young adult

ARC Review of I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

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ibelieveinathingcalledlove1I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

Publication Date: May 30, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, and Romance

Rating: sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5

Selling points: Diverse story, adorable characters, and a unique twist to normal high school drama.

Purchase here: Amazon | Book Depository

Synopsis: Desi Lee knows how carburetors work. She learned CPR at the age of five. As a high school senior, she has never missed a day of school and has never had a B in her entire life. She’s for sure going to Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation-magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds her answer in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Rules for True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and fake car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.

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Thank you, Macmillan International, for my ARC of I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo!

My actual rating for I Believe in a Thing Called Love is 3.5 cake slices rounded up to 4 cake slices. I Believe in a Thing Called Love is an adorable young adult rom-com story about a girl named Desi Lee. Desi is Korean American and excels at school but not so much at romance. After years of flailures (flirting failures) Desi, finally, starts to watch the k dramas her dad loves so much and uncovers the secret to how the couples always get their happy ending. “The K Drama Steps to True Love” is born and Desi is sure that if she follows the steps, her crush Luca will become her boyfriend and they’ll have their happily ever after. Desi and Luca have great chemistry and banter in this book, and you’ll be rooting for them until the very end. The ship is honestly just adorable.

“K dramas bottled up swoony true love in addictive ten-to-twenty-hour packages. My reactions to chaste first kisses were akin to heart attacks. I bawled with abandon when couples had to break up when one of them was suffering. I sighed happily with glazed eyes when my characters finally got their happy ending.”

This book is hilarious, in an almost painful way, and if you’re a fan of contemporary stories then you will love I Believe in a Thing Called Love. Desi’s personality really shines through the pages and you will fall in love with her in an instant. I love how Desi has so many sides to her and people will relate to both Desi’s confidence and her insecurities. Desi is an unapologetic know-it-all, she is a hard working student and knows how to fix a car because of her dad being a mechanic. Speaking of Desi’s dad, the relationship between Desi and her dad is the most precious part of the book. It’s heartwarming and beautiful, I wish parents got more presence like this in young adult books.

I love the idea of Desi finding love through following her thought out k drama steps. However, I definitely think this book should come with a “Don’t Try This at Home” warning label. To fulfill her k drama steps Desi takes some drastic measures, a few really dangerous ones too, and I wish the severity of some of her actions had shown through some more than I felt they did in the book. Another downside to the book was the ableist language that was used throughout the book. Words like “crazy” and “insane” were thrown around a lot which was just unnecessary and could potentially upset readers.

All in all, I Believe in a Thing Called Love is definitely a young adult contemporary story to check out this season. This book had me fangirling over Desi and Luca and even got me invested in the amazing side characters as well. It will make you laugh (out loud) and it will make you swoon. At certain times my heart was racing from the tension but the end really wrapped it all up nicely.

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Saturday Night Author Fever #4 with Rachel Lynn Solomon

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Hi everyone and welcome to my interview series Saturday Night Author Fever, where I interview authors with a bit of a 70s music and diversity theme. I personally love 70s music, especially disco music, and sometimes on Friday nights when no one is looking you can find me dancing to classic 70s songs such as September, Bennie and the Jets and We Are Family. However, books are my true passion and because of this, I thought it would be a great idea to mix my two loves and start this interview series. The questions will be similar every week, but with a new author every time, and I hope you’ll enjoy the answers as much as I have. Now let’s get this party started!

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This Saturday Night we welcome Rachel Lynn Solomon. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today in my galaxy of books.

Rachel, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books? What do you think about 70s music?

My debut novel, YOU’LL MISS ME WHEN I’M GONE, will be out next year from Simon Pulse! It’s a dual POV YA contemporary about twin sisters who receive opposite results from a genetic test for Huntington’s disease. It contains protagonists who are practicing Jews, a complex sister relationship, all-consuming first love, and a lot (I think!) of moral gray areas.

I love 70s music! My mom is a huge disco fan, so I grew up around that, but as a teen, I started getting into new wave. There’s something so exciting as a teen about discovering music for yourself, digging back through the decades to find what moves you. The Cure is my favorite band, I imagine because my angsty teenage heart related to their gloomy, poetic lyrics. I also listen to a lot of David Bowie, Blondie, and The Clash.

