January 30, 2015

Book Review: Kyland (A Sign of Love) by Mia Sheridan

Kyland (A Sign of Love)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Get a copy here!

“Life could injure you, but you could get up again if you were strong enough, and especially if you had the right person to help you out.”
-Kyland Barrett-


*clapping noisily*
*threw confetti in every direction*
*shaking everybody’s hands excitedly*
*happy tears streaming down on face*

God, I love this book! If Archer’s Voice had already set its claws on my heart as the best romance novel I’ve ever read last year, then Kyland definitely did the same this year! This latest book of A Sign of Love series which is based on the sign Taurus officially confirmed Mia Sheridan’s astonishing ability of writing romance novel. Once again she successfully outshone us with beautiful and inspiring story of hers. If you’ve been following every single book of this series, you’ll know that what I’m talking about here is completely the truth. No exaggerating at all.

Poverty and desperation. 

Folks living in Appalachian Mountain were way too familiar with those two words all along. They were like permanent label that they could never shrug until God-knows-when. Tenleigh Falyn of course knew that. Kyland Barrett sure understood that. 

Living with mentally unstable mother as the only parent they had, Tenleigh and her sister worked damn hard to take care of living expenses and the health of their mother. The trailer they’re living at was far from the term ‘appropriate’. There was lacking screaming from every corner of the place. No food, no heat, no electricity, absolutely no comfort at all. They knew just no matter how hard they worked in the rural, there would never be anything wrapping all these desperation up to an end. Tenleigh of course knew that. Despite the constant suffering the rural has been throwing at her, she could still discover little happiness on it. The beautiful view of glowing sunset over the mountain and small Denville public library seemed to give her warm, literally and emotionally. Tenleigh knew better to not enjoy the little happiness too much. She should do something for her mother and sister. The family only hope was Tenleigh. And her smartness. And something called Tyton Coal Scholarship.
Kyland Barrett understood that fate knew no mercy when it came to poor people. Poverty was one thing ―well, everyone in the area was. But loss and loss and loss seem oblivious to his agony. Kyland loathed the rural like no one could ever imagine for someone to loath a place living. He’s been planning on leaving Appalachia soon no matter how. He’s the only hope on the house. Just Kyland. And his smartness. And something called Tyton Coal Scholarship.
Tenleigh didn’t realize that her competitors include the strikingly handsome boy Kyland. The two encounters she had with him showed as if he was ignorant about the scholarship thingy. Now that they knew what each other’s goal in the end of school period, they could not help but feeling competitive all of sudden. Or so they thought.
Owing something from Tenleigh, Kyland found out himself couldn’t forgive what he’d done to her. But being the brave and strong Tenleigh, she was okay with that. Started with walking her home one evening, they began to know each other more day by day. As they realized something was definitely going on between them, they both gave different reaction on the outside. One of them would have to go soon through the scholarship. It seemed like there was no point to hold on what they had now. That’s exactly what’s on Kyland’s mind. But Tenleigh didn’t think so. No matter who would go in the end, she would never back off of whatever this was between them.
“I never expected to fall in love with you. And I thought maybe…”
…you could love me back. Even if you leave. You could leave loving me.

-Tenleigh Falyn-
When someone finally left their rural with a broken heart, the other one stayed there with a messed-up life. Just like their first encounter when that someone sacrificed to the other, that’s how the story ended too: another sacrifice done heartbreakingly.
“I do go to hell. Every day. For you.”
-Kyland Barrett-
Would happiness ever touch their sleeves? Could they even change their future with shattering hearts? Only time would tell. Only they could prove.

Mia never stops amaze me with every single word she chose to her stories. Kyland played with my emotion, hard. During reading, I didn’t think I could survive turning another page to reach the end. Well, I always know that Mia would gift us such joyful ending anyway but just all the scenes that I had to go through made me raise both hands in the air, feeling defeated to my very deep bone…
Kyland’s story is not just simply another new adult read to enjoy. It’s not just simply romance. It’s realistic romance. Slice of life. Lessons of life. The story contains everything we see in our real life. How poverty made people depressed. How rural people had stronger connection by heart than those who’s living in big city. How passion and strong good-will would make one’s future life completely different. How true love should have worked between two people. How misery, just how worst it was, would never overpower us forever. I would likely recommend this book to people on motivational group. This book talked a lot more than those speeches that sometimes people find boring. And this one effectively kicked right to my heart. Mia did an awesome job there building the characters, plotting the scenes, putting life lessons, hiding mind-blowing secrets under layers, making us cry…
I sobbed uncontrollably during the scene when Tenleigh totally laid her heart bare in front of Kyland. God, I loved Tenleigh. And Kyland… oh Mia please have some mercy
Kyland is the description of perfect man for me ―heck, for everyone, even.
I have never met a hero like him. He completely catches my breath with all that is him. Just… oh God, just remembering him now makes me want to cry again… and this is only a bit that I could spill to you. I would not say anything more for I don’t trust myself to not go crazy and yelling what he’d done for Tenleigh to everyone. I couldn’t help but having the song You Won’t Feel a Thing by The Script when I read about Kyland. It perfectly suited him. Big time! Well, here’s something to make you melt in no time:
“Tenleigh, when I say it was my choice to do what I did, ......, I meant that I did it happily. I mean that. I suffered, yes, but I realized I would happily suffer for you, because that’s what loving someone is. Willing to do anything for them, willing to make any sacrifice, suffer so they don’t have to. I loved you then, and I still love you now.”
-Kyland Barrett-
Oh God. Oh God. Oh God.
Kyland makes me go asdfkhasfhsjafas everytime I hear his name. I fell in love, hard, with him. I don’t think I could ever move on from him. Kyland makes me feel kind of hard to read another book soon without feeling like I cheat on him with another hero
Mia had a thing with surprising us over and over and over again with her character. Just when I think I already totally crushing and falling in love with Kyland, she had the nerve to slap me with another layer that hid his already perfect self. And I would not even complain to be ‘slapped’ again. Oh, and my favorite part was that they fall in love in a library and there was also ‘book club’ fighting that will swoon you in jealousy.
Simply said, this book is perfection. I will not say much so people want to read this book. Here’s the thing:
It’s either you read this or not.
If you don’t: your loss.
If you do: I’ll welcome you to Mia’s amazing world :)

