Category: Book Reviews

ARC Review: What I Lost

Posted May 29, 2017 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
ARC Review: What I Lost

Trigger warning for eating disorders and some self-harm. Initial Excitement I had almost zero thoughts about this book before I started it. I’ve always been interested in books that involve treatment centers for some strange reason, so I decided to join the ARC tour for this one. I looked at the length of the book, read the synopsis again, and sighed. I figure this was going to take me forever to read and be super heavy. I’m glad that first impressions can be wrong 😉 Quick Summary Elizabeth is sent away to a treatment facility (that’s actually in her hometown) for her anorexia. The story follows her journey and watches her growth throughout the month-long process. She makes friends, tries to develop better eating habits, and struggles with other things in her life. When she first checks in, she receives mysterious packages that seem to point to her ex-boyfriend, so she tries to figure out who they’re coming from and why. Storytelling, Setting, and Feels GUYS. I physically could not put this book down. I started it on a Saturday morning and before I knew it, 350 pages (out of 400) were read. I stopped a couple times to do quick things around the apartment but I preeeetty much finished it in one shot. For a “difficult” book with tough topics, it was so easy to keep reading. I know part of it was my weird fascination with books set in treatment facilities (oh, that just inspired a new read-bait […]

The Nostalgia Project | Gemma Doyle Trilogy

The Nostalgia Project | Gemma Doyle Trilogy

The Nostalgia Project is my way of revisiting and rereading old favorites from my young adulthood to see if they still resonate with me. Learn more here and read old posts or reviews here! I didn’t include the Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray in my original post about this project. Honestly it doesn’t really fit because it’s not the same kind of genre I was looking to analyze. However, if this trilogy is anything to me, it’s nostalgic. My book club decided to read this series for our meetings for March, April, and May, so it was finally the right excuse to make this reread happen! Man, this book. 💕 I love when rereads are a perfect mix of homey, nostalgic feelings plus a “brand new” story (because I forgot almost everything that happened!). It’s time like these where I love that my bookish memory is terrible. This was like revisiting an old favorite and being surprised at the same time. I think the biggest difference, looking back, is the pacing. I can see how some people may consider the story somewhat slow or even boring at times. The pacing is similar to a historical fiction book (which makes sense, because it is one), but there are some fantastical elements. The pacing is definitely not like that of a fantasy novel. I didn’t mind the slow-moving plot because my feels kept me going, not gonna lie. Gemma and her friends were worse to me this time around. I liked Gemma overall, even though she was definitely […]

ARC Review: Dark Breaks the Dawn

Posted May 22, 2017 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: Dark Breaks the Dawn

Initial Excitement I haven’t read Larson’s other series (yet) but this one really intrigued me. I do have a tendency of requesting books or signing up for ARC tours even when they’re not exactly in my wheelhouse. Regardless, I started this one pretty quickly once I received it to see how it would work for me. It was nice that there were almost no reviews to go on so I could form my own opinion. I didn’t even realize it was a Swan Lake retelling either, so that added to my excitement when I noticed! Quick Summary The Light and Dark kingdoms have been at war because the King of the dark kingdom wants to rule them both. Evelayn is the Princess of Eadrolan, the Light kingdom, and suddenly has a lot of power thrust into her lap. The goal is to get to King Bain of Dorjhalon and make sure peace is achieved in any way necessary. I don’t really want to say anything else because honestly this book could be summed up in three sentences and be over. All the Things So… yeah. I’m struggling to remember much about this one and I finished it a day ago. I think it’s kind of a mixed bag for me. There wasn’t a lot of plot at all but it was incredibly easy and quick to read. I usually find fantasy books with complex magic systems to be very slow-going for me, but this one was fast. There were LOTS of elements involved […]

ARC Review: When Dimple Met Rishi

Posted May 18, 2017 / Book Reviews / 14 Comments
ARC Review: When Dimple Met Rishi

