Blog Tour & ARC Review: Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop by Roselle Lim

Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop by Roselle Lim

Published: 04 August 2020 by Berkley

Become enamored with the splendor of Paris in this heartwarming and delightful story about writing one’s own destiny and finding love along the way.

Vanessa Yu never wanted to see people’s fortunes—or misfortunes—in tea leaves.

Ever since she can remember, Vanessa Yu has been able to see people’s fortunes at the bottom of their teacups. To avoid blurting out their fortunes, she converts to coffee, but somehow fortunes escape and find a way to complicate her life and the ones of those around her. To add to this plight, her romance life is so nonexistent that her parents enlist the services of a matchmaking expert from Shanghai.

The day before her matchmaking appointment, Vanessa accidentally sees her own fate: death by traffic accident. She decides that she can’t truly live until she can find a way to get rid of her uncanny abilities. When her eccentric aunt, Evelyn, shows up with a tempting offer to whisk her away, Vanessa says au revoir to America and bonjour to Paris. While working at Evelyn’s tea stall at a Parisian antique market, Vanessa performs some matchmaking of her own, attempting to help reconnect her aunt with a lost love. As she learns more about herself and the root of her gifts, she realizes one thing to be true: knowing one’s destiny isn’t a curse, but being unable to change it is.

Tip: Make sure you have a snack by your side while you’re reading this book because you will get hungry!

What initially sold me into reading and joining the blog tour for this book was the word “Paris” on it’s title. Plus, when I read the synopsis, I know this is something that I would really enjoy reading. But what I didn’t expect was to also read a lot about Parisian foods! The foods described here made me miss Paris! The foods are so delectable.

Our heroine, Vanessa is a reluctant fortune-teller. She has this gift for prophecy but is reluctant to use it. Then, she was invited by her aunt in Paris as she opens a new teashop. That same aunt would also help Vanessa deal with her gift. The story gives a great deal of focus on a tight-knit family relationship. There’s a bit of a romance aspect to it but I was not really sold about it.

I also love how descriptive this book is about all things. It really helps me visualize the foods and especially the setting. It makes me wish that hopefully someday I’ll get to visit Paris again.

Overall, it was really a feel-good read! This was a great breather and a saver from months of being in quarantine. It really makes me miss travelling. I’m hoping to read more books from this author soon! 😊

3/5 Flower Rating

Fortune Telling? Check. Delectable Foods? Check. Vibrant setting in the city of Paris? Check. If you want to read about these checked items, you should definitely pick this book up! 💚

Blog Tour & ARC Review: Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Published: 28 July 2020 by Simon Pulse

The Hating Game meets Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by way of Morgan Matson in this unforgettable romantic comedy about two rival overachievers whose relationship completely transforms over the course of twenty-four hours.

Today, she hates him.

It’s the last day of senior year. Rowan Roth and Neil McNair have been bitter rivals for all of high school, clashing on test scores, student council elections, and even gym class pull-up contests. While Rowan, who secretly wants to write romance novels, is anxious about the future, she’d love to beat her infuriating nemesis one last time.

Tonight, she puts up with him.

When Neil is named valedictorian, Rowan has only one chance at victory: Howl, a senior class game that takes them all over Seattle, a farewell tour of the city she loves. But after learning a group of seniors is out to get them, she and Neil reluctantly decide to team up until they’re the last players left—and then they’ll destroy each other.

As Rowan spends more time with Neil, she realizes he’s much more than the awkward linguistics nerd she’s sparred with for the past four years. And, perhaps, this boy she claims to despise might actually be the boy of her dreams.

Tomorrow…maybe she’s already fallen for him.

*ARC is kindly provided by Simon Pulse in exchange for an honest review*

I’ve always enjoyed a good enemies-to-lover type of book and that’s what immediately made me sign up for this book plus I’ve always been amazed with books that took place in just one day. I’m amazed how authors were able to maximize a 24-hour time period giving us almost all the important information about the lead characters and their lives. Today Tonight Tomorrow gives us the story of nemesis – Rowan and Neil – who are on their last day of high school.

Rowan’s longest relationship is with Neil McNair – no, this is not the romantic type of relationship but instead a competitive type. They’ve been nemesis since freshman year and from then they’ve been trying to one-up each other. At their high school they were always packaged together – it’s always Rowan versus Neil and Neil versus Rowan. Along the way, they began hating and developed deep animosity for one another. They just can’t seem to agree about anything.

