Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! I am so freaking excited to come at you with a review of a book that has definitely worked its way onto my All Time Favorites list. Definitions of Indefinable Things really sheds a realistic, but entertaining, light on depression. Sprinkled with humor all throughout it, I can positively say that I laughed my ass off reading this. It was hilarious, relatable and absolutely fantastic. I flew through this book, and I definitely recommend it. But let’s go ahead and get into the review!

Synopsis:

“This heartbreaking, humorous novel is about three teens whose lives intersect in ways they never expected.

Reggie Mason is all too familiar with “the Three Stages of Depression.” She believes she’s unlocked the secret to keeping herself safe: Nobody can hurt you if you never let them in.

Reggie encounters an unexpected challenge to her misanthropy: a Twizzler-chomping, indie film-making narcissist named Snake. Snake’s presence, while reassuring, is not exactly stable—especially since his ex-girlfriend is seven months pregnant. As Reggie falls for Snake, she must decide whether it’s time to rewrite the rules that have defined her.”

My Thoughts:

Wow, this book was hilarious and the most relatable book I have ever read.

This book, if you didn’t know, focuses heavily on depression, and it actually presents it in a very honest and relatable way. But this book was not just doom and gloom. It is possibly the funniest book I have ever read in my life. And it’s just random funny moments that have literally made me laugh out loud. I lost count of the number of times I LOL’d. Just to give you an example of how funny this book really is, there was a scene where Reggie had to go on a rollercoaster, and she is deathly afraid of heights (another relatable thing; I am deathly afraid of heights as well. Like, its bad. I freak out if I am at the top of bleachers.), so naturally she was trying to stay calm and not freak out. And there is one point where she talks about how she is feeling and doing, and this is what it was:

“The remainder of the ride was a haze of track, sky and terrified screaming. I even swallowed my gum on one of the coaster loops. That was pretty memorable. Memorable because I was choking for the last few seconds of the ride and prayed my mother’s infamous Jesus-take-the-wheel plea before I realized I would, in fact, live.”

It was just a random moment when she was talking about what she was thinking and doing, and I just burst into uncontrollable laughter. And that happens all the time throughout the course of the book. Like, it was absolutely hilarious to me. And it kind of sounded like something I would be doing, to be completely honest.

Moving onto the relatable factor, this book, unlike many other books about depression, presents a character who has no trigger. In pretty much every other book about depression, the character always is triggered by something for depression. And this time, there was a character who had no trigger at all. And that is exactly like me. I have no trigger for my depression. It is just something I have been struggling with for my entire life. In one scene, Reggie and Snake are talking about depression and their experiences with it. At one point, Reggie asks Snake how he knew he was depressed. Snake’s response is singlehandedly the most relatable thing I have ever read. He said:

“How does anyone know they’re depressed? You feel equally alive and dead and have no idea how that’s even possible. And everything around you doesn’t seem so full anymore. And you can’t tell if the world is empty or you are. That’s how I knew. I realized it wasn’t the world that was empty.”

That just was so relatable to me because that perfectly described my experiences with depression. That is exactly how I feel because as you may or may not know, I have been suffering from depression for most of my life. And this was the first time that a book had a character who was not triggered. Is it important that we see characters that do have triggers? Oh, definitely yes. There are definitely people out there who do experience triggers with depression. But it is also very important to have characters who don’t have a trigger because there are definitely some people that have never had a trigger. It is definitely very important to show both sides of depression because everyone experiences depression differently, and that should definitely be portrayed more in literature.

But let’s go ahead and get into the characters because they all went through a tremendous amount of development over the course of the story. Reggie definitely went through a shit ton of character development. At the beginning of the story, Reggie is this super cynical and sarcastic (okay, she still is cynical and sarcastic at the end) girl who did not get close to anyone and chose to feel nothing because, in her mind, that was just easier because feelings got you hurt. By the end of the book, she slowly starts to realize that while she acted like she didn’t care at all for people, she actually has a really big heart and cares so deeply that she is concerned she cares too much. She just goes through a tremendous amount of character development, and it was actually really beautiful to witness. Also, she was absolutely hilarious. Like, I strive for the amount of cynicism she has (I’ve already got the sarcasm down to a science at this point). Her cynicism actually was very relatable, not to mention entertaining, to me. This is literally on the first page of the book, and it just made me realize that I would love this book:

“Nothing made me want to get hit by a bus more than Tuesday night happy pill (see: Zoloft) runs. After a lengthy car ride with my mother, who spent all ten minutes singing a God-awful Christian melody and praying for the state of my wayward soul, I’d have to physically restrain my hands to keep myself from shoving the door open and rolling out onto the highway. Sometimes I prayed, too. That a piano would fall from the sky and crush my miserable, suburban existence. Or that God would set CVS on fire to spare me from having to choose between Mickey Mouse and Flintstones gummy vitamins. Since I was, quite unfortunately, still alive, I took it that God couldn’t hear me over my mother’s off-key rendition of ‘Amazing Grace.'”

Let’s talk about Reggie’s mother because man, do I have problems with Reggie’s mother. Basically, her mother sees Reggie’s depression as a failing, as evidence that she has fallen away from God, and of her blaspheming against God. The woman physically made me want to strangle her for the majority of the book. I physically had to restrain myself from trying to reach through the book and kill her. But, she did go through some development. I will give her that. We get to finally understand her towards the end of the novel. Turns out she quit her job that she loved so much (working at a daycare) because she wanted to take care of Reggie where she was diagnosed with depression.

