The Romantics by Leah Konan: Cool concept, meh execution


The Romantics

author : leah konen

pages : [hardcover] 336

release date : november 1 2016

summary :

Perfect for fans of Lauren Myracle and Rainbow Rowell, The Romantics will charm readers of all ages. Gael Brennan is about to have his heart broken when his first big relationship crumbles on the heels of his parents’ painful separation. Love intervenes with the intention of setting things right—but she doesn’t anticipate the intrusion of her dreaded nemesis: the Rebound. Love’s plans for Gael are sidetracked by Cara, Gael’s hot-sauce-wielding “dream girl.” The more Love meddles, the further Gael drifts from the one girl who can help him mend his heart. Soon Love starts breaking all her own rules—and in order to set Gael’s fate back on course, she has to make some tough decisions about what it means to truly care.

review :

This book seemed like it was going to be so interesting because it has a unique narrator–Love. Love goes on to explain the different types of people there are out there, including romantics like main character Gael. Love explains that she can’t be in all places at once and, sometimes, when she’s distracted by putting one couple together, another will fall apart and get divorced. That’s what happens to Gael’s parents and he’s in so much pain after their separation that he wants to throw himself into love as soon as possible. Love knows that isn’t what’s best for him–somehow she can actually see what will happen in his future depending on what relationships he has.

It was kind of interesting to see a YA guy dating a “college girl”. It’s a dynamic you don’t usually see. But, based on growing up in a college town, I know the odds of this kind of romance happening aren’t so great to begin with, unless the relationship started when both parties were in high school. But that’s just a side note.

For the most part, the writing was fairly dry and forgettable. Terrible things would happen to Gael, literally in front of his parents, and it didn’t seem like they were doing much to try to help him out. It got to the point where they talked so little to Gael about important things that, of course, he started to make all the wrong assumptions about his parents and why they divorced.

For all of the build-up that happens in the book, the ending just isn’t satisfying. It comes too abruptly, after everything Gael’s been through in his various relationships, and I really wanted more. After all, Love herself has been spouting about how great this will be for Gael if he could just reach that point in life, but we get . . . nothing.

I don’t think I’ll be recommending this book, but I know there are people out there who would really enjoy it if they like contemporary romance and want the experience of a unique narrator.

3/5 stars


Reread Reflection: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell


How do you review a book after you’ve already read it? Review the reread!

Hi all. I know it’s been forever, but here I am!

I think that this was my third time reading Fangirl, but I’m not entirely sure. I know this was at least round two, but I’m terrible at keeping track of these things.

Fangirl has been on my favorites list ever since the first day I finished the last page because 1. I’ve never read any story about fanfiction before where it isn’t portrayed as weird/creepy/something out of the box like that. 2. It portrays anxiety SO WELL. Like I’ve never before read about a character and related so much to her. 3. The writing is beautiful and still manages to be fun.

While I wasn’t as enraptured by the romance this time around (probably because by this point I’m out of college and in that sort of reflection stage where I’m like nothing this cool happened to me in four years and Cath gets it all in like four months) I still loved the storyline. I love Cath’s relationship with her family (well, not really, because it’s so imperfect, but I love how it was portrayed). I love how she shows her insecurities about her writing because I’ve experienced that, too. Even people who know nothing about writing or fanfiction will still ‘get’ this book because it’s a story about a college freshman and, more than that, just about a girl who’s trying to understand herself.

So, in closing this book for the third (or second) time, I still find myself loving it and recommending it to everyone I know. I like that I keep finding new things to appreciate about it and I’m sure that, as time goes on, my reasons for constantly reaching for Fangirl to read will keep growing and developing just as much as Cath does in this book.

Marvel-ous Mondays: Superior Spiderman Volume 1: My Own Worst Enemy


The Superior Sprider-Man

Volume 1

author: dan slott

illustrator: ryan stegman

pages : [paperback] 120

summary :

Part of the Marvel NOW! initiative! THEN!…Peter Parker spent a lifetime living up to the responsibilities his powers foisted upon him, but his story finally ended dramatically in the historic Amazing Spider-Man #700. NOW!…The new Amazing Spider-Man has arrived, and he is better in every single way. Smarter, stronger…Superior. And he’ll prove it, both to himself and the world, when he faces down the all-new Sinister Six! But is this all-new Spider-Man in cahoots with J. Jonah Jameson? And has Carlie Cooper figured out the Superior Spider-Man’s secret identify? Plus: Spider-Man and Mary Jane…reunited?! All this and the return of the villainous Vulture! It’s an all-new era of web-slinging excitement, and it all starts NOW! COLLECTING:Superior Spider-Man 1-5.

review :

I absolutely loved this volume. I mean, at some points, I loved to hate it, because Doc Oc is kind of a terrifying Spider-Man and it just goes to show how dangerous, and downright evil, Spider-Man could have been should all of that power have gone to a different person. It reveals just how much control and integrity Peter has had all of these years, trying to keep the city safe while also preserving his moral code.

