Book Review: If We Ever Meet Again, written by Ana Huang

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to review Ana Huang’s NA contemporary romance, If We Ever Meet Again, book one of If Love Duet. It’s available on Amazon KU and on kindle for only $1.31!

Continue reading “Book Review: If We Ever Meet Again, written by Ana Huang”

Book Review: Almost Just Friends, written by Jill Shalvis

Almost Just Friends by Jill Shalvis

Almost Just Friends(Wildstone #4) by Jill Shavis

Publication date: January 21st, 2020 
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 384
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

Piper Manning’s about as tough as they come, she’s had to be. She raised her siblings and they’ve thankfully flown the coop. All she has to do is finish fixing up the lake house her grandparents left her, sell it, and then she’s free.

When a massive storm hits, she runs into a tall, dark and brooding stranger, Camden Reid. There’s a spark there, one that shocks her. Surprising her further, her sister and brother return, each of them holding their own secrets. The smart move would be for Piper to ignore them all but Cam unleashes emotions deep inside of her that she can’t deny, making her yearn for something she doesn’t understand. And her siblings…well, they need each other.

Only when the secrets come out, it changes everything Piper thinks she knows about her family, herself…and Cam. Can she find a way to outrun the demons? The answer is closer than she thinks-just as the new life she craves may have already begun.

– My Thoughts –

“Chin up, Princess, or the crown slips.” 

I can’t remember the last time I read a Jill Shalvis book. When I saw this pop up on the available eARCs on Edelweiss, I had to request it.

Almost Just Friends has multiple POVs, Piper(our mc), Camden, and Piper’s brother Gavin’s. There are two romances as well, one of which is an M/M romance that I would have loved to read more about.

Piper has raised her siblings since the day their parents died. She had to push her dreams and hopes aside to see to it that her siblings’ are fulfilled, until now. Her brother and sister are grown-up enough that Piper can finally sell the Lake House and go to university.

Then she meets Camden Reid at her birthday celebration. Although she bids goodbye to Cam soon after, a storm brings them face-to-face again! Surprisingly, both of them have a lot in common and that includes grief. Recognizing the pain in each other, they form a tentative friendship, a friendship that involves kisses everywhere.

That’s not the only surprise in store for Piper. Her sister and brother turn up announced at the lake house with secrets of their own. Will Piper be able to achieve her dreams? Can she and Cam have any future together?

Piper is my kind of woman. She is a planner and in her journal, she has all her hopes and dreams written to be checked out. When her siblings come back home, her planner doesn’t work anymore. I loved the whole family dynamics in this story. Each character has their backstories are that well fleshed out and it’s a treat to read their character growths as well. As I mentioned before, there are two romances. Cam and Piper’s can be described as “strangers at first but found out acquaintances later” kinda romance and the other romance was a “second chance” one.

I loved every bit of the story which was about overcoming grief, accepting help, being vulnerable and to let the love of others heal you. This story is also about hope and there are so many instances of it(all them are spoilers) that I couldn’t help but feel peaceful.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book. This has a heroine who journals, sibling love, two romances that’ll make you emotional and blush a lot. If you want to read a beautiful story where people who were never supposed to find love does so and in turn heals others, then go to your nearest bookstore or the library and pick this one up!

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review!


– About the Author –

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras with her family and far too many assorted quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental.

 Look for Jill’s ALMOST JUST FRIENDS and get all her bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold. Visit http://www.jillshalvis.com for a complete book list and fun blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Thank you for reading! Have you read Almost Just Friends or any of the author’s previous books? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 

Wait, is this another review?! *gasps* | Book Review: Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer​

Wait, is this another review?! *gasps* | Book Review: Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer​
Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer

Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer

Publication date: June 27th, 2019 
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Pages: 374
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

When his dad is caught embezzling funds from half the town, Rob goes from popular lacrosse player to social pariah. Even worse, his father’s failed suicide attempt leaves Rob and his mother responsible for his care.

Everyone thinks of Maegan as a typical overachiever, but she has a secret of her own after the pressure got to her last year. And when her sister comes home from college pregnant, keeping it from her parents might be more than she can handle.

When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a calculus project, they’re both reluctant to let anyone through the walls they’ve built. But when Maegan learns of Rob’s plan to fix the damage caused by his father, it could ruin more than their fragile new friendship…

This captivating, heartfelt novel asks the question: Is it okay to do something wrong for the right reasons?

TW: discussions of suicide, discussions of abortion, teen pregnancy, parental abuse

– My Thoughts –

After reading A Curse so Dark and Lonely, I was eager to read more of Brigid Kemmerer’s books and many blogger friends recommended Call It What You Want. I was supposed to pick up this book in 2019 but I kept putting it off; however, this wholesome YA contemporary was exactly what I needed after reading a horror story.

“I’m not lost. I want to do the right thing.”

