To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

“Love is scary: it changes; it can go away. That’s the part of the risk. I don’t want to be scared anymore.”

Goodreads Synopsis: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

Commentary: spoilers

I found this book to be very okay. I really love the cover and this book is always recommended to me. I finally picked it up and I didn’t love it as much as I hoped I would have.

The story really picks up when Lara finds out that the letters she has written have been mailed to the five guys that she has loved. Josh is one of the recipients of the letters. He is Margot’s ex-boyfriend, and the typical boy next door. He receives a letter from “Lara Jean”, and his friendship with Lara Jean becomes rocky and confusing. Though Josh tries to figure out the reasoning behind the letter, Lara Jean pretends to be in a relationship with Peter, the most popular boy at school.  If I were in her shoes, I would have been very traumatized by that situation and would probably have to move to another city. Instead, Lara Jean kinda brushes that incident aside, and doesn’t really try to figure out who would send the letters.

Lara Jean was a really likable protagonist, she really felt realistic to me. Most people don’t like her as a protagonist, but I really liked her. Lara Jean reminds me of myself growing up. She is sheltered and naive, and a bit socially awkward. She likes spending her free time at home with her sisters, and loves to bake and knit. She’s not the type of girl most guys would go for. She writes letters to the boys she has loved to show she is over them. Those letters are for her eyes only, and the letters aren’t meant to be read. She tries to be mature now that her older sister has gone off to college. Lara Jean is very considerate of her family, especially her father. You can really tell that she loves her family.

Peter and Lara Jean pretend to be in a relationship, and they both start off not liking each other. Lara Jean used to love Peter before he got popular and started dating Genevieve. Peter and Lara Jean have a love-hate relationship. He’s cocky and always gets his way. He’s also a bit of a  As time progresses, there are many sides of Peter that get exposed. He’s a hard worker, and is devoted to Lara Jean even though she doesn’t realize it till the very end. I didn’t really like Peter, and I liked Josh more than Peter. Do I prefer Josh with Lara Jean? Oh heck no. I like Lara Jean and Josh as friends, besides it would be like backstabbing your own family if she got with Josh. This book isn’t about Josh and Lara, even though there is a “love triangle”. This book is about Lara Jean finally falling in love with Peter. Based on the title of the book, I thought each of the guys Lara Jean loved were going to play a huge role in the story, but they don’t. The title is a bit deceiving, but that’s just me. I really enjoyed Lara and Peter’s fake relationship, it was hilarious. But, I still don’t think Peter is a good person. For example, he would meet up with Genevieve when he was still in a fake relationship with Lara. Why would he do that? Like really?! The book never did resolve that issue with Peter. Even though, Peter has another side of him that no one gets to see, he is a bit of a jerk, and not even a likable jerk.

Now as for Lara Jean’s family, I really liked Katherine, aka Kitty. She is the lovable younger sister that is sometimes a trouble maker. She is the baby of the family, and I love the relationship she has with both sisters. Margot, on the other hand, I did not like. Lara Jean looks up to her older sister so much. Lara Jean always thinks about her older sister and how responsible Margot is. I found Margot to be bitter and condescending at times. I really didn’t like how she treated Lara when she returned back home. I get that Margot is so responsible and motherly, but I feel that she had more affection towards Kitty than Lara. Also when Margot told her father that Lara Jean had sex…that was a cold move. It was very hypocritical of Margot.

Overall, I really thought that the book was okay. I wasn’t satisfied with the ending…that is until I found out there was a sequel to the book! I will continue this series and can’t wait to see what happens next. Hopefully, Peter becomes more likable.

Quotes: 

“You’d rather make up a fantasy version of somebody in your head than be with a real person.”

“I want to say yes, but I don’t want to be with a boy whose heart belongs to somebody else. Just once, I want to be somebody else’s first choice”

“When someone’s been gone a long time, at first you save up all the things you want to tell them. You try to keep track of everything in your head. But it’s like trying to hold on to a fistful of sand: all the little bits slip out of your hands, and then you’re just clutching air and grit. That’s why you can’t save it all up like that.