She also eventually gets off her “holier than thou” high horse and calms down the judgments (man, does that woman know how to judge). She starts to become a decent human being, and I didn’t wish her dead. I’m not saying I grew to like her character. I’m saying that I just don’t want her dead anymore, which is major progress, trust me. This woman is so religious, however, that it puts my mother to shame (this is a really great feat; I never thought anyone could top my mother in terms of being religious). Reggie at one point says that her mother is so religious that it probably makes God embarrassed. Another Reggieism that I found absolutely hilarious.

Snake does not go through the amount that Reggie goes through, but he definitely changes by the end of the book. In the beginning, he is kind of just a slightly immature teenager. By the end of the book, he grows to be kind of a man. He becomes much more mature, which is great considering he is having a kid, but it isn’t just that. He becomes to realize that he cannot rely on other people to make him feel happy. He shouldn’t try to make someone else fix him because the only person who could fix him was himself, and that just really showed a lot of character development.

I also cried during this novel. It definitely didn’t read the level of The Book Thief (I don’t think I could ever reach that level of sobbing again), but I was crying a good amount. I am not telling you why, but so many sad and depressing (pun intended) things were happening in the story at that point that I just could not handle it. And then about two pages later I started laughing because that’s the way this story goes. It was literally about Reggie saying that catfish were the ugliest things ever to be made and that God made the “ugliest possible creature his mind could ever have the displeasure of imagining.” This book just makes me laugh and cry almost at the same time throughout the novel, and that is just an amazing feat for me. I am so not the crying type when it comes to reading…

This was definitely a character-driven story, and I just loved it so much. It was hilarious, it was relatable, it talked about depression in a very realistic light, and it is definitely my favorite book I’ve read thus far about depression. I loved the writing style (it was very different than any other book I’ve ever read, and it just made the book even more entertaining, in my opinion), I loved the plot, I freaking loved most of the characters, and I think this was an excellent debut novel for Whitney Taylor. I look forward to reading more of her work in the future!

5stars

And there you have it! That was my review of Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor. What is your favorite book featuring a character that suffers from a mental illness? Sounds off in the comments below! And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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Train Wreck by Elise Faber | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! I am so freaking excited to discuss this fantastic book! I loved this so much. I literally could not put it down, and I read it in only a few hours. I was not expecting much from this, and I just absolutely fell in love with this book. This is probably going to be one of my favorite books of the year. However, this book does contain mature content as it is an adult novel, so if you aren’t comfortable with explicit sexual scenes, you probably should express caution when reading this novel. But enough with the gushing. Let’s get into the review!

Synopsis:

“train wreck
noun

1. A chaotic or disastrous situation.
2. An utter catastrophe or mess.
3. A devastating calamity or source of trouble.
4. Pepper O’Brien.

As the daughter of a famed film producer, Pepper O’Brien is Hollywood royalty.

Also, her life sucks.

Because, unfortunately for her, the old adage is true: money can’t buy everything—including grace, true love, or the ability to not screw up every single opportunity her life has brought her.

After her latest disaster, Pepper moves across the country to start over but, as usual, her life has other plans, namely in the form of Derek Cashette, her former teenage crush and now ridiculously handsome friend of her older brother.

Derek is determined to salvage the train wreck of her life and Pepper’s determined not to let him. Her life is her problem and, dammit, why can’t she be her own hero?

But sometimes fate has other plans. Or maybe it’s hormones. Especially when her rescuer comes with a killer smile, a chest Thor would be jealous of, and a butt that any girl just wants to—”

My Thoughts:

OH. MY. GOD. I LOVED THIS BOOK SO DAMN MUCH.

This is a book that I was really interested in, but I wasn’t sure if I would actually love it because I usually do not fall in love with books I am sent for review. They aren’t usually books I would personally pick up myself, but this book was freaking fantastic. It just really made me emotional, and I loved the story line, the characters were well-developed, and I just really loved this book. It definitely took me by surprise. I just marathoned this in a few hours, and I am so glad that I got the chance to read this!

Let’s just talk about the characters for a minute. I really loved Pepper’s character. I just appreciated how she was a natural disaster; she was definitely a train wreck. But that’s what the press and her family treated her like. They were not nice people. They pissed me off 100% of the time. But she had been searching her entire life for something that she had a passion for, something she was good at. And she just stumbled upon it by accident. And that is just really beautiful to me. Its something that I really enjoyed, and I just loved how she overcame what others had forced her to believe for her entire life. It was really amazing just to watch her grow so much as a character, and I loved that!

Now we need to talk about Derek. Immediately, I shipped them like a vengeance. And I was frustrated when Pepper kept making excuses for why they couldn’t/shouldn’t be together, but it made it all worth it when they actually got together, and it just made me all kinds of happy. But there is this section of the book towards the end where Derek does one of those annoying character things where he is trying to do something to help Pepper and to help their relationship, but he just doesn’t tell her that is why he’s doing it, so all she can see is that he is being a distant, cold asshole because she doesn’t know why she is doing that. And that really frustrated me to no end, and I really just wanted to slap him across the face multiple times. But it all worked out in the end, so its okay. But he still should have gone about that whole situation differently…

Now let’s talk about Samantha and Rylie. That little girl was so freaking cute. I absolutely loved her, and when Derek would interact with her, I definitely understood why Pepper melted into a little puddle because it is such a turn on (like, it makes me like a guy 10x more) to see a guy be so good with kids. But I also loved how we got some real insight into Samantha’s life as well as Derek’s and Pepper’s. Elise made these character real to me. Like they felt like real people, which I loved. We got to see how unhappy Samantha was, which was understandable. Her husband was a fucking asshole. But one complaint I do have is we never got resolution on Samantha. Like what went down with her and her husband? Are they working things out? Getting a divorce? How is Rylie handling everything? I NEED TO KNOW.

