Blog Tour: Down and Across by Arvin Ahmadi {4.0}

 

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Title:
 Down and Across
Author: Arvin Ahmadi
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication Date:  February 6th, 2018
Pages: 336 pages
My Rating: 4 Stars

Scott Ferdowsi has a track record of quitting. Writing the Great American Novel? Three chapters. His summer internship? One week. His best friends know exactly what they want to do with the rest of their lives, but Scott can hardly commit to a breakfast cereal, let alone a passion.

With college applications looming, Scott’s parents pressure him to get serious and settle on a career path like engineering or medicine. Desperate for help, he sneaks off to Washington, DC, to seek guidance from a famous professor who specializes in grit, the psychology of success.

He never expects an adventure to unfold out of what was supposed to be a one-day visit. But that’s what Scott gets when he meets Fiora Buchanan, a ballsy college student whose life ambition is to write crossword puzzles. When the bicycle she lends him gets Scott into a high-speed chase, he knows he’s in for the ride of his life. Soon, Scott finds himself sneaking into bars, attempting to pick up girls at the National Zoo, and even giving the crossword thing a try–all while opening his eyes to fundamental truths about who he is and who he wants to be.

Scott has a hard time with sticking to his decisions. He starts things, such as his internship, but doesn’t see those things through to the end. When his parents leave to go to Iran to look after his ill grandfather, Scott decides that instead of going to his internship, he’s going to find Cecily Mallard, the great psychology professor who specialized on grit, the psychology of success. There, he meets Fiora, crossword enthusiast, and Trent, political aspirant. These two help him in his journey towards getting grittier, as well as getting more experiences in life in general.

Down and Across was blurbed by some of my favorite authors – Jasmine Warga and Adam Silvera – so I had high hopes from this one. I’m glad to say that despite the high standards I’ve set on this book before even reading it, that it did not disappoint. Not by one bit.

I connected with Scott so much because I related to him in so many ways. Born of Chinese immigrant parents, my parents are also strict and want me to focus on studies. They often forbid me to go out by myself, and growing up, I felt like I was missing so much because of it. I also felt street-stupid (the opposite of street-smart? Haha!) because of staying at home so much. In the last two years of high school, much like Scott, I had no direction in life. I didn’t know what I wanted to take up after high school, while most of my friends already knew where they were headed. Because of these factors, I became all the more invested in Scott’s story – how he would learn and redeem himself throughout the 300 or so pages of the book.

This book showed me that self-discovery and growth happens at all ages, and with people from all walks of life, may they be students or professionals. One of my favorite scenes in this novel was how Professor Mallard broke down, and how Scott actually motivated her once more after her father’s death. It showed that even one breaks down at times, but it’s in how we pick ourselves up once more that shows true grit. This book also showed me that with the right push, people can get on their way once more and find themselves.

The journey, growth, and self-discovery of Scott in this novel made him into a very dynamic character that grew to be one filled with potential. He learned so many things throughout this novel, and I’m so proud of him because he learned all these by experiencing various ups and downs in the novel. I’m so proud of him for finally figuring his life out, and for standing up to his beliefs. Most of all, I love this novel because it made Scott feel like a real person I know, so much so that I feel nothing but pride for him.

Down and Across surprised me with how much I liked it, and I can’t wait for the rest of the world to read it! It’s this amazing story that I’m sure people of all ages could relate to, because everyone gets lost from time to time, right?

A GIVEAWAY

#NightwalkerPH Blog Tour: Batman Nightwalker {5 stars}

 


Title:
 Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons #2)
Author: Marie Lu
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date:  January 2, 2018
Pages: 272 pages
My Rating: 5 Stars

Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city’s elites are being executed as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he’s forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.

—————————

Honestly, I didn’t expect to love Batman as much as I did because I didn’t grow up with superhero stories. I get confused by them and I mix all their histories together, but Batman was just simply amazing. The book brought up so many perspectives, and it clearly outlines how Batman became the man that he became. More than just a superhero story, it’s a story of love, family, friendship, and how everything is grey, not black and white.

With an intricately-woven plot, amazing execution and well-paced unfolding of the story, Marie Lu definitely knew how to write Bruce’s story to captivate her audience. She made Bruce more humane through this novel, and I could totally connect this story to how Bruce became Batman. This book is nothing short of perfection, and I can’t wait for the rest of the world to read it! And you definitely must!

