Book: Saint Anything

Book: Saint Anything

Author: Sarah Dessen

Synopsis: Peyton, Sydney’s charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion’s share of their parent’s attention and-lately- concern. When Peyton’s increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is the the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Charathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

Rating:

Review (Spoilers): This book was very quick and fast paced. I found myself really indulging in the characters. I wish we got more from the plot, though. The dialogue was very smooth, and helped the conversations between characters very real.

Characters: Sydney was an okay character. Half the things Sydney did was not realistic. I didn’t like how she didn’t communicate with her parents, and it made them seem like villains. I felt that she was a very surface character. There was no way for me to connect to her and her story. I really wished we got perspectives from other characters.

Layla was such a good character. The way she supported Sydney and helped her with Ames, a character who was useless and did nothing for the plot. Their friendship was something that really developed the book. I was sad to see her pushed to the side towards the end.

Mac and Sydney romance was very nice. It was there, but it didn’t take away from the overall theme. He helped her along, but in the end she did it for herself.

Plot: The overall theme for this book is something that we can really take with us. I didn’t like the way the plot taught it. Lack of communication was what really caused it. If Sydney had communicated more with her parents a lot of problems could have been solved. Her parents won’t automatically know what she’s thinking or what goes on while their gone, Ames being a creep, if Sydney doesn’t tell them.

I felt that the book was just a lot of different moments put together, it didn’t flow nicely. The moments were all so cute. It was very fast because of that. The book took me probably four hours to read. The ending did please me. It’s always satisfying when endings solve everything. It was a very loose ending. I spent most of my brain energy understanding what happened because it was all so fast. Sydney’s journey was fun to be a part of.

Writing Style: Saint Anything was, like most contemporaries, easy. There was no slang or made up words. It was very smooth. Sadly, I didn’t feel connected to the story. I was genuinely wanting to learn about the characters, but I wasn’t sucked into the story. That did lead to a drop in my rating.

Overall, it was good. My first Sarah Dessen book. I don’t think I will be picking up anymore in the near future. That may change next summer when my want for contemporaries is at its peak.

Book: Eliza and Her Monsters

Book: Eliza and Her Monsters

Author: Francesca Zappia

Synopsis: In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built-her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity-begins to fall apart.

Rating:

Review (Minor Spoilers): I really enjoyed this book. To be honest, I found it highly relatable. I prefer the internet too. It was a lot darker and more dramatic than I thought going in. I found myself laughing with Eliza and crying with her. I can’t imagine how the pressure feels, but I still found a way to connect with the story.

Characters: The characters were all very complex. Eliza had anxiety that really affected the way she communicates with people. Wallace had such a very dark background. All the relationships Eliza had really fit her character. I especially loved her online bestfriends.

Eliza was so relatable for me. I don’t have internet fame like her, but the way she preferred the internet to real life. My favorite quote was, “It’s stupid because that’s what I like about the internet-that it gives you time to think about what you want to say before you say it.” A lot of time she had her parents nagging on her about being on the internet and not talking with other people. My parents will sometimes do that, but I am lucky to have supportive parents.

Wallace and Eliza were very cute together. Of course they had bumps in their relationship, but through it all they were very supportive of each other. The book had equal amounts of heartbreak and fluffy scenes between them.

Plot: The entire plot had me turning pages. It was paced so well to me. I didn’t feel like the problem was solved to fast or slow. The end of the book, or the back, the story was so dark. Her anxiety sort of takes over, and some dark thoughts bubble up. It ended perfectly and had me crying from tears of joy and sadness because I loved it so much.

The beginning was hard to get into. We are just thrown into this story. I wasn’t sure what was going on, but slowly I sunk into the story and understood. Beginnings are always hard for me. It takes a while for me to settle down and not get distracted.

Writing Style: Francesca Zappia had a way of putting deep quotes in intense moments. Her scenes with strong emotions are well written. She didn’t use big words, but it wasn’t overly easy. I did like that we get snippets of the story and drawings.

This book was very good. I would recommend it to a lot of my bookstagram friends. It was fluffy but deep, and it was relatable. What more could you want?

Book: Carry On

Book: Carry On

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Synopsis: Simon Snow is the worst chosen who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here- it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Rating: 4.5/5

Review (Spoiler Free): I loved this book. It has the perfect mixture of humor, romance, action, and conversation. The characters are all so written so well, you just can’t help falling in love with them. This book was so much like Harry Potter, but Carry On is so unique.

Characters: I can scream about these characters for days. I don’t like to play favorites but Baz. Everyone was so well written. They were very refreshing because they were different from characters I have read before. Rainbow Rowell is incredible in

Penny was so amazing. She didn’t fade to the background. Penny also wasn’t unappreciated for what she did and her part in the story. Her friendship and love for Simon was so true and wonderful. She wouldn’t let him go through anything alone.

