All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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My rating: ★★★★☆

Spoiler Free  Goodreads Summary: 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

My Thoughts: Okay let me start off by saying that this book surprised me big time. I didn’t know much about it and was just expecting a nice and sweet contemporary…Anyone who has read this knows that this book is not just a love story. This novel had such an impact on me and wrecked with my emotions.

I adored Violet’s and Finch’s relationship. They worked together so and I really appreciated how it still ended up being believable instead of making what they had something out of this world. On the other hand, I would have liked to see more of Violet’s thoughts on Finch in the beginning because I feel it was too much of “love at first sight” and it would have been nice to see a little bit of a resistance rather than Violet just letting Finch hold her hand straight off the bat. Other than that I really loved them together, especially the way Finch exposed her to all of the horrors in the world that she has ignored since Eleanor’s death which prepared her for living life on her own after high school and going back to writing which is something she seems to be very passionate about.

Spoilers Here (scroll to next paragraph if you haven’t read the novel): The ending came extremely unexpected to me. Even though it was obvious Finch was having some serious mental issues I never expected them to escalate so quickly. On his own he became a totally different person rather than when he was with Violet which seems to lead to her shock as well. I no joke was expecting Violet to actually find him well and alive at the end and this whole thing was his vanishing act but I secretly knew that wasn’t true and just didn’t want to release the true emotions that I was feeling about him being gone. I also find it incredible in how much he really changed Violet’s life in a positive way while going through everything he had going on. Violet learned how to live her life again instead of just avoided all her problems and getting her way out of almost everything due to the loss of her sister. Although she lost two very important people in her life, she had something Finch felt her never had which is time and time really does heal all.

Wrap Up (Spoiler Free): Overall I think this is a beautiful book that everyone should read. This novel has such a beautiful love story that has some roots to Romeo and Juliet. Putting the relationship aside, this novel teaches many valuable lessons in regards to suicide awareness, mental disorders, grief, loss, and suffering. The book by no means gives false hope in portraying loss as something that is easy to get over. There is no hiding that its gonna suck and hurt at first but it does get better if you surround yourself with the right people and just give it time.

Also, there is a movie coming out next year!!! Make sure you read the book before then and let me know what you thought!

Happy reading!- Catherine 🙂

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

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My rating: ★★★★☆

Since I’ve been in a serious dystopian fiction YA mood I thought I’d finally hop on the band wagon and give this book a shot. In the beginning we meet our protagonist Ruby at the very young age of ten. A disease known as IAAN is spreading throughout the world and killing off children, usually on their tenth birthday. The government does not seem to be very concerned with these children but is rather worried about the survivors who seem to hold new extraordinary mental abilities. In an attempt to control this, children are sent to “rehabilitation camps”, color coded based on their abilities, and treated in an inhumane fashion. After six years Ruby is still here when she starts to realize she is not like the rest of the kids and has some unrecognized abilities which may cost her life. She has no choice but to go on the run in an attempt to reach safety, but how can she do this when no one has every escaped?

Okay so this book was a crazy read for me with plenty of ups and downs. I picked it up awhile back and couldn’t really get into it. I feel like the beginning is quite slow and didn’t offer anything exciting that pulled me in which is why I had to give the book four not five stars. But I pushed through and I’m so happy I did. The book seems to instantly pick up a quarter of the way through with plenty of action and cliff hangers that made it impossible to put the book down.

When Ruby teams up with Liam, Chubs, and Zu I couldn’t stop smiling. Their friendship is so incredible and genuine but not fake at all. It was so sweet to see Ruby and Zu’s connection and how Zu grew into her own person. Chubs and Ruby on the other hand were absolutely hysterical together and total opposites. Liam and Ruby had an instant connection and the relationship between them grew so strong just as friends and later developed into something stronger. I appreciate that the author did not rush all of the relationships and made sure to emphasize the growth.

Another key aspect of the novel I enjoyed was watching Ruby discover herself and what she can truly do. She goes from never using her powers to learning how to navigate her strength. This is also very symbolic for Ruby coming to terms with who she is and even though she may be dangerous she needs to accept that since she will never change that.

