Tuesday, December 31, 2013


New Year Inspiration Neil Gaiman
Source: clipzine
2013 has been quite the year, a bit of good and a bit of bad-Can't believe that an entire year is over!
 So anyway, there will be a lot of changes to look forward to in 2014-Lots of new stuff and I'm definitely excited for it. :)

What's a New Year without Bucket Lists, New Year Resolutions and plans right? So I'll be back with those in January.

I want to thank each and every blog reader for visiting Say It with Books *VIRTUAL HUGS TO ALL OF YOU*
A huge thank you and a cookie for all those amazing people who stopped by and left lovely comments-You guys made my day!
And all my book-ish buddies on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and all those awesome-sauce fellow bloggers - I ♥ you.

Before I say good-bye to 2013 I'd like to share some of my favorite posts on the blogs with you guys-Enjoy! :)

Favorite Discussions:

Sunday, December 15, 2013

5 Things That Will Make Your Blog Standout

Blogging with Nuz is a feature over here at Say It with Books where I'll be talking with you guys about my experience as a blogger and share the best and the worst of the blogosphere.
According to feedly I have subscribed to 800+ blogs - I don't even remember subscribing to some of these blogs! After doing a lil spring cleaning for my feed reader I was left with less than 30 blogs. What came to me as a surprise was that 75% of these bloggers were the ones that started out only recently. So what was that element X that made these blogs standout?
Honestly, it's pretty impossible to point out one but I did narrow it down to 7 factors that got me to notice these blogs.
1. More than just reviews
Yes, I do feel that books blogs require reviews. But if I just wanted to just read reviews I'd log into Goodreads. A book blog for me should give much more than that. Creative content is the way to go if you are newbie who wants to get the word about your blog. Discussions, debates, rants and new features are the kind of posts that will get readers to give your blog a chance. Not only do these posts generate traffic they also get your readers to speak out. And isn't that why most of us started blogging? To share our love for literature and to chat about it?
2. There's more to life than just books
Well, not much really. ;) I'm first and foremost a book blogger but sometimes I feel that this term 'book blogger' is a little confining. There are so many other things that I'm passionate about but I don't get the opportunity to share those things on this blog because I feel that it sorta goes against the idea of a 'book blog'. This view is something that I'm trying to overcome because I'd love to bring all the other things I love into this blog. 
“Most people are not really free. They are confined by the niche in the world that they carve out for themselves. They limit themselves to fewer possibilities by the narrowness of their vision.” 

Monday, December 2, 2013

A Look at the Characters & Giveaway: Across the Wire - Stella Telleria

Title: Across the Wire
Author: Stella Telleria

Published Date: November 2013
Buy the book: Amazon .  Smashwords  .   Kobo

When Mia Mitchell, a hardcore but lonely former Marine, steps into an alley to pull some thugs off an unlucky foreigner, she walks into a fight she expects. What she doesn’t see coming is the foreigner making her a job offer any sane person would refuse. So, she takes it. She thinks she’s headed for some third-world country; instead she’s mysteriously transported to an Earth-like parallel world. That’s a mad left-hook.
Mia discovers a matriarchal dystopia where freedom doesn’t exist and fighting for it means execution. Lethal force bends all to the law; women fear for their families and un-wed men suffer slavery. Mia’s job is to train an underground syndicate of male freedom-fighters for a violent revolution. However, the guys don’t want a pair of X chromosomes showing them the way.

Eben, an escaped slave, is encouraged by Mia to become a leader among the men. But when he turns his quiet determination on her, it spells F.U.B.A.R. for cynical Mia. Their unexpected connection threatens more than her exit strategy; it threatens the power struggle festering with in the syndicate.

Haunted by nightmares and post-traumatic stress, unsure who to trust or how to get home, Mia struggles to stay alive as she realizes all is not what it seems.

Meet The Characters

At 26, Mia Mitchell has had her fair share of tragedy. During her first tour in Iraq, she was badly injured in more than just the physical department. A few tours later, an emotionally detached Mia is honorably discharged from the Marines and struggles to remember what life should feel like. Nightmares and PTSD are all she knows and the motto “keep moving” has kept her afloat amidst the psychological storm following her. 