5 unexpected stars
—————————
Okay so for my extra content, I decided to make some bookmarks with quotes from the novel. I’m not an expert in Photoshop, but I tried my best, haha! If any of you want a copy of any of the images, I’m happy to send them to you guys via email! 🙂

You Out of Nowhere Blog Tour + Excerpt! {4.0}

 

Get You Out of Nowhere on Amazon || Add it on Goodreads

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 4, 2017

Photography: Chi Yu Rodriguez
Cover Design: Miles Tan
Models: Bibo Reyes & Celine Bengzon

 

When I first saw the synopsis for You Out of Nowhere, I knew I had to read it! I mean, the synopsis features characters who seem like they have very different personalities, older woman and younger man romance, and a train meet cute! What’s not to love, right? And I must say, I was completely correct because I really enjoyed reading this book! Despite being new to the romance class community, and having just read 4 books, I couldn’t wait to read more because every book I’ve read so far is nothing short of fantastic.

 

You Out of Nowhere was so good that right after reading it, I just wanted to spend the whole day devouring books, despite the slump that I just recently got out of. From the very beginning of the book during the train meet-cute, and then them going on a date, I was already invested in their story. I mean, they were just so cute with all the banter going back and forth between them, along with all the harsh truths and realities mentioned during the train ride – I just knew that they would be perfect for each other, and they indeed were!

 

Kris and Ringo may seem like two very different characters at first glance, but as we learn their stories, they don’t seem that much different at all. They both go after what they want, and they both have been hurt in the past. However, they also know how to endure, and how to get past their struggles and face things head on.

 

 

Set in both the Philippines and Seoul, this book is filled with vivid imagery of both places, taking me right to where the characters are. I loved how Jay E. Tria wrote about the places here in Metro Manila, and how accurate they were – from faulty trains, to extreme traffic especially during Fridays. I also loved how it took me right to Seoul, as though I have been there before when I really haven’t yet.

 

With vivid sceneries, amazing characters, and very supportive families and friends, You Out of Nowhere is a book that is so easy to devour. Well, not really. To put it more accurately, it was kind of addicting, and even though I wanted to stop, I just couldn’t. To hell with school and other responsibilities, this book demanded my attention, and I gave it freely! Overall, I just loved this book and can’t wait to read more from the author!

 

Excerpt

Trainman

November 11, Friday

Kris

He was reading Pride and Prejudice.

What guy does that? And in public too, inside a packed metro rail train South-bound on a Friday night. I lucked on a seat by some karmic miracle, though standing squished among the mass of passengers seemed like the better idea than what I had now, my wide-ass hips crushed between the hard plastic seat’s edge and the woman beside me.

I hated commuting. I hated trains. I hated the co-ed cars of the train the most, especially during rush hour. And rush hour these days was taking on that distinctive stench of holiday panic, as it usually did in the middle of November in this Christmas-loving country. I had come from Quezon City and had to jump into the first train car that could fit me, running late as I was for this obligation all the way in Makati.

Obligation. Okay. Heh.

My best friend Daisy would kill me if she heard my brain, after all the things she had done for me these past few years, air quotes, air quotes.

I looked up from my phone again, straining a look at the guy standing in front of me. He was gripping the steel railing above his head like a lifeline, which did me the favor of seeing his flexed biceps.

He had a lean arm, decorated by faint lines of snaking veins, muscular in a way that was not at all rude. It wasn’t hard to notice its very pleasing personality, swathed though it was by the sleeves of his striped black-and-white button-up shirt. The sleeves were rolled up to his elbows (thank you, god), in crisp, deliberate folds rising past toned forearms. I always thought that wardrobe move was both rugged and responsible.

I inched my gaze up his exposed skin, searching for tattoos. No trace of ink thus far. A bit disappointing.

My eyes travelled back down to his book. His edition was small, thick, and pink. Dog-eared and covered in plastic, the way one does to school books to make them last the year.

I dared look up as far as his nose, noting the tiny bump along the steepest part of the straight bone. I counted the lines marring his forehead as he kept it scrunched, taking care to miss his eyes should he look up from the pages, and decided he couldn’t be reading this romance classic for school. Not even for college literature class.

