Review: Lola and The Boy Next Door (Anna and The French Kiss, #2) by Stephanie Perkins
Friday, 28 August 2015 @ 11:35// 0 comment(s)

Lola and The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Speak
Release date: July 9th, 2013
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Pages:  338
Source: Bought it
Goodreads | Purchase
Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.
I didn't even know it was possible to love a book when you seriously hated the first one in the series.

But then I remember the School for Good and Evil trilogy. And oh, of course, this book and the fact that it's a sequel to Anna and The French Kiss. It's not a secret that I despised the first book so much. You can even see the evidence here. I guess I would just forever pretend that this book was a standalone.

I really enjoyed this book. Where do I even start? Since I hated the first one in the series, comparing this one to the first one is gonna be inevitable.

The main character is so likable and true to herself. Starts from her appearance, and then her attitude, and how she acts. She's unique, and yet far from perfect. She says what she wants to say, but she still thinks before she says it (well, most of the time). She might be annoying at first, if you're not used to her narration, but then she would grow on you. Unlike Anna, I found out that I truly cared about this girl. I liked her creativity, her uniqueness, her it's-my-life-not-yours-but-thank-you-for-interfering attitude. Even though she's confused about her relationship between her boyfriend and Cricket, I found it believable and totally relatable. I mean, who wouldn't get confused if you already have a boyfriend yet there's a totally sweet and cute guy who lives next door to you? Heck, I would be hella confused about my priorities.

The love interest, Cricket, is a guy any girl could ever dream of. Seriously, who wouldn't want a guy who can make basically everything with his hands and has good sense in fashion? Not only that, he's like another version of Joe Fontaine from The Sky Is Everywhere, all smiles and sunny attitude, just without the musical genius thing. He's also the kind of guy you would totally want to introduce to your friends and family. Why? Because he has the charm. He has a way of making people like him in the first meeting. And heck. He's also gorgeous and tall (unlike St. Clair).

The romance is so cute and sweet. If cotton candy and chocolate chip cookies ever make babies, this is it. Let's face it. The story is about Lola and the boy who lives next door to her. In other words, her neighbor, in other words, the person she's known her own life, in other words, CHILDHOOD FRIENDS!!! Oh god, I'm a total sucker for that. Ever since I've watched Flipped, I just couldn't help but ship two childhood friends/neighbors together. Even though they have bad past, or don't particularly like each other (*cough* The Heir *cough*), if they've known each other their whole lives, I'm in. And yeah. If you like the same thing, then this book is perfect for you. Seriously, even if you hated Anna, you totally should read this. 

The family portrayal is so interesting and adorable! Lola has gay parents! How interesting is that! I haven't read any book that has two dads in it , but I have to admit, I enjoyed this one. She was raised in an unusual environment. Maybe that's why she becomes the unusual person she is. I love how her parents care so much about her. I admit, having two protective dads instead of one must be pretty exhausting. Her parents are two different people. They love her so much, but they show it in different ways. I found it adorable how they all complete each other. While in Anna and The French Kiss we don't really get to see any of the characters' family that much, we do get so much in here. And that's the more reason to like it.

Unfortunately, the plot is predictable and pretty much like Anna and The French Kiss. Yes. It's predictable. And yes, one of the main characters is in a relationship. But, still, I liked it. I'm not sure why. Maybe because Lola is way better than Anna or maybe because her narration isn't a bit annoying like Anna's. But in the end, even though it's predictable and just a reversed version of Anna's love story, I still found myself liking it.

One thing that I didn't get was why the name CRICKET?? Seriously! I mean, I would NEVER name my child after an insect! What if he got insulted at preschool? What if he got mocked by the boyfriend of the girl he likes? I know you were probably trying to be creative, Steph, but please, consider a more normal name. Considerably less insect-y and less weird.

In all, I have to say that this book is by far my favorite in the series. Anna was *vomits* while this was full of rainbows and unicorns. I was definitely expecting something better because Mel recommended me to read this one. And boy was I not disappointed! After reading *vomits* and *farts* in Anna and The French Kiss, Lola was a total paradise. I'm recommending this book to all contemporary readers out there, and you! Yes, you! Even though maybe you hated Anna, you should definitely read this book!

My rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★ 
Reviewed by Inas

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Review: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Friday, 21 August 2015 @ 15:49// 0 comment(s)

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Publisher: Speak
Release date: March 22nd, 2011
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Pages:  277
Source: Bought it
Goodreads | Book Depository | Periplus
Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life - and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie's own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they're the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can't collide without the whole wide world exploding.

This remarkable debut is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block. Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie's struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable.
I didn't know what to expect when I picked this book up from my to-be-read shelf. But I most certainly didn't expect 277 pages of pure awesomeness and cuteness. Seriously. I don't even know what to say right now. All I can say is that this book is next to I'll Give You The Sun as one of my favorite contemporary novels.

The romance was swoon-worthy even though it was a little bit insta-love and love triangle. I don't mind, though. I grew to get used to and like it more and more each page. I liked the nickname Joe gave Lennie. Everything about them screams cuteness and relationship goals. They're too adorable. Not perfect, but they overcome their problems and finally find their way to each other in the end.

The character developments were captured perfectly and adorably. And I, of course, loved Joe Fontaine so damn much. He may seem perfect, but actually he has had a bad experience with love. He doesn't want to fall for anyone because he's traumatized. But then he gives love one more chance and that's all he needs in order to become full of life once more. I also liked Lennie. She's unique. She's actually a lot like Jude from I'll Give You The Sun, now that I think about it. But, in the end she becomes her own person. She's mourning and does some stupid things, but in the end she gets stronger and braver by each passing page. She's exceptional. 

It was a massive roller-coaster ride. I was grinning like a maniac at one page and then mentally shredding the book to pieces the next. Yes. It was quite an emotion blender. But in a totally good way. I haven't felt like this towards a book for so long and it felt great. 

The portrayal of grief was so beautifully written and heart-wrenching. I LOVED how Lennie writes poems on scattered pieces of papers and throws them away after that. I especially LOVED her poems. Period. She has a way of writing poems about her sister. It's her way to express her grief and sadness. Sometimes it's a poem and sometimes it's just a conversation she used to have with Bailey. It was actually a genius way to let the readers get to know Bailey before she dies. We don't even have a chance to meet her throughout the book and it's actually a genius way to let us know what happens before the book even starts. The poems are superb and touching. I found myself liking them and I even made a mental note to write it down for later reading. I couldn't wait to read the next ones. You could imagine my disappointment when the book was finished and there were no more poems.

The story was predictable, but sometimes you just have to embrace the predictability of a book and let the story flow you away. I actually found myself totally enjoying it even though I could predict so many things here and there. Maybe the way it was written or something to do with Lennie's unusual behavior somehow had bewitched me to finish this book in one sit.

I don't even know which one I liked best. The Sky is Everywhere or I'll Give You The Sun. Considering they're both written by the some genius brain and are both remarkable. I'm recommending this book to any contemporary lovers out there. Totally worth binge-reading and lunch-skipping (which I did). It's a total roller-coaster ride of emotions. If you're not reading this, then I don't know what else you've been doing your whole life.

My rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★ . 5 

Reviewed by Inas

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Boring but Cute // Amy & Roger's Epic Detour
Wednesday, 19 August 2015 @ 17:20// 0 comment(s)

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release date: May 3rd, 2011
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Pages:  344
Source: Bought it
Goodreads Purchase
Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it's Amy's responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn't ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip - and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar - especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory - but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.
Looking for a summer read? Want to go on a road trip but too lazy to raise from your couch? This book is perfect for you! Maybe.

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour is a story about two people, Amy and Roger, who somehow have to go on a trip across the country just by themselves. Amy's mother is the one who makes their road trip map, as in, where to go, which hotels to stay, and the like. Unfortunately, the places she tells them to go are lame and they'd rather stay at home than drive four days through the most uninteresting route on America. So, they decide to create their own route to make the journey more bearable.

