May 19, 2015

Book Review | The Distance Between Us


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The Distance Between Us by Kasie West is about a sixteen-year-old girl named Caymen who lives with her single mom above the antique doll shop her mother owns. One day Xander, a rich, handsome, and charming boy comes to the shop to pick up something for his grandmother. The two begin talking and start to take an interest in one another. Caymen was taught by her mother at a young age not to trust the rich, and she decides to ignore Xander. But Xander’s persistence convinces Caymen to give him a shot, only to learn that her mother’s warnings of avoiding the rich might be true. In the end Caymen and Xander decide they are willing to work through the obstacles of their different financial backgrounds in order to be together.

This was a cute and quick read, the kind of summer time book you read in one sitting while lying in a hammock with a glass of lemonade. It was quite easy to fly through this story. It was a bit of a cliché story in a way, with the poor girl and the rich guy falling in love despite the protests of everyone around them, but something about the way Kasie West told the story made it new and different (if that makes any sense).

I thought it was cool how they were trying to immerse the other in something completely out of their comfort zone at the beginning of their friendship, although I personally thought Caymen’s choice of visiting a cemetery and digging graves was a little much. But hey, that’s just me.

Regarding the characters, I really liked Caymen. I couldn’t personally relate to her life, but I had no problem getting into her mindset and seeing things the way she saw them. She had such a strong voice that pulled me in, which is always important.

Would I classify The Distance of Us as my absolutely favorite young adult contemporary? No. But I did enjoy it a lot. I think I gave this about a 4 on Goodreads, and I am looking forward to reading some more of Kasie West’s works as I did enjoy her writing

I’d love to hear some other opinions on this story. Feel free to leave me a comment below. I’m curious to know what other contemporary books you enjoy.

Thanks for reading!

May 8, 2015

Book Review | The Heir


Hello everyone! Today I wanted to talk about The Heir by Kiera Cass.

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This is the fourth installment in The Selection series, and while I did like it, I’m still a bit surprised that this came out. The original three books in The Selection series made an aggravating, but satisfying trilogy. But I was excited to see Maxon and America in their later years.

This new addition to the series follows Eadlyn, the eldest of Maxon and America’s four children, and the twin of Aaron. Because she is the eldest, Eadlyn is heir to the throne, making her the first female leader of the country of Illea. There are still rebellions happening in the kingdom, and Eadlyn’s parents suggest holding a Selection for her as a distraction for the people. Eadlyn doesn’t want to because she doesn’t think she needs a man to rule with her. However she agrees, and soon there are suitors lining up to win the hand and the heart of the princess.

Eadlyn is a character who you can feel very wishy-washy about. When she first introduced herself, I didn’t mind. The opening line about how she is the most powerful girl in the world made Eadlyn seem like a very tough girl who could get things done, which I thought was a good image for girls. It showed how seriously she was taking her role as the future Queen of Illea.

However, she soon started to take her toll on me. She started acting irrationally, which her mother did in the earlier books, but at least America showed a bit of decorum. Eadlyn started acting like a toddler when she was asked to consider holding her own Selection.

The boys in this Selection seem very…one dimensional. Eadlyn doesn’t give half of them the time of day, and it feels pretty obvious who is going to win. Who knows, though? Kiera could totally pull the rug from under us.

And that ending…um, cliffhanger much?

All in all, I did enjoy it. I definitely think this is one of the prettiest covers (along with The One). If you liked the original books in the series then I would recommend you continue to this.

Happy reading!

April 22, 2015

Book Review | The One


Hey there Literature Lovers! We have reached the third book in The Selection series, entitled The One.

the one

I can’t really say too much about this particular book without giving away spoilers so if you haven’t read the first two stories, you should check out my posts here:

Definitely check these books out if you haven’t already.



Let me just tell you, it is a good thing I was home alone while I was reading this because the amount of times I yelled frustratedly at this book was ridiculous and my roommates would have thought I was insane.

I actually found America a bit more bearable in this particular story…but only a bit. She still had her moments where she was being stupid. When she finally realized she loved Maxon, she refused to tell him. She kept going, “Oh, later. I’ll tell him later.” Or when Aspen was trying to tell her something she would brush him off and say, “I can’t handle this right now. Tell me later.” JUST DO IT NOW.

Thank goodness King Clarkson died. He was such a jerk. But America’s dad? And Celeste, who had just had a huge character change? I was not okay with that.

The meeting with the rebels was interesting. I liked August, but I really liked Georgia. She was funny and seemed to genuinely appreciate America. I especially found her amusing at the tea party because no one knew she was a rebel.

