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

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: Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway

13132816Title: Emmy & Oliver

Author: Robin Benway

Publication date: June 23, 2015

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 352

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

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

 

Synopsis:

Emmy’s best friend, Oliver, reappears after being kidnapped by his father ten years ago. Emmy hopes to pick up their relationship right where it left off. Are they destined to be together? Or has fate irreparably driven them apart?

Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life.

She wants to stay out late, surf her favorite beach—go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared.

Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart.

He’d thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing and his thoughts swirling.

Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy’s soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?

Readers who love Sarah Dessen will tear through these pages with hearts in throats as Emmy and Oliver struggle to face the messy, confusing consequences of Oliver’s father’s crime. Full of romance, coming-of-age emotion, and heartache, these two equally compelling characters create an unforgettable story.

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads

My review:

At first glance, Emmy & Oliver seems like a wonderful book. Its storyline showed a lot of promise, and it’s a contemporary that I believed I would love. Sadly, however, I did not finish reading the book. I looked forward to it so much but it turned out to be a let down for me. I wasn’t able to connect with the story and the characters. There was no thrill, nothing interesting to keep my attention. I didn’t feel anything while I was reading it.

With a lot of people loving Emmy & Oliver, I felt like the odd one out. It came to a point that I questioned if something was wrong with me. Emmy & Oliver is contemporary. And being a contemporary fangirl, aren’t I supposed to like it even just a little? But I’m really sorry to say that Emmy & Oliver did not work for me. 😦

I do not mean offense to anyone. This is review is just my sincere personal opinion. To those who have this book in their TBR pile, I encourage you to still give it a try. Emmy & Oliver might not be for me, but it could be your next favorite book.

 

Rating:

DNF