The Cruel Prince

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

5 stars! 

“If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse.” 

You ever read a book where you can’t stop reading into the night, then early hours in the morning, and you get to a point where it’s go big or go home and decide to lose sleep and finish the book? That was this book for me. Once I picked it up, I did not put this book back down until I was done. I DEVOURED THIS BOOK.

When Jude is seven, Madoc comes to her home and murders her parents for he is the true father of her older sister Vivi. Madoc takes Jude and her sisters to where the Fae live and assumes responsibility for their upbringing. Ten years later and Jude longs to prove herself among the fae, forever taunted and picked on because she is mortal. Jude wants to become a night for the High King and plans to compete in a tournament to prove herself.

But Jude faces an enemy every day, the youngest Prince Cardan, who has made it his mission to make Jude’s life miserable. So she does her best to defy him, and as a result she becomes entangled in the intricacies of court life.

“No matter how careful I am, eventually I’ll make another misstep. I am weak. I am fragile. I am mortal.
I hate that most of all.” 

I’ve never read Holly Black, she’s a new to me author. But after several recommendations from other readers I decided to get this one from the library and picked it up when I wasn’t sure what to read. From the first page I could tell this is a book I would love. Fae and fairies seem to be the big fad in YA right now and while I love that, there’s a lot of crap being churned out. This book isn’t like that, it’s amazing, terrifying, wonderful and heart pounding.

I loved that despite having a half fae sister the heroine of this book was an ordinary human. This so easily could have been Vivi’s book instead and while I really liked her, I think Jude was such a developed and compelling character. From the beginning I wanted to know what she would do next, how she would overcome her challenges. And while she’s not always making the best decisions or even likable, none of the characters in this book are.

This was a very fast paced and mesmerizing book. I’m already screaming for the next book and I have no clue when it’s going to be here. It’s that good.

“Most of all, I hate you because I think of you. Often. It’s disgusting, and I can’t stop.” 


Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

5 stars 

“Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.” 

Can you all believe I had never read this book until now? Yeah, neither can I. Because that is CRAZY! To be fair, I put it off a lot. In a weird way that doesn’t make sense, I didn’t want to ruin Fangirl. And this book didn’t, I still love Fangirl, I just have a different kind of love for Eleanor and Park.

This book is about two outcast teens who become friends when they are forced to sit next to each other on the bus to and from school. At first, they don’t really understand each other, but as time goes by, they want to get to know each other and develop an amazing friendship, and then romance.

“What are the chances you’d ever meet someone like that? he wondered. Someone you could love forever, someone who would forever love you back? And what did you do when that person was born half a world away? The math seemed impossible.” 

This is going to be a shorter review because I think everyone has already said all the things about this book. But MY HEART. This book made me wish that men like Park existed in real life, because no man could measure up to this guy. And Eleanor, I bled for that girl. I just wanted to hug her and tell her she was beautiful and that someone cared.

Anyways, if you are stupid like me and haven’t read this book, you need to correct this giant mistake asap. You won’t regret this one!

“I don’t like you, Park,” she said, sounding for a second like she actually meant it. “I…” – her voice nearly disappeared – “think I live for you.”
He closed his eyes and pressed his head back into his pillow.
“I don’t think I even breathe when we’re not together,” she whispered. “Which means, when I see you on Monday morning, it’s been like sixty hours since I’ve taken a breath. That’s probably why I’m so crabby, and why I snap at you. All I do when we’re apart is think about you, and all I do when we’re together is panic. Because every second feels so important. And because I’m so out of control, I can’t help myself. I’m not even mine anymore, I’m yours, and what if you decide that you don’t want me? How could you want me like I want you?”
He was quiet. He wanted everything she’d just said to be the last thing he heard. He wanted to fall asleep with ‘I want you’ in his ears.”

Eliza and Her Monsters

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

3 stars 

As always, first off I want to reiterate that a 3 stars from me does not equate to a negative review. It means I liked/enjoyed the book, but did not really like it or love it. So please, don’t tell me sorry it didn’t work out. Thank you.

