Book Review- #famous

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#famous by Jilly Gagnon
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on February 14, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 384
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Amazon

In this modern-day love story, Girl likes Boy, Girl takes photo of Boy and posts it online, Boy becomes accidentally insta-famous. And what starts out as an innocent joke spirals into a whirlwind adventure that could change both their lives—and their hearts—forever. But are fame and love worth the price?

This book really didn’t do much for me. Yeah, it was cute and I wanted Rachel and Kyle to get together, but at the same time I really didn’t care that much. I was like “oh, okay this is happening. Wonderful. Have a good life.”

Honestly the whole time I was reading this book I was thinking “Alex from Target” (remember him?). The story didn’t feel all that original, the characters were kind of flat, and it felt like there was a lot of drama thrown in just to fill space. Half of the stuff that happened was just unnecessary and didn’t add anything to the story.

A lot of stuff in this book also just felt forced. I didn’t really love any of the characters. They were boring. The story was predictable. Everything was just kind of “eh.”

If you follow my reviews, you probably know that I am not the biggest contemporary fan. I decided to pick up this book because the premise sounded cute, and because I’ve been having some luck with the last few contemps I read. But sadly this one just did not do it for me.

If you are into YA contemporary romance, maybe this book is for you. Maybe you’ll have more fun with it than I did. The story was definitely cute, and there was nothing “wrong” with it… it just really wasn’t for me.

I am going to give #famous two out of five hearts.

♥ ♥

Book Review- Traveler

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Traveler by L. E. Delano
Published by Swoon Reads on February 7, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction
Pages: 352
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Amazon

Jessa has spent her life dreaming of other worlds and writing down stories more interesting than her own, until the day her favorite character, Finn, suddenly shows up and invites her out for coffee. After the requisite nervous breakdown, Jessa learns that she and Finn are Travelers, born with the ability to slide through reflections and dreams into alternate realities. But it’s not all steampunk pirates and fantasy lifestyles—Jessa is dying over and over again, in every reality, and Finn is determined that this time, he’s going to stop it…This Jessa is going to live.

Traveler is one of those books that’s been on my TBR since before it came out. The idea behind the book sounded really interesting, but for some reason I was reluctant to pick it up. I finally checked it out from the library, and I am so glad I did, guys. This book really surprised me, and I ended up enjoying more than I ever thought I would!

The beginning of the book was a little confusing. I loved when Jessa met Finn and started to learn about being a traveler, but the whole idea behind travelers was a little hard to grasp at first. I had so many questions about why and how… but thankfully all of my questions were answered and the plot holes were filled in. So while I was kinda worried that this book would leave me unsatisfied with a half-cooked amazing idea, I am happy to report that everything was explained!

I thought Jessa and Finn were adorable too. I loved being able to meet alternate versions of each character, and explore all of the different worlds. The worlds were so well imagined and super cool, and each of the alternate characters from the different worlds were really fun to read about.

I loved how independent Jessa was. Sure, she wasn’t the strongest character out there, but all her reactions felt honest, and I loved how she stood up for what she believed in.
Finn and Ben (Jessa’s best friend/other love interest) were both awesome characters, as were Jessa’s mom, brother, and pretty much everyone. I just really enjoyed the characters in this book. They were all so developed and interesting, and even the alternates for each character were individual and well developed. It was easy to distinguish between each alternate, which really just added an amazing element to the book.

The ending of this book completely took me by surprise as well. The ending definitely just made the book for me. It broke my heart but also gave me so much hope. I really can’t wait for the next one to come out. I need to know what is going to happen!!
I would recommend this book to basically anyone who loved a good YA science fiction with some good swoons in it. This book was altogether adorable and heart pounding, and it was totally worth the read!

I am going to give Traveler four out of five hearts!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- The Anatomical Shape of a Heart

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The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett
Published by Feiwel & Friends on November 3, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 304
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Amazon

Beatrix Adams knows exactly how she’s spending the summer before her senior year. Determined to follow in Da Vinci’s footsteps, she’s ready to tackle the one thing that will give her an advantage in a museum-sponsored scholarship contest: drawing actual cadavers. But when she tries to sneak her way into the hospital’s Willed Body program and misses the last metro train home, she meets a boy who turns her summer plans upside down.

