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

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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 Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski: Book Review

“Marry him,” Arin said, “but be mine in secret.”

☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆Goodreads Synopsis: Book two of the dazzling Winner’s Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement… if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

Commentary: I really enjoyed the first book so much, but I found the second book in this series to be a bit more frustrating than the first one because of all of the miscommunication!! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate the book, but it was an emotional roller coaster ride for me when I was reading. I found it stressful because so many things were happening! The Winner’s Crime focuses more on politics rather than romance. (⊙︿⊙✿)

What I really enjoyed about this book was how the drama was built up. I didn’t know what to expect from this book! Kestrel was so out of her element. She was still the intelligent, cunning strategist from the first book, but she did not have the upper hand. No matter what she was doing, it felt that the Emperor was always ahead of her. Kestrel tried to do what was best for her and Arin by distancing herself. She tried to be indifferent even though she still loved him. She believed it was best for Arin not to know that she was helping him. She didn’t have allies with her, not even Verex. Kestrel suffered a lot more in this book than the first one. Jess, her best friend, did not want to associate herself with Kestrel. Jess was resentful and hateful towards Kestrel even though Kestrel saved her in the first book. Then there’s the constant abuse she endures because of the Emperor. Lastly, her father turning her in to the Emperor. That part crushed me the most. Kestrel adores and loves her father, but I just knew he would pick Valoria over Kestrel even if she is his only family. Right in the feels. ๐·°(৹˃̵﹏˂̵৹)°·๐

I wanted to slap Arin. I was so frustrated with him. He always kept coming at the wrong time! Why couldn’t he try to meet Kestrel in secret? Why did he always have to show up in the worst place possible? So many problems could have been avoided if Kestrel and Arin communicated with each other and teamed up. Arin was focused on building alliances with the Eastern people in order to stop the tyranny of the emperor. Then that kiss scene with the queen! Nope, nope nope. I do not like that pairing at all! (┛◉Д◉) ┛ 彡 ┻━┻

I thought that Prince Verex was going to become Arin’s rival. I assumed a love triangle was going to be formed. That did not happened, instead Verex was more of a friend to Kestrel than anything else. Even though his role was small, I really liked Verex. He was in the same position as Kestrel was. He was forced into a marriage like Kestrel, and loves another. He is far more compassionate and kind than his father. I really hopes he inherits the kingdom and marries Risha. Hoping Princess Risha is the one to get rid of the emperor.   ⁽⁽(੭ꐦ •̀Д•́ )੭*⁾⁾ ᑦᵒᔿᵉ ᵒᐢᵎᵎ

The ending broke my heart! The cliffhanger. I wasn’t ready for it. It was good and I just can’t believe that happened. Why didn’t Tensen give Arin the letter?! ლಠ益ಠ)ლ That would have cleared so many things! He would have known the truth! It just upsets me that Arin doesn’t know that Kestrel is going to a labor camp. I don’t think it’s possible that this series will end on a happy note. Praying it’s not a tragedy. I hate the emperor. I really hope he gets what he deserves in the end. I am excited to see how the upcoming war will unfold. I just want the book now! ԅ(¯﹃¯ԅ)

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4.25) ☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