Oct 25, 2016

{Blog Tour} Book Review: Nevernight - Jay Kristoff

Title: Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1)
Author: Jay Kristoff
Release Date: August 9th 2016
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: ARC for blog tour / purchased
Destined to destroy empires, Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.
Six years later, the child raised in shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything.
But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.
The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student.
The shadows love her. And they drink her fear.
The last book I read before Nevernight was in July. July. God, I am officially in a reading slump. So when I got this book in the mail and saw how big it was, I was intimidated, to say the least. I even remember thinking, "There's no way I'm going to like this book," as I wondered how I was going to fit reading it into my busy schedule.

The story begins with Mia, a girl who can wield shadows. She is born into wealth, until one day when her father is charged with treason and she is taken from her mother. Left for dead, she survives only with the help of a shadow cat. She comes across a man who teaches her everything she needs to know about using the power she was born with, and with his help, she will become the person she needs to be to avenge her family.
"But I'd still rather be called a cunt than a cock any turn."
Nevernight started out intense, and I understand how it may put off some readers. It can be a bit confusing, but to someone who's used to reading high fantasy, this is nothing new to me. There was this feeling of mystery that was kept all throughout the book, something I really enjoyed, because I like knowing that I don't know anything of what's going to happen when I read a book. Another thing I liked was how dark this book was. Especially with this reading slump I'm in, this theme is something that kept me interested.

Another thing I liked was the main character, Mia. She's fierce and brave, and she's not one of the reckless, "Nothing can kill me" type of hero who mindlessly faces enemies. She knows when her foe is stronger than her, and she knows that her life is more important than her pride.
"Never flinch." A cold whisper in her ear. "Never fear. And never, ever forget."
All in all, Nevernight is a very nice choice of book for someone who doesn't know just what to read to get out of a reading slump. Maybe that's just me, but high fantasy has always been my go-to genre when I can't choose what to read. This is a great beginning to a new YA fantasy series, and I'm surely looking forward to reading the next!

RATING:

Jul 10, 2016

Book Review: Solitaire - Alice Oseman

Title: Solitaire
Author: Alice Oseman
Release Date: March 30th 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: ARC from publisher
In case you're wondering, this is not a love story.
My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that's all over now.
Now there's Solitaire. And Michael Holden.
I don't know what Solitaire are trying to do, and I don't care about Michael Holden.
I really don't.
Solitaire is one of those books that just reeks "ominous". Everything from the cover to the summary and even the other reviews that I've read made me expect the emotional rollercoaster that this book is, but something about it just didn't work.

The book starts off slow as we are introduced to the characters. Tori, our main character, is the kind of teenager that I never enjoy reading about in fiction: angsty and demotivated. She has a lot of nothingness in her that seeped through the pages of the book, and at the same time it is her voice that will keep readers glued in. But although she had my attention, I had a hard time relating to her or any of the other characters, and I believe that is the reason why I failed to finish reading this the first time I picked it up: it was so damn slow and, in some parts, pointless.
We're so used to disaster that we accept it. We think we deserve it.
The story picks up when Solitaire, a prankster blog, starts wreaking havoc in Tori's school. At first the pranks are harmless and Tori, being as depressed about life as she is, could not care less about it. But as the pranks progress and people are harmed, Tori gets the resolve to find out who's behind the blog and put a stop to it. This is the part where I started rolling my eyes every few pages or so because it made no sense at all. I'm going to keep it at that before I spoil it for any of you guys.
It's so easy to assume you know everything about a person.
Although I have my reservations, Solitaire is one book that I will recommend to those looking for a read similar to The Perks of Being a Wallflower, but I would suggest picking it up with lowered expectations because I have never been this irritated by a happy ending.

