Book Review | Starry Eyes

starry eyes.jpgTitle: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Pages: 432

Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Published by: Simon Pulse (April 3rd, 2018)

Summary

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern day, Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.

But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.

And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?

Starry Eyes

What I Thought

I’d been seeing quite a bit of buzz about Starry Eyes, so I knew it would only be a matter of time before I picked it up.  Well, I finally picked it up from the library a couple weeks ago for Bookshelf Tee’s Book Club July pick, and I am so glad I did!

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Book Review | Illuminae

illuminae Title: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Pages: 602

Genres: YA, Sci-Fi

Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers (Oct. 20th, 2015)

Summary

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)

What I Thought

The hype for Illuminae has been strong, especially since the last book in the series, Obsidio, recently came out. So, when I found a hardcover copy at Books-A-Million for $6, I immediately bought it, and now that I’ve read it, I’m so glad I did!

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Book Review | Safe House

safe house.jpgTitle: Safe House (1-800-Where-R-U #3) by Meg Cabot writing as Jenny Carroll

Pages: 272

Genres: YA, Paranormal, Mystery, Contemporary

Published by: Simon Pulse (March 1, 2002)

Summary

Ever since Jess was struck by lightning, she’s had the power to find missing people. And everyone wants a piece of her powers….

In Safe House, Jess and her psychic abilities are being blamed for the murder of Amber, a beloved cheerleader. But when more cheerleaders start disappearing, Jess may be able to save her reputation by finding the murderer—before it’s too late.

Safe House (1-800-Where-R-You, #3)

What I Thought

As many of you probably know, I love Meg Cabot.  I’m terrible at picking favorites, but I’ve never hesitated to say that Meg Cabot is one of my favorite authors.  She just has a way with writing such sassy and relatable characters, as well as books with incredible, fast-paced plots.  Safe House is no different!

This is the 3rd book in the 1-800-Where-R-U series, and it did not disappoint!  These books definitely need to be read in order, but each book in the series also has its own separate story and mystery.  I found this book’s mystery to be particularly gripping.  There were so many plot twists that I totally didn’t expect, and I simply could not put this book down!

Another thing I loved about Safe House, alongside all the other books in this series, is the characters.  Jess, especially, is such a great main character.  She’s independent and can stand up for herself and yet she’s also such a fun and sassy teenager.  She’s so realistic, and I really liked that.

Also, this series also touches on mental illness.  Jess’s brother, Douglas, has schizophrenia.  I feel like this is especially notable because this book was originally written in 2002 before diversity in YA and the normalization of mental illnesses really took off. That being said, my only disappointment in the book was the inclusion of the r-word. However, I only remember it being used by the “mean girls,” and, like I said, this book was written in 2002, and that derogatory word was around a lot more, and many people did not think of it as negatively as they do now.

Something else I really appreciated about this book, and the entire series, is that while the premise of the mysteries are such serious topics (kidnappings, murders, etc.), these books never become too much. While there are some definite tense moments, there’s plenty of funny moments to counteract that, which allows this series to have that Meg Cabot charm. The humor and the mystery are so perfectly balanced out.

Overall, I really loved this book! It was a great addition to an already great series. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun and intense mystery, who appreciates sassy characters and tons of wit.

5 stars 2


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Book Review | Genuine Fraud

From the author of the unforgettable New York Times bestseller We Were Liars comes a masterful new psychological suspense novel–the story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.

Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete.

An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two.

A bad romance, or maybe three.

Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains.

A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.

A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.

Genuine Fraud

What I Thought

When I first heard about Genuine Fraud, I was instantly intrigued. I had read We Were Liars, so I already knew how great E. Lockhart’s writing was and that she was a risk taker. So, when I received Genuine Fraud for Christmas, I was super excited to read it. I’m happy to say it did not disappoint, either!

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Christmas Countdown #9

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Hello everyone! I can hardly believe that Christmas Eve is next week!!  Who’s all ready for Christmas?! 🙋‍♀️ Today it’s another installment of Countdown to Christmas! Countdown to Christmas is a weekly feature where I recommend a different Christmas-y book each week to read this holiday season.

This week’s book is Ex-mas by Kate Brian.

IMG_2662.JPGTwo Exes. One holiday adventure. Merry Ex-Mas? Seventeen-year-old Lila Beckwith’s parents just left for vacation, and Lila’s all set to throw the holiday party of the season. But when her Christmas-obsessed little brother, Cooper, discovers that global warming is melting the North Pole, he and his best friend, Tyler, take off on a runaway mission to save Santa.Lila has to get Cooper safely home before her parents get back on Christmas Eve. But the only person who can help her is Tyler’s older brother, Beau — a.k.a. Lila’s musician, anti-everything ex-boyfriend.It’ll take more than a Christmas miracle for Lila and Beau to overcome their differences and find their fugitive brothers. But could a journey destined for disaster help these polar opposites fall in love…all over again?

