Divergent // Book Review

About The Book
One choice can transform you. Beatrice Prior’s society is divided into five factions—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Beatrice must choose between staying with her Abnegation family and transferring factions. Her choice will shock her community and herself.
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/3ZrgwfZ

My Rating

For me, the book fell somewhere in the middle of the dystopian pack, and earned three modest stars. While it had some enjoyable qualities, it also had a share of drawbacks that kept me from fully loving the story as much as others. Because, let us face it, the book holds a special place in the dystopian genre.

Tris, our central character, left me feeling somewhat disconnected. In my opinion, her journey from self-centeredness to a heroic figure was a rocky road, and it was difficult to shake the feeling that she remained somewhat self-absorbed throughout the story. For a story centered around “divergence,” she did not embody the divergent nature I expected.

On the other hand, Four, the mysterious love interest, was a more likable character but was still a cookie-cutter love interest. He was very similar to other male main characters I had previously seen in young adult novels. However, I was interested in his backstory and learning more about his character. However, we did not instantly see a connection between him and Tris.

“I am not Abnegation. I am not Dauntless. I am Divergent. And I can’t be controlled.”

The plot had potential, but I feel as though the writing style did not do the book justice. It lacked a certain engaging quality that would have helped make the story come to life. The pacing, in particular, felt slow at times, making me want action and something to drive the story forward.

That said, I must admit that the book managed to redeem itself somewhat with an intense ending. It brought many things to light and was very action-packed. I already know that the sequel is going to be much more complex. I am interested in seeing where the author takes the story and the character development that is bound to occur.

Overall, the plot leans heavily on the classic “chosen one” trope, and while it isn’t a ground breaking take on it, it’s does a great job creating a world that is basically formed by our personalities. If you are new to the dystopian genre, this is a good book to start with, since the world building is not too complex. This is a great introduction to the genre, but it is a very typical YA dystopian.

In the comments, let me know when you first read ‘Divergent.’ Don’t forget to share this post with other book addicts. Before you go, hit the follow button to receive post notifications.

Until The Next Chapter,

All The Bright Places // Book Review

About The Book
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death. Violet Markey lives for the future. When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school—six stories above the ground— it’s unclear who saves whom. Soon it’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/3Lrv6Ow

My Rating

I love a good heartbreaking young adult romance, but this book hit me too close to home. In this book, we follow two teenagers. Violet, who is still grieving the death of her sister, and Finch, who is struggling with bipolar disorder. The two have a chance encounter that sets them on a path to self-growth and love.

I knew that this book would be heartbreaking, but as someone who struggles with bipolar disorder and has a spouse with the disease, it was a lot to take in, emotionally. The author did a great job portraying somebody with a mood disorder. And I could definitely relate to Finch’s ups and downs.

I did not have the same connection to Violet, but I could see how these two characters were drawn to one another. I enjoyed watching them grow closer and develop feelings toward one another. Their relationship was very ‘we found love in a hopeless place.’ Both clearly fought their own internal demons and found happiness with each other. It was very sweet and, as the reader, you knew that it was not going to last.

“I can’t promise I won’t pick you apart, piece by piece, until you’re in a thousand pieces, just like me.”

This is a basic contemporary young adult romance. The plot is not complex, but the characters are really what makes up the book. We get inside their minds and watch them as they help each other grow as people. You can tell that Finch really wanted to help Violet let go of her grief. I think that the plot dealt with grief and overcome survivor’s guilt in a good way. In addition, the book does a great job of showcasing the difficulties of loving someone with mental health problems.

Overall, the ending is what made this book gut wrenching. Although I enjoyed the overall plot of the book, I was not a fan of the outcome since I had almost been there with my love before. It was just a little too much for me. Still, I can see why others love the book and love the story that develops.

I know that there is a movie adaptation, but I am not sure that I will be able to bring myself to watch it. In the comments, let me know if you have seen the film. Is it worth watching? Don’t forget to like and share this post with other book lovers. Please support me by following this blog.