When she’s approached by Vuri, a strange man with an agenda of his own, she decides to take on the stranger’s cause. A cause that will take her to the parallel world of Gaia and into an entirely different fight. A fight that highlights the holes in her life and helps her find the softer side she thought died in a ranger grave long ago.

I’ve always envisioned Rhona Mitra as Mia. She’s just so believable in that kick-ass hardcore female role.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Guest Review: Hourglass - Myra McEntire

Author: Myra McEntire
PublisherEgmont USA
Published Date: June 14th 2011

One hour to rewrite the past . . . 

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn't there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents' death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She's tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson's willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may also change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he's around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should've happened?

My Thoughts

Wow. That was definitely not expected. And I mean that in a good way.

She’s been seeing ghosts. Emerson has been used to it, she’s been seeing them ever since she was a kid. But then it stopped. Now its come back, and it has more mysteries with it.

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with how Hourglass is. And I must say that it was a pretty book. The moment I saw the cover, I was already drawn to it, it just so happens that I didn’t really had the time to read it as of this time. When I first started reading the first parts, I became partly nervous. Why? Because there’s ghosts in it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe in ghosts, they just creep the heck out of me, and it isn’t helping that I usually read from 9 up to 12 or even 1 in the morning. But then as I continued reading it, I realized that it wasn’t just a book about a girl who sees ghosts. There were a lot of secrets that were uncovered as I progressed through the story.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Interview: Destiny Gift - Juliana Haygert

I am absolutely delighted to welcome New Adult Author & Co-founder of NA Alley Juliana Haygert to the blog today!
I have not had the opportunity to read her book, Destiny Gift yet but a lot of readers have described as a book that offers something for everyone! There's a bit of mythology, fantasy, paranormal romance and dystopian.

So without further ado let me turn the blog over to Juliana....
Meet Juliana
Describe yourself in a tweet (less than 140 characters) 
I’m a loving wife, a dedicated mother, a good friend, an inspired writer/author, an avid reader, and a fun, crazy lady ;)

When exactly did you realize that you wanted to be a writer? 
I've always loved books - I started reading "big" books when I was very young, thanks to my mother and her love for books.

When I was in 8th grade (in Brazil), my Portuguese teacher assigned us a group project: to write a short book. So, I got together with my 4 best friends (with whom I'm still best friends with) at my house and we started talking about the book. When I realized, I was writing the damn book all alone - not because they didn't want to, but because I didn't let them lol I was so in love with it, that each time we got together to work on the book, I would bake brownies and rent a movie so to keep them busy while I wrote the book lol I would write when they were gone too. And that's how I became a writer.

If writing didn't work out, what job would you image yourself having instead? 
If we were living in Brazil, I would probably be an English teacher. Here in the US, I don't know, honestly. I have a BA in Arts but I'm terrible at it. I would have to go back to school and do something else.

What inspired the idea of Destiny Gift? 
Destiny Gift (and other books in the series) came to me after a question my husband asked me when we were talking about elements we liked in fiction. He always said I should write about gods, since he loves mythology, but to make a different spin, he asked "what if they thought gods were immortal, but they aren't? And one of them comes back to life as a human?" That simple question gave life to 3 novels and 1 novella!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

ARC Review: Crash into You - Katie McGarry

AuthorKatie McGarry
PublisherHarlequin Teen
Release Date: Nov 26th 2013
Source: Publisher/NetGalley 

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind. 

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look. 

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

My Thoughts

Seven Things I Love About You: Crash Into You – Katie McGarry

Dear Crash Into You,

1) I love that your writing grabbed me from the first line and kept me reading through out the night until 3AM in the morning. The writing was simply riveting. Katie is truly an extraordinary storyteller.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Freya Robertson's Top 6 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Recommendations

I am absolutely delighted to welcome Author Freya Robertson to the blog today to share her Top 6 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Recommendations. 
I have not had the opportunity to read her debut, Heartwood yet but as fan of fantasy novels I'm pretty excited for it!
So without further ado let me turn the blog over to Freya....

Kia ora (that’s Kiwi or New Zealand-ish for hello!)

You asked me for my top six science fiction and fantasy recommendations, and I thought it might be interesting for readers to hear about books that were an inspiration to me while writing Heartwood.

