I almost put this book down to be honest because I was just really not into it. It wasn’t the novel in verse thing, which I like, it was just that I w...moreI almost put this book down to be honest because I was just really not into it. It wasn’t the novel in verse thing, which I like, it was just that I was pretty much bored and not feeling like I cared what the last page held. But I kept reading it because I was like, “oh what the hell..it’s really short, told in verse and I’ll finish it in less than an hour…which I did.
1. I swear, I felt no emotions during this book: If I could have recorded my face reading it I feel like my face would have been have remained the same the whole time and FEELINGS pretty much did fluctuate at all. I was just turning page after page hoping something would make me care. I mean, I WANTED to care about a young girl who cuts herself and gets caught and Baker Acted (sent to a psych ward for a mandatory 72 hours). I thought I would feel something towards it but I just didn’t. Like at all. I felt nothing really which was strange considering I know it was inspired by this happening to the author’s daughter.
2. From a technical standpoint I thought the novel in verse worked well & the writing was solid: It was poetic and flowed really well. I really LOVE novels in verse and this executed it really well. It really FIT the story well!
3. I will say that I liked that it wasn’t an AND NOW SHE IS FIXED AFTER THIS EVENT type of book but just a snapshot of a girl who can’t help but cut and is forced to reflect on it: It was about a normal girl. Not a girl with a ton of issues or a deep dark secret. But just a girl who got caught up in it for her own reasons (which are revealed). It wasn’t an “AND NOW SHE IS SAVED AND SHALL NEVER CUT AGAIN” book but an honest look at a girl who gets a chance to reflect on it for 72 hours and meet people who will give her even more to think about. It’s that looking back of this is how I got there, this is where I’m at and she gets to think about the path she wants to take when she is released. I FELT like it was a realistic portrayal but I also admit that my experience is limited to this peer pressure induced, wanting-attention-from-a-guy-I-liked week of cutting I had in 7th grade.(less)
A Little Something Different was well…a little something different as far as romances go. I was smitten with the unique way this story was told and was just a refreshing sort of read that defied the norm!
1. I swear this book was a love letter to my people-watching soul: I am a people-watcher. I make up things in my mind about the people I observe. This book was told from 14 different perspectives — baristas, friends of Gabe and Lea, A SQUIRREL, a professor etc. All of these people observed some facet of their interactions and were wanting them to get together! THESE ARE MAH PEOPLE. Watching it all unfold. Willing it to happen. SHIPPING THE CRAP OUT OF IT. I loved the observations and watching this love story unfold from the eyes of friends, strangers and at times INANIMATE OBJECTS. YEAH YOU HEARD ME.
2. The 14 perspectives sound confusing but it wasn’t at ALL to me: It was labeled with the name and who they were (example: waitress, Gabe’s friend, etc.) so I remembered who they were easily from the beginning. I was worried about how this would be pulled off and I thought maybe it would be confusing and jumbled but somehow it just really worked well for me!
3. Can we talk about how adorably awkward this romance was??? I used to observe a lot at my small college and I TOTALLY used to see the beginnings of relationships just by sitting in class or in the lounge. I HAVE SEEN COUPLES LIKE THIS. Maybe not quite as awkward and frustrating (in the way that you are like OMG TALK TO EACH OTHER AND STOP BEING SO AWKWARD) but I just loved how down-to-earth and realistic this romance was. It wasn’t a sweeping, grand gesture-y romance but just the kind you know happen. There’s a lot of frustrations, because as readers, we know things that Gabe and Lea don’t know about the other because we see THEM through interactions with different perspective so the NEED for them to figure it out so they can KISS already is overwhelming. It’s just a cute, awkwardly romantic story and I really enjoyed it. SO CUTE.(less)
I talked more personally about this book on my blog, The Perpetual Page-Turner, and how The Bell Jar was important to me and about how this kind of to...more I talked more personally about this book on my blog, The Perpetual Page-Turner, and how The Bell Jar was important to me and about how this kind of took me back to a time in my life that was hard. So if you want to read THAT...go here! But I wanted to actually let you know more what I thought about it here!
