Finally Fall Book Tag

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After an abnormally warm September where I live, it’s finally starting to feel like fall! Since it’s finally starting to feel like fall, I thought it would be the perfect time to include the Finally Fall Book Tag during Blogoween. This tag was created by Alina at Tall Tales. Here are my answers:

  • In fall, the air is crisp and clear: Name a book with a vivid setting!

Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist, #1)

Renée Ahdieh does a great job of world building and Flame in the Mist is no exception! From the landscape, to the culture, to the characters, I could picture everything in this story in my head due to her vivid descriptions.

  • Nature is beautiful… but also dying: Name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic like loss or grief

The Truth About Forever

I absolutely love Sarah Dessen’s writing style and The Truth About Forever is no exception. In The Truth About Forever, Macy spends the summer at home while her boyfriend is at Brain Camp which is difficult because he brought consistency to her life after her father died. In this book, many characters experience loss and grieve in vastly different ways. I think Sarah Dessen did a great job of showing there isn’t one “right” way to grieve.

  • Fall is back to school season: Share a non-fiction book that taught you something new

March: Book One (March, #1)

Even though I have familiarity with the Civil Rights Movement, I really enjoyed March because it introduced a person that I wasn’t really familiar with and his impact on the Civil Rights movement. Especially pertaining the march, Martin Luther King Jr. is usually only focused on in schools. I enjoyed reading about the experiences of John Lewis in a graphic novel format.

  • In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend time with people we love: Name a fictional family/friend group/household that you would like to be apart of

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

I love the group in Six of Crows! Each person is extremely different, but they work so well together and care about each other so much. Even though I’m not sure I would be any help in a heist, I would still love to hang out with them!

  • The colorful leaves are piling up on the ground: Show us a pile of fall-colored spines

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The way I store my books makes it difficult to get a picture of fall-colored spines, but here’s a fall-ish picture of me and my dog with our pumpkin inspired by If You Give a Dog a Donut!

  • Fall is a perfect time for some storytelling by the fireside: Share a book wherein someone is telling a story

Love & Gelato

While Lina’s mom doesn’t necessarily tell the story of her life out loud in this book, Lina does read more about her mom’s story through her diary. This was such a cute book and I love the story of Lina’s mother even a little more than Lina’s story!

  • The night are getting darker: Share a dark, creepy read

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1)

I don’t really read creepy books, so this book isn’t extremely creepy. However, it does have some monsters that I would not want to meet in a dark alley.

  • The days are getting colder: Name a short, heartwarming story that could warm up someone’s cold and rainy day

Awkward (Awkward, #1)

Awkward is a quick and easy to read middle grade graphic novel. The illustrations are cute and the friendships are as well. If it was raining outside, this book would definitely make me smile!

  • Fall returns every year: Name an old favorite that you would like to return to soon

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)

I remember when I read the first two books in this series a long time ago, I only thought they were okay. However, I absolutely LOVED the last book which makes me want to reread the first two books to see if I love them more than I originally did.

  • Fall is the perfect time for cozy reading nights: Share your favorite cozy reading accessories

Grey and White Floral Bed Comforter

I don’t really have any reading accessories besides a warm and fuzzy blanket! My favorite blanket would either be a zebra print blanket that I got for Christmas one year or an American Eagle blanket that I received free with a purchase.

 

What books will you read now that it is finally fall?

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Miranda Kenneally Mini-Reviews

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While most of these books hit it out of the park, one struck out.

At this point, I’ve read almost all of the books in Miranda Kenneally’s Hundred Oaks series. For me, the books in this series really have been hit-or-miss. I think some of her books offer really great romances with well-develop characters and story lines. However, I think some of her books fall on the exact opposite of the spectrum. Sometimes, the romance (especially with the love interest who doesn’t win in the end), is so overdone that I don’t get to know the character really well or I don’t see enough of the main character with who they actually end up dating. In my three most recent reads from this series, I’m happy to say that I enjoyed most of them and only one fell into some pitfalls that I noticed within this series.

