Once and For All by Sarah Dessen – Book Review

The dead aren’t the only ones who vanish: you, too, can disappear in plain sight if enough is taken from you. I was still missing, in many ways. And I wasn’t sure I wanted to be found

32731231.jpg

Hello! I just got done reading Once and For All by Sarah Dessen and I have mixed feelings on this one. I haven’t read a summer contemporary romance novel in ages, lately I’ve been really into fantasy and everything but contemporary romances, but this one caught my attention admittedly by the cover and because Sarah Dessen is a familiar author to me. I’ve read most of her other books and loved them as they all seem to have good takeaways and life lessons interwoven in them. This novel does seem to deal with a lot more heavy topics than what one would expect from a summery contemporary romance novel. Death and tragedy are laced into the plot line, giving the novel a more emotionally-charged appeal which is one aspect about this book that I did like. I started veering away from contemporary awhile back because it all seemed the same to me and it was predictable but adding diversity into YA contemporary is definitely a positive element that Sarah Dessen brings. Though I did enjoy the book it’s not without some minor flaws. The first thing that I didn’t really love about the novel is that it was very predictable to me, I think most people know who Louna is going to end up dating in the end, this is made clear basically from the beginning. This book follows the typical plot line of meeting someone at first and disliking them, getting to know them better, and discovering you have feelings for them. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but it is one of the major things that is overdone in contemporary YA books. Another thing that I felt could have been done slightly better was character development. There was some development in the characters, but it seemed like there definitely could have been more growth and perhaps over a longer time period, this would have added to making the novel more realistic. Some things did seem rushed to me, like Louna’s first relationship with Ethan.

However, one of the biggest problems I had with this book was just that I couldn’t really bring myself to get overly attached to Ambrose. There was just something about his personality that I found a little bit annoying I’m not 100% sure as to what that is about him that irritates me. Perhaps it’s the fact that he seems to get away with everything and still get his way, including stealing a dog with no consequences, getting a job after making a horrible first impression to his future boss, and getting the girl he wanted after flirting with many, many other girls in the process. I would have liked to see Ambrose’s character development a little bit more defined and openly recognized by the end of the novel which is one area that this book fell short.

Overall though, I did enjoy the book and of course it has valuable take-aways about love and not closing your heart off too soon. It was a good summer read and I loved the wedding planning business and getting a sneak peek inside the world of weddings and the drama and stress that comes with it! Therefore, I give this novel 3.5/5 stars.

Some of my favourite Quotes from the Book: 

“It’s about the courage to go for what you want, not just what you think you need. Sometimes we don’t even know what that is.”

“But you never know what you can do until you try, and if you’re lucky, what you love will always be waiting for you”

“You can’t measure love by time put in, but the weight of those moments. Some in life are light, like a touch. Others, you can’t help but stagger beneath.”

 

Advertisements

The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee – Book Review

Hi everyone! Harper Collins Publishers very kindly sent me an ARC of the Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee. If you don’t know, this is the second book to The Thousandth Floor where you can find the Goodreads synopsis here to learn more about the world and the general plot overview: The Thousandth Floor on Goodreads

Here is my review of the first book: The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee – Book Review

The anticipated release date of The Dazzling Heights is August 29th 2017! 🙂


the dazzling heights.jpg

Overall, I really loved this book, I think I might have enjoyed The Dazzling Heights more than The Thousandth Floor because we really get to see way more in-depth into who each of the characters really are. I loved getting to see inside the characters’ minds, their insecurities, their emotional challenges, and of course, how they deal with the new drama that is constantly being thrown at them. What I really liked about this book is that there is a new character introduced that wasn’t present in the first book, and I think this character really does add another layer or dimension to the storyline. This was a very fast-paced read for me, I found myself constantly grabbing for my Kindle to read more about the lives of these high-liers and what new drama they faced. I think that this book still has the “Gossip Girl” vibe that everyone loved from the first book, but offers its own unique originality and individuality that is at the same time, unlike Gossip Girl. I loved the continuation of the world-building in this novel as we are introduced to a new Tower that is built, and also the day-to-day normalities of the characters’ reliance on technology.  I also loved how some new and unforeseen romances emerge in this novel, and I like how those develop over time. My favourite romance though of course is Avery and Atlas’!

