[Backlist Revival Project]: Just for the Record by Six de los Reyes // Book review

Howdy y’all! Today’s post features yet another book brought to us by the Backlist Revival Project. I’ve joined this project since January and the awesome people behind these are Carmel and Mina Esguerra. Our book of the month is packed with thoughtful metaphors, a walk toward an unconventional type of love and is perfect for a cold, rainy day. It is:

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Just for the Record by Six de los Reyes

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Just for the record, the heat can get to even the most calculated of minds.

Let it be stated that Rhys loves Ryan forever and ever. But certain needs are not being met, leaving her frustrated and asking for too much than the conservative and almost-rock star, Ryan, is willing to give. Uncooperative (or cooperative, depending on your point of view) weather provides her an opportunity to ask not what she can do for her friends, but what a friend can do for her.

Isaiah likes to say that the best thing about Rhys is that he can stand in her breathing space and feel nothing. Something of a breather when dancing with Lia short circuits his entire operating system. But all his beliefs are challenged when Rhys chances upon him in a steamy practice room in the middle of a heat wave.

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Before anything else, let me just tell you how much I am in love with the cover of this book. *heart eyes* I honestly don’t know how long I stared at the cover before I actually started flipping the pages. Also, I think it speaks about the book in a way that the characters are represented by the splashes of colors: they may collide and may not be entirely the ordinary mix you see; they may seem messed up and strange together; but it works. Somehow it works.

Each chapter is named after natural conditions and phenomena such as Heavy Downpour, Isolated Thunderstorms, Sunshowers, and the like. These are what I think are the perfect kinds of metaphors you use to describe the ups and downs of a complicated social life (or life in general). Honestly, reading this wasn’t necessarily a walk in the park. I had a slow pace reading it in the beginning because I was wondering what was happening; what kind of situation our character was in. The complexity of the text, however, is one the primary reasons why I found this read to be such a beautiful one. Because the more you think about it, the heavier the meaning those words carry. It’s almost like a poetic narrative; the kind that will make you furrow your eyebrows together while reading, but make you find yourself wanting to love it, and eventually do.

An unconventional love story is what unfolds the more our characters collide. A tough girl on the outside but is broken on the inside crash lands on uncharted territory of a boy who closes off his feelings but is apparently ready to be there for her when he needs him. But there’s a catch. Both the boy and the girl have love interests of their own. They believe nothing is wrong since their relationship since it has no feelings attached — or does it?

For one of our main leads, Isaiah, it isn’t as complicated as people may think:

All she needed to do, was ask. Anytime, anywhere, he would be there for here. A special existence, just for her. A hero without being her true love.

But on the other end, we have Rhys saying

If I could hold back, then things wouldn’t be like this. Like…if I could just tell myself not to feel, or if I could just tell myself not to act on how I feel, then maybe it would be different.

Are they fighting a losing battle? Will the heart win in the end?

Just for the Record is one of the books that will capture your heart without you even knowing it. It urges you to see through its tangles and knots and unravel them and realize its deeper meaning.

Rating: 3.5 stars

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Need more? Here is one more quote from Just for the Record:

Was it a deadly affliction that had befallen them both? To emotionally invest in people who manifested a completely different set of expressions of affection — or that is, who lacked the ability to even express them in the first place. Why was it that you never get the attention you want from the people you want it from?

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Just for the Record is available on the following ebook stores:

BuqoAmazon

Contact Six de los Reyes

Twitter ♠  Facebook ♠  Wattpad   Goodreads

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Thank you for reading! Til the next post X

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[Backlist Revival Project] Cities by Carla de Guzman

Howdy y’all! This is my third month going into the Backlist Revival Project and the stories simply get better and better. For March, the project’s book of the month is:

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Cities by Carla de Guzman

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Instead of a goodreads summary, here is an excerpt from Cities:

Chapter 1: Dreams

 

The thing about dreams, there’s always something in the back of your mind that tells you that you’re dreaming. It’s like a subconscious warning signal, telling you not to get too involved, not to believe what you think you can see. In dreams, there’s a glow about the edges that you can’t place. Everything is wonderfully unreal. Dreams can end when you want them to.

