Book Crossover: Before I Go to Sleep (2014) Film Review

Title: Before I Go to Sleep
Theatrical Release: November 21, 2014
Watched: March 22, 2015
Book it’s based from: Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
Read the book? Yes
Reviewed the book? Yes (4 stars)


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

So I’ll try to be non-spoilery as much as I can. For sure, there will be no major spoilers but I wouldn’t be able to talk about the film without saying ANYTHING at all so yeah.

Let’s get the book comparisons out of the way first, so I can focus on the ACTUAL film for the rest of the review. In the book, Christine kept an actual diary while she kept a video diary in the film. For one, that’s an interesting choice but a smart one as well. I mean, who wants to read a diary FOREVER in a film. So it was an intelligent cinematic choice for the film and I agree with it. Lastly, the book’s details are pretty vague to me now so I can’t say for sure point out the differences but I think a certain character’s age has been changed. Now, onto the film itself!

If you’ve seen my tweets while I was watching the film, I pretty much boo-ed and ranted over the score. Barf. It was so over-the-top and it was trying too hard to make you feel that THIS IS OMINOUS/THERE IS SERIOUS SHIT GOING DOWN that it ended up kind of comedic. It was too in-your-face. I like my score subtle and slow in its build-up. Like, nothing’s happening, this is a normal score, then, you’re crested into a shitstorm. A good example of a great score for a thriller was Gone Girl‘s. A film’s score is supposed to buoy you into the emotions but it was too flashy that I ended up disconnected to it all.

As for the characters! Colin Firth was great. Mark Strong isn’t how I imagined Dr. Nash would look like but he did well. While I think I sympathized more with Book!Christine, Nicole Kidman was good as well. Acting was overall, fine, nothing awkward or anything. I’m completely being shallow here though because it kind of distracted me how wrinkly Nicole Kidman’s hands are but her face was so smooth and young-looking. There’s just a dissonance in it all. Haha!

Directing and editing. It was pretty good and it actually made the material even creepier than I remember the book being? Score aside (I really have an issue with it and I just wanna batter it with my umbrella), the lighting and editing were dark and made the pace alright.

Overall, I’d say this was a decent adaptation although not a memorable one.

Review: We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach

We All Looked Up
Title: We All Looked Up
Author: Tommy Wallach
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Date of Publication: March 24, 2015

Four high school seniors put their hopes, hearts, and humanity on the line as an asteroid hurtles toward Earth in this contemporary novel.

They always say that high school is the best time of your life.

Peter, the star basketball player at his school, is worried “they” might actually be right. Meanwhile Eliza can’t wait to escape Seattle—and her reputation—and perfect-on-paper Anita wonders if admission to Princeton is worth the price of abandoning her real dreams. Andy, for his part, doesn’t understand all the fuss about college and career—the future can wait.

Or can it? Because it turns out the future is hurtling through space with the potential to wipe out life on Earth. As these four seniors—along with the rest of the planet—wait to see what damage an asteroid will cause, they must abandon all thoughts of the future and decide how they’re going to spend what remains of the present.

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My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Thank you to SS BYR, Edelweiss, and TUAFBC Blog Tours for the review copy! Having received one did not affect my views of the novel.

You know how YA novels are just so pure? Pure, in the sense that, every single thing is EVERYTHING? Teens are unabashedly unapologetic about what they want and think and they just live in the now. They don’t create problems and believe that it’s complicated (when it’s not) like most adults do. But put in Ardor to the equation, an asteroid that could potentially wipe out Earth, and you get an even more heightened version of this. Now, every single thing is REALLY everything. Everything is a countdown. That’s what happens in We All Looked Up, life fast-forwarded and heightened told by our band of misfits.

We All Looked Up is told in the third-person perspectives of four high school students from vastly different social cliques: Peter (the jock), Eliza (the photographer), Andy (the stoner), and Anita (the overachiever). The first four chapters were dedicated to introducing these characters and I loved how Tommy Wallach COMPLETELY made us understand each one of them in just those four chapters. I could trace the roots of their personality, their fears, what keeps them awake at night, as if I’ve known these teens for a long time. Because Tommy Wallach gifted each of them with universal themes, problems, and thoughts that every person had thought of at least once in their life. It makes every single character someone you can relate to and easy people to root for. Because YOU see YOURSELF in each of them. I took a sentence from each of the four chapters to show you a preview of our characters and how they were faring when we first get to know them.

