Tuesday, August 27, 2019

FLASHED by Zoey Castile {review}

Hi there! Today was a busy day because we've been preparing for the tropical storm, Dorian. So please, keep the Caribbean in your prayers. Stay safe everyone! I may lose electrical power and my phone signal, so I'll be away for a couple of days.

In other news, I'm celebrating the book birthday of Zoey Castile :) FLASHED is the third book of the Happy Endings series, and here's my review!
Book title: FLASHED
Publication date: August 27, 2019
Author: Zoey Castile
Genres: Fiction, Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Pages: 272
How I got the book: Sent for review; the publisher provided me a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Review

I will start by saying that for me, FLASHED was wayyyyyyy better than STRIPPED and HIRED! I don't mean this in a bad way because I enjoyed all of them, but FLASHED is my favorite book in this series! I love the writing style of Zoey Castile and the storyline was SO good. Like I've said before, you can feel the characters turning into life with Castile's writing style. (I can't say this about every author!).

You have no idea how excited I get every time I see a latinx character in a book, and there has been a lot of latinx characters in this series (YAY!). But in FLASHED, there's a main character who's Mexican/Puerto Rican!!! So ok, I may be biased (sorry not sorry), but I love that! Anyway, this story is not your typical steamy romance. When I heard FLASHED was like a Beauty and the Beast retelling, I was so eager to read it! The romance between grumpy Patrick and Lena is great. I was hooked since the very beginning! I love the age-gap, the sexual tension, the Adobo obsession (can relate!), their backstories... ummm, everything? Yeah, I loved everything!

I found FLASHED to be different, compared to the first two books in the series, maybe because it was slower but also more emotional. The point is, I highly recommend the Happy Endings series!
Are you curious about the first book in this series? You can read my review here: STRIPPED. You can also read my review of HIRED!

If FLASHED sounds like something you would enjoy, be sure to add it to you TBR!
Have you read FLASHED? Or maybe STRIPPED? Let me know so we can talk about it ;)
         
          

Friday, August 16, 2019

De Boca en Boca por Pablo Rodríguez Rosado {entrevista}

¡Hola! Esta es la primera vez que publico en español en mi blog; tuve que hacer la excepción y ya verán el por qué. Estaré hablándole un poco sobre un libro especial publicado hoy, el cual se llama De Boca en Boca y el autor es el abuelo de mi esposo (¡y mi padrino!). Así que sin más preámbulo, aquí la información del libro y una entrevista con Don Pablo.
Título: De Boca en Boca: Diccionario de Refranes y Decires Puertorriqueños
Autor: Pablo Rodríguez Rosado
Fecha de publicación: 16 de agosto de 2019
Editorial: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Páginas: 224
Cómo obtuve el libro: Comprado en Amazon

Sinopsis

Diccionario de refranes y decires puertorriqueños es más que un refranero, es un acto de recuento, una mirada hacia atrás, una toma de conciencia, un acervo, una invitación, un puente entre abuelos y nietos. Esos jóvenes constituyen el punto emergente de una cultura que rompe, tanto con la cultura basada en el saber y la memoria de los ancianos, como en aquella cuyos referentes, aunque movedizos, ligan los patrones de comportamiento de los jóvenes a los que los padres que, con algunas variaciones, recogían y adaptaban de sus abuelos. Diccionario de refranes y decires puertorriqueños no es sólo un conjunto de palabras, categorías y reglas con que el pueblo interpreta su mundo de intereses y que ha traducido su experiencia de la realidad, sino un conjunto de pequeñas cápsulas de saber, expresiones endurecidas a fuerza de uso, bruñidas de tanto pasa de boca en boca, de las que sirve para orientarse en su obrar cotidiano.

Entrevista con Pablo Rodríguez Rosado
Hábleme un poco sobre usted y su libro.

