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.

Lucky in Love by Kasie West

“Sometimes regardless of what we want, reality takes over. “

In this new contemporary from YA star Kasie West, a girl who wins the lottery learns that money can cause more problems than it solves, especially when love comes into the picture.

Maddie doesn’t believe in luck. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment —

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun… until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love.

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

Personal Thoughts:

Lucky in Love is a about a girl who won a lottery jackpot and the changes that money brought to her life.

Maddie is living a normal and simple life. At school she is one of the smart kid flying under the radar. She works hard to get good grades so she can get scholarship for collage. On the night of her 18th birthday when her best-friends ditch out on her, she ended up buying a lottery ticket after a convenience-store clerk convince her to do so. She can’t believe how much the universe is paying her back when few days after she found out that she won fifty million dollars. Suddenly her life change. She’s an instant celebrity. People in school wants to be friends with her. Relatives she never knew get in touch. She’s buying sports car, pricey clothings, and hanging out with the popular kids. Almost everything and everyone around her change except for one, Seth, her co-worker at the zoo, who seems oblivious about her winning, and treated her just the same old Maddie.

Lottery winner stories in fiction or in real life has its own appeal. How someone beat the odds, and how regular people from all walks of life, find their lives suddenly transformed by vast wealth can easily provide important lessons and examples for readers. And Kasie West’s latest novel, Lucky in Love manage to furnish the same.

Through Maddie, readers of Lucky in Love will see how instant wealth easily brings changes to a person and to the people around her. The changes that happened to Maddie after winning, shows how money influenced people’s life – from the way she view the world around her, and the way other view her. After winning a huge amount of money, Maddie thought that she doesn’t have to worry anymore about collage, or her family. But turns out even with so much money, she cannot guarantee her slot to collage, or her family being happy. There are issues that money alone cannot solve.

Maddie’s as an instant millionaire is quite believable. Though I don’t agree with most of her decisions especially with how she’s spending her money, I still find those parts realistic. After all, Maddie is a teenager who knows nothing about finances and investments.

As expected from Kasie West’s novel, Lucky in Love does not lack in terms of romance department. Seth, Maddie’s co-worker at the zoo will surely be love by readers. But what I really like about Seth presence in the story is the diversity he adds to the plot. Being an Asian guy who lives in America, Seth shows some issues of a non-American people is experiencing.

Overall, Lucky in Love is a quick, light and enjoyable read. Maddie’s story shows how instant wealth can easily change a person and the people around her, and that money is not always the answer to problems, it can solve some but it can also create new ones.

* This review is based on an ARC received from the publisher, Scholastic Press Philippines in exchange for my honest opinion about the book.

Celebrating Debutantes 2017: Wait for Me by Caroline Leech (Author Interview and Giveaway)

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Today I’m joined on the blog by new author Caroline Leech to answer few questions about her debut historical romance novel, Wait for Me. This novel is set during World War II and shows how war affects lives and humanity.

Following the interview with Caroline is her author bio along with places where to find her online. Then there’s also the book description and where to buy copies of Wait for Me. And for a chance to own a personalized signed copy of the book, don’t forget to check the bottom of the post and enter the rafflecopter form for the special giveaway.

Here’s my interview with Caroline. Enjoy reading!

Interview with Caroline Leech

The road to publication for a first-time author is not necessarily a straightforward one – did you have to face rejection before securing a publishing deal? What other frustrations did you have to overcome in writing and publishing Wait For Me?
I was actually very lucky. I’m not one of those authors who received dozens of rejections before they were published, but that was only because I was simply too scared to send my story out to any agents or editors. Instead, I submitted it for critique at Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) conferences, and I entered it into a couple of Romance Writers of America contests. I won the YA categories of both of those, and was so fortunate that one of the contest judges loved my first 20 pages enough to ask for the full manuscript. Once I sent her the full, it moved very fast. She took it to her acquisitions board two weeks later and had sent me a deal offer for two books by the end of that day. It was completely surreal, and still is at times. My editor is fantastic, and we are already most of the way through my second book’s editing process.
Of course, getting my deal through a contest meant that I didn’t have an agent to help me decipher all the complicated figures and jargon in the deal offer. But some kind author friends recommended me to their agents, and they both offered me representation. It was a hard decision between them, but I am still thrilled that I chose to sign with New Leaf Literary and Media in New York. After all, my agent, Joanna Volpe, also looks after amazing authors like Veronica Roth, Leigh Bardugo and Holly Black.
That all might sound easy and quick, but I should say that the deal came almost five years after I first wrote that manuscript, and more than seven years after I first started writing fiction. So it wasn’t exactly an overnight success.

