Book Review: Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout

23961611you can find the book at:
GoodReads
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Author website

my review:

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

In an attempt to escape her music royalty family, Grace Wilde transfers into a Korean boarding school and finds herself falling for a K-Pop star.

If you want a novel with proper representation of Korean culture mixed with likeable characters, I suggest you don’t even bother putting this book on your TBR list. Why? Because this has none of that.
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Book Review: Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

you can find the book at:

GoodReads
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Author Website

goodreads summary:

Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.

my review:

Rating: ★★★☆☆

~ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review~
I’ll start with what I did like so it’s not lost in whatever comes next. The style of writing made it easy to read, it’s light and fluffy, and serious when it needs to be. Mercedes was an interesting main character, I didn’t like her, but it was nice to read a YA contemporary that’s quite different. Firsts make a lot of promises and the potential was so obvious.

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BOOK REVIEW: Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy

you can find the book at:

GoodReads
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Author Website

goodreads summary:

When sixteen-year-old Alice is diagnosed with leukemia, her prognosis is grim. To maximize the time she does have, she vows to spend her final months righting wrongs—however she sees fit. She convinces her friend Harvey, who she knows has always had feelings for her, to help her with a crazy bucket list that’s as much about revenge (humiliating her ex-boyfriend and getting back at her archnemesis) as it is about hope (doing something unexpectedly kind for a stranger). But just when Alice’s scores are settled, she goes into remission.

Now Alice is forced to face the consequences of all that she’s said and done, as well as her true feelings for Harvey. But has she caused irreparable damage to the people around her—and to the one person who matters most?

my review:

Rating: ★★★★☆

Side Effects May Vary is a story between two very different protagonists. First you have sixteen year old Alice that is diagnosed with cancer and because her days are suddenly numbered, she decides to enlist the help of her long-time friend Harvey to revenge on those who did her wrong. However, a year later, when she finds herself in remission, she’s not only forced to deal with her new reality but also the consequences of her decisions. She has lived the last year of her life knowing it was her last—including doing some rather not nice things. The other half is Harvey, Alice’s best friend. They have lived their lives next to each other, their parents are best friends, and Harvey and Alice have grown up alongside each other. And Harvey is completely in love with Alice.

I think Murphy did a great job with the dual point of view. Alice is selfish, mean and treats people like crap and is terrified. She could be considered the protagonist and the antagonist, and she’s a character you love to hate, with good reason. Harvey is sweet and charming, a character that deserved so much more. I rooted for his relationship with Alice though Alice wasn’t always deserving of the love Harvey had to give.

It revolves around Alice’s second chances, the harsh realities of high school, and about friendships that can either define you or destroy you. Overall, a very witty novel that was really interesting to read.

BOOK REVIEW: Did I Mention I Love You? (DIMILY Trilogy #1) by Estelle Maskame

you can find the book at:

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Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Author Website

goodreads summary:

When sixteen-year-old Eden Munro agrees to spend the summer with her estranged father in the beachfront city of Santa Monica, California, she has no idea what she’s letting herself in for. Eden’s parents are divorced and have gone their separate ways, and now her father has a brand new family. For Eden, this means she’s about to meet three new step-brothers. The eldest of the three is Tyler Bruce, a troubled teenager with a short temper and a huge ego. Complete polar opposites, Eden quickly finds herself thrust into a world full of new experiences as Tyler’s group of friends take her under their wing. But the one thing she just can’t understand is Tyler, and the more she presses to figure out the truth about him, the more she finds herself falling for the one person she shouldn’t – her step-brother.

Throw in Tyler’s clingy girlfriend and a guy who has his eyes set on Eden, and there’s secrets, lies and a whole lot of drama. But how can Eden keep her feelings under control? And can she ever work out the truth about Tyler?

my review:

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

~ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review~

Estelle has a nice writing style, it’s simple and there were moments of excitement within this novel where Estelle’s self-taught style was interesting to read. I had actually read a part of this a while ago on Wattpad, and the change really does show how well she has improved. Estelle is incredibly talented for an 18 year old author and I definitely see myself reading many future books of hers. Maybe just not this one series.

