All Booked

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!

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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).

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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

Hi!
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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The Night Circus

Hello fellow book readers!

How was the weekend for everyone? Today has been the first day off both of my jobs in about three weeks so needless to say I have enjoyed every second of this day (still in my pajamas). It was on my list to start reading a new book today but instead I just cleaned because I figured that I need to accept my role as an adult and get things done that are important besides being lazy and reading. Read More

Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper is a huge hit in comparison to her vast array of other books. Whenever I attempt to hold a conversation about my love for Picoult no one ever knows who I am talking about until I say, “One of her books, My Sister’s Keeper, became a movie…with Cameron Diaz.” Aye. I shudder at the thought of having to explain that to one more person. Regardless, that usually brings them somewhat closer to my level until I then lose them as they inform me they’ve failed to read anything else by her and I’m back to square one. Read More

Dark Places Review

I’m pretty sure it’s pathetic that this is the only book I’ve finished so far this month. I work full time as a store manager somewhere and I had a bright idea to get a second job at night. Plus, I will be starting school in January so trying to get it all ready and then adding in the holidays coming up, well, it’s been busy. I’m sure a lot of you are in the same boat!

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Happy Monday, everyone!

It has finally cooled down here (by cool down I mean it’s not 110 degrees but merely 85 on average – does that mean I can break out the sweaters? Ha). So I spent my day off, Saturday, drowning in book pages and enjoying the slightly cooler weather with my cuddle-bug of a dog.

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So after telling myself I needed to get this book ordeal into gear last month I went a little crazy: I reorganized my entire book collection, made a list of the series I had or wanted so if I come across any good deals I can snatch those books up, heavily overdid myself on Goodreads, and spent a lot of time with the cellular device turned off and with my face inside a book (isn’t the inside of a book almost a delicious scent??). While doing this I decided I’ve slacked so much on reading the past few years I needed to re-read everything I owned so I could review them (I’m embarrassed to admit how many books I actually own, so this book-review thing might be something that goes on for eternity).

I only did re-reads last month. Re-reads, but good reads.

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