[Book Review #77] ARC: Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven (Blog Tour Launch)

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From the author of the New York Times bestseller All the Bright Places comes a heart-wrenching story about what it means to see someone—and love someone—for who they truly are.

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for EVERY POSSIBILITY LIFE HAS TO OFFER. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything in new and bad-ass ways, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. . . . Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.

Jennifer Niven delivers another poignant, exhilarating love story about finding that person who sees you for who you are—and seeing them right back.

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[Event Recap #14] #JenniferNiveninPH

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Yesterday, March 29, 2016, I had the most amazing experience of meeting Jennifer Niven in the flesh. Ever since I read All The Bright Places way back January 2015, I immediately wanted to meet Jennifer and ask her tons of questions about her book. Getting the opportunity of seeing this dream through made me so glad to have been alive. Words could not express just how much I enjoyed (and cried) during this event. And I am forever grateful to both Penguin Random House International, and National Book Store for bringing her to the Philippines.

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[Book Tags #10] Nostalgic Book Review Tag: All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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Hi, everyone! I’m back and this time, I’m planning on staying for good. Last Friday marked the last day of my Hotel Internship at Fairmont and Raffles Hotel, Makati, and now, since I have more time in my hands, I’m proud to tell everyone that I’ll be as active as I was before, both here on my blog, and over at Instagram! (I can’t wait to get back to the bookish community!)

And today, I’ll be sharing with everyone a nostalgic book review! Long ago, I was tagged by Joey of Another Afterthought to do this tag! What I love about this is that it’s aim is to review a book you’ve read years ago and you’ll be doing it without any immediate knowledge of the book you’ll be reviewing. And, seeing that Jennifer Niven will be visiting the Philippines on tomorrow, I’ve decided to review once again one of my most favorite books of all time, All The Bright Places.

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[Stacking The Shelves #5] Fully Booked SM Megamall Sale Book Haul

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So over the weekend, as I attended the #KMRinPH book signing event, I’ve received word that Fully Booked SM Megamall was having an on-going sale. So, being the sale-loving book hoarder that I am, I didn’t let this money-saving chance pass me by. Of course, I had to take advantage of this and planned on buying books from Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass Series. And boy, was I not disappointed! Below are some details about my recent book haul.

  1. A Court of Thorns and Roses in Hardcover format by Sarah J. Maas – This book has been on my to-buy list ever since I started hearing about Sarah J. Maas and her books. And so, after days of waiting and book hunting, I finally have it! I actually have no idea as to what this book is about but I do know that this is a book filled with fantasy and world-building. Let me see how this book will treat me. Originally priced as Php874.00, thanks to the 20% off sale, I snagged this book for only Php699.20!
  2. Throne of Glass in Hardcover format by Sarah J. Maas – Just like A Court of Thorns and Roses, after hearing numerous praises from several book friends, I finally decided on buying this book from the series of the same name. Man, I heard nothing but good things about this series and I wanted to give it a try. And oh, look at the gorgeous cover! Originally priced as Php855.00, thanks to the 20% off sale, I snagged this book for only Php684.00!
  3. All The Bright Places in Hardcover format by Jennifer Niven – If you’re a close friend of mine, you would know how much I love this book. This is by far my favorite read of 2015, and when I first bought and read it, I bought a trade paperback copy because I wasn’t able to find it hardcover format. And I needed to buy it again in hardcover because it was just that good! So as I browsed the shelves of Fully Booked, I came across a copy of this book which had a “Damaged Copy – Less 20%” mark on it’s back. Curious, I checked the book for damage and I saw that it was only minimal. And since it wasn’t my priority that day, I placed it back on the shelves. Upon payment of my books, I discovered through one of their staff that a damaged copy would still incur 20% less due to their sale, and therefore, if I buy the damaged copy, I would get a total of 40% off. So I raced back to where it was, and guess what! I bought it for only Php432.00! It was originally priced at Php720.00! What a steal, right? ♥
  4. The Ship of Brides in Trade Paperback format by Jojo Moyes – This was actually and impulsive purchase. I don’t know but there’s something about Jojo Moyes and her books that makes her one of my auto-buy authors. And it’s a contemporary book so I feel like it’s such a great buy. Originally priced as Php640.00, thanks to the 20% off sale, I snagged this book for only Php512.00!

And there you have it! Over the weekend, I spent a total of Php2,328.00. Yes, I am that much of an addict, and that much of a book hoarder. And guess what. I am not finished yet. Hopefully, by the end of this week, I save enough book money to buy the 3 remaining books by Sarah J. Maas entitled Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire, and The Assassin’s Blade. Good God, this is such an expensive vice.

