pinterest button

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

P.S. I Like You by Kasie WestP.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Published by Point on July 26th 2016
Pages: 330

Signed, sealed, delivered…

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

I tend to start drafting reviews in my head while I’m reading a book. Obviously the final outcome changes because a story can get better, or in some cases worse. For instance, a few chapters in and I was already planning on giving P.S. I Like You a 2-3 star rating – the lowest ever for a West book! Why you ask? Well…

This story revolves around my new #spiritanimal Lily. Every word out of her mouth is hilariously sarcastic and so well timed. Most of the time her family, peers and even best friend Isobel, have no idea what Lily’s talking about. She truly lives in her own little indie-rock world. 
One day Lily scribbles music lyrics on her desk in Chemistry class, and then the next day some mysterious person (who we quickly find out is a boy) writes the next verse. Eventually these two start passing notes back and forth, first discussing how awesome indie-rock is, and then sharing personal items about their life. Isobel may be Lily’s best friend, but there’s parts of Lily that she doesn’t share with anyone, that is, until her mystery pen pal comes along. Both Lily and “he” are able to say in writing to a complete stranger, more than they’ve ever been able to share with anyone else. 
West tries to trick us by throwing in three different guys who could be Lily’s mystery pen pal, but the moment “he” was introduced I knew immediately it was him. I became angry because I was loving P.S. I Like You so much and I felt like West had let me down by making it incredibly too obvious.
So how did I end up giving this book 4 stars? Because the story became even juicer once “he” was revealed! When Lily finds out whom her letters have been going to, she freaks out. She’s afraid that once this individual realizes its her, he will be disappointed. For someone who wears whatever she wants and says whatever she wants, Lily has low self-confidence in herself and how the world perceives her.

This story was cute. Not the best West book in my opinion but maybe the best character building in terms of Lily? Not sure. I think West needs to write many more books so I can get a larger sample to compare. 😉


A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. MaasA Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1) by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on May 5th 2015
Pages: 416

Feyre's survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price ...

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre's presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

Sarah J. Maas – you’re officially one of my new favorite authors. I plan on filling my shelves to the brim with your amazing books!

I really enjoy the Throne of Glass series, and now I’m completely in love with A Court of Thorns and Roses series. Sarah’s level of creativity is amazing! She flawlessly creates vivid worlds and one-of-a-kind characters. Although A Court of Thorns and Roses seems to be inspired by Beauty and the Beast, Sarah diverges from the original story by spinning new plots and new captivating characters.

Feyre is such a wonderful character. She’s been neglected and taken advantage by her family, her entire life. When Feyre’s mother was dying, Feyre made a promise that she would take care of her two older sisters and father. Even when Feyre was 8, her mother knew that Feyre was the only one with her wits about her. Her mother knew that Feyre would do anything and everything to keep her little family alive. Feyre has taken care of her older sisters Elain and Nesta, and father, in any way she can since her mother’s passing. The family lost their fortune many years ago which forced them into a ramshackle itty-bitty cottage. Feyre taught herself how to hunt to be able to feed her family and herself, a feat that at times, is near-impossible. She and her family are all underweight, malnourished and miserable.

Tamlin, a ferocious-seeming faerie quickly shows up in the story when Feyre accidentally kills a fae friend of his. He gives her the option to either die or go to live with him forever in the fae lands. After making sure her family will be spared, Feyre grudgingly goes with Tamlin to his home.

I really enjoyed the interactions that took place between Tamlin and Feyre. Feyre was resistant to all things fae in the beginning of the story because she had grown up hearing stories of their torturous and murderous ways. She viewed them as monsters that only caused pain and destruction for humans. Through the time Feyre spends at Tamlin’s home she begins to see things differently though…

A Court of Thorns and Roses was so addicting. Tamlin was a tall, handsome mystery that I wanted to unravel immediately. Feyre was a spirited girl who cared more about others than herself. There was also Lucien, another fae whose role was of the sarcastic best friend and ally to Tamlin. Lucien clearly has some type of problem with Feyre from the beginning which made for hilarious bickering between the two.

There’s so much to love about this book but I’m going to stop here. You NEED to read this one asap.


