Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Funeral Flower by Michelle Jester

Title: The Funeral Flower
Author: Michelle Jester
Publication date: June 20th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Summary:

Devastated by the death of her grandfather, six-year-old Kelly Rodgers barely manages to cope with the profound loss. Already facing issues at school, she finds herself spiraling deeper into despair, when a fateful interaction through the fence in her backyard gives her hope. In the years following, Kelly realizes that life’s tragedies can be dealt with through acceptance; until another series of agonizing events leaves her heart in pieces.

Finding herself thrown into new surroundings, Kelly embraces her life and resolves to never fall in love. That decision is easy to keep until her junior year when she is drawn by an unavoidable attraction to the new guy, tormented James Delaney. The moment he looks up at her and smiles, her body betrays her. And he notices. She is determined to avoid him, but soon Kelly is forced to face the inevitable truth: She doesn’t want to avoid James… and he won’t let her.

Even though tragedy always follows love.

This book is intended for mature audiences due to critical subject matter.

Note: Due to mature content recommended for Ages 17+

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble


 

book-review

God, I love this book so much.

The Funeral Flower has all the tropes that I love in one book. It has the dysfunctional family, the sibling bond, the friendship that spans over years… basically what I always search for in books. That is also probably why I couldn’t stop reading once I started. I read everything in one sitting.

It was so hard write this review without giving too much away or give people spoilers.

In the beginning, I thought something magical was going to happen in this book. Well, something magical did happen, but not the way I thought it would be. This book gave me so much heartache, melancholic and angst-y feelings, but it also made smile and laugh. Some people might not like the book or thinks it progresses slowly, because it is the kind of book that covers pretty much Kelly’s life from when she’s 6 years old until she’s 20 years old.

I would recommend this to people who loves YA as well as NA. I think YA readers would enjoy this too because the majority of the book was when Kelly was in her teenage years. I know I used this book as a reference a lot lately—oh well—but this book really give me the same vibe I get when reading Summer Sisters by Judy Blume.

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars. (I took away 1 star because the people I shipped didn’t end up together) but I still love how it ended though. I love the true love concept.


Author Bio:

I am a hopeless romantic (I think this is the most important thing to know about me). In addition, I live in Greenwell Springs, Louisiana with my husband and high school sweetheart. Together we have a son and daughter.

Throughout my life writing and photography have been my main creative outlets. Especially when I am stressed, I know I can go to either of those things and pour out that anxiety into something good and productive.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

 

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A Recap of 2016

Hi everyone~ 🙂 Today is…*drumroll please*…the 1st of January 2017, and so, I’ve decided to look back at all I’ve done in 2016 and recount all of them—okay, not all of them, but just the important ones—here.

Since this is first and foremost, a book blog, I shall start with all the books that I have read this year (including rereads).

Books I’ve read in 2016:

  1. Artistic License – Katie Fforde
  2. The Accident Season – Moïra Fowley-Doyle
  3. All the Bright Places – Jennifer Niven
  4. Anatomy of a Misfit – Andrea Portes
  5. The Shadowhunter’s Codex – Cassandra Clare, Joshua Lewis
  6. The Madman’s Daughter – Megan Shepherd
  7. Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell
  8. The Reluctant Heiress – Eva Ibbotson
  9. Recipe for Love – Katie Fforde
  10. A Countess Below Stairs – Eva Ibbotson
  11. The Selection – Kiera Cass
  12. The Elite – Kiera Cass
  13. The One – Kiera Cass
  14. The Heir – Kiera Cass
  15. Anna and the French Kiss – Stephanie Perkins
  16. Lola and the Boy Next Door – Stephanie Perkins
  17. Living Dangerously – Katie Fforde
  18. Surviving Haley – Brenda Baker
  19. Mr. March Names the Stars – Rivka Aaron-Hughes
  20. Jane Blond International Spy – Brianna Schatt
  21. Closer Home – Kerry Anne King
  22. Wild Swans – Jessica Spotswood
  23. Lie In Plain Sight – Maggie Barbieri
  24. The Lost Hero – Rick Riordan
  25. The Son of Neptune – Rick Riordan
  26. Mark of Athena – Rick Riordan
  27. House of Hades – Rick Riordan
  28. The Blood of Olympus – Rick Riordan
  29. Also Known As – Robin Benway
  30. Going Rogue – Robin Benway
  31. Playlist for the Dead – Michelle Falkkoff
  32. Two Lies and a Spy – Kat Carlton
  33. Sealed With A Lie – Kat Carlton
  34. Lady Midnight – Cassandra Clare
  35. Isla and the Happily Ever After – Stephanie Perkins
  36. Sophie – Jenny Sargam
  37. Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here – Anna Breslaw
  38. Solace – Therin Knite
  39. A Thousand Salt Kisses – Josie Demuth
  40. The Broken One – Christine H. Bailey
  41. You Before Anyone Else – Julie Cross
  42. Kasey Screws Up the World – Rachel Shane
  43. Every Exquisite Thing – Matthew Quick
  44. In the Blood – Sara Hantz
  45. Growing Up – Tricia Sol
  46. Going Wild – Jodi Lundgren
  47. The Trial of Apollo – Rick Riordan
  48. Finding Audrey – Sophie Kinsella
  49. Good Together – Valentina Heart
  50. Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
  51. The Art of Being Normal – Lisa Williamson
  52. Fall – Michelle Chow
  53. Pens and Swords – Rena Rocford
  54. Fans of the Impossible Life – Kate Scelsa
  55. Valley of the Moon – Bronwyn Archer
  56. The Hardy Boys Casefiles: Stress Point
  57. Because I Love You – Tori Rigby
  58. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief – Rick Riordan
  59. King’s Conquest – Valentina Heart
  60. Owner of My Heart – Valentina Heart
  61. Two Hearts One Voice – Valentina Heart
  62. Am I Normal Yet – Holly Bourne
  63. The Shattered Seam – Kathleen Groger
  64. How Hard Can Love Be – Holly Bourne
  65. Savour the Moment – Nora Roberts
  66. Happy Ever After – Nora Roberts
  67. The Raven King – Maggie Stiefvater
  68. One Was Lost – Natalie D. Richards
  69. Poppies For Christmas
  70. My Friends Are All Strange – Margaret Lesh
  71. The French Impressionist – Rebecca Bischoff
  72. The Notable History of Shadowhunters and Denizens of Downworld – Cassandra Clare and Cassandra Jean
  73. What’s A Girl Gotta Do – Holly Bourne
  74. …And A Happy New Year – Holly Bourne
  75. The Secrets We Keep – Deb Loughead
  76. Rush – Sara Bennett Wealer

Continue reading

Book Review: …And A Happy New Year? by Holly Bourne

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Title: …And A Happy New Year? (The Spinster Club #3.5)
Author: Holly Bourne
Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd
Date Published: 1st November 2016
Date read: 10th December 2016
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Edition: Hardback
Source: Own copy
Rating: 5 / 5 stars
Summary:

Evie, Amber and Lottie are having a new year party to remember.

For the first time since leaving college, all three girls are back together. It’s time for fun and flirting, snogs and shots.

(And not tears or tantrums or terrible secrets)

Because everything’s going great for these girls – Spinster Club for ever! Right?


book-review

…And A Happy New Year? is a giant ball of hurt disguised in a pretty cover, and sweet and cute moment between Kyle and Amber at the beginning of the book.

But of course, it is totally worth it.

…And A Happy New Year? is a novella about Amber, Evie and Lottie after the first term of university. When I saw this book on the bookshelf of my local bookstore — and it was a hardback version, and so very pretty — I didn’t bother reading the summary and went straight to the first chapter. I only read two pages, but I was already so excited because it was a scene between Amber and Kyle and they are so cute. So I bought it immediately. With such a cute start, I thought it would be such a happy story, with all three of them back together, kickass members of the Spinster Club.

If I had bothered reading the summary, or even read a few pages more before buying, I would’ve know how wrong I was.

I bet everyone who had gone off to university has experience this themselves; the feeling of drifting apart from your high school / college best friends when you went your separate way when you started university. I should have known better before reading this book, but somehow, because to me their friendship is so strong, I just assumed that they will still stay the same way despite everything. Because it was the three of them, and I wanted to believe that things like being apart because they don’t attend the same university won’t change their friendship.

This is a normal thing that happens to some people when you start that new chapter in your life: university, when you transitioned from a young adult to a new adult. But it didn’t make it any less sad. And because it happened to Amber, Lottie and Evie —after everything that they went through together in the previous three books— it was even more sad. I cried a lot reading this book, especially since it was so relatable. I felt like I could relate to all three of them, about how they felt; the feeling of being left behind, the feeling of being left out or not liked, the feeling that people didn’t want you around, and the feeling of wanting to go away but not wanting to leave your past behind.

