The Crown by Kiera Cass

the crownAuthor: Kiera Cass

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis: When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illéa to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone.

Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined.

overall feelings copy

I can’t believe I am writing this down, but the last book in The Selection Series may have been the best one out of the bunch. I still believe that the author did milk the cow with the series after she wrote The One. The Heir and The Crown could have been one book, but that’s just me. Funny thing is that I started The Crown while I was working out in the gym, but I end up reading it in one sitting.

Eadlyn was a much better character in this book. She completely changed her personality, and I didn’t feel like she was the same character compared to the previous book. I enjoyed Eadlyn far more. Eadlyn realizes that she has to put her kingdom above all else, even if it means sacrificing her happiness. Eadlyn wants to make up for her past actions and she grows stronger. She tries to focus what is best for her country, even though everyone does not have faith in her. No one gives Eadlyn enough credit for her liberal actions when she tries to create balance within her empire. Eadlyn has great character development, and I still prefer her more than America. Though she did make some questionable decisions.

There is also an unnecessary minor villain that is introduced in this book. His name is Marid, but I kept reading Madrid. Ha ha. He could of been introduced in The Heir. He did remind me of Hans from Frozen. From the moment he was introduced, I knew he was up to no good. And sadly, Ahren hardly made an appearance in this last book.

As for Eadlyn’s selection, I wished there were a bit more moments between Eadlyn and her suitors. When I first reviewed The Heir, I really liked Henri and Eikko (Erik). Let’s just say that Henri is just as wonderful in this book. He is still by far my favorite contestant from the selection. He’s a sweet guy that cares deeply for Eadlyn and Eikko. I’m glad that Kile and Eadlyn have each other’s backs. There was one shocking moment in the book that involves two selection candidates. I wasn’t expecting it. One of my minor complaints from this book was that the relationship was a tad rushed towards the end. I would have liked a slow paced development from the beginning. Ever since reading The Heir last year, I had a feeling that Eadlyn’s choice was going to be a certain character, and boy was I right.

“Maybe it’s not the first kisses that are supposed to be special. Maybe it’s the last ones.”

This last book was very entertaining, but it does have it’s faults. I’ve mentioned earlier that The Heir & The Crown could have been easily combined and shortened down. There were some dull moments throughout the book, this books doesn’t focus heavily on the romance but more on Eadlyn’s rise to power. It’s the only book in the Selection Series that I have given a four star rating.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

ARC: The ‘Ohana Tree by Rebecca Addison

The 'Ohana TreeAuthor: Rebecca Addison

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis: The first book in the ‘Ohana Series by Rebecca Addison.

On a small island in Hawaii, twenty-eight-year-old Kai is contemplating his life.
He’s a talented singer-songwriter, stuck playing other people’s music for tourists at the local bar. With his own songs and with that voice, he has the potential to be the next big thing. But as much as he lives and breathes to play music, Kai knows he will never leave the island to pursue his dream.

On an old bus rumbling along a winding road, a girl named Tessa looks out the window. She sees frog-green plants clinging to the side of sheer cliffs, snatches of a bright blue sea. She’s come to Hawaii to reconnect with the only person who really knows her. And to escape. She’s a winged seed on the breeze, never settling long enough to grow and put down roots.

In her second novel, Rebecca Addison tells a soul-stirring story about family loyalty, love and loss, long-held secrets and the chance for new beginnings.

overall feelings copy

 I was kindly provided the arc by the author for my honest opinion. One of my new years resolution was to read more indie authors, and luckily this book fits the criteria. I’m trying to read different genres, instead of sticking with the same old genre.

The ‘Ohana Tree begins with Kai, an inspiring musician that constantly puts his family’s needs above his own. Kai’s father and brother rely on him on just about everything. Kai dreams of leaving the island and pursuing his dream. Kai is stuck on the island and he doesn’t believe that he’ll ever leave.

Perhaps that was the problem. Nothing out of the ordinary ever happened to me. I was still young, my body strong and my head full of dreams and ideas. But I felt old, and my world grew smaller and smaller each passing year. There were expectations. That I would stay on the island. That I would look after our land. That I would watch over my family.

