Bookworm Judie · Citizen Judie

Review: CRUSHINGLY CLOSE

The blog tour for Stella Torres’ latest book makes a stop here in Citizen Judie!

Crushingly Close - CoverCrushingly Close
Release Date: July 19, 2016
Get the book: Amazon // Goodreads

I got an ARC from the author. This in no way affects my honest review of the book.

About the Book: At twenty-four years old, Agnes Escueta has risen from the ranks to become a producer for Sports Tonight. No one can touch her, it seems—not even crush-worthy anchorman Daniel Ferrer, who she gets to work with every single day. When a road trip to Indonesia throws Agnes and Daniel together, they find themselves working in close quarters. It doesn’t take long before Agnes finds herself being charmed by Daniel, and her defenses start to melt with his touch. With deadlines looming and a big game coming, Agnes must figure out how to let Daniel into her life without risking her professional reputation—and without breaking her own heart.

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When I read the synopsis of CRUSHINGLY CLOSE, I immediately thought, This is just what I need. It interested me because I’ve been missing The Newsroom lately (it has touches of Sports Night, too, right?) and my Timehop is rife with my Azkals adventures in recent years, so imagine how much I can relate to the story even before starting it.

What I liked about CRUSHINGLY CLOSE is that it’s very straightforward. Sometimes you really need not have too much issues and drama to weave a romantic story. The character-building may be short but the people turned out to be likable and more importantly, very relatable.

The attraction between Agnes and Daniel was simply laid out. No crazy long build up and back and forth, and when it happened, it was at the right moment. I liked the element of special things happening when you’re away from your comfort zone (or simply, home). It added to the satisfaction which turned to a momentary confusion when they got back and one of them thought, “What now?”

That, that chunk of time in the story was my favorite part. Things unfolding while away, where even the very few people who knew you there weren’t privy to it, that’s what got me. It may have happened too soon, but to me it was just the right time. The characters are human, and in giving in to emotions, in putting down the barrier, I saw that they’re perfectly normal (and again, human).

I liked how Agnes and Daniel were written. They’re both independent and vulnerable in their own ways and letting their guard down, especially for Agnes, wasn’t something done in an over the top way. Agnes knew what she’s in for and only needed a short time to sort things out and decide what she wanted in her life. In hindsight it did justice to her independent nature as a character. Daniel, on the other hand, was consistent. And we all like our men to be consistent, especially when it’s about going after you and staying true to their feelings for you. Naks.

When I liked a story, after finishing the last page, there’s a sappy me needing a sequel. As for Agnes and Daniel, I would love to read about their new adventures in the newsroom! More banter! More affection! More steamy editing room scenes! Maka-demand naman di ba? 🙂

This is my first book written by Stella Torres and I’m happy I signed up for this blog tour and got to read CRUSHINGLY CLOSE earlier. Off to read her other stories!

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SMT_AuthorPhoto2About the Author:

Stella Torres is the author of Save the Cake and the short story “Be Creative” from Kids These Days: Stories from Luna East Arts Academy (Vol. 1)). She has a bachelor’s degree in English literature and worked briefly in public relations, but has chosen to pursue her post-graduate studies in the field of education. She loves dark chocolate, hates flyaways, and is constantly in search of comfortable shoes.

Connect with the author:

Blog: http://thegreatbigjump.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/StellaTorresAuthor
Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheStellaTorres
Instagram: http://instagram.com/stella_meimei

 

Bookworm Judie

Book Review: IN OVER HER HEAD by Anne Plaza

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It’s a pleasure to be one of the stops of the blog tour of In Over Her Head by Anne Plaza! This blog tour is organized by Dia of Book Junkie Joint in order to showcase and promote books by independent Filipino authors. For a list of past, ongoing, and upcoming blog tours, visit the Book Junkie Blog Tours site!

Title: In Over Her Head
Author: Anne Plaza
Buy the book: AmazonSmashwordsPaperback Order Form

About the book:

All she wants is to get even…

Erika Apostol’s quiet and unassuming life gets disrupted when she learns that Richard Javier, the very same person who broke her heart many years ago, is now back in the country. Her world is turned upside down as old feelings she thought were buried resurface to haunt her once more.

Determined to give Richard a dose of his own medicine, Erika finds herself involved in an outrageous plan devised by her friends. They enlist the help of Jerome Gonzales, an attractive and charismatic DJ (with a playboy reputation), to pose as her significant other.

As the plan goes in full swing, Erika discovers Richard’s jealous side, and that there’s something more to Jerome than meets the eye. Will this grand charade work out the way it should, or will she be left with nothing in the end?

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My Thoughts:

I dig stories with unresolved emotional issues and struggle for closure! This is why I was excited to read this story and see how it would play out. It was pretty much satisfying even though there were some parts where I was thrown off a bit. The build-up of the Jerome/Erika charade was cutely done (for lack of a better, more apt term, and I mean it in a positive way) that I found myself rooting for them more. I almost forgot that there were more things to resolve. Erika was reckless and random at times and I found these instances believable and very human. Richard the character merits more fleshing out earlier than the last chapter of the book. There were parts which are too sappy to be true but then again, when it involves romantic feelings, you can never really tell.

What I enjoyed more while reading this was the friends and family of Erika. The journey stressed the relevance of a support group even though they themselves brought minor chaos along the way. At the end of the day, you really won’t make it alone, no matter how tough you think you are.

Overall, I am satisfied with the narration and how the story folded. It is a feel-good read especially when you are one of those people who silently struggle to appear okay when you are, in truth, not okay. Let me just share two passages I liked, and please remember I tend to gloss over little, might-seem-irrelevant-to-many things:

Now I know what my mother must have felt when I completely go against her expressed wishes telling me a bazillion times not to ‘do this’ or ‘do that’. It’s also the same feeling of buying boatloads of books and then regretting the splurge when I count the remaining bills in my wallet.

I know this feeling. It’s been right there all along, all these years.
[Kilig down the spine, a little bit.]

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About the author:

Anne Plaza has a degree in Psychology, but has actively pursued a career in writing in her previous work as a reporter and online editor. She currently works in the field of marketing communications and spends most of her time writing fiction (while not on the lookout for the nearest cupcake and cronut store). Aside from writing, she loves to read contemporary romance, young adult, fantasy, and historical fiction. She also collects stamps and postcards, and loves everything about cats. Anne is based in Quezon City, Philippines. In Over Her Head is her first published work in English.

You may get in touch with Anne through the following:

Blog – http://thoughtsbrewed.blogspot.com
Twitter – http://twitter.com/anneplaza
Facebook – http://facebook.com/anneplaza2013
Email – anneplaza@gmail.com

On Friday, stay tuned for excerpts from the book and a link to a giveaway! Happy holidays! 🙂