P.S. I Still Love You – Review


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Title: P.S. I Still Love You
Author: Jenny Han
Date of Publication: May 26, 2015
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Format: Hard Cover (Thanks Secret Sister)
Source: Amazon
My Rating: 3.5/5
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GoodReads Blurb: Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter. She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever. When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once? In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

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When I finished reading To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before for the first time this past January I was already eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. The story was interesting and the writing felt different than other YA romances that I’d read, including other books by Jenny Han. I really liked it and I always recommend it to people that I know like YA, romance, and good writing.

After so much waiting, I was excited when the release of P.S I Still Love You was pushed up from it’s initial June release to the last week in May. My amazing Secret Sister preordered it for me a few months ago and it came just two days after the book was released.

I had heard lots of bloggers and bookstagrammers saying that they didn’t like it as much as the first book, but that they wished that they had reread TATBILB before reading PSISLY, so my sister and I decided to read it together again before the release. I enjoyed reading it again and it was interesting to read it for a second time knowing what the ending would be.

When I started reading P.S. I Still Love You, I was very excited but I tried not to get my hopes up too high because of some of the negative things I had said about it. The great thing about this book is that since I reread TATBILB before reading it, it seemed like no time had passed between the end of the first book and the beginning of the second. The writing felt the same and the way characters spoke didn’t seem to change at all from book to book.

I love that Han developed the John Ambrose McClaren story line because, other than just hearing him described, I really did, like Lara Jean, want to see how he turned out. He was a great character and I think that he brought out the best in Han’s writing and character building.

Overall, I really did like this book and the way that it was written. Personally, I hoped that everything would have turned out differently in the end, but for the sake of those who haven’t read it yet, I’ll refrain from spoilers. I highly recommend this book and the one that came before it. It tells the cute and lovely story of a young girl in love and I truly enjoyed it.

XOXO,

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Alive – Review

 

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Title: Alive
Author: Scott Sigler
Date of Publication: July 14, 2015
Publisher: Del Rey Spectra
Format: e-ARC (Thanks Net Galley)
Source: Net Galley
My Rating: 4/5
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Alive is the story of girl who suddenly wakes up inside of a small coffin in an unfamiliar place. She doesn’t remember her own name or who she is; all she knows for certain is that it is the morning of her twelfth birthday. She realizes that she woke up because something punctured her neck and, with adrenaline pumping, uses all of her strength to break out of the confining box. When she finally busts out, she looks around to see other coffins surrounding her in a large stone room. She hears someone else struggling inside and quickly helps to break them out. Inside is another girl, also certain that she is twelve, but obviously much older. Together, the two girls break open the other boxes in the room and find six dead bodies and four others that are still alive, all appearing about nineteen or twenty years old, but sure that they’re twelve years old. Now, with strange markings on their heads and no idea who they are, save a first initial and last name imprinted on each coffin, the six of them must figure out who they are and who put them where they are now.

I requested this book from Net Galley because Scott Sigler has interviewed Pierce Brown and promoted Red Rising, so I wanted to read something by him as well. I was excited to read it because I have been reading a lot more sci-fi lately. This is the first, and so far only, book that I have been approved for on Net Galley, but I will definitely be requesting many more.

This is the first book that I have read by Scott Sigler and it is also his newest book. It will be released in the middle of next month. I read this book back in April and I decided that it should be my next review because I wanted to review a book that I really liked since it’s been a while since I last posted. I’ve been busy with school ending and summer starting so I will have time to write and post more.

Alive is the story of girl who finds out that her name is M. Savage after struggling to get out of a box that she has been trapped inside of. After meeting five others in the same position as herself, they must work together to get out of the seemingly endless building, of which they are prisoners.

I really enjoyed this book because of the mystery that it included. It was interesting to learn things about the characters as the characters learned them as well. There was a new discovery in every chapter and moral dilemmas around every corner. Em slowly learned things about herself and remembered things that had been said to her. Her memories were foggy but she slowly remembered different things about herself and her past.

I really enjoyed this book and the writing. The way that Sigler writes is very engaging and pulled me into the story and the plot. I am excited for this book to be released next month and I will definitely be buying a physical copy. Alive is the first book in the Generations Trilogy and I can’t wait to read the next two books.

