Book Review #99: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan & Rachel Cohn

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Title: Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares
Author: David Levithan & Rachel Cohn
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
Format: Digital Copy
Pages: 260
Publisher: Knopf Books
Date Published: October 20, 2010
Goodreads Rating: 3.80
Personal Rating: ☆☆☆☆/5

“I love Christmas: It brings people together while time stands still. Cozy couples lazily meandered the streets and children trudged sleds and chased snowballs. No one seemed to be in a rush to experience anything other than the glory of the day, with each other, whenever and however it happened.”

GOODREADS SYNOPSIS

“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, was, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.

MY PERSONAL THOUGHTS

Cute: The perfect word to describe this book. This is an absolute must-read especially when the Christmas season is fast approaching. It’s been on my TBR for two years already and I decided to pick it up because why not? It was December when I decided to read it and I wanted to giggle and feel some butterflies in my stomach so yep. And I wasn’t disappointed. It’s not as much as Anna and the French Kiss but I still enjoyed reading it and found myself liking Dash and Lily. At the start, I was annoyed because of the cheesy lines and jokes that are out of my league so I thought this story will just be full of crap and nonsense. But as chapters went by, it was transforming into one of those chick-lit novels that will stop you from putting the book down. It’s a real page-turner and toe-curler (I’m not even sure if that’s a valid word, LOL). Because Yuletide season was just around the corner this was a great holiday read! The characters are young and innocent, which makes it a plus factor. It is most suitable for young adult readers because it is wholesome and bubbly. Dash is not your typical 16 y/o boy; he is kind of nerdy and a loner. Lily, on the other hand, is also the same, athletic but she is not the darling of the crowd. She usually spends her time in the bookshops or at home or dog walking stranger’s babies. But guess what? Yes. They could fit perfectly with each other. I love the way it was written in an alternating point of view which made me acquainted to the main characters more. The turnout of events are not that magical and one of a kind but they still made one hell of a cutie love story. I’m giving it four stars for making me swoon. It is recommended for readers who are after a decent, sweet, and fun story.

POSITIVE

-Christmas love story is very timely and perfect for the holiday season when I read it last month.

-Both characters are book lovers and readers and NERDS.

-The concept is not that unique but the book of dares is just too cute to handle.

NEGATIVE

-This is funny because I couldn’t think of anything specific. Maybe I’ll just go for Lily’s kind of annoying characteristics but other than that she made a decent young lady.

-Plain and simple concept and there’s nothing too spectacular about it.

-Cliche’.

QUOTES

The important people in our lives leave imprints. They may stay or go in the physical realm, but they are always there in your heart because they helped form your heart. There’s no getting over that.

I want to believe there is somebody out there for me. I want to believe that I exist to be there for that somebody.

Do you want to mean? Well, the meanings are out there. We’re just so damn good at reading them wrong.

I’ve always resented Hermione because I wanted to be her so badly and she never seemed to appreciate as much as I thought she should that she got be her. She got to live at Hogwarts and be friends with Harry and kiss Ron, which was supposed to happen to me.

There are just lots of possibilities in the world…I need to keep my mind open for what could happen and not decide that the world is hopeless if what I want to happen doesn’t happen. Because something else great might happen in between.

LESSON

Taking a leap of faith when it comes to love could sometimes be worth it. We can never really plan everything and have all things in order. Sometimes things happen unexpectedly which will actually make life better. I wasn’t expecting to be a mom and wife at 21 but look at how it turned out for me? I couldn’t ask for more. It’s okay, make mistakes if it will you stronger and wiser.

Setting: ☆☆☆☆☆/5
Characters: ☆☆☆/5
Plot: ☆☆☆/5
Lessons: ☆☆☆☆/5
Cover: ☆☆☆☆/5
Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆/5

~JaNnA~

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Book Review #98: And the Ocean was Our Sky by Patrick Ness, Illustrated by Rovina Cai (Review Copy from Walker Books Australia)

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“His last word had been my name. The last word he heard was me speaking his own. Did this mean anything? And if it only meant something for the two of us, did that reduce it?”