One day he meets Tessa, an equally gifted musician who constantly travels. Kai is immediately captivated by Tessa, especially her music.

She was free, spontaneous, curious and independent. It made me happy. But it felt risky, too. I knew that I was in a dangerous waters with Tess. There was a real chance that she was going to give me a glimpse of a a magical, high definition version of my life, only to leave me to live out the one I had instead.

Tessa is a girl who doesn’t want to fall in love because she has many failed relationships. Tessa is attracted to Kai as well, but she knows that she’ll end up hurting him if they start a relationship. Tessa decides to push Kai away, but Kai never gives up on her. Kai and Tessa manage to form a relationship even though both protagonists have tragic backstories.

I haven’t read in a male point of view in such a long time, so it was a refreshing change.  As for the characters, I really liked them equally, but if I had to pick my favorite, it would be Kai. Kai was the perfect boyfriend to Tessa. He hardly has any faults. He sacrifices his needs and puts others above him.  Kai loves his ‘ohana more than anything. Though Tess wants to keep her privacy, Kai never gives up on her. Both characters bring out the best in each other. Tess made Kai feel that anything was possible, especially leaving the island behind. While Kai helped changed Tess’ perspective on love and family. Kai and Tess’ relationship is really stable, though there were some moments that they bickered.

The secondary characters were just as great. I felt sad for Kai’s father. Though Kai never had a loving relationship with his father, his father cared deeply for him. Tess saw another side to Kai’s father that Kai was not seeing.

Why do you do that?

Do what?

Make it sound like he’s this callous, evil man. You don’t have to thank me for hanging out with him, Kai. I like him and I like spending time up there.

Akamu (Kai’s younger brother) is very supportive of Kai’s relationship with Tess. There were many funny interactions with Akamu being a third wheel.

Before I started reading The ‘Ohana Tree, I didn’t know what to expect. After reading the first book, I was amazed at how emotionally invested I was with the characters and their situations. Also, this book had several steamy moments. I really enjoyed reading The ‘Ohana Tree and I can’t wait for the sequel. This book felt more like something I would take on the beach, and it’s set in Hawaii.

My favorite quote:

Ohana isn’t just your blood, Tess. It’s the family you choose for yourself. Family isn’t just the people who made you; it’s the people who love you.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Website: http://rebeccaaddison.com/

The Ohana Tree.jpg

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Me Before You

Author: Jojo Moyes

Genre: Fiction, Romance

Links: Goodreads | Amazon

*I recently started using Amazon Affliates. From now on, I’ll be posting links to each book I review. It will really help out my blog.*

Goodreads Synopsis: Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

overall feelings copy.jpg

Here is my confession, I read the book because of all the hype it has been getting lately. If you don’t already know, the movie will be coming out early June and the trailers look amazing. I was expecting Me Before You to be as wonderful and amazing according to many 5 star ratings on Goodreads. It didn’t captivate my attention. I put this book down several times.

Will had the perfect life before his accident. He was successful and a risk taker, but everything changed on that fateful rainy day. Lou, on the other hand, is the opposite of Will. She is content with working at a cafe, but when she gets laid off from her job of several years, she is forced to find employment at a job center. Lou eventually lands a job as a caretaker for Will. Initially, Will and Lou don’t get along. Lou despises her job at first, but learns to love it and Will.

Now what I really liked about Me Before You was that it was not the typical romance story. I don’t really read romance books, so going into this book I was expecting lots of romance. That did not happen. Me Before You was really realistic and it had great encouraging themes such as living life to your full potential. These are my two favorite quotes from the book:

You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible

And

“Push yourself. Don’t settle. Wear those stripy legs with pride. And if you insist on settling down with some ridiculous bloke, make sure some of this is squirreled away somewhere. Knowing you still have possibilities is a luxury. Knowing I might have given them to you has alleviated something for me.”

It made me wonder about my own life and whether or not I’m living it to my fullest. I really found Lou to be relatable. Lou goes through a transformation throughout the whole book. She learns to change herself for the better and its all thanks to Will, who gave her the extra push. No one encouraged Lou more than Will, not even Patrick (her boyfriend) of seven years. It did take me a while to tolerate Lou, but by the end of the book, I really liked her. I wasn’t a huge fan of Lou’s family either, but I really liked Treena (Lou’s younger sister).