Eliza and Her Monsters is a book I was excited about when it came in my owlcrate. After sitting on the bookshelf for too long I finally picked it up. The beginning of this book started out so strong for me, and middle to end it fizzled.

This book is about a teen named Eliza who writes an online graphic novel that has become hugely popular, like millions of readers popular. Only her family knows she writes it, along with 2 trusted online friends. When a new boy at school reveals he is a popular fanfiction writer of her story, Eliza is blown away but still keeps her identity as the author a secret.

“You found me in a constellation.” 

As I said I enjoyed the beginning of this book a lot, it gave me some definite Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell vibes initially. But then something happened with the pacing/plot and it became a battle to try and work my way through this book. Not only did it slow down, the characters made actions and statements that I felt didn’t make sense and didn’t connect to the story. There were a few times where I made WTF noises out loud while reading this book.

I think teens who love fandoms and that whole community will identify and love this book. It’s also one for teens who feel like they are social outcasts. Ultimately I felt the book really could have been stronger and more developed through the entire story instead of just tidbits.

“There is a small monster in my brain that controls my doubt.
The doubt itself is a stupid thing, without sense or feeling, blind and straining at the end of a long chain. The monster though, is smart. It’s always watching, and when I am cmpletely sure of myself, it unchains the doubt and lets it run wild. even when I know it’s coming, I can’t stop it.” 

If There’s No Tomorrow

If There’s No Tomorrow by Jennifer L Armentrout

5 stars!!! 

“I should’ve listened to that little voice in my head and that feeling in the pit of my stomach, but I hadn’t. If I had, today would’ve been different. Tomorrow would be like all the better yesterdays.” 

Gosh I love JLA books, she never fails to pull me out of a book rut and brighten my day!

Lena Wise is about to start her senior year of high school, and her biggest concerns are getting into her college of choice and having a crush on her best friend Sebastian, the boy next door. But very quickly, something changes her life, a choice. The wrong choice. Now Lena’s entire life has changed leaving her in turmoil and completely turned around.

Lena’s friends try to be supportive, but more and more she pushes them away, including Sebastian. But Lena falls deeper and deeper into a spiral of guilt, and she needs to find the strength within herself to move on from what happened.

“Actions and inactions have consequences. If we did not accept responsibility or blame for them, then we’d be at risk of repeating those actions.” 

It’s no secret that Jennifer Armentrout is one of my top favorite authors, I can open 99% of her books and fall in love with them in a couple of words or pages. If There’s No Tomorrow follows in the same vein, I was completely sucked in by JLA’s writing and Lena’s story from the very beginning and stayed up late into the night to keep reading. She also writes the best male love interests that make you swoon and want to date the good guy.

The themes most present in this book are consequences and forgiveness. I won’t say exactly what happens with Lena as it’s a spoiler, but what happened to her could happen to anyone, teen or adult. My heart bled for this girl, and all of the other people in the world who had been through what she had. It may be a story we’ve heard before, but I think it’s one that merits repeating.

A beautiful story, and one that will stay with you for a long time. If There’s No Tomorrow is a book worth driving to the bookstore to buy on release day!

“You do deserve happiness and a future and everything you’ve ever wanted. That one night is not going to define your whole life.” 

ARC provided by the author. All quotes in this review came from an advance unedited copy and may be subject to change in the final product. 

Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

3.5 stars

I all but ran to the bookstore on release day for this book I was dying to read it so bad. A surprise third book in the Lara Jean series? I WAS ON IT. And while I didn’t love it, I have to admire Jenny Han for bringing out that reaction in me. When purchasing this book the nice teller at Barnes and Noble recommended to me other books by this author she enjoyed, and I’ll be sure to bump them up my tbr asap!

This started out strong and about midway through lost its luster for me. By the end I was questioning why we even got a third book when not much really happened. What I remember most is mason jars, chocolate chip cookies, and Kitty. Peter redeemed himself a lot since the last book, but again, by the end I was just left wondering, why? You could say I was a bit underwhelmed with this book.

