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: The Wood by Chelsea Bobulski (Author Interview and Giveaway)

Welcome to another feature of Celebrating Debutantes 2017 event. Today I’m thrilled to feature new author Chelsea Bobulski and her debut fantasy/mystery novel, The Wood. The book will hit the shelves in three (3) days, and I can’t wait for everyone to get the chance to read this riveting book.  If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy yet you still have time to place your order from your favorite book store.

If you’d like to know more about the book, check out the book’s description. If you’d like to catch up with Author Chelsea Bobulski online, her social links and author bio follow the interview. And if you would like the chance to win a copy of the book, just enter the rafflecopter form a bit further down in this post to be enter on the giveaway which is open international.

A huge thank you to Chelsea for taking the time to answer all my questions, I hope you guys enjoy!

Interview with Chelsea Bobulski

Can you tell us a little bit about your journey as a new author?

My journey has honestly been a dream come true. It took me five years and five books to get my first book deal after deciding I wanted to pursue traditional publishing (before that, I only wrote for my own amusement, never daring to dream that I could someday walk into a bookstore and see one of my books on the shelves). My full publishing journey up until getting that first book deal was a very long process, with a lot of twists and turns that would take waaaay too long to detail here, but if you would like to read more about it, you can check out my blog post, My Journey to Publication. Post-book deal, my journey has been everything I could have ever hoped it would be. My editor and my entire publishing team have been so supportive. THE WOOD would not be the book it is now, the book I intended for it to be all along, if it weren’t for their expert guidance.

The Wood has an intriguing premise – enchanted woods, time travel, portals, and guardians. Where did you get the inspiration for the story?

I would definitely say the main inspiration came from two of my favorite things (the history nerd in me that hopes for the possibility of time-travel, and a lifelong connection to the woods that I can only describe as a primordial and ancient urge to return to nature whenever I can—Side Note: I’m a big hiker, but not a big camper, to which my husband will attest. I enjoy the woods so much more if I can go home, or to a nice hotel with a shower, at the end of the day). Both of these pieces of me must have come together subconsciously in my brain, crafting this story and my main character, Winter, while I was off doing and writing other things. I have no other way to explain how Winter’s voice came to me fully-formed one day while I was free-writing for fun. It was like she’d been there all along, waiting for me to tell her story. I free-wrote the first fifty pages of THE WOOD just listening to Winter’s voice, letting her guide the story (pages that have not changed much at all from first draft to final product, other than the inclusion of a new scene). It was at fifty pages that I stopped and realized I should probably plot out the story my main character was trying to tell me before I totally lost track of it. But at its heart, THE WOOD is a mixture of all my favorite things, blended with a very deep and urgent need to escape to the woods from time to time and bask in its beauty.

How did you maintain the atmosphere of mystery throughout the story?

Maintaining the atmosphere of mystery throughout the story was very easy for me because I didn’t even know what was going on half the time. It was as if Winter and I were discovering the mystery together. Of course, I knew the most important things, but there was a lot I didn’t know. Both of my main characters, Winter and Henry, were very sneaky, only showing me their secrets on a need-to-know basis. I remember getting really frustrated one time and shouting at my computer, “Just tell me what you’re hiding!!” (Really glad no one was around to see that). There were plenty of times when they would reveal something important to me mid-drafting that I didn’t see coming, as if they were throwing a bone to the poor writer trying to tell their story. This isn’t typical of how I write—usually I plot out quite a bit of the story, leaving just enough wiggle room for unexpected surprises (because if I plot out the entire book point by point beforehand, there’s no more discovery inherent in the process and I lose all of the excitement and passion for writing it)—but THE WOOD was not a typical book for me from the moment I wrote the first page. It definitely took on a life of its own, which may also be why there is such an atmosphere of mystery surrounding it!

Do you have a method for creating your characters, and what do you think makes them believable?

