Book Review

Book Review: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 528 pages
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 73rd, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Andie has a plan. And she always sticks to her plan.

Future? A top-tier medical school.
Dad? Avoid him as much as possible (which isn’t that hard considering he’s a Congressman and he’s never around).
Friends? Palmer, Bri, and Toby—pretty much the most awesome people on the planet, who needs anyone else?
Relationships? No one’s worth more than three weeks.

So it’s no surprise that Andie’s got her summer all planned out too.

Until a political scandal costs Andie her summer pre-med internship, and lands both she and Dad back in the same house together for the first time in years. Suddenly she’s doing things that aren’t Andie at all—working as a dog walker, doing an epic scavenger hunt with her dad, and maybe, just maybe, letting the super cute Clark get closer than she expected. Palmer, Bri, and Toby tell her to embrace all the chaos, but can she really let go of her control?

A FUN SUMMER READ

a Bookstagram friend recommended this when I was looking for distracting books that I could be wrapped up in. I loved that this totally came through and I found myself flying through it.

I loved all of the dogs in here because I personally used to work with dogs so I felt all of this on a personal level. I thought it was unique too as I haven’t seen that be part of a plot before. I honestly think it would be the perfect summer job to walk dogs! HOW FUN.

The love story was cute. I was invested in it from the start and loved Clark. He was sweet, and nerdy and I would definitely be into a fantasy writer. Their interactions were absolutely precious and I had no problems loving them. I wish they both communicated a little better with each other, but overall I actually loved that it wasn’t enemies to lovers (my generally favorite trope). This was a summer fling kind of romance and YES. I am all over it.

Andie’s friends on the other hand were realllll annoying at times. That and the fact that for a contemporary I felt 500+ pages was too long were my only issues. Some random pieces of her friends lives were almost playing too big of a part in the story, and then it kind of ended weird? I understood where her friend was coming from, but was also reallll confused.

Andie had some Daddy issues that caused her to spiral at times but I liked her character. She was a lot more emotionally aware as a teen than I expected, even when she made some mistakes. She had to bounce back from a lot as she tried to navigate her summer and what was more important. There was a strong take on communication and re-connecting with family. I appreciated and enjoyed watching Andie and her Dad both work at their relationship.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: lots of kisses & make-outs, discussion of “bases” and going all the way but no actual depicted love scenes

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Book Review

Book Review: Jackaby (Jackaby #1) by William Ritter

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy + mystery + historical
Length: 299 pages
Author: William Ritter
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: September 16th, 2014
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre. 

LOVE THE QUIRKY CHARACTERS.

I feel a short and sweet review coming.

This was a simply Sherlock-esque book with some twists. I loved that Jacakby’s abilities allowed him to see all sorts of paranormal and fantastical things. The unique mix of creatures and monsters in the world kept me on my toes.

I loved having Abigail Rook as the POV. She sees Jackaby in a light we wouldn’t get from his side (and frankly, might be a bit scattered if we did, haha). She’s stubborn, insightful and easy-going. It was effortless to fall for these characters. Jackaby definitely reminds me of Sherlock and I laughed out a loud a few times at the things he would say and the banter between him and Abigail.

The mystery had its own enigma that even surprised me a few times. I was amazed that the entire 300 page book took the space of three days. It makes me curious for the rest of the series as to how they’re spaced out.

Overall audience notes:

  • Middle-grade/Young adult historical fantasy/mystery
  • Language: none
  • Romance: none
  • Violence: descriptions of bloody murders, a few fight scenes with guns, physical and the supernatural

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Book Review

Book Review: Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

Rating: ☆☆ 1/2
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 416 pages
Author: Joan He
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Release Date: April 9th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own.

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.

SO MUCH POTENTIAL.

Ugh, y’all. I get so sad when I read a book and your expectations are not met at all.

Hesina desperately wants to be Queen after she finds her father was murdered so she can avenge him. Lofty goals I’m cool with, but she was obsessed over doing this. And once that was taken care of, did she grow and become a solid, stunning Queen? No. Instead she continually remained naive, annoyingly stubborn, indecisive, and blindsided by every single thing. The main character alone had me questioning a DNF.

I had a hard time emotionally connecting to any of the characters. Nobody had a background. I got bits and pieces for some of them, but nothing that made me want to cheer for them or hope they get stabbed. No emotions. When a few died, I realized I wasn’t shocked whatsoever.

The plot twists were seen from miles away, while this doesn’t have to be a bad thing, what did annoy me was what came after. For instance, one of the characters was clearly shady. But when all that came out it it turns out that they were doing this to protect Hesina. WHAT. I was ALL FOR THE VILLAIN, and when that sputtered it sealed the deal for my rating.

