ARC: Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Since she was seven years old, Yvonne has had her trusted violin to keep her company, especially in those lonely days after her mother walked out on their family. But with graduation just around the corner, she is forced to face the hard truth that she just might not be good enough to attend a conservatory after high school.

Full of doubt about her future, and increasingly frustrated by her strained relationship with her successful but emotionally closed-off father, Yvonne meets a street musician and fellow violinist who understands her struggle. He’s mysterious, charming, and different from Warren, the familiar and reliable boy who has her heart. But when Yvonne becomes unexpectedly pregnant, she has to make the most difficult decision yet about her future.

Commentary:

Perhaps, I am getting older because it is hard for me to find a good contemporary YA book that pleases me in this day and age. Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert was a choice. The synopsis was intriguing, the plot did seem something out of the CW, so I took a chance on the book. I did receive Finding Yvonne in Yallwest, but opinions are all my own. So, this is a unpopular opinion. Considering the reviews I have seen for the book, there aren’t much negative reviews. This book was an experience, and I was left shaking my head due to certain events that played out. That being said, this will be a rant review with spoilers.
Starting on a positive note, I did enjoy how Yvonne was unapologetic about herself and her sexuality. I have no issues with a character’s sexuality. Yvonne was confident about her body and her choices. That being said, she made a lot of questionable decisions. I will say that the pregnancy aspect of the book did not play a major role as I had anticipated. The pregnancy revelation was placed near the last third of the book. The synopsis presents a story of how a pregnant Yvonne has to chose the right path due to her circumstances…but, the reality was not the case.
It is hard for me to comprehend the actions of Yvonne, especially when it came to her relationships. So, Yvonne was seeing her father’s sous chef, Warren, but it was not an exclusive relationship. The relationship between Warren and Yvonne was secretive because of the age difference between the two. Warren was protective of Yvonne, and did not want to be sexually engaged with her until she was officially 18. It seemed like Yvonne wanted her relationship with Warren to move at a faster pace. I felt myself siding with Warren because she was underage. Though the age difference was not extreme, it seemed that Yvonne disregarded it for the sake of love. I rolled my eyes…but this was not as bad as The Beau and The Belle by R.S. Grey, a book that I had several issues with…
Yvonne was happy in her relationship despite not being official. When she and Warren hang out in Venice Beach, she finds herself completely and utterly drawn by a street musician named Omar. Despite being in a complicated relationship with Warren, she falls completely head over heels for Omar. A major issue I had with this book was the cheating aspect. Yvonne does get into a major fight with Warren because he chose to work on her birthday, and she reacts by destroying the birthday cake that Warren bought her. Yvonne also seeks out Omar, and considers hanging out with him…DESPITE NOT KNOWING THE GUY!
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The story tried to establish a love triangle, but it was lame. I felt uncomfortable with how Yvonne was seeing Omar, while she had her fight with Warren. Yvonne lies about her relationship status to both men. Instead of being rational and calling her relationship off with Warren, she peruses each man. I fully did not trust Omar, he seemed a bit shady…but instead of getting to know Omar, she has sex with him on her first official date with him. It does not help that she continues seeing Warren, and has sex with him a week after she has had sex with Omar. I assumed that she was going to get pregnant by Omar, but I was surprised. As mentioned previously, her pregnancy does not play a major role in this book. NOR WILL YOU FIND OUT WHO THE REAL FATHER IS!
Literally, this book was about Finding Yvonne, and how she was going to deal with her relationships, ambitions, and career choices. I was not the biggest fan of Yvonne because she did have several immature moments. In my opinion, she manipulated both guys. I knew Omar was shady, which did end up being true. Yvonne goes through minimal growth. It seems that she is used to getting praises all the time. For example, growing up she received praises for her violin skills, and then as a teen, she thrived off praises for her baking skills. I really wanted Yvonne to be an awesome character. The only character that I liked by far was her best friend Sabine. Sabine was looking out for her friend, and even warned Yvonne that she could be potentially used. Sabine was supportive, and dealt with Yvonne’s unnecessary drama and antics. Kudos to Sabine for being the true MVP of this book.
Final Rating: ⭐⭐
Publication Date: August 7th 2018

20 by Vastal Surti

20 by vastal surti

goodreads-synopsis

‘It’s really hitting me where I live. Prose poetry about what it feels like to be young and have the whole world caught inside your throat.’ – Lena Dunham

The story of a young model and an introspective writer, “20” is a novel about loneliness, love, hopes and dreams.

