Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

The Fill-In Boyfriend
Kasie West
Young Adult Contemporary
Ebook, 352 pages
5th May 2015 by HarperTeen

Goodreads Ratings : 3.93/5
My Rating : 4.75/5

When Gia Montgomery's boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she decides to do the unthinkable…convince the cute guy waiting to pick up his sister to pretend to be her boyfriend for the night. The task is simple: two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.

The problem is that days after prom, she can't stop thinking about her fill-in boyfriend. But can Gia turn her fake boyfriend into a real one without exposing her lie and possibly destroying her friendships and her newfound relationship?

Smartly observed and wonderfully romantic, Kasie West's talent shines in this tale of one girl's unexpected quest to find love…and possibly herself.

From Goodreads

Wow I actually enjoyed this ! I finished this in one sitting so I totally got sucked in right from the start.

Ive read Katie West's The Distance Between Us before and I dont like it that much. So when I saw her new book on Goodreads and bookstagram, I thought 'nah this would be just the same'. BUT NO ITS NOT.

This book is pretty cute and pretty cliche but the cute part outweighs the cliche part for me. Everyone can pretty much predict how the plot goes with this type of books but its the littlest things and details that actually counts. I can't believe I got all jittery while reading this but I did. (I personally think that the books that caused me the jitters/tingles are the best kind of books)

One thing though. If I could strangle fictional characters, I swear I would ! God, everyone around Gia is frustrating the shit out of me. Cant they give Gia a break ?! From her parents, her brother to her best friends. Especially Jules. Ive already killed her in 643 ways already in my mind. Shes THAT annoying.
A fun, light and enjoyable read, overall. 

“We rarely find a depth by looking inside of ourselves for it. Depth is found in what we can learn from the people and things around us. Everyone, everything, has a story, Gia. When you learn those stories, you learn experiences that fill you up, that expand your understanding. You add layers to your soul.” 

My Heart and Other Blackholes by Jasmine Warga

My Heart and Other Black Holes
Jamine Warga
Young Adult
Paperback, 320 pages
10th February 2015 by Harperteen

Goodreads Ratings : 4.08/5
My Rating : 3/5

WARNING : Read the blurb at your own risk. (Dont read if you dont want to get spoiled bcs the blurb is kinda spoiler-ish to me)

A stunning novel about the transformative power of love, perfect for fans of Jay Asher and Laurie Halse Anderson.

Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.

There's only one problem: she's not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel's convinced she's found her solution--Roman, a teenage boy who's haunted by a family tragedy, is looking for a partner. Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other's broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together.

From Goodreads

“Sometimes I wonder if my heart is like a black hole--it's so dense that there's no room for light, but that doesn't mean it can't still suck me in.” 

You know how deep inside you whether you realize it or not, you have that black slug that pretty much eats up your happiness even the slightest bit, that makes you think negatively about things even when your supposed to just enjoy the moment and be happy ? And how you tend to push everyone away when your drowning in sadness and depression thinking that you want to be left alone and you dont want others to be infected with your sadness ? And sometimes when bad things happened even if its not entirely your fault, you keep on blaming urself on and on ? And sometimes you wish you could die than having to face any of this but you dont exactly have the courage to do just that ? 

This is basically what this book is all about. Its about depression and suicidal thoughts. Pretty much a common issue nowadays in teenagers. It helps you think to appreciate life more, which i think is the huge main idea of this book. Jasmine Warga delivers this part quite well. 

“Depression is like a heaviness that you can’t ever escape. It crushes down on you, making even the smallest things like tying your shoes or chewing on toast seem like a twenty-mile hike uphill. Depression is a part of you; it’s in your bones and your blood.” - Aysel

I would say this book is quite something, it IS something. Its very emotional but somehow i kinda felt like something important is missing. I'm not exactly sure what is it thats missing (I have some idea but having to say it here would probably mean giving you guys a spoiler so I wont) 

I keep on getting reminded of Jojo Moyes' Me Before You while reading this because it has the exact same idea. Only thing is that this happened to 17years old kids instead of 30ish. I found myself enjoying this book at some points but like I said it has a few things missing that made this book a little less meaningful, but its still okay enough. I would love to read more insights on Aysel's friends and family though. Like what do they think of her personally and stuffs but I dont get that so yeah im a lil bit disappointed about it. 