Initial Excitement I was excited for this book for so many reasons. I saw it a long time ago when it was added to Goodreads and discussed it with my friend Natasha, who is Indian and always reads books about white people. She was so excited to hear about the premise and added it to her non-book-blogger-TBR-in-her-head. When Nick offered it up for me to borrow, I jumped on it immediately. Quick Summary WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI is set up to bring together classic rom-coms like When Harry Met Sally and some classic Bollywood movies and plot points. I’ve seen a good amount of these movies (Bollywood and US-based rom-coms) and have to say it was a great combination. Dimple’s family is pressuring her to wear makeup, find a serious Indian boyfriend, etc. and she is not a fan of the idea. Rishi’s family is doing the same thing, but his attitude is very different from hers. The two meet at a summer coding camp called Insomnia Con. Little does Dimple know, Rishi is there because their parents are all pushing for an arranged marriage. This sets off a funny chain of events where Rishi comes on too strong… and the relationship grows from there <3 Storytelling, Setting, and Feels Plot: I adored the premise for this story. Dimple and Rishi head to a coding summer camp-type of thing and end up working together on the project. The setting and competition of who can develop the best app was a lot of fun […]

#ReadADessen: Along for the Ride

Posted May 17, 2017 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
#ReadADessen: Along for the Ride

I was sent a finished copy of this book for review as a part of the Penguin Random House Partner program. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Click the photo below to view the original source on the Penguin Read a Dessen campaign website! When Penguin invited some bloggers to join in with the #ReadaDessen campaign in honor of her new book ONCE AND FOR ALL (out June 6th), I hopped on board real quick. I’d been planning a Dessen-filled summer with Cristina already, but figured I’d give myself even more motivation to get rereading. True story: everyone has a favorite Sarah Dessen book. And if you ask them about it, they’ll be more than happy to gush about it for as long as possible. That’s why this summer we’re asking readers to spread the love by sharing their favorite Sarah Dessen novel with the world. Whether it’s because your favorite Sarah Dessen book gave you a love for reading, got you through a tough time, or changed the way you see the world – we want to know. [Source] Why Along for the Ride? In 2009 when this book initially came out, I was turning 18 years old and moving away to college in mere months. I was with my dad and family in Maine for one of the two weeks we’d spend there each summer, when we went to this little bookstore in Wells. The shop owner asked me what kind of books […]

ARC Review: The Best Kind of Magic

Posted May 11, 2017 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
ARC Review: The Best Kind of Magic

Initial Excitement I love heading into books with zero expectations. I saw this on Goodreads and added it a long time ago, then randomly hopped on the ARC tour for the book. The premise seemed like it was more magical realism than paranormal, so I was eager to see how matchmaking and witchcraft were related in this particular world. When I got the book, it sat around my apartment for a week while I ignored it for Netflix. I finally picked it up and got reading… and really couldn’t stop myself! Quick Summary Amber and her mom, a witch, own a magic shop in Chicago. The whole witch thing skipped a generation because Amber is just a “lowly” matchmaker. She can look into someone’s eyes and see glimpses of their future with their true love. She’s never had luck in her own love life though, as she can’t see her own romantic future. The Mayor’s son, Charlie, comes to Amber with a problem. She finds herself falling for him even though she knows who his match will be (aka not her). She, Charlie, and her best friend Amani (who can see the future) band together to find a missing person and deal with many other magical people along the way. Storytelling, Setting, and Feels This was super cute and so fun to read! I loved reading about all the different kind of magical beings and their ancestors. I thought this was magical realism at first, but I think with ALL […]

#ReadADessen: Lock & Key

Posted May 8, 2017 / Book Reviews, Cover Colors, Features / 1 Comment
#ReadADessen: Lock & Key

I was sent a finished copy of this book for review as a part of the Penguin Random House Partner program. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Click the photo below to view the original source on the Penguin Read a Dessen campaign website! When Penguin invited some bloggers to join in with the #ReadaDessen campaign in honor of her new book ONCE AND FOR ALL (out June 6th), I hopped on board real quick. I’d been planning a Dessen-filled summer with Cristina already, but figured I’d give myself even more motivation to get rereading. True story: everyone has a favorite Sarah Dessen book. And if you ask them about it, they’ll be more than happy to gush about it for as long as possible. That’s why this summer we’re asking readers to spread the love by sharing their favorite Sarah Dessen novel with the world. Whether it’s because your favorite Sarah Dessen book gave you a love for reading, got you through a tough time, or changed the way you see the world – we want to know. [Source] Why Lock & Key? I didn’t remember much about this one so I partially picked this story to remind myself of why I initially loved it! I remember there being a really excellent character arc in this one, where Ruby learns to rely on other people sometimes and admit she needs help. I’m ALWAYS drawn to sister stories because I love my sister and want […]

