Thursday, August 11, 2016

Since You've Been Gone Review

Since You've Been Gone
By: Morgan Matson

It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.

On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.

Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?

Kiss a stranger? Um...

Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane's list. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go skinny-dipping? Wait...what?

This was my first read by Morgan Matson.  And I am glad to have started out with this amazing book. I had always been drawn to this book for one main reason: The red heart sunglasses. I have a pair of my own, Taylor Swift has a pair, so of course that meant this book was bound to be good right?


It was spectacular and deserves so many more lovely adjectives than what I can think of right now.  I mean, wow.  The beginning was a little slow for me, mainly because the font was smaller than what I was used to and it threw me off.  But when Emily finds the list and her life gets flipped over... you couldn't get my head out of the book.

I loved the friendships aspect.  It reminded me a lot of me when I moved (I feel like I mention that in blog posts a lot but whatever).  I left my best friend who I had known since preschool and wound up on alone island in Alaska. It was hard, but eventually Emily found her voice, and I did too after a while.

Now the love story aspect.  I never knew Frank could be the name of an attractive guy but lets face it: Frank Porter takes the cake.  His kind and beautiful spirit never fazed me and I was always left wanted more whenever a scene with him ended. 

One quote really got to me though about this whole book.

“She hugged me tight, and I hugged her back. I was going to miss her—I knew it. But somehow, I had the feeling that we were going to be okay. I didn’t know what would happen with us. Maybe we’d find a way to attend the same college and be roommates and have the most amazingly decorated dorm room ever. Maybe we’d end up being pen pals, sending lists back and forth. Or we’d just stick to talking twice a week, or we’d video chat, or else just spend all our money traveling to hang out with each other on weekends. I somehow knew that the particulars didn’t matter. She was my heart, she was half of me, and nothing, certainly not a few measly hundred miles, was ever going to change that.”  

That spoke to me in the deepest way because when I moved away from my best friend, we were devastated, but we knew we were going to be okay. Now we are closer than ever and just in the last six months we have flown and seen each other three times.  We text and call constantly. She is literally my sister and our friendship is only going to flourish from here.

So thank you Morgan Matson. Thank yo for creating a beautiful masterpiece that made my cry and text my best friend this paragraph which caused us to cry more together.

5/5 Stars

Tell Me Three Things Review

Tell Me Three Things
By: Julie Buxbaum

Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week as a junior at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

Three Things:

(1) I may or may not have shed tears while reading this beautiful book. (2) Ever since I started reading this book I have been tempted to purchase a waffle maker. (3) I want a guy like SN in my life so badly why can't all guys be like him.

I always get emotional when reading about the loss of a parent because I'm so close to mine. There was no dry eye in my room as I read this book because if I were to ever lose one, I don't know what I would do. 

Jessie is very relatable in just the way she presents herself.  Being shy myself, and having to start over at a new school (multiple times) I felt for her.  High school is mean and people just suck all the way around.  But for the current situation she's in, she handles it pretty well (better than I would have).  Dad says he is going on a business trip and then comes back married? I would have flipped.  Like, huge tantrum, yelling, flipped out.  But Jessie carefully composes herself and tries to go along with whatever life brings her. Of course on the inside she has all her turmoil and anger built up but I mean if she didn't, she wouldn't be human.

I loved the diction in the story and how you could really connect with the main character.  You were literally inside her head and I lost count on how many times I would laugh out loud at the jokes, have an "awh" moment, or shed a few tears.  You weren't just told a story, you lived it out with Jessie. 

SN is probably my favorite person ever.  I wish I had a cute guy anonymously message me and give me tips on school, who to friend, and just have someone to talk to when I moved states.  Probably would have saved me a whole lot of trouble.  SN is everyone's dream guy and as you flip through the pages you have the same anxious feeling like Jessie does, to figure out who it is.  And believe me when you find out, you'll be pleasantly and happily surprised.

This book at first glance looked to be a cute story with a pretty cover but turned out to be SO much more. 

I wish I could just make everyone I met read this book so they could have the same bubbly feeling I had when reading it.

5/5 Stars

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Someone I Wanted To Be Review

Someone I Wanted To Be
By: Aurelia Wills

Release Date: September 6, 2016

 When an insecure teen starts impersonating someone else, her life spirals dangerously out of control in a realistic, relatable novel about finding yourself—and discovering your true friends.

Leah Lobermier dreams of becoming a doctor, but it’s hard to stay focused on getting good grades when boys make oinking sounds at her in school and her mother spends every night on the couch with a bottle of wine. Leah’s skinny and popular "friends," Kristy and Corinne, aren’t much better and can hardly be counted on for support. When the girls convince a handsome older man to buy them beer, Leah takes his phone number and calls him, pretending to be Kristy—coy and confident—and they develop a relationship, talking and texting day after day. But as the lie she created grows beyond her control, can Leah put a stop to things before she—or Kristy—is seriously hurt?

By the synopsis I had thought this book was going to be more of a psychological thriller sort of read.  But after the first few chapters, I realized it was more of the Indie nature. 