I didn’t hate the book, nor did I particularly love it. Honestly, it took me such a long time to start enjoying the book, and that’s when I reached the halfway point. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, but the book was definitely boring for me. I didn’t feel an attachment with the characters, and in my case, it felt like this book was missing a certain something for me to love it. I feel that the movie will definitely be better than the book, and I will see the movie! Will I read the sequel? No thank you. I was really satisfied with the ending of the book, even though it was bittersweet.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

ARC: The New Guy And Other Senior Distractions by Amy Spalding

Goodreads Review: A ridiculously cute, formerly-famous new guy dropping into your life? It’s practically every girl’s dream.

But not Jules McCallister-Morgan’s.

I realize that on paper I look like your standard type-A, neurotic, overachiever. And maybe I am. But I didn’t get to be the editor of my school’s long-revered newspaper by just showing up*. I have one main goal for my senior year-early acceptance into my first choice Ivy League college-and I will not be deterred by best friends, moms who think I could stand to “live a little,” or boys.

At least, that was the plan before I knew about Alex Powell**.

And before Alex Powell betrayed me***.

I know what you’re thinking: Calm down, Jules. But you don’t understand. This stuff matters. This is my life. And I’m not going down without a fight.

—-

* Okay, I sort of did. But it’s a sore subject.

** I mean, I guess everyone knows about Alex Powell? Two years ago, you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about viral video boy band sensation Chaos 4 All. Two years ago, Alex Powell was famous.

***Some people think I’m overreacting. But this. Means. War.

Filled with romance, rivalry, and passive-aggressive dog walking, Amy Spalding delivers a hilariously relatable high school story that’s sure to have you falling for The New Guy.

Commentary: I was kindly provided the physical copy of The Memory Book by The Novl.

I wanted The New Guy And Other Senior Distractions by Amy Spalding to be hilarious and cute. Funny thing is that my sister told me this book was going to be awful just by reading the synopsis. I gave it a chance despite her warning and oh boy, she was was right. All the contemporary books that I have read so far in this month have been terrible, one after another. This book is no exception. Also, spoilers!

The story starts off with Jules, a overachieving high school senior that wants everything to go according to plan. She dreams of attending Brown University and getting the editor in chief position at her school. She may not be popular, but she has a supportive group of friends. Dating guys are not on her top priority at all, and everything changed when the new guy, Alex transfers to her school.

Alex used to be in a boy band and had a one hit wonder, now he’s focusing on having a normal life. He is immediately attracted to Jules, even though she has no time for dating. There are immediate sparks between both characters, but both experience a roller coaster of emotions because of his “betrayal”.

This book was so silly, and not in a good way. I was hoping that the betrayal was going to be much darker, and honestly I don’t believe that Alex betrayed Jules at all. Jules took it out of proportion. In the span of almost a week, she suddenly drops Alex out of her life because he is her “enemy”. Alex happens to be in Talon, the school’s official newscaster team that has taken all of the Crest’s (the school’s newspaper) popularity away. Since Talon is popular among the students, the readership of the Crest has suffered tremendously and has threaten the school’s tradition.  Jules declares war on Talon and hijinks ensue.

over it.gif

I wanted to like Jules, I really did and I tried. I couldn’t because her character was really wishy-washy. Everyone admires Jules because she is a natural born leader and is very hardworking. A loyal friend. I found her rather selfish and a horrible friend. For example, Jules was so caught up on destroying Talon that she ignored her best friend Sadie’s messages for several days. And then her relationship with Alex was really dramatic. One moment Jules is happy to be with her hot boyfriend, and in the next moment she questions if he’s liar and a cheat. They constantly break up…I couldn’t take their relationship seriously. Alex was a bland character, and to be honest I didn’t think their relationship was healthy. Like I’ve mentioned before, all these emotions of love and hatred happen in the span of about a month.

