The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin // Review

Hello everyone! I found another favorite book and I am so excited to share it with you all!!

Today I am going to be talking about The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. I have seen many people talking about, but I haven’t really seen a lot of reviews for it, so I thought I would share my own because I can’t stop thinking about this book.

Goodreads Synopsis:
It’s 1969 in New York City’s Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.

The prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in ’80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

A sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, The Immortalists probes the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next. It is a deeply moving testament to the power of story, the nature of belief, and the unrelenting pull of familial bonds.

The Immortalists

My Review:

I went into this book with pretty low expectations, if I’m being honest. I thought that it was going to be a fantasy book that I wasn’t going to enjoy because it would be too confusing and too slow.

Boy was I wrong! This book pulled me in, and I enjoyed every second of my reading experience.

First off, this is a story that is very character driven, which I didn’t expect- I thought it was mostly going to be focused on the plot, but it wasn’t. Each character was so unique, despite the similarity of them being siblings. They each had different personalities, interests, and drives, which I enjoyed reading about. I am a HUGE sucker for character driven novels, so I was pleased with how the story was written. It is split up into four parts, one for each character, and we get to see each of their stories and where their lives went. Given this, it is not a book for everyone. If you are someone who is looking for a fast-paced, action-packed plot, you won’t be getting that.

BUT, there were still so many plot twists and elements that kept me on my toes. There is a really good plot, and the book focuses on many important themes and questions. The story’s entire premise is centered around the question of whether you should live life by taking risks or by playing it safe.

Next, the prose was absolutely beautiful. The writing really sucked me in and kept me in the world- the book is set in NYC from the mid 1960s to the early 2000s, and the atmosphere that the book setup was incredible. I felt like I was really there- I could picture the world and every room that the author had described. The writing was also so poetic. I was sad to have ended the book when I did because I wanted to keep reading that incredible writing.

The main thing I have to say is that I left this book with so many new lessons learned and thoughts to ponder. Each character’s story taught me something new and really made me question my own life and how I was choosing to live. What would I do if I knew the date of my death? It is such a simple premise, one that we’ve heard a thousand times, but Chloe Benjamin executed it well with this story and made it a unique reading experience for me.

While there were some parts that were a bit predictable, and at times I felt the story was starting to drag a bit, this book definitely made its way onto my favorites list because I can not stop thinking about it.

I honestly think everyone should give this one a read!

Rating: 5/5 stars

let's chat

Have you read this one? If you have, what were your thoughts? I feel like this one is super underrated, even though I do remember it getting some initial hype. I, for one, will definitely be recommending it for a long time!

Jessica

Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett Review

I read one of my most anticipated releases and I’m so excited to share my thoughts with you all. I probably mention Jenn Bennett or one of her books in every other blog post at this point, but I just truly love her books and her writing style.

I was sent an ARC of her newest release, Chasing Lucky, by Simon and Schuster and I was so ecstatic! All I knew going into it was that it involved photography, a small town, childhood best friends to lovers, and a bad boy. I was already sold.

Chasing Lucky Jenn Bennett

Goodreads Synopsis: Budding photographer Josie Saint-Martin has spent half her life with her single mother, moving from city to city. When they return to her historical New England hometown years later to run the family bookstore, Josie knows it’s not forever. Her dreams are on the opposite coast, and she has a plan to get there.

What she doesn’t plan for is a run-in with the town bad boy, Lucky Karras. Outsider, rebel…and her former childhood best friend. Lucky makes it clear he wants nothing to do with the newly returned Josie. But everything changes after a disastrous pool party, and a poorly executed act of revenge lands Josie in some big-time trouble—with Lucky unexpectedly taking the blame.

Determined to understand why Lucky was so quick to cover for her, Josie discovers that both of them have changed and that the good boy she once knew now has a dark sense of humor and a smile that makes her heart race. And maybe, just maybe, he’s not quite the brooding bad boy everyone thinks he is…

chasing lucky review

My Review:

So to start off, the beginning of this book was a little shaky for me- I felt like the relationship between the main character, Josie, and the love interest, Lucky, was a little strange and rushed. It felt awkward because they hadn’t seen each other since they were 12, and they avoided speaking to each other for an entire school year. However, they run into each other at a part at the beginning of summer, and they act like they were never apart. Which, sure, it could happen, but their relationship left off in a bad place when Josie moved away, and they both changed a lot in the time since they last saw each other. I feel like the progression of them rebuilding their relationship should have been a little slower.