Title: And the Ocean was Our Sky
Author: Patrick Ness
Illustration: Rovina Cai
Genre: Retelling, Young Adult
Format: Hardback
Pages: 160
Publisher: Walker Books Australia
Date Published: September 4, 2018
Goodreads Rating: 3.67
Personal Rating: ☆☆☆/5

Goodreads Synopsis

With harpoons strapped to their backs, the proud whales of Bathsheba’s pod live for the hunt, fighting in the ongoing war against the world of men. When they attack a ship bobbing on the surface of the Abyss, they expect to find easy prey. Instead, they find the trail of a myth, a monster, perhaps the devil himself…

As their relentless Captain leads the chase, they embark on a final, vengeful hunt, one that will forever change the worlds of both whales and men.

My Personal Thoughts

First, let me just commend this book for a very beautiful cover. I was given a hardcopy by Walker Books Australia in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. This, however, does not affect my views and opinions. If you’ve been reading my reviews, you would know that I do love retellings and I enjoy them a lot. This book is a Moby Dick retelling and it’s honestly not my cup of tea, not even close. Although I find it inspiring in the end, still, it’s not in line with my taste and preference. I never thought that I’d read a book with animals as main characters, whales in particular. At first, I had a hard time getting into it but then I found myself enjoying it when I realised where the setting is and who the characters are. Bathsheba is a new apprentice in a well-known and prestigious voyage led by Captain Alexandra. They are hunting for a notorious monster named Toby Wick in which many whales believed was just a myth and hearsay. Whoever joins this hunt is considered lucky and honoured, thus, making Bathsheba nervous and pressured as the newest among three apprentices. I actually never read the original story of Moby Dick and did not watch the movies or the cartoons so I have no idea with what’s going on. I will not dig deeper into the characters and how it was narrated because I frankly find them a bit odd and boring. However, the lessons incorporated are exceptional! I recommend this to middle-grade readers because of the messages that the author wants to convey. It ended tragically but the journey and all its twists and turns made the story beautiful in so many ways. I’ve never read a Patrick Ness book before and I don’t want to judge his writing style because of just one book. This may be quite a disappointment for me but I’d still pick up and try one of his books. This is perfect for young readers but sorry it’s just not for me.

Positive

-Beautiful cover and illustrations.
-Fast paced and fast read.
-Inspiring and full of life lessons.

Negative

-Too middle grade for me.
-Not too engaging and gripping.
-Boring.

Quotes

For who needs devils when you have men?

For there are devils in the deep, but worst are the ones we make.

The great trick of the devil is to make you want to see him. But it is only when you see him that you fear him. And by then, it is too late.

Will the world end in darkness because it is foretold? Or because there will be those who believe it so strongly they will make it so?

When you predict the future, when you do so strongly and you cling to it, how much of that future do you then cause to happen?

Lessons

-Just because someone is a new apprentice or employee doesn’t make that person less of a person.

-Perseverance is always the key in order to succeed in a certain goal.

-Always be prepared no matter what.

Setting: ☆☆☆☆/5
Characters: ☆☆☆/5
Plot: ☆☆☆/5
Lessons: ☆☆☆☆☆/5
Cover: ☆☆☆☆☆/5
Overall Rating: ☆☆☆/5

~JaNnA~

Book Review #96: All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

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Title: All Your Perfects
Author: Colleen Hoover
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Format: Digital
Pages: 320
Publisher: Atria Books
Date Published: July 17, 2018
Goodreads Rating: 4.35
Personal Rating: ☆☆☆☆/5

“What’s the secret to a perfect marriage?’ The old man leaned forward and looked at me very seriously. ‘Our marriage hasn’t been perfect. No marriage is perfect. There were times when she gave up on us. There were even more times when I gave up on us. The secret to our longevity is that we never gave up at the same time.”

 

SYNOPSIS

Colleen Hoover delivers a tour de force novel about a troubled marriage and the one old forgotten promise that might be able to save it.

Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair.

All Your Perfects is a profound novel about a damaged couple whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. This is a heartbreaking page-turner that asks: Can a resounding love with a perfect beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?

 

CHARACTERS

Graham – an almost perfect husband who loves and understands his wife without being judgmental and demanding.

Quinn – a frustrated wife who can sometimes displace her disappointments towards her husband.

