Book Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Publisher: Dutton

Release date: August 14, 2014

Format: Hardcover, 339 pages

Purchase from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Outlet


Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart. —Goodreads


The third installment in Stephanie Perkin’s series, Isla and the Happily Ever After was my favorite. I loved how Isla was real. She was uncertain, insecure, obsessive, jealous. What makes a character more authentic? When they are flawed. And Isla Martin is a flawed individual. The portrayal of these emotions is what made me love her as I saw a little of myself reflecting back at me.

Isla has been in love with Josh Wasserstein for years, and after a summer evening, Josh becomes a constant part of her life. At first, Isla is shy around Josh. She doesn’t know how to act nor does she know how to speak to him. She is tongue-tied as the boy she has watched from afar slowly, but surely falls in love with us Isla, too.

But sometimes, the past cannot be easily forgotten. Insecurities surface when ex-girlfriends are involved. Isla’s reaction is so relatable, it is all-consuming, and for those who have experienced the doubt that arises from your significant other’s past, it is also too familiar. I couldn’t help but feel Isla’s pain, especially when she breaks down later in the book; when she truly believes that she cannot be loved.

I cried for a good half hour and as Isla’s heart broke, mine did, too.

I am getting a little ahead of myself. Isla’s story is not all about heartbreak as it is predominantly a happy and feel good story about love, falling in love, and knowing the difference in true love. It is also about taking risks, and if there is anything that Josh teaches Isla, it is that. In these risks, Isla finds herself. She is uncertain of what to study in college, of where to go to college, of what she wants to do with her life. These uncertainties, these fears are real. There are those people in life who know what they want to do, who have a set map of where life will look like, but then there are others like Isla who are lost. And there is nothing wrong with that. Those who are uncertain find their way, their Right Way.

The romance was heartwarming, and again, I couldn’t help but sob uncontrollably at the end. It wasn’t sad…it was the most romantic declaration of love I’ve ever experienced from a fictional world. I loved Josh. I loved Isla. I loved our beloved characters who made a cameo in this novel. It was perfect. Absolutely beautiful. I urge you to read this final installment, and if you have reservations to read it, please read it anyway because it is a true and authentic portrayal of love. The good. The bad. And everything in between.


Book Review: Keeping the Distance (Iloilo #1) by Clarisse David

Keeping the Distance (I Heart Iloilo, #1)Author: Clarisse David

Publisher: Self

Release date: February 6, 2017

Purchase from Amazon


No bets. No fake relationships. Just a very real one that has to be kept under wraps.

Seventeen-year-old Melissa wants to dye her hair cotton candy pink and focus on her ukulele instead of Physics. But she can’t. As the daughter of a Catholic school principal, living up to her model student image 24/7 is a must. Something’s about to give under all the pressure. She only hopes it isn’t her.

Getting involved with a troublemaking basketball player is the last possible thing she needs…

Lance is used to getting what he wants. With a pretty face he uses to full advantage and his role as co-captain of the basketball team, the easy way is the only way he’s ever known. Until the day he notices the prim Melissa he’s known forever is actually hot and decides to ask her out. He has no idea he’s about to learn the lesson of a lifetime.

Not getting what he wants might exactly be what he needs…

I was instantly captivated by David’s artfully crafted narrative of two teens who are polar opposites, hate one another, yet, find common ground. Crafting a prank war with each other and landing in detention is only the beginning for Melissa and Lance. These two will have you swooning with their witty banter, laughs, and unbelievable heartwarming moments.

The thing I loved most was how authentic her characters are. For instance, Mel loves cola-slurpees! SLURPEES. I wanted one as I read these two star-crossed lovers find their way towards each other.

Mel’s cola-slurpee obsession isn’t the only thing I loved about her. I also loved how beautifully aesthetic she is. She loves girly things like pink shirts with clouds on them and fishtail braids. I would instantly be Mel’s friend and ask her to teach me how to be a radiant and mystical beauty like her. She is fierce and loyal and also conscious of her actions. Near the end, there is this scene where Mel is brave and makes a very public apology and I just *sigh* YOU GO GIRL. YOU GO.

