Bookstagram & Creative Blog Tour: Break The Fall, written by Jennifer Iacopelli (Review + INT’L GIVEAWAY)

Bookstagram & Creative Blog Tour: Break The Fall, written by Jennifer Iacopelli

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in the bookstagram & creative blog tour for BREAK THE FALL by Jennifer Iacopelli hosted by MTMC Tours! Break the Fall is a fiercely told survivorship YA Contemporary novel about one girl’s determination to push her body to win gold at the Olympics, and the power of uniting as women to speak out. Publishing on February 18th, 2020 from Razorbill and February 20th, 2020 from Hodder Children’s (UK).

Continue reading “Bookstagram & Creative Blog Tour: Break The Fall, written by Jennifer Iacopelli (Review + INT’L GIVEAWAY)”

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! 

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! 


Blog Tour: How the Light Gets In, written by Katy Upperman | Review & International Giveaway

Blog Tour: How the Light Gets In, written by Katy Upperman | Review & International Giveaway
How the Light Gets In, written by Katy Upperman

How the Light Gets In by Katy Upperman

Publication date: August 6, 2019 
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Pages: 368
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

Since her sister’s tragic death, seventeen-year-old Callie Ryan has basically given up. Her grades have plummeted, she’s quit her swim team, and she barely recognizes the people her parents have become.

When she returns to her aunt’s run-down coastal Victorian one year after Chloe’s death, Callie resigns herself to a summer of guilt and home renovations. She doesn’t expect to be charmed by the tiny coastal town or by Tucker Morgan, a local boy brimming with sunshine.

But even as her days begin to brighten, Callie’s nights are crowded with chilling dreams, unanswered questions, and eerie phenomenon that have her convinced she’s being haunted. Will Callie be able to figure out what her sister is trying to communicate before it’s too late?

– My Thoughts –

This book is SO good!!! How the Light Gets In is a perfect mix of YA contemporary, romance and paranormal. This haunting tale is about Callie who has lost her sister almost a year ago and she doesn’t know how to live on. Her father can’t see her spiraling so he sends her to live with her Aunt Lucy in Bell Cove, to help her renovate an old inn. When Callie arrives at the old inn, she meets a guy called Tucker Morgan and her dead sister.

I did NOT see this coming! The moment since Callie starts to find Chloe’s things in her room at Bell Cove, I was hooked. At first, she suspects her Aunt Lucy of playing tricks on her but later, she finds out how wrong she is. It seems that even in death, the sisters’ bond remains unbroken and that proves troublesome for Callie who finds herself in danger every time she converses with Chloe’s ghost. If this isn’t intriguing enough for you, then let me tell you about the slow-burn romance between Callie and Tucker, which is one of the best things about the book. Like the old inn, Callie lives in, Tucker is not without secrets and I didn’t expect his secrets to having a connection with Callie.

I’m not a believer in paranormal but I’ve seen people go to seances where they hope to communicate with their dead loved ones. It is said it helps bring peace and perhaps, closure. I don’t normally write my musings in my reviews but this book hit me hard. I know the feeling of wanting so badly to talk to a dead loved one for one last time. Katy Upperman has beautifully written characters dealing with the death of a loved one while piecing themselves back together. From the quiet small town with its secrets to the mysterious incidents in the house to Callie and Tucker’s romance felt real. It felt as if the book ended too soon.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book if you love Katy Upperman’s books, YA contemporary with a twist, romance with some angst, small towns with lots of secrets, and relatable characters. Please pre-order this order this book or request at your nearest library or borrow it from someone!! You won’t regret reading this.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

– About the Author –

Katy Upperman

Katy’s debut novel, Kissing Max Holden, was published August 1, 2017, and her sophomore effort, The Impossibility of Us, released July 31, 2018. Her third novel, How the Light Gets In, will be out August 6, 2019. All three books are with Swoon Reads/Macmillan. She’s represented by Victoria Marini of the Irene Goodman Agency.

