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: 💎💎💎

 

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: 💎💎💎💎💎

Sarah J. Maas – A Court of Mist and Fury

ACOMAF“To the people who look at the stars and wish, Rhys.”

“To the stars who listen – and the dreams that are answered.”

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 Mist and Fury (#2 in the saga) is a fantasy, young adult, romance book continues the story of Feyre who survives Amarantha’s clutches & returns to the Spring Court – but with a heavy cost. Despite her having the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human & she is unable to forget the actions that she had to carry out to save Tamlin’s people.

On the other hand, Feyre has also not forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, the High Lord of the Night Court. As great evil looms overheard, Feyre navigates through politics, passion & powers – she might be the key to stopping it. However, that is only possible if she can harness her many gifts & heal her fractured soul & make some tough decisions that would shape her future & the future of a world divided into two.

First things first, when I was uploading my review on ACOTAR I noticed that many things have changed, most important being the couple that I ship. I don’t think I’ve ever jumped ship that fast! The way Tamlin treats Feyre makes me want to smack him but I guess that’s his way of “showing love”. Either way I’m so glad Feyre left the Spring Court. Rhysand ❤️, so adorable when he was telling her about his feelings when he realised she was his mate. My. Heart. Melted. Really liked the way that Rhysand helped Feyre to regain her confidence in herself, never making her feel like anything less of his equal in terms of making decisions for herself.

“Tamlin won’t allow it.”
“Tamlin isn’t your keeper, and you know it.”
“I’m his subject, and he is my High Lord—”
“You are no one’s subject.”

I feel like Cassian & Nesta may be mates & maybe the bond just hasn’t set 🤔 because the way he went up to her when they were trying to convince the Queens & told her that he would fight for her people. (Note: Also, several incidents in ACOWAR make me feel that way). At the end, the plan to infiltrate the Spring Court & gather important intel was 💣. The book was great, loveeeed it. I think I liked the ACOMAF more than ACOTAR.

Rating: 💎💎💎💎💎

 

Sarah J. Maas – A Court of Thorns and Roses

A court of thorns and roses“You were always too good for here, Feyre. Too good for us, too good for everyone.” He squeezed my hands. “If you ever escape, ever convince them that you’ve paid the debt, don’t return.”

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 Thorns and Roses (#1 in the saga) is a fantasy, young adult, romance book about Feyre, who’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt & kill – in the long winter, the forest she lives in is a cold & bleak place. When she spots a deer in the forest being hunted by a wolf, she can’t help but fight for the flesh so she could feed her family. To do so, she kills the predator which costs her. Dragged to a magical kingdom for murdering a Faerie, Feyre discovers her captor is a man whose face is obscured by a jewelled mask. As she discovers the reasons behind her close guarded presence at the court, her feelings turn from hostility to passion making the kingdom even more dangerous. Feyre must go through trials to break an ancient curse or lose him forever.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve read fantasy books so it took me a little pushing to start the book & keep reading but oh boy, it was gooooood! I kind of started hating her dad cause of the whole giving up on supporting the family & putting all the weight on Feyre’s shoulders, was kind of glad Tamlin came & took her away. Nesta seemed like the one sister who hated everyone & everything, however the way she changed towards the end, encouraging her to go back to the Spring Court, back to Tamlin was really nice. I started shipping Feyre & Tamlin from the minute they met & he took care of her, giving her painting supplies, offering to teach her how to read & write. Although since Rhysand came into the picture, I feel like there’s something brewing there. Is there a love triangle in the making?? I just finished reading the book & now I’m starting the second one!

Note from after I also finished ACOWAR: Oh boy, things have changed.

Rating: 💎💎💎💎

Nora Roberts – The Witness

The Witness“I should start by saying my name isn’t Abigail Lowery. Technically, it’s Elizabeth Fitch. When I was sixteen I witnessed, a man named Yakov Korotkii, who is a lieutenant in the Volkov crime organisation, murder his cousin Alexi Gurevich and my friend, Julie Masters.”

