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

synopsis

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…

 SPOILERS MAY LIE AHEAD DEARIES. YOU HAVE BEEN WARN.
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.

 addy5star

Cover Reveal: The Paths We Choose by Maria Hollis

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Happy Friday lovely people of the interwebs! Today I bring you the cover reveal for Maria Hollis’s new novella, The Paths We Choose. It is contemporary and sounds mysterious – which is right up my alley!

So are you ready to see this beauty?

3…2…1…TADA!

big-cover-the-paths-we-chooseSYNOPSIS

Lily Ferrari enjoys having control over every detail of her life. Ever since she left her parents’ house to gain her freedom, she decided to fully own her autonomy. But an unexpected visit from her little brother may change the path she chooses to follow.

Add to that a casual fling with the bright architect Mayte González, and Lily’s summer is turning out more interesting than she expected. It certainly beats the routine of working extra shifts at Johnson’s Bookstore.

A few weeks before her college life begins, Lily needs to figure out if she’s wrong about the past or if she should continue to protect her heart at all costs.

Sometimes moving forward is only possible if you have the right people by your side.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

M. Hollis could never decide what to do with her life. From the time she was a child, she has changed her ideas for a career hundreds of times. After writing in hidden notebooks during classes and daydreaming during every spare moment of her day, she decided to fully dedicate herself to her stories. When she isn’t scrolling around her social media accounts or reading lots of femslash fanfiction, you’ll find her crying about female characters and baking cookies.

Keep up to date with Maria:
Add The Paths We Choose to your TBR !!
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I am so excited to dive right into this one! The cover is so PINK. I love it! You don’t usually see pink covers out in the world and I just love it’s brightness and prettiness 🙂 What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!
Love always,
Emma

Cover Reveal + Giveaway: Keeping the Distance by Clarisse David

banner-lolas-blog-toursHello lovelies! Today is the cover reveal for Keeping the Distance by Clarisse David. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. This cover is designed by Daniel Tinagan and wow! he did an amazing job with the typography and capturing a sweet moment between the models. I just love this (the cover and the book) so much and I know you will, too!

So without further ado…

keeping-the-distanceKeeping the Distance (I Heart Iloilo #1)

By Clarisse David

Genre: Romance

Age category: Young Adult

Release Date: February 6, 2017

SYNOPSIS

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.

You can find Keeping the Distance on Goodreads and you can pre-order Keeping the Distance here.

Believe me, you don’t want to miss out on this incredibly sweet read! It will have you swooning!

About the Author:

clarisse-davidClarisse David is a Young Adult and New Adult author from the land of epic heat waves a.k.a. the Philippines. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and cannot survive without Taylor Swift songs, red lipstick, and books. When not hanging out on Twitter, she can be found working on her latest writing project.

Stay up to date with Clarisse:

Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Newsletter | Pinterest | Twitter | Website |

GIVEAWAY

  • One winner will win an ebook copy of Keeping the Distance by Clarisse David and an ebook of their choice from #romanceclass. See the whole list of #romanceclass books here:
  • 2 winners will each win an ebook copy of Keeping the Distance.

For a chance to win, enter a Rafflecopter giveaway.

May the odds be ever in your favor.
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What do you think of Keeping the Distance? Will you be pre-ordering it? I highly recommend it! I finished reading it this weekend and OMG:

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Stay groovy,

Emma

My Most Anticipated Reads of 2017

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There are so many wonderfully diverse, epic, and beautiful stories being released this year and I can hardly contain my excitement! I want to be BLOWN away by everything that my hands can get a hand on. I want to fall in love with characters and uniquely explored worlds. I want to be utterly shocked by stunning revelations. I want it all! I’m hoping that these lovely reads will do just that 😉

January

The Bear and the Nightingale: Russian fairytales? Yes, please! Now!

By Your Side: #autobuy I’m a sucker for a Kasie West contemporary. They are swoon-worthy!

February

Empress of a Thousand Skies: A beautiful sci-fi space adventure. I haven’t read one in so long. Bring it on!