Aside from the romance (which I will get to in a bit!), I also loved her relationships with her best friend and family. Cam, Mel’s best friend, is an avid supporter of Mel’s musical talent like an amazing best friend should! Cam is also a savvy girl with a camera who loves everything photography and video recording. There’s this one instance where Mel’s mom (who is an excellent baker btw) comments on Cam’s skills as she needs a new FB profile picture 😛 Then, there is this other moment where she threatens Lance in a very comical way 😉

The biggest obstacle in Mel’s life is her father. He is the principal of her school and has high expectations that obscure Mel’s own will and desires. He is also over-protective – the kind of father who wants you to call every hour. It is a heartfelt moment when Mel confronts her dad. It made me cry because I am a sucker for well-written father-daughter moments.

Then, there is Lance. I loved how he grew as the story progressed. He went from this shallow guy who dated girls that he didn’t care for to a guy who falls in love with the unlikeliest of people. There’s nothing I love more than character growth and he (along with Melissa) grew exceptionally well and in all the right times. He cares so much and his actions show it.

I wonder if they’ll be featured in the next installment of this series. God. I hope so! *Clarisse if you read this…PLEASE. I NEED SOME MORE MEL AND LANCE*

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Looking for a sweet romance? Then, look no further! Keeping the Distance is right up your ally with mischief pranks, hate-to-love romance, and secretive rendezvous.


My Favorite Reads in 2016

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2016 was a better year for me when it came to reading! I surpassed my small goal of 25 books for the year, ending at 28! I’m a pretty proud penguin for that accomplishment. I read two adult fiction books, poetry, and NA. I also explored diverse reads written by incredible #ownvoices authors. As for the books I read, I pretty much loved everything I got my hands on. I’m easily pleased so picking just 6 favorites was a challenge.

So, without further ado here are my favorite reads in 2016:


My reading goal for 2017 is to read more #diversereads, to keep on stepping out of my comfort zone, and to explore all the wonder and imaginative worlds that are out there for the taking!

I’m going to push myself to read 50 books next year. The trouble is finding the right balance 😉

I hope you all had a great reading year! What are some of your favorite reads of 2016? Let me know in the comments below!

Much love always,


Book Review: Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Love & GelatoAuthor: Jenna Evans Welch

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Release date: May 3, 2015

Purchase from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.


Love & Gelato was an abundance of sweetness, adventure, heartbreak, and even more sweetness. From the beginning, I was thrown a huge curve ball filled with heartache and sympathy for Lina. Hadley, Lina’s mother, is diagnosed with terminal cancer – her world is turned upside down when Hadley delves into stories of a man named Howard who lives in Italy. We quickly learn that Howard is Lina’s father and it is Hadley’s last wish for Lina to go to Italy and get to know the man who has been absent from her life for seventeen years. Lina’s life changes in Italy by startling revelations, friendships, and a budding romance.

I’ve been loving all the contemporaries that have fallen into my hands. Love & Gelato is one of them. I loved Lina as a stubborn, cautious, and running enthusiast. Her mother’s death is still raw and I liked how it was portrayed. It isn’t easy to move on and I just…liked that Lina encompassed that grief well without hindering the will to live. In its own way…it is a beautiful thing. I also love how Lina is so cold towards Howard and steadily warms up to him as the story progresses. Her feelings towards her father are aligned to how Hadley “see’s” him.

Now, you may be wondering why I put quotation marks around “see’s.” Well, things aren’t always how they seem and Lina figures that out on her adventures through Italy.

The journal that her mother left Lina spurs her into action to see Italy as Hadley had experienced it when she was younger. It is through the journal that she sees the romance between Hadley and her father unfold. The journal also brings her new friend, Ren, on the adventure! I love love loved the incorporation of the journal in the novel. It was a story within a story and I enjoyed the glimpses of Hadley’s life and how it affected Lina.

Opposite of Lina was Ren, the half-American/half Italian boy she meets and grows fond of. Ren is quirky, sweet, and adorable. He was an unexpected character in both friendship and romance. Speaking of unexpected characters – Howard was too. He didn’t act like a repentant father, but it didn’t make me hate him. In fact, I liked him a lot. He often tried to explain the situation, but Lina pushed him away until she was ready for the truth.

And boy does that truth hit you like a semi-truck.

Lastly, that ending. I cried. Literal tears of just happiness 🙂

All in all, Love & Gelato is a sweet contemporary novel with a bit of heartbreak entwined. It’s a story that heavily relies on voice and if you love Lina, just like I did, you’ll love her adventure in Italy!


