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Book Blog (Romance & More)

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Emily

Law student, avid reader & total nerd

📚Emily’s Top 10 Books Read In 2020📚

2020 may have been a sucky year but it was actually my best reading year. I read 250 books in 2020 but these 10 stood above the rest. This was also the year I discovered my love of middle grade as I’m sure you will notice in this post. I hope 2021 will bring even more wonderful books into my life and I can’t wait to see what it holds. Let me know if you have read any of these books!

10. Keeper of the Lost Cities: Legacy

(Keeper of the Lost Cities #8)

By Shannon Messenger

Middle Grade

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5

Synopsis For KOTLC Book 1: Twelve-year-old Sophie Foster has a secret. She’s a Telepath—someone who hears the thoughts of everyone around her. It’s a talent she’s never known how to explain.

Everything changes the day she meets Fitz, a mysterious boy who appears out of nowhere and also reads minds. She discovers there’s a place she does belong, and that staying with her family will place her in grave danger. In the blink of an eye, Sophie is forced to leave behind everything and start a new life in a place that is vastly different from anything she has ever known.

Sophie has new rules to learn and new skills to master, and not everyone is thrilled that she has come “home.” 
There are secrets buried deep in Sophie’s memory—secrets about who she really is and why she was hidden among humans—that other people desperately want. Would even kill for.

In this page-turning debut, Shannon Messenger creates a riveting story where one girl must figure out why she is the key to her brand-new world, before the wrong person finds the answer first. 

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12842828-keeper-of-the-lost-cities?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=L07IQaG0y5&rank=1

9. Unbirthday

(Twisted Tales #10)

By Liz Braswell

Young Adult

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: What if Wonderland was in peril and Alice was very, very late?
Alice is different than other eighteen-year-old ladies in Kexford, which is perfectly fine with her. She’d rather spend golden afternoons with her trusty camera or in her aunt Vivian’s lively salon, ignoring her sister’s wishes that she stop all that “nonsense” and become a “respectable” member of society. Alice is happy to meander to Miss. Yao’s teashop or to visit the children playing in the Square. She’s also interested in learning more about the young lawyer she met there, but just because she’s curious, of course, not because he was sweet and charming.

But when Alice develops photographs she has recently taken about town, familiar faces of old suddenly appear in the place of her actual subjects-the Queen of Hearts, the Mad Hatter, the Caterpillar. There’s something eerily off about them, even for Wonderland creatures. And as Alice develops a self-portrait, she finds the most disturbing image of all-a badly-injured dark-haired girl asking for Alice’s help. Mary Ann.

Returning to the place of nonsense from her childhood, Alice finds herself on a mission to stop the Queen of Hearts’ tyrannical rule and to find her place in both worlds. But will she able to do so . . . before the End of Time?

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50358479-unbirthday?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=zeLBw6cqOb&rank=1

8. The Tyrant’s Tomb

(The Trials of Apollo #4)

By Rick Riordan

Middle Grade

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis For The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1):

How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’s favour.

But Apollo has many enemies—gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go… an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26252859-the-hidden-oracle?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=PeW3USjS0E&rank=1

7. The Ship of the Dead

(Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #3)

By Rick Riordan

Middle Grade

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis For The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase #1):

Magnus Chase has seen his share of trouble. Ever since that terrible night two years ago when his mother told him to run, he has lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, staying one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, Magnus learns that someone else is trying to track him down—his uncle Randolph, a man his mother had always warned him about. When Magnus tries to outmaneuver his uncle, he falls right into his clutches. Randolph starts rambling about Norse history and Magnus’s birthright: a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

The more Randolph talks, the more puzzle pieces fall into place. Stories about the gods of Asgard, wolves, and Doomsday bubble up from Magnus’s memory. But he doesn’t have time to consider it all before a fire giant attacks the city, forcing him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents. . . .

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15724396-the-sword-of-summer?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=wvUOnOK9vI&rank=1

6. Keeper of the Lost Cities: Nightfall

(Keeper of the Lost Cities #6)

By Shannon Messenger

Middle Grade

My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

5. Night of the Dragon

(Shadow of the Fox #3)

By Julie Kagawa

Young Adult

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis For Shadow of the Fox (#1): One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.

Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.

Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.

There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.

With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself. 

