All Booked

Hi Book Lovers!

I recently did a review for An Ember in the Ashes which was a re-read in anticipation of A Reaper at the Gates to come out. That obviously meant I needed to FINALLY get around to A Torch Against the Night so when the third installment was available I could devour it immediately (which I did). Let’s get started.


A Torch Against the Night
By: Sabaa Tahir
Pages: 452
Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)
Genre: YA
Format: Hardcover


Book Synopsis:

Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.

Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.

But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.

Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.


My Thoughts:

I think this book was my favorite of the three so far. Firstly, I knew more of the world, rules, and culture and what was going on so instead of spending the first several chapters wondering what was happening I could easily jump right in and simply enjoy it from page one. Second, I enjoyed the overall story line of this book the most simply because of where it came from and where it led to by the end. Third, I loved the characters SO much more in this story than in An Ember in the Ashes.

In regards to the story line, it was easy to follow. I always enjoy that there are still plenty of details in her writing and stories but it doesn’t ever feel as though we are stuck in one spot or bogged down too much that it stalls the story line. I appreciate that. I understand that this book is definitely a slight “filler” in that there is mostly traveling and the idea of scheming going on here, however, I think I enjoyed getting to know Lia, Elias, and even Helene more.

While Helene was not my favorite character in An Ember in the Ashes, I found her growing on me throughout this book. Being torn between your mind/heart and the life you need to live to survive is a tough call, and I feel slightly bad for her most of this book. Lia felt slightly more naive in this book. Perhaps it’s the issue with the Nightbringer that made me roll my eyes. While she didn’t seem as afraid as in the first book, I did wonder about some of her choices and why they were necessary or if they were doable (Kauf? I mean.) Elias is wonderful. His story line made me feel the most: sad, confused, worried, etc. Without spoiling it, I was not in favor of where his story went by the end of this book. It felt like a cop-out and a way to keep the story going.

The love (triangle[s]?) weren’t my favorite piece of this book. While I can appreciate loving and hoping despite the terrible things going on around you in desperate times, some of these situations felt pushed and unnatural. I really could have cared less if there were any love stories involved here as I feel like the main plot doesn’t revolve around this idea anyway.

Lastly, while it made me feel anxious at times, when Tahir doesn’t stray from the way this world works, the rough stuff and all, I appreciate the story a little more. Listening to tales at Kauf was not easy, but almost necessary. Listening to the brutality of other situations and fights along the way were also difficult but, again, made me appreciate the story more. I’m growing to like when a story doesn’t stray from the hard things just to save face or be constantly fluffy and happy (even though those are usually my favorite stories).

  • What was your favorite part?
  • Least favorite part?
  • Did you like the love situations?


Hi Book Lovers!

I was lucky enough to receive this book on Netgalley in an exchange for an honest review. Let’s talk about this emotional roller-coaster ride.


Ohpikiihaakan-ohpihmeh (Raised Somewhere Else)
By: Colleen Cardinal
Pages: Unknown (E-Book / no pages listed)
Genre: Nonfiction
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
Format: E-Book on Kindle

“What they didn’t see was the pain, trauma and suffering that we endured living under that roof with those people.” – Colleen Cardinal

It’s been a few days since I finished Colleen’s story. I had a lot to think about. Colleen, an Indigenous woman, grew up in the Sixties Scoop – a practice that occurred primarily in Canada where Indigenous children were taken from their families and sent to foster homes or adopted (usually by white families) in the late 1950s on. Her story is one of growing up in a family different from her own and how it snowballed into the life she created for several decades. Colleen dealt with abuses abound including mental, emotional, physical, and even sexual. Trauma can alter people in vastly different ways and this story was a look at how Colleen coped through her life (very rough, detailed patches and all) and found her way back to herself and to the people and culture she was taken from years ago.

Colleen told this story as if she were sitting across from me speaking her truths. Honestly, there were a few instances I looked up almost expecting someone to be there telling me what her words were telling me about her life. What also impressed me is how she has owned up to so many things about her past that even she admitted aren’t easy to do for many people. In that, I applauded her greatly.