Character is the most important part of a book to me, both as a reader and as a writer. As a reader, I need to connect with the main character on a deeply personal level in order to enjoy their story. It’s the same for me while writing. I have plenty of plot ideas for future books swimming around in my head, but until their characters step forward and really show me why their story is important, I can’t begin to write them. I need to be able to get under the skin of my characters. I need to analyze them and figure out their deepest desires and fears, their goals, their motivations, the past hurts that define their internal conflict, the situation they find themselves in that defines their external conflict—I think it’s just so important to know your character inside and out as much as possible before you start writing, because it’s amazing how discovering things about your character can really affect the plot, and vice versa. If you’re like me, there are things you will continue to discover about your character as you’re drafting, but it’s so important to understand why they’re doing what they’re doing and how they feel about it. I tend to find that it’s only when you understand your characters on this deeper level that they reveal even more of themselves to you. This is also what makes a character believable, what makes them feel fully-formed in the reader’s mind. The other extremely important thing that makes a character believable is giving them flaws. No one wants to read about a perfect person doing perfect things, never failing, never growing, never changing. It just doesn’t make for an interesting story. Even if a character is a perfectionist obsessed with doing everything perfect, digging deeper may reveal the dark past that has inspired these tendencies, the stains that continue to bleed into her current life—that’s where the story is. Not the perfect things the character tries to do, but why she’s doing them, and why she won’t be able to keep up the façade for much longer.

Love the cover art of The Wood. It looks dark and sinister. Did you have any say in the cover and title of your book? How important do you think they are?

As much as we try to not judge a book by its cover, I do think it’s very important that a cover convey everything the reader will find in your book in an eye-catching way—that is, after all, what’s going to make a reader curious enough to read the description of your book and/or the first page. I was so, so fortunate to get the cover of my dreams right off the bat. My editor sent me the concept, and the second I saw my cover, it took my breath away. Rich Deas, Feiwel and Friends’ creative director, came up with the perfect cover to convey the tone and atmosphere of THE WOOD in that single leaf, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. Seeing this story become an actual book and flourish under such an amazing team has just been a total dream come true.

If you could go back in time and tell young Chelsea one thing, what would it be?

“I know things aren’t easy right now, little one. I know there are days when you feel like your whole world is crashing down around you. Like you’re alone in a limitless ocean, barely treading water. Hold on, keep breathing, because all of those dreams you’re praying for, the life you someday hope to live, it’s all going to come true. You are going to be blessed beyond your wildest dreams. You are going to be a published author, and you are going to be blessed with an amazing husband and a beautiful daughter. You are going to be living your best life, and it is going to be amazing.”

And this is definitely what I would tell anyone going through difficulties, especially as a teen or as an adolescent, since that can be such a hard time when you don’t have any control over your situation, whatever it may be, and when you can feel very lost or alone, especially as you are trying to discover who you are vs. who other people expect you to be. Just know that it does get better, and that if you work hard for it, you will be living your best, most amazing life. So keep your chin up, chase your dreams, and don’t look back. You’ve got this.

Where do you see your work going after the release of The Wood? Any other project we should look forward to?

I have a few secret projects I’m working on right now. One is a YA in a similar vein as THE WOOD, and the others are fun, new age groups and genres for me that I’m really excited to be working on. No news I can share yet, but I hope to be able to soon! 🙂

Thanks for having me!!


Chelsea Bobulski was born in Columbus, Ohio, and raised on Disney movies, Broadway musicals, and Buckeye pride. She graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in history, and promptly married her high school sweetheart. As a writer, she has a soft spot for characters with broken pasts, strange talents, and obstacles they must overcome for a brighter future. She now lives in Northwest Ohio with her husband, her daughter, and one very emotive German Shepherd/Lab mix. Her debut young adult novel, THE WOOD, will be published by Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan on August 1, 2017.

Find Chelsea

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


Book Details:

Title: The Wood
Author: Chelsea Bobulski
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: August 01, 2017
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

After her father goes missing in the woods that they protect, Winter tries to seek the truth in what happened, why the wood is changing, and what it all has to do with the arrival of a mysterious stranger in this thrilling YA debut.

When Winter’s dad goes missing during his nightly patrol of the wood, it falls to her to patrol the time portals and protect the travelers who slip through them. Winter can’t help but think there’s more to her dad’s disappearance than she’s being told.

She soon finds a young man traveling in the wood named Henry who knows more than he should. He believes if they can work together to find his missing parents, they could discover the truth about Winter’s dad.

