Blog Tour || The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
Publication Date: April 11th 2017 by Balzer + Bray
Source: ARC for Blog Tour
Rating: ★★★★★
Amazon / Book Depository

Synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.

Right?

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 straight up relatable, especially for me, a real life Molly. Fat, and no boyfriend since birth. I love this book as much as I did Simon and there’s no doubt that Becky Albertalli knows exactly how tickle my fancy with her characters and their stories.

Since I’m probably just going to vomit some words about this book, I’m just going to divide it to three sections.

Characters

I abso-freaking-lutely love all the characters in the story. Molly definitely was my girl. I’ve never related to a girl so fast! I adore her so much, I could wrap some bubble film around her and protect her. It wasn’t hard to envision myself in her shoes because I’m her, and she’s me (except I’m 4 years older haha). Molly is exceptionally talented when it comes to DIY crafts, and she’s one of the people who can utilize Pinterest so damn well. Also, she has like 20+ crushes which also screams ME!

I also adored Cassie, Molly’s twin, and her being a badass. She speaks her mind frankly. Although, it was hard to read the scenes where Cassie and Molly had some fight because I could definitely relate to it and it sort of brought up some memories from my teenage years, still I felt like it was a good thing that this kind of narrative was used.

I also enjoyed reading Mina (Cassie’s new girlfriend), Will (that hipster sidekick), and Olivia (One of Molly and Cassie’s friends) and their backstories. Reid though, this freaking nerdy doofus, I love this guy so much and all his weird funny everything.

I also loved the Simon, Nick, and Abby cameos!

Romance

The romance was super fricking adorable LIKE WHAAAAT?? I just love it so much but I will keep my mouth shut just because.

Message

I really loved the message this book has put out, especially for readers who can definitely identify, not only with Molly, but also to the other characters in the story. Molly also deals with anxiety, and actually has a good anxiety rep. This book also celebrates all different kinds of love, may it be romantic love, familial love, or love between friends.

Overall, I love the diversity of the characters and the issues tackled in the book. The balance between the feel good fluffs and the actual tackling of issues made the book enjoyable to read!

Blog Tour || Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith
Publication Date:
May 2nd 2017
Source:
ARC from local blog tour
Rating: ★★★★
Amazon

Synopsis

Let luck find you.

Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday—just when it seems they might be on the brink of something—she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes.

At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. As a kid, Alice won the worst kind of lottery possible when her parents died just over a year apart from each other. And Teddy’s father abandoned his family not long after that, leaving them to grapple with his gambling debts. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall.

As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns more about herself than she ever could have imagined…and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect.

An ARC was read and passed on as part of JM’s (Book Freak Revelations) blog tour. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.
“Guess I’m going through my abstract period,”

Jennifer E. Smith’s stories, along with Stephanie Perkin’s, were a few of the first YA contemporaries that I’ve read, and I enjoyed each one immensely. So in a way, they’re part of the building blocks why I fell in love with YA.

Because of all this, you don’t know how excited I was when I saw that Jennifer was releasing a new book. Aside from that, oh my god the title is so good, the cover is gorgeous, and the plot was cute! It also features the best friends to lovers trope which I am an absolute sucker for.

Let me be honest and say that I have mixed feelings with this one. Let me first tell you what worked for me:

I like that the book feels real, even with the grandeur and unlikeliness of winning the lottery. We were given relatable characters with flaws, we were shown true friendships, love, grief, and heartache. We were shown how real people react when winning the lottery (well except for Alice, but I understood her reasons).

I also love the family dynamics of Alice and Leo’s family. It is a delight to read about how supportive and loving Leo’s parents are, especially in terms of whatever they decide for their future. For me, those were the most endearing scenes in the book.

I shouldn’t say it, but I also absolutely adored Sawyer. It was already mentioned that I loved the best friends to lovers trope, but I think I love the underdogs more. I have a terrible case of the 2nd lead syndrome. I mean, he virtually planned a perfect date for Alice. He was funny, understanding, and a history geek. I mean, what more could you ask for.

And here are the things I didn’t enjoy as much:

I was honestly irritated with Teddy for 70% of the book. Teddy was careless of Alice’s feelings. He was self-absorbed, selfish, and immature. I could see how charming and confident he was, but it’s just too much. I was absolutely heartbroken for him though because he kept on believing in his dad who clearly only cares for himself and his addiction.

