Kiss Me, I’m Irish Book Tag

Book Tag

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! To celebrate the holiday, here are my answers for the Kiss Me, I’m Irish Book Tag:

Green (Book with a Green Cover)

Racing Savannah (Hundred Oaks, #4)

Racing Savannah has an adorable cover and contains an adorable story! This book was definitely one of my favorites in the Hundred Oaks series.

Blarney (A book that deceived you into either liking it or was over-hyped and you ended up disliking it)

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)

This was one of the first hyped books that I reviewed on my blog and one of the first books I picked up after seeing recommendations online. Unfortunately, this book didn’t really work for me and I never continued on with the series.

Brogue (Dialect–A book where one of the characters has an accent)

Words in Deep Blue

This book takes place in Australia. Since I live in the United States, all of these characters would have accents to me!

Leprechaun (A book you enjoyed when you were a little person)

My Fair Godmother (My Fair Godmother, #1)

I loved books by Janette Rallison in middle school. Her books always had fun plots filled with tons of humor. This book even has a leprechaun!

Pot of Gold (A book that cost you a lot or is of great value to you)

Lucky in Love

Since I usually buy my books at thrift stores or on Kindle Daily Deals, I must really like an author if I buy their book when it is released. When I saw Lucky in Love, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I went to the store and purchased it as soon as it was released!

Four Leaf Clover and Shamrock (Four leaves = more than one book. Pick your current or old favorite series)

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

I absolutely love this series and talk about it non-stop. I am still in love with the characters and their stories and am counting down the days until A Court of Frost and Starlight.

Magic (A book that you found magical or a book where you enjoyed a magic element that was found in the story line)

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)

Even though this book was only an okay read for me, I am really loving fantasy books that explore faeries and their world. Since this book definitely revolved around that, I really enjoyed that aspect of the book.

Kiss (You current favorite book pairing or your all time favorite book pairing)

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

I don’t like using a book twice in a tag, but this is an exception. Feyre and Rhysand are definitely one of my current favorite couples and one of my favorite book couples of all time. I can’t wait to see where their story goes!

Luck (A book on your shelf you’ll get to…some day)

The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2)

I wanted to read this soon after The Lightning Thief, but never got around to it and it is two years later. I definitely want to continue this series because I enjoyed the first book and I want to read more of Rick Riordan’s work. I just don’t know when I will pick this one up!

Jig (A book that you don’t currently own but if you could get a hold of it would make you dance with joy)

Ace of Shades (The Shadow Game #1)

This book seems right up my alley so I can’t wait until it is released and I can get my hands on it!

Rainbow (That’s you! Lead other bloggers to this tag)



Along for the Ride Review

book review

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen follows Auden West who decides to visit her father, stepmother, and their new baby at the beach over the summer. Raised by two professor parents, Auden never had the typical high school experience. When Auden takes a job at her stepmother’s boutique, she makes new friends who help her experience all of the high school experiences she missed.

While Along for the Ride isn’t in my top three favorite Sarah Dessen books, it still ranks near the top of my favorite Sarah Dessen list. Along for the Ride is similar to many classic Sarah Dessen books with strong characters, strong themes, and strong relationships. Additionally, it’s the perfect book for the summer time!

I think my favorite aspect of this book would have to be the characters. Each character, whether major or minor, is fully developed and represent part of the theme that Sarah Dessen expresses in this book. In this book, the focus is on people changing. The main character, Auden, changes dramatically in her final summer before college. She learns to make her own opinions, learns to socialize with people her own age, and learns that she doesn’t have to be perfect all the time.

I also appreciated how Sarah Dessen explored what it means to be a girl in this book. Auden’s mom is a cold and driven professor who shuns everything girly, as a result, Auden sees anything considered typically feminine as weak. However, through her friends and other characters in the book, Auden learns this is not the case. Auden’s stepmother, Heidi, own an extremely girl boutique, but she’s also an incredibly smart businesswoman. Auden’s new friend, Maggie, likes fashion and boys, but also is very intelligent and great at riding dirtbikes. I really like how Sarah Dessen conveyed that their isn’t “a right way” to be a girl and that just because someone is traditionally feminine that doesn’t mean that they are also weak.

