Book Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo // deserves the hype

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Title: Six of Crows

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Published: September 29, 2015

Pages: 462

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Amazon / Barnes & NoblesGoodreads

Goodreads Description: 

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

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I’m probably the last person under the sun to read this book.

Despite it seeming like everything I wanted in a book—a heist, clever thieves, angsty romance—it never felt like the appropriate time to read the book. I still can’t say that I finally read it at good time. I picked this book up after reading The Final Empire, another fantasy book that revolves around a heist and one that I love dearly. I couldn’t help but compare Six of Crows to it. That, combined with all the hype surrounding the book, was a recipe for disappointment. However, I still really enjoyed Six of Crows

Continue reading “Book Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo // deserves the hype”

Book Review: The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon // a relatable contemporary that hit home

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Title: The Sun Is Also a Star

Author: Nicola Yoon

Published: November 1, 2016

Pages: 348

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Amazon / Barnes & NoblesGoodreads

Goodreads Description: 

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

january-12

I was taken aback by how much The Sun Is Also a Star resonated with me.

Continue reading “Book Review: The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon // a relatable contemporary that hit home”

Book Review: A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard // a look into living with anxiety and selective mutism (+ a little life update)

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Title: A Quiet Kind of Thunder

Author: Sara Barnard

Published: January 12, 2017

Pages: 320

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance

Amazon / Goodreads

Goodreads Description: Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life – she’s been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He’s deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she’s assigned to look after him. To Rhys, it doesn’t matter that Steffi doesn’t talk, and as they find ways to communicate, Steffi finds that she does have a voice, and that she’s falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it.

january-12

A Quiet Kind of Thunder was a pleasant change from the cliché, YA novels I usually find myself reading.

Continue reading “Book Review: A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard // a look into living with anxiety and selective mutism (+ a little life update)”

Book Review: Wanderlost by Jen Malone // a disappointing summer read

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Title: Wanderlost

Author: Jen Malone

Published: May 31, 2016

Pages: 352

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance

Amazon / Barnes and Nobles / Goodreads

Goodreads Description: Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe.

Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story.

But her relationship with Sam is threatening to ruin her relationship with her sister, and she feels like she’s letting both of them down. Aubree knows this trip may show her who she really is—she just hopes she likes where she ends up.

january-12

I picked Wanderlost up because it seemed like the kind of cheesy, contemporary book I needed to get me out of an almost one month long book slump.

For that reason, I appreciated that Malone went straight to the plot and provided necessary information as the story unfolded. 

Continue reading “Book Review: Wanderlost by Jen Malone // a disappointing summer read”

Book Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab // the monsters were an interesting concept, but not enough

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Title: This Savage Song

Author: Victoria Schwab

Published: July 5, 2016

Pages: 464

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Amazon / Barnes and Nobles / Goodreads

Goodreads Description: Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

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This is the first book in the Monsters of Verity duology written by acclaimed author Victoria Schwab.

I almost didn’t read this book because, in my experience, I found Schwab’s books to be over-hyped. However, the concept really interested me, so I decided to give the author a second third chance. I’ll try not to spoil too much in this review because I feel like the less you know about this book, the better.

Continue reading “Book Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab // the monsters were an interesting concept, but not enough”

Mini Book Review: A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall // I like different

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Title: A Little Something Different

Author: Sandy Hall

Published: August 26, 2014

Pages: 272

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Young Adult

Amazon / Barnes and Nobles / Goodreads

Goodreads Description: The creative writing teacher, the delivery guy, the local Starbucks baristas, his best friend, her roommate, and the squirrel in the park all have one thing in common—they believe that Gabe and Lea should get together. Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out.  But somehow even when nothing is going on, something is happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV show. Their bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes in their relationship.

Surely Gabe and Lea will figure out that they are meant to be together….

january-12

I was drawn to this book when it was mentioned in this video where it was described as a love story that’s never actually told in the perspective of the love interests.

I adore stories about two people who are obviously perfect for each other but are too shy to admit it, so I knew I would enjoy this book. This book turned out to be a pretty quick read — I was able to finish it in one day — so that’s why this review is on the shorter side 😁. Continue reading “Mini Book Review: A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall // I like different”

Book Review: The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee // too much unnecessary drama

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Title: The Thousandth Floor

Author: Katharine McGee

Published: August 30, 2016

Pages: 448

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance

Amazon / Barnes and Nobles / Goodreads

Goodreads Description: A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. Everyone there wants something…and everyone has something to lose.
LEDA COLE’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.

ERIS DODD-RADSON’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.

RYLIN MYERS’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will this new life cost Rylin her old one?

WATT BAKRADI is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy for an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.

And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is AVERY FULLER, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

january-12

One of the reading challenges I’m participating in this year is the Monthly Motif Reading Challenge. Each month, particpators have to pick a book that fits the theme for that month. The theme for the month of January was Diversify Your Reading, so I had to choose a book written by an author or with characters of a different race, religion, or sexual orientation than me (basically a character who isn’t Asian, agnostic, or heterosexual)The Thousandth Floor had numerous characters that fit criteria (ex. Leda was African American, Eris was bisexual, and Mariel was Christian).

This book reminded me of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. Both books are about rich kids who seriously need more parental guidance. I actually ended up giving The Thousandth Floor two stars for reasons similar to why I gave two stars to We Were Liars.
Continue reading “Book Review: The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee // too much unnecessary drama”

Book Review: Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley // the start of my era of diverse reading

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Title: Highly Illogical Behavior

Author: John Corey Whaley

Published: May 10, 2016

Pages: 256

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT

Amazon / Barnes and Nobles / Goodreads

Goodreads Description: Sixteen-year-old Solomon is agoraphobic. He hasn’t left the house in three years, which is fine by him.

Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to get into the second-best psychology program for college (she’s being realistic). But is ambition alone enough to get her in?

Enter Lisa.

Determined to “fix” Sol, Lisa steps into his world, along with her charming boyfriend, Clark, and soon the three form an unexpected bond. But, as Lisa learns more about Sol and he and Clark grow closer and closer, the walls they’ve built around themselves start to collapse and their friendships threaten to do the same.

january-12

I can count how many books I have read about a protagonist with a mental illness on one hand. For that reason, I decided to pick up this book in order to diversify my reading. I also heard that it does a does a good job of respectfully portraying agoraphobia.

Continue reading “Book Review: Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley // the start of my era of diverse reading”

Book Review: Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum // a predictable, but cute contemporary

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Title: Tell Me Three Things

Author: Julie Buxbaum

Published: April 5, 2016

Pages: 328

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Amazon / Barnes and Nobles / Goodreads

Goodreads Description: Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

january-12

I picked this book up because I was in the mood for a light, contemporary read and I heard good things about this particular one. I will say that I figured out who SN was right off the bat, but that didn’t hamper my reading experience. In fact, it only added to my squealing during the falling action.

Continue reading “Book Review: Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum // a predictable, but cute contemporary”

Book Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black // needed more sword fights

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Title: The Darkest Part of the Forest

Author: Holly Black

Published: January 13, 2015

Pages: 336

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance

Amazon / Barnes and Nobles / Goodreads

Goodreads Description: Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

january-12

To be completely honest, the synopsis of this story didn’t particularly interest me.

I  was about to dismiss this book when I realized that it was written by one of the co-authors of a favorite childhood series of mine, The Spiderwick Chronicles. I decided to give The Darkest Part of the Forest a chance in the hopes that it would possess similar elements to the aforementioned series.

Continue reading “Book Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black // needed more sword fights”