BOOK · REVIEW

Leo by Mia Sheridan

THE BASICS:

Title: Leo

Author: Mia Sheridan (Follow her on GR)

Series: N/A

Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary

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Publication Date: November 27th 2013

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

GOODREADS SUMMARY:

A USA Today bestselling book. Leo is a full-length, standalone romance.

Evie and Leo met in foster care as children and formed a bond of friendship. As they grew, their bond turned to love, and they vowed to make a life together when they turned 18 and were no longer a part of the system.
When Leo unexpectedly gets adopted as a teen and moves to another city, her promises Evie that he will contact her as soon as he gets there and come back for her in a few short years. She never hears from him again.

Now eight years later, in spite of the odds, Evie has made a life for herself. She has a job. She has friends. She’s content. Then a man shows up out of the blue, claiming that her long lost love, Leo, sent him to check up on her. The attraction between them is undeniable. But, should she trust this sexy stranger? Or is he keeping a secret about what his connection to Leo is really all about and why Leo disappeared all those years ago?

THIS IS A STANDALONE SIGN OF LOVE NOVEL, INSPIRED BY LEO. New Adult Contemporary Romance: Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

MY TAKE:

“I’m going to kiss you now, Evie, and when I do, it’s going to mean that you’re mine. I don’t care how far away from each other we are. You. Are. Mine. I’ll wait for you. And I want you to wait for me. Promise me you won’t let anyone else touch you. Promise me you’ll save yourself for me.” -Leo

Love story of Leo and Evie who met in foster care. Their story mostly compose of, abuse, pain, heartbreak and love. The night before Leo goes to San Diego, on top of the roof, he made Evie a promise to love her forever. He also promise that he’ll come back for her once she turned 18. But 8 years later, NO LEO. Or so we think. 😉

Leo is told from Evie’s point of view. Alternating between her present life to her life in the past with Leo.

Evie is a good girl. She’s nice and everybody cares for her. Which is amazing the fact that she grew up in an abusive home. She didn’t let her past interfere in what she have in the present.

Then there’s Jake. The sexy, hot, intense and the very determined Jake. He is determined to be in a relationship with Evie. There are a lot of things I want to say about him but I’m afraid I might spill the twist here. Lol.

I loved this book! Great start to a great series. The twists, turns and mystery until the end made the book much better!

As for the author, you did a great job, Mia! Considering this is your first novel? WOW! You took imagination and storytelling to a whole new level.

BOOK · REVIEW

The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco

THE BASICS:

Title: The Girl from the Well

Author: Rin Chupeco

Series: The Girl from the Well #1

Genre: Horror, Young Adult

Add it: Goodreads

Publication Date: August 5, 2014

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

GOODREADS SUMMARY:

You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night. 

A dead girl walks the streets.

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.

Because the boy has a terrifying secret – one that would just kill to get out.
The Girl from the Well is A YA Horror novel pitched as “Dexter” meets “The Grudge”, based on a well-loved Japanese ghost story.

MY TAKE:

“I am where the dead children go”

The Girl from the Well is is a story that I didn’t think I would ever read. When I read the blurd, which I seldom do, I was intrigued. Because I have so many questions. Was this the same ghost that the movie The Ring was based on?

This book was narrated by a ghost named Okiku who travels the globe in search for her next victim. Okiku is a vengeful spirit who attacks and kills humans who harm and murder children. And then there is Tark, a 15-year-old boy who has a mysterious past and weird arm tattoos. I also like the character of Callie, Tark’s cousin at some point but I also find her annoying.

The Girl from the Well takes inspiration from a Japanese legend, the same one Sadako from The Ring was based on. And at some point it also reminded me of The Grudge. The Ring and The Grudge both creeped me out.

Overall, The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco was great. I am not a fan of horror stories but this one really captivated me. It was a little bit scary at times, of course, and I would not recommend reading this at night, but it was the best kind of creepy I could have asked for.

In my opinion, Rin Chupeco’s debut was a success! Kudos!

