Review | Nineteen by Makenzie Campbell

I should have never made a home of you.
People are not homes.
Not when they can stand up and walk away whenever they decide it is time to go.
4/5 stars!

I’m surprised! Nineteen is a mature and beautiful collection of poems about love and getting hurt. Not only that, but it also talks about healing your heart and moving forward with your life. It was written by Makenzie Campbell when she was only nineteen years old, hence the title.

I don’t usually read a lot of poetry but comparing to what I’ve read before, I would say this is probably my favorite collection of poems. I just love how mature the book is, despite it’s young feel. I identified with a lot of the things she talked about and went through herself. I would describe her writing style as a sweet, beautiful punch in the guts – well, if that’s even a thing. The author is clearly very talented with words if she wrote these poems at such a young age.

Other things I enjoyed: I liked how the chapters are divided into different places – because sometimes we associate memories and feelings to places; there were also a few beautiful, simple illustrations to go with the poems, but nothing overwhelming; and I love how personal the book felt!

I’m surprised, I really liked this one.

A big thank you to NetGalley and Central Avenue Publishing for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review!

xoxo, Neide

Review | Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

“Do you want to live in the sun?” he asked quietly. “Or do you want to go back in the shadows?” 3.25/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: London, hotels, gardens, stars, breakfasts, acting jobs, reading tables, beards, tabloids, absent parents, trucks, makeup artists, barns and scripts.

Meh… not my favorite book ever, but also not bad. Second chance romances are not usually my jam as it is, but this fell flat for me. I just had a constant feeling that something was missing!

The characters were kind of boring and – even though I really tried – I didn’t connect to any of them. I didn’t care for Tate, or Sam, or the relationship between Tate and her dad, the acting bits… almost nothing!

I listened to this as an audiobook and the narration was also not that great, in my opinion. I wasn’t a fan of the way the narrator did the male voices, but it didn’t bothered me a lot.

And this is only a pet peeve of mine, but I wish the title had more to do with the story! I mean, I get why it’s named Twice in a Blue Moon, but I wish there was a better title that would define the book better.

Not gonna lie, there is nothing special about this book. There is nothing wrong with it and it was still kind of entertaining… but it was SO basic.

xoxo, Neide

Review | The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

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“…we often mistake love for fireworks – for drama and dysfunction. But real love is very quiet, very still. It’s boring, if seen from the perspective of high drama. Love is deep and calm – and constant.” 4/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: harps, paintings, rifles, nosy neighbours, five shots to the head, diaries, tabloids, car accidents and plain silence.

And the award for the craziest plot twist ever goes toooo… *drum roll*… THE SILENT PATIENT!

I don’t think I’ve ever reacted to a plot twist in such a physical, awkward way. When I read the sentence that would change the book, I started shaking and felt a mixture of fear, dizziness, shock and panic for about thirty seconds. I REALLY didn’t see that coming… It was incredible! And after you read that line, you can’t think about the book in the same way. I was seriously considering giving this book 3 stars, but the plot twist was so good it deserved one extra star.

This book is about a painter who allegedly killed her husband right after he came home with five shots to the face. The problem is that no one knows exactly what happened and why it happened, because the woman never spoke another word. Six years later, a psychotherapist, who was always interested in this crime, started working in the mental hospital where she currently is, with the intent of working with her and helping her speak again.

To be completely fair, I thought the concept and execution were perfect, but I thought the book was kind of slow and I kept thinking where is this story going. But then the end came and now I know the wait was completely worth it. In this book everything happens for a reason, but the pieces are only put together at the very end.

If you are a fan of psychological thrillers, this is a good book. Like I said it was kind of slow at first, but it gets there eventually. The plot twist alone makes it worth reading it!

xoxo, Neide

Review | A List of Cages by Robin Roe

It’s strange how many ways there are to miss someone. You miss the things they did and who they were, but you also miss who you were to them. The way everything you said and did was beautiful or entertaining or important. How much you mattered.” – 4/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: trunks, concerts, ADHD, school psychologists, teleportation, school plays, small clothes, rides, lists, 10 million stars and cages.