With his pressed shirt, nice watch, and tapered charcoal slacks, he looked like a corporate boy. A young, well-dressed one at that. Early twenties, easy. I’d learned from a string of stiff, boring dates that I didn’t like corporate boys much. Nor had I ever been inclined to go through the fun yet rickety ride of dating younger.

Those two things at least kept me from crushing too hard on this hot stranger and his intense occupation with only one of the best love stories ever known to womankind.

“I am very fond of walking.”

“Sorry?”

Shit. Did I say that out loud?

I flicked my gaze up and got my answer. Corporate Boy was staring back at me, eyebrows lifted, mouth threatening the smile that was already crinkling his eyes.

Yes, I said that out loud.

And yes, okay, now I knew he had kind biceps and a beautiful face.

Man, this was painful.

I cleared my throat and tried a smile instead of pretending I hadn’t heard him, since I was a grown up like that. “I was trying to remember if that was only a line from the movie or if it’s also in the book.”

“Oh. I think it’s just from the movie.” His brow wrinkled some more. His forehead looked like a map of waves now. “I should know that, the many times I have read this.”

“Your favorite book?”

He pursed his lips, blinked a few times, and turned to me again. Plump, just-bitten lips. Deep, dark eyes. A feathery fringe of lashes. Why so pretty, mister stranger?

“You do not know me so you can’t judge me,” his baritone voice drawled. “So I’m going to be honest and say it’s high up there.”

“Okay.”

“My ready answer is that I’m reading it to help my sister write her book report, and that’s also true.”

No, my goodness. Stop it. Shut up.

“Do you like it too?”

He didn’t seem to have noticed I was having mild palpitations over here, thanks to the hot-guy-who-reads-and-dotes-on-sister fantasy reel he’d conjured in my head. I tucked a stray curl away from my cheek, pinched the inside of my wrist and forced my mouth to make words.

“Oh, I’m in love with Mr. Darcy. My friend says half my dates didn’t work out because I was expecting them to be brooding yet sensitive and to own both a heart of gold and half of Derbyshire. Or you know, Derbyshire’s contemporary equivalent in the Philippines.”

Wonderful. I was now babbling to a beautiful stranger on the train about my book boyfriend and my complete inability to keep a real one. Daisy would sock her fist inside my mouth and store it there for safekeeping if she knew.

He didn’t laugh, or worm through the sweaty, sticky, after-office train crowd to get as far away as possible from me, Weirdo Train Lady. The smile settled in his eyes, rumpling the corners.

“That’s too bad,” he said, and nothing else. He went back to reading.

I wanted to demand what that meant. Too bad, what, sir?

He’s a stranger he’s a stranger he’s a stranger.

I had to force a chorus of those words to drill the reminder in my head. Why should I care what this guy thought about my love life? Too many people I knew already had loud, decisive opinions about it anyway. No need to add another critic.

I turned my glare to my phone as it lit up with Daisy’s text. You better be walking up the mall already. I could hear every note of aggression in each perfectly spelled word. She was antsy and nervous, more so that I could psyche myself out to be, since I had categorized this night’s activity as yes, an obligation.

She was my best friend and she cared a bit too much about me. I was doomed to love her for it.

Do I lie? My thumbs hovered over the screen, preparing to type a reply. I was two stations and a 20-minute walk away from where she wanted me to be. The only difference between telling the truth and telling her what she wanted to hear was that if I gave her the latter, she’d be all the less anxious. I should be a good friend and do what good friends do.

The train ground to a halt, sending my left side crashing against the steel railing as the woman beside me hoisted herself up and barreled through the crowd to the opening door. My phone dropped to my lap as I focused on breathing through what felt like three broken ribs, and on swallowing the little oaths lined up in my throat, itching for release.

Another jolt, a swoosh of fine fabric and warm skin beside me, and the train was rumbling away again.

“You should breathe.”

I did—a long pull of musty, sweat-drenched air—before turning to Corporate Boy who was now settled to my right. “Thanks. I forget sometimes.”

The smile inched up his mouth this time. And he really shouldn’t have done that, because now I knew his mouth was beautiful too.

“I haven’t been on a date for going on a year.” The words came out of his lips sounding rehearsed, as if he’d spent the past few minutes assembling them in his head.

“Too bad?” I dared, eyebrow hitching.