Until The Next Chapter,

My Best Friend’s Exorcism // Book Review

About The Book
High school sophomores Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fourth grade. But after an evening of skinny-dipping goes disastrously wrong, Gretchen begins to act different. Abby’s investigation leads her to some startling discoveries—and by the time their story reaches its terrifying conclusion, the fate of Abby and Gretchen will be determined by a single question: Is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/3PBjH1m

My Rating

If a graphic, campy thriller with humor is your thing, then this book is probably for you. The story follows high school student Abby, who believes that her long-time best friend, Gretchen, is possessed by a demon. The story is told in a biographical way, with Abby recounting the whole thing to us. Since the book is set in the late 80s, early 90s there are many fun nineties references.

Grady Hendrix ensured that the classic 90s vibes were present throughout the entire book. There was even a throwback to the classic Mickey Mouse phone, which I did have growing up. We learned a lot about the girls’ friendship, but we learned less about Gretchen than we did Abby. The plot was very character-driven, with Abby being the voice of the story. Through her eyes, we get to see how Gretchen was changing  – and how weird things had become.

Personally, I didn’t find the plot all that interesting. It was middle of the road on horror front, since I think the author was trying to go for that cheesy 80s horror movie style. Unfortunately, the storyline did not work for me. Alternatively, I might just not be a fan of Hendrix’s writing style.

“It’s April 1988 and the world belongs to them.”

There are many trigger warnings in the book that one should be aware of, for example, date rape and animal death. Also, I have seen people mention some more graphic scenes in the book being a little unsettling, so if you are squeamish, keep that in mind.

Overall, this was not a book that kept me up at night. I did not find it scary or unsettling one bit. Still, I loved the underlying message that friendship comes with its ups and downs, but true friendships does exist, as rare as it may be. Everyone deserves someone who is willing to preform an exorcism on them if needed.

In the comments, let me know if you have read this book or seen the movie adaptation. Do not forget to follow the blog to obtain post-notifications.

Until The Next Chapter,

The Summer Of Broken Rules // Book Review

About The Book
Meredith’s family’s annual game of assassin at Martha’s Vineyard during a summer wedding is the perfect chance to honor her sister’s legacy, and finally join the world again. But when Meredith forms an assassin alliance with a cute groomsman, she finds herself getting distracted. And as the week progresses, she realizes she’s not only at risk of losing the game, but also her heart.
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/45KQ8jl

My Rating

This book was everything I wanted in a summertime young adult contemporary. The story follows Meredith, who returns to Martha’s Vineyard for the first time since her sister, Claire’s, death. Meredith and her family are there for her cousin’s wedding. But, things get complicated when Meredith connects with one of the groomsmen, Witt.

I loved the plot, because not only were we watching as Meredith and Witt fell for each other over the course of a week, the majority of the plot was about the characters engaging in a game of assassin. It was such an easy to read summertime story.

Although, the romance was super cute, it was a little insta-lovey. Can you really fall in love with someone in just a week? I am typically a hater when it comes to instant romance plots, yet this one didn’t bother me as much. I liked both Meredith and Witt’s personalities. Also, the romance really worked for me.

One of my favorite things about the book was how the author handled the grief aspect. Yes, loss and grief was a part of the story but there weren’t a ton of sad moments, and it felt more like a summer romance, than someone trying to get over a loss. I liked how the grief aspect was more subtle, and not an overwhelming part of the plot.

“Our time together was unraveling like a ribbon.”

Meredith went through a lot of character development throughout the book. It was interesting to see her character grow and change in just a week. I think it shows that everyday we can open our eyes to things we didn’t realize about ourselves, and what we want.

Of course there was a romance conflict close to the end of the book. But, the author didn’t make it cheesy, and it was resolved very maturely. Personally, I didn’t find the characters to actually be immature at all, which I found refreshing in a young adult book.

Overall, I had a great time reading this book, and recommend it as a great summer read. The ending was nice, and I liked how we got an epilogue. I’m for sure interested in reading more by K.L. Walther in the near future.

In the comments, let me know one of your favorite summer romances. Don’t forget to follow the blog to get notified for more book reviews like this one.

