Thursday, November 16, 2017

*ARC* Book Review: Throwing Rules To The Wind (Of Heads and Hearts #2) by Thessa Lim

Title: Throwing Rules To The Wind
Author: Thessa Lim
Release Date: November 17, 2017

ABOUT THE BOOK: 
A complicated office romance is not what scrupulous travel writer Zara Castillo has planned for, especially not when her career is finally taking off, but her easygoing colleague Matthew Villanueva is everything she wants in a man. When their relationship is tested by distance, issues she thought she had long buried emerge once again. Zara delves into her past in a quest for answers. Now she must face her demons or lose the love of her life.

With trips to tropical islands boasting beaches, rolling hills, and windmills, Throwing Rules to the Wind explores the lights and shades of seeking closure, forgiveness, and love.

Read an excerpt from the book here

MY REVIEW: 
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an HONEST review. 

Despite being using an overused theme with office/forbidden romance, the author's take on it is very unique with her descriptive writing and strong characterizations. Her writing is also good in terms of how the story is flowing, there is no boring or draggy parts.  

This story is so amazing not only is it a love story but it is a story of friendship, family, and self-development. Zara throughout the story faces challenges that made her relatable and humane/realistic. I like how strong and independent she is but at the same time shows that she is not perfect and like any other human being she has her insecurities and she also makes mistakes. Furthermore, the lesson that I learned from Zara is to learn from past experiences and mistakes in order to grow into a better person. I like the part where Zara confronted her past in order to move on and continue living her life without worrying about the past anymore. 

In addition, kudos to the author for incorporating a lot of Filipino culture and places in this book. I cannot wait to try the different kinds of food and visit the places featured in the story. The author did a fantastic job in executing the themes in a way that you can really feel the friendship between Zara, Anne, and Laine. While reading their part you cannot help but think that you are part of the group. I hope the next book is about Axel and Laine because I need more of their story I love how they interact with each other in this book and I wish there were more of it. I also like the relationship between Matt and Zara. They compliment each other very well in a way that Matt tried to help Zara with her insecurities. My only problem was the book ended in a rush I would like to learn more about Zara's family, especially with her relationship with her step-brother but nevertheless this book is a very fast and easy read. Good if you need a little pick me up. I highly recommend this book, especially if you are looking for a quick read romance novel. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Thessa Lim is a Filipina writer of new adult fiction for women. After growing up in the bustling city of Iloilo, she studied information technology at the Ateneo de Manila University and then worked in Metro Manila before relocating to Singapore. Her linguistic repertoire includes Hiligaynon, Bisaya, Tagalog, and English, but she only writes in English. The Singaporean slang she uses consists of lah, leh, and ayo. She moved to Sydney, Australia, recently, where she has yet to go café-hopping while working on her next book.

With the Of Heads and Hearts series, Thessa wants the world to know about the modern-day Filipina even if it is through light, witty reads.

In her spare time, she reads, takes a dip in the sea, or travels with her family.

To get the latest updates on Thessa and her writing, 
sign up for her mailing list at www.thessalim.com
or her Facebook page www.facebook.com/ThessaLimOfficial
Check her out as @thessalim on Instagram or Twitter


Monday, September 25, 2017

August 2017 Book Haul and Wrap Up


BOOK HAUL

1. Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo 

A wonderful, coming-of-age love story from a fresh new voice in YA fiction.

'Miss Amelia Hayes, welcome to The Land of Dreams. I am the staff trainer. I will call you grasshopper and you will call me sensei and I will give you the good oil. Right? And just so you know, I'm open to all kinds of bribery.'

From the moment 15-year-old Amelia begins work on the checkout at Woolworths she is sunk, gone, lost...head-over-heels in love with Chris. Chris is the funny, charming, man-about-Woolies, but he's 21, and the 6-year difference in their ages may as well be 100. Chris and Amelia talk about everything from Second Wave Feminism to Great Expectations and Alien but will he ever look at her in the way she wants him to? And if he does, will it be everything she hopes?