Overall, Along for the Ride is a fun, but deep summer read. Like Sarah Dessen’s other books, it is extremely relatable and will stay with you after you read it. I give Along for the Ride five out of five stars.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books that Surprised Me

top ten

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is books that surprised you in a good or bad way. Here are my choices:

  • Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King, #1)

I definitely enjoyed this book more than I expected I picked this book up as a Kindle Deal because I heard decent reviews. This book is a lot of fun to read if you don’t go in expecting a gritty pirate adventure story, but a romance that also happens to feature pirates.

  • Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols

Biggest Flirts (Superlatives, #1)

This book surprised me, but unfortunately in a bad way. I expected a fun contemporary, but I really didn’t like any of the characters or the story line. I also really disliked the love interest in this book–I felt like he never took accountability for his actions and always blamed the female main character without any challenge. As a result, I really did not enjoy this book.

  • Textrovert by Lindsey Summers


I actually didn’t have a problem with this book until the very end when it surprised me with a very unlikable plot twist. (SPOILER WARNING AHEAD). In this book, it is revealed that the main character’s love interest sent out revealing photos of an ex-girlfriend after their relationship ended. So many characters came forward to show that he changed, but I didn’t believe it when I thought about his actions throughout the story. Overall, it just completely ruined the love interest for me.

  • Be Mine by Sabrina James

Be Mine

I loved Secret Santa by the same author, so it surprised me when this story left me disappointed. I feel like Be Mine copied and pasted characters and lines from her other books, which made the characters and their stories not as interesting.

  • When It’s Real by Erin Watt

When It's Real

I heard so many positive reviews for books by Erin Watt, I was excited to read When It’s Real after it popped up as a Kindle Daily Deal. I love lighthearted contemporary stories, so I felt extremely disappointed when I didn’t enjoy this book. For me, the characters and story were kind of all over the place, so I didn’t really enjoy reading it.

  • I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

I've Got Your Number

I’ve had mixed experiences with books by Sophie Kinsella, so I went in expected to like this book but not to love it. However, I completely fell in love with book and it became one of my favorite contemporary books that I read in 2018! I liked how I was able to venture into reading more “adult” books, but still having the light and fun vibe from my favorite YA contemporaries.

  • Warcross by Marie Lu

Warcross (Warcross, #1)

I tried reading books by Marie Lu before, but didn’t ever finish them. As a result, I didn’t go into this book with high expectations. However, I really did like this book, especially the writing style. I can’t wait to read the next books!

  • Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Letters to the Lost (Letters to the Lost, #1)

Even though I heard rave reviews for this book, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it since I don’t usually gravitate towards deep contemporary books. However, I was surprised how I couldn’t put this book down! This book, along with Brigid Kemmerer’s newest book More Than We Can Tell, are some of my favorite recent contemporaries. I can’t wait to see with what she releases next!

  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

Since I was just starting to get more into fantasy books, I wasn’t sure if Six of Crows would live up to the hype for me. However, it surprised me how much I loved these characters after I finished this book. I still think about their stories long after reading it!

  • Royce Rolls by Margaret Stohl

Royce Rolls

This book surprised me, but not in a good way. I heard awesome reviews for this book, but it didn’t live up to the hype for me at all. It took me about two weeks for me to finish, which is also surprising for me because it usually only takes me about two days to finish a book. I just couldn’t connect to the characters or the story.


What books surprised you in a good or bad way?

Love, Life, and the List Review

book review

It would take forever to list what I love about this book.

Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West follows aspiring artist Abby Turner after her paintings are declined from a local art show for lacking heart. To improve her painting, Abby develops a list to experience more in life with her best friend and long-time crush, Cooper.

After reading all of Kasie West’s contemporaries, I find that I either absolutely love her books or only find them okay. Either way, they are still extremely fun to read for their fluffy content. I’m happy to say that Love, Life, and the List falls into my “love” category of Kasie West’s books and my be my new favorite out of her books.

