readers are in for a feast come 2019, because this will definitely be that one graphic novel that will send everyone in a frenzied hook.

There you have it! I had a blast making those covers and it definitely added to the overall feels that I have for these books. 2018, you’ve been a good reading year. The books on this list are definitely for keeps, and I truly hope you’ll have a blast reading should you pick up one of these reads.

What are some of your favorite reads for 2018?

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Blog Tour: What If It’s Us (Review + Playlists)

Before Reading:

Ajdjfjfjsfksijak what is air My favorite authors of all time are basically having a book baby! It’s the collaboration of the century! Who wouldn’t want to throw confettis and just dance to the beat of “CELEBRATE GOOD TIMES, COME ON!”? But of course there’s still a certain fear because you never know. Thoughts in my head ran wild, while I kept on asking on what scale this book falls in: will it make me all fuzzy and warm inside or will it downright have me bawling on the floor in a puddle of my own tears?

Still, What If It’s Us easily became one of the books that I have been dying to get my hands on for 2018. So when I got accepted to join the loveliest tour ever (thank you JM at Book Freak Revelations! I love you to the moon and back!), I just set my mood and I went on my journey to New York City.

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What If It's UsTitle: What If It’s Us

Author: Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

Genre: Contemporary, Romance, LGBT

Date Published: 9th of October 2018

ISBN: 0062795252

Series: None

Publisher: HarperTeen

Summary:

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

After Reading:

Ajdjfjfjsfksijak what is air HOW AM I STILL BREATHING??? THAT WAS SO GOOD MY HEART WAS LITERALLY BEATING FAST AND I’M JUST SO OVERWHELMED WITH FEELINGS FOR THE ENTIRE BOOK HOW DO I EVEN CLIMB DOWN FROM THIS BECAUSE THAT WAS SO FRIGGIN GOOD. I JUST LOVE ARTHUR AND BEN AND BASICALLY EVERYONE AND BROADWAY WHY AM I CRYING EVEN IF IT’S FLUFFY WHAT ARE EMOTIO- //is shot with a tranquilizer dart

*resuscitated*

Yeah sorry about that. Brb just going to play Dear Evan Hansen on loop if you will just excuse me. *rocks back and forth singing What It It’s Us*

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As a part of the tour, I received an advance e-copy of this book. Huge thanks to HarperCollins International for sponsoring the tour. This does not affect my review and all of the opinions and thoughts reflected here are my own.

Now that I have regained my full composure, let me begin by saying that What If It’s Us is easily one of the best books that I have read for 2018. I should know, I only have two and this was one. Jokes aside, I believe that this book deserves all of the praise that it will receive. It’s not your regular love story – it’s THAT love story in New York that is just too die for.

Having read this book in one day felt like going to an amusement park. I know what to expect because I have the itinerary, but I didn’t expect all of the fun. Becky and Adam are both favorites of mine, but I still lowered my expectations. I know that not every book is going to be perfect. That being said, it is in the simplest way possible. We get an instalove story set in New York. There’s the cutest meet cute, the messiest but downright lovable relationship, and an ending that can satisfy angst in one’s heart. With boys who believe in faith and destiny, missed connections, and in one another… Add a magnetic writing that will not let you put the book down, you get this lovely gem.

I love that there’s a stark contrast between Arthur and Ben; Arthur being such a lovable dork and you can feel his giddiness and eagerness with every flip of the page. There’s this optimism and tone in his voice that makes you want to be his friend. Ben on the other hand is a conflicted lead that you can’t help but root for because of his tendencies and confusion. There’s a feel to his struggle, but at the same time you feel him trying to be better. As their love story slowly (or rapidly) invests you to continue on with the book, their development in their relationship will leave you rooting for them till the end. Sure, it can be a bit dramatic sometimes, but what’s a Broadway play without a little tug on the heartstrings? That’s Arthur and Ben for you; flawed, imperfect, and different in style, but you can’t help but love them both.

To note, What If It’s Us also features a lovely cast that prompts wonderful family and friendship dynamics. Arthur and Ben both have such loving parents who are kind, caring, and supportive in their own ways, and there’s so much love felt. There’s also Arthur and Ben’s friends, who are many to mention but all equally wonderful and lovable. Although, one did shine brighter than the others and that’s definitely Dylan, Ben’s best friend and wingman *wink*. He’s the supporting character that I loved the most, and every moment with him was precious and hilarious. There’s this layer to his character that made him very interesting, making you think that he’s not just there for comic relief, but actually to highlight and add more depth to Big Ben’s character. And the award for best supporting actor goes to…

What also makes What If It’s Us shine is the topics that the boys tackle: Arthur’s conflict with his parents and friends, Ben’s struggle with being passed of as white and dealing with summer school so as to not repeat a grade. Asides from the drama that came with their relationship, I love how the struggles that they had to face ultimately made this book closer to the heart. I can’t quite explain it but this book is so fluffy that it makes you want to cry. Does that make sense?

All in all, What’s If It’s Us is a wonderful collaboration. It’s got that right kick of fluff and angst that leaves you drowning in feels. Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera’s writing style wonderfully fits together like they were meant to be, and they delivered a story that will leave you with the question “Do I just burst because of so many emotions?” What If It’s Us gave us Arthur and Ben, two amazing lads with such chemistry that will leave you rooting for them till the end. With heartfelt takeaways, the Broadway references, and the ambiance of New York City, you’re sure to finish this book with a big smile on your face. In the words of Adam Silvera, “Sounds gay. Can’t wait.”

