Book Reviews 010

Hey guys! I am back with another book review post. These are all the books I’ve read since mid-July. If you want a quick recap of my thoughts on these books, you can check out my TikTok where I post quick reviews of all the books I’ve read in a month. The only book not in this list is Drums of Autumn. That book is apart of the Outlander series, so I will review it when I do the series as a whole.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

This is the first of two books based on favourites from my teenage years. This novel is a prequel to the Hunger Games series. It follows Coriolanus Snow, who becomes President Snow in the Hunger Games. Coriolanus is a mentor in the 10th Hunger Games and must help Lucy Gray, the female tribute from District 12.

I loved going back into the Hunger Games universe. I really enjoyed the world that Collins has created. This book shows the origins of a lot of aspects that are so important in the later novels. It was fun to find all the little Easter eggs within the book.

While I did enjoy reading about the universe again, I will say that this novel was a little too long. The story is just over 500 pages. And while I think it was a nice long ark and I don’t think that there are necessarily any passages that should be cut out, I do think that some things could have been paired down. There were just some small comments that were completely unnecessary. It would get tedious at times, so taking out some bits would have speed up the read.

When I don’t like the main character of a novel I usually don’t like the novel overall. But despite not liking Coriolanus I still rooted for him. I still wanted him to do well. He’s arrogant, selfish and a know-it-all. This book does a really good job of giving the backstory of President Snow.

*SPOILER* I liked how this romance was. Lucy and Coriolanus fall in love but you can tell it’s not that deep. It’s only circumstantial. So it makes sense that when they have the chance to be together it all falls apart. I loved that they tried to kill each other, it just makes so much sense.

So overall I rated the book a 3.5/5. A little long and I didn’t like Coriolanus, but I loved returning to the world and learning more. I also loved Lucy Gray. I would recommend this book for any fan of the Hunger Games.

The Siren by Kiera Cass

The Siren, Kiera Cass

I am a huge The Selection series fan, which was also written by Cass. So I had high expectations to say the less and I was quite disappointed.

The novel follows Kahlen, who is a siren. She works for the Ocean but luring humans to their together. By chance, she meets and falls in love with Akinli who is human, even though she can’t speak to him. I must say that I love the concept of Kahlen being a siren. She lives with a few other sirens and it was so interesting to learn about them. I wish she had developed the aspect of them being sirens more.

This has the potential to be an epic love story, but Kahlen spent most of the novel complaining! She was crying or sad or depressed. There were some create moments in the novel, like when she is in Port Clyde. I also loved her friendship with her siren sister Aisling. But in the end, I just wasn’t satisfied with how the novel finished.

Also wanted to note that this novel was written before The Selection series but published after they were out. And I think that shows. Cass was a young writer trying to figure out her grove during this book.

So I would give this book a 3/5. It has a great concept and some great moments, but the complaining was annoying. I would recommend this to anyone who is a Cass fan who wants to read her whole collection.

Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer

Midnight Sun, Stephenie Meyer, Twilight

Ahh, I loved Twilight when I was a teenager. I didn’t get into reading until I was a tween, so this was one of the first series that I fell in love with. I was new to reading so I was able to overlook a lot of the bad writing lol. But yes I love Twilight, saw all the movies opening weekend, had posters, collectors book and even necklaces with the book cover on it. So when I say that Stephanie Meyer released Midnight Sun I immediately purchased it.

Midnight Sun is a retelling of the first novel from the perspective of Edward. It was great to return to the Twilight universe and learn more. Because it’s from Edward’s perspective, the reader can learn so much more about the Cullen Clan. The clan is arguably my favourite part about the series so I enjoyed learning about them.

Because it’s also Edward who is narrating, the reader is to experience that it’s like for Edward to hear people’s thoughts. I love the sections where Edward is listening to people. It makes you change how you feel about characters. For example, I didn’t mind Jessica from Bella’s perspective, but she is a bitch from Edward’s perspective! So I really enjoyed that.

But MAN this novel was long, slow and repetitive. The first half of the book is just Edward complaining about how good Bella’s blood smells. After a while, I was just so tired of it. I think Meyer could cut out large sections of the novel and I would be happier.

Also, Edward is very controlling. You would think that hearing Edward’s rationale would make the reader maybe sympathize with him, but I couldn’t take it. He literally would watch everything that Bella did and didn’t believe she could do anything herself. I was more of Team Jacob when I was younger and I think this novel solidified how annoying Edward can be. I think he isn’t a bad character necessarily, just how he acts with Bella is just too much.