“Most of us do,” she says ruefully. “The problem is that it doesn’t always look the same for all of us”

Rob Lachlan was once THE popular guy in school but now, he’s a nobody. His father stole half the towns investment money and people think that Rob was in on it too. If that’s not enough, his father committed suicide and Rob saw it all.

Maegan was a good girl but she cheated on the SATs and nothing been the same since. Her classmates blame her for getting caught and forcing everyone to rewrite the tests all over again. Maegan’s dad is also a cop and definitely won’t like it when his daughter is friendly with the son of a criminal.

Maegan and Rob are paired up as partners by a teacher, one of my favourite YA trope! At first, none of them wants​ to each other’s partners but later, they realise that their project meet-ups provided a welcome escape from their complicated families. This unlikely relationship between them was so beautiful to read; both insecure and presume the wrong things about each other at first. There were so many other lovable characters in the book: Owen, Owen’s mom, Sam, Mr. London.

The main theme here is how anyone can be misjudged and that we truly don’t know what is going on in their lives. Either we ignore them or treat them like garbage. Also a slight paragraph about racism was included through a character called Drew, when he says that at least people aren’t Rob like a criminal. Even though Drew’s delivery came off rude he was right, Rob got off easy because of the colour of his skin. If a black kid like Drew’s dad would have committed such a crime, the punishment would be far worse. Another representation comes from Owen who’s gay and it was so amazing to see his mother asking him to keep his door open when Rob was alone with him; a contrast to Mr London’s parents who wanted to get “rid of the gay” in him.

“Other people don’t have the challenges that we have, Owen. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have their own.”

Overall, I would highly recommend this. If you loved A Curse so Dark and Lonely and want to read more of the author’s books, then you won’t regret picking this contemporary up. I loved the Robin Hood easter egg in the story and way male friendships were portrayed. I was a bit miffed about the lack of female friendship in this book and I would love it if Brigid wrote a more present female friendship in her next book.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review!


– About the Author –

Brigid Kemmerer is the New York Times bestselling author of dark and alluring Young Adult novels like A Curse So Dark and Lonely, More Than We Can Tell, and Letters to the Lost (Bloomsbury), as well as paranormal YA stories like The Elemental Series and Thicker Than Water (Kensington). A full-time writer, Brigid lives in the Baltimore area with her husband, her boys, her dog, and her cat. When she’s not writing or being a mommy, you can usually find her with her hands wrapped around a barbell. 

Thank you for reading! Have you read Call It What You Want or any of the author’s other books? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 

Blog Tour: Every Other Weekend by Abigail Johnson | ARC Review & Giveaway

ARC Review: Every Other weekend by Abigail Johnson | Blog Tour
Every Other weekend by Abigail johnson

Every Other Weekend by Abigail Johnson

Publication date: January 7th, 2020 
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Pages: 432
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery | Amazon

Synopsis:

What if your safe place…is a person?

Adam Moynihan’s life used to be awesome. Straight As, close friends and a home life so perfect that it could have been a TV show straight out of the 50s. Then his oldest brother died. Now his fun-loving mom cries constantly, he and his remaining brother can’t talk without fighting, and the father he always admired proved himself a coward by moving out when they needed him most.

Jolene Timber’s life is nothing like the movies she loves—not the happy ones anyway. As an aspiring director, she should know, because she’s been reimagining her life as a film ever since she was a kid. With her divorced parents at each other’s throats and using her as a pawn, no amount of mental reediting will give her the love she’s starving for.

Forced to spend every other weekend in the same apartment building, the boy who thinks forgiveness makes him weak and the girl who thinks love is for fools begin an unlikely friendship. The weekends he dreaded and she endured soon become the best part of their lives. But when one’s life begins to mend while the other’s spirals out of control, they realize that falling in love while surrounded by its demise means nothing is ever guaranteed.

– My Thoughts –

What a heart-wrecker of a book! Adam and Jolene both need to spend every other weekends at their father’s places at the same apartment. These two unlikely teens come closer due to some similarity in their life but on the way, they become each other’s family.

Thank god it was an ebook because I have shed many tears in many pages. Specifically when Jolene’s chapters came, I was bracing -like her- for any incoming onslaught. Although I loved Adam’s character, I loved Jolene’s more. Her passion for filmmaking seem to pour out of the pages, her grief would sometimes overwhelm me to the point I would start putting off reading the book once in a while. With all that said, I felt the story also dragged a bit too long and I hope the finished copy comes with some edits.

Overall, I would recommend this if you’d like to read a sweet and wholesome YA contemporary.Meanwhile, this coming-of-age story also deals with heavy issues like loss of a loved one, neglect and abuse(also sexual abuse) by parents. If you do read it, then keep some tissues handy ’cause you’re gonna bawl I guarantee you that. With that said, please go buy/borrow this book!

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review and to the FFBC for including me in the blog tour!