One problem I tend to have with Kasie West’s books is the pacing. Sometimes, the book will have a slow start, and once it finally picks up, everything will be wrapped up quickly at the end. While some aspects of this book were rushed at the end, overall, I found the pacing much more even in Love, Life, and the List. This book flowed a lot easier than some of her other books, which kept me turning the pages until it was done.

Another aspect of this book that I really enjoyed with the characters. While I never have any major issues with characters in Kasie West’s book, they can sometimes be forgettable. However, Abby and Cooper really stuck out to me among other couples in Kasie West’s books. I think since I’ve seen similar situations to Abby and Cooper’s relationship play out in real life, I had a greater connection with their story. Plus, they were both extremely relatable and likable characters.

However, I think my favorite aspects of this book was Abby’s character growth. In the beginning of the book, Abby will literally do anything to make Cooper happy and to keep his attention, but he never puts in the same effort. I liked how Abby learned to stand her ground and find friends and other things she loves outside of Cooper’s orbit. I think this is a great message for Kasie West’s target audience.

Overall, Love, Life, and the List has been one of my favorite reads so far of the year. It makes me even more excited for Kasie West’s book released later this year and the rest of the books in this companion series. I give Love, Life, and the List five out of five stars.

This Lullaby Review

book review

If this book was a song, I would play it on repeat.

This Lullaby follows Remy Starr, the daughter of a famous romance author as she plans for her mother’s latest wedding. When talking over some of the wedding plans with her soon-to-be stepfather at his car dealership, Remy runs into Dexter, a boy in a band settling in her town for the summer. Remy, however, always sticks to her rules and one big rule is no musicians.

This Lullaby is one of Sarah Dessen’s books that I didn’t enjoy when I read it the first time. I think at the age when I read it, I was a little too younger to understand and appreciate the themes within this book. However, now that I’m older and after rereading the book several times, it ranks in my top three Sarah Dessen books.

Remy is very different than the typical Sarah Dessen main character. Usually, Sarah Dessen’s main characters are wallflowers who go through a summer transformation and discover themselves. While Remy does transform over one summer, she is more take charge and bold than other main characters in Sarah Dessen’s books. Since Sarah Dessen’s books are typically character-driven, it’s nice to have a different perspective in her book. Additionally, this allows for different events and choices from the main character (for example, The Truth About Forever and Saint Anything have very similar plots/characters to me).

Additionally, I think Sarah Dessen created a great love interest with Dexter. Like with Remy, Dexter is very different than some other love interests featured in Sarah Dessen’s books. In most of her books, I feel like the love interest often has more of an edge with some sort of secret in his past. The only other love interest with the same goofy and light-hearted personality for me was Ambrose in her most recent book, Once and For All. I really enjoyed the contrast between Dexter’s bright and happy personality and Remy’s closed off and thorny personality within this book.

While I do enjoy the characters in this book, my favorite aspect of This Lullaby would have to be its relatability. Remy’s been burned quite a few times in her life throughout different relationships (not just romantic relationships). Outside her own life, she’s seen many more relationships fail. As a result, she becomes very cynical. However, after watching several relationships in this book, she develops a better perspective about how relationships grow and change.

The best way that I can describe This Lullaby is classic Sarah Dessen. Like Sarah Dessen’s other stand out works, this book combines well-developed characters and a relatable themes to create a book that sticks with you long after you read it. I give This Lullaby five out of five stars.

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Book Quotes

top ten

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is favorite book quotes. Here are my choices:

1.) A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

“To the stars who listen and dreams that are answered.”

2.) Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

“Don’t think or judge, just listen.”

3.) Albert Camus

“In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

4.) The Lorax by Dr. Seuss 

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.”

5.) Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice. It was supposed to make you feel something.”

6.) The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

“If entire galaxies could change, so could I.

7.) Wonder by R.J. Palacio

“When given the chance between being right and being kind, choose kind.”

8.) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

“Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.”

9.) Oh! The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss

Oh, the places you’ll go, today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!

10.) Winter by Marissa Meyer

“Broken isn’t the same of unfixable.”