Catching Jordan

Catching Jordan

Catching Jordan is definitely one of my favorite books in this series. I think Jordan has a more unique voice and story line than some of the main characters in this series which made this book enjoyable to read. I think the author did a great job of also developing great side characters, especially authentic relationships between Jordan and her teammates. This book really only fell into one problem that I find recurs often within this series. I think Jordan spends too much time with the wrong interest that readers don’t get a lot of time between her and the guy your supposed to root for throughout the novel. Since this is the first book in the series, we do get to see them in later novels. However, I found that their characters are treated a little too stereotypical and almost cartoonish in the later novels that I wished their romantic relationship was fleshed out more in the first book.

Jesse’s Girl

Jesse's Girl (Hundred Oaks)

I’ve seen Jesse’s Girl regarded as one of the favorites within this series and I wholeheartedly agree with that statement. Even though the characters in this book now each other only know each other for relatively a short time compared to other couples in the series, their relationship came across as one of the strongest to me. I think the main character and the love interest in this book are two of the most well-developed in this series which made me really invested in their story. I also appreciated that there isn’t a love triangle in this book so I could focus on the development of the romantic relationship only between the two main characters.

Defending Taylor

Defending Taylor

Out of these three books, Defending Taylor was the weakest for me. For me, the plot wasn’t as developed as some of the other books in this series and I felt like it was never truly resolved at the end. Additionally, I feel like Taylor wasn’t the most dynamic or complex main character in the series, which made her a little forgettable and made me less invested in her story as a reader. I also felt that Taylor’s relationship with Ezra was also under-developed. While Taylor and Ezra knew each other for awhile at this point, I still didn’t really feel any connection between them besides the “my brother said not to mess around with my sister” idea used in other similar books. Overall, this book fell flat for me and fell into similar tropes that I disliked in other books in this series.

 

What is your favorite book in the Hundred Oaks series?

Thrift Store Book Haul #11

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With Blogoween in full swing, I decided to write a post on one of the most thrilling things… finding discounted books! Recently, I visited some of my favorite thrift stores in my area and found some great books to add to my collection! Here’s what I found:

  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree is one of my favorite pictures books, so I was so excited to find a copy at the thrift store. The jacket on this book was a little beat-up, so I’ll probably just leave it off when I add it to my library.

  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo 

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

Six of Crows is such a popular book that I’ve been interested in reading for awhile, so it was very exciting to find this at a thrift store. Usually, I don’t find books released within the past few years!

  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia, #3)

  • A Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis

The Horse and His Boy (Chronicles of Narnia, #5)

I’ve been wanting to read The Chronicles of Narnia series recently, so I’ve been collecting the books as I come across them in thrift stores. On this trip, I managed to find two more of the books!

  • Ruby and the Booker Boys: Brand New School, Brand New Ruby by Derrick Barnes

Ruby and the Booker Boys #1: Brand New School, Brave New Ruby

  • Ruby and the Booker Boys: The Slumber Party Payback by Derrick Barnes

Ruby and the Booker Boys #3: Slumber Party Payback

I haven’t heard anything about Ruby and the Booker Boys, but these two books immediately interested me when I came across them. First of all, they are printed under Candy Apple which I loved reading when I was younger (see the countdown of my favorites here). However, these books are for even younger readers which would be perfect for my classroom. Plus, I love finding more books with diverse characters to add to my classroom library!

  • The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan

The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #3)

  • The Battle of Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4)

Like with The Chronicles of Narnia, I’ve been really interested in finding all of the books in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. After this trip, I managed find the last two books I needed! I can’t wait to finally read through the rest of this series.

  • I Survived the Attacks of September 11, 2001 by Lauren Tarshis

The Attacks of September 11th, 2001 (I Survived, #6)

I’m always interested in finding historical fiction books for my classroom, so I was happy to find a book that covered a moment in history that I don’t have yet in my classroom library. I haven’t heard anything about this book or the I Survived series in general, but I’m hoping that is discusses this historical event well in a way that younger readers can understand.

  • Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Tuck Everlasting

  • Flush by Carl Hiaasen

Flush

  • The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes: Declaration of Independence by Anne Mazer

The Declaration Of Independence (The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes, #2)

I loved The Amazing Days of Abby Hayes when I was younger, so it brought back a lot of memories finding another book in the series at the thrift store!

  • Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl

Fantastic Mr. Fox

  • The Twits by Roald Dahl

Besides Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I haven’t picked up any other books by Roald Dahl. However, I know that they are well-loved and great books for younger readers.

