[707]: Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse

Mildly enjoyable; helplessly forgettable.


Seven Days of You
by Cecilia Vinesse

Sophia is no stranger to uprooting her life and moving to another country. Her family has done it at least twice in her short lifetime. She’s an American in Japan who’s spent summers in France with her father and his new family.

This move, however, will be different. This time, New Jersey will be their home base for good.

She didn’t anticipate a week of sharing the same continent with Jamie Foster-Collins, however. If she has any choice, leaving Japan without seeing Jamie’s shadow will be a welcomed blessing. But Jamie seemed determined to fix whatever went wrong two years ago. Once upon a time, he was a part of their small crew along with David, the flirty Australian ambassador’s son, and Mika, her best friend. They were friends who lost touch after his move to North Carolina. Conflating the issue was a painful episode that rendered their friendship close to obsolete. So hearing about his return a week before she leaves did not sit well with Sophia. And if she’s being honest, the hurt that cuts deep goes way beyond some angry words accidentally sent by a text message, and deeper still than the words she threw on his face.

She’s got a week to say her goodbyes to the life she’s known, the people in her life, and the country that she’s only ever known as home.

Sophia’s emotions over everything was all over the place. Notably, her feelings towards the two boys who occupied her mind for most of her post-pubescent life. Worry not, you love triangle allergy sufferers. She’ll only waffle for a second or two. After that, you’re golden. I do feel for the girl, though. The adjustment that looms ahead for her as she will try to acclimate to another life will be tough. And the truth bombs that come her way in a span of 7 days can’t be her idea of a good time. So yeah, she was in a tailspin. I suppose I don’t blame her for having her moment of insanity. She’ll grow up a lot. She’ll realize the truth about her hero-worship for the father that decided he needed a new family. She’ll try to repair the crevasse that was slowly widening between her and her sister. And most importantly, she’ll face the reality that Jamie meant more to her than just a boy in her past she’d rather soon forget.

Regardless, this was a cute, fast read. Nothing earth-shattering or life-changing. It was just a story about a girl leaving her life to start over again in her home country. There will be reminiscing; there will be crying. There will be drama and plenty of karaoke. There will be parent-less kids who will rule the night and kids who will drink way too much. In a span of 7 days, Sophia sheds all the half-truths about her family, accept some real truths about Jamie, and tries to look forward to a life in another continent even if she knows how difficult it will be.

 

Hoarders, Books Edition: Episode 200


Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner | Love And First Sight by Josh Sundquist | The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz | Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop


Hey, all!

How have you all been? Thank you for visiting the blog last week. Truly appreciative of your visits and comments. 🙂 I went to the bookstore on Saturday with my husband for the purpose of picking up these four books. Even though I’ve been good, I knew ahead of time that I was going to break my buying ban for these. I’ve read and loved Etched in Bone (because I couldn’t resist downloading the audiobook). I’m so sad it’s over. Though, I feel like it would’ve been better if The Others defeated the HFL movement in this finale instead of in the fourth book. It would’ve been a better series-ender, in my opinion. Regardless, this series is still one of the best things I’ve followed over the years. So sad to see it end. *sobs*

I can’t wait to read the rest as they’ve all been on my wishlist this year. I’m especially pumped for The Inexplicable Logic of My Life.

FEED MY READER

 

Ronit & Jamil was an Audible purchase. It was very short (1.29 hours) and the story felt incomplete. Disappointing. I requested Hello, Sunshine from Net Galley. Captive was free on Amazon.

READ THIS WEEK

  

  

The Girl Before was a fantastic mystery/thriller. Ronit & Jamil was too short. Close Enough to Touch was so good. Etched in Bone was good, too. This is Water was an eye-opener. By Your Side was meh.

That’s it for me last week. How was yours?

[706]: Pretty Face by Lucy Parker

Smarter than your average Romance.


Pretty Face
by Lucy Parker

Lucy Parker’s writing reminds me of the old days. More particularly, of the Mills & Boon era. Now, don’t scoff. I’ve been reading romance novels all my life. Mills & Boon started me off on this path. The romantic writers of those days are distinctly foreign compared to some of their contemporary colleagues. They were posh, very British and elegant. In so many ways, Ms. Parker brought back all those feelings.