RATING:

Mar 6, 2016

Book Review: Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell

Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Release Date: September 10th 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Bought
Goodreads
Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be one half of a pair any more - she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It's not so easy for Cath. She's horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she's experienced in real life.
Without Wren, Cath is completely on her own and totally outside her comfort zone. She's got a surly room-mate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can't stop worrying about her dad, who's loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
Now Cath has to decide whether she's ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she's realizing that there's more to learn about love than she ever thought possible.
Fangirl was in my TBR list for a long time. It sounded like the story of my life, mainly because I've been referring to myself as a fangirl since I was thirteen, and it didn't hurt that it was written by Rainbow Rowell AKA the genius behind Eleanor & Park. Now that I've read this, I can say that I loved it... but it's not my favorite Rowell book.

The story introduces us to Cath, a girl who prefers staying in with her family and her fanfics because of her social anxiety, as she enters college without her dad and her twin sister Wren by her side. Wren has decided that college is the perfect time to meet new people and step away from Cath, so while she's busy getting shit-faced every weekend with her roommate - who is not her sister - Cath shuts out the world and keeps to her safe zone, full of Simon Snow fanfiction and solace.
Underneath this veneer of slightly crazy and mildly socially retarded, I'm a complete disaster.
A hundred pages in, I realized that this was going to be a long read, but a lovely one, like listening to a friend vent about her life for hours. Cath feels lost and alone in college, and at one point she even thinks of quitting and going home to attend community college, but soon her hard-edged roommate takes pity on her and said roommate's kind-of boyfriend befriends her, pestering her to unknowingly open herself up. 

Aside from her social (and romantic) growth, we also watch Cath grow as a writer. She learns that writing is not all fun and easy as with her fanfics, but that there are times when she will face a wall and have to write her way through it. She even learns, unfortunately, that not everyone who tries to get close to her truly wants to be friends with her.
Real life was something happening in her peripheral vision.
A hearty novel chock full of sisterhood and friendship and going out of your comfort zone, Fangirl will keep you entertained for hours. It made me wish I could write like Cath does when she's in the zone, focused and unable to distract for hours on end. The romance between Cath and Levi made me squeal and giggle stupidly, and the Simon Snow snippets between every chapter make me need to buy a copy of Carry On some time soon.

RATING:

Feb 24, 2016

Unread Books in My Shelf {2}

In my feeble attempts to limit my book-buying, I thought it would be best if I actually knew what books are gathering dust in my shelf. This series of posts shall feature seven books each - now on to the first.

- The Lost Prince and The Iron Traitor were both impulse buys right after I'd read the original series. I should really get to these while I still remember what happened in the fourth book.

- I got Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, and Last Sacrifice for cheap from my good friend Nina @ The Bookish Confections around the time I watched the Vampire Academy movie and wanted to continue on with the series. Better get the fourth and fifth books while they're still available (I need them to match these, no matter how much I prefer the new covers. Sigh.)

- Madeleine Roux visited the Philippines back in 2014 for a book signing, and that's when I got Asylum. That was two years ago, god. I should make this one of my reads for November AKA Halloween season.

- And finally we have The Scorpio Races. I was so happy when the paperback came out with this beautiful cover because I can't even bear to look at the original cover. Eeek. However, I'm disappointed with this copy because it's one of those poor paperbacks, the ones that weren't bound so well and is kinda hard to open and read. Guess I have an excuse to buy the UK paperback lol.

Aaaand that's it for the second edition of Unread Books! Have you read any of these books? (I'm sure you have ;D) Tell me what you thought of them down below!

Feb 19, 2016

Mini-Reviews {5}


Title: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: The Graphic Novel
Author: Ransom Riggs
Release Date: October 29th 2013
Publisher: Yen Press
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Bought
When Jacob Portman was a boy, his grandfather regaled him with stories of his fantastic life at Miss Peregrine's home during the Second World War, even sharing photos of the remarkable children with whom he resided. As Jacob grew up, though, he decided that these photos were obvious fakes, simple forgeries designed to stir his youthful imagination. Or were they...?
Following his grandfather's death - a scene Jacob literally couldn't believe with his own eyes - the sixteen-year-old boy embarks on a mission to disentangle fact from fiction in his grandfather's tall tales. But even his grandfather's elaborate yarns couldn't prepare Jacob for the eccentricities he will discover at Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children!
Graphic novels are even worse than hardcovers: they're beautiful and I want to pet them and read them but they're so damn expensive! That's the reason why this one's the only graphic novel I currently own. I was actually talking myself out of buying it but I just had to get one signed by Ransom Riggs when he visited my country years back. (Because yes, I read this back in *looks at Goodreads* 2014?! o.o)