One night as she is driving back home from a show, she almost runs over someone. She holds her breath, and through the fog they see each other for the first time. Love begins to form in the space between them, in precognitions and thoughts, lights and intimacies. Seasons change. They come to know more things about each other. Life wraps them in its embrace like a haze, in a vacant space bigger than their eyes can see.
Fans of Haruki Murakami will enjoy this atmospheric and deeply felt debut.

commentary

I received 20 on Netgalley for an honest review, all opinions are my own.

Reading 20 by Vastal Surti was an experience. 20 is the type of book that you have to read the whole way through. The writing is beautiful and poetic. It mesmerized me. But is 20 a book that I will remember reading as time passes by? It’s hard to say for now. I can recommend this book on a rainy day with a nice cup of coffee.

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“Sometimes I was filled with such loneliness. My teenage years were so difficult. I try to please everyone, and I distance myself. Nothing seems real sometimes. I search for meaning in mundane events. I seek identity in empty relationships. All my life I have tried to find a place in this world…”

When reading 20, I was amazed that the protagonists remained unnamed. It felt that I was glimpsing into the life of a young adult who was suffering through her moments of depression. The books deals with themes of isolation and depression, and feeling alienated in the world. If I can sum it up in a phrase it would be this: the struggles of being a young adult, not really feeling complete as an adult.

“She carried a thousand lights inside her heart, and a thousand lights carried her.

The book did get repetitive for me, but I was able to connect with the characters. The book is relatable, no doubt. It’s an experience. But, I do feel it can be a bit forgettable as well. The first half of the book was stronger than the second part of the book. The second half felt a bit rushed.

I keep drinking coffee again and again. I don’t even like it that much anymore, but I can’t stop. It’s like becoming obsessed with someone you don’t even like. It gives you nothing but seems like everything.

As for the romance, it did feel one sided. The girl protagonist was more into her partner, and it felt that her love interest was not reciprocating his feelings back to her. The protagonists found each other by chance. Both characters were experiencing moments of not really feeling their lives until they found each other.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

miriam-michelle

First Impressions: Love Is Like After The Rain | 恋は雨上がりのように Vol. I by Jun Mayuzuki

Manga First Impressions

MAL Synopsis: Akira Tachibana is a soft-spoken high school student who used to be a part of the track and field club but, due to an injury, she is no longer able to run as fast as she once could. Working part-time at a family restaurant as a recourse, she finds herself inexplicably falling love with her manager, a divorced 45-year-old man with a young son.

Despite the age gap, Akira wholeheartedly embraces his mannerisms and kind nature, which is seen as spinelessness by the other employees, and little by little, the two begin to understand each other. Although unable to explain why exactly she is attracted to him, Akira believes that a concrete reason is not needed to truly love someone. On a rainy day, she decides to finally tell her manager about how she feels… But just how will he react?

*The Goodreads Synopsis is not that good compared to the MAL Synopsis*

I stumbled upon Love Is Like After The Rain while browsing for new manga to read online. I really liked the cover art and read the synopsis. Yes, I understand that the manga might be taboo. The main protagonist is Akira Tachibana who is still in high school and has fallen for a man who is old enough to be her father. I was intrigued, and was still hesitant to read it because I was worry that this was going to be a perversive love story. I still ended up reading Love is Like After The Rain and I really like it.

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Akira is not giving the time nor day for this guy.

Akira is popular among the boys, but she has no interest in them. She often tends to be alone in class and avoid any situations that will put her in awkward situations. One thing is for certain and that is that she loves working at her job. In this first volume there are glimpses of how Akira came to work for her manager. She used to be a track and field star but injured herself and quit her team because of it. I have a feeling that later on in the story it is going to be revealed what cause her injury. I even suspect that once she quit track and field that she had might have ghosted her other team members and lost friendships.

The first volume has comedy, but it focuses more on Akira observing the life around her. What I really liked is how her manager misinterprets Akira’s behavior. Akira might look cold and angry, but she is the complete opposite of that. Based on this first volume, the love is one sided. The manager does care for Akira and even goes out of his way to help her, but are the feelings there for Akira yet? Not in this volume. Am I a fan of the potential romance? At this moment, I can say no. I do believe the more Akira gets to know her manager more, feelings will develop but I honestly believe that as a couple they won’t be endgame. I feel that by the last volume they might end up with completely different people. Who knows, I might be completely wrong and they might end up together living happily ever after. As for now, I’ll continue reading the manga just to see what happens in this story.

