I’m Special and other lies we tell ourselves to get through our twenties by Ryan O’Connell: Book Review

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Synopsis: This hilarious part-memoir, part-manifesto reveals what sets apart the latest generation of young people coming of age in an all-wired, overeducated, and underemployed world.

People are obsessed with Ryan O’Connell’s blogs. With tens of thousands reading his pieces on Thought Catalog and Vice,watching his videos on YouTube, and hanging on to each and every #dark tweet, Ryan has established himself as a unique young voice who’s not afraid to dole out some real talk. He’s that candid, snarky friend you consult when you fear you’re spending too much time falling down virtual k-holes stalking your ex on Facebook or when you’ve made the all-too-common mistake of befriending a psycho while wasted at last night’s party and need to find a way to get rid of them the next morning. But Ryan didn’t always have the answers to these modern day dilemmas. Growing up gay and disabled with cerebral palsy, he constantly felt like he was one step behind everybody else. Then the rude curveball known as your twenties happened and things got even more confusing.

Ryan spent years as a Millennial cliché: he had dead-end internships; dabbled in unemployment; worked in his pajamas as a blogger; communicated mostly via text; looked for love online; spent hundreds on “necessary” items, like candles, while claiming to have no money; and even descended into aimless pill-popping. But through extensive trial and error, Ryan eventually figured out how to take his life from bleak to chic and began limping towards adulthood.

Sharp and entertaining, I’m Special will educate twentysomethings (or other adolescents-at-heart) on what NOT to do if they ever want to become happy fully functioning grown ups with a 401k and a dog.

Date of Publication: June 2, 2015

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Date Read: February 25, 2015

No. of Pages: 208

Source: Net Galley.

Review:

Truer words were never spoken.

I got a copy from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. All I can say is: truer words were never spoken. Ryan O’Connell was able to present the life of twentysomethings in this wild, messy, complicated roller-coaster ride, and I couldn’t help but agree on the majority of the book. Being a twentysomething myself, I, too, have been to toxic friendships, unrequited love down to ugly relationships, and to read something like this serves as an affirmation that despite the shitty hands that we were dealt with, we can bounce back, it is just a matter of discipline and our eagerness to make a difference out of our chaotic lives. Yes, that classmate in high school who constantly posts happy photos from a vacation spent with dear friends in some exclusive island is probably as lost and as unsure of her life as you are, that college friend who posted a picture of her bright shiny red car is probably living on crackers to tide her for the week – this book made me realize that twentysomethings, including myself, loved to live in a big facade. Constantly itching to show the world only the nice things that are happening to their pathetic lives. Being a twentysomething is like being in a Britney Spears’ song Not a girl, not yet a woman. The transition is scary and more often than not, we like to stay at the shore than swim against the waves, but once we’ve kissed the ocean we are so desperate to stay afloat that we forget to breathe for a while, to enjoy how the sun kissed your skin, we forget the simple things. This wonderful made me realize that there are far more important things in life than trying to please everyone, that people will perpetually fail you in ways you cannot imagine, that at the end of a tiring day all you truly have is yourself. This book can be the bible of twentysomethings, and I am really glad I read it! Kudos to the author for writing such an incredible book!

Rating: 5 stars

“I don’t regret anything. And neither should you. You should remember all of it. You should remember all the time you wasted in your bed, or someone else’s bed or at some bar where you overheard the same drippy conversations. You should remember how thin you once were despite subsisting on beer and pizza. You should remember all the people you tried to love all the people who tried to love you. All the awful overpriced apartments, all the toxic friendships, and all the money you spent on things you can no longer recall. Then I want you to remember the moment you developed a keen understanding of what works for you and what doesn’t. I want you to remember being comfortable in your own skin and not feeling like you have to apologize for every little thing, I want you to remember the first time you decided not to put the entirety of your self worth in someone’s careless hands. Because moments like those are the most valuable – instances in which you felt yourself no longer becoming the person you want to but already being it. That’s pretty fucking special.”

