Book Reviews

From Blood and Ash Book Review

“Fear and bravery are often one and the same. It either makes you a warrior or a coward. The only difference is the person it resides inside.”

Jennifer Armentrout
4/5 Daggers (stars)

Synopsis

Poppy has grown up belonging to everyone but herself. She was raised as the Maiden, which translates to having absolutely no freedom. She can’t speak to anyone, can’t be looked upon, can’t engage in activities, can’t do anything. Poppy is covered by a veil and sits quietly while she does as she’s told. As Poppy waits for her Ascension, she would much rather be defending people and daggering the Craven – a terrifying type of monster that destroys and kills…including having killed Poppy’s parents long ago. Then, one day, she gets a new guard and everything becomes beautifully confusing. Poppy wants less to do with her Ascension and more to do with living the life that was stolen from her. As Poppy struggles with following her heart, an old and fallen kingdom is beginning to rise and rebel. Lives are in danger, including Poppy’s. She can either fight or she can remain the perfect, pure maiden…what will she choose?

My Thoughts

This was the first Jennifer Armentrout book that I picked up. I ended up using this book as my ‘reading before bed’ book, so it took me longer to read than normal. I first saw this book on TikTok when someone said that it was more steamy than ACOMAF. I was intrigued but didn’t want to add another book to my collection just yet. Then, someone I follow on twitter was raving about this book so I decided to download the kindle version. Since I hadn’t read this author before, I didn’t have any idea what to expect. The first chunk of the book dragged for me. I enjoyed what I was reading, but it felt slow for me. Although…I then simultaneously decided to read the book Forever With You, by JLA as well! I loved that book so I continued trucking through this one, and I’m glad I did!

Let’s start with Poppy…I LOVE her!!!!!! What a strong character. This poor girl is put through HELL, but she entertains herself and breaks some rules, too! I love a good badass, and Poppy is definitely that! Reading about how she was forced to live her life was so unsettling and upsetting, especially her lessons with the Lord and Duke. I don’t know how she didn’t lose her mind with all the rules she had to follow…I wouldn’t have lasted 18 years. Then, there’s Viktor whom I also love. He helped Poppy see a little bit of life by training her to use a dagger and defend herself. He saw behind her veil and knew Poppy as a daughter. I also enjoyed Tawny’s character and how she was so much more than Poppy’s handmaid. They cared for each other and Tawny saw Poppy as a person and a friend, not just the Maiden.

Then, there’s Hawke. We meet Hawke early on in the book, then he disappears, and then he returns. I loved him the moment I met him. Then I fell even more in love with him…then I hated his guts…then I loved him…then I hated him…it’s a love/hate roller coaster. I picture him distinctly in my mind but I can’t put into writing how I imagine him. The way he and Poppy talk to one another is my favorite and I love them so much (I’m saying that a lot). But then, JLA throws a wrench in things and my heart is very, very confused. However, I finished this book and NEEDED the second book ASAP. Luckily, I chose a great time to finish this book because the new one came out today (Sept. 1).

Now, I’m going to move onto the writing. I like JLA’s writing style. But, like I said before, this book took a while for me to get into. I don’t think it was the writing that bored me, but the plot and learning the back story and piecing together what was holding me back. However, I soon wrapped my mind around the story and ended up loving it in the end. Once it got going, it sure took off! Some of the semantics of the setting and Lords/Ladies/Duke/Duchesses were confusing and I didn’t love them. Although, I do see how they add to Poppy’s backstory and the plot of the book. As for Fantasy, this book has some great creatures (the craven, Atlantians, Vampyrs, Wolven, and giant rat monster things). Honestly, I would have loved to see more of the Craven and the blood forest. We see more of the wolven in the last chunk of the book, but I liked them and am excited to (hopefully) see more in book 2.

Holy plot twist. I 100% did not see that coming until it was right under my nose. Maybe I was blinded by love, but that was an SJM twist if I ever did see one! Again, playing with my emotions in books is something I rank highly…it means I’m invested.

