The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder

museum of heartbreak

Title: The Museum of Heartbreak
Author: Meg Leder
Publication Date: June 7th 2016 by Simon Pulse
Source: ARC from Publisher via Netgalley
Rating: ★★
Amazon / Book Depository / Goodreads

Synopsis

In this ode to all the things we gain and lose and gain again, seventeen-year-old Penelope Marx curates her own mini-museum to deal with all the heartbreaks of love, friendship, and growing up.

Welcome to the Museum of Heartbreak.

Well, actually, to Penelope Marx’s personal museum. The one she creates after coming face to face with the devastating, lonely-making butt-kicking phenomenon known as heartbreak.

Heartbreak comes in all forms: There’s Keats, the charmingly handsome new guy who couldn’t be more perfect for her. There’s possibly the worst person in the world, Cherisse, whose mission in life is to make Penelope miserable. There’s Penelope’s increasingly distant best friend Audrey. And then there’s Penelope’s other best friend, the equal-parts-infuriating-and-yet-somehow-amazing Eph, who has been all kinds of confusing lately.

But sometimes the biggest heartbreak of all is learning to let go of that wondrous time before you ever knew things could be broken.

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.

The Museum of Heartbreaks is one of my most anticipated reads for this year. I instantly fell in love with the cover because it’s totally beautiful.

Meg Leder’s writing style is catchy, simple yet it expresses a lot of emotions. Penelope’s emotions and thoughts are very easy to pick up. She’s a true romantic, she likes that “sweep-me-off-my-feet” kind of romance. While I do admit that it’s a bit adorable, it seems Pen’s a little too much of that. She is a bookworm though, and I love how she collects those things that ended up in the “Museum” because I love collecting things as well. ALSO SHE LOVES TWIN PEAKS!! The other characters are interesting somehow but I think they fell a little flat for me.

“Pen, here’s the thing: I fucking love you,” he said.
The beautiful words hurtled towards me with the momentum of a meteorite, fierce and terrible and un-take-back-able.

It seems that most of characters were written as a plot-device, thus they ended up flat. I like Eph though, he’s kind of the guy I want to hang out with. I don’t know if him being pretty bad at expressing his emotions can be considered good for the story. I just don’t know. Good thing that he’s a really good guy but sometimes he tends to be a bit passive. I feel the same way about Keats, Audrey and Pen’s other friends like Grace.

The plot might be a little cliche but I liked it and it has interesting points. The tropes presented in the book are typical but it did not take away the joy of reading the story. Although yeah, I have to admit there were times where I want to whack Penelope, or Eph, or Keats’s head.

Sometimes you get hurt. And sometimes you’re the one doing the hurting.

To be honest, it’s really hard for me to write this review because I feel like the book is a balance between great and meh. There are times when I really felt the story but also felt detached to it. I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t gush or swoon hard but it’s a fun read though, and a quick one as well.

I think the book is a great read for contemporary romance lovers.

You can also check out this review on YA Books Central!

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The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin (ARC)

the year we fell apartTitle: The Year We Fell Apart
Author: Emily Martin
Publication Date: January 26th 2016 by Simon Pulse
Source: ARC from Publisher via Edelweiss
Rating: ★★★★★
Amazon / Book Depository / Goodreads

Synopsis

In the tradition of Sarah Dessen, this powerful debut novel is a compelling portrait of a young girl coping with her mother’s cancer as she figures out how to learn from—and fix—her past.

Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hook-up, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan.

Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger…more handsome. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis.

While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he’s still Declan, her Declan, and the only person she wants to talk to about what’s really going on. But he’s also the one person she’s lost the right to seek comfort from.

As their mutual friends and shared histories draw them together again, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they’ll have to let go of once and for all.

In this honest and affecting tale of friendship and first love, Emily Martin brings to vivid life the trials and struggles of high school and the ability to learn from past mistakes over the course of one steamy North Carolina summer.

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.

Okay, first off. Let’s take a short while to stare at that beautiful cover! I absolutely love it!!!

If I could say one statement to describe this book, it will be: “angsty, emotional but heartfelt”. This was my first read for 2016 and it made me cry. No regrets though! Besides, I sort  of saw it coming since the first chapter. Upon reading it, I knew it’s going to be a rollercoaster of emotions.

I WAS RIGHT. This book got me clutching my chest while reading. I actually wanted to rip my heart off my chest so that maybe I won’t feel any pain. No kidding guys, I swear.

The Year We Fell Apart is a powerful poignant debut. It’s about Harper and Declan who used to be best friends and now have fallen apart since Declan left town for reasons. After almost a year, Declan came home and from there, they tried to patch up their relationship gradually.

“People change. And sometimes that means drifting apart. But other times it just means working harder to find some common ground.”

It was very easy to get into the book quickly. The first chapter already got me hooked! The characters were definitely relatable, so was the story in general. It definitely hit me in the right spot since I experienced something similar so this book has definitely earned a special place in my heart.

Amidst the stubbornness, Harper and Declan were pretty easy to follow. Both characters were dimensional and the emotions they portrayed were raw. This was actually why I love the book to pieces. It’s raw, honest, and realistic. Harper and Declan’s flaws contributed to the dimensionality of their characters. It made them feel very realistic and relatable.

“If you give someone the power to break your heart, you sure as hell won’t see it coming when they do.”

