Book Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell


Romance | Contemporary

Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . ”

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now- reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . .


Is this the same author who wrote Eleanor & Park?
I just wasn’t into it. Gah. Now, I feel horrible.

– It was a major bore.
– I could not find Lincoln romantic.
– I can relate to Jennifer, but not to Beth.
– Nothing happens.

Attachments could’ve been more different from Eleanor & Park. Not in story of course, but in the emotions drawn out of me by Rainbow Rowell. With E&P, I was constantly engaged, mixed feelings. With Attachments, grudgingly reading from one page to another – my response to Linc’s plight was continuously flat.

(What is wrong with me? I love Rainbow Rowell!)

The only thing I find even remotely redeeming about this book is Linc’s mom. I could identify with her stand on Linc’s life (and his sister’s). Her character is the one with fire.

Should I read Fangirl? Yes? No?


ATTACHMENTS by Rainbow Rowell

Paperback, 368 pages

Published February 2012 by Orion

2/5 stars

Book Review: This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz


General Fiction > Contemporary

On a beach in the Dominican Republic, a doomed relationship flounders. In the heat of a hospital laundry room in New Jersey, a woman does her lover’s washing and thinks about his wife. In Boston, a man buys his love child, his only son, a first baseball bat and glove. At the heart of these stories is the irrepressible, irresistible Yunior, a young hardhead whose longing for love is equaled only by his recklessness–and by the extraordinary women he loves and loses: artistic Alma; the aging Miss Lora; Magdalena, who thinks all Dominican men are cheaters; and the love of his life, whose heartbreak ultimately becomes his own.

Literary Awards: National Book Award Nominee for Fiction (2012), OCM Bocas Prize Nominee (2013)


My good friend Angus told me that this is about cheating (and more cheating). Interesting. So I say, it is 213 pages, let me borrow it. I’ve been reading books outside YA genre for the past year and a half, and it is such a reward when I finish one and actually like it. And I like This is How You Lose Her very, very much. For it magnifies the question: Why cheat?

The collection of stories is centered on Yunior – his exes, past relationships, sexcapades. He would like to think that the “cheating” gene skipped him (knowing Papi and Rafa), but the truth eventually reveals itself. Many times, I want to punch Yunior in you-know-where. Other times, I want to give him comfort, even solace.Junot Díaz‘s writing is confusing yet straightforward, demanding and yet it does not ask. See how he messed up my head?!! It is downright engaging to the point of wrapping myself with words that make up and tell Yunior’s f*cked up life.

My favorite part is Miss Lora. I was a leech to those pages, when I was reading. And Rafa? Yunior’s relationship with his brother is nothing new, and yet it still managed to sadden me in so many ways.

I did not a get a happy ending with This is How You Lose Her. But what do I expect from A Cheater’s Guide to Love? Heartache, despair, and acceptance of things to come as a result of things that were. But every story was distinctly alive, every character vividly portrayed – and that hooked me up BIG time.



Paperback, 213 pages

Published October 11th 2012 by Riverhead Books

5/5 stars

Book Review: You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me by Sarra Manning


General Fiction > Chick-Lit > Contemporary

Sweet, bookish Neve Slater always plays by the rules. And the number one rule is that good-natured fat girls like her don’t get guys like gorgeous, handsome William, heir to Neve’s heart since university. But William’s been in LA for three years, and Neve’s been slimming down and re-inventing herself so that when he returns, he’ll fall head over heels in love with the new, improved her.

So she’s not that interested in other men. Until her sister Celia points out that if Neve wants William to think she’s an experienced love-goddess and not the fumbling, awkward girl he left behind, then she’d better get some, well, experience.

What Neve needs is someone to show her the ropes, someone like Celia’s colleague Max. Wicked, shallow, sexy Max. And since he’s such a man-slut, and so not Neve’s type, she certainly won’t fall for him. Because William is the man for her… right?

Somewhere between losing weight and losing her inhibitions, Neve’s lost her heart – but to who?


