Book Reviews, dystopian, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Young Adult

Halla’s Last Hurrah

Pendragon #10: The Soldiers of Halla by D.J. MacHale

5/5

I really did try to not finish this book for as long as I could… I wanted to not finish it because it meant this amazing series was over. I know exactly why my boyfriend absolutely adores this series. It was one of the greatest series I’ve ever picked up and I’m so glad that my boyfriend pushed for me to read it, because it truly was amazing from beginning to end.

So. MUCH. HAPPENED. in this last novel and I still cannot get over all of it. The whole last battle was amazing and I don’t want to put any spoilers as to who dies, but I will say that the way MacHale handled the deaths was phenomenal.

I cried so much during this freaking book. I can’t go into details about why because, again, spoilers. But I will say that this freaking book was just insane and so many things happened that left me in tears. MacHale has a knack for having the emotional stuff sneak up on you and then hit you like a ton of bricks.

My boyfriend was sleeping when I finished this book, but I’m honestly shocked I didn’t wake him up with my sobbing in the last couple chapters especially.

I will say that one of my favorite things, aside from the incredible territories that he created, would have to be the characters in this series. They’re some of the most amazing characters ever and I love watching how all of them grow over the course of the series.

I loved that last chapter and seeing what happened after everything that went down with Saint Dane. I was hoping we’d get some closure, and we definitely did, so I can’t be upset about that.


Currently Reading:

Isla and the Happily Ever After (page 19)

Ender’s Game (page 237)

-Laurenxx

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Book Reviews, Sci-Fi, Young Adult

That Rain Cloud

Photo Mar 26, 9 43 14 PM

Title/ Author: Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

Rating: 100/5 5/5 for sure.

Goodness gracious. So, when I picked up Scythe for the first time at the end of 2016, I honestly didn’t know what to expect because I hadn’t read any of Shusterman’s books before. The premise sounded amazing though and I got my hands on it as soon as I could and DEVOURED it.

The concept of death and dying has always been something that fascinated me. To the point that I took a class on it in college where I planned my own funeral and visited a crematorium (weird, I know, but it was one of my favorite non-major classes). So when I learned about a book that featured this ruling “government” essentially that ruled over everyone’s life and death in all senses, I was hooked already. But reading these has been an entirely different experience altogether.

So, this go around, I tried to hold off buying Thunderhead … and lasted a week. I held off a lot longer before reading it, buuuuut still caved after only two months. Here we are, after I’ve slowly made my way through this book, and I’m dying all over again.

These books are so freaking good. The premise of having this group of people being in charge of who lives and who dies, of having a database who sees and controls EVERYTHING worldwide, of having these incredible characters grow and develop in this world… I cannot freaking get over it.

Our two main characters, Ronan and Citra, are by far some of the most incredibly driven and all around interesting characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of following through a journey.

And can we talk about the Thunderhead? I’m loving books like this and ILLUMINAE with the AI having its moments where it gets to talk to the audience. It’s such a rare treat and the things the Thunderhead starts speaking about are all moments that really make you stop and think, and it’s absolutely amazing.

The last 100 or so pages were probably one of the most intense endings I’ve ever read. I was on the edge of my seat that entire time and literally couldn’t stop yelling, “OH FUCK!” every ten seconds. The conclusion of this book was just absolute flawlessness. BUT IT MADE ME WANT THE NEXT BOOK THAT MUCH MORE! This wait is going to be absolute torture. I need to know what’s become of certain characters and how the fuck they’re going to get out of this mess!

I will definitely go get some more of Shusterman’s novels after these two books. I actually already own Unwind, so I think I’ll have to start there.

((I’ll update this when I’m back to my copy of the book and my extensive quote markings.))

Photo Mar 26, 9 46 16 PM


 

Currently Reading:

Ender’s Game (page 134)

Isla and the Happily Ever After (page 10)

-Laurenxx

Fantasy, Informative, Sci-Fi, TBR Tackle Thursday, Young Adult

TBR Tackle Thursday (#8)

Yay for the next part of my journey to getting rid of the excess books on my TBR shelf! 😀

I’m watching Death Note and chilling with a cat right now, so I figured this was a good chance to get this part knocked out!