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The Six Most Beautiful Books I Own

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Hey, galaxy travelers! Today I have a bit of a different post for you all. I had an idea a while back that I really wanted to make gifs out of my favorite books and this week I finally did it. The gifs could definitely be better but I still like the way they look (because you know, they could have been worse). I really love the book covers of these six books and their interior looks as well. There is something very amazing about a book that pulls at your heartstrings due to its beauty. A lot of these books I haven’t read but that just means I have so many great reads ahead of me.

1. Something in Between by Melissa De La Cruz

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Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Something in Between by Melissa De La Cruz is a book high on my summer to be read list. Not only is this book really beautiful, it comes highly recommended, has a Filipino main character, is #ownvoices and is supposed to have amazing romance.

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday #3

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Hi readers, and welcome to my third week of Diversity Spotlight Thursday that was created by Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks. The point of the meme is to every Thursday feature three books that follow these points,

  1. A diverse book you have read and enjoyed
  2. A diverse book that has already been released but you have not read
  3. A diverse book that has not yet been released

If you are interested in joining the meme, you can read the rules and see more of how the meme works here.

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A diverse book I’ve read and enjoyed

A diverse book I’ve read and enjoyed is Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw. This book is seriously so underrated. It’s about a Jewish girl with Puerto Rican heritage. She is a fanfiction writer and after her favorite show is canceled she starts writing fiction online about people in her life. Scarlett has the most amazing personality and she learns so much throughout this book. If you haven’t checked this contemporary YA book out yet, you really should. Find it on Goodreads and Amazon.

A diverse book released and on my TBR

A diverse book that’s been released but I haven’t read yet is The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli. This is one of my most anticipated reads of 2017 and though I already own the paperback I haven’t had time to read it yet. I have heard nothing but good things about this book and I love how inclusive and cute it seem to be. I can’t wait to devour it a hot summer day when I have some time over. You can find the book on Goodreads and Amazon.

A diverse book not yet released

A diverse book that is not yet released but I cannot wait to read is Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert. As soon as I read the synopsis for this one I knew I had to have, and I had to read it. It seems like a really complex story about a black bisexual Jewish girl named Suzette who is crushing on the same girl her brother is falling in love with. Based on everything I have read, this book is just as amazing as it looks. Find it on Goodreads and Amazon.

What diverse books have you read or am excited to read? Have you also made a Diversity Thursday post? If yes, link it to me!

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WELCOME TO YOUR NEW GIRL GANG {ft. books, music, movies, and tv series}

Welcome book galaxy travelers! Today is all about those girl gangs, strong women who support each other and deal with their ups and downs together. The other day I was listening to one of my favorite songs ever called Girl Gang and got the brilliant idea for this blog posts. In this blog post, there will be awesome girl power music, books that feature amazing female friendships and movies and tv series that show you the most amazing girl gangs you have ever seen. I really hope you’ll enjoy all of my recommendations.

I want to thank my very close friends Diep and Sue for helping me with the book recommendations. I would like to think we are our very own Girl Gang (we have a name and everything, the only thing missing is the matching jackets, to be honest). I love you girls, thank you for everything. If you haven’t already, you really need to check these two out. Sue can be found on Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads and on Hollywood News Source. Diep can be found on Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads. Now onto the Girl Gang recommendations.

Music Recommendations

Let’s start this post with the playlist I made. It’s filled with powerful songs that make you just want to celebrate yourself and all the women in your life. Check it out below.

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You can listen to the playlist on Spotify here or YouTube here, and you should totally listen to it while reading the rest of this post. There is nothing like good music to set the mood. The playlist is filled with songs I’m sure you’ll all have heard before plus some new goodies I hope you’ll really enjoy. You can also listen to the playlist down below.

Book Recommendations

To go with the playlist I also have lots of books to recommend you, with lots of different kinds of female friendships and girl power in them. I love all of the books I’ve read out of these and can’t wait to read to the ones haven’t since they come highly recommended from dear friends. These books range from middle grade to adult in age category but amazing girl gangs and female friendships exist in them all.

