E-ARC Review: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Monday, October 24, 2016
Big Little Lies
Author: Liane Moriarty
Release date: July 29th 2014
Publisher: Berkley
Series: N/A
Genre: General Fiction
Add to your library: Goodreads

Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.  
(via Goodreads)

I received an e-copy of this from Berkley through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This however did not influence my opinion of the book or of the author in any way..


Why does it have to end? Oh, right. It's a book. I just cannot believe it's over now. It's just that good, you know.

Big Little Lies is the book you won't ever want to put down. Written in the 3rd person POV and centering three women's li(v)es, Madeline, Celeste and Jane, it will certainly make you ask for more.

The story started with the present, the time of chaos. It then shifted to the past, the time wherein the three women's lives finally collided. In each chapter, there were some statements from other characters regarding the commotion. Those statements, for me, were technically gossips, you know? About what someone think happened, of course, with the help of their malicious imagination. Ugh. Right from the start, I knew the characters to hate. It got me guessing as to who died, what happened, who did it. Just when I think I know what happened, there were more surprises.

The trio was connected because their children started in the same Kindergarten class. Along with the other kids and their parents, the mishaps started. Bullying within the class was the source of it all, that's what I thought at first. Yet as the story went on, some other issues materialized. Domestic violence was the root of all evil in this story. Seriously, it makes me cringe just remembering that. And it's not just because of one person, it's a ripple effect.

I admire the author for tackling this issue in a way that's so realistic. How the victim would totally be in denial at first, because, sure, that person do love the other one. How violence can sometimes not just be controllable by the person, and professional help is needed. How there are many variables that the victim thinks about before leaving the other. It's all different for everyone, but how it was portrayed here was heart-wrenching as if it was real.

Madeleine, Celeste and Jane were a joy to meet. Their lives weren't at all perfect. But they all had something to be thankful for. Madeleine surely was the cool mom, the talker yet she had her own drama within her family. Just imagine your ex-husband has a daughter with his new wife who's in the same class with you and your present husband's daughter. Imagine if your daughter from your previous marriage liked to be with her stepmom more than you. Celeste's life was not something to be jealous of. Pretty on the outside but really bad on the inside. Jane was the young mom who had an agenda of her own, I knew there was something about her moving place to place. They made me laugh, cry, and most especially to be grateful for my family all the time.

Big Little Lies is all about those lies, no matter how little, we tell ourselves everyday to get through life. Is that bad? I honestly don't think so. But it gets bad when we lose ourselves in the process of our lying. When our lies become the truth that we want. When the truth becomes the lies we sought to forget. This book will not just give you a glimpse of how domestic violence can affect everyone around you, but also how hope and love can heal people amidst the storm. I cannot not recommend this book enough. I definitely want to talk about it more. Please read it. Tell me what you think.

P.S. I guess this just became one of my favorite mystery/thriller novels.

About the Author

Liane MoriartyLiane Moriarty is the Australian author of six internationally best-selling novels, Three Wishes, The Last Anniversary, What Alice Forgot, The Hypnotist's Love Story and the number 1 New York Times bestsellers, The Husband's Secret and Big Little Lies.

Her breakout novel The Husband's Secret sold over three million copies worldwide, was a number 1 UK bestseller, an Amazon Best Book of 2013 and has been translated into over 40 languages. It spent over a year on the New York Times bestseller list. CBS Films has acquired the film rights.

With the launch of Big Little Lies, Liane became the first Australian author to have a novel debut at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. An HBO series based on Big Little Lies is currently in production, starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon.

Writing as L.M. Moriarty, Liane has also written a children's book series, The Petrifying Problem with Princess Petronella, The Shocking Trouble on the Planet of Shobble and The Wicked War on the Planet of Whimsy.

Liane lives in Sydney with her husband, son and daughter. Her new novel, Truly Madly Guilty, was released in July 2016.

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E-ARC Review: The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson

Thursday, October 20, 2016
The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley
Author: Shaun David Hutchinson
Release date: January 20th 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Series: N/A
Genre: Young Adult
Add to your library: Goodreads

Andrew Brawley was supposed to die that night. His parents did, and so did his sister, but he survived.

Now he lives in the hospital. He serves food in the cafeteria, he hangs out with the nurses, and he sleeps in a forgotten supply closet. Drew blends in to near invisibility, hiding from his past, his guilt, and those who are trying to find him.

