January 20, 2016

Blog Tour: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald | Review + Sweepstakes Campaign + Giveaway!

Let's Say It's a... Book Event! is a feature where I publish book-related events under. Find everything from blog tours, book spotlights to cover reveals here!

  • Title: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
  • Author: Katarina Bivald
  • Genre: Fiction; Contemporary
  • Pub. Date: January 19, 2016 by Sourcebooks Landmark

SYNOPSIS

Once you let a book into your life, the most unexpected things can happen...
Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds that Amy's funeral has just ended. Luckily, the townspeople are happy to look after their bewildered tourist—even if they don't understand her peculiar need for books. Marooned in a farm town that's almost beyond repair, Sara starts a bookstore in honor of her friend's memory. All she wants is to share the books she loves with the citizens of Broken Wheel and to convince them that reading is one of the great joys of life. But she makes some unconventional choices that could force a lot of secrets into the open and change things for everyone in town. Reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, this is a warm, witty book about friendship, stories, and love.


MY REVIEW

Honestly speaking, I was worried of not enjoying this book ‘cause it’s been a while since I picked up a fiction (could it be Sparks’ The Best of Me which I read last August?). As much as I love contemporary books, I always find myself picking up YA a lot more than fiction or chick-lit ones. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend proved me wrong. If any, this book made a ‘fiction-enjoyer’ side of me blooming again after hiding somewhere for months.

Story line
Book-lover Sara Lindqvist couldn’t be any happier when Amy, her elderly pen-pal, invited her to come to her hometown in Iowa, United States. Broken Wheel was the name of the town Amy had been telling Sara again and again through the letters they’ve been exchanging with from the past two years. Amy’s story made it sound so much like a dream-town for Sara, especially since she hadn’t ever gone out of her hometown of Haninge, Sweden all her life. Befriending three people and an unlimited number of books had always been enough before. But Amy had introduced her to a place across the sea for Sara to escape for a while. And to enjoy it with fellow book-lover? It would be one big step for Sara to come out of her comfort zone and lead a life like any other woman her age do: visit new places, meet new people. Of course, with a company of her long life best-friend, books.
Sara could already imagine how the trip would be: meeting Amy, reading and book-talking with her day and night, meeting everyone in town whose story she already knew from Amy’s letters, walking along Jimmie Coogan street or just doing any other things that Amy promised Sara could do in a quiet and peaceful small town of Broken Wheel.
What Sara didn’t expect was to find a literally broken and dying town with its population had just finished a funeral ceremony of an old lady. No one to visit any longer and practically nothing in town to see, Sara had to bury all the dreams she had in mind about her so-called vacation. But apparently without Amy or any tourist-y spot, Broken Wheel still managed to make Sara keeping her vacation schedule on. In fact, she even wanted to stay longer than her visa let her to.

Book Friendship
Told in third person omniscient POV, The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend portrayed every corner of Broken Wheel vastly from various angles. Sara might be the center of the story (a.k.a. the heroine) but Bivald made the others’ story as important as hers. This is because The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is simply a story of how a dying small town starts a friendship with books. Sara represented ‘the books’ while some residents play the role of the town.

Right People, Wrong Place
Each person living in the said town had their own share of sorrows from different past tragedies. There were loss, injustice rights, negative judgment, self-insecurity, bad business, unexpected turn of events, and even unhappy marriage, all contributed to Broken Wheel’s constant dreary aura. Some left the town and never came back, resulting in a lot of empty spaces there, both physically and mentally. Those who stay were barely hanging on with their life. When Sara came, I found it endearing how everyone was curious and excited of the potential tourist. Sara quickly became the town’s shared guest rather than just Amy’s. Turned out Broken Wheel was nothing like its outward appearance. People there might not all have a good life, but they make a good small society together. They had a high tolerance for each other, strong loyalty, and offered most excellent hospitality to newcomer albeit their gloomy streets. Sara’s existence among them only emphasized their hidden charms with the way they eagerly treated her so good.