I would give this book a 3/5. Any Twilight fan has to read this novel. But this isn’t the best book out there.

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

The Truth About Forever, Sarah Dessen

I finished this book on Saturday so it’s not included in my August book review on TikTok. My friends and I were huge Sarah Dessen fans when we were teenagers. I think one of my friends has read all the books she published. I’ve read a few of her books and I had a few that I haven’t read yet on my shelves. I accidentally had this book on my to-read-shelf even though I’ve read it before. It took about 10 pages to realize that I have read this novel, but I couldn’t remember exactly what was going to happen so I decided to read the book anyway.

The story follows Macy, who struggles to deal with her grief her father while her boyfriend is away for the summer. She decided to take a job catering at Wish, where she befriends the chaotic crew and mysterious Wes. The novel is an ‘effortless perfect’ type, where Macy seems perfect but the reader realizes along with Macy that it’s okay to not be perfect and to be a real human.

This novel is like a Hallmark movie in the sense that there is some cheesiness and the ending is predictable. Everything works out and everyone is happy. I think there are some great moments. And I will admit that there were some moments where I teared up a bit. I don’t know what to say guys, I am a sucker for a Sarah Dessen novel.

So I would give this a 4/5. Yes, it’s cheesy and predictable but I still thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

And those are my book reviews guys! Woo, that was a lot. I am currently reading the Throne of Glass series, so I won’t have another book review until I’m done. But at the rate I’m going it might not be that long haha.

xoxo

Lea

Book Review 009

Hey guys! Today I am back with another book review! I am pretty impressed within myself that these book reviews are almost becoming a monthly occurrence. If you want to see more book content, check out my TikTok (@leaveittolea) because it’s slowly becoming a booktok account haha. So today I have three books, two older ones and one recent bestseller.

Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony

book, restoring harmony, joelle anthony

You know I bought this book a while ago by the fact that I got this through Scholastics hahaha. This stand-alone dystopian novel follows Molly as she travels from Canada to the US to bring her grandparents back home. Along the way she befriends Spill, a mysterious boy who helps her out.

First I enjoyed the fact that this was a stand-alone novel and didn’t focus on toppling some corrupt government. I find that’s all YA dystopian novels seem to be so this was refreshing in a sense. I also found the reasoning behind the current situation was quick reasonable and realistic, but I do wish it was explained a bit more. But that’s a difference between YA and adult novels, is that YA focuses on relationships while adult focuses on the world more.

Now I found the main character Molly to be a little one dimensional. Her one trait was that she was quick naive. This caused her to be kind to everyone and get into trouble. I wish there was just more depth to Molly because I just found her annoyingly stupid at times. Also, she’s into farming so there would be sections that just focused on farming. I often find myself going “okay let’s finish farming and get on with it”.

I decided to give this a 3/5. I enjoyed it but it wasn’t anything mind-blowing. If you are a big fan of dystopian novels then check this out.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

book, where the crawdads sing, delia owens

So I had high expectations going into this novel because it was on the top of the New York Times bestseller list for months. And honestly? I was kind of let down. Like I thought this was going to be like Educated by Tara Westover where I was blown away and made me think and question everything. And while I did cry at the end for the majority of the novel I was bored! Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Where the Crawdads Sing follows two timelines that slowly intertwine through the novel. The one timeline follows Kya, a girl who lives by herself in a marsh after her family abandoned her. The other follows the murder of Chase Andrews, who lived in the same small town as Kya. As the novel progresses, Kya grows older and we learn of her relationship with Chase.

So first when you hear that there was a murder you would think it would play a bigger part of the story. I love a good thriller, but the murder was the secondary plotline. A large part of the novel is actually the descriptions of the marsh landscape. The passages were beautifully written but were so numerous that I got so bored. After I finished the novel I found out that Owens is a zoologist who was written many nature books so it all made sense.

I think I would summarize my feelings towards this novel as bored for the majority of the time. Yes, there were some sad parts where I cried and yes there were some nice romantic parts. The majority of the novel was descriptions of the landscape or descriptions of Kya’s loneliness which I didn’t find very captivating. I think some readers might connect with Kya more and would therefore enjoy the novel more but I didn’t have that.

I gave this a novel a 3/5. The ending saved this novel from being any lower because it did make me cry. I think that if you enjoy nature descriptions than you would enjoy this novel. Or if you are someone who resonates with stories of being alone or distanced then you might enjoy it as well. But to be fair I seem to be in the minority because most people on Goodreads absolutely love this book. So proceed with caution is all I will say.

