Stephanie Perkins – Lola and the Boy Next Door (#2)

Lola and the Boy Next Door“Just because something isn’t practical doesn’t mean it’s not worth creating. Sometimes beauty and real-life magic are enough.”

Synopsis: Stephanie Perkins is an American author known for her Anna and the French Kiss series. Lola and the Boy Next Door is #2 in the trilogy, between Anna and the French Kiss & Isla and the Happily Ever After. Lola and the Boy Next Door is the story of Lola Nolan, a budding costume designer. For her, the more outrageous, sparkling & fun the outfit, the better. Everything is going perfect in her life especially with her Rock-star boyfriend, Max, until the Bell twins, Cricket & Calliope move back to their neighbourhood. When Cricket decides it’s time to step out from his sister’s shadows & back into Lola’s life, she must decide whether to finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Review: I liked the story-line, always was a sucker for love stories that began right under everyone’s noses without the characters knowing how they were meant to be. But, Lola was so indecisive about whether she wanted to be with Max or Cricket , it was basically constant whining. Max was described as a close to perfect boyfriend but obviously, for Cricket & Lola to end up together Max had to become the douche-bag. I liked that Lola’s character was unique in terms of the whole creating costumes but it got annoying when she was in a costume…it was a bit much. Also, Cricket’s name 😂, I was imagining an actual Cricket half the time 😂

Rating: 💎💎💎

Stephanie Perkins – Anna and the French Kiss (#1)

Anna and the French Kiss“I bought you love poetry! ‘I love you as certain dark things are loved, secretly, between the shadow and the soul.’”

Stephanie Perkins is an American author known for her Anna and the French Kiss series. Anna and the French Kiss is #1 in the trilogy, followed by Lola and the Boy Next Door & Isla and the Happily Ever After.

Synopsis: Anna and the French Kiss is about a girl named Anna living her life in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend & a crush on her movie theatre co-worker, who is just beginning to return her feelings. So, she’s less than thrilled when her father, a bestselling author, decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year. Despite not knowing French, Anna becomes friends with some cool people, including the handsome Etienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her new best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken & she might be too.

Review: I liked the book but there were aspects that I believe could be better or changed. Firstly, Anna’s assumptions of French people hating Americans, maybe it’s just stereotyping. Secondly, considering that Anna was doing her senior year at a school for Americans, shouldn’t the staff & majority (if not all) of the students speak English? Thirdly, I really wanted Etienne to end things with his girlfriend but I also understand the feeling of not wanting to be lonely especially when his mother & him were going through such a tough time. Anna & Etienne are cute together, BUT he cheated on Ellie, which is never okay, even if she was a horrible person. It wasn’t just him that was in the wrong, it takes two to tango; Anna had an “almost boyfriend” & she did the same even though she wasn’t sure about her relationship status.

Rating: 💎💎💎

 

Ally Condie – Reached (#3 Matched Trilogy)

ReachedYou cannot change your journey if you are unwilling to move at all.

Ally Condie is an American writer of young adult fiction. The Matched trilogy published 2010-2012 is a science fiction dystopia. Reached is the last book of the Matched series. Reached continues the story of Cassia & Ky, who after leaving the Society to desperately seek The Rising, and each other, have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other again. Cassia is assigned as an undercover in Central City, Ky outside the borders, an airship pilot with Indie. Xander is a medic, with a secret. All too soon, everything changes again.