Other than that, this book was so cheesy and over the top. The only character that I did end up liking was Sadie, though she’s a secondary character. Sadie was supportive to Jules throughout the whole book, especially when Jules has problems with Alex. There are a couple of things I liked in this book. It’s set in the Eagle Rock/Highland Park area, and since I usually go there on Sundays I know the places that Jules visits. I did like Jules and Natalie’s rivalry, though I would have liked it even more if there was a bigger reason why those two didn’t get along, instead of misunderstanding each other.

Recommendation wise, I would recommend this book to a younger audience. It wasn’t for me.

Final Rating: ⭐️ (1.5)

Release Date: April 5th 2016 by Poppy

 

The Memory Book by Lara Avery

Goodreads Synopsis: They tell me that my memory will never be the same, that I’ll start forgetting things. At first just a little, and then a lot. So I’m writing to remember.

Sammie was always a girl with a plan: graduate at the top of her class and get out of her small town as soon as humanly possible. Nothing will stand in her way–not even a rare genetic disorder the doctors say will slowly start to steal her memories and then her health. What she needs is a new plan.

So the Memory Book is born: Sammie’s notes to her future self, a document of moments great and small. It’s where she’ll record every perfect detail of her first date with longtime crush, Stuart–a brilliant young writer who is home for the summer. And where she’ll admit how much she’s missed her childhood best friend, Cooper, and even take some of the blame for the fight that ended their friendship.

Through a mix of heartfelt journal entries, mementos, and guest posts from friends and family, readers will fall in love with Sammie, a brave and remarkable girl who learns to live and love life fully, even though it’s not the life she planned.

Commentary: I was kindly provided the physical copy of The Memory Book by The Novl.

When I first read the synopsis, I was beyond excited to read this book. I admit it, I did hype it up a bit. I thought that The Memory Book was going to be similar to one of my favorite books: Flowers For Alergnon by Daniel Keyes, which I highly recommend reading. Anyways, going back to The Memory Book and how I felt about it as a whole: I loved the first chapter, but everything kinda went downhill. And yes, there will be spoilers.

howl.gif

The book was not entirely bad, but one of my biggest issues was how forgettable the book was to me. I really did not like the protagonist’s choices. I loved how socially awkward she was and how she was an overachiever, but that’s just it. After reading several chapters, I was not enjoying what I was reading. And I even considered putting the book down, but I kept telling myself to finish it, and so I did. If I was twelve, maybe I would have liked it much more, but certainly not love it. I didn’t feel an emotional attachment to Sammie. Even if she didn’t have her disease, I still wouldn’t find her likable.

Moving on to the love interests…I found each of her guys equally boring. First there is Stuart, her man crush from high school. She has always found him fascinating since he is a writer and ha . I was very displeased with Sammie especially what she did to Stuart. Sammie had sex with Cooper and cheated on Stuart while he was out of town. It happened out of no where.

Now about the ending, well I didn’t cry. The way it ended sorta felt bittersweet because I didn’t think it was going to happen so quickly. I would have liked the book a bit more if it

  • focused more on Sammie’s struggles
  • didn’t focus a lot on the love interests
  • had no love triangle
  • had a better family dynamic
  • had more guest posts describing Sammie and her condition
  • had better writing

Though I found this book quite tedious, others might like this book more than me. The Memory Book has a unique synopsis, and I would actually recommend this book to a younger audience.

Also worst quote ever…

Then he took my arm-that’s right, you read correctly-he took my arm, and turned it over, as if he were administering a shot. He brought a pen out of his pocket, uncapped it with his teeth and wrote his email. Each curve of each letter of his name was like, I don’t know, having sex. I have never had sex, but have you ever had someone write on you? Have you ever had a writer write on you?He might as well have been doing it with his fingertip.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️

Wild Swans by Jessica Spotswood

Goodreads Synopsis: The summer before Ivy’s senior year is going to be golden; all bonfires, barbeques, and spending time with her best friends. For once, she will just get to be. No summer classes, none of Granddad’s intense expectations to live up to the family name. For generations, the Milbourn women have lead extraordinary lives—and died young and tragically. Granddad calls it a legacy, but Ivy considers it a curse. Why else would her mother have run off and abandoned her as a child?

