Wow. Every Word was definitely not what I expected. If you are a little unsure about whether you want to read thiSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
Wow. Every Word was definitely not what I expected. If you are a little unsure about whether you want to read this book–especially if you weren’t a crazy fan of book 1, let me persuade you otherwise. Every Word is powerfully absorbing and possesses just the perfect amount of intrigue, action and romance. If you love crime novels, this book is most certainly for you.
The book starts off not long after Every Breath and we are once again drawn in Rachel’s mind. Within the first few pages, Mycroft has flown to London with Professor Walsh to the scene of a carjacking crime. Rachel, knowing Mycroft’s dark past, is furious that he left without her and immediately takes a flight off to London right after him. One of my few problems with Every Word rose here. I found it really difficult to believe that Rachel managed to grab a flight without her parents permission to London within the matter of half a day. I know Rachel was frantic and needed to make sure Mycroft was okay, but not informing your parents and going off with your older brother’s girlfriend just doesn’t really sit too comfortably with me.
Despite my niggle, I adored Rachel’s character. She’s not perfect, but she’s brilliantly strong minded and determined. She can be helpless and sloppy at times, but that just shows how realistic she is. She may not be kick-ass physically, but she totally is in her heart. Ever more ideal, was Mycroft. We get to know more about his past and demons–things to do with his parents’ death in London when they died in a carjacking accident–I feel like I can connect with Mycroft’s character much better here. He’s an extremely complex and damaged character, and that’s what made me appreciate him so much.
It’s always a relief when the author doesn’t decide to make a wonderfully ideal romance into one with drama and a love triangle. Ellie Marney, I love you. Why? Because Marney doesn’t make us deal with all that crap. The romance in Every Word was kept authentic and it’s love-triangle free and pointless-drama free. I won’t lie and say that there’s no drama but it’s place in the book is believable and necessary to keep things realistic. I think what sold me on the romance was how it really did feel like a teenage romance. Personally, for many contemporary novels I’ve read, the romances just don’t feel genuine. This isn’t the case here. Perhaps the romance did come a little too strongly in some areas, but hey, I’m not complaining.
Equally thrilling and absorbing, Every Word is even better than it’s predecessor. Highly recommend this to fans of crime novels or someone who’s just looking for a series that will capture their attention immediately.
~Thank you Allen and Unwin Australia for sending me this copy!!...more
This review is completely spoiler free for the series (and all spoilers are hidden in spoiler tags).
Books like Every Move restore my faith in YA series enders. Why? Because I’ve just had the worst luck with series enders lately. *cough* Ashes to Ashes, In the Afterlight and Isla and the Happily Ever After *cough* But enough of complaining, let’s talk (or just ramble, in my case, as I’m experiencing a book hangover currently) about the fabulousness that is Ellie Marney’s YA romantic mystery thriller series.
I think one of the best things about the Every series is how I had the opportunity to see it grow – slowly – but in large, brave steps. (Now, let me pamper this review with some nostalgia because why not?) When Every Breath (the first book of the series) first arrived on my doorstep back in 2013, I literally had no clue what to expect. The reason why I picked Every Breath up was simply due to this one tag-line: “what if Sherlock Holmes was the boy next door?” Back then, I didn’t even know Sherlock (yes, I know, so tragic) but knowing how popular and well loved the TV show was to my friends, I gave it a go... and found myself pleasantly surprised. (So yes, thank god for Sherlock.) Just reading this last instalment made it so obvious how strongly this series has developed. I admit – I wasn’t the hugest fan of Every Breath, but Ellie Marney totally won me over in Every Word, and Every Move left me thinking of ways to kidnap her so she can write books for me every day. (So… that escalated quickly.) What I’m trying to say is: each book got consistently better than its predecessor, and the success of this series really shows it.
Rachel and Mycroft have a special place in my heart. They’re both (very) stubborn and imperfect, and I love them even more so because of it. Can I also just take a moment to praise Ellie Marney for how well Rachel’s PTSD was dealt with here? I absolutely loved this new aspect that was taken aboard here, and I felt that it was drawn out realistically. Talking about realistic things, Rachel and Mycroft’s romance remains to be one of the most authentic and wonderful teen romances I’ve read about. Too often, romances in YA books are overdone with cheesiness; but nope, this is never the case here. It’s evident how much they care for each other, and the two brought me to the brink of emotional tears so many times in this book. RACHEL AND MYCROFT – I SHIP IT. HARD.
(view spoiler)[Also, EVERY TIME RACHEL CALLED MYCROFT ‘JAMES’ MADE MY HEART CRY. I just… IT’S TOO MUCH. Stop being so amazing, seriously. (hide spoiler)]
Every Move would’ve been 5 stars for me if it weren’t for the love-triangle-that-wasn’t-a-love-triangle. I don’t want to scare anyone off, but there is a new character introduced in this book called Harris and well, he ends up being this potential love interest that just lurks in the corner while PISSING ME OFF. NO ONE TOUCHES MY SHIP, OKAY? It’s never truly acted on, but it’s obvious that there is something there. Okay I’ll shut up now before I spoil anything.