After two books of not being so impressed, Reached finally exceeded my very low expectations. It’s when it all goes down. The trio are all in different places with minimal contact through the Archivists who are a group of people that can get people what they want in exchange for a valuable item. Cassia’s undercover in Central City, unsure of when the Rising will happen. Xander’s an undercover Official medic & Ky is an airship pilot with Indie, Cassia’s friend from the girl’s work camp. The only clue Cassia is given that it’ll be big enough for her to know that its time. Xander was told about a Plague that would hit the Society which is when the Rising has started. I liked that there were some kind of twists to the story, the Plague mutated & the cure that the Rising had created for the original Plague was no longer working & the Pilot comes & takes the three to a village on the borders because they could help in finding the cure. I’m glad that all of them got their happy ending even though it was predictable, Ky and Cassia are together while Xander finds love with Lei, a fellow Official who later joins the Rising & the people get their right to vote for who they want in charge. Out of the three I think Xander had the more interesting undercover job so I found that I read his chapters more keenly. The first half of the book was just a load of info dumping, giving what has happened so far with each character in their own POVs, Xander I feel made the most change. It was a decent enough conclusion to the trilogy.

Rating: 💎💎💎.5

 

Ally Condie – Crossed (#2 Matched Trilogy)

Crossed“I will be strong enough to go without the tablet. But there are other things I’m not strong enough to go without, and I intend to fight for them.”

Ally Condie is an American writer of young adult fiction. The Matched trilogy published 2010-2012 is a science fiction dystopia. Crossed is #2 in the Matched trilogy, followed by Reached. Crossed continues the story of Cassia, the rules have changed. Ky has been taken & she will sacrifice everything to find him. When Cassia discovers that Ky has escaped to the wild frontiers beyond the Society, hope rises. But nothing is as it seems, a rebellion is on the rise.

I could not wait for this book to end; the first half is Cassia & Ky in two different places: Girl’s work camp & the Outer Provinces. And then, Cassia finds out that Ky’s in the Outer Provinces so she travels to find him but by the time she reaches there, Ky has already escaped to the Carvings. Cassia follows him to the Carvings by the help of another boy that knew Ky before he escaped. Ky & Cassia are in the same Carvings, it’s like two parallel lines, they are just in different parts of it 😒. When they finally meet, Cassia’s obsession with The Rising creates a little distance between the two because Ky says: “This is the one thing I can’t do for you. I can’t join the Rising.” At this point I’m like, finally some drama, but what happens? I run to help Hunter with the boat. It’s for her. If what she wants is the Rising, I will help her reach it.

When Cassia realises that Indie (her friend from the Girl’s work camp) is in love with Xander. What’s her thought?

“Xander is the kind of person an Aberration can never have. A golden boy, as close to perfect as they come in the Society.

He’s not her Match. He’s mine.

With Xander, I could have a family, a good job, be loved, be happy, live in a Borough with clean streets and neat lives. With Xander, I would be able to do the things I always thought I would.

But with Ky, I do things I never thought I could.

I want both.”

In book 1, she was all set to say adios to Xander to be with Ky. She said that she didn’t love Xander the way she loves Ky. She risked everything to be with Ky. Book 2, she’s confused, torn between the two. Suddenly when Indie doesn’t deny the fact that she’s in love with Xander, Cassia wants both.

Lastly, I normally like the switching in PoVs but in Crossed, I kept getting confused between who’s PoV am I reading? I kept flipping the pages to go back to the start of the chapter to see who it is. It was difficult to distinguish between the two.

Rating: 💎💎

Ally Condie – Matched

MatchedThe goal of Matching is twofold: to provide the healthiest possible future citizens for our Society and to provide the best chances for interested citizens to experience successful Family Life. It is of the utmost importance to the Society that the Matches be as optimal as possible.

Ally Condie is an American writer of young adult fiction. The Matched trilogy published 2010-2012 is a science fiction dystopia. Matched is #1 in the trilogy, followed by Crossed & Reached. Matched is about a Society in which officials decide everything – who you love, where you work, when you die. Cassia has always trusted their choices, it’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job & an ideal mate. So, when her best friend, Xander, appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows he’s the one… until another face flashes for an instant before the screen goes black. Now, Cassia is faced with two impossible choices: Xander & Ky, between the life she has always known & a path that no one else has dared follow – between perfection & passion.

