Eliza and Her Monsters

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Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Genre: Contemporary
# of Pages: 383
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Ratings (out of 10):

Quality: 9
Pace:9
Plot development: 9
Characters: 8
Enjoyability: 9
Ease of Reading: 9

Summary from Goodreads:

Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

My Opinions (SPOILER FREE):

This was a very cute story that reminded me of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Ut was nit as grid as Fangirl in my opinion, but it was still very good.

Characters: The characters in this story were very unique, and I liked that they were unique, but it made it much harder to relate to them. That was the big difference between this book and Fangirl. Fangirl was much more relatable. I also wasn’t very fond of either of the main characters. In all honesty I felt like I wouldn’t like either of them in real life.

Plot: The plot was really good, and it ,over along pretty well. There were a few things that happened that I either didn’t like or that bored me, but for the most part I loved the plot.

Writing: The writing was really good. I’ve never read any of Francesca Zappia’s books, but I’ll definitely be checking out her other books.

Our Dark Duet

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Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
Genre: Fantasy
# of Pages: 510
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Ratings (out of 10):

Quality: 8.5
Pace: 10
Plot development: 9
Characters: 9
Enjoyability: 9
Ease of Reading: 9

Summary from Goodreads:

THE WORLD IS BREAKING. AND SO ARE THEY.

KATE HARKER isn’t afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she’s good at it.

AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.

THE WAR HAS BEGUN.

THE MONSTERS ARE WINNING.

Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waiting—one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims’ inner demons.

Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?

My Opinions (SPOILER FREE):

I highly enjoyed this book, just like I do with all of Victoria Schwab’s books. However, this one was not as good as This Savage Song, the first book in this duology.

Characters: My main problem with the characters was that neither August or Kate felt like the August and Kate from the first book. Yes, I do understand that characters can change, and I realize that a lot happened in book 1 that could have changed August and Kate. However, I distinctly remember from reading book 1 that I really loved August and Kate because of the emotion I felt for them and their relationship, and how easy it was to just fall in love with their characters. And so I was slightly disappointed while reading this book because I really wasn’t getting the same feeling about August and Kate that I so loved from the first book.

Plot: The plot moved along really well in this story, and I liked where Victoria Schwab took the story in regards to the fact that there is a new kind of monster introduced in this book. The only thing I didn’t like about the plot was how sometimes it felt very politics-centered. The plot was just very different in this book from the first book.

Writing: The writing, as usual, was fantastic. Victoria Schwab never ceases to amaze me with the way she writes her stories.

Windfall

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Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

Genre: Contemporary

# of Pages: 312

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Ratings (out of 10):

Quality: 10

Pace: 10

Plot development: 10

Characters: 10

Enjoyability: 10

Ease of Reading: 10

Summary from Goodreads:

Let luck find you.

Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday—just when it seems they might be on the brink of something—she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes.

At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. As a kid, Alice won the worst kind of lottery possible when her parents died just over a year apart from each other. And Teddy’s father abandoned his family not long after that, leaving them to grapple with his gambling debts. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall.

As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns more about herself than she ever could have imagined…and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect.

My Opinions (SPOILER FREE):

Jennifer E. Smith writes incredibly adorable stories full of love, fun, laughter, sadness, and always a message for the reader to take away. Her stories are highly entertaining and the characters are very enjoyable. Windfall is no different than Jennifer’s other books in the way that it was an amazing story and I loved it.

Characters: Jennifer’s characters in this story were perfect. I loved Alice and reading from her POV. I loved how she was relatable and not completely perfect. Teddy and Leo were also fantastic characters that I easily fell in love with. The dynamic between the three was also incredibly entertaining.

Plot: The plot was fantastic, because I’ve read a lot of contemporaries, yet none of them have had a plot/story idea like this one. I loved reading about something new that I had never read about before. The plot also had a great pace, and I never got bored with the story.

Writing: The writing in this story is amazing. It’s the perfect balance between beautiful, poetic, comical, and relatable. I love Jennifer’s writing and I will never get tired of reading her books.

 

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy

# of Pages: 513

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Ratings (out of 10):

Quality: 9.5

Pace: 7

Plot development: 9.5

Characters: 10

Enjoyability: 10

Ease of Reading: 10

Summary from Goodreads:

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he ado res.

My Opinions (SPOILER FREE):

This story was incredibly entertaining. It was funny, sad, adorable, and just contained so many great things.

Characters: The characters were easily the best part of this story. Monty was such a fun main character to follow. His character development was fantastic and he had such an entertaining and hilarious personality. Percy and Felicity were also equally as great.

Plot: The plot was very fun and exciting and moved along reasonably well. My only problem with this book was that it had a kind of slow pace, but not boring.

Writing: The writing style was very fun to read. I loved Mackenzi Lee’s characters, and how the story had a lot of humor as well as moral lessons to learn from.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a cute/entertaining read.

What To Say Next

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What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

Genre: Contemporary/Romance

# of Pages: 287

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Ratings (out of 10):

Quality: 9

Pace: 8

Plot development: 9

Characters: 9

Enjoyability: 9

Ease of Reading: 10

Summary from Goodreads:

Sometimes a new perspective is all that is needed to make sense of the world.

