Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

everything everythingEverything, Everything
by Nicola Yoon (Author), David Yoon (Illustrations)
September 1st 2015
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
310 pages
Young Adult / Contemporary / Romance

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.
But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.
Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Rating: D – Disliked

This is another unpopular opinion, folks.

What I Liked

POC lead. Putting a POC as the main character is always a huge yes for me. Always.

What I Didn’t Like

The romance. Oh for the love of the young teenage romance. Maddy and Olly are a little bit too cheesy for my liking.

The illustrations. I have nothing against illustrations on books. In fact, I love them cute little doodles. Maybe, I just don’t like the artist’s particular style on this one.

The driving plot. The overall plot is absurd and sloppy. There were details that were disregarded making things somewhat inaccurate. You’ll know that if you actually know something about SCID or basic immunology. Sometimes, it’s just so easy to spot how much little knowledge about the whole topic the author has and yes Nicola Yoon, I’m talking about you specifically. On that note, I just hope that authors would stop trivializing a disease by just using it as a plot device.

The plot twist. Plot holes turned plot twists *shaking my head*.

The happily ever after. I don’t want to spoil at all but I just hated that things ended so perfectly. It just made the ending a little underwhelming and predictable at the same time.

Final thoughts: I should have skipped the book and waited for the movie instead.


Review: Nuts by Alice Clayton

by Alice Clayton
Hudson Valley series #1
October 20th 2015
Gallery Books
308 pages
Romance / Contemporary / Chick Lit

After losing almost all of her clients in one fell swoop following an accident involving whipped cream, private chef to Hollywood’s elite Roxie Callahan gets a call from her flighty mother, saying she’s needed home in upstate New York to run the family diner. Once she’s back in the Hudson Valley, local organic farmer Leo delivers Roxie a lovely bunch of walnuts, and soon sparks—and clothing—begin to fly. Leo believes that everything worth doing is worth doing slowly…and how! But will Roxie stay upstate, or will the lure of West Coast redemption tempt her back to Tinseltown?

Rating: A- – Obsessed

Alice Clayton did it again! She is now officially my top auto-buy author when it comes to contemporary romance reads.

What I Liked

The chemistry. I adore the main characters, Roxie Callahan and Leo Maxwell. Their chemistry is electric. I got zapped real quick. I was all in filled with giddiness and I loved it. I love them! Insta-love is a quite no-show here but insta-attraction as always is present. I love how their small talks turned into conversations then into something more – a summer fling to be specific.

Roxie. Roxie is a strong, independent woman. Her character is what I look most forward to in contemporary reads. I can relate to her in some sense which may also be the reason why I like her so much. She was this small town girl living in the big city who’s currently struggling and quite clueless on which step she should be making next to follow her dreams. In fact, she hasn’t even planned out her dreams.

Leo. Leo is a great man. He’s responsible, charming, humble and hardworking farmer and that’s what makes me adore him so much. Did I even mention that he has luscious, green eyes and a hot bod but those are just minor details, right – or not?Seriously, I can date this man for real. I want a Leo for myself!

Food porn. ’Nuff said. Don’t read this book to look for that other kind of porn. Read this book for the food. I’m telling you. Nuts will make you crave for nuts. And I’m talking about Leo’s nuts – real nuts you can actually eat (don’t let your dirty mind wander too much).

The LOL moments. There’s a bunch of funny and sexy scenes but there’s this one particular scene that really stood out for me. It made me cringe for two different reasons. First, I felt embarrassed to death for Roxie. Second, I just found the whole thing funny as hell.

What I Didn’t Like

Nothing major. I know what I’m about to say is really unnecessary but I’m going to mention it anyways. Wallbanger is still better than Nuts. That’s me comparing the first two books in both series. One thing for sure is that I’ll grab the next book in this series. Maybe then, I can really choose between the two series by comparing which story would really progress better. On the side note, I would’ve preferred if Wallbanger was standalone.