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{#SUMMERFEELS BLOG TOUR} Review of Summer Feels: A #romanceclass Anthology + Giveaway

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Welcome to the blog tour for Summer Feels: A #romanceclass Anthology. Today I have my review for this amazing book and a giveaway where you can win a gift card and a few books. You definitely have to join in on the fun!

SUMMERFEELS-cover-ebookSummer Feels: A #romanceclass Anthology

Publication Date: April 30, 2017

Genres: Romance, Contemporary and Anthologies

Rating: sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5sliceofcake5

Selling points: A lot of short stories, there is something for everyone to enjoy during the summer.

Purchase here: Amazon | Print Copy (the Philippines only)

Synopsis: Summer loving happens so fast, as you’ll find with Summer Feels, an anthology of 23 stories of love under the summer sun by #romanceclass authors. Savor the candied thrill of firsts—first loves, first kisses, first solo vacations—and the bittersweet triumph of second chances. Tour the Philippines as the stories take you to mountain retreats and island paradises. Let the magic of the hot sun, clear blue skies, and lots of love take you on a roller coaster ride of feels. With stories ranging from sweet to sexy, there’s sure to be something for any fan of romance.

Featuring stories by: Elea Andrea Almazora • Erleen Alvarez • Ella Banta • Rachelle Belaro • H. Bentham • Halina Cabrera • Charlie Dio • Mina V. Esguerra • Elizabeth Galit • Georgette S. Gonzales • Ami Granada • Irene Jurado • Catherine Lo • Arlene Manocot • Bianca Mori • Eris Peñaluna • Farrah F. Polestico • Kit Salazar • Miel Salva • Fay Sebastian • Kate Sebastian • Yeyet Soriano • Marian Tee

About #romanceclass:

#romanceclass is a community of authors who attended various writing workshops organized by Mina V. Esguerra, readers of books by those authors, and readers of English-language romance books by Filipino authors. Visit romanceclassbooks.com to see the full catalog of books!

Giveaway

For this giveaway, you have the chance to win a gift card, some swag and even a copy of the book. You don’t want to miss out on the chance.

Prizes:

  • International: Amazon gift card worth $25
  • Philippines Only: Print books from some of the authors:
    • My Dutch Billionaire by Marian Tee
    • Kate, Finally by Yeyet Soriano
    • Old Enemies Make the Best Lovers by Kate Sebastian

Enter the giveaway here: a Rafflecopter giveaway, and good luck to you, I hope you win!

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Thank you to the authors and editor Kate Sebastian for my e-ARC of Summer Feels and the chance to read and review this book for the blog tour!

Summer Feels is a book that’s cute and hot, and that makes you want to go to the ocean to take a dip to cool down. I doubt any other anthology will soothe your cravings for a good summer read like this one. The anthology starts out slow with short stories that are cute and lovely, and that will make your heart flutter and then gets hotter and hotter with every story. Towards the end, you will definitely need a fan and/or a dive straight into the ocean. The best part about this anthology was that I got the chance to read short stories both from #romanceclass authors I have loved and admired since before and also new ones where I want to devour every book they have ever written.

I do believe there will be at least one short story (but probably, very likely, a lot more) for everyone. We see so many tropes that I love in this one that I know if you are a romance fan, you will want to devour Summer Feels like you devour an ice cream on a hot summer’s day. Only this anthology lasts way longer, and will probably make you warmer instead of colder. However, you will love it. While I gave this anthology 4 cake slices as a whole, I had a lot of favorites that I believe are worthy of 5 cake slices and I really want to really highlight them here. They made me fangirl, squeal, laugh and just feel as if I was in the middle of the best summer ever which is just what I love about these short stories.

The following short stories were all favorites of mine. Fall for Me by Miel Salva made me fangirl and fall in love with the characters that I cannot wait to read more about in the future. Then there was The Game of Twenty Questions by Elizabeth Galit which was second chance romance with stargazing, a soft spot for me. Moreover, Guide for a Day by H. Bentham also really stole my heart away with this m/m romance where a tour guide and the journalist that was given the tour fall in love. Secondhand Wanderlust by Erleen Alvarez was amazing with its travel vibes, a backstory of sisterhood and a girl finding love while also stepping out of her comfort zone. Four Basic Principles by Bianca Mori was really unique and had second chance romance and beautiful ocean scenes. Wedding Night Stand by Mina V. Esguerra was a really hot short story that makes me want to read the full book where these characters are from, it was just the best. There is also An Overdue Adventure by Kate Sebastian which had a bit of a hate to love story with childhood frenemies together with a bittersweet backstory and beautiful nature scenes. Lastly, Butter Sunset by Halina Cabrera which was steamy and had lots of food references that made me crave seafood. These short stories were all beyond amazing, and I will definitely be checking out these author’s full books in the near future.

