Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What Happened: June 2015

Hi folks!

How was your June? Mine was not really as awesome as I expected it to be because 1) I was not able to attend Leigh Bardugo's book signing and 2) I was not able to go to a lot of book sales. Le sigh...

But... but... but... Something really nice happened to me at work... I got promoted! Yey! Well, I'm in probation but still. I've only been working for three months, and yet... I'm really happy! :)

Anyway, enough of my work life and on to my book world!

What I Read:


These are the Moments by Jenny Bravo
Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee

Reviews Posted:

Bookish Discussion Posted:

Cover Reveals Posted:

June Book Haul:

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That'll be all for June! :) As usual, I still do not know what my July will consist of, but I'm looking forward to a good, productive one!

So folks, how was your June?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #9: The Fully Booked Edition



Hi folks! How are you? I hope everything's fine! :)

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My StS is a Fully Booked edition because these books were impulsive buys. I did not plan on buying any books this month but Fully Booked is currently on sale (until the 12th of July)! And I, lacking self-control, went there one afternoon to just "look around." One hour later, I bought two books. Well done, Aizel! Haha!

Anyway, I bought:


I really had a hard time choosing just two books. I was browsing the store for almost an hour! I ended up buying P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han and Reboot by Amy Tintera.

And now that I have P.S. I Still Love You, look at how pretty these two together:

So pretty, right? :)

Now, I also got these eARCs through NetGalley:

Thank you Penguin Random House!
This book has an interesting concept!

Thank you Sourcebooks! :)
I featured What You Left Behind on my Waiting on Wednesday. I'm really excited to read this.

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That's all for my haul!
Have a nice day!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Feature & Follow #11


Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It is where we, book bloggers, can meet new people and gain followers as well!

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This week's question is suggested by Natalie Hearts Books.

Is there a book that you were required to read in school that you actually loved?

Disclaimer: In general, we have a different education system/curriculum here in the Philippines. :)

Hmmm, I remember when I was in Grade 5 or 6, our English teacher required us to read Harry Potter. The class was divided into groups and each was assigned a specific book. Our group was assigned with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. That was the first actual novel I read. I was 11 or 12 at the time. I like to think that reading Harry Potter sparked my love of books. :)

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How about you folks? Let me know in the comments below! :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #11: What You Left Behind

Happy Wednesday folks!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme where we will showcase that one book we can't wait to hit the market!


cover from Goodreads
Title: What You Left Behind
Author: Jessica Verdi
Publication Details: August 4th 2015 by Sourcebooks

It’s all Ryden’s fault. If he hadn’t gotten Meg pregnant, she would have never stopped her chemo treatments and would still be alive. Instead, he’s failing fatherhood one dirty diaper at a time. And it’s not like he’s had time to grieve while struggling to care for their infant daughter, start his senior year, and earn the soccer scholarship he needs to go to college.

The one person who makes Ryden feel like his old self is Joni. She’s fun and energetic—and doesn’t know he has a baby. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to keep his two worlds separate. Finding one of Meg’s journals only stirs up old emotions, and Ryden’s convinced Meg left other notebooks for him to find, some message to help his new life make sense. But how is he going to have a future if he can’t let go of the past?


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I really like the premise of this one. I've never heard anything like it before. And I'm looking forward to reading about Ryden's character development. :)

What are you waiting on?

Monday, June 22, 2015

Book Review: These are the Moments by Jenny Bravo

cover from Goodreads
Title: These are the Moments
Author: Jenny Bravo
Publication Details: April 30th 2015 by Bravo Publishing
Copy: eARC from Bravo Publishing through NetGalley

A stunning read about love, hope and moving on.

Ten years ago, Wendy Lake and Simon Guidry fell in love. From friends to lovers, they started as a happy couple, promising to be together no matter what.

Present day… Wendy Lake told herself that this time she will move on, that she will never go back. Until her best friend's engagement brought Wendy and Simon back together and Wendy finds herself in a situation where she has to make a decision whether to finally move on or fall back again...

These are the Moments follows Wendy and Simon as they fall into a vicious cycle of love and heartache. But the question is, is love really enough to make two people stay together?

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I got a copy from the publisher through NetGalley. When I read the synopsis, I thought it sounded cliché but I requested for it anyway because I was feeling for some contemporary romance. And boy, oh boy was I thankful I did!

Plot
The first few chapters can be cliché and predictable- Wendy as this goody-good, typical girl who came from a Catholic, happy family, meeting new friends from a youth camp, then falling in love with a mysterious guy. At first, I thought Oh I know what will happen. But how the elements of a contemporary read were placed and connected together created a somehow refreshing take in telling not just a love story but also one of restoration and moving on.

