I’m grateful to share these novels that you want to check out and add to your book list!
Midnights In Bali by Carla De Guzman
I was fortunate to be one of the bloggers to receive a free copy of this book. I was even thrilled when Carla added a beautiful drawing of the temples in Bali. Thank you!
Ava Bonifacio is the lady who has ‘The Plan’-she wants to be a lawyer, go to a law school and be married to the man of her dreams his boyfriend: Matteo Gonzales.
Yet, the Universe has a different plan for her. In one day, her heart was broken not once but twice!
A ticket to Bali became Ava’s anchor to all the failures that she have and somehow it became her greatest decision in life.
What I like about the story:
The Plan… It was good that we set our minds with something that we like to achieve in the future like Ava. However, there are things that we cannot control that may happen and totally change everything that we set our goals on. We should always have a back plan, but if there’s none, perhaps, the only way to get out of being miserable is book a ticket out of the country and props to Ava for doing it!
The Sweet Escape: Bali. Who thinks that this place will be the one to help Ava to move on? Or does she really move on? I like how the temples and the Sudamala Park are described beautifully and magically. The foods (Bebek and Bintang) make me crave and the rupiah eggs are awesome. The Tanah Lot as the last destination is heartbreaking and at the same time, sweet. I want to book a flight right now and fly my heart out to Bali.
Scott to Ava
“Don’t be too hard on yourself. Having a plan is great, but you have to leave a bit of wiggle room for the unknown.”
How It Ends:
Jumping at the cliff signifies a new beginning and it is a perfect moment.
At some point, I was worried what Scott holds on to and I almost believed that it would not be a happy at the end. However, I’m glad that there is something for Ava to look forward to after everything that happened to her. Bali is so kind and nice to her as well as Scott, whom I adore despite of what he has through. I wish that there is different way of ending the story and yet, I’m alright with it somehow.
When Sparks Fly by Ines Bautista-Yao (300 php)
This is the third novel that I read from Miss Ines and her books always succeed in making me feel like the first time: giddy, thrilled and jovial.
I had the superb opportunity to read the ARC of it when it came out last year and of course, I didn’t let the chance to have my own copy which I directly brought with her. I was jumping all over when she even signed it!
Regina Salvador is a photographer’s apprentice who always felt like the ‘forgotten one’ especially when the boys whom she liked meet her popular and gorgeous best friend, Lana. Everything changes when Regina crossed path with Ben Marquez, the first guy who broke Lana’s heart.
What I like about the story:
Boil it with Hate at First Sight! Regina was very loyal to Lana and when she met Ben for the first time, she couldn’t stop hating the guy. Well, he is good looking and totally charming, but still, he was the first man who made Lana cried a lot.
Mix it with Friendship, Love and Ambition. I love how this story incorporated these three aspects. It tackles about how strong the friendship between Regina and Lana; one was willing to give way and the other one would be there for you. Though they had a misunderstanding, Regina did everything so that they would be back as friends again. Every man that passed between Regina and Lana, fell in love with Regina first. Their attention would snap to Lana when they met her, however, there is this one incredible man who snatched Regina’s heart. I commended Regina’s passion as a photographer and apprentice to Paulo Javellana. The description of how she shot her subject was amazing and inspiring. I was very pleased when she was given a chance to shine.
Simmer the Woman from the Blasted Past! It was nearing the happy ending and here came a crazy lady who was very possessive and obsessive with Ben! Grr! I didn’t really like you Alexa and I was truly buoyant that Lana found out about how bad you are.
Ben to Regina
“When fate hands you a gift like this, you don’t pass it up. I was waiting, hoping that you’d call. Then when I finally realized you weren’t going to and that maybe it was a sign telling me I wasn’t going to see you again, I walk in here today and seeing you sitting there… Looking incredibly bored. I just had to find a way to entertain you.” –That’s the spirit, Ben!
“I’m not sure what exactly is going on here, but I just had one of the best days of my life. And when something like that happens, you don’t let it go that easily.”
“We can be hermits together. You don’t even have to talk to me. As long as you allow me to live with you in your cave of exile, I’ll be happy.”
Paulo to Regina
“But when it comes to life, sometimes…well, sometimes good things don’t come to those who wait, you know? Sometimes if all you do is sit on your butt, you get the left overs, the dregs.” –Way to go Paulo!
Regina to Alexa
“You can’t pull people’s strings as if they were puppets—no matter how many fakes tears you cry and no matter how much fake makeup you put on your arms.”
