Anticipated Releases for June 2020

Hello! Hope you are all doing well despite this trying time. Six months into 2020 and everything is still unpredictable. The quarantine restrictions in the city where I’m living  has already been modified to a lower category but personally I’m still scared to go out.  No one know when this will stop and when we can resume our “new normal” lives but one things’s for sure, we have to take extra care of ourselves.

Anyway, this post is not about Covid-19 or Quarantines. I’m here to share with you some titles that I’m really excited this month; there are fantasy, romance and contemporary titles!  So, without further adieu, here are my anticipated reads this month. 😉😉

The Court of Miracles (Court of Miracles, #1) by Kester Grant
Release Date: 02 June 2020

I’m currently reading this book and let me tell you how gripping the story is! In the violent urban jungle of an alternate 1828 Paris, the French Revolution has failed and the city is divided between merciless royalty and nine underworld criminal guilds, known as the Court of Miracles. Nina  is a talented cat burglar and member of the Thieves Guild. When Nina’s younger sister attracts the eye of the Tiger–the ruthless lord of the Guild of Flesh–Nina is caught in a desperate race to keep the younger girl safe.


A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow
Release Date: 02 June 2020

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book about sirens! A Song Below Water features the story of Tavia who is already at odds with the world, forced to keep her siren identity under wraps in a society that wants to keep her kind under lock and key. Never mind she’s also stuck in Portland, Oregon, a city with only a handful of black folk and even fewer of those with magical powers.

 


Again Again by E. Lockhart
Release Date: 02 June 2020

If you could live your life again, what would you do differently? After a near-fatal family catastrophe and an unexpected romantic upheaval, Adelaide Buchwald finds herself catapulted into a summer of wild possibility, during which she will fall in and out of love a thousand times—while finally confronting the secrets she keeps, her ideas about love, and the weird grandiosity of the human mind.

Initially, I was wary of adding this book on my TBR. I was surprised it only has an average rating on GR and the summary really didn’t appeal much to me. But I’ve read several reviews that the story features the life of the main character in a “multi-verse” type format. So I’m giving it a go because I was intrigued by that concept. 😅


You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
Release Date: 02 June 2020

Cue in Billie Eillish’s song! Seeing this book on my feed almost always make me sing Billie’s song. lol. In this coming of age story, Liz Lighty has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College. But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz’s plans come crashing down . . . until she’s reminded of her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen. There’s nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington.


The Marriage Game by Sara Desai
Release Date: 09 June 2020

My month won’t be complete without a good dose of romantic comedy book. With the best intentions in mind, Layla’s father offers her the office upstairs his restaurant to start her new business and also creates a profile on an online dating site to find her a man. In search of a quiet new office, Sam finds the perfect space above a cozy Indian restaurant. But when communication goes awry, he’s forced to share his space with the owner’s beautiful yet infuriating daughter Layla.  As they face off in close quarters, the sarcasm and sparks fly. But when the battle for the office becomes a battle of the heart, Sam and Layla have to decide if this is love or just a game.


I’ll Be the One (I’ll Be the One #1) by Lyla Lee
Release Date: 16 June 2020

I’ll Be The One  is a deliciously fun, thoughtful rom-com celebrating confidence and body positivity. 

Skye Shin has heard it all. Fat girls shouldn’t dance. Wear bright colors. Shouldn’t call attention to themselves. But Skye dreams of joining the glittering world of K-Pop, and to do that, she’s about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother, have set for girls like her. She’ll challenge thousands of other performers in an internationally televised competition looking for the next K-pop star, and she’ll do it better than anyone else.But Skye has her sights on becoming the world’s first plus-sized K-pop star, and that means winning the competition—without losing herself.


Forest of Souls (Shamanborn #1) by Lori M. Lee
Release Date: 23 June 2020

Unveiled as the first soulguide in living memory, Sirscha is summoned to the domain of the Spider King. For centuries, he has used his influence over the Dead Wood—an ancient forest possessed by souls—to enforce peace between the kingdoms. Now, with the trees growing wild and untamed, only a soulguide can restrain them. I’m all in for the dark mysterious magical realism that this book has!


Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bhathena
Release Date: 23 June 2020

Exploring identity, class struggles, and high-stakes romance, Hunted by the Sky is a gripping adventure set in a world inspired by medieval India.  Gul has spent her life running. She has a star-shaped birthmark on her arm, and in the kingdom of Ambar, girls with such birthmarks have been disappearing for years. So when a group of rebel women called the Sisters of the Golden Lotus rescue her, take her in, and train her in warrior magic, Gul wants only one thing: revenge. Cavas lives in the tenements, and he’s just about ready to sign his life over to the king’s army. Dangerous circumstances have brought Gul and Cavas together.