Hunger Journeys by Maggie de Vries

book, books, hunger journeys, maggie de vries

This book was really interesting! First, Maggie de Vries is Canadian and I love supporting my fellow Canadians. As well, I’ve read many novels set during World War 2, but nothing from a Dutch, non-Jewish perspective. The war impacted everyone’s lives and I didn’t know that much about what happened to the Netherlands during this time. I’ve been to Amsterdam and visited the Dutch countryside so it was fun to read a novel of a place I’ve visited and be able to visualize where they were.

The story follows Lena as she travels from her hometown of Amsterdam to Almelo with her friend Sofie to find food for her family. Along the way, they befriend two German soldiers. Lena also develops connections to the Dutch resistance.

I think what was interesting is that all the characters were flawed. Even Lena was flawed and she struggled with her flaws throughout the novel. There were moments where I liked Lena and Sofie and other moments where they annoyed me. The only thing is that there was very little character development throughout the novel. I would Lena developed a little by the end but Sofie was annoying throughout.

My other major issue with the novel was how rushed the ending was! So many events and changes happened to the girls and then everything was just over? I was just left wanting more.

Overall I would rate this a 3/5. I was really interesting compared to other war novels I’ve read, but the lack of character development and the rushed ending made the book average.

And those are the books I’ve read. As always, let me know some of your book recommendations! I have a long to-read list but I can always add more books to it haha.

xoxo

Lea

Book Review 008

Hey guys! I am back with another book review! I am pretty proud of myself, I now read books at the rate of 1 per week/week and a half. I never had the energy to read when I was in school, but now that’s I’m done it’s all I want to do. Today I have four books, one stand-alone and series.

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

I believe that my mom got this for me either for my birthday or Christmas a year or two ago. After reading The Woman on the Train a couple of years ago I’ve gotten into adult mystery/thriller dramas. It makes sense since I enjoy watching thriller movies. This one was okay. The story follows Dr. Anna Fox, an agoraphobe (someone who is afraid of leaving their home/crowded places) who witnesses a brutal crime in her neighbours’ house.

I liked Anna, the main character. Finn really plays up the unreliable narrative aspect of Anna, so I was supposed to question what Anna was thinking. But because I liked her I couldn’t help but believe her. It was also interesting to read about an agoraphobe during a pandemic because Anna was too scared to leave her house and I wasn’t supposed to leave my house.

I found that not a lot happened throughout the novel. And when stuff did happen it wasn’t that exciting or impactful. I also found the twist at the ending that amazing. I didn’t guess it, but it wasn’t very satisfying.

I am giving this book a 3/5. I enjoyed it, but there are better thriller novels out there.

The Lacey Chronicles by Eve Edwards

I like to review series altogether, because realistically who reads the 3rd novel of a series if they didn’t read the rest? Some books in a series are better than others, but I like to recommend them as a whole. So overall I give The Lacey Chronicles a 4/5 and will break it down.

The first novel, The Other Countess, follows Ellie and Will. Ellie is the daughter of a Spanish Countess and English alchemist. Will is the Earl of Dorset. Will hates Ellie because her father financially ruined her late father. The second novel, The Queen’s Lady follows Jane and Will’s younger brother James. Jane is a widow and the newest lady in waiting to Queen Elizabeth and James is setting sails to the Americas. The final novel, The Rogue’s Princess, follows Kit and Mercy. Kit is the illegitimate brother of Will and James and a famous actor in London. Mercy is the daughter of a rich, Puritan merchant.

As you can tell, all three novels are historical romances. What I really like about them is that they focus on aspects that are not always common in YA historical novels. The novels discuss alchemy, death, racism and religion. They are not deep dives into these topics, but they give more than some other novels. For example, an important secondary novel in the second book is Diego. He is a black man who was stolen from Africa and is a servant to Will and James. Edwards gives Diego autonomy by writing in his perspective and he is integral to the storyline instead of just being a token black person. Now I will say that Edwards doesn’t necessarily dives deep into these topics, but I appreciate that she at least mentions them instead of leaving them out.

It’s hard for me to pick a favourite. I like the main characters in the first the most, but I found that the first lacked the depth and complexity of some of the later novels. I give this series because I think it’s some of the best YA historical fiction I’ve read. But I wouldn’t say it’s genre-breaking, so it isn’t a 5/5. If you like historical fiction I highly recommend you read this series.