An issue I had with a couple of the stories was that a few slurs and harmful words were used. The words crazy, gypsy and queer were all used in inappropriate and harmful ways and were completely unnecessary for the stories. They could have easily been deleted.

All in all, this is a summer themed anthology you should definitely have on your radar. If you love reading romance and finding new authors at the same time, there is no better choice than this anthology. There are so many adorable and hot stories in Summer Feels: A #romanceclass Anthology, you will most likely fall in love with a lot of couples in it. In Summer Feels you will see enemies turned into lovers, childhood friends, romances with second chances, men with beards, female soccer players and so much more.

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday #2

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Hi readers, and welcome to my second week of Diversity Spotlight Thursday that was created by Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks. The point of the meme is to every Thursday feature three books that follow these points,

  1. A diverse book you have read and enjoyed
  2. A diverse book that has already been released but you have not read
  3. A diverse book that has not yet been released

If you are interested in joining the meme, you can read the rules and see more of how the meme works here. It’s honestly just the best.

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A diverse book I’ve read and enjoyed

A diverse book I’ve read and really enjoyed is Assassins: Discord by Erica Cameron. It’s action packed, has a bisexual main character and lots of other diverse side characters. It’s like an action movie only female driven and way better because girls are just more badass. If you want a diverse young adult book that’s going to surprise you then you definitely have to read this one. Find it on Goodreads and Amazon.

A diverse book released and on my TBR

A diverse book that’s been released but I haven’t read yet is Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee. I have the paperback and everything, but there is not enough time and too many books, am I right? Seriously, though, I can’t wait to read Not Your Sidekick. My friends have nothing but praise for it and I know it’s right up my ally. I mean there are both superheroes and villains. Have any of you guys read it? You can find it on Goodreads and Amazon.

A diverse book not yet released

A diverse book that is not yet released but I cannot wait to read is 27 Hours by Tristina Wright. I have heard so many amazing things about this book, how diverse it is, how epic it is, how inclusive it is, I mean the list goes on forever. I’m fascinated by space (my blog name didn’t give it away now did it) and a book about marginalized teens in space is a must have. As soon as this book hits the shelves I’m grabbing it. Find it on Goodreads and Amazon.

What diverse books have you read or am excited to read? Have you also made a Diversity Thursday post? If yes, link it to me!

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Once Upon a Time a Main Character and her Brooding YA Hero met …

Hey everyone, today I have a special blog post for you all. I was chosen to be a part of the #BroodyBFF street team to promote @BroodingYAHero and his upcoming novel, Brooding YA Hero’s Guide to Achieving Main Character Status so today I have a Broody McHottiepants blog post for you. Expect a lot more blog posts about him and his book in the future. Today I’m gonna tell you the story of how I met this brooding YA hero.

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Once upon a time, a young girl* met a broody boy in a far away land where the birds are constantly tweeting and the sun is always shining. They call this land Twitterland. This girl would follow this broody boy everywhere and love all parts of him, even the more questionable ones.

This young girl would love this broody hero, get lost in his emerald green eyes and forget all of her old friends. He was her whole world. Friends, who? Family, what? It was the two of them against the world. Despite a second guy entering the picture, his allure tempting, in the end, the only guy in this young girl’s heart was Broody McHottiepants. He was the only YA Hero to ever steal her heart away.

Looking back, it all started a sunny fall day almost two** years ago. The young girl was strolling through a feed of tweets, deep in thought over how ordinary she was in comparison to all the other girls in the world. That’s when she first saw him, Broody McHottiepants, the boy about to become the hero to her heroine. A simple retweet, a loud laugh, and their fates were forever sealed. The click of the follow button that day would change their futures forever. Broody, with his bad boy vibes and heart only soft for one girl, was the key to this heroine’s character development. Together they would overthrow an evil force working against them while riding a ridiculously dangerous motorcycle, their chemistry like thunder on a dark summer night. This main character and her brooding YA hero would walk hand in hand towards their happily ever after, or so the story would like for you to believe, for now…

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*the girl was 19 years old, perhaps not that young after all. 

