Review | Normal People by Sally Rooney

“No one can be independent of other people completely, so why not give up the attempt, she thought, go running in the other direction, depend on people for everything, allow them to depend on you, why not.” 2/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: abusive boyfriends, intelligence, shame, car rides, shared beds, college classes, scholarships and classical books.

Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in rural Ireland. The similarities end there; they are from very different worlds. When they both earn places at Trinity College in Dublin, a connection that has grown between them lasts long into the following years.

This is an exquisite love story about how a person can change another person’s life – a simple yet profound realisation that unfolds beautifully over the course of the novel. It tells us how difficult it is to talk about how we feel and it tells us – blazingly – about cycles of domination, legitimacy and privilege. Alternating menace with overwhelming tenderness, Sally Rooney’s second novel breathes fiction with new life.

I can’t believe I’m finally done with this book. I thought about DNFing it several times, but I ended up finishing it since it wasn’t that big of a book.
Let’s start with the obvious: I strongly disliked the romance. I understand the entire point of this book is that this is not a conventional nor a cliché romance story, but I just couldn’t understand it.
When the book first starts, you get to follow the main characters when they were in high school and you witness how they fell in love. As usual, with young love, it’s normal to make mistakes and do stupid things – Connell really thought it was a good idea to hide this girlfriend because he was worried about what his friends would think. Of course this is terrible, but since they were young I tried to not think too much about it, because they would grow out of this weird phase eventually. And here is the problem I have with this book: these people never grow up. They do have a strong connection between them, but they are incredibly childish and immature with their relationship. The characters were extremely annoying, privileged and futile with their first world problems. Not only that but the plot is non-existent. The entire book is divided in chapters that start and end the same way: they meet after x months, they talk (and maybe sleep together), and by the end of the chapter they part ways. And the cycle repeats until the end of the book.
And that ending… wow, that really was the cherry on top. Very disappointing.
A few months ago I added Conversations With Friends to my TBR list, but I have no desire to pick it up anymore. In conclusion: I genuinely don’t understand the hype around this book, but I’m glad some people liked it I guess.

xoxo,

Review | The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

“Everyone wants the stars. Everyone wishes to grasp that which exists out of reach. To hold the extraordinary in their hands and keep the remarkable in their pockets.” 2/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: pirates, bees, cut out tongues, realistic doors, dice, old books, fortune-tellers, bookshelves, swords, painters, parties, bunnies, doors, honey,  ginger cats and owl kings.

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues—a bee, a key, and a sword—that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library hidden far below the surface of the earth. What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians—it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also of those who are intent on its destruction. Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose—in both the mysterious book and in his own life.

I’m surprised with myself, I can’t believe I was able to finish this book because of the amount of times I considered DNFing this. It took me more than 4 months to read it, but I finally did it. I was really bored and unmotivated the entire time, but I kept going because I was hoping it would get better.

Let me start by saying this: the highlight of this book is the writing, because it’s absolutely stunning. It’s probably one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read… so why the low rating?

There’s a lot of things I didn’t enjoy about this book. Even though the writing is beautiful, there is so much going on that it was difficult to keep up with everything. The plot is very confusing (and I honestly couldn’t even identify one), and there are so many mini stories in different chapters that it’s difficult to fully understand the whole picture of the book. I felt lost most of the time.

The characters were okay but I didn’t feel any connection to any of them. I really tried, but I couldn’t care less about them! And not only that, but I was also confused about some of the revelations about family relationships and such.

There’s also an attempt at a romance, I guess? I honestly felt like it came out of nowhere and it had no substance to it. The guys talked a while and then they had a connection? There was no hint of a romance for most of the book, so when it was mentioned I was even more confused.

Another thing that confused me were the changes in timeline. It’s not as evident in the beginning, but in the last third of the book there’s so much going on that I couldn’t fully understand what was happening. The scenes kept changing each chapter with the same characters, and (again, I know) I was really confused.

I will say I really like the symbolism of this book (with the bees and doors), but at some point it gets very repetitive and it feels more of the same.So, long story short: I was confused and bored. Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand the value of this book and I get why some people would consider this an amazing work of art. Unfortunately for me, it was way over my head. I still have no idea what I’ve just read and I still don’t know what the book was about. I originally had The Night Circus by the same author on my TBR, but I’m definitely skipping that one. This author is not for me!

xoxo,

Review | Losing the Field (The Field Party #4) by Abbi Glines

“We were all the same inside. Didn’t matter how we looked or who our friends were. We all wanted the same thing. To belong. To be accepted.” 3.25/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: long walks, painted ceilings, loving single mothers, book stacks, teacher’s aid, broken dreams, hurtful words, weight loss, classrooms, early hours, beautiful blue eyes and assault.



