Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books That I Picked Up On A Whim

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. If you want to join, please check out the blog!!

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Hey, and good day! I’ve been a bit busy with wedding planning, and I haven’t had time to post anything! Hopefully this week can be better for posting! This week’s topic is Ten Books That I Picked On A Whim. This list is a mixture of Historical Fiction, Japanese Literature, and Manga. Here are my choices. The ones with a heart next to it are a recommendation:

  1. Snow Flower and The Secret Fan by Lisa See tumblr_inline_niyn5ntHcI1ry72eo.gif
  2. Dream Saga by Megumi Tachikawa  tumblr_inline_niyn5ntHcI1ry72eo
  3. Shinobi Life by Shoko Konami
  4. Shiawase Kissa Sanchoume (Happy Cafe) by Kou Matsuzuki
  5. Honolulu by Alan Brennert tumblr_inline_niyn5ntHcI1ry72eo
  6. Foxgirl by Nora Okja Keller
  7. Shadows On The Moon by Zoë Marriott tumblr_inline_niyn5ntHcI1ry72eo
  8. Sakamichi No Apollon by Kodama Yuki tumblr_inline_niyn5ntHcI1ry72eo
  9. Masks by Enchi Fumiko
  10. Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

The Start Of Me And You by Emery Lord

Goodreads Synopsis: Following her pitch-perfect debut Open Road Summer, Emery Lord pens another gorgeous story of best friends, new love, & second chances.

Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.

It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

Commentary: I read The Start Of Me And You because it is the book of the month for the We The Book Dragon’s group on Goodreads. I’ve been telling myself to follow my resolutions by being more active on Goodreads groups, I’m trying! Anyways, this month’s choice was excellent!

The story begins with Paige, she is known as the girl whose boyfriend died. If I can sum what this story is about in one short sentence it would be this: A book about self discovery and learning to live once again. I enjoyed this story much more than I would have thought. I went into this book with medium expectations, I didn’t expect myself to love this book. But, I did! I really had a lot of fun reading the book. I even cried twice near the very end of the book.

Paige has a tough life. She keeps having nightmares about drowning and her parents are divorced, and the one person that she can be completely honest with, her grandmother, has Alzheimer’s. Luckily for Paige, she has a group of supportive friends that would protect her at all costs. Paige wants to start over again by the time she enters her junior year of high school. She writes down a list of what she wants to complete by the year.

Paige has always had a crush on Ryan Chase who happens to be one of the popular boys in school. Paige is absolutely smitten by him that she can’t speak coherently when he is around. When Paige learns that Ryan is single, she makes it her mission to date him. Just when fate seems to lead her to Ryan, she ends up striking up a friendship with Ryan’s cousin Max. In order to get closer to Ryan, Paige becomes friends with Max.

The friendship started because of shallowness, but soon Paige finds herself completely comfortable around Max. Max isn’t the type of guy that Paige is attracted to. Though Ryan is her crush, Max is much more involved in her life.

“Ryan Chase was my eighth-grade collage, aspirational and wide-eyed. But Max was the first bite of grilled cheese on a snowy day, the easy fit of my favorite jeans, that one old song that made it onto every playlist. Peanut-butter Girl Scout cookies instead of an ornate cake. Not glamorous or idealized or complicated. Just me.”

I really enjoyed reading The Start Of Me And You! It took me two days to finish this book! It’s the quickest book I’ve read. I connected with the characters. I loved the banter between Max and Paige. One of my favorite scenes in the book has to be when Paige and Max argue about Pride and Prejudice. Paige sees herself as an Elizabeth, while Max sees her more of Jane.

Here are my reasons why you should read The Start Of Me And You:

  • Seeing Max and Paige’s relationship grow – one of the most developed relationship in YA! They have a lot of cute moments. The ending of the book is so, so worth it.
  • Girl Power: Paige’s friends are amazing!! They help her out so much! They defend her, they love her. I like that they play a huge role in her life:

“In friendship we are all debtors. We all owe each other for a thousand small kindnesses, for little moments of grace in the chaos.”