Because by the time you finally see each other, you’re catching up only on the big things, because it’s too much bother to tell about the little things. But the little things are what make up life.”

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️  (3.5)

WWW Wednesday Feb 10, 2016

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. This week has been going by really quickly. I started watching Gilmore Girls. Why haven’t I watched this series sooner? Anyways, Valentine’s Day is coming up and I am really excited for it!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

to all the boys I've loved before

I’ve been really excited to read this book since it first came out. I bought the book about a year ago, read a couple of chapters, and somehow forgot all about it. I hope this book will be amazing!!

What did you recently finish reading?

I finished two books in a week! Faith and Moonlight was very okay. It didn’t win me over, but the cover is gorgeous. I finished Chasing Spring yesterday, and it was such a great book. My expectations were beyond exceeded!!!

What do you think you’ll read next?

FrontCover

I like the synopsis, but no one I know or follow on the internet has read The Butterfly Crest. I am hoping it’s good. Fingers crossed!

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)

Faith And Moonlight by Mark Gelineau and Joe King

Goodreads Synposis: Roan and Kay are orphans.

A fire destroys their old life, but they have one chance to enter the School of Faith.

They are given one month to pass the entry trials, but as Roan excels and Kay fails, their devotion to each other is put to the test.

They swore they would face everything together, but when the stakes are losing the life they’ve always dreamed of, what will they do to stay together?

What won’t they do?

Commentary: I recieved this ebook copy via NetGalley

What drew me to this book was the cover and the synopsis. I really wasn’t expecting Faith and Moonlight to be so short!

The writing style was not my favorite. Even though this book was less than a 100 pages, I found myself having a hard time to finish it. I also should have read the previous books, that was my fault. This book is supposed to be a prequel to the other books in the series.

The story started immediately, and I thought the protagonists were okay. Initially, I thought they were much older, but they are fourteen years old. Roan and Kay had gone through a lot since the fire. I liked Kay a bit more than Roan, she was more developed.  I did like their friendship and how both of them were willing to sacrifice their happiness. I can see Roan and Kay develop feelings for each other in the far future. Faith and Moonlight does not focus on romance, but rather friendship and hard work.

Overall, the story didn’t get really interesting near the ending! When I got to the end of the book, I felt a little cheated just because it ended once it was the story was starting to get somewhere good. The story itself felt incomplete. rolls eyes.gif

I have to wait for the sequel just to know what will happen next. And hopefully the sequel doesn’t end like this one did.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Monthly TBR: February 2016

January was a great month for reading! I was able to read all the books on my list! I feel encouraged that I was able to keep my promise to finish my tbr! I hope that this month will also be a great one in reading!

These are the books that I read last month:

I am still reading Risuko at the moment, but I am not counting it for my tbr  since I picked up the book last month. Here are the books that I want to read for February:

chasing spring.jpgGoodreads 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.

to all the boys I've loved beforeGoodreads Synopsis: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

the butterfly crest.jpgGoodreads Synopsis: An ancient war. A long-told prophecy. A cursed Inheritance.
If you were destined to die, how would you choose to live?

Between the shadows of the human world, a war as old as time is being fought. Ageless pantheons scheme to obtain or keep control, provoked by the weight of human belief which has altered the realm of the divine.

An ancient prophecy speaks of a human woman who will alter the course of this divine war, a descendant of a Great House mired in misfortune and blood, whose history was shaped by the cruelty of the gods.

On a day as unremarkable as any other, Elena Vicens, a young woman living a seemingly ordinary life, receives a letter about a deposit box belonging to her mother, nineteen years after her mother’s death. When this letter sends her on a journey halfway across the world from New Orleans to Japan, Elena unknowingly comes into possession of a cursed inheritance. She is suddenly thrust into a world of myths and legends, where the intangible and the strange are the fabric of everyday life, and deathless gods vie for victory at any cost.

As allies converge to help Elena fulfill the prophecy, one of whom is struggling with his own inheritance, Elena must choose for herself the measure of her own destiny.

faith and moonlight.jpgGoodreads Synopsis: Roan and Kay are orphans.

A fire destroys their old life, but they have one chance to enter the School of Faith.