“There you go.” He laughed, short and quiet. I barely heard the sound. “Now we’re even and I can go back to reading with a clear conscience.”

He didn’t though. His book was folded inside his palm and he was looking straight ahead. It couldn’t be a good view. A man was standing in front of him, hands gripping and body hanging from the handrails, looming over him like a grimy shadow.

“How many more stations for you?” He turned to me. He seemed to have made the decision that my face was a better sight than the man’s sweat-stained Keep Calm and Eat Bacon t-shirt.

The train was crawling into Buendia station. I expected the lurching stop this time. I gripped the metal bar beside me for leverage. “Getting off on the next. You?”

“Same.”

He breathed in once. Again. He was sitting so close I could feel it brush my ear, could feel it send static through my unruly locks. I could swear I caught him staring at my long, curly hair as strands lifted with his breaths, as if he wanted to sweep them away.

I know, I know, it’s a mess. But grooming beyond the basic social requirement is pointless in commute hell.

His gaze dropped back to his book as his fingers pried the worn pages open.

Huh. I expected more words. Just as well. My mother always said not to talk to strangers. She might have mentioned a special clause for the hot ones who read romantic books and weren’t ashamed of it. Those rare ones were sure to be serial killers.

Sometimes I wish I could strangle the voice of my mother that lurked within the recesses of my head. The many rules and don’ts she’d planted in me. I was in my thirties and still they were there, stamped where I couldn’t wash them off with beers or bury under hours spent out beyond midnight. I shouldn’t be blaming Mr. Darcy. I should be blaming her for my present disinterest in committing to a man.

You love your mother you love your mother you love your mother.

I was humming the words, making myself spurt out laughter. After forbidding me to have a boyfriend all through my school years, my mother was now all out with Daisy on fixing this aspect of my life.

Fixing, they dared call it. As if I had a leaking pipe. As if crossing over to thirty flipped a button that made a dashing man and a marriage pour out from heaven. Never mind that I had a business I loved and friends who got me. Oh no, it wasn’t enough, because my mother needed grandchildren.

I made the mistake of turning to my right, because Corporate Boy was staring at me, eyebrows raised.

“What?” I demanded. “Never seen a woman laugh to herself before?”

He seemed surprised, but also ready to answer. But the train made another awful stagger, screeching to a full stop. I craned my neck to look out the grubby window, as the voice crackling through the speakers confirmed my worst fears.

“The train ahead of us is having technical difficulties. We will wait here until it can depart from Ayala station. Please remain seated. Good evening and apologies to all.”

“Who the fuck is seated?” someone yelled out from the mass of bodies.

“You tell them, sir,” Corporate Boy cheered.

“Right on,” I seconded the motion.

Corporate Boy and I settled deeper into our hard plastic seats.

A moment later he was sighing out a gust of wind. “I’m in so much trouble.”

“Yeah?” My phone lit up again. I didn’t dare read it. “Big date? Shit, sorry. That was prying.”

“It’s okay. I also suck at small talk.”

“Hey!”

He laughed. This time I heard it, deep and bright and full to bursting. I felt it shake inside his chest, his arm sharing the tremors with mine.

“Yes, it’s a date, and a setup too,” he said. “Looks like my awful streak is a solid one.”

“Don’t worry. One look at you and she’ll be a puddle on the floor.”

Okay, I just told him I thought he was hot. The trick to fix such a mistake, I’d learned, was to keep my eyes averted until I could mumble out better, less embarrassing words.

“I mean, it looks like you made the effort. That’s a nice shirt.”

He was smiling. I heard it. “I like your shirt too.”

“You know them?” I brushed my hair away and looked down at the shirt in question. I was wearing the name of a recent favorite local band. Excitement washed over my shame and I tipped my head to look at him. “They’re not very mainstream, but they have an old school sound that I miss with all of these EDM hits ruining the world.”

As if the train driver were my personal fairy, the speakers started booming out a stale Chainsmokers song.

“Like this piece of catchy shit.” I started singing out the words, just to get it out of my brain before it embedded itself into a week-long Last Song Syndrome.

“Are you going to a gig?”

It was my turn to laugh. A gig, a blind date. What was the difference anyway? I could very well be an old, jaded vocalist, fed up with the same old music playing, with how each night would end with me exhausted and unsatisfied and leaving the bar alone.

