Blog Tour: The Beauty that Remains by Ashley Woodfolk (Review)

I am super excited to be part of the international blog tour for The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk, organized by Penguin Random House International. This is a debut contemporary novel from the author who I must say done a great job for her first novel. Ashley Woodfolk delivered a powerful story in the Beauty that Remains. Check my review below for more of my thoughts about the book and also I’ll be sharing a mood board below.

Personal Thoughts:

The Beauty That Remains tells the story of three teenagers coping with griefs and how music become integral part of their lives.

Autumn’s lost her best friend, Tavia in a car accident; Logan’s ex-boyfriend, Bram has committed suicide; and Shay’s twin sister, Sasha died from leukemia. All three suffered from loss of love ones, and connected through grief and music. Each deals with their own griefs on their own way. Autumn is eaten by guilt for not being there with her best friend blame herself for Tavia’s death; Logan is in denial hiding behind alcohol; while Shay pretends to be fine and put on a brave face despite of all the panic attacks and anxiety. All three have to face their own griefs to fully continue with their lives even at times when they don’t feel okay.

For a debut novel, The Beauty that Remains is well written and surprisingly affecting. Author Ashely Woodfolk successfully delivered a heartwarming tale of griefs in different perspectives. Even if you are not on the stage of grieving someone in your own life, the story still easily resonates. The heartaches and griefs of the main characters feels achingly real that sometimes you will wish for them to find peace and acceptance.

The diverse characters are realistically drawn and explored very well as Ashley write the story in three different points of view. Not only their feelings become easily accessible, but also their griefs more painfully heartbreaking. Ashley also didn’t shy away in adding sensitive topics to make these characters more believable, making the book more of a heavy read. But still, in-spite of all the heartache and loses, The Beauty that Remains also offers hope not only to the characters but also to the readers. As the characters deals with their own grief and eventually find their path to move forward with the help of friends and friends, readers will also be reminded that losing someone we love is not the end and that there are other people left who also love and care for us. We are not alone in loneliness.

The novel theme of grief will also reminds readers that it is normal to undergo heartbreak and loses. That we don’t need to always put up a strong facade in front of others. And sometimes it’s okay to be vulnerable and accept defeat. Heartache is part of life.

“There’s no way to measure grief.”

All in all, The Beauty Remains is both heavy and surprisingly hopeful read. A touching and heartwarming story of loss, grief and moving on that will break readers’ heart and put back together. The three protagonist at the heart of the story are all flawed, and believable and through them readers will be reminded that heartache and loses are part of life, but there’s still beauty that remains even after those tragic times.

* This review is based on an eBook I received from the publisher, Penguin Random House International (@prhinternational) via Netgalley.




Book Details:

Title: The Beauty that Remains
Author: Ashley Woodfolk
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Pages: 352
ISBN: 9780525578284

Music brought Autumn, Shay, and Logan together. Death wants to tear them apart.

Autumn always knew exactly who she was—a talented artist and a loyal friend. Shay was defined by two things: her bond with her twin sister, Sasha, and her love of music. And Logan always turned to writing love songs when his love life was a little less than perfect.

But when tragedy strikes each of them, somehow music is no longer enough. Now Logan can’t stop watching vlogs of his dead ex-boyfriend. Shay is a music blogger struggling to keep it together. And Autumn sends messages that she knows can never be answered.

Despite the odds, one band’s music will reunite them and prove that after grief, beauty thrives in the people left behind.


Book Links:

Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Goodreads | Publisher

Blog Tour: This Heart of Mine by C.C. Hunter (Review)

“Don’t do anything you know you’ll regret. But do enough to know exactly what you’ll regret and learn to regret less.”

A new heart saved her life—but will it help her find out what really happened to its donor?

Seventeen-year-old Leah MacKenzie is heartless. An artificial heart in a backpack is keeping her alive. However, this route only offers her a few years. And with her rare blood type, a transplant isn’t likely. Living like you are dying isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But when a heart becomes available, she’s given a second chance at life. Except Leah discovers who the donor was — a boy from her school — and they’re saying he killed himself. Plagued with dreams since the transplant, she realizes she may hold the clues to what really happened.

Matt refuses to believe his twin killed himself. When Leah seeks him out, he learns they are both having similar dreams and he’s certain it means something. While unraveling the secrets of his brother’s final moments, Leah and Matt find each other, and a love they are terrified to lose. But life and even new hearts don’t come with guarantees. Who knew living, took more courage than dying?