Love, read, and review,
Cynthia D.

Book Review: Archer's Voice (A Sign of Love) by Mia Sheridan

Archer's Voice (A Sign of Love)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Get a copy here!

So, people, kindly send Archer to me and I’ll devote my life to guide, protect, and love him as fierce as I can…

And I MEAN it. Really.

Seriously, I was (―and am) still in cloud nine with Calder when I started reading Archer’s Voice. And I thought there’s no way Ms. Mia could have a sweeter hero character after Calder but… oh my God. Archer. Goodness. Archer is wayyyyyy sweeter than the sweetest guy I ever met in my entire book-life!!
So this book, just like the rest of A Sign of Love series books, is inspired by astrological sign which is Sagittarius. Archer Hale is a man who lives under the veil of dark agony over the past sixteen years. At the age seven, he lost both his parents and his vital element of life ―his voice, through a rather tragic accident. Archer lived with his uncle since then who was a former soldier with an unstable mental causing him to live under imaginary terror. The unstable mental of his uncle causing them to live under imaginary terror with his uncle had set traps around the house and stocked great amount of foods instead of taking Archer out to social life. Archer was raised under the rock by his uncle that in the end he had no school or friends and definitely no social life all the time. His uncle had died when he was nineteen years old, leaving him to live alone and dealing life with the unsocial character built within. People in the town chose not to bother him just like Archer chose to keep the distance with outside world. Nobody bothered trying to talk with him even though Archer had taught himself a sign language for years. Nobody just cared for an isolated man like him. Archer was actually fine and been busying his days by doing small projects around his house that involving woods. His life was simply lonely like that, until someone came to his life and slowly and painfully opening the veil above him.
Bree Prescott is a woman who traveled all the way from Ohio to quiet town of Pelion, Maine with the aim to find a peace over the shadows of one horrifying night that had been haunting her for months. When she first arrived there she had no idea that the town later would not just offer peace to her life but wholly changed her as well. Bree first met Archer through a rather embarrassing encounter when her supplies ―that included advil, several Almond Joy candy bars and… tampons― that she had just bought in the pharmacy rolled over to Archer’s feet. He kindly helped her pick them up but she noticed how unexpressive the guy only to found out later that he couldn’t speak. The more she knew him, the more she attracted to him in a way that nobody ever did toward him. Bree was speechless by the way Archer managed his life for years, isolated and utterly unsocial. When she found out that some awful things had happened to Archer in the past, she went around trying to gather information from the people around her but no one really knew the complete actual story of Hale’s family. And there was no way Archer would voluntarily tell her the history of his family. Bree knew better to not pushing him, as she herself knew how displeasing it was to be taken back to the miserable moment of life. And his was obviously much worse than hers. But she felt different with Archer. Archer was not only helping her to find the peace but also offering the comfort and protection that she’d never found before. When she saw the kindhearted and warm guy beneath the silent one people had seen for years, Bree was so eager to help Archer out and find his voice again.

Archer’s Voice is very well written. The whole story, the characters, and the idea are all perfectly built. Readers’ emotions are very well-played throughout the story. I found myself occasionally sobbing quietly, wailing like a walrus, and smiling like an idiot while reading. The more I read about Archer, the more I felt the urge to protect him in every possible way I could do. Archer character is very lovable. Even though he was described as a silent and isolated man but the way he interacted with Bree and how he positioned himself around her despite the lacking he had, showed us just how sweet Archer is. He might lonely and unsocial but he understood people very well once he knew them. He might not have a great role model in his life to look up to but he was a very independent and brave man. He might have a very awful childhood but he never really thought to hurt those who hurt him. He learned that the scar from his past had caused a very deep hole in his life and dealt with it. He was… well, Archer was so acceptive like that. I have to say that the attraction of this book is centered on Archer, though I liked Bree’s character as well. Her continued and determined efforts to bring the best out of Archer’s self along with the total devotion she had showed to him was very mesmerizing and touching.
I loved the ending the most! Even though there was a leap out that almost caused a heart-attack to me, I was glad that Ms. Mia chose to end the story that way. Seriously, the leap-out was so damn shocking that before I was able to flip the page to chapter 35 I already cried messily and so wanting to throw my reader out the window. Thanks God I did not.
I was really glad I came across Mia Sheridan’s books. The moment I read Becoming Calder, I knew that Ms. Mia must have a bunch of other awesome books. Her every word sparks romance and God knows what a sucker I am for romance. Archer’s Voice is so far my favorite and ―I’m sorry to the other romance books I ever loved but― is my most favorite romance book this year. Well, I never thought that even though I’d met so many gorgeous men and boys with funny characters before, Archer managed to steal my heart completely. The innocent ―yet surprisingly hot― and sweet Archer…
So going to read another book from A Sign of Love soon~
I’m here for you. I’m here because of you. I’m here because you saw me, not just with your eyes, but with your heart. I’m here because you wanted to know what I had to say and because you were right… everyone does need friends.
Love, read, and review,
Cynthia D.

