#buqosteamyreads Excerpt Reveal + Giveaway: Old Enemies Make The Best Lovers by Kate Sebastian

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Last stop of #buqosteamyreads Sizzling bundle here at Fun to Live the Illusion, and featured today is Kate Sebastian’s Old Enemies Make the Best Lovers. Disclaimer: all books in the #buqosteamyreads package are for 18 years old and above only.

About the Book

Old Enemies Make The Best Lovers

Christy Martinez may have been a nerd and the number one victim for the mean girls in her high school, but she’s since grown up, gone to college, and carved out a successful career for herself. Now in her late 20s, she’s put high school behind her, only to be blindsided by a blast from her past.

She and her friends have planned a much-needed vacation, but she finds out at the last minute that they’ll be joined by uber rich and gorgeous Kyle Quinto. He just happens to be the guy who played a cruel trick on her in high school, breaking her heart and making her a target for bullying in the process.

Can Christy forgive and forget? Because Kyle is a whole lot of hot.

Excerpt Reveal

Christy cursed as she tried to maintain her hold on the bags of groceries she’d bought on the way home while fumbling her key into the lock on her apartment door. Then she heard her mobile ringing from somewhere in the depths of her purse, and that started a whole new round of cussing. Finally getting the door open, she quickly dumped the groceries as well as the laptop and folders she’d brought home from the office on the kitchen counter in order to rummage through her bag for her mobile.

She found the offending device right after the damned thing had stopped ringing, but blew out a breath of mixed frustration and relief when she saw it had just been Tracy, her best friend, who’d been calling. She’d been worried it was the office again, with yet another urgent matter that had to be seen to before she could eat her dinner.

She had pulled out her bluetooth headset and was just about to return the call when her phone buzzed in her hand and started ringing again. “Hey, Trace,” she said, moving to the groceries she’d abandoned in her rush to answer the phone and starting to sort through them and put them away. “What’s up?”

“Christina Marie Martinez, you’d better not still be at work!” her friend mock-scolded over the phone. “It’s almost 9 o’clock! I swear, you need to get yourself into Workaholics Anonymous or something.”

“Relax,” she said. “I just got home. I’m putting some groceries away, then I’m heating up a late dinner.” She cast a guilty look at the stack of paperwork and laptop she’d left by the groceries and decided not to mention that she’d planned on a working dinner that night.

“Girl, this is exactly why you haven’t had a man in, like, forever. You don’t get out of the office enough!”

“It hasn’t been forever,” Christy argued, knowing it might as well have been. In the three years since her last relationship had ended, she’d had two promotions, but lately she’d been relying a little too heavily on her battery-operated boyfriend, a sure sign it was probably time to start dating again.

“Whatever,” Tracy retorted. “If that asshole Mark hadn’t gotten a complex about how you were smarter and more talented than he was and started chasing after the bimbos in his office—”

“Ah, what was it that you’re calling about, Trace?” Christy hastily cut in, knowing her friend would happily go on for half an hour or more on the topic of her ex unless her rants were nipped in the bud. “I’m kind of hungry, and you’re keeping me from my dinner.”

“Oh, right!” There was a pause. “Well, um, it’s about this weekend.”

“What?” Christy groaned. It was a long weekend, and she, Tracy, and Tracy’s boyfriend Victor had been planning to take a trip to Cape Santiago, a beach town they’d first visited together in college and had continued to return to every couple of years. “Don’t tell me you’re flaking on me! I mean, I know I’m going to play third wheel to you and Victor, but I swear, you’ll only have to see me at meal times, and not even then if you want to make a date of it or something.”

“No, no—nothing like that! It’s actually great news! Victor came home with the news that an old college friend of his offered him a stay at a five-star resort. It’s just past Cape Santiago, and when we said we’d be going with a friend, he agreed to book a second room for you in addition to the honeymoon suite—the honeymoon suite!—for Victor and me.”

Christy chewed on her lower lip at her friend’s words. “That’s great, Trace,” she said slowly, heading for the couch and sinking into it. “But I don’t think I can afford a stay in a five-star resort with just a week’s notice.”

“Christy, that’s the thing—we’re getting to stay there for free!” Tracy laughed. “Victor’s friend owns the resort, or his family does, anyway, and he said that the rooms he reserved for us didn’t have bookings scheduled and were unlikely to get any at this late date. I was calling to tell you so we could cancel our reservations for that other resort.”

