Stacking the Shelves #30

I’ve been really busy for months that I often forget to post my book hauls here. The last one I did was back in February so this is going to be a massive one.

LOCAL BOOKS HAULED:

Dare To Love by C.P. Santi
Keep The Faith by Ana Tejano
Playing Autumn by Mina V. Esguerra
Sounds Like Summer by Six Delos Reyes
If The Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman
Smaller and Smaller Circles by F.H. Batacan
Summer Crush by Six Delos Reyes, Tara Frejas, and Jay E. Tria

ARCS HAULED:

The Secret History of Us by Jessi Kirby
This Is How It Happened by Paula Stokes
Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
Like Water by Rebecca Podos
Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen
Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith
The One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus
Antisocial by Jillian Blake
Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
Welcome Home by Eric Smith
What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum
The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

FROM GIVEAWAYS:

Blacksouls by Nicole Castroman
The Inconceivable Life of Quinn by Marianna Baer
The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy
A Psalm for Lost Girls by Katie Bayerl

BOOKS BOUGHT:

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
I Was Here by Gayle Forman
Pivot Point by Kasie West
Split Second by Kasie West

I have also received some signed bookmarks from Kara Thomas and Jay Kristoff (Thanks Kate! <3)

Now that I’m finally finishing college (just waiting for graduation this month!!) I can finally have more time to read so I do hope I could squeeze these in before I go on a job hunt haha!

As usual, big thanks to HarperCollins International, Abrams Books, Penguin Random House International, Simon Pulse, Bloomsbury, #romanceclass authors, Katie and Marianna, JM of Book Freak Revelations, Kate of The Bookaholic Blurbs and Jay Kristoff, Kara Thomas, Nicole Castroman, and Rebecca Podos!

Which books did you get this week? Have you read any of these books? Let me know!

Stacking The Shelves #29 || Reading Locally

Welcome to another episode of me burying myself with the pile of books that I need to read. I haven’t really bought anything from the books I have for you today because I’m sort of saving money for the Romance Class event on February 11!

FOR REVIEW:

Of Heads and Hearts in the Metro by Thessa Lim
All That Darkness Allows by Various Authors
Midnights in Bali by Carla De Guzman
Coming Of Age by Various Authors
Denton Little’s Still Not Dead by Lance Rubin
10 Things I Can See From Here by Carrie Mac
Descendants of the Sun Photo Essay Book
Textrovert by Lindsey Summers
Keeping the Distance by Clarisse David
Someday with You by Ines Bautista-Yao
The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera
The Heartbeats of Wing Jones by Katherine Webber
The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig
Allegedly by  Tiffany D. Jackson
Jerkbait by Mia Siegert
Love and Gravity by Samantha Sotto
It Started With Goodbye by Christina June
Chasing Mr. Prefect by Katt Briones

I think I’m having a good balance with hauling local books since 2017 started and I’m really glad about that. I’m also glad that a lot of book bloggers have started to be aware of the Filipino Book Community, especially the authors and their books! I’m really excited to read these bunch!

Thanks to Summit Media, Simon and Schuster, HarperCollins International, Penguin Random House International, Kids Can Press, Blink YA Books, Carla De Guzman, Thessa Lim, Clarisse David, Ines Bautista-Yao, and Mia Siegert for the books! <3

How many books have you hauled for the past weeks?

 

 

Midnights in Bali by Carla De Guzman

midnights in baliMidnights in Bali by Carla De Guzman
Source: Review Copy from the Author
Rating:  ★★★
Buy from Anvil Publishing (PH Only)

Synopsis

Ava Bonifacio has always been the girl with The Plan —a life plan that would give her everything she’s ever wanted, including becoming a lawyer, a role she was sure she was born into. Sure, her determination may be seen as heartlessness, but Ava doesn’t care. What she does care about is getting into law school —but she doesn’t. She cares about her boyfriend Matteo—who breaks up with her.

In an act of desperation, Ava books herself a ticket to Bali and tries to get over her own failures. In Bali she meets Scott McLeod, a rude and grumpy Scottish traveler who thinks there’s a lot more to Ava than meets the eye.

But as Ava reveals more about herself, she finds Scott slowly pulling away from her. He was never part of The Plan, but Ava is determined to make sure he doesn’t slip away.

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

I read this book in one sitting and I really enjoyed it! It’s such a short but sweet read! Also can I just say that the cover is absolutely gorgeous!

Ava has set her mind on one goal: The Plan, which includes getting into law school, be a senior partner at her target law firm, and of course marry her boyfriend Matteo. Everything was set until Matteo broke up with her all of a sudden. Things started to hit her smack in the head so she decides to book a trip to Bali, where she meets Scott.

