Replica Review

January 12, 2017 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★

Replica ReviewReplica (Replica, #1) by Lauren Oliver
Published by HarperCollins on October 4th 2016
Pages: 544
Source: Library
Also by this author: Before I Fall
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Goodreads
three-stars
Two girls, two stories, one epic novel
From Lauren Oliver, New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy, comes an epic, masterful novel that explores issues of individuality, identity, and humanity. Replica is a “flip book" that contains two narratives in one, and it is the first in a duology. Turn the book one way and read Lyra's story; turn the book over and upside down and read Gemma's story. The stories can be read separately, one after the other, or in alternating chapters. The two distinct parts of this astonishing novel combine to produce an unforgettable journey. Even the innovative book jacket mirrors and extends the reading experience.
Lyra's story begins in the Haven Institute, a building tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida that from a distance looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, Haven is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed. When a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects—Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72—manage to escape.
Gemma has been in and out of hospitals for as long as she can remember. A lonely teen, her life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April. But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family's past and discovers her father's mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two replicas and a completely new set of questions.
While the stories of Lyra and Gemma mirror each other, each contains breathtaking revelations critically important to the other story. Replica is an ambitious, thought-provoking masterwork.

I’m not a big Science Fiction reader, but I knew that I had to give Replica a try once I heard that it was a “flip book.” In this case, if you read the book from one side, you get one of the girl’s perspective. Then when you turn it over and flip it upside down, you get the other perspective. With this type of layout, you can really read it in the style that appeals to you. I personally read it by alternating between Gemma and Lyra every chapter, but that definitely requires a lot of flipping on your part. I liked doing it this way because the stories do start to come together at a certain point in the novel, and so I think it’s helpful to be able to see what each girl is thinking about these similar situations that they face. Though it wasn’t my favorite, I have to admit that Replica is still a unique and cool concept. I will likely read the next book in this duology just to see how things end up for Gemma and Lyra.

Gemma was easily my favorite character out of the two girls. I felt her to be much more relatable, and I’m sure that other teenagers who’ve also been through high school will probably think the same. She’s your pretty average awkward high schooler who is dealing with some awful and disgusting bullying due to her weight. Though this is a Science Fiction book, Gemma’s perspective does make this seem a lot closer to a contemporary novel, which is something that really stuck out to me about the story. Gemma was a consistently solid and memorable character as the book progressed. She was honestly the reason why I pushed through some of the more boring parts of the story.

On the other hand, Lyra was not as easy to warm up to as Gemma. This might be just me, but I had a difficult time with being able to truly cheer for this character. Yes, I realize that she’s had a tough life and I was totally able to sympathize with her, but that doesn’t change the fact that a lot of her chapters were straight up boring. Her character was also very closed off and extremely brainwashed, which obviously isn’t her fault, but it still made it difficult for me to become invested in her. I don’t know exactly how to explain it, but she wasn’t my favorite to say the least. Her chapters were typically shorter than Gemma’s, so they did go by relatively fast, I just wish the pace itself moved faster than it did.

There is quite a bit of romance in this book for both of these girls. As you can probably guess by now, I also enjoyed Gemma’s romance a lot more than I did Lyra’s. I felt like Gemma’s romance happened at a much more realistic and convincing pace. There was no insta-love, Gemma had little to no interest in Pete at the beginning of the novel, but she slowly warms up to him which I loved seeing. Pete also wasn’t your typical love interest, which I thought was refreshing. I have a soft stop for nerds, and Pete totally fits into that category easily. I wasn’t completely convinced by Lyra’s romance. I felt like it progressed WAY too quickly. Lyra has been taught for most of her existence that love isn’t a thing yet she’s suddenly able to almost automatically confess her love for someone that she barely even knows? It didn’t feel the least bit realistic to me.

I wouldn’t note this as being one of my favorites or anything, but it was still a decent book nonetheless. It took me a lot longer to read than it takes me to read most books. I think this was mostly due to the kind of slow start that happens in both of the perspectives. Once it got started though, the book did become a lot more intriguing to me. I doubt that this genre will ever become my thing, but I’m still happy that I read it in spite of this. This is my first Lauren Oliver and I don’t plan on it being the last one. I’m for sure going to pick up Before I Fall before the movie comes out in a couple of months! Anyway, I do recommend this, but only if you don’t mind books that have a slower pace at the beginning.

three-stars

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ARC Review: The Secret of a Heart Note

January 11, 2017 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★★

ARC Review: The Secret of a Heart NoteThe Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on December 27th 2016
Pages: 384
Source: Edelweiss
Also by this author: Outrun the Moon
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

An evocative novel about a teen aroma expert who uses her extrasensitive sense of smell to mix perfumes that help others fall in love while protecting her own heart at all costs
Sometimes love is right under your nose. As one of only two aromateurs left on the planet, sixteen-year-old Mimosa knows what her future holds: a lifetime of weeding, mixing love elixirs, and matchmaking—all while remaining incurably alone. For Mim, the rules are clear: falling in love would render her nose useless, taking away her one great talent. Still, Mimosa doesn’t want to spend her life elbow-deep in soil and begonias. She dreams of a normal high school experience with friends, sports practices, debate club, and even a boyfriend. But when she accidentally gives an elixir to the wrong woman and has to rely on the lovesick woman’s son, the school soccer star, to help fix the situation, Mim quickly begins to realize that falling in love isn’t always a choice you can make.
At once hopeful, funny, and romantic, Stacey Lee’s The Secret of a Heart Note is a richly evocative coming-of-age story that gives a fresh perspective on falling in love and finding one’s place in the world.