Pretty Face was delightfully refreshing. Especially at a time when Romance is heavily saturated with cheesy gourds, oversexed fiends, and miscommunication drama.

 At its core, this is the story about every woman who’s ever had to fight for their place to get recognition. Not for their looks, nor for their curves but for their talent and hard work. Lily Lamprey’s role as a bombshell in British television has gained her the notoriety for being a sex symbol. No one takes her seriously let alone a director whose severe work ethic puts the fear in the eyes of every single actor that ever worked for him. So it’s not a surprise that Lily suffers no illusions to getting the part for his new stage production.

Luc Savage’s name fits him to a T. His reputation as a workhorse proceeds him. He hasn’t got the time for distractions. His fledgling production and the renovation of the legendary West End theater take all his time and energy. And Lily Lamprey is a distraction with a capital D. Try as he might, the woman got under his skin like a stubborn sliver.

By all accounts, this story is not all that ingenious. We’ve all read this story before in one form or another. But no one could ever resist the push and pull dynamics of two characters whose attraction for each other is off the charts.  Coupled that with smart dialogues infused with humor, and a story line that’s distinctly British, I say, it’s hard not to rate this book any lower than 5 stars. This is an amazing read. If you’ve ever felt burnt out with the romance novels that you’ve been reading lately, Pretty Face is just the cure for your malady.

Waiting on Wednesday [12]: March Releases

Traitor to the Throne
by Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel of the Sands, #2
Release Date: March 7th, 2017

Loved Rebel of the Sands. Looking forward to this one! Worried about the love triangle implied but still excited to see whether this crew managed to stage their own rebellion.

 
 

Etched in Bone
by Anne Bishop

The Others, #5
Release Date: March 7th, 2017

We’ve been teased to within an inch of our lives. The previous 4 books kept us in suspense in all the ways that matter. But I’m chomping at the bit to see Meg and Simon advance their relationship further.

 
 

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life
by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Release Date: March 7th, 2018

To this day, Aristotle and Dante remain one of the most unforgettable couples in my books. It seems I’ve been praying for so long for Mr Sáenz to write another book. I can honestly say, I’m truly grateful for Benjamin’s ability to write. What an honour it is to read them.

 
 

Goodbye Days
by Jeff Zentner

Release Date: March 7th, 2017

The Serpent King was one of those surprise hits. It was so unassuming. The moment I took it for granted was the moment it sucker-punched me in the gut. So yeah, I’m going to make sure to expect the worst (and the best) from this novel. I can’t wait!

 
 

Saga, Volume 7
by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples

Release Date: March 28, 2017

I’m so excited for this. I always feel the need to read the previous instalment before jumping into the latest release. Due to the shortness of the volumes, I tend to forget. As far as I can remember, Alana and Hazel were reunited but Marko is still missing. And based on the reviews, it looks it’s a painful instalment by far. Gah!

 

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
by Hannah Tinti

Release Date: March 28th, 2017

From Goodreads: “This father-daughter epic weaves back and forth through time and across America, from Alaska to the Adirondacks.” This book explores the relationship between a father and daughter by confronting a dangerous past that had them on the run. DYING. Dying for this book.

[705]: The Burning World by Isaac Marion

An Unrecognizable sequel that sheds all the heart-warming fluff of its predecessor.


The Burning World
by Isaac Marion

Question: Did you read Warm Bodies? If so, do you remember how it ends? How about the movie? Did you see it? Yes? No?

Well, let me spoil it all for you with this little scenario: most of the zombies slowly gained back a semblance of their humanity. Gone are the instincts to devour human flesh, replaced by a pause that gives them a chance to hold back the monster that hungers for the living. So much so that they’re able to cohabit with the humans inside the wall. The last scene had Julie and R watching as the walls were blown to bits. The sun is setting; they were holding hands…fade to black. Really hopeful shit, right? Makes you think that a peaceful coexistence between zombies and humans are entirely possible.

