Books, Original Post, YA Fiction

June 2017 Wrap-Up

One month of summer vacation is over. YAYYYYYYYYYY.

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I actually thought I’d read so much more this month, but I practically had no free time. Adding to all the classes and places I had to go to, there was barely a sense of organization in which I could manage my reading time, but I did what I could. 8 books, guys!

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Scarlet, by Marissa Meyer (4.25 stars): I think I read this on the very day I finished school and it was absolutely great. I liked it so much more the second time around. Scarlet and Wolf are EVERYTHING.

 

 

 

 

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Siege and Storm, by Leigh Bardugo (4 stars): This has to be my favorite of the series. The Darkling is still amazing, Alina’s sass in unreal, and Nikolai is my actual husband (among others).

 

 

 

 

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Lola And The Boy Next Door, by Stephanie Perkins (4 stars): This was a cute little contemporary that managed to successfully blend relatable teenage themes with high doses of adorableness. You can read my full review here.

 

 

 

 

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The Year We Fell Apart, by Emily Martin (2.25 stars): I was really looking forward to this contemporary, but after reading it, I can clearly say that it bit off more than it could chew. My full review can be read here.

 

 

 

 

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Mortal Heart, by Robin LaFevers (4.25 stars): The His Dark Assassin series continues to surprise me with its twists and turns in a number of aspects, from political discussion to romance. Mortal Heart will forever be a fantasy favorite. You can read my review here.

 

 

 

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Ruin and Rising, by Leigh Bardugo (4 stars): This conclusion absolutely ripped me apart but I loved the pain. That ending had me in my feelings so bad, and if this series’ epilogue affects me so much, just imagine my reaction to Crooked Kingdom?! I’d probably go into cardiac arrest.

 

 

 

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13206828Cress, by Marissa Meyer (4.5 stars): Cress has always been my favorite of the series and it still is. I’m so ready for Winter.

 

 

 

 

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Isla and the Happily Ever After, by Stephanie Perkins (3.25 stars): While I moderately enjoyed this fast and cute contemporary, I was disappointed in lack of balance between deeper themes and fluffiness, the balance that made the other two books so enjoyable. Check out my review coming soon!

 

 

 

Thanks for reading, guys! Leave a comment below 🙂

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Books, Reviews, YA Fiction

Lola And The Boy Next Door, by Stephanie Perkins | an adorable and charismatic contemporary romance

22247695Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion… she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit – the more sparkly, more wild – the better. And life is pretty close to perfect for Lola, especially with her hot rocker boyfriend.

That is, until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket return to the neighbourhood and unearth a past of hurt that Lola thought was long buried. So when talented inventor Cricket steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally face up to a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door. Could the boy from Lola’s past be the love of her future?

Fall in love with the international bestseller from queen of young adult fiction, Stephanie Perkins.

I’m half embarrassed to say I actually liked this book, but I believe there was no way I couldn’t have fallen for this book eventually, at least a little bit. Even with its flaws and occasional cheesiness, Lola And The Boy Next Door is undeniably charming.

Plot + writing: The book got off to a somewhat slow start, but quickly fell into a pattern that I could recognize and follow. The writing was delightfully sweet but not saccharine, and there is just a very light, happy vibe to it even when something stressful is taking place (and trust me, there are a lot of stressful moments). Perkins also has a great talent for combining the most relatable feelings when it comes to crushes and liking someone with the fun maintained throughout the book. All the confusion, heartache, and butterflies are so subtly and perfectly conveyed, creating a great balance between deeper subjects concerning love and the mindless entertainment that Perkins does so well. I will admit that elements of this book can come across as somewhat unimaginable, from Lola’s outlandish apparel to the overall outlandishness of some events that take place. However, Lola’s feelings and struggles with being herself and finding love are so realistically told and the romance is so positively swoon-worthy, that these elements don’t do much to hinder the overall message of the story.