XOXO,

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Fangirl – Review

 

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Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Date of Publication: September 10, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (Macmillan)
Format: Hardcover, 438 pages
Source: Purchased from Barnes & Noble
My Rating: 9/10

When Cath Avery leaves home to attend her first year of college, she is scared. Her best friend and twin sister, Wren, requested a different roommate, despite living with Cath for her whole life. Cath is left with her new roommate, Reagan, who is harsh, although well-meaning, and surrounded by boys. Cath is uncomfortable with her quickly changing life and she hides herself in her fan fiction. Cath is obsessed with a book series called Simon Snow. She and Wren are well-known on the FanFixx site as Magicath and Wrenegade, but with Wren caught up in her new partying lifestyle, Cath is alone as she writes her own ending to the Simon Snow story.

Even with an almost crippling social anxiety, Cath attends her classes and even makes a few friends. Nick Manter, a boy in her creative writing class; Levi, Reagan’s friend and ex-boyfriend who still hangs around their dorm room; and Reagan herself, who takes Cath under her wing when she finds out that Cath hasn’t even gotten up the courage to go to the cafeteria.

Fangirl is the story of a nerd in real life. Cath is the perfect portrayal of a person who uses her love of the fictional world to, maybe inadvertently, connect with the real world. With Cath’s fan fiction interspersed with her story, this is a story I could really connect to. Cath is a really relatable and real character.

Rainbow Rowell is a fantastic author. Although this is the first and only book I have read by her, I really enjoyed the way that she told this story. I felt involved in the story rather than floating above it. I felt as if Cath was confiding in me, instead of just narrating her own life.

Being a bit (ha!) of a nerd and a major introvert myself, I really connected with the character of Cath. She knows what she likes and refuses to change herself or her interests. She is just shy enough to not be over the top. She doesn’t show her feelings very easily which is why she becomes uncomfortable when she is ripped from the environment that she’s accustomed to.

I enjoyed this book because it is something that I understand and can empathize with. Since Im headed to college myself next year, it was even more relevant. I highly recommend this book and I would even read it again.

Thanks for reading and sorry that it’s been a while since I posted last, I’m hoping to post more often especially since school is ending soon!

Also, thanks to Beatrice from Beatrice Learns To Read for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award! I’m planning on doing my post for it soon.

XOXO,

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Top Ten Tuesday – Characters I Wish I Could Check In With

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Right now I am sitting at school wondering what book to review next. There are a few I could review, including Fangirl, We Were Liars, and a few others. But I’ve decided that I want to participate in Top Ten Tuesday this week because there are so many characters I wish I could check in on now that their written stories are finished. Although the authors’ stories for these characters are completed, they live on in our minds, on our Tumblrs, and on our blogs.

So here are the top characters (or groups of characters) that I wish I could check in with.

1. Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brönte

I must admit that Jane Eyre is my favorite literary heroine. She is strong and independent and smart. Even if she and Mr. Rochester hadn’t been reunited in the end, I’m sure she wouldn’t have crumpled because she couldn’t live without him. Jane Eyre ends with Jane and Mr. Rochester finally being reunited, but I wish I knew what happened after that. Did they finally get married? How is Adele? There are so many things I wish I knew!

2. Harry Potter from the Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling

I’m pretty sure that it would be impossible for me to not include this one. Harry Potter was part of my childhood and it is still a part of me today. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ends with the words ‘all was well,’ but was it? Did his scar ever hurt again? What was Albus Severus’s time like at Hogwarts? What happened to all of the Weasleys? I hope that everything went well for Harry and Ginny. Sorry, Harrmoine shippers!

3. Violet, Klaus, & Sunny Baudelaire from The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

I have read The Series of Unfortunate Events’s thirteen books four times in my life and the ending has always felt unfinished. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are still together, but they are floating away on the ocean, still unsure of exactly what VFD is and scared for their futures. Where do they end up? Will people continue to terrorize them wherever they go? Will they ever find VFD and safety? All these questions have haunted me for nearly ten years and I wish I could check in with the Baudelaires.

4. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy from Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

Lizzie comes in right after Jane Eyre in the ‘strong and smart literary heroine’ category. She is amazing and has the same disdain for the ostentatious as I do. And of course, the unsociable and handsome Mr. Darcy will always have a special place in my heart. Any book that continues the story of Lizzie, Darcy, Lydia, Wickham, and the others will always be on my TBR.

5. Hadassah and Marcus from The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers

Hadassah is an incredible character and I wish I could be just like her. She sacrifices for the ones she loves, serves willingly and happily, and loves God above all else. I love these characters and their love story is amazing. Although Hadassah and Marcus do end up together, I wish I knew what happened to them. Were they persecuted? Did they find safety with other Christians? I need to know!