Book Review: I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Gretchen McNeil

Author: Gretchen McNeil

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Release date: October 18, 2016

Format: Hardcover, 352

Purchase from Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Beatrice Maria Estrella Giovannini has life all figured out. She’s starting senior year at the top of her class, she’s a shoo-in for a scholarship to M.I.T., and she’s got a new boyfriend she’s crazy about. The only problem: All through high school Bea and her best friends Spencer and Gabe have been the targets of horrific bullying.

So Bea uses her math skills to come up with The Formula, a 100% mathematically guaranteed path to social happiness in high school. Now Gabe is on his way to becoming Student Body President, and Spencer is finally getting his art noticed. But when her boyfriend Jesse dumps her for Toile, the quirky new girl at school, Bea realizes it’s time to use The Formula for herself. She’ll be reinvented as the eccentric and lovable Trixie—a quintessential manic pixie dream girl—in order to win Jesse back and beat new-girl Toile at her own game.

Unfortunately, being a manic pixie dream girl isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and “Trixie” is causing unexpected consequences for her friends. As The Formula begins to break down, can Bea find a way to reclaim her true identity and fix everything she’s messed up? Or will the casualties of her manic pixie experiment go far deeper than she could possibly imagine?


I didn’t really know what to expect from I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Within the first three chapters I was inwardly groaning to myself: Ugh…not another cliche high school hierarchy story. After those three chapters and the explanation of what exactly a manic pixie dream girl is…well, I was hooked. 

The main protagonist, Bea “Trixie” Giovanni, is an incredibly smart, sassy, and stubborn biracial filipina on the brink of a unique and creative experiment. Her love for math helps her concoct a formula using applied math to real life. Her reasons for this experiment is to help her best friends Gabe and Spencer deflect bullying and to climb the social ladder in their senior year of high school. Bea’s reasons to use the formula on herself is to win her ex-boyfriend back from the clutches of Toile, the epitome of a manic pixie dream girl. Well, at least it starts out that way.

Bea’s personality greatly shifts throughout the story, which gets kudos from me. It is important for the character to grow and flourish rather than stagnant. No one wants to read about a character who is too set in their ways. I love the moments of clarity for Bea like when she realizes what her intentions have become by using the formula and the matters of her heart.

One of my favorite things (which in truth is becoming a thing I look for in books) is the amount of diversity. You’ve got a non-white strong female lead, a gay supporting character who does not die and is used as a sympathetic tool for main character, endearing portrayal of LGBT romance, and a romantic interest that is not part of the jocktocracy, i.e. not popular or is in a sport.  I loved Bea so much that I could honestly say I’d like to be friends with her. She is the kind of girl that likes to keep to herself, that loves math so much that she lives and breathes it. Her friends accept her for who she is just like she accepts them. There are a handful of times where Spencer tells Bea that she does not need to change for anyone, much less a guy who is fickle. #friendshipgoals

Then, there is Gabe who is just FABULOUS. I really like how McNeil addressed the stereotypical tropes of a gay young man, but also stayed true to Gabe’s true personality and wishes apart from the formula that made him a star. The portrayal of gay romance is also sweet, highlighting that love is never easy no matter what gender is preferred.

Lastly, the last character of this lovely platonic triangle is Spencer. There aren’t enough words for Spencer other than:

Spencer is the kind of guy we all want. The guy who values a girl’s worth and doesn’t demand change just to suit his needs. He is artsy, smart, and stubborn yeah, there are times Bea and Spencer butt heads. He is the voice of reason throughout the story. And boy, I wish Bea would have listened to him sooner. She could have avoided a lot of the mess created by the formula. But hey, if she didn’t make them…well, we wouldn’t have had such a whirlwind of a story!

This book also highlights feminism (the good kind), family relationships/dynamics, and what it means to be yourself. It is an outstanding hoorah! and is sure to fill you with unbelievable happiness and empowerment. I’m pretty sure my face was plastered in a goofy smile 89% of the time while I read.

Check out my Goodreads for a play-by-play reaction of this book!


