This Savage Song Mini-Review

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My review of this book isn’t that savage.

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab takes place in a divided city filled with monsters. Kate Harker lives on the side where her father rules by making citizens buy their protection and controlling the monsters. August, one of the monsters, lives on the other side of the city that wishes to protect the innocent. After a plot to kill them, Kate and August find themselves on the run.

This Savage Song is a really hyped and well-liked book in the young adult community. I can why some people like aspects of this story, however, it wasn’t for me. This Savage Song is beautifully written and the author does a great job in building the world in a way that is understandable for readers. Additionally, this book is fast-paced and action-packed, especially towards the end of the book. However, I’m not particularly a fan of stories that involve monsters and I personally can’t see myself picking up the second book. Due to my interests, I found that I wasn’t invested on the characters or the story line enough to finish this duology.

I give This Savage Song three out of five stars.

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Can You Keep a Secret? Review

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Can you keep a secret? This wasn’t my favorite Sophie Kinsella book.

In Sophie Kinsella’s Can You Keep a Secret?, Emma Corrigan confesses her deepest and darkest secrets to a man across the aisle on a stressful plan ride. Much to Emma’s embarrassment, this man is Jack Harper, her company’s CEO. Soon, all of Emma’s secrets about her boyfriend, friends, and co-workers are in jeopardy.

I’ve read Confession of a Shopaholic and My (Not So) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella before and appreciated her fun and easy writing style. After doing some research into more of her books, I saw that a few people recommended this book and regarded it as their favorite Sophie Kinsella book. While there were aspects of this book that I enjoyed, I was overall disappointed with this book compared to the other books that I’ve read by this author.

Similar to my reading experience with My (Not So) Perfect Life, I really enjoyed the first half of this book, but really didn’t care for the second half of this book. I think Kinsella did a great job introducing the main character and plot at the beginning of this book. Additionally, I thought she weaved in Emma’s secrets in a funny and interesting way throughout the first half of the book. A lot of people have said this book is laugh-out-loud funny and I did find myself chuckling at the beginning of this book.

However, the book started going downhill in the second half for me. I think this was largely due to the romance in this book. For me, Jack Harper was too similar to other love interests in Kinsella’s books: he’s a somewhat cocky CEO with a lot of secrets. I found with Jack, however, he wasn’t as developed as her other love interests. Jack does something really awful to Emma in this book and I could really never see past it. Additionally, he is so secretive that readers never really know much about him which made it difficult to like him as a character and see his relationship with Emma as anything but surface level. This caused a lot of annoying and unnecessary drama in the second half of the book which made it a chore to finish.

Overall, I wasn’t impressed with Can You Keep a Secret? and would consider it my least favorite book from Sophie Kinsella so far. However, this isn’t the worst book that I’ve read all year and I did enjoy the first half. I give Can You Keep a Secret? three out of five stars.

 

The Christmas Joy Book Tag

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Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you’re having a great day with friends and family. To celebrate Christmas, I decided to complete The Joy of Christmas Book Tag. Here are my answers:

  • Anticipation: The Christmas excitement is real, what book release(s) are you most anticipating?

Wires and Nerve, Volume 2: Gone Rogue

Since I pretty much mention my love for The Lunar Chronicles on almost every blog post, it’s not surprise that I can’t wait to read the second volume of Wires and Nerve. Even though the first volume didn’t meet my expectations, I’m still excited to see where the story goes.

  • Christmas Songs & Carols: What book or author can you not help but want to sing about?

Sarah Dessen

Sarah Dessen was one of my favorite young adult authors and still is to this day. Her books have such great themes for people of all ages to read. Even if you are nothing like one of her main characters, you can always connect to an aspect of the story.

  • Gingerbread Houses: What book or series has wonderful world building?

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

I love reading about the different courts within this series. They each have their own look and culture and I think Sarah J. Maas did a great job of tying that in. Additionally, she provides a lot of background to the faeries and how they operate in this book, which was helpful to me since I don’t really read high fantasy books.