ARC Review: Brave New Girl

Posted May 5, 2017 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
ARC Review: Brave New Girl

Initial Excitement I went into this book with really no expectations. When I read the description on the ARC tour website, I just kind of went with it. I don’t read a lot of sci-fi or light-sci-fi books, so I thought it’d be fun to take a leap into something a little different. I’m so glad I did! It actually reminded me a lot of Replica, which was a good thing. Quick Summary Dahlia 16 is one of many. In their world, babies aren’t born through two parents coming together. Geneticists create children in a lab and there are thousands of each person created. They all look identical and have names corresponding to their future career (Dahlia = flower = gardening/growing produce) and the number signifies their age. When Dahlia meets Trigger 17, she is instantly feeling things she hasn’t ever felt before. She feels different… but being different means your entire group is recalled, aka euthanized. She can’t risk everyone’s life for a chance at something with Trigger, but she’s still pulled that way. She soon realizes the world isn’t as it seems. Storytelling, Setting, and Feels The first half of this book involved a lot of setup and it took me a little while to figure out how everything worked. I liked getting a feel for the environment Dahlia grew up in but I think it dragged with not a lot of action. Even when she met Trigger, there was just constant internal dialogue, wondering if she should […]

ARC Review: The Names They Gave Us

Posted May 3, 2017 / Book Reviews / 5 Comments
ARC Review: The Names They Gave Us

NOTE: This is one of my favorite reviews I’ve ever written. It’s very long and discusses so many things, like the book does, so TL;DR… I highly encourage you to read this story. Even if religious books or “cancer books” aren’t your thing, I would be shocked to hear you didn’t enjoy it. Initial Excitement Full disclosure: I don’t do well with books involving religion. I like reading books about various topics – especially about people who are not like me – but religious main characters are some I never click with. I’ve only read a few books involving main characters who are openly very religious and reference it, but they didn’t work. I knew I was going to read this book even though any summary involving the world “faith” (unless it’s about cults…) doesn’t make it on my TBR. I just can’t do them, but Emery Lord made me change my mind. I couldn’t not read a book by her. I was cautiously optimistic that she’d use her superb writing style to make me love a book about faith. Quick Summary … and, spoiler alert: she totally did. Lucy and her parents (her dad is a pastor and her mom has cancer) head to their church camp over each summer vacation. Because her mom’s cancer is back, she pushes Lucy out of her comfort zone and into a different camp on the other side of the lake. Its meant for healing and has kids dealing with various home or personal […]

ARC Reviews: Cold Summer and Windfall

Posted April 24, 2017 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
ARC Reviews: Cold Summer and Windfall

I’ll be honest… I think three stars is generous for this one. I liked the ending, which does outweigh some flaws for me! I love second-chance-romance stories, especially when the two characters were best friends through childhood and reunite when they’re older. I also love anything involving time travel or alternate universes. In theory, this book is right up my alley! However… while the setup was interesting, SO much more could have been done with this premise. The biggest flaw for me – that can be applied to every single aspect of the story – is that the book lacked depth. It didn’t have any oomph to it. The romance was fine, the characters were fine, the time travel was fine… but that’s it. There wasn’t enough characterization for me to feel anything for the characters; I knew the bare minimum about them. Honestly, there were so many chapters where I forgot whose head I was in at the time. Characters (and their thoughts) should not be that flat and similar. I liked the side characters and their relationships, but they were even less developed. I don’t think we even know officially what happened to her aunt? And her relationship with her mom? I know the two things are related but the “closure” around those issues was either rushed or nonexistent. Time travel is a huge draw for me, but that was kind of boring too. Kale (yes I kept picturing the leafy vegetable) keeps traveling to the same time period for some […]