A Bright and Lovely Sunday: Jennifer Niven in Manila!

If there’s one day I’d like to relive, it would be May 29, 2016 — Jennifer Niven’s signing in Manila. It was so colorful and bright and all the lovely things combined! ❤

Q&A with Jennifer

Q&A with Jennifer Niven

My fellow book bloggers and I attended a special Q&A with Jennifer where she talked about writing and her wonderful books. Jennifer’s sincere and soft-spoken nature was very admirable! I loved listening to her speak! ❤

Here are some interesting bits I’ve gathered from the Q&A:

*On adapting All the Bright Places into a screenplay, Jennifer said it was scary at first.

*Jennifer has a graduate degree in screenwriting.

*According to her, film doesn’t have as much space unlike in books.

*Readers are always the important thing for Jennifer.

*The All the Bright Places movie will start shooting in the Fall!

*For Jennifer, it’s important to have balance. When she’s on a writing break, she loves to dance, hike, go outside, read, and binge watch television. It’s recharging for her.

*Jennifer said that every book wants to be written differently.

*Writing Jack and Libby (in Holding Up the Universe) was a challenge.

*She creates a playlist for each of the characters.

*Jennifer kept surprising herself while writing Holding Up the Universe. Both she and her characters try to do the unexpected.

For more fascinating information, you may listen to the audio recording of the Q&A here.

Following the Q&A was the book signing! We all lined up to have our books signed. I felt everybody’s excitement as I waited to reach the front of the line!

Jennifer signing books

When my turn came, Jennifer smiled at me, and I couldn’t believe that I was face to face with THE Jennifer Niven — New York Times Bestselling Author and a friend I made online in 2014 who I’ve wished to meet!

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Jennifer signing my copy of All the Bright Places!

Pictures with Jen

She is all the colors in one, at full brightness. ❤

After I had a picture taken with Jennifer, I hugged her tightly and told her that she’s amazing. Then Jen surprised me with a gift! An ARC of Holding Up the Universe! Squeee!!! *flails* Oh and guess what, I have a cameo in Holding Up the Universe! Thank you, Jen, for making my dream of becoming a character in a book come true! 🙂

Holding Up the Universe

Jen’s gift!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

While our fellow bloggers are still having their books signed, the Hardest Selfie Ever crew grabbed the opportunity to take selfies! These selfies were not really difficult to take as we’ve gotten better at squeezing ourselves into the frame as the years go by. The hardest selfies we’ve ever taken are still at Gayle Forman’s and Jenny Han’s book signings! Haha! 😀

Hardest Selfie Ever 15.0

The Hardest Selfie Ever 15.0 with Kate of The Bookaholic Blurbs, Lyra of Defiantly Deviant, and Louisse of The Soul Sisters!

A bookish event wouldn’t be complete without a group picture! So here it is:

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PH YA Book Bloggers with Jennifer Niven 🙂

After the event, I went up to Jen and thanked her for visiting the Philippines and for being an inspiration to me. I couldn’t stop saying thank you because my heart was overflowing with gratitude, happiness, and all kinds of feels. When I hugged Jennifer, she shared her brightness with me, and infused a sense of hope that the coming days are going to be better and brighter. Jennifer IS all the colors in one, at full brightness. I will never ever forget this day! 🙂

Convo with Jen

Convo with Jen

Jen wearing the bracelet

Jen wearing the bracelets I gave her! 🙂

The public signing was held at the Mega Atrium of SM Megamall at 2PM. From what I’ve seen in pictures, there were so many people who attended! Hooray!!!

 

Thank you National Book Store for bringing Jennifer Niven to the Philippines! You guys are rock stars! So much love for you! 🙂

To Jennifer, thank you very much for visiting the Philippines. You have no idea how happy I am that I got to meet you in person! We became friends on Twitter in late 2014 and after a year, we finally saw each other in real life! This time, I got to really hug you, and not just send you virtual hugs! I am also grateful for your writing advices and for constantly encouraging me to keep on writing. You make me bright and lovely! One day when I finish my book, you’ll be the first to know. ❤ I love you and I hope to see you again in the future! *hugs*

Signed books

Signed books ❤

GIVEAWAY TIME!