What I Liked:
1. The plot -- it was super interesting! A girl whose boyfriend dies and she isn't handling it well at all gets sent to a special school with other kids who have some issues and needs therapy. She gets put into this mysterious English class that is super hard to get into and nobody even KNOWS how you get picked to be in it. They study the works of Sylvia Plath the whole semester and are given a journal they HAVE to write in. And what happens with the journal I'm not telling you! I was VERY much engaged and interested!
2. So quoteable: I can't tell you how many dog-ears I made with just really great lines or passages. The writing was pretty solid and it was very thought-provoking!
3. I thought I had this book's number but NOPE -- I thought I knew the trajectory of the story pretty much and let me tell you...it took me for a bit of a ride. I didn't see something coming and how it was revealed and built-up to was SMART.
4. Some of the characters and their stories were intriguing! I really liked our main character and some of the friends she made. I LOVED how their group came together and supported each other. I wish we would have seen a LITTLE more of the teacher because she intrigued me a whole lot.
What I Didn't Like:
1. The pacing wasn't consistent -- there were times I was racing to read this and there were other times it just was DRAGGING and DRAGGING. Too much in some places, not enough in others.
2. Way too "this is the message/lesson" -- This was a really thought-provoking novel! However, it felt almost as the author didn't quite trust the reader to glean some of the important things out of it. At the end it was super THIS IS THE MESSAGE and I felt like it was dumping it all out there to make sure I got it. Which I did.
3. Sometimes I felt we were being TOLD stuff rather than shown -- There were certain areas where I think I was supposed to feel more but instead I felt like it was just being told to me and I was like okay so this is happening. Like instead of FEELING changed attitudes and hearts..I was just told that there were changes.
Overall, Belzhar was enjoyable and engaging. It wasn't always consistent but at its highs it was GREAT. It felt unique and I loved how thought-provoking it was. In certain ways I think this could have been better but I did like it. (less)
Behind the Scenes was an enjoyable read with a fun Hollywood setting and a VERY shippable romance aka no...moreFrom The Final Thoughts portion of my review:
Behind the Scenes was an enjoyable read with a fun Hollywood setting and a VERY shippable romance aka normal girl falls for the hot co-star on her bff’s new teen show who ends up being her faux boyfriend in a publicity stunt. Despite some random lulls in the story and little irksome things, it was an addictive read and I can’t wait for the next book in the series because JOSH…I want to know HIS story for sure.
I was still reeling from Crown of Midnight when I started this one. The pace was a bit slower in Heir of Fire than it was in CoM but look at how long it is!! (seriously, trying to hold this book gave me issues). I was trying to explain to someone that Heir of Fire was a bit more slow but not in a BAD WAY. It was actually a bit welcomed because it couldn’t keep up that Crown of Midnight pace forever and we really get even MORE insight into Celaena (and other characters).
Heir of Fire peeled back the layers to Celaena and we learn even MORE of her backstory after what was revealed at the end of Crown of Midnight. It was fascinating and HEARTBREAKING (ow, seriously) and MAN did it make everything a whole lot more interesting and complicated and AWESOME. We see a whole new side of Celaena in Heir of Fire and I loved it — she’s always been such a badass but we see a Celaena who is really struggling to know what to do next or who she really WANTS to be. Celaena is easy for her. But the other identity we learn of her, the one she’s pushed back so far, really starts to be imposed on her and she can’t hide from it. I loved watching her wrestle with it all and it made me love her more.
The other really great thing about Heir of Fire is all the new characters we get to meet!! CAN WE TALK ABOUT ROWAN? I WANT A SHIP but I don’t know to what capacity. All I can say is I was very pleased we got to know Rowan very well. And Manon. I thought the witch POV was strangely placed at first and I wasn’t sure I liked it but I really did start to enjoy seeing things coming together on another side of the story. I also loved some of the demi-fae and the rebels too. OH AND AEDION!