Then one night Rusty is wheeled into the ER, burned on half his body by hateful classmates. His agony calls out to Drew like a beacon, pulling them both together through all their pain and grief. In Rusty, Drew sees hope, happiness, and a future for both of them. A future outside the hospital, and away from their pasts.

But Drew knows that life is never that simple. Death roams the hospital, searching for Drew, and now Rusty. Drew lost his family, but he refuses to lose Rusty, too, so he’s determined to make things right. He’s determined to bargain, and to settle his debts once and for all.

But Death is not easily placated, and Drew’s life will have to get worse before there is any chance for things to get better.

A partly graphic novel.  
(via Goodreads)

I received an e-copy of this from Simon Pulse through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This however did not influence my opinion of the book or of the author in any way..


The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley appealed to me as mysterious. Hence, why I requested it for review. The synopsis and the title suggested it was about grief. That's why I prepared myself for some heavy heart feels. But gosh, you can never be ready for it.

Within a few minutes into the book, I got lost inside Andrew's life in the hospital. I got all these questions. Why is he there? Why can't people figure out he's living in an abandoned part? What happened to his family? Who is this Death? How can he roam around the hospital as if it's his house? How can he survive like that? How does he take a bath? Of course, I knew I was gonna get answers. I took my time reading his story and got an answer for everything except about his shower time.

Andrew's life was a series of misfortunes. As much as I find it weird that he got to live inside the hospital, he doesn't know where to go. Since it's the last place his family was in, he stayed there. He illegally worked in the cafeteria. He got to have a family there. A nice one. Nurses, cafeteria crew, even some patients in the pedia, Trevor and Lexi. The bond he created with them was the most important to him. Along with his human friends, he turned to his drawings and character, Patient F as a companions. While he has people he can turn to, he was also avoiding someone, the Death. Turns out, the Death is a social worker. I knew that character must be an employee inside the hospital. Everything became crucial when Rusty was brought in the hospital. Andrew was drawn to him and so he befriended him. They became close as Andrew spent more sneaking time to his room. You don't know how nervous I got every time he did that. Yet the truth caught up with Andrew and eventually, Death. My heart ached for Andrew for he was just trying to save his friends. However, bad things happened and he needed saving more than ever.

I was close to the end, around 4% remaining when something happened and I swear I was astonished I can barely believe it. I read it a couple of times just to make sure I read it right. I was crying inside because why did that have to happen? I even told myself I don't like the book anymore. Take note, I was loving every bit of it until that happened. Still, I finished the book. Good thing, I was relieved in the end, pretty much relieved.

The comics included were entertaining. Although what gave depth to Andrew's life was Shaun's writing. It was very engaging I thought for sure it was something personal. I can just feel the intensity of every word. I even shed some tears to a few scenes. His writing is something I would definitely want to read again. You write incredibly, Shaun.

I debated within myself as to what rating I'll be giving this. I got overwhelmed with that last part. I kept on rationalizing why it happened. After almost three days, I realized how fitting it was. Why it had to happen. It's the only way Andrew can be saved. I love the book! Really. Especially the writing. Yet I am only giving it 4 stars because of that tiny feeling I got.

The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley is an astounding piece of art. Goosebumps will definitely crawl in your skin. You'll have to go low before you go high. I cannot recommend this enough for its awesomeness. Please. Read it.

About the Author

Shaun is a major geek and all about nerdy shenanigans. He is the author of We Are the Ants, The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley, The Deathday Letter, fml, and the editor of the anthology Violent Ends. Find out more information at shaundavidhutchinson.com. He currently lives in South Florida with his dog and watches way too much Doctor Who.

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[Blog Tour] Stowaway by Jen Castleberry: Guest Post

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Stowaway (The Reservation Trilogy, #2)
Author: Jen Castleberry
Release date: October 15th 2016
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Series: The Reservation Trilogy # 2
Genre: Young Adult
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes and Noble  
Add to your library: Goodreads

Twelve years ago, Nathan was forcibly transferred into governmental custody.

Once a brother, a son, and an outsider, he is now little more than an instrument of the Continental Order.

At least, that's what his superiors think.

Now, the Order is shipping out, and a resurgence of destruction lies in wait for the continent.