But when her mother unexpectedly returns home with two young daughters in tow, all of the stories Ivy wove to protect her heart start to unravel. The very people she once trusted now speak in lies. And all of Ivy’s ambition and determination cannot defend her against the secrets of the Milbourn past….

Commentary:

rolls eyes

The synopsis sounded very interesting, but it wasn’t what I expected. Let me break this down: one of the worst contemporary novels that I read so far. I’ve been having great luck with contemporary novels so far, but this one was not worth it.

As much as I didn’t love the book, I read it much quicker than I anticipated. Anyways, this story is about Ivy, a very talented girl that doesn’t realize she has a lot of potential to be anything she wants to be. She constantly feels pressure by her grandfather and feels that she is not good enough. All the women in her family have been blessed with talents, but at the same time, all the talented women die at a young age. Ivy was raised by her grandfather since her mother abandoned her, and her father is irrelevant since he plays no role in this story.

Life seemed perfect for Ivy, until her mother reappeared into her life. Ivy has depended on herself and grandfather, she feels bitter towards her mother which is understandable. Ivy’s mother, Erika, was a terrible character. She’s probably one of the worst mothers in YA fiction. There is nothing redeemable about her. Erika is constantly bitter, and it seems she has feelings of jealously towards her own daughter. She doesn’t acknowledge Ivy as her daughter. Ivy has two half sisters that refer to her as their aunt because of Erika. Tragic. Ivy is everything that Erika was meant to be. Erika is a horrible mother, but only behaves nicely to her youngest daughter. Erika has many emotional problems, and has problems remaining sober. I would have liked if Erika’s backstory were explored more. Erika and Ivy constantly bicker, and there is a lot of drama in this book! It felt more like a soap opera to me.

jeremy .gif

Now moving on to the love interests, I wasn’t a big fan of either guy. First off, there’s Alex who is Ivy’s best friend. Alex likes Ivy, but she doesn’t feel the same for him. She feels like she’ll jeopardize their friendship if they become a couple. All her other friends root for Ivy and Alex to be a couple. Alex wants to be Ivy’s boyfriend so badly, but Ivy pushes away his feelings. The other guy is  Connor, who happens to be her grandfather’s top student, and really hot. Seriously, he’s nothing more than a hot guy with a love of poetry. Connor hardly gets developed at all!! There is a love triangle, but Alex never has a chance to be with Ivy. Alex was constantly jealous, and Ivy left him for Connor, a guy that she hardly knows. If I had to pick, I would chose Alex since he’s known her all her life, though he was a major jerk. Anyways, Ivy and Connor become a couple and almost have sex…by the way, this story takes place in the span of ten days. They hardly know each other…their relationship is much more passion than anything else. I would have liked their relationship way more if the relationship was more developed.

The ending was a let down, and I definitely don’t recommend reading this book. I rolled my eyes a lot when I was reading this story. There were several diverse topics that should have been explored more. My original rating for this book was much higher, but after much thought, I will give it a much lower rating.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️

Release Date:May 3rd 2016

 

The Start Of Me And You by Emery Lord

Goodreads Synopsis: Following her pitch-perfect debut Open Road Summer, Emery Lord pens another gorgeous story of best friends, new love, & second chances.

Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.

It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

Commentary: I read The Start Of Me And You because it is the book of the month for the We The Book Dragon’s group on Goodreads. I’ve been telling myself to follow my resolutions by being more active on Goodreads groups, I’m trying! Anyways, this month’s choice was excellent!

The story begins with Paige, she is known as the girl whose boyfriend died. If I can sum what this story is about in one short sentence it would be this: A book about self discovery and learning to live once again. I enjoyed this story much more than I would have thought. I went into this book with medium expectations, I didn’t expect myself to love this book. But, I did! I really had a lot of fun reading the book. I even cried twice near the very end of the book.

Paige has a tough life. She keeps having nightmares about drowning and her parents are divorced, and the one person that she can be completely honest with, her grandmother, has Alzheimer’s. Luckily for Paige, she has a group of supportive friends that would protect her at all costs. Paige wants to start over again by the time she enters her junior year of high school. She writes down a list of what she wants to complete by the year.

