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My Life in Books Tag

I saw this book tag over on Eleanor Sophie’s blog, and I thought it looked super fun. Thanks for doing this Ellie! If you are not currently following her you should, her blog is amazing. If you are reading this then consider yourself tagged. Looking forward to reading your answers.

deviate book by jay kristoff lifelike book two
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Find a book for each of your initials:

D -Deviate by Jay Kristoff –read my review

E – Edge of Oblivion by J.T. Geissinger

E – End of Days by Susan Ee

the boyfriend project by farrah rochon book
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Count your age along your bookshelf:

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon. You can read my review for this one here.

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Pick a book set in your city or country:

A Land Remembered by Patrick D. Smith. This book is set in Florida, and it’s one of those that they made me read in College, but I ended up actually enjoying it.

infernal devices series by cassandra clare
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Pick a book that is set in a destination you would love to travel to:

I would love to travel to England. Many of my favorite books are set in England, including Harry Potter, but I would have to pick The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. I fell in love with the way she describes the gray sky, the near constant rain, and all the landmarks. I would love to visit the bridge that Tessa and James chose to meet at. Clare has posted pictures of people who still travel there and leave notes.

kingdom of ash by sarah j maas book seven in throne of glass series
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Pick a book that has your favorite color on it:

Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7) by Sarah J. Maas. I almost cried when I saw this cover announced. Empire of Storms was such a bad cliff hanger and I had waited almost two years for this last one to be released. I was so excited that it was yellow 🙂

harry potter and the cursed child book by j
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Which book do you have the fondest memories of?

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling. I found this book when I was in a really bad reading slump and super depressed. This book took me out of that dark hole, and I attribute it all to Scorpius (Draco Malfoy’s son in the book), his character makes my heart happy.

under the dome book by stephen king
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Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?

Under the Dome by Stephen King. I lost count of how many times I put this book down and then picked it back up, sometimes months later. It is a massive 1,074 pages, and it covers some very difficult topics such as very descriptive rape scenes. King does not hold anything back and I love his writing, but a lot of these scenes were very uncomfortable to get through.

the lightning thief by rick riordan book
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Which book on your TBR pile will give you the most achievement when you finish it?

I’m going to go with the whole Peter Jackson series for this one. This is a series I’ve been meaning to read for a while, and I will feel a great sense of accomplishment when I finally get to it.

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

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The Hopeful Book Tag

We need a bit of hope in the world, especially during these uncertain times. I’m sure this year is kicking all our butts, and reading has been a nice escape for me. This book tag was a lot of fun to write. Thanks to Soulful Thoughts for tagging everyone. Everyone who reads this can consider themselves tagged. Remember to tag me back and I can’t wait to read all your answers!

harry potter and the sorcerer's stone by j.k. rowling
Picture taken by me. Buy book on Amazon.

1. A book world you would like to escape to: Hogwarts

I will forever be waiting for my Hogwarts letter. Always. This is the series I turn to for comfort, and I love rereading it when I’m in a reading slump. I also like to re-watch the movies when I need a reminder.

beach read by emily henry
Picture taken by me. Buy book on Amazon.

2. A romance that left you all mushy inside: Beach Read by Emily Henry

This was a much heavier romance book than I expected, both from the cover and from the synopsis. It was all very misleading, but in a good way. I thought about this book a lot as I was reading it, and for some time after. You can read my review here.

the existence of amy by lana grace riva
Picture taken by me. Buy book on Amazon.

3. A friendship we should all aspire to have: Nate and Amy in The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva

We would all be lucky to have a friend like Nate. Nate did things for Amy that I wondered if I would ever do for someone I work with. I think I would only go so far to help my husband and kids, and maybe my sister. Honestly, there is maybe only one work friend who I might go that far for. Am I a terrible person? Maybe. Go read my review for this book here.

my siberian husky names leah
Picture taken by me.

4. Intermission! Insert the cutest picture of your pet or the cutest animal you can find.

Meet Leah, my nine year old husky 🙂 She was named during my Twilight phase after the only female wolf in the pack. Don’t judge me!

the boyfriend project by farrah rochon
Picture taken by me. Buy the book on Amazon.

5. A character in a leadership role that inspires you.

Even though this wasn’t an amazing read for me, I still consider Samiah to be a great role model for little girls and grown women alike. Samiah taught the girls she mentored that the color of their skin did not determine the career they should follow, and that they should work hard and do what they were passionate about. I was also inspired by the fact that Samiah went back to school as an adult to obtain another degree in the field she loved, as opposed to the degree she first got in order to please her parents. You can read my review here.

The house in the cerulean sea
Picture taken by me. Buy this book on Amazon.

6. Recommend three books that fill you with hope.

1. The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune -read my review here

This book filled me with hope for humanity. If more people like Linus exist, then perhaps there is still hope for this world.

2. The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes -read my review here

These women were heroines in their own right, and as a bookworm this story about a traveling library made my heart happy.

