Monday, August 31, 2015

What Happened: August 2015

Hi folks!

How was your August?
I had a very slow reading month. But I bought a lot of books than necessary. I can't even think of my TBR. Haha!

Here's a quick recap of my August blog-wise:

Books I Read:
One Fling to Rule Them All by Deanna Dee
Reboot by Amy Tintera

Remember my August TBR? From the list, I only finished reading Reboot. Haha! Yeah, I know. Slump. Hopefully, I'll be able to read The Elite and The One this September. :)

Reviews Posted:

Book Haul:

I also posted tips for the Great NBS Warehouse Sale here.

Bookshelf Tour:

Cover Reveal:

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I hope September will be a more exciting month book- and blog-wise!

Have a nice day folks!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #12 + Photo Diary: The Power Sale Edition and Other Stuff

Hi folks!

Last August 28, my office mates and I went to Powerbooks, Glorietta branch to check out their Power Sale 2015! I honestly did not plan on buying any books. But you already know what happened, folks. :)

Here are the photos:


Most books are 10-20% off but I bought from the 50% off selection. :)



What I bought:


Half Bad by Sally Green (HB)
Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys (HB)
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson


After work, I also headed to The Great Luxe Sale, and visited the Papelito Express booth. I bought these cute magnetic bookmarks. :)


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I also bought two cute earrings and two flat shoes! Haha! So yes, there goes my money.

Anyway, I'm excited to read the books I bought. They're all on my wishlist! And if I had more budget, I'd buy more books. But well, I need to control myself. Haha!

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Have a nice day folks!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Feature & Follow #17: Quote

Hi folks!
Happy Friday!


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 Journey Through Fiction:

Share a random quote from the book you are currently reading.

"Life, as we know, is a living, shrinking affair, and somewhere down the line I became taken with the idea that man and his world should be renewed on a daily basis."

-The Sly Company of People Who Care, Rahul Bhattacharya

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What do you think of the book, given this quote? :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Book Review: One Fling to Rule Them All by Deanna Dee


Title: One Fling to Rule Them All (The Games of Love #2)
Author: Deanna Dee
Genre: Romance
Publication Details: June 9th 2015 by Deanna Dee

It began with the forging of a great friendship.

For three months, Lydia Bell has watched Craig, her best friend and the love of her life, be in a happy relationship with someone else. But she’s over it. Or thinks she is until she hears Craig’s voice on the phone. Desperate to put her romantic feelings behind, she joins her roommates for a night out. Maybe she’ll meet someone.

And meet someone she does—a guy named Scott, who looks a lot like Craig. Despite their awkward introduction, flaming arrows fly, and soon Lydia is running off the dance floor to get away from feelings she shouldn’t have. So much for getting over Craig, and so much for Scott.

Until Monday morning, that is. Turns out Scott goes to her school. Worse, they share a class. As if that’s not weird enough, Scott is also trying to get over someone. To help both Lydia and himself, he proposes a fling, and reluctantly, Lydia agrees. Now she just has to hope this fling rules and doesn’t crash into a fiery mountain. (Source: Goodreads.)


One Fling to Rule Them All is the second book in the Game of Love series/duology (?). I did not read the first book, but One Fling to Rule Them All is a companion novel and centers around a different character so I gave it a go. Also, I am not a fan of the title and the cover but the synopsis sounds interesting, so I still accepted the review request.

Plot
Short, yet an entertaining read. It's only ~170 pages but I was able to get into the whole story and relate to the characters.

To others, the plot may not be really unique, but I've actually never read anything like it before. Moving-on stories I usually read are those of moving on from a deceased partner or loved ones, but never from a best friend and because of an unrequited love. The plot may be familiar, yes, but I liked how the events unfold for the characters. I think no scene was wasted as they all connect to the characters and their developments.

Other things the author incorporated to the story, which I think brought a somehow refreshing take to it, are gaming (RPGs and stuff), and LOTR references. Granted, I don't know anything about gaming and I know little of LOTR (hey, don't judge!) but I was still able to enjoy the story with only a few question marks on my face. Haha!