“I am not perfect by any means and have hurt and been violent to other people in my past.” – Colleen Cardinal

“Like a familiar piece of luggage, I have dragged my abuse right along with me, and in many ways have taken it out on my children.” – Colleen Cardinal

Perhaps wisdom does come with age and watching Colleen’s story unravel and lead her to a place of self-discovery was inspiring, hopeful, and educational (the Sixties Scoop was yet another piece of Indigenous culture I didn’t know existed beforehand). Additionally, her extreme love for her children was something to be cherished as I read. Yes, she has made many errors in her life (which of us haven’t?), and sometimes her own desires sadly did come before her children’s desires. However, she credits them for her ability to grow and change constantly and I appreciate that as I never had a mother who loved me as much as she loves her children.

The downside to her story, for me, was certain parts felt slightly repetitive. It wasn’t necessarily overdone to a point I was irritated or annoyed, however, it did detract from the way her story unraveled when we would see her travel back a moment to re-live something already discussed. I think why this was hard for me is that Colleen’s story has a lot of emotional and rough spots in it – things I have never experienced and things I wish no one would ever have to experience. Rehashing a section that I already felt sad about was difficult the first time and sometimes I didn’t want to stomach things a second time.

This book was neither easy to read nor bursting with warm, fuzzy feelings. I cannot relate to her on many levels, yet that is why I loved her story so deeply. I have been in awe of Native American and Indigenous culture since I was around five or six and have felt that so many of their stories have been skipped over or not given a platform or opportunity to reach as many people as they should. What has happened to their lifestyles and culture has unsettled me for decades and in listening to Colleen’s story I felt proud for her and her people to finally raise a voice and put a foot down to accepting what they are told to accept. While many voices are still not heard, this story was fascinating, saddening, and hopeful. I hope it allows others like her to find their way back to their true selves and allow the rest of us to see what has happened to so many Indigenous people. Those actions cannot be taken back – history is history. Yet there is always time to change the future to be better and brighter for future generations that have been previously been wronged for so long.

“There are things you just keep on doing no matter what. You drag your ass out of bed or off the couch and you keep going because you have to, because no one is going to do it for you.” – Colleen Cardinal

This is just one of many stories that should be read by many to help further the knowledge of what has happened under the rug to so many for years upon years. Don’t assume you know the full story unless you’ve truly looked at every angle. I highly recommend reading this story for anyone interested in learning more about the Sixties Scoop and understanding what’s really happening under the stereotypes put on many Indigenous by those who do not truly understand.



Hi Book Lovers!

Today we are gathered here to discuss the sad tale of how much I disliked a story. If you’ve put that together with the title of this blog post, you’ll know I was NOT A FAN OF THIS BOOK AT ALL. Let’s discuss.

SLIGHT spoilers ahead.

King's Cage

King’s Cage
By: Victoria Aveyard
Pages: 528
Genre: YA
Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2.5/5)
Format: Audiobook


Book Synopsis:

In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.


My Thoughts:

Alright. Alright, alright, alright. As I was prepping this review I was looking at my Goodreads and I honestly couldn’t help but panic a bit when I saw the overall rating for this book is 4.02/5. Needless to say, I think this will be a bit of an unpopular opinion review.

I read this book a few months ago now and I’ve been waiting and waiting to review it because I kept having conflicting thoughts on what I wanted to say. To sum it up: I no longer have much to say, and what I do have to talk about will be small in amount and not necessarily positive.

If it is possible to hate Mare Barrow more than in Glass Sword then I hadn’t anticipated it at that time. Her character is bitter in a self-loathing way which made me despise her more and more as every chapter began. Cal is also in the same self-loathing-so-it-affects-change-from-happening type of person in ALL of these books that I constantly struggle when I’m reading reviews that talk about how much they love him. The only reason I have clung on and went through with this book was due to Maven. I don’t even like “the bad” characters often because I’m a total softy at heart and just want everything to work out perfectly in the end. Yet, this story (for me) is so dull that Maven is the only thing that keeps me interested because I almost WANT him to destroy everything and everyone just for something to actually occur.

Mare is locked away for what feels like more than half of this book and it’s SO DULL. Let me repeat: IT’S SO FLIPPING DULL. There’s no great thoughts that come to her in this room (just self loathing and pity for herself), nothing major happens, and months, yes months, go by in this story before she finally escapes from this room that holds no story line. By the time the action began (as appears normal in Aveyard’s books) in the last quarter of the book I was so bored I didn’t even care what that action was in any shape, way, or form. I remember sitting in my car waiting to turn, listening to what I assume was the highlight of the action in the book, and thinking “Wow. I truly do not care about this at all.”