3. Night of the Dragon (Shadow of the Fox, #2) by Julie Kagawa -read my review here

This story spoke of resurrection, and this is something that I’ve always wanted to believe in so badly. It gave me hope that maybe those who love us never really leave us, and their souls will always find us again.

7. (Optional) Tag People.

If you are reading this consider yourself tagged, and remember to tag me back. I want to see all your answers!

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

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Beauty and the Beast Book Tag

I love fairy tales, and I am a big Disney fan. Which is your favorite Disney movie? Let me know in the comments! My favorite Disney movie is Beauty and the Beast, so needless to say I was super excited when I found this book tag in Raji’s blog: Worlds Unlike Our Own Blog. Thanks for tagging me Raji! Anyone who is reading this can consider themselves tagged. Moving on to the questions.

a court of thorns and roses by sarah j maas
Picture taken by me. Follow me on Instagram.

“Tale As Old As Time” -A popular theme, trope, or setting you will never get bored of reading

Fairy tale retellings and enemies to lovers trope. This is why I’m such a big ACOTAR (A Court of Thorns and Roses) fan. ACOTAR is both a Beauty and the Beast retelling and an enemies to lovers trope. I love when two people who used to hate each other are forced to co-exist, and after they give each other a chance they can find common ground and eventually friendship and love. Other books like this one I enjoyed: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer, The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren, and the Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi, to name a few.

the house in the cerulean sea by tj klune taken by @deesreadingtree
Picture taken by me.

“Belle” -A book you bought for its beautiful cover that was just as beautiful on the inside too

I don’t usually judge a book by its cover (no pun intended). I did recently buy The House in the Cerulean Sea on a whim because it was so beautiful and it has such glowing reviews on Instagram. Best impulsive buy ever! You can go read my review and see everything I loved about it.

House of salt and sorrows by erin a. craig picture taken by @deesreadingtree
Picture taken by me.

“Gaston” -A book everyone loves that you don’t

Everyone seems to have loved House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig, and I just thought it was an okay read. I have learned my lesson since then that I just don’t enjoy ghost stories. It took me forever to get through that book since I found it super boring. There was a lot of poetic prose and descriptive setting, but not a lot of action going on. You can read my review here.

Cress (the lunar chronicles, #1) by marissa meyer picture taken by @deesreadingtree
Picture taken by me.

“Lefou” -A loyal sidekick you can’t help but love more than their counterpart

Definitely Iko from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. I liked Cinder, but Iko was the best. She had the best personality and was such a good friend to Cinder, never mind that she was a robot. I think this is why Marissa Meyer also wrote a whole comic series with Iko as the protagonist called Wires and Nerve.

harry potter series by j.k. rowling instagram picture taken by @deesreadingtree
Picture taken by me.

“Mrs. Potts, Chip, Lumiere, and Cogsworth” -A book that helped you through a difficult time or taught you something valuable

I came to the U.S when I was eleven years old. It would take a lot more words than I have time or energy for right now in order to fully explain what it felt like to leave everything and mostly everyone I knew behind, and embark on a journey to a completely new place where no one spoke my language. My happiest memory from that time was getting my very own library card. The first book I read was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, in Spanish. By the third book, I was reading in English. Harry Potter helped me escape out of my roach infested apartment, which my family shared with other distant relatives of ours, to Hogwarts and a world of magic and adventure. Oh, how I wanted that Hogwarts letter to arrive! I still read the Harry Potter series when I need a pick-me-up or when I’ve landed into a reading slump.

Scythe (arc of a scythe, #1) by neal shusterman picture taken by @deesreadingtree
Picture taken by me.

“Something there” -A book or series you weren’t into at first but picked up towards the end

I recently started the Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1) series by Neal Shusterman, and I loved it. I had picked it up a couple of times, but I guess I wasn’t in the right mood. I can’t wait to continue on with the series and see where the author goes with it. You can read my review here.

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

Waiting On A Sequel

king of scars by leigh bardugo a court of thorns and roses by sarah j maas six of crows by leigh bardugo chain of gold by Cassandra clare
Pictures from Goodreads.

I’ve been waiting on all these sequels for a while. Some of them have a release date, some of them don’t even have one yet. All I know is these authors need to get to writing, I’m getting super impatient. But I do understand writing is a hard process and it takes time to make a masterpiece that can top, or at least compare to, the first books in these series.

What are some of your most anticipated sequels? Let me know in the comments so I can add some to my TBR 🙂

King of Scars (Nikolai Duology, #2) and Six of Crows, #3 by Leigh Bardugo

Buy on Amazon. Picture from Goodreads

I’ve been patiently waiting for these sequels to be written and released. I understand Leigh Bardugo has been working on a Netflix series for her Grishaverse books, and I cannot wait to see how that turns out! But I really need the sequel to King of Scars and the third book for Six of Crows, now! Also, I really hope Netflix doesn’t mess the Grishas up for me, because it’s one of my favorite fantasy worlds. So far from what I’ve seen Bardugo post on Twitter, it looks like she is happy with how it’s all been coming along. I hope she gets back to writing soon though. I love Nikolai and I love the Crows, so I can’t wait to read more about them!

