Another Little Piece of My Heart by Tracey Martin [ARC Review + Scavenger Hunt + Giveaway]

Another Little Piece of My HeartTitle: Another Little Piece of My Heart

Author: Tracey Martin

Publication date: December 1, 2013

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Pages: 304

Source: e-ARC provided by publisher (Thanks, Annie!)

Purchase the book:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble Book Depository / Harlequin

Synopsis: 

What if your devastating break-up became this summer’s hit single? In this rock-and-roll retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, music can either bring you together or tear you apart.

At her dying mother’s request, Claire dumps Jared, the only boy she’s ever loved. Left with a broken family and a broken heart, Claire is furious when she discovers that her biggest regret became Jared’s big break. While Jared is catapulted into rock-star status, another piece of Claire’s heart crumbles every time his song plays on the radio.

The summer after her senior year, it’s been months since the big break-up, and Claire is just trying to keep her head down and make it through a tense trip to the beach with her family. But when Jared shows up, and old feelings reignite, can Claire and Jared let go of the past? Or will they be stuck singing the same old refrain?

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads

My review: 

When I learned about Another Little Piece of My Heart, I knew at the moment that it’s a story I wouldn’t want to miss. A book that revolves around music always gets my 100% attention and this book totally deserved it. Reading the book made me realize that my love for music is endless. Ever since I was a kid, music is the heartbeat of my life. A day wouldn’t pass by without me listening to music or singing a song out of the blue. I suppose all music lovers can relate when I say that I bob my head to the beat, feeling the song’s overpowering rhythm flow through my veins.

The fresh, lyrical, and lovely writing style of the author stole my heart. I felt like I was listening to music while reading the story. Words glided smoothly just like a love song’s heartfelt melody. Although Another Little Piece of My Heart deals with heartbreak and relationship issues, it’s not the type of love story that is very serious and dramatic. Nevertheless the story made me cry at one point because of how sincere and emotional the lines were. Emotions surged from different directions and I drowned under the feelings of love, regret, longing, and happiness.

The plot was very engaging. A break-up becomes a hit song? Wow. I added this book to my TBR pile without second thoughts! I totally loved the concept of Another Little Piece of My Heart because it wonderfully captured the soul of music, love, and second chances. Because of it, I saw the ability of music in bringing people together and breaking them apart as well.

Claire and Jared fell in love with each other with music as the heart of their relationship. There were lots of sweet scenes between them in flashbacks and I loved reading those especially the ones that involved music. Squeeeee. ❤ I think the flashbacks are great because readers will see Claire and Jared’s history—how they met, how the fell in love, and how they were as a couple. As for me, it feels amazing to witness that history. I was able to understand their characters more and find the answers to the many questions of their break-up.

Claire and Jared are brilliant characters. They both complement each other’s imperfections. Despite this, however, they bring out the best qualities in each other. I’d definitely put Jared in my favorite book boyfriends list because a guy who sings and plays the guitar? L-O-V-E. Swoon! But aside from that, I admire Jared because of his extraordinary love for Claire and his confidence in her. A boyfriend like that is for keeps. The story may have started with Claire and Jared apart but I’m very happy that their hearts sing the same melody again in the end. 🙂

Another Little Piece of My Heart is a beautiful love story that will definitely rock your world.

Rating:

4.5/5 stars

IT’S SCAVENGER HUNT TIME!!!

Directions: In my post, you’ll notice that I’ve linked to one song from the Another Little Piece of My Heart Claire’s Summer Survival Playlist. There are 12 songs on the playlist in total, and therefore 12 stops on the scavenger hunt (posting from November 29 – December 1). Find them all, and discover 12 chances to win great Harlequin TEEN books and Another Little Piece of My Heart swag.

But there’s more! One grand-prize winner will be randomly drawn to receive a $25 iTunes gift card in addition to books and swag! To enter for the grand prize, send the complete, 12-song playlist, along with your contact information (including the address where you’d like to receive your prize) to the author by using this contact form: http://tracey-martin.com/contact/. The winner will be notified by email after the contest ends on December 5th.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the playlist using the contact form above by December 5th at noon Eastern Time. Entries sent without the correct playlist or without contact information will not be considered.

