Review + Aesthetic Board: Fight or Flight by Samantha Young

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Fight or Flight by Samantha Young
Genre: Adult, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Publication: October 9th 2018 by Piatkus
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 560 pages
Format: ARC from Berkley / Penguin Random House International
Rating: ★★★★☆

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A series of chance encounters leads to a sizzling new romance from the New York Times bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series. 

The universe is conspiring against Ava Breevort. As if flying back to Phoenix to bury a childhood friend wasn’t hell enough, a cloud of volcanic ash traveling from overseas delayed her flight back home to Boston. Her last ditch attempt to salvage the trip was thwarted by an arrogant Scotsman, Caleb Scott, who steals a first class seat out from under her. Then over the course of their journey home, their antagonism somehow lands them in bed for the steamiest layover Ava’s ever had. And that’s all it was–until Caleb shows up on her doorstep.

When pure chance pulls Ava back into Caleb’s orbit, he proposes they enjoy their physical connection while he’s stranded in Boston. Ava agrees, knowing her heart’s in no danger since a) she barely likes Caleb and b) his existence in her life is temporary. Not long thereafter Ava realizes she’s made a terrible error because as it turns out Caleb Scott isn’t quite so unlikeable after all. When his stay in Boston becomes permanent, Ava must decide whether to fight her feelings for him or give into them. But even if she does decide to risk her heart on Caleb, there is no guarantee her stubborn Scot will want to risk his heart on her…

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[Book Review #21] Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

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When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

Book Specifications:

Author: Colleen Hoover

Format: Trade Paperback

Part of a Series: No.

Release Date: August 5, 2014

Publisher: Atria Books (Imprint of Simon & Schuster)

No. of Pages: 337 pages

Price: 595.00Php

Genre: Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Chick Lit

Book Review:

The Cover: The cover features a deep blue background, with bubbles strategically placed in the middle of the etched title. At first glance, you would never know and understand it’s relevance and connection to the story. But after reading it, you would discover that those air bubbles would be a hell of a lot more connected to the book and it’s story. (SPOILER: It’s the last drowning breath of Clayton, you guys!!! And it still effing hurts!!!) You all know how big a fan I am of book covers that have deep connections with it’s story, right? Though, I think the cover could have used a little more sass. But I love it though. (4.5 out of 5 stars)

The Story: This book is about the mainly physical relationship that grew between Miles Archer, a mysterious pilot tormented by his past, and Tate Collins, a registered nurse who moves to his brother’s apartment for easier access to her new job and studies. The very moment they met, it was all physical, and by that, I meant it was all about sex. Their relationship is literally built on sex. No emotions. No nothing. It is quite reminiscent of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey to be honest. The only difference is that Miles once was a normal guy who engaged himself in a normal relationship. I’m once again listing down all the details that made an impact on me below. And please take note, this review is not spoiler-free. 🙂

  • I loved how the presence of Samuel, aka the “Captain” (who significantly mans the elevator inside Tate and Corbin’s apartment) made Tate’s big move bearable. Tate didn’t have any friends around the area where she transferred to except for 2 people who she met because of her work and her studies. Samuel instantly became Tate’s best friend, and it warmed my heart for Tate. And to be honest, Samuel played quite the role here. He was a friend, a companion, an advisor, and  he was a great father figure to both Tate and Miles. I love him.
  • Considering that the relationship between our two protagonists was physical, I have to give my opinion regarding their sex. (Well, that sounded awkward. Haha!) Let’s all be honest. They had great sex! They were more than satisfied with their performances in bed, leading to much more sexual intercourse all throughout the book. But, with all the sex they did, I actually think it’s what made the both of them fall in love with each other. It might have taken some time trying to owning up to their true feelings, but the connection between them was totally undeniable. With all the eye contacts and all, the spark just got bigger and bigger, thanks to their “mainly physical” relationship.
  • It broke my heart to see Tate hurt after all the sex she did with Miles. I mean, yeah, sure, she might have agreed to make her relationship with Miles completely physical, disregarding any emotions that might surface, but come on! Have a heart! That scene where they did “it” in Miles living room, and afterwards, when it was all over, and Miles came, Tate felt his load (oh my god, I’m sorry for the term!) on her legs, and Miles just shut his bedroom door while Tate was still lying on his living room table!! That was just mean and rude, and Tate, as stupid as she is for agreeing to Miles terms, didn’t deserve something as painful as that. And by the way, that’s not just the only scene where Tate proved to be one of the biggest believers of love I came to read about. Believe me.
  • The Miles Archer chapters, at first, was a part that I didn’t understand towards the beginning of the story. To me, it felt a little dragging reading his chapters. But as the story progressed, I realized that without those chapters. I might not have learned more about our mysterious Miles.
  • I loved Miles’s background story. His relationship with Rachel was something that made me remind that Miles Archer was no Christian Grey, if you know what I mean. His relationship with his dad, Lisa (Rachel’s mom) and his short relationship with his son, Clayton. (Oh my god, Clayton!) Everything was wonderful, until the unexpected drowning and death of his son. That must be one of the painful deaths I have ever read about and it was the reason why Miles covered himself up with an Armor that only Tate was able to penetrate.