  • A Christmas Carol: Favorite classic or one that you want to read

Emma

I read most of Emma, but eventually returned it to the library without finishing it. I recently watched the movie and really enjoy the story because it is a little easier to follow than some classics.

  • Christmas Sweets: What book would you love to receive for Christmas

Renegades (Renegades, #1)

Like I mentioned earlier in this post, I’m a huge fan of Marissa Meyer. This book is definitely at the top of my bookish Christmas wish list.

  • Candles in the Window: What book gives you that warm fuzzy feeling

Lucky in Love

I love reading Kasie West books because even though they aren’t the most original, I always finish her books with a smile on my face.

  • Christmas Trees & Decorations: What are some of your favorite book covers?

The Crown (The Selection, #5)

I love all of the covers on books by Kiera Cass. Both The Selection series and The Siren feature stunning dresses on the cover. I read quite a few of her books on my Kindle and couldn’t believe how pretty they were in person when I checked out The Heir and The Crown from the library.

  • Christmas Joy: What are some of your favorite things about Christmas and/or some of your favorite Christmas memories?

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Every Christmas Eve, my parents give me a Christmas CD and Christmas pajamas. It’s always fun opening a gift before Christmas Day, especially when it’s something we can enjoy as a family. We always listen to the CD as we travel on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!

 

Thanks for joining me for Blogmas!

 

Books that I’ve Changed My Opinion On

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There are books that I rate immediately on Goodreads after reading just to find myself changing the number of stars a few days later after thinking more about what I read. Even though I am pretty confident about my feelings towards a book after finishing it, there are definitely some books that I’ve changed my opinion on after another read. Here are five books that I’ve changed my opinion on (for better or worse):

  • This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

This Lullaby

I’m a huge Sarah Dessen fan. I’ve reread her books countless times and they rank as some of my favorites in young adult fiction. However, I really didn’t like This Lullaby when I firs read it. I didn’t care for the main character, Remy, or the story line. However, I completely changed my opinion after I reread this book! I think at the time when I first read This Lullaby, I probably was in eighth or ninth grade. At that time in my life, I don’t think I was at the point where I could relate to the main character or the story’s message which are essential parts of a Sarah Dessen novel. Now, I find it easier to relate to Remy and her attitude even though we aren’t very similar people. This Lullaby is now my second favorite Sarah Dessen novel, right behind Just Listen.

  • The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

The Distance Between Us

When I first started my blog, I saw Kasie West’s name everywhere. I was surprised that I hadn’t heard of her since she’s such a well-loved contemporary author and my favorite genre is contemporary. The Distance Between Us is one of the first books that I downloaded on my Kindle. I flew through this book and initially rated it very highly at four stars. However, I think I was initially swept up in the Kasie West hype to form my true opinion on the book. When I started thinking about the book, there were several aspects that I didn’t enjoy. I really noticed how much I wasn’t a huge fan of this book after I read other Kasie West books that I really loved. This isn’t the worst book that I’ve read by any means, but looking back, I would probably rate this as 3 stars, but maybe 2.5-2.75 if I was being picky.

  • Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

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

Lola and the Boy Next Door was one of my favorite books in high school. I reread it countless times and after I thought that I lost my copy, I went and bought another one. I was such a huge fan of Lola and Cricket! However, I recently read Lola and the Boy Next Door and didn’t find it as enjoyable as I once did. I think now that I’m older, I can’t identify with Lola as much as I notice the flaws in her characters more. Additionally, I notice a lot of unnecessary drama in novels by Stephanie Perkins (especially with Anna and the French Kiss), which is one of my pet peeves in books. In high school, I would probably have given this book four or five stars. Now, I would probably only give it three stars.

  • Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Alex, Approximately

I read Alex, Approximately at a very hectic time in my life. I received this book as an eARC when I was student teaching, so I had little time to read. However, I still managed to read books that I was really invested in on the weekends. I remember I read the first half of Alex, Approximately pretty quickly, but then put off the second half for awhile. While I liked the first half, I noticed the second half became a little more trope-y, filled with unnecessary drama, and had predictable plot twists. Despite my issues, I initially rated this book as four stars. As I continued to think about this book and see more reviews for it, both positive and negative, I began to realize my true feelings. This isn’t a terrible book by any means, it just wasn’t for me. Like with The Distance Between Us, I would give it three stars now, or 2.5-2.75 if I was being picky.

  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars

I heard a lot of people talking about We Were Liars when I first started reading and watching book reviews and book recommendations online. I read The Disreputable History of Frankie Landeau-Banks by the same author and enjoyed it, so I thought this would be a great book to pick up. When I first read this book, I was wrapped up in the mystery and I couldn’t put the book down because I wanted to see how it ended. I had an idea of the plot twist, but wasn’t disappointed whenever it happened in the book. Initially, I rated this book four stars right away because of the plot twist. However, after thinking about it, I knocked it down a star. Like with Alex, Approximately, I could maybe take off a quarter or half star if wanted. Looking back, I didn’t care for the writing style in this book, the characters, or the story line. I just read through this book to find out the plot twist. Even though I did enjoy this book while reading it, it just doesn’t measure up to other books that I’ve rated with the same amount of stars.

 

What books have you changed your mind on?

My Least Favorite Books of 2017

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Every year, we find books we love and others… not so much. While some people may love the books on the list below (and that’s awesome if you do!), they just weren’t my cup of tea. Here are my top ten least favorite books of 2017 (reviews will be linked to book titles):

Kill the Boy Band

If I’m being honest, there wasn’t really anything I liked about this book. It’s actually my lowest rated book of the year at one star. Even though I think this book falls under the category of dark humor, I think it crosses the line at some points in the story and becomes just plan offensive. Additionally, I think the message the author wanted to convey never came across clearly which made the whole satire aspect fall flat for me.

My Life with the Walter Boys

This book fell flat for me in most aspects which is why I gave it two stars. This book takes a generic plot line in young adult fiction, but offers nothing new or inventive. Additionally, the characters are one-dimensional and unlikable with a story that drags on for way too many pages. My biggest gripe towards this book would be towards the romance. Both of Jackie’s love interests treat her like dirt, but it’s brushed off by all the female characters in the book due to their good looks.

  • Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Walk on Earth a Stranger  (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #1)

I was really excited for this book due to its unique and interesting premise, but was disappointed with the execution. Every character in this book was flat and one dimensional, especially the diverse characters. This plot moved incredibly slow and led to a disappointing showdown between the main character and the antagonist (a caricature of a typical western villain). Even worse, the romance between the main character and her love interest seemed too forced, especially after her love interest suggested they pretend to be brother and sister when they head west. To be honest, I can’t see myself picking up the next book in this series any time soon.

  • When It’s Real by Erin Watt

When It's Real

This is another book that I had high expectations for, but was disappointed by the execution. I feel like the two main characters never had solid characterization, so I never knew who they truly were as people. Additionally, the plot seemed uneven and kind of all over the place. I think I was most disappointed that there wasn’t anything different in this book than a typical fan fiction which I’ve heard a lot of people say is what makes books by the duo behind Erin Watt so enjoyable.

  • Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Eligible (The Austen Project, #4)

This is another book that I thought would be really great because I’ve seen it everywhere, but was greatly disappointed. To me, Liz was pretty unlikable as a narrator because she came across as too much of a know-it-all. Additionally, the rest of the characters were flat and one-dimensional, especially the diverse characters. I feel like this book tried too hard to be “modern” and used diverse characters as shock value than actual characters with depth in the story. Furthermore, this book was way too long with wordy descriptions and cringe-worthy dialogue.

