Book Review · Books

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart



Title: Genuine Fraud

Author: E. Lockhart


Genre: YA, Mystery


Published 5 September 2017 by Delacorte Press


Rating: 4/5 stars

The story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.
Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.

Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete. 

An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two. 

A bad romance, or maybe three.

Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains. 

A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.

A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.

Huge thanks to Penguin Random House International for sending a review copy of this book! This will not influence nor affect my review.

So here I am an avid fan of We Were Liars, ready to share with you how much I fangirled the moment I knew about this new book by E. Lockhart! I know her books and her writing style are controversial in a way that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Some people hate it but some people love! I clearly took a day or two from reviewing this book because I was messed up after reading it. I don’t know where to start expressing how I felt when I finished this. It’s so hard to review this book without giving any spoilers. 

Now about Genuine Fraud, it’s way different from We Were Liars but share a few factors when it comes to the characters. Rich people doing bad things by bad I mean crime or worse murder. The thing I love most about the author’s writing style is how misleading and unreliable the main character was. I know some of you might not like it but for me, I absolutely dig it. Being a mystery/thriller nerd that I am it’s something about unreliable characters that keeps me going, maybe because it rears the curiosity inside of me. 

It’s another character driven story that didn’t disappoint me. Though I have to point out that it was slow in the beginning but don’t worry it gets better. I’ll try my best to tell you how I understood the two characters, Jules and Imogene, portrayed their roles in this book. Jules has this strong exterior, she can easily deceive any person but inside she’s trying to fix her life. Imogene is an heiress and a manipulative cheat. Their friendship was something different than I usually see in YA if you see it in a deeper perspective. Them creating this unrealistic bond and the intoxicating relationship ended up in something we’re all scared off.

Okay, so this is told in reverse chronology. I haven’t read any book like this before where the plot is told in flashbacks. I’ve heard that it was inspired by The Talented Mr. Ripley. I might grab a copy of that book as well. I loved how the story slowly knits together as you progress through the book. This book starts at the end and ends at the very beginning. I loved how it unfolded, with subtle revelations that will surely make you think about it for days. The story started with something that’ll keep your mind thinking about what’s happening then suddenly it takes a dark turn, there were scenes that I know aren’t for the faint hearted readers.

Genuine Fraud is all about Betrayal. Deception. Obsession. An unsettling and gripping novel that will make you believe in lies and the time you finish it you’ll still crave for more. 

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Book Review · Books

Girls Made of Snow And Glass by Melissa Bashardoust + Importance of Feminism in YA


Title: Girls Made Of Snow and Glass
Author: Melissa Bashardoust
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Expected publication: September 5th 2017 by Flatiron Books
Rating: 5/5


At sixteen, Mina’s mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.

Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story. 


I want to thank Flatiron Books for sending a review copy of this book my way and also to Karina @ Afire Pages for hosting this PH blog tour!

I was in the midst of looking for my next anticipated reads for September and I saw this book, read the premise and fell in love with it. I was so stoked on reading this book as soon as possible and I was lucky enough to get an ARC from the publisher just in time also for the blog tour. There are clearly no words to describe how amazing this book was. I just love it so much that I am more than happy to talk about it every day to anyone who’s willing to listen to me rambling about my love for this book. I don’t know where to begin…

Frozen meets the classic fairy tale of Snow White, acclaimed to be a fantasy feminist fairy tale retelling! It was all I could ever ask for in a book, I was tearing through the pages as I was reading this book. I’m glad that the story was in dual perspective, we get to see the past events that lead to the present storyline. It was a perfect depiction of the fairy tale and the little girl inside me was rejoicing. I never thought that this book will make me so emotional. It’s pure perfection. That ending sent shivers down my spine and literally had me in tears. It’s so beautiful, t women empowerment in one book. The way how the Snow Queen’s and Snow White’s tale was told in this story was unique and refreshing. It’s like I’m reading a new kind of fairytale that represents feminism which we need more out in the book community.