All in all, the story was great for a Colleen Hoover book. It’s something one might expect from the queen herself. I just loved how the story was creatively and strategically written. (5 out of 5 stars)

The Ending: *This part is filled with spoilers. I suggest you skip this part if you don’t want to cry later on.* Let’s all take a moment to celebrate the birth of Tate and Mile’s child, Sam! This ending is just filled with all kinds of feels and it’s the kind of ending that does the whole book’s story justice.

  • I loved the fact that Miles gained closure by seeing how happy and that Rachel was able to move on from the death of Clayton. He can’t seem to learn to love Tate for the sole reason that he hasn’t totally moved on from his loss, and seeing Rachel happy made the opening Miles needed to finally move on and learn to love again.
  • Naming their child Sam to pay homage to Samuel the captain felt just right. It was redeeming considering the impact that he had on the lives of our protagonists, it just felt right and just. It was a great decision.
  • I adored how everyone had a happy ending of their own. Rachel was happy with her new family. Tate and Miles were happy as well, blessed with their very own child. The ending was perfect and it helped bind up the whole story.

Thanks to this wonderful ending, I’m deeming Ugly Love one of my most favorite books! It was such a great read! (5 out of 5 stars)


The Verdict: I read this book after I finished reading All The Bright Places thinking it would be one of my smartest decisions… Boy, was I wrong!!! Ugly Love was filled with giddy and equally heartbreaking moments between Miles, a complicated guy tormented by his past, and Tate, who I must say is one of the greatest soldiers of love I have ever come to read about. Their story was unique and it comes with quite a few twists, but I have to say that it was all worth it in the end. But don’t be fooled!! It’s just as heartwrenching as it is heartwarming. (4.83 out of 5 stars)

Quotable Quotes:

“Love isn’t always pretty, Tate. Sometimes you spend all your time hoping it’ll eventually be something different. Something better. Then, before you know it, you’re back to square one, and you lost your heart somewhere along the way.” – Samuel

“God gives us the ugliness so we don’t take the beautiful things in life for granted.” – Miles Archer

“That’s how it is when a person develops an attraction toward someone. He’s nowhere, then suddenly he’s everywhere, whether you want him to be or not.” – Tate Collins

“I suppose if a man lived through the ugliest side of love, he might never want to experience it again.” – Miles Archer

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[Book Review #17] Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover, a passionate tale of friendship, betrayal, and romance.

At twenty-two years old, Sydney has a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her best friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers Hunter’s cheating on her–and she is left trying to decide what to do next.

Sydney becomes captivated by Ridge, her mysterious neighbor. She can’t take her eyes off him or stop listening to the passionate way he plays his guitar every evening out on his balcony. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either. When their inevitable encounter happens, they soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one…

Book Specifications:

Author: Colleen Hoover

Format: Trade Paperback

Part of a Series: No.

Release Date: March 18, 2014

Publisher: Atria Books (Imprint of Simon & Schuster)

No. of Pages: 385 pages

Price: 599.00Php

Genre: Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Music

Book Review:

The Cover: The U.S. cover featured a figure of both a man and a woman who both seems to be writing a song (top part of the cover). While a silhouette of a kissing couple can be plainly seen etched amidst the title. The font and color schemes caught my attention as well. I think they blend in great. Oh, and I love it! (5 out of 5 stars)

CONFESSION: I started reading this book because of two main reasons. 1, I’m quite aware that the author, Colleen Hoover, will be visiting the Philippines sometime this September along with 2 more authors for a book signing event during the Manila International Book Fair 2015. Now in order to prepare for said event, seeing that 3 authors combined for a single signing seems quite a lot, I decided to prepare rather early and start collecting, and reading their books to avoid binge reading and to actually savor the book, seeing that each Colleen Hoover book costs 599.00PhP. The 2nd reason why I started reading this book, is because of Peer Pressure. Some of my book friends, knowing that I love torturing myself with books with tragic stories and endings, told me that I need to read Hoover’s books. Being the obedient, not to mention curious, friend that I am, I started reading it. Little did I know that I was in for quite an emotional ride.