And those are the books I read. With every book review, please let me know in the comments what are some of your favourite books or books that you have read recently.

xoxo

Lea

Book Review 007

Hey guys! Today I am back with another book review. Today I have three books! I am very impressed with how much I have been able to read lately. I am making up for the fact that it took me four months to read one book. ūüėā

book review 007 1 (2)

I have also decided to instill a rating system to help give some structure to my reviews. 5/5 is amazing everyone should read. 4/5 is pretty good but not perfect. 3/5 is not bad, if you are interested in the novel then read it but not wow everyone needs to read it. 2/5 is major issues but I was still able to finish the book. 1/5 is trash but I finished the book still. 0/5 would be for a book I didn’t finish.

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

book review 007 1 (1)

I actually wrote my first book review on the first novel, The Handmaid’s Tale! I have since watched the tv show and I love the tv show. I know it’s not for everyone, but media academic in me absolutely adores the tv show.¬† It also won the Man Booker Prize AND was Goodreads Best Fiction of 2019. All of this preamble is to say that I had high hopes going into this novel.

Well it did not disappoint. I quickly settled into the world of Gilead again. This novel is set 15 years since The Handmaid’s Tale and follows the story of three woman: Aunt Lydia, Agnes and Daisy. The novel borrows aspects from the tv show but some things are different than the show. I think having watched the tv show will help the reader, but having not seen wouldn’t hinder someone.

I liked all three of the main characters. Atwood did an amazing job of creating complex characters. I liked them but also would get frustrated with them, just like real people. I also like how the characters point-of-view can change my feelings on a character. For example, I generally liked Agnes, but found her annoying from Daisy’s point-of-view. I think this highlights how important people’s perspectives are.

I found this book¬†way more readable compared to the first novel. One of my comments on the previous novel was that I found some passages to be a little too description and heavy with literary devices. This novel did have some, but it was mostly Aunt Lydia’s sections that had it. It was in small enough doses that I found it interesting. I think the average reader would find the novel easy to read.

Overall I was happy with the ending. I’m sure some people might be disappointed. But this novel is not about the fall of Gilead but the build up to it. I also found the epilogue to be super satisfying for me personally.

Overall I give this novel a 4.5/5. I think this novel was well written and the themes are super important. But I do realize that this novel deals with some heavy themes are just not for everyone.

The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

book review 007 1 (4)

So I bought this novel when I was a teenager – this book was published in 2013. I know Kiersten White is famous for her Paranormalcy series and I heard good reviews about that series so I thought this book would be good.

It’s not yet I still couldn’t put the book down.

This book is confusing. Isadora is the human daughter or Egyptian gods, and she moves to California to live with her brother. Unless you know a lot about Egyptian gods this book is very confusing. By the end of the book I can say I have a better understanding on Egyptian mythology, but I had to do a lot of Googling at the beginning because White didn’t explain anything very well.

The exposition wasn’t very great and the conflict was very flat throughout the novel. Like this is such an interesting concept and White didn’t do anything interesting with it!

Also none of the characters felt real. Isadora was infuriating and I didn’t connect with her whatsoever. She was just annoying and nothing is worst than an annoying protagonist, especially when it’s a first-person novel. Ry, the love interest, was so idolized that he didn’t feel real. Their romance was just so fake.

I predicted the big reveal at the ending. I think it’s fine to be able to predict the ending but it has to be satisfying. I can always predict at the end of a Hallmark romance movie that the girl and guy will get together, but if they did a good job of setting up the romance it will be satisfying. This end was just flat because there was a lack of conflict leading up to it.

BUT despite all the flaws I was still hooked into the novel. I kept finding myself wanting to read the novel to find out what was going to happen. I think because of the lack of a good plot line I was always hoping it would get better but it didn’t.

Overall I would give this a 2/5. It was pretty bad and I wouldn’t recommend it. But I still finished it and enjoyed the book even though it was so bad.

Educated by Tara Westover

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This book has been on my to-read list for a while. It’s a best-selling novel – last I checked it’s at number two on the non-fiction list. There is a lot of hype around the novel.

The book is a memoir of Westover’s life growing up in a Mormon survivalist household. Her father rejects many Western conventions such as public education and health care because he is afraid of the government. She grows up in rural Idaho with her six older siblings. The story follows her life and how she progressively receives higher education.

The book is a real slow burn at the beginning. It took me a couple of days to get through the first 150 pages. But I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing because it made me sit and reflect on what I was reading. But once you settle into Westover’s novel I became hooked, and read the last 100 pages in on sitting.

