Saturday, December 31, 2011

Book Review: Always Been Mine (Moreno Brothers 2)


Book Details

Author: Elizabeth Reyes
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 385 KB

Book Summary

After one heartache too many, Valerie Zuniga vows to never let Alex Moreno hurt her again. A year later, she is forced to reunite with him at a party where one unexpected sizzling kiss tells her she’s far from over him. No way will she allow herself to get sucked back into that torment. She’ll resist him even if that means using the one thing that’ll stop Alex dead in his tracks: another man. 

Alex is coming off one of the worst years of his life. He spent so much time wallowing in self-pity, he never realized how much he’d missed Valerie. That is, until that kiss. Now, he’s determined to get her back one way or another, and no other man will stand in his way. Especially after discovering that Valerie may be in danger, a danger he blames himself for. 

Book Review

Rating: 4/5

Always Been Mine is a 180-degree different from the Young Adult Romance, Forever Mine. I got excited I never made a review for the first one because I was anticipating not only the shift in genre, but the romance that is budding between two commitment phobic, Alex and Valerie. We had a glimpse of these two in Sarah and Angel’s story, and now we will finally witness how their story will end.

First, unlike Forever Mine, this one is a little steamy. It was a battle of pride and self-preservation. It was cute watching them getting together. There were a lot more twists and suspense, a little more action. There were just so many things going on in this book: Alex and his alpha-male nature, Valerie and her pride, Bruce the Psycho and Luke the hopeful and of course, there’s the anal Isabel who caught Romero’s attention.  

Like the first one, Always Been Mine emphasizes on the importance of honesty, and in addition, communication in a relationship. Another thing to love about this story, is that it offers a glimpse on a previous romance, and a budding love story yet to unfold. Elizabeth Reyes is one amazing author!


ChuCha

Book Review: Forever Mine (Moreno Brothers 1)


Book Details

Author: Elizabeth Reyes
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 350 KB

Book Summary

Seventeen-year old Sarah’s life is turned upside down when her single mom is sent to jail. She’s forced to move, leaving behind everything she’s ever known, including her best friend Sydney. Lost and bitter in a new school, her one goal is to save money and move back home. Then she meets Angel Moreno. 

Enigmatic but gorgeous, Angel is almost too good to be true. Except for one thing, his archaic belief that guys and girls can never be “just friends”. The problem? Sarah’s best friend Sydney is not a girl. 

With their unexpected romance intensifying to places neither ever experienced, how long can Sarah keep Angel in the dark about the guy waiting for her back home? 

Book Review

Rating: 5/5

Forever Mine is a delightful story of first love, first heartache, first everything. Elizabeth Reyes made the bad-boy-gets-good-girl familiar story line into something else. It was funny and sweet, uncomplicated and straightforward.

I was fascinated with every character. Even the secondary characters were great, they were so much fun and brings humor to the story. I was easily caught up in their lives. They are surprisingly well-mannered and grounded. Parents and guardians were barely present and they seemed to have little involvement and supervision, but in some household this can be a normal occurrence.

Although, the lead characters, Sarah and Angel fell in love almost at first sight, the story made a few remarkable twists. I was a bit disturbed with Sarah’s relationship with Sydney. I always believe that boys and girls can be friends without anything attached to it, but their relationship made me cringe. I have a boy best friend, and I couldn’t recall telling him the THREE words. I love the emphasis on honesty, and how important it is even to young lovers.

I love Forever Mine and I couldn’t stop turning the pages. This book may not have the most beautiful cover as some YAs do, but I assure you it is worth your time. I decided to finish all the Moreno Brothers series before making all my reviews – I had my momentum going on and I would die before I’d stop reading them all. Forever Mine is my second favorite story in the series, guess what’s the first?

ChuCha

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A peek inside a bookmaniac’s brain: Happy Holidays!

I got this pic from tumblr.

Who says Christmas is just for kids? Despite my current health conditions, I so love spending Christmas with family, eating sumptuous meal at midnight and then opening gifts.

I spent a lot of time reading, although I was a bit lazy to do a review. I decided to make use of my vacation to curl up on my bed and read stuffs that has been pending on my Kindle.
this is me with my siblings, noy2 and mary while waiting for someone to pick us up
we haven't eaten breakfast yet.
the gazebo at Pototan, Iloilo


toy soldiers surrounding the big christmas tree - these are really awesome!

my cousins: carlo, maynard, my brother noy, ting, my sister mary and me
posing in front of the big christmas tree

this is their Municipal Hall. 

my beautiful niece ali. 