Book Links: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Goodreads | Publisher

Personal Thoughts:

This Heart of Mine is a genuine portrayal of life of a teengage girl living with chronic illness with a dose of mystery.

Leah McKenzie’s heart failed due to virus that caused Myocarditis, so she has an external mechanical heart to keep her alive while waiting for a heart that will match her. But with her rare blood type, Leah is not very optimistic in getting a transplant soon.

Matt Kenner has lost his twin brother, Eric after declared brain-dead due to the gunshot in the head. Eric’s heart match to Leah’s need, so she received a new heart the same day Eric’s died. Leah knew Matt and Eric, they attend the same school and live in the same town, and after realizing that she has Eric’ heart, she can’t help but think that Eric is gone and she is alive because of it.

The police ruled Eric’s case as suicide, but Matt doesn’t believe it. He knows his twin brother very well, and he can’t accept that Eric will take his own life. When Matt and Leah finally able to catch up with each other, they learned that they’ve been having the same dreams lately, and it’s all about Eric. Like Eric is telling them something about his death. The two then try to find out what actually happened that night Eric died, hoping to bring justice for Eric.

Told in alternating views between Leah’s first person and Matt’s third person narrative, This Heart of Mine offers story of griefs; from Leah and her family who is dealing with Leah’s condition, to Matt and his mother’s grief after losing not only Eric but also Matt’s Dad, and also those friends who are somehow connected to those who are gone like Eric.

Aside from dealing with griefs, and the mystery of Eric’s death, and more than the romance between Eric and Leah, the story also reminds readers how important it is to live in the moment and take chances in life. With Leah’s condition, Leah doesn’t know how long she has to live. Even with the new heart, there’s still the possibility that her body will reject it. And Leah learn to accept that the hard way. She learns to appreciate whatever time she got and try to live her life as normal as possible. She seize the moment, try to be brave and be happy with her life even with her condition.

“Don’t be afraid to take a chance. Win or lose. That’s what life is, a bunch of chances.”

C.C. Hunter successfully delivered a heart-warming story with a touch of mystery in this first contemporary novel of her.

A story with a heart.

* This review is based on an eGalley I received courtesy of the publisher, MacMillan in exchange of honest opinion about the book.

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

“Everybody’s got secrets,” he says. “Right?”

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.
Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.”

Book Links: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Goodreads | Publisher

Personal Thoughts:

One of Us is Lying will surely keep readers turning pages after pages till the end.

Simon is the owner and creator of About That, an application that broadcast the juiciest gossips around Bayview High. When he and other four students end up in the detention, Simon died from severe allergy after drinking a cup of water. The four students – Nate, Bronwyn, Addy, and Cooper are all subjects of About That’s next gossip, making them more suspicious for Simon’s murder. Could any of them plotted Simon’s death, or are they just in the wrong place at the wrong time?

“I know what it’s like to tell yourself a lie so often that it becomes the truth.”

Uncovering Simon’s death for me is not about the whodunnit part, but more on how and why? Not exactly on how it was done, but more on the small details actually. Only few chapters in, right after reading each of the suspects thoughts, I already had my guess on who killed Simon. And as I continue reading, getting to know more of the suspects, I know my guess is right. From then on, it a series of confirmations. As much as I don’t want the fact that I easily guessed the mystery of Simon’s death, I am still so much at awe how the whole story was delivered. Not only it is addictive, but also very engaging.

The whole time I am reading, I am mentally noting the facts and details about the characters – their involvement to Simon, their motives and alibis. Not only because of their connection to the mystery of Simon’s death but most importantly because of their own stories. Their individual secrets and side stories are what really drive the whole plot for me, more than Simon’s death.

These characters though label as stereotypical are not as simple as they appear. They are not just the typical representations of the high-school status quo. Bronwyn, Nate, Addy, and Cooper are all interesting individual whose stories went to different lows and highs. Their character development is one of the best part of this book.

“She’s a princess and you’re a jock,” he says. He thrusts his chin toward Bronwyn, then at Nate. “And you’re a brain. And you’re a criminal. You’re all walking teen-movie stereotypes.”

As for Simon, is it bad I don’t care much that he is dead? Sure, I had fun reading the other characters take on his death, but with my hunch about his death, it just not easy for me to see things the other way around. I wish there’s more details and explanations than just his condition, or at least more about his condition. But even then, I don’t think it will justify everything that went through with him. If only I know what’s in his head. I don’t think it’s all about revenge though. I think he is more clever than that.