 

MY PERSONAL THOUGHTS

This book is perfect in so many ways. Motherhood is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. Lavishing the perks of being a mom made me forget that there are women or couples out there who are having difficulties when it comes to conceiving. Sometimes people can be insensitive and too proud that they become hurtful and offensive especially through social media. This novel is obviously an eye-opener. I love how Colleen talked about things that are common in our everyday lives that we usually don’t give too much attention to. From her first book up to this latest story, her readers have always been left breathless and speechless! It was not as intense as It Ends with Us or as kinky as Ugly Love but this masterpiece brought me tears and joy. I was able to look into an infertile woman’s perspective and understood all her fears and frustrations more. Sometimes I wonder why some of the people I know don’t settle yet or why some of the couples we know don’t have kids yet. I thought they were just enjoying their times together and I oftentimes forget the reality that there could be a problem or that there is so much more behind the pictures that I’m seeing. Yes, being a mother makes a woman feel complete and satisfied but for all the women out there who are struggling to become one, I just hope and wish that you will not be too hard on yourselves or your partners. I know that it is so easy for me to say this given the fact that I got pregnant twice too easily but I’m with you here ladies, I’m with you. I understand and feel those disappointments and you are not alone in this battle. You should communicate with your husband more because expressing and saying what you feel are two different things. By expressing our frustrations we could hurt the people who truly care about us. What we need to do is say it, say it out loud just to get the heavy feeling out of our chests. The characters are really fascinating! They started just like how the majority of couples felt during the first few years of a relationship. Graham is a decent guy with a very composed personality. Quinn is a happy person at first but I didn’t like the person she becomes as the years went by. I am so impressed with how the author created the male character. Sometimes we put too much blame on the husbands stating that it’s always their fault when infidelity arises but this story is a reality checker! Maybe, just maybe, the wife also contributed to the outcome or aggravated the circumstances. I am not a full-pledged feminist or something, I value our rights as women, but there are instances when enough is enough and we can’t justify all-out actions just because we are hurting. I also like how the setting changed from the US to Europe. Sometimes a fresh start is all we need; moving to a new place gives us a different view about life and the future. Doing it together with the person we love the most is very exciting, it scary but exciting! The unexpected twist broke my heart! I was also desperate for Graham and Quinn to have their own kids but things don’t always turn out the way we want and planned them. There are turns that do not lead us to a happy ending but we could always make the circumstances different. It is always a matter of how we look at it. Quinn is a very brave person and I admire her for that but I will always remember how Graham helped her and supported her all throughout. We just all need someone who will never give up on us no matter what a mess we have been. I highly recommend this book especially to couples out there. If you are a mother, you should read this so you could be more sensitive and appreciative. If you are not a mother yet, I suggest that you read this as well because it is very inspiring and it will give you a different outlook when it comes to motherhood and life all in all.

 

QUOTES

“When you meet someone who is good for you, they won’t fill you with insecurities by focusing on your flaws. They’ll fill you with inspiration because they’ll focus on all the best parts of you.”

“We’re all full of flaws. Hundreds of them. They’re like tiny holes all over our skin. And like your fortune said, sometimes we shine too much light on our own flaws. But there are some people who try to ignore their own flaws by shining light on other people’s to the point that the other person’s flaws become their only focus. They pick at them, little by little until they rip wide open and that’s all we become to them. One giant, gaping flaw.”

“The problem is, love and happiness are not concordant. One can exist without the other.”

“Apologies are good for admitting regret, but they do very little in removing the truth from the actions that caused the regret.”

“Gratitude is born in the struggle. And we have definitely struggled.”

 

POSITIVE

• I really like that this was a very fast read and I did not have a hard time understanding or relating to it. It is full of scenes that are very realistic and people can really dig in deeper. I like that this is not a fairytale where one can expect a perfect ending. I have always been impressed with Colleen’s writing style.

• The characters are impressive because even though the reader is not undergoing the same hurts and frustrations, one can still fully understand the message that Hoover wants to spread.

 

NEGATIVE

• I hate that Graham is too much for Quinn. Don’t get me wrong, she has all the right to get frustrated with life but she took him for granted and despise her for that. People need to know when enough is enough.

• The way their story started is a bit off. It is not okay to be a rebound and I just felt that way about them from the start. Anyway, their story still progressed it’s just that I’m an old soul and I am not a fan of the ‘rebound’ thing.

 

LESSONS

• Being a parent does not necessarily mean that the child has to be your own blood. Being a mother or a father means loving someone unconditionally and caring for them without questions and hesitations.

• People should be mindful and sensitive when asking a couple about their plans about bearing a child. Just because a couple does not have kids yet doesn’t mean they are not trying.

