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JM Cabral

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  • helpful votes
  • 2
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  • Stripped

  • Happy Endings, Book 1
  • By: Zoey Castile
  • Narrated by: Carmen Vine, Jacob Morgan
  • Length: 8 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 37
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 33

The day Robyn Flores meets Zac Fallon is one of those days. You know, when you’re already late for work. Mostly because you haven’t really slept since your best friend abandoned you for her fiancé and her exponentially better life. The kind of day you drag yourself to the cleaners to pick up your laundry, only to discover you’ve got the wrong bag - Star Spangled sequined thong, anyone? So Robyn is definitely not ready for the ridiculously gorgeous guy at her front door, except that they have each other’s clothes. But then, is any woman ever ready to meet the love of her life? 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • With Stripped, I was promised a hot, and sexy and an ultimately unforgettable story. AND THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT I GOT.

  • By JM Cabral on 10-23-18

With Stripped, I was promised a hot, and sexy and an ultimately unforgettable story. AND THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT I GOT.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-23-18

I’m so, so glad I used an Audible credit for this book. It’s so, so worth it! The plot is gripping right from tbe start, and each scene and each chapter were all well thought of, and the storytelling of both narrators were so on point, giving it’s listeners an impressionable reading (or listening) experience. I can’t wait for the next book in the series, HIRED!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • What If It's Us

  • By: Becky Albertalli, Adam Silvera
  • Narrated by: Noah Galvin, Froy Gutierrez
  • Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,187
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,124
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,124

ARTHUR is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it. BEN thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things. But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them? Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated. Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I expected more

  • By Jasmine Torres on 10-16-18

“What If It’s Us, is THE YA rom-com that every contemporary fan needs.”

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-15-18

I’ve been a fan of both Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera for as long as I can remember. I’ve read both Simon VS. The Homo Sapiens AgendaSimon VS. The Homo Sapiens Agenda and More Happy Than Not at the time they came out, and these authors instantly became some of my favorites after that. Their writing styles are unique and they have a talent for telling such immersive and engaging stories, ones that readers will no doubt save spaces for on their shelves and in their hearts. And so ever since it was announced, I’ve obsessed tons of times over their collab novel, What If It’s Us. It is the queer, teen rom-com I never knew I needed! And I’m once again lucky enough to be partnering with the lovely people from HarperCollins International to help promote and create buzz for this one of a kind gem through this International Blog Tour. So read on to know what I thought of this beautifully written book.

For those who don’t know what this book is all about, first, YOU ARE IN FOR A TREAT! And secondly, What If It’s Us is the story of two boys who serendipitously meet in a New York post office during summer, and are then separated by a flash mob, only to be reunited by the universe. It’s a YA romantic contemporary that puts a spotlight on a queer, modern-day love story that is brought about by fate, all while highlighting great family and friendship dynamics.

The plot of this book was enough to hook me up. Nevermind that this was written by my all-time favorite authors. Just the idea alone of two gay boys, having a meet cute in a NYC post office. I mean… IS IT JUST ME WHO GET CHILLS? But anyway, like I said, the plot was so good, in my opinion, that from start to finish, I found myself feeling all the positive emotions that came with this book. And that, paired with Adam and Becky’s signature writing styles, made this an absolutely unforgettable read. It was undoubtedly fast-paced, and everyone would know, just by reading the book, that every scene was written with love and respect for the genre and it’s audience.

The romance was also spot on! From the time that they met down to their final moments, Arthur and Ben’s love story took my breath away. As a couple, they were equal parts awkward, cheesy, and ultimately hopeful, and the way that they welcomed the love they were given by the universe made them all the more perfect in my eyes. Every single scene that they were together, whether they be making out, or fighting over why Ben is running late, or arguing over the best Hamilton / Dear Evan Hansen song, was an instant favorite for me. They are the very reason why I am obsessed with this book. They were, in their own way, flawed and unique, and that’s what made them interesting to me. I love how even if they are purely a work of fiction, they absolutely felt real and relatable. Gaaaah, I love these characters so, so much!! (I obviously have unaddressed feelings…)

I also loved the Seuss and Alejo families, as well as both Ben and Arthur’s separate circle of friends. Mara and Michael Seuss (Arthur’s parents) ultimately felt real to me because from the moment I met them, they’ve almost always had arguments. Much like in real life, their relationship depicted the slightly negative aspect of a marriage—the fights and disagreements. I loved seeing this, not because I loved the effect it had on Arthur—he was always so bummed about it, assuming that his parents were getting a divorce—but because this was a small glimpse of reality. No great relationship, whether it be a romantic one or not, is perfect. There will always be bumpy roads ahead, and so this portrayal, to me, was accurate and I appreciated that. As for Isabel and Diego Alejo (Ben’s parents), I loved how they were so involved with their son’s life, and to see such a healthy relationship between a son, a mom, and a dad, meant a great deal to me because I’d like to think that I somehow related to this. And to see a specific scene in the book where they prayed before a meal, that might mean nothing to some but, again, it meant a huge f*cking deal to me. I absolutely loved seeing that.

And the same goes for Arthur and Ben’s friendship with Hudson, Harriett, Dylan, Ethan, and Jessie. Their friendship, at times, were problematic and too high maintenance for me, but like I said, that’s a legit thing that other people experience. We have those friends who we absolutely love but in order for us to keep them around, we need to establish and maintain a good relationship with them. In the end, though, I really admired the friendship—the brotherhood, really—between Ben and Dylan. These two boys always had each other’s backs and to have that kind of relationship is considered an honor. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a friend who is caring, and kind, and reliable and is 100% rooting for you all the time and so to see that portrayed in this story made me all the more obsessed with it.

Other noteworthy aspects of the book are:

- The endless references for the people who Adam and Becky knew personally were funny as hell. Like the Bray-Eliopulos Files (based on Becky and Adam’s editors respectively), Café Arvin (based on Arvin Ahmadi), Angie Whaley (based on Angie Thomas), Brooks Teague (based on their agent, Brooks Sherman), Dylan (based on David Arnold), and Jessie (based on Jasmine Warga)*.

- The way that New York City was mapped out got me fascinated! I loved getting these small glimpses of what the city looked like, and I can’t wait to visit and check the places out for myself.

- I absolutely adored Arthur and Ben’s character and relationship development. They started out being this cute but awkward couple and to see them grow individually and as a couple brought me to actual tears.

*Disclaimer: Some of the people I’ve listed MAY or MAY NOT be a nod to the actual person indicated. These were just my assumptions. *laughs*

“What If It’s Us, is THE YA rom-com that every contemporary fan needs. It tells a unique and beautifully written story about two people who come from different walks of life only to find out that they have a lot more in common than they realize. It features the importance of believing in fate and destiny and that sometimes, the universe roots for you even if it doesn’t seem like it. It tells us that love is definitely the strongest force out there and what’s meant to be will always find a way. It’s a book whose characters will stay with you long after you turn the last page and it is no doubt one of my all-time favorite books EVER.”