6. Scout and Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Atticus is one of my favorite literary heroes and I wish I knew what happened to Atticus, and to Scout and Jem as they grew older. Did Atticus continue to to practice law? Did the town ever understand that they had convicted an innocent man? Hopefully I won’t have to wait too much longer to find out what happened because of Harper Lee’s new book, Go Set A Watchman.

7. Ramona from the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary

The Ramona books ended when Ramona was only in fifth grade, so there is so much more that could happen or that could have happened. Did Ramona and Beezus ever stop fighting? Did Ramona and Daisy stay friends? Did Ramona and Susan ever get along?

8. Nick Caraway from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Nick Carraway was definitively the best character in The Great Gatsby. He was Fitzgerald’s normative character and he was definitely the most levelheaded of the characters. Even if he encouraged Jay and Daisy by giving them a way of being together, Nick was still the only person who truly cared for Jay and *SPOILERS* was sad when he died. As we can see from the fact that Nick was the only person aside from Owl Eyes that went to Jay’s funeral, no one really knew or was concerned for Jay. They simply wanted to go to parties and enjoy themselves. Jay seemed to be living the American dream, but it was only a front. Did Nick stay in West Egg after Jay died? Did he continue to be a stock broker? Did he ever see Daisy and Tom again?

9. Cather and Levi from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

The only contemporary book on this list, Fangirl is a YA book that truly interested me. I read YA but I seldom like it as much as I liked this book. Cath is the perfect representation of the introverted nerd, which I can totally relate to (don’t judge). Levi is smart in his own way and loves Cath for the things that she loves. So my questions are: Did Cath keep writing fan fiction? Did Cath and Levi stay together through college? Did Cath ever come out of her shell more and make more friends?

10. Guy Montag and Clarisse McClellan from Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 is a book that I read this year and that I finished in less than a week. It was amazing and interesting. But the book ends on a hopeful/hopeless note. So what happened to Guy and the other people that still believed in the power of books? Where happened to Clarisse and her family? Did the rest of the world ever understand the power of words again?

Thanks for reading this post! I loved writing it and there are so many other characters that I wish I could check up with and see what is happening to them now.

XOXO,

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The Cemetery Boys – Review

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Title: The Cemetery Boys
Author: Heather Brewer
Release Date: March 30, 2015
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers (Epic Reads)
Format: Advanced Reader’s Edition (Thanks, Epic Reads!)
My Rating: 2/5
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The Cemetery Boys is the story of seventeen year old Stephen, who is transplanted to the small and secluded town of Spencer, Michigan from Denver, Colorado when his mother is committed to a mental institution and his father can no longer afford to live in the city. Stephen and his father move into Stephen’s grandmother’s house. His grandmother is a stickler for cleanliness and, from the beginning, has a distaste for all that Stephen does. Stephen quickly finds a home among supposed friends when he meets Cara and her twin brother, Devon. Although he likes Cara, Stephen feels a compulsion to impress Devon and his friends and begins spending time with them at the Spencer graveyard, known as the Playground.

Stephen senses bad things are happening in Spencer when he finds Devon’s notebook filled with drawings of wings, dead people, and macabre poems. The inhabitants of Spencer believe in The Winged Ones, large creatures that supposedly bring bad times to the town and can only be appeased by a human sacrifice.

The Cemetery Boys is a very interesting book that I would definitely recommend to people fifteen and under. Although I enjoyed the story of this book, I think that the quality of writing is definitely meant for a younger person. Brewer knows how to drag you into her world kicking and screaming, but enjoying it the whole time. It definitely gave me a sense of unease when I read it late at night. But the writing, including the vocabulary and the way the characters spoke, was not up to the standard of the content.

The Cemetery Boys is an intriguing book which pulls you in straight from the vague and interesting prologue. I truly enjoyed the content and Heather Brewer knows her world and her characters very well and knows the flaws and characteristics that will make them interesting. I enjoyed this book and I finished it in only three days. I would have given this book would have gotten a 3.5/5, but I believe that the writing knocked it down a few points for me.

The content of this book is certainly a pull and it truly is interesting.

XOXO,

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January Book Haul + Mini Reviews

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JANUARY BOOK HAUL + MINI REVIEWS

This is my first post that isn’t a book review. I’m really excited for this post because I want to branch out. When a blog sticks to just reviews it can get kind of stiff and boring and I don’t want this blog to get stuck in a rut. I want to cultivate relationships with readers and I want to accumulate a group of regular readers. So here I am branching out. Wish me luck!
The first month of the year really was a book buying binge. I think that this is the largest amount of books that I have ever purchased in a single month. I know that isn’t saying much, but with my limited funds and normally very good saving skills, it really was very out of the ordinary for me. Some of these books were pre-meditated buys, but a few of them were spur of the moment purchases that I can’t say that I regret. So here is my January book haul, plus mini reviews of the books that have already read.