• Having kids is not the only measure of the success of a marriage.

• Alternate means of having a family can be considered. This does not mean that it will make the couple less of a parent.

 

Setting: ☆☆☆☆/5
Characters: ☆☆☆☆/5
Plot: ☆☆☆☆☆/5
Lessons: ☆☆☆☆☆/5
Cover: ☆☆☆/5
Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆/5

 

~JaNnA~

Book Review #91: The Last Namsara (Iskari #1) by Kristen Ciccarelli (Review Copy sent by Hachette Australia)

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“Some stories are too dangerous to be told.”

 

Title: The Last Namsara
Series: Iskari #1
Author: Kristen Ciccarelli
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Trade Paperback
Pages: 421
Date Published: October 03, 2017
Publishing House: Harper Teen
Goodreads Rating: 4.21
Personal Rating: 5 / 5

 

Synopsis

DESTROYER. DEATH BRINGER. DRAGON-SLAYER. I am more weapon than a girl. Asha is a dragon-slayer. Reviled by the very people she’s sworn to protect, she kills to atone for the terrible deed she committed as a child.

One that almost destroyed her city, and left her with a terrible scar.

She wears her scar with pride, but to others, her skin tells a story of devastation, of fiery deaths, of Asha’s irredeemable wickedness.

Only the death of Kozu, the first dragon, will bring Asha true redemption and unite her father’s fractured kingdom. But no one battles Kozu and lives, so to defeat him she will have to do some very wicked things…

 

My Personal Thoughts

The Last Namsara is one hell of a fantasy book! I am so glad that I picked this one up for my first read for 2018 because I was not disappointed! Fantasy books have always been my cup of tea. I love how these worlds can take me to places that I’ve only dreamed of and give me a rollercoaster ride. They stimulate my imagination and help me develop my creativity. This book is about dragons, royalties, and feminism. I admire how the author incorporated all these elements in order to come up with a masterpiece worth reading. This is the first fantasy novel that I’ve read that involves dragons. Of course I know Game of Thrones but I haven’t had the chance to read the series yet so basically, this novel initiated me to the dragon world. The author made these creatures look dangerous and wicked but I was astounded with how she surprised me with all the twist and turn out of events. Honestly, I haven’t seen all those jaw-dropping scenarios coming. It’s one of the main reasons why I gave this a five-star rating, with the number of books that I’ve already read so far, young adult fantasy novels are becoming more and more similar and it’s so hard for authors nowadays to please their readers with something fresh and new.

 

Characters

The Dragon King
Asha – the dragon slayer, daughter of the dragon king, Iskari
Dax – heir to the throne, son of the dragon king and brother to Asha
Jarek – commandant of the king, Asha’s soon to be husband
Roa – a scrublander female, love interest of Dax
Torwin – male slave of Jarek, Skral
Safire – Asha and Dax’ female cousin
Kozu – the first dragon

 

There are three things that I like most about the story:

  • Asha, the dragon-slayer. Who wouldn’t admire a badass female character who slays dragons despite being a member of the royal family? I’m not sure with you guys but I crave for female characters who know how to save themselves and who doesn’t need anyone to look after them. I am not a feminist to the highest level but I embrace woman empowerment and gender equality. I believe that Asha’s character is a representation of womanhood today: brave, bold, and independent.
  • The writing style is perfect for readers like me. I enjoyed the pacing; I was able to comprehend everything without missing any important information or event. It is fast-paced which makes it easier to read and finish in a day or two. Without being too descriptive, I was still able to visualize every scene.
  • Twists. All are mind-boggling and surprising! I am happy with all the turn out of events and I couldn’t think of a better way to end the story so I think that the author did a spectacular job. The protagonists got what they deserve and the same goes for antagonists as well.

 

However, there are also three things that I don’t really appreciate much:

  • The slave and royalty kind of love story is a cliche’ which I think and I’m very much sure that almost everyone will agree. I am so sick of stories where the other character is rich, and beautiful, and famous and the love interest is deprived and oppressed. I want something new, something that I haven’t read before.
  • The traditional wedding arrangements. It’s 2018, I despise the idea and the fact that these arrangements still exist on books. I am not a fan of characters getting married just for the sake of money, power, and having no choice at all. I truly believe that men and women should always be free to decide and choose who to settle with. With Asha and Jarek’s case, it is horrible and awful but with Dax and Roa, it is an intelligent decision but there’s no love as a foundation of the union so both arrangements suck.
  • How the antagonist was defeated was too easy. Seriously? Yes, I’ve been wanting to behead those morons but I was expecting for much more action-packed scenes. I was happy that it ended that way but I was a bit disappointed that it ended so easy peasy for them. Maybe I will look forward to more on the next books of this series.

