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A Monster Calls
A Monster Calls
by Patrick Ness
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars I just didn't connect to it emotionally., 14 Oct 2013
This review is from: A Monster Calls (Hardcover)
*sigh* The hype machine strikes again. I don't know what it was this time, but... nope. Judging by all the four and five star ratings from my friends on Goodreads, I was kind of expecting my mind to be blown. I was told I would need tissues. Instead, I reached the last page and just had a blank stare, questioning, "Was that it? Really?"

To be fair, I'll never regret having purchased this book in hardcover because damn if the book itself isn't a work of art. The illustrations, done by Jim Kay, are absolutely amazing. So if you were thinking of buying this on an e-reader or Kindle, put that thought out of your head, and just pay the extra couple of dollars, because whoa. The haunting brushwork in the full page illustrations and the detail work on the sides of pages were just absolutely stunning and definitely my favorite part of the book.

The story, on the other hand, left more to be desired. In all honesty, when I finished, I questioned whether I was just too stupid for this book, because I think I must have missed something if that accounted for all those raving reviews. If I didn't miss something, then clearly I must be an insensitive bitch, because... it didn't really do much for me.

So Conor's mother has cancer, and Conor is coping with that in his own way. He has a persistent nightmare that haunts him almost every night. And then this monster suddenly comes to visit him and wants to tell him three stories, with the bargain that afterwards, Conor tells him his story. Conor is in denial about the fact that he even has a story to tell, but okay. Meanwhile, Conor goes to school, where he is pitied, ignored, and excluded by many because of his mother's condition. He even draws the attention of a bully. And to top it all off, his father remarried and is busy with his new family across the ocean.

Basically, A Monster Calls is a story about Conor's grief, coming to terms with death, and facing his fears. And while I know that that's a meaningful and deep story, it just didn't really touch me the way it did others. I don't get along well with books centered on death. Thinking back on If I Stay/Where She Went and The Lovely Bones, and now this? It's a definite thing. I know that they should make me feel something, but I just don't. I'm just reading with a blank expression and then I reach the end and am like, "Okay. So that's it." That's not to say that it's a bad book - it's not bad at all. The writing is definitely imaginative and good, the illustrations definitely immersed me in the story, but... I'm still lacking that feeling. And I wonder why? I mean, I have lost people close to me, but not at all recently, and it was while I was quite young. So I guess maybe that's it - it's just not personally relevant enough, and I didn't get so close to Conor to really feel what he felt.

Summing Up...

This book has left me feeling conflicted. I'm really disappointed that it didn't have the profound emotional effect on me that it has had on others, and it also kind of makes me feel a bit ashamed. But it is what it is. I think in a few years time, if I reread this, there is a high chance that I will feel differently about it. I think whether you really connect with this book is reliant on your own experiences. So it didn't resonate with me now, but it might well do that later.

Others I think will have better luck with this book than I did. And certainly, it is a work of art in itself, and I will go back to look at those beautiful illustrations more often. My final thought is that this book really should be read in one sitting (which isn't too hard, considering its length). I think that way you are really the most immersed in the story and the ending will have the best effect.

Note to self: At least check the synopsis once before you think that all four/five star ratings from friends means that you will automatically love it too. You know stories about grief don't work for you now. Just. Just. Okay.

Recommended To...

For the artwork, everyone; for the story, people who relate to and are affected by stories of loss and grief.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 14, 2013 7:46 PM BST


The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson & the Olympians)
The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson & the Olympians)
by Rick Riordan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 11.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty cool, but not a substitute for the original, 13 Oct 2013
When I saw this listed on the Book Depository, I just knew I had to buy it. It had to happen. I love the Percy Jackson series so much, so I honestly didn't care that it would be the exact same story. The illustrations would make it a whole new and wonderful experience. In a way, I was correct, but still this could have been better.

In terms of the adaptation, this graphic novel is extremely close to the original, so no worries there. If anything, it begs the question why the movie couldn't be a closer adaptation, but I think we've all established what a disappointment the movie was.

For the most part I liked the artwork, though I found it extremely odd that they still claimed that Percy was 12 years old, in 6th grade, and he honestly looks at least 18 if not older. So that's a bit of a clash there: they tried to give it a more mature comic book look, but if the characters are so young, that doesn't really work. Making them look intentionally younger, however, would maybe give it a more manga, chibi-esque look that would also exclude a lot of the potential audience. So... I understand the difficulty of the decision, but I do wonder if there wasn't some happy compromise to be found in the middle.