Anyway, as this is the only graphic novel I own, this is also the only one I've read. I knew it would be a quick read but I didn't anticipate that I could read it in less than an hour. Wow. I seriously felt like I threw my money away but who cares because books are worth it! Also, the illustrations are really beautiful, just what I expected from Cassandra Jean whom I've been following on Tumblr for a long time now. 

What I appreciated most about this graphic novel is how I could revisit the first novel in half the time, especially since Miss Peregrine's felt too dragged out for me. I remember reading this before Hollow City, and now I can't wait to get my hands on the graphic novel for that second book so I can read it before I pick up Library of Souls!

RATING:

Title: The Beginning of Everything
Author: Robyn Schneider
Release Date: August 27th 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Bought
Goodreads

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?
I'd probably get hate for what I'm about to say, but I'm going to say it anyway: I am in the opinion that this book is overhyped. I read this less than a year ago but I can't even remember much of what happens in the book, only that it reminded me so much of a John Green novel, particularly Looking for Alaska (which is my favorite JG novel, by the way). Even Cassidy Thorpe's first appearance was so much like Alaska Young's, the cool, smart, hipster dream girl with a long list of secrets.

According to my notes, though, I did like how Ezra coped with the accident. He was hopeless, often dreary, but he kept it to himself instead of running around moping and screaming how unfair life is. Ezra and Cassidy's love story is also very similar to 500 Days of Summer, with Ezra thinking of Cassidy as his savior and heroine and her being somewhat strangled because of his expectations.

Just because I think this book is overhyped doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it, because I did. In fact, I plan to read it again, give it another chance. I had a worse tragedy in mind for the ending but when everything was revealed, it all clicked into place. It's not what most people would ask for, but I believe it did the characters justice, and for me that's what's most important.

MY FAVORITE PART was the overnight debate tournament. Now that is how nerds have fun.

RATING:

Title: An Abundance of Katherines
Author: John Green
Release Date: September 21st 2006
Publisher: Dutton Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Bought
When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. 
On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun - but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. 
Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.
At first I was only interested in reading this book because I loved Looking for Alaska, but then the cover got a redesign and I just had to own it in hardcover and naturally, I had to read it. I remember feeling up to something quirky when I picked this up, and boy, quirky was exactly what I got. 

Math is my biggest enemy. Like, I obviously love English (I love reading, duh), and Science is not so bad, but Math? Integral Calculus is what got me kicked out of two engineering programs, and although I totally - and finally - kicked the crap out of it last year, I still hate it. So to read a book that was filled with Math? My mind ran around in circles a few times while reading this.

Still, I really enjoyed it because it has John Green's signature wit, humor, and sarcasm that I will always love. No matter how inane their problems may be, his characters are always a redeeming factor in his books, and they sure are hilarious. This book made me want to go on a road trip, and I'm really looking forward to reading Paper Towns soon!

RATING:

Feb 14, 2016

Unread Books in My Shelf {1}

In my feeble attempts to limit my book-buying, I thought it would be best if I actually knew what books are gathering dust in my shelf. This series of posts shall feature seven books each - now on to the first.