If you want a series to thrill you, if you want a series with amaze you with it's brilliantly flawed characters, if you want a series to blow you away with it's plot line and romance, this is a series I highly recommend.
~Thank you Allen and Unwin Australia for sending me this copy!~
I'm thinking 3.5 stars for now. BUT I DUNNO. I must spend some time sorting out my feelings. But a basic rundown:
+ i didn't like abby at the start becI'm thinking 3.5 stars for now. BUT I DUNNO. I must spend some time sorting out my feelings. But a basic rundown:
+ i didn't like abby at the start because she was awfully judgemental and rude towards people who play baseball. it was addressed in the book later on, but it still bothered me for a while there + abby and alice's friendship is GOALS. also yay for bff not just being around as a plot device. alice had a life of her own, too. + diversity! + the romance is kind of a slow burn, which is my favourite kind. but i didn't exactly have a lot of feels and this is probably because i wasn't a huge fan of abby and zeke as individuals in the first third of the book. regardless, the romance was uber adorable and i'm sure others will love it more than i did + this isn't just a romance (though it is romance-centric) - it also deals with anxiety, lies and secrets
I would recommend this for people who want a lovely contemporary that's light but also has some substance!
I haven't been updating my Goodreads lately (mostly because life has been super busy lately + I've been doing less reading, and most books I've been rI haven't been updating my Goodreads lately (mostly because life has been super busy lately + I've been doing less reading, and most books I've been reading have been rereads) but I did read Legend earlier in December! Super kickass and unique. It's been a long time since I loved a dystopian. Why didn't I pick this up earlier? WHYYY??...more
This is actually my third attempt of reading THE RAVEN BOYS and it's my first time ever making it through to the very end. The other two were DNFs. I This is actually my third attempt of reading THE RAVEN BOYS and it's my first time ever making it through to the very end. The other two were DNFs. I just couldn't get past the first 50 - 100 pages because it's just so darn boring. Thankfully, things did pick up after the 100 page mark, but I wouldn't say that Stiefvater won me over either. THE RAVEN BOYS was rather enjoyable, despite predicting a twist (view spoiler)[I knew about Noah because before I even began the books I knew his whole name was Noah Czerny from people on Twitter and whatnot (hide spoiler)] and being admittedly disinterested in Gansey. Adam and Ronan are probably my favourite characters at this point. I do love Stiefvater's writing though - I loved it ever since her SHIVER series but eh... I'm so far so-so about THE RAVEN CYCLE. I have heard that THE DREAM THIEVES is so much better from multiple people, so here's to hoping I'll love it more!...more
I started reading this one last year but I somehow completely forgot about it, which now I am kicking myself because GOSH THIS WAS BRILLIANT AND WHY DI started reading this one last year but I somehow completely forgot about it, which now I am kicking myself because GOSH THIS WAS BRILLIANT AND WHY DID I EVER PUT IT DOWN.
These Shallow Graves is my favourite Donnelly book yet - her writing is nothing short of spectacular, her characters are full of life and contains a thrilling mystery at its core. If you love a good historical fic, I cannot recommend this one enough. ...more
THIS RAGING LIGHT is one of those books where I go in thinking that it'll be my next favourite novel, and come ouSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
THIS RAGING LIGHT is one of those books where I go in thinking that it'll be my next favourite novel, and come out utterly disappointed.
Why it went wrong for me:
- Total ass of a best friend aka Eden. So Lucille has been going through a lot of shit - her father is crazy and had to be sent away, her mother left through the front door without looking back and she has a 9-year-old sister to look after and feed while having a job and doing her own homework. The last thing she needs is for her best friend to just suddenly stop talking to her for no good reason. A best friend is supposed to help their best friend through tough times, not just start giving them the silent treatment.
- Too many plot lines for such a short novel. I finished this book in less than 2 hours. In those 2 hours, there were about 5 million plot lines going on at once and none of them were really well dealt with. By the end of the book, I felt really lost because there wasn't any real conclusion given. Of course, if you're okay with books that are just left completely wide open, then you may enjoy this book more than I did; but I wanted a few more strings tied before the conclusion of the novel.
- Weird as romance between Digby and Lucille. I wanted to ship these two so hard but I just couldn't get past how cheesy and cringe-worthy it was.
'Your yard looks nice,' he says. 'So they tell me,' I say. Touch me. Kiss me. I'm yours. Yours. I know he won't though. He would not cheat. I like his shoes. Vans. His long feet.
Da faq? And let's not forget that Digby has a freaking long-term girlfriend and he CHEATS on both of them throughout the book. I don't understand how this guy is likeable.