Lastly, this manga is getting an anime adaptation!! 

 

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Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3.5)

The Gods Lie by Kaori Ozaki

Natsuru Nanao, a 6th grader who lives alone with his mother, strikes up an unlikely friendship with the reserved and driven Rio Suzumura. Natsuru plays hookey from soccer camp that summer, and instead of telling the truth to his mother, he spends all his time with Rio and her kid brother at their rickety house, where a dark secret threatens to upend their fragile happiness.

Add to Goodreads

I kept seeing this manga being advertised on my Amazon recommendations, and I decided to check it out. I read this manga in under an hour. I do recommend checking out the The Gods Lie from the library rather than buying it.

When it came to The Gods Lie, I was captivated by the cover and the title. The title is what drew me in. I did not anticipate finishing the manga in less than an hour. The Gods Lie felt rushed. There was not enough material for me to be satisfied. I felt that The Gods Lie could have had at least five more chapters to have a solid, well rounded story that could have been memorable for readers.

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What I liked from reading The Gods Lie was the unlikely romance between Natsuru Nanao and Rio Suzumura. I felt that there relationship was cute, but I did not like that how rushed the romance was given this manga was five chapters long. So the romance was very fast paced for me. It felt as if they became friends and suddenly they fell in love with each other. I also liked that The Gods Lie dealt with maturity, especially for Rio Suzumara’s case. Rio had to be the adult in her family despite being a pre-teen. While her classmates were enjoying their youth, Rio had to be an adult. She had to tackle the responsibilities that were literally thrown to her. In addition, Rio and her younger brother had to deal with abandonment from their father. Rio had to be both mother and father to her younger brother without the help from any other relative. At the same time, Natsuru learns about Rio’s situation and becomes her protector. Natsuru learns to love Rio despite their differences.

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As for the twist, I did see it coming. The manga does give small hints about the twist. So when it was revealed, it was sad but not shocking to say the least. The ending had a hopeful ending for the protagonists. T Originally I was going to rate The Gods Lie a four out of five, but after much thought this manga is a solid three.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Tokyo Tarareba Girls Vol. 1 by Akiko Higashimura

“I spent all my time wondering ‘what if,’ then one day I woke up and I was 33.” She’s not that bad-looking, but before she knew it, Rinko was thirty-something and single. She wants to be married by the time the Tokyo Olympics roll around in six years, but…that might be easier said than done! The new series by Akiko Higashimura erupts with sharp opinions on girls and tons of laughs!!

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When I heard that the creator of Princess Jellyfish had another manga she was working on, I had to check it out. Princess Jellyfish is an amazing manga that I fell in love with. I got Tokyo Tarareba Girls Volume 1 for free when I went to Anime Expo at the Book Walker booth. Unfortunately, Tokyo Tarareba Girls is only available as an ebook file for English readers. I would have to continue buying the ebook if I want to continue to read Tokyo Tarareba Girls, which I don’t mind. I would love having a physical copy of the book instead, but oh well. Also, there is a Japanese Drama adaptation.

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Tokyo Tarareba Girls is extremely relatable for women that are getting older and have stayed single. The story’s protagonist is Rinko. She is a career woman that has not dated since her last boyfriend proposed to her ten years ago. She is 33 years old and realizes that her biological clock is ticking. Rinko has spent her life focused on herself and knows her youth is fading. She and her group of best friends gather to drink at a pub and complain about life and marriage.

When people want to set you up with someone

I found Tokyo Tarareba Girls to be a hilarious take on the pressures to get married by a certain age, especially if you are a woman. This manga tackles social norms of society. Society wants women to be a certain way. You have to settle down and have kids. Rinko knows that younger women in their 20s are her competition when it comes to dating and her career. Rinko is also pure of heart. She has the innocence of girl, though she is a woman. What I love about Tokyo Tarareba Girls is how anyone can read this manga and relate. The comedy was by far my favorite aspect of the story, especially the situations that Rinko was involved in. As for the love interest, I am really interested to see how it is going to be developed since the guy is younger than Rinko. I can’t wait to continue reading Tokyo Tarareba Girls because I see the potential in this story. I really want the story to focus on Rinko’s friends and their potential romances in further volumes!!

