2018, Oh 2018 — A Year in Perspective

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It’s that time of the year again when us bookworms get the chance to look back on what kind of reading year it has been and rank our favorites! This 2018, I was lucky enough to read a total of 72 books—surpassing my initial goal of 70—and I’ve been blessed to work with and help promote so many books from various publishers. And unlike so many of my friends, I’m proud to say that I still haven’t outgrown reading and young adult literature, and I hope that the year ahead only intensifies this wholesome obsession. Anyway, I’ve written a long recap about how much I enjoyed 2018 in terms of reading, and so read on, my friends.

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Event Recap #25: The #MIBF2017 Experience feat. #JennyandSiobhaninPH Recap + Book Haul

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Hi, you guys! So just last week, from September 13 to 17, bibliophiles from all parts of the nation came together for the annual Manila International Book Fair at the SMX Convention Center, where book-selling exhibitors basically flaunted all their amazing books and other bookish merchandise perfect for all kinds of readers. The 5-day fair had everything that a typical reader can possibly hope for: discounted books, book launches, signing events, and guest appearances from bestselling authors. It was heaven, I tell you. Luckily, this time around, I had the time, budget, and energy to go to the fair on the FIRST and LAST day! Read on for a brief recap of my experience at the 2017 Manila International Book Fair!

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[Book Tags #8] The R.I.P. It or Ship It Book Tag

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Okay, so my good friend Salve from Cuckoo for Books tagged me to do the R.I.P. It or Ship It Book Tag. (Watch her entry here.) When I first saw this tag over at Christine’s Booktube Channel, I thought that this tag was only for booktubers. I mean, reactions would be a lot more legit if this was so, right? But it feels like a fun tag to do so I might as well join in on the fun. So, down below are the names of pairs that I got. By the way, I wrote 30 names, so I’m writing down 15 pairs. 🙂

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[Top Ten Tuesdays #1] My Mid-Year Top 10 Reads of 2015

TTTJust to introduce a new segment here at Book Freak Revelations, I finally decided to do a “top ten” post that I’ll be posting every Tuesday of the week. Other than it’s going to give me an idea as to what to post, it’s also going to be a way for me to give you different types of lists. And it won’t just always be about my favorite reads. Who knows? Next week, I might share with you my disliked books and whatnot.

But to start of this new segment, I want to share with everyone my most favorite reads of the year so far. 2015 really welcomed such great new books and authors. I’ve had my fair share of great books and now, I’m going to share my most recommended ones.

1#10: The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore – This modern fantasy novel by James Frey (or Pittacus Lore, whatever floats your boat) is the third installment in the Lorien Legacies series and this is the book where our favorite members of the Garde finally get to meet at one spot. Absolutely action-packed, and thrill-filled, this will really appeal to fans of the Hunger Games and Divergent. And no, it’s not just this book. I’m referring to the whole series.

#9: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma – I never had any intention of reading this book until a friend recommended it to me. It has incestuous love in it (thus the title), and it never sparked my interest. But when I started reading it, I had a very hard time trying to put it down. Reading it was never a drag, and considering my preferences, I had no idea that it’ll be one of my best reads of the year. I became a fan of the author after reading this book.

#8: Cinder by Marissa Meyer – Who’s not a fan of fairy tales? Being a teen who was basically raised by cartoons and fairy tales, I must say that I have grown quite fond of this series by Marissa. In a nutshell, Cinder is a modern day fairy tale retelling of everyone’s favorite, Cinderella. Although it has a few tweaks in it, this will surely appeal to the fairy tale loving child you have in you.

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#7: Red Rising by Pierce Brown – Before I read this book, I was never a fan of high fantasy novels. I’m that kind of reader who prefers to read contemporaries, and realistic fiction, but after reading this book, I became a lover of fantasy. This book was what hooked me up with that genre. It follows the life of Darrow, a miner, who then made his way to the top, killed whoever he needed to kill just to seek revenge from the people who wronged him. Sounds exciting, right? It’s such a great book!