The Story: The story focuses on the life and struggles of a 22 year old college student, Sydney Blake, who just recently found out that her boyfriend and her best friend, was cheating on her. Later on, she resides with Ridge, a song writer who has some crazy revelations of his own. As the story progresses, we then find frustrated music writing partners who just can’t seem to get enough of each other. With that said, let me just get this next statement out. OH MY GOD YOU GUYS I think I just found my new favorite book and my new favorite author!! Reading a work of THE Colleen Hoover, was like eating a slice of cake while drinking a perfectly blended Frappucino from Starbucks on a hot summer day. It’s my definition of perfection! I mean come on. I’m a sucker for love stories with tragic endings and/or plots. And noticing the plot on the back of the book, the story really is my cup of tea. I just loved it. Now for the good and memorable points of the story. The list below contains spoilers, so you might as well read the book first before reading the rest of my review.

  • The book started with a mainstream plot. A protagonist whose love interest cheated on her with her best friend. Yep, I get it. But what differentiated Sydney from the others out there is her courage and audacity to punch Tori because of her anger and disappointment. I liked that!
  • Ridge being a song writer AND being deaf at the same time really shocked me. This was the first time I encountered something as ironic as this. I must commend Colleen’s creativity with this one. She was able to pull it off. I was in awe with the lead male character, even though he was limited.
  • Maggie, Ridge’s girl friend, played a major role in the budding romance of the male and female protagonists. She is the most ironic and the most poignant plot twist that I have ever read about. She was the slap from reality to Sydney that what she was doing, falling in love with Ridge and all, was the exact same thing Tori did to her.
  • Warren and Bridgette’s budding romance was also a good companion to the protagonists’ story. It’s a good thing that Colleen published an ebook about these two entitle Maybe Not which I might be reading sometime soon considering how hooked I am with this book.
  • Ridge’s being deaf came with a lot of brilliant back story. Every little reason as to why Ridge chose not to speak, considering the fact that he can, was all because of the bad experiences he had in the past especially with his parents. Every little detail about Ridge’s past was all relevant and not a single detail was out of place. It made the story thrive together with the swoons and romances.
  • Don’t get me started with the Soundtrack, you guys! If you haven’t figured it out yet or if this is news to you, let me be the first to inform you that there is a Maybe Someday soundtrack that was made for the readers to have a great experience while reading Maybe Someday. Colleen Hoover and Griffin Peterson worked hand in hand in order to present us with the most glorious book soundtrack ever. My personal favorites are Maybe Someday and Hold On To You. If you want to get a sample of the soundtrack, or if you’re curious, you may be able to fill yourself here.

The story was very easy to comprehend, and the twists and turns of events were just of sufficient amount. It made the story all the more interesting and just plain brilliant. (5 out of 5 stars)

The Ending: *This part is filled with spoilers. I suggest you skip this part if you don’t want to cry later on.*  Can we all just take a moment to appreciate and celebrate this book? I mean, come on. I cried as I read the ending. The mini concert that Ridge and the rest of Sounds of Cedar organized was probably the sweetest thing I ever read about. I know they were on a break and Sydney was out trying to find herself again, but that mini concert was the slight push that Sydney needed to realize that she needs to say “when”. (If you read the book, you would understand). Oh, and the two songs that they sang for Sydney was nothing but sweetly heart-wrenching. Every lyric and every melody was all very sad, but sweet at the same time. I don’t know what to feel. I’m happy that they were back together but the emotional damage that they put me through was just… Oh my god. Writing this review is just bringing me all the feels again. I can’t. I just can’t… Oh, and the sex they do right after was sweet. All the realizations and all, was just so sweet and oh my god. Ridge is slowly learning how to speak again. GUYS JUST READ THE BOOK!! Oh my god. (5 out of 5 stars)


The Verdict: Reading Maybe Someday wasn’t just a normal experience. It was like a roller coaster ride of emotions and I would definitely give this book a high rating! With unexpected turns of events, shocking revelations, and just the sufficient amounts of swoon and romance, Maybe Someday will surely allure readers of different ages! (5 out of 5 stars)

Quotable Quotes:

“Sometimes in life, we need a few bad days in order to keep the good ones in perspective.” – Warren

“We try so hard to hide everything we’re really feeling from those who probably need to know our true feelings the most.” – Warren

“However, I’ve learned that the heart can’t be told when and who and how it should love. The heart does whatever the hell it wants to do. The only thing we can control is whether we give our lives and our minds the chance to catch up to our hearts.” – Maggie

“Words can sometimes have a far greater effect on a heart than a kiss.” – Sydney

“Kisses like his should come with a warning label. They can’t be good for the heart.” – Sydney

“She’s worth it all. She’s worth more.” – Ridge

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