Chain of Iron (The Last Hours, #2) by Cassandra Clare

chain of gold the last hours series by cassandra clare
Buy on Amazon. Picture from Goodreads

There has recently been some progress for this one. Cassandra Clare announced on her Instagram that the cover for the second book will be released July 1st. This first cover was gorgeous, and I can’t wait to see what they do for the second one. I’m really hoping it’s James Herondale on the cover this time. You can read my review for the first one here.

A Court of Thorns and Roses (#4) by Sarah J. Maas

a court of thorns and roses by sarah j maas
Buy on Amazon. Picture from Goodreads

There’s actually a release date for this one now! January 26, 2021 🙂 There’s been a lot of speculation that this one will be about Nesta and Cassian, and I’m super excited about it. Cassian is one of my favorite characters, and I really hope Nesta doesn’t completely shred him to pieces. There isn’t a synopsis out yet for this one.

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Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

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Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag 2020

I’m a bit in shock after having turned thirty years old a few days ago. Has it really been eighteen years ago since I first opened Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and fell in love with reading? I spent my birthday mostly in quarantine. My closest family members showed up and hastily sang “Happy Birthday” to me. We were outside, six feet apart, and my grandparents wore masks. They then lit a candle I couldn’t really blow, for fear of the particles in my breath traveling to them (I ended up covering it with my hand and blowing it). This has been a crazy year for sure.

I am grateful I got to spend it with those I love, and that they are all relatively happy and healthy (my oldest child has a stomach bug but he will be fine). I received a ton of book gifts. My favorites were a brand new book shelf, a book cart, and the Harry Potter illustrated editions from my hubby. I spent the day eating my favorite food, watching movies, organizing my book shelves, and cuddling with my kids. Overall, it was a perfect 30th birthday.

I cannot believe it’s the middle of the year already. Thanks to Worlds Unlike Our Own for tagging me. This was such a fun book tag to do. Everyone who reads this can consider themselves tagged. Please remember to tag me back, I can’t wait to read your answers! Moving on to the books 🙂

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

What is the best book that you have read so far in 2020?

the house in the cerulean sea by tj klune
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This book really surprised me, I saw someone’s raving review on Bookstagram and I just had to go and read it. I went and tried a sample and I ended up buying the whole thing. I haven’t read many books that have reminded me of all the feelings I had when I read Harry Potter, but this was definitely one of them. This story was so full of magic, adorable characters, and surprising turns of events. The main character, Linus, had one of the most impressive character arcs I have ever read. Also, I went into this book without reading the synopsis and was very surprised. Here is my review and you will find a full synopsis there as well in case you don’t like surprises 🙂

What has been your favorite sequel of the first half of the year?

aurora burning by amie kaufman and jay kristoff
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Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff obviously hate their readers and love to stomp on their feelings and crush their hopes and dreams. BUT!! This book WAS amazing. The sequel to Aurora Rising was full of action, romance, and plot twists. True to their evil nature the authors left us all hanging off a cliff at the end, so they better hurry and write the next one or we might go and find them! (yes that was a threat) You can read my review here.

Is there a new release that you haven’t read yet but are really excited to read?

Truelife by Jay Kristoff
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The sequel to Lifelike and Deviate will be released on June 30th, and I’m super excited. (click on the links to read my reviews) Like I said above, Mr. Kristoff is an evil bastard (don’t worry he knows this) and the ending to Deviate was a very bad cliff hanger. I won a pre-order of Truelife on a Bookstagram giveaway and I can’t wait to get it in the mail!

What is your most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

blood and honey by shelby mahurin serpent and dove book two
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I fell in love with Serpent and Dove and I’ve been waiting for the sequel since I read it last year. (you can read my review by clicking on the link) This one will be released on September 1st. I can’t wait to learn more about my favorite side characters Coco and Ansel, and see where this sequel takes Reid and Lou after all the revelations that came to light at the end of the last book.

What is your biggest disappointment so far?

imagine me by tahereh mafi shatter me book six
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I was so excited about this one, but to be honest this series has been going downhill since the fourth book and the big “plot twist.” This was not the ending to a six book series that I had expected. There was some closure at the end, but the whole book was basically about Kenji and Warner, and the action was crammed into the last few chapters. The ending felt rushed, and I was underwhelmed. Click here to read my review.

What is your biggest surprise so far?

Buy on Amazon

I did not expect to love this book as much as I did, and I hope the rest of the series lives up to my expectations. I plan to read Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe, #2) in July which is when I’m hoping to catch up with all my sequels, and then I need to move on to The Toll (Arc of a Scythe, #3). This story had such a unique premise, very imaginative world building, and great character arcs. You can read my review here.