Feeling Hollow

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

ARC: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Geekerella

goodreads-synopsis

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?

Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.

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I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me an ARC of Geekerella by Amy Poston. All opinions are my own.

I am completely blown away by Geekerella. I went into the book with no expectations. I love my Cinderella retellings, and so I decided to check this one out. Why didn’t anyone tell me that Geekerella was going to be so good?! It was that good!  I am still shocked that I managed to finish Geekerella in the span of two days. I devoured the book, I had so much fun reading Geekerella. I might even re-read again because it was too good!

Alright, so Geekerella is a Cinderella retelling that made my fandom heart melt. If you loved reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, you need to pick up Geekerella. Do it now! If you’re in any fandom, you’ll appreciate Geekerella. This book made me feel really happy. (It’s been a while folks…ha ha) It follows the basic Cinderella plot. Evil step-mother, evil step-sisters, and a charming romantic love interest. What made Geekerella stand out was that the main protagonists were nerdy and oh so adorable. They were both perfect for each other, it was meant to be. I loved reading both Elle and Darien’s perspective. Both characters had such great development. I was rooting for my two precious babies. Though, I did prefer Elle a lot more. She was so innocent and deserving of happiness. Elle was passionate about her fandom, and she defended it like there was no tomorrow. She was misunderstood and quirky, and a bit stubborn, but had a heart of gold.Elle’s love for her father and her fandom was so cute. Darien was charming, but he all he wanted to be was a normal person, not just an actor. He wanted a normal life, and had to deal with a lot of hate against him. He was coping with bullies and fame. He couldn’t trust people because he was betrayed by his best friend. I have to admit that there were a couple sad moments in the book, I did cry a bit.

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It had so many positive themes, like never giving up when things are impossible. I was immediately charmed by both characters. Elle and Darien had their own conflicts that they needed to resolve. Elle and Darien felt like two unwanted people in their worlds until they found each other. I love how Elle and Darien have back and forth conversations with each other anonymously.

As for the side characters, Sage was my favorite. She is Elle’s co-worker who soon becomes her best friend. I found it really cute how Elle introduced Sage to Starfield. She always pushed Elle to stand up for herself and not give up so quickly. I loved rebellious attitude. She is Elle’s punk rock fairy Godmother. I loved how Sage was a loyal friend to Elle no matter what. I wished there could have been a bit more moments with Sage and her love interest though!

If I can nominate a book to get a live action movie, it would be Geekerella. Can you imagine a cosplay ball and how beautiful it would be? The cosplay ball was absolutely cute, one of my favorite parts in Geekerella. Overall Geekerella was a magical contemporary book that made my heart swoon. Recommend it? Heck yes!

Publication Date: April 4th 2017 by Quirk Books

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4.5)

Aisuru by Anma Natsu

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goodreads-synopsis

“You told me before that you’d never regret meeting me. Do you still feel that way now?”

Eighteen-year-old Sakura has spent her high school years living in self-imposed isolation. She’s carefully perfected her role as a cold, stuck up snob at school to keep her classmates, her teacher, the world at a distance so they will never learn the truth: about the night her father’s mental illness tore her world apart, leaving her an orphan and living on borrowed time.

To help her get through the pain, the kind man who adopted her would spin fantastical stories about his childhood friend Kazuki, a magical yokai from another world. Harmless fairy tales to take her mind off things, or so she always thought…

Until the night she finds Kazuki lying wounded in her garden. With the handsome yokai now sharing her house, a jealous young tengu living in her cherry tree, and new friends pushing their way past her walls, Sakura’s stoic acceptance of her fate is slipping.

But is she only opening herself up to further heartache and regret or is she opening the door to a happiness she never imagined possible?

 

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I received Aisuru  on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect of Aisuru. I haven’t seen many reviews on the internet, but I decided to go ahead and read it. What got me to read the book was the synopsis since it sounded like a blend of contemporary and fantasy. I was intrigued by the characters, especially Sakura. Aisuru reminded me a bit of Inuyasha and Kamisama Hajimemashita, just the whole human-yokai romantic relationship, but that’s just it.