The ending is, thankfully, a good one. It was quite hurried, in my opinion, but nevertheless, I liked how the loose threads were tied together in the end.

Plot-wise, One Fling to Rule Them All is an enjoyable read.

Characters
Lydia's POV is fun to read. She is simple yet sassy, funny, and is not a fan of partying and/or clubs (like me.. haha). She can be stubborn at times, but that makes her more relatable. Her character development is quite hurried, I think, but I still liked that she got her happy ending. :)

Scott was not explored well. But despite the one-sided POV, I was still able to understand him.

The other characters, like Scott, weren't also explored well. But I liked how they played parts in Lydia's development. I liked the dynamics and relationships between the characters.

Writing
The writing style of the author is okay. The flow of events is smooth and I did enjoy my reading experience, even though I did not read the first book in The Games of Love series. I liked how the author was able to reintroduce the characters and the events that happened in the past without the whole story being complicated and long. However, I did not understand some geeky references. And as I've mentioned previously, I felt like the parts toward the ending is quite hurried.

One Fling to Rule Them All is told in a first person perspective, in Lydia's POV. Despite the limited view, I was still able to connect not only to the main character but also to the secondary ones.

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Overall, One Fling to Rule Them All is a light, fun read about love and about moving on. It's a quick read that fans of contemporary romance and LOTR/gaming will surely enjoy.


Deanna Dee is strictly human and does not, to her knowledge, own a hyena. She lives by the sea, which she takes full advantage of in the summer time. Nerd culture and pop culture make up the shameless downtime of her life. The rest of it is writing, and she’s okay with that.


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Disclaimer: I got a free copy of One Fling to Rule Them All from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Photo Diary: Bookshelf Tour: August 2015

Hi folks! Welcome to another bookshelf tour! It's been a year since my last tour, so I decided to post another one. As you will see, I have acquired more books but not space. Haha! I am badly in need of a new bookcase (or two). :)

Anyway, as I've said in my previous posts, I've only started collecting books in 2012, I think, that's why I have missing books (ie, HP series, The Hunger Games trilogy, the (complete) Vampire Academy series, etc). But patience little grasshopper, I will have them very soon, especially Harry Potter! Haha! If only books are cheaper...

Oh, and I tried organizing my books by genre, but after the third shelf, I gave up. Haha!

Took down all the books from my bookcase. Because you know, I need to exercise. :)

Okay, enough of the blabbering... First shelf...

Feature & Follow #16: Pets

Hi folks!
Happy Friday!


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 Book Cat Pin:
If you could have any animal in the world as a pet, what would you pick? Fictional ones count too!

Ooh. I'm not really a pet/animal person, but if given a chance, I'd love to have a pet panda. Because pandas are just so cute and cuddly. Cases in point...


Source: Pinterest

Aren't they so adorable?
I would have to move to a colder place just to have panda as a pet, but I'm willing. Really. Haha!

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What about you folks?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #15: A Thousand Nights

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!

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Title: A Thousand Nights
Author: E.K. Johnston
Publication Details: October 22nd 2015 by Macmillan Children's Books
Genre: Fantasy, Fairy tale retelling, YA

Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to my village, looking for a wife. When Lo-Melkhiin - a formidable king - arrives at her desert home, she knows that he will take her beautiful sister for a wife. Desperate to save her sister from certain death, she makes the ultimate sacrifice - leaving home and family behind to live with a fearful man. But it seems that a strange magic flows between her and Lo-Melkhiin, and night after night, she survives. Finding power in storytelling, the words she speaks are given strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. But she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king ...if only she can stop her heart from falling for a monster.

Set against a harsh desert backdrop, A Thousand Nights by E K Johnston is an evocative tale of love, mystery and magic that would not feel out of place if Scheherazade herself were telling it. And perhaps she is... (Source: Goodreads.)

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Aside from its beautiful cover, the synopsis sounds interesting and intriguing. I haven't read the original One Thousand and One Nights, but this sounds like something I would enjoy reading. :)

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How about you folks?

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #11 + Photo Diary: Warehouse Sale Edition

Hi folks!