I do have to say that this book may house my favorite ever sex scene that I’ve read. This book didn’t have a lot of sex in it, maybe three scenes tops (toward the end of the book too), but there was a lot of sexual tension! I’ve read quite a few smut books in my days, including books that aren’t romance but have sex in them, but this one just did something to me (TMI maybe?). ACOMAF for example, has a handful of sex in it. Love the book, love the romance, chapter 55 amiright? But this books second big sex scene, in the closing chapters of the book, was just something utterly raw and carnal and beautiful. So, congrats on JLA for writing a filthy, wonderful sex scene into this book and making me love those few pages more than anything ever. The atmosphere and events surrounding the scene had a lot to do with the portrayal of emotions, too. It didn’t just happen and it wasn’t an “omg I love you, so show me” scene. It was unexpected and powerful…for me anyway. It will definitely stick in my mind until I read something equivalent or better (as if).

Overall, I am so happy I stuck it out with this book. I cannot wait to read the new one (it should be here in physical form by Friday…ugh) and see where the story goes. I also bought a handful of JLA’s books based on how much I liked the two I’ve read this month. Hopefully they’re just as good! Hawke has been added to my book boyfriend list and may be second under High Lord Rhysand. Just saying.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this book. Leave me some comments if you’ve read this! I love a good discussion!

Book Reviews

Heart Bones Book Review

“Love is a lot like water. It can be calm. Raging. Threatening. Soothing. Water will be many things, but even in all its forms, it will always be water. You are my water. I think I might be yours, too.”

Colleen Hoover
4/5 Hearts (stars)

Synopsis

Beyah hasn’t had the easiest life. Her dad hasn’t really been in the picture lately, and her mom just overdosed in their trailer. Beyah can’t afford to live in the trailer alone, and doesn’t move into college until August, so she tells some white lies and moves in with her dad and his new family…so, it’s off to Texas she goes! Beyah is the complete opposite of her dad and his family. They’re rich, peppy, and doing really well. Beyah, on the other hand, is poor, quiet, and is used to fending for herself. Beyah just wants to survive the summer before she can escape to college. However, Beyah’s new neighbor, Samson, throws a large wrench in her plan. Just to look at, Beyah and Samson come from two walks of life, especially because Samson has more in common with her father’s family than Beyah. However, the two of them hit it off and promise to take it slow…until things speed up and they don’t want summer to end. But then, it does…

My Thoughts

As always, I love Colleen Hoover’s writing with a passion. I didn’t know where this book was going at first (I didn’t read the synopsis) but was pleased with the result. I loved Beyah and appreciated seeing how her life wasn’t perfect. In fact, the life she lived growing up was ROUGH. Her mom was an addict, they lived in a trailer, and didn’t have any of the necessities. Her coaches/teachers made sure she was fed and had what she needed for volleyball and for school. Beyah worked at McDonald’s and did some tough things, at a young age, to get money so she could survive. Her dad, on the other hand, lived across the country and was living his best life. He thought he was supporting Beyah via money/gifts etc, but she never saw those things because of her mother. I thought Colleen Hoover did a nice job portraying Beyah’s home life throughout the novel as well. Her mannerisms and memories of being poor didn’t magically disappear when she moved in with her dad and their money.

I also really enjoyed Samson’s character and the mystery that surrounded him. I was weary of him through the whole book because of his inability to answer almost any question, but I looked past it and felt attracted to him just as Beyah does. I loved the relationship they built with each other and what we were able to learn about each of them, through the other. They made me feel an array of emotions and I loved every second of it!

Besides the main characters, I loved the secondary ones too! They brought a lot to the story and really helped us find out who Beyah and Samson truly were. I liked the quirkiness that Beyah’s stepsister brought to the table and I did like how her dad tried to redeem himself for Beyah.

Overall, the plot of this story was fun and I definitely didn’t see the plot twist coming (I guess that’s the point)! The story showed the complexity of Beyah’s life well and showed how she made the best for herself in crappy situations. There were so many times that Beyah could have given up and fallen into the same troubles as her mother, but she persevered. Along with the plot, I loved the writing (per usual). CH used amazing imagery and personification of the ocean throughout the story and it just helped add to the atmosphere.

I think I would have liked an epilogue at the end of the story, kind of looking into the future and seeing where Samson and Beyah were in life. I think that would have added the last bit of closure I needed for the story. Sometimes I felt that I wasn’t reading a CoHo book. I’ve read a good chunk of her stories and this one felt a little different at times, and then it didn’t. I think that may be why I didn’t give it 5 stars. I loved it, don’t get me wrong, but something felt a little off and unusual for her. Still, I wasn’t disappointed and very much enjoyed the story!