The characters that Katharine McGee has thought up for this book and also The Thousandth Floor, are all so relatable even though they are high-liers, they have such real and relatable problems in their lives. Under the surface these characters are extremely flawed, they jump to conclusions, sometimes they act irrationally, and even suffer from issues such as addiction – which make them fun and interesting to read about.

I really loved this book, I give it 5/5 stars and I am so happy that I got the opportunity to be granted access to the Advance Reader Copy! If you have read The Thousandth Floor and are questioning if you should continue on with the next book, I would definitely say that you should! It’s in my opinion even more dramatic and action packed than the first book! I really hope that Katharine McGee continues on with this series in the future because I absolutely love the originality of her work and her well thought out and relatable characters and I really want to see what happens next!

I’m so excited for you guys to read this book too and share your thoughts!

July Wrap-Up and August TBR Plans

Monthly Wrap-Up

Hey guys! Can you believe it’s almost August already? I finished school in April and it seemed like the summer flew by! Anyways, sadly I didn’t read as many books as I planned this month, but on the other hand I’ve been extremely busy with a new job and trying to keep up with my summer school course. Nonetheless let’s look at the books that I read in the month of July!

WRAP-UP: 

A Thousand Pieces of You By Claudia Gray – 4/5 stars 

Ruined by Amy Tintera – 5/5 stars 

The Valiant by Lesley Livingston – 4.5/ stars 

Dazzling Heights by Katherine McGee – 5/5 stars

Though I didn’t read a lot of books this month, I’m happy with the books that I did read. I enjoyed them all, and gave them all really good ratings and I can’t say that I was disappointed with any of them. I feel like in July I had a reading theme going on which was kind of a mix of fantasy and just other worlds and universes that differ from our own, which I really like in a book because it serves as an escape from the daily stresses.

AUGUST READING PLANS: 

So, I’ve received a few Advanced Reader Copies of books that I’m really highly anticipating and I’m super excited to be diving into those this upcoming month!

The ARC’s I plan on reading in August are:

  • Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows
  • Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett

As for books that I already own, I want to read:

  • Once and For All by Sarah Dessen! (This book is such a summery book even the cover is beautiful and reminds me of the summer so I have to fit this one in before the summer is over!).

I’m really excited and thankful to Harper Collins for sending me Advanced Reader Copies of some really amazing sounding books that are coming out this Fall and Winter and I absolutely cannot wait to read them and review them for you guys! 🙂 I’m hoping to end the summer with reading as many books as possible!

Flowers & Lavender Farm

I feel like I haven’t posted any photography on here in awhile, mostly because I haven’t picked up my camera in awhile. I’ve been really busy lately with my work and school schedule, but I always think it’s important to take a time-out from our hectic lives even for a little while, and enjoy the creation around us! The summer months seem way too short, so it’s best to enjoy them before they’re gone! 🙂

blog 1.jpg

Blog 2.jpg

Blog 3

Blog 4.jpg
This photo was actually taken at a Lavender farm, where I not only got to see the rows and rows of beautiful lavender, but also got to see how the lavender goes from flower to essential oil – and the benefits of the essential oil for the human body! It was a really amazing experience! I was shocked to see how much lavender makes only a small amount of the essential oil!

 

 

 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – Book Review

DSC_0103_Fotor.jpg

Hey guys, so I read this book probably about a month ago, but I haven’t gotten around to actually doing the review for it until now, but since this time has gone by it’s really allowed me to develop and collect my thoughts on it.

If you don’t know what it is about I’ll leave the Goodreads description here: Daughter of Smoke and Bone Description.

I have a lot of mixed feelings on this novel. I know a lot of people either really loved it or really didn’t, but I think that I’m one of the rare people that fall into the middle category. At first, I  was really confused while reading this book, because the world is something that I’m quite unfamiliar with. It’s not like any other world I’ve been exposed to in YA literature before. However, once I started understanding the world a little better I did become fond of some of the elements of this world, including the fact that there are different levels of wishes that could be granted. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of mythological books, or novels that deal heavily with mythology so perhaps that is the one aspect of this book that I didn’t love. But that being said, those who do like mythology would really like this book!