What I was expecting was an action-paced book filled with a lot of magical scenarios and political drama. Now what I got was different than what I expected. It was good, but it wasn’t bad. I was a tad disappointed that most of the book focused on Hakodate, Japan rather than the magical kingdom of Throklana.

Alright, basic plot of the book is that Sakura is dying and has less than a year of life left. Sakura tries to be an ice queen to those around her. Most of her classmates have invented rumors about her due to her cold personality. Though Sakura puts on an act, she is actually sweet and caring. She has hidden her illness from everyone; she wants to be treated like a normal girl. She wants to do many things in her life, but knows she can’t achieve those goals. When I was reading Sakura’s pov, I did tear up. Sakura was very accepting of her fate in the beginning of the story. As chapters progressed, it became harder for her to accept her death. Though Sakura has little character growth in the book, she at least tried to live as a normal girl. She got to accomplish some of her goals on her bucket list. One of my favorite moments of the book was the introduction of Sakura’s classmates that eventually became her friends. I have to say that this book did really great when it came to friendship.

I was actually surprised that this book was a bit dark at some times. Sakura’s past was extremely sad, especially what happened to her parents. Though she was adopted into a loving home after the traumatizing events of her childhood, she grew up mostly independent. That’s one thing that I really liked about Sakura, she always did her best no matter her limitations.

Moving on to Kazuki, I felt okay about him. Kazuki is the yokai prince who is supposed to take over the kingdom while his father is on his pilgrimage. Kazuki never wanted to be king. He is the oldest sibling, but he knows that his younger brother is far more capable of being the next crown king. The author didn’t really give a great description of his features besides his long claws and white hair. So I imagined him like this that whole time:

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Though Tomoe is a far more better character than Kazuki, just saying.

Kazuki was a good guy, but a horrible leader. Here’s the thing: his kingdom is in turmoil and his brother turned against him. What does Kazuki do? Reside in the human realm and leaves his kingdom in hands of his advisors. He abandoned the throne, and though his duty is to the kingdom, he never really does anything to contribute anything. I can see why he is fascinated with the human world, but it annoyed me that it wasn’t till 75% of the book that he decided to take action. As I’ve mentioned, he was a good guy…he did have some cute moments especially with Karasu. Now Karasu was one of my favorite characters in the story. He is a yokai as well and very devoted to his master. He initially hates Sakura and doesn’t trust her whatsoever. I found Karasu to be an adorable jealous little brother. He had a sad backstory that I wish got expanded more!

Anyways, I thought that Aisuru was going have a lot of action, but I got more of a contemporary vibe. Most of the book was spent on Kazuki and Sakura doing normal errands such as cleaning, or cooking. It seemed that this was going to be a book filled with insta-love, but I am glad that the author tried to build up the romance. There wasn’t much tension between the two characters and the kiss happened out of nowhere.

As for the whole plot, I thought it could have been great if there was no conflict in the yokai realm. Since most of the book took place in the human realm, it felt a bit too much to have two conflicts because Sakura was the main focus throughout the book. The conflict in Kazuki’s realm was ignored till the end!! But, despite Aisuru’s flaws, I did find myself enjoying the book. The book did have a villain! Surprise, surprise it wasn’t the brother. I assumed it was another character…since the villain didn’t get introduced till 50% of the book. I won’t give much away, but just wow.

What I liked:

  • Sakura’s pov
  • Karasu
  • The ending was cute

I feel that Aisuru could have made a good graphic novel since the author is inspired by Japanese culture. I was mostly thinking of anime when reading this book!

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3.5)

miriam-michelle

12 Dares Of Christmas by Leigh W. Stuart

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goodreads-synopsis

Lauren Hall has one wish for Christmas this year—raise money to build a new, no-kill animal shelter for the town of Sycamore Cove. And she is prepared to do anything to make it happen. Even dare a man she just met to perform a strip tease for the local knitting society.

Gabe Nicholson has one wish too—obtain the job of a lifetime to launch his career. Only his wishes get snowballed when his best friend’s little sister hands him a pair of stripper pants and a bottle of eggnog-flavored body oil.

It’s all sugar plums and mistletoe until a scandal caused by Lauren’s fundraiser threatens to ruin it all. With Gabe’s work opportunities disappearing before his eyes and Lauren’s fundraising efforts tanking, their game of dares stands to burn them both. Unless it ignites a spark of Christmas magic.

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I received 12 Dares of Christmas on NetGalley.

