The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen + Giveaway

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
Published by Penguin Group Inc. on May 11, 2004
Genres: [Young Adult] Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Pages: 374
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

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5 Stars, Reread May 3, 2017

– SPOILER free –

I’d tried to hold myself apart, showing only what I wanted, doling out bits and pieces of who I was. But that only works for so long. Eventually, even the smallest fragments can’t help but make a whole.

After witnessing her father’s unexpected death, Macy has always sought to find control of her life by planning for the expected. She likes the certainty of knowing what will happen next. So when her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp, she decides to spend her summer subbing for him at his library job, studying for the SATs, and occasionally making small talk with her mother about anything but the traumatic loss of her father. But when she meets the dysfunctional team at Wish Catering, a group accustomed to chaos and surprises, after they cater at one of her mom’s parties she starts to feel compelled to breakaway from her steady and sheltered life. Because, perhaps, the key to truly living is not to dwell on the past or wait for the future, but instead embrace each moment of the present.

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Summing It Up: April 2017

Hello! You guys thought I was gone for good, huh?

It’s been a little over a month since I’ve last posted anything, which is quite an abnormally long hiatus for me. Anyhow, it’s nice to be back and I hope to get into the groove of things since I’m out for summer now. (YAY!)

Speaking of summer vacation… yes, that’s right! Exams are over. I took my last one early morning Monday so I’m officially a P2 now. (I took a celebratory photo. It isn’t a great picture… but I kind of like how candid it looks. Plus, you can tell I was genuinely relieved that I was done with the semester because of my huge, gummy smile, lol.)

Since April was a crazy month in that school consumed my life (more than usual), let me just warn you all that very little of this post is bookish related. When I had free time, I rarely did any real reading. Instead, I indulged in mostly manga and shows, which you’ll see soon.

– What I Read –

A Silent Voice (full manga series) | Anonymous Noise (full manga series) | The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

It may not seem like a lot but I actually read the entire series for both A Silent Voice, which had seven volumes alone, and Anonymous Noise. But I’m kind of particular with how I include manga/graphic novels towards my annual Goodreads reading challenge. I only count them if I finish the entire series (or however many volumes that are available in English if its ongoing). And I only count 1 volume regardless of how many I read to complete the series. It just feels like cheating otherwise? I don’t know. I’m weird with this sort of thing, I guess.

– April Blog Posts –

I had planned to make an effort on working on some book reviews and scheduling them but, alas, the only post I ended up publishing was previous month’s recap.

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Summing It Up: March 2017

Last month was like the calm before the storm. My spring break was early March, and it was wonderful even though I did hole myself at home away from humanity watching Asian dramas for the majority of that week. (It may seem pitiful to some but that was my ideal vacation. #embracetheintrovertlife) In regards to my academics everything went smoothly and was the usual.

(However, this month, April, is going to be quite horrific since I’ll be swamped with exams after exams after exams. Then finals. In fact, my prescription filling compentency exam and Top 300 Rx Drugs final is this approaching Tuesday, which I’m not looking forward to but it’s unavoidable so I’m just going to put my warrior paint on. (LOL, my unease shows because I’m saying ridiculous stuff now.) I also will have several presentations, one of them on tobacco cessation, which will be interesting. But more on all that later when it actually is April.)

Back to March… though everything with school was normal, I had a friend that went through a really tough time and was admitted to the hospital. Subsequently our entire circle of friends weren’t in the best mental state for a while because we were worried about her. Good news is that my friend is on the mend! But that scare really opened my eyes to how crucial it is for one to lead a well balanced life. Guys, seriously, I encourage you all to take care of yourselves and relieve as much stress as you can amongst your busy schedules. Remember that your health always comes first.

– What I Read –

Not exactly an impressive reading month, but considering what was going on I’m not too upset about reading three books-especially since two were mini bricks of books. Pachinko is adult fiction. It was nice to finally delve into something non-YA for a change. A Conjuring of Light was a thrilling ride; it proved that Victoria Schwab can do no wrong. And It gave me ALL THE FEELS. Thankfully, I buddy read this with Lois at My Midnight Musing so I had a partner to vent all my feelings. Windfall was a refreshing contemporary that I enjoyed. I was actually part of the blog tour, so feel free to check out my tour stop post if you’re interested.