#6: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han – I started my 2015 waiting for the release of quite a few books. And this light read was on top of my list. Focusing on the life of our favorite Song girl, Lara Jean, and her complicated love life with Peter Kavinsky, this book, as well as it’s predecessor, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, will certainly appeal to readers who loves to read swoon and romance-filled novels.

#5: The Heir by Kiera Cass – If you know me, then you probably know that I am a legit big fan of The Selection series by Kiera Cass. Not only does the books have such breathtaking covers, but the story in itself is magnificent as well. Taking place after 20 years and told from the perspective of America and Maxon’s daughter, Eadlyn Schreave, not only is this novel filled with royalty and glamour, but it also is filled with good life’s lessons and hey, who doesn’t love a feisty princess for a protagonist, right?

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#4: Slammed by Colleen Hoover – Who likes poetry? I do! And who likes stories about familial love? I do too! Well that is what Slammed is all about. Poetry and familial love. Not only did this stunning debut novel from New Adult Contemporary Queen Colleen Hoover give me heartbreaks. It also gave me a book hangover. I couldn’t move on from the story. And I absolutely craved for more! (Although I haven’t read the second book in the series yet. Haha, please don’t judge me.)

#3: Confess by Colleen Hoover – Two spots in a row, eh Miss Colleen? It was just that good! Following the lives of two protagonists with the same middle name, not only did this latest novel from Colleen Hoover made me fall in love. It also made me interested in novels with amazing plot twists. And oh, did I forget to mention that the physical copy of the book has art snippets? Yeah, it’s that awesome.

#2 Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – It’s a shock that this novel suddenly bumped up to the top when it was only last Friday did I start reading it. Confess was supposed to be the novel in my #2 slot but after I finished this book, I had second thoughts. I actually even considered for it to be my best read of the year, but no. The contemporary lover in me just had to disagree. But this book really came close to beating my #1! This novel is so action-packed, and it actually has the same amount of swoon! I didn’t expect for it to be like that seeing that the synopsis seemed full-on action! And did I mention that the main protagonist, our Celaena Sardothien, is such a badass? Oh my god. I’m serious, you guys! Just you wait! A fully detailed book review will be posted later tonight. But guys!!! Oh my god!!!

And… finally…

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#1: All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

You probably know by now that this book by the amazing Jennifer Niven is, and will always be, my most favorite book of 2015. I can still remember how I finished reading this book. It was a rainy Sunday afternoon, in my hand was this book, and on the table was a cup of hot chocolate and a small plate of Walnut Cookies. I can still remember how touched and moved I was with Violet and Finch’s story. No one will ever find out how ugly I was as I cried during that scene where *spoiler alert* Violet finally found Finch’s body, bloated from being drowned for so long. And my feels just exploded as she said “May your eye go to the Sun, To the wind your soul… You are all the colors in one, at full brightness.” And it’s been 5 months now, and the wound in my heart’s still raw. I will never forget this story. Mark my word. All The Bright Places will always have a very special place in my heart.


And that’s it for this list! Now, do you mind sharing your top ten reads of 2015 with me? Leave some comments below. 🙂

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[Book Review #35] P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

BOOK REVIEWS

 

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

Book Specifications:

Author: Jenny Han

Format: Hardcover

Part of a Series: Yes. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before #2.

Release Date: March 26, 2015

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

No. of Pages: 337 pages

Price: 649.00Php

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Young Adult, Realistic Fiction

Book Review:

The Cover: Just like the cover of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, the cover of its’s sequel, P.S. I Still Love You features an Asian girl who seems to have felt something positive, making her appear radiant on the cover of this book. The applied make-up helped as well in depicting the girl to seem “in love”. And how can we forget the simply beautiful handwriting of the title on the side? Absolutely gorgeous! (5 out of 5 stars)

The Story: The story follows the life of Lara Jean Song Covey, 1/3 of the Song Girls, who endured different kinds of love problems all through out her relationship with Peter Kavinsky, a boy who she wrote a letter to, which was unintentionally sent out to him by Kitty, which soon turned out to be one of the best things that happened to Lara Jean. (Such a mouthful!) Picking up where To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before ended, this book told us the story of how Lara Jean kept on falling in love with Peter, while getting her heart broken quite a number of times. Below are some details about this sequel.