I should try this analogy with both Daisy and my mother after tonight.

“Sure. It’s my final gig, at least for a while. Because I’m so tired of these things not working out.”

“Is it a sound system problem, or a crowd control situation—?”

“It’s a me problem. I suck at gigs.”

His gaze found my mouth and my blood rushed to the space under the skin of my cheeks.

He caught my gaze. His eyes weren’t black as I first thought, but a deep, rich brown. I saw alarm flit there for a second. One blink and it was gone.

I took that as my turn to steer this small talk at which we both suck. “So, who’s the monster that set you up?”

“My boss.” He chuckled at the sympathetic gaze I fixed him. “She has her rare, more, er, charitable moments. I’m trying to not feel too weird about it. I guess she took pity on me.”

“Have you been very pitiful lately?”

“I guess. I’ve been drinking a lot the past few months, I am nearly incapable of getting drunk now.”

I let out a short whistle. “Congrats. Your liver is now steel on the outside, rotting on the inside.”

“I’ve stopped, okay.” He looked part amused, part worried. Part proud. “I am too young to die. All my hopes and dreams can’t go to waste.”

What a serious man he was. “Sounds like you have plenty.”

He shrugged, massive shoulders lifting. His shadow loomed over me when he was standing, and beside me now, he had to dip his chin a few inches so he could catch my eyes. For someone talking to a stranger, he sure made a habit of maintaining eye contact.

“I hope this girl I’m meeting tonight is nice,” his voice rumbled. “Because I really want to get married someday.”

“First date and you’re thinking about marriage?” My voice might have risen to a squeak a little bit.

“I’m going in with a goal in mind,” he said, sharp jaw set.

“How old are you?” I surprised myself at daring to ask him his age. I didn’t think I’d get a reply.

“Twenty-four, turning twenty-five.”

Ah, the quarter-life crisis. My ex-boyfriend Adam and I used to talk about getting married at 25. The age passed us and we didn’t, because we both realized we were still kids hitting wall after wall with our inflated little heads, confident and ambitious but naïve with no idea what we really wanted.

Three years past that age, he dumped me. A year later, he married someone else. I guess he figured out his life then.

“That’s not too young to get married.” Corporate Boy seemed to have read my silence as judgment.

That was partly true, fine, I admit it. Beyond that I was puzzled. And curious.

“I hope you’re not measuring yourself against Lizzie Bennet,” I quipped, keeping a straight face. “At least look to Mr. Darcy. He was older.”

“I am capable of heading a household.” His tone was flat but he didn’t sound annoyed.

“Sure you are. Everything about you reeks of stable income and a complete roster of fancy benefits. I just pity the girl you’re meeting tonight. What if she just wants to fool around, you know? Toe you under the table. Make out with you in the car. That kind of a simple life.”

I’d turned away but I swear I could feel his eyes on my mouth again. It must be a new superpower. I hoped my lipstick was as matte and long-wearing as the tube promised.

“My boss knows where I am. She said she found me the perfect girl.”

I scowled. “There is no such girl.”

“Okay, okay, you’re right, I take it back,” he said, palms up. He ran one hand down his face, as if he felt worn out. “I meant a girl who might want something lasting too, instead of just footsies and kissing. Though I’m not against any of that.”

“Why would you be?”

I wished the train would leave now, because I treasured Daisy and I really didn’t want her to end up in prison for strangling me for being so late. Also because I knew if we stayed still like this any longer, Corporate Boy would start asking me questions. Surely he’d retaliate for my terrible small talk.

I also wished the train would stall for a few minutes longer. Because Corporate Boy was gorgeous and his shirt felt good against my bare arm, and it had been a while since I’d wanted to figure out the spaces between a man’s words the way I did with his.

I blamed it on his friendship with Mr. Darcy.

 

About Flair

FLAIR (or #romanceclassFlair) is a new, ongoing project and it’ll bring you steamy contemporary romance (in English) by Filipino authors. There are four new titles from four different #romanceclass authors about to be released, and these books will be unapologetically sexy. What can you expect from Flair? HEAs, Filipino characters, fresh telling of familiar tropes, lots of heat.

Flair is not a publisher, but there is a single Flair team that is working with the authors on all the books. The team is composed of #romanceclass community authors, readers, editors, designers. Follow Romanceclass Books on FB, romanceclassbooks on IG, and #romanceclass on Twitter to get the updates!