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44900350-night-of-the-dragon

4. Keeper of the Lost Cities: Neverseen

(Keeper of the Lost Cities #4)

By Shannon Messenger

Middle Grade

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

3. Keeper of the Lost Cities: Lodestar

(Keeper of the Lost Cities #5)

By Shannon Messenger

Middle Grade

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

2. Pride and Prejudice

By Jane Austen

Classic Literature

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Since its immediate success in 1813, Pride and Prejudice has remained one of the most popular novels in the English language. Jane Austen called this brilliant work “her own darling child” and its vivacious heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, “as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print.” The romantic clash between the opinionated Elizabeth and her proud beau, Mr. Darcy, is a splendid performance of civilized sparring. And Jane Austen’s radiant wit sparkles as her characters dance a delicate quadrille of flirtation and intrigue, making this book the most superb comedy of manners of Regency England.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35261321-pride-and-prejudice

1 Kingdom of the Wicked

(Kingdom of the Wicked #1)

By Kerri Maniscalco

Young Adult

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Two sisters.

One brutal murder.

A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself…

And an intoxicating romance.

Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost-even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked-princes of Hell she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems… 

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52735921-kingdom-of-the-wicked?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=w3yHBnSFXJ&rank=1

Follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/28645541-emily

Follow me on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/neverlandsreads  

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📝REVIEW📝: From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout ~🌟🌟🌟🌟~ Genre: #Fantasy #Romance #Adult

Synopsis:

A Maiden…

Chosen from birth to usher in a new era, Poppy’s life has never been her own. The life of the Maiden is solitary. Never to be touched. Never to be looked upon. Never to be spoken to. Never to experience pleasure. Waiting for the day of her Ascension, she would rather be with the guards, fighting back the evil that took her family, than preparing to be found worthy by the gods. But the choice has never been hers.

A Duty…

The entire kingdom’s future rests on Poppy’s shoulders, something she’s not even quite sure she wants for herself. Because a Maiden has a heart. And a soul. And longing. And when Hawke, a golden-eyed guard honor bound to ensure her Ascension, enters her life, destiny and duty become tangled with desire and need. He incites her anger, makes her question everything she believes in, and tempts her with the forbidden.

A Kingdom…

Forsaken by the gods and feared by mortals, a fallen kingdom is rising once more, determined to take back what they believe is theirs through violence and vengeance. And as the shadow of those cursed draws closer, the line between what is forbidden and what is right becomes blurred. Poppy is not only on the verge of losing her heart and being found unworthy by the gods, but also her life when every blood-soaked thread that holds her world together begins to unravel. 

My Review:

When people say the last 20% of this book is wild and changes everything…they aren’t wrong. Did I predict the huge plot twist? Yeah it was kind of obvious with all the context clues. But this book did some things that even I couldn’t follow.

Poppy is the Maiden, chosen by the gods at birth to ascend and save the entire kingdom. Being the Maiden comes with a bunch of rules and restrictions that Poppy isn’t super great at following. Then a new guard named Hawke comes into the picture and he is essentially temptation in tangible form. As whatever is between them grows, Poppy finds it harder and harder to remember what her duty is. 

The first thing I’ll say off the bat is that this book starts strong, gets slow, and then ends wild. This is a fantasy romance so the plot isn’t the strongest. There was a lot of world building but once Hawke really comes into the picture it’s all about the romance. Did I mind? Hell no. I knew what I was getting into when I picked this up. The only thing that bothered me was the string of chapters that Hawke wasn’t in because all I wanted was to read more about him. I also didn’t like some things that happened at the end because a certain character makes some very questionable and dumb decisions.

Poppy was a really interesting character because while she had a sense of innocence to her she really wasn’t what I expected. She was quite mischievous and had a fiery personality. Not to mention a penchant for violence. Hawke, for the most part, was fun to read about. Honestly he is probably the most attractive male character I’ve read about. Apparently he’s so gorgeous that literally everyone is thirsting over him. It was fun to swoon but his personality would irk me if I were Poppy. I loved watching them go at it but damn if I was Poppy I would have punched him in the face so many times. The best way I can describe him is to imagine how the devil would be portrayed in a romance and thats Hawke. 

Like I said the plot wasn’t very strong but the romance was fun. I wasn’t obsessed with it but it was highly entertaining to watch. I am interested to see where it goes considering the events at the end of this book. 

I would recommend giving this book a try if you’re interested. It’s definitely fun and full of wild twists. This is my sixth Jennifer L. Armentrout book and I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve read the Lux series and I didn’t love those. So if you didn’t like that series you might enjoy this one!

Add to goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52831200-from-blood-and-ash

Buy Linkhttps://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1952457009?pf_rd_r=M5FB4HZNNM240J3R68MP&pf_rd_p=9d9090dd-8b99-4ac3-b4a9-90a1db2ef53b

Serieshttps://www.goodreads.com/series/286233-blood-and-ash

Follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/28645541-emily

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📝REVIEW📝: Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco ~🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟~ Genre: #YA #Fantasy #Historical ~Available Now!~

Synopsis:

Two sisters.

