April 1, 2016

March Wrap-Up


Hey there Literature Lovers! Hope you are all doing well! I just thought I would share with you the books I read in March. I hit a reading slump during my Spring Break so I didn’t read as much as I would have liked to, but hopefully I can break out of the slump soon.

Like I did last month I’m planning to do individual reviews for a few of these books, which I will put links to once I’ve posted them.

Here’s what I read:

The Siren by Kiera Cass http://laurenecox.com/the-siren/

Betty Cornell’s Teen-Age Popularity Guide by Betty Cornell

*I read Popular by Maya Van Wagan when it first came out and I got this book at the signing I went to, but never read it until now. This is advice from the 1950s, but some of it still could provide helpful tips to girls now, not for popularity necessarily, but for being a well-mannered person.

Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Lesyle Walton

I Was Here by Gayle Forman

I also listened to two audiobooks this month: Carry On and The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet.
Feel free to share what you read last month in the comments below, and if you have read any of the ones I have listed, please share your thoughts!

Thanks for reading!

March 15, 2016

Book Review | The Chaos of Stars



The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White follows Isadora, who is the daughter of Egyptian gods, Isis and Osiris. When she was very young Isadora believed that she would become a god just like her parents, only to learn that eventually she would die and her parents would bury her in a tomb in the family home with her brothers and sisters who have already existed. After that day Isadora’s relationship with her parents is strained. The story then shifts to present day, where Isadora is a teenager still living with her parents in their hidden palace in Egypt. The gods learn there is a dark force at play and send Isadora away to live with her brother in California where she will be safe. Isadora spends her time in California working at a museum where relics of her family members are on display. She makes a few friends, as well as meets a cute boy named Ry, and she tries to help figure out what is going on with this darkness that is taking over her dreams and forced her away from home.

First of all, this cover = GORGEOUS! The navy and the gold are just so so so so so beautiful together!

And as for the inside of the book I enjoyed it a lot (3.5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads). So many books are focused on Greek mythology (which I do find very interesting), and it was very refreshing to have an introduction to another type of mythology that up until this point I knew nothing about, apart from the names of Isis, Osiris, and Anubis.

As for characters, I liked Tyler, Isadora’s friend from the museum. She was feisty and funny, and was always there for Isadora.

Speaking of our main character, Isadora was sort of annoying at times. She was not as frustrating a main character as some others I could think of (America Singer in The Selection immediately comes to mind), but she was very closed off and bitter and seemed to have that #FirstWorldProblems mentality when she didn’t get her way from her parents. However, for the most part I liked her. I felt like I understood her behavior toward her parents because she did love them and wanted to be with them forever, but was “cheated” out of that option.

The writing was fast-paced and I managed to read this book in one sitting. I felt like there were a few things that were revealed towards the end of the story that should have been discussed earlier in the book regarding the love interest’s family (or even adding a few more pages to the end to discuss it), but overall I enjoyed the read. If you have any interest in mythology and enjoy books that have similiarities to the Percy Jackson series (or really anything Rick Riordian has written) then I would suggest checking this one out.

March 10, 2016

Book Review | A Little in Love


Ever since I read The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet I’ve been looking for more famous literary stories told from the point of view of the secondary characters. It gives you the chance to see the story from a different angle. So when I was strolling through Books-a-Million and saw an adaptation of Les Miserables told from Eponine’s P.O.V., I automatically picked it up.

Anyone who has seen or read Les Mis knows who Eponine is. She is the daughter of thieves, a girl who is in love with a boy named Marius who is in love with another girl, a girl who Eponine herself grew up with.


A Little in Love starts when Eponine was young. She talks about living with her parents in Montfermeil, the birth of her sister, and the life of thieving that she is forced into. Unlike her family, Eponine tries to be good. She never wants to steal or to kill. She only wants to do good, and it’s hard to do good when your family insists you do bad. She is teased by her family and scolded for not being as committed to their “family business” as her sister is. Eponine becomes friends with Cosette, a little girl who is brought to Montfermeil to stay until her mother can earn enough money to support the two of them. However, Cosette’s mother never returns, and she becomes the Cinderella of Eponine’s family until Jean Valjean adopts her. Later on we see Eponine meet Marius, whom she falls in love with, as well as see her reconcile with Cosette when they meet again in Paris.

