Book Talk: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

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“I don’t entirely understand how anyone gets a boyfriend. Or a girlfriend. It just seems like the most impossible odds. You have to have a crush on the exact right person at the exact right moment. And they have to like you back. A perfect alignment of feelings and circumstances. It’s almost unfathomable that it happens as often as it does.”

 

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Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-19 at 3.05.16 PMWhat a cute and fluffy read The Upside of Unrequited is! But never get deceived, though, because it is so full of depth and insights, and the combination of everything in this book is just perfect.

The Upside of Unrequited is about Molly Peskin-Suso, who easily gets crushes (twenty-six, and counting) but none of them were really ever reciprocated. She doesn’t care so much, though, until her twin sister started getting to have a serious girlfriend and her closest friends gets through break-ups and gets to experience stuff that only people in relationships get to experience. Suddenly, Molly felt alone and wanting. She suddenly wanted to be “in” the circle – to experience being crushed back on, to know how rejection feels like, even heartbreak. But she can’t experience those things because she is not in a relationship in the first place. However, things were suddenly changing – now she’s kinda sorta torn between for two boys she just met: cool guy Will and the ever geeky Reid she goes to work with.

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What I love most about The Upside of Unrequited is the representation aspect, and Becky Albertalli just did it so perfectly. Molly is a fat main character – and to this I have related one way too many. Molly is portrayed to be really pretty, talented, a lot of fun to hang out with, funny (and I mean really really funny and witty, I love her!), she’s perfect. But like in real life, her size sometimes gets to her and a lot of times hinders her to do what she wants to.

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I love how the story captivated reality. It has been so relatable in so many aspects – whether the reader be a plus-size or not. Molly maybe a very typical girl for high societal standards, but isn’t that what we all need? Because that’s just what we are – WE are all typical in our own ways.

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While I was reading this book, the thought that would always cross my mind is that I’d give this title to my future daughter. If there’s some sort of a handbook on growing up in this society saturated with high standards, The Upside of Unrequited would be it.

I also love how the story got resolved without Molly getting thinner, or by just falling in love. Although, sure, Molly was happily in love (or in-crush) at the ending, but the focus was steered from those issues to a good character development all through out.

Finally, everyone in this book is just so huggable and cute. I felt like I gained a lot more friends in their person after finishing this book, and I just can’t wait to re-read it soon!

And please, everything in this book is just quotable!

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Four solid stars for this one! Love it and recommend it! Probably one of those books I will shove around to people and insist that YOU read it! Now GO!!! READ IT PLEASE!

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Book Talk: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

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Writing this review right after I just closed the last page of the book and I am wanting for more. I mean, it couldn’t have ended with that, right? Please tell me it didn’t end with JUST that? I need more.

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7664334Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it’s Amy’s responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn’t ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip – and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar – especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory – but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.

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Book Talk: All That Glitters by Ines Bautista Yao

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All That Glitters is probably one of fastest books I’ve read this year, not because it’s short, but because I just kept on flipping the pages non-stop!

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When they have nothing better to do, college students Billie Santiago and Carlos Angeles enjoy imagining what their lives will be like five years into the future. It’s never serious—just a whole lot of teasing and poking fun at each other. Until blindingly handsome, PR professional Iñigo Antonio saunters into the university bookstore where Billie works. All of a sudden, she finds herself face to face with the physical manifestation of the very dream she tells Carlos about.

Captivated by Iñigo’s magnetic personality, Billie is lured into his dazzlingly glamorous world—much to Carlos’s frustration. But as Billie notices Iñigo might not be playing by the rules, Carlos begs her to stay away from him. When Billie doesn’t listen, she realizes too late that she is in over her head and it may take a miracle (or a boy who cares deeply about her) to help get her out of it.

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Blog Tour Review: Keep the Faith by Ana Tejano

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Hola, lovely readers of this blog! As you all know, one of my 2017 resolutions is to actually read more works by Filipino authors. I have long been seeing the #romanceclass hashtag in Book Twitter but for some reason, I’m always skipping the events. I knew it must be changed in 2017, though, and I am starting by participating in this blog tour!

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As a community development worker, Faith was quite familiar with heartbreak and recovery after all the time she spent on disaster relief missions. So when her five-year relationship ends right before she left for a mission trip to a typhoon-stricken town in Iloilo, she tries not to make a big deal out of it. How can she be broken up about a breakup when she’s with people who literally lost everything?

