Review | Moment of Truth by Kasie West

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” 4.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: masks, lakes, small islands, Slurpees, old trucks, dead siblings, challenges, fears, apple cider and swimming awards.

Oops, she did it again: Kasie West stole my heart with one of her books! Is anyone even surprised? I honestly can’t get enough of her contemporary romances.

The story is super cute! It follows a teenage girl who takes her swimming lessons very seriously so she can get a scholarship to college. But at one of her swimming competitions a masked boy appears and messes up with her head leaving her angry and unfocused. She loses the competition and quickly decides that she is going to figure out his identity with her best friend! Not only that but her parents are grieving a brother she never met and are constantly putting him and his memories above her.

I have to say how impressed I am by the mystery! First I thought it was obvious who the masked Heath Hall was, but I was very surprised to see how everything turned out. I thought it was original and very well planned, I never would have guessed it!

This particular book is part of a set of companion novels with crossover characters. The other books that are part of this set and are already published are Love, Life and The List and Fame, Fate and the First Kiss. Originally this book was going to be named The Sun, the Moon and the Truth, but unfortunately for reasons related to the editor the book ended up being named Moment of Truth. I wish the title wouldn’t change so it would match the set, but I digress!

The thing I really love about this is how it reminds me of her older books, which are my favorite! Even though I like her new releases as well, there is still a very noticeable difference between her older and newer work. Then I discovered this was actually an older story that she picked up recently and I couldn’t be happier that this story wasn’t left behind.

Kasie writes my favorite YA soft romances, so I would definitely recommend her books for anyone looking for a light summery read – especially her older books!

xoxo, Neide

Review | Undercover Bromance (The Bromance Book Club #2) by Lyssa Kay Adams

“ – You’ve read too many romance novels.
– And you haven’t read enough.”
4.75/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: gold cupcakes, microphone recordings, nightclubs, cheese, feisty roosters, cute twins, stolen recipes, farm animals and sexual harassment.

I’m in love with this series!

I’m usually pickier when it comes to adult romance, and this for me is the whole package for an amazing story. The romance was amazing, the banter made me smile throughout the book, the steaminess was on point and even though it’s a lighter romance novel, it still has some depth to it.

In this book, we follow the love story of Mack – a book club member – and Thea’s sister, Liv! I personally think this sequel is just as good as the first book The Bromance Book Club. The main difference between both stories is that the first one is lighter and the focus is on the couple, and second story is not focused on the romance but on sexual harassment. Still, I really liked how Mack and Liv were so different that they actually worked in a perfect way. Liv is a very independent, strong woman that doesn’t open her heart for anyone, and Mack is a very caring and protective man. It just works!

You can read this book without reading the first one, but if you can you should definitely pick the first one before going into this. Not only because you’ll understand the characters and the origin of the Bromance Book Club better, but also because the first story is so incredible and worthy to be read.

I would definitely recommend this series for a romance lover. I can’t wait for the third book coming out in October!

xoxo, Neide

Review | To Best the Boys by Mary Weber

“Mr. Holm and Holm Manor bear only slight responsibility, liability, and legal obligation for the future societal changes that may result from your female children believing it is within their power and right to become whomever and whatever they desire—and in doing so, to change the course of history.”3.75/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: narrow passages, fishermen, labyrinth cakes, riddles, sirens, tents, glowing chemicals and boy’s clothes.

This is one of the books I was most excited to read and yet it was in my tbr pile for a very long time. Well… I grabbed, I read it, and I loved it!

What really caught my attention – besides the stunning cover – was the synopsis! A girl living in a man’s world, competing for a scholarship in a labyrinth against other boys? Sign me up!

What I wasn’t expecting was a full on feminist book. A big part of the book is about the female main character, Rhen, not having a say on what happens in her life. The boys study and rule the world and girls are meant for house shores, having kids and baking. She loves science, and she is a very intelligent girl that feels powerless with her reality. Her mother is sick and she can’t find a cure, a rich boy wants to court her even though she doesn’t want anything to do with him, and even though she is just as smart as the boys, the society doesn’t expect her – and girls for that matter – to enter the annual scholarship challenge. Well… except she decides to participate and compete, and everything changes!