The Chinese inspired themes were the best part of this book. The descriptions of the beautiful clothing and the other pieces of influence were amazing. I loved the different breath it gave young adult fantasy, I was just wishing for more overall.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Romance: none
  • Language: a** a few times
  • Violence: poison, knives, torture, fire, murder
  • Trigger warnings: attempted suicide, and suicide

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Book Review

Book Review: Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin #3) by Robin LaFevers

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: YA historical fantasy romance
Length: 464 pages
Author: Robin LaFevers
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: November 4th, 2014
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The powerful third book in Robin LaFever’s critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling His Fair Assassins series perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Kristin Cashore, and Victoria Aveyard leaves Annith with a desperate decision to make that not only affects the future of Brittany, but the destiny of the god of Death Himself. 

In the powerful third book in Robin LaFever’s critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling His Fair Assassins series, tensions between Brittany and Frace continue to rise as Annith watches her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own. She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind, doesn’t mean she has.
    Combining romance, action, and political intrigue, Mortal Heart delivers a breathtaking conclusion to the war between Brittany and France…for now. 

TAGLINE

As the final book in the His Fair Assassin trilogy I was expecting a bigger finale. Unfortunately I feel like this was essentially the same book as the others.

The plot was still exactly the same. Annith is the final assassin from the convent to get intertwined with the duchess trying to save Brittany from France. A lot of the same issues are re-hashed as they were previously. A few side plots were added in to add some edge, but I have this story twice before already, I was hoping for something new.

I did really like Annith. I thought her character growth was strong. She finally started standing up for herself and demanding the answers she deserved. While it made some of her choices rash, it also showed her strength in her decisions.

Her love story with the knight was along the same lines of the previous two installments. While it did have a noticeable difference, it was easy to see that coming. I loved their banter and interactions every time they were together. I would have loved even more of them!

Some of the plot was obvious to fill in the blanks, there was one moment where I was like oohhhhh because I actually did not see that coming. It brought Annith’s story to a close and I was happy to have all the answers I wanted too.

All of these books expertly wove politics, history and religion. I liked seeing how each aspect affected characters and showed what they valued most. This book wraps everything up and I feel pleased with how things were tied together. I got my happy ending which is what I’m always after!

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult historical fantasy romance
  • Romance: a few kisses, one tiny-detailed fade to black love scene
  • Language: none
  • Violence: arrows, knives, poison

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Book Review

Book Review: The Thousandth Floor (The Thousandth Floor #1) by Katharine McGee

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 
Audience: Young adult dystopian
Length: 448 pages
Author: Katharine McGee
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: August 30th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

NEW YORK CITY AS YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE.

A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future where anything is possible—if you want it enough.

WELCOME TO MANHATTAN, 2118.

A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. Everyone there wants something…and everyone has something to lose.

LEDA COLE’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.

ERIS DODD-RADSON’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.

RYLIN MYERS’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will this new life cost Rylin her old one?

WATT BAKRADI is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy for an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.

And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is AVERY FULLER, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

Amid breathtaking advancement and high-tech luxury, five teenagers struggle to find their place at the top of the world. But when you’re this high up, there’s nowhere to go but down….

GOSSIP GIRL CIRCA 2118.

I had a bookstagram friend mention that she heard this book was like Gossip Girl in the future. OH MY GOODNESS IF THAT ISN’T ACCURATE. Even if I haven’t scene GG, it toootally had those vibes.

And maybe that’s why I couldn’t stop turning pages? The drama was absolutely ridiculous, but I NEEDED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. I even ordered the second book, that is how invested I feel at this point.

This has multiple POVs, four main ones: Avery, Leda, Watt & Rylin. Everyone’s stories intertwined and bounced off one another. I liked the flow of the story and with its short chapters it made it a quick read.

It is definitely a lot more dark than I was suspecting. Drug abuse, cheating, some interesting emotions and wicked characters, I was like WHOA GUYS. Back up here. I like when a book sticks to it’s theme though. It felt almost like a tale of warning (and can be completely applicable to today).

My favorite piece was probably that this is a dystopian book that doesn’t a have oh no, the world is ending component. I got so tired of seeing that repeated that I stopped reading dystopians all together. I gave this one a chance for its unique premise and pleasantly enjoyed having a change of pace to this genre. And y’all some of the products they have? AMAZING. A spray that puts your make-up on? A PARK IN A TOWER? It was so cool. Even with all of the drama I still wanted to live there, it took fantastical and imaginative to a new level.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult dystopia
  • Language: a bit (ranging from weak-strong)
  • Romance: a lot of kisses, some brief (and essentially non-descriptive) re-tellings of nights together, a handful of fade to black love scenes (minor details prior)
  • Violence: murder
  • Trigger warnings: bullying, cheating (on boyfriends/girlfriends, and spouses), intense drug abuse, selling of drugs

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Monthly Wrap-Up

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: May 2019

Y’ALL.

