Defining Life // Book Review

Please be aware that this is a novella of about 30,000 words.

Synopsis
This is the story of two teenage cancer survivors on the quest to define life, because if they don’t, they might as well fail their class project entirely.
Synopsis from Amazon

My Rating


*I want to thank the author for sending me a copy of the book for review.*

My Thoughts
This is a short, but sweet second chance romance about learning to live life to it’s fullest. The book follows Heather, who is a junior in high school and cancer survivor. She is thrown for a loop when she is paired with golden boy Aaron for a class assignment. Aaron is also a cancer survivor, and Heather’s ex-best friend. I found Heather and Aaron to be pretty bland characters. There wasn’t much depth to them, and we didn’t get to know them very well. It made me unable to form a connection with them, so I wasn’t too invested in their story.

Heather and Aaron had a bad falling out as kids, and I’m still unsure of how I feel about the whole situation. After going into remission, Aaron was forced by his mother to no longer see Heather, who was still a cancer patient at the time. Heather felt abandoned by Aaron, but he was just a child just following his parents orders.

Honestly, I felt like Aaron didn’t own up to his actions when they got to high school. Instead of making amends with Heather, he completely ignored the elephant in the room. However, my husband pointed out that there are three sides to every story. His, hers, and the truth. Sometimes, it can be hard to say sorry when so much time has passed.

“At the end of it all, life’s ending story is death.”

Still, it was clear that Heather had been deeply hurt by his actions, so I don’t understand why she never brought it up before their forced proximity. I understand that they’re just in high school, but they handled the whole situation poorly. At least they cleared the air relatively early on in the story.

The plot is very straightforward and easy to follow, with a simple writing style. The story is a quick read, too. Every chapter title is a word followed by it’s definition. I am not sure if I liked that format, but I think it fit with the story, since the book centers around defining the word life. So it does make sense why the author added that small detail.

Overall, the plot felt rushed, and the romance was predictable, but still cute. The moral of the story was that sometimes people are dealt a bad hand in live. And, we will have to face grief and loss in our lives. A lot of the time, it isn’t fair when it comes to who gets to live and who gets to die. This is why we should live each day like it’s our last, while being thankful that wake up everyday and get to live life.

I wouldn’t call the book anything special or overly memorable, but if you are looking for a simple and fast read to bump up your reading goal for the year, then give it a read! Before you go, make me smile by hitting that follow button!

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

To Be Read // Memeathon 2022

Hi Friends,
This is my July TBR, but more so my Memeathon TBR. If you missed my announcement post, then you wouldn’t know that I have created my own readathon! The readathon is a month long, and all the prompts are meme related.


Read All The Books!: Read The Next Book In A Series


Shut Up & Take My Money: Read The Last Book You Purchased


Wednesday Frog: Read A Book Containing And Over Used Trope (I Picked Enemies-To-Lovers)


Socially Awkward Penguin: Read An Overrated Book


Socially Awesome Penguin: Read An Underrated Book


Distracted Boyfriend: Finish A Book You DNFed


Success Kid: Read A 5 Star Prediction


Guess I’ll Die: Read A Murder Mystery or Thriller


Those are the books I’m planning to read during for this readathon, but I might not get to them all. However, I want to mention that this is a super chill readathon, which I hope takes some of the pressure off. Please comment below your TBR, and share this post with others. Also, stay up to date on when I post by hitting that follow button!

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

The Lucky List // Book Review

SynopsisEmily’s always been lucky. Well, technically her mum was the lucky one, and since she died, Emily’s started to feel like her luck’s run out. So when Emily finds her mum’s senior-year bucket list, she finds twelve ways to feel close to her again. But if she wants to check everything off, she’ll need help – help in the form of Blake. As Blake and Emily work through the list, the girls’ bond deepens. Emily is starting to feel lucky again, but she’s faced with the question: can she accept this new part of herself, the part her mum never even knew existed?


This isn’t a story that captured me right from the start, but I could tell that it would only get better. The main character, Emily, is going through a lot. She’s still coping with the passing of her mother., and trying to understand her feelings about grief, while trying to fix a mistake she made because of that grief.

Emily embarks on this journey to complete this list she found in her mother’s stuff. The author made a story about grief, into a story about self discovery. It made the subject not quite so heavy, but without glossing over the struggles of losing someone.

In the book, Emily starts bonding with the new girl, Blake. As they get closer, their feelings for each being to grow. The female/female romance was simple and sweet. Their relationship developed organically, and wasn’t rushed. Blake never pressured Emily into anything, and only wanted her to be happy.

Self love was a big part of the story, as quite a few of Emily’s decisions were based on what she thought her mother wanted for her. But the bucket list, of sorts, really did help her realize that sometimes you have to let heart take charge.