I love that Jenny Han is writing romance for teens that isn’t white washed and covering real issues they deal with on a day to day basis. I know I’ll be recommending this series a lot in the future (in fact, I already have!)

Art & Soul

Art & Soul by Brittainy C Cherry

4.5 stars!

“Love openly,” my heart whispered. “Love unconditionally,” my heart begged. “Love the struggles,” my heart taught. “Love in the moment.”

Art & Soul is a young adult novel about two teens who don’t quite fit in. Aria made one mistake, and now the school is labeling her a slut and a whore. Levi is the attractive guy who just moved from Alabama, but his looks don’t match his personality, he’s a kind soul and a little bit weird. The two are neighbors and assigned an art/music project together. Levi and Aria seem to like each other, but many outside forces seem to want to keep them apart.

“Sometimes it was so easy to forget that adults were just kids in bigger bodies, and their hearts broke just like ours.”

I tried one B Cherry book years ago and it wasn’t really for me. But two friends recommended this to me so I had to try it and I am so glad I did!!! This is the first young adult novel that is written by a new adult/romance author that actually frickin reads like a YA novel!!! I’m so impressed! I found myself giggling and smiling throughout so much of this book. I’m not normally one for sweet romances without angst, but this one wormed its way into my heart.

This reminds me a little bit of a sweeter Juno, you know without all the hipsters and weird slang. I loved the main characters, I loved the side characters, I hated the mean characters. Basically Cherry did my favorite thing: SHE DEVELOPED HER CHARACTERS. AND IT WAS AMAZING!

Anyways, I really enjoyed this book. It was a little bit too sweet for me (because I don’t like sweet) but oddly, it really worked and I never rolled my eyes at it. I highly recommend if you haven’t read Cherry’s books, start with this one. I know I’ll be reading more of her soon.

“That’s the thing about the future, and the past even. They don’t exist in this moment. We only have the here and now. If we focus too much on the past or too heavily on the future, we miss out on our present desires, the things we want right now.”

Tell Me Three Things

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

3.75 stars!

“Just because you’re strong doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask for help sometimes. Remember that.”

This book is the straight version of Simon Vs. the Homo-sapiens Agenda, and while they are very similar, it actually didn’t bother me that much. I enjoyed each book for different reasons.

Tell Me Three Things is about a girl named Jessie whose mother died a couple years ago and now her father has found new love. This means selling her childhood home and moving to LA to live with her new stepmother and stepbrother and leaving everything she knows behind. A few days into her new school and Jessie gets an anonymous message, reaching out to her to help her, but never divulging their identity.

Jessie begins to rely more and more on SN, and as time goes by adjusting to her new school gets easier.

“Perfect days are for people with small, realizable dreams. Or maybe for all of us, they just happen in retrospect; they’re only now perfect because they contain something irrevocably and irretrievably lost.”

I think this is a book a lot of teens (and adults) can relate to because it’s all about coping in new environments and feeling like you’re alone. Jessie is a very relatable character, trying to navigate a new school and a whole new family when she feels no one is on her side.

I will say I guessed who SN was fairly easily, I won’t tell you how because spoilers. But even pretty much knowing who it was I enjoyed the book. I wish more had been developed in this book, like Jessie’s relationship with her dad and her new family, I felt a lot of that was brushed over or quickly wrapped up. It was a huge part of her life and it seemed second to her issues in high school (which were just as bad, but still).

A quick read if you want to read something cute with a good ending.

“Other people can’t make you feel stupid. Only you can.”


Heartless by Marissa Meyer

2 stars

“The easiest way to steal something, is for it to be given willingly.”

Being a giant fan of Marissa Meyer and her Cinder series, it’s incredibly disheartening that I didn’t like this book. BUT a bit to my fault, I found out after starting this book that the style has been compared to Gregory Maguire, the author herself said that was the inspiration.

I friggin hate Gregory Maguire’s books. So I think this book was doomed for me from the start.

I love the idea and concept of Heartless, the prequel to Alice in Wonderland. The story of the famous villain the Queen of Hearts.

