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.

Bounce by Noelle August (ARC)

bounceTitle: Bounce (Boomerang, #3)
Author: Noelle August
Publication Date: August 25th 2015 by William Morrow Paperbacks
Rating: ★★★★
Amazon // Book Depository // Goodreads

Synopsis

Playing the occasional club gig just isn’t cutting it for twenty-two-year-old cellist Skyler Canby, who’s trying to support herself and her mother back home in Kentucky. Persuaded by her best friend Beth to accompany her on an audition for the first feature film launched by Blackwood Entertainment, she figures why not? Beth’s a shoe-in for the lead, but maybe Skyler’s newly dyed pink hair will help her stand out enough to score a small speaking part.

Never in her wildest dreams does Skyler imagine she’ll land the lead role or that she’ll have her shoes knocked off her feet by the kiss her audition partner, Grey Blackwood, plants on her—a kiss that feels very real and not at all “acted. ”

After throwing a party that causes thousands of dollars of damage to his older brother’s home, reckless musician Grey Blackwood gets roped into working off his debt on the set of his CEO brother’s newest project. Grey spends his days fetching coffee and doing odd jobs around the studio, but he lives for nights when he performs with his band. He knows if he can stay focused, success as a singer is just around the corner. But that’s tough with a distracting pink-haired girl occupying his every waking thought.

Skyler and Grey have every reason to resist each other. But, like a song neither of them can get out of their minds, they have no choice but to go where the music takes them.

I absolutely enjoyed reading this book and it made me realize how much I missed reading the Boomerang series! It was fun to revisit the characters who were previously featured in the series, especially Ethan and Mia!

Bounce features the story of Grey, Adam Blackwood’s younger brother and a musician on the rise, and Skyler, Mia’s roommate, an aspiring actress and musician as well. The two had hit it off early in the book, insta-attraction if I may say but the romance between them was slowly built up and not rushed. Besides, they’ve got great chemistry which was cool to follow along.

“Being lost means you’re searching. It means you’re trying to get somewhere, understand something.”

Both characters were written well. They have lots of things in common like family troubles and being in the music scene which solidified their connection besides them being attracted to each other. It was really cool to see their relationship grow and not be solely based on lust and attraction to each other.

Noelle August brought back the good times I had while reading Boomerang and Rebound. This wad just as amazing, as the first two were. I can’t say if this was my favorite among the three but this book definitely gave me the feels and the thrill of reading a quality novel. It’s so damn realistic but not so much being overly dramatic. It’s a light but heartfelt NA novel. I love that it not only tackles romance but friendships and family as well. I also love the music references like Fall Out Boy, OneRepublic and Imagine Dragons!!! They’re some of my favorite bands haha!

“The things that last are the things that matter.”

I’d definitely recommend this book and the first two in the series. The characters are lovable, writing is spot-on. If only there’s a next book (Beth and Titus maybe??), but hey I really enjoyed the heck out of reading the series.

inahsign

Confess by Colleen Hoover

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Title: Confess
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publication Date: March 10th 2015 by Atria Books
Rating:★★★★★
Amazon // B&N // Book Depository // Goodreads

Synopsis

Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…

Have you ever fallen in love with a book so fast? So fast, in fact, that you haven’t even finished the prologue and you’re already swearing that this book is legendary. I don’t know, I’ve read all of Colleen’s books and I swear, she just keeps getting better and better.

I loved the title. I loved the book cover. I loved the story. I loved the characters. I loved the confessions, and of course, I loved the paintings.
The paintings and the confessions are so damn relatable that these itself can put you to tears!

The story has been an artwork itself, I fell in love with how it began, and how the story progressed, especially how it ended. I had an OMG (lol, IKYKWIM) moment when the connection between the two main characters was finally revealed. The reveal was so heartwarmingly sweet, and I was so caught up in the story that I really didn’t figure it out, and I thought OMG it should have been obvious!

“There are people you meet that you get to know, and then there are people you meet that you already know.”

Owen and Auburn must have been one of the best main characters in a love story I have ever read. Their meet-cute was adorable, well to be fair, almost every scene that transpired between these two, borders on giggly to breathtakingly beautiful.

Auburn is one of the strongest heroine I have ever read. Her love is amazing, and I can only compare this love to Harry Potter’s mom, a love so great, and so big that it can save a life. She is also pretty selfless; she can sacrifice everything for the people she loves the most.

Then there is Owen, this amazing painter, this incredibly funny guy, this understanding, and caring, and patient, and noble person. Auburn and Owen are very similar when it comes to love and selflessness, I think. I thought Owen was kind of shady and messed up at first, but after I found out his real situation, I didn’t have anything bad to say about him. He is the kind of guy, I dream to fall in love with. He definitely made it to my Top-Ten book boyfriends list. (lol)

“It’s amazing how much distance one truth can create between two people.”

I want to mention Trent because he is very, very creepy. I think I developed a fear for the police because of him.

Well, that’s it. I can’t create a very detailed review because I might spoil things, and this review is kind-of-three-weeks-too-late, so I kind of forgot some details. But guys, if you want to feel alive, and happy, and in love, READ THIS, I SWEAR THIS STORY IS AMAZING, plus it’s kind of short, you can read it in half a day.

jemsign