Life Among Pages

Book Reviews and Personal Musings

Tag: REVIEW (Page 1 of 4)

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera | Review

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Cover for What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silveria with Harry Potter wand, Baby Driver movie tickets and Hamiliton soundtrack cover image

4 Stars


“I barely know him. I guess that is every relationship. You start with nothing and maybe end with everything.” 
I feel quite conflicted by this book. On one hand it was a super cute, enjoyable, lighthearted read. When I first saw the title I immediately thought of the song from Dear Evan Hansen and once I started reading the book I knew that was Becky and Adam’s intention, especially as the lyrics are split to form the different parts of the book: “What If”, “It’s Us”, “And Only Us”.

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated. Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough? What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play? But what if it is?” Summary from Goodreads

“I’m just going to live in the moment. That’s the only way to see where we end up.” 

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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli | Review

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Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda book surrounded by paper stars

5 stars


“People really are like house with vast rooms and tiny windows. And maybe it’s a good thing, the way we never stop surprising each other.”

This book was recommended to me so many times, and finally last year I got it for my birthday. I couldn’t wait to read it, especially when the film adaption was announced and I finished the book before seeing the film, and oh my God they did so well. Sure  there were changes but nothing too major that spoiled my enjoyment.

I loved this book so much, my heart was just bursting with love for Simon and Blue by the end and I’m kicking myself for having not read this sooner.

‘Sixteen-year-old and not so openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met’ (Summary from Goodreads).

“It is definitely annoying that straight (and white, for that matter) is the default, and that the only people who have to think about their identity are the ones who don’t fit that mould. Straight people really should have to come out, and the more awkward it is, the better. Awkwardness should be a requirement.”

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Library Of Souls by Ransom Riggs | Review

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All three covers of the Miss Peregrine series, including Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Hollow City, and Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs, surrounded by the vintage photos from the books included in the hardcover boxset

4 stars

“What a beautiful day to go to hell” 

This was a great continuation in the series, this might be my favourite of the Peregrine’s series. This was insanely action packed, lots of twists and character reveals, I was hooked.

When I was reading Library of Souls I thought it was the final book in the series, the ending was nicely wrapped up. However, at the time of writing this a fourth book, Map of Days, has been published, which surprised me. So I’ll be interested to see where the series goes from here.

“The adventure that began with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and continued in Hollow City comes to a thrilling conclusion with Library of Souls. As the story opens, sixteen-year-old Jacob discovers a powerful new ability, and soon he’s diving through history to rescue his peculiar companions from a heavily guarded fortress. Accompanying Jacob on his journey are Emma Bloom, a girl with fire at her fingertips, and Addison MacHenry, a dog with a nose for sniffing out lost children.

They’ll travel from modern-day London to the labyrinthine alleys of Devil’s Acre, the most wretched slum in all of Victorian England. It’s a place where the fate of peculiar children everywhere will be decided once and for all. Like its predecessors, Library of Souls blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience”Summary from Goodreads.

“There was something sweet about holding a tangible thing that had been touched and marked upon by someone I loved.”

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Hollow City by Ransom Riggs | Review

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Miss Peregrines: Hollow City by Ransom Riggs beside vintage photos that are included in the hardcover box set edition of the series and with a canvas pouch featuring a quote from the book on it.

4 stars


“I liked this idea: that peculiarness wasn’t a deficiency, but an abundance; that it wasn’t we who lacked something normals had, but they who lacked peculiarness. That we were more, not less.”

I thoroughly enjoyed this, it’s a great continuation of the series. It picks up directly where the previous book left off, with them rowing away from the island of Cairnholm. The high stakes were great, the time sensitive mission added a lot to the story. I also like the new additions and knowledge about the peculiar world we received.

“This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly mesmerising) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages”Summary from Goodreads.

“We aren’t so different. Outcasts and wanderers all—souls clinging to the margins of the world.”

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The Loneliness of Distant Beings by Kate Ling | Review

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cover of the Loneliness of Distant Beings by Kate Ling, beside purple fake flowers, and Read Under the Stars bookmark by CreateExploreRead

2.5 stars


“It is that quick, it is that strong, it is that beautiful. And it is totally impossible.” 

I had a strange relationship with The Loneliness of Distant Beings, it held my interest enough when I was actively reading but as soon as I put it down to do something else it would all fade from memory and I didn’t feel like I had to pick it back up. I just sort of felt a bit meh about it all.

“Even though she knows it’s impossible, Seren longs to have the sunshine on her skin. It’s something she feels she needs to stay sane. But when you’re floating through space at thousands of kilometres an hour, sometimes you have to accept there are things you cannot change.

Except that the arrival of Dom in her life changes everything in ways she can barely comprehend. For a while he becomes the Sun for her; and she can’t help but stay in his orbit. Being with him flaunts every rule designed to keep their home in order, but to lose him would be like losing herself.

