Trope Tuesday #6: Friends With Benefits.

Trope Tuesday is a meme/series created by Lacy Literacy. On Tuesdays, the goal is to discuss one trope that you dislike, love, are indifferent to, hate, currently annoyed by, think is problematic, etc. You can learn more about Trope Tuesday here.

Okay, chances are, you’ve already seen this trope in about a thousand places. It’s literally everywhere; books, tv, cinema, real life, etc. So you probably already know how it works. But in case of the impossibility that you haven’t seen it before or maybe just don’t know much about it, I’ll break it down for you.

Friends With Benefits is when the the main characters have the incredible and completely original idea of having sex with a friend, but supposedly without romantic feelings towards each other. That being said, there is a difference between Friends With Benefits and Fuck Buddies. In this view, Fuck Buddies are couplings with no emotional relationship, just great sex. Now, Friends With Benefits differs providing sex and friendship, but not as much emotional intimacy as a full-blown romance.

I’ve read a lot o books from this trope, not necessarily by choice but because it’s used as a plot device in so many novels that it’s hard to avoid it, so I’ll just talk about my absolute favorites; Overruled is definitely my #1 by far. I love Emma Chase’s writing and this book is just incredible, not something I was expecting going into it, but I loved it. Also loved the Brazilian love interest, and the rep was the best I’ve seen from an author that isn’t Brazilian.

Another book that is very high up in my list is Black Rainbow, I already talked about this book last week on my Age Gap post, but I think it’s worth mentioning it again because it’s truly incredible. I have other books that I’ve enjoyed so I’ll just quickly mention them; The Backup Boyfriend is so adorable and entertaining, go read it! A pretty popular one is the Off Campus Series, basically all of the couples in this series go through the ‘friends with benefits/fuck buddy’ phase with their relationship. And The Hook Up, which isn’t my favorite from Kristen Callihan, but it’s still enjoyable.

I have mixed feelings about this trope. It isn’t one of my favorites, but it doesn’t tick me off either. I won’t look for it in a book, but as I stated before, it’s close to impossible to run from it.

Review: Beast by Brie Spangler.

25167846Beast by Brie Spangler.
Published: October 11th 2016.
305 pages.
Rating: 1.5/5
Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis:
Tall, meaty, muscle-bound, and hairier than most throw rugs, Dylan doesn’t look like your average fifteen-year-old, so, naturally, high school has not been kind to him. To make matters worse, on the day his school bans hats (his preferred camouflage), Dylan goes up on his roof only to fall and wake up in the hospital with a broken leg—and a mandate to attend group therapy for self-harmers.

Dylan vows to say nothing and zones out at therapy—until he meets Jamie. She’s funny, smart, and so stunning, even his womanizing best friend, JP, would be jealous. She’s also the first person to ever call Dylan out on his self-pitying and superficiality. As Jamie’s humanity and wisdom begin to rub off on Dylan, they become more than just friends. But there is something Dylan doesn’t know about Jamie, something she shared with the group the day he wasn’t listening. Something that shouldn’t change a thing. She is who she’s always been—an amazing photographer and devoted friend, who also happens to be transgender. But will Dylan see it that way?Read More »

Cover Reveal: Summer Feels: A #romanceclass Anthology.

Hey guys! As you probably realized I’ve been obsessed with #romanceclass books lately, so when I saw the blog tour opening I jumped at the chance to be a part of it! Today I’m here to show you guys the amazing cover. I swear I loved it so much you don’t understand, I can’t wait to read it.

unnamed

Summer Feels: A #romanceclass Anthology

Genre: Romance.
Release Date: April 30, 2017.
Goodreads | Amazon | Pre-Order the print copy (the Philippines only) here.

The Blurb:

Summer loving happens so fast, as you’ll find with Summer Feels, an anthology of 23 stories of love under the summer sun by #romanceclass authors. Savor the candied thrill of firsts—first loves, first kisses, first solo vacations—and the bittersweet triumph of second chances. Tour the Philippines as the stories take you to mountain retreats and island paradises. Let the magic of the hot sun, clear blue skies, and lots of love take you on a roller coaster ride of feels. With stories ranging from sweet to sexy, there’s sure to be something for any fan of romance.

Featuring stories by:

Elea Andrea Almazora ○ Erleen Alvarez ○ Ella Banta ○ Rachelle Belaro ○ H. Bentham ○ Halina Cabrera ○ Charlie Dio ○ Mina V. Esguerra ○ Elizabeth Galit ○ Georgette S. Gonzales ○ Ami Granada ○ Irene Jurado ○ Catherine Lo ○ Arlene Manocot ○ Bianca Mori ○ Eris Peñaluna ○ Farrah F. Polestico ○ Kit Salazar ○ Miel Salva ○ Fay Sebastian ○ Kate Sebastian ○ Yeyet Soriano ○ Marian Tee.