I admire Ava’s personality. She’s headstrong, smart, plus she’s on her way to be a lawyer. We have things in common which is why it wasn’t too hard to relate to her character. On the other hand, I’m not too sure how to describe Scott, besides him being a real charmer. He’s Scottish (*cue* Sam Heughan’s face and also because Outlander was mentioned in the book), a bit grumpy but actually fun to hang out with.

“You’ve lived because I’ve seen you live. You matter because you matter to me.”

I love Carla’s writing. It felt so natural to me and it flows, that’s why I didn’t put the book down until I’ve finished it. The plot was a little predictable with respect to the happy ending but the execution really suprised me. The revelation about Scott’s situation was shocking and heartwrenching. I also enjoyed the cultural aspect of the book. It actually felt like I’m having a visual of the place, like I was in Bali!

The only issues I had were character depth and the length of the novel itself. I think the book could do more with the characters depth. I wish I saw more from the secondary characters, although I’m aware of the length of the book, which brings me to my next point. I NEED MORE OF THE STORY!!!!!! I really wish it was longer because I can’t get enough of it!

Overall, this book sort of got me out of a reading slump (Thanks to another #romanceclass book) and I’m thankful. I do recommend this short yet sweet book because it’s really enjoyable, visually and emotionally, also sex-positive, and just awesome!

Review + Giveaway: Cities by Carla De Guzman

Cities.tour.banner.2Cities.coverTitle: Cities
Author: Carla de Guzman
Publication Date: November 30th 2014
Rating: ★★★
Amazon // Createspace // Goodreads

Synopsis

Celia has dreams.
She dreams of going to Seoul for that scholarship she never took, of leaving everything behind and moving to New York.
In all those dreams, she finds herself attached to Benedict, the boy she has always loved, who didn’t love her back.

Ben believes in parallel worlds.
Worlds where the things you didn’t do come true—worlds where he went to London and fell in love with Celia, where he shows up on the day she needed him most. He believes that dreams are glimpses into that parallel world, and it’s not a coincidence that Celia’s been having them too.

It’s the day of Ben’s wedding, in the middle of a typhoon in Manila. How will these dreams and unmade decisions change their lives? Will they bring them closer together, or just drive them further apart?

 

I actually had a hard time reading this book because of the multiverses it offered but it was pretty much enjoyable. I think, I might have just been a bit overwhelmed by the idea of parallel universes. Still, I did enjoy reading this book. It was really a fast read. I devoured this book in four hours or less.

The thing about this book that kept me going was the experience I got from the characters’ perspective of being in Seoul, London and New York. In a span of 119 pages, I got to experience the three places (four if you include Manila).

The characters were interesting, yet a bit unappealing for me. I certainly couldn’t relate to them but they were pretty well-written. I also couldn’t feel the chemistry of Ben and Celia, although I adored their geekyness for things I also like such as TV series. I liked the pop culture references throughout the book such as Doctor Who, TeenWolf, Star Wars, Sherlock and Vampire Weekend (I like this band :D). I really couldn’t describe the characters because they seem different for every chapter except for some, which I assume, is the real universe in which they exist. Well, for starters, they’re definitely Filipino and that’s the only thing I’m familiar to with the characters. I loved Henry though. I shipped him and Celia since the start. Haha

“I wish I was someone else, somewhere or some-when else,” he said, finishing off the last of the churro. Celia felt something pull at her for a second, but ignored it as she tossed their ice cream into the trash. “Maybe you and I could have had a better first meeting. Maybe you would never hate me.

I certainly enjoyed the London chapter of this book. From the way the story was told and the setting to the situation of the characters, I really loved it! It being bands and music fests/gigs to places in the UK that I want to visit sometime.

I certainly enjoyed the ending! That’s for sure. Despite some issues I had with the book, I’d still recommend this especially to fellow Filipinos craving for a contemporary read that’s close to the heart.

ABOUT CARLA DE GUZMAN

 

Carla-de-GuzmanCarla de Guzman had horrible handwriting as a kid. That didn’t stop her from writing, though. Riddled with too much energy and a vivid imagination, she started writing every midnight. She grew up with her toes in the sand and her bags packed and ready to go on adventures. Her books are chronicles of her journeys, with a little romance mixed it.

When she’s not sitting in a plane or working, Carla writes for her blog, Some Midnights and for When In Manila.

Author Links: Blog // Tumblr // AO3 // Instagram

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