Review: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

27834600In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

Published April 19th 2016

What should be a cozy and fun-filled weekend deep in the English countryside takes a sinister turn in Ruth Ware’s suspenseful, compulsive, and darkly twisted psychological thriller.

Sometimes the only thing to fear…is yourself.

When reclusive writer Leonora is invited to the English countryside for a weekend away, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. But as the first night falls, revelations unfold among friends old and new, an unnerving memory shatters Leonora’s reserve, and a haunting realization creeps in: the party is not alone in the woods. 

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In a Dark, Dark Wood was pretty good. Not my favorite from Ruth Ware but I did like it much more than The Woman in Cabin 10.
I thought this was the most creepy of Ruth’s books and it definitely did keep me entertained. I didn’t think the concept was the most original but it’s a classic creepy set up and you can’t really go wrong with it.
Something I’ve struggled with when it comes to Ruth’s books is connecting to the characters and really loving them. I just couldn’t seem to get into any of the characters in this book. I felt very neutral towards them and I wasn’t very emotionally invested.
I really liked the writing in In a Dark, Dark Wood and I thought the writing actually kept this book alive for me.
I did find the first 3/4 of this book to be better than the last 1/4. I can’t really put my finger on what changed for me in the last 1/4 but it wasn’t quite there for me.
Overall, I enjoyed In a Dark, Dark Wood and would recommend it if you’re looking for a quick, entertaining thriller. It’s not the best book I’ve read but I think it’s worth checking out.

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Review: The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

28187230The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Published June 30th 2016

In this tightly wound story, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…

With surprising twists and a setting that proves as uncomfortably claustrophobic as it is eerily beautiful, Ruth Ware offers up another intense read.

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This is my third book from Ruth Ware and to be totally honest, it’s my least favorite. I was actually expecting this to be the best Ruth’s books because I’ve such hype around it, especially in bookstores.
The synopsis (like all of Ruth’s books) sounds amazing and I expected The Woman in Cabin 10 to be an insane psychological thriller that I would read in one sitting. And even though I did read it fairly quickly, it wasn’t as captivating as I hoped it would be.
I loved the concept but I really didn’t like the characters. With the characters always being drunk or constantly drinking, it was annoying and that alone made me want to quit reading the book.
Some of the things through out this book didn’t really make sense to me and I think it could have been edited better.
The pace was a slow burn, which I’m okay with, but when the plot kicked into gear, I really started to enjoy the book so much more.
Overall, The Woman in Cabin 10 was hit and miss with me. For everything I liked, there was two things I didn’t like. I think this book had a lot of potential but it missed the mark with me.

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Review: Wonder Woman: Earth One, Vol. 1 by Grant Morrison

25241697Wonder Woman: Earth One, Vol. 1 (Wonder Woman: Earth One #1)
by Grant Morrison (Writer), Yanick Paquette (Artist), Nathan Fairbairn (Colourist), Todd Klein (Letterer)

Published April 6th 2016 by DC Comics

Following the New York Times #1 bestselling original graphic novels Batman: Earth One, Volume One and Superman: Earth One Volumes One and Two comes Wonder Woman: Earth One, Volume One!

Critically acclaimed, best-selling writer Grant Morrison (All-Star Superman, Batman, Inc.) once again pushes the boundaries of the graphic novel page in his mind-bending new take on the most powerful woman in the DC Universe. With stunning art by Yanick Paquette (Swamp Thing), Wonder Woman: Earth One, Volume One is an easily accessible jumping on point for new readers.

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I was so pumped to read this but it ended up being a hot mess. Not only was the story line confusing, I couldn’t figure out what was a flashback and what was present day, but the body shaming and the sexism was very disappointing. Wonder Woman, in my mind, is supposed to be empowering. Not make people feel bad about themselves. One character said women of “Man’s world” are “deformed, shrunken, bloated, domesticated cattle” and what just wasn’t okay.
This comic was just all kinds of problematic. There was scene where Diana collared Steve Trevor (who is black) and that felt really wrong.
To be totally honest, I could tell this comic only had men involved in its creation. It felt like it was written for men by men.
Unfortunately, I spent money on this comic and if I could return it, I would. There’s a lot of well written reviews that show examples of the problematic nature in this comic so if you’re curious about knowing more, I’d recommend reading this review and this review.