I know some of you might find the story to be a bit slow because it’s character driven but you’ll never get bored of how good the author’s writing style is. We get to see Lynet and Mina’s character development all throughout this book which I am all for. These two characters just embody the power that was bestowed upon them, they showed how important feminism in YA fantasy books is! The story was focused on these two female leads who are fierce, smart and courageous. I wanted to see more of Winterspring but the author greatly provided a magical and whimsical imagery of this kingdom that left me in awe. I need to point out the family dynamics in this book, it felt real and yet heartbreaking at the same time. Growing up without any mother, the two girls were told to do certain things that they were against with by their fathers. I understood how both fathers had a different way of showing their love for their daughters.

What made me love this book more was the message it was trying to send out to every reader. Mina & Lynet stood up for each other. Mina’s a character that you hate in the beginning but love in the end because you’ll clearly understand why she did all those things. Sometimes it’s just accepting the fact that you care for a person, you’re just afraid of seeing the good in people because you’ve suffered and seen only the worse to people who you look up to. The love they had for each other was genuine. This book has shown me a whole new meaning of love the one you can’t hide behind snow and glass. 

Feminism in YA and its Importance

Feminism has been a hot topic for who knows how long, and it’s creating a huge buzz around the YA community. It’s a good thing to be able to read books about strong women, badass women who stand up for their rights. To be honest, I haven’t read that much books that showcase feminism, but I am astonished about how vocal readers and writers are nowadays. 

Why is it important in YA you might ask? We Need Diverse Books and Own Voices books movement is about creating a new perspective where all our voices are heard. Our abilities as human beings shouldn’t be held back by rules and norms. Feminism isn’t about who gets to be far more superior than other genders. Being a feminist shouldn’t affect the way you look, dress or even the people you go out with. It’s about giving women a choice, it’s about freedom, liberation, and equality. Being a feminist doesn’t mean that you’re a man hater or you’re there to throw down other women to be above them. It isn’t about telling women what to do, again it’s about them or any gender having the freedom to chose what they want to do.

I love seeing female characters who can stand up for themselves, fighting their own battles and handling every situation with their own will and strength. I repeat it doesn’t mean that when a female character is strong she has to have masculine features or attitude. It’s how she represents herself and her beliefs by standing up to people who try to bring her down.

This is just a light description of how I view Feminism in YA and Feminism in general. I haven’t delved into it much so I don’t know how to fully explain each context because I know it is a complicated topic to talk about but one thing’s for sure equality is important to be seen in real life and in the books that we read.

Don’t forget that there’s a giveaway of Girls Made of Snow and Glass on the tour! Enter here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/24842cbd7/

 

Book Review · Books

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows 


Title: My Lady Jane (Lady Janies #1)
Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows 
Genre: Historical, Fantasy, YA
Published June 7th 2016 by HarperTeen
Rating: 5/5


The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.

At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane is about to become the Queen of England. 


When I heard about this book, My Lady Jane my history nerd heart was so HAPPY! I live and breathe history that is why it has been on the top of my TBR for a long time, now I have finished reading it and will gush about it in my review!

I CAN GIVE ALL THE STARS THIS BOOK DESERVES!!!!

It was so hilarious, entertaining and you’ll learn brief information about its historical background. I never had a dull moment from the beginning until the end. When I started reading this I know for sure that I’m going to love this and I was right, I absolutely loved it! My fascination with the English monarchy goes a long way and here I am satisfied with what I have read. It was such a delight reading it day and night. I was lost in the world of YouTube a couple of months back and came across videos about the English royalties history from how they started up until the Tudor dynasty. One tragedy that stuck to my “head” was Lady Jane Grey!

