Once and for All

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As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen’s thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself. (c)goodreads

TITLE: Once and for All
AUTHOR: Sarah Dessen
Publication Date: June 6th 2017 by Viking Books for Young Readers
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

I’ve been a fan of Sarah Dessen since forever and I can say that her books is one of the reasons that made me love YA books. Her latest – Once and For All- is a little bit un-Sarah Dessen for me. Don’t get me wrong, Once and For All is not bad yet it’s not great either. I still like her writing in this one especially the character developments. Maybe the lack of romance set the Dessen bar down for me. If my 19-year old me has read this, probably she won’t be happy. Of course, there’s still romance in this but it really occurs in the last few chapters then one thing you know, the story was already ending. I was like hoping for at least another 20-30 extra pages. It seems like an abrupt ending but nevertheless, the whole story was fun to read.

I really like how the story revolves around about weddings especially if you’re working as a wedding organizer. It was so interesting it seems like an eye-opener, that being an organizer of such event is fun and stressful at the same time.

I’ve got a little bit sidetracked by the sudden shooting scenes. I was like…hey, it’s supposed to be fun and light read about weddings then comes…shooting? But yeah, i get it. Maybe this kind of scene was kinda unusual for a Sarah Dessen book that it caught me off guard while reading.

Anyway, as for the characters i really like the development of Louna. Her being cynical and guarded was reasonable and relatable. The damage and tragic end with the love of her life really saddens me though i’m not really a fan of instalove. It’s just so sudden and easy, i mean their beginning that it also ends so easily. It was so saddening that i’ve got a bit teary-eyed.

For Ambrose, i like the name! It reminds me of the Ambrose guy from Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve loved Before series. Haha. Anyway, he’s not a book boyfriend for me, sorry not sorry. But sure, he has his moments where you want to pinch his cheeks because he’s so cute, kind and adorable!

Once and for All is a book I recommend to all YA fans especially Sarah Dessen fans. She still does such a wonderful job here of creating realistic and relatable teen girls in a world that feels totally believable.

My rating:

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This Is What Happy Looks Like

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When a young movie star accidentally sends a small-town girl an email about his pet pig, the two teens strike up a witty correspondence during which they share their views on everything without revealing their actual identities, an episode that causes a relationship to develop which ultimately transforms when the actor chooses the girl’s hometown for the setting of his latest film. 75,000 first printing. (c)goodreads

TITLE: This Is What Happy Looks Like
AUTHOR: Jennifer E. Smith
Publication Date: April 02, 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

This book by Jennifer E. Smith was such a sweet, heartwarming and very wholesome read. As a true hopeless romantic, the story really made my heart flutter. The ooey gooey atmosphere that brings to you while reading this is enough to lighten your day or enjoy a summer vacation or even made you smile effortlessly through a cold rainy day.

It wasn’t perfect. It’s not even unique. It’s cliche and let’s admit it, we love cliche, right? The cuteness and swoon-worthiness make it up for the flaws. And since it’s a light read, one can easily relate to especially if you are hopeless romantics.

This is What Happy Looks Like is a book I recommend to all hopeless romantics out there! maybe this is a story you’re not really expecting but hey! i know you’re sucker for romance so give it a shot! slightsmile emoticon And for those who in need of a quick and light read, this book is really for you. slightsmile emoticon

My rating:

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Sad Girls

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“Your first love isn’t the first person you give your heart to—it’s the first one who breaks it.”

Sad Girls is the much anticipated debut novel from international best-selling author Lang Leav. A beautifully written and emotionally charged coming of age story, where young love, dark secrets, and tragedy collide.

School is almost out for Audrey, but the panic attacks are just beginning. Because Audrey told a lie and now her classmate, Ana, is dead. Just as her world begins to spin out of control, Audrey meets the enigmatic Rad—the boy who could turn it all around. But will their ill-timed romance drive her closer to the edge? (c)goodreads

TITLE: Sad Girls
AUTHOR: Lang Leav
Publication Date:  May 30th 2017 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Honestly, I don’t know where will I start. It’s just that… I really like all Lang Leav’s poetry but I think her first novel wasn’t just for me.