Who is your fictional crush from this year?

a court of mist and fury by sarah j maas book one of a court of thorns and roses seres
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No one will ever replace Rhysand from the ACOTAR series. I reread this series this year when this whole quarantine business first started. I usually turn to this one and Harry Potter when I land into a reading slump (I reread Harry Potter while in quarantine too :)) The characters from Chain of Gold (especially James and Mathew) came close for me, but nope.

Who is your new favorite character?

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Finian from Aurora Rising and Aurora Burning definitely stole my heart as a great character. He is the comedic relief, and such a good friend to Squad 312. This doesn’t surprise me, because I always fall for the class clown (my husband was, and still is, the biggest clown I know). In my experience, they have the biggest hearts under all the witty remarks and sarcasm ❤

A book that made you happy?

josh and hazel's guide to not dating by christina lauren
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I was laughing the whole time I was reading this, well maybe not in that awkward part where I was screaming at the characters to JUST COMMUNICATE! But yeah, most of the time I was cracking up with Hazel’s antics. Hazel was such an endearing character, and I was rooting for her happy ending throughout the story. You can read my review here.

Your favorite book to movie/tv show that you’ve seen so far?

wonder book by rj palacio
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I really enjoyed the movie adaption of Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Of course, nothing is ever as immersive and detailed as the book, but the producers did a good job with this one. They included the most important parts from the book, and the actors and actresses did an amazing job. Well, with Julia Roberts as the mom, Owen Wilson as the dad, and Jacob Tremblay as August, it was expected for it to be a great performance by all of them. They definitely delivered. You can buy the movie here using my affiliate link if you like.

What is the most beautiful book that you have bought?

Harry Potter and the Sorcere's Stone illustrated edition
Pictures from my Bookstagram. Buy the book on Amazon.

I recently bought Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the Illustrated Edition, and it’s the most beautiful book I’ve ever seen. The art within is amazing as well. My husband then bought me the rest of the illustrated books for my birthday. I’ve been enjoying reading them to my kids before bed time, and they’re very into it. Needless to say I’m a proud momma.

What is your favorite post that you have written so far this year?

My favorite Series post

This post was super time consuming and I poured my heart and soul into it. Please go read it if you haven’t. I couldn’t just include my top five series, I had to do ALL ten of them. While in the middle of writing it I deeply regretted doing the whole thing, but I pushed myself to finish it. I am very proud of it.

What are six books that you want to read by the end of the year?

collage of books ninth house we hunt the flame one of us is next a good marriage beach read thunderhead
Pictures from Goodreads

Some of these I’ve been putting off for some time. Some I’ve just recently received from my Book of the Month subscription. (click on the link if you want to pay only $10 for your first month and I get a free book credit) Finally, some are sequels that I really need to get to. (click on the link to read my post on that topic)

Book of the Month Books:

1. Beach Read by Emily Henry –buy on Amazon

2. A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight –buy on Amazon

Sequels I need to read:

3. Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe, #2) –buy on Amazon

4. Once of Us is Next (One of Us is Lying, #2) –buy on Amazon

Books that have been sitting on my shelf:

5. Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1) by Leigh Bardugo –buy on Amazon

6. We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arwiya, #1) by Hafsah Faizal –buy on Amazon

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

All My Favorite Series

All Pictures from Goodreads

Even though I do read a variety of genres, my favorite series are all in the Fantasy/ Paranormal/ Sci-Fi range. Maybe it’s because other genres tend to only include stand-alone books? Most of these are YA/Fantasy, with the exception of Illuminae which is considered YA/Sci-Fi and The Night Prowler series which is Adult Paranormal Romance. A Court of Thorns and Roses and the Throne of Glass series are considered High Fantasy, and they are not YA. There are other series I did not include here (Aurora Rising and Six of Crows to name a few) and this is because they are not completed yet; I’m still waiting on a few books to be released from those.

It would be very hard for me to pick a certain favorite out of all of these or to number them in most favorite to least, so I decided to talk about them in no particular order. Also, I cannot summarize any of these series accurately without giving away a whole lot of spoilers, so I’m posting a synopsis of the first book for each of them, and giving you a mini review for each. These are the books that I proudly display on my shelves and own in several formats. Their quotes fill the walls of my home, my journals, and my phone. If you haven’t read these I hope you give some of them a try and then let me know what your thoughts were. If you have read them, let me know your opinions in the comments!

P.S. I’ve talked enough about the Harry Potter series so I didn’t include it here. We all know Harry Potter is life. (click on the link to read my Harry Potter Booktag post)

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures or links.

Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

throne of glass series by sarah j maas
Picture taken by me. Buy these books on Amazon

For fans of: Game of Thrones, Assassin’s Creed, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Cruel Prince

Rating: 4.21/5 on Goodreads

This series is comprised of seven amazing books. Empire of Storms (#5) is my favorite out of all of them, as it’s the one where Celaena (the main character) has the most character growth and there is also a lot of action. I did hate the cliff-hanger ending since I had to wait more than a year for the last book, Kingdom of Ash, to be released. The book I did not care much for in this series was Tower of Dawn (#6) because it was about my least favorite character, Chaol. Maas did do a great job with the series finale, giving every character and side story the necessary closure. I enjoyed the different character points of views, the playful banter and dialogue, and the complex plot. Be warned that even though this series seems to be advertised as YA, it’s NOT, as it includes very explicit sex scenes.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass—and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

A Court of Thorns and Roses Series by Sarah J. Maas

a court of thorns and roses series by sarah j maas
Picture taken by me. Get this series on Amazon

For fans of: Fairy Tale retellings, Beauty and the Beast, Game of Thrones, High Fantasy

Rating: 4.24/5 on Goodreads

Since we are already on the topic of Sarah J. Maas books here is another one of her series which has become one of my favorites of all time. The series includes three books and a short novella. My favorite book of the series is A Court of Mist and Fury (#2) since this is the one where the main character Feyre has the most character development and revelations. There is also a major plot twist in this one, and we are introduced to a group of amazing characters who improved the story tremendously. I enjoyed the entertaining dialogue in between the characters, the romantic aspect, and how each character was unique and could probably star in their own story. Maas is actually releasing a spin-off of this series in the near future, which will star some of these side characters that I fell in love with. Be warned that even though this series seems to be advertised as YA, it’s NOT, as it includes very explicit sex scenes.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jeweled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Picture taken by me. Get this series on Amazon.

For fans of: Fairy Tale retellings, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Snow White, Star Wars

Rating: 4.15/5 on Goodreads

This series is comprised of four amazing books and three novellas. My favorite book in the series was Cress (#3) because Cress is such a sweet endearing character and I just wanted to root for her. Also, my favorite male character was Thorne, or Captain Thorne, as he liked to be called. I really enjoyed the group dynamics between the eight main characters, how the stories were all interconnected, and the different points of views.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.

Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived.

But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.

The Folk of the Air Series by Holly Black

the queen of nothing book three in the folk of the air series by holly black
Picture taken by me. Get this series on Amazon.

For fans of: Dark fairy tales, Game of Thrones, court scheming tropes, enemies to lovers trope

Rating: 4.14/5 on Goodreads

I wrote a review of the second book in this series, The Wicked King, and of the last book (my favorite of the series) The Queen of Nothing. The Wicked King was a terrible cliff-hanger. I remember writing “I need therapy” on a sticky note when I was done, and it took me a while to type up my review into coherent sentences and thoughts. I really loved how dark these books were, how strong the human main character Jude was, and I am a big fan of the enemies to lovers trope.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.


Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

The Night Prowler Series by J.T. Geissinger

Picture from Goodreads. Get series on Amazon. Also available for free on Kindle Unlimited.

For fans of: Dark Paranormal Romance, shape shifters, super powers, ancient tribes, alphas and mates trope

Rating: 3.82/5 on Goodreads

This is one of those underrated series that I never hear anything about, but I was completely captivated by it. It includes six books, but they are on average 300 pages each. Be warned it does contain explicit sex scenes. I enjoyed the different points of views, the fact that they shape shifted into panthers (which was very unique), the romance aspect, and the non-stop action. I’m really upset that after writing this series J.T. Geissinger switched to writing Romance and never wrote anything resembling this again.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

2013 winner Fantasy, Futuristic, & Paranormal’s Prism Award for Published Authors—Best First Book

Deep within the primeval forests of southern England, a race of beautiful, savage shape-shifters lives hidden from the everyday world. Bound together by ancient bloodlines and a ruthless code of secrecy that punishes traitors with death, the Ikati send their leader Leander on a mission to capture one raised outside the tribe before she can expose their secret. When Leander tracks the unsuspecting outsider to Southern California, the hardened warrior is prepared for a fight—but not for the effect the sensual young beauty has on his heart.

Jenna spent her childhood in hiding, on the run from someone—or something—her parents refused to discuss. She trusts no one, not since her father’s mysterious disappearance, not since her mother’s sudden death, and definitely not since she began exhibiting strange, superhuman abilities. When handsome, enigmatic Leander appears, promising answers to the mysteries that shroud her past, she knows she shouldn’t trust him either. But their connection is undeniable, and as powerful as the enemy hell-bent on destroying every one of their kind…

Nevernight Series by Jay Kristoff

nevernight series third book darkdawn by jay kristoff
Picture taken by me. Buy series on Amazon.

For fans of: School/training tropes, competition tropes, Harry Potter, Throne of Glass, Assassins Creed, dark fantasy, revenge trope

Rating: 4.28/5 on Goodreads

I thought I loved the books Jay Kristoff co-authored with Amie Kaufman, but this series written by him alone is absolutely amazing. The series includes three great books in which we get to witness the evolution of the main character, Mia. I really enjoyed how dark this series was, the animal companions, the witty dialogue, the sarcastic narrator, and the little history lesson footnotes along the way. Also, check out the audio books if you have the chance, they are narrated by my all time favorite narrator: Holter Graham. Here are the links to my reviews of Nevernight, Godsgrave, and Darkdawn.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

Illuminae Series by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

illuminae series book one by jay kristoff and amie kaufman
Picture taken by me. Buy series on Amazon.