How are you doing? I hope everything's fine. :)

Yesterday, August 15, I went to National Book Store, Q. Avenue branch for the Great NBS Warehouse Sale! As I've said in my previous post, I've been waiting for this, and I was super excited when they finally announced the sale.

Before I show you my haul, here are the few photos I took from the event. :)


There were a lot of people. A LOT.



See? Haha! I wasn't able to take photos of every station, because folks, just look at the people. Haha!

The place was just too crowded. But you know what folks? For the love of books, it's okay. For the love of books! :)


Those boxes contain more books and sale items!


Someone was handing out The Casual Vacancy straight from the box. From Php 945 to Php 100. That's a great deal! :)


Just my oxford shoes! I should've worn a more comfortable shoes, but whatever. Haha!

Now on to my haul...


The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling- From Php 945 to 100
The Twelve by Justin Cronin- From Php 695 to 100
Who is AC?- From Php 579 to 100 (I bought this because AC is my nickname. Haha!)
A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens- From Php 899 to 300
12-21 by Dustin Thomason- From Php 315 to 75

I wasn't able to get a good look at all the stations because my arms started aching from lugging around my basket. But I'm happy with my haul! :)

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Also, I went to Book Sale... And you already know what happened.


Whisper on the Wind by Maureen Lang
The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel (I've been looking for this book for ages!)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (I bought this last July, I think. But I haven't included it yet on my StS post.) 


And also, some cute bookmarks I bought last week, I think. Haha!

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There you go folks!
Did you go to the Warehouse Sale? What did you buy?

Have a nice day!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Cover Reveal: The Libelle Papers by E.C. Hibbs

Check out the cover reveal for
E.C. Hibbs' The Libelle Papers


Title: The Libelle Papers (Tragic Silence #2)
Author: E.C. Hibbs
Release Date: September 13th 2015
Genre: NA, Paranormal, Thriller
Add to: Goodreads


The TRAGIC SILENCE story continues...

Young German nurse Hanna Bernstein has secretly researched vampirism all her life, carrying on her family's 250 year-old legacy. Along with her father, she is the caretaker of Die Gift: a collection of unpublished theses detailing the most secret and mysterious condition in history. But even she is unprepared for the twisted world of demons which threatens to swallow her.

Risking everything to save the life of an old friend, she is forced to abandon all she knows and go into hiding in Switzerland. But with a powerful enemy on her trail, Hanna's decisions will matter more than ever before.


Check out the first book, Tragic Silence!


Title: Tragic Silence
Author: E.C. Hibbs
Publication Details: November 19th 2013

When tragedy strikes Bianka Farkas one night in her native Hungary, she loses more than a friend and her mobility. Some things are harder to understand. Waking up in a hospital, Bee struggles to remember exactly what happened the night she was attacked and witnessed a brutal murder. Memories of a mysterious figure plague her as well as bizarre and terrifying changes in her over the next few years. Facing this new horrifying reality with a surprising ally, Bee finally has the chance to take her revenge but at what cost?





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



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Hosted by:

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #14: She's Not There


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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Title: She's Not There
Author: P.J. Parrish
Publication Details: September 8th 2015 by Thomas & Mercer, Amazon Publishing
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers, Literature/Fiction (Adult)

They say it’s better to battle the devil you know. But what if you don’t recognize him before it’s too late?

She knows her name is Amelia, but after waking up in a hospital battered and bruised with just the clothes on her back, it’s all she knows. Unable to piece together her shattered memory, she’s haunted by a vision: menacing faces and voices implying her nightmare is far from over.

Relying only on her wits and her will to live, Amelia becomes a fugitive from a mysterious man, and a life she can’t even remember. But the past she’s fleeing has no intention of letting her go (Source: NetGalley).


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I love reading psychological thriller, and this one sounds right up my alley! I actually have this on my NetGalley. I can't wait to read this one! :)

What are you waiting on?

Sunday, August 9, 2015

News + Tips: The Great National Book Store Warehouse Sale

Source: National Book Store
I am very much excited for this Warehouse Sale! National Book Store holds small-time warehouse sales per branch, but this is the one I've been waiting for! I remember posting a status on Facebook that I miss the "big" warehouse sale. I'm very happy it'll happen again!

