Caraval Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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“Every person has the power to change their fate if they are brave enough to fight for what they desire more than anything.”

Author: Stephanie Garber

Publication: Flatiron Books

Pages: 407

Rating: 5/5

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OMG The amount of twists and turns in this book was insane! Despite my feelings scrambling all over the place and my heart nearly jumping out of my chest at certain points, I REALLY enjoyed this book. A serious roller coaster of emotions and messing with my FEELS. Stephanie Garber is definitely one talented story teller and I am really looking forward to reading the next book in this series!

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Summary:

Ever since they were young, two sisters by the name of Scarlet and Tella wanted nothing more than to attend the world’s most spectacular event called Caraval. Fueled by the magical stories they heard from their grandmother, Scarlet begins to send letters to the Master Legend in order to somehow gain entry to their performance. Within a few years, she finally gets the chance to attend Caraval but through a certain turn of events, her sister is kidnapped. Now, she needs to enter into Caraval and find her sister before the “game” is over or else she will disappear forever.

Characters:

Scarlet – Naive, Cautious; From the start of the novel, you can easily tell that Scarlet is the most cautious of the two sisters and in some instances it almost seems to be bit overbearing; however, you can understand why her personality is like that due to her current situation with their abusive father. I really did like that Scarlet was very clear on her goals (finding her sister) and made it her priority throughout the game. Her character growth was remarkable and you see her grow to become a stronger person by the end.

Julien – Mysterious, Playful; Julien definitely did have mysterious and dangerous vibe to him at the start of the novel which is one of the reasons why you couldn’t help but be curious about him. The romance does not overshadow the plot line of the book and I appreciated that aspect of the novel. And I love the way he calls her Scarlet “Crimson” lol

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Tella Bold, Reckless; Tella is very much different from her sister in the fact that she is bold enough to do the unthinkable and plunge into situations without having to give it a second thought. This is one of the reasons why Scarlet is quite protective of her since she fears that she may do something that would get them both into all sorts of trouble with their cruel father. However, she does care for her sister very deeply and would help her no matter the costs.

My thoughts:

From the entrance to Caraval, you can already start to sense the ominous and mysterious aura throughout the event: everything from the performers to the intricately designed world. It almost feels as though you are in a completely different universe. Though there are elements of magic used within this world, there is also a bit of darkness as well.

What made this story enticing was the fact that it was a story about sisters and this was something I could relate to since I have a younger sister. Stephanie also does a great job in slowly tying the threads together which helps provide clues to the readers as to what is actually happening. In its entirety, I would describe this novel to be a mystery since there are times when you are not really sure what is going on. In some cases, you may think the story is going one way and then suddenly things flip and you find yourself in a different situation than before. I loved that it always kept us guessing. And this is probably what made the book so addicting that I pretty much flew through it!

Overall, I would highly recommend this book if you love books with adventure, mystery, and magic. Have any of you read Caraval? What were your thoughts on it?

~Ash~

Percy Jackson and the Olympians – The Lightning Thief Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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“Even strength must bow to wisdom sometimes.”

Author: Rick Riordan

Publisher: March 1st 2006 by Disney Hyperion Books

Pages: 377

Rating: 5/5

GoodReads

I think it is safe to say that you should never judge a book by its movie. Although I love Logan Lerman . . . I mean look at that face:

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I have to say that the movie did not do this book justice. There was just so much missing from the story line as well as the actual characters themselves. Coming back to the actual book, I will say that I enjoyed reading this and I will most definitely be continuing on with the series. Thank you to Annabeth @ annabethchasesite for recommending this to me 🙂

Summary:

Percy Jackson is a twelve-year-old kid who is struggling to focus in boarding school with his ADHD and Dyslexia. Things seem to get more complicated when he realizes he is a demigod and that the Gods of Mount Olympus and mythological creatures may no longer be only words in his textbook and that they are very much REAL. To make things worse, he soon finds out that he may have angered one of them: Zeus. The God’s master lightening bolt had been stolen and Percy is the prime suspect. Together with his friends from his new home at Camp Half Blood, they have ten days to return Zeus’s stolen property to prevent a war between the Gods on Mount Olympus.

