Book Review: To all the boys I’ve loved before by Jenny Han

Title: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before #1)

Author: Jenny Han

Publisher: Simon & Schuster (April 22, 2014)

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 368

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control in this heartfelt novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series.

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them… all at once?

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

 

First of all, let me adore this gorgeous cover. I really really love it so much. It’s too girly but it’s just right for me. Anyway, I think this is one of my favorite reads this year. I finished it within 12 hours. I was so into the story that I just can’t stop reading it.

I pretty much got interested with the synopsis. I mean..what would I do if the love letters for the guys I’ve loved before get sent out to them? I’d panic too. So from the moment I saw it in the bookstore, I got myself a copy. It’s my first Jenny Han book so I didn’t really know what to expect but I’ve been seeing a lot of good reviews.

I was actually worried at the beginning of the book. I was hoping that this wouldn’t be the average novel that’s about a girl who pines for boys she can’t have. Well, it’s not that average. I was surprised to find myself really enjoying it plus I think I can relate to Lara Jean in some ways. The book turned out to be unputdownable in my opinion.

The characters were all lovable and adorable. There were some moments in the book that I got teary eyed. I like the dynamics of the Covey family. At least, they weren’t so messed up. Dr. Covey did a great job raising three daughters on his own. Margot is really a good model to her younger sisters. Though she chose to leave her family behind, she’s really a strong character but I’m irritated at her being a control freak. Lara Jean is shy, smart, and simple. Gosh, she has a lots of traits that I can identify myself with. Then, there’s Kitty. Kitty is so cute and she’s so witty for a ten year old. I also enjoyed the Korean side being featured in the book.

The boys that Lara Jean wrote the letters for..well, they are really interesting characters. I enjoyed Josh and Peter very much..but I liked Peter better. He’s so cute and funny. I knew from the very beginning that he has feelings for Lara Jean. I can’t help but fangirl over the two of them. My favorites were when they went to the antique thingy sale of an old man and when they went to a school trip. It’s one of those books that make my heart ache because it’s so beautiful. Oh and I definitely enjoyed the halloween day at their school.

To all the boys I’ve loved before is far different from the past books I’ve read recently. I was surprised to find myself loving it. There wasn’t much of the big drama and action happening but I enjoyed it because it’s a light read. The main character wasn’t that much whiny which is a plus. I’m not satisfied with the ending though. I want more!!!! Good thing there’s a sequel for this book, it’s title would be P.S. I still love you. I can’t wait to read it but it’s release will be next year.

I recommend this book to those who love contemporary and young adult novels.

5-rating

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Book Review: Push by Claire Wallis

Title: Push (Push #1)

Author: Claire Wallis

Publisher: Mira Books (May 1, 2014)

Format: E-book

Pages: 400

Synopsis from Goodreads:

I feel like I am wrapped in a cyclone. Everything is whirling around me, drawing the air out of my lungs and filling me with the best kind of turmoil. Every time his tongue slides against mine, a prickle in my gut tells me how right we are together. How much I need David. How much I need us.

I hope the cyclone never stops.

Emma Searfoss has spent a lifetime trying to escape her abusive stepfather. It’s why she moved far away from home. It’s why she’s kept no ties with her remaining family. And it’s why she’s got a major rage problem. When her neighbor shows up to fix the kitchen in her new apartment, his enigmatic charm calms the fire in her. David is cool and collected, and he makes Emma feel safe for the first time ever. But David has his own chilling past–his six previous girlfriends have all disappeared without a trace. Emma’s walking a dangerous line, but David’s pull is intoxicating. And impossible to resist…

The perfect word to describe this book is CRAZY. I felt like my emotions have been played with all the things happening in the story. Push tells the story of Emma Searfoss who moved to her new apartment away from her hometown. There, she meets the mysterious guy named David Calgaro and instant attraction takes over them. However, David has this frightening past which made me so intrigued with the story.

Actually, I set my expectations pretty high for this. I mean the synopsis is really good and my first impression was that this book is going to be really thrilling. Guess what? It didn’t disappoint me.

