ARC REVIEW: Top Ten by Katie Cotugno

Title: Top Ten

Author: Katie Cotugno

Published: 03 October 2017 | Balzer + Bray

Date Read: 01 October 2017

Synopsis:

Ryan McCullough and Gabby Hart are the unlikeliest of friends. Introverted, anxious Gabby would rather do literally anything than go to a party. Ryan is a star hockey player who can get any girl he wants—and does, frequently. But against all odds, they became not only friends, but each other’s favorite person. Now, as they face high school graduation, they can’t help but take a moment to reminisce and, in their signature tradition, make a top ten list—counting down the top ten moments of their friendship:

10. Where to begin? Maybe the night we met.
9. Then there was our awkward phase.
8. When you were in love with me but never told me…
7. Those five months we stopped talking were the hardest of my life.
6. Through terrible fights…
5. And emotional makeups.
4. You were there for me when I got my heart broken.
3. …but at times, you were also the one breaking it.
2. Above all, you helped me make sense of the world.
1. Now, as we head off to college—how am I possibly going to live without you?

*ARC Kindly provided by Balzer + Bray thru Edelweiss for Review*

It’s been awhile since I’ve read a Katie Cotugno book and a contemporary book in general. Top Ten is about Ryan and Gabby – best friends – who are anticipating their high school graduation and after years of friendship, they can’t help but reminisce different moments of their friendship. They do it in a very systematic way which is by writing a Top Ten List.

Top Ten has a very interesting premise and as a reader who is very into best friend’s type of story, I’m immediately totally up into this story. However, the story was not I’m expecting it to be. It lacked something that I can’t put my finger into. It just didn’t deliver the story I was expecting from the blurb that we all had before reading.

While the writing is okay, the timeline of the story really confused me. This is not the first book that I’ve read that jumps from one time frame to the other, but on this book’s case, it confused me! There has been a lot of back and forth between the Gabby and Ryan’s perspective from different timelines.

From the beginning, we all know that Ryan and Gabby are best friends, but do you consider people who constantly fight with each other about nearly everything as best friends? What they have is really an unlikely relationship because they don’t just bicker and tease each other. They fight. A LOT. I came to the point where I wonder why these two are even “best friends”. Given, the chemistry was there from the very first chapter, but I was looking for the build-up and relationship transition, but nada, there’s none of that as well. Just like their friendship, their romance is confusing and angsty and there’s a lot of back and forth.

Gabby is a girl who suffers a major social anxiety. I do understand and tried to understand where she’s coming from, but for most the story, she felt flat for me. But one thing that did surprised me with her character is her bisexuality. I really appreciate how she explored her feelings and sexuality and finding out who she really is. Ryan, on the other hand, is one of their school’s hockey player and is a social butterfly. Though, I do felt major “kilig” on him at times, his character also felt flat to me.

I can consider our main characters okay but honestly, they are both flat as a dough. I had a hard time connecting with them and it feels like I ended up just knowing about them from the outside.

The potential for a cute and adorable contemporary story was there but the confusing timeline and flat characters didn’t really give the story much justice. Though, I really appreciate how Cotugno inserted topics of anxiety and sports-related injury to the story. Those aspects where well-handled and written but I wish it was explored more as the story barely scratched the surface of said topics.

Overall, it was an okay read.

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Anticipated Releases: October 2017

Just like last year, September has been a much busier month compared to the earlier months that passed by this year. Majority of the time was spent on work (meh) and I also did get a chance to do a bit of travelling. (Yay)

Of course, I still get to find time to read daily. It’s just that I don’t have enough motivation and energy to do updates and blog stuffs (which I’m sorry about). But now, I can feel that work lean season is about to come and I’m really hoping and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to maintain my blog and reading updates.

Okay, enough of my blabbers, and lets go to the main subject of this post which is my Anticipated Releases books for October.

Top Ten by Katie Cotugno
Release Date: 03 October 2017

It was quite a while since I’ve read a novel written by Katie Cotugno, Top Ten seems to be calling me because I’ve always been a sucker for best friends type of stories. Ryan and Gabby are anticipating their High School graduation and after years of friendship, they can’t help but reminisce different moments of their friendship. They do it in a very systematic way which is by writing a Top Ten List. Click the link above to see the full Top Ten List our main characterst have written!


Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore
Release Date: 03 October 2017

The premise of the story initially reminded me of Sarah Addison Allen’s Garden Spells with all the magical realism happening on their gardens. But Wild Beauty seems to dig deeper than having a magical garden because the women who tended the grounds of La Pradera Gardens have a curse-like legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. Until a strange boy appears in the gardens – a boy who knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As one of the women helped the strange boy it also leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.


Without Merit by Colleen Hoover
Release Date: 03 October 2017

As early as now, I’m already psyching myself that I will cry with this book. But as much as I want to be prepared for Hoover’s new novel, I still feel a bit scared and anxious. The premise gave me a very gloomy and scary vibe. The Voss family is the lead and they are anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit who collects trophies.

The family is a total disarray and I’m sure that the whole story will be filled with twists and turns, tough subjects and trigger worthy issues.


Dare Mighty Things (Untitled Duology #1) by Heather Kaczynski
Release Date: 10 October 2017

I just realized that I miss reading Sci-Fi stories! From the title, you won’t know that this book will include Sci-Fi stuffs on it but it does. Cassie is determined to secure a spot on a classified mission to travel to space. But before that, she must first compete against some of the best and brightest people on their planet undergoing rigorous mental and physical tests designed to push them to the brink of their endurance. This will surely be a tense and mind-boggling reading experience.


Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress #1) by Julie C. Dao
Release Date: 10 October 2017

One of my highly-anticipated reads for this month!!! The Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is an East Asian Fantasy retelling of Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl’s quest to become Empress.  Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. This is another one of the most hyped-up book that you can see around twitter. I also read nothing but good things about this book. My blogger friends and other bloggers that I’m following has given this book warm and high praises.


The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed
Release Date: 10 October 2017

Three Girls come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate. They form an anonymous group of girls on their High School to resist the sexist there. Interesting, right? I’ve always been into girl power and headstrong characters, so the protagonists of this book will surely be my best friends. This is another book that talks about the issues of rape and sexuality our society faces nowadays.


Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
Release Date: 10 October 2017

It’s been years since John Green released a book and everyone is surely excited for this new book!! Turtles All The Way Down features a lead character that is living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts and as a person who suffers the same thing, I’m so excited to meet her and see if I can relate to her. This will surely be another heart-wrenching and eye-opening story from one of my favorite authors!


Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Men by Carrie Ann DiRisio
Release Date: 17 October 2017

I’ve been following @broodingYAhero on twitter for some time now and all I can say is that he’s funny and full of sass. I’ve read on reviews that if you’ve been following his account you’ll get an idea on what this book will be about. So, I’m expecting a book that is fun and just full of sassy banter and comments!


Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Release Date: 17 October 2017

Dear Martin is one of the most hyped up books that I saw around twitter. The premise of the story is still very timely to the current events happening especially in the states to the POC’s. Running along the same voice as to the story of The Hate You Give, Dear Martin will surely be another eye opening read to us. I heard and read nothing but great things about this book and that alone is enough to make me excited to read this book.


Like Water by Rebecca Podos
Release Date: 17 October 2017

I haven’t read any of the books written by Rebecca Podos but I’ve heard and read good things about what she has written. Like Water captured my interest not because the character is working as a mermaid at a water park but because it seems to tackle interesting subjects – identity, millennial depression, family and first love. Though those subjects have already been used on countless of YA books written, I guess those just never gets old to me. I’m pretty much excited to meet Vanni and Leigh and see how they will get their so-called “messy life” in order.


You, what are your anticipated books for October? Feel free to share them with me on the comment page below. 💜

Anticipated Releases: September 2017

This is probably the hardest Anticipated Releases list that I’ve made. September is just full of awesome book releases and I had a really really hard time narrowing down my list into just 10 books. And since I’m a very OC person and wanted to maintain a template for my posts, I’m sticking into just 10 books; books that I’m super super super excited for for September.

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart
Release Date: 05 September 2017

Atypical of E. Lockhart and exactly what she did to me with her book We Were Liars – I’m pretty sure Genuine Fraud is going to play maze-like tricks on my mind. This new book from E. Lockhart has a pretty interesting and unique plot about a girl living different lives. She schemes, she lies, she runs. But why? And that’s what I’m excited to find out.


Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
Release Date: 05 September 2017

This book sounds so magical and cold. Eeerily cold. I’m also getting a huge snow-white vibe with all the step-mother and daughter rivalry. As the blurb says, only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.

 


If There’s No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date: 05 September 2017

I’ve always been a JLA fan and I’m always excited to read her new works. JLA’s contemporary works always come up as okay for me though, I really miss reading Fantasy stories from her. If There’s No Tomorrow is again, one of those books that offers a very vague blurb. Leaving us all to think what happened and what will happen? I actually have no idea what will be the twist on this book as I’m staying away from spoilers, but I’m pretty much excited to read this soon.


They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
Release Date: 05 September 2017

I haven’t read any books by Adam Silvera. Please don’t hate me please? I don’t really know why but I just haven’t had the chance to get a hand to one of his books. A see and read a lot of bookish friends gushing about him and his books that’s why I’ve finally decided to allot a time to read Silvera’s works.

 I’ve heard and read that his books usually makes people cry, should I prepare my box of Kleenex and comfort food while reading They Both Die at the End? and binge reading the rest of his works?


Warcross (Warcross #1) by Marie Lu
Release Date: 12 September 2017

Probably the majority of book lovers out there has this book on top of their Anticipated Release for September. Am I right? Well, it is by Marie Lu and she doesn’t fail me yet with any of her works. Yay! I’m just excited to enter the world of Warcross and meet Emika!!

 


Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore
Release Date: 19 September 2017

The blurb in Goodreads really offers nothing aside from Jane being raised by her adjunct professor and deep sea photographer aunt until the said aunt was lost in an expedition in Antarctica leaving Jane alone.  But that vague blurb actually makes the story more interesting and intriguing. I’m itching to know what’s in Tu Reviens and the mystery that lies in her aunt’s disappearance. This will surely be an exciting and suspenseful read.


Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
Release Date: 19 September 2017

Ohhh, a story about a feminist revolution in a local high school. Who’s not going to be up for this? Because I surely am ecstatic to read and join the cause. With today’s issues about feminism, Moxie’s release is just very timely. I’ve read a snippet of this book and I’m hooked! I’m pretty sure reading this will be a riot! (not literally, of course)


Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Release Date: 26 September 2017

I’m certain this book is gonna bring me down to my knees and make me cry. I heard nothing but good things about Starfish and I’m really excited to read and see it for myself. I’m always into stories where the characters overcome their own personal fears and anxieties and I’m pretty sure it would be awesome reading about the lead characters Kiko’s adventure in finding herself and her identity.


The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo (Goodreads Author), Sara Kipin (Illustrator)
Release Date: 26 September 2017

I’m trying to contain myself but I just cannot!! I’m so freakin’ excited for this!!! I’m totally freakin’ out!! I’m excited to travel and read back to the Grisha Universe which is one of my favorite story setting ever! Plus, Leigh Bardugo is my Queen. I’ll probably buy, read and breathe everything that she writes.


There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
Release Date: 26 September 2017

If I’m not mistaken, this is Perkin’s first venture in writing  a Horror book. I’ve read her contemporary works and loved them all and on this new book of hers I don’t know what to expect. Horror books are not really on the top of my list of readings but I’m willing to try this one. The blurb oozes a mysterious flair to it describing how one-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders.


You, what are your anticipated books for September? Feel free to share them with me on the comment page below. 💜

Bookish Tag: 25 Bookish Facts About Me

This post will be a bit selfish because it will be all about me and randoms bookish facts about me. I actually saw this post originally from booktube and saw several book bloggers doing it on their respective blogs and since I’m need for another exciting bookish tag post to do, I decided to do my own version of this.

So, to cut the chase, here are 25 randoms bookish facts about me. 😉

  1. I judge books by their covers. Who doesn’t? I know, we shouldn’t judge because there might be more than what the cover offers but I still do it. I mean, when I go inside a bookstore and randomly stumble upon a book with a cute cover and an okay summary chances are I might buy that book.