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BOOK REVIEW: Fire Colour One by Jenny Valentine

you can find the book at:

GoodReads
Amazon
Barnes and Noble (unavailable)
Author Bio

goodreads summary:

Iris’s father, Ernest, is at the end of his life and she hasn’t even met him. Her best friend, Thurston, is somewhere on the other side of the world. Everything she thought she knew is up in flames.

Now her mother has declared war and means to get her hands on Ernest’s priceless art collection. But Ernest has other ideas. There are things he wants Iris to know after he’s gone. And the truth has more than one way of coming to light.

my review:

Rating:★★★★☆

~ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review~

The title, Fire Colour One,  refers to the Yves Klein painting FC1, I googled it- it looks cool, but the book is Iris who lives with her mother, Hannah, and stepfather in America until Hannah announces one day that they are returning to the UK to see Iris’s father, Ernest, who is dying. Hannah is desperate to get her hands on Ernest’s art collection. Iris has no recollections of her Dad other than what her mother has told her. She has grown up with the knowledge her father wanted nothing to do with her. Gradually, Iris and Ernest start to bond and Iris hears Ernest’s side of the story, and the life he has lived ever since her mother left him years ago.

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BOOK REVIEW: Me Before You & After You By Jojo Moyes (SPOILERS)

I decided put my reviews of MBY & AY together since both reviews were rather short.

you can find the books at:

GoodReads // GoodReads
Amazon // Amazon
B&N // B&N
Author Website

 

 EDIT: I have to admit, I was unaware that the ending came off as ableist when I first read the book. I really loved this until I learned how problematic the plot it. Thank you to Annie Elainey’ and her video “Me Before Ableism #LiveBoldly” for helping me be more aware of this issue.

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BOOK REVIEW: Love Letters To The Dead by Ava Dellaira

you can find the book at:

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Amazon
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Author Website

goodreads summary:

It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person.

Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to the dead—to people like Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, Amelia Earhart, and Amy Winehouse—though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating the choppy waters of new friendships, learning to live with her splintering family, falling in love for the first time, and, most important, trying to grieve for May. But how do you mourn for someone you haven’t forgiven?

It’s not until Laurel has written the truth about what happened to herself that she can finally accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was—lovely and amazing and deeply flawed—can she truly start to discover her own path.

My Review

Rating:★☆☆☆☆

Dear Kurt Cobain,
Mrs. Buster gave us our first assignment in English today, to write a letter to a dead person.

I’m sorry but that blurb by Stephen Chbosky feels so biased.

PROS: Good concept, series of letter written to dead famous people. I liked the idea of writing to someone famous, someone who doesn’t know you but you know parts of their life but don’t really. I liked that it was a way for the character to reflect on her life and find herself.

However, this book was so pretentious with such a passive and dull speaker. Laurel was too naive for me to care about her, she had no character or personality of her own, she only comes off as a girl who’s only too willing to be pulled along by peer pressure. This book goes nowhere. Laurel’s despair over May’s death is tremendously subtle, and so suppressed that I can hardly tell she’s grieving at all. And the information given to us from this artist aren’t anything I wouldn’t have read in 5 minutes on Wikipedia. A few paragraphs on the artists themselves, and then a million pages of this girl rambling on about whatever. I could not get immersed in Laurel’s character because she has such an inconsistent voice. In some parts of her narrative Laurel sounds like a 12-year old. And then she starts saying philosophical crap out of nowhere. The narrative voice didn’t work for me at all.

This supposed grief over May’s death isn’t there. Sure, Laurel is supposed to be really sad about May, considering she died, but I never felt her sadness. It is a matter of telling, not showing. You could argue that Laurel is suppressing her grief really well, but why would I want to read a book like that? Also, I really disliked her sister, she sounded like such a bad influence to Laurel, no matter how hard she tried to be a role model.

Some really bad things happen to Laurel in this book, and I didn’t care. I want to care but I didn’t. I couldn’t relate to her. I didn’t like her. I couldn’t bring myself to sympathise with her or her story.