  • I love how this sequel kept the pace and hype that it’s predecessor imposed. TATBILB (because the full title is so long) was one of the best reads of my 2014, and waiting for a whole year for this book was definitely worth it. There was a generous serving of romance, swoon, and giddiness found all through out this book. And knowing me and my literary preferences, you would say that I am absolutely delighted!
  • I loved how this sequel wasn’t 100% about Lara Jean. At some point in the book, the story was about Kitty, her Dad, John Ambrose McClaren, and Storm, etc. As much as I love romantic and realistic fiction, sometimes, I find it tiring to read about a character whose book revolves all around one single character. It feels refreshing to read about different side characters in one way or another, and I find this a good point about PSISLY.
  • I liked the fact that the life of our sweet protagonist wasn’t at all love, fun and romance. I liked how she also endured hardships through out the book. Her scandal with Peter, her petty conflicts on her internship. It gives us readers the idea that Lara Jean, aside from being sweet and lovable, may also be a strong and independent young woman.
  • As much as I loved this book, I still found it lacking. As the story went on, I was constantly on the search for Josh’s background story. I feel like he wasn’t given enough closure from the first book, and he was literally MIA on this sequel. I found it saddening not finding any closure for Josh. And the same goes for John Ambrose McClaren. He was introduced to us during the middle part of the story and I feel like his story wasn’t given justice. I need proper closure, Jenny Han!! And I’m craving for a third book!!!

With all that said, I can actually say that PSISLY is just as good as TATBILB. The story was light and absolutely filled with romance and swoon. And yes, I can see myself reading it again after my TBR pile minimizes. (4.5 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.* Well, everything worked out in the end. Peter and Lara Jean broke up, but they sorted out their differences and they were able to put the past, the hurt, and heartbreaks all behind them. It was a happy ending, although I really feel like there’s something missing! And good God, Genevieve!!! Her friendship with Lara Jean certainly needed closure! And with all these little cliffhangers, I am expecting another book in the series! I need more!! (4.5 out of 5 stars)


The Verdict: Just like I’ve said countless of times, this To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before duology (or TRILOGY!! PLEASE!!) will always be one of my favorite romantic and light reads. It’s a recommended contemporary series for readers who might want to take a break from heavy novels and or series. It will not only get you back on track, but it’ll also set a standard for the contemporary genre. (4.67 out of 5 stars)

Quotable Quotes:

“Sometimes I like you so much I can’t stand it. It fills up inside me, all the way to the brim, and I feel like I could overflow. I like you so much I don’t know what to do with it. My heart beats so fast when I know I’m going to see you again. And then, when you look at me the way you do, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.” – Lara Jean

“People come in and out of your life. For a time they are your world; they are everything. And then one day they’re not. There’s no telling how long you will have them near.” – Lara Jean

“There’s a Korean word my grandma taught me. It’s called jung. It’s the connection between two people that can’t be severed, even when love turns to hate. You still have those old feelings for them; you can’t ever completely shake them loose of you; you will always have tenderness in your heart for them.” – Lara Jean

“I know now that I don’t want to love or be loved in half measures. I want it all, and to have it all, you have to risk it all.” – Lara Jean

“When you lose someone and it still hurts, that’s when you know the love was real.” – Lara Jean

“Don’t let it happen to you, Lara Jean. Don’t get too serious to where things can’t go back. Be in love with Peter if you want, but be careful with your heart. Things feel like they’ll be forever, but they aren’t. Love can go away, or people can, without even meaning to. Nothing is guaranteed.” – Margot Song

“If this is love, no thanks. I don’t want any part of it. When I’m older, I’m just going to do my own thing. If I like a boy, fine, I’ll date him, but I’m not going to sit at home and cry over him. I cry over important things.” – Kitty Song

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