Peter: “How do you know if you’re choosing wrong?”

Eliza: “Things were never so bad that they couldn’t get worse.”

Andy: “Today was just another shit day in a life that sometimes felt like a factory specializing in the construction of shit days.”

Anita: “If she could eradicate the hope, she could eradicate the sadness.

Peter mostly coasted through high school unscathed, but with his senior year ending, questions just keep bubbling up. Is Stanford and football the right path? Or is he gonna look back on his life when he’s on his deathbed regretting spending his whole life playing a game? Eliza’s mother took off and left her with her dad, who’s given a year to live by the doctors after his diagnosis of cancer. School isn’t good as she’s known as the school slut. Andy’s parents don’t care about him and everything bores him. Is there anything that matters? Is anyone ever gonna love him? Anita is treated by his father like she’s an investment, not his daughter. She’s smothered and she doesn’t feel loved. Her parents are also crushing her dream of being a singer and singing is all she ever wanted to do.

These characters are just rife with conflict and when their orbits get entangled together, forcing them to interact with one another, we get our story. Some people tagged this book as dystopia on Goodreads and while bombings, lootings, and killings were happening because it’s the end of the world and no one cares anymore, I’d still consider this a contemporary novel. In fact, it’s a bit slice-of-life in format, in which we see our characters day-to-day as the end of the world as we know it comes. With the apocalypse in their midst, everything becomes special (or not special), and WALU talks about every single issue it could squeeze into its length. Diversity, parental love, expectations, reality, violence, death, life, existence, legacy, love, body image, slut-shaming, creativity, adults-don’t-have-it-together, envy, EVERYTHING. With everything in fast-forward and heightened, I loved how full of musings and questions to ponder this book is. Everything is so existential and I just loved every single moment of it.

Our characters also grew by the end of the novel and honestly, I cried with this book. It was bittersweet, with both doom and hope competing, but it all ended up making me feel peaceful. Which I guess is what you feel when you’re going to die and you can’t do anything about it and you just accepted it. It’s peaceful and there’s no place for regrets. That’s how I felt after I read this book. It just struck a chord so much that I couldn’t deal.

Let’s get to the writing. I now proclaim that I will read novels written by musicians. I think they just tap into something just so much deeper and it resonates with me. Cristina Moracho’s Althea & Oliver, David Arnold’s Mosquitoland, and now this. We All Looked Up is so beautifully written that I highlighted so many passages. Descriptions I never encountered before but were SO right and apt and on point  that I don’t know why I haven’t thought of them before in that way. (Answer: I’m not a writer.) In fact, I KNEW I’d love this book right from the first chapter when it said:

“The best books, they don’t talk about things you never thought about before. They talk about things you’d always thought about, but that you didn’t think anyone else had thought about. You read them, and suddenly you’re a little bit less alone in the world. You’re part of this cosmic community of people who’ve thought about this thing, whatever it happens to be.”

This book just GETS me. This book made me all introspective. Everything was worth gushing over. If that’s how you define the best books, then We All Looked Up is certainly one of them. It felt like I was part of Tommy Wallach’s karass, along with all the people who loved this novel, that we’re all linked in a cosmically significant manner, even if there are no superficial connections. I felt like I was understood, that my self-awareness was normal and it was fine and dandy to think about things.

I also gave plenty of bonus points too because once again, I felt like Tommy just KNOWS me. The book had I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire by The Ink Spots. Tommy had a companion album to it too, which was PERFECT for the book. (Obviously.) While reading, it felt like, god, this is my crowd. Peter, Eliza, Andy, and Anita, they’re all me (and probably you) and I think that’s what Tommy wanted to achieve.

I loved The Paradox of Vertical Flight by Emil Ostrovski for all its philosophical musings and with everything bursting into flames in a couple of weeks, our characters in We All Looked Up are all in their own spirals of thoughts and questions. I sound so pretentious right now but philosophy in YA is just MY cup of tea. Existentialism and self-awareness and doubt are not for adults and literary fiction only. It’s for everyone. In fact, similar to Althea & Oliver, We All Looked Up read like literary fiction, which just coincidentally had teenage characters. I want Althea & Oliver, The Paradox of Vertical Flight, and We All Looked Up to have babies.

We All Looked Up is thought-provoking and is the novel I wish I read back in high school (or even in college). It’s fucking brilliant. If the world ended today, I’m glad it ended with me having read this gem.