Song #7 in Claire’s Summer Survival Playlist:

Girlyman — Joyful Sign

Listen on iTunes

BLOG GIVEAWAY!

Prizes: 3 Harlequin TEEN backlist titles & ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE OF MY HEART buttons and bookmarks

Open INTERNATIONALLY

Click on the Rafflecopter link below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Pawn by Aimee Carter Book Trailer + Giveaway!

Hey guys! Today I’m going to share with you the book trailer for PAWN, the first book of the Blackcoat Rebellion by Aimée Carter. The trailer was released on the Harlequin TEEN Facebook page earlier but in case you missed it, here it is! 🙂

 

To celebrate the book trailer’s launch, Harlequin TEEN is hosting a giveaway!

Prize pack includes: 

A copy of Pawn and The Goddess Test boxed set

 Click on the photo below and you’ll be directed to the giveaway page.

Pawn-Twitter-Giveaway.jpg

 

 

ABOUT PAWN:

PAWN front cover

Author: Aimée Carter

Imprint: Harlequin TEEN

Release: December 2013

Price: $17.99 / $19.99

Format: Hard cover

ISBN: 978-0-373-21055-8

About: You can be a VII, if you give up everything. In a not so distant future, America has become a meritocracy. Upon your seventeenth birthday you take a test and are branded with a number signifying your status. For Kitty Doe, her dyslexia leaves her a “III”—part of the working class—and assigned far from her home and boyfriend. She’s ready to become an outlaw, until a chance encounter leads to an amazing opportunity. The niece of the prime minister—America’s leadership is now inherited and members of the ruling family are ranked “VII”—has been killed, and Kitty is asked to impersonate her. Now nestled in the ruling Harte family, Kitty begins to see the truth behind the pretense of equality and options for all.

Book Review: The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

The Chaos of StarsTitle: The Chaos of Stars

Author: Kiersten White

Published: September 10, 2013

Publisher: Harper Teen

Pages: 288

Source: Copy provided by publisher (Thank you, HarperCollins!) / Bought from Fully Booked

Purchase the book: Amazon / Barnes & Noble Book Depository / Fully Booked

Synopsis:

Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up.

Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal.

Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all.

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads

My review: 

The Chaos of Stars is a great read. It’s my first Kiersten White book and I find her writing style captivating. She writes clearly detailed descriptions that produce strong images in the mind. Kiersten White whipped up an original tale that creatively blends Ancient Egypt with the 21st century. The pacing isn’t too fast or too slow, which, I think, is a good thing because it keeps the attention of readers. Events transpired at their own rhythm and still showed how they are linked to each other in a coherent manner.

Of all the books I read this year, I’d say that The Chaos of Stars is the most family-oriented. Although it has a romance element, it focused more on the issues that the family of Isadora (the main character) is going through. It feels really good to have a break from reading stories that center on romantic relationships. As I read The Chaos of Stars, I realized that it has been a long time since I read a book that revolves around family.

Aside from the main character’s persuasive voice, it was also the mythology that drew me into reading from start to finish. It exceptionally illustrated the rich culture of Egypt and the fascinating history of Egyptian gods. I appreciated Egyptian mythology more with this book.

The characters are well developed. Isadora is a confusing yet likeable character. At first she seemed childish and self-absorbed. She annoyed me big time because of her whining and self-pitying. But as the story moved forward, I understood why she acted that way. Since most in her family are immortal gods, it is a legitimate reason to feel left out, with her being a human. As Isadora sees it, she’s just a “footnote” in her family’s story. In the end, Isadora discovers that she is mistaken. Everything she thought of her family, particularly her mother, was wrong. I won’t discuss about that in this review as I would reveal a lot about the story. Sorry, guys! 🙂

The secondary characters (Isadora’s friends) added color to the story. Tyler’s animated and outgoing personality is so engaging. She’s a good friend to Isadora and I really liked how she made Isadora feel welcome when they met for the first time. Tyler’s boyfriend Scott is also an awesome character. He and Tyler are so funny together! Both of them instilled a light and entertaining tone into the story. Then enters Ry, the gorgeous, charming guy who becomes Isadora’s love interest. His words made me blush and squeal with glee. So sweet and romantic! And did I mention that he writes epic poetry? SWOON. ❤

