Mini Reviews Galore: YA Contemporary Edition!

Oh my gosh I MISSED YOU GUYS!! It’s been so long since I’ve posted. ūüė¶ But I’m back for now, this time with something new on the blog, yay! So. You all know by now how terrible I am with keeping up with my reviews. Like, it’s not even possible to deny it at this point though I did try!¬†¬†As an effort to share my thoughts on the books I’ve been reading lately, however, I’ve decided to march into unfamiliar territory (for me, at least) and, instead of writing individual, lengthy reviews of my recent reads, I shall write up several mini-reviews, all in one post! Yes, I know I’m a genius. And yes, I do realize this isn’t my idea and I am one in thousands of people who have done this but shhhhh let me have my moment. Anyway, I thought this would be a much better and faster way to get down my thoughts on my most recent reads while they’re still relatively clear in my mind instead of adding them to the rest of my never-ending review pile. ūüėČ Coincidentally,¬†these books all have something in common; they’re all contemporary.. so that plays out nicely.

#Mini Reviews

Alright, let’s start with the first novel!


It's a Wonderful DeathIt’s a Wonderful Death by¬†Sarah J Schmitt

Publication Date: October 6th 2015
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Genre(s): Fantasy, Contemporary-ish, Young-Adult
Series Status:¬†N/A—Stand Alone
Page Count: 320
Source & Format: Borrowed, Hardcover
Critical Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old RJ always gets what she wants. So when her soul is accidentally collected by a distracted Grim Reaper, somebody in the afterlife better figure out a way to send her back from the dead or heads will roll. But in her quest for mortality, she becomes a pawn in a power struggle between an overzealous archangel and Death Himself. The tribunal presents her with two options: she can remain in the lobby, where souls wait to be processed, until her original lifeline expires, or she can replay three moments in her life in an effort to make choices that will result in a future deemed worthy of being saved. It sounds like a no-brainer. She’ll take a walk down memory lane. How hard can changing her future be?

But with each changing moment, RJ’s life begins to unravel, until this self-proclaimed queen bee is a social pariah. She begins to wonder if walking among the living is worth it if she has to spend the next sixty years as an outcast. Too quickly, RJ finds herself back in limbo, her time on Earth once again up for debate.

RJ is a snarky, unapologetic, almost unredeemable, very real girl. Her story is funny and moving, and teens will easily connect with her plight. Prepare to meet the Grim Reaper, who‚Äôs cuter than you‚Äôd expect; Hawaiian shirt‚Äďwearing Death Himself; Saint Peter (who likes to play Cornhole); and Al, the handler for the three-headed hound that guards the gates of Hell. This cast of characters accompanies RJ through her time in the afterlife and will do their best to gently shove her in the right direction.

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You know those times where you just stumble upon a random book, attracted by the cover and/or synopsis, and then you’re just…totally blown away by how much you enjoy the book afterwards? Yeah, well, that’s the situation with It’s a Wonderful Death by Sarah J. Schmitt. Prior to reading it, really, the only thing I knew about this book is that I vaguely recall seeing it before, and that it was published in 2015. Now, after reading it, I’m almost speechless as to how to accurately describe this book. Note I say ‘almost’. (Erm, as a general rule of thumb and fact about me:¬†I tend to have too much to say for that to ever happen…Just sayin.)

It's a wonderful death book review

“My life may have been short in time, but it was long in moments that mattered and in love. In the end, isn’t that what life is all about?”

Pros

  • Omg, RJ… <3.¬†Really, that’s all I can say. Jk, I have so much to say–Let’s just put it this way: She’s not¬†a good, innocent and nice character. She’s snarky, and flawed–oh, SO FLAWED, and also, very selfish and did I mention not nice? Oh, but she’s witty and¬†I loved her so much.¬†RJ was so evidently flawed, so perfectly imperfect, that I couldn’t help but root for her.
  • Oh, and talk about good character development! RJ learned and developed so much throughout the novel, and I loved that–though at the same time I found it kind of hard to believe she could change that quickly. But oh well. It all turned out good in the end. She was such a great protagonist!
  • RJ’s not the only character who shines: the secondary characters, though perhaps not as fleshed out as RJ, still added SO MUCH to the story and made it so entertaining. I loved so many of the characters, even the antagonist (though I simultaneously hated the antagonist as well).
  • Truthfully, this book makes me wish for its world to exist in real life. It was just such a fun concept! The whole Grim Reaper thing, Death Himself, Saint Peter.. they all mostly had distinct personalities and were so interesting. The afterlife concept was so refreshing and so much fun. Needless to say, I loved the world!
  • THE ENDING TO THIS THOUGH. Gawsh. I literally died. Well, not literally, but still. I think at one point this book had me emotional enough to be near the state of shedding a tear..? Although maybe that was because of the fact that I couldn’t find my stash of chocolate and was immensely¬†grieving.
  • But I digress. The ending to this, though emotionally frustrating, was oddly and ragingly perfect! It stayed so true to the book’s theme and morals-and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
  • Would you believe me if I said that this book has¬†NO ROMANCE? (The correct answer is yes, btw. I AM ALL-KNOWING. Also I read the book. So.) Being one of the people who has come across little to no books without romance in them, this was quite the discovery for me. I was actually always kind of expecting there to be one, as I read the book? But there wasn’t, and let me tell you, it didn’t affect the book. If there was a romance, actually I think it would’ve detracted from the story, to be honest!
  • I kind of adore this cover? It just looks so aesthetically pleasing. YES THIS IS A VALID REASON shh.

Cons

  • Despite the fact that I really loved the characters in this book, I can’t help but feel some were too cardboard cutout. Apart from RJ and maybe a few other characters, not many of the secondary characters got as much development, which was kind of disappointing.
  • As much as I loved RJ, I felt at times her too, was a bit cardboard. I don’t know. Maybe it’s because there are so many characters that are similar to her? I don’t know. But I guess I’m just saying she wasn’t exactly an original character? (But I still liked her, so I’m kind of conflicted. But whatever.)
  • The story overall isn’t that fast paced and at times it seemed kind of predictable? This didn’t directly affect my entertainment because I was really into the story, but it’s something I noticed.

Overall…

It’s a Wonderful Death turned out to be a wonderful surprise! The humor and wit in this novel and the overall messages and theme stuck with me long after the pages stopped flipping, and I simply enjoyed reading it so much. A story of doing the right thing, second chances, and the meaning of a worthwhile life, I definitely recommend this book for those looking for a fresh world and a snarky protagonist. This book merged elements of contemporary and fantasy so well, and was filled with so much heart–you should definitely pick it up! I know I’m glad that I did.


A Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGovernA Step Toward Falling

Publication Date: October 6th 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre(s): Contemporary, Young-Adult
Series Status:¬†N/A—Stand Alone
Page Count: 368
Source & Format: Borrowed, Hardcover
Critical Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Cammie McGovern follows up her breakout young adult debut,Say What You Will, with this powerful and unforgettable novel about learning from your mistakes, and learning to forgive. Told in alternating points of view, A Step Toward Falling is a poignant, hopeful, and altogether stunning work that will appeal to fans of Jennifer Nevin, Robyn Schneider, and Jandy Nelson.

Emily has always been the kind of girl who tries to do the right thing‚ÄĒuntil one night when she does the worst thing possible. She sees Belinda, a classmate with developmental disabilities, being attacked. Inexplicably, she does nothing at all.

Belinda, however, manages to save herself. When their high school finds out what happened, Emily and Lucas, a football player who was also there that night, are required to perform community service at a center for disabled people. Soon, Lucas and Emily begin to feel like maybe they’re starting to make a real difference. Like they would be able to do the right thing if they could do that night all over again. But can they do anything that will actually help the one person they hurt the most?

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I’ve never read anything by Cammie McGovern, though I’ve heard tons of great things about this and her other novel, Say What You Will. So when I saw this at the library the other day, I thought, why not? And although it was 100% flawless (not many books are, tbh, but the good ones are close :P) this book was still a good read–though I do wish it was more memorable!

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“Expectations are sad and complicated things.”

Ah, so true. Sadly I think I had a bit too high expectations for this one?