Hey guys, are you looking for a cute romance book just for the holidays? Let me tell you that 12 Dares of Christmas is not the book for you! It wasn’t the synopsis that got me to read the book, but the cover. I thought to myself, “this book looks cute.” Oh, was I wrong.

Normally, I don’t read romance books, but I decided to give it a chance. I was in the mood to read a Christmas book. I didn’t imagine an erotic filled book. That was not what I was expecting. Oh Lord.

I’ll keep it short: Avoid it.

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You see, the main characters don’t have a chance to slowly fall in love. I assumed this was going to be a slow burn romance. Nope, that’s not the case. Instead you are presented with a lot of sexual dares and most of the time I was skipping ahead to see how this travesty was going to end. Did I get attached to the characters? Not really.

All I know about the two protagonists is that both want new job opportunities. Lauren works hard for her causes such as raising money for a new animal shelter. She doesn’t have much of a love life because of her over-protective brother. Some of the things she does are a bit questionable…such as hiring a male stripper to entertain older women, but she has a good heart. Gabe is the “sexy” best friend of Lauren’s brother. Gabe knows that Lauren is off limits because of her over-protective brother. Gabe doesn’t really know Lauren, yet fate brings them together. When Lauren finds herself without a stripper, guess who becomes one by default. Yes, Gabe does. Their lives are intertwined because of that event.

The two characters fall for each other instantly. It is a book about lust and sex. There were some stereotypical situations…and I hated the dares…there I said it!

Final Rating: 💔  (0.5)

miriam-michelle

Barcelona: A Love Untold (2016) | Movie Review

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Had the opportunity to watch Barcelona: A Love Untold at the theatre yesterday. I attended with my fiancé and I didn’t have many high expectations for the film. What I was expecting was a romantic comedy set in Barcelona. I had no idea what the plot was going to be about. I saw the trailer on TV. I’m trying to learn Tagalog, so I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to watch Barcelona: A Love Untold.

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Anyways, I was pleasantly surprised with what I watched. Daniel Padilla stars as Ely, an architect in Barcelona working hard on his education. From the moment, he was introduced; you could tell that he has endured a lot. I sensed that he went through something dramatic, but that’s just me.  Kathryn Bernardo plays Mia is a girl who ran away from her family in the Philippines in order to redeem herself. She’s a cry baby, and is not used to hard labor. She has a snobby feel to her, but there’s more that meets the eye when it comes to her character. Mia loves her sisters dearly, and has a troubled relationship with her father. Mia feels ashamed for her actions and does whatever it takes to better herself.

The basic plot is that Mia and Ely’s lives cross in Barcelona. Ely is immediately drawn to Mia since she reminds him of his past love, Celine. Though the physical similarity is uncanny, she is not Celine.

What I loved about the film was the cinematography. This movie felt like it had a high budget. Every scenery was beautiful. Spain’s beauty was wonderfully displayed well. Also, kudos to the actors for learning Spanish for their roles. I found myself laughing at certain points of the movie because the hilarious situations. One of my favorite moments was when Ely was covered completely in soap head to toe. I don’t really want to spoil much, but I loved the slow burn romance between Ely and Mia. Very entertaining.  What I loved was Mia’s character arc. Mia changes from the moment she is introduced to the end. She isn’t taken seriously by others around her. She turns her life around knowing that she has to change and prove that she is a hard worker. Honestly, I didn’t expect Mia to survive in Barcelona for her lack of Spanish. But she did! She’s a wiser person by the end of the movie.

Ely also goes through his own character arc. Before Mia was introduced in his life, he was very serious and had personal sadness in his life. He notices himself changing, especially when he drops his guard around Mia. Both actors had a lot of chemistry, and it felt natural the way both characters were falling for each other. The romance was a slow buildup. Ely and Mia’s relationship had several up and down bought by tragedy.

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The feels. 