Jack is charming, wildly attractive, and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists. On midnight buses and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who Jack really is—and tries to uncover what he’s hiding that leaves him so wounded. But will these secrets come back to haunt him? Or will the skeletons in her family’s closet tear them apart?

I fell in love with Jenn Bennett’s writing when I read Alex, Approximately. I thought it was impossible to write a cuter and more heart warming contemporary romance, BUT I WAS WRONG.

This book was amazingly adorable and swoon worthy. I immediately fell in love with Bex. She is quirky and strong willed and all together amazing. She is determined to draw cadavers, and win a scholarship in an art contest at the end of the summer. And, when she goes to the hospital to try to get permission, she meets Jack.

I CAN NOT TELL YOU HOW ADORABLE THEIR RELATIONSHIP IS. Like I can’t even put it into words. There is this push and pull between them that made me swoon SO MUCH and even thinking about it makes me want to go read this book again.

BUT GUYS, this book was not only a romance. There was so much more going on. I don’t want to give too much away, but lets just say both Bex and Jack had some stuff to face and figure out. Their families weren’t perfect. There were secrets to be kept.

I think what I loved most about this book was the fact that it was not drama driven. The plot was driven by circumstance, and there actually wasn’t a lot of drama at all! It was kind of amazing. I usually stay away from both contemporary and romance because drama-driven plots are not really for me… but this is A PERFECT EXAMPLE of an amazing contemporary romance that is filled with trial  and discovery and the building of a beautiful relationship.

I could spend all day telling you HOW MUCH I ADORE THIS BOOK, but instead, I’ll leave you with this: GET THIS BOOK!!!! Seriously, if you are looking for a feel-good, adorable, quirky, and all-together swoon-worthy YA contemporary romance–wow that was a mouth-full–look no further!

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart gets five out of five hearts from me!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- Winter

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Winter by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel & Friends on November 10, 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Retelling
Pages: 827
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Amazon

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

If you haven’t read my reviews of books 1-3 of the Lunar Chronicles: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress

I had such high hopes for this book. This series was one of those that just seemed to get better the further I got. Maybe it was because of those high hopes that I was kind of let down by the finale of the Lunar Chronicles.

I know that this series is a fairy tale retelling. Cinder is Cinderella; Scarlet is Little Red Riding Hood; Cress is Rapunzel; and Winter is Snow White. I don’t have any problems with that. I love retellings! Love them so much. Which is why I’m kind of confused by my disappointment for this one.

It’s not that this book was bad. It was entertaining. I had fun reading it. But it just wasn’t anything special for me. Everything was kind of predictable (yeah, yeah, it’s a retelling, but still…) and it just fell a little flat for me. I had the same problem with Winter as I did with Cinder (the books, not the characters): they were just kind of “eh.”

After Scarlet and Cress, which were both super fast-paced and interesting, I couldn’t help but feel let down by Winter. The characters and world building and plot were still good and interesting… but this book just was not my favorite.

Maybe it was because this book was over 800 pages… but at the same time I don’t think the story could really be told in less. I wish I could tell you what exactly I didn’t like about Winter, but it really wasn’t anything in particular. The book just fell flat.

I would still recommend this book/series to lovers of dystopia, or anyone looking for a good dystopia series to try out. But, that being said, this series as a whole is not my favorite one out there.

I am going to give Winter three out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- The Book Jumper

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The Book Jumper by Mechthid Glaser
Published by Feiwel and Friends on January 3, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 373
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Amazon

Amy Lennox doesn’t know quite what to expect when she and her mother pick up and leave Germany for Scotland, heading to her mother’s childhood home of Lennox House on the island of Stormsay. Amy’s grandmother, Lady Mairead, insists that Amy must read while she resides at Lennox House-but not in the usual way. It turns out that Amy is a book jumper, able to leap into a story and interact with the world inside. As thrilling as Amy’s new power is, it also brings danger: someone is stealing from the books she visits, and that person may be after her life. Teaming up with fellow book jumper, Will, Amy vows to get to the bottom of the thefts-at whatever cost.

I was so excited to read this book. SO EXCITED. Which means that when it wasn’t everything I hoped, I was SO DISAPPOINTED.

First off, The Book Jumper really put the YOUNG in Young Adult. I honestly think this is closer to an MG book than a YA one. Amy’s voice was so young in this book, to the point where it was kind of ridiculous. I had a hard time believing her–or any other the other child-characters–were older than ten. And don’t even get me started on Alexis, Amy’s mom. She acted like she was fifteen, if even that.