But this book has insanely lots of good quotes about depression and stuffs so thats a huge total bonus ! I'm having a hard time choosing which quote to put down here lol. 

“Anyone who has actually been that sad can tell you that there's nothing beautiful or literary or mysterious about depression.” 

One of the things that I love about this book is that the author keeps on saying how depression isnt all that beautiful. You know how these days its so hipsterish of people to write poems about depression and being depressed ? This book opens up my mind how the people who are diagnosed with depression would think, and its bad. Its all dark there that sometimes I feel like I was trapped somewhere with no lights and no where to go. 

I'm quite disappointed with the synopsis/blurb at the back of the book actually. It ruins the surprise for me. Like i would probably like the development (?) of the story if I didnt read the blurb earlier (so a warning to you : do not read the blurb. just know that this is a book about depression and suicide. That knowledge is good enough) 

I was imagining quite a different ending actually. I was also waiting for that one point, one event or anything that would break me. That would make me cry like a baby. I felt it at first, but it was there just a little while so thats another reason why im giving this a 3. I think i am one of the minority who is not emotionally affected by the book. I felt like I was being let down by this book when actually I shouldnt because it ends okay, but that's just me being complicated af lol. 

The Deal (Off Campus #1) by Elle Kennedy

The Deal
Off Campus #1
Elle Kennedy
New Adult, Sports Romance
Ebook, 328 pages
24th February 2014

Goodreads Ratings : 4.39/5
My Rating : 5/5

She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy... 

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date. 

...and it’s going to be oh so good. 
All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

From Goodreads


/satisfied sigh/

Oh, Garrett. Oh, charming charming Garrett. Definitely one of my top book boyfriends. /swoon/

So The Deal is the typical New Adult and Sports Romance. A jerk but super hot and super cool guy whos a jock in college (Garrett) and one day he met a girl (Hannah) who hates all those arrogant attitude. You know what happens next. But no matter how typical and cliche the book is, it managed to get into my top favourite list. Thats how good it is.

One of the many things i love and respect about Hannah is that, despite her rape history, she managed to get over it. I mean, yeah being raped is a huge issue. One may be full-on traumatized about that, which might be a huge issue on herself and her sex/love relationship which more often than not, this situation is famous in most new adult / romance fiction with the whole panic attack thing (it's starting to get old, really) but this time, is completely a fresh story. Hannah managed to put it past her, although not completely, but its still impressive. 

“I know it wasn’t my fault. I know I didn’t ask for it or do something to invite it. It didn’t steal my ability to trust people or cause me to fear every man that crosses my path. Years of therapy helped me see that the burden of blame lies solely on him. There was something wrong with him. Not me. Never me. And the most important lesson I learned is that I’m not a victim—I’m a survivor.” - Hannah Wells

See that ? You go, girl !

Garrett is the captain of hockey in college. AND HES EVERYTHING I EVER WANTED. He's confident, sexy, funny, hes a brilliant student. his witty and the flirty remarks are gold. And the list goes on. He lives off campus with his football teammates and THE WHOLE PACK IS INSANE. 

Overall, this book is perfect. Full on 5 stars without a doubt. I would talk about it on and on but i think this would do. Elle Kennedy, you rocks !

“I fight back laughter. “As you wish.” “Did you really just Princess Bride me?” “Did you really just use Princess Bride as a verb?” - Elle Kennedy, The Deal 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Finding Audrey
Sophie Kinsella
Young Adult Contemporary
288 pages, Paperback
4th June 2015 by Doubleday's Children

Goodreads Ratings : 3.87/5
My Rating : 3.9/5

Audrey can't leave the house. she can't even take off her dark glasses inside the house.

Then her brother's friend Linus stumbles into her life. With his friendly, orange-slice smile and his funny notes, he starts to entice Audrey out again - well, Starbucks is a start.And with Linus at her side, Audrey feels like she can do the things she'd thought were too scary. Suddenly, finding her way back to the real world seems achievable.

Be prepared to laugh, dream and hope with Audrey as she learns that even when you feel like you have lost yourself, love can still find you .
. .