Characters:

Percy Jackson – OMG if I had read this series before being consumed by Harry Potter, I am pretty sure my 10 year old self would have developed a serious crush on this kid! Percy is just so snarky, I love it! I was laughing out loud nearly every moment he couldn’t keep his mouth shut and just had to say something sassy. Brilliant!

“You want to gargle with toilet water again, Clarisse? Close your mouth.”

OHH SNAP!!!

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Annabeth – I think she maybe one of my favorite female characters of all time. She did remind me a bit of Hermione but I feel that Annabeth has a good balance between actual physical strength and wisdom. She is the daughter of Athena after all 🙂

Grover – In comparison to the film portrayal, I appreciated that we got to see more of Grover’s character and his back story. I also loved the focus Rick Riordan placed on the friendship between him and Percy.

My thoughts: 

I was honestly very surprised by this book! I was debating about starting this since it was a middle grade fiction but it turned out to be quite refreshing to read. I loved the incorporation of Greek mythology into the novel since it added such a unique premise to the book. I was surprised about the amount of knowledge you gain regarding the Greek Gods while reading as well.

The pacing of the book was very well done. It also had the perfect dose of action and suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat. Since this was a middle grade novel, the writing was not too intricate but it was well balanced in terms of description so you could picture the world around you and understand the plot. For this reason, I would recommend this book to both adults and young readers!

Memorable Quotes:

Gabe: . . “Maybe if the kid apologizes for interrupting my poker game.”

Percy: Maybe if I kick you in your soft spot . . and make you sing soprano for a week.

– – –

“I’d made water shoot out of the bathroom fixtures. I didn’t understand how. But the toilets had responded to me. I had become one with the plumbing.”

OMG PERCY! I CAN’T WITH THIS KID! 

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Have any of you read the Percy Jackson series?

Come fan girl with me!

~Ash~

Heartless Book Review (Spoiler Free)

heartless

“Sometimes the heart is the only thing worth listening to.”

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publisher: November 8th 2016 by Feiwel & Friends

Pages: 453

GoodReads

Rating: 5/5

OMG WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN? My emotions are a wreck right now and my heart is literally in pieces!! Marissa Meyer is just a goddess in writing fairy tale re-tellings and this prequel to Wonderland and the Queen of Hearts was beyond beautiful to read. She captures the right balance of the original fairy tale and her own creative plot line. Everything about this book was so beautifully crafted: the characters, the whimsical setting, the plot, the romance. I honestly believed after the Lunar Chronicles, it would be pretty hard to live up to the expectations in placing another fairy tale retelling into the YA market, but Marissa Meyer had done it with Heartless! ❤

Summary:

Catherine Pinkerton or Cath is a talented baker in the Kingdom of Hearts and she wants nothing more than to open her own bakery with her best friend, Mary Ann. Her mother, however, has other plans for her future and she aims for her to marry the King of Hearts to eventually lead the Kingdom. When Cath soon meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker, she instantly captivated by his charm and together the two of them enter into a secret courtship. Cath is determined to make her own decisions and live her own life; however, fate has other plans . . .

Characters:

  1. Cath -Daughter of a Marquess; I honestly loved Catherine Pinkerton. She is just so full of passion for her baking (I love baking as well – one of my personal hobbies hehe) and is generally a good-natured, average girl. What makes this book such a great read is how we her transformation to the Queen of Hearts slowly start to materialize through the course of the novel.
  2. Jest – oh Jest . . . he is just swoon worthy! Let me just add you to my list of ever growing book boyfriends ❤ What can you say about Jest? He is just too beautiful and perfect for this world and you can not help but fall for him the moment he is introduced. Everything about him is just so captivating from his impossible, crazy “magic” to his never ending charm. He is one of the most unique male leads I have read in YA fiction! ❤fangirl.gif
  3. King – oh lord this babbling man . . . While it is true he such a foolish and dimwitted character who honestly does not have the skill and strength to lead a kingdom, you cannot help but feel sorry for him at times since he is quite oblivious to the world around him.
  4. Mary Ann – Catherine’s maid; I admired the relationship between Catherine and Mary Ann since both of them share a deep friendship despite the difference in social class. Although they do have different approaches on how they view certain issues, I did love the fact that they supported one another for Cath’s dream: to open a bakery.