Speaking of rebels, I definitely thought Kriss was a Southern rebel for pretty much the entire book. I saw an untagged spoiler on Tumblr regarding one of the girls in the Elite being a rebel. At first Celeste popped into my mind, but it then became obvious that it was Kriss. Then I started thinking that Kriss was planted in the pool for the Selection by the Southerners and she was there to win the crown and when she got it she would kill the royal family and the Southern rebels would take over the country. I was so excited and kept waiting and waiting…and waiting…and waiting…and it never came. Oh well.

The end of the book was great to me. Aspen and Lucy were together, Maxon was now the king, he finally proposed to America, it was all perfect. When it came time for the epilogue, I was preparing myself for a cute little scene with Maxon and America looking out over the kingdom or playing with their kids or something, I don’t know. Instead it was their wedding, and I was like, “Okay, yeah, this is cute.” Until freaking Aspen is the one to walk her down the aisle. I’m sorry, no. I know he was a big part of her life, and he has Lucy and she has Maxon, but in what universe is a guy okay with having his fiancé’s ex-boyfriend walk her down the aisle?



I greatly enjoyed this series. This is one of those stories where you are so annoyed the entire time you are reading, but at the same time, you can’t put it down. The characters are hair-ripping frustrating and so easy to invest your time in. I recommend this to anyone who is looking for something light, but not overly fluffy.

I can’t wait to see what The Heir holds in store!



April 21, 2015

Book Review | The Elite


Hello everyone! Today I finished reading The Elite, which is book number two in The Selection series. I did a review of the first book last week if you want more information.

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This post is going to be full of spoilers, so if you have not read either the first book or this one then you will probably want to avoid this particular post.



America Singer continues to be the most indecisive person ever, who would have guessed it. This is my second time around and I kept rooting for America to do the right thing, to tell Maxon that she was starting to feel something for him, that Aspen was in the palace, anything to redeem herself from the sheer stupidity, and she never did any of it. This girl is more indecisive than Katniss and as reckless as Bella Swan. There were times where I had restrain myself from actually yelling at America.

Aspen continues to get on my last freaking nerve, too! Like, are you kidding me? He is again risking both their lives by sneaking around with her behind Maxon’s back. Maybe you don’t care that much about your own life, but if you truly cared about America, then you wouldn’t put her at risk like that! Geez! And the part where he tells America that Maxon is an actor and that it’s good America learned that now before she ended up married to Maxon…and America just listened! America is the only person, besides Maxon, who actually knows Maxon. Okay, she might not know everything, but she knows him better than all the other girls. Yet she is like, “Aspen obviously knows all about Maxon so I should listen to him.” No. Aspen needs to go.

I will give Aspen one point though because this line was cute: “It’s just the way it is. The sky is blue, the sun is bright, and Aspen endlessly loves America.” That is actually sweet.

The King. Oh my gosh. He is so repulsive. I still don’t understand why he is so cruel to everyone he interacts with. And what I really, really cannot deal with is that he beats his son. That takes things way too far.

I was tearing up having to reread what happens to Marlee. I kept picturing my best friend in her position, and it was really hard to get through those few pages.


I kept getting frustrated with this book, and at times I almost felt like skipping over it because I had already read it and knew what was going to happen, but at the same time, it’s one of those you can fly through in a day. It didn’t feel like I wasted time reading it again, but I was so fed up with America. Then again, maybe she is an allegory for America the country, since we are indecisive and irrational a majority of the time.

This is my least favorite of the three books in the series. The writing is good, the story keeps invested, but it all boils down to how cringey America was in this book.

If you have read the first one and are debating giving this a shot, I say go for it. You will want to throw your book across the room in frustration, but, hey, that’s the sign of a good story.

April 14, 2015

Book Review | The Selection


In preparation for the new release in The Selection series (written by the wonderful Kiera Cass) that is coming out in early May, I decided to reread the existing books in this series and immerse myself in the glimmering world of .


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For those of you who are unaware what this series is about, here is a brief synopsis:

The story is set after the fourth World War. The U.S. was taken over and after  it was newly named Illea.

Making up the population of Illea are the eight castes, with Ones being the nobility and Eights being the most destitute (basically think the Factionless from Divergent or the people of District 12). Whenever a new prince comes of age, there is a competition that allows the “daughters of Illea” (aka the common folk) a chance to win his heart and the crown.

Reviews have labeled this as The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor, though to me it’s a very small comparison.