Until The Next Chapter,

Lying In The Deep // Book Review

About The Book
A juicy mystery of jealousy, love, and betrayal set on a Semester at Sea-inspired cruise ship, with a diverse cast of delightfully suspicious characters who’ll leave you guessing with every jaw-dropping twist. [In this new murder mystery by Diana Urban find out what happens when a semester at sea turns deadly.] Perfect for readers of Natasha Preston, E. Lockhart, and Karen McManus!
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/3QLiVQb

My Rating

This book frustrated me to no end. I was hoping for a fun, fast-paced YA thriller book, but that isn’t what I got at all. In the book, we follow Jade as she is doing a semester on a cruise ship. And, if you were a teenager in the 2000s you’re probably having ‘The Suite Life on Deck’ flashbacks.

However, Jade’s semester abroad turns sour when she discovers her ex-best friend and ex-boyfriend, who are now a couple, are also aboard the cruise ship. Honestly, I couldn’t figure out if this was a petty high school breakup story or a thriller. For about, 60% of the book Jade is wining about her backstabbing best friend and pining for her ex. And every time she’d try and confront them, she’d wimp out and than start whining again.

I thought there would be more suspense and mystery, and less high school drama. Although, since they’re in high school, I should have figured they’d act like they’re in high school. Still, the writing just felt very immature and the characters were juvenile. But, being in my 30s, I can admit that I am not really the intended audience for the book.

“No better trash can for a murderer than the entire ocean.”

The book didn’t pick up until around the last 75% of the book, and that’s when I felt like the story was actually getting somewhere. But, everything started happening so quickly. It felt like nothing at all was happening, and then, suddenly, a bunch of shit goes down. What was even the point of the first half of the book?

However, once the plot picked up, it was really enjoyable. I didn’t see the twist coming, which I liked. But, the characters were really the downfall for me. I disliked pretty much all of them. Still, there was one character, Jade’s love interest, that I did like, and he called Jade out on her pettiness and whining, which was called for.

Overall, the writing and plot weren’t for me at all. Maybe, I’ve just grown out of young adult, but I think that the real issue is that I didn’t know that the book was a retelling of “Death on the Nile” by Agatha Christie. Correction – I have heard people say that it’s a YA “Death on the Nile” retelling, but I don’t know if that’s true. Nevertheless, I’ve heard that “Death on the Nile” has similarly slow moving, nothing’s happening type of plot.

In the comments, let me know if this book is on your TBR. If it is, take it from me and skip it. Personally, I would have had a better time watching ‘The Suite Life on Deck’. However, if you did enjoy the book, leave a comment letting others know why. Don’t forget to follow the blog for more bookish posts.

Until The Next Chapter,

Finding Her Edge // Book Review

About The Book
Adriana Russo is figure skating royalty. With gold-medalist parents, and her older sister headed to the Olympics, all she wants is to live up to the family name and stand atop the ice dance podium at the Junior World Championships. That means training on the same ice as her first crush, Freddie, the partner she left when her growth spurt outpaced his. For the past two years, he’s barely acknowledged her existence, and she can’t even blame him for it.
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/3K7mYCc

My Rating

Here’s a little fun fact about me: I love ice skating! That’s right, when I was a kid (and teenager) I thought figure skating was the coolest sport. I even took an ice skating lessons for a year. And, to this day, Ice Princess is probably still my most watched movie. So, when I heard about this YA contemporary following a figure skater, I couldn’t have been more excited for it!

Unfortunately, this book was a total letdown. Now that’s not to say I didn’t like to story, because I found the plot to be really good. And, the book is very fast paced. Honestly, it gave me those Ice Princess vibes that I was hoping for.

However, the major plot of this book was this second chance romance love triangle aspect. I was not a fan of that at all. I typically don’t like second chance romances, so it’s not a big surprise when they fall short for me. In this book, we get four tropes in one. Second chance romance, fake dating, love triangle and unrequited love. And let’s just say I didn’t like the outcome.

