Review: The Break-Up Artist

Saturday, May 30, 2015
Title: The Break-Up Artist
Author: Philip Siegel
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: April 29, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Some sixteen-year-olds babysit for extra cash.

Some work at the mall.

Becca Williamson breaks up couples.

Becca knows from experience the damage that love can do. After all, it was so-called love that turned Huxley from her childhood best friend into a social-world dictator, and love that left Becca's older sister devastated at the altar. Instead of sitting on the sidelines, Becca strikes back—for just one hundred dollars via PayPal, she will trick and manipulate any couple's relationship into smithereens. And with relationship zombies overrunning her school and treating single girls as if they're second-class citizens, business is unfortunately booming. Even Becca's best friend, Val, has resorted to outright lies to snag a boyfriend.

One night, Becca receives a mysterious offer to break up the most popular couple in school: Huxley and raw football team's star player, Steve. To succeed, she'll have to plan her most elaborate scheme to date—starting rumors, sabotaging cell phones, breaking into cars...not to mention sneaking back into Huxley's good graces. All while fending off the inappropriate feelings she may or may not be having for Val's new boyfriend.

No one said being the Break-Up Artist would be easy.

My Thoughts

The idea of being a "break-up artist" honestly struck me as interesting when I first read it, but sadly the novel was a bit of a letdown for me. The plot was alright, but what really annoyed me was how all the characters were depicted as these shallow girls who only cared about having boyfriends. It's far from realistic and might even be received as insulting by some. 

I didn't like Becca. She pretends like she's too good for love and is dead set on pushing it away and mocking the people who believe in it, but when she thinks she feels it, and for her best friend's boyfriend no less, it's suddenly okay? She and her sister Diane came off as self-righteous to me; I can't even count the times I found myself rolling my eyes at them, which was really a shame because the premise of The Break-Up Artist seemed so promising.

Maybe it's just not for me. It's not something I would go around recommending, but I guess if you don't mind dealing with the characters' pettiness (or if you happen not to find them petty at all), then it's not too bad a read. 

My Rating

Feature and Follow

Friday, May 29, 2015
Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

This week's question:

How many books have you got on your TBR?
Pauline: My TBR is horrible. It just keeps on growing. I don't know why, but I can't find myself to stop click on that Want to Read button. And, the rate that I finish reading books can absolutely never catch up with the rate that my TBR grows. Right now, it's already at 541. Ohmycrappola. It's my goal to reduce it to 500 by the end of the year. Hopefully, I can do it. YAY! <3

Review: The Royal We

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Title: The Royal We
Author: Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: April 7, 2015
Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance

Purchase from Amazon || B&N || Nook || iBooks || Kobo || The Book Depository

Synopsis from Goodreads:
"I might be Cinderella today, but I dread who they'll think I am tomorrow. I guess it depends on what I do next." 

American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it's Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain's future king. And when Bex can't resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.

Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick's sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is much thornier and more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he's fated to become.

Which is how she gets into trouble.

Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she's sacrificed for love-her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself-will have been for nothing.

Spanning nearly a decade, The Royal We is a richly imagined, emotionally compelling novel that examines, with warmth and wit, what truly happens after your prince has come.

My Thoughts

*Thank you to Netgalley for a copy of this book. My thoughts are all over the place, that I thought of trying to use GIFs for this review. It's my first time and OHMYGLOB. I never knew using GIFs were so fun and amazing. <3

I love books about royalty, such as this one. I honestly do. Even so, I don't go out of my way searching for them. When I came across The Royal We, OHMYGAWD.

I was excited, and I wanted to read it immediately. It was the first, after a while, that I started to read a book a few days after I got it. I was that excited But the thing is, that excitement was short-lived.

The prologue immediately got me hooked up, since it seemed like it was giving me the idea on what is going to happen next, throughout the entire book. But as I continued to read, I found myself having a hard time to move. Although, I think this is just on me. The way The Royal We is written is in narrative paragraphs, wherein Bex goes into a storytelling of her romance with Nick.