Rebel Spy by Veronica Rossi
Release Date: 23 June 2020

Honestly, I’m not a big reader of Historical Fiction books. I read one or two titles in a year and it was always kind of a struggle for me. Rebel Spy will be my first Historical Fic novel that I’m going to try this year because of it’s intriguing and mysterious plot.

Assuming the identity of the drowned Emmeline Coates, Frannie is rescued by a British merchant ship and sails with the crew to New York. For the next three years, Frannie lives a lie as Miss Coates, swept up in a courtship by a dashing British lieutenant. But after witnessing the darker side of the war, she realizes that her position gives her power. Soon she finds herself eavesdropping on British officers, risking everything to pass information on to George Washington’s Culper spy ring as agent 355.


Secrets of the World’s Worst Matchmaker (The Baileys #7) by Piper Rayne
Release Date: 23 June 2020

Imagine you’re a matchmaker and you realize too late you’re in love with your childhood best friend. You only have yourself to blame—you’re the one who matched him and now he’s engaged to be married.

I’m an avid follower of this series because I love the whole Bailey family! Finally, were having the story of Juno and Colton! The past six books have just teased us on the “more” of the story of these two.


WHAT ARE YOUR ANTICIPATED TITLES THIS MONTH? DO WE HAVE SIMILAR BOOKS FROM MY LIST? 

DON’T HESITATE TO COMMENT AND SHARE YOURS BELOW. 💚

Book Review: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
Published: 03 April 2018 by Simon Pulse

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern-day Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.

But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.

And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?

Starry Eyes is another book by Jenn Bennett that made me full of fluttery and giddy luuuuurve. There’s really something with her books that always keeps me glued to its pages from beginning to end that’s why I ended up binge reading it in one day! (Just like Alex, Approximately. Lol)

This book has a classic set-up of friends-lover kind of trope YA Edition. If you must know, I’m a huge sucker for this trope that’s why this book really got me hook, line and sinker. Zorie and Lennon are best friends until they decided to experiment and be more than that. But family dramas happened, miscommunication ensued, speculations spread, and their relationship/friendship imploded. For me, they would’ve fixed this immediately if they just let go of their egos and talk. But then, they’re teens, mostly ruled by emotions so we really cant blame them as to why they parted ways.

The other main issue on this story was more sensitive and more mature, I guess. Zorie has never been in this position with her parents so coping with these changes were really hard for her. We see here how she really developed over the course of the story. She’s more outspoken and was able to voice out her concerns which I really cheer her for.

“Cautious people are afraid of the unknown and avoid it. Careful people plan so that they’re more confident when they face the unknown.”

I really like Zorie!! She is an aspiring astrophysicist who is a hardcore planner. She follows routines, schedules, calendars and make lists and journals. Unexpected twists and surprises throw her off her game. I love her voice and personality ++ she has a very cute and chic fashion sense. She started as this character who is afraid and literally get hives when there are changes, but over the course of the story, we see her let go and learned to somehow go with the flow. Her character development was so good to read about.

Lennon is a so-so character. The whole goth thing didn’t appeal to me but I love his soft spot for reptiles and his love for nature, hiking and camping. I don’t know why but I really didn’t connect well with Lennon. I think hearing the story from his POV would’ve helped me to get to know him more. I feel like throughout the story there are still a lot left to uncover about him.

I haven’t been camping. So, reading this book makes me really interested to experience it. I love the whole wilderness/camping aspect of the book. Imagine sleeping under the stars, disconnecting from technology and away from the bustling civilization – that would truly be a breath of fresh air. I also appreciate how the story was divided into parts; I think that really helped set the tone of the whole book because each part is really a new beginning. I also love the maps! The maps made me imagine the town and hiking trails more vividly.

Overall, Starr Eyes is definitely another hit! Well, not as much as Alex Approximately has been for me but this book definitely made it on top of my list. I’m so excited to read more books by Jenn Bennett!

4/5 Flower Rating

HAVE YOU READ STARRY EYES? HOW WAS IT FOR YOU? HAVE YOU READ ANY JENN BENNETT BOOKS? I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!💚

Summery Books Recommendations

It’s already the summer season here in the Philippines and we all can feel the scorching heat! If not for the implemented quarantine I think a lot of us would’ve been on the beach right now soaking into the refreshing waters of the ocean. Nowadays, I just usually lounge at our home’s terrace to get a whiff of air and sun while reading a good book. And speaking of books, since going to the beach is quite impossible right now why not live our  dream summer lives in the pages of the books. Yeah?

I’m sharing with you some of my favorite books that gives the ultimate summer vibes! I hope that reading these books would help quench our thirst to visit and soak in the beach. 😉😉

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett , Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider , Meet Me at Midnight by Jessica Pennington , The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren , 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

This selection includes vacations in small lovely beach towns, surfing activities, pranks, blind dates and the act of pretending to be lovers to get your wanted vacations. These books are all out summery and fun to read about.

