Blog Tour + Book Review & Giveaway | The Boyfriend Bracket by Kate Evangelista

The Boyfriend Bracket by Kate EvangelistaThe Boyfriend Bracket by Kate Evangelista
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: June 19, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pre-order Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Indiebound

Synopsis:
The only way to get over a hopeless crush is to find someone new…Enter: The Boyfriend Bracket!

Putting a new spin on a classic trope, Kate Evangelista explores family bonds, changing relationships, and senior year as our heroine tries to get over her brother’s best friend.

Stella has had a hopeless crush on Will, her older brother’s best friend FOREVER, but now that Cam and Will have graduated and are going off to college, this year is her chance to really strike out on her own. Without her overprotective brother and his sidekick around to distract her, she can focus on having all the typical high school experiences that she’s always dreamed of―starting with finding a boyfriend! With the help of her best friend, Franklin, she comes up with the perfect plan to have a boyfriend by Christmas: The Boyfriend Bracket.

Or it seems like the perfect plan . . . right up until Will starts showing up again. How is she supposed to find the perfect boyfriend when none of her dates measure up to the one boy she can never have?

My rating:
3 and a half star
I am a super fan of brother’s best friend trope and probably my favorite trope in YA. You know, when the younger sister has a crush on her brother’s best friend but the brother has a number one rule that she is off-limits to his friends so, the hero fights his feelings out of respect for his best friend. The rest is history and the ending has always been the same.

Okay! that sounds like a negative way to start this review but I promise I didn’t meant it to be that way.

I found the relationship between Cam and Stella very usual but sweet. They may not see eye-to-eye most of the time but I felt how much they care for each other. I completely understand why Cam thought that there’s a need for him to protect his sister from every other guys but being the oldest and only remaining man in the family, Cam felt a deeper sense of responsibility to take care not just his sister but also his mother.

Considering that, familial bond became one of the strong points of the story. Coming from a typical Filipino family who always find time for special occasions to gather and celebrate, Stella made sure that she visits Will’s Nana every Friday; Sundays are always for her family.

The friendship between both Stella/Franklin and Cam/Will was one of my most favorite highlight in the story. Stella and Franklin has been best friends since grade school. Ever since they met in sewing class and shared the same dreams, they have become inseparable. Their relationship was funny, ideal and like any other friendship, imperfect. They might argue or not talk to each other but at the end of the day, they are always going to be best friends.

And let me just tell how you will going to love to have a Korean best friend like Franklin. He’s vivacious, loyal and the most sensible character you will ever going to read in the story. Because there’s a lot of reference about fashion and Project Runway, I’m sure you’ll all the more love the relationship between him and Stella.

That same goes with Cam and Will. I totally get why Cam thought Will betrayed him. He treated him like his own brother. However, Will broke not only their bro code but also the trust and promise that there’s nothing romantically going to happen between him and Stella. After all, how awkward would it be for Cam to have his best friend and sister together right? But news flash, it’s real and anyone who experienced the same setup could attest to that.

Though I initially felt that the Boyfriend Bracket has something to do for Stella to get Will’s attention, I wish there’s more actual scenes and conversations with the guys (yes! I knew the names but only because, Stella and Franklin mentioned them) who were in the bracket that could reveal her dating experience or how it turned out, no one from any of them has worked out for her.

Instead, the Boyfriend Bracket became just an ordinary backdrop to the story, which ended up completely forgotten. After all, the title of the book and what went with it—8 boys. 16 dates. 1 perfect boyfriend—was what I expected. There’s also an undercurrent about the issue of bullying done by jealous, annoying mean girls that was merely discussed in the story.

Nonetheless, even how predictable it was, I actually had so much fun and “kilig” reading this besides the romance between Stella and Will or how they support and encourage each other’s dreams—Stella, being a fashion designer and Will being a comic book writer.

The Boyfriend Bracket is a breezy, entertaining read that certainly live up to the hype of a classic romance trope. It is also a story about family, first love and friendship.

Thank you to NetGalley, MacMillian Children’s Publishing Group – Swoon Reads, Xpresso Book Tours and Kate Evangelista for providing me an eARC in exchange for a fair and honest review!

About The Author:
Kate EvangelistaWhen Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn’t going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back.

Today, she is a graduate of De La Salle University – Manila with an Bachelor of Arts in Literature. She taught high school English for three years and was an essay consultant for two. Currently she writes full time and is based in the Philippines.

Follow Kate Evangelista:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | InstagramRafflecopter GiveawayThe Boyfriend Bracket Tour Banner

Want to know who joined the blog tour? Don’t forget to visit these amazing book bloggers to learn more about The Boyfriend Bracket by Kate Evangelista.