Pros

  • This story definitely had a good theme going on for it, and I loved the messages it gave! I also appreciated the little nod of diversity, as it included several characters with autism–we actually also get the perspective from one of them (Belinda). Although I wasn’t the biggest of Belinda for most of the story, admittedly, I did sympathize with her and liked her a lot more by the end.
  • Like I mentioned, we have several autistic characters, and characters with disabilities including Belinda, but I also liked the support in this book for the LGBT community. Speaking of which, I also really liked Emily’s friend, Richard! He was openly (or not openly, I’m not exactly sure tbh) gay and his friendship with Emily was nice to read.
  • Despite the¬†number of pages in this book (360-ish), this book was a very quick read! I’m not exactly sure what to credit that to, but I guess it was a mix of the characters and the writing? Both made the novel very easy and¬†interesting to read!
  • Like I briefly mentioned (or I might’ve not, I dunno), Cammie McGovern’s writing was really easy to get into! Even without the headings at the start of the chapter stating who the narrator was (either Emily or Belinda), it transitioned very smoothly and I was able to distinguish between the two. That’s not always easy to accomplish with dual narrators!

Cons

  • The main character, Emily was kind of bland and is easy to forget? Although I didn’t have any specific problem with her (in fact, as I mentioned, I did appreciate how some aspects of her character was kind of realisitic and well-written), it was the fact that she didn’t really make me compelled to follow her story.. she was just, okay.
  • Although the story overall was sweet and had its heart in the right place, I must admit I feel like it could’ve been better executed? Perhaps in a more memorable and powerful manner. I don’t know. I can’t seem to come up with many things that I remember strongly about this book despite having read it not-too long ago? I mean, my memory can be really bad, but it’s not that bad, you know? I just can’t come up with much. That’s probably not a good thing…
  • It’s so hard to review this, actually, because despite enjoying it when I read the book, I feel like there’s not much to say about it afterwards? Now, I feel more indifferent, I think, than I was before…? So I guess that counts as a negative thing. Honestly, I have no idea. Don’t listen to me I make no sense, ever.

Overall…

Enjoyable, but not mind-blowing. I think perhaps my expectations may have been set a bit too high? Possibly? Although I did enjoy reading the book and it hardly took much time to get through, the unfortunate fact that it isn’t as memorable afterwards definitely makes my rating go lower in terms of the critical aspect of things. This book did have some good diversity as well as shared a great¬†theme about how important it is to speak up and help others, so I definitely won’t be putting this off as a valueless read. I definitely think, though, that this might stick out more to other readers? Maybe it was just me who felt like my while-reading and after-reading feelings changed drastically. Final verdict: recommend to readers who enjoy contemporary!


What We Left BehindWhat We Left Behind by Robin Talley

Publication Date: October 27th 2015
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre(s): Contemporary, Young-Adult
Series Status:¬†N/A—Stand Alone
Page Count: 416
Source & Format: Borrowed, Hardcover
Critical Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:

From the critically acclaimed author of Lies We Tell Ourselvescomes an emotional, empowering story of what happens when love may not be enough to conquer all.

Toni and Gretchen are the couple everyone envied in high school. They’ve been together forever. They never fight. They‚Äôre deeply, hopelessly in love. When they separate for their first year at college‚ÄĒToni to Harvard and Gretchen to NYU‚ÄĒthey‚Äôre sure they‚Äôll be fine. Where other long-distance relationships have fallen apart, theirs is bound to stay rock-solid.

The reality of being apart, though, is very different than they expected. Toni, who identifies as genderqueer, meets a group of transgender upperclassmen and immediately finds a sense of belonging that has always been missing, but Gretchen struggles to remember who she is outside their relationship.

While Toni worries that Gretchen won‚Äôt understand Toni‚Äôs new world, Gretchen begins to wonder where she fits in Toni’s life. As distance and Toni‚Äôs shifting gender identity begins to wear on their relationship, the couple must decide‚ÄĒhave they grown apart for good, or is love enough to keep them together?

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#DiverseBook, right here! Gosh, this book. Drove me crazy part of the time, but I ended up liking it. What We Left Behind is an LGBTQ+ novel, and guys, that part was great! There were many positive things to this book, however I have to say the characterization and the diversity represented has got to be my favorite part of the novel. But there is much more to be said, so… let’s get onto the full list!

What We Left Behind book review

Pros

  • So much sexual and racial diversity! We have Gretchen, decidedly into girls, and Toni, who at the start of the novel identifies as genderqueer and is into girls as well (though she spends most of the novel switching and trying to figure out her true sexual orientation). Oh, not to mention the secondary characters! What I loved about them was that they were all so realistic. When Toni and Gretchen make new friends at their respective universities, we have (if I’m not mistaken), an African-American, a Korean, and different ethnicities as well as sexualities all represented–without making it a big deal. Phew. Okay. That was a lot of rambling. Case in point: Robin Talley mastered the diversity in this novel! Moving on.
  • I loved Gretchen! I liked Toni by the end, and I did sympathize with her quite a bit, but I found Gretchen to be easier to root for as well as more likeable. I spent half the time so frustrated at Toni, which made it kind of hard to go through her POV–but I didn’t have much trouble with Gretchen. I felt so bad for her, and also admired her for being such a positive person overall.
  • Yay for friendship! Both Toni and Gretchen make several friends, and I loved seeing these relationships. Seeing such amazing friendships was just so positive and made the characters stronger and the overall story stronger too. It was also great to see how realistically the friendships were portrayed as well–they had fights and it wasn’t always easy, but at the end of the day, they all had eachother’s backs and I just felt like that was such a great message to send.
  • Another amazing thing was the many messages and positive themes touched on during the novel. Through the characters’ journeys, we see the different perspectives on how being trans/genderqueer/any-other-sexual-orientation can affect your life and the lives of the people around you. How important it is to figure out who you are without hurting others.¬†Through Toni and Gretchen, we see how difficult it is for some people to truly figure out who they are, and the pressure and difficulties that distance can cause for a relationship. All this and more was explored and I loved What You Left Behind for that so much!

Cons

  • Like I mentioned, I liked Toni, but I wasn’t always her biggest fan. It was actually kind of hard to get through her POV at times because I was just so frustrated with her? I can’t exactly say whether it’s a “me, not you” issue or the other way around–I mean, I sympathized with her, but at the same time I didn’t? So that was difficult. But I did appreciate her character and sympathized with her struggles. I know it must not have been easy, but I just felt she could’ve gone at everything a bit differently?
  • The plot… well, I found it difficult to exactly pinpoint the storyline most of the time. I mean, it’s not that it was boring–the characters keep it interesting–but the plot wasn’t very directed towards anything. It felt kind of freelance, kind of like the story was finding its direction as it went along. Nothing wrong with that, except it¬†was kind of hard to get into it at times and be swept into the story. At times.
  • I feel like I’m missing something.. but I can’t figure out what it is? Oh well.

Overall…

What We Left Behind is a thought-provoking and wonderfully sexually diverse novel that will make readers reflect on what is truly is like to discover who we are and coping with the many difficulties that comes with both long-distance relationships as well as being who you are. Through the many characters and Toni and Gretchen, we see all this and more, making What You Left Behind a perfect read for those looking for a slower-paced, character-driven contemporary about sexuality and discovering who you are. A good read, for sure! Definitely recommend for people who are into contemporary. ‚̧


Tell Me Three ThingsTell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

Publication Date: April 5th 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance, Young-Adult
Series Status:¬†N/A—Stand Alone
Page Count: 336
Source & Format: Borrowed, Hardcover
Critical Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith‚ÄĒor an act of complete desperation‚ÄĒJessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can‚Äôt help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

Julie Buxbaum mixes comedy and tragedy, love and loss, pain and elation, in her debut YA novel filled with characters who will come to feel like friends.

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This book has LITERALLY been getting SO MUCH pre-release buzz. No joke. At first I thought it was only me who kept seeing this book at every turn on the blogosphere, but nope, this book actually has been getting a lot of hype. So naturally, I was curious! And I decided to pick it up. Aaaaaannndd… I adored it. Probably wasn’t a surprise to anyone? But seriously, this book is actually REALLY good. And of course I shall tell you why!

