Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

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Synopsis

Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

 

My Review

“I am hard on myself. But isn’t it better to be honest about these things before someone else can use them against you? Before someone else can break your heart? Isn’t it better to break it yourself?” 

When I first saw that this book would be about Josh and Isla, two characters that have first been introduced in AATFK, I must say that I wasn’t too excited about it. He just didn’t seem to be a very interesting character in the first book but I think I had that impression because you just didn’t learn a lot about him in the first book except that his girlfriend and he spend almost every free second together.

But his girlfriend isn’t there anymore which allowed him to get into a new relationship and quite early in the book, you actually realize that Josh is quite an interesting character. I really liked how you learn a lot about his past and also about the time that was written about in AATFK. You get to learn a little more about Anna and St. Clair’s relationship from his point of view and you also learn the entire story of Josh and Rashmi’s relationship which was very interesting. I also loved his passion for art and really hope this book will one day be made into a movie just so that I can see someone draw what Stephanie Perkins described in this book.

Sex also played quite a big role in this book. In AATFK it was only mentioned once or twice but in LATBND it was already a bigger part of the story, so it only made sense that it would play an important role in this book even though it isn’t often discussed in YA books.

I also loved that this book’s plot was different from the plots of the first two books. In AATFK and LATBND we had one person who was in a relationship while the other person wasn’t and over the course of the book, they slowly realized that they’re more than friends. But in IATHEA they get into a relationship at an early point of the book and so you get to read about how their relationship develops and what problems they have to face.

Another thing that I loved is that we got to see Anna, St. Clair, Meredith, Lola and Cricket again. I just love how all three books in this series are connected with each other and the scenes with those characters almost made me cry in happiness. If you haven’t read the book yet, go read it and you’ll exactly know what moment I’m talking about.

But there were also two things that annoyed me a little and made me not give this book all five stars. For one, Isla was a little annoying at some points of the books even though she was by far not as annoying as Lola sometimes was. Furthermore, the ending of this book was incredibly cheesy. It was just way too much for me and even though I really like Josh and Isla, I just couldn’t enjoy the last scene of this book even though they’re a cute couple.

All in all, this was once again a cute and quick read and I really enjoyed it. I still love Stephanie Perkins’ writing style and she remains one of my all-time favorite contemporary authors! 4 out of 5 stars for “Isla and the Happily Ever After”.

Have you already read ‘Isla and the Happily Ever After’ and did you like it? 🙂

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

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Synopsis

Anna has everything figured out – she was about to start senior year with her best friend, she had a great weekend job, and her huge work crush looked as if it might finally be going somewhere… Until her dad decides to send her 4383 miles away to Paris. On her own.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna finds herself making new friends, including Etienne, the smart, beautiful boy from the floor above. But he’s taken – and Anna might be too. Will a year of romantic near-missed end with the French kiss she’s been waiting for?

My Review

“For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It is a person. And we are finally home.” 

Is “Anna and the French Kiss” the right book for you if you’re looking for something unique that you’ve never read about before? No, it’s not.

Is it the right book if you’re looking for a book without any clichés? No!

Is it the right book if you’re looking for something that will make you feel good and smile a lot? Hell yeah it is!

Anna and the French Kiss is an incredibly quick read and you could easily finish it in a single sitting because it’s so addictive. You just won’t want to put it down anymore, it’s literally the definition of a “feel good” book. Reading AATFK will make you immediately want to go to Paris to find your own St. Clair and visit all the places that are mentioned in this book. I’ve already been there a couple of times before and have been to most of the places mentioned in the book, but even I just want to go back there right now to revisit all the places Anna and St. Clair have been to.

But the book will not only make you swoon over their perfect love story, but it will also make you laugh a lot and will conjure a smile on your face which you won’t be able to easily wipe off it again. It will also teach you a little about history because St. Clair is obsessed with it (not in an annoying way though). I’m serious, I’ve actually learned a thing or two about French and American historical figures and Parisian history. But one of my absolute highlights is Bridgette’s, who is Anna’s best friend, obsession with unique words. I mean, did you know that “Callipygian” means “having shapely buttocks”? You didn’t? Well, neither did I but now we both know and I’m loving it!