Rowan and Neil are a wonderful duo. I love and enjoyed their witty banters and flashback of memories. But this is the part where I’ll tell you guys that as much as I love the whole “falling for each other” thing I just find myself looking for more foundation on their feelings for one another. I just wished that some flashbacks would’ve hinted us of those feelings they have towards each other along the way. It was just quite unbelievable for me that after spending a couple hours together, it’s just then they realized that they love each other. There wasn’t even a “sweet” moment between them for the past four years until just now. But that’s just me being too analytical, I guess? But if I’m going to ignore that, I can say that they do have this chemistry and that’s what the whole enemies-to-lovers trope is about, right? I also realized that these two do immortalize the saying “the more you hate, the more you love”. Amidst the rivalry and one-upping each other, they didn’t even notice that they’ve already fallen for each other.

Rowan is such an insightful character. I enjoyed getting to know her in a span of one day. She has this pretty creative and intelligent mind. She’s a headstrong character who is not afraid to speak up her mind – well except for her well-kept secret love for romance books. Rowan loves romance novels but everyone around her – her parents and friends – seem to belittle that genre that’s why she’s hesitant to share with them that passion and her love for not only reading them but also writing one.

“High school is ending, and it’s only today that I’m realizing everything I didn’t do.”

“I just wish it didn’t have to end right now; I wish I had more time.”

This last day of high school have made Rowan feel more nostalgic. Especially when she opened a letter that she made for herself when she started high school. It’s a list of things that she would’ve accomplished throughout this stage of her life. She remembered her fourteen-year-old self, brimming with optimism and wanting to get that guide exactly write. But she realized not everything can really go according to plan. As Neil told Rowan, she can’t tie herself on the list she made because interests change. Yes, for some it doesn’t but for most it changes.

I really like Neil. Just when I thought he’s just this guy determined to one-up and defeat Rowan, he surprised me! He’s nice, well-mannered, a cute dork who is also sweet and very close to his sister and mom. I wish we would’ve gotten to know more about him by having a part of the story on his POV. That would surely be a delight!

The Howl Game for the seniors have brought Rowan and Neil together for the last time. But instead of being rivals they decided to work together. And by working together, they embark on this scavenger hunt throughout Seattle that also brought them closer personally. It unnerved Rowan how much they have in common. She started thinking what if the time they spent plotting to destroy each other was instead spent being friends. They’ve competed with one another for as long as they’ve known each other. They spent so much time wondering how to defeat and one up one another but never considered one another as friends up until now…and those thoughts have opened up a whole can of feelings not only for Rowan but also for Neil.

Today Tonight Tomorrow reminded me that yes risks are scary, but regrets are much scarier. We must get out of our comfort zone and have fun because we don’t really know what lies ahead. Overall, this has been a joyful read! I just find myself wishing for an epilogue – maybe a little snippet what might’ve happened after graduation. 😉

“I’ve lived here my whole life, but I’ve never been on the Green Wheel. I’ve never almost broken into a library. I’ve never experienced Seattle the way I did tonight, but its not just the setting. But by bit, today forced me out of my comfort zone. The end of the game means the end of high school, and while there’s plenty I romanticized, there’s so much I’ll miss…”

4/5 Flower Rating

If you enjoy reading a cute contemporary enemies-to-lovers kind of story this book is just for you!💚

 

ARC Review: More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn

More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn

Published: 21 July 2020 by Wednesday Books

Growing up under his punk rocker dad’s spotlight, eighteen-year-old Luke Greenly knows fame and wants nothing to do with it. His real love isn’t in front of a crowd, it’s on the page. Hiding his gift and secretly hoarding songs in his bedroom at night, he prefers the anonymous comfort of the locally popular podcast he co-hosts with his outgoing and meddling, far-too-jealousy-inspiringly-happy-with-his-long-term-boyfriend twin brother, Cullen. But that’s not Luke’s only secret. He also has a major un-requited crush on music blogger, Vada Carsewell.

Vada’s got a five year plan: secure a job at the Loud Lizard to learn from local legend (and her mom’s boyfriend) Phil Josephs (check), take over Phil’s music blog (double check), get accepted into Berkeley’s prestigious music journalism program (check, check, check), manage Ann Arbor’s summer concert series and secure a Rolling Stone internship. Luke Greenly is most definitely NOT on the list. So what if his self-deprecating charm and out-of-this-world music knowledge makes her dizzy? Or his brother just released a bootleg recording of Luke singing about some mystery girl on their podcast and she really, really wishes it was her?