While I was impressed with the world building details that they still managed to include in the graphic novel, I was disappointed overall by the length and pacing of the story. I mean, this graphic novel is 128 pages. That's so freaking short. A lot of the scenes, especially battles, were shortened to one to two pages. The Lotus Hotel & Casino scene? Two or three pages. That's just sad. It was all very rushed, and I wonder why it couldn't have been expanded. Also so much of the sarcastic humor that I love about Percy was cut out. More sadness.

Summing Up...

This was a fun quick way to experience the first of the Percy Jackson series in a new format. I enjoyed it, for sure, though the artwork could maybe have been a bit better and overall it was just far too short. However, as a die hard Percy fan, I don't regret this purchase, and I'll probably pick up the next graphic novels as well. Just to have more Percy in my life. But I wouldn't recommend this as a substitute for the actual Percy Jackson books.

Recommended To...

Die hard Percy Jackson fans.


This Song Will Save Your Life
This Song Will Save Your Life
by Leila Sales
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars A life-changing read, 13 Oct 2013
This Song Will Save Your Life is a book I dearly wish I had when I was growing up. Though it has its darker moments, it's extremely true to life that way. I saw so much of myself in the story that it was quite confrontational. And in the end, it's the kind of book that makes you think and possibly resolve to change. To put it simply: this book is amazing and one I will go back to often.

This story is a must read for anyone who went through high school and felt lonely, was excluded, was bullied, had trouble making friends, and struggled with self-confidence. If you had any of these issues, you will totally relate to this book. I am one of those people, so Elise's voice was extremely authentic, heartfelt, and relatable to me. It's the kind of story that has you reflecting on your own experiences and can easily get you to shed a tear.

Elise has a lot of issues with her self-worth or, rather, lack of it. And that, for a reader like me, is not only relatable, but kind of confrontational -- in a good way. It really challenged how I think about myself. Though I recognized Elise's feelings, the way the story plays out shows beautifully how she does have people who care about her, and that she is an important and worthy person. When you're in a situation like Elise's, like I have been, it's easy to fall into that kind of myopia where you don't see that. Long story short, this book ultimately caused me to gain self-respect, or at least to look at the bigger picture. That's amazingly uplifting and inspiring.

I'll admit that sometimes I wished Elise would hurry up and get her reality check because it sucked to see her hurting so much, but the character growth is there. No worries. The self-deprecation all just felt so real and understandable that I did not mind it at all. I just loved every bit of this story: the authentic voice, the heartbreaking realism of her life in high school, the love of music, the family bonds, the bits of romance that were there, the friendships.. oh my gosh, this book just hit the nail on the head. A definite Debby Book(tm), and the more I think about it, the more and more I realize I love it.

But I love the overall message most of all: that when you find a massive passion, it can save your life. It's so true. And then I think about myself with this whole book blogging, book reviewing thing. I mean, finding this hobby really allowed me to come into my own, made me feel confident and comfortable with who I am. That is so important. I was always different and to a large extent an outsider, both in high school and university, but then I started this blog. Every day, my confidence grows, and I meet more like minded people who respect me for who I am. And I love that. I love how this book reflected that. ♥

As a final note, I want to give some massive praise to Leila Sales for the ending of this book with regards to the romance. Romance didn't play too big of a role in this book, because it was much more of a coming-of-age book about finding yourself. And I really respected that. There was some romance, and it ended in the best possible way that's kind of unique in young adult, and an important kind of message to send to readers. I won't spoil it, so I'm just saying that I absolutely loved it.

Summing Up...

This story is absolutely beautiful and very dear to my heart. It does what I love that contemporaries can do: it challenged how I think about myself and inspired me to do better. I highly recommend this to pretty much every reader. I'm so jealous of the people that got the promotional mix CDs from Macmillan, because I totally want to listen to all the music mentioned in this book. As a music freak, that part was also just beautiful.

And then, because I love it, I'll leave you with a quote.

"Sometimes people think they know you. They know a few facts about you, and they piece you together in a way that makes sense to them. And if you don't know yourself very well, you might even believe that they are right. But the truth is, that isn't you. That isn't you at all." - This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

Recommended To...

