Review | Ana of California

23398869four stars

CONFESSION: I’ve never read Anne of Green Gables. *GASP* THE HORROR! I know. It’s been that book that I’ve wanted to read, but I have never had a copy or I forgot to pick one up at the library because I was too busy praying that the newest John Green book was available.(Someone out there is shooting me angry daggers for mentioning John Green and Anne of Green Gables in one sentence.)

I only confess this to you because Ana of California is a modern retelling of Anne of Green Gables, So if you are looking for comparisons, sorry charlie, you’re just not gonna get ’em. But I will share my thoughts on the book with you and hopefully that will suffice.

First, a big thank you to Penguin Group for allowing me to read this wonderful novel in exchange for an honest review. This book comes out on the 30th (Yes, of this month!) and is definitely worth the time.

For a synopsis of Ana of California click here.

The Good.
The characters are wonderful. Ana is a girl after my own heart. You empathize with her and her past and cheer her on throughout the novel. Abbie is a dear. I would want her to be my best friend. She’s loving, ambitious, and her meals make you salivate every time she talks of them.  You have Emmett, who is a grumpus, but you know that there is so much love underneath all of those layers. I have an enormous crush on Will. Then you have Rye and Cole who each add a unique element to the story-line.

I loved the diversity this book held. I especially love when retellings change the background of the character. The pace is perfect. I read this pretty much in a day (minus a few hours of sleep here and there). I was actually surprised when I reached the end…which leads to…

The Not So Good.
The only “not so good” about this novel is that it leaves me hanging like a leaf. I mean, COME ON. There is an epilogue (thank goodness), but I needed just a bit more. You have a glimpse of what happens later down the road, but I personally just wanted the assurance. After everything Ana goes through (I promise, no spoilers!) you just want some satisfaction that everything will be okay from here on out (even if that thinking is completely unrealistic). Also, I would love to know more about Abbie. I know the story’s center points to Ana, but there is so much worth mentioning about the characters that surrounds her. Although we are given glimpses into Abbie’s background story, I would have loved to read more about her time away from the city.

Overall, I loved this book. Ana of California is a wonderful, heart-warming read that will inspire you to open your eyes to the good in your life.

On Sale Date: June 30th from Penguin Group
Purchase: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | iBooks

image via Goodreads


All opinions are my own and are not sponsored or endorsed. 

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Review | Geek Girl

Geek Girl by Holly Smale

Geek Girl by Holly Smale Published by HarperCollins

four stars

Who hasn’t wanted to be an international supermodel their entire life? Oh… that would be Harriet Manners. Harriet is all numbers and logical thinking. She gets math but doesn’t understand fashion. She leaves all of the beauty tips and tricks to her best friend, Nat. At least until she gets “spotted” at a local fashion event where her “geek” life gets flipped upside down.

Geek Girl by Holly Smale is laugh-out-loud funny and will leave you with all the warm and fuzzies. It will remind you to celebrate who you are and that we are more than what we label ourselves.

Smale’s characters are golden. Each character holds their own and their are so many dominant and out-there personalities you will constantly be entertained even after the last page.

There are a handful of super duper moral guidances hidden among the pages of this book which unveil a beautiful coming of age story. One of the greatest is rendered in this quote:

“Nobody really metamorphoses. Cinderella is always Cinderella, just in a nicer dress. The Ugly Duckling was always a swan, just a smaller version. And I bet the tadpole and the caterpillar still feel the same, even when they’re jumping and flying, swimming and floating.

Just like I am now.

I didn’t need to transform after all.
My name is Harriet Manners and I am a geek.
And maybe that’s not so bad after all.”

If you are in search for a feel good and light-hearted novel, this one’s for you.

For full synopsis for Geek Girl, click here. 


All opinions are my own and are not affiliated or endorsed by any company or organization. 

Review | Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys)

Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys)

Image via Goodreads Release Date: April 14th from Poppy

Um, Amy Spalding have we met? Because I am pretty sure you just wrote about me in your newest book, Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys).

Awk-ward. No really, awkward. This book is chock-full of it and it will have you laughing out loud (and yes, mighty loud) til the end.

I love Spalding’s characters, like L-O-V-E. Each of her characters hold their own. You have Riley who runs head first into love, says the first thing that pops in her head, and is (just a little bit) reckless. Reid is her fierce band companion, and I love their platonic friendship. (Who says boys and girls can’t just be friends?!) He is a bubble of insecurities, and I appreciate that Spalding added a male character like his into the mix. Then there is Lucy, she is sensible, nice, and is the definition of what a friend should be. Milo, who is quite possibly the coolest (and smoothest) kid in town.  Oh, and let’s not forget Ted! I may or may not have a crush on Ted. He is a bit of a mystery, plus he is smart, kind, thoughtful, and seems to be the All-American good guy. He may be a bit of a geek, but those are usually the best kind of guys. (I mean have you watched The Big Bang Theory?!)

This book has been compared a lot to Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. It definitely has a similar vibe, meaning Riley is in a band and music is a huge part of this story, but Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys) is definitely in a category of its own. Spalding was very smart when she wrote this novel. It is a love story that is so authentically adolescent, you will feel like you are in your teenage shoes again.

Get ready to laugh because this one brings everything to the table.