But, I pushed through because I wasn’t ready to give up hope on this one, and it worked in my favor. After about 60 or so pages, I was able to get into the story, especially because I was really invested in each of the characters individually. Josie was a little stubborn and didn’t know how to communicate very well, which led to lots of frustrating events in the book, but they all served a purpose.

Josie grew up in an unstable home where she constantly moved around, and her and her mom did not have good communication. It makes sense that Josie would not be good at expressing herself to others, especially someone she hadn’t seen in so long. Plus, the character development is really present, so you can see how she improves over time.

Lucky was very different from Josie, but he was such an interesting and dynamic character. He is portrayed as the town’s “bad boy,” but the reality is far from that. He cares about people and his passions so deeply. I really enjoyed him and his background story because it showed his personality so well. He was definitely a great character.

 

Also, the small-town setting was one I enjoyed a lot. Plus, Josie’s family owns a bookstore, which is something I always love reading about (duh, I’m a reader! Bookshops are my favorite place).

As far as the actual plot, I thought it was a really good one. Some of the smaller things were a bit predictable for me, but there were many twists that I did not see coming. It was a fast-paced story, and I was able to read the majority of it in two days because I couldn’t put it down!

chasing lucky review
Here’s an aesthetic I made

It’s not my favorite of Jenn’s, but it did keep me hooked the entire time. I’m happy with the way this book ended, and I’m glad to say that it was another great read by Jenn Bennett.

The release date for this one was rescheduled from next month to November due to covid-19. However, if you are interested in reading it, you can preorder it now, and mark it as “to-read” on Goodreads so you won’t forget about it!

Rating: 4.5 stars

let's chat

Have you read any of Jenn Bennett’s books before? Which was your favorite? Be sure to leave a comment letting me know in the comments :)

Jessica

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren / Review

I have finally read my first ever Christina Lauren book. It took me forever, but we’re here!

I read The Unhoneymooners and actually just finished it a couple of days ago. Let’s just jump straight into the review!

the unhoneymooners

Goodreads Synopsis:

Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky.

the unhoneymooners

My Review:

I will say, I went into this book with relatively high expectations. Everyone is constantly praising this author-duo for their work, and I was excited to see what this hype was about and whether I could find a new favorite.

Fortunately, my expectations were met, and I really did enjoy this book!

I will say, in the beginning, I wasn’t immediately into this book. The writing wasn’t my favorite at first. It was hard to get into, and it felt a little off. However, that may have just been due to the fact that I had recently finished a book with a very different writing style. Either way, I did get used to it.

I also thought that the hate aspect of the “hate to love” was a bit too strong and unwarranted. I could not understand why the characters hated each other so much because nothing really happened between them.

However, as the story progressed, I could see both sides and how it evolved. Their characters weren’t SUPER developed, but I do think you could see their chemistry together.

I was gripped within 50-75 pages, and from there, the rest was a really quick read because I was having so much fun with the story.

This book was funny, witty, romantic, and more. Some of the aspects of the plot were a bit unrealistic and over-the-top, but it made for a very interesting story. So many things just kept going wrong, but the characters were able to work their way through them, even while still hating each other many times.

Also, there was a travel aspect to the story (duh, honeymoon), but I loved reading about it and all of their adventures.

On top of this, the main character is biracial (Mexican, I believe, and white), which is a big plus!

One thing that knocked it down a star for me, though, was some of the conversations with Olive’s family members. There was one line where someone had said they wished they were born lesbian, and there were some other comments being made where the family believed someone was gay because

There was also plus-size rep, but it wasn’t 100% defined, and as someone who can not speak for this representation, I can not say whether this was a good or bad portrayal.

Overall, I did enjoy this story, and I am very likely to pick up more books by Christina Lauren.

Rating:

four stars

let's chat

Have you read this or any other Christina Lauren books? Let me know what your thoughts were of them so I can add more to my TBR (or take them off).

Thanks for reading and see you soon!

