Current Giveaways


Friday, October 30, 2015

[BLOG TOUR: Review + Giveaway] Paper Planes Back Home by Tara Frejas

Welcome to the last day of the Paper Planes Back Home Blog Tour hosted by Bookish Diaries Book Tours! Have you stopped by the other tour stops? There's lots of reviews, excerpts, and Q&A posts all throughout the tour. And people, Paper Planes Back Home is one hell of a contemporary novel! Read my review below to know why I said that! ^__^ And hey, there's also a giveaway so be sure to check that out!

Paper Planes Back Home

Author: Tara Frejas
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Published: February 21, 2015
Purchase from: Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Apple iBooks

When Gianna wakes up on a cloud, she is disoriented yet fascinated. She thinks she's only dreaming until she gets a storm of paper planes—"They're thoughts of people who remember," a man on another cloud tells her—each pleading for her not to leave. The man tells her these planes are the key to get out of there, and while she thinks it's hard to believe, she decides everything is worth trying if it meant finding her way back home.


My thoughts

*I received a free ecopy of this book for the blog tour in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Paper Planes Back Home is a touching story of love, life, second chances, and how our thoughts make a difference. Tara Frejas delivers a remarkable debut novel.

Gianna wakes up on a cloud, which she later realizes as some sort of a limbo. She meets Skylar, another cloud-dweller, who helps her get her bearings and explains to her that the paper planes that she receives are thoughts of the people who remember her. These paper planes are her ticket back home – back to her life and to the man she loves.

The concept of the paper planes as physical manifestations of the thoughts of people around us is very unique and creative. I’ve never read anything like this before and I find it refreshing and different. The story generally has a somber tone but there are also parts that are heartwarming, especially towards the end. And the writing is beautiful! The words have a lyrical quality that feels like both a punch in the gut and a dull, slow ache in the chest.

The characters are interesting enough and I like how they all have their own stories. It’s as much as Anna’s story as it is Gianna’s or Skylar’s or Aaron’s. These four characters all get their moments and it is amazing how the author weaves all their stories together. And I love how the characters feel so real and human. It’s so easy to sympathize with them and a lot of times I found myself wanting to pull them out of my ebook reader and squish them all together in a big hug.

Paper Planes Back Home made me tear up more than a couple of times. I love the story, I love that it made me cry, I love the sad and happy moments, and I love how it ended. The only word I could think of to describe the ending is serendipity. You have to read the book to know why. Highly recommended!

Meet the Author

Tara Frejas is a cloud-walker who needs caffeine to fuel her travels. By day, she works in project management and events, and she writes down her daydreams at night. She began publishing fiction for public consumption in 2004, posting her pieces on various online channels like fan forums and Blogspot, eventually exploring other avenues like Livejournal, Soomp!, Tumblr, and most recently, Wattpad.

Aside from her obvious love affair with words and persistent muses, Tara is very passionate about being caffeinated, musical theatre, certain genres of music, dancing, dogs, good food, and romancing Norae, her ukelele. She owns a 6-month-old male bunny named Max who sometimes tries to nibble on her writing notes.

Paper Planes Back Home is her first novel.


This tour is organized by:

Friday, October 23, 2015

[GIVEAWAY] This Is Where It Ends galleys, chalkboards & chalk!

Guys. GUUUUYSSSS!!!! I recently finished This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp and ohmygosh, TALK TO ME!! *cue flailing and ugly sobs* But I'm going to reserve my feels for my review, which I'm going to post closer to the publication date. Today's post is actually about a giveaway that Sourcebooks Fire is running until November 1.
We are giving away advance copies of This Is Where It Ends along with chalk boards & chalk. Once they’ve read the book, we’re inviting readers to use the chalkboards to express how it made them feel, snap a photo and share on Tumblr, or any of their social networks (tagging with #thisiswhereitends #sourcebooksfire).
-- Sourcebooks Fire

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Teaser Tuesday [#4]: Paper Planes Back Home by Tara Frejas