Anyone who was an outsider, was bullied, or struggled with self-worth in high school (or any other time).


Coraline
Coraline
by Neil Gaiman
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.03

4.0 out of 5 stars A great book for children!, 13 Oct 2013
This review is from: Coraline (Paperback)
Coraline is a quick read, with its large print and beautiful and haunting illustrations. I finished it within two and a half hours, easily, and I'm not a particularly fast reader. It tells the story of Coraline, a brave and adventurous little child who moves into a new house and goes exploring. She discovers a different world, where an evil creature steals her parents and wants to steal her soul. Especially when paired with the illustrations (which are different in my 10th anniversary copy, compared to the original version), this is a book that could easily have given me nightmares as a child.

But I would probably have liked it if my parents made me read it anyway. Above all, Coraline sends a strong message about bravery and a more subtle one about familial love. Coraline is a wonderful character, and I loved reading about her. I especially liked, in this 10th anniversary edition, reading about Neil Gaiman's writing process and the development of the story in his new foreword - and his sweet updated acknowledgements at the end. I'm becoming a bigger and bigger Neil Gaiman fan! Must read more of his books soon! (And I only own one more that I haven't read! Time to order more??)

Summing Up...

Neil Gaiman is a born storyteller, and this story is fantastic in its strange and haunting world, paired with the beautiful illustrations of Chris Riddell. It's a story that I hope all children would read - perhaps not as much the ones that are easily scared, but the others certainly. I wish I had discovered this as a child, but I'm happy knowing that my own children, if I ever get that far, will not suffer the same deprivation as me.


Stardust: The Gift Edition
Stardust: The Gift Edition
by Neil Gaiman
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just like a fairytale!, 13 Oct 2013
I finally read my first Neil Gaiman book - ever! And oh boy it was just as, if not more, beautiful as I expected. Stardust is brilliant. It reads just like a fairytale, and Neil Gaiman shows what a brilliant storyteller he is.

I think Neil Gaiman's talent is obvious by how easily he creates a story that appeals to all ages. Stardust honestly has something for everyone: romance, adventure, magical creatures, even some graphic battles. Also, it is a rather simple and straightforward story, but it's so meticulously worked out with beautiful details and intricacies. The story is just solid. It works, and it'll work for almost every reader. I read it with full enjoyment the whole time. It's the kind of book that can easily pull you out of a reading slump.

So I loved every bit of the adventure - not much to say there - and of course, the romance between Tristran and Yvaine worked absolutely perfectly for me. I'm such a huge fan of hate-to-love romance progressions, and this was yet another great one. Even at the end, there's some quote about more or less how being called an idiot was the best thing. That gets me every time :') Maybe the transition could have been expanded a little more to make it more gradual and memorable, but I honestly loved it anyway.

If I have to nitpick, I'll say that the beginning was quite slow, with the story starting focused on Tristran's father and mother, before his birth. Though it was more or less a prologue, it took quite some time and I hadn't seen the movie recent enough to remember where the story was going at that point. The story really picked up for me when Tristran finally set out on his adventure. Then I became addicted to turning the pages. And a second minor point would be that I wish the story was a bit longer. A lot of the adventure part and the development of the romance were just so quick... It left me wanting more! (But is that really that negative? My gut says no.)

Summing Up...

This story was beautiful, the writing was so fluid and amazing, and it was just like a fairytale; Stardust definitely lives up to its reputation. I can easily see why so many people love it and pick it as their favorite Gaiman book. As for me, I'm so excited now to read more of his books little by little. He really is a natural storyteller and I can't wait to go on more of his adventures. And Stardust is a book I'll happily recommend to any reader.

Recommended To...

Fans of fairytale-like stories and beautiful fluid writing.


Dualed
Dualed
by Elsie Chapman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.15

2.0 out of 5 stars This just didn't work for me at all, 21 Sep 2013
This review is from: Dualed (Hardcover)
Dualed is a debut novel with an intriguing dystopian concept. Every person has an Alt - a genetically identical twin - and they must prove their worth to the community by eliminating that Alt before they turn 20. Only upon "completion" do the citizens finally get to live a peaceful life. That sounds epic, right? Sadly, I was slightly disappointed.