  2. The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare 

Fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices can get to know warlock Magnus Bane like never before in this collection of New York Times bestselling tales, in print for the first time with an exclusive new story and illustrated material.

This collection of eleven short stories illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality, flamboyant style, and sharp wit populate the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.

Originally released one-by-one as e-only short stories by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Rees Brennan, this compilation presents all ten together in print for the first time and includes a never-before-seen eleventh tale, as well as new illustrated material.


3. The Crowns of Crosswald by D.E Night 

In Croswald, the only thing more powerful than dark magic is one secret…

For sixteen years Ivy Lovely has been hidden behind an enchanted boundary that separates the mundane from the magical. When Ivy crosses the border, her powers awaken. Curiosity leads her crashing through a series of adventures at the Halls of Ivy, a school where students learn to master their magical blood and the power of Croswald’s mysterious gems. When Ivy’s magic––and her life––is threatened by the Dark Queen, she scrambles to unearth her history and save Croswald before the truth is swept away forever.

4. Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.



 5. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales 

A powerful coming-of-age story about an outsider who finds herself when she enters the underground music scene.

Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski's strong suit. All throughout her life, she's been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up.

Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, Leila Sales' This Song Will Save Your Life powerful young adult coming of age novel is an exuberant story about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.

WRAP UP

1. One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus


One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.

Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.

Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.

Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.

Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.

And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.



2. Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella 

An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.

Full review here 
 
3. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales 
A powerful coming-of-age story about an outsider who finds herself when she enters the underground music scene.

Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski's strong suit. All throughout her life, she's been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up.

Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, Leila Sales' This Song Will Save Your Life powerful young adult coming of age novel is an exuberant story about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.

“Heartbreaking, heartfelt, and eventually heart-lifting, this YA novel is one I won’t soon forget. If you’re a music junkie who also loves YA, read it alongside Len Vlahos’s The Scar Boys or Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park.” —Janet Geddis, Avid Bookshop

“Pulsates with hope for all the misfits.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Readers will be fascinated and touched by the first-person voice because of what is roiling beneath it. . . . Teens will connect with [Elise] viscerally.” —Booklist, starred review

“Sales gets everything right.” —MTV.com

A YALSA Best Book for Young Adults
A BuzzFeed Best YA Book of the Year
A CCBC Choice
XOXO,
Isabel 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Book Review: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Title: Finding Audrey
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Published on: June 9, 2017  



PLOT:


An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family. 



REVIEW:

       In this book you can truly see Sophie Kinsella's growth as an author from the Shopaholic series to Can You Keep a Secret? to this is wonderful book Finding Audrey. Her writing style and theme has improved and matured overtime.
        I love so many aspects about this book. First is the great family dynamics. I felt like I reading about my own family because of how realistic the portrayal of the members of Audrey's family are and how they interact with one another, which is loud and crazy but at the same time shows how they care for one another. My favorite scene is the jogging scene with Frank and their mother. It kinda reminds me of my siblings and I when we gang up on our mother for fun. I also like the genuine representation of a person suffering from Anxiety disorder and shows how that kind of disorder is a problem and can hinder a person in living their life to their fullest. In this book particularly, we can see how Audrey struggles to do simple daily task like going to a coffee shop or talking to other people aside from her family. And lastly, I like the relationship between Audrey and Linus. I think it is adorable, especially when they write each other notes and letters. I like that this book is not one of those "magically cured because of love kind" but rather Linus paved the way for Audrey's recovery with his little exercises. He is very patient and positive towards Audrey.
         My only problem is that it ended so abruptly. The author could have added a few more chapters after the ending. Nevertheless, I highly recommend this books. It is a fun and light read despite tackling a serious issue, which is mental health.



XOXO,
Isabel

Sunday, September 10, 2017

July 2017 Haul (Pouts and Fluffs Loot Box and Marauder's Dispatch Unboxing)


1. Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab 

THE WORLD IS BREAKING. AND SO ARE THEY.