Wendy and Simon's cycle of love and heartache can be quite exhausting, but as I read, I saw that this shaped both characters. It made me felt their struggle and connected me to the story more.

I liked how other aspects of Wendy's life was also incorporated into the story. Her side as a friend, a sister, a daughter and a student were told to create a three-dimensional character. It made Wendy more relatable, and I was able to understand her more.

The ending was a bitter-sweet one. And that's all I'm going to say about it. :)

Characters
I loved the characters- the main and secondary. They can be difficult to understand at times, but it showed how realistic they are.

I was able to relate to Wendy especially. She is smart, talented and a good friend, sister and daughter. I liked how I was able to see both her strong and vulnerable side. And I especially liked her character development.

I enjoyed reading about Claudia, Reese and Vivian. I liked how they influenced Wendy's life. Their support and love for Wendy is just heart-warming, even though most times they weren't able to express it very well.

And yes, Simon. What I really, really want is a book or just a novella told in Simon's perspective! He is still a mystery to me, to be honest. It's clear, however, that he loves Wendy with all his being but I still do not get what is up with him?! Like really Simon?!

Okay, calming down. Simon has issues. What issues? I have no idea. But I know that he's a good guy, smart, sweet and let's not forget, good-looking. So yes, dear author, I want to know what is up with him. Pretty please? Haha!

Writing
I really liked the writing style of the author. These are the Moments is written in a first person voice, in Wendy's perspective. Told in an alternating Then and Now chapters, I was able to fully immerse myself into the story, follow the events easily and feel the Simon and Wendy "feels".

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Overall, I really enjoyed reading this one. These are the Moments is a stunning read about love, hope and moving on.

I definitely recommend These are the Moments to anyone who wants a very good contemporary romance read.

PS. I've read from Jenny Bravo's blog that These are the Moments will have a prequel, Those Were the Days. Aah! I'm excited for that! :)




from Goodreads

Jenny Bravo is a writer, singer, and caps lock enthusiast. She writes books, and These Are the Moments is the first one. When she's not writing, she's blogging about writing at Blots & Plots blog. Or singing. Or tap dancing.


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Cover Reveal: Kissed by Fire by Danielle Annett [GIVEAWAY]

Check out the COVER REVEAL of Kissed by Fire, the second book in the Blood & Magic series!


Title: Kissed by Fire
Series: Blood & Magic #2
Author: Danielle Annett
Designer: Mae I Design
Release Date: October 1, 2015


As Friend of the Pack, Aria Naveed should be untouchable, protected by the most influential group in the Pacific Northwest. But someone is unleashing rogue vampires to hunt her down, and she is determined to find out why.

When Aria gains command of Sanborn Place and takes on a case involving a mysterious paranormal, her life is put in more peril than ever as she finds herself bound to an influential power player. She doesn’t want to be anyone’s puppet, but must tread carefully as she traverses the streets of Spokane, WA, or risk being overwhelmed by the forces moving against her.

As the only known pyrokinetic in the area, Aria is in high demand, but not for her services. It seems that to those in power, she’s worth more dead than alive, and if a mysterious enemy has their way, she won’t live long enough to find out why.

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I'm really loving the cover!
These are pretty as well, don't you think? :)
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I've read Cursed by Fire, the first book, when the author hosted a blog tour. It was an entertaining read. I gave it 3.5 stars! :) You can read my review here.


Cursed by Fire
Released: Jan 28, 2015
Buy: Amazon

It has been six years since the Awakening and peace in Spokane, Washington is still tenuous at best. The vampires and shifters are all vying for control of the city and the humans seem to be the ones suffering the consequences, or so it seems.

Aria Naveed has spent the last two years of her life fighting to make the many wrongs of the world right, but soon finds out that the humans aren’t as weak as they appear and may be a more terrifying foe than any of the other races combined.

When a stranger rolls into town with trouble on his heels, Aria finds herself trapped in the middle of a battle that could cost her more than she has bargained for as a fight for justice turns into an unexpected fight for her life.





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What reviewers had to say about Book 1:
"I thought Cursed by Fire was an awesome read and a great introduction to the series. I can't fault it in anyway and thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to more."
- Book Passion for Life

"Oh my GOODNESS! I completely devoured this book in one siting it was THAT GOOD!"
-Cocktails and Books Blog




Danielle Annett is a reader, writer, photographer, and the blogger behind Coffee and Characters. Born in the SF Bay area, she now resides in Spokane, WA, the primary location for her Blood & Magic series.