When I first skimmed the pages before reading, I noticed that the book was provided with pictures and scrapbook thingy. I felt like going on a trip with them because of this. When Amy said she ate dinner at blah and ate blah, there actually were pictures of the diner and the food. Imagine me drooling all over the pages because I was fasting that day. During their journey, Amy and Roger created playlists to accompany them, and there actually were playlists on the book! It would be better if you read the book while listening to the songs enlisted there. I didn't, though, because I didn't have internet at the moment.

The book is unbelievably light. It's perfect if you just want to read something without thinking too much. You can skip pages and you won't even miss a thing. It was cute, fun, but nothing more. I found myself wanting to read faster and faster between the pages. What stopped me was actually the pictures and notes that made me feel like everything that happened in the book was real.

The characters were unexceptional, I might say. I mean, yeah, she has to deal with grief and guilt because of her father's death. But I think there actually was nothing about her that stands out. I was writing this review two weeks after I finished it, and honestly I couldn't even remember anything about her now. Roger was okay, I suppose. He wasn't remarkable either. But I had to admit that he was endearing at some points.

The romance was thankfully not an insta-love. We could see hints of it along the way (literally) and I liked how Amy was finally able to open up herself to Roger after being completely shut out for too long. I also liked their game of twenty questions (or was it ten questions?) and since they have completely different kind of knowledge, it was fun to see how they answered each other questions.

In all, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour is something worth reading if you're just looking for a light read to go spend your spare time. With its occasional pictures, playlists, and notes that will accompany you through the journey, you probably would find yourself enjoying it more than I did.

My rating:  ★ ★ ★ 

Reviewed by Inas


This Will Make You Cry // Second Chance Summer
Monday, 17 August 2015 @ 08:00// 0 comment(s)

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release date: May 8th, 2012
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Pages:  468
Source: Bought it
Goodreads Purchase
From the Flying Start author of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, a powerful novel about hope in the face of heartbreak. 

Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.
After reading Morgan Matson's other work, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, which was good but a little just so-so. I decided to give her other book a go and I came up with Second Chance Summer. Why? Well, mainly because the cover is perfect and hell, my favorite color is orange, and also because I'm a sucker for childhood romances (yeah. there is. just check the summary).

Taylor Edwards and her family are having a tough time and decide that they should spend one last summer together in their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains—which she hasn't been in for five years. But, then it turns out that her former best friend and ex-boyfriend are still around when in fact they're all nothing more than strangers now.

Morgan Matson was successful in writing a touching story complete with top-notch writing. The story drags too much in the beginning and I found myself asking questions about Taylor's past that apparently matters the most to the story. But, as I read more and more, I found myself captivated and hooked by the pages. It was beautiful and completely relatable. I remembered the butterflies I got when I was twelve when I read about Taylor and Henry's relationship five summers earlier. I could also relate to Taylor's relationship with her dad, which, in fact, is pretty much like my own. 

I also found myself enjoying the characters' depths and variations. We have Taylor, who tends to run away when things are tough and hard for her to manage. We also have Warren, Taylor's older brother, who's a genius, loves to read random facts, and pretty much a sucker around the girl he has a crush on. And then there's Henry, Taylor's love interest, who turns out to be such a sweetheart and totally the kind of guy you would want to be around with. Honestly, I could go on and on making a list about all the other characters because I already knew what they're really like. But, then, you might not want to read too many spoilers and I probably don't really want to do it. The point is, I felt like I knew the characters inside and out already just by reading half of the book.

The main character is also relatable even though I found her narration a bit flat and on the edge sometimes. The fact that Taylor has a mental breakdown every time she has to do a public speaking pretty much expresses what everyone feels when they have to go on a stage. She also has a tendency to run away when things get rough and I mean, who doesn't relate to that? We all want to run away when things get tough, right? The difference is some of us really do run and some of us don't.

When it is actually a story about romance, I had a feeling that I actually enjoyed the family connection more than the romance. What I liked the most was the relationship between Taylor and her dad because it reminded me of me and my dad's. Taylor and Warren's fraternal relationship is also totally adorable. Warren reminds me of my older brother, which is totally imaginary, and I found myself wanting to make him as my own. Taylor and her mother's relationship is actually not perfect, but we all could relate to the yelling and then apologizing part they have in the book.