Our main character is named America Singer. She’s a Five, which means she is a musician. She is in love with a boy named Aspen Leger, who is a Six. Aspen is very poor and has to do a lot of manual labor to support his very large family. They have been dating in secret for two years and always talk about how they are going to get married one day. When the sign-up for The Selection comes around, Aspen tells America to sign up even though she doesn’t want to. She agrees to make him happy, and then he dumps her. Shortly after America is chosen along with thirty-four other girls to go live in the palace and meet Prince Maxon. America makes it clear to Maxon that she doesn’t want to compete for him, but instead she’ll be his friend and be able to help him lower down the candidates for his future wife.

The cover is beautiful, the story is interesting. Even if you aren’t super girly or interested in the whole princess thing, you would probably still enjoy this. There are a lot of fluff moments, but it’s not too overdone. I would talk a bit more about the characters, but I feel like I might start spoiling it. But if you think this is something you would enjoy, definitely check it out.

March 22, 2015

Book Review | The Lost Crown


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The Lost Crown is a young adult historical fiction novel following the royal Russian family in the years following up to the Russian Revolution and the years they were forced into hiding. Told from the POV of the four grand duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia, we get a look into how their privileged life is.

I’m a huge history buff, and the Russian Revolution was always one of my favorite lessons, probably because I was so in love with the Fox cartoon as a kid. It was a real life mystery, the disappearance of one of the Romanov sisters, and it is still one of those things that I find so fascinating.

In the author’s note, Sarah Miller explains who she gathered as much information as she could from letters and other documents from the Romanovs or that were associated with the family in order to piece together a true story of the four sisters.

Juggling the story from four different viewpoints sounds dizzying as it is, but Sarah Miller managed to execute it perfectly. There was never a moment for me where I couldn’t tell who was speaking and what they were feeling in that moment.

Sarah Miller did a fantastic job at capturing the lavish lives of the girls and the confusion and panic they felt as they were forced away from everything they ever knew into the small place where they were to spend their last days. If you are a history buff, or simply just a fan of the Fox cartoon, definitely pick this up. You won’t regret it :)


March 20, 2015

Book Review | Atlantia


Atlantia is a young adult fantasy stand-alone novel by Ally Condie (author of the Matched trilogy) set in an underwater utopia called (surprise) Atlantia.

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When you first look at the cover of this book and read the synopsis printed on the dust jacket, it sounds a lot like it’s about mermaids, or perhaps a retelling of the Little Mermaid. And in a way it is.

Hundreds of years before the events of the story the Earth (what the characters refer to as Above) became polluted and generated lots of illnesses. In order to save the human race, Atlantia was built. Those that live Below live healthier and thus this allows them to prolong their lives. Those that chose to remain Above have sacrificed themselves for their families. Each year on the anniversary of the Divide between Above and Below, new adults are given a chance to choose to go to the unknown world or remain in Atlantia. By law each family must always have one member down in the city to keep their bloodline in tack.

Our main character, Rio, has always dreamed of going Above. She had that “Ariel the Little Mermaid” mentality of wanting to explore the dangerous and wonderful world beyond the ocean. Rio’s dream is put to the side however when her mother suddenly dies, leaving Rio and her twin sister, Bay, on their own. Rio promises Bay she won’t go Above so they can stay together. To everyone’s surprise, Bay chooses to go Above, which means Rio can never go. Rio is in a constant daze, trying to figure out why her sister left without an explanation and searching for a way to escape to the world Above.

Now, I liked this story, don’t get me wrong. It was cute and interesting, but it seemed to drag on in certain parts. I was hooked from the first page and couldn’t put it down. But as Spring Break drew closer and closer, I had schoolwork I needed to focus on. Every night I would pick up this book, ready to be swept away from quizzes and assignments that had been puling up. Unfortunately that didn’t really happen except for maybe once or twice. I know it’s hard to get caught up in a book’s universe when you’re busy, but isn’t that kind of a necessary trait we as readers want?

I felt like Rio started to be very repetitive in what she was doing and thinking. She was very indecisive about who she could and could not trust with information of her sister’s departure and her mother’s death. Her determination to get to the Above consumed her so much that she ignored everyone telling her she would die trying to leave. She even made her friend make electric robots that would shock her underwater while she was trying to earn money as a swimmer/performer. Seriously, Rio, Tris Prior, and Bella Swan are the three literary characters I think I’ve read in the young adult genre who are so unbelievably reckless and stupid when confronting the possibility of death. (I know there are probably way more, but these three really take the cake.)