It wasn’t all that bad though because there were scenes that were so sweet, and inside jokes that work really well because Alice and him were best friends for so long.

I really enjoyed Leo and Max’s side story, but I think their story needed more exposure. It shouldn’t have been just a side story, I wanted more character development for both of them.

Overall:

I still had fun reading Windfall, despite not liking the boy lead for three quarters of the book. I genuinely loved the friendship and family dynamics that the book has.

The story still has everything I like in a contemporary, it has light moments, as well as dark ones. It has the signature moments that you can’t help but smile at, and there is a happy ever after.

Sounds Like Summer by Six de los Reyes

Sounds Like Summer by Six de los Reyes
Publication Date: 2016
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★★★
Amazon

Synopsis

It’s not just a weekend for Lux Castelo. She has a plan, of course.

Phase One: Escape to the beach for a music festival.
Phase Two: Deal with what she can’t control.
Phase Three: Return to reality whole and ready.

Nowhere in that plan is Micah Jacinto, self-proclaimed adventurer and the kind of boy with his head stuck in the clouds and the moon inked on his arm—everything her rational sense tells her to stay away from. And yet Lux finds herself welcoming the distraction. As they spend the entire weekend together, Micah leads her to rediscover the lost pieces of herself amidst the excitement and the confusion of a raving mosh pit.

But all weekends come to an end and Lux needs to return to the dreaded reality she’s running away from. Does being brave enough to leave summer behind mean being brave enough to ask Micah to stay?

I will be honest and say that it was hard for me to read this book, it was hard to write this review as well. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t like the book though, because I did, I appreciate it very much and I firmly believe that it needed to be written.

Let’s talk briefly about why this book had such an effect on me. I had always admired and kind of envied the people who already knows what they want to do for the rest of their lives, those people who can just decide and stick with it, because I know it will be hard for me to do that.

I recently finished my contract with a research project at my old uni, I held a position very similar to the one Lux had. This job left me physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted, and to be honest, I wasn’t really happy.

I am kind of in a limbo place right now, not really knowing what I want to do next. I do know that I would like to continue working in science, but that’s it. I am intimidated by the thought of trying, and trying, and trying, and never finding my niche. So yes, I didn’t like the head space that I got into when I was reading this, it hits too close to home, to all my doubts and my struggles.

“In the end, it’s never the big things that push you past the breaking point. It’s always the small rejections, frustrations that build with each repetition…”

So not only did the author perfectly capture the life and hardships of pursuing a career in science, she also did a good job in realistically encapsulating how a person functions or at least tries to when they have depression, add in the stress, the self doubt, the anxiety.

But the book wasn’t all about sadness or dark clouds, there were so many light and funny moments and banter. There were loud music, dancing, and bands. You’d also find so many familiar names from Six’s other books. It also featured avocado shakes, and the beach, it is a summer festival after all.

Lux is my person. I think, and act, and talk like her at least 95% of the time. Okay okay, I think she is funnier than me. She is currently taking her MS in Microbiology while also working as a reserch assistant. She’s really smart and really into music. She’s also a fangirl deep down. She was a little reserved at first, until Micah slowly but surely got through her walls.

Micah was very talkative, but he was also the perfect sounding board. He listens well and when he replies, he is very sincere and he says the things that will make you feel a little bit better. And I think you’d kind of maybe want to share more, share those that you can’t even say out loud. He brings the comic relief we all needed after feeling so much with Lux.

I was very touched by how sweet and perceptive Micah was when he chose the anchor tattoo so that Lux will no longer “float away”. That was definitely one of my favorite parts of this book. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I think Micah and Lux fit together, Micah can be Lux’s light through her dark days, and Lux can be Micah’s family.

Perry is a very doting brother, I did not expect that! He is very cute at being protective though. Kris was a good friend to Perry and Lux, and I am just happy that they have him. I also really enjoyed Kara’s participation in this book. She didn’t make it more difficult for Lux, she even helped her as much as she could. I guess, she only wanted to contribute to Micah’s happiness, and for that I declare her a great friend!

So to summarize, the writing of this book was captivating, the characters were very real and relatable, and the story sends an urgent and relevant message. Six did a really wonderful job with this one. Loud applause.

PS: Trigger Warning for Self Harm

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. 😂