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Review: The Edge of Juniper by Lora Richardson

30330916The Edge of Juniper by Lora Richardson

Published June 12th 2016

“You’re off-limits, so why can’t I stop thinking about you?”

Fay Whitaker, sixteen years old and yearning for adventure, is excited to spend the summer with her fearless cousin Celia in small-town Juniper, Indiana.

But Fay soon discovers that her summer home is not what she expected. She is alarmed by her uncle’s temper, and learns of the grudge he holds against the Dearing family. Celia handles the tension at home by escaping with her boyfriend, leaving Fay with time on her hands—time that leads her straight to Malcolm Dearing, off-limits because of his last name. Fay is captivated by Malcolm’s warmth and intensity. She finds that trying to stay away from him only makes her think of him more.

Fay and Celia are launched on a journey, and each must attempt to navigate the thrilling and unpredictable world of love. Everything Fay thinks she knows about love is put to the test, as relationships unfold and reveal themselves in ways she never before dreamed.

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I seen The Edge of Juniper as a suggested book when I was browsing New Adult books on Amazon. I assumed that this book was NA because all the other books in the suggested page were so I bought a copy. It’s actually Young Adult, which is fine, but the second I realized that this book wasn’t the genre I was wanting, I was disappointed. That’s 100% my fault for assuming but it still hindered my overall reading experience with The Edge of Juniper.
The main character is pretty young, 15 years old if I remember correctly, so I had a hard time relating to her. She was a nice character, I liked her, but she was also a little plain. She was an average YA character and she was kind of boring. There was a few things she did and said that was cringy and weird but it wasn’t often so it wasn’t that big a deal.
The whole book was actually pretty plain and normal. There was nothing really memorable. I liked the characters, pace, and setting. The writing was good for the most part and I loved the family dynamics.
But overall, The Edge of Juniper was a basic YA read. I liked it but I don’t think I”ll remember much about it in a few months. If you’re looking for a fun, quick read, this book might be for you. But if you’re wanting a book that will blow you away, you’ll probably want to skip The Edge of Juniper.

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Review: The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

29405093The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

Published August 16th 2016

The Emmy Award-winning comedian, actress, writer, and star of Inside Amy Schumer and the acclaimed film Trainwreck has taken the entertainment world by storm with her winning blend of smart, satirical humor. Now, Amy Schumer has written a refreshingly candid and uproariously funny collection of (extremely) personal and observational essays.

In The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, Amy mines her past for stories about her teenage years, her family, relationships, and sex and shares the experiences that have shaped who she is – a woman with the courage to bare her soul to stand up for what she believes in, all while making us laugh.

Ranging from the raucous to the romantic, the heartfelt to the harrowing, this highly entertaining and universally appealing collection is the literary equivalent of a night out with your best friends – an unforgettable and fun adventure that you wish could last forever. Whether she’s experiencing lust-at-first-sight while in the airport security line, sharing her own views on love and marriage, admitting to being an introvert, or discovering her cross-fit instructor’s secret bad habit, Amy Schumer proves to be a bighearted, brave, and thoughtful storyteller that will leave you nodding your head in recognition, laughing out loud, and sobbing uncontrollably – but only because it’s over.

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I was sent a copy of this book from the publisher and I was pretty excited about it. I’m on a quest to expand my reading horizons and I’ve really wanted to read more nonfiction.
I’ve never seen any of Amy Schumer’s stand up and I’m not that familiar with her movies. I actually don’t really know anything about her. But I thought The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo would probably be funny so I was excited to read it.
However, Amy’s brand of comedy and humor aren’t for me. There was a few things in this book that I thought was funny but most of it wasn’t. I’m not very sensitive to crude humor but there was some stuff that was a little much for me. I felt awkward just reading some of the jokes in this book. There was a few thousand (not even an exaggeration) too many vagina jokes for me. A lot of the jokes felt repetitive.
Amy was really judgmental as well and it really brought this book down for me.
I do appreciate how hard Amy works and how she’s made her mark as a comedian. It’s not easy being a female comedian but Amy Schumer has worked her butt off to get where she is. I really admire her for that.