Bookworm + Sweet Heroine = 
Sara, who never really felt such acceptance from others before quickly fell in love with Broken Wheel and its people. Yet as much as she enjoyed their sweet friendliness: complete free of facilities and necessities, Sara couldn’t let these people continue pampering her throughout her stay. Knowing the history of Broken Wheel and people who’d been living in it through Amy’s letters, Sara knew exactly how to repay the town back. Book was definitely the answer and since Amy had lots of them: a bookstore it was. What started as a form of payback―which earned plenty raised eyebrows from the people―eventually became the center that held the town together. Skepticism toward the bookstore slowly shifted into feelings of proud, oddly needing, and even some sense of belonging―just like how Sara felt about the Broken Wheel in return. Sara’s the main character that I’m sure all readers, especially hardcore book lover, could easily relate with. I found myself keep comparing my reading-habits with hers from page to page and got quite a lot similarity between us. I could even relate with her social life, being a book-lover and all. Her determined self and her love of books succeeded in giving the town what they truly needed but never figured out what. Sara’s creativity is also something that attracted me to her character. Her idea of unconventional yet striking shelf title was definitely amazing! If only we have a bookshop assistant like her in our town…

Let’s Move... to Broken Wheel!
I could not not talk about the people of Broken Wheel here. First impression about them I got from the scene of Sara’s arrival might not show anything engaging. But throughout the story, the delineation started to take shape as each resident made an appearance one after another and the story took turns focusing on them. I am personally drawn to George’s character, a fifty-something ex-alcoholic who nursed a deep longing to meet his daughter for years. His loyalness to Sara was really touching. Besides him, the other characters like Caroline, Jen, Grace, Andy, John, and Tom each has different personalities which made their small group even more interesting. The quirkiness of certain characters, the rigidness, the skeptical, and the overtly-worry habit created such unique combination that amusing and heartwarming at the same time. And the best part? These people loved plotting so much! There was this scene when a neighbor town looked condescendingly toward Broken Wheel’s new bookstore and Andy, being an enthusiast he is, plotted a scheme to defend the bookstore which already became part of their town. The plan was simple (rather a disaster, actually, and goodness! I couldn’t stop laughing those entire two chapters…) yet the purpose behind it was really deep. Reading about these people makes me feel like packing up my bags and moving in to Broken Wheel. And this is the feeling that I’m sure would not be solely mine.

Book about Books
I’ve never really read book about books before. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend managed to give me quite an excellent first experience in this. There was a lot of discussion about books ranging from classic to nowadays favorites. I also deeply enjoyed so many agreeable book-related opinions presented here. I love how the author threaded every scene with books, enriching the ‘book-about-books’ quality within, such as when she connected certain moments with analogies to the storyline from some popular books. The way Bivald wrote every part about books gave a clear impression of how much she loved books. There was a paragraph telling sixteen years old Sara broken down on the amount of classics books in the library she visited, worrying she could not read all of them even if she dedicates all her life just for reading. It strangely left me with a really warm feeling. Putting aside the other elements of the book, the scene of young Sara itself already successfully showed that it’s possible for someone to fall so deeply in love with books. It’s kind of beautiful and I, as an avid reader, found it quite magical.

Amy: A Pleasant (nonexistent) Character
Not having a physical appearance within the story didn’t lessen Amy’s role. Bivald built Amy’s character through series of letters she sent to Sara and spread the letters to each fitting chapters making it as if Amy was still there, among the other characters. Amy’s wisdom and passion that was captured on the letters indirectly became the bridge that connects people of Broken Wheel and Sara. And even without ‘meeting’ Amy in person, the readers still got a clear picture of what kind of character she is: an old lady who once, too, made a mistake in life yet found a warm solace through books and good companies.

Final Thought(s)
Despite its predictable ending (and cliché closing words), I felt like finding a warm closure in the end of the book. Some chapters were titled by score marks between ‘books’ and ‘life’ as to present Sara’s preference of books over life. The epilogue terminated the final result in which Bivald showed that both books and life, albeit their different ways, give a similar kind of comfort if being put in good balance. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend might be a book dedicated to books, but the author didn’t forget to slip an essential message that life and all the realities in it could be as good as book. Sara, though she’d been working among books for years, got to learn this important lesson in a town whose people hardly ever touch a book before. It’s kind of ironic yet aptly realistic and even brilliance to put it that way.

To the readers who in need of a good reminder of why they fall in love with books, Katarina Bivald’s The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend provides a pleasant answer in 400 pages of endearing journey of Sara, Broken Wheel town, and books that connect them.



SWEEPSTAKES CAMPAIGN


Independent publisher Sourcebooks announces the “Readers, Recommend Your Bookstore” campaign, which will give grant money to three nominated bookstores. The “Readers, Recommend Your Bookstore Campaign” is inspired by the phenomenal support booksellers have given The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald, which was selected as the #1 Indie Next Great Read for January 2016

Anyone can nominate their favorite bookstore at:

Sourcebooks will award the winning bookstore with a $3,000 prize; two additional bookstores will each receive a $637 prize (the population of Bivald's fictional Broken Wheel, Iowa). In addition to bookstores receiving prizes, weekly giveaways for those who nominate will be held throughout the campaign. Voting began January 4, and runs until February 19, when the winning bookstores will be announced!