I’ve never read the actual Victor Hugo novel. I, like I’m sure most of the general public, have only seen the movie that came out in 2012. It was my first introduction to the story. One of my favorite songs was “On My Own,” both because Samantha Banks has an amazing voice and because she put so much emotion into her performance. And it was her that popped into my head when I was reading this story.

From what I have heard about the actual Victor Hugo book, Eponine is not that big of a character. She’s just sort of there, but A Little in Love was her chance to shine.

I liked the way Eponine interacted with Cosette and Marius. Even though she knew Marius loved Cosette and not her, she was never spiteful. In fact she was the one who brought them together (don’t think that’s really a spoiler because they showed in the movie that Eponine knew where Cosette and Valjean were staying in Paris). She risked her life to bring Marius a note from Cosette in the barricades, and in my mind, that made her fearless. She didn’t care about the war, she cared about Marius and Cosette and their happiness. She put them before herself.

Overall I greatly enjoyed this. I would recommend this to fans of Les Mis, and really anyone that wants to see a classic story from a different perspective. Even if you know the whole story, you can still find something new from these types of re-imaginings.

Have any of you read this book before? If so, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!


March 7, 2016

Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge Checklist


Hi everyone!

In the post I made the other day I talked about how I plan on taking on the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge, which contains the 339 books mentioned throughout the seven season run of Gilmore Girls. As I said in the previous post, I will not be finishing this challenge this year, and probably will not have it finished by next year either. It’s just something I want to attempt to accomplish at some point in my life. What I really hope is that it will help me broaden my reading tastes.

Below I am posting the names of the books I have read from this challenge already. Tell me in the comments below if you have read any of these books or which ones you are most looking forward to reading (even if it isn’t right this moment).

Thanks for reading!

– – – – – – –


Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Candide by Voltaire

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffery Chaucer

Carrie by Stephen King

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Eloise by Kay Thompson

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger

Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg

Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Anderson

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

The Miracle Worker by William Gibson

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

Snow White and Rose Red

Stuart Little by E.B. White

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Bambi: A Life in the Woods by Felix Salten

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum


March 6, 2016

Book Review | Finding Audrey


Hello everyone!

I’ve been reading some more Sophie Kinsella books lately, and decided to do a review on the first book of hers I read a few months ago: Finding Audrey.

Finding+Audrey+Cover+Jpeg Finding Audrey is Kinsella’s first Young Adult novel, which follows a girl named, you guessed it, Audrey. Prior to the beginning of the book Audrey suffers through an incident that causes her to now have social anxiety, for which she has to go to therapy for. Audrey is too afraid to make eye contact with anyone, including the members of her family, all except for her youngest brother Felix. Because Audrey can’t make eye contact she hides behind a pair of sunglasses, even when indoors. She mostly keeps to herself and watches her mother and her little brother Frank argue about Frank’s obsession with video games. Frank plays with a team for one particular game, and invites his friend Linus over to play with him. Audrey initially freaks out when she sees Linus because he is a new person for her to be around, but she soon develops a crush on him. The two start a romance and Linus pushes Audrey to step out of her little bubble of anxiety by doing little tasks, such as ordering a drink at Starbucks, or going up to a stranger and asking a random question.

Overall this book was cute. Light, quick, fast paced. That said, it was irritating.

What the title should have been was Audrey’s Mother Has Some Major Issues (With Video Games). Because 70% of this story was just reading how Audrey’s mother is “concerned” about her brother constantly playing Land of Conquerors (which in my head was some sort of Call of Duty game). The issues with the mother and Frank take up pretty much the entire book, with little pieces here and there of our actual main character doing some stuff with Linus, or figuring stuff out in her head.

Audrey’s anxiety was confusing to me. Maybe it’s because we never learn what actually happened to her. I don’t know. I think if Finding Audrey had been even thirty pages longer, and it included what happened to Audrey, I might have liked it a bit better. But it’s nice to read about a book addressing social anxiety.

