Monday, March 16, 2015

Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han (#1)

Forever Favorite


You know those books that come to you at JUST the right time?  You open them, expecting one thing....and what you get is unexpected and life-changing.  Life saving.  GAME CHANGING.

Well,  To All the Boys is that book for me.

I LOVED EVERY SINGLE THING ABOUT IT.  (I'm sorry-not-sorry, there will be a lot of caps.  Just get ready.

One:  The writing.  HAN KNOWS HOW TO WORK HER WORDS, OKAY.  I fell in love with the first chapter and how fast I was reading and omg must finish this book noooowwww.

Two:  The characters.  THEY ARE REAL.  They are everything I wanted them to be.  They were more than what I wanted.  They showed me a unique side of YA contemporary that I've been wanting to see a lot more of.  Laura Jean is innocent and sweet - and that doesn't make her any less interesting.  She loves her family and being crafty and is a hopeless romantic.  She's not rebellious.  And yet, there was still plenty of story to go around.  Plenty of conflict.  Plenty of relatable material.

Three:  The stooorrryyyy.  My goodness you guys - it reels you in and doesn't let you go.  I was groaning and laughing and experience major secondhand embarrassment, and just head-over-heels in love with everything about the way this was set up.  Especially the romance.  My goodness, it was so natural and sweet and totally made my heart pound, without being insanely over the top and/or romanticized.  I loved that 1/4th of the way through the book, I was rooting for the unexpected male lead.  I had no idea how big of a deal Peter would be, and all of a sudden I wanted him on EVERY DAMN PAGE.  Thank you, Han, for granting all my wishes.  Or, most of them.  I'M STILL REELING OVER THAT ENDING. BOOK 2 WHERE ARE YOU?!

I have a million things I could say.  A million things I want to say.  But what's too much to say?  I don't want to spoil anything.  I want you to pick up this book and read it ASAP, so I won't talk about it anymore - JUST GO READ IT.  Everything about it is wonderful and perfect.

I thought surely it couldn't be on that many peoples' favorite 2014 book lists for no reason.

There is definitely a reason.


Buy it.


The end.

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.

This book is very clean.  Brief strong language in a heightened situation, and reference to teenagers doing dumb things.  But Laura Jean is a sweetheart.  Her POV was refreshing.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Category 10: A Book With A Color in the Title


I'm currently 50 pages into The Dream Thieves, so as soon as I'm done with that, probably Thursday, I'll start Blue Lily, Lily Blue.  I'M FREAKING OUT OVER HOW BEAUTIFUL EVERYTHING IS.  HOW TRAGIC AND LOVELY.  These books defy all nature and I love it so much.




Monday, March 9, 2015

Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo (#3)


This review gets to be short. I don't have a lot to say about Ruin and Rising because...well...I didn't feel too much about it. I didn't feel deeply.

I hate saying this. I wish I had been caught up in the story and characters. But it lacked something. Something vital.

It lacked character. This devastates me to say because I LOVE the world and the concepts are so intriguing, and I really enjoyed the other 2 books. Buuuut....this one felt flat. Like she brushed over everything. (!!!SPOILERS!!!: Like the scene with the Phoenix....soooooo quick and disappointing. And the big reveal? It fell short for me because the promised action and suspense wasn't there.)

Those are just the basics of my problems with the book. I wish there had been more from Alina. I liked Mal the most in Ruin and Rising than the other 2 books, but he still didn't rise to the great potential he had. And the Darkling......ugh. Bardugo did that thing that I hate: (SPOILERS!!!) In the end, she tried to make me feel sorry for him.

NO NO NO AND NO. He's the freaking villain, and I want to be terrified of him. He just didn't cut it in Ruin and Rising as he did previously, especially in book 2. He was blindingly terrifying in Siege and Storm. But Ruin and Rising lacked that because Bardugo pulled the poor-unfortunate-souls card.

Nooooo thank you.

So. Those are my feelings. Those are the reasons why this book doesn't get 5 stars. The reason why it gets 3 stars still are this: HER WRITING. Bardugo is a master of words. She sucked me into the story instantly, with prose that makes angels weep. Not even kidding you.

And I did enjoy the book for what it is. When I finally resigned it, about 2/3rds of the way through, I just plowed through and got what I could out of it. And THAT ENDING. The little epilogue was SO BEAUTIFUL. Like. Exactly what I'd always wanted.

And honestly? I say read this book. If you've read the other two books, just keep reading. You'll be happy you got closure. And many people enjoyed it more than I did.

The capital has fallen.

The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

Some kissing, implied sex.  No language that I can remember.  If there was it was quick and mild.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

DNF Review: Switched by Amanda Hocking (#1)


I'm coming to learn something about myself and reading this year.
It's that if a book doesn't make me feel something, whether negative or positive, I'm most likely to put it down.

Let's be upfront:  This book is not bad.  Not that I'm aware of.  Hocking has a nice writing style and okay characters.  I wasn't too keen on the story, which felt choppy to me, but it wasn't all like that.  I assumed it would get better, smoother.

But these are all problems I have with Switched:  It wasn't more.  It didn't make me want to sit down and read for hours.  It didn't even pull me in, not in the slightest.  The characters were just there and the writing style seemed complacent.  So not bad, but in my eyes, not good, either.

If I'm going to spend time on your book, I want it to be more.  Whether a good more or a bad doesn't matter.  Just make it worth my thoughts and my energy and my emotional attachment.  Make sure I will have an emotional attachment to it.  I did not have that with Switched, even though I really wanted to.  I really thought I would from the beginning.

So, while it was a DNF for me, how was it for you?  Did you try it?  Did you like it?
Let me know in the comments!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Category 9: A Book Based Entirely Off Its Cover

Annnnnd the 9th book: Tris & Izzie! I have adored this cover for all time. Ever since I first laid eyes on it. The book got quite a lot of negative reviews, but I will read it anyway. There is some chance I will enjoy it despite what people have said. I hope it's at least a 3 star!