Book Review: Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz

Author: Melissa de la Cruz

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Release date: October 4, 2016

Format: Hardcover, 432 pages

Purchase from Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Jasmine de los Santos has always done what’s expected of her. Pretty and popular, she’s studied hard, made her Filipino immigrant parents proud and is ready to reap the rewards in the form of a full college scholarship.

And then everything shatters. A national scholar award invitation compels her parents to reveal the truth: their visas expired years ago. Her entire family is illegal. That means no scholarships, maybe no college at all and the very real threat of deportation.

For the first time, Jasmine rebels, trying all those teen things she never had time for in the past. Even as she’s trying to make sense of her new world, it’s turned upside down by Royce Blakely, the charming son of a high-ranking congressman. Jasmine no longer has any idea where—or if—she fits into the American Dream. All she knows is that she’s not giving up. Because when the rules you lived by no longer apply, the only thing to do is make up your own.


Something in Between is what I needed after a tough week in the U.S. It tells a compelling and realistic story of an undocumented teen and how her status affects her future, the view of herself, and ultimately the resolve to fight. As a daughter of immigrants, I could relate to Jasmine and her family in a way that is unparalleled to any other character I ever read. My parents had to file and wait for citizenship, a process that isn’t easy just as Jasmine discovered throughout the story.

There are countless of stories that mirror Jasmine’s in real life. For those of us who are natural-born citizens, it is easy to forget that we are privileged – that we have an abundance of opportunities compared to our undocumented counterparts. Life Jasmine’s family – the reason they left the Philippines was to seek a better life full of endless possibilities and opportunity.

The rawness and authenticity of this story pulled at my heart and I cried. I am crying as I write this. I had a bucket full of empathy for Jasmine and her situation. I also really loved how she handled the hurdles that were thrown her way. This is contemporary and it has fluff, but it also heavily conveys the issues of immigration, identity, stereotypes, and the oppression of minority groups in the U.S.

Melissa de la Cruz weaved all these issues in the story seamlessly. She didn’t push her views down my throat, rather, she demonstrated it through Jasmine. Because of her “illegal” status, Jasmine began to question who she was, letting the fear of not having a paper that said she was a citizen contradict her feeling of being American. She also wondered how she would be treated by her race because she did not speak Tagalog (her native Filipino tongue) fluently. Lastly, the oppression of minority groups is seen in the story’s antagonist, Mason Blakely. Jasmine is targeted by his racist remarks.

As the story still lies in the realm of contemporary, there was a budding romance that made my heart melt – that gave me light. Royce Blakely isn’t your typical male protagonist. He is Mexican-American, dyslexic, and unbelievably adorable. He is charming without being arrogant. He is sweet without being obsessive. He is everything that Jasmine doesn’t need, but wants anyway. THAT is love. I love how they aren’t dependent on each other to live. There are also some definitely swoon-worthy moments that you’ll definitely have to see for yourself!

Then, there is an overwhelming amount of support – not just within Jasmine’s family, and they are pretty much a family I’d love to be a part of! but also regarding her peers. I think that’s an important idea to portray. A person should be judged by their character and not by the color of their skin, status, gender, ect.

Lastly, one of my favorite things about Something in Between were the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. They inspired me to never give up and to act. I cannot sit idly, while the world around me is in chaos.

This is one of those reads that you have to read – to gain knowledge and understanding of a facet within immigration. If you’re wondering what happens to Jasmine and her family, well…that’s something I am unwilling to give away 😛 Something in Between will stay with me for a long time and I will always remember how it gave me an insight on immigration and Filipino culture.

My friend Sue @ Hollywood New’s Source wrote a beautifully detailed review of this novel. She further analyzes the topics I listed and gives textual evidence.

As for me, I give this lovely read…

addy5starUntil next time,


Adapted for Film Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway!

Why hello there my lovely people of the interwebs! Today I have an excerpt from Stacey Rourke’s new contemporary novel, Adapted for Film. If you like what you read be sure to grab a copy of the book at the links provided below! All information about the book, author, and GIVEAWAY will also be listed afterwards. Happy Reading! 🙂


“I think I get it. If a butterfly were to land on you, its touch would be so delicate that you would wonder if it had really happened at all, or if it was merely your mind fantasizing that such a rare beauty would honor you with the gift of their touch.”