Well, sorry to burst your bubble but The Burning World did not start right where Warm Bodies left off. At least, the atmosphere was not the same. If you’re expecting much of the same lighthearted and somewhat funny shtick of the undead in this novel, you’ll be disappointed. Because these zombies are just a sad caricature of the rabid monsters we’ve come to fear and love. They’re stuck in between the beast that craves for warm flesh, and the humans inside of them clamoring to be born again. It was dark, nostalgic, and terrible in the sense that they’ll break your heart (R’s zombie wife and kids. *Sobs*) It was depressing, and it made me wish they were the terrifying stuff of nightmares we’ve all read about our lives. Because then I won’t feel so heartbroken.

This is a changed world; one that you won’t recognize from the first book. There’s a new villain in town whose primary goal is to convert the changing zombies into an army of drones possessing some robot-like consciousness. The last vestige of humanity left are being hunted and “phased out”. And this includes the tiny population inside the wall. They especially want R and Julie for their ability to speak to the evolving zombies. In short, this sequel had become the action-packed, pulse-pounding, scary-as-shit thriller that Warm Bodies never were. I’d even go as far as to say, it echoes the atmospheric dread of Justin Cronin’s The Passage. Yeah. I can’t believe it either. But reading The Burning World brought out the exact feelings when I binge-read Cronin’s vampire series last year.

By the by, R slowly gains his memory as a human – and from what he can remember, he was not a good person at all. He is miles remove from the sweet zombie we’ve come to know. We also see Julie in a different light. Driven by her sense of familial loyalty, she becomes a completely different person. She’s angry, compulsive, and even a little selfish. She’ll make you mad. She’ll make you cry but eventually, she’ll gain your sympathy albeit, tentatively.

We’re introduced to new characters and new plot lines that converge with the old ones. There are far more nuances explored; surprising and thrilling revelations. If I were to keep it simple, I say Warm Bodies was stripped of everything that was cute to show its true form. It had me on edge at all times because at the back of my mind, I keep waiting for the “awaken” zombies to revert back to their monstrosity – most especially R. Over all, The Burning World opens the series to a whole new set of possibilities. And with that ending, I say Marion has a lot more dark days in store for his ardent readers.

On the Night Table [45]: March TBR


Hello.

Every month, I always try to make it a point to tackle review copies first before anything else. March is no different. Aside from Moon Called by Patricia Briggs, the books on my pile are for review that’s been sitting on my shelf for a time now.

Nostalgia by MG Vassanji won the Governor General’s award for literature here in Canada. It’s about a man who is suffering from Leaked Memory Syndrome. It’s when memories of his past lives come seeping out from the deep confines of his brain. It has such an interesting premise, but I must admit that it’s intimidating me a little bit.

I’ve decided to re-read Moon Called by Patricia Briggs in an effort to get this series off my TBR. I own the first 6 books and since this series has been widely loved by practically everyone I know, I thought it was high time.

I’m a huge fan of suspense/mysteries, so The Girl Before is right up my alley. Looking forward to reading this one.

I’m more than halfway done with I See You and enjoying it so far. I had assumed that this book will not be out until April, for some reason so I’m a little late in posting my review.

READ LAST WEEK

Seven Days of You was cute. Oryx And Crake was insane. Act Like It was pretty good but not as good as Pretty Face.

So this has been my week. I’ve been relatively absent from the blog for no other reason than tiredness and laziness. I’ve written a few posts to get me through the week, though so I’ll try to be on schedule this time.

Have a great week, everyone!

Hoarders, Books Edition: Episode 199


The People In The Trees by Hanya Yanagihara | First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen | The Only Child by Andrew Pyper


Hello!

I’ve managed to stay away from the bookstore this past weekend so I don’t have too many to share with y’all. This is good, though. Gives my wallet a break! LOL. I’d like to thank Simon & Schuster Canada for my review copy of The Only Child. Looks to be another good one from the author of The Damned. Excited to read this!

I started First Frost last weekend, but I got sidetracked by other books. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read so far and I’m looking forward to continuing. The People in the Trees looks interesting and hopefully less angst-ridden than her other book (A Little Life). I saw these books at the bargain bin two weeks ago and couldn’t resist.