If you watched the movie growing up, you are familiar with her heart full of venom and hate. This book gave us the story of how she came to be that way (meaning obviously it’s not the happiest of tales).

Heartless is the story of a girl named Catherine who wants to open a bakery with her friend. Her mother has higher hopes for her and wants her to marry the King. While at one of the palace balls, Cath meets the new Joker, Jest and is enchanted by him.

Over time it becomes more and more clear to Cath that she wants a life with Jest and not the King, but she’s tangled in a web with the King and her family and feels hopeless in controlling her own life.

“Sometimes your heart is the only thing worth listening to.”

As you can tell, I didn’t love this book. I felt it was drawn out and near the end I was speed reading to just get it over with already. The beginning of the book was so slow and then everything was rushed together at the end of the book, I wish the pacing had been better. I also didn’t connect to a single character in the book, nor did I feel sympathetic for them (and I think as readers we were intended to).

The thing I liked most about it was the concept and I think Meyer did a fantastic job of making the characters her own. But a lot of things felt obvious and unoriginal, and I didn’t actually feel the love between Cath and Jest. Which is sad because I think Meyer delivered brilliant romances in the Cinder series.

I think fans of Gregory Maguire will enjoy this book, but it was not to my tastes or liking at all. It’s as simple as that.

“But hoping,” he said, “is how the impossible can be possible after all.”

Symptoms of Being Human

Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

3.5 stars

Gender fluid: a gender identity which refers to a gender which varies over time. A gender fluid person may at any time identify as male, female, neutrois, or any other non-binary identity, or some combination of identities. Their gender can also vary at random or vary in response to different circumstances. -Source: gender wiki

This is an incredibly interesting book and I learned a lot of new terms and subjects, as well as it changed the way I think about other people. This is the story of Riley, a gender fluid individual who is struggling to cope with anxiety and other issues such as starting at a new school.

When Riley’s therapist suggests starting an anonymous blog, Riley is shocked when it becomes popular. But then someone discovers that Riley runs the blog, and everything just sort of explodes from there.

“The world isn’t binary. Everything isn’t black or white, yes or no. Sometimes it’s not a switch, it’s a dial. And it’s not even a dial you can get your hands on; it turns without your permission or approval.”

I think this is an important book, like I said earlier I learned a lot from it and think others will too. My issue with it was it was more information strong than plot strong. I learned all of these things, but I don’t feel there was much of a story. The side characters were there only to enhance Riley, and there were a few personal tidbits thrown in, but they didn’t feel real to me. Just there to supplement Riley’s issues.

I also felt for a teen struggling with issues of gender fluidity that Riley was very in touch with his/her thoughts and had way more insight than a struggling teen would have (this is just my opinion everyone, I can already feel people ready to argue with me). Plus the story always had perfectly timed issues where something would happen and I found myself thinking “wow that’s convenient timing.”

I sound like a grump. I did like this book, but sitting down after reading it I found way too many head scratching moments to really love it. The surface of the story was scatched but I felt it could have gone much deeper. I wish for more with the parents, more of a development of Bec and Solo, heck even Vickers. BUT many teens will love this, and I hope the right teens read it and it changes the way they think. I know I found myself wanting to know Riley’s gender at the beginning before thinking later that it didn’t matter. And I will do my best not to put people into categories.

“I can’t blame you for trying to categorize me. It’s a human instinct. It’s why scientists are, to this day, completely flabbergasted by the duck-billed platypus: it’s furry like a mammal, but lays eggs like a bird. It defies conventional classification.
I AM THE PLATYPUS (Coo coo ka-choo)”

Crooked Kingdom

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

3 stars

“Fear is a phoenix. You can watch it burn a thousand times and still it will return.”

Six of Crows was one of the top books of 2015 for me, it reinforced my love for Leigh Bardugo after the Grisha series. I fell in love with the characters and the possibilities, and after the ending I was dying for the next book.

It didn’t live up to my expectations.

After finishing this book I thought on it a lot and I think what didn’t work for me was the first book was heavily character driven, and had so so many feels that I ate right up. With Crooked Kingdom I honestly didn’t feel much for the characters. The plot was the main focus and it was like there was so much crammed in that there was no room for feels, only a few feels made the cut.