I enjoyed it right from the start. I can feel the sparks fly as Emma and David met one another. Then, there’s the POV’s of David’s past girlfriends. Reading those ex-gfs’ POVs made my skin crawl from all the creepiness that is David. I am like: “WTF David? There’s no need to do that.” but I figured that there is a deep back story as to why David did that to all of his ex-girlfriends. I was scared for Emma all the time I was reading but then they had their special moments. I can’t help but be allured by David’s protectiveness and caring for Emma. I can feel the intensity of their emotions. That’s one of the best things I love about this novel.

As the story went on, I also saw that I actually didn’t feel bored. There’s always so much things going on. I love how hot the David and Emma are when they’re having their sexy times. Lol. I like their banters. They’re just so adorable together.

Towards the final chapters of the book, I was really freaked out about what happened to Emma’s stepdad. I had my suspicions about who did it to him. I guess I was wrong but then all that was in my mind was not to trust David. I know he loves Emma that much but then he has his history of lying about his past. Emma was right about lying being the only thing that will keep them apart from each other. Then, David tells Emma what happened in his childhood that made him f*cked up. He really is. Anyway, I adore how Emma accepted David despite all the flaws.

Here comes the CRAZY part, the freaking end of the story. This is the part when I was really freaking out because what the hell David? I was wishing hard that the novel doesn’t have to end there. It seriously gave me the chills. It’s crazy crazy crazy. I need the second book, okay? I want to know what happens next. I still can’t deal with the cliffhanger..I still can’t. Lol.

If you love new adult genre with the right amount of thrill and mystery, this is obviously the book that you MUST read.

4-rating

Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Fangirl

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin (September 10, 2013)

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 433

Synopsis from Goodreads

A coming-of-age tale of fanfiction, family, and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…. But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fanfiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend; a fiction-writing professor who thinks fanfiction is the end of the civilized world; a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words…and she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

You know that feeling when you find a novel which practically describes your life? Yeah, this is just the feels that I got from the first page of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I picked this one because I was really curious about the title, Fangirl. That’s what I am. I have been a fangirl for most of my life and to know that a book exists about a certain fangirl, made me crave to read it. Plus the fact that Rainbow “awesomeness” Rowell wrote it, I’ve already decided that this is going to be a great read.

Fangirl is about Cath who goes off to a University with her twin sister, Wren. They are Simon Snow fangirls. They love the series, read it, watch it, and write fanfictions about it  (really sounds like my life except the twin sister and fanfic writing part). When college came, Wren transforms into a crazy college girl and refused to be roommates with her twin. Meanwhile, Cath doesn’t want to change like her sister. She doesn’t want to let go of her Simon Snow experience. With a new roommate, Cath meets Levi who she thinks is an absolutely adorable guy. Then, at her Fiction-writing class, she meets Nick, who seems to have lots of similarities with her.

What I love about this book is that it’s very relevant to my life. I think it’s one of the factors that I love this novel so much. I love immersing myself in a world such as Cath’s because I feel like it describes my life. Simon Snow is like the Harry Potter in this story. Everyone in our generation must have been a Harry Potter fan (we always will be) and went through the same experiences as Cath undergoes as a Simon Snow fan.

Another thing I can relate to is Cath’s personality. I swear I am like Cath in real life. I don’t go out as much as I like. I’d rather stay in my room the whole day than spend a day socializing with people. Her dedication for her fandom is something that I felt too…And I have always wished that I am more outgoing like my friends.

I could go on and on about the things that I love about Fangirl. It made me laugh and cry. There are scenes in the books that just made me feel touched.

The characters are so likeable. Oh. My. Goodness. Reagan is one of my favorites. She’s not dramatic and she’s really awesome. Thank goodness Cath has her. Levi is funny and adorable. At first, I was repelled by him because what the heck..he’s not a book person. I’m like..”You’re all good Levi but why are you not a book person? Why?!!!” I’m more into Nick in the beginning. But as the story went on, I was pissed off how Nick doesn’t seem to be concerned at all for Cath after they do their writing sessions. He doesn’t walk her to her dorm. Wtf, Nick? Seriously? That’s when I realized that it has to be Levi for Cath. It has to be.