I am just going to briefly say that I hate every member of Pepper’s asshole family. Like whenever something even remotely goes wrong, they blame her. Derek punched Andy? Oh, that had to be Pepper’s fault when she was the LITERAL VICTIM. But that was her brother who blamed her. And the wedding dress thing. It pissed me off so much when she took it upon herself to try to fix the ruined dress that someone else ruined, and her brother immediately blames it on her. Says it had to be her. She’s the screw up of the family. The amount of verbal abuse these people unleashed on Pepper just made livid, made sick, and I wanted to just bitchslap all of them…

Okay, but Derek and Pepper are the cutest couple ever. Like I loved them so much. Derek cares about her so much, though sometimes he has a funny way of showing it, and she cares about him so much, but she will not allow herself to continue to be hurt by him when he was distancing himself from her, so she stands up for herself and tells him to stay away from her. We, of course, know that everything worked out, but their relationship was not all unicorns and rainbows. They had rough patches they had to work through, which made the relationship really realistic to me. They had to go through a lot of shit to be able to be together, and I just appreciated the realness of it.

But this book also made me super emotional. I definitely was crying during the really sad parts. And this is pretty rare for me because I am not a book crier. Nope. Not me. And I really cried when I was reading this book. And whenever Derek would distance himself from Pepper, it literally was causing me physical pain. Like this is really weird, but during super sad and upsetting parts (and when I am super connected to the main character), my left hand actually has pain shooting throughout all of it. And it was probably the most intense I’ve it in a while. I was very upset, and it hurt so damn much to have to go through the pain she was going through. And the ending just made me cry because I was so happy. This is the first time this has ever happened to me. I have never happy cried in my life, until this book. That’s a pretty powerful thing…

I think this book is just so absolutely amazing. It deals with important topics, has beautifully developed characters, and I absolutely loved the story line. This will definitely be one of my favorite books of the year, and I am so excited to read more from Elise Faber in the future!

5stars

And there you have it! That was my review of Train Wreck by Elise Faber. What is your current favorite contemporary novel? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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Train Wreck by Elise Faber | BLOG TOUR

Hey, guys! I am super excited to talk about this book because it sounds so good, and I am hoping to get to it very soon. I plan on reading and reviewing it before the end of the week, so keep your eye out for that. I am very pleased to participate in this blog tour as it is my very first one. But this book is a standalone contemporary romance novel, which is exactly what I love to read in the summer, actually. This book also happens to have a “happy ever after” ending, which we sometimes don’t get in contemporaries. However, I will say this book is for mature audiences as it is not YA. If you think you are comfortable reading about steamy and sexy scenes, then I definitely recommend you check this out! But enough with the chitchat. Let’s just get into it!

train2bwreck2bflat2bcover

Title: Train Wreck
Author: Elise Faber
Release Date: May 31, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance (standalone, happy ever after)
Editors: Kay Springsteen, Julie Sherwood
Cover Designer: Jena Brignola
Tour Presented by: TripleA Publishing Services

Synopsis:

train wreck
noun

1. A chaotic or disastrous situation.
2. An utter catastrophe or mess.
3. A devastating calamity or source of trouble.
4. Pepper O’Brien.

As the daughter of a famed film producer, Pepper O’Brien is Hollywood royalty.

Also, her life sucks.

Because, unfortunately for her, the old adage is true: money can’t buy everything—including grace, true love, or the ability to not screw up every single opportunity her life has brought her.

After her latest disaster, Pepper moves across the country to start over but, as usual, her life has other plans, namely in the form of Derek Cashette, her former teenage crush and now ridiculously handsome friend of her older brother.

Derek is determined to salvage the train wreck of her life and Pepper’s determined not to let him. Her life is her problem and, dammit, why can’t she be her own hero?

But sometimes fate has other plans. Or maybe it’s hormones. Especially when her rescuer comes with a killer smile, a chest Thor would be jealous of, and a butt that any girl just wants to—

twreck_teaser2

 

Links to buy this baby:

corrected2bdefinition2bteaser

“It was the lipstick that pushed him over the edge. Fire engine red. F*cking kissable.

He reeled her in, silky skin beneath his palms, soft curves against his chest, jasmine and vanilla in his nose.

He leaned down.

“Don’t.” A whisper. A plea.

His mouth was a centimeter from hers and those four letters painted his lips. Moist breath. Hot air. She might as well already be kissing him for how effectively that puff owned him.

“I shouldn’t,” he agreed.

“You shouldn’t.” Another breath, another chink in what was fast-becoming a non-existent resistance to Pepper.

“I want—”

“No.”

Those emerald eyes were brimming with heat, her skin was flushed, her body pressing against his.

But she’d said no.

And so he released her.

Pepper’s eyes slid closed, shuttering that warmth, and she released a shaky breath. “I can’t, Derek.”

His body was on fire, but he nodded.

Eyes opened, sadness in place of desire. The swap was a punch to the gut. “I could never be what you need.”