Addicted to coffee at an early age, she spends her restless nights putting pen to paper as she tries to get all of the stories out of her head before the dogs wake up the rest of the house and vye for her attention.

You can learn more about Danielle on:
Website - Facebook - Twitter



GIVEAWAY (Prize is $20 Amazon GC and Print ARC of Book 1 in the series Cursed by Fire)


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Cover Reveal + Trailer Launch: Night Journeys Anthology by E.C. Hibbs

Check out the Cover Reveal & Trailer Launch for
E. C. Hibbs Night Journeys Anthology



Title: Night Journeys
Author: E. C. Hibbs
Release Date: July 31st 2015
Add To: Goodreads

In this mini anthology, E. C. Hibbs presents three unique tales of suspense, fantasy and adventure.

Enter a forest that springs from Grimms’ fairy tales, on the trail of a little girl with a joy of the macabre.

Discover the overgrown gardens of Caslowe Hall, where a forgotten secret takes shelter.

And also featured is Walking with Strangers, specially written to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Hailed as a “very imaginative ode with some fantastic zingers”, a young starlet enters into a weird world of her own, where forwards and backwards are not quite as she thought.

You are cordially invited to take a journey... Or three…

Walking with Strangers

The Harbingers

Deciduous


~Book Trailer~




E. C. Hibbs has lived all her life in Cheshire, north-west England. A lover of stories from an early age, she wrote her first 'book' when she was five, and throughout school was a frequent visitor to the younger classes to read her tales to the children.

Living so near the coast, she loves anything to do with the sea. She studied Animal Behaviour at university and longs to work with marine mammals in the future. As well as nature and animals, she also has a soft spot for history, and loves paying visits to castles, cathedrals and museums. She also runs Elphame Arts; creating unique portraits in both digital fantasy and graphite mediums, as well as book and CD covers.

There are many things she could be without, but writing isn't one of them. She carries a pen everywhere, in case an idea appears, and takes pride in still seeing the world as brimming with magic. Besides writing, she reads obsessively, her favourite genres being the classics and all kinds of fantasy. She also enjoys Disney and horror films, practising Shotokan karate, drawing, archery, hiking up mountains, and playing with her very cheeky cat.


You can visit E. C. Hibbs at: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Youtube | Elphame Arts 


Want an EXCLUSIVE SNEAK PEAK at NIGHT JOURNEYS?
Join in the party for BLINDSIGHTED WANDERER’S BOOK BIRTHDAY!


Hosted by:

Waiting on Wednesday #10: Pretty Baby

Happy Wednesday!


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme where we will showcase that one book we can't wait to hit the market!

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cover from Goodreads
Title: Pretty Baby
Author: Mary Kubica
Publication Details: July 28th 2015 by Mira

A chance encounter sparks an unrelenting web of lies in this stunning new psychological thriller from national bestselling author Mary Kubica

She sees the teenage girl on the train platform, standing in the pouring rain, clutching an infant in her arms. She boards a train and is whisked away. But she can't get the girl out of her head...

Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman: she works for a nonprofit, takes in stray cats. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi returns home one day with a young woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal—or worse. But despite her family's objections, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home.

Heidi spends the next few days helping Willow get back on her feet, but as clues into Willow's past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she's willing to go to help a stranger. What starts as an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated.

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I don't usually read psychological thrillers but hey, the author is Mary Kubica! I love, love her first book, The Good Girl (which I reviewed here). I love her style of writing and how the story and characters were woven together to create a thrilling read. Thus, I'm really looking forward to reading more of her works!

And guys, let us not forget the cover! Just look how pretty it is! Haha!

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That's all folks!
What are you waiting on?


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Bookish Thoughts and Feels #4: A Bibliophile's Dream

Hi folks!



Every book lover has his or her own dreams. Whether it to be a famous author or have a huge library, there will always be something or some things a bibliophile will dream of doing or being.

For my Bookish Thoughts and Feels, I would like to share with you the things I want to do in the future as a book lover.

1. Bookstore/Library and a Coffee Shop
First dream I want to be able to do in the very near future is to have my own bookstore/library and coffee shop. I want to be able to share my love for books by providing fellow bibliophiles a place where they can buy or borrow books while sipping their favorite cup of coffee or tea and while munching on a delicious pastry. I want it to be a haven for book lovers, where everyone will feel at home.


I am yet to plan the layout of my bookish place but I want to have different rooms for when people want a quiet place to read or study, and a big room where friends can talk and enjoy each others company. I want a very relaxing ambiance where even non-readers will be tempted to dive in the crazy yet beautiful world of books.