 

Lessons

  • Loyalty is everything.
  • Never ever underestimate someone because of their status in the society because you never know if those people were really the ones who would do and give up everything for you.
  • Just because something is a tradition and an old belief doesn’t mean that it’s true and legit.

 

Favourite quotes in the story:

“No one needs to ask for a woman’s opinion. It’s expected that she gives it freely.”

Number one rule for dragon hunting: “Always know where the dragon’s tail is.”

“Force isn’t the only way to strike a blow.”

“Naming a thing endears you to it.”

“Asha wore her scar like a CROWN.”

 

Setting: ☆☆☆/5
Characters: ☆☆☆☆☆/5
Plot: ☆☆☆☆☆/5
Lessons: ☆☆☆☆☆/5
Cover: ☆☆☆☆☆/5
Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆/5

 

Thank you, Hachette Australia Books, for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest and fair review.

 

~JaNnA

Book Review #89: A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas

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“Remember that you are a WOLF. And you cannot be caged.”

Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Pages: 705
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: Hardback
Date Published: May 02, 2017
Publishing House: Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Goodreads Rating: 4.53
Personal Rating: 5 / 5

Synopsis

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

My Personal Thoughts

Wow! Just wow! I can’t even! I’m still trying to recover from the awesomeness and the jaw-dropping effect of this book! Holy, holy, holy! It is not bad for a finale but I was hoping for MORE. When I started to read this trilogy about two years ago, I already fell in love with Feyre Archeron, because why not? She symbolises feminism, bravery, and passion! She is the perfect example of someone who followed her heart and wasn’t even afraid or ashamed of what other people will say or think about her. Right from the very first book (A Court of Thorns and Roses), Feyre already had my respect and admiration! Her character is so inspiring and empowering. I, as a woman, loved how she took matters into her own hands and did not bother considering other people’s perception of her. Her unconditional love for her family is the ultimate reason why this trilogy is a success. And of course the fact that she ended up with her one true “MATE”. It is brain racking how things turned and twisted since the first book, how first loves and stuff like that can still change and teach us lessons that we may carry as we go on with our lives. Hers and Rhysand’s is the perfectly imperfect love story. I am so in love with their pair. Before I was rooting for Tamlin but Rhys is just too perfect for Feyre and they complement each other. They accepted each other’s flaws and weaknesses and they embraced each other strengths. It is so heart-warming how they truly adored each other. I just think that the book contains too many sensual scenes and it is not suitable for young adult readers. That is just my opinion because this book is under the Young Adult Fantasy category so I think the sex scenes may be too much. But I do like the fact that it is LGBT friendly. The action scenes deserve to be commended because OMG who would have thought that the characters that defeated the King of Hybern were most of the time unnoticed. I also enjoyed the OTPs (one true pair) here especially Cassian and Nesta! Nesta transformed from being a stone-cold bitch to someone who actually has a heart. Perfect! I was just hoping for something between Elain and Lucien but the book already ended. There are still too many things that I wanted to happen but it felt like there’s no place for them anymore. I hope that the book that will be published next year which I think is a novella would include some points that were missed in this third and final installment. As always, SJM’s writing style never ceases to mesmerise me! I was in a slump because the book is overwhelming considering the fact that my copy has 705 pages. It took me a while but I finally made it. It was so damn worth it. I love Feyre’s narration but it could have been better if it was an alternating point of view between her and Rhysand. In addition to this, I was impressed with how things ended up between Feyre and Tamlin and how they’ve dealt with their situation as grown and mature adults. Feyre may have been Tamlin’s the one that got away but I still hope that in the next book happiness will still find its way towards him. After all, he was my first love in this series. I can’t ignore Rhys’ feelings and devotion towards his mate. He is just the best book husband ever. This book is magnificent; and the way that friendship, love, and family were the main focus of this masterpiece makes it my best read for 2017! I will surely miss the characters and all the crap and shit that they went through. Kudos for ending a trilogy in an amazing and entertaining way! Highly recommended, as ALWAYS!

