Book Review: Big Little Lies

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Synopsis:

Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal…
A murder…a tragic accident…or just parents behaving badly?  
What’s indisputable is that someone is dead. But who did what?

Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

Purchase From:

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Review

I’ve actually had an ARC copy of this novel since 2014, but it wasn’t until my book club decided to read it that I finally picked it up. I don’t know why I waited so long; it was so good!

The novel is told in the third person POV and follows Madeline, Celeste, and Jane, three moms whose kids are all starting kindergarten at the same school. At the start of the novel, you know someone ends up dead in two months at trivia night. At the start and end of the chapters there are other characters telling their own recollection of events, seemingly to the detectives investigating the case.

I loved those little snippets because they often differed from what really happened and they were also often funny and ridiculous. Moreover, I loved these characters. Madeline, Celeste, and Jane are all flawed but I loved them anyway, though Madeline was definitely my favorite and because of the show I pictured her as Reese Witherspoon, who I love.

Madeline loves conflict but can’t stand the fact that her daughter will be starting school with her ex’s daughter.To make matters worse, Madeline’s eldest daughter, Abigail, seems to be choosing her dad (Madeline’s ex) and his new wife, Bonnie, over Madeline and her new husband, Ed. Of course, Madeline can’t stand it.

Meanwhile, Celeste’s perfect life is anything but perfect, but how can she possibly tell anyone that? Besides, Celeste can’t help but feel like maybe her life isn’t all that bad and if she just sticks it out a little while longer, what’s the worst that can happen?

Jane moved to town looking for a fresh start but before her son, Ziggy, even begins school he’s painted as a violent bully and although Jane can’t believe it she also can’t help but wonder if it’s true.

I really liked Madeline, Celeste, and Jane’s friendship and I loved all the twists in the book (there were so many!). Though I suspected most of them, I was still pretty surprised to be right. I was also surprised by how dark this book was at times, but how it also made me laugh and smile a lot. I was happy with the ending and I highly recommend giving this book a read if you haven’t already. I can’t wait to watch the show!

Borrow or Buy: Buy!

Stars:

5 stars

Favorite Line:

“Reading a novel was like returning to a once beloved holiday destination.”

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Book Review: The Hating Game

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Synopsis:

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.

                       2) A person’s undoing

                       3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

Purchase From:

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Review

I’d been hearing about this novel for a while and decided to finally give it a try when I needed a new audiobook for my run. Even after I finished running I couldn’t stop listening. I was totally hooked.

The story is told in Lucy’s point of view and she hates Josh, mainly because when they first met she gave him her best smile and he did not return it in the slightest. These two are polar opposites. While Lucy is tiny and aims to please everyone, Josh is tall, a little stand offish, and every one thinks he’s mean. It’s pretty easy to see why these two clash, especially since their desks face each other so they have to deal with each other often.

Their little childish antics in the office were cute and funny and the sparks between them were pretty obvious from the very beginning. The romance aspects of the novel were pretty steamy and Josh totally made me swoon. Moreover, I liked getting to learn more about Lucy and Josh’s personalities and why they are the way they are. The novel delves into both Lucy and Josh’s family lives and their pasts, which I found really interesting.

Besides the obvious romance, the main conflict of the novel was Lucy and Josh fighting for the same promotion. I was really happy with how it was resolved in the end because I wasn’t sure how it would be. Overall, I loved this book from beginning to end and highly recommend it if you’re looking for a quick and cute romance that will make you laugh.

I can’t wait to see what Sally Thorne writes next!

Borrow or Buy: Buy!

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“The trick is to find that one person who can give it back as good as they can take it.”

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ARC Book Review: Lucky in Love

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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.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

*I received a free digital advanced reader’s copy of this book from Scholastic via Edelweiss. This did not influence my review of this book in anyway. This is an honest review of the novel as I saw it. This novel will be released on July 25, 2017.*

Kasie West has become my go to author for YA contemporary romance novels. Her books are always so cute, fun, and quick to read, and Lucky in Love was no exception. This novel is told in the first person point of view of Maddie, a high school senior who’s very focused on school. She’s so focused that she and her best friends, Blair and Elise, have a pact that they’re not allowed to date in high school.

