Romance

Jun 9, 2021

Lauren Morrill’s Meant to Be is a contemporary young adult romance. In this book, Julia, a stereotypical nerd, lives out her dream of going to London when her class takes a school trip. Instead of following her carefully planned itinerary, Julia is forced to pair up with Jason, whose main goal in life is to have fun and break all of the rules while doing so.


This story is super cute. Julia and Jason’s dysfunctional dynamic makes the whole book. The only negative thing that I have to say is I didn’t love Julia because of her superiority complex, but her self-righteousness makes her seem real

Jun 3, 2021

You-Know-Who is back. Harry did not think he would return, but he did. Harry has to go back to Hogwarts, thankfully, and has protection from his professors. Until he doesn’t. A new professor has joined the Defense Against the Dark Arts class, where Harry learns all about new spells and new techniques to defend himself from Voldemort. But, this professor is not a good one. She teaches in the “safety” of her classroom. The pink might look like she is friendly, but trust me, she is not. Harry goes through a lot in this book, and if you want to find out what happens to Harry and Voldemort, read Ha

Solo by Kwame Alexander

Solo

5
Rated by
May 27, 2021

Blade Morrison’s life seems perfect. He’s a skilled guitarist with a famous musician for a father, and he has plenty of money and girls to choose from. But despite this, Blade feels lost. The one girl he truly cares for can’t be seen with him. His father’s face covers the tabloids. And ever since his mother passed away, he doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of his family. Solo explores Blade’s search for identity through poetry, following his quest for love and belonging.


Solo illustrates a multilayered story in an incredibly bold, creative format. The book is told through the poetic

May 24, 2021

Red, White and Royal Blue is a sweet, funny, and lighthearted romance between Alex, the First Son, and Henry, the Prince of Wales. As a result of their rivalry being photographed, a staged friendship follows which then leads to a secret between the two. When their secret relationship gets exposed, the Heads of Family and other handlers must find a way to fix the campaign. Will the damage be fixed? Will Alex and Henry’s love fix it?


I enjoyed this cute and light read and definitely enjoyed the slight enemies to lovers. I think it was a fluffy book with moments of funny, serious, touching

May 22, 2021

The Henna Wars has amazing characters, POC, and LGBTQ+ representation. This is about how Nishat doesn’t want to hide who she is, but she doesn’t want to lose her family. It only gets harder when a childhood friend, Flavia, comes back into her life and Nishat falls for her. When a competition invites students to create businesses, both Nishat and Flavia choose to do Henna. As the story progresses, Nishat deals with being outed, homophobia, racism and realizes she needs to choose whether she should follow her heart to Flavia or keep her family happy.


I think the most compelling part to me was

May 15, 2021

Eliza Mirk is an unsociable and shy high school student who much prefers to spend her time in the online world, where she can have complete control over her identity and be as anonymous as she likes. When she is online, she is simply known as LadyConstellation, the author of the insanely popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. However, when Eliza meets a boy named Wallace Warland, who also happens to be a popular fanfiction writer for Monstrous Sea, she finds herself opening up for the very first time. Eliza even starts considering the unthinkable — that maybe she doesn’t have to live her whole life

May 12, 2021

The Teen YA book Our Chemical Hearts is a romance and coming-of-age novel that follows a high schooler named Henry. When a girl, who wears baggy clothing and walks with a cane transfers to his school, he doesn’t know how much of a mark she’ll leave. Due to circumstances, Henry and the new girl, Grace Town, become the co-editors of the school newspaper, their relationship blossoms. As days, weeks and months pass on, Henry goes through drastic changes. He realizes how complicated human emotions really are. Personally, what made me really appreciate this book was how the reader can see Henry

May 11, 2021

John Green’s ​The Fault in Our Stars​ is a young adult romance novel based around the love story of two teenagers with cancer. Hazel Grace Lancaster, a sixteen-year-old with stage IV thyroid cancer, is forced to attend a cancer support group where she meets Augustus Waters. The two quickly grow close and fall in love amid their final adventures.


Green writes with such a meaningful eloquence that it’s difficult to feel disconnected from his characters. While the language and deeper meaning in this novel may be viewed as pretentious, I would argue it’s what makes the characterization of Hazel

May 10, 2021

Alessandra has successfully seduced and led many men to her bed. Behind all the breaking of each man's heart when she leaves them, she devises a plan. Make the king, The Shadow King, fall in love with her so she can gain the kingdom for herself. She knows she has to seduce him the way no other woman has and successfully has him lured to her trap. However, the tension between Alessandra and The Shadow King may be too much for her to handle.


Personally, I enjoyed the book. It was a quick read, a standalone for when there are no good books and you have time for a short one. It wasn’t my

May 8, 2021

Ignite Me is the third book in Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me series, and it’s by far my favorite in the series so far. This book begins when Juliette wakes up after being shot. She is told by Warner that the war is over and Omega Point and all of its people are gone. Juliette then finds Kenji, who leads her to the handful of others that survived, including Adam. Juliette, Warner, Adam, Kenji, and the rest of their group plan to kill the Supreme Commander and take over Sector 45.