The wood is poisoned, changing into something sinister—torturing travelers lost in it. Winter must put her trust in Henry in order to find the truth and those they’ve lost.

Bobulski’s eerie debut is filled with friendship, family, and the responsibilities we choose and those we do not.

Book Links

Amazon | B&N | BAM | Book DepositoryIndieBound | Goodreads | Publisher


What’s up for Grab?

  • Copy of The Wood by Chelsea Bobulski

The Rules:

  • Open to 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 August 19th, 2017
  • Prize will be sent by the author

To enter fill out the 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: Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel (Playlist and Giveaway)

Hey everyone! A blessed Sunday to all!

Today for Celebrating Debutantes 2017, I am featuring new author Julie Israel and her debut contemporary novel, Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index.

Julie was so nice as to put together a playlist to help us get in the right mood for this new contemporary novel Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index. She explains each songs below with specific scenes that occur in the book. It is like a soundtrack for the novel. I actually just started reading the book, and I can easily picture some of the songs in the background. I’m only few chapters in but I can already say that this is a fun read. I’ll let you know my whole thoughts once I’m done reading.

In the meantime, listen to the playlist below and experience the feel of the story through each songs.

Following the playlist are some information about the author, Julie Israel along with places where to find her online, as well as the book‘s description and where to get copies of Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index. So don’t forget to grab your copies.

Also, there’s a giveaway at the bottom of the post for a chance to win a copy of Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index and signed bookmarks from the author.

Here’s Julie with Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index Playlist. Happy listening!

Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index Playlist

“The Winner Is” by DeVotchKa

Opening scene. Juniper is numb, forever changed, but life marches on with a new school year.

“Hang Me Up To Dry” by Cold War Kids
There is a particularly destructive scene after school early on and I wanted a song that sounded like losing control/breaking things—“the muck and the mire” is just right, because Juniper is up to her elbows in wet clay!

“Without You” by Oh Wonder
At Pippa’s, a local café, Juniper remembers something she and Camilla left on the bulletin board and finds it buried under layers of fliers. It’s a fond memory, but Juniper hates the hole it makes when she takes it, so she leaves a Dala horse (which reminds her of her sister) in its place.

“Bicycle Race” by Queen
When Juniper confesses that she doesn’t remember the whole night of the accident, Brand fills her in on what happened at the party they both attended beforehand, and where the two had an epic musical battle to this Queen hit.

“Ways To Go” by Grouplove
Is setting up squads a thing? Juniper and Kody wander through a da Vinci exhibit, Juniper ebulliently trying out every contraption and marveling at each piece as she secretly stalls and looks around for a classmate—a loner she hopes to pull into their friendship fold.

“Secrets” by One Republic
This may or may not be a kissing song (it may). In the minutes leading up to midnight on New Years Eve, Brand and Juniper are talking. Things get real and vulnerable between them just before the (actual and figurative) fireworks. :39 seconds, baby.

“Knee Socks” by Arctic Monkeys
Brand kidnaps Juniper (i.e., shows up at her house unannounced and introduces himself to her parents) for a date, and then on said date, where his band is opening for an event, attempts to seduce her with music – a song much like this one. It works.

“400 Lux” by Lorde
Brand + Juniper have become BRUNIPER and have a happy, if thus far private, relationship. When he visits her up in the art loft, Juniper invites Brand to be her public +1 for a scavenger hunt that weekend.

“You Could Be Happy” by Snow Patrol
Kody tries to cheer Juniper up and encourages her to reach out to Brand after a fight with him.

“No. 1 Party Anthem” by Arctic Monkeys
Brand and the rest of Muffin Wars are playing a slow song like this when Juniper slips quietly in to the school dance to finally talk to him.

“Love Illumination” by Franz Ferdinand
I always imagined the Muffin Wars rendition of Sponge’s poem, “Crush,” to be upbeat and sexy like this. When they play it at the Shaker, it’s Brand’s revenge for a misunderstanding and ruins Juniper – but damn if it isn’t catchy until it all goes sideways.

“The Funeral” by Band of Horses
Lost and alone, Juniper visits her sister’s grave.

“So Here We Are” by Bloc Party
Juniper and Brand make up. Brand inadvertently gives Juniper the solution she needs to deliver the letter to You, and we transition to J rallying the troops to work on it. As the song fades out, Kody arrives for a heart to heart after their falling out at the Shaker.