Gripping the shoes in one hand, Pepper turned and ran barefoot down the beach.

She was gone so fast that she couldn’t have heard him when he said, “I just need you to be you.”

twreck_teaser3
Aside from writing bestselling romances, Elise’s passions are chocolate, Star Wars, and hockey (the order depending on the day and how well her team, the Sharks, are playing).
She and her husband also play as much hockey as they can squeeze into their schedules, so much so that their typical date night is spent on the ice.
Elise is the mom to two exuberant boys and is thoroughly addicted to Dancing with the Stars.
Connect with her on Facebook (facebook.com/elisefaberauthor), Twitter (@faberelise), Instagram (@elisefaber), or visit her on her website at www.elisefaber.com!
Elise is all super active on Social Media. If you’re interested in connecting with her, here are her Social Media links:
And there you have it! That was my post for the Trainwreck by Elise Faber Blog Tour! What is your favorite contemporary novel? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!
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Everything, Everything | MOVIE REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! I am so excited to do this movie review because I absolutely loved this movie. It was so good. I could literally just keep going to the movies to watch this over and over. I loved this so much. I did end up seeing it twice because I love it so much. It was a super faithful book to movie adaptation, and it just made my heart happy. It was heartwarming and hilarious as well as amazingly well acted and well written, and I just loved it so much. Okay, enough with the gushing. Let’s just jump right into the review!

Synopsis:

“Maddy (Amandla Stenberg) is a smart, curious and imaginative 18-year-old who is unable to leave the protection of the hermetically-sealed environment within her house because of an illness. Olly (Nick Robinson) is the boy next door who won’t let that stop them from being together. Gazing through windows and talking only through texts, Maddy and Olly form a deep bond that leads them to risk everything to be together, even if it means losing everything.”

My Thoughts:

This movie is probably one of my favorite adaptations of all time. It was really faithful to the book while also maintaining its own merit of creativity, and I just absolutely loved it. I think the actors did a fantastic job of portraying the characters in the movie, an created a really beautiful love story that stayed really true to the book. I loved so many different things about the movie, and I just am super satisfied with this adaptation.

One thing that my friend Megan and I were wondering prior to seeing the movie the first time was how they would portray the visual elements that were in the book into the movie. And not only that, but all the texting and emailing and all of that; like, how would that translate onto the big screen? And I actually loved how they portrayed all of that. I won’t spoil how they did it, but it was a really cool idea what the director did with it. I think it was a really great idea, and I loved how it came across.

One thing that I absolutely loved about the movie was the phenomenal acting. I think every single actor in that movie did a fantastic job! I was a little bit nervous about Amandla Stenberg portraying Maddy just because the only thing I ever saw her in was The Hunger Games where she portrayed Rue and that was years ago that I saw that. But from what I had seen of the trailers, she looked like she was going to do a really great job, and I am happy to say that she actually did really great! This has me super at ease about her portraying Ruby in The Darkest Minds (most people are mad because she is black and portraying Ruby, but that is nowhere near the reason I was nervous; I just wasn’t 100% confident in her ability to portray Ruby, and now I am), but that’s another discussion for another post.

But I also was kind of nervous about Nick Robinson portraying Olly in the movie because I had only seen The 5th Wave, and that didn’t really give me much of an impression on his acting ability, but he did a phenomenal job in this movie, and it definitely made me see him in a different light. Now I am super excited to see him in other projects, like Simon vs. The Homosapiens Agenda which is coming out next year. He just really delivered in his role, and I just loved him as Olly.

The rest of the cast was also phenomenal, and I just loved the entire cast. But something that they slightly changed, which I loved, was that they made Rosa (who is Carla’s daughter) a more prominent character in the movie. We only saw her once or twice in the book, and it was nice to see her more in the movie. I loved what they did with her character, and I think it really added another element to the story.

And oh my God; the humor in this movie was so on point. I found myself laughing to the point of tears throughout the majority of the movie, and I just found it so funny. There were so many funny lines, scenes, just so much humor, and I really appreciated it. It brought another element to the story, made it more lighthearted, and ultimately just added to my enjoyment of the film.

But overall, I really enjoyed this movie and adaptation, and I would give it an A on my scale. I absolutely loved it. This is definitely a movie I can see myself just watching over and over because it is that good, and the faithful adaptation just really warmed my heart and gave me all of the feels. I highly recommend you all check out Everything, Everything!

And there you have it! That was my movie review of Everything, Everything. Have you seen this movie or do you plan to? If you have seen it, what did you think of it? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! Today I am very excited to come at you with a review of More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera. This is a book that has been on my TBR for what seems like forever, and I finally picked it up and read it, and I absolutely loved it. This book wrecked me, put me back together, and caused me a lot of emotional trauma, and I just fell in love with this book. It is by far my favorite LGBTQ+ book I’ve read thus far, and I guarantee you this will be on my favorites list for this year! But enough with the gushing and fangirling. Let’s get into the review!

Synopsis:

“In the months after his father’s suicide, it’s been tough for 16-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again–but he’s still gunning for it. With the support of his girlfriend Genevieve and his overworked mom, he’s slowly remembering what that might feel like. But grief and the smile-shaped scar on his wrist prevent him from forgetting completely.

When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron’s crew notices, and they’re not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can’t deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can’t stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is.

Why does happiness have to be so hard?”