Tell Me Three Things book review

“You know what I heart? Nutella. And pajama pants. And an awesomesauce book. Not necessarily in that order, but together.”

(ERM YESSS! One of the many reasons I adored Jessie…not even sorry. She is fabulous.)

Pros

Okay, well I guess it would only make sense to start off with three things! Har har I’m so funny. Not.

1) I freaking love this book. But I think I already told you that. So I shall tell you why–IT WAS FABULOUS. In basically every way. The characters, the plot, the writing. I fell in love with it all!

  • For one, Jessie was SO AMAZING. Honestly. I loved her as a protagonist so much! It was so easy to relate to her personality, she had a great sense of humour and she came off as so real, to me. She wasn’t a cardboard cutout, wasn’t one-dimensional. She had flaws, she occasionally made some huge mistakes, and she wasn’t perfect. Which is why, naturally, she was perfect!
  • Although this book placed a lot of effort in building characters and relationships and everything, the plot was quite hooking, despite being perhaps completely ordinary at first glance. I really loved the whole concept of internet friendship, and all the things that went down, Jessie and her stepbrother bonding (and clashing), the stepmother, Jessie and her father, everything.
  • Eeeee, the writing!! Nothing that unusual, written in a conversational tone that was both witty and simple at the same time. I especially loved how the writing reflected Jessie’s character–just like it should be. Not to mention I gobbled up the bits and pieces of Jessie and SN’s email/IM conversations. I lived for those, honestly.

2) I could not, for the sake of anything, put down this book. Thank god it was a Friday night when I started this book, because otherwise I would’ve been screwed the next day! XD But seriously. This book was so addicting. I can’t even exactly explain why? It just was.

3) This ain’t no fluffy contemporary. Trust me, I love those, but this was so unique, so real and deep and insightful. And to find a book like this one, with so many other amazing things, was just… ‚̧

Cons

  • Okay, so this isn’t directly a negative thing, just maybe something to keep in mind.. The storyline is kind of predictable? I was able to guess the ending waaaaayyyy before it happened, however it was still entertaining to see it all play out! What was frustrating is that it took SUCH a long time for Jessie to figure it out… sigh. What to do though, I still love her!
  • Erm. Nothing else tbh.
  • OH! Wait, there’s one thing; despite the fact that all the characters in this are extremely well-developed, I wasn’t the biggest fan of how.. (I forget her name…) was so.. one-dimensional. She was just the mean girl. Period. And that’s fine, but… still. Deja vu, from, like, literally every book and movie in existence. So.

Overall…

Tell Me Three Things is an absolute must-read¬†for any contemporary reader, and even for readers who don’t dabble often in contemporary! It’s just such a cute and sweet story while still being meaningful and a really heart-felt story. Jessie’s character will no doubt make you smile, despite the frustration you may also feel at her occasional naievty. She is definitely one of my favourite protagonists from contemporary novels, I think. I also really loved the whole concept of this book! It’s a super quick read and I definitely recommend. GO READ IT, Y’ALL.


OneOne by Sarah Crossan

Publication Date: September 15th 2015
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Genre(s): Contemporary, Young-Adult
Series Status:¬†N/A—Stand Alone
Page Count: 400
Source & Format: Borrowed, Hardcover
Critical Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Grace and Tippi. Tippi and Grace. Two sisters. Two hearts. Two dreams. Two lives. But one body.

Grace and Tippi are conjoined twins, joined at the waist, defying the odds of survival for sixteen years. They share everything, and they are everything to each other. They would never imagine being apart. For them, that would be the real tragedy.

But something is happening to them. Something they hoped would never happen. And Grace doesn’t want to admit it. Not even to Tippi.

How long can they hide from the truth‚ÄĒhow long before they must face the most impossible choice of their lives?

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When I first heard of this book, back in 2015, I immediately put it to my TBR once I heard of what it’s about–conjoined twins. Not only had I never read a book dealing with this topic, it seemed so intriguing and so emotional. And it was. So emotional and so incredible. Not only was the topic dealt with finesse (the author did her research and I am so so happy for that), this book resonated with me SO MUCH and the writing was absolutely beautiful. It was written in verses, some kind of poetic thing? I know nothing about poetry (NOTHING, I tell you) but this was so amazing. But anyway, I’m rambling. Here is a list of all my thoughts, pretty much.

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Here
We Are.

And we are living.

Isn’t that amazing?

How we manage
to be
at all.

(Literally how the book starts off, and how it’s basically formatted for the whole book. Surprised? Well, let me tell you: it works!)

Pros

  • The WRITING, omg. Let’s just get this cleared up: I am the absolute worst, or one of the worst, when it comes to writing or deciphering poetry. I mean, I dabbled in some, for school and stuff, but that’s it. So when I was flipping through the book and saw the formatting of the words, and only verses, I was a bit wary as to whether I’d like it. And gosh. I need not have worried! IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL and it worked. So much. It was perfect, actually. I flew through it!
  • Tippi and Graceeeeee!! I sympathized so much. It was so difficult for them? Having to deal on a daily basis the fact that they were different from everyone else, and the problems them being conjoined twins caused, etc etc. I loved both their characters quite a bit, and really enjoyed reading from Grace’s POV (though I wouldn’t have minded Tippi’s). They were both so different yet worked so well together and aghhhh the sibling love. ‚̧
  • I loved reading about Grace and Tippi’s family as well–¬†they all went through so much, and despite the times where I might’ve not liked a certain character (the dad, if you were curious), it all made so much sense in the end and I loved seeing the family dynamics, no matter how imperfect they were. (Both parents got laid off work, I believe, the dad was an alcoholic, Tippi and Grace’s younger sister Dragon had to work extra for cash and was anorexic, etc etc.)
  • THE ENDING. Agh. My hearttttttt. It made me so sad yet at the same time I just felt like it captured perfectly how precious life can be, and how it can be so unfair and so cruel yet.. the opposite of that too. Omg. I’m still not over the ending…despite how perfect it may have been for the story!

Cons

  • The plot may have been mildly predictable?? Like, I wasn’t able to predict things exactly, but I had the general idea of how the story would go before it happened (and I was right). So. This wasn’t necessarily a REALLY bad thing, but… (*that awkward moment where you don’t want to admit that a book you really loved had a flaw*)
  • Despite the fact that the romance was oh-so-fabulous and all the more adorable, I.. dunno, just wasn’t as into it as I’d thought? I mean, while reading it was fine, but now, reflecting back on it, it was more… meh. *shrugs* But whatever. It wasn’t the whole point of the story?

Overall…

You really really really really really really should read this book, if only to talk to me later about what you think of it!! Because that is important–I loved this book, and I would love even more to see what others think of it. ‘Cause seriously, this book has so much going for it, and overall felt very unique in terms of concept and writing. I also don’t doubt that this will put a lot of readers in quite the emotional state by the end! Ahhh my heart is still attempting to heal. Just kidding but not really. So basically: you must read this!¬†


*breathes* Glad that’s over! Jk, I had lots of fun rambling my thoughts on these books. But wow, that’s a lot of words! So much I bet you guys didn’t read half of them, hmm? Don’t worry, I don’t blame you. I spewed nonsense 95% of the time in this post. Except for the 5% where I actually give you info on what these books are actually like–which is basically, amazing! Seriously, I know I probably rendered the whole use of 4 stars and 4.5 stars meaningless by how much I used them today, but hey. What can I say? I really loved these books. (Read: which means you must read them too so we can flail over how amazing they are. Ahem.) But now, let me know your thoughts! Which of these books have you read? Which piques your interests the most? TELL ME so I can squeal at you all some more about how much you HAVE to read these books. Let us discuss!

Until the Next Meal, Analee

Re-reading! Library books! Woo! | WWW Wednesday #47 (April 20th)

Hey everyone! I think this post was actually supposed to go up earlier, but I guess there was a glitch and it didn’t. (Technology can be a bother sometimes.. *sigh*) But anyway here I am with this week’s WWW Wednesday! I actually managed to get A LOT of reading done, by some kind of magic witchcraft. And I enjoyed basically all of them, so yesss. Success right there! Alright, so let’s get into the what of everything.