Maddie believes nothing comes easy and you have to work hard for what you want, which is why she’s not interested in entering the lottery at first. However, when her friends bail on her birthday party Maddie decides to spend the rest of her money on a lottery ticket and surprisingly she actually wins.

Suddenly, her life goes from kind of boring to very exciting. Everyone wants to be her friend and every one wants her money. Her friends and family start acting differently and Maddie soon questions who she can and can’t trust. Except for Seth, her cute coworker at the zoo. Seth was grounded when the news of Maddie’s lottery win broke and rather than tell him about it, Maddie likes that there’s someone in her life who presumably doesn’t know about her lottery win, so she keeps it to herself.

My favorite part of this book was definitely Seth. First, I loved that he’s Vietnamese American. As far as I can tell this is the first time the love interest has been a person of color in West’s novels and I thought that was great, especially because Seth opened up to Maddie about what it’s like to be Asian in America. There were multiple points where he and Maddie had open conversations about race and I really liked that a lot because while it wasn’t the main topic of the book, West also didn’t shy away from it.

I also really liked Maddie as a character. Though I was frustrated that she wasn’t handling her new wealth very responsibly I also acknowledged the fact that she was 18 and truthfully she did win $50 million ($30 million once you take out the taxes). It wasn’t like she was actually going to use up all her money but it still stressed me out every time she bought something extravagant, especially because it was so out of character for her. Overall though, I was more upset with her parents for not stepping in when they saw how much she was spending.

That small frustration aside, I really enjoyed this novel. It was a quick read and I loved Seth from the moment he was first introduced. I highly recommend picking up Lucky in Love once it hits stores. It’s definitely worth a read.

Borrow or Buy: Buy!

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“Magic cannot be explained. It can only be experienced.”

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Book Review: History Is All You Left Me

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Synopsis:

When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

I saw this book a lot on Instagram but the only reason I finally decided to give it a read was because I applied for a job at the publishing house that published this book. Anyway, I say this all to say while I may not have picked this one up on my own, I’m so glad I did because it was an incredible read.

The novel is told by Griffin but jumps between the present (Today), after his ex-boyfriend, Theo, died, and the past (History), which shows how Griffin’s relationship with Theo began and what led to their break-up. I really liked the shifting of perspective, especially because in the Today portions Griffin is talking to Theo in second person narration, which I found really interesting, whereas in History it was just your regular first person narration.

In the Today portions you really got to see how Griffin was such a mess of emotions. He was obviously sad, but also angry at Theo for dying, especially because Theo once made the impossible promise that he wouldn’t die. Additionally, the appearance of Jackson, Theo’s boyfriend at the time of his death, was so interesting as well. At first I didn’t know if I should like Jackson or not. I wanted to be on Griffin’s side and hate him on principal but that’s obviously not fair, especially because Jackson loved Theo too, which is something Griffin begrudgingly has to realize.

What I loved most about this novel was the level of mystery to it. In the Today portions, Griffin is kind of an unreliable narrator because he’s talking to Theo and there’s some things Griffin didn’t get to tell Theo before he died that he doesn’t know how to tell him now. I really liked that because this book was able to surprise me, especially in the last 100 pages. I loved the whole book but that back end literally made me put the book down and take a step back and just reevaluate everything I thought I knew. I honestly wanted to go back to the beginning right there and start rereading, but I wanted to know how it ended so I didn’t actually do that.

The point is, this book was really good. I loved the characters even though they were all far from perfect. I also liked seeing how Griffin dealt with his OCD compulsions (he likes thing in even numbers, he always has to be on someone’s left side, etc.) and how they related to his relationship with Theo. And I loved that Theo was this complicated character, even in death. It becomes clear Griffin’s love for Theo turned into Griffin putting Theo on this kind of pedestal, something Griffin has to learn for himself in the novel.