I thought that the writing style was really good, it almost had a mysterious element to it that kept the reader intrigued all the way through. The romance was also done very well, and I would say is probably one of my favourite parts of the book. I also did like the description that the author provided with the world itself and especially the creatures that resided in this world. Because it is so unlike our own universe, these descriptions were both necessary and a relief for the reader in understanding and visualizing the plot and the characters.

Overall, I did enjoy this novel, though it is kind of long, it is a quick read and keeps the reader engaged in the story the whole time. I think this novel would be great for anyone who is looking for something that is different within the fantasy genre and likes a little bit of mythology and romance (that isn’t insta-love). I give this novel 3.5/5 stars!

 

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray – Book Review

DSC_0095_Fotor.jpg

Hey guys! I’ve been doing a lot of off and on reading lately due to my really busy schedule, but I’ve finished A Thousand Pieces of You awhile ago and haven’t gotten around to posting the review for it until now.

I’ve read a lot of time travel novels, but I can’t say that I’ve read any books that are based on travel between different dimensions. I feel like that was a very unique and original plotline that Claudia Gray came up with. Though the book incorporates some theoretical physics concepts, I can surely say that I am not a scientifically minded person, and was able to fully follow what was happening in the story because the author explained everything in a way that even if you aren’t into physics, you can understand what’s going on.

I really liked all of the characters in the book, I felt like it was a really quick-paced read that was good for my busy schedule. There are some plot twists in the novel which I liked, and I also liked how the author transitioned between the different dimensions. It was cool to see the small details that changed in each dimension in comparison to the one that the reader starts off in. It is my understanding that this is the first book in a series, so I will for sure be picking up the rest of them probably before the end of the summer because I did find this one enjoyable and I’m curious how everything will turn out for the characters in the book.

I have been reading some other reviews on this, and some people who are skeptical of love triangles have pointed out that there is kind of a love triangle in this book. Though I’m not a fan of love triangles by any means, I feel like this one wasn’t overdone or too over the top. This is because the main character already kind of has a leaning towards one particular love interest than the other right off the bat.

Overall, I give this novel 4/5 stars and would recommend it to anyone who likes time travel books but is maybe looking for something a little bit different and original!

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas – Book Review

Beware: This review might contain spoilers of ACOTAR and ACOMAF.

ACOWAR 1

     Hey guys! So I finished ACOWAR today and I had so many feelings on this book. Yesterday I sat down for 5 straight hours and literally did not stop reading because I just couldn’t! The whole book from the first page to the last contains so many dramatic events that keep the reader interested. However, I think I liked the last quarter the best of the entire book. I liked that we got to find out so many new things about each of the characters that we didn’t know while reading the rest of the series, but looking back on it, it makes sense now. Sarah J Maas also really included a lot of diversity in terms of her characters in this book, which I know has been one of the things that the ACOTAR series has been criticized on, is it’s lack of diversity, but after finishing the third book you can see that there does remain quite a bit of diversity in the land of Prythian.

I thought that this book was perfect. It met all of my expectations going into it, which were pretty high because Sarah set the bar high with the ending of ACOMAF. I loved the tension between Rhysand, Tamlin, and Feyre and how that all played out throughout the book too. I also liked that we could see more of Feyre’s sisters Elain and Nesta throughout this novel they play a much more significant role than they previously have.

Another addition that I liked in ACOWAR in comparison to the other books, is the new love interests. Not only is Rhysand and Feyre’s relationship the cutest thing ever, but more romantic interests between some of the other characters are also introduced and I loved that element of ACOWAR!!

Throughout this entire series it was so heartwarming just seeing how Rhysand, Azriel, Cassian, Mor, Feyre, and even Amren, were so close and how they all looked out for each other like they were family! I cannot wait for more books with these characters!!

Overall I give this novel 5/5 stars and if you haven’t read it yet, it will not disappoint at all! Be prepared to get emotional over some parts though!

Some of my favourite Quotes from the novel: 

“What we think to be our greatest weakness can sometimes be our biggest strength.”

“I see all of you, Rhys. And there is not one part that i do not love with everything I am.”

“We’re all a broken, in our own ways – In places no one might see.”