  • If you’re looking for a cute story with not a lot of drama, then this one is perfect.
  • There are a couple sad moments that made me cry in this book. Bring out the tissues.

This book is amazing! I would love to see this book get adapted into a movie. I highly recommend reading this book!! Originally I was going to give it a 4.5 out of 5, but the more I marinated my whole reading experience, it was best to give it a perfect score. There isn’t anything that I would change about it.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

 

 

 

February Owlcrate Box 2016

The Book

the love that split the world Goodreads Synopsis: Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start… until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.

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I am amazed by this box! I was not expecting this book at all. I kept thinking that Starflight was going to be the book for this month. I will literally wear that tote bag everywhere  from now on. I love it!!! I may consider getting March’s box, even thought it’s a bit pricer than Uppercase.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

“Love is scary: it changes; it can go away. That’s the part of the risk. I don’t want to be scared anymore.”

Goodreads Synopsis: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

Commentary: spoilers

I found this book to be very okay. I really love the cover and this book is always recommended to me. I finally picked it up and I didn’t love it as much as I hoped I would have.

The story really picks up when Lara finds out that the letters she has written have been mailed to the five guys that she has loved. Josh is one of the recipients of the letters. He is Margot’s ex-boyfriend, and the typical boy next door. He receives a letter from “Lara Jean”, and his friendship with Lara Jean becomes rocky and confusing. Though Josh tries to figure out the reasoning behind the letter, Lara Jean pretends to be in a relationship with Peter, the most popular boy at school.  If I were in her shoes, I would have been very traumatized by that situation and would probably have to move to another city. Instead, Lara Jean kinda brushes that incident aside, and doesn’t really try to figure out who would send the letters.

Lara Jean was a really likable protagonist, she really felt realistic to me. Most people don’t like her as a protagonist, but I really liked her. Lara Jean reminds me of myself growing up. She is sheltered and naive, and a bit socially awkward. She likes spending her free time at home with her sisters, and loves to bake and knit. She’s not the type of girl most guys would go for. She writes letters to the boys she has loved to show she is over them. Those letters are for her eyes only, and the letters aren’t meant to be read. She tries to be mature now that her older sister has gone off to college. Lara Jean is very considerate of her family, especially her father. You can really tell that she loves her family.

Peter and Lara Jean pretend to be in a relationship, and they both start off not liking each other. Lara Jean used to love Peter before he got popular and started dating Genevieve. Peter and Lara Jean have a love-hate relationship. He’s cocky and always gets his way. He’s also a bit of a  As time progresses, there are many sides of Peter that get exposed. He’s a hard worker, and is devoted to Lara Jean even though she doesn’t realize it till the very end. I didn’t really like Peter, and I liked Josh more than Peter. Do I prefer Josh with Lara Jean? Oh heck no. I like Lara Jean and Josh as friends, besides it would be like backstabbing your own family if she got with Josh. This book isn’t about Josh and Lara, even though there is a “love triangle”. This book is about Lara Jean finally falling in love with Peter. Based on the title of the book, I thought each of the guys Lara Jean loved were going to play a huge role in the story, but they don’t. The title is a bit deceiving, but that’s just me. I really enjoyed Lara and Peter’s fake relationship, it was hilarious. But, I still don’t think Peter is a good person. For example, he would meet up with Genevieve when he was still in a fake relationship with Lara. Why would he do that? Like really?! The book never did resolve that issue with Peter. Even though, Peter has another side of him that no one gets to see, he is a bit of a jerk, and not even a likable jerk.

Now as for Lara Jean’s family, I really liked Katherine, aka Kitty. She is the lovable younger sister that is sometimes a trouble maker. She is the baby of the family, and I love the relationship she has with both sisters. Margot, on the other hand, I did not like. Lara Jean looks up to her older sister so much. Lara Jean always thinks about her older sister and how responsible Margot is. I found Margot to be bitter and condescending at times. I really didn’t like how she treated Lara when she returned back home. I get that Margot is so responsible and motherly, but I feel that she had more affection towards Kitty than Lara. Also when Margot told her father that Lara Jean had sex…that was a cold move. It was very hypocritical of Margot.