Setting: ☆☆☆☆☆/5
Characters: ☆☆☆☆☆/5
Plot: ☆☆☆☆☆/5
Lessons: ☆☆☆☆☆/5
Cover: ☆☆☆☆☆/5
Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆/5

~JaNnA

 

Book Review #86: Atheists Who Kneel and Pray by Tarryn Fisher

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Title: Atheists Who Kneel and Pray
Author: Tarryn Fisher
Pages: 250
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: Digital Copy
Date Published: July 13, 2017
Goodreads Rating: 4.35
Personal Rating: 4 / 5

“Even to your old age and grey hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have loved you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” –David Lisey

Synopsis

Yara Phillips is a wandering muse.

She dates men who need her but always moves on to something new, never staying in one place for very long.

David Lisey is in need of a muse.

A talented musician lacking lyrical inspiration. When he first sees her, he knows he’s found what he’s been looking for.

Yara believes she can give David exactly what he needs to reach his full potential:
A broken heart.

David’s religion is love.

Yara’s religion is heartache.

Neither is willing to surrender, but religion always requires sacrifice.

My Personal Thoughts

Wow! Whew! I don’t even know where and how to start drafting this book review. Everything is just so freaking awesome! Tarryn Fisher never ceases to amaze me when it comes to new adult contemporary stories with dark and twisted characters. I like the way this book was written and how the characters transformed, developed, and matured! OMG! I can’t even contemplate and construct the right words for this.

The story took place in a lot of states just like how the female main character run away from her problems depending on which situation she’s at. First, it was in America where she has been to different places already then to Europe where she was born and where she also jumped from one place to another whenever a specific problem arises. The male protagonist, on the other hand, was also always on the run to find his muse for inspiration when writing his songs. Overall, the places were relevant to the story and the characters and I love how Paris was included here. I find it so romantic.

The female character is Yara Phillips, she has a dark and fucked up personality. She is beautiful which is also the main reason why men get so obsessed with her. She does not want to commit. She hates responsibility and she loves running away and leaving people behind because she’s worried about putting her guard down and being hurt. She anticipates things and decides abruptly without taking into consideration the feelings of the other party. David Lisey is a hopeless romantic. An artist who was in constant search for the perfect muse that will give him the inspiration to write songs. I actually like his character, from a naughty and easy go lucky boy to a matured and one woman man bloke. David is a real catch and Yara does not deserve him. Sadly.

The plot, ending, and everything in between, are all beautifully written! I could not think of a better ending. I like the way that there was an alternating point of view and I find it great because I was able to look into Yara and David’s perspectives. I was able to understand the characters more and I just love how I knew how things will turn out. David is a man who loves deeply and sincerely, I admire all his willpower and determination. Yara is a major disappointment for me, I don’t actually like her character, she is selfish and reckless and she does not deserve to be happy. The ending made sense. Yara’s childhood and all those crap sorts of justified her actions. Tarryn Fisher is the queen of fucked up characters and that’s what I love about her. I need to let go of Caleb Drake and embrace David Lisey with two arms! Kudos for creating a male character which made me believe that men like my husband still exists (wink!*). There are plenty of life and love lessons that you can dig into the story and I am in deep awe with how it made me think and realise plenty of stuff.

I highly recommend this to new adult readers who are looking for a new book boyfriend to adore. This is full of dramas and shit but it’s worth your time, money, and effort. I love each and every chapter and I just couldn’t wait for Queen T’s next book!

Thank you for reading my review.

Setting: ☆☆☆☆☆/5
Characters: ☆☆☆☆/5
Plot: ☆☆☆☆/5
Lessons: ☆☆☆☆☆/5
Cover: ☆☆☆☆☆/5
Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆/5

~JaNnA

Book Review #85: Countless by Karen Gregory (Review Copy from Bloomsbury Publishing Australia)

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Title: Countless
Author: Karen Gregory
Pages: 384
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mental Health
Format: Paperback
Date Published: May 04, 2017
Publishing House: Bloomsbury Publishing
Goodreads Rating: 4.08
Personal Rating: 4 / 5

“The things that matter the most can’t be counted anyway.”

Synopsis

‘Is there anything that’s concerning you?’ Felicity says. ‘College, home, boyfriends?’ Though she’s more or less smiling at this last one.