I really, really want for this to happen. I just need to have a very good business plan and a business partner! Haha!

2. Visit Bookstores and Libraries
We don't have a lot of bookstores here in the Philippines. We have the big ones but in essence every branch of a particular bookstore is the same. We don't have a lot of independent bookstores either. And our library system is far different from other countries.

Thus, I want to visit as much, if not all, bookstores and libraries as I can not only here in the Philippines but also in other countries. Selexyz Bookstore, The Last Bookstore, Shakespeare & Company and Atlantis Books to name a few.

Shakespeare & Company, Paris, France (photo credit: Flavorwire)
I want to explore these places and learn their story. I want to be able to touch the books and shelves, to smell the environment, and of course, to buy books from them. :)

3. Library Project
We do not have a very good education system here in the Philippines. And it's a very sad truth. Most public schools do not even have a proper library. I want to change that.

I want to build a library, especially for the kids. To instill to them the importance of reading and how great it feels to read.

When I was in college, I was able to head a library project sponsored by The Coca-Cola Foundation, Inc. I did a blog post here. :)

Photo from Aklat Mo, Sagot Ko Library Project of PROPharm
Of course, I'd need manpower and funds. A lot of funds actually. So for now, I will just stick to voluntary works if I can find one that deals with building a library. I have to smart somewhere, right?

4. Book Expo America/ BEA
BEA is one of the largest bookish events I know. An event with books, authors, book lovers, book bloggers and did I mention, books?

BEA (photo credit: Author One Stop)
Living in the Philippines, I obviously cannot just go there and participate. Unless, someone will buy me a two-way ticket plus a place to stay, then that would be more than nice. For now though, this will stay as a dream. Soon though. Soon.

5. Book Blogger
I want to be a successful blogger. Not necessarily famous, but successful. My objective in starting up my blog is to share my thoughts about books and reading to others. I want to be able to talk to people about the books I'm reading and those that I will read, the events I will go to and just about any other bookish things. I want to be able to interact with other book lovers and know their thoughts and recommendations.

I'm not entirely sure how I'm doing in that department, but I'm just doing my best here. :)

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I guess that's it folks! I'm really praying for these things to happen. What are your dreams as a bibliophile? I would love to hear them! :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wishlist Wednesday #14: Roses are Red by J.B. Kantt

Happy Wednesday!


Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly book blog hop hosted by Pen to Paper, where we will post that one book we can't wait to get off our ever growing wishlist and onto our shelves!

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cover from Amazon
Title: Roses are Red (The Blood, Sweat and Tears Series #1)
Author: J.B. Kantt
Publication Details: May 10, 2015 by Silver Rose Publishing
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Buy: Amazon
Book Description


After her foster mother’s unexplained death six months ago, fourteen-year-old Isla Timearth just wants things to go back to normal for her and her twin brother, Monty. But “normal” can only go so far for a closed-off girl with abandonment issues and an anxious boy that gets frequent nosebleeds. Still, the troubled redheads give it a shot by returning to the summer camp they’ve been going to for years.

Aside from her crush showing up unexpectedly, the summer starts out as Isla expected: she participates in multiple activities with her friends, while her brother shies away from doing anything with anyone. But camp traditions get rained on when their biological mother shows up unannounced and, as far as Isla’s concerned, unwelcome.

Knowing that Mother Nature is the mother of all mood swings, Isla isn’t all that surprised to find out that her temperamental biological mother is the terrestrial goddess. What does surprise her is that Monty, the favorite twin, already knew but never told her. Despite being annoyed that such a huge secret was kept from her, Isla has always questioned the loyalty of her own flesh and blood. But once more family secrets start to unravel around her fellow campers, Isla finds out whether blood really is thicker than water.


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Dark and mysterious! I don't read much paranormal, but this one sounds interesting. Sadly though, I can't buy through Amazon, so if you guys want to buy it for me, and ship it here in the Philippines, feel free to do so. Haha! But if no one's willing, well, I'll find a way. Haha! :)

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Have a nice day folks!


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Book Review: Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

Title: Where Things Come Back
Author: John Corey Whaley
Publication Details: May 2012 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Copy: Paperback bought from Book Sale

In the remarkable, bizarre, and heart-wrenching summer before Cullen Witter's senior year of high school, everything he thinks he understands about his small and painfully dull Arkansas town vanishes. His cousin overdoses; his town becomes absurdly obsessed with the alleged reappearance of an extinct woodpecker; and, most troubling of all, his sensitive, gifted fifteen-year-old brother, Gabriel, suddenly and inexplicably disappears.