So Stacey Lee’s book Outrun the Moon was one of the only non-contemporary books that I really enjoyed last year. It had a memorable and touching plot, and also an incredible main character. Although this book is absolutely nothing like her last book, I knew that I had to pick up this one since it has more of a romance and contemporary vibe to it. Besides, Stacey Lee is such a beautiful writer, I can already tell that I’m going to be picking up basically anything that she writes. The Secret of a Heart Note was a fast paced and well written book all around. I highly recommend it if you don’t mind a little bit of magical realism. It’s a great and fun read overall!

Mimosa or Mim was such a cool character, and I loved her right off the bat. She’s such an honest and real character. She has her flaws for sure, but she always means well. I definitely sympathized with Mim as she longed to fit in at her school. Being an aromateur, or a love witch (what the kids call her) can’t be an easy job, but she does the best that she can. Her and her mom are the only aromateurs that are left. They both have an extremely sensitive sense of smell and they use that to mix special perfumes that help the right people fall in love. Though Mim does enjoy her job to an extent, she also wants to be a typical teenager, not someone that most teens are afraid of being around. I feel like a lot of teens can relate to her desire to fit in on some level. She’s a realistic and fascinating character. She’s certainly one that I’m not going to be forgetting anytime soon!

You guys, the romance in this book is all kinds of different levels of adorable. I absolutely loved it and felt like it couldn’t have been written any better. It’s actually a rather small part of the novel in the grand scheme of everything else. However, I still liked it anyway because of how subtle yet memorable it turned out to be for me. Court is just a downright nice guy, though I would have enjoyed learning and seeing more of him in the book. But I have to say that I completely understand that this is Mim’s story, not Court’s. So in the beginning, Mim is afraid of letting him in because boys automatically get a crush on her if she accidentally contaminates them with her perfume somehow. She keeps a special perfume that her and her best friend call “Boy Be Gone” which gets rid of the feelings. This side of things make it very complicated once she falls for Court.

There’s a lot of themes in this book that ultimately stay with you as a reader. One theme is the friendship that Mim has with her best friend Kali. Kali is pretty much Mim’s only friend, but she’s an incredible one to her. I really thought this friendship was beautiful and real all the way around. It wasn’t a perfect one, but what friendship or relationship in general ever is? I thought Kali was a fabulously diverse and fantastic character, and her friendship with Mim was fun to read about. Another theme revolves around family. Mim’s mom is nothing but tough on her about pretty much everything. This makes it basically impossible to have a normal teen life with her mom constantly pushing her and wanting something from her. This might seem like your typical teen parental problems, but I felt like it was much more complicated and compelling than just that. We also have the relationship between Mim’s mom and her twin sister, who gave up being an aromateur for love, which caused the sisters to stop speaking. I thought this was another unique and cool theme to have.

As a whole, I’m happy that I read this one. I honestly wasn’t sure if I’d like it since I’ve never read a magical realism story before. I thought I’d take a chance on this author since it paid off the first time around, and it definitely paid off this time as well. Have I mentioned that I’m happy that I read this one yet? I also don’t really care much about scents or flowers, but Lee made me actually care about all of this information. Though an aromateur isn’t an actual thing, it still seemed like the author did so much research on what it was. In other words, she made it seem totally real to me, which isn’t an easy thing for an author to achieve. This should really be a book that you don’t miss and I recommend trying her other stories while you’re at it!

four-stars

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Blog Tour: Lucian Divine Review

January 10, 2017 Blog Tours, Reviews 0

 

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luciandivine_03-1-1-1“My guardian angel is a drunk.”

Evelyn Casey’s life is at a standstill. She’s in her mid-twenties, struggling with the dating scene in San Francisco. Nothing seems to be working out, and she’s starting to think that she’ll live out her days in her crummy apartment with her overbearing roommate, Brooklyn. It’s absurd, but sometimes Evey longs for a guardian angel to show up and save the day.

And then he does. Seriously. His name is Lucian and he’s a guardian angel, been on the job for two thousand years. His sudden presence in her life is both good—he’s brilliant, witty, and warm—and bad—he’s brilliant, witty, warm, and hot as —-. But as perfect as Lucian seems, he’s got problems of his own. He’s taken up drinking and he’s brazenly inserted himself into Evey’s life, going against the greatest cosmic law ever created.

For Evey, the rules are simple: You are not allowed to hook up with your guardian angel. But sometimes fulfilling your destiny requires a leap of faith, a confrontation with God.

Yes, God as in God.

iTunes | B&N | KOBO | AMAZON PRINT | AMAZON KINDLE

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REVIEW:

I’m not a fan of paranormal books typically. I do my best to stay clear of them most of the time. However, I thought I’d take a chance on this one because I know that this author is really popular and the premise sounded really intriguing. It was definitely something different, and I’m glad that I read it. It was a nice change of pace from my usual contemporary romance reads. It was extremely fast paced, maybe a little too fast paced at times. Anyway, it was still a quick and actually a really fun and unique sort of read. Some people might not be interested in this book since it does touch on religion in a way and that can be a sensitive topic to say the least. That being said, I don’t think that this book will likely be for all romance reads. But I think you’ll be able to judge whether or not you’ll like this book depending on what you’re open to as a reader. My point is, I think you should read this book, but it ultimately comes down to your personal preferences when it comes to these types of stories.