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Shouldn’t You Be in School? (All The Wrong Questions #2) by Lemony Snicket
I bought this book at Barnes and Noble right after I realized that it had been released. I already own and have read the first two books in the series, Who Could That be at This Hour? and When did You See Her Last? The first two books in the series, although classified as children’s books, were very interesting and engaging. I have started this book but I have not yet finished it. I truly look forward to writing a more extensive review when when I finish reading it. I have high expectations!

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Dear Life by Alice Munro
This book was a spur of the moment buy at Barnes and Noble during their “Buy 2 paperbacks, Get 1 free” promotion. I had never heard of this book or of Alice Munro before I picked it up and read the back, but it sounds intriguing and I look forward to reading it.

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Longbourn by Jo Baker
This book was purchased during the same promotion at Barnes and Noble, although it was partially pre-meditated. All I know about this book is that it is supposedly Pride and Prejudice from the perspective of the servants. I had been seeing this book at a lot of bookstores and online, so when I saw it at the store, I had to get it. (You know how it is with books.)

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The Martian by Andy Weir
This book was the third and last book bought during the Barnes and Noble paperback promotion. This book is sci-fi and after hearing about on Twitter, I finally caved and bought it. It’s is about an astronaut stranded on Mars, and that is the extent of my knowledge about it. I have heard a lot of praise for it, so I look forward to reading it and writing my own review.

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Austenland by Shannon Hale
I must ashamedly admit that I bought this book at Barnes and Noble and read it after seeing (and adoring) the movie adaptation. Thankfully, I am able to partially redeem myself by truthfully saying that I really did like the book more. It was more realistic than the movie and it was exactly as believable as a story about a regency era LARP can get. I finished it in about six hours and it was an easy read, but it was very entertaining. Love stories always get me.

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The Summer Series Box Set by Jenny Han
I bought this box set after I read another book by the same author, which I will talk about later in this post. I bought it on Powell’s website with free shipping.
The Summer I Turned Pretty
This is the second book on this list that I have finished reading. It was another easy to read love story. It was entertaining, although I can’t say that I enjoyed it as much as Austenland or as much other books by the same author.
It’s Not Summer Without You
I am currently a little more than halfway through the second book in this series and I am enjoying it significantly less than the first one. I enjoyed the first one, so I am sort of let down by this book so far.
We’ll Always Have Summer
I haven’t read this book yet, but I have heard that it is the best of the three, so I hope that I enjoy it more than the second book.

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Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowel
I bought this book at Barnes and Noble after starting a small book club with one of my friends and I enjoyed it very much. This is the first book by Rainbow Rowell that I have read, but I really like her writing style, sometimes described as YA crossover. The main character is a typical fanfic writing book geek and she was very relatable. The story was really interesting and I am excited to write a more extensive review on it next week.

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We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
This is another book that I bought at Barnes and Noble for my newly established bookclub. I haven’t read it yet, but for YA it has some pretty stellar reviews so I am excited to start reading it.

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To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
I already wrote and published a review for this book, but I must reiterate how much I truly loved it. The main character was a typical teenage girl, but with more a more realistic thought process. This book really comes from the perspective of a torn and heart broken girl that I believe all women could relate to.

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Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey
This book was an author recommendation. I bought it at my local indie bookstore, Page 1, which is an amazing store. While I wait for the next book in the Red Rising series, author of the series, Pierce Brown recommended this book to readers as a book hangover cure while we wait for the third and final book in the series. I am excited for this book and for the rest of this four part series. This series is also being turned into a television show on the SyFy channel in the fall. I am excited for the series so am going to try and read at least the first two books in the series before the end of the summer, among my other 2015 reads.

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Golden Son by Pierce Brown
This book is in my top ten reads of all time. As I already stated in my review, I loved this book and I love the series. I preordered this book online in December at Powell’s website, and it was my first read of 2015. I have two copies of this book because my fabulous mother conspired to get me a signed and personalized copy at one of Pierce’s book signing at the beginning of this month. This book is wonderful and I highly recommend it.

I had a lot of fun writing this post and I hope that you enjoyed reading it. I hope to do more varying posts in the future so subscribe for updates and more from my blog.