**or so she thinks. When it’s a story about true love, the epic kind where the clouds separate to make room for the sun, is accuracy really that important?

Now I’m sure you’re thinking, where can I find my very own Broody McHottiepants? Worry not, fellow protagonists, there is a @BroodingYAHero out there for everyone and you can follow him just like I did.


Brooding YA Hero’s Guide to Achieving Main Character Status by Carrie Ann DiRisio & Broody McHottiepants. Add on Goodreads.

Have you ever wished you could receive a little guidance from your favorite book boyfriend? Ever dreamed of being the Chosen One in a YA novel? Want to know all the secrets of surviving the dreaded plot twist?

Or maybe you’re just really confused about what “opal-tinted, luminous cerulean orbs” actually are?

Well, popular Twitter personality @broodingYAhero is here to help as he tackles the final frontier in his media dominance: writing a book. Join Broody McHottiepants as he attempts to pen Brooding YA Hero’s Guide to Achieving Main Character Status, a “self-help” guide (with activities–you always need activities) that lovingly pokes fun at the YA tropes that we roll our eyes at, but secretly love.

As his nefarious ex, Blondie DeMeani, attempts to thwart him at every turn, Broody overcomes to detail, among other topics, how to choose your genre, how to keep your love interest engaged (while maintaining lead character status), his secret formula for guaranteed love triangle success, and how to make sure you secure that sequel, all while keeping his hair perfectly coiffed and never breaking a sweat.


Have you met your @BroodingYAHero yet? If yes, how did you meet him?

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Book Playlist for How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

Hey, galaxy travelers! Today I’m here with another book playlist for you guys and it’s one for the amazing book How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake. If you guys didn’t know this already, I’m in love with How to Make a Wish and if you want to you can read my review here. The story about Eva and Grace is one that will pull you and it will make you feel a wide range of emotions from beginning to end. If you want to listen to my interpretation of How to Make a Wish you can do so through my playlist.

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The playlist only has 10 songs and I worked really hard on finding the perfect ones (I redid this playlist about two times just to get it right). I really hope you’ll like the songs I chose. I tried to make the playlist take you on the same journey as the book does. I hope this playlist will give you similar feelings as the book did. If you haven’t read How to Make a Wish yet, you can add the book on Goodreads and buy the book on Amazon and Book Depository.  You can listen to my playlist down below or on Spotify and YouTube.

Will you be listening to the playlist? Have you read How to Make a Wish yet? What did you think of it?

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Saturday Night Author Fever #1 with Dahlia Adler

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Hi everyone and welcome to my interview series Saturday Night Author Fever, where I interview authors with a bit of a 70s music and diversity theme. I personally love 70s music, especially disco music, and sometimes on Friday nights when no one is looking you can find me dancing to classic 70s songs such as September, Bennie and the Jets and We Are Family. However, books are my true passion and because of this, I thought it would be a great idea to mix my two loves and start this interview series. The questions will be similar every week, but with a new author every time, and I hope you’ll enjoy the answers as much as I have. Now let’s get this party started!

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This Saturday Night we welcome Dahlia Adler. Thank you so much for sitting down with me today in my galaxy of books.

Dahlia, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books? What do you think about 70s music?

I have six books out right now, all of them contemporary slash contemporary romance. Three of them are YA (Behind the Scenes, Under the Lights, and Just Visiting) and three are NA (Last Will and Testament, Right of First Refusal, and Out on Good Behavior), though all of the main characters are between 17 and 20, so that little age group is clearly my wheelhouse. I myself haven’t been in the age bracket for, uh, a little while now; I’ve been working in various areas for publishing since then, though, and am currently an Associate Editor of Mathematics at a STEM publisher and a blogger for the B&N Teen Blog. I also run LGBTQReads, which is a site for LGBTQIAP+ lit of all ages. I’m mostly a 90s grunge fan, so 70s music isn’t hugely on my radar in general, but there are always things I like from any era!

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