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

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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.

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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

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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!

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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!

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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

The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett Review!

Review

Hey loves! Hope you had a great week :) I just moved into my dorm room a couple of days ago, and I’m finally starting to settle in and get into a routine. Classes start tomorrow so I’m freaking out a little bit. BUT, I’m really happy with how my room came out this year, and I love my building much more than last year.

 

 

 

Anyways, today I have a very exciting review for you all- it’s for The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett which comes out TOMORROW, and you all need to get your hands on it.

If you’re new here, you wouldn’t know that Jenn Bennett is one of my all-time favorite contemporary authors- she wrote Alex, Approximately, Starry Eyes, and more. Now, she has won my heart over in other genres as well (and may just be my favorite author of all-time).

The Lady Rogue is a historical paranormal novel, which I don’t read much of, but I definitely want to in the future cause I love spooky shit. This also read like any other contemporary which was nice- it wasn’t difficult to get into or understand at all.

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Here’s a synopsis from Goodreads:
Traveling with her treasure-hunting father has always been a dream for Theodora. She’s read every book in his library, has an impressive knowledge of the world’s most sought-after relics, and has all the ambition in the world. What she doesn’t have is her father’s permission. That honor goes to her father’s nineteen-year-old protégé—and once-upon-a-time love of Theodora’s life—Huck Gallagher, while Theodora is left to sit alone in her hotel in Istanbul.

Until Huck arrives from an expedition without her father and enlists Theodora’s help in rescuing him. Armed with her father’s travel journal, the reluctant duo learns that her father had been digging up information on a legendary and magical ring that once belonged to Vlad the Impaler—more widely known as Dracula—and that it just might be the key to finding him.

Journeying into Romania, Theodora and Huck embark on a captivating adventure through Gothic villages and dark castles in the misty Carpathian Mountains to recover the notorious ring. But they aren’t the only ones who are searching for it. A secretive and dangerous occult society with a powerful link to Vlad the Impaler himself is hunting for it, too. And they will go to any lengths—including murder—to possess it.

My Review:

Trigger Warnings: Death, faked suicide, murder, grief, and possibly more

First and foremost, let’s talk about the characters. Jenn Bennett gives all of her characters unique and interesting quirks. For example, in Alex, Approximately, Bailey had an obsession with films. In Serious Moonlight, the main character was fascinated by mystery novels.

Here, both main characters have their own identifiers. Main character Theodora “Theo” Fox loves to read all about different myths and stories about “haunted” items. She believes that her mother was cursed, causing her unfortunate death. Since then, she has been looking for proof that curses, ghosts, etc. exist.

Huck, the love interest and sidekick to Theo on her journey, has a habit of mixing up or changing different proverbs and sayings. This is better understood when reading the book.

Aside from their quirks, the characters all feel so real. They are relatable, funny, and interesting. The dialogue between them feels like it came straight from real people’s conversations. I know that many books have realistic characters, but Jenn Bennett does it best in my opinion.

Also, the romance was incredible. I loved reading every line about Huck and Theo’s relationship as it kept fluctuating with its ups and downs. They are absolutely adorable, and I love them.

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As far as the plot, it was SO INTERESTING. I was engaged the entire time and very stressed about what was going to happen to my precious babies (Yes, these characters are my children; I love them now).

Each chapter ends with you wanting to know more, so you’re guaranteed to pick the book up again (or not even put it down at all). It was a fairly quick read; it was easy to understand and get through. When I read the first 100 pages, I hadn’t even realized I had gotten that far!

Overall:

I gave this book 5/5 stars because I loved it so so much. I definitely recommend checking this one out tomorrow (and Jenn Bennett’s other books if you haven’t)!

Also, thank you so much to Simon and Schuster for sending me a copy- I appreciate it so so much!*

*All opinions are my own

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Thanks so much for reading. If you enjoyed this review, please let me know! Also, let me know if you’ve read any of Jenn Bennett’s books before :)

See you next week!

jessica

forget-me-not // Poetry Review

Hey loves, Jess here. Today I am doing a review of a wonderful poetry collection that was sent to me fairly recently. It is Kara Petrovic’s “forget-me-not.”

Review

Let’s start with the synopsis:
Kara Petrovic reflects on a single relationship in their life and invites the reader to follow along their journey: from falling at first sight, to seeing this person’s true colours reveal themselves before their very eyes. Petrovic paints the picture of pain and betrayal that comes with realizing one is being abused, or in a toxic relationship, and likewise the desperation we feel while we hold onto vehement denial. 