What are some of your favorite book quotes?


ARC Review: More Than We Can Tell

book review

More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer follows a favorite character from Kemmerer’s other book, Letters to the Lost, and a new girl with a knack for coding. Rev struggles daily with the abuse he suffered from his father, but manages to keep his life under control with the help of his adoptive parents. Meanwhile, Emma struggles with someone sexually harassing her online and her parents’ failing marriage. After they meet, Rev and Emma learn to trust another person.

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer was one of my favorite contemporary books of 2017. When I saw More Than We Can Tell on NetGalley, I requested it immediately. Rev was one of the most interesting characters in Letters to the Lost and I couldn’t wait to hear more of his story. This book met all of my high expectations and I can see it ranking as one of my favorite contemporaries of the year.

One of the strongest aspects of Brigid Kemmerer’s books are the character development. Rev’s is a complex character with a well-thought out backstory and realistic responses and actions to the abuse he suffered as a child. My appreciation and love for Rev’s character grew even more throughout this book. I also liked how readers get to see the closure of Rev’s story line with his father in this book.

As for the other main character, Emma, I didn’t feel like she was as well-developed as Rev. Sometimes how Emma treats other characters in the novel doesn’t make her exactly likable, especially how she throws some things in Rev’s face. Additionally, I think some people may be annoyed with how she handles some events that take place in the novel. However, I appreciated that her actions actually resembled how a person her age would respond.

Like Letters to the Lost, More Than We Can Tell handles serious topics very well. This book covers several types of abuse and how they effect the victims. I especially liked how this book dealt with some of the abuse Emma faces online. Readers the same age as Emma may experience what she deals with online as write it off in the same way that “it just happens.” However, I like how this book combats that stance.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading More Than We Can Tell. Once I started this book, I literally did not stop reading until I finished it. I give More Than We Can Tell five out of five stars.

*I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Walk on Earth a Stranger Review

book review

Walk on Earth a Stranger falls short of the gold.

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson, the first book in the Gold Seer trilogy, follows Lee Westfall, a girl who can sense gold. After her parents are murdered, Lee is on the run from their killer dressed as a boy heading west for the California Gold Rush. However, the journey isn’t as easy as the reports promised.

Before reading Walk on Earth a Stranger, I heard that the book moved quite slowly but was a nice introduction to the series. After reading this book, I definitely agree that it moves incredibly slow. However, I didn’t find it do be a great introduction to a new series that makes me wants to read the next book.

I think one of the biggest problems in this book would have to be the character development. The characters fall into two categories: they are either so bland it’s hard to pinpoint who they really are or their character clings onto one stereotype and never develops further. I found this to be especially true with the diverse characters and the antagonists in the story. Lee’s best friend is half Cherokee, but it seems his identity never develops past that. On the other hand, Lee’s uncle is the typical western villain, but never really delivers anything but a looming threat over Lee’s journey.

Another issue with this book, as mentioned earlier, would have to be the pacing. I was really impressed with the first few chapters of the book, but then it went downhill from there. Especially during Lee’s trip west, the story seems to drag on and on while repeating the same information over and over. I was particularly disappointed with the ending of the book. There’s always the threat of what will happen when Lee runs back into her uncle again. However, when this finally happens, there’s just another looming threat given without any action.

While this book possessed an interesting premise, for me, it failed in its execution. Since I didn’t really care about any of the characters and I spent the entire book waiting for something huge to happen just to be disappointed, I didn’t really enjoy reading this book. I give this book two out of five stars.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Could Re-Read Forever

top ten

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is books I could re-read forever. Here are my choices:

  • Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Just Listen

I’ve reread Just Listen at least ten times. This is my favorite young adult book and I always get something new out of it when I read it again. I can see myself rereading this book at least once a year!

  • Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West

Love, Life, and the List

I haven’t reread this book (yet), but I can see myself rereading this many times in the future. Currently, this is my favorite Kasie West book. I had so much fun reading it the first time, I can’t wait to see how much more I love it the second time!