July 2
Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books!  >> Review
The Candid Cover  >> Guest post
Whatever You Can Still Betray  >> Interview
Smada’s Book Smack  >> Review
— Tale Out Loud  (That’s me!)
July 3
Rainy Days and Pajamas  >> Excerpt
June Reads Books  >> Review
RiverMoose-Reads  >> Interview
Pages and Pugs  >> Review
July 4
A Book Addict’s Bookshelves  >> Excerpt
Underneath the Covers  >> Interview
The Book Slayer  >> Review
Firstbooklove  >> Review
July 5
The Nocturnal Fey  >> Review
Character Madness and Musings  >> Guest post
Lisa Loves Literature  >> Review
Book Dragon Lair  >> Review
July 6
Abooktropolis >> Review
Sincerely Karen Jo  >> Review
What’s Better Than Books?  >> Review
The Hopeless Romantic Bookworm >> Review
Supercalireader  >> Review
Elley the Book Otter  >> Excerpt

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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: 18 Filipino Authors You Should Know About

Asian Pacific American Heritage MonthBefore this month come to an end, I would like to share internationally published Filipino authors in line with the celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month who deserve all the attention and praise like most mainstream celebrities get.

I didn’t know about APAHM before but thanks to Kate of The Backward Bookshelf who shared her favorite Asian authors for this month’s event. So do check and read her post.Rin ChupecoRin Chupeco is a Filipino YA author published by SourceBooks Fire. She’s the author of The Girl from the Well and The Suffering. She worked as a technical writer and travel blogger before becoming a full-time author.

The finale to her Bone Witch TrilogyThe Shadow Glass, is forthcoming March 2019.The Bone Witch Trilogy by Rin ChupecoLygia Day PeñaflorLygia Day Peñaflor is a private academic teacher for young Hollywood stars. Her students have included cast members of Gossip Girl, Law & Order SVU, Boardwalk Empire, as well as I Am Legend.

She is the author of Unscripted Joss Byrd which has been awarded A Junior Library Guild Selection” for fall 2016. Her latest novel, All of This is True, was published recently by HarperTeen US and  Bloomsbury UK.Unscripted Joss Byrd, All of This is True

Erin Entrada KellyErin Entrada Kelly received the 2018 Newbery Medal for Hello, Universe, the 2017 APALA Award for The Land of Forgotten Girls, and the 2016 Golden Kite Honor Award for Blackbird Fly.

She is a professor of children’s literature in the graduate fiction and publishing programs at Rosemont College, where she earned her MFA. Erin is also a short story writer and her short fiction has been nominated for the Philippines Free Press Literary Award for Short Fiction and the Pushcart Prize. You Go First is her latest book published by Greenwillow Books.Erin Entrada Kelly BooksMarie Cruz
Everlastong NoraMarie Miranda Cruz is a writer of middle-grade and young adult novels, a clinical laboratory specialist, a proud mother of two grown up kids and the wife of a Jedi Knight.

Her debut middle-grade novel, Everlasting Nora, is about a twelve-year-old girl who became homeless after a fire destroyed her home and killed her father. Nora and her mother are forced to live in the Manila North Cemetery where the poor sleep among the dead. All Nora wants is to live in a real home but when her mother goes missing, she discovers there’s more to the meaning of home than she’s ever understood before. Coming soon from TOR Starscape.

Melissa de la CruzMelissa de la Cruz is the #1 New York Times, #1 Publisher’s Weekly and #1 IndieBound bestselling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for readers of all ages. Her more than thirty books have also topped the USA TodayWall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times bestseller lists and have been published in over twenty countries.

The Isle of the Lost, the prequel to the Disney Channel Original Movie The Descendants, followed by Rise of the Isle of the Lost and Return to the Isle of the Lost are just some of her novels in series.The Isle of the Lost TrilogyRhoda BellezaRhoda Belleza was raised in Los Angeles, where she grew up writing X-Files fanfiction and stuffing her face with avocados. When she’s not writing, Rhoda obsesses over nail art tutorials and watches kung fu movies.

She’s the author of Empress of a Thousand Skies and Blood of a Thousand Stars.Empress of a Thousand Skies, Blood of a Thousand StarsMaura MilanIgnite-the-StarsDebut author of Ignite the Stars, Maura Milan introduces our world to a thrilling new heroine—an exhilarating edge-of-your-seat sci-fi adventure perfect for fans of The Lunar Chronicles. She is a short, Filipino girl from Chicago, Illinois. Now, she resides in Los Angeles, where she can be found in cafes all throughout Koreatown, drinking green tea lattes. She has also placed a number of short films in festivals all over the United States and her most notable short film, “Crocodile” is based on her days running around the Australian outback during her summer vacations visiting the Aussie side of her family. Kate EvangelistaKate Evangelista is the author of the Dodge Cove TrilogyNo Love AllowedNo Second Chances and No Holding Back.

She is a graduate of De La Salle University – Manila with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature. She taught high school English for three years and was an essay consultant for two. Currently, she writes full-time and is based in the Philippines. Her new book, The Boyfriend Bracket, will be released on the 19th of June 2018.Dodge Cove TrilogyChristine BraeChristine Brae was born and raised in the city of Makati, Philippines before she met and married her best friend who whisked her away to Chicago over twenty years ago. Since then, Christine has established herself as a full time career woman, holding a senior executive position in one of the largest global advertising agencies in the world.