Sweethearts by Sara Zarr

Sweethearts by Sara ZarrSweethearts by Sara Zarr
Published by Little on February 1st 2008
Pages: 217

As children, Jennifer Harris and Cameron Quick were both social outcasts. They were also one another's only friend. So when Cameron disappears without warning, Jennifer thinks she's lost the only person who will ever understand her. Now in high school, Jennifer has been transformed. Known as Jenna, she's popular, happy, and dating, everything "Jennifer" couldn't be -- but she still can't shake the memory of her long-lost friend.

When Cameron suddenly reappears, they are both confronted with memories of their shared past and the drastically different paths their lives have taken.

From National Book Award finalist Sara Zarr, Sweethearts is a story about the power of memory, the bond of friendship, and the quiet resilience of our childhood hearts.

My feelings for Sweethearts are muddled. I simultaneously think this book lacked “something” and yet, was satisfying. Confusing? Very!

To start-off, this book is pretty short. My NOOK was showing me about 210 pages, but Sweethearts ended up only being about 150 pages. This book felt more like a short story vs. a full length novel.

Sweethearts is an emotional book that tackles tough issues, mainly; bullying and child abuse. Zarr did a great job of presenting these subjects with care and knowledge. On a personal level, I could really relate with some of the characters. Their tribulations and thoughts, really struck a cord with me. Zarr’s writing is simple, yet powerfully emotional, because of this I became captivated with the story.

As I write this review I’m stuck thinking that this book was too short, yet, still, perfectly numbered. On one-hand the story and messages come through with so little of pages. On the other-hand, I feel sad that things didn’t play-out as I secretly wanted. Basically, because this review isn’t confusing enough, I thought that this story was enough yet not enough.

Either way, if you like emotional stories, with good messages, that end bittersweet, you’ll enjoy Sweethearts.

Have you ever read a book that left you with confusing, conflicting thoughts?

pinterest button

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Paranormalcy by Kiersten WhiteParanormalcy (Paranormalcy, #1) by Kiersten White
Published by HarperTeen on August 31st 2010
Pages: 335

Discover the first book in a sparkling paranormal romance trilogy from Kiersten White, #1 New York Times bestselling author of And I Darken.

Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through supernatural glamours.

She’s also about to find out that she may be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

Paranormalcy was one of those books that I kept seeing popup on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble; basically the sites I visit on practically a daily basis. Although the synopsis perked my interest a bit, it was truly the great reviews I kept seeing that urged me to purchase Paranormalcy. I’ve hit a streak of gold lately when it comes to great books. The last few I’ve read have been phenomal, and although I was a tad iffy I still went into Paranormalcy with high hopes. I’m glad to say that I wasn’t let down–not a bit. Paranormalcy is a very cute, engaging, and unique YA book. The story concept was fresh and very likable. Per usual when I get addicted to a good book I’m up wicked late to finish it, and Paranormalcy was no exception.

I’m a HUGE Buffy fan and therefore I think one of the reasons I loved Paranormalcy so much is because I could drawn lines connecting the two. Midway through the Buffy TV series we learned about a secret government sector called the Initiative whose job was to monitor and exterminate lethal supernatural beings. Their commando-agents were responsible for bagging and tagging the various supernatural they encountered such as vampires, demons, werewolves, etc. In Paranormalcy, Evie our heroine, works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency (ICPA) by ferreting out various supernaturals and banding them with trackers. In Paranormalcy all supes are considered dangerous and therefore are carefully monitored and put to work for the ICPA. I really enjoyed this aspect of the book, besides television, I’ve never read a story that features a government agency like this. With a the cool gadgets and protocol; I was completely engrossed.

Evie is at the center of the story. As an orphan with an extremely-unique as one would say “paranormal” gift, she’s been with the ICPA for quite sometime. She’s recently been able to handle bag and tag cases on her own. Paired with the ability to see through any supernatural glamour and a pink taser covered in rhinestones named “Tasey” she’s one girl you don’t want to mess with. I felt like throughout book I had a very love-hate relationship towards Evie. On one hand she’s super funny, quirky, and brave. She definitely “beats to the sound of her own drum” and therefore I found her to be a very compelling character. However, as much as I love Evie, at times I still wanted to take her by the shoulders and give her a good-solid shake. Sometimes she makes really bad decisions. Although her heart is always in the right place she has a tendency to jump in first and think it out later. She gets put in quite a lot of bad positions because of her fly-of-the-seat reactions.