About Tommy Wallach
Tommy Wallach is a Brooklyn-based writer and musician. His first novel, We All Looked Up, will be published by Simon and Schuster in April 2015. His work has appeared in many nice magazines, such as McSweeney’s, Tin House, and Wired. He has released an EP with Decca Records, and will be independently putting out an LP in Spring 2014. He also makes music videos, including one that was exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum. You should buy him dinner.

Review: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Open Road Summer

Title: Open Road Summer
Author: Emery Lord
Publisher: Walker Children’s
Date of Publication: April 15, 2014

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository


My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Thank you to Bloomsbury Children’s and NetGalley for the review copy! Having received one did not affect my views of the novel.

So I read this one last April 8, 2014. Yes, guys, it’s almost been a year since I first read it and I still haven’t reviewed it. Here was my feeble attempt on reviewing it right after I read it:


I feel like I can never review this because I love it. SO. MUCH. The perfect summer read. Love the characters, the plot, the music, everything. I just EMERY LORD, YOU SLAY ME.

Now, I’ve just finished reading Open Road Summer for the sixth time (five re-reads in a year, yes, I just can’t help it) but I still can’t promise that this will be a coherent review. Every time I read it, I end up just bursting with exclamation marks to slam and give out, inhibiting me from writing a review. But hey, challenge accepted!

It’s so hard to find a YA novel that presents such deep, glorious, and enviable friendship as the one in Open Road Summer. What I’m trying to say is, we all know the best friend stereotype. Always relegated to the side when the love interest comes by. Must be sassy and/or funny. I’m so tired of the token best friend and how this character is so flat. So what a breath of fresh air is Open Road Summer in this aspect. Dee never felt like a sidekick in here. Emery Lord wrote such a fantastic friendship between Reagan and Dee. They might be way different now but they understand and pick up each other. They’re each other’s rock. Their friendship withstood and will continue to withstand everything in its path. This is so rare, guys. So rare to be able to read a friendship portrayed as greatly in this novel. In this aspect alone, this novel got my whole heart now.

This book really is the perfect summer read. A roadtrip with your best friend and romance with a certain boy (who’s a famous singer pretending to be her best friend’s boyfriend for publicity so SNEAKY SNEAKY) = DIANNE SLAIN BY SWOON. This book has EVERYTHING I could ask for and EVERYTHING on my auto-buy tropes which are road trips and the love interest being a celebrity. Then not only is the boy a celebrity but a swoontastic one at that who smirks all the time but is very sensitive and I’m putty. Witness the glob of melted Dianne that is now in front of you.

Matt Finch is WOW. I mean, I don’t even know where to start. Oh yeah, THE BANTER. Reagan and Matt’s banter was so snappy and witty and IT IS LIKE A BONE TO A DOG. I was salivating for more MORE MOAAARRR and I gobbled it up. Matt Finch, good lord. Matt Finch singing. Matt Finch topless. Matt Finch EVERY DAY ANY DAY ANY TIME EVERY SECOND. I couldn’t get enough of Matt and his straight-from-the-heart songs and how, just, HE’S PERFECT OKAY.

So, let’s delve into the other aspects of the film because you might think I only loved this for Matt. Reagan, oh, Reagan. This summer roadtrip was supposed to be a way to heal old Reagan’s wounds and pave way for the new Reagan. Her mom left her and her dad at an early age and with Dee not in school anymore due to her country star duties, Reagan ended up in a lot of trouble. Not to say that she didn’t do well in school because she did. But you could say that she hung out and dated the wrong guys. And now her arm is in a cast and she wants to move on and change. While Reagan is more spiky than a porcupine, you can easily see through her defenses. She retorts and spars and is mighty protective of Dee in every single aspect but inside, she’s really vulnerable. She admits to herself that she went too far and her arm being in a cast is a wake-up call to change. (Of course, the reason for the cast will be explained in the novel.)

For a seemingly swoony summer read, Open Road Summer has its share of surprising depth and I loved that. We have Matt who lost his mom to cancer and who’s not sure what to do with his life as well. I mean, just, I love all the giddy feels but when a book can ALSO make you cry by baring its heart out? YES. ALL THE TIME.

Some people didn’t like Reagan as she kept on judging other girls for what they wear and all that. I think it was authentic. It’s not right, yes, but tell me you’ve NEVER hated on another girl just because you’re jealous or envious of her. It’s wrong, yes, but it’s common. Why do we even want our characters to be perfect? I like them more with flaws. Or maybe it’s just I can easily read Reagan even if she has all of these brickwalls around her.

