November ’17 TBR – Witches Theme

Hello everyone!

I am staying consistent! Look at that haha. Something that’s been super easy for me before is now extremely hard to do so I’m working on it. We’re almost two weeks into November but I still feel like it’s a good time to give you all the books that I’m hoping to read this month. To be honest, I haven’t been really following my themes as of late and I’m thinking about next year not having themes at all. I’m still not sure if I’m gonna do it yet but I also don’t know how well I’ll stick to the following TBR but might as well try!

SO let’s get started!

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Book Review – Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Every Last Word

Author: Tamara Ireland Stone

Publication: June 16th, 2015

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Format: Kindle Edition, 368 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mental Health

Read: May 2017

Tamara Ireland StoneGoodreads

 

 

Synopsis
If you could read my mind, you wouldn’t be smiling.
Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.
Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.
Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
I loved this book so much. This was a coming of age story about friendship, confidence and honesty. It talked about mental health and acceptance. The story was therapy positive and introduced poetry as an outlet. I loved the way it developed and was even surprised by some of the twists and turns.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing in this book is just so powerful and emotional. It’s poetic, and I love how poetry becomes an intricate part of the writing style as it becomes more important in the main character’s life. It’s easy to read and fun, the pace is steady which I really liked. It’s personable, honest and real.

Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
I love the characters in this book! Each one just feels like a real, honest person with a tangible life and personality. They all made me fall in love with them for different reasons.
Sam is the main character and she has Purely-Obsessive OCD. Her point of view was very specific and very detailed which I enjoyed because it made it possible to try and understand what she was constantly going through. She’s quiet and a bit insecure. She keeps her struggles to herself until she starts to look into poetry. That helps her find her own and to become comfortable with herself more. She becomes braver and more confident and I just loved her growth.
There’s several side characters in this story, some that I love and that I was rooting for and others that I wanted to disappear haha. However, they’re all amazing, complex and well-developed characters. Though we only have Sam’s point of view, we also learn a lot about the lives of the side characters and what they’re going through. They are not just there to help Sam through her journey but as a part of an actual group of people that find solace in poetry and it was beautiful.

Emotionally

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May ’16 Wrap Up

Hello everyone!

I have been a little bit scatterbrained this month, so much so that I forgot that wrap ups are a thing and that I have to do one around May 31st haha. But I am here, relatively on time and ready to tell you all about the things I’ve been up to this month. Spoiler alert: it has not been blogging. For some reason I haven’t really had the time to sit and blog consistently in May and I didn’t post everything that I had scheduled so they’ve been pushed back and back and back haha. I’m gonna try and change my writing days to the week because my weekends have been packed.

SO let’s get started!

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Book Review – Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter

Take the Key and Lock Her Up (Embassy Row #3)

Author: Ally Carter

Publication: December 27th, 2016

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Format: Kindle Edtion, 336 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Mental Health

Read: April 2017

Ally CarterGoodreads

 

Synopsis
The princess is dead. Long live the princess.
Centuries ago, the royal family of Adria was killed…or so everyone thought.
Now Grace Blakely knows the truth: There was one survivor, and that survivor’s blood runs through her veins. This simple fact could cause a revolution—which is why some people will stop at nothing to keep it from coming to light.
There is only one way for Grace to save herself, save her family, and save the boy she loves. She must outmaneuver her foes, cut through the web of lies that has surrounded her for years, and go back to the source of all her troubles, despite the risk.
If she wins, she will inherit a throne.
And if she loses, she will inherit the fate of all the dead princesses who came before her.

Critically

Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Sadly, I’m still disappointed. The plot of this book is full of mystery and suspense. There’s action, it’s dramatic, full of death and violence. But it was still kind of boring. Honestly, I just think this series tries too hard to be intense and it doesn’t pull it off as well as it thinks it does. This book was not as entertaining as I wanted and the ending wasn’t that surprising.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Part of me feels like I should complain more about the writing style considering that most of my issues with this series comes down to execution but I just can’t help flying through these books. The writing is set a medium place but it’s simple and easy to read. It’s a bit intense, kind of emotional but unfortunately, those things didn’t really translate well. It was confusing sometimes and it could get repetitive.

Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This is definitely my least favorite part of this series which is so sad because I’ve really loved this author’s characters in the past. I just wasn’t feeling the main character and the side characters barely show up enough throughout the story to be considered a part of it.
Grace gets on my nerves. I tried, I swear I really tried to understand where she’s coming from but she’s just really dramatic and pessimistic to the point where reading from her point of view was draining for me. She’s reckless and angry and she gets pulled into crappy situations because she’s just not clearheaded at all. She’s depressed, worried and just totally and completely frustrating for me.
There’s not enough page time for the side characters. From the friendships, to the romance, even to the familial relationships portrayed in this book, they all just show up when they’re needed and there’s never any actual development to back up everything the dialogue is trying to say. I don’t know the side characters well at all and it’s another one of the things that made this series disappointing overall.