There was some focus on how we all grieve differently, but I wasn’t too found of the aspect. Emily’s dad was quick to “erase” his wife from their lives and move on. However, it was explained,that to him, her memory is what was more important. Her clothes and other things were just a reminder of what was lost.

“We’re all lucky,not because every thing works out, but we get to wake up in the morning and take chances and make mistakes and keep trying not to.”

I understand and respect the writer’s decisions to add that with in the story, but it made me angry all the same. However, it is true that once you are gone, you don’t leave things behind. Just people. As long as they don’t forget you, then you will always be with them.

Nevertheless, the story was well done, but slow at parts. I was hoping for more from it, which left me a bit disappointed. As for the the writing style, it was reminiscent of Sarah Dessen, who isn’t necessarily a writer I enjoy reading. I liked the way this story played out, so the writing didn’t bother me that much.

Overall, the plot was wrapped up with a nice little bow, and even with the topic of grief, there wasn’t too many heartbreaking moments. I would, of course, still recommend you go into the book knowing that loss is a major plot point of the story. Most of the book centers around the aftermath of losing a loved one.

In the comments, give me your thoughts on the book. Or, let me know if you have it on your TBR. As always, follow my blog, because it really brightens my day!

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Lucky In Love // Book Review

Title: Lucky In Love
Author: Kasie West
Published: 2017
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary
Rating:Full, star, bookmark, favorite, favourite, like, rating icon - Download on IconfinderFull, star, bookmark, favorite, favourite, like, rating icon - Download on IconfinderFull, star, bookmark, favorite, favourite, like, rating icon - Download on IconfinderFull, star, bookmark, favorite, favourite, like, rating icon - Download on Iconfinder

Synopsis
Maddie’s not impulsive. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment — She wins! In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun… until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.


Nothing is better than reading a young adult contemporary with a sweet story. I had low expectations going into the book, since the plot didn’t pique my interest much. But I did enjoy my reading experience, and liked the approach the author took on the story. I haven’t read a ton of ‘lottery winning’ contemporaries, but this one has definitely made my favorites list.

The main character, Maddie, was a solid female lead, but also more than a bit naive. She and I are similar in a lot of ways, like how she wanted to share the money with the ones she loved. She didn’t want people treating her differently because of the money. Most of all, she tried to fix things that weren’t really her problems to solve.

The one thing we for sure have in common is our need to plan literally everything. Like me, Maddie was trying to plan out every detail of her life. However, I think we have both learned that not everything in life can, or even should, be planned. We are also both major worriers, which can be very stressful. But by the end of the book you could see that she was growing and changing for the better, though she didn’t have to completely alter herself to learn from this experience.

Some of the characters made questionable choices and mistakes, but the situations were handled well, and resolved easily. Maddie’s family was being held together by duct tape and glue, but (realistically) money didn’t make their problems magically disappear. It did help some, but it also caused a few problems. It’s easy to think that money can erase all your troubles, but life is filled with struggles. Sometimes, money can make things worse, which the book addressed well.

“Weird is the new cool.”

One of the most important messages to take away from the story is that money can change everything. Maddie’s life was turned upside down, and she didn’t know who to trust. Once people know that you hold the keys to a fortune, suddenly everyone wants to be your best friend.

Truthfully, not all people will be responsible with a huge amount of money. Money just burns a hole in some people’s pockets. Maddie’s older brother was extremely grateful when she shared her wealth, but he was no financial genius. As much as Maddie wanted to save him from himself, she eventually realized that he needed to clean up his own messes.

The romance was so sweet. I don’t know if I can classify it as friends-to-lovers, but it felt natural. They got to know each other prior to the lottery winning, and it didn’t change their feelings for one another. I enjoyed seeing the love interest, Seth, help Maddie break out of her bubble and try new things. There were some bumps along the way, but I liked how things turned out.

This is another Kasie West book that didn’t disappoint. If you are looking for a quick read, or something to pick up when you feel a reading slump coming on then give this one a chance.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Sunkissed // Book Review

Title: Sunkissed
Author: Kasie West
Published: 2021
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary



Fan favorite Kasie West is back with another unforgettable summer romance that reminds us falling in love is full of wonder, heartache, and—most of all—surprises.
Source: Goodreads


Reading six of Kasie West books has made her one of my favorite authors. I love her writing style and lighthearted young adult romances. When I heard she was releasing a summertime contemporary this year I 100% thought it would be a 5 star read. However, this book frustrated me to no end. I am going to try not to make this a rant review, but it might end up that way. Sorry.