In terms of numbers, this was about a 2.5. I would like to read this again because there were a lot of things that I enjoyed, but it won’t automatically go in the automatic rereads pile.

February 28, 2015

Audrey Hepburn



I, like most of the world, adore Audrey Hepburn. She is one of gorgeous and sophisticated icons that you can’t help, but admire. I recently watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s on Netflix and thought it was really good. I don’t know why I had not seen it before, but it has definitely made a place on my list of favorite movies.

I’ve noticed that Audrey’s name has started popping up in the young adult section of my bookstore, so I picked up two books, and thought I would share my thoughts on them with you.

Oh Yeah Audrey –Tucker Shaw

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At five a.m., a cab pulls up to Tiffany’s on Fifth Avenue dropping off sixteen-year-old Gemma Beasley in full Holly Golightly attire. No one would expect less from the co-founder of popular Tumblr blog, Oh Yeah Audrey. Gemma plans on meeting the other bloggers who share her love of the lovely Audrey. But her plans are suddenly changed when a handsome boy steps in and offers to play tour guide. Gemma is whisked away in a New York adventure.

What grabbed me right off the bat was this cover. I absolutely love it for a couple of different reasons. The first is the color. I absolutely love the Tiffany Blue shade of the dust jacket. (Got to stick with the theme.) The second thing I like is the fact that it is a pop-art-style cover. I don’t see a lot of those kinds of covers, and it’s very eye grabbing.

The set-up of the book was also really cool. The chapters were set up differently, where it told how much time had passed between each event of the day (like Gemma waiting outside Tiffany’s at 5:30 and thinking about her life, then fast-forwarding to her meeting her friends at 6:10 in the morning for breakfast).

The overall story was pretty interesting, There were a LOT of Breakfast at Tiffany’s quotes. At the beginning Gemma says you have to go and watch it to understand everything, but you don’t have to worry about that while reading this. Anytime one of the characters made a comment about the classic movie, there would a little afterthought from Gemma saying “That’s a quote from Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” or an explanation as to what scene it was from. It was nice, but it got a little tedious after the tenth time Gemma had to point this out. I wish the author had been able to mark a quote from the movie without having to constantly repeat these lines over and over again.

The two characters I liked the most were Gemma and Bryan. They had a solid friendship, you could tell. Trina came across to me as the stereotypical kind of mean girl who toes the line between sassiness and rudeness.

Apart from those things, I greatly enjoyed this. The chapters were quick, and Gemma’s strong voice had me captivated with the first sentence. This was a one-sit read (or it would have been if I had not had to go to classes), and I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a new kind young adult contemporary book.


Being Audrey Hepburn – Mitchell Kriegman
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When Jersey-girl Lisbeth is seen wearing the black Givenchy ball gown famously worn by Audrey Hepburn at a gala event, she is mistaken as someone of wealth and sophositication. Lisbeth is suddenly whisked away into the world of the Manhattan elite, hanging out with blue bloods, pop stars, and trust funders. While it’s all fun living it up with the young and privileged, Lisbeth wonders if this is the life she truly wants, and if it’s worth giving up her old life.

I initially liked the story. I thought Lisbeth’s story was interesting enough. It kind of came across like the beginning of a Sarah Dessen novel (minus the Southern beach town). The glamorous events that Lisbeth was attending were nice to read about as well. However, I wasn’t as impress with this novel as I thought I would be.

Unlike Oh Yeah Audrey, where I was flying through the pages and felt a little disappointed when I had to set it down to go to classes, this book didn’t hold my attention. I mean, sure it had its positives, and the first thirty or so pages set up who the main character was and what her life was like, I found myself slowly losing interesting, and was okay with reading a few paragraphs before setting it aside to pick up something else.

It seemed as if the author was trying a little too hard to portray what he thought the average high school/early college-aged girl would act like. This was really made clear to me through all the little winky faces he added to the texts Lisabeth and her friends would send to one another. It made her seem more juvenile than someone who was said to have graduated from high school.

I would have to give this a 2.5 on GoodReads. It really wasn’t the worst novel I have ever read, and it was quite entertaining at some points, but, like I said, it didn’t impress me as much as I thought it would.


Have you read either of these books? If so, what were your thoughts on the story and the characters? Let me know in the comments!


Love always,


February 23, 2015

Book Review| Landline


Hey y’all! Today I am doing a review of Landline by Rainbow Rowell.

I have had this on my shelf since it came out and I thought it was about time to pick it up. It seemed like a good book for the month of February.