On Christmas day, our family decided to go Capiz (father's side). We had our Christmas lunch with the family and then went back to Iloilo at 4pm, but first, we headed for Pototan. A town that celebrates Iwag (festival of lights of sorts), their plaza was filled with lights and it was a splendid view. There were so many street foods to choose from, of course there was a food fest at the gym, but since we were not that hungry, we settled for the pancakes, popcorn, and peanuts. I had a great time, I hope we'll do it again next year!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Book Review: Flat-Out Love



Book Details

Author: Jessica Park
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 508 KB
Print Length: 402 pages

Book Summary

Flat-Out Love is a warm and witty novel of family love and dysfunction, deep heartache and raw vulnerability, with a bit of mystery and one whopping, knock-you-to-your-knees romance. 

Something is seriously off in the Watkins home. And Julie Seagle, college freshman, small-town Ohio transplant, and the newest resident of this Boston house, is determined to get to the bottom of it.

When Julie's off-campus housing falls through, her mother's old college roommate, Erin Watkins, invites her to move in. The parents, Erin and Roger, are welcoming, but emotionally distant and academically driven to eccentric extremes. The middle child, Matt, is an MIT tech geek with a sweet side ... and the social skills of a spool of USB cable. The youngest, Celeste, is a frighteningly bright but freakishly fastidious 13-year-old who hauls around a life-sized cardboard cutout of her oldest brother almost everywhere she goes.

And there's that oldest brother, Finn: funny, gorgeous, smart, sensitive, almost emotionally available. Geographically? Definitely unavailable. That's because Finn is traveling the world and surfacing only for random Facebook chats, e-mails, and status updates. Before long, through late-night exchanges of disembodied text, he begins to stir something tender and silly and maybe even a little bit sexy in Julie's suddenly lonesome soul.

To Julie, the emotionally scrambled members of the Watkins family add up to something that ... well ... doesn't quite add up. Not until she forces a buried secret to the surface, eliciting a dramatic confrontation that threatens to tear the fragile Watkins family apart, does she get her answer. (lifted from goodreads.com)

Book Review

Rating: 5/5

Flat-Out Love is a surprising contemporary romance that will knock you off your feet. I can describe in a few words: the story revolves around a slow-building romance and what the author would lead you to believe is not what you think it is. Flat-Out Love is witty and filled with surprising twists and turns. The characters are lovable and complex. Amazing plot plus wonderful characters makes Flat-Out Love one of the most memorable books I have ever read.

The witty dialogues in this book just never cease – from the Facebook Statuses, emails to bantering between the characters – it made laugh the whole time. Yes, Facebook, Jessica Park utilized technology and the popularity of social media to enhance the plot which succeeded. I like Julie – she’s the type who likes to save everyone from their doom. She’s confident, relaxed, and intelligent. She had her own family problems but is capable of handling it first-hand. Julie had a great relationship with the Watkins family, whom she found herself living with after a disaster with Craiglist. I love her patience with Celeste, and her verbal intellectual intercourse with Matt.

There is an equal mix of drama, romance and humor in Flat-Out Love. This is not just an ordinary love story, but also an extraordinary realistic portrayal of a dysfunctional family who are gradually emerging from a dark era of their lives, opening up to one another and being a family once more. The end part of the book would take its readers to a surprising turn that will keep you glued reading to see how all of it will end.   

Flat-Out Love is an amazing, amazing read. Even if you don’t like YA novels, you should give this a try and some of your time because I am sure you will be hooked. 

Favorite Quotes

I’m sure Literature 101 can’t compete with, what? Adoration of Differential Equations?

And my personal favorite, Quantum Physics II: Romantic Entanglements of Energy and Matter

Julie Seagle thinks that Twitter is like Facebook’s slutty cousin. It does everything dumb and whore-ish you’re too responsible to do.

If you can’t stop thinking about someone’s update, that’s called a “status cling.”

“Then she did what any girl would do: she Googled him.” 

“Normal people can become very annoying if put in annoying situations.” 

“What happens when you get scared half to death twice?”

“I 'Facebook like' you, but I'm not IN 'Facebook like' with you.” 

