Top Ten Moments Peter Kavinsky Won Me Over in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Because Jenny Han said so herself
that Peter Kavinsky looks like a
young James Marsden
Tomorrow, P.S. I Still Love You is going out of the book womb (I really like saying book womb even though I picture blood and crying and being overjoyed every time, which I guess makes it a great metaphor too) and I couldn’t wait for YOU to read it! Our local bookstore here in the Philippines got it early! So when I saw it in the display yesterday, I bought it immediately and started reading it and MY HEART.

Anyway, I haven’t reviewed To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before because PETER KAVINSKY IS BEYOND WORDS. (TATBILB is in my top books for 2014!) And I could relate so much to Lara Jean that it scared me to write a review that would be personal. But this post has been percolating in my idea notebook for a year now since I read the book. So here it is! To make you even more loco for P.S. I Still Love You, let’s relive all the moments (in chronological order because ranking makes me crazy) Peter Kavinsky won our hearts.




Top Ten Moments Peter Kavinsky Won Me Over in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before


1. When he told Lara Jean that they’ll save some firsts for her first real boyfriend


2. When he came in his mother’s minivan instead of his Audi two-seater convertible so he can also give Kitty a ride to school


3. When he put his head on Lara Jean’s lap at the library


4. When he looked happy and amused when his friends liked Lara Jean and were making fun of her (good-naturedly)


5. When he came over to get her for a party but chose to help distract her while she’s making cupcakes (He wore an apron! He dusted flour off her face!)



(I’m sure Lara Jean would have screeched if Peter purposefully wasted her ingredients but when I think of swoon-worthy baking goodness, I always think of Puck and Quinn!)

6. When he picked her up late for the estate sale because he bought her fresh-out-of-the-oven mocha sugar donuts



7. When he got jealous that Lara Jean and Josh were in couple Halloween costumes


8. When he danced with Kitty on their living room


9. When he snatched the rice ball Lara Jean made before his friend can get it



10. When he asked Lara Jean to ride the bus home so he can pick up Kitty from school in his convertible and so she can show him off to her friends

How about YOU? What were your favorite Peter Kavinsky moments in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before? Are you dreaming of reading P.S. I Still Love You??? Sound off in the comments below!


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Review: More Than Music by Elizabeth Briggs

I was reading this NA book and I felt like I’m so tired of NA. It felt like I already read too much and I’ve reached my saturation point and that at this point, I think I’m already done with NA. THAT WAS A SCARY THOUGHT because I loved NA. So I decided to re-read one of my favorite NA novels to see if I was just reading the wrong book (wouldn’t be the first time) or if the magic is really gone. And I’m glad to say that MORE THAN MUSIC proved that I still love NA and I just need great ones. Because yes, MORE THAN MUSIC ranks high in my new adult favorites list.

More Than Music (Chasing The Dream, #1)

Title: More Than Music (Chasing the Dream #1)
Author: Elizabeth Briggs
Date of Publication: June 17, 2014
Genre: contemporary NA romance

A band trying to win it big on reality TV. A secret romance that might ruin it all.

Music major Maddie Taylor just finished her junior year of college and has a summer internship lined up with the LA Philharmonic, yet every night she practices guitar and secretly dreams of a louder life. But geeky girls like her don’t get to be rock stars. That is, until tattooed singer Jared Cross catches her playing guitar and invites her to join his band on The Sound, a reality TV show competition.

Once on the show, Maddie discovers there’s more to Jared than his flirty smile and bad boy reputation – and that he’s just as big a geek as she is. With each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore, but when the show pressures them to stay single, they’re forced to keep their relationship secret.

As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.

*** New Adult romance suitable for 17+ due to mature content. ***

Purchase from Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository


Review

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Thank you to Elizabeth Briggs for the review copy! This in no way affected my views of the novel.

I remember anticipating this book so much last year. When I first read the plot, I was so sure that I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE I’M GOING TO LOVE IT that I practically begged Liz for an ARC. I practically begged her to tour the book with me too because PEOPLE ARE GONNA LOVE THIS BOOK I MUST GET THIS BOOK TO EVERYONE PROMOTE PROMOTE PROMOTE. That was how my mind was working last year. I guess my begging worked because Liz gave me an e-ARC of the book AND toured the book with me. I felt like I won something. I read MORE THAN MUSIC and loved it so much that I ended up not reviewing it because HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE AND EXPLAIN LOVE?!?! And now here I am, trying to do exactly that, albeit a year late.

I read this book almost a year ago, May 25 to be exact, according to Goodreads. But when I re-read it now, everything still felt so fresh. I knew what was going to happen and who the characters are because THERE IS NO WAY I CAN FORGET but I never felt like I’m tired of it. I really wanted to relive the journey Elizabeth Briggs crafted for these lovely characters. I missed the gang. It was so nice to be back with them and go through everything with them.