Ok, here’s a list why this novel didn’t work for me:
– self-centered and hypocrite protagonist
– the instalove trope. Like duh! In a snap, you love the guy to cheat on your long-time bf?? it’s okay to cheat on your partner because you hung out with a guy you thought you connected with?
– unrealistic and terrible plot! seems like everything went easy for Audrey with all that luck in internship, very kind workmates and employers, immediate jobs
– the invisible/­unnecessary sidekicks. Lucy and Candela could’ve been great ones, only if they were portrayed with so much development as the story progresses.
– the frustrating kindness of Duck. I feel sorry for him, i wanna give him a hug
– pathetic plot twist, it’s just too much and cringe worthy, more like a desperate thrown-in just to have a “shocking” turn of events. LAME.
– inconsistent story pacing
– the letter from Ana’s diary to convince the readers that love conquers all even tolerating a crime.

My Rating:

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Actually, my initial rating is one star but the Cowboy Bebop reference gained the another star.

How They Met, and Other Stories

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Just in time for Valentine’s Day comes a confection from David Levithan that is sure to appeal to fans of Boy Meets Boy. Here are 18 stories, all about love, and about all kinds of love. From the aching for the one you pine for, to standing up and speaking up for the one you love, to pure joy and happiness, these love stories run the gamut of that emotion that at some point has turned every one of us inside out and upside down. What is love? With this original story collection David Levithan proves that love is a many splendor thing, a varied, complicated, addictive, wonderful thing. (c)goodreads

TITLE: How They Met, and Other Stories
AUTHOR: David Levithan
Publication Date: January 08, 2008
Genre: Young Adult, Short Stories, Romance

This book was a collection of short stories. These different short stories showed Levithan’s different approach of conveying love, heartbreaks, relationships, disappointments and happy endings. My favorite is the The Romantic Inclination…so nerdy.haha. (physics and chemistry! lol.) It was so funny and good, proves that friendship is an important element and dominant power in any romantic relationship.

Anyway, other stories were also great…covered a whole spectrum of scenarios about heartbreaks, happenstance, fate, closet gay, unrequited love, destiny, letting go, acceptance, pure happiness and joy, LGBT themes. 🙂 They will make you laugh, and some will make you sad, but all are completely enjoyable.

Must read! How They Met, and Other Stories is a book I highly recommend for everyone especially YA fans with short attention spans.

My rating:

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Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1)

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In a kingdom by the sea…

In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.

A parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.

Emma Carstairs is a warrior, a Shadowhunter, and the best in her generation. She lives for battle. Shoulder to shoulder with her parabatai, Julian Blackthorn, she patrols the streets of Los Angeles, where vampires party on the Sunset Strip, and faeries—the most powerful of supernatural creatures—teeter on the edge of open war with Shadowhunters. When the bodies of humans and faeries turn up murdered in the same way Emma’s parents were when she was a child, an uneasy alliance is formed. This is Emma’s chance for revenge—and Julian’s chance to get back his brother Mark, who is being held prisoner by the faerie Courts. All Emma, Mark, and Julian have to do is solve the murders within two weeks…and before the murderer targets them.

Their search takes Emma from sea caves full of sorcery to a dark lottery where death is dispensed. And each clue she unravels uncovers more secrets. What has Julian been hiding from her all these years? Why does Shadowhunter Law forbid parabatai to fall in love? Who really killed her parents—and can she bear to know the truth? (c)goodreads

TITLE: Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1)
AUTHOR: Cassandra Clare
Publication Date: March 08, 2016
Genre: Urban-fantasy,  Young Adult, Romance

Sed Lex Dura Lex? Ugh but i think Cassie Clare is harder. Haha. Okay, so saying Lady Midnight is a roller coaster ride of emotions is an understatement. After reading this, I felt like I’ve been in all extreme rides in an amusement park. This book shattered me into many billion pieces then made me whole and shattered me again. And now, I’m so broken beyond repair. For me, this is one of Cassandra Clare’s best works. It was absolutely phenomenal and amazing. Cassie Clare’s writing, character development, world construction and everything were impressive. These improvements gave more depth to each story element.

Did I already said that this book is amazing? because it really is amazing. And the characters? AMAZING!!!! characters were by far the best part! Especially the two main characters, Emma and Julian. And their forbidden love and slow-burn romance? ughhh! All of the forbidden love stuff and bestfriends-falling-for-each-other shit that shows up in every single book just worked for me here.