Cath’s and Wren’s family life is a messed up though. They’ve been through so many things together. Their mother left them when they were just kids. Then, their dad got pretty much lonely when they went away for college. Let’s also add to the pile, the fact that Wren changed and became annoying. I think the twin’s relationship with their dad is admirable. They’re all cute as messed up as their family is. Damn Laura!!!! I like the part where the twin’s reconciled and went back to their former selves.

Then, there’s the ending..gosh, it’s so beautiful. It’s very nostalgic, especially the crying part over the release of the last book in a series that you cared so much about. I don’t really want the book to end but I think that Rainbow Rowell ended it in the right way. When I finished the book, I think I teared up a bit, hugged the book, rocked back and forth, tweeted my feels, and stayed book hangover for days.

Overall, I think Fangirl is a MUST READ for every fangirl. If you are one, pick up and read this book at this moment. It’s funny and unputdownable. You will not regret it. I love how Rainbow Rowell writes. She’s basically one of the authors who I love so so much because she made me feel so much emotions. I am fangirling over her!!!

5-rating

Book Review: The Edge of Always by J.A. Redmerski

Title: The Edge of Always (The Edge of Never #2)

Author: J.A. Redmerski

Publisher: Forever (November 5, 2013)

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 412

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Five months ago, Camryn and Andrew, both dealing with personal hardships, met on a Greyhound bus. They fell in love and proved that when two people are meant to be together, fate will find a way to make it happen.

Now, in the highly anticipated sequel to The Edge of Never, Camryn and Andrew are pursuing their love for music and living life to the fullest as they always swore to do. But when tragedy befalls them, their relationship is put to the ultimate test. As Camryn tries to numb her pain, Andrew makes a bold decision: To get their life back on track, they’ll set out on another cross-country road trip. Together they find excitement, passion, adventure-and challenges they never could have anticipated.

The Edge of Always has been another thrilling read for me. It continues with Andrew’s and Camryn’s life months after they came back from their very memorable roadtrip. Life becomes more difficult for them as they both face a tragedy that almost destroyed Camryn. From there, Andrew decides to go on another journey with Camryn to help her find herself back and live their lives like they promised to each other before.

If you have read my review of The Edge of Never, you would probably know how much I love it. Before I went on to read this book, I was having second thoughts because I was worrying that it might not be as good as the first novel was plus it’s rating on Goodreads was not as high too. Though that’s the case, I still picked it up and decided to find out what happens next to Camryn and Andrew. I blame my curiosity for that. Thank goodness, I did read it.

In my opinion, The Edge of Always was not really as good as The Edge of Never. The first book  was more addicting for me. I liked it more because I love the concept of taking a roadtrip going nowhere to find yourself. Then as you set off to find yourself, fate brings you the love of your life. I also very much fell in love with the intensity of the characters’ emotions and the plot twists.

Even if the first book is better, I can still say that this novel is beautiful in it’s own way. I was slowly reading it because well things got really depressing in the lives of the characters. Like I mentioned before, I tend to slow my pace when the mood of the story becomes lonely and dark. Anyway, there are still a lot of things here that made me still put it in my favorite books list.

The plot is riveting. Even if the happenings in the story got sad, I was still hooked and can’t help thinking about the characters. The difficulties that Camryn and Andrew had made me ache for them. It was really touching how Andrew never leaves Camryn no matter what happens to her. I just love his spirit and how caring he is. Camryn is endearing in a way that she was aware of herself and she tried to be better for Andrew. Call me a hopeless romantic but their love story is something that someone like me would love to have.

The book definitely not failed to make me cry. The scenes were just so touching. My favorites are Andrew’s letter to Camryn and their exchange of vows during their wedding. At first, I was really terrified for both of them. Damn. They were making promises to each other about what they will do when one of them dies. I mean come on. How could I not think that one of them will die at the end of the story. I don’t know but maybe this story toyed with my emotions. Like I said, it made me cry my eyes out.

What am I most satisfied with this novel?

Well, I’d say that would be the lesson that I got from it. I admit that I would never probably come close to what both Andrew and Camryn did in their lives. They took big leaps. They lived at the edge of life. I’m too scared and too worried. What these characters taught me was to not let your life be as routinary as it is. Do what makes you happy and don’t give a sh*t to what others think will be right for you. Be spontaneous and travel the world. Find yourself. I think it’s one of the most life-changing novels that I have ever come across. I’m so lucky to have read it.

