Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss #1) by Stephanie Perkins

6936382Title: Anna and the French Kiss

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Series: Anna and the French Kiss#1

Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Number of Pages (Hardcover): 372

Date Published: December 2nd of 2010

Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

Synopsis (through Goodreads):

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

Rating:  (4 of 5)

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This is like one of the most recommended YA romance novels so I won’t really go far with my notes but I just loved it and whatever you’re assuming about it because of the title and the cover and what-not, it doesn’t hold. Because this might perhaps be the most well-written teen romance book I have read.

I have been passing by on this bookstore which has a lot of stocks of this book for the longest time. I always thought the title was so cheesy and the cover didn’t really entice me all that well. It’s the alternate cover, not the one above. As years pass by, I have found myself to be taking less and less fancies on cheesy, teen-y books. With that in mind, look at that title and that cover and tell me if I was the type to pick this up. So, I always didn’t put my attention on this book even though many people say that it’s great.

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Book Review + Giveaway: Secrets of Southern Girls by Haley Harrigan

9781492647553-PRTitle: Secrets of Southern Girls

Author: Haley Harrigan

Genre: Mystery, Fiction, Contemporary

Page Number (Paperback): 320

Date Published: June 6th of 2017

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Synopsis:

In this powerful, affecting debut, a young woman uncovers devastating secrets about the friend she thinks she killed

Ten years ago, Julie Portland accidentally killed her best friend, Reba. What’s worse is she got away with it. Consumed by guilt, she left the small town of Lawrence Mill, Mississippi, and swore nothing would ever drag her back. Now, raising her daughter and struggling to make ends meet in Manhattan, Julie still can’t forget the ghost of a girl with golden hair and a dangerous secret.

When August, Reba’s first love, begs Julie to come home to find the diary that Reba kept all those years ago, Julie’s past comes creeping back to haunt her. That diary could expose the shameful memories Julie has been running from, but it could also unearth the hidden truths that Reba left buried…and reveal that Julie isn’t the only one who feels responsible for Reba’s death.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 of 5)

I want to thank the publisher for making it possible for me to have an access to the book in exchange for an honest review, via Netgalley. Additionally, this giveaway is in partnership with the publisher, Sourcebooks Landmark. 🙂

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I would keep this review short and to the point. But first, look at that cover and tell me you agree with me–it’s gorgeous! I feel like it ultimately packages the story of the book very well. I got an e-copy of this book through Netgalley and I remember requesting it because of the beautiful cover (it was a different cover). But might I just say, the cover improvement is stellar.

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Book Review: The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires

18383325Title: The Most Magnificent Thing

Author: Ashley Spires

Genre: Children’s, Short Stories, Picture Books

Number of Pages (Hardcover): 32

Date Published: April 1st of 2014

Publisher: Kids Can Press

Synopsis*:

Award-winning author and illustrator Ashley Spires has created a charming picture book about an unnamed girl and her very best friend, who happens to be a dog. The girl has a wonderful idea. She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing! She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. All she has to do is make it, and she makes things all the time. Easy-peasy!? But making her magnificent thing is anything but easy, and the girl tries and fails, repeatedly. Eventually, the girl gets really, really mad. She is so mad, in fact, that she quits. But after her dog convinces her to take a walk, she comes back to her project with renewed enthusiasm and manages to get it just right.

For the early grades’ exploration of character education, this funny book offers a perfect example of the rewards of perseverance and creativity. The girl’s frustration and anger are vividly depicted in the detailed art, and the story offers good options for dealing honestly with these feelings, while at the same time reassuring children that it’s okay to make mistakes. The clever use of verbs in groups of threes is both fun and functional, offering opportunities for wonderful vocabulary enrichment. The girl doesn’t just make her magnificent thing — “she tinkers and hammers and measures, she smoothes and wrenches and fiddles, she twists and tweaks and fastens.” These precise action words are likely to fire up the imaginations of youngsters eager to create their own inventions and is a great tie-in to learning about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

I want to thank the publisher for making it possible for me to have an access to the book in exchange for an honest review, via Netgalley.

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I have a weakness for all things children and illustrated and I thought this was so cute! I greatly admired the artwork here, especially because the author did them–talk about multi-talented!

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Book Review: Stitched #1 by Mariah McCourt

31451222Title: Stitched #1

Author: Mariah McCourt

Illustrator: Aaron Alexovich

Genre: Children’s, Comics, Fantasy

Number of Pages (Paperback): 96

Date Published: May 2nd of 2017

Publisher: Charmz

Synopsis*:

Crimson Volania Mulch has a problem; she just woke up in a crypt and, besides her name, has no idea of who, where, or what she is. Welcome to the Cemetery of Assumptions, a vast landscape of stones, mausoleums, and secrets. Home to monsters and mayhem, it may also hold the answers to her unknown parentage.