What made this book worked for me was mostly the main characters. I thought that Evey was a funny and interesting main character. Not going to lie, it did bug me how judgmental she was towards her friend Brooklyn at times. For the most part though, she was still a steady character, though not particularly memorable as a whole. She just made the plot more lighthearted in a way because she had some humor and wit that was fun to see as a reader.

To put it simply, Lucian was a hot mess. As the description says, he’s an alcoholic angel which is very strange. It’s also quite humorous to see, as you might imagine. He was a funny guy for the most part. I enjoyed his spirit and the way he treated Evey for the most part. It was a little weird that at the very beginning, he’s already in love with Evey, so we don’t really get to see him actually in the process of falling for her or anything like that. I won’t spoil anything, but I wasn’t always a fan of some of the choices that he made, but I mostly was able to understand these choices. He was a fun character to read about, that’s for sure.

So the romance between Lucian and Evey moves pretty freaking quickly. I kind of understand why the author chose to do this, but I personally wasn’t a huge fan, that’s just me though. I typically hate insta-love, and I didn’t hate it exactly, just didn’t completely love it. As I mentioned, we don’t actually see Lucian falling in love with Evey since he already has these strong feelings for her when the book begins. As a whole though, I do think they made a compelling couple. It was definitely the definition of forbidden love: a guardian angel and a human. I think forbidden love is always intriguing to read about and the author totally pulled it off.

Lucian Divine was a different kind of book, but one that I thoroughly enjoyed. As mentioned, I’m not a usual reader of paranormal romances. I also have read literally no books about guardian angels prior to this one, but this did work out for me. I think the romance was a fun and fascinating one. I really liked reading this book. As I’ve already been over, I don’t recommend this for everyone. But I do think people who are fans of this author, different kinds of romance, and don’t mind reading about angels, you’ll probably like this one.

three-half-stars

Renee-121Renée Carlino is a screenwriter and bestselling author of contemporary women’s novels and new adult fiction. Her books have been featured in national publications, including USA TODAY, Huffington Post, Latina magazine, and Publisher’s Weekly. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and their sweet dog June. When she’s not at the beach with her boys or working on her next project, she likes to spend her time reading, going to concerts, and eating dark chocolate. Learn more at www.reneecarlino.com

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Full Package Release Day Review

January 9, 2017 Blog Tours, Reviews 0

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FULL PACKAGE by Lauren Blakely is Here!

A sexy and funny friends-to-lovers standalone romantic comedy, FULL PACKAGE is about a sexy, witty man as he falls head over heels for a woman, who just happens to be his roommate. It takes everything you love about a Lauren Blakely novel –witty dialogue, smoking hot sex scenes, and heartfelt moments –and puts them into one fantastic book! Told in the guy’s POV, with a creative look into Josie’s POV as well, FULL PACKAGE is the laugh-out-loud and insanely hot story of what happens when a sexy ER doc falls madly in love with his gorgeous roommate…and they’re forced to deal with all that simmering desire in a mere six hundred square feet of living space.

“Lauren Blakely has mastered the recipe for delightful and delicious. It’s called Full Package. I can’t find words to tell you how much I enjoyed this friends to lovers romance with enough sweet to melt in your mouth and enough spice to melt your panties.”

~ iScream Books

 

 

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“Lauren Blakely nailed it AGAIN. This man man is perfection! HOT, SWEET, FUNNY, SMART.”

~ Queen of Hearts

 

 

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✮✮✮FULL PACKAGE is here!✮✮✮

From the New York Times Bestselling author of MISTER O and BIG ROCK, comes a hot & hilarious new standalone romantic comedy…

I’ve been told I have quite a gift.

Hey, I don’t just mean in my pants. I’ve got a big brain too, and a huge heart of gold. And I like to use all my gifts to the fullest, the package included. Life is smooth sailing….

Until I find myself stuck between a rock and a sexy roommate, which makes for one very hard…place.

Because scoring an apartment in this city is harder than finding true love. So even if I have to shack up with my buddy’s smoking hot and incredibly amazing little sister, a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.

I can resist Josie. I’m disciplined, I’m focused, and I keep my hands to myself, even in the mere five-hundred square feet we share. Until the one night she insists on sliding under the covers with me. It’ll help her sleep after what happened that day, she says.

Spoiler-neither one of us sleeps.

Did I mention she’s also one of my best friends? That she’s brilliant, beautiful and a total firecracker? Guess that makes her the full package too.

What’s a man stuck in a hard place to do?

 

You can find this sexy standalone romantic comedy across all retailers!

Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CAAmazon AUiBooks

Barnes & NobleKoboGoogle PlayAmazon Paperback

Audio (Sebastian York!)or via Audible

 Excerpt:

I point to the curved wooden stand with a hook at the top. “This. Explain this.”

Josie sets her hands on her hips. “It’s a banana holder.”

I give her a stern look. “I can read. I don’t need to know what. I need to know why.” I poke the object on the shelf at Bed Bath & Beyond, otherwise known as the Nexus of Unnecessary Things. Pretty sure there’s some kind of vortex or force field right smack dab in the middle of this store attracting all the weird, bizarre, and odd home goods. “Why can’t they sit on the kitchen counter? Or, how about in a bowl?”

“Maybe the bananas just like to dangle?” she suggests. “Hang free and all?”

Smacking my forehead, I go along with it. “Aha. That makes perfect sense.”

“I’m here to help.” She tugs on my shirtsleeve. “But can we please get to the sheet aisle? You can’t sleep on a naked mattress.”