XOXO,

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Golden Son – Review

 

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Title: Golden Son (Book II in the Red Rising Trilogy)
Author: Pierce Brown
Release Date: January 6, 2015
Publisher: Del Rey (Random House)
My Rating: 5/5

GoodReads blurb: Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within. A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown’s continuing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices.

I preordered Golden Son on Powell’s website about a month before it was released. I got the book on the seventh of January and even though I was in the middle of another book, I picked up Golden Son and didn’t close it until the entire thrilling ride was over. This book was a tale of battles between families and battles of the heart. It was action-packed, but also truly affecting and heart-rending.

When the book begins Darrow is twenty years old and approximately three years have passed since the end of Red Rising. Darrow is now a Peerless Scarred, one of the elite in the already elite Gold society. He feels torn away from his old life and has no way to hold on to it now that the resistance group he was working with, Sons of Ares, seem to have left him out to dry. He continues to hold on to Eo’s dream even if he isn’t sure how to execute a plan without Ares and the people who pulled him out of his home and his world.

After the Sons of Ares finally make contact with Darrow again, they tell him of their plan to instigate a civil war amongst the highColors: Golds, Silvers, and Coppers, so that the color-coded society might collapse onto itself. Darrow once again meets his old friend-turned-enemy, Cassius au Bellona, son of Tiberius au Bellona, and suitor to the girl Darrow wants more than anything, Virginia au Augustus or Mustang. After a duel with Cassius, the future Morning Knight of the Sovereign, the Bellona house and the Sovereign, Octavia au Lune, declare war on Darrow’s house, Augustus, and they must fight the armies of house Bellona and the Sovereign or face the desecration of their family name.

As Darrow continues to defy the the colorarchy of his society, he meets new people, creates new alliances, and unwittingly breaks off old ones. His bonds are tested and he must strive to keep the trust of his Gold friends and confidants as he works for the liberation of his people and all other lowColors. He makes good decisions and a lot of bad decisions in order to reach the end he is striving toward.

Darrow is a main character that I love, but that I don’t always agree with. He is a flawed person and as he learns from his mistakes and realizes the wrong decisions that he makes, we are able to see him grow as a character and as a human being. His development from a wide-eyed sixteen year old to a battle-hardened young man is truly fascinating and truthful.

Pierce Brown is most definitely one of my favorite authors. The way in which he writes delivers action as well as emotion, battles in the air as well as battles of the heart. The growth that each character has seen since the last book is amazing and heart-wrenching. Brown has truly gotten in touch with these characters and his knowledge of each character and of each player, increases my knowledge of them with each sentence.

This book was incredible and I can hardly wait for next, and unfortunately final, installment in the Red Rising trilogy, Morning Star. Golden Son can be purchased online at Amazon or anywhere that sells books.

XOXO,

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To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before – Review

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Title: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

GoodReads Blurb:To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is a story about relationships. Lara Jean Song Covey is a sixteen year old high school student trying to get through the most important year of her education. But this year she has to do it all without her older sister and mentor, Margot, who is attending college in Scotland. Lara Jean has to become responsible enough to take care of her father and little sister, as well as get through her all-important junior year.

But when her box of love/goodbye letters to all the boys she’s ever loved are somehow stolen and sent, Lara Jean has to deal with the repercussions of saying goodbye to all the boys she’s loved before, including the recipient of her first kiss, a boy she hasn’t seen since middle school, and Margot’s ex-boyfriend, Josh.

This book was really very intriguing. I am usually let down by young adult novels and their shallow ideals, however, Han was able to lead her characters through situations that might very well happen in real life. Lara Jean’s internal monologue is very realistic and filled with thoughts that I have had before. She’s a worrier, she doubts herself, and she feels forgotten, but she works through it like a real person.

Han’s writing style is uncomplicated and easy to understand. She truly shows the thoughts and character of real teenagers, not just cookie cutter, romantic, and unrealistic characters. An easy read, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is a book I will certainly pick up again to get my fix of teenage romance and comedic reality.

This book was interesting and held my attention completely for the six straight hours that it took me to read it. I highly anticipate the next book in this series, entitled, P.S. I Still Love You, out May 26, 2015.

XOXO,

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Red Rising – Review

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Title: Red Rising
Author: Pierce Brown
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Del Rey Random House

GoodReads Blurb:
The Earth is dying. Darrow is a Red, a miner in the interior of Mars. His mission is to extract enough precious elements to one day tame the surface of the planet and allow humans to live on it. The Reds are humanity’s last hope.