I’ve only talked about how sad it was, but there was also cute moments in the book. I seriously love Kyle, and Oli. Seriously, I do. They are sweethearts. I would say more, but I feel like I would be spoiling everyone. (Although I probably already did with the bits that I’ve wrote).

To sum it up, don’t be fooled by the cover. It was so pretty and cheerful, and the title… You would’ve thought it would be happy and with light feelings, not heavy and sad. But it is totally worth your time, buying and reading this book. I am very sad that this is the end of this series, because I really love the girls so much, and all the other characters. I recommend this book to all YA Contemporary lovers, and those who wants to read a book that would give you a dose of reality about moving on to the next point in life called University.

I rate this book 5 / 5 stars.

 

November/Birthday Book Haul 2016

Hello guys~ It’s been awhile since I posted, and even longer since I posted a book haul. You may or may not know, last month, November, was my birth month. I am born on the 30th of November, and because it was my birthday, I received discounts at my local bookstore. So, of course, I went all out and bought books.

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Tadaaa~! This is my November/ Birthday book haul. I bought all but one at my local bookstore, MPH Bookstore. And for An Illustrated History of Noble Shadowhunters and Denizens of Downworld, I bought from Book Depository.

an-illustrated-history-of-notable-shadowhunters-and-denizens-of-downworld-9781471161193_hr1. An Illustrated History of Notable Shadowhunters and Denizens of Downworld by Cassandra Clare and Cassandra Jean

So, I bought this mainly because I’m such a Shadowhunters chronicle fan that I have to own all Shadowhunter-related books out there.

Of course, that’s not the only reason I bought this. I bought it because I really love Cassandra Jean’s arts for TID, TMI, TDA, TLH, and Bane Chronicles too.

And another reason is…I write fanfictions. Therefore, this book is great for research purposes 😀

1481443259-copy2. Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare

I have read these novellas earlier this year. I owned the eBook copy for the novellas, but as I mentioned before, because it is Shadowhunter-related, I have, no need to own the physical copy. So, tadaa~ I bought it.

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3. What’s A Girl Gotta Do? by Holly Bourne

I’ve read the previous two books (Am I Normal Yet? and How Hard Can Love Be?) and I really loved them. Which is why, I bought this one too. I would’ve bought it earlier, but if I waited till my birthday, I get a discount. So there~ :3

 

 

 

 

97814749272224. …And A Happy New Year? by Holly Bourne

I bought this one from the same bookstore, but unlike the others, I bought this one at one of the outlets in my town instead of online. Because for some reason, the one online was listed as “Paperback” and the one sold at the outlet was hardback and sold at the same price…which was weird. I didn’t have the chance to email customer service, so I bought the one at the outlet instead. Better safe than sorry, right? Plus, hardcover!! And the cover is beautiful~ ❤

 

 

978014135705825. Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

I’ve always loved reading books about mental illness or some disorders. In this book, one of the main character has a cognitive disorder called Prosopagnosia. I’ve only once read a story where someone had the same disorder (but it was a fanfiction), and it was great. So, I’m really looking forward to reading this book.

 

 

 

the-fall-of-butterflies6. The Fall of Butterflies by Andrea Proter

I’ve been wanting to buy this book since it came out but I kept on buying other books first. This book has all the elements that I like in YA Contemporary so I am looking forward to reading this. The rating on Goodreads is only 3.4 / 5 stars though, but I’m hoping that it doesn’t disappoint me.

 

 

 

9780373212057_fc_proof7. The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Just like The Fall of Butterflies, I’ve been wanting to buy this book since it came out, but I ended up prioritizing other books. And similar to the Fall of Butterflies, this book also has all the elements that I love in YA Contemporary. I am really looking forward to reading this.

 

 

 


So… That concludes my November/Birthday Book Haul. Is there any books that I’ve listed out that you’ve read and loved, or wanted to read? Also, isn’t it sad that all the books for my birthday book haul, I bought myself. For my birthday present. LOL

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue #2 (Oct. 24 ’16)

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I’m here again with Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and hopefully I can recommend something great to you guys. Also, let’s just ignore the fact that I was supposed to post this last week.