Losing his dream, his ultimate plan, and his future- Nash Lee never expected to be facing a life without football. One wrong move and it had all changed. Going back to school for his senior year no longer appealed to him. He’d rather not leave his house. Walking back into Lawton High School, seeing pity in everyone’s eyes was just another reality in his nightmare.

Revenge wasn’t a pretty thing. Tallulah Liddell had found it was rather controlling. The way you looked at life changed completely when you clung to the ugly notion. But she’d done it anyway. From the last day of her junior year when Ryker Lee had made a fat joke about her and Nash laughed with him, she’d been driven by pain. It wasn’t like no one had made fun of her weight before. She was used to that. What had hurt so deeply was Nash’s laughter. He’d always been the one person to notice her, include her, not treat her differently. But that one moment had changed it all. From the time she walked out of the school building to the moment she returned for her senior year Tallulah had been determined to lose weight and finally be the size her peers considered acceptable.

What she wasn’t expecting on her return was to find a broken Nash Lee who no longer smiled, rarely spoke, and didn’t care about anything or anyone around him. He was just existing. But the pain in his eyes she understood all too well. He was alone. He no longer fit into the perfect package.



The book we all have been waiting for… it’s time for the one and only: Mr. Nash Lee! *insert John Cena’s intro song*

Nash Lee is mentioned MANY times in the first three books of the series. The reader is used to seeing how the girls mention him in their points of view. He is always the nice guy, with his warm skin color and his light blue eyes. So of course, when I found out this book would be about him, I thought to myself “we are finally getting his love story”. Needless to say, I had high hopes… and I watched them go down the drain.

For such a “nice guy”, he wasn’t very understanding regarding his love interest and her issues. He was jealous a lot of times and he was immature when he needed to deal with his problems.

The girl was okay. I wasn’t a fan of the reason why she lost weight, but as a human being I understood her feelings and how words can have such a strong impact in our minds. With that said, I didn’t care for the romance. I felt bad most of the time because the girl was constantly alone and dealing with problems, while Nash was living his own life.

I have to say I’m disappointed, I was expecting more from this one. Probably one of my least favorite books from the series.

xoxo,

Review | Midnight Library by Matt Haig

“Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices… Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?” 5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: ginger cats, best friends, rock bands, decisions, pubs, infinite books, sweet librarians, polar bears, breakups, Australia and a life of choices and regrets.

Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?”

A dazzling novel about all the choices that go into a life well lived, from the internationally bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive and How To Stop Time.

Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?

In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting new novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.

I fully understand the hype of this book and I’m happy it is so popular, because I know for sure I will never forget what I’ve just read. 

It’s the kind of book that makes you think about how all the decisions you made, big or small, made an impact on the course of your life. While reading this, I kept thinking about what would have happened if I made different decisions at certain points in my own life and how different I would be today. 

The concept of this book is very interesting and the execution is also super good. I really liked how the author used a single character and reviewed her life decisions to send a clear message: make readers understand they’re exactly where they need to be and we shouldn’t regret anything in our lives. We are all doing the best we can with the decisions we face.

Can’t recommend it enough, give it a go and it will be worth it!

xoxo,

Review | The Butterfly Bruises by Palmer Smith

“I am not silly prey.
Tomorrow I will swim from the Pacific Ocean
Back to the Hudson River
I will build a home
I will build a home with a fence
One hundred leagues under the sea
Under the algae,
you will never find me.”
4/5 stars!

Smith’s debut collection consists of 80 poems and several short stories. It is a meditation on miscommunication, childhood, Northeastern vs. Southern American culture, family, nature vs. technology, and the imagination of the introvert.

“From sonnets to somnambulance, from algae to oxytocin, from manatees to Manhattan, Stirling Smith rides the riptides of memory’s fictions and frictions in this prolific debut. Butterfly Bruises is a gem mine of poems and stories that write through grief and growing up, personal and planetary survival, with words rugged and glistening like seashell shards…” -Poetry Critic and Scholar, Professor Robert Dewhurst, PhD.