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Althea and Oliver by Cristina Moracho: Book Review

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Synopsis: What if you live for the moment when life goes off the rails—and then one day there’s no one left to help you get it back on track?

Althea Carter and Oliver McKinley have been best friends since they were six; she’s the fist-fighting instigator to his peacemaker, the artist whose vision balances his scientific bent. Now, as their junior year of high school comes to a close, Althea has begun to want something more than just best-friendship. Oliver, for his part, simply wants life to go back to normal, but when he wakes up one morning with no memory of the past three weeks, he can’t deny any longer that something is seriously wrong with him. And then Althea makes the worst bad decision ever, and her relationship with Oliver is shattered. He leaves town for a clinical study in New York, resolving to repair whatever is broken in his brain, while she gets into her battered Camry and drives up the coast after him, determined to make up for what she’s done.

Their journey will take them from the rooftops, keg parties, and all-ages shows of their North Carolina hometown to the pool halls, punk houses, and hospitals of New York City before they once more stand together and face their chances. Set in the DIY, mix tape, and zine culture of the mid-1990s, Cristina Moracho’s whip-smart debut is an achingly real story about identity, illness, and love—and why bad decisions sometimes feel so good

Date Published: October 19, 2014

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

No. of pages: 364

Date Read: February 23, 2015

Source: A gift from a dear friend

Review:

This book is anything but typical.

Do not expect the mushy cheesy type. Do not expect swooning and gushing. Do not expect for the typical love story. Expect what real raw love is. Expect the unconventional affection. Expect that reality isn’t always as beautiful as you hoped it to be, that reality is reality and most often than not, it is ugly.

From the moment I read the synopsis, about two best friends, one wanting more than friendship and is set in mid 90’s with mix tapes and whatnot – I was practically sold! I wanted to read the book, I wanted it so bad. Plus the blurb that said “Althea can’t stop falling in love, Oliver can’t stop falling asleep.” kind of drew me in. This kind of story was what my heart was aching for when I read the synopsis. I just knew there’s no way I am going to pass this one up.

I started reading it the 1st of February and it took me 23 freaking days to finish it. I’m not usually like this, but this book was painfully slow. There are parts that just dragged on and on and still the story was never close to resolution. There are parts that weren’t necessary at all, the novel could definitely do without it. It was well-written, however the writing style was, kind of hard to get into, there are parts that I had a hard time understanding who was actually being referred to. Take this for an instance, in a paragraph two characters were involved, let’s say Valerie and Althea, then the author would use the pronoun she and I was left rereading the whole paragraph as to who that she was referring to. And this didn’t happen once, it happened pretty often, I will be left thinking if I kind of lost my comprehending skills along the way – or maybe the fact that the story didn’t grip me in ways I expected it to can be considered a factor as to why I had a hard time reading it. Also the book did not really highlight the 90s you can actually mistake it to be set today – it was a let down, really.

Althea and Oliver were not your average teenagers, Oliver had this very odd illness and just wanted for things to go back to normal and Althea was this rebellious girl, who constantly craves for Oliver’s attention. Yes, it was as complex as its sounds. I loved Althea’s boldness and stubbornness, just as much as I hated Oliver’s selfishness. The story weaved through this complicated mess of unrequited love. I would like to commend the author’s attempt on veering away from what the majority of people would want to see in a book, The novel offered a new flavor to YA, and I truly admire the author for it. This is a good coming-of-age story. however, as much as I want to force myself into loving it, this book isn’t for me.

Will I be reading more of Cristina Moracho’s work? Yeah, sure. Maybe I would like to see a first person point of view. Maybe then, I could be comfortable with the writing style. All in all, it’s a good book.

Rating: 3 stars

It’s still good and it still hurts.