5-rating

Book Review: Escorted by Claire Kent

Title: Escorted (Escorted #1)

Author: Claire Kent

Published: December 15, 2012

Format: E-Book

Pages: 326

Synopsis from Goodreads:

She hired him to take her virginity…but now she wants even more.

Lori might be a popular romance writer, but she’s never been anything but a flop with sex and love in her personal life. Still a virgin at twenty-six and increasingly frustrated by her inexperience, she decides to take matters into her own hands. She hires a talented, sexy male escort to take care of her inconvenient virginity.

She assumes one time with Ander will be enough, but she never dreams how much pleasure he can make her feel. Once isn’t nearly enough. Twice isn’t enough either. Soon, she becomes one of his regular clients.

Lori knows that nothing would be as foolish as falling in love with her paid escort, but she’s never been wise with her heart. And, despite his professionalism, he doesn’t seem entirely immune either.

I don’t know how to feel about this novel. First off, the synopsis looks pretty damn good and interesting. It’s about Lori, a romance author who has hired Ander, a male escort, to take her virginity. Then, as they continue their meetings, they fell in love with each other. I’m generally the kind of reader who loves this kind of story.

*Might contain some SPOILERS, you’ve been warned*

I dove into Lori and Ander’s story expecting too much. In my opinion, there was like 80% sex and 20% back story. I pretty much knew from the synopsis that it would contain lots of sex but I was expecting that there would be significant character development along the way. There was character development but I don’t think it’s enough for me as a reader. It should have been the focus not the sex even if this is classified as an erotica.

I understand the reason why Lori kept Ander as her escort for so long. She was trying to hold on to Ander because she can feel their connection. Ander seems really attracted to her. They kept seeing each other and she realizes that she is falling for him. When that happened, the first thing she does is stop seeking his services. Meanwhile, Ander was falling for Lori as well. That was not really surprising. Lol. Anyway, he dropped his clients. Then, he pursued changing his career and make himself more decent.

I liked those details of the story. It has so much potential but then there are things which made me kind of upset. First, I’m annoyed with the fact that Ander was keeping too much from Lori. Why didn’t he tell her that he retired from being an escort? Instead, he tells her that he only dropped some of his clients. He made her believe that he was still seeing his clients. Another thing that made me frustrated with him is him making Lori believe that he has a month long engagement with a client. But the thing is he was on a trip for his studies. He’s making me mad. If he really was falling for Lori, he would have saved her from all the frustration. I don’t get it. Oh and I remembered that wedding that Lori was invited to. She tells him that she wants him to come with her because that was her bestfriend (ex-crush) who’s getting married. Then, Ander tells her she doesn’t need him to appear happy to other people. I get it Ander but seriously, you don’t say that to a girl. He should have at least reassured her or comforted her.

The pacing didn’t work out for me too. I felt that all the significant developments in the story were cramped towards the final chapters. If it would be made into series, I would understand the writing style.

Okay…So on the positive side, I liked the back story. It’s intriguing. Why would a guy decide to use himself as women’s plaything? That was enough to get me going. Then, he has his father issues. I was actually hoping that it would have been discussed more. I like the part when they went ice skating and what happened after it. Another favorite of mine was the day after Ander’s birthday.

Is it only me who noticed that pen name Lori was using in her novels is the same name as the author of this novel? It’s friggin Claire Kent. So yeah..that’s really cool.

Overall, my reading experience was good but not good enough to get me raving about it. There are lots of romance/erotica novels out there that contained lots of sex but still managed to keep the character development the focus. Maybe balance and focus is what I needed from this story.