Overall, this book didn’t have the humor I was expecting and it was just not for me. Comedy is so subjective so my opinion doesn’t have a lot of weight in the quality of the humor. If you’re a fan of Amy and you like her stand up and whatnot, you’ll probably enjoy this book. But if you’re not familiar with her comedy like I was, I’d recommend looking into a few Youtube videos of her stand up or something before buying this book.

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Review: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

27272506The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

Published April 5th 2016

Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…

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I received a copy of The Glittering Court in a subscription box last year and it took me forever to pick it up. I heard a few negative things about it but I also heard a couple positive things so I didn’t really have any expectations. Interestingly enough, none of the few negative things things I heard could have prepared me for The Glittering Court.

I just didn’t like anything about this book. I tried to find something, anything at all, but I didn’t like anything.
It lacks any kind of depth or world building that should come with a fantasy novel and the romance is over the top and kind of cringey. To be completely honest, most of the book was cringey. It was like a draft instead of the finished story.
The thing I disliked most about The Glittering Court is how the religious persecution is never dealt with. There was some other problematic issues in this book that weren’t dealt with but for me personally, the religious persecution was the last straw and was very personal to me.

I didn’t understand the world because it wasn’t built well or explained. There was so many plot holes and nothing made sense. I don’t think the author thought anything through before writing it down. The whole book felt lazy. It felt like there was no thought or effort put into this book.

I didn’t like the characters, especially the main character. Adelaide was not only boring beyond belief, she was also extremely stupid and annoying. None of her dialogue sounded natural and half the time I was wondering what the heck she was even saying.

And the whole book is sexist so there’s that. It pretty much teaches girls that we’re good for nothing but looking pretty and pleasing a man. And all men are stupid. That was what The Glittering Court teaches young readers.

“Mister Thorn has made it all sound very lovely,” she replied. “But I kind of feel like some trinket being bought and sold.”
“Women always feel that way,” I said.

I’ve seen a few other reviews that contain this quote but it’s one of the worth things in the book so I’d like to include it in my review as well. I wanted to include more quotes to show how sexist and terrible this book is but there’s so many quotes that showcase the sexism that my review would be more quotes than my thoughts.

Overall, this book was sexist, cringey, and problematic. I didn’t like it at all and I won’t be reading the sequel. I think there’s hundreds of other YA books out there that will empower readers instead of making young girls feel like they’re only good for pleasing a man and being sold to men like property. I don’t recommend this book at all but if you’ve read The Glittering Court and liked it, that’s totally fine. I’m not here to shame you. You’re free to read and enjoy whatever book you want.

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Review: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

25203675The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Published April 26th 2016

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

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Where has this book been all my life?

I’ve had this book for about three months and I was always meaning to read it but it just got put off for one reason or another. The publisher sent me an early copy of the sequel, A Crown of Wishes, so I took that as a sign that I should finally read The Star-Touched Queen. I’m so glad I picked this book up.
I’m blown away by how amazing this book is. I loved everything about this book. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a book and more.
From the first few pages of The Star-Touched Queen, I fell in love. The writing is so beautiful and poetic. I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book with more beautiful writing.
The characters are so well written and the dialogue between Maya and Amar had me feeling all the feels. I could go on and on about Amar and how amazing he is. Seriously. He has a way with words.
I want to reread every scene with Maya and Amar every day. I want to make wallpaper out of their dialogue so I can look at it all the time. I just love them so much.

Overall, there’s nothing about The Star-Touched Queen that I didn’t love. I read the whole book in one day and I’m so glad I have the sequel. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read and I kind of want to buy an ebook of it so I can take it with me everywhere and reread my favorite scenes.
I don’t often rave about a book to the point I’m annoying everyone around me but I can’t stop talking about The Star-Touched Queen. I highly recommend it.