In my teens I went through a period where I was fascinated by the legend of King Arthur. I loved the film Excalibur, and adored Bradley’s book with its historic elements matched by just the right amount of magic. I’ve been to Glastonbury, and liked Bradley’s idea that the isle could be revealed and hidden by the mists that only a few dedicated priestesses could control. The connection of the king to the land and his people is definitely an element that I enjoyed exploring in Heartwood.

We all stand on the shoulders of giants, and I am happy to admit that Brooks’s fascination with trees and the themes of sacrifice and rebirth that he explores in his novels were a great influence on me. The character of Willow in Magic Kingdom is a lovely one, but this book is magical for more than that. I love Ben Holiday’s connection with the Paladin and the way that Brooks always makes the characters’ internal journeys as important as their external ones. This series is fun and light-hearted, but it’s one of my all-time favourites.

This series emphasises my interest in reincarnation and the ideas of resurrection and rebirth. The Deverry Cycle is a series of Celtic fantasy novels in which the story moves back and forth in time, exploring the various incarnations of characters and how one impinges on the other. It features many of the traditional elements of epic fantasy such as elves and dwarves. I haven’t read it for a long time, but it definitely had an impact on my love of epic fantasy.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Guest Review: Dizzy - Nyrae Dawn & Jolene Perry

AuthorNyrae Dawn & Jolene Perry
PublisherNext Door Books
Release Date: November 15th 2012

Dylan doesn’t do relationships. He and his older brother watched their dad go through hell and back, so they made a pact years ago—no girl would come between the Gibson boys. But his brother sells out. He's getting married anyway. To the sister of a chick Dylan met at a party, who's probably the angriest girl he's ever met. Unfortunately, she happens to be hot, too.

Ziah’s life is upside down—her safe boyfriend turns out to be not-so-safe, and now her sister is getting married before college is over to the older brother of a spoiled, party boy who drives her crazy. And also makes her heart beat too fast.

There’s no denying the attraction, but there's also no denying how much they irritate each other. When they’re thrown together as forced wedding planners, they find an ally in each other--neither wants this wedding to happen.

But instead of putting a stop to the crazy nuptials they find themselves at fittings and cake testing. And maybe even…a few dates?
Dizzy is a novel about what happens when two people who are determined not to fall in love, maybe do anyway. Maybe.

My Thoughts
Cute. Light. Definitely chick-lit-ty.

I decided that I would break my reading schedule because my buddy read Stef, told me that it was a very good read. It was definitely such a cute thing :D

Its not everyday that you meet a girl that’s different from most. Especially since she doesn’t like you the very first time she sets eyes on you. Dylan could never forget how that one girl, Ziah. Then the whole wedding his brother is having is something he didn’t expect… and Ziah.

I’m not usually the kind of girl that reads a lot of chick-lit books. I tend to read more intense and emotional books. So its refreshing reading this book because its just so… light and sweet.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Guest Post + Giveaway: 10 Things That Inspire Me

I am absolutely delighted to welcome Author Astrid Yrigollen to the blog today to share a Guest Post on what inspires her. 
I have not had the opportunity to read her book, His Black Wings yet but a lot of readers have described it as a Steampunk retelling of Beauty and the Beast-Sounds fabulous right?
So without further ado let me turn the blog over to Astrid....
Ten Things That Inspire Me
1. Creation. The natural world and heavens is breath taking and awe inspiring. The beauty, design and variety of everything, even a single kind of say, flower, that can be found in our known universe is inspiring to me.
2. No matter where is comes from, whenever I witness a person’s humility it never ceases to impress me and inspire me to be a better person.
3.Kindness is something that any one can give freely, even the most simple act yet can be so powerful. When I see kindness it always speaks directly to my heart and reminds me to in turn to be kind.
4. Intelligence. I love speaking, listening and learning from intelligent people (who are also open minded).No one person will ever know it all,but it’s fun to learn from everyone you can.
5. Animals. To see the various behaviors of animals that emote human ones, love, anger, jealousy ,tenderness etc. never ceases to inspire me to create animal characters for younger readers.
6. People who stands up for what is right, even when it is not popular to do so.
7. Art in it’s various forms. Whether it’s drawing, painting, sculpting, crafting, sewing and even baking I love to see the things people create.
8. Happy music puts me in to a good mood, therefore making it easier to be inspired and create!
9. On the lighter side of things that inspire me, girly, pretty things,dresses,bows etc. These fashions are past my age group to wear, but I love to see pretty dresses!
10. Cake! All girls love sweets and nothing beats a pretty cake!
Meet The Author:
Astrid Yrigollen is a self published Author of Young Adult and Children’s books. 
Astrid started her writing career when she begun work for the international video game giant, Sega of America. Working her way up the ranks, she began writing companion guides for games. With a love for writing fiction 
since childhood, she took her short stories out of storage and had her first story ever written published. It was only after that she found out that first stories are never published! 
She has resumed writing full time and has succeeded in putting out the titles, The Doughnut Tree, Mysterious Pootkins , and The Mosswoods to name a few. Her short stories have appeared in the literary 
journal, “Threshold Press” and Shock and Awe Magazine.She finds writing for young adults both refreshing and challenging. She always wishes to provide examples of positive role models, conflict resolving methods and communication for young adults with their parents or guardians. 