“Some people are too toxic to live. They just are.”

One of Us is Lying is a well written, interesting and surprisingly fun read. Karen M. McManus did a very well job with this one. You won’t even noticed that this is her debut novel. I will definitely read whatever her next project is.

Celebrating Debutantes 2017: Now Is Everything by Amy Giles (Author Interview + Giveaway)

Hey everyone! I’m thrilled to welcome new author Amy Giles on the blog as part of Celebrating Debutantes 2017 blog event. Amy answered few questions for me about her upcoming debut YA contemporary novel, Now is Everything. After reading the synopsis of this book, I am intrigue. It seems a thrilling read with secrets and msytery. I can’t wait to read Hadley’s story and find out about the secret of McCauleys.

Following the author interview is Amy Giles’ author bio along with places where to find her online. Then there’s also the book description and where to pre-order copies of Now is Everything which will release in November. And if you would like the chance to win an advance readers copy of Now is Everything, bookmarks and stickers, Amy is giving away one below. Just enter the rafflecopter form a bit further down in this post. I hope you all enjoy the interview.

Interview with Amy Giles

What’s your journey to writerhood been like?
Like many writers, the road to becoming an author was bumpy. Now Is Everything wasn’t my first novel. There are a few in the desk drawer that will never see the light of day—and shouldn’t! But I don’t mourn any of those early attempts. The only way you can be successful as a writer is to keep looking forward, never look back. Learn from your mistakes and find the next idea that will excite you.

What inspired your debut contemporary novel, Now Is Everything?
Now Is Everything poured out of me in a torrent of frenzied writing. I completed the first draft in three months. It started with a news story about a little girl who was the sole survivor of a small plane crash. I imagined the hell she must have gone through, not only crawling away from the wreckage, but leaving behind her entire family, all dead, then walking miles looking for help. I took that hell and went darker, taking every “what if” further and further until it became Hadley’s story of survival.

What was the biggest change you made to the story before it reached an agent/editor/publisher?
The finished book isn’t much different from the draft I sent my agent. I edited and rewrote scenes during revisions, but nothing major changed. Except for one thing: right before I sent it to my agent, I rewrote the ending, a last minute decision, and I’m so happy for it. I think it works much better this way. (For obvious reasons, I can’t tell you anything more!)

What qualities did you love exploring in Hadley as a character? What makes Hadley special for you to tell her story?
Hadley starts off fearful of her father, with good reason. But as the story progresses, she starts to find the courage to stand up to him, first for herself, then for her sister, Lila. Taking those steps with her was not only satisfying for me but also emotional. If you cry reading this book, I guarantee I cried writing those same scenes. While Now Is Everything covers a lot of ground, for me this is a story about the love and special bond between two sisters.

Did you learn any deep, interesting, or shocking truths while working on Now Is Everything, about writing in general, or about yourself?
I learned I can go days without showering (I don’t recommend it). That I can live on carbs and bacon. That boxer shorts are great for writing. That I need to force myself to get up and stretch every forty minutes or else my neck gets so stiff I can’t turn my head. That my family is extremely patient and loving, but not great at helping make healthy meals for me. When I requested a salad, they basically made me a BLT in a bowl, heavy on the B. (It was delicious.)

What are your ambitions for your writing career? Do you plan to write another book in other genre?
I am working on not one, but TWO stories now! One is in revisions, and a new one has me very excited. It is still in the drafting stage, the honeymoon period. Around twenty-thousand words is when I start to second guess myself! I will never rule out writing in another genre. Not that I’d ever compare myself to the incomparable Rainbow Rowell, but she writes what she wants to write, not what she’s expected to write.

And lastly before we end this interview, can you please share a snippet/teaser from Now Is Everything to intrigue us before the book hit the shelves in November.
Of course! From the opening:

Emergency first responders scramble up and down the hill around me like ants, trying to see what can be salvaged. We’re on different frequencies. Theirs is manic and frenzied, searching for life, while I watch without seeing. What I escaped below eclipses everything. Blank eyes. A blood-soaked Cornell sweatshirt. Necks bent unnaturally. Angry fists of heat pounding at my back as I crawled away from the wreckage.
But the sky is a perfect crisp blue, like someone forgot to tell it to wipe that smug smile off its face.
No one survives a plane crash. I shouldn’t be here.


Amy Giles is an award-winning copywriter and young adult author. She lives on an Island that is Long with her husband, two daughters, and rescue dog.