Honestly, if you haven’t read this book yet you definitely need to. It’s a great LGBTQ novel with some diversity that deals with grief in a way that’s heartbreaking but somehow also filled with laughs and swoonworthy moments. All in all, this is definitely at the top of my list for best books of 2017.

Borrow or Buy: Buy it, immediately!

Stars:

5 stars

Favorite Line:

“History remains with the people who will appreciate it most.”

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Book Review: The Rose & the Dagger

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Synopsis:

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid’s empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn’t yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

*Warning: There will be spoilers from The Wrath & the Dawn in this read. Read at your own risk!*

I wanted to love this duology but overall it was overhyped to me. The first book got better, so I was able to look past my issues with it but The Rose and the Dagger was just such a huge disappointment.

This novel pretty much begins where the first book left off. Shazi now has to figure out how she can break the curse on her husband, Khalid, so they can be together. However, she, along with her family, are now living in the desert with Khalid’s enemies, which includes Shazi’s first love, Tariq. Needless to say, the situation is complicated.

My biggest issue with this book was how big magic ended up coming to play in the story. In the first novel, Shazi and her father’s ability with magic was briefly mentioned but not in such a way that I thought it would be such a huge part of solving basically every issue in this novel. The magic that basically took over the story just seemed like such a cop out to me, especially with the introduction of Artan, a skilled magician, and his whole backstory.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked Artan has a character but we just met him and all of sudden he becomes this big player in the story. His addition to the story, along with Shazi’s magical carpet, changed this series from A Thousand Nights retelling to an Aladdin retelling and I didn’t really like the shift.

Additionally, how the issue of the curse was resolved just seemed very anticlimactic to me. The curse was made out to be the worst possible thing every so I was expecting something crazy to happen and I just kind of felt meh when everything was resolved. I’m not sure what I was expecting but it wasn’t that. I felt that way about pretty much all the conflicts in this book. I just expected the stakes to feel higher or something crazier to go down and it didn’t play out that way.

There were some deaths that did shock me so that was a nice surprise. This book really dragged for me and I didn’t start getting into until the last 100 pages when there was more action and everything starts coming together. Even so, I just did not love this novel overall.

My favorite part about this novel was probably seeing more of Irsa and her relationship with Rahim. Besides that though, I was majorly disappointed with how this story played out and I thought about not finishing it multiple times but decided to push through since I was doing a buddy read.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be reading more of Renée Ahdieh’s books. I didn’t love this duology and most of the issues I had with it were the same issues I had with Flame in the Mist. I just found that in her storytelling she doesn’t explain things. She throws out these ideas and solutions and you’re just supposed to be like, “Yeah sure that makes sense,” when it actually does not, in fact, back sense. It drove me crazy with this book as it did with her others.

However, I will say she definitely knows how to write romance and that’s what kept these books interesting for me. If you’ve read The Rose and the Dagger let me know your thoughts about it below!

Borrow or Buy: Borrow

Stars:

3 stars

Favorite Line:

“True strength isn’t about sovereignty. It’s about knowing when you need help and having the courage to accept it.”

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Book Review: Insta-Hate

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Synopsis:

When Alexandria Ray’s romance series becomes an overnight sensation, the world and its demands close in on her. After years of struggling to maintain the pace her publisher, agent and the world expects, she needs a break. Enrolling as a student at Columbia University is step one to finding herself again. Finding Arsen Daniel was not on her list.

Arsen Daniel, along with his best friend, built an empire in the form of an exclusive, psychology-based dating service. When an old friend invites him to teach a course at Columbia, he accepts. The course? The Psychology of Love. Sounds simple enough and the publicity alone will make it worth his time.

Arsen didn’t expect to meet his match in the form of a sarcastic blonde, hell bent on holding to her belief that true love doesn’t actually exist. After all, what woman, especially a world-renowned romance writer, doesn’t believe in happily ever after?