God, I’m not doing this book justice. JUST READ IT, OKAY. I love it and I will continue to shove this to anyone who loves reading contemporary YA romances because THIS. IS. THE. REAL. DEAL. Emery Lord knows how to write contemporary YA romances, no shit.

About Emery Lord

Emery Lord is a 20-something Midwestern girl who writes stories about high school and best friends and weird families and the crushes that make you feel combustibly alive and also more awkward than you thought was possible. If you’re not sure how to pronounce Emery, try slurring the name “Emily,” and that will get you really close.   
She lives in Cincinnati in a 100 year-old pink row house with her BFF/husband, a closet full of dresses, and lots of books. If karaoke-ing in grocery store aisles or guzzling coffee while impulse shopping were illegal, Emery would be writing her overemotional YA books from jail. Also, she makes up words sometimes. Like combustibly.

OPEN ROAD SUMMER, her first YA novel, is out April 15th, 2014. A second YA novel TBD will be released Spring 2015.

Playlist: Nowhere Now but Here

Charlie can attest to this: I love pushing songs to anyone who’d listen to my recommendations. Yeah, push is too weak a word to what I actually do. There is some force involved.

I made this playlist for Charlie more than a year ago and have been debating on posting it here on the blog. (Oops.) It’s just that, I’ve always convinced myself every time that no one’s going to care but whatever, right? It’s my blog. (And really, I don’t have anything to post. Reviews are so elusive!)

Anyway, here’s a short playlist (13 songs). Like I’ve mentioned before somewhere here in the blog, I suck at making tonally cohesive playlists because I’m a ~lyrics~ person. I don’t know how to describe this mix I made but it’s sort of my chill/I-need-to-think playlist so it’s composed of both sad songs and upbeat ones.

Featured artists include: Cloud Control (Aussie band!), WALK THE MOON (Duh, I work them into every playlist I make), Greylag, Lost Lander and more!
Here goes!

There’s Nothing In The Water We Can’t Fight by Cloud Control

Quesadilla (Live Acoustic) by WALK THE MOON

Love Light by Friends of Emmet

Calypso Gold by Princeton

I Like The Way That You Walk by The Donkeys

Run Rabbit Run by The Hoosiers

Darling Are You Gonna Leave Me by London Grammar

Tiger by Greylag

Say My Name / Cry Me A River by The Neighbourhood

Mile Marker by Amy Seeley

Vagabond by Wolfmother (Acoustic)

The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack by Liars

Afraid of Summer by Lost Lander

Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars

Title: We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Date of Publication: May 13, 2014

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

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My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Don’t read my review if you’ve never read the book. I will not talk about events so there will be no direct spoilers but I will talk about my feelings and they might be spoilery. If you feel like you’ve been hyped too much, you’d probably won’t love this novel as much as I did. If you’re looking for all the clues right from the start, you might not be as shocked and thus, you might be underwhelmed. Which is kind of unfair because those who’ve read this book blindly will definitely love it more and those who got into reading it because of the hype have a higher possibility of being unfazed by it all. Sigh. Anyway, just, read my review at your own risk!

I read this back in May and I’m only reviewing it now. I really had no words for We Were Liars, just tears. Until now. And I’m a bit forcing myself right now because E. Lockhart is coming to the Philippines next week and ULTIMATE FLAILING GOING ON AROUND HERE.

I’d like to thank everyone who pushed this book on me (more like shoved, honestly) because it wrecked me. The best kind of wrecking. The one where you have tears and snot all over your face and you had to leave the living room just so you can cry hysterically on your own room. That’s what I did. I remember needing to drink water because I was hiccuping so bad and the works.

Since I can’t talk about the plot, I’ll just rave over E. Lockhart’s prose. I know the style isn’t for everyone but this is my kryptonite. Anything poetic, lyrical, and drowned in metaphor is a must read for me. I don’t care if something’s slow or plodding, I can get over that if the words are beautiful. If I can float in its smooth flow, I’m all set. I especially loved the interspersed “fairytales” because they added dimension and mystery to the whole book.

We Were Liars is a very short book but even in its shortness, it will go down as one of the books I will never forget. Here’s my review on Goodreads right after I finished it…

I finished We Were Liars and I… I just… I… Yeah. That. And then some. A lot. I don’t know. I do know now.