Baz was written so well. Baz was so independent to me. He upheld and was proud of his family, but Baz chose his own way. He wrote his own story. At first glance you might label him as bad, he isn’t entirely. He’s just like a human who sometimes makes mistakes.

The most human heroine I have ever read about is Simon. Simon is supposed to be “The Chosen One” yet he has so much trouble with magic. He constantly doubts himself. At times he can be very selfish, but in the end he does what’s right. We get to watch as his focus changes and he learns. I also love that Simon understands he can’t do stuff alone. He admits that Penny has helped him through tough situations.

Plot: This story was so perfect to me. There was still a ton left out at the end. The entire world was a little confusing, we didn’t get much on the world. I would of liked more on the magic and its rules. It took a while to get into the story. A lot of info dumping right at the beginning probably caused that.

The whole story was very entertaining. Going through the last year with Simon was fun. I liked that it wasn’t new to him and he already knew the school so we didn’t have to wait for him to catch up on that. I liked that it kept my attention. I was so invested in the story that I didn’t notice time passing or turning the pages. It was wonderful to just lose myself in a book.

Writing Style: Rainbow Rowell is amazing at entertaining plots and creating characters that are so different. I loved the different point of views. When we get to look into the thoughts of characters I become so much more attached and involved. Her writing is so smooth and easy to read. It isn’t confusing or hard to understand. I did read the UK edition so words were spelled differently so that was confusing for me.

Overall I loved this book. It was so easy to lose yourself in the story. This definitely ended too soon.

Book: Ivory and Bone

Book: Ivory and Bone

Author: Julie Eshbaugh

Synopsis: Hunting, gathering, and keeping his family safe-that’s the life seventeen-year-old Kol knows. Then bold, enigmatic Mya arrives from the south with her family, and Kol is captivated. He wants her to like and trust him, but any hopes of impressing her are ruined when he makes a careless-and nearly grave-mistake. However, there’s something more to Mya’s cool disdain…a history wrought with loss that comes to light when another clan arrives. With them is Lo, an enemy from Mya’s past who Mya swears has ulterior motives.

As Kol gets to know Lo, tensions between Mya and Lo escalate until violence erupts. Faced with shattering losses, Kol is forced to question every person he’s trusted. One thing is for sure: this was a war that Mya or Lo- Kol doesn’t know which-had been planning all along.

Rating:

Review (Spoiler Free): The other day we went to the bookstore near the place my family is staying, and I decided to pick this up. It wasn’t up my alley. I wanted something different. I wanted to love this story. I loved the general plot, but I couldn’t stay connected to the story. Some part of me kept drifting off, not really interested the story. The characters were very good and well written.

Characters: My favorite character would have to be Kol. Kol and I have a lot of similar traits and if I was in his situation I would probably do the same. I’m glad that he wasn’t so caught up in Mya that he forgot about the things at hand. Also that he respected the strength that Mya had instead of trying to rival it.

I did not like Mya in the beginning. I did root for her to open up and not be as cold and hard, but open up. After learning more about her and understanding the reasons behind her coldness I did start to like her.

Plot: Setting and plot were an A for me. I loved them both. This time period is rare to hear about. I loved the rival clans and involving a deeper background. To know that this is a new generation and not everyone is sure what is going on. Following a more clueless character to figure out while we did was cool.

Writing Style: Ah, my biggest problem. The mix between first person and second person threw me off. I think it was the reason I wasn’t into the story as much because of the way it was written. Although I didn’t have trouble understand what tools and the language they used they way Kol mentioned Mya was troubling.

That was a very bad and fast review of Ivory and Bone. It liked it, wanted to like it more but I will be reading the second one. What did you think of Ivory and Bone?

Book: Caraval

Book: Caraval

Author: Stephanie Garber

Synopsis: Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval – the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show-are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legen. It turns out that this season’s Carabal revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Carabal is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Rating:

Review (spoilery): I really enjoyed Caraval. I wasn’t totally immersed in the story like I thought I was going to be. Some of the characters I found to be annoying, stupid, or generally didn’t like them. I didn’t like the ending at all. It was completely anti climatic, I wanted more emotions.

Characters: Scarlett was an okay main character. Her love for her sister was so strong, that was relatable for me because I have that kind of love for my brother. Her one drawback was her thought process. I did not like the way she looked at things, her decisions.

My thoughts about Julian are confusing. I want to love him but I can’t. Some might fine his humor attracting and rebellious, I found it disgusting. I felt like some of the time he was trying to force himself on her. His excuse was that he was trying to make her hate him and it was like he was barely trying.