Feb 7, 2016

Book Review: Steelheart - Brandon Sanderson

Title: Steelheart (Reckoners #1)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Release Date: September 24th 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Bought
Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.
Nobody fights the Epics... nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.
And David wants in. He wants Steelheart - the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning - and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.
He's seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.
Steelheart went straight to my TBR list the minute I read its synopsis. I mean, a mystical orb appears in the sky and suddenly ordinary humans gain superpowers? Sold. I held off on reading it, though, because I'm not the biggest fan of its original cover. Thank heavens for UK editions. Also, I can finally say that I've read a Brandon Sanderson book! (And I sure plan on reading more *heart eyes*)

This stellar book grabs from page one and thrusts its reader straight into the action, and we learn right from the start that there are no superheroes in this story, only supervillains, and that is how it tells us that one does not need superpowers to be a hero, only the courage and heart to be one.
Did the Epics kill because Calamity chose - for whatever reason - only terrible people to gain powers? Or did they kill because such amazing power twisted a person, made them irresponsible?
Aside from David, our bright and talented main character with a thirst for vengeance, the story is kept interesting by the Reckoners, the group of humans dedicated to killing Epics. At first they are reluctant about trusting the newbie, thinking he's lying about seeing Steelheart - one of the most powerful Epics in the world, and certainly the most powerful one in town - bleed, but he soon proves his worth by being a useful member of the team.
Who had time for morals in a world like this?
Reading Steelheart is such a thrill, like sneaking out or riding a motorcycle (not that I've ever ridden one but I imagine that's how it would feel like). But aside from the car chases and explosions, it also doesn't fail to develop the characters and move them forward, especially with David as he realizes that his life should not be consumed by his wanting to kill Steelheart and avenge his father. 
All of these guns, they do not frighten him. They won't be what overthrows him. It will be the person clever enough, smart enough, to figure out the chink in his armor.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world that only lends an added oomph to the story, Steelheart is full of crazy action and even crazier, unexpected twists that will leave its readers breathless and desperate for more. I also enjoyed how the Epics themselves fought against each other in their quest to be the most powerful one around. The ending answered questions while asking some more, and because of that I'm thankful that I waited years before reading this because now I only have to wait months for the next books in the series!

RATING:

Feb 1, 2016

Recap + Haul {January}

January was a good month. I kept my book-buying to a minimum (although that could be because I channeled my spending to Funko Pop!s, my new addiction), and I'm ahead of my Goodreads reading challenge because I decided not to enroll in school this term since I'd only have three subjects if I did. Bummer. Work was also good, stressful as always, but thank heavens for my friends. On to the books!

Jan 26, 2016

Book Review: A Drop of Night - Stefan Bachmann

Title: A Drop of Night
Author: Stefan Bachmann
Release Date: March 15th 2016
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: ARC from publisher
Seventeen-year-old Anouk has finally caught the break she’s been looking for—she's been selected out of hundreds of other candidates to fly to France and help with the excavation of a vast, underground palace buried a hundred feet below the suburbs of Paris. Built in the 1780's to hide an aristocratic family and a mad duke during the French Revolution, the palace has lain hidden and forgotten ever since. Anouk, along with several other gifted teenagers, will be the first to set foot in it in over two centuries.
Or so she thought.
But nothing is as it seems, and the teens soon find themselves embroiled in a game far more sinister, and dangerous, than they could possibly have imagined. An evil spanning centuries is waiting for them in the depths...
I picked up this book in my attempts to lessen the unread ARCs in my bookshelf, and man, I sure wasn't prepared for this. A Drop of Night had me at "underground palace" - just how were they able to build one back in the days when technology wasn't as advanced as it is now? And for what reason? 
I don't believe in the whole "people are basically good deep down" notion. I think deep down is where people are the worst.
The story starts by introducing us to Anouk, our rude and angsty main character, who seems to think her life is the worst even when she's surrounded by opportunities to do whatever she wants. I think this is the one thing I dislike about her; sure, her parents regretted adopting her the moment her baby sister was born, but to take out that frustration on basically everybody else, even those who were trying to be friendly and helpful, was immature and wasteful, especially for someone supposedly as smart as she is. But moving on.