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Review: Settle for More by Megyn Kelly

30037283Settle for More by Megyn Kelly

Published November 15th 2016

Whether it’s asking tough questions during a presidential debate or pressing for answers to today’s most important issues, Megyn Kelly has demonstrated the intelligence, strength, common sense, and courage that have made her one of today’s best-known journalists, respected by women and men, young and old, Republicans and Democrats.

In Settle for More, the anchor of The Kelly File reflects on the enduring values and experiences that have shaped her—from growing up in a family that rejected the “trophies for everyone” mentality, to her father’s sudden, tragic death while she was in high school. She goes behind-the-scenes of her career, sharing the stories and struggles that landed her in the anchor chair of cable’s #1 news show. Speaking candidly about her decision to “settle for more”—a motto she credits as having dramatically transformed her life at home and at work—Megyn discusses how she abandoned a thriving legal career to follow her journalism dreams.

Admired for her hard work, humor, and authenticity, Megyn sheds light on the news business, her time at Fox News, the challenges of being a professional woman and working mother, and her most talked about television moments. She also speaks openly about Donald Trump’s feud with her, revealing never-before-heard details about the first Republican debate, its difficult aftermath, and how she persevered through it all.

Deeply personal and surprising, Settle for More offers unparalleled insight into this charismatic and intriguing journalist, and inspires us all to embrace the principles—determination, honesty, and fortitude in the face of fear—that have won her fans across the political divide.

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I’m not a really a fan of Megyn Kelly to say the least but I was given a copy of her book and I was curious about it. I do admire how she can hold her own in a very sexist industry and she works really hard, which I appreciate. I have recently started reading more non-fiction books and I really enjoy memoirs so I was ready to be blown away from tales of Megyn’s career.
However, Settle for More is mostly about her childhood and there’s not a lot of behind the scenes stories from her career or dirt on those she’s interviewed or worked with.
There is a good chunk of chapters on Donald Trump and even though I wasn’t surprised by the stories Megyn has of him, I thought it was interesting.
Overall, I thought this book was interesting even though I wasn’t totally into all of her childhood stories (if you’re a fan of Megyn, you’ll probably love that aspect of the book) and the first half was a bit boring. Settle for More hasn’t changed my thoughts on Megyn Kelly but I do respect all her hard work and for being a boss lady in corporate politics. That’s not easy and she’s achieved lots of success. If you’re a fan of Megyn, this is definitely worth a read. If you’re a women looking to make a career in politics, I think this is worth reading as well.
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Taylor’s Top 12 Books of 2016

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I read 156 books in 2016 and quite a few of them were absolutely amazing. Many of them have become some of the best books I’ve ever read and one has completely changed my life. I’ve picked out my top 12 books that I’ve read this year. These 12 books have become some of my favorite books of all time and I highly recommend them all.

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You by Caroline Kepnes

When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder.

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I was not expecting this book to be this amazing.
I’d heard only positive things about You but this book blew me away. I read this book in one day and I couldn’t put it down. The second I finished it, I ordered the sequel.
I expected this book to be creepy but I had no idea that it would scare me like it did. The whole concept of this book is so terrifying, especially as a women. I couldn’t put this book down because I just had to know what was going to happen. I had a feeling about what the ending would be and I was right but the anticipation was intense.
The characters were so perfectly written. I don’t know how Caroline did it but she wrote these characters phenomenally. They were so complex and flawed and interesting to read about.

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It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

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I loved this book from very first page and even though I knew I was jumping on an emotional roller coaster (what CoHo book isn’t an emotional roller coaster?!), I never could have prepared myself for how this book would change my life. This book is everything I expected from Colleen Hoover but it’s also nothing I expected.
This book showed me a perspective that I never seen before and showed me new ways of looking at things. It’s honest and real and raw. Reading It Ends with Us was more than just reading a book. It was an experience and I’ve learned so much from it. I’ve never cried so much while reading a book (and I’ve never cried while writing a review but here I am, crying while writing this review).
This is probably the most meaningful book I’ve ever read and it’s change me life. I can never thank Colleen enough for this book and everything it’s given me.