For fans of: Star wars, space settings, YA/Sci-Fi, virus/contagion tropes, artificial intelligence

Ratings: 4.3/5 on Goodreads

This was such a unique series and the one that introduced me to the world of Sci-Fi, I had never read anything like it before. It is comprised of three books, and each book is made up of video transcripts, messages, emails, and various other files. I can’t really pick a favorite book in this one, but my favorite character was definitely AIDEN, the artificial intelligence in charge of the ships. Honestly, if these authors can give an A.I. a personality you can fall in love with then you know they can do anything. The format is really different, so I suggest the audio books if you have trouble adjusting. I enjoyed the unique formatting, the witty dialogue, the group dynamics, and the non-stop action.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the worst thing she’d ever been through. That was before her planet was invaded. Now, with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra are forced to fight their way onto one of the evacuating craft, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But the warship could be the least of their problems. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their biggest threat; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady plunges into a web of data hacking to get to the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: Ezra.
Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents–including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more–Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

the infernal devices series by cassandra clare
Pictures from Goodreads. Buy on Amazon.

For fans of: YA/Fantasy, Shadowhunters, love triangle tropes, books set in London and the late 1800’s

Rating: 4.33/5 on Goodreads

I love all the Shadowhunter books by Cassandra Clare, but this series has always stayed with me. I have quotes from these books all over my house, notebooks, and my phone. This series is comprised of three amazing books, and I cannot pick a favorite. I also cannot pick between Will and James, and admit Tessa had a very tough choice to make. I enjoyed the poetic language, the slow burn romance, and the friendships.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In a time when Shadowhunters are barely winning the fight against the forces of darkness, one battle will change the course of history forever. Welcome to the Infernal Devices trilogy, a stunning and dangerous prequel to the New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments series.

The year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…

Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor

daughter of smoke and bone series by laini taylor
Picture taken by me. Buy on Amazon

For fans of: Angels and Demons, enemies to lovers trope, Fantasy

Rating: 4.02/5 on Goodreads

This series is comprised of three wonderful books. I can’t really pick a favorite book or favorite character. I loved ALL of it and I cannot recommend it enough. I enjoyed the friendships between the main characters and side characters, the romance, and the unique world building.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Strange the Dreamer series by Laini Taylor

strange the dreamer series by laini taylor
Picture taken by me. Buy on Amazon.

For fans of: Hercules, Gods and humans trope, nightmares and dreamscapes, Fantasy

Rating: 4.32/5 from Goodreads

Laini Taylor’s writing is so hypnotic and poetic that it has made me fall in love with all her series. This story is a duology. Both books were perfect, but my favorite was the first one. It was fun being introduced to this stange world and trying to piece the story together as I went. I enjoyed the mystery, the quoteable writing, and the romance.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

Gemina and Obsidio Mini Reviews

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

obsidio by amy kaufman and jay kristoff book
Picture taken by me

Obsidio and Gemina are the last two books in the Illuminae Files series by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. These books were both amazing, though not as great as the first Illuminae book in my opinion. I think what I really missed fromthe first book was the killer infected people. I found them absolutely terriffying. Also, AIDAN (the artificial intelligence in charge of the ships in the first book) was still super creepy in these last two books, but its abilities were diminished and he/it became a bit predictable.

Every story needs its hero. And its villain. And its monster.”

Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Gemina had the mind-sucking alien like creatures which were interesting. Here we were introduced to Hanna, the daughter of the man in charge of Jump Station Heimdall, and to Nik, her drug dealer. These two end up holding the fate of the whole universe in their hands after a wormhole malfunction. Hanna became one of my favorite characters, because she could be a badass and look good doing it at the same time. I also loved Nik’s little cousin Ella, she was hilarious.

Live a life worth dying for.”

Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Obsidio was about bringing the whole story together. I liked seeing all the main characters working for the same team and fighting for their survival on the last book. We are also introduced to the last two characters: Asha and Rhys. What I really liked about Asha was that she was just a regular person, she didn’t have super computer abilities like Kady, or crazy fighting skills like Hanna, but she still managed to make a difference.

Perhaps bravery is simply the face humanity wraps around its collective madness.”

Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

These last two books were fast paced, but there was enough character development to make me fall in love with all the characters and become invested in their survival. The story dealt with the possibility that not everything is black or white, and the plot was full of gray areas. The “bad guys” thought they were doing the right thing. The “good guys” were forced to cross lines they would otherwise never cross before. I would recommend this whole series to everyone. Before Jay Kristoff and Amy Kaufman’s books I was never a big fan of space settings, but they made me change my mind.