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: I love Colleen Hoover! This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year (as is her book coming out later this year) and it lived up to the hype I gave it in my head. Also, the cover is BEAUTIFUL. I have a signed copy coming next month and I can’t wait! I read this on my kindle and it was a quick read. I highly recommend this book!

Book Reviews

The Thing About Jellyfish Book Review

There’s no single right way to say goodbye to someone you love. But the most important thing is that you keep some part of them inside you.”

Ali Benjamin
4/5 Jellyfish (stars)

Synopsis

A seventh grader, named Suzy, loses her best friend, Franny, in a drowning incident. However, Suzy is convinced that Franny didn’t drown, but instead, was stung by an extremely rare and dangerous jellyfish. After hearing the news about Franny, Suzy retreats into herself and refuses to talk. She spends her time researching jellyfish and trying to decide what professional she wants to reach out to for help so that she can prove her theory. Suzy finds out things about jellyfish and herself in her long journey of dealing with loss of someone near and dear to her.

My Thoughts

First, I had zero expectations going into this book. I bought it because I loved the title and the cover. When I started reading it, I realized it was about a middle schooler that has experienced the loss of a friend. I didn’t know if I was going to like this book very much after the first handful of pages, but I am so happy that I continued.

Being a science teacher I loved that the sections of the book are split up to represent the parts of research/the scientific method. It really emphasized the efforts that Suzy was putting into her research and was a great outline for the research she had to do for her class project, too!

I enjoyed Suzy’s character a lot. Even though she didn’t talk to people, her internal thoughts were so detailed and emphasized how observant she was to what was going on around her. I really felt what she was feeling when she was feeling it. I think she is a relatable character, especially for the age group she portrays (middle school). Her parents were divorced and she had to split her time between them, she experienced a big loss, and dealt with all the same things that kids in middle school do. I think if a 13 year old read this book they may find themselves relating to Suzy more than they anticipated.

To me, Suzy’s research means so much more than just figuring out the cause of her friend’s death. She is convinced that things just don’t happen and that there is a reason/cause. Her research, in my eyes, was a way for Suzy to also find and define herself, this version of her without her best friend. She’s looking for a way to remedy her friend’s death, but deep down, Suzy is looking for who she is. On the surface, yeah it seems like she is obsessed with solving her friend’s death, but there’s more to Suzy than that and, I think the reader can see that before Suzy does.

Suzy’s narrations are also believable and real. She has extraordinary thoughts for her age, but then she does have ideas/thoughts that remind readers that she is only in 7th grade. Since I teach 7th grade, I can see a lot of my students in Suzy and the story really touched my heart because I related to it in that way. I also appreciated the jellyfish aspect of the story. I liked how facts were thrown in about jellyfish and it was a fun way to learn about the creatures. The way that Ali Benjamin described jellyfish was beautiful as well. One that sticks out to me particularly is when she describes their tentacles as reminding Suzy of Franny’s fiery hair.

If I didn’t teach middle schoolers, I don’t necessarily think that I would have loved this book as much as I did. It was a great middle grade story that could even go into the younger ages of the young adult genre! Nonetheless, I still loved the story. I haven’t read anything like this for a while and I enjoyed the tie in of nature.

Overall, this earned 4 stars from me and I hope that I can encourage others (maybe younger readers) to pick up this book. Whenever I get back to school, this may just live in my classroom library!

Book Reviews

Home Before Dark Book Review

Every house has a story to tell and a secret to share”

Riley Sager – Home Before Dark
5/5 Haunted Houses (stars)

Synopsis

When Maggie Holt was five years old, she and her parents spent 20 days living in Baneberry Hall, a creepy mansion with a dark past. Maggie’s father wrote a story about their days in that house, claiming it was a horror house. Maggie doesn’t remember anything and doesn’t believe a word in her dad’s “horror novel”. After her dad passes, Maggie finds that the house is now hers and she decides to go get it ready to sell. Despite her father’s final warning to Maggie to not go back, she goes to try and uncover the truth in those dark and horrifying 20 days, even if it means unburying some old ghosts.

My Thoughts

This was a much anticipated read for me and I finally got it from Book of the Month. I knew close to nothing about this book but was very intrigued by the cover and the title, so I went out on a limb and gave it a shot.