Before I started reading the book, I was looking through the ratings people have given the book, so many people have given it a 1 or 2-star rating which kind of made me wonder, do I read it or not? But I decided to give it a chance & I liked it but it wasn’t great. Matched is the first science fiction book I’ve read in quite some time but I liked the story-line, Cassia lives in a Society where every decision is made for them, living in a constantly monitored environment. Any wrong move can lead to Reclassification where your citizenship is revoked & would be classified as one of the very low “classes”. The story is good although there are bits & pieces that I didn’t like. Firstly, there wasn’t much of a twist in the story, the entire book was basically revolving around the love triangle, which I get plays an important role in the story but constantly just showing Cassia’s feelings towards Ky & suddenly cutting off Xander was a bit abrupt. Secondly, in a society where everyone uses a computer to read & write cannot actually write?  The things I liked: the cover, it was what caught my eye the first time. Second, I liked that Ally didn’t automatically put Ky & Cassia’s romance in everyone’s facing, like she built up to it.

Rating: 💎💎💎

Shaun Hume – Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith

Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith“No one ever survives an encounter with a White Wraith. When you see one of them face to face, it’s the last thing you ever see.”

Shawn Hume is an Australian born author of 3 novels. He wrote his first story, titled “The Stagecoach Robbery”, at the age of 6 & has been making stories ever since. Ewan Pendle and the White Wraith is described as an anti-dote for Harry Potter withdrawals. The story is of a young boy named Ewan Pendle. He’s really weird according to what everyone tells him. Then again, seeing creatures that others cannot see isn’t exactly normal. Thinking he has been moved to live with his 11th foster family in London, Ewan is instead told that he is from an ancient race of people that can see the real creatures that roam the Earth. He is taken in by Enola, a mysterious sword carrying Grand Master of Firedrake Lyceum, a complex structure of halls & rooms in the middle of London where other children, like Ewan, go to the learn the ways of the Creatures.

Disclaimer: I received this eBook for free in exchange for a book review, it has in no way had any influence on my review.

This book, from the get go, gave me Harry Potter vibes. I would recommend it to all those Harry Potter fans out there, it does remind me of Harry Potter but it is not one of those books that may you go “oh it’s just the same story with different characters”. It’s different in its own special way. Firedrake has 5 cliques (reminding me of the 4 houses in HP): Witch (magic), Pyros (explosives), Stealth (you could say ninjas), Vanguard (swordsmen) & Martial (martial arts); each of the cliques was different in its own way & the Grand Masters would decide who goes to which clique depending on their performances in Grade 1.

The book follows the trio, Ewan, Mathilde & Enid through their journey to & in Firedrake Lyceum. The book starts off with a prologue in which someone is in the Queen’s home, going towards the Queen’s chamber when she is stopped by the voices of the Queen & another man talking about the current threats against the Queen. Then the book starts with Ewan’s story, his background, his life at the Doe’s household. From there forth, his journey to Firedrake begins. The book gives a wonderful background & introduction to each of the main characters, showing their lives back at home & how they were recruited to Firedrake. The book is really well written but it does have editing errors, but they weren’t something that you couldn’t overlook. I love the friendship that develops between the three, getting in trouble & fighting for what’s right together. They are so different in terms of their personalities yet they fit perfectly together. One thing that I kept forgetting throughout the book was that the characters are 11-12 years old & I just kept assuming that they were 16-17 years old, but it didn’t really make that big of an impact on me imagining the story. I loved the idea of the White Wraiths, the creatures that are the most dangerous, once you see one, you’re dead. When Ewan & his friends realise the assassination threats against their Queen which have been made twice & failed, they decide to prevent another one. I would REALLY REALLY love to read Ewan, Mathilde & Enid’s journey ahead. It was one of those books that I didn’t want to stop reading & eventually had to force myself to put it down & sleep.

Rating: 💎💎💎💎

Sarah J. Maas – A Court of Wings and Ruin (ACOWAR)

ACOWAR“I will use these powers – my powers – to smash Hybern to bits. I will burn them, and drown them, and freeze them. I will use these powers to heal the injured. To shatter through Hybern’s wards. I have done so already, and I will do so again. And if you think that my possession of a kernel of your magic is your biggest problem, then your priorities are severely out of order.”

