Book Review: Passenger

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Synopsis:

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles, but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods-a powerful family in the Colonies-and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, his passenger, can find. In order to protect her, Nick must ensure she brings it back to them-whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home forever.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

I was excited to hear about this series because I loved The Darkest Minds trilogy but then I heard mixed reviews, making me hesitant to pick this book up. I’ve had this book since I got it signed by Alexandra Bracken at BookCon in May of last year and in an effort to actually read all the books I own this year I decided to give it a try.

The novel is told in alternating third person POVs of both Etta and Nicholas. First of all, I love Nicholas for a multitude of reasons. I liked him as a character and a person and he totally made me swoon. Moreover, I truly appreciated how Bracken handled his character. Nicholas is half Black, living in the late 1700s. His mother was a slave and while of course people of color continue to face discrimination today, Nicholas has never seen a world where African-American’s are just defined as slaves or free. This was a perfect contrast to Etta who’s white and lives in the present day.

I really liked how Bracken handled the differences in Etta’s and Nicholas’ viewpoints as well as the acknowledgement of privilege. This contrast was also interesting to see in terms of Etta and Sophia, who has never known a time where a woman has rights and can work for herself. While Nicholas is cast aside by Grandfather Ironwood (who’s the absolute worst) because of the color of his skin, Sophia is never given a seat at the table because she’s the “wrong” gender.

Although I really did enjoy these ideas that Bracken brings up in this novel, I just wasn’t that interested in the plot. It wasn’t until very near the end where I finally felt like I was on edge of my seat and things were finally getting interesting. Prior to that, I kept waiting for something exciting to happen and the novel just didn’t give it to me. My favorite moments were the romance between Nicholas and Etta but besides that I just wasn’t that intrigued by what was happening.

So overall I’d say this novel was just okay. I liked the racial and gender issues that Bracken brings up in the novel and thought she handled those really well, but the plot just didn’t excite me enough to say this is a buy. That being said, I’m thoroughly enjoying the sequel at the moment so if you’re willing to push through Passenger like I did, Wayfarer totally makes it worth it.

Stars:

3 stars

Favorite Line:

“It matters not who you love, but only the quality of such a love. A flower is no less beautiful because it does not bloom in the expected form. Because it lasts an hour, and not days.”

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From Page to Screen: A Series of Unfortunate Events

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Source: Netflix

Honestly I’m not 100 percent certain I’ve ever read A Series of Unfortunate Events. There’s a part of me that thinks I read a few of the books but not the whole series. The point is this review won’t be so much a comparison between the books and the show and instead just a review of the show.

First of all, I loved it. At the start, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the theme song but I liked how it changed each episode to fit the plot. I thought that was really cool and I really enjoyed Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf. I thought he was sinister but also funny. The cast in general was fantastic and I liked that it was so diverse. I also really liked the kids that were casted to play Klaus and Violet. In particular, Klaus’ level of sass (mostly directed Mr. Poe) was great.

Speaking of Mr. Poe, he was incredibly irritating and although I know he’s supposed to be I just find him very irksome and somewhat distracting. His character was what I liked least about the show, but again I believe that’s how it was supposed to be.

I also really enjoyed Patrick Warburton as Lemony Snicket, although as I discussed with my friends, I couldn’t help but hear him as Kronk from The Emperor’s New Groove. Despite that though, I thought he was great.

My favorite part about the series was definitely the twists. Even if you read the books there’s some things that’ll definitely take you by surprise, mainly because of how the show sets up the story.

If you haven’t watched the series I implore you to give it a chance. I know most people didn’t like the movie but I think the show is really great and I already can’t wait for Season 2.

Book Review: Full Package 

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Synopsis:

I’ve been told I have quite a gift.

Hey, I don’t just mean in my pants. I’ve got a big brain too, and a huge heart of gold. And I like to use all my gifts to the fullest, the package included. Life is smooth sailing….

Until I find myself stuck between a rock and a sexy roommate, which makes for one very hard…place.

Because scoring an apartment in this city is harder than finding true love. So even if I have to shack up with my buddy’s smoking hot and incredibly amazing little sister, a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.