Regina to Ben
“The thing about relationships is you never really know how things are going to turn out. And you just have to take a leap, right?” – I couldn’t agree more!
How It Ends:
The bizarre necktie that became famous in the national television. Congratulations Regina!
Hands down to the book cover, it is one of the best I’ve seen and the artwork in every chapter is also magnificently done. I’m genuinely impressed! Regina and Ben is such a superb couple that blends and fits for each other. I praise Ben’s persistence and Regina’s perseverance which makes this novel ‘nakakilig to the bones’. I really hope that Miss Ines will create Lana and Paulo’s story soon, yes I ship these two for real!
I’m still high from my Manila International Book Fair Haul that’s why my recommended books for this month are the two books I bought.
Tempting Victoria by Mina V. Esguerra (195 PHP)
I’m always a fan of Mina Esguerra and I’m glad that I purchased one of her New Adult stories printed under Spark Books.
Victoria Bennett is not your typical college student. She is in control and always in charge, especially if it is about her events business. That’s why when she needed someone to help her for her first official paying client; she will do anything even hiring the notorious heartbreaker Nathan Grant.
What I like about the story:
Mexico and Engagement proposal… I have never been in Mexico and Cozumel seems to be a romantic place to be engaged. The description of the setting makes me want to get a plane ticket a fly all the way there! Trent and Nyssa are very fortunate to meet and be engaged there.
Rule breakers, Dirty Talk and Unofficial Relationship. At the beginning, Victoria and Nathan agreed with some rules while they were working together, but it was difficult to follow rules when at the very start, the two have a thing to each other already. I was blown away with the ‘dirty talk’ from these two via phone. I was giggling while reading their conversation. It was not pointed out if they’ve been officially in a relationship, but who cares? Their chemistry is totally undeniable.
Nathan to Victoria
“It’s not for you then. It’s going to be different for everyone. It’s about what turns you on, what gets you off. If it’s not a crude mouth, then it’s something else. I bother to find out.”
Victoria to Nathan
“Maybe we’re just waiting for someone to prove we were wrong. I’m curious to find out if I can make someone believe that a lifelong commitment is real.”
“I wonder what you taste like. How you’d feel if I take you, suck you like a lollipop. I wonder if I could take you all in. In my mouth. In my throat.” –This is pure torture!
Haley to Nathan
“A chance is not going to be enough, Nathan. Not going to drag you into my own drama, but you’ve got to aim higher. Ask for a chance, and you just might get and nothing else.”
Miss Mina’s novels never fail to mark sometime in my heart. Opposite attracts was too powerful with Nathan and Victoria that I was pulled by them. Thank you for ending the story in New Orleans, one of my favorite places in the world and the bonus short story of Kissing Day was incredible. Hoping for Chris and Dianas’ long story next!
In My Dreams by Yeyet Soriano (240 php)
The book cover intrigued me in so many ways and after reading the synopsis, I said to myself, I would like to go to Barrio Malaya and meet the two teenagers who fell in love there.
Olivia ‘Liv’ Roxas, a 16 year old girl who never been out to the real world has an unlimited access to her dream place called Barrio Malaya where Life and Death meet. A faceless stranger pulled Gabriel ‘Gab’ Sahagun before he can join his parents who died in a freak accident. He can visit Barrio Malaya when his body is being used as a medium for transferring death.
What I like about the story:
Welcome to Barrio Malaya and the wonderful places that it offers. The description quaint town of Barrio Malaya is superb. There is the Kantina that offer milkshakes and fries, the towering library which is Balay Kaalaman and the cinema house called Balay Pelikula. You can see the train at the Estasyon, there is a home called Balay Takipsilim for the elderly and Balay Kalusugan is intended for those people who have terminal illnesses. There is Balay ng Musmos, a house for newborn babies, Balay ni Nanay are made for expectant mothers, but there is a Balay Takipsilim, a house that is far from the train and near the woods where inhabited by people who lost hope and feel that their life is better ended.
The mysterious ticket and the boarded train… When I first read about the ticket, I immediately thought of the Golden Ticket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the train reminded me so much of Platform 9 and ¾ in Harry Potter Series. Yet, the ticket and the train combination in this story are quite scary. When you received one, chances are you are dead already.
Liv and Gab: The ‘Barrio Malaya’ Unlikely Couple. A girl who never eats fried chicken again, grew up homeschooling and has an alcoholic mother have a chance to visit Barrio Malaya. She then met the boy who almost boarded the train, lost his parents in young age and has an unusual power to transfer death to another person by just touching. These two became a couple in Barrio Malaya despite of not seeing each other in real life.