Book Review: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright PlacesAll the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Get a copy here!

This is –HANDS DOWN- my favorite YA this year!
Because it contains a hell lot of quotes. Because the story is divided into parts and follows exact timeline. Because the two characters are flawed people who love beautifully. Because the boy has real unique characters: adorably quirky, caring, and determined. Because the girl has a really beautiful soul inside that wait to be discovered by the right person. Because the romance is damn sweet and pure. Because it made me flying all the way to cloud nine full of hopes… then threw me to the deepest part of Atlantic ocean and suffocated me to sleep… or something like that….
Because this book was inspired by heartbreaking self-experience of the author.

Once I finished this book, I actually had no idea how to rate it. The ending was kind of suffocating me, but then I realized that I always a bit fancy heartbreaking stories so that’s that. All the Bright Places is the first young-adult novel by Jennifer Niven and this is my first time reading her writing so I didn’t really expect much when I began to read. Then I found out that this book is going to movie screen soon, that’s when I became more eager to read it.

Theodore Finch’s mind was only occupied with one thing ever since God-knows-when: suicide. It might sound weird but really, even everyday Finch wanted to find a reason to stay alive that day. He might have a bunch of ideas how to end his life, but he also wanted when he died, he died for something. Something important.
Violet Markey’s mind was set to the future only. She never wanted to look back. She always wanted to skip the ‘now’. She didn’t want to be the ‘Cheerful Violet’ she used to be. That Violet was no longer there. That Violet was lost sometimes ago along with the loss of her sister. She hated the ’pity’ look of people always gave to her. She didn’t deserve a little pity. She should be the one to blame. Not vice versa.
The first time they met, it was one day on school bell tower. Both had one determined thing in minds. He wanted to jump. She wanted to try to jump. But here was the nature of things. When two negative minds meet, they’ll exert later pressure on each other, hence both repeal each other. What happened then was someone saved another from executing the plan. They never knew that that one reflexive act would later lead them to find more what was inside their own souls.
Assigned together to wander around Indiana State to discover natural wonders, Finch and Violet slowly formed an unlikely friendship. Finch, the quirky beautiful boy. Violet, the damaged beautiful girl. Their classmates obviously raised eyebrows to them getting along together. But the ones who knew the true of their friendship were themselves. With Violet, Finch could –for the first time- be his funny and soft-hearted self. With Finch, Violet could –for the first time- understand that there was no one to blame in regard her sister’s death. Not even her.

“You are all the colors in one, at full brightness”
-Theodore Finch-
Being with each other companies, they learned that like Ernest Hemingway said, ‘…many are strong at the broken places’. Violet started to see that to grief over loss was okay but to move on was a must. Finch started to find that one reason to stay alive.
“…and at some point I catch her eye and she’s smiling at me. It’s the kind of smile you smile when you’re thinking someone over and trying to decide how you feel about them”
-Theodore Finch-
Surely now they could help each other to stay strong and live, right? Maybe yes. Maybe no. Maybe the whole point of staying together was to save one’s life and to give lesson of life to people around them. Maybe.

I was truthfully scared that I’m going to cry again when I write this review. What I feel right now is the very same feeling I had when I wrote reviews for If He Had Been with Me by Laura Nowlin and Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks. I felt like crying all day, I felt like throwing things out of total madness, I felt like roaring to people to freaking look around you!
Jennifer Niven wrote this book in reference with her experiences of being affected by suicidal acts directly and indirectly. Both experiences enriched her mind to see the effect of suicidal act from a better angle than anyone. I’m really grateful that Jennifer willing to share her point of view with us so that we could understand that somehow it’s not always the suicide to blame in this type of death. It’s more complex than what people’s common judges. I, myself, admit that sometimes I short-judge them. But reading this changed my whole way to see this issue.
All the Bright Places was written very beautifully. The plot was very well built and each pages contained meaning. It is overwhelming how Jennifer could put extreme theme such suicidal along with love and friendship in one book. And damn it went along very well. Finch and Violet characters are both so unique. Nothing like I ever found on YA books. With these amazing characters, Jennifer successfully brought us to view the issue from two angles of people who directly involved on this. I totally fall in love with them.
I think it’s a very great decision to bring this book into a movie. This could be a great media to encourage people to be more aware of their surrounding and their behavior towards their surroundings.
Once I finish the book I was like,
“Really. Really? No. This is not right.”
I don’t remember how long I had to stay on my room until I could stop crying and sober enough to do my other activities. I felt like my heart being stabbed repeatedly out of my own frustration. When I (successfully) went through the ‘heart-ripping’ part, I thought that somehow I would slowly be okay. No. Jennifer cruelly broke my already broken heart into these nano-pieces like some laser beams. The ‘what ifs’ was definitely haunting my life for some good times. My heart ached a lot for them, Finch and Violet. Yet, I also felt thankful for both characters to give me better understanding of this life issue.
Well, I think it’s only fair to give a warning for future readers:

This book is definitely going to make you cry. Definitely going to rip your heart out and soul, too. Definitely not going to leave your mind for long times. But please don’t make this warn as a reason for you to put this book down. This book is going to change your way to see life. To make a change on your life. To act much better in your life.

