I am not a K-Pop person. I tried, a few years ago, but I just couldn't get into it. It was, essentially the same with a* Also posted on It's Time, Ana
I am not a K-Pop person. I tried, a few years ago, but I just couldn't get into it. It was, essentially the same with all things Korean for me. I watch K-dramas when I get into it, sometimes watch the movies, but I'm not into it as my other friends were. (I suppose that if/when I get to South Korea, this will all change, like how I sort of got into a lot of Japanese stuff after I visited Japan. But that's for another thing.) So even if I did join Tara's 소리질러 (Make Some Noise!) Week for Scandalized, I still wasn't sure if I would be able to immerse in it. Granted, there was a band, and I love bands in fiction, but the entire K-Pop thing intimidated me in a way.
But really, I shouldn't have worried because reading Scandalized was a breeze. I loved Tara's other books, so I sort of knew what to expect with her writing, and her newest one didn't disappoint in that area. I loved how real everything felt on the first few pages, and even if I wasn't into the culture, I could clearly imagine Fi and East Genesis Project, and the Amethyst office and Gabriel like they were fully formed characters who decided to settle in my head. There was a certain kind of sincerity in the pages of this book that would capture even a non-K-Pop fan like me.
I loved, loved, loved Fi. Her spirit, her loyalty, and how she handled everything in the novel. And I equally loved Gabriel, too, because he seemed more accessible than the other guy, and because of the peg (Hi, Daniel Henney *swoon*). It was a pleasure reading their scenes together in Manila, and Tara captured the usual touristy stuff that people do when they visit. It took me a while before I got to familiarize myself with the names of the two band members other than Yihwan, but after I got that, I fell in love with Song Minchan. *pinches cheeks* :P I think I must also note that the East Genesis Project website is gold - not just literally! Talk about providing a fuller experience for the readers. :)
Overall, I had a great time reading Scandalized, despite my non-relation to the K-Pop fandom. There were many nuggets of wisdom in the book that could apply in real life, and the book left me with a lot of good vibes when I was done reading. And since this is a series, I think we can look forward to reading more of Fi, Gabe, and the band - yay! I think this can count as my dose of K-Pop? :)
You carry a truth in you. Feel free to burden everyone with it.
I am a sucker for the friend zone. Mostly because I wrote about it, but also because they seem to be the most painful k* Also posted on It's Time, Ana
I am a sucker for the friend zone. Mostly because I wrote about it, but also because they seem to be the most painful kind of unrequited love. You kind of have them, but also, you kind of don't. You love them, and they love you, but also not kind of the way you love them. Painful, yes?
But I also really like guys who make the move, so I declared that I was #TeamShinta when I read the first book in Jay E. Tria's Playlist Series, Songs of Our Breakup. What's not to like about Shinta, anyway? He's a hot Japanese actor (with abs now!) who made the move when it mattered, so yeah, too bad, best friend. But like I said, I have a soft spot for best friends in fiction, so I guess I was also sort of #TeamMiki, but more in the way that I wanted a happy ending for him, too, because he deserved it.
So when I started reading Songs to Get Over You, I was at work. It was Valentine's weekend, and I was on lunch break, waiting for the work event to happen. Two chapters in, I shut my Kindle and told myself I can't read it there. I need to read it in private, maybe with alcohol because damn it, Miki.
It's harder to get over someone who was never really yours. You see that person smiling and it breaks your heart two-fold. Once because seeing her happy makes you happy. The second time because you know she's oblivious to how you feel. And it hits you that you are suffering alone, while basking in her warm light, and it makes it all the more difficult to ignore the pinpricks on your fissured heart..
Songs to Get Over You hits the right notes when it comes to romance and the friend zone. There's still the lovable Trainman band members, Kim the leader, the Nino and Son tandem, Jill-with-Shinta, and with Miki watching his best friend on the sidelines. But there was someone there with him now - Ana, the girl who wasn't really a fan of their music but stayed because of the guy she wanted to be with. She tries to get Miki's focus away from what continues to hurt him, but who knows if she will succeed?
When you commit, you make a decision," Ana declared. "You decide to say yes to one person, all the time."
The story is told in the same fashion as SOOB, interspersed with flashbacks and songs, and you just feel the melancholy all over it, and you just really, really want the best for these characters. But you know that one of them will mess up, and it will hurt you just as much as it hurt them. That's the magic of Jay's writing - her words will pull you in and make you root for the characters so hard that you will hurt with them when it matters and celebrate with them when you get to the end. The great thing is since it's told in a guy's POV, we get to see how it is when a guy gets friend zoned...and again, damn it, Miki.
