Review: Foolish Hearts

Author: Emma Mills

Published: December 5, 2017

Foolish Hearts took me completely by surprise! I knew this book was going to be cute, because, come on, it’s about theater geeks and those are totally my people. What I did not expect, was for this to be such an addicting read. It’s one of those contemporary books that I would love to live in. Not because it has an overly intriguing plot, but because it is full of an amazing cast of characters who all have unique and charming personalities. Basically, I would love to be best friends with almost anyone in this novel.

Ever since I read Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, I have been looking for a contemporary book with the same sort of vibe. THIS is that book. It’s adorable, diverse, and it features a main character who has an amazingly relatable inner dialogue- hell, it is even centered around the production of a high school play. Foolish Hearts is not as romance-centric as Simon, but it is still full of so much heart. I think the soul of this book was how it dealt with friendship. Gideon Prewitt was great and all, but I feel that Iris (even with all her of problems) really stole the show in this story. There are very few YA novels that focus on the development of friendship- mostly because so many YA novels are all about romance, and basically how the main character finds a love interest while all of their “friends” suddenly take a back seat to said love interest (btw, totally not realistic). I loved that Foolish Hearts had a different focus.

I’m really in love with this book, and I’m so glad I finally decided to pick it up off of my shelf. So many things about Foolish Hearts were perfect, but it didn’t necessarily alter my way of thinking or make me overly emotional, so I don’t think I can give it a perfect rating. I can, however, encourage everyone to read this because it is full of characters and situations that I think every single reader can sympathize with and relate to.

4.5 stars!!!!

 

 

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Review: Call Me By Your Name

Author: André Aciman

Published: January 23, 2007

I initially bought this book because I am the type of person who must read the book before seeing the movie. And y’all already know that I had to see the movie- I mean, gay love story? Armie Hammer? I am here for that. I was very ill-prepared for the amount of feels and love that I would end up having for this gorgeous book. I am still a little awe-struck by it, and I honestly can’t stop thinking about it. Naturally, I watched the movie the day I finished the book, and then I proceeded to order my own copy of the movie so that I could truly treasure it forever.

I think I could realistically give Call Me By Your Name a perfect rating, and I probably would if I ever do a re-read. But for some reason, I thought that the first 1/3 of it was pretty boring. I really hate to say that because the last 2/3 was beautiful, and nothing short of perfection. The ending actually made me feel like I underappreciated the beginning and the build-up. I’m positive that I would have related to Elio’s voice more in the first part if I had known that there was greatness to come. Which is why I will tell everyone reading this…. do not be discouraged or underwhelmed with the first part of this book. I promise that IT GETS BETTER. On the other hand, I do not think that this novel is for everyone. It doesn’t necessarily have a “plot”, and it relies heavily on Elio’s inner monologue. Feelings, emotions, more feelings, beautiful descriptions of Italy, beautiful descriptions of the male body, feelings, and more emotions- that’s basically how I would sum up this novel. Oh, and it’s pretty raunchy, sooo stay away from it if you are averse to that sort of thing.

Call Me By Your Name is a wonderfully ambitious read. It is highly emotional and I applaud the author for being able to write such a fabulous novel that is based solely on one boy’s thoughts and feelings. So far this year I have read two adult fiction books. That is rare for me because I am a die-hard reader of YA. Needless to say, I have not been even slightly disappointed by either of the books that I have read that were out of my comfort zone.

4.5 stars!!!

 

 

Review: Alex, Approximately

Author: Jenn Bennett

Published: April 4, 2017

What a freaking cute book!!!! Alex, Approximately is the type of book that makes me want to move to California, sip drinks on the beach, and read cute contemporary novels all day long. It’s the perfect book to bring with you on a vacation- which is ironic because I read a majority of this on my phone while I was at work.

I have a confession to make: I have never seen the movie “You’ve Got Mail”, and apparently this book is a sort of re-telling of that movie. BUT, I will now have to go watch it, because I adored the hell out of this book. Alex, Approximately is a fairly typical YA contemporary romance, and I’m beginning to appreciate light-hearted books more and more. Sometimes your soul just needs a good love story without all of the heartbreak and drama. I think that my only issue with this book was the fact that it sometimes tried to incorporate darker/ more emotional material and that’s where it failed. I don’t really want to say “failed” though, because I still loved it. I just think that the more serious subject matter felt inauthentic and contrived. Everything else about this novel was on point. The characters were well-developed and likable, the story was original (at least to me because I haven’t seen the movie), and the family units were very well-written. I think that overall, Alex, Approximately did exactly what I wanted it to do- entertain me and warm my heart.

4 stars!

 

 

Review: It Ends With Us

Author: Colleen Hoover

Published: August 2, 2016

DAMN. Colleen Hoover has done it again. But this time she has finally earned a perfect review from me. I loveeeee all of the books that I have read by her, but I have never given one 5 stars, just because I felt like they were slightly too ideal. That was not the case with It Ends With Us, and it made all the difference. 

I was completely enamored by this book from the very beginning. It is everything that I expect from a new adult romance, and it was more than everything I expected from Colleen Hoover. Hoover is an EXCELLENT storyteller. Her books are so addicting that I have read a majority of them in a day. In fact, I wasn’t physically able to read this one in a day, and it actually stressed me out because I was in desperate need of wanting to know how this story turned out. I now know that whenever I am planning to read a CoHo book, I will definitely need to start it on a day that I do not have any other obligations.