A review might never materialize. But I’ll leave you with this…

“Someone once wrote that a novel should deliver a series of small astonishments.”

E. Lockhart, you delivered more than small astonishments.
Because yes, I am still astonished even almost a year after reading it. Definitely reading more from E. Lockhart!

About E. Lockhart

I am the author of We Were Liars,  Fly on the Wall, Dramarama, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks and the Ruby Oliver quartet: The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book,  The Treasure Map of Boys, and Real Live Boyfriends. How to Be Bad was co-written with Lauren Myracle and Sarah Mlynowski.

Disreputable History was a Printz Award honor book, a finalist for the National Book Award, and recipient of the Cybils Award for best young adult novel.

I currently teach at Hamline University’s low-residency MFA program in Writing for Children.

Website | Twitter


Contemporary Conversations

This March, I’m participating in Contemporary Conversations, where I will basically read and review mostly contemporary novels. This post is in part of this event. To learn more about this event, click the banner above! 

{Blog Tour} Review + Giveaway: Rebound by Noelle August

Title: Rebound (Boomerang #2)
Author: Noelle August
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Date of Publication: February 10, 2015

At Boomerang, one night can change everything…

Noelle August has taken the New Adult genre by storm, and readers can’t wait to see what chaos, confusion, and connections arise at the Boomerang offices next.

Adam Blackwood has it all. At twenty-three, he’s fabulously wealthy, Ryan Gosling-hot and at the top of his game in the business world. His life is perfect, until a scandal from his past resurfaces and threatens to knock the tech wunderkind down and throw his company, Boomerang, a hook-up site for millennials, into chaos.

Alison Quick, the twenty-one-year-old daughter of a business tycoon—and the very ex-girlfriend of Boomerang’s former intern, Ethan—has a problem of her own. After nearly flunking out in her senior year of college, she has one chance to redeem herself to her father by proving that she deserves a place in his corporate empire. That means spearheading her father’s plan to sink big money into Adam’s company and launch it into the stratosphere—provided Adam has no skeletons in his closet.

When the two meet, their sizzling chemistry makes it tough to keep things strictly professional. But when Alison discovers Adam’s secret, she knows she should bring it right to her father, who’ll leverage it for his own gain and use it to ruin Adam. The only problem: she’s falling for Adam—hard.

Will earning her father’s approval come at the price of losing her first real love? Or can Adam and Alison leave behind past mistakes and conquer the world—together?

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Thank you to William Morrow Paperbacks and Edelweiss for the review copy! Having received one did not affect my views of the novel.

I’ll be straight to you: it’s hard not to compare Rebound with Boomerang. So for those who haven’t read Boomerang, there are going to be minor spoilers and I’m sorry.

Noelle August (Lorin Oberweger and Veronica Rossi) already proved that they can write a fun, flirty romance with Boomerang. So I was expecting something like it with Rebound but boy, was I never more wrong. Noelle August now proved that they can infuse more drama into the mix without making it overdramatic and over-the-top angsty.

Rebound is told in the alternating POVs of Alison Quick, Boomerang‘s Ethan’s ex-girlfriend who cheated on him, and Adam Blackwood, Boomerang’s CEO. I didn’t know that this novel is Alison’s story and I immediately cringed when I saw the chapter title/name of the first chapter. Uh-oh. I was so sure I’d hate her. Then I went to Goodreads and felt ashamed of myself with all these people loving Rebound and that Alison is just a person and that we shouldn’t be quick to judge. That of course, since we loved Ethan, we hate Alison even though we don’t know her story. I admit, I really find it hard to read books featuring cheaters and cheating because I just dislike, nope, hate seems the right word, cheaters. But a lot of people loved this book and I thought, maybe Noelle August will shine Alison in a different light. By the way, YES THEY DID.

Rebound starts with a Halloween party at Mia’s parents’ house for Boomerang employees. Alison came as Catwoman and Adam came as Zorro. They get touchy and they even share some personal secrets (it is really easier to open up to a stranger) and right at that moment they’re going to do it, Cookie comes and reveals that Catwoman is Alison Quick, daughter of Graham Quick, potential investor. Let’s just say everything cools down after that.