This novel held a lot of promise, but right from the get go it became obvious that the concept left a lot of questions by which you can poke holes in the logic of the world building. Basically, this is a walled community, set up by a society called The Board. After they found a cure for the common cold, they realized later that it made everyone infertile. The community was founded as a sort of utopia - a place that should be free from the wars surrounding them outside. However, they wanted to keep that peace and had to be ready for attacks from the outside. Therefore, when ensuring population growth by fertility treatments they manipulated the DNA to create two identical twins in separate families. The idea is Darwinian by nature. The two will be trained to ultimately eliminate the other. The stronger one should therefore always win and thereby prove their worth to the community. (And if neither of them eliminates the other before the time is up, they both die from a kind of programming in their DNA.) In sum, then, every person in the community is a murderer and has been taught from birth to be a soldier against the evil outside.

Let's start with the positives. What did this novel ultimately contain?
- BAGS of action. If that's what you're looking for, don't worry, you're safe.
- A nice love story that is really, really on the side and doesn't detract from the plot.
- A female protagonist who ultimately knows when and how to be strong.
- A very engaging last quarter that pulls the rating upwards a bit.

Inconsistencies or points which really bothered me include:
- So the concept of the world is Darwinian, but around 2/3 into the novel, West (the main character) mentions that one particular district, Leyton, is the wealthy district. They get special treatment, better training, better food, and ultimately have higher odds of completion. That kind of kills the survival of the fittest idea.

- I had an extremely difficult time wrapping my head around the idea that everyone in this community over the age of 20 is a murderer. It's a fact. That's pretty screwed up. I mean, they are trained for this from birth. Death is ALL around them. On a completely regular day, in a crowded square, they can witness a completion. And yes, this is the whole concept. If I couldn't get around that, I shouldn't have picked it up. But what got to me was how everyone reacts to this. Long story short: they don't. People witness a completion right in front of them and barely even blink. I'm sorry, but you cannot just look death in the face like that and accept it as normal. It almost felt like the book was glorifying violence at certain points just because it was so insensitive to the implications.

And there was barely any mention (besides like two short declarations) that there was a hint of an uprising. Obviously that will come. But this was not covered in this installment at all. In fact, looking at this book alone, it just looks like everyone's perfectly fine with all the killing. When I got to about 70%, I took another look at the blurb. It conveniently states, "When the story ends, discussions will begin about this future society where every adult is a murderer and every child knows there is another out there who just might be better." Sorry guys, but in a dystopia, I need those societal questions raised MUCH SOONER.

- Chord, while just recently achieving completion himself, seems to be able to throw money at West whenever he wants. Like he's made of money. Despite being raised in the exact same circumstances as West and also having no parents. It bothered me.

- West, the main character, bothered me to no end. The whole book is written from her perspective but I found it to be extremely bland and static. I felt no emotion or sympathy for her. Right before the end, West mentions she gives herself "over to the coldness again -- closing [herself] off, shifting back to that earlier numbness in which [she] nearly lost [herself]." It was not clear to me before that that was a coping mechanism. The whole novel up to that point read as extremely bland.

And to make things (possibly) worse I didn't understand West's hesitance with killing her Alt. She became a striker (basically, a mercenary taking out Alts for the rich) to train for the experience of killing. But still she wouldn't go after her Alt. I suppose it was scary and confrontational, but because of the earlier mentioned mask she wears, it didn't come across well. It's like she says she's scared, but then she does something completely fearless. She says she feels guilty for killing others, but then shows absolutely no reaction after taking out another strike. Overall the novel is a lot of telling, not showing. And this inconsistency with West's character is best summed up in the following quote, which takes place after she's taken out at least 20 hits but never shown remorse.

"To kill someone by accident, through carelesssness, someone who's not a strike, or my Alt--my stomach rolls with nausea at the thought of it. Never. I could never live with myself." -- Dualed, page 161

Overall, the characters came across as a bit static and did not capture my heart, the world building was so brief and unexplained it made me sad, and the ultimate (sort of) glorification of violence really put me off. There was a noticeable lack in secondary characters, and the prose was nothing special. Would I recommend it? Not in good conscience. While the blurb was promising, the story never fully captured my attention nor my heart. Sorry Dualed, it's not you, it's me.

**An electronic ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.


Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, Book 2)
Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, Book 2)
by Marissa Meyer
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.03

4.0 out of 5 stars This series is awesome!, 21 Sep 2013
Took me long enough to get around to this sequel, right? I'm sorryyy. But I'm here now, ready to put my piece of mind out there and reaffirm that, yes, this is an awesome book and an awesome sequel for an awesome series. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite series, guys.