Will Nathan break free and embrace the hostile outside world, or will he take his place on the last train scheduled for the Reservation?  
(via Goodreads)

Guest Post: Favorite Book Genre

I have always read across many genres, and was, in fact, a fan of romance novels first, having read them almost exclusively throughout my high school years. In the decade post, I have been particularly fond of young-adult dystopian fiction. Recently, I’ve discovered Sarah J. Maas and have nosedived into fantasy, reading every Goodreads-recommended fantasy I can get my hands on. And VERY recently, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by a few YA contemporary reads, a genre I’ve always steered away from. My favorite reads this year include Maas’s ACOTAR and ACOMAF, Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen, and Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything. I’ve tried my hand at a bit of book-blogging, both on Goodreads and on my website, and this more than anything has expanded the parameters of my personal library.

About the Author

Jen Castleberry is a North Carolina native currently based in Virginia Beach, VA. She is a Communications graduate and proud ECU alum.

When she's not writing, Castleberry works full-time as a Veterinary Assistant at a local animal shelter.

Her affection for all critters, large and small, comes home with her at the end of each day. She frequently lends her house and heart to homeless animals in need of foster.

Her own clan of silly creatures include an Akita, a Basset Hound, a Maine Coon, and of course, her active-duty husband.

At twenty-seven, Castleberry hopes to soon realize a life-long dream of writing professionally.

The first installment of her YA debut series premiered in January of 2016.

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E-ARC Review: Promposal by Rhonda Helms

Friday, October 14, 2016
Author: Rhonda Helms
Release date: February 10th 2015
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Series: N/A
Age Group:Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary / Romance
Add to your library: Goodreads

Prom should be one of the most memorable nights of your life. But for Camilla and Joshua, some elaborate promposals are getting in the way. Will they be able to land their dream dates in time for the dance?

Promposal (n.)—an often very public proposal, in which one person asks another person to the prom, eliciting joy or mortification.

Camilla can’t help hoping her secret crush, Benjamin, might randomly surprise her out of the blue with a promposal. But when she’s asked to prom by an irritating casual acquaintance—who’s wearing a fancy tux and standing in front of a news crew—she’s forced to say yes. However, all hope is not lost, as a timely school project gives Camilla a chance to get closer to Benjamin...and it seems like the chemistry between them is crackling. Is she reading into something that isn’t there, or will she get her dream guy just in time for prom?

Joshua has been secretly in love with his best friend Ethan since middle school. Just as he decides to bite the bullet and ask Ethan if he’d go to prom with him, even if just as friends, he gets a shocking surprise: Ethan asks Joshua for help crafting the perfect promposal—for another guy. Now Joshua has to suppress his love and try to fake enthusiasm as he watches his dreams fall apart...unless he can make Ethan see that love has been right in front of his eyes the whole time.

The road to the perfect promposal isn’t easy to navigate. But one thing’s certain—prom season is going to be memorable.  
(via Goodreads)

I received an e-copy of this from Simon Pulse through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This however did not influence my opinion of the book or of the author in any way..


What are your pet peeves as a social being? Are you okay with a stranger suddenly grabbing your hand in public? Or a person doing something inappropriate in front of a crowd? We can all think of an instance where we felt uncomfortable, violated and annoyed. In return, we do our best to avoid doing stuff which can make other people feel the same way. It's an unwritten code, to be proper at all times especially in public places. These things that make us act in certain ways are what we call social norms. I am very much familiar with such as we studied it in the university and of course, I was one of those girls who was brought up to be proper always, just like with Camilla, the female lead character.

Promposal alternates between Camilla and Joshua's POVs. Two best friends who both share trouble in their romantic life. Camilla wishes to be seen and appreciated by her ultimate crush, Benjamin, who is the complete opposite of her with his mysterious aura. Yet Zach asked her to go to the prom in front of everyone so she was forced to say yes. Talk about social norms. While Joshua is in love with his best friend, Ethan who wanted to invite another guy to their prom. These two besties definitely had some heartaches before they both got what they want.

Only a few pages in Promposal, I got so excited because Camilla's class was studying social norms. Of course, the introduction of Camilla was absolutely relatable. She was witty on her own. I caught myself laughing a couple of times because of her thoughts, actions and endless worries. Girl, you'd think at her age, all she'd be worried will be college but no. When Zach did his promposal to her, she was tied to just say yes. Poor Camilla. I wanted to punch Zach for assuming a lot of things. But, hey. They became friends in the end. Camilla's flirting with Benjamin made me smile a lot. Their passing of notes and project together was fun and entertaining.

Joshua's dilemma was a bit more heartbreaking as he was asked by Ethan to help him do a promposal for another guy. How cruel was that? The moment that Joshua confessed to Ethan was definitely heart-tugging. I would surely eat lots of oreos and ice cream if that was me.