The next Monday, Alison, along with her team, goes to the Boomerang office and takes up shop. They’re here to assess and look into Adam and his company, if it’s worth investing in. This puts Alison and Adam together at all times and GLEE. Plus, the Boomerang gang! Mia, as a secondary character, is clumsier than I remember and it’s so fun to see her in the ~eyes~ of other people who are not Ethan. I really enjoyed how Mia is just a normal person in here and that you really shine through in the eyes of the one you love. We have Paolo, Cookie, Sadie, Rhett, Pippa, and everyone. GOOD TIMES.

We get deeper into Alison’s character and yes, she made a mistake with Ethan before. We also get the story behind it as Ethan never let her explain herself. But she’s a nice girl and very gentle and compassionate. She’s the kind of person who rescues horses and who loves underdogs. Her father is a manipulative asshole and Alison wants nothing but his validation and approval after she disappointed him big time by flunking school (with which he paid off the school to let her graduate) and getting drunk all the time. You can say Alison didn’t just make a mistake with Ethan, she made a lot of mistakes but she’s determined to change and move on. While I didn’t end up loving Alison, I definitely sympathize with her and understand her now.

Who do I love? ADAM BLACKWOOD. Oh yes, our elusive and mysterious CEO is now all emotions and feelings and it is WONDERFUL. Adam has been nothing but professional when we met him in Boomerang but Alison just breaks down his walls. He wants her, after God-knows-how-long, and not just physically but he wants to be with her, in a relationship. He saw the person behind the put-together persona Alison projects at work, the one who patiently cares for horses and restores them back to health and the one who loves diving and swimming. Sure, Adam sounded like he’s way older (he’s only twenty-three) but I wouldn’t take that against him because at his young age, he’s gone through a lot. Grief and guilt have been his motivation in starting Boomerang, to distract himself. We discover his past and boy, do I love every single thing about it. It was juicily angsty and I gobbled up the ~drama~ because it was delivered in a great way and Adam was not playing the pity card. I connected more with Adam than Alison (Alison made some unwise choices along the way still and she’s on shaky ground to begin with) but Adam’s carefully constructed barrier was so satisfying to break down. When Adam started opening up, that was the moment I got riveted to Rebound.

However, because I was not that into Alison, I didn’t really ship the couple in here as much as I did with Boomerang. I did enjoy their “dates” and them getting to know each other and the whole journey of their love story mostly because ADAM BLACKWOOD LET ME LOVE YOU. (Let me love you and I will love you until you learn to love yourself~)

Bonus? Adam’s younger brother, Grey. I love how confident and even, arrogant, he is. He’s so smug but in the end, he’s Adam’s brother and they’re each other’s family. Love their sibling dynamics and how it was Grey who picked up Adam when he was down and he also pushed him out of his rut. Siblings are generally headaches but sibling love is so beautifully nuanced.

Fans of the Boomerang series should get right to Rebound! Noelle August will surprise you with how deft they are at making you understand and care and root for characters you don’t initially like. The authors sure know how to make you like something you never thought you would. I’m actually fed up with family drama in NA but it seems like I like Noelle August’s brand of drama. Or anything in general.

About Noelle August

Question: What do you get when friends pen a story with heart, plenty of laughs, and toe-curling kissing scenes?

Answer: Noelle August, the pseudonym for renowned editor and award-winning writer Lorin Oberweger and New York Times bestselling YA author Veronica Rossi, the masterminds behind the Boomerang series.


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Contemporary Conversations

This March, I’m participating in Contemporary Conversations, where I will basically read and review mostly contemporary novels. This post is in part of this event. To learn more about this event, click the banner above! 

Review: Boomerang by Noelle August

Boomerang (Boomerang, #1)

Title: Boomerang (Boomerang #1)
Author: Noelle August
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Date of Publication: July 8, 2014

Welcome to, the dating site for the millennial gen with its no-fuss, no-commitments matchups, and where work is steamier than any random hook-up

Mia Galliano is an aspiring filmmaker. Ethan Vance has just played his last game as a collegiate soccer star. They’re sharp, hungry for success, and they share a secret.

Last night, Ethan and Mia met at a bar, and, well . . . one thing led to another, which led to them waking up the next morning—together. Things turned awkward in a hurry when they found themselves sharing a post hookup taxi . . . to the same place: Boomerang headquarters.

What began as a powerful connection between them is treated to a cold shower courtesy of two major complications. First, Boomerang has a strict policy against co-worker dating. And second, they’re now competitors for only one job at the end of summer.

As their internships come to an end, will they manage to keep their eyes on the future and their hands off each other, or will the pull of attraction put them right back where they started?

