arc review: they both die at the end by adam silvera

***thank you to harpercollins for providing me with a copy of this book via edelweiss in exchange for a review

theybothdieattheend

goodreads summary:

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day.

expected release date: september 5th 2017

my thoughts:

They both Die At The End was as heartbreaking as it was phenomenal. It’s one of those books that reminds me of why I love reading so much, and one that will definitely haunt me.

This book is an emotional roller coaster of a read that will have you tearing up more than once throughout the entirety of the novel. The title alone, for obvious reasons, is enough to make you want to cry, especially after being introduced to the characters, as you already know what lies ahead for them.

Before picking up this book I had been in a major reading slump, but leave it to Adam Silvera to not only get me out of that slump, but to get me to read almost the entire book in one sitting.

This, in my opinion, is Adam Silvera’s best book to date. Although I have enjoyed all of his previous works, I feel that his writing continuously improves. It was such a powerfully thought provoking novel, and I found myself immersed into the world and the lives (although short) of the characters from the very first page. The way in which Silvera writes is compelling, and the voices he gives his characters are so authentic, it makes them that much more real and relatable.

The concept of They Both Die At The End is one of the most unique concepts I have ever read. Even now, after having finished the book, I am left questioning what it would be like to live in a world where people are informed that they are going to die via phone call in the next 24 hours. It caused me to wonder what I would personally do if I were to be on the receiving end of a call from Death-Cast informing me of my impending death. What choices would I make during my final hours? Would I be filled with regret by some of the things I would never get a chance to do, and also be remorseful about some of the choices I had already made in my life before receiving the call? How would I inform my loved ones that i’m dying? It’s questions like this that make this book so haunting, as I am sure that I am not the first, nor will I be the last, reader to be questioning these very things both while reading the book, and after finishing it.

These very questions are the same questions that our two main characters, Mateo and Rufus, are faced with on the day that they are both on the receiving end of the life-changing phone calls from Death-Cast. Although they are both strangers to one another before learning that they are about to die, it is because of the fact that they are both going to die that they ultimately end up crossing paths with each other. The way in which they meet is through yet another interesting concept introduced in this world, and that is through an app called the last friend app. This app is there to aid those in need of a friend to keep them company on their last day on earth, so that they don’t have to be alone in their final hours.

Mateo and Rufus couldn’t be more different from each other, but they are both so precious and special in their own ways, and the relationship that they develop with each other during the short time they have left, and the ways in which they change each other on their journey to make their lives more meaningful to them in some way before they are gone, is absolutely beautiful and makes their fates that much more heartbreaking to read about.

This is very much a character driven novel, and it works very well with this story. I felt like I was right there alongside Mateo and Rufus on their one last great adventure, and after finishing the book I was filled with a deep sense of loss that continues to linger with me because of how much these two characters have come to mean to me.

Not only is this book one of my favorite reads of 2017, but also one of my favorite ya contemporary books, period. Even if you have never read an Adam Silvera book, or are not a fan of his previous works, I highly recommend that you pick this one up and give it a chance. This is one of those rare, remarkable reads that will continue to resonate with you long after you’ve turned the final page.

my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

book review: a million junes by emily henry

a million junes

goodreads summary:

Romeo and Juliet meets One Hundred Years of Solitude in Emily Henry’s brilliant follow-up to The Love That Split the World, about the daughter and son of two long-feuding families who fall in love while trying to uncover the truth about the strange magic and harrowing curse that has plagued their bloodlines for generations.

In their hometown of Five Fingers, Michigan, the O’Donnells and the Angerts have mythic legacies. But for all the tall tales they weave, both founding families are tight-lipped about what caused the century-old rift between them, except to say it began with a cherry tree.

Eighteen-year-old Jack “June” O’Donnell doesn’t need a better reason than that. She’s an O’Donnell to her core, just like her late father was, and O’Donnells stay away from Angerts. Period.

But when Saul Angert, the son of June’s father’s mortal enemy, returns to town after three mysterious years away, June can’t seem to avoid him. Soon the unthinkable happens: She finds she doesn’t exactly hate the gruff, sarcastic boy she was born to loathe.