I was trapped in a dream, a dream that felt like a memory.

There were no glowing edges, or subconscious warnings in my mind as I walked through it. The breeze was humid and real, my toes kicked against the warm rocks baking under the sun. It had to be a memory. I never came back to this place after graduation, no matter how much I had loved attending this school. In the harsh and scary real world, I was an adult with an adult job. Now…here I felt I was a young, naive little thing, still excited at the possibilities of life, still brave about love. That wasn’t who I was anymore, and that hadn’t been who I was in a long time.

 So what was I doing here?

I stood in the hallways between the parking lot and the Communications building, one of my favorite spots in my school. The sun spent its last moments by glowing brilliant and orange, casting its golden light on everything it touched. My skin prickled in the warmth and my heart fluttered. I turned my hand over and realized that I was holding a fresh white rose.

Oh. This was a memory. A particularly bad one that I had hoped to forget.

The school bells chimed in the distance, and my heart twisted in my ribcage. I tried to wake myself up and stop myself from remembering the horror of this moment, but the light kept me rooted to the spot.

He’s not coming, I told myself, like I was trying to keep my own heart from getting hurt. He didn’t come, remember? He never showed up. Wake up, Celia. Wake up!

I held my breath. You may not die in dreams, but in memories I wasn’t so sure. The world was still and he wasn’t coming.

As the last of the chimes faded away and the sun shed its last rays, a figure appeared at the end of the hall. The footsteps squeaked and drummed against the pavement as I gasped.

Is that…?

“Celia!” He exclaimed, catching his breath as he finally stopped in front of me, his own white rose in his hand. “Am I late?”

Wake up!!!

 

For the goodreads summary, kindly click here.

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I am not a big of a reader of contemporaries, however when I do get to read a good one, it would have been something that made me think, something I related to (either on a spiritual level or at least non-primordially), and a story I hold dear in my heart. I didn’t expect this, but Cities comes into my life checking all those aforementioned.

When I read the first few chapters, I thought “oh no, not another insta-love contemporary again.” I was worried that the book would go on that way. But boy, was I wrong. As I read on, I got to understand and see the concept and general idea of the story which was a love story exploring multiverses.

It definitely caught my attention and made me think how it was the perfect recipe for a good read. Contemporaries usually follow the obvious and cliche types of plots but Cities was pleasantly different and distinct. It also satisfyingly answered the common question usually raised by stories following this genre. The question of maybes and what ifs.

The beginning of the book described about the distinction between dreams and memories. At first I was a bit caught off guard how the storyline was like this for one moment and suddenly turned into that on the next. I had to pause and ask myself, is this scene happening in present time? Is this a dream, or a memory? But as I thought about it, there was a light bulb that just pinged to light in my mind. Oh, this is what happens in a parallel universe.

And in line with the idea of multiverses, the author narrated three different possible outcomes and futures of our characters — Celia, Ben, Vivian, and Henry. All of which showed the different positions and relationships the characters could have had but somehow lead to only one ultimate fate. Which brings me to another concept covered by the story: determinism. What I loved most about this, was how in all those universes, they would still have inevitably crossed paths with each other.

In the first part of the story, our main character, Celia, was going to be the maid of honor for her bestfriend, Vivian’s, wedding to her friend and former crush (and ex-*sort of* lover) Ben. All throughout the time, there was a thought that clouded over Celia. Looking at Ben, it made her think about where would she be if only she took that offer in Seoul? What if she was the one walking towards Ben on that aisle? What if she and Ben were supposed the couple that lived happily ever after? What was worst of was that we got to find out that if not for Celia, Vivian and Ben wouldn’t even be marrying each other in the first place. Ouch.