The first 40 pages or so of this book, I was a bit irritated because it was very similar to the Netflix series, the Haunting of Hill House. I read that book and the series was nothing like it…this book does a better job outlining and telling that story, that one would easily think the show is based off of this book. The haunted house, the short stay, the spooky things happening, the grounds keeper, etc., all are things that were part of the show too! However, I love a Haunting of Hill House and was quickly over my irritation. I almost wished that the show was based off of this book (but maybe the book was based off the show…who knows?!).

The writing of this book was fantastic. The chapters rotated from Maggie’s perspective to the chapters in her father’s novel. It was so interesting to be able to read a book inside of a book. Sager did a phenomenal job connecting the present perspective with the book’s perspective. For example: One of Maggie’s chapters ends with the sentence; “Some promises do indeed need to be broken” and the next chapter (from her dad’s book) starts with “I need you to make a promise”. This happens quite a few times and I loved how it flowed so nicely even though it was two different perspectives. The chapters complimented each other very well.

I also think that having this “book in a book” aspect added to the mystery and suspense of the story. I was so invested in the story Maggie’s dad wrote, that I was believing every word of it, even if Maggie didn’t (maybe I’m gullible?). His book really brought the horror aspect of the story and then intensified the things Maggie felt and experienced during her short stay as an adult.

I enjoyed Maggie very much. Seeing the story unfold through her eyes and watching her hatch out the mysteries of the house step by step was fascinating. Having to dive into this time of her life that she only knew from the pages in her father’s book was hard for Maggie. It added to the suspense of the story. I found myself trying to decide if her father’s book was fiction of non-fiction and then I was on my toes as Maggie began digging into the past of Baneberry Hall.

Holy Plot-Twist x 2! I didn’t see the ending coming at all (also because I’m dumb when it comes to twists). I was thrown through a loop twice at the end of this book and I loved every second of it! Sager did a fantastic job building the characters, the suspense, making readers formulate their own ideas, and then he threw a wrench in everything and had me reading faster than ever before!

I couldn’t put this book down. From the first chapter I was invested in what was happening in Baneberry Hall. I also loved that the house itself was portrayed as a character; “it never forgets”, “it remembers”, “it breathes”, things like that make the house so much more than just a setting. Some of my favorite thrillers have the setting become like a character and I can add this book to that list too!

There were some parts where I would have liked some more description or scare factor, but other than that, I can’t complain about this book! It wrapped up nicely and I didn’t feel like it was rushed or dragged on. I’ll say it again too, I REALLY loved the book inside of a book writing style too. I recently read Colleen Hoover’s Verity and that also has a similar writing style (I enjoyed that book too, a fun mystery…also a bit creepy).

Overall, I can’t rave enough about this. I’m going to talk my fiance into reading this book because he also loves the Haunting of Hill House and I think he’ll love this book. I may or may not have been raving about it when I finished and it got him interested.

So…if you got anything out of this, let it be to READ THIS BOOK! If you like a good thriller/mystery, this is a great one to try! It had my skin crawling a few times and I was definitely creeped out too!

Buy this book here!

Book Reviews

The Vampire Academy Series Book Review

Some people read books for fun.”

Dimitri Belikov (Richelle Mead)
  • Vampire Academy: 3/5 Stars
  • Frostbite: 4/5 Stars
  • Shadow Kiss: 4/5 Stars
  • Blood Promise: 3/5 Stars
  • Spirit Bound: 4/5 Stars
  • Last Sacrifice: 4/5 Stars

Synopsis

The Vampire Academies takes place at St. Vladamir’s Academy; a school for dhampirs and Moroi. The Moroi are vampires and dhampirs, are half Moroi, half human, and they train to become guardians of the Moroi. A dhampirs life work is to protect their assigned Moroi (especially the Royals); they come first. Rose Hathaway is a dhampir that has a special bond with her Moroi best friend, Princess Vasilisa Dragomir. Rose is able to visit Lissa’s mind and see through her mind, but Lissa cannot do the same for Rose.

The six books in the series follow Rose through all of her trials and tribulations as a fiery spirit. Rose faces death, puts her life on the line for Lissa, finds and loses love, and a lot more, all while fighting professors, Strigoi (bad vampires), and whatever else threw at her. Each book brings a new story in Rose’s timeline and we get to see her life through her eyes (and through Lissa’s via Rose!). I don’t want to spoil the books, so if you like vampires, action adventures, slow burns, and some (non-steamy) romance, these books are perfect!