Marissa Meyer also includes various other familiar characters/ references from Wonderland including The White Rabbit, The Cheshire Cat, The Hatter, unbirthday cakes, tea parties, the Looking Glass, and a murderous Jabberwock. Everything is beautifully tied together to re-create the whimsical and reimagined setting of Wonderland.

My thoughts: 

I loved this book! Marissa Meyer has such an addicting quality to her writing that you cannot help but fly though the pages of her books. What I also love about this novel was that you do not have to be an Alice in Wonderland fan in order to read this book. It has the ability to stand on its own despite drawing references and characters from the original story.

I also appreciated how you can start to see the small qualities of the Queen of Hearts within Catherine from the beginning of the book. Although, her rage and true evil character is not present, you can see a glimpse of certain characteristics and I like how Marissa slowly weaved them into her character: it was almost as if they were dormant and have yet to arise. And Jest OMG! There are moments where his words had me swooning! Like how can you do this to my heart???

“I cannot tell you how I look forward to a lifetime at your side, and all the impossible things I’ll have you believing in.”  ❤

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Heartless is also a unique novel to read since as a reader, you do know the outcome and that certain doom is just around the corner but this is what makes it to be such a thrilling read, especially during the last few chapters. It was almost as though you knew that if any form of hope does arise, it will soon dissipate within moments and that is what makes this book so heartbreaking.

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If any of you have not read Heartless, I highly recommend that you do! And if you have read it, please let me know what you thought of it!

Until next time, keep reading and I will see you soon with another post!

~Ash~

 

The Chainsmokers Book Tag

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Time for another book tag!  I first saw this on icebreaker694 and I immediately loved the idea. I was not tagged in this one but it looked so much fun I just had to try it out! The original creator of this tag is Kat @ KatReadsALot.

Rules

  • Post a blog post or a video (YouTubers you are welcome to do this tag! Hiii *waves hand*)
  • You can copy the song lyrics so people can know where the questions are based on. For those without lyrics, we based it on the title. #Genius
  • Tag friends to do the post as well!
    P.S. You don’t have to be tagged to do this tag! Just give it a try!

LET’S GET STARTED!!!


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Roses-A book/series that you don’t/didn’t want to end

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The Lunar Chronicles is so close to my heart! I absolutely adore this series since I love a good fairy tale re-telling and scifi book and this series is a fusion of both genres!! And the characters are just so lovable, I would not mind returning back to this world!

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Don’t Let Me Down-An upcoming book you have high expectations for

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I’m pretty sure everyone is excited for this release!!

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Inside Out-Beautiful cover + beautiful story

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This book was the first contemporary book I have ever read and it was such a beautiful story. I also loved the simplicity of the novel. It was one of those light, cute, and genuinely sweet life stories with a valuable theme highlighted throughout.

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Until You Were Gone-A book you read when it was no longer trending

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I am so late on this series and I don’t know why lol It has been sitting on my shelf forever and I did not pick it up until a month ago 😦 So far I am enjoying it and Percy is just so snarky, I love it OMG!! I have a feeling I will be flying through this series.

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Closer-A book you wish you didn’t read

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This book did have a different concept for the dystopian genre but unfortunately I was not a fan of the characters or the plot so in the end, it did fall flat for me.

 

WATER BED

Waterbed-A book that gave you so much feels

the darkest minds

I loved The Darkest Minds! This book pleasantly surprised me since it is quite different from the other dystopian novels out in the YA market. The characters were so interesting and lovable and the plot is so captivating that you could not stop reading. BUT DAT ENDING THO!!! 