One brutal murder.

A quest for vengeance that will unleash Hell itself…

And an intoxicating romance.

Emilia and her twin sister Vittoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Vittoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find her sister’s killer and to seek vengeance at any cost-even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, one of the Wicked-princes of Hell she has been warned against in tales since she was a child. Wrath claims to be on Emilia’s side, tasked by his master with solving the series of women’s murders on the island. But when it comes to the Wicked, nothing is as it seems…

My Review:

This might just be my favorite book of all time.

Emilia and her sister Vittoria are twin witches living in Palermo, Sicily. Life is all fun and games until Vittoria turns up brutally murdered with her heart cut out. Turns out someone has been killing witches. But why? Emilia intends to find out. She has turned vengeful after the lost of her sister and she will stop at nothing until she finds the killer and makes them pay. So her brilliant plan includes summoning one of the seven princes of Hell, Wrath, and binding him to her so he is forced to help her solve the mystery. They are mortal enemies but Emilia will cross any line for revenge.

The best way to describe this book was deliciously wicked. I love morally gray characters and this book is full of them. First of all there is Wrath who is literally a prince of Hell so his personality should obviously be evil. But surprisingly he is a lot more well mannered and tolerable than one would think. Then there is Emilia who starts off as a really sweet white witch but slowly becomes twisted by grief and vengeance. Emilia is cunning but still tries to keep to her morals…when she remembers them. I loved both of these main characters so much because they have such an interesting dynamic. They really don’t like each other but for some reason they feel some pull to each other. Wrath will do just about anything to get what he wants and Emilia will do just about anything to find her sister’s killer. Truly a match made in Hell.

There really isn’t too much romance in this book which I loved. The description makes it seem like this book is more of a romance but it really isn’t. This is the story about a girl who lost her twin sister and wants nothing more than to make the murderer pay. Romance is the last thing on her mind. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t some stirrings between certain characters. It was the perfect amount of romance. Not that much but just enough to want more of it.

This book leaves you with a lot of questions but this is a series so that shouldn’t be an issue. I’ll get my answers eventually. My only critique is that I wish we were told more information and not as kept in the dark. It makes sense though because we follow Emilia who is very much kept in the dark about everything from everyone.

I adored the atmosphere of this book. As a Sicilian (American) named Emily who’s family hails from Palermo and always wished she could be a witch you can imagine how much I connected to this book. It was very nostalgic of my culture and it was almost like I could live out a life I always wanted. Well maybe minus the whole summoning demons thing. The food descriptions were incredible and this book made me so hungry. I want nothing more than to go to Sicily right now

I can’t wait for the next book in the series. I highly recommend this book if you are on the fence about checking it out. It’s definitely worth it. 

Add to goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52735921-kingdom-of-the-wicked

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Kingdom-Wicked-Kerri-Maniscalco-ebook/dp/B08531QY7X/ref=sr_1_2?crid=29BFUKC6GHCID&dchild=1&keywords=kingdom+of+the+wicked&qid=1605820423&sprefix=kingdom+of+the+%2Caps%2C180&sr=8-2

Series: https://www.goodreads.com/series/270202-kingdom-of-the-wicked

Follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/28645541-emily

Follow me on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/neverlandsreads  

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📚Emily’s Top 10 Books Read in 2019📚

I ended up reading 106 books in 2019 but there were some favorites that stood above the rest. Here are the top 10 reads of my 2019 reading year!

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10. Tiger Queen

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By Annie Sulivan

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: From Annie Sullivan, author of A Touch of Gold, comes Tiger Queen, a sweeping YA fantasy adventure that tells the story of a fierce desert princess battling to save her kingdom. Fans of Rebel of the Sands and Meagan Spooner will devour this retelling of Frank Stockton’s famous short story, “The Lady, or the Tiger?”

In the mythical desert kingdom of Achra, an ancient law forces sixteen-year-old Princess Kateri to fight in the arena to prove her right to rule. For Kateri, winning also means fulfilling a promise to her late mother that she would protect her people, who are struggling through windstorms and drought. The situation is worsened by the gang of Desert Boys that frequently raids the city wells, forcing the king to ration what little water is left. The punishment for stealing water is a choice between two doors: behind one lies freedom, and behind the other is a tiger.