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

Ex-mas is such a fun and adventurous holiday read. It’s filled with romance, goofy little brothers, and a road trip! It has everything that makes a short and sweet YA novel. More people need to read it! If you’re looking for a Christmas themed book to read the week of Christmas, Ex-mas is a great choice!


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Regal Reads Blog Tour | If I Were Trapped in a Disney Movie for a Day + Regal Hearts Season One Review

RegalReadsTour

Hey everyone!  Today I’m participating in the blog tour, Regal Reads, in honor of Regal Hearts: Season One being released in paperback! I’m super excited about this post today, because not only am I sharing an extra book review this week, but I also get to be a little extra creative.  The lovely Livy Jarmusch came up with some super creative tour ideas, and they were all so fun and imaginative! I just had to write and share with you all the things I would do if I were trapped in a Disney movie for a day.  So, without further ado, let’s get on with it!

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Book Review | Once and for All

32078787 (1).jpgTitle: Once and for All by Sarah Dessen

Pages: 358

Genres: Ya, Contemporary

Published by: Viking Books for Young Readers (June 6, 2017)

Summary

As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen’s thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

Once and for All 

What I Thought

When Sarah Dessen announced she was writing a new book, I was so excited!  She is one of my favorite authors.  I absolutely adore Sarah Dessen’s novels, and I am so happy to say it was no different for Once and for All!

Like all of Sarah Dessen’s books, the characters were so phenomenal.  Louna was a very likable character for me, and I thought Ambrose, while definitely not perfect, was so sweet.  I really loved watching the relationship grow.  Jilly, Louna’s best friend was also such a great character.  She was very confident, and a great and supportive best friend.  I also want to say that while her family wasn’t in the story a whole lot, I really loved the positive portrayal of Jilly’s parents.  They were very happily married, and loved all their kids, and that is something that really isn’t shown in YA enough, in my opinion.  Personally, I would love to read a whole book about Jilly and her family and their food truck!

This story is a little heavy at times.  It deals with loss and tragedy, and the flashbacks really broke my heart.  While there is romance in this book, I feel like the real story is about Louna’s growth and learning to let others in.

Honestly, I thought the whole wedding planning theme was so much fun.  I’m so glad I’m not a wedding planner though because, whew, they are such hard workers!!  Another thing I found super fun was all the references from Sarah Dessen’s past books!  I love little things like that, and it gave us a tiny glimpse into seeing how everyone is doing.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book! It was fun and light-hearted at times, but it also had its quite emotional moments.  I loved the characters and the romance as well.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a good, contemporary novel.
4 stars 2


Christmas Countdown

Holidays! (1).png

Hey everyone!  First of all, I want to apologize for randomly disappearing on you all this month!!  I totally did not plan on taking a mini blogging hiatus, but I’ve just been super busy these past couple of weeks.  I hope to be blogging more consistently again though!

Today, I want to introduce a new, weekly feature on my blog starting today and going until Christmas!  This series was inspired by Kourtni Reads‘ own Christmas countdown, which you all should totally check out.  Instead of posting books I want to read this holiday season, however, I’m going to be recommending a Christmas-y book that I have already read!

To start things off, my first pick is My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins.

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If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year’s there’s something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.

 

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This book was just so cute and fun!  It’s one of those books that will really put you in holiday spirit and make you want to get all cozy and drink hot cocoa.  While some of the stories were definitely stronger than others, overall this was a very enjoyable read.  Also, this book focuses on all the winter holidays –  not just Christmas, and it features a wide range of characters from all walks of life, so that made it very diverse and unique!

Some of my favorite stories in this collection were:

  • Midnights by Rainbow Rowell
  • Angels in the Snow by Matt De La Peñs
  • Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me by Jenny Han
  • It’s a Yultide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins
  • Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire

 

Have any of you read this book?  Let me know what you thought!


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Book Review | Someone Like You

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Title: Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen

Pages: 281

Genres: YA, Romance, Contemporary

Published by: Penguin (May 1st, 1998)

Summary

Halley has always followed in the wake of her best friend, Scarlett. But when Scarlett learns that her boyfriend has been killed in a motorcycle accident, and that she’s carrying his baby, she was devastated. For the first time ever, Scarlett really needs Halley. Their friendship may bend under the weight, but it’ll never break–because a true friendship is a promise you keep forever.

Goodreads

What I Thought

Sarah Dessen, in my opinion, is the queen of YA contemporary.  There is not a single book of hers that I have read and have not loved.  However, there are a few books that are just exceptional.  Someone Like You is one of them.

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Book Review | The Unexpected Everything

17838528Title: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Pages: 519

Genres: Contemporary, YA, Romance, Fiction, Family

Published by: Simon and Schuster (May 3rd, 2016)

Summary

Andie had it all planned out.

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check.

Amazing friends? Check.

Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.

And where’s the fun in that?

Goodreads

What I Thought

When I found out Morgan Matson was coming out with a new book, I just knew that I was going to read it.  I had read Since You’ve Been Gone when it first came out, and I absolutely loved it, and so I just knew I was going to love The Unexpected Everything, and it did not disappoint!

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