“Float On” by Modest Mouse
After executing her special project, Juniper appears to be in serious trouble with the school principal – but Juni’s mom, having just read 65, laugh-cries off Juniper’s offense and throws her arms around her daughter’s neck. Juniper laugh-cries and hugs back.

“The Universe Expanded” by Franz Ferdinand
This song has been the outro/roll credits in my mind since the first time I heard it (really heard it) after finishing the book. The sorrow-touched sweetness is just right for the final scene in Juniper at the beach, and way the lyrics line up to it is UNCANNY. If you only listen one song from the playlist, let it be this!


Julie Israel lives in Portland, Oregon and holds a B.A. in Creative Writing. After a stint teaching English in Japan, she returned to her native state to write fiction full-time. When not writing, she is likely reading, making art, or learning one of too many languages to keep straight. Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index is her first novel.

Find Julie

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Goodreads


Book Details:

Title: Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index
Author: Julie Israel
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audio

It’s been sixty-five days since the accident that killed Juniper’s sister, and ripped Juniper’s world apart.

Then she finds the love letter: written by Camilla on the day of the accident, addressed mysteriously to “You,” but never sent. Desperate to learn You’s identity and deliver the message, Juniper starts to investigate.

Until she loses something. A card from her Happiness Index: a ritual started by sunny Camie for logging positives each day. It’s what’s been holding Juniper together since her death – but a lost card only widens the hole she left behind. And this particular card contains Juniper’s own dark secret: a memory she can’t let anyone else find out.

The search for You and her card take Juniper to even less expected places, and as she connects with those whose secrets she upturns in the effort, she may just find the means to make peace with her own.

This is a smart, funny, poignant book guaranteed to make you laugh and cry – and maybe even take notes.

Book Links:

Amazon | B&N | BookDepo | Goodreads | IndieBound | Publisher


What’s up for Grab?

  • Either US or UK Edition of Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel
  • Signed Juniper Postcards

The Rules:

  • Open to International where Book Depository ships
  • There will be one (1) lucky winner
  • Winner will be chosen and announced by rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends July 2nd, 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.


The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro


“Sometimes I wondered if hanging out with Charlotte Holmes had made me into a monster.

At times like this, I knew it for sure.”

In the second brilliant, action-packed book in the Charlotte Holmes trilogy, Jamie and Charlotte are in a chase across Europe to untangle a web of shocking truths about the Holmes and Moriarty families.

Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are looking for a winter break reprieve in Sussex after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But nothing about their time off is proving simple, including Holmes and Watson’s growing feelings for each other. When Charlotte’s beloved uncle Leander goes missing from the Holmes estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring—the game is afoot once again, and Charlotte throws herself into a search for answers.

So begins a dangerous race through the gritty underground scene in Berlin and glittering art houses in Prague, where Holmes and Watson discover that this complicated case might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other.

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

Personal Thoughts:

Set during the school break of the lead characters, Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson, The Last of August pick up where the first book, A Study in Charlotte left off. Now, Charlotte and Jamie are in London trying to figure out how and why Charlotte’s Uncle Leander gone missing. Charlotte and Jamie travel around Europe solving mysteries with August Moriarty – Charlotte’s former tutor and first crush who are now working under Charlotte’s brother, Milo Holmes.

This second installment focus more on Charlotte and Jamie’s relationship. Something I should have expected if I have read the book’s tag-line “Watson and Holmes: A match made in disaster.” But then, the ever oblivious me, (who usually read books without reading anything about it first not even  the blurb of the back cover) just don’t expect too much “relationship issues”. Sure, I like the constant tension between Charlotte and Jamie from A Study in Charlotte, but in this installment not so much. I think, it took too much space and time which I wish was alloted in solving mysteries and crimes instead.

The mystery was for the most part interesting albeit not thrilling as I want it to be. Leander disappearance concerned me at first but with all the other things that is happening I honestly lost my interest in finding out what really happened to Charlotte’s missing Uncle. So when the answer was revealed near the end I feel like I don’t care anymore what happened to the guy.