  • How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell

How to Eat Fried Worms

I loved this movie when I was younger, so it made me happy to find the book it was based on at the thrift store. Hopefully, I enjoy the book as much as the movie!

 

What book deals have you scored recently?

Fangirl Review

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I’m fangirling over Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

Fangirl follows Simon Snow fangirl and fanfiction writer Cath as she begins her freshman year of college. Nothing goes as Cath plan when her twin sister, Wren ditches her for an outgoing roommate and crazy college parties and when her creative writing teacher deems her fanfiction as plagiarism. However, college starts to look up with the release date of the final Simon Snow novel quickly approaching and when she attracts the attention of her roommate’s cute friend, Levi.

Before I read Fangirl, I heard a lot of hype surrounding Rainbow Rowell’s work. While Fangirl is still the only novel I’ve read by Rainbow Rowell, this book definitely lived up to the hype for me. Within Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell does a great job of weaving very deep topics with a fun and relatable contemporary story line.

One of the biggest reasons that I love this story is the main character. While this book wavers on the line between new adult due to Cath’s age, but young adult since the book doesn’t contain graphic content, I think readers within the ages of both categories (and out of them too!) will really relate to her character. Cath is really nervous about starting her life in a new environment without someone familiar to lean on, so much that her anxiety increases to where she doesn’t even want to eat in the dinner hall. As the story progresses, Cath learns more about herself and how to stand up for herself. At the same time, she manages to stay true to herself and her passions, which is a great message for anyone who read this book.

Another aspect of this book that I appreciated was how Rainbow Rowell also incorporated a lot of deeper topics within this book. Cath’s father struggles with depression, her sister abuses alcohol, and she struggles with deep-rooted feelings when her mother tries to come back into her life. All of these problems are explored realistically and made all of these characters within this book more multi-dimensional and complex.

I also loved Cath’s relationship with her roommate and with Levi. Not all relationships with roommates are perfect and Cath’s relationship with her roommate certainly is not perfect. However, I liked seeing how her relationship with her roommate grew. Even though they didn’t have matching bed sheets or similar interests, they learned to live with each other and developed an authentic friendship in the process. Additionally, I really liked Cath’s relationship with Levi and how it grew over time. I liked how readers get to see them as a couple before the book ends because you can see the challenges that their relationship faces, how they overcome it, and how their relationship is stronger as a result.

Overall, Fangirl is a strong contemporary novel that readers will love regardless of if their a fangirl or not. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun contemporary read that also contains more complicated characters and relationships. I give Fangirl five out of five stars.

 

How I Plan for my Blog

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This year I’m kicking of Blogoween by doing a post specifically relating to my blog and how I plan for it. People plan posts for their blogs in many different ways and it took me awhile to find a way that really worked for me. I remember when I first started my blog, I went in with virtually no planning. I read a book, wrote a review, and posted it at the time I wanted (I didn’t use the WordPress scheduling feature!). When I started posting more (and forgetting to post at the times I wanted), I knew I needed to develop a better system for my blog.

At first, I used hashtags for my weekly posts such as #TeenTuesday to review young adult books or #ThrowbackThursday to review books for younger readers. However, I also participated in Top Ten Tuesday and did tags for my blog. I wanted to space out my review and put them on days that I didn’t participate in weekly memes to spread out my content over a longer period of time. As a result, I developed the system below to plan out my blog using Google Calendar.

blogging schedule This is a sample of planning for my blog for last month. While my posting didn’t exactly look like this after a few tweaks, this is a general idea of what my calendar looks like. In the fall, I typically post four times a week (Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday). I try to spread out reviews (usually on Sundays and Thursdays) so I don’t have the same type of post appearing right next to each other on my blog. However, sometimes I don’t follow this as documented on the picture above.

There are some weeks where I post more often, like the first week in the calendar, which was in August. In the summer, I usually post more often in the fall. Another example is September 22 where I wanted to complete the Birthday Tag specifically on my birthday which was not in my usual posting schedule.

I also like to color code my blog posts. The blog posts highlighted in light blue represent ideas for blog posts that haven’t been written. If a title is highlighted in yellow that means I have written the post, but still need to create a header image and schedule the post on WordPress. Like I mentioned earlier, I didn’t use this feature when I first started my blog. I think it’s because the scheduling tool was different then (maybe it was in military time?) and I feel like I always messed up the time or date somehow. However, I can’t imagine planning my blog without it now! Finally, the blog posts highlighted in red signify a completed blog post that is also scheduled.