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My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Thank you to William Morrow Paperbacks and Edelweiss for the review copy! Having received one did not affect my views of the novel.

I started reading NA novels back when I was a senior in college and fell in love with it. Here it is, books with main characters my age, living the college life. That continued until after graduation, while I was taking a break from things. But once I got a job and was now officially a part of the workforce, I wanted, no, NEEDED new adult books that deals with the “WHAT THE HELL HAPPENS AFTER COLLEGE?” question. And I realized that while NA prides itself in being an age category post-high school and also include post-college, new adult novels featuring the working class were far in between. By now, truth be told, I’ve been laying off NA for a bit, probably because I feel like I’ve read everything it has to offer by now. But then I read Boomerang and I’m glad to be back on the NA grind.

Boomerang felt so fresh to me because POST-COLLEGE WOES! Seriously. Here we have, two dazzling fresh graduates vying for an internship position at Boomerang, a company behind the dating app of the same name, and quite eventually, a job. But here’s where things go awkward — as they slept the night before their first day — and awry — because there’s a no-dating policy. Yikes. Obviously they’re attracted to each other but both have the internship as their first priority. Right? Riiiiiiight.

Boomerang was so fun to read because of Mia and Ethan’s flirty banter. I just love how confident they both were and how they try so hard to deny their attraction and focus on the prize but they just can’t keep their eyes and their hands off each other. Mwahaha! Isn’t it sooooo good when the characters just want to jump on each other but they CANNOT? Gah, I love unresolved sexual tension so much. But what’s better than unresolved sexual tension? Resolved sexual tension because YES, we do get it. *wink wink*

Another reason why this book was such a blast is the alternating perspectives of Mia and Ethan. I made a mental fistpump to the air when I saw this fact and it was especially interesting how each chapter had a question, personal questions you fill up when you sign up for the dating app. It teases the reader what they’d get from the chapter and I always adored those kind of things.

Moreover, hail Noelle August for angst-free characters! And novel, in general. Sure, Mia wants to prove herself (that she’s really talented and different from her artistic mom) but she doesn’t have family problems, aside from her Nana’s deteriorating memory. Ethan has a bit more angst in his past, having come off a relationship with someone who cheated on him, and his absolute need for money. But still, I am rejoicing in the lack of the ~I’m broken, you can fix me~ trope that plagues new adult and made me quit it for a while. So yes, even if you’re like me who’s tired of NA and how it’s all about being broken, you won’t feel that here.

But really, Mia and Ethan are so great together. You can really feel the sparks and the connection between them and you just root for them and want them to be together. Against all odds. Against everything. There have been some misunderstandings along the way but they were swiftly and easily fixed with a little communication on both parts.

The rest of the cast were so damn entertaining as well. The whole Boomerang office teemed with such interesting personalities: the ice queen Cookie, the fabulous Paolo, everyone. I felt like I, myself, want to work at Boomerang. It was a conducive and healthy work environment, where everyone did their best and challenged themselves.

My gripe about college-centered NA novels before were the lack of actual studying in them. I mean, HELLO, I certainly don’t believe you’re getting all those As just by partying and romancing. Which made me so gleeful about how Boomerang balanced everything out – the office dynamics, family, friends, romance. Mia and Ethan felt like real people dealing with a lot of things at once and finding time to fit it all in their schedule. We see Mia bonding with her friends and Ethan coaching soccer to nine-year-olds. Oh yes, I love me a guy who is good at kids. Just, Mia and Ethan had holistic social lives and believable ones at that too. I appreciate that so much.

Maybe the only thing I didn’t love as much is the very neat ending. I mean, I love happy endings as much as the other non-cynical person, but it was quite too wrapped up with a pretty bow to me. It was a bit cheesy, I admit, but it was sweet. Aside from that minor reservation that shouldn’t even be considered a reservation, I have no qualms about Boomerang.

Boomerang was a fun, flirty, and lighthearted romance that will surely sweep you off your feet and make you swoon. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves romance!

About Noelle August

Question: What do you get when friends pen a story with heart, plenty of laughs, and toe-curling kissing scenes?

Answer: Noelle August, the pseudonym for renowned editor and award-winning writer Lorin Oberweger and New York Times bestselling YA author Veronica Rossi, the masterminds behind the Boomerang series.

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Contemporary Conversations

This March, I’m participating in Contemporary Conversations, where I will basically read and review mostly contemporary novels. And yes, starting March right with a review! To learn more about this event, click the banner above!