Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Blog Tour (Review + Giveaway): Plus One by Elizabeth Fama

Welcome! We're on the second day of Plus One blog tour by Elizabeth Fama
hosted by Oops! I Read A Book Again Tours. Check out my review below!
Full tour schedule here.

Plus One
by Elizabeth Fama

Genre: YA, dystopian, sci-fi, romance
Published April 8th 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Local purchase: National Bookstore

Blurb (Goodreads):
Divided by day and night and on the run from authorities, star-crossed young lovers unearth a sinister conspiracy in this compelling romantic thriller.

Seventeen-year-old Soleil Le Coeur is a Smudge—a night dweller prohibited by law from going out during the day. When she fakes an injury in order to get access to and kidnap her newborn niece—a day dweller, or Ray—she sets in motion a fast-paced adventure that will bring her into conflict with the powerful lawmakers who order her world, and draw her together with the boy she was destined to fall in love with, but who is also a Ray.

Set in a vivid alternate reality and peopled with complex, deeply human characters on both sides of the day-night divide, Plus One is a brilliantly imagined drama of individual liberty and civil rights, and a fast-paced romantic adventure story.

My Thoughts:

I was instantly captured by Plus One's cover, and the blurb didn't failed to impress me as well. There are lots of YA books now and still to come and I'm looking for something that I never heard of--something new. And when I saw Plus One, I think this might be it.

At first, I was completely lost because I couldn't get into Sol's character/head (or is that me and my stressed mind? LOL). But after a little patience, I dived in to her shoes and understand her situation and their world. I understand her need to kidnap her brother's baby so that Poppu--their grandfather--can at least hold her (he's blind) before he dies, but it didn't stopped me from thinking it was a reckless idea.

I loved the idea of dividing people into Day and Night. I never read a book with the same concept before and this differentiates Plus One from other books. The technology was also a really good thing in this book. The characters are easy to adore. Poppu wasn't much into the scene but since Sol always talked about him, my heart learned to love and wept for him as well.

The story about the "desk partner" isn't new to me since it was similar to Faking Normal except they're drawing (and sometimes write) here, instead of only writing. That desk story alone is a big give away of who's who and what will happen next--but it didn't stopped me from loving the romance. It was really sweet and wonderful because it wasn't an insta-love, there wasn't a love triangle, and the story didn't revolve around them despite on what you might think on the cover. The love story was simple but adorable, so cute, and so not irritating. I feel like it was too soon to say the L word, though.

What I didn't expected was this kidnapping thing goes on until the end of the book. It was like where the story revolved around. And one more baby and a fake one. Although the main issue is political, I didn't felt it because of the drama and babies. I wished their world was emphasized more since it was the highlight of the book but at the same time, I'm glad it didn't turned out like other dystopian novels.

Plus One has it all: moving story, likable characters, adorable romance, adventure, fresh concept, and even beautiful, beautiful writing. It was my first time to read a book from Elizabeth Fama and I'm impressed. If you're interested in all these, then this book is for you.

*Thank you so much Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Netgalley, and Dianne of Oops! I Read A Book Again for this opportunity and review ecopy!


About the Author
Elizabeth Fama is the author of Plus One (FSG, 2014), Monstrous Beauty (FSG, 2012), a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection and Odyssey Award honor winner, and Overboard (Cricket Books, 2002), an ALA Best Books for Young Adults. She is represented by Sara Crowe of Harvey Klinger, Inc.

Find her: Website * Twitter * Tumblr


Book Feature + Guest Post + Giveaway: Camp Payback by J.K Rock

Hey y'all! Today we're celebrating the release day of Camp Payback by J.K Rock!
Camp Payback is the second book from Camp Boyfriend companion series.
Check out the book and the giveaway below!

Camp Payback
(Camp Boyfriend #2)
by J.K Rock

Published April 29th 2014 by Spencer Hill Press (THAT'S TODAY!)