WWW Wednesday

Currently Reading

I started my re-read of The Raven Boys yesterday! I’m hoping to have this and at least the second book finished before the release of The Raven King (which I can’t wait for, by the way). I don’t actually talk about this series much (or ever), I’ve noticed, but I actually do like it! Re-reading it now is making me enjoy it more than the first time, I think. Just a little.

Recently Finished

The Winner’s Curse was the book I had been reading last week, and, well, I finished it! It was a re-read, and I loved it just as much as when I read it the first time. ‚̧

It’s a Wonderful Death was a surprise read for me, actually. I hadn’t planned on reading it, but I got it from the library the other day and since it seemed like a quick read, I decided to read it! And gosh, I loved it. It was such an insightful yet fun read!

A Step Toward Falling was another library book I got. At first I wasn’t that into it, but by the time I reached the end, I really enjoyed it! I’m definitely going to be trying out Cammie McGovern’s other novel, Say What You Will, sometime as well.

And finally, I also read What We Left Behind. I’ve been really into the library and contemporary books this week, it seems! This, as well, was a really good read. Full of diverse and interesting characters, I had so much fun reading this, especially since the author dealt with the LGBT themes so well.

Read Next

So, I finished my re-read of The Winner’s Curse the other day (it was sooo good!) and am currently planning on writing up a review on it. I’m kind of debating whether to just do a series review once I finished The Winner’s Kiss? If I do then I can go straight ahead to The Winner’s Crime but otherwise I have to wait ’till I’m done writing my review… I’m quite indecisive right now. So.

Moving on, I’m currently re-reading The Raven Boys in anticipation for the release of The Raven King, and obviously, once I finish it I’ll be moving on to The Dream Thieves, the second book! I really must finish my re-read of the series soon, for the fourth book is being released quite soon. I think?

And, now, here’s a confession: I haven’t read The Moth and the Flame or The Crown and the Arrow yet! (They’re novellas set in the world of¬†The Wrath and the Dawn, in case you didn’t know.) I know, I know. But I’ve been a busy little chocolate bar, and I just thought I might as well wait–The Rose and the Dagger is being released soon, after all, and these novellas might be useful to jog my memory as to what happened in TWATD.

Finally, I’ve decided to add Tell Me Three Things to this list–is it just me, or did that book seem to appear everywhere for a while? Those blog tour people sure know how to attack us with book publicity! But maybe that was just me. So. Anyway, I am mildly intrigued and definitely want to check it out!


So there we have it for this week! What books on here have you read? What book do you think I should pick next? How has your reading been this week? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! I hope you’re all enjoying your Wednesday. ‚̧

Until the Next Meal, Analee

Laughter is fabulous. Ergo books that will make you laugh is even better. So read these! | Top Ten Tuesday #32

If you’re anything like me, you most likely adore or at least mildly appreciate books with humor. I mean, who doesn’t? When (the right) humor is included, whether it be from witty dialogue, character interactions, or anything, a book generally becomes 10 times better. Generally. Or at least better, in general. (I’m saying ‘general’ too much, aren’t I? But generally, that’s how it is. Humor make books a better place. Right? Right.) Of course, it does depend on the quality of humor–but that’s a discussion for another day. So. The topic this week, for Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and the Bookish, is¬†Ten Books That Will Make You Laugh (or at least chuckle)–which is utterly¬†perfect! Though making this list has made me realized how little books I had to choose from for this list… but nonetheless, here it is! In no particular order, as usual. If you haven’t read these books yet, YOU SHOULD MUST. Just sayin’.


1. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl

Ahhh, the sly and little tidbits of humour in this one absolutely killed me in this one! I loved them to death. Fangirl was SUCH a fun read and I remember smiling so much throughout this book! Not to mention it definitely caused me to laugh out loud various moments. Cath and Reagan, Cath and Levi, so many awesome exchanges in this book.

Reagan was sitting up at Cath’s desk when Cath woke up.
“Are you awake?”
“Have you been watching me sleep?”
“Yes, Bella. Are you awake?”
“No.”

#relatable (about the not being awake thing. I don’t usually have a person watching me sleep. I’ll leave that to Bella. And Cath, apparently. ūüėõ LOL.)

2. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna & the French Kiss

I still have not read Lola or Isla (BUT I WILL I PROMISE) but Anna and the French Kiss, I can say, is adorable! Although it’s not something that will make you collapse in a fit of giggles every couple of pages (I’d love to come across a book like that though, LOL) I don’t doubt that it will cause a few chuckles or at least some large grins for most of you.

“Thanks. I forgot how to flip off the English. I’ll use the correct hand gesture next time.”
“My pleasure. Always happy to educate.”

3. Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda

SIMONNNNN. (!!!) I think half the reason I loved this book so much was just because of Simon. I honestly want him to COME TO LIFE. (I say for the millionth time.) But seriously. This book is amazing, and not just because of Simon! (Though he plays a big part.) The humor in this is fabulous too, so it’s double the win!

“What’s a dementor?”
I mean, I can’t even. “Nora, you are no longer my sister.”
“So it’s some Harry Potter thing,” she says.

4. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

Rebel Belle

Oh my gosh, this book. It had its faults, for sure, but it was so much FUN to read. Aha, like seriously. Perhaps the humor might appeal to different people, depending, but to me, it was great. This book was so light-hearted and really enjoyed reading from Harper (the main character)’s perspective. Definitely try out this book if you’re looking for a mostly fluffy and amusing read!

“Just¬†.¬†.¬†. I don‚Äôt like crying girls, okay?” We were quiet for a second while I took that in. “That was very nice of you, David,” I finally said. “Now hold on because I‚Äôm about to drive into a fence.”
“Yeah, okay,‚ÄĚ he muttered, his eyes still closed. “You do that.” Then his eyes shot open. “Wait, what?”

5. A Darker Shade of Magic (& A Gathering of Shadows) by V.E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic

One of the biggest things I loved about this book, and its sequel is the copious amounts of sass in the dialogue of the characters. Like YASSS. I approve with quite a lot of enthusiasm. (!!!) Seriously, the witty dialogue is probably one of the things I love most. That, and all the other amazing things about this book. READ IT. (Especially A Gathering of Shadows, because it was perfection.)

“I apologize for anything I might have done. I was not myself.”
“I apologize for shooting you in the leg. I was myself entirely.”

6. All I’ve Never Wanted by Ana Huang

All I've Never Wanted

This was a book I read quite some time ago (last year, psh, yes, that counts as a long time ago) but I really enjoyed it! It was filled with so much humor, and it was so much fun to read!! Also the romance(s) in the book were super adorable. So. ‚̧

7.¬†It’s a Wonderful Death¬†by Sarah J. Schmitt

It's a Wonderful Death

This, is actually a book I recently (?) finished–or at least, finished sometime this week; I forget when exactly because I’ve been doing other things too, but anyway! I loved reading this book so much. Near¬†the end I think I might’ve even teared a bit? But it’s not a sad book, I assure you, despite what it may seem like. It was actually a lot of fun to read, and even if you’re not going to fall laughing each page, it still has a great undertone of witty humor which I adored.

8. Penryn & the End of Days by Susan Ee

Penryn & the End of Days series

I read this series last year, and really enjoyed it! Susan Ee is definitely an author I will be looking out for now. One of the most notable things that stood out to be about the series, though, is the humor. Despite the dark, and gritty mood and the post-apocalyptic world and everything, it had kind of a playful tone to it at times?? And it was so entertaining to read, and drew me a lot more to the characters.

“My friends call me Wrath,” says Raffe. “My enemies call me Please Have Mercy. What‚Äôs your name, soldier boy?”

9. Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan pic

As much as I would’ve liked to keep up with a semblance that I don’t cheat on these Top Ten Tuesday lists, I can’t. And won’t. I’m too far gone into the habit to stop now! Plus you all know I couldn’t. Every single one of Rick Riordan’s books that I have read, has managed to make me chuckle or just full out laugh at least once. I’m especially a huge fan of his Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series; both are AMAZING for humor. Seriously.

