International Blog Tour Review + Aesthetic Board: What If It’s Us by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli (+ Giveaways)

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What If It’s Us by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli
Genre: YA Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Romantic Comedy, #ownvoices
Publication: October 9th 2018 from HarperTeen & Balzer + Bray
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 448 pages
Format: ARC from publisher
Rating: ★★★★★

Amazon || Book Depository
National Bookstore

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

Continue reading “International Blog Tour Review + Aesthetic Board: What If It’s Us by Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli (+ Giveaways)”

[Blog Tour Book Review #19] Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith + Giveaway

Let luck find you.

Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday—just when it seems they might be on the brink of something—she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes.

At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. As a kid, Alice won the worst kind of lottery possible when her parents died just over a year apart from each other. And Teddy’s father abandoned his family not long after that, leaving them to grapple with his gambling debts. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall.

As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns more about herself than she ever could have imagined…and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect.

Continue reading “[Blog Tour Book Review #19] Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith + Giveaway”

[Book Review #14] His Wounded Light by Christine Brae

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The perfect life.
The perfect marriage.
The jilted lover.
Their worlds collide.

Fate intervenes twelve years later and their paths intersect once again. All three will question whether the heart is truly capable of dividing and being divided; each will decide whether it matters who you loved first or who you love last.

Together they will learn that in the end, there can always only be one.

Book Specifications:

Author: Christine Brae

Format: eBook

Part of a Series: Yes. The Light in the Wound #2

Release Date: December 8, 2013

Publisher: CreateSpace

No. of Pages: 344 pages

Price: Free (copy provided by author)

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Chick Lit

Book Review:

The Cover: Featuring the Eiffel Tower, and the red lock from the bridge area, etched with Alex + Isa (Read the book if you can’t relate), the cover was very significant, and luckily, very related to the story. I love covers like these which may be simple, but turns out to be connected with the story. It’s like a peak into what’s in store for the readers. I love it! (5 out of 5 stars)

The Story: Just like The Light in the Wound, this sequel was also fast-paced, and very detailed. I’m having a hard time believing that ALL my questions from The Light in the Wound and this sequel were all well answered within 344 pages. Questions like “What happened to Jesse after his apparent break-up with Isabel?”, “Was Jesse able to get over Isa? What aided him to forget or move on from her?”, “What’s in store for the married couple? What awaits their life as time goes on?”. These are just three of the many questions that ran through my mind. Luckily, all of them were answered as my reading of this book progressed. I was able to finish this book in two to three sittings, which is actually a good thing because I usually finish a good book within a week. If someone was to ask me how to describe this book in one word, I would say it’s FLAWLESS. (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.*  Hooray for the legit happy endings! I am so, so happy and contented with the ending. Although, there were times when I doubted Isabel’s judgement and all, I actually truly am happy for her Alex, and the whole family. Including Jesse, who turned out to have found his great love. Everything was so fulfilling and seeing them (or imagining them, hehe) all happy and very satisfied with their lives just made me tear up. I love books like this, with impressive character developments, fast-pacing stories, and a complete set of characters as the story concludes (I mean, come on. It’s okay for death to find some characters, but I would love the book better if in the end, all the characters are still alive and well. Right?). Thank you, Christine Brae for giving Isabel, Alex, Jesse, and everyone else a fantastic life after this sequel. I will love you eternally for doing this book justice. 🙂 (5 out of 5 stars)


Additional Insight: The standards were set high for this sequel. The Light in the Wound was a great start for this duology. And to be honest, I was kinda scared as I was reading the pages of this book. I felt like the ending might not be up to par with what I expected. And indeed, I was wrong, Christine Brae really did the story justice. There were no longer questions in my mind as I finished reading Alex, Isabel, and Jesse’s story. There might have been some small queries, but nothing major. Nothing that changed my opinion for the book as a whole. And to add, let me just tell everyone how fast I finished this book. I started one December night, and I immediately finished it after 22 hours. Which is very unusual for me, unless I have the “reading slump” syndrome. But, with this book, I was completely immune to it. I felt absolutely curious with the story that I literally can’t put it down, thus, the fast reading pace. It was just that good. (++)