Good morning y’all!

Today I bring you my review on the book A List of Cages by Robin Roe.

It’s been a while since a book broke my heart this badly. This story is so sad, it’s hard to not be emotional while reading.

Like most books, I started this not knowing anything about it. The only thing I knew is that it’s a very popular contemporary YA novel… and that was it. It’s been on my tbr pile for a while now, so I decided to finally pick it up and see what the fuss was all about.

Let’s start to say I connected to Julien on a deeper level. I’m very fortunate to say that I didn’t suffer from physical violence, but there is no way you can’t feel bad for the poor kid. There was a point when I asked myself “what more could happen to him?”. Not only his parents died, but he’s bullied by his classmates AND teachers on a daily basis, and then he goes home and his uncle beats him up. It seems like nothing good ever happens to him, but fortunately Adam re-enters his life and makes things better.

Adam is the older brother that Julien never had, and I loved their dynamic. It was so nice to see how protective and caring Adam was to Julien, and how Julien looked up to him. Finally something good happens to him.

It’s very heartbreaking to know that this is a reality for a lot of kids worldwide. This kid did nothing wrong and yet he was subjected to so much hatred and cruelty, for no reason. This is a great book to remind us to stop whining about frivolous things because there is always someone who has it worse. The abuse described in the book is graphic, so be aware if that!

I kept thinking of the book The Perks of Being a Wallflower while reading this. Julien reminded me a lot of Charlie, he was also a wallflower! So if you liked that book, you will probably like this – just keep in mind that this is a way darker version! 

If you are in a mood to cry this is a great book for that. Just be aware of trigger warnings for domestic violence and physical abuse.

xoxo, Neide

Recommendations | Audiobooks

Hello everyone! 

Today I want to recommend you 5 audiobooks that I really enjoyed. It’s one of my favorite ways of getting through books quickly and I honestly don’t think I will ever stop listening to audiobooks because of how practical they are. I usually listen while driving or doing mundane chores – like vacuuming and washing the dishes – because it saves me so much time and helps me get some reading done.

So let’s get into it, shall we? Here are 5 audiobooks I’ve enjoyed in the past!

1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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We are starting off strong with a debut novel by Angie Thomas! The Hate U Give is not only an incredible book, but also an incredible audiobook. With 11 hours and 40 minutes, this book tells the story of a girl who witnesses her childhood best friend being shot and killed by a police officer. Some people call the boy a thug and a criminal, but others think he was just an unarmed kid who did nothing to make the police officer shoot him. This incredible story inspired by the Black Lives Matter Movement is about racism, having a voice and defending the truth!

I personally thought the audiobook was incredible and contributed a lot to the story. The narrator did an amazing job creating an atmospheric set and made the book both emotional and fun. It’s definitely a book worth listening to!

2. The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner is one of my favorite audiobooks of all time! The first book has a duration of 10 hours and 50 minutes, but to be honest, time flew and I didn’t even notice! I’ve listened to the entire series in an audiobook version – including the prequels The Kill Order and The Fever Code – and I absolutely loved it! The reason why I recommend the audiobook version for this series is because of the incredible contribution of the narrator, Mark Deakins. He embraced every role perfectly and he did a great job creating different voices and accents for each character. You almost forget it’s a single person doing the voices for the entire cast of characters. It’s great if you decide to pick physical copies – because, let’s be honest, the books are incredible as it is – but they are extra special in the audiobook format!

3. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

In only 4 hours and 50 minutes, Marie Kondo teaches you how to keep your home clutter-free and to organize your belongings, in order to live a simpler life! I personally prefer to listen to self-development books instead of reading physical copies, just because it is easier to interiorize the concepts if it feels like you are having a conversation. And this book is no exception! The audiobook version is short and easy to follow through, giving you the opportunity to listen to it while decluttering. Very practical and useful!