The book is set at a summer resort where there is no cell service or internet. Are main character, Avery, and her family are staying there for a month. Right off the bat, the love interest left me with a sour taste in my mouth. He completely judged, Avery, and never truly apologized for it. Also, his whole broody musician personality was so annoying. I get it you’re dealing with a lot of shit, but so is everyone else.

“Sometimes staying in the box we’ve made for ourselves is so easy. It’s comfortable and familiar in there. And a lot of times, the people around us want us to stay in there, too, because that’s how they’ve always known us: in that box.”

Probably the biggest issue I had with the story was Avery’s personality. She was so passive it drove me insane. Honestly, she is exactly like my mom, who I love her to death, but found that I cannot read a character like her. She would let everyone walk all over her, and never stood up for herself. Her excuse was that she didn’t like conflict, but sometimes in life conflict is necessary. Another infuriating thing was how rude her so called “love interest” friends were towards her at the end of the book. At one point her “boyfriend” did stick up for her, but in my opinion it was too little, too late. I guess bros over hoes.

I did enjoy some of the resort worker we got to know, and that they welcomed Avery into their group with open arms. Avery’s sister Lauren was another one of my favorite characters. At first, Lauren comes off as self-absorbed but really she was just immature. By the end, you could tell she cared about her sister and wanted her to be happy. I enjoyed seeing their relationship grow and transform into a nice sisterly bond. Besides the sisterly aspect, I don’t feel like family was a major aspect of the story. It is more of a story about self-discovery and finding your passion.

I am not here to say that this book is trash. I am glad that I picked it up and it hasn’t turned me off from Kasie West. Because her writing style is still amazing. This book just didn’t give me the feels her past ones had. Hopefully her next release will redeem this book.

Let’s chat in the comments about this book. Also, like, share and follow the blog.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

On The Fence // Book Review

Title: On The Fence
Author: Kasie West
Published: 2014
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary

 



With three older brothers, Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, has always been more comfortable calling the shots on a basketball court than flirting with the opposite sex. So when her police officer dad demands she get a summer job to pay for the latest in a long line of speeding tickets. She’s more than a little surprised to find herself working at a chichi boutique. And going out with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game. Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with her neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. Sitting back-to-back against the fence that separates them. Braden may know her better than anyone. But there’s a secret Charlie’s keeping that even he hasn’t figured out—she’s fallen for him. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win. But if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.
Source: Google Books


If you are in the mood for a fluffy, cute YA contemporary then this is the book for you. I am slowly working my way through Kasie West books, and wanted to pick up one of her older works. The story follows a teenage girl who has always been one of the guys. She is a sports-loving tomboy. And, the only girl in a household of men. She has a close relationship with her brothers and long-time neighbor.

I enjoyed the family relationship immensely. Although, they weren’t a huge focus in the story, her brothers were a great side characters. You could see the love they had for each other. As for the romance part, this is a sweet friends-to-lovers story that I wasn’t able to put down. Charlie was a very relatable female protagonist. She was blunt, imperfect and put up strong front. But she was willing to try new things like modeling and makeup. I liked how she didn’t judge people, because they were different from her.

“Bedazzled? What the heck was a bedazzle?”

The book wasn’t all Xs and Os, but talked about loss as well. The author did a great job handling the topic of grief without making it the whole focus of the book. Charlie made mistakes weaving a web of lies. But her decision to own up to her deception showed growth and maturity. There was a slight twist in the book, while predictable it showed how we protect the ones we love from pain. The book talks a bit about mental health, bipolar in general, if I’m remembering correctly. There is no secret that this is a love story about personal growth. Still I wish that mental health struggles was discussed more.

All in all, this is the type of contemporary I adore. From the plot, to the writing style and characters, I was head-over-heels. It was a quick read for me and one of my favorite West novels. If you are a fan of YA friends-to-lover romances than you might want to give this a read. Side note, it gets bonus points for helping me get out of a reading slump.

If you love book reviews and other bookish content you should probably follow the blog. It helps me if you like and share these post. Also, it makes me smile.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

What’s Not To Love // Book Review

Title: What’s Not To Love
Author: Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka
Published: 2021
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary



Since high school began, Alison Sanger and Ethan Molloy have competed on almost everything. AP classes, the school paper, community service, it never ends. If Alison could avoid Ethan until graduation, she would. Except, naturally, for two over-achieving seniors with their sights on valedictorian and Harvard, they share all the same classes and extracurriculars. So when their school’s principal assigns them the task of co-planning a previous class’s ten-year reunion, with the promise of a recommendation for Harvard if they do, Ethan and Alison are willing to endure one more activity together if it means beating the other out of the lead.
Source: GoodReads


I love a good enemies-to-lovers story, if it’s done right. Unfortunately, this one fell short for me. The lead characters argued all the time, and had no chemistry. For the first half of the book, they bickered the whole time, which annoyed everyone around them. Honestly, there wasn’t a point where I, as the reader, could see them becoming more than rivals. It was irritating that these two had absolutely no reason to dislike each other, except for the fact that they wanted to out-do the other. The whole meaning behind their rivalry was very juvenile.