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But now that she’s back, all Faith wants is for her life to go back to normal and have people stop looking at her with pity. Never mind that she still has a lot of questions about the breakup, or that she feels a tiny ache every time her ex comes up in conversations. She’s okay now, and happily distracted by Nico Tamayo, the attractive new guy at work.

With new possibilities in the horizon, Faith thinks she is well on her way to moving on. But when her past comes calling back to her, will all the good things in her present be enough to keep her on the path? Or will she finally learn that there was more to heartbreak and recovery than what she knows?

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5 out of 5! 7 out of 7! 10 out of 10! 100 out of 100! You name it. Perfect. Hands down!

Well, what can I say, this book made me feel all the feels. I felt like my very own story was unfolding right before my very eyes! Keep the Faith is a beautiful tale of love, loss, hope, and ultimately, faith.

Faith, the main character, is moving on from a break-up with her long time boyfriend. 5 years to be exact. You may say she’s in a quite vulnerable state, because really, who throws away 5 years just like that? So the story unfolds when after her breakup, Faith arrives from a community development project from a faraway province, and finds in her table, the sleeping and so ruggedly handsome Nico Tamayo.

Nico, on the other hand, is probably one of the most mysterious personalities I have encountered thus far. He’s rugged and quiet and you’ll never imagine him to be a community worker. I especially loved that he is a family person too, which was highlighted wth how he was taking care of his younger sister an all. ❤ Really, there’s no other way but to fall for him!

Faith and Nico’s friendship had a cute little start and as a reader, it was a good bonus because things aren’t forced. In fact, nothing in this book is ever forced. I felt like everything just unfolded very naturally, like how things happen in real life. Maybe that’s why I related to Faith so much, and fell for Nico so much more 🙂

There were so many moments that I teared up a little, my heart touched by the little stuff Nico does for Faith, and the other way around. Everything here is just too real that it can happen to you, me, to anyone, really.

If you are looking for a light read, but with rich content and one that will definitely move you, I definitely recommend Keep the Faith. For people who never lose hope, faith, and the will to love again despite all the hurt, this one is for you, for us.

Overall, I’m giving it a perfect rating! I know I’m in a great start with my #romanceclass bookventure!

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About the Author

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Ana Tejano has been in love with words and writing ever since she met Elizabeth Wakefield when she was in Grade 3. She has contributed several non-fiction pieces in print and online publications, and has been blogging for years. When she’s not writing, she works as a communications manager for a payroll outsourcing firm, and serves in CFC Singles for Christ in every other time that she doesn’t spend reading or sleeping. She lives in Metro Manila and is also known by another name in her other circles (but it’s not a secret identity, really).

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Wattpad | Instagram


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Series Review: The Off-Campus Series by Elle Kennedy

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The Off-Campus series is composed of four books – The Deal, The Mistake, The Score, and the yet unpublished The Goal. It revolves around the lives of hockey player-friends Garrett, Logan, Dean, and Tucker.

P.S. Never (ever!) judge books by their covers! Ha ha! 


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She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy…
Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

…and it’s going to be oh so good

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.


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Let me start off by saying that The Deal sealed it all for me! After finishing this first installment, I knew I need to get into the rest of the series and I knew that whatever Elle Kennedy is publishing, I would get and read it. Hannah and Garrett’s story is probably the one closest to my heart. Hannah is perfect, very likeable and very smart. She’s a no-non sense person, practical, down to earth, I could go on and on saying all these positive things about her. Oh and she’s also very smart! I feel like I totally related to her because of how she’s willing to go great lengths for her crush (not Garrett, but some football guy!). Me loves my crushes too! Ha ha! Anyway, I just liked how likeable Hannah is, because with the boom of New Adult it now kinda rare to find a female lead who isn’t annoying and totally relatable.

Now Garrett. What can I say about this personification of perfection? At the beginning of the story, Garrett is almost flunking one of his subjects and he’s trapped in this dilemma. No, he’s not your typical I-don’t-study-beacuse-I-am-a-hockey-varsity kinda guy. In fact, he is acing all his subjects except for one (Philosophy! Which is totally acceptable, right?!) So he seeks the help of Hannah (because she’s acing it!) and the rest is history. 🙂 What I like most about Garrett is his sense of responsibility. He’s the captain of the team and he’ll do anything – anything! – for them. I think Garrett is the most mature out of all the guys in series and I just love how he’s got that balance of being the cool and hot guy while being the studious and responsible team captain. Again, my words escape me, but please know that The Deal is probably one of the best New Adult romances out there!