3-rating

Book Review: The Book of Spells by Kate Brian

Title: Book of Spells (Private 0.5)

Author: Kate Brian

Publisher: Simon & Schuster for Young Readers (December 10, 2010)

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 302

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The year is 1915 when sixteen-year-old Eliza Williams arrives at the Billings School for Girls in Easton, Connecticut. Her parents expect her to learn the qualities of a graceful, dutiful wife. But Eliza and her housemates have a dangerous secret: They’re witches. After finding a dusty, leather bound spell book, the Billings Girls form a secret coven. Bonded in sisterhood, they cast spells–cursing their headmistress with laryngitis, brewing potions to bolster their courage before dances, and conjuring beautiful dresses out of old rags. The girls taste freedom and power for the first time, but what starts out as innocent fun turns sinister when one of the spells has an unexpected-and deadly-consequence. Magic could bring Eliza everything she’s ever wanted…but it could also destroy everything she holds dear.

I remembered that I bought this one because I really liked the blurb. The synopsis pretty much got my attention. A bunch of girls living in a school dormitory practicing witchcraft made me curious. Magic and witchcraft had always been a favorite theme of mine when it comes to the novels that I read.

This was actually a quick-read for me. I never expected that I would finish this book so fast. The plot made me want to read on and on and on. I would say that it was a pretty much enjoyable story. I love the creepiness that came along with it. Plus, the fact that the story is set in 1915 added thrill to my reading experience.

On the other hand, I think there is something lacking from the story. Maybe I was just expecting more from it..that something bigger would happen. I guess that was just me. Anyway, I still think that this is a good prequel to the Private Series.

3-rating

Upcoming Book Signings in Manila & Cebu, Philippines

2014 has really been an amazing year so far for most of the bibliophiles in Philippines. For the past 4 months, 7 big authors came and visited us. Gayle Forman came in January, Mitch Albom in February, and Becca Fitzpatrick in March. Most recently, Tahereh Mafi, Ransom Riggs, and Veronica Rossi had their big book signing event last April. That’s really something which gave us Filipino bookworms something to be busy about aside from reading our books. Those unforgettable moments with our favorite authors were something that we will be kept in our hearts as treasures (I know, I’m cheesy 😛 ). Even if we just saw them and talked to them in such a short time, it felt like a dream came true.. to meet someone who’s given us a world to escape to from reality and enjoy journeys with their fictional characters.

That’s just the beginning of the year for us. Filipino bookworms seems like they will be having more treats from National Book Store.

Last time, it was announced that Jenny Han, the author of the New York Times Best Selling novel The Summer I Turned Pretty Series, will be coming to Philippines for her book signing event on June 21 in Manila and June 22 in Cebu this year. We were so thrilled to know that she will be visiting us. Look at this poster, it’s so girly and cute. I love it!

Aside from Jenny Han, National Book Store gave the big news that Stephanie Perkins (cue squeals here), author of Anna and The French Kiss & Lola and the Boy Next Door, will be going here too. I’m so happy right now. Though for sure, my savings will be suffering with all the books that I will be buying to be signed and read (of course). Stephanie Perkins’ Book Signing Event will be on July 5 in Cebu and July 6 in Manila.

These kind of news are pure bliss to all of the bookworms here. I hear rumors that in almost every month of 2014, there would be an author who will come for a book signing. I wonder who’s next..

Book Review: The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski

Title: The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never #1)

Author: J.A. Redmerski

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 13, 2012)

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 426

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett had always been one to think out-of-the-box, who knew she wanted something more in life than following the same repetitive patterns and growing old with the same repetitive life story. And she thought that her life was going in the right direction until everything fell apart.

Determined not to dwell on the negative and push forward, Camryn is set to move in with her best friend and plans to start a new job. But after an unexpected night at the hottest club in downtown North Carolina, she makes the ultimate decision to leave the only life she’s ever known, far behind.

With a purse, a cell phone and a small bag with a few necessities, Camryn, with absolutely no direction or purpose boards a Greyhound bus alone and sets out to find herself. What she finds is a guy named Andrew Parrish, someone not so very different from her and who harbors his own dark secrets. But Camryn swore never to let down her walls again. And she vowed never to fall in love.

But with Andrew, Camryn finds herself doing a lot of things she never thought she’d do. He shows her what it’s really like to live out-of-the-box and to give in to her deepest, darkest desires. On their sporadic road-trip he becomes the center of her exciting and daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible. But will Andrew’s dark secret push them inseparably together, or tear them completely apart?

Let me begin this review by saying how I freaking love this book. I came across this book when I saw a friend of mine post a recommendation on it. I was intrigued because the cover looks really lovely. I read the blurb and that was all I needed to buy myself a copy.

