Publisher: Penguin

ARC Review: Wink Poppy Midnight

Posted March 11, 2016 / Book Reviews / 18 Comments
ARC Review: Wink Poppy Midnight

I’m the kind of person who usually writes reviews immediately after finishing the book. I just really don’t even know what to say about this one and decided not to write the review right away, just in case it would come to me or something. This was a mistake because I’m struggling to even remember anything besides: this book was really fucking weird. While my rating report below leans strongly towards 2.5, I just can’t bring myself to do it. It’s been a couple of days since I finished the book and (a) I barely remember what happened and (b) I don’t like anything that I do remember. Within the first handful of pages, I could see the comparison to We Were Liars. As we all know by now, that book didn’t work for me in any way. I should have DNFed this one once I saw the comparison but something compelled me to keep going. For a while, I was glad I did! Things got really creepy and interesting for a handful of pages. But, then the end disappointed me. As I said in my Goodreads review (at the bottom here), the entire first half or so of the book felt incredibly pointless. We learn a bit about the characters and their weird relationships, but that’s about it. There were short, easy “chapters” to highlight each character, so that helped with being able to read it quickly, but that was the only thing that kept me going for a while. Things […]

Review: The Wrong Side of Right

Posted February 26, 2016 / Book Reviews / 7 Comments
Review: The Wrong Side of Right

This book seriously made me feel ALL the things. So many different emotions at different times. It felt like I knew the characters and was dealing with them myself. I was enraged when Kate was pissed, I was happy and falling for Andy when she was, and I was confused and sad when she didn’t know what to do. That is definitely the sign of a fantastic book. A year after her mother passes away, Kate learns that her father is a Republican senator running for president. She is so quickly swept up into their house, the election, and their world. It’s not easy, as her political opinions generally differ from her fathers, but she adjusts faster than I would have in her situation. She just felt SO REAL to me. As for the political stuff, I liked that it wasn’t beat over my head. There was one key issue that they focused on and dealt with, but the Republican stuff didn’t bother me. If anything, I wish there was more politics! It would have been interesting for her to actually talk more with her father about her beliefs (because she clearly leaned left, although she hadn’t made a decision really). I loved the family feels in this one. Honestly, the stepfamily vibes were stronger than those with her father. I liked seeing them all get closer, but I wanted a little more from him. I won’t spoil anything. When they got into the inevitable first fight, I thought it was […]

Book Buddies Review: What Alice Forgot

Posted February 24, 2016 / Book Buddies Reviews, Book Reviews / 7 Comments
Book Buddies Review: What Alice Forgot

Book Buddies is a discussion-style review that takes place with one of my two buddies. (Learn more and see past reviews here) We both read the book and then have a private discussion about it. We post our discussion as a review on the last Wednesday of each month. You’ll be able to see our similar/different opinions on the overall book, characters, writing style, etc. – just like a regular review. The first half our discussion will take place right here, and the second half will be on Cristina’s blog! (Link at the bottom) View Cristina’s part of the discussion here. If something similar happened to you, what do you think ten-years-younger-you would think about present-day-you? Cristina: It’s crazy to contemplate how different nearly everything in my life would be so drastically different, I think mostly due to how big of a jump there is between being in your teens and being in your twenties. I wouldn’t know my boyfriend yet, would literally have a completely different friend set, and have very different overall goals and aspirations. However, I think 10 years younger me would be pretty happy with where I’m at. The teen years are pretty angsty, and I was definitely caught up in the small details of life back then. Yet 10 years later nearly everything in the big picture of my life is going very right in the grand scheme of things. I think younger me would be proud and impressed that I now have a great job, an awesome boyfriend, a college degree, and an […]

Tom Haverford Giffy Review: Modern Romance

Posted January 21, 2016 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
Tom Haverford Giffy Review: Modern Romance