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:

When Gianna wakes up on a cloud, she is disoriented yet fascinated. She thinks she's only dreaming until she gets a storm of paper planes—"They're thoughts of people who remember," a man on another cloud tells her—each pleading for her not to leave. The man tells her these planes are the key to get out of there, and while she thinks it's hard to believe, she decides everything is worth trying if it meant finding her way back home.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

[REVIEW] Weird by Theresa M. Jones


Author: Theresa M. Jones
Genre: Middle Grade Magical Realism
Published: September 7th 2015
Purchase from: Amazon 
Every time twelve year old Aislin sleeps, she experiences another person’s DREAMS, their hopes or despairs, loves or hates, most fervent dreams, or darkest nightmares. She is weird, a word she hates more than anything else. Though, when her little brother, Luke, the only person in the world who treats her normal, gets into a car accident, her only hope of saving him is her ability to communicate with him while he dreams.

It isn’t until she dreams with Jessica, another coma patient and her best friend’s little sister, that she discovers her chance to save him. After Aislin guides Jessica back to the waking world, she opens her eyes to find her plan gone horribly awry, and Jessica dead.

Devastated, Aislin must find a way to stop dreaming altogether or somehow perfect it, before she kills her brother, too.

While funny and charming, this Middle Grade Novel deals with some serious issues, and provides much for parents and children to discuss.

Some scary situations, bullying, and reality of car accidents make this appropriate for children 6 and older, but may be more appropriate for children 9-13 years old.


My thoughts

*I received a free ecopy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.*
"It's the differences in the world that make anything worthwhile."
Weird was a good kind of weird. While it contains magical realism, this book touches on very real issues on family, friendship, and self-acceptance.

I liked the main character, Aislin. She's not always nice, but she's a loving daughter and sister. I loved how much she wants to save her little brother although she isn't sure what to do. She knows she's different and she hates being called 'weird', but she seems to take it all in stride. It isn't easy for her to experience other people's dreams, but she handles it well. Aislin is a brave kid. And she's a huge bookworm, so bonus points for her. :)
"There was nothing worse than being bored out of your freaking mind and not having a book to read, especially when you're in the middle of a good book, and you just forgot to bring it with you."
The writing did not suit me, though. It somehow felt juvenile, although I'm not sure if it's because this is a Middle-Grade novel and the narrator was a younger teen. I was also quite disappointed because I was expecting this to be some dark and eerie story. I mean, look at the cover! The blood and the teaser were pretty suggestive. The pacing was good, however, and I really liked the story. The twist at the end was a pleasant surprise, too. I only wished Aislin and Zane's friendship was explored more. I absolutely loved that they instantly bonded over books. Hurray for bookish friends!

I don't read a lot of MG novels, but Weird is actually okay. I think what the book is trying to convey is that being weird is not a bad thing, and Aislin was able to realize that. She has a good heart, and that helped her save lives. Perhaps this book would be perfect for younger teens who hate being different and feel like they're outcasts. I hope they would see themselves in Aislin and realize that it's okay to be weird.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

[REVIEW] No Strings Attached by Mina V. Esguerra

No Strings Attached

Author: Mina V. Esguerra
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Published: February 1st 2012 by Summit Media
Purchase from: Amazon
Carla is a whiz at her job: she’s efficient, reliable, and a total genius when it comes to putting something together at the last minute. The snag is she’s single and turning the big three-oh in a few months. Her girl best friend (yes, she’s married just like the other girls in Carla’s barkada) keeps trying to set her up with stable banker-types, while her guy best friend (single – the other single one) encourages her to play the field – no strings attached. Then, through no set up or extraordinary circumstance, Carla meets Dante. Hot, smug, sexy Dante. Definitely not a banker-type and seemingly too good to be true. So there’s got to be a catch. There is. He’s five years younger. Is the universe telling Carla to finally let loose and enjoy a fling with a younger man? Or is there a lot more to this awkward situation that she bargained for?