The story is about two individuals set off on a road trip to see what’s more to life. Camryn sets off on a journey to find herself and take herself out of the boring routine that most people are in. Andrew goes on a ride to a destination to what he might be fearing to happen. Fate brings them together but it seemed like it’s fate as well that might tear them apart.

I think this is one of the best novels that I have ever read. I felt as if I had so much emotions while reading this book. It’s not exactly dramatic and full of angst. I even find it funny at some points of the story. The Edge of Never is not a typical novel. It makes your heart ache and your mind think about the meaning of life. I guess I really felt attached to the characters. Like them, I am also someone who’s trying to find something worthwhile, something that will make me see what’s my purpose, and what will make me happy.

The characters, Camryn Bennett and Andrew Parrish are such strong characters. Despite their flaws and problems in life, they were able to do spontaneous things that made them really happy. Their love is something that will make the reader crave for what they have. It makes me want to cry because I can feel the intensity of their emotions and the hurt that came along with the tragedy in their lives. It’s such a beautiful novel. It’s amazingly written.

The pacing of the story is just so right. There were no dull moments. It’s also refreshing how the story is all about spontaneity. I adore Camryn and Andrew for being able to do things in that way. They had fun from it. Then, on to the friggin plot twist… Gosh. That made me sob like a baby. I must have known in the back of my mind that there might be something which will happen to one of them. When I got to the part of the plot twist, I was hurting for both Camryn and Andrew. I was crying all along. I was emotionally f*cked up by it. I really mean it. I thought all of the bad things will happen but you will never know with this story. I was reading the last few chapters with tears in my eyes and then when I got to the ending..well well..I was like WTF? By the way, I mean all of this in a good way.

I definitely recommend The Edge of Never. It’s not only one of my favorite books ever but also one of the stories which are really life changing. It’s so beautifully written and just so awesome. Readers of romance and new adult genre would certainly fall in love with this book.

5-rating

Book Review: The Key (The Arcadian Series Book One) by T.L. Coulter

Title: The Key (The Arcadian Series Book One) 

Author: T.L. Coulter

Published: March 27, 2014

Format: Kindle Edition

Pages: 398

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The Key is the first book in a brand-new trilogy. 

When the new King of Arcadia, Audric Sjöberg is forced into hiding, his younger brother Rek, is sent to the mortal realm to find “the key”. “The Key” is the one person that can help Audric take back his kingdom, and restore peace within the wizard realm. 

Kailee Reece is a normal teenager, or so she believes. When Kailee’s wishes turn into reality, she becomes the target of unwanted attention. Rek’s search sends him to Astoria Oregon, where he meets Kailee, and they are drawn to one another. Kailee and Rek attempt to fight their feelings, but the temptation is too great. 

Kailee and Rek’s happiness is threatened by an ancient prophecy that could tear them apart. Rek must convince Kailee to return to Arcadia in order to save Audric and his kingdom. Once the kingdom is safe, Rek may be forced to say goodbye to Kailee forever.

I have always been a lover of novels with magical worlds as their themes. That is one of the main reasons why I think that The Key is such a promising novel.  When I searched for The Key in Goodreads, I was immediately intrigued by the synopsis. Like I said, I am  into novels which involve magic and given the fact that the story has romance too, I thought that I got to read this one.

The story is about Rek who was sent by Audric, his brother and the king of their kingdom, on a journey to find “The Key” in the mortal world. At first, Rek didn’t have an idea that “The Key” is actually a person and much to his surprise, a woman. This woman is their only hope to save their kingdom and keep the peace in the Wizard Realm.

So, here’s the part I love..Rek is attracted to Kailee, a girl whom he meets in the mortal realm. They realize that they have feelings for each other but the thing is they will discover something that might keep them apart.

I think The Key is such a great read. It’s not overly dramatic which is exactly what I need right now. It has a refreshing concept which is just right for my taste. There is so much balance in this story. Actually, one of my favorite things about it is the humor. I really love reading the banters of the characters. Even if sometimes the jokes made by the characters (especially Gabe) are a little silly, I still find myself laughing. I think it’s essential to keep the balance with the serious matters in the book. Aside from that, there is equal plainness of the events in the mortal realm and extraordinary-ness of the events in the wizard realm. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I didn’t get bored at all.