My Thoughts:

Wow, this book surprised me with how much I ended up loving it. For me, this tops History Is All You Left Me in terms of enjoyment because these are both phenomenal books, but this one takes the cake for me. I didn’t have many expectations going into this. A lot of people really enjoyed it, but I really wasn’t expecting a whole lot. This book blew my expectations out of the water, and I just got really attached to all of these characters, and I became emotionally invested in the story, and I just really enjoyed it.

Immediately, I did not particularly care about Aaron. I wasn’t as emotionally invested in his character until we started learning some more stuff about his past. From his asshole father and everything that happened to Aaron and his family. After some truths are brought forward, I started becoming much more emotionally invested, and I really felt for his character. We learned all these difficult truths about him and just all the shit that he has been dealt is so cruel, and it is just obvious that at some point he was going to break and he did, a couple different times. Even in the end, he didn’t get the ending that he really deserved, but I guess that’s how life works…

I have a lot of mixed feelings about Genevieve. She is another character that I never really cared for in the beginning, and that kind of continued throughout the whole book. I just did not connect to her character for some reason. Something with her just did not click with me. I do think she did something that was wrong just like there was something wrong that was done to her. I think both parties learned their lesson, even if it did take a shit ton of time. But I did not cry for Genevieve, and I do not appreciate her getting involved with someone in the story. If anything, they definitely should have waited a little bit. I think it was rushed and that really hurt Aaron. I just was not okay with it. But I digress…

Thomas is a character whom I immediately liked and continued to like for the entire book. Is he gay? Its sort of a mystery at this point. Its pretty murky. Could he be gay in the future? Possibly, yes. I honestly think he could be bisexual. Anyway, he is just one of those characters that is just instantly likable to me. He is just a really nice guy. He is hot, but isn’t arrogant. He genuinely cares about Aaron just like he cares about those around him. He has had some shit in his life, so his life isn’t perfect and he just seemed really real, and I just loved that about his character.

Just as an aside, I really loved his whole family, even if I had a weird vibe about Eric. He still genuinely cared for his brother. I loved his mom because she did accept Aaron for who he was, even if she made a pretty bad decision. I hated pretty much all of Aaron’s friends, especially Brendan. The douche gave me weird vibes. Asshole vibes…And I actually did like Collin, even if I thought he made a lot of bad decisions. He still was an all right guy in the end.

But I absolutely loved the story line, and I loved getting the point of view of a character who is just realizing or coming to terms with the fact that he is gay. He finally acknowledges it, and that is a really powerful moment in the story. And then shit hits the fan from there. But I did really enjoy the plot of the book, even if I thought it was more of a character-driven story. And there was this thing that happened, and it kind of wrecked me. I did not see it coming. I didn’t. I should have seen the signs, but I didn’t, so good job, Adam. You fucked with my mind. Like I put the book down and was like, “ARE YOU SHITTING ME RIGHT NOW.” Totally screwed with my head and made me question the meaning of life. Kudos to you, man.

But overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I am super excited to read more from Adam in the future. I think this is a really important book that everyone should read. I am just so glad I finally got off my high horse and read this baby because it was fantastic!

5stars

And there you have it! That was my review of More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera. What is your current favorite book featuring a lot of diversity? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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Confess by Colleen Hoover | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! Today we will be discussing a book I am so excited I finally finished, and that is Confess by Colleen Hoover, a contemporary novel that is actually being turned into a TV show. I will have details towards the end of the review. But I really enjoyed this novel, even if I had a couple of problems with it. I still think Ugly Love is my favorite Colleen Hoover novel, but I am still really happy I decided to pick this one up. I’ve seen the first two episodes of the TV show, and it is looking fabulous. But let’s go ahead and get into the review!

Synopsis:

“Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…”

My Thoughts:

Wow, this book was fantastic!! I definitely had a few issues with the book, but I think it was really good, and makes me excited to read more books by Colleen Hoover. This book follows a really flawed, but great cast of characters, and the plot line is very complex, very heartbreaking, but very interesting. I think the story line was my favorite part of this book just because it was so complex and so well written. I just really wanted to see how the story would wrap up because a whole lot of shit went down in this book.

Let’s talk about the characters. While I didn’t personally relate to Auburn, I really enjoyed learning about her character and her complex background with everything that happened. Psychologically, she was influenced by events in this story, by characters in this story, and she ended up being a very vulnerable character, and a character that needed to grow their backbone over the coarse of the story, and Auburn did that. She really grew into herself and learned to stay her ground, which was really beautiful to watch. Also, Auburn and Owen are the cutest.

Speaking of Owen, I really enjoyed reading about his character. There were events in here that made sense towards the end of the book, thank God, which just made me love him so much more. Owen is a good guy, no matter what shit is being said about him, and I freaking loved how much he loved Auburn, how protective of her he was, and just how much he cared about her. Also, the connection between him and Auburn was absolutely unreal. This was the first time I really loved the character that turned out to be a good guy. I don’t usually go for those types of characters, but Owen is just adorable, and I loved him so much.

Now let’s talk about characters I hate. Let’s start with the one I hate the most. Trey. That fucking bastard…I hate him so much. Like I wish he would just die in hell. He made my skin crawl from the minute he became a part of the story. He creeped me out, made me uneasy. I didn’t trust him at all, for good reason. And I just want to carve him up and chop him into little pieces. I hate him. Like I haven’t hated a character like this in a long time, with this much feeling and passion. There are no redeemable qualities about him because he uses people close to Auburn to get to her, to manipulate her, and I just hate him so much. He’s a lot like his mother, which brings us to Lydia.