I am a huge Aziz Ansari fan and knew I would happily read one of his books, regardless of the topic, if he ever wrote one. I loved Tom in Parks and Rec and his stand-up was always so funny and so real. It doesn’t hurt that he actively calls himself a feminist and makes fun of dudes for being so shitty. I mean, he’s perfect and that’s all there is to it. The topic of modern romance is an interesting one because clearly things have changed a lot, even within the past 5-10 years. I was intrigued to see what kind of conclusions he would come to. Sociology is one of my favorite subjects (and one of my minors in college!) so I knew that even if this book was more nonfiction-like than humor, I would be happy with it. That ended up being the case! I have to admit, I was warned by some early reviews that the book had a lot of numbers and wasn’t really traditionally funny. I was hoping for some humor throughout (which I got) but expected more of a research-oriented book. Somehow he managed to bring both of those aspects together in a perfect combination. “When you hear a Flo Rida song at first you’re like, ‘What is this, Flo Rida? It’s the same thing you’ve always done. I’m not listening to this song.’ And then you keep hearing it and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, Flo Rida. You’ve done it again! This […]

Review: I’ll Give You the Sun

Posted December 6, 2015 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
Review: I’ll Give You the Sun

Why do I read stories I know I’m not going to like?????? I was pretty damn adamant that I wasn’t going to read this book (evidence 1 and 2). I heard somewhere that the writing style was metaphor-filled like We Were Liars, which I totally loathed. I was right. It was similar and heavy-handed and frustrating. I feel stupid when I read books like that because I can’t tell if the person is being literal or if it’s a metaphor. Anyways, because this book was very middle-of-the-road for me, I’ll break into my usual YES and NO lists… What I Liked In general, I was a fan of the two separate timelines. I thought it was interesting to read about Noah at 13 while reading about Jude at 16, because you wonder how things progress in those 2-3 years. I started putting puzzle pieces together early on and saw some click into place depending on whose chapters I was reading. The storyline was pretty interesting. I was curious to see how it all ended up, especially because it seemed like the twins ended up switching personalities in those few years. I wanted to know what happened to cause that. I thought the ending was sweet. I actually started to think, “did I really hate this book as much as I thought?” when I read the ending. It was enough to leave me with a generally positive feeling about the book, instead of the low score I was planning. What I Didn’t Like […]

Review: The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly

Posted October 22, 2015 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Review: The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly

Usually the longer it takes for me to finish a book, the less I’m going to like it. I know that this usually has nothing to do with how good the book is. I happened to be away on vacation while reading this one and just didn’t have enough time to read. When I did sit down to read it, I felt oddly detached from the story as I kept reading. From the beginning, this book was going to be iffy for me. It’s really out of my comfort zone but I wanted to give it a try with my book club. Cults have always interested me, but religion in generally really does not at all. I don’t think this book was too in-your-face about religion, which was nice, but it was still explored quite a bit. It makes sense given Minnow’s history and lack of education about a lot of things. I started out really intrigued by the story, mostly because of the writing style. I loved how the chapters slowly revealed more from her past, while mixing in with present-day in juvie. (I have to say though, I couldn’t stop thinking of Orange is the New Black.) The plot was really interesting and I was certainly wondering what the fuck happened back at the Kevinian camp. There was a good amount of suspense, again because of the writing style, but I still felt too detached from all of it. I liked Minnow as a character – I think she […]

Review: The Boy Most Likely To

Posted October 16, 2015 / Book Reviews / 10 Comments
Review: The Boy Most Likely To

I AM SAD AND DISAPPOINTED. I don’t know how else to start this review. 🙁 In the first book, I didn’t really like Tim at all. He grew on me, for sure, but not enough to make me say “hey I’d love to read a book about him.” Regardless, when I saw this one on Scribd, I thought it’d be a perfect audiobook to start. I was pretty interested at the beginning and Tim continued to grow on me even more. And then the TWIST happened (which happens so early in the book that it feels weird to call it a spoiler?) and everything went downhill. Don’t worry, I’ll be spoiler-free for a while. In the most general terms I can say, I didn’t MIND this turn of events. It’s not what I was expecting when I set out to read this book, but it also wasn’t surprising. I knew exactly what was going to happen when certain things started happening. Sorry for the vagueness, but go with it. Regardless, I don’t think this particular element of the story (which turned into pretty much the entire plot) bothered me like it may have bothered others. I didn’t care about Tim much so it didn’t upset me that this was happening to him. I was intrigued but slowly that interest waned. I had a big feeling of what was going to happen by the end of the book, so it all felt pointless to me. There were some pretty big glaring holes that […]