Don't tell Shinta, but I may just like Songs to Get Over You a little bit more that the first one. Could be my bias, could be because I could sort of relate. But regardless of those could be's, all of it is because this is a really good book that you really, really shouldn't miss. :)
The moment I started reading Mina V. Esguerra's latest book,What You Wanted,I thought: I missed this.I've read some of Mina's Spotlight New Adult boThe moment I started reading Mina V. Esguerra's latest book, What You Wanted, I thought: I missed this. I've read some of Mina's Spotlight New Adult books and liked them enough, but there was something that felt like coming home when she's writing something based in Manila again. And it helped that I read and liked the prequel to this book, Wedding Night Stand, so I was pretty excited to have first dibs on this book.
Andrea met Damon at her sister's wedding. It was just supposed to be a one-night stand, but days and weeks after the wedding, Andrea finds herself seeking out Damon, seeing and spending more time with him. But it's not a completely simple romance as both of them have issues of their own: Damon is pining over Geraldine, known as the ice queen who he has been pursuing for a while, and Andrea is still nursing a broken heart from Thad, who dropped her after a weekend together and got married to someone else. Andrea and Damon agreed to use each other to get what they want...but what do they really want, anyway?
I wasn't even halfway through and I was already charmed by Andrea and Damon, and I was rooting for the two of them to get what they wanted, whatever that was! I mean, I sort of knew what it was, being the reader, but I had such a good time watching things unfold for the two of them. I was a little surprised with how some of Andrea's angst with Thad resonated with me but I'm not going to go there because that's in the past. Let's just say I get what she meant about that, and how awful it feels when there's a Naomi. I remember feeling all ranty whenever Andrea was alone with Thad and how I wanted to shoo him away. (But other than that, I still think I am more of a Julie, haha)
And speaking of Damon! I liked Damon a lot. There's so much about him that's easy to like, in an alpha-male kind of way. Like how he was focused, and how he didn't resort to manipulation and instead just proved himself to show that he deserved to get what he wanted. I liked how he seemed so dangerous and in some ways, wild, but also can be pretty gentle at times. I would probably be intimidated like hell if I meet someone like Damon in person, but I think I will still be secretly watching him. :P (Haha, see, I'm a Julie.) I liked him so much that I told Mina that it seemed like there's competition for Lucas of Fairy Tale Fail's spot in my heart. Gasp!
I really liked What You Wanted. While most of the story revolved around the "extended" hook-up, there's a lot more in their story that gives reader a chance to see how characters like Andrea and Damon change, find out, and eventually, get what they really wanted. :)
Also - lots of food in this book, so yeah, don't read this with an empty stomach. Sushi, grilled fish, juice, and siopao. :D
Gianna wakes up on a cloud, and she's confused. What was she doing there? Then she meets Skylar, a soldier on another cloud, who tells her that the paGianna wakes up on a cloud, and she's confused. What was she doing there? Then she meets Skylar, a soldier on another cloud, who tells her that the paper planes that were landing on their clouds were thoughts and messages of people who remember. It turns out they were in some kind of limbo, and the paper planes were their way back home.
I wasn't really sure what to make of Paper Planes Back Home when I first read its synopsis, because it didn't seem like the usual romance novel for me. But then again, it wasn't really just a simple romance novel. Tara Frejas' debut had love in almost all of its forms - romance, family, and friendship, and this is what makes this book the kind I think people will read regardless of the genre they usually try.
There's something heartwarming with how Tara wrote this book, and you can see that there's already a lot of heart in it. I loved the four main characters - Gianna, Skylar, Aaron, and Anna. They had very distinct voices, and they all had different goals and motivations in the story that tied up nicely when you get to the end. In a way, you can kind of see what's going to happen after all the situations were laid out, but even if it was predictable in that way, you won't really mind because you just want to have a good ending for all these people. They deserve it, after all that they've gone through.
And the world-building in this was on point, too. No one really knows what limbo, or after life is about, but reading this book would make you want to believe that what Tara wrote was real. It was easy to see that the world was lovingly created by the author, and I admit that I always liked it when the book was back on those clouds. There was also an element of fear there, but more of fear for the characters and what could happen to them there.
This book left me with a smile on my face, and some tears, too. It's not sad, although the premise seems like it. But trust me, warm, fuzzy feelings and happy tears will be around when you reach the end of this. :) And if you happen to be in the same shoes as Aaron in this book, Paper Planes Back Homewill give you hope that will make you send more thoughts and prayers, hoping that these will be strong enough to bring the person you love home.