They are given one month to pass the entry trials, but as Roan excels and Kay fails, their devotion to each other is put to the test.

They swore they would face everything together, but when the stakes are losing the life they’ve always dreamed of, what will they do to stay together?

What won’t they do?

 

truthwitchGoodreads Synopsis: On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Fairest by Marissa Meyer: Book Review

“She cried for the girl who had never belonged. A girl who tried so hard, harder than anyone else, and still never had anything to show for it.”

Goodreads Synopsis:

In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

Commentary: When I first heard that Queen Levana was going to have her own story last year, I was more than excited. When I read the Lunar Chronicles for the first time, I thought it was more than amazing. I read Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress all in one week. I had really high hopes for Levana’s story, and I am glad that Marissa Meyer did not disappoint her fans. I love Levana as a villain, so when I was reading her story, I did feel sorry for her. First of all, her sister was the cause of her disfigurement. That event marked the beginning of the end for Levana. Channary was a horrible older sister, no wonder Levana is the way she is. Secondly, there is no love in her family. She doesn’t cry over the death of her parents nor of her sister. Levana constantly had to remind herself that there is no such thing like true love, since her parents had a loveless marriage. Levana had low self esteem and constantly had to hid her true self by using her glamour. I did feel that her hatred of mirrors was understandable. The mirror showed her reality, a reality that she was not ready to face. The girl was desperate for love, and she was quite “thristy” for Evret. I felt so bad for Evret since Levana would not leave him alone and things became worse for him when his wife died. He was just trying to be a friend, but Levana saw his friendship as love. He constantly tried telling her to find happiness, but she wouldn’t listen. I couldn’t stop shaking my head, Levana needed to take a chill pill. I couldn’t believe she forced him to have sex with her. I felt that Levana was insensitive, needy, manipulative, and delusional, I can’t forget to mention that she is psychotic. She couldn’t stop manipulating Evret before he agreed to marry her.  I really thought it was creepy how she glamoured herself to look like Solstice throughout her marriage. Levana constantly got want she wanted, she got her man, and she got the crown. What she did to Selene was very unforgivable, but Levana had to do what she thought was beneficial for herself. Once Levana became queen, she thought her actions were going to be beneficial to her country. She tried to think what was best for her country, even though her methods were extreme. Such as the extermination of the shells, creating a disease that would affect Earthens, creating a army of beasts, and so on. As queen, she was able to establish a legacy that surpassed her previous relatives.  I really enjoyed this novella, I thought it was a great prequel to the story. I really liked how readers got a glimpse to Princess Selene and Princess Winter’s childhood. It made me more excited for the last book in the series. I enjoyed this short novella, and I can’t wait for Winter.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Book Review

“John does not know how much I really suffer. He knows there is no REASON to suffer, and that satisfies him.”

I am not an English major, I mostly read for fun, and this review won’t be an in depth analysis of the story.

Goodreads Synopsis: “The Yellow Wallpaper” is written as the secret journal of a woman who, failing to relish the joys of marriage and motherhood, is sentenced to a country rest cure. Though she longs to write, her husband and doctor forbid it, prescribing instead complete passivity. In the involuntary confinement of her bedroom, the hero creates a reality of her own beyond the hypnotic pattern of the faded yellow wallpaper–a pattern that has come to symbolize her own imprisonment. Narrated with superb psychological and dramatic precision, “The Yellow Wallpaper” stands out not only for the imaginative authenticity with which it depicts one woman’s descent into insanity, but also for the power of its testimony to the importance of freedom and self-empowerment for women.