Lydia is a terrible person. She is selfish, and she blames Auburn for her son’s death, I think. Mostly because Adam wanted to be with Auburn the most in the weeks leading up to his death. Which is completely unfair, and she forced Auburn to do something terrible, that is still affecting Auburn. She is still constantly putting Auburn down, making her feel like she isn’t good enough for anything. This woman has issues and just like her son, she uses people close to Auburn to get to her comply with what she wants. She manipulates Auburn, and I just do not like her, at all. Its a wonder Adam came from such a despicable person because he was just a light on this world, and she is just Satan’s spawn.

I can’t really talk about the story line at all because spoilers, but no that it was absolutely captivating and dark and complex and I loved it. Like the love story is messy, but beautiful, in my opinion.

But overall, I think this was a really great novel, even if I did have an issue or two with it. I think it was really well written, I loved the characters, and the story line, and the beautiful and messy love story. And now I am just really excited to see this adapted into a TV show on go90. All the episodes are going live on Tuesday (and the first two episodes are live right now!), so I definitely will be marathoning that series. Its going to be great!!

4-stars

And there you have it! That was my review of Confess by Colleen Hoover. What book to movie/TV adaptation are you most excited to see, as many are in development? Comment down below! And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia | REVIEW

Hey, guys! I am really excited to discuss The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia. I had so much fun reading this book. While there is a lot of bad shit that goes down in this, I was living for every moment with Marco and Frankie. They are literally the cutest things ever. I love them. I really enjoyed this contemporary, and this is the type of contemporary I just want to read over and over. There was action, love, danger, and a sexy love interest. I live for these kinds of books. But let’s just jump right into the review!

Synopsis:

I’ve become an expert at avoiding things that could hurt me—which means I will figure out how to stay away from Marco Leone.

Seventeen-year-old Frankie Devereux would do anything to forget the past. Haunted by the memory of her boyfriend’s death, she lives her life by one dangerous rule: Nothing matters. At least, that’s what Frankie tells herself after a reckless mistake forces her to leave her privileged life in the Heights to move in with her dad—an undercover cop. She transfers to a public high school in the Downs, where fistfights don’t faze anyone and illegal street racing is more popular than football.

Marco Leone is the fastest street racer in the Downs. Tough, sexy, and hypnotic, he makes it impossible for Frankie to ignore him—and how he makes her feel. But the risks Marco takes for his family could have devastating consequences for them both. When Frankie discovers his secret, she has to make a choice. Will she let the pain of the past determine her future? Or will she risk what little she has left to follow her heart?”

My Thoughts:

THIS BOOK WAS ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC. LOVED IT SO MUCH.

This book was a book that I had heard buzz about, but wasn’t sure if I would like it or not. I bought it on a whim, and I am so glad I did. Because this was fucking fantastic. Like I almost have no words for this novel. It was that good. The characters were amazing and complex and badass, and I loved them so much! I loved the plot the writing, and just everything about this novel. It was amazing!

I really enjoyed Frankie’s character. We really get to know her in this novel, and I just loved learning about her backstory. Kami Garcia took what seems like a very cliched character (white, rich girl from the good side of town) and turned her into a really complex and likable character. I loved learning about her relationship with Noah, the complicated relationship with her and her family, and about her friendships with Lex and Abel and Cruz, and I just really enjoyed her character.

But oh my God Marco. Marco is my everything. He’s totally hot and he is badass, but he is also very complex and he really cares for everyone around him. He does all the wrong things for all the right reasons, and it just makes him seem human, genuine. He loved his sister so much, and he trusted Frankie so much. Just learning about his backstory made me love him even more. He really does love Frankie and that really shows in the novel.

And I freaking loved Cruz. She was a total badass and she was a really great friend to Frankie. She was probably one of my all time favorite characters in this book. I also really liked Lex, though not as much. I loved how much she cared about Frankie and Abel and I just really liked learning about her family and the whole situation with Abel. Abel was a bit of a complicated character for me. I did like him, but I think he made a lot of mistakes. At least he’s trying to get better and that’s all that matters. I also love how much he loves Lex because cuties. I also really loved Sofia because she was absolutely amazing, she was cute, beautiful, and I just loved how she wasn’t trying to hide her scars. She presented them proudly. I just admire the shit out of that.

Let’s talk about the characters I hated. Deacon because he’s a fucking asshole. I hated him at the beginning of the novel, and I hated him at the end of the novel. I hated Marco’s father without even meeting him because of what he forced his son to take part in after his death. I hated Frankie’s father by default because he thinks that there are no gray areas. You’re either a criminal or you’re innocent. Frankie’s a gray area, but she tried to force him to change the way he looked at things because according to his beliefs, she’s a criminal because she broke the law. He just really frustrated me for believing that all criminals are lowlife thugs and that not all criminals are bad. I jsut wanted to throttle him for pretty much the entirety of the book.

I also really loved the plot. I loved how we were trying to figure out what happened the night of Noah’s murder. I loved how we got to see all of these subplots, like what was going on with Abel, what was really going on with Marco, and just all of the complexities of this intricate plot. I definitely think the characters were the strongest point for this novel, but I also believe that the plot was complex and really well-written and developed, and I really enjoyed it.

Overall, this book was fantabulous. I freaking loved the badass, complex and well-written and developed characters, the kickass plot and the gorgeous writing. This is just a book that was really, really good, and I am so glad I read it. I am definitely looking forward to Kami Garcia’s next novel because if its anything like this one, I know I will fall in love with it. Loved this!!