Second Chance Summer is a touching story about second chances with family, friends, and romance. It is totally relatable and captivating even though the first half of the book (which takes up more than two hundred pages) is pretty much uninteresting and boring(which is totally the reason I gave three and a half stars). But then the second half turns out to be so heartwarming yet so sad I had to tear up a little bit.

My rating:  ★ ★ ★ . 5 

Reviewed by Inas


The Life of A Fujoshi // Fangirl
Saturday, 15 August 2015 @ 08:18// 0 comment(s)

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release date: September 10th, 2013
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Pages:  445
Source: Bought it
Goodreads Purchase
From the author of the New York Times bestseller Eleanor & Park.

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love. 

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan...

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

"Touching and utterly real." —  Publisher's Weekly
Fangirl has been all the rage for the past year now, so I read it to see what all the fuss was about.

What I found really appealing about it was that the protagonist was very relatable to myself, because she, like me, is a fangirl.

Cath is off to college as a new freshman, and she likes to hole up in her dorm room and write fanfiction. The crazy thing about reading this story is that I felt like I was reading about myself in the future, fast forward a year and a half. I felt myself nodding along with her antisocial personality. Cath was actually living my dream: taking a creative writing class and being favored by the professor as being possibly the best writer there. She was also a serious inspiration for me to take up writing fanfiction again. This book just reminded me of the wonder of producing an entirely new storyline out of characters you love and have already enjoyed reading about.

Now, on to Levi, Cath's love interest. I think that Levi has actually beat out Augustus Waters for me in being my favorite boy ever in a YA novel. He is everything I enjoy being around: outgoing, nice to everyone, charming, charismatic, and, to top it all off, a smiler. I was totally disagreeing with Cath when she was faulting him for being so nice at first. I loved it!

I feel like Cath and Levi's relationship was the most real relationship I have actually read in a YA novel. It happened slowly, and not right off the bat. Levi just kind of grew on Cath, and their first kiss was literally the cutest thing I have ever read. I squealed out loud multiple times during the build up to the kiss. The way Cath got to explore being in love with such a wonderful guy as Levi was heartwarming, and they had their very realistic ups and downs before they even got together.

If you're looking for a relatable YA book with a very realistic romance, look no further: grab a copy of Fangirl right away!

My rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Reviewed by Kelechi


An Epic Finale // The Last Ever After
Thursday, 13 August 2015 @ 16:13// 2 comment(s)

The Last Ever After (The School for Good and Evil, #3) by Soman Chainani
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release date: July 21st, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, MG, YA
Pages:  672
Source: Bought it
Goodreads Purchase
In the epic conclusion to Soman Chainani’s New York Times bestselling series, The School for Good and Evil, everything old is new again as Sophie and Agatha fight the past as well as the present to find the perfect end to their story.

As A World Without Princes closed, the end was written and former best friends Sophie and Agatha went their separate ways. Agatha was whisked back to Gavaldon with Tedros and Sophie stayed behind with the beautiful young School Master.

But as they settle into their new lives, their story begs to be re-written, and this time, theirs isn’t the only one. With the girls apart, Evil has taken over and the villains of the past have come back to change their tales and turn the world of Good and Evil upside down.

Readers around the world are eagerly awaiting the third book in The School for Good and Evil series, The Last Ever After. This extraordinary conclusion delivers more action, adventure, laughter, romance and fairy tale twists and turns than you could ever dream of!
I just bought this book last Sunday and I couldn't keep my hands off it ever since. I kept reading it in between classes and teachers' lectures (I know, my bad) and I'm proud to say that I probably just finished one of the most anticipated books of 2015.

I expected something better, way better than the second book (not that it was bad, it was awesome!) and oh boy did I get what I wanted! Seriously. This book is everything I thought it would be and it even surpassed my expectations. And believe me, I had lots of it regarding this book.

