Avenged

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Avenged by Amy Tintera

Genre: Fantasy

# of Pages: 407

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Ratings (out of 10):

Quality: 8

Pace: 9

Plot development: 8

Characters: 9

Enjoyability: 8

Ease of Reading: 8

Do I recommend this book?

Yes, I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys action/romance-filled fantasy novels

Summary from Goodreads:

A war that will fuel her. A bond that will destroy her.

Emelina Flores has come home to Ruina. After rescuing her sister, Olivia, from imprisonment in rival kingdom Lera, Em and Olivia together vow to rebuild Ruina to its former glory.

But just because Em and Olivia are out of Lera doesn’t mean they are safe. Their actions over the past year have had consequences, and they are now targets of retaliation. Olivia will destroy everyone who acts against Ruina. Em isn’t as sure.

Ever since Em posed as Prince Casimir’s betrothed in Lera, she’s started to see another side to this war. Lera may have destroyed the Ruined for decades, but Em knows that Cas is different. And now that he’s taken the throne, Em believes a truce is within reach. But Olivia suspects that Em’s romantic feelings for Cas are just coloring her judgement.

Em is determined to bring peace to her home. But when winning the war could mean betraying her family, she faces an impossible choice between loyalty and love. Em must stay one step ahead of her enemies—and her blood—before she’s the next victim in this battle for sovereignty.

My Opinions (SPOILER FREE):

This is the sequel to Ruined, and while it was a pretty good sequel, there were still times when it suffered from second book syndrome.

At times it felt like there wasn’t really any point to this book, but at the same time, it was still enjoyable. I could just tell that this book was really only written as a filler book to set up for the third one.

There were some really good moments/scenes throughout this book that made it enjoyable.

I really liked the fact that there were other characters in this book (other than Em and Cas) who played key roles in the story.

I also liked that the romance kind of took a back seat in this book. Yes, I do love the romance, but the action in this story is just as good, and I loved seeing a lot of it. There’s also some great humor in this book that worked really well to kind of lighten the mood of the whole story.

This book overall has a lot of fun action and violence, and I loved it all. It really helped move the plot along and create an exciting story to read.

My only other complaint about this book was that I found it to be confusing at times. There were some points throughout this book where I got really confused and had no idea what was going on.

Overall, I definitely recommend this book, but just be warned that it’s not as good as the first book, in my opinion.

Ruined

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Ruined  by Amy Tintera

Genre: Fantasy

# of Pages: 355

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Ratings (out of 10):

Quality: 9

Pace: 10

Plot development: 10

Characters: 10

Enjoyability: 10

Ease of Reading: 10

Do I recommend this book?

Yes, especially to anyone who enjoyed books like The Selection or Red Queen.

Summary from Goodreads:

Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped.

But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.

In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.

Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.

My Opinions (SPOILER FREE):

This was a very good book. It was like a thrilling combination of The Selection and Red Queen, two other books that I love. I loved the plot, the characters, and basically everything else about this book. The only thing I didn’t like about this book was that I felt like I had read a lot of other books with very similar plots, and because of that I kind of knew where the story was going.

I thought the writing was really good, and it did a great job of keeping me invested in this  story. I was really eager to see how this book was going to end. There was a lot of action that kept the plot moving along really well.

The romance was also fantastic and swoon-worthy, in my opinion. Even though it was very predictable, I loved the way the two characters made each other into better, stronger characters.

Overall I do recommend this book. I highly enjoyed it, and I will be continuing on with the series.

Alex & Eliza

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Alex & Eliza by Melissa De La Cruz

Genre: Romance/Historical Fiction

# of Pages: 358

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Do I recommend this book?

Yes, but would honestly probably only recommend it to people who enjoy historical fiction and romance. If you want to read this book just because you love Hamilton the musical, you may be really disappointed by the end of this book, like I was.

Ratings (out of 10):

Quality: 7

Pace: 7

Plot development: 6

Characters: 7

Enjoyability: 6

Ease of Reading: 9

Summary from Goodreads:

As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival that of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.

Still, she can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck—as an orphan, and a bastard one at that—to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.

My Opinions (SPOILER FREE):

So I’m not gonna lie, I only picked up this book because I love Hamilton, the musical. I went into this book with super high expectations, expecting this really touching story about Eliza and how she dealt with being Hamilton’s wife. Instead, this book was only about Eliza and Hamilton’s story before they got married. The book didn’t mention anything regarding Philip and his death, or Maria Reynolds, or Burr, or any of that stuff that is core of the musical.

Basically, this book just wasn’t about what I wanted, so I didn’t really like it. I also didn’t like the way any of the characters were portrayed. I didn’t like Alex, Eliza, Peggy, or Angelica. None of them were portrayed the way I imagined them.