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1. Salvation by W.A. Heisler

Synopsis:

Salvation is a fast-paced book of horror garunteed to raise the hairs on the back of the neck. It’s style has been compared to the works of Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Salvation begins with a frantic phone call to Father Brian Halloway from Eric Parkins, a parishioner in his church, who is desperate to find answers to his wife’s strange behavior following the death of her mother. It seems to Halloway that the woman is simply having difficulty coping with her grief, and nothing seems out of the ordinary. Until he is told about the “thing” in the basement. And how Sylvia changes after nightfall. It is then, the priest begins to worry. After witnessing Sylvia’s disturbing and violent behavior for himself, Halloway comes to the conclusion that something has gone horribly wrong at 1312 Lafayette Drive. Fearing for the safety of the couple, Halloway enlists the help of his longtime friend and fellow priest Father Michael Constantine, a priest chosen to fight the deadliest of wars, and the keeper of New York Dioceses’ darkest secret. It is then the dark war begins. Constantine, joined by Father James Connelly, a young priest eager to prove himself to his mentor, along with Halloway, Sylvia’s husband, and her brother, Mark Barnett, a doctor who is hiding his own dangerous secret set out to engage the invading entity. The men quickly come face to face with a savage, brutal being that snakes its way into the darkest depths of their psyches in its unyielding and vicious attempts to destroy them and all who participate in its “game.” The book climaxes with the entrance of Arandavius, a dark, tragic figure, fallen with Lucifer after The Great War. A fallen angel who walks the earth and claims hismission is to send the demon back to its “Realm.” A being Constantine knows has held one title since his expulsion. Arandavius: The Overlord of Legion. Constantine finds himself trying to save a woman who is now caught in the middle of a vicious game of cat-and-mouse between two demons-one, a brutal, sadistic being who holds the life and soul of its victim in its clutches-the other, the most savage and merciless of Legion’s warriors. A game both beings are willing to play out to its explosive and bloody end. Welcome to darkness. Welcome.to the game.

Thoughts:

Okay. Super long fucking synopsis. It sounds so interesting but horror novels never seem to hit me. I get so immersed in the story but scary stuff never seems to scare me as much as it does others.

Verdict:

Removing, I don’t know if I’d ever end up picking it up.

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2. Easy by Tammara Webber

Synopsis:

Rescued by a stranger.
Haunted by a secret.
Sometimes, love isn’t easy…

He watched her, but never knew her. Until thanks to a chance encounter, he became her savior…

The attraction between them was undeniable. Yet the past he’d worked so hard to overcome, and the future she’d put so much faith in, threatened to tear them apart.

Only together could they fight the pain and guilt, face the truth – and find the unexpected power of love.

A groundbreaking novel in the New Adult genre, Easy faces one girl’s struggle to regain the trust she’s lost, find the inner strength to fight back against an attacker, and accept the peace she finds in the arms of a secretive boy.

Thoughts:

It does sound interesting and I think it’d be a lot better thank most YA romance books without it being too much.

Verdict:

Keeping it!

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3. Rebel Angels by Libba Bray

Synopsis:

Ah, Christmas! Gemma Doyle is looking forward to a holiday from Spence Academy, spending time with her friends in the city, attending ritzy balls, and on a somber note, tending to her ailing father. As she prepares to ring in the New Year, 1896, a handsome young man, Lord Denby, has set his sights on Gemma, or so it seems. Yet amidst the distractions of London, Gemma’s visions intensify–visions of three girls dressed in white, to whom something horrific has happened, something only the realms can explain…

The lure is strong, and before long, Gemma, Felicity, and Ann are turning flowers into butterflies in the enchanted world of the realms that Gemma alone can bring them to. To the girls’ great joy, their beloved Pippa is there as well, eager to complete their circle of friendship.

But all is not well in the realms–or out. The mysterious Kartik has reappeared, telling Gemma she must find the Temple and bind the magic, else great disaster will befall her. Gemma’s willing to do his intrusive bidding, despite the dangers it brings, for it means she will meet up with her mother’s greatest friend–and now her foe, Circe. Until Circe is destroyed, Gemma cannot live out her destiny. But finding Circe proves a most perilous task.

Thoughts:

I enjoyed the first one… but I didn’t love it. This sounds okay.

Verdict:

Removing. If I end up going to pick it up for some reason, then I’ll add it back to the list, but I don’t need to read it and don’t have any lingering desire to grab it anytime soon.