Read this, if you want to help people see their life in a better way.
Read this, if you want to be the reason for someone to keep their beautiful life.
Read this, if you want to be someone who makes the world peace and more beautiful.

There are times when I feel so glad and thankful to be a book-worm. One of them is when I finish a very beautiful book and with tear streams down my face, thinking, “Wow, everyone in this world should read this book!”

That time is now. All the Bright Places is just what this world needs right now.
Thousand of thank you stars are on the way to you from me, Jennifer :)

Love, read, and review,
Cynthia D.

Book Review: Bully (Fall Away #1) by Penelope Douglas

Bully (Fall Away, #1)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Get a copy here!

This is my first time reading Penelope Douglas’ writing. I heard a lot about this Fall Away series but never really thought of picking the books up until last month when I was in challenge to read some book from authors whose writing I’ve never read before. I chose this book as one of the tbr candidate because of the cool cover. Well, I kind of have a thing for silhouetted photography…
So my opinion is, I pretty satisfied of my choice. Even though I was a bit raising eyebrows when I began to read the book because of the issue pulled here was something that I always hate in real life: Bully. Well I know it would be about that (the title screamed so) but I just never really knew about bullying that is done by opposite gender. I was a bit worried that it would involve something physical, because if it was I surely would put this down right away. But of course Ms Douglas knew better than to issued such extreme act of bullying. And damn if it didn’t surprise me, but Bully just proved me that even this theme of story could pull the right heart string of people if written through a thoughtful plot.

Tatum Brandt never knew why in the world the only best friend she ever had hated her. She never knew when it started. She never knew why it started. All that she knew for sure was the summer before freshman year that they spent away from each other had something to do with it. Everyone knew how inseparable they used to be before. Playing, laughing, crying ―all done together, comforting each other and the adjoined tree to help some sneaky sleepovers. They were things that forever etched on Tate’s mind. But there was one eighty degrees differences standing between them now. The funny Jared Trent, the soft-hearted, the nicest boy, her childhood hero Jared was no longer there. Tate didn’t know where he had gone. Was he lost his way during that one mysterious summer? Jared who stood up in front of her with all his sour expressions, cocky smirks, heartless acts, and sharp insults was no longer her best friend. It should be easier if Jared acted like this to everyone, but no, he preserved those to Tate only. Only God knows why.

Bracing herself to survive this year, Tate knew better not to attract more ‘devil’ acts before her departing to France for a good one year. But everyone had their limits, even the weak Tate. Showing him she actually had limit that night should have taught Jared to back down. But a year later when she came back, apparently that didn’t quite kick some senses on his brain. But the ‘Tate now’ was determined to set a clear line to Jared’s stupid bullying acts. He could keep going for all she cared, but she wouldn’t be the weak Tate anymore. Now it’s time for him to deal with the coming storm.
Jared Trent never knew that she would turn out like this once she’s back. He didn’t know whether to like the change or not. But at least this new version of Tate was easier to deal with than the one who always chose to back off and gave her a confused pleading stare. He could deal with the fierce Tate much better. But as things went on and on, before they realized things had shifted into something that caught them unguarded. The table was turned and with the push from Tate’s touching monologue during class, Jared was left thinking back all the years of bully and that one summer that made their friendship fell apart. 

Could something that once damaged make its way to heal again? 
But more important, would it want to be healed again?

It was hard to decide what I feel about Jared’s character when I read this. I never meet a bully before, moreover a guy bully whose object is a girl. But at some points, Ms Douglas showed us that Jared after all is a human who has a reason behind his act. And somehow I kind of understand what he felt. How something could change one’s life and demeanor totally fascinate me. In bullying, there’s always a kind of ‘domino’s effect’ on it. How Jared became a bully, how Tate later became ‘a bit’ like a bully, these reasoning was quite understandable for me even though still I don’t accept the act at all.

Meanwhile, I loved Tate’s character. It is always good to see a girl stand up for herself from the harms on her surroundings. And the monologue she’d done in front of class was enough to make my heart totally ache for her. It was heartbreaking. And once again somewhere around the flashback of their childhood, I cried again. Kiddo Jared was so adorable and lovely… something he said when they visited cemetery kept ringing in my head. It is so simple yet so wise.

“They don’t want you to be afraid of them. They just want to be remembered.”
-Jared Trent-
This is, I know, going to be a good start for me to continue reading another book of Penelope’s. I hope that the next book on this Fall Away series that I’m going to read will be this good :)

January 28, 2015

COVER REVEAL CLEAR: A Death Trippers Novel by Jessica Park

Check out the gorgeous cover for CLEAR: A Death Trippers Novel by Jessica Park!