KIT: I don’t know why I decide not to sit with Annie and Violet at lunch. It feels like no one here gets what I’m going through. How could they? I don’t even understand.

DAVID: In the 622 days I’ve attended Mapleview High, Kit Lowell is the first person to sit at my lunch table. I mean, I’ve never once sat with someone until now. “So your dad is dead,” I say to Kit, because this is a fact I’ve recently learned about her.

When an unlikely friendship is sparked between relatively popular Kit Lowell and socially isolated David Drucker, everyone is surprised, most of all Kit and David. Kit appreciates David’s blunt honesty—in fact, she finds it bizarrely refreshing. David welcomes Kit’s attention and her inquisitive nature. When she asks for his help figuring out the how and why of her dad’s tragic car accident, David is all in. But neither of them can predict what they’ll find. Can their friendship survive the truth?

My Opinions (SPOILER FREEE):

I really really really liked this book. The characters were phenomenal, the plot moved well, and the writing was impeccable.

Characters: I thought the characters were very unique and “raw.” It was very easy to sympathize with each thing each of the characters were going through.

Plot: The plot moved along pretty well. there were some parts where I felt like the story dragged a little, but for the most part the story remained interesting.

Writing: Julie Buxbaum’s writing and her stories will forever continue to blow me away. I feel ike she’s a very underrated author and I highly recommend you all checking her out if you haven’t already.

The Crowns of Croswald

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The Crowns of Croswald by D.E. Night

Genre: Fantasy

# of Pages: 313

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Individual Ratings:

Quality: 7

Pace: 7

Plot development: 7

Characters: 8

Enjoyability: 7

Ease of Reading: 8

Summary from Goodreads:

In Croswald, the only thing more powerful than dark magic is one secret…

For sixteen years Ivy Lovely has been hidden behind an enchanted boundary that separates the mundane from the magical. When Ivy crosses the border, her powers awaken. Curiosity leads her crashing through a series of adventures at the Halls of Ivy, a school where students learn to master their magical blood and the power of Croswald’s mysterious gems. When Ivy’s magic––and her life––is threatened by the Dark Queen, she scrambles to unearth her history and save Croswald before the truth is swept away forever.

My Opinions (SPOILER FREE):

When I first read the synopsis for D.E. Night’s story, I immediately thought: HARRY POTTER. And I imagine I’m not the only one who thought that. It is very difficult these days to find fantasy stories that are unique and unlike anything else you’ve ever read. I was very in the mood for a Harry Potter story when I went into this book, so I wasn’t disappointed.

Overall, I really enjoyed the whole idea for this book, and how it was a school for magic and all that. I thought the characters were well put together, and I also thought the story flowed very nicely.

I think my problem with this book was that I was expecting a really really good story exactly like Harry Potter, or in other words, my expectations were too high for this book. If I’m going to be completely honest, I have never read any other fantasy that has even come close to living up to everything that Harry Potter is to me. This is just my opinion, so I completely understand if other people feel differently. So basically, I went into this story, knowing I wouldn’t love it as much as Harry Potter, but still hoping it would be really close and that it would satisfy my need for a magical story. It was just that, unfortunately, I felt like this book fell short of that mark, and that it had so much more potential. There were a couple parts where I started to get rather bored, or annoyed with the main characters, but there were still other parts that I really enjoyed.

So overall, I did enjoy this book, I just wouldn’t go into it with your expectations as high as I had mine. I think it’s better to go into this book not trying to compare it to Harry Potter, which is really hard if you’ve read it. And even though it was similar to Harry Potter in many ways, it was also unique, and I liked a lot of D.E. Night’s decisions with where the plot went, or how the characters acted.

The Lovely Reckless

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The Lovely Reckless Kami Garcia

Genre: Romance

# of Pages: 374

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Ratings (out of 10):

Quality: 5

Pace: 7

Plot development: 5

Characters: 5

Enjoyability: 6

Ease of Reading: 10

Do I recommend this book?

I personally wouldn’t recommend it based on my feelings about this book, but I know a lot of people do like this book, so maybe read some other reviews and not just mine. 🙂

Summary from Goodreads:

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 Opinions (SPOILER FREE):

I’m not gonna lie, this book was kind of enjoyable to start with, but pretty quickly I got extremely annoyed with it.

I did not really like Frankie, the main character, at all from the start. She annoyed me throughout the entire book to the point where I couldn’t take it anymore so I just skimmed the last 100 pages.

The romance in this story was just wayyyyyy too rushed and it felt very unrealistic. The book as a whole felt very dramatic, and because of that it just didn’t feel realistic at all. I don’t mean to offend any Twilight fans out there, but this book reminded me a lot of Twilight, and I did not like Twilight.

I also didn’t like a lot of the messages or moral lessons that were included in this story. It basically just didn’t go the way I wanted it to at all.

The only reason this book got 3 stars (which I thought seemed pretty generous) was because I did enjoy like the first 100 pages, and I thought the story concept was a good idea. Kami Garcia just didn’t do a good job executing it. :/

Again, these are just my opinions and I know a lot of people did enjoy this book.