Jessica

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio / Review

I am so excited to talk about this book to you guys! I did not expect to love it as much as I did, but it is definitely one of my favorite books now.

That book is If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio. It has been on my TBR for a really long time, and just the fact that I finally read it is an accomplishment in itself.

But, the reason I’m so happy I enjoyed it is because I recently read The Secret History by Donna Tart, and that book only got about 3 stars from me. I really thought I was going to love that book, but it let me down big time. If We Were Villains was constantly being compared to TSH, so I was really worried about reading it. Luckily, it exceeded my expectations!

First, a Goodreads Synopsis:

Oliver Marks has just served ten years in jail – for a murder he may or may not have committed. On the day he’s released, he’s greeted by the man who put him in prison. Detective Colborne is retiring, but before he does, he wants to know what really happened a decade ago.

As one of seven young actors studying Shakespeare at an elite arts college, Oliver and his friends play the same roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingenue, extra. But when the casting changes, and the secondary characters usurp the stars, the plays spill dangerously over into life, and one of them is found dead. The rest face their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, and themselves, that they are blameless.

if we were villains

Review:

Ok, let me start out by once again saying this book is like The Secret History. But, it was fast-paced in my opinion, the writing was better, and I liked the characters more. It definitely made me realize I really do like dark academia. It was honestly just such a beautifully written and interesting book.

Every character was so unique and I wanted to keep reading more about them, even the ones who were unlikeable. I did have trouble keeping up with all of the names at first, but once the story got going, you can clearly see their differences and you can figure it out easily.

Also, I am not a huge Shakespeare fan, but the references were all just so perfect and fit with the pretentiousness of each other characters. It actually made me want to pick up Shakespeare, which is not something I thought I would ever say.

As far as the plot- it was SO. DRAMATIC. And I mean that in the best way possible. It sort of reminded me a bit of The Great Gatsby, which is a book I love! Also, the ending was INSANE. I was able to predict some of it, but not all. It left me satisfied, even though it was very shocking.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to my mystery/thriller loving friends! It was just very well done and it was definitely my favorite read of the first month of the year.

let's chat

Have you read this book before? What were your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments, and please recommend me similar titles!

Jessica

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord Review // Blog Tour

Hello and welcome to another post! Today I am bringing you a review of an incredible YA contemporary that I read back in December. It stole my heart, and now I hope it steals yours, too.

I’m talking about Tweet Cute by Emma Lord. I was so honored when I was chosen to be a part of this blog tour because this was one of my most anticipated releases of 2020. And trust me, it did not disappoint.

Tweet Cute_Blog Tour Banner

Goodreads Synopsis:

Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.

Tweet Cute_Cover

My Review:

As I mentioned earlier, this book stole my heart. It is a cute, cheesy YA romance. It was light-hearted, relatable, and so much fun. I read the book in basically two days because once I got into it, I didn’t want to put it down.

The writing is very fast-paced, which is something I need for a contemporary novel. It was also very witty

Let’s talk about the characters- Pepper was so relatable to me it was honestly a bit scary. She is extremely ambitious and is at the top of her class at school, but she doesn’t really fit in much with the other kids. She has a bit of an existential crisis throughout the book which is something I could relate to (and I’m sure most people can). She also loves to bake which is an element I love seeing in a book (both because I have the biggest sweet tooth ever but also because baking is so fun).

Jack was also so adorable and I really liked reading his chapters. I could see a lot of myself in his personality: he is extremely caring for his friends and family, hardworking, responsible, and just an overall good person.

The two of them together? Swoonworthy. It was an enemies-to-friends-to-lovers situation and I was all here for it.

I also really liked the premise/plot of this as a whole. As someone who spends a lot (and I mean A LOT) of time on Twitter myself, I was able to understand all of the references and I felt more connected to the story because of it. Also, there are a few “Mean Girls” references which I absolutely loved.

It also does touch upon some heavier topics in a really great way, such as divorce, finding yourself, pressure from your family, etc.

Overall, this is a book I know I’m going to be recommending to people for years to come. I highly urge you to go pick it up next week when it comes out!

My Rating:

five stars

let's chat

I hope you guys enjoyed this review! Let me know in the comments if you’ve read this book/plan to read it! I would love to hear your thoughts.

