Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard

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4.5/5 Stars

Summary: “This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.”

A friend of mine suggested this book and it was on sale for really cheap so I quick picked it up and read through it.  If you loved dystopian YA novels like Hunger Games and Divergent, but kind of want to be reading something a little more adult, you are going to love this book!

It kind of has a Game of Thrones feel to it where there are different families, and you don’t know who you are able to trust.  The characters are great and come together to tell an exciting story.  There is a bit of romance to it, which I’m kind of thinking might play a bigger role in the following novels, but it isn’t done in a cheesy YA kind of way.  I think it is easy to forget that the characters are only in their late teens, which to me is a good thing.

You’re going to get hooked early on, but the just you wait until you get towards the end and see what happens because you are going to get that much more into it.  I’m so excited to get my hands on the second book in the series because I need to know where it is going to go next.

I Was Here – Gayle Forman

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4/5 Stars

Summary: “When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.”

If you’re looking for a book that is going to make you feel good and happy, probably better off skipping this.  I Was Here is sad and at times a little depressing, but it is a story that needs to be told and made me want to keep reading any chance that I had.

The characters feel like they could be real people going through these very real situations.  There are a few things that I was like, seriously?  Would someone actually do that?  But not so much to take me out of the story.  It’s got drama, a murder mystery (sort of), and a little bit of romance thrown in.  What more could you ask for?

Since the book heavily deals with suicide, obviously don’t read the book if you like to stay away from that kind of thing.  But if you can, give this book a read because it is one of those stories that wraps itself around you until you finish it.

Twelve Days of Dash and Lily – Rachel Cohn

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3.5/5 Stars

Summary: “Dash and Lily have had a tough year since they first fell in love among the shelves of their favorite bookstore. Lily’s beloved grandfather suffered a heart attack, and his difficult road to recovery has taken a major toll on her typically sunny disposition.

With only twelve days left until Christmas—Lily’s favorite time of the year—Dash, Lily’s brother Langston, and their closest friends must take Manhattan by storm to help Lily recapture the unique holiday magic of a glittering, snow-covered New York City in December.”

Why have I never thought of reading a Christmas book before?

When I heard about this one, I knew I had to read it around Christmas time.  Didn’t realize however that it was the second book in a series—good thing it didn’t really seem to matter.

While dealing with some serious topics, it doesn’t take itself too seriously.  It’s a light and quick read, perfect for a wintery day home.  Most people could probably read it in a day or two, I just took forever because that’s how I am.

It’s a cute story and while I wouldn’t call it a classic or anything that I would want to reread, it’s worth adding to your TBR list for next December.

The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland – Rebekah Crane

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4/5 Stars

Summary: “According to sixteen-year-old Zander Osborne, nowhere is an actual place—and she’s just fine there. But her parents insist that she get out of her head—and her home state—and attend Camp Padua, a summer camp for at-risk teens.”

almost didn’t bother reading this book because it’s about a group of 16 year olds at a camp and I thought it would be too childish (for lack of a better word).  While it is still considered to be a YA novel, it isn’t at all what I worried it was going to be.

The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland is a great book with interesting characters.  It takes serious issues that teens go through but puts it in a lighter, but not too light, tone.  One girl is dealing with an eating disorder while a boy makes up different stories about all details of his life, including his name.

A little predictable at parts, sure, but most importantly this book is a page turner.  It’s cute and fun and might make you shed a tear or two.  Give it a read and let me know what you thought!

A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness

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4/5 Stars

Summary: “The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.”

A Monster Calls is the perfect book to pick up when you’re looking for a quick read that will tug at your heartstrings.  Seriously, you’ll probably cry.

It’s slow-paced and written in a non-traditional way that makes it a breath of fresh air.  I’m pretty sure the book is written for a younger audience, teens maybe?  That didn’t stop it from being enjoyable to me as a 24 year old.

This story is a beautiful depiction of grief and death and kind of has the feeling of the old fables.  I don’t want to give anything away, so just go and give it a read.  It might take a few pages to get into it, but once you do you won’t want to put it down until it’s finished.

Everything, Everything – Nicola Yoon

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4.5/5 Stars

Summary: “My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.”

Everything, Everything is the type of YA book I can get behind.  Yes, it still had that love at first sight storyline to it that I am getting a little tired of, but it was a little more gradual than the books I’ve read recently.  They don’t immediately go into dating and thinking only about each other, there is a bit of a buildup.  Considering the life that Madeline has had, never being able to leave the house, it makes more sense that she would become quickly attacked to someone her own age that is interested in her despite her situation.

On top of that, their relationship isn’t the only focus of the book.  Madeline’s disease is interesting to read about as well as her relationship with her mother.  All this, along with the way that the story is written, with little notes and text conversations between chapters, made me want to keep reading.  Unfortunately, it is a quick read and I was done too soon.

The ending of the book I kind of saw coming, in a passing thought kind of way, and I kind of liked it.  My only complaint would be that I wish it had been more difficult for her to get to the final conclusion–trying really hard not to give this part away.  It felt too easy and quick, considering how big of a deal it was.

Also would’ve loved an epilogue, just saying.

Let me know what you thought of the book or if you’re planning on reading it in the comments!

The Sky is Everywhere – Jandy Nelson

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3.5/5 Stars

Summary: “Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life – and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey’s boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie’s own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they’re the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can’t collide without the whole wide world exploding.”

I guess at this point into reading all the books from the Zoella book club, I have to say this isn’t my genre.  In high school, the Young Adult books I was reading were usually fantasy with the exception of the Gossip Girl books, so I guess now reading all of these so close together is getting to be a little much.

Don’t get me wrong, the story was enjoyable, but I felt like it had the potential to be something more.  This is another book that people absolutely rave about.  I just don’t see it.  It’s similar to all the other books in this genre.  Boy meets girl and are obsessed with each other after approximately zero seconds.  I can take that every once in a while, but since I just finished All the Bright Places last week, they were too similar in that way.

I think if the aspects of the book aside from the romance between Lennie and Joe had been expanded on, the book could’ve been great.  I wanted more about Paige and more about what Bailey had been up to.  More about Lennie’s grief other than her saying how she shouldn’t be thinking about boys after her sister just died.

There were some parts of the book that were beautifully said, the meaning behind the title for one, which were nice treats while reading.  Overall, this is probably a great book for someone in high school, especially if they are dealing with similar situations.

If you’re one of those people who thought this book was amazing, let me know what I’m missing in the comments!