What I LOVED about this book:

-No bloody way you could ever imagine what was gonna happen. I'm talking about plot twists. PLOT TWISTS. PLOT TWISTS EVERYWHERE. Just as you thought you already got the hold of things, BAM! Something unexpected happened, again. And it would literally leave you jaw-dropped and grinning like an idiot at the genius of it all. So many things throughout the whole series suddenly made sense here and you're just gonna be like, oh. ohh.. OHH..! while cupping your mouth to prevent flies from flying in.

-Sophie was so badass and seriously cool in every imaginable way. You thought Sophie was cool in A World Without Princes? Well, think again. There's no way she could be any cooler than she was here. She took care of many things in such a mature way and sure, she still had that inner conflict whether she's Good or Evil so many times, but this time, it wasn't overwhelming nor confusing like in the first book. It was rather interesting to see how her mind and heart shifted constantly towards those two sides and questioning where her loyalty really lies. Seeing her with the School Master also didn't hurt at all. I liked how they were and I was seriously hardcore fangirling over them even though her being with the School Master literally means doom.

-The romance was swoon-worthy and adorable. There were two romances in this book. Tedros and Agatha. Sophie and School Master. Tedros and Agatha was one of those couples who constantly fight with each other but just couldn't stand to be apart for too long even if being close equals another quarrel. I adored them so much and before I knew it I have already bookmarked the pages where they did something silly and adorable together. Sophie and School Master was actually the couple I rooted the most. I know the School Master was a bad guy and we were supposed to hate them. But I couldn't. I found myself cheering him on and sighing when he did something sweet to Sophie. Sorry, not sorry. 

-It was so fast-paced and the action was so intense and everything was pure genius. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Literally. The war between Good and Evil was so vivid I felt like reading a Harry Potter book in another world. Reading this book, you'll realize that the previous installments were just pure genius in the making.

-The new characters were hilarious and entertaining. We got to meet many real fairytale heroes like in the stories we've known since kindergarten. Despite them being old, they still got that vibe around them that reflected the person they once were in the stories we knew. Not gonna spoil anything, but one of them was the master of magic thingy and constantly cracked me up.

-The secondary characters had their own moments of awesomeness and that's awesome. Remember Dot? Hester? Anadil? The coven? Yeah. They seriously kicked some ass and became way more hilarious than they were before. OH! REMEMBER HORT? He's changed so much and I was so proud of him. All the secondary characters were essential and no one got left behind. We got to know what happened to who and who and everybody kicked ass! YEAY!

-The ending. It was just perfection. I LOVED how open it was and it was very very satisfying. It made me realize that Sophie had gone so much to be the person she was and I was so proud of her. I felt like I was her best friend and I just wanted to hug her through the pages. It felt totally her and it also meant that happy endings don't always mean a princess and a prince running towards a sunset hand in hand. Being happy can also mean accepting yourself they way you are and embrace the beauty and love around you. The message of the book was just so well-written in the ending.

What I didn't like:


In all, this really is an epic conclusion like the summary says. It isn't just epic, it's jaw-dropping, hilarious, astonishing, touching, and many other adjectives that I can't conjure up because there are just too many of them. If you expect something grand after the second book, you will surely get it in this book. And if you haven't read the series, I highly question your reason to live and seriously asking, pleading, begging you to buy and read them right at this moment.

A bonus gif to sum everything up:

My rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Reviewed by Inas

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Lena Kicked Ass! // Pandemonium
Tuesday, 11 August 2015 @ 12:09// 0 comment(s)

