Contemporary Romance, Young Adult

Trust by Kylie Scott

Trust

*ARC provided in exchange for honest review*

4.5 TRUSTED STARS!!!

Being held hostage at gun-point changed Edie Millen’s perspective of the world. She dropped out of the prestigious school she hated and let go of people she don’t need. Edie transferred to public school but unbeknownst to her John Cole also attends the same school. Will their shared experience of that awful night be a way to bridge friendship? Or would an ugly past catch up on them?

I admit I had a hard time seeing Kylie Scott in this YA highschool romance. I was used to rock stars (Stage Dive series) and hot bartenders (Dive Bar series) but I got past it. I fell in love with the story. The intense first chapters hooked me so good, I didn’t put this book down until I get to the end. It was maddeningly beautiful. The pace of the story is what you would expect in any great YA. Everything seems to be happening in slow motion then, boom, the feels will hit you head-on.

I absolutely love Edie and John. I didn’t expect the chemistry between these two. I had doubts whether they’ll work at first but they totally blew me away! From strangers to bestfriends to lovers, I can’t find a single fault in their relationship. I love the cat-and-mouse chase because it was so highschool. *sigh* It made me feel so old though. I was frustrated and impatient for them to go through their issues so they could finally be together. 

Trust delivered a story that is more than I bargained for. As an avid reader of Kylie Scott, you could say I will always love whatever she’ll write. But she went far and beyond the norm by writing Trust. Just because it’s a YA set in highschool it doesn’t mean that the story is any less intense or deep. It was something everyone who went through a rough time can relate to. And I think that’s what makes Trust a beautiful story come to life.

Read: June 2017

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Contemporary Romance, Fantasy, Young Adult

Underworld Series by Chani Lynn Feener

Unhinged

underworld1

*ARC provides in exchanged of honest review*

FOUR INSANELY GOOD STARS!!!

Spencer Perry would do anything to have Micah back into her life. Anything includes making a deal with the devil himself. Spencer barters six months of living in the Underworld in exchanged for her boyfriend’s life. Little did Spencer know that nothing would ever be the same. Will Spencer live through the consequences of her actions? Or would she be lured by a certain devil like Persephone did?

“Your existence hinders on no one but yourself. Only you can write your destiny. Fate is a mere parlour trick designed to coax you into believing otherwise. There is always a choice.”

I’ve been fascinated with Greek mythology since high school which made me sign up for a copy of Unhinged. I’ve never read a modern retelling of Hades and Persephone’s ‘love story’. It’s probably because Hades was the bad guy no one cared about. Or because he doesn’t have much cool tricks like Zeus and Poseidon. I was familiar with different versions of that ‘love story’ so I was expecting a little twist that would make this story unique.

I love the differences Chani Lynn Feener did. She changed a huge chunk of what we already knew and created a whole new concept. I love the diversity of this book. It was so refreshing to read new ideas and perspectives. I love the characters, though I had a hard time liking Spencer. Her personality varies so much. One minute she’s this tough girl and the next she’s swallowing her words. And I can’t stand how much she loves Micah. It’s probably because all I can see in Micah was this ghost that wouldn’t rest and move on. Things started to get interesting after we met Hades. I’m such a sucker for the bad guys. And the feels! Imagine spending twelve hours every day for a year with this guy… I know right?

I would’ve given this book a higher rating but it took me a while to get the hang of it. I think the world building could use a little more work. Not everyone knows the ins and outs of Greek mythology which could lead to some confused readers. I had this vision of Hades being the epitome of sin given that he ruled the Underworld, so I didn’t expect him to look like an eighteen year old guy. I gather that this is a YA Fantasy but I think we could’ve pushed him to be at least twenty years old. Despite all that, this is a really good read especially for those who loves Greek Mythology (like I do)!