Also, I must say that I really did feel the emotions going on with Kailee and Rek. They were like so tortured because they basically can’t have each other. Why? It’s because of a freaking prophecy that involves The Key and the first born of the king.. I was heartbroken for the two of them. I felt upset and frustrated. I wanted things to go right for both of them. While I was reading the part when Rek found out about this prophecy, I got suspicious. I think there is something that is being kept from Kailee and Rek. I feel that the prophecy told to them is not entirely true.

The thing I love the most about The Key is that it so unpredictable. Just when I thought I figured out what is going to happen, Ms. Coulter puts a plot twist there and makes me groan out of frustration. Don’t get me wrong, I mean it in a good way. I was given a really thrilling experience just by reading this novel.

Towards the end of the book, lots of things just happened. Hell broke loose. Like seriously. The readers get to know who the traitor is. Plus this traitor did something that would shatter the world of Rek. I must say that the closing part of the story is my favorite. I was shouting WTF over and over. I can’t believe that those events were happening. My feelings were kind of redeemed in the last chapter. I’d rather not say about it but I’m just so relieved when I read that part. But the thing is…the ending is a cliffhanger. My jaw was hanging at that time. I really really need to know what happens next. There are so many questions that came in my mind.

I have some minor issues though. There was a part when Astrid discovered who The Key was because of the meanings behind the names. For me, it was a little too quick to be figured out and too convenient for Rek. Maybe I was just expecting that they would find the torn page from The Key Lineage book. Or maybe they could have gone on an adventure or research to find out who The Key is. I understand though. It’s a bit logical for Astrid to find out because of her intuition powers.

I recommend  The Key to everyone especially to those who enjoy stories about wizards and magic. You will definitely enjoy it whether your a guy or a gal. It’s full action, comedy, and romance. It’s a light read considering the writing style is simple and easy to understand. My rating for this book is:

4-rating

Book Review: The One by Kiera Cass

Title: The One (The Selection #3)

Author: Kiera Cass

Publisher:  HarperTeen (May 6, 2014)

Format: Paperback

Pages: 336

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The time has come for one winner to be crowned.

When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown–or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose–and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants.

The story continues with America Singer as one of the top four contenders in The Selection. Finally, her decision about what she wants is clearer. She had come to her senses and made a choice though there are occasional moments when her indecisiveness comes back. As the competition nears to its end, the palace faces threats from the rebels as their attacks and black-mails to overthrow the royal family become more frequent. Soon, the prince has to make a choice as to who will be the crowned princess.

If you haven’t read The One yet, well, I suggest you go pick it up now. Finish it because it really is worth it.

**SPOILER ALERT** **SPOILER ALERT** **SPOILER ALERT**

For those who have read The One already, you might want to fangirl with me. So, read on:

Okay..I  need to breathe..

I’ll begin by saying that I FREAKING LOVE THE ONE!!!! OMG!! Seriously, there was no moment that I ever felt bored with this book. It’s near perfection. I didn’t want to put it down because I was so thrilled with the events that happened. But then, I wanted myself to slow down in reading this because I don’t want it to end. I tried to survive all the FEELS that I was getting from the book. If you’re Team Maxon, well what can I say? Hmmm.. “Let’s Partyyy!!!!” Damn. I’m pretty sure that Mer had made her decision pretty clear in the beginning. She decided that she would fight for Maxon. Then, there weren’t many scenes that consisted of her thinking about Aspen. So, I assumed that I would be delighted to see whatever happens at the end of the book.