WHAT A MONTH.

I didn’t even realize I had read 16 books. I am still stunned. And everything got such a great ratings I couldn’t believe it. I promise I’m not a easy reviewer. I have been trying to choose books that I think will bring me joy rather than wasting my time on reading a book for the sake of it.

Read what makes you happy, my TED Talk for the summer.


  • The Gilded Wolves (The GIlded Wolves #1) by Roshani Chockshi
  • The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicles #1) by Patrick Rothfuss
  • The Traitor’s Ruin (The Traitor’s Circle #2) by Erin Beaty
  • Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M. McManus
  • Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber
  • The Kingdom of Copper (The Daevabad Trilogy #2) by S.A. Chakraborty
  • The Thousandth Floor (The Thousandth Floor #1) by Katharine McGee – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆☆)
  • The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. #1) by Jonathan Stroud – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆☆)
  • Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆☆)
  • Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin #3) by Robin LaFevers – (RTC – ☆☆☆)
  • The First Girl Child by Amy Harmon – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆☆)
  • Descendant of the Crane by Joan He – (RTC – ☆☆ 1/2)
  • Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • Jackaby (Jackaby #1) by William Ritter – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)

Favorites of the month: Finale, The Unhoneymooners, and Aurora Rising

Least favorite: Descendant of the Crane


Have you read any of these? What do you have on your TBR? Lets talk in the comments!

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Book Review

Book Review: Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ 
Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 496 pages
Author: Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Release Date: May 7th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Welcome, welcome to Finale, the third and final book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Caraval series!

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…all games must come to an end.

It’s been two months since the last Caraval concluded, two months since the Fates have been freed from an enchanted deck of cards, two months since Tella has seen Legend, and two months since Legend claimed the empire’s throne as his own. Now, Legend is preparing for his official coronation and Tella is determined to stop it. She believes her own mother, who still remains in an enchanted sleep, is the rightful heir to the throne.

Meanwhile, Scarlett has started a game of her own. She’s challenged Julian and her former fiancé, Count Nicolas d’Arcy, to a competition where the winner will receive her hand in marriage. Finaly, Scarlett feels as if she is in complete control over her life and future. She is unaware that her mother’s past has put her in the greatest danger of all.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun―with lives, empires, and hearts all at stake. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win…and those who will lose everything

LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE.

I had to take a few days before writing this review because I loved this book that much. Oh my goodness, PLEASE READ THIS SERIES and thank me later. This is what my carnival + fantasy dreams are made of.

WHAT A FINALE. (yes, I will use this pun without any shame).

Okay, my heart is in a million pieces. What I loved absolute most about this book was how it was entirely focused on love. AND IT WASN’T CHEESY. That I feel is the hardest part of any romance-ish book. Finale was full of love, it controlled the book. Oh, it was so well done. I could gush forever at this one fact.

Now, I know most people love Scarlet, BUT I LOVE TELLA MOST. I love that she’s stubborn and passionate. She’s fiercely loyal and loves with a controlled recklessness that makes me love her even more. I was happy to have her as the main POV (Scarlet was the other one, but only occasionally). Scarlet did grow A LOT in this book. She took control of her own choices and really helped those around her. She showed strength and grace and so much love to those she held dear. I do love Scarlet and Julian though. Julian melts my heart into a tiny thousand pieces. Both Legend and Julian are completely frustrating, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I don’t know how many times I squealed or felt like shouting at this book IF LEGEND DIDN’T GET HIS CRAP TOGETHER. Hot dang, that guy was running me ragged. I’ve been #teamlegend from day one. Jacks is great and all, but Legend. LEGEND. Speaking of Jacks, he was this morally gray character that spoke to my soul. He was twisted and in way too deep with Tella. The possessiveness he exhibited made me flip out more than once. The way this all settled left me breathless.

This book was less focused on the games and more on real life. I love the way this adapted over the entire series. This felt like the older and wiser sibling of a book. It really started out as a game, but as life always comes rearing back, Finale remained in the literal world. A lot of mystery and intrigue was left to be solved to save the world before the Fates took over.

I’ll say it again, the ending left me breathless. Y’all. THE ENDING. IT. WAS. EVERYTHING. Perfectly done. A happily ever after I have been dreaming of since Caraval was first released. I now am pleading to the bookish gods for a spin-off starring some of my favs.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: lots of kisses
  • Violence: knives, poison, magic

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