4. Becoming by Michelle Obama

There is no better way of knowing about someone’s life than having themselves to tell you all about it. In Becoming, Michelle Obama tells us about her life from the time she was a child, to meeting Barak, to living in the White House, to what she is up to in the present day. The cool thing about the audiobook version is that Michelle herself is narrating it! It’s by far the biggest audiobook I went through – with a duration of 19 hours and 3 minutes – but it’s completely worth it. One of the best memoirs I have ever put my hands on!

5. Radio Silence by Alice Osman

The last book I want to mention is not only a personal recommendation. Not surprisingly, most people who’ve read and listened to the book, recommend the audiobook version! Radio Silence by Alice Osman is a book you should listen to instead of grabbing a physical copy. This story with a duration of 10 hours and 23 minutes, is partially told in a podcast format – which, to be fair, usually goes well with audiobooks. Not only that, but the narrator did an amazing job with the story! I was pulled into the story instantly and I truly believe that in this case the audio version adds something to the reader experience. If you are new to audiobooks, I would recommend a book like this for you to get started.

So what do you think about these audiobooks? Are you interested in any of them? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

xoxo, Neide

Review | The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

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“You guys read romance novels?”
“We call them manuals.”
5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: romance novels, toxic masculinity, divorces, baseboll, washi tape, cute baby twins, pumpkin spice lattes, destroyed walls, weddings, grand gestures and secret book clubs.

Look at that, another 5 star read… this year is starting on a good note for me! Let’s just hope it stays that way for the rest of the year.

This book was so much fun! The story follows Gavin, a professional baseball player, who is having marital problems with his wife, Thea. She wants to divorce him, but Gavin wants to fight for their marriage so he joins an all-guy book club to learn how he can get her back… using romance novels as manuals!

I’m usually not a fan of second chance romances, but this won my heart because it is so well done! And can I just say how original this story is? I know it’s not very realistic, but I loved the idea of a group of men meeting via book club to help each other with their relationships. I also loved how they were willing to try different things that are usually associated with women to get away from “toxic masculinity” – such as getting girly drinks like pumpkin spice lattes!

I also loved the characters! I loved how persistent Gavin was to get his wife back, and how Thea was trying not to succumb to his charm, the twins were adorable… but the book club guys were my favorite! Dell was the true friend everyone wants in their life. He genuinely wanted to help Gavin to get his wife back and he was always available to give advice. Mac won me over with his personality and for being so helpful to Gavin – even knowing he didn’t like him.

It’s cheesy, funny, cute, steamy and full of romance! If you like bromances and second chance romances, you would probably like this.

xoxo, Neide

Best books I’ve read in 2019

I had such an amazing reading year last year! I’ve reached my goal of reading 100 books by reading 102 books – which is crazy compared to what I used to read! So with all the reading I did last year, I’ve found a lot of great books that I would like to recommend and share with you! In no particular order, here are the top 10 best books I’ve read in 2019.

1. Damsel by Elana K. Arnold

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This book is incredible and I’m surprised no one talks about it! You may think this is about a cutesy fairytale: a prince fights a dragon and rescues the sleeping damsel. But surprise surprise, there is nothing enchanted about this story. After being rescued, the damsel begins to realize that things are not what they seem. Why was she saved if she was not in danger? Why doesn’t she have a say on whatever is happening? And why does the prince think she is his property? Damsel is a feminist, dark retelling of your typical fairytale.

Why is this book so good? Because of how refreshing it was! It was super original and creative. There is something so great about taking a simple story and giving it a new different meaning. Definitely one of my favorite books I read last year!

2. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

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I know, I know… There is nothing new about this series. But I finally picked it up and I fell in love! In case you live under a rock don’t know, The Hunger Games is a very well known young adult dystopian series. The main character Katniss Everdeen volunteers to participate in the annual Hunger Games to protect her sister from participating. But why? In these games invented by the Capitol to keep districts in line, two teenagers from each district are put in an arena to fight to death. Whoever is the one last standing wins the games, gets wealthy and becomes a tutor for the next tributes. So Katniss is sent to the arena and she tries to keep herself alive, using her survival skills!

Why is this book so good? There is a reason why so many people love this book. One word: concept! The book is so original and full of detail, it is impossible not to love this book. I’m also a fan of survival stories, and this is a great one! It is such a good dystopian trilogy, probably one of my favorites!

3. Sadie by Courtney Summers

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Sadie was definitely my favorite audiobook of 2019! This mystery book is about a girl named Sadie, whose sister was found dead. She disappears and no one knows where she is or if anything happened to her. Enters radio host, West McCray. He finds out about Sadie’s story at a gas station and he decides to start his own podcast to find out what happened to her. Through some investigation he soon discovers Sadie raised her sister and didn’t have an easy life like most kids. What he doesn’t know is that Sadie herself was on a quest to find her sister’s killer.

Why is this book so good? The audiobook gives life to this book! I know a paperback/ebook version of this book would not have the same impact as the audio version. The story is told in two different timelines through podcast episodes and Sadie’s POV in alternate chapters. The story is great, the atmosphere is eerie and mysterious, the audio matches the story perfectly… I can’t recommend this enough!

4. Circe by Madelline Miller

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If mythology is your jam, you should pick up Circe! Here we follow the witch Circe, daughter of the nymph Perses and the god Helios. It was obvious that since she was an infant, Circe was not a child like the others. She was rejected by everyone for being weird, not as beautiful as her mother and for possessing the ability to transform other creatures. She is quickly seen as a threat and she is banished by her father to live alone on an deserted island. On that island she discovers how powerful she really is by practicing witchcraft on a daily basis, and she finally starts to accept herself.

Why is this book so good? Because I learned so much about mythology in just one book! The story doesn’t mention only Circe, there are so many crosses with other famous figures. The good thing is that you don’t need to be an expert on mythology to understand the story, the author keeps it simple and contextualizes everything you need to know. If you think mythology is interesting, give this one a go and I promise you won’t regret it!

5. Truly Devious series by Maureen Johnson

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If I had to pick a favorite book from this list, this was probably my first choice! I read the first two books in this trilogy last year – Truly Devious (#1) and The Staircase (#2) – and I fell in love with them! In this story we follow Stevie, a girl that was accepted to the prestigious Ellingham Academy for her detective skills. Stevie has a personal mission to discover what happened to the school founder’s daughter and wife who were kidnaped. The only clue known for this cold case is a riddle left behind, signed by the one and only, Truly Devious. But something unexpected happens: Truly Devious is back and students are getting killed! Stevie is now determined to find out who the murderer is.

Why is this book so good? I love that there are two different investigations, one regarding the founder’s wife and daughter, and another one for the students that are living on campus in the present day. Besides, everything seems so eerie and creepy and that adds to the mysterious setting – especially those riddles! In my opinion it is a very interesting book that you won’t want to put down! The last book in this series, The Hand on the Wall (#3), is going to be released in January and I can’t wait to finally pick it up!

6. Heartless by Marissa Meyer

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If you are a fan of retellings or the classic Alice in Wonderland, this is the perfect book for you! Heartless is a retelling of the story of the Queen of Hearts, from Alice in Wonderland. According to Marissa Meyer’s story, Catherine – who later became the Queen of Hearts – was not always cold and mean like everyone thinks. She was a sweet girl that loved to bake, until she met the king’s new court jester. Then her life changed forever.

Why is this book so good? The story is so complex and creative, it will inspire you! The atmosphere and the descriptions made me travel to the land of Hearts – I swear I can smell the lemon tarts! This beautiful story will break your heart, make you laugh and make you cry. It’s dark and heartbreaking, but completely worth it.