Commentary: First of all, I want to say that I had no idea that I read a feminist short story. I thought it was story about a woman’s descent into madness, but there is more to this story that you would think. The evidence that indicated this story was a feminist text was how the woman’s husband discouraged from writing. I know that around that time period women had very little rights compared to men. The unnamed protagonist was not taken seriously by her husband.  Her husband called her silly goose and thought she was perfectly healthy. The protagonist was depressed, and her illness became as the story goes on. The husband played a huge part in the deterioration of his wife’s mental health. He was constantly telling her what was best for her and dismissed her cries for help. He was not a supportive husband to her when she needed him, and he treated her like a child. The husband was dominant in the relationship, while the protagonist hardly had any control over her life. The wife had no freedom at all, she was stuck in a room all day long, and she lacked any physical activity. She was like a trapped animal in a cage. The ending of the story is wonderful. I felt that the wallpaper was part of her because it is once she destroys the wallpaper that she truly feels free from her oppressor. I love how the husband faints when he finally comes into the room. The story is easy to read, I was surprised that I didn’t need a dictionary to look up words.  Overall, it is a creepy story and I really don’t recommend reading it at 1:47 in the early morning.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3.5)

The One by Kiera Cass: Book Review

“Break my heart. Break it a thousand times if you like. It was only ever yours to break anyway.”

First of all, I have to applaud myself for finally completing the Selection trilogy. I finally decided to try audible, and chose this book to be my free book. I am glad that I saved myself from actually reading it. Anyways, here is my review!

Goodreads Synopsis:

The time has come for one winner to be crowned.

When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants.

Commentary: This book series had great synopsis, but I don’t think it was executed well. I really felt that there was no point of expanding the novel into a series. It could have been really good as a stand alone book. I see how many people love this book series, but I really felt this series was meh. But, it did have beautiful covers, I’m not going to lie. The final installment of the series was definitely better than the second book. I felt that America was a bit stronger in this book, but just as annoying like in in the second book. I did roll my eyes several times, especially when she realized that she wants Aspen in her life despite loving Maxon. You can’t have both guys America. Anyways, the book did get a bit more interesting since America and Maxon teamed up with the northern rebels. Celeste had the best character development. She is introduced as the Queen Bee of this story, but her fragility is exposed in the last book. I thought it was cute how she and America finally became friends, but I was not expecting her graphic death when the rebels attack. I was sad that she died, she was one of my favorite selection candidate. I didn’t really care for the other girls as much as Celeste. It did surprise me that Chris and America’s father were part of the northern rebels. I did not see that one coming. I had a feeling that Lucy liked Aspen, I was glad that those two ended up together, but I did feel sorry for her other maid Anne and it surprised me that she died as well. When the king was pronounced dead, I was so glad. He was the only character that I found very unlikable. I saw him as the villain of the book. I just don’t understand how Queen Amberly put up with him. He was very abusive to Maxon too! The king just had problems, so I was glad to know he died. I knew that America was going to wait till the end to finally tell Maxon about Aspen. Maxon knew that there was something strange between America and Aspen, and his feelings were confirmed when he caught them in the hallway. In the end, Maxon forgave her when the rebels attacked. Maxon was my favorite character that’s why I kept reading this series, just for him. i felt Aspen was too boring, and America was too indecisive, shallow, and many other things. I did like the ending of the book, and I am sort of considering reading The Heir just to see what happens. I just don’t understand why there will be more books.

Final Rating: 👑👑👑 (3.5)

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: Book Review

“I missed you every hour. And you know what the worst part was? It caught me completely by surprise. I’d catch myself just walking around to find you, not for any reason, just out of habit, because I’d seen something that I wanted to tell you about or because I wanted to hear your voice. And then I’d realize that you weren’t there anymore, and every time, every single time, it was like having the wind knocked out of me. I’ve risked my life for you. I’ve walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I’d do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don’t tell me why we don’t belong together,” he said fiercely.”

Goodreads Synopsis:

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

 Characters: I have to say that I did not like Alina when I started the book. I felt she was a bit annoying, that was until she was taken to the Little Palace. I have to say that I liked how strong she became and how she was determined to become powerful and useful to the Darkling. Though the Darkling is the villain of the story, I did feel that he and Alina had chemistry together, though he was just seducing her. I was beyond shocked when the real intentions of the Darkling were revealed. I really liked them together, but not as much as Alina and Mal. Now Mal, I liked his character development. I really did not think that Mal was going to win me over. He was introduced as this Don Juan type of guy who was extremely popular with everyone and I was feeling meh about him especially since he did not write back to Alina. But when he comes back into Alina’s life, I was far more intrigued. His confession to her was so sweet, and it was in that moment where he won my heart. Usually, I don’t like the love triangles, but I thought this one was very interesting. I loved the Darkling; I can’t seem to hate him despite being a villain. The secondary characters were interesting, I really liked Genya, and I wonder if she will become stronger in the second book.