“I’m so glad you’re here,” Aphrodite said. “War is coming. Bloodshed is inevitable. So there’s really only one thing to do.”
“Uh… and that is?” Annabeth ventured.
“Why, have tea and chat, obviously.”

Ahhhh, memories. I read The Mark of Athena such a long time ago but it only feels like yesterday!

10. Cassandra Clare

Author Cassandra Clare

Similar to my situation with Rick Riordan, Cassandra Clare has written so many books, and the books I’ve read from her (aka, anything set in the Shadowhunter world) always have some part that makes me laugh. Most notably in The Infernal Devices and Lady Midnight. I loved the characters so much in both, and the dialogue was just amazing! Not to say that TMI wasn’t, but I guess I just don’t remember it as much since it’s been a while since I read them.

“I bet you didn‚Äôt like Magnus much, either,” said Julian, still with the same odd, stiff look on his face.
“Maybe not,” said Jace, “but I never would have said so.”
“Because it would have hurt Alec‚Äôs feelings?” Emma asked.
“No,”¬†said Jace, “because Magnus would have turned me into a hat rack.”

 


Alright, so I think that’s it for this week’s list! I have to say, I’m actually kind of surprised I managed to get to ten? I feel like despite the many books with witty characters and humor and everything, there’s still not enough.. Maybe I just forgot a lot of them. Oh well. These ones, for sure, are ones you MUST absolutely read if you haven’t already! Especially if you’re looking to have a fun read and a good laugh a few times too. ūüėČ Which of these have you read? Which quotes are your favorites? Do you have any recommendations for me, in terms of YA novels with humor? It doesn’t matter which genre–you can see that I have a mismatch of a bunch myself. Oh, and what do YOU think of humor in books?? What type do you like best? Witty, sarcastic, etc. Let me know any of your thoughts below! And feel free to link your own TTT post as well. ūüėČ

Until the Next Meal, Analee

The Blog Most Likely To… | TAG

Hey everyone! I haven’t done a tag in a while, so I thought I might as well do this one–in which I was tagged in by¬†Summer @ XingSings. Thanks so much, Summer! This tag is one I had meant to do for a while now actually, but I never got around to it. It was created back when it was the release of Huntley Fitzpatrick’s novel The Boy Most Likely To (which I have yet to read, admittedly–I will, one day, promise!) and was really popular for a while! Now it’s just drifting around, I think. XD Basically we just share our own blogger superlative, and some other stuff (I think?), and invite others to do the same (as per usual in a book tag).

The Blog Most Likely To

Alright, so are you ready for this? It was actually kind of hard to come up with only one, but finally I have reached one! And naturally, I cheated a bit and meshed two into one. Okay, here it is:

The Blog Most Likely To… Be¬†Behind¬†On¬†Literally All The Reviews¬†(And spend¬†time squealing about books and chocolate instead)

Allow me to explain. (Yes, I realize you guys are all smart little minions but I am smarter* so hushhh)

If you’ve been around for a while, or even a bit, you know this is (unfortunately?) 110% true. As much as I would love for all of you lovely people to deny it, you just can’t. XD It’s totally not intentional, I swear it! But I just can’t keep up with writing reviews. Once I started slipping, it just kind of snowballed and now I can’t get out of it, aghhhhh. I literally have books I read over a year ago, like in May 2015, that I still haven’t reviewed, despite making a draft, telling myself I’d write up a review, etc. etc. I don’t know. LE SIGH. Around 98% of the time, I’m eating chocolate and read a new book rather than writing a review for the book I recently read.. which is really a bad habit of mine. I really enjoy writing reviews, I do! It’s so much fun expressing my thoughts on a book, especially if it’s one I loved.. or hated. ūüėČ But despite that, I seem to always never get them written?

*Hey, I like to dream, alright? No raining on my parade here.

Why do I procrastinate so much? 

(I mean, eating chocolate instead is time very well spent, in my book, but others may not see it that way. :P)

  • I love reviewing, but reading often becomes first for me. There are so many books to be read, I just want to keep picking up another book once I finish one! And once that happens, I get caught up in another book, and then another, and then another, and then.. I find that instead of one review to write, I have, like 5. And then 10. And then.. yeah, you know what I mean. ūüėÄ
  • I don’t always like to write reviews right after finishing a book, because I feel like at that time, I’m most likely still reeling from the ending and everything, so it wouldn’t be a very helpful or 100% accurate review because I’d most likely either hype it up way more than I actually mean to, or, the opposite. So. I like to wait a bit more, to clear my head.. except then I kind of don’t get around to writing the review at all, because of what happens in the above. *SIGH* I am terrible, guys.
  • Squealing about books and chocolate is so much more appealing sometimes? I like my books, and I like my chocolate too much, guys. #sorrynotsorry

¬†I think I’m supposed to offer examples as well? But I can’t exactly do that, so… I’ll skip to the tagging!

This post is turning out to be very short! But this tag was a lot of fun to do–it was interesting to come up with the superlative, at least.

As usual, no pressure if you don’t want to do this tag! And if you want to do it, but your name isn’t on here, don’t feel shy to go right ahead and do it! Let me know in the comments if you’d like to do it–and if you do it, please link back to this post so I can come check it out! ‚̧


Alright, so I think that’s it for this tag! What do you think? Do you agree with the superlative I chose for myself? (I won’t be too offended if you do. :P) Do you think I deserve another superlative instead? What do you think your own superlative would be? Let me know all and any thoughts in the comments! ‚̧
I hope you’re all enjoying your weekend!

Until the Next Meal, Analee

The dreaded reading slump has been defeated! | WWW Wednesday #46 (April 13th)

It’s been a while since I did a WWW Wednesday post (3-4 weeks, I think?) but to be fair, I hadn’t really read much in those weeks… or at all? Like, maybe one book. So. I was in a major blogging and reading slump–thankfully those dark days are over! *dances around with chocolate* But I’m back this week to catch up a bit on what I’ve been reading, what I plan to read, etc. Yes, yes, I know, you missed me and these posts. Probably not but hushhh.

WWW Wednesday

Currently Reading

Some of you may recall, how I started Illuminae.. maybe three weeks ago? Even longer? Yeah. Well, I haven’t made any progress with it! :/ Which makes me really sad, actually. It’s just I haven’t been in the mood to read this AT ALL. I couldn’t bring myself to pick it up and read it, even after my reading slump was over. Which is why I’m thinking right now just to leave it? Not leave it forever, but, like, pause reading it? I don’t want to force myself to read it and end up enjoying it a lot less than I could have otherwise. So. I’m confused.

The Winner’s Curse is actually a re-read for me, since I read it a year ago or something? And since the third book has been released, I decided to start rereading the first two books! I kind of was unwilling to reread because there are SO MANY other books I want to read, but it’s been so long since I read this. So. So far I’m really enjoying it! Arin and Kestrel… ‚̧

Recently Finished

I actually don’t even know what spurred me to read The Impostor Queen–but what I do know, is that it managed to jarr me out of my slump! I started it and I think I finished it, in like, less than two days. It started off¬†kind of ‘meh’, decent, but nothing too great, but then it really became something amazing. I really loved the fantasy world it created, with magic based around fire and ice and everything. Loved it!

My friend actually had a copy of The Glittering Court (I was kind of surprised, tbh) and since I was kind of wary of whether I’d like it or not, I just borrowed it from her. I wouldn’t say it was a bad read, but… it wasn’t amazing either. I mean, I liked the concept well enough, but I wasn’t always the biggest fan of the characters, which really put down the enjoyment factor. :/ I wished I liked it more, though I did still like it.

The book that followed The Glittering Court, however, made up for more than my partial disappointment over TGC. The Sky is Everywhere blew away all and any of the expectations I had! If you haven’t read this book already, guys, I’m telling you, you must. (At least if you’re into contemporaries.) A book with themes of sisterhood, coping with grief and of course, love, The Sky is Everywhere is such an emotional and fabulous read–READ IT.

Read Next

What We Left Behind has been on my TBR since last year, when it was released, but I never got around to reading it! I’ve been kind of wanting to read another contemporary after The Sky is Everywhere, but I ended up starting The Winner’s Curse instead. Once I finish that I might read this?