Overall, I really thought that the book was okay. I wasn’t satisfied with the ending…that is until I found out there was a sequel to the book! I will continue this series and can’t wait to see what happens next. Hopefully, Peter becomes more likable.

Quotes: 

“You’d rather make up a fantasy version of somebody in your head than be with a real person.”

“I want to say yes, but I don’t want to be with a boy whose heart belongs to somebody else. Just once, I want to be somebody else’s first choice”

“When someone’s been gone a long time, at first you save up all the things you want to tell them. You try to keep track of everything in your head. But it’s like trying to hold on to a fistful of sand: all the little bits slip out of your hands, and then you’re just clutching air and grit. That’s why you can’t save it all up like that.

Because by the time you finally see each other, you’re catching up only on the big things, because it’s too much bother to tell about the little things. But the little things are what make up life.”

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️  (3.5)

Top Ten Tuesday: Songs I Wish Were Books

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. If you want to join, please check out the blog!

This weeks theme is Songs I Wish Were Books! Every time I read any book, I like creating playlist for them. Now this week’s theme had me thinking of what songs would make awesome books. When I picked these songs, I kept thinking of contemporary books. Most of these songs are either a bit romantic and a bit sad. Anyways, here are my choices:

 

I want a lover, I don’t have to love
I want a girl, who’s too sad to give a fuck
Where is the kid with the chemicals?
I thought he said to meet him here
But I’m not sure
I got the money if you’ve got the time
You said, “It feels good”
I said, “I’ll give it a try”

Sometimes I cry so hard from pleading
So sick and tired of all the needless beating
But baby when they knock you
Down and out
Is where you oughta stay
And after all the blood that you still owe
Another dollar’s just another blow
So fix your eyes and get up
Better get up
While you can
Whoa, whoa
When you go
Would you even turn to say
“I don’t love you
Like I did
Yesterday”

Just like a star across my sky,
Just like an angel off the page,
You have appeared to my life,
Feel like I’ll never be the same,
Just like a song in my heart,
Just like oil on my hands,
Honour to love you
Still I wonder why it is,
I don’t argue like this,
With anyone but you,
We do it all the time,
Blowing out my mind

And if you have a minute, why don’t we go
Talk about it somewhere only we know?
This could be the end of everything
So why don’t we go somewhere only we know?
Somewhere only we know.

Oh simple thing, where have you gone?
I’m getting old and I need someone to rely on
So tell me when you’re gonna let me in
I’m getting tired and I need somewhere to begin

Maybe I know, somewhere
Deep in my soul
That love never lasts
And we’ve got to find other ways
To make it alone
But keep a straight face

And I’ve always lived like this
Keeping a comfortable, distance
And up until now
I had sworn to myself that I’m content
With loneliness

Because none of it was ever worth the risk

But, you are, the only exception
You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception
You are, the only exception

I wish i’d never fallen in love…
so deeply
I wish i’d never knew that love…
actually exists
I got your letter today
told me that you’re back in therapy
and i don’t know why but it still concerned me
But they tell me what’s the point of hurting
over something, that was nothing at all
I never used to be so gullible and vulnerable
but i guess with love nothing’s impossible
so…
I wish i’d never fallen in love…
so deeply
I wish i’d never knew that love…
actually exists