The other thing that made Heir of Fire so great was that everyone was really on their own journey…literally and mentally. At first, I was like NOOOO I want Celaena to be with Dorian and Chaol and I don’t like how split they are but I actually really ended up loving that about this book. I don’t think Dorian or Chaol could have challenged Celaena the way Rowan really did to get her to step up and do what she needed to. Celaena was so far away and on this really challenging journey mentally and physically and I LOVED THAT JOURNEY — all parts of it. But I also really loved watching Dorian and Chaol. I hated how they weren’t friends but I loved how much they still loved each other and had each other’s best interest in mind. Chaol really grew because he had to face his dad and decide where his loyalty was and how far he’d go now that he knows what he knows. I loved watching him work with Aedion as well! Dorian really has to come to terms with what he is and the magic he possesses but also what that means considering who his father his. I love this line that Chaol has at the end because it sums it up pretty well about how Dorian “was the one true king in the room” because I really felt like Dorian started to grow into someone who could lead.
Heir of Fire was emotionally intense and had some crazy heart-pounding moments along with the amazing character development. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LIVE LIFE WHILE MY FRIENDS ARE JUST LEFT HANGING THERE? I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS. But I suppose now I am going to get my hands on the novellas even though I am like morally opposed to novellas (okay not morally but it sounded good but for serious I don’t ever read them) BECAUSE I NEED MORE OF THIS SERIES.(less)
THIS BOOK GUYS. Crown of Midnight was my favorite of the series so far I think because it was just SO EPIC. Also, in general it was one of the best sequels I’ve ever read. This is where I became obsessed. I was in love with Throne of Glass but I became a full on crazy because of this book. SO MUCH WAS HAPPENING AND IT WAS NUTS….seriously my heart was racing as I devoured this book. It begins with Celaena a couple months after she wins the competition and we find out what she’s been up to now that’s she’s supposed to be doing the king’s bidding….and then shit just gets crazy. People die. People betray. Crazy things are revealed. There is so much sneaking around and Celaena is just generally even more of a badass and maybe even more ruthless. The sheer amount of emotions that I had during this book was a record level and the amount of times my jaw dropped became too many to count. Really seeing the rebellion start to form was exciting and scary. I came to love beloved characters EVEN MORE FIERCELY. Seriously Chaol and Dorian, not just even as fictional crushes, are just all around great characters and it was so hard for me to see some cracks in relationships in this one. Especially A BIG MOMENT where Celaena really doubts someone. My heart sunk! I just was thanking my lucky stars I had Heir of Fire by the time this book ended because I was flailing (for real) and the way it ENDS. OH MY HEART. If I hadn’t had Heir of Fire I would have left with a crazy book high where I would have been jittery and inconsolable and it would have taken me a long time to come off this one.(less)
Everything Leads To You was a beautiful read — from the prose to the relationships in this novel — it...more From the "Final Thoughts" portion of my review:
Everything Leads To You was a beautiful read — from the prose to the relationships in this novel — it was all just so great. I love the friendships and the romance equally and really enjoyed watching the paths of the characters cross when Emi finds the letter and the mystery of who the intended recipient is unfolds. It was at times heartbreaking and other times it was incredibly heartwarming. A very refreshing read and one I flew through!
Oh my soul. OH MY HEART. OH MY THIS BOOK. This is a must for anybody who is married for sure but even if you aren’t married it’s a great story and the...moreOh my soul. OH MY HEART. OH MY THIS BOOK. This is a must for anybody who is married for sure but even if you aren’t married it’s a great story and there is so much to glean from it regarding relationships — especially romantic ones. Estelle and Hannah both raved about this book and THEY WERE 100% RIGHT. It’s freaking amazing. No seriously.
1. As a married lady, this book resonated with me in more depth than I could have imagined: It was a lot like Landline by Rainbow Rowell in the way it made me think about marriage and relationships but this one affected me even more so to be honest. Will and I have been happily married for two years this month and this book made me want to vow to never stop talking, never let apathy lead the way and resentment to build and SO MANY OTHER THINGS because this story broke my heart in ways and I don’t want my marriage to ever get to the point this one did. There were little things that were in this book that scared the hell out of me because some of them I could see happening to us if I’m being honest. The beginnings of things that don’t look like a big deal but ARE. I’d recommend this to everyone but ESPECIALLY YOU MARRIED PEOPLE. It was Thinking Book for sure and I am so thankful for it.