Crimson is a resourceful patchwork girl and determined to find them. Along the way, she meets the mysterious Wisteria, who has a tendency to change and a witch named Parameter whose spells tend to go awry. And two boys, Simon and Quinton, who make her feel something besides lost and confused. She must battle ghosts, zombies, and monsters in order to learn where she came from and who her real “mother” is. But will she do it alone, or will she have help from her new friends and unexpected crushes?

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 of 5)

I want to thank the publisher for making it possible for me to have an access to the book in exchange for an honest review, via Netgalley.

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Before I start with my review, I just want to tell you all that today marks my one year anniversary with this blog! My blog is one year old! Time blows by so fast and I cannot believe it has been a year since I actually decided to make these little notes on all the books that I read! What a year! Anyway, here goes my review for Stitched #1!

This might have been the cutest thing I have read in a while. Though the fact that I am still fond of children’s books still holds, I am also feeling that I’m shifting quite a bit into the Young Adult genre as of late. So, what I’m saying is, I may be veering away from children’s books as much as I can because I feel like I’m already too old for the genre. Crazy, I know but I’m glad my reading taste is also evolving.

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May Updates + June TBR List // 2017

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Hi! I haven’t had the chance to read much books this month since I was busy doing job applications, choir, piano practice, Sunday School teaching, etc.! The month of May was such a blur–I can hardly believe we’re already halfway through the year! I don’t know, this year is pretty laid-back (read: super chill) of a year so far….Nevertheless, I still have brighter hopes ahead. I wasn’t very active in this blog this month because I feel like I’ve been pressuring myself to read this book and that book. I feel like I was being too hard on myself so I had to lay-back–just a little bit. But since it’s officially June (at least here in the Philippines!) I want to keep up a more active presence. Anyhow! Here are my updates for the month of May!

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Book Review: Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) by Kendare Blake

28374007Title: Three Dark Crowns

Author: Kendare Blake

Series: Three Dark Crowns#1

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Fiction

Number of Pages (Hardcover): 398

Date Published: September 20th of 2016

Publisher: HarperTeen

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

When kingdom come, there will be one.

In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born—three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins.

The last queen standing gets the crown.

Rating: ★★★★★ (5 of 5)

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Three Black Witches are born in a glen,
Sweet little triplets
Will never be friends.
Three Black Witches, all fair to be seen.
Two to devour,
And one to be queen.

I have heard a lot about Three Dark Crowns from almost everyone I follow on Goodreads and on Booktube–most of which are good things. So, with all that hype I was a little daunted to read this. The typical questions such as: What if I don’t like it? What if I hate the characters? What if I end up not liking Kendare Blake’s future books anymore? started to go after me. But, alas, Kendare didn’t fail me again. Her writing is still beautiful, better actually in my opinion! Plus, that cover spoke to me on a level I cannot even begin to explain to you.

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REVIEW// The Saturday Evening Girls Club by Jane Healey

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31815418Title: The Saturday Evening Girls Club

Author: Jane Healey

Genre: Historical Fiction, Women’s Literature

No. of Pages (Paperback): 250

Date Published: April 25th of 2017

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

For four young immigrant women living in Boston’s North End in the early 1900s, escaping tradition doesn’t come easy. But at least they have one another and the Saturday Evening Girls Club, a social pottery-making group offering respite from their hectic home lives—and hope for a better future.

Ambitious Caprice dreams of opening her own hat shop, which clashes with the expectations of her Sicilian-born parents. Brilliant Ada secretly takes college classes despite the disapproval of her Russian Jewish father. Stunning Maria could marry anyone yet guards her heart to avoid the fate of her Italian Catholic mother, broken down by an alcoholic husband. And shy Thea is torn between asserting herself and embracing an antiquated Jewish tradition.

The friends face family clashes and romantic entanglements, career struggles and cultural prejudice. But through their unfailing bond, forged through their weekly gathering, they’ll draw strength—and the courage to transform their immigrant stories into the American lives of their dreams.

Rate: 4 of 5



Thoughts bannerI had no high hopes for this book when I picked it up assuming that it would just be another one of my endeavors in reading Historical Fiction again after quite a while.  And the cover didn’t speak to me so much at the time. What I didn’t expect is how immersive and beautiful both the writing and the story will be. I was completely taken aback when this book became the object of my adoration for the four days that I’ve read it. Continue reading