19 March 2019

It's a Four out of Five for My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Forget the romance. It was great and all. Jase said all the right things at the right moment. Nothing over the top cheesy. Samantha took it all in like a sport, no unnecessary pushback for the sake of a plot. Really not much to say about it. I loved it. 

What I truly enjoyed about this book was the emphasis on FAMILY. Samantha and Jase had different family dynamics at home and they both faced them head on in spite of the unfavorable circumstances. 

I just love the fact that it all seemed believable. You know how sometimes authors just seem to enjoy throwing too many crappy situations at the characters to get from point A to point B? That wasn’t the case at all here. None of the conflicts seemed out of place. The story flowed beautifully. I was left feeling empty when I turned the last page. I want more of these characters!

Just when I thought I’m slowly becoming a YA snob, I come across this book. And I’m glad. My Life Next Door is a reminder that no matter how old I get, YA contemporary books will always be special to me.

17 March 2019

FRUSTRATING: Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Tahereh Mafi

I put myself through this. I willingly cracked open the sequel knowing fully that I didn’t enjoy the first book. I feel like I’m a glutton for punishment. 

I don’t understand why there were so many chapters dedicated to Juliette’s inner monologues. She’s a misunderstood girl with good intentions but with little to no control over her powers. And she feels horrible for everything she did. She just wants people to like her. 

Please! We get it! Move on! Time for some character growth! 

But it doesn’t happen. At least not until the very end of the book, which is just sad and pointless. If it was meant as a teaser for the third book then it came too late. Juliette spent way too much time feeling conflicted and sorry for herself. And I spent equally as much time hating her. 

And what is with the sudden Warner sympathy? In what world is being a murderous sociopath okay? (In THIS one apparently, doy!) Juliette tries to justify this by saying he’s never known good in his life so he can’t help who he is. OH MY GOD, STOP. Why are bad guys in love triangles given so much slack? Because you want them to be end game so bad? I would understand if Warner simply had an attitude, a teeny tiny bad streak. But noooo, he tortures people, kills them too. Giving his actions and his character way too much context to make him come out on top is pushing it too far and I hate that the author did this. What impression are we leaving young readers? That it’s okay to like extremely bad guys who hurt us (and others) because they had a rough upbringing? 

Newsflash: Voldemort also had a bad childhood but no one gives a crap. He’s evil. Plain and simple. 

What’s even more frustrating is that I had to read through pages of Juliette feeling confused over her feelings for Adam AND Warner. So much juicy conflict, right? Ugh, no. I honestly think that she only developed feelings for him because they’re both horrible people and Warner can’t die from kissing her. (Talk about meant to be!) The truth is that easy but yet again there were far too many pages making it less so. 

Then there’s the kind writing that Mafi used in this series. I thought I had gotten over it in Shatter Me but I realize that it’s been so long since I read it that I may have forgotten how annoyed I felt at that time. There’s the excessive use of “and” and em dashes (lots of stuttering!), the lack of punctuation (seriously, I feel out of breath just reading it in my mind), and the all too flowery descriptions that often times sound wrong. 

Perhaps the only light in this book for me is Kenji. He’s the most vibrant character in the book and probably the only sane person who drops truth bombs every time Juliette forgets to check herself. But given the many faults in this book, even though I want to, I can’t bump my rating up just for Kenji. If anything, Kenji’s presence may even be a reason why I’m rating the book so low. I feel bad that such an interesting character is wasted in this series, like he was trapped here with no way out. Life is so unfair, even for fictional characters. Sigh. 

The question is, given all that, am I still going to pick up the third book? The answer is YES. Because I have to. (Because I have no choice, I already have the book.) Because I want to see if it’s even worthy of books four to six. What started out as a trilogy is now being extended to SIX books. I know right? Do we really need more Shatter Me books? I’ll find out so you wouldn’t have to. You’re welcome. 

P.S. chapter 62 is overrated. There, I said it. 

15 March 2019

Audiobook Adventures: I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart

Highly entertaining. Not only did it effectively make me laugh, it also gave me a deeper insight into things like life, family, career as told by Kevin Hart. Who would've thought? Bonus: Kevin Hart narrated the audiobook himself. You're pretty much assured of comedy.

10 March 2019

Audiobook Adventures: The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley (Narrated by C.S.E. Cooney)

It's not so much as the writing is bad. The title, subtitle and short audiobook description didn't seem to represent what the book really is about: the author's experience and growth as a writer. In a way, it's a feminist book because the author shares her experience in the geek realm of writing and how it's often difficult for women to thrive. I just don't think it should be labeled AS a feminist book. It's more of a book for writers. Get my drift? 

I'm not done with the audiobook as I write this review but I can't see myself enjoying this. The narration is also something I can't seem to enjoy. There's something about the narrator's tone and pronunciation that's not engaging for me. She sounds almost angry. And the overly pronounced words is a bit distracting. I wonder if I'd enjoy this more as a physical book.

Others might find this more interesting, especially writers. It's not for me. 

09 March 2019

#romanceclass: What Kind of Day (Six 32 Central #1) by Mina V. Esguerra

I’m not much of a fan of this one. I’ve read a lot of Mina’s work but this didn’t blow me away like the others. The timeline was intentionally short and I feel like it hindered parts of the story from being fully fleshed out. I had a hard time really getting into the story because it was one scene on to the next, so so quickly! I just don’t roll that way with books. The main characters, Ben and Naya, were good characters but honestly forgettable. The tour of Manila was great though! I wish there was more of it. 

What I did like was the message of the story, it’s what compelled me to rate it 3 stars. “MAKE GOOD DAYS.” It’s such an optimistic reminder and very timely too. I remind myself of this line whenever I feel down. It’s a good sentiment that gave the story a fresh vibe.

Still looking forward to the rest of the books in this series. Hope I have better luck with them.