Friday, June 27, 2014

Book Review: The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

The Truth About Alice
by Jennifer Mathieu

Genre: YA, contemporary
Published June 1st 2014 by Hardie Grant Egmont (UK/AUS)
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon * Book Depository

Blurb (Goodreads):
There are a lot of rumours about Alice Franklin, and it's stopped mattering whether any of them are true. 

It all started at a party, when Alice was supposedly with two guys in one night.

Soon everyone at Healy High has picked a side in this game of he said/she said. Do they believe Brandon Fitzsimmons, the most popular guy at school and the football hero of Healy? Or do they believe Alice, the girl who wears too-tight T-shirts and was caught kissing Brandon in a closet a couple years before?

When Brandon dies in a car crash, there are serious allegations that his death was Alice's fault. As the rumour mill spins into overdrive, Alice's small town becomes suffocating. And when the truth becomes a matter of opinion, something's got to give.

My Thoughts:

One night, a news broke. Alice Franklin slept with two guys in one night. That's when Alice's life began to change. First, the best friend she thought she have doesn't even believe her. Then she's being accused as the reason behind Brandon Fitzsimmons' death. And now everyone thinks that she's not just a slut, but a slut who murdered the most popular guy in their school.

But what is the real story? That is what readers get to unravel in The Truth About Alice. I like the way that this book was told in multiple perspectives wherein four different characters shared their thoughts and knowledge about Alice and the night. These four characters--Elaine, Kelsie, Josh, and Kurt--are, you can say, essential to the story and telling this book in their perspectives is a great move. It preserved the mystery of Alice and it had a satisfying process of revealing the secrets.

The pace wasn't fast or slow, just right and in line with the story. I also liked the way that despite of multiple perspectives, you can still differentiate their characters and not get jumbled, and I still get to learn about Alice through them. Alice got her own perspective told on the very last chapter, which I also think is pretty smart. 

However, maybe it's just me and my sensitive spot about the S-word, swearing, and bullying that I find this book harsh. The bullying is the worst part. Alice may have done wrong things in life--true or rumor--but no one deserves such treatment. I can't take the parts wherein everyone hated her and did everything to make her feel trash and her best friend is a big traitor. So if you're not into harsh stuff, I'm warning you now.

The ending isn't what I expected. I thought everything will change and back to normal like a fairytale with a happily ever after. But don't worry yet! Maybe it ended not that way I think/assumed it will be, but the ending isn't bad either. It's just...different. I can say that I liked it but I cannot say that I loved it. I also can't say that I hated it. I think I was just looking or hoping for something. Anyway, the ending was like an opposite of everything that had happened. It's cute. That's all I can say. You have to find out the truth yourself. ;)

The Truth About Alice is a heart-breaking truth in our reality. One life can change and get ruined with just one rumor or lie. It's about the inevitable change and ugly truth in some part of our lives. Not everything in our life right now is permanent and true. Jennifer Mathieu wraps The Truth About Alice in a smart and truthful way.

*Thanks to Mimi and Hardie Grant Egmont for the review copy in exchange of honest review!


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

WWW Wednesdays (66) / Waiting on Wednesday (66): Ugly Love

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:

Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis

Finished Reading:

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han (review here), The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor (DNF. Review later this year for the 2014 DNF Reviews), Understudy by Cheyanne Young (review + giveaway here), and The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Matthieu (review on Thursday).

Read Next:

Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger

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

Ugly Love
by Colleen Hoover

Expected publication: August 5th 2014 by Atria Books

Blurb (Goodreads):
#1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with a new heart-wrenching love story.

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she doesn't think it's love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past. 
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated. 
Promises get broken. 
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

'Nuff said.


Heya! How's your week? Share your books with me! :)

GIVEAWAYS on the blog!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Blog Tour (Review + Giveaway): Understudy by Cheyanne Young

Check out the complete tour schedule here.

by Cheyanne Young

Genre: YA, contemporary, romance
Published February 15th 2014 by 336Love
Source: Author via tour host
Purchase: Amazon * Barnes and Noble

Blurb (Goodreads):
The high school play is in two months and senior Wren Barlow just became director. Wren still isn't over the fact that she got stiffed as a stagehand instead of the lead role that she totally deserved. Now she is in charge of rehearsals, costumes, navigating around cast member hookups and managing the real life drama at home.