Lastly, the ending with Cal and Mare was so anti-climatic and pointless I wished for a brief moment I had a physical copy of the book so I could actually throw it across the room upon completion just to express to the universe how mad I was at everything.

I’d give more time to this review but honestly, I’m ready to put these characters and story behind me and I have no desire to even finish the last book at this point. I know I’m more of a minority in this series, but at the end of the day (and months of thinking about it) I cannot find any other reasons to enjoy it as so many others have.


  • Have you read this series or book? Did you like them?
  • If so, why?????
  • If not, why?????
  • I don’t care to read War Storm, so if you have, tell me how it ends!

Hi Book Lovers!

This is a spoiler review so proceed at your own risk if you haven’t read the story yet!

I’d apologize for being MIA recently, but honestly, life happens and sometimes that is more important than typing up a blog. Still, I’ve been reading a ton and have quite a few books I wanted to sit down and chat about. It just so happens this one is not only super hyped again right now, but that I’m also super excited to talk about all that is held between the pages of this book!


An Ember in the Ashes
By: Sabaa Tahir
Pages: 446
Genre: YA Fiction
Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)


Book Synopsis:

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loves ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will rish her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier – and, secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined – and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.


Favorite Quotes:

“Fear is only your enemy if you allow it to be.”

“I don’t need to believe in the supernatural, now when there’s worse that roams the night.”

“Safety is an illusion never to trust.”



My Review:

First, can we talk about how poorly the book’s description does to this story? Personal opinion, obviously, but after reading the story several times it seems so bland in comparison to what lies ahead for Laia and Elias.

Let’s start with our characters.

Laia – I see so many reviews of people who absolutely adore Laia for her strength in this book. While I can understand this affection for her, I actually don’t agree with it here. Sure, she does grow a lot, but admittedly, I find her a bit on the cowardly side for the first part of this story. Granted, her situation is bleak, but I still found myself wishing I could urge her on to do certain things or stop her from doing others I didn’t understand. Regardless, I do love her character development over the story and find she’s got a large, tender heart and a will to survive.

Elias – is a character that is easy to love. He is masked (literally) as a cold, tough soldier, yet yearns to be free and love without restraint. What isn’t to love about him? I enjoyed watching his tenderness come out as the story went on and found his relationship dynamic with so many different people to be an interesting part of his journey. I always wanted to see what he would say or do next with a character, especially Helene.

Helene – I actually do not really enjoy her much in this book. Perhaps it really is the way she is presented at being the Mask she was made into? Whatever it is, she always irks me in this book, although I do enjoy her interactions with Elias. Also, I forgot about her power until I re-read this and I did enjoy seeing her rare tender moments in healing – especially with Laia which was highly unexpected.

As for everyone else, need I say much about the Commandment? She’s a sociopath. Keenan irritates me to no end and I don’t understand his point in most of the story. I really enjoyed our short interactions with Spiro Teluman. Cain and the other Augers are…interesting. Lastly, the Cook and Izzi are lovely.

The story itself is somewhat brutal, scary, and intriguing all the same. I truly enjoy Tahir’s writing: it doesn’t move too fast nor does it move too slow. I always get enough information to know what is going on, the details seem to be in the most appropriate places, and her way of getting us to love her world and these characters appeals to me so greatly. I devour her work so quickly when I pick up these books. Despite not being the biggest fan of torturous scenes, I still appreciate the way the story doesn’t shy from the brutality of this world and its comparison to the Rome-like world of our own.

My favorite part of this story was the scheming at the end that, upon my first read, I never expected and it was actually a surprise for me. I enjoyed the fierceness of characters to push through in tough times and even dare hope for a better future.

Every time I pick this story up I cannot put it down until I finish as quickly as possible (this one was also good on audio). The world, the story, the characters, and everything in between makes this story worth it again and again.

So, tell me. Are you one of the many who have read this book?
Did you enjoy it?
Did you not?
What was YOUR favorite part?
Who is YOUR favorite character?


There is this deep-rooted need in me to make some small attempt at explaining my love obsession for Jodi Picoult. Whatever I say, though, won’t even come close to what I really feel for her work. Sometimes I get personally offended when people don’t like her work and actively avoid reading reviews for her books so I don’t go into rants with people who dislike a book. I get it, that’s completely unfair of me to do as we all have different tastes in books and stories – but I mainly want you to understand how much I love her work no matter if you agree or disagree.