A gorgeous man uttering such poetry temporarily short circuited my brain. Catching myself doing the slack-jawed fan-girl thing, I quickly snapped my mouth shut and averted my gaze to a nonthreatening cement turtle by the edge of the gazebo.

“Yep,” I muttered to the turtle. “I think you’ve got it.”

Unfortunately for my last remaining shred of dignity, Greyson wasn’t done with his tutorial. He closed the distance between us with a burning hunger blazing in his eyes. A hot flush rose in my cheeks, creeping clear up to my earlobes as his sculpted body skimmed against mine. Toned, rigid perfection only a few thin layers of fabric away …

“What are you doing?” My voice failed me, coming out in a raspy yelp.

“Making sure I’ve got this right.” Temptation, of the most carnal variety, emanated off of him. His focused gaze followed the curve of my lips, the lift of one brow promising toe-curling fun.

It had been a really long time since someone had looked at me like that. Much less one of the sexiest men on the planet. That almost never happened.

“Aiden wouldn’t grab Paige, wouldn’t pull her to him.” Raising one hand, he traced the length of my arm with two fingers.

Starting at my wrist, he worked his way up. His skin never actually made contact, but whispered over mine in an electrifying rush that rolled and built. Bowing his head, his silky locks tickled my cheek. Hot breath teased over my collarbone, awakening a need so powerful my hands curled into tight fists at my sides. Agonizingly slow, he raised his head. The blissful torment of his lips teased over mine, setting the veil of energy between us alive with desire.

“He wouldn’t want to crush her lips with his need,” he murmured against my mouth, “but would wait … patiently for her to close that last … remaining … space.”

Despite our audience, it took every ounce of willpower I had to fight the urge to rise up on tiptoe and let my lips find his in a moment of blissful rapture that would make my eyes roll back and the heavens sing. Before that bothersome whim could stomp down the last of my common sense, I stumbled back a step and inserted some much needed distance between us.

I took great pleasure in seeing Greyson as flushed and ruffled as I was. “Yeah, that was … good,” I panted. “I think you got it.”


Aubrey Evans is living every author’s dream; her sizzling romance novel is being turned into a blockbuster film. She would be celebrating this momentous event, if she wasn’t busy fighting over every tiny production detail with the maddeningly cavalier director, Kole Camden.

When news of their heated rivalry hits the gossip columns, drastic measures must be taken to save their sinking project. In an elaborate PR hoax, she is publicly linked to Greyson Meyers, the swoon-worthy star of her movie. A whirl-wind love affair is staged for the couple to mirror the steamy chapters of her own books.

Can the introverted author resist the charms of Hollywood’s sexiest leading man? Or will love find her in the City of Angels? — Goodreads

Adapted for Film is available to purchase from Amazon.

P.S. I think the cover is gorgeous! Good job graphic designer! Many kudos to you 🙂


RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel

Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012

Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013

Stacey Rourke lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant, dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction  and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. Mark your calendars! Her latest literary adventure, Crane, will release May 26, 2014. She is currently hard at work on the continuations of this thrilling Legends Saga, as well as other literary projects.

Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win:
–A signed copy of Adapted For Film (US only)
–A DVD of P.S. I Love You (US only)
–A swag pack full of goodies (US only)
–An ebook copy of Adapted For Film (INTL)–$5 Amazon gift card (INTL)
Giveaway ENDS March 19. Good luck! May the odds be ever in your favor!
Special thanks to Giselle over at Xpresso Book Tours for organizing this tour! Giselle you are the seriously the BEST<3
Xpresso Book Tours

Book Review: Almost Loved by Mira Toria

Author: Mira Toria

Publisher: Mira Toria

Release date: March 6, 2015

Purchase from Amazon


Falling in love is easy.

After Bradley, Lyris is convinced that love is temporary and the repercussions are permanent, but everything changes when she meets Hale. Falling in love with him begins as something tumultuous and unexpectedly effortless despite her resistance.

Lyris loves him.
Hale loves her.
Staying in love is hard.

As their pasts start to surface, how hard will they fight to stay together? Her ex holds a piece of her heart and he won’t give up without a fight – but that might not be necessary. Hale has a secret of his own that is enough to threaten everything before it even begins.

This isn’t just a love story.
This is their story.


Please stay tune at the end for the Almost Loved Release Day Party info!