Overall this book has a special place in my heart and I cannot wait to go out and get the second book and this needs to happen soon because I’m getting desperate.

Thanks for reading!! -Catherine

I’M BACK

Hey everyone!! I know I’ve been totally MIA for a good amount of time. I’ve had a lot going on in school and have just been super busy and I’m super sorry it’s been forever. I’m finally ready to get back into reviews so stay tuned! I might also start doing some other posts such as recommendations and hauls and what not so comment if you’d like to see that! Posts coming shortly! -Catherine 🙂

Edna in the Desert by Maddy Lederman

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My Rating: ★★★★★

Disclaimer- this book was sent to me in exchange for my honest review.

Edna is a 13 year old Beverly Hills teen. Her snide comments and disrespect towards her parents leads them to abandon her in the desert with her grandparents. Edna is in complete shock by this and now must do chores everyday and be respectful to her grandparents who live in the middle of nowhere. She has no idea how she will survive with no contact to the outside world. She tries everything she can in order to get out of this situation. But when Johnny, a handsome 17 year old that lives in town, appears she realizes that this summer might not be so bad after all.

I truly adored this book and everything about it. Edna is such a funny character which keeps the novel enjoyable and upbeat. No doubt she can be a real witch at times but that makes her even more entertaining. Throughout the book we see her develop from her old, self-centered self into someone who learns to appreciate everything around her and her condition in life. Johnny is another character that sparks lots of interest. It is evident that he is much more mature than Edna but there connection is so amazing.

Besides Edna and Johnny’s relationship, Edna’s relationship with her grandparents is beautiful as well. In the beginning she wants nothing to do with them but once she begins to understand both of them and what they have been through she finds herself looking up to each of them as well as the love they share.

Overall this was such an entertaining, quick read that has much more depth to it than I expected. A big thank you to Maddy for sending me this because it is such a beautiful story with incredible life lessons and morals weaved within. I recommend this book to anyone that is on the lookout for an entertaining and gorgeous read.

Thanks for reading! -Catherine 🙂

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

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My Rating: ★★★☆☆

Everything Everything is a novel about Madeline Whittier, a young girl who has SCID (Severe Combined Immunodeficiency). Her diagnosis is being allergic to the world which restricts her from leaving her home and living a normal, teenage-girl life. Maddy’s life consists of a lot of reading (same here except I have no excuse), online school, and an abundance of mother-daughter time. One day a boy names Olly moves in next door and his mysterious look and fun personality attracts her attention. After constantly watching him through her window they begin to communicate through means of IMing and window notes. After Olly visits her in her home, Maddy finds herself falling for this boy. She knows that being in love is not a logical option for her due to her restrictive lifestyle, but she finds it near impossible to remove Olly from her life.

Overall, Everything Everything is a good book. It was a quick and easy read that didn’t call for much thinking. Maddy and Olly’s relationship is one of my favorite parts of this book. Maddy has never had a relationship with someone her age which makes everything new and foreign to her. This causes the relationship to be very sweet and innocent. I found myself smiling on numerous occasions because of how adorable Olly and Maddy are.

Besides the relationship, I didn’t really enjoy a lot of this novel. I feel like nothing necessarily special was in its content. The book lacked depth in many circumstances, a main one being Maddy’s disease. I would have really loved to hear more about her SCID since I don’t have extended knowledge on it. Besides being rare and causing near death experiences, I learned nothing about SCID. The addition of this aspect would make the story much more intellectual and not just another YA romance.

Despite my opinion, I believe you should definitely read this book and gather your own opinion on it. Although I can’t necessarily say so, many people are over the moon in love with this book. If you have read it or are planing to do so, let me know! I’d love to hear everyone else’s opinion.

Thanks for reading! -Catherine 🙂

The One by Kiera Cass

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The One by Kiera Cass is the third book in The Selection series and wraps up the story told by America. The novel has such an amazing start. I found myself laughing out loud on the plane at America’s attempt to be seductive towards Maxon. The story circled around the rebels and what exactly their plans are and why they do what they do. America and Maxon go as far as leaving the castle to meet up with August and Georgia in order to get insider information. The southern rebels have taken things to a new level and are killing people by cast in relation to the castes of the remaining girls in the selection. Maxon and America find their relationship building back up due to this new found connection. However, America’s constant misbehavior in the castle could mean cost her the chance to be with Maxon due to the king’s dislike of America.