Paige has always had a crush on Ryan Chase who happens to be one of the popular boys in school. Paige is absolutely smitten by him that she can’t speak coherently when he is around. When Paige learns that Ryan is single, she makes it her mission to date him. Just when fate seems to lead her to Ryan, she ends up striking up a friendship with Ryan’s cousin Max. In order to get closer to Ryan, Paige becomes friends with Max.

The friendship started because of shallowness, but soon Paige finds herself completely comfortable around Max. Max isn’t the type of guy that Paige is attracted to. Though Ryan is her crush, Max is much more involved in her life.

“Ryan Chase was my eighth-grade collage, aspirational and wide-eyed. But Max was the first bite of grilled cheese on a snowy day, the easy fit of my favorite jeans, that one old song that made it onto every playlist. Peanut-butter Girl Scout cookies instead of an ornate cake. Not glamorous or idealized or complicated. Just me.”

I really enjoyed reading The Start Of Me And You! It took me two days to finish this book! It’s the quickest book I’ve read. I connected with the characters. I loved the banter between Max and Paige. One of my favorite scenes in the book has to be when Paige and Max argue about Pride and Prejudice. Paige sees herself as an Elizabeth, while Max sees her more of Jane.

Here are my reasons why you should read The Start Of Me And You:

  • Seeing Max and Paige’s relationship grow – one of the most developed relationship in YA! They have a lot of cute moments. The ending of the book is so, so worth it.
  • Girl Power: Paige’s friends are amazing!! They help her out so much! They defend her, they love her. I like that they play a huge role in her life:

“In friendship we are all debtors. We all owe each other for a thousand small kindnesses, for little moments of grace in the chaos.”

  • If you’re looking for a cute story with not a lot of drama, then this one is perfect.
  • There are a couple sad moments that made me cry in this book. Bring out the tissues.

This book is amazing! I would love to see this book get adapted into a movie. I highly recommend reading this book!! Originally I was going to give it a 4.5 out of 5, but the more I marinated my whole reading experience, it was best to give it a perfect score. There isn’t anything that I would change about it.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

 

 

 

Chasing Spring by R.S. Grey

Think about it. Does the ending even matter? Shouldn’t the middle be the happy part? It’s the biggest chunk of our life, and yet no one ever asks if two people had a happy middle. They care too much about the ending.

Goodreads Synopsis: I thought I’d left Blackwater, Texas behind for good. I didn’t belong in the small town, but my dad wouldn’t listen. He dragged me back home in his beat-up truck and dropped a bomb along the way: Chase Matthews was moving in with us. He was the golden boy of my high school, my former best friend, and the last person I wanted sleeping across the hall. His presence was too great a reminder of the ghosts I was trying to forget.

I didn’t ask for a hero. I don’t want to be saved.

To me, Lilah Calloway meant late nights sneakin’ out, moonlit hair, and sparklers in July. She was my best friend until the day she left and I’d assumed Blackwater had seen the last of her. Then, like a tempest, she rolled back into town for the final half of senior year. The chopped hair and dark devil-may-care attitude warned most people away, but I knew if I fought hard enough, I could find the lost girl.

I didn’t want to be her hero. Some girls don’t need to be saved

Processed with VSCO with 5 preset

Commentary: I liked the book way more than I thought I would! It really exceeded my expectations! I kept seeing this book being hyped on bookstagram, well the people I follow were hyping it up. I decided to check it out for myself.  I really liked the author’s writing style; it made me want to check out her other books for future reads.

Anyways, Chasing Spring is about Lilah and Chase, they used to be best friends but tragedy separated them. When Lilah returns back to her hometown, she has changed completely in her looks and attitude. She has a tough exterior, but deep down she is broken inside.

That’s when I finally realized I didn’t really fit in anywhere at my high school, not with the stoners, and not with the popular kids. My hiatus in Austin has succeeded in separating me from everyone. I was a complete loner.

Since she lives in a small town, just about everyone knows her family secret. Chase has always loved Lilah, and when he learns that she has returned, he knows that underneath it all, she is the same Lilah as always.