In my opinion, you also don’t have to be thirteen or fourteen to like this book. I was fourteen when I read it for the first time and just reread it at the age of nineteen (a few days away from turning twenty) and I actually enjoyed it more than I did when I read it for the first time. That might also be due to the fact that I just needed a book like this but I just feel like you can never be too old for it. It’s just so incredibly cute and sometimes everyone needs something like it. It’ll make you incredibly happy and I just have to give it 5 out of 5 stars for how good it made me feel once again!

Have you already read “Anna and the French Kiss” and did you like it? 🙂

Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

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Synopsis

For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.

However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.

My Review

“Maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there’s a tomorrow. Maybe for you there’s one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around it, let it slide like coins through you fingers. So much time you can waste it.
But for some of us there’s only today.
And the truth is, you never really know.“

If I had to briefly describe this book in a single sentence, I’d describe it as Mean Girls meets something that’ll make you thoroughly think about how you’ve been treating the people around you. But I’m talking about the original Mean Girls movie here, and not about that horrible second part they produced a couple of years later, because “Before I Fall” was truly a great and inspiring book.

“Before I Fall” tells the story of Samantha Kingston who is in a fatal car accident with her friends. But instead of dying she suddenly wakes up in the morning, on the day of the accident, and can relive that day once again. This happens several times over the course of the book and she has the chance to change some of the things that happened to try to make them right again. Sam herself is your typical “mean girl” you know from high school chick flicks but probably also from real life (though I can’t judge that since I grew up in Germany). Over here we have a different school system and the whole popular crowd that “rules” the school thing is nothing I’ve ever heard about over here. However, even I remember a time in-between seventh and ninth grade when I had my group of friends in my class and there were people we were sometimes making fun of and that we excluded from our group. Back then we thought it was funny whilst today most of us, including me, are not proud of how we treated them. But while you’re acting that way you don’t actually realize that you might be hurting someone with your actions and just think that they’ll forget about it as fast as you do which they don’t. Instead your actions might leave deeper wounds than you can imagine; wounds that might never fully heal again. “Before I Fall” is trying to show what those actions can do to victims of bullying and how oblivious the offenders are to the impact of their actions.

From my younger sister, I know that even at my old school, bullying has become a bit of a normal thing again. Kids these days are losing respect for not only adults but also for people their age. Back when I was in 8th grade, we read “13 Reasons Why” which is also dealing with bullying and the consequences it can have. I remember that it actually made some people think about things they’ve done in their life and led them to trying to make things right again before it might’ve been too late. I think “Before I Fall” is a book that could provoke the same feelings in some people and would also be a good book to read and talk about in schools. At first, I thought it wouldn’t be gripping enough to also be interesting to younger readers that might have to read it for school. Reliving the same day over and over again to me sounded like a plot line that could fast become repetitive and boring; but Lauren Oliver managed to change things up in such ways that every single day was interesting in its own way. She changed things that I just didn’t expect her to change at all which even made me laugh out loud a couple of times even though the chapters each ended with the same horrible event happening; it was just always a little different from how it was in the previous chapter. The book also shows the reader how complex the web of problems is which Sam and her friends have spun with their actions without even realizing it. Every time I thought I’d finally understood someone’s story, and knew what Sam had to change to make things right, I was immediately proven wrong again. Most of the times things aren’t just made good again with a simple apology. “Before I Fall” shows you this in a very gripping and moving way. It’s a very realistic book which is especially shown by the ending of it which indeed makes one gulp and be silent for a couple of minutes.

All in all, “Before I Fall” is a great book that shines a light on a very important topic. It’ll make you think about how you’ve treated the people you’ve encountered in your life and reading it may be an eye-opening experience for some people. Lauren Oliver has a great writing style and “Before I Fall” is a book you can easily read in less than a day which also makes this book perfect for younger audiences. 4.5 out of 5 stars for this book!

Have you already read “Before I Fall” and did you like it? 🙂

Review: Melody’s Key by Dallas Coryell

melody's-key.pngSynopsis:

“His eyes settled on her…piercing green embers of flame that revealed the ferocity of his pain and passion, yet still shrouded him under veils of ever deepening mystery that made every ounce of her ache to unravel him.”