In the end they must decide what is most important: loyalty to the only home they’ve ever known, or to each other?” Summary from Goodreads.

Please be advised there are some spoilers beyond this point.

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This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab | Review

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Cover for This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab surrounded by paper stars and tally marks

4 stars


“We each have a song. A piece of music that belongs only to us, something we’re born with, like a fingerprint.”

This Savage Song was different to what I imagined, not that I had a clear idea of what I expected. There was just a lot of hype about this book and the author all over Instagram when this book was published, and I always feel a little dubious whenever there is a lot of hype. But after reading the blurb I was definitely intrigued, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

“There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.” Summary from Goodreads

“The beautiful thing about books was that anyone could open them.”

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A Court Of Thorns And Roses by Sarah J. Maas | Review

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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, with a Belle (from Beauty and the Beast) pop funko with a fake red rose and a golden rose bookmark

4 stars

“Don’t feel bad for one moment about doing what brings you joy.” 

I was very nervous about starting this series, there is so much love and hype online that it is rather intimidating. But oh boy! A Court of Thorns and Roses is amazing. The world is so rich and vibrant, Sarah’s world building is fantastic I could imagine the Spring Court so vividly.

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever” – Summary from Goodreads.

“I was as unburdened as a piece of dandelion fluff, and he was the wind that stirred me about the world.” 

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All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven | Review

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4 stars

“You’re all the colours at one, in full brightness.”

All The Bright Places is a very powerful book. It had me wondering about how it would end, because as the story progresses you know it can only end one of two ways with both main characters alive or one not so alive.

‘Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
 
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
 
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.’ (Summary from Goodreads)

“It’s my experience that people are a lot more sympathetic if they can see you hurting, and for the millionth time in my life I wish for measles or smallpox or some other easily understood disease just to make it easier on me and also on them.” 

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Editing Emma by Chloe Seager | ARC Review

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Cover of Editing Emma, lying next to my macbook Pro, with its Karen hallion laptop skin which features the 10th doctor and Hermione Granger, with a life and goals journal and pen

3.5 stars

THANK YOU TO HARLEQUIN TEEN AUSTRALIA & NETGALLEY FOR GIVING ME AN EGALLEY OF THIS BOOK IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW

This was definitely an interesting read that was quite different to what I expected it; from the blurb below I thought it would be quite similar to Zoe Sugg’s Girl Online series, but it was definitely more mature and looked into the darker side of the web.

“When sixteen-year-old Emma Nash is ‘ghosted’ by the love of her life Leon Naylor, she does what any normal teenage girl would do… Emma spends the summer lurking in her bedroom, avoiding all human contact (and the shower), surrounded by the collection of chewit wrappers she saved from packs Leon gave her, back when he actually acknowledged her existence…

But seeing Leon suddenly ‘In a relationship’ on Facebook with the perfect Anna, spurs Emma into action and she embarks on a mission to make positive changes to her life (or ‘edits,’ if you will) and vows to use the internet for more than obsessively stalking Leon’s activities! Instead, she will use it for good and noble causes like finding someone who will actually be nice to her, and recording her findings for the rest of the world to see (i.e. BFF Steph and her mum) on her new Editing Emma blog.

But Emma soon discovers her ‘habit’ is harder to break than she first thought – turns out she’s not the only one ‘editing’ herself online (thank you Tinder for finding her mum’s profile, age 35, really?) and that life through an Instagram filter isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. But it could be worse, she could have outed her best friend, accidentally chatted up a 12 year old boy and revealed to the world why Leon Naylor is worth no girl’s time or virginity… oh no wait, that’s exactly what happened…” (Summary from Goodreads)

“EVIDENCE: Heed my warning. DO NOT make life decisions that will actually affect your future based around someone you like. Even if you think you may ‘love’ them. It is not worth it. You will end up like me. I am doing a whole extra AS level because I am an idiot.” 

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Am I Normal Yet? By Holly Bourne | Review

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Am I Normal Yet cover, on scattered pages surrounded by polaroid pictures of my friends and I

5 stars

I absolutely loved Am I Normal Yet? I thought it was just incredibly well written and was honest about mental health. Which we need more of in today’s world. I am so happy with the surge of YA books featuring various forms of mental health hitting the shelves recently. Showing teens that its okay to feel this way and will hopefully gets them to seek help.

‘All Evie wants is to be normal. She’s almost off her meds and at a new college where no one knows her as the girl-who-went-crazy. She’s even going to parties and making friends. There’s only one thing left to tick off her list…

But relationships are messy – especially relationships with teenage guys. They can make any girl feel like they’re going mad. And if Evie can’t even tell her new friends Amber and Lottie the truth about herself, how will she cope when she falls in love?’Summary from Goodreads

“It was like I’d climbed Everest, had the summit in my sight, the flag in my hand, all ready to pierce it into the top of the mountain and say, “Whoopdedoo, I made it,” and then an avalanche from out of nowhere swept me right back to the bottom of the mountain again.”

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