Blurb (Goodreads):
Alex has big plans for camp this year, starting with making it the best summer ever. Having fun and breaking some rules will get her the payback she wants against her parents and her ex-boyfriend. Because of his disgusting texts, she's headed to a super strict all-girls school in the fall. Then she meets Javier and revenge doesn't seem nearly as important as getting to know the troubled loner determined to keep a low profile at camp. But Alex's trouble-magnet personality and Javier's need to stay in the background don't mix nearly as well as their irresistible chemistry. With her home life eroding under her feet and her last year of summer camp speeding to a close, Alex wants to make her mark on the world and squeeze every bit of fun out of her time with Javier. Too bad her old plans for revenge turn back on her just in time to ruin everything. Will she lose Javier too?

Guest post

Alex’s Makeover Blog Post
By J.K. Rock

In Camp Payback, one of our heroine’s biggest challenges is learning how to deal with her parents’ blog, “Wholesome Home” on parenting. Alex has been the poster child for “what not to do” too many times, and this summer, she’s had enough.

For example, before she goes to camp, she needs to do TV appearance with her family and her mom chooses her clothes to be super conservative. And she’s never had makeup. Ever. Well, at least not that she can wear around her hometown. Thankfully, at camp, all bets are off on her look and she can do what she wants. So when her father asks her to submit a blot post feature on the Wholesome Home blog about dressing appropriately as a teen, you can imagine she would struggle with what to say…

Dressing Appropriately
Thanks, Dad, for giving me a chance to voice my opinions on the Wholesome Home blog! I’ve learned a lot from you and mom about dressing appropriately and I’m happy to share what I know.
First, it’s important to dress according to who you are and not who other people want you to be. If jeans and boots are your thing, you shouldn’t force yourself into dresses and sweater sets to please other people. Your clothes say a lot about you, so they should be honest. Doesn’t Wholesome Home suggest honesty is the best policy, after all?

Next, I take a lesson from my father’s teachings about frugality. Don’t buy new when used will do! So when my t-shirts start to get too short on me, I fringe the hem and make a cute midriff baring top. Or if a stain on a shirt is too obvious, I get out my Bedazzler and use the rhinestones to create an appropriate message. “Girl Power” is a can’t-miss phrase that mom and dad will have to approve, and it totally works for me.
For more thrifty shopping, I believe in the Army-Navy store. Someone else’s castoffs might be your go-to wardrobe items. Combat boots are always a good deal here, and they are so practical for snow. Another practical purchase is a leather jacket will keep you warm for years to come. At 75% off the original price, you won’t find a better deal. Finally, a word about makeup. This is one area where I might have to disagree with my father just a teeny bit (sorry, Dad!) as he doesn’t approve of putting anything on a clean face. But I’ve also been taught to hide my flaws whenever possible, so doesn’t concealer just make sense? I leave that one open for debate!
To read more about how Alex lets her hair down when she’s away from home, check out Camp Payback and the rest of the books in the Camp Boyfriend series!
Learn more at http://www.jkrock.net or http://www.campboyfriend.net Order Camp Payback in print or ebook at http://amzn.to/1fHPv9m (Amazon) or http://bit.ly/1nW6nh5 (Barnes and Nobles) and follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jkrock or on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/JoanneRock6 and http://www.twitter.com/karenrock5


About the Author:
J. K. Rock is the pseudonym for YA writing partners - and sisters-in-law- Joanne & Karen Rock. Although they started out sharing an annual shopping trip, they ended up discussing their favorite films and books, joining the same book club and talking about writing... a lot. Their debut novel, Camp Boyfriend, is the first in a three-book series plotted during family pool parties. Their creative partnership is unique in that they enjoy passing a book back and forth, each adding a chapter and fine-tuning the chapter before. Years of friendship has yielded a shared voice and vision for their work that makes writing a pleasure. 

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Check out my reviews for Camp Boyfriend and Camp Payback for a blog tour on May!

This release day promotion is hosted by:
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

WWW Wednesdays (62) / Waiting on Wednesday (62): Snow Like Ashes

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?

• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

This would be my last Wednesday [meme] post for now. I will be on a one month blogging hiatus starting next week because I'll be preparing for board exams. Wish me luck!