January Bookhaul

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Presenting my January Bookhaul! 🙂 (Sorry I got too preoccupied the past week, thus the late post of this January Bookhaul) A total of 18 books, uhm what a way to start the year. Whatever happened to less buying as a bookish resolution? Well in my defense, most of these books were orders from last year, they just arrived this January, so technically they don’t really count right? Right?

R is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton bought it only for Php15 or .30c from a used book store here in the Philippines. This book is included  in the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge

Outlander by Diano Gabaldon is a christmas gift from my bookish sister Gie (@psy_kaoru on instagram).

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien I bought it for Php270 or 5$, it is in hardcover and in very good condition, bought it at Book Sale SM Palapala

The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien bought it for Php145 or 3$ at Booksale SM Palapala. I really want to start this series! I was so hooked after watching the last installment of The Hobbit, plus I also have watched the Lords of The Rings movies, and books are always better than the movie, so I really can’t wait to start the series.

The Return of The King by JRR Tolkien also got it for Php145 or 3$ from BookSale SM Palapala

B by Sarah Kay got this one from Book Depository. You can get your copy here. This is a poetry book 🙂

Beg No Pardon by Lynne Thompson got it for Php85 or 2$ and it is signed!!! I swear I couldn’t contain my happiness! And I have read it and it was really really good!

Siddharta by Herman Hesse Bought it for only P20 or half a dollar! Also included in the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge.

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer bought it from on onlineseller (@thebookishanimator on instagram.)

All the Bright Places is a gift from my mom! 🙂 I heard this one is heart wrenching.

Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda is a birthday gift from my good friend Gie (@psy_kaoru on Instagram). 🙂 If you want to get your own copy, you can order here.

The Broken String by Grace Schulman is a poetry book, got it for P35 or almost .80c from Booksale SM Palapala

No Matter The Wreckage by Sarah Kay poetry book I got from Book Depository. You can get your copy here.I love Sarah Kay!!!

Just a Boy Standing In Front Of a Girl also from Book Depository. Get your copy here. This is a chicklit.

The Scarlet Pimpernel also from BookSale SM Palapala. for only Php85 or 2$.

The Pirate’s Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke from Book Depository. The second book in the Assassin’s curse duology.

Bitter Greens by Forsyth also from Book Depository. This is a retelling of Rapunzel! 🙂

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes christmas gift from my dear friend Krish (@book.loverph on Instagram) You can order your copy here

You can check all book over at Book Depository they offer free shipping!!

Captive by Brighton Walsh: Book Review

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Synopsis: He’s the most dangerous man she’s ever met…and she’s falling in love with him.Madison Frost is desperate to escape her life. Daughter of a prominent businessman, she has everything a girl could ask for. Except for a family who’s present in her life, and anyone to talk to outside the four walls of the prison she calls home. Madison dreams of one day leaving her life behind. She never thought being kidnapped is how it would happen.Now she’s being held captive by a man who’s as frightening as he is sinfully gorgeous. Enormous, muscular, and filled with secrets, the man they call Ghost is an enigmatic mercenary, and Madison is trapped with him. She doesn’t know who hired him or why, but the more time she spends at his mercy, the more she realizes he’s not what he seems. Beneath his rough exterior lies an unexpected gentleness and a heart as broken and battered as her own.But as Madison lets down her walls, Ghost holds tight to his, hiding secrets that could destroy everything.

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Date of Publication: March 24, 2015

Date Read: February 10, 2015

No. of Pages: 288

Source: Net Galley

REVIEW

It will be impossible to put this book down. It was so engrossing, it’ll be a stupid idea to stop. 