- An overly dramatic main character. Lucille turns pretty damn insignificant things into these really dramatic scenarios - which is acknowledged in the book but IT BOTHERED ME, OK?
Full review to come closer to release date....more
Disappointment after disappointment, it seems these days. An incredibly unfair, black and white portrayal of a school shooting. Had so much potential Disappointment after disappointment, it seems these days. An incredibly unfair, black and white portrayal of a school shooting. Had so much potential *sighs*
Miranda Kenneally's Hundred Oaks is one of those super cute, swoon-worthy contemporaries that you can pick up at See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
Miranda Kenneally's Hundred Oaks is one of those super cute, swoon-worthy contemporaries that you can pick up at any point in the series, and love them just as much as the next person. For me, I started reading her books since Racing Savannah (book 4) and this book, Jesse's Girl is undoubtedly my favourite one up to date. While the first 5 books have all been about sports, this one is different in the sense that the two leads are musicians.
Things that I loved about Jesse's Girl:
1. A strong-willed female main character. In another world, Maya could have totally been my best friend. She's a really quirky girl who dresses like in the eighties, and really values trust and loyalty in a relationship of any sort. I loved her passion for music, it was definitely one of the first things that struck me about her. She may be lacking in self-confidence, especially after finding out that her crush actually never liked her back and that the band she created no longer wanted her as lead guitar, but I loved her strong-will and clear vision of pursuing music as a career by herself, and not by using her new relationship with Jesse, big time musician, as a handicap to get her there. Saying that I admire her is one helluva understatement.
2. Greatest family dynamic ever! If I were to ever list my top ten favourite family relationships, Maya's family would definitely be on that list. Family plays a huge role in this book and it seriously just had a lot of feels from it. I love how warm and supportive Maya's family is, and how every one can argue with each other but you can still see how much love they have for each other. THINKING OF IT JUST MAKES ME SQUEEE AND HUG MY KINDLE. Also: Maya's older brother is actually Sam, one of the main characters from Catching Jordan, so fans of the first book will surely be over the moon. I found it seriously amusing and adorable how protective Sam was over Maya. BROTHER OF THE YEAR, PEOPLE.
3. One cute as heck romance with witty banter. I've always had a love to hate relationship with celebrity/normal person romances because they can be melodramatic as fuck. Thank God that's not the case here because I am so. done. with that kind of drama. That is not to say that there aren't instances where for example, Jesse thinks that Maya is using him to get to her dream as a musician - but it's never as full blown or ridiculous as some books can portray it. Their relationship is healthy, realistic and also sex-positive which is always another huuuge plus.
4. YAY LGBTQ characters! There are some LGBTQ+ supporting roles in this novel which are so cute. I totally ship, Maya's best friend, Dave with Xander. THEY ARE SO CUUUUUTE. There are also nods towards other LGBTQ+ people as well, so THANK YOU Kenneally for all ze diversity!
My only gripe is that I felt like I predicted most things that were going to happen in this novel from the very beginning, but in the end, it's not a huge deal for me because of how brilliant all the other components were.
Miranda Kenneally's contemporaries are the ultimate reads for the summer, and Jesse's Girl is no exception with it's amazing cast of people.
Ugh no. Putting this down at 12% because all this book is doing is making me really pissed and looking at all the other ratings on Goodreads, looks liUgh no. Putting this down at 12% because all this book is doing is making me really pissed and looking at all the other ratings on Goodreads, looks like there's no point in continuing. ...more
The Sin Eater's Daughter came with a lot of promise but in the end, turned out to be a waste of my time.
Twylla, the book's heroine literally does nothing in this book. She sits there in that sad little corner of her's and she sulks and complains about her life. I mean, YOU WERE MEANT TO BE THIS BADASS CHICK WITH HELLA SCARY POWERS. What the hell happened to that? I am disappoint. Furthermore, the instant-love in this one is horrid, guys. I cannot with it. They see each other and the next minute, they're in luuuurve. *eye roll*
There's barely any plot to this story at all, too. I mean, the main idea is that this girl who can kill people with her touch is to marry the Prince but then there's this hella nice guard that Twylla basically falls in love with at first sight. What happens after that? Hmm let's see... oh wait that's right. NUTHING.
Awwwww look at that one star and how lonely it looks…
WELL GUESS WHAT. THAT’S ALL YOU’RE GONNA GET.
I don’t ask for much in order for me to like a book. Mostly, I just want a likeable main character. Stick (aka Kieran) was not an enjoyable character. AT ALL. Aside from the bout of swearing that remains plentiful and consistent throughout the novel, his foul and unappreciative attitude towards the people around him seriously made me want to screech. I mean, how disrespectful and foul can you get? Sure, you just lost your best friend, but if you’re going to act like a total dickhead the entire time throughout the book, expect no sympathy from me.