But when Kateri’s final opponent is announced, she knows she cannot win. In desperation, she turns to the desert and the one person she never thought she’d side with. What Kateri discovers twists her world—and her heart—upside down. Her future is now behind two doors—only she’s not sure which holds the key to keeping her kingdom and which releases the tiger.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42281646-tiger-queen?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=5cOdoVgrHj&rank=1 

 

9. Peter Pan

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By J.M. Barrie

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Neverland is home to Peter Pan, a young boy who has never grown up. On one of his visits to London, Peter makes the acquaintance of young Wendy Darling, whom he invites to travel with him to Neverland and become the mother of his gang of Lost Boys. Flying through the night sky to Neverland, Wendy and her brothers John and Michael soon become caught up in marvelous adventures with the Indian Princess Tiger Lily, the loyal fairy Tinker Bell, and Peter’s nemesis, the sinister hook-handed pirate known as Captain Hook.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22784968-peter-pan 

 

8. Spin the Dawn

(The Blood of Stars #1)

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By Elizabeth Lim

My Rating🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42815556-spin-the-dawn?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=4O8e8o8OSf&rank=1

 

7. The House of Hades

(The Heroes of Olympus #4)

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By Rick Riordan

My Rating🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Hazel stands at a crossroads. She and the remaining crew of the Argo II could return home with the Athena Parthenos statue and try to stop Camp Half-Blood and Camp Jupiter from going to war. Or they could continue their quest to find the House of Hades, where they might be able to open the Doors of Death, rescue their friends Percy and Annabeth from Tartarus, and prevent monsters from being reincarnated in the mortal world. Whichever road they decide to take, they have to hurry, because time is running out. Gaea, the bloodthirsty Earth Mother, has set the date of August 1 for her rise to power.

Annabeth and Percy are overwhelmed. How will the two of them make it through Tartarus? Starving, thirsty, and in pain, they are barely able to stumble on in the dark and poisonous landscape that holds new horrors at every turn. They have no way of locating the Doors of Death. Even if they did, a legion of Gaea’s strongest monsters guards the Doors on the Tartarus side. Annabeth and Percy can’t exactly launch a frontal assault.

Despite the terrible odds, Hazel, Annabeth, Percy, and the other demigods of the prophecy know that there is only one choice: to attempt the impossible. Not just for themselves, but for everyone they love. Even though love can be the riskiest choice of all.

Join the demigods as they face their biggest challenges yet in The House of Hades, the hair-raising penultimate book in the best-selling Heroes of Olympus series.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12127810-the-house-of-hades?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=CJeM9gdAmT&rank=1 

 

6. The Blood of Olympus 

(The Heroes of Olympus #5)

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By Rick Riordan

My Rating🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Nico had warned them. Going through the House of Hades would stir the demigods’ worst memories. Their ghosts would become restless. Nico may actually become a ghost if he has to shadow-travel with Reyna and Coach Hedge one more time. But that might be better than the alternative: allowing someone else to die, as Hades foretold.

Jason’s ghost is his mother, who abandoned him when he was little. He may not know how he is going to prove himself as a leader, but he does know that he will not break promises like she did. He will complete his line of the prophecy: To storm or fire the world must fall.

Reyna fears the ghosts of her ancestors, who radiate anger. But she can’t allow them to distract her from getting the Athena Parthenos to Camp Half-Blood before war breaks out between the Romans and Greeks. Will she have enough strength to succeed, especially with a deadly hunter on her trail?

Leo fears that his plan won’t work, that his friends might interfere. But there is no other way. All of them know that one of the Seven has to die in order to defeat Gaea, the Earth Mother.

Piper must learn to give herself over to fear. Only then will she be able to do her part at the end: utter a single word.

Heroes, gods, and monsters all have a role to play in the climactic fulfillment of the prophecy in The Blood of Olympus, the electrifying finale of the best-selling Heroes of Olympus series.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18705209-the-blood-of-olympus 

 

5. Aurora Rising

(The Aurora Cycle #1)

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By Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

My Rating🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: From the internationally bestselling authors of THE ILLUMINAE FILES comes an epic new science fiction adventure.

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30075662-aurora-rising?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=nNA93hOwfT&rank=1 

 

4. The Unhoneymooners

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By Christina Lauren

My Rating🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42201431-the-unhoneymooners?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=DqOMNGyK1V&rank=1 

 

3. The Wicked King

(The Folk of the Air #2)

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By Holly Black

My Rating🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26032887-the-wicked-king?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=n261zeFcPi&rank=1 

 

2. The Beautiful

(The Beautiful #1)

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By Renee Ahdieh

My Rating🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful. 

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42265183-the-beautiful?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=lSCmvr6nzC&rank=1 

 

1. The Queen of Nothing

(The Folk of the Air #3)

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By Holly Black

My Rating🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Synopsis: He will be destruction of the crown and the ruination of the throne.

Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold onto. Jude learned this lesson when she released her control over the wicked king, Cardan, in exchange for immeasurable power.

