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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Book Review: History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

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Title: History Is All You Left Me
Author: Adam Silvera
Published date: 17th January 2017
Published by: Soho Teen
Genre: GLBT, YA, Contemporary, Mental Illness, Romance, Angst

Date read: 6th April – 7th April 2017
Rating: 5 / 5 stars

Summary:When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.


book-review

First of all, the blurb by Nicola Yoon on the front cover was so true. I cried, and when I stopped to give my heart a break, I cried again just thinking about everything I just read, and when I resumed reading, I cried. I literally bawled my eyes out as I read. Never have I cried so much reading a book, not even when I read Girls in Pieces.

I decided to give myself a few days before writing this book review to avoid being all rant-y. Because I had time to think about it, I realized that this book…well, it is an overused plot. If not in published books, then in fanfictions. I should know because I read it a lot (I’m a masochist like that). However, Adam Silvera managed to write this so beautifully, in a way that it turned out fresh, and with ten times more angst than any others that I’ve encountered.

I think I love and hate Griffin. This book was told in Griffin’s point of view, so we’re in his head, and we get to know him. I can empathize with him. I think if I was in his shoes, I would probably do the same think. Or maybe not. If it was me, I wouldn’t have broken up with Theo. But then, I wouldn’t have talk about my insecurities and doubts either, and the relationship would turn sour as months goes by because reassurances wouldn’t help not when Theo’s so far away. And the eventual break up would hurt even more. Basically everything that Griffin feared. But then, that was also what I hated about Griffin. He made a decision for Theo, instead of talking about it with Theo. In the end, I can’t even blame Jackson for taking Theo away because it was Griffin’s own fault for letting Theo go.

The same goes for Theo, I love and hate him. Theo is a genius, and he is adorable. He was very sweet when he was with Griffin. I was totally rooting for them. And when he said yes, about being Griffin’s end game, I totally melted. Because this boy was still in love with Griffin, and I love him for that. But then, he started dating Jackson. Although I can’t blame him for that, because technically he was single, but I hate that he still had a hold on Griffin. Because he was still in love with Griffin too, and still agreed that him and Griffin would be endgame. And I think because of that, Griffin was still obsessive about him and couldn’t move on.

Jackson, oh boy, I really hated him at first. Since the start, it was like he was trying to compete with Griffin. And when I found out that he tried to make Theo stop being friends with Griffin, I kind of lost it for awhile. But then, he did kind of help Griffin found closure, so I cooled down a bit. Towards the end, I stopped hating Jackson (although I still don’t like him) because in the end, it wasn’t his fault who he fell in love with. Technically, Theo was single.

Other characters I love are Griffin’s parents, and Theo’s parents. I love how supportive they were when Griffin and Theo came out to them. And I love that they had shipped Theo and Griffin together even before the two of them became a couple. And that hilarious scene with Griffin’s dad. I love their families so much. And I love Wade too. I will let you found out the reason why by yourself.

To sum it up, this book is about a heartbreaking first love. This book is about Griffin’s journey, about him holding on to that first love and realizing that, as time passes, Theo changed but he changed too. This book is about how first love would stay with you even if your current feelings has changed.

I rate this book 5 / 5 stars.


So, this was one of the hardest book review I’ve ever written. Have anyone of you read the book? Did you enjoy it? Did you cry as much as I did? I’d love to read about your thought on this book.

Yours truly,

erucchii

My Dream Author Panel

dream-author-panel

Hey guys! Close your eyes and imagine, you’re attending a conference with a panel consisting of your favourite authors or even your favourite fictional characters. Last week, Eventbrite inspired me to do just that with a project they’re working on. And because we never get to have foreign authors coming to Malaysia for events (well, Sarah J Maas did came last year I think), I went crazy with this.

For those who may or may not know, Eventbrite is the largest self-service ticketing platform in the world that helps people find and plan events. Interested in hosting your own conference? Check out Eventbrite’s Conference Planning Page for useful and free tools. Continue reading

Book Review: Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

24879132Title:  Girl In Pieces
Author: Kathleen Glasgow
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Published: 30th August 2016
Source: Own copy
Date read: 4th January – 7th January 2017
Rating: 5 / 5 stars
Summary:

Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.

Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.


book-review

I am a masochist for going through this beautiful, mental torture. Seriously, it was mentally exhausting, which is why it took me three days to read it. But at the end of the day, it was so worth it.

Going into the story, after reading the summary, I thought it was about a girl cutting herself (I was right about that one), and set in high school — she was bullied, and met with friends and support group that helped through it. But the most important thing was, the main character herself worked to get through whatever things that she had to go through. But meh, I was wrong. The book was much more than that. It was a coming of age book, and self-discovery, in a way.

There was so much hype surrounding this book, and I tried not to keep my expectations so high, in case I was disappointed. But it turned out I didn’t have to worry about that at all. The book was well-written, and it was so beautiful, and realistic. I felt like I was there too, experiencing all the clusterfuck that Charlie had to go through. I felt so damn sad reading it, that when I am not ugly sobbing, it left me feeling choked as I read page after page.

To sum it up, if you need a book, a realistic, well-written and beautiful story that will make you cry so hard, this is your book. If you want a book that tells you that only YOU can change your life, that you can ask for help, but it’s only if you make the effort that your life will change, well, then this is your book. I think fans of Aristotle and Dante Discovers the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa, Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick, and Am I Normal Yet by Holly Bourne would really enjoy this book.

I bet you’re wondering why, when none of the books I’ve listed out involved cutting. Well, they have something else in common. And it’s not the mental illness issue. It’s about making the readers feel like everything’s going to get ugly when the shit hits the fan with all the clusterfuck, and the despair, and everything gets worse before it gets better. That is what these books have in common, and that is why I think they’ll enjoy reading Girl In Pieces.

I rate this book 5/5 stars.

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.

 

My Friends Are All Strange Blog Tour + Giveaway

Title: My Friends Are All Strange
Author: Margaret Lesh
Publication date: October 18th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Rating: 4 / 5 stars

My friends are all strange.

Right now I’m living at Brookside, a place for people like me. I’ve met a kitty girl, a brooding beautiful boy, one who can’t be touched, and others. My new friends. Strange people. People like me.

I’ve always been different, but lately, more so. My hands sometimes don’t seem to be attached to the rest of me. I cut up all of my clothes. I’m hot, so hot, all of the time. If I sleep, a wizard haunts every dream. I don’t sleep. Sometimes I want to run, but where do you run to when you’re trying to escape your own mind? I don’t know if I’ll ever be the same. I’m smart. I’m nice, sometimes. I just want to be normal(ish). But, right now, my friends are all strange… Like me.

Dark, funny, snarky, seventeen-year-old Becca struggles to cope with mental illness in My Friends Are All Strange, the gripping contemporary young adult companion novel to Normalish.

Goodreads / Amazon


book-review

This. Book. Was. Amazing!

Lately, I am really interested in reading YA books with mental illness thrown in the mix, and I guess I’ve come to have a high standard on the theme because of all the other books I’ve read, and lucky for me, this book didn’t disappoint.

In fact, this book is kind of refreshing, because I like Becca so much better than the whiny main character from the book I read before this one.

This book managed to bring me through a roller coaster of emotions since the very beginning, which surprised me. It’s rare that a book made me emotionally invested since the very beginning. But it did; it made me laugh and cry. And it made me frustrated and angry and annoyed (yes, Troy, I’m talking to you. Or about you. Whatever). Becca’s journey as she struggles with her sanity, the friendship she made along the way… it is just beautiful.

I’ve mentioned that I like Becca. But the one I love the most is probably Roman. He is so sweet. And that’s not just because I have this soft spot for an artist…who happened to be a social outcast.

To sum it up, this book was a beautiful coming of age story, with beautiful friendship and romance thrown in the mix. (Yes, I realize I used ‘beautiful’ a lot). I think fans of Am I Normal Yet would enjoy this, as well as readers who love YA books with a touch of mental illness.

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.


Author Bio:

California native Margaret Lesh lives in a narrow canyon populated by herds of wild burro and packs of coyote. The canyon is also populated with her creative, handsome husband, her feisty mother-in-law, her not-brave-at-all Border Collie, Echo, and sometimes her son (who is away at college. And she is not quite sure how that all happened so fast).

She writes books to entertain young and not-so-young readers as well as herself. She believes tacos are magic.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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