I can resist Josie. I’m disciplined, I’m focused, and I keep my hands to myself, even in the mere five-hundred square feet we share. Until the one night she insists on sliding under the covers with me. It’ll help her sleep after what happened that day, she says.

Spoiler–neither one of us sleeps. 

Did I mention she’s also one of my best friends? That she’s brilliant, beautiful and a total firecracker? Guess that makes her the full package too.

What’s a man stuck in a hard place to do?

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & NobleKobo

Review

Lauren Blakely has done it again. I swooned so hard reading this book and it was great seeing so many characters from her other books appear in this novel. Even though Full Package is definitely a standalone it’s kind of in this series that begins with Big Rock, in case you want to start at the beginning.

In this novel, the story follows Chase who needs a place to crash. Enter his best friend, Josie, who’s roommate is moving out. Although Chase believes he’s successfully compartmentalized his feelings so that living with Josie will be piece of cake, that’s of course not the case.

Although this book is very predictable, it’s still very funny and I liked that although this novel is told in Chase’s POV we also get Josie’s POV in the form of her recipes, which was a really cute touch. I also really liked the chemistry between Josie and Chase. They were very cute together and I liked their inside jokes about Swedish Fish and Lyle Lyle (read the book and you’ll understand).

All in all, I thought this was a great read filled with just the right amount of erotica and romance. It’s also a quick read (it only took me a day to read), which is also nice. I’m going to be taking a step backwards in this quasi-series and read The Sexy One soon and I’m very excited to read another book by Blakely.

If you haven’t given Blakely’s writing a chance yet I highly recommend her but only if you’re 18 years or older. This one ain’t for the kids. If you have read this book let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“I want Swedish Fish with you all the time.”

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Book Review: The Good Girl

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Synopsis:

“I’ve been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I don’t know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she’s scared. But I will.”

One night, Mia Dennett enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn’t show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. At first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia’s life.

When Colin decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota instead of delivering her to his employers, Mia’s mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them. But no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family’s world to shatter.

An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, The Good Girl is a propulsive debut that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted but honestly I haven’t been reading that much lately and I’ve been busy. I finished The Good Girl a while back, though, and I really wanted to post this before I totally forgot what this book was even about. So here we go.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. It was definitely different than I expected it to be, though. If you’re looking for a Gone Girl type of thriller this isn’t exactly like that. There was much more romance in this novel than I thought there would be but I actually liked it so that worked well for me.

The novel is told in alternating POVs of Collin, the kidnapper, Gabe, the detective assigned to Mia’s case, and Eve, Mia’s mom. The POVs also shift in time between “Before” and “After.” You kind of know what event occurs that makes the narrative take place in the form of before and after POVs but you don’t really find out it’s significance until the end. I thought this form of storytelling worked well but I was definitely much more interested in Collin’s point of view than the others because it was when we got to see the most of Mia and also I just found Collin to be the most interesting character. I’m a sucker for a complicated villain.

This novel definitely had a few twists and I was a little surprised by them but they were also expected. By that I mean, I didn’t freak out when the twists were revealed because I had a feeling that was how this story would play out. Still, like I said, I did really enjoy it and would still recommend it. I read it in two days because I just couldn’t put it down, which is always a good sign. Definitely give it a chance if you haven’t yet.

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“I know how betrayal and disillusionment feel, when someone who could give you the world refuses even a tiny piece of it.”

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I Read 100 Books This Year! (My 2016 Wrap-Up)

The amazing Jamie over at The Perpetual Page-Turner made an End of Year Survey for book nerds (her 7th annual one!) and I’ll be using it for my yearly wrap-up. Check it out below and have a happy New Year!


2016 Reading Stats

Number of Books You Read: 100

Number of Re-Reads: 2

Genre You Read the Most From: YA Fantasy

Best In Books

1. Best Book You Read in 2016?

There’s no contest. A Court of Mist and Fury, for sure.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going to Love More But Didn’t?

All the Bright Places. It was SO overhyped.

3. Most Surprising (in a good way or bad way) Book You Read?

November 9 surprised me because I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would. This was another overhyped book for me.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People to Read (And They Did)?

I attempted to push a lot of people to read ACOMAF but I don’t think anyone did lol.