What do I think are the highlights? There are lots..Some of them are:

  • Mer stepping up her game to get Prince Maxon: Being provoked by the king, America decided to step up her moves with Maxon. Well, King Clarkson told Mer that she’s not pretty, intelligent, and worthy as much as the other girls. Seriously King Clarkson I want to shoot you. To show the king that she will not back down, America dressed in a very sexy dress. She looked so glamorous that when she went to have her meal with the other girls and the royal family, they were shocked. My favorite was when Kriss said to Mer, “You look trashy” and then Mer replied, “You’re just jealous.” Lol. I was literally fist-pumping in the air. That was epic.
  • Celeste and America became friends: Who would have thought that Celeste would reconcile with America? TBH, I was prepared to hate her til the end of the book. She was just nasty. I’m surprised that her opening up to Mer would make them closer.
  • The Convicting: This one is the most epic part of the book. Convicting is a ceremony wherein the remaining girls will pledge their allegiance to the Ilea’s law. The ceremony involves giving criminals their sentence. Obviously, this is a way of King Clarkson to get America out of the competition. As much as she wanted to avoid a scene, she doesn’t want to sentence a man to lifetime imprisonment for stealing clothes for his daughters. I love the part when she gave all her jewelry to the guy and told him to pay his debt to the king with what she gave. That was such a big slap to the king’s face. LOL!
  • Queen Amberly and the girls’ bonding time in the Women’s Room: This one made me tear up. The girls basically formed true friendship and even deeper bond with each other. I love that they did makeovers for one another. Then, Queen Amberly was so happy to see the girls like they were the best of friends. Oh and that part when America accidentally called the Queen..mom. Queen Amberly was shocked at first but she became okay with that and she let Mer brush her hair. Then, the girls took pictures while hugging the queen. I was crying at that scene. That was just so touching.
  • America’s father died: I didn’t see this one coming. There were no clues that Mer’s father was going to die of a heart problem. I think it would have made more sense if he got shot or something. It was no shock for me though to know that he is one of the Northern rebels.
  • Maxon’s and America’s make out scene: After her father died, it was so obvious that Maxon missed America that much. He came to her room and gave her late Christmas gifts and letters. Maxon was so sure of America at that time. They confessed their love to each other. I swear I was squealing and fanning myself the whole time I was reading this scene. It’s perfect and super romantic. I can’t even..
  • Mer and Aspen caught by Prince Maxon: After Maxon’s and America’s confession of their love to one another, Maxon was about to announce his choice and end the Selection. When the morning came, the two were caught by Aspen. Maxon leaves the room. Then, Aspen tells America about what they have blah blah blah. Then, all sh*t just got real. Mer was about to end it off with Aspen and BAM!! They were caught by Prince Maxon himself. I was so frustrated and heartbroken for Maxon.
  • Letters to America: Damn. I was crying the whole time I was reading this. Prince Maxon is the epitomy of a boy in love. He was so into America. In those letters, he got to tell Mer how crazy he was when she was away from him. He even said that “I love you” in the letters. I was like awww..
  • The attack of the rebels: Prince Maxon was supposed to end the Selection but the thing is he was so angry at America for what she did. I was afraid that somehow he’s going to choose Kriss (who turned out to be a supporter of the northern rebels). Southern rebels attacked the palace. It was a mayhem. I thought our Prince was going to die. I was so worried that he and America will not have a happy ending. But I was proven wrong..Celeste died though..why?? I like her now.
  • Wedding: OMG! I was reading this chapter and all I can think about is that it can’t end this soon. Anyway, I think the wedding was perfect except for the fact that it was Aspen who walked Mer down the aisle. It’s such an awkward concept for me.

Overall, The One is so EPIC! It’s near to perfection because it made me feel a lot FEELS. I love every part of it even though I was frustrated sometimes. It’s the kind of book that will make you laugh, cry, squeal and more. It’s really more than just another fairytale story. I just wish that Ms. Kiera Cass would have written an epilogue or another book. I would love to know what happened to America and Maxon after their wedding. I want to read about how they settled the problems in Ilea and if they had many babies.

I actually finished the book last Saturday. I must admit that I am still hangover. I can’t move on I swear. I wish there is more to the story. I even consider re-reading the books in The Selection Series. It’s one of my favorite series ever. Oh and I love the acknowledgements at the end of the book. Seriously, Miss Kiera Cass writes the most awesome acknowledgements in books. I love how she thanked her readers first. I really did enjoy America Singer’s world and I wouldn’t mind reading more about it. I’m really really wishing hard now. Well, I should probably end this here before I start fangirling again over Prince Maxon. Here’s my rating:

5-rating