Sarah J. Maas is a New York Times Bestselling fantasy author. Her novels, Throne of Glass series & A Court of Thorns and Roses saga are published by Bloomsbury. A Court of Wings and Ruin (#3 in the saga) is a fantasy, young adult, romance book about Feyre returning to the Spring Court to gather information on Tamlin’s plans & the king who threatens to bring Prythian to its knees. She must play a dangerous game of deceit & one wrong move may cost her & her world, everything. As war is upon them, Feyre must be careful in choosing who to trust amongst the High Lords & hunt for allies in every unexpected place.

I hadn’t exactly heard of the series until ACOWAR’s super close publishing date & I thought “okay so it must be an amazing book for its fans to be so eagerly waiting for the third book to be released”. Which is when I started the series. For some reason, I was reading much faster with Rhysand in the chapters 😄. I felt so sad for Rhysand & Feyre being apart after just finding each other but they have a world to save. It was genius for Feyre to infiltrate the Spring Court to gather information on what Tamlin has been up to & plans for the nearing war & what exactly is the King planning for them. Slowly but surely also playing everyone in the Spring Court against each other. When time came for Feyre to execute her plan & finally return home to Rhysand, I was so glad that Lucien went with her.

“You all deserve to die for this. And for much, much more. But I am going to spare your miserable lives.” Feyre, you the High Lady of the Night Court *all hail*

I absolutely loveeeeeeeeeee Rhys & Feyre,

I do not let you do anything. He tilted my face up, Mor and Azriel looking away. You are your own person, you make your own choices. But we are mates – I am yours, and you are mine. We do not let each other do things, as if we dictate the movements of each other. But … I might have insisted I go with you. More for my own mental well-being, just to know you were safe.”

I love the friendship between Rhys, Feyre, Cassian, Mor, Amren & Azriel,

“I believe everything happens for a reason. Whether it is decided by the Mother, or the Cauldron, or some sort of tapestry of Fate, I don’t know. I don’t really care. But I am grateful for it, whatever it is. Grateful that it brought you all into my life. If it hadn’t … I might have become as awful as that prick we’re going to face today. If I had not met an Illyrian warrior-in-training,” he said to Cassian, “I would not have known the true depths of strength, of resilience, of honor and loyalty.” Cassian’s eyes gleamed bright.

Rhys said to Azriel, “If I had not met a shadowsinger, I would not have known that it is the family you make, not the one you are born into, that matters. I would not have known what it is to truly hope, even when the world tells you to despair.”

Mor was already crying when Rhys spoke to her. “If I had not met my cousin, I would never have learned that light can be found in even the darkest of hells. That kindness can thrive even amongst cruelty.” She wiped away her tears as she nodded.

I waited for Amren to offer a retort. But she was only waiting. Rhys bowed his head to her “If I had not met a ting monster who hoards jewels more fiercely than a firedrake…” a quiet laugh from all of us at that. Rhys smiled softly. “my own power would have consumed me long ago.”

Rhys squeezed my hand as he looked to me at last, “And if I had not met my mate…” His words failed him as silver lined his eyes.

He said down our bond, I would have waited five hundred more years for you. A thousand years. And if this was all the time we were allowed to have… the wait was worth it.

He wiped away the tears sliding down my face. “I believe that everything happened, exactly the way it had to… so I could find you.”

My heart breaks when Rhys tries to take all the troubles on his shoulders to protect his loved ones 😭😭💔

Some major surprises were Jurian not being the enemy, Mor coming out to Feyre, their dad coming to rescue them (The Prince of Merchants), Rhys dying & coming back to life which pretty much gave me a heart attack.

MANY TEARS WERE SHED THROUGHOUT THIS BOOK   😭😭😭😭 I’m sure you all can tell I really enjoyed this book & yes I know, so many quotes from the book, but could you really tell how much I loved it?

Rating: 💎💎💎💎💎