Nora Roberts is an American bestselling author of more than 213 novels. There are more than 500 million copies of her books in print. The Witness is a contemporary, romance, mystery, fiction book about a girl named Elizabeth, aged 16, rebelling against her mother’s strict controls & demands. She lets loose by going to a nightclub & allowing a man with a seductive Russian accent to take her to his home on Lake Shore Drive. The events that take place that night change her life forever. 12 years later, the book follows the live of a woman known as Abigail Lowery who lives on the outskirts of Ozarks. As a freelance programmer, she creates high level security systems & ensures her own security with a dog & several firearms. She avoids getting close to anyone & revealing anything about herself. Her reservations only intrigue the Police Chief Brooks Gleason. Her logical thinking, protective, secretive nature & unromantic point of views only add to his fascination & frustration. He suspects that Abigail is running from something from her past which is the cause behind her secretive personality.

The book is divided into two sub parts that portrays the story from different points in time. It starts off with Elizabeth’s point of view where the readers can experience the backstory of the entire book. What her mother was like, the steps she took to rebel against her mother & all the traumatising events that follow. I was so into the book during this part, I did not want to stop reading it! The second part of the book follows the life of Abigail Lowery, from 12 years later. When that part first started, I kind of got confused for a bit because I had forgotten the synopsis (got so into it, I know). After re-reading the synopsis I realised & was like OHHH okay. Anyways, part 2 goes into the details of Abigail’s life displaying her going to high levels to ensure her security & privacy. Acting upon his fascination, Brooks attempts to break through Abigail’s walls & get her to talk to him, to let him get to know her. Thinking that all he’s after is sex, Abigail thinks that after one time he would leave but to her surprise, he doesn’t. Instead he keeps pushing at her & eventually worming his way into her heart. Eventually their relationship reaches a level that Abigail feels that she should let Brooks know what he’s getting into, aka revealing the story behind her constant need to stay behind the walls of her home. Their journey on getting justice for all those that had died that eventful night & taking down the Volkov crime organisation. The book is greatly written, every part of it is amazing. Although towards the ending, I really wished that maybe Abigail could’ve reunited with her mother but knowing how her mother was, I kind of understand her not wanting to return any control in the hands of her mother. I loved how smart Brooks was & figured out that there is something going on that Abigail is hiding from & yet he stayed by her side, supported her, understood her & most importantly, loved her greatly.

Rating: 💎💎💎💎

Aisha Saeed – Written in The Stars

Written In The Stars
“My mother always says when you fight destiny, destiny fights back. Some things, they are just written in the stars. You can try, but you can never escape what’s meant to be.”

Aisha Saeed’s Written in The Stars was named the best book in 2015. It is a young adult, realistic fiction, contemporary & romance book about a girl named Naila that belongs to a conservative immigrant family that has always made it clear that although Naila may make choices on her education, her career & her fashion but at the end of the day, the choice of her husband will be made by her parents. They’ll follow their cultural tradition & plan an arranged marriage for her. Rebelling against her traditions, Naila falls in love with Saif & her parents her pissed. Convinced that she has forgotten her roots & that they have failed at her proper upbringing, Naila & her parents travel to Pakistan to visit relatives. Naila’s vacation becomes her greatest nightmare when she discovers that her parents never intended for her to come back home to Florida, they had found her husband & wanted to marry him now. Despite trying her hardest, Naila gets cut off in all attempts in returning to America, to Saif, she finds herself stuck in Pakistan with her only hope of escape being Saif, if he could only find her before it’s too late.

Written in the stars is a book that discusses a topic that is the norm in many countries: forced marriages.  People all over the world may not experience such “traditions” but in some countries, it is still common practice. Assuming that Naila & her family are Muslims, I would like to clarify that it is not Islam that gives people any ideas about forced marriages, in fact it is prohibited. No marriage can be forced upon a woman & if it is & she doesn’t want to stay married, she can get it annuled. I really enjoyed the book, I finished it in a day & I wish it was longer. As Aisha writes in her author’s note that “it is a problem that transcends race & religion, affecting many diverse groups of people. Though every country & religion opposes the practice of forced marriages, it is real, it is dangerous & it is happening in our own backyard.” The book would surely give a jist of what it’s like being in a forced marriage to all those who never knew that these practices still happen! I would really recommend people to read the book, it’s short (just 277 pages) so won’t take long to read!

Rating: 💎💎💎💎