I don’t smile. Instead, I feel my face go hot. Silence stretches as wide as an ocean.
When I look up, Felicity has this expression on her face like she’s just seen, Elvis. Slowly, she leans forward and in a gentle voice I’ve never heard her use before she says, ‘Have you done a pregnancy test?’

When Hedda discovers she is pregnant, she doesn’t believe she could ever look after a baby. The numbers just don’t add up. She is young, and still in the grip of an eating disorder that controls every aspect of how she goes about her daily life. She’s even given her eating disorder a name – Nia. But as the days tick by, Hedda comes to a decision: she and Nia will call a truce, just until the baby is born. 17 weeks, 119 days, 357 meals. She can do it if she takes it one day at a time …

Heartbreaking and hopeful by turns, Karen Gregory’s debut novel is a story of love, heartache and human resilience. And how the things that matter most can’t be counted. Perfect for fans of Lisa Williamson, Non Pratt, and Sarah Crossan. [Goodreads]

My Personal Thoughts

Bulimia is a serious eating disorder that occurs chiefly in females, is characterized by compulsive overeating usually followed by self-induced vomiting or laxative or diuretic abuse, and is often accompanied by guilt and depression — called also bulimia nervosa. [Merriam-Webster Dictionary]

Anorexia Nervosa is
a serious disorder in eating behavior primarily of young women in their teens and early twenties that is characterized especially by a pathological fear of weight gain leading to faulty eating patterns, malnutrition, and usually excessive weight loss. [Merriam-Webster Dictionary]

Whew! This review is something new to me. I’ve always heard and studied about eating disorders especially in UNI and way back in my college years in the Philippines. I’ve also watched lots of movies about them considering the fact that I am so in love with the human behaviour and I’m obsessed with topics and stuff about them, most especially mental health disorders. It reflects how people’s judgment and attitude affects other people’s view of life. This a very inspiring and brave novel which discussed the sensitive issue about young girls with anorexia nervosa or bulimia, all the why’s, how’s, and what-ifs of their case and every bits and piece of how some girls fully recover and how some totally fell apart. It also showed the different struggles that a teenage mom goes through which in some way I can almost relate to. I love each and every part of this book and I will not lie. It touched my heart and soul in parts that I have always been ashamed to discuss. I felt the hardships, despair, and hidden fears that the main character went through and I’ll be frank and honest that during the first two parts of the book I’ve been so disappointed and frustrated about her character. Hedda is a 17-year-old lady with long-standing problem of anorexia. She’s been in and out of facilities and hospitals and her whole family almost lost hope about her situation. She was hopeless already that’s why I couldn’t bear the idea of finishing the novel during those times. But later on, I admired her courage and strength to overcome everything that was thorn her way. Motherhood definitely changed her perspectives in life. Yes, maybe not right away but her child, Rose, became her beacon of light and hope. I have always admired young moms like me. This isn’t being a narcissist or something but having a huge responsibility as being a MOM at a very young age is not a joke. It is something big and scary and intimidating but everything is worth it when you finally see the smile on your child’s face for the very first time. It’s as if all the non-stop shaming and judging that other people gave you did not matter anymore. I gave birth at the age of 21 and every person alive in our neighbourhood especially our relatives have been so judgemental about me stating that I won’t achieve anything in life anymore. I don’t blame them, I was always an achiever and everything fell apart when I got married at an early age. I just despise the idea that people can be so judgmental when in fact it’s them who needs to look in front of the mirror in the first place. It is water under the bridge though, because what they’ve said before does not matter anymore, those hurtful and offensive words do not define who I am today. Moving back to the story, this book is very inspiring and I highly recommend it to readers from young adult to new adult genre lovers. It is simple but the author was able to give full justification and the message that she wants to impart to her readers is clear and on point. I admire the author for coming up with a novel that will inspire young girls or even matured ones to live life the way they want it but with limitations as well. This is undeniably well-written and I love everything in between. Thank you, Bloomsbury, for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest and fair review. This, however, does not change my opinion. After I’ve read the word “countless” in the story, everything made sense. It wasn’t really about the disease per se but how a mother’s love could change every damn thing in the world. I am a proud momma of two wonderful and smart kids.

Setting: ☆☆☆☆/5
Characters: ☆☆☆☆/5
Plot: ☆☆☆/5
Lessons: ☆☆☆☆☆/5
Cover: ☆☆☆/5
Overall Rating: ☆☆☆☆/5

~JaNnA