My only complaint is that this should be written to be – at least – a duology. I confess I grabbed this book mostly because when I read the synopsis I thought it was great to have such a complex story in a single book. But then I reached the middle of the book and I thought it was weird that I still didn’t get to the labyrinth part. So I quickly concluded that everything would go very fast – and it did. The story was rushed to fit into the current amount of pages and unfortunately the story was left undeveloped. This had so much potential to be an incredible book, I just wish the author developed the story in a deeper way.

I also took more time to finish because the book is written in a formal format. I mean, I get it and it makes complete sense given the time that it’s portraying, but english is not my native language. So I had to take my time to read the book slowly to understand every sentence!

I’ll admit it’s not a perfect book, but I had a lot of fun reading it and I would do it again. I know it’s not going to happen, but I honestly think this story would make a great movie!

xoxo, Neide

Review | They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

“But no matter what choices we make – solo or together – our finish line remains the same… No matter how we choose to live, we both die at the end.” 2/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: diners, “mad bravery”, last friends, bikes, the police, Instagram posts and pictures.

I’m so disappointed with this book… it was so boring!

When I first saw this book in my local bookstore I fell in love with the cover and I was intrigued by the title. I didn’t know what the story was about, but that title stuck with me – seriously, who are they and do they actually die in the end? Long story short: it’s been on my mind for a while now, so I decided to finally pick it up.

The main reason why I’m not giving this a lower rating is because I actually like the writing and the concept. I thought the idea of having a service that calls you on your death day to notify you is very interesting! You have the possibility to see what the characters would do on that day knowing that at some point they were going to die. With that said, that was the only thing I found interesting. I thought the book was VERY slow paced and nothing interesting really happened. The beginning and end were okay, but I had to drag myself to go through the book.

It kind of reminds me of Nicola Yoon’s The Sun is Also A Star because the entire book is also set in a single day and you know something bad is going to happen later in that day. Which gives you a very sad, nostalgic feeling while reading.

The characters were okay, I liked the main duo’s dynamic and they definitely brought out the best in each other. They were likeable characters but there was nothing special about them. I liked Mateo’s best friend and her daughter, she was probably my favorite character of the book.

I feel like the purpose of this book is to make you think about death and to live your life like it’s the last day on Earth, but the story didn’t work for me. I didn’t care for their stories, or their insta-love or even what they did to feel alive on their last day. Overall, I was not impressed.

xoxo, Neide

Review | Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard

“Anyone can betray anyone.” 5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: superpowers, stolen coins, stone earrings, diamond walls, secret passages, broken hands, underground trains, arenas, lost cities, silver makeup, motorcycles, red blood, lightening, flame and shadow.

This was sooooooooo good!

Seriously, what took me so long to finally pick this up? I really like dystopian books, so I knew I would like this anyway, but it’s been a while since I had this much fun reading. It reminded me a lot of The Selection series by Kiera Cass – which is one of my favorite books of all time -, so if you like that series you will probably enjoy this one.

I personally really liked our red-blooded fierce main character, Mare. She reminded me of Katniss from The Hunger Games for her sense of justice and smarts, even though she got scared sometimes. The other characters were also great, my favorites were definitely Cal, Julien and Lucas. The only character I really disliked was the queen… she was vile!

As for the romance, I thought it was on light side. There were only a couple romantic scenes in the entire book, and I wish there were more but I have a feeling the next books are going to be jet packed with romance! Also, at some point I was confused because I was identifying three possible love interests… but the end of the book cleared that out fortunately!

The story is complex and it is easy to be immersed in the world. I’m still in disbelief by the fact this was written by a 24 year old author. She did an amazing job creating this book, and I can’t wait to continue this series. I honestly couldn’t recommend this enough. If you still didn’t pick it up, you definitely should! It’s a YA book full of action, deceit and betrayal… and I’m here for it!

xoxo, Neide

Review | Come Tumbling Down (Wayward Children #5) by Seanan McGuire

“The world doesn’t stop spinning because you’re sad, and that’s good; if it did, people would go around breaking hearts like they were sheets of maple sugar, just to keep the world exactly where it is. They’d make it out like it was a good thing, a few crying children in exchange for a peace that never falters or fades. We can be sad and we can be hurt and we can even be killed, but the world keeps turning, and the things we’re supposed to do keep needing to be done.” 4/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: lightning, skeletons, horses, dark doors, dead bodies, unfitting clothes, mermaids and priests.