Find Amy

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


Book Details:

Title: Now is Everything
Author: Amy Giles
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: November 07, 2017
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover, eBook

Now Is Everything is a stirring debut novel told in alternating THEN and NOW chapters, perfect for Sarah Dessen and Jennifer Niven fans, about what one girl is willing to do to protect her past, present, and future.

The McCauleys look perfect on the outside. But nothing is ever as it seems, and this family is hiding a dark secret.

Hadley McCauley will do anything to keep her sister safe from their father. But when Hadley’s forbidden relationship with Charlie Simmons deepens, the violence at home escalates, culminating in an explosive accident that will leave everyone changed.

When Hadley attempts to take her own life at the hospital post-accident, her friends, doctors, family, and the investigator on the case want to know why. Only Hadley knows what really happened that day, and she’s not talking.

Book Links

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What’s up for Grab?

  • ARC of Now is Everything by Amy Giles
  • Bookmarks and Stickers

The Rules:

  • Open International
  • There will be one (1) winner
  • Winner will be chosen and announced by rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends September 18th, 2017
  • Prizes will be sent by the author

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2017 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post or check out twitter and facebook using #CelebratingDebutantes2017.

Celebrating Debutantes 2017: The Victoria in My Head by Janelle Milanes (Playlist + Giveaway)

So thrilled to welcome new author Janelle Milanes to the blog as part of Celebrating Debutantes 2017 event. Janelle will be sharing a playlist she made for her debut ya contemporary novel, The Victoria In My Head.

The book will hit the shelves next month, September 19, 2017. If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy yet you still have time to placed your order online.

Following the playlist are some information about the author, Janelle Milanes along with places where to find her online, as well as the book‘s description and where to get copies of The Victoria In My Head. And if you’d like the chance to win a personalized signed copy of The Victoria in My Head and awesome swags, Janelle is giving away below. Open to everyone. Just enter the rafflecopter form a bit further down in this post.

Happy listening!

The Victoria In My Head Playlist


Janelle Milanes is originally from Miami, FL and received her BA in English Literature from Davidson College. A lifelong YA addict, she moved to New York for her first job as a children’s literature associate at Simon & Schuster. For the past five years, Janelle has worked as a teacher and librarian throughout the New York City area. THE VICTORIA IN MY HEAD is her first novel and reflects many of her own experiences growing up as a second-generation Latina in America. Janelle currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their two cats. Her favorite Disney princess is Belle, since she was also a big book nerd.

 Find Janelle

Website | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Goodreads


Book Details:

Title: The Victoria in My Head
Author: Janelle Milanes
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: September 19, 2017
Pages: 400
Format: Hardcover, eBook

Victoria Cruz inhabits two worlds: In one, she is a rock star, thrashing the stage with her husky voice and purple-streaked hair. In the other, currently serving as her reality, Victoria is a shy teenager with overprotective Cuban parents, who sleepwalks through her life at the prestigious Evanston Academy. Unable to overcome the whole paralyzing-stage-fright thing, Victoria settles for living inside her fantasies, where nothing can go wrong and everything is set to her expertly crafted music playlists.

But after a chance encounter with an unattainably gorgeous boy named Strand, whose band seeks a lead singer, Victoria is tempted to turn her fevered daydreams into reality. To do that, she must confront her insecurities and break away from the treadmill that is her life. Suddenly, Victoria is faced with the choice of staying on the path she’s always known and straying off-course to find love, adventure, and danger.

From debut author Janelle Milanes comes a hilarious and heartfelt tale of the spectacular things that can happen when you go after what you really want.

Book Links

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What’s up for Grab?

  • personalized hardcover copy of The Victoria in My Head by Janelle Milanes
  • an enamel music pin,
  • and a small vinyl record print with the name of the book on it

 The Rules:

  • Open International
  • There will be one (1) winner
  • Winner will be chosen and announced by rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends September 14th, 2017
  • Prizes will be sent by the author

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2017 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post or check out twitter and facebook using #CelebratingDebutantes2017.

Celebrating Debutantes 2017: In 27 Days by Alison Gervais (Author Interview + Giveaway)

Today I’m featuring new author Alison Gervais and her debut novel, In 27 Days as part of Celebrating Debutantes 2017 blog event. The story first appeared in Wattpad and then released this year under Blink publishing. Alison was nice enough to answer a few questions for me about In 27 Days and writing. so I hope you guys enjoy the interview.