This was probably one of the best poem/short stories collections I have ever received in the mail.
There were a lot of amazing things about this book, but two things stood out to me the most. First, the amount of detail and thought the author put into the book. It’s very clear to me that every element of this book has its purpose and is there for a reason. To me it showed me the author spent a lot of time and energy planning this collection to be perfect…. which I appreciate as a reader.
The second thing that made this collection so good is the analogies/metaphors made using animals and nature. All the analogies and metaphors used were very creative and well accomplished given the presented context. Every single poem captured the beautiful essence of nature.
There were so many poems in this collection that spoke to my soul! Some of my favorites were: “An Everlasting Cut”, “Sorority Blues”, “Ladybug”, “Silver Fish”, “In Time” and “When I Chew On My Thoughts”. I may not be an expert when it comes to poetry, but I really like to read poems that I can identify with, and this is what is so great about this collection. I was completely absorbed in the poems and stories, and I saw my reflection in a lot of them!
For a debut collection, I’m pleasantly surprised with the final result. The author did an amazing job. Highly recommend it!

…And can we take a minute to appreciate the beautiful cover of this book? It’s so stunning!

xoxo,

Review | In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

“You mistake love. You think it has to have a future in order to matter, but it doesn’t. It’s the only thing that does not need to become at all. It matters only insofar as it exists. Here. Now. Love doesn’t require a future.” 3.25/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: bagels, black suits, pregnancy tests, engagement rings, Europe trips, wedding plans, lofts, cancer, lawyers, takeout food and fancy bagels.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

When Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Kohan is asked this question at the most important interview of her career, she has a meticulously crafted answer at the ready. Later, after nailing her interview and accepting her boyfriend’s marriage proposal, Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan.

But when she wakes up, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. The television news is on in the background, and she can just make out the scrolling date. It’s the same night—December 15—but 2025, five years in the future.

After a very intense, shocking hour, Dannie wakes again, at the brink of midnight, back in 2020. She can’t shake what has happened. It certainly felt much more than merely a dream, but she isn’t the kind of person who believes in visions. That nonsense is only charming coming from free-spirited types, like her lifelong best friend, Bella. Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.

That is, until four-and-a-half years later, when by chance Dannie meets the very same man from her long-ago vision.

Brimming with joy and heartbreak, In Five Years is an unforgettable love story that reminds us of the power of loyalty, friendship, and the unpredictable nature of destiny.

I have mixed feelings about this book. It’s probably my fault for going into it with high expectations, because I’ve seen this book everywhere in the last few months and people kept hyping it up! So of course, I had to see it for myself.

So, here’s the thing about this book: the plot was (mostly) okay but it felt like a sob story. The main plot of the book was put in the background because of the main sad event. So it felt like that became the most important thing in the book instead of the main character’s life and the purpose of the book was lost.

So even though I was confused, I kept going because I was curious about the ending. And oh boy… I was disappointed. I think this book won the award for the most disappointing ending in a book (my own personal award, of course). So, let me try to explain what I mean: right at the beginning of the book, the main character has a dream (if you can call it that) where she sees herself in five years from the present – in a different house, with a different boyfriend, etc. This scene defines the tone of the book in the sense that you look forward to discovering if her dream would come true or not, and if it did happen, how she would even get there. Now, I can’t tell you more for spoiler reasons but I will say the ending was extremely disappointing. I was so curious the entire time, but when I finally got to the end I was really disappointed. Seriously, what was even the point of this book?

It’s a fairly quick read and you can go through it in one sitting, but if you are considering reading this, it’s important for you to know that this is not a love story. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like this book was marketed as a romance, so if you’re looking for that I would recommend you to skip this one.

Still, give it a shot if you’re curious. I’ve noticed I have an unpopular opinion so… who knows, maybe you’ll find a new favorite. But don’t say I didn’t warn you!

xoxo,

Review | Good Girl, Bad Blood (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #2) by Holly Jackson

“What do you do when the things that are supposed to protect you, fail you like that?” 5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: missing knives, catfishes, graveyards, pink watches, calamity parties, fitbits, photographs, search teams, podcast episodes, leads, alibis, witnesses, recorded interviews, bordeaux shirts and new mysteries.

The highly anticipated sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder! More dark secrets are exposed in this addictive, true-crime fueled mystery.

Pip is not a detective anymore.

With the help of Ravi Singh, she released a true-crime podcast about the murder case they solved together last year. The podcast has gone viral, yet Pip insists her investigating days are behind her.

But she will have to break that promise when someone she knows goes missing. Jamie Reynolds has disappeared, on the very same night the town hosted a memorial for the sixth-year anniversary of the deaths of Andie Bell and Sal Singh.

The police won’t do anything about it. And if they won’t look for Jamie then Pip will, uncovering more of her town’s dark secrets along the way… and this time everyone is listening. But will she find him before it’s too late?

The only question here is: will this series ever disappoint me? This is the third book I have read from the series (including the first novella) and I also gave it five stars.

I really liked how the story picks up right after the end of the first book. It was unexpected because I thought this would be about an entire new mystery, but there are a lot of references to what happened to the first book. With that said, I highly recommend you to read the first book first and this one afterwards. The books are strongly connected and you won’t understand what they’re talking about if you mess up with the order.