Signed chapter sampler

As I have posted on the @JenniferNivenPH Twitter page, I’m giving away a signed Holding Up the Universe chapter sampler to one (1) lucky reader!

Just answer this question on the comment section below:

How did All the Bright Places change your life?

I’ll choose the best answer!!! 🙂

*Giveaway is open to Philippine residents ONLY (I’m sorry, international readers! 😦 )

and will run until Sunday, June 5, 2016 at 5 PM

xoxo,

Jesselle

 

Check out the recaps of my friends!

Kai of Amaterasu Reads

Dianne of Oops! I Read A Book Again

Salve of Cuckoo for Books

 

 

2015 Highlights

2015 was a wonderful year! I had a great time in all 12 months! In this post, I’m sharing with you 4 things that indeed made my 2015 unforgettable.

I got a job! 

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After a year of being jobless, I had the opportunity to work at the Public Relations and Marketing department of an international school here in the Philippines. In my 8-month stay in the institution, I learned a lot about publicity and the ins and outs of marketing.

The opportunity to read amazing books by equally amazing debut authors

Books such as All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne, Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, and The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi truly made a huge mark in my life. ❤

Bookish events and bonding with blogger friends

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Book signing events are the ultimate get-together with blogger friends. We don’t see each other often so those events are reunions for us. Can’t wait for more bonding moments in 2016! 🙂

Speaking about book blogging 

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It was my first time to be part of a panel discussion on book blogging last November 28. It was a lot of fun! I was with Kai of Amaterasu Reads, Kate of The Bookaholic Blurbs, and Hazel of Stay Bookish. We shared tips on writing good book reviews, establishing social media presence, choosing a blogging platform, and a lot more to bookworms and aspiring book bloggers!

Procuring a newfound love for local television shows

I haven’t watched a single Filipino TV show in years (I was 13 or 15 when I last watched one!), and all it took was one show to break the long streak. Hailed as “2015’s Most Romantic Teleserye (television series)”, On The Wings of Love (OTWOL) captured the hearts of many including mine. When teasers for OTWOL started to air on TV, I thought it was very promising. But then I didn’t plan on watching it because I’m not really into local shows. One night, I was flipping through channels in search for a good show and I chanced upon an episode of OTWOL. So I watched it, and my, was I very impressed! It was love at first watch! I adored the storytelling, the great acting, the spot on portrayal of Filipino values and culture, and most of all, the swoon-worthy, heart-melting love story of main characters Clark Medina (James Reid) and Leah Olivar (Nadine Lustre). The characters made me believe that true love is worth the wait. ❤  I won’t say much about the show to avoid spoilers! Watching OTWOL is like reading adult fiction that has YA feels! 🙂 If you wish to know more about On The Wings of Love, head over to the show’s website here.

 

Thank you 2015 and Hello 2016!

Happy New Year everyone! 🙂

 

 

The Lifelong Bookworm’s Best Books of 2015

Hi guys! Today I’m sharing with you the books that impressed me this year because of their awesomeness. These books are dear to me! Without further ado, I now present you The Lifelong Bookworm‘s Best Books of 2015! 🙂

 

All the Bright Places

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

“Brimming with the brightest of hopes and the darkest of heartaches, All the Bright Places is a memorable tale of love, loss, and the beauty of being alive.” (Full review here.)

 

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Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

“An effervescent and uplifting coming of age story, Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda is a spectacular book that fills your heart with the warm glow of infinite bliss.” (Full review here.)

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The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

“An outstanding second novel from a talented author, The Start of Me and You is pure heart and soul and the best kind of perfect.” (Full review here.)

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The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne

“Bursting with the brightest intensity of awesomeness, The Wrong Side of Right is an extraordinary debut novel that warms the heart in every beautiful way.” (Full review here.)

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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

“Sparkling with the glamour of timeless magic, A Court of Thorns and Roses is a phenomenal first book in a new series that everyone is sure to love!” (Full review here.)