My Review:

Initial thoughts- First off, forget me not flowers are my absolute favorite, so I was intrigued from the cover and title alone. When the author reached out to me, I was excited to read it.

The poems- This was a collection filled with emotion- that much is true of almost all collections, but it is also the most vital part. If you can feel the emotions that the poet is feeling, you will be able to connect with the poems, even if you can’t personally relate.

The collection details the events and experiences that took place during the course of a romantic relationship, and I found that to be very unique. Many collections I’ve read do focus on love as a theme but do not tell a story the same way this one does. I really enjoyed the way the poems were organized, it worked very well.

In addition, the writing itself was beautiful. You can tell that a lot of thought went into each word, each line, and of course, each poem as a whole.

It also tackles some very important topics such as abuse, toxicity, and internalized homophobia, so I want to add those trigger warnings here.

However, I do wish it were a bit longer. I love a quick-to-read book, but this felt more like a chapbook than a full collection. It’s under 70 pages, and many of the poems go onto a second page but only with a couple lines, so there is a lot less than 70 poems in it.

Also, I only tabbed a few poems that I absolutely loved, and for a collection this short, I would have liked to love a few more than I did.

It was still a great read, and my overall rating is a

3.75/5 stars.

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That is all for this review- If you enjoyed it, definitely let me know by leaving a comment! Also, recommend me some poetry collections down below as well :)

See you soon!

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Red, White & Royal Blue – Review

Hello everyone! I was given the opportunity to read and review an early copy of Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. The book actually came out today, so make sure to grab your copy if it interests you (which I definitely think you should do!)

Goodreads Synopsis:
First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.
The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him. 
As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

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My Review:

Wow, this book is absolutely incredible. I did not know that I needed it until I was reading it. And I’m so glad I did.

This book follows the first son of the US (in a world where a woman becomes President after Obama) and the Prince of Wales. Alex and Henry start off as enemies but quickly turn to lovers, and watching their love–which needs to remain a secret–unfold was beautiful.

I really enjoyed getting to know both characters, as well as getting a look into their lives with the eyes of the whole world on them. I can’t even imagine being in that position. Alex is figuring things out, from his sexuality to his future career, while Henry is dealing with grief and hiding his true self from his family.

Aside from the main characters, this book features a whole group of diverse characters. Alex and June, his sister, are biracial (Mexican/white), Henry is Gay, Alex is bisexual, and there are many more examples of diversity throughout the book in other side characters. The friendships in this book made my heart swell with happiness. June and Nora are Alex’s closest friends (until Henry), and the support the three have for each other is immeasurable. Bea and Pez, Henry’s sister and best friend, are also such incredibly supportive people, and anyone would be lucky to have them.

My favorite of the side characters was probably June- she’s a writer and she’s such a good sister!!

The romance was steamy, and the connection Henry and Alex have is like no other.

My one issue with the book was some of the writing felt a little off. There were strange time jumps where the scene would change randomly, making it a little difficult to follow. I also didn’t like the point of view the book was told in. I much would have preferred the first person, because the third person omniscient felt a little awkward to me.

However, I loved the story so so much. It felt very realistic, and it made me feel hopeful for the future. Overall, it was a solid story, with such strong characters, a great plot, and lots of love- both romantic and platonic.

I gave this one a 4/5 stars!

Some trigger warnings to be aware of: the death of a parent, homophobia/racism, anxiety/depression/panic attacks, sexual assault.

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Are you planning on picking this one up? Let me know in the comments! Also, feel free to recommend similar books to this one if you know any, I would love to add some to my TBR!

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Again, But Better by Christine Riccio // Review

Hello loves! Today I am here with a review of Again, But Better by Christine Riccio! I’m sure many of you have heard of her, as she runs the biggest Booktube channel to exist! Her debut novel comes out on May 7th, so make sure you go check it out when it comes out!

Thank you to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for providing me an ARC!

The Review

From the first page of this book, I knew I was going to love it. For me, this book’s rating really came down to how much I connected to Shane, the main character. 

Writing

First, let’s start off with the writing- It reads so much like Christine that you know it’s her right off the bat. It was a little eery how similar the quirks in the writing are to Christine’s personality in real life. Her voice is so strong and unique, and it really sets her apart.