That being said, I have been on a kick recently of wanting to re-read all of her books. Last year I read House Rules and My Sister’s Keeper (both for the 4th of 5th time total). This year I wanted to add a few more re-reads of her work I don’t typically pick up when doing re-reads. While on the subject of things I’ve been into recently, I have to add audio books to the top of that list. So, I was browsing the library e-books and saw that Leaving Time wasn’t in use and decided to give it a shot. Granted, I usually prefer her books in physical form so I was extremely hesitant to pick this up on audio but gave it a shot anyway. The first hour of it I wasn’t a fan of (mostly told from the side of Jenna, our main character). But after that, I was HOOKED. Let’s discuss!

Leaving Time
By: Jodi Picoult
Pages: 401
Genre: Fiction
Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)




Book Synopsis:

For more than a decade, Jenna Metcalf has never stopped thinking about her mother, Alice, who mysteriously disappeared in the wake of a tragic accident. Refusing to believe she was abandoned, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and pores over the pages of Alice’s old journals. A scientist who studied grief among elephants, Alice wrote mostly of her research among the animals she loved, yet Jenna hopes the entries will provide a clue to her mother’s whereabouts.

Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two unlikely allies in her quest: Serenity Jones, a psychic who rose to fame finding missing persons, only to later doubt her gifts, and Virgil Stanhope, the jaded private detective who’d originally investigated Alice’s case along with the strange, possible linked death of one of her colleagues. As the three work together to uncover what happened to Alice, they realize that in asking hard questions, they’ll have to face even harder answer.

Favorite Quotes:

The moral of this story is that sometimes, you can attempt to make all the difference in the world, and it still is like trying to stem the tide with a sieve.
The moral of this story is that no matter how much we try, no matter how much we want it…some stories just don’t have a happy ending.

I wonder if, as you get older, you stop missing people so fiercely. Maybe growing up is just focusing on what you’ve got, instead of what you don’t.

I tell you this story by way of explanation: The people we define as crazy just might be more sane than you and me.

The sound that a heart makes, when it is breaking, is raw and ugly. And anguish, it’s a waterfall.

Could it be as simple as that? Could love be not granted gestures or empty vows, not promises meant to be broken, but instead a paper trail of forgiveness? A line of crumbs made of memories, to lead you back to the person who was waiting?

Just because you leave someone doesn’t mean you ever let them go.

My thoughts:

I said this in another post at one point, but I mentioned that I almost never cry at books – they can be super sad, yet I don’t ever cry.  -Insert dramatic cough here- But this book. THIS book.

Jenna is the “main” character and we hear mostly from her. She’s a conflicting character for me – she’s sassy, extremely smart, and unbearably lonely. She has an entire universe of a hole in her soul from missing her mother and, as in most Picoult books, she feels things to an extent I’m unsure many people can comprehend in the real world (mainly, I just mean it doesn’t always seem plausible for a 13 year old to feel as deep as a character like Jenna). Despite this flaw that occasionally irked me, Jenna’s determination and sassiness helped balance out her sadness and confusion in her hunt to find her mother.

Serenity and Virgil are pretty great characters, though significantly different in personalities. Virgil is an old-cop-turned-P.I. who drowns his feelings and regrets with booze and an overall grumpy tone. For me, he mirrors pieces of myself that could easily wind up like him in attempts to mask mistakes, regrets, and pain of the past. On the other hand, Serenity, a psychic, copes differently with her losses and regrets and I enjoyed seeing a great deal of sides of loss and hope within these characters – they are as different as you and me.

But Alice. Dear Alice. She breaks my soul into a million pieces. Not simply because of the story, but because of how she receives information, processes thoughts and emotions, and has this extreme love and understanding of the creatures she has admired her entire life – elephants. Listening to Alice’s chapters made me want to rip my heart out and give it to her in an attempt to heal her soul. I can understand how she could be a somewhat problematic character for some or even unbearable to listen to/read, but I cannot express how much I loved her this time around. At the end, I just kept thinking about the list of things that went wrong or could have been done differently, but then I remembered that that’s life. Sometimes we make choices we cannot take back, or sometimes we don’t know the right answer. Sometimes things don’t work out the way we picture them. Sometimes they do. The imperfection that is Alice is what makes me love her so much. I’m not saying she did everything appropriately or that I condone some of her mistakes, but I still find myself admiring her as a whole and that’s why I loved her so much.