I do not want to describe too much of the plot because I went into it knowing very little, and I think that’s why I was so surprised by it. And in my mind, being surprised by a book is a very good thing. I had no idea how dark and real this novel would be, and there were moments where I was absolutely stunned by how honest this story was. It was relatable, tragic, and deeply moving. I love contemporaries, and I have been getting more and more into new adult romance. With that being said, I still don’t consider a book perfect unless it makes me truly feel, or gives me a new perspective. It Ends With Us did both of those things. It was already my mission to read everything by Colleen Hoover this year, and now I’m even more motivated to get my hands on all of the books that this amazing woman has written.

5 stars!!!!

Review: We Are Okay

Author: Nina LaCour

Published: February 14, 2017

We are okay… ARE WE ACTUALLY OKAY, THOUGH?! I know I’m not. In a lot of ways, this is a book that I have been waiting to read, and not just because it has been on my TBR since its release date. Just the other day, I was talking about the fact that I have not read, or even heard about, a book that features a gay female as the main character. Low and behold, this lovely little book, that has been sitting on my shelf for months, does! SO MANY YAYS.

We Are Okay is a simple, tiny, and wonderful book. It really doesn’t have a whole lot going on in terms of plot, but I think the storytelling of this book was so very perfect. It is an amazing depiction of grief and loneliness. As someone who often feels alone, I related to this so hard. When I was a freshman in college, I had to live in a dorm. My roommate dropped out of school after about one week, so I spent a majority of my time all by myself. I also have generalized anxiety disorder, so between that and the feelings of loneliness that I experienced, let’s just say freshman year was not the greatest. My personal experiences with the feelings that Marin goes through helped me to love this book even more. Nina LaCour writes beautifully. I say that a lot in my reviews, but it’s true. She has a unique style and she hits the nail on the head with so many of her descriptions.

I sat in amazement as to how a book like this could wreck my heart, but it did. I adored everything about it. For a book that is mainly about coping with grief, it had small and wonderful moments of hope. Do not get me wrong though, We Are Okay is still hella sad and emotional. It hits you in the right feels and it does not let up. After finishing this, I stayed awake for about a 1/2 hour contemplating about how much I missed my own grandfather, and about how grief never truly leaves you. I think that this book is really important and astonishing in its simpleness. It’s a must-read people who love awesome writing and profoundly moving stories.

5 stars!!!

 

Review: The Song of Achilles

Author: Madeline Miller

Published: March 6, 2012

I have read a lot of beautifully written, and highly emotional books in my twenty-something years. The Song of Achilles is by far one of the most well-written books I have had the pleasure of reading. It’s truly stunning. Madeline Miller captivated me and broke my heart all in one fell swoop. This is a book that I will literally never forget. It has earned itself a place near the top of my all-time favorites list- and the funny thing about that is, I don’t normally read books like this.

Adult fiction really is not my thing. I find it hard to relate to most of the time, and I think the writing can often be too sophisticated for me to enjoy (which, by the way, is not a bad thing- it’s just not MY thing). Besides not being a huge fan of adult fiction, I also do not know a lot about Greek mythology. I mean, I can quote most of the Disney movie, Hercules, but that’s about all I got. The Song of Achilles made me want to read up on anything and everything that has to do with Greek mythology. I also want to sit in a corner and cry about how much I love Patroclus and Achilles. In my everyday life, I often use the term “precious peach” to describe people who are just too pure for this cruel world. Patroclus is the absolute definition of a precious peach, and he deserves all the good things.

I wish I could write the way Madeline Miller does. It’s GORGEOUS. I could read quotes from this book all day. I could also cry over quotes from this book all day. TSOA is truly an epic book. I feel like it will be relevant for years, decades, and even centuries to come. It has the potential to be one of those books that high-school English teachers require their students to read. I’m very well aware that a lot of people find high-school English boring, but I think that most of you reading this would agree that English class is awesome, so the fact that I can see this book being taught in schools is a really huge compliment. I want it to be a classic because it’s a story that I, myself will treasure forever. Everyone reading this review should just go check out this book, but beware, you will also need an entire box of tissues and maybe a glass (or two, or three) of wine to drown your sorrows in.

ALL THE STARS!!!!

 

Review: Restore Me (Shatter Me #5)

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Published: March 6, 2018

I have a million different feelings about this book and I feel like I cannot form coherent paragraphs on all of my thoughts, so here they are in list form:

  1. Juliette, why do you suck most of the time? You could be a super strong female heroine, but I just don’t sense that you have the leadership ability to be anything but sporadic and emotionally dramatic.
  2. WARNER. I am forever in love with you. You are what this series needs. This whole review could be a love letter to you and your awesomeness but I should probably move on.
  3. KENJI. Ughhhh, you are also a gem. Your humor is amazing and much appreciated. You deserve love and attention and you should probably find a cooler best friend. (*cough, cough* you and Warner should be best frenemies)
  4. I almost think this whole book is a build-up to something bigger. I need something bigger. But that ENDING- what a game changer.
  5. Restore Me is like post-apocalyptic X-Men.
  6. Tahereh Mafi still rules though because her writing is the most beautiful thing ever.
  7. I could read an entire 6 book series featuring Warner and Kenji interacting. Can we maybe make that a thing?!

This review, like Restore Me, is kind of a mess, but I just drank a large iced coffee so I can’t help it. Basically, I will love the Shatter Me series until the end of time, but I definitely don’t think this was the best installment. I kind of need the next book immediately though.