The only thing I did like was seeing some of the interactions between Alex and Eliza. There were very cute parts of their love story that I didn’t know.

Overall, I think the reason I didn’t like this book was because my expectations were too high.

Words in Deep Blue

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Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Genre: Contemporary

# of Pages: 269

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Do I recommend this book?

Absolutely! It was so beautiful and touching.

Ratings (out of 10):

Quality: 10

Pace: 10

Plot development: 10

Characters: 10

Enjoyability: 10

Ease of Reading: 10

Summary from Goodreads:

Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came.

Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore.

As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.

My Opinions (SPOILER FREE):

I really really enjoyed this story a lot. I thought it was such a beautiful and unique story. It was so unlike any other YA contemporary that I’ve read because it was just so touching and beautiful and made me feel so many feelings. It was also a unique story, and not like any other plot that I’ve heard or read about.

This is overall a very adorable, yet sad story. There were lots of great quotes and hidden meanings that really touched my heart.

The setting and characters were just everything to me. It was such a well written story with beautiful writing and I just fell in love with the whole thing.

I was highly anticipating this book and it most definitely did not disappoint me.

The Traitor’s Kiss

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The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty

Genre: Fantasy

# of Pages: 342

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Do I recommend this book?

Yes, I think if you like anything like The Selection by Kiera Cass that you’ll like this book.

Ratings (out of 10):

Quality: 8

Pace: 8

Plot development: 8

Characters: 8

Enjoyability: 8

Ease of Reading: 10

Summary from Goodreads:

An obstinate girl who will not be married.
A soldier desperate to prove himself.
A kingdom on the brink of war.

With a sharp tongue and an unruly temper, Sage Fowler is not what they’d call a lady―which is perfectly fine with her. Deemed unfit for marriage, Sage is apprenticed to a matchmaker and tasked with wrangling other young ladies to be married off for political alliances. She spies on the girls―and on the soldiers escorting them.

As the girls’ military escort senses a political uprising, Sage is recruited by a handsome soldier to infiltrate the enemy ranks. The more she discovers as a spy, the less certain she becomes about whom to trust―and Sage becomes caught in a dangerous balancing act that will determine the fate of her kingdom.

My Opinions (SPOILER FREE):

This was a pretty good story that I enjoyed reading. It reminded me a lot of like an intense version of The Selection, and I loved The Selection. I really did enjoy this book, but parts of it were really confusing and I had no idea what was going on, and even by the end there were still things that I didn’t understand.

The thing that really made this book stand out to me was the way the romance was written. Erin Beaty did a fantastic job with the romance. I couldn’t get enough of it. It was so perfect.

I don’t have anything else really to say. I do recommend this book, just make sure you pay attention when you read it or you’ll get really lost like I did.

 

 

When Dimple Met Rishi

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When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandy Menon

Genre: Contemporary/Romance

# of Pages: 380

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Do I recommend this book?

Absolutely, it was a very cute story that I recommend to anyone who likes contemporaries.

Ratings (out of 10):

Quality: 10

Pace: 10

Plot development: 10

Characters: 10

Enjoyability: 10

Ease of Reading: 10

Summary from Goodreads:

A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

My Opinions (SPOILER FREE):

This was such  great story. I loved the uniqueness of the whole thing. I have never read any YA contemporary like this before.

I absolutely adored the characters so much. Dimple and Rishi both had great qualities that made this story all the more interesting. They really worked well together even though they were very different.

There were also great side characters, and a great “sub-plot” that was going on on the side. This was a very character driven story, and I was a little worried that I would get bored, but I didn’t because there was lots of interesting stuff happening on the side with the other characters and the plot.

This was overall a very cute and funny story, but it also felt so real which I really appreciated. And because of these things, I highly recommend When Dimple Met Rishi.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean

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Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Genre: Contemporary/Romance

# of Pages: 325

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Do I recommend this book?

Yes! I do. I definitely recommend this trilogy as a whole.

Ratings (out of 10):

Quality:  8

Pace: 10

Plot development: 7

Characters: 9

Enjoyability: 9

Ease of Reading: 10

Summary from Goodreads:

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

My Opinions (SPOILER FREE):

This was a very cute, adorable story overall, but a lot was left unresolved for me. And that was disappointing because I felt like the whole point of this book was to conclude everything that had been left unresolved after the second book. But a lot of the unresolved things from book 2 weren’t resolved in this book either.

The plot of this book was also not very strong. Not a lot was going on, and I got a little bored sometimes.

Overall, I don’t have a whole lot to say about this book. It was a short book, but I think Jenny Han did a pretty good job of wrapping things up. I’m glad I read this book, I was just hoping for some more satisfaction.

I do recommend this trilogy as a whole for sure, and I think the second book was my favorite, although it’s been a really long time since I’ve read the first book, so I don’t know for sure.