In the picture above, most of the “yellow” blog posts are book reviews. Typically in the summer I read around 15 books each month, so my reviews for these books are sometimes posted months after I read them. Even though there are several posts in blue still unwritten before these posts, I still try to review books that I read soon after reading them even if they are planned for months later. It makes me so happy when I get to a month mostly in yellow!

How do you plan for your blog! I would love to hear your process or any tips that you have for an easier way to plan!

Top Ten Tuesday: Places in Books Where I Want to Eat

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is yummy foods mentioned in books. This could be food that you want to eat, restaurants where you would eat, or cookbooks. For my post, I decided to list ten places in books where I would love to eat. Here are my choices:

  • Lucy’s kitchen from Relish by Lucy Knisley

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen

The author described such good food in this book, I would love try to stop by her house to try some!

  • The Cheese Shop from Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3)

This is one place on my list that I could actually visit… and I did! In this book, Lara Jean talked about The Cheese Shop, which was located near one of the colleges where she was accepted, so I decided to check it out when my family went on vacation over the summer. Lara Jean was right… the sandwiches were amazing!

  • Prince Maxon’s palace in The Selection series by Kiera Cass

The Selection (The Selection, #1)

America told Maxon that she was only there for the food… so it must be good!

  • Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, #1)

I think every child at some point would love to go to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. However, I could do without some of the nasty side effects!

  • The Chathams’ pizza place in Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Saint Anything

I can’t remember the exact name of the shop in the book, but the way it’s described reminds me of a pizza place in my college town. I would love to visit the pizza shop in Saint Anything to meet some of my favorite characters and try pizza that I know I would love!

  • Ice cream shop from Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Since You've Been Gone

No one seems to come into the ice cream shop where Emily works, but it sounds delicious!

  • Scarlet’s farm from Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)

If the tomatoes get rave reviews from Wolf, I’m sure the other food grown at Scarlet’s farm is great as well!

  • Andy’s pies from Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2)

Andy created a lot of pies with unique flavors, and lucky for Lola and her friends, they got to taste all of them. I would love to taste a pie created by Andy!

  • World of Waffles from The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

The Truth About Forever

Several characters from Sarah Dessen’s books go to World of Waffles. I would love to get my own maple-scented pencil!

  • Hudson’s cupcakes from Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler

Bittersweet

I was really into cupcake shows whenever I read this book and all of the cupcakes that Hudson made sounded so delicious!

 

What places in books would you want to eat?

 

The Heir/The Crown Review

the heir the crown

I don’t not five my final rose to the final two books in The Selection series.

The Heir and The Crown by Kiera Cass take place years after the first three books in The Selection series and follow the daughter of America and Prince Maxon. The main character, Princess Eadlyn, finds herself up against a public enraged over discrimination based on former castes, her inexperience in the political arena, and her brash and somewhat cold-hearted personality. To quell the riots and earn more public favor, Eadlyn’s parents force her into her own selection.

I was definitely hesitant to pick up the final two books in The Selection series. I heard many negative reviews about these two books, mostly that they were more on their own duology, weren’t as fun as the original books, and the main character was more unbearable than America Singer. Despite my hesitations, I decided to read these two books anyway and found myself with mixed opinion.

First, I have to agree that The Heir and The Crown are more of a duology than a part of the first three books in the series. Even though we do see the characters from the first three books, there aren’t any major revelations in their stories. As for these two books, I would give them three stars as a whole, my same rating as the first three books of the series, but would give the books different ratings individually. While I really enjoyed The Heir, I really didn’t like The Crown or how it wrapped up the story, which I will describe more later.

For the main character in The Heir and The Crown, you will either love her or hate her. Eadlyn is a very strong character, but she is also very cold and blocked off, which makes it more difficult to get to know her as a character. I actually preferred Eadlyn more in The Heir because her personality seemed more inconsistent in The Crown, especially at the end. Throughout the series, Eadlyn grows somewhat as a character by becoming more sensitive to needs of the people outside the palace. On aspect of this book that I really enjoyed was I felt the unrest outside of the palace was more realistic and in depth than the whole North and South subplot within the first three books.