Lastly, the elephants. Picoult always does such a great deal of research for her books in order to give accurate information to readers. There are honestly really difficult things to listen to about poachers, elephant’s lives and deaths, and everything in between. Maybe I have simply always had an overly-bleeding heart for elephants and their diminishing numbers, but Picoult doesn’t stray from rough details and the grief some of these creatures experience through this book. Not only that but you get a chance to learn several things about elephants you might not have easily learned otherwise.

Overall, I refuse to pick this book apart for any of its flaws. Yes, there are flaws. The characters have flaws. The story has flaws. The ending could be highly problematic for some people. No, it took absolutely nothing away from me and in the last hour of this audio book I sat on my couch with tears streaming down my face.

I will almost always recommend Picoult books and after listening to this on audio, I would recommend either version of this book if you have not yet read it. But, be warned, if you experience a lot of emotion while reading this could be one that gets to you like it did for me.


  • Have you read Leaving Time?
  • Do you enjoy Picoult’s work?
  • Did you learn anything new about elephants or believe they can experience grief?
  • Did you love or hate the ending?



Hi Bookish Fans!

I read this book in February and never got around to reviewing it on here for some reason. This was all the hype and more at the end of 2017 and I kept trying to force myself to pick this up and read it, mostly to see if I agreed with how many people loved this book. Let’s discuss!


Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Eliza and Her Monsters
By Francesca Zappia
Pages: 385
Genre: YA
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5)

Book Synopsis:
In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s Lady Constellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she beings to wonder if life offline might be worthwhile.

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built – her story, her relationship with Wallace, and ever her sanity – begins to fall apart.

Favorite Lines:
“I like being invisible, not having someone look at me like I should be.”

“Mom teaches classes for people who want to get in shape to run marathons, which means by definition everyone who signs up is out of their minds.”

“Maybe that’s normal. The things you care most about are the ones that leave the biggest holes.”

My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed
this book for a few reasons:

1. The format of the book.
Sometimes when books add in things other than words I can get annoyed. This had online conversations, texts, letters, and parts of Eliza’s online story built between the pages. The first few pages I wasn’t having it (I have this thing where when I don’t know who people are or what’s going on at first I get frustrated with distractions until I understand the purpose), but after my brain catching up to the story line occurred I was rather pleased with the variety of ways Zappia showed communication in this story. (It also made the book fly by with pages filled with online conversations!)

2. The anxiety and sadness.
Don’t get me wrong, this entire book is not depressing or sad, but it was sprinkled with, what I thought was, a nice dose of these topics considering the overwhelming anxiety Eliza faced in her life. With that, I liked the way Zappia wrote about anxiety from a YA perspective. Also, Wallace’s feelings there at the end along with his story about his father was a great addition to the story. I could see how it might be slightly tough for people who have experienced something similar in their personal lives, but not straying from the topic just to write a book was something I admired in this book.

3. The relationships overall.
Not all relationships are perfect. Eliza faces this struggle with her family being unable to understand her as an individual and as a growing adult (and someone who is highly introverted). She struggles with her brothers and her parents, yet it was obvious that her brothers and parents did care about her which is a piece of the story she comes to understand as the story continues. Also, Eliza’s relationships with those in the real world was fun to watch as they grew and she experienced things so many of us have in our own lives.

4. The Monstrous Sea.
The layout of this story (as discussed above) was amazing, and really allowed for the M.S. to come to life. It took me a hot minute to get into M.S. as a storyline but once I did I was appreciative of the artwork, story, and characters within Eliza’s world. It was, as I felt, a well-functioning piece to add that enhanced the overall book and I thoroughly enjoyed this!

I was not a fan of Eliza 100% alienating herself from her family. I mean, I do get it: I also tried to alienate myself as much as I could from my family growing up, but it was just so extreme at a few points that I felt guilty and bad for her parents and brothers.

Also, while I truly do understand the anxiety theme here, I also as a reader wanted to keep yelling at Eliza to just tell Wallace what was up! I know, I know, probably unrealistic, but every time a situation arose for her to tell him she didn’t and a piece of me slowly died a little inside from this.