“Internet access came before pride. ” 

“Nobody gets their period for the first time and has a nervous breakdown next to a Kohler toilet. Men have such stupid ideas about menstruation, don’t they, Julie?” 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Book Review: Fifty Shades Darker


Book Details

Author: EL James
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 1286 KB
Publisher: The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House (September 13, 2011)

Book Summary

Daunted by the singular sexual tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house. 

But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven and demanding Fifty Shades. 

While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront the anger and envy of the women who came before her, and make the most important decision of her life. (taken from goodreads.com)

Book Review

Rating: 5/5

If there is one word to describe Fifty Shades Darker, it is a WOW. I didn’t know it was possible to fall in love with Christian anymore than the first time I have met him in Fifty Shades of Grey. He made a lot of changes in this book: more romantic, charming, relaxed and appealing. I love the development of his character, his journey towards self-discovery and opening himself up to Ana.

I didn’t like Ana in the first half of the book, she was pretty much annoying. She seem to complain a lot and I hate it that she should be reminded of eating and using her phone for email. Christian tries his best to compromise. He is even willing to give up his usual kinky fuckery for vanilla sex, still she’s giving him a hard time. But I loved her because she was able to love Christian in a way he never thought possible despite his emotional baggage. She tries to be independent and show Christian she can take care of herself.

Basically in Fifty Shades Darker, the couple continues to try and see if they can work things out despite their differences. There are a lot of conflicts in their relationship, both internal and external forces. It focuses more on Christian’s path to change and self-discover, experiencing unconditional love that really undid him. He had been in the darker shade of life for a long time, but Ana made a change in his life, she brought light that he never expected.

I love the proposal scene – it was just right, not too cheesy, not too bland. He made me swoon. What entertained me most is the email exchange, I love every minute of it! Fifty Shades Darker allows the reader a glimpse on Christian’s past and helped Ana deal with his former “subs”, sprinkled with a few amazing twists. 

Favorite Quotes

“I wasn't aware we were fighting. I thought we were communicating,” 

“Let me ask you something first. Do you want a regular vanilla relationship with no kinky fu*kery at all?” 


ChuCha™

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Book Review: Rock and a Hard Place

get your copy from Amazon

Book Details

Author: Angie Stanton
Format: Kindle Edition
Publisher: Angie Stanton; 1 edition (May 3, 2011)

Book Summary

One day while watching the Interstate exit for her dad’s long awaited return, Libby’s life is rocked when Peter Jamieson steps off his tour bus and into her life. After a couple chance meetings with Peter, Libby shifts from her perfect behavior and breaks rules to find out more about him.

Peter longs for normalcy away from the screaming fans who know nothing about the real him. He is amazed to discover Libby has never heard of him or his band. Soon their friendship turns to love. Peter battles his families growing interference to spend time with Libby, while she struggles with her eccentric aunt who turns more bizarre each day.

Their lives are torn apart when Peter's family interferes and Libby disappears. Peter’s desperate search for her comes up empty. Can they find their way back to each other while the world plots against them? (lifted from goodreads.com)

Book Review

Rating: 4/5

Rock and a Hard Place is a wonderful short read. What surprises me about this novel is that it has the depth and essence of a longer story in a shorter version. Nevertheless, the ending was just right and was not hurried to a close. Angie Stanton made sure her readers were not left wanting for more (except perhaps a story on Adam and Garrett – I’d love to read those).

One of the things I love about this book is the main characters Libby and Peter. They almost have nothing in common and a complete opposite of the other. But one day, in a beautiful natural spot, they met and it started a tale of young love.

Libby, is an amazing character – she’s beautiful, intelligent, brave and determined. Her life was a constant struggle, with her mom and younger sister dying and her father leaving her into the care of a neglectful aunt. At first, you will not help but sympathize with her, but soon, you will readily admire her because of the choices she made with her life and the fact the she had overcome the bad things in her life and remain the same person as she was.

If Libby was a silent and a nobody, Peter on the other hand, is a rock god. He’s a very talented musician who’s in a band with his brothers and currently on tour when he bumped into Libby. He’s a very kind, sensible and lovable character. He complements Libby. While Libby needs someone to tell her how beautiful and special she is, he needs someone who can keep him sane in between his booming career. I love the way he loved her, he may be a hero-type kind of character, and his family thought that what he had with Libby was a passing fancy, but he proved them wrong. He was willing to do anything for her.