Gab to Liv
“This isn’t real life, Liv. I want to be able to see you everytime. And not just when I am about to die.”
Lolo Tonio to Gab
“Dear boy… the power you have is huge. Don’t underestimate it. You are in essence playing God. There are things destined to happen, regardless of what you do.”
Tomas to Liv
“Gab is already strong. He wouldn’t have had the power if he wasn’t. He just needs someone who would understand. He needs someone to be there for him. He needs someone who would love him enough to be with him.” – I agree!
“No, you stop. You are no longer a child, Liv. Stop acting like one. Gab is special. And he chose you. He has both worlds to choose from and he chose you.” –Thank you Tomas!
‘Gab could transfer death. I knew what my work was. I could help the living communicate. It gave me purpose. It felt good to be able to help.’ –Way to go Liv!
This was the first novel that I read from Miss Yet and I was amazed on how well-written this story is. After reading it, I found myself craving for more of her stories with this kind of genre. Congratulations Miss Yet, I love Liv, Gab and Barrio Malaya, I’m grateful that you introduced them with me.
Ending this lovely month of August by two awesome book recommendations! The final book of one of the most loved Young Adult novel last year is the first recommendation while the other one is best read on Halloween.
P.S. I Still Love You (July)
This book came out last May and everyone went gaga to find out what will happen to Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky.
If you read To All the Boys I Loved Before which was beautifully written by Jenny Han who had a book signing last year that attended by yours truly, this novel is the sequel of it.
P.S. I Still Love You is about Lara Jean Song who is head over heels in love with his fake boyfriend, Peter Kavinsky but someone whom she loved from the past returns to her life.
What I like about the story:
Choosing between the past love and on-going relationship. All I can think is a perfect couple already: Lara and Peter. I’m #TeamKavinsky all the way! Yet I cannot blame Lara Jean when she is torn between her feelings for Peter and John Ambrose.
Solving issues should not be made by one party only and trust is always a main concern. Peter is Lara’s first boyfriend though I expected her to adjust and adapt, I like how she still have doubts yet she tried to survive and surpass every challenges that came to them.
Letting go means giving a chance to growing up. Lara Jean keeps on comparing herself to Genevieve and their past relationship. It doesn’t help. Acceptance of the strengths and flaws is the key for a great start of a real relationship.
~Quotes to remember~
Margot to Lara Jean
“Don’t get too serious to where things can go back. Be in love with Peter if you want, but be careful with your heart. Things feel like they’ll be forever, but they aren’t. Love can go away, or people can, without even meaning to. Nothing is guaranteed.”
Peter to Lara Jean
“What if we do? If we’re so guarded, it’s not going to be anything. Let’s do it fucking for real, Lara Jean. Let’s go all in. No more contract. No more safety net. You can break my heart. Do whatever you want it.” (So sweet!)
Lara Jean’s advice about falling in love to Kitty
“Allow yourself to get a little lost. By this I mean, get caught up in it, do things you wouldn’t normally do-let it be an adventure.”
When I was in the last page, so this is it? I mean can I ask for more Kavinsky! I crave for perfect ending of the story. I think it gave justice with the first novel which is good anyway. Great job Jenny Han!
Diary of A Haunting (August)
It was like, love at first picked!
When I won this book from an event, I was excited. I don’t usually read creepy or scary stories because it will be difficult for me to sleep. However, the cover of the book was like calling me to get it.
The one that I have is an Advance Reviewer Copy because the book is set to be released this month.
Diary of a Haunting is written through journal entries of Paige who moves with her mother and brother in small town in Idaho. Their new house send bad vibes and negative feelings to Paige.
What I like about the story:
The fear that it leaves every turn of the pages is marvelous. Flies around the house, I can let go but spiders, no way! And the buzzing sound in the head is not normal. I understand Paige in this matter.
Characters involved gave the biggest impact: Logan who is being epileptic and insomniac, the mysterious Raph who rents a small room below the house, Chloe who is a little bit weird and her mother who loves nature and all creations of God.
How it ends:
I didn’t expect the revelations and the truth on the last few chapters. The turn out of events was also superb.
For a beginner reader of horror/suspense novel, this is a good one. Quite confused with some scenes and I was a disturbed when one of the characters is the same person who writes it. Nice debut novel of M. Verano!