I just entered The Big Blog Exchange!!! The Big Blog Exchange is an awesome program where you can swap not only blogs with another blogger, but also countries! It’s such a fantastic opportunity and I couldn’t pass it up because it is seriously a dream to be able to experience something like this.


Why am I telling you all about this?

I can’t achieve this goal alone! This is where you, my lovelies, come in. Please support your fellow bookworm and help me make this dream come true! All you simply need to do is vote for me by entering your email and confirming the vote email confirmation! You can do it once everyday until September 3rd, if you really want to help me win! (I LOVE YOU IF YOU DO)

stay bookish

My Motivation a.k.a why I want to win The Big Blog Exchange:

For me, all readers are travellers. As a reader myself, I’ve somehow traveled through time, traveled through different worlds, countries and places. I’ve learned to see the beauty of culture, of meeting people from various walks of life. My blog, Stay Bookish, is about my many excursions through reading and how they’ve changed my life. I’ve journeyed, wandered, and lived a lot through books but I’m very much ready to experience for myself what fiction has taught and showed me. Given the chance, The Big Blog Exchange will be the key to my dream of trotting the globe and finally searching for my own story to tell.

Pretty please, if you have some time, I hope you can help me win this. Think about all the fabulous posts I can share with you guys if I get to experience The Big Blog Exchange. And what if the blogger I get to swap with is from your country? I’ll get to meet some of you- how great would that be? Okay, I’m totally crossing all my fingers and toes for this.

Remember how I told you guys about seeking a Great Perhaps? That’s exactly what I’m doing now. For once in my life, I’m not going to think possible failures, but instead, I’ll think of all the amazing promises that the future might bring- and so I’m taking all my chances on this dream. :)

PS: You can help me spread the word by sharing this blog post or the link to vote! <3

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Title: Just Like the Movies
Author: Kelly Fiore
Publication: July 22nd 2014 by Walker Books for Young Readers
Format: eARC, 292 pages
Source: from Netgalley (Thanks, Bloomsbury!)
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Goodreads / The Book Depository / Amazon


Pretty and popular track star Marijke Monti is confident about almost everything – she’s got great friends, a great family, and she’s on her way to the State Track Championship. In fact, the only thing Marijke isn’t confident about is her relationship with Tommy Lawson.

Lily Spencer has spent her entire high school career preparing for the future – she’s participated in every extracurricular activity and volunteer committee she could. But, at home, she watches her mother go on date after date with dud-dudes, still searching for “the one.” Lily realizes that she’s about to graduate and still hasn’t even had a boyfriend.

While they live on each other’s periphery at school, Lily and Marijke never seemed to have much in common; but, after a coincidental meeting at the movie theater, Lily gets an idea – why can’t life be like a movie? Why can’t they set up their perfect romantic situations, just in time for their senior prom, using movie techniques? Once the girls come up with the perfect plans, they commit themselves to being secret cohorts and, just like in the movies, drama ensues.


Books like Just Like The Movies are meant for me to read, I swear. As expected, I had so much fun reading this book. From the plot summary alone, I kind of knew that already and I’m so glad that the story delivered exactly what I was hoping for. About two girls who decide to make their lives as cinematic and romantic as the movies, Just Like The Movies was an enjoyable contemporary YA story from start to finish!

‘Have you ever wished you could fall in love like they do on screen?’

While the story plays an important role for a book to catch my attention and make me want to turn pages, it is the characters that can really anchor me and truly captivate me. Nothing beats solid protagonists that are realistic and dynamic. Just Like The Movies offered just that. We get a duo of awesome female MCs: Lily and Marijke. The two each get their own POVs in the book and I liked even more that their voices, not to mention their personalities, were very distinct.

‘Falling in love means two, not one. You can’t get someone to love you through sheer effort or desire.’

Marijke has everything a girl could want: she’s popular, good-looking, the star of her track team, has parents who support her at every meet and the hottest guy in school is her boyfriend. Despite her perfect image, Marijke fears that she loves her boyfriend, Tommy, more than he loves her. Pressured by her parents’ own perfect romance and by the challenge it takes to keep Tommy, she tries to rekindle the fire in their relationship by huge gestures of love inspired by the movies, an idea of Lily’s.