“That may be true, but I could definitely sleep naked on a mattress,” I offer, and she laughs as we navigate through another sardine-packed aisle in the mammoth store.

It’s one in the afternoon, and I just moved in this morning. That took all of two hours. Spending my twenties in med school and as a resident gave me very little time for the acquisition of things, so most of my possessions fit in a duffel bag. I have very little. Not even sheets for a queen-size bed. Ergo, I’m spending Saturday at Bed Bath & Beyond, which is a bit like wandering through a Buzzfeed post titled “Ten Things I’ll Never Use.”

More like five hundred. Wait. Make that five hundred and one, because I just spotted the new number one item on the list.

“That,” I say as I make a beeline for a shelf of crème brûlée torches. Grabbing a silvery one, I hold it up. “Please say we can have a housewarming party, and you’ll make crème brûlée, and I can stride all proud and awesome into the kitchen,” I say, puffing out my chest and deepening my voice. “And I can light it with a torch, and we’ll all ooh and ahh at the manly fire I made when I lit up a dessert.”

She arches an eyebrow. “A manly fire?”

I nod vigorously. “And then you’ll let the guests take turns punching me in the face for being a total douche for owning a crème brûlée torch.”

She narrows her eyes. “You actually want people to punch you?”

I’m deadly serious as I answer her. “If I ever own a crème brûlée torch, you have carte blanche to punch me, Josie. You really should.” I drop the torch on the shelf and take her hand, clasping it tightly in mine. “Promise me. From this day forward. Promise you’ll punch me if I ever own a crème brûlée torch, a rotating tie rack, or more than one kind of cheese grater. This is part of our roommate pact.”

She grips my hand tighter, her green eyes glowing with stark seriousness. “I solemnly swear to pummel you under all the aforementioned circumstances. As proof of our friendship and roommate solidarity.”

“You’re a saint,” I say, then wrap a hand around her head and tug her close for a quick kiss on her forehead.

And hello, sweet, sexy scent of Josie. What is this delicious smell? Is it . . . oh fuck me.Cherries. My God, she smells like cherries. Like the perfect summer fruit. Like the naughtiest fruit. And I’ve got to wonder if that cherry scent is her face lotion, her shampoo, or her body wash?

Body wash.

My mind is adrift, and the word association begins. Because what goes with body wash but nudity?

Naked woman in the shower. Washing. Lathering. Soaping.

Ah, hell.

Snap the fuck out it, Summers.

 

My Thoughts:

In every review of each Lauren Blakely book, I brag about how amazing it is. I have yet to read a book from her that I didn’t adore. I especially love it when she writes from the male POV. I think she does such a great job at getting inside these guys minds and truly showing how they feel about these girls. She’s an incredible author and I can’t brag enough about her. Full Package was yet another funny and charming romance that I loved from the first page. This one also contains one of my all time favorite tropes which is friends to lovers. Josie and Chase were such an amazing couple with so much chemistry from the start and I loved their story. While this isn’t my all time favorite book in this series, I still enjoyed so much about it anyway. This was a wonderful read and I’m happy that I picked it up!

So Chase was the narrator of this book and I thought he was a great character. I fell in love with him in Well Hung basically. He’s definitely a smart guy. One of the unique things about all of these guys are that they all come from different interesting professions. Chase just so happens to be a doctor who works in the emergency room. Though he had somewhat of a manwhore history, he was 100% dedicated to Josie throughout the book. At times, he did become a bit cheesy. For the most part though, he was incredibly swoony and I adored him for some of the things that he said and did for Josie.

Josie was a beautiful and strong love interest for Chase. We’ve known Josie a little longer than Chase since she’s both Nick and Wyatt’s little sister and I’ve always wondered if she’d finally get her own story. Honestly, I didn’t love her as much as some of the other girls. I still think she was a strong and independent woman. She was also fierce and extremely loyal to her friends. That being said, I just didn’t feel as connected to her as some of Lauren’s other characters, but that’s just me. Josie works at a bakery and we did get some insight into what she was thinking through some of her personal recipes that were shared throughout the novel.

As a couple, they were amazing together. As mentioned, the relationship follows one of my favorite tropes: friends to lovers. I thought the author did an excellent job at developing this relationship. It’s clear at the start of the story that the two are ridiculously close to one another. I loved the intense but lovely friendship between them. They had a strong connection and a lot of hilarious and witty banter going on. The dynamics between them obviously began changing when they first began living together. Like I said, even as friends, they had so much obvious chemistry and it was awesome to read. Once they start having sex, those scenes are electric too. The sex is steamy as hell, that’s for sure. All in all, they make a fabulous couple.

As a whole, I’m happy that I read this one. As mentioned, it probably wasn’t an all time favorite but it was still just as great as I hoped it would be. Josie and Chase were both memorable supporting characters in some of these previous books, and I’m glad that they ended up together. They made one hell of a couple. This was an interesting and fun read for me. I recommend this if you’re a fan of this author. Even if you’ve never read anything by her, you still will likely enjoy it if you’re a fan of romantic comedies filled with fascinating and complex characters. You should totally check it out!

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“Fresh, fun, flirty, and fabulous.”

~ Karen at Bookalicious Babes Blog

 

 

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Add it to Goodreads here!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30283662-full-package

 

 

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And don’t miss Lauren Blakely’s other standalone Romantic Comedies!

BIG ROCK
MISTER O
WELL HUNG

 

 

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✮✮✮ Enter to win this amazing FULL PACKAGE GIVEAWAY!✮✮✮

Josie and Chase put together some of their favorite things just for you to celebrate the release of FULL PACKAGE!