We Are Okay: A story of loss and heartbreak. I loved Nina’s Everything Leads to You so I’m positive I’ll love this one, too!

The Hate U Give: An #ownvoices insight to the #BLM movement. THIS book will change the world, I know it.

The Education of Margot Sanchez: A coming of age story written by a Latinx writer. YAS!

March

The Bone Witch: Necromancy, magic, and witches – all elements that I LOVE.

Strange the Dreamer: Laini Taylor is a goddess and this world is riveting, dangerous, and magical. #autobuy

April

Defy the Stars: Another #autobuy author and a sci-fic novel set in space! Also, look at that gorgeous cover!!

Alex & Eliza: I am utterly obsessed with Hamilton so this is so perfect ❤

May

The Seafarer’s Kiss: A modern retelling featuring f/f romance! Gimmeeee 😛

When Dimple Met Rishi: Diversity reigns again when two Indian-American teens have been arranged to be married. RomCom material = a very happy Emma 😉

Always and Forever, Lara Jean: #autobuy I just love these characters so much and need to know that Lara Jean x Peter stay together!

Eliza and her Monsters: A deeply relatable story about life online and writing fanfiction.

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Are any of these lovely reads on your list? What are you most excited to read this year?

Emma

 

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:

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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,

Emma

Book Review: Prom Queen Perfect by Clarisse Davide

Author: Clarisse Davide

Publisher: self-pub

Release date: July 7, 2016

Format: E-book

Purchase from Amazon

synopsis

Being perfect isn’t supposed to be this hard.

Alex dela Cruz has it all. Looks, money, and a killer sense of style.

When the annoyingly gorgeous Adam Cordero calls her selfish, she decides to prove him wrong by transforming Christy Marquez from an invisible misfit into a ruling princess of Asia Pacific Academy. Great hair? Check. Flawless red lipstick? Check. Instant popularity? A slightly too big check.

But now, Alex is on the brink of losing the plastic tiara she’s supposed to get as prom queen, her best friend, and her heart to the unlikeliest of candidates. Too bad she isn’t letting anything—or anyone—get between her and that tiara.

NO SPOILERS LIE AHEAD. YOU’RE WELCOME.

Prom Queen Perfect was everything I needed in an incredibly sweet and short (to my utter dismay) story about childhood friends turned high school frenemies/sweethearts. I plunged into this novel blindly; not really knowing or expecting how I’d feel. At the end, I felt a WHOLE LOT FOR ALEX AND ADAM.

Alex dela Cruz is that popular girl in high school that everyone hates but wishes to secretly be. She rules Asia Pacific Academy with an iron fist; no one dares to undermine her superiority. Well, except Adam Cordero. Adam is the only one who tells Alex that she is selfish, which sends her into an obsessive spiral of proving him wrong. Her project? Turn Christy Marquez from invisible to popular.

What I liked most about the plot was the fact that yes, it sounds cliche, but it is executed well with stunning metaphors that are unique to Clarisse Davide. The amount of emotion also blew me away as I felt overwhelmingly giddy for Alex in her bouts of clarity over love.

Even though Prom Queen Perfect is abundantly sweet, there are still some issues that Alex overcomes like the estranged bond between her and her mother, what it means to have a best friend, the act of selflessness vs. selfishness, and of course, how it feels to be in love.

I also loved the diverse cast from a diverse author! That was gold and god, soooooo good. I literally devoured this book in one sitting and all I wanted was MOAR.

 

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At 58% I made a note: Slowly falling in love is one of my favorite things to read.

It is. It really is. The relationship between Alex and Adam was everything my little heart desired. I was grinning like the mad Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland. It was that SWEET AND JUST ASDFGHJKL.

I also highly enjoyed the relationship between Christy and Alex. It was an unexpected friendship. It was interesting how their bond grew, broke, and was mended back together as authentically as any friendship in real life.