Currently Reading:
Plus One by Elizabeth Fama for a blog tour. I wouldn't read a book as well for one month except the blog tours I previously signed up on.

Finished Reading:
Been a wonderful week with these lovelies! Boys Don't Knit by T.S Easton (review here), This Girl by Colleen Hoover (review on May 20th), and Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi (review on April 26th).

Read Next:
The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, originally started by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that highlights upcoming book releases everyone is waiting on.

Snow Likes Ashes
(Snow Life Ashes #1)

Expected publication: October 14th 2014 by Balzer + Bray

Blurb (Goodreads):
A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

I'm into this book the first time I saw it. I'm so excited to read this!


How's your reading been? Share yours below!

P.S My giveaway of 5 ecopies of Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen is still ongoing!
(Click on the photo)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Book Review: Boys Don't Knit by T.S Easton

Boys Don't Knit
by T.S Easton

Series: Boys Don't Knit #1
Genre: YA, contemporary, comedy
Published January 1st 2014 by Hot Key Books
Source: Publisher

Blurb (Goodreads):
Ben Fletcher must get to grips with his more 'feminine' side following an unfortunate incident with a lollipop lady and a stolen bottle of Martini Rosso from Waitrose. All a big misunderstanding of course. To avoid the Young Offenders unit, Ben is ordered to give something back to the community and develop his sense of social alignment. Take up a hobby and keep on the straight and narrow. The hot teacher he likes runs a knitting group so Ben, reluctantly at first, gets 'stuck in'. Not easy when your dad is a sports fan and thinks Jeremy Clarkson is God. To his surprise, Ben finds that he likes knitting and that he has a mean competitive streak. If he can just keep it all a secret from his mates...and notice that the girl of his dreams, girl-next-door Megan Hooper has a bit of a thing for him...Laugh-out-loud, often ridiculous, sometimes quite touching, and revelatory about the knitting world, Boys Don't Knit is a must for boys and girls...

My Thoughts:

When I started reading Boys Don't Knit, I thought it was the kind of book that would disappoint me. Because there's a part of me that unconsciously expected a certain story and voice for the main character, but as I continue reading, I realized it would never happen. It turns out Ben Fletcher's story and voice sounds more like MG (middle grade) even though this book is YA (young adult). And with my history on some MG books, I'm afraid that I wouldn't end up liking this book. Or worse, I wouldn't even finish it.

Then Ben Fletcher surprised me. I began to like him, his hilarious family, his idiot friends (sorry for the word; he approximately call them that! XD), him alone, and his knitting desires. I also found myself laughing most of the time and looking forward in each day he writes his diary (book was told in his diary. Long story.) This is the point where I asked for more pages of his story and was glad when I found out there'll be a book two!

Boys Don't Knit may be a good laugh out loud and entertaining read, but it didn't stopped there--it also had a heart. I liked the progress of Ben's relationship with the lollipop lady. From strangers to enemies to friendship. And other friendships he earned during his entire journey on knitting. Ben wasn't the kind of what mostly YA main guy characters are. Yes, he liked girls, but he's not self-absorbed, jerk, or mysterious. He maybe young and innocent for that, but I really liked that about him. His character brings the brightest in this book--and also knitting. This book makes wanna knit. I shall learn how to knit after my board exams. XD

With a eye-catching cover, fresh concept, cute and eventful story, and hilarious characters, Boys Don't Knit is sure a worthwhile read. I loved it and I cannot wait for An English Boy in New York (Boys Don't Knit #2)! I would highly recommend this book to everyone. Boy or girl--in all ages! I promise it will take your stress away. ;)

P.S Did I mention how adorable Ben Fletcher is? Super!

*Thank you so much Olivia and Hot Key Books for the review copy of this book! And shout-out to T.S Easton! Thanks again for following me on Twitter. :D


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Who's Cool? JESUS!

What's Cool? is an anytime meme where I showcase all Cool things that I got or happened.
And "Cool" is a noun here.