Travel

Hashtag Team Building

Due to the fact that my mom originated from the North. I have lost track on how many times I have been there. I was only 7 years old when I first saw Baguio, which is the only place other than La Union that I have already visited. So finally, in my almost 30 years of existence, I am going to finally see and spend time in Pangasinan! Yey!

Bolinao, Pangasinan is known for its pristine beaches, their ‘bagoong’, caves, and lighthouse. So after work, the whole Team Bingo headed downstairs to wait for our rented van, around past 12 noon when Kuya Jonathan arrived.

(ctto) waiting for Kuya Jonathan
(ctto) Pots, Eunice, me, Sirius, Jemelle and Kervin

We stopped over in Tarlac for our late lunch around past 2pm.

(ctto) Sashi, Kervin, sleepy April, Jenny, Maki and Ate Myles @ Mcdonalds Tarlac
(ctto) Jem, Trish, April, Sirius, Flor and Jemelle

You will need a lot of patience because of a usually long 7-hour trip and since Kuya Jonathan was not quite familiar, we turned left to Alaminos instead of turning right to Bolinao. We ended up going to Patar, Mabini instead of Patar, Bolinao. Nevertheless, it was still a fun-filled experienced because of the whole team!

(ctto)

photo grabbed from Stella’s FB page

Around past 8 pm when we arrived at Stella’s Place Beach Resort  a place owned by one of my teammates, Flor’s cousin based in the US. We also met Tita and Tito, parents of the owner. They were very accomodating, they even toured us in their american inspired house.

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We ate our dinner at a local restaurant called Panan-ili it is located in front of Puerto Del Sol, their food is one of the best, most especially their Kilawin/Kinilaw.

After dinner, we drove back to our place and settle our stuff, we took a bath and decided to take a walk around the shore, it was breathtaking, I totally did not expect it.

Past 10 when Jemmelle, my roommate and I decided to take a rest. Since we were awake more than 24 hours, we also needed energy for our activities the next day.

Around past 6am, Flor woke me up asking what I want for breakfast because they were going to buy foods for the whole day. I told her anything is okay and coffee would be the best:

and finally, brunch is served!

(ctto)

the looooong wait is over, it’s showtime!!!!

(ctto)
(ctto): Enjoying Stella’s Place Beach Resort
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After enjoying the beach at Stella’s Place. We decided to go to Patar White Sand beach

(L to W) Maki, Jenny, April and Kervin
Cheers to more team buildings!

We also decided to take pictures around Bolinao Lighthouse.


(ctto)

If you are planning to visit Bolinao on your next vacation, you can reach Stella’s Place here.

The rocks, the waves, the place and the clear water – such a bliss. It stimulates our desire to take a lot of pictures!

Indeed a nice trip with the whole team. We all went home tired, but it was all worth it. We were happy and satisfied.

to more travels,

April

BOOK

Royally Matched by Emma Chase


THE BASICS:

Title: Royally Matched

Author: Emma Chase

Series: Royally, #2

Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary

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Publication Date: February 21, 2017

MY RATING: 4.5/5 STARS

GOODREADS SUMMARY:

Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry John Edgar Thomas Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap. He’s not handling it well.

Hoping to help her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora agrees to give him “space”—but while the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:

Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.

A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world’s most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.

While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.
The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit… and her naughty sense of humor. But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.

MY TAKE:

“My story hasn’t written yet… but I know it begins with you.”

I am a HUGE fan of Emma Chase. If you haven’t read any of her books, you should start now. I am telling you, she is one of the best when it comes to naughty and hilarious male POVs. The first book of the series, Royally Screwed (review here) exceeded my expectations. So without further ado, presenting the newest addition to Emma’s awesomeness, Royally Matched! This is a part of Royally series that can be read alone.

The story starts after Prince Nicholas passed all his responsibilities as the next king of Wessco to his younger brother Prince Henry. When Prince Nicholas chose love over crown, Prince Henry has no other choice but to step into his shoes. This is reality TV show combined with fairytales. I used to watch reality TV shows plus who doesn’t love fairytales? So a group of 20 beautiful ladies invited to Prince Henry’s estate to win his heart. Interesting, right? But here is the catch, the one who will win his heart is not one of the participants. This reminds me of The Bachelor and Kiera Cass’ The Selection series.