The FULL PACKAGE is filled with:

$50 Gift Card to Lush: Fresh Handmade Cosmetics for fruity scented bath products that Chase loves so much.

$50 Gift Card to Sugarfina: A Luxury Candy Boutique where you can sample some of Josie’s favorite gourmet candy.

A lovely Coach Wristlet containing a $50 Amazon Gift Card for you to spend on whatever your heart desires.

And last but not least, my entire Audiobook Collection minus Full Package on Audible. It is aurally delicious!

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

http://laurenblakely.com/full-package-giveaway/

 

 

author-pic-lauren-blakelyAbout Lauren Blakely:

Since self-publishing her debut romance novel CAUGHT UP IN US over three years ago, Lauren Blakely has sold more than 1.5 million books. She is known for her sexy contemporary romance style that’s full of heat, heart and humor. A devout fan of cake and canines, Lauren has plotted entire novels while walking her four-legged friends. She lives in California with her family. With thirteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than seventy times. Her bestselling series include Sinful Nights, Seductive Nights, No Regrets, Caught Up in Love, and Fighting Fire as well as standalone hit romances like BIG ROCK, MISTER O, WELL HUNG, and THE SEXY ONE which were all instant New York Times Bestsellers. In January she’ll release FULL PACKAGE, a standalone romantic comedy. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter.

 

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Newsletter ** Goodreads

 

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Salt to the Sea Review

January 4, 2017 Reviews, Young Adult 1 ★★★★

Salt to the Sea ReviewSalt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
Published by Philomel Books on February 2nd 2016
Pages: 393
Source: Library
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
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.

So this book has received nothing but rave reviews since it was released back in February. I’ll admit that I had some serious reservations about it since I’m not a huge fan of historical fiction books at all. Anyway, I knew that I had to give this one a chance since so many people have absolutely loved it. I’m happy to say that I found this to be a beautiful, touching, and heartbreaking book that continually moved me throughout the story. This wasn’t an easy read due to the heaviness of the topic, but Sepetys’s quick pace kept the book moving at all times. If you haven’t read this one yet, I highly recommend that you do. This is one that will stay with you long after finishing it.

This book faces on an epic tragedy that so many people know absolutely nothing about. Wilheim Gustoff was the biggest tragedy in maritime history, yes, it was even greater than the Titanic. It takes place towards the end of World War II. The ship belonged to the Germans and was bombed by a Soviet Union submarine when they were trying to evacuate all German citizens. The ship was extremely overcapacity at that point. In the end, there were over 9,000 people who died, about 5,000 of them being children. This is just a little bit of background on the story since it’s definitely not in most history books.

Salt to the Sea doesn’t just have one main character, it has four of them. I’d say we might get more chapters for a few of the characters over some of the others, but they are still all vital voices in the story nonetheless. Our four teenagers are Joana, Florian, Emilia, and Alfred. Joana is a nurse who is doing everything she can to be reunited with her family. Florian is a mysterious boy who is filled with secrets about where he comes from. Emilia is a young Polish girl who left her homeland for safety and is still searching for that. Alfred is a young German sailor who is very blind to anything but “orders” from his “master” aka Hitler. Though the chapters are extremely short, I still felt like the voices were all strong and well developed. We never overstayed our welcome with these characters, we learned just enough information to become so invested in their fates and lives before suddenly the tragedy strikes and things will never be the same for them after that.

I don’t really want to spoil it, but I will say that there is some romance in the story. This is a tragedy so obviously that’s the main focus here, but it’s also nice to have a little bit of a bright spot in the midst of all the darkness surrounding the story. I will say that Florian is seriously such a swoony boy and I loved his character so much. Yes, he had his secrets, but he was also so kind and awesome. I really sympathized with a lot of his story. I will admit that Alfred is a boy who disgusted more and more as the book went on. Honestly though, that should be expected considering he’s a German boy right in the middle of when Hitler rose to power. Though you don’t like him, you also have to admit that he was well written and complicated.

All in all, this was a beautiful book that I truly enjoyed reading. I wasn’t sure what to make of it at first, but I’m glad that I took a chance on it anyway. Salt to the Sea is filled with such memorable and touching characters with a heartbreaking and painful true story as well. Full warning, though you know what’s coming, be prepared to cry regardless. I try my best to stay clear of REALLY depressing books, but this one was worth the read for me. Even if you don’t like historical fiction, I suggest you read Salt to the Sea.

four-stars

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten 2017 Debuts I’m Excited For

January 3, 2017 Features 6

Wow, so I haven’t done one of these Top Ten Tuesday posts in forever! I’m happy to do the first list of 2017. So yeah, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, the lists revolve around a different theme. This week, the theme is about 2017 debuts that we are most looking forward to. There’s so many great books coming out this year so I’m excited to talk about some of them! Without further ado, here are my picks.

1. After the Fall

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This book seems to touch on very timely and important subjects, so I really really want to read it. Based on the description, it seems as if After the Fall confronts issues of rape culture and dealing with rumors in high school and also some other tough subjects. There can never be enough books about these subjects in my opinion. I can’t wait to get my hands on this one!

2. How to Break a Boy

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If I’m being honest, I don’t totally know what this book is about. I’ve just seen the cover and thought it looked interesting enough. I’ve seen at least one review already that wasn’t so good and another that was extremely positive. I’m not entirely sure if I’ll absolutely love this one, but I’m looking forward to it nonetheless!