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release date: February 28th, 2012
Genres: Sci-fi, Dystopian, YA
Pages:  329
Source: Bought it
Goodreads Purchase
I’m pushing aside 

the memory of my nightmare, 

pushing aside thoughts of Alex, 
pushing aside thoughts of Hana 
and my old school, 
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.
I read Delirium a couple years ago and really loved it. I picked up Pandemonium a while ago, started it, got bored of it, and dropped it. This summer, I decided to pick it up again and give it another shot.
What I Liked
Lena kicked ass! I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by her being a kick-ass heroine being able to fight for herself deftly. She used her brains adeptly as well with clever thinking to get herself out of tricky situations. She definitely developed a lot as a character, from being a naive product of her society to being fierce and independent.
I never thought I could see Lena with another guy after how cute she and Alex were together, but when Julian came into the picture, I really liked the idea of Lena getting together with him. I love star-crossed lovers, and Lena + Julian was no exception. I loved how they started out as enemies, then grew to trust each other. I swooned when he shared things about himself and his childhood with her. I felt like their romance was really smooth and really rooted for them to fall for each other. I especially liked how Lena ended up saving him. They're too cute together and I ship them so hard!
I found her dynamic with the leader of her "Wild" gang, Raven, to be pretty interesting. Raven is very hardened and fiercely independent, and she really influenced Lena to be "stronger", yet they also brushed against each other the wrong way over their ideological differences over the revolution. I found that to be an intriguing relationship.
I loved Lauren Oliver's writing style. Her descriptive language is impeccable and her at times poetic style is so beautiful. The narrative voice of Lena was pretty enthralling.
What I Didn't Like
Lena's attitude towards Julian at first. It was so unnecessarily rude and hostile to me. I didn't get her animosity towards him. It kind of made me want to shake her a little and I found it really annoying.
Some parts of the book really dragged on and were quite uninteresting, particularly earlier on during the Then parts. It got better when the Then parts got shorter, though.
I sometimes didn't like Raven because of how emotionless she seemed to be. I gradually got to understand why her character was so hardened, though. She was a good leader, yet highly flawed. Her strength derived from stamping down feelings of care about others, which, although wise in their situation, I didn't like.
The Twist
I did not see that coming. The revelation was really infuriating to me, yet somehow ingenious. It was actually a brilliant twist, no matter how maddening it was.
The Ending
Lauren Oliver really gave us readers the illusion of a happy ending. I felt so elated that Lena and Julian could be happy and free together. It was so intensely disrupted by the return of a very important person from Lena's past, who she'd spent much of the book pining for. I'm kind of sad that Lena and Julian didn't get much time together to be a blissful couple, but still ecstatic to read what happens next with Lena juggling two people she's grown to care about dearly.
Favorite Quotes
"I wonder if this is how people always get close: They heal each other's wounds; they repair the broken skin."
"We have picked each other, and the rest of the world can go to hell."

My rating: ★ ★ ★ . 5

Reviewed by Kelechi


Trapped in a Lion's Den (Literally) // Every Breath
Friday, 7 August 2015 @ 12:46// 0 comment(s)

Every Breath by Ellie Marney
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Release date: September 1st, 2013
Genres: Thriller, Mystery, YA
Pages:  335
Source: Bought it
Goodreads Purchase
Rachel Watts has just moved to Melbourne from the country, but the city is the last place she wants to be.

James Mycroft is her neighbour, an intriguingly troubled seventeen-year-old who's also a genius with a passion for forensics.

Despite her misgivings, Rachel finds herself unable to resist Mycroft when he wants her help investigating a murder. He's even harder to resist when he's up close and personal - and on the hunt for a cold-blooded killer.

When Rachel and Mycroft follows the murderer's trail, they find themselves in the lion's den - literally. A trip to the zoo will never have quite the same meaning again...

Sizzling chemisty and urban intrigue combine in this thriller from a fresh, exciting new talent.

'I loved this book. It's quirky and real, fast-paced and full of great characters. Mycroft and Watts are smart, sexy, flawed detectives. The tension between them is electric. I was hooked from the first page.' - Cath Crowley, author of Graffiti Moon
How do I even start? I love this book so damn much I'm literally in lost for words. I'm just gonna make a list of what I LOVE about this book and what I dislike after that.

-IT'S SO FAST-PACED AND INTENSE AND ERMEGERD WOW. The book is a bit confusing at the beginning because it starts with an after-fight scene and I still have no idea what was going on. But, that aside, the story is so intense and I found myself sitting on the edge of my chair most of the time. I pretty much became deaf and blind to the rest of the world and I didn't even care that I was starving at that time. The story is so intense and action packed it will literally keep you on the edge of your seat. 