The best character in the book to me was Felix, who is four and adorably clueless about what is going on around him. There’s one scene in the story where Linus has Felix deliver a note to Audrey and when Audrey gives her response to Felix to take it back to Linus, Felix sticks the note in his pocket, saying he wants to keep it as his “pocket paper.”

Like I said before, this book was cute. If you are a big fan of Sophie Kinsella, or are just looking for a quick read for the beach, I recommend you checking this out.


*Rating on Goodreads: 3 stars out of 5


March 5, 2016

A New Challenge


Hello everyone!

Last year I set a goal to read at least one classic a month in order to broaden my reading options, and to narrow down my TBR pile.

However, life got in the way and I ended up failing that challenge I had set for myself.

But today I have decided to set myself a new goal.

Over the past week I have been re-watching Gilmore Girls. I never watched Gilmore Girls growing up, and I never saw an episode until last year because Netflix had uploaded the entire series and I had the chance to binge-watch. I loved Lorelai and Rory’s relationship, all the quirky people who lived in Stars Hollow, season one Dean, and the bad boy bookworm that is Jess. And most of all I loved Rory’s passion for reading. The interactions between her and her grandfather where they discuss literature (and life in general) reminded me of the conversations I had with my grandfather when we would grab coffee or browse through Borders when I was growing up.

And as I am re-watching the episodes now I’ve gotten the sudden urge to read Sylvia Plath and Dorothy Parker and all these wonderful classics that I always see or hear about, and that I tell myself I will read one day, but have been too scared to try. UNTIL NOW (*cue dramatic music*).

So I’m planning on taking the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge.

This will not be completed by the end of this year, and probably not next year either. There are 339 books on that list. I don’t know how I would find time to read that much, especially with college graduation in 63 days followed by a 6-week internship over the summer. But this is a challenge I want to finish in my lifetime.

There is a website I found which I will link below that helps you check off what you already have read. So far I have made it around 45 books, which I think is a pretty good start. I’ll link a separate post that includes which ones I have read and which ones I need to get to.

The checklist is right here: http://www.listchallenges.com/rory-gilmore-reading-challenge

Go through it and tell me in the comments below how many you have already managed to check off.

Thanks for reading!



**Edit: Here is the link to the list of the books I have already read from this challenge :)


March 2, 2016

Book Review | Hook’s Daughter



Hook’s Daughter by Heidi Schulz is a middle grade novel that talks about, as the title suggests, Captain Hook’s daughter, Jocelyn. Jocelyn is an adventurer in a society where girls are expected to be prim and proper. Due to her wild antics, Jocelyn is sent to a finishing school, but after receiving a letter from her now deceased father, she runs away to avenge his death by the hand (or mouth, as the case may be) of the Neverland Crocodile. Along with Mr. Smee, Jocelyn gathers a crew and set sail on her ship, Hook’s Revenge, to find and kill the Crocodile.

I don’t read middle grade books very often, but this one was too good to pass up. I mean, t’s a Peter Pan retelling. I love Peter Pan so of course I wanted to read about the dear Captain’s daughter.

I thought the writing in this was great. It reminded me of Lemony Snicket’s writing style. The narrator of the story (possibly the deceased Captain Hook) will say very sarcastic things every now and again that remind me of passages from A Series of Unfortunate Events. Here’s an example from page 41:

“I have faced down some horrors in my day – ferocious animals, fangs gleaming and hungry for human flesh; fierce men with murder in their eyes; my own dear mother on wash day.”

This is the type of stuff you will find when reading this book.

As far as the characters go, Jocelyn is a great main character. Even though she is a little kid, she isn’t portrayed as being painfully immature. She is intelligent, caring, and has the makings of a phenomenal pirate captain. The secondary characters are also wonderful, especially Jocelyn’s crew on Hook’s Revenge. The crew is made up of these low-tier pirates who have fake injuries and battle stories, but she puts up with it/plays along with it.