Furthermore, I really hate how the love interest was utilised in this book. It basically suggested that a love interest can replace your best friend and help you get through the grief. I mean, seriously? What on earth is this book trying to promote here? Also, I did a little bit of research – this book was set in England 2011 when the riots took place (the fires, and all that not so great history). I found that to be really interesting, but it was such a shame for the setting to be underused.
In all, this one had no saving grace to redeem itself. The setting would have been perfect but the book’s efforts were lost in the characters and romance that did nothing for me apart from make me very angry....more
If I were to list all the reasons why I think everyone should read The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, we'd See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
If I were to list all the reasons why I think everyone should read The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, we'd be here till we all were just a pile of skin and bones. Since I don't want that to happen, here's just 5 of the main reasons why Sarah Ockler's new book is glorious:
1. It's a contemporary novel that's a loose retelling of The Little Mermaid. Do I need to say more? Surely that has already got you jumping up and down in your seat because that's exactly what I did when I first laid my eyes on that synopsis. And trust me, the execution of it is absolutely spot on, and Ockler's beauteous writing only makes this even more joyous to read. Honestly, I just didn't want this book to end, and it's been quite a while since a book has made me feel that way!
2. There's a POC main character. HELL YES THAT'S RIGHT PEOPLES. Too often, we get books that are dubbed "diverse" because there's that one unimportant, side character that is of a different racial background. But not here, people. The main character, Elyse, is a person of colour and she completely lost her voice because of a recently tragic accident. That, is what I call a diverse book. I did take a little while to be fully engaged in Elyse's narrative, but when I did, my heart truly broke for her. Her whole world revolved around singing, and when she lost her voice, that door down that path just slammed her right in the face.
3. It's not just a fluffy summer read - there's a lot of deeper messages interwoven. Don't be mistaken. This isn't your generic fluffy summer read with a cutesy romance and about a girl who finds herself over the summer break. This is not just about a girl whose dreams were ripped away from her - this is also the story of Sebastian, (the love interest's little brother) who is enamoured by chasing mermaids and is teased about it by all the other men around him; and at it's very core, this is a story about finding your voice again, your stand, in this ever-changing world.
4. There's a lot of swooning. Expect yourself to make some incoherent sounds that in reality probably sound like squawking. Why? Because Christian Kane. HE IS MINE, BACK OFF PEOPLE. I didn't like Christian to begin with because he's a player but you really do get to know him throughout the novel and I was shipping him and Elyse so SO hard before I knew it. Sarah Ockler certainly didn't forget to bring her fantastic romances to the table in The Summer of Chasing Mermaids.
5. Also, this book comes with a lot of sex positive and pro feminism vibes. Sarah Ockler, my respect for you has only increased once again, because you addressed what many authors don't want to address. So THANK YOU.
In all, The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is a perfect novel for the summer with it's brilliant characters (main characters and sides), glorious ship, realistic portrayal of teenage sex and it's strong underlying message about finding your voice. This is what all contemporary novels should be like.
~Thank you Simon and Schuster for providing the review copy!~...more
1. The main character is "one of the best witch hunters in Anglia" MY See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
Why I'm only giving Witch Hunter 1.5 stars:
1. The main character is "one of the best witch hunters in Anglia" MY ASS. If you're telling me that she's one of the best witch hunters why do all we see from the very beginning is Elizabeth make fail after fail? I get that people make mistakes, but honestly, if you're gonna tell me that this chick is the most badass hunter in town you gotta sell it to me. At least once. I DON'T ASK FOR MUCH.
2. The main character is annoying as fuck. Not only is this girl totally not badass, she's as interesting as a blank piece of paper. It's been less than a week and I had to check the blurb for the main character's name because I keep on forgetting it because of her bland personality. She can't do anything to save herself and has no thoughts of her own. Oh apart from her constant obsession that are her two love interests.
3. That's right, there's a love triangle. Great, right? I dislike this book even more now. And of course one of them has to be her childhood best friend.
4. The plot is totally lacking. I found myself wanting to doze off during this one because of how bored I found myself. The plot remains as simplistic throughout and well, under-developed. There are so many plot holes and pretty much zero world building. It's amazing that this book even fails to answer one of the simplest of questions: why is magic banned? I mean, if you're going to write a story based on that it would be smart to explain the history behind it for starters. Just sayin'....more
When Joss Met Matt is not a type of book I’d normally pick up at the bookstore. I do not read much NA at all, dueSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
When Joss Met Matt is not a type of book I’d normally pick up at the bookstore. I do not read much NA at all, due to several reasons. One of them being that the majority of NA novels I’ve encountered seem to follow the same recipe each time. The same tropes, the same clichés; you get the point. Anyway, when I found out that this book was actually written by one of my favourite contemporary authors—Liz Czukas (under the pen name Ellie Cahill), I knew I had to take the chance and give it a shot. Alas, despite all hopeful feelings, When Joss Met Matt fell flat.