5stars

And there you have it! That was my review of The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia. What is your favorite new release of this year so far? Comment down below! And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!
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The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! I am very excited to discuss this amazing and wonderful contemporary novel, The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. I absolutely flew through this book, and I read it in one sitting. It was absolutely fabulous. I loved the different way it was told, the story line that was not cliche, the diversity, and just everything. This was another fantastic book by Nicola Yoon, and I couldn’t be more happy with it. This is also an own voices novel, which made it even better. But let’s just go ahead and jump right into the review!

Synopsis:

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?”

My Thoughts:

Oh my God. This book was bloody fantastic!

This book made me feel all the feels, and I cried while reading it, which is strange because this book just made me so happy for almost the entirety of it, but I didn’t cry while reading History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera, which is about things you should cry about (grief, loss, etc). I flew through this book because it happens in such a short amount of time. This book happens in one day. Everything that happens occurs over the course of one day. And every second of this day was pure heaven for me.

I really enjoyed Natasha’s character. While I couldn’t really identify with her because I was born in the United States, and I’m white, I definitely empathized with her. I felt for her, for her situation with her family. Personally, I think her father should be the one to be deported while she, her mom, and her brother should all get to stay in the US. But anyway, I absolutely loved how in love with music she was and how she absolutely did not believe in love. That just made the story a bit more interesting. Because this is a love story. She and Daniel made quite a pair because he believes in fate and destiny and love while she believes in science. It was just so funny and so entertaining to see him try to get her to believe in love through science.

Now Daniel is like my precious baby. I love him to death. He cares about her so much, and it is pretty much love at second sight. He fell in love with Natasha in a very short amount of time, and just wanted to be with her. And then we have the whole situation with his interview with Yale when he doesn’t want to go to Yale and he doesn’t want to be a doctor, like his parents want him to be. He wants to be a poet. He wants to be a writer, which is how I connected to him. I also love how much he accepts his Korean heritage rather than despise it, like his brother does.

Speaking of his brother, I fucking hated Charlie. Like I wanted to gut him throughout the entirety of the book. He was such an asshole and he was such a jerk to his little brother. And to Natasha. He was racist and he was sexist, and those are two things that piss me off like nothing else. I honestly just wanted him to meet a tragic end because I hated him. I also had a pretty mild dislike towards his father, who was racist, but it wasn’t super strong. I just hated the way he treated Natasha and how he would never let Daniel do his own thing. He either went to Yale to be a doctor or he had to pay for college himself. Daniel feeling constricted by his father was also something I could relate to because one of my hot buttons is lack of freedom. I can’t stand it when people try and tell me what to do with my life.

And now I need to really talk about the fuck up that is Natasha’s father. Like I wanted to see him deported back to Jamaica while his family stayed here because he sure as hell did not deserve them. And in fact, he regretted them, which really pissed me off. He blamed them for him not making it as an actor. He needed to provide for his family, but no. He just resented them and didn’t provide for them. He just did not care for them at all, and I just wanted him gone. I also hated his reaction to Daniel and the whole situation because he was a really big asshat. But I digress.

Also, for the first time ever, I actually got to feel the pain of someone who is an illegal immigrant and is being deported. I know about how hard their life is. That hit me right between the eyes because of the immigration situation we have going on in the US. I got to see how they felt, their whole situation, and how it isn’t always black and white. I think that the children should be able to stay behind, get adopted, whatever. Because its not the children’s fault that they were brought here illegally. It was their parents’ fault.

But this book has actually changed my mind a little bit about illegal immigrants. I wasn’t one of those anti-immigration people or anything, but I had a certain amount of dislike towards illegal immigrants, and now I think that I would actually be more open to immigration and helping illegal immigrants to become legal. I think that’s something that interests me. I just want to help them now.

Something else that this book brought up was the connections between people, whether you know them or they are a complete stranger. We influence people throughout all of our lives, and we got to see that in this novel because we follow every person they influence throughout the day. We get to see how they impact that person and how that person impacts another person and so on and so forth. This just really made me think about the connections I make with the people in my own life and all those lives that I touch in some way, and I think that’s something we all should be thinking about.

But overall, I really enjoyed this book. I loved the characters, the story line, and just everything about this novel. I haven’t read a contemporary this good in quite a while, and I am so glad that I decided to pick this one up. It was bloody fantastic!!

5stars

And there you have it! That was my review of The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. What’s your favorite contemporary novel? Comment down below! And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time.

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History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! I am super excited to be discussing History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera because it was fantastic. This is the first book I have read by Adam and the first book where the main character is gay. This story was very gripping, very powerful, and I just think this is a really important book that everyone should read. But let’s just go ahead and jump into the review!

Synopsis:

“When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.”

My Thoughts:

Wow, I really enjoyed this book, guys. I will admit that I was kind of disappointed that I didn’t have the same reaction to it that pretty much everyone else had (screaming, gasping, crying, destroying…). There were moments where I was sad (okay, pretty much the entire book I was sad), there were moments where I was joyously happy, and there were moments where the story totally shocked me and took me to a place I never expected. Overall, this book gave me a lot of feelings.