5. Best Series You Started In 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?

This is tough. Best series I started this year has to be Throne of Glass. I binged all the books this year. The best sequel of 2016 is ACOMAF (duh!). Crooked Kingdom and The Midnight Star tie for best series ender. They were both so well done that I can’t choose.

6. Favorite New Author You Discovered in 2016? 

Kasie West; I’m obsessed with her books now.

7. Best Book From a Genre You Don’t Typically Read/Was Out of Your Comfort Zone? 

Illuminae and Gemina. I don’t read sci-fi that often but I love this series.

8. Most Action-Packed/Thrilling/Unputdownable Book of the Year?

Crooked Kingdom, for sure. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, worried about my Dregs.

9. Book You Read in 2016 That You Are Most Likely to Re-Read Next Year?

ACOMAF, lol. Sorry not sorry.

10. Favorite Cover of a Book You Read in 2016?

The Raven King cover is GORGEOUS!

11. Most Memorable Character of 2016?

This is a really tough call but I gotta got with the High Lord of the Night Court, Rhysand.

12. Most Beautifully Written Book Read in 2016?

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover. Just thinking about it makes me cry.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/Life-Changing Book of 2016?

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. So beautiful and thought provoking.

14. Book You Can’t Believe You Waited UNTIL 2016 to Finally Read?

Definitely the last four Harry Potter books. Honestly, I really can’t believe I’d never read them before.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From a Book You Read in 2016?

“In my head I’ve been in love before, but it doesn’t feel like it. Being in love with you is better than the first time. It feels like the first time and the last time and the only time all at once.” — Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read in 2016?

A Gallagher Wedding by Ally Carter was the shortest. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was the longest.

17. Book That Shocked You the Most?

Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin definitely shocked me the most. I’m still crying over that ending.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (You Will Go Down With This Ship!)

“Feysand” (Feyre and Rhysand)

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship of the Year

Emma and Cristina from Lady Midnight.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

The Boy is Back by Meg Cabot

21. Best Book You Read in 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY on a Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. This book was everywhere on bookstagram and once my friend Jess told me she’d read it and liked it that was the final push for me to read it. A slow start but overall an awesome read.

22. Newest Fictional Crush From a Book You Read in 2016?

Magiano from The Young Elites trilogy

23. Best 2016 Debut You Read?

Dreamology by Lucy Keating

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

I hate to say ACOMAF again but the worldbuilding in that book is superb. Velaris alone is enough to make ACOMAF my first choice.

25. Book That Put a Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN to Read?

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

26. Book That Made You Cry or Nearly Cry in 2016?

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

27. Hidden Gem of the Year?

You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

The end of Empire of Storms definitely crushed my soul.

29. Most Unique Book You Read in 2016?

Definitely Illuminae and Gemina.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (Doesn’t Necessarily Mean You Didn’t Like It)?

Probably It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover just because it was so disappointing.

Your Blogging/Bookish Life

1. New Favorite Book Blog You Discovered in 2016?

Twirling Pages

2. Favorite Review That You Wrote in 2016?

My review for Blood for Blood is pretty great, if I do say so myself.

3. Best Discussion/Non-Review Post You Had on Your Blog?

I really like my post on book hangovers.

4. Best Event That You Participated In (Author Signings, Festivals, Virtual Events, Memes, etc.)?

Definitely Book Con. I can’t wait to do it all again next year.

5. Best Moment of Bookish/Blogging Life in 2016?

When I hit 2,000 followers on Instagram. It still doesn’t feel real, tbh.

6. Most Challenging Thing About Blogging or Your Reading Life This Year?

Definitely time management. I’m definitely going to be cutting back next year and reading less so I can focus on my writing more.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

My book review of The Crown by Kiera Cass.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

My “9 Ways to Up Your Bookstagram Game” post, although to be fair I didn’t have a lot of followers back then so I can understand why no one trusted my judgement, lol.

9. Best Bookish Discovery (Book Related Sites, Book Stores, etc.)?

Definitely Book Outlet. I’ve gotten so many cheap books from that site this year.

10. Did You Complete Any Reading Challenges or Goals That You Had Set For Yourself at the Beginning of This Year?

Yep! I reached my goal of reading 100 books this year, and just in the nick of time too.