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The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi

“Gleaming with heartfelt moments and the brightest of possibilities, The Night We Said Yes is a remarkable debut novel that beautifully captures the core of love, friendship, and second chances in a magical and unforgettable way.” (Full review here.)

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Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith

“Instilled with surprising discoveries and hopeful beginnings, Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between is brilliance and heart in one exceptional novel.” (Full review here.)

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Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

“Brimming with optimism and profound clarity, Every Last Word is a remarkable novel that you need to add to your TBR pile!” (Full review here.)

*All book covers from Goodreads

How about you, fellow bookworms? What are your best books for this year? Share them on the comment section below! 🙂

ARC Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright PlacesTitle: All the Bright Places

Author: Jennifer Niven

Publication date: January 6, 2015

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Pages: 384

Source: e-ARC from author via Netgalley (Thank you, Jennifer Niven!)

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

Synopsis: 

The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this compelling, exhilarating, and beautiful story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads

My review:

Written in alternate POVs, All the Bright Places follows the story of Theodore Finch and Violet Markey, two complex and flawed teenagers going through dark times in their separate lives. They meet at the ledge of their school bell tower one day and from then on, they became a significant part of each other’s life.

Author Jennifer Niven’s writing has a distinct rhythm and a fresh, resounding YA perspective that blows you away. She breathed life to unique characters that are definitely going to create a huge mark in the YA world. Finch and Violet have beautiful voices that captivate readers through thought-provoking insights. Both characters are dear to me but throughout the reading process, I have developed a greater fondness for Finch. How could I not? He is funny, bold, loving, and highly fascinating. He plays the guitar and writes songs! SWOON! ❤ Finch also has a way of speaking that draws anyone to listen. His words are like fairy dust scattered in the wind, spreading magic all over the place. But what I adore most about Finch is that he inspired Violet to break free from the cell of grief and guilt she imprisoned herself in. He gave her light to see reasons to live.

Finch and Violet’s romance is sweet and heartfelt! Their interactions will set off euphoric flutters in your stomach that could make you burp rainbows and the brightest sunshine ever. You know the feeling when you’re with someone you like and want to be something more? THAT!!! I melted at the little gestures such as exchanging smiles and holding each other’s hand. Oh. My. Heart! *happy sigh* And even after reading a swoon-worthy scene, the blissful electric feeling still lingers. 🙂 Finch and Violet’s relationship impressively displays the magnificence of discovering that person who reflects your soul.

After all the delightful moments, something devastating happens. Honestly, I’m still in denial until now. The emotions are very raw and painful. I didn’t react at first because I had faith that it’s not what I thought it was, that there’s still a chance for *insert name of character* to be in good condition. I held on to the hope that things would be fine but when I turned the page to the next chapter, that’s when I felt the finality of the incident, the gravity of its aftermath. Everything crumbled to dust. Tears started to fall uncontrollably. It’s the kind of moment where you need someone to hold you and say that things will be okay. But how can you move on when you feel like your heart is crushed, drained of blood and all the energy that’s keeping you alive? What hurts the most is the thought that you can’t do anything about it. What’s done is done. There’s no way to rewind time to stop it from happening. The weight is too much to bear but it’s an eye-opener to the reality that people do such a thing. When it happens, it affects everyone. I know this is fiction but it felt so real.

When you love a book that broke your heart in a spectacular way, it’s difficult to stitch your thoughts and emotions into articulate sentences. It took me two weeks to write this review because I had to gather enough courage and strength to keep myself together. Pouring out my feelings is like tending to a fresh wound as I cry recalling the sorrow, and then smile eventually when the happy memories take over. Having said that, I believe this book wants to tell readers that there’s hope in finding something bright in a world that seems so dark. Darkness will always be part of our life but when we think about the lovely things that put a smile on our face, brightness will shine through.

Thank you so much Jennifer Niven for writing this remarkable story!

Brimming with the brightest of hopes and the darkest of heartaches, All the Bright Places is a memorable tale of love, loss, and the beauty of being alive.

Rating:

5/5 stars