“Hmm.”

“What? That’s your disapproving ‘hmm,’ I can tell.”

“What’s the catch, Trace?”

“Why does there have to be a catch?” Tracy hedged.

“Okay, out with it,” Christy said, knowing that tone in her friend’s voice.

“Well,” Tracy said, drawing out the word, “I also called to tell you that Victor’s friend would be there this weekend too.”

Get Old Enemies Make the Best Lovers over at Buqo:

Also, join the giveaway! Click here for the Rafflecopter link.

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#buqosteamyreads Excerpt Reveal + Giveaway: Finding Mr. Write by Adelaide Penne

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Hi! Welcome to another stop of #buqosteamyreads here on my blog. It’s another excerpt reveal, and it’s from someone I know! Again, this comes with a sizzling disclaimer: books under the #buqosteamyreads are for 18 years old and above only. 

About the book

Finding Mr. Write

Finding Mr. Write by Adelaide Penne

Sometimes the best things come from the past…

Marcia Pelaez has it all: the curves, great friends, a successful career, and a loving boyfriend. Or so she thought. After getting dumped by her boyfriend of three years, her best friends set her up with blind dates from hell…until she meets Mystery Guy Number Three.

Clark has finally gotten everything he worked so hard to achieve: money and a successful career. But he has never forgotten the woman who had stolen his heart eleven years ago. And now that he finally has the chance to win back the feisty and independent Marcia, he’s willing to pull out all the stops.

In a battle of wits, and between the sheets, will they both finally triumph and find a love that could last forever?

Excerpt Reveal

“Honey, seriously, you have got to get out of bed. It stinks in here,” Ensyang Kinsitor announced as she walked through the door. Without checking to see if Marcia was awake, she strode to the windows and threw open the curtains, letting the bright mid-morning sun shine onto the four-poster mahogany bed.

“Damn it!” came a scream from the bed, followed by a string of profanities. The rustling of sheets ensued.

Beatrice Hizon came through the door next, carrying a tray laden with hot soup and a glass of water. “You should eat something, Marcia. Yaya Belen said you haven’t eaten anything other than junk food in two days.” She carefully placed the tray on the table beside the bed and yanked the covers off Marcia.

Ensyang and Beatrice eyed their best friend, who was looking far from her usual polished self. Marcia had bloodshot eyes with puffy under-eye circles, her black curly hair all tangled up, and, judging from the smell coming off her, seemed to be wearing unwashed pajamas.

Ensyang made a show of pinching her nose then opened the windows, despite the air conditioning running in the room.

Marcia responded with a dirty finger.

“Finish the soup, drink the water, get out of bed, take a thorough shower, and get pretty,” Beatrice said with a snap of her fingers. “And that is not a request.”

“Mooom, nooo…” was Marcia’s plaintive cry.

Calling Beatrice ‘mom’ was a long-standing joke between them because she had always been the mothering type in their little trio. Since they became friends in high school, the three girls had been inseparable and each other’s life cheerleaders. All three were children of fabulously rich parents, who had been in absentia since they were old enough to walk and talk, something that the three girls had bonded over through their confusing teenage years and into early adulthood.

Their grandparents, who had also been friends, however, had been cautious enough and named their grandchildren the heirs to their family businesses. However, since these businesses were being expertly handled by long-standing and trustworthy employees, Beatrice, Marcia, and Ensyang only needed to drop by their different offices every once in a while.

Beatrice had since gotten married and was doing a good job raising her own kids, but her mothering instincts over Marcia and Ensyang were as strong as ever.

Ensyang grabbed the stool from Marcia’s dresser, pulled it closer to the bed, and sat down. “Look, Marcia. So that good-for-nothing Ulric dumped you. Get over it. What you need is a really good f—”

“We were together for three years!” Marcia cut in. “I can’t just ‘get over it!’” She made angry quotation slashes in the air.

Ensyang sighed. “The only reason you dated him was because it’s been years since you’ve been in a relationship since Cl—”

“Don’t say his name!” Marcia snarled. “He said he loved me. Love! Love means you don’t leave them just because you want to be single!”