  • In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang

In Real Life

While I appreciate this book tried to depict a serious issue in a graphic novel, I think it failed in its execution. In this graphic novel, a girl befriends a boy from China forced to work in a factory for little pay. Even though the girl just learns that not everyone has the rights that she has in America, she basically launches a revolution in this factory from her vague knowledge about the situation. I feel like this book focused too much on the main character’s perspective which is completely based on her American experiences into dive enough into the issues occurring in other parts of the world. I would rather have this book focus on a girl learning about someone’s experiences in another culture, then “saving them” (which occurs in this book, with I kid you not, the boy with a new Prince Charming-like avatar and practically walking off into the virtual sunset with the main character).

  • Royce Rolls by Margaret Stohl

Royce Rolls

I heard a lot of hype surrounding this book and thought I would check it out since I love reality television. While I think this book did have a unique style for how it was written, I didn’t think it offered anything new or different to books with similar plots. I didn’t connect with any of the characters in this book and found myself disinterested in the plot line. It took a lot for me to push through and finish this book.

  • The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski 

The Summer After You and Me

I’ve read one other book by this author, How My Summer Went Up in Flames. While I thought that book was okay, I feel like this book suffered from the problems I experienced with that book but amplified them. While I appreciated how the author used her familiarity with Hurricane Sandy to write this book, I feel like that wasn’t as central to the story as I expected from the description which was unfortunate since it was my favorite part of the book. Instead, I suffered reading through an unlikable cast of characters, a slow moving plot, and an annoying romance. I especially disliked the main character’s friends, who unjustly treated the main character like dirt throughout the entire novel for one small instance compared to the what they did to her.

  • Alex and Eliza by Melissa De La Cruz

Alex and Eliza (Alex & Eliza #1)

I didn’t expect an extremely historically accurate story in this book, but I expected something a little bit more than a generic puppy dog romance. Every scene was just Alex pining over Eliza to the point where it became repetitive and a little annoying. As a result, this book moved incredibly slow. To me, it felt like this book was written more to buy into the Hamilton craze than anything else. Like some other books on this list, I can’t see myself picking up the next book in this series.

  • The Siren by Kiera Cass

The Siren

Before this book, I read The Selection series by Kiera Cass. Although they weren’t the best books I had ever read, I still really enjoyed reading them. As a result, I went into The Siren not expecting the best story, but still a fun and quick read. Unfortunately, The Siren was neither of those things. The whole story line behind the sirens and the oceans wasn’t fully developed and the romance lacked substance. For me, the ending was so incredibly cheesy that I found myself cringing. However, I still absolutely love the cover for this book!

 

What were your most disappointing reads of the year?

Least Favorite OTPs of 2017

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Baby, it’s cold outside, but my feelings toward the OTPs below may be a little colder. I love happy endings, so it makes me happy when I find a great relationship between characters in a book. However, there are some relationships that are either so problematic, unnecessary, or confusing that it drags the book down for me. Here are five of my least favorite relationships from books this year:

  • Eliza and Wallace from Eliza and Her Monsters by Francescia Zappia

Eliza and Her Monsters

I actually didn’t mind Wallace at the beginning of this book. Compared to other love interests I typically see in young adult books, Wallace was definitely more reserved and the trauma he experienced in the past actually affected his actions in this book. However, I really didn’t like Wallace at the end of this book. I found his actions contradictory and hypocritical. Even worse, I felt like this was never acknowledged in this book and Eliza never received the apology that she greatly deserved. As a result, I really didn’t like Wallace as a character and couldn’t root for his relationship with Eliza. For my full thoughts on this book, see my review here.

  • Eadlyn and the Selection winner from The Crown by Kiera Cass

The Crown (The Selection, #5)

The reaction I had towards Allegiant by Veronica Roth is the same reaction I had towards this book. I actually really enjoyed The Heir despite its pretty negative reviews and liked the potential love interests introduced in it. However, Eadlyn’s selection for me came totally out of the left field. I felt like I couldn’t root for the relationship because it didn’t have time to develop. I understand the message the author wanted to make, but it caused a really disappointing ending to the Selection series for me. To see my full thoughts on this book, see my review here.

  • Emma and Jack from Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

Can You Keep a Secret?