I liked Pip as always, I think she’s a fantastic main character. I know she is known for being a bit annoying and a know-it-all, but I admire her perseverance and courage.

The mystery is also incredible, just like in the first book. If you liked A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, you will also love this book because the mysteries were made in a very  similar way. There’s a lot of twists and new leads in every chapter, so you will be hooked to the story the entire time –  like I was. 

I also highly recommend the audiobook version for the series –  not only just this book. There are a lot of interviews and podcast episodes, and the full cast of voices and sound effects really makes the story shine and gives it a new dimension. I would recommend the audiobook over the digital/physical copies.

If you haven’t read the series yet, you are sleeping on it! It’s one of the best young adult mystery series out there. I can’t recommend it enough, you won’t regret picking it up I promise.

xoxo,

Review | Uncharted (Uncharted #1) by Julie Johnson

“I think having hope is one of the most important things you can do. Once you let go of it, despair takes over. Despair will kill you quicker than hope ever could. So if you’re going to hold onto something…I’m glad it’s that.” 4/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: islands, white sand, private jets, fresh water, blood, rafts, infections, luggage, antibiotics, crystal clear water, crabs, cut-out shorts, storms, coloring books and flare signals.

From internationally bestselling author Julie Johnson comes an action-packed story of survival and forbidden love…

“When we crash-landed on the island, I thought my story was over. Turns out, it was about to begin.”

He was an asshole from the first moment we met.

I took one look at the stranger in the airport terminal and knew he was exactly the kind of man my mother spent seventeen years warning me against. Gruff, grumpy, and far too good-looking to stare at without experiencing heart palpitations.

Thankfully, I’d never see him again.

Or so I thought.

I couldn’t have known our plane would crash.
I couldn’t have predicted we’d be the only survivors.
I couldn’t have ever, in my wildest dreams, anticipated that the asshole from the airport would become my only source of solace in the darkness.

It’s so wrong to want him, for so many reasons. But as the months slip by and our hopes of rescue grow dimmer… the spark between us kindles into something impossible to ignore.

Sometimes, survival requires swimming in uncharted waters.
But if salvation doesn’t come soon…

I might just drown in him.

I’m impressed, this was a very nice book! I couldn’t help but remember the movie The Blue Lagoon while I read it. Sure, the main plot is different and only one of the main characters is a teenager, but the intensity of the romance and the desire to survive on a deserted island reminded me of the movie.

I liked the romance, but I can imagine some people being bothered by the age gap, knowing the girl was seventeen when they met. Personally it didn’t bother me too much because it made the story more realistic. When you are in a survival situation like that and you don’t know if you’ll ever get out, I think it’s normal to lean on whoever’s with you, no matter the age.

The writing is good and easy to follow, and for the most part the story felt realistic. I’m surprised with how easy it was to read this book. I went through it like it was butter and it was captivating from beginning to end!

I don’t usually read a lot of survival stories –  even though I like them -, but this is probably one of the best ones I have ever read. I love how strong the bond between the main characters got overtime, and how they took their time learning how to respect each other.

Now I can’t wait to read the sequel! From what I know, the sequel has been delayed a few times and some readers believe it will never be published… but I have faith! I would love to continue the duology if I have the chance.

xoxo,

Review | A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas

“Remember that you are a wolf. And you cannot be caged.” 4.25/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: mates, training sessions, maps, premonitions, glamouring, armies, cauldrons, wars, hounds, visions, oroboros and a lot of spilled blood.

FEYRE WILL BRING VENGEANCE.

She has left the Night Court – and her High Lord – and is playing a deadly game of deceit. In the Spring Court, Tamlin is making deals with the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees, and Feyre is determined to uncover his plans. But to do so she must weave a web of lies, and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As mighty armies grapple for power, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

BUT WHILE WAR RAGES, IT IS HER HEART THAT WILL FACE THE GREATEST BATTLE.

What a great finale for the series! 

I would say this is probably my least favorite book in the series, because like I said before, my favorite aspect of the series was definitely the romance. This particular book was focused on the war and the romance was lighter.

I was a bit nervous with the “Tamlin situation”, but I was pleased with how everything turned out. One thing I have to say is that I wish Feyre was fair to Lucian. She insisted he betrayed her, but I couldn’t agree with her. I still think he was a good and genuine friend to her the entire time. I think I was a bit tired of Feyre by the end of this book, just because at some point she started to think very irrationally.

With that said, I still enjoyed it and it was a great conclusion to the series! Definitely worth picking up (at least the first three books).

xoxo,