Or so it appears, until the day Darrow discovers it’s all a lie. That Mars has been habitable – and inhabited – for generations, by a class of people calling themselves the Golds. A class of people who look down on Darrow and his fellows as slave labour, to be exploited and worked to death without a second thought.

Until the day that Darrow, with the help of a mysterious group of rebels, disguises himself as a Gold and infiltrates their command school, intent on taking down his oppressors from the inside. But the command school is a battlefield – and Darrow isn’t the only student with an agenda.

Red Rising is set in the future, a future of a caste society and slavery. The lowest caste of society are known as the Reds, they live under the surface of Mars, and are ruled over by the very highest caste, the Golds. The Reds, including Darrow’s immediate relations and friends, known as Lambda, believe that they are mining for a material that will help to terraform Mars’s surface so that humans will be able to inhabit it. However, after Darrow is extracted from under Mars by a resistance group known as the Sons of Ares, he finds out that he and everyone he knows have been duped. Humans have inhabited Mars for the past five hundred years. The Sons of Ares recruit Darrow to be the face of their resistance and their fight for the freedom of all Reds. Red Rising is a book of love and war, obedience and resistance.

I read Red Rising about 6 months ago and it is still on my mind. This book is truly beautiful and heart wrenching, but also down to earth and relatable. This book was the first book that I read this year that couldn’t put down. I chose to write this review now because I now know how this book truly affected me. This book shows the shame and the disgrace with which men and women can act. It portrays the very core of what people are capable of becoming. Most importantly, I believe, it reveals that even the most self-centered and angry of men can become the face of a people fighting for freedom. “Man cannot be freed by the same injustice that enslaved it.”
Pierce Brown’s writing style is certainly one to be reckoned with. The short descriptive sentences, reminiscent of Ernest Hemingway, allow us to see Darrow’s world in an incredibly vivid manner. From the disgrace of the Pink servants to the glowing and severe beauty of the Golds, every word is written in such a way that you are able to truly see the way in which this world exists.

I believe that the the true beauty of this novel lies in the fact that our hero, the main character, Darrow, is not inherently good. While reading this I did not in any way feel obligated to agree with or support everything that he did. In many other books, including other young adult dystopian novels, the main character is typically seen as all good and always right. The true emotion of the reader comes out in the fact that you are able to interact by disagreeing, and that, I believe, is the greatest feat of this wonderful book.

This book truly affected me and I know that many others have enjoyed it as well. As Red Rising was Pierce Brown’s debut novel, I eagerly await the January debut of the second book in the series, Golden Son. I am quite certain that the next book will delve deeper into the lives of secondary characters and keep me hooked the whole way through.

This novel can be purchased at Amazon and you can enter to win the second book at Live For More Red Rising.

XOXO,

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Horrorstör – Review

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Title: Horrorstör
Author: Grady Hendrix
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Quirk Books

Hello.
This post will be my first official book review. I am very excited because it is on the second of only two advanced copies that I have received. I have heard of Horrorstör for many months through bookish websites and on Quirk Books twitter and I was very pleased to have been selected to receive a copy through a GoodReads giveaway.

I was slightly put off by this book at first. I had never before read anything of the horror genre and I was a bit skeptical. I enjoy being scared, but reading to be scared is completely different than watching a screen to be scared, because you construct the faces and the voices for the heroes, the victims, and the enemy.

Although very much like horror movies that I have seen, this book sheds a new light on the genre by identifying it with something we all have in common: trips to IKEA. Horrorstör is set in the IKEA knock-off store, Orsk, there are a few strange incidents including suspicious customers and soiled sofas. When a few employees are volunteered for the night shift and then encounter co-workers on an alleged ghost hunt complete with EVPs, it is discovered that the Orsk store is built on the site of an old prison where the warden tortured his penitents.

The characters were a little bit type cast at first: the college drop-out, the bearded hipster, the overbearing manager, but the characters quickly became more relatable. The relationships became more believable as the plot and the characters developed. I was able to enjoy the story more when I could identify with the cast of characters as real people. It was difficult to part with the characters that inevitably died.

I am forthcoming enough to say that this book legitimately scared me. It had me looking over my shoulder, and I was even worried when my family took a trip IKEA last month. The epilogue (or Epilög) seems to foreshadow a coming sequel, and I hope that that will be the case. Grady Hendrix is definitely in touch with ways to scare readers and he executes it in an unnervingly horrific way.

XOXO,

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