ARC Review: When We Collided by Emery Lord

27235365Title: When We Collided

Author: Emery Lord

Publication date: April 7, 2016

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s

Pages: 344

Source: ARC from the publisher (Thank you, Bloomsbury Children’s UK!)

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

Synopsis: 

Meet Vivi and Jonah: A girl and a boy whose love has the power save or destroy them.

Vivi and Jonah couldn’t be more different. Vivi craves anything joyful or beautiful that life can offer. Jonah has been burdened by responsibility for his family ever since his father died. As summer begins, Jonah resigns himself to another season of getting by. Then Vivi arrives, and suddenly life seems brighter and better. Jonah is the perfect project for Vivi, and things finally feel right for Jonah. Their love is the answer to everything. But soon Vivi’s zest for life falters, as her adventurousness becomes true danger-seeking. Jonah tries to keep her safe, but there’s something important Vivi hasn’t told him.

Perfect for fans of E. Lockhart and Jandy Nelson, When We Collided is a powerful story of two teens whose love is put to the test by forces beyond their control.

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads

My review:

Emery Lord is indeed one of my favorite authors when it comes to YA contemporary novels. Open Road Summer and The Start of Me and You both blew me away completely, so I made it a point to include her in my “auto-buy authors” list. This year, a new Emery Lord book comes out and believe me when I say that it will rock your world.

Told in alternate POVs, When We Collided is a profound and out of the ordinary kind of beautiful story. To tell you the truth, this book surprised me—but in a good way. When We Collided started effervescent and spellbinding that I actually thought it’s a feel-good, fluffy, summer read. But then I didn’t expect it would be heavy at some point along the way. This book is full of deep and indescribable emotions that puncture every bone in your body. So you better brace yourself for that! Furthermore, When We Collided is a huge eye-opener because the author takes readers inside the mind of someone with *insert name of illness* I applaud Emery Lord for a truthful execution of the story!

The characters are authentic in all facets. Vivi Alexander is a ball of sunshine. Her positive outlook is so contagious! Smart, creative, and full of surprises, she has magic in her that I can’t explain! However, beneath Vivi’s shimmering outward persona is a dark, mysterious version of herself. On the other hand, Jonah Daniels is a caring and responsible person. He takes care of his family, always putting them first. He’s also a sweet and thoughtful guy! He does swoon-worthy things for Vivi that totally melted my heart! ❤

Although the romance developed a bit fast for me, I admire the Vivi and Jonah moments that were charming and downright magical! I love how they understand each one’s flaws and supported one another as they treaded the road of love, acceptance, and healing.

Emery Lord’s writing is genuinely remarkable like an artwork oozing with zest. It’s easy to get lost in an Emery Lord book because the words will pull you in, bind your attention to the story, and never let you go. Most of all, I love how Emery writes realistic relationships and scenarios that readers could associate with at once.

A powerful story that will knock you off your feet, When We Collided is a perfect reminder that love brightens up life even when it is clothed in darkness.

Rating:

4.5/5 stars

ARC Review: What You Always Wanted by Kristin Rae

25663575Title: What You Always Wanted (If Only, #8)

Author: Kristin Rae

Publication date: March 29, 2016

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Pages: 320

Source: ARC gifted by the author (Thank you, Kristin!)

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

Synopsis:

If Only . . . he was the boy she’s been dreaming of. The If Only line continues in this fun high school theater-themed romance!

Drama girl Maddie Brooks has always had high standards for guys. But she has yet to find one who can live up to the romantic, classic Hollywood heartthrobs, especially the dreamy song-and-dance man Gene Kelly. When Maddie begins to carpool with Jesse Morales, her new neighbor and star pitcher of the baseball team, she’s struck by his wit, good looks, and love for his family–but a guy so into sports is definitely not her style. Then Maddie discovers that Jesse was raised as a dancer and still practices in the community theater dance studio to keep in shape. Perhaps her perfect dream guy exists after all! But when it becomes clear that baseball–not dance–is Jessie’s passion, can Maddie find a way to let her dream guy go and appreciate the charms of the amazing guy in front of her?

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads

My review:

As a theatre kid in college, I was altogether drawn to Kristin Rae’s sophomore novel, What You Always Wanted. Theatre was a huge part of my life that I truly miss, and reading this book was like a trip down memory lane.

Fresh and engaging, What You Always Wanted is a novel that encourages readers to be brave to show his/her true self. The book thoroughly illustrates that the greatest starring role you’ll ever play in the show called life is being your own person and being proud of who you are. In relation to this, you cannot force others to be the people you want them to be. You have to let them shine the way they want to because they have their own show, their own life, to star in.

The romance is so cute in every way! Jesse + Maddie = infinite heart eyes emoji! 🙂 You know the excitement and giddiness you feel when you meet your favorite movie star or your favorite author in person? That’s how every #Jeddie / #Masse (or whatever ship name they have) seemed to me!

Kristin Rae’s writing emits truthfulness and a bucketful of smile inducing feels. She does know how to bring sunshine to readers’ lives through her words! This is one of the reasons why I fell head over heels in love with her debut, Wish You Were Italian. If you have read WYWI, you’d understand why I strongly feel this way.