The all-expenses-paid trip to Paris is her way out of that life. Although she has taken many such trips to different parts of the world before, she thought this one would finally allow her to leave her dysfunctional family once and for all. She is joined by four other gifted kids who have no idea just how they were chosen or what the criteria were, but soon, the trip turns into a deadly nightmare that they have to escape.

This book is told in two ways: by Anouk, and by flashbacks to medieval France when the palace was in construction. The flashbacks built up a good amount of suspense that had me pulling at my hair, thinking just what in the world these aristocrats were doing - and hiding - under there. But while the flashbacks cooked up the mystery, the story as told by Anouk in the present provided the action. I don't want to go into much detail in order to avoid spoiling this for anyone, but believe me when I tell you that this book is not what you're expecting it to be.

Overall, A Drop of Night is an action-packed book, some happening so fast I had to reread for me to understand what happened which may have actually watered down the excitement quite a bit. Still, it kept me on the edge of my seat, feeling like I was one of the kids they sent into the palace, avoiding traps and hiding in panic rooms. This is one book I would love to see on the big screen.

RATING:

Jan 20, 2016

Cover Remake {2}: Anna and the French Kiss

For when I'm too bored or too lazy to write a book review.

I think I prefer the one on the left because it looks like a movie poster, imo. And I'm not the hugest fan of the script font that I used on the right one - I better get new fonts soon! Oh, and I reviewed this book if you're interested!

Jan 14, 2016

Book Review: Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist - Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

Title: Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist
Author: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Release Date: May 23rd 2006
Publisher: Alfred F. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Bought
Goodreads
"I know this is going to sound strange, but would you mind being my girlfriend for the next five minutes?"
Nick frequents New York's indie rock scene nursing a broken heart.
Norah is questioning all of her assumptions about the world.
They have nothing in common except for killer taste in music, but one awkward chance encounter turns into an all-night quest to find a legendary band's secret show in the mystic maze of Manhattan - and a first date full of falling in and out (and in and out, and maybe in and maybe out) of love.
I had one rule when it comes to book-to-movie adaptations: if I haven't read it, then I have no right to watch it. But a little before 2015 ended last week, I decided to break that rule and watched Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, and although I eventually found out that it's almost a complete one-eighty from the book, it did have me running to the bookstore as soon as I could. Good job, movie!
No, bitch, I mean you intimidate guys with a look or a comment before they can decide if they want a chance with you. You're so judgmental. Along with frigid.
Unlike the simple, whimsical tone of the movie, the book is filled to the brim with teenage punk and emotions that poured out of the page, and because I saw the movie first, it was like the book took the plot of the movie, laid it on paper, and colored it with crayons such as "Sweaty Club" and "Can't Get Over My Ex". Or to put it simply, the book is more emotionally complex than the movie, but that's definitely not to say it was a bad movie. I actually really enjoyed it, and Michael Cera with a bass guitar is surprisingly hot, and the soundtrack is amazing.
Feminism should be all-inclusive - it should be about sexual liberation, equal pay for equal work, and the fundamental girl right of boy2boy appreciation.
Just like Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (I seriously have a love-hate relationship with these titles, ugh) is the kind of book that you can start and finish in one sitting because reading it is so easy, so comforting to read, like you're chatting with a long-time friend or curling up in bed with your headphones on on a rainy day. And I love how the authors made all of their characters, not just the main ones, jump out of the page, each of them unique and equally interesting.
I shouldn't want the song to end. I always think of each night as a song. Or each moment as a song. But now I'm seeing we don't live in a single song. We move from song to song, from lyric to lyric, from chord to chord. There is no ending here. It's an infinite playlist.
Perhaps the only thing I disliked about this book is how similar Nick and Norah sounded, so much so that most of the time I had no idea whose perspective I was reading - but maybe that's only another indication of how in sync they were, because I honestly believe your musical soulmate is one of the few - if not the One - for you, and believe me when I say that this book, even if punk music grates on your ears, is going to be your musical soulmate.

MY FAVORITE PART was the Marriott. Good heavens.