Photo from the November 2013 Warehouse Sale.

My first warehouse sale was in 2013. It was a fulfilling experience, book-wise, because I was able to buy 7 books for less than 500 pesos ($11-12)! My second warehouse sale was last year, January 2014, and I bought 12 books, I think, for less than 1000 pesos ($22-23)!

This year it'll be on August 13-18. I want to go on the 13th, but I will be coming from work, tired. So, probably on Saturday? (I do want to go on the first day though.) Haha!

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First time to experience the Warehouse Sale? I'll give you tips, while I'm at it. :) First, don't forget your money (Haha!). But if you did forget, there are BPI ATM machines at the ground floor. I am not sure with other banks though.

Second, bring water or snacks. You need the energy to carry around your books. Plus, there'll be queue.

Third, wear comfortable clothes.

Fourth, bring tissue, alcohol or wipes. Majority of the books are dusty, so prepare to get your hands (and clothes) dirty. Haha!

Fifth, don't leave your patience at home, or elsewhere. The place is not air-conditioned and there will be a lot of book lovers, so it'll be really hot. The stations/tables will be crowded and you'll have to say "excuse me" too many times just to get the book your eyeing. And folks, queue.

Sixth, bring eco bags. If you plan on buying 30 books, don't worry. NBS will have boxes for you. :)

Last, enjoy your book shopping! :)

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That's all folks!
See you in The Great National Book Store Warehouse Sale!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

August 2015 TBR

Hi folks!

How's your August so far? I hope you're having a good month! :)

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Anyway, I want to share my August TBR. Well okay, I don't really do monthly TBRs because I don't really follow them (Haha!), but this month, I will try my best to stick to my list.

Here are the books I will read this month of August!



Reboot by Amy Tintera: I started reading this last week, and I'm enjoying it so far.
The Elite and The One by Kiera Cass: I really enjoyed reading The Selection so I can't wait to finish the series.
The Heir by Kiera Cass: I haven't bought the book yet. But I will very soon! :)

As for the review ebooks, I will try to read the following:

Title: Lament for the Afterlife
Author: Lisa L. Hannett
Publication Details: August 4th 2015 by Diamond Book Distributors, ChiZine Publications
Genre: Sci Fi & Fantasy

No one knows when the war against the greys began. There are theories, speculations, but the only certainties are air-raids, abductions, and inner city explosions. Assaults are endless, swift and lethal; the enemy's stealth unsurpassed. Whispers have circulated for centuries, thoughts spinning from minds in visible wordwinds, clear for all to read, to wield, to steal. Where are the greys? When will they next strike? How can you attack something you can't see? And secretly, fearfully: Are the greys even real?Spanning decades, Lament for the Afterlife follows one man as he negotiates the hostile territory of life after combat. Peytr Borysson comes from a long line of soldiers, but isn't born for fighting. His 'wind is better shaped for poetry than bullets. Even so, at sixteen he follows the local boys into battle — and never quite leaves. Interweaving Peytr's struggles with those of his family, Lament for the Afterlife takes readers to the frontlines and far beyond, telling a story of ordinary people persisting in extraordinary circumstances. A novel of human survival, guilt, and the devastating power of memory, Lament for the Afterlife examines the physical and psychological distances we travel when beliefs are threatened — or held too tightly (Description from NetGalley).


Title: Created (Created #1)
Author: Peiri Ann
Publication Details: July 24th 2015
Genre: Teens & YA, Sci Fi & Fantasy

After a devastating universal war, our government has manufactured genetically altered humans. These ‘creations’ are designed to manage and enforce law and order among the citizens. Creations don’t know fear or pain. Their sole function is to fight the enemy and live to battle again.

Orphans Kylie Alexander and her twin brother, Lukahn were born for this purpose. Dedicating their lives to sharpening their deadly skills and forfeiting the chance of love and freedom. They ready themselves for Separation, the deadly rite of passage where they are drafted into the final preparation for war.

When Kylie and Luke are shipped off to separation three months early, questions arise. Who is the real enemy? What is really happening beyond the fractured sanctuary of the training compound?