Moving on to the conflicts arising from both parties, the solutions were dealt with by the end of the film. I didn’t know in what direction the film was going to end. This might be my favorite movie from the Philippines. Coincidentally my second favorite Filipino film is She’s Dating The Gangster which stars Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo. There’s hardly any moments of cheesiness when it comes to the film. A perfect blend of drama with well written characters. Lastly, this film deals with death, love, forgiveness, and change. It was such a beautiful movie that had far more drama than comedic moments. Would I watch this film again? Yes, I would. And would I recommend it? Absolutely.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

maybe someday.jpgAuthor: Colleen Hoover

Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Goodreads Synopsis: Contains exclusive content: songs from Griffin Peterson

Sydney is living in an idyllic bubble—she’s a dedicated student with a steady job on the side. She lives with her best friend, has a great boyfriend, and the music coming from the balcony opposite hers is fast becoming the soundtrack to her life. But when Sydney finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, the bubble bursts. The mysterious and attractive man behind the music, Ridge, gives Sydney hope that she can move on and they begin to write songs together. But moving on is harder than she expects, Sydney can only hope….

Maybe someday…

Colleen Hoover draws you in to this passionate tale of music, love and betrayal…

overall feelings copy

I’ve never read a Colleen Hoover book until now. I’ve notice that readers have a love-hate relationship with her books. I came in with no expectations of her books. Maybe Someday is everyone’s favorite. My favorite reviewers absolutely love Maybe Someday, and I was hoping for the best when I picked this book.

Maybe Someday had an interesting concept since it dealt with cheating. Starting off, Sydney’s life is turned upside down when she discovers her boyfriend and best friend having an affair behind her back. She feels betrayed by both of them, and she was completely unaware of what was happening to her. The best that Sydney does for herself is packing her belongings since she can no longer call her apartment a home. Ridge is her neighbor that lives in the apartment complex across from her. He is the mysterious guitar player that Sydney feels a connection to. For the first couple of chapters, the book alternates between the past and present. Ridge isn’t some stranger as I had initially thought. Ridge and Sydney become friends due to their shared connection of music. He writes the music, while Sydney is the lyricist. Because of Sydney’s almost homelessness when she leaves her apartment, Ridge decides it is best for Sydney to live with him and his roommates for the time being. The chemistry between Ridge and Sydney is undeniable. Maybe Someday is a slow burn romance filled with a lot of unnecessary angst.

Maybe Someday was an interesting book, because I had a love-relationship with the story. Starting off with what I enjoyed was how likable Ridge started off in the beginning. I’ve never read a book where the male protagonist was deaf. It made the book far more interesting than I had anticipated. He was sweet and caring, and I found myself liking Ridge. Also, I enjoyed the soundtrack that accompanied the book, which was really cool. I’ve never read a book that had a companion album until this book. My favorite song off the soundtrack was I’m In Trouble. I found myself liking Maggie far more than I like Sydney. Though Maggie was a secondary character, I enjoyed her far more than the main protagonist. She was fun, mature, and overall such a nice character. It was hard to dislike her even though Sydney was the main protagonist.

I disliked Sydney a lot. She was very troublesome for me. I felt she was being unnecessarily extra. At some points of the book, I found her to be mature, but most of the time she was acting like a child. She was very angry during certain situations. She was very jealous, and the same goes for Ridge. Ridge, the guy who I found to be charming became the opposite. He was very controlling over Sydney even though he had a girlfriend. Spoiler alert: I was bothered with how he and Sydney decided to stay silent over the kiss fiasco and he never told Maggie anything. He and Maggie have been together for years, and he never decides to tell her what went on with he and Sydney. I found Ridge far more guilty of cheating that Sydney.

One of my biggest issues was how SYDNEY WHO RECENTLY BROKE UP WITH HER BOYFRIEND FALLS IN LOVE WITH A TAKEN MAN. SYDNEY DOESN’T EVEN HAVE A CHANCE TO PROPERLY HEAL AND SHE FALLS IN LOVE WITH RIDGE. (I’ve never used caps lock for any review until this book.) I sympathized a lot with Warren when it came with the Sydney situation.

I did not like the way Colleen Hoover described certain female characters. For example, Tori was described as a bimbo Barbie and most of the time Bridgette was labeled a bitch. I felt uncomfortable with those characters descriptions. It felt as if Colleen was trying to make Sydney seem far more likable, which was the complete opposite for me. As for the ending of the book, I felt it could have ended in a nicely, wrapped package but did it really have to end with the characters having sex??? The chapters before the sex scene could have ended the book on a far happier note. I would have given it a higher rating, but then they had to had sex for the final chapter. I have no issues with sex in books, but after all of what both characters went through, it made the book weaker for me. Maybe Someday more like Maybe Not. Lastly, Maggie rocks.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️