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+

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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.

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Book Review: Because I Love You by Tori Rigby

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Title: Because I Love You
Author: Tori Rigby
Publisher: Blaze Publishing
Published date: 17th May 2016
Genre: YA, Romance, Contemporary
Available edition(s): Paperback
ISBN: 9780997010428
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 3.5/5

I received an e-galley of Because I Love You by Tori Rigby from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Summary:

Eight weeks after sixteen-year-old Andie Hamilton gives her virginity to her best friend, “the stick” says she’s pregnant.

Her friends treat her like she’s carrying the plague, her classmates torture and ridicule her, and the boy she thought loved her doesn’t even care. Afraid to experience the next seven months alone, she turns to her ex-boyfriend, Neil Donaghue, a dark-haired, blue-eyed player. With him, she finds comfort and the support she desperately needs to make the hardest decision of her life: whether or not to keep the baby.

Then a tragic accident leads Andie to discover Neil’s keeping a secret that could dramatically alter their lives, and she’s forced to make a choice. But after hearing her son’s heartbeat for the first time, she doesn’t know how she’ll ever be able to let go.

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Book Review: You Before Anyone Else by Julie Cross & Mark Perini

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Title: You Before Anyone Else
Author:
Julie Cross & Mark Perini
Publisher: SOURCEBOOKS Fire
Published: o1st August 2016
Available Edition(s): Paperback
ISBN: 9781492604921
Source: Netgalley
Date read: 17th April 2016
Rating: 5/5 stars

I received an advanced reader copy of this book in ebook format via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Summary:

Everything she wants. Everything he needs.
The supportive friend, the reliable daughter, the doting big-sister: Finley is used to being the glue that holds everyone together. But while her sweet demeanor makes her the perfect confidant, her wholesome look isn’t landing her the high paying modeling jobs, which are what Finley needs if she is going to reopen her mother’s dance studio.
Enter Eddie. He’s intense and driven, not to mention the life of every party, and he completely charms Finley. The last thing she wants is another commitment to stand in the way of her dreams, but when she’s with Eddie, their chemistry takes over and she can let go of her responsibilities and just be. After all, what’s so wrong about putting herself first once and a while?
Except Eddie is hiding a secret. A big secret. And when it surfaces, he and Finley are going to have to choose between their love for each other and everything else…  


Honestly, I’m not that fond of the cover, but the summary won me over. Aside from that, the font used for the title is cute.

The book is written in the first person point of view, and it alternates between the main characters’, Eddie, and  Finley, point of view in each chapters. In the first two chapters, we are introduced to the main characters, and we get to see some of their personality. There’s no interaction between the two in the first two chapters, although we can see the set up when their lives are going to intertwine.

Eddie and Finley meet up for the first time at a party, and they hit it off after being paired together for a game of beer pong. Finley started a conversation, and from there, Eddie learned that Finley was probably at the same casting he went to earlier that day. Both of them ended up at Finley’s apartment, hooking up for a one night stand, just what Finley intended to do when she decided to attend the party.

Of course, things didn’t go as Finley planned.

The failed one night stand turned into a friendship, or more than friendship because it was clear that they are attracted to one another. At this point, we already know that Eddie is hiding a big secret from his “past”. Hints were dropped, but it was not enough to piece together what happened. Then, there’s also things about Finley’s past that will keep us curious. However, her past isn’t really a big secret, so it was easier to piece things together.

In my opinion, I think the main characters are great. Finley is definitely the type of girl I like to read about. Finley is always labeled as a “sweet girl” because of the way she’s dressed and her hobbies. She’s the responsible type of girl, loves her family and dotes on her siblings. She was also very kind, for example, when she invited Eddie home for the weekend for her younger brothers’ birthday party because Eddie didn’t have anywhere else to go. Despite only knowing Eddie for a few days. Although she is kind, she is not a pushover, and she is willing to try, in order to changer her image as a “sweet girl” so that she could land a better-paying modelling job. I like that throughout the story, Finley’s character developed. And she finally found her passion again.

I also love Eddie. He’s a privileged kid, born into a wealthy family. But he left home, because of things he didn’t agree about. He started working as a model to support himself, and didn’t even use any of his family’s money after he graduated. Okay, so the reason he left is much more complicated than that but I won’t say anything about that because of spoilers. Eddie is always cool, and charming, and he didn’t fawn over this famous actor he met during a job and end up being friends with the actor. I like how that friendship happened, and liked the way it lasted. Aside from that, I also like the development in Eddie’s character, as he finally found what he wanted to do in his life. I also felt that it was brave, and wise of him in the end when he made the choice he made.

I liked the minor characters as well. Despite being minor characters, they were important for Finley’s and Eddie’s character development. Take Summer for example. If Finley didn’t help Summer with the pointe shoes during Summer’s Prada photo shoot, Finley wouldn’t have started dancing ballet again. And then there’s Eve. After she explained to Finley why she used her and not photos of the other dancers from the ballet school for the show, it was probably the last thing she needed to realize that dancing is really her passion. That she wanted to be a professional dancer before settling down and becoming a ballet teacher. And of course, I also like “French Mama”, Elana’s mother. She was amusing, the way that she not only fussed over her own daughter, but Finley and Summer too simply because they share an apartment.

To sum it up, I really enjoy this book, the way it keeps me intrigue. I couldn’t put this book down once I started, and I only put it down halfway through the book because I had to sleep. The “mystery” part of the book is written well, and it didn’t give the feel like the authors try too hard to keep it mysterious. It happens in some YA novels, where authors ended up not revealing anything, and the subtle hints were not enough to piece things together. This book also teaches about responsibility, and that sometimes doing the right thing for someone means doing the hardest thing. Because of how responsible and mature Finley and Eddie are, sometimes I forgot that they are only 18 (or that’s probably because cultural differences between me and people from overseas). I would recommend this to all teens, and everyone else who loves to read YA book.