– March Blog Posts –

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Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith
Published by Delacorte Press on May 2, 2017
Genres: [Young Adult] Contemporary
Pages: 432
Format: ARC, paperback
Source: Publisher

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3.5 Stars, Completed March 22, 2017

– minor SPOILERS ahead –

windfall
/ˈwin(d)fôl/
noun

a piece of unexpected good fortune, typically one that involves receiving a large amount of money.

Alice doesn’t believe in luck and especially not after she experienced the worst kind when she lost her parents nine years ago. But as a joke she decides to buy a lottery ticket as an eighteenth birthday present for her best friend that she has secretly loved for years, Teddy. To their utter disbelief, he wins $140 million and, suddenly, everything changes. Teddy’s newfound wealth will put an unexpected strain on their friendship; their once effortless understanding and dependence of one another after having grown up in tough circumstances together dissipates completely as they argue more and more. Thus, the money begins to feel more like a curse than a windfall. As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice will discover more about herself and what she wants from life in moments she least expects.

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By Your Side by Kasie West

5By Your Side by Kasie West
Published by Harper Teen on January 31, 2017
Genres: [Young Adult] Contemporary
Pages: 342
Format: ARC, paperback
Source: Yallfest

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3 Stars, Completed February 15, 2017

– SPOILER free –

By Your Side is a light contemporary about two teenagers that develop an unlikely friendship after they’ve been accidentally locked in the library for a weekend. Dax is the school’s loner with a bad reputation. Whereas, Autumn is a do-gooder that doesn’t notice much beyond her camera’s viewfinder and inner group of popular friends. At first, Dax and Autumn only recall the negative impressions they have  of each other and do not get along. But after a few nights of shared vending machine snacks and real talks, both realize that the other is much more than what first meets the eye. They decide to call an amiable truce and soon begin to enjoy each other’s company. And when the pair are finally found and released, the question is after all they’ve shared will they remain friends or will they ignore each other as they had before?

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Happy International Women’s Day + My Most Listened to K-pop Girl Group Songs

I’m always going on and on about K-pop (probably Exo specifically), and I noticed that I rarely talk about girl groups for some reason. So in honor of International Women’s Day I thought I would share the top 20 K-pop girl group songs I’ve listened to the most. I won’t be talking about each track because that would be quite redundant, but I will say that if I had to choose favorites… Taeyeon, F(X), and Spica are the most consistent artists in that I normally like all their releases.

Oh and a brief history of me and K-pop (if you’re curious and/or new to this blog)… I started listening to Korean pop music when I was in high school (about late 2011). And I believe the biggest reason why I haven’t outgrown the musical genre and still listen to it to this day is because of the great stage presence these idols have. They train at a young age and for many years before they can debut. (Actually the K-pop industry like many music industries anywhere around the world are pretty cutthroat and unstable.) During that time, they learn a variety of skills including singing, dancing, variety sense and humor, languages, etc. Their live performances are always so phenomenal due to the thorough lessons they had as trainees. And for that reason, I have huge respect for these idols and truly think they’re are on a whole other level compared to other international artists. Haha, so that’s my short spiel.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the list. They’re in the order from most listened to least listened to. But even the least listened to… have been listened to many times seeing as this is only 20 songs out of thousands I have on my iTunes. (Yes, my music listening is no joke.) Lastly, keep in mind some of these releases are pretty old because, well, I did begin listening to this genre of music 5+ years ago. XD

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Book Haul: January + February 2017

book-haul_-jan-2017

January was my birthday month so it should not be a total surprise that this haul is on the lengthier side. Though, it really doesn’t feel like I bought a ridiculous amount since many of these items weren’t ones I spent money on; they were gifts. However, I did purchase some bookish merch (specifically wooden bookmarks and literary candles). And I have to say I’m not exactly on board with becoming a full fledged collector of either of those (yet), but I did like the stuff I ordered. I’m getting use out of the woodmarks because they’re, surprisingly, thin (so they don’t make books bully-which is good) and sturdy. Also, they effuse the nicest woodsy scent that is not overpowering. As for the bookish candles, I plan to make a separate review post about the scents I got and how they burn each; I’ll share my honest thoughts then. I’m just waiting a few more orders from different candle shops to arrive before I begin that project, haha.)

Also, lately, I’ve been into electronic books. (That’s why you haven’t seen me hauling that many physical ARCs; I just haven’t requested any.) As you can deduce, the biggest reason behind this transition is due to lack of self space. Another part of me has also recognized that I’ve become quite a critic; I haven’t enjoyed YA the same way as I did when I first began blogging. So I’ve started to prefer collecting most books electronically and saving my physical shelves for books I really love. (To be honest, I’m quite happy with myself for choosing to implement this new change. Now, let’s just see how successful I’ll be, lol.)