Saul’s arrival sparks a chain reaction, and as the magic, ghosts, and coywolves of Five Fingers conspire to reveal the truth about the dark moment that started the feud, June must question everything she knows about her family and the father she adored. And she must decide whether it’s finally time for her—and all of the O’Donnells before her—to let go.

my thoughts:

this book was absolutely fantastic & is, without a doubt, one of my favorite reads of 2017.  i fell in love with the cover the moment i laid eyes on it, & upon reading the synopsis, i just knew this book was going to be something special.  i have to admit, i wasn’t i huge fan of the author’s first book, but this book took my breath away. this book is so very special that i am having a hard time writing this review, as i’m finding it difficult to convey just how very special & meaningful it is. this story held me captivated from the beginning to end, & with each turn of a page, i was completely swept away by the pure magic of it all.

something that i really love about this book is how refreshingly unique it is. seriously, this book is unlike anything i have ever read before.  it’s a fantasy mixed with contemporary (is that a thing?) & the way in which magical realism was woven throughout the story was truly spectacular. i am a big fan of magical realism, & it was done flawlessly in this book.

emily henry’s writing was spellbindingly beautiful & haunting, & i eagerly breathed in each & every word on each & every page. there were so many passages that i found myself rereading several times, just because they resonated with me so much.

this novel explored so many important topics, such as grief, family, friendship, & love, & it was done in such a vivid & unique way.

the angle in which the author tackled the subject of grief was one of my favorite things about this book.  it was just so very real, & the magical elements interwoven with the storyline only helped to bolster just how powerful & consuming grief can be.

there is so much more i want to say about this book (& i will probably add more at some point) but i really feel that it’s best to just go into this story not knowing too much, & allow yourself to be swept away just as i was.

my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

 

book review: follow me back by a.v. geiger

***an eARC of this was provided to me by sourcebooks fire via netgalley in exhange for an honest review

follow me back.jpg

expected release date: june 6th 2017

goodreads summary:

Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it’s like his speaking directly to her…

Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn’t help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.

When a fellow pop star is murdered at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric’s plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world’s best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn…

my thoughts:

wow. just wow. i finished this book yesterday, and my mind has been reeling ever since then.  between the super intense police transcripts, & the twists and turns interspersed throughout the story, it didn’t take me long to become completely immersed in what what was happening.  the fact that the beginning did admittedly lag for a little bit was quickly overshadowed by the suspenseful build up of events.

this story is told from the perspectives of two characters, eric thorn & tessa hart. both of these characters are living two very different lives yet they are also very similar in a sense, & their similiarties bring them together in a very compelling way. tessa is a teen suffering from agoraphobia, made worse after suffering a traumatic event in her life, while eric is a pop star who, on the surface, seems to have it all but is suffering from demons of his own. as someone who is an introvert battling severe anxiety & depression, i found myself sympathetic towards these characters, particularly tessa, due to the extreme anxiety she suffers stemming from her agoraphobia.

both of these characters use twitter as an outlet for the stress in their lives, which eventually leads to their paths intertwining.  the story of two these characters is a great testament to the fact that you never know what is going on beneath the surface of a person, & the twitter perspective just goes to to show that you never know who you may be talking to on the other side of a computer screen.

i found eric’s story to be particularly enthralling, as it gives a glimpse into the dark side of fame. although he is a famous pop star that is adored by millions & living the kind of life that most people can only dream of, it’s clear that he is uncomfortable with his lavish lifestyle.  not only does he feel trapped by the image that his label has created for him, as he is unhappy with the fact that his fame seems to center more on his looks than his actual music, he is also haunted by the recent murder of a fellow musician at the hands of an unhinged fan, which causes him a great deal of paranoia and stress. it is all too easy to look at glamorous photos of celebrities on the glossy pages of magazines and forget that they too, have their own insecurities and may be secretly battling demons of their own.

one aspect of this story that i did find to be problematic was the portrayal of fandoms.  pretty much every fangirl within the story was painted in a pretty unflattering light, & depicted as being extremely shallow.