So the lowdown. Maddie Taylor is a geeky piano major (but a closet guitar lover) at UCLA and she’s friends with Kyle Cross, the keyboardist for local band Villain Complex. Kyle invites her to a big gig for the band and there she meets Kyle’s older brother, Jared Cross. Maddie has a big crush on Jared ever since Kyle gave her their album. His voice and the lyrics to the songs he penned that seems to pierce Maddie’s heart. She feels like Jared understands her. It doesn’t hurt that Jared is so effin’ hot and handsome as well. After the gig, everyone goes to the afterparty at the brothers’ house, where Becca, Villain Complex’s bassist, leaves the band. Maddie goes into their studio and plays Behind the Mask, one of Villain Complex’s song, when Jared catches her using HIS guitar. AWK. The next day though, Maddie finds Jared asking her to be a part of the band so they can audition for The Sound and the rest is the oh-so-exciting story of Villain Complex in The Sound and OF COURSE, Maddie and Jared’s romance.

Of course, I was in absolute glee with the concept of the reality show The Sound. Yes, it’s like The Voice but for bands. It’s easy to imagine and relate to because it’s basically The Voice, complete with judges turning around and mentoring them and the battles. LOVE IT.

What I love best about More Than Music, aside from quite possibly everything, is even though this is the story of Maddie and Maddie and Jared’s love story, it is still the story of Villain Complex. Maybe that’s why this novel works so well because it balances all three. You get character growth in Maddie and her facing her demons, you get the swoon and the steam (YES, THE STEAM) on her romance with Jared, and you get the journey of the whole band. And you get the geek on! Everyone’s a geek and thank you, Liz, for writing these characters. Elizabeth Briggs even featured recent songs for Villain Complex to cover so this novel is really a part of pop culture. Liz also did a fantastic job in describing everything and chronicling the intensive six weeks of the band that the show felt cut-throat and intense. I cared so much about everybody and when there was conflict, I just want them to solve it or make up.

I’m not doing a great job on praising this book and commending it. TELL ME WHAT TO SAY SO YOU’LL READ IT. It’s just so full of plot without being excruciatingly long, in fact, this is such a breezy read that my re-read only took me a few hours. It’s so easy and addicting to read and you won’t put this down until you see it to the end. Populated by lovely and likable characters, More Than Music accomplishes what most new adult novels fail to do and that is equally delve onto the life, romance, and career of our protagonist. Before re-reading it, I was wondering if my five-star rating was too much and just spurred on by my feelings but after my re-read, More Than Music deserves all five of those stars. It checks everything on what you’d want on a contemporary new adult romance. Just, READ THIS ONE. Awesome doesn’t even cover it.

About Elizabeth Briggs

Elizabeth Briggs is a full-time geek who writes books for teens and adults. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in Sociology, currently mentors teens in writing, and volunteers with a dog rescue group. She’s the author of the new adult Chasing The Dream series and the upcoming young adult novel Future Shock. Elizabeth lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a pack of fluffy dogs.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Book Spine Poetry Sunday (7)

On rare Sundays, I will be posting book spine poems because I love poems and I love books and I think book spine poetry is awesome. Thank you to Charlie of Letter Trails for the feature photo!
Pandemonium
Panic
Siege
Tempest
Havoc
Silence
You can follow me on Instagram at oopsireadabookagain for more bookish photos (with low resolution and bad lighting HAHA)!

Want to change some titles on my poem? Go comment your own version below! Just have at least one of those books in yours. Have your own book spine poem? Share them! Looking forward to seeing them!

Review: The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West

KASIE WEST IS THE BEST. KASIE WEST IS THE BEST. Chant it with me! KASIE WEST IS THE BEST. KASIE WEST IS THE BEST.

The Fill-In Boyfriend
Title: The Fill-In Boyfriend
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: HarperTeen
Date of Publication: May 5, 2015

When Gia Montgomery’s boyfriend, Bradley, dumps her in the parking lot of her high school prom, she has to think fast. After all, she’d been telling her friends about him for months now. This was supposed to be the night she proved he existed. So when she sees a cute guy waiting to pick up his sister, she enlists his help. The task is simple: be her fill-in boyfriend— two hours, zero commitment, a few white lies. After that, she can win back the real Bradley.

The problem is that days after prom, it’s not the real Bradley she’s thinking about, but the stand-in. The one whose name she doesn’t even know. But tracking him down doesn’t mean they’re done faking a relationship. Gia owes him a favor and his sister intends to see that he collects: his ex-girlfriend’s graduation party — three hours, zero commitment, a few white lies.


Just when Gia begins to wonder if she could turn her fake boyfriend into a real one, Bradley comes waltzing back into her life, exposing her lie, and threatening to destroy her friendships and her new-found relationship.


Purchase from Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository


Review

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (and all the love and approval from the fake-boyfriend trope gods)

Thank you to HarperCollins International for the review copy! I’ve been pining for this book ever since it was announced because plot! fake boyfriend! KASIE WEST! and I was so sad when it was not available in EW. So I would like to thank and worship all the book gods for sending this my way! (*winks at Megan and Sarah*)


As usual, how do I even review this when all I want to do is shove it to everyone while squealing so hard I’d be breaking eardrums left and right?!?!?! I even proclaimed on Twitter that I might love it even more than The Distance Between Us, which is blasphemous (because oh gods, I love it so much I’ve gifted it to tons of people because #KasieWestistheBest) but I don’t care, okay? I have to re-read The Distance Between Us soon to fully decide but at the moment, The Fill-In Boyfriend owns my shippy heart. OWNS IT.