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4. Forsaken by Jana Oliver

Synopsis:

Riley Blackthorne just needs a chance to prove herself – and that’s exactly what the demons are counting on…

Seventeen-year-old Riley, the only daughter of legendary demon trapper Paul Blackthorne, has always dreamed of following in her father’s footsteps.  The good news is, with human society seriously disrupted by economic upheaval and Lucifer increasing the number of demons in all major cities, Atlanta’s local Trappers Guild needs all the help they can get – even from a girl. When she’s not keeping up with her homework or trying to manage her growing crush on fellow apprentice Simon, Riley’s out saving distressed citizens from foul-mouthed little devils – Grade One Hellspawn only, of course, per the strict rules of the Guild. Life’s about as normal as can be for the average demon-trapping teen.

But then a Grade Five Geo-Fiend crashes Riley’s routine assignment at a library, jeopardizing her life and her chosen livelihood.  And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, sudden tragedy strikes the Trappers Guild, spinning Riley down a more dangerous path than she ever could have imagined. As her whole world crashes down around her, who can Riley trust with her heart – and her life?

Thoughts:

I think this actually sounds awesome, there’s a definite potential here and I’m super excited about that.

Verdict:

Keeping it!

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5. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

Synopsis:

Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, This Song Will Save Your Life is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.

Thoughts:

I mean… eh. I can see exactly why I would have added this to begin with, but I don’t think that it’s really my sort of thing.

Verdict:

Removing it.

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6. Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan

Synopsis:

Of Bees and Mist is an engrossing fable that chronicles three generations of women under one family tree and places them in a mythical town where spirits and spells, witchcraft and demons, and prophets and clairvoyance are an everyday reality.

Meridia grows up in a lonely home until she falls in love with Daniel at age sixteen. Soon, they marry, and Meridia can finally escape to live with her charming husband’s family—unaware that they harbor dark mysteries of their own. As Meridia struggles to embrace her life as a young bride, she discovers long-kept secrets about her own past as well as shocking truths about her new family that push her love, courage, and sanity to the brink.

Erick Setiawan’s astonishing debut is a richly atmospheric and tumultuous ride of hope and heartbreak that is altogether touching, truthful, and memorable.

Thoughts:

I actually picked this up from the library yeaaars ago and it’s been in my room ever since.

Verdict:

Keeping it! I still own the book and it definitely sounds interesting.

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7. My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi

Synopsis:

Lucy just had the worst week ever. Seriously, mega bad. And suddenly, it’s all too much—she wants out. Out of her house, out of her head, out of her life. She wants to be a whole new Lucy. So she does something the old Lucy would never dream of.

And now her life will never be the same. Now, how will she be able to have a boyfriend? What will she tell her friends? How will she face her family?

Now her life is completely different…every moment is a gift. Because now she might not have many moments left.

Thoughts:

Nope. Nope nope nope, I don’t like this. I don’t know what exactly happens or what change she makes, but this isn’t my sort of book now.

Verdict:

Removing it!

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8. Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Synopsis:

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word… especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

Thoughts:

Look at that gorgeous cover! Aghh. It does sound like it has some potential, I love books about witches.

Verdict:

Keeping it!

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9. Sweep: Volume 1 by Cate Tiernan

Synopsis:

Includes:
Book 1 – Book of Shadows
Book 2 – The Coven
Book 3 – Blood Witch

The first three Sweep books bound into one gorgeous edition at a fabulous price! Morgan Rowlands never thought she was anything other than a typical sixteen-year-old girl. But when she meets Cal, a captivatingly handsome coven leader, she makes a discover that turns her whole world upside down: she is a witch, descended from an ancient and powerful line. And so is Cal. Their connection is immediate and unbreakable; Cal teases out Morgan’s power, her love, her magick. But Morgan discovers too soon that her powers are strong– almost too powerful to control. And she begins to suspect that Cal may be keeping secrets from her . . . secrets that could destroy them both.

Thoughts:

Again, I love witch books, so this one definitely has some potential!

Verdict:

I’m going to keep it, if I get to it, then excellent!

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10. Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

Synopsis:

Ace Detective
Snappy Dresser
Razor–tongued Wit
Crackerjack Sorcerer
and
Walking, Talking,
Fire-throwing Skeleton

—as well as ally, protector, and mentor of Stephanie Edgley, a very unusual and darkly talented twelve-year-old.

These two alone must defeat an all-consuming ancient evil.

The end of the world?

Over his dead body.

Thoughts:

It does sound interesting, but I don’t know if it’s really my type of book. Action books are hit or miss and this one doesn’t sound like one I’d necessarily go for.

Verdict:

Removing!


