Source: Gift

ARC Review: The Wicked King

Posted December 14, 2018 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
ARC Review: The Wicked King

* No spoilers for this book, but there will be spoilers for THE CRUEL PRINCE * Initial Excitement & Summary There were so many moments since I finished THE CRUEL PRINCE that I just wished I had this book. It’s funny, because I was often in a reading slump this summer and I kept saying “if I just had THE WICKED KING aka the only book I want to read, I wouldn’t be in this predicament.” Needless to say, I was extremely excited and did not want to wait until January to read this. After the events of TCP, I was ready to see what the hell was going to happen next. Jude and Cardan had gotten a bit closer, but then she screwed him over by crowning him Prince. Everyone betrayed everyone and Jude ended up as an adviser (meaning she had a spell/charm on Cardan so she could command him to do whatever she wanted him to do) to him as the king. The events of this book start out with the status of their relationship and how Jude has fallen into her position of power. Without getting too much into it, there was a lot of focus around those relationships and Taryn’s upcoming marriage to Locke. Storytelling, Characters, and Ending I was so eager to see what was going to happen next, after the way TCP ended! Talk about a cliffhanger. I was eager to see how Jude would grow into her new role and power, because […]

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 […]

Review Roundup | PS I Like You, The Forgetting, Kiss Cam, and Reunion

Posted March 8, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 6 Comments
Review Roundup | PS I Like You, The Forgetting, Kiss Cam, and Reunion

Before the regularly scheduled programming… Happy International Women’s Day! In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 backlist books I’ve read or listened to recently. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I think you’re aware of the fact that I tend to hoard my favorite authors’ books so I always have at least one to read when I REALLY need it. Kasie West is one of those authors. Sometimes I just need to read her words because I know she won’t let me down. For PS I LIKE YOU, my sister had been hounding me to read it and lent me her copy. I went ahead and got the audiobook from Hoopla to crank it out and MAN do I love Kasie West still. I read it just as BY YOUR SIDE was coming out and I was borrowing LUCKY IN LOVE from a friend. So, it was safe to read this one finally 😎 The story was cute, albeit incredibly predictable. I don’t mind the formulaic nature of many YA books because it’s comforting to get that HEA at the end. I knew who the secret pen pal was literally within the first chapter or two of the book and the rest of the story was equally predictable from there. I know my romance tolerance is lower than usual, so I tried to not let it sway my opinion of this fluffy book by a favorite author. There was […]

Review: Tell Me Three Things

Posted August 5, 2016 / Book Reviews / 3 Comments
Review: Tell Me Three Things

So yes of course I’m going to take the obvious review style here and tell you three things about this extremely wonderful book that landed on my favorites shelf… Thing #1: Super realistic and relatable While some things about the main character, Jessie, bugged me, it really felt like a realistic portrayal of the inside of a teenage girl’s head. She wasn’t perfect and was a bit too judgmental about those around her in her new school, a lot of it felt like a defense mechanism. She moved across the country essentially on a whim and was reacting honestly to what she saw around her. I usually like there to be some kind of character growth around this, but I have previously loved books where this happened too. I think it’s a story worth telling because some mean girl situations ARE real and the people DON’T change. Aside from Jessie’s internal monologue, I really just felt like the book was so enjoyable and, again, REAL. I loved her voice overall. Thing #2: Adorable romance I shipped her and SN from the beginning… and knew who SN was from the beginning. Jessie did frustrate me as it got further and further into the book and she STILL didn’t know. HOW? It was so obvious to me! It did involve some of those classic annoying things were she assumes it’s someone else with zero evidence and is a dummy about it for way too long. Oh well. Regardless, I LOVED reading about the […]

Book and Movie Review: Me Before You

Book and Movie Review: Me Before You

On the book So, I’m surprised to say I had kind of mixed feelings upon finishing this book. I fully expected to bawl my eyes out. Honestly on any other day I might have, but I had an extremely emotional day for some other reasons and maybe by brain was too tired to cry more. In any case, big surprise. My Goodreads review sums up everything perfectly to get things started: It’s been an extremely emotional day for me in general and tears have come easily for other reasons… So I have to say I’m utterly baffled by the fact that this book didn’t make me cry. At all. I loved the slow burn, banter-filled story because that is my JAM. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the characters, but am kind of underwhelmed by the ending? I think that, as usual, because it’s an all-time favorite of some people, I just held it to too high of a standard. I am suuuuuper ready for the movie this weekend! Soooo kinda mixed feelings although not really because I liked it a lot?? I’m going to break it down in a few different ways so fully explain my feelings. I liked the vast majority of things about this book, but there are some that left a bit to be desired for me. Characters and romance I LOVED both Will and Lou. Their story was amazingly slow-burn and full of banter. The whole hate (at least on one side) to love trope is […]