There are many different characters in the book, that makes Rock and a Hard Place an interesting read. The help that our heroine was given throughout the story was just a proof that even though the world is swarming with evil people, there are still some good ones out there ready to help us in times of needs.  

Now, it is not just the characters that took my attention, the whole plot was fascinating as well. She delved into the importance of the unwavering love and support of the family, of being a part of one. Not all of us are lucky enough to have a home. It also valued school, teachers and friends that help provide moral support and help nurture someone to be a better person in the future.

Wrapping up, I enjoyed Rock and a Hard Place. Finished it in under four hours, the development of the plot and the surprising twists and turns will take you into an emotional ride of your life, create tension and seize you in suspense asking yourself how the story will end for both characters.   
ChuCha©

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Book Review: Back When You Were Easier To Love

Book Details

Author: Emily Wing Smith
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 290 KB
Print Length: 305 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0525421998
Publisher: DUTTON CHILDREN'S (April 28, 2011)

Book Summary

What's worse than getting dumped? Not even knowing if you've been dumped. Joy got no goodbye, and certainly no explanation when Zan--the love of her life and the only good thing about stifling, backward Haven, Utah--unceremoniously and unexpectedly left for college a year early. Joy needs closure almost as much as she needs Zan, so she heads for California, and Zan, riding shotgun beside Zan's former-best-friend Noah.

Original and insightful, quirky and crushing, Joy's story is told in surprising and artfully shifting flashbacks between her life then and now. Exquisite craft and wry, relatable humor signal the arrival of Emily Wing Smith as a breakout talent. (lifted from goodreads.com)

Book Review

Rating: 3/5

Back When You Were Easier to Love is a clean romance read. When I say clean it means that it doesn’t involve any sex, drugs, and booze (not directly anyway). Written in the first person, the narration volleyed between the past and the present things that are happening to our protagonist. Although I am in search of that one great (even chaste) kiss – it never came! I would’ve given it a 4 if ever. I mean, a good love story between two awesome people deserve an itty-bitty intimacy.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed reading this book. The first chapters will make you curious what really happened to Zan. Joy, herself, spends her time in contemplating and obsessing over her boyfriend Zan who left without any word. She is convinced that it is not because of her, but because of the perfect little Mormon town they live in. To find closure, she decided to find Zan.

Joy enlisted Zan’s best friend Noah to help her. The both of them set off to find him and the road trip is where the real story takes place. The both of them started to talk and know more about each other. Joy finally knew the real story about the birthday present and boy, was it a real revelation. I just hated the fact that she was in a big DENIAL. She wanted to know firsthand and never really anticipated that the reality could hurt her. Yet, I was glad (and so was Joy) that Noah was there with her in this trip.

There was a touch of religion into this book, but don’t worry for those who aren’t comfortable reading about it because this book isn’t that preachy. The author placed you into the life of religious Mormons in the town called Haven but do not push the faith down your throat.

Back When You Were Easier to Love is a story about a girl who tries to find herself and answers to questions. It is a journey to self-discovery and to remind its readers that there is more to this world that what meets the eye. It is about someone who’s world revolves around a certain relationship and found herself lost once the relationship is gone. Sound familiar right? A lot of us have this type of relationship and this makes it more real.

And finally what I love MOST about Back When You Were Easier to Love is Joy’s realization that she was better than Zan or being stuck to Zan. 

Favorite Quotes

But I loved the library simply because it was a library. I love libraries. I like reading, but I love libraries. Being surrounded by books makes me feel safe, the way some people need trees or mountains around them to feel secure. Not me – nature’s not what I cling to. I cling to books.

I hate it when people say they’re trying to be your friend. You shouldn’t have to try to be somebody’s friend. Either you like someone or you don’t. Either you want them as a friend or not. Making friends isn’t like trying for the lead in the school play.

A person should try to understand dreams. A person should take warning from them.

“Let me guess, you’ve wanted to build your own ark ever since you learned about the guy you were named after?”

Being soaked alone is cold. Being soaked with your best friend is an adventure.

How do you make it better when you went somewhere and you didn’t know it then, but you do now?

I guess the whole world is made up of things coming together and things falling apart.

ChuCha©

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Book Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

Book Details

Author: EL James
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 1290 KB
Publisher: The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House (May 25, 2011)

Book Summary

When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind - until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time. 

The unworldly, innocent Ana is shocked to realize she wants this man, and when he warns her to keep her distance it only makes her more desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her - but on his own terms. 