KATE HARKER isn't afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she's good at it.

AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

THE WAR HAS BEGUN.

THE MONSTERS ARE WINNING.

Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waiting—one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims' inner demons.

Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?

2. The Mortal Instruments Coloring Book by Cassandra Clare
Experience Cassandra Clare’s internationally bestselling world of the Shadowhunters like never before with this intricate adult coloring book featuring forty-five all-new illustrations!

From the hallowed halls of the New York Institute to the glimmering glass buildings of Alicante, from the depths of the city of bones to the forests of faerie, the world of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series comes to life like never before in this stunning coloring book. The forty-five illustrations face text excerpts, highlighting never-before-illustrated scenes from The Mortal Instruments. With gorgeous original black-and-white drawings by Cassandra Jean, illustrator of The Bane Chronicles and Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, The Mortal Instruments Coloring Book is a must-have gift book for every Cassandra Clare fan in your life.


Marauder's Dispatch Unboxing



@maraudersdispatch is a Philippine Company that provides Monthly Bookish Subscription Box services. Their July theme was Swindlers


What is inside??
1. The Book of The Month - Little Monsters by Kara Thomas @kara thomas
2. Little Monsters Sampler
3. Little Monsters bookmark
4. Little Monsters art print
5. Author's signed plate
6. Swindler's button/pin
7. Collectible Bookish Card by @pandam_ph
8. Bookish Board Game
9. Bookish Bingo
10. Mason Jar with Chocolate Coins

  3. Little Monsters by Kara Thomas 

Kacey is the new girl in Broken Falls. When she moved in with her father, she stepped into a brand-new life. A life with a stepbrother, a stepmother, and strangest of all, an adoring younger half sister.

Kacey’s new life is eerily charming compared with the wild highs and lows of the old one she lived with her volatile mother. And everyone is so nice in Broken Falls—she’s even been welcomed into a tight new circle of friends. Bailey and Jade invite her to do everything with them.

Which is why it’s so odd when they start acting distant. And when they don’t invite her to the biggest party of the year, it doesn’t exactly feel like an accident.

But Kacey will never be able to ask, because Bailey never makes it home from that party. Suddenly, Broken Falls doesn’t seem so welcoming after all—especially once everyone starts looking to the new girl for answers.

Kacey is about to learn some very important lessons: Sometimes appearances can be deceiving. Sometimes when you’re the new girl, you shouldn’t trust anyone.


 Pouts and Fluffs Loot Box Unboxing 


@poutsandfluffs_lootbox is a Philippine based subscription box. Their July theme was 'Stay Alive'. .
Inside are the following:
1. "Furies" Scented Bookish Candle by @bookish.light
2. "Katniss Everdeen" Magnetic Bookmark by @abookiebookmark
3. Book Dragon Bookish Tote Bag by @poutsandfluffs.ph
4. A Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Inspired Necklace
5. ACOMAF-inspired pouch bag by @poutsandfluffs.ph
6. House of Furies Inspired prop set by @abookstaprops
7. House of Furies-inspired Artprint designed by Mr. Pouts of @poutsandfluffs.ph
8. House of Furies inspired bookmark
9. ACOMAF-inspired Personalized Printed bookmark
10. Hunger Games inspired printed bookmark
11. Mr. Morningside (of house of furies) sticker
12. And the Book of Month - House of Furies by Madeleine Roux ( @lil_wokling ) 

4. House of Furies by Madeleine Roux 


An all-new gothic horror series from the New York Times bestselling author of Asylum.

After escaping a harsh school where punishment was the lesson of the day, seventeen-year-old Louisa Ditton is thrilled to find employment as a maid at a boarding house. But soon after her arrival at Coldthistle House, Louisa begins to realize that the house’s mysterious owner, Mr. Morningside, is providing much more than lodging for his guests. Far from a place of rest, the house is a place of judgment, and Mr. Morningside and his unusual staff are meant to execute their own justice on those who are past being saved.