It would have been good for me, if not for their length. The thing is, I just can't read long paragraphs because I'd find myself skimming or scanning over them in the long run. Reading a few long ones is okay for me, but reading them for the entire book? Nuh-uh.

I found myself slowly progressing than usual, although it wasn't bad enough that I'd not finish reading it. After all, the interactions were pretty cute, and I love how the romance between Bex and Nick developed. It was realistic, or as realistic as a royal love can be. With the royal drama, and everything coming between the two of them, hearing the point of view of Bex on this one was really great as she struggled with these.

The character developments were also amazing; I found myself connected with Bex (even though we probably don't have much in common). I could just feel her emotions, and there was just some point in the book that I cried. YES, I know I'm weird. It's supposedly a fluff read, but yeah.

I like Freddie over Nick though (IDK WHY). Nick is cute and all, but it felt like there was more development for Freddie than Nick. Also, LACEY. THAT BISH. I just wanted to murder her, with her selfishness and carelessness. Every time she appears in the story, I was like AAAAHHHH NOOOOOOO!!!! Every. Single. Time. I JUST DON'T LIKE HER.

OH, AND THE SETTING IS JUST SO AMAZING. I can't believe that I could totally relate! With all the palaces and places that they've been to, there were some that I could really visualize in my head. (OHMYGAWD, I'M SO GLAD FOR YOU, MY LONDON TRIP AAAAHHH. BRING ME BACK PLEASE.)

The downside though:
The first half of the story maybe slow, but it was great. The second half though? It felt really rushed, with all the things suddenly happening at the same time. There were some unrealistic stuff, too. Like, the drinking. Or the partying. THEY'RE JUST TOO MUCH. With their jobs and life, is that even possible?

Towards the ending, I was just confused the entire way. I just didn't know what to think anymore, and my emotions were so messed up.


But I seriously didn't like Nick, that much can be said. He was like I don't want to marry you because you kissed my brother twice, but I'm going to marry you anyway because it's too much hassle to cancel it. GO DIE.


Lastly, it felt waaaaaay too long. I would probably love this better if the pages were cut down, but still. It doesn't change the fact that The Royal We is a hilarious, quirky and cute read, with amazing characters and romance. If you love these kinds of reads, this one's for you!

My Rating

Real rating: 3.5

Typography Tuesday #11: Before I Fall

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Typography Tuesday is a new feature where I will post my lettering works of book quotes. Works will usually be black and white, but there may be at times that colored ones will be posted.

Review: Side Effects May Vary

Monday, May 25, 2015
Title: Side Effects May Vary
Author: Julie Murphy
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: March 18, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins

Synopsis from Goodreads:
What if you'd been living your life as if you were dying—only to find out that you had your whole future ahead of you?

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, who she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that's as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her archnemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger). But just when Alice's scores are settled, she goes into remission.

Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she's said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she caused irreparable damage to the people around her—and to the one person who matters most?

Julie Murphy's Side Effects May Vary is a fearless and moving tour de force about love, life, and facing your own mortality.

My Thoughts

At first I was hesitant to read Side Effects May Vary because I remember one of my friends not liking it, so I pretty much thought it not worth the try. It was only about a year later or so that I finally decided to give it a chance, partly because I couldn’t find myself a new book to read, and now here I am, 336 pages later.

I think that there are definitely parts that are hard not to get annoyed at here, and the worst part is that it’s mostly brought about by the main character herself. Alice is a selfish and manipulative person, and there were so many times that I wanted to knock some sense into her. She basically strings Harvey along just because she knows she can get away with it. What makes it even more frustrating is that Harvey actually followed her willingly for quite some time. I like Harvey, but he  spent such a long time being so infatuated with Alice that I just ended up feeling bad for him. In spite of all that, though, I think these two characters redeem themselves if even a little by the end of the novel, and I’m glad to see that change in them. I suppose that their flaws, no matter how bad, make them more real in a sense, so while Alice is far from a likeable character and Harvey is just alright, they can be considered rather well-developed characters.

The plot is a new one for me; all the other cancer books I’ve read so far have ended in death, so it’s nice to see a change there. The only issue I have is with the many POV changes (Alice then and now plus Harvey then and now) and the fact that there isn’t really any pattern to the switching between them. I found that a bit confusing at times when I was reading, but everything else—pacing, development of plot—is good.