Wait For Me is classified as historical young adult fiction. What drew you to that genre?
Would “I have three teenage children” be a good enough answer? Probably not, but that’s certainly where it began. When my older daughter started in middle school, they were given reading time each day in English class, so I started reading the teen novels that she was borrowing from her teacher’s shelves or the school library. I think SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELLING PANTS was the first one. And then I discovered TWILIGHT. When I read Stephanie Meyer’s story of how she wrote that first book while she watched her kid’s swim lessons, I thought, “I could do that”. So, I tried to carve out a little time each week away from the family to write something, anything. And when I decided to take an online creative writing course, it felt natural that it was one which would teach me how to write for children and young adults. Since then, I’ve read YA almost exclusively. I do read adult fiction if someone recommends a great book to me, but I’m quite happy where I am. Young adult fiction can be about doing something for the very first time, about shunning childhood while still being fearful of becoming an adult. It’s a thrilling balance beam to walk along.

Why 1945? And what kind of research you’ve done for the story and characters to be more authentic on the period?
The main reason I wanted to write a story set in World War Two is that I’ve grown up with stories about the war told to me by my parents, aunts and uncles who lived through it. My mother was a child evacuee from London, sent with her younger sister to a farm in the countryside on the day that war broke out. My father was also an evacuee from Edinburgh, but in 1944, he was old enough to join the army at age 18, and he served during the last year of the war and for several years after. His four older brothers had already gone off to fight. Two went to North Africa and fought in the desert campaign, and two went over in the D-Day invasion of northern France. Of course, there have been hundreds of books written about WW2, about the military strategy, the major battles, and of course the horrendous events of the Holocaust, but those stories feel like they’re not mine to tell. Being Scottish, I was drawn to find and share voices from my own country, from individuals—and particularly young women—far from the battlefields, who were still dealing with how the war was changing their lives, their loves, their education and their families.
And why 1945 particularly? I was fascinated by the idea that while we know now that the war was almost over by February of that year, the people alive at the time had no way of knowing that. As far as they were concerned, the war might still have years left to run, so they had to carry on making do with what they had. So, I decided to focus on a small story, something happening within a tiny village, but where the effects of the war were still profound.
For authenticity and background, as well as facts, authors like me researching modern historical periods are very fortunate not only to have books, but also to have such a wealth of memories available on the internet. For example, the BBC did a project a few years ago, called WW2 People’s War, where anyone could get in touch with their local BBC station and share their memories, whether they were serving in the military or on the home front. It all makes fascinating and distracting reading, even if many of the stories I read had nothing directly to do with the subject of the book I was supposed to be researching.

What do you hope readers will come away with from Wait For Me?
I hope they will come away with a smile, but also, with some sort of understanding that it is very easy to judge and hate another person because of their nationality, their race or their religion, especially when you are told by your country’s government that they are your enemy. But once you get to know them as individuals, perhaps they might not be very different from you. This story might be about the Second World War, but keeping hold of this understanding is just as important for us right now as it was then.

If Lorna could turn the tables on you and write a story based on your teenage years, what would the title of that book be? What would be the first line?
Oh, I don’t think Lorna would be the slightest bit interested in writing about my life. She’d probably think I was very boring, and also very spoiled. Any child of a farmer grows up with a list of chores to do around the farm each day, even before going to school. But I was brought up a city girl, and I only had to be awake enough to eat breakfast and get into my school uniform, not feed the chickens, milk the cows, and make the porridge as she would have had to do. I also didn’t have to deal with the rationing of food, clothing and fuel, and I didn’t ever jump when the postman knocked, in case he carried a much-dreaded telegram with news of a soldier brother. I grew up with a very easy life in comparison.