Check out the entire blog tour schedule here


– Giveaway – 

Win one of two copies of EVERY OTHER WEEKEND by Abigail Johnson (US Only); ends on 21st January. Just click on the button below to enter:


– About the Author –

Abigail was born in Pennsylvania. When she was twelve, her family traded in snow storms for year round summers, and moved to Arizona. Abigail chronicled the entire cross-country road trip (in a purple spiral bound notebook that she still has) and has been writing ever since. She became a tetraplegic after breaking her neck in a car accident when she was seventeen, but hasn’t let that stop her from bodysurfing in Mexico, writing and directing a high school production of Cinderella, and becoming a published author.

Goodreads | Twitter | Website

Thank you for reading! Do you think you’ll read Every Other Weekend? If you’ve already read it, then I’d love to know what you thought! 

What happens when all your dreams come true? It kind of does in Poemsia by Lang Leav. Check out my thoughts on the book in this post..

What happens when all your dreams come true? Find out in Poemsia by Lang Leav | Blog Tour
Poemsia by Lang Leav

Poemsia by Lang Leav

Publication date: October 1st, 2019 
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 304
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

Award-winning author and poet Lang Leav presents a YA novel that is an absolute fan pleaser!

Verity Wolf dreams of being a poet—not that she’d ever admit it to anyone. Her best friend Jess thinks she’s definitely got what it takes, while her cat, Zorro is characteristically indifferent. As for the cute boy she’s just met, he’s about to discover her best kept secret.

When Verity stumbles on an old, mysterious book, Poemsia, she finds herself suddenly thrust into the dizzying world of social media stardom, where poets are the new rock stars and fame is sometimes just a click away.

International bestselling author, Lang Leav takes you into the shadowy world of contemporary poetry in this revealing and emotionally charged story about friendship, first love, betrayal, and the courage to follow your dreams.

– My Thoughts –

Poemsia is a book for those who want to be published authors in this era of influencers, in this era where “cancel culture” exists and internet might make you a celebrity(or trash) overnight.

“In the words of Jean de La Fountaine, ‘A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.”

This is my first time reading a Lang Leav book and I can say that I liked it. Let me explain..

The protagonist here is Verity Wolf, who loves poetry very much and lives with her grandfather or Pop. Her parents passed away when she was little and grandmother left a few years ago as well. Verity lives a normal life: has a best friend called Jess, manages her Pop’s bookstore and writes poems. One day, she discovers a poetry book called Poemsia and the poems in it feel so surreal to her(and her bff) that it’s as if Verity wrote the book herself! Verity would’ve never realized that this book -written by #godknowswho- would catapult her to the status of an Instagram celebrity. Verity’s claims of not having written this poem goes unheard and suddenly she’s mentioned on TV as the author of this poem. From then on, Verity with her best friend Jess’s help sets out to self-publish her poems(the ones she wrote). She also meets a cute boy, her favourite poet, and the toxic side of fame. Verity will soon have to decide between leaving her home to pursue her dreams and staying home which could be the end of all.

“There’s no way to be a poet. You can’t choose it because it chooses you. Maybe your soul refracts the universe in all its complex beauty and you are a shard of light in its great hallway of mirrors. The universe calls and compels you to write poetry because with every ounce of its being, it yearns to know itself through you.”

The writing was beautiful, or shall I say, quote-worthy. However, the pacing felt too fast for me; it was like I was in a rollercoaster and the ride was exhilaratingly good but now the adrenaline’s worn off and I don’t know what the f**k just happened. Verity was a relatable and lovable character for sure; I loved her passion for poetry and her dreams of becoming a published author. This has a wonderful portrayal of female friendships as well. Without Jess, Verity would never have published her poems online or in print and the way the duo were always there for each other was so wonderful to watch. The romance between Verity and Sash(Sebastian) felt a little too cheesy for me and the whole on-and-off girlfriend part was a headache to read.

The character development was done well for almost all the characters and I loved the addition of Mena Rhodes'(Verity’s idol) character. Mena was necessary to the plot and she offered both Verity -and us- a view of what really happens when you become a celebrity. Since this is a book about a lover of poetry, I do wish that there were snippets of poems between chapters or even at the end.

“Poemsia is about coming to the end of the book and not wanting to say goodbye to your favourite characters. The struggle of parting ways, real and imaginary.”

Overall, I would recommend this if you’re looking for a beautifully written book about reaching for your dreams, friendship, first love, family, goodbyes, the effects of fame and of course! if you love Lang Leav’s writing.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review for including me in the blog tour!

– About the Author –

Novelist and poet, Lang Leav is an international bestselling author and winner of a Qantas Spirit of Youth Award, Churchill Fellowship and Goodreads Choice Award. Often credited with popularizing poetry among a new generation of young readers, Lang’s poetry books, and hit novel, Sad Girls continue to top best seller charts around the world.
Lang has been featured on CNN, SBS Australia, Intelligence Squared UK, Radio New Zealand and in various publications, including Vogue, Newsweek, the Straits Times, the Guardian, and the New York Times.
She currently resides in New Zealand with her partner and fellow author, Michael Faudet.

Thank you for reading! Have you read Poemsia or any of Lang Leav’s poetry? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!