Saturday, September 25, 2021

Good Girl, Bad Blood


Pip is not a detective anymore.

With the help of Ravi Singh, she released a true-crime podcast about the murder case they solved together last year. The podcast has gone viral, yet Pip insists her investigating days are behind her.

But she will have to break that promise when someone she knows goes missing. Jamie Reynolds has disappeared, on the very same night the town hosted a memorial for the sixth-year anniversary of the deaths of Andie Bell and Sal Singh.

The police won't do anything about it. And if they won't look for Jamie then Pip will, uncovering more of her town's dark secrets along the way... and this time everyone is listening. But will she find him before it's too late? - excerpt from Goodreads

Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson is second in the series and the story continues not long after the end of the first book. Because of the trust and expertise of Pip, she found herself caught up in another mystery. This time it's someone significant in her life, while that fact is true she uncovers more secrets that makes this book such a great read. The plot twists is one that moves the story forwards and grabs unto your attention till all these ends. 

Besides a good plot, character development of Pip also adds on to the greatness of the book. What she discovers, her moves, her sharp mind continually keep readers feeling for her as well as that want to get to know how she reacts to situations. Many new interactions and relationships were built in this book and I have to say it is truly essential in making this book well loved. 

Saturday, April 10, 2021



When Leeds meets Layla, he’s convinced he’ll spend the rest of his life with her—until an unexpected attack leaves Layla fighting for her life. After weeks in the hospital, Layla recovers physically, but the emotional and mental scarring has altered the woman Leeds fell in love with. In order to put their relationship back on track, Leeds whisks Layla away to the bed-and-breakfast where they first met. Once they arrive, Layla’s behavior takes a bizarre turn. And that’s just one of many inexplicable occurrences.

Feeling distant from Layla, Leeds soon finds solace in Willow—another guest of the B&B with whom he forms a connection through their shared concerns. As his curiosity for Willow grows, his decision to help her find answers puts him in direct conflict with Layla’s well-being. Leeds soon realizes he has to make a choice because he can’t help both of them. But if he makes the wrong choice, it could be detrimental for all of them. - excerpt from Goodreads.

Layla by Colleen Hoover explores different area and perspective. This book was written in the male perspective and started off with a heavy sense of mystery. I would say I was definitely surprised for a first half of the story. This review will be short because much of it will be spoilers if I talked about the plot itself. I can share that the characters are unique and their experiences worthy of your attention. I liked how the author transition between two timelines, how going back and forth is the key to my constant drawn to the book.

I love how real the feelings of Leeds is, how honest he is in his thoughts. Although he tries his best in saving the relationship, you can also feel how weary he is. As for Layla, you do not get her perspective but her reactions to Leeds. When another important character like Willow is introduced into the story, your curiosity as a reader will rub on, that wanting to know how things will end up.

I was quite anxious to complete the book and get to the ending and to my relief it was less than 300 pages long. This is definitely one of the shortest Colleen Hoover book I've read. I don't absolutely love it like some of the other titles but overall this was a good book. It highlights the changes of human when met with tragedy, it talks about love in a way that it recognizes familiarity and also being able to grow as well. The thing that I did not like about this book is that the setting is quite stuck but I understand it's because of the nature of the situation that Leeds, Layla and Willow is caught in.  Anymore comments will lead to spoilers. so just get ready for mystery, love and human principles that needs to be questioned. This is probably the first Colleen Hoover book that I won't re-read as knowing the ending gives away to all the mystery.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

You had me at Hola

Leading Ladies do not end up on tabloid covers. 

After a messy public breakup, soap opera darling Jasmine Lin Rodriguez finds her face splashed across the tabloids. When she returns to her hometown of New York City to film the starring role in a bilingual romantic comedy for the number one streaming service in the country, Jasmine figures her new “Leading Lady Plan” should be easy enough to follow—until a casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela hunk Ashton Suárez. 

Leading Ladies don’t need a man to be happy

After his last telenovela character was killed off, Ashton is worried his career is dead as well. Joining this new cast as a last-minute addition will give him the chance to show off his acting chops to American audiences and ping the radar of Hollywood casting agents. To make it work, he’ll need to generate smoking-hot on-screen chemistry with Jasmine. Easier said than done, especially when a disastrous first impression smothers the embers of whatever sexual heat they might have had. 

Leading Ladies do not rebound with their new costars. 

With their careers on the line, Jasmine and Ashton agree to rehearse in private. But rehearsal leads to kissing, and kissing leads to a behind-the-scenes romance worthy of a soap opera. While their on-screen performance improves, the media spotlight on Jasmine soon threatens to destroy her new image and expose Ashton’s most closely guarded secret. - excerpt from Goodreads.

You had me at Hola by Alexis Dara is a sexy book with a charming and loving story. Firstly I love alternating point of views, as I'm always curious how both characters react and the thoughts in their heads. The book having a drama script in it as well kept me well entertained. From who they are individually and how both of them are different when with each other, it was laid out carefully with the mindset of growth and changes. I love how the author is writing about a culture that I know not much of. I am definitely feel inferior when Spanish was used in the book and having to search those words was a little bit tedious when you're in the mood of continuous reading. So I just went with the flow of words and figured out the meaning after some time.

The tension and interactions between Jasmine and Ashton was so sexy, exciting and well you just want more to happen between them. I enjoyed their personalities and also their background. The value of family and individuality is strongly highlighted in the book. I love the pacing of the book as well as the inclusion of scripts of the drama they are working on. Jasmine's cousins brought so much fun and laughing moments in the story, the great relationship and bond they have is something I craved for myself. I do yearn for that sisterhood where you can just rant and discuss about anything with them, that they also have your best interest always.

Lastly, the struggles these people go through for the colour of their skin is a great lesson for readers. It helps broaden our views slightly and hopefully manage to touch some people to not be judgy and instead have acceptance. Lately I have been reading books that is much more diverse instead of picturing characters to be white skin. I definitely learnt a lot and appreciate that more and more culture are told in romance stories, it can be romantic and meaningful at the same time. I think this is a unique romance novel on its own and am excited as we see more of a diverse ethnicity mentioned and many stories of theirs to be told.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Rent a Boyfriend


Chloe Wang is nervous to introduce her parents to her boyfriend, because the truth is, she hasn’t met him yet either. She hired him from Rent for Your ’Rents, a company specializing in providing fake boyfriends trained to impress even the most traditional Asian parents.

Drew Chan’s passion is art, but after his parents cut him off for dropping out of college to pursue his dreams, he became a Rent for Your ’Rents employee to keep a roof over his head. Luckily, learning protocols like “Type C parents prefer quiet, kind, zero-PDA gestures” comes naturally to him.

When Chloe rents Drew, the mission is simple: convince her parents fake Drew is worthy of their approval so they’ll stop pressuring her to accept a proposal from Hongbo, the wealthiest (and slimiest) young bachelor in their tight-knit Asian American community.

But when Chloe starts to fall for the real Drew—who, unlike his fake persona, is definitely not ’rent-worthy—her carefully curated life begins to unravel. Can she figure out what she wants before she loses everything?  - excerpt from Goodreads.

Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao  is not only a sweet YA romance book, it is more than that as it talks about cultures, family values and also breaking out from expectations. I quite loved this book as it highlights how the typical Chinese beliefs on marriage and love. Chloe struggles with letting her parents to know the truth and her resentments of their choices made for her. She started as trying her best to avoid their judgements and decisions by hiring a fake boyfriend to bring him for the holidays. This is quite common as in big family gatherings of festivities, the elderly be it a relative or your parents' friends will always ask "When are you getting married?" if you have a boyfriend. If you are single they will ask "Why are you single?" and then comment on the things that they think makes you single. They really think they know you or they have the wisdom to judge these things, I definitely have experienced these many questions and I always answer politely but inside me I'm pretty hurt and upset.

I could easily resonate with this book because I understand how parents have expectations and they think they know best. Although my situation is entirely different but the concerns from my parents are similar. They want what's best for you but they never asked what is it that makes us happy. They try to give you the best they can but also at a cost that we didn't ask for and if they asked us we would gladly share that burden with them. This is a barrier that is quite hard to be broken and it lives strongly in a Chinese upbringing.  

The characters are definitely real and have justifiable reasons for their actions and feelings. I love how they can grow and confront their fear. I also love how the small steps Chloe took are able to also help her parents grow as well. Having the whole family grow together and come out stronger is a plus point for anyone. The interactions and conversations in this book was great and much needed to hopefully help readers understand their backgrounds better. I love how the point of views were alternated between Chloe and Drew. Another plus point is the author putting in effort of giving each chapter a title as it serves as a sneak peak as what's to come., although I never could have guess what's next.

Generally, the timeline of the book is paced quite well, it doesn't feel rushed. Even though there are time gaps here and there but you get the gist of a normal day happened for them. Ultimately the use of mandarin words gave this book so much character and life because those words carry culture, acceptance of heritage and knowledge that where ever in the world you are, however you grew up, the commonality of language is our similarity and also a type of bond we all can understand together. This is a great book and I truly wished those who read this that aren't Chinese will understand us a little bit better. I am definitely looking forward to more books by this author as to how she can continue to share our culture to the world.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

99% Mine


Darcy Barrett has undertaken a global survey of men. She’s travelled the world, and can categorically say that no one measures up to Tom Valeska, whose only flaw is that Darcy’s twin brother Jamie saw him first and claimed him forever as his best friend. Despite Darcy’s best efforts, Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. That’s the problem with finding her dream man at age eight and peaking in her photography career at age twenty—ever since, she’s had to learn to settle for good enough.

When Darcy and Jamie inherit a tumble-down cottage from their grandmother, they’re left with strict instructions to bring it back to its former glory and sell the property. Darcy plans to be in an aisle seat halfway across the ocean as soon as the renovations start, but before she can cut and run, she finds a familiar face on her porch: house-flipper extraordinaire Tom’s arrived, he’s bearing power tools, and he’s single for the first time in almost a decade.

Suddenly Darcy’s considering sticking around to make sure her twin doesn’t ruin the cottage’s inherent magic with his penchant for grey and chrome. She’s definitely not staying because of her new business partner’s tight t-shirts, or that perfect face that's inspiring her to pick up her camera again. Soon sparks are flying—and it’s not the faulty wiring. It turns out one percent of Tom’s heart might not be enough for Darcy anymore. This time around, she’s switching things up. She’s going to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers. - excerpt from Goodreads.

99% Mine by Sally Thorne is my second book of hers. After reading such a good one, this one was not up to my expectations. I felt that the lead female had too many issues that she needed to deal with on her own but instead acted in a way that was quite annoying.  I find it quite hard to give a longer review of this book than usual because I don't really have a lot to say. The character itself was rebellious, quite immature and her lack of growth made it those books that sometimes I want to skip her thoughts. The plots were good, the premise is not bad but her behavior which is justified by her upbringing is not relatable and certainly not likeable as well.  I would commend that the author did a great job portraying her as a bitch. Her interactions with the male interest was the only thing that kept my attention as I wanted to know how he would react. I quite like the male interest and was hoping for more family involvement as well but it was not enough. The banter is fun at times but it would turned into annoying after a while. 

The plot was unpredictable but there wasn't a lot happening at once. It was something quite straightforward without too many plot twists. Once I completed the book, I didn't feel blissful neither did I get any butterflies in my tummy from this book. It was just mediocre and something I wouldn't read again. If I'm being honest I think what the author was doing was to present a deeper, more emotionally stressed character that made her who she is from her decisions as well as her upbringing. I felt that she chose to think the way she thinks and the actions she made, in someway yes family plays a part but she has separated them from her for such a long time I would have expected growth. Instead this character went downhill and needed a lot of repair and revelation to move forward. I understand that there will be character struggles but this one is just too unrealistic.  Overall the characters' interactions are what kept her reading, it was fun at times, sexy as well. It's definitely not fantastic like 'The hating game' so no loss if you miss out on this title.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder

The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it.