Twitter      .     Goodreads         .     Website         .        Facebook
His Black Wings

AuthorAstrid Yrigollen
Title: His Black Wings
Release Date: November 2012

Claren Maidstone has been forced to flee her childhood home after the death of her parents and a vicious assault from a sadistic young man who intends to marry her. Claren changes her identity and finds employment as an assistant to the handsome Fredrick Lowood, a generous yet mysterious benefactor. However, she soon finds out his generosity comes at a price. Fredrick wishes for Claren to befriend his disfigured son who resides in seclusion at their estate, Westwind.

Fredrick Lowood knows what the history books do not teach, that the Grand Council built this new world of peace and beauty on hidden blood and greed. He has plotted for years to bring down the family that enslaved his own people. Suddenly, he has the last living heir in his grasp.

Etrigan Lowood rejects the world that forces him to hide. He is powerful, plagued with a terrible dark beauty: WINGS. It is these wings that carry him out only at night to watch the unwanted intruder in his home. A creature of refined instinct yet little social grace, he is strangely captivated by Claren but knows nothing of how her family’s dark past is intertwined with his own . Through their blossoming friendship, Etrigan realizes he still retains his human heart and yearns for Claren’s love.

Kurten Wandsworth is the only son of the Mayor of St.Marhen. Kurten lives his life fueled by cruelty and lust. Whatever he wants he takes and he wants Claren to be his wife even it if kills her. Scarred by Claren he hunts her down mercilessly until he can set a trap which she will never be able to escape from.

The Giveaway
Enter this International giveaway to win a paperback of His Black Wings by Astrid Yrigollen and some fabulous swag!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Bookish Survey, A Bookish Event & A Guest Reviewer!

The A-Z book-ish survey was created by Jamie at The Perpetual Page-Turner and it's super fun!
Author you’ve read the most books from: 
Karina Halle-I absolutely loved her Artists Trilogy and Experiment in Terror series!

Best Sequel Ever: 

Hands down, it's Taherah Mafi's Unravel Me!

Currently Reading: 

Markus Zusak's The Book Thief for a read-along hosted by Wendy at The Midnight Garden-So far it's been amazing!

Drink of Choice While Reading: 

Not really picky but coffee works always.

E-reader or Physical Book? 

I'd have to go with physical books. I don't have an e-reader which means I read ebooks on my laptop. Nope, not comfortable at all.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

Trevor from Pivot Point-Cute and dorky guys for the win! ;)

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance: 

Heart on a Chain by Cindy C. Bennett

Hidden Gem Book: 

Priya Kanaparti's The Dracian Legacy

Important Moment in your Reading Life: 

Discovering Enid Blyton and book blogs.

Just Finished: 

Me, Him, Them, & It by Caela Carter - I wasn't a huge fan of pregnancy books but this one changed my mind!

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read: 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Apologies, Farewells and New Beginnings

I realized today that it's been 3 WHOLE weeks since I logged into my blogger account and actually wrote a post! (Although I did pop on Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter every once in a while.) That's probably the longest break I have ever taken and hopefully it'll be the last.
Apologies for being MIA and thank you so much for all the awesome people who stopped by even when I failed to post new stuff. And really sorry for not being able to respond to all those lovely comments, I hope to stop by and return your comments! :)
Rachel will no longer be blogging here at Say It with Books because she has launched her very own blog, My Book Empire! She's also hosting a PH Only and International giveaway so don't forget to stop by and say Hi!
I'm totally gonna miss her and it's really sad to see her go. But I respect her decision and I am absolutely proud to see her start her own blog! :)
Rachel had short farewell message for you guys so here it is....