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Slammed by Colleen Hoover

Layken’s father died suddenly, leaving her to gather every ounce of strength to be a pillar for her family, in order to prevent their world from falling apart. Now her life is taking another unexpected turn…

Layken’s mother gets a job which leads to an unwanted move across the country. However, a new home means new neighbours… and Layken’s new neighbour is the very attractive Will Cooper.

Will has an intriguing passion for slam poetry, and a matching passion for life. The two feel an irresistible attraction but are rocked to the core when a shocking revelation brings their romance to a screeching halt. Layken and Will must find a way to fight the forces that threaten to tear them apart…or learn to live without each other.

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Slammed was 100x better than I expected and I expected it to be great so my mind is blown right now.
I laughed, I cried, this book had it all for me. I did predict a thing or two but honestly, it doesn’t matter. I loved this book and I enjoyed reading it so much.
I loved Will and Layken’s relationship. Even though it moved so fast, it was genuine and organic. It felt real.
I loved how this book was about more than just Lake finding a boyfriend. The story was about so much more than just a romance relationship. It was about family and friendship and Lake learning how to deal with what life is throwing at her. It was about her finding friendship and opening up to others and knowing that she didn’t have to go through everything alone.

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November 9 by Colleen Hoover

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

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Colleen Hoover is such an amazing writer. I don’t know how she does it but she creates these amazing stories that just blow my mind and give me all the feels. November 9 is only the second book of hers (I’ve also read Ugly Love) that I’ve read but she’s definitely one of my favorite writers.
I’m not a fan of insta-love but I actually didn’t hate that aspect of this book. It was written in a way that seemed real and believable. And it wasn’t exactly insta-love either, at least I didn’t think so. It was quick love. And I actually really liked it.
I loved the characters and how quick the book jumped from year to year. I feel like as the reader, I got to know Ben and Fallon at the same pace that they got to know each other.
While I did find this book to be really sad at times, it wasn’t the crying until you can’t breathe that Ugly Love was. I laughed more while reading November 9 than I cried. I was expecting to be a teary eyed mess all while I was reading but I wasn’t and that was kind of nice.

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Too Late by Colleen Hoover

Sloan will go through hell and back for her little brother. And she does, every single night.

Forced to remain in a relationship with the dangerous and corrupt Asa Jackson, Sloan will do whatever it takes to make sure her brother has what he needs.

Nothing will get in her way.

Nothing except Carter.

Sloan is the only good thing to ever happen to Asa. He knows this and he never plans on letting her go; even if she doesn’t approve of his lifestyle. But despite Sloan’s disapproval, Asa knows what it takes to get what he wants. He knows what he needs to do to remain on top.

Nothing will get in his way.

Nothing except Carter.

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This book is so insane and I loved it so much.
I’ve loved every book that I’ve read from Colleen so I knew when I started Too Late that I would love it. But I didn’t know what I would be staying up until 2am reading this book because I couldn’t put it down. This book is such a wild ride and has such complex characters. This book brought out every single emotion in me.
I think what really takes this book to the next level is the characters. They’re so complex and interesting and different. You’ll love some characters and hate others but either way, you’ll be sucked into this emotional rollercoaster.

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Fortune by Tia Giacalone

A painter, a poet, a publicist, and a punk-rock princess… the boys of High Road Divide have no idea that this tour will change everything.

Tommy Fortune hadn’t realized he was looking for something different until he meets Cassandra Ryan. Soon their connection blurs the line between fame and reality, and it doesn’t take long for Cassandra to follow her inspiration into his world, where paint-stained hands and guitar strings become the basis of their future. But nothing is as perfect as it looks from the outside, and even the most exposed still have secrets to keep. When tour life gets complicated, loyalties will be tested on the road, and they’ll both learn that some harsh realities can’t be painted over.

What happens when an artist stuck in black and white falls for a musician who only lives in color?

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I read this book during a really busy couple of days and I had barely any time to read. But every spare second I had, I was reading Fortune. Whenever I had to put this book down, I was so upset because I just wanted to keep reading.