 

     2.  I’m a Twilight Fan. Up until this very moment and I’m not ashamed of it.

  1. I read fast when it’s a romance novel. It’s always like that. For some reason, I devour the pages faster when I read a romance book. I still can’t find an exact reason why this always happen but I’m putting an end to it with the reason that I’m just excited to get to the happy ever after. 💖

  1. I re-read books. Maybe that’s the reason why it’s taking me a really long time to tackle or even make a dent to my (never ending) TBR pile.

  1. I have a complete Nicholas Sparks book set. Thank you to my awesome friends who gifted me an assortment of Nicholas Sparks books during my 18th birthday (which was 6 years ago). Oh and my all time favorite? Dear John. The book and the movie never fails to make me cry buckets.

  1. The very first book series I remember reading was The Prey Series by John Sandford. Not really fitting for a 10-year old to read but when my uncle left the books from this series in our house, I find myself reading and enjoying the chase and the mystery of this thrilling and suspenseful series.

 

  1. I’m a crier. Whatever genre of book I read if there’s a sad moment e.g heartbreaks, death, separation – I’ll surely be crying about it.

  1. Don’t get me started talking about books because I might never stop. I just love talking anything and everything about books!!!

  1. I loooooove book swags. It may be a simple book mark, pins, patches, posters or random trinkets I’ll most definitely cherish it.

  1. I read in bed and I’m a night-time reader. I’m at my most comfortable reading when I’m lying on my bed. And because of my work schedule, I tend to read only at night or at times on my commute to/from work.

  1. I prefer Paperbacks over Hardbacks. Though Hardback books looks more aesthetically pleasing, I do have a hard time reading hardback books mainly because they are heavy. I know, I know, my reason is shallow, but I since I usually read while in bed, it’s a hard thing to do. I don’t want to risk falling asleep and getting a bruise or two from a falling hardback book.

  1. I’m a book-hauler. If my budget permits, I overly haul books.

  1. Second hand bookstores are my second home. I went over a phase when I go to second hand bookstores weekly and ended up going home with tons of books. And some of these books are still left unread up until now.

  1. I read two (2) books at once. I usually read an e-book which I can carry around and a paperback book which I read whenever I’m at home.

  1. I haven’t tried audio-books. I’m excited to venture trying audiobooks. I believe I still have an audible credit (which I’ve won from a giveaway) that I can. 😉

  1. I haven’t watched the Game of Thrones series nor read the series. Should I start this soon?

  1. I use my kindle mostly to read e-arcs. That has been my method ever since acquiring a kindle. I rarely buy e-books, so I mostly use it for e-arcs.

  1. Dog-earing? NOPE! I once lend a book to a classmate way back in college and when it was returned to me, my book is filled with dog-eared pages. I kid you not, I literally went hysterical on him.

  1. I was riding the train on the way to my practicum place when I noticed a girl reading a book with an intriguing cover and summary. I ended up looking for that book online and lo and behold it was titled The Maze Runner and that started my journey to the amazing world of The Maze.

  1. Out of all tropes, I hate love triangles the most. I hate complications and feeling of indecision. Can we possibly skip to the happy ending instead?

  1. I’m a mood reader. But most of the time I ended up reading romance or New Adult novels because work and adulting stresses me out.

  1. I used to line/highlight my favorite quotes or parts of the books I’m currently reading. But since I find it a bit messy (especially with my crooked lining and highlighting skills) I only use colored tabs to mark my favorite parts.

 

  1. I’m not a picky-reader when it comes to genre because I almost read them all. YA, Adult, New Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy, Sci-fi, mystery, romance, I’m all up for it.

  1. I plan to get a tattoo soon and it will be a bookish one. I haven’t decided what to get yet, but I’ll surely share it to you guys once I’ve decided.

  1. I sniff books. Whoever doesn’t sniff books are the weird ones for me.


I’m tagging all of you friends to do this as well.

Do we share some random bookish habit or something? Please feel free to leave your comments below. And, if you ever made your own version, leave your links too. 💜

Challenge: 2017 ARC August (Mid-Challenge Update)

This month, I’m so excited to join on my most anticipated yearly book challenge which is ARC August.  

For the new ones, you might ask what is ARC August?  ARC August is all about YOUR personal goal in regards to finishing YOUR ARCs! The only real rule for ARC August is any books you count towards the challenge MUST be an ARC. It can be an e-ARC or physical ARC. It can have a 2018, 2017, 2016 release date or an overdue date of 2010! As long as it is an ARC we won’t judge you or take that accomplishment lightly.