Similar to the first book in The Selection series, I felt the author tried to make a statement, but missed many opportunities by not completely fleshing out ideas. Since Eadlyn is a young woman, there are many people who question her authority. Additionally, Kiera Cass brings up several other relevant social issues that could have really made a statement in the novel. Instead of really making an impact with these moments and having Eadlyn really struggle as a leader to sort them out, everything was solved with the snap of Eadlyn’s fingers. Especially at the end where Eadlyn changes the country’s entire system of government, it seemed unrealistic that everyone in the kingdom would accept it without a thought when they were so critical of her moments earlier.

However, I think my greatest problem with this book was the whole romance plot surrounding Eadlyn. I hadn’t been so mad at the end of a book since I read Allegiant. Since The Selections series really hinges on the romance aspect of the book, the ending of Eadlyn’s story really left a sour taste in my mouth. *WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD.* Whenever I read a story, I hate when something occurs 75% through the final book that completely changes the entire story line. I never thought Eadlyn would end up with a character that wasn’t even in the Selection in the first place. I realize the author is trying to make a statement and do something different than the first book, but I couldn’t help but feel cheated after feeling so invested in other love interests from the first book and the majority of the second book. Since I never really got to know who Eadlyn even ended up with, I never cared about their relationship.

Overall, The Heir and The Selection aren’t extremely necessary to read if you’re already satisfied with the ending from the first three books in the series. While I enjoyed The Heir, I extremely disliked The Crown which left a bad taste in my mouth for the series as a whole. I give The Heir four stars and The Crown two stars.

The Awesome Blogger Award

Book Tag

Thanks to Rebecca at My Life as a Sports Fangirl for tagging me!

  • What is your favorite topic to blog about?

blogmas

Every year, I do Blogentine’s Day, Blogoween, Blogsgiving, and Blogmas. I love doing theme posts and posting every day for a set time frame. Especially when I was in college, this helped me have a lot of fun with different holidays since I didn’t get to have the same experience that I would have at home where I would see holiday stuff wherever I went.

  • Do you prefer eating at home or going out?

Blue and Gray Concrete House With Attic during Twilight

Even though this picture looks nothing like my house, I would have to say at home! I really like eating at home because I’m such a picky eater and I know I’ll like whatever is in my house. Also, I like how I can literally wear whatever or sit and watch TV if I want too. While I do like to go out to eat occasionally, eating at home is my favorite!

  • What’s your favorite time of the day to read?

Sunflower during Sunset

I like to read in the afternoon! In the morning, I’m too busy getting ready or lounging around on the weekends to get any reading done. I’m also not really a night person, so once the sun goes down, I’m more interested in relaxing than following a story line. In the afternoon, I am awake and give my full attention to whatever I’m reading.

  • Is there anyone you would never let read your blog?

apple, bed, bedroom

Even though I’ve had my blog for a couple years, not many people in my “real life” actually know about it! In fact, I kept it a secret from my twin sister for around six months after starting my blog. She didn’t even find out directly from me–a notification popped upon my cell phone one day! She didn’t even mention it until a week or so later when I finally told her about it myself.

  • Who is your current favorite author?

Image result for sarah dessen

Sarah Dessen has been my favorite young adult author since middle school and high school. I love her books and will read anything that she writes! I love how her characters and stories are so real and emotional.

  • What’s one TV show you believe everyone should watch?

Image result for new girl

New Girl is one of my favorite shows! It’s funny, the friendships are great, and it features such a unique main character. This show is relatable and fun to watch. Whenever I finish an episode, I feel so happy! Sometimes, it takes a lot to watch drama after drama with intense scenes that drain your emotions. New Girl is the perfect break from that!

  • Who is your favorite superhero and why?

Image result for guardians of the galaxy

I’ve barely seen ANY superhero movies and I haven’t read any comics, which is weird since I probably would really enjoy them. However, some of my friends recently introduced me to Guardians of the Galaxy. Since I really liked the movies, I would have to say they are my favorites (especially Groot!).

  • Do you like boybands, and if so, who is your favorite?

Image result for 5sos

I’ve never really been a boyband person, but I listened to a lot of One Direction since my sister was a huge fan. However, I do like 5 Seconds of Summer. Even though they aren’t technically a “boyband,” they are a band with all male members, so I’ll just use them as my answer! My favorite song by 5 Seconds of Summer would be “Hey Everybody” from their second album.