Something in Alexandria’s eyes tortures him. She reminds him of someone from his past and that is a very bad thing.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

Honestly, I was thoroughly surprised by how much I ended up enjoying this novel. I discovered Insta-Hate through my daily BookBub ebook deals email and books I’ve discovered on there have really been hit or miss. I’ve been burned by the past two books I got from there so I was hesitant to give this book a try but I am so glad I did.

Insta-Hate is told in alternating point of views of Arsen and Alexandria (Lex), and I loved both of these characters pretty much as soon as they were introduced. Lex is a best selling author who’s agent is the worst. When Lex is offered this huge book deal that will basically make her insanely wealthy, she decides to pass it up, realizing she needs a break to figure out what she really wants. Since Lex never went to college she decides to take a class at Columbia where her best friend just happens to work in admissions. It’s always good to have a friend on the inside when you’re trying to start college in your mid-twenties.

Anyway, it’s at Columbia, specifically at a frat party, where Arsen and Lex bump into each other. Arsen runs this site called Instant Gratification, which is basically eHarmony but better somehow. The point is, Arsen’s pretty well off as the company is incredibly successful, which is why he let his friend convince him to be a guest lecturer at Columbia, teaching a class about love. Of course, that’s the class Lex is taking. However, they don’t know this at first when they bump into each other.

Instead, Arsen mistakes Lex for someone else and thus begins their love story and it’s pretty great. Even though the novel is titled Insta-Hate, it’s not a hate turned into love story. Sure, Lex definitely isn’t Arsen’s biggest fan at first (she threatens to tase him), but that’s not really what this novel is about. In fact, the novel took a turn that I kind of suspected but was also very surprised by, which I loved.

My only issue with this novel was some things went unexplained and I wasn’t sure why. For example, Lex ends up getting into this writing groove later on in the novel and writes this book that is supposedly amazing and yet I could not tell you what this book is about. I’m assuming it’s about her life story but that was never explicitly said and that confused me. Also, there’s one point in the novel when Arsen starts acting really stupid and on the one hand I could kind of understand why but the whole time I just wanted to shake him and say, “Stop being this way!” Thankfully, he did, in fact, stop being that way.

Overall though, this book really surprised. I was pretty hooked from the very beginning and I think I read the whole book in a day. Insta-Hate is definitely a quick romantic read that does have a few steamy scenes but it’s definitely not erotica. It includes a love of funny characters. In particular, I loved Lex and her friends Ave and Jillian. They were hilarious.

Definitely give this book a chance if you’re looking for a cute and quick read. I highly recommend it.

Borrow or Buy: Buy!

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“Lust was a liar and I couldn’t afford to trust that slut.”

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ARC Book Review: Words in Deep Blue

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Synopsis:

Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came.

Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore.

As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

*I received a free advanced reader’s copy of this book from First in Line and B-Fest. This did not influence my review of this book in anyway. This is an honest review of the novel as I saw it. This novel was released today.*

After reading a lot of fantasy lately, I was in the mood for a contemporary and Words in Deep Blue was the perfect choice. It’s a short contemporary romance told in the alternating points of views of former best friends Henry and Rachel. Right before Rachel was moving away she wrote Henry a love letter telling him, once and for all, how she felt about him. She put it in the Letter Library in his family’s bookshop, and this honestly sounds the coolest place ever.

In the Letter Library, you can’t take the books out and people write notes in the books or highlight their favorite parts and then put the books back. They also, of course, leave letters inside the books for others to read, which is what Rachel did on that fateful night.

Fast forward to a few years later and Rachel is totally over Henry because not only did he never respond to the letter but he didn’t even acknowledge it’s existence. So now, when Rachel returns to town, after the death of her younger brother, Cal, she’s not exactly excited to see Henry. Similarly, Henry, who feels Rachel just ditched him once she moved away, isn’t all that excited to see her either.

