Broken Things (Lauren Oliver)

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Buy link:
https://amzn.to/2D8XtQf

It’s been five years since Summer Marks was brutally murdered in the woods. 

Everyone thinks Mia and Brynn killed their best friend. That driven by their obsession with a novel called The Way into Lovelorn the three girls had imagined themselves into the magical world where their fantasies became twisted, even deadly.

The only thing is: they didn’t do it. 

On the anniversary of Summer’s death, a seemingly insignificant discovery resurrects the mystery and pulls Mia and Brynn back together once again. But as the lines begin to blur between past and present and fiction and reality, the girls must confront what really happened in the woods all those years ago—no matter how monstrous.


“But maybe the magic, like Lovelorn, never really existed: just another memory to let go.”

I feel like these stories are being done way too often in the YA genre now. The alpha, bossy, controlling female, and the weaker friends following in said friend’s footsteps. Not to mention, one of the friends has an obsessive crush on the other friend, and alas all of the problems start. And then you get to the plot and mystery aspects that the author is trying hard to create and then poof! here you are at the ending.

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I do have to say though, the opening to this book was strong and grabbed my attention from the get-go but I feel like after you rush through the first two chapters you’re ultimately being set up for a slow 75% of a book. And I…mean…s l o w. Everything starts getting messy and lost in translation and when that happened I had a hard time keeping everything straight.

The characters were not the strongest points in this book and for a book that is mostly character driven, that can be a huge let down.  Not only that, but the plot execution was not one of my favorites. The reason Summer was murdered was not only underwhelming but it also felt super underdeveloped. Give me more than a 1-2 page explanation as to what happened, I wasn’t there, so I need those pieces to put it all together, the author can’t just expect me to know.

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What I did like about the book was the way the past and present were all woven together. Initially, I did struggle with it in the very beginning but it got better as the chapters got shorter and went on. I seem to enjoy when books do this though, setting us up to experience what happened to the characters eventually. The build up is fun, however, when not executed well, it can be a bummer once you get to the end.

“That’s the thing about hearts. They don’t get put back together, not really. They just get patched. But the damage is still there.”

The story inside of the story, Lovelorn, didn’t interest me in the least bit. I skimmed a lot of because I couldn’t figure out why it needed to be included. Sure, the whole book is based around it but a few of the scenes that were shared seemed to be more of fillers than serving an actual point to the plot.

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While I didn’t necessarily love the book, I feel like I could have read it all in one sitting and I would be lying if I said it didn’t attract me in a lot of places. The plot and characters had a lot of potential, I just felt like the author didn’t take well enough care of them. She was too focused on the shock factor of the story, which wasn’t at all shocking.

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (Taylor Jenkins Reid)

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From Taylor Jenkins Reid comes an unforgettable and sweeping novel about one classic film actress’s relentless rise to the top—the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Filled with emotional insight and written with Reid’s signature talent, this is a fascinating journey through the splendor of Old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it takes—to face the truth.

I’m currently very emotional after finishing this book (mind you, I had to pace myself) and I’ll give you two words as to why:

EVELYN HUGO

First, I want to start off by saying that every Taylor Jenkins Reid book packs a powerful as hell message but this one takes all of the cake and sprinkles. And I promise you, you won’t even see half of what happens coming.

Evelyn’s complex character is way more than what the reader bargains for. But this reader was hooked. I felt like I was getting to know her just like Monique was and I was falling in love with her every step of the way. From a readers perspective, that’s how relationships are formed with characters. We as readers NEED that feeling of bonding.

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I do want to bring light to the secondary characters that are involved in this book. Harry. Celia. Connor. They all bring something so magical to the story itself. They bring something magical to Evelyn and it shows. You can literally feel it radiating off of the pages. Every time Evelyn speaks of these characters speak, you feel it.

I’ve never read a book that goes in-depth of the early Hollywood times but I’m so glad that I did. TJR did a spectacular job making the tone of the book reflect the time frame of the story. And that wrapped me up in a warm bundle of love with Evelyn and her story all the more quicker.

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This book is more than just husbands. Seven of them to be exact. It’s about so much more than that. It’s beautiful, heartbreaking, and moving. I’m completely ready to accept the fact that Taylor Jenkins Reid does not write a bad book.

This is Evelyn Hugo. And she’s magnificent and beautiful and open for the world to finally see her. And personally, she couldn’t have done a better job if she tried.

