A BOOK : Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan

It’s Friday and you know what you should read this weekend?

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Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel
by Sara Farizan

Here’s why:

  • You have first love + confusing crushes
  • You have a funny and interesting main character, Leila, who narrates the trials of high school. She is absolutely adorable and super smart.
  • Even though it’s 304 pages the pages are shorter, so this reads quickly. Perfect to finish in a weekend!
  • Along with romance it has some pretty awesome friendship and familial story lines.
  • It has a perspective that I haven’t ever read from– an Iranian-American girl who is still in the closet– which was super refreshing- especially when it came to Leila sharing her experiences at school and her fears with her sexuality.
  • It’s funny! And wonderfully awkward in all of the real life ways.


This came into my life after listening to episode 8 [“Why Are Samosas in Every Book”] on the podcast See Something, Say Something. Check out the episode! It’s good :).

 

A BOOK : Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill

B L O G M A S  D A Y 20

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This is the book series that took my coworkers and I by storm for some odd reason this year!

I started it because I was craving a fast paranormal series and was asking my coworker for suggestions. She suggested this and paired with knowing my other coworker really likes this author I was like heck yea! Now that you have the back story that you probably don’t care about as to why I started to read this…

So Some Girls Bite is set in modern day Chicagoland area in a world where people know vampires exist and they kind of live together peacefully. Of course there is going to be TENSION because vampires need blood to survive and all, but for the most part everyone has their shit together and while the peace dynamics are on shaky ground, they are somewhat stabilized.

Now enter Merit, our main character. She’s living with her roommate happily going about life, whennnnn she is turned into a vampire. Without her permission. This is a big deal, because in this society you NEED a human’s permission to turn them, plus, Merit comes from a pretty fancy-pants family (however, she is not on good terms with them).

From there she is quickly introduced to the world of vampirism and all of the facets she never paid much attention to. As she is sinking into this world, there is still the mystery as to who turned her, as well as why she is… a little bit different than the other vampires.

It’s that difference that made me really like the series and also drove me a little bit nuts in the book. Because she is a little bit *too* special, you know? But it makes for an interesting story PLUS there is one facet about her that I’m REALLY curious about, that I don’t want to go into.

The series is a little bit sexy and a lot of fun and very much a good escapism read. At least this book! I’m not going to lie, I haven’t progressed much further into the rest of the series yet.

So if you’re looking for a good vampire series book to TAKE YOU AWAYYYYYYY try Some Girls Bite!

A BOOK : Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

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This little beauty snuck its way into my life, and ended up being a top favorite for the year. It’s about a girl who is basically allergic to the world and needing to stay in an uncontaminated environment. As a result, her life is pretty limiting. At the start of the book she has turned 18, and she has lived her entire life in her house with just her mother and her nurse for company. She has managed to make a life out of her life, but when new neighbors move in next door she realizes she might want more out of her life– whatever the cost.

So time to parse everything out!

1- I love the formatting. Included throughout the story are just little scraps from inside Madeline’s head- diagrams and definitions and an “insert” of a few journal pages from when she is 8. It fit with the flow of the story so well and as a result it didn’t feel gimmicky. It helped crystallize Madeline’s character and what she was going through.

2- The tone of this was beautiful. At its core it’s about living– what constitutes it, and what doesn’t? What happens when you want more than what you’re given? What do you do?

“Everything’s a risk. Not doing anything is a risk. It’s up to you.”

3- In many ways, it was so so so sad. I think I mentioned this in my top ten tuesday which featured this book on that list, but I was most definitely crying in public. But it’s not the most depressing book in the world, because….

4- MY GOODNESS CUTENESS OVERLOAD. There were lots of cute moments with a certain boy… and some surprisingly some extremely attractive moments over little things.

5- Speaking of which, I LOVE the dialogue between Olly and Maddy. It was adorable. Especially because since the girl is trapped in her house, they can’t do much else than talk and their conversations are so much fun.

Everything, Everything is definitely a must read if you like interesting characters put in interesting places.

Take a look at it on Goodreads!

A BOOK : All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

 

B L O G M A S  D A Y  13

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Today we are talking about All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. You know how after John Green got SUPER popular suddenly every book that was young adult and contemporary had a little statement claiming it was EXACTLY LIKE BOOKS BY JOHN GREEN?

Well good news! I’ve heard little blurbs talking about THIS book saying if you like books by John Green you would like this, and I think that is SUPER accurate.

And I’m trying to figure out what it is about this one that seems like that is a very true statement. Because yes, in All the Bright Places you have two very smart seemingly very different from each other teens start becoming friends (and possibly more-ooh-la-la). You also have tragic stories mixed with humor.

On the surface all of those ring true, but that rings true for a lot of books that I wouldn’t say capture the same feeling and voice. Niven’s book speaks to that same feeling and voice though. It is of course completely its own story….

[SUMMARY TIME.

Finch is notorious for his weirdness and how different he is. Violet is notorious for her popularity. They are on polar opposites of the social structure, yet somehow they both end up on the roof of the school at the same time with possibly a similar idea… the book is told in alternating view points as they navigate their histories, trying to live in the present, and the possibility of a future.]