‘It’s kind of weird to be a big part of things but not a part of things at all. At least not enough to be recognized. Most of the time, I just try to convince myself that I don’t care.’

Lily is pretty much my favorite character in this book. She’s sarcastic and snarky but is quite the hopeless romantic, deep inside. She’s crushed on Joe Lombardi forever, but he’s never noticed her. For most of high school, Lily has stayed invisible to everyone. She’s the girl whose name most people don’t know, the girl without a clique she belongs to. I understood her character a lot because of this as she reminded me of myself. However, when she meets Marijke at a movie theater by chance, things start to look up as they uphold their promise to help each other make their lives like the movies.

‘The last aspect of the perfect movie romance: chemistry. It’s the one thing that movies capture that real life has in common. It’s the one thing you can’t fake, because it’s as certain as science.’

Marijke helps Lily to get noticed by Joe and Lily helps Marijke with her plans to romance Tommy. No matter how cheesy (and a little bit cliché) the romantic plot was, I still liked it a lot. As for the love interest, Joe was my favorite. I pretty much crushed on him the way Lily did too. Sa-woon. Tommy, however, failed to charm me until the last part. His and Marijke’s relationship were a little bit frustrating but I wouldn’t change a thing since their problems as a couple helped me understand Marijke, who I couldn’t really connect to at first. Anyway, the romance, especially Joe and Lily’s, was so delightful.

‘They say you can fall in love at first sight. What about falling into friendship? Can you become BFFs over the course of a few short weeks?’

Having said that, what I really liked about the Just Like The Movies, aside from the characters, was the fact that the friendship Lily and Marijke form was given much importance. It was lovely watching their friendship grow, with Marijke being comfortable confiding in Lily and Lily learning to just be herself (her smartass, funny self) around Marijke. I just love books with positive female friendships and I was fond of seeing it in this book.

‘Life isn’t predictable like a movie. There isn’t a formula to follow.’

If this book were a movie, it would totally be my favorite kind. Quick to devour, absolutely sweet and a completely fun read, I definitely recommend Just Like The Movies for fans of rom-coms!



why read

About a month ago, I received a letter from my fave local seller of pre-loved books online, Bookbed. I actually shared a post last year from the foundress of Bookbed, KB, who had the initiative to start a fundraiser for typhoon victims by selling books for charity. And this is exactly one of the reasons why I adore Bookbed- it was run by a true blue bookworm who cares not only for her fellow readers, but the rest of her nation. In the letter she wrote me and a few others last June, she talked about how she wanted Bookbed to be more than what it was. She wanted to build a community. And she was inviting us to join her and help her work towards this vision.

My answer? Hell yes.

Earlier this month, on its 4th birthday, Bookbed was relaunched at! I am proud to say that I am part of this rising community. And I hope you’ll join us too! (You can sign up here.)

One of our first initiatives as the new Bookbed was the to start our #readingnation campaign. If you’re a reader, blogger or author, you know very well that Filipinos are a huge part of the bookish community. We fangirl hard and we love books with a fierce passion. And we want our nation to feel that, to want to be a part of that. That’s what our campaign is all about. So to start, we asked around: #whyread?

why read

I read to seek a great perhaps. Why am I echoing a French poet’s last words, you ask? I came across the line while reading Looking For Alaska (as I know most of you probably have), and at the time, it made me stop and just think for awhile.

Let me get personal with you. I used to feel really restless and stuck. I was (and still am, really) a shy, awkward girl. But then, I had about a tiny speck of exciting life experiences. (I knew I was still young but I felt like I wasn’t making the most of my youth, you know?) Life was dull. When I read that line in Looking For Alaska, I remember asking myself- ‘Do I seek for a Great Perhaps?’ I knew in me that I did. And I still do. I first found my Great Perhaps in books. Through fictional characters and imaginary worlds. Through reality written in words. Reading books has inspired me to work on also seeking that Great Perhaps in my own life. I’m putting my trust in that person who said ‘What you seek, you shall find.’ And so, I will read until then and even after.

How about you? #whyread? What are your thoughts, suggestions, and comments on Bookbed’s #readingnation campaign?

Visit Bookbed at our website and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.

To join the #readingnation campaign, just answer the question “Why read?” and put it on a sign. Then, take a photo with it and upload online with the #whyread #readingnation and #bookbed.

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