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Sunday, December 6, 2015

[DNF REVIEW] Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Firsts

Author: Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Genre: YA Contemporary
ARC Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Expected Publication: January 5th 2016 by St. Martin's Griffin
Pre-order from: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble
Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time-the kind Mercedes never had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy - so far. Her mother isn't home nearly enough to know about Mercedes' extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won't even say the word "sex" until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn't bank on Angela's boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn - or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes' perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her own reputation -and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, Firsts is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.

Rating


My thoughts

*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to St. Martin's Press and Netgalley!*


DNF at 49%

My main issue is the main character, Mercedes. I just couldn't take her anymore. I don't get why she does what she does. I mean, Girl, what do you care if people don't get a perfect first time? It's not your fucking business! I hate that she keeps on justifying what she does. She says that she wants to stop, yet she doesn't. And for someone who's supposed to be smart, she's kinda stupid for sleeping with some of those guys EVEN WHEN SHE SMELLS SOMETHING FISHY. It's really frustrating! And I find it ironic that those guys who come to her say that they love their girlfriends so much that they want to give them a perfect first time, yet THEY'RE PRACTICALLY CHEATING ON THEM BY SLEEPING WITH MERCEDES.

This book just made my head ache so much that it's a small miracle I even made it to 49%. I'm not even interested to know how it ends.

I always feel bad DNF-ing (Is this a legit word?) a review copy but it just has to be done. I feel I'm just wasting precious time I could have spent on better books. *le sigh* Do you feel me, guys? Did you DNF a book recently? What do you think about not finishing a book?

Friday, November 20, 2015

[ARC REVIEW] This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

This Is Where It Ends

Author: Marieke Nijkamp
Genre: YA Contemporary
ARC Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Expected Publication: January 5th 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire
Pre-order from: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble
10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03
The auditorium doors won't open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

Rating

My thoughts

*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley.*

Sometimes you read a book so heartbreaking that days after you read it, you are still reeling from the deluge of emotions that the book has brought upon you. Sometimes you don't want to even think about it anymore because FEELS! This Is Where It Ends is one of those books. This is not an easy read, and this is not an easy review to write.

First off, I love the diversity of the characters. You get LGBT characters, POCs, and characters with disabilities. (As expected from DiversifYA's founder and We Need Diverse Books' senior VP.) I've always thought having multiple POVs is a huge risk on the part of the author. But in this book, it's quite fitting because we get to see a tragic situation from different perspectives. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

[REVIEW] Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff

Playlist for the Dead

Author: Michelle Falkoff
Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: January 27th 2015 by HarperTeen
Purchase from: Amazon | Book Depository
Part mystery, part love story, and part coming-of-age tale in the vein of The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Spectacular Now.

There was a party. There was a fight. The next morning, Sam's best friend, Hayden, was dead. And all he left Sam was a playlist of songs and a suicide note: For Sam—listen and you'll understand. To figure out what happened, Sam has to rely on the playlist and his own memory. But the more he listens, the more he realizes that his memory isn't as reliable as he thought. And it might only be by taking out his earbuds and opening his eyes to the people around him that he'll finally be able to piece together his best friend's story. And maybe have a chance to change his own.

Playlist for the Dead is an honest and gut-wrenching first novel about loss, rage, what it feels like to outgrow a friendship that's always defined you—and the struggle to redefine yourself. But above all, it's about finding hope when hope seems like the hardest thing to find.

Rating

My thoughts

Lots of people want to be invisible. Maybe they even think they can pretend to be. But someone always sees.
Playlist for the Dead was quite disappointing for me. It's not that the book was bad; I guess I just set such high expectations. I was expecting this book to make me cry since it deals with grief, bullying and suicide. But nope, I was pretty much indifferent to the story. In spite of that, there were still things I liked about the book.

To begin with, I couldn't connect with the main character. I know Sam was having a hard time dealing with his best friend Hayden's suicide, and on top of that, Hayden left him a playlist that would make him understand. Sam's plagued with so much guilt and anger, but I couldn't really sympathize with him. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Weekend Rambling [#7]: My Dream Literary Collection!

Weekend Rambling is where I discuss/rant/ramble about random things, bookish or non-bookish alike. Everyone's welcome to share their thoughts!

How's it going, you guys? What books have you recently added to your collection? I hope they're good! :) Speaking of bookish collection, today I'm going to share with you my own dream literary collection! Or rather, what books I'd love to add to my bookshelf. ;) 

Invaluable.com invited me to browse their huge collection of books up for auction and see if there are ones I'd love to have. And oh boy, I found A LOT! So after browsing 7943 collectible books, maps and manuscripts, (whew! #:-S) I finally found a few ones that I think would be perfect for my collection. (It was really hard to pick just a few because there are really a lot of awesome finds at the website! Go visit Invaluable if you haven't yet!)
Invaluable is the world's largest live auction marketplace, making it easy for people to find what they love at auction.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

[ARC REVIEW] The Yearbook by Carol Masciola

The Yearbook

Author: Carol Masciola
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
ARC Source: Author
Expected publication: November 15th, 2015 by Merit Press/FW Media
Purchase from: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble
Misfit teen Lola Lundy falls asleep in a storage room in her high school library and wakes up to find herself 80 years in the past. The Fall Frolic dance is going full blast in the gym, and there she makes an instant connection with the brainy and provocative Peter Hemmings, class of ’24. His face is familiar, and she realizes she’s seen his senior portrait in a ragged old yearbook in the storage room. By the end of the dance, Lola begins to see a way out of her disastrous Twenty First Century life: She’ll make a new future for herself in the past. But major mental illness lies in Lola’s family background. Has she slipped through a crack in time, or into an elaborate, romantic hallucination based on the contents of an old yearbook?

Rating


My thoughts

*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Carol!*

Carol Masciola's The Yearbook is a compelling read. I don't usually read historical fiction but this one kept my eyes glued to the pages. And time travel! Yay!

First off, I really enjoyed the story. I liked the unpredictability and the mystery surrounding Lola's time travel. It's something she didn't expect and couldn't control, so it's very interesting to read. I would just have wanted to know more about how the 'portal' works, but really, glitches in the matrix are not something you could just wrap your head around. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Teaser Tuesday [#5]: This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nikjamp


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read.
• Open to a random page.
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My teaser




The book

10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03
The auditorium doors won't open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Flavor of the Month: November 2015

Flavor of the Month is a monthly feature here at Books and Insomnia that features new book releases this month.

Happy November, book nerds! Have you all had a good Halloween? Share your candies, will you? Hehee.. What's on your fall TBR? Shall we add some? ^__^

November 2015 New Releases

(Book titles are linked to Goodreads)

November 3rd

All In (The Naturals #3) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Forget Tomorrow by Pintip Dunn
Half Truths (The Half Bad Trilogy) by Sally Green
Hollowgirl (Twinmaker #3) by Sean Williams
How to Be Brave by E. Katherine Kottaras
Lucid Dreaming by Cassandra Page
Manners & Mutiny (Finishing School #4) by Gail Carriger
Need by Joelle Charbonneau
Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird #2) by Claudia Gray
The Conjurer's Riddle (The Inventor's Secret #2) by Andrea Cremer
The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens
The Revolution of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #2) by Amy Engel

Mugs, T-shirts, Iphone cases, Tote bags, Throw Pillows, etc. available at REDBUBBLE!

^