Book Review- Alex, Approximately

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Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
Expected publication by Simon Pulse on April 4, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 400
Amazon
Goodreads

Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new arch-nemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever-it-is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

Boy oh boy did I love this book. Alex, Approximately was beautiful and heart felt and had just the right mix of romance and realism to loose me in its pages. I was captivated from the first word, and it only went uphill from there.
Bailey is a pretty awesome main character. She is relatable and honest, and very true to herself. She moves from Washington D.C. to California to live with her Dad, and starts a new job working at a museum for the summer. She describes herself as an “Artful Dodger” (which is going to be my new favorite term for literally ever), and despite her desire to avoid conflict, she can’t seem to stop “fighting” with her coworker Porter.
I’m usually not one to go for romantic books, but this one really swept me off my feet. I got so emotionally involved in the story (what more can anyone want?) and every twist and turn, for better or for worse, made it even harder to put this book down. Alex, Approximately is adorable and toe-curling and made me have all the feels. All of them. I can’t even describe what this book did to me.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a rainy day read (or a beach day read, or an any day read). If you love romance, this book is for you. If you love romantic gestures, this book is for you. If you don’t know how you feel about romance, this book is still for you. If you have a heart, this book is for you. (do you see what I am getting at here?)
As you have probably been able to tell, I am going to give Alex, Approximately five out of five hearts. Now excuse me while I go read it again.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

An ARC of this book was sent to me by the publishers in exchange for an honest review.
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Five Reasons YOU Should Compete in the Writer’s Games 2017

What are the Writer’s Games you ask? A chance for YOU to flex your creative mind for a chance to be PUBLISHED in a volume of 72 Hours of Insanity: Anthology of the Games. For the specifics on how it works, click here.

Why should you compete in these awesome challenges? This is why:

1. YOU HAVE THE CHANCE TO BE PUBLISHED!!!!

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If you are anything like me, you have probably stopped reading at this point and are already signing up. If not, hopefully these other four reasons will convince you.

2. You have more than one chance to WIN

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Yup, you read that right. So let’s say your first story isn’t your best work and you don’t win. NO BIG DEAL!! You have plenty of other chances to get your writing in the anthology before the Writer’s Games are over!

3. You will get some great practice at hitting those deadlines

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As the title of the anthology hints, each story has to be written in 72 hours. While this is completely do-able, some people (read: me) tend to procrastinate and sometimes end up cutting it pretty close *ahem, me*. But the wonderful thing about the Writer’s Games is that you will have plenty of chances to practice hitting those 72 hour deadlines, and by the end of the Games, you will be a pro.

4. You can write poetry too

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So lets say that you read a prompt and say to yourself “Hmm, I have a wonderful idea for this but for some reason my mind is telling me to write it as a poem” (don’t laugh, it happens). WELL YOU CAN! As long as you meet the requirements of the given prompt, you can write however you want! How cool is that!?

5. I AM A GUEST JUDGE!!!

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Of course I saved the best for last. You should enter because I am a guest judge, and you all know (or at least should know) THAT I LOVE READING!!! AND I WANT TO READ YOUR WORK!!!!

Just FYI, registration for this AWESOME event doesn’t end until April 30, so you still have time to join! And, if you do sign up, you are not required to do every single event, so if you miss one its nbd.

If you want to sign up (which, duh, you do) then go ahead and click here to go to The Writer’s Workout webpage and register. Also, if you are super excited to learn about one of the amazing sponsors of the Games, visit the Pacemaker Planner website (a great writing resource btw) by clicking here.


Hopefully by now I have successfully convinced you to join (and to tell all of your friends and basically everyone you pass on the street to join). If you are as pumped as I am for this, let me know in the comments below! May the pen be always in your favor.

Book Review- The Time Thief

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The Time Thief by Linda Buckley-Archer
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on December 26, 2007
Genres: Time Travel, Fantasy, Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Adventure
Pages: 488
Amazon
Goodreads

An accident with an antigravity machine catapulted Peter Schock and Kate Dyer back to 1763. A bungled rescue attempt leaves Peter stranded in the eighteenth century while a terrifying villain, the Tar Man, takes his place and explodes onto twenty-first-century London. Concerned about the potentially catastrophic effects of time travel, the NASA scientists responsible for the situation question whether it is right to rescue Peter. Kate decides to take matters into her own hands, but things don’t go as planned. Soon the physical effects of time travel begin to have a disturbing effect on her. Meanwhile, in our century, the Tar Man wreaks havoc in a city whose police force is powerless to stop him. Set against a backdrop of contemporary London and revolutionary France, The Time Thief is the sequel to the acclaimed The Time Travelers.