2. From page 1 I was just captured by this story: We know from the start that they are in a bad place so it’s super bittersweet when we get the story of them falling in love. Despite that, I loved learning how they met, their engagement and then life as newlyweds and then we get these chapters of these small cracks in the foundation and then each little section gets progressively sadder and worse with their relationship. I could FEEL the resentment and the anger there. And then we get into the present where they are deciding to separate from each other for a year. I found myself furiously reading because I HAD TO KNOW how it would turn out. I enjoyed watching what Lauren was learning in her year away from him and I just was so nervous to see what would happen at the end of the year. They both learned a lot about themselves/their marriage but would they be able to fix it? I HAD TO KNOW.
3. This book made me WEEP multiple times: There were just so many things about this story that made me emotional — especially the ending. But watching them leave each other, witnessing the sad moments and the loneliness, the doubt, the realizations of where things went wrong. It all just killed me and there were these perfectly written moments that just stirred up something in my heart so forcefully. And when the ending came…I was just a mess. It was just so unflinchingly honest and poignant that my heart couldn’t handle it.
4. I’m so used to reading books about people FALLING IN LOVE that it was refreshing to read something different: Sure, we see the beginnings of their love story but then we start to see this unraveling of it. And I liked that I really didn’t KNOW if they were going to get back together in the end. To watch how hard sometimes you have to work at love was just really refreshing because like the tagline says, “falling in love is the easy part.” And I honestly was glued to this unraveling but then this year of self love and reflecting on the marriage and the love for each other.(less)
Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid was a journey that left me yearning for my own crazy road trip and doing...more From the "Final Thoughts" portion of my review:
Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid was a journey that left me yearning for my own crazy road trip and doing some major soul searching about Big Life Things all that the same time. Told through snapshots of four people’s encounter with Leila while she passes through town, I found myself desperate to know why Leila’s journey was so important and loved watching how Leila would get entangled in each person’s individual affairs. Like the characters felt the mark of Leila in their life, I found her story to linger well after I finished and I felt so deeply how we are all tethered together in this life and have the ability to make a mark on the people who we encounter — no matter how brief the encounter.
3.5 maybe because I tore through this & it made me cry!
1. I love how this took a issue that has been in the news and humanized it: I don’t want to...more3.5 maybe because I tore through this & it made me cry!
1. I love how this took a issue that has been in the news and humanized it: I don’t want to say what the THING is because I want you to be as surprised as I was with how the events unfolded. I’ll just say it’s something that has been in the news and I’ve seen heated debates over. It’s easy to say these statements about the situation but as you read the story you find yourself sympathetic (at least I did) to the main character because I know it’s something that could happen to me easily. It’s those split second moments that change things and I felt the gravity of her situation. I found it was good to read this one because I am SO quick to judge when I see things. Would be SUCH a good book for book club!
2. I couldn’t put it down at all: I had to know how it was going to turn out for both storylines. I was reading it furiously at the pool. There’s enough drama and tense situation that it’s easy to get caught up in. Ellen is being looked at like the very parents SHE has to investigate in her job as a social worker and I honestly loved seeing her perception of her clients change in some ways as she navigates the same system they have.
3. It was SUCH an emotional book: You know those books where you can just FEEL that punched in the gut feeling the character does? That was me with Ellen. I really felt for her and it was AGONIZING emotionally to see how everything played out for her. And then, the other story with Jenny, really got me too. I loved the interactions between Jenny and Ellen’s mom and I just felt those warm and fuzzies. There’s just a lot of emotional family related things going on in this book and they struck a chord with me. I think also it was emotional to me because you watch Ellen have to endure all this and it’s the biggest wakeup call of her life…and sometimes it’s sad that we don’t get that wakeup call until something serious happens.
4. While I enjoyed it, I found it to be pretty predictable and some things were of the “isn’t THAT convenient” variety: I wouldn’t say the fact that it was pretty predictable put a damper on how much I enjoyed the novel but I didn’t feel like it surprised me at all. It was more the heavy coincidences that put a little bit of a damper on it — the stories tied together a little TOO neatly and full circle for my personal taste. A little contrived in a sense?(less)
2.5 probably because it was action-packed and I flew through it!
This was our book club pick and as a group it was a very mixed bag about this one! It...more2.5 probably because it was action-packed and I flew through it!