I absolutely love Rainbow Rowell’s writing. I read Eleanor and Park and Fangirl around this time last year, and couldn’t get over how amazing those stories. Her characters have such strong voices, and are so engaging you never want to stop reading, but you eventually have to because the book ends and then you’re left feeling sad.

I swear, she must have like a magic pen or something that magically makes her books phenomenal.

But enough raving about Rainbow, let’s get on with the review!


Landline follows a woman named Georgie McCool who is going through a bit of a rough patch in her marriage because she is always so busy working as a TV writer and never has time to see her family. She and her coworker/best friend Seth have been given the opportunity to create their own show, something they have been wanting to do since they met in college, but they have to work over the Christmas holiday to get it done, which annoys Georgie’s husband Neal. Neal tells Georgie that he is going to take their daughters to see his mother in Omaha which they had already planned on doing, but Georgie stays behind to work on the show and she watches them leave for the airport. She ends up crashing at her mom’s house that night after a busy day of writing with Seth. When she goes to call her family to see if they got in okay, her cell phone battery begins acting up so she ends up using an old yellow rotary phone she had when she was younger. Somehow the rotary phone allows her to communicate with Neal back in 1998 right before he proposed to her. Georgie realizes that this is an opportunity to fix her marriage, and finds herself falling in love with Neal all over again. However, she knows Neal isn’t happy and she has to decide whether she should convince past Neal to break up with her so he can live a better life without her.

I got this when it first came out since it was around my birthday, and I have no clue why I kept pushing it back on my TBR because it was great. It was a bit harder to relate to the characters in this story since they were in their thirties, but I didn’t mind too much because the actual plot was interesting.

I really enjoyed the conversations between Georgie and past Neal. It was cute seeing her fall head over heels again. I knew she loved him in the present, but it was adorable watching Georgia finding that spark with Neal. Got me all in the feels.

Also, the flashbacks to them when they were in college were really sweet. It was easy to see that, even if they didn’t always communicate that well about their feelings, they were they worked really well as a couple.

And that little Easter Egg with Cath and Levi from Fangirl in there giving Georgie a ride in the red pickup truck! Oh my gosh! I loved it! I was so excited when I read that part and realized that was them. You honestly don’t understand how excited I get when that kind of stuff pops up in books and movies.

Now let’s talk about the characters: I loved Georgie and Neal and Alice and Noomi. They were the cutest little family. I could tell that Georgie really loved her kids and her husband even if she didn’t get to see them all the time because of her job.

I also really liked Heather. I thought she was funny, and it was nice that Georgie and Heather had a good friendship despite there being such a wide age gap between them.

Seth was…okay. I didn’t hate him, but I didn’t love him either. He was one of those people that I wouldn’t mind being friends with, but I would have to take small doses of him. I couldn’t be best friends with him like Georgie.

This was an overall fantastic read, not that I expected anything less from Rainbow Rowell. I gave this a 4.5 on Goodreads, and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes John Green.

January 22, 2015

Book Review | Guitar Notes


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In a school practice room, Tripp breaks out a borrowed guitar and the music carries him away to another world. On the days Tripp isn’t in the room, Lyla is busily working on becoming the next award-winning cellist. However, Lyla is curious in other things outside of the cello and finds herself reaching for Tripp’s guitar on occasion. She begins tucking notes to Tripp in the strings of his instrument. The guitar notes quickly change from snippy comments to a close friendship neither was planning on. Though they come from different backgrounds and groups, two loners will form a relationship

Okay, so the synopsis I typed up might sound a bit cheesy, but trust me, this story is anything but. Lyla and Tripp’s relationship is so interesting. You can tell that these characters have a good bond and it wasn’t this rushed friendship/romantic relationship, which happens quite a lot in the young adult genre. Love at first sight is always cute, but it’s more fun to see the buildup of the relationship.

Thinking about it now, the relationship between Lyla and Tripp reminds me a lot of If I Stay by Gayle Forman. Both the main characters in that story and this one were brought them together by the music and I feel like it’s that bond over something so wonderful and powerful that ultimately makes their relationships so great.

My favorite things in this book were the songs by Lyla and Tripp at the end of the book. It’s very rare for an author to incorporate songs written by musically gifted characters, and it’s even more rare for the whole song to be included instead of a chorus. And the fact that the guitar chords were actually listed was just so unique.

Honestly, the writing in this was fantastic. I didn’t even know that this was by a debut author while I was reading. Hats off to you, Mary Amato! Keep up the good work :)

I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who loves music, and particularly if you liked the musical elements in If I Stay.