It was insta-love between Ry and Isadora but it was okay for me. Ry certainly brought out the best in Isadora and I love him for that! He helped Isadora open her heart to love and the possibility of a relationship between them. Isn’t that wonderful? In spite of Isadora’s “anti-love” attitude, Ry did not give up in getting the girl’s heart. Oh Ry, your star shines the brightest in the sky. 🙂 As readers savor the pages of the book, they’ll see instances that justify how perfect Ry and Isadora are for each other.

Laced with magic and mystery, The Chaos of Stars is a unique modern day myth that captures the essence of love, family, and most of all, the chaos that makes life challenging yet worth living.

Rating:

4/5 stars

Favorite quotes: 

“Orion. Forever now, he has replaced my Orion stars in name.”

“But doing what is easy and safe is no way to live, and a life without passion and love is so far beneath what you deserve.”

“Good-enough can always be made better.”

“I guess we’re kind of opposites, because you’ve spent the last few years determined to love no one, and I’ve spent the last few years determined to find you.”

“I didn’t fall in love with you, I walked into love with you, with my eyes wide open, choosing to take every step along the way. I do believe in fate and destiny, but I also believe we are only fated to do the things that we’d choose anyway. And I’d choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I’d find you and I’d choose you.”

Stacking the Shelves [2]

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews where bloggers share what books (both physical and digital) they received, won, bought, and borrowed.

Hooray for new books! 🙂 *happy dance*

STS2

Bought from Fully Booked Alabang: 

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

Champion by Marie Lu (Signed)

Ink by Amanda Sun

 

Solving for Ex

Another Little Piece of My Heart

Fates

These Broken Stars

For review (e-ARCs): 

Solving for Ex by Leigh Ann Kopans

Another Little Piece of My Heart by Tracey Martin

Fates by Lanie Bross

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

*Book covers from Goodreads

Many thanks to Leigh Ann Kopans, Annie of Harlequin Teen, Random House Children’s, Cassie of Disney Hyperion, NetGalley, and Kuya Joeven of Fully Booked Alabang! 🙂

ARC Review: How to Love by Katie Cotugno

17332564Title: How to Love

Author: Katie Cotugno

Published: October 1, 2013

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Pages: 389

Source: ARC provided by publisher (Thank you, HarperCollins Publishers!)

Purchase the book: Amazon / Barnes & Noble Book Depository / Fully Booked

Synopsis: 

Before: Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he’s never seemed to notice that Reena even exists…until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated—and pregnant—Reena behind.

After: Almost three years have passed, and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena’s gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she’s finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn’t want anything to do with him, though she’d be lying if she said Sawyer’s being back wasn’t stirring something in her. After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?

In this breathtaking debut, Katie Cotugno weaves together the story of one couple falling in love—twice.

*Image and synopsis from Goodreads

My review:

One of the great things about reading contemporary YA fiction is the feeling of connectedness to the reality of life.  Contemporary fiction reaches out to readers in ways that tug at their heartstrings, reminding them that they can’t escape reality. It’s beautiful how contemporary fiction mirrors real life. And this book, How to Love, is a breathtaking reflection of love, family, forgiveness, and the wonder of second chances.

Told in alternate Before and After chapters, How to Love overflows with sincere emotions. The smooth pacing enabled me to follow the story easily. Katie Cotugno’s writing is fresh, smart, and genuine. Her words are simple yet sparkle with life.

How to Love shows that people and relationships are not perfect. We commit mistakes and whether we like it or not, it will always be that way in reality. The main character, Reena, is remarkable. She’s bright, funny, and deep. Her thoughts blew me away and made me think of my own imperfections, too. I can relate with Reena because like her, I also dream of becoming a writer and seeing the whole world. Reena’s mistakes may have led to a complicated life but she braved through it. She proved that mistakes could make someone a better, stronger, and independent person. The novel also illustrated how Reena is as a mother and I liked that a lot. The way she takes care of her daughter Hannah and how she shows her love and affection for the child moved me. In spite of her young age, Reena handles the responsibility of being a mother well.