i don’t want to say much more about the story, & how it unwinds, but i will say that i was completely sitting on the edge of my seat the closer i got to the ending.  & THAT ENDING. i was completely blown away by the cliff-hanger to end all cliff-hangers, & i am now left very eagerly anticipating the next book.

my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

book review: always and forever, lara jean

lara jean.jpg

goodreads summary:

Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

my thoughts:

my heart is so very full.

i was thrilled when i found out that there was going to be a new (& unfortunately, final) installment in this series. as i sit here writing this review, i am a bundle of emotions; on one hand, i am happy, because this book was everything i wanted it to be and more, but i’m also sad that this was the end of our journey with lara jean & co. but what a delight ending it was! i am a huge jenny han fan, & the to all the boys i’ve loved before trilogy is by far my favorite of hers.  being reunited with lara jean & all of the characters was so bittersweet, because as overjoyed as i was to be reunited with them, i knew that i was slowly saying goodbye to them with each and every turn of a page.

i have to say that although i love & cherish all three books in this series, this one was probably my favorite.  lara jean experienced so much growth throughout this novel, as she had so many challenges to face, and i was rooting for her each and every step of the way.

i was filled with such a sense of warmth & nostalgia throughout the entirety of this book, & overall, this really was, in my opinion, the perfect conclusion to this series. i don’t want to say to too much, so as not to spoil anyone, but i will say that i was completely satisfied when i finished it, and i could not think of a better way for it to have ended.

i am still holding out hope for a spin-off series featuring kitty (hint hint jenny han!) but even if that never happens (sobs) i just want to end this review by expressing my eternal gratitude to jenny han for gracing us with one last chapter in lara jean’s story.

my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

book review: you were here by cori mccarthy

youwerehere

goodreads summary:

Grief turned Jaycee into a daredevil, but can she dare to deal with her past?

On the anniversary of her daredevil brother’s death, Jaycee attempts to break into Jake’s favorite hideout—the petrifying ruins of an insane asylum. Joined by four classmates, each with their own brand of dysfunction, Jaycee discovers a map detailing her brother’s exploration and the unfinished dares he left behind.

As a tribute to Jake, Jaycee vows to complete the dares, no matter how terrifying or dangerous. What she doesn’t bargain on is her eccentric band of friends who challenge her to do the unthinkable: reveal the parts of herself that she buried with her brother.

my thoughts:

you were here was not only my favorite contemporary read of 2016, but it immediately became one of my favorite books ever, period.  it is hard for me to even put into words how much this book means to mean & why.  this was such an emotional and personal read for me, and even just looking at the cover now invokes so much emotion in me.

to put it mildly, this book changed me.  

immediately after reading this book, i reached out to the author & she told me that writing this book was a very cathartic experience for her, & that’s exactly what my reading experience with it was. i have known grief since i was a young girl, & sometimes i am still so consumed by it, to the point where i feel suffocated by it. that’s why books like this, that capture that all encompassing essence of grief so well, speak to me so very loudly.  these type of books bring me so much relief, & i feel like i can breathe again after reading them.

grief is such a strange & unique thing, & this book does an excellent job of showing its many facets, & how all of us an individuals deal with our traumas & losses.  there is no right or wrong way to grieve, just as there is no timeline for how long it is acceptable to grieve for.

this book has multiple characters, all of whom were deeply affected in one way or another by the loss of a daredevil teenager named jake. while it would seem that jaycee, his younger sister, is most traumatized by his death, we learn that the other characters within the story also have deeply rooted emotional scars in relation to his untimely death.  each of these characters had so much depth to them, and to see them all so broken over the loss of one boy really gives such a glimpse into just how much a single loss can change us all in so many different ways.

perhaps one of the best things about this book is the unique & original way in which some of the character’s povs were narrated.  it combines typical storytelling with graphic novel style and art (one of the characters, bishop, is constantly tagging, and his pov is shown through pictures of what he has tagged throughout the story). i have never seen a book written this way, and it was amazing. upon reading the story you will see why it was written this way, and why it makes so much sense. this unique form of storytelling alone is worth picking the book up for.

this is a coming of age story that will shatter you into pieces & stitch you back up little by little just when you’re least expecting it to.  honestly this book is so underrated, & i hope that more people will unearth this hidden gem & find solace in it just as i did.