  • It’s a Mall World After All by Janette Rallison

It's a Mall World After All

Like Just Listen, I’ve read this book countless time since middle school. Every time, I find myself laughing out loud. I know I will pick this book up again in the future when I’m looking for a little nostalgia.

  • Secret Santa by Sabrina James

Secret Santa

I’ve read this book countless times since high school. I have so much fun reading this book, especially around Christmas. I’m still crossing my fingers that I will eventually see this as a movie!

  • The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

I loved the Lunar Chronicles when I first read it and I’ve been itching to read the series again. These characters have stuck with me since reading and I can’t wait to revisit their stories.

  • The Winner’s Curse series by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)

Like The Lunar Chronicles, it’s been too long since I’ve read this series. I can’t wait to reread it to remember everything I loved about it the first time around.

  • The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

The Truth About Forever

Like with Just Listen, I’ve reread this book numerous times since middle school. It’s one of my top three Sarah Dessen books and always picks me out of a reading slump.

  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

I absolutely loved this book! Like with The Lunar Chronicles, the characters in this series really stuck with me and I want to revisit their stories in the future.

  • Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally

Breathe, Annie, Breathe

Like with Life, Love, and the List, this book is a contemporary I picked up this year but can see myself reading multiple times in the future. This book brought me out of a reading slump and I hope I can count on it to do it again in the future!

  • This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

This Lullaby

This Lullaby rounds out my top three favorite Sarah Dessen novels. I reread this book every year, so I can’t imagine not reading it again in the near future.


What books could you re-read forever?

Fish in a Tree Review

book review

In Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullally Hunt, Ally Nickerson tries to hide her inability to read through ridiculous comments and actions in class. Her secret becomes more difficult to hide when a substitute teacher tries to look past Ally’s antics. As Ally’s confidence grows, she befriends two unique friends that show her that different does not mean the same thing as bad or wrong.

When I read the description for Fish in a Tree, I couldn’t contain my excitement. As a fourth grade special education teacher, I was excited to read a book that featured a character with a learning disability. Even though learning disabilities, like Allie’s dyslexia in this book, can be common among elementary school students, I haven’t read many books that feature a student with a learning disability as the main character. While there were aspects of this book that I believe could be improved, overall, it has a good message for younger readers.

I think the strongest aspect of this book is the main character, Ally. The author did a great job of portraying a student with a learning disability and how some students with learning disabilities will sometimes create outlandish diversions to distract from their learning challenges. Ally, along with her friends, are are likable and relatable characters for younger readers.

Another aspect of this book that I enjoyed was the overall message in this book. Similar to another middle grade book, Wonder, this book explains that all people have differences, but that’s okay. While some people may try to pull people down for their differences, they cannot stand against a group of people fighting for what is right. This is such a powerful message for younger readers, so it always makes me smile when this theme appears in a middle grade book.

On the other hand, there several issues I had with this book. I felt like this book sometimes over-relied on quotes or stereotypes. For example, this book is named Fish in a Tree after the famous Albert Einstein quote. Additionally, there are other famous quotes or proverbial lines littered throughout the text. This wouldn’t bother me as much if they weren’t coming from the stereotypical smart, but socially awkward characters. For me, it just happened a little to frequently in the text.

As a special education teacher, I also noticed several inaccuracies with how the special education process was conveyed in this book. Ally’s substitute teacher, who not yet even obtained a special education license, tells Ally that she has dyslexia before any testing is done. Evaluating a student for special education is a very complicated process, and any teacher (whether they have a special education license or not) would know that 1.) You NEVER tell a parent or student they qualify for a disability category when you haven’t gone through the special education process 2.) It takes A LOT of testing and to determine if a student qualifies under a disability category, and 3.) The student’s teacher does not make the call what disability the student does or does not have. I’m not sure if they had a teacher read this book before it was published, but there were many glaring errors that cause the special education process not to be accurately represented.

Fish in a Tree wasn’t exactly what I expected, but it at least provides a positive message to younger readers. As I keep thinking about this book, however, I keep remembering many issues and inconsistencies with Ally’s edication which made the story less enjoyable for me personally. I give Fish in a Tree three out of five stars.