And what about the siblings Julian was raising?? they were so adorably awesome, innocent and cute. I feel like a mother to them that I want to take care of them and protect them from the prick and evils of the Shadowhunter world. And I really really appreciate that Cassie Clare also tackled about mental issues here. And Julian’s dedication for his family was really outstanding and admirable. He’s just so caring and passionate to every people he values and important to him. For me, he’s not actually a book boyfriend type of character but the fact that he’s capable to do anything to make things go his way and to protect his family really melts my heart into puddle.

In a nutshell,  this was an awesome and phenomenal read. And I strongly recommend this to everyone even if you haven’t read the other Shadowhunter series. For me, it just all really works — the forbidden love, the adventure and action-packed plot, slow-burn romance, the characters depth, the struggles and obstacles everyone encounters and endures, EVERYTHING.

My rating:

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Major Crush

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Tired of the beauty-pageant circuit, Virginia Sauter tosses her tiara, pierces her nose, and auditions for the most unlikely of roles — drum major of the high school marching band.
Virginia wins, but is forced to share the title with Drew, whose family has held the position for generations. Sure, Drew is hot, but because of his superior attitude, he and Virginia are constantly arguing. That is, until they share more than just their half-time salute…

But as the drum major’s heated competition turns to sizzling romance, explosive rumors threaten everything — including the band’s success. Love seemed to be a sure hit, but Virginia and Drew may be marching straight into disaster. (c)goodreads

TITLE: Major Crush
AUTHOR: Jennifer Echols
Publication Date: August 1, 2006
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance

I enjoyed reading this. It was cute, light and quick read. Though it’s not really a swoon-worthy, I can say that there were parts where I can’t wipe my grin on my face. It’s a cliche with all these we-are-arguing-everyday-then-end-up-liking-each-other and i-made-that-snarl-comment-to-you-years-ago-because-i-want-to-get-your-attention spiels. I like how the two main characters, Drew and Virginia, showed the actual attitude of teenagers toward their feelings, family, responsibility, competition, crush, ego, friends and enemies. I felt like I’ve been drawn back to my teenage years, not that I experience making out with my crush in a tractor. LOL. Then I also enjoyed the subtle way of using the SAT words in their “competition”, inside jokes and comments about something or someone ( hi, evil twins! Haha!). It was hilariously nerdy.

On a serious note, communicating and expressing feelings are vital ingredients in any relationship – filial, romantic, platonic, you name it. I like the part where Mr. Rush used the “I feel” strategy for Drew and Virginia. Feelings are need to express and heard, not bottled up inside you. They also discovered that there’s more to the other person than meets the eye. 
Though this book was more focused on romance,  it also depicted how to deal with their own personal crap – that it’s okay to cry, to change, to just be yourself and be out there and that sometimes it’s not about forgiving others, it’s about forgiving yourself. slightsmile emoticon

Major Crush is a book I recommend to all those who like romance, light, sweet yet funny books and who are in need of a quick read.

My rating:

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The Princess Saves Herself in this One

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“Ah, life- the thing that happens to us while we’re off somewhere else blowing on dandelions & wishing ourselves into the pages of our favorite fairy tales.”

A poetry collection divided into four different parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, & you. the princess, the damsel, & the queen piece together the life of the author in three stages, while you serves as a note to the reader & all of humankind. Explores life & all of its love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, & inspirations. (c)goodreads

TITLE: The Princess Saves Herself in this One
AUTHOR: Amanda Lovelace
Publication Date: April 23, 2016
Genre: Poetry

I know that the poetry that setting trends nowadays are this kind of thing – mere sentences formatted by pressing enter after every word. In fact, no usual rhyming. Hmm, of course i still like the old forms, the Pablo Neruda-ish kind of poetry but it doesn’t mean that I didn’t appreciate this new form of poetry. That’s why I’ve gave this one a shot.

After reading this, I’ve got a bit teary-eyed. This was so personal. I just felt the raw emotions associated in every word. Ok, maybe I am biased with this one. But i really like it because I’ve known Amanda (not personally, though) as bookmad in tumblr. I love how she pour into words her life. I’ve been following her in tumblr enough to say that this book really deserves all the praises in the literary world. Actually, the words she used in this were simple words. Simple that they are easy to understand and doesn’t need a dictionary to look up to when reading — which is a good thing because i rather read simple words that convey deep emotions and feelings than i-can’t-even-pronounce-it words with hollow thoughts. You’ll know from reading this book that this was written with soul.

The Princess Saves Herself in this One is a book I recommend for everyone that are still afraid to jump from their sinking ship. Read this and stop waiting for someone to save you.

My rating:

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