The lead male, Ethan, isn’t a horrible character, but he was trying to find himself in this feud he has going on. As for the female lead, Alison, she was one of the major downfalls of this book. I understand not wanting to be treated like a child, but she was immature, snobbish, and self-centered. The way she treated her friends was one thing, but how she acted towards her family was unbelievable. She was downright rude and offensive to her older sister because her life wasn’t they way Alison thought it should be. She had no right to judge her or talk the way she did to her family. Honestly, for someone that wanted to be seen as a grown-up, her attitude was very immature.

The plot seemed random, since I don’t believe a high-school principal would care about two students’ petty feud. If it was such a big problem, you’d think it would have been dealt with sooner than their senior year. They could have put them in different classes, or set up a meeting with their parents. The whole main plot was just off. There was a nice throwback to “Time Of Our Lives” which is another novel by this duo. Two of the characters from the book did show up in this one, but since I wasn’t a fan of “Time Of Our Lives” it didn’t mean much to me.

I want to like this author duo, but I am starting to think that “If I’m Being Honest” was a fluke. I might pick up their next release, but go into it with low expectations. Please give this post a like and share, and follow my little book blog.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Book Review: Time Of Our Lives by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka

  1. Title: Time Of Our Lives
    Author: Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka
    Published: 2020
    Rating: 2.5/5.0 Stars

Synopsis: Time Of Our LivesWhen Fitz and Juniper cross paths on their first college tour in Boston, they’re at odds from the moment they meet– while Juniper’s dying to start a new life apart for her family, Fitz faces the sacrifices he must make for his. Their relationship sparks a deep connection–in each other’s eyes, they glimpse alternate possibilities regarding the first big decision of their adult lives.
Source: GoodReads

I was dreading writing this review, because not to long ago I was singing the author duos prayers. I was very unhappy with this book, and couldn’t get behind the plot. I was hoping for a cute boy meets girl type of story, but that is not really the premise. Are two leads are both college seniors, Fitz and Juniper, who cross path during their multiple college tours. The characters are different, yet similar. Fitz is very dedicated to taking care of his ill mother and has a strained relationship with his older brother. Juniper wants nothing more than to get space from her tight-knit family and has her college life mapped out.

When various chance meetings draw them together they start to develop feelings that become hard to ignore. This sound like a cute opposites attract book in which they both end up learning something from one another, right? Wrong! Well, kind of. Here is the kicker and a major faux-pas within the plot, Juniper has a boyfriend. Yep, they had been going strong for about a year and started the college road trip together. This was a twisted I never saw coming, and didn’t enjoy.

For me, Juniper was a very unlikable character determined to runaway from her family, because they were overbearing. I wanted to shake her and tell her that you don’t need to push your family away to live your dreams. However, I might be projecting, since I have a close-knit family. She was very stubborn at times, and always tried to push her ideas, opinions and the way she lived her life on to other. It got frustrating quickly. Needless to say, I didn’t enjoy reading her dialog.

“It’s extraordinarily freeing.”

Fritz on the other hand was hands down the redeeming part of this book. He was quirky, thoughtful and awkward. I loved that he was willing to give up all his dreams for his mom, and make new goals for her sake. I enjoyed the moments between him and his brother, and you could see the distance between them. However, you could tell that they did love each other even if at times they tried not to care.

I didn’t find Fritz and Juniper a believable couple at all. I couldn’t get over the fact that Juniper kept pushing her wants on the Fritz and essentially peer-pressuring him to-be like her. Maybe, I interrupted her wrong, but her personality was a bit abrasive. I felt like Juniper didn’t learned anything from Fritz, or change throughout the book. Their were small moments that you could see her personality shifting, yet they didn’t last long.

As for Fritz, his character growth was amazing! He discovered that he could live his life for himself while still caring about and for his mom. He learned that his brother cared just as much, maybe even more, than him about their family, but tried to play it cool. During the story, they came together as brothers and it was very touching. Is it sad that I would rather have had a strained brother road trip story instead of the one we got.

This book fell middle of the road for me, which isn’t bad but isn’t great either. I will continue to read whatever these two publish next, yet I might be keeping my expectations low. I want to add that there might be an epilogue in this book, but it isn’t in the e-book or audiobook versions, so I’m confused. I didn’t get a chance to read the epilogue, since I primarily read the formats I mentioned that didn’t contain it. Let me know your thoughts on this book in the comments.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny