September 22, 2014

Book Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After

At First Sight: Ever since their first year at the American school in Paris, Isla has had a crush on Josh, but they never got much of a chance to talk or hang out as she was the quiet sort and he quickly fell into the cool crowd with kids that were in the grade above them.

Still, Isla kept track of him and knows what an amazing artist he is, and that he lived in New York (when not in Paris) same as her, but it was still a shock to run into him at a café near her house and not only because she was pretty high on some pain meds she had taken after a visit to the dentist.

Their unusual encounter, however, started to shift things between them, when they ran into each other again at school a few weeks later. Soon they were both running around Paris falling in love.

But they still had plenty to deal with, like Josh's father's political career that threatens to keep them apart (as his parents think he should date a 'certain' kind of girl if at all), and Isla's indecision about where to go to school the following year, and Josh's constant troubles with the school's administration.

Second Glance: I was never one of those people who went nuts over Stephanie Perkins' books, I grew to like Anna, I hated Lola, and I was half convinced that (Given the many delays) there was nothing Ms. Perkins could do to make Isla to make up for it.

But I think I was wrong. Isla and the Happily Ever After must be my favorite book by Ms. Perkins so far and I found it thoroughly delightful. I liked Isla a lot, from the start. She's awkward and shy and most of her socializing came in the form of her best friend Kurt who struggles with social situations even more than her. She's really good at school though and enjoys reading books about adventures -though she doesn't have many herself.

Josh was interesting too, he made many mistakes but was usually up to fixing them soon after, he tried for what he wanted and I found that likable. And he and Isla just worked together, they had the chemistry and the connection despite their many differences.

I also found Isla's uncertainty about her future very realistic and easy to connect with. I'm one of those people who was never sure what to study, and I found her fear about it very real. I liked her friendship with Kurt, and the fact that they really were just friends. I even liked that she was very open about sex and guys even if she was otherwise shy (she explained it beautifully).

I did have a few qualms, while the book felt true to what a couple of teenagers would do and think, there were some parts that were just too much, or that it felt like a couple of smart kids should have had an easier time figure out (mostly it had to do with their communication issues in the second half of the book). 

Bottom Line: Like I said, I really enjoyed Isla and the Happily Ever After, I even stayed up all night finishing it up. I enjoyed so much spending time with them, even when they screwed up, and I liked the cameos from past characters, those were fun and thankfully didn't overpower the story. 

September 12, 2014

Book Tag: The Seven Sins

Hello everyone!!!

So... a few days ago Aylee @ Recovering Potter Addict tagged me to do this Bookish Tag (created by BookishlyMalyza), so here we go.

1. Greed - What's your most expensive book? What's your most inexpensive book?
I believe the most expensive book I've ever gotten was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix which cost me roughly 400 to 450 pesos when it first came out (about forty dollars). But I so not regret it because it was so awesome.

Another really expensive book I got is the Aussie edition of The Piper's Son, if I recall correctly that cost me about 24 dollars. Again, no regrets!

As for my most inexpensive book: A two dollar edition of Persuasion, it even has a decent cover which is read with the cheap editions! SO yay! I also used to jump on all sort of bargain price deals in Amazon, so I scored quite a few hardbacks for three or four dollars (like my Most Excellent Year, Fat Cat and The Tea Rose).

2. Wrath - What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?
I guess Ally Carter? I don't like a lot of the things and attitudes she has on twitter, and I used to love her Gallagher Girls books a lot but then ending of the series wasn't good and I never liked her Heist Society books. So I don't have any warm fuzzy feelings toward her and I don't see myself reading her books. 

I try not to read books by authors I feel antipathy for because I know it will affect the way I feel about the book. 

3. Gluttony- What book have you devoured over and over with no shame?
I'm actually a big re-reader, it does my brain good to re-read something I loved in the past, it just relaxes me. So there are some books I re-read at least once a year: Every other way I re-read The Wallflower Series and the Hathaway Series by Lisa Kleypas, and I sneak in Dreaming of You (my gold standard when it comes to Romance Novels) and Smooth Talking Stranger, also by Kleypas. Julie Garwood's Saving Grace (lovely book). 

And I try to re-read the Mediator or the 1-800 series  every other year as well. 

And Harry Potter, of course! And Melina Marchetta's books. 

4. Sloth - What book have you neglected reading due to laziness?
The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donelly, it was over 550 pages with a tiny, tiny print and I have had it for over 5 years and I'm still on chapter three, page 30-something. Same with The Fellowship of the Ring - never made it pass page 120. I've also never committed to the In Death series by J.D. Robb (Dobb? I dunno), they are over 30 books to date and it's just too darn much.

5. Pride - What book do you talk about in order to sound like an intellectual reader?
 I was fortunate to have some really awesome teachers in prep school so I read a lot there (French and Spanish literature mostly), and I mostly had access to the classics growing up so I read that stuff. As such I wound up reading some fancy stuff like Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky, those types of dudes. So I would probably pick one of those if I absolutely had to.

6. What attributes do you find attractive in male and female characters?
In male characters I'm all for kindness. I love when the male lead is caring and nice and dependable and the heroine can really rely on him. Not to fix her life but to be her rock when she needs one. I don't mind the occasional alpha, but I mostly love some you can really put your trust on.  Think Levi in Fangirl or Marcus in Just Like Heaven. 

Brooding can be sexy I'll admit, but I don't think I could put up with it in the long haul.

In female characters? I like girls who are smart, laugh at themselves and can be vulnerable without being TSTL. I don't mind if they make mistakes as long as the own up to them. I think my favorite type of heroine over all is someone like Suze Simon of the Mediator series or even Alona Dare of the Ghost and the Goth.

7. Envy - Which book would you like to receive as a gift?
Anne of Green Gables!! I haven't been able to back the books so far (the covers I like go in and out of print and the timing hasn't been right) but there is a new edition out and Christmas is coming!! *cough*sister*cough* 

And Ouran High Shool Host Club, *happy sigh*

And now I tag some peeps:

September 8, 2014

This Be Me

Yup! Just about!!

Been crazy getting ready for work but today was the first day of a new term and things should start leveling out this week. Tomorrow I'll do the Seven Deadly Sins BookTag (which the awesome Aylee @Recovering Potter Addict tagged me for), and maybe pretend to write some more reviews. 

Now I'm off for a nap... right here....