The principal counts on her to succeed because tickets have been sold and the money has been spent. But when he drops a gorgeous bad boy on her and wants him to help the play for extra credit, she falls hard for someone she knows she can't date. With everything spinning out of control, the mysterious and secretive detention king named Derek has a few tricks up his sleeve and wants to help—too bad Wren is scared to give him a chance to prove himself.

My Thoughts:

When you know the title of the book--Understudy--and started reading, you'll know what this book is obviously about and what will happen eventually. However, even if I know what will happen next, I still read it because well, it sounds cute and my kind of read.

Wren auditioned on their school play for the main role not because it's her dream but because it would look good on her college application. Unfortunately, her teacher-slash-aunt turned her down and gave an 'important' role instead--a prop construction manager. At least she's also the understudy of the lead role. But that is next to impossible, right? Unfortunately again, her aunt resigned as a teacher/director of the play then the principal assigned Wren to be the director. It's like the whole world is on her shoulders! And not to mention there's this hot guy who she instantly crushes on then instantly should forget because he's dangerous. A no-no.

First thing that I noticed in this book was the predictability of events and the mystery of Derek. Then there's like an insta-love that I hoped not there. These are enough reasons to stop reading. But I didn't. Maybe because it's a light read and Wren is fun that made the entire book like a sunshine after a cloudy day. 

Understudy is entertaining and cute read. I finished it in one day because it's a kind of book you'd want to finish right away. Also, the story is not so long. I actually remember chick flicks while reading this. I would recommend this to contemporary romance readers.

*Thanks Dianne of Oops! I Read Again Tours and Cheyanne Young for the review ecopy!



About the Author
Cheyanne is a native Texan with a fear of cold weather and a coffee addiction that probably needs an intervention. She loves books, sarcasm, nail polish and paid holidays. She lives near the beach with her family, one spoiled rotten puppy and a cat who is most likely plotting to take over the world.

She also writes under the pen name Amy Sparling.



Saturday, June 21, 2014

Book Review: This Girl by Colleen Hoover

This Girl
by Colleen Hoover

Series: Slammed #3
Genre: YA, contemporary, romance
Published April 30th 2013 by Atria Books
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Local purchase: Fullybooked * National Bookstore

Blurb (Goodreads):
There are two sides to every love story. Now hear Will’s.

Colleen Hoover’s New York Times bestselling Slammed series has brought countless readers to their knees with a whirlwind of love, passion, and heartache. 

Layken and Will’s love has managed to withstand the toughest of circumstances and the young lovers, now married, are beginning to feel safe and secure in their union. As much as Layken relishes their new life together, she finds herself wanting to know everything there is to know about her husband, even though Will makes it clear he prefers to keep the painful memories of the past where they belong. Still, he can’t resist his wife’s pleas and so he begins to untangle his side of the story, revealing for the first time his most intimate feelings and thoughts, retelling both the good and bad moments, and sharing a few shocking confessions of his own from the time when they first met.

In This Girl, Will tells the story of their complicated relationship from his point of view. Their future rests on how well they deal with the past in this final installment of the beloved Slammed series.

My Thoughts:

I've waited all my life to finally read this book. I'm very affected and in love with Will and Layken's story I'm surprised I lived months--year, even--before finally reading it (it's a long story). And now--ASDFGHJKL!!!!

This Girl is the last installment of Slammed trilogy. One of my favorite love stories ever. Slammed (book one) was told in Layken's perspective, while Point of Retreat (book two) was told in Will's. Colleen Hoover, the brilliant author of these books, lets us continue to hear Will's thoughts on This Girl--where while they are on honeymoon, shared his version from the day he and his ex broke up til he met Layken and everything happened.