I was kindly asked to be one of the first readers for Mira’s debut novel. It was quite an honor as I had previously read the first few chapters on Wattpad and remember adoring the story! I was ecstatic and impressed by Almost Loved, a love story but not just your typical love story. Lyris and Hale both have reasons to stay away from each other, to stay away from falling in love. But it seems like fate has a different idea.

One of the many aspects of the story that I loved was the writing. I was easily swept away by the description and the dialogue. I love witty dialogue! I couldn’t help but laugh and swoon and want to cry. Along with the dialogue was the great character dynamics. You have to have good character dynamics in order to have good dialogue. The two correlated like peanut butter and jelly. I absolutely adored Lyris and Evey’s relationship. It reminded me of my relationship with my best friend and to me that is authenticity. It brought a smile to my face whenever I read about the two, teasing each other and telling each other things that the other needed to hear.

Aside from the male protagonist (we’ll get to him in a bit), there were secondary characters that added a certain sweetness and reality to the story. Like West and Leon, Evey’s boyfriend and Lyris’ friend, who added their own kind of quriks to the novel. West and Leon were protective, both in different ways. They were also loyal and witty. West particularly made me laugh more than once out loud. I realize that I’m talking about these characters like they are real. But you don’t realize how very real they were to me because the author made it so.

Then, there was Hale. Ah, Hale. You are my new book boyfriend. It is unbelievable how he made me giddy with his undeniable charming self. He was strong and persevered. He was also honest from the start as the past constantly surfaced. I won’t say more than that as I don’t want to spoil you! I like how Hale tried, how he was willing to put his past aside in order to give his blossoming relationship with Lyris a chance.

This isn’t your typical “boy meets girl” story or a typical romantic comedy. How can I explain it? It’s a love story, where both parties are desperately trying to figure out what to do and how to move forward in hopes to finding a love that is real – truer than their past relationships. To me, that is a great message to have realized while reading. Most people don’t realize that they can find love again even when they think it’s quite impossible.

Lastly, you have your leading lady, Lyris. She is so easy to relate to. She’s been hurt (as many of us have been) when it comes to an ex-boyfriend. We see her struggle and slowly begin to evolve from the woman she is at the start of the story to the woman she ends up to be. It’s a beautiful evolution that is wonderfully written. I also love her voice. It made the story far more interesting because of amazing narration!

I didn’t just adore Almost Loved. I loved Almost Loved. There was no almost about it. But don’t just take my word for it, give this story a shot. It’s currently 99 cents on Amazon! That is a steal for a uniquely woven tale of finding love again.

Almost Loved gets a well deserved…5 cupcakes!


Almost Loved Release Day Party Information

Courtesy of the Malice Girls, there is a release party being held in honor of Mira Toria and her debut novel, Almost Loved on Facebook. It is tomorrow, Saturday, March 7, 2015. Come and join on the fun as the hosts give away bookish prizes like ebooks, bookmarks, ect.

Click here to RSVP to the event! Hope to see you there! ❤



Author: Kody Keplinger

Publisher: Little Brown/Poppy

Release date: September 7, 2010

Purchase from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository


Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.


WHEN I First Read

I first read this in May of 2012. It was one of the first books I read when I joined Goodreads and became an avid reader.

WHAT I Remember

After being deemed the DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) by the school’s hottest boy, Bianca can’t stop thinking about the word and what it means. Then, she gets involved with that same boy as a form of distraction to mask the pain at home.

WHY I Wanted To Re-Read

The book turned movie adaptions was release earlier this month and I make it a habit to read or reread the book if I am going to see the movie. I’m actually going to see the movie tomorrow with some friends! I’ve heard the message of the book to movie is quite different, but overall it is still a good book to movie adaptation. We shall see!

HOW I Felt After Re-Reading

I really liked it overall. I can certainly see that my feelings have changed from when I was a seventeen year old girl. I still very much liked the message behind the story – that we are all DUFFS. We all feel like we are the least likeable and least attractive of our circle of friends. What that generally means is that we all have flaws and we perceive ourselves harsher than someone else would. As long as you surround yourself with positive, loving people your circle of the world will be okay.

WOULD I Re-Read Again

I don’t think I will be picking this up again. I will always remember the meaning the book gave to my seventeen year old self and the lesson I’ve remembered now, but it’s not something I would like to spend time reading again. It’s good, but definitely not one of my all time favorites.