Remember when we were such fools
And so convinced and just too cool
Oh no, no, no
I wish I could touch you again
I wish I could still call you friend
I’d give anything
When someone said count your blessings now
‘Fore they’re long gone
I guess I just didn’t know how
I was all wrong
They knew better, still you said forever, and ever
Who knew?
‘Cause I could never call myself yours
And if we were really meant to be
Well, then we justify destiny
It’s not that our love died, just never really bloomed
No, I can’t let go , no, I can’t let go of you
You’re holding me back without even trying to
I can’t let go, I can’t move on from the past
Without lifting a finger you’re holding me back
Baby, baby, baby
From the day I saw you
Really, really wanted to catch your eye
Somethin’ special bout’ you
I must really like you
‘Cause not a lot of guys are worth my time
Oh baby, baby, baby
It’s getting kind of crazy
‘Cause you are taking over my mind
And it feels like ooh
You don’t know my name
I swear, it feels like ooh
You don’t know my name
(Round and round and round we go, will you ever know)

 

If you cannot stay down
Then you do not have to pretend
Like there is no way out
I shoulda never let you in
Cause you got me face down
And don’t take this personal
But you’re the worst
You know what you’ve done to me
And although it hurts I know
I just can’t keep runnin’ away

T5w: Books You Were Spoiled For

Top 5 Wednesday was created by GingerReadsLainey on youtube! You can also join the group on Goodreads. °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°

This week’s theme: Books You Were Spoiled For. I really try to avoid spoilers as much as I can, but there are instances when either a friend or Tumblr spoils a book for me. Sometimes it’s envitable, spoilers are always around the corner.

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Here are my picks:

  1. Harry Potter: Now, I did not grow up reading Harry Potter, it was about two years ago when I first picked the series up. I stopped watching the movies since the fourth one when it came out. Anyways, book 6 and 7 got spoiled for me. I still continued reading the series, but I would have been more emotional if I had not known what was going to happen.
  2. Mockingjay: After finishing Catching Fire, a friend spoiled the last book for me. I couldn’t pick up the last book. I ended up just watching the movies instead. Ha ha.
  3. Allegiant: I had no intentions of continuing the Divergent series. I don’t regret knowing the ending.
  4. Breaking Dawn: When I was a teenager way back in the day, I liked the Twilight Series. It was good, but not amazing. Anyways, I really liked Jacob. He was my favorite character, and once again, friends spoiled the ending for me. To this day, I have not touched Breaking Dawn even though it is collecting dust on my bookshelf.
  5. Flowers of Evil: It’s a Korean manhwa, that series was my guilty pleasure back in the day. My sister’s friend spoiled the ending. I was so close to finishing the series too, but I really hated the way it ended.

WWW Wednesday Feb 03, 2016

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. This week was such a great week! I read a bit more this week than last week! I ended up going to Disneyland and I got to see Beauty and The Beast, the musical, at Redondo Beach!! I’m trying to organize a reading schedule, so hopefully that all works out! I haven’t watched anime in a while. The last anime I started was Humanity Has Declined.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

faith and moonlightI am not a fan of the writing style, and it’s okay so far. This is a short novella, I thought it was going to be a bit longer.

What did you recently finish reading?

Risuko was amazing!! I really liked the story and I can’t wait to see what happens next! I definitely recommend picking up this book since it is available on NetGalley!! I also re-read The Snow Queen, I liked it more the first time around than this time. It’s a good fairy tale, but too short.

What do you think you’ll read next?

chasing spring

Chasing Spring was recently released, and I want to read it as soon as I can. I love the cover! It is a romance book, ideal for this month!

 

Top 5 Wednesday: Disappointing Eye Candy

Top 5 Wednesday was created by GingerReadsLainey on youtube! You can also join the group on Goodreads. °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°

This week’s topic is Disappointing Eye Candy! This one is a very interesting one!!! Ha ha! Here are my choices:

  1. Hated this series!! I picked this book up thinking it was going to be amazing, and nope, nope, nope. It was not!! There was only one good book in this series.11408650
  2. I have a strong love-hate relationship with this series, but I love the covers.51rsxhScWmL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
  3. I love the manga covers, hated this series with a passion.
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  4. Beautiful cover, but horrendous poems.18003300
  5.  One of my favorite covers, but oh boy, this book was not what I expected it to be! 23255448