Where do you see your writing will go after Wait For Me? Do you think you’ll stick with this type of genre or branch out into something else?
I have a second book coming out next year with Harper Teen. It’s another World War Two book, also set in Scotland, though it’s not a sequel to WAIT FOR ME. It’s about another girl trying to work out how to make her own contribution to the war effort. I’ll be announcing more details of the title and the storyline quite soon in my newsletter, so I’d love your readers to visit my website at and sign up to receive all the news as soon as it’s announced!

Thanks so much Caroline!


Caroline Leech is a Scottish writer now living in Texas. She writes YA historical fiction, and her first novel, WAIT FOR ME, won SCBWI’s Joan Lowery Nixon Award in 2014, as well as the YA categories of both the RWA Emily and Lone Star contests, and was published by Harper Teen in early 2017. Her second novel will be published in May 2018. During Caroline’s previous career in performing arts public relations in the UK, she edited a glossy photographic book, Welsh National Opera – the first sixty years. Caroline lives in in Houston with her husband and three teenage children. You can find her online at

Find Caroline

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Book Details:

Title: Wait for Me
Author: Caroline Leech
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audio

The perfect blend of sweet romance and historical flavor, Wait for Me, from debut author Caroline Leech, brings a fresh new voice to a much-loved genre.

It’s 1945, and Lorna Anderson’s life on her father’s farm in Scotland consists of endless chores and rationing, knitting Red Cross scarves, and praying for an Allied victory. So when Paul Vogel, a German prisoner of war, is assigned as the new farmhand, Lorna is appalled. How can she possibly work alongside the enemy when her own brothers are risking their lives for their country?

But as Lorna reluctantly spends time with Paul, she feels herself changing. The more she learns about him—from his time in the war to his life back home in Germany—the more she sees the boy behind the soldier. Soon Lorna is battling her own warring heart. Loving Paul could mean losing her family and the life she’s always known. With tensions rising all around them, Lorna must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice before the end of the war determines their fate.

Book Links

Amazon | B&N | BAM | BookDepoGoodreads | Publisher


What’s up for Grab?

    • Personalized US hardback edition of Wait for Me by Caroline Leech

The Rules:

  • Open to US residents
  • There will be one (1) winner
  • Winner will be chosen and announced through rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends July 18th, 2017
  • Prize 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: Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant (Playlist + Giveaway)

Happy weekend everyone!

I’m thrilled to have wonderful author Wendy Brant today on the blog as part of Celebrating Debutantes 2017 event. She will be sharing a playlist that she made for her debut contemporary novel Zenn Diagram. I’ve read the book few weeks ago and it was so much fun. I finished it in one sitting. Something to pick up if you want a light read or just want to swoon.

Following the playlist are some information about the author, Wendy Brant along with places where to find her online, as well as the book‘s description and where to get copies of Zenn Diagram. So don’t forget to order a copy of this fun and unique book.

Also, there’s a giveaway at the bottom of the post for a chance to win a copy of  the book and a lot of swags such as bookmark and sticker from the author. Just enter the rafflecopter form below to be enter.

Here’s Wendy with Zenn Diagram Playlist. Happy listening!

Zenn Diagram Playlist

While I don’t normally listen to music while I write (I generally like things pretty quiet), I am still inspired by music. I like to imagine certain songs playing during certain scenes in the book, like a soundtrack to a movie. So… here are some songs that I can imagine being in the movie version of Zenn Diagram.

Heavy in your Arms by Florence and the Machine
The lyrics of this song talk about love being “heavy” – maybe because of mental illness or emotional baggage – perhaps too heavy for some people to carry. Eva’s “gift” often feels like more of a curse weighing her down. How heavily she feels everyone’s pain can make her a “heavy” person to love. And Zenn’s baggage makes him a bit heavy as well.

Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked by Cage the Elephant
I picture this being the song playing on homecoming night while Zenn paints Eva’s van. The lyrics talk about the burden of not having enough money, which Zenn deals with every day:

There ain’t no rest for the wicked
Money don’t grow on trees
I got bills to pay, I got mouths to feed
There ain’t nothing in this world for free

I Want to Hold Your Hand (The Beatles), cover by Allison Brustofski
This one is a bit obvious, but all Eva wants to do is just be close to someone, to hold someone’s hand. Sometimes even the most simple, innocent gestures can be the most intimate.

Unsteady by X Ambassadors
When I first heard this song I thought it was about a romantic relationship, but it’s actually about a relationship with parents. Zenn’s relationship with his parents is strained at best, but he knows that they both are dealing with their own history and struggles.

Mother, I know
That you’re tired of being alone
Dad I know you’re trying
To fight when you feel like flying

Plus, the whole repetition of “Hold, hold on to me” speaks to Eva’s inability to touch, and how it makes her yearn for it, and her relationship with Zenn makes them both feel steadier. I picture this one playing when they have their first date at the park, when Zenn tells Eva more about his childhood.

Roll Away Your Stone by Mumford & Sons
I was inspired to write Zenn Diagram when I watched teenagers struggle to be vulnerable and reveal their true selves to their peers … and to themselves. Being vulnerable is difficult, even for adults, but I think it’s the only way to ever really know and understand another person.

Roll away your stone I will roll away mine
Together we can see what we will find
Don’t leave me alone at this time
For I am afraid of what I will discover inside

Beautiful Thing by Grace VanderWaal
I know this song is technically about a sister-sister relationship, but I just love the idea that people can bring out the best in each other, making the “weight of the world feel like a feather”.

Mess is Mine by Vance Joy
In a relationship, people often take on a bit of the other person’s mess. Both Eva and Zenn certainly do. But sharing someone’s burdens can be a beautiful thing.

Hold on, darling
This body is yours, this body is yours and mine
Well hold on, my darling
This mess was yours, now your mess is mine

Hello My Old Heart by The Oh Hellos
I picture this song playing the first time Eva and Zenn “have tea”.

Until meeting Zenn, Eva has made the conscious choice to isolate herself from others, physically and emotionally, indefinitely:

Hello my old heart, How have you been?
How is it, being locked away?
Well don’t you worry, In there, you’re safe
And it’s true, you’ll never beat
But you’ll never break

They’ve both been guarding their hearts for a long time:

And every day I add another stone
To the walls I built around you
To keep you safe

But in the end, both Eva and Zenn learn to risk their “old hearts”

Nothing lasts forever
Some things aren’t meant to be
But you’ll never find the answer
Until you set your old heart free

Your Body is a Wonderland by John Mayer
This might be one of the sexiest songs ever. I think about how freeing it must be for Eva to be able to touch and explore the “wonderland” of Zenn, without fractals getting in the way.

Stubborn Love by The Lumineers
By the end of the story, Eva realizes that learning about other people’s burdens is a privilege, not a curse, something to be embraced, not avoided. I love the Lumineers, and this line of the song is everything:

It’s better to feel pain, than nothing at all
The opposite of love’s indifference
So pay attention now

Happy listening!



At age ten, Wendy Brant got her first taste of writing success when she won her school’s Young Authors contest. She went on to study journalism at Northwestern University, completed the Publishing Institute program at the University of Denver, and continued to write adult fiction (albeit unpublished) for 25 years while working and being a mom. But when she started reading the same books as her kids, her attention and passion shifted to Young Adult fiction. Now she likes to write about isolated teenagers who somehow find a way to connect with others, and she’s also a sucker for a little romance.

Wendy lives in ​West Dundee, the best neighborhood in America (as crowned by Good Morning America in 2010) with her husband​, two kids, and ​a couple of guinea pigs​.

