Feels Like Summer by Six de los Reyes

Feels Like Summer by Six de los Reyes
Publication Date: April 12, 2017
Source: ARC from the Author
Rating: ★★★★★
Amazon

Synopsis

Five-minute girlfriend. That’s what Jett signs up for when she meets Adrian and his band Arabella at beach music festival Summer Storm. One kiss and the attraction is too electric to ignore, but Jett has no room for love and Adrian is Mr. Relationship who’s getting over his recent breakup. The solution? Keep it simple. Keep it casual. For three months (that’s the rule about breakups, right?), Jett helps Adrian move on and Adrian shows up on Jett’s bed whenever she wants.

Then the three months are up and neither of them are in a hurry to be the first to leave. Does Jett walk away from a potential disaster or does she finally let someone into her closely-guarded heart?

I received an ARC of this book from the Author. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

This is the second book in the author’s Summer Storm series. The book has a lighter and funner vibe than the first one, but both are important.

Let me just start this by saying that wow this book is very hot. I believe that out of all the books I’ve read from this author, this is the hottest one yet.

The 5-minute girlfriend and no strings attached premise were already very exciting, even without factoring in our go-getter MC and our singer  LL. Also, the cover of the book perfectly represents the gamer girl and the band boy, it’s just gorgeous.

My most favorite thing about this book is honestly Jett (Sorry Adrian, Sorry Franklin! 😂).

It is so highly refreshing that we have an MC as strong and confident in her sexuality and her body as Jett, especially here in the Philippine-setting. She is one of the coolest girls I have ever read, and you’d think she can’t be any more cooler, but she can. Why? Because she works in a science museum, that’s why! In my opinion, that job is one of the most fun and rewarding jobs a person could have. This girl also takes no shit and is an experienced gamer!

I am so amazed that even though we’ve already established that she’s the coolest, she was still made very relatable by the author. I get it, I get her. She didn’t want to get too close to anybody and she wanted everything to be on her own terms because because she was hurt so many times, she was deeply hurt by her dad, and then Ziggy, the hard habit to break, happened.

"to all gamer girls out there na na-Ziggy" (de los Reyes, 2017)
Let’s talk about bb Adrian (Baedrian, if you will 😂)

How is Adrian perfect, let me count the ways. Aside from his wonderful singing voice, and the body he got from Michael Brian’s intervention, he is also patient, and vulnerable, and all out.

He is obsessed with cleaning which is a must for a husband (Jk, Jk!) The boy actually listens to what you’re saying, and doesn’t push himself on to you. He waits until you’re ready. Also, he maybe already kinda see through your bullshit, but he still loves you wholeheartedly.

Do you want to talk about Franklin’s puns and Michael’s Brians abs (and also other things)? Okay.

Franklin is the best thing ever, he is so lovable and funny. He breaks even the most awkward of situations. His best friend Michael Brian is witty, and very good looking, but he’s also a good friend and wing-man. Franklin and Michael Brian’s fights were so petty and funny.

The nicknames’ Fluffy, Sniffles, Sleepy, Intern, Baby Spice were so adorable and reminiscent of the seven dwarfs. 😂 Franklin and Kenny’s tag team during the first chapter was so charming and funny that you’ll be hooked to the story instantly.

Overall, this is a strong book, we have such an interesting and eclectic mix of people that blends so well, we have scenes that will make you hold on tight to your seat, and we have realizations that true love is there, you just need to not shoo it away.
PLEASE DON'T ATTACK ME WITH A LIGHT SABER. OR DO. UP TO YOU. 😂

Review + Giveaway || Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski

Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski
Publication Date: April 18th 2017 by Swoon Reads
Source: ARC from Publisher via Netgalley
Rating: ★★★★
Amazon / Book Depository

Synopsis

Can friendship, Star Trek, drama club, and a whole lot of coffee get two nerdy best friends through the beginning of their senior year of high school?

Meg and Linus are best friends bound by a shared love of school, a coffee obsession, and being queer. It’s not always easy to be the nerdy lesbian or gay kid in a suburban town. But they have each other. And a few Star Trek boxed sets. They’re pretty happy.