For full synopsis click here.
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Release Date: April 14, 2015
Publisher: Poppy / Little, Brown Book for Young Readers 

Special thanks to NetGalley and Little Brown for this ARC. It was a pleasure reading this title!  


All opinions are my own and are not endorsed or affiliated with any company or organization. 

Review | Red Queen

Red Queen

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard Published by HarperTeen Image via Goodreads

four starsAnyone can betray anyone. Sometimes even the author can betray the reader. (Cough, Victoria Aveyard, Cough) 

Mare Barrow bleeds red therefore her life was made for service not for privilege like the Silver. Once she turns eighteen she will be forced to conscript into the King’s army to fight a never ending war with outer provinces, just like her three older brothers did before her. Her life is less precious than the Silver.

The Silvers were destined to rule through their steel colored blood which hold abilities that enable their reign. Some move metal, others heal, while few are able to enter the conscious gripping control over the mind. But what if everything wasn’t so Black and White…er…I mean Red and Silver. What if there was a middle ground that could spark a revolution?

I highly enjoyed Red Queen. I could have read it in one sitting, but it’s one of those books that you like to pace yourself because you know it’s just book one and book two won’t come out for another year. (BAH!)

I hated Aveyard’s characters, but for this read it’s a good thing. It isn’t a satisfying read, but you appreciate the twists and turns her story weaves. Red Queen is very “young-adulty”, but it does take a few different approaches than the typical YA story-line. If you are looking for romance, you get a glimpse, but not much. So don’t buy this thinking you get a twilight love story. The story-line mainly surrounds Mare’s understanding of the world; that the grass isn’t always so green on the other side, but maybe with a little work (AKA a lot of betrayal and killing) you can try to make your side a little bit greener. It is a revolution story through and through and it have you in it’s grip until the end.

For those who love Suzanne Collins’  The Hunger Games and Kiera Cass’ The Selection Series, don’t wait to pick this one up. It’s a royal goody.

For full synopsis or to purchase click here.


All opinions are my own and are not endorsed or affiliated with any company or organization. 

Review | The Walls Around Us

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five stars

Lyrically written and hauntingly captivating this ghost story will imprison you until the end. Nova Ren Suma’s storytelling is as graceful and disturbing as the ballerinas she writes of. The Walls Around Us is a strange novel full of twists and bends and the essence of the novel is brilliant.

Centered around three teenage girls, this book offers more drama than a cheer-leading squad. Stacked with troubled pasts, Ori, Amber, and Violet share their story of traumatic incidents that wreck their lives one August.

This is a story about innocence, guilt, friendship, and how life is sometimes the ultimate arbitrator. The Walls Around Us is labeled for Young Readers, but friends do not be fooled, this a book for all.

For full synopsis, click here.


All opinions are my own and are not endorsed or affiliated with any company or organization. 

Review | The Darkest Part of the Forest

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

via: Goodreads

****/5

Folklore, fairies, beautiful boys with horns, and knights. The Darkest Part of the Forest already had me at synopsis and after reading did not let me down. Holly Black goes back to her roots with this one and boy does she know how to write an enchanting tale out of the forest.

Most folklore has a dark edge to it but Holly Black keeps it pretty light, with a few spots of darkness here and there. Her pacing is spot on and if I didn’t work I would have read through the entire night. (Yes, 4 AM is “technically” not through the night). I could kiss Black for her character development. It’s predictable to a point but gender roles are switched, which deserves a firm high five in my book.

The book does have a bit more of a juvenile undertone, even for a YA book, but that may just be the folklore talking.

Overall, The Darkest Part of the Forest is a quick, fantastic, and entertaining read. I heavily recommend for anyone who is looking for quick read with a little enchantment and a touch of mystery.

For more information about this book click here.


All opinions are my own and are not endorsed or affiliated with any company or organization. 

Review | The Girl on the Train

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****/5

Who do you trust? The stranger? The mistress? The ex? Yourself? One of them knows, but who is it? 

Paula Hawkins’, The Girl on the Train, deserves every praised review that is currently floating out in cyber space. With that being said, Hawkins, here is one more to add on to your ever-growing pile.

Perfectly paced and cleverly written this is a novel that will keep you on your toes until the end. I guessed and guessed and guessed and every assumption was wrong. Hawkins has the ability to steer you in directions and shift your mind in an ingenious way. She writes with psychological purpose, she knows her readers’ minds, and this is why this book is already becoming a best seller.

The Girl on the Train, has been heavily associated with Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. Yes, it is a physiological thriller. Yes, someone goes missing. But that is not the only similarity. There is a special reserve for authors who are able to create entrancing stories that keep you reading while making you hate all of their characters. That (and the fact that both Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins are phenomenal story-tellers) is why Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train have been mentioned in the same sentence. These are the stories that rip open your mind (and eyes) to the world around you. They bleed in to your every day life and make you wonder. Their power is 100% certifiably terrifying, but you can’t help but be intrigued.

With that I will say no more, because I do not want to ruin a page of this novel for you. (Even though I fear I may already have.)

Go read it if you want a thrill ride. This one brings everything to the table.

For full synopsis click here.

Image: via


All opinions are my own and are not endorsed or affiliated with any company or organization.