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 […]

Review: Parallel

Posted February 5, 2016 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Review: Parallel

I love parallel life books so much. Andi kept gently pushing *cough* for me to read this book, and I don’t know what took me so long. This book comes close to an all-time favorite, but I’m not sure I can give it that label. I feel like it may change if and when I reread. The book follows Abby, who finds out that a collision of parallel universes happened and she’s the only one who knows about it. It’s really hard to explain but basically she has some real memories and some that her parallel (in the past) has rewritten. The book starts with her on a movie set in LA and then she ends up waking up at Yale for college. She has to figure out how everything changed, and the book alternates between “here” and “there.” I really loved this book, but let me count the ways for you… LOVED IT Abby is basically me. Not in the personality way, but in every other way. Her birthday is the SAME DAY AS ME, down to the year. And her birthday is kind of a big deal throughout the book, so they spent a lot of time talking about it. That gave me a lot of warm and fuzzies. She was born at 9:09pm on September 9th, which is almost the same time I was born. Because she went to Yale for part of the book, she lived in Connecticut! She mentioned alllll sorts of things I know about […]

Book Buddies Review: Nantucket Blue

Posted September 3, 2015 / Book Buddies Reviews, Book Reviews / 7 Comments
Book Buddies Review: Nantucket Blue

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. Some spoilers ahead, so proceed with caution. How did you feel about Cricket as a main character? Lauren: I had weird feelings about her at first, to be honest! She started out being very critical about the girls she knew, and there were some major hints of slut-shaming. I was hoping that wouldn’t continue! I also thought it was a bit odd how quickly she decided to go to Nantucket by herself, right after her friend said they wanted family only. At one point she wonders if she should have told her friend she was going first, and I thought “UM yeah of course you should have!”  I questioned Cricket’s intelligence and maturity a bit at the beginning and occasionally throughout the rest of the book. I thought she had a weird attitude towards girls (not necessarily full-on slut-shaming, but certain bits and pieces of it). I don’t expect all books with female MCs to be […]

Review: Maybe in Another Life

Posted August 28, 2015 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
Review: Maybe in Another Life

To be totally honest, it’s going to be hard to explain just how much I loved and appreciated this book. I absolutely could not stop reading. I say that about a lot of books, but I had to pull myself away multiple times because I was determined to stretch the wonderfulness out into more than just one huge sitting. It’s the kind of book where you really want to savor every word and write down every single line in a quote notebook. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of parallel universe books, especially if they’re in the form of a decision that splits the book in two. You get to see how the two alternate worlds play out as a result of that choice and see how the book ends. Did the decision eventually lead to the same end result? Or did things turn out totally different in both worlds? This is such a fascinating concept to me: the idea of fate and destiny vs. decisions impacting outcomes. Is everything pre-planned? Will we always end up in the same spot regardless of our choices? Or does each individual choice impact us in some way, creating an alternate universe (or millions of them) where each decision is played out in a completely different way? I’ll probably write a deeper dive into this at some point because I feel like I talk about it so much. But, moral of the story is: I knew this book was going to become a favorite […]

Review: Fangirl

Posted August 21, 2015 / Book Reviews / 12 Comments
Review: Fangirl

Trust me, no one is sadder than I am that this book didn’t work for me. I mean, really, it had a lot of makings for a Lauren book. I used to read fanfiction A LOT about Harry Potter (I was particularly fond of a Draco/Hermione one that I’d give anything to locate again…) and I tend to love books with a college setting instead of high school. Unfortunately nearly none of this book worked for me, yet I couldn’t give it less than 3 stars no matter how much I tried. Let’s dig in a bit, shall we? Oh, Cath. MANY many people have said how much they related to Cath and how they saw so much of themselves in her. Relating to a main character is definitely not necessary for me to like a book. Hell, even LIKING a main character isn’t totally necessary for me. However, I did not like Cath at all. I couldn’t relate to her on really anything. I did not like reading about her at all. It makes me feel kind of… shitty… to be honest? You can tell that she definitely deals with some anxiety about loooots of things, but I couldn’t bring myself to be sympathetic. I honestly didn’t even realize right away that she had anxiety; I just thought she was annoying. It seems like she had friends (mostly through her sister) in high school and was better able to balance fanfic writing and social engagements. Sometimes people clam up in […]