FEED MY READER

Undecided was on sale for like, $1.52 on Amazon so I downloaded it. The Girl Who Shot First was free the last time I checked. Oryx and Crake was on sale on Audible; Pretty Face was a request from Net Galley.

READ THIS WEEK

I’ve had a great reading week.

The Burning World completely eviscerated everything that was cute and fluffy about Warm Bodies. I swear to you, this world and story line got a makeover from hell. And it was fucking awesome!

Undecided was exactly what y’all have gushed about since it came out. It’s so good. I can’t believe I waited until it went on sale before downloading a copy. I’m definitely getting a physical copy. 

The Bastard Billionaire was good, too! It makes me want to read the rest of the books in the series. 

Under Rose-Tainted Skies Gah. My heart. Love, love this book to pieces. Norah’s plight was so heartbreaking. 

Illuminae Gosh darn, y’all. Had I known how freaking awesome this book is, I would’ve started long ago! Can’t wait to read Gemina. 

So yeah. This has been an amazing reading week. Hopefully, I’ll be able to continue this streak. What about you? How was your week?

[704]: Chain Reaction by Tara Wyatt


Chain Reaction
by Tara Wyatt

Book 3 to Tara Wyatt’s Bodyguard series features the story of a Hollywood royalty in need of protection from her own family.

There are a lot of things Alexa didn’t know about the name Fairfax. The legacy of her name, while synonymous to glitz, influence, glamor and riches, hides a dark history borne out of greed; a dark history stained with blood and a trail of dead bodies who were stupid enough to get in the way.

When she inadvertently overheard about the murders that her father has ordered and orchestrated, fear and shock had her running out of the house and into the protection of one Zack de Luca; a Mixed Martial Arts fighter who moonlights as a bodyguard for Virtus.

Alexa hasn’t had the best relationship with her parents, to begin with. She has a disturbing past that she’s been trying to escape. The horror of what she’s been subjected to growing up cannot truly encapsulate the kind of monsters her parents are. They only know her as a timid character who is easily manipulated and can be used as a barter in exchange for acclimation, award, prestige, and sometimes, even movie roles. Did I mention how monstrous they are?

There are some truths to her parents’ life-long assessment of their daughter’s timidity, though. Frankly, there’s not much to her besides being a Hollywood princess who spends her time volunteering at a children’s hospital. There’s not a lot of depth that I can glean from her personality and character. The same goes for Zack. I feel like he tried to be an alpha male character at times but consistently failed. I just can’t get behind this pairing, to be honest. Their chemistry feels numbingly forced. And I swear I wanted to scream every time he mentions how “sweet” Alexa was. Like, dude. I got it the first 5 times you mentioned it.

Her family is evil. I can’t believe father dear was willing to use her as an incentive for one of his henchman. That’s messed up, man. And Alexa’s reaction to this news? Horrifically nonchalant. Perhaps it’s because she’s been through it many times and that she’s used to it but either way, it was sad how lacking her reaction was.

Despite my deceivingly adverse reaction, I think this series is worth further looking into. I mean, sure we got off on the wrong foot but I’m not necessarily a one-and-done kind of reader, so yeah. I’m especially curious to see the relationships between the other characters mentioned. Overall, expect to see more about this series on the blog.

[703]: The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles

Good versus evil and star-crossed romance: the perfect recipe for a good YA fantasy.


The Edge of Everything
by Jeff Giles

I haven’t read too many YA novels lately. But when I started seeing reviews for this Jeff Giles offering, I was instantly curious. It had allusions to fallen angels, grim reapers, and demons. But when most mentioned about a forbidden romance between a human and a godly creature, I was sunk.

Zoe’s year hasn’t been the best, to be honest. After the sudden disappearance of her father, she’s left trying to keep her family somewhat in a normal state. With her brother’s bouts of anxiety brought on by the knowledge that their father’s body could still be in the cave where he last went, things at home are a little precarious. When she lost him in a snowstorm, frostbite wouldn’t be the only thing that could put both their lives in danger. They found themselves at the mercy of a deranged criminal. Just when she’s about to lose hope, a vision in fire and light came to their rescue.