But then Sophia, Meg’s longtime girlfriend, breaks up with Meg. Linus starts tutoring the totally dreamy new kid, Danny—and Meg thinks setting them up is the perfect project to distract herself from her own heartbreak. But Linus isn’t so sure Danny even likes guys, and maybe Sophia isn’t quite as out of the picture as Meg thought she was. . . .

From crowdsourced young adult imprint Swoon Reads comes Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski, a fun friendship story about two quirky teens who must learn to get out of their comfort zones and take risks—even if that means joining the drama club, making new friends, and learning how to stand on your own.

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher as part of the Blog Tour. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

This book is really cute! I definitely enjoyed reading it! I haven’t read a book in which both main characters are queer and I loved every second of it.

Meg and Linus have been friends forever and they share a lot of common things. Their friendship was the main theme of the book and I had a great time seeing it grow and develop further. They both deeply care about each other and it was quite the spectacle to see how this was actually one of the reasons of their small “falling apart”. It’s very much relatable and realistic because as I’m reading the book, I could recall similar events that happened to me and my friends. So yes, this book is like my kindred spirit.

Meg is more relatable for me as compared to Linus, because we’re similar about many things. For one, I do act as a matchmaker between my friends and their crushes, especially if both of them are my friends. Haha! It’s a great feeling to help out, especially if they end up being together. Although, both Meg and Linus are fabulous characters.

“I will just never understand how some people honestly believe that making another person feel severely uncomfortable is the best way to win them over.”

The development between Linus and Danny’s relationship was a treat to read. I really enjoyed them both and I swooned so hard! Their scenes made me smile ear to ear! <3

Another thing I enjoyed about the story was the casual drop of pop culture references. Meg and Linus have this thing of having Star Trek marathons. Even Star Wars and Firefly were mentioned, also the Delorean, which was really cool because I’m a fan of all of these!

The only thing I had an issue with was the pacing. The book was a little slow at first, but then it picks up as you go further into the story. So, albeit that, I was able to read the book in one go. I also enjoyed how Meg and Linus were able to gain more friends throughout the book. Another thing was the depiction of family relationships in the book, it was really great and I love how open the characters were to their parents, and their parents being supportive to them.

Overall, this book was really a great and enjoyable one. It’s such an amazing debut! The LGBTQ+ rep was amazing, friendships and family relationships were perfect! I’m glad both Meg and Linus got a happy ending!

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Promdi Heart (Hometown Love Stories) by Georgette Gonzales, Agay Llanera , Chris Mariano, C.P. Santi , Jay E. Tria, Ines Bautista-Yao

Promdi Heart (Hometown Love Stories) by Georgette Gonzales, Agay Llanera , Chris Mariano, C.P. Santi , Jay E. Tria, Ines Bautista-Yao
Publication Date:
 March 9th 2017
Source: ARC from the Authors
Rating: ★★★★★
Amazon

Synopsis

Take a quick tour of the Philippines with six hometown love stories.

Visit Jimenez, Misamis Occidental where a priest might just set you up with a man whose dimples are to die for.

Visit Silay, Negros Occidental and get on a horse alongside hunky, hazel-eyed Negrense royalty.

Visit Kalibo, Aklan and find yourself in the arms of a cute drummer boy who just happens to be your kuya’s BFF.

Visit Hagonoy, Bulacan and spend All Saint’s Day next to a distracting boy who promises to write you a song.

Visit Vigan, Ilocos Norte and meet the hot man you used to bully when he was a shy, scrawny boy.

Visit Pundaquit, Zambales and find love in a bronzed fisherman whose eyes hold depths you’ll want to explore.