I was not exactly sure how I feel about Henry in his own book. He was introduced in Nicholas’ book as wild character. It’s like he did not seem the type of guy who would settle down. However in his own book, we get to know more about him, he is fun, loyal not to mention that he is incredibly yummy. I love his wit and charm. Up next is Sarah, i love her, who am I not to love a character who loves to read like me? She is a nerdy bookworm who works as a librarian. She is simply endearing, sweet and smart. All the characters are enjoyable to read and I love the chemistry between Sarah and Henry. They were totally opposite but that’s why they were so great together.

Royally Matched is definitely a fun read! A great series with good humor and heart. Indeed Emma is one of the best! It makes my heart happy to read her books. Can’t wait for Royally Endowed!!! 😉

BOOK

Royally Screwed by Emma Chase

THE BASICS

Title: Royally Screwed

Author: Emma Chase

Series: Royally, #1

Genre: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary

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Publication Date: October 18, 2016

MY RATING: 4.5/5 STARS

GOODREADS SUMMARY:

Nicholas Arthur Frederick Edward Pembrook, Crowned Prince of Wessco, aka His Royal Hotness, is wickedly charming, devastatingly handsome, and unabashedly arrogant; hard not to be when people are constantly bowing down to you.

Then, one snowy night in Manhattan, the prince meets a dark haired beauty who doesn’t bow down. Instead, she throws a pie in his face.

Nicholas wants to find out if she tastes as good as her pie, and this heir apparent is used to getting what he wants.

Dating a prince isn’t what waitress Olivia Hammond ever imagined it would be.

There’s a disapproving queen, a wildly inappropriate spare heir, relentless paparazzi, and brutal public scrutiny. While they’ve traded in horse drawn carriages for Rolls Royces, and haven’t chopped anyone’s head off lately, the royals are far from accepting of this commoner.

But to Olivia, Nicholas is worth it.
Nicholas grew up with the whole world watching, and now Marriage Watch is in full force. In the end, Nicholas has to decide who he is and, more importantly, who he wants to be: a King… or the man who gets to love Olivia forever.

MY TAKE:

“I was known before I was born and my name will be blazoned in history long after I’m lost in the ground. Infamy is temporary, celebrity is fleeting, but royalty… royalty is forever.”

Emma Chase is back, baby! After Legal Briefs series and Tangled series which I totally enjoyed, here is another series which I am sure we will enjoy as well. Coz, Emma Chase never cease to surprise us.

Royally Screwed is the story of Prince Nicholas Arthur Frederick Edward Pembrook, the next in line to the Royal crown of Wessco. He is charming, hilarious, funny and gorgeous. The prince is used of getting whatever and whoever he wants, and when he visited New York, he met a hardworking girl named Olivia Hammond, she is taking care of her father and her younger sister while managing their coffee shop. Picture this, what do you think happens when Nicholas, who is used to get everything he wants, suddenly has to work hard for the woman who refuses to bow down him? Don’t let me spoil this out to you, read it. Lol

“I love you Olivia. I love you. And I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to let you go.”

Alternate POV of the main characters, i like it! This is a modern day Cinderella but it was not predictable. The story is super engaging even though you think the story is so familiar. But, who hates fairytale right? I super enjoyed the royalty aspect. I cannot contain this book. I devoured it in just one sitting. I was captivated from the start to end. Trully, Emma Chase is the rom-com queen. I cannot wait for Henry’s story!

BOOK

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

THE BASICS

Title: The Beginning of Everything

Author: Robyn Schneider

Series: N/A

Genre: young adult, contemporary, romance

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Publication Date: August 27, 2013

My Rating: 3.5/5 STARS

GOODREADS SUMMARY:

Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.

No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.

But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?

Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.

MY TAKE:

“Sometimes I think that everyone has a tragedy waiting for them, that the people buying milk in their pajamas are picking their noses at stoplights could be only moments away from disaster, that everyone’s life, no matter how unremarkable, has a moment when it will become extraordinary.”