I give this book a 5/5 stars.

We learn so many new things about each of the characters in this book. We get an inside scoop on how each of the girls truly acts when placed in hard situations that they might not see acceptable. America’s bravery and loyalty shines through every time and I found myself rooting for her more than ever before.

Maxon’s love and compassion for America is so noticeable throughout the book. He risks his life numerous times just to make sure she is safe. Their relationship is filled with arguments and rough patches which makes me love it even more. Even when they are arguing, the two manage to stay connected and never lose touch of one another.

I really can’t put into words how much I love this book. From the relationships to love to war and conflict I found myself not able to put it down. I read through this book in one day and it hurts to only give it 5/5 stars. This book deserves 5000 stars. The ending was so touching and suspenseful and I was filled with anxiety and stress for all the characters. This is the first book that has made me cry since the fifth book of Harry Potter which says a lot. I will read the rest of the series very soon but for now I need to let the amazingness of America and Maxon’s story sink in.

Thanks for reading!! -Catherine 🙂

The Elite by Kiera Cass

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The Elite by Kiera Cass is the second novel in The Selection series. The novel picks back up in the castle when there are only six girls left in the selection, also known as the elite. America finds herself in a very hard situation since she is unsure if a princess’s life is the one for her, however she is falling for Prince Maxon. On the other hand, her long time love Aspen is working as a guard in the castle and is also trying to win her affection back.

In this book, lots of exciting events take place. Families come to visit, the first ever Halloween party in years takes place, and maybe even America’s leave from the selection occurs. The novel offers a look into exactly where America stands in both of her relationships with the guys and also provides her own inner feelings of the possibility to take on such large responsibilities.

I gave this book a 4/5 stars.

The book had so many parts that I absolutely loved and fell in love with. We got to learn so much more about America’s character and her amazing loyalty to her friends and the true power of love. There are also a great deal of suspenseful events that occur in this book that left me hanging on the edge of my seat.

I personally adore America and Maxon’s relationship. It is very awkward and quirky at times but it also has rough matches which proves how much they care for one another in order to push through that. Its not that I don’t like Aspen its just the fact that every time him and America are sneaking around the castle I feel like someone is going to get canned and it gives me such bad anxiety.

I really enjoyed this book but I feel a much stronger connection to the first book which is why I gave this one four stars. I feel that the first book is just more captivating and is overall more interesting  and dramatic. But, this was an amazing book and I am involve with this series.

I’ve already started the next book so look out for a review soon! Thanks -Catherine 🙂

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

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Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson takes place in Stanwich Connecticut. Emily and Sloane are a package deal and are always together. Sloane is outgoing and flirty while Emily is shy and quiet and commonly known as “Sloane’s friend.”When summer rolls around Sloane is no longer answering her cell phone and her house is abandoned. Emily is very depressed and crawls back into her shell since she always relies on Sloane when it comes to social confrontations.

One day a letter comes in the mail for Emily from Sloane. It is a list of 13 things to do and once she is finished, Emily must find Sloane. All of the items on the list are things that Emily would never do and she has no idea why Sloane would have her do such crazy and insane things, however Emily has to do this if she ever wants to see her best friend again.

By doing all of the things on the list, Emily soon finds herself making new friends that she would have never met otherwise. Frank, Collins, and Dawn take on all of these adventures that have possibly given them the best summer ever. This list may be the reason that Emily finally stands out in a crowd and can finally hold her own and be independent.

I give this book 5/5 stars without a doubt.

I am so crazy for this book. From the moment I picked it up I knew that I would love it. Firstly, I love the little town that Morgan has created n which all of her books take place. It is so funny to read about a place that the characters are going to while you already felt like you’ve been there. I also adore the relationships Morgan creates between all of the characters in this book. It is so amazing to hear how perfect of a friendship Sloane and Emily have but it was even better to experience Emily’s new ones. I found myself smiling at all the times Frank and Emily were together and how awkward it was in the beginning of the novel and how it soon developed into something so much more.