3. Kissing Max Holden

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I read parts of this on Swoon Reads awhile back, but I’m still looking forward to reading the complete version. This book looks really romantic, fun, and adorable so I can’t wait to read it!

4. The Other F-Word

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This book seems to be a hilarious and unique YA book that I can’t wait to read. It’s about two teens who were conceived via in vitro fertilization and they go in search of their biological parents. This is a subject that I’ve honestly never seen tackled before so I think that’s really awesome and timely.

5. The Sky Between You and Me

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This is one that I have on my Kindle but simply haven’t gotten around to reading yet. It’s about a competitive horse-racing girl who also deals with having an eating disorder. I think the subject looks interesting and important. I’ll hopefully get around to reading it soon enough!

6. The Hate U Give

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So this book probably has the most hype out of all the debuts out there. Though it’s not even published yet, it already has a movie deal with an awesome actress set to play the main character. Unfortunately, the author has also gotten some attention because she was the focus of some awful Twitter trolls. Regardless of anything surrounding the book, the book itself also looks amazing! This was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, because it deals with the issue of police brutality among other important and timely issues. I can’t wait for this one!

7. Girl Out of Water

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Speaking of trolls, this author also had to deal with an unfair amount on Twitter and Goodreads. I hate that the author had to go through that experience like Angie Thomas did. But anyway, Girl out of Water looks like an amazing read and I can’t wait for it to come out!

8. A List of Cages

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A List of Cages tackles the issue of foster care, which I think is something not talked about nearly enough. The homes and backgrounds that we come from very much set the stage for how we behave, for both better or for worse. This looks like a beautiful and emotional story. It will definitely be a tough one to read, but an important one nonetheless.

9. It’s Not Like It’s a Secret

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This is also a totally diverse book. It’s also one of the only LGBTQ books that I have on this list, which is really shameful on my part. Anyway, I’m really looking forward to reading this one!

10. When Dimple Met Rishi

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I think the whole arranged marriage thing sounds really interesting and actually hilarious in this description. A lot of the other books on this list deal with very serious and emotional issues, so it’s nice that this one seems to be funny and a lot more on the light side of things. Not to mention the fact that it also seems super diverse, which is always nice to see!

So there you go, those are ten debuts that I’m most looking forward to this year! I’m really happy to be back doing these lists because they are just so much fun to make. I also love looking at everyone else’s lists as well. I hope you enjoyed reading my picks. Be sure to share the link to yours as well! Thank you guys, and I hope you have a great rest of the week.

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The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo and Scrappy Little Nobody Reviews

January 2, 2017 Reviews 0 ★★★

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo and Scrappy Little Nobody ReviewsThe Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
Published by Gallery Books on August 16th 2016
Pages: 323
Source: InkSlinger PR
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
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.

So I normally read very little nonfiction books. However, I actually ended up reading three of them in December. I picked each of those books up because the women who wrote them are so hilarious and memorable. I already reviewed Lauren Graham’s book last week, so I decided to combine the other two books in just one review. Amy Schumer and Anna Kendrick are two celebrities that I adore and I’m so happy that they both wrote books. It was awesome getting inside of their creative and hilarious minds. I don’t have a lot of thoughts on them that don’t get repetitive, but I’m still really happy that I read these books.

A lot of comedians are infamous for having no filter, and Amy Schumer is no exception to this at all. She basically tells all about a variety of different topics. I like that Schumer isn’t afraid to share even the most embarrassing of situations from her personal life. She puts absolutely everything out there in her typical hilarious fashion. It was also fascinating getting to see where she came from and some of the stories about her struggle to become famous. There’s also a ton of things that I learned about her that I never would have known otherwise. For example, did you guys know that Amy is actually an introvert? I would never expect that since she’s so outgoing and loud when she’s onstage. But she reveals that offstage, she needs to recharge and be away from people quite frequently.

Though Amy is obviously really hysterical, I was also surprised by how serious the book became at certain points in the story. She reveals a lot about some of her painful relationships and experiences. This couldn’t have been easy for Schumer to reveal, so I really applaud her for her complete and utter honest. It’s true that not all of this was exactly upbeat and funny, but it was all realistic and a lot of these experiences are what other women have gone through as well. My only complaint with the book is that it did drag on a bit. I caught myself continually checking how many pages I had left, which is never a good sign for me. I think a few of these essays could have honestly been cut out or at least shortened. She also got a little repetitive at times and some of the jokes didn’t completely hit for me. I’m happy that she wrote a book, but it simply wasn’t my favorite in the end.

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo and Scrappy Little Nobody ReviewsScrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
Published by Touchstone on November 15th 2016
Pages: 271
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
A collection of humorous autobiographical essays by the Academy Award-nominated actress and star of Up in the Air and Pitch Perfect.
Even before she made a name for herself on the silver screen starring in films like Pitch Perfect, Up in the Air, Twilight, and Into the Woods, Anna Kendrick was unusually small, weird, and “10 percent defiant.”
At the ripe age of thirteen, she had already resolved to “keep the crazy inside my head where it belonged. Forever. But here’s the thing about crazy: It. Wants. Out.” In Scrappy Little Nobody, she invites readers inside her brain, sharing extraordinary and charmingly ordinary stories with candor and winningly wry observations.
With her razor-sharp wit, Anna recounts the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture as only she can—from her unusual path to the performing arts (Vanilla Ice and baggy neon pants may have played a role) to her double life as a middle-school student who also starred on Broadway to her initial “dating experiments” (including only liking boys who didn’t like her back) to reviewing a binder full of butt doubles to her struggle to live like an adult woman instead of a perpetual “man-child.”
Enter Anna’s world and follow her rise from “scrappy little nobody” to somebody who dazzles on the stage, the screen, and now the page—with an electric, singular voice, at once familiar and surprising, sharp and sweet, funny and serious (well, not that serious).