You may click on this link to see my introductory post for this challenge and to as well view the books I’m hoping to finish reading by partaking on this challenge.

Yes, I have already done the whole introduction thingy so what’s the purpose of this post? Well, as the title suggests, this post is an update on the books that I’ve finished for the last 15 days as part of #ARC August. We’re already in the mid of August and I haven’t even finished half of the books I’ve pledged to read (*panic mode on*)!!! So far, I finished 3 books and actually working on the 4th and 5th this week.

But still, I’m keeping a positive attitude that hopefully I’ll be able to finish them all before this month ends.

So, to cut the long story short, here are the books I’ve read (so far) for ARC August..

Summer Unscripted by Jen Klein
Rating: 3 Stars

Summer Unscripted is a light, quick and easy summer book to read. The writing is witty and engaging. The whole summer weather vibe was captured by the author including the dramas, competition and even the hook-ups. The pacing was also quick and though the story was quite predictable it is still fun to read.

 


Spindle Fire (Spindle Fire #1) by Lexa Hillyer
Rating: 3 Stars

Spindle Fire has a very interesting blurb. I’ve always been a sucker for classic story retelling so this book immediately called on me. But unfortunately I didn’t work that well. The phasing of the plot was slow. It took me a long time to really connect with the main characters. The ending is a cliffy, so I might indulge my curiosity and still read the next book on this series.

 


Literally by Lucy Keating
Rating: 2 Stars

I finished reading this book last Sunday and I’m in awe how weird it was. The story did have a good phasing and the characters are just okay but the “fantasy” like thing and the presence of the author, Lucy Keating on the book itself honestly left me perplexed and still a bit weirded out. But overall, it was an okay read, the romance is cute so there’s that.

 


You, how’s your progress with your #ARCAugust stack? I’m interested to know, so leave your updates on the comment below. 💜

ARC Review: Summer Unscripted by Jen Klein

Title: Summer Unscripted

Author: Jen Klein

Published: 13 June 2017 | Random House

Date Read: 05 August 2017

Synopsis:

A summer romance about missed connections and how not to miss out on the love of your life. For fans of Deb Caletti, Sarah Dessen, and Jenny Han.

Girl looks for a sign. Enter: boy.

Rainie doesn’t have a “passion” like her friends do. She’s more of a dabbler—quick to give up and move on. But as graduation approaches, she wishes she had more direction. So when gorgeous Tuck gives a monologue that literally puts into words exactly how she’s been feeling lately, it’s a sign! Tuck is her passion. How could she not have seen it before?

Girl follows boy. Enter: second boy.

Rainie convinces her ex-BFF to let her work at the same summer job as Tuck. She’s got a foolproof plan to date him. But when she arrives, Rainie discovers things aren’t that simple. And she meets Milo, a super-cute boy who also works with her. A boy with a complicated past.

Girl needs to figure stuff out. Enter: drama.

*ARC Kindly provided by Penguin Random House for review*

Summer Unscripted is a light, quick and easy summer book to read.

“You’re a canoe. You’re floating. Aimless. You’re drifting. Getting knocked aslew by the waves of the speedboats rocketing past you. They all know where they’re going. They all have a plan. But you, you don’t.”

When one of her school’s most sought-after guy gave this monologue at school looking right in the eyes of Raine, she knew it’s a sign. A sign that she needs to follow him on a summer theater troupe even though she doesn’t know a bit about theater and the play itself.

Raine is the type of character that I easily relate to. She’s unsure and undecided on what to do with her life. She jumps from one thing to another and really having a hard time finding her niche in life. I’m way older than Raine and I still feel the same at times that’s why I easily relate to her.

Milo is a fun character. He’s a perfect guy throughout the story – decent and talented (onstage and offstage). I also like that the author made him Mexican-American inserting a bit of diversity into the book.

“I’m like a human skipping stone. Splashing across life’s surface, going after one thing and then another. Sure, I might make a lot of ripples, but they always disappear.”

Delving deeper into the book, I just wished it tackled more on the aspect of Raine being indecisive about things about her future instead of focusing majority of her time in her boy-drama. This might also be a good time to mend broken fences with her friend Ella.

