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!

Beginner’s Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions (Talking Nerdy #1) by Six de los Reyes

Beginner’s Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions (Talking Nerdy, #1) by Six de los Reyes
Publication Date: April 17th 2016
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★★
Amazon

Synopsis

Falling in love is a chemical reaction.

Just ask Kaya Rubio, twenty-five year-old Molecular Genetics graduate student and research assistant. Fed up with her spinster aunts’ relentless reminders and unsolicited advice regarding her Single Since Birth status, she designs a scientific, evidence-based methodology to find her a suitable partner in time for her cousin’s wedding. As any good scientist knows, any valid experimental design requires a negative control. Enter the most unsuitable candidate for a potential boyfriend: the messy, easygoing, café owner Nero Sison. Her null hypothesis? Going out with Nero would establish her baseline data without catalyzing the chemical reaction she seeks.

But when Kaya’s recorded results refuse to make sense, she is forced to come to the conclusion that there are some things in life that are simply, by nature, irrational and illogical. And that sometimes, chemistry doesn’t always happen inside a lab.

Hi guys! Long time no see, I guess.😂

I’m writing this while my whole face is still stuck in a smile. I loved this novel for so many reasons, and here are some:

 IT’S SO SCIENTIFIC AND NERDY!

A little side story, I started this book a while ago last year, and yes I enjoyed it then, there were so many parts that were so relateable as a Research Associate, but at that time I was so frustrated with work, my results are erratic, I was working OT everyday, and we had an upcoming deadline for a conference, and reading this book then kinda made me more agitated so I stopped. But this time around, all the science and research-related things worked in favor of me liking this book, because I survived all that last year, and I am at the point were I just feel happy recalling it. As a researcher, I also appreciated that the author tried to make it really scientifically accurate, heck she even described CRISPR. 😂 I also really loved the science puns and hugots.

THE PARTIES ARE VERY PINOY AND LOVELY

The events with Kaya’s family were so familiar because you know these things happen at your reunions and family gatherings, maybe their family is just a bit more grand, but it’s still very Filipino.

YOU JUST WANT TO GET TO KNOW EACH ONE OF THE CHARACTERS MORE

OH GOD. I feel like I just want to hug them all? They are interesting and lovable, and I just want them all for friends.

The father-grandfather-Kaya scenes

These were very sweet and insightful. I enjoyed these moments because these are the moments were Kaya gets her “Eureka! I have found it moments” when it comes to Nero. 😂

Kaya

I kinda identify with her on many levels, and I see my awkward, anxious, emotional mess of a self in her sometimes. Most of the time, I just want to hug her and say, oh you pure being.

Hmm, she’s not very thoughtful of Nero’s feelings sometimes, but I kind of get her reasons. She is very smart and determined, and I really admire her for it. SHE ALSO READS JOURNALS FOR FUN. (That’s gotta count for something!)

NERO

Oh dear, I feel like I just want people to find out how delightful, and hot, and sweet he is, for themselves. He is too precious. 😂

BUDDY READING WITH INAH

Sometimes, when there’s just so much feels, you stop and scream and maybe roll around the carpet, then you tweet it and shout your feels to your buddy, in my case my budi, Inah. It was infinitely better because I read it with her. (Same here, bud! – Inah)

There are many more reasons, but those were the main ones.😂

This novel was really a roller coaster. I almost cried once, my heart almost stopped twice, and my body almost burst out of feels so many times. So I guess, what I’m really trying to say is I love it.

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig (ARC)

last seen leavingLast Seen Leaving  by Caleb Roehrig
Publication Date: October 4th 2016 by Feiwel & Friends
Source: ARC from Publisher via Netgalley
Rating: ★★★★
Amazon / Book Depository / Goodreads

Synopsis

Flynn’s girlfriend has disappeared. How can he uncover her secrets without revealing his own?

Flynn’s girlfriend, January, is missing. The cops are asking questions he can’t answer, and her friends are telling stories that don’t add up. All eyes are on Flynn—as January’s boyfriend, he must know something.

But Flynn has a secret of his own. And as he struggles to uncover the truth about January’s disappearance, he must also face the truth about himself.

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

I think that the synopsis of this book is one of the main reasons why I felt so drawn into reading it. I’m still on this phase of reading tons of YA Thrillers and I’m really loving the ride.

From the first sentence of the book, I already felt like I really was going to enjoy it. And I really did. The book is set in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I think that this is the first book I’ve read that’s set in Ann Arbor, and the only connection I have with the place is a friend who lives there so I’m obviously not entirely familiar with the place and it’s nice to read about a new place from time to time.

The main character, Flynn Doherty, is a high school student, a typical one if I may say so. One day, his girlfriend, January, disappeared. Obviously, eyes turn to him, which led him to investigate on his own.

“Don’t let anyone tell you there’s no such thing as coincidence. They happen all the time.”

Most characters are well-rounded and dimensional. I enjoyed Flynn’s voice and his personality. It’s also nice to see that he has a high respect towards January. I can’t really say much about him because it might spoil the story but I really do like Flynn, especially his relationship with his parents.

The story was told in a way that will keep readers on edge and I absolutely enjoyed reading this book. It’s a mixture of flashbacks and present narrations which adds depth to the story. The pacing of the story is consistent, with kicks of thrills here and there. Although I have to say that this book really left me speechless. The ending is unpredictable which I enjoyed. I really can’t wait to read more from Caleb Roehrig, because this is such a strong debut.

inah