Today I am temporarily changing the meme's title from What's Cool? to Who's Cool? as I'm going to share/talk about a person--the Coolest man I've ever known.

I think you know Him, yes you do. His name is Jesus. But did you know what makes Him Cool?

There are a lot of reasons why He is Cool. So many that I don't know where to begin with. Should I start with the fact that He is a literal and real proof of the words "sent from heaven"? Or, that He is the Son of God who became human? Yes, I can, because He is.

I considered Jesus Cool in my life the moment I had my own consciousness. But it was only last year did I really met Him and became fully aware of the reason why He became human, died on the cross, and risen from the dead.

Jesus is Cool because He preached God's words. People hated him because He talks to the poor and forgives the sinners. But it only makes Him Cooler. He speaks truth and stands it. He heals the sick and rose the dead. He fed thousands of people with two fishes and five loaves. He have a beautiful heart. And most of all? He gives people chance to change their lives.

He is Cool because even if people hated Him so much back then, even if He suffered because of them, He still prayed to God to forgive them for what they know not what they do. He and our Lord God is Cool because no matter how selfish, ruthless, sinful we people are, He gave His own Son to save us from all our sins--from hell--because He loves us so much.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but will live an eternal life." - John 3:16

But His Coolness doesn't stop there. You see, as I was growing up, I've been watching people (via TV) suffer like He did on the cross. They let their selves be crucified to pay for their sins. But you have to know--all people should know--that we don't have to suffer or let be crucified to pay for our sins or give tribute to Him. Jesus already did that. We just have to believe. As the verse John 3:16 entails, "whoever believes in Him shall not perish but will live an eternal life."

Believe. We just have to repent--admit that we are a sinner and believe in Him so we could live an eternal life. To be forgiven. To live a new life, and not suffer from our sins anymore. Believe and trust Jesus that He died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead. And confess that Jesus is our--your--Savior and God.

"Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household."         - Acts 16:31

It's Cool, isn't it? He's Cool. Because we don't have to suffer with our sins forever. We can be saved through Him. He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). He loves us so much that He didn't want us to suffer. He wants us to live with Him. Who wants peace, happiness, and love? I do. I think it's really a Cool place. With a really Cool company.

He rose from the dead and we may not see Him physically today, He's always with us. We still might make mistakes, but He's always ready to forgive us, if we'll repent. We might think we're not strong, we are not beautiful, we are not worthy, or we can't do things, but He believes in us and loves us. He makes us strong and we are the apple of His eye (Zachariah 2:8). We are worthy and we can do all things (Philippians 4:13) because nothing is impossible to those who believe in Him (Mark 9:23).

I am now saved and a living testimony of His love and good news.

In my life, Jesus Christ is Cool.

For now, I'll leave with songs to meditate. Listen to it. Listen to the lyrics and feel the song.


I hope you all had a blessed week. Happy Easter!
God bless everyone! xx

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Blog Tour (Review): The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

Click here for the complete schedule.
Welcome on my stop of The Geography of You and Me blog tour hosted by Pinoy Book Tours! Check out Jennifer E. Smith's new YA contemporary romance novel
and my thoughts about it!

The Geography of You and Me
by Jennifer E. Smith

Genre: YA, contemporary, romance
Published April 10th 2014 by Headline
Source: Tour host (Pinoy Book Tours)
Local purchase: Fullybooked * National Bookstore

Blurb (Goodreads):
For fans of John Green, Stephanie Perkins and Sarah Ockler, THE GEOGRAPHY OF YOU AND ME is a story for anyone who's ever longed to meet someone special, for anyone who's searched for home and found it where they least expected it.

Owen lives in the basement. Lucy lives on the 24th floor. But when the power goes out in the midst of a New York heatwave, they find themselves together for the first time: stuck in a lift between the 10th and 11th floors. As they await help, they start talking...

The brief time they spend together leaves a mark. And as their lives take them to Edinburgh and San Francisco, to Prague and to Portland they can't shake the memory of the time they shared. Postcards cross the globe when they themselves can't, as Owen and Lucy experience the joy - and pain - of first love.