7. Confess by Colleen Hoover

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Colleen Hoover is such a talented writer, I swear no one writes dramatic romance like her! In my opinion, it is best if you don’t know much about the story when you first dive in, so I’ll give you the gist of what you should know: the story follows a girl named Auburn that meets and later falls in love with Owen, an artist, at a point where she is trying to rebuild her life and heal her broken heart. Pretty simple plot, right? Wrong. There are so many twists, secrets and other things going on, that you won’t put this book down until you finish it.

Why is this book so good? If I had to narrow it down I would definitely pinpoint the originality, the crazy plot twist halfway through the book and the confessions. The most unique aspect of this book for me is how Owen used confessions from people in his town for art inspiration. The cool thing about this is that these were in reality actual confessions that Colleen’s readers sent her for her book. There was something so personal about reading real confessions from real people that gave me chills. Not only that, but Colleen’s writing is so good, you will be hooked from the start!

8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

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Looking for a good coming of age story? Say no more. I now present you The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky! Well, I know this is not a new book and I’m about 20 years late reading it, but I finally did it! It was first published in 1999 but since then it was considered a must read for people of every age. In this book, Charlie – you guessed it, the wallflower – sends letters to a friend sharing very personal thoughts and feelings about his life and his friends since he started high school.

Why is this book so good? It’s heartbreaking and beautiful. It’s impossible to read this book and not feel the youth and all the troubles and dilemmas that come with growing up. Also, unless you already know the story, you don’t see the ending coming. Of course the author hints here and there about what may have happened, but when you finally know for sure, you feel like you were hit by a truck.

9. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

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This is by far one of my favorite murder mysteries of all time. In this story, ten strangers were invited to stay on a private island for the weekend by an unknown host. As time goes by, they start to die mysteriously one by one after knowing their accusations! The atmosphere is tense and the strangers now suspect one another. Who is the killer and why is he or she doing this?

Why is this book so good? Because it is such a smart, well-written book! While I was reading it, I kept trying to figure out who was the killer and never in a million years I know find out what was really going on. It’s an AMAZING murder mystery! I would recommend this to everyone, Agatha Christie’s novels are timeless.

10. Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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If you are into rock and roll and you find bands from the eighties interesting, this is the book for you! This fiction book follows the band Daisy Jones and the Six. It’s written with two timelines, one where you follow the band’s daily life and what they did in the eighties, and another one in the present where they are giving interviews about the old times and the reason behind the group’s split.

Why is this book so good? Because it is so realistic you almost forget the band never existed! I also recommend you get the audiobook version of this. The book is narrated by a full cast in an interview format, so it seems like you are hearing real interviews from real band members. It is an unforgettable book.

Have you read one of these books? What were the best books you read last year? Let me know what you think! 🙂

xoxo, Neide

Review | The Simple Wild (Wild #1) by K.A. Tucker

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“I might take risks, but they’re always worth it.” – 5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: duck wallpaper, soy milk, cheesy pasta, websites, racoons, beards, fresh brewed coffee, taxi drivers, driving lessons, Archie comics, instamodels, yetis, lost luggage and small planes.

I regularly read a lot of contemporary romance novels and I know how difficult it can be for authors to come up with an original plot that no one has seen before. At some point – after reading a good amount of romance books – you start to think that it’s very difficult to find a special and unique romance novel. This book is that special snowflake that you – my fellow romance junkie friend – are waiting for. The Simple Wild is an amazing example of an original, well executed and interesting romance!

Is it weird that two of the three books that I’ve read this year are both placed in Alaska? The setting was beautiful, and I liked that the author tried to keep things as real as possible. There were so many details that were incorporated in the story that made it realistic, like for example when Jonah told Calla she should spend water in a conscious way, or the overpriced groceries, or how everyone knew each other in their small town.