The other characters were really enjoyable as well! Cory was my favorite! He’s Harper and Declan’s other best friend. I love the whole idea of his character. Gwen and Mackenzie were lovely too! They’re easy to love and very supportive.

The book also touched issues like illnesses, sexual harassment and slut-shaming but Emily Martin managed to present it in a way that added depth to the story.

I think that the book ended they way it should be and I really appreciated that. I’m so glad that my first book for the year turned out to be so great! I definitely recommend this book!

palette

I seriously love the color scheme used for the cover!

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Stacking the Shelves #19

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Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews which features our newest additions to our shelves.

So I checked my last haul post and apparently it’s dated almost two months ago! Hahaha! So here’s another haul post to satisfy us both. I mean, who doesn’t like book hauls  right?

book haul nov

Books Bought / Borrowed:

Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang
Sundays at Tiffany’s by James Patterson
Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

Books for Review:

The Dragon of the Month Club by Iain Reading
Afterlight by Rebecca Lim
Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

I also got some pretty cool swags! I got a map and a signed bookmark from Heidi Heilig for The Girl From Everywhere, and I got a color-your-own cover of Carry On by Rainbow Rowell plus bunch of other stuff from the Carry On! Book Launch last October!

swag

Thank you to Text Publishing, Simon Pulse and Book Publicity Services for the review copies; to Heidi Heilig and Pinoy Book Tours for the swag; and to  my friends who let me borrow their books. Haha!

Life Updates

I know I haven’t been posting much since I’m really busy with school but last night, I took a sweet break from school works as I attended Sam Smith’s concert here in Manila! It was so surreal and I swear I cried because he sings so fucking amazing!

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We were really far from the stage but it was so worth it! I loved every single performance and we were all screaming our hearts out! <3

I also go to watch Mockingjay Part 2 yesterday which of course made me cry. It was pretty cool and a good movie to end the franchise with!


 

So how about you guys? How’s life been? Have you got any recent books?

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Last Year’s Mistake by Gina Ciocca

last year's mistakeTitle: Last Year’s Mistake
Author: Gina Ciocca
Publication Date: June 9th 2015 by Simon Pulse
Source: eARC from Publisher
Rating:★★
Amazon // Book Depository // Goodreads

Synopsis

Before:
Kelsey and David became best friends the summer before freshman year and were inseparable ever after. Until the night a misunderstanding turned Kelsey into the school joke, and everything around her crumbled—including her friendship with David. So when Kelsey’s parents decided to move away, she couldn’t wait to start over and leave the past behind. Except, David wasn’t ready to let her go…

After:
Now it’s senior year and Kelsey has a new group of friends, genuine popularity, and a hot boyfriend. Her life is perfect. That is, until David’s family moves to town and he shakes up everything. Soon old feelings bubble to the surface and threaten to destroy Kelsey’s second chance at happiness. The more time she spends with David, the more she realizes she never truly let him go. And maybe she never wants to.

Told in alternating sections, LAST YEAR’S MISTAKE is a charming and romantic debut about loving, leaving, and letting go.

I think I have established that the bestfriends-turned-lovers trope is one of my favorites so I wasn’t hesitant in checking out this book. The synopsis sounded really amazing. Was I disappointed? Yeah, I was a little bit disappointed with this book. It started really fine though. I was definitely hooked. I think I even read this one in one sitting?

Kelsey and David were the best of friends until one event turned Kelsey as an outcast. With that, she and her family moved into a new town to start fresh, until David moved to the same town and made everything complicated.

There are three things that I absolutely liked about this book. First, the chapter narration. The chapters were told in alternating timelines, both in the past and the present. It definitely helped me understand and get into the novel easier. It gave depth to the story and it was really enjoyable to read the characters’ back stories as the story unfolds. Second one is the writing style. The story seemed very realistic and genuine. Like I said earlier, it was easy to get into the book which was probably why I read it in one sitting. Lastly, the family relationships. Both characters have strong relationships with their family.

“Because knowing he hated me would have been a thousand times easier than knowing he didn’t love me anymore.”

So now we go over the things that I didn’t like about the book. For one, the character development was slow and shallow. I certainly did not like Kelsey, but I managed to sympathize with her since we both had something in common. I didn’t like her being all slut-shamey who thinks like she’s better than anyone especially towards the people from her past. And I find it pretty ironic since she’s got a pretty cool boyfriend and yet she’s pining over another guy. To be honest, David was easier to relate with compared to Kelsey. This book also has a love-triangle and I wouldn’t actually blame Kelsey’s boyfriend but then he made some pretty bad moves. Actually, they all had bad decisions which had me shaking my head. The romance was a bit frustrating too. There’s nothing really -swoon-worthy about it and it’s the kind of romance that’s exhausting, where people deny that their attracted/still in love with each other until the very end and when they finally admit it everything changes like nothing bad even happened. UGH!

The book was also filled with cliches, which I didn’t mind at first but once I realized that the whole book was mostly one big cliche. It was equally amusing and frustrating, and this totally summed up my feelings towards this book. I enjoyed reading this even though I raised my eyebrows and made faces on different occasions while reading. I honestly think that this book has a lot of potential because of the writing style but unfortunately, it didn’t make me sway. I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone but if you’re a big contemporary fan then you might enjoy it more than I did.

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