Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Review: By Your Side by Kasie West

By Your Side
By Your Side
By Kasie West
My Rating: 5 Stars
Date Read: February 2017
Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Paperback, 352 Pages


 Summary From Goodreads: 

In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

                                                                            My Review: 

"Locked in the library for an entire weekend" *BLINKS* The. Entire. Weekend. *Heavy Breathing* That would be one of my favorite things in the whole wide world. Okay, maybe not the whole weekend, but like a day or two... in fact, I get to work a lock-in at the library where I work, but that is a story for a different time

Anyway. I love Kasie West books. Like, super love them. The boys are swoony, and the MC's are super relatable, and so now I'm going to try to review this and have it make sense. Here goes nothing:

Things that made me go ehhhhh

Where are the phones? Or in my haste and excitement at having this new shiny Kasie West book, did I read over it.  Why didn't Autumn pick one up and dial a friend or family member? I'm speaking from personal experience here... but the library that I work at, even after hours has a phone that works... Sure, when patrons call in they will get an automated message explaining that the library is closed, and when it will be open again, blah, blah, blah. But you can still dial out and make calls.

And the food situation. Again, I'm just going by the way my library does things. We have some kind of food there all the time. Stuff that has a pretty good shelf life that ALL staff can munch on during the day. Crackers, Chips, bags of un-popped popcorn that you can throw in the microwave. Lots of candy {I'm usually the one who brings the candy in} granola bars, bottles of water. So as you can see, if someone were trapped in my library for a 3 day weekend, they'd be able to eat and not worry so much about rationing it off. I do realize that every library is different, and this one is fictional, so yeah... But I just had a hard time finding that to be realistic.

Okay, time to stop being nit picky now

Things that made me go oooooooooooh *Heart Eyes*

The Cover. I think I've loved every single book cover of Kasie's. There's just something so, I don't know, je ne sais quoi about them. So adorable, and they really do match the feel that the books give you when you read them.

This book was exactly what I was expecting from Kasie West: an adorably fluffy light read, that isn't super long. This one though, had a little more edge/drama than West's previous books, but it made it all the more awesome in my opinion.

The chemistry between Dax and Autumn. It was so entertaining. There was so much tension between the two of them, and so much "I don't wanna like you, but I kind of do"

Dax's character in general. He's looked at as a bad boy. A rebel. Someone who should be avoided at all costs. But in reality, he's not. He's actually very kind, and caring. And people should just stop gossiping and lying about him all the time. Not that I'm saying he's perfect, because he is definitely not. But he's also not the horrible person that every one makes him out to be, and he actually grows quite a lot throughout the story.

I also really liked the premise of the whole thing. I mean, getting spend the night in the library is pretty exciting.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys
The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)
By Maggie Stiefvater
My Rating: 4 Stars
Publication Date: September 18th, 2012
Hardcover, 416 Pages

 Summary From Goodreads:
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

My Review:
I tried to read this book so many times when it first came out, because I loved Steifvater's Wolves of Mercy Falls series, as well as the Books of Faerie series. But no matter how hard I tried, I just could NOT make it through more than a couple of pages. Nothing about it seemed to capture my interest long enough for me to really get into it. So I stopped. I put the book down and I walked away from it.

I kind of forgot about it for a little bit, but then all of a sudden I kept hearing about it again. Some of my friends and coworkers read it and liked it, there were a bunch of reviews for it that kept running through my news feed on Goodreads, and from Blogs that I follow. And then a patron that I was helping one night highly recommended it. So I was like, okay. With all of the hype going around about this book, I need to give it at least one more chance.

So I checked out the actual book along with the audio version of it, and went on my merry way. I made it all the way through this time, and I was happily surprised at how much I ended up enjoying it. Though I am going to accredit that to the audio book, which, if you know me is a BIG deal. I can count on one hand the number of audio books I've listened to.

I liked the characters, and how quirky they all were. Blue was so funny, and so true to herself throughout the whole book. She was awkward and quirky, and that made me love her all the more.

 I liked the relationship she had with all the boys, and the close friendship all the boys shared with each other, though sometimes some of the things they said and did, made me cock my head to the side and go "ohhkaaayyy...?"

Gansey: Was so charming and hilarious, and sometimes came off as being spoiled and pompous, even though he didn't mean to. He said things without thinking about how they sounded to other people, but he's actually the sweetest guy and beats himself up when he unintentionally sounds like a jerk. He actually thinks a lot about other people, and his heart is in a good place.

Ronan: Came off as being a class-A JERK, but I still love him. I know there's a reason for why he's that way, and I can't bring myself to think anything bad about him. He's loyal to his friends and family (well...) and he'd do pretty much anything for them (Okay, with the exception of maybe one person)

Noah: Oh, my Lanta, Noah. He's the most adorable, and the sweetest. I just want to hug him all the time. I can't really say too much more without getting all spoilery (just in case there are other people like me who have yet to read this book) but yeah, I just wanna hug Noah.