Camilla and Joshua balanced out each other in the story. As Camilla was funny and happy-go-lucky, Joshua was the more serious, the artistic one. It wasn't a bore reading about their lives. No too much drama, or heavy struggles. It was more of finding your way to your romantic life.

Promposal definitely is one for a good laugh. You will enjoy Camilla and Joshua's way to their budding romance. Be ready as it will also make you think about your dos and don'ts in the public, if you're being appropriate for that matter. It's nice to read a book that not only makes you enjoy the story and the characters, but also allows you to reflect on your own as a person.

About the Author

Rhonda HelmsRhonda Helms started writing several years ago when she realized she was having far too many conversations with people in her head that hadn’t actually happened. She has a Master’s degree in English and a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. She also edits for Carina Press (an imprint of Harlequin Publishing) as a freelance acquisitions/developmental editor, plus offers freelance editing.

When she isn’t writing, she likes amateur photography, digging her toes into the sand, reading for hours at a time, and eating scads of cheese. WAY too much cheese.

Rhonda lives in Northeast Ohio with her family, a dog, and two sassy cats.

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E-ARC Review: Immortal's Spring by Molly Ringle

Friday, October 7, 2016
Immortal's Spring (The Chrysomelia Stories, #3)
Author: Molly Ringle
Release date: June 1st 2016
Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing
Series: The Chrysomelia Stories # 3
Age Group: Adult / General
Genre: Fantasy
Add to your library: Goodreads

Sophie Darrow said yes once to a young man offering a realm of Greek gods and immortality. Now her home has been shattered, and her friends and family pulled along with her as they run from an evil cult and take shelter in the gloomy Underworld. But remembering the life of the original immortals long ago--Persephone, Hades, Hekate, Hermes, and more--may be their key to victory, as well as happiness.

In ancient times too, the murderous cult Thanatos attacked and destroyed nearly all the Greek immortals who sought to bring good to humankind. But those immortals planted seeds in both their realm and ours to ensure their season would someday bloom again. And spring is finally coming.  
(via Goodreads)

I received an e-copy of this from Central Avenue Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This however did not influence my opinion of the book or of the author in any way..


OMG! I can't believe Immortal's Spring is the ending of this series. I know it's way past the release date, but I only got the time now. I am absolutely grateful to Michelle Halket of Central Avenue Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book.

I enjoyed Persephone's Orchard and Underworld's Daughter. Yet when I started this one, I honestly cannot remember everything that have happened so I was a little bored at the start. Little by little as I go along with the story, I understood everything.

The story continued with Sophie's parents dying, Thanatos still going after them, and the Immortals trying to outsmart their enemies. It was clearly a cat and mouse game. The build up of the thrill of Thanatos getting to them was long. In between were Sophie and Liam trying to recover from their parents' death, the Immortals' relieving their past lives, the reveal of some Immortals' present lives. At times, I felt as if the past lives of some Immortals were painfully dragging. Although I enjoyed Hekate's memories the most, full of love and magic.

The way that Sophie and her gang defeated Thanatos were easy. I somehow find the length of the story a little inconvenient since the action only was for a short time. As a fantasy book, I guess I was expecting more magic and tricks from the Immortals. Also as the last installment in a series, I was opting for a more action-filled scenes.

As much as I'll miss Sophie and Adrian's romance, Hekate and Hermes' love made me giddy and for sure I'll be longing to read about them.

Immortal's Spring didn't disappoint as an ending for the series. For sure more action would have been better, but I enjoyed it still. Surely I will be missing the Underworld and Hermes!

About the Author

Molly Ringle has been writing fiction for over twenty years. With her intense devotion to silly humor, she was especially proud to win the grand prize in the 2010 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest with one (intentionally) terrible sentence. Molly grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and lives in Seattle with her husband and children. Her studies include a bachelor of arts in anthropology and a master of arts in linguistics. She was a Tri-Delta in college, in an old sorority house that was supposedly haunted, which inspired some of the central ideas for 'The Ghost Downstairs.' She also loves folklore and mythology, and is working on new novels about the Greek myths. 'Persephone's Orchard' is the first in the series. When not writing, she can often be found experimenting with fragrances, chocolate, and gardening.