This story is told by Joss through a series of flashbacks. We do get present day snippets here and there, but about 85% of this novel just consists of the flashbacks that begin 7 years earlier when Joss met Matt and soon build up to the present day. Personally, that was immediately problematic for me. We don’t really get to see Joss and Matt being together as a couple all that often and for majority of the time, all we get is Joss and Matt being in relationships with other people. Its hard to ship a couple when you have them in other people’s beds, y'know?
I will say that the banter was insanely fun and entertaining. If there’s one thing that Liz Czukas ALWAYS manages to excel at, it’s the liveliness she brings to the dialogue. I’d eat it all up, if I could. Unfortunately, despite Joss and Matt’s brilliant conversations, I could only see them as friends with benefits; I found it hard to accept them as a couple because like aforementioned, they were with other significant others for almost the entire novel and they lacked the chemistry that I was promised.
Additionally, I spent a lot of this book being bored out of my mind. I guess we can all agree that this book has a very predictable ending—and so therefore, it’s the journey to the end that matters. I felt that this book didn’t have much plot other than Joss simply recounting the past 7 years of how she started falling for Matt. There didn’t seem to be anything else. No depth, no character building, just a lot of sorbet sex, really.
Furthermore, I failed to see how Matt was appealing as a love interest. He seemed like a pretty subpar character with a pretty face and not much else. He doesn’t really even try to be romantic, if that makes sense. I’m not saying that every guy has got to be romantic but man this guy didn’t even try.
And to those who are wondering, this book is perfectly suitable for YA readers. Ellie Cahill skips over the details and keeps everything clean. I would say the only reason why this book is pitched as a NA novel is due to the fact that the main characters are in their early twenties and also because of the concept: sorbet sex.
In all, When Joss Met Matt turned out to be inherently disappointing with an incredibly shallow and predictable story. I was seriously expecting better from Ellie Cahill for her YA novels are utter brilliance.
~Thank you Ballantine Books for sending me this copy!~
With all the bad luck I was having with Sarah Alderson’s books, I started to think that I wouldn’t like any of her works. But look at this, a3.5 stars
With all the bad luck I was having with Sarah Alderson’s books, I started to think that I wouldn’t like any of her works. But look at this, a Sarah Alderson book that I rather enjoyed! Conspiracy Girl is a quick thriller – I’ve been a reading slump as of the late and this really got me back on my feet with how easy it was to fly through, whilst being entirely interesting at the same time. I really loved Nic as a character. She’s a strong young woman who only trusts herself and I loved her strong sense of independence.
In addition, I loved Finn and Nic’s relationship. You can see that their history with each other runs deep and raw and I love how Alderson tackled that. I definitely grew to like Finn as the story went through and YAY for a romance that takes the backseat and lets the plot run the show like it should!
This one definitely goes highly recommended to anyone who wants something easy to read but thrilling (and romantic) all the same....more
With it's witty humour and cuteness in general, I can definitely see why Erin Gough's YA debut, The Flywheel, wonSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
With it's witty humour and cuteness in general, I can definitely see why Erin Gough's YA debut, The Flywheel, won The Ampersand Project. Just as some general knowledge, Melissa Keil's Life in Outer Spacewas the the winner from a previous year that Hardie Grant Egmont Australia picked up, so if you trust their tastes, then you should most certainly check this one out as well! I mean, seriously, who can go wrong with Aussie YA?
4 Reasons Why You Should Read The Flywheel
1. It's a LGBTQ+ themed Aussie YA contemporary. YUP. YOU HEARD ME RIGHT PEOPLES. THE BOOK GODS HAVE FINALLY GIVEN US WHAT WE'VE BEEN WANTING. Some more diversity + more Aussie badassery. Seriously guys, it's 2 in 1, who could ask for more? The way the diversity is represented in this novel is not only authentic, but it also messes with your emotions and made me wanna give Del a big big hug.
2. The main character is fantastically imperfect, but still an incredibly strong girl that I am in awe of. Due to Del's sexuality, she got a lot of crap from the people at school who tease and mock her on a daily basis. It didn't feel like a cliche situation where you have the mean and popular girls beating up on the small, for Gough creates such a believable high school atmosphere, which reminded me jarringly of the high school days at my old school.
3. The supporting characters have their own shining moments as well. More often than not, the supporting roles in books tend to get no backbone at all, but Gough ensures that this isn't the case here. I particularly loved Charlie as a character and the way he grew throughout this novel was something insanely amazing to see. Furthermore, yay for platonic girl/boy relationships! Charlie and Del's banter was a beautiful thing, guys.
4. The romance made me wanna squeeeeee! The adorableness is strong in this one, guys.
I would've liked to see Del and Rosa as a couple more in this book, but regardless, these two made me grin like a total fool.
