End-of-July Reads

Lately, I’ve been feasting on a lot of chick lit and romance novels. I am actually thinking that it’s becoming an addiction. I even break sleeping patterns just to finish a book. That means I wouldn’t think twice staying until six in the morning as long as I get my well-deserved closure. Don’t even begin with the because ‘I have been single for like forever’ thing. OK maybe it’s a little bit because of that, but I think it’s highly understandable if my void of love I fill up with boy-meets-girl fiction of happy endings. I did not just admit that.

Well, screw everyone who thinks romance died with Romeo and Juliet. I am sharing my end-of-the-month serving of love and cheddar cheese from the following novels I loved.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

I was taken by surprise to how this book was beautifully written. At first I thought it would be shallow and superficial considering that Anna and Etienne St. Clair are still in high school, but I was wrong. It was cute and I loved how the book brought back my fascination for Paris. A light and fun read!

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

This book sits pretty on top of my favorite pile right now. The story revolved around e-mail conversations between Beth and Jennifer, two writers who are so witty and funny they made me wish I was a Rainbow Rowell character. It’s also about Lincoln, who secretly reads these e-mails and accidentally falls in love with one of them. It might be a little weird, but this is the new age and stalking can make love possible. Am I right? It was raw and delicate, funny and hopeful. FIVE STARS!

It Had To Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

First of all, I can’t believe it took me a decade to read this book. That would me make me 12 years old when this book was published, so I understand how inappropriate that could have looked if I was caught busy with this book. Especially with that kind of cover! It just baffles me why Phillips’ had to use a close-up cleavage as her cover! Might as well change the title to It Had To Be The Cleavage. But all things aside, what I love about Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ stories is the characters. She has this amazing grasp on character presentation that even if I have already read three books after this, I still have a clear picture of Phoebe and Dan in my head. There are definitely a lot of sweet and heartwarming scenes from this book and Phillips knows how to make them memorable.

Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

I really enjoyed It Had To Be You so right after I finished it I looked for another Phillips’ novel to sink my teeth into. Another thing I like about Phillips’ writing is the different elements she uses in her stories. It’s not only focused on love between two main characters, but she adds a twist to the story with a sister, a mother, a father, and even a neighbor that suddenly the story gets bigger and more meaningful. With Natural Born Charmer, you see all of love and its elements, including forgiveness, trust, second-chances, acceptance, and even friendship. Blue and Dean’s love story is quite fascinating. By the way, I praise Phillips’ for her suspenseful and grand endings!

One Tiny Lie by K.A. Turner

This is one teenage-novela with overflowing emotions. Although the book had questionable morals, I still liked it because of the several vulnerable scenes that made it hard for me to pull away. This kind of book to an emotional junkie like me is like a shot of heroin to a drug addict. This is the kind of book that makes ugly crying possible. Also, I liked the main character Livie because she does not indulge in self-pity or is damaged like the protagonists in those nauseating young adult romance novels that are becoming popular nowadays. I can’t say the story is very original, but good enough.

Fave Five: Female Fictional Characters

1. Elizabeth Bennett (Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice)

Winning traits: courageous, speaks her mind freely, strong-willed, and independent

2. Sloan Sabbith (HBO’s The Newsroom)

Sloan Sabbith by Olivia Munn in The Newsroom (2012)

Why I love her: she’s so smart, it’s sexy + the way she talks about economics make her so powerful. When she stutters and speaks on and on about economics, she’s so cute she make nerds look cool.

3. Violet Baudelaire (Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events)

Her intelligence, resourcefulness and creativity can save the world + her love for and nature to protect her siblings is admirable.

4. Betty Cooper (Archie Comics)

Hands down, #TEAMBETTY. She is the one for Archie because she’s that girl who dresses comfortably, is always up for adventure, the opposite of high-maintenance, and one who always have fun. With Betty, what you see is what you get. If she’s shy or nervous or acting all crazy, she’ll give you that. And what she gives is real.

5. Skeeter Phelan (Kathryn Stockett’s The Help)

Yes, I love outright smart girls who are not afraid to speak their minds and do not apologize for staying true even if doing so make them look tactless. I dream to be like Skeeter who helped bring out the courage in other people by pushing herself to be strong as well. What’s more, I dream to inspire and change people’s lives through writing.

Summer Reads

27 novels in two months and a half. That’s what you finish when you are a free woman like me. Free meaning a jobless fresh graduate who loves staying up late and waking up late. It’s okay. I like the leisure time I’m having. No pressure, just chilling. I’m pretty sure I’ll figure something out soon. For now, I’ll be spending my free time like a bitch until I get bored. This is liberation.

Here are some of my faves which could either fall under the tags #humor #romance #nonfiction or #youngadult. I chose them via GoodReads (Oh what would I do without it!) and fellow GoodReaders helped me pick titles through their reviews and ratings.

  • Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Crazy Rich Asians

It was exaggeratedly crazy! It was rich… in filthy rich Asian culture! Kevin Kwan’s talent for orienting details and vivid descriptions is sublime! He made this book feel like a soap opera that one cannot easily put down. It’s scandalous, it’s funny, it’s mouth-watering. Perfect summer read!

  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

This only affirmed what I thought about Mindy. She’s sardonically funny, witty, and I learned a lot from her anecdotes. My best take from the book? That guys take a long time to wear their shoes!! It’s so true!

  • Tangled by Emma Chase

Tangled (Tangled, #1)

What you only need to know is 1) it’s a romantic novel from a man’s point of view and 2) this man is a douchebag, competitive, really really hot, and honestly funny. It’s so exhilarating, I wasn’t able to take note how many times I’ve laughed out loud while reading it.

  • The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher

Tarryn Fisher left me with a broken heart with her novel, but I loved it. It was exhausting but I wanted more. If you’ve had enough of happy endings and enjoy lies and scheming, basically something realistic, then this book is for you.

  • Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

Sexy, funny, lustful! Talk about raging hormones and upped sexual tensions. This book is for the repressed. haha!

  • The Giver by Lois Lowry

It’s a dystopian novel with an original concept I don’t think I have read anything like it before. It’s that kind of book that will make you think endlessly about what happened after the ending. You need to read it, because I want to share this grappling feeling inside of me wanting to know WHAT REALLY HAPPENED.