“I would have come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”

Things I enjoyed:
-The development of Wylan and Jesper as characters. In the first book, while they were MC’s, the other four caught my attention more often. That was not the case here, I found myself wishing for the POV chapters of these two. We got a lot more background on Wylan and his family, same with Jesper. It helped develop them immensely and connected me to them as a reader.

-Bardugo’s writing: her lyrical writing is what made this book a three instead of a two. I found myself lingering on some sentences and the power behind the words. The imagery was stunning, world building two thumbs up. Bardugo has only improved her writing style with time.

What didn’t work for me:
-Kaz and Inej: after the build up for them as a couple in the first book I found this one lacking. I wasn’t longing for their POVs because nothing was happening, they didn’t go anywhere for me.

-Nina and Matthias: Same thing with them, HUGE build up in book 1, felt totally brushed over in this book. And one huge spoilery thing happened……… I didn’t feel a thing :/

Anyways, I think I am in the minority. Many other people loved this book, and you may too. Six of Crows is still hands down one of my favorite YA novels ever, so don’t let this review deter you from reading that book.

“How many times have you told me you’re a monster? So be a monster. Be the thing they all fear when they close their eyes at night.”

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

4.5 stars!!

“Sometimes it seems like everyone knows who I am except me.”

So I want to say I am just such a cool person I picked this book out from every other book in the library because of some hipster mojo magic. Whelp, I picked it up because it was the very first book in the teen section, first shelf, first book in the row. I am such a badass I am! Anyways, I found myself needing a major genre change, I basically binged romance the entire year and after a few duds in a row, I needed a change of pace. Hence, my first original love: the young adult genre.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is a book that blows you away with how highly addictive and fun it is. It’s very high school in a sense. I know, duh, it’s a YA book. BUT, Simon himself was just a very believable high school kid. He had a few crushed (because who didn’t?). He messes up a bit with his friends, and makes a few mistakes. Simon was just a very human and realistic character.

“People really are like house with vast rooms and tiny windows. And maybe it’s a good thing, the way we never stop surprising each other.”

When I was a teen I didn’t care for GLBT books, but now as an adult I find I love them. This one stands out so much from others in the genre, because the issues were simple, and yet so big at the same time. Reading this book was almost like erasing all of the duds that came before it and I am excited to read more. I praise and curse the author for this being her debut novel because WOW and at the same time I WANT MORE!!!

I think any reader could find something they would like in this book. Any reader could find a piece of themselves in Simon, or Blue, or any of the other side characters. In short, this was a fantastic book, and I cannot wait to read more from this author in the future (please write more).

“Why is straight the default? Everyone should have to declare one way or another, and it shouldn’t be this big awkward thing whether you’re straight, gay, bi, or whatever. I’m just saying.”

P. S. I Like You

P. S. I Like You by Kasie West

4 stars!

PS I Like You is the You’ve Got Mail of the young adult genre.

^^^Yeah, I said it. But I friggin love the movie You’ve Got Mail and this book came my way at exactly the right time so I was happy to read a cute and predictable YA romance.

PS I Like You is about teenage Lily, a quirky musician who speaks her mind and makes snap decisions. Out of boredom in her Chemistry class, she scribbles some lyrics on her desk and is surprised to see a response the next day. What ensues is a secret passing back and forth of notes between Lily and a mystery person. The more they write, the more they come to understand each other. But when Lily discovers who she’s been writing to, it turns her world upside down and her perceptions of others may be wrong.

Was this book predictable? Hell yes. There’s not doubt about that. But as I said at the beginning this book came at the right time when I needed a sweet escape from reality. I think this is a good book for teens to read because it teaches them there is more to a person than what we all see on the surface. Many times people can make quick judgements without considering all of the possibilities and it’s important to give more consideration.

I thought the passing back and forth of written notes was a cute idea; I am beyond glad this wasn’t two people texting. The letters added a nice touch to the book and was better for the plot than instant messaging or texting. Also, I do wonder if all of the bands mentioned in this book are fictional or real, I should probably look that up.