What are some of your latest book purchases? Leave some comments and let me know what you got! 🙂

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[Book Review #19] All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

 

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The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning!
 
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning!
 
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

Book Specifications:

Author: Jennifer Niven

Format: Paperback

Part of a Series: No.

Release Date: January 6, 2015

Publisher: Knopf

No. of Pages: 388 pages

Price: 439.00Php

Genre: Young Adult, Mental Health, Romance, Contemporary

Book Review:

The Cover: The cover was regal, featuring half a dozen of post-it notes containing the title on one side, plus images of a flower and a bird on the other. It was a simple cover with a simple color scheme and it was very pleasing to the eye. Not to mention the connection that will be relatable once you read the book. I loved it. And the font was as cool as handwriting. It is absolutely divine! (5 out of 5 stars)

The Story: The book revolved around the lives of Theodore Finch, whose whole life was dedicated to his fascination with deaths and suicides, and Violet Markey, whose life was carefully paved right in front of her but had to take a detour. The story started off with Violet and Finch, having their first encounter at their high school’s bell tower where Violet was, according to my understanding of the story, trying to jump off the ledge. She didn’t know what to do after the unexpected death of her loved sister, Eleanor. As the story goes on, they find themselves stuck with each other to create a project that’s requiring them to spend time with one another and wander through different sites in Indiana. As time passes by, they fall hopelessly in love with each other while filling the broken lives of one another. In order to express myself better, I shall once again enumerate the great points of the story.

  • I loved how our two protagonists came from something that they can both relate to. Violet, somehow, survived the accident that killed her sister, while Finch seems to be greatly fascinated with death. Coming from something common and similar really does open lots of chances for people to get to know each other a little better and I like that as foundation for their relationship.
  • I loved the idea of the project assigned to Violet and Finch. The wanderings. I loved the fact that they got to know, understand, and fell in love with each other through the wanderings they went on. And the idea of leaving something behind as they left their area of wandering was just so sweet and iconic. I don’t know why I was highly entertained and swooned by the idea of this, but that’s just me.
  • Finch, in my most honest opinion, is in line for greatness that are Augustus Waters, Park Sheridan, and the likes. His character was the one who made me fall in love with the whole story. It was because of Finch’s strength to carry on, amidst all the hurt and drama in his life, that made me completely fall head over heels for this novel. He was broken, damaged, and somehow a little twisted, but he was in every way one of the best male characters I have ever read about.

I loved this book just as much as I loved my all time favorites, The Fault In Our Stars and Eleanor & Park. I can’t believe I’ve found my newest most favorite book. (5 out of 5 stars)

The Ending: *This part is filled with spoilers. I suggest you skip this part if you don’t want to cry later on.* I understand that Theodore Finch is super fascinated with death, but good God, why did he have to die? I understand that he was diagnosed with manic depression and bipolar disorder. But why can’t he just try a bit more harder for the sake of his love for Violet? I just can’t accept it. However, with all the facts about quicksand found at the middle parts of the book made me guess that Finch may die because of drowning. And I was right, you guys! I can’t believe it! Never have I ever badly wanted to be wrong in all my life. Not to mention how Violet’s coping with the loss of her sister as well all in under a year. I can’t fathom how I would react to something as devastating as that. Oh, and let’s not forget about the quotes! The quotes found within the last 100 pages were excruciatingly heart-wrenching. It was as if my heart was actually being squeezed out of my chest. And no, I’m not kidding. But, I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I loved the ending in all its full flaw and glory. May you rest in eternal peace, Theodore Finch. (5 out of 5 stars)


The Verdict: Need I actually say more? No. I’m ending it here. I LOVED THIS BOOK! Will re-read this once I finish reading all the books in my infinite TBR list. Oh, and thank you, Jennifer Niven, for introducing me to Violet and Finch. I am eternally grateful. (5 out of 5 stars)

Quotable Quotes:

“May your eye go to the Sun, To the wind your soul… You are all the colors in one, at full brightness.” – Violet Markey

“The thing I realize is, that it’s not what you take, it’s what you leave.” – Violet Markey

“The great thing about this life of ours is that you can be someone different to everybody.” – Theodore Finch

“The problem with people is they forget that most of the time it’s the small things that count.” – Theodore Finch

“I learned that there is good in this world, if you look hard enough for it. I learned that not everyone is disappointing, including me, and that a 1,257 bump in the ground can feel higher than a bell tower if you’re standing next to the right person.” – Theodore Finch

“No more winter at all. Finch, you brought me spring.” – Violet Markey

Oh my god, the quotes!!!

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