His Royal Highness by R.S. Grey , The Education of Margot Sánchez by Lilliam Rivera , Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods , The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson, Wanderlost by Jen Malone

Just like the first selection above, this one still includes summery and fun to read books but features characters taking on summer jobs – it may be in a grocery store, in a Fantasyland, being a travel guide in Europe or dog-walking around the neighborhood. These books are a fun take on how YA Teens spends their summers. Not only they were simply working on these jobs but they are also working on their own self discoveries and growth.

You, how do you plan to spend your summer? Any favorite summery books to recommend? I would love to hear your thoughts! 💚

Book Review: Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
Published: 03 April 2018 by Simon Pulse

In this delightfully charming teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new arch-nemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever-it-is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

This is one of those times that I regret not reading a book once I got a copy of it. This gem has been seating on my shelf for over a year now and it’s just now that I’m discovering this book that is full of fluttery and giddy luuuuuuurve. From the first two chapters, I already find myself engrossed with the story that’s why I ended up binge reading it in one day!

Let me start this off by saying that I love the small beach town setting. It worked perfectly for the world that was built and suits well with the people, their love for scooters and vintage cars and of course the romance.

Bailey love movies and shares this passion with her virtual friend Alex. They met in an online movies discussion group where they are both screen-named as “Mink” and “Alex”. When Bailey decided to move across the country to live with her dad, she didn’t tell Alex. Why? Well because their dads live in the same city and she is worried that when they meet, they might not have the same connection in real life.

I love Bailey! She’s sarcastic, witty, intelligent but fears confrontation and likes to call herself a “habitual evader”. Stuck-up and afraid of people – that’s my first impression of her. But over the course of the story I see how she loosened up and grow. She learns how to somehow step out of her comfort zone and face the uncomfortable. She also managed to make new friends. I love her voice in the story. She keeps the narrative interesting and engaging. I think that’s really a big part as to why I love this book.

Porter on the other hand is the epitome of a beach boy next door. I love his whole good looking, sarcastic, acts tough but a big softie self. I love how geeky he gets about weather and his passion for water and surfing. I know from the get-go that he was Alex and there are times that I just want to shake Bailey up and say how can she not think that Porter and Alex are the same people. Just urghhhh!

Their banters and arguments were just on point enjoying. (lol) For some reason, I really enjoy how provoking and argumentative they are with each other. They argue about almost everything but then share the same thoughts and passion about other things. This part really makes the story more colorful. They’ve also been both in traumatic situations and I was glad they were able to somehow overcome it and learned to trust and open to each other.

I would also love to commend the great set of supporting characters on this book. Gracey is such a sweetheart. She’s interesting and I would’ve loved to read more about her too.  I love Bailey’s dad. He’s the perfect mix of a parent and a best friend. I love how close and comfortable they are with each other. There’s also Patrick, Pangborn and even Evil Davy who may have limited parts in the story but made a huge impact to it.

Lastly, I love how the story wrapped up altogether. Others might find it cliché or too good to be true but for me it was straightforward and the best way for it to really end. I also appreciate that there’s not too much back and forth especially when the identity of Alex was revealed. The acceptance process of that truth felt real and good for me.

I’m hopelessly in love and charmed by this book and I can’t recommend it enough for everyone!!!

5/5 Flower Rating

Have you read Alex, Approximately? How was it for you? Have you read any Jenn Bennett books? I would love to hear from you!💚

Food Cravings ++ Book Covers

Remember the days when you feel like craving for something and you can easily drive thru the restaurant/food chain to buy it? Ahhhh…Good old days. I love to eat. I love to read. I thought, why not combine both on this post?  Nothing makes you want to pick up a book more than a photo of a food you have been craving for, right?

Below are some delicious books to read with book covers that are delicious to eat. 😉😉

100 Days of Cake by Shari Goldhagen

You can never go wrong with cake. Even if this book cover has it splattered on the ground. I have not read this book yet, but reviews say that it is filled with lots and lots of baked goodies!

American Panda by Gloria Chao

See that cup of cocoa? That is a good companion on a gloomy day of reading and snuggling up. See that dumpling on top? That’s always a good food. Period.

Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

This cover always reminds me of the Holidays! The sugar covered cookie screams holidays!

Hungry Hearts edited by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond

A book anthology that features a lot of food? Yes please!! And give me that mouthwatering bowl of Ramen too!

When Dimple Met Rishi (Dimple and Rishi, #1) by Sandhya Menon

I cannot function in a working day without having my iced coffee fix. So, a book with iced coffee in the cover will definitely have its place on this post.

Tell Me Three Things By Julie Buxbaum

My go-to breakfast snack! I love eating waffles with fruits. How about you?

The Unlikelies by Carrie Firestone

The universal snack for all occasion. Whether you’re happy or sad, ice cream will always be there for us.

Are you craving for any specific food right now? Maybe you can eat it while reading a good book! That’s a recipe for a good day ahead! 💚