***Total Kept/ Removed: 5/5***

Not bad progress for the day! Yay! (:


 

Currently Reading:

Isla and the Happily Ever After (just started)

… not even going to list the other 5…

-Laurenxx

 

 

 

Fantasy, Informative, Sci-Fi, TBR Tackle Thursday, Young Adult

TBR Tackle Thursday (#7)

It’s that time again!! 😀

If for whatever reason you haven’t seen the previous parts, here they are:

Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 , Part 4 , Part 5 , Part 6

Super stoked to see what I’ve got for today, so here’s part 7!


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1. The Rules by Stacey Kade

Synopsis:

1. Never trust anyone.
2. Remember they are always searching.
3. Don’t get involved.
4. Keep your head down.
5. Don’t fall in love.

Five simple rules. Ariane Tucker has followed them since the night she escaped from the genetics lab where she was created, the result of combining human and extraterrestrial DNA. Ariane’s survival—and that of her adoptive father—depends on her ability to blend in among the full-blooded humans in a small Wisconsin town, to hide in plain sight at her high school from those who seek to recover their lost (and expensive) “project.”

But when a cruel prank at school goes awry, it puts her in the path of Zane Bradshaw, the police chief’s son and someone who sees too much. Someone who really sees her. After years of trying to be invisible, Ariane finds the attention frightening—and utterly intoxicating. Suddenly, nothing is simple anymore, especially not the rules…

Thoughts:

I honestly don’t remember adding this to my list, but it sounds super interesting so I understand why I added it.

Verdict:

Keeping it!

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2. Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger

Synopsis:

Vane Weston should have died in the category-five tornado that killed his parents. Instead, he woke up in a pile of rubble with no memories of his past — except one: a beautiful, dark-haired girl standing in the winds. She swept through his dreams ever since, and he clings to the hope that she’s real.

Audra is real, but she isn’t human. She’s a sylph, an air elemental who can walk on the wind, translate its alluring songs, even twist it into a weapon. She’s also a guardian — Vane’s guardian — and has sworn an oath to protect him at all costs.

When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both their families, Audra has just days to help Vane unlock his memories. And as the storm winds gather, Audra and Vane start to realize that the greatest danger might not be the warriors coming to destroy them, but the forbidden romance growing between them.

Thoughts:

Okay, so it sounds interesting… but a little too juvenile for what I’m looking for.

Verdict:

Removing it.

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3. Inescapable by Amy A. Bartol

Synopsis:

My name is Evie Claremont and this was to be the making of me–my freshman year of college. I’d been hoping that once I’d arrived on Crestwood’s campus, the nightmare that I’ve been having would go away. It hasn’t.
I may be an inexperienced seventeen-year-old, but I’m grounded…sane. I look for rational explanations to even the strangest circumstances. Since meeting sophomore Reed Wellington, however, nothing makes any sense. Whenever he’s near, I feel an attraction to him–a magnetic kind of force pulling me towards him. I know what you’re thinking…that sounds fairly awesome. Yeah, it would be…if he liked me, but Reed acts as if I’m the worst thing that has ever happened to Crestwood…or him. But get this, for some reason every time I turn around he’s there, barging into my life.
What is the secret that he’s keeping from me? I’m hoping that it’s anything but what I suspect: that he’s not exactly normal…and neither am I. So, maybe Crestwood won’t be the making of me, but it could be the breaking of me. I’ve been left to wonder if the dark future my dream is foretelling is…inescapable.

Thoughts:

…what is with… all… the ellipses? I mean, really? It’s driving me insane!!

Verdict:

Removing it. I can’t handle that.

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4. Frost by Kate Avery Ellison

Synopsis:

In the icy, monster-plagued world of the Frost, compassion might get a person killed, and Lia Weaver knows this better than anyone. After the monsters kill her parents, she must keep the family farm running or risk losing her siblings to reassignment by the village Elders. With dangers on all sides, she can’t afford to let her emotions lead her astray. But when her sister finds a fugitive bleeding to death in the forest, a young man from beyond the Frost named Gabe, Lia does the unthinkable. She saves his life. Giving shelter to the fugitive could get her in trouble. The Elders have always described the advanced society of people beyond the Frost, the “Farthers,” as ruthless and cruel. Lia is startled to find that Gabe is empathetic and intelligent-and handsome. And she might even be falling for him. But time is running out. The monsters in the forest are growing bold and restless. The village leader is starting to ask questions. Farther soldiers are searching for Gabe. Is compassion-and love-worth the risk? Finally, when a startling discovery challenges everything she thought was true about her life, Lia realizes exactly what she must do.