As Cullen navigates a summer of finding and losing love, holding his fragile family together, and muddling his way into adulthood, a young, disillusioned missionary in Africa searches for meaning wherever he can find it. And when those two stories collide, a surprising and harrowing climax emerges that is tinged with melancholy and regret, comedy and absurdity, and above all, hope.

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When I saw this book at Book Sale, I immediately grabbed it, not because it was on my TBR or wish list, but because of its bright blue pretty cover. Haha! Plus, it's an award-winning piece so I was really intrigued by it.
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Plot
When I started reading, I had no idea what the book is about so I was guessing how Cullen's and Benton's stories are connected. The development of the story can be a bit slow, but Cullen's sense of humor made up for it. His POV is reflective and introspective but it isn't dull and dragging.

There was a lot going on in Cullen's life, not to mention the woodpecker that turned Lily into an instant tourist spot, but the flow of events and how they influenced Cullen is really remarkable. I liked how everything was tied in the end, giving an amazing conclusion.

The story was easy to follow, light but at the same time, moving.

Characters
Where Things Come Back did not only focus around Cullen's life and the issues he's facing but also in the secondary characters' lives. I liked how in a 228-page read, I was able to know them.

Every character is likeable despite the poor choices some of them might have made. They are easily relatable and thankfully, none of them is annoying.

Writing
I really liked the style of writing. The narration is divided into two: a first person POV, that of Cullen's, and a third person POV for the other characters.

I've never read anything like it before, so it was refreshing for me. I think it also helped in avoiding the monotonous (and dragging) tone that other first-person-POV-books usually have.

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Overall, I really, really liked Where Things Come Back. More than a book about a boy making his way into adulthood, Where Things Come Back is a story about relationships, life and hope.

Funny yet poignant. I definitely recommend this book to everyone who wants a light, funny yet heart-rending read. :)


"It never hurts anyone to think life gives you second chances."

"We don't have to be so anxious about everything. We can just be. We can get up, anticipate that the day will probably have a few good moments and a few bad ones, and then just deal with it. Take it all in and deal as best we can."

"We can be comforted in the fact that life will always be a struggle. There will always be false hopes."


John 'Corey’ Whaley grew up in the small town of Springhill, Louisiana, where he learned to be sarcastic and to tell stories. He has a B.A. in English from Louisiana Tech University, as well as an M.A in Secondary English Education. He started writing stories about aliens and underwater civilizations when he was around ten or eleven, but now writes realistic YA fiction (which sometimes includes zombies…). He taught public school for five years and spent much of that time daydreaming about being a full-time writer… and dodging his students’ crafty projectiles. He is terrible at most sports, but is an occasional kayaker and bongo player. He is obsessed with movies, music, and traveling to new places. He is an incredibly picky eater and has never been punched in the face, though he has come quite close. One time, when he was a kid, he had a curse put on him by a strange woman in the arcade section of a Wal-Mart. His favorite word is defenestration. His favorite color is green. His favorite smell is books. He currently splits his time between Louisiana and Los Angeles.

Where Things Come Back is his first novel (Source: Author's blog).


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #9: No Love Allowed


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme where we will showcase that one book we can't wait to hit the market!

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cover from Goodreads

Title: No Love Allowed
Author: Kate Evangelista
Publication Details: April 19th 2016 by Swoon Reads
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, YA/NA


Caleb desperately needs a new fake girlfriend. Either he attends a series of parties with a pretty girl on his arm to schmooze for his father’s law firm, or he gets shipped off to Yale to start a future he’s not ready for and isn’t sure he wants. And sadly the last unattached girl in his social circle has just made the grievous mistake of falling in love with him. Fortunately, Didi, the waitress at the Country Club — who just lost her job due to Caleb’s too-public breakup — is open to new experiences (and art supplies are expensive!). It’s the perfect setup for them both. Caleb has only one rule for the arrangement: Didi mustn’t fall in love with him.





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Why I'm waiting? Well, the synopsis may sound cliché, but I haven't read contemporary romance for a while now, so why not? Haha! And besides, No Love Allowed sounds like a cute, fun read. Plus, it's by a Filipino author! Thus, I'm definitely looking forward to reading this one. :)

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By the way folks, I also have an Instagram (personal) account and a Facebook page (book blog page), so if you want, you can visit me there. And perhaps, follow/like? Haha!


That's all folks!
Have a nice day!

Book Stop Project: A Pop-up Library