So even though the core of the story is definitely different, what Niven seems to do similarly is to put to words the yearning and emotion in life when you’re feeling stuck physically and emotionally that Green also seems to do. It’s idealistic in certain ways, yet grounded in harsh realities.

I will say, similarly with The Fault in our Stars there is an interesting tension between the lightness of the book with the seriousness of some of the situations being discussed.

Is it fair to spend so much time comparing one author to another? Probably not. But I think that was my strongest review reaction– especially because is has attained a similarity that a lot of marketing people seem to be striving for.

So if you’re looking for something that simultaneously somehow draws from your happy and giddy emotional pool and your my heart is breaking emotional pool, add All the Bright Places to your to-read list!

Heads up though- the book does discuss suicide a lot.

A BOOK : A Man Called Ove by Frederick Backman

I think if you were to ask me what my favorite book I read this year was, I might have to say it was A Man Called Ove. I listened to the audio, and I have to say. If you decide you’re going to read this go for the audio if you can, if only because at the beginning of different chapters it starts with, “A man called Ove….” and for some reason that line repeated again and again throughout the book just drives home all of the charm this story had.

Because my goodness, is it charming.

It’s charming yet heartbreaking and at times goofy and heart warming, but still. So, so, so heartbreaking.

Basically A Man Called Ove is about a curmudgeon-y old man who lost his wife and now doesn’t want to live himself. He likes his systems and he likes his schedules and he likes his orderliness and he likes his rules, and so every day his days follow the same patterns. He does his morning neighborhood patrol and then essentially tries to end his life. Except. Life keeps getting in the way, as things in his neighborhood get a little nutty and of course, as Mr. Uber Controlling Neighbor he butts in or is forced into dilemmas whether he likes it or not.

While most of the story line exists in the present, it flashes into Ove’s past– his relationship with his father and growing up and how he met his wife. Ove is just such an endearing character. He sees a problem, he fixes it. He’s stubborn and certainly is very oblivious. He angers way too quickly, and I’m sure he would be someone I would be hesitant to interact with in real life, but in the end he has this soft core and tries to do good and has this humble way about life and work.

I’m trying to figure out what it was about this story I liked so much. I guess, to me it was oddly comforting. It feels like as close to a fairy tale as real life can get. There are all of the hardships and disappointments, but at the end of the day life keeps moving providing alongside the broken hearts moments of joy and healing and light.

Add it to your Goodreads TBR shelf HERE

Warning: the book does discuss suicide, so if this is a triggering topic you might want to tread carefully. If you want to learn more specifics so you can decide to read or not read, just let me know and I can let you know more details.

A BOOK : We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

B L O G M A S   D A Y   8

We Were Liars
by E. Lockhart

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.
 
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. 

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE

I am joining the ranks of everyone going all “ishddfiubwfiub” over this one. Because seriously. ;ibgikubrgiebng.

The writing style used in this book is pretty much one of my favorite all time writing styles. Lockhart gives her main character, Cadence, a very distinct voice and the story is told completely from Cadence’s perspective. As a result we get to experience the roller coaster Cadence is on. I love how poetic everything sounds. I love how because of the way this is written, it feels very raw.

There is also a little bit of a play with fairy tales, and it was interesting to see how those fairy tales progressed and how they connect to reality.

This book is just one big puzzle, and it does it in a way where the answer to the puzzle is hinted at and hinted at a lot, but it is still super unreachable. Because I’ve read so much, I tend to at least have ideas that are in the right ballpark as to what will come next, but my reading sleuthing skills completely missed the mark on this one.

On the front cover John Green uses the word blisteringly, and I have to say that word hits the feel of this story right on.

If you haven’t yet, add We Were Liars to your tbr shelf on Goodreads! It was this year’s reader’s choice winner for teen fiction, which is pretty neat :).

Warning: Spoilers in comments!

A BOOK : Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Cruel Beauty
by Rosamund Hodge
Published January 2014
Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

Photo and summary from Goodreads

I ended up really enjoying Cruel Beauty for a smattering of reasons:

1.  I listened to the audiobook of this Beauty and the Beast retelling, and I have to say it was one of my best decisions in the last week. It’s narrated by Elizabeth Knowelden who exactly fits the tone. She has a smooth, flippant sounding voice and perfectly fit into the Gothic feel.

2.  Nyx is just awesome. She is a young girl given away to fix her father’s mistakes and she is angry. So angry. Yet, still determined. I love that she admits to feeling certain ways, and also admits to the flaws of those feelings. It made her more complex to me and thus more interesting.

3.  There are plenty of romantic bits, but the romance isn’t necessarily the main story. It’s more about duty and maintaining yourself even while in a bad situation. It’s about trying to figure out the truth, when your entire life you have been inundated with different information.

4.  This goes slowly, yet still keeps moving. There were parts where I was pretty ready for something new to happen, but thankfully just when I started feeling that, something new DID happen. Some things got a little repetitive, but I think that is mostly because the bulk of the book was set in the house Nyx is trapped in.

5.  This is a retelling of The Beauty and the Beast story and as a fan that likes Beauty and the Beast but doesn’t know much about the main story and the variations of it, I enjoyed trying to figure out in what ways Cruel Beauty would be similar and what ways it would be different.

If you are a fan of fairy tale re-tellings, dark romances, interestingly built new worlds, and complex characters, you should take a gander at Cruel Beauty.