This is me telling you what I have learned through reading about Lady Jane Grey and the rest of the English monarchy. It was clear that only men were able to claim the crown back then but an unfortunate turn of events happened when King Edward VI died. Religion was a huge factor in claiming the throne; Protestant vs. Catholics! So it is clear that Mary(Edward’s oldest sister) was going to be the successor of the crown but her being a Catholic threatened the fiercely Protestant John Dudley so he manipulated King Edward, before dying, to give the crown to his successor Jane Grey who was a Protestant. Mary wasn’t happy about it so she got married and planned a revolt against the current Queen and that’s how Queen Jane Grey was executed only having the crown for exactly nine days. There were more details about how things got tragic but I won’t be spilling all of it here. 

I loved how Cynthia, Brodi, and Jodi added their own twists in this historical masterpiece! This was a tragedy but with the authors magic, they made it more worthy of reading. It amazes me how spot on these Lady Janies was able to harmoniously write the POVs of Edward, Gifford, and Jane!

Jane was so relatable, she loves to read books! It makes me happy seeing a bookworm like me in stories I am reading. There’s more to her than just being Queen, I love how she stood up against the patriarchal environment she was in. Though at times she’s quite stubborn and annoying I still loved her character. Gifford (G) was a charming and amusing character. His secret love for poetry surprised me. And for Edward, of course, his the king leading a patriarchal territory we get to see some sexist remarks from him but his character was by far the best! He had me laughing every time I was reading his POV! I wasn’t aware of the whole shape shifting and magical theme of this book, I thought I wasn’t going to enjoy it but, yes I LOVED IT! I need to mention cameos from my favorite people in history; Bess (Queen Elizabeth I), Bloody Mary and Mary Queen of Scots’! The brewing romance is just the right amount of sweetness. It added a special touch to the story which I’m not mad about.

Am I going to see one from Mary Queen of Scots, Marie Antoinette, and Anne Boleyn?Will we get more of these? Yes, we are getting more from the Lady Janies!!!! If you’re looking for something witty and adorably cute or something that can get you out of a reading slump better get a copy of this one! You’ll never regret it!

If historical fiction was written like this, you’ll never see me reading another genre other than this!

Book Review · Books

Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor


Title: Definitions of Indefinable Things
Author: Whitney Taylor
Genre: Young Adult, Mental Illness, Contemporary
Published April 4, 2017, by HMH Book for Young Readers
Rating: 3.5/5



This heartbreaking, humorous novel is about three teens whose lives intersect in ways they never expected. 

Reggie Mason is all too familiar with “the Three Stages of Depression.” She believes she’s unlocked the secret to keeping herself safe: Nobody can hurt you if you never let them in. 

Reggie encounters an unexpected challenge to her misanthropy: a Twizzler-chomping, indie film-making narcissist named Snake. Snake’s presence, while reassuring, is not exactly stable—especially since his ex-girlfriend is seven months pregnant. As Reggie falls for Snake, she must decide whether it’s time to rewrite the rules that have defined her. 

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I want to thank HMH Teen for sending an ARC of this book, this will not affect nor influence my review!

When I heard about this book’s release I was so excited to get a copy of it. If you don’t know this about me I love reading books with mental illness representation. I have read quite a lot of books that tackle mental illnesses, some of them made me feel connected with the characters. I understood their perspectives as persons who suffer these illnesses. I got the chance to be in their heads for every 300 pages of a book. It’s hard to find books with accurate representation!

Reggie is our main character here who suffers from depression. She has known the “Three Stages” of it by heart and she would give her two cents for each stage. She’s sarcastic and her snarkiness helps her to not get easily attached to people.

The characters were so flawed! They(Reggie & Snake) both acknowledged that they have depression. They would talk about it like it’s a normal thing for them. Snake also suffers from depression and soon going to be a father with his ex-girlfriend’s baby. I never thought I would enjoy reading how their paths crossed and how they managed their “friendship” all throughout the story.

There was some point in this book that I felt lost. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because of the third stage of it; disconnection, that the MC is currently feeling. I felt disconnected with the character/s in some parts of the story which made me iffy about continuing on with the story. I was about to give up reading this book but thank God I didn’t. I also want to point out that this is another novel who didn’t magically cure “depression” both characters still acknowledged their conditions.

