I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
Published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux on May 30, 2017
Genres: [Young Adult] Contemporary
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million | BD

1.5 Stars, Completed September 24, 2017

– read bold text ONLY to avoid MAJOR SPOILERS –

There’s been so much Asian rep lately with the hype around Crazy Rich Asians and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, so I thought I’d share an old, belated review before the month’s end. However, to my dismay, I didn’t enjoy this title nearly as much as I did CRA (in theater) and TAtBILB (my current read).

Real love: It was all about risk and having faith. There were no guarantees.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love is about hardworking perfectionist and star student, Desi Lee, and her plans of wooing her crush… not the traditional way but through the guidance of her beloved Korean dramas (catty girl fights, car crashes, and all). She’s certain that her K-drama list of to-do’s will win over Luka Drakos, because everyone surrenders to the magic of a good time-stopping, romantic straight out of a K-drama scene. But after a crazy turn of events, she realizes that love may be more complex and beyond simply “using a formula.” Desi may need to just learn to trust her heart and the process of falling it love itself (minus the drama and flair shown in films).

Continue reading

The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions) by Amy Spalding

NewGuy jkt des.1.inddThe New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions)
by Amy Spalding
Published by Poppy on April 5, 2016
Genres: [Young Adult] Contemporary
Pages: 320
Format: ARC, paperback
Source: NOVL

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

1 Star, Completed June 6, 2016

– SPOILER free –

I really want to be able to say that if I read this three-ish years ago when I was a senior in high school that the story would be relatable and appeal to me more. But, alas, I still wouldn’t think I’d enjoy it.

In The New Guy (and Other Senior Year Distractions), Jules McCallister-Morgan is a senior at Eagle Vista Academy. She’s an honors student, organization freak, and may even be slightly neurotic. Her idea of an ideal senior year is earning her position as editor of The Crest, her school’s newspaper, getting into Brown University, and proving to herself that she was worth the money her moms invested in in order to have her. What she doesn’t expect to find is that she’ll become editor by default because her opponent has already moved on to better things and backed out of the competition; Alex Powell, ex-boy band member of the one hit wonder group, Chaos 4 All, is the new guy at school; and she may be interested in having a boyfriend more than she initially thought. Least of all, she didn’t anticipate becoming commander of one of the sides of a high school war.

Continue reading

Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira


Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira
Series: Ever After #1 (1/?)
Published by Spencer Hill Contemporary on January 12, 2016
Genres: [YA] Contemporary
Pages: 350
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

1.5 Stars, Completed January 17, 2016

– minor SPOILERS ahead –

I think I’m the black sheep with this one. I hate to confess that this book was just very awkward to read.

Bookishly Ever After is a story about a girl named Phoebe that loves all things bookish. She’s an avid reader of ya romance, cosplays to her book signings, and even has a line of book boyfriends. She also happens to be a profound archer and enjoys knitting for those she deems knitworthy. Then her best friend convinces her that she should give real guys a chance and suggests Phoebe to woo Dev, a hot, Indian-American theater and band enthusiast, who seems to have a thing for Phoebe as well. With all the fictional fantasies Phoebe’s recollected from her beloved books she creates a journal full of advice on flirting and dating, and tries her hand of making a real guy fall for her. But she soon becomes disillusioned by how she’s perceived real life to be compared to the perfect fictional world literature presents. Perhaps, reality is too overrated after all.

Continue reading

A Whole New World by Liz Braswell

24397040A Whole New World by Liz Braswell
Series: A Twisted Tale #1 (1/?)
Published by Disney-Hyperion on September 1, 2015
Genres: [Young Adult] Fantasy, Retelling
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

1.5 Stars, Completed August 30, 2015

– SPOILERS ahead –

A Whole New World is an Aladdin retelling where the events are slightly distorted from the original Disney film. Instead of Aladdin meeting the genie first and having to struggle with facing the truth and his identity, before Aladdin even catches on that the tales of djinns and genies are real, the grand vizier, Jafar, possesses the lamp and transforms Agrabah into an apocalyptic setting by using dark magic.

After reading, it got me thinking that beloved Disney films though they have their own merits (good morals, beautiful illustrations, funny moments, and encouragement of imaginations to name a few) still are full of instalove romances, love triangles, development of somewhat bland characters, and other unwanted characteristics most readers probably don’t enjoy reading usually. However, for a movie, that’s okay. I can completely sympathize that there’s so much you can squish into a 2 hour movie; these inadequacies can easily be brushed off. On the other hand for a book, so much more of the story can be elaborated on and there’s plenty of room for the author to unleash creativity. So for this Aladdin retelling I was anticipating many things that weren’t addressed in the film. I was hoping this book would bridge the gaps and clarify the grey areas in the movie, and still make references from the original film all the while being unique as a novel on its own.

Continue reading