This book was so amazing. I knew that I would love it and I was super excited to read it but somehow this book was even better than I was expecting. This book blew me away.
I loved the characters so much. They’re so well written and developed. I loved how Tommy didn’t droned on and on about Cassandra’s looks. He cared about her as a person and he always put more value on her personality. He appreciated Cassandra no matter how she looked. And the same was for Cassandra. She didn’t go on about how hot Tommy was. Their relationship was so healthy and realistic. The banter and dialogue between the characters was perfect and I normally don’t really notice those things but I did with Fortune and I think that really shows how well written this book is.
I’m so picky with New Adult books because the plots usually suck and the characters and relationships are so problematic. But Fortune, and Tia’s other two books, are perfect examples of the New Adult genre. They showcase everything that this genre is supposed to be about. Every NA author, every author who wants to create incredible characters, should look to Tia’s books as examples because she has done everything right with her characters. I don’t think it gets any better than Tia’s books.

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay
by J.K. Rowling

When Magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when his magical case is misplaced and some of Newt’s fantastic beasts escape, it spells trouble for everyone…

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Even though I was super excited about the Fantastic Beasts movie, I also was a bit hesitant. It’s not a secret that I loathed The Cursed Child and I had lost a bit of faith in the wizarding world.
However, Fantastic Beasts (both the movie and screenplay) reminded me of why I love J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world so much.

I was very excited to see the wizarding community in America and to see the differences between the two cultures. I loved being able to see the wizarding community in a way that we never got to see in the original 7 books. Harry never really got to experience the wizarding world in the 7 books and neither did the readers. I feel like we really got the chance to see the wizarding world in a new light in Fantastic Beasts.

The characters are so bomb. I loved how driven Tina is and how she didn’t let Newt sidetrack her from what she thought was the right thing to do. I really loved how her and Queenie worked together and had such a great relationship. They’re very different people but they really appreciate each other.
Newt is beyond words. He’s such a wonderful character (total cinnamon roll, y’all). He loves his creatures so much and will do anything for them, which I loved and related to as well.
Don’t even get me started on Credence Barebone. His story was so heart breaking and I’ve never wanted to hug a fictional character so much.

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Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets.

Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies…and war.

As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises safety and freedom.

Yet not all promises can be kept.

Inspired by the single greatest tragedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope.

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There are very few books that I recommend to every single person, regardless of what genre they like to read or their taste in books. But Salt to the Sea is one of them. From the moment I read the first page, I knew that this book would stick with me for the rest of my life.
Salt to the Sea is incredible. The characters, the writing, the plot. Everything is unparalleled.
It’s shocking and honest. It’s eye opening and emotional.
This book is perfect in every way. I highly recommend it.

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Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh

A prehistoric fantasy—with allusions to Pride and Prejudice.

Hunting, gathering, and keeping his family safe—that’s the life seventeen-year-old Kol knows. Then bold, enigmatic Mya arrives from the south with her family, and Kol is captivated. He wants her to like and trust him, but any hopes of impressing her are ruined when he makes a careless—and nearly grave—mistake. However, there’s something more to Mya’s cool disdain…a history wrought with loss that comes to light when another clan arrives. With them is Lo, an enemy from Mya’s past who Mya swears has ulterior motives.

As Kol gets to know Lo, tensions between Mya and Lo escalate until violence erupts. Faced with shattering losses, Kol is forced to question every person he’s trusted. One thing is for sure: this was a war that Mya or Lo—Kol doesn’t know which—had been planning all along.

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I don’t know what else to say other than I loved it.
I honestly loved everything about this book. I was a little weirded out by the writing style at first but after I got used to it, I really enjoyed it. I thought it was different and fit the story really well.
I really liked the characters. They weren’t over the top or crazy original but they weren’t bland. They were normal but interesting.
I was very unsure about the love triangle (you know how much I loathe love triangles) but holy crap. I didn’t hate this one. I actually kind of liked it. I know, it’s shocking. But it actually adds to the story.
But the thing that I loved most about this book, the thing that makes this book one of my all time favorite books, is the concept. This is blurbed as a “A prehistoric fantasy—with allusions to Pride and Prejudice”. And let me tell you, that’s a perfect blurb. It’s confusing, I know, but trust me. It’s amazing. There’s mammoth hunts and saber tooth cats and it’s amazing.