De mi puedo decir que estoy retirado de mis compromisos profesionales y uno de mis pasatiempos es escribir. Se me ocurrió escribir este libro sobre los decires y refranes puertorriqueños porque los refranes son muy dinámicos, se van creando constantemente y si no se tiene cuidado, se olvidan y se pierden. Así que la idea era hacer lo posible para que no se perdieran, para que se conserven. Pero hay una historia detrás de esto. Una vez pensé en escribir sobre los refranes, empecé y lo dejé; y un día entré al Departamento de Matemáticas (en la Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Mayagüez) y estaba una de las secretarias, Esperanza, con uno de los profesores de matemáticas hablando sobre refranes. Ellos habían tenido la idea de escribir sobre refranes y después lo habían dejado. Cuando llegué, seguimos con la conversación y dije que yo también lo había empezado y lo había dejado. Pero le dije que contrario a ellos, que se habían olvidado, que yo no me iba a olvidar y que iba a hacerlo; y así lo hice, enseguida seguí escribiendo. Se hizo la primera edición (en el 2008) y tuvo mucho éxito, pero el editor terminó la relación porque cerraron las librerías Borders. Estuve un tiempo donde me dediqué únicamente a recuperar más refranes y a seguir actualizando la obra, hasta que ahora (en el 2019) sacamos la revisión. 

¿Qué es lo más que le gusta sobre escribir?

Me gusta hacer cosas que sean prácticas. Por ejemplo, por mi experiencia enseñando el curso de cálculo para biólogos, se me ocurrió escribir el libro de cálculo. Me preocupaba el problema de las drogas en Puerto Rico y ahí se me ocurrió escribir la novela Al Borde del Abismo. Siempre me ha gustado escribir poemas (eso lo heredé de mi papá, que le gustaba escribir poesía) y escribí también dos poemarios que se publicaron y uno que tengo escrito para publicarlo pronto, con el favor de Dios.

¿Cuantos libros ha publicado?

Seis. Tengo el libro de cálculo, la novela (Al Borde del Abismo), los dos poemarios y el de refranes, más esta nueva revisión.

¿Está trabajando en otro libro actualmente?

Estoy escribiendo un libro que espero que esté terminado dentro de las próximas semanas, sobre cómo jugar dominó. Jugué mucho dominó en mi juventud, fui miembro del club de dominó de Mayagüez por muchos años, con mi compañero Facundo gané un torneo de dominó internacional que se celebró en Ponce y de ahí (a petición de Pablito, mi hijo), fue que decidí escribir un libro sobre cómo jugar dominó. También estoy trabajando en uno sobre mis experiencias administrativas; cuando termine el de dominó, ese es el que quiero terminar porque incluye mucho sobre lo que fue mi vida profesional, especialmente en la administración.

¿Algo más que quiera añadir?

Agradezco la oportunidad que usted me da para hacer este relato y estoy a la orden para cualquier cosa que pueda ser de ayuda.

¡Agradezco a Don Pablo por su tiempo para esta entrevista! Puedes conseguir su libro en Amazon y también añadirlo en Goodreads. ¡Hasta la próxima!
          

Sunday, February 17, 2019

The Last Message Received by Emily Trunko {review}

Hi everyone! I hope you are doing well. This is the first time I read a book, and post the review the very same day I read it, but now you'll see why...
Book title: The Last Message Received
Publication date: January 10, 2017
Author: Emily Trunko
Illustrator: Zoe Ingram
Genres: Nonfiction, Young Adult, Teen
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 176
How I got the book: Purchased (by my sister)
Review

Here are some trigger warnings for this post, as well as for the book...
TW: depression, suicidal thoughts, suicide, sexual assault, violence, addiction, death.

As soon as I started reading The Last Message Received, I thought I wasn't going to be able to finish it. As always, I'm going to be honest. This book was SO hard to read! I even texted my book club friends to tell them about it... I told them it was so depressive... I thought about DNFing it but I just couldn't stop reading it. Imagine having those two completely different thoughts at the same time! But yeah, that's one of the reasons I feel people need to know about this book. Maybe it won't be your kind of book, I don't know... but trust me, you still need to know about it.

As someone who struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts (this is the first time I'm sharing this on the blog), reading this book was cathartic. I cried. It was painful. I thought about my husband, my family, my friends... what would've happened. The pain I would've caused. But I think it's better if I talk about this on another post; now I want to focus on the book.