This was our book club pick and as a group it was a very mixed bag about this one! It isn’t at all my typical read but I was highly entertained throughout most of it. Definitely reads a bit younger than I typically read though.
1. Gone by Michael Grant was SUPER fast-paced: As I was reading I found myself kind of amazed with how quickly the pages were turning. I was like staring at my hands like WHAT IS THIS? HOW AM I READING THIS FAST? It was easy to jump right into the breakneck speed that this chunkster of a book as events unfold upon the disappearance of everyone over like 14. If you like your books with ACTION ACTION ACTION you might want to cozy up with this one! It’s a book I plan to give my 12 & 14 year old nephews who need to be immediately hooked and wanting fight and chase scenes and CRAZY action! Twist and turns and secrets and surprises are in store if you read this one.
2. I was LOVING it…until about halfway through: Gone was kind of like what happens to me when I run. I start out running like a crazy person all fast and barely breaking a sweat feeling good…and then I hit a wall. A wall that makes me just want to fall down and sleep right where I am. I was so into this book and then halfway through THINGS happened and I was just like UMM WHAT (talking werewolves kind of stuff) and it kind of diminished some of my enjoyment. It also started to get a little muddled and confusing and some action scenes were just jumbly. I would have to reread parts over for clarification…and this is not a difficult book.
3. There is SO much going on in this book: I don’t think I realized what this book would entail. The premise was fantastic right away — WHERE DID ALL THE ADULTS GO? Where did these powers come from? How do we form a society/some sort of order without adults? WHAT HAPPENED. Oh and then there is this thing and that thing that I can’t tell you because spoilers. I felt very intrigued but all at the same time very overwhelmed. Lots of different side stories and people and little details that I’m sure will come together but WOWSA…overload at points. But overall I was just getting more and more sucked into this carefully crafted story that I know is going to be some crazy complex web going forward! So many questions, tidbit of answers.
4. I’m really undecided if I want to continue on even though I did enjoy it enough: Here’s the thing. I was REALLY enjoying it because it was different for me — fast paced, action-y and had all sorts of fun elements to make it addictive. But then, like I said, halfway through it was just MEH. I want to KNOW THE THINGS because there are SO many answers I need + I want to see how this society of no adults continues on but I’m struggling with if all the books in the series are worth the investment. It’s a commitment. They are a big and it’s a long series and I didn’t care about the characters. But I want answers.(less)
This book hooked me for sure with its emotional intensity and drama. From the Brady situation to the...more From the "Final Thoughts" portion of my review:
This book hooked me for sure with its emotional intensity and drama. From the Brady situation to the budding romance with Cowboy, an older guy, I couldn’t stop turning the pages because I was nervous for Bettina and how all this would turn out. I felt emotionally devastated by the end and wasn’t sure WHAT to think about the ending in certain ways. I wished for more in different areas –actually FEELING the thing with Cowboy, wishing for a less flat MC — but I can’t deny that I was sucked in.
Brazen was an addictive romp through King Henry VIII’s court that re...more4.5 stars perhaps! SO ADDICTIVE.
From the "Final Thoughts" portion of my review:
Brazen was an addictive romp through King Henry VIII’s court that re-acquainted me with historical figures I’m familiar with and introduced me to new ones I’d never heard about. As someone who loves history, I found it to be the perfect balance of fun while using the historical facts to weave together a story that makes it all just come alive. Can’t wait to read Gilt and Tarnish to get my scandalous and drama-filled historical fix — especially while my current tv obsession, Reign, is on break!
All Lined Up was a pretty fun and decently sexy romance to read set in the heart of Texas! I loved the tension that came with her bein...moreMaybe 3.5 stars?
All Lined Up was a pretty fun and decently sexy romance to read set in the heart of Texas! I loved the tension that came with her being the coach’s daughter and him being the backup quarterback! All together an enjoyable read that felt like Friday Night Lights went to college and I’ll be certainly reading more from this series and will be excited to get to know new characters! I’d also love to read her other books! Also, Carson is hot but he’s no Tim Riggins! SORRY!