Now, the meat and potatoes of this book: the love story of a yeti and his barbie doll. The romance was EVERYTHING. I am such a sucker for a good hate-to-love trope, it’s my favorite! The chemistry between the characters was insanely good. I couldn’t get enough of that banter, I’m hoping the author kept some of that spice for the next book. With that said, if you are looking for a steamy new adult romance, I wouldn’t consider this the best choice for you. I mean, there were a couple of steamy scenes but not as much as your regular NA romance. The chemistry is definitely the base of the romance.

The characters and their relationships played a very important role on keeping me interested in reading. Calla reminded me a lot of the girl from Clueless, because even though she was a barbie doll with a good heart, she was completely – you guessed it – clueless! What was good, because yeti Jonah was more than happy to show her just how clueless she was.

I also liked that the story was complex and not based solely on a romantic relationship. There was so much going on! It is a book about family relationships, forgiveness, trying new things, getting out of your comfort zone, and living a simple life.When the sequel Wild Heart comes out in March, I’m definitely picking it up. If you like new adult romance books, you should give The Simple Wild a chance!

xoxo, Neide

Review | Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jankins Reid

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“It is what I have always loved about music. Not the sounds or the crowds or the good times as much as the words — the emotions, the stories, the truth — that you can let flow right out of your mouth. Music can dig, you know? It can take a shovel to your chest and just start digging until you hit something.”4.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: drug abuse, rock and roll, cute kids, hotel rooms, secret confessions, abortion, italian husbands, heart attacks, big bangles, tambourines, honeycombs, auroras, bare feet, performances, amazing records, interviews, love, hate, broken hearts and hours and hours of song writting.

I finally read “Daisy Jones & The Six”! Look at me reading adult fiction and being all grown up *smug look on my face*.

Adult fiction is not my cup of tea, but the book was so hyped that I knew I should probably pick it up. I was very surprised to see that this was very similar to “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo”. The “interview” format makes the story VERY realistic. You have to remember yourself sometimes that is is not about a real band, it is purely fiction. The cast chosen for the audiobook was incredible, and I particularly loved Daisy’s voice. It really suited her.

I enjoyed the book more than I expected. Ms. Taylor has a natural God-given talent to create perfect atmospheres in her books. When you read this book you open a window to a world where you are able to see and feel what being in the music industry was like in the sixties/seventies. The drugs, the loneliness, the drama, the alcohol, the beauty, the rock and roll… It was heartbreaking and painful and beautiful and everything felt too damn real. I know this is a story I won’t forget for a very long time.

The characters and their personalities were on point, in comparison to real artists in the music business back then. It reminded me of some very well known rock bands that went through their own problems in the past. Another thing that I liked is how everyone had their personal issues going on and how it all contributed to their end. Also, I loved the detail of the interviewer! Very nice touch 🙂

I would highly recommend the audiobook version! It definitely brings the book to life.

xoxo, Neide

Review | Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston

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“Thinking about history makes me wonder how I’ll fit into it one day, I guess. And you too. I kinda wish people still wrote like that. History, huh? Bet we could make some.” – 4/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: international flights, politics, secret emails, tabloids, campaigns, royals and scandals.

To be honest I was confused when I started reading this because I feel like the book was targeted as a Young Adult romance, but it turns out it was a (very) New Adult romance. Oh, it was just me? My bad then.

For a debut novel… not bad Ms. Casey! I completely understand why people like this so much. The plot was very original and different, the characters were funny and interesting, and the MM romance was very intense! I really liked Alex and Henry as characters. They were both very brave and even though they were so different from each other, they made a great couple.
I also feel like a big part of the book is the “what if” feeling. This book represents a alternate reality of the current governament in the United States. A half-mexican female president who won the elections in 2016? Coincidence? I don’t think so.

It was a good read, and I completely understand how it won the Goodreads Choice awards for Romance and Debut Novel.

xoxo, Neide