There were a few points where the descriptions either lacked or felt forced, which tended to pull me out of the story unfortunately.

Christine also uses a variety of allusions to popular tv shows, books, songs, etc. in this book which made me feel super nostalgic. There were, at times, a few too many pop culture references that sort of distracted me from the story, though. A few of them definitely could have been cut out and the book would do just fine, but the majority of them made me smile.

Characters

As far as characters, I really loved them. They all felt so different and distinct. The cast was diverse, and they all felt so relatable. The dialogue between them was incredibly real. I truly felt like I was amongst my own group friends when reading this with the use of sarcasm, back and forth joking banter, etc. 

Shane is a character I could relate so much to with her clumsiness, socially awkward tendencies, and passion for writing. When I was reading this, I really saw myself for a variety of reasons, and I’ve never felt so understood in a book before. I fell in love with her character, and I wanted to continue to read about her life. She’s a blogger (what a coincidence), her parents have very high expectations for her (could this be more relatable?), and she travels abroad to London (the number one place to visit on my bucket list).

When the book was over, I was genuinely so sad to leave her and the rest of this cast.

Pilot was a little bland at first- your typical YA love interest. There were a few times where I really wanted to slap him/shake him/push him down some stairs, but by the end, I actually started to like him. He was just adorable, okay?

As far as the rest of the characters, I really did enjoy them all. I loved Babe and Atticus and Sahra. Chad I could do without, but his character was done really well, too.

The one part where this book fell really flat for me was Shane’s parents. Her dad is clearly very verbally abusive. He screamed at her in front of her friends, cursing frequently, and her mother barely said anything to her (or him) while this happened. I wish that they were developed a bit more, especially toward the end. I felt like it was a missed opportunity.

Plot

There is so much to say about the plot that I don’t even know where to start. I guess I’ll begin by saying that it was very well developed and had so many elements to it. It began as a very common contemporary novel, which is exactly what I expected. But then things changed completely.

The novel is broken up into two parts- 2011 and 2017.

The first half follows Shane as she goes to London for a semester to travel abroad. The book really tells the story of her finding her true passion but having to deal with the consequences of lying to her parents about it, falling in love, traveling for the first time, and making new friends/experiences. These are all things that I love seeing in a book, but seeing them together? The book was honestly made for me.

It definitely dragged on at a few times, and the story was beginning to get a bit boring.

The second half was the complete opposite of what you would expect, though. I did not see the plot twist coming at all; it completely caught me off guard. I’m not going to say much more because I don’t want to spoil it. This book was, however, again, but better.

I do want to mention, though, that there is cheating in this book- at first it’s only emotional, but eventually there is one kiss. While this did rub me the wrong way, and at times make me uncomfortable, it did not deter me completely. Proceed with caution on this one!

Again, there was also the toxicity of her parents, which personally made me a bit annoyed. No one stood up to them, Shane never fully handled the situation, and there was no real resolution with them at the end- the book wrapped up a bit too nicely.

Overall

Romance, travel, finding yourself, and a hint of magic- this book really has it all! There are obviously some flaws, and the book is not perfect, but it was enjoyable. High school me would absolutely love this book, and it is definitely worth checking out.

And as Christine’s debut novel, I think it lived up to its standards. She is only going to grow as a writer from here, and I can not wait to see what else she puts out into the world! She has so much potential. 

Rating: 3.75/5 stars!

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Are you planning on picking this one up when it’s out? Let me know in the comments down below! And if you’ve read it, what were your thoughts?

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Water Runs Red by Jenna Clare // Review

On March 5th of this year, Jenna Clare came out with her debut self-published poetry collection, Water Runs Red. I have been following her online for many years, and seeing her work so hard on this book was inspiring. I knew I needed to get my hands on it immediately.

So, as soon as the paperback copy was out, I ordered it along w/ the e-book, and I devoured it as soon as it came in!

Synopsis:
This collection is a reflection of three friendships that Jenna experienced- two of which she no longer has, and one that is with her current best friend- told through poetry. In between, there are poems about asexuality, current world events, religion, self-image, and more. 

 

 

My Review:

I want to do this review in bullet point format (sort of stolen from Marie) because I can’t directly put my thoughts into categories for this one. I also don’t even know where to start with it- there’s so much that I love!