The content can be quite shocking. Tara Westover is the victim of much violence from one of her problems. Many of her family members, including herself, and subject to horrible injuries that are described in much detail. So I wouldn’t recommend this novel if violence and gore and aspects you steer clear of.

Much of the violence and injury is because Westover’s father puts his faith before the safety of his family. This is one passage that Westover discusses this that made me sit back and think. Westover is figuring out her religion and her relationship with her family, which is oftentimes at odds against the education that she is seeking.

I also want to note that this is a memoir, which is a tricky vehicle of storytelling because it’s one-sided. I do like that Westover acknowledges the issues with her memory. Many times she has footnotes describing how she and members of her family remember an event differently. I like that she included these notes in her book.

Overall I think this is a good book. It’s hard to say I¬†enjoyed parts of the novel because it can be hard to read about people’s trauma. But I liked that this book made me sit and think about themes such as religion, family and education. I would give the memoir a 4/5. I don’t think everyone would love this book, but I think it’s an important book and I’m glad I read it.

And those are my book reviews guys! Totally opposite books haha. Let me know what you have been reading lately or if you have any book recommendations for me!

xoxo

Lea

Book Review 006

Hey guys! Today I am here with another book review. One of the few good things about quarantine is that I have more time to read. Hopefully, I will be posting book reviews more frequently.

book review 006

Today’s book is Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors. I have read Coffeehouse Angel by Selfors as well, but I can’t remember the plot or my thoughts about the novel. It’s an older novel, published in 2011. I bought this when I was a teenager and just now got around to reading it.

I picked this novel because I wanted something light and easy. Like a Hallmark movie that is easy and has a happy ending. WELL, this novel is not what I expected.

Description: The main character, Alice, is the daughter of a best-selling romance author. But her mother has been secretly hospitalized for mental illness. Alice needs to write a new book for her mother. Alice meets Errol, a stranger who claims to be Cupid and has a story for her to write.

Now maybe I just misread the except, but I thought Alice was going to be writing the novel near the beginning of the novel. But it takes a while to get going. During the first half of the novel, I was wondering when they were going to get to the book writing back.

The book is very readable. So while I was waiting for the plot to speed up, I still was going through the book quickly. The tempo was good that I was always wanting to pick up the book and learn what was going to happen next.

Now I thought this book was going to be a romance novel, so I was disappointed when the romance was a secondary plot. Tony, the love interest, is cute and I liked him. But I was left wanting more.

The main theme/point of the novel was mental illness. Alice’s mother is bipolar. Throughout the novel, Alice is dealing with her relationship with her mother. She is also afraid that she is going to inherit her mother’s disease, which complicates her relationship with Errol.

It’s hard because this novel is nine years ago and society’s views and opinions on mental health have come a long way since this book came out. I think at the time it was one of the first YA novels discussing it, so I think that’s good that it broke down the stigma. But I think our understanding of mental illness has changed since the book came out and so some things are outdated. This is just something to keep in mind – especially since I didn’t know the novel was going to focus so much on this when going into it.

There is also some magical realism in the novel with the character Errol being Cupid. While I understand that Alice was reluctant to believe Errol because of her fear of mental illness, I also found it infuriating. I was like come on, just accept it and let’s move on. I also wanted more. I felt that the magical realism was very surface level and wasn’t explained very thoroughly. I think Selfors could have taken away from other side characters to have better told Errol’s story.

What I loved most about the novel is the cast of characters. They are all so different and not what you see in an average teen romance. I enjoyed all the characters and thought most of them were more multidimensional than the main character. I also liked how all the characters plot-lines ended.

My overall thoughts were that I enjoyed the book even though it wasn’t what I expected going into it. I was hooked and wanted to know what going to happen next. I would recommend this book if you are interested in reading a YA novel about mental illness. Like I mentioned it’s a little outdated but still cute.

And that is my review! Let me know if you have read this novel and what your thoughts were. I am also currently reading The Testaments by Margaret Atwood and I’m also done so there should be another book review soon.

xoxo

Lea

Book Review 005

Hey guys! Today I am reviewing the books that I read over my holidays. I finished another book that is apart of a series, so I will post that review once I finish the full series. For now, I have two cute little YA novels that both made me cry.

jan 2020 2

The first book is¬†Life As It Comes by Anne-Laure Bondoux. This book from France and has been translated into English. The translator did a great job, it didn’t notice at all that it was a translation. Overall the novel is very easy to read. I read it in two days but could have easily read it in one. The language is simple and flows quite easily, so I found myself breezing through the pages.