This is actually the first book I’ve read where the main character was gay (pretty surprising considering the amount of diverse books we have now, even if there aren’t nearly enough.), but this is mainly because I am a completely different person than I was about six or seven months ago. I am so much more open-minded about diversity, which is why I ended up really enjoying this book. I loved learning and experiencing the love story between Theo and Griffin, even when we learned some not so great truths. It was still a beautiful love story.

I also really enjoyed seeing the friendship between Jackson and Griffin emerge over Theo’s death. While at first I definitely thought it was a bad idea because they used to be arch enemies, I ended up really enjoying their dynamic. They ended up being really good for each other. It was so nice to see their friendship throughout the novel, how they were helping each other with their grief, and how they were helping each other remember the good things about Theo. It was just one of my absolute favorite things about the novel.

There is a character that I can’t talk about without spoiling anything, but know that I also really enjoyed this character, even if most of the time they seemed like a side character. At least until the last hundred pages or so. Then shit gets crazy, and my mind is blown. But anyway, they were a very nice addition to the story, and I am so glad at the end, they ended up being a main character.

I also absolutely loved how OCD was represented in this novel. It was so realistic and so authentic. I could relate a lot to the numbers thing that Griffin had because that is something I suffer from as well as how he could only be on a certain side of someone. That’s something else I can relate back so because I suffer from OCD, and this OCD is such a major part of Griffin, and it is represented so well. I loved it. In so many YA novels, OCD is sort of brushed over, but I just loved seeing it actually accurately represented. I also loved how its not the central plot of the story because this isn’t about mental health or Griffin trying to work through his OCD. Its about love and loss and grief, and just Griffin trying to get through Theo’s death, but the OCD is still a very prominent part of the story, and I absolutely loved that.

I just loved Adam Silvera’s writing style as well because this is my first book by him, and it did not disappoint. He just has this poetic writing style that I am in love with. I just love the way in this book he managed to capture how much grief and loss can really overwhelm a person, push them to make some pretty questionable decisions. He really captured these themes realistically, and I was so in love with that.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I loved the characters, the story line, the writing, and just everything about it. It was so good, and while this way my first novel by Adam Silvera, it won’t be my last. I am anticipating his next book (which comes out later this year!), and can’t wait to see more from him!

4-and-a-half-stars

And there you have it! That was my review of History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera. What is your favorite book with LGBTQUIA representation? Comment down below! And that is going to be it for this review today. Thank you so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time.

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A List of Cages by Robin Roe | REVIEW & DISCUSSION

Hey, guys! I am so excited to be coming at you with a review of A List of Cages by Robin Roe. This book was absolutely fanfreakingtastic, and it was definitely my favorite read of February. This book deals with so many different and important topics, and I highly recommend it. It deals with trauma, mental illness, abuse, and so many other important topics. This book was fantastic. But let’s just get into the review!

Synopsis:

“When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he’s got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn’t easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can’t complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian—the foster brother he hasn’t seen in five years.

Adam is ecstatic to be reunited. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He’s still kindhearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realizes that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what’s really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives…”

My Thoughts:

This book was absolutely fanfuckingtastic.

I am feeling kind of speechless as to how this book made me feel. I cried several times while reading it, and I think this is one of the most moving books I have read in quite a while. The trauma that Julian had to deal with just made me sad and mad because nothing was being done about it. Which I completely understand. In the mindset of someone experiencing trauma, they never want to tell anyone, especially the police, because it will get back to the person who is causing the trauma, they will be pissed, and then they will cause even more trauma on this person. But it was so hard to read.

Julian was somebody that I just wanted to protect and let him know that there are people that actually care very deeply about him, and that what Russell was doing to him was not love. Adam truly cares about him, and Russell tries to put it in his mind that Julian did not care about him in the slightest, and that really pissed me off. Julian is just this little special snowflake that you want to protect from harm for forever, and I just wanted to fucking kill Russell for trying to snuff out that light that was in Julian.

I freaking loved Adam, first of all. I loved how much he cared about everyone around him. He was popular, but he wasn’t like a jerk. He was actually super nice to every single person, and his energy just lifts people up. And he really, really cared about Julian, even before he knew what was going on. And all he wanted to do was help Julian, and that is exactly what he did. He helped him. Seeing Julian in pain really just put him in pain because he did care about Julian so much. He was like a little brother to Adam, and he wanted to fucking kill Russell, and I was right on board with that.

Russell was a character that obviously I despised with every fiber of my being, and I personally wanted to see him rot in hell. I hated what he was doing to Julian, I hated why he was doing it, and I fucking hated him because he’s an abusive asshole. He would try to put these ideas in his head that all of his friends weren’t really his friends; they just wanted something from him. He tried to get Julian to believe that Adam and his mom really booted Julian out when it was all Russell’s fault that Julian had to leave. I just fucking hated this man.

The trauma described in this novel just brought tears to my eyes. I just was crying every time something happened to Julian. Like I am seriously about to cry just thinking about what that despicable man did to Julian. The trauma seemed very realistic, which is how I ended up crying because it felt so real, and very accurate and I just wanted to murder Russell for pretty much the entirety of the book, and then I wanted to keep young Julian safe and away from harm. This book just made me feel a lot of things.

Overall, this was an absolutely fanfuckingtastic debut book, and a fantastic book in general. I loved the characters, the really heartbreaking story line, and the beautiful writing. This book was just fantastic, and I know it will stay with me for a long while. Highly, highly recommend you check this one out!

5stars

And there you have it! That was my review of A List of Cages by Robin Roe. What’s your favorite book that deals with mental illness? Comment down below! And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!

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