Depression was the main focus of this novel, the author took a different way of expressing it through her characters and storyline. This book offered more than understanding depression. I was expecting the same results from a book that tackles depression but this book offered a whole new perspective and writing style.

Definitions of Indefinable Things is heartbreaking, funny, offers depth towards the understanding of depression and so emotional. There were parts of it I didn’t like but for me, this was worth the read, it’s either a hit or miss for some!

Book Hauls & Wrap-Ups · Book Review · Books

July: Life Update + Wrap-Up

Hey there everyone!

I haven’t posted one of these since last year I think? Well for now I am motivated to show you guys my not so lengthy wrap up and life update post! I would like to say that July was a huge month for me!

Remember me talking about fresh new beginnings? Well I guess here it is, I finally decided to create a new bookstagram account and left my old one here are my reasons:

  •  the number of followers that I have (9.4k) seems unreal to me because only a few people see my posts and I only get to interact with a few people. I created my bookstagram account back then because I LOVE READING, that’s probably the main reason why. I rather interact more than have a lot of followings. The second reason is that I want to meet new people who share the same interest as I have. It’s great to talk to people who understands your “feels” whenever you just finished reading your new favorite book! This community is one of the best!
  •  I want to be more of myself, yes bookstagram has indeed changed. I saw it with my own eyes, 5 years ago it was just a small community now, WOW I am so proud of this book community. I have seen so many of my favorite bookstagrammers grow. I appreciate how all of you take the time and effort for your photos, I do admire people sharing photos of their current reads and recommendations. To be honest, there are some of you that made me buy a book because of your recommendations 😚
  • I want to share more books with all of you, both old and new releases. All the books that I love and didn’t like lol! I want to make this platform more real and authentic.

It’s hard to leave a community who has been a big part of your life. That’s why I made the decision to make a new account and start anew. Meet new faces but share the same love and passion for books!

Okay enough of this and let’s get onto my July Wrap-Up!

This month is a huge deal for me because I was on my A game, I read 14 books this month and it’s been a year since I last read more than 5 books. Clearly life has been happening to me aka ADULTING! With so many things running through my mind , reading is my only channel to relax and keeping myself sane.

Read books in July
BLOG POSTS

Foodventure: Fat Fook

Everything All At Once by Katrina Leno

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus

What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

Wesley James Ruined My Life by Jennifer Honeybourn

My Booktube-A-Thon TBR 2017

Little Monsters by Kara Thomas 

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

CANDY MAGAZINE

If you didn’t know this about me, I’m currently a contributing writer(Candy Correspondent) for Candy Magazine the number one teen magazine here in the Philippines. I want to share with you guys my articles if you want to check out the articles that I have written here are the links!

 

What books were your favorite/s last month?

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Book Review · Books

Caraval by Stephanie Garber 

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Title: Caraval
Author: Stephanie Garber 
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
Published January 31st 2017 by Flatiron Books
Rating: 5/5


Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away. 

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First of all, I want to thank Macmillan International for sending a review copy my way. This will not affect nor influence my review.

Caraval has been on my radar since its release day, everyone I know raved about this book so much that I myself won’t lie that I fell into it. But I’ve been seeing/hearing mixed reviews as time passed, that’s when I became hesitant about reading it BUT thank God I didn’t listen to that small voice inside my head and I continued on to FINALLY reading probably one of my favorite books this 2017!

The only thing I knew about this books is that it’s somehow like a circus themed setting and compared to the Night Circus which I haven’t read yet so I don’t know the comparison between the two. But I do get the whole circus vibe of this book I recommend you guys reading this without knowing anything and you’ll be surprised with what you’ll be getting in the end of the game.