Edited and compiled by Kate Sebastian and Cover and Interior design by Miles Tan. 

About the Designer

Miles Tan likes inhabiting imaginary worlds, from fantasy books to sci-fi shows to cheeky mysteries to role-playing games. She works with websites, plays with graphics, and is now currently painting with words.

Finding X is her first published novella. Her short story “Something Real” is included in the YA Luna East anthology, Kids These Days.

To learn more about her books, check out her website. To see more of the cover art she’s designed, check here.

Stories included in this anthology:

  • “All about That Bass” by Fay Sebastian
  • “Alter Christus” by Catherine Lo
  • “Fall for Me” by Miel Salva
  • “The Game of Twenty Questions” by Elizabeth Galit
  • “The Summer You Said Hello” by Ami Granada
  • “At the Bermuda Triangle” by Elea Andrea Almazora
  • “Beachin’ Summer” by Arlene Manocot
  • “Buddy System” by Yeyet Soriano
  • “Busy out of the Friendzone” by Charlie Dio
  • “Flying with You” by Rachelle Belaro
  • “Guide for a Day” by H. Bentham
  • “Ready to Run” by Kit Salazar
  • “Secondhand Wanderlust” by Erleen Alvarez
  • “The Search for the Kissing Monster” by Ella Banta
  • “Anything Can Happen” by Marian Tee
  • “Four Basic Principles” by Bianca Mori
  • “Love after Summer” by Irene Jurado
  • “Lucky in Paradise” by Farrah F. Polestico
  • “The Swimming Instructor” by Eris Peñaluna
  • “Wedding Night Stand” by Mina V. Esguerra
  • “An Overdue Adventure” by Kate Sebastian
  • “Buttered Sunset” by Halina Cabrera
  • “Then Derrick Was Back” by Georgette S. Gonzales

So, what did you guys think of the cover? Do you love it as much as I do? How excited are you for this #romanceclass anthology? 

Trope Tuesday #5: Age Gap.

Trope Tuesday is a meme/series created by Lacy Literacy. On Tuesdays, the goal is to discuss one trope that you dislike, love, are indifferent to, hate, currently annoyed by, think is problematic, etc. You can learn more about Trope Tuesday here.

I know Age Gap is a trope generality frowned upon, and considered a daddy kink. However, it’s definitely on my top three favorite tropes — along with Fake Dating and We Met Online First. Now, I don’t know if it’s because I’m mostly attracted to older people in real life, so it appeals more to me, or if it’s the way I was brought up — since my mom only dates guys significantly younger than her, and my brother only dates women significantly older than him — but either way, I’m very into this trope.

The Age Gap happens when the couple has an age difference between them. That age isn’t fixed, it usually varies depending on what one would think it’s acceptable. There is a commonly applied formula that the ‘half your age plus seven’ rule, in which the older partner’s age is divided by two and then increased by seven to reach either the ideal or minimum allowable age for a romantic partner.

I have read quite a few books on that trope, and one of my favorites is Hothouse Flower by Krista & Becca Ritchie, this book is part of two series; Addicted and Calloway Sisters. If you don’t know me very well, you might not know that KB are one of my absolutely favorite authors, and Addicted is my all time favorite series, so I adore this book not only because of the age difference between the couple, which is definitely a plus for me, but the writing is so amazing that it’s impossible not to be pulled into their story. They also have another book, Amour Amour, that could be considered age gap-y, but slightly, since it’s only a 5 year difference between the couple.

Another favorites of mine is Pretty Face and Black Rainbow. They’re both such incredible books and in all honesty, I just enjoy everything about them; the characters, the plot, the writing, the dynamic, etc. If you enjoy this trope I fully recommend both this books, you won’t regret it.

Overall, I understand how it can be a hard no for some people, even though to me it’s a great trope and I truly enjoy it. If you’re looking for more book recs on it, you should check out my age gap shelf on goodreads. What are your opinions on it? Love it? Hate it? It’s disgusted by it?

Review: Better At Weddings Than You by Mina V. Esguerra.

34629572Better At Weddings Than You by Mina V. Esguerra.
Published April 15th 2017.
214 pages.
Rating: 5/5
Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis:
Daphne Cardenas is the best wedding planner around, and everyone knows it. That’s why her friend Greg hired her as an emergency replacement one month before his wedding—because he fears his fiancée Helen is falling for the guy they first hired for the job. 