My Thoughts

Characters:

  • Rose: I could not love Rose more. She is so fiery and will beat down anyone that threatens her friends. She has spunk and stands up for what she believes is right. Rose’s sarcasm and attitude really won me over. I am SO glad that she was the narrator of the story!
  • Lissa: Lissa wasn’t a favorite of me. She was whiny and, in my opinion, didn’t deserve all the love and effort that Rose put into her. Rose wouldn’t be here without Lissa but still…she might be a princess but she was a royal pain in my butt.
  • Dimitri: My love. Ugh. I loved him and couldn’t get enough of him. His character is the reason I had a lot of tears! He was a great instructor at the academy, but he had a great heart.
  • Adrian: My sultry, comedic relief (also my love). I was very torn about wanting Rose with Adrian or Dimitri (couldn’t she have both????). He had his issues and addictions, but he was a good friend with a good soul. I’m glad he was in the series.
  • There were A LOT of other characters, but these are the ones that I felt like touching on. Christian was annoying but I liked what he brought to the table. There were other royals and minor characters that added here or there to the story. Abe was a fun, ominous character and I liked the dark humor he brought into the characters’ lives.

Plot:

I enjoyed the plots of each of these six books! They had decent purposes and I didn’t feel like the plot in the later books became boring (like it tends to in longer series). There were things that I thought could have been left out, but overall, the events in the books were essential and Mead did a nice job portraying them through Rose’s eyes. My favorite was the Strigoi piece. I was intrigued by the two different ‘breeds’ of vampires and liked how they differed so much from each other! By the time I was in the second book, I appreciated that the focus was more on the dhampirs and how they spend their lives defending the Moroi. The dhampirs are the reason that this was so action packed, not the vampires!

Writing:

I thought that the writing in these books flowed nicely. Sometimes there were spots that I felt could have been less/more descriptive, but otherwise it was pretty cohesive. The one things that did ruffle my feathers was that at the beginning of the 2-6 books, Rose explains things from the previous book(s). I feel like these aren’t books that can be read out of order, so if someone read the previous book, they shouldn’t need the information dump (just my thoughts!). Mead did a nice job making the typical teenage drama (love triangles, looks, and everything in between) feel like the movie Mean Girls (my fave!). However, I expected some more vampire action, I think because I love Vampire Diaries and True Blood, I expected it to have that level of drama and vampire-ness, but it didn’t. I thought that might detract from the story, but it didn’t. I was so intrigued by the plot and characters that i didn’t mind the lack of typical vampire shenanigans!

Overall:

Overall, I really did enjoy this series! The characters were compelling, the plot of the series as a whole was entertaining and engaging, and I enjoyed the writing style a lot! I would recommend this series to anyone that loves teenage drama with a splash of vampires!

Buy the series here!

Wrap-Ups

July Reading Wrap-Up

Goodbye July, I can’t believe that you’re already gone! The beginning of the month seems so far ago, but somehow the month is over just like that! I went through a slump mid month, but picked up after that just fine! I think I hit a new Allison record this month! Stick with me and take a peek at the books I enjoyed this month!

Statistics

  • Books Read: 15
  • Pages Read: 5,985
  • Genres Read: Young adult, adult, new adult, contemporary, fantasy, romance,

Rereads First!

Only one reread this month! This was my fifth time reading ACOMAF and it’s still 5 stars for me! This will be seen many more times!

Newbies

5/5 stars. Absolutely a must read. Heart-wrenchingly relevant to what’s going on in 2020.
5/5 stars. Colleen Hoover is one of my favorite authors. This book is a great look at life through a mother/daughter perspective.

5/5 Stars: Fun, light romance novel with compelling characters!
5/5 Stars: This was BEAUTIFULLY written. Highly recommend.
4/5 Stars: The words in this story were entrancing and absolutely stunning. (Thank you NetGalley for providing an eARC in return for an honest review).
2/5 stars: Extremely problematic for me (see review/video for full thoughts).
4/5 Stars: Loved, loved, loved this book. Some questionable material, but still enjoyable!
3/5 Stars: Writing was a bit hard to follow, as was the story. The main character wasn’t enjoyable, but the premise of the story was good. Thank you NetGalley for providing an eARC for honest review.
First book was a 3/5 stars but the rest were 4/5! This was a compelling series to read and I really enjoyed the characters; especially Rose, Dimitri, and Adrian. I’ll be doing a full review on these soon!