The story is also very simple on the surface, but the emotions and themes are much deeper. The story follows two sisters, Mado and Patty, during the first summer after their parents have died. It’s a coming of age story but focuses on death and life and the bond between sisters. It made me really sit back and think sometimes, and I found myself reflecting on the story when I was doing other things. It’s a young adult novel but still grabs my attention now that I’m older. Overall I think it was a very short and sweet novel. It’s perfect for a quick read on the beach.

jan 2020

The second novel I read was Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott. The novel follows two teens with cystic fibrosis, Stella and Will. As someone who has done fundraising for cystic fibrosis, I wanted to read this novel to learn more about the disease. I would probably recommend doing some research about CF before reading the novel. Otherwise you may find yourself having to do some research as you read. I was fine since I knew about CF, but just a recommendation.

I love the characters. Lippincott created a small cast but made the characters so complex. I fell in love with all the characters, despite their flaws. This show is also quite heavy, dealing with the philosophy of death and living. This was also a very emotional novel. I was reading this book on the beach, and I was casually sobbing at the end. ūüėā The novel does have happy and bright moments, but I will say that the overall tone of the novel is very pensive and sad. Now I won’t spoil the ending, but I will say that while it wasn’t perfect and happy, I still liked the ending. It felt like the right ending. I would definitely recommend this novel, but it’s more of a curled by the fire book than a beach book haha.

And that’s my thoughts on these two novels. Let me know some of your recent favourite books in the comments, I’m always looking for some to add to my reading list!

xoxo

Lea

Six Summer Reading Recommendations

Hey guys! We are half way through summer, and by now you might have already read through your summer reading list. So I have six recommendations, two of which are series, to add to your list. For me, the perfect summer book is easy to read, has a compelling story line that makes me want to binge-read and a little bit of romance. I want to preface that if you are looking for serious, thought-provoking books, this isn’t really the list for you (except maybe the last one). Most of these are light and fun, but I did try to put some variety in the list. Anyways, my recommendations:

summer reading recs

Classic Beach Read – Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

This is a classic beach read in the sense that it’s a YA chick-flick kind of book. The story is about a girl named Anna who moves from the US to attend a boarding school in France. She (of course) develops a friendship/crush on a British boy, and the rom-com ensues. The story is easy to read and quite absorbing, but the French boarding school element adds some variety. I was able to learn a little bit about Paris and France, so it added something to being just a simple novel. Now this book isn’t for everyone, but it is totally cheesy and can be a little much sometime, but sometimes that’s just what I’m looking for.

Classic Beach Read x 3 –¬†To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before¬†series by Jenny Han

If you want to read a full review of this series, check out my blog post about it! This series is perfect for summer because it’s simple and easy to read. It’s cheesy, with tons of those moments that give you second hand embarrassment. But the scenes with Peter K are just so cute and worth it. I read through this novels pretty quick, and now I’m excited to watch the movie!

The Bachelor Meets Hunger Games – The Selection series by Kiera Cass

This series was my summer read for a couple of summers. I read the books as they came out, so it was a new book in the series each summer. I just associate these books with summer for some reason! Anyways, the series is about a future with a caste system (similar to Hunger games). A bunch of girls compete to win the prince’s love and become a princess (Bachelor). This book is just super fun to read. There are so many twists and turns, but also just some petty girl drama as well. The series does have some political commentary, but it’s pretty obvious and surface level. The plot line is just so unlike other YA novels that I had a lot of fun reading it.

YA Contemporary with a Twist – Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

This is different that your average YA novel because the main character, Samantha, has OCD. It has the foundation of your average novel with the high school drama and the romance, but it also tackles many important issues with mental health and illness. I found this book addicting because I wanted to read more about the romance but I also wanted to learn more about Samantha and how she deals with her OCD. This novel also has a wild plot twist near the end, so this novel is truely a roller-coaster ride.

Groundhog Day meets Mean Girls but darker РBefore I Fall by Lauren Oliver

The movie doesn’t do this book justice. Like it was good, but there is so much more depth in the novel. The novel follows the story of Sam, bitchy mean girl who dies on February 12 and relives the day multiple times. Sam is such a well developed character – you like her and you hate her at the same time. I was extremely absorbed into the plot line, I kept on wanting to know what Sam would do when she woke up again. This story is so interesting and so unlike anything else I’ve read. I read this novel back in high school, and I still sometimes think about passages in the novel. It’s thought-provoking, and¬†that ending. Man I cried. Just read the book and don’t watch the movie.