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Letters to the Lost (Brigid Kemmerer)

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Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.


WOAH. Holy emotional overload! I really enjoyed this book way more than I had anticipated I would, and that’s always a plus for me. If I hadn’t had life to tend to, I could have read this book in one sitting easily.

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“One day isn’t your whole life. A day is just a day.”

My favorite part of this entire book was the RAW emotions. The realness of it all just felt pleasing to me.

The sparks and the relationships.
The struggles and the overcome fears.
The strengths and the downsides.
The ugly part of it. The beautiful part of it.

It was all so wonderfully wrote that my heart actually felt tugged at. A couple of times actually.

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Another one of my favorite things about this book was although a lot of the situations could have been “cliches” the author did an excellent job at executing all of the events to where they weren’t predictable or over dramatic. She stuck to what she wanted to and instead of making everything so predictable, she threw wrenches in our predictions. Kind of like saying “hey, take THAT!” to her readers while we are already sniffing our noses all misty eyed.

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At times though, Juliet’s judging of Declan really pushed on my nerves. The way she treated him, the things she said to him, it was all just overwhelming and frustrating to me because when we get her POV she doesn’t seem like that type of person, but 80% of the time when she’s around Declan she’s judging him. Pushing. Degrading. Struggling. This was my downfall. Her struggles wore on her and in return she took it out on every one around her, including the people who had been there for her since day 1.

There are not enough words of praise to explain to you what I felt for Rev; Declan’s calm and sense of direction. His relationship with Declan was just what the story needed and for that I’m grateful. BUT, with that being said: I want more on him. There’s this huge hole in his plot and I want it. I want it real bad.

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All in all, an incredible read I’d recommend to anyone! Well, unless you don’t like feelings and happiness and redemption and hope. Then, probably not for you.

The Hating Game (Sally Thorne)

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Nemesis (n.)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.
Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.


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What an adorable read. And not only was it adorable, the entire book had me in complete stitches. Straight up cackling and snorting. And. It even a single boring moment. I can hardly believe this is the author’s debut novel but man, she knocked it out of the park.

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I want to note that very rarely do I ever read a book and think “wow! This would make a great movie!” But I mean it wholeheartedly with The Hating Game. This book would make a kick ass movie.

With that being said, one of the things I really enjoyed about this story was the author keeps you on your toes and constantly waiting and wanting and wanting but let me tell you what…

IT IS ALL SO WORTH IT.

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So worth it! I was not disappointed at all with Josh and Lucy’s relationship or the pacing of it. The dynamic of the two was so satisfying to me I could have read about them for hours on end. The burn was slow and so good. They weren’t cheesy and their dialogue was entertaining and witty and my eyes didn’t roll a single time! I know, I can hardly believe it either.

My only complaint is how abrupt the ending was. Maybe another chapter or two would have sufficed. Something to explain how everything ends, especially job wise for Lucy. I was very intrigued on how all of that would go but alas! I was left hanging.

The Hating Game was a great change of pace for me. Especially since I don’t ever read these types of books. If you’re ever looking for a light, funny, and romantic read I would totally vote for this book! Sit back and enjoy the cuteness. Savor it. Try not to fall in love with Josh.

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When We Collided (Emery Lord)

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We are seventeen and shattered and still dancing. We have messy, throbbing hearts, and we are stronger than anyone could ever know…

Jonah never thought a girl like Vivi would come along.

Vivi didn’t know Jonah would light up her world.

Neither of them expected a summer like this…a summer that would rewrite their futures.

In an unflinching story about new love, old wounds, and forces beyond our control, two teens find that when you collide with the right person at just the right time, it will change you forever.


Ugh.

First and foremost I want to say this about When We Collided: Please. For the love of all things, do not add romance to a story just to have it there.

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The romance in the book was way too forced for me. As I stated above, I honestly don’t even feel like romance should have been included in this story at all. Leave it alone. It was a complete moot point and a huge bore for me. There was no process, no “moments”, no feelings, no…nothing. Just insta-love and blank spaces of what was supposed two teenagers falling in love.

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Mental illness or not, Vivi was an awful character to read a book about. Her POV was a headache. I imagine that is the type of person she would be in person too. A walking, talking headache. Bye.

The plot was…wait, what was the plot? I don’t think there was one. Honestly it just felt like Vivi and Jonah going back and forth, having a pissing content as to who had it worse and who was having the worst day. So…where is the plot?