This book had a ton of character growth, some for the better and some not. For example, Juliette finally accepted who

May 6, 2021

Unravel Me​ is the second book in the ​Shatter Me​ series by Tahereh Mafi. This book contains a lot of relationship drama between Juliette and Adam, as well as growing chemistry between Juliette and Warner. After Juliette is summoned by Warner's father to save her captive friends, Warner is brought to Omega Point as a hostage. Warner's character development in this book is profound as his relationship with Juliette quickly develops. I love that their relationship grows naturally as they learn to understand one another. Adam, on the other hand, slowly becomes whiny. While I can understand his

May 4, 2021

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith is a young adult romance novel. This story centers on the complicated love story of two teenagers: Lucy and Owen. When a blackout hits New York City, Lucy and Owen, two very different strangers, get trapped in an elevator together. The two can’t get each other out of their heads, but things quickly become complicated when both teens move away.


My favorite thing about this story was how much more realistic it was than most cliché romances because there was no immediate or sure happy ending. There were definitely some novelty points, but there

Apr 26, 2021

The first novella in Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me series, Destroy Me takes place after Shatter Me and is told from Warner’s perspective. It follows Warner as he recovers from his bullet-wound and searches for Juliette, all while the Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment, his father, is visiting. Destroy Me is a substantial novella as it provides an entirely new perspective on Warner. Something always seemed off about Warner’s character in Shatter Me; this novella perfectly explains why; it was all an act to hide his true intentions from his violent father and disloyal soldiers. It also

Apr 24, 2021

Family, food, and friends are the heart of ​Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet​ by Laekan Zea Kemp. The story alternates narrators starting with Pen who struggles with telling her parents that she would rather run her father’s restaurant, Nacho’s, than live out the dreams her parents have for her future. At Nacho’s, everyone is family, including newcomer Xander who wants to discover the secret of his father’s disappearance while keeping his immigrant status under cover. These two realize their struggles are better dealt with together, and sparks fly in more places than just the kitchen.


I

Apr 22, 2021

In the third book in A.G. Gaughen’s reimagining of Robin Hood, the main character, Scarlet, previously known as both Maid Marian and Will Scarlet, has escaped imprisonment by her uncle, Prince John. Kept from her grandmother, Elinor of Aquitaine, and her love, Robin of Locksley, Scarlet must travel with new and old allies to stop Prince John from foiling King Richard’s return home.


I definitely enjoyed this book, because it easily put the classic story of Robin Hood into the context of historical events like the Crusades and the writing of the Magna Carta, while remaining about a young

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Caraval

5
Rated by
Apr 13, 2021

“Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or performance. It's the closest you'll ever find yourself magic in this world.”


Ever since Scarlett was a child, she had dreamed of going to Caraval. The fair is famous for its magic and mystery. Despite writing numerous letters to the game’s master, Legend, he had yet to send her tickets. Until this year. The only problem is that Scarlett lives on an island with her abusive father who will never let her or her sister leave. And she is supposed to be married off to a Count in just a few days

Apr 6, 2021

P.S. I Like You​ by Kasie West is an adorable YA contemporary romance that embodies a fluffy version of the enemies to lovers trope. In this novel, Lily, a girl who doesn’t quite fit in but is relatively comfortable with herself, starts writing notes to an anonymous pen pal. Lily is eventually torn between keeping the note-writing anonymous and trying to find the person that she’s fallen for through paper.


Although this book had some darker themes, such as absent parents, it was overall very positive. Isabel and Lily had a wonderful friendship; they were both very supportive of the other

Apr 4, 2021

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of The Princess Bride​, Cary Elwes' account of the making of the iconic film, ​The Princess Bride​ warmed my heart. ​The Princess Bride​ is one of my all-time favorite stories, so knowing that the movie's cast enjoyed making the film as much as I enjoy watching it is charming. The small excerpts from other actors and directors were interesting to read as they provided different sides to the stories Elwes was retelling. Perhaps the most touching entries were about Andre the Giant; I believe he was truly the favorite of all of his castmates and

Apr 3, 2021

The third book in L.M. Montgomery’s ​Anne of Green Gables​ series, ​Anne of the Island​, follows Anne through her newly founded adulthood as she goes back to and graduates college, finishes growing up, and deals with the highs and lows of romance. This book perfectly captures the dream of what everyone wants when they move into adulthood; every obstacle can be overcome, and lots of fun.


In this novel, Anne experienced more trials than she had in previous books allowing her to mature, but she still retained her youthful wonder, for which I am very thankful. I really loved the characters in

Mar 21, 2021

I found the most compelling aspect of the book to be that I could almost escape from reality when reading it. The novel shows a plot told from 2 perspectives that are probably slightly unrealistic in today's time, but I found that to be an amazing part of the book. I could open the book, start reading, and imagine myself as a character in the story alongside Evie and Caleb. The 2 perspectives really helped that a lot in providing each event that occured with 2 different viewpoints, in some cases 1 positive and 1 negative. Sometimes I feel everyone wants to take a break and jump into a

Mar 16, 2021

The gay love story was by far the most compelling. I would say that most of the novel circulates on the trials and tribulations of Charlie coming to terms with who he is and wanting to be in a relationship with a boy.