Also, ignore my ugly banner. It’s so late now, and I can’t experiment and make something better. Continue reading

Book Review: Living Dangerously by Katie Fforde

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Title: Living Dangerously

Author: Katie Fforde

Pages: 404

Genre: Contemporary romance

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Summary:

Polly Cameron is happy being thirty-five and celibate, living in a small Gloucestershire town with a possessive cat for company and a Rayburn for comfort. After all, a relationship would only complicate things…

But Polly’s life is already complicated. In addition to her job in the Whole Nut café and her part in the ‘Save Our High Street’ campaign, there’s her pottery career to get off the ground. Not to mention dodging the efforts of her friends and mother to find her a husband…

WARNING: SPOILER

I was in the middle of a reading slump when I read this book. I thought, “Hey, Katie Fforde’s books are always easy to read, and its romance and the setting always makes me dream and wish I was there. But of course, I also have qualms about it too. Because in January, I’ve read a couple of Katie Fforde’s books, one after another, in an attempt to finish all my Katie Fforde books that I binge-buy. After reading so many Katie Fforde’s books in one go, the plots feel so familiar and tired, and I’m afraid it won’t be able to hook me.

But I was wrong.

I can’t help but like the book from the start, because it was already so amusing. The main character is Polly Cameron, while in the midst of escaping a dinner party hosted by her school friend, Melissa—whom she had just gotten re-acquainted with—had accidentally left a door open, causing Melissa’s cat to escape too and “mated” with a random cat on the street. Melissa is a high class, rich woman, and so was her circle of friends at the dinner party, so Polly had felt like a fish out of the water. And add in her feminism. The second chapter was amusing to me because a) she accidentally triggered a car’s alarm when she leaned against it while looking for her key, and b) Melissa had just said she wouldn’t let her cat mate with just any cat, and in the end, her cat was banged by a stray (please excuse my language).

The first two chapters hooked me, and I managed to hang on till the end, even if it took me two days to finish this book.

I must confess, I kind-of have a love/hate relationship with the main character, Polly. I love her. She’s a feminist, and a strong character. She’s 35 years-old and single, and she doesn’t need a man to live happily. Or if not happy, than content with life. She’s sarcastic sometimes, and she knows how to take control, and works her way with teenagers. She’s also kind, as shown during her interaction with Patrick, David Locking-Hill’s youngest son. We also have one similarity, which is fear of height. But I dislike that she’s using money as an excuse not to marry David when he proposed. Also, I think she’s a fool for going out with Tristan just because she decided to “date” again after years of not doing so, despite Bridget’s (her best friend and colleague) disapproval (kind-of).

Unlike the other Katie Fforde books that I like, the reason I like Living Dangerously is because of the humor, and Polly’s interactions with the other side characters. Polly and Bridget’s friendship is really fun and amusing to read. She’s so close to Bridget that she also has an easy friendship with Alan, Bridget’s husband, and her three children. Those kids love her, and she loves them too.

It was also fun reading about Polly and Patrick. The first two times they interacted with one another, Polly had somehow saved Patrick. Although Polly’s and Patrick’s interactions in the book is brief, but I love it. I think, Patrick is probably my number one favourite character, even though he only appeared four times. Polly didn’t treat 17 year-old Patrick like a child, and didn’t try to mother him, or chastise him for dropping out of school, and in return, Patrick respects her, and can’t help but like her too. In the final interaction between Polly and Patrick, the teen managed to make Polly stop being a fool. He was just so wise during that moment. He also helped with his father’s business when his father went AWOL at the end, which made me respect him. And him wanting to take Psychology in college is a plus.

I don’t really like the romance in this book. It just felt too rushed to me. David Locking-Hill, a widower, a tad bit older than Polly, and a rich wine merchant is Polly’s love interest. They met in the first chapter. He was introduced to Polly at the dinner party by Melissa. Polly and David talked during the dinner party, and there was sarcasm, but it didn’t really give me the “I like you” vibe, romantically or as friends. By the third meeting, which was the second time Polly helped Patrick, Polly and David had sex. That was also the first time Polly had sex in years. To me, I felt like they just jumped into it too quickly. And soon after, the proposal came. Like what? How can you propose without even going out on a date? Yes David, you had sex once, and Polly saved Patrick twice, and is really good at handling him, but still… Too fast! You can’t know things about another person just by having sex with them.

In conclusion, while I don’t “love” this book, I think I like it enough to read it again after some time. Despite how I felt about the romance part of the book, I love all the characters, especially Bridget and her family, Patrick, Beth (Polly’s colleague), and Monica (David’s housekeeper). I would definitely recommend this to people who wants something light and amusing to read.