If you want to preorder the book (which comes out January 21st), you can do so here!

Jessica

Silhouette of a Sun-Kissed Soul // Review

Hello! This is Jess from the past here to tell you about a book I recently read. More specifically, a poetry collection. As you’re reading this, I am in the middle of my finals, so I haven’t done much of anything besides studying. I prepared for this though, by writing this post now (a few weeks ahead of time).

Anyways, today I have a review like I mentioned. This poetry collection, Silhouette of a Sun-Kissed Soul is by Aida Abdykashova. It was sent to me by the author herself, but all opinions are my own- this is a completely honest review!

Goodreads Synopsis:

“silhouette of a sun-kissed soul” is a collection of poetry that captures both delightful and sorrowful fragments of the heart. it is about rotting and blooming, about loving and hurting, healing and forgiving. the poems take you on a journey of three phases: the burning, the rising from the ashes, and, eventually, the glory. this collection explores days of the everlasting youth of a sun-kissed soul amongst the beauty of art, polaroids, flowers, hummingbirds, letters and sunshine.

silhouette of a sun-kissed soul

My Thoughts:

The Good-

This was a very well done collection. It surprised me in many ways. I thought the writing style was great- the poems were written beautifully and it definitely showed that the author put a lot of care into her words and the way sentences were phrased.

I think each poem was very meaningful, and I related to many of them. There were quite a few lines that I really enjoyed, so I circled/underlined them. They were thought-provoking and unique.

Also, there were little photographs in between some of the poems which added to the experience. It became a multi-media piece, which is something I always appreciate and find so intriguing.

The Cons-

While I did enjoy many of the poems in here, I think the organization of them was not done in the best way possible. I wish that the poems followed a different sequence. The poems would often jump from one theme/topic to another, which isn’t something I’m always opposed to, but I do wish this one was more linear.

Also, there were a few typos every now and then, which is understandable for a self-published book. However, they were distracting quite a few times.

Aside from that, though, there are not many negatives to this collection!

My Favorite Poem:

silhouette of a sun-kissed soul

Overall-

I would recommend this one for fans of contemporary poetry! It was a solid collection filled with many amazing poems. It is a worthwhile read.

Rating- 

four stars

let's chat

Have you read or heard of this collection before? Let me know in the comments!

See you next week :)

Jessica

Get a Life, Chloe Brown – Review / Blogtober Day 28

Hello and welcome to another review post (aka I actually read an ARC on time?).

Today I’m going to be reviewing Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert, which was kindly granted to me by the publisher through Edelweiss.

Goodreads Synopsis:
Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamourous family’s mansion. The next items?
Enjoy a drunken night out.
Ride a motorcycle.
Go camping.
Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
And… do something bad.
But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.

Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.

But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…

Get a Life, Chloe Brown

My Review:

This was the cutest book ever. It instantly sold me with the hate to love trope, but the story has so much more depth to it than that. It’s a love story about two people who’ve been hurt before. They are learning how to let someone back in again.

The main character, Chloe Brown, suffers from a chronic illness- fibromyalgia. This is something I have never read about in a book, so I think the representation was extremely important (though I can’t personally speak to how accurate it is). She also comes from a rich family, and she’s super snotty, and I love it.

Because of her chronic illness, she’s shut herself off from life. After a recent near-death experience, she decides she wants to “get a life,” so she makes a list of things to do to help her achieve that.

The love interest, Redford Morgan, is an artist who recently dealt with a really bad breakup- it was toxic and abusive. He also happens to be the superintendent of the building Chloe’s living in. Uh oh.

There was honestly just so much to love about this story and it made me so happy. The characters were phenomenal, and the writing style worked really well. I’m not a fan of dual POVs that are written in the third person, but with this story, it just worked perfectly. I didn’t even realize it was in the third person until about a quarter of the way in.

I will say, though, some of their conversations seemed a bit exaggerated and a little unrealistic at times. BUT, the majority of it was really adorable and the two characters seemed to click really well. Their chemistry truly bounced off the walls in this one- there was just so much of it.