Second of all, the way the whole book jumping thing happened was just weird. The idea was good, but it just was NOT pulled off well. I was kind of rolling my eyes at the way the book characters regarded the jumpers…and the whole reason for book jumping was just kind of weird. I had a really hard time getting on board with it. Actually I’m still not really on board with it.

Thirdly, Amy was one of those characters who was just SO CLUMSY it was painful. I cannot tell you how much this trope gets on my nerves. Its not realistic. I mean sure, some people are totally klutzes (myself included), but NOBODY, not even my awkward and incredibly clumsy self, is THAT BAD. Its a way to drive the plot forward and try to make it more interesting, but it just comes off as annoying and unrealistic.

I think I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if I was younger. I really think this should be an MG book, and think that MG readers will love it. But if you are looking for an epic adventure following people jumping into books, I’m sad to report that this book is not everything it promises. Leave this to the preteens people.

I am going to give The Book Jumper two out of five hearts.

♥ ♥

Book Review- Cress

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Cress by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel and Friends on February 4 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Retellings
Pages: 552
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Amazon

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

Yet again I fell in love with the Lunar Chronicles.

This book introduced Cress to the team of Cinder, Scarlet, Wolf, Captain Thorne, and Iko (can’t forget the awesome android). Cress again added a new side to this wild ride of a story, and I was not let down. Her story (Meyer’s version of Rapunzel) was super cool (if you can call being locked in a satellite “cool”) and really interesting. And, at one point I literally stood up and starting screaming “WHAT???? NO… WHATTTTTT??” but I’m not going to tell you why because that would be giving away too much. You’re just going to have to read it to see what I’m talking about.

Again I loved both the character development and the plot progression. I loved that Kai’s struggle was also well integrated, and his character was not forgotten among all of the other stuff going on. I loved how everything was tied together, and now I need to get my hands on Winter so I can find out what happens because I am going slightly crazy with not knowing.

So, as you can see, I really enjoyed this book, and if you have read Cinder and Scarlet, I don’t know what you are waiting for. Read Cress. Just do it.

I am going to give Cress four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Book Review- How To Hang A Witch

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How To Hang A Witch by Adriana Mather
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on July 26 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery
Pages: 358
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Amazon

Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?

If dealing with that weren’t enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real live (well technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries old curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with The Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it’s Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.

After a bit of a rocky start, I actually really enjoyed this book. It had the perfect mix of magic and mystery, complete with a ghost side kick and some witchy bit… sorry, “friends”.

Sam has no idea why the so-called “descendants” hate her, even if she is a descendant of Cotton Mather. Honestly, when I first started the book and got to this part, I was ready to give up and call it a day. I mean, come on. The Descendants?

But I decided to stick with it and I am really glad I did. Despite their cringe-worthy group name, and Sam’s cringe-worthy ability to make a fool out of herself at every turn (which by the way is a very annoying trope), How To Hang a Witch was actually a kind of amazing book.

I loved the witch lore and history of the Salem Witch Trials. I loved Elijah the ghost, and I even ended up loving the descendants. Sam, too, became a much more interesting character as the book went on… mostly due to some amazing character development and less of the lets-make-Sam-super-clumsy-in-order-to-move-the-plot-along.

The ending of this book was actually a total surprise, and I loved it. Honestly, after I got past the first quarter or so of the book, I could barely put the book down. Even the weird love-v-thing between Sam, Elijah, and Jaxon (who has no idea that Elijah even exists) doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. Yes, I didn’t LOVE Jaxon (totally team Elijah on this one), but he still had some endearing qualities, and by the end I found myself quite liking him, thank you very much.

Sam’s narration had a very young voice, but considering she is 15 in the book, it makes sense. It got on my nerves a little at the beginning of the book, but the more I read, the more I appreciated it… kind of like everything else in the book.

So I know this review focuses more on what I didn’t like about the book, but let me just say that How To Hang A Witch was actually kind of amazing. I am definitely going to be getting the sequel, Haunting the Deep. I would recommend this book to people who love supernatural things (especially witches!!), young adult mysteries, or are just looking for an quick, intriguing read.

I am going to give How To Hang A Witch four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