Cover Reveal: Flirting With Love (Lovelly #1.5) by Clara Stone + Excerpt!

Hello lovely people of the interwebs! I am here to bring you the cover reveal of Clara Stone’s new novel, Flirting With Love, the follow up to Forever Kinda Love – which I reviewed last year right here! Flirting With Love hits shelves on March 6, 2015. You bet my little tush will be pre-ordering this baby.

So….ready for cover reveal?



Hudson Lovelly leads a charmed life-successful career, loving family, beautiful wife. And on the eve of his daughter’s birth, he’s counting his blessings. Life wasn’t always so generous . . .

Seventeen-year-old Blake never expected to fall for the pretentious, golden-haired boy on the opposing debate team. But she soon learns that looks can be deceiving, and not all men exist to disappoint. When a harmless prank starts to turn into something more, she discovers that sometimes, all it takes is a little Hope for love to find it’s way.

The day she walks into his life, exploding on the scene like a firecracker, is the day eighteen-year-old Hudson knows everything is about to change. Quick-witted, Blake is a prankster with a heart of gold, ensnaring him more than any girl ever has. He’ll do anything to be with her, even if it means pretending.

But when danger threatens Blake, he can’t conceal his growing affection. Pretending is no longer an option. They never planned for their friendship to grow into a love story. But it did. This powerful companion to Forever Kinda Love tells the history of Hudson and Blake’s love. Laced with haunting emotion and beautiful sentiment, this is a tale about overcoming even the darkest moments, reminding us all to love more. Give more.

Without regrets.


I nod and study each of them, until my glance lands on Golden Boy. I narrow my eyes, glaring at him in the scariest way I can muster. At least, I hope so anyway.

He stares back, the earlier smile completely vanished. He jumps to his feet and saunters forward. I gulp, feeling uncertainty stirring in the pit of my stomach, and my palms sweat from nerves. I don’t know if it’s because of his godly good looks, the fact he’s towering well over six feet on my five foot seven inches height, or because I can’t read his all too calming features, but suddenly, I feel like coming over here wasn’t my best idea.

I watch him as he approaches, slow and confident, like a lion unconcerned by the presence of a cheetah. His pressed, white button-up shirt stretches across his chest, and the loose tie around his neck hangs over his unbuttoned collar. His expression is stoic, but there’s something in his hazel eyes that makes me feel awkward and on display. He doesn’t exactly scream “bad boy,” but I know there’s something in him that sizzles just under the surface, a wildness.

He runs his fingers over his perfectly-combed, golden locks and extends his hand for a handshake, the tendons on his forearm popping below his rolled up sleeve. I stare at his arm and blink.

“Pleasure to meet you,” he says. His voice is incredibly warm, amused.

When I look up at him, his lips stretch wide in a wicked grin that shines right to his eyes. I feel light on my feet, like I’m on cloud nine or something.

“Hudson, Blake. Blake, Hudson,” Hope introduces us, reminding me that we aren’t alone.

“Blake,” Hudson says, like he’s tasting my name on his tongue. “That’s an odd name for a girl. Don’t you think, Hope?”

That brings me back to earth and lands me on my butt—figuratively speaking, of course.

“Hudson!” Hope squeals disapprovingly, backhanding him across his chest.

I glare sharply at him, thinning my lips. “Remember this moment, Golden Boy. Because karma is mighty pissed, and she pays back with interest.”

I don’t give either of them a chance to respond before I pivot and head back toward my teammates.

Wesley meets me halfway and leans down, asking, “What did you say to them? He looks like he got hit by lightning.”

I throw a glance over my shoulder and smile at the stunned expression on Hudson’s face. Good. When I turn back to Wesley, the rest of the team has caught up to us. “It’s time to bring out the big guns. You guys up for it?”

Murmurs fill the air, almost all in agreement, until Wesley speaks.

“We can’t risk getting caught, Blake.”

I grin. “Oh, trust me, there’s no way we’re getting caught.”

Excitement fizzles around us as the team starts to throw out ideas. Golden Boy and the other stuck-up douche-nuts won’t know what hit them.


I am so ready to have a finished copy in my hands! I love love LOVE the cover! It is positively lovelly 😉