The guy, Sawyer, is an interesting character. He’s a “bad boy” type of guy who’s into parties and girls. Reena and Sawyer are opposites yet they’re unbelievably good together. I can’t put into words how amazing their chemistry is. Reena and Sawyer are an ideal example of a perfect couple in beautifully imperfect ways.

The Before and After chapters are detailed, clearly explaining the connections of events in Reena’s life. Readers will also get to see how Reena and Sawyer evolved from childish teenagers into mature adults.

Falling in love is a wonderful and inevitable phenomenon that every teen goes through. How to Love magnificently encapsulates that experience. Moreover, the book conveys to readers how it is to truly love a person. Reena loved Sawyer before and still loved him after because she accepted him for all that he is, past included. It’s the kind of love that is incomparable. To love is to learn everything about that person, flaws and all. And that’s what Reena did.

This book is unforgettable and heartwarming. I recommend this to readers who want to experience how to love with all their heart.

Rating:

4.5/5 stars

ARC Review: After Eden by Helen Douglas

12275873Title: After Eden

Author: Helen Douglas

Publication: November 7, 2013

Publisher: Bloomsbury Plc

Pages: 288

Source: e-ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley (Thank you, Bloomsbury!)

Synopsis:

Eden Anfield loves puzzles, so when mysterious new boy Ryan Westland shows up at her school she’s hooked. On the face of it, he’s a typical American teenager. So why doesn’t he recognise pizza? And how come he hasn’t heard of Hitler? What puzzles Eden the most, however, is the interest he’s taking in her.

As Eden starts to fall in love with Ryan, she begins to unravel his secret. Her breakthrough comes one rainy afternoon when she stumbles across a book in Ryan’s bedroom – a biography of her best friend – written over fifty years in the future. Confronting Ryan, she discovers that he is there with one unbelievably important purpose … and she might just have destroyed his only chance of success.

*Image and synopsis from Goodreads

My review:

Time travel is one of my favorite concepts to read about when it comes to science fiction. I find it fascinating how a person can travel through time. I always wonder what it’s like to do that. Time travel is truly the closest thing to magic that the world of science fiction can offer.

After Eden is a unique and captivating debut novel. The lovely writing style and fresh voice that made the book a good read amazed me. Although the story is fast-paced, it didn’t feel rushed at all. The storytelling remained as engaging as it is since the first chapter. I found the time travel process in this book a little complicated and confusing at first; however, as the story went on the details were carefully laid out and explained well.

I also liked how After Eden is situated in the 21st century, which added a contemporary feel to the story. The book may be science fiction yet it very much captured real life. And it is through the setting and characters that I felt the story’s authenticity. It is evident that Helen Douglas understands teenage life today with the way she wrote the dialogues and descriptions.

Eden, the main character, has an appealing voice and I enjoyed reading her thoughts. She’s just a typical teenager until one day a mysterious and undeniably good-looking boy named Ryan enters her school. And her life changes extraordinarily. As Eden got to know him, she found him peculiar. Ryan has no idea what pizza is or who Hitler was, which are essential and prevailing facts that every person in the 21st century knows. Eventually Eden unravels Ryan’s biggest secret that explains why he acts strangely: he’s from the future! He traveled back in time to fulfill a mission that will help change the horrible future of planet Earth.

Eden and Ryan became close and developed feelings for each other. Everything happened so fast but I’m okay with it because both characters are great together. Their romance is effortless and very charming. It’s the kind of romance that starts with being friends until the relationship transcends into something more. Ryan is such a sweet guy. I love his character. So adorable and one of a kind! His swoon-worthy lines made me smile a lot and he’s definitely included in my list of favorite book boyfriends. He has eyes only for Eden and is not shy to show how much he likes her. But what I liked the most about Ryan is how he’s willing to give up his life in the future to be with Eden in the present. MY HEART MELTED. ❤

After Eden is a delightful YA sci-fi novel perfect for time travel fans. I look forward to reading the sequel!

 Rating:

3.5/5 stars