As for the characters, I found most of them to be immature and annoying. Although, the side characters were great. and I wish that we had gotten to know them better. I was way more interested in them then the main character, Adriana.

“There are no guarantees in figure skating.”

The book does give a good look into the intense world that is professional figure skating. It made me want to watch a whole series following figure skaters, because it’s a lot of pressure. When you’re part of a duo, you really have to trust your partner. And, I think the author did a good job relaying how competitive it is. Also, partner romances can make things messy.

Overall, I wished that I had liked it more. It wasn’t necessarily a bad book, just not one that I would necessarily recommend or think of in the future. Honestly, I was not a fan of how the love triangle ended. Let’s just say I would have preferred the author to go the unexpected route.

In the comments, tell me what sport of hobby did you find fascinating as a teenager. Don’t forget to share this post with others. And, feel free to follow my blog before you go.

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Reading Wrap-Up // Summerween 2023

Hi Friends,
The Summerween readathon is over, and if you have no idea what I’m talking about, you should go read my Sunmerween TBR post. But, for the week of Summerween, I ended up reading 3 books, and completing all the prompts.

Lying in the Deep’ by Diana Urban
I was originally going to read ‘Every Last Fear’ by Alex Finlay for the ‘Read a Thriller’ prompt, but I had this audiobook on my Libby, so I decided to pick this one up. It’s a YA thriller/mystery, more mystery than thriller, but it is categorized as a thriller, so it counts. I did end up finishing this book, but it wasn’t my favorite read.

Fence’ Vol. 2 by C.S. Pacat and Johanna the Mad
I have become a big fan of this graphic novel series, so for the ‘Read a Graphic Novel, Manga, or Novella’ prompt I knew that I had to read volume 2. I finished this quickly, and enjoyed it.

The Haunting of Aveline Jones’ by Phil Hickes
This book filled two prompts: ‘Read a Book That Takes Place in the Fall’ and ‘Read a Book With Black and/or Orange on the Cover’. I really like this spooky middle-grade, and I can’t wait to read the other books in this series.

On the last day of the readathon, I ended up starting ‘Every Last Fear’. I only got about 20% into the audiobook, but so far it has me intrigued.

Let me know in the comments, if you participated in Summerween. Also, I vlogged each day of the readathon over on my TikTok account (@BooksWithBunny). Before you go hit the follow button, so that you never miss a post.

Until The Next Chapter,

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue // Book Review

About The Book
A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget. France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever—and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue. But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/3OdHNP2

My Rating

I had heard that this book was beautifully written with an addictive plot. Well, I do agree that that the writing was fantastic. V.E. Schwab is a wonderful author, but since I’ve read her Cassidy Blake trilogy, written as Victoria Schwab, I already knew that I loved her writing style. The writing might be one of the best things about this book.

Schwab has a way of pulling you into the story write from the first chapter. The book started off wonderful, and I wanted to know what was going to happen next. In the book, we follow a young girl named Addie LaRue, who in 1714 makes a deal with a demon. One that has lasting consequences. She shall live forever, but never be remembered by anyone.

Now tell me that plot doesn’t sound intriguing? Of course, Addie does end up meeting a boy who, by some miracle. remembers her. And, thus a romance develops. I didn’t mind the romance, but I’m not actually sure if I liked Addie or her love interest, Henry. However, I enjoyed watching the fall in love and understand each. One of my all time favorite quotes is “The greatest feeling in this world is knowing you actually mean something to someone.” And, I think that describes their relationship.

On the other hand, we have Luc who is the demon that made the deal with Addie. The book shows that they share somewhat of a bond, but their relationship is more of want vs need. Although, I will say I have a thing for a dark, mysterious bad boy so I was team Luc. And, I have no shame in saying that.

“If no one heard it, did it happen?
If a person cannot leave a mark, do they exist?”

The plot was actually pretty heartbreaking, yet I didn’t find myself crying. A big message with in the story is that sometimes the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Every choice has consequences and your life might be worse for it. That being said, love played a big part in the story mainly what you’d do for true love.