I really liked Chasing Spring; it wasn’t what I was expecting. I didn’t have high expectations for this book, but it had me hooked. This book is told in two povs, and I enjoyed reading about both characters. I liked Lilah and Chase equally, though I did feel that Lilah was a bit more developed. The characters felt really realistic to me. Chase is the typical boy next door. He is charming, kind, and very patient. He was very swoon worthy for me. He is definitely going on my list for book boyfriends. He never gives up on Lilah, he knows that he can fix her while everyone else sees a “broken” girl.

I had known Lilah would be a challenge, but she was proving to be more complex than any of my old cameras.

When Chase moves into Lilah’s house, Lilah forces herself to avoid him at all costs. She loves Chase as well, but she has insecurities.

Chase was supposed to marry a prom queen, take over the Blackwater Ford dealership, and run for city government. Me? I was supposed to turn into my mother.

Though Lilah may be tough and angsty on the outside, she is just trying to do her best. The town judges her by her appearance, but no one pays attention that she is very studious and kind. I really like how Lilah changed throughout the book. When she is first introduced, she is a rebel and constantly hides her feelings. She pushes people away especially Chase. Slowly, she lets Chase come back into her life.

I loved Chase. I loved him and no one could see how beautifully pure the feeling was. They were too consumed by the juxtaposition of what “was” and what “should be”.

There isn’t a love triangle in this book, just a lot of misunderstanding between the protagonists. After learning the dark history of Lilah’s past, it did make me cry a bit. I really liked that Lilah finally had her closure with her past. This book was sad, but it had fun moments as well. I really enjoyed all the twilight references, it made me laugh. I was rooting for Chase and Lilah’s happiness the whole time, and the ending was really cute. I enjoyed every moment of it. Overall, I loved this book. I did have a bit of minor issues with it, but it was a really good romance book especially for this month.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4.5)

The Waiting Room by Alysha Kaye: Book Review

☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆  Goodreads Synopsis: Jude and Nina are the epitome of that whole raw, unflinching love thing that most people are jealous of. That is, until Jude dies and wakes up in The Waiting Room, surrounded by other souls who are all waiting to pass over into their next life. But unlike those souls, Jude’s name is never called by the mysterious “receptionist”. He waits, watching Nina out of giant windows. He’s waiting for her. What is this place? How long will he wait? And what will happen when and if Nina does join him? The Waiting Room is a story of not just love, but of faith, predestination, and philosophy, friendship and self-actualization, of waiting

Commentary: The author of The Waiting Room, Alysha Kaye,  reached out to me on twitter and asked me to check out her book. It’s the first time an author has reached out to me and I was beyond excited to read her book! ʕ•̀ω•́ʔ✧

Now this book has different points of view, it could get confusing at times. The main characters are Jude and Nina, a couple who are very much in love until Jude dies from a car accident. I really like the premise of the book. I really liked how people get reincarnated every time they die instead of being sent to heaven or hell. Jude and Nina are a special case. Jude can’t go on to his next life without Nina, those two are inseparable. I did get a tad emotional because Jude had to wait so long for Nina in the waiting room. He waited fifty two years and stayed loyal to her even though she remarried and had kids with her husband David, now that’s love. ʕ•̫͡•ʔ❣ʕ-̼͡-ʔ

I loved Jude’s friendships with the workers of the waiting room, especially Ruth and Joe. I really liked how Ruth took several decades for her to warm up to Jude. They had like a mother-son relationship. She became a important person to him. I also liked how much she changed throughout the book. I was happy for her when she finally got to experience a new life since she has been working for the waiting room longer than all the other employees combined. ( ິ•ᆺ⃘• )ິฅ✧

Because of Jude and Nina, the waiting room changed completely because of their love story and actions. The waiting room was bleak and boring, but over time it changed for the better. People were encouraged to share their stories of their past lives. It became a place of recovery. The changes made to the waiting room were positive because people became far more excited to change and be the best person they could be for their next life. Nina was far more fulfilled in the waiting room than her actual life because she was able to all sorts of people. She felt completed by her project.