In all, I fell in love with The Flywheel from the very first page. While I have a few tiny quibbles in regards to how irritable Del got, there's no doubt that I'll be stalking this author for her future novels. THROW THEM AT MEH.
~Thank you Hardie Grant Egmont Australia for sending me this copy!~...more
Every Last Word is one of those books that had me wanting to smash it into a pulp from page 1, but had mSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
Every Last Word is one of those books that had me wanting to smash it into a pulp from page 1, but had me sniffling a bit during the last few chapters.
This story follows Sam, a girl dealing who was diagnosed with Purely Obsessional OCD (aka Pure-O) at the age of 11. While she may look perfectly fine on the outside, each day she is battling with the uncontrollable thoughts that consume her.
I wasn't quite sure I picked up the same book as everyone else when I was a few chapters into the novel. Why? Because most of my friends gave this book 4 or 5 stars and there was I, reading along thinking that this was one of the worst books I've ever read on mental illnesses. And the main reason of that was because I HATE Sam (the main character)'s so called friends. They're the 'popular' and 'I-think-I'm-prettier-than-all-of-you' girls at school and every girl hates them and every guy loves them. Yeah, that kinda group. Hellooo, high school social hierarchy. Anyway, Sam's friends pissed me off. Majorly. So much that I was ready to just give up on the book altogether. Within their little posse, the 'main girl', Alexis (of course that's her name <.<), has basically created her own social ladder amongst the 4 other girls she calls her best friends.
"Not Hailey. You." [Alexis] pokes my collarbone. And now I know precisely where I reside on her social ladder: Second rung from the bottom. Hailey occupies the last one, and as soon as she learns I'm invited to Alexis's birthday and she's not, she'll know it too.
I actually find it comical how stupidly shallow their friendship is. It's so fake and well, childish.
"You have no idea how sad I've been, Samantha. I felt horrible not asking you. Even though our moms weren't friends in preschool, you and I were best friends in kindergarten!"
In short, Alexis had to choose 2 of her 4 friends to go to the spa with because her mom only got 3 reservations, so Alexis decides to choose the two girls she was best friends with first. And, since all of them met each other at the same time, Alexis chooses the two girls whose mums were friends with first instead. WHAT. THE. FUCK. If I only got three reservations to the spa and had more than that many close friends, I'd ditch the spa and go someplace else because friends > going to some fancy pants spa.
Surprisingly enough, this book did a 180 spin soon later and progressively got better. Sure, Sam still had these hella annoying and fake friends, but I started to get over that because we see less of them the more involved Sam becomes with her new friends. I particularly love Caroline, who is just such a supportive friend and funky girl that wears the best t-shirts. She also suffers from depression, though I personally would have liked to look into that a little more (but I totally get why the author did not). (view spoiler)[OH MY GAWD I CANONT BELIEVE THAT SHE WASN'T BLOODY REAL. I loved the twist but gah... WHY YOU DO THIS TO MY FEELS? I have trust issues now. (hide spoiler)]
In terms of the romance, I am really torn about it. AJ is really weary about Sam during the first half of this book because back in 4th grade, she and her 'friends' bullied AJ so bad that he feared his own name and had speech problems. If you know me, you know I love, love, LOVE the hate to love romance trope when executed correctly and well, this one just didn't give me the feels I was told I was gonna get. While I can see how AJ and Sam's relationship works, I just don't ship it hard.
I think Every Last Word is a very important novel to read. Sure, it's not too promising starting off, but by the end of the book, I can definitely say I knew a lot more about OCD than I started off with. It opened my eyes to see the whole spectrum of OCD - there isn't just one type and there are subcategories. I definitely recommend to read the acknowledgements for this book. I got a little teary just from that, and I love how much effort and dedication Stone took to make this story as genuine as possible. And she did a pretty damn good job, in the end.
Need some time to gather my thoughts for this one. I found a certain thing that happened in the end a little anticlimactic and I struggled to connect Need some time to gather my thoughts for this one. I found a certain thing that happened in the end a little anticlimactic and I struggled to connect with the main character - but I really loved some of the side characters here (like Ashley, and her relationship with the main character). I found the flashbacks to be really effective too, and it made me want to just stay up late and read it in one sitting (but alas, school the next day...)
I'd firstly like to point out that Emmy & Oliver is a really misleading title. While the title screams aSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
I'd firstly like to point out that Emmy & Oliver is a really misleading title. While the title screams a romance-dominated story, I would say it's anything but that. Sure, there is a hella adorable romance... but at it's core, Benway's story is one about friendship, growing up, making your own path in life, and more importantly, family.
"Sometimes love isn't something you say, it's something you do."
At it's surface, this book is about Oliver who is finally found 10 years later after being kidnapped by his father at the age of seven. And now he's trust back into his hometown and surrounded by these people that he has no recollection of, but everyone seems to remember him. And in particular, Emmy. Emmy and Oliver used to be the bestest of friends when they were younger - they share a birthday and are next-door neighbours, and while Emmy wants to go back to how they used to be, she isn't sure that's possible since they're both not the same people they were 10 years ago.