KANYEKanye-An expensive book that you need right now

The special edition UK Edition of the Harry Potter series. Need I say more? The covers are so beautiful 🙂

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Selfie– A photogenic book

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This book is beautiful both inside and out! One of my favorite reads of all time!

GOOD INTENTIONS.pngGood Intentions– A book with lots of good reviews, you hope you’ll like it too

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The amount of positive reviews I have seen for this book is insane!! I am planning on picking up this book next and I really hope I enjoy it too😀 If any of you have read it, please let me know your thoughts below 🙂

NEW YORK CITY

New York City– A book you stayed the night up for (maybe in tears)

 

An Ember in the Ashes

So if you guys follow by blog, I am pretty sure you all know the story behind this book and how I stayed up until 4:30 AM to finish it. Yep, this book is just that addicting!!

I TAG: 

Elizabeth @ ItsmissElizabeth

Beth @ Divine World of Books

Katherine @ Katherine Cole Writing

Soybeing’s Reads

Lindsey @ Paradisbooks

Misty @ Mistybookspace

Shar @ Sunsnacksseries

Michelle @ Imanadventurest

Danielle @ Books, Vertigo and Tea

Megan @ BookSlayerreads

If you have not seen these blogs before, I highly recommend that you check them out! They are fantastic!

Thank you for reading!

~Ash~

 

Angelfall Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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Author: Susan EE

Publisher: Skyscape

Pages: 283

Rating: 5/5

Genre: Young Adult (a few violent scenes)

GoodReads

OH MY GOODNESS!!! I had a feeling I was going to like this book from all the positive reviews but I never thought I would love it this much!! This is definitely one of the best post-apocalyptic books I have ever read!! Despite being a quick read, you never feel that the world is underdeveloped or out of place. I think Susan did a great job in providing us the correct amount of detail to immerse the readers into the story without having to make us feel that we are in an impractical world.

Summary:

In summary, Angelfall starts off approximately six weeks after the apocalypse where angels have descended onto the Earth and demolished the entire world. Humans are now fighting to survive from the gangs which terrorize the streets during the day and the supernatural strike fear into their hearts during the night. Penryn and her family, including her mother and her wheelchair bound little sister, and trying to live through this world just like any other survivor. One night when they are trying to find a safe shelter, she witnesses a huge struggle between a group of angels. These warrior angels end up badly injuring their victim, an angel named Raffe, and they go as far as to even tearing off his wings. Moreover, they also fly away with Paige and Penryn is willing to do whatever it takes to get her sister back, including making a deal with the enemy angel.

Characters:

  1. Penryn – Brave, Determined, Stubborn; Penryn is definitely one of those characters who you grow to admire throughout the course of the novel. From the start, she takes full ownership of taking care of her family and is especially protective and caring towards her little sister, Paige. She has a great balance of being brave but also being warmhearted. Although she can be a bit stubborn at times, I feel that in the end she always tries to do what she thinks is right and I admire her for that.
  2. Raffe – Sarcastic, Bold, Fighter; As soon as Raffe was introduced in this book, I knew that he was going to be an interesting character with a lot of history which we will soon uncover. I think this mystery behind him is what makes his character so alluring. I will say that there were times when I was laughing out loud because of his witty and sarcastic comments: “My friends call me Wrath. My enemies call me Please Have Mercy. What’s your name soldier boy?” LOL I CANT jlawlaugh
  3. Mrs. Young – Schizophrenic, Paranoid, Multi-facetted; Penryn’s mother is an interesting character due to her condition and you cannot place her as a villain or a victim. I feel that at times she does things which are shocking but some other times, you see her human characteristics take over and see her capabilities as a mother.
  4. Paige – Naive, Wheelchair bound; OMG she is a sweetheart ❤

In conclusion, this book truly surprised me 🙂  I think Susan did a great job in taking a different route for the YA dystopian/apocalyptic genre by incorporating the concept of fallen angels. She also created a ominous, dangerous, and mysterious world which is sure to send shivers through your spine while reading certain scenes. It is quite dark but she also does a great job in delivering witty banter and sassy dialogues between the characters for some comic relief. The story is immediately gripping from the first chapter and you can quickly sense the danger of the world that Penryn is in. This is another reason why it is so captivating and such an addicting read. Nearly all the chapters end with a cliffhanger and you have no choice but to continue reading! THE CLIMAX AND PLOT TWISTS WERE JUST INSANE! I am definitely looking forward to the next book in the series!