I also liked how they both had their flaws and were each at fault at times when they were going through a conflict. The characters have both gone through a lot in their lives. They were hurt and broken, but they were able to piece themselves back together. They also did so on their own- they weren’t relying on each other to fix them. Instead, they leaned on each other for support. That is what is missing from a lot of romances that have similar themes; the relationships become toxic because the characters rely too much on each other. In this one, both characters are strong on their own.

“She’d take care of this, to give him space to take care of himself.” What a wholesome line from a healthy, incredible relationship. I’m in love.

I just think this was so well done and crafted with so much care. I definitely want to pick up even more of Talia Hibbert’s books in the future, and I look forward to more from her.

Rating:

five stars

let's chat

I’m so happy that I got to read this book, and I hope you all check it out, too. Have you read any of Talia Hibbert’s books before? Which others should I pick up?

Jessica

Almost Home by Madisen Kuhn- Review / Blogtober Day 18

I was recently sent an ARC of Madisen Kuhn’s newest poetry collection, Almost Home. The book came out at the beginning of the month, so be sure to check it out if you’re interested in it!

I have read both of Madisen’s previous collections, so I was already familiar with her poetry, and I was very excited about this book.

In Almost Home, Madisen takes us on a journey through a home. At each location, we explore a different part of her life, and get to look deeper into her mind. This concept was so cool. I really loved the theme of a house; it was very unique.

almost home review

The writing itself was beautiful. Madisen knows exactly how to pull you in and keep you close. You feel like you are following her life through her eyes, like you have lived through It yourself.

I found myself relating to so many of the poems, even if the events she was describing are not ones I have gone through. The feelings they evoke are some we can all connect with. The imagery in each poem was beautiful. It made you feel like you were walking through a forest, strolling through a city, and laying in a field of grass, depending on the poem you were reading.

I honestly wish I could emulate her style in my own poetry because I love the way she can cause all of your senses to stir.

Her writing has also really improved since her first collection. You can see how much she’s grown as a writer and has found her voice.

Overall this was a pretty solid collection.

Rating: 4/5 stars

let's chat

If you’ve read this one, please feel free to share your thoughts with me! I would love to hear them :)

Jessica

Grisha Trilogy Spoiler-Free Review / Blogtober Day 10

Review

I finally read the Grisha trilogy. I know, it took me long enough!

Everyone and their mother has read this trilogy, along with Six of Crows. It was about time I read it and gave my own review. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone because I avoided spoilers myself for so long, so I decided I would do this as a bulleted review of things I liked and disliked in each one!

shadow and bone

Shadow and Bone: Rating- 4.5 stars

  • It had me hooked from the beginning!
  • I really liked Alina, and I grew very protective of her, especially in the beginning when she was much weaker and didn’t fully understand her powers.
  • The pace was good and there was plenty of action.
  • The characters were done really well, and I liked the way they were all written (even if I didn’t like all of their personalities).
  • The ending definitely left me wanting more; I was so happy that the story wasn’t over yet.

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Siege and Storm: Rating- 3 stars

  • This was my least favorite of the trilogy; it definitely suffered from middle book syndrome. It wasn’t terrible, it just had a lot missing.
  • I think it was still an important book because it helped with character growth.
  • BUT, it was unnecessarily long- a lot of the action from the first book was gone.
  • This book was basically just about Alina’s love triangle/square/pentagon(?).
  • I didn’t like any of Alina’s love interests in this one, honestly.
  • The ending was really good though, and it left off on a great cliffhanger again.

Ruin and Rising

Ruin and Rising: 5 stars

  • This one was my favorite.
  • There was so much of the action that was missing in the previous book.
  • At the same time, it still had so much character development.
  • Alina is a character I’m still very protective of, and I have grown to love her so much, despite her flaws.
  • Actually, all of the characters had flaws, but that’s what made them so interesting.
  • I don’t understand why everyone hates Mal so much, he’s so sweet and willing to risk everything for Alina.
  • Nikolai is my favorite though. The Darkling is the worst sorry.
  • The ending was so satisfying, and I’m definitely excited to go back to this world with Six of Crows!

let's chat

I’m extremely happy that I finally managed to pick up this series. Everyone told me it was really bad compared to Six of Crows, but I actually really enjoyed this trilogy! If Six of Crows is better than this, then I know it will be an instant 5-star read. I am very excited for the tv series that is in the works for this world, too. Have you read this series? What were your thoughts?