  • Whose blog posts do you always look forward to reading?

I love reading blog posts from Jenn, Caitlynn, and Eden at Thrice Read. I like how detailed their book reviews are and think they write a variety of fun and interesting posts!

  • What’s your most recent read and would you recommend it?

Nimona

I liked Nimona (I rated it three stars), but it wasn’t my favorite story or my favorite graphic novel. I know a lot of people are hesitant to pick up graphic novels, so if I would recommend a graphic novel to someone, I would probably tell them to pick up one that I enjoyed more (such as the March series by John Lewis).

 

I tag Sian at SunSian+Soul, M and V at A Taste for Books, and Kris at Boston Book Reader to complete the tag! Here’s my ten questions for you?

  • What book do you recommend the most to people?
  • Do you like sports, if so, what sport is your favorite and who is your favorite team?
  • Did you ever go trick-or-treating, if so, what was your favorite costume?
  • What is your favorite fall activity?
  • What was the last movie you watched and do you recommend it?
  • What is your favorite thing about blogging?
  • What is the best book title that describes your life?
  • What is the luckiest thing that’s happened to you?
  • What is your favorite song?
  • What book do you wish that you wrote?

My Life with the Walter Boys Review

my life with the walter boys

There may be eleven Walter boys, but I’m only giving this book two stars.

My Life with the Walter Boys by Ali Novak centers around Jackie Howard, a New York city native forced to move across country to live with the Walter family after her family tragically dies in a car crash. The eleven Walter boys, and their tomboy sister, are less than welcoming to Jackie into their home. However, Jackie can’t help but find herself caught in a love triangle between two of the brothers.

I’ve been wanting to read My Life with the Walter Boys since I saw it in store. First of all, the plot is very similar to another contemporary book that I really enjoy, Meagan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys. Additionally, this book was originally written on the online reading platform, Wattpad. A lot of people on Youtube or other various social media platforms have earned book deals, however I’ve never read a traditionally published book that originally appeared on a social media platform. That being said, I went in with high expectation for this book. Unfortunately, I struggled to read through this book and it failed to meet many of my expectations.

As for the main character, Jackie, she never felt believable or authentic to me. Instead, she felt like a caricature of the “sophisticated New York girl.” She wears pantsuits to school or eating spaghetti for dinner with the Walters. Her parents were incredibly rich and they lived in a penthouse apartment. Jackie was the perfect student who never earned less than an A on her report card. As a result, Jackie’s feelings never felt extremely real or deep. It made it difficult to connect with her as a character or understand her actions throughout the book.

I think another one of the largest problem with this books is the characters… there are just too many! I feel like if the author included a few less members of the Walter household, it would have been easier to keep track of all the family members and get to know them on a deeper level. Whereas in other books with similar plots, I initially struggled to keep the characters straight, but eventually figured it out due to excellent characterization, My Life with the Walter Boys missed that key ingredient. By the end, I eventually kept the older boys straight, not by their unique personalities, but whatever their chose extracurricular activity. However, I never kept the younger members of the household straight or even remembered their names.

Unfortunately, this carried over to other minor characters in the story. In the book, Jackie gains several friends. However, they felt as flat and one dimensional as the Walter boys. I never understood how they even became friends. When Jackie’s “friends” appeared on the page, it was only to discuss the hotness of the Walter boys or to point out which Jackie should date. For example, within a few minutes of meeting Jackie, they invited themselves over to her house to scope out the Walter boys. As a result, their friendship never felt genuine or authentic.

Like with the characters in this novel, the romance did not work for me and it came across as extremely unhealthy. In this book, Jackie finds herself caught between two of the brothers in the family, Cole and Alex. Throughout the book, all of the boys in the family treat Jackie horribly. They take her clothes from the bathroom because they want footage of her running through the hall naked, one gets her drunk and plays spin the bottle so he can kiss her, they throw her parents’ death in her face, or use her as a pawn to manipulate another family member. For me, any “sweet” moment between Jackie and her potential love interests were overshadowed by the toxic elements of the relationship extremely prevalent throughout the entire novel.

Overall, I wasn’t extremely impressed with this book and I found myself struggling to finish it. However, there were a few moments, like Jackie’s friendships with Nathan and Danny, that I did enjoy reading. Since I didn’t care for the characters or the romance at all in this book, I give it two out of five stars.