5/5!

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College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…

After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.


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The Mistake is Logan’s story – one of Garrett’s best friends. Honestly, this one is probably my least favorite in the series. It started with Logan thinking that he has feelings for Hannah (yeap, Garrett’s girlfriend!) and I was feeling so off about it since then. It was probably only after the first quarter of the book that Logan stopped thinking about her and diverted his attention to Grace. Don’t get me wrong, Logan is not a villain and he’s certainly not a bad person! Logan is very very charming himself. He’s got lots of family issues and responsibilities and the way he deals with them would just make you wanna fall for him.

Grace, on the other hand though, is probably the least likeable female character in the series. I wasn’t able to connect much with her because I thought she was too plain and doesn’t have a voice of her own. Plain is cool, don’t get me wrong, I am a plain Jane myself – but Grace was easily forgettable 😦 I also found her kind of annoying and entitled? I dunno man, some of you might find her charming and innocent and it would be cool and perfect. Guess she just didn’t work out for me.

3.5/5!

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He knows how to score, on and off the ice 

Allie Hayes is in crisis mode. With graduation looming, she still doesn’t have the first clue about what she’s going to do after college. To make matters worse, she’s nursing a broken heart thanks to the end of her longtime relationship. Wild rebound sex is definitely not the solution to her problems, but gorgeous hockey star Dean Di-Laurentis is impossible to resist. Just once, though, because even if her future is uncertain, it sure as heck won’t include the king of one-night stands. 

It’ll take more than flashy moves to win her over 

Dean always gets what he wants. Girls, grades, girls, recognition, girls…he’s a ladies man, all right, and he’s yet to meet a woman who’s immune to his charms. Until Allie. For one night, the feisty blonde rocked his entire world—and now she wants to be friends? Nope. It’s not over until he says it’s over. Dean is in full-on pursuit, but when life-rocking changes strike, he starts to wonder if maybe it’s time to stop focusing on scoring…and shoot for love.


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Oh boy, where do I even begin with this one? Dean Heyward-Di Laurentis. Just with his name, I was already sold. ie, hotel owners, business moguls from Manhattan!)  and he’s pretty much had and a problem free and perfect life since forever. Relationships are a no-no for him because of all the drama they entail – until he meets Allie.

Allie Hayes just broke up with her long time boyfriend. She’s the kind of girl who’s into long term relationships, romantic what-nots, and a believer of true and forever-lasting love. She’s a relationship kind of person and so hooking up with Dean Di Laurentis – the god of one night stands – is the last thing in her mind. I totally totally love Allie. She’s a girl who knows what she wants and does it! She’s so independent yet so vulnerable and I just totally related to her. Allie is super comparable with Hannah in the first book, if not better! I also love how this book showed how family oriented she is and how she’d do everything for her dad.

Oh and can I just say that every scene where Dean teaches public school kids hockey is just plain adorable and heart warming! I swooned every single time!

4.5/5!

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She’s good at achieving her goals…
College senior Sabrina James has her whole future planned out: graduate from college, kick butt in law school, and land a high-paying job at a cutthroat firm. Her path to escaping her shameful past certainly doesn’t include a gorgeous hockey player who believes in love at first sight. One night of sizzling heat and surprising tenderness is all she’s willing to give John Tucker, but sometimes, one night is all it takes for your entire life to change.

But the game just got a whole lot more complicated

Tucker believes being a team player is as important as being the star. On the ice, he’s fine staying out of the spotlight, but when it comes to becoming a daddy at the age of twenty-two, he refuses to be a bench warmer. It doesn’t hurt that the soon-to-be mother of his child is beautiful, whip-smart, and keeps him on his toes. The problem is, Sabrina’s heart is locked up tight, and the fiery brunette is too stubborn to accept his help. If he wants a life with the woman of his dreams, he’ll have to convince her that some goals can only be made with an assist

The Goal is Tucker’s story and is to be released on September 26th 2016! Can’t wait to read and review it because of how The Score ended! It was such a good good cliff hanger!


So that’s it, guys! I hope you liked my mini review of each book in the series 🙂 The Off-Campus series is definitely one of the best New Adult series out there! 🙂 Totally recommend it!