There was some LGBT representation in the book, but I would say mental health was very prevalent in the plot. Interestingly enough the mental health aspect worked well in this primarily magic realism story. Also, Addie had to do some questionable things throughout her life. Some of those things could be triggering to be. As I always say, please do your research, and look up trigger warnings before reading the book.

I think my major problems with this book, and the reason I didn’t rate it super high, is the pacing. The chapters were so long and the book it self felt very slow. As a reader, I am all about fast paced books especially when it comes to fantasies. And, this one just took me way too long to finish. Also, I’m normally fine with dual timelines but I found myself getting a bit confused with all the jumping around through time with in the story.

Overall, the book is a solid story, that I didn’t hate whatsoever. The plot was very interesting, and the writing was top notch. Not sure how I feel about the end, but I enjoyed my reading experience nonetheless. And, I will most certainly be reading more from this author.

In the comments, let me know if you think this book deserves all the hype behind it. Don’t forget to give this post a like, and share it with other book lovers. Support my little book blog by giving it a follow.

Until The Next Chapter,

Queen Of The Tiles // Book Review

About The Book
They Wish They Were Us meets The Queen’s Gambit in this thriller set in the world of competitive Scrabble, where a teen girl, Najwa, is forced to investigate the mysterious death of her best friend, Trina, when her Instagram comes back to life with cryptic posts and messages. As secrets are revealed and the true colors of her friends are shown, it’s up to Najwa to find out who’s behind these mysterious posts—not just to save Trina’s memory, but to save herself.
Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/3JPKLGS

My Rating

I hadn’t heard anything about this book before going into it. Also, I don’t really know anything about Scrabble, except that I would probably lose in a Scrabble competition. In the book we follow, Najwa who is competing in her first Scrabble tournament since her best friend’s death. Her best friend, Trina, was known around the teen Scrabble circuit as the Queen of the Tiles.

As you can probably guess, with this being a mystery thriller and all, that Najwa starts to wonder if her best friend was murdered for her ‘Scrabble crown’. Like in any sport, people will do anything to be number one. Najwa was an okay character, yet a little on the naive side, for my liking. But, we got to know a lot about her and her best friends relationship.

Let’s just say that in their friendship Najwa wasn’t the main character. However, Najwa didn’t really seem bitter about being the supporting character, but should could understand the desire to dethrone the scrabble queen. But, you could tell that she was still grieving the loss of her friend, and winning the scrabble competition, in honor of her BFF was her way of coping.

The mystery was interesting, and I didn’t want to put the book down. However, the plot in general was slow moving, and nothing really gripped me. Although, I did like learning more about Scrabble. It’s a pretty competitive and strategic game. One I’ve actually never played.

“And the idea that Scrabble is still there for me, grounding me through everything that’s going on, is comforting.”

Grief is a being topic in the book, which is a little strange for a murder mystery. And, I think the fact that it was such a huge plot point in the book could be why it felt so slow. More on the side of a contemporary vs a mystery. But, I will say that at its root it is a solid mystery thriller.

It’s hard to say if I liked the ending or not. Because, I’m someways it was completely expected and easy to see coming. On the other hand, it was a little shocking, especially since there were times when we were giving the element of an unreliable narrator. So I’m torn.

Overall, I found the book to be a pretty good read. The writing was nice and the plot was very well done. Although, I’m not sure if I liked the writing style enough to read more from this author. But, if you are newer to the YA mystery genre, I’d recommend this book.

In the comments, let me know if you enjoy a good game of Scrabble. Don’t forget to follow the blog to get notified whenever there’s a new post!

Until The Next Chapter,

Anticipated Book Releases // Summer 2023

Hi Friends,
Today, I’m going to be talking about my summer anticipated book releases! This years has been full of amazing book releases. I cannot wait to read all of these books! I’m hopeful that I will get to at least some of these new releases this summer, because they all sound so good. But, I do want to preface that I only have limited knowledge of what each of these books are about. What can I say, I like to go into books a little blind.

Summer Rental by Rektok Ross (June 13th): This book is tag-lined as Mean Girls meets Scream, which is all I need to know. I believe that it’s a YA thriller about a group of friends trapped on an island with a serial killer. I’m thinking it’s going to be more of a campy thriller, which I can get behind.