Have any of you read the Angelfall series? Let me know in the comments!! 🙂

Until next time, keep reading!

~Ash

A Court of Thorns And Roses Book Review (Spoiler Free)

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

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Publication: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Pages: 416

Rating: 4/5

Genre: YA/New Adult Fantasy (few mature content)

GoodReads

I finally did it guys! I picked up my first ever Sarah J. Maas book – A Court of Thorns and Roses! I am pretty new to the book community and ever since I started, I always hear about Sarah’s books whether it be the Throne of Glass series or the ACOTAR series and almost every booktuber or blogger I know had given them stellar reviews. I just had to know what all the hype was about so I decided to take this novel with me on vacation and during those long hours on the flight, I began to read away!

In summary, ACOTAR is loosely based on Beauty and the Beast and it starts off with a girl named Feyre who is hunting in the woods to feed her impoverished family and ends up killing a wolf who is actually a faerie. In order to seek justice for this innocent death, the High Lord of the Spring Court, Tamlin arrives to her home and forces her to spend her life in the faerie realm as punishment for her crime. When she first arrives to the estate, Feyre wants nothing but to escape from her captor. Due to their history, she despises the faeries since she knows they are responsible for the enslavement and torture of innocent humans. However, during her time in the Spring Court, she realizes that the faerie realm is at a very delicate state since there is a form of darkness sweeping their lands. Through her relationship with the other faeries, she realizes that they may not all be as cruel as she once thought they were. Her bond with Tamlin begins to grow in something more deep and meaningful but it also faces potential destruction. Within time, she discovers that she must find a way to fight back against the darkness in these lands or else it would bring the downfall of all faerie lands and even the annihilation of the human world as well.

Characters:

  1. Feyre – Cold, Hard-working, Independent. When I first started reading this book, I did not completely love her character. It was only in the second half of the book, where we see her character being tested and this was when I began to like her a little more. She was able to break through the walls she had built around her and began to showcase her feelings. By doing so, her character began to grow. I also did appreciate how she took care of her family 🙂
  2. Tamlin – Brooding yet gentle, kind. I did enjoy some bits of Tamlin’s character throughout the novel but I did not completely adore him to the point where I ultimately shipped Feyre/Tamlin as the ultimate OTP lol There were times when he would try to be kind to Feyre or try to awkwardly offer her assistance in any way but being the apathetic person she is, she would usually just shrug him off. You could tell that beneath the brooding appearance, he is quite sweet.

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  1. Lucien – Snarky, loyal. One of my favorite parts of this book was the friendship between Feyre and Lucien. I absolutely loved his character and also liked seeing the relationship between him and Feyre grow. Loyalty is one of the best qualities he has and I truly admired him for that.
  2. Rhysand – Mysterious, Clever, Playful. At this point I would say that I do not have a definite, clear stance on his character since I feel like he does certain good things but other times I am not sure as to what his motives are for the other actions he does. I will say that I did look forward to his scenes in the book since he was an interesting character to read about. And his dialogues were quite amusing at times!

“Humans all look alike to me.”

lol k Rhysand . . .

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My Thoughts: 

From the start, I already fell in love with Sarah J. Maas’s writing. She has the ability to completely captivate you and draw you into the fantastical world she builds. What I also found interesting was how the faerie political system was organized into the different courts. Sarah also further builds on her world by providing the different species of faeries and how different they are from one another which added to creating a rich and realistic world.