Now as the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and left reeling from Cardan’s betrayal. She bides her time determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her deceptive twin sister, Taryn, whose mortal life is in peril.

Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court, and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan, if she wishes to save her sister. But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing. As Jude slips deep within enemy lines she becomes ensnared in the conflict’s bloody politics.

And, when a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity…

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, comes the highly anticipated and jaw-dropping finale to The Folk of the Air trilogy.

Add on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26032912-the-queen-of-nothing 

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📝REVIEW📝 ~ 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 ~ Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox #2) ~ Author: Julie Kagawa ~ Genre: #YA #Fantasy ~ Available June 18th, 2019!

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Soul of the Sword

(Shadow of the Fox #2)

By

Julie Kagawa

Genre: #YA #Fantasy

My Rating: 4.5

Cover: 4

Publication: June 18th, 2019

Read: June 9th, 2019

POV: First-person dual perspective

Hardcover: 432

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41861646-soul-of-the-sword

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Soul-Sword-Shadow-Julie-Kagawa/dp/1335184996/ref=sr_1_2?crid=2LBN4D9HRYN11&keywords=soul+of+the+sword&qid=1560132054&s=gateway&sprefix=soul+of+the%2Caps%2C134&sr=8-2

Series: https://www.goodreads.com/series/226819-shadow-of-the-fox

Synopsis:

One thousand years ago, a wish was made to the Harbinger of Change and a sword of rage and lightning was forged. Kamigoroshi. The Godslayer. It had one task: to seal away the powerful demon Hakaimono.

Now he has broken free.

Kitsune shapeshifter Yumeko has one task: to take her piece of the ancient and powerful scroll to the Steel Feather temple in order to prevent the summoning of the Harbinger of Change, the great Kami Dragon who will grant one wish to whomever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. But she has a new enemy now. The demon Hakaimono, who for centuries was trapped in a cursed sword, has escaped and possessed the boy she thought would protect her, Kage Tatsumi of the Shadow Clan.

Hakaimono has done the unthinkable and joined forces with the Master of Demons in order to break the curse of the sword and set himself free. To overthrow the empire and cover the land in darkness, they need one thing: the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers. As the paths of Yumeko and the possessed Tatsumi cross once again, the entire empire will be thrown into chaos.

📝My Review📝:

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

4.5 Stars

In this exciting sequel to Soul of the Sword we see Yumeko and the squad continue their journey to the Steel Feather Temple but on top of trying to keep the scroll safe there is the added challenge of Tatsumi now being possessed by the demon Hakaimono. While Hakaimono is off causing lots of chaos Yumeko has made it her goal to save Tatsumi from the demon possessing him on top of getting the scroll to the Steel Feather Temple. But this journey is not easy and the squad (Okame, Reika, Master Jiro, and Daisuke) hit many roadblocks along the way. It is an exciting and thrilling story that is nothing short of enjoyable. If you loved the first book then you will love this one as well.

Now why is this not a 5 star read if I enjoyed it so much? Here are my critiques. This was a similar issue with the first book but the story is very slow moving. There is one goal in mind and it takes the entire book to get there. Now this is not a huge issue but I just wish there was more. I want more from this story. Secondly there was many predictable moments. While some things did come as a shock to me there was a lot that did not as well. Predictability is not bad but it makes the story a little less enjoyable. Lastly Tatsumi was not in this book that much and I missed him…that is a personal thing but these are my reasons why this book is a 4.5.

Let’s talk about character development. There was a lot and I am thrilled about it. Yumeko grew so much! One of my complaints about the first book was that she was too innocent. Well not anymore my friends Yumeko really explores her kitsune side in this book and uses her powers a lot more. She also grows as a person. She was very oblivious to the world in the first book but she becomes a lot more aware in this one. She starts to understand feelings as well (not just romantic feelings) and I think that was so important to her character development. Reika really took charge in this book, I really saw her as the leader of our little squad and not a force to be trifled with. Daisuke and Okame! My precious boys I love them. They also develop a lot in this book but I won’t say how. I think it is better left unknown before going into the book. What I will say is that Okame is not the only humorous character anymore. Lastly Tatsumi/Hakaimono, well Hakaimono is a demon so he does pretty shady things. Like I mentioned we don’t see Tatsumi much since he is possessed but the dynamic and development of these two characters is very important. You’ll see what I mean when you read it.

I was dying to read this book and I was not disappointed. This series is really one of my favorites and I am so excited to see how it is going to end. It is so unique and different from much of what is out there nowadays and I want more! Everytime I finish one of these books I miss the story and characters and want to reread it immediately. Not many books can do that.