RATING:

Jan 8, 2016

Top 10 Series I Want to Start This Year

The moment I thought of making this list, I wanted to hit myself on the head with all of the books sitting unread on my shelf, but I can't help it! Like I said before, I self-harm with books, and God knows I have so little time as it is. Anyway, let's see which of these I get to read by year's end!

Jan 2, 2016

Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins

Title: Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss #1)
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Release Date: December 2nd 2010
Publisher: Dutton Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Bought
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, √Čtienne has it all... including a serious girlfriend.
But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?
Anna and the French Kiss is one of those books that I regret not reading sooner. I'd known I was going to love it, so why rush? Wrong. So very wrong. The moment I finished the last page, I just wanted to hit myself on the head with the book because I was reeling. And to think I could have experienced that wonder years ago!

Some people are finicky about going to the theater alone, but I'm not. Because when the lights go down, the only relationship left in the room is the one between the movie and me.

For as long as I can remember, I've always been fascinated with Paris, but only after reading this book did I have a solid itinerary for when I finally visit the City of Love. However, aside from the Eiffel Tower, Point Zero, Shakespeare & Co., the Notre Dame, and the fictional school SOAP, what made Anna and the French Kiss such a standout for me was the interesting array of characters who made this story jump out of the page - particularly the main ones, Anna Oliphant and Etienne St. Clair.

To be honest, I seriously thought I was going to hate Anna, that she was a spoiled brat with a perfect life that she didn't want to leave behind. I mean, who sulks about being shipped off to Paris?! (I ought to be better at reading synopses, I know.) As it turns out, though, she couldn't be more different from what I'd imagined. She's awkward and hopeful and assuming; she already had an idea of how her life was going to play out, with her family and best friend and maybe-soon-to-be boyfriend, and, aside from leaving the familiar, she is more upset about Paris because her father didn't give her a choice. Granted, she probably would have chosen to stay at home, but I completely got her frustration at being left without a choice.

So off to Paris she flew, and what better way to cope with the fact that you've been shipped off to a foreign country for your senior year than with an "English French American Boy Masterpiece" such as Etienne St. Clair? Etienne, who has an English accent, can speak fluent French, is obsessed with history, and would win the gold medal for the Hair Olympics? God, this boy is overkill.

Let me tell you now, just in case you have not read this book (although I highly doubt it): this book is basically their entire senior year in Paris spent full of friendship and romantic tension, but what I especially loved about their relationship is that they became best friends first, lovers next, because they couldn't act on the aforementioned romantic tension thanks to Etienne's girlfriend and Anna's hesitancy. They're one of those cases where you want to lock them in a room so they would just kiss already, because the glances and near-kisses are too much to take. This book exhausted me emotionally.

Anna and the French Kiss is the rare book that gets better with every reread - I should know because I've read it thrice. It gave me something new and made me squeal like a banshee every damn time, and I know my third read will not be the last.

MY FAVORITE PART was Anna arriving back in Paris after Christmas break. Sigh.

RATING:

Jan 1, 2016

Bye 2015, Hello 2016!

 

2015 was a very good year for me except for two aspects in my life: reading- and blogging-wise. I read less books than I had in 2014 and posted infinitely less here on the blog, and I can blame it on work and school but I know that, more than that, it was because of my poor time management skills. I'm a big procrastinator, and oftentimes, I end up with a pile of new, unread books and sixteen hours of sleep. 

But this year, I resolve to making much better use of my time! No more playing Cooking Fever on my phone till I get dizzy! No more sleeping for longer than eight hours! No more countless hours of Suits and The Flash marathons! (Okay, maybe I'll give myself three hours during my days off.) But, still! I'll allot more time for reading even a few pages every day and blogging at least once a week. 

For now, I have this lame post to herald in the new year, but rest assured that there are more and better things to come from my blog. My book reviews will always be insufficient, though :P Happy New Year, friends!

P.S. Care to share with me any titles you're excited for? I sure need to add 2016 releases to my TBR list.