GIVEAWAY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ABOUT THE AUTHOR







Katarina Bivald grew up working part-time in a bookshop. Today she lives in Alta, Sweden, with her sister and as many bookshelves as she can squeeze in. She has still not decided whether she prefers books or people. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend is her first novel.


January 10, 2016

Anything Post: Blog Announcement!

Let's Say It's a... A..Anything! is a feature where I post random things like some babbling or random discussions about anything.

HELLO!


This is going to be a quick post but I'm going to make a short announcement for every reader of my blog!

This is partly sad news but I think I won't be spending the rest of my January finishing all of my TBR. As you might know, I have 8 books on my TBR list this month and being a slow reader I've only read 1 book so far like a queen snail I am!
I so won't be nailing my TBR like I said..... *sigh*

I'll be away for some short of business that lasts 3 weeks starting from next week and won't have much time to do some reading or even reviewing. And that, too, means I won't be blogging much here except for some posts that have been scheduled in advance to be posted within this month, like blog tour or weekly feature that I've saved on draft already (hey, I have upcoming blog tour with giveaway next week, so you better keep an eye on my blog!).

But don't worry, I might be able to steal a few hours to read and write a quick review about it because after all who could stand not reading for weeks? Me, that who.

Anyway, I will be coming back on February, hopefully, and will transfer books on Jan TBR that I haven't got a chance to read to Feb TBR. Meanwhile, feel free to explore through my reviews archive!

Thank you all for your visits and hope you enjoy my every post here!
Until then...



Weekend Rec: The Invasion Trilogy by Jessica Frances



Just like its name, Let's Say It's a... Book Rec! is a feature where I recommend book for your weekend read!
Here comes weekend again!
I was quite busy this week, tmth yet so little time to do it. I even had to give up posting two posts of my supposedly new blog features 'cause I really didn't get enough time to write (or type) it down... *sigh* But it's okay, I'm going to rearrange my blog posting schedule so it won't overlap my personal schedule. Anyway, for this weekend I'm going to recommend one of my favorite series from sci-fi genre. The plot is epic and I super love the thrill and all the feels I got from following this trilogy! It is just too bad that not many people knows about this trilogy because I'm sure that those who read this would definitely be in love with them. Well, what trilogy is that?

THE INVASION TRILOGY by Jessica Frances

#1 EARTH


AMAZON ADD TO GOODREADS

"The world as we know it is ending."
(Chapter II, Earth)

The first book already made a total mess with my mind! All the feels that I got from reading this were just... epic! The thrill, the suffocating feel, the crying, the tension, the heartbreak, the romance, THE CLIFFHANGER. God, I remembered internally screaming at the top of my lungs once I read the last page because there was no way in hell I could sleep after everything that happened in that first book. 

Synopsis
Earth is being invaded. There was no warning and no time to stage any kind of defence. Instead countries started to go silent. They were no longer reachable and no one knew what was happening. So when Canada went dark; everyone knew America would be next. 

My name is Matilda, but everyone calls me Mattie. I was at college in Oregon when the attack began. By the time Canada went quiet, we’d had enough. So two of my friends and I decided to join the fight in Vancouver and find out what was really happening. That is when everything changed. What we found was death, destruction and machines that were slaughtering humans. There would be no escape for us; no place to go where the machines couldn't reach us. I had no future, but then I met him. 

My name is Marduke and I’m part of the reason Earth is being invaded. I’m from a different planet and even though I look human, I’m not. But when Earth was invaded, I began running from my family and running for my life. Then she saved me. She made me feel something I’d never felt before. She saved my life and opened my heart to the possibility of love, she changed me forever. 

What are the chances of finding your true love right when the world is ending? What kind of cruel fate places them together under those circumstances? What is she supposed to do when he tells her he is not from Earth? When she finds out that he is one of the invaders? 
What does she do when she finds out everything she thought she knew was wrong? 
What does he do when he has to make a choice between protecting her and saving himself? 
How can they overcome everything standing in their way? 

Me saying... 
"...I finished the rest 90% in one sitting because apparently after the invasion kicked in, I just COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! Seriously. Ms. Frances brought up the invasion as the main topic and she did it awesomely because it’s just so well-built, the invasion, background story of the Oden. They’re all so well-thought. Even me as a romance-sucker ―who’s basically been focusing only on romance side in just every book, this time also felt intrigued by the non-romance part as much as the romance ones."