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Review: Two Roads by L.M. Augustine

Title: Two Roads
Author: L.M. Augustine
Published: August 26th 2013- Amazon Digital Services, Inx.
Website: Author's Website

The only person poetry-loving Cali Monroe hates more than herself is Logan Waters, the geeky kid who lives in the dorm building next to hers. 

Ever since Cali's parents told her she would amount to nothing, she has felt entirely inadequate. Friendless and alone, she takes on the mean girl role in hopes it will make her feel better--and Logan serves as the perfect target. He infuriates her with his obnoxiously long lashes, his all too perfect dimpled smile, and his complete lack of personality outside of his intelligence. It doesn't hurt that he's part of the reason her brother is dead, either. So Cali hates him, and he returns the favor. Thus, their prank-filled, insult-driven rivalry is born, and torturing Logan quickly becomes the highlight of her life. 

But when Cali's parents set them up on a blind date, she begins to realize Logan might not be as boring as she always thought. He shares her love of poetry, takes a sadistic pleasure in making fun of crepes, and he makes her blush when he calls her smile pretty. 

And hey, maybe those long lashes of his aren't that obnoxious after all… 

Two Roads is New Adult Romance about finding love, standing out, and learning to embrace who you are. It contains some language and mild sexual content.

                   My Thoughts

“We have this strange way of making each other happy by making each other miserable.”

In this story, you will meet a boy (a hot nerd at that one) with obnoxiously long eyelashes and a girl who is feisty on the outside but a softie on the inside.

When I first started reading, I’ll have to admit that I didn’t like Cali that much because I didn’t see the point as to why she was pretending to be a tough, mean girl and hanging out with the girls she didn’t even like. But as I kept reading, I realized why. This book does not only offer us a fun, and witty banter between the two main characters, but also lessons that we must remember as life goes on.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Blogging with R & N: Co-Blogging

Blogging with R & N is a new feature over here at Say It with Books where I'll be talking with you guys about my experience as a blogger. Rachel will be occasionally joining me and together we'll share the best and the worst of the blogosphere.
I've been seeing a lot of bloggers going on  hiatus, worrying about blogging slumps and  freaking out about that never-ending review books pile. A lot of them seem to be taking on co-bloggers to help manage the workload. So today I'm hoping my experience of taking on a co-blogger will help people decide if co-blogging is for them or not.
When I started this blog back in November I did a lot of research to make sure that blogging was something for me but I had no idea it would be so consuming. It started out as something that I did just cause I was bored but now it's practically a routine. If I'm not reading, I'm blogging and when I'm not reading/blogging I'm thinking of blogging/reading. Yep. It's a vicious cycle. 
I made the decision to switch from blogging solo to co-blogging back in March
So why did I make switch?
Way to many review requests, way too many social networks, way to many books to read, way too many mails to respond, way too may blogs tours  and so little time.
I was  starting to look a little like this.....
So now that I made the switch am I glad I did it? Hell Yes.
But of course it's not all sunshine and rainbows because  if so then everybody would be co-blogging right?
So what I can do for you is give you a breakdown of the pros and cons. Maybe it'll make the decision easier for you to make. Or maybe it'll make you think twice.
1. You can FINALLY have a life that is not consumed by blogging.
One of my worst nightmares is that if I go offline for the weekend my blog will disappear into the deep dark place where all abandoned blogs go to die (did I mention that I was dramatic? Oh well, add that to the list).
Pre-Rachel I couldn't take a mid-month break because I was having a reading/blogging slump. But post-Rachel I can actually do that without freaking out that my blog's going to crawl into a well and die.
I don't have to whip out 3-4 posts a week now. I can read books at my own pace and review them when I feel comfortable because I know I have someone that I can rely on to keep the blog alive when I'm not feeling up for it.
Knowing that someone's has your back and will cover for you when you decide to take a spur of the moment hiatus is an amazing feeling. 
2. “Two heads are better than one.
Whether it's promoting blog posts or coming up with new ideas it's always better to have a helping hand. Both Rachel and I have our own social media networks so it's twice the number of tweets, twice the number of pins, twice the number of connections on Goodreads and twice the number of Facebook shares! End result=Double the exposure. And I have the stats to prove this, after I took on a co-blogger I could clearly see a spike in the blog traffic.
Shared responsibilities is definitely a perk too. Now I don't have to juggle all the bazillion tasks involved in blogging single-handed-ly! 
3. “Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up.” 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Review: The Unidentified Redhead by Alice Clayton

Title: The Unidentified Redhead
Author: Alice Clayton
Published: October 15th 2013 by Gallery Books
Source: Publisher

The first in USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton’s Redhead series is a playful and erotic romance between an aspiring actress and Hollywood’s hottest new leading man.