WWW Wednesday Jan 27, 2016

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. I had a great reading week compared to last year! I started rewatching The X Files on Netflix!!! It’s such a great show! I’m in love with Agent Mulder. Also, I am currently watching the Korean drama She Was Pretty! I really like Siwon’s acting and I’m three episodes away from finishing it!! This week was amazing!!! Lastly, I can’t wait to see Beauty and The Beast this Saturday at Redondo Beach!!! I hope you guys are having a great week like I am!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

risuko

So far, it’s great! I am really enjoying it!!! I already read all the books I wanted to read for this January and I’ve rewarded myself with this one!! I love the cover and can’t wait to discuss it once I’m finished.

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What did you recently finish reading?

the night parade

The Night Parade was such a fun book!! I really liked it! The cover is beautiful and the protagonist definitely grows on you!

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Snow Queen

The cover is gorgeous!!! Hopefully I’ll get to reading this book soon!!!

Da Vinci’s Tiger by L.M. Elliot: Book Review

“I beg your pardon, I am a mountain tiger.”

Goodreads Synopsis: Young, beautiful, and witty, Ginevra de’ Benci longs to take part in the artistic ferment of Renaissance Florence. But as the daughter of a wealthy family in a society dictated by men, she is trapped in an arranged marriage, expected to limit her creativity to domestic duties. Her poetry reveals her deepest feelings, and she aches to share her work, to meet painters and sculptors mentored by the famed Lorenzo de Medici, and to find love.

When the charismatic Venetian ambassador, Bernardo Bembo, arrives in Florence, he introduces Ginevra to a dazzling circle of patrons, artists, and philosophers—a world of thought and conversation she has yearned for. She is instantly attracted to the handsome newcomer, who admires her mind as well as her beauty. Yet Ginevra remains conflicted about his attentions. Choosing her as his Platonic muse, Bembo commissions a portrait by a young Leonardo da Vinci. Posing for the brilliant painter inspires an intimate connection between them—one Ginevra can only begin to understand. In a rich and enthralling world of exquisite art, elaborate feasts, and exhilarating jousts, she faces many temptations to discover her voice, artistic companionship, and a love that defies categorization. In the end, she and Leonardo are caught up in a dangerous and deadly battle between powerful families.

Commentary: Da Vinci’s Tiger was Owlcrate’s December book of last year. I was beyond excited to read it and the synopsis sounded very promising! When I finally got around to reading the book, it was not what I expected at all.

What I appreciate about this book is that the author took her time to research her history! It was obvious that the author wanted to make her novel as accurate as possible. I really liked what I learned about that time! It was a bit tough reading some parts in this book especially how men treated women. I didn’t like the protagonist’s uncle, her husband, nor her love interests. I like Ginevra since she is intelligent and feisty at times, but I didn’t completely love her. The book was too short for me to grow attached to her. Ginevra and the other secondary female characters were far more likable than the men, for the exception of Ginevra’s brother.

Initially, I thought this was going to be a passionate, romance novel. Oh I was wrong. This was not what I expected. There is hardly any romance. The two love interests are not swoon worthy at all. One is an ambitious ambassador, while the other one is eccentric. I was not a big fan of this love triangle, and it wasn’t done well. I thought Leonardo was going to have a bigger role in Ginevra’s life, but he is just a painter. I was expecting more conversations between Ginevra and him, but that did not happen either. Even though it’s too early to rank the worst book of 2016, this one is already a contender. The book just seemed to drag on and on. Also, there was not much romance in this book. I did love the world building, but it felt as if the author forgot about the characters. By the time I finished the book, I thought about the plot itself and let me tell you this: there is no plot.

I couldn’t relate to the characters and it overall felt bland. It did take me a while to finish this book because it was so boring. There was not much action going on at all. Even though this book is less than 300 pages, I kept falling asleep every single time I tried reading this book. I wouldn’t recommend this book at all. It was bland all together and not memorable whatsoever.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️