This book showed me how toxic people can be; no matter if we are talking about friends, romantic partners, parents... and I honestly think we all have been some kind of toxic to someone else at some point in life. But wow... I couldn't believe the things I read! Words have power. From friendships coming to an end, to heartbreak, to violence, to sudden deaths... it was a lot to take in on one sitting! So my recommendation would be to practice self-care after reading it. Especially if you read it in one sitting like me, which I highly recommend you to NOT do that.

This book was a gift from my little sister. So imagine how I felt after reading this...
And here's another message from the book...
Now you have an idea of the format. And with the trigger warnings at the beginning of the post, you can have an idea of the things shared on the book. You can also check out the tumblr, which is where the book comes from. Please, if you decide to read this book, remember to practice self-care. And if you need to take a break to read it later, go ahead and do so. This is a good book, but I'm aware is not for everyone... The important thing is I'm glad I read it, even though it was emotionally draining.

If this book sound like something you would enjoy, be sure to add it to you TBR.
Remember: whatever you are going through, you don't have to go through it alone. The Lifeline is here for you 24/7, at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
            

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Way the Light Bends by Cordelia Jensen {review}

Hi everyone! Today I'm reviewing one of the books I read during/after Hurricane Maria. Yeah, I read this book when I was going through a difficult time... so get ready! This review will be super personal. Also, I haven't discuss the adoption subject on the blog and I will finally do it with this book.
Book title: The Way the Light Bends
Publication date: March 27, 2018
Author: Cordelia Jensen
Genres: Young Adult, Poetry, Contemporary, Family
Publisher: Philomel Books
Pages: 400
How I got the book: Sent for Review; I received an eARC copy from the author through NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.
Review

If you read my short review on goodreads, you already know that I hold this book close to my heart. And no, is not only because I read it during the hurricane; as I mentioned before, it involves the subject of adoption which is very important to me. This wonderful story about two sisters, Linc and Holly, is told in verse and it involves family relationships, race, love and more.

I don't know how many people agree with me but, Linc is so relatable; and that's one of the reasons why she's my favorite. I can see and feel her struggle in the middle of her family. She is constantly wondering if she is enough for her parents; especially her mom, because she thinks her mom prefers Holly. And how many children doesn't go through this? Also, I was so mad with the teachers comparing their work. It brought me back so many memories. I have two sisters, I'm the middle child. We basically shared the same teachers, so it was a difficult situation being compared to my oldest sister all the time. I hope my little sister isn't going through this.

I enjoyed how Cordelia exposes Linc's vulnerability. She was always feeling less than her sister, and I was like her when I was growing up. But as I'm always saying... self love is not easy and that's okay. This, and many other things, made me feel so connected to Linc; and this is very important, to feel represented-- I can't say this with many books!

So yeah, as you can see, I loved the story! Oh, and I got teary with everything related to the adoption. Why? Well... not many people know this, but we've always wanted to adopt a child. On September 23 2017, we finally got a face to face appointment scheduled. And then? Hurricane Maria happened. And everything got cancelled and has been rescheduled so many times. It has been a rollercoaster ride, but is so worth it!

Last but not least, I want you all to know that Cordelia Jensen made me fall in love with verse novels. So if you haven't read one yet, why don't you start with The Way the Light Bends? Or maybe Skyscraping?

I will never forget the day I started reading this book because it was an awful and dark day, and this novel gave me light and hope and everything! If this book sounds like something you would enjoy, be sure to add it to your TBR.
Have you read this book? Let me know your thoughts.
            

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Blog Tour: The Key to Everything by Paula Stokes

Hi there! Today is day 3 for the Blog Tour of The Key to Everything by Paula Stokes. So today Paula will tell you all about Phuket (there's an excerpt and a giveaway!), but first, let's check out the book. And don't forget to check out my review!
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Synopsis:
College senior Oakland Fuller has always believed in signs and soulmates, so when both a therapist and a fortuneteller say that her repeated relationship failures are due to unresolved feelings for her high school boyfriend, Seth, Oakland tries desperately to get back in touch with him. Problem: Seth isn’t responding to her online messages.