#2, ROTH



“I want to go home, Marduke. I want to go to Earth. Can you promise me that?”
(Chapter V, Roth)

Yep, this is me being a tease! :p
The second book is where the real ugly crying begins... When I thought I was already blown away too much by Earth, Roth came and topped all of my expectations! I was totally enchanted and felt like could not see past the reader I gripped tightly in my hands for hours after reading it. Seriously, this is probably the best sequel I've ever read in my entire life...

Synopsis
I was taken and left for dead on a planet far from Earth. My new nightmare is called Roth. 
I have only Hank for an ally here and a burning rage that builds higher with each passing day. 
But we have a plan.
One that will hopefully give humans back the Earth.
One that will ensure I get revenge for what was taken from me.
I will stop at nothing to get Earth back.
I am willing to die for this.

I made a mistake. 
I sent Mattie away from Earth and now she is in more danger than she ever was there.
The threat to her life doesn't just come from my people, but from humans as well.
I have to find her. 
She needs to know there is more at risk than just her life. 
She carries a secret, one that would lead to our deaths if anyone found out.
If we want a future together, then we need to escape Roth and leave the war and everyone behind.

What happens when their plan begins to fail? 
What will they do when a new threat presents itself, one more dangerous than anything they have ever faced before?
Will Mattie be able to survive the loss she is forced to endure?
Will Marduke be able to protect her from not only his people and hers, but also from herself?
Is there still a way to save Earth?
Is there even a way to save each other?
Or will humans fall? 
Will Earth be lost to them forever?


Me saying... 
"Today, I proudly confirmed that Roth has gracefully topped ALL my expectation as the second book of Invasion Trilogy!
GOD! I had a great time with the first book. Earth had successfully taken me into a mind-blowing roller-coaster ride and in the end it left me speechless and craving for more. But ROTH, people, ROTH is marvelous! It’s amazing! It’s everything I’ve never read! It… blew my mind! Every part of it!"

#3, ODEN

AMAZON ADD TO GOODREADS


“You’re too forgiving. Why don’t you hate me?” 
“Because I love you and I know you are kind and brave. You’re a good man, no matter your species or what your family is like.”
(Chapter II, Oden)

If you think I'll write a little something here to let you know how I feel about this third book, you're wrong. Because, how in the world could I write a condition like this?

Well, nuff said, I guess.

Synopsis
Mattie:
A war is coming.
It will not be an Earth bound battle yet humans will have to fight for their survival.
This is no longer about fighting to take our planet back, this is a fight for our society, our way of life.
However I will not be fighting in this war, I have another I must battle against, to stop him and keep myself, Marduke and our child safe and out of his clutches. I will do anything to protect my family from this evil maniac.
Jeprow doesn't know of human’s strengths. He doesn't know how resourceful we are. How brave and cunning and smart we can be.
He thinks he’s already won and the battle between us is over, but he has no idea who he’s messing with.


Marduke:
Oden is under attack and suddenly there is more at risk than just my own life. Mattie and our baby now rely on me and I can’t let them down
My new family is trapped in a warzone and I must protect them.
But I must still protect my people, my family’s legacy and the leadership that holds it all together.
If we lose this war, then the humans lose as well. 
We are in this fight together and the losses on both sides will be many.
Never before have I been under such pressure, never before has the risk of failure been so high.

What happens when they end up sacrificing more than they ever intended, if they lose who they are and what they are fighting for?
Can they move on from all they have lost, forgive each other for what they have been forced to do?
Most importantly, can they ever learn to forgive themselves?
Who will win the war and who loses everything?

Me saying... 
"It felt bittersweet to close the last page of Oden. The Invasion Trilogy is the best fantasy trilogy I’ve ever read my whole life. This one is perfection. Every scene is vivid picture in my mind until now. I personally think everything in Earth, Roth, and Oden are materials worth to be made into movies because just by reading them I could feel such real feeling of suspenseful, scared, grief, and so on. Imagine what it’d feel like seeing them as moving-images. Jessica Frances might be a new author for me but she quickly becomes my best favorite author. I wish to read more sci-fi books from her in the future…
Ahh… how to end this without igniting melancholic situation? LOL!
Read this trilogy, people! Trust me: you don’t want to skip this trilogy. I’m serious, really. I’m not going to say anything anymore.
Just read the book and you can thank me later."

***
Well, so there's that! My recommendation for your weekend read this time. I know I'm not good in convincing people but maybe what I wrote there with all the little teases from my reviews would convince you to read this trilogy. I really really love this trilogy and it's like my habit to get as many people as possible to read books that I deeply love.
So, pals, let me know if you're interested in reading this book! Or maybe you've already read it? Then let's discuss this trilogy with me! :)

January 9, 2016

Review: The Girlfriend Request by Jodie Andrefski

Book and ARC reviews are posted under this feature!