An Addictive ‘What If’ –¬†Every Day by David Levithan

This book makes you think without going too deep. The story follows ‘A’ who wakes up every day in a new body – male and female but always the same age. ‘A’ falls in love with a girl named Rhiannon, and they try to make their relationship work amist ‘A’ interesting circumstances. This is a novel where I actually find the romance to be some of the least interesting part. I was always curious to see what body ‘A’ will wake up in. But what I like most about this novel is the philosophical debates that Levithan brings forward to the reader. The book discusses gender, disability, and mental health. It also discusses being a bystander and when to step in. I often found myself sitting and thinking about aspects of this novel. Yes there are some technical plot holes (you never really understand how A is the way it is) but I was so addictive to this novel. The writing is simple and something you will just speed through.

And those are my six summer reads recommendations! Let me know if you guys liked this type of post, I can do other ones like historical-fiction or series or even my all time fave books!

xoxo

Lea

 

Book Review 004

Hey guys! I am back with another book review! I recently finished the¬†To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy by Jenny Han. I know I’m a little late to the game with these books (the movie is now almost a year old lol) but it’s never too late for a good book. If you were like me and haven’t read these books yet, I highly recommend you go out and read them!

july 2019

The books revolve around a girl named Lara Jean. She has written all these letters to boys she has had a crush on, and one day they mysteriously get sent out. The first book is about her dealing with the letters getting sent out, which results in a fake relationship with one of the boys, Peter K. *Spoilers* the next two novels are about Lara Jean’s relationship with Peter K.

Now I am a such for cheesy YA rom-com type novels. I have read my fair share of Sarah Dessen novels. These types of novels are nice for an easy read, and this trilogy did not disappoint in the romantic tribulations department. I personally ship Lara Jean and Peter K. But what I also enjoy is that Han spends the next two novels actually developing their relationship. Often times YA romances can be pretty flat, and when once the couple gets together. Han goes beyond this stage, which I found refreshing.

Han also did an amazing job of balancing the romantic scenes with other aspects. Lara Jean’s relationship with her sisters are an important part of the novel, and one that I really enjoyed. It helps show that romantic love is not the only type of love, but that the bond between siblings is just as, if not more, important.

I like Han’s writing style as well. It’s simple and easy to read. I like she created a very likable character with Lara Jean. Which I find funny because I personally hated the main character in Han’s other series,¬†The Summer I Turned Pretty.¬†If you were like me and didn’t like that series, this one is much different.

Overall I really enjoyed these novels. Now I’m going to watch the movie! Let me know in the comments what you are currently reading! I just started¬†Outlander, so don’t expect any new book reviews for awhile haha!

xoxo

Lea

Book Review 003

Hey guys! So today’s book review is actually books I read for an English class I took in university! I liked English in high school, but was always scared to take it in university. After talking to a few English majors, I decided to try it out! The class was longer genres, so they were actual novels versus poetry or short stories. In the end I really enjoyed the class, and there are a few books I would recommend from the class!

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The first book we read was Klee Wyck by Emily Carr. Carr is more well-known as being a Canadian landscape painter, but she also did write a few novels.¬†Klee Wyck is an extremely interesting novel because it’s a memoir of sorts that won many awards after Carr’s death. The novel was censored, removing any parts that was critical of European missionaries. It wasn’t until 2004 that the original text was published again.¬†Klee Wyck is a series of stories about Carr, British Columbia and the Indigenous people of the region. Carr explores the idea of how she, as a white women, can oppose the horrible treatment of the Indigenous people yet also profit from it at the same time. I would recommend this novel to anyone who wants to learn more about the relationship between colonization and the Indigenous people of Canada.

The second novel I read was another Canadian classic.¬†Generals Die in Bed by Charles Yale Harrison was highly criticized at the time of being published because it doesn’t glorify war. It tries to show the reader how war isn’t like the romantic version people had heard back home. I really liked this book, especially the style of writing. The details about the narrator are very minimal, allowing the reader to better put themselves into the narrator’s shoes. The writing is also very simple and easy to read. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in World War 2, especially the darker/gritter side of war.