To rescue Oakland from a pathetic Christmas break of sitting in front of the computer, her best friend Morgan books the two of them on a guided excursion of Thailand. When the girls meet a pair of American soldiers in Bangkok, Oakland takes Morgan’s advice and engages in a little harmless holiday hooking up. Sergeant Tyson Banks is the perfect mix of sexy and fun. Two weeks with him might just turn out to be the best relationship Oakland has ever had.

Until the day she spots someone familiar across a crowded temple complex—it’s Seth! Somehow the boy she’s been trying to reconnect with is in Bangkok too. If that’s not a sign, then what is?

Filed with friendship, romance, and gorgeous faraway settings, The Key to Everything is a book for anyone who's ever dreamed of finding love when (or where) they least expected it.

Here are some links you may be interested in:
Add it on goodreadsBuy the book
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And now, here's a message from Paula Stokes:

After Bangkok, Oakland and her friends travel by bus to Phuket, with a couple of mini-adventures along the way. Phuket (pronounced poo-ket) is a mountainous rainforest island off the West Coast of Thailand with over thirty beaches. The area was devastated during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami but has since completely rebuilt.

Here’s a mood board for Phuket, with lots of pretty beach scenes, a street food cart, and some muay thai or Thai boxing!
Here’s a short excerpt from the beach:

For the rest of the afternoon, I manage to put Seth out of my mind, sort of. I still check my phone about every ten minutes, but eventually Tyson convinces me to go in the water with him. I’m not usually one for getting wet at the beach, but the water looks so perfectly clear here and I could stand to cool off. I leave my phone on the beach in Morgan’s custody.
         “I’ll scream ‘shark’ if anything pops up okay?” she says. “That’ll get your attention.”
         Tyson tugs off his T-shirt and jogs out toward the water’s edge. I take a moment to make sure my bikini straps are tight and follow him out into the waves. We’re only knee deep when he points at a buoy bobbing in the waves about fifty meters offshore. “Race you out there.”
         “Um…is now a bad time to tell you I don’t know how to swim?”
         He looks back over his shoulder. “Seriously? A California girl who can’t swim?”
         “I’m a California girl by way of the Midwest. I can’t put my head underwater without starting to panic.”
         “You don’t have to put your head underwater to learn to swim,” Tyson says. “Want me to teach you?”
         “What? Like right now?” The water is almost up to my waist. The current is gentle but some of the waves are breaking right in this area. I inch my way a little farther out, to the point where my feet are still on the bottom but my head and shoulders are well above the surface.
         “No time like the present. You should at least know how to stay afloat. What if your plane had crashed?”
         “Who thinks like that?” I say. And then I remember how Tyson’s mom died. I remember he spends his days dealing with stuff that might blow up in his face. Of course he thinks like that. “Sorry,” I continue quickly. “That was a stupid thing to say. You’re right. I should know how to swim. But you don’t have to spend your vacation teaching me.”
         “We’ll just start with lesson one,” he says. “Treading water.”
         “Okay. If you want.”
         “Let’s do this.” Tyson slides his hands under my armpits and guides me a little farther from the shore.
         The sand beneath my feet falls away suddenly. My blood accelerates in my veins and my mouth goes dry. “I’m scared.”
         He smiles. The whole smile, with the eyes and dimples. “I got you. I promise. I’m not going to let anything bad happen.”

Aww, isn’t Tyson sweet? [SPOILER: He is very sweet ;D] To find out exactly how sweet he is, score yourself a Kindle version of THE KEY TO EVERYTHING for the introductory price of $2.99.

Fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter to win your choice of a wooden spirit house or an elephant print tote bag (or choice of bag up to $16.99 price from veradashop), both handmade in Thailand.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
What’s your favorite beach? Do prefer them quiet and secluded or full of jet-skis and partiers? Tomorrow’s tour stop is up north is the rainforest region of Chiang Mai. Stop by Gabriella M Reads to meet an elephant!
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About Paula Stokes:
Paula Stokes is the author of several novels, most recently Vicarious, Ferocious, and This is How it Happened. Her writing has been translated into eleven foreign languages. Paula loves kayaking, hiking, reading, and seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. She also loves interacting with readers. Find her online at authorpaulastokes.com or on Twitter and Instagram as @pstokesbooks.
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