 

About the Author

Jay E. Tria is inspired by daydreams, celebrity crushes, a childhood fascination of Japanese drama and manga, and an incessant itch to travel. She writes contemporary young adult and new adult romance. Sometimes, paranormal fantasy too.

Visit her website http://www.jayetria.com.

Email: jayetria@gmail.com

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Wattpad: jayetria

ARC Review: Throwing Rules to the Wind by Thessa Lim {4.0}

 

Author: Thessa Lim
Series: Of Heads and Hearts #2
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: –
Publication Date: October 31st, 2017
Pages: Paperback, 248
My Rating: 4 Stars

A complicated office romance is not what scrupulous travel writer Zara Castillo has planned for, especially not when her career is finally taking off, but her easygoing colleague Matthew Villanueva is everything she wants in a man. When their relationship is tested by distance, issues she thought she had long buried emerge once again. Zara delves into her past in a quest for answers. Now she must face her demons or lose the love of her life.

Set in Metropolitan Manila with travel bouts to different islands in the Philippines, Throwing Rules to the Wind explores the lights and shades of seeking closure, forgiveness, and love.

When I first started reading Throwing Rules to the Wind, I thought that this would be solely centered on romance, but boy am I glad that it isn’t just about romance! This book encompasses a lot of things, which made me like it even more.

My favorite thing about this book has got to be how Zara turned back to her past not to give excuses nor to wallow herself in self-pity, but to discover herself, learn and grow from all her past mistakes. She did this in order to understand herself, ask for forgiveness, and eventually, forgive and accept herself as well. Throwing Rules to the Wind is not merely a love story, but also a story about trust, family, binding friendship and self-discovery.

Throwing Rules to the Wind is a quick and short read, but I can’t say that it’s cute because it has a more serious vibe to it. With themes of cheating, divorce and mistrust in Zara’s past, I would say that this is more focused on Zara’s journey on how to learn how to trust again, and her friends, family and Matt definitely helped her. This also featured aspects of her career, and I loved how this book featured different parts of the Philippines. I especially loved it when they went to Pagudpud because I have been there, and yes, the view was truly breathtaking!

Overall, I really enjoyed Throwing Rules to the Wind. I can’t wait to read more from Thessa Lim!

4 self-discovery stars

Monthly Recap: October

 

 

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Thank you,  Edelweiss and Netgalley for these!
34865933
 Thank you for making me a part of the blog tour!
Thank you for this, Thessa Lim!

 

 

  1. The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine  ★★★★ – This book definitely put Sarah Fine up on my radar!
  2. The Heartbeats of Wing Jones by Katherine Webber ★★★★ – This one takes some getting used to, but it’s an amazing novel nonetheless.
  3. The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccareli ★★★ – The story is captivating, although it was terribly dragging
  4. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco ★★★ – An amazing story with dragons, although there were dragging moments.
  5. The Stepsister’s Tale by Tracy Barrett ★★★ – An interesting story because of the different perspective, although it lacks the magic of a retelling.
  6. Caraval by Stephanie Garber ★★★★ – I was wary to read this one because I didn’t like The Night Circus, but this one took me by surprise! I loved it!
  7. Riders by Veronica Rossi ★★ – I was so disappointed with this one, with its excessive narrative and dragging plot line.
  8. Dead and Night by Roshani Chokshi ★★★ – I didn’t like The Star-Touched Queen because of the insta-love, but this novella gave me some perspective with regards to how their story formed.
  9. Heart of Mist by Helen Scheuer ★★★ – For the most part, the story was interesting, although I felt like there were too few information given on the world.

 

  1. Dress Up That Cover #74: The Secret of a Heart Note
  2. Dress Up That Cover #75: The Last Time We Were Us
  3. Dress Up That Cover #76: The End of Our Story
  4. Dress Up That Cover #77: Under Rose-Tainted Skies

Blog Tour: Heart of Mist Review + Giveaway

Title: Heart of Mist 
Author: Helen Scheuerer
Series: Heart of Mist #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Talem Press
Publication Date:  August 31st, 2017
Pages: 487
My Rating: 3.5 Stars

In a realm where toxic mist sweeps the lands and magic is forbidden, all Bleak wants is a cure for her power.