The Girlfriend Request by Jodie Andrefski



*Digital ARC was received from Entangled: Crush through Netgalley*

Genre: YA (Contemporary)
Pub. Date: January 11, 2016

Get a copy here!
AMAZON | BOOK DEPOSITORY

First Impression
Truthfully I was thrilled with the main idea of the story. A girl came up with a grand scheme to make the boy next door (which also her best-friend) see her in different light through the power of social media account. The blurb clearly screamed funny and light-hearted journey of love between longtime best-friends and I happened to crave some light and cutesy romance as my first read of the year. Well, it was funny… at some parts, but the whole story? Unfortunately, not so much. 

Synopsis
Emma and Eli had been best friends ever since she came to the neighborhood ten years ago. What started as simple gesture of help had grown into a tight friendship of two. Emma and Eli were practically inseparable and everyone knew that. What everyone didn’t know, though, behind all those casual hang-outs in pizza parlor and those innocent movie-times spent on Sunday night, there’s some unspoken feeling whirling around them. Emma had felt it for Eli since that first encounter on the curb and the feeling only grew stronger over time. But how exactly could a girl admit of having a special feeling for her very own best friend? For all she knew it was most certainly one-sided thing. Admitting it to Eli would just ruin everything between them, and she was sure as hell wouldn’t want that. Until Emma had it enough. 
Ten years of hiding her feeling behind the curtain, she was now ready to let it out for Eli to see. Well, a part of it, to be exact. And that, too, would be done virtually instead of through reality. With the help from a fake facebook account and some little genuine touch of Emma within all the words being sent, Eli would get a repeat of getting to know ‘Emma’ again from the start, complete with all her true feeling in clear display. Hopefully in this the ‘new’ package, Eli would finally feel something for ‘Emma’. Something he probably hadn’t felt for the real her in the past ten years. 
Yet this time, Emma might be the one who need to reveal the truth behind the other’s curtain.

Hazy Roller Coaster Ride
I’m not saying that this book is horrible or such. In fact, The Girlfriend Request has quite an idea of a teen love story with that entire shenanigan the girl is up to. That part itself succeeded in luring me into reading this book. Basically I liked the idea of scheme in this book. I once read a YA with quite similar plot and enjoyed it a lot. So it was a little disappointing that despite all my giddiness in the beginning, I found this book all wrong in the end. I mean, it felt like it didn’t quite hit the right button. Like when you ride a roller coaster, all excited when the cars slowly riding up to reach the peak hidden behind the mist; then when you slice through it, turned out the peak merely three meters high. The only thing that redeems your disappointment is at least the scenery around is beautiful enough to enjoy. 
It started with a scene where Emma was about to start her seemingly brilliant plotting to get the boy next door fall for her. I’m not gonna lie but first chapter just had me all giddier to turn the next pages quickly. Then I reached chapter four and it practically went downhill from there. 

Characters: Half Relatable – Half Unbearable
Emma is actually pretty relatable at first. Her feeling of crushing someone, a best friend, the confusion, the shyness, the insecurity, the ache of falling deeply for someone we thought we don’t have a chance with; I think most people would easily relate with her in this. But then when something in the plotting altered and she had to come up with a second plan to keep it going, I objected how her feeling could shift easily back and forth like that. She became somehow indecisive and it all, for me, was for no solid reason.
Eli, in the other side, is the best friend any girl would dream of having. Caring, charming, protective, and understanding. What I found lacking about him is the way his emotions were described here. His was a bit too explosive for a boy. Also the shifting of his feeling (this is the part that I mentioned above about things started go downhill from chapter four onward) for Emma was out of nowhere and lacked of background story. Don’t get me wrong, but I was beyond happy that Eli feels the same way to Emma (it’s not a spoiler anyway, it’s on the blurb). I adored them so much when they’re together, whatever the type of their relationship was at the time. Their moments were just so cute and made me smile despite all the unnecessary drama flying around the book. But I would like to see how things actually going on between them before each character even had monologues about liking each other as more than a friend. Not just simply a change that happen within one chapter, few pages apart. 