Besides Evie, Paranormalcy has a strong group of characters. For instance, Lend *be still my heart* is a great male lead. Although he’s very guarded in the beginning his character really opens up throughout the book. I loved seeing the teamwork between Evie and Lend. When I think of the two them together I picture “ying” and “yang”. At one point during the book, Lend’s mother remarks ”What a lovely balance. Lend shows whatever he wants the world to see and you see through whatever the world wants to show you”. I think that Kiersten White had a spurt of creativity genius when she decided what abilities Evie and Lend would have. Not only are they super-cute together, they also complement each other fantastically.

Overall Paranormalcy was a very enjoyable read. I was extremely entertained throughout the entire novel. The pace is perfect and the story is full of action and great dialogue. All the characters leap right off the page whether it be goofy and strong-willed Evie, cute and determined Lend, stern and motherly Raquel or devilish and cunning Reth. With 4 stars I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves YA fiction with romance, action, and of course paranormalcy.

pinterest button

Epic Fail by

Epic Fail byEpic Fail by Claire LaZebnik
Published by HarperTeen on August 2nd 2011
Pages: 309

Will Elise’s love life be an epic win or an epic fail?

At Coral Tree Prep in Los Angeles, who your parents are can make or break you. Case in point:

As the son of Hollywood royalty, Derek Edwards is pretty much prince of the school—not that he deigns to acknowledge many of his loyal subjects.

As the daughter of the new principal, Elise Benton isn’t exactly on everyone’s must-sit-next-to-at-lunch list.

When Elise’s beautiful sister catches the eye of the prince’s best friend, Elise gets to spend a lot of time with Derek, making her the envy of every girl on campus. Except she refuses to fall for any of his rare smiles and instead warms up to his enemy, the surprisingly charming social outcast Webster Grant. But in this hilarious tale of fitting in and flirting, not all snubs are undeserved, not all celebrity brats are bratty, and pride and prejudice can get in the way of true love for only so long.

In the beginning I was a little weary. As a huge fan of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice I figured that this book could either be totally suckish or totally awesome. I’m glad to say it was the latter of the two. Epic Fail was a cute book. The first couple pages sucked me in with their charismatic characters and charming dialogue. Claire LaZebnik has a fantastic writing style. All of the characters are described and portrayed perfectly. The style isn’t as heavily detailed as the original Pride and Prejudice, but nonetheless it’s enjoyable. I’d call Epic Fail the perfect beach book, or even a sitting-in-the-gazebo read, with a glass of ice tea by your side, you’re all set for an enjoyable couple hours.

Now here’s the part where I talk about why this book got 3 vs. 5 stars from me. Everything I’ve said so far makes it sounds like the perfect read, you’ve got great characters, witty dialogue, and a fast-paced plot that keeps you interested. However, what this story lacked was “surprise”. I get that it’s a modern-take on Pride and Prejudice with familiar plots and elements, but from the beginning I basically knew which character to suspect and how the finale would play out. Some say there are few similarities between Pride and Prejudice and Epic Fail, however I’d say there is big honky and blatant ones. Basically Epic Fail IS Pride and Prejudice except the story and characters have jumped from the 19th to the 21st century. Elizabeth Bennet Elise Benton comes from a family containing a wacky mom, a no-nonsense dad, and three sisters. One sister, the oldest is reserved and two others are younger than Elise, one of them being easily influenced and slightly out of control. Out of all her family members, Elise is not easily swayed, with her witty-comebacks and stubborn nature she’s basically Elizabeth Bennet reincarnated. Then you have Mr. Darcy Derek Edwards, the standoffish, angst-y, and doubly-stubborn son of a famous actress-mother. Basically all the original characters from Pride and Prejudice are here playing their usual and recognizable roles.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved Epic Fail. I really did. All through the book I was hooked, the characters were appealing and likable and the plot was fun and interesting. However, about 3/4 through the book I realized what I had originally feared was coming to fruition. The good guys in P&P triumphed in the same way and the bad guy likewise, lost. I realize that re-tellings are big these days, old stories, fairy-tales, etc. however I think they should be achieved in a certain way. I feel like if you’re going to put a new-spin on a well-known and well-loved tale you should really add some new aspects to it. I know there’s the saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” but who wants to spend time and money reading something that you basically already read and possibly own. Overall, I do recommend Epic Fail. Even though it left me slightly disappointed it was a fun read nonetheless.