Other Highlights of the Month

  • Started organizing my craft room into a library as well! I bought two new shelves and cleared ones I already had (And used for something else).
  • I got two Sarah J Maas autographed books!
  • I discovered there are a series of used book stores about an hour away from here and am going to plan a road trip!
  • I bought 14 books for $40 at the used book store in town!
  • I joined some monthly book subscription boxes.
  • I scored some Alice Clayton signed books on ebay, as well as a signed copy of Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles (my second favorite book).
  • I only fangirled about SJM books multiple times a day…oops. Sorry not sorry!
Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Beach Read Book Review

“Love, after all, was often made not of shiny things but practical ones. Ones that grew old and rusted only to be repaired and polished.”

Emily Henry – Beach Read
5/5 Clackers (stars)

Synopsis

This book follows the lovely character of January as she navigates some pretty difficult news, all while trying to write a new book for her publisher. January’s father recently passed away and she found out some earth shattering news about him. She now has to spend her summer cleaning out his private house while trying to compose herself enough to write this book. Upon moving into her temporary home, she realizes she has a grumpy neighbor – he’s very unpleasant. Later, January finds that her neighbor is none other than Augustus Everett, her rival author from college. Push comes to shove and they decide they have to interact with each other since they’re now neighbors. They make a bet: Gus has to write a book with a happy ending and January has to write the next Great American Novel. They spend time each week researching each other’s genres and work together to figure out this bet. So, now January has another thing to add to the mix, and that is whether or not she’s going to let Augustus Everett blur her vision or not.

My Thoughts

Characters:

  • I loved the characters in this book! January and Augustus worked so well together and brought forth a great enemies to lovers trope.
  • I would LOVE to see a book about Pete and Maggie. I enjoyed their dynamic and thought they were awesome characters.
  • January’s best friend was a decent character. I enjoyed her weird taste in men, but didn’t quite like her and January’s friendship.

Plot

  • The plot was creative and easy to follow. Two authors competing in a bet: something I’ve never read before. I enjoyed how January and Augustus switched genres and made a bet to write a book in that genre. The fact that their hobbies/careers were a huge part of the plot really made it move forward, too. I don’t know anything about being a writer, except for making semi-decent blog posts, but I feel like the details about being an author were exceptionally well done. From writer’s block to scheduling daily time slots to write in, it all felt real. I can’t know for sure that’s what it’s like to be an author, but it was pretty convincing.
  • January fights for this idea that “women’s fiction” is deeper than something that is light and fluffy. It has depth and meaning , even if it has fluff and happy endings! Women’s fiction has such a negative connotation to it these days, it’s much appreciated that January makes it have meaning.

Writing:

  • The writing of this book was well done! It didn’t feel rushed at any parts, but it also didn’t feel like it was being pro-longed in any sense! It gave the right amount of information and really pushed the story forward in a good way!

Overall, I loved, loved, loved this book! It was so fun to read! The chemistry between the characters was believable (as was their constant bickering and cold-shouldering). The writing had a great flow, and the plot moved along nicely. I can’t recommend this book enough. If you’re like me, save it to read at the beach (it adds some authenticity!).

Buy Beach Read Here

Book Reviews

Regretting You Book Review

Sometimes you have to walk away from the fight in order to win it.”

Colleen Hoover – Regretting You
5/5 Film Clappers (Stars)

Synopsis

Morgan and Clara are a mother/daughter duo that are the complete opposite of what you’d expect. Morgan and her high school sweetheart, Chris, had Clara young, but have been together forever. Jenny, Morgan’s younger sister, was in love with Jonah but things got messy and they split. Fastforward 17 years and Chris and Morgan have Clara (now 17) and Jenny and Jonah (back in the picture) have a sweet, newborn baby. One day, the families wake up in their own houses and their lives are turned upside down. They face a trauma and Jonah and Morgan uncover some long kept secrets. They try to keep these secrets hidden from Clara and it puts a strain on Clara and Morgan’s relationship. Meanwhile, Clara is coping with the trauma by falling head over heels for Miller, the one boy that Clara’s dad forbade her to be with. Things get messy and hard, relationships all around are strained, but it’s a beautiful story that will encapsulate your heart all the way until the end.