Finally, I fell in love with the adventure aspect of the book. Reading about Emily accomplish all of these things was so suspenseful and entertaining. It is so nice to see how Emily changed after each thing she crossed off the list. Her growth is so incredible in this book and it proves how much of a deeper meaning Sloane’s list has instead of just allowing Emily to have a good summer.

I REALLY enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who is looking for an easy, fast-paced contemporary that will put you in a feel-good summer mood.

Thanks for reading! -Catherine 🙂

The Selection by Kiera Cass

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I know everyone on the face of the earth has read this series already but yes, I did just get to it.

In The Selection we follow America, a teenager who lives with and supports her family. Her family is ranked as a five in society meaning that they are relatively low on the social ladder. They make a living through the arts and can barely support all five of the children. America is the middle daughter and has quite a lot of responsibility when it comes to providing for the house considering her two older siblings are now living independently. America is involved in a secret relationship with Aspen- a six.

When the selection comes around America wants no part in it what so ever. However, the girls that are chosen are compensated which is why her family encourages her to enter. 35 girls are chosen to stay in the palace with the royal family while Prince Maxon decides who he would like to marry. When America turns out to be one of those girls her entire life is flipped. She is away from Aspen while competing for someone else’s affection. She convinces herself that she is only staying for the food and the money but who knows how her feelings will develop.

I undoubtedly give this book a 5/5 stars. I was sucked right into the story and I could not put the book down.

I am a big fan of America’s character and her personality. She is strong-willed and knows what she wants. She will do anything to help out her family and the ones that she loves no matter what and I strongly admire that trait. She is someone you want to be friends with for she is loyal and always there when you need her. However, she is stubborn and sassy which just makes her character ten times more amazing.

Throughout the book you can truly see how the relationships of character’s relationships develop. America and Maxon’s relationship is one of the most amazing because of its awkward quirkiness but also its affection.

There are no words to truly describe how much I love this book. It reminds me of the bachelor with a bit of hunger games (idk it just does) and its just perfection. I seriously need to get my hands on the rest of the series before I go mad.

Thanks for reading! -Catherine 🙂

An Average Curse by Rue

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Disclaimer-This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review

An Average Curse takes place on a magical island that is secluded from the rest of the world. Flynn Hawthorn, the child of the prophecy, is said to be the savior and will ultimately protect her entire village from the evils of the Shadow Coven. But, how is she supposed to this if she has no magick abilities? Flynn is said to be a watcher, someone who cannot perform any magic. This is very strange since legend has it that she will be the most powerful in the land which leads her to believe that she is cursed.

Flynn is constantly running around with her best friend Hazel who tries her best to limit her magick while with Flynn. One day they find themselves in Dreamwood Forest which is inhabited by mystical creatures. They run into the woman of the woods: Pounamu. Pounamu is a very wise old woman who validates the girls of the prophecy and ensures that Flynn will be the protector, with or without magick.

The girls find themselves in a position that can ultimately be the death of them. They have the duty to protect their village while also keeping what they know a secret. Oh and lets not forget dealing with magick school while you cannot perform magick is not the easiest task. Flynn has some big expectations to fill and doesn’t want to be a disappointment to all.

I found the story as a whole very captivating and entertaining. Being a huge fan of fantasy novels explains my liking of this novel. I feel like the first few chapters were a little bit all over the place if not slightly confusing. It was hard to grasp the concept of the magick world in the beginning but I pushed through that and was soon surprised to encounter a very intriguing concept.

Overall, the characters were very entertaining. The two best friends portrayed the true power of old friendship plus the inclusion of some new relationships. And no worries, the book is not missing your beloved mean girl.

The novel ended with quit a cliff hanger which really makes me want to read the next book. I appreciated how the well written ending which truly strengthens the desire to read the second part of this series.

I give this book a 4/5 stars.

A big thank you to Rue for this book and thanks to everyone for reading! -Catherine 🙂