  • The writing is absolutely incredible- it’s so different from many modern poetry collections that I’ve read in that the writing feels like you’re reading a fantasy novel. I loved it.
  • The story is also very unique. I have never read a poetry collection about friendship before, but this is something that everyone can relate to, so I enjoyed that aspect.
  • Jenna designed the entire thing by herself. Can you believe that?? Each page must have taken her hours, and to do that all alone takes a lot of dedication.
    • The reason I love this book so much (and needed it in paperback edition) is because it so closely resembles what I want my own poetry collection to look like.
    • It reminds me a lot of Connor Franta’s books, just with poetry on every page instead of vignettes/short stories.
  • It was real. It was honest. You can tell that all of the words come from Jenna’s heart. She tells her truth and nothing more.
  • There were so many pop culture references that I loved. I definitely didn’t find them all, because they’re so subtle. But when you do notice them, you’re thinking, wow that was so clever. 
  • The whole book just screams “passion.” You can tell that Jenna was so dedicated to it, and she put everything into making this what it is. I truly admire that.

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Overall:

I loved this collection so much, and I think that many people can relate to it- I know I really did. If you like poetry (or graphic design), you should give this one a chance! It won’t disappoint.

Rating: 

5/5 stars

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Have any of you gotten this collection yet? Let me know in the comments! Also, leave me suggestions for more poetry collections for me to check out because I’m in desperate need of more! See you soon :)

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Stormy Kind of Love by Tia Lee // First 1 Star of the Year

Hey everyone! Today I have a review for Stormy Kind of Love by Tia Lee.

I was sent a review copy in exchange for an honest review**

Goodreads Synopsis: 
It’s Rachel’s first day of Sophomore year at Oklahoma State University. The first day of school her biggest problem is getting to class late. Soon she finds herself in the middle of a love triangle, only one of the men who is a potential love interest is hiding secrets that put Rachel in danger. Will Rachel make the right choices or put herself in danger for love?

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My Review:

Overview-

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much going into this book. I had read the synopsis a while ago, and when I got sent the copy, I had completely forgotten what it was about! This is what happens with most books I read though, and I don’t mind going in blind.

Unfortunately, this one was a major disappointment for me.

Writing Style-

The writing is really simple and so choppy. There was a lot of telling instead of showing. So many sentences were basically “I was sad,” “He was tired.” “She was mad.” You can easily give a better description of this, rather than simply stating the adjective. Of course, once in a while this would have been fine, but it happened way too often that it was distracting to me.

It also has so many mistakes- not even just spelling, but so many grammar mistakes, too. It looks like a fast draft that no one read over and just decided to publish as-is. This confused me so much, and made the story so hard to follow.

Here are some examples of the writing:

1. This had absolutely no point to the story and could have been eliminated. I don’t care about the compartment you keep your phone in.

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2. “Hay” is spelled wrong twice in this, and I thought that maybe it had been a UK version of the spelling, but I couldn’t find it anywhere online. It’s just incorrect.

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3. This sentence is just absolutely so confusing. It is phrased really weird, and this is just one example out of many.

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I wish I had more screenshots to share of the writing, but taken out of context, it was hard to explain why some sentences were bad. You would need to read it for yourself to see.

Characters-

The characters were very cringe-y and they didn’t feel real. Their conversations and actions were just very unnatural. I didn’t care about any of the characters at all, and I had no emotions while reading what happened.

Here’s an example of something the main love interest said, and it just rubbed me the wrong way. There were so many other instances when he said something similar, and it just was so unnecessary. And the main character “beamed” at him for saying this. WHAT???

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Rachel is the most unlikeable main character ever. Everything she does makes me want to punch a brick wall. So much happens in this story, and it was very serious. But Rachel decides she’s not going to tell her parents what is going on because she’s afraid of them pulling her out of school. But the situation is so serious that she probably should leave, or at least transfer somewhere else.

Plot-

This book is marketed as a suspense novel, but it was not thriller-y at all. In fact, it felt more like a contemporary romance.

The ending was so unrealistic and came completely out of nowhere. Also, there was an alternate ending provided, which is a really cool concept, but it was so unnecessary for this book. There are just so many issues with this book, and I would not recommend it unfortunately.

Final Rating:

1/5 stars 

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I wanted to DNF this story the entire time. I considered it at every chapter, but I wanted to give it a fair review since it is for a blog tour. The story is just very unrealistic, and it’s predictable the entire time- I literally knew what was going to happen in each chapter to a tee.

The story could have been very good, but the execution was just so bad. It was a really poorly done story, and needs a lot of editing.

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