Before I read this book, I heard that some people regarded this as their favorite Sophie Kinsella book for its laugh-out-loud humor and romance. However, I found myself greatly disappointed with the couple in this book. In typical Sophie Kinsella fashion, the male love interest is a rich businessman with some secrets. While I don’t usually have a problem with her male love interests, I found Jack a little too secretive and unpleasant. One of the main reasons I can’t ship this couple is one of Jack’s actions towards the end of the novel. Jack completely betrays Emma’s trust, but this is kind of brushed off and then a lot of unnecessary drama ensues. I think a lot of excuses are made for Jack in this book. Since I couldn’t root for one half of this couple, I can’t support this pairing as a whole.

  • Jackie and Cole from My Life with the Walter Boys by Ali Novak

My Life with the Walter Boys (My Life with the Walter Boys #1)

Out of all the couples of this list, Jackie and Cole’s relationship is definitely one of the most problematic. Like in most love triangles, there is always the angsty, drama-filled choice. However, this character usually has other redeemable qualities to make them likable. Unfortunately, Cole has no likable qualities. For the entire book, Cole acts like a complete jerk to Jackie and I have no idea why she would like him besides his appearance. Cole puts Jackie in many uncomfortable situations, like stealing her clothes from the bathroom which would force her to run through the house naked or getting her completely wasted to kiss her in a game of truth or dare. There was nothing healthy about this relationship which is why it was one of my least favorite of the year.

  • Lee and Jefferson from Walk on Earth a Stranger

Walk on Earth a Stranger  (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #1)

There was a lot I didn’t like about Walk on Earth a Stranger, but one of my least favorite parts would have to be the “relationship” between Lee and Jefferson. At the beginning of the book, Jefferson literally gives her the worst proposal on the planet followed by, “or we could pretend to be brother and sister.” Once they are reunited on the trail, I was happy that Jefferson showed interest in another girl, but (SPOILER ALERT) of course that had to be squashed (END SPOILER ALERT). To me, Lee and Jefferson were both bland characters and pushing a romantic relationship between them felt forced. They definitely came across as having a more sibling relationship to me, so much like the other parts of the book, the push for a romantic relationship fell flat for me as well.

End of the Year Book Tag

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With the end of the year quickly approaching, it’s finally time for the end of the year book tag! Here are my answers:

  • Which book did you have expectations that were dashed? What book surprised you?

When It's RealThe Selection (The Selection, #1)

After hearing such positive reviews for books written under the name Erin Watt, I was incredibly disappointed after reading When It’s Real! I felt like the plot and characters were all over the place and it lacked a spark that would make it stand out from other similar books. On the other hand, The Selection really surprised me! I hadn’t heard great things about this series. While I don’t think the books in this series are amazing, I was completely hooked and devoured the entire series over the summer.

  • Choose a book that best represents your 2017.

The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's Trilogy, #3)

I could have chosen a few books for this one because I feel like this was a year of series ending books for me, especially for some of my favorite series. I finished both The Winner’s trilogy and The Lunar Chronicles this year… two of my favorite YA series!

  • What is the author revelation of your 2017? Which book did you find out?

Warcross (Warcross, #1)

I was never interested in Marie Lu’s Prodigy series and couldn’t get into The Young Elites. Even though Warcross was hyped, I didn’t go in with the expectation that I would really enjoy it. However, I really liked this book! While it wasn’t the most memorable book that I read this year, I really appreciated Marie Lu’s clean and easy-to-read writing style.

  • What genre have you read the most of in 2017? And which is the least?

Lucky in LovePride and Prejudice

Contemporary has always been my favorite genre, so it’s no surprise that most of the books that I read this year fall into that category. As for my least read genre, it would have to be classics. I haven’t read one classic this year!

  • Choose one of the best and one of the worst books your read in 2017.