Let me start this by saying, I liked it but I did not love it. It was not bad and definitely was not good either. I love Robyn, coz she is pretty cool. I met her during her PH tour with Melissa Kantor and Katie Cotugno 2-3 years ago. The Beginning of Everything started out well. I was hoping to give this book 5 stars but I just could not. The beginning of the book was amazing, full of humor and full of highschool typical everyday life and problems however in the middle of the book, it went to other direction and it was not that exciting anymore.

I like Ezra, the golden boy. The narrator. Awesome character. And Cassidy tho I was disappointed on what she did at the end, she is still somewhat likeable. Speaking of the ending, it broke my heart I was hoping it would leave me at the edge of my seat or happy maybe? It left me hanging with a hole in my heart, I guess I am really a sucker for a happy ending 😉

signed but not personalized

Tho this was another typical YA-contemporary book that will just add up to the growing list of books with the same plot which is ‘coincidence’, I would still recommend this to all who like John Green‘s books.

BOOK

Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes

THE BASICS

Title: Anatomy of a Misfit

AuthorAndrea Portes

Series: N/A

Genre: Young adult, contemporary, romance

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Publication Date: September 2, 2014

My Rating: 5 STARS

GOODREADS SUMMARY:

This emotional, hilarious, devastating, and ultimately triumphant YA debut, based on actual events, recounts one girl’s rejection of her high school’s hierarchy—and her discovery of her true self in the face of tragedy.

Fall’s buzzed-about, in-house favorite.

Outside, Anika Dragomir is all lip gloss and blond hair—the third most popular girl in school. Inside, she’s a freak: a mix of dark thoughts, diabolical plots, and, if local chatter is to be believed, vampire DNA (after all, her father is Romanian). But she keeps it under wraps to maintain her social position. One step out of line and Becky Vilhauer, first most popular girl in school, will make her life hell. So when former loner Logan McDonough shows up one September hotter, smarter, and more mysterious than ever, Anika knows she can’t get involved. It would be insane to throw away her social safety for a nerd. So what if that nerd is now a black-leather-jacket-wearing dreamboat, and his loner status is clearly the result of his troubled home life? Who cares if the right girl could help him with all that, maybe even save him from it? Who needs him when Jared Kline, the bad boy every girl dreams of, is asking her on dates? Who?

Anatomy of a Misfit is Mean Girls meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Anika’s hilariously deadpan delivery will appeal to readers for its honesty and depth. The so-sad-it’s-funny high school setting will pull readers in, but when the story’s dark foreboding gradually takes over, the devastating penultimate tragedy hits like a punch to the gut. Readers will ride the highs and lows alongside funny, flawed Anika — from laughter to tears, and everything in between.

MY TAKE:

“It’s one of those dumb days where nothing’s really wrong but nothing’s really right either and the sky can’t even choose to be white or gray.”

I don’t know where to start, well I am not a fan of contemporary novels but I planned to read more. And also, I find it more challenging to write reviews for books that I love than those I dislike, maybe because if you dislike something you can usually point out a reason as to why you have a problem with whatever it was that did not sit well with you. After reading The Fall of Butterflies (review here) I immediately started this book, first, because it is sitting on my shelve for the longest time, second because I want to see more of Andrea Portes.

Let me start with Anika Dragomir, she is an inspirational character. I saw her improvement as I turned the pages. Though she is not that pleasant the first part or until the middle of the book, she is also foul-mouthed and judgemental. However, she is also funny and loyal to the people she loves. Maybe the main protagonist is not nice, but I think she is realistic.

The plot was okay, as I’ve said contemporary novels don’t need to have a complex one. Nothing out of the special. The writing is okay too. I love how Andrea made Anika’s voice very entertaining. One thing I need to emphasize, is that I DID NOT SEE THAT ENDING COMING! I mean the blub said, ‘ the devastating penultimate tragedy’, but who reads blurb? Definitely not me. LOL. I wont spoil it for you. I just want you to be ready.

You’re welcome, Andrea!

Overall, I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good and surprising read.

That’s all,

April