She is the author of four novels including InsipidThe Light in the WoundHis Wounded Light and In This LifeEight Goodbyes, a new novel published by Vesuvian Books is forthcoming August 2018.Christine Brae BooksJuleah del Rosario500 Words or LessJuleah del Rosario is a librarian at a university thus fulfilling her love of books and leafy green campuses simultaneously. Author in the in between hours. Born & raised in the Seattle area. Now calls Colorado home.

Her debut YA novel-in-verse, 500 Words or Less, follows a high school senior who attempts to salvage her reputation by writing her Ivy League-obsessed classmates’ college admission essays, while she struggles with a moral compass that no longer points north, published by Simon Pulse Fall 2018.Mae RespicioThe House That Lou BuiltMae Respicio grew up in Northern California and like the main character in her debut middle grade novel, The House That Lou Built, spent many childhood summers dancing in a Filipino folk dance troupe. Mae is a past recipient of a PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellowship. She’s been a writer-in-residence at Hedgebrook and Atlantic Center for the Arts and has published a variety of musings on parenthood.

Publication for Beach Season, her new middle grade novel is slated for 2020 by Random House/Lamb.Samantha SottoSamantha Sotto fell in love with Europe’s cobbled streets and damp castles when she moved to the Netherlands as a teenager. Since then, she has spent nights huddled next to her backpack on a Greek beach, honeymooned in Paris, and attended business meetings in Dusseldorf in the pleasant company of a corporate credit card.

Before Ever After, her first novel, was inspired by her experiences living, studying, and traveling through Europe. She is also the author of Love and Gravity, perfect for the fans of One Day and The Time Traveler’s Wife.Before Ever After, Love and GravityRandy RibayRandy Ribay is the author of the contemporary YA novels After the Shot Drops (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018) and An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes (Merit Press/Simon & Schuster, 2015).

He was born in the Philippines but grew up in Michigan and Colorado. He’s also a high school English teacher, reader, gamer, watcher of great TV, husband, and father of two dog-children. Randy Ribay BooksSophia N. LeePrintSophia N. Lee lives in Manila, Philippines. She wanted to be many things growing up: doctor, teacher, ballerina, ninja, crime-fighting international spy, wizard, time traveler, journalist, and lawyer. She likes to think she can be all these things through writing. She loves words and the meanings behind them. Her favorite word is ‘chance‘.

What Things Mean is her first book published by Scholastic Asia.Gail D. VillanuevaGail D. Villanueva is a Filipina kidlit author based in the Philippines. She’s also a web designer/developer, an entrepreneur, and a self-professed dog and duck whisperer.

Her debut middle grade novel, My Fate According to the Butterfly , will be published in 2019 by Scholastic. It is about a superstitious soon-to-be 11-year-old Sab who believes her fate is sealed when she spots an ominous black butterfly. Determined to reconcile her journalist older sister and their father before her time is up, Sab embarks on a quest that sends her on a collision course with the realities of Manila and the war on drugs.Roselle LimRoselle Lim was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Canada as a child. She lived in north Scarborough in a diverse, Asian neighbourhood.

She found her love of writing by listening to her lola (paternal grandmother’s) stories about Filipino folktales. Growing up in a household where Chinese superstition mingled with Filipino Catholicism, she devoured books about mythology, which shaped the fantasies in her novels.

Her debut, Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune, forthcoming Summer 2019, is a heartwarming novel of magical realism in which an aspiring chef returns home to San Francisco following her estranged mother’s death and must master a series of enchanted recipes in order to revive her family’s old Chinatown restaurant.

Tanya GuererroTanya Guerrero was a Martial Law baby, born on September 18, 1975 during the height of the Marcos regime in the Philippines. Her young childhood in Manila was colorful and chaotic—days and nights were spent climbing trees, riding horses, dancing ballet and mingling with the glitterati at all-night costume parties.

Now that she’s a children’s book author, her goal is to create stories and characters that reflect my own experiences, as well as the experiences of children who were like her—biracial, Filipino or Spanish. The Wild Side, which is her debut middle-grade book will be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers/Macmillan in Winter 2020.Janella AngelesJanella Angeles is a Filipino-American YA writer and avid book-hoarder who works in children’s publishing by day while penning novels by night. She graduated from Emerson College with a B.A. in Writing, Literature, and Publishing, but found the most valuable way of learning to write was in creating glorious Harry Potter fanfiction and reading obscene amounts of books.

Where Dreams Descend is the first book in the Kingdom of Cards Duology, pitched as The Phantom of the Opera meets Moulin Rouge. The story follows Hellfire House’s star showgirl who, haunted by a dark past, must enter a magician’s competition in order to secure her freedom from the handsome, enigmatic keeper of the club, even as mysterious accidents seem to plague her every move. The first book is slated for publication in 2020 by Wednesday Books.