The Writing: Plus-Minus
There was this scene when Emma hit the point of frustration about her own feeling for Eli that the tears just fell randomly when her mom asked her about it; she kind of threw the hair brush she’d been using when the curl in her hair couldn’t be tamed. I loved that the scene was so real I couldn’t help feeling a little ache for her out of sympathy. My only issue about the writing lies in the way the author often slipped too much unnecessary scenes that didn’t really hold any significant importance to the main point. Too many descriptions that could’ve been cut out. And I haven’t even mentioned the dramaS (yes, capital S in the back). Too many dramas and none of them were essential enough to build the plot. The whole plot of the story is actually pretty simple: Emma and Eli, best-friends who fall for each other secretly; Emma wanted more so she made a plan to get Eli falls for her (though, he already had); Eli seemed to fall for ‘fake’ Emma, when in actuality he fell for ‘real’ Emma too; Emma got sad Eli liked the ‘fake’ her, she came up with another idea to push Eli’s true feeling out―she fake-dated another guy; Eli got jealous; Eli forgave Emma; Eli and Emma got together after admitting each other’s feelings. It might only be 216 pages but it felt like 12382703430498 pages long for me, thanks to all the miscommunication dramas being slipped here and there that made it sooooo long and boring for some parts. 

Final Thought(s)
I’m really really really sad that I ended up disliking this book, especially when I was so damn excited to read it in the first place. As I said before, The Girlfriend Request isn’t a horrible read that you couldn’t even finish. There were some parts that actually pretty funny and sweet. And many more parts that had potential to be explored more. The idea of creating a fake facebook account, for one, could be something that would emanate a climax that oh-so-shocking when it was revealed. Eli’s discovery of Emma’s plotting could be something that oh-so-funny. The problem of this book is, despite its so many potential here and there, the story delivery just didn’t present it right. Simply put, it’s like an actually funny joke but it comes out not that funny because of the weak punch lines.


January 8, 2016

Cover Reveal: Revolution by Jessica Frances


Let's Say It's a... Book Event! is a feature where I publish book-related events under. Find everything from blog tours, book spotlights to cover reveals here!
REVOLUTION by Jessica Frances

Pub. Date: January 26, 2016 
Genres: New Adult, Dystopia
Add to Goodreads

Synopsis
I was raised in a world where humans no longer rule.
In the past, we made a terrible mistake by creating a new species we thought would serve us as our army, which led to our downfall.
There was a war, we lost, and many lives were massacred. It was the end of life as we knew it and the beginning of a hell we were now trapped in. We became enslaved to what we now called Superiors, becoming pets to them, simply there to entertain.
In a world so miserable, I managed to do the unthinkable: I fell in love. But even that was doomed, because to love a Superior was forbidden.
What the rest of the Superiors didn’t know was how deeply a human could love or how resilient we became when we were hurt.
The Superiors never could have imagined an uprising, which was why they never saw it coming.
Humans deserved to be free, and I would stop at nothing to deliver that promise.
My name is Tilly, and I am still alive with one sole purpose: to begin a revolution.

I had been raised to believe humans were worthless. We owned them and controlled them, and when we were done with them, we threw them away. Therefore, I never thought I would ever feel more for Tilly than disinterest. I never expected to want to save her.
It was forbidden for a Superior to love a human. No one had ever crossed that line, but I did. I fell madly in love with her, so it was no surprise how we ended up.
I was raised to be a soldier, and that was what I was always going to be. However, I was not a soldier for the Superiors, not anymore.
I became a soldier for humans, and I would stop at nothing to help them. They deserved to be free, and I would die protecting them.
My name is Johnny, and I am here with one sole purpose: to finish a revolution.

Revolution


Author Bio:
Jessica lives in Adelaide, South Australia. When she is not writing, you can find her reading, napping or watching excessive amounts of TV. Connect with her on Facebook and Goodreads.



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January 5, 2016

Review: This Song Is (Not) For You by Laura Nowlin

Book and ARC reviews are posted under this feature!

This Song Is (Not) for YouThis Song Is (Not) for You by Laura Nowlin
Rating: 4 of 5 stars

*Digital ARC was received from Sourcebooks Fire through Netgalley*

Genre: YA (Contemporary)
Pub. Date: January 5, 2016

Get a copy here!
AMAZON | BOOK DEPOSITORY

“Have you ever met someone, and you could feel that they were going to be important to you? It’s like you never knew it, but you’ve been waiting your whole life to meet this person…”
The gripping opening line narrated by Ramona above starts this unique story of how in love everything is possible in this latest YA contemporary by Laura Nowlin. Having read her heart-wrenchingly amazing book If He Had Been with Me before, I was beyond excited to pick this up as my closing read last year. Laura wrote a very, very good romance and I was giddy to devour another one from her in this book. She did give me what I expected, but in the most unexpected way.