Prom Queen Perfect is a beautiful, whirlwind of a story about learning to be not-so-perfect and showing the world who the girl behind the facade really is. I truly loved this so much and just want more of Alex, Adam, and Christy in my life.

addy5star

My Dream Bookish Panel

One of my favorite things to do as a lover of books is going to book signings. I love the opportunity of meeting some of my favorite authors and being part of the Q/A that often follows at the end of the introductory and moderator questions. If you’re like me, you often shy away from asking questions that a) are filled with spoilers or b) advice for aspiring writers.

Today, I am here to share with you my dream panel of authors/characters and the questions I’d ask them without the anxiousness that comes from speaking in a crowded room.

Jasmine de los Santos from Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz

img_0254I just finished this lovely read last night and if you’ve read it, you’d know how Jasmine is a strong authentic character who fights in the face of adversity. Jasmine gives us a realistic insight on what it means to be an undocumented teen immigrant in America. She deals with the stereotypes of what it means to be undocumented, college dreams crumbling, and dating. Jasmine handles all of these obstacles with grace. Above all, Jasmine is an excellent student and I want to know how she does it!

Question: What are some of your favorite study tips for success?

Will Herondale from The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare

Oh, Will. My lovely, tormented, sweet boy. Even as the years have passed, you are my all-time fictional boyfriend.fullsizerender If you haven’t read any of Cassandra Clare’s books, I highly recommend them. Will is the epitome of brooding, sarcasm, loyalty, and selflessly. He spent years pushing everyone he loves away because he believed it was the only way to keep them out of harms way. My heart still hurts with all that he had to go through. The two people who offered light in his life were Jem and Tessa, which leads me to…

Question: Do you remember the exact moment you fell in love with Tessa?

Aria and Perry from the Under the Never Sky series by Veronica Rossi

This series is one of my favorite dystopians to-date! The main conflict is man vs. nature rather than rebelling against a society. Aria and Perry challenge one another and realize that what they believe of their world (dwellers vs. savages) isn’t always true. The romance between the pair is definitely swoon-worthy, too! Lastly, the friendship they have with Roar, respectively, is #squadgoals

Question: In one word, describe what it meant finding the Still Blue.

Rachel Caine, Claudia Gray, and Richelle Mead: Vampire Talk!

All these ladies wrote some series ass-kicking female heroines who are vampires and/or fought against them. Some of my questions would delve into their vampire world, respectively, and if they had a female pop culture icon as a model for their heroine. Most of all, I want to know…

Question: Which is your favorite vampire novel and did it inspire your 
own vampire story?

Libba Bray: Strong Heroines

The Gemma Doyle trilogy is severely underrated in YA, but it is one of my favorite urban fantasies in existence. It rivals my love for Cassandra Clare’s writing. Bray writes a multitude of strong heroines in coming-of-age novels. Her female characters flourish and find out who they are and what they can do to change their fate. Love isn’t a central plot device in this series, which makes it that much more empowering.

Question: Who was your favorite character to write?

J.K Rowling: Unforgettable Characters

Image result for the golden trio fan artMy dream author/character panel would not be complete without the mention of J.K. Rowling. The Golden Trio is the kind of friendship I admire; through thick and thin. If you are like me, you’ve probably grown up with Harry and company, wished you’d have received a Hogwarts letter, and secretly desire to be a witch/wizard. Even if you didn’t grow up with Harry, Hermoine, and Ron – their story is widely known all around the world and it is one that fills you with childhood nostalgia.

Question: If you could rewrite one character’s story cough Snape’s cough
who would you choose? 

Thank you all so much for joining me on this adventure! One day I would love to be a moderator if I can get over my fear of public speaking! I would like to give special thanks to Eventbrite for inspiring this post idea. Eventbrite is one of the largest self-service ticketing platform in the world that helps people find and plan events. If you ever need to plan your own bookish conference or find one near you – it is definitely worth checking out!

Who is in your dream bookish panel?

I choose you! Yes, really! If you decide to write your own dream bookish panel post, make sure to leave me a link in the comments below! I’d love to check it out!

With love always,

Emma