I didn’t hate Scarlett and Julian but I wasn’t an automatic ship for me. Something was off about their relationship and it just threw me. It was like one minute she hated him and the next she was wanting to kiss him. She was suddenly into him as he saved her from dying. Also at the end, I didn’t even believe it any more. He was literally a performer doing his job and he just happened to start liking her. Then Julian used the you were different from other players. Now I have no idea how their relationship will play out but as of right now I don’t like it.

Plot: The plot and world was probably my favorite part. Maybe a sinister part of me took over but I loved the darker side of Caraval. I love the thought that this magic place can actually be a bad place. I loved how they used Scarlett’s love of Tella to fuel her journey. I loved Scarlett’s adventure of finding all the clues. The turns were all so unexpected and you didn’t know who to trust. Although I did find the ending very anti climatic. I was really annoying to have so many people die and then bam everyone wasn’t dead. It made it kind of disappointing because all that emotion wasn’t needed.

Writing Style: Stephanie has a magical style. Her world is very deep and cool. They way she writes just gives it a whole new level of magical. I hope that she will be able to improve even more with her world building skills and giving information in the second installment.

This book was very enjoyable and magical. I’m excited for the second installment. I hope that we will be able to dive deeper and go into the characters, Caraval, and pasts that can’t seem to fade away.

Book: Bone Season

Book: The Bone Season

Author: Samantha Shannon

Synopsis: The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason by simply breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged, and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

Rating:

Review (spoiler free)  I really enjoyed The Bone Season. The world is really intriguing. I love how it is set in the future and references people that used to be alive. This is the second time I have read this book. I liked it better this time around, and I’m super excited to read the sequel, The Mime Order.

Characters: Paige is a wonderful character. I don’t agree with all her decisions but for the most part I think I would do the same in her situation. I love how protective of her friends she is. It could be a person she just met or she has a bond with. Paige also is very dependent. She has people to lean on, but she’s not helpless on her own. Seeing her grow throughout the book and change was very cool. It is obvious that some events will impact her forever and he personality shows that.

I don’t know if I liked the Warden a lot. He was very secretive. There wasn’t a whole lot to his character but his backstory is intriguing. I’m really hoping we will get more on him in The Mime Order.

I wasn’t really for the romance. It was described as a beauty and the beast relationship but to me it didn’t fit that stereotype. It didn’t seem likely or right in the moment. Maybe I will like it more if it’s developed in but the scene it was introduced it wasn’t described as actual love.

Plot: The plot was slow at times but overall was the right pace. Constantly keeping me on the edge and always guessing. Although there was a lot of information dumping. In the beginning you are hit with all of information for a world that you are barely immersed in. This book had a nice mixture of heartbreaking, panic, and happy scenes. There was also quite a lot of plot twists.
Writing Style: Samantha has a really pleasant writing style. She had a way of describing it and bringing this world to life. The info dumping was a little bit of a bumpy start but it evens out. The writing style wasn’t too easy where I was just flying through it, I took my time to understand the story.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, much more than the first time. It had a nice mixture of character and plot so neither was outshining the other. It was a nice fantasy book to immerse yourself in. I’m super excited how her writing, the story, and characters develop in the next book. What did you think of The Bone Season?

Book: Dreamology

Book: Dreamology

Author: Lucy Keating

Rating:

Summary: Love is a dream. Then you wake up. For as long as Alice can remember, she has dreamed of Max. Max is the boy of her dreams-and only her dreams. Until the morning she finds him sitting next to her in class, very much alive.

As Alice and Max get to know each other all over again, Alice learns that Real Max is nothing like Dream Maz. He’s complicated and stubborn and has a whole life Alice isn’t apart of.

When their dreams start interfering with their waking hours, Alice and Max have to find a way to make them stop. But when you fall in love in you dreams, reality ever be enough?

Review: (Non-spoilery) I was definitely enthralled by the idea of the book. I picked it up because I had heard of it a lot and seen it a lot. I didn’t go into the book knowing very much which was for the best. I’m super happy that I was shocked and surprised with all the twists and turns.

Characters: The characters bothered me quite a lot. They both lacked communication skills that dragged on the book way longer than it needed to be. Both of them were also quite one dimensional. I didn’t gain any knowledge as them as people, they were so obsessed with each other there were no other factors. If I could have learned something about them that made relatable, I think I would have enjoyed them more.

Plot: I genuinely liked the plot. It was engaging it had many different factors. The ending wasn’t as good as I expected and it seemed a little too drawn out. The romance was okay, it wasn’t too believable. The characters weren’t very good diming that actual chemistry, but there were some cute scenes between the two that I enjoyed. I also loved the dream scenes. Those were so cute, but the dream scenes didn’t make sense and didn’t represent the characters.