I received an ARC of this book from the Authors. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

These past two months, I’ve been trying to do rounds and read more authors from the #RomanceClass community. That’s why I was very excited when the Promdi Heart ARC blog tour was announced. Not only will I be able to read six lovely stories from six Philippine provinces, I will also be reading the works of six different Filipino authors. I would also like to mention how much I love, and how gorgeous the cover of this anthology is! ❤

Only The Beginning by C.P. Santi

First, I’m quite convinced that Jimenez and Misamis Occidental is a lovely place to visit. I would especially like to go to the church where the priest, Father Danny, caught Andi (the MC) and Martin (the LL) eating donuts, did you know he also caught Tony and Rina there, once upon a time. I honestly laughed out loud at that scene.

My heart was very happy when I found out that Andi is Tony’s niece, because I have such a huge crush on Tony (see my review for Maybe This Time to see the entirety of my feels on Tony and Rina).

I loved the fact that Andi has a such a strong personality in this story, she’s also a little bit bitter and sarcastic (hugot girl indeed), while Martin is pretty chill and joke-y. This made their text messages and banters so entertaining and funny. I think that was my favorite part of the story! I don’t know about you, but my smile was so full when Andi called Martin, Dimples. Heehee.

I also like that Martin kept bringing food that his mom makes to Andi. Actually, I like that they were exchanging foods to send to each other’s home. In addition, Andi talking to his dad’s grave in the cemetery was really endearing.

Letters Abouy A Boy by Ines Bautista-Yao

I am so in love with the letter-themed writing of the story. In addition, the 1990’s time period, and the location (Silay,Negros Occidental) with its haciendas and horses, made it feel like I was reading a teleserye. It was really so fun to read.

Tin-tin was consistently entertaining and relatable throughout the story. I found her voice, so full of innocence and hope, quite refreshing. Her unrequited crush, that developed into love, was familiar. Honestly, didn’t we all go through that phase at one point in our lives? 😂

I also really appreciated that upon Nicolas’ realization that the one he truly loved was right in front of her, he didn’t dilly-dally. He immediately showed his intentions to Tin-tin, to be honest, enough time was already lost. I was easily won over by Nicolas after that, I mean, come on, the singing, the touches and that letter! That letter was super sweet, I can’t even!

Drummer Boy by Chris Mariano

Visiting the Ati-atihan had always been a thing I wanted to do since I was in elementary and we’d been taught about Philippine festivals. So to be smack-dab in the middle of all the Ati-Atihan action was something I really appreciated because at least I was living it vicariously through the story.

Reina’s narration was really funny, another thing that was funny was how his brother, Dex, insisted to come on Reina and Ben’s first date because he was trying to be the protective brother. Okay, that was so cute for me because I’ve always wanted an older brother.

I liked the fact that Ben first appeared very shy, albeit very hot with his drummer’s biceps, but then became very, very smooth and sweet after. I literally swooned when he described what the date could have gone like, if Dex didn’t come. I squealed out loud when he said, they’d stroll by the sea and he’d have to “drive home very, very carefully because by then I might be a little drunk on you”.

This story is already super sweet and nice, but I think there are still issues that were unresolved, like Reina and Ben finally deciding on what job they want to focus on, or Ben’s problems with his dad. I would really appreciate it if a longer story about Reina and Ben would be released someday.

One Certain Day by Jay E. Tria

I really appreciate and seriously needed this story because it’s set during All Saints Day in Hagonoy. I was feeling sad because I’ve missed the last two All Saints’ Day with my family. During 2015, I was in New York finishing a short course (check out my recap for my time in NY here). And last year, I needed to finish experiments in the lab so I worked overtime all through the holidays. My family, like theirs, is also always complete during this time of year, and sadly this is the only time I get to bond with my cousins.

I started liking Alice immediately when she talked about dressing up as Sailor Moon for Halloween, and when she mentioned Meg Cabot. She’s also shy and I relate to that.

Jose Antonio Luis Castillo is a really long name, and I found it funny how he shortened it to just Son. I already liked Son in the Playlist series but I really, really, really loved Son in this short story. The main reason is because he reminded me of Joon Hyung from a K-drama, titled Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo, he was really touchy and he’d say things like “Hello. Panganibans of Hagonoy!” really loudly. He’d also share jokes and profound things, and then he’d look really smug and proud of himself afterwards. My heart melted at the song he wrote Alice!