Read: November 25, 2016

Rating: 4 Stars

Contemporary Romance, Young Adult

Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz

Something in Between

something-in-between

Jasmine de los Santos was ready to take on the world. She did everything right. She was a good girl with excellent grades and made her parents proud. College is on the tips of her fingers, especially with National Scholar Award in her hands, when everything shatters. Her parents’ visas expired years ago. They don’t have a green cards which means they’re illegal, no college scholarship and probably deportation in the future. Jasmine is at lost and meeting the son of a congressman is not helping matters… or was it? Would Jasmine give up her American dream? Or would she fight for the man and country she loves?

“There’s something about remembering that just isn’t the same as the real thing. No matter how happy it makes you feel. When you remember something, you have to recognize that the moment will never happen again.”

It has been so long since I read something new by Melissa de la Cruz. This is also a first of her books with non-humans that I loved. Okay, I might be a bit biased since the heroine is a Filipino (like me!!!) but kidding aside, this book is a perfect YA read. It is not the clichéd high school drama and romance. It is more of finding oneself at the same time falling for the first time.

Despite being mature for her age, Jasmine still had lots of learning to do. I enjoyed the part where she acted more of a teenager that she really is. She was a bit naïve when it comes to relationships but I think that’s one of the things that actually helped her figure out who she really is. There were parts in the story that I felt a bit of frustrations with Royce. He seemed to be the perfect boyfriend but his loyalty to his family almost cost him Jasmine in the end. On the other hand, I admire him for not giving up no matter what because he knows that family is really important.

I love that almost all of the Filipino references were spot-on. I can’t help but squeal whenever something, no matter how small, related to our country was mentioned. It is true that we wear tsinelas or slippers inside the house. Adobo is really delicious. The great importance for education was also a big pressure. It hurts me when she had these thoughts of ‘hating’ the Philippines. I could understand that she really doesn’t want to leave USA because she believes that’s her home but our country is beautiful. I just wished that she gave it a chance.

Read: October 15, 2016

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Contemporary Romance, Young Adult

The Edge of Juniper by Lora Richardson

The Edge of Juniper

the-edge-of-juniper

As a girl after adventure, sixteen year old Fay Whitaker doesn’t do well with rules. Spending the summer with her cousin’s family was supposed to be a dream come true until the picture perfect of the family shatters. Her uncle had a nasty temper and a nastier grudge against the Dearing family. So what did Fay did when tension became too high? Ran into the arms of Malcolm Dearing. As Fay untangles the thread of love, hate, loyalty and betrayal from her heart, would she take the risks and rules be damned?

It’s been so long since I read a YA this good. I admit that I was a bit apprehensive to start this because I haven’t read anything by Lora Richardson so I don’t know her writing styles and techniques. All I know was the general description of the book so I expected a twist that would make this story unique from all the clichéd stories out there.

I love that despite the issues that our dear characters went through they still seemed innocent. It was like their problems, big or small, didn’t suck the life out their early life. I love that Fay was exactly I envisioned her to be in her journey. She wasn’t perfect but her flaws just made her more real to me. As an introvert, I absolutely admire her sense of adventure. She may take risks but she usually knows her limits. And I just love Malcolm. This guy is really a book boyfie material. You know, too-good-to-be-true-but-I-don’t-care-I’m-still-taking-him-home type. He’s just so sweet and charming but didn’t come across pushy. He showed great respect and determination when it came to Fay and I think that’s the most important thing.

I really wanted to give this book a perfect star rating but it took me a while to be invested in the story. I had hard time feeling it. It was probably because of a book hangover or too much work to do. However, I really love this book. It is perfect light-read for a vacation getaway or just lounging in the couch with a coffee (or tea). Here goes four-point-five stars to Fay & Malcolm!

Read: October 1, 2016

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

See Me Duet by Wendy Higgins

smwh

See Me

smwh1

Robyn Mason is unlike any seventeen-year-old American. She belongs to a magical family and bonded to marry McKale of Emerald Isle in Ireland. Her excitement to marry a young Irish lad turns to dust as obligations and true feelings came to the table. A Fae princess threatens to destroy what they built for her pure selfish gain. Robyn and McKale must trust one another to avoid falling in the clutches of the Fae princess’ hands for the survival of their families.