Overall, I did enjoy this book. I ate it up very fast and was glad to see my opinions over this book did align with many others. While it isn’t one of the top books I’ve ever read, I still loved the story enough that I might consider a re-read one day!

  • I’m sure many of you have read this – did you like it? Why or why not?
  • Did you relate to Eliza’s anxiety?
  • Did you enjoy Monstrous Sea and Eliza’s online world?
  • What was your favorite and least favorite parts from this book?



Hi Bookish Fans!

I recently read and somehow devoured this book freakishly fast upon picking it up. I was looking for something light and for some reason I see many people rave over Kasie West’s books, so I thought I’d pick this up and give it a try. Granted, I got this in a book box quite a while ago (July of 2017), and most people had read the story and moved on already so I’m a little late. Nevertheless, I got into this story quickly and am glad to be writing a review (with little to no spoilers).


P.S. I Like you
By: Kasie West
Pages: 326
Genre: YA
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5)

Book Synopsis:
Signed, sealed, delivered…

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

Favorite Lines:
Honestly, most of them between Lily and Cade’s interactions which were sarcastic, witty, and funny. Ha.

My Thoughts:
I loved this book!!!!!! I really, truly enjoyed this story. I had been reading a few heavy books before this (Salt to Sea – which I won’t be discussing until my best friend reads and annotates it so as to not spoil it for him, and An Ember in the Ashes re-read) and wanted to spice it up with something light, breezy, and cheesy. This book hit all of those for me, and I finished it in less than 2 sittings.

The characters were my favorite part of the book and while they clearly had their own flaws and drawbacks, I still found myself enjoying them as people. Also…the humor! I really liked the way Lily and Cade bantered as it felt like something I would have (and still do) with just about everyone – my husband included.

Their shared love of music was also something that can be related to for many people as this is a huge piece of people’s lives. I remember finding a band in middle school that, to this day, almost no one has heard of, yet I not only became obsessed with them back in the day, I still claim them as my favorite band almost 15 years later (yeah, I’m old. We’ve discussed before). After reading this book I found myself listening to their albums on repeat for a week – ah, the sweet joy and memories it brings back!

Lily’s family was cute and honestly she was much nicer to her brothers than I ever was to mine and it was cute to see that some siblings can get along if they try. Haha. Additionally, hearing about Cade’s family was sad, but realistic in a way that some children don’t have the same weird, loving family that Lily was accustomed to having.

Lastly, on the things I enjoyed – I love the idea of the love in this book: slow, constantly building, confusing, maddening, frustrating, and even disappointing. I’m sure I pulled more out of the teenage-esque love than I should have, but the fact that not everyone we meet is someone we will always love right off the bat. I appreciated this story for that reason. Additionally, the love of another female friend is amazing – a book where females are there for each other instead of fighting over something (or someone) or putting each other down. It was cute and I respected Isabel’s friendship with Lily for those reasons.

The piece I did not like was the somewhat over-the-top, highly predictable ending that transformed me from a cute, gushing kind of reader to one who almost felt squeamish with how the ending turned out. I guess it almost felt rushed in the last, oh, I don’t know, 10 pages or so that I didn’t feel prior. Also, the weird “love-triangle” that Lily was in was odd. She had a major crush on one boy, had another one pushed on her by Isabel, and had feelings for her penal. Slightly unrealistic with these people involved but didn’t necessarily take away from the story as a whole. Overall, though, that wasn’t enough to change my feelings on the overall love I have for this cute story!

  • Have you read this? If so, did you like it? Did you not?
  • What did you think of Lily and Isabel’s friendship?
  • What about Lily’s family?
  • Lastly, what did you think about Lily and her penpal’s relationship?!



Hi Bookish Fans!

Glass Sword

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

Glass Sword
By Victoria Aveyard
Pages: 444
Genre: YA
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3/5)

Book Synopsis:
If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

Favorite Lines:

My Thoughts:
My attempt to be non-spoilery is in full motion, but if I let something slip consider yourself warned!