 

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📝REVIEW📝 ~ 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 ~ Warrior of the Wild ~ Author: Tricia Levenseller ~ Genre: #YA #Fantasy ~ Available Now!

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Warrior of the Wild

By

Tricia Levenseller

Genre: #YA #Fantasy

My Rating: 4.5

Cover: 3

Publication: February 26th, 2019

Read: May 3rd, 2019

POV: First-person single perspective

Hardcover: 329

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43446574-warrior-of-the-wild

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1250189942/ref=x_gr_w_glide_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_glide_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1250189942&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

Synopsis:

How do you kill a god?

As her father’s chosen heir, eighteen-year-old Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness with an impossible quest: To win back her honor, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year—or die trying.

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📝My Review📝:

4.5 Stars

Tricia Levenseller has officially become one of my favorite authors. I loved the Daughter of The Pirate King duology but I was not sure if I would like this viking stand alone novel. But oh boy did I. Warrior of the Wild is about a female warrior named Rasmira who is sabotaged and fails her warrior trial. Due to her failure she is banished and is not to return unless she can complete her given task: kill the god that has been plaguing the villages for years. So she sets off into the wild and finds some unlikely allies along the way.

This book was exciting from beginning to end. The action scenes never stopped. Rasmira was always fighting for her life and she was pretty damn good at doing it. The plot was not predictable. It was so unique that I could not really guess what was going to happen. It is incredibly hard to create a unique fantasy world nowadays but Tricia Levenseller was able to do that for three books now. She has definitely become an auto buy author because of that. The writing was great and the characterization was mostly perfect.

Rasmira was by far my favorite character and that rarely happens. The female leads in books tend to be lacking characters for me (only because I want so much from them) but Rasmira (and Alosa from DotPK) was everything I wanted and more. Everything that happened to her, all her thoughts, and all her actions made perfect sense. She never did anything out of character. She was definitely the strongest character physically and mentally in the book. She never let herself get distracted from her goal of returning home and regaining her honor. Everything that came out of her mouth was golden, she really knew how to handle herself and the other characters.

Iric was my second favorite character. His sass kept me laughing the entire book. Besides his sense of humor he was also smart and extremely skilled. He became a good friend and confidant to Rasmira because he was so easy to talk to. He never judged, even though they didn’t hold the same views of the world, he always listened to Rasmira and her likewise.

Soren was a pretty weak character which is odd considering that he was the male lead. We were told he was a strong warrior but we never saw it. Rasmira saved his butt at least a hundred times. He was also very pushy and forward with Rasmira. She clearly was not into him for a good majority of the book but he never really stopped with the flirtatious comments. I truly feel like he instantly liked Rasmira because she was the first girl he had seen in a year and she was a powerful warrior. It felt a little too much like insta-love from his side. He would follow Rasmira around after she repeatedly told him to stop so I don’t know how to feel about that. He was just not up to par with Rasmira and I feel like she deserved someone better. We also do not know much about him besides the fact that he was orphaned as a young child. We don’t know much about his personality or interests. Due to all of this he just fell very flat. Iric was a more developed character than he was and Iric was only the second male lead.

I really enjoyed this book but it just did not have that 5 star factor for me. It comes close but no cigar unfortunately. I definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for something fresh to read. Fantasy can get repetitive but I promise you that this one is something new. I also recommend this to fans of Sky In The Deep by Adrienne Young. One last thing I want to mention was that this book has LGBTQ+ rep. I can’t speak on how good it was due to my own sexual orientation but I want to make people aware that it is there so if those in the community decide to read this book they can be the judges of that. All in all this was such an enjoyable read with unforgettable characters.

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📝REVIEW📝 ~ 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 ~ DEV1AT3 (Lifelike #2) ~ Author: Jay Kristoff ~ Genre: #YA #Dystopian #ScienceFiction ~ Available June 25th!

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DEV1AT3

(Lifelike #2)

By

Jay Kristoff

Genre: #YA #Dystopian #ScienceFiction

My Rating: 4.5

Cover: 4

Publication: June 25th, 2019

Read: May 30th, 2019

POV: Third-person multiple perspective

Hardcover: 448

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42967012-dev1at3

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1524713961/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1524713961&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

Series: https://www.goodreads.com/series/230238-lifelike

Synopsis:

Lemon Fresh has seen better days.

After the climactic battle in Babel, she finds herself separated from Ezekiel and Cricket in the wastelands. Lemon’s abilities to manipulate electricity mark her as a deviate, and deadly corporate operatives are hunting her to use as a weapon in the war between BioMaas Incorporated and Daedelus Technologies. Instead, Lemon finds herself falling in with a group of fellow deviates—a band of teenagers with astonishing abilities, led by an enigmatic figure known as the Major, who may hold the secrets to Lemon’s past.