Still grieving the death of her guardian and dangerously self-medicating with alcohol, Bleak is snatched from her home by the Commander of the King’s Army, and summoned to the capital.

But the king isn’t the only one interested in Bleak’s powers.

The leader of an infamous society of warriors, the Valia Kindred, lays claim to her as well, and Bleak finds herself in the middle of a much bigger battle than she anticipated.

Heart of Mist is the gripping first book in The Oremere Chronicles, a fantasy series of epic proportions.

Heart of Mist honestly took me by surprise. When I first started reading it, I was just confused and didn’t know what was going on. However, as the story progress and more and more things got revealed, I also got more and more invested in the story. Heart of Mist is a story full of strong yet flawed characters, and each one has a pretty interesting story of his/her own.

Heart of Mist started out slow and dragging for me. I felt confused and I didn’t enjoy Bleak initially. I also got confused when suddenly, there was a POV change. It was later on that I knew that their paths wold cross. Nonetheless, it added to the confusion in the beginning. The characters were mostly annoying at first, but as I read on, I grew fond of more and more of them.

For the most part, I enjoyed the book in such a way that I liked learning new things. As the story went on, I became invested in the background stories of Bleak, Sahara, Fiore, Swinton, Dash and the King. I feel like there’s so much more going in there, and I just can’t wait to know more! As I was fed more information, I grew to like the book more.

For all his arrogance, I really enjoyed the character of Swinton. He may be cruel and selfish at some points, but he’s also brutally honest about himself, and he doesn’t do well with self-pity nor guilt. He’s just such an interesting, dynamic character, and I can’t wait to learn more about him! Although Fiore doesn’t seem to have much of a story, I’m still interested in him because he’s such a funny and caring character. I think out of all the characters, I am most interested in Dash. He’s just the one that speaks the most to me, and I need to find out his story! I already have an inkling, but it would be nice to have those inklings verified.

I still felt like towards the end of the book, there were still so many questions left unanswered. I know that there’s going to be a second book, but I felt like this book gave us nothing at all, save for a few scraps. I felt like there were spots to the story that were left untold, and I really wasn’t satisfied with all the information that I got. In the end, I felt like I still didn’t know anything about the overall story arch.

Overall, I enjoyed the story, although I felt that there were some spots in the story and that there wasn’t much information given regarding the secrets in the whole story arch.

3.5 lacking in information but interesting stars

Dewey Readathon #3

What is Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon? For 24 hours, we read books, post to our blogs, Twitters, Tumblrs, Goodreads and MORE about our reading, and visit other readers’ homes online. We also participate in mini-challenges throughout the day. It happens twice a year, in April and in October.

I’m still so unsure of my list yet, but I’ll list down 5 books and try to read at least 2-3 books throughout the readathon. I know I can read 3 but I have school this time, so I have to balance my time between reading and homework.

If you’ve read any of the books on my list below, please tell me what you think of it! 🙂 The readathon starts at 8:00pm on October 21 here in the Philippines.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
380/380 pages
0/352 pages
Keep the Faith by Ana Tejano
0/210 pages
Remember Me Always by Renee Collins
0/322 pages
Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
0/328 pages

 

Hour 10:

  • Finished my first book, When Dimple Met Rishi! Asdsjlfa, 10/10 stars!

Hour 11:

Hour 16:

Hour 22:

Thesis Hiatus

Hi guys, I would keep this post short and informal. I will not be blogging until I finish my thesis. My thesis started last term, during February, which is why I haven’t been able to post reviews and other things here on this blog. This will go on until the end of August, if we pass, which hopefully we would. I also hope to be back by early September, but we’ll just have to see what happens.

Freebie: A5 May Calendar

          I know this is not book related, but for those of you who, like me, also use the bullet journal, this may come useful to you. I made this the other day to use for my bullet journal, and I thought I’d share it to you guys. Happy May!

         On another note, do you want to see me post how I used my bullet journal to track my book blogging responsibilities? Let me know in the comments down below.

Stacking the Shelves – April


 Thank you Netgalley and Random House for these lovelies! 

 Thank you Edelweiss and Harper Collins for these! 

Audiobooks

 Eeep, thank you so much for these, Macmillan! 

I never thought I’d receive audiobooks for review! 


Which of these have you read? 

What did you think about them? 

Which book do you think should I read first?