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: 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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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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Collective Book Haul (39 books, help me)

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While I’m still currently looking for job prospects, I’m still living with my parents. Because of that, I don’t have much space. There are a lot of space in our living room but heaven forbid I clutter the area! So, I’ve been having a golden age with eBooks and to be frank, I’ve been having quite a ball reading digitally. It’s another heaven-sent blessing when text-to-speech function is available because I can “read” while doing errands and chores! Anyway, I’ve noticed that I’ve been having so much books “sitting around” in my readers and so I’ve opted to share to you the books that I’ve acquired–maybe for a while now. Have patience, I’ll get to them sometime. 😛 Mind you, most of these are advanced reader copies. I also went ham with Nicholas Sparks books. Forgive me–or not. (NO RAGRETS! 💁) Without further ado, let’s get on with the humongous collective haul that this is. By the way, the links go to their Goodreads page.

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March Wrap-Up // 2017

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I, finally, gave up on my hopes on finishing a book in the last days of March so I think it would be fitting for me to post a wrap-up already. I have been in a reading slump–something that occasionally happens to me when I have just finished an incredible book–after reading Redeeming Love a couple of weeks or so ago and it’s driving me crazy since I can’t seem to sit down with a book that actually sticks. As of now, I’m trying to reread A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. I read this first in the early months of 2015 and I remember I DNF-ed it and rated it 2 stars. But the weird thing is that I cannot really remember why because frankly I’m enjoying this right now. 2015 Gem, what were you thinking? (I probably was just into the busy months of uni back then so maybe that’s why, I don’t know for sure though.) But having said that, this month was an incredible reading month for me–I finished fourteen books! Though, most are short books, but still. Below lists the books I’ve read (along with my rating) and I’ll also attach a link if I’ve done a review on it yet. 🙂





Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4) // Sarah J. Maas // 5 of 5

Big Mushy Happy Lump (Sarah’s Scribbles, #2) // Sarah Andersen // 4 of 5

The Loud House #1: “Fullest House” // Chris Savino // 3 of 5

Lunarbaboon Presents: We All Have Powers: And Other Things You Learn As a Parent // Christopher Grady // 4 of 5

And I Darken (The Conqueror’s Saga, #1) // Kiersten White // 2 of 5

Heartless // Marissa Meyer // 5 of 5

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1) // Leigh Bardugo // 3.5 of 5

Life on the Refrigerator Door: Notes Between A Mother and Daughter // Alice Kuipers // 3.5 of 5

Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists (Pottermore Presents, #2) // J.K. Rowling // 3 of 5

Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide (Pottermore Presents #3) // J.K. Rowling // 4 of 5

Miss Feesenschneezen Is Ill // David Parmelee // 2.5 of 5

I Feel Bad: All Day. Every Day. About Everything. // Orli Auslander // 2 of 5

Definitions of Indefinable Things // Whitney Taylor // 4 of 5

Redeeming Love // Francine Rivers // 5 of 5



*Cover images via Goodreads; Header image via StockSnap.

I Feel Bad: All Day. Every Day. About Everything. by Orli Auslander

31247646Title: I Feel Bad: All Day. Every Day. About Everything.

Author: Orli Auslander

Series: None

Genre: Humor, Nonfiction

Number of Pages (Hardcover): 160

(Expected) Date of Publishing: April 4th of 2017

Publisher: Blue Rider Press

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

Roz Chast meets Allie Brosh in this hilarious, unfiltered, and beautifully illustrated look at the infinite number of reasons the author experiences guilt, shame, regret and self-reproach in her daily life, and that maybe—just maybe—some of us can relate to as well.

In a series of 100 illustrations with accompanying text, Orli Auslander has captured a mood and emotional ambivalence that will be all too familiar for readers: trying to be the best wife, mother, and friend she can be, while simultaneously feeling shitty about virtually everything she does. Confronting her daily experience with dark humor and brilliant and brutal honesty, she shows us how being an overindulgent mother makes her feel as terrible as the times when she can’t stand the sight of her kids; how saying yes to the wrong experiences and no to the right requests is equally bad; how her Jewish heritage complicates her relationships with her overly religious family and irreligious children; and how having a vagina is the ultimate inescapable struggle. With a distinctive, textured ink drawing style which brings to mind a female Robert Crumb and a neurotic Edward Gorey, I Feel Bad is a book that readers will buy for themselves and for a best friend, and where every reader will find the precise moment that Auslander voiced their own deepest anxiety in her poignant and hilarious illustrations.

Rate: 2 of 5

I want to say thank you to the publisher, Blue Rider Press, for giving me the chance to read an advanced reader copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 



I Feel Bad: All Day. Every Day. About Everything. has a brilliant premise. It’s some part book and some part journal. Well, I suppose it was a journal before since the author takes all the ideas for this book from all the things that make her feel bad. We all have things that make us feel bad and the idea of this book is really interesting with it housing things that most people feel, or in other words, something that is relatable. 

This book caught my attention, undeniably, because of the cover. The cover sparked my interest in it because a.) it’s titled I Feel Bad, b.) a woman standing in front of a mirror, c.) in her underwear, d.) with frizzy hair and e.) there’s a weighing scale somewhere in there. Oh oh! PLUS, it’s illustrated. So, I thought this was a body image type of book but when I read the synopsis online, it made me feel more excited about it because knowing the things that make people feel secretly bad is something I imagine I would enjoy. It’s sorta like Deep Dark Fears (and really I just love that webcomics). Imagine my glee when I got approved for my request of the book. But alas, my joy is short-lived.

I think the title of the book aptly summarizes my thoughts on it. I wanted to like it. It’s a confession-type of thing. It’s an illustrated one. I love those kinds of things. But after reading this, I just can’t shake the feeling that this is too pessimistic for my taste. I don’t mind a dose of reality and rawness in a book, and, yes, I know this is nonfiction and, sure, this might actually be something of a personal preference of the author since this is her personal accounts of events that make her feel bad, but I just can’t let go of the impression that this was just a little all too bleak. That’s really the reason why I gave this a 2-star rating.

Now, I do acknowledge the fact that this is not a bad book, per se. I mean, in the general sense of books, this is not that bad. But, personally, the ring of the entries in the book just made me feel a little uncomfortable that when I reached the first half I felt like it was already dragging–as if there isn’t a gleam of gratefulness in the tone of writing. And I don’t know how to feel about that since I don’t really want to judge a person’s outlook in life since we all have our situations, etc. I reiterate that this book is a series of things that make the author feel bad. And seriously, who am I to say that LOL that shouldn’t make you feel bad! or Seriously, you think of these things?!. Nope, I don’t think I’ll do that anytime soon.

While the theory of this book was something that I would’ve enjoyed if it was attacked through something that I would call a much milder form. I liked the illustrations and the sense of personal sharing that the air of this book has but I guess, again, it just was too pessimistic for my taste.

Do I recommend it? To people who likes a dose of raw sentiments of life (and also cute illustrations!), yes. But for people whose cup of tea is not really that sort, well yeah, no
Be my friend on Goodreads!


*Cover image and Synopsis via Goodreads