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey's singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success – his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving adoptive family – Grey is man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a passionate, physical and daring affair, Ana learns more about her own dark desires, as well as the Christian Grey hidden away from public scrutiny. 

Can their relationship transcend physical passion? Will Ana find it in herself to submit to the self-indulgent Master? And if she does, will she still love what she finds? 

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever. (lifted from goodreads.com)

Book Review

Rating: 4/5

Fifty Shades of Grey is a surprising novel because it is not what I expected. It started out almost like a cheesy chic-lit and ended up becoming dark and dangerous. It took me a lot of time to came up with this review because I could not thoroughly describe how I feel about reading it. It is a novel filled with intense passion.

Written in the first person perspective, we are taken into Ana’s emotional roller-coaster ride in dealing with Christian Grey.  Ana is an amazing girl, she’s young and lacks experienced but not na├»ve. I admire her personality because she’s strong, although she tends to over think a lot of stuffs.

And Christian. Oh Christian. He’s a god. If you like the dominating alpha-male in Beautiful Disaster, I recommend you to take a look at this book because Christian is an alpha-lead that is to drool for. I like how EL James portrayed his character and its development throughout the story is captivating. He is an archetypal tortured soul that any girl would love to heal. He started out to be dominant and getting used to having what he wants but after he met Ana – wow, there were noticeable changes: he was trying to compromise, putting the other person’s happiness above his own. If this wasn’t love, I don’t know what it is called. I wonder why Ana couldn’t seem to grasp it, she couldn’t seem to feel that he’s totally into her. A person could not change overnight, old habits die hard after all.

I like that his BDSM tendencies were thoroughly explained and I am not just talking about the contract. The email exchange was fun and entertaining. It was an exchange of wits, I am definitely looking forward to this one.  

Fifty Shades of Grey is filled with breathtaking hot and steamy scenes – nevertheless, there is a real love story between the pages. The plot with rattle your emotions and the intimacy is just sizzling. Although there is one thing: this book ends in a major cliff-hanger that you need to have the second book nearby.


            ChuCha©

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Book Review: Vicious Circles


Book Details

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 315 KB

Book Summary

Sequel to All the Wrong Reasons.

Bailey never thought she'd fall in love - especially after the ordeal her best friend, Irelyn, had gone through the previous winter. So, imagine her surprise when she realizes that it has indeed happened to her.


But it's not looking promising even after she ends her on-again-off-again relationship with Spencer - especially since the man she's discovered she's in love with is Spencer's cousin and best friend, Collin.

It's okay, though, because she'll get over it. Well, that's what she was hoping but after one drunken night with Collin, she realizes that it's not that easy. 

Now he's feeling guilty, she's heartbroken, and he wants to keep it all a secret.

To make matters worse, she finds out that he's in love with Tori, Morgan's in love with him, and Spencer's in love with her. It's enough to make her head spin.

If you thought love triangles were bad, try being in the center of a vicious circle. (lifted from goodreads.com)

Book Review

Rating: 4/5

I have a knack for bad girls – this is one of the reasons why I love Vicious Circle.  Bailey is one of my favorite characters from the first book. She's quite b*tchy - but admit it, she was really a nice friend being there for Irelyn and covering for her (I'm not sure if the last one is a good thing). I really thought she would go serious with Spencer only to be surprised that she ended up with Collin, a good guy. 

Bailey's reputation precedes her. The people around her think she's easy and sleeping around - thanks to rumors spread by an old arch enemy, Veronica. I always look forward to their confrontations because Bailey says the most witty rebuttal to insults thrown to her - she really deserves it (Veronica that is). This bad girl however, has a soft spot: deep inside she's different and a very good friend - she would do anything for someone she loves, even risk her own life. 

She tried to held reins on her self-control because she thought Morgan was in love with him, but of course, love + lust will diminish your self-control - couple it with booze or beach. I hated Morgan here. How can she be that righteous? And how can she hate Bailey after Bailey's revelation? Morgan already gave her side, and with that, I don't think her sudden explosion was a bit melodramatic. 

JL Paul reminds us not to judge the book by its cover. No matter what she looks, or how she acts, there's more story to that than what is in the surface. I love the first two novels, but I don't think I can say that I'm looking forward for Morgan's story. 

Favorite Quotes

“But us women, well, we like our egos stroked every once in a while and a boy mourning over us is a huge boost”

ChuCha©