…I think Sarra Manning and I are going to be good friends. *beams happily*

Oh, I read romance, sure. But not this thick. And definitely not this author. You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me has been sitting on my shelf for two years now, and I want to smack myself senseless on why I bother just now to pick it up. It was highly entertaining! Yeah, Neve‘s obsession on her weight was annoying, but it was irrelevant to me. What I love the most is how Manning portrayed Max. Absolutely delicious, that one was. 😀

End of Chapter Two. I was already swooning with delight. Man, does Manning really writes like this? It was addicting. But then, Max flopped the swoon. How? He doesn’t know Neve’s name. To think that he was all sweet and mesmerizing to Neve. Ha! Now that was fun. Absolutely hilarious. 🙂

I love Celia, Neve’s sister. She’s very supportive and very attached to Neve. I liked that there wasn’t any sibling rivalry between them, considering Neve has weight problems, and Celia has no issues with her body (or beauty) at all.

The verbal sparring between Neve and Max were amusing and most times, hot. You know? There’s something about two intelligent people who cannot see how right they are for each other, because they are two busy thinking on the reasons on why they should not be together. That’s Neve and Max. I should be irritated with that, but surprisingly, I was not. It even added to the swoon factor! Ah, must be the love bug this February, hitting my inner romantic. 🙂

It would not do you any good if you cross out this book just because of it’s too ‘chick-lit’ cover. You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me is endearing, charming, and fetching read. It was not perfect by my ‘contemporary’ standard, but the ‘lovey-dovey’ feel it gave last Valentines? So worth it!

#10 Off-the-Shelf Challenge 2013



Paperback, 555 pages

Published February 1st 2011 by Corgi Books

5/5 stars

Book Review: The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan

Rating: StarStarStarStar

basis, n. 

There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you’re in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself. 

If the moment doesn’t pass, that’s it—you’re done. And if the moment does pass, it never goes that far. It stands in the distance, ready for whenever you want it back. Sometimes it’s even there when you thought you were searching for something else, like an escape route, or your lover’s face. 

How does one talk about love? Do we even have the right words to describe something that can be both utterly mundane and completely transcendent, pulling us out of our everyday lives and making us feel a part of something greater than ourselves? Taking a unique approach to this problem, the nameless narrator of David Levithan’s The Lover’s Dictionary has constructed the story of his relationship as a dictionary. Through these short entries, he provides an intimate window into the great events and quotidian trifles of being within a couple, giving us an indelible and deeply moving portrait of love in our time.


livid, adj. 
Fuck You for cheating on me. Fuck you for reducing it to the word cheating. As if this were a card game, and you sneaked a look at my hand. Who came up with the term cheating, anyway? A cheater, I imagine. Someone who thought liar was too harsh. Someone who thought devastator was too emotional.


The Lover’s Dictionary turned me into this mushy lil marshmallow. I felt a lot of emotions when reading this: i smiled a lot because i can relate. i harbored resentment when trust was broken. i felt complete when despite the frustrating times, the couple worked out their differences. Truly, The Lover’s Dictionary is a haven for hopeless romantics!

I love how Levithan presented his story – through snippets of the couple’s lives encased in vocabulary words. I basically have to read between the lines and i loved that. This kind of storytelling was so unique and effective it made me think: a word can really have a whole lot of meaning, right? Arrears. Dumbfounded. Libidinous.

The Lover’s Dictionary is a quick read (211 pgs) but the writing will stay with me for a very, very long time. If you’re in a mature relationship who needs guidance, or you just can’t resist a romantic read, try this Levithan book. It sure made me sigh and realize how wonderful it is to have someone to love… and love me back that much. =)

Special thanks to Tina for lending me her copy while we were on vacation!



.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: Tell Me More by Janet Mullany

Rating: StarStar

Jo Hutchinson is obsessed with a man she’s never seen—only heard. Her late–night calls from the office to the mysterious “Mr. D.” grow increasingly intimate, until they finally become full–blown phone sex. Still, Jo doesn’t dare meet him. Instead, she embarks on a series of sizzling sexual escapades with other guys, sharing every sweaty moment with Mr. D. afterward, a passion–by–proxy arrangement they both get off on. But even as she’s charting brave new naughty worlds, Jo knows that it’s all really for Mr. D. Every pleasure she experiences—eagerly, athletically, vocally—is to please him.