I fell in love with Emmy almost instantly. She's grown up for the past 10 years with a leash held ever so tightly by her parents since Oliver disappeared. And all she wants to do is follow her own dreams and make up her own mind. Surf, go to the college of her choice... She's undeniably independent and also a wonderful friend. I loved how thoughtful she was, but also sarcastic and embarrassingly awkward at the same time. After 10 years of not seeing her childhood best friend, and the first thing that she does? Pokes her tongue out and crosses her eyes. Honestly... what's not to love?
The world continues to spin even when we want it to stop, I thought. Especially then.
I really appreciated how this book highlights the importance of friendship. Despite Oliver disappearing, Emmy has always had Caro (Caroline) and Drew. They're both wonderfully complex characters that are each explored with so much detail, I feel like I know them enough to be my best friends. I seriously ADORED their dynamic, and it's one I envy. No joke.
I think this book deserves an award for just how brilliant family is portrayed here. And not just Emmy and Oliver's families. But also Drew's and Caroline's. Family is never going to be perfect, and that's why it is so special. I think it's about dealing with each other's shit, fighting and arguing but still caring for each other at the same time. I think it's about loving each other for the good and the bad and the worst parts. So thank you, Robin Benway, for such an honest reflection of what it can really be like.
"Mom," I groaned, covering my eyes with my hand. "People don't really date anymore, they just... I don't know, hang out together."
"Is that the same as 'hooking up'?" my dad asked.
"Oh my God!" Now I covered my ears with both hands. "Am I grounded? Can you just ground me? Hearing you two talk about 'hooking up' is cruel and unusual punishment."
Of course, I cannot finish this review without dedicating part of it to just fangirl over the cuteness that is Emmy and Oliver. Their romance takes the backseat in this one and reading it was like cotton candy. There's no instalove or stupid drama, thank God! Also, those flashbacks that were inserted every now and again? MY FEEEELS. I just felt like jumping into my kindle, to be honest.
I did cry reading this book. Surprisingly, most of the time it was just because how sweet and heartfelt this book was. But also sometimes because it was truly heartbreaking.
Emmy & Oliver is a highly important novel that zooms in on all the important things about growing-up, family, friendships and everything in between. It's incredibly bittersweet and honest, which is effortless in it's storytelling. And it's why I know it's a story I'll never forget. *hugs book* Cannot recommend this one highly enough, especially if you want to feel all the emotions.
~Thanks HarperTeen for sending me this copy for review!~
Two of my main reactions while reading this book:
This isn't just a romance book - Emmy & Oliver brings a lot of focus on family relationships, which I absolutely loved.
And I totally cried at the end. Not even crying... just full on bawling.
Veronica Mars is a recent addiction and addition to my oh-so-monotonous lifSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
This review is COMPLETELY spoiler free
Veronica Mars is a recent addiction and addition to my oh-so-monotonous life. As I write this review, it’s the last day of my summer holidays before I’m back at school for the new school year—and just less than two months earlier when the holidays started, I clicked play on the very first episode of the Veronica Mars TV series. I soon became absolutely smitten with the TV show (maaaaaaybe because of Logan Echolls) and I soon jumped onto the movie that came out in 2014, which is a continuation of the TV show. While I’d love for another movie to come out, I highly doubt my wish will come true anytime soon, but I do have these wonderful books to keep me company.
This is the second book to the Veronica Mars books, and it basically picks off after where the movie left off. For all you unfortunate souls who are unaware of who Veronica Mars is, firstly, I feel incredibly sorry for you. You’ll need to hurry off now and binge watch the TV show and movie (in that order) right now, because if you don’t, I’ll come after you with a paper shredder. That’s right, I’ll shred all your books. MWAHAHAHAHAHA. (I’m evil.) (Don’t convince me otherwise.) But anyway, like I was saying, if you don’t know who Veronica Mars is, she’s a Private Investigator who used to be a receptionist for her father’s Mars Investigations. Now they run the PI business together, and it’s truly the best thing ever—take my word for it.
While there’s no point in denying that the books (and movie, to be honest) don’t have the same magic that the original TV show possesses, we are still given another intriguing excerpt of Veronica Mars’ life. In this installment, Veronica’s caught up in an investigation that involves a claimed rape at Neptune’s ritziest hotel: The Neptune Grand. For what seems should be a simple case—to find the rapist—turns out to be much harder when there are mysterious pieces of information that don’t add up, uncooperative witnesses and barely any leads.
Despite the fact that I found the mystery here to be really engaging, it didn’t seem to be as twisted or as well built as the story line in The Thousand Dollar Tan Line. Moreover, I did find myself rather bored at times. This book does spend more time dabbling here and there, and while I loved the further exploration of our beloved characters, it moved a little too slow for a typical Veronica Mars story, in my opinion.