The Verdict:  I already miss Isa and Alex’ story. I’ve finished reading this book last December, and I am still feeling a hole in my heart. It feels like something’s missing. I feel incomplete. I don’t know why, but that’s usually what happens to me after reading an impressive book. I will surely read this again, and I NEED TO FIND PHYSICAL COPIES OF THIS BOOK!!! Oh my god!! And, I seriously can’t wait to meet the wonderful author, Christine Brae, on September for MIBF 2015. ♥ (5 out 5 stars)

Quotable Quotes:

“Despite all the love and support that I have from my family, I feel deserted. I’m abandoned. Their consoling words, their heartfelt touch, their bereaved tears. They don’t do a thing for me; they do nothing to stop me from breaking.” – Isabel Amarra

“No, Issy. I’ve spent twenty years of my life loving you. You were always enough. I took you for granted and lost sight of what we had. When I lost you, I lost my focus. My sole purpose was to get you back and I lost so much time. I should have realized that you chose him because you wanted to. Because you belong to him.” – Jesse Cain

“As long as you don’t turn go all Christian Grey and handcuff me to the cockpit, I’m good,” – Isabel Amarra

Excerpt From The Book:

“I don’t want him to regret. I want him to get better so he can move on and be happy. It hurts to accept that I wasn’t enough for him. Just like I wasn’t enough for you.”

“No, Issy. I’ve spent twenty years of my life loving you. You were always enough. I took you for granted and lost sight of what we had. When I lost you, I lost my focus. My sole purpose was to get you back and I lost so much time. I should have realized that you chose him because you wanted to. Because you belong to him.”

Oh, and do you guys remember that giveaway hosted by the tour organizers the last time I posted a review for The Light in the Wound? Well, they have it again! 3 signed books + meet and greet for 3 bookworms are up for grabs! Join now! The giveaway is, once again, facilitated by Rafflecopter, so the link is provided below:

*Rafflecopter Giveaway for His Wounded Light*

About the Author:

Christine Brae

Christine Brae is a full time career woman who thought she could write a book about her life and then run away as far as possible from it. She never imagined that her words would touch the hearts of so many women with the same story to tell. She is currently working on her third book which she hopes to release in June 2014.

When not listening to the voices in her head or spending late nights at the office, Christine can be seen shopping for shoes and purses, running a half marathon or spending time with her husband and three children in Chicago. You may reach her through the links below.

Website || Goodreads || Twitter || Facebook || Instagram

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This book tour is hosted by Amanda and Jothee from Fandomly Bookish and The Bookwhore Diaries. 🙂

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[Book Review #10] The Light in the Wound by Christine Brae

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Affected by her parents’ highly publicized divorce, Isabel grows up isolated and alone, with a resolve to never fall in love and repeat their mistakes.

When Jesse Cain enters her life, she falls hopelessly in love with him, and every sadness she’s ever felt is washed away by his intensity and passion. But people change as they grow up. Things can never stay the same forever.

Jesse and Isabel fight to stay together, determined to hold on to what they once had. Isabel wonders if a second love can ever be enough to make her forget her first.

Book Specifications:

Author: Christine Brae

Format: eBook

Part of a Series: Yes. The Light in the Wound #1

Release Date: July 23, 2013

Publisher: CreateSpace

No. of Pages: 372 pages

Price: Free (copy provided by author)

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Chick Lit

Book Review:

The Cover: The cover features a girl in a dress by a beach. This, for me, showcased a carefree, sweet, and innocent girl without a fault in the world, just like Isabel during the start of the book. Its a great symbolism to introduce Isabel to the book’s possible readers. (4 out of 5 stars)