Just to be fair, I just want to say that if you don’t really get what’s with contemporary romcom reads and Alice Clayton’s ‘wonders’ then probably it’s just because you don’t find her humor funny or maybe you’re just not into contemporary romance reads in general. It really happens and it’s okay.

This book is overloaded with something sweet, sexy and funny in just one whole mixture. That’s what makes Nuts one hell of a treat.

Review: November 9 by Colleen Hoover

november 9November 9
by Colleen Hoover
November 10th 2015
Atria Books
310 pages
New Adult / Romance / Contemporary

This is a love story between a guy (me) and a girl (Fallon).
I think.
Can it even be considered a love story if it doesn’t end with love?
Mysteries end when the mystery is solved.
Biographies end when the life story has been told.
Love stories should end with love, right?
Maybe I’m wrong, then. Maybe this isn’t a love story. If you ask me…I’d say this might even be considered a tragedy.
Whatever it is—however it ends—I promised I would tell it. So without further ado.
Once upon a time…I met a girl.
THE girl.

Rating: B- – Liked

After reading November 9, I will never question Colleen Hoover’s writing again. I still believe she’s a brilliant writer or rather storyteller. I’ll hand down give her that but she’s still not on my must-read authors.

What I Liked

The plot. The story of Fallon and Ben is quite amazing.  In all honesty, November 9 is an epitome of a contemporary romance. I’m not sure if my readers have noticed but I love contemporary reads. Overall, the plot sits well with me if only the details were left out. In fact, I am in love with the idea of November 9, that one special day out of a whole year for that one special person – although insta-love leaves a bad taste in my mouth, too. The whole concept was enough to capture my curiosity making me grab the book in an instant. I just really have some issues with the characters – like how I felt for Ugly Love’s characters too – and the plot twists.

The quotes. This novel is overflowing in quotable quotes – as if Hoover was trying to spoon feed me with life lessons. Well, I gladly opened my lips, ate the words and digested every letter. How I wish the characters learned from these words though. It would’ve helped their development.

What I Didn’t Like

Fallon. My level of distraught for the main characters is out of this world. I feel like Fallon has a mild case of beauty dysmorphia. I would have understood where she was coming from for she lost almost everything including her life but her way of thinking for me was just wrong. It was deliberate and of course, I knew that but there’s something that doesn’t sit well with me. She was a girl with a superficial and self-centered way of looking at herself which might have rooted from her dad’s upbringing and her previous career as a teen star. It showed how shallow and obsessed she was with her looks. To tell the truth, I felt quite uncomfortable and somehow a bit offended reading her first chapters. Fallon had a way of making me feel as if being ugly is the worst thing that can happen in a person’s life. I have my own set of flaws and have times when my self-esteem isn’t that incredible, and this novel brought me back to the times I am overthinking and uncomfortable with own skin. Her outlook in physical beauty and her “struggle” to improve her own self-esteem didn’t leave an inspirational message to me.

Ben. Ben was way worse than Fallon. My first impression of him was he’s an eavesdropper. The worst kind at that. He felt he needed to butt in some family’s or girl’s business. Next, he’s a pervert. I mean, if I was Fallon, I would’ve called him out for sexual harassment. Although I know that might have been called overreacting, my point is Fallon should’ve reacted something instead of standing still with her eyes closed doing nothing in that one instance. But damn she did nothing because she was obsessing of how he was making her feel, she was overthinking of herself or just the fact that he was a ‘definitely cute’ guy feeding her with ‘inspirational’ words or ‘compliments’ (man, she was like a girl hungry for a guy’s attention). He had this tendency to be controlling and demanding. If a guy pushed me to do things that I wouldn’t have wanted for myself to do on the very first day we met, well let’s say he would’ve gone out dateless. To tell the truth I really do have a bunch of issues with Ben and Fallon. To wrap up my feelings for them, let’s say I was really beyond annoyed. But I’m flashing a quick double thumbs up for Amber and Glenn. They were the cutest couple in this novel.