However, once Rachel and Henry start talking again, mainly thanks to their mutual friend, Lola, and the fact that they have to work together, their friendship begins to pick back up right where they left off. As Rachel continues to struggle with her grief over her brother’s death and Henry contemplates the end of his relationship with Amy, who he believes is the love his life, the two begin to lean on each other in a totally adorable, made-me-swoon kind of way.

Besides getting Henry and Rachel’s POVs, the books is also interspersed with letters from the Letter Library. These letters are between various people but mostly their the letters between George, Henry’s little sister, and a mystery guy named Pytheas; Rachel and Henry; and Henry’s parents. I thought these letters were really cute and a nice addition to the book, especially with the added mystery of Pytheas, though I figured it out pretty early on.

There were definitely times throughout the novel where I wanted to shake Rachel and tell her to stop acting so stupid but I gave her a pass because she’s grieving and besides those few moments I really enjoyed the novel. My only other issue, which is super small, was the random letter from the author in the book. I liked the idea behind it (that the book is kind of like a book in the Letter Library and this was her letter to the readers) but it appeared so abruptly in the novel that it totally took me out of the story.

At first I was confused by it and then I realized what it was and then I had to get back into the story after I read it. It just seemed very strange to me, though I did like the letter itself. Maybe if it came at the beginning of the book or at the very end it would’ve been fine but happening in the middle of the story just didn’t feel right.

Overall though, I really did like this book. If you’re looking for a cute and quick contemporary romance, this book is for you.

Borrow or Buy: Buy!

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“People are not only their bodies. And if there is no hope of saving the things we love in their original form, we must save them however we can.”

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Book Review: Cheater

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Synopsis:

Lucas Thorn wasn’t born a cheater. All it took was a single moment—say, a certain disastrous incident on the night before his wedding—and boom. Reputation destroyed forever and always. So now he owns it. He has a lady friend for every night of the week (except Sundays—God’s day and all), and his rules are simple: No commitments. No exceptions.

But a certain smart-mouthed, strawberry blonde vixen is about to blow that all to hell.

Avery Black has never forgiven Lucas for cheating on her sister. And suddenly being forced to work with him is pretty much a nightmare on steroids. Of course, it does afford her the opportunity to make his life as difficult as possible. But no good revenge scheme comes without payback. Because he didn’t become the Lucas Thorn without learning a few things about women.

Now Avery’s lust for vengeance has turned into, well, lust. And if Lucas stops cheating, it’s definitely not because he’s falling in love…

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

First, the synopsis of this novel led me to believe this would be an office type of romance situation in which the protagonists hate each other but they clearly also have chemistry and by having to work together sparks fly and they end up together. This was not that kind of book. Instead, I got a “let’s pretend we’re in a relationship for some reason and then while we’re pretending we realize it’s real” kind of story, which is not what I signed up for.

My biggest issue with this isn’t even that the plot was so very different than what I was led to believe, it was how the book got to this point. This is a bit spoilery but it happens early on in the novel and I’ll try to keep it as vague as possible.

Basically, Avery ends up sleeping over at Lucas’ apartment because she was drunk and his sister came over and thought that Avery and Lucas hooked up. Rather than just tell Lucas’ sister the truth, Avery decided it’d be better to pretend that they were actually dating and were in a serious committed relationship. Honestly, this was so ridiculous and only got more ridiculous when Lucas’ sister than told his mother about it and again, rather than just tell her the truth, he then played along with it until suddenly every one in Avery and Lucas’ families believed they were in a committed relationship.

Also, Lucas and Avery decided to continue the lie simply because they wanted their mothers to become friends again since they’d stopped talking after Lucas cheated on Avery’s sister Kayla with her other sister Brooke. Because somehow no one was upset that Lucas was now dating yet another sister of his ex-fiancé. Sure.

Truly, I thought the whole plot of this novel was outrageous and the only thing that saved it for me was that Lucas and Avery were pretty funny. The novel is told in their alternating POVs and there were a few lines that did make me laugh out loud. Plus, the two did have chemistry, which was nice.