After I wrote my review I found out that there is a companion novel to this which Goodreads had NOT indicated at the time I read this. It might deserv...moreAfter I wrote my review I found out that there is a companion novel to this which Goodreads had NOT indicated at the time I read this. It might deserve 3 stars based on that but thinking it was a standalone made some of the worldbuilding kind of shake by the end. But here's my thoughts initially:
MAN, I’m conflicted with this one. I had a WHOLE review written about it trying to explain my crazy feelings but in the end I scrapped it because it was just too confusing. About a week after I wrote it I came across THIS (http://cleareyesfullshelves.com/blog/...) review that seriously took the jumble that was my brain and SO ACCURATELY described all that I was mixed on which kind of prompted me to scrap my own rambling thoughts so go read that if you are curious. I LOVED the premise of this one (scary because it was so plausible in a way) and that it was a standalone dystopian. I was hooked from the start because the society was so fascinating and unique plus it really brought a lot to the table in terms of talking about gender and power. There was SO MUCH GOOD in this one but then it fell apart in ways as it went on and I wanted MORE from it — in how I felt towards it and some pivotal areas when it came to building this world that had all the makings to make this an AMAZING book. I read it very quickly and kept turning the pages especially as the danger heightened but I finished being like, “Sigh I wish I could have known this” or “I don’t get quite get this or “I wish this part would have given more explanation to build a stronger world for me.”(less)
1.5 stars for the writing and the way she spun this mystery.
This is one where I must have completely missed something because everyone told me how am...more1.5 stars for the writing and the way she spun this mystery.
This is one where I must have completely missed something because everyone told me how amazing it was and how SHOCKING it was. And not a thing shocked me. I guessed everything. And I just wasn’t feeling it. Despite my mixed feelings, I was really impressed with the writing and how Stephanie was able to really reel you in with this sense of mystery about what Jamie’s sister did and the truth about their past. It was very controlled and precise and I loved how truly she was able to slowly make you feel like something sinister or not right was going on….all the way to the very last page. However, despite all that, it all seemed obvious to me and I could have lived with that had I not been kind of bored in a way. So in the end I kept thinking MAN I was hoping to be blown away but I sadly wasn’t. I’m definitely going to give Charm & Strange a try but this one sadly didn’t do much for me. I wanted to be SHOCKED but I was sadly not and altogether kind of bored despite her writing and the impressive way she could spin this mystery and make this an interesting psychological thriller-ish novel. (less)
Boomerang was that kind of fun, sexy book I needed this summer where I loved the characters a lot and...more From the "Final Thoughts" portion of my review:
Boomerang was that kind of fun, sexy book I needed this summer where I loved the characters a lot and the romantic tension made me fly through the pages. I’m going to blame the fact my temperature was rising on the summer weather here in Pennsylvania rather than the sexytimes and flirtatious banter…no seriously it was HAWT. Boomerang is a welcome addition to the New Adult scene that, on a personal level, hasn’t really impressed me yet. Cannot to learn more about Adam and Alison in the second book!!
I immediately loved Celaena. And Chaol. And Dorian. This book drew me in from the start and I was so into watching Celaena be a badass vs. all those other guys fighting to be the King’s Champion. I could feel her struggle between FREEDOM and having to work for someone who was so awful. I loved how twisty this book got towards the end and things were happening so fast I could barely hold on, man! But seriously let’s talk about Calaena…this girl has endured a lot and she prides herself on being a badass but there’s also this vulnerable side to her where she feels the weight of the things she’s done….but she doesn’t shy away from the fact that she does those things. That’s part of who she is. I also loved that, yeah she is badass, but she totally is a bit of a girly girl — she loves her clothes and cares about what she looks like. I think so often female main characters get pegged as one or the other but it’s okay to be a complete badass with your sword and also find your heart flutter because of a pretty dress. And as confident as she is with how badass she is..she is so relatable because she’s self conscious about other things. AND CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE BANTER?? I loved the Celaena/Chaol banter. But also the Celaena/Dorian banter. (In Crown of Midnight my favorite banter might even be with her and Mort..god I just love her banter with everyone). I finished Throne of Glass SO ready for more because there was so much that was set up in that book and I knew the rest of the series was about to get CAHRAZY.(less)