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Book Review: One Day Soon by A. Meredith Walters

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Before I begin this review, I would already warn you right off the bat that I wouldn’t be able to give justice to the beauty of this book. My words wouldn’t be enough and I don’t think I’d be able to fully grasp in here how life-shattering and life-changing this book is. No, I am not exaggerating. I swear to heavens I am not.

 

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He found me in blood and tears.

I stayed with him through darkness and fire.

We loved each other in the moment between innocence and bitter truth.
We were the kids easily ignored, who grew into adults we hardly knew.

We weren’t meant to last forever. And we didn’t.

He ran away.
I tried to move on.

Yet I never stopped thinking about the boy who had fought to keep me alive in a world that would have swallowed me whole. He was the past that I buried, but never forgot.

Until the day I found him again, years after believing I had lost him forever.

And in cold, resentful eyes, I saw the heart of the man who had been everything when I had nothing at all. So I vowed to hold onto the second chance that was stolen from the children we had been.

Sometimes fate is ugly. Life can be twisted.
And who we are can be ruined by who we once were.

For two people who had survived so much, we would have to learn how to hold on before we were forced to let go.

One Day Soon is one of our books of the month over at #NALitLoversPH, a fairly new group of book bloggers from the Philippines. We are composed of Pearl, Bea, Jam, Claire, Rechellyn, Allie, and yours truly. We are all kinda into new adult romance and we plan on reading at least a couple of books a month. Needless to say, everybody was just super excited to jumpstart this monthly read-alongs and so we all decided to pick One Day Soon by A.Meredith Walters as our first kill. The irony? It was the one that killed us. It wasn’t what we expected at all.

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One Day Soon shattered me.

It was a tale of love, loss, pain, and sacrifice. Imogen Conner and Yoss Frazier have been so much in love in their younger years. They were inseparable, and it seemed that not even the universe could take them away from each other. They loved, and they loved so hard. But apparently fate has different plans and life decided to interfere and take its own course. Fifteen years later, however, Imogen and Yoss met again.

This is probably the heaviest book I’ve read in the past couple of years, emotionally speaking. Lately, I have been veering away from overly emotional stories because I can’t afford to be emotionally unstable while reviewing for the bar 🙂 But I guess reading this one is sorta really meant to happen. One Day Soon does not only talk about young love and finding it again after how many years in the future. It is not your usual New Adult book, and I’m not even sure if it should be classified under that genre.

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It touches on so many social issues that are so real and so raw that you could actually feel Imi and Yoss like they’re just there, real and breathing. I know I don’t make any sense because I haven’t really discussed what happened and what real-and-raw stuff I’m talking about, it’s just I’m afraid I’m going to have to spoil you guys if I talk about all those things.

Reading One Day Soon made me realize that I could lose everything in a snap of a finger. It also made me realize that love isn’t at all happy – it is painful, it is difficult, it is so consuming to the point of destruction. But we want it, anyway. We need it.

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I have so many things to say about One Day Soon, I swear. In fact, I am writing this review 24 hours after I closed the last page just to give myself some sort of composure to talk about it properly, but I guess I need so much more than a day to recover.

Guys, I totally totally recommend this one. You are not gonna believe everything that’s happened and how it all turned out in the end. It was heartbreakingly beautiful. Sooo soo beautiful. Definitely giving it 5 stars!

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Author Review: Penelope Ward

So I have been in a real good New Adult streak the past couple of weeks and what can I say? I. am. having. a. BLAST! I have been discovering a lot of old and new NA authors and despite the tropes and the same as usual plot twists that’s happening to everybody and their mother, I am surprisingly having a really good time reading them! And with the rate I’m going, I’m not sure if I’d have the time to review them individually so I decided to just do some sort of a quick author review, if that makes sense?

I have read two of Penelope Ward’s books in probably under 4 days (I am a slow reader, I know!) and the reviews couldn’t be any more different!


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Title: Roomhate 

Date Published: February 12th 2016 

My book format: Kindle e-book 


 

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Sharing a summer house with a hot-as-hell roommate should be a dream come true, right? 
Not when it’s Justin…the only person I’d ever loved…who now hates me.
When my grandmother died and left me half of the house on Aquidneck Island, there was a catch: the other half would go to the boy she helped raise.
The same boy who turned into the teenager whose heart I broke years ago.
The same teenager who’s now a man with a hard body and a hardass personality to match.
I hadn’t seen him in years, and now we’re living together because neither one of us is willing to give up the house.