Although I have trouble really enjoying this book because of my dislike for Alice, I find that the novel’s charm lies in its honest portrayal of how messed up people can be sometimes. It's not easy to write a book with a story interesting enough to draw readers in despite having a main character like that, but Julie Murphy did that job quite well, so while I can’t guarantee that you’ll like Side Effects May Vary, it probably wouldn’t hurt to give it a read.

My Rating

Real Rating: 3.5

Feature and Follow

Friday, May 22, 2015
Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

This week's question:

How do you write your reviews?
Pauline: I'd usually list down my thoughts in bulleted form right after reading the book in my Evernote account. It's kind of like scratch work (and very scatterbrained) that I think I'm the only one who can actually understand what I wrote. Afterwards, I'd write the entire thing in a comprehensible matter when I'm in the mood to write already. Although, sometimes I just go straight to writing the real thing.  It all actually just depends on my mood. :)

Review: Falling Into Place

Thursday, May 21, 2015
Title: Falling Into Place
Author: Amy Zhang
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publication Date: September 9, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Synopsis from Goodreads:
On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road. 

Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.

My Thoughts

I’ve recently taken an interest in books that relate life to technical things like math and science, so I had high hopes for Falling Into Place, and I’m glad to say that I was not let down. It’s one you can read in a single sitting, and I think that just made its impact on me even greater.

One of the first things that caught my attention and that I find really cool about this novel is the anonymity of the narrator. It’s quite a creative approach in telling an equally interesting story, and the unusual shift in perspective that it gives adds a nice touch to the reading experience. I like how it shifts from past and present and provides us with rather in-depth looks into the characters’ lives and how each one of them is connected.

The main character, Liz, is someone that I cannot relate to, what with her being the mean, popular kid and all, but for some reason, seeing her struggle through her problems really makes me sympathize with her. I like how Zhang is able to convey that sadness about her well; the fact that I felt it with her despite her not being someone I would consider good just shows how great the writing is. Liz’s best friends Kennie and Julia are not the best people either, but it’s clear to see that they care a whole lot for one another. One scene between Liz and Kennie even got me a bit teary-eyed, because I feel like they only feel it’s safe to let their walls down when they’re with each other (actually, sometimes not even then) and it’s just terrible to think that these girls are all so broken inside. Then there's Liam, who I find the most easily likeable, and who I wish had been explored a bit more as a character.

Amy Zhang’s Falling Into Place is a heart-wrenching and even chilling look into teenage life that shows us how the people who appear to be the most put together may just be the ones who are actually falling apart.

My Rating

Blitz+Excerpt+Giveaway: My Heart Is Yours

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Title: My Heart is Yours
Author: Amanda Leigh
Release Date: May 18, 2015
Number of Pages: 169 pages
Summary from Goodreads:

Samantha Marie Ramsden has three brothers. Craig, John and Matt. When tragedy strikes their family, Craig takes on the task of becoming his siblings legal guardian. It’s hard enough being someone’s guardian, but when you’ve only recently entered adulthood yourself it’s almost impossible to know where to draw the line between sibling and ‘parent’. 

This is made even harder on him when Sam starts to get close to a long time friend, Jason. It looks like their friendship could turn into something more. An idea that Craig has never been too happy with. Spanning six years, My Heart is Yours explores family, friendship, love and much more. As well as asking the question: Would you defy family for love?


Five and a half year old Samantha slept in her white threadbare sheets. Tonight the wind was coming through particularly strong from the cracks in the wooden boards on her window. Her small body shivered.

The door creaked open and her mother entered. Sam had the same blonde hair as her mother. Her eyes were her own though. Changing from blue, to grey, to blue-grey, to green or any combination of these colors seemingly simultaneously. Sandras hand approached her daughters shoulder and she shook her roughly awake. The clock on the wall read three o clock in the morning. Sam rubbed her eyes. “Come on!” Her mother said as she looked over her shoulder. “Get out of bed, now!” She grabbed a hammer from the toolbox they kept in Sams room, went to the boarded up window and started tearing the boards to the floor. Wood splintered through the air. “Go on.” She gestured to the window. “Get out. Go.”