Meanwhile, Cricket finds himself in possession of the puritanical Brotherhood, a religious cult set for a head-on collision with the Major and his band. Searching for Lemon, Ezekiel finds a strange ally in an old enemy, and uncovers a plot that may see him reunited with his beloved Ana.

And inside Babel, a remade Eve hatches a plan to bring an end to the world.

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📝My Review📝:

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

4.5 Stars and WOW am I shocked…

Deviate by Jay Kristoff continues the story of Lifelike in this second installment. This time we follow Lemon Fresh’s journey to find herself and to find a family after being kicked to the curb by Eve in the last book. This book is full of heartbreak, tragedy, and lots of destruction. These characters just can’t seem to catch a break but are we really surprised? This is a Jay Kristoff novel after all. I was pleasantly surprised by this book! I did not enjoy Lifelike that much but I wanted to give this book a chance because I absolutely loved Lemon Fresh in the last one. I was not disappointed at all, I really liked this book. Deviate is way better than Lifelike and that is hard to do. It is rare that a second book in a trilogy is the standout.

This series is a dystopian, which typically is not my favorite genre, but there is something about it that makes it stand out from its predecessors. Deviate was a mix of X-Men, Star Wars, and I, Robot with some sass and dystopia thrown in. Where have you ever heard of a combination like that? The only place you can find it is in this series.

I don’t want to say much about the plot of this book because I think it is best to go in not knowing much. What I will say is that we see the squad from the first book split up and doing their own things and finding their purpose. I think this choice to split up the characters was important and the perfect decision. They all grew so much (with the exception of one character who I will not name) in this book and it makes me so excited for the next one.

The reason this book is not a 5 star is because I just can’t stand by or understand some of the characters’ actions. I also am not super sold on all the characters, I liked most of them a lot better in this book but Lemon Fresh is still my standout favorite. There was some slow moments in this book as well that just had me a tad bit bored. Lastly dystopian novels are just not my favorite settings to read.

If you did not like Lifelike that much and are weary of continuing the series here is my advice: DO IT! READ THIS BOOK! It was so worth the chance and I’m glad I took it.

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📝REVIEW📝 ~ 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 ~ Escaping From Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3) ~ Author: Kerri Maniscalco ~ Genre: #YA #HistoricalFiction #Horror #Mystery ~ Available Now!

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Escaping From Houdini

(Stalking Jack the Ripper #3)

By

Kerri Maniscalco

Genre: #YA #HistoricalFiction #Horror #Mystery

My Rating: 4

Cover: 5

Publication: September 18th, 2018

Read: December 24th, 2018

POV: First-person single perspective

Hardcover: 436

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37946456-escaping-from-houdini

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Escaping-Houdini-Stalking-Jack-Ripper/dp/0316551708/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=167PW5BO19I29&keywords=escaping+from+houdini&qid=1559228706&s=gateway&sprefix=escaping+from%2Caps%2C128&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1

Series: https://www.goodreads.com/series/180612-stalking-jack-the-ripper

Synopsis:

In this third installment in the #1 bestselling Stalking Jack the Ripper series, a luxurious ocean liner becomes a floating prison of scandal, madness, and horror when passengers are murdered one by one…with nowhere to run from the killer. .

Audrey Rose Wadsworth and her partner-in-crime-investigation, Thomas Cresswell, are en route to New York to help solve another blood-soaked mystery. Embarking on a week-long voyage across the Atlantic on the opulent RMS Etruria, they’re delighted to discover a traveling troupe of circus performers, fortune tellers, and a certain charismatic young escape artist entertaining the first-class passengers nightly.

But then, privileged young women begin to go missing without explanation, and a series of brutal slayings shocks the entire ship. The strange and disturbing influence of the Moonlight Carnival pervades the decks as the murders grow ever more freakish, with nowhere to escape except the unforgiving sea. It’s up to Audrey Rose and Thomas to piece together the gruesome investigation as even more passengers die before reaching their destination. But with clues to the next victim pointing to someone she loves, can Audrey Rose unravel the mystery before the killer’s horrifying finale?

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📝My Review📝:

This book was a wild ride and for the first time I actually did not guess the killer!

Escaping From Houdini was such a fun installment to the Stalking Jack The Ripper series. While it was a little slow compared to the previous two it was still fun nonetheless. I loved the addition of the Moonlight Carnival and Mephistophelis totally has my heart I fell for him hard. And due to that I am once again over Thomas and his extra ass. The murders were very interesting due to their connection to tarot and cartomancy. It was also funny seeing Harry Houdini as a character.