Their rescuer came in the form of X; a boy who looked to be in bad shape himself. His assignment was to retrieve the soul of one Stan Manggold, a hardened criminal who rightfully belonged in the Lowlands. Lowlands, for lack of a better word, is what you would call as hell. X is one of the bounty hunters who has lived in the Lowlands for eternity, it seems. There is no way out for the likes of him. But a deal with one of the generals could give X a chance to escape and live the rest of his life on Earth. It will not be easy, though, as his freedom come at a cost.

This book is gripping. I didn’t think I would enjoy yet another YA supernatural fantasy, but here I am. Honestly, if I hadn’t been distracted by so many books on my shelves, I could just as easily finished reading this in one sitting. As I mentioned, I’m a huge fan of star-crossed romances. It just so happens that X and Zoe were in one. The only downside to this is the speed with which they fell for each other. I feel like there wasn’t much chance of getting to know X. But I get it. Since X didn’t know much about himself either, I can forgive the underdevelopment of his character.

Zoe, on the other hand, is a girl whose life upended when her dad died. Granted that their dad wasn’t a “conventional parent” by any standards, they still had a camaraderie like that of any father and daughter relationship. He was presumed dead, but they never retrieve his body in the cave. Their mom is present in their lives, sure but she’s also distracted by trying to raise her kids. Mostly, she tried her best to keep what’s left of her family together.

I enjoyed this book. It had funny moments, surreal moments, and instances where I choked up a little. I especially enjoyed Zoe relationships with her close friends and her brother. She took care of him the only way she knew how. I could’ve sworn Jeff Giles is an experienced author. I didn’t realize this was only his second book. The Edge of Everything is exactly the YA paranormal fantasy that teens and adults alike would enjoy. The contemporary elements balance out the supernatural that makes reading it such a breeze.

[702]: Guarding Mr. Fine by HelenKay Dimon

Funny, sexy, and a whip-smart follow up to an already enjoyable series.


Guarding Mr. Fine
by HelenKay Dimon

This series gets better and better with each installment, you guys. I’ve been loving everything that HelenKay has been giving us! I was especially looking forward to reading Seth’s story because he was hilarious in the previous books. I knew that there’s more to him other than the smart ass CIA agent we’ve come to know and he didn’t disappoint.

In here, he’s tasked to guard the newly appointed US consul general in Munich. However, he knows that it’s a cover for something else because no one knows anything about the guy. He seems to have come from out of nowhere. There’s something mysterious about his background and the real reason why someone inexperienced like him got the job. Not only does Seth knew next to thing about this guy but he’ll figure out soon enough that Rick Fine knew him in more ways than one.

One of the things that I look forward to when I read a romance novel is the serendipitous meeting of the main characters. Admittedly, their meet-cute wasn’t so cute. They went from 0-60 in a blink of an eye. It was kind of hot! They met at a bar and hit it off so well that they ended up having a tryst in the shaded part of the club. They thought it was a one-off thing, a one-night stand without sleeping together. But they had another thing coming since Ric knew a bit more about Seth than Seth knows about Rick. Their history is for you to find out, readers.

Rick Fine was sent to investigate the apparent suicide of the former consulate general. But the investigation is only a front for why he was there. As usual, there’s never a dull moment in this installment. Aside from the sleuthing that the boys were involved in, the romance will also have you engrossed. There’s a battle of egos and dominance between the two that heightens their chemistry to a fever pitch. What else could I ask for, right? Seth is a man-of-the-world kind of guy. He doesn’t have a commitment phobia per se, but he’s smart enough to know that a relationship between two CIA agents is not realistic nor it is advisable. So yeah, he’ll do what he can to sabotage his feelings towards Rick. There’s also that history thing that I mentioned above. Whatever it is, Seth has to learn to forgive and forget if he ever wants their relationship to foster.

Overall, HelenKay has been hitting all the right notes with her books. I keep saying I need to read more books by hers, but it keeps slipping my mind. Well, adding the rest of her books on my wishlist for future downloads when I’m in need of something fun, fast, and sexy.