“The bad thing about romantics was they put themselves out there for heartbreak.”

I absolutely adore Wendy Higgins! I’ve never had much fun with leprechauns like this before. I love this new magical world. Ireland really is a magical place. I laughed and swooned and cried in all the right places. It is kind of light-fantasy for me but it’s not exactly a light read because of… you know that freaking ending!

I love that it isn’t really an insta-love for Robyn and McKale. Robyn may have started as in love with the idea of marriage with McKale but they were given a chance to really get to know one another. I find McKale adorable. He was the ‘giant’ among little people. He was not what I expected for our hero but I still loved him. He won me over by proving the man deserving of Robyn in the end.

Is it bad that I think Cass and Rock stole the show? We need book two! These two… it was just so heartbreaking! I just want to kick that princess in the ass for causing more grief!

Read: June 22, 2014

Rating: 4 Stars

Remember Me

smwh2

Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Cursed

cursed

High school student Ember McWilliams died in a car accident but her gifted little sister brought her back… but with grave consequences. Everything she touches dies. Enter, Hayden Cromwell. The promise of controlling her own powers enough to be able to touch her sister was too great, Ember decided to put their faith in Hayden and his father’s hand. But even in the midst of others with powers like her, Ember finds it hard to trust anyone. Harder still when it became obvious that someone wants her dead. Someone wants to finish what was started the ‘accident’ that killed her.

“You worry about hurting me, but you never seem to worry about me hurting you. And I’m the one with the killer touch.”

At first, I had reservations in reading this book. Ember was like Rogue in X-Men which took originality points from me. I thought it would be a predictable plot line where Hayden would be the knight shinning armor who would save Ember in her lonely existence. However, there were more things involved in the story. The ‘car accident’ started it all and there were secrets that need to be unearthed and bad guys to catch.

I truly love JLA’s writings. Her heroines always had that sarcastic, witty side that cracks me up. Ember may have dealt a bad hand but she’s not broken. She wasn’t selfish to mop all day but find strength in taking responsibility of her little sister. Hayden Cromwell is exactly what you expect from a hero. Gorgeous and beautiful and funny… and in love with our dear Ember. He had a way with words. I couldn’t help but smile and blush in all the right pages.

I truly love this book but I think it ended rather abruptly. I was expecting an ending with more ‘wow’ or ‘boom’ factor. There were still things that needed answers. I want more history, more data in their powers. And if would be just a standalone I think the world building was rushed a bit… but I would complain if there’ll be a few books in the future. *wink* *wink*

Read: September 22, 2013

Rating: 4 Stars

Contemporary Romance, Young Adult

Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

Flipped

Flipped

Julianna Baker was seven years old when she saw Bryce Loski for the first ime. She flipped and he ran. Juli followed him everywhere and Bryce avoids her at all cost. Until that faithful day in eighth grade where Juli finally realized that Bryce wasn’t perfect. Could Bryce turn himself around before Juli’s forever lost to him? Would Juli give him another chance?

“Some of us get dipped in flat, some in satin, some in gloss….” He turned to me. “But every once in a while, you find someone who’s iridescent, and when you do, nothing will ever compare.”

Flipped is one of the best coming-of-age stories I’ve ever read. Despite reading this book years too late, I could still feel the pull of emotions and struggles from these young souls. It was heartwarming to see Juli and Bryce change how they view life. They were able to outgrow the naiveté of how safe and perfect the world is. This is not just a story first love but of family and friendship.

I admired how Juli fought for the things she believed in, may it be for love or otherwise. She was so sweet and innocent that it was so heartbreaking for her illusion of good to be broken. I know she needed that to survive but it hurt nonetheless. I was so frustrated with Bryce for not seeing what’s in front of him all these years. He brought so much hurt and I just want to smack him in the head to get him in line. Boys, boys will always be boys.

Read: January 19, 2015

Rating: 5 Stars