ARC Review: Ronit & Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin

Title: Ronit & Jamil

Author: Pamela L. Laskin

Publication date: February 21, 2017

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Pages: 192 pages

Source: ARC from the publisher (Thank you, Harper Collins!)

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

 

Synopsis:

This beautiful and lyrical novel in verse delivers a fresh and captivating retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet that transports the star-crossed lovers to the modern-day Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza.

Ronit, an Israeli girl, lives on one side of the barrier fence. Jamil, a Palestinian boy, lives on the other side. Only miles apart but separated by generations of conflict—much more than just the concrete blockade between them. Their fathers, however, work in a distrusting but mutually beneficial business arrangement, a relationship that brings Ronit and Jamil together. And lightning strikes. The kind of lightning that transcends barrier fences, war, and hatred. Ronit and Jamil fall desperately into the throes of forbidden love, one that would create an irreparable rift between their families if it were discovered. But a love this big can be kept secret for only so long. Soon, the teenage lovers must face the fateful choice to save their lives or their loves, as it may not be possible to save both.

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads

A novel written in verse, Ronit & Jamil was a quick read. I’m a fan of modern-day retellings, so when I learned that it’s a reimagining of Romeo & Juliet set in the Middle East, I just had to read it.

I thought I was going to like this book, but unfortunately, I didn’t. The alternate POVs were confusing because the poems sound very much alike. The characters didn’t resonate with me, and I also couldn’t connect with the story. I felt that everything was rushed! It could have been better if the novel were written in prose so readers would extensively feel the thrill of romance. In addition, scenes would be executed vividly, giving readers a thorough understanding of Israeli and Palestinian cultures, as well as experience the intense conflict between the two countries.

If Ronit & Jamil is on your TBR pile, please give it a chance. Like other books, it deserves to be read. Don’t let my review influence your decision in reading the book. This is just my opinion, guys! 🙂

Rating:

1/5 stars

 

 

ARC Review: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

17838528Title: The Unexpected Everything

Author: Morgan Matson

Publication date: May 3, 2016

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Pages: 519

Source: ARC from the publisher (Thank you, Simon & Schuster!)

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

 

Synopsis:

Andie had it all planned out.

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check.

Amazing friends? Check.

Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.

And where’s the fun in that?

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads

My review:

It has been four years since I last read a Morgan Matson book. Yeah, it was that long! Second Chance Summer was the last one. I have a copy of Since You’ve Been Gone on my shelf and I hope to read it soon. Anyway, I got to read the author’s latest, The Unexpected Everything and enjoyed it!

Realistic and relatable, The Unexpected Everything is a book that perfectly depicts how the unexpected things in life turn out to be beautiful. People plan how their life would be most of the time, like they should be this and that or something. It’s okay to have goals in life, but sometimes we also have to open ourselves to unexpected things that come our way especially if they are experiences we haven’t come across yet. You know, the unexpected is magical because there are infinite possibilities wedged in it. So live in the moment, and don’t be afraid to embrace the unexpected!

The characters are wonderfully crafted! Each of them possesses unique qualities that spiced up the story. Authentic and solid, the friendship in the book thoroughly mirrors what friendship is like in real life. I also love the father and daughter angle! Andie and her dad’s bonding moments are heartfelt and endearing.

The romance is adorable! With an undeniable chemistry, Andie and Clark are so meant to be! I love the way The Unexpected Everything illustrates how a love story unfolds—the meet-cute, the awkward first date, getting to know each other, and lastly, falling in love! ❤

Morgan Matson is so good in making readers feel that they’re part of the story as well as giving happy feels!

A blissful and charming novel, The Unexpected Everything is a YA contemporary you’d definitely want to add to your TBR pile! 🙂

 

Rating:

4/5 stars

ARC Review: Dreamology by Lucy Keating

23466626Title: Dreamology

Author: Lucy Keating

Publication date: April 12, 2016

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 336

Source: ARC from the publisher (Thank you, HarperCollins!)

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

Synopsis:

Vibrantly offbeat and utterly original, Lucy Keating’s debut novel combines the unconventional romance of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with the sweetness and heart of Jenny Han.

For as long as Alice can remember, she has dreamed of Max. Together, they have traveled the world and fallen deliriously, hopelessly in love. Max is the boy of her dreams—and only her dreams. Because he doesn’t exist.

But when Alice walks into class on her first day at a new school, there he is. Real Max is nothing like Dream Max. He’s stubborn and complicated. And he has a whole life Alice isn’t a part of. Getting to know each other in reality isn’t as perfect as Alice always hoped.

Alarmingly, when their dreams start to bleed into their waking hours, the pair realize that they might have to put an end to a lifetime of dreaming about each other. But when you fall in love in your dreams, can reality ever be enough?

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads

My review:

Reading Dreamology is a dream come true. I’ve always wanted to read a story about people who dream of each other and then meet in real life. The moment I read the book’s synopsis, I knew that the story would be something different. And yes, Dreamology lived up to my expectations. It made me see the wonders of what-ifs and the magic of impossibilities made possible. Its unconventional concept is what made it special.

A light and fast read, every chapter of Dreamology is enveloped with intrigue, leading to a surprising revelation or a question being answered. This book is quite an attention-grabber!

The romance is sweet and dreamy! Meeting your dream boy/dream girl IRL is like a fairy tale, isn’t it? Alice and Max = OTP! 🙂

Impressive and amusing, Dreamology is a debut that unbelievably shows what dreams are made of.