Last night I saw Stephanie Garber tweeting about the cover reveal of the second book in this series(?) AHHH! I’m so excited but there’s no exact date when it’s going to be released in the public so that means I’m going to wait for a little while.

I can’t explain how much I enjoyed my journey through Caraval! I liked how the parts of the book were divided on each day you spend on that place, at least we weren’t stuck in a book where a bunch of things happen in one day! To be honest the pacing of the book was pure perfection, I didn’t notice that it was almost 400 pages long because I kept on tearing through the pages and read it in one sitting. I love every element that was introduced in this book; it’s mesmerizing, enthralling, whimsical and had me bewitched!

I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of reading Caraval. Every chapter has new characters thrown in that added excitement to the story! The author’s writing style worked for my reading preference. I am not a big fantasy reader but I can say that this book is really worth giving a try. I liked the whole circus theme of it, it gave out a dark-fairy tale-esque vibe to it. Everything seems so magical and vivid in my head. I do the like the budding romance between the characters which I thought made the story more interesting.

The ending was EVERYTHING! I want more, will I be getting more? I’m glad that I picked this book up and the only thing that made me sad is that I had to finish reading and end my adventure in the magical world of Caraval. I’ll be back again soon, this definitely deserves a reread!

Book Review · Books

Little Monsters by Kara Thomas 

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Title: Little Monsters

Author:Kara Thomas

Genre: YA, Thriller, Mystery

Published July 25th 2017 by Delacorte Press

Rating: 5/5

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Kacey is the new girl in Broken Falls. When she moved in with her father, she stepped into a brand-new life. A life with a stepbrother, a stepmother, and strangest of all, an adoring younger half sister.

Kacey’s new life is eerily charming compared with the wild highs and lows of the old one she lived with her volatile mother. And everyone is so nice in Broken Falls—she’s even been welcomed into a tight new circle of friends. Bailey and Jade invite her to do everything with them.

Which is why it’s so odd when they start acting distant. And when they don’t invite her to the biggest party of the year, it doesn’t exactly feel like an accident.

But Kacey will never be able to ask, because Bailey never makes it home from that party. Suddenly, Broken Falls doesn’t seem so welcoming after all—especially once everyone starts looking to the new girl for answers.

Kacey is about to learn some very important lessons: Sometimes appearances can be deceiving. Sometimes when you’re the new girl, you shouldn’t trust anyone. 

 

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I want to thank Penguin Random House International for sending this book my way!

I’ve had the copy of this book for the longest time now and thank God I picked this book up for the Booktubeathon first challenge and in time for its release day!

As some of you may know I fell in love with Kara’s debut novel, The Darkest Corners! But I didn’t expect she’ll blow my socks off with her second novel. She just keeps better and better with her stories and her characters as well. Little Monsters is a gripping novel that has an intense storyline and incredible characters.

This is basically about a new girl in town who thought her life is all settled in but one event changed everything when Kayce and her friends together with her step-sister sneaked out and had a little “adventure” in the depths of the night. But after that everything changed.

I FREAKIN LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH!

The mystery part to it was on point never have I read something so straightforward and eerie at the same time. I was like a sleuth trying to investigate who was the one responsible for everything that’s happening. This book just kept me going, I didn’t want to read it at night because I know I’ll be having a problem with sleeping. It kept me on the edge of my seat. I felt my heart racing in scenes that were so intense and I felt that I was sucked into the story! The revelation at the end really got me. All of the questions I had in mind were answered.

There were a lot of red herrings that were thrown in different directions. Every evidence was literally circling everyone and I had no idea who was the culprit until I was at the end of the story. The narrators were unreliable. As I was reading their POVs I myself don’t know who to believe at some point, all the events that happened and the twists were mind-blowing. This has a potential to be a movie!!! *keeping my fingers crossed*

It’s a wonderful masterpiece by one of my favorite authors. Here it is, everything I could ask for in a mystery thriller book! The way Kara writes keeps me loving her books more. Do I recommend this? YES!!!

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