Adam: Oh Adam. He was probably my faaaavorite Raven Boy. He tried so hard to prove that he fit in with the others even though he never believes that he does. Even though Gansey and Noah and Ronan would all do anything for him. He has a hard time believing that he is worthy of anything good, but at the same time that's all he works so hard for. He wants to be accepted. He wants to fit in. He was probably the most unsure character, in my opinion. And that made him more lovable.

This book switched back and forth between a few different characters, which was nice, because you got to see a little more of what was going on in their heads. But at the same time it has the ability to be a little confusing if you forget which character it is who is narrating.

It was pretty slooooow paced, which at times was okay, because of all of the details and information getting thrown at you. It was easier to digest, so to speak. You got a chance to think about what you learned, and process what that meant for the characters.

And then the one thing that I liked the least was the romance/no romance thing. One of the things that I was expecting from it was some kind of romance, especially since Blue kept talking about how she was destined to kill her true love. I kind of took that to mean that there would be at least a little bit of romance. Flirty scenes. Things that put them into awkwardly romantic situations. I don't know. More than just thinking about it all the time. But that's my opinion.

I still don't think I would have been able to make it through the whole thing without the help of the audiobook, but I do think I will continue on with the next book in the series, because I am curious to see what happens next.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Review: The Replacement Crush by Lisa Brown Roberts

The Replacement Crush
The Replacement Crush
By Lisa Brown Roberts
My Rating: 5 Stars
Date Read: December 2016
Publication Date: September 16th, 2016
Paperback, 400 pages

Summary From Goodreads:
True love can’t be strategized.

After book blogger Vivian Galdi’s longtime crush pretends their secret summer kissing sessions never happened, Vivian creates a list of safe crushes, determined to protect her heart.

But nerd-hot Dallas, the sweet new guy in town, sends the mission and Vivian’s zing meter into chaos. While designing software for the bookstore where Vivian works, Dallas wages a counter-mission.

Operation Replacement Crush is in full effect. And Dallas is determined to take her heart off the shelf.

My Review:
I had no idea that Lisa Brown Roberts had any other books released--I know, I know, bad Kait! Keep up with authors if you like their books! But when I found that there were other books, you better believe that I snatched it up. And boy oh boy am I glad that I did. I absolutely adored How (Not) To Fall In Love, and this one was just as good. Though I will be honest and admit that it did take me a little longer to actually get into this one.

I was a little bit annoyed with Vivi and her obsession with the stupid boy who broke her heart and the list of safe crushes. Like, really? Why? And it was worse because OBVIOUSLY there was Nerd Hot Dallas who was perfect for her in every way, and he liked her, but she refused to even entertain the idea, because reasons...

 But, whatever, moving on. I loved all the different fandom references and the fact that not only is Vivi a book blogger, but she works at a bookstore and her mom is an author. Plus all the references to ARCs and sub genres, etc. I felt that those things added a certain charm to the book, and made it more relatable for me as a reader, because not only am I a book blogger myself, but I work at a library, and all those terms are familiar to me

I thought that Dallas was a fantastic character, kind of mysterious at times, but also super hilarious. I had my suspicions about who he was and what he had to do with the different things that were going on, and I was kind of right about some of them, and totally wrong on the others.

So go, give this book a read, and let me know what you think about it in the comments below!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

I Did A Thing

I {finally} set up an Instagram for my Blog! If you want to check it out, click on the link HERE or click on the little Insta icon on the right side of the page. If you want to see more lovely photos like the ones over there------------>

Follow me! Let me know! Leave your Insta handle in the comments below or in a comment on one of my pictures and I will be sure to follow you!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Top 10 Books Read in 2016

Now, I was originally planning on posting this list before the end of the year but, you know, things got crazy, so here it is now. My top ten favorite books (in no particular order) read in 2016:

Hyperbole and A HalfHyperbole And A Half by Allie Brosh
Holy. Moly.
This book was so funny. Like rotflol funnny. I know this one was published awhile ago, but I finally got around to reading it, and I am so glad that I did

The Magnolia Story

The Magnolia Story by Chip & Joanna Gaines
I love watching Fixer Upper, and I think that Gaines family is super adorable. I knew reading this book was going to be fun, and it totally was. I loved getting to hear more about Chip and Joanna's relationship, and all the crazy hi-jinks that Chip got the two of them into.


Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. A spin on Peter Pan that I absolutely adored! Plus the ca-razy hunky Captain Hook, yes please, I want some more!


Bad Blood (The Naturals, #4)

 Bad Blood by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
This was the last (?) book in The Naturals series, and oh boy. There were oh so many twists and turns in this one, it made my head spin, but I loved every minute of it.

The Way to Game the Walk of Shame 
 The Way To Game The Walk Of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen
This one was absolutely positively one of my absolute favorites of 2016. I don't even have the right words to describe it, so just check out my review for it here.

Dan and Phil Go Outside

Dan And Phil Go Outside by Dan Howell and Phil Lester
So I think it's pretty safe to say that I will read and love every single book that Dan and Phil write... It's always fun, and super entertaining.