This was awesome. I finished so quickly because I was flipping through the pages, wanting to know what was going to happen next. Even though I’m not exactly rooting for Spider-Man now so much as someone he managed to trick, I’m very excited to see where this may go. There’s a lot of potential in this storyline–and not all of it is good. After all, Spider-Man isn’t exactly himself anymore. There were a few decisive moments in here in which he made decisions Peter never would have that honestly upset me, which only reminded me of the reasons why I love the real Spider. It’s kind of hard to see how much you’d hate your favorite heroes, if they constantly made slightly different decisions than what you’re used to seeing from them.

I highly recommend this volume. I mean, it’s kind of hard to resist. It’s like nothing I’ve read before. All at once, it makes you nostalgic and eager to see what will happen in the future. Because, even though the events in this volume were crazy, wonderful, and only made me cry a little bit, there’s a lot more to come in the future.

5/5 stars


Guest Post: Shannon Greenland, author of Shadow of a Girl


Hello friends! Today I have an awesome post by Shannon Greenland, author of Shadow of a Girl, which released this week! Check out her own journey to publication below!

  ~  ~  ~

I was never a reader. In fact, if a teacher told me I had to read, it was almost painful. It wasn’t that I couldn’t read. I just didn’t like it. Then one day when I was twenty-five years old, a friend of mine brought me a stack of historical romance novels and said, “Here. Read. You’ll like these.”

With a roll of my eyes, I reluctantly picked one up, flipped a few pages, flipped a few more, and before I knew it, I had read my very first novel and I had enjoyed it! It was Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss.

After that, I was hooked. I read every historical romance my friend had brought me and then I headed over to the library. At twenty-five I had my very first library card. And boy did I use it! I made my way through every historical romance I could find and then moved onto contemporary romance and then landed in romantic suspense. Which is where I fell completely in love. To this day The Troubleshooter series by Suzanne Brockmann is still my favorite.

Six months after that reading binge I picked up a pencil and starting scribbling a novel. It was crap, but I was writing. I was writing! I joined Romance Writers of America, started going to meetings, met tons of other authors, and really began to understand the genre from a writing perspective.

My first published novel was with a small press and it was a romantic suspense. I didn’t have an agent, and really had no clue what I was doing. I knew I wanted an agent, I just didn’t have one. Then one night I was at a writer’s conference sitting in the bar, having a margarita and talking with this lady about a young adult spy series I had percolating around in my brain. Little did I know that lady was an agent who I eventually signed with!

Now years later, I have written romance, adventure, thrillers, adult, young adult, and middle grade novels. When I decided to write a new novel, it did not surprise me in the least that I chose a romance. I had just gotten done writing a couple of adrenaline packed thrillers and needed a switch.

I’ve heard people talk about the “book of their heart” and always thought that was such hokey thing to say until I wrote Shadow of a Girl. This book gutted me (and I mean that in a good way). It took a lot out of me to write it, and I have such a personal connection to the story and to my main character, Eve. If I could reach inside the book and give her a hug I would.

But more importantly, my hero, West. Talk about book boyfriend. He is beyond swoon worthy.

I hope you fall in love with Eve and West and their emotional journey. What I love most about them is that they are each other’s compliment. Eve is very quiet and contained and West is very light-hearted and out there. But there is a reason why they are the way they are… If you get a chance, let me know what you think after you read the story. I’d love to hear from you!

~  ~  ~

Thanks so much Shannon!

If you want to find out more about Shannon and her novel, click here!

Read Code Name Verity immediately if you need a good book that’ll make you cry in public


Code Name Verity

author : elizabeth wein

pages : [paperback] 339

memorable quote It’s like being in love, discovering your best friend.

favorite character : verity

summary :

Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

review :

I don’t even know where to begin with this book. I loved it so much, I know that I should have taken the time to read it years ago, and yet it just tore my heart open reading it.

Code Name Verity is YA historical fiction at its finest. Honestly, I absolutely love reading about the WWII time period because no two books about it are alike and it seems like I’m constantly unconvering new, interesting facts about the time period and the different people living in it. Like these ladies in Code Name Verity, who aren’t real historical figures but do real, amazing things that real women did. Things that would have most people quaking in their boots and then running in the other direction.

This book was very, very hard to read knowing that it was so realistic. Verity goes through so many terrible, traumatic things and she just needs to keep pushing forward because she knows that one stumble, one misstep, and she’s dead. Even if she does everything perfectly, she may still die because she’s in the hands of Nazi interrogators. They aren’t afraid of finding creatively horrific ways to make her talk.

