Tuesday, August 2, 2016

ARC Review: It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Title: It Ends With Us
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: August 2nd 2016
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. Combining a captivating romance with a cast of all-too-human characters, It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)

My thoughts:

Colleen Hoover's books have been a hit or miss with me lately, I think the last book of hers that truly "hit" me was Hopeless so I was a bit wary diving into this one. But seeing the overwhelming response to It Ends With Us was what urged me to read it, and after reading it, I understood what all the hype was about. Before writing this review, I honestly did not know what to rate this book, there were so many incredible parts but there were moments that were just to weird for me, and I felt like those moments outweighed the special moments of the story.

If there's one widely known fact about CoHo's books, it's that there is always a twist in them. A twist that will alter the middle half of the story and either elevate the rest of the book or mess it up. And in this case, it was both. I won't go too deep into how the story went because I'll spoil it but I felt like the direction the story was suppose to go became forced and it just didn't make a lot of sense.

As a book, I didn't particularly enjoy It Ends With Us, the characters were flat and out of character at certain times, (Lily was a confusing MC and she was pretty much a reflection of all of CoHo's other MCs except with different baggage)  the pace of the story was way too fast (CoHo insta-love at its finest) and the ending was pretty self-serving and kind of a cop out. Don't get me wrong, the writing was beautiful, I found myself crying at a lot of scenes and I was a wreck throughout most of the book but if it weren't for CoHo's writing and well-written lines, I wouldn't have been able to go through the book.

That being said, I delved deeper into the surface, below the writing and the characters and the superficial stuff and it was... an interesting experience. There was a lot of meaning to this book, given the fact that It Ends With Us is such a personal story to CoHo, and I couldn't help but be affected by the message that she was trying to convey with her story. I just wish that CoHo had executed this story better. I'd still recommend people to read It Ends With Us because there is depth to this book and I'm sure an average CoHo fan would love it. It just wasn't my cup of tea, unfortunately.


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Review: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Title: The Unexpected Everything
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication date: May 3rd 2016
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / National Book Store

Andie had it all planned out.

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check.

Amazing friends? Check.

Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.

And where’s the fun in that?
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)

My thoughts:

The Unexpected Everything was an unexpectedly delightful and heartfelt read. I admit that I was a bit daunted by the 500+ page Contemporary read because Contemps tend to get boring after a while, but I was happy to find out that it was the opposite for this novel. The first six-ish chapters were a bit dragging but as I slowly found the rhythm of The Unexpected Everything, there was nothing that could have stopped me from devouring its words; and by the end of it, 519 pages were not enough.

Andie was, admittedly, a difficult character to connect with. There was something so heavy and nonchalant about her that I couldn't really grasp her emotions, especially when it came to anything about her father or boys, she was very, for the lack of a better word, clinical. It took me a few chapters to really know her and when I did, I found myself reflected in Andie. There are aspects of myself that I saw in her, buried deep and waiting to be unraveled. I still don't really understand what's up with her and only staying with guys for three weeks (or her seemingly constant stream of past boyfriends/her relationship with Topher) but aside from that, everything was good. I found her quirks quite charming (like her Type A-ish personality) but of course, there were moments that those parts of her, don't always work out in her favor.

Okay, so... Clark is definitely going in my list of top book boyfriends everrr. Other than the fact that he gives a whole new meaning to adorkable (like, a really hot meaning to it), he's insanely down to earth and just the type of guy you'd want to be with. Sure, he has awkward moments but those "dorky" parts of him add so much to his charm. I was literally half in love with him (and Bertie) a few pages into meeting him. Clark was a huge part of The Unexpected Everything and he gave so much meaning and depth to this novel. My heart melted pretty much every conversation between him and Andie, they are so shippable, I swear. But more than their amazing relationship, they both have their own merits and independent personalities. I dare you not to fall in love with Clark (you'll fail, lol).

I absolutely adored the dogs featured, they gave the book a lightness that it needed. (And they were all adorable!) I also really liked Andie's "squad": Palmer, Bri and Toby. To be honest, I liked Toby least because there were moments I wherein she was so self-centred and all "boo-hoo" and no one called her out on it because they felt too bad for her. Even to the end, I still felt iffy towards her. But otherwise, their group's dynamic was really good and their text conversations are 👌. (You'll get the significance of emojis in the book.) Also, the growth in Andie's relationship with her father made me tear up at times, their special moments together were so lovely, the rebuilding of trust and everything was so well done. Safe to say, I got all the feels.

I don't think I've ever had so much fun reading a Contemporary book before. The Unexpected Everything is packed with first love, adventure and all kinds of unexpected magic, it was such an amazing experience; and I enjoyed every moment of it. I cannot recommend this book enough. (Guess I'll be reading Morgan Matson's other novels now.)


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (56)

Waiting on Wednesday/s are hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine in which you choose a book or books that you're excited and waiting for.
This week's Waiting on Wednesday book is...

