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!

Waiting in the Wings by Tara Frejas

Waiting in the Wings by Tara Frejas
Publication Date: February 21st 2017
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★★★
Amazon / Print (PH only)

Synopsis

At twenty-three, theatre actress Erin Javier has yet to fall in love or kiss a boy offstage, away from the klieg lights. She is the perfect leading lady—whose heart men would fight for, win, and protect—unfortunately, only until the curtains fall and the lights go down. In real life, Erin is a certified NBSB whose heart has been hoping for a song to dance to for quite some time.

But when two (two!) men enter from stage left and right, Erin is confused. Who deserves to take center stage in her heart—Mr. Theatre Royalty whose attention and displays of affection make her pulse race, or a good friend whose steady support has helped steer her to success and fulfill her dream?

I read this book in one sitting because it’s really good! I was still high and dry from April Feels Fest, a local event courtesy of the #romanceclass community. Waiting in the Wings was one of the books that got featured in the live reading, and I’d say that it was one of the main reasons why I read this book. I felt so much kilig during the live reading and the same thing happened while I was reading the book.

Erin, the main character, was lovely. I really like her overall vibe and I could relate to her. Ramon was so adorable, I’d love to just cuddle with him forever. He’s such a great friend to Erin, and I just love how supportive he was of her, even if it somehow stomps on his feelings. It’s also worth noting that Ramon has alopecia, I think it’s a good thing to have this representation in books. Pio, the other guy that makes up the love triangle, is adorable as well. Although, I saw him as a bit reserved, but he’s also lovely and it’s hard to hate him! I heard that Tara is writing a story about him, so I really can’t wait to read about that.

I really liked the whole premise of the book, which featured theatre arts. I’m probably the least person you’ll see on stage, but you can bet that I’ll be one of the people who can fill in the audience. I’ve always had an admiration to theatre people and seeing plays and productions were the best things I did during college. It’s nice to see this aspect of the arts in the book up close.

We can’t all be stars, Erin. You know that. Some of us need to stay behind in the dark so others can shine.

I don’t usually enjoy books with love triangles but this was one big exemption. The love triangle was well-executed and there was literally zero bad blood between the two male leads. I just love how the whole thing unfolded, the romance between the three was fun to read. Also the “labyu” drops, oh my gosh, those were my favorite scenes!

I think I’m a bit on an advantage here since I have already experienced the feel of the book because of the live reading, even before I was able to read the whole thing. If any, it heightened my experience in reading. I also love Tara Frejas’s writing style, the emotions were easy to pick up, and it made me swoon so hard! This was my first from her and I can’t wait to read more!

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