Overall, the story was okay. The writing is witty and engaging. The whole summer heather vibe was captured by the author including the dramas, competition and even the hook-ups. The pacing was also quick and though the story was quite predictable it is still fun to read.

Review: Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Title: Words in Deep Blue

Author: Cath Crowley

Published: 06 June 2017 | Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

Date Read: 30 July 2017

Synopsis:

Love lives between the lines.

Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came.

Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction, and the escape. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore. She can’t see her future.

Henry’s future isn’t looking too promising, either. His girlfriend dumped him. The bookstore is slipping away. And his family is breaking apart.

As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.

*Finished copy kindly provided by Penguin Random House for review*

Who wouldn’t be enticed to read a book that is about books and lovers of books? That premise of Words In Deep Blue is what immediately captured my interest making me immediately put it on my anticipated reads list for this year. And just when I thought that the story is a simple as that I was so wrong because inside this book is a heartfelt story that tackles family, friendship, grief and loss

Told in alternating POV’s of old friends Rachel and Henry, we were all brought to the small town of Gracetown where Rachel and Henry grew up together. Until a time came when Rachel needs to move to another town. Loose ends have been left with Henry and her other friends. But now, years have passed and she has returned to Gracetown. Returning to her old hometown, old friends and to Henry. But nothing is ever the same. Rachel is no longer the same.

Now, they are both forced to deal with the past, live in the present and get ready for the future and face the truths.

“I’ve missed her. Even now when she’s not being herself, I miss her.”

I like Henry! He’s cool and geeky and such a sweetheart. Though I’m quite annoyed on how he reacts with Amy (sicker than a love-sick boy) I liked him because he was able to redeem himself at the latter part of the book. He wears his heart on his sleeve. I really can’t blame him on what happened between him and Rachel, but what I do appreciate about him is that he gently woven himself back into Rachel’s life. He knows that something is going on with her but he didn’t push her into telling him what it is. He let her take her time to tell him.

“I think you should be depressed. I think depression is completely fair enough. Depression is the absolute response here.”

Rachel on the other hand is such a tough nut to crack. From the beginning, her sadness and grief can be seen. She’s still grieving for the loss of her brother. She’s also grieving the loss of her “old-self” mom. Reading about Rachel on the books actually makes me feel melancholic. I felt for her. I felt her sadness, her grief, her guilt. Being in Gracetown makes her feel alive again even for just a little. The town holds a lot of memory of her and her brother and going back has been a  good start for healing to her.

The other characters also made the book more solid. There’s George, Lola, Martin, Rachel’s Aunt and even Henry’s Parents, these set of characters are all there at the center of the story solidifying the story more with their sub-stories that is as interesting as the main story itself.

“Secondhand books are full of mysteries, which is why I like them.”

The Howling Bookstore is the brightest part of this book form me. Just imagining how cozy the bookstore looks makes me fall in love with books all over again. I really love the unique idea of the Letter Library where customers can write in books, circle the words they love and highlight lines. They can leave notes in the margin and thoughts about meanings of things that can be later discovered by other people. This idea is brilliant because its like another method of communication. It creates connection between strangers who might share the same love and passion as you.

The Letter Library is also home to Rachel and Henry’s sweet moments. Though the love-story is not the highlight of the whole story, I still feel giddy whenever there is a Rachel-Henry moment. *squeee*

I love the characters, I love the story so why not give it 5 stars? Well because, it took quite long for the story to get into the heart of the matter. I reached a point where it felt like I was dragging myself into the story (but I did get my feet back at some point).

Another thing is that it feels like a lot is going on – death of someone, love life of someone, the bookstore, the books and letters. There are a lot of subplots that are very interesting and I think are important parts of the story but sadly the ending did not give it enough justice. In fact, I felt that the ending is still quite a loose end for me.

“The past is with me; the future is unmapped and changeable. Ours for the imagining, spreading out before us. Sunlight-filed, deep blue, and the darkness.”

Overall, it has been an interesting read for me. I loved the characters and the whole concept of the Howling Books but I just wished that the ending could’ve been more close tied. Nevertheless, I’ll be on the lookout for more of Cath Crowley’s books.