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E-ARC Review: 300 Things I Hope by Iain S. Thomas

Wednesday, October 5, 2016
300 Things I Hope
Author: Iain S. Thomas
Illustrator: Carla Kreuser
Release date: October 1st 2016
Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing
Age Group: General
Genre: Poetry
Add to your library: Goodreads

From the creator of I Wrote This For You, comes a collection of 300 things that the author, Iain S. Thomas, and artist, Carla Kreuser, truly and sincerely hope for you – from hoping that you always have a pen, to hoping that you’re never lonely, and everything in-between. This collection of hope will move you and remind you of what’s important in life as you live it. Or at least, that’s what they hope.  (via Goodreads)

I received an e-copy of this from Central Avenue Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This however did not influence my opinion of the book or of the author in any way..


      300 Things I Hope is technically a list of the author's hope for us, readers. 300 sentences. 300 thoughts. 300 wishes. A number of illustrations (sorry, I didn't count). 
        I can say that it is pretty much a self-help book, a motivational one. To get you to stop and think every after sentence, which I did. Moments of realizations and pep talks. Each sentence made me feel something as well. Happy, sad, inspired, hurt, excited, hopeful. Yet there were also some which I believed wasn't what I hoped for myself. That's when I realized that there would be hopes for us, and even if we do not want it for ourselves, we shall still be appreciative and thankful for the people hoping that for us. No matter how shallow we think what someone is hoping for us, we just gotta be a little grateful, you know? The 300 things that the author hope range from silly to serious ones. It's a mix of everything that everyone will enjoy reading.
      This book differs from the author's other poetry books (I Wrote This For You and I Wrote This For You and Only You) that I've read as it only contains one sentence thoughts and no full-length poems. Also, no photographs. The illustrations didn't make up for it as there were only a couple of illustrations. I honestly thought that there will be one for each of the 300 things. I guess that's one thing I was hoping for. Not that I didn't enjoy it, but I think an illustration for each hope will be more entertaining.
     300 Things I Hope can be read on a daily basis, with each hope for one day. You can read it in one sitting as well. Whichever it may be, it will surely make you stop and ponder about things, make you laugh, and hopeful as well. This might only contain 300 sentences but one thing's for sure,  Iain S. Thomas did not disappoint with his words.

About the Author
Iain S. ThomasIain S. Thomas is the #1 bestselling author of I Wrote This For You, Intentional Dissonance, 25 Love Poems For The NSA, How To Be Happy and other books. He wrote his first book, Ignite, at the age of 23 for the Markham clothing store. It won the Grand Prix at the First Paper House Art Of Design Awards and a gold craft award for copywriting at the national design/advertising awards (The Loeries). He has more than 20 local and international awards.

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E-ARC Review: Perfect Couple (Superlatives # 1) by Jennifer Echols

Monday, October 3, 2016
Perfect Couple (Superlatives, #2)
Author: Jennifer Echols
Release date: January 13th 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Series: Superlatives # 2
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Add to your library: Goodreads

Can your heart be put to a popular vote?

As yearbook photographer, Harper is responsible for capturing those candid moments that make high school memorable. But her own life is anything but picture perfect. Her parents' bitter divorce has left her wondering what a loving relationship would look like. And ever since the senior class voted her and star quarterback Brody the “Perfect Couple That Never Was,” her friends have been on her case to ask Brody out.

Brody doesn’t lack in female admirers, but Harper can't see herself with him. He seems confused about why they were matched together, too. They’re total opposites—the last people in the world who would ever be compatible, let alone the “perfect couple.” Yet ever since the class paired the two of them, they've found themselves drawn together--first by curiosity, then by an undeniable bond.

The trouble is, though they're very attracted to each other and both of them admit this, they have a hard time getting along or even communicating clearly. If they’re the perfect couple, this shouldn’t be so difficult! Soon it becomes clear their class was wrong, and they throw in the towel. But after they walk away, both of them feel so changed from making the effort that they can’t forget each other. What if that means this match made in hell is the perfect couple after all?  
(via Goodreads)

I received an e-copy of this from Simon Pulse through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This however did not influence my opinion of the book or of the author in any way..


Having read Biggest Flirts, I thought that award was already weird. Then I read Perfect Couple and I realized that this one is way weirder for me. Imagine yourself getting awarded as the biggest flirt of your class. Embarrassing right? What more if you are paired with another student and be labeled as the Most Perfect Couple That Never Was? I bet you'd be conscious, curious and obsessed as Harper was.

The attraction between Harper and Brody felt natural for me. The award they got was just a door for them to get to know each other. Although at first, sure, the curiosity and the obsession that Harper had was there. Who wouldn't be when you're paired with someone as Brody? Brody was handsome, athletic and a pretty nice guy. Brody was the typical high school jock minus the jerk part. I guess that's one reason why Harper continued to fall for him because he was real to her.  Their relationship, just like with Will and Tia's, grew out of the Superlative award. Yet it is pretty and sweet despite some drama. Typical teenage couples, you guys. 