Writing Style: Lucy Keating’s writing style was quite basic but it flowed nicely creating a nice story. She has a way with very emotional scenes. I felt with the characters. Overall her writing style was clear and flowed. Her writing style made it a very easy and fast read book.

I enjoyed this book. The idea was very intriguing and it made for a nice fast paced book. If you are just getting into contemporaries and romance, I would recommend this. If you are looking for more of an advanced and challenging book, I wouldn’t recommend this to you.

Book: The Raven King

Book: The Raven King

Author: Maggie Stiefavater

Rating: 4.5/5

Synopsis: All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love’s death. She doesn’t believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Review (spoilery): The Raven King was the last book in the Raven Cycle series. I loved the characters and was super sad to see them all go. Overall I did love this book and series. The characters are all so real and Cabeswater felt like home to me.

Characters: Characters are Maggie’s strong point. She builds on relationships so well, making them seem real and constantly involved but it did drive the plot to become less relevant. If the plot and character’s had gotten equal share I would have enjoyed it more, even though I do love their friendship.

The relationship between Ronan and Adam took me by surprise, but I love it. Their relationship made sense to me. I’m glad that Ronan finally found something that he can anchor his life on. The fact that Adam was bind to Cabeswater but Ronan dreamt Cabeswater created more of a connection.

One relationship that I didn’t understand was Henry becoming suddenly in their friend group because he invited them to a Toga party. The Gangsey have been through so much that they bonded and don’t just openly accept people into their group, but Henry can just waltz in as a friend and no one questions it. I didn’t understand that at all. Henry didn’t even do anything besides provide the information about the robotic bees which didn’t explain why he’s their friend.

Blue and Gansey were so cute. The way they reunited in the cave at the end you can see how worried Blue was. They provided a crutch for each other in times that it was evident they needed it. I was super happy when they told everyone about their love for each other and everyone accepted it. The end was great when they were looking around for the car to go on a road trip with Henry.

Plot: The plot definitely not my favorite. The beginning was very slow and didn’t capture my attention very well. They were so many plot points that they were just revisiting and not solving the current problems. It was well into the middle that some actual important things were going on.

Can we talk about the ending?? I’m still not sure into total what happened because it was so vague. It just stopped suddenly with not everything resolved. We didn’t get any development on Ronan and Adam. We don’t know what happened with Maura.There was so many loose ends to tie up, but I think that the Ronan Trilogy will help with that.

Writing Style: Maggie has the most descriptive and wonderful writing style. She can create communication and conversations that are so real. Her writing describes settings to well that it’s like you are there. I hope she never loses that ability because it does create a real story between the reader and characters.

I have loved The Raven Cycle and all its entirety. Henrietta and Cabeswater will be places and homes of my dreams. These characters will be my best friends. I’m going to miss it.

Book: When Dimple Met Rishi

Book: When Dimple Met Rishi

Author: Sandhya Menon

Review: Spoiler Free

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis: Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him – wherein he’ll have to woo her – he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

Review:

I really enjoyed this book. It was different from what I was expecting, but I was very happy with this story. It is about two kids, Rishi and Dimple who are going to be arranged into marriage later on. They both have to fight to find their own way in this relationship. There are very few books featuring the Indian culture and from what I know about Indian Culture is represented it very well.

Characters: Dimple and Rishi were both very inspiring characters. Dimple was empowering and inspired doing something for yourself rather than living in the ways of tradition. She didn’t take crap from her parents or anyone about being who she was. Her style was unique and refreshing. I loved how she still respected her parents’ wishes she just wasn’t going to openly obliged to something she doesn’t want.

Rishi was always looking for a way to please his parents and tradition seemed to be the way. Although he wanted an arrange marriage he respected Dimple and her decisions about anything and that made me love him all the more. Rishi doesn’t represent a typical masculine and swoon worthy boyfriend which was nice. He was about art and comics. I loved his unique personality.

Plot: I believe the reason I dropped a star was for the plot. Although I did love how it wasn’t insta-love with our two main characters, I felt that the general goal they were striving for in the beginning got lost. Dimple came to this web designer camp for herself and to do what she wanted to do. That was a factor I loved and is just got lost along the way. Somehow we got more in detail about the dance contest than the ultimate contest. Even more so because the ending was so rushed. I did love Dimple and Rishi together and their small moments.

Writing Style: Menon’s writing style didn’t stick out to me as being super high in vocabulary or overly descriptive. It was just basic and straight to the point. It made the book not very challenging to read.

Overall When Dimple Met Rishi was a very cute contemporary. If you are looking for a diverse and cute summer read I recommend it. What were your thoughts and opinions on it?