Illuminae Review

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Illuminae book by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
My Bookstagram

Authors: Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Publication Date: October 20, 2015

I would rather be numb than stand here in the light of a sun that can never chase the chill away.”

aidan

I have so many thoughts on this book that I’m struggling to put them all into coherent sentences. First, let’s start with the formatting. I struggled with it at first, but once I got used to it it read like any other book. I actually thought this book was an amazing work of art. It is comprised of emails, messages, descriptions of camera footage, audio recordings, pictures, and many other types of files.

You’re a speck of animated carbon and water with about seven centimeters of ballistics-grade ceramic between you and absolutely nothing. Ninety three billion light years of *ing nothing. No up. No down. No sky. No ground. Just endless dark shot through with tiny spears of sunlight older than you and your entire species stacked end to end. You want to feel small? Spend sixty seconds in a Cyclone’s cockpit…look out at nothing and feel it looking back. Then you know exactly how much you add up to.”

Ezra

The story is mostly set in space, which was described really well in my opinion (see quote above). Other than describing the inside and outside of the ships in perfect poetic detail, there was not much more world building to be done. We also get some maps of the ships as a reference. The main characters were adequately described, but I could have done with a bit more detail. The dialogue was where this book excelled, which is a very good thing since it was mostly dialogue. Conversations were full of humor and sarcasm in the midst of chaos, and they read like an action packed movie. I could almost hear the characters catching their breath as they talked, whispering, and shouting or screaming. It was very well done.

Miracles are statistical improbabilities. And fate is an illusion humanity uses to comfort itself in the dark. There are no absolutes in life, save death.”

aiden

The romance aspect of the book was great, and it did not take over the whole plot. I loved Kady and Ezra and I was rooting for them the whole time. They fought like a real couple, they compromised over their differences, and overall their relationship was very realistic. Emotions were described in such great detail that everything they could feel I also could. Their fear gave me chills, and their grief was so real it almost made me cry at times, but I don’t cry easily.

Part of being alive is having life change us. The people around us, the events we live through, all of them shape us.”

kady

I went into this book not really knowing what to expect and having no idea about what the plot really entailed, and I think that was the way to go. Many of the events caught me by surprise, and it was very refreshing to read something so different from the other stories I usually read. This book has definitely made me want more SCI-FI in my life, and I will be reading the second and third installments as soon as I can. I would recommend this series to everyone. Read it! I really don’t know why I waited so long.

The universe owes you nothing…it has already given you everything. After all. It was here long before you, and it will go on long after you. The only way it will remember you is if you do something worthy of remembrance.”

aidan

Five Star Reads

We’re half-way through the year already, so I thought I would summarize all the five star reads I’ve had up to now. I’ve either been very generous this year with my ratings, or I’ve just been reading a lot of fantastic books. I’ve read a total of eleven five star books this year. For me these are books that I’ve absolutely loved and I would re-read them again. Also, these tend to become my auto-buy authors, and I will buy anything they write forever and ever.

Fairest Lunar Chronicles by Merissa Meyer
Picture from Goodreads

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles, #3.5) by Marissa Meyer

I loved the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, and this was Queen Levana’s story. I haven’t read many stories from the villain’s point of view, and this was a very interesting read. In reality I just really missed this world and even a small mention of the main characters made me happy. I enjoyed finding out exactly what happened to Cinder and Snow when they were children at the hands of Queen Levana. I liked reading about the events that made her into the evil Queen. After reading this novella I had to go and reread the whole series of course. I’m planning to write a full review on the whole Lunar Chronicles soon.

The Space between time by Charlie laidlaw
Picture from Goodreads

The Space Between Time by Charlie Laidlaw

This story was profoundly real. It delves into hard topics such as depression, anxiety and suicide, while also throwing some humor into the mix. I would recommend it to anyone wishing to learn more about the human condition and what it means to be alive. Read my full review here.

A very large expanse of the sea by tahereh mafi
Picture from Goodreads

A Very Large Expanse of the Sea by Tahereh Mafi

I love Mafi’s Shatter Me series, and this stand alone totally unrelated book was amazing as well. The characters felt so real. It had a diary kind of feel to it that kept me glued to the pages wanting to find out what was next. You can read my full review here.

The red scrolls of magic by Cassandra clare, shadowhunters, the eldest curses
Picture from Goodreads

The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1) by Cassandra Clare

I had been looking forward to The Red Scrolls of Magic for almost a year. One of my favorite characters from her other Shadowhunter books is Magnus Bane, and when I saw the book was mostly about him I was super excited. On the other hand, one of my least favorite characters is Alexander Lightwood, but this book was exactly what I needed in order to understand his personality more. You can read my full review here.

A curse so dark and lonely by brigid kemmerer
Picture from Goodreads

A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

I found the plot to be fast paced and gripping, but without feeling too rushed. I’ve read a lot of fairy tale retellings, and this one was different enough to be entertaining yet it still kept many of the familiar concepts I associate with Beauty and the Beast. It included the beast (of course), a girl taken against her will, and an enchanted castle. I also thought the romance aspect of the story was very realistic, especially the fact that at a young age it’s hard to identify what love feels like. You can read the rest of my review here.