The ending is really unexpected and I’m not sure how to feel about it. Thinking more, it feels like, it’s totally unnecessary but then maybe the author is starting to lay out something for the third installment. I just hope that something is big and will justify that awful ending for one character that I grown to like. Or maybe, that’s not really what happened. After-all, we are in a Holmes’ novel. Not everything that’s been told is necessary real.

Overall, The Last of August is intriguing and interesting just like the first installment. If only this wasn’t too much focus on the characters relationship instead of the mystery I probably enjoyed this one more.


* This review is based on an advance readers copy I received courtesy of the publisher, Katherine Tegen an imprint of HarperCollins International in exchange of honest opinion.

Everyone We’ve Been by Sarah Everett


“…whether it’s the best or worst thing that’s ever happened to you, you can tell the story any way you want.”

Addison Sullivan has been in an accident. In its aftermath, she has memory lapses and starts talking to a boy that no one else can see. It gets so bad that she’s worried she’s going crazy.

Addie takes drastic measures to fill in the blanks and visits a shadowy medical facility that promises to “help with your memory.” But at the clinic, Addie unwittingly discovers it is not her first visit. And when she presses, she finds out that she had certain memories erased. She had a boy erased.

But why? Who was that boy, and what happened that was too devastating to live with? And even if she gets the answers she’s looking for, will she ever be able to feel like a whole person again?

Book Links: Amazon | BDGoodreads | Publisher

Personal Thoughts:

Told in a fresh and cutting perspective Everyone We’ve Been is a compelling mystery that will surely keep readers turning pages.

The story centers to Addie as she try to solve the mystery of her memory lapses and the identity of the boy she met in a bus ride home.

After being in an accident, Addie keep seeing the mysterious boy wherever she is. When she tried to introduce him to her friend, she found out that she’s the only one who can see the boy. Afraid that she is going crazy, she try to seek help through a local clinic that specialize with memory. But instead of getting answers she leaves the clinic with more questions. Addie needs to find out what’s happening to her. What she is seeing or remembering? And what she is forgetting?

One of the reasons why this book is a hit for me is because of the central message of the story. Addie’s story will remind readers how important it is to face our problems. Experiences bad or not are necessary for our own growth.

Sarah Everett writing is captivating and her lines are sometimes resonating. I particularly like some of Addie’s lines about music and life.

“In a way, it feels like I’m waiting for my life to start. Waiting for my life to feel as full and as vibrant outside of a melody as it does in it.
Sometimes I feel like I’ve sleepwalked through my life so far, with nothing significant or extraordinary happening to me. It’s time for that to change.”

“But mostly, I found things in my music. Hope. Distraction. Happiness. I found those things and held on to them as long as the piece lasted, and then I tucked them back inside a melody where they’d be unreachable.”

The plot though predictable never go down the bottom hill. It is still a thrilling read to wait for Addie hit realization. Since the book is written in different timelines – before and after Addie’s the accident, readers will put together things first before Addie will. And while waiting for Addie to put things together, readers will surely feel for her.

Addie as a character is easy to like. I root for her even at times I don’t believe that she’s making the right decisions. I don’t agree with all her choices and decisions but I won’t argue that those are realistic options for her. After-all, she is still young and unfortunately, haven’t learned yet from her past – past experiences that could have been make her stronger if not erased from her. I’m just glad that in the end she choose a different route.

The memory erasing part kinda remind me of Adam Silvera’s debut novel, More than Happy Than Not which I recently read. And having read that one, Everyone We’ve Been doesn’t sound too unbelievable anymore with its science-fiction element. Though I still questions some of the odds and technicality they never hinder my reading experience. It’s not perfectly smooth but mostly those speculative part blended well in this contemporary world of Addie.

Overall, Addie’s search for answer is a thrilling and compelling read. I absolutely could not put the book down. It’s a quick exploration about how experience shapes who we are as a person. Because memories – good or bad are part of our story. And stories like Addie is something to be told which makes me thankful to Sarah Everett for doing so. And she also told it beautifully. Which reminds me of what Addie says in the last part of the book — “you can tell the story any way you want.” And Sarah’s way is something readers won’t forget in a while.

* This review is based on a copy I received courtesy of the publisher, Penguin Random House International.