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(Know more about my rating system here.)

And just in case you want something to listen (but oh trust me you need this), I curated these three playlists just for you to get a feel of each perspective.

Now since Arthur is the ultimate Broadway geek, this playlist consists of some of its contemporary offerings. I loved selecting songs from different plays that conveyed Arthur’s feelings throughout the book perfectly.

With Ben, it’s more of a mix. He’s a cool guy, but he’s also got some jam in him. New York is his home, and he’s got some chill on him. With that, he’s also a classics guy at heart. His playlist was harder to curate I have to admit, but all in all it suits him well.

Inspired by the story’s alternating perspectives, this playlist is dedicated to all of the feelings that this book made me feel. Conflict, throwing caution to the wind, and believing in fate; What If It’s Us gives all the feels.

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Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novels Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (film: Love, Simon), The Upside of Unrequited, and Leah on the Offbeat. She is also the co-author of What If It’s Us with Adam Silvera. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta.

Connect with Becky!

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Adam Silvera is the New York Times bestselling author of More Happy Than Not, History Is All You Left Me, and They Both Die at the End. His next book What If It’s Us is co-written by Becky Albertalli (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda) and releases on October 9th, 2018.
He writes full-time in New York City and is tall for no reason.

Connect with Adam!

Twitter || Instagram || Goodreads

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Win a copy of What If It’s Us (open internationally, with the exception of UK, South Africa, Australia, and India)

Want more chances of winning? Enter the Twitter and Instagram giveaway!

Again, huge thanks to JM at Book Freak Revelations for organizing this tour and HarperCollins for sponsoring.

So… ARE YOU EXCITED TO READ WHAT IF IT’S US? ARE YOU READY FOR ALL OF THE FEELS? Gosh, I seriously need to calm but I can’t help it. I’m attached because I’m in love.

But really, what’s your favorite Becky Albertalli book?

Favorite Adam Silvera book?

Did a book ever make you feel like crying while being happy at the same time?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Can I have these books right now?

(In another episode of Bianca lets off steam before waging war on her projects… kidding.)

With all of the wonderful books coming out this 2018, I’m glad that I managed to narrow down the releases that I have been highly anticipating to 5 books. Am I actually going crazy? I mean, some people have listed down maybe 10 or more. How come your fangirl has narrowed it down to FREAKING 5 BOOKS? Well 2018 is being a very awesome year, and let’s just say that I may or may not have tricks up my sleeve. Let’s just save the chit chat for another time.

Here are the amazing books that I would slay a lion for to get my hands on it early (in no particular order), why I want to read it, and why you should anticipate it, too:

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The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas (out by July 31, 2018)

First off, if you’re looking for a good YA mystery thriller, there is no doubt that you can count on Kara Thomas to deliver. Second, both of her previous novels were just spectacular in the sense that I become that one character who realizes that they are “holding their breath”. That’s how good it is. When it comes to mysteries, I always anticipate what she has in store. Third, I MEAN COME ON. SKETCHY CHEERLEADERS. HOW ARE YOU NOT EXCITED?

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The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee (out by October 2, 2018)

If you have read The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (or if you haven’t), you have to know about Monty’s sister, Felicity. I don’t know if it’s considered a spoiler but SHE IS OUT OF THIS WORLD AMAZING. I’m obviously running out of adjectives here but in addition to that, I admire the way Mackenzi Lee writes historical fiction. I cannot wait to see how Felicity’s adventure unfolds in this one. (And you know… maybe I can get some 18th century fever. Figuratively.)

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Dear Heartbreak: YA Authors and Teens on the Dark Side of Love by various authors (out by December 18, 2018)

Everyone experiences heartbreak at least once in their lives. Me, well… *nervously sweats* let’s just say that due to personal reasons, I really cannot wait to read this book. I don’t know, but maybe within the pages of this book, someone can answer my cynical questions about love. That maybe while I deal with it, I can have a book like this to turn to. After all, love is young all the time. Right?

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My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (out by June 26, 2018)

I haven’t made it obvious enough here, but My Lady Jane was one of the best books that I have read in 2017. My rating was off the charts, heck I would rate 10/5. See? It doesn’t even make sense. I love it with every fiber of my being. The plot, the writing, the characters, the overall execution. It only proved that no one writes historical fiction like the Lady Janies. Their collaborations are one for the ages. If you’re a big history nerd like me, or if you don’t know where to start with historical fiction, I suggest you join me on this lovely Jane train.

I really hope I can get my hands on this lovely book when it releases. *eye twitch*

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What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera (out by October 9, 2018)

 When I first saw this, my general reaction was, “HOLD UP. HOLD MY BEER. SHUT UP. IT’S THE BECKY-ADAM COLLAB THAT EVERYONE WAS WISHING FOR SINCE 2015. AGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!”

Yup, that sums up my feelings for this book. Becky has this way of making her readers feel so warm and fluffy, while Adam has this way of making his readers feel so intensely emotional and ridiculously contemplative of their lives. With this book, what exactly would we be feeling? I’m curious, excited, hyped, and downright giddy. IS IT NOVEMBER YET? OR DO YOU KNOW WHERE I CAN GET ONE?

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That’s exactly me in the GIF, fainting from all of the news and all of the hype that we have in store for 2018. I think my program code is broken. What about you guys? What are some of the books that you are also anticipating for the rest of 2018?

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