What You Always Wanted is a charming YA contemporary that will surely paint a gleeful smile on your face. Perfect for those who love theatre and classic movies!

 

Rating:

4/5 stars

 

Event Recap: Sarah J. Maas in PH!

I’m writing this post fresh from the fantabulous book signing event today which is #SarahJMaasinPH! Oh my goodness, I’m still on cloud nine from all the fangirling and happy, exciting things that happened earlier at the Q&A that I attended with my blogger friends! ❤ Sarah J. Maas is hands down super amazing. Her beauty inside and out shines bright like a diamond! Everybody squealed in delight upon seeing Sarah enter the Q&A venue!

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All hail Queen Sarah!

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Q&A with Sarah

Here are some fascinating bits I got from the Q&A:

*With every book, Sarah learns something new about herself, not only as a writer but also as a person. She also gets to know her characters well.

*Sarah sets deadlines for herself and wants to keep pushing herself.

*She’s working on the 5th Throne of Glass book, Empire of Storms.

*She loves fairy tales and folklore.

*She wants to write a retelling of the Russian folklore, “Vasilisa the Beautiful”.

*According to Sarah, she is a hybrid of pantser and plotter.

*She wants to know how to start and how she’ll end a story.

*She lets her characters speak to her.

*Her husband is her first and last boyfriend. (Awwww! <3)

*The Night Court in the ACOTAR series is a place with layers of secrets.

*A Court of Mist and Fury is a book where readers will see more of the world of Prythian!

*Sarah likes to think that there’s strength in quietness.

*Sarah wants to write strong female characters that represent different kinds of strength.

*She listens to music on repeat until she gets in her characters’ mindsets.

*Sarah has to feel what her characters are feeling.

*She opened herself up in ways she’s never done before in Heir of Fire.

*She calls Heir of Fire the “migraine book” because she cried a lot while writing it.

*It’s amazing to her that the fandom (for her books) has grown.

 

You may listen to the full audio recording of the Q&A here.

Sarah signing my books

Sarah signing my copy of A Court of Thorns and Roses!

Sarah signing my book

Sarah to me: “Your hair is so beautiful!” Me: “Thank you! Your hair is so beautiful, too!” Really guys, her hair is amazing! 🙂

With Sarah J. Maas!

With the remarkable Sarah J. Maas!

Hugging Sarah

I got to hug Sarah! ❤ ❤ ❤

PH YA Book Bloggers with SJ Maas

PH YA Book Bloggers with Sarah and her husband! 🙂

Hardest Sefie Ever 14.0 with SJMaas

Hardest Selfie Ever 14.0 with Sarah! ❤

After the Q&A, my blogger friends and I had lunch at our usual hang-out. Our topic of conversation was of course, BOOKS. 🙂 After lunch, I dropped by the public signing at National Book Store Glorietta 1 with Sab of Sab The Book Eater and Dani of Book Whales. I felt the excitement of everyone upon entering the venue! There were a lot of bookworms who camped out as early as yesterday! WOW. You guys are awesome! I salute every single one of you. 🙂

Public signing2

Public signing1

So there you have it! Another phenomenal book signing event made possible by the one and only National Book Store! Thank you very much NBS for bringing Sarah J. Maas here in the Philippines! You guys rock! 🙂

Signed ACOTAR

My signed copy of ACOTAR ❤

How about you, guys? Did you attend Sarah J. Maas’ book signing? Share your experience in the comment section below!

 

Event Recap: Victoria Aveyard Manila Book Signing

Last March 6, 2016, New York Times Bestselling Author Victoria Aveyard visited Manila for a book signing tour! My fellow book bloggers and I had a privilege to attend a Q&A with the author, and as always, it was a lot of fun! While waiting for Victoria, my friends and I chatted about the latest books and what we’ve been up to. It was really great to see them again after months of not seeing each other. Soon, Victoria arrived and everyone welcomed her with smiles and cheers.

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The Q&A was wonderful! Victoria answered our questions with gusto and so much insight. I enjoyed listening to her talk about writing and the things she loves! You may listen to the full audio recording of the Q&A here. Special thanks to Kai of Amaterasu Reads for sharing the link of the audio recording! I have my own, but unfortunately, my laptop failed to recognize my phone. Boo! 😦

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With the lovely Victoria Aveyard!

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A display of Victoria Aveyard’s books

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PH YA Book Bloggers with Victoria! Photo grabbed from Kate of The Bookaholic Blurbs. 🙂

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Hardest Selfie Ever 13.0 with Kate of The Bookaholic Blurbs, Lyra of Defiantly Deviant, and Louisse of The Soul Sisters!

I wasn’t able to drop by at the public signing because I had somewhere important to go to after the Q&A. But I was glad to hear that a huge number of fans showed up! Woohoo! *happy dance*

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My signed copy of Red Queen! 🙂

Thank you very much National Book Store for this remarkable event! Can’t wait for the next one! 🙂