Scrappy Little Nobody was a fun read for me. Anna Kendrick is one of my favorite actresses. She’s just so funny and most of all, she seems genuinely down to earth. I was beyond ecstatic to read what this funny and insanely talented actress had to say. In the end, it ended up to be even more hilarious and relatable than I was expecting it to be. Like Schumer, Kendrick doesn’t really have much of a filter, and that’s one of the many reasons why people love her. She says exactly what she’s thinking, and doesn’t care what people have to say about that. She tells so many real and fun stories that were so enjoyable to read. Also like Amy, I was happy to see where Anna came from and how she became the successful actress that she is today. This was a quick read for me and I’m glad that I picked it up!

Anna told a ton of realistic and honest stories about her life. One of the most powerful and memorable essays was about how she lost her virginity. She ended up having this semi-serious boyfriend when she was 20 and was excited to lose her virginity to him. Afterwards, she discovered that she truly ended having sex and did it as regularly as possible with him. In the end though, he ended up slut shaming her in honestly the worst fashion. Anna wasn’t as bitter and hateful towards him as she probably should have been. Though she didn’t end up dating him for much longer, she ended up still able to wish him nothing but happiness in the end, which was really big of her. Anyway, there were quite a few essays where Anna was just blunt about so many things in her life and I loved that. I felt like the book became boring and tedious at times. Yes, it was exciting to get a glimpse of her life, but I felt like the whole section dedicated to fashion was tedious and not totally needed. I liked this book, but it wasn’t my favorite memoir either.

three-stars

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2016 End of Year Book Survey

January 1, 2017 Features 1

Happy New Year everyone! I’ve been slacking on posts majorly here recently, but I decided that I wanted to participate in the end of the year book survey just to reflect on the progress that I’ve made this year. Thanks to Jamie of Perpetual Page Turner for making this wonderful survey for the 7th year in a row!

 

Number Of Books You Read: 238
Number of Re-Reads: 0
Genre You Read The Most From: Contemporary/Romance

 

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1. Best Book You Read In 2016?

Favorite YA contemporary romance books released this year:

Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes, Walk the Edge by Katie McGarry, Wanderlost by Jen Malone, and P.S. I Like You by Kasie West.

NA/adult romance:

Undecided by Julianna Keyes, Sustained by Emma Chase, Strong Signal and Fast Connection by Saninto Hassell and Megan Erickson, and the Addicted series by Krista and Becca Ritchie.

Fantasy:

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski, Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout, Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, and The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stifevater.

Historical:

Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee and Salt to the Sea by Ruth Sepetys.

 

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon and When We Collided by Emery Lord.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

Probably Undecided because I knew literally nothing about it but it was such an amazing read. And also Wanderlost by Jen Malone was also a surprising one that I knew nothing about and loved.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Definitely Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda!

 5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?

I’m not a big series fan honestly, but probably the Lux series even though it’s been out for awhile. The Winner’s Kiss was definitely the best for me, mostly because I didn’t finish reading The Raven Cycle like so many other people have.

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?

Santino Hassell, Megan Erickson, and Adam Silvera.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Probably Outrun the Moon and Salt to the Sea, literally the only two historical fiction that I read this year but I really enjoyed them both.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Girl on the Train. It wasn’t my favorite honestly, but I can’t deny that I wasn’t able to stop reading it once I picked it up.

 9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

The Upside of Unrequited before it releases in 2017.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?

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11. Most memorable character of 2016?

I really loved Simon from Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. You’ll see this book on my list a lot even though it released in 2015, I didn’t read it until 2016.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?

I thought Girl Against the Universe was pretty great.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?

The Problem with Forever.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? 

Definitely The Scorpio Races!

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016?

“People really are like houses with vast rooms and tiny windows. And maybe it’s a good thing, the way we never stop surprising each other.” — Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?

Shortest: Plus One by Brighton Walsh.

Longest: The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata.

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Possibly Girl on the Train.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

How am I supposed to pick just one??

Jake and Chelsea from Sustained were pretty perfect.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Sloane and her dad from This Adventure Ends.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Walk the Edge by Katie McGarry.

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and I’m so happy that I did! Also All The Bright Places, which I honestly didn’t enjoy all that much.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?

Well the last book that I read was Salt to the Sea and I’m in love with Florian.

23. Best 2016 debut you read?

The Only Thing Worse Than You is Me by Lily Anderson and Lucky Few by Kathryn Ormsbee.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

The Scorpio Races was great!

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

The Only Thing Worse Than You is Me.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?

All The Bright Places made me ugly cry for sure.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Lucky Few.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Salt to the Sea.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?

The Sun Is Also a Star though I didn’t love it at all.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

 

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1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?

I’m honestly not sure because I’m looking forward to a lot of the 2017 releases.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?

How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake.

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

The Hate U Give and After the Fall.

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?

I’m really not sure since I don’t read that many series or sequels.

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017?

Attend more author and book related events! I also want to work on posting a lot more than I currently am.

6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera, By Your Side by Kasie West, and The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli.