Good thing, her good ol’bestfriend Henry was there. Always by her side, ready to comfort her or make her laugh or just hang out. Or is it? 😉

So then started her dreams — or memories — or rather, a glimpse of multiverses. And let me tell ya, her journey towards finding herself– towards finding closure for her feelings– were soooooooo good. Everything just came clicking into place and you got to read conclusions and closures and it was so well-written that I wouldn’t have wanted it to be told any other way.

As much as I would  like to tell you everything that went down, I don’t want to spoil you. It’s quite seldom that I get this excited to discuss a contemporary though so please, please, if you haven’t read this yet, go get a copy so we could discuss its wonder together. Okay? Okay.

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So with all that’s said and done, you could probably guess by now that I absolutely loved reading this book. I give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carla de Guzman started out like any writer, sitting in front of her dial-up Internet computer and discovering fanfiction. Riddled with sleep apnea and a vivid imagination, she started writing every midnight.

she still reads good fics obsessively, writes fanfiction secretly and still loves the idea of finding good fics.

she, her parents and nine crazy siblings love to travel together, eat together, and watercolor together, so she could say she’s pretty happy.

LINKS:

Website // E-mail // Tumblr // Facebook

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Thanks for reading! Til the next post. x

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Backlist Revival Project: In Over Her Head by Anne Plaza [Dream Cast]

Howdy y’all! The Backlist Revival Project has chosen a very fitting book of the month for February, the month of love. This book is none other than In Over Her Head by Anne Plaza.

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But before I dive in to the book, I decided to ask the author as to who would be her dream cast for this book. Here is what she said:

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When I was writing In Over Her Head for #romanceclass, Mina asked us to come up with character profiles for our stories. At that time, I had visual pegs for the characters, one was a Korean actor, and a Hollywood actress. I realized they weren’t really the right pegs for the people I had in mind since I’m writing romance with Filipino characters. And after thinking about it overnight, I’ve finally come up with what I think would be the perfect actors to give life to the characters of In Over Her Head.

 

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Jessy Mendiola as Erika Apostol

I find Jessy very pretty in a girl-next-door kind of manner. I’ve watched a couple of soaps with her in the lead role and I find her innocence appealing for a female MC. She can also play tough roles aside from sweet characters, suggesting her versatility in her craft. I think she’d be perfect to play Erika.

 

 

coco Coco Martin as Richard Javier

Okay, I am a little bit biased here but I LOVE Coco Martin. Richard doesn’t have a lisp, but I think it adds more to Coco’s personality, don’t you think? And who notices the lisp anyway? But seriously, Coco is just a shoo-in for this role. I love how intense he gets in every character he portrays. He’s brilliant in every role, and I just adore seeing his emotional, mushy side.

 

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 Rafael Rosell as Jerome

Who doesn’t love this hunk of a man? Rafael was pretty much under my radar, that was, until I watched ABS-CBN’s TV adaptation of Martha Cecilia’s Kristine series (which I am a SUPER fan of). He portrayed a role that was suave, mysterious, drop-dead gorgeous—your typical playboy if you may. But when the romance started kicking on, boy, I was SOLD. Coincidentally, there’s a GMA7 soap where his character is named Jerome. How’s that for serendipity?

 

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Yassi Pressman as Lorra Quiambao

I like Yassi’s sassy roles and I think she’s spot on for the role of Erika’s best friend. Have you seen the trailer of Girlfriend for Hire (with Andre Paras)? That was the one that sealed the deal for me.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anne Plaza writes contemporary romance, young adult, and speculative fiction novellas. She has been into writing since high school and has een actively pursuing it on a professional level despite having a totally unrelated bachelor’s degree. Her first contemporary New Adult romance novella In Over Her Head was published in 2013 and was subsequently nominated for the 2014 Filipino Reader’s Choice Awards Romance in English.

When not writing, Anne juggles time in her day job, obsessing over her TV show fandoms, and shopping for new books to add to her growing TBR pile.

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You can contact Anne through the following links:

BlogFacebookTwitterInstagramGoodreads

In Over Her Head Book links:

AmazonSmashwordsGoodreadsiBooks

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Thanks for reading. See you on the next post! x

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