 

Rating:

4/5 stars

 

Blog Tour: Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

V23 new typeface tagline.inddTitle: Tell Me Three Things

Author: Julie Buxbaum

Publication date: April 5, 2016

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Pages: 336

Source: ARC from the publisher (Thank you, Penguin Random House!)

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

Synopsis: 

Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

Julie Buxbaum mixes comedy and tragedy, love and loss, pain and elation, in her debut YA novel filled with characters who will come to feel like friends.

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads

My review:

It’s summertime in the Philippines, and it’s the perfect season to indulge in YA contemporaries! If you were to ask me what book I’d recommend, it would be Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum! Why?

Because….

Tell Me Three Things will make you:

  1. Happy
  2. Smiley
  3. Giddy

And that’s what a summer read should be, right? Tell Me Three Things is sunshine, Popsicle, and ice-cold mango smoothie rolled into one! The story is stuffed with charming and blissful feels! However, there are also scenes that exhibit raw and intense emotions that brought out main character Jessie’s flaws, which I appreciated about the book. Tell Me Three Things illustrated love, loss, and acceptance in a way that readers could easily connect with the story.

Loaded with characters that have diverse personalities, the story is indeed enjoyable and lively! Main character Jessie is so authentic, funny, and lovable! I loved reading her thoughts and her entire adventure.

Now the romance is my favorite aspect of this story because of its mysterious vibe. Jessie’s chat conversations with SN were delightful. Plus, I enjoyed not knowing SN’s identity until the moment of truth! The mystery made Tell Me Three Things difficult to put down as it kept me guessing who SN really is. I had a hunch of SN’s identity in the beginning chapters, but then things were just unpredictable! When SN’s identity was revealed, my happiness overflowed because he is the ideal match for Jessie. And hooray, my guess is correct! 🙂

Author Julie Buxbaum’s writing is fresh and entertaining! There was never a dull moment in Tell Me Three Things. The pace was just right—not too fast and not too slow. I look forward to reading more YA books by Julie Buxbaum in the future!

 

Rating:

4/5 stars

 

 

 

 

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

 

ARC Review: This Raging Light by Estelle Laure

23719423Title: This Raging Light

Author: Estelle Laure

Publication date: January 5, 2016

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers

Pages: 288

Source: ARC from publisher (Thank you, HMH!)

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

Synopsis: 

“A funny, poetic, big-hearted reminder that life can—and will—take us all by surprise.”—Jennifer E. Smith, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Can the best thing happen at the worst time?  Her dad went crazy. Her mom left town. She has bills to pay and a little sister to look after. Now is not the time for level-headed seventeen-year-old Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she’s about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend’s brother. With blazing longing that builds to a fever pitch, Estelle Laure’s soulful debut will keep readers hooked and hoping until the very last page.

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads

My review:

Of all the contemporary novels I read last year, there’s only one that took me three days to finish. That, my dear readers, is the fastest reading time I could afford at the moment because of my busy work schedule. It was such a breeze that I only stopped reading for bathroom breaks or when I needed to get back to work.

Showcasing a fresh, hypnotic writing style and decent pacing, This Raging Light is a debut novel that expresses raw and honest emotions with impactful depth. The feels claw out of the pages, making readers a part of the story. The characters are so authentic in a sense that they would pass off as living, breathing humans with problems and experiences that anyone could relate to. Lucille, the main character, is a strong and amazing sister to Wren. The romance is electric and beautiful! You’d feel the intensity of Lucille and Digby’s (the love interest) attraction to each other.

I love how This Raging Light is about being brave to face a scary world. Author Estelle Laure opens readers’ eyes to the firm realization that standing up on your own is all right. And yet you also have to keep in mind that it’s okay to ask for help. Oftentimes, there’s someone willing to extend a hand. You are not alone.

Burning with the brightness of hope and love, This Raging Light will definitely touch readers’ hearts.

 

Rating:

3.5/5 stars

 

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! 🙂

A Series of DNFs 2.0

Hey, everyone! It’s been a month since I last posted as I have been busy with work. For today’s post, I’m going to share with you three books that I DNF-ed. The question is WHY? I couldn’t connect with the stories and the pace was slow for me. I tried to keep on reading but I always felt bored or sleepy along the way. So I had to DNF them. I’m so sorry! 😦

Please don’t let this post discourage you from reading these books. If they are in your TBR pile, please give them a chance!

 

For The Record

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The Trouble with Destiny 

18982137

What’s Broken Between Us

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*Photos from Goodreads

A Series of DNFs

What is it like to write DNF reviews? For me, it seems to be the most terrible thing I’ve ever done as a book blogger. Books are treasures, but what if you don’t like a particular story? Or in my case, one story after another? I feel that I’m the odd one out when I don’t like the story everyone loves as well as feel very awful when I write DNF reviews.

Now this post is for three books that I have DNF-ed in the past few months because I didn’t enjoy them. I’m soooo sorry! 😦 Most of you loved these books, but I just couldn’t identify with any of them and their characters. There were also dragging parts that felt like forever. Plus, with the endless TBR pile that all book bloggers have, I don’t want to waste my time reading a book that doesn’t thrill me. 😦

 

The Devil You Know by Trish Doller

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Between the Notes by Sharon Huss Roat

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The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

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*Photos from Goodreads