Find Wendy

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


Book Details:

Title: Zenn Diagram
Author: Wendy Brannt
Publisher: KCP Loft/Kids Can Press
Publication Date: April 04, 2017
Pages: 328
Format: Hardcover, eBook

Eva Walker is a seventeen-year-old math genius. And if that doesn’t do wonders for her popularity, there s another thing that makes it even worse: when she touches another person or anything that belongs to them from clothes to textbooks to cell phones she sees a vision of their emotions. She can read a person’s fears and anxieties, their secrets and loves … and what they have yet to learn about calculus. This is helpful for her work as a math tutor, but it means she can never get close to people. Eva avoids touching anyone and everyone. People think it’s because she s a clean freak with the emphasis on freak but it s all she can do to protect herself from other people’s issues.

Then one day a new student walks into Eva’s life. His jacket gives off so much emotional trauma that she falls to the floor. Eva is instantly drawn to Zenn, a handsome and soulful artist who also has a troubled home life, and her feelings only grow when she realizes that she can touch Zenn’s skin without having visions. But when she discovers the history that links them, the truth threatens to tear the two apart.

Zenn Diagram, Wendy Brant’s sparkling debut novel, offers an irresistible combination of math and romance, with just a hint of the paranormal. Readers will swoon over Zenn and connect instantly with Eva, the most fully drawn prodigy in teen fiction today.

Book Links:

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


What’s up for Grab?

  • Copy of Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant
  • Bookmark and sticker & surprise swags

The Rules:

  • Open to all
  • 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 7th, 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.


Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

“Is this how it goes? You fall in love, and nothing seems truly scary anymore, and life is one big possibility?”

Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

Book Links: Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads | Publisher | NBS

Personal Thoughts:

Always and Forever, Lara Jean is bittersweet, heartwarming, and swoony read that will surely leave followers of this series more than satisfied.

When I first read To All the Boys I’ve Love Before, it surprised me in all the best ways. It brings memories and feelings I never thought I’ll trace again. Lara Jean’s story becomes my own as she reminds me of how it was to be young and in love. Then when the second installment came out, I fell harder with the characters. I cheer and root for them like fully realized people. I want for Covey and Peter’s story to work. I thought that was the last time I will heard about them, since this series is originally a duology. But when Jenny Han announced on twitter that there will be one last book for Lara Jean’s story, I can’t help but get excited. Who am I kidding? More Peter Kavinsky is always a good news.

So, I finished reading Always and Forever, Lara Jean few nights ago. After that I reread the first two books and reread and reread this one final installment. I can’t just let go yet. In fact, I’m still doing a reread as of this moment. Multi-tasking while writing my thoughts.

“Never say no when you really want to say yes.”

Always and Forever, Lara Jean takes on Lara Jean and Peter’s high-school senior year. With the prom, graduation, college applications, and family issues — these two are both having a tough year. Add the fact that they might go separate ways in college and that it feels like they don’t have enough time to do things together. Long distance relationship isn’t exactly easy and they are both aware of it. They have responsibilities not only as a couple but also as individual for themselves and for their families. Senior year proves that entering adulthood is not easy.

“I guess that’s part of growing up, too–saying goodbye to the things you used to love.”

Lara Jean’s character development from book one to here is just remarkable. I thought the video scandal she had from P.S. I Still Love You is a tough one. But in here, I feel like she badly needs a break. The girl needs a breather with all the worries and issues around her. But then she also need all these things to grow. Adjustments and changes are part of life, and she and Peter cannot skip those parts.

“You can’t protect him from being hurt, babe, no matter what you do. Being vulnerable, letting people in, getting hurt… it’s all part of being in love.”

Peter Kavinsky’s character just become more swoon worthy. We’ve finally view his vulnerable side, making him more realistic. I love him for being the cool and optimistic guy from the first two installments, but seeing him unsure, scared or just loosing control in this final book just makes me love him more. The sweet moments between him and Lara Jean are just adorable. Every little thing he does for Lara Jean makes my heart giddy. He is the kind of guy who remember little things, and he surely makes an effort for Lara Jean. Like when he try to learn how to do French braid, or when he color spray his hair during ‘characters day’ because he know how Lara Jean take seriously of costuming. He even make sure that people will get who Lara Jean’s character is. There’s so much more, but you have to read the book to find out. Otherwise I will spoil you and maybe ruined the excitement.