First, my favorite trope: FAKE RELATIONSHIP. I just can NEVER resist reading (and usually, loving!) anything involving this trope. It just gets ALL THE SWOON in me. I got the book Saturday and I finished it on the same day. The next day, I re-read it to relive it again because THAT’S HOW GOOD IT IS. Guys, COME ON. If you’re looking for a new book boyfriend, he’s here!!!


The Fill-In Boyfriend was so easy to read. Right from the first chapter, the conflict has been dangled into our laps. Gia Montgomery, seventeen, a senior and the president of the student council, has been dumped by her older-by-four-years college boyfriend Bradley in the parking lot of her school at prom night. After two months of dating, he unceremoniously dumps her. But this can’t happen! Jules, one of Gia’s friends, has been undermining her relationship with Bradley. She doesn’t believe that Bradley is real and Gia can’t go stag for prom as her friends might truly believe that she invented Bradley. Desperate and partly going insane, Gia asks the only guy in the parking lot, who’s waiting for prom to end to pick up his sister, to be her fill-in boyfriend for the night. He’ll have to break up with her during prom too, so it’s like she’s just extending the night, just proving that Bradley exists. And here starts everything.


After prom, Gia still doesn’t know fill-in Bradley’s (FIB) name and he’s all she thinks about. Well, she thinks that she just needs to know WHY he actually agreed to act as her boyfriend and then she’ll be able to move on. I can’t tell you because it’s so much fun to go into this blind (aka not even knowing FIB’s real name, what actually happens, etc) because Kasie West will take you for such a fun ride! Gia will end up playing as FIB’s fake girlfriend as well and YES, more fake relationships!!! Gah, just savor it because it’s a very amusing heck of a ride.


Just, believe me. FIB is SO nice and sweet and kind and just !!! He’s a theater geek and he loves acting. He wears glasses! I mean, come on, it’s time for the theater dudes to shine!

Going into The Fill-In Boyfriend, I was so sure I’ll be swooning all throughout. But I was honestly surprised that I teared up while reading this one! Gia’s concerns and fears are universal and relatable that I couldn’t help but see myself in her. Even though she’s popular, she still feels lonely. (Remember this lonesome post?) Then, Kasie West also inserts a social commentary in here as Gia is obsessed with social media and the validation of strangers. Aren’t we all? I know I erase photos/tweets/posts that do not get replies or likes. I admit to being hungry for the validation of others. Which isn’t healthy, I know, but it’s so hard to NOT care. Especially in this day and age when everyone wants to be heard. I love love love this social commentary because it added depth to the novel.

Aside from the social commentary aspect, which wasn’t preachy and was seamlessly incorporated in the plot, I love the family and friends conflict in The Fill-In Boyfriend. Gia’s family keeps everything inside. They aren’t close as well. While my family isn’t completely like Gia’s and isn’t as worse as them, I also find it hard to open up to my parents. I only recently learned not to bottle up my emotions. And recently, I’ve been shedding off some of my friends (or outgrowing them or whatever) and just keeping those who I truly cherish. These events are also concurrent in Gia’s story and it just resonated with me so much.

I just love the characters in this one even though they’re flawed. You know Gia is only digging her grave with every lie she tells or every story she doesn’t tell her friends but you understand her. Even though you know everything’s gonna crash down, you’re still behind her, rooting for her. FIB’s issues are so legitimate too and I hate not being able to talk about him fully but JUST. READ. THIS. ONE. OKAY.

Lastly, realistic ending! I remember loving The Distance Between Us but I found its ending to be too neat. In here, The Fill-In Boyfriend ends happily and hopefully, but it’s not something that’s set in stone. Which is how I want my novels to end.

The Fill-In Boyfriend takes a tried-and-tested trope, that of a fake relationship, and delivers all the goods and more. Not only do we get all the swoon and the butterflies-in-a-blender-in-my-stomach feelings, we are also served depth, which puts this novel out of the fluff category. Populated by characters you’ll love and root for, you just can’t help but be invested in Gia’s quest to get to know fill-in Bradley and for her imminent growth as well. Indeed, INDEED, #KasieWestistheBest, and The Fill-In Boyfriend proves this and that it is another addition to Kasie’s consistently strong and great line-up of novels. I highly recommend this for contemporary YA romance fans or anyone who wants to try the genre! It’s glorious and I can’t wait for more from Kasie West!


About Kasie West

I write YA. I eat Junior Mints. Sometimes I go crazy and do both at the same time. My novels, published through Harper Teen are: PIVOT POINT and its sequel SPLIT SECOND. And my contemporary novels: THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, ON THE FENCE, and THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND. My agent is the talented and funny Michelle Wolfson.