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)Walk on Earth a Stranger  (The Gold Seer Trilogy, #1)

A Court of Mist and Fury was one of the books this year that I literally couldn’t put down until I finished it. I read A Court of Thorn and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury over one weekend! One of the worst books that I read would have to be Walk on Earth a Stranger. This book has such a promising premise, but fell flat in terms of pacing and character development. It took a lot for me to finish this book, so I can’t imagine picking up the rest of the books in the series!

  • What is the TV series you have followed the most in 2017?

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New Girl is one of my favorite series and this year, I finally convinced my sister to watch it! Of course, I had to rewatch the series with her.

  • What’s the best movie you saw in 2017?

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Wonder was one of my favorite books when I started my blog. It was so exciting to see one of my favorite books become a movie!

  • What was the song/album/singer you loved the most in 2017?

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Even though I’m not completely sold on Taylor Swift’s sound on this album, I still find her songs so catchy!

  • What literary intentions do you have in 2016?

Like last year, I will setting a Goodreads goal. However, with my job that has fewer breaks and a shorter summer than college, I’ll probably set my goal a little lower at 50 books.

 

What are your literary goals for 2018?

Books that I Didn’t Enjoy, but Would Recommend to Other People

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I’m always cautious to read hyped books because I’m worried that they’ve been built up so much that they won’t live up to some expectations. In some cases, I am disappointed by a book, but still understand why people loved it. Here are five books that I didn’t enjoy, but would still recommend to other people:

  • Milk and Honey Rupi Kaur

Milk and Honey

Goodreads describes Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur as a collection of poetry “about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity.” This poetry book is extremely hyped, so even though I’m not the greatest fan of poetry, I decided to pick it up after seeing snippets of it on social media. Unfortunately for me, the only parts that really caught my attention were the snippets I saw on social media. Additionally, I felt like I was just reading to finish this book most likely because I’m not a big poetry reader but it was a quick read. While I didn’t personally enjoy reading this book, I can see why some readers would appreciate it if they enjoy poetry and the themes explored in this collection.

For my full thoughts on Milk and Honey, see my review here.

  • Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Under Rose-Tainted Skies

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall follows a teenage girl with obsessive-compulsive disorder and agoraphobia after a cute boy moves in next door. I didn’t hate this book, I rated it three stars after initially reading it, but there were some aspects of the story that hindered my reading experience. While I personally only found this book average, I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a book that authentically portrays mental illness written by an author who shared similar experiences to the ones presented in the story.

  • Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz

Alex and Eliza

Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz features the love story between Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler. I ended up rating this book two stars because I wasn’t sure what parts of this book were historically accurate and how much was created in the author’s head. A lot of these characters in this novel came across as a little too love sick for me, which is one of my bookish pet peeves. However, I know Alexander Hamilton stories are extremely popular right now and fans of Hamilton may appreciate this story more than I did.

For my full thoughts of Alex and Eliza, see my full review here.

  • Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Alex, Approximately

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett follows Bailey as she moves across the country to the same town as her online friend. Once in California, Bailey takes a job in a museum and finds herself falling for a cute new boy with a secret. I received an ARC of this book and found it okay. At the time, I rated it three stars, but looking back, it was probably more of a 2 or 2.5 stars book for me. The story was similar to other books I read before, I thought there was some unnecessary drama, and I felt like the synopsis gave away too much of the plot that you knew all of the story’s twists before they happened.

This book is extremely hyped, and while I don’t necessarily agree with all of the hype, I can see why other people would like this book. Bailey is a relatable main character and the love interest is fairly decent, if not predictable. I think if people went into this story not knowing what movie it’s compared to, then they may enjoy the story a little bit more than I did. This is a cute, summer contemporary book that I could see people wanting to read when the weather gets warmer.

For my full thoughts on Alex, Approximately, see my review here.

  • The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh is a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights. After a girl’s best friend is killed by the prince, she decides to marry him and get revenge. Like a few other books on this list, I rated this book three stars, which for me means that I didn’t love it but didn’t hate it either. For this book, I really liked the author’s writing style and world-building, but wasn’t a fan of the characters or romance. For me, the main character flipped too much back and forth with her emotions and I felt like she gave in to the romance a little early on. Additionally, I felt like I didn’t get enough out of the love interest to invest in his character or the romance. However, I can see why other people may like this book because the writing is so strong that it completely transports you to the book’s setting.