Title: A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication date: May 3rd 2016
Pre-order the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Target

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court--but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms--and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future--and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)

Reasons for why I am super excited to read this:

1) I absolutely LOVED A Court of Thorns and Roses, it was actually the second best of I read last 2015 (the first being Queen of Shadows, obviously). I am really looking forward to seeing Feyre, Tamlin, Lucien, and Rhys (him, most of all) again and finding out what they're up to in this one. I can already imagine ACOMAF to be grittier, more angsty and steamier than ACOTAR.
2) Sarah mentioned how the map gets more filled out in ACOMAF and I'm very excited to explore the world of Pythian even more and see what adventures and dangers lay ahead, as well as see the rest of the Courts and meet their respective fae members. If there's one thing I love about Sarah's writing, it's her incredible world building, every word in every sentence is written to make a reader truly experience the different settings, textures, and feelings. You should check out Sarah's Pinterest board for the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, it's filled with sooo many pretties and will legit tease you about everything. You can see it HERE.
3) A Hades and Persephone retelling? I AM ALREADY THERE. I have always been in love with the Hades and Persephone mythology and I know that Sarah will do the concept justice. Looking forward to seeing how she portrays that in ACOMAF.
4) Major, major cover lust! The covers of the ACOTAR books are my absolutely favourite amongst all of Sarah's novels. And from what she's been hinting, there are some secrets buried in this cover itself and I just cannot wait to uncover them.
5) I will 1000000000% read anything by Sarah J. Maas. Anything. She could write a version of the phone book and I'd still read it.

What are you looking forward to this week? Let me know in the comments below!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (32)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews! It's where bloggers can share what they got for review, bought, borrowed, won or gifted (both physical and eBooks may be included! :D)

Here are the awesome bookish things I got recently:


An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1) by Sabaa Tahir (Goodreads)
The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy #1) by Marie Rutkoski (Goodreads)
The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski (Goodreads)

For review:

Riders (Riders #1) by Veronica Rossi (Goodreads)
The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian (Goodreads)
*ARC* Ruined (Ruined #1) by Amy Tintera (Goodreads)
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson (Goodreads)
*ARC* Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand (Goodreads)
*ARC* The Geek's Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash (Goodreads)
*ARC* Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh (Goodreads)

So many thanks to the amazing people at Tor, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins International and Fully Booked! Incredibly excited to dive into these awesome reads.

What did YOU get in your mailbox this week? Let me know!

Friday, April 22, 2016

ARC Review: Down with the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn

Title: Down with the Shine
Author: Kate Karyus Quinn
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication date: April 26th 2016
Pre-order the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

There's a reason they say "be careful what you wish for." Just ask the girl who wished to be thinner and ended up smaller than Thumbelina, or the boy who asked for "balls of steel" and got them-literally. And never wish for your party to go on forever. Not unless you want your guests to be struck down by debilitating pain if they try to leave.

These are things Lennie only learns when it's too late-after she brings some of her uncles' moonshine to a party and toasts to dozens of wishes, including a big wish of her own: to bring back her best friend, Dylan, who was abducted and murdered six months ago.

Lennie didn't mean to cause so much chaos. She always thought her uncles' moonshine toast was just a tradition. And when they talked about carrying on their "important family legacy," she thought they meant good old-fashioned bootlegging.

As it turns out, they meant granting wishes. And Lennie has just granted more in one night than her uncles would grant in a year.

Now she has to find a way to undo the damage. But once granted, a wish can't be unmade...
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)

My thoughts:

I had so much fun reading Down with the Shine, the events that transpired in the book were unexpected and outrageous that I just couldn't help but enjoy myself. This is actually the first novel I've read written by Kate Karyus Quinn and from what I've seen of her other books, they seemed really dark and gritty which are characteristics that can also be seen in Down with the Shine but layered with an ounce of absurdity and snark that shifted its dark themes into something lighter and wholly funnier.

When I first read the blurb I thought that the story would only revolve around Lennie trying to fix all the crazy wishes that were granted but in actuality the plot was deeper and more mysterious than that. I don't want to get too much into the details because I feel like the purpose of the vague synopsis is to really shock the reader and I don't want to ruin that "holy crap" moment for anyone. All I'm going to say is that Down with the Shine is an enigma, don't let its weirdness fool you. This book is far from refined or perfect but the way Kate Karyus Quinn weaves the story is so wack that everything makes so much sense.

What really made me like this story was how trippy everything was (I'm on a roll with all these trippy books, I swear). The craziness didn't start when the wishes started happening, nope, everything went down as soon as the first chapter passed. Lennie's whole life is a twisty mess of thrills, magic and moonshine. The consistence of the oddness of the story added to its appeal and I liked that Kate Karyus Quinn didn't do anything half-assed, it's like she decided that if the story was already going to be weird, might as well keep adding to that quickly growing heap of awesome mess. The concept of wishes meshed with moonshine was so far out and so unique and I knew as soon as I read that bit about Down with the Shine that this book would be incredibly interesting, and I was right.

Down with the Shine is like nothing I've read before, and though the plot was really odd, I enjoyed it. There was so much going on but the different aspects of this book went so well together even though they normally wouldn't have (props to Kate Karyus Quinn for the cohesiveness of the story). The ending felt a little like a cop out for me though but it was okay, nothing as impressive as the actual story. I'm actually looking forward to reading Kate Karyus Quinn's other novels and seeing how different her writing is per book because I just know that is this different from her typical style; and if you're looking for a little romance, a lot of thrills and even more craziness, then you definitely need to try this one out.