This wasn’t a full 5 because the ending felt unresolved in some aspects, but I enjoyed reading this book nonetheless. If you want a cute summer YA romantic read, this is the book for you!

The Problem with Forever

The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

3 stars

This book………… it had the right idea, but the execution just wasn’t quite right. JLA is one of my all time favorite authors, many of you know that because I’ve been screaming about her books since I discovered them. I enjoyed this book, and I love the concept of it. I just didn’t like the execution of it.

This is the story of Mallory, a foster kid who doesn’t speak much because of PTSD and conditioning from her previous foster home. Four years later and a nice couple have taken her in and homeschooled her, but now she’s going to fulfill her senior year at a public school. On the first day of school she runs into the boy she never thought she would see again, her protector in her old foster home. They are happy to see each other, but their time in that horrible house has left it’s mark.

I think Mallory’s story was an important one to tell, social anxiety stemming from her issues is a tough subject. I feel teens will be able to relate to her as a character and easily empathize with her. It’s important for teens to have books they can relate to so they don’t feel alone, and this is a perfect one to hand to a teen who has issues with public speaking/ptsd. What I didn’t love was this book was looooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggg. Like, the message could have been executed in 350 pages instead of 470. Because for me, this book dragged big time. I never had that excitement to pick it back up again once I put it down.

I think I am one of the few with this opinion, so please pick it up and try it for yourself. JLA is still one of my favorite authors and I will gladly read anything she publishes in the future, this just wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. And oh! This book has a pretty cover. That’s another bonus 🙂

Six of Crows

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

“When everyone knows you’re a monster, you needn’t waste time doing every monstrous thing.”

You know when you go into a book and you can just feel in your bones that you’re going to love it? This book generated that exact feeling. Going into this book I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. The Grisha series is one of my favorites, and I loved it but I am sometimes skeptical of new series by beloved authors. Well I had no reason to worry because this book rocked my gloves socks off!!

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Our story begins in Ketterdam, a city by the ocean and a harbor for trade. It’s a city overrun with gangs in constant war for territory and power. At the top of them all is the criminal Kaz, a ruthless businessman and thief. He is offered a job, to reclaim a prisoner from an impenetrable city. In order to pull off this heist, Kaz pulls in 5 other plays. Together they are:

A convict.

A sharpshooter.

A runaway.

A spy.

A Heartrender.

A thief.

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This book started out a bit slow for me, about 50 pages in is when it really kicked off and then I couldn’t put it down!! Having six different character point of views didn’t take away from the book but enhanced it. I loved learning their pasts and secrets, connections and fears.

I loved all of the main characters and there was never a moment when the POV changed and I was mad, I was enraptured by each one of them. I would like to know more about Jesper and Wylan, they seemed to have the least amount of perception shown but I suspect we will see more of them in the second book.

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“Kaz leaned back. “What’s the easiest way to steal a man’s wallet?”
“Knife to the throat?” asked Inej.
“Gun to the back?” said Jesper.
“Poison in his cup?” suggested Nina.
“You’re all horrible,” said Matthias.”

The dynamics between the 6 are really what made the book. Whether it was 2 of them or all 6 together I smiled throughout all of the dialogue. There are also 3 potential romances and I am hardcore shipping them ALL. I better see some HEA’s in the future that’s for damn sure.

This book was also surprisingly very dark and gritty. The life in the slums, stories of survival, and the soldiers hunting down the Grisha. There were some serious allusions to the Holocaust and genocide, with the aftermath of the Grisha wars in the other series and how it affected the entire world. I would describe it kind of like X Men, where those with special abilities are being hunted down simply for existing. The fear from the Grisha characters was so tangible and their stories of what’s happening to them horrifying.

“Many boys will bring you flowers. But someday you’ll meet a boy who will learn your favorite flower, your favorite song, your favorite sweet. And even if he is too poor to give you any of them, it won’t matter because he will have taken the time to know you as no one else does. Only that boy earns you heart.”