Leah is very insecure about herself and desperately wants a life opposite of what she has.  Her mother is a drunk and her father is dead. She surrounds herself with toxic people who put her down, but their lives somehow make her feel like she is apart of something.  When she has the chance to be wanted by an older man, she takes it, and puts herself and people around her in danger.

I feel like this book had the potential to be a really good thriller with the plot.  It had endless possibilities with plots you good throw in like murder, kidnapping, anything really.  But it seemed like what made up the whole description of the book, was really just a secondary event happening. 
Most of the pages were just filled up with how Leah didn't like her situation or how her friends treated her (Horribly I might add). 

The enjoyable characters were the ones that only showed up every few chapters.  Of course they were the people Leah would ditch for her mean, bullies of friends.  I feel like there was really no character development with this girl.  I think the book was cut down too short, and the plot ended too suddenly to allow the gradual epiphany to happen. 

Awkward dialogue and scenes were sprinkled around the story which didn't make much sense to me or to how it applied to the story. 

I think if I were to be one who liked Indie books, I would have enjoyed this greatly.  Fans of Perks of Being a Wallflower, and The Spectacular Now, will love this read. I liked it, it entertained me, but it just didn't live up to my hopes.


*I received this book in exchange for an honest review

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Problem With Forever Review

The Problem With Forever
By: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Growing up, Mallory Dodge learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime. Now, after years of homeschooling, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at a public high school. But she never imagined she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.

It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet soon it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory must make a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants and the truths that need to be heard.

What originally pulled me in was the beautiful water color cover.  The bright colors along with the gorgeous font of the title nabbed me into splurging a little and buying this book beauty.

The minute I opened up the first page, I was sucked in.  Armentrout's writing just pulls you in and you feel like you are with Mallory and Rider on their adventure.  She is descriptive in places she needs to be and her characters never say a single word not needed for the story to progress. 

Mallory:  Is a lovely, shy character who reminds me of myself.  The anxiety of public speaking, or speaking in general, and the over analysis of every move she makes is almost a complete replica of me.  She is a sweet girl with a huge heart that doesn't want to let anyone down. My favorite thing about the story was her character development.  The author did such an fantastic job on slowly progressing Mallory's personality until you reach the last page and feel so proud of her and what she has achieved over the four hundred or so pages.

Rider: Okay a hottie with a past with Mallory, and an over protective side? Yes.  I instantly loved him so so so so much.  Though, it was hard to get past that he had a girlfriend, because the way he treated Mallory wasn't fair to either of them.  But he quickly redeemed himself in the later pages with how thoughtful and patient he was with Mallory.  His character development wasn't as paced as Mallory and even now I think he had a while to go to get where he needed to be.  But that's the beauty of books, they allow us the imagination to think beyond the pages.

Overall this story won a 5/5 stars from me.  The plot, the diction, the characters, all fit together in this harmony that allowed me to eat up the words within two days.  Forever recommending this story and will always remember it.  Hopefully someday I can write a story as passionate and as brilliant as Jennifer did.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

It Ends With Us Review

It Ends With Us
By: Colleen Hoover

Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up—she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily. And the way he looks in scrubs certainly doesn’t hurt. Lily can’t get him out of her head. But Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing. Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his “no dating” rule, she can’t help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan—her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. Combining a captivating romance with a cast of all-too-human characters, It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

I walked into this book knowing nothing except for the fact that it was written by my favorite author, and it was her most personal book yet.

I was nervous.  What would this be about? Would I enjoy it? Would I cry? My name Lily is the same as the main characters, would that change my opinion on it even more?

There's no way you can really prepare for the heartbreak that's bound to come with a book so I sucked it up and closed myself out for a few hours in my room.

When I emerged, I had a new perspective.

The emotion held in this story was real and raw.  Colleen didn't hold back on the characters flaws and kept throwing more things to hate and love about them.  These types of relationships happen, I've seen people go through them at even a young age in high school, to what my mother tells me of her father. 

I admit I didn't cry while reading this book, because I was too shocked at the realness this story holds for people.  I've always wondered why people don't just leave abusive situations? Why stay? Just walk out, easy and simple.  But as I cheered on Ryle and Lily, just to see them crumble, I wanted him to change, I wanted them to work out.  But the reality of it is it's simply never going to happen. I felt myself pulled into the abuse, belief in his lies. 

Survivors of abuse, people who deal with it, are extremely brave.  Not just to be in the situation but to have the strength to walk away. 

This story made me thank my parents for showing me how true love is supposed to work.  They had always told me how lucky I was, but I didn't truly realize it until now.  The biggest fight I've ever seen them in is when my dad drives and my mom freaks out when he goes a bit too fast and doesn't stop right away.

I want to hug every single person out there, no matter what they are going through.  Because you are loved.  By God, Jesus, He will never let you down.

Though it didn't have some crazy plot twist that blew your mind, it held something else.  Raw, real material of something that happens everyday to people.  Some people we may know, some we don't.