*ARC Kindly provided by Wednesday Books in exchange for an honest review*

More than Maybe is one of my most anticipated read for this year and it surely did not disappoint!!! I had this book since March and I really waited for it’s release month before reading it (prolonging the excitement and all that lol) and it was so worth the wait! I love how this book is brimming with love and passion for music as well as the lesson of not losing yourself while working hard in pursuing your dreams.

Vada is such a fantastic character. I admire her determination especially when it comes to reaching her dream of becoming a music journalist. She has big dreams and works hard for it. While she loves music, dancing is her therapy. It helps her let loose and remove the stresses of her life. Her family dynamic is a bit complicated with her dad being a grade-a alcoholic and not supporting her and her mom in any ways. I love her free-spirited friend Meg! She’s so whimsical especially with her fairy wings. She’s such a fun character! I would love for her to get her own book. I think that would be another hit, Ms. Hahn. 😉

Luke is adorably shy and awkward but such a sweetheart. But honestly, my first impression of him is that he’s a bit bland but he proved me wrong because over the course of the story, he shows great improvement. There’s more to Luke. He has his own passion that he would like to keep to himself. He wants to write music. He likes singing his own song. He wants to make his own name and not be known as the son of a former punk rock icon. Luke has a gay twin brother Cullen who is in a relationship with Luke’s best friend Zach and let me tell you guys how adorable Cullen and Zach!! In addition, Luke and Cullen runs a podcast that tackles about music and other stuff which is interesting as well.

I’m sitting here, a mushy potato, still feeling “kilig” with all the Vada and Luke dose that I had. They’ve been schoolmates for a long time but it’s just now when a class project brings them together that they discover they had a mutual love for music. Oh and they also harbor a long time crush for each other!! I really enjoy the slow burn romance between Vada and Luke. Erin Hahn gave us 200+ pages of anticipation before we finally see these two be together! I especially love their text messages between each other as well as their banter whenever they hang out together. They are both so dorky about music and are passionate about a lot of things. Their love story is amazing and heartwarming and pardon me now if I’m vomiting non-nonsensical words and run-on sentences because I just really love Vada and Luke and can’t hype them enough for you guys!

The secondary characters on this book especially the parents are all so cool! (Except for Vada’s dad) They’ve all been a great shoulder to lean on for their kids.

Overall, this is an incredible book! It would make you interested to know more about music and the lead characters would surely make you swoon with their secretly-pining-for-each-other thing. Do yourselves a big favor and get a copy of this book!

PS. I would love to hear Luke’s song. I’m hoping the someone someday would turn it into real music. It would be seriously awesome when that happened!

5/5 Flower Rating

Do you like music? Do you like swoon-worthy lead characters who are secretly pining for each other? If yes, you should definitely get a copy of this book ASAP! 💚

 

ARC Review: The Invention of Sophie Carter by Samantha Hastings

The Invention of Sophie Carter by Samantha Hastings

Published: 14 July 2020 by Swoon Reads

Identical twin sisters take turns swapping places over the course of a summer in order to pursue their secret ambitions in Samantha Hastings’ Victorian YA romance.

1851. Bounced from one begrudging relative to another their whole lives, orphaned identical twins Sophie and Mariah Carter have always relied on each other for love and support, even though the sisters couldn’t be more different.

Brash Sophie wants to be an inventor, and demure Mariah wants to be an artist. Both long to visit London for the summer—Sophie to see the Queen’s Great Exhibition and Mariah to study the world’s finest collection of paintings. But when their cantankerous aunt answers their letter pleading for a place to stay, she insists she only has time and room to spare for one of them.

So, Mariah and Sophie hatch a clever scheme: They will travel to London together and take turns playing the part of “Sophie”.

At first the plan runs like clockwork. But as the girls avoid getting caught by increasingly narrow margins and two handsome gentlemen—both of whom think they’re falling in love with the real Sophie Carter—enter the equation, the sisters find they don’t have the situation quite as under control as they thought.

With all sorts of delightful Parent Trap-style identical twin hijinks, The Invention of Sophie Carter is the perfect light-and-sweet palate cleanser.