The Time Thief was a thrilling sequel to The Time Travelers (you can read that review here). The story begins where the first book ended, which I won’t say too much about because that would give away what happens in the first book.

There was a lot of great character development in The Time Thief, and I got to learn more about a lot of the characters who did not play such big roles in the first book. I loved the amount of perspectives that the story was told from, and how the events happening in different times and places were effortlessly put together into the story.

To my surprise, I ended up enjoying The Time Thief much more than its prequel. The story was more engaging, the plot more exciting, and the characters had more depth to them. I do wish that Gideon the Cutpurse was more present in the book, but at the same time, the reasons for his absence were good.

The end of this book has me grabbing at my shelves for the final book in the trilogy, The Time Quake. I would recommend this series to anyone who likes stories about time travel (this trilogy definitely has an interesting take on it), adventure, and historical fiction.

I am going to give The Time Thief four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- When Breath Becomes Air

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When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Published by Random House on January 19, 2016
Genres: Nonfiction, Memoir, Medical
Pages: 208
Amazon
Goodreads

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor making a living treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. Just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air, which features a Foreword by Dr. Abraham Verghese and an Epilogue by Kalanithi’s wife, Lucy, chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a young neurosurgeon at Stanford, guiding patients toward a deeper understanding of death and illness, and finally into a patient and a new father to a baby girl, confronting his own mortality.

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir.

Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. “I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything,” he wrote. “Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.’” When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing mortality and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a gifted writer who became both.

When Breath Becomes Air was a very deep and thought provoking book. I was drawn into the narrative from the first page. The language Kalanithi used was absolutely beautiful, and the book was easy and enjoyable to read (which is not something you can say about many books about cancer).

The book was divided into two parts; the first part was about Kalanithi’s life before his cancer diagnosis, and the second part was about his life afterwards. Both were equally as compelling, and both very interesting and emotional.

I would definitely recommend this book to everyone, just because of how moving of a book it is.

I am going to give When Breath Becomes Air four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Reivew- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
Published by Penguin Books on August 25, 1977
Genres: Classics, Fiction, Literature, Psychology
Pages: 320
Amazon
Goodreads

Boisterous, ribald, and ultimately shattering, Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is the seminal novel of the 1960s that has left an indelible mark on the literature of our time. Here is the unforgettable story of a mental ward and its inhabitants, especially the tyrannical Big Nurse Ratched and Randle Patrick McMurphy, the brawling, fun-loving new inmate who resolves to oppose her. We see the struggle through the eyes of Chief Bromden, the seemingly mute half-Indian patient who witnesses and understands McMurphy’s heroic attempt to do battle with the awesome powers that keep them all imprisoned.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was definitely an interesting read. It was a bit out of my comfort zone when it comes to books, so I wasn’t very surprised when I didn’t end up liking it that much.

The book was split up into four parts that were sort of like very long chapters. The first part was very confusing, and I didn’t know what was happening for most of the time. The narrator, Chief Bromden, was not easy to understand, which I think is kind of the point, but I found it more annoying than anything.

After the first part was over, the book started getting a lot more interesting, and I began to enjoy it more. The plot started to pick up and the characters began to differentiate and become their own people.

The end was a bit disappointing, and I wish I got a bit more of an explanation of what happens. Overall, the book was not bad, but I don’t think I am going to be reading it again any time soon. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes classics, and has time to sit down and spend some good time reading.

I am going to give One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest three out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥

February Wrap Up

This month has gone by way too fast, but I guess time flies when you are busy!

I haven’t been able to read as much as I wanted to, and I haven’t had the time to review everything I have read this month either. But with finals this week, I’ve been busy with papers to write and lots to study.

Of the five books I’ve read, I have only reviewed three of them (I promise to get the other reviews up soon!):

So what books have you guys been reading? Any books coming out in March that you are excited for? Let me know in the comments!

P.S. HAPPY ONE YEAR BLOGGAVERSARY TO ME!!!!!!!!!!!!

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