Website | Goodreads |  Twitter

– International Giveaway – 

Win a copy of How The Light Gets In plus some swag! Ends on 26th August ’19. Open internationally. Just click on the button below to enter:

Tour Schedule

Click on this link to view the entire tour schedule! Here are some bloggers who are on today’s stop with me:

August 17th

Confessions of a YA Reader – Guest Post
The Clever Reader – Review + Favourite Quotes
Book Rambler – Review
Sometimes Leelynn Reads – Review + Playlist
In Between Book Pages – Review + Favourite Quotes
A Dream Within A Dream – Promotional Post

Mini Reviews: Something like Gravity by Amber Smith, Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

Mini Reviews: Something like Gravity by Amber Smith, Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

Hi everyone! Today, I thought to do a Mini-Review post of two diverse books which are completely different to each other in so many ways. I’ve participated in two readathons back-to-back and because of that, my TBR is 15/16 books lighter and my review pile that much heavier. With that said, let’s begin my mini-review of Something like Gravity by Amber Smith and Patrons Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay. Both are gifted by the author and the publisher(UK) respectively.

Something like Gravity by Amber Smith

For fans of Love, Simon and Eleanor and Park, a romantic and sweet novel about a transgender boy who falls in love for the first time—and how first love changes us all—from New York Times bestselling author Amber Smith.
Goodreads | Book Depository | Wordery

Chris and Maia aren’t off to a great start.
A near-fatal car accident first brings them together, and their next encounters don’t fare much better. Chris’s good intentions backfire. Maia’s temper gets the best of her.

But they’re neighbors, at least for the summer, and despite their best efforts, they just can’t seem to stay away from each other.

The path forward isn’t easy. Chris has come out as transgender, but he’s still processing a frightening assault he survived the year before. Maia is grieving the loss of her older sister and trying to find her place in the world without her. Falling in love was the last thing on either of their minds.
But would it be so bad if it happened anyway?

My Thoughts

Something like Gravity can be described as a beautifully written YA contemporary. It’s about a transgender boy Chris who’s spending his summer months at his aunt’s place where he meets a girl named Maia. Both of them are haunted by their pasts and these summer months will change them forever. Chris’ backstory is one I found to be too traumatic and there’s no real closure to be soon which I really wanted to see. Maia’s character, however, had major development from living in her dead sister’s shadow with her divorced parents ignoring her to gaining closure and perhaps a semblance of her own identity. The author has such a way with words that I never felt bored throughout the book. The characters go from friends to lovers but their ending is left open-ended. I’d definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a light read but as I mentioned before, Chris’ backstory is triggering and I would advise that you proceed with caution.

Publication date: June 18, 2019
Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

A powerful coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks a Filipino-American teenager takes to uncover the truth about his cousin’s murder.

Goodreads | Book Depository | Wordery

Jay Reguero plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte’s war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to find out the real story.

Hoping to uncover more about Jun and the events that led to his death, Jay is forced to reckon with the many sides of his cousin before he can face the whole horrible truth — and the part he played in it.

As gripping as it is lyrical, Patron Saints of Nothing is a page-turning portrayal of the struggle to reconcile faith, family, and immigrant identity.

My Thoughts

Patron of Saints is an own voices novel that I was very excited about and it delivered on its promise. Jay, a Filipino American high school senior, on hearing the news of his cousin’s death travels to Philippines alone. The author masterfully displays the contrast between a High School senior’s life in America and Philippines; for example, in one page we see Jay’s friend smoking weed without any fear but on the other hand, Jay finds that the situation is reversed in the Phillippines..he sees that if he’s seen smoking weed, he could be killed on site. After arriving in the Phillippines, he finds that almost no one in his family is willing to talk about his cousin, it’s as if he never existed. At every moment, he views himself as an outsider despite being born in the Phillippines; at every turn, as he uncovers more secret, Jay realizes how naive and sheltered he has been all these years.

This is not a “happy” book, but rather an important one which I’ll highly recommend. Most of the news about this drug war is written by journalists who probably are not native and thus, we do not get a “clear” view of the situation. Randy Ribay, the author, through Jay’s perspective gives us a view of the situation as a foreigner and through him, we also learn of others’ thoughts who have been affected directly or indirectly.

In his author’s note, Ribay mentions a rough estimate of people who have killed because of the President declaring war on drugs. Imagine 20,000 people (could be more) who were someone’s son, or father or brother, who could have been rehabilitated, were not given a chance to exercise their choice between life and death. Although Jay got more than what he bargained for, he grew as a character and closer to his family which was beautiful to watch.

Publication date: June 27, 2019

Have you read either of these two books? If not, then will you be adding any of them to your TBR? I would love to know your thoughts in the comments below!