Title: CLEAR: A Death Trippers Novel
Age: NA
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Author: Jessica Park
Cover Designer: The Cover Lure
Release date: February 17, 2015

YAY! So the time has come...
We all know how excited and nervous Jessica about this new book of hers. Well, if you've been following her every update on facebook (I do) you'll see that CLEAR-ly. I first found out about this book when Jessica posted CLEAR teaser video on facebook last December and been following all CLEAR updates ever since... I'm citing one of her updates on facebook dated January 10 about what Jessica thought about this book. Somehow it made me more excited to wait for the release!

Author Jessica Park:
January 10 at 10:25am
For the record, I have never been so freaked about releasing a book. Never.CLEAR. It's SO me. And so not me. But I've been trying to listen to myself and trust in what moves me, and that approach has resonated with you guys so far. And, truly, I write for you. Yes, of course it's partly for me, but in the end, it's what you've responded to so far that compels me to keep going. I bounce off of what you've written me.And then I try to push you...You think you know what you want, so I'll happily give you that... And here's a little more ;)So you and I will brace ourselves and get ready for pub day, shall we? Good.Yes. Let's go find our good...

So, what is CLEAR about? Here's go find out on the blurb bellow! :)


Stella Ford’s grasp on reality is already loose, and it’s about to come undone.
When the college junior flees Chicago and leaves her toxic family behind, she heads for coastal Maine to find the one person who brought her peace years ago: Sam Bishop. But the Sam she once knew now has painful secrets. 
Stella is determined to heal them both. Healing, however, is a challenge when the walls of her everyday existence collapse. And when Sam’s best friend is his worst enemy.
When the line between life and death blurs.
When an end is just a beginning.
When lust and rage rule.
Yet during extraordinary chaos, there can be extraordinary love, even if that love comes with a twist.
Welcome to death tripping.
A thriller, a paranormal, and a passionate romance, CLEAR crosses genres and breaks boundaries.

Now you're curious?
Let's wait for the release date on February 2015! :)

About the Author:
Jessica is the author of LEFT DROWNING, the New York Times bestselling FLAT-OUT LOVE (and the companion piece FLAT-OUT MATT), and RELATIVELY FAMOUS. She lives in New Hampshire where she spends an obscene amount time thinking about rocker boys and their guitars, complex caffeinated beverages, and tropical vacations. On the rare occasions that she is able to focus on other things, she writes.
Please visit her at jessicapark.me and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/authorjessicapark and Twitter @JessicaPark24

January 18, 2015

Book Review: Pivot Point by Kasie West

Pivot Point (Pivot Point, #1)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Get a copy here!

Pivot Point is maybe one of the most unique young-adult fantasy I’ve ever read. The idea is really fresh and very well made; I might just give five stars to the story idea alone. But of course I have to consider the other factors as well to make the rating more solid.

Addison Coleman has been living her life in the city of paranormal called Compound. Everyone in Compound was born with above-average abilities such as ability to detect lies, to persuade people, to control surrounding moods, or telekinesis. Of course so does Addie. She is a Searcher whose ability is to be able to know the ending paths of choices she’s faced with in advance. It’s a rare ability, though. But Addie doesn’t feel proud of that fact. Actually, Addie is rarely proud of herself. She’s quite insecure of herself. She can’t even stop questioning herself why Laila still befriends her ever since kindergarten.

Unlike the other kids, Addie rarely uses her ability to Search in her daily life. One Search has shown a cringed vision of her future that involves one of the boys in her school. That pretty much haunts her life and she doesn’t need another Search to give her some others terrible stuffs to deal with. But at one fine afternoon ―that’s really not fine, at all―, she doesn’t have a choice but to Search her choices that will really determine her and her loved ones’ future life.
The moment her parents sat her together in the living room, she knows something bad is going to happen. How her parents break down the divorce news to her is like the lightning striking her soul in midday. Here comes a choice to pick. But Addie never wants to choose between her mom and her dad. As bad as having a Persuasive mother and a Discerner father, she can’t think of any reasons to make her choices to weight one side.
One path leads her to new life with her dad outside of the Compound. She sees them moving to Dallas, she enters a Norm high school in Dallas with a cover story because both of them can never tell anyone about Compound and the life there. She sees her meet Trevor, the cute shy guy with a good taste of humor and love for art. Despite her frustration of hiding her identity from everyone here, she realizes a lot of things by taking this path. That she could finally find a place where she can feel proud of herself for the first time. That she can make a best-friend without questioning any intentions behind the act. That to be able to do things in her own will without dealing with her mother’s constant Persuasions in her life is worth choosing. That somehow living without people using (and bragging) their abilities around is a pretty good life. And finding charming Trevor in all this NORMality is something that she’s pretty sure will be the path that she will always choose no matter what.
Another choice offers her the life she’s been living in for years. Stays in Compound with her Persuasive mother is not the future she wants but not taking the risk of losing Laila is one great plus for this path. Surprisingly enough, she ends up dating cocky quarterback, Duke who also surprisingly becomes oh –so-nice to her. Simply says, what she gets from her vision of this path is nothing that obviously she’ll enjoy choosing over the other one. 
But as obvious as it seems, Addie should still consider a lot of things before taking her path. Both lives somehow contain both losses and gains that she should choose. Can she make the best choice out of the two lives in front of her? But the right question somehow is whether it is the best for her as well?