Synopsis
When Ramona met Sam for the first time on the first day of school, she already knew that Sam would have the name Sam. And it would be the name that she’d etch in heart for years after. It was.
But Sam was her best-friend, like her best-friend with capital best. Ramona knew better than taking the risk of ruining their friendship of years by admitting her feeling to him. They’d been best-friends for too long and been making awesome music together. What else could she want more than that? And it’s not like he felt the same way to her.
Yet he did.
Sam could not not look at Ramona whenever she’s on her element―the drum. And he knew that it’s more than just a casual admiration for her. It’s more. Way more. 
But Ramona was his best-friend. That kind of friend that you’d been way too comfortable with you could care less about keeping image around them. And though she’s the reason he played music, Sam realized that being in a band with Ramona was everything. Together they made a perfect band; but a perfect couple? Cool girl like Ramona would probably tell him from the start if she ever thought of making a perfect couple with him. But she didn’t. 
So she wasn’t, he thought.
Then came Tom to the frame. And like what music did to them, Tom’s appearance made an invisible bridge that connects Ramona and Sam in a way that they could only imagine before. If Sam and Ramona made a perfect band together before; with Tom, they made a stellar one―both as band and best-friends.
The problem? 
Ramona might fall for him, too. While her love for Sam didn’t lessen one bit.

Unique Romance
This Song Is (Not) For You is a unique story of teenagers of three who got tangled in love and friendship. In this book, Laura Nowlin brings up a quite fresh concept of love between three friends without necessarily messing it up into a sickening love triangle. While some people might find this concept odd and slightly inept, I’m sure more people would say it’s something possible and even think of it as sweet arrangement because Laura did a great job building the romance between each character. I, personally, still did not know where my opinion stands about this kind notion of romance in this book. I somehow still couldn’t get my mind around it since I’m a firm believer of love as an exclusive tie between two hearts. But part of me honestly thought that This Song Is (Not) For You has a really well-written romance and friendship.

Amazing Characterizations
Told in three different perspectives, this book clearly shows that each character, the three of them, all play the same important roles to the story. Ramona is a quirky girl with deep passion in music. She plays drum and piano, and she loves both instruments equally. What are the odds though that she would love people in the same way she did her music? When usually I feel weird of people who could love more than one person at the same time, Ramona’s character didn’t bother me when she did exactly that. The feeling she had for Sam was built very deeply that we could feel it stays strong even when she grew another one for Tom.
Sam is probably my most favorite character of all. He’s pretty cool with his feeling I might say. That he loved Ramona, yet didn’t want to say it in case it’d ruin their friendship. But when another man came to the picture, he didn’t do some alpha-male drama boys usually do in romance book to claim Ramona as his considering he’d known her first and longer. He’s clear with his own wants. Yes he played music because of Ramona. But he wasn’t blind of the fact that music isn’t everything he wants to do in life. So he pursued his own passion while enjoyed making music with his best-friends. I liked that about him a lot. His non-judgmental personality is really sweet and that’s the very thing that made me love him the most. The way he let Ramona did things her way sometimes, the way he accepted Tom to the group, the way his opinion shifted from indifferent to slightly jealous to actually coming up with the idea that becomes the whole point of this book shows that Sam is one of those rare people with a very good heart and open mind. And that scene when he confessed his feeling, quick and simple and has a bit spur-of-the-moment feel…goodness, I loved it so much!

Free Soul: Discovery! 
Meanwhile, Tom’s character is what I would call a free soul. His love for music, art, and freedom, and the way his do-gooder personality often slipped into his works are genuine. I was surprised when I read the part saying he’s actually an asexual person because honestly it’s the first time I hear about such type. It only made this book even more unique in my eyes. And the asexuality layer just strengthened his whole free persona even more. Tom’s character kind of reminded me on a particular quote that I really love. I found it years ago and had taken a liking of it right away but honestly didn’t quite know what it truly means. Until now.



Tom’s character made me realize just how exactly a free soul would be like. I mean, they don’t have to be exactly like Tom. But they could be someone who could make people feel like Ramona and Sam when they’re near Tom. I’m really glad that I read this book because I’ve been searching for the meaning of this quote for a long time now and here, Laura, made me understand it in one easy way through Tom. What an experience I had here!

Final Thought(s)
This Song Is (Not) For You presents a picture perfect of how a girl and two boys could build love and friendship without abandoning any of them out of the group. It’s definitely not a shallow young romance and I personally think people needs to be open minded to really get the point of this story. Guess I kind of failed to do it but I think I’ll read it again and will probably change my mind later. For now, though, I’m still enjoying the friendship more than the romance.
I don’t really have any book comparison with this one but those who enjoy David Levithan and John Green’s books might find this book endearing.


Monday BooQuote #1

Let's Say It's a... Booquote! is one of new features here in my blog where I post all of beautiful quotes taken from books. Thus, BooQuote! :)
Happy late Monday! 
Uh, I supposed to post this in the morning, you know, kind of quote-to-start-your-day thing but I forgot though I had this on my draft already...