Immersed in fantasy, reality just slips away—even the chance at that elusive combination of love and lust. Her new tenant, Patrick, an Irish hunk in geek’s clothing, is totally into her. And in her lucid moments, Jo knows she feels the same. Can she tear herself away from her kinky dreamworld long enough to appreciate what’s right in front of her? Or has Mr. D. ruined her for real life?



I started Tell Me More and really liking it, but when the moment came Jo can finally have closure with Mr. D., I found myself disgusted with her. I thought this erotica novel has a little substance in story, but that moment completely ruined it. That being said, Jo does not deserve even the smallest affection from Patrick. Ugh.

Jo went into sexual experiments but Mullany barely bother to explain Jo’s past so I as a reader can sympathize with Jo. Patrick could’ve have been a great male lead if not for his lax acceptance for Jo’s transgressions and secrets. Jo & Patrick’s relationship develop only in the middle of the book (i was impatient on where the story will lead me because Jo’s sexcapades is starting to bore me). The ending was kinda cute, perhaps too cute for an erotica book but it suits me fine.

I could’ve given this a 3 star-rating but the Mr. D.-Jo closure scene definitely irritated me.


Publisher: Harlequin

Imprint: Spice Books

Pub Date: 07/26/2011

Thank you NetGalley and Lisa Wray for granting my galley request.



.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: The Ideal Man by Julie Garwood

Rating: StarStarStar

Dr. Ellie Sullivan has just completed her residency at a large urban hospital. While jogging in a park nearby, she witnesses the shooting of an FBI agent in pursuit of wanted criminals, a couple identified as the Landrys. The only person to see the shooter’s face, Ellie is suddenly at the center of a criminal investigation.
Agent Max Daniels takes over the Landry case. A no-nonsense lawman, he’s definitely not the ideal man that Ellie has always imagined, yet she’s attracted to him in a way she can’t explain.

Ellie heads home to Winston Falls, South Carolina, to attend her sister’s wedding. Shortly after she arrives, though, she receives a surprise visitor: Max Daniels. The Landrys have been captured, and she’ll be called to testify. But they’ve been captured before, and each time the witnesses are scared into silence-or disappear before they can take the stand. Max vows to be Ellie’s shadow until the trial, and it isn’t long before sparks fly.



The Ideal Man is just an average Julie Garwood book. I was disappointed because I’m a Garwood fan for years now. The plot is predictable, the story is okay, and the characters seemed recycled from her previous novels.

Ellie  is a trauma surgeon and a prodigy. Having been separated from her family for years now, she has nothing to look forward to. Her gruesome past is preventing her to have a future, but that doesn’t mean she’s now willing to finally confront the demon that’s been plaguing her since childhood. Ellie is not weak, but she’s not that strong, either. One thing i don’t get is her ‘animalistic’ attraction towards Max. TRANSLATION: Ellie wants to jump his bones every single time. Ugh. A little respect please, for yourself. Thank you 😉

Max is an FBI Agent who can make a living out of his casual relationships with women. He’s as tough as any agent can be, but knowing what Ellie went through all her life, he can’t help but say that she’s tougher than he is. I love Ellie’s dad; I hate her mom. I also like her sister, Annie; obviously i despise the twin sister, Ava. Evan Patterson is scary – his character is the one i look forward to reading. 🙂

The Ideal Man is a passable read for any Julie Garwood fan. Slightly humorous and sexy, it might still steal hours from you when reading it.

Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)

Imprint: Dutton

Pub Date: 08/09/2011

Thank you NetGalley and Kirby Rogerson for granting my galley request.



.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Rating: StarStarStarStar

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend America, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the charming college co-ed. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his charms, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’ apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.



And i gave in to temptation when i bought this ebook from Amazon after reading the sample from my Kindle. Is it worth the purchase? Yes. The 4-star-rating mainly covers the first half of the book, the second half is just a 3 (bordering on 2, actually).

Abby is flying under the radar at her university but she still catches the eye of resident bad boy, Travis. From UNlike-at-first-sight to being friends, Abby and Travis trudged on to the very rocky road to love.


  • cocky and sexy banter b/w Abby and Travis at the beginning
  • Travis is my ultimate bad boy book boyfriend! Fighter, Tattoos, straight A student. Oh, Trav, I am willing to be a groupie!
  • Travis’ UFC scenes – more in the lines of the movies Never Back Down and Fight Club
  • Poker scene with the Maddox family – dysfunctional but it works on them
  • America – whoa, i wanna be friends with that girl!



