The Beautiful Lost
by Luanne Rice
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
My Rating: 4 out of 5
Six years ago, Maia’s mom left. One year ago, Maia was hospitalized for attempting suicide. But everything is going to be okay now, because Maia has The Plan. At least that’s what she thinks, until truths are uncovered and she’s not sure if she can handle the pressure.
I happened upon this book by accident. I work at an emergency children’s shelter and one of our residents was having trouble sleeping and wanted me to read to her. She picked this book and I was intrigued from the start. I really connected with Maia as soon as I started reading. I have depression, which was at its worst when I was about her age. Also, Billy lives in a group home, which is very similar to the shelter I work at. Needless to say, I got really excited to finish it.
The author did an amazing job describing Maia’s love of whales. I’m not really a nature or animal type of person, but it made me want to jump on a boat and find one of those glorious beasts as fast as I could. When the whales were singing, it was like I could almost hear them myself.
I really dislike when two love interests hit it off right at the start. So, I’m glad Billy needed some time to really show interest in Maia. HOWEVER, when he finally did show interest it was SO odd. One second they were fighting and Billy was not into Maia, at all. Then all of a sudden, Billy is trying to kiss her?! He made a COMPLETE 180, and it really confused me.
I did really like Billy’s character though. He seemed mature, and I loved how he took care of Maia towards the end. To me, it really showed how genuine his heart was.
I LOVED the little moment between Astrid and Maia at the end. My heart really needed that resolution and it was perfect!
The ending seemed a little rushed and I would’ve liked some of the loose ends to be tied up a little better, but, overall, I enjoyed the book!
Fave Quotes: “That’s the thing about libraries: no matter where they are, they feel like home.”
P.S. I would just like to put on record that Maia’s mom makes me really angry. That is all.
The Love that Split the World
By Emily Henry
Genre: Young-Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction
My Rating: 5 out of 5
Overview: TLTSTW opens up with Natalie lying in bed and knowing someone is in the room. She opens her eyes and sees an old woman, someone who has visited her at night since she was a little girl. This woman tells Natalie she has 3 months to save him. But who is he? And save him from what?
The days following the old woman's visit Natalie begins to see things wrongly. Things are changing colors. People disappearing and then returning a few seconds later. Buildings are changing. Then Natalie knows something bad is going to happen, and she is running out of time to find the answers.
Ohhhhhh, Lord. My heart. I’m so glad this book graced me with its existence. I very rarely give books 5 star ratings but this really hit sooo many good points for me.
First, let’s talk about Natalie's maturity. There are so many instances where I found myself thinking that I was so proud of her for reacting appropriately in certain situations. I feel like in a lot of books, the main characters get so caught up in catty drama, and Nat really couldn’t be bothered with it. She was so empathic and insightful of WHY people were saying/doing things instead of taking everything people said/did at face value.
There were SO many positive relationships! You could really tell Natalie’s relationship with her best friend Megan was genuine. Megan was always supportive and understanding of Natalie’s issues, and not once did Megan try to steal the spotlight of the story. Also, Natalie’s relationship with her siblings is perfect. They’re protective of each other, respect each other, and they really LOVE each other. S’cute. Natalie’s relationship with her parents is probably the healthiest parent/teen relationship I’ve read about in a long time. Natalie’s parents give her space, and in turn Natalie doesn’t abuse it. I think all of these positive relationships tie into Natalie’s maturity. She doesn’t act like a typical, bratty teenager that makes dumb mistakes and goes around acting entitled. What a breath of fresh air!
If you like cheese, this book definitely has its fair share. I happen to be one that loves the cutesy lines; I’m a sucker. If you’re not so much like me, then you may have a few eye-rolls happening throughout. There is a sense of the I-Just-Met-You-But-I’m-Completely-In-Love-With-You syndrome at first, but Natalie, being the mature chick she is, grounds herself and realizes she needs to chill out. She knows she can’t say she loves him, because she doesn’t really know who he is. To me, all of this makes the book feel more realistic.
The only “negative” thing I can say about this book is how in-depth the author explained everything at the end. (Without giving too much away) I appreciated how thought out it all was, but I got a little lost when she started explaining everything. I had to read through it a couple of times to fully grasp what was going on.
Fave Quotes: “I just know if I only get to build one porch in my life, I’d like it to be yours, and if there’s one person I never have to hurt or disappoint, I’d want that to be you too.”
All Our Yesterdays
By Cristin Terrill
Genre: Young-Adult, Science Fiction
My Rating: 5 out of 5
Em is locked in a cell. She is focused on the drain in the center of the cell floor and knows it's important, but doesn't know why. Her only comfort is the voice of the boy locked in the cell next door.
Marina is in love with her best friend, James. She vows to be fiercely loyal to him no matter what, even as a tragic event unfolds in his life.
Em and Marina are fighting for their worlds against all odds. Only one of them will come out victorious.
THIS BAD BOY WAS A PAGE TURNER! There's so much happening that I felt like I couldn't read it fast enough!
This book was written so well! With the different view points and timelines, there were plenty of opportunities to get confused, but it was laid out perfectly for the reader to understand.
The idea of time travel and the possibility of that power getting into the wrong hands was unnerving. The science behind it made it seem like it could actually happen someday, which made me really go all in with these characters and the world that Terrill built.
This story really makes you think of what YOU would do if you were one of these characters. Could you manage to make these decisions for the greater good? How much self-sacrifice can you handle for someone you love?
The characters really drew at my heartstrings throughout this story. Terrill really gave me the character development I needed to be totally invested in everything happening to them. I was laughing when they were laughing and aching when they were aching.
Overall I highly recommend this book. You won't regret it.
“Remember when you used to hate me?”
I laugh-sniff-hiccup. “Well, you used to be insufferable.”
“I think incorrigible is a better word.”
I lean my forehead against the wall and let myself imagine for a moment that it’s his shoulder, warm and firm, beside me. “You’re so full of it.”
“Hey, I just got tortured for you. Easy on the ego.”
As I Wake
By Elizabeth Scott
Genre: Young-Adult, Dystopian, Romance
My Rating: 2 out of 5
As I Wake opens with main character, Ava. She wakes up in bed and immediately realizes she knows nothing. She doesn't know who she is or where she is, but knows something feels off.
Throughout the book Ava struggles with trying to piece together her broken memory and shake the feeling that she is somewhere she doesn't belong.
This book was a thorn in my side. It was short, however I felt like I would NEVER get finished. Immediately the story starts out with Ava and the reader knowing absolutely nothing, and since we stick with Ava being the only POV we get, it stays that way throughout the majority of the book, which left me feeling very frustrated.
There was little to no character development, so I honestly didn't care what happened to anyone in the book. I couldn't become emotionally connected to them or the plot. When reading a story, I REALLY need to feel some connection to the characters early on or I lose interest fast, and As I Wake gave me pretty much nothing.
The writing was atrocious. There were so many cut off sentences when a character was speaking that I wanted to scream. I don't think the author quite understood that just because SHE knew where the rest of the thought was going the reader may not.
Personal pet peeve: sexual content that adds NOTHING to the plot or relationship development. There's one moment where Ava can hear the pattern of Morgan's breath change, and she automatically knows he's masturbating. So, she begins to touch herself too. I'm sorry... what?? It happens out of thin air, and then, it's over and not mentioned again. Ugh.
The one thing I did like in this book was the idea that love creates this connection that sticks throughout different worlds and over time.
This book had potential, but was just executed poorly.
Fave Quotes: "Love-real love-can't be defined. It just is."