Audrey Rose as always was her slightly frustrating self. Her decisions in this book were very questionable. She is supposed to be very smart but it always seems like she is oblivious to the obvious. But she has been that way since the first book so I wasn’t expecting much from her. Not going to lie I was really hoping she would drop Thomas and choose Mephisto but the Cressworth ship unfortunately doesn’t seem like it will sink (pun intended). Thomas was not in this book much and I am sure that is what led to my lack of enjoyment for his character. He is supposed to be able to deduce anything but he couldn’t tell when Audrey Rose was pulling one over on him? She is literally the worst liar in the world she has not one aloof bone in her body. Thomas might win me back in the last book but at this point I am too dedicated to Mephisto. SPEAKING OF…my boy. Literally loved him, every single thing about him. Even though I was suspecting him 90% of the book of being the murderer that changed nothing. I really hope we get to see him again in the last book because his character was too good to just be a one-off. I loved that Liza was back in this book. I missed her and Audrey Rose desperately needed her female partner in crime. She is so intelligent and observant that I wish she would join the Uncle/Thomas/Audrey Rose squad. I hope she is more present in the last book too.

This wasn’t the best installment in the series. It was pretty predictable and followed a pattern that was easy to figure out. There really wasn’t much suspense and anticipation for me. While there were many positive things about this book it just was not a 5 star. Hunting Prince Dracula, this book’s predecessor, was so amazing it is going to be hard to beat.

Overall I really liked this book and this series remains one that I enjoy very much. I definitely recommend this series, don’t be turned off by historical fiction! I cannot wait for the final installment in the series, Capturing The Devil.

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📝REVIEW📝 ~ 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 ~P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #2) ~ Author: Jenny Han ~ Genre: #YA #Contemporary ~Available Now!

25549954

P.S. I Still Love You

(To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #2)

By

Jenny Han

Genre: #YA #Contemporary

My Rating: 5

Cover: 3

Publication: May 26th, 2015

Read: March 18th, 2019

POV: First-person single perspective

Hardcover: 337

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25549954-p-s-i-still-love-you

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/P-S-Still-Love-Loved-Before/dp/1442426748/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Series: https://www.goodreads.com/series/121588-to-all-the-boys-i-ve-loved-before

Synopsis:

Given the way love turned her heart in the New York Times bestselling To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, which School Library Journal called a “lovely, lighthearted romance,” it’s no surprise that Laura Jean still has letters to write.

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.

She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.

When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

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📝My Review📝:

John Ambrose McClaren where have you been all my life?

Wow what a huge improvement from the first book and all due to one character. In this sequel to TATBILB we see Lara Jean finally being upfront and open about her feelings for Peter. They have started dating for real and…it’s not going too well but are we surprised? No I always thought they were a messy couple. I think book Peter K is such a jerk Noah Centineo actually made that character likable for me so I am eager for the adaptation of this book. Lara Jean and Peter have major relationship drama over the ever lovely Genevieve, what else is new?

Peter is literally a piece of trash Lara Jean deserves so much better. After all the things he did in this book I would not have forgiven him. In my opinion Lara Jean is very blinded and keeps forgiving him time and time again when he shouldn’t be forgiven at all. He never really apologizes for anything and he says some really messed up stuff to her sometimes. He is not worth all the drama and pain Lara Jean let him go!!! Though I must say he was not as big of an ass as he was in the first book but still that is not a compliment.

John Ambrose McClaren is literally goals and Lara Jean is an idiot. This is a beautiful, sweet, smart, kind, funny, amazing, talented, polite, fun, RESPECTFUL, and all around perfect guy who LIKES HER and she is like “lol but I still love Peter!!” Girl WHY?! I would have dumped Peter the second that letter from John arrived…well I would not have been with Peter in the first place if I were her but still. John Ambrose is so down for everything Lara Jean wants to do and never complained. He drove all the way to her school just to give her a birthday present *cries*. I am just going to be so upset if these two don’t end up together at some point because they are so good together and Peter is trash.

I wish there was more of Josh in this book. He was barely in it and I’m sad that him and Lara Jean didn’t really try to rekindle their friendship in full force like it was before everything happened. I really like all the characters (sans Peter and Gen) and I enjoy when we get more of them. I loved all the Lucas we got in this book, my king!

One of my biggest problems of the last book was the immaturity of Lara Jean. She read like a child and I really hated it. In this book she was much better but still had those immature moments. Girl you are seventeen please act like it. I get that she’s “innocent” but guess what so am I and I didn’t act like I was twelve when I was seventeen. I really hope the last book gives me a Lara Jean who acts her age.

All in all I really loved this book. Granted nothing really happened but again this book is more character driven than plot driven. Also John Ambrose was everything.

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