/Modified/ Mini Book Reviews // YA romances, contemporaries, sci-fi, and fantasy

I’m really behind on book reviews.

Recently, I was scrolling through my notes app on my phone, where I type any thoughts I have while reading a story, and saw that I have notes from books I read back at the beginning of 2018. This is why I should just review books right after reading them 🤦‍♀️.

Related: Why I Don’t Always Review A Book

I’ve put off reviewing the books for one reason or another, but it’s truly just come to the point where even if I did want to review them, I can’t because 𝘐 𝘤𝘢𝘯’𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘦𝘳 𝘦𝘯𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮. Of course there are the notes I made, but many of them are incomplete and wouldn’t be enough for me to write up a thorough or even mini review.

Hence, my shoddy solution: /modified/ mini review *posts!

*There’s just too many books I never reviewed, so I have to split these up into multiple posts 😬.

Here, you can read my bullet point thoughts as they are in my notes and any quotes I saved while reading each book. In this way, I can finally share the backlog of half-baked thoughts I have on these books, and you can… read them 😅? I’m not sure how this will benefit you all, but hopefully by reading how these books affected me, you’ll get a glimpse as to how these books may resonate with you.

It’s a shoddy solution, but it’s my shoddy solution 😤.: 

Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West


Goodreads Description: Seventeen-year-old Abby Turner’s summer isn’t going the way she’d planned. She has a not-so-secret but definitely unrequited crush on her best friend, Cooper. She hasn’t been able to manage her mother’s growing issues with anxiety. And now she’s been rejected from an art show because her work “has no heart.” So when she gets another opportunity to show her paintings Abby isn’t going to take any chances.

Which is where the list comes in.

Abby gives herself one month to do ten things, ranging from face a fear (#3) to learn a stranger’s story (#5) to fall in love (#8). She knows that if she can complete the list she’ll become the kind of artist she’s always dreamed of being. But as the deadline approaches, Abby realizes that getting through the list isn’t as straightforward as it seems… and that maybe—just maybe—she can’t change her art if she isn’t first willing to change herself.

Note last edited February 18, 2018:

– not sure last time or if i ever read a book with grandpa in it (at least contemporary book)
– really love the dynamic with her grandpa
– fish funeral funny
– couldn’t empathize with abby at times
– liked her sarcastic personality but came off as a little rude sometimes


i liked it

The Loneliest Girl in the World by Lauren James


Goodreads Description: Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity amongst the stars. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.

Their only communication with each other is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit across space. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.

But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean?

Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone . . .

Note last edited February 24, 2018:

– i like how there’s still fanfic in the future
– she was born on ship and parents died
– how did they die??
– get martian vibes, still haven’t finished that
– predictable
– ending anti-climatic because ^
– want an epilogue or sequel or something
– this is what i get for purposely picking up a small book


i really liked it

The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters


Goodreads Description: Dramatis personae:

Hanalee Denney, daughter of a white woman and an African American man

Hank Denney, her father—a ghost

Greta Koning, Hanalee’s mother

Clyde Koning, doctor who treated Hank Denney the night he died, now Hanalee’s stepfather

Joe Adder, teenage boy convicted of accidentally killing Hank Denney

Members of the Ku Klux Klan

Townspeople of Elston, Oregon

Question: Was Hank Denney’s death an accident…or was it murder most foul?

Note last edited March 24, 2018:

– underrated author
– love cat winter’s writing. her writing is understandable which is nice for a historical fiction
– did her research. truly tried to make inoffensive and stay true to people’s experiences
– gave enough context while still being respectful of current times in terms she used
– story combines struggle of being homosexual and biracial ESPECIALLY in the early 1920s
– interesting to read about history of oregon. oregon is usually such a liberal state and i had it in my mind that it was always more open-minded
– was sad, frustrating, and embarrassing part of us history, but inspiring and humbling to see characters overcome the obstacles like people truly had to do
– liked the dynamic between joe and hannalee. both considered sinful in society, interesting to see how they felt wary of each other even though they were both outcasts. loved how they came together. that’s how us minorities have to be. must stand together.
– always interesting how cat winters weaves supernatural element into her stories. it was more subtle this time. felt like the supernatural element was in the background but the foreground was about the struggle of “sinful” people and the racism of the KKK


i really liked it

Dear Martin by Nic Stone


Goodreads Description: Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.

Note last edited March 25, 2018:

– starts off right away
– makes sense cause it’s a short story
– interesting twist by writing letters to dr. king
– usually don’t like letter style or just other media styles in books because i feel like it takes away from story
– like the chat text
– understand affirmative action better


i really liked it

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender


Goodreads Description: The wondrous Aimee Bender conjures the lush and moving story of a girl whose magical gift is really a devastating curse.

On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein, a girl at the periphery of schoolyard games and her distracted parents’ attention, bites into her mother’s homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother’s emotions in the cake. She discovers this gift to her horror, for her mother—her cheerful, good-with-crafts, can-do mother—tastes of despair and desperation. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes a peril and a threat to Rose.

The curse her gift has bestowed is the secret knowledge all families keep hidden—her mother’s life outside the home, her father’s detachment, her brother’s clash with the world. Yet as Rose grows up she learns to harness her gift and becomes aware that there are secrets even her taste buds cannot discern. 

Note last edited April 17, 2018:

– had a melancholy feel
– unsatisfied with ending
– liked the concept of it
– wished they explained more at the end though
– overall messages: how to love someone when you know all their thoughts and feelings (even their disturbing ones), everyone copes differently, we can choose whether or not we avoid our problems or do something about it, there’s a lot that people don’t say to each other
– sympathized with mom in the beginning, but then didn’t like her
– didn’t really like that dad at first, but then realized that he was an average dad trying to care for his family in the way he knew how to
– feel like story needs an epilogue


i liked it

The Boy on the Bridge by M.R. Carey


Goodreads Description: Once upon a time, in a land blighted by terror, there was a very clever boy.

The people thought the boy could save them, so they opened their gates and sent him out into the world.

To where the monsters lived.

Note last edited May 15, 2018:

– surprised when it started switching points of view
– kinda forgot what happened in the first book
– interesting but not enough to keep me up at night cause i wanna read it
– like that we get more info on what it was like when the outbreak was a more recent thing kinda and see how they discovered the children
– tryna figure out why its called boy on the bridge

“He doesn’t see what’s so great about leaving your mark on things. You have a life and then it ends and you’re dead. Living it is the point, not proving to other people that you were there.”


i liked it

Thanks for reading! Have you read any of these books? How do you like the format of this post? Let me know your thoughts below 😊.
Side note: My g, h, and ‘ keys on my keyboard are broken! Every time I use them and google doesn’t detect I misspelled a word, I have to copy and paste those characters 😂😭 . I should really get it fixed.

On another note, I’m graduating in a month! The post-graduation crisis is really starting to hit me, but at least I’ll be less busy with school things in a couple weeks. I’m really looking forward to getting back into reading and regularly posting again 😊.


3 thoughts on “/Modified/ Mini Book Reviews // YA romances, contemporaries, sci-fi, and fantasy

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