“Maybe he had a really good reason, Marcia,” Beatrice said while she patted her friend on the back.

“There’s no excuse for leaving someone you love. He almost broke me, Bei, Eny. You guys know how many times I wanted to kill myself. I couldn’t eat for months. I couldn’t…” Marcia bowed her head, furiously wiping away the sudden tears that threatened to spill down her cheeks. “Ulric came along and made me smile again. I can’t just get over him.”

Ensyang rolled her eyes. “Sheesh, so melodramatic. He was boring, both in and out of bed. He, what, played the bagpipes, or something? Just because he fulfilled your dream of dating a Scottish lad does not mean you can’t find someone new, who can fulfill other fantasies of yours. Other men will be begging for you to play their pipes in no time.”

Get Finding Mr. Write over at Buqo:

Also, join the giveaway! Click here for the Rafflecopter link.

#buqosteamyreads Excerpt Reveal + Giveaway: The Best Friend Hook-Up by Suzette de Borja

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Welcome to my blog tour stop of the #BuqoSteamyReads Sizzling bundle! A hot disclaimer: all of the books that are part of the #BuqoSteamyReads are for 18 years old and above. :)

About the book

The Best Friend Hook Up

The Best Friend Hook Up by Suzette de Borja

A bridesmaid in distress…

Mara is desperate to find a “hot” date for a beach wedding she has no wish to attend. The groom is her almost-boyfriend and the bride, her hated cousin. Her list of available, eligible men is virtually nonexistent. What is a girl to do?

Enter scorching hot Ian Stapleton, Mara’s best bud and go-to guy, to the rescue. Seeing his best friend in a red bikini for the first time is triggering a lot of reactions in Ian, the non-platonic kind! Does Ian dare take their friendship to a whole new level?

Excerpt Reveal

The Best Friend Hook Up by Suzette de Borja

Mara had one week left to find herself a scorchingly hot date for the wedding. She had only herself to blame for pushing this matter way, way back on her list of priorities. True, it was a problem but Mara was an optimist and she knew cramming was her forte. Didn’t she always deliver during their Grand Rounds presentation? Breezed her way through the quarterly exams with just a few hours worth of review? Managed to juggle and multitask volunteer work for her causes while going through residency and caring for her pet fighting fish Charm? True, changing the water in the fish bowl every other day wasn’t as taxing as walking a dog but since all Mara wanted to do after a grueling 36−hour duty was flop on the bed and sleep like the dead, she gave herself credit for developing her nurturing abilities. Research showed that caring for a pet significantly reduced anxiety and so she got herself a fish. Compared to med school, finding a date would be a walk in the park. Anything she set her mind to, she could accomplish.

Or so she thought, seven days to D−day left and counting, glancing about the lecture hall surreptitiously. The only marginally attractive male in the room was three years younger than her, a sophomore medical student and attached to boot, his girlfriend leaning into him possessively as if all the other single ladies might snatch him away from her. Mara felt the first stirrings of panic but ruthlessly clamped down on it. Get a grip, Mara. You will deliver. You always do.

Furtively, she opened her bag, rummaged blindly inside for her mobile and scrolled through the list of eligible men she had jotted down on her smart phone. Dr. Gonzalez was droning on and on about irrigating blocked Fallopian tubes and his soporific voice had lulled half of his audience to sleep. Mara couldn’t blame the esteemed professor for failing to capture the attention of the class. Medical students were constantly sleep deprived she doubted a pole dancer cavorting on stage or an announcement of a grand shopping sale would wake them up. Or would it?

Mara hated shopping. Well, hate was too strong. She disliked it. She would not go near a shopping mall if there was no need for it. Too crowded. Too many stimuli. Too many choices. If she needed clothes, she asked her childhood friend and neighbor Anna to go with her to lead her directly to what she wanted. The endless selection of tops in different materials, cut, styles, embellishments and colors paralyzed her decision making process.

“You decide,” she would tell Anna when confronted with a choice of two tops. Anna would hand her the sparklier, or the sexier or the bolder colored top and Mara would shake her head and opt for the subdued one. “Really? This is the fashion trend? Korean pop meets Little Mermaid?”

Anna, who was a computer graphic artist, would retort snarkily, “Better than Amish meets old maid.” And it never failed to rile her up. “Just because I don’t go around having casual sex with any available male does not make me a spinster!”