And as they make their separate journeys in search of home, they discover that sometimes it is a person rather than a place that anchors you most in the world.

My Thoughts:

*Review based on ARC (advanced reading copy). There might be some changes on finished copies.

Jennifer E. Smith is back again with another YA contemporary romance, The Geography of You and Me. The Geography is about two teenagers who met in the elevator. While they were stuck in it. And while stuck in it, they shared a moment none of them thought of having--they don't even acknowledge each other before the incident--and this moment made a mark on their lives.

I haven't read other books from Jennifer--except The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight--but she brought her style in writing from what I read in The Statistical. It was poetical and I liked it. Although I also noticed that her style was more on telling random stories (about the characters' lives) and less dialogue and action. At first it was okay for me but then I got into the middle and it was still like that. I kinda feel bored at that time and a little distant from the main characters, not to mention it was told in third perspective. But I knew there's something more in this book so I continued reading and chose to find the hidden gem instead.

Although I was kind of hesitant with the distance Owen and Lucy have--they've been into different countries with just postcards (which I really liked and enjoyed. I think it's really cute and heart-warming) as their connection--and all the things that happened and did not happened while they're in different sides of the world, their undeniable connection remained and even became more powerful. It was kinda sad that most of the book was spent in missing each other and not doing the right thing. It reminds me of Gayle Forman's Just One Day. But I am also thankful that I finished the book because the ending gave me something that I want and despite that I want more than it left off, I have a certain belief that Owen and Lucy got married in the end and travelling the world together instead.

The Geography of You and Me is a proof of the saying "Distance makes the heart grow fonder". I really liked the story, though it rather looked like a short love story and edited to make it longer, it made me feel happy and warm and swoony inside. Anyone can read and enjoy this especially to hopeless romantics like me and fans of Gayle Forman and Rainbow Rowell. Just bring more patience with you before reading. ;)

*Thank you so much Pinoy Book Tours for this opportunity and lending the book for review!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

WWW Wednesdays (61) / Waiting on Wednesday (61): Exile

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading:

Boys Don't Knit by T.S Eaton

Finished Reading:
Little Celeste by Dawn McNiff (review here) and I Found You by Jane Lark (review here). I also had a chance reading Operation: Breaking the Casanova's Heart by Aly Almario, a story from Wattpad written by a Filipino amateur author and was now published. I'm not sure whether I'd write a review here (it will be my first--with a Filipino book, I mean). We'll see.

Read Next:
I am very much excited to read This Girl by Colleen Hoover next. I love this series and author so much. Can't wait!

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, originally started by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that highlights upcoming book releases everyone is waiting on.

by Kevin Emerson

Expected publication: April 29th 2014 by Katherine Tegen Books

Blurb (Goodreads):
Catherine Summer Carlson knows how to manage bands like a professional—she’s a student at the PopArts Academy at Mount Hope High, where rock legends Allegiance to North got their start. Summer knows that falling for the lead singer of her latest band is the least professional thing a manager can do. But Caleb Daniels isn’t an ordinary band boy—he’s a hot, dreamy, sweet-singing, exiled-from-his-old-band, possibly-with-a-deep-dark-side band boy. And he can do that thing. That thing when someone sings a song and it inhabits you, possesses you, and moves you like a marionette to its will.

Summer also finds herself at the center of a mystery she never saw coming. When Caleb reveals a secret about his long-lost father, one band’s past becomes another’s present, and Summer finds it harder and harder to be both band manager and girlfriend. She knows what the well-mannered Catherine side of her would do, but she also knows what her heart is telling her. Maybe it’s time to accept who she really is, even if it means becoming an exile herself. . . .

On sale in April 2014, Kevin Emerson’s EXILE is a witty and passionate ode to love, rock and roll, and the freedom that comes in the moment when somebody believes in you, even if you’re not quite ready to believe in yourself.

I love music-related books and I wouldn't miss this one.


Tell me about your books this week! Share them below.
Happy Wednesday!


Current Giveaway:
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