The first thing I want to talk about is Mare. I found I could mostly tolerate and even appreciate certain aspects of her in Red Queen, but in this book I could barely stand to hear her internal dialogue. Aveyard’s writing with Mare is just…I close my eyes and slowly shake my head from side to side. Besides the fact that Mare felt she was the center of the entire world and that they would never with without her (in essence), added in with the fact that Mare constantly refers to herself as though she is the greatest thing that walks the planet (“I am the lightning girl…they need the powerful lightning girl…do they know I’m the lightning girl?”) made it unbelievably difficult to listen to her constant thoughts (that revolved mainly around her). Additionally, she was so unnecessarily cruel to just about everyone this entire book, and THEN she spent so much time thinking “I am so alone” over and over and over and over that I wanted to fast forward to parts that didn’t showcase her pitying herself for basically being just like Maven and Elara. She was mean to her family, her friends, Cal, the Red Guard…like come on, Mare!

Next, the other characters. Speaking of Maven, where was this B? I get this story didn’t focus on direct interactions with him, but even still I felt like I never knew what was going on with him and I sort of like him as a character (unsure still if that’s good or bad). In Red Queen he pulled a shocker I wasn’t expecting and despite feeling hatred towards him initially, I started to appreciate him as a villain and missed seeing or hearing more of him during this book. I did enjoy the notes he left for Mare – go Maven, you ruthless ruler, you.

I wasn’t a fan of just about anyone else in this book, to be honest. Cal is unreadable, Kilorn went from playful and brotherly to serious and loving and back again too many times to enjoy anything else about him. Mare’s family was a blip on the radar. Farley was super toned down and almost passive compared to being such a strong female leader in the first book. I think I really just liked Shade for most of this book – he was witty, funny, and had a cool gift compared to some of the others with gifts I didn’t think were even worth mentioning or using.

Lastly, the story itself. Let’s start out by saying that truthfully, the first HALF of the book did not need to exist. At all. It could have been summed up in about 1-2 chapters and we could have used that time for more fighting, actually carrying through with some of the scheming happening, or even better character development instead of listening to Mare revel in self pity. I was honestly so bored the first half I wondered if I wanted to finish it or not. It did eventually get better, and I can say I enjoyed the ending pieces around Elara and eventually Maven. While I would want to spend more time talking about the positives of this book it would also spoil most of the book, so I will avoid doing that for now. The last third of the book was all that kept me interested and gave me a sense of what I had been hoping for most of the book. That is enough to keep me wanting to continue the series for now. I am waiting to receive the book from the library so I can devour it and hope that it isn’t as disappointing as Glass Sword was for me.

Overall, I hated most of the characters and the first half of the book topped with despising our main character. Despite this, I love the idea of this world – reds and silvers fighting for their freedoms which mean something different for each group. I enjoy the powers many people have, and I enjoy the fight to determine what is “good” and what is “evil” when it may not always be so clear with such opposing views.

Sorry to spend most of this time venting, but I just had to get my thoughts out about Mare and the first pieces of this book which boiled my blood. I feel loads better and promise not to spend all of my time roasting books!

  • Have you read Glass Sword? What did you think after Red Queen?
  • Did you like or dislike Mare’s point of view?
  • What about the plot and the other characters?
  • Someone talk to me!!!!!



Hi bookish fans!

I recently read Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi and I wanted to chit-chat a little bit about this book!

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Hi bookish fans!

I recently read and finished Renegades by Marissa Meyer. I cannot wait to dive into this review since it was such a massive book and there is a lot to go over. I’m working on finding my own niche of reviewing books in a certain format, so, don’t mind if the next few reviews I create are less than stellar. However, if you’re down for such a review then keep on reading and let’s discuss when you’re done!

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

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The Butterfly Garden Review

Remember when I disappeared off the face of the earth? Me, too. I don’t know how people function in the normal world anymore as it seems I’m constantly running around with my head chopped off. Regardless, I’ve missed reviewing books and reading other people’s posts – hence the reappearance after too long gone. 😦

I was recently on a short vacation back where I’m from for a little rest and relaxation. While that didn’t work out as well as I planned due to it also being the first week of classes, I still had fun. I even got more reading done which I always LOVE ❤

The book I wanted to review today was The Butterfly Garden. Read More

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Review

Hello book lovers!

How has life been? Anything interesting going on out there?
I just started classes as I’m sure many of you have! Three days in and I decided I’m already exhausted. The only consolation is that my first set of classes are aimed at precisely I want to do so I’m really thrilled to be in them. So besides being overwhelmed and consistently tired (is this how parents with children feel? Because if so I’m really unsure I’m ready for them in the near future…) I have managed to read a little here and there and thought I needed to catch up with some reviews.

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