Still, overall I thought this novel was sub par at best. I also didn’t understand this idea that Lucas was a “cheater.” Yes, he cheated in the past and in that way he was a cheater but him sleeping with different women every day of the week doesn’t make him a cheater. All of these women knew he wasn’t dating just them and agreed to it therefore I’m confused as to how what he was doing was considered cheating. It’s called being in an open relationship or just having multiple partners.

As long as everyone is involved is aware it’s not cheating and I hated that this book basically makes it seem like dating multiple people at once is problematic or being polyamorous is wrong. It’s not and this book shouldn’t promote this idea that it is. This idea that Lucas was a cheater was repeatedly hammered on throughout the novel, hence the title, and it thoroughly annoyed me all the way through.

So if you couldn’t already tell I didn’t love this book and I definitely will not be reading the sequel/companion novel. If you haven’t read this book, I definitely don’t recommend it but if you have read it let me know what you think.

Also, I’m currently running a giveaway on my Instagram. You can check it out here.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow it.

Stars:

2 stars

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Book Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

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Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Incredibly funny and poignant, this twenty-first-century coming-of-age, coming out story—wrapped in a geek romance—is a knockout of a debut novel by Becky Albertalli.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

It’s been way too long since I read a LGBTQ centered novel so I was happy to pick up this one. Simon has been sitting on my shelves for about a year now and for some reason I just never got around to reading it. However, after hearing there’s going to be a movie and needing a quick read after the behemoth that was a A Court of Wings and Ruin, I decided to give it a chance and I’m so glad I did.

The novel is told in the first person POV of Simon Spier who’s gay but not out yet. Though he’s not really afraid to come out and knows he’s lucky enough to have family and friends that will except him, he’s just not ready yet, which is perfectly fine. However, his life gets complicated when his fellow classmate Martin discovers Simon’s secret emails to “Blue,” another gay student who Simon met through the school’s unofficial Tumblr.

Martin uses the emails to blackmail Simon, leading to a lot of problems for Simon who is basically put in the position of either agreeing to help Martin or being outed. Yeah, I’m not Martin’s biggest fan either. Though this is obviously a terrible situation for Simon to be in Becky Albertalli somehow managed to make this novel both funny, romantic, and very heartfelt.

Simon’s sense of humor had be literally laughing out loud and I loved reading his emails with Blue. They’re so incredibly cute together and I loved the mystery of trying to figure out who Blue was. For me, Blue’s identity was surprising enough that I loved the big reveal but wasn’t so surprising that it felt like it came of nowhere. Basically, it was perfectly done.

Besides, Simon and Blue’s epic romance, I also really loved almost every character and for different reasons. Simon’s group of friends includes his best friends Nick and Leah, and relatively new girl Abby, who causes some friction in the friend group, mainly because Leah’s jealous of her. Though Leah annoyed me at points I also found her to be relatable and grew to love her. I really liked Nick and Abby from beginning to end though, especially Abby. She was my favorite.

I also loved Simon’s family. He has an older sister Alice and a younger sister Nora, and I liked that they were so incredibly close but also all had their own secrets. Additionally, I thought Simon’s parents were so funny and I liked that they felt like real parents, meaning they were dorky and embarrassing but also loving and not adverse to handing out the occasionally grounding.

Lastly, I really liked Simon’s teacher Ms. Albright for a long list of reasons but mainly because she’s that kind of teacher that you’d totally be friends with on Facebook after you graduate. She’s chill but also a force to be reckoned with if you cross her.

Overall, I just really loved this novel. My copy is now filled with so many tabs it’s a little absurd. I’ve already reread my favorite scenes at least three times and I could reread this book from beginning to end right now, I love it that much. If you haven’t read this book yet I highly recommend it. Honestly, I’m mad it took be this long to finally give it a read.

Borrow or Buy: Are you serious? Buy it. Like yesterday.

Stars:

5 stars

Favorite Line:

“White shouldn’t be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn’t even be a default.”