Characters: The characters are actually quite likable, despite the occasional eccentric behavior they display in the commonly eccentric situations presented. Lola is a witty, quirky, realistic teenage girl who I’m sure any teenager could relate to. It is easy to presume her personality as being childish or immature (her ornate wardrobe could play a part), but despite all the wacky situations she stumbles into, Lola remains a likable character who is positively and negatively affected by her hormones just like the rest of us. Cricket is a fairly fleshed-out and realistic character as well, and I definitely liked him more than St. Clair in Anna And The French Kiss. Speaking of Anna And The French Kiss, both Anna and St. Clair make cameos in this book, which was absolutely great. I think they stuck around for a good amount of time without taking the spotlight away from Lola’s story, and even shared details of their future after leaving Paris.

One thing I have to comment on is the amount of side characters in the book, which is significantly lower than Anna And The French Kiss. While I do like this, I wish the main secondary characters were more fleshed-out and three-dimensional, similar to the leads. Rashmi and Josh from Anna were pretty layered side characters, and Lindsay (Lola’s best friend) and Calliope (Cricket’s twin sister) don’t really match up to their amount of depth. Max is a bit confusing, because while he was a flawed person and boyfriend, I thought the sudden change in character toward the end and the lack of resolve in his relationship with Lola … well, lacked resolve. I do feel as though his character and many of the secondary characters could use some work. Lola’s dads are great though.

Romance: The romance obviously takes center stage in this story, and it is just as adorable and fuzzy yet angsty as one might imagine it to be. Cricket and Lola are a charming pair and aren’t short of any chemistry. While there is a substantial dosage of cheese, it’s not too much to make you cringe (well, not always at least). The angst factor is similar to any real-life situation dealing with young love (young being the key word), and I loved the angst because I could totally feel where Lola was coming from. Coming to terms with your feelings for someone, experiencing heartbreak, and discovering your self-worth are all such relatable feelings and Perkins depicted it all so realistically. Cricket and Lola’s relationship is full of ups and downs, but the ride is so worth reading about.

While I enjoyed Anna And The French Kiss, Lola And The Boy Next Door was definitely and surprisingly more engaging to me, and I’m so looking forward to the next installment and whatever Perkins decides to write next. Would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a fuzzy romance with the right amount of depth to match it.

-Haven

Books, Original Post, YA Fiction

It’s Monday! What are you reading? #1 (6/5/2017) – Haven

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

Hey peeps! I hope you all had a great weekend. School has officially ended and I surprisingly don’t have much to do before my summer schedule kicks in. So I decided to inform you guys on what I’m reading now and what’s coming up next through this meme, considering I’ll have more time to read and blog now. Well, if my summer activities don’t kill me first.

What I read last week (the most recent one)

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Scarlet, by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles #2): I finished Scarlet in about 7-8 hours on the day before school ended (we just had so much freaking time y’all), and I was surprised by how much more I enjoyed it this time around. Scarlet was always the weakest book out of the series to me before, but now I like it far more than Cinder.

Radio Silence, Alice Oseman: Everything you need to know about this book will be said in my review coming in a few days, but here’s a spoiler: I loved it. It’s brilliant, truly. I don’t mean to add to the hype, but I kind of do.

Shadow and Bone, Leigh Bardugo: Second time around, it’s still a 3-star read, but considerably more entertaining than last time. Glad to see that this finally grew on me (somewhat).

What I’m reading right now

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Siege And Storm, by Leigh Bardugo (Shadow and Bone #2):  I’m actually liking this one much more than I thought, even if I don’t think I’ll ever love it fully. But, Alina is a pretty snarky heroine and Nikolai is bae.

Up next

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These are the books I’ve borrowed from the library recently, along with Siege and Storm and Scarlet. It’s a pretty weird assortment, two contemporaries and a random high fantasy. But, expect these disjointed combinations throughout the summer as I’ll be making use of the time by catching up on all the series’ and standalones I’ve been meaning to read since forever.

Thanks for reading, guys! Feel free to leave a comment and tell us what you’re looking forward to reading this summer!

-Haven