Of course, their relationship wouldn't blossom without the help of their friends. I totally enjoyed reading about Will and Tia. It was really fun to read about them again. The two of them may be completely opposite but they sure know how to take care of their friends. Other than the two, I was delighted to encounter Sawyer again. I honestly cannot wait to read about his own story. His relationship with Kaye is definitely an interesting one. 

Other than the romance, Harper being a photographer was one aspect I enjoyed the most. Her passion with it is inspiring. Even if she was having troubles with her romantic life, her eye for taking photographs wasn't affected. It was a proud moment for me when she stood up to Kennedy regarding her deadlines and designs.

Despite the fact that this award made me feel weirder than the Biggest Flirts, I ended up liking this more. I do believe it was because of the romance between Brody and Harper and Harper's love for photography.

Perfect Couple is a nice and sweet easy read. You can finish it in one sitting. You won't just getting some romance but also some photography love.

 About the Author

Jennifer EcholsJennifer Echols was born in Atlanta and grew up in a small town on a beautiful lake in Alabama—a setting that has inspired many of her books. She has written nine romantic novels for young adults, including the comedy MAJOR CRUSH, which won the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the drama GOING TOO FAR, which was a finalist in the RITA, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Book Buyer’s Best, and was nominated by the American Library Association as a Best Book for Young Adults. Simon & Schuster will debut her adult romance novels in 2013, with many more teen novels scheduled for the next few years. She lives in Birmingham with her husband and her son.

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[Blog Tour] I Was Here by Gayle Forman: Review

Friday, January 30, 2015
I Was Here
Author: Gayle Forman
Release date: January 29th 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Series: N/A
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary / Romance / Realistic Fiction
Purchase: Amazon | The Book Depository 
Add to your library: Goodreads

This characteristically powerful novel follows eighteen-year-old Cody Reynolds in the months following her best friend's shocking suicide.

As Cody numbly searches for answers as to why Meg took her own life, she begins a journey of self-discovery which takes her to a terrifying precipice, and forces her to question not only her relationship with the Meg she thought she knew, but her own understanding of life, love, death and forgiveness. 
(via Goodreads)

A copy of this book was lent to me by Pinoy Book Tours. This however did not influence my opinion of the book or of the author in any way.


I don't know what to say except that I was disappointed in a way when I finished reading this one. I've read a couple of novels regarding the people who have been left behind by someone who committed suicide. Of course, each novel is unique. I thought this one would be a friendship story. Sadly, at the end, romance won out. Not that I have anything against romance, you guys. It was just a little disheartening that the start of the novel reached out for a lot of potential (for me) but it only ended with a romance.

I told Dianne of PBT that I already got teary-eyed only with a few pages in this book. Gayle Forman definitely knows how to give the feels. Throughout the novel, I felt heavy. How will you react if your best friend committed suicide and it was all planned-out? I'd probably lose my shit if I was Cody. Cody though was a strong protagonist. She went out of her way to know the truth. But along the way she met a guy. I honestly didn't feel their connection. The only thing that connected the two of them was Meg. I somehow think that's the reason why Cody was pulled to him. But their romantic attraction? Nada for me. It sort of felt fake, actually.

The things that Cody found out about Meg's suicide was absolutely terrifying and sad. I can't imagine someone going through that. I already have a guess as to why Meg committed suicide and I was right. It wasn't something that Cody can control or anyone else for that matter. Along the journey of Cody, I realized that maybe she wasn't looking for the reason why Meg did it. It was more about her finding a way to make herself feel that it wasn't her fault. It's that guilt. The guilt that everyone feels when someone close to them commits suicide. This is the reason why I felt that the story kind of turned a different way. It would have been nice to actually delve more into that. It made me feel that even if Meg knew about things, it was the romance that saved it. I know it wasn't the point but the romance part somehow made the more important topic just on the sideline.

I Was Here is an emotional and heartbreaking journey of coming to terms with your other half  (you'll get it when you read the book) committing suicide. Despite me not liking the romance part, the reality of this book saved it for me. Be ready as Gayle Forman gives you another bunch of the feels!

About the Author

Gayle FormanGayle Forman is an award-winning, international best-selling author and journalist whose articles have appeared din numerous publications. She is the author of the New York Times bestsellers If I Stay and Where She Went, as well as Sisters in Sanity (HarperTeen)

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