The plot twists. The plot twists were twisted – see what I just did there? – twisted in ways I perceived them almost as mockery. I wasn’t able to predict what was happening particularly with Ben. My prediction was way more realistic but maybe not worse (I’ll admit, I thought he was a druggie or a pusher who had been in and out of rehab). Given that I wasn’t able to predict some things about Ben, it doesn’t imply that I believe that the plot was very carefully planned and thought of. For some reason, I think it wasn’t. The coincidences in the novel were just so unbelievable.

Dragging read. I believe that dragging the whole story was really unnecessary. There were twists and turns here and there and they weren’t really that good because I felt they were absurd, may be illogical and just plain ridiculous to some point. I just felt like the five years could’ve been three. But I still enjoyed reading the novel anyways.

I believe a lot of readers can go past the issues I personally had with this book because Colleen Hoover’s storytelling makes up for what I think was lacking in the whole novel. I still recommend November 9 to readers, particularly to CoHo’s fans.

Review: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

the summer of chasing mermaidsThe Summer of Chasing Mermaids
by Sarah Ockler
June 2nd 2015
Simon Pulse
Kindle Edition
416 pages
Young Adult / Contemporary / Romance / Retellings

The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.
Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: An ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one.
Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life.
When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though—swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them . . .

Rating: F – Loathed (DNF)

What I Liked

The beautiful book cover. The Summer Of Chasing Mermaids looked really promising. The cover alone gave me a happiness and satisfaction that only a beautifully designed book cover can do.

A little bit hyped. I was really excited for this book. I’ve read some promising reviews and it gave my high expectations.

The diversity. I did admire that the author threw in some diversity given that Elyse, the main character, was from Tobago.

What I Didn’t Like 

Disappointing. A lot of people gave this book a shattering five stars – and I totally respect that.  This novel made me feel like I was trying to look for something that was not just there.

Boring. My patience was tested for real. That I can assure you. But just gave up all in all. It was just boring as hell. I feel like I was reading a litany of a sad, whiny girl but that’s just me.

Poetic. Readers enjoyed how lyrical and poetic the author was in writing in this book but that’s not my jam. I just don’t appreciate it as much as the others did.

If I received an ARC I would, by all means, I would’ve tried to finish this novel but since I bought it with my own money, I think I have the right to not finish it.

Review: Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

finding audreyFinding Audrey
by Sophie Kinsella
June 9th 2015
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
286 pages
Contemporary / Young Adult / Chick Lit

An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.

Rating: C – Okayed

Finding Audrey is 2015’s most awaited novel from Sophie Kinsella. So like anyone else who’s a complete fan of her, I had to have this book.

What I Liked

The family dynamics. This deserves the spotlight in this novel. They downright add hilarity in the whole novel which makes me adore them a bit too much. I actually have a personal bias with Frank, Audrey’s older brother. I just can relate to him in his teenage angst aspects. I got to admit that at first I was annoyed at their mom but I was glad that I got the chance to really understand where she’s coming from. We all, know that we all had that time when we go against our parents’ (especially our moms) wishes. It’s a good thing that at the end of the novel, things got better, not only for Audrey’s mental health but also for the family.

What I Didn’t Like

Kind of a clickbait. In my opinion, the summary was misleading. I thought the plot would really dwell on the technicalities that come with the social anxiety and depression but to tell the truth, it didn’t. The novel lacks details on that. I’m not entirely sure if that’s really a good thing or it just adds loopholes in the plot but this is supposed to be a fun read so I guess I just tolerated it. Actually, I don’t even know why I was expecting more given that the author was always known for her light, sweet, fun chicklit novels.

A little slow. It took me almost half of the book to really get into the story.

The ship. Of course, they were cute and I was quite delighted with their relationship. I can’t deny that Linus is the love interest that Audrey really needs but I’m just not sure I’m their biggest fan. They had their sweet moments and I oh-so-like them all but that’s just it. I’m just not shipping them.

As much as I adore Sophie Kinsella’s Can You Keep a Secret? my heart is not set out for this book. I know in my mind that this is a comic novel but in my opinion, Finding Audrey completely transverses the line of putting too much lightness and comedy in a very serious mental health issue.