Lastly, have you guys noticed something different…? I mentioned this in my January Summing It Up post, but I upped my Instagram game since my last haul post. Personally, I’m really pleased with how my photos have been turning out. And I hope that you guys will think the same. 🙂

Physical Books

Windfall (ARC)

Windfall (ARC)

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Summing It Up: February 2017

summing-it-up_-february-2017

Hello, happy March!

I’m not at all surprised that the shortest month of the year flew by so quickly. How were your Februaries?

Personally, I fell in a blogging slump last month. I actually have nearly 10 draft posts (all are reviews and one is a book haul) and I am hopelessly behind with getting to the comments on my blog and visiting others. I truly miss talking to you guys… School has just kept me occupied. I’m also still applying for internships, which has contributed to my busyness. (And I imagine if I do end up getting a second job, my life will only become more hectic.) However, my spring break is next week. So I’m hoping to catch up with everything then!

Also, you might will notice that in this post I shall be omitting the “events” section particularly because I’ve simply had a boring February. School was my main priority and consequently my non-academic life was pretty stagnant. (I did read some books and, finally, started a few dramas though.)

Anyhow, let’s get into the fun stuff, yes?


– What I Read –


– February Blog Posts –

*This review can only be found on my Goodreads; I don’t have plans on crossposting it on Xingsings. (I don’t publish DNF reviews on this blog.)

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Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

bone1Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
Published by Thomas Dunne February 7, 2017
Genres: [Young Adult] Fantasy
Pages: 448
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

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4 Stars, Completed January 28, 2017

– read bold text only to avoid SPOILERS –

It could possibly well be that the reason why this was such a delightful read for me was because I’ve never seen the greatly popular film that this book is based off of. (Actually, I hadn’t even heard of Labyrinth until I was approved of my request for this ARC. Labyrinth fans, don’t kill me.) In addition to that, I rarely read the synopses of books thoroughly. Therefore, I basically went into this blind and with zero expectations, and I believe this ended up working in my favor. I would suggest readers that haven’t seen the movie to try the same approach I did.

This was the Goblin King. The abductor of maidens, the punisher of misdeeds, the Lord of Mischief and the Underground.

Liesl has grown up hearing tales of the beautiful Goblin King, the Lord of Mischief and Ruler of the Underground. But as she’s grown older, her belief has faded since she has more practical concerns to worry about (such as looking after her siblings and taking care of the family inn). But when Käthe, her beloved sister, is taken by the goblins Liesl must travel in the mysterious realm of the Goblin King. There she meets the legendary king, and they make an exchange where she will become the maiden that is sacrificed to appease the old laws. But as time passes and the two grow closer, the contract is becoming more difficult to uphold as Liesl’s life source is obviously diminishing but the Goblin King is also falling for her. Both must learn and decide what they are willing to sacrifice.

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RoseBlood by A.G. Howard

rosebloodRoseBlood by A.G. Howard
Published by Amulet Books on January 10, 2017
Genres: [Young Adult] Fantasy, Retelling
Pages: 432
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
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2.5 Stars, Completed January 14, 2017

– read bold text to avoid SPOILERS –

I need to know why I’m so broken, so I can fix myself. One way or another. Maybe this place can help me do that, and then I can finally look forward to my future. Because I’m starting to realize there’s something worse than stepping up and facing your fears – and that’s living as if you’re already dead.

RoseBlood is a modern day spin on Leroux’s gothic tale, The Phantom of the Opera. In this YA retelling, Rune Germain is a girl with a peculiar operatic talent. In the most unexpected moments, Rune will burst into song if she hears music that speaks to her. And, unfortunately, this all consuming musical flair has also lead to some tragic events. Rune’s mother decides to enroll Rune at RoseBlood, an elite French arts conservatory that is the very opera house rumored to have ties to the original classic, in hopes that Rune will tame this musical blessing/curse. There she secretly befriends the masked Thorn, a mysterious violinist who lurks in the school’s shadows and helps guide her musical transformation but with a dark, ulterior motive. The two will uncover that they have an otherworldly, soul-deep connection, and Thorn is forced to make a deadly choice: lead Rune to her destruction, or face the wrath of the only father he’s known, the phantom who has haunted the opera house for a century.

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