Sweet. Romantic. Butterflies. *snuggles* That's what my first thoughts/feelings when I started reading This Girl. They were on their honeymoon doing married couples do *coughs* and that's when they started talking about the past. The book was told in present (honeymoon) and past (whatever topic they remember), and it's just a sweet thing to reminisce and read Will's version. It's even more romantic the way he loves her so.

I feel un-contented upon learning that this book is about reminiscing but in Will's POV. But Colleen Hoover knows her magic! She did not just told again the story before, the 'honeymoon'/present part was new for one. Apart from that, there are also scenes where I did not encountered in the past two books--like when Will's ex dumped him and more (I've just erased one more example because that would be like, a spoiler). And throughout the book, I felt their strong connection. The two-way love and adornment that any person would want in their relationship. This book, just like marriage, sealed the paid-off sacrifices, challenges that they have overcome, and their true love.

No few or thousands of words can describe how amazing and I love this series. I laughed, I cried, I felt sad, I felt true love. It's crazy to think you'd feel these things you could feel on a person to books. But then again, it's Colleen Hoover. What do I expect. I highly recommend this series to everyone who wanted extraordinary in their reading life. 

P.S Did I say that Colleen Hoover became my favorite author and auto-read because of the first two books? She's that good. No, excellent. Colleen, if you're reading this, I want to tell you how much I love you and your books. I'm very excited to read your other books (have ti catch up! It's been crazy past year for me) and the future ones. Don't ever stop writing! 

Check out my review of Slammed and Point of Retreat (in which I wrote my own slam poems!).

*Thank you so much Atria Books and Netgalley for the ecopy for review!


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Book Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I've Loved Before
by Jenny Han

Series: To All the Boys I've Loved Before #1
Genre: YA, contemporary, romance
Published April 15th 2014 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Won
Local purchase: Fullybooked * National Bookstore

Blurb (Goodreads):
Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control in this heartfelt novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series.

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them... all at once?

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren't love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she's written. One for every boy she's ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

My Thoughts:

A moment of silence first, please.

Okay. That sounds good. Now..

OH. MY. GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *throws confetti* *crazy dance* *fist pump*

*settles down*

I have waited all my life to read this book and I just wanna hug Jenny Han right now for writing this and never letting me down.

The first thing I noticed in this book is the title. To All the Boys I've Loved Before. Then the cover. *sigh* Beautiful. And when I read the blurb, I promised myself that I'll do everything to get my hand a copy. From the blurb alone, I can relate to the main character, Lara Jean. She writes letters to the boys she loved before and then one day, the letters were sent out, without her knowledge. You can imagine the disaster that this will cause. Now when I said I can relate to her, I didn't mean it happened to me exactly. I meant this: 'When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life.' I don't write my crushes letters, but I do wrote them poems on my cellphone and save it on drafts (someday I wanted them to become a song). I remember saving 30+ poems about my life in high school (not all are about my crushes, hey). Unfortunately, my phone went dead--not dead battery, but dead dead--and I freaked out because I didn't had a chance to copy it in a paper or notebook. It's just like that: erased. And then when I got a new phone, I did the same thing. Wrote about my new crushes and journeys in college and well, it went dead too (what can I do, they're both second hand!). So okay, that's not the point. The point is, I wrote all about my innermost feelings about them because I will never have the guts to say all those things to them, let alone speak to them. I wrote what I liked, loved, and hated about them, how they ignore me or like someone who's in my circle of friends. (Ouch) So when I found out that there's a book written just like me, I'm like, I NEED TO READ THIS! Because not every day you meet people (or books) who has the same story as you (and that's why I love Taylor Swift too [way to go, segue]. But seriously, somehow she also reminds me of this book).

I instantly liked Lara Jean the moment I read To All the Boys. She's not like the other main characters in YA novels who are whiny, annoying, and/or self-pity. Lara Jean is a likable character with her love with her family and sisters. I don't think I've read a YA novel that is close to her family and siblings as much as Lara Jean do. They have so much love with each other that she turned out to be a good person. She's not awkward or popular, not sexy or cussy, she's not trying to be somebody just for someone to like her. She knows who she is and she's not afraid of being different (she's a half-Korean). The more I know her, the more I realize that we're alike in some things like being an NBSB (No Boyfriend Since Birth) and her perception about dating/having a 'real' person in front of you.