  • i think the book is too long.
  • too much drama on Abby-Travis relationship
  • Travis got sappy, clingy, needy when he and Abby finally hooked up. 😦 I did not see that coming. Nothing turns me off like a guy who stalks, begs and pleads from a girl to take him back. He could’ve been a perfect male lead, but the 2nd half of the book destroyed him.


Beautiful Disaster is a surprising good read and i really like it despite my rants. I can recommend for you to read and start this one, but after the first half, if you reach the drama hype of Abby-Travis relationship, decide on your own if you’re going to finish it.

P.S. That is one captivating book cover, i tell you.



.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

Rating: StarStarStar


Holly couldn’t live without her husband Gerry, until the day she had to. They were the kind of young couple who could finish each other’s sentences. When Gerry succumbs to a terminal illness and dies, 30-year-old Holly is set adrift, unable to pick up the pieces. But with the help of a series of letters her husband left her before he died and a little nudging from an eccentric assortment of family and friends, she learns to laugh, overcome her fears, and discover a world she never knew existed.

***** ***** *****

BackTracks is a collection of movie and book reviews previously published from my old multiply site. what you’re about to read is only a short review (since back then i don’t relish detailing my experience on a particular movie or book) but if you want to talk more about it, then shoot me an email!

kinda disappointed with the book, i was expecting to read some of the scenes from the movie but it was another story! maybe that’s the perils of watching the movie adaptation first before reading the book… but the characters are not at all the same, i got confused to tell you the truth.

although there are chapters (or Gerry’s letters) that are really heart-wrenching it makes you wanna cry (or something!) like the letter about the dolphins.

i think i’m gonna watch the movie again and compare notes… i was really disappointed. sigh.



.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: Call me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Rating: StarStarStarStarStar


R.S.V.P. to the most riotous wedding of the year . . .

Lucy Jorik is the daughter of a former president of the United States.

Meg Koranda is the offspring of legends.

One of them is about to marry Mr. Irresistible—Ted Beaudine—the favorite son of Wynette, Texas. The other is not happy about it and is determined to save her friend from a mess of heartache.

But even though Meg knows that breaking up her best friend’s wedding is the right thing to do, no one else seems to agree. Faster than Lucy can say “I don’t,” Meg becomes the most hated woman in town—a town she’s stuck in with a dead car, an empty wallet, and a very angry bridegroom. Broke, stranded, and without her famous parents at her back, Meg is sure she can survive on her own wits. What’s the worst that can happen? Lose her heart to the one and only Mr. Irresistible? Not likely. Not likely at all.


Amazing read! except for those times (which is a lot) when the whole town was ganging up on Meg just because they can (and they will!), it was really enjoyable.


somewhat hollywood-y to me. but it worked its charm. hooking up with your best friend’s ex-fiancee after their scandalous jilting-at-the-altar fiasco is super sneaky! the best part: Meg asks Lucy first for permission. lol. i thought it will be the twist of the book but it was not. Lucy was A-OK with it! it really is funny. then falling in love when Meg knew she was just a bootie call. whew. that’s one extra big luggage to carry, dear.


a very lovable character. but i didn’t like it when she can defend other peeps when someone steps on them but not herself. especially when her family is the one doing the stepping on her. i believe that it is done for her benefit (to grow up, take a job and make something out of her life) but it is rather harsh. nevertheless, she did grew up. she’s been changing for the better now but i don’t see why she often pretend to be the same happy-go-lucky girl to everyone when she’s no longer that girl anymore. pity party, perhaps?


who doesn’t love him? oh, i do! he’s a prick who pretends to be a saint. and how the whole town worships him! and yet i liked it when he responds to Meg’s antics in such an un-saintly way. so the he is not perfect, after all!

ultimate high experience:

the bootie calls, of course! the author sizzled it with humor and romance all in one plate. wow. it never failed to make me laugh so hard, then go mushy all of a sudden. O_O

the verdict:

i haven’t read SEP books recently, but reading this one is worth the catch-up. one of my favorites.


“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”