Jessica

The Starless Sea ARC Review

My most anticipated release of the year, ladies and gentleman… was just as incredible as I had hoped it’d be.

I got this book at Bookcon- which was at the very beginning of summer. We are now in September, so I definitely put this book off for quite some time. But I was scared, ok? The Night Circus is a book I had “read” for the first time prior to even being part of the book community. I was younger and didn’t look at books the same way I do now. I don’t even know if I fully finished it that first time. I read it again this June. And I fell in love. It is now one of my all-time favorite books. I didn’t know if another book could ever top it for me (but The Starless Sea is definitely very close now).

I waited in line for hours at Bookcon just to snag a ticket for the ARC, and I waited in another line again to actually get the book and get it signed (!!!)*.

I finally read The Starless Sea (I decided it was about time), and let me just tell you- it was everything I needed.

*I’m still in shock that I stood next to Erin Morgenstern and barely even said a word to her cause I was nervous, but at least I got my book signed.

Goodreads Synopsis:
Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues–a bee, a key, and a sword–that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library, hidden far below the surface of the earth.

What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians–it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also those who are intent on its destruction.

Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly-soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose–in both the mysterious book and in his own life. 

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My Review:

I just want to preface this by saying that this review is going to be pretty vague because the story is hard to describe without giving too much away, and I genuinely believe you should go in without knowing too much.

Let’s get on to it!

Writing Style:

I have never been more in love with a writing style than I am with Erin Morgenstern’s. It is so beautiful. It is poetic. It is everything I want my own writing to be like. I am a huge fan of flowery writing- pretty description, details, metaphors, etc. Give it all to me. It makes my heart skip a beat. I know, I’m a nerd. But seriously, it’s so good. Trust me.

I know not everyone likes this poetic, descriptive type of writing, but Erin knows how to balance this with a fast-paced plot, so the story doesn’t feel like it’s dragging on at all the way some books with similar writing tend to do.

It is also very similar to The Night Circus in terms of writing, which I am so appreciative of. I was worried that the style that I loved so much in that book was going to change for her new release (I mean, they are almost a decade apart; people change). But it felt like I had come home when I read the first page of this book. The writing was so familiar and inviting.

Characters:

Everyone who knows me and my reading tastes knows that I am a huge character-driven person. If I don’t like the characters (and I don’t mean that they’re bad people- I love a good villain; I mean that they are boring and have no development), I won’t like the story.

Erin’s characters are so far from underdeveloped. They’re all extremely complex, many of them have tons and tons of layers, and a few are morally grey (probably my favorite type of character). This story has a great diverse cast, and none of the people are really who they seem to be. You don’t know who to trust, who is telling you the truth, and who each person truly is.

I felt so connected to them and invested in their lives that I even cried a few times throughout the book. The friendships and connections that are made left me so emotional.

The cast is also diverse and we get LGBTQ+ rep!

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Plot:

Okay, here is where it gets really tricky to review this book: this is going to be vague but will give you just enough info to know whether this is a story for you.

The story has one main plot- it follows a guy (Zachary Ezra Rawlins) who is in college after he finds a book in his school’s library that has a story about him in it.

In between the “main story” there are also chapters of short stories (which are important to the plot). Those short stories were so interesting and written just as beautifully as the main one.

The way the story comes together to form one overarching plot is insane. It is so strategic and well thought out. You’re able to start putting together some of the pieces about halfway through, and it just all comes full circle in the end- but in a way I never expected.

It is elegant. It is quite honestly a masterpiece. I could only dream of writing a book this intricate and well done. It’s atmospheric, and it takes you on a journey through different worlds and times. It made me believe in magic all over again. You feel like you’re in a warm, adventurous dream the entire time you’re reading this.

Overall:

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This was without a doubt a five star read to me. I think anything Erin comes out with will always be a five-star book to me. It is not often that I come across books that make me feel the way this book did. Quite honestly, the only other book to ever make me feel this way is The Night Circus. If that intrigues you, definitely pick this one up! It comes out November 5th :)

I can’t wait for everyone to be able to experience it!

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Have you read The Night Circus? Are you anticipating the release of The Starless Sea? Leave a comment letting me know!

jessica