I loved how their friendship, and then their feelings grew for each other even though they only meet once a year. It didn’t feel forced, it felt really right. So to tell you the truth, I was heartbroken by how it ended. But, I think they need this time to grow into their future selves, I believe their future selves will be right for each other. And, also Jay assured me they will, I trust her, ha-ha!

Once Upon A Bully by Georgette Gonzales

Vigan! Even though I’ve never been to this place, I already know that I will love it. Ahhhhhhhhh, the art, the old houses, the history, the FOOD! It’s so perfect!

Another thing that’s perfect about this story? Miguel! I really love Miguel’s character because even though he was bullied by Bridgette throughout elementary, and his parents also died, he still maintained a great attitude and disposition. He never fought back to Bridgette because he was taught not to, and he never harbored ill-feelings towards her. I will surely not turn out that way if those things happened to me. On top of that, he was really sweet and a little bit shy when wooing Bridgette!

I’m happy that Bridgette regretted the things she has done in the past, and was really apologetic. I really liked that their first date practically toured us around Vigan. Also, the ending where they teased Bridgette’s best friend was just the best!

Back to the Stars by Agay Llanera

Am I the only one who dreams of having a house in a beachfront? The MC of this story, Leah, owns one in Pundaquit, Zambales, and I think she’s very lucky!

I am really all for the childhood friends to lovers trope. This one is so endearing because you’ll see that Leah and Wency’s friendship really runs deep. You could also see how much it affected the both of them when Leah left.

I really loved their talks at the hill, they talked about so many things that resonated with me, and I wanted to highlight so many lines! I also loved that Wency called Leah out for talking bad of Corrine. I think girls shouldn’t bring other girls down.

Overall, I liked the writing, the pacing, and the ending of this one. I do wish it’s a little bit longer. I would totally read a full-length novel on Bridgette and Wency.

PS. I think Wenceslas name is so cool, and Botbot is an adorable nickname.

Final thoughts

The Philippines is a beautiful, wondrous, and diverse country, culturally and geographically. This book is a gentle reminder that there are so many places left to be explored in our lovely country. Despite this fact, your hometown will always hold the most special place in your heart… just like this book. ❤

PS. If you are planning to take a vacation anytime soon, you could try playing this fun quiz made by the authors. It might help to bring this book with you too on your vacation, just saying. 😛

Blog Tour || The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Publication Date: February 28th 2017 by Balzer + Bray
Source: ARC from Publisher via Edelweiss
Rating: ★★★★★
Amazon / Book Depository

Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, Khalil’s death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Starr’s best friend at school suggests he may have had it coming. When it becomes clear the police have little interest in investigating the incident, protesters take to the streets and Starr’s neighborhood becomes a war zone. What everyone wants to know is: What really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could destroy her community. It could also endanger her life.

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.

This book is revolutionary. I’m honestly left without words. I don’t even need to pitch this book because I’m pretty sure it’s either you’ve already read it or it’s on top of your TBR pile. If you haven’t heard of this book, well, where were you in the past several months?

I feel like this review is going to be really short because I’m still speechless about this book. This is just going to be me, pushing the book to you.This book is inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, and damn right it’s a great tale.

This book is inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, and damn right it’s a great tale. I really enjoyed the story and the characters and their dynamics. Starr was relatable and a badass heroine. I love her relationship with her family. Her brothers are funny, and her parents are basically her OTP! She’s also close to her Uncle Carlos. The book practically contained 40% family relationships.

“It’s dope to be black until it’s hard to be black.”

It also explored interracial relationships and I really appreciated it. The Hate U Give opened my eyes and mind further when it comes to racial issues and the whole Black Lives Matter movement. I felt more educated about it and this is why this book is really important. Besides racism, it also tackled police violence and the criminal justice system.

This book has been making noise and has never left the spotlight since last year and it definitely deserved all the early praises and hype. Angie Thomas’s writing is thoughtful and genuine. She perfectly incorporated relevant social issues in a contemporary novel, which is something I’m definitely looking forward to reading more in the future. Honestly, if you haven’t read this book yet, please do!