Aaron Trinidad is new to the wedding industry but years of conference planning and loads of charm make him good at it. Really good at it. Planning the wedding of his friend Helen should be easy, and it is. To be unceremoniously fired isn’t good for his new career, but the chance to learn from the best might be the silver lining.

Aaron and Daphne have chemistry, but there’s history with Helen that at least one other person considers a threat. Who’s the planner who can fix this impending disaster?

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ARC Review: Coming Up For Air by Miranda Kenneally.

32470593Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally.
Expected publication: July 1st 2017.
320 pages.
Rating: 3.75/5
Goodreads | Pre-Order

Synopsis:
Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework. Bed. Repeat.

All of Maggie’s focus and free time is spent swimming. She’s not only striving to earn scholarships—she’s training to qualify for the Olympics. It helps that her best friend, Levi, is also on the team and cheers her on. But Levi’s already earned an Olympic try out, so she feels even more pressure to succeed. And it’s not until Maggie’s away on a college visit that she realizes how much of the “typical” high school experience she’s missed by being in the pool.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, Maggie decides to squeeze the most out of her senior year. First up? Making out with a guy. And Levi could be the perfect candidate. After all, they already spend a lot of time together. But as Maggie slowly starts to uncover new feelings for Levi, how much is she willing to lose to win?

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Review: If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo.

26156987If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo.
Published May 3rd 2016.
288 pages.
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:
Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.

And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met—open, honest, kind—and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself…including her past. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.

Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.

Read More »

Trope Tuesday #4: Flirty Stepsiblings.

Trope Tuesday is a meme/series created by Lacy Literacy. On Tuesdays, the goal is to discuss one trope that you dislike, love, are indifferent to, hate, currently annoyed by, think is problematic, etc. You can learn more about Trope Tuesday here.

Flirty Stepsiblings has a pretty self explanatory trope title. And it’s a huge taboo trope where step-siblings fall in love. So basically, you’ve got two people who don’t share any DNA whatsoever, mostly teenagers, whose parents have recently gotten hitched, and they have to learn how to live with each other until baam, hormones happen.

I’ve read quite a few romance books from this trope actually, but frankly most of them are so bad. The one that I liked the most was Stepbrother Dearest, which is definitely darker than I expected and I loved that about it. Even with all the heavy subjects it still managed to be sweet at the right parts. Plus I liked the characters a lot.

I think the most popular one, that at least I’ve seen a lot about, is Too Far Series also known as Rosemary Beach Series. When I started getting into new adult books this series showed up everywhere I looked. And it’s not that I hated it, but I didn’t really understand why people liked it so much. It’s very cliche and basic, but it does have a good vibe overall.

This trope is hard to deal with, because although I personally love taboo stories in general, I also know that people view it in a bad way most of the time, hence it being taboo. Besides, most authors doesn’t really do a good job with these topics, unfortunately.

Top 10: Overrated Books.

Have you ever saw a book everywhere and people are always talking about it, but when you read it, you were like “huh? is that it?”. It’s not that the book is bad exactly, but it just doesn’t live up to the hype.

11870085The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.
Goodreads
Mini Review: I remember my friend recommending this book to me when it came out and she was so excited about it that I had to give it a chance. Well, I actually gave it two chances, because when I finished the first one I honestly didn’t like it, so I tried it again to see if maybe I missed something, and I did like it a little bit more, but overall, it was still very meh to me.
The story is so slow paced that I was bored through most of the book, the romance was cute but I still didn’t feel anything towards the characters. 

fifty-shades-coversFifty Shades Trilogy by E.L. James.
Goodreads
Mini Review: I actually only read the books recently because I sort of liked the second movie so I decided to give it a chance. Boy do I regret it. Look, there are so many things wrong with these books that if I started naming them I’d never stop. It’s just utterly ridiculous. 

17838528The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson.
Goodreads
Mini Review: This book wasn’t necessarily bad, it just didn’t catch my attention as it did everyone else’s apparently. I honestly thought about dropping this book around a hundred times during the first half of it. I didn’t like ANYTHING about it throughout most of the book. Which didn’t make any sense to me because I loved Since You’ve Been Gone so much.
The writing is good, I like Morgan Matson’s style and I wanted to like this book. So I started focusing on the things that I could relate or enjoy reading about and not the main plot and characters. And those things turned out to be mostly just the girls friendship (only at times) and Clark (rarely).
Nevertheless, Andie was still so annoying and Toby reminds me of an old friend that I have mixed feelings about so I don’t completely love her.
Bri was so relatable to me and I think once we started seeing more of her without Toby (which only happened by the end of the book and there was so little of it) I started enjoying the reading a lot more.

the-raven-cycle

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater.
Goodreads
Mini Review: When I started reading this, I actually enjoyed it. I fell right into the hype and I was super excited about everything. But then when The Raven King came out and I had to go back to that world, everything was so messy and confusing. So I looked back to the other books and I realized that although I did care for the characters, the main plot was so flawed and complex that it was impossible for me to actually enjoy it.
The writing is horrendous and by the end of it I was just done with everything. I just feel bad that even though the characters were great, the story couldn’t deliver anything worth reading.

h_deliriumseriesDelirium Trilogy by Lauren Oliver.
Goodreads
Mini Review: I read this series years ago, I was so attracted to the plot that I thought it’d be an amazing series. Well, it wasn’t that it was a bad trilogy, but when I got to the end I was not only disappointed but also indifferent towards basically everything. I didn’t really like the characters, Alex particularly, they were just overall annoying to me so it made me not enjoy the books as much as I could I guess.

2232854623174274Red Queen Series by Victoria Aveyard.
Goodreads
Mini Review: I have not yet read the third book of this series and I probably won’t to be honest. But the two books I did read didn’t really make me want to continue on with this saga. Look, it’s not that story is bad, it’s just too much. The whole thing feels like a mixture of a bunch of young adult series put together. The only character that I liked was Cal but he was not enough to make me want to go through with this. I just hope he gets the ending he deserves and please, for the love of God, don’t give Maven a redemption arc. He does not deserve it.

6442769Paper Towns by John Green.
Goodreads
Mini Review: Honestly, how can people actually like John Green’s books? They’re just soooo boring I can’t even handle. I mean, sure his ideas aren’t bad, but he stretches it out so much it ends up more of a annoyance than something I’d enjoy reading. And this book was no different. The characters were dull and I didn’t care for any of them to be honest, and the ending was so unsatisfactory yikes.

 

15745753Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell.
Goodreads
Mini Review: I really don’t understand how this book is so hyped up. Yes, it is cute. But that’s all it is, the plot is lacking, as in, basically nonexistent outside the romance and the characters aren’t relatable or endearing. And the ending was just disappointing really.

 

7260188Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins.
Goodreads
Mini Review: I loved, absolutely loved, the first two books from this trilogy. And it’s not that I hated this one per se, but it was just ridiculously unfair. A lot of characters died for literally no reason. The ending was disappointing and honestly just wrong. 

 

8755785City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare.
Goodreads
Mini Review: One of the things that bothered me the most in this book is how much it showed Emma and her gang, I mean it’s okay to introduce the characters but to make them such a huge part of the book when the story isn’t around them it’s preposterous. I was so annoyed by that it put me off from reading the series those characters actually belonged to. 
The writing was not only bad but it completely ruined everything that had already been built in the past books.
Another thing that was ridiculous was the hype Cassandra Clare made about a lot of  main characters dying when in reality that didn’t quite happen. I don’t like when something is build up and it isn’t delivered. 

ARC Mini Reviews: Intercepting The Chef, It Had To Be You & Back To Your Love.

31302859Intercepting the Chef (How to Score, #1) by Rachel Goodman.
Expected publication: May 2nd 2017.
Goodreads
Rating: 3.5/5
Mini Review: After things going terribly wrong with her boyfriend and renowned chef in San Francisco, Gwen has no other option than to go back home in Denver and start over at her brother’s best friend, Logan Stonestreet’s restaurant.

I enjoyed the romance at an overall capacity. But when I stopped to think about particulars, it wasn’t as enjoyable, so I’ll just focus on what I did like for now. Logan is a sweetheart, I really liked him, I mean the guy literally does not wrong, and what Gwen considers his flaw, when you think about it, it isn’t a flaw at all, it’s determination to achieve his goals.

Gwen is another story, I couldn’t connect to her at all, I didn’t hate her or anything, but I also didn’t care for her. She was distant and her misconceptions were frustrating at times to be really honest. Halfway through the book there’s this part where she says “I wondered if I’d merely been doing those things with the expectation that happiness would find me instead of the other way around (…) As I stare up at him, it hit me with stunning clarity that perhaps everything I’d been searching for was him.” and I wanted to hit her, because it feels like she’s talking like he’s everything she needs to be happy. And look, I do believe love is important but it isn’t everything.

Everyone else in Logan’s life were assholes, they all treated him like the football player and nothing more. Chris was supposed to be his friend and when they lost one game he went off on Logan and threatened to leave the team, I mean seriously? That’s the type of friend you want to be? I’m not even going to start on his father. 

All in all, this was nice to read, it was entertaining but at the same time everything felt very generic. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. So if you’re in the mood for a quick and nice read, you should pick this up.

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