My Thoughts

Characters:

  • I really enjoyed the characters in this story. Clara was a typical teenager and I feel like the way she dealt with the trauma was how kids I grew up with acted in general. Her acting out (smoking, drinking, sneaking out, etc.) was how kids I went to HS with acted anyway, so she’s a basic teenager for me.
  • Miller was awesome. I loved that he was into film and was a decent guy, despite Clara’s dad thinking he wouldn’t be because of who his parents were. I also LOVED his grandad. Love a good old person character!
  • I liked Jonah when he was younger, but he was a bit annoying to me, honestly. I liked Morgan too, but I feel like she was struggling as a parent before anything substantial happened to her. She was doing the best she could, but sometimes I wondered if it were true.
  • There were a handful of side characters that I really enjoyed as well. They added to the characters, specifically Clara’s best friend/boyfriend. Colleen Hoover always does a nice job building up characters and making sure they have a purpose.

Plot

  • Ugh Colleen Hoover forever ruining me. I enjoyed the plot of this story. I liked how different, yet alike, Clara and Morgan’s stories were. They parallelled nicely with each other, as they struggled through dealing with a trauma that impacted them both in many different ways.
  • The bit of plot that dealt with film-making and being an actor was a nice tidbit to have as well. That information helped build who Miller and Clara were as people and gave them a way to relate.

Writing

  • Colleen’s writing is always wonderful (in my opinion). I don’t feel like she rambles about anything and I don’t ever find myself wishing a chapter would end. She gives the right amount of detail and does a great job captivating me (and keeping my attention).
  • I didn’t find that there were any lulls in the story and it kept moving nicely. When I read Verity by Colleen Hoover a few months ago, I was very angry at the ending. With Regretting You, I had the closure I wanted and didn’t feel like the ending was rushed.
  • Part of me was piecing together the puzzle between the characters, and when we discover what was actually happening, it’s still surprising because it’s so tragic (and upsetting). Hoover set that up with her writing and really submersed readers into the story.

Overall, Colleen Hoover did not disappoint (she never disappoints me….). This story is captivating and a great show of a mother/daughter relationship as they try to navigate life together.

Buy this book here

Tags

Book Life Tag

I stumbled across this tag on this blog, and just had to participate! It’s short and sweet, but I love the concept! Should we take bets on how many Sarah J Maas characters I reference? Here we go!

Who Would be Your Parents?

My parents would be Morgan and Jonah from Colleen Hoover’s Regretting You. They both had some questionable parenting moments, but I feel like they would give so much love and would crush parenting together. Morgan is more strict when it comes to life in general, but Jonah is lax. They compliment each other well and would make for a great set of parents.

Who Would be Your Sister?

I’m an only child, so picking a sibling that would live up to my expectations is fantastic. My sister would have to be Pippa from Holly Jackson’s A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. I’d be older than Pippa, but she has such a great personality and is book smart. I feel like she could solve all my problems. She was a great big sister in the book, so I feel like she’d be a great little sister to have!

Who Would be Your Brother?

My mind traveled to Cassian from SJM’s ACOTAR series as a brother…because he would be an awesome big brother. However, I’ve had some VERY un-brotherly thoughts about Cassian so I can’t choose him. Sticking with SJM, Ruhn Danaan from Crescent City would be a great brother. He’s caring and would do anything for his siblings. I’d like to have a big brother that’s fun and also caring and more responsible than I am (but not a complete wet blanket).

Who Would be Your Pet?

There are so many SJM options, but I think I would go with Clive the cat from Alice Clayton’s Wallbanger. This cat is sassy, loving, and knows what’s up. He cuddles his owner AND protects her, unusual for a cat. I also love cats and SJM books don’t really have them (although, Abraxos is a close second).

Where Would You Live?

Velaris hands down. What a paradise. Thank you Sarah J Maas for bringing this beautiful place to our minds. Velaris has all that I could ever ask for and it’s extremely safe! From artists quarters, to theaters, to food, shopping, and community…Velaris has everything!

Who Would Your Best Friend be?

Bryce from Crescent City (we can add Danika in there too). This duo would be so much fun to hang out with. They’re funny, sassy, and bad-assy. They are thick as thieves and would be great people to have around; whether it’s for venting, chilling with, or doing something extreme. I feel like they would pull me out of my comfort zone and make me better.

What Would You do for Fun?