My thoughts

*I got a free e-copy of this book through InstaFreebie. This did not in any way affect my opinion of the book.*

“Funny what you learn about yourself when something is taken away from you.”

This is my fourth Mina V. Esguerra book and believe me, this won’t be my last. No Strings Attached is hilarious, realistic, light and swoon-worthy. I love this book!

No Strings Attached shows a modern Filipina’s take on love and relationships - that it’s okay to set boundaries and just want to have fun, that it’s okay to get into a relationship because you want to and not because you’re in that “marrying age.” I love Carla’s independence and self-confidence. Despite her friends’ goading for her to find a guy and settle down, she remained indignant and did not give in to the pressure. And when she met Dante, even though she was really attracted to him, Carla was careful and wasn’t impulsive. Smart woman right there.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

[ARC REVIEW] A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

A Thousand Nights

Author: E. K. Johnston
Genre: YA Fantasy
ARC Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Expected Publication: October 6th 2015 by Disney Hyperion
Purchase from: Amazon | Book Depository
Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister's place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin's court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time.But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.


My thoughts

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

Knowing practically zero about Persian folklore, I went into A Thousand Nights with no expectations whatsoever. The good thing about it is that I was able to enjoy this book as it is, and not as a retelling. I have nothing to compare it to since I haven’t read the original story of Scheherazade (from which ATN is based, apparently).

A Thousand Nights, with its lyrical prose and beautiful writing, is an enjoyable read. The pacing is quite slow though, but it matches the story and sets an atmosphere. There’s also less dialogue than I would have liked, but I guess it’s also part of the writing style. I find it unique that only one character has a name – Lo-Melkhiin – and everyone, even the main heroine and narrator, is nameless. I haven’t encountered that before and while it can be confusing and risky (and a little mouthful to say “my father’s father” or “my mother’s sister”), I’d like to commend the author for taking that risk. It gave the book its uniqueness and mystery.

Friday, October 2, 2015

[BOOK BLITZ] Cut by Kathleen Mareé

Remember the guest review of When It Rains by Lisa De Jong posted last week? It was contributed by newbie author Kathleen Mareé and today I'm featuring Kathleen's book on the blog! Her debut novel, Cut, was released yesterday, October 1, so go ahead and congratulate Kathleen! (This is actually supposed to be posted yesterday as a release blitz, but I got home late last night so I wasn't able to post. Sorry, Kathleen!) Read the teasers and an excerpt from her novel below.


Author: Kathleen Mareé
Genre: New Adult
Published: October 1st 2015
Purchase from: Amazon | Kobo | Itunes | Barnes & Noble
"When he is unguarded, he is addictive."

Penelope Price is a young woman who is utterly scarred and broken. She has been Cut.

A nightclub in Sydney leads to a strange encounter with Jay, a musician who at first meeting seems dangerous, but for unknown reasons there is an unconscious draw. The sudden return of her ex, Evan, who is persistent to fill in the reasons for their demise, exposes the shocking truth. Will her wound ever heal?


"Penelope, I have to go."

In a daze I just keep staring, not moving an inch, barely even blinking.

"I want you to tell me that you are alright, before I will leave you," he pleads. Still not really putting coherent thoughts together, I force a smile to my mouth automatically in response and soften my gaze upon his.

Flavor of the Month: October 2015

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

It's October! Three weeks left for this semester!
Although this would still be a helluva three weeks. Bring it on, school! #ChallengeAccepted

Anyways, as usual, here's your monthly Flavor of the Month. I'd say this list is relatively short, but I see books I've been dying to have! Let's get it on!

October 2015 New Releases

(Book titles are linked to Goodreads)

October 1st

This Ordinary Life by Jennifer Walkup

October 6th

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Dreamstrider by Lindsay Smith
It's A Wonderful Death by Sarah J. Schmitt
Romancing the Dark in the City of Light by Ann Jacobus
Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis
The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #1) by Rick Riordan
The White Rose (The Lone City #2) by Amy Ewing
We'll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean

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