“that’s what regret does well and grief does better: rips out your energy and leaves you feeling each and every heartbeat.”

my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

book review: i love my love by reyna biddy

*** i received an eARC of this book from the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest reviewi love my love.jpg

amazon summary:

In short, poignant verses, Reyna Biddy’s poems explore pain, emotional reckoning, and the power of self-love.

The debut collection from 22-year-old poet Reyna Biddy, I Love My Love tells the story of Reyna’s childhood, her parents’ toxic relationship, and how, against all odds, she learned to love herself.

my thoughts:

i was really excited when i first stumbled across this book but in all honesty, i ended feeling a bit underwhelmed by it. this really was just a very hit or miss book for me; there were some poems i absolutely loved, while there were others that i just couldn’t really connect with, whether it be because of the content or the overall format.  but that is not to say that reyna biddy is a bad writer, or that i didn’t love the themes within the poems, and the message that the author was trying to convey.  it was raw. it was unapologetic. it was messy. it was heartbreaking. but ultimately, it was very real & empowering. reyna certainly did not hold back, & i admire her for that.  i also loved that this collection focused on love, and how complex it can be in all its different forms.

this really was a very emotional and expressive book, written by a very passionate and strong woman, but unfortunately it just really wasn’t my cup of tea. however, i do think that reyna really is a talented writer & i would certainly be open to reading more of her work in the future!

my rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 ‘s

book review: sweet tea and spirits by angie fox

***an eARC of this book was provided to me by season publishing via netgalley in exchange for an honest review

angie fox

goodreads summary:

Southern girl Verity Long is about as high society as her pet skunk. Which is why she’s surprised as anyone when the new head of the Sugarland social set invites her to join the “it” girls. But this is no social call. Verity’s new client needs her to go in undercover and investigate strange happenings at the group’s historic headquarters.

But while spirits are whispering hints of murder, the socialites are more focused on Verity’s 1978, avocado-green Cadillac. And when Verity stumbles upon a fresh body, she’s going to need the long-dead citizens of Sugarland to help her solve the crime. Good thing she has the handsome deputy sheriff Ellis Wydell on hand, as well as her ghostly sidekick Frankie. The bad thing is, the ghosts are now whispering about the end of a certain ghost hunter.

my thoughts:

this book was such a delight to read and i’m so grateful that i was given the opportunity to read it! when i came across this book on netgalley i was in the mood to read something light and fun & this was exactly what i was looking for! it was funny, charming, and thoroughly engaging the entire way through; i can honestly say that i was entertained from start to finish. the mystery within the book was a lot of fun, and i found myself eagerly turning the pages in order to find out what happened next. this book is part of a series called the southern ghost hunter mysteries, and although i admittedly had never heard of this series prior to this one, nor had i heard of the author, i am now definitely interested in reading the previous books in the series, as well as any others that may come out in the future! although this book is the fifth and newest in the series, it was easy enough to get into without being confused, as background information was given about the characters, as well as some plot points (without actually spoiling the plots) from the previous books.

this book is jam packed with humorous, quirky characters (some of whom were ghosts, how awesome is that???) that i thoroughly enjoyed reading about. verity long, the main character of the series, is a charmingly endearing heroine.  i especially loved her interactions and antics with frank, her ghostly sidekick who aides her in her ghost hunting investigations.

this series is set in a small, southern town called sugarland, which i found added to the charm and appeal of the book. a small, cozy, southern gothic town filled with buildings that may or may not be haunted by a ghost or two? yes please!

if you love lighthearted, but engaging mysteries, with ghosts and endearingly fun characters thrown into the mix, then i would definitely recommend reading this book. i am very much looking forward to the next installment in the series, and i’ve already got the previous books in the series downloaded onto my kindle so that i can get caught up while i’m waiting!

my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️