The Winner’s Crime, of course, is the sequel to The Winner’s Curse. I’ll also be rereading this, obviously. I’m not going to read it directly after Winner’s Curse (a la binge-read fashion) because I do want to write up a review of it before moving onto the second book. ūüôā

The Raven King will be releasing this month, and to prepare for it I decided I want to re-read the previous books in the series, starting, of course, with The Raven Boys! I’m really in a rereading mood this month, LOL. XD I blame this on you, publishers, for making books in a series so spread apart!

Alright, this book isn’t a reread, as I’ve been meaning to read this for SO LONG you know this; Red Rising! I’ve heard so many amazing things (but then, don’t I say that about nearly every book? Oops.) and I can’t wait to read it. Fingers crossed!


Erm, are we missing anything? Nope, don’t think so (though I wouldn’t mind having some chocolate right now.. I’m kind of hungry.) so I guess that means it’s time for you guys to talk to me! Because¬†you all know I need your opinions and approvals. XD So leave any of your thoughts below! I’d love to hear them. And feel free to link your own WWW post below!

Happy Wednesday!

Until the Next Meal, Analee

Calling all contemporary cravers: You most definitely should read these books..! | Top Ten Tuesday #31

Can you believe it’s been over a month¬†since I last participated in this meme? :O I honestly had not expected that would happen. TTT is such a fun meme, and I’m sorry to have missed out on so many of them. But let us not dwell in the past! I’m here now, today, to participate in this week’s theme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish:¬†“Ten Books Every X Should Read (up to you! Examples: every history nerd, memoir lover, ballet lover, feminist, college student, etc etc.)” As you can tell from the title, I’m going to be listing ten books that all contemporary cravers should eat!¬†Along with fantasy (<3), the contemporary genre has been the one I’ve been reading most often in the past year or so, and I love it so much! I figured I might as well choose it for this week’s theme. ūüėČ Alright, be prepared for lots of squealing because these books are all SO AMAZING. Oh, and just saying: this is not in any order--because NOPE that’s way too hard. Like choosing between my (nonexistant) babies, so.

1. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna & the French Kiss

Okay, so I haven’t read the rest of the following books (Lola, Isla, you know.) but this book was just so cute! It felt so fluffy and although it’s not perfect, I’d bet the majority of contemporary lovers are a fan of this book (or the following ones), so if you haven’t hopped on this train yet–you should! ūüėõ I also have a review on it, if you want to check it out. (You should. Ahem. #selfpromotion XD)

2. Fangirl, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Yes, I’m kind of cheating. But hey, what’s a good TTT post without it? ūüėõ I doubt I’ve gotten through any TTT posts without adding something or another but whatever. #rebel Anyway. Fangirl and Eleanor & Park are both amazing novels by Rainbow Rowell, who I absolutely love as an author! Her books are just so good. They offer such a sweet romance yet also include so many other¬†important messages–which I love.

3. The Sky is Everywhere,¬†I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

AHHHH Jandy Nelson has officially reached being one of my favourite contemporary authors! And I know that it mind seem crazy, deeming her a favourite when I only read two of her books, but seriously, guys. I finally know what everyone’s been talking about. Her debut novel (which I finished last night) was so amazingly amazing–it blew so many of my expectations away! And I absolutely devoured I’ll Give You the Sun when I read it a couple months back. Her books always have such an emotional theme to them while being so sweet at the same time! I need more Jandy Nelson books!!

4. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Ah, Simon. This book, was, of course, amazing. Everyone has been squealing about this book for so long, and I totally get it now! Also, can I just say that SIMON IS AWESOME. Omg. I just wish he’d, like, come to life so we could be best friends? Cause that’s exactly what we’d be. XD So many things in this book blew me away, and I loved it so much. So if you haven’t read it, GO. NOWWWW. Ahem.

5. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

More Happy Than Not

So, this is another one of my 2016 reads, and oh. my. god. This book literally broke my heart into two pieces, then went right ahead and stomped on it. Aghhhh the emotional trauma here is real! This LGBT novel has been the talk of the book community back when it was first released, and I hadn’t read enough reviews to know what it was exactly like. Oh, boy. It tore my heart into pieces, but naturally, that’s exactly why you MUST read this! #bookwormlogic

6. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

A Monster Calls

I’m not exactly sure if this falls into the category of contemporary? I mean… having a tree¬†become a vicious story-telling monster-thing doesn’t exactly happen in real life, so… But to me, it still felt like a contemporary, so whether it is or isn’t.. that’s too bad! This book.. left me speechless. Honestly. Prior to reading this, of course I already knew what an amazing author Patrick Ness is, however this book is definitely one of his best. It was so heartbreaking yet so real and just so heartbreaking. AGH. I love it.

7. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being A Wallflower

Ahh what an amazing book. I will never stop praising it! So artfully written, with such realistic characters and great themes. What’s there not to like? I loved so much the themes of friendship, and coping with life, and being a wallflower, and just… everything. ‚̧ Read it!!

8. On the Fence, The Distance Between Us, The Fill In Boyfriend by Kasie West

Kasie West has officially became one of my favorite authors–especially when it comes to contemporary. Her novels are always just so cute and so much fun to read, that it always lifts my mood. Sometimes, after getting our hearts stomped on by various novels, what we need the most is just to let it heal by reading a contemporary that makes us smile, am I right?! ‘Course I am. And that’s exactly what these books do!

9. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven 

All the Bright Places

So many controversies about this book! Some hate it, some love it, some don’t care. I, for one, loved this book!! It was as good as devouring chocolate, except with more emotional pain and heartbreaking.¬†A book dealing with mental illness, and themes like suicide, this book tore my heart to pieces. The characters felt so real, the writing was fantabulous… omg. I am craving for Jennifer Niven’s next novel!

10. Sarah Dessen

Sarah Dessen Books

I’m not even going to bother putting the name of only one or two of her books, because, honestly, you should read them all. Or at least, most. Some. She is one of the QUEENS of contemporary, in my opinion, so if you haven’t read any of her books yet, GO NOW. Run. Before I come and chase you wielding chocolate stakes. Yes, that is possible. I think.¬†Be scared! (I recommend you try out:¬†The Truth About Forever, Just Listen or This Lullaby!)

Honourable mentions–also known as me trying to squish in a bunch of more AMAZING contemporaries (that deserve to be on the list too but isn’t because rules make life cruel):

  • The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler (Such beautiful writing and so diverse!)
  • Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy (Although it’s not perfect, I appreciate the message it was trying to promote.)
  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (This was so enjoyable! I especially liked the art and graphics included.)
  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before¬†by Jenny Han (Ahh, so cute! Jenny Han’s books are adorable. :D)
  • Me Before You¬†by Jojo Moyes (The opposite of the above, really! This book totally broke my heart, but I love it.)
  • Made You Up¬†by Francesca Zappia (This book has some flaws, but it didn’t make it any less enjoyable!)
  • You Were Here by Cori McCarthy (I was actually very pleasantly surprised by this one! It was great.)
  • What You Left Behind by Jessica Verdi (This book put such a great twist on two popular tropes! YES.)

So. Which of these books have you read?! Which haven’t you read? Are you a contemporary craver? (My new favourite term, I think, other than chocolate–which, let’s be real, is always a favorite term) Do you prefer heart-stomping and emotional contemporaries, or cute and fluffy ones? Do you have any recommendations for THIS contemporary craver (me, btw)? TELL ME for I’d love to know. OH, and feel free to leave the link to your own TTT below! I’d love to come and stop by. ‚̧

Alright, so that’s it, I guess! As always, leave any of your thoughts below, I’m always up for a chat! Enjoy your Tuesday!

Until the Next Meal, Analee

My Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul | ARC Book Review

This book drove me crazy. (Get it? Drove me crazy? Okay I’ll stop.) But seriously. I had many conflicting emotions on this one, to be honest, but at the end of the day I went home happy and satisfied! So. That’s good. I won’t be raging and setting things on fire anytime soon, at least. And there were, in fact, many good things about this novel! A book focusing on themes of family,¬†relationships, trust and the effects life can have on us, this debut is definitely one I don’t regret picking up. But let’s go into more detail, shall we?