There are so many twists to this book . . . Even when you think that you have everything figured out, know what will happen, and are reading expecting a certain thing to happen, you’ll be shocked. I know that I was. Some of the twists were happy. Some were so terrible that I cried. Once, I was riding the bus and shed a few tears before I made myself put away the book for the rest of the ride. It’s that captivating and harsh and well-written, it’s impossible not to feel ultimately connected to these women.

I not only have newfound respect for the women pilots and spies that risked, gave, and pledged their lives for the war–for the sake of the world, really–I’m desperate to read more about the true stories behind Code Name Verity. If this fictional account was this amazing, I can’t wait to see how inspiring, shocking, and perfectly unconventional the reality was.

5/5 stars


The Graces by Laure Eve was such a weird and awesome book


The Graces

author : laure eve

pages : [paperback] 432

release date : september 1 2016

favorite character : river

summary :

Everyone said the Graces were witches.

They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair.

They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different.

All I had to do was show them that person was me.

Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on?

This beautifully-written thriller will grip you from its very first page.

review :

This book was so different from what I thought it was going to be and I loved it.

River is an odd teenager. She doesn’t really have any friends, had to leave her old town under mysterious circumstances, and has a weird home life. Her mom isn’t around much but she desperately wants River to fit in. So when River begins to hang out with undeniably the weirdest–and for some reason most popular–family in town, she doesn’t specify to her mom that she’s hanging with the Graces. Rumored to be witches, they hardly ever let anyone into their inner circle. But River’s in, and she wants to know all of their secrets.

I think what a lot of people will find difficult to digest about this book is that River is such an unlikable character. But she’s interesting. Her way of thinking is kind of crazy, so you literally have no idea what she’ll do next–or what lengths she’ll go to in order to impress the Graces or gain their trust. She’s determined to be the one person who’s worthy of the Graces’ times, so it’s obvious that she looks down on everyone. I know a lot of people can’t push through characters like her, but it’s so worth it and I loved reading everything from her perspective because everything was slightly twisted.

While I didn’t exactly not see the plot twists at the end coming (well, I’d guessed a few, not all), I was excited that the book took the turn that it did. Because for so much of the book, it was so cool to see how everything that could have been magical could also have just been pure coincidence. It was like reading two books at once-a contemporary and a paranormal–that come together at the end into something awesome.

I’d definitely recommend this book. It’s so different from anything else that I’ve read, the characters and narrative are awesome, and the building plot is so great.

5/5 stars


Marvel-ous Mondays: Moon Girl and the Devil Dinosaur


Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur

author : amy reeder

illustrator : brandon montclare

favorite character : lunella

summary :

Lunella Lafayette is a preteen genius who wants to change the world, but lives in fear of the Inhuman genes inside her! Now, Lunella’s life is turned upside down when a red-scaled beast is teleported from the prehistoric past to a far-flung future we call…today! Together they’re the most Marvelous Team-Up of all — Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur! But will they be BFFs forever, or just until DD’s dinner time? And Lunella soon learns that there are other problems with having a titanic T-Rex as a pet in the modern-day Marvel Universe. School, for one. Monster hunters are another — especially when they’re the Totally Awesome Hulk! Then there’s the fact that everyone’s favorite dino didn’t journey through time alone. Beware the prehistoric savages known as the Killer-Folk — New York City’s deadliest tourists!


review :

This volume was so, so cute! I think I’m in love with Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur’s relationship!

Lunella is exactly the kind of child I know I couldn’t deal with because she’s just too precocious, a little intense, and kind of tends to run full-throttle into a lot of danger. I can really understand why her parents want to keep her safe, ‘normal’, and close to home . . but I can also see why she’s frustrated by this. No one seems to fully understand her. They can’t treat her as a child because of her intellect but they also can’t treat her as an intellect because of her childhood. No one tries to see her as a whole instead of these separate pieces that make her Lunella.

She feels like one of those zany kids from those children’s movies who’re coming up with whacky inventions that will hilariously attack some bad guy. Except what sets her apart is that she’s so smart. She could easily take over the world, if she wanted to. Especially with a dinosaur pal by her side.

I don’t really know where Devil Dinosaur comes from. I don’t know if he was always a thing in the Marvel universe. But he’s so adorable around Lunella and even though he happens to get into a lot of fights, he’s only doing it for good. But dinosaurs are as easily misunderstood, too. Get it? That’s why they have to be BFFs.

I feel like this is the kind of volume that could be enjoyed by anyone. Kids would love it. I definitely loved it. I feel like people older than me would love it, too. It’s a really good story with a lot of heart and I know Lunella is going places. Especially with that ending. That was a really cruel ending because when will I get more?????

5/5 stars