Anna rolled her eyes. “You never have sex, the casual or non- casual type. Period.” And then Mara waited for the inevitable line. “You’re too choosy.” She had heard it on countless occasions, reunions and even from patients who felt it was their duty to hand out unsolicited advice on the state of her nonexistent love life.

Mara’s already stiff spine, thanks in part to all the dancing she did in her meager spare time, stiffened some more. “I beg your pardon,” she huffed. “I am certainly choosy when it comes to inserting a probable disease−ridden appendage into my vagina!”

Anna half chortled, half coughed at Mara’s choice of words. After all these years she still hadn’t quite gotten used to the anatomically precise terms that liberally peppered her friend’s language. Mara’s parents were worse. Both doctors, they had no qualms discussing medical procedures like lancing a boil or repairing a hernia over family dinners and were unmindful that Anna would often be in danger of regurgitating her food. But they were both lovely, kind people and Mara had inherited their no nonsense, call- it−what−it− is attitude. “Oh Mara, you are always good for a laugh!”

“I’d be a laughing stock indeed if I appear at the wedding without a date,” Mara said grimly.

“For God’s sake,” Anna cried exasperatedly, “I don’t even know why you agreed to come to that wedding, let alone agree to be a bridesmaid!”

Get The Best Friend Hook Up over at Buqo:

Also, join the giveaway! Click here for the Rafflecopter link.

Book #25 for 2012: Every Day by David Levithan

I marked this as a to-read in my Goodreads page, and when I saw it in the bookstore, it was a no-brainer purchase. And the book didn’t disappoint.

First off, the summary from Goodreads:

A has no friends. No parents. No family. No possessions. No home, even. Because every day, A wakes up in the body of a different person. Every morning, a different bed. A different room. A different house. A different life. A is able to access each person’s memory, enough to be able to get through the day without parents, friends, and teachers realizing this is not their child, not their friend, not their student. Because it isn’t. It’s A. Inhabiting each person’s body. Seeing the world through their eyes. Thinking with their brain. Speaking with their voice.

It’s a lonely existence–until, one day, it isn’t. A meets a girl named Rhiannon. And, in an instant, A falls for her, after a perfect day together. But when night falls, it’s over. Because A can never be the same person twice. But yet, A can’t stop thinking about her. She becomes A’s reason for existing. So each day, in different bodies—of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, walks of life—A tries to get back to her. And convince her of their love. But can their love transcend such an obstacle?

RATING: 5 out of 5 stars

REVIEW: [MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS]

I loved the book’s premise. A is a character of undetermined gender, but it didn’t hinder him/her to love, and to fight for it, and to know when to give up. It was a wonderful experience reading the book because you wonder who A becomes the next time A wakes up, and since the book was told from A’s point of view, you can really see that A has lived. It showed the value of life, love, and of time—if you just have one day to live this life, what would you do?

I was crying at the end of the book—although I’m not sure if that was because I could relate in part to Rhiannon and was currently going through a rough patch love-wise when I read it—but I do feel the book is rich with Levithan’s wit and experience.

One gripe: I think the Nathan plot got dropped too easily. And I do want to know if there were others like A too.

If I’d rank the books I’ve read this year, this would be a far second to The Fault in Our Stars (John Green, review here). Like if I rate TFIOS 5.1 out of 5, Every Day would be 4.75 or something.

MUST READ, you guys. Pick this book up. :)

[And while we’re at the awesomeness that is Levithan, pick up A Lover’s Dictionarya quick read, I tell you—and follow Levithan’s Twitter where he tweets something along the lines of A Lover’s Dictionary.] 

Continue reading

Book #20 for 2012: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Summary from GoodReads:

It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune–and remarkable power–to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved–that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt–among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life–and love–in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

REVIEW:

RATING: FIVE OUT OF FIVE. 

[May contain spoilers.]

First off, I have to say this: I AM NOT A GAMER. But I do enjoy a couple of games here and there (Super Mario, Ranch Rush, Mystery Case Files, etc.), some servings of puzzles too (UnBlock Me, The Heist, Cut the Rope, Where’s My Water, etc.), but not riddles. I do like games that make my brain work. I haven’t tried any RPGs, touched an Xbox or a Wii, but I do have a vivid imagination.