But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn't so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth? - excerpt from Goodreads.

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson  is her first debut into the world of YA thriller/mystery. I have definitely not been active in the bookstagram scene, hence this book wasn't on my radar at all. As someone who love 'Truly Devious' and 'Charlotte Holmes' series, this was right down my alley. I will confess that I am pretty picky when it comes to these genre as Pretty Little Liars, The Lying Game are similar  but I did not have a liking to the plot line. My favourite have always been a crime being solved because I love to form my speculations, gather the facts from the book and have my own set of suspects, a little sleuthing while I read. Books like these are so much fun because when you get to the end, you get to know if you had the right target as well.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Crazy Stupid Bromance


Alexis Carlisle and her cat café, ToeBeans, have shot to fame after she came forward as a victim of a celebrity chef’s sexual harassment. When a new customer approaches to confide in her, the last thing Alexis expects is for the woman to claim they’re sisters. Unsure what to do, Alexis turns to the only man she trusts—her best friend, Noah Logan.

Computer genius Noah left his rebellious teenage hacker past behind to become a computer security expert. Now he only uses his old skills for the right cause. But Noah’s got a secret: He’s madly in love with Alexis. When she asks for his help, he wonders if the timing will ever be right to confess his crush.

Noah’s pals in The Bromance Book Club are more than willing to share their beloved “manuals” to help him go from bud to boyfriend. But he must decide if telling the truth is worth risking the best friendship he’s ever had.

A hacktivist and a cat café owner decode the friend zone in this romantic comedy from the author of Undercover Bromance. - excerpt from Goodreads.

Crazy Stupid Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams is about two best friends who dare not take the next step for fear of ruining the friendship. Well the dudes are back again and this book did not disappoint, I would say it's my favourite out of the three. It was really unexpected, especially the plot twists. I was definitely caught by surprise on multiple occasions and my heart swooned so much by Noah. 

The best parts is in my opinion are the characters, both of them are just capturing with their personalities complimenting each other as well as bringing out the best in each other. I liked how their past made them stronger and taught them lessons which was valuable. I also loved the chemistry between the two of them, let's just say when it gets intimate I swear my toes rolled up in excitement. Of course, this book will not have its flair without the members of the bromance book club. I love how when they gather up and gives advice it's something that can be related to real life. Their conversations are many laugh out loud moments. I cannot get enough of them which made me realised the men of the books are the stars for sure. The bond and their matureness is outstanding and makes me wonder will I meet these kind of men in my life, hahahaha. 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Kiss My Cupcake


Blaire Calloway has planned every Instagram-worthy moment of her cupcake and cocktails shop launch down to the tiniest detail. What she didn't plan on? Ronan Knight and his old-school sports bar next door opening on the very same day. He may be super swoony, but Blaire hasn't spent years obsessing over buttercream and bourbon to have him ruin her chance at success.

From axe throwing (his place) to frosting contests (hers), Blaire and Ronan are constantly trying to one-up each other in a battle to win new customers. But with every clash, there's also an undeniable chemistry. When an even bigger threat to their business comes to town, they're forced to call a temporary time-out on their own war and work together. And the more time Blaire spends getting to know the real Ronan, the more she wonders if it's possible to have her cupcake and eat it too.

As two neighborhood shop owners battle for business, they prove opposites attract in this outrageously funny romantic comedy from the USA Today bestselling author of Meet Cute. -excerpt from Goodreads.

Kiss My Cupcake by Helena Hunting portrays a strong female character that is capable without the help or support of her family, she does not let people climb over her head and is confident in her way of things. I would say the book starts off with good chemistry between the Blaire and Ronan. Although it started as a nemesis thing but eventually it turned into something meaningful. Their encounters and the swap in both point of views makes this more enjoyable as you get a taste of both side of the story. I would say this book is fairly creative for the author in thinking of events for the chapters. I absolutely love the different chapter titles, I think this is the author's signature in writing. You definitely get laughs from some of the social media postings as well as the clashes of the characters.
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