Hey guys! 🙂 School sucked up almost all of my time these past few months so I’m super behind on posting reviews. In an attempt to catch up, I’m going to write spoiler-free mini-reviews for all of the books I read in the past few months. Some of the titles link to my more in-depth reviews. Without further ado…
This was a cute, fluffy contemporary novel. I think it would great to read during the summer! The romance was adorable and the anticipation of finding out what happened between Vee and Cam had me hooked. The way the author switches between perspectives and timelines builds a lot of suspense towards finding out what happened in the past and seeing if they’re able to overcome their problems. Overall, this was an enjoyable read.
➳ One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus ★★★★★
This was an extremely compelling mystery/thriller. The revelation of secrets throughout the book had me hooked. The characters were also very well-developed. The author took stereotypical teenagers and added depth to them. I was kept on my toes throughout the entire book and felt very satisfied with the ending. I highly recommend listening to this book on audio; there is a full cast of characters and they do an amazing job!
I really wanted to love this book. I thought the parts that had to do with Islamophobia were very important and appreciated the author’s messages about racism and prejudice. I also found the pressure Maya’s parents put on her to be a very realistic problem for many teenagers who are just trying to follow their dreams. However, Maya’s Muslim religion is supposed to be one of the most important aspects of the story, yet not once does she practice her religion throughout the book. Furthermore, I hated the romance and felt that it painted Maya as hypocrite. She portrays herself as someone who is very moral, yet she spends the entire novel chasing a boy who already has a girlfriend and hanging out with him in secret. This really infuriated me and took away from her character in my eyes. Unfortunately, the romance was such a big part of the story and it was focused on more than the issue of Islamophobia and the tragedy of the terrorist attack.
➳ Little Monsters by Kara Thomas ★★★★
This was a really twisty mystery/thriller. Each turn of events kept me on the edge of my seat and I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. I thought the concept was very unique in general. It was also concerning at parts because it makes you think twice about who you call your friends. The setting suited the plot perfectly. Considering how much I enjoyed this novel, I’ll definitely be picking up Kara Thomas’s other thrillers in the near future.
➳ The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon ★★★
This book tackles some important topics such as immigration and interracial relationships, but it mostly focuses on the romance between Natasha and Daniel. When it comes to romance, I like the kind that really makes me emotional – whether it makes me super happy or rips my heart out haha. While I thought some of their interactions were cute, I just wasn’t really affected by this book. It didn’t touch me the way I hoped it would. However, I did like the way Yoon alternated POVs and showed how interconnected everyone is.
➳ Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu ★★★★★
This novel was so enjoyable and empowering! It does have a heavy focus on feminism, but it mainly promotes the idea that everybody deserves to be heard. It’s also a really “feel good” book. There are some moments that had me furious (the ones regarding sexism and sexual assault) but there are so many aspects of Moxie that warmed my heart such as the friendship, family, and romance. The romance itself is not overwhelming and it nicely complements the story without becoming the main focus. Viv is a wonderful MC – she’s determined and truly has a good heart – and her relationship with Seth is adorable. They have good communication and a very healthy relationship overall. Seth is also amazing in the way that he’s always trying to support the movement Viv is starting (even before they’re a couple) and he’s always trying to learn and be better. All in all, I loved this book and would highly recommend it to everyone!
➳ Down and Across by Arvin Ahmadi ★★★★
This is a light, quirky read. It is about a young man’s journey to discover who he is and what he’d like to do with his life. The main character himself is very likable and he meets an interesting cast of characters that are easy to love/hate along the way. Ahmadi’s writing is hilarious throughout and this was an impressive debut novel.
➳ Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli ★★★★★
Simon vs. is an absolutely adorable contemporary novel. It’s about romance, friendship, and family with a little bit of mystery thrown into the mix. There is so much diversity and the characters are very relatable. The way Simon’s friends and family are so accepting of him is heartwarming. The movie Love, Simon was just as amazing as the book and I can’t wait to learn more about Simon and his friends in Leah on the Offbeat!
➳ This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp ★★
This book had so much potential. School shootings are tragedies that unfortunately occur far too often, especially in the United States. A book about such a serious topic had the ability to be action-packed (especially because the whole book takes place in less than an hour) and affect readers emotionally, but this book just fell flat in my opinion. The plot wasn’t very exciting and although it was definitely more of a character-driven novel, it failed to examine the school shooter’s psyche. It had the ability to be an amazing story but it just didn’t hit the mark.
This was an enjoyable, addicting mystery/thriller. It takes place at an all-girls boarding school and most of the characters are spoiled, stuck-up brats and therefore very unlikable, but still well-written. There is a lot of LGBTQ representation and I appreciated how naturally these characters blended seamlessly into the environment at Bates Academy. The only downside to this book was that it was a little confusing at times.
I was immediately drawn to this book because it’s about witches, and it turned out to be everything I had hoped for and more! Ernshaw’s writing style is beautiful. She does an excellent job of creating an atmosphere where the plot could believably take place. Throughout The Wicked Deep, the small, haunted harbor town of Sparrow, Oregon is really brought to life. As for the plot, it was captivating and unique. There is a perfect balance of mystery and romance. Finally, I loved how morally gray the situations in this novel were. The ideas Ernshaw presents challenge the reader to consider their definitions of “right” and “wrong.”
➳ Broken Beautiful Hearts by Kami Garcia ★★★★★
This novel is so under-hyped. I decided to listen to the audiobook on a whim and… wow. It blew me away. Its discussions regarding abusive relationships are so important. The characters are all well-developed and for the most part, incredibly lovable. The main character is such a badass and the love interest is my new fictional boyfriend haha. The plot was very interesting and kept me captivated throughout. I just loved everything about this book and would highly recommend it.
➳ The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo ★★★
I know 3 stars is an unpopular rating for The Poet X, but it just didn’t strike me as the kind of book that would stick with me for a long time. It discussed some important topics such as confusion about religion and domestic abuse, but beyond this it just didn’t stand out to me. I do think I liked it better because I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by the author herself. So even though I didn’t get to see the format of the poems, I was able to hear the story in exactly the voice the author intended.
This book is an eye-opening memoir about Prout’s life, before and (mostly) after she was raped. It is important because it allows you to see the victim’s side of the situation – the trauma that she experienced. It was infuriating at times because the students and faculty at the boarding school where it happened turned their back on her and harassed her even though she was the victim. However, her story of how she fights back and works to make the world a better place for other victims is truly inspiring.
This book is perfect for anyone who considers themselves a “nerd” or “geek.” It is truly a celebration of fandoms. It is highly detailed but shows off the author’s quirky sense of humor. The characters are very diverse and the messages within are very important. My only complaint is that things often seemed too easy and convenient.
Well that’s all! I’m grateful to have read some pretty great books over the past few months. Let me know in the comments if you’ve read any of these books and what you thought of them! 🙂
– Kelly xx