Ready Player One is one of those books that you can’t put down no matter how hard you tried. Proof: I closed the ebook five times because I wanted to go back to sleep this morning, and then I kept on telling myself: ‘One more chapter, One more chapter,” until I realized I reached the end already.

I devoured this book in a matter of two days, starting at late night hours (9PM to past midnight), and finished it by reading from midnight to 5AM in the dark. I was desperate to finish it because it got even more exciting. It didn’t bother me that there are moments when I don’t have any inkling of what he’s talking about because there is a LOT of 80’s culture in this book (just in case you haven’t been warned enough yet). It was the GAME itself, the thrill of the chase for that Easter Egg, that got me hooked.

That and the characters. Cline made Wade a compelling character, one that made you want to root for him, understand him. He could surprise you (that stunt he pulled for the Third Gate, I didn’t expect that). And then add to the mix the other members of the High Five, Art3mis and Aech and Shoto were all great supporting characters, and I have to admit that at one point I did want Art3mis and Aech to win.

(Plus there is this weird feeling that somehow, in the future, the world would be like this, living off the internet, everything done online. While that truly interests me, that would be terribly, terribly sad, because while I enjoy interaction over the social media and keeping some sort of anonymity and putting up faces, nothing still ever beats face-to-face and personal interaction.)

I do admit that there are moments that Cline lost me–I don’t know why in the world did that sub-story popped in where it had, some of them I feel were unnecessary. But on the overall, because the story kept me up for hours because I didn’t want to put the book down, it deserved five stars.

P.S. MOVIE PLEASE. Pretty please with cherries on top.

Book #6 for 2012: Looking for Alaska by John Green

I was in a freaking John Green reading mode after tearing through The Fault in Our Stars (read my review here), so I borrowed a John Green book from a colleague and she gave me Looking for Alaska. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book—honestly I passed up on reading this a couple of times already, but I have seen a lot of quotes from the John Green tag I had on Tumblr.

So aside from curiosity, I loved John Green, so I dug in.

SYNOPSIS (from Goodreads):Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet Francois Rabelais called the “Great Perhaps.” Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young. Clever, funny, screwed-up, and dead sexy, Alaska will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps.

Looking for Alaska brilliantly chronicles the indelible impact one life can have on another. A stunning debut, it marks John Green’s arrival as an important new voice in contemporary fiction.

RATING: Definitely 5 out of 5. If it’s possible, I’d even give it a 6 out of 5.

THE GOOD

  • THE CHARACTERS: They are all flawless (and by flawless I meant the way they were written, not how they are flawless in the perfect sense). Pudge, Colonel, Takumi, and Alaska. Even Lara. I loved how they bonded together, their camaraderie, the comfort they have with each other and around each other, the banter. The Old Man and how he makes you think about religion. The Eagle. [My favorite is Colonel—I just have to say that]
  • THE STYLE OF WRITING: PERFECTION. I tweeted this—John Green can make me laugh, cry, and think all in a matter of 200+ pages.
  • THE “PRESENTATION”: While I was reading it, I was thinking… one hundred something days before what exactly? I kept on wondering. And then I did something stupid (and I hate myself deeply for this): I was browsing through the discussion guide at the last portion of the book, and then I saw one question, which covered the main turning point of the book. And I don’t know now, had I not seen that question, if my reading experience would have been different. But I do know I still loved this book. [You should know that there is a section that covered the After, which was equally compelling as the Before]
  • THE PLOT: Someone who wanted something to happen in his life. And then he meets someone—let’s just focus on Alaska—who does just that and more. And then… *sigh*. I loved the After section, I loved how it was dissected, I loved how they tried to look for answers even if they didn’t know if there are any.