First off, I want to give serious praise to Marissa for her ability to create interesting, captivating characters. Introducing new (main) characters after the series has already started is quite a difficult thing. And most times, for me at least, it doesn't work. But Scarlet is awesome. Wolf is amazing. Thorne is constantly entertaining. I really couldn't find a negative thing to say about them. My biggest hesitance going in was that I wouldn't like the story not being fully focused on Cinder - but that was absolutely not an issue. Switching between the different characters and storylines was seamless and truly skillfully done.

Marissa Meyer's writing style and world building are of a level one would not normally expect in YA. Seriously flawless. Especially the world. My sci-fi loving heart was overjoyed with the detail and skillful crafting that presented itself in this novel. I want more of the world. I just want to go back to it. It's been a while since I haven't had questions because of lackluster world building that left big plot holes. So, seriously, two thumbs up for that.

The plot in this one was amazing. I honestly didn't want to put the book down for most of it. I loved how creatively different this retelling of Red Riding Hood was. I swear, I was reading most of it with this huge grin on my face because the quality was just so high. The story is just action-packed, intriguing, and totally captivating. And that means all the different storylines, not just Cinder's or Scarlet's. And getting a glimpse of Kai and the political situation every once in a while was such a big plus and really showed how well Marissa thought the whole story through. I just loved it!

So I found Scarlet to definitely be an action-packed thrill ride, but ultimately was a bit let down by the last portion of the book. How do I describe my frustrations without spoiling things? Hmm. At a certain point, the story just gets a lot more violent and brutal, graphically so. It did not fit my expectations of the novel, and instead of really pulling me in even more (or causing me to gasp or cry or whatever the intention was), I was a bit turned off. And I couldn't really understand why the story was going that way. It was just creepy. And my dislike for *cough* werewolf paranormal kind of stories may have had a role in this. ...Cryptic enough? Anyway, this means the last part of the book was less pleasing to me and ultimately explains the rating.

Summing Up...

Marissa Meyer doesn't disappoint with this action-packed sequel to Cinder. Scarlet is fast-moving, entertaining, and packs a punch with its awesome characters and awesome world. If you haven't read this series yet, you need to get caught up.

Recommended To...

Any YA reader with the slightest interest in the sci-fi genre. Seriously, though, everyone. Basically.


Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles)
Finnikin of the Rock (Lumatere Chronicles)
by Melina Marchetta
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars A great fantasy!, 21 Sep 2013
Wow guys. Wow. Honestly, this book is probably worth 5 stars, and I might change that later, but I missed some things. Mostly that happened due to me reading this during the first, sleep-deprived, exhausting week of grad school.

When it comes to (I guess YA) fantasy novels, this is the way you do it. Seriously. Awesome worldbuilding. Intriguing prophecy. Ass-kickingly awesome heroine. Cool hero. Romance that is to die for, but NOT the main focus. A book that can very well standalone even though it's in a series.

What I missed out on basically boils down to the fact that I read this on some days when I was completely exhausted and read like 7 pages before falling asleep with my ereader in my hand. And this isn't the kind of book you easily stop and start. Sometimes I was a bit confused about things that had happened way earlier - like the prophecy that Finnikin is given: it's only mentioned full out one time, I think? And then later in the story when all those threads start coming together I couldn't for the life of me remember what the full prophecy was, and kept waiting for it to be repeated but it wasn't. So I guess it's more clarification issues - but again, mostly my own fault for how I read it.

Anyway, this was just great and I can't wait to move on to the sequel. This book alone is definitely worth a reread as well, when I get around to that (say in like 3 years or so).

Recommended for: basically all fantasy fans.


Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian
Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian
by Rick Riordan
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite series ever!, 21 Sep 2013
Okay, this book was PERFECT. JUST PERFECT. That is the single best word to describe it.

In each book one of my absolute favorite elements has been the introduction of the gods. In this book I must say it was Hestia. Goddess of the hearth - you always forget about her, but to me it strikes a chord, as home has always been the most important thing to me. So her character to me was a beautiful addition that really made you think. I was surprised because usually in all mythology Persephone is my favorite, but Riordan's adaptation of her wasn't that amazing to me.