For my full thoughts on The Wrath and The Dawn, see my review here.

 

What books do you not enjoy, but would still recommend to other people?

Secret Santa Review

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It’s no secret that I love this book!

Secret Santa by Sabrina James follows several students from North Ridge High as they participate in their school’s yearly Secret Santa activity. Noelle hopes to impress the popular boy-next-door while her best friend, Lilly, can’t wait for the holidays to end after her boyfriend broke up with her for another girl. Meanwhile, dorky Froggy hopes to leave the best presents ever for his crush, the beautiful beach girl Celia, who is too busy perfecting her own gifts for the school’s bad boy. Throw in some catty mean girls and some unexpected love interests and Secret Santa becomes a lot more than North Ridge expected.

Secret Santa is one of those books that bring backs nostalgia for me. My sister and I read this book so much in high school, the book’s spine is extremely cracked. I remember hoping that someone would make a movie of this book because I loved it so much. Reading it again, I had just as much fun reading this book as I did in high school. It definitely should appear on more YA Christmas reads lists!

I think one of the reasons this book is so successful is that it is extremely thought out. Readers get to see the points of views of so many different characters in the book, just like the movies Valentine’s Day or New Year’s Eve. As a result, we see all the little hiccups and misunderstandings along the way. When everything comes to a head at the Christmas dance at the end of the story, it is resolved in a comedic way that pulls from multiple story lines throughout the book. Just like a Christmas present, this book wraps up all of the story lines in a sweet and satisfying way.

Even though I really enjoy this book, some people may be put off on how stereotypical the characters are or how they book is written (it is very 2007 and includes many media and fashion references that date the book). However, the writing style flows nicely which makes the book a quick read. This book always manages to bring a smile on my face and put me in the Christmas spirit. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a book that is not only wintry, but completely about Christmas.

Overall, Secret Santa is a fun and fluffy book that will remind you of your favorite high school movie. I give this book four out of five stars.

 

 

Favorite New OTPS of 2017

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Tons of Christmas songs talk about meeting someone under the mistletoe… and tons of books feature couples you want to find there! Here are some of my new favorite OTPs from books that I read this year:

  • Nina and Matthias from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

I loved Nina and Matthias so much in the Six of Crows duology. I really loved how they looked past the surface to understand each other, and in the end, influenced each other for the better. Their relationship didn’t come easy, so when it happened, it was all the more special.

  • Poppy and Sam from I’ve Got You’re Number by Sophie Kinsella

I've Got Your Number

Poppy and Sam are probably my favorite couple from a contemporary series this year. Their relationship grows slowly throughout the book and I like that Sam respects Poppy’s relationship status and doesn’t pursue a relationship with her until he believes she is single. Poppy and Sam are definitely my favorite couple out of Sophie Kinsella’s books!

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

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

Even though Rhysand doesn’t come off as the greatest guy in the first book, it was nice to see some depth added to his character in the second book. Feyre and Rhysand develop a strong relationship throughout the second and third books and I liked seeing how their relationship changed throughout the series.

  • Nesta and Cassian from A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)

Even though Feyre and Rhysand are the main romance within this series, I couldn’t help but love Nesta and Cassian as well. Cassian was one of my favorite characters in this series and I think he brought out a side of Nesta that not many people saw. I hope that in the upcoming books in this series, I get to see more of a relationship from them!

  • Juliet and Declan from Letters to the Lost

Letters to the Lost

In Letters to the Lost, you get to really know the characters in depth which made their relationship even more special. Even though Juliet and Declan were completely different people, they managed to comfort each other in the worst times of their lives. Their relationship didn’t come easy, so their struggles made their relationship even more realistic.

 

What is a new favorite OTP you discovered this year?