Louisa begins to fear for a young man named Lee who is not like the other guests. He is charismatic and kind, and Louisa knows that it may be up to her to save him from an untimely judgment. But in this house of distortions and lies, how can Louisa be sure whom to trust?

Featuring stunning interior illustrations from artist Iris Compiet, plus photo-collages that bring Coldthistle House to chilling life, House of Furies invites readers to a world where the line between monsters and men is ghostly thin.

XOXO,
Isabel

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

July 2017 Wrap Up

My challenge for this month was to read 10 books and guess what! I HAVE READ 12 BOOKS THIS MONTH, which is crazy. I also did participate in the Booktube-a-thon, which helped me in completing my goal.


1. A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by V.E Schwab

This is the perfect sequel! It's action pack, humorous dialogue, and amazing characters that I truly love!


2. The Edge of Falling by Rebecca Serle

3. Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack The Ripper #1) by Kerri Maniscalco
This book was super fun to read despite having a dark story filled with murder and gore. The author also did a great job with providing enjoyable characters. Audrey Rose is a very entertaining protagonist to read, as well as Thomas Cresswell with their love for forensic science and continuous bantering. Plus the mystery of who Jack The Ripper is was a real page turner. I was also right about who Jack was in this book because he/she was the not obvious choice, in terms of the storyline and the clues given (And most the time in mystery books, it is always the unsuspecting ones who are the killer). Plus of the weird habit he/she has, which is creepy. Furthermore, I can't wait for the next book, Hunting Prince Dracula, which will be release on September 19, 2017.

4. History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
This was such an emotional read. I love this more than "More Happy Than Not". I love the characters and their development. I also like the smart and intelligent dialogues in this book.

5. Because of Lila by Abbi Glines 
I am addicted to Abbi Glines' book and I want more!!!! This is a light read perfect for curing a reading slump. (Plus the steamy scenes never hurts)

6. A Conjuring of Light  (Shades of Magic #3) by V.E Schwab


Perfect conclusion to this wonderful trilogy. V.E Schwab is a truly gifted and amazing writer.

7. Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2)by Victoria Schwab


This book has brought me so much pain and emotion (in a good way) and I don't know if I could move on from this.
Victoria Schwab did it again with her phenomenal world building, complicated and imaginative plot that will leave you hanging on the edge of your seat, and complex characters.

8. Dumplin' by Julie Murphy 

It's good but not great. I am not in love with this book. It has funny moments and a bit of romance. Also some deep moments but still a light read overall. Will is somewhat relatable but there were times where I could not stand her.

9. The Wrath and The Dawn (The Wrath and The Dawn #1) by Renée Ahdieh

It has a great strong female character, which I like. A culture and adventure filled storyline. I just did not like that there were not enough dialogues. Thus, making me question the relationship between the two main characters because I did not feel their connection. But I do ship Jalal and Despina!

10. Batman Through The Looking Glass by Bruce Jones 

Not a big fan of the story. The story was not interesting it was a bit draggy and boring. It lacks action and depth. The art looks weird and not finish which I did not like.


11. Wintersong (Wintersong #1) by S. Jae Jones 

This book is written so beautiful and so poetic that it drags you in. It has some dark romanticism aspects. I love how music is interpreted in this story. It made me miss playing the violin, The romance aspect of the book was also great in the sense that it was not force and it comes off naturally.

There were some boring and draggy parts, which made me stop reading. I also did not like Liesl/Elisabeth narrative because there times where I was annoyed by her and she comes of as somewhat childish but I did sympathize with her situation, which was she was forced to stop her love for music. Meanwhile, the goblin king was so great. The author did a great job with his characterization. He was so complex. He first comes off as mischievous and villain-like but as the story unfolds we get to see another side of him, which is compassionate and full of love. We also see that he is also trapped underground like Elisabeth. 


12. The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater 

XOXO,
ISABEL