Guys, we finally get our Logan back in this one! When I found out that he’d be back for this installment, I was over the moon. I love that their relationship is further explored here, and that they talked more about their pasts—especially those (achingly painful) 9 years. Their relationship is a flawed one, but beautifully so, and that’s what makes them so special in my heart.
If you love good mysteries, or if you are a fan of Veronica Mars, you need to read these books. We get to catch-up with our favourite characters as well as revisit some unexpected acquaintances too. Combine them in with a thrilling mystery and the best sassy dialogue, and there you have it—a classic Veronica Mars story. I do hope Thomas and Graham decide to write more installments because one thing’s for sure; I’ll never get sick of Veronica Mars! So keep ‘em coming.
~Thank you Allen and Unwin Australia for sending me this copy!~...more
It's been quite a while since I picked up All the Bright Places, and still, I cannot conjure up the right words tSee more reviews at YA Midnight Reads
It's been quite a while since I picked up All the Bright Places, and still, I cannot conjure up the right words to review it. The only thing you really need to know before picking up this book is that the title is very deceiving. It is incredibly evil, you see, because this book is not about all the bright and happy things. Sure, there are uplifting moments but I'd be lying if I said this book was about all that. I'll also add that All the Bright Places has been described as The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor & Park. Now, I hate X meets Y comparisons, and this one is no different. While I can sort of see the comparison, all three of these books are so different in almost every way possible, and that becomes evident once you read this novel (which I HIGHLY recommend you do).
Theodore Finch and Violet Markey may look like they have nothing in common at first, but when they meet at the edge of the bell tower, their lives are changed forever. The book immediately pulls you in because of the distinctly one-of-a-kind narrative voices that Finch and Violet possess. Everyone at school considers Finch a freak because of his strange behaviour and spontaneity. But underneath all that high school gossip, he's really just a fun and unique boy who views the world a different way. As for Violet, her narration is much darker. She may be a popular girl at school but she counts the days instead of living them. She's still grieving from her sister's death which is affecting her harshly and she no longer knows where she stands in the world.
I wonder what it's like to walk down the street, safe and easy in your skin, and blend right in. No one turning away, no one staring, no one waiting and expecting, wondering what stupid, crazy thing you'll do next.
With dual POV stories, there is the risk of the reader finding one POV more interesting than the other. Admittedly, I found that Finch's POV engaged me more--perhaps because I could empathise with him more than I could Violet. As a result, I wasn't 100% engaged with Violet's story arc, which was a shame. However, that is just a small quibble that I had, and soon got over with as the plot thickened and moved along. That being said, I did have another criticism which was that sometimes I was bored. In some places, a lot was going on, other times; not so much. I felt that the pace could have had more smoothing over. Other than that, this book was nearly without flaw.
I cannot finish this review without mentioning the prose. Jennifer Niven clearly has a gift, for her writing is utterly beautiful and caught me at the first page. I definitely won't be hesitating to pick up her future novels because this debut of her's screams even more potential for the future. Ms. Niven is an author that y'all need to be closely watching, because she's sure to break more hearts (heck, let's make that a million) further down in her writing career.
All the Bright Places will surely capture several people's hearts (and crush them slowly) with it's stunning prose, authentic characters and brutal honesty. This excellent debut is one that everyone should be giving a go, because honestly, this book is bound to surprise readers with the emotion that is poured over those pages.
Celine and I discussioned (that's a word) this on the blog and we both gave Hellhole 4 stars! Come and check out the awesomeness (and for a giveaway oCeline and I discussioned (that's a word) this on the blog and we both gave Hellhole 4 stars! Come and check out the awesomeness (and for a giveaway or two) here.
Things we discussioned: - How this was hella funny but also dark. And totally Gina Damico style - How hilarious Burg the devil was - And we agreed that he totally stole the spotlight here - We admire Damico's ability to create some great character growth - And talk deep stuff like being good and evil - We also discuss Max's mum (aka the deeper stuff) - And how we liked the romance but not so much that we shipped them like FedEx - We also admire how fabulous Lore is - Because she really is - And so is Gina Damico.
Doesn't this have such a lovely cover? It reminds me of those heart shaped lollies that I used to be addicted to.
So let me break it to you now: this book actually consists of lots of excerpts from already published books. I KNOW. Imagine my face when I found out.
Anyway, I still enjoyed this book nonetheless. It's an anthology made up of lots and lots of love stories and extracts. If I had to sell this book with one word it would be: DIVERSITY!But seriously guys, this book is insanely diverse. There's all kinds of love here, some are sad, some are happy, some are amusing, some have LGBTQ themes etc. You get the point. This anthology had it all. If you enjoyed My True Love Gave to Me, then I certainly recommend you give this one a go because it was a lot of fun to read through....more