April 25, 2016

Review: My Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul

Book and ARC reviews are posted under this feature!

My Kind of CrazyMy Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul

*Digital ARC was received from Sourcebooks Fire through Netgalley*

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

Get a copy here!

This is the book that I’ve been looking for my whole life. Hell, I think it’s the strongest candidate of the best book I’ve read in 2016! It has this perfectly balanced combination of happy, sad, and crazy things all at once. The plot is very well-written, well-built, well-… everything! I couldn’t even explain just how happy I am that I am given the opportunity to read the ARC of this book. One thing I am disappointed at myself is the fact that I put this book on hold until a few days ago.

It didn’t take me long to engross myself into the story with unusually captivating opening. Hank Kirby, a 16 years old nerdy teen just found a supposedly-brilliant idea of asking a popular girl to prom from internet: lit prom-spelled sparklers on her lawn. And he did. Except, the plan went up in flames in seconds. Literally. With Amanda’s lawn on fire and his promposal in memory, Hank chose to run for his life as his instinct told him to. He thought he was saved that night, but surely his lucky charm was not that bright. Hank earned himself a witness when he accidentally left an evident in the place of accident. A witness who could very well ruin his life with one tell but instead, she asked for something so different. Something not much girl wanted from a guy like him: to be a friend and maybe more.

Peyton Breedlove is always that one unique girl who’s both intriguing and creepy at the same time. Or so people thought. The truth is Peyton had her own share of bad histories that had shaped herself into who she was now. Pyromaniac isn’t exactly a favorite kind of personality to most people, especially to those who don’t get where she came from. But seeing―or more accurately―witnessing Hank set her neighbor’s lawn on fire was like finding a long lost other-half. That night, Peyton knew that Hank would be the one who would understand her like no others. Except, he might not be in board with her one-sided feeling. Because after all what he did that night was to impress another girl. A normal girl who gets her things together, whose family life is perfect, and surely who doesn’t play with matches as an escape. A girl who’s not her.
“Everybody needs somebody who gets their kind of crazy, right?” ―chapter XVIII
But what is normal exactly? Hank really thought that Peyton had a serious baggage that he was sure don’t want to get involved with. Everything about her screamed enigma. Strangeness. You name it. But spending a day without seeing Peyton around felt so much like staring on a puzzle board with a piece missing. It might be just one piece, yet you can’t stop glancing at the empty space. You can’t overlook it once you notice it. And for Hank, if normal means pursuing a popular girl like most guys at school, he much preferred stepping outside the line. Peyton might love to do a lot of crazy things unlike others, but sometimes people only need to be understood rather than being judged for their actions. Peyton was no exception. And Hank might be the one who did understand her… if only there were not so much things she hid behind the curtain.
‘Everyone is hiding something though. There’s the story we tell ourselves and the story we tell everyone else’ ―chapter VII
I had soooo much fun reading this. Every emotion all mixed into one, I finished the book in one sitting. It’s been a while since I feel this so much ‘hooked’. With me being busy and all, it was so hard to be engrossed so deeply into a book nowadays. And this book came to me and broke the spell.

My Kind of Crazy is what I’d call a neat read. It has a clear plot, uniquely-made characters, enough issues to be pulled up as leading points, perfect ending, all wrapped up in a very casual yet captivating writing told from a boy’s POV. Robin did a stellar job voicing a teen, slightly nerdy, boy through Hank Kirby. I liked that little natural touch when Hank’s mind was all over the place and unfocused sometimes because that’s how guy’s mind exactly is. And I super loved that the romance was built slowly yet it felt like a very romantic journey every time with them.

And God… Peyton! She’s my best favorite character through and through! I swear, I already fell for her since the first time she was introduced into the story. I loved her bluntness, her ignorance, her unselfish bit, her cheerful and innocent beauty. Simply put, I loved everything about her.
What’s better is how much I laughed reading this book. Robin’s writing is exactly what I needed in this phase of my life when reading is such a luxury for me and she made my moment worth it with such brilliant piece. I’m seriously craving for more Robin’s writing in the future.

I recommend this book to those who’s in need of funny, special, and sweet read to enjoy in such a short time. It’s a quick read and I have no doubt you’ll want a re-run once you reach the last page.

April 11, 2016

Review: Did I Mention I Need You (DIMILY #2) by Estelle Maskame

Book and ARC reviews are posted under this feature!

Did I Mention I Need You? (DIMILY, #2)Did I Mention I Need You? by Estelle Maskame

*Digital ARC was received from Sourcebooks Fire through Netgalley*

Genre: YA (Contemporary)
Pub. Date: April 1, 2016

Get a copy here!

When book one didn’t quite satisfy me, book two somehow managed to steal a bit of my attention. I had so many issues with DIMILY and I was highly hoping on DIMINY to fix it for me. Well, it did but unfortunately not much.
It’s kind of a relief that the current situation didn’t include much of the group of reckless teenagers back in California. I also liked that DIMINY focused more on Tyler and Eden even if I personally thought that the beginning of the book was a bit rushed. Book two started with Eden choosing to spend her summer in New York based on Tyler’s invitation. Pardon me but I already smelled ‘wrong’ and ‘cheat’ here. Just like how Eden’s choice irritated me during the ending of book one, I still couldn’t accept her action in book two. It just got worse when Eden went to New York to see Tyler again after one long year, I just couldn’t see what she was actually up to with all of her doings. Dating Dean, yet not even once she forgot memories with Tyler. Dating Dean, yet she chose to stay with Tyler on summer which clearly was a straight way to make a fatal mistake. I felt like I was seeing a girl with a serious problem of playing with others’ hearts. While I admit that moments with Tyler was sometimes sweet, I couldn’t overlook that what they’ve been doing in New York was far from acceptable. It’s not helping that the author seemed to really enjoy writing about Tyler and Eden’s forbidden moments than dwelling with factors that might make readers to really understand where they come from. In book 1 Estelle succeeded in making me ‘get’ their situation. There were layers of shared pain and insecurities between them before. But it all seemed to be forgotten in this continuation of the story. Seeing Eden and Tyler now and before was like seeing two different couples. Before, I saw them as two people who helplessly fall for wrong people; and it was actually quite sad for me. Now, I saw them as two people who shared no more than meaningless fling in the past, who then was met again and couldn’t ignore the sexual tension surrounding them.
It might sound ironic but I started to enjoy it a bit when people from their past coming to a not-so-ideal reunion in New York. How it became the start of a big revelation. And how everyone reacted to it. I’ve been waiting for this moment to happen.
The ending was another cliffhanger which I warmly welcomed because I sensed a more mature story to come next. Again, I was hoping for more ideal parental role in this series. Because after all the case of falling-for-your-stepbrother couldn’t just be a teens’ problem which could be solved by the teens themselves. It’s a crucial problem which indeed needs the role of much older and experienced people to meet the best way to solve it.

I’m really counting on to the last book of the series to present a real story of this forbidden love.