Monthly Archives: August 2015

Rules We Like Breaking by Mina V. Esguerra

I came across a tweet from Mina V. Esguerra that she sent e-ARC copies of this book to those who requested before. Having missed that opportunity, I asked Mina if she can still add me to the list. She did and sent me the ARC. Excitement and intrigue filled me as the plot offered something new from the author. I didn’t know what this book would hold, so I moved on to it right after I finished the previous book I was reading.

Here’s the synopsis:

Rules We Like Breaking coverVictoria Bennett is in control and in charge all day every day, but she needs help sometimes. Organizing a romantic proposal weekend for her client in Mexico (she’s never been) would be that time – and the only person available to help her is Nathan Grant, notorious heartbreaker. She knows his past and shouldn’t want him, shouldn’t fall for guys like him, but that hasn’t prevented her from lusting after him for years. It’s just one weekend on the beach, away from people they know, alone with the guy who could cause her perfectly coordinated world to crumble. Shouldn’t be a problem, right?

There are various aspects in life that we make rules on, either for other people to abide or just to direct ourselves to our desired path in life. In this book’s case, the rules the author is pertaining to involve relationships. Each person makes his/her own rules in order to attain a successful relationship with someone that would fit their standard. And just like any other rule we follow, there come moments when we are still bound to break them.

When there’s a wedding planner, there’s also a proposal planner. And that’s what Victoria was hired to do at that moment. However, planning a proposal is just the tip of an iceberg. The beginning of the story already introduces us to the undeniable attraction Victoria feels for Nathan; hence her reluctance to ask for Nathan’s assistance. Surprisingly enough, Nathan feels the same way for Victoria.

I actually love the smooth transition from the present to the past and back to the present again as a means of illustrating how everything started (from how they first met). The plot thickens more as Mina V. Esguerra includes Nathan’s point of view as well. This provides an avenue for readers to understand both characters based on their actions. As the story progresses, I get to know more about Victoria and Nathan as they slowly allow themselves to reveal their true selves. That said, I’m convinced enough to root for them all the way to the end. And just like that, rules are broken.

I don’t remember Victoria from Playing Autumn, but it’s nice to see her play a big role in this book. Rules We Like Breaking is definitely one of Mina’s finest works. As much as this is just a short read, I enjoy the time spent reading this. There are certain parts, though, that I wish the author would’ve delved longer and deeper in. Aside from that, this book is a delightful, satisfying read. I love that Mina V. Esguerra also allows room for character development. Even the supporting characters play significant roles in the story. Overall, Rules We Like Breaking is a perfect dessert for any course meal.


Clear: A Death Trippers Novel by Jessica Park

I always look forward to Jessica Park’s new releases as each book holds promising plotline and unique narration. This time around, Jessica Park diverts from her usual setting and surprises her readers with a combination of romance and paranormal. Immediately so, I bought a paperback copy of the book from Book Depository.

Here’s the plot description from the back cover of the book:

Clear coverStella Ford’s grasp on reality is already loose, and it’s about to come undone.

When the college junior flees Chicago and leaves her toxic family behind, she heads for coastal Maine to find the one person who brought her peace years ago: Sam Bishop. But the Sam she once knew now has painful secrets.

Stella is determined to heal them both. Healing, however, is a challenge when the walls of her everyday existence collapse. And when Sam’s best friend is his worst enemy.

When the line between life and death blurs.

When an end is just a beginning.

When lust and rage rule.

Yet during extraordinary chaos, there can be extraordinary love, even if that love comes with a twist.

Welcome to death tripping.

A thriller, a paranormal, and a passionate romance, CLEAR crosses genres and breaks boundaries.

The moment I saw the title, it posed a lot of questions on my mind. The word “clear” may evidently convey a metaphorical meaning, but what caught my attention most were the words that came after. What does a death tripper mean? And how would it fit into the story? The synopsis didn’t even give out anything, so everything I drew came out blanks. This intriguing, mysterious title triggered my curiosity more and pushed me to read the book the soonest possible.

Opening this book was like being presented with a box of jigsaw puzzles waiting to be completed. The whole picture remained a mystery; hence, it was up to the readers to slowly fit the jigsaw puzzle pieces together as the story progressed. At the beginning of the story, I was already introduced to the strange situation of Stella and how she and Sam met. These significant turn of events will change the lives of Stella and Sam altogether.

I was impressed by Jessica Park’s portrayal of her characters. I loved the fact that there were no hints of pretentious personalities or perfect characters just to be liked by everyone. As the book was opened, so were the deepest and darkest secrets of the characters. Jessica Park succeeded in revealing their imperfections and vulnerabilities which made me empathize more with them and understand their current standing. As pages were turned, their walls and barriers slowly shattered. The book didn’t just center its story on Stella and Sam. It proved to be more than that as all characters, even Amy and Costa, were surprisingly interconnected with one another. The complex characterization of the characters just gave me a mixed range of emotions that took me to a roller coaster ride and I must say, it was one heck of a ride.

While reading the book, I was overwhelmed by the never-ending suspense of the plotline. I may have been just a spectator, but Jessica Park managed to somehow keep me from immediately knowing the underlying gist of the whole story. It seemed I gradually became involved with the characters and embarked the journey with them as well. It was that unpredictable. As one question got answered, another one arose. The book definitely kept me at the edge of my seat. There were moments when I even tried to control myself not to react loudly as certain scenes caught me off guard. There were moments of ohh…, moments of aww…, and then moments of whoa!!!

Clear truly was one twisted, complicated, extraordinary story full of surprises and challenging struggles faced by the characters. I now know what a death tripper meant. How Jessica Park delivered the story really amazed me. The romance and lust were crazy enough for me to fathom, what more of this death tripper concept Jessica Park developed. At the end of the day, what’s important was that I was able to complete the puzzle and I fully saw the bigger picture. As the story concluded, I closed the book with a clear, understanding mind. For a first-time paranormal reader, I enjoyed this book. Jessica Park showed more of what she’s capable of and it didn’t disappoint. Just like the characters of the book, I shall go find my good.