Sam hesitated for half a second then climbed through. She knew she couldnt ask questions. She got into trouble when she asked questions.

Sandra wiggled through the window; she cursed aloud as the glass cut her shoulder.

“Dont try to run away from me!” The hoarse shout came from behind them. Sams father. Sam knew what it meant when he was like this.

Sandra pushed Sam into the car, ran to the other side and jumped in. Mommy. Sam said as they went speeding past houses. Whats wrong?

“If you must know, your fathers more drunk than usual. He has a gun and he says hes gonna kill us. Satisfied?” Sams eyes widened as she looked in the rearview mirror. There was a car right on their tail. Sam stretched in the front seat to see who it was; she recognized the face of her father. “Mommy!” She yelled. Her mother ignored her. “The only reason Im taking you with me is cuz as a single parent with no job I might get some money from the government.” “Mommy!” She yelled again. “Otherwise Id just let him kill you.” The car stopped, jolted forward and stopped again. “Damn it. Were out of gas.” Sams mom muttered. Sirens wailed in the background.

Beside them, Sam heard the screech of tires. Blonder hair hit Sams face as she turned her head toward the noise. In the car beside them her father scooted across the front seats; his eyes wild with rage.  A flash of black came from behind him. Sandra frantically tried to get the car started. Too late. An arm shot out around her neck; holding her fast. Her husband held the shiny black gun to her head and before Sam could scream from the sound, the trigger boomed and her mothers body slumped over on the steering wheel. Deep red blood gushed out of her head forming a pool on the floor. 

About the Author

Amanda Leigh graduated with a BA in English and Communications and a double minor in Psychology and Creative Writing. During college, she worked on the literary magazine and loved every minute of it. She adores cats and has one named Sawyer - named after one of her favorite characters in Lost. Amanda enjoys reading, writing avidly in a journal, writing poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction, cooking, listening to music, singing, swimming and art - particularly photography. Amanda is a bit of a chocoholic and is slightly obsessed with office supplies. She has many ideas for stories so keep an eye out for more work from her. 

Author Links:
 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Book Blitz Organized by:

Typography Tuesday #10: The Heartbreakers

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Typography Tuesday is a new feature where I will post my lettering works of book quotes. Works will usually be black and white, but there may be at times that colored ones will be posted. All works are scanned but created by hand through markers and fine liners.

This is me gathering the courage to take a plunge in life! #NoteToSelf

Review: The Heartbreakers

Monday, May 18, 2015
24862103Title: The Heartbreakers (The Heartbreaker Chronicle #1)
Author: Ali Novak
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, Music
Publication Date: August 4, 2015
Publisher: Sourcebooks

Synopsis from Goodreads:
"When I met Oliver Perry, I had no clue he was the lead singer for The Heartbreakers. Unbeknownst to him, I was the only girl in the world who hated his music."

Since Cara's health has been deteriorating, all Stella Walter can think about is trying to cheer her sister up. Her life revolves around Cara to the point where Stella drops out of one of the country's top photography programs so she can spend what little time she has left with her sick sister. 

With Cara's birthday around the corner, Stella wants to get her the perfect gift. An autographed poster of her sister's favorite boy band should do the trick. Sounds simple enough, right? But life isn't always so easy. 

Not only does Stella hate The Heartbreakers because of their terrible music, but when she realizes that the cute boy she met at Starbucks is really Oliver Perry, the lead singer of the band, her life seems to spin out of control... 

Will Stella be able to swallow her pride and get the autograph that she so desperately needs to make Cara happy? And will Oliver be able to show Stella how to live her own life again? 

Meet... The Heartbreakers.

My Thoughts


Actually, it was the cover that got my attention first at Netgalley, and I requested for this there, without hoping that I'd get accepted. My statistics have been pretty bad lately especially since I took a huge break in blogging.