Probably my favourite book from my class was¬†Animal Farm¬†by George Orwell. This book is a classic for a reason.¬†Animal Farm is a satirical novel, using animals to critic Stalin and the Soviet Union. The references are strong enough that anyone who knows some modern history can get them, but they are not so strong that they get in the way of enjoying the story. This is the perfect book for an English class, because it is rich enough to write about but still enjoyable to read. I think this would also be a good book for pleasure reading as well. While the writing is a little dated, it is meant to be read as a children’s book, so the language is quite simple. After reading¬†Animal Farm, I am quite interested in now reading¬†1984.¬†

My least favourite piece was a play called¬†Endgame by Samuel Beckett. This play is apart of the genre theatre of the absurd, which is basically the theatre version of surrealism or dadaism. Basically nothing makes sense. The play is supposed to be a comment on existentialism, but like¬†I didn’t get it. The play was very cyclical, just repeating the same things over and over again without ever really making a point. I don’t even know how to describe or critique this play because it¬†makes no sense. Save yourself the headache and don’t read this.

The next book is¬†July’s People by Nadine Gordimer. Written in the 1980s, this novel was Gordimer’s prediction of what a post-Apartheid South Africa would look like. Unlike the past four novels, where I knew a decent amount about the subject matter, at the time I didn’t know much about South Africa. I have since made some South African friends (shoutout to Contiki for being us together) and now I feel more conflicted about this novel. I do think it some ways it reflects on identity in an interesting way, and it worked nicely with the other novels were studied in our class. I just think there are better novels about this subject out there. Also the writing is outdated and full of South African slang that I had no idea about. Very hard to read, wouldn’t recommend.

The final novel I read was¬†Obasan by Joy Kogawa. The novel is about the interment and persecution of Japanese-Canadians during the second world war. While I didn’t know much about this subject going into this book, I felt like by the end I knew more about the topic. The story is a girl named Naomi, and switches between her experiences as a child and an adult. The story is simply and beautifully written. They are some more lyrical passages, which would be helpful to use if analyzing the novel. Overall I found the story very compelling, and I really enjoyed the novel!

And those were the books that I read for my English class! I just finished the¬†To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series recently, so expect another book review real soon!

xoxo

Lea

Book Review 002

Hey guys! I know it’s been awhile since my last book review, and that’s because it has taken me¬†forever to finish the series in today’s post. I started the first book back in August and I just finished the last book a couple weeks ago. To be fair, I do find it harder to read during the school year, especially when I am also binging a tv show. Even though this series took me forever to read, I still absolutely loved it. Today’s book review is going to be on the¬†Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard.

feb 2019 002

The¬†Red Queen¬†series is comprised of four novels:¬†Red Queen,¬†Glass Sword, King’s Cage¬†and¬†War Storm. The story is set in the future where the world is divided by two types of blood – red and silver. Those with silver blood have superpowers and have enslaved the regular red bloods. The main character, Mare, discovers that she has a third type of blood which enables her and others to have stronger powers than those with silver blood. Mare is forced to pretend she is a long-lost princess in the first book, and the following books focus on a civil war breaking out through the country.

If I were to sum up this book, I would say it’s¬†Game of Thrones with¬†superpowers. I think my favourite part of this whole series is the world that Aveyard has created. It has many political elements that makes¬†GoT¬†so popular, like having a bunch of different royal houses. The super powers are what makes this novel stand out. Each house a different power, and then the newbloods (which the main character Mare is) all have very unique powers. Aveyard’s descriptions of the powers are amazing, so much that I can picture what it would be like to control fire, water, electricity, etc.

I think Aveyard did a great job of developing the characters throughout the series. The characters had depth and had flaws, making them more life-like. Mare is a quite negative and cynical character, which sometimes made her insufferable but it is also understandable given all that she goes through the series. Also I loved Cal, her love interest. Like I want a Cal in my life haha.

The only negative for me is that this series, especially the last two novels, are very long and drawn out. The third book was definitely my least favourite because I found it pretty repetitive. I honestly found some parts of it boring. The other thing I didn’t was that while the last too books are drawn out I found the ending rushed. *Minor spoiler* there are a ton of battles within the later books, and the climax of the book is a battle scene. Compared to some of the others in this series, I found that the last one was very quick in comparison. I also found the ending very incomplete. Now this might be so Aveyard can produce a sequel series in the future, but either way I was not very satisfied by the ending.

Overall I really liked this series, mainly because of the amazing world that Aveyard created. If you are looking for a fantasy, dystonia novel with some¬†Game of Thrones level politics, then I would definitely recommend this book. I wouldn’t say this would be everyone’s cup of tea, but if this book sounds interesting to you then I would definitely recommend it because then you would probably love it.

And that is my book review! I will hopefully have another book review coming up within a couple weeks of all the books I read in my English class last semester.

xoxo

Lea