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The writing was nothing special to me. It didn’t blow my mind and it didn’t spark any interest within myself towards any of the story. The best part of the entire book was Jonah’s family. Not even Jonah. That’s sad to me.

I feel like if the author could have left the romance out of this book and focused on the mental illness and Vivi’s health it could have had a lot more potential. But, can’t win em all.

 

The Silver Cage (Anonymous)

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A bitter, mysterious author. A young and naive journalist. A tragic past, a dark secret, and an unforgettable tale of passion and love.


I’m really sure how to explain myself about this book without giving spoilers. But I’ll do my best. If a spoiler tag is necessary- please shoot me a message. I’d rather be safe than sorry.

First and foremost I want to say this and leave it at that: this genre, is not for me. I take sole responsibility for reading and not liking this book for that reason alone. I didn’t do my research (I don’t read blurbs, categories, comments, etc) so ultimately I read a book about a genre I do not typically ever read. I take responsibility for that.

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I also had a really hard time with the way the son was absent. You don’t choose children over your parents approval (read the book to understand what I mean). No one does that. So, I had a really hard time accepting the fact that the son was no longer in the picture. Probably because I’m a parent myself, it just isn’t imaginable for me.

With all of that being said- I loved the writing. The book gets three stars a lot for poetic and flowy writing. I have a reasonable idea as to who wrote the book and if I’m right, I’m not surprised. They’re writing is out of this world any other time as well. The story itself (in my own opinion) was not great. It was filled with plot holes and to me, completely random.

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Also, I don’t feel as if this book is as “trigger warning” worthy as every one is saying. It’s not detailed, it’s not brought up a lot, it’s just known what this character does. That’s it. Even the other event is not graphic, it’s mentioned, and it happens but, it’s not graphic. Not to say someone else might not agree with me, but to me it just isn’t as graphic as the warnings let on.

Basically- I should do more research about books. I probably won’t, because I don’t like doing that. Surprise is so much better for me. But if you’re looking for a book with superb writing, give this one a shot.

Love You Hate You Miss You (Elizabeth Scott)

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Get this, I’m supposed to be starting a journal about “my journey.” Please. I can see it now: Dear Diary, As I’m set adrift on this crazy sea called “life” . . . I don’t think so.

It’s been seventy-five days. Amy’s sick of her parents suddenly taking an interest in her.

And she’s really sick of people asking her about Julia. Julia’s gone now, and she doesn’t want to talk about it. They wouldn’t get it, anyway. They wouldn’t understand what it feels like to have your best friend ripped away from you.

They wouldn’t understand what it feels like to know it’s your fault.

Amy’s shrink thinks it would help to start a diary. Instead, Amy starts writing letters to Julia.

But as she writes letter after letter, she begins to realize that the past wasn’t as perfect as she thought it was—and the present deserves a chance too.


“I wish she was here. I wish. I wish. I wish. I wish I didn’t hate her so much for leaving me.”

I’m going to start with the good points in regards to Love You Hate You Miss You. Which is such a strange title, but once you read the book it actually really comprehends Amy’s feelings. The cycles that she is going through and the cluster of feelings that she is experiencing, which is kind of cool.

The fact that this book is written with a mix of letters to a dead person and a 1st person narrative, was very satisfying to me. Mainly because I get a lot of what the main character is going through and that is a really big deal to me. Especially with books that deal with this sort of topic. With me saying that, I really enjoyed the growth between Amy and her parents. It was one of my favorite things about the book and to me it was something that Amy really needed as a child.

Now, the not so good.

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I didn’t like how the plot was developed. As a reader, we are supposed to see Amy learn to realize that her relationship with Julia was just plain toxic. It wasn’t good for her and the things that happened were not her fault. It’s so obvious to see (in my opinion) her peers, parents, and even her psychiatrist try to point this out to her but I was really disappointed that she never saw it for herself. Isn’t that what the point of the book was?

This was also yet another book that required zero romance but yet the author forced Patrick into our lives and it was just completely unnecessary. Like, why? What am I supposed to take away from this? I don’t quite understand but okay…here this is and here he is…so now what?

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All in all, the book was very well written. It was just very jumbled and very repetitive. It didn’t have the type of development I was looking for and it had a random romance thrown in when it wasn’t even needed. I don’t regret reading the book, I just probably wouldn’t recommend it very often.