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get to in 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating for 2017 (non-debut)?

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?

The last Throne of Glass book 😦

5. One Thing You Hope to Accomplish or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life in 2017?

Read more diverse books by diverse authors

6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend to Everyone:

I haven’t read any yet. I’m so behind on my ARCs 😦

Book Review: P.S. I Like You

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Synopsis:

While spacing out in Chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk, and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters — sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery, and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

I am such a Kasie West fan now. I want to read all her books. They’re so good!

P.S. I Like You was the perfect romance novel and I wish I owned it so I could read it again. The story is told from Lily’s point of view and although I loved her I also liked that she had flaws. She knows how to hold a grudge and sometimes misjudges people but always apologizes when she realizes she’s made a mistake. Besides Lily though, I also really liked her family and her best friend, Isabel.

Although the person who Lily was writing the letters to was pretty obvious to me I was still really happy with the romance of this novel. Lily figures it out about half way through the novel and I like how that wasn’t the end of the story. It was kind of just the beginning actually. Lily was forced to come to terms with the fact that her letter writer wasn’t who she hoped it was but also that there’s more to some people than meets the eye.

I really liked the relationship between Lily and the letter writer and he was absolutely swoon-worthy to me. I also like that just because Lily liked the person in the letter she didn’t just automatically decide she was in love with him when she found out who it was. She had to grapple with her feelings and figure out how she felt about the whole situation. I also liked that there were other small conflicts in the story that didn’t take away from the romance but added to the main plot as well.

Overall, this is definitely a buy and I can’t wait to get it after my book buying ban is lifted. I’m literally counting the days because I plan on rereading it as soon as I get it. Definitely give this book a chance if you haven’t already.

Stars:

5 stars

Favorite Line:

“P.S. I like you. A lot.”

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Book Review: Fly

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Synopsis:

Meet Colton Wade, FMX rider…

I’m just a small town guy who caught a lucky break. Now I’m living the dream, on the brink of high-flying super-stardom. But something’s missing.

That something is Taylor.

She’s my best friend. The one who makes me want to push harder and higher. The one I fall back on when shit gets tough. The one I’d give it all up for.

I’d do anything to protect her. To make her dreams come true too.

But a single night changes everything.

And now the one she needs protection from…is me.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

I’ve said this before but I am still a sucker for best friends turned lovers romance story. Even though I know how it’ll end I continue to read them anyway. It’s my guilty pleasure, I guess. Plus Fly is currently free on Kindle so I figured why not. That being said, if I actually had to spend money on this book I definitely wouldn’t have purchased it. Although it was certainly a quick read I wasn’t all that impressed with any of the characters.

The novel is told in alternating point of views between Colton and Taylor and while Colton certain sounds attractive he wasn’t swoon-worthy in the slightest. Nothing he did made me think, “Oh yes, I see what Taylor sees in him.” He was just okay. Speaking of Taylor, although I should probably expect this from books like this, it was intensely infuriating that Taylor not only failed to realize just how much Colton was into her but also how much her other friend, Matt, was into her as well.

That was my other big issue with this novel. I wasn’t sure what the point of Matt was. Just to make Colton jealous? Colton seemed jealous of every guy that came into contact with Taylor, though, so why was Matt necessary? He was just a nuisance and I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to think of him. He’s clearly the villain but like did he maybe have real good intentions with Taylor and was just looking out for her? Or was he really just trying to get into her pants? I’m not sure.

Then there was also Colton’s ex Bria who floated in and out of the novel as well. I hate when authors make a woman a villain just because she also wants to me with the guy that the main character wants to be with. Colton slept with Bria, apparently multiple times, but how dare she wish Colton would still want her and be in a relationship with her. Couldn’t she see Taylor was here now and she should move aside? Yeah, no. Colton was in the wrong and while Bria definitely made some snide comments to Taylor that were unnecessary I also couldn’t blame her. I felt bad for Bria and I’m pretty sure the author didn’t want me to.

All in all, I thought this book was all over the place and I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to get from this novel. This novel did end on a cliffhanger though, so of course now I want to know what happens next but I refuse to pay for this next book. However, if I can get it for free I’ll definitely read part two.

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“He held me like he owned me, and in a way, he does.”

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