The Story: As I have already mentioned on my Goodreads review of this novel, I love the fact that this book was fast-paced. It covered Isabel’s life before, during, and after her *spoiler alert!* marriage with Alex, all within 372 pages. Some books rarely showcase the same amount of details, and I must say that that was a good thing. I also adore Christine’s writing style with this novel. I loved how in every page of the book, was an insight as to how the protagonist, Isabel, felt at the time. I was never confused on what she was thinking, and feeling with the given situations she experienced. I loved that! (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.* I actually didn’t expect that Isabel would end up with Alex!! I was on #TeamJesse until he left our Isabel for Katrina and his taste of fame, and attention. Don’t get me wrong, as the book came to an end, I changed my mind and decided that Isabel IS indeed better off with Alex. But the story seemed to attract and fool me to think that Isabel may end up with Jesse. With his frequent presence around Isabel, I , for one, thought that Isa might give in to her love for Jesse and leave Alex. Thank God I was wrong. Alex IS the right choice. (5 out of 5 stars)


Additional Insight: Isabel, Jesse, and Alex’ love triangle was far from what I have expected. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a good thing. Some love triangles in other novels tend to be destructive and controversial. They tend to take away the spotlight from the protagonist, or from the story itself. I found their love triangle to be mature. Isabel handled this concern the best way she can, by facing Jesse the night before her wedding with Alex, and she didn’t give in to the temptation of pleasuring herself with Jesse’s company. I found this specific scene mature, and different. It was a great “growing up” scene for Isabel. (++)

The Verdict:  This novel’s great. For me, it’s something that I would be looking forward to read again in the future, and I can’t actually wait for the sequel, His Wounded Light. I shall read the sequel right after I finish reading my holiday book of choice, My True Love Gave To Me. But going back, this book is just magnificent. Coming from a family with a chaotic and reckless past, I can actually relate to Isabel. And that’s what hooked me up from the start. (4.67 out 5 stars)

Quotable Quotes:

“The good and bad thing about time is that it never stops for anyone.” – Isabel Amarra

“Burning your hand once is the only way you’ll ever remember never to touch an open fire.” – Isabel Amarra

“No man is worth hurting yourself over. Remember that, Isabel. You gave up too much for him. Don’t do it again. There is nothing wrong with who you are and where you came from. Someday when the time comes, you will realize that being socially different shouldn’t matter when someone loves you.” – Claudia Holtzer

“I will never settle for anybody who didn’t love me enough to make me a priority.” – Isabel Amarra

Excerpt From The Book:

“I’ve always been honest with you about how difficult it has been to let go of the past. But you are my present and my future. From the first time we were together, you saved my life. You saved my soul. You made me want to make you proud. You made me realize that I deserved better. You made me unafraid to love you. My wounds are healed because of you.”

He lifted me up, placed me on top of his lap and held me close as I leaned my head on his chest. He stroked my hair lightly as he spoke.

“Baby, I’m so sorry I left you that night. More than being filled with jealousy, I was afraid that you might have never really loved me. I know I told you long ago that it was okay if you didn’t love me just yet, that I had enough love for the both of us. I should have understood then that you never lied to me about your true feelings for him. You were always honest with me. And even now, at this very moment, I’d rather have a part of your heart than none of it all.”

Oh, and here’s something new! Amanda and Jothee from The Bookish Diaries and Fandomly Bookish are hosting a giveaway! This giveaway is open for the residents of the Philippines only. For some reason, WordPress won’t allow the code for the giveaway widget, so I worked around it. Just click the link below and it’ll take you to the giveaway instructions. Up for grabs are 3 signed copies of The Light in the Wound. I hope you’ll enter! Goodluck! 😀

*Rafflecopter Giveaway for The Light in the Wound*

About the Author:

Christine Brae

Christine Brae is a full time career woman who thought she could write a book about her life and then run away as far as possible from it. She never imagined that her words would touch the hearts of so many women with the same story to tell. She is currently working on her third book which she hopes to release in June,2014.

When not listening to the voices in her head or spending late nights at the office, Christine can be seen shopping for shoes and purses, running a half marathon or spending time with her husband and three children in Chicago. You may reach her through the links below.

Website || Goodreads || Twitter || Facebook || Instagram

Light in the Wound Banner

This book tour is hosted by Amanda and Jothee from Fandomly Bookish and The Bookwhore Diaries. 🙂

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