My Kind of CrazyMy Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul

3 Stars

Publication Date: April 5th 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance, Young-Adult
Series Status:¬†N/A—Stand-Alone
Page Count: 336 (in paperback)
Source & Format: Publisher via Netgalley, ebook
Critical Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Despite the best of intentions, seventeen-year old, wisecracking Hank Kirby can‚Äôt quite seem to catch a break. It‚Äôs not that he means to screw things up all the time, it just happens. A lot. Case in point: his attempt to ask out the girl he likes literally goes up in flames when he spells ‚ÄúProm‚ÄĚ in sparklers on her lawn‚Ķand nearly burns down her house.

As if that wasn‚Äôt bad enough, Peyton Breedlove, a brooding loner and budding pyromaniac, witnesses the whole thing. Much to Hank‚Äôs dismay, Peyton takes an interest in him‚ÄĒand his ‚Äúwork.‚ÄĚ The two are thrust into an unusual friendship, but their boundaries are tested when Hank learns that Peyton is hiding some dark secrets, secrets that may change everything he thought he knew about Peyton.

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I’m gonna take the more fitting and more convenient route for this review and give you guys a list of things that I liked, and the things that drove me crazy.. or the things I disliked. (Come on, you knew I couldn’t pass that up!) You’re welcome. Thank you Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley for the review copy!

My Kind of Crazy book review

What I Liked

  • Can I just say I kind of love Hank? I felt so bad for him and his situation at home, the fact that he has to cope with his usually drunk father who makes it clear he doesn’t care about him. His portrayal was just so heartfelt to me and it was so easy to sympathize and root for him–even when he doesn’t make the best of choices. Hey, it’s only a matter of being human, right? I couldn’t really fault him for that.
  • The theme of broken families was clearly running for this book! And as unfortunate as it was for the characters¬†having to deal with such bad home lives, I really appreciated the insight this offered. Both Hank and Peyton had to deal with¬†not-the-best home lives, and throughout the story we saw as to how much this affected their daily lives and their characters–which I really loved.
  • YES for humour! This book, whatever else it may be, was fun to read. Despite the tones of seriousness and the parts of deep messages, this book had several bouts of humour and its overall style was very conversational and relaxed, which I liked. The dialogue was relatively witty, and the characters too, made it lots of fun.
  • My Kind of Crazy turned out to be a refreshing contemporary with familiar elements, which I liked well enough! It wasn’t something I’d be able to say I read before, but there were definitely parts to it which I recognize from other books. I still really liked the execution of the story as well as the messages it promoted!

What I Disliked

  • I had lots of ups and downs moments with Peyton. And seeing how she’s one of the main characters, well, the down moments didn’t exactly help with the enjoyment factor. One of the things that bothered me was her attitude and personality. While I found her character intriguing enough, I was put off by the various times she just didn’t seem like a 17/18 year-old. She just seemed so much younger and although I’m usually pretty good with dealing with that kind of thing, it was just so bothersome in this novel. :/ Though, at least in the end I was still able to care about her, even a little.
  • As much as I loved Hank for his realistic characteristics and everything, I must admit it kind of drove me nuts when he was being so blind to the things that were so obvious. Now, this is totally subjective and really no one is at fault here, but having characters constantly be blind to the things that are so blatantly evident gets tiring after a while. Sorry, Hank, that wasn’t the best. I still like you,¬†though. XD
  • Despite the easy to read and enjoyable writing featured in this book, I found the pacing of the story to be.. kind of off?¬†It was very hard to follow sometimes, in my opinion. Sometimes it felt really fast, other times really slow… it just threw me off, I guess.

Overall…

My Kind of Crazy was in no way a bad read! It was easy to get through, and was an enjoyable experience. I really did enjoy the messages and themes it represented, as well as most of the characters–especially Hank. I was really able to get behind him as a protagonist and rooted for him; he¬†was so relatable and I found him to be very realisitc. So yay! On the other hand, I wasn’t the biggest fan of his love interest, Peyton, all the time. In the end, she was fine, but I didn’t exactly love her, which made the enjoyment factor go down a bit for me. Despite that, I strongly believe My Kind of Crazy is a great fit for people looking for humorous contemporaries with great messages and heartfelt characters. It’s a fun read and I definitely recommend if you’re a fan of contemporaries! My Kind of Crazy released 6 days ago, on April 5th, 2016. Go pick it up if you’re interested! ūüôā


Alright, so that’s it for this review! It’s been such a long time since I wrote one, lol. Hopefully it will be followed by more! I’m currently still recovering from the amazing novel, The Sky is Everywhere which I started and finished today. Hopefully I’ll be able to make out some coherent thoughts on it! But anyway. Tell me your thoughts on this book! Would you like to read it? What humorous contemporaries have you read? Feel free to leave any and all thoughts below!

Hope you’re all enjoying your Monday! ‚̧

Until the Next Meal, Analee

Tons of new books, as usual! (The Rose and the Dagger is coming out–YES!) | 2016 April Book Releases

Okay, so I’m like 8 days late on this? Oops. But oh well, rather do it late than never.. these posts are as much for me as for you guys, and I must admit this can be very useful for me when I need to remind myself of the books I want to look out for? XD (THERE ARE SO MANY I CAN’T KEEP TRACK omg) Though for this month I feel like the number of anticipated books I have is lower than usual..? But still, lots of books. *grabby hands* (Also, The Rose and the Dagger is being released this month–which, honestly, would be enough just on its own, I’ve been waiting for this book for SO LONG. AHHHHH.) Anyway, let’s get onto the books!

2016 April Book Releases

April 1st

April 5th

April 12th

April 19th

April 21st

April 26th

April 28th


See what I mean? So many books. Of course, in the back of my mind I’m feeling depressed that I can’t own these all, but mostly I’m just in awe of all the pretty covers! Oh and the interesting books. (But mostly the covers. #bookwormtruths) And of course, you all know I’m super psyched for The Rose and the Dagger (it’s like chocolate-level amazingness for me right now, even though I don’t know how it will turn out yet), though I also can’t wait for many other books like The Glittering Court, The Raven King, When We Collided, etc etc. SO TELL ME. What books are YOU looking forard to the most? Let us squeal over these books! Because, ahem, they look stunning. Oh, and they all seem amazing. So. Fangirling time!
I hope you guys all have a great Friday! You can bet I’ll be gobbling up chocolate to celebrate (any excuse to eat chocolate is fine by me, obviously) the arrival of the weekend…

Until the Next Meal, Analee

Signs You’re in a Blogging Slump + How to get out! | Book Snacks Babbles

Oh. my. gosh. It’s been SO LONGGGGG since I last posted–or was last alive, to be honest. The past couple of years weeks have been busy (like, really busy), yes, but I also must admit it was also due to pure laziness tinged with exhaustion that this blog went abandoned for such a long time. I might be exaggerating about the length of my unplanned hiatus, but not really..seeing how I don’t usually take such unprecedented hiatuses for this amount of time? But whatever. Life and school..and life, but mostly school, has been unmerciful on me and I was absolutely swamped these past couple of weeks, by either tons of work or bouts of exhaustion and moments of utter zombieness. I had tons of post ideas in my head, but I just couldn’t find the a) time-common excuse, I know, but true–b) motivation, c) strength, or d) the will to get away from my chocolate bars, you know? #sorrynotsorry

SO. All that combined to a very unsuccessful March, in terms of blogging, AND reading too. Le sigh. *cue internal sadness* *grabs chocolate to cure sadness* But I have missed you guys!! I’m currently really really slow with catching up with all your blogs but I am trying, I swear. I spent time yesterday blog hopping (which really cheered me up, actually) and if I have time today I’ll definitely be doing so again. ūüôā

Though moving on to the real purpose of this post:¬†having been in a kind-of blogging slump these past two weeks, and finally attempting to restart my inspiration and motivation to blog¬†(so kind of getting out of the slump), obviously I consider myself a total expert* on this subject! ūüėČ So I’ve decided to become a helpful little chocolate bar–as I always am, of course–and give you guys a list of signs you’re in a blogging slump. If you know the symptoms you can better ward them off, after all. Kind of. Or at least recognize them? And I shall also advise you on how to get out of a blogging slump–you’re welcome.