With all the crazy things that are going on in the world right now, there is nothing better than to let your mind breathe and be carried away by an amazing story. Fortunately for us, books have that power.

This series is incredible. I’ve said it so many times, and I will say it again: NO ONE writes like Seanan McGuire. She is a very talented writer and a true storyteller, and it’s such a pleasure for me to read her work.

Come Tumbling Down’ is not my favorite book in this series, but it follows my favorite story from my favorite book, ‘Down Among the Sticks and Stones’. But don’t get me wrong, it was an amazing book! I’m super happy that Jack and Jill’s story was picked up again. Comparing to the other characters, their story is the one that intrigues me the most.

There are so many aspects in this series that make me keep reading these books. I love how the kids are connected to each other like a family. I mean, the entire gang went to Moors with Jack to help her. All the books are fun with a hint of darkness, inspiring, packed with adventure and a lot of nonsense.

Also, can I say how cool it was to see Sumi being so poetic? Don’t be fooled by her bubbliness folks… she’s is so deep, Adele was rolling in the back.

I strongly believe that Jack’s story will be picked up again given that ending… but we’ll see! I will definitely pick up the next book when it comes out next year!

xoxo, Neide

Review | Empath: A Complete Guide for Developing Your Gift and Finding Your Sense of Self by Judy Dyer

“Being an empath is not limited to high sensitivity and emotions; they intuitively know the intentions and motivations of others.” 4/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: sensitivity, meditation, energy vampires, normalization, thoughts and the gift of empathy.

I feel like I should give some context about me and my life before I write the actual review, so here it goes!

I always knew I felt empathy for others in a deeper way. Not only that, but I capture energy and information in a very natural way – to the point that it becomes quickly overwhelming – and I also read people and their intentions relatively fast.

The sad part is that for the longest time in my life, I thought about this part of myself as a disability. While growing up, I often felt confused due to the overload of information that I received daily and I never understood why. And to be completely honest, even though I’m better at it, I still struggle with it to this today. One of my oldest friends that I met in elementary school still tells me that I sometimes look like a weathercock – yes, you read it correctly – because I keep looking everywhere even when she’s talking to me. At this point I’m just glad she still wants to hang out with me! Kudos to her, she’s a true friend 🙂

Well, the truth is that I’m just a big ol’ empath. I get distracted easily, I absorb other people’s emotions, and I get overwhelmed. It is what it is. So when this book was recommended to me by my beautiful friend Sofia, I was very interested to see what it was all about. Even though I’m getting better at dealing with this constant overload of information, I still want to know more about ways of dealing with it in the best way possible.

The first thing I need to say about this book is how impressed I was only by reading the first chapter. The way the author describes empaths blew my mind! It felt like she observed me for years and then decided to write a book about me! She even talked about the kind of music empaths listen to and how they dream and later analyse every aspect. It made me feel like I’m not alone in this, which I appreciate!

I also love how concise and straight to the point the book is. It is a very short book – so you go through it quickly – but everything that is said is relevant and all the tools given are practical, useful and easy to apply in the everyday basis. This is great because it means the author was very thoughtful about who she knew would read her book. No BS content, just straight forward content for straight forward people.

Overall the book was very helpful to me in very different ways. It always makes me feel better to know that I’m not alone in this. I feel comforted to know that there are so many people that go through this as well. I wasn’t aware of the concept ‘normalization’, but it means that you should be grounded for time to time, so that you don’t get so overwhelmed. I’m definitely going to practice this with the tools given.

She definitely gave me confidence to accept this HUGE part of me and work with it, not against it – which I also appreciate. I only wish the book was longer, because I was very happy to read something so useful to me. I would highly recommend this to all my empath buddies out there! It’s completely worth it.

xoxo, Neide