THE BAD

  • Wah, I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but since this one came before TFIOS, there is something vaguely similar with their plots—in terms of someone sweeping in to change your life and then… [yup, that’s really a dot, dot, dot]

FAVORITES [MAY CONTAIN SOME SPOILERS]

  • At some point, you just pull off the Band-Aid and it hurts, but then it’s over and you’re relieved. –p. 7
  • You spend your whole life stuck in a labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present. –p. 54
  • I mean, it’s stupid to miss someone you didn’t even get along with. But, I don’t know, it was nice, you know, having someone you could always fight with. –p. 67
  • I wanted so badly to lie down next to her on the couch, to wrap my arms around her and sleep. Not f*ck, like in those movies. Not even have sex. Just sleep together, in the most innocent sense of the phrase. But I lacked the courage and she had a boyfriend and I was gawky and she was gorgeous and I was hopelessly boring and she was endlessly fascinating. So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane. –p. 88
  • That is the fear: I have lost something important, and I cannot find it, and I need it. It is fear like if someone lost his glasses and went to the glasses store and they told him that the world had run out of glasses and he would just have to do without. –p. 144
  • More than anything, I felt the unfairness of it, the inarguable injustice of loving someone who might have loved you back but can’t due to deadness, and then I leaned forward, my forehead against the back of Takumi’s headrest, and I cried, whimpering, and I didn’t even feel sadness so much as pain. It hurt, and that is not a euphemism. It hurt like a beating. –p. 151
  • Pudge’s answer to the Old Man’s finals question in the last pages of the book
  • UPDATE: I like this line too!!!! >> I was fine with just me and last words and school friends, and you can’t just make me different and then die.

I still have one John Green book in my to-read list: Paper Towns, but I’m holding off on reading that because I want the John Green awesomeness to sink in first.

Book Review for 2012 #5: Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony

I bought this book as per recommendation of Bookbed. This book was vaguely similar to Daniel Handler’s Why We Broke Up (see my review of this book here)—minus the entire verse-like story. This story is completely told in pictures, in newspaper articles, in invitations, in IMs between Glory and Frank, in postcards, in drawings, in YouTube videos among others. Not much paragraphs.

So is that good or bad?

Let’s dig in into Jessica Anthony’s Chopsticks. [The pictures were by Rodrigo Corral.]

SYNOPSIS (from GoodReads): After her mother died, Glory retreated into herself and her music. Her single father raised her as a piano prodigy, with a rigid schedule and the goal of playing sold-out shows across the globe. Now, as a teenager, Glory has disappeared. As readers flash back to the events leading up to her disappearance, they see a girl on the precipice of disaster.

RATING: A good 3 out of 5.

THE GOOD: Reading this book is an experience. It wasn’t the usual way of telling a story, obviously. It gives you an inside look into Glory and Frank’s relationship. It shows the vulnerability of the characters, the simplicity of falling in love while simultaneously feeling the invincibility of being a teenager—the no-one-can-beat-our-love-because-we-have-each-other and the ­you-and-me-against-the-world kind of love that, as the book showed, transcends even being miles apart.

I do like the approach—the whole pictures, scrapbook-ish type of telling the story on some levels. It was something a sentimental person (ahem, like me) would do—save those things and try to trace back on the things that happen in the relationship. The pictures and everything in the book gave us a glimpse of Glory’s relationship with Frank and her father—it was a bit like Big Brother or EdTV (am I recalling the right flick?  The one with Jim Carrey in it and he was followed pretty much everywhere?).

One of the best parts? You get to finish it in an hour—or more if you’re like me who really went back, read and browsed through every single detail of each page.

Another good part: they have playlists / mixtapes! I liked discovering new songs, so yup, that one’s a plus for me.

THE BAD: Since this book is almost entirely without prose, there is a downside to that approach—you don’t get to really connect with the characters, get to know them and their quirks, and you end up feeling a bit lost sometimes while reading it. You’re presented with ‘artifacts’ of a couple, but without much background, it was tough to figure out the motivations on why the characters did something, or why they became who they are. To me, it was really just a ”glimpse”—an almost detailed glimpse—through a relationship.

FAVORITES: [I wanted to take pictures of my favorite parts, but will that ruin the story for people?] 

  • The actor in the book who was Frank? He’s good-looking. Yum.
  • I did smile when I saw Us by Regina Spektor in one of their mixtapes.
  • Love is wild, and when it is cut, returns again, stronger, whether you want it to or not. –F
  • The part where they were brushing their teeth together. So innocent.
  • The good luck that Frank left on Glory’s porch.
  • All we need is the slightest kiss of the wind.

P.S. The dad here scares me. He seemed to me like a crazed psychopath obsessed with his daughter. But that’s just me.