Backlog Reviews

Hello everyone~~! I’m back~~! :D

It feels like it’s been ages since I was last on here…and even longer since I’ve read a book. Did you miss me? Probably not. This blog has been dead for half a year now BUT I am bring it back to life for a few months since I am already on break and can now devote some time to reading and reviewing books once again. HOORAY!

Anyway, I had meant to do separate reviews of these books but being that I am a faster reader than I am a writer (case in point: it took me ages to write this, like you have no idea), I figured I’d never be able to read another book if I kept up with my 1:1 book to review ratio and my “no reading new books until you’ve finished reviewing the one’s you’ve already read” rule. You guys, I have FIVE books lined up for review since last year. Figures that as long as the word “review” is involved, I will surely be procrastinating. Haha!

So here I am writing down reviews for all five books in one multiple sittings (and one blog post) instead, which really, now that I think about it makes so much more sense given the rate at which I finish reading books and review them. But, what’s done is done so let’s move on to the actual review, shall we?

 


JUST FRIENDS – Billy Taylor

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“August and Ethan have been bestfriends since the day they met at Ethan’s seventh birthday party. And now, twelve years on, their friendship continues to grow. But after magic, fame, and an unexplainable miracle in a car accident, August realizes maybe she wants to be more than just friends.”

*NOTE: Summary lifted from Goodreads.

I usually don’t read these types of book but this was all over my Twitter newsfeed that I finally caved in and downloaded a copy. In hindsight, they were probably paid advertisements but I guess there was no harm done, it’s not like I paid for my copy. I didn’t hate it, but I also didn’t like it. Maybe I’m just not the proper age for books like these anymore? Haha! It’s your typical bestfriends-turned-lovers kind of story so if that’s your thing then you might just enjoy this. It’s a quick read too. I finished it in one night! It borders on being a little too unrealistic for me though. I mean, really, the car crash was unfortunate and things like that happen all the time in real life but the things that happened after that? Please. Then again, what use are books but to serve as escapes from reality? ;)

BOOKWORM RATING (2/5): bookheartsbookhearts


THE CITY AND THE MOUNTAINS – Eca de Queiros

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“Born in Paris, Jacinto – the hero of The City and the Mountains – is the heir to a vast estate in the Alentejo in Portugal, which he has never visited. Jacinto lives in a beautiful mansion crammed with books and the latest gadgets. He mixes with the creme de la creme of Paris society, but is monumentally bored. One by one, his gadgets let him down. And then he receives a letter from the estate manager in Portugal: the bones of his ancestors are to be moved to the new chapel-would he like to be there? With great trepidation, Jacinto sets off with his bestfriend, the narrator, on a mammoth train journey. As they arrive, the huge old house is a wreck, all Jacinto’s luggage has been lost, but for the first time in ages he eats a hearty meal and sleeps the sleep of the just on a straw mattress on the floor. Jacinto has the house renovated, sets about improving conditions for his farm workers, and what he discovers in simple country life upends his expectations deliciously…”

* NOTE: Summary lifted from back cover of book.

I didn’t think I was going to like this one but I’ve been proven wrong before. I loved it! It wasn’t love at first sight (read?) though because this book had what felt like, to me at least, the slowest pacing ever. I was already midway through the book before it showed signs of lightening up. But you know what? It actually served a purpose in the end. Having that slow, dragging pace at the beginning kind of makes you feel just as bored as Jacinto and having the plot suddenly become light and airy makes you feel just as refreshed. Overall, the story’s pretty great and quite relevant to today’s society. I’m really glad I gave this book a second chance.

BOOKWORM RATING (4/5): bookheartsbookheartsbookheartsbookhearts


THE BOY NEXT DOOR – Katie Van Ark

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“Maddy Spier’s been in love with the boy next door forever. As his figure skating partner, she spends time in his arms every day. But she’s also seen his arms around other girls-lots of other girls. How can she make him realize that they can be partners off the ice as well? Gabe’s relationship with Maddy is vital. He can’t imagine skiting with anyone else, and together, they have a real chance at greatness-maybe even making it to the Olympics someday. So he’s decided to think of her as a sister. After all, family is forever, and he’s never dated anyone for more than two weeks. Then, their coach assigns a new romantic skating program, everything changes. Will this be the big break that Maddy’s been hoping for or the big breakup that Gabe has always feared?”

* NOTE: Summary lifted from back cover of the book.

Okay, okay, I know I just said earlier that I don’t normally go for bestfriends-turned-lovers stories but I just couldn’t resist this one. I mean, hello? It’s about skating. Of course I was going to get it. Nevermind that it’s so terribly cliche. Or that there was more drama than figure skating. It was cute. And I have a feeling that younger-me would have loved it.

BOOKWORM RATING (3/5): bookheartsbookheartsbookhearts


LOVE & GELATO – Jenna Evans Welch

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“Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is go back home. But then she is given a journal that her mom kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires her, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything Lina knew about her mother, her father – and even herself. People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes, they discover much more.”

* NOTE: Summary lifted from book jacket.

I wish I could say that I’m the type of reader who actually reads the summaries of books before buying them. But nope, I bought this book purely because I liked the cover. And gelatos. And Rome. Not that I’ve ever been but I’ve watched the Lizzie McGuire movie ok? I know Rome = adventure and romance. Haha! Books aesthetics aside, I would say the story itself is pretty decent, with a plot much like one of those cheesy Hallmark movies on family and friendship. Haha!

BOOKWORM RATING (3/5): bookheartsbookheartsbookhearts


UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING – Milan Kundera

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“A young woman in love with a man torn between his love for her and his incorrigible womanizing; one of his mistresses and her humbly faithful lover – these are the two couples whose story is told in this masterful novel. In a world in which lives are shaped by irrevocable choices and by fortuitous events, a world in which everything occurs but once, existence seems to lose its substance, its weight. Hence, we feel “the unbearable lightness of being” not only as the consequence of our pristine actions but also in the public sphere, and the two inevitably intertwine.”

* NOTE: Summary lifted from back cover of the book.

Ahh..finally down to the last book, which just so happened to also be my least favorite of this set. I’m sure lots of other people love it. In fact, their reviews are what got me to buy a copy for myself. Except, I found out pretty early on that I wasn’t going to like it. Of course, being me, I decided to push through and finish the books anyway since I already bought it. And who knows? I just might end up liking it too. I mean, it’s happened before. But no, reading this book felt like being in a fog. I could never tell who’s POV it was or at what point the current narrative was in the overall plot. Granted, I wasn’t even trying at that point since I just wanted to get it over with. Still, I guess the book has some good merits. I just fail to see what they are.

BOOKWORM RATING (1/5): bookhearts


AANND that ends this batch of reviews. HOORAY!! I have a couple more posts planned for you guys before my summer break ends so stay tuned for that. Until then, byee! :D