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Talking as Fast as I Can Review

December 24, 2016 Reviews 0 ★★★★

Talking as Fast as I Can ReviewTalking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham
Published by Ballantine Books on November 29th 2016
Pages: 224
Source: Library
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
four-stars
In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood—along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new Gilmore Girls, where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again.
In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).
In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.
Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”).
Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.

So I never really know how to review non-fiction books because I read so little of them. When I heard that this was coming out, I just knew that I had to read it. Lauren Graham is one of my favorite actresses and she’s starred in two of my all time favorite shows: Gilmore Girls and Parenthood. Anyway, I just had a feeling that all of her stories would be as hilarious and memorable as she seems to be. Trust me guys, she didn’t disappoint in the slightest. This was such a fantastic and quick read and I’m so happy that I got to read it. I highly recommend reading this if you’re a fan of Lauren Graham’s work. I suppose that you could read it if you don’t know much about her or her shows, but I wouldn’t personally recommend it since I think it would be much less enjoyable for you as a reader.

As mentioned, non-fiction books are honestly really difficult to review. I don’t have all that much to say about this since it’s obviously a very personal story and your enjoyment of it depends on how connected you feel to the author and these stories. I thought that it was extremely intriguing to learn more about Lauren Graham’s background and how she got her start. I knew very little about her childhood or really any of her personal life besides her partner. I loved the stories about her early life with her father and also about skipping kindergarten. I thought that was easily one of the funniest stories in the book. The book started off very strong and it didn’t let up throughout the story.

Some of the other best stories are about how she started her career. Lauren got her start in theatre because she wanted desperately to make it to Broadway. She didn’t have an easy ride to stardom, she worked ridiculously hard to get where she is today. I really enjoyed some of her stories about auditions and things like that. Each story was told in her hilarious and enjoyable tone. I know I keep saying this but this book was simply such a fun read filled with entertaining and witty stories.

I could keep going on and on about how lovely this was to read but I won’t bore you with all the details. As mentioned, Gilmore Girls is one of my all time favorite shows and so is Parenthood. Graham reflects on some fond memories that she has while filming both of them. She obviously focuses on Gilmore Girls more since this was a much longer amount of time. I especially loved it when she rewatched all of Gilmore Girls and she shared her thoughts on each season and explained some of what she remembers from the filming process. She also kept a journal when they filmed the revival and it was a lot of fun to learn what exactly what she was thinking every day. As a fan, it was so fascinating to learn what was happening behind the scenes. Like I said, this was basically everything that I asked for as a fan of this awesome, quirky, and hilarious actress.

four-stars

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The Sun Is Also a Star Review

December 18, 2016 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★½

The Sun Is Also a Star ReviewThe Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Published by Delacorte Press on November 1st 2016
Pages: 348
Also by this author: Everything, Everything
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
Goodreads
two-half-stars
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.
Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

I’m extremely disappointed that I didn’t love this one more. I should have known that this wouldn’t be my thing since I’m not a fan of insta-love. I wanted to give it a shot anyway because Nicola Yoon’s debut Everything, Everything was just so spectacular. While Nicola Yoon still had such unique and beautiful writing in this one, the story itself wasn’t as fascinating and real to me. The book is about immigration so it’s a seriously relevant issue that will likely appeal to a lot of readers. It turned out to be a book not for me because I wasn’t able to overlook pretty much the entire romance in the story.

I hate to compare characters, but Natasha wasn’t as memorable as Maddy in Everything, Everything. Obviously they are totally different characters and it’s unfair to make any comparisons, but I honestly can’t help myself here. It’s a personal preference but I just wasn’t able to relate to her with all of the Science stuff. I obviously can’t relate to the terrible feeling of having to be deported because of your father’s mistake. But I was easily able to sympathize with her situation easily. Natasha has lived in America practically her entire life and has little memories of Jamaica, but she’s now being forced to go back to that country anyway? It’s such an unfair and heartbreaking situation that happens all too frequently. I’m glad that Nicola Yoon was able to tell this very important story.

Daniel was a diverse character. He’s Korean American and has spent his entire life in America. His parents immigrated here from Korea in order to give their children a better life than what they had. His parents both put a lot of pressure on him and his brother to go to Harvard and become doctors. This is something that Daniel doesn’t want for himself at all. He’d much rather become a poet. Daniel is also a hopeless romantic who believes that he falls in love instantly with Natasha and that they are meant to be. I didn’t find him to be all that swoony really. I might have my standards set too high due to how perfect Olly was, but I found Daniel to be a little disappointing. I was just so put off by all the love at first sight stuff that I really wasn’t able to enjoy his character.

As I’ve clearly already stated several times, the main problem that I had was with the romance. I think the book could have honestly been a lot more solid without romance being such a main point in the plot. Look, I’m a big fan of romance, it’s usually one of my favorite parts of a story. But I’m a person who absolutely can’t stand insta-love story. I only picked this up in the first place because I thought Yoon’s debut was so fabulous. I’m never going to love a book that promotes love at first sight so heavily. Maybe I’m a cynic, but I just can’t wrap my mind around this idea. In my mind, you have to fully know someone in order to fall in love with them, it’s just not love otherwise.

While I’m sad that I didn’t love this book, I still have to admit that Nicola Yoon’s writing is as beautiful as ever. I won’t lie though, I did find some of the random narrator’s to be totally weird, and I didn’t really buy the idea that all of these people are connected and all that stuff about fate. Nicola Yoon still has written yet another novel that is very much quotable. She says such fascinating and thought provoking things that really spoke to me on some level. All in all, this was still a well written novel, but one that I couldn’t fall in love with because of how the romance was written.

two-half-stars

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