*Major exaggeration here, folks. Pff, me, an expert? But still. It sounds better this way, sooo. Oh, but I need you guys to correct any of my mistakes! Add your own ideas, tell me what you think, etc etc. Chocolate for you if you contribute! ūüėõ

Signs You're in a Blogging Slump


Reasons We Fall Into Blogging Slumps

Let’s go through some background info. What causes the dreaded blogging slump to present itself? Here’s a quick list (because lists are fabulous–Cait‘s list loving tendencies are contagious!)

  • Life gets in the way 24/7. Blogging is something that takes TIME. And boy, does it take lots of it. In an ideal book blogger world, life is merciful and stress-free, and does not try to prevent you from doing the things you actually enjoy. In the real world, well… life is more likely to attack you with a truckload of things you have to do–and it doesn’t include blogging.
  • Stats are low. Although everyone repeats, time and time again, that stats don’t matter, to some people they might be quite a large factor in their enjoyment of blogging.¬†To me, I feel concentrating on stats doesn’t really get you anywhere other than down the road of sadness and disappointment, but¬†sometimes low stats can get to be quite discouraging–which, of course can cause a slump.
  • Too much pressure. When you start feeling like you have to blog, as if it were a job, it makes it a whole lot less fun! And then the pressure of having to blog (when you might not be feeling like it or in the mood for it) definitely doesn’t help matters.
  • You feel like you have no more interesting post ideas. Although in basically all situations this is 100% false in reality, when in your head you feel as if you’re out of ideas, well, you’re not going to want to reach out to your computer to blog. (And so then the slump occurs, obviously.)
  • Not enough time. A seemingly empty excuse (and a common one at that), this is definitely one of the big reasons why someone might fall into a slump! Like, sometimes life just gets really busy, and when that continuously happens, there’s just not enough time for you to¬†blog. There just isn’t. (*cue sadness*)
  • Tiredness. Sometimes, even when we do have time, simply exhaustion or laziness after a long day causes for us to not reach for the computer to blog. And when this tiredness continues to occur often, well, say hello to the blogging slump. (Erm, I’m kind of guilty of this.. I blame school. And life. But mostly school.)

  • Expectations are not being met. Whether this be in terms of stats, or comments, or anything, really, any expectation that someone may have had for blogging, when it isn’t met, it can be very discouraging (much like the low stats thing). And we all know where that can lead.
  • We run out of chocolate and therefore spend many many days huddled in a corner and crying. (This is totally legit, what are you talking about?)

I think those are the top ones? At least that I could think of right away. I know there are tons more though–so if there’s a reason (or several reasons) you fell into a blogging slump that I haven’t listed, TELL ME. Because I must know all the reasons and become an all-knowing blogging slump master. Yes yes.

Anyway, moving on to the actual…

Signs that a blogging slump is on the way or has reached you

  • You start to be constantly ‘not in the mood’ to blog.

Omg. #1 sign, I tell you. #1. Or at least in the top 10. When you keep making those same “I don’t feel like it” or “I’m not in the mood to blog” excuses, you know. And if you didn’t recognize the sign until now, well, you’re welcome.

Tip: Read blogs that inspire you! Your favourite blogs, favourite posts, whatever. Even if you don’t feel like blogging, looking at other posts that you like might help you to become back in the mood to blog. It’s simple in theory, and most of the time, it also works.

Tip: Taking a break from blogging¬†is 100% okay when you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or just don’t have time. It really is. You don’t have to be worried about taking a break. But when you stop blogging for reasons that are more based on laziness or moodiness, well.. my one tip is to push yourself a bit more to blog. Not so much that it puts tons of pressure on you, but enough so that you

  • You’re having more fun doing anything except blogging.

It’s a fact to most people that blogging is hard work. Yes, it can be fun, but the amount of time and effort that has to go in to make a good, quality post is insane. Most people know this yet they still continue blogging. Why? Because they enjoy it. When you no longer enjoy blogging, well, you won’t feel like doing it, now will you? When that happens, you know what it means..

Tip: Taking a break can definitely help in this situation! Though that’s just a temporary solution.¬†To really cure this, one of the things I recommend doing is making a list, or reading a list, about the things you love about blogging. When you focus on the positives, maybe it will help you enjoy it once again. Do what you enjoy about blogging, instead of focusing on what you don’t really enjoy.

  • Blogging becomes a chore/an unwanted reminder of something you have to do.

*SIGH* Blogging. Right.

It’s never a good sign when the thing that was supposed to be a fun, light, hobby, and what used to make you happy, becomes the thing that makes you frown or sigh in frustration. Never!

Tip: Really, I feel like the same tips can help with multiple things. Finding things you love about blogging (mentioned above) can really help for this. When something that was previously associated with positive ideals, becomes associated with negatives, it really helps to have a reminder that the thing (in our case, blogging) isn’t truly something that bad! It’s hard, but it’s generally something we love to do, no? I hope all that made sense, oops.

  • You purposefully spend your free time doing other things even if that time could be spent blogging.

“Oh, I finished all my homework/household duties/whatever other requirements you have! Hm, I think I’m going to go surf the channels on TV, even though I know there’s nothing good on.” A bad example (but maybe it’s possible?) but you get what I mean! This is definitely another obvious sign that a blogging slump is either on its way or has reached you.

Tip: Push yourself a bit more to use that free time to blog! I doubt there’s ever going to be a time where after you write a post (instead of watching boring TV, for example), you’re going to be like, “I wish I had watched that old TV¬†sports show that I don’t like!” or something. You know?

  • You no longer prioritize blogging or really care so much about posting on time/at all.

Another very obvious sign that you’re soon to be a victim of a blogging slump, this one can make it hard to get back into blogging once you fall into a slump. When you stop making blogging a priorty, or really caring much about it, well, you have more of a ‘it doesn’t really matter’ attitude, you know? Which can make things difficult.

Tip: Try and find new post ideas! Inspire yourself. Motivate yourself so that you’re able to get rid of the ‘I don’t care’ attitude, because, let me tell you, that ain’t gonna help anything. This seems like a very ‘bad’ thing to fall into, but all it really is is an effect of falling into a blogging slump. If inspiration just isn’t coming to you, then sometimes also just taking a break, being disconnected from the blog and everything, might help. Chances are the bookworm in you (if you’re a book blogger) won’t be able to resist squealing about the newest 5-star book your read. ūüėČ

Last minute babbling…

I will forever back the statement of taking a break when you need one. (98% of the time, at least.) Sometimes it’s what it takes for you to get back your blogging game, you know? However, I also believe in a good balance. Yes, life can be a real bully to us little people, and yes, so is time. It is SO DIFFICULT to blog when we have to constantly battle the force of real life. I get that. I really do.¬†But sometimes, another part of it is just us sitting around and choosing not to do it–which leads to being a blogging slump most of the time rather than being a productive hiatus. Lol. ¬†Sometimes it’s good if we push ourselves a bit more. I’ve been in a blogging slump for almost 3 weeks now? It was tempting to just leave this post in the drafts, along with all my other ones, but I found that when I finally pushed myself to write up a post, it really felt good and satisfying. Reading other blog posts and reminding myself what an amazing journey blogging has been for me is¬†two of the things that pushed me out of my blogging slump–so I definitely recommend those two tips the most! Blogging slumps are seemingly impossible to get rid of, but if you try, I promise it’s not that hard. ūüėČ


Okay, so that turned out to be a lot more rambling on my part¬†than I had expected–sorry for all that, guys. I do hope it all made sense.

But now, I’d love to hear your opinions! I’ve missed talking to you all SO MUCH, so please don’t leave me hanging, lolll. Have you ever fallen into a blogging slump? How did you get out? What other reasons are there that cause blogging slumps to occur? Has anyone else felt the pain of running out of chocolate??!! #honestquestion Oh, and what helps you the most when attempting to escape a blogging slump? Leave any of your thoughts below!

Until the Next Meal, Analee