I also love it when Peter takes care of Kitty. Even when he and Lara Jean are not in good terms, he always love the kid. He is like a real brother to her. Plus the dynamics between him and Kitty is so much fun. Hilarious even.

As for Kitty, well she continue to be amazing. I’m sure every reader of this series love the kid. She is witty, funny and feisty. I didn’t realized how much I miss her and her snarky dialogues until I get back to reading this series. She really put the big difference. Add the family dynamics of the whole Song household, and the latest addition to the family, this novel is fun and sweet. Jenny Han effortlessly emphasize the importance of family in this series and for that alone, makes the whole series worth reading.

All in all, Always and Forever, Lara Jean is a perfect ending to Lara Jean’s story. I really cannot ask for a better conclusion from Jenny Han. This whole series is heartwarming, nostalgic, and just pure love. Something to get back into if you feel like experiencing teen love over and over again, or just want to swoon for days. Because sometimes lighthearted and fun read is all we need.

We Are Still Tornadoes by Michael Kun & Susan Mullen


“Hang in there, Baby.”

Growing up across the street from each other, Scott and Cath have been best friends their entire lives. Cath would help Scott with his English homework, he would make her mix tapes (it’s the 80’s after all), and any fight they had would be forgotten over TV and cookies. But now they’ve graduated high school and Cath is off to college while Scott is at home pursuing his musical dreams.

During their first year apart, Scott and Cath’s letters help them understand heartache, annoying roommates, family drama and the pressure to figure out what to do with the rest of their lives. And through it all, they realize that the only person they want to turn to is each other. But does that mean they should be more than friends? The only thing that’s clear is that change is an inescapable part of growing up. And the friends who help us navigate it share an unshakable bond.

This funny yet deeply moving book–set to an awesome 80’s soundtrack–captures all the beautiful confusion and emotional intensity we find on the verge of adulthood…and first love.

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Personal Thoughts:

We Are Still Tornadoes is an epistolary novel about longtime best friends who happen to be at different side of United States but managed to strengthens their relationship through constant communication.

Scott’s and Cath are best friends since they were young. They went to the same school, know each others very well and basically just super close. When Cath went off for college in North Carolina, Scott stays in Maryland to help with the family business while trying to build a career in music. But being miles apart doesn’t stop their friendship. They continue to communicate through letters (as in snail mail hand written letters since the story is set in the 80’s). They share stories, private jokes, playful banters, update each other about what is happening with their lives, about the new friends they met, family issues and more.

The letter format gives the characters a very distinct voice. Though it really helps that the novel is written by two different authors, the letters really made the narration more personal. Scott and Cath not only become accessible but also relate-able even if you are not familiar with the life in the 80’s like them. Reading their letters sometimes feels like snooping to someone’s personal belonging without the worry of being caught. Each letters even the brief ones perfectly captures Scott’s and Cath’s relationship.

Aside from the letter format, I also enjoy the inclusion of song lyrics from Scott’s letters. Those songs added more creativity and open more about Scott’s thoughts and feelings. It proves that he is really a smart guy even everyone is telling him otherwise. Actually even without the songs, readers will know that Scott’s is really smart from his letters alone. He is witty, sensitive, and thoughtful. Reading his letters and Cath’s is not only fun but also insightful at times.

As for the 80’s settings, the dropping of songs and band names that actually exist of at the peak of their career during that era provides the 80’s vibe. Though I’m not familiar with most of them I can still easily provide my own mental images. I don’t get lost or distracted instead I feel more immerse in the story.

Witty, endearing and captivating. We Are Still Tornadoes is a heartwarming story of friendship and a realistic view of two persons transition to adulthood. A quick read that will not only entertain but will also tug readers’ heart.

* This review is based on an eBook I received courtesy of the publisher, St. Martin Press via NetGalley