As I mentioned in myOpen Road Summerreview, I like books with music and bands. So when Jay E. Tria's book,Songs for Our Breakup surfaced in my radar,As I mentioned in my Open Road Summerreview, I like books with music and bands. So when Jay E. Tria's book, Songs for Our Breakup surfaced in my radar, I was curious although I was a bit hesitant with the Japanese-sounding characters because I'm not a huge fan of foreign lead interests in my Filipino romance novels. I think I was in line at a bank without a book when I decided to read this, and a few pages in the book, I was hooked.
Jill and Kim have been together for seven years, until their break-up came that ended the relationship that Jill has known for a third of her life. It's even more difficult to move on, because her ex-boyfriend is the lead guitarist of the band where Jill is the vocalist. And as expected, most of the songs they sing share memories of their relationship and Jill's not sure how much her heart could take. Her best friend, Miki, stays by her side, picking her up when things get too hard, and then there's their other friend, Shinta, a Japanese celebrity that they befriended during one music festival. Shinta provides the distraction that Jill needed, as she wrestles with the questions that the break-up has left with her.
Let me get the obvious thing out of the way: the book shares an almost similar title with the Piolo-Sarah movie that came out a few months ago, but like what other reviews said, it's different from that. I should know, because I watched that movie. :P There's so much more going on in Songs of Our Breakupcompared to that movie, and it was made entertaining because of the fun cast in this book. I loved everyone in the band, Trainman, and how their friendship seemed to spring alive in every page. I loved their banter, how they played off one another and know each other so well that even if there's this elephant in the room with them, the rest of them fought for their friendship and the band just to keep them together.
And then of course, there's Shinta, who was a delight to read. I liked him, and perhaps all his screen time made me join his team early on in the book. I liked how he also felt like a member of the band because of his friendship with them, and how he was especially fun and gentle with Jill. His storyline wasn't so surprising, but it was still a pleasure to watch that unfold and I was really cheering for him at the end of the book. However, I also can't deny that my heart went out for Miki, the best friend, because...well, he's the best friend, and I also have a soft spot for those characters! I liked him, and I wished that he did something different in the book to give him his share of the spotlight...but if he did, then we probably wouldn't have book 2. ;)
As with every book with a band and songs, I wished the songs here were real. I'm not sure if Trainman would be the kind of band I would religiously follow, but I would probably enjoy their songs if I catch them in a gig or something. I liked how the songs in this book fit exactly with the major moments in the book. And because we're all about heartbreaks and feels for this book, I have to say that the last duet kind of destroyed my heart (and made me almost waver with my team choice haha). If there's any song in the book that I want to be real, it's that duet. Please let that happen?
With all those points, plus the great writing, I thoroughly enjoyed Songs of Our Breakup.It gave me so many feelings after I was done (which I realized probably contributed to the feelings I had later that night when I watched Heneral Luna, but that's another story) that I couldn't stop thinking about it after. This book also made me kind of appreciate Japanese lead interests, because hey, if it's someone like Shinta, then why not? :P Songs of Our Breakupis not exactly for light reading because of all the feelings, but there's something pretty cathartic about this if you allow yourself to indulge and accompany Jill in her story. I can't wait to read the next book (because Miki!), and really, just read whatever Jay comes up with next. :)
This book made me want to bake, eat, AND dance! :) I love how this book is not just about a girl with weight problems losing all the pounds, but reallThis book made me want to bake, eat, AND dance! :) I love how this book is not just about a girl with weight problems losing all the pounds, but really more about how she saw herself, and what she was capable of when she stopped caring about what other people thought and more about how she felt when she does something she really loves. Such a great read - and I think it's time to join those dance classes again. :)...more
Reading JUST FOR THE RECORD feels like watching the rain fall from your window. You try to make sense of the drops on your window, discerning a patterReading JUST FOR THE RECORD feels like watching the rain fall from your window. You try to make sense of the drops on your window, discerning a pattern and beyond that, you can see that the rain is pouring steadily, enveloping everything a sad blanket, sort of. Somewhere in the middle, it feels like the sun was starting to shine, and you just want for the characters, particularly Rhys and Isaiah, to find their way. And when you get to the end, it's like seeing the rain clouds gather again, and you know that it will pour, and instead of resisting, we just sit and wait for it to happen. Because things will happen, and it's only a matter of time.
Perhaps I made that comparison because I read this during a rainy weekend, but still, there's something beautiful and sad about JUST FOR THE RECORD that the pink cover doesn't really convey. These characters left a mark on me like the way I have started caring for characters in TV shows or books that I follow. I really enjoyed this, just as much as I enjoyed Six's YA story, After the Moment. It's been a while since I was lost in something as beautifully written as this, and I look forward to whatever Six writes if only to drown in her words (and feels). :D