If you look at the tagline on the cover it says that “Peter Pan has met his match.” However, Peter isn’t in the novel very much. He appears maybe twice, although his name does pop up a lot. However, other familiar characters appear in Neverland, such as the Lost Boys and Mr. Smee.

I believe this is the first in a series of middle grade books. I don’t know if I will be continuing this series right now as I have other TBR books that are more of a priority, but maybe a little ways down the line, I will continue with it as I did enjoy the characters.

If you like Peter Pan as much as I do, action and adventure, and/or writing styles similar to Lemony Snicket, I highly recommend you check this out.

Thanks for reading!

March 2, 2016

February Wrap-Up


Hey there Literature Lovers! I hope you are doing well! Sorry for the lack of posting. College graduation is creeping up, and, of course, with this being my final semester, there is a lot of work to get done.

Today I thought I would just quickly share what books I read during the month of February. I’m planning on doing some individual reviews of some of these books either on here or possibly on my YouTube channel (I’ve never filmed myself talking on there before and I’ve finally decided it’s high time I give it a shot!). Those reviews should be coming out soon.

Here’s what I’ve read last month:

Hook’s Daughter by Heidi Schulz (*renamed to Hook’s Revenge)

Review: http://laurenecox.com/hooks-daughter

A Little in Love by Susan Fletcher

Review: http://laurenecox.com/a-little-in-love

Signs Point to Yes by Sandy Hall

The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

Review: http://laurenecox.com/the-chaos-of-stars

Crush du Jour by Michel Ostow

The Potion Diaries by Amy Alward

Love by the Book by Melissa Pimentel

Remeberance (The Mediator #7) by Meg Cabot

Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger

To All the Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han


What books did you read last month? What are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

February 2, 2016

January Wrap-Up


Hey everyone! Here’s a quick list of all the books I read last month. Share yours in the comments below!


Shopgirl by Steve Martin

Unbelievable by Sara Shepard

Wicked by Sara Shepard

The Thorn and the Blossom by Theodora Goss

Hiding out at the Pancake Palace by Nan Marino

My Name is Mina by David Almond

The Miracle Worker: A Play by William Gibson

Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

The Proposal: A Mediator series novella by Meg Cabot

I also listened to one audiobook this month. Since Thanksgiving I have begun listening to books in the car and on my walks to class. The first one I listened to was the Princess Diaries Volume 11: Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot. I have been reading about Princess Mia since I was eight years old and going through my phase of reading every book that a Disney movie was based off of. This was my second time listening to the book in the past two months.

So yeah, those are the books I read last month. Please share what you read in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!


January 28, 2016

Book Review | Second Star



**Review also posted on GoodReads

Second Star is a reimagining of Peter Pan set in California. We experience the story as Wendy Darling, who has just graduated from high school and is looking to start at Stanford University in the fall. However Wendy’s mind is more focused on the disappearance of her younger brothers, twins John and Michael, who reportedly passed away during a surfing accident nine months prior to the start of the novel. Wendy doesn’t believe they are dead, however, and vows to spend her summer finding them. At her school’s graduation bonfire on the beach she meets a surfer named Pete. She later finds him again on a beach called Kensington, where he lives with a gang of homeless teenage surfers, including his ex-girlfriend Belle. There is another group on Kensington led by a drug dealer named Jas. Wendy spends pretty much the entire novel talking to Jas, Pete, and Belle trying to find out if they know her brothers, and learning how to surf in order to feel closer to her brothers.

Overall I really liked this book. It was an interesting take on one of my favorite stories. I loved the author’s descriptions of the beach and the waves. It made me wish it was summer.

There were only two things I didn’t really like.

First, the love triangle thing. I didn’t buy it for a second. I never get fully invested in that trope, and it didn’t seem really necessary for this particular story.

Second, the ending was…I don’t know. I didn’t like it. It wasn’t bad, but for the last 20 or 30 pages I was in a constant state of confusion.

Again, I really enjoyed this. Will it be the first book I reach for when recommending things to friends? Probably not, unless they are big Peter Pan fans themselves, but I definitely think this is a book people should check out.