Today's quote is taken from one of my favorite YA paranormal, Halton Cray, by N.B. Roberts. It's the first book of the Shadows of the World series and is inspired by Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontё! You guys should read it if you haven't because it's insanely good (you can check my review here!) and has so many quotable phrases that you'd surely love. Just like this one...



Awww... isn't it true and darn beautiful?

Anyway, I hope you guys have a great first Monday in this 2016 and of course, more great Mondays to come! xoxo

January 3, 2016

Sunday Special: Book&Song #1 with Aflame by Penelope Douglas


Let's Say It's a... Book&Song! is one of new features here in my blog. Inspired by my habit of interpreting (too much) on any song-lyric and matching it with any story come across in my mind, LSIa-Book&Song! is a weekly feature where I match book(s) with song(s) that make perfect fit!
This is actually my most favorite feature of all 'cause God knows how much I love books and music! Like what the note said above, I will match a book to a song that I think perfectly suits the whole story. In this very first post, I will go with one of my favorite books on NA genre (since, honestly, it's much easier to get an idea from this genre). Book that I will find its song-match today is:



The tables have turned. Now I have the power—and it’s his turn to beg…
Everyone wants to be me.
Maybe it’s the sway of my skirt or the way I flip my hair, but I don’t care. Even though their attention is the last thing I crave, I just can’t stop. I dominate the track, the speed rattles my bones, and the wind and the crowd screams my name.
I’m her. The girl driver. The queen of the race. And I’m surviving—something he thought I’d never do.
They all still talk about him. Did you see Jared Trent on T.V? What did you think of his last race, Tate? When is he coming back to town, Tate?
But I refuse to care too much. Because when Jared does come home, I won’t be here.
Tatum Brandt is gone. I’m someone new.


YEP! It's Aflame from Fall Away series by Penelope Douglas. It's my #1 favorite book from the series, which also made it to my Top 2015 Reads! I really love the couple, Jared and Tate with all the ups and downs between them. Used to be childhood best-friends, growing up became nemesis-for-life, then ended up with being lovers. I loved the dynamic of their relationship! And though I felt a little indifferent to Jared on Bully, Penelope succeeded in making me fall for him in this book. Ahh.. talking about it makes me want to reread this book again soon! >.<

Anyway, what song I would match this amazing book with?
Well, it should be what songs. Yes, I have two songs that I think perfectly suits Aflame. Both are from the same singer, even same album, and of course, both are my favorites! What are they? 


  

Go Sam Hunt, go! Sam Hunt Go!
He he, I really love this guy. His voice is so good! It makes me oh-so-melting every time I listen to him. Both songs above are from his album Montevallo and oh boy... these songs just perfectly fit Aflame plot! 

First reason,
Aflame starts with Jared and Tate caught up in bad circumstance that caused them to go separate ways. Jared made a quite fatal mistake and Tate, being Tate, had enough of it and decided to make the table turns. Tate is a badass heroine and girl like her is not one for crying over stupid (sorry, but Jared was that at first) boyfriend. There are scenes of them that perfectly captured by Break Up In A Small Town. I'm not going to say more but if you read the lyric, I could exactly imagine how Jared felt so frustrated seeing Tate, from afar, with the other... I actually laughed when I listened to this song because it's just so them! 
And the second song exactly portrays the second-half of the book! Jared, the sexy, rough, far-from-sweet, and badboy material had to give up his badass label to win Tate's heart back. How it went? Make You Miss Me is exactly how I imagine what's on Jared's mind the entire time he conducted his mission about Tate.
I ain't gonna be that easy to leave
and 
Girl, I'm gonna make you miss me
are so Jared; so full of himself but I'm not even complaining...

Also,
You're cold and hot
You burn out like a match
these lines are perfect descriptions of Tate!

Second reason,
I don't know but everytime I listen to Sam Hunt's song, it would always bring me to scenes on New Adult books. Maybe it's because his songs seems to always revolve around college life's romance (my opinion), like his Cop Car song which narrates certain scene that often being used on NA books.

Third reason,
I don't know about you, but for me Sam Hunt is Jared Trent. You know, built muscled body, sharp jaw, toned abs, seemingly-bad-boy but actually possesses a really sweet heart... He's a real life NA hero and isn't he also definitely a boyfriend material? 

***

That is our first edition of LSIa... Book&Song feature! I hope you enjoy it and agree with my book-song match today. But if you have another song that fits the book better in your mind, I'd be more than thrilled to hear from you! Bye now! :)