And then. OHMYGOD. I GOT ACCEPTED. GUYS. I GOT ACCEPTED. *squeal* A few days after and I went to dive into its world, right away. I didn't even know that Ali Novak was also the author for My Life With the Walter Boys. Her name just sounded familiar. Yup. When I knew it? OHMYGAWD. I just couldn't wait but to read it! I just loved that story!

Ali Novak definitely did not disappoint. I mean, seriously? All the things that I love are just in this one book!
1. Adorable+cute+fluffy read. OMIGOD. I just can't help myself but smile giddily all through out. After reading quite a heavy book, this one is definitely a great fill-in read to avoid overwhelming myself.
2. Music + photography = <3
I just love stories that have characters that are into these kinds of hobbies, and I just don't know why. But, yes. I especially love how both the band and Stella grow a lot as an individual that are largely influenced by the things they love doing. It inspires me to be just like them, too!

I totally found myself fangirling for them also, mygally. BECAUSE. They're just so awesome! Every person in the band has their own individuality, and all of them just help each other. They're just so close to each other, and it's such a great friendship! Yes, I'm a sucker for them.

3. GO SIBLING LOVE! The relationship between the triplets, Stella, Cara and Drew, was so good (makes me wish for my own twin or something). Understandably that they have been together in every single thing for their entire life (c'mon, they're triplets! How cool is that?!), there comes a time wherein they'd walk their own paths. I love how all of them still supported each other, and still being there, NO MATTER WHAT. <3

4. Serious + fluffy stuff
The way the insecurities and problems that are typically felt/underwent by people that are in to music and photography are tackled? I love it! It also touches on how cancer can affect relationships (especially in this case, Stella and Cara). These were written in a way that the serious + fluff stuff are just mixed well. And, it's UH-MAY-ZING. AMAZING! TOTALLY.

Although, I don't know if it's just me or what (because Dyane read this, too, and I asked her about it and she had no comment OMG). But anyway, I thought some of the transitions seemed off, which made me a little bit hard to understand the story flow. There were just a few times that I got caught off-guard. Also, the beginning didn't really suck me in to the story right away.

Nevertheless, despite these, it is undeniable that Novak's The Heartbreakers is so adorable and amazing. Definitely a recommendation to everyone, especially to those looking for a good fill-in, fluffy and easy read! :)

My Rating


Review: His Hometown Girl

Saturday, May 16, 2015
Title: His Hometown Girl
Author: Karen Rock
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: March 1, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin

Synopsis from Goodreads:
He'd always managed to best her…

Jodi Chapman will do whatever it takes to get top care for her autistic son. If that means going home and convincing local farmers to sell their land, so be it. Even if her biggest opponent, childhood rival Daniel Gleason, is equally determined to convince farmers to buy into his co-op plan. And he's not playing fair.

Facing off against Daniel is the last thing Jodi wants. The attraction that's always fueled their competitiveness is as strong as ever and just as distracting. But with both their futures on the line, and years of distrust between them, how can they ever be on the same side?

My Thoughts

His Hometown Girl is probably one of the few novels I've read that are not about teenagers, and I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would. The story centers on Jodi Chapman as she struggles to do what's best for her autistic son Tyler. Unfortunately, the best opportunity she has to do this is to acquire land for her company from her hometown of Cedar Bay, which also means going head to head against Daniel Gleason, her high school boyfriend.

It was refreshing to read something that involves problems with jobs and children, because nothing like that ever really comes up in the books I usually read. The pacing is just right, and the plot is easy to find yourself attached to. I like that it focuses a lot on family in addition to the romance, too. There are a lot of heartwarming moments that you just won’t be able to help smiling about.

I adore Jodi for being such a selfless person, especially when it comes to her son. She’s such a strong person to be willing to give up anything and everything for Tyler, even when she thought it meant her own happiness. Daniel is also hard not to love; he fights for what he believes in and is an overall great man. Even supporting characters like Sue and Aunt Grace are easily likeable, and having all of them together makes for a rather pleasant reading experience.

Honestly, I don’t really have all that much to say about this novel except that it’s one of those feel good stories that will tug at your heartstrings. It’s a wonderful read; definitely something that I would recommend! :)

My Rating