I received an ARC from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. The only time I put down this book was when I had to participate in this stubborn thing called life which included, work, sleeping, eating and talking to other living and breathing human, take all that and you will find me gushing and swooning over this book, that’s how engrossed I was.  I am such a sucker for this kind of stories, I could read a story like this in any given day. But this book is different from all the stories with the same story line I have read, usually when a man takes captive of a woman, the said man will be rough bordering abusive or downright possessive with next to nothing moral fiber within him. it will be cringe-worthy and you have to stomach everything inhumane done to the woman, but this book is entirely different and that’s the main thing that made me fall in love with this book, and boy I fell fast and hard! Ghost was nothing but gentle, caring and tender it was a side of a captor that was not so commonly painted in other books. And Madison, though naive had balls, had the guts, he was her own heroine.

I loved how the story progressed. How all the secrets unfold, though I already knew that would be the big twist, still it was well played out. I loved how everything happened not in an instant but gradually, it wasn’t like the first time they laid eyes on each other the connection was already palpable, that Madison would easily fall for Ghost’s icy blue eyes, no it wasn’t the case. It was as real as it could get, the author didn’t immediately jump into forcing the main characters into each other and for a reader who have read too much instant affection to last her a lifetime, I really appreciated this one.

I loved the writing style too and the dual point of view, I specifically liked when Ghost was the one narrating. I also commend the fact that Madison was described as lush however it didn’t sit well with me that she had all these insecurities eating her away, but it was part of the story so in the grand scheme of things it was still good. I loved Ghost, did I mention that already? Goodness, why does he have to be so.. so lovable? I mean come on, what is not to love? This guy, is quite the guy!

I loved Captive!!! I can’t wait to read more of Brighton Walsh’s work! I heard she’s an awesome writer, well I could totally see why! Solid five stars for this one!

Rating: 5 stars

Sometimes the unknown was better than what was staring you in the face. 

Cover Reveal: End Of Days

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Can we just take a moment to appreciate this wonderful cover of the third and final book of Penryn and The End of Days.

*gasps* *squealing like a dying seal* *incoherent ramblings* They should release me of my agony because May 12 cannot come any sooner! I need Penryn and Raffe in my life like yesterday!!!

It is already open for preorder over at Book Depository you can order HERE!!

The Bonus by AJ ADAMS: Book Review

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Synopsis: Chloe is a seasoned drug courier who finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time.Facing a lingering and painful death at the hands of the Zetas, Mexico’s most brutal cartel, she persuades their enforcer to claim her. Has Chloe made a huge mistake, or will her choice prove her salvation – and his?

Warning: This book contains explicit scenes of dubious consent, graphic violence and sex. It is for adults only.

Date Published: November 13, 2012

Publisher: Smashwords

No. of Pages: 176

Date Read: January 30, 2015

Source: Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

REVIEW:

For fans of Captive in the Dark by CJ Roberts, this book is definitely for you.

The author contacted me if I will be willing to receive a copy and subsequently make an honest review. I said why not, since it’s been a long time since the last time I read a book with the same storyline. You see, I am not a picky reader, I read whatever floats my boat, if I am in the mood for some erotica, I would sit down and read one.

The Bonus is quite the book! The first chapter was too graphic for my own liking, I was rather uncomfortable, thinking if I would continue reading or not. But I’m glad I continued reading, I enjoyed the book more than I thought possible. I love the two point of views and how they are so distinct from one another, Kyle was the serious type and Chloe was the tough girl with loads of wits and humour! I seriously enjoy all the puns. Ah Chloe and her smart mouth. I loved how the author was able to build such world that not a lot of people know about.

This book is certainly not for everyone, especially the squirmish ones. It has explicit and abusive contents, that light-hearted people may not properly grasp or take. You see, it is the kind of book that you will either love or hate passionately. The sex scenes were very descriptive and too graphic, I am not really into that kind of stories, but I guess that’s what the scene in the book required.

All things considered, I enjoyed reading this one, and to be honest it will be one of those books that I will never forget. It was well-written and the author took an effort with the research and all. And oh I have always loved reading about a Marine!

Sorry I was rather vague with this review, I just didn’t want to give much away.

Rating: 3 stars

Life’s a bitch, ‘cause if it was a slut, it’d be easy.