So much action. It's amazing. When you think about it, like 200 or so of the 250 pages is just the battle. Or that's what it feels like. It goes on and on but it NEVER GETS TIRING. It was beautifully constructed. And while it did get a *little* bit corny after a while that every x pages a new reinforcement would appear, it was awesome because all of the characters came back. And if they had all been there from the beginning, in the end no one would have gotten the right amount of attention.

What scene was amazing to me? Just every every every single bit of it. Seriously, thinking back, it was just completely solid. Each scene was an absolute page turner and added to the story. I just couldn't read fast enough. I must admit, if they do ever get to a movie of this book, it will be completely and totally epic. I already realized that when Percy bathes in the River Styx, and the battle following that. That was SO FREAKING AWESOME. The images in my head, gah, it makes me wish I could work in the movie industry or something. And just after that, all the fight scenes... amazing.

The ending just had me flailing. Flailing and flailing. Percy/Annabeth is PERFECT. I just love their relationship. I love the teasing and the .. the... adorable cuteness of it all xD Especially when Percy tries to confess. That was just a perfect perfect scene. Seriously.

This book was absolutely perfect, the best book in the series. My heart is totally sold to this fandom right now. And I will be continuing with The Heroes of Olympus very very soon.

Recommended for: fans of Percy Jackson and Harry Potter.


Golden
Golden
by Jessi Kirby
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.19

5.0 out of 5 stars This book reminds you why you love to read., 21 Sep 2013
This review is from: Golden (Hardcover)
This book, guys. This book. It's beautiful. It's stunning. It deserves all the praise it's gotten. I want to just bathe in the beauty of Jessi Kirby's prose, the subtle perfection of the romance, and the touching importance of the message. I love this book. Please go buy it. That is all.

...

Of course not. I want to give this book a real review but I feel like my words won't do it justice. Just like the best contemporary novels out there (and keep in mind that I'm not a big contemporary reader), this is a story that has to be experienced. That's what I like most when I find the right contemporary reads: they find a way to touch my heart that no other genre can manage. It's the realism and the relevance. It's how you can read a book and relate to it so much because the main character explains things you've felt before or are feeling now, that you thought you were alone in before.

And that's what Golden does. Golden is an ode to my high school self (and to a lesser extent who I still am today). I had my entire college education more or less planned out to a tee when I was 16 years old. I never lived in the moment. It was all about achievements and accomplishments that would get me to my future. If you're someone like me, you have to read Golden. You just have to. The message will strike a chord within you and probably make you cry like a baby a lot a bit.

So much coincided to truly make that message resonate with me. First of all, Parker is an awesome main character, and pretty much me written into a book. She's a hard worker by nature and really thoughtful, but torn between who her mother wants her to be and who she wants to be herself. Second, it was a brilliant cast of characters all around. Parker's best friend, Kat, is the perfect supporter while having a deep enough characterization to showcase that she's struggling with her own issues as well. Julianna, who we meet through her journal, was the perfect example of the consequences of idealization, and I couldn't help but sympathize with her. Mr. Kinney is the perfect, inspirational high school teacher (who makes me miss my own). The list goes on. And third, Jessi Kirby's beautiful prose made the message that much more endearing and memorable. I love her writing style, and I just want more.

While it's not as romance-heavy as I may have expected, the romance that was present was irresistible. I love Trevor. He is amazing. And the romance was so touching. It was subtle. It had just the right build up. It was so well thought out, not just by Jessi Kirby, but through Parker's narrations as well. I just loved every bit of it. And I wish there were more of it, dammit.

The story itself is true to life and quite gripping. It's contemporary, coming-of-age, with romance on the side, and an interesting mystery. But it's all rather subtle. It's not an action-packed read, but it's here to make you think. And you will think, about your own choices in life, relationships with people, and more. So for readers who like contemporary but would like a little more depth, you should definitely check this one out. While it won't have stunning plot twists you never saw coming, it's so well thought out and developed that it just works perfectly.

Summing Up...

I don't know what else I can really say. I loved the characters. The relationships were brilliant (not just the romantic ones, but the platonic and familial ones as well). The prose, I just won't shut up about how beautiful it was. But the whole package is of a quality I can't really express in words. An analysis of the sum of its parts won't do it justice. So my advice is just to read this book. I can't imagine you'll truly regret it.

"So tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

Recommended To...

Basically everyone.


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