The Only One Left by Riley Sager (June 20th): I’ve been wanting to get into Riley Sager books for a while now, and this one sounds amazing. The book takes place in the 80’s, where we’re following Kit. She is a home health aid for Lenora, an old woman that is unable to speak or move anything but her left hand, due to polio. Here’s the kicker, as a teenager Lenora was accused of killing her parents and sister, yet she was never charged with their murders. Soon Kit starts to suspect that Lenora might be more dangerous than she thinks. My interest is piqued!

The Seven Year Slip by Ashley Poston (June 27th): I’m not sure how I feel about this book, because it’s giving off serious ‘The Lake House’ vibes. If you have no clue what I’m talking about, ‘The Lake House’ is a movie starring Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves, in which they both live in the same house, but in different timelines, and somehow they end up communicating with one another. This book follows what seems to be a similar plot. Although, I didn’t love the movie, I know that Poston’s adult romance ‘The Dead Romantics’ was a big hit last year, so I want to give this book a chance.

Business or Pleasure by Rachel Lynn Solomon (July 4th): I’m actually very excited for this book, because the premise sounds really funny. This is an adult romance following a ghost writer and a C-list actor, who have a less-than-satisfactory one-night stand. Cue some “lessons in satisfaction” and it sounds like a winning plotline to me. I haven’t read anything by this author before, but I’ve heard some good things about her books. Also, who doesn’t like mixing a little pleasure with business every now and again.

Ghosted: A Northanger Abbey by Amanda Quain (July 25th): As you can tell from the title, this is a Northanger Abbey by Jane Austin retelling. It is a young adult story about a high school senior, and there’s a ghost hunting element. That’s pretty much all I know about this book, which, according to GoodReads, has X-Files vibes to it.

One of Us Is Back by Karen M. McManus (July 25th): Why do I feel like I’ve talked about this book a lot? Probably, because it’s one of my most anticipated releases of the entire year. If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, then you know that Karen M. McManus is on of my favorite authors! She writes some of the best (at least, in my opinion) young adult mystery thrillers. This is the next, and possibly last, installment book is part of her ‘One of Us is Lying” series, and I could not be any more ready for it.

The Trap by Catherine Ryan Howard (August 1st): This is a psychological thriller set in Ireland. It follows Lucy, who is trying to uncover what happened to her sister Nicki that disappeared a year ago. The book is inspired by a series of still-unsolved disappearances that took places in the 90’s. The fact that there’s a real world element to these books makes the plot even more exciting.

Delicate Condition by Danielle Valentine (August 1st): I was stoked to find out that Danielle Valentine was coming out with another horror novel. Last year, I read her book ‘How To Survive Your Murder’ in about a day. It was such a fun, campy, slasher horror book. However, this book is an adult thriller, which I’m typically more of a fan of. I also heard that it is the basis for the next season of American Horror Story. And, as a reader, I have to read the book before watching the show. It’s practically a law.

Good Bad Girl by Alice Feeney (August 3rd): I’ve only read ‘Rock Paper Scissors’, which I did really like. But, she is known as the queen of plot twists, so I’m looking forward to picking this book up. The book follows two crimes which, despite happening twenty years apart, are somehow linked. This book is said to have a lot of twists, and let’s face it, the twists are what make a good thriller.

Foxglove by Adalyn Grace (August 22nd): This is the sequel to ‘Belladonna’, which was a fantastic YA fantasy. The first book ended on a cliffhanger, and I cannot wait to find out what happens next. Honestly, ‘Belladonna’ shocked me with how good it was, so I’m hoping that the next installment doesn’t let me down. Other than the fact that it’s a sequel, I actually don’t know much about the plot, but I’m okay with that.

There you have my summer 2023 most anticipated book releases. of course there are a ton more releases I want to get to, but these are the ones at the top of my list. In the comments, share your most anticipated book release with me. Don’t forget to hit the follow button before you leave.

Until The Next Chapter,