Emotionally

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Book Review – See How They Run by Ally Carter

See How They Run (Embassy Row #2)

Author: Ally Carter

Publication: December 22nd, 2015

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Format: Kindle Edtion, 336 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Mental Health

Read: February 2017

Ally CarterGoodreads

 

Synopsis
Digging up lost secrets is always dangerous.
For the past three years, Grace Blakely has been desperate to find out the truth about her mother’s murder. She thought it would bring her peace. She thought it would lead her to answers. She thought she could put the past to rest.
But the truth has only made her a target.
And the past?
The only way to put the past to rest is for Grace to kill it once and for all.
On Embassy Row, power can make you a victor or a victim; love can turn you into a fool or a fugitive; and family can lead you forward or bury you deep. Trust is a luxury. Death is a very real threat. And a girl like Grace must be very careful about which secrets she brings to light.

Critically

Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This book was very similar to the first one. It had mystery, suspense, drama and violence. There’s a lot of dark themes and twists and turns throughout the whole story. I loved learning more about the history of the world in this book and I think it was more entertaining than the first book. When I first finished this, I thought I’d liked it more but thinking on it, it was pretty much the same as the first book in regards to the plot.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I really like this author’s writing style. It’s simple and easy to read. The medium pace feels kind of weird with everything that happens and some things can get confusing enough for me to need to re-read passages sometimes. It was descriptive and detailed, but still had a lot of repetitive elements within the narrative.

Characters – 3 out of 5 stars
I’m still not the biggest fan of this cast of characters. The main character is still hard for me to connect to and while there’s more side character page time, I still don’t think they have enough interaction within the story overall.
Grace is kind of melodramatic to me. She’s an unreliable narrator and has had a lot of emotional and physical trauma before and during this series. I feel for her and all but sometimes it’s just a little bit too much. I don’t connect with her because she isolates herself from other people and the book is basically her internal paranoid monologue. I try to be conscious of her mental health and what that entails for her but it kind of took away from what I could’ve enjoyed of the story. She’s angry, confused, depressed and kind of rude to the people around her. Her character is still frustrating but getting better slowly.
Like I said above, there’s definitely much more interaction between the side characters and the main character but not enough for my liking. There’s also no character development for the side characters themselves. I feel like they’re just kind of there to help Grace out and I haven’t learned anything new about them from the first book to this one and that’s really disappointing.

Emotionally

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Book Review – All Fall Down by Ally Carter

All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1)

Author: Ally Carter

Publication: January 20th, 2015

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Format: Kindle Edtion, 325 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Mental Health

Read: November 2016

Ally CarterGoodreads

 

Synopsis
Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things:
1. She is not crazy.
2. Her mother was murdered.
3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay.
As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her — so there’s no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door, who is keeping his eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands.
Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. But they can’t control Grace — no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do. Her past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn’t stop it, Grace isn’t the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

Critically

Plot – 3.5 out of 5 stars
The plot of this book was really mysterious and intense. It was really slow and sometimes it was kind of boring to be honest. The setting was really unique and there were lots of twists and turns throughout the story. I feel like this whole book was just set up for something bigger to come. There were a lot of positives but I just didn’t end up enjoying it as much as this author’s other books.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
It’s very simple and easy to read. This particular book has a slow to medium pace but also really intense writing style. It got kind of confusing at times since it had the tendency to get repetitive a lot. Some of the narrative felt light and kind of young for YA, but at the same time, it was really emotional too.

Characters – 3 out of 5 stars
I think this is the part that I enjoyed the least in the book. I have a lot of issues with the main character and the side characters and their development and it’s really disappointing since the characters have always been my favorite part of these author’s series.
Grace is one of the most unreliable narrators that I’ve ever come across in YA. She’s very paranoid and angry. She’s dealt with a lot of trauma and mental health issues in the last three years. She’s suffering from a lot of emotional wounds and she pushes people away because of that. She can be kind of rude and she really frustrated me because I felt like she purposely dragged her feet through what could’ve been really great and supportive relationships around her.
I was really disappointed with the side characters. There was a really big cast involved in this book but I felt like they weren’t fleshed out enough. They were only there like 10% of the time and they wasn’t enough interaction between them and the side characters. They should’ve been instrumental for Grace, but they didn’t even spend that much time together on page.

Emotionally

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May ’17 TBR – Mental Health Theme

Hello everyone!

I’m kind of nervous about this month. When I made this theme last year, I didn’t really think that’d I’d be struggling with my own mental health during this month. However, I’ve been wanting to read some of the books on this list for a really long time so I’m gonna give them a chance. I’ll also be able to get some library books if need be and I can always read some of the New Adult books that I didn’t get to last month to relax a bit.

SO let’s get started!

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April ’17 Wrap Up

Hello everyone!

Compared to March, April has been pretty laid back. I had to study a lot of math because of an assessment test that I had to do but since I didn’t have much to do out of the house so I had a lot of time to read. Not only that, but I got to go to the library a few times throughout the month. Let me know if you guys would like to see what I haul from the library in my wrap ups because I’d be willing to do so. Besides that, I read quite a few books this month though there weren’t as many stand outs as I would’ve liked.

SO let’s get started!

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April ‘ 17 TBR – New Adult Theme

Hello everyone!

I’m really looking forward to this month! I’m a big fan of New Adult though I haven’t read it in a really long time. Considering how little I’ve been reading lately, I hope this month will help push me to read a bit more. These books are usually easy to read for me and I fly by them really fast, the last time I had a NA month I read 18 books so it looks like it might be a good month. I also hope to not be so busy, cross your fingers for me!

SO let’s get started!

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