The worst part? He didn’t come alone.

I’d soon realize there’s a thin line between love and hate. I could see through that smug smile. Beneath it all…the boy is still there. So is our connection. 

The problem is…now that I can’t have Justin, I’ve never wanted him more


 

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4 Stars

I am giving RoomHate 3.5 stars ‘coz I really kinda liked it! I mean, I’ve seen better ones, but this one is unique and sweet and sexy in its own way!

I admit it kinda started a little off for me (If you’re reading this right now and are feeling the same thing at the beginning, read on and get through the first quarter of the book! I promise it would get so much better!) Things began kinda slow and Amelia was just being apologetic for every single thing she does and I kinda hated it, honestly. On the other hand, Justin Banks, the hottie that he is, was just being plain DB at the beginning. So yeah. It wasn’t a good start at all and I was ready to DNF at 10%.

But then I kinda persevered some more and surprisingly things got really better. And I mean, really better! ❤ The thing I liked most with RoomHate is the character development of both Amelia and Justin. I love it when the characters would (a little not-so spoiler here!) grow apart for a period of time (like for a year or two) and then they’d see each other again and…you know the drill here, guys. So yeah, I liked the more mature Amelia and Justin in the second half of the story and things just got really good from then on. 🙂

I’d recommend this if you’re someone who likes childhood-friends-turned-lovers kind of stories, or if you’re into angsty characters because believe me, the angst in this book was way taller than Michael Jordan. Wait, where did that MJ comparison came from?

Anyway, it was a very pleasant surprise that I kinda liked how things turned out in this! Again, it started a little off but things kinda got okaaaay and soooo gooood! And Justine Banks was such a darling!



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Title: Jake Undone 

Date Published: October 1st 2013

My book format: Kindle e-book


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Nina Kennedy was alive…but not living…until she met him.

Planes, trains, heights…you name it, Nina was afraid of it and led a sheltered life ruled by irrational fears and phobias. When she moves to Brooklyn for nursing school, that life is turned upside down, as she develops an intense but unwanted attraction to her gorgeous roommate, who’s pierced, tattooed and just happens to be the smartest person she’s ever met.

Behind Jake Green’s rough exterior and devilish smile, lies a heart of gold. He makes it his mission to change Nina’s outlook on life. When he agrees to tutor her, they forge a bet and the stakes are high as Jake forces Nina to face her demons. He just wasn’t expecting to fall hard for her in the process.

What Nina doesn’t realize, is that Jake has been living his own private hell. Once he drops a bombshell, will their love survive it?

Told in two parts from both Nina and Jake’s points of view, Jake Undone is a standalone story and a companion to the novel, Gemini.


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3 Stars

2.5 stars for this one! As much as I would like to love it, there are just some parts that I was really confused about. I mean, it wasn’t bad, it’s just very…forgettable. 😦

It was something in between “I liked it” and “It was ok.” I’ve been really thinking about my rating for this one because there are things I really liked about it but there are also things that are kinda meh for me.

It started out with Nina being afraid of a lot of things – like riding trains, taking the elevator, all those kinda stuff – and Jake, her new roommate, made it a point to help her get over each of her fears and falling for her in the process. It was a roommates turned lovers kind of story, you see.  The premise was cute and it wasn’t shallow at all. Both Nina and Jake have pasts you wouldn’t expect them to have, especially Jake.

However, I just found things to be all over the place and I thought there were just too many things happening at the same time? I dunno. I think I might be the odd one out here because everybody in Goodreads is loving it and even giving it 10 out 5! Man, I wish I loved it more. I tried, I swear.

P.S. The ending with Ivy, though, (you have to read it to know who Ivy is! Spoiler if I say who she is!) still doesn’t sit well for me. I still feel a little off about it so I guess it’s a huge factor why I didn’t like the book over all. Then again it was just me. If the rest of Goodreads loved Jake, Undone, you should prolly still check it out and see for yourself! 🙂


 

Anyway, that’s it guys! 2 of Penelope Ward’s books that I’ve read during the past week! I am looking forward to discover more new and old NA writers because they are a breeze to read, and just aren’t complicated at all! Ha! Perfect during study breaks! 🙂

I’ll see you next post, and as always – happy reading!

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