Pivot Point is very easy to enjoy. It is a light read, funny, and also full of surprises. I found it hard to withdraw from this book once I picked it up. Addie is actually making it to my list of favorite heroines. Her sarcasm is actually fun to read. Despite the insecurity she keeps feeling, I found that she has a loveable character. And her friendship with Trevor is really sweet. Together they make a cute pair. Trevor’s shyness is adorable and to find out that he’s actually a really good observant is beyond adorable!

“She loves to read, Mom. Like these really old boring books. The ones Dad likes. Plus lame ones, like I do. And she’s not a huge football fan. I think she only tolerates it for our sake. She’s supersmart, my main competition in Government. And since coming into my room, she has probably had to stop herself several times from cleaning up the shoes spilling out of my closet.”
Damn, if only Addie isn’t described almost crying here, I’m so willing to take her place crying like some baby walrus.
“If you need something to hold on to until you feel grounded, I make a pretty good anchor.”
Oh Trevor…
I totally fell in love with them both so much!


Well here comes the ‘but’… (I hate but!)
As much as I hate saying it, I found some lacking from this story. There was several parts that left ‘unclear’ that made me think they were ‘left unfinished’ (not literally, though). It was quite disappointing, though, because I was so eager to give this book five stars but I think I have to settle in with four weak stars. Also there were actually some parts that could’ve been developed wider to make another surprise in the end. But, again, they were ‘left unfinished’. It would be awesome if this book has the 2nd book but apparently no, so I have to accept it like it was.
But no worries, though, this book once again is really easy to enjoy and to love in the first sight.

Love, read, and review,
Cynthia D.

January 16, 2015

Book Review: If He Had Been with Me by Laura Nowlin

If He Had Been with Me
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Get a copy here!

“Try to marry your first love. For the rest of your life, no one will ever treat you as well”

I don’t know if I have the strength to write down everything I felt inside me about this book right now. I don’t want to give any spoilers but… HOW CAN YOU DO THIS TO ME, LAURA??! HOW CAN YOU EVEN DO THIS IN OUR FIRST ENCOUNTER??? I JUST FOUND YOUR BOOK AND YET YOU ALREADY MADE ME WAILING ALL NIGHT. HECK I AM CRYING RIGHT THIS MINUTE YOU KNOW OH GOD............................................................................

Okay. Okay. I’ll set my emotion straight first…


Okay, I’m ready.

If He Had Been with Me is a young adult novel by Laura Nowlin. The story is told backward with prologue and epilogue set in present time. The opening scene was already kicking your heart. But the next chapter until right before epilogue took you back to the past time to tell you every moment spent together by the main characters. Even though the timeline was sometimes jumping back and forth, surprisingly it was not confusing. Laura did a real great job piling all the moments and put it together so that every moment has firm relation and gives strong vibe to the readers.

Lately I’m having a hard time to finish a book in one day. There will always be excuses that forcing me to finish reading in 2-3 days. But once I sat down to start reading this book, I was drowning instantly. Laura’s writing style was so addicting! I was hooked. Totally hooked that only after one chapter I already set this thing in mind: I’m so going to finish this book today no matter what. I literally abandoned everything I was doing and focused only on this book. And Holy God… damn if this book didn’t fascinate me!

Having mothers who were best friends with each other, went through pregnancies together in spring and went to labor with gap only one week, Autumn and Finn has been friends for more than they could remember. There was never a day that they didn’t spend with each other’s companies. Anywhere, anytime, they never stay far away from each other. Having another people from school to befriend with never really appealed to them. Simply says, they were inseparable. Finn has been protecting Autumn ever since forever. Even though sometimes insecurities came creeping up to Autumn’s sleeves ―thanks to their classmates’ comments― Finn never gave a crap to all that and kept pulling her close under his arm.

By all means, I should have felt like an outcast here, a pariah, and Finny should have been the popular boy he is now. I wasn’t, because of him, and he wasn’t, because of me.
Growing up, without they realized, they became slowly apart. Best friends became simply friends became strangers as they were pulled by their own worlds, each. Finn was in the popular group while Autumn was in the ‘misfit’ group. Their worlds were just too different to be placed side by side. People might say that Autumn and Finn was simply an item. The inseparable one. Well, their mothers could keep imagining the future of them both to end up together for all they want, but things between Autumn and Finn were never as simple as childhood best friends turn soul mates. It was much more complicated than what appeared on the outside.

But what if the complicated things were never really there in the first place? What if their separation was caused by something happened between them long time ago instead of by the differences of their worlds now? What if things that caused them apart was their own self? And if they ever came to their realizations sooner, would things ever turned out differently? If they’d been with each other, would the story become any different?

The love I’ve tried to hold back breaks its dam and flows over me,
curling my toes and making fists of my hands as I breathe his name into my pillow.

“Finny”, I say to the lonely dark. “Finny. My Finny.”