Sky in the deep by Adrienne young
Picture from Goodreads

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

The women in this book are strong, and many of them are leaders. The men worship their women, and fight to protect their people. I liked that both sexes are seen as warriors and providers. I heard her next book The Girl the Sea Gave Back is in part about him. I recently got approved to read it on Netgalley and I cannot wait to get started. I loved everything about this book, and I will definitely be reading anything else she writes. Come read the rest of my review here.

shadow of the fox by Julie kagawa
Picture from Goodreads

Shadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox, #1) by Julie Kagawa

This was my first audio book. I never thought I would get into audio books but I really needed something productive to do while on the way to and from work, and I thought listening to an audio book was a great idea. I liked the fact that Yumeko and Tatsumi were voiced by a female and a male respectively. They each changed their voices when another character was involved, and I thought it was well done. I did have the e-book as well, and that was nice to have for any down time, and to check the correct spelling of names and places. It also had a handy glossary at the end. The story, the characters, and the scenery were described in great detail, and at the time I could not wait for the second book. You can read the rest of my review here.

soul of the sword by Julie kagawa
Picture from Goodreads

Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox, #2) by Julie Kagawa

**Some spoilers for Shadow of the Fox, the first book in the series**

Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa transported me to a warm campfire under a starry night, while a bearded old man told this mythical tale in between puffs of smoke from his old wooden pipe. Suddenly, I was in a world in which emotions like grief and despair had smells, and everything from the scenery to the food was described in poetic detail. I particularly found the Forest of a Thousand Eyes terrifying, even when described from Hakaimono’s demon perspective, who tried to make everything sound amusing. Read the rest of my review here.

catwoman soulstealer by sarah j maas
Picture from Goodreads

Catwoman: Soulstealer (DC Icons, #3) by Sarah J. Maas

Catwoman: Soulstealer was written by Sarah J. Maas, and the audio book was narrated by Julia Whelan. I read it in my down time, and listened to it on my work commute, as well as in the shower and while doing house-work. Honestly, I found myself looking for any possible excuse to listen to this book. This narrator was the best I’ve heard yet, she did all the male and female voices perfectly and even did their accents. Read my full review here.

the wicked king by holly black
Picture from Goodreads

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2) by Holly Black

In this sequel to “The Cruel Prince” by Holly Black. We continue the story of Jude Duarte, a human in the realm of Elfhame, who is struggling to hold on to her newly acquired power over its high King Cardan and his subjects. The graphics on this cover were amazing, and I loved the little drawings of dragonflies throughout the book along with the drawings at the beginning of each chapter. The dialogue between Jude and Cardan was so entertaining to read. I could just read about those two talking forever. Read my full review here.

crooked kingdom by leigh bardugo
Picture from Goodreads

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) by Leigh Bardugo

I loved this band of misfits. This was a super fast paced book packed with action, even more so than the first book in the series. If you love stories with a good heist in them, then this is the book for you. It is told from six different points of views, but Leigh Bardugo does it seamlessly so that it never becomes an issue. Each character is unique and fleshed out, even if their names weren’t at the top of each chapter, you could still probably tell who was narrating every time. Come read my full review here.

What were some of your five star reads this year?

Call It What You Want

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer is a Contemporary/ YA novel involving two teenagers Rob and Meagan. Rob is living with the consequences of his dad’s actions, while Meagan is dealing with the repercussions of her own mistakes and those of her sister Sam.

People love finding the weak link that makes them feel superior.”

Sam

I usually try to avoid Contemporary, because good Contemporary fiction always ends up making me cry. But Kemmerer wrote this one so I just had to read it. Kemmerer paints such a vivid picture of what it’s like to a be a High Schooler that it brought back all my horrible High School memories. I hated High School. Emotions are so real in this story, and by real I mean not described in flowery detail, but in basic and deeply relatable terms.

My life has collapsed to the point where a ninety-nine-cent cup of coffee with a stranger is meaningful”

Rob

Another thing I liked about this story was Kemmerer’s inclusion of other books I love, like An Ember in the Ashes and Harry Potter. Call It What You Want is the only book that has ever made me add another book to my “to be read” list. She kept mentioning all these books I love, so when she mentioned Winner’s Curse I had to add it.

One choice doesn’t determine your whole future.”

Sam

I appreciate authors who can branch out into other genres and still write amazing stories. I loved A Curse so Dark and Lonely by her, which was Fantasy/ YA, and Call It What You Want definitely lived up to all my expectations as well. I would recommend this book to all Contemporary/ YA fans. This book delves into hard topics such as suicide, underage drinking, and abortion, amongst others. Overall, the main lesson I took from this story was that everyone is fighting their own battles and not everything is black and white. Real people live in the gray areas.

Sometimes when we’re trying to protect the people closest to us, doing the right thing doesn’t always look so clear.”

Maegan’s dad

This book released today June 25th. I hope you guys have time to check it out.

Many thanks to Bloomsburry and Netgalley for providing me an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.