Commentary: I kept seeing great reviews coming from this book series on both Tumblr. I haven’t read any books on Russian fantasy, so it was a very interesting to see how the author created this magical realm. I kept picturing the Little Palace as a boarding school. I loved the ball scene when Alina and the Darkling perform in front of the royals. Morozova’s stag reminded me of the deer from Princess Mononoke, even the death scene (maybe it’s just me). Near the ending of the book, I had no idea what was going to happen to Alina and Mal. I did not want Mal to die, and luckily he didn’t! I had no idea how Alina and Mal were going to escape the Darkling’s clutches when they were in the Fold, but that whole scene was amazing. I kept picturing Alina surrounded by beautiful light rescuing the guy she loves, that was my favorite part. I loved how Alina realizes that she has the power to break free from the Darkling. I did have a few problems with the book and that was some of the words. I wish the author had put a glossary in the back of the book just so I can easily look up the meaning of the words. Some parts did feel a little cliché, but those were just minor problems. I am really glad that this book met my expectations and I can’t wait to finish this series. Lastly, I read that this series will get a movie adaptation; I hope that when the movie comes to theaters, it does not flop, but instead satisfy fans of this series.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Lola And The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins: Book Review

“I know you aren’t perfect. But it’s a person’s imperfections that make them perfect for someone else.”

I read Lola and the Boy Next Door last month, but I kept procrastinating on this book review. Ha ha. Anyways, I read Anna and the French Kiss and I loved it. Then I read “It’s a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown” and loved it. I was really excited to read Lola and the Boy Next Door because I’ve read great reviews.

Goodreads Synopsis: Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Characters: Lola was a bit annoying in some of the chapters. She was very childish in the beginning of the book. I did not like her at all when I first began. I am glad that she had some character development, otherwise this book would have gotten a lower rating. She was indecisive, irritating, and impulsive, but despite her flaws, this book felt a little more realistic than Anna and the French Kiss. Moving onto Max, I liked him at the beginning. He was sweet and understanding when he was first introduced. He was likable, but I was just bothered by the whole “age” gap. The characters kept making such a big deal that Max was too old for Lola. I felt it was a bit ridiculous how everyone kept mentioning it as well. Another issue I had with Max is how he turned out to be a huge jerk. I wish he were introduced as a jerk instead of being a nice guy. I couldn’t hate him even after reading the whole breakup scene. Lastly, Cricket Bell, what can I say about Cricket Bell. He was adorable, awkward, and his mannerisms were cute. I loved how he kept drawing a star on his hand. I liked him a little more than Etienne. Sorry Etienne, Cricket Bell has my heart.

Commentary:  When Lola mentions the reason why she can’t like Cricket, I did roll my eyes. I felt that she could have tried listening to his side of the story. I thought the reason was going to be far much darker. I loved how Anna and Etienne were in the book. They had really cute moments and it’s amazing to see how the characters are connected. The major theme of this story is first love. She experienced pain and loss when the Bells moved away. She vowed never to fall for him again, but Lola was never over Cricket even when she was dating Max. Even though she kept reminding herself that Max was perfect for her, Cricket would forever be in her heart. Secondly, another main theme of the story was about second chances. I was rooting for Cricket the whole time. My heart was crushed when Lola told him that she had a boyfriend. He tried being friends with Lola, but it was impossible for him because he loved her and he couldn’t seem to get away from her. Andy and Nathan were my favorite characters in the book. The were funny and I couldn’t stop laughing at how they tried to encourage her to be with Cricket. Lastly, the ending was so cute and memorable. I would recommend this book because the romance is perfect, the story was amazing, and it was very realistic.

Final Thought: i can’t wait to read Isla and the Happily Ever After, and I’m crossing my fingers that Lola and Cricket, and Anna and Etienne make an appearance.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️