My breath shudders and my eyelids close against the pain of loving him. 
Finny. My Finny.
I loved this book. I loved the writing, every word was chosen carefully and they were so damn beautiful. God, every single page ‘screamed’ love right to me! I could just add this book to my ‘to-be-read’ EVERY MONTH ALL YEAR…

I fall in love with Autumn and Finn. God, how I love their names both!!! I always love the name ‘Finn’ for all my life. That’s why the second I read the blurb and it said the male character was named Finn, I didn’t think twice. But truthfully, the blurb was so damn intriguing. It was so short yet hiding something that raised my curiosity to the max level. Somehow I know, God I know, it will end like that. But I held my hope high that things would not be like that. But oh, hell…
Autumn was so adorable. In certain parts, she reminded me of myself back when I was in high school. The realization that hit her surreptitiously and how she handled her heart with all the circumstance she was in…
"I know what I am feeling. I know that it is real, and in this moment there is nothing else in me but this knowledge. I’m in love with Finny."
And Finn, OHMYGOODNESS!!!! Finny and everything that he is are all that I ever want to spend the rest of my life with. His protective side, his understanding, his caring, his EVERYTHING!!!! I loved how natural the way Laura wrote every little detail of Finn’s moment that build up his whole kindness. Like that moment with worm in the sidewalk…
Finny used to ask me to go outside with him to save the worms on the sidewalk.
It bothered him to see them drying and writhing on the pavement the day after rain.

He hated the idea of anyone ―anything― ever being sad or hurt.
Ohholyheartfinnymyfinnyasfsdkfsfhjds! It was so cute it totally melted my heart I didn’t even know how to put it back together into its solid form… Oh my Finn… Finny with his kindness… Finny with his kindness and........................................
I cried thousand times during reading. The feeling I had during reading If He Had Been with Me was the same one with those what I felt during Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks. In the end I wanted to crawl into the corner of my bedroom and scratch the wall with all my ten long nails for hours (I might just do it if my sanity didn’t kick me hard on my face…).
Despite bunches of tear-jerking scenes; I found that this book had a lot of hilarious moments as well. Like the ‘table war’ scene, God, I could just imagine how it went… so dang funny!
The ending (even though it was nothing I pictured it would be) has something that will make you feel ‘alright’. Simply said, this book would be the right one that you’ll really enjoy its every moment.

Love, read, and review,
Cynthia D.

January 15, 2015

Book Review: Pretty Girl by Amy Heugh

Pretty Girl
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Get a copy here!

I loved to read books from the authors I’ve never read their works before without finding out first the what-about of its content. I simply loved to make expectation based on the cover, though I realized it’s not always effective. I rarely read blurbs and only do when I couldn’t make any interpretation from the covers.
Seeing Pretty Girl for the first time, I couldn’t help but hooked by its beautiful cover (and also the title!). I interpreted the story must be those kind of sweet romance (almost fairy-tale like) with adorable couple. Something like that. Never once crossed in my mind that this book would be crushing my heart out thousand times repeatedly and cut the pieces into some confetti.

Izzy hated it when people asked her if she’s okay. She hated it when people called her by her given name, Isabella. She hated it when her mother made decisions for her. She hated it when people made her the center of attention. She hated crowd. She hated strangers. She hated liars. She hated to talk about her past to anyone. She hated the reflection staring back at her in the mirror. She hated herself.
Mason hated it when people judged him by his doings. God, he hated his own doings. He hated people with their needs to put the whole society into groups. He hated people who benefited one’s trust and crushed it in a flash. He hated it when his mother left him. He hated words of sympathy. He hated disappointing those who loved him. He hated people with hollow eyes. He hated himself.
When the two flawed worlds collide, it could only mean either of the two things: worst collision that caused indiscernible wreckage or good collision that filling each other’s voids. Izzy and Mason’s encounter could be one of those things. But it was only natural to push each other away in the beginning. They knew nothing about each other, yet they could make out what was haunting each other’s eyes.
“And, what I see, I know so well, and it kind of scares me, but it brings relief along with it, knowing that I’m not the only one out there who is like me.”
Slowly but steadily, they finally became closer and together reached the gate of friendship. But to start a relationship―whatever it was, there should be trust given to each party. The question was, were they ready to reveal what they’ve been hiding from outer world under their quilts? While one’s secret was worse and darker than the others? While one’s secret was more heart-crushing than the others? The answer was hidden within their hearts, whether they wanted to make the first step to each other’s hiding corner and help directing the light to come inside.
“The past cannot be undone, but tomorrow knows no regret.”
Seriously, God. I felt so damn hollow during reading. I didn’t even know what to say. I might successfully guess their secrets but holy, Amy Heugh hid nothing ordinary behind the curtain! They were greater, darker, and scarier than what I could imagine. When I thought things couldn’t be worse, they were. I might just let Nicholas Sparks to share my award of most heart-breaking author with Amy Heugh. They both had done a very good job breaking my heart but giving me good life lessons of life to think about after reading. I liked that a lot.

The story began quite slowly at the beginning. On the first 20% I almost giving up reading but I kept going anyway. The heroine, Izzy, lassoed my heart the moment I met her. She has a really strong character and even though she was flawed, she didn’t turn into full time brat like most people with same situation. She might appear cold but she didn’t have a stone heart. And Mason, the hero, was one brave boy despite all the bad things happened in the past. I loved how fierce and keen he was when it came to protecting those he loved. God, Mason, come protect me, too please.
“You know what I hate?” His voice soft but strong.
“What?” I whispered, almost afraid to be heard.