The writing is one of my favorite parts of this book. It flowed so well and was beautiful. Honestly, I had a hard time seeing this book as a YA novel, it read like an adult one. I had to keep reminding myself that these characters were all 18 and younger. But this made sense, the land and cities they grew up in made them so much stronger and more mature than teens in our society.

This book doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, but there are some loose ends. Needless to say I am dying for the next book. Write fast Bardugo, write fast!!

I love watching Leigh Bardugo grow as a writer, and while she was already one of my favorite authors before this book, Six of Crows just reminded me of why I love her and her books so much. I really hope I convinced you to read this book, it’s a winner.

“The heart is an arrow. It demands aim to land true.”


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

6 stars! No, 10 stars!

“I don’t trust anybody. Not anybody. And the more that I care about someone, the more sure I am they’re going to get tired of me and take off.”

You know when you find a book that just clicks with every part of you? That one special book that feels like coming home? That’s what Fangirl is to me. A second home between a bunch of pages. I first read this book when it came out and I adored it. But as time went by I found myself sneaking short little rereads of my favorite scenes; reading them between books and reading them when I was supposed to be reading something else. I even have three copies. Three. An ebook, the original hardcover, and now the B&N Special Edition. Honestly, with this full reread, Fangirl is up there among my all time favorite books. And it’s up there with Harry Potter.

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^^^Fan art on the inside cover of the special edition. I love it!

For some reason, Cather and her character really resonate with me. She’s extremely relatable to me. No I’m not a twin. No I don’t write/read fanfiction (except for that phase when I was 13 with the Buffy fanfiction but let’s not go there). I don’t have an absentee mother. And I don’t live in the midwest. But much of what Cather feels throughout this book is what I have felt many times before. That lost feeling when you start college with no friends. Navigating a new world like swimming for the first time without floaties.

“In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can’t Google.)”

I’m getting ahead of myself. If you are not familiar with the plot this book is about college freshman Cather who starts at her school basically being ditched by her twin sister Wren who is going through some kind of identity crisis. Left with no friends, Cath writes Simon Snow fanfiction. Which is kind of like this world’s Harry Potter. With Harry and Malfoy (Simon and Baz) as gay lovers (in Cath’s stories anyway). Cath’s roommate is incredibly intimidating and always brings around her guy friend Levi, the nicest guy you’ll ever meet.

“Real life was something happening in her peripheral vision.”

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I love practically everything about this book. The humor and the wit in the dialogue are just spot on.

“I feel sorry for you, and I’m going to be your friend.”
“I don’t want to be your friend,” Cath said as sternly as she could. “I like that we’re not friends.”
“Me, too. I’m sorry you ruined it by being so pathetic.”

“Are you on drugs?”
“Maybe you should be.…”

But there’s also a great balance of seriousness in the book as well. Cather’s struggles with writing things other than fanfiction. Her father and his mental breakdowns. Rainbow Rowell did an absolutely perfect job blending the humor and the real together.

Now to the big one. Levi.
Whenever I think of Levi, I think of this:
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Friends, I NEVER thought after all of my alpha male romance reads that I would fall head over heels for the NICE guy. Seriously, Levi is one of the best book boyfriends out there in the verse. He’s unique; he loves all people, smiles all the time, lanky, positive attitude and more. I just wish Rowell would stop referencing his receding hairline. It does not make for a great mental picture lol.

“I really like you. Like, really like you. And I want that kiss to have been the start of something. Not the end.”

I love that there is no over the top drama or mind melting angst in this book. Just a wonderful, captivating story with characters so real you wish they really were real just so you could meet them. Rainbow Rowell is just absolutely astounding as a writer. I love her writing style and her voice. It honestly is what makes this book so so special.

“Just… isn’t giving up allowed sometimes? Isn’t it okay to say, ‘This really hurts, so I’m going to stop trying’?”
“It sets a dangerous precedent.”
“For avoiding pain?”
“For avoiding life.”

Hopefully I haven’t overhyped this book for anyone out there. I can only hope that my review convinced you to read this, and that you connect with it just as much as I did.