Jude and Nina are always meant to be with each other, no matter the situation. They are soul mates after all. I really liked reading about their different lives they had. Each one was unique in their own way. Though, their journey was not always perfect, Jude and Nina always managed to find each other. What I liked is that Jude and Nina have faults, they felt realistic to me. I liked how they were able to resolve their differences. There is only one made location in the book, and that is the waiting room. Sadly, this book was too short for me! I would have loved it if it were longer. The last chapter feels a bit rushed compared to the previous chapter. Also, the book starts off with Jude already in the waiting room. I would have loved it if the author did build up their romance before the tragic event. Despite everything else, I found this book to be very enjoyable. ʕง•ᴥ•ʔง

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆ 

The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden: Book Review

And when all was done and all was said, we sat silently staring at the moon’s reflection on the rippling river, soaking it all in. The differences between people, cultures and times.
The monsters. The myths.
The heroes.
The victims.
The love and loss.
Loss and love.

☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆ Goodreads Synopsis: Seven girls tied by time.
Five powers that bind.
One curse to lock the horror away.
One attic to keep the monsters at bay.

After the storm of the century rips apart New Orleans, sixteen-year-old Adele Le Moyne wants nothing more than her now silent city to return to normal. But with home resembling a war zone, a parish-wide curfew, and mysterious new faces lurking in the abandoned French Quarter, normal needs a new definition.

As the city murder rate soars, Adele finds herself tangled in a web of magic that weaves back to her own ancestors. Caught in a hurricane of myths and monsters, who can she trust when everyone has a secret and keeping them can mean life or death? Unless . . . you’re immortal.

Commentary: I am so surprised by the amount of five star ratings for this book, because I felt that the book was okay. ╮(•˘︿ ˘•)╭ I was really excited for this book because I really liked the synopsis, and I had high expectations for it. I had to put this book down several times because it was very slow paced. I was not a big fan of the first part of the story. The author kept describing the scenery a lot. For example, it felt like I was reading about twelve chapters of description. I didn’t like the author’s writing style as well. There was not that much action in the first part. At times, the book was a bit creepy and I found the protagonist to be a bit annoying. I really wanted to drop the book until I got to the second part. The story became stronger and it captivated me more. o(^◇^)o

I couldn’t relate to Adele, the protagonist, she was a bit too naive. At times she was very childish, but there were a few moments where she was a bit mature. Also, I was not a big fan of the romance in this book. There was a complicated love triangle in this book. There is Isaac, who has magical powers and descendant of the original coven, and Niccolo, a vampire who wanted Adele to break the curse. If I had to chose, I like Isaac more. Isaac had a love-hate relationship with Adele and they had lots of instant chemistry, but in the book, Adele focused her attention on Niccolo more than Isaac. It felt like Isaac was the second guy, even though he wasn’t. There weren’t enough Isaac moments in this book. Even though she gets with Isaac in the end, it still felt that she was still in love with Niccolo. ⸜₍⚛•⌣•⚛₎⸝

Adele’s friendship with Desiree was better than the romance. Desiree is a popular girl, who wants to have no part in witchcraft. She had to be my favorite character. She also played a part in accidentally releasing vampires in her hometown. She seemed like a mean girl at first, but she was very helpful to Adele. I really liked how Adele and her team up when they both discover that their ancestors were part of a coven. ( ◞・౪・)

Adeline’s narrative was so much better. Her diary entries are far more interesting. Adeline was really mature for her age. I really like how she felt responsible and guilty for the deaths of many people. I would have liked this book more if there were more diary entries. I loved her friendship with the triplets. I was really shocked to find out what happened to one of the triplets. It was very sad. I did like Adeline’s relationship with Gabe too. I did feel that he was starting to fall for her. I really wanted there to be more descendants from the original coven in this book!!

The last part of the book felt quickly rushed for me, but it was still good and shocking!!! I was not expecting that twist! It was so good! It all made sense in the end. I thought there was going to be a major battle scene amongst the vampire and the coven. I was wrong. Instead, Adele find the courage to take on the vampires in order to save her friends. I felt her actions were noble. Even though the vampires were stronger than her, she had to face them alone. What I really hope for the next book is for Adeline’s father to have a backstory since he is the most mysterious character in the book. Not much of him is known and the vampires have it out against him. Also, I hope the other descendants are discovered.

Finally, I’d like to thank NetGalley for getting this arc!!

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