I swapped “where would you go to high school” out for this question because I can answer it better than the former. For fun, I would go out with my best friend! She knows all the hip places to go and have fun…she also knows how to have a good time and would keep me safe. I think I would also enjoy the small businesses in Velaris. I’d probably spend way more money there then I should, but it would be going to a good cause!

Who Would be Your Significant Other?

Rhysand from SJM’s ACOTAR series, no ifs, ands, or buts! Rhysand is just the epitome of unf. Brooding, dark hair, eyes so blue they’re violet, flirtatious, willing to do whatever it takes to protect his mate (me, duh)…what’s not to love? He loves his friends so much, I know that he would be a great BF or husband or mate. I’ve loved Rhys since he showed up on Fire Night…it’s been a rough time living in the real world when characters like Rhysand exist (and honestly, the whole inner circle could get it).

What a fabulous family that would be. I only mentioned SJM a lot…it’s like I didn’t even try not to!

If you like this and want to complete it, consider yourself tagged! I’d love to see your book families too!

Wrap-Ups

June 2020 Book Wrap-UP!

Just like that, June has come and gone! Quarantine started so SLOW and now the months are flying by. June was a weird month for me. There were days I would pick up a book and set it down and start another one, then there were days when I couldn’t stop reading. There were even books that I started and still haven’t finished! The books I read in the beginning of June felt like they were read in May because it seems so far away. Time is such a crazy concept, and without any true routine, I have no idea what day it is anymore! That being said, I was pretty productive reading wise in June! So sit back, relax, and scroll your way through my books of June!

Statistics

  • Books Read: 13
  • Pages Read: a little over 4,300
  • Genres: Thriller, mystery, romance, fantasy, contemporary; adult/new adult/young adult

This month consisted of 10 new books, one being one that I reviewed on NetGalley, and three books that I reread. My TBR cart was glaring at me as I sauntered back to my favorites, ignoring the stack that needs my attention! I am failing miserably at keeping up with review blogs/GR updates/videos etc, but I’m doing my best! So, even though it’s July 2nd now, here is my June Wrap Up!

Rereads First!

This isn’t the first time you’ve seen these in my posts, and it sure won’t be the last! I started ACOWAR at the end of May and finished it in June. Then I started the series over, obviously starting with ACOTAR! Smut weasled its way into my reading list because I loved it so much and couldn’t stop thinking about the main characters. These are all 5 star reads for me!

Newbies!

This book was amazing! I did a review video about it, so check out my booktube to see my thoughts! This was a great mystery and I will definitely be reading more from Alex North. 4 stars!

This was a book we read at work and I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did! The Terry does a great job explaining the horrors of Middle School, especially when you’re struggling with who you are as a person with a disability. 4 stars!
3 stars: this was a tough topic to cover and the author did it justice. However, the writing style was not something I was used to and I found myself struggling to read this one, even though I was into the plot!
3 stars: this was a fun read, but it was nothing that wowed me. There wasn’t a lot of smut (why I read it in the first place) and the characters were a bit irritating to me. I am interested in more from this author though!
4 stars! This book was so cute! I loved the characters and the plot…however the ending RUINED me and it took me a few days to recover. A fun, young adult romance!
5 stars! I LOVED this book so much! The main character is AMAZING and I love her story. This will bring you up, down, and then back up…all while crying! Great story!

5 stars! What an awesome mystery! Jackson does a PHENOMENAL job getting readers into the story and trying to solve the mystery. Loved the mixed media format, and Pippa, the main character, is a badass!
3 stars! I didn’t love this as much as I anticipated! There was so much hype, and it didn’t WOW me. I do, however, love the Darkling and wish there were more of him in the book! Stay tuned to see a review of the whole trilogy!
3 stars! This was a fun enemies to lovers story. I enjoyed the main character, she was fierce, and I liked the premise. The smut scenes were awkwardly written and they really took me out of the story. Other than that, this was a great read!
This is the book I reviewed on NG and can we just talk about the artwork? I want this book because it is BEAUTIFUL! The whole book is amazingly illustrated and I hope to own this one day! It’s also a fun way to learn about mythical creatures that originated in different parts of the world!

Final Thoughts!

I had a nice variety of books this month, and am happy that none of them rated lower than a 3! I did enjoy each of the books and they were all unique in their own way. I haven’t made a July TBR list yet, but think I’ll just see where the book gods take me! Let me know your thoughts on the books if you’ve read them; I’d love to chat!

See my review video here on Youtube!