"It's scary when it's real. When it's not just thinking about a person, but, like, having a real person in front of you, with, like expectations. And wants." 

What I liked also about this book is the other characters--her family and friends. Like Lara Jean, her family is warm and loving and would make you feel you want to be part of them or be their friend at least. I also love the fast-pace of the book and how the things turned out. I love the light feeling while reading it and I found myself laughing on some parts.

I wished I haven't read some of the reviews before reading this book because they have kind of spilled some beans that are better left for the other readers to find out. So I wasn't surprised on a certain character and how the book end because of it. But even if I know what was coming, I still enjoyed every page. The sequence wasn't that much eventful but the simplicity won my heart. It's neither boring nor annoying. Every single page is worth reading, even if it's just her and her sisters. Plus, the writing is as gorgeous as the entire book.

Like it's cover, To All the Boys I've Loved Before, is a cute, light, funny, romantic, fantabulous (fantastic + fabulous) read. Every contemporary readers would love this and if you're not, you will still do. Trust me. The long wait was totally worth it and my expectations were not just met, but Jenny Han also gave me better than anything I could wish for. I could really say that this book is one of my favorite reads this year. I'm looking forward in re-reading it (it's kind of a big deal because I don't do re-reads;). And since I'm not that surprised with the ending, I didn't freaked out (but I did feel sad that I'm closing the book and leaving them) because I know that there'll be a book two! YAY! Thank you so much, Jenny Han!!!!

In case you haven't figured this out, To All the Boys I've Loved Before is highly recommended! ;)


Life of a Blogger (2): School

Life of a Blogger is a weekly feature created by Novel Heartbeat. Each week contains different topics in which we, bloggers, will share about them. So you'll get to know us more!

Hey'all! This week's my second entry on this cool meme, Life of a Blogger. If you want to join, visit Novel Heartbeat, link back your post to her, and add your link on the list!

Last week's topic: Collections

This week's topic:

So I guess my old readers know that I already graduated college last April and I'm now free from school. YIPEE! But it won't be exciting if I don't share at least a little about it, yeah?

Our Lady of Fatima University, Antipolo campus.
Yep. That's my school, outside. Thanks, Google.

I also found some old photos uploaded on my Facebook..

Inside the campus. The building on the right is the building you saw on the first photo. It's the other end of it. We call it VMS bldg (initials of one of the owners of the school). The call the building on the left JSB.

Our Lady of Fatima University's vision and mission.
That's me (in front) and my friend/classmate Janine on the hallway. Quite peaceful, huh?

The majestic black metal horse on JSB bldg.

Our classroom. (This was the time when we surprised our professor who's leaving,
in case you're wondering about the Superman on the board. XD He loves Superman.)

Everytime there are occasions like each college department week (e.g Nursing Week), we set up a stage on the side of VMS bldg. The entire event takes the all the space from VMS to the side of JSB bldg. This serves as the walk/driveway on regular basis. We have an AVR but it can only occupy at least 200 people and the stage is too narrow.

I took the photo above on the pageant of Nursing Week last year. My last year on college, my last Nursing Week. The theme is candy and it just looks so cute. Unfortunately, we were sitting at the side so I don't have a photo in front.

Me with my friends on the stage after Nursing Night.

So that's my Alma mater. I bet you're expecting to see our library but I never got a chance to take a photo of it. Nothing special, anyway. Majority were textbooks (of course) and the fiction section is just a half of one box of shelf. The titles are also a nay, so nothing special there. But when you go inside the library you'll either mistaken it as a hotel (lots of people sleeping *coughs* I sometimes also do), or hallway/classroom (I bet you a hundred dollars that our library is the noisiest library in the entire world. You'd barely see people studying). But if that doesn't caught your attention first, maybe the sweaty smell would.


That's it! I'm not sure if that's what really the topic is about--what our school looks like--but I hope you enjoy these photos and trivia. ;)

Now tell us about your school!