Thoughts:

I mean… meh. I don’t think it’s something I’ll actually read to be honest.

Verdict:

Removing!

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5. Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

Synopsis:

New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don’t come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard for her to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It’s hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.

That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings—the only boy Ember has ever loved.

Thoughts:

Ehhh… I don’t know how I feel about this.

Verdict:

For the time being, I’m going to remove it.

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6. Moonlight by Rachel Hawthorne

Synopsis:

I see him and I know what this turmoil inside of me means: He’s the one. My forever.

Kayla is the nature lover, the all-American beauty who can’t understand why she’s so drawn to distant, brooding Lucas. Adopted as a young child, she has no way of knowing that she’s inherited a terrifying-and thrilling-gene that will change her life forever.

Lucas is dangerous, gorgeous… and a werewolf. As leader of the Dark Guardians, shape-shifters who gather deep within the state park, he has sworn to protect his pack. But when Lucas finds his true soul mate, his love could put them all in harm’s way.

As Lucas and Kayla struggle with their feelings for each other, a greater danger lurks: Humans have discovered the Dark Guardians and are planning their destruction. Kayla must choose between the life she knows and the love she feels certain is her destiny.

Thoughts:

hahaha I honestly don’t know what the hell this is. I’m sorry, but I honestly don’t know what it is that made me add this to my list.

Verdict:

Nope. Removing it.

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7. The Wandering Harlot by Iny Lorentz

Synopsis:

In 1410 in Constance, Germany, the beautiful Marie Schärer’s luxurious life as a merchant’s daughter is destroyed when her ambitious father arranges her marriage to a lawyer from the Black Forest named Rupert Splendidus. Her childhood sweetheart warns her of the attorney’s sly character and is tragically proven right the day before the wedding, when Rupert accuses Marie of unimaginable behavior and has her thrown into a dank dungeon, where she is brutally attacked by his henchmen. Unfairly condemned and banished from her home, Marie is forced to become a wandering prostitute to survive. The clever and kind Hiltrud befriends Marie, and the strong-minded pair sets out on spirited adventures—bedding counts, meeting scoundrels, and tricking foes—as Marie plots the ultimate revenge on the men who stole her honor and her family’s fortune.

Set against a richly detailed historical backdrop, this is the dramatic tale of one woman’s quest for vengeance, redemption, and real love.

Thoughts:

Umm… I don’t know.

Verdict:

Removing. Don’t think I’ll pick this up anytime soon.

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8. Pretty Deadly, Vol. 1: The Shrike by Kelly Sue DeConnick

Synopsis:

KELLY SUE DeCONNICK (Avengers Assemble, Captain Marvel) and EMMA RÍOS (Dr. Strange, Osborn) present the collected opening arc of their surprise-hit series that marries the magical realism of Sandman with the western brutality of Preacher. Death’s daughter rides the wind on a horse made of smoke and her face bears the skull marks of her father. Her origin story is a tale of retribution as beautifully lush as it is unflinchingly savage.

Thoughts:

Dude on the right side of the cover reminds me of Carl from The Walking Dead. That aside, I know why I added this… buuuuut not sure I want to read it.

Verdict:

For now, removing. If it comes back around at some point or I end up with a copy in my hand, then sure. Maybe I’ll give it a go.

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9. Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

Synopsis:

A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.

Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.

Thoughts:

I need to read more of Nina’s stuff. Heard a lot of good things!

Verdict:

Keeping it!

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10. The Summer I Wasn’t Me by Jessica Verdi

Synopsis:

Lexi has a secret.

She never meant for her mom to find out. And now she’s afraid that what’s left of her family is going to fall apart for good.

Lexi knows she can fix everything. She can change. She can learn to like boys. New Horizons summer camp has promised to transform her life, and there’s nothing she wants more than to start over.

But sometimes love has its own path…

Thoughts:

I feel like I’d actually enjoy this one!

Verdict:

Keeping it! For sure.


***Total keeping/ removed: 3/7 ***

Look at me, actually getting rid of quite a few! At only 590 something now. ;p


Currently Reading:

Thunderhead (page 38)

Magi: Vol. 1 (page 27)

Ender’s Game (page 125)

Pendragon #10 (page 54)

-Laurenxx