“That you have to feel like that, that you feel like you have to deceive everyone around you for their sake only. Don’t do that, and I don’t want you to lie to me. I hate f*cking liars.”
Amy Heugh’s writing style is so excellent! I loved how Izzy’s recovering was described here. It was as if we were there as well witnessing every second of it. She didn’t narrate it in one straight paragraph but through pages of scenes so when we almost reached the end Amy was like taking us to recall all the progress Izzy has made little by little and it was overwhelming and made me want to cry happy tears. How Izzy and Mason formed a whole different kind of friendship, two fragile hearts protecting each other. God, that was so damn touching I wanna cry all week. There were just too many heart-wrenching scenes I was scared I might ended up curling in bed in despair. I had no idea that two desperate people could form a tight chemistry that led into a really beautiful relationship. But don’t worry there were also some cute scenes as well.

My emotion was totally played here. The tension was built real strong I felt like my breathing stopped for some good minutes and I was scared to exhale it. God, if you are fan of heart-ripping story, you have to pick this book right this minute!
The after-reading effect is quite strong. I have these repeated flashing scenes in my mind about this book that made me think about a lot of things in life. This book contained a very good amount of life lessons. Every word was written beautifully and full of meaning. The realization was one thing that I really adored of Amy’s writing. I’m having a hard time choosing my favorite quote from this book but it’s alright, I’ll just end up citing the whole book here…

Despite all the indication of heart-ripping story I mentioned above, this book would make you smile in the end. Well, I don’t know I just feel like saying this so a lot of people wouldn’t hesitate in picking this book up for their next read :)
“I realized that some people came into your life
just so they can teach you how to start it over again.

The day Mason rescued me he shared the words that gave me the power to do just that...

“... . I can’t tell you when it will get easier or promise you that it will be okay,

but I know that I won’t give up because I’m with someone
who gave meaning to the word ‘hope’.
I heard once that sometimes you have to go through the worst
so you can arrive at your best, and I believed that day for me will still come.
Until then I know that the sun will set over the horizon and a new day will begin.”
Love, read, and review,
Cynthia D.

January 11, 2015

Book Review: Never Never (Never Never #1) by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

Never Never (Never Never, #1)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Get a copy here!
This book is SICK!

And the cruelest book I ever read in 2015. Seriously. I’m not kidding.
I’m not going to dwell on the story ‘cause there’s a huge possibility that I might give spoilers. And people should not write any spoilers about this book because it will just break the spell!!!! Except, if you are those kind of people who’s fine with spoilers hitting you from every direction ‘cause you still can feel the intensity of the book. BUT I AM NOT THAT’S WHY I DECIDED TO READ IT ONCE NEVER NEVER WAS RELEASED!!

Okay, first, I’m going to make the lamest confession of the year (and it’s even still January..........).

"I confess that I have never read any of Colleen’s books. Or Tarryn’s."
Gosh, I suddenly cringe after I said it out. But really, I do. I never read their books. It’s not because I dislike them. Strangely, I followed them both on twitter and instagram. I even joined email-subscription to Colleen’s blog. But I never read their books. Like ever. Not even one. I don’t know why. Maybe because my monthly to-be-read lists are always full and I happened to always forget to put any of their books to the lists (and am pretty strict with my own list. Idk, it’s just a habit). Then news about Never Never came out and I (literally) made a biggest mental note to read this book once it’s released on 2015. I must be blessed. I read it and I REGRETTED IT THAT I NEVER READ ANY OF COLLEEN AND TARRYN’S BOOKS! BIG TIME! Omg, where have I been all these time........... ;;AAA;;

Never Never is awesome! I might have some (stupid) confused moments in the first two chapters of the book. I had to read it back and forth to match some scenes and names. But God, this book is bloody addictive! Every page keeps making you wanting for more. The idea of the story is real unique. I might have read stories with slightly same idea but there were some parts that made it different and stood-out than other books. And damn, I’ve never felt so dang curious to the level that I felt so depressed (but in a good way) (Gosh, my words must be confusing but that’s just what I feel after I finished it). Every word was beautifully written. The sweet scenes was so darn sweet I had this stupid grin that I should literally pressed my face to the pillow to stop it. And the writings were so hilarious!!! I laughed at several scenes that were damn funny which were EVERY PAGES. The POV is alternating by both characters and I LOVED IT! The main characters, Charlie and Silas were so cute!!! Somehow this couple reminded me on Margo and Quentin from Paper Towns. Tough girl and so-damn-caring boy. But in a whole better version! Even though Charlie appeared cold, the moment Silas showed his affections, she couldn’t help but feel touched by them. I really really liked both characters!! And Silas, Oh God, Silas!!! Gimme Silas Gimme Silas Gimme Silas FREAKING GIMME SILAS!!! I don’t care about anything that he’d done, I just care about what he do now (Nope. Not going to say anything more than this…)!! He’s just the sweetest, cutest, wittiest, big time flirty boy in the world !!!!!!!!!!

I may not remember anything about her, but I would bet her smile was my favorite part of her
-Silas -
My heart ached for everything that happened to them. I almost shed some tears during last chapter when Silas wrote the last point on his letter… Omg that’s just breaking my heart into tiny little pieces that was ready to be swept by ocean waves...


I’m going to warn you, okay. This book has the worst cliffhanger in the history of ever-existed-books and you couldn’t even hate the authors for that. Trust me. That’s pretty much what I feel for them right now.

So please help me God, my only hope is that me and my heart can survive until the day Never Never book 2 is gonna be released. Until then… *smirks*, hope you feel depressed as much as I do. Lol! Kidding. Or not. Hahahaha...

Love, read, and review,
Cynthia D.