From Goodreads

I was first introduced to Sophie Kinsella with her Can You Keep A Secret?  book back in 2010 and ever since then she has been my auto-read/auto-buy author. Can You Keep A Secret? and I’ve Got Your Number are the two books I have and will always recommend to everyone. They’re just THAT good. (So if you haven’t read any of those books, YOU ARE MISSING OUT A LOT ! GO BUY AND READ IT NOW !!!)

When Finding Audrey was first exposed to the world, I was ecstatic ! The cover is insanely genius ! The greenish turquoise colour is so beautiful ! If this hasn’t been Kinsella’s book, I would still buy it and make it one of my cover-buy-books.

Finding Audrey is about a 14yo girl named Audrey who suffers from an anxiety disorder caused by a tragic experience in her school. Anxiety disorder or any disorder at all in YA books are often being portrayed as a dark topic. Like the one who suffers from it  will be an emotional, depressed and a brooding character with all their dark and deep thoughts but not Audrey.  And that is very very refreshing. By the time the book started, Audrey is already in a recovery state and she has had a few sessions with her therapist. She still has her episodes but she faces and controls them with maturity. And she knows how to have a good laugh !

And then comes her family. Audrey’s family is insanely chaotic ! I don’t think chaotic even covers it.  Her mom is crazy and obsessed and loud and from a growing teenager’s view aka ME, she is VERY VERY irritating. I’m so thankful that shes not my mom. Honest to God, I cant stand her !

 The thing about Mum is, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s just, no adults do. They’re totally ignorant, but they’re in control. It’s nuts.”

But I really really like her older brother, Frank. Hes my favourite character here. Often in YA and NA books where there is siblings relation involved, the older brother is either too annoying and doesn’t care about his other siblings or too protective, too funny, too dreamy etc etc which make it seems unreal. Frank and Audrey’s relationship is very normal. He seems very teenagerish (considering hes only 15) but he gives enough of the older brother vibe. He supports Audrey and he is very very witty and funny !

"You teenagers need sleep. You should be sleeping 14 hours a night"
"Fourteen hours?" we both stare at her.
"Mum, even comatose people don't sleep 14 hours a night," says Frank.

Only thing though, the whole family matters is given too much spotlight on that the real problem, which is Audrey, is sometimes pushed back to make way for Frank and their mother. Its fun and entertaining to read at first but too much of it is not good. It gets on my skin, really.  

Within the pages, Audrey comes to know a guy named Linus who soon becomes her boyfriend. They are not Lara Jean and Peter K kinda ‘cute and sweet ‘ but its good enough to make me smile. *Cute Alert* The Coconut Ice Cream scene is SUPER cute !!! And here comes another problem; lets get real here, everyone. Having a boyfriend isnt going to solve any of your illness. Full stop. You cant just go on a lot of cute dates and have a few advise or help given by your boyfriend then BOOM ! No more panic attacks ! No. It bugs me a lot actually when Audrey recovers way too fast. It doesnt seem real. 

The thing about Audrey’s panic attack is, the cause for why its happened is never revealed. We are a given a few clue but not the whole story. It’s a major plot hole seriously.  As a reader, I am not satisfied. WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED SERIOUSLY ? I keep on telling myself to wait but here I am, already on the last page yet Im still clueless.

“We don’t have to reveal everything to each other. That’s another thing Ive learned in therapy : Its okay to be private. Its okay to say NO. Its okay to say, ‘Im not going to share that.’ So if you don’t mind, lets just leave it there”

Problem is; I DO MIND.

I understand that Kinsella is giving Audrey the upper hand. Like its Audrey’s story so she has the right to not let people know what has happened to her until shes ready (which she never is, considering its never revealed in the book). Yes, some things are better left kept a secret and let it stay in the past, but im afraid this doesn’t fall into that category. And that’s a real bummer.

Knowing Kinsella, her books has always been light, hilarious,  bright and that’s exactly what Finding Audrey is. Its easy and fast-paced too. I like it, but I dont really love it like i expected I would. But its not wrong to give it a try. Except for a few parts, its highly enjoyable ! You would find yourself laughing and cackling at Kinsella's humour, trust me ! If anything, I would say that this is one refreshing YA mental illness themed read

"I think what I've realised is, life is all about climbing up, slipping down and picking yourself up again, And it doesn't matter if you slip down. As long as you're kind of heading more or less upwards" - Audrey, Finding Audrey