Review: My Life Next Door

Posted September 23, 2015 / Book Reviews / 9 Comments
Review: My Life Next Door

Okay obviously the first thing I need to mention is CONNECTICUT! I love when books are set in my state; I can definitely get a better feel for the setting and environment. Of course, the made-up town in this book is clearly down by the shore (an area I am definitely not from), so it barely feels like Connecticut. My part of the state features a lot of farms and smelly cows. This book was definitely hyped up, but – thank god – met my expectations! I really loved Jase, and he’s the reason this book was so fantastic. Sam was an okay character, but a little flat. I know that she’s had a pretty sheltered life and Jase helped her get out of of her comfort zone a bit, but I just wasn’t totally on board with her. Regardless, I shipped them as a couple very hard. I liked how sex was kind of an important part of the book. Any YA book that talks about it or actually does it is okay in my book. It’s real! It’s a part of teenagers’ lives. There were a few things that bugged me. I mean, clearly Tim had a problem with drinking and some drugs, but AS USUAL the portrayal of weed-smoking in a YA book bothered me. It’s something that I think authors don’t usually get right. This was no exception. Tim was a huge dickhead in the beginning but seriously shaped up throughout the book. At first, I […]

Reread Review: Keeping the Moon

Posted September 21, 2015 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Reread Review: Keeping the Moon

Some summer many years ago, I think. I remember bringing a few Dessen books to Maine with me throughout the summer and I’m pretty sure this was one of them. This is the book I remembered the most details about out of all of her books, actually. I remembered the main character working at the Last Chance Cafe and how much I loved Colby, NC. This is the first Dessen book I read that is set in Colby, so it kind of held a special place in my heart. I pretty much forgot all of the other details though. Dessen reread 2015! I was thinking of what audiobook I should start next and decided on this one because I finally tracked it down. I just kept remembering the one book with the restaurant setting and was determined to get to it next. After reading the synopsis again and not seeing a hint of romance, I was kind of excited to see how a book with friendship as the main focus would be. I’ve read plenty of books with friendship as a strong theme, but I feel like it’s usually coupled with family issues and/or romance. This one seemed to be straight up friendship feels.Ah, this was so good. I’m surprised to see that most people don’t count this as a favorite or even like it that much. Colie was an interesting character and I totally forgot about all of the bullying she dealt with. I absolutely loved the friendship storyline in this […]

Reread Review: What Happened to Goodbye

Posted August 12, 2015 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Reread Review: What Happened to Goodbye

I read this book for the first time, I think, during the summer of 2012. It may have been a few years earlier, to be honest. I’ve been iffy about which of her books I’ve actually read – there are so many and they all sound similar (even though they aren’t) when I read the synopsis again – but I knew I did read this one back in the day. Honestly, not much. The mini town model is the one thing I remembered the most from this book. The restaurant itself also seemed familiar. For some reason, the Dessen books that take place in restaurants always stick in my mind the most. I’m so glad I revisited this one, especially because I barely remembered anything from the first time I read it. I’m so terrible with remembering book details; rereading is ideal for someone like me. I remember loving the restaurant, the model, the characters, and the whole plot, actually. I also had a vague idea of how the book ended.When Cristina mentioned that she was rereading this one soon, I knew I had to hop on board. I’ve been aiming to read more Sarah Dessen this summer (somewhat failing, I guess) and this was a perfect one to add to the mix. I will say, I miss Colby (as a setting) and hope to get into some of those books by her during the duration of the summer. There was a glimpse at Colby in this book, which was nice, but I need […]