When Grace Sheridan returns to Los Angeles to become a working actress, it’s a second shot at a life-long dream. With some help from her best-friend agent, will that dream become a reality—or at thirty-three, has Grace missed her chance at the big time? And when an unexpected sizzling romance with Jack Hamilton, the entertainment industry's newest “it” boy, threatens to shine an uncomfortable spotlight on her life, how will that affect her career…and his? 

Funny, borderline neurotic Grace is perfect in her imperfections, and the sexual chemistrybetween her and charming yet blissfully unaware Jack is off the charts. With laugh-out-loud dialogue and a super-steamy romance that will get your heart racing, sneaking around in L.A. and dodging the paparazzi has never been so fun.

                             My Thoughts

Imagine having a ‘Super Sexy 24-year-old Scientist Guy’ and ‘33-year-old Unidentified Redhead’ in Los Angeles where pretty much anything can happen… You’ll get one hilariously sexy and crazy story!

First of all, I want to give Alice Clayton a big, tight hug for writing this book and for giving me another book boyfriend to dream about, Jack Hamilton. *swoons*

When I first read about Jack, I was sure that I’d fall in love with him right away. He’s close to perfection with his accent and his dark emerald green eyes with flecks of gold. (Sorry I’m a sucker for guys with beautiful eyes.) Being in L.A. again means so much to Grace Sheridan. This is her last chance to make her dreams come true, because the first time didn’t go so well for her. Now, her best friend, Holly, who has a talent agency, helps her in achieving her goal. Let me just say that I loved the portrayal of Los Angeles in this story. We always see it as the city where all dreams come true, but in reality, one’s dreams can also be shattered and crushed right there. Honestly, it’s one of the places that I want to live in someday, because of the craziness that it can bring me but also because of the calm I know is still there despite all of the chaos.  

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Review: This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

Title: This is What Happy Looks Like
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Published: April 4th 2013 - Headline
Source: Publisher

If fate sent you an email, would you answer? 

In This is What Happy Looks Like, Jennifer E. Smith's new YA novel, perfect strangers Graham Larkin and Ellie O'Neill meet—albeit virtually—when Graham accidentally sends Ellie an email about his pet pig, Wilbur. In the tradition of romantic movies like "You've Got Mail" and "Sleepless in Seattle," the two 17-year-olds strike up an email relationship, even though they live on opposite sides of the country and don't even know each other's first names. 

Through a series of funny and poignant messages, Graham and Ellie make a true connection, sharing intimate details about their lives, hopes and fears. But they don't tell each other everything; Graham doesn't know the major secret hidden in Ellie's family tree, and Ellie is innocently unaware that Graham is actually a world-famous teen actor living in Los Angeles.

When the location for the shoot of Graham's new film falls through, he sees an opportunity to take their relationship from online to in-person, managing to get the production relocated to picturesque Henley, Maine, where Ellie lives. But can a star as famous as Graham have a real relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie's mom want her to avoid the media's spotlight at all costs? 

Just as they did in The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, the hands of fate intervene in wondrous ways in this YA novel that delivers on high concept romance in lush and thoughtful prose. 

                               My Thoughts

One email. One pet pig. One small town girl. One celebrity.. Equals one happy and dreamy love story.

Once I started reading the first few pages of This is What Happy Looks Like, I just can’t seem to stop. There is definitely something special with Smith’s writing because readers will surely be engaged while turning the pages. I cannot imagine exchanging emails with someone I don’t know anything about, but in the case of Ellie and Graham, they totally made it into something that’s effortlessly sweet. Of course they still had some boundaries, no personal questions and no specifics, but their conversations were touching and inspiring. I thought that reading their exchange was going to be weird and awkward but boy, I was wrong.