I signed up for a love story, and I was handed just that. It's everything I wanted without lots of annoying stuff to get in the way. When reading the back cover, this is what I hoped for, and it's exactly what I was given,

Mar 3, 2021

Hollis Brite is a lady in the kingdom of Coroa, and alongside other young ladies of the court, seeks the King of Coroa’s heart, vying for his attention. When King Jameson finally chooses Hollis to become his wife and Queen, Hollis is ecstatic. But when a boy from a foreign nation comes to Coroa, Hollis doesn’t know what her heart wants anymore.     


I think the most compelling aspect would have to be the glitz and glamour of the royalty in this book, because the royal court in this book was very well written, at least in my opinion. Kiera Cass did a good job of making it seem like you were

Feb 27, 2021

It is France, 1714, and a young French village girl named Addie kneels on the forest floor on the eve of her wedding and prays for freedom from an arranged marriage. She forgets, though, that it is after dark, and the gods that answer after dark never play fair. In a moment of desperation, she makes a bargain with the devil himself — freedom to wander, to explore, to dream, but with one catch: she will be forgotten by everyone she meets. However, three hundred years later, Addie’s life is turned upside down when she walks into a bookstore in New York City and the owner, a boy with a broken

Feb 26, 2021

Janella Angeles’s Where Dreams Descend follows ambitious showgirl Kallia as she fights to compete for a spot as the headlining magician of the Conquering Circus.


The competition takes place in Glorian, a city full of secrets. While competing, Kallia encounters Daron Demarco, the enigmatic young judge with a hidden past. Kallia, too, wishes to forget her past — but Jack, the owner of the club she left for the competition, won’t let her get away so easily.


The stakes rise as the competition continues, with mysterious disappearances and sabotaged acts, until it’s clear that someone — or

Feb 17, 2021

Happily Ever After​ is a companion novel to ​The Selection​ series by Kiera Cass. The first story, “The Queen​,” tells how King Clarkson and Queen Amberly fell in love. Their relationship is very toxic; his tests were controlling and not justifiable because he didn't want to marry someone vain. The second story included, ​“The Prince.”​ retells the beginning of the Selection from Maxon's perspective. This one didn't add much to the series, but it was interesting to know that Maxon thought of America as a challenge and wanted to pursue her from the moment they met. As for “The Guard​,” it was

Before by Anna Todd

Before

3
Rated by
Feb 16, 2021

Before is the final book of Anna Todd’s After series. This book gives some insight into a few of the characters’ lives before After takes place and provides a retelling of the beginning and end of Tessa and Hardin’s relationship through Hardin’s point of view.


This book wasn’t as entertaining as the others in the series, and Todd’s writing seemed to have regressed into what it was in After, after her writing seemingly improved in the other books. Despite that, it was interesting to peek into Hardin’s mind while the events of After were taking place; getting to fully understand his

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Caraval

5
Rated by
Feb 11, 2021

Scarlett has dreamed of attending Caraval, a performance of sorts, for her whole life.  Unfortunately, her abusive father has not only forced her to remain on her home island but will soon require her to participate in an arranged marriage.  Shortly before said marriage, Scarlett receives a letter from Caraval Master Legend himself, inviting her to the upcoming Caraval.  With her sister, Tella, and Tella’s boyfriend, Scarlett runs away from home to attend the event.  However, as audience participation is quintessential, her sister is stolen upon their arrival.  Scarlett is left to determine

Feb 6, 2021

After Ever Happy​ is the final book in the ​After ​series written by Anna Todd. This book follows Tessa and Hardin as they adjust to living in different states to get space from one another and experience personal growth. This book had a different vibe than the rest of the series; it had more of a somber tone than the others, which I didn’t love. Second, in this book, Tessa and Hardin finally get themselves together, and their decisions become more logical. However, their rational decisions made this book less captivating than its predecessors because it was the illogical drama that made the

Feb 5, 2021

After We Fell​, the third installment of Anna Todd’s ​After​ series, might just be the best book in the series. Tessa and Hardin learn to live separately and travel to England for Hardin’s mom’s wedding. Throughout all of this, Hardin and Tessa actually seem to learn how to communicate for the most part, and a lot of drama arises surrounding both Hardin and Tessa’s parents. Along with all of this, secrets and lies continue to unfold as all of Hardin and Tessa’s friends’ intentions come into question. Despite all of the negativity revealed throughout the book, Hardin and Tessa’s relationship

Feb 4, 2021

After We Collided​ is the second book in Anna Todd’s ​After ​series. This book really isn’t anything different from its predecessor except that it’s slightly better. In this book, Tessa and Hardin changed a little bit; Tessa became slightly more annoying with her inability to use commonsense, and I was happy to see Hardin actually express some emotion for once.


Beyond that, this story continues to be extremely frustrating since most of Tessa and Hardin’s issues could be solved if they just had an actual conversation. Despite the ongoing problems with this series, Todd had me hooked the