-IT'S SO SHERLOCK-Y WHILE NOT BEING THE TEENAGE VERSION OF THE BOOK. Do you get what I mean? There are many references to Sherlock Holmes here and there and the fact that the guy main character is in love with forensics just adds up to it. Okay, I haven't read the authentic Sherlock Holmes, but at least I have watched the BBC series. Sorry, not sorry. When I first read the book I was expecting two teenagers hungry for crime-solving and curious to the max. But, no. Mycroft and Watts are just two teenagers who just happen to care for someone who's nothing to anyone else and unfortunately, he's murdered. They feel dejected and sad when it happened, but they don't dwell on it, in fact, they do the opposite. They fuckin hunt the murderer down. HELL YEAH!

-THE CHARACTERS ARE UNIQUE OH GOD. THEY'RE JUST SO. DAMN. COOL. I mean, seriously, even though they're kind of poor (not that it has anything to do with their personalities) and not perfect in any possible way. They're so refreshing and fun to read. Even their dialogs, the simplest ones, entertain me. It's not just that, they both may have their own imperfections and rueful moments, but that just makes everything about them even more interesting because they're the reflection normal teenagers that are full of flaws and imperfections. Mycroft is a bit narcissistic, but I guess he's better than the real Sherlock because he LITERALLY be friends with everyone. He's also so hard to resist because he has this vibe around him that just makes you want to get into his soft spot and know him better than anyone else. Rachel is an open book, but you just tend to see it as one of her qualities and that's one of the reasons why I liked her.

-I SHIP RACHEL/WATTS AND MYCROFT LIKE FEDEX. Yup. Another ship is coming your way. Seriously. At first, they're just friends and they are okay and fine with it and I found it funny how they both react when someone refers them as a couple when they're not. Yet. They're the kind of couple that starts off slowly but has already developed chemistry for a long time because they both understand the other more than anyone else does. 

-THE SECONDARY CHARACTERS ARE AWESOME TOO. They all are unique and funny and each of them has one specific thing that literally describes themselves. Like, when you think of a character whom at first seems ordinary but turns out to be a master of law talk, then, you have Mai. And MIKE! Oh god. He's Rachel's brother and he cares so much for her while not wanting to admit at the same time. He's just so cute! Seriously, all the side characters are also hard to forget. They're all have their essential parts to the story and that just adds up to it. They're not like those secondary characters that seconds after reading the book you even forgot their names. No. That's not like that at all. Even though, well, they're just secondary characters, but you know what? They're great. Oh I said that, didn't I?

-It's written in a light and captivating way, but not too light. I mean, I've never really been a 17-year-old girl, but reading Rachel's narration made me seem as though I am. Her narration is so captivating and how she made funny remarks on death-and-life situation is also quite an entertainment.

Aaanndd, here are the things that kinda annoyed me (but still, totally not worth taking any stars for):

-The book starts with a confusing after fight scene and I still don't know what happens and why that happens.

-I need more introduction about the first time Mycroft and Rachel meet! I mean, they have known each other for four months and I want to know how they have known each other so damn well in just that length of time! 

-THE FUCKING HIDEOUS COVER. SERIOUSLY! THIS IS SUCH A WONDERFUL AND GREAT MASTERPIECE BUT WHY DOES THE COVER HAVE TO LOOK LIKE A TROLL?! I found myself getting embarrassed every time someone asked me what I was reading and I had to lift the cover and they were like  ew and then I had to go on about how you literally can't judge a book by its cover and how awesome this book actually is.

All in all, no words can describe how much I enjoyed this book. You will get hooked simultaneously on the first few pages. Then, after that, you just can't stop because it's one of the forces of nature. I'd bet money on it. It's so intense, action-packed, and fast-paced, so there's just no way you'll be able to start reading and then stop in the middle. I highly recommend this for EVERYONE on earth. Especially the ones in love with Sherlock Holmes, whether it's just the movie, novels, or tv series (like me!).

And bonus one gif to sum everything up:

Oh, wait, there's more:

My rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Reviewed by Inas