Humans and creations alike have become lethal foes when a plague of the living dead becomes the number one hazard. Strategies change as the twins discover they may not be the saviors of humankind after all.

They may be the real enemy of the people.

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There you go folks! I'll update you at the end of the month of my progress. Haha!

What are you planning to read this August?

Have a nice day folks!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Feature & Follow #15: Three Wishes

Happy Friday!


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 Life is Reading:

If you could have 3 wishes granted, what would they be?

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Interesting question! I do have a lot in mind, but let me stick to the bookish ones.

I wish to be able to buy or have all the books I want, so that I will have a huge library!
I wish to have my own successful bookstore!
I wish to be able to help kids and readers here in the Philippines by having library projects.

Those were my major dreams. Haha! I still have a lot in mind, but perhaps I'll share them some other post. :)


What will your 3 wishes be?

Oh, and happy weekend! :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Book Review: What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi [ARC]


Title: What You Left Behind
Author: Jessica Verdi
Publication Details: August 4th, 2015 by Sourcebooks
Copy: eARC from the publisher through NetGalley

A heartbreaking and poignant novel of grief and guilt that reads like Nicholas Sparks for teens!

Jessica Verdi, the author of My Life After Now and The Summer I Wasn’t Me, returns with a heartbreaking and poignant novel of grief and guilt that reads like Nicholas Sparks for teens.

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. 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?I requested What You Left Behind because the synopsis sounds interesting. (Source: NetGalley; Cover: Goodreads.)

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Plot
The plot elements in the book aren't really new- teenage/single parenting, senior high school stuff, moving on and family relationship. However, it was made somehow refreshing (at least for me) by the choice of voice and by weaving the main's issues together, making it easier to connect to the main character.

Ryden is 17 and a single dad, juggling work and school, and is struggling to reconcile with his past. He really has a lot going on in his life. While reading, I was able to see his sorrow and struggle. But despite the many issues, the elements are played out such that my reading never got too overwhelming.

The book did not focus too much on the love story, but on Ryden's development. It primarily deals with decisions and responsibilities, and I was able to see the reality in making choices, especially when the future is at stake.

The reconciliation in the end, I think, is already expected as most books of the same category. I liked how the ending is quite open. A lot more can happen but there's hope, if not a certainty, of a good future.

Characters
I loved how the characters are presented- flawed but relatable. I liked the dynamics of the characters, and how the character development of the main is slow yet sure.

Though only through her journals, I was able to know Meg and how she affected Ryden. She had lapses in her judgement, but she definitely loved Ryden. It would actually be nice to read their story. And it would be a bittersweet read.

Joni is the opposite of Meg. Though not explored well, her character played a big part in Ryden's development. From what I read, I can say that Joni is her own person. I liked how she stays true to herself, and how unique she is.

I also enjoyed reading Ryden's interactions and relationships with Alan (Meg's best friend), Mabel (Meg's sister) and most especially, Ryden's mom. Alan, Mabel and Ryden would have been strangers if not for Meg. Though only until later, they were able to form a bond of friendship; and I liked how they supported each other. Ryden's relationship with his mom is just admirable. There's love and support, and they're like best friends to each other.

Writing
What You Left Behind is written in a first person voice, in Ryden's perspective. Though one-sided, I was able to know and relate not only to Ryden but also to the other characters.

Despite the many issues thrown, the flow of the story is smooth and easy to follow. All the events are also relevant to Ryden's development. I especially liked how the "ugliness" of life was not downplayed. The author was able to portray the rough edges of life, but at the same time offer hope to the readers.

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My rating is 1 star short because of the cursing. (I'm not really comfortable with cursing.) Also, I was expecting to know more of Joni because I thought she's a main character as well. But other than those, I think What You Left Behind is a good read. I recommend reading this, especially if you're looking for a contemporary read about responsibilities, priorities, relationship and moving on. And I would definitely read the other books of Jessica! :)




Jessica Verdi lives in Brooklyn, NY, and received her MFA in Writing for Children from The New School. She loves seltzer, Tabasco sauce, TV, vegetarian soup, flip-flops, and her dog.

Visit her at www.jessicaverdi.com and follow her on Twitter @jessverdi.