*ARC Kindly provided by Swoon Reads thru Macmillan in exchange for an honest review*

I was hesitant to start reading this because I’m really not a big reader of historical books. I’m scared of starting it then realizing I’m not really into it and ended up DNF-ing the book. But I took a risk and it was one of those risk that really had a positive outcome because I ended up enjoying and really liking The Invention of Sophie Carter!

Identical twins Sophie and Mariah Carter have been orphaned and passed on various homes throughout the years. Until they received a letter from their estranged aunt in London agreeing for one of them to visit and stay at her home. But neither of them wanted to go without the other, so they decided to both go and planned to take turns pretending to be Sophie. Going to London might be their only chance to rise from poverty. They know pretending wouldn’t be easy especially when they both started falling in love.

Despite being identical twins, Sophie and Mariah couldn’t be more different. Sophia is more the outrageous and is the adventurer type. I love her strong-willed attitude and determination to pursue her passion and dream of becoming an inventor. Mariah on the other hand, is the timid one who is content to stay at home and read a book; she’s also pretty talented when it comes to arts/painting.

I like how the story put a great focus on Sophie and Mariah’s sisterhood. It really shows how pure and full of love these two are. Despite their dark past, I admire their faith and how they didn’t lose hope that one day they will rise from poverty and ultimately reach their dreams.

Surprisingly, I really enjoyed the Victorian setting! It was nice to imagine London during that time! It sure seems so interesting!

Overall, it was a nice and fluffy reading experience. The story was pretty straightforward and there aren’t really a lot of complications, that’s why it was easy to ready. A great plus is that the characters are all so easy to like.

3/5 Flower Rating

Looking for a Young Adult Contemporary set during Victorian Times? You should definitely check this book out! 💚

ARC Review: Not Another Love Song by Olivia Wildenstein

Not Another Love Song by Olivia Wildenstein

Published: 07 July 2020 by Swoon Reads

An aspiring teenage singer finds herself playing a different tune when she falls for a boy who could jeopardize her future dreams in Olivia Wildenstein’s romantic YA novel, Not Another Love Song.

Angie has studied music her entire life, nurturing her talent as a singer. Now a high school senior, she has an opportunity to break into Nashville’s music scene via a songwriting competition launched by her idol, Mona Stone. Discouraged by her mother, who wishes Angie would set more realistic life goals, she nonetheless pours her heart and soul into creating a song worthy of Mona.

But Angie’s mother is the least of her concerns after she meets Reedwood High’s newest transfer student, Ten. With his endless collection of graphic tees, his infuriating attitude, smoldering good looks, and endearing little sister, Ten toys with the rhythm of Angie’s heart.

She’s never desired anything but success until Ten entered her life. Now she wants to be with him and to be a songwriter for Mona Stone, but she can’t have both.

And picking one means losing the other.

*ARC Kindly provided by Swoon Reads thru Macmillan in exchange for an honest review*

I’m a huge Taylor Swift fan. I started listening and relating to her music when I was still in high school. She introduced country music to me and made me appreciate it. Not Another Love Song is set in Tennessee, the center of country music. One of the reasons I’m so hyped up and excited for this book (well of course, aside from the cute romance) was the music part!

Angie’s dream is to pursue a career in music. When her country music idol announced a songwriting contest, she desperately wanted to grab the opportunity. This might be her big break. Except, her mother’s not onboard with this career that she wants. She and her mom are close, but the topic of music is a deal breaker. From the get-go, Angie’s passion for music was shown. I really admire her determination and will to reach her dreams but there are just parts that I feel like she’s thinking single-mindlessly to the point that she doesn’t care how her decisions might affect the people around her.

Ten is the new guy in town. He and Angie had this not-so-cute-meet-cute but from that first meeting, I already felt their chemistry. Despite Ten’s hot and cold attitude towards Angie, she still finds herself growing a crush on him.

Friendship formed and sparks immediately flew between Angie and Ten. Added in this equation is Ten’s cute little sister Nevada whom Angie got really close with because of their mutual passion for music and singing.

I also enjoyed the steady pacing of this book. I enjoyed the slight predictability of it. But there are still moments that gets to surprise me. Overall, Not Another Love Song is a quick and sweet read that covers familial relationship, friendship and chasing your dreams!

4/5 Flower Rating

Are you into contemporary stories that includes music and cute characters with great chemistry? This book might just be for you!  💚