Tegan Lockwood’s dreams were dead, sacrificed on the noble altar of duty before they ever had a chance to live. Her entire existence was disappearing into the abyss of apathy as she labored her days away keeping her family’s struggling business alive. There would be no emotion, no color, no beauty in her life. That is, until a mysterious visitor begins to draw her out of the darkness of her past towards something that will challenge the boundaries of her world, and unlock the most deeply held secrets of her heart.

My review: 

(I was sent a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!)

“It’s the way your touch is my safe-haven when I feel lost, the way you challenge me and inspire me to be better and how I feel like I was never really living until I found you.”

Melody’s Key tells the story of Tegan Lockwood who is living on her family’s estate in Southern England. She is a very creative person but had to turn down a scholarship she received from Columbia University in New York City to continue helping her family run their inn since they’re only inches away from bankruptcy. The story begins at the beginning of summer while the Lockwoods are preparing for their first guests of the year and shortly before Mason Keane, a famous singer, arrives to spent his summer at Lockwood Manor to get some distance from the public.

Tegan and Mason are great and well developed main character and I loved their chemistry. Another big plus for me was the fact that their relationship evolved slowly throughout the book and that there was no insta-love. Since Coryell is not only an author but also a musician, he wrote several songs for this book which you can actually find on his YouTube channel. I’ve already read a lot of books that featured pop stars as one of the main characters but in my opinion, you can really see that Coryell has an actual idea about music and knows a lot about it which made Melody’s Key much more enjoyable and realistic.

Dallas Coryell wrote a lovely novel but I personally think that his writing style is hands down the best thing about this book. I already fell in love with it half-way through the first chapter. He is also the first person that managed to stop me from putting down a book and refusing to read it, even though the first scene of the book started with an alarm clock ringing. Usually that is something I absolutely hate and I feel like it’s usually the result of not knowing how to start a book and also not giving a damn about it. But this time, the ringing alarm clock actually made sense and there were a story and a proper explanation behind it. I always thought alarm clocks could never provide a proper start for a good novel but Coryell just proved me wrong.

All in all, I really enjoyed reading Melody’s Key and I especially loved how creative the main characters were. I’m going to deduct a star because the plot was a little predictable at some points and because there were still some typos in this book (which really don’t interrupt your reading though). But Melody’s Key still gets 4 out of 5 stars.

Have you already read Melody’s Key and did you like it? 🙂

 

Review: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

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Synopsis:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with a new heart-wrenching love story.

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she doesn’t think it’s love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

 

My review:

“When life gives you lemons, make sure you know whose eyes you need to squeeze them in.” 

Colleen Hoover did it again, she made me completely fall in love with one of her books. She now is officially one of my favorite authors ever and I just love her writing style so much! She could probably write about diarrhea and I would still read it and love it. (I know that’s the worst example ever but I just couldn’t think of anything better.)

Ugly Love was heartbreakingly beautiful. I was grinning like an idiot at so many points of this book and then there were the sad parts of the book that kinda broke my heart and almost made me cry. It was a rollercoaster of emotions. I felt so connected to the lovely protagonists Tate and Miles and even though I wanted to know how their story would end, I also didn’t want the book to end and wanted their story to go on forever.

Without creating a new world, inventing new creatures or starting World War 3, Colleen managed to write a book that was so incredibly gripping that I read it within a few hours and just couldn’t put it down anymore. Like I’ve said before. her writing style is awesome and she’s also the queen of changing POVs. I kind of hate it when authors change the POV but Colleen has done it in all three of her novels I’ve read so far and she just always makes it work so perfectly. She always manages to give you a great and interesting insight into both characters’ lives and no one else manages to change POVs as well as she does.

I actually don’t have anything else to say about this book. This review isn’t very long but I just realized that there’s usually so much more to write about a book if I have something to criticize. But there’s nothing negative to say about Ugly Love and so I don’t have anything else to add to this review. This book was perfect and I would recommend it to everyone who likes romance and contemporary.

I just have to give Ugly Love 5 out of 5 stars and I can’t wait to read another one of Collen Hoover’s books!

Have you already read ‘Ugly Love’ and did you like it? 🙂