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The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon

Swallow, Daughter, pull them in, those words that sit upon your lips. Lock them deep inside your soul, hide them ‘til they’ve time to grow. Close your mouth upon the power, curse not, cure not, ‘til the hour. You won’t speak and you won’t tell, you won’t call on heav’n or hell. You will learn and you will thrive. Silence, Daughter. Stay alive.

The day my mother was killed, she told my father I wouldn’t speak again, and she told him if I died, he would die too. Then she predicted the king would trade his soul and lose his son to the sky.

My father has a claim to the throne, and he is waiting in the shadows for all of my mother’s words to come to pass. He wants desperately to be king, and I just want to be free.

But freedom will require escape, and I’m a prisoner of my mother’s curse and my father’s greed. I can’t speak or make a sound, and I can’t wield a sword or beguile a king. In a land purged of enchantment, love might be the only magic left, and who could ever love . . . a bird?

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I seen The Bird and the Sword randomly on Amazon and the Kindle copy was less than $5 so I bought it not knowing what it was about or seeing any reviews. I went in completely blind and not really expecting much. But this book blew. Me. Away.
I loved it from the first page and I could barely put this book down. I read it in less than 24 hours and I wanted to reread it the second I finished it.
I loved everything about this book. The plot, the writing, the characters were all incredible. The characters were beautifully flawed and had some amazing and realistic development.
I’m rarely as emotionally invested in books as I was with The Bird and The Sword but I was basically shrieking the entire time I was reading this book.

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A Tyranny of Petticoats: 15 Stories of Belles, Bank Robbers & Other Badass Girls 
by Jessica Spotswood

Criss-cross America — on dogsleds and ships, stagecoaches and trains — from pirate ships off the coast of the Carolinas to the peace, love, and protests of 1960s Chicago. Join fifteen of today’s most talented writers of young adult literature on a thrill ride through history with American girls charting their own course. They are monsters and mediums, bodyguards and barkeeps, screenwriters and schoolteachers, heiresses and hobos. They’re making their own way in often-hostile lands, using every weapon in their arsenals, facing down murderers and marriage proposals. And they all have a story to tell.

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I loved A Tyranny of Petticoats! I really liked the diversity of the characters and I loved the writing styles of all the stories. I found all the stories to be compelling and interesting. I did think that pretty much all of the stories could have been full length novels and they would have been a bit better that way because a few of them were a little rushed and underdeveloped. But overall, I loved of the stories and I would definitely recommend.

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A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

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There’s so much development and change in this book. This isn’t any normal sequel. This is the perfect example of what a sequel should be. Sarah is an absolutely incredible story teller and creates such a magical and epic world in this series with amazing characters and draws the reader deep into the book and never let’s go. This book changed everything that I felt from the first book in the best possible way. Sarah let’s the plot develop in an organic way and breaks the walls of every stereotype that surrounds the YA/NA genres. If you haven’t read this series yet, I highly recommend it.

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Review: Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

28220892Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

Published September 20th 2016

In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.

In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling away again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.

But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair…

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I’m in love with Russian folklore so I extremely excited to read Vassa in the Night. It sounded amazing and I seen a bunch of great reviews so I had pretty high hopes.
I loved the modernization of such a classic Russian folklore and it was so bizarre and amazingly weird.
Vassa in the Night is set in America but I would have loved it if this was set in Russia.
The magic in this book is so insane and crazy, I loved it so much.
I didn’t find this book to have much of a plot. No one was really doing anything and the overall book seemed to to lean very heavily on the weirdness and magic.
I didn’t really all in love with the characters. I didn’t hate them but they just didn’t connect with me.
Overall, even though the plot and characters weren’t there, I loved the concept and everything else. If it didn’t have the Russian folklore aspect, this book would have been pretty boring.

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