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2) A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas
So I really really really really really liked the first book in this series, but I really really really really really love this one. It gives me all the feels, because not everyone is really all they seemed to be in the last book, and... yeah. Just read it.

Dear My (Blank) Dear My Blank by Emily Trunko
This book I happened upon by pure accident, and it took me by surprise just how good it was. I have letters that I've written to people, and then torn up, and I think that being able to anonymously submit a letter to someone is a great idea. She has a Tumblr that she runs by the same name, that everyone should check out. Click here to do just that.

The Replacement Crush 

The Replacement Crush by Lisa Brown 
This one was really cute. It totally spoke to my inner nerd girl. I loved it despite some of my annoyances with the main character for being so obsessed with someone who was so stupid.


 Adorkable by Cookie O'Gorman
Oh me, oh my. I knew I was going to love this book because:

the title
B--the cover

This was a cute, funny book, which is why it's rounding out my top 10 reads of 2016

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Review: Adorkable by Cookie O'Gorman

By Cookie O'Gorman
My Rating: 5 Stars
Date Read: December 2016
Publication Date: September 20th, 2016
Paperback, 332 Pages

 Summary From Goodreads:

Adorkable (ah-dor-kuh-bul): Descriptive term meaning to be equal parts dorky and adorable. For reference, see Sally Spitz. Seventeen-year-old Sally Spitz is done with dating. Or at least, she's done with the horrible blind dates/hookups/sneak attacks her matchmaking bestie, Hooker, sets her up on. There's only so much one geek girl and Gryffindor supporter can take. 

Her solution: she needs a fake boyfriend. And fast. 

Enter Becks, soccer phenom, all-around-hottie, and Sally's best friend practically since birth. When Sally asks Becks to be her F.B.F. (fake boyfriend), Becks is only too happy to be used. He'd do anything for Sal--even if that means giving her PDA lessons in his bedroom, saying she's "more than pretty," and expertly kissing her at parties.

 The problem: Sally's been in love with Becks all her life--and he's completely clueless. 

This book features two best friends, one special edition Yoda snuggie, countless beneath-the-ear kisses and begs the question: 

Who wants a real boyfriend when faking it is so much more fun?

My Review:

First of all, I love the word Adorkable, and this book was everything I thought it would be and more, just by reading the title... And looking at the cover. I know, I shouldn't have judged the book by its cover, but I did, and it was fantastic, so everything is fine.

I have the e-version of this book downloaded on my Kindle app, but I just never got around to reading it until my library bought a physical copy. I am upset with myself for not reading it sooner, especially since I had the opportunity! It has plot holes, and things that I shook my head at, but it was nothing that made me ever consider putting it down and stop reading it. There wasn't too much drama, surprisingly enough, especially compared to other books with similar story lines.

Becks. Baldwin Eugene Charles Kent. Swoon. SWOON. SA-WOOOOON. That's pretty much all I have to say about him... He was so cute, and so funny, and I think I've found myself a new book boyfriend. Not to mention the fact that he reminds me of someone that I know, so I went back and forth from giggling to cringing because I was picturing my friend as Becks the whole time.

I love Sal. She was so funny, but sometimes kind of naive. I also found that I could really relate to Sal, and I thought that was pretty cool. Like, we could be BFFS for real, and I wouldn't be pressuring her to get a boyfriend, or set her up on terrible blind dates.

Speaking of...

I wanted to slap Sal's mom and Hooker. SERIOUSLY. Stop trying to hook Sal up with people. She obviously wasn't happy with it and, just, why? She's 17 years old, there's no reason that she needs to have a boyfriend. There's no reason for anyone to be pressured into having a boyfriend or girlfriend if they don't want to. Ugh. Just don't it. I'll stop my rant about that right here.

This was a super adorable YA contemporary read, that is great for fans of Kasie West, or anyone looking for a quick read. There is so much chemistry between Becks and Sal. It was swoony, but managed to keep it sweet as well. It is something I wouldn't think twice about letting my 12 year old sister read.

One thing I am hoping for is a book that tells Ash's story. He was an interesting character, but I feel like you didn't really get to know him very well, and I'd like to learn more about him.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Review: Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven

Holding Up the Universe
Holding Up The Universe
By Jennifer Niven
My Rating: 4 Stars
Date Read: November 2016
Publication Date: September 6th, 2016
Hardcover, 284 pages

                                                           Summary From Goodreads: 

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for every possibility life has to offer. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything. 

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.

                                                                            My Review: 

I'd never read anything quite like this book, and I was actually pleasantly surprised by it. I liked how Libby was such a strong character, and how, even though she did kinda sorta cared about what people thought, she also didn't give two flying figs... {Does that make sense? I feel like it doesn't, but oh well}.

There was so much character building going on in this book, and learning how to love yourself for who you are. I wasn't so fond of Jack for the longest time, even though he did have his moments. I thought that he was pretty immature, and it took a long time for me to warm up to him. I am glad that he grew up as the book went on, and learned to embrace is flaws.