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Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses (Reread)

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Synopsis:

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin–one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin–and his world–forever.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

*This review will contain spoilers for ACOTAR and ACOMAF. For the spoiler-free review of this book please click here.*

In preparation for the release of A Court of Wings and Ruin, I’m rereading the first two books in this series, and thus far it’s been a blast. There were so many things that occurred in ACOTAR that I totally forgot about so let’s dive right in.

First of all, it was super strange to read about Feyre falling in love with Tamlin, knowing that Rhysand is her mate. I ended up cringing a lot during this book, especially during particular points that I thought were warning signs for Tamlin’s over protectiveness that turned abusive in ACOMAF. For example when Tamlin said this to Feyre:

“No, I don’t want you to live somewhere else. I want you here, where I can look after you—where I can come home and know you’re here, painting and safe.”

This sounded really nice and sweet in the moment but when combined with the way Tamlin locked up Feyre in ACOMAF, it doesn’t sound all that sweet anymore. That being said, I did find some sympathy for Tamlin after rereading ACOTAR. Sarah J. Maas affectively turned her fandom against Tamlin with the utter change in character of him and Rhys in the second book but I think a lot of us forgot why we liked Tamlin in the first place because of it. My reread reminded of all the reasons why I did like him.

Feyre says it best in ACOMAF, when she says Tamlin was good for her at the time that she needed him. Yes he was overprotective with her and was more than happy to take care of, and that’s what Feyre needed when she was human. Tamlin didn’t treat Feyre poorly, she just hadn’t wanted anything more than to be pampered and loved by Tamlin. His problem began when he failed to realize how much Under the Mountain changed Feyre and after having to watch her die, it’s easy to understand why he became so protective and controlling. Was Tamlin wrong? Without a doubt, yes. Do I know understand where he was coming from? Also, yes.

Besides Tamlin, I didn’t know how to feel about Rhys. I was at war with myself while reading. On the one hand, I knew why he did all the things he did but on the other hand, I wanted to tell Rhys to chill and at least try to be nicer to Feyre. There’s one point right before he makes the bargain with her, where he grabs her injured arm and twists and I literally cringed. Why Rhys, why?

Still, there were also a lot of one liners that meant so much more to me, knowing how he truly felt. My personal favorite was when he sees Feyre for the first time at Calanmai and saves her from those other faeries.

“There you are. I’ve been looking for you.”

I think I literally swooned, especially when Feyre referred to him as, “the most beautiful man I’d ever seen.” So good! (Side note: Rhysand probably heard her think that. That probably made him even more cocky.)

Another one of my favorites was when Rhysand sees Feyre dressed for the party in the throne room Under the Mountain.

“You look just as I hoped you would.”

That means so much more knowing how he felt about her. For Feyre, she thinks he’s joking at her expense but in reality he really means it and it’s so cute and also so heartbreaking because at this point Feyre hates him so much. Another moment that broke my heart was when Feyre heard the music that gave her a slither of hope. That moment also meant so much more knowing it was Rhys that sent it.

Also, through my reread I realized all the many hints SJM put in about Feyre and Rhys being mates. There’s literally so many references to the night and stars that I’m honestly a little mad I didn’t catch on sooner. It was so obvious! SJM is amazing. I truly can’t take it.

My reread also reestablished my distaste for Feyre’s sisters and my love for Lucien. Hopefully my reread of ACOMAF will make me like Nesta and Elain again. As for Lucien, I’m still upset with him for the things he did in ACOMAF but I remember now why I loved him so much and I hope he’s redeemed in ACOWAR. I kind of hope Tamlin’s redeemed too but to be perfectly honest, if he died I wouldn’t cry over it. Sorry, not sorry.

Overall, I think I liked ACOTAR even more the second time than I did the first. The start was still just as slow as I remember it being but because I knew where the story was heading that was enough to keep me reading and interested. I highly recommend giving this book a reread after reading ACOMAF. It takes on a whole new meaning and it’s really interesting seeing how drastically the characters change between books.

What are your thoughts on the ACOTAR series? Let me know in the comments below.

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.”

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