I will say that more than half the book moved very slow due to the world building and romance development. It was only around the 250-300 page range when the story started to pick up the pace. Most of the thrilling aspect of the book was towards the end and this was the time where it became quite an addictive read which is why as a whole, I gave this book a 4/5 rating.

Have any of you lovelies read ACOTAR? What did you all think of it? Also . . . have you all seen the cover for the third book? It is gorgeous!! 🙂

Until next time, keep reading everyone!

~Ash~

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Everything, Everything Book Review (Spoiler Free)

everything

“Life is a gift. Don’t forget to live it.”

Author: Nicola Yoon

Published: September 1st 2015

Publisher: Delacorte Books

Pages: 310

GoodReads

Rating: 4/5

I typically do not read a lot of contemporary books but I picked up this one due to the immense hype and stellar reviews. I actually first heard about this book from Naya Reads and Smiles and if you have not seen her Youtube channel, please do so cause she is just so awesome and her personality is so bright! I absolutely love her bookish videos! Since this was one of her recommendations for contemporary, I decided to read it since the premise sounded so interesting. Also, I saw this book on BookOutlet and obviously, I just had to get it! LOL

Summary: 

Everything, Everything follows the story of Madeline who has a rare a disease in which she is completely allergic to the outside world. In other words, she can not step outside since the air is considered  to be toxic for her that it may even result in the collapse of her lungs. To cope with her illness, she spends her days behind closed doors of her home which are carefully sealed through an airtight lock. Her days are pretty much run on the same schedule, meeting her nurse, taking online classes and reading a plethora of books. It is not until she hears a moving truck next door when her life completely changes. One of her neighbors, is a boy named Olly and he is mostly the opposite of her: bold, daring and unpredictable. His personality makes her automatically drawn to him and together they go on a beautiful journey which helps us understand that life is precious and you should not waste it.

Characters:

  1. Madeline/Maddy – Dreamer, Determined and Curious; Can I just say I loved the bit of diversity added in here with Maddy being half African American and half Japanese? How cool is that? I really loved her as a character since she was trying hard to balance the life with her mother and the rules she had to abide by because of her illness but at the same time, she is also so curious and drawn to the world behind her window. And she loves to read, which was one of the reasons I connected with her so fast!
  2. Olly – Oh my god, he is just so swoon-worthy I can not!!! He is quite the opposite of Madeline which is one of the reasons why she is so drawn to him. He was more unpredictable as opposed to her strict and ordered lifestyle. I also did love that there was a back story to him as well and we did not just focus on the main character. His experiences were also what drove Maddy to grow and this enabled them to complement each other so well! emma
  3. Carla – I absolutely loved Carla! She is was both a nurse and second mother to Maddy and she was one of the characters in the book which offered the most wisdom and insight about the world and life in general. She does have her own flaws but you can not help but love her for it!
  4. Pauline – A protective mother who at some points did get overbearing but you understood why she did the things she did as the story progressed.

I did appreciate that there was not much insta love in this novel. It started off with curiosity which then grew into a friendship and then later blossomed into something even more. This is one of the reasons I do stay away from the contemporary book since my primary choice is not young adult/romance novels but I did appreciate the way this story kept the contemporary/romance feel but also have a deeper message behind it. There was a good balance and I appreciated that aspect of the book.

The first half of the book did keep my interest which is one of the reasons why I kept reading throughout the night. It was also a very simple read too so you would be able to finish it rather quickly. The second half of the book is when the plot starts to thicken and we see a more rapid shift in the story. It was not too abrupt since it did fit the situation/tribulations the characters were going through in the story.

I honestly ship Madeline and Olly together! Omg they were so cute and sweet! They had their own interests but they never once judged each other on it and did maintain a level of respect and endearment for one another. The theme was quite similar to other novels which were developed around the same concept of illnesses but it is a message worth reiterating since there are times when we do take life for granted.  Make sure to Live life to the fullest! 🙂

Until next time, keep reading everyone!

~Ash~