Following the author interview is Alison Gervais’s author bio along with places where to find her online. Then there’s also the book description and where to order copies of In 27 Days. And if you would like the chance to win a copy of the book I’m giving away one below. Just enter the rafflecopter form a bit further down in this post for a chance to win.

Interview with Alison Gervais

Have you always known you wanted to be a writer? What inspired your debut novel, In 27 Days?
I think in some way I always knew I wanted to be a writer, but that I probably wouldn’t have much luck getting those stories published. Funny how sometimes dreams have a way of coming true, huh? J
I literally have no idea where the inspiration for IN 27 DAYS itself came from, but I would say a lot of my own personal experiences with depression and suicidal thoughts definitely inspired and/or influenced pieces of the story. While I was writing, it became my way of getting everything I was feeling down on paper, and there I was actually able to feel as if I had some control over something going on in my life.

Could you describe In 27 days in 140 characters?
IN 27 DAYS is a story that features time travel, friendship, family and love, while discussing the taboo subjects of mental health and suicide. The main protagonist, Hadley Jamison, is your every-kind-of-girl that a lot of people mind find themselves relating to, while Archer Morales, her opposite, struggles daily with his depression and the desire to take care of and protect his family while just trying to make it through high school. Of course the supernatural elements to the story also add to the excitement as well!

What is the difference between the Wattpad version and final version of In 27 Days?
The final published version of IN 27 DAYS underwent some pretty rigorous editing that took nearly a year. Inconsistencies from the original Wattpad version were addressed, multiple characters might have become one, and I think a little more excitement worked its way in there too.

Do you have a particular approach to research and writing?
I did conduct a little bit of research by way of landmarks in New York City as well as the Italian language, seeing as Archer’s family is Italian, but not much else there.
Did you learn any deep, interesting, or shocking truths while working on this novel—about writing in general, or about yourself?
After the final draft was finished and it was on its way to publication, I think I was surprised when my family read the story and told me the little bits and pieces of myself that they found in the story. They could tell what came from me, what experiences might have influenced maybe a certain scene or something, and I just found that surprising. I didn’t know I had more than just a few outside experiences influencing bits of my writing.

If you could write a story in another genre, what genre would it be and what would it be about?
I’ve always been fascinated by historical fiction! I think I might give that a whirl sometime in the future!

Lets say you’ll meet Death today, and he offer you to go back in time to meet and talk to someone who already died, who will you choose and why? What will you say to him/her?
I honestly have no idea who I would want to meet from the past! Maybe Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte. I’m a huge fan of theirs! And, of course, I would probably ask them for writing advice. Who wouldn’t?

What can we expect from you in the future? Anything you can tell about the sequel, Face your Fears?
I’m still hard at work writing, of course, and definitely have some new things in the word, so keep an eye out for that! J
In terms of Face Your Fears, there are no plans to publish that story. It will likely just remain a sequel to the Wattpad version and not the official published version.


Alison Gervais graduated in May 2017 from university with BA in Creative Writing. First began writing at age four, where debut story was about a frog king and his loyal servants. Joined the fabulous writer’s site Wattpad in 2011. First novel, IN 27 DAYS NOW PUBLISHED via Blink/HarperCollins. Currently repp’ed by the fantastic Shannon Hassan at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

Find Alison

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Wattpad


Book Details:

Title: In 27 Days
Author: Alison Gervais
Publisher: Blink
Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover, eBook

Hadley Jamison is shocked when she hears that her classmate, Archer Morales, has committed suicide. She didn’t know the quiet, reserved guy very well, but that doesn’t stop her from feeling there was something she could have done to help him.

Hoping to find some sense of closure, Hadley attends Archer’s funeral. There, Hadley is approached by a man who calls himself Death and offers her a deal. If Hadley accepts, she will be sent back 27 days in time to prevent Archer from killing himself. But when Hadley agrees to Death’s terms and goes back to right the past, she quickly learns her mission is harder than she ever could have known.

Hadley soon discovers Archer’s reasons for being alone, and Archer realizes that having someone to confide in isn’t as bad as he’d always thought. But when a series of dangerous accidents starts pushing them apart, Hadley must decide whether she is ready to risk everything – including her life – to keep Archer safe.

Book Links

Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Goodreads


What’s up for Grab?

  • In 27 Days by Alison Gervais

The Rules:

  • Open International where Book Depository ships
  • There will be one (1) winner
  • Winner will be chosen and announced by rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends September 10th, 2017
  • Prize will be sent vi a Book Depository

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2017 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post or check out twitter and facebook using #CelebratingDebutantes2017.