Take The Moments (The Summer I Turned Pretty – A Book Review)

The Summer I Turned Pretty Trilogy
Author: Jenny Han
Published: 2009-2011

The Summer I Turned Pretty

Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Every summer Belly goes to Cousins where her mom and Susannah, her mom’s best friend, have a beach house. She looks forward to it every summer because it’s like coming home. It’s this year, when Belly is seventeen that everything changes. This is the summer Belly turned pretty, as she puts it, and everybody notices it, especially Susannah’s sons, Jeremiah and Conrad.

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Belly’s been in love with Conrad for as long as she can remember. It’s never been anyone else. Right as soon as she starts to believe that he feels the same, heartbreaking news shatters everybody in the house. Nobody will ever be the same and Belly learns that it’s time to grow up no matter how hard it is, but that doesn’t mean you grow out of your first love, does it?

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This trilogy is one that I read every summer (I have the three-in-one version). It’s young, and innocent and I can almost feel the sand between my toes as my heart swells for the main character. Belly is always growing and you see that in each book. She takes the time to really allow her thoughts and heart to guide her even though she faces tough decisions and a whole lot of heartbreak.

Belly encompasses the growing teenager. She’s caring, loving and passionate about everything as well as whiny, annoying, snooty and wild. But each time I read this book, it’s like all of the small things matter suddenly. The sound of the ocean. The way that Belly looks at the stars. How she seems to stay in a moment for almost an eternity and she relives her memories with such delicacy. And that’s all okay. It should be encouraged actually because life moves really fast.

These coming of age books remind me to hold on to the moments that made my life. All of them. That was a big part throughout the trilogy because life is a series of moments. Sweet and tender and with so much love, I can’t stop coming back to Cousins. I’m hoping one day Jenny Han returns to the beach house.

 

Quotables:

“The moment between us, fragile and tenuous, snapped in hald. It was over. It would do no good to wonder what he was going to say. Moments, when lost, can’t be found again. They’re just gone.” (The Summer I Turned Pretty, Belly, p. 153)

“I wondered if this was the was old crushes died, with a whimper, slowly, and then, just like that—gone.” (The Summer I Turned Pretty, Belly, p. 200)

“There are moments in your life you wish with all your heart you could take back. Like, just erase from existence. Like, if you could, you’d erase yourself right out of existence too, just to make that moment not exist.” (It’s Not Summer Without You, Belly, p. 319)

“I used to look forward to seeing Conrad all year. I used to wish for summer the way kids wished for Christmas. It was all I thought about. Even now, even after everything, he was still all I thought about.” (It’s Not Summer Without You, Belly, p. 341)

“How do you regret one of the best nights of your life? You don’t. You remember every word, every look. Even when it hurts, you still remember.” (It’s Not Summer Without You, Belly, p. 392)

“When I used to picture forever, it was always with the same boy. In my dreams, my future was set. A sure thing. This wasn’t the way I pictured it…” (A Couple of Years Later, Belly, p.455)

“In my heart, I knew I loved them both, as much as it is possible to love two people as the same time…” (We’ll Always Have Summer, Belly, p. 799)

“When Conrad Fisher told a girl her loved her, he meant it. A girl could believe in that. A girl could maybe even bet her whole life on it.” (We’ll Always Have Summer, Belly, p. 805)

 

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Song of the day? Unpredictable by 5 Seconds of Summer. Feels very fitting.

Run Away to the Carnival (Freeks – A Book Review)

Freeks
Author: Amanda Hocking
Published: 2017

Freeks - Goodreads

Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Living the carnie life is all Mara Beznik knows even though she can’t do anything cool like talk to the dead, rapidly heal or create fire in the palm of her hand, like her fellow carnies. The caravan she and her mom travel with comes to the sleepy town of Caudry, and though they’re falling on desperate times and the air about this place is strange, they set up camp.

The first night in town is promising for young Mara. She meets the mysterious Gabe Alvarado at a party and is drawn to him instantly. Then suddenly one of the people back in camp is attacked by something dark and mysterious that comes from the swamp. Blame is thrown around in light of everybody’s fears. Mara, however, is determined to find out whom or what is doing this while trying not to fall for Gabe. Something about him draws her in. Could it be connected to the attacks?

 

First of all, can I say thank you to Amanda Hocking for not adding clowns into this book? Because…THANK YOU!

 

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*Shudders*

 

I loved being in the 80’s in this book. It was so much fun and the attention to detail for the time period was great from clothing to music and more. The artwork of tarot cards that moved the reader from day to day was beautiful and a fantastic way to move forward in the book. However, the details felt listed from time to time and made me hiccup on the flow. Still, the book was fun and I got lost in it easily.

I think the only thing that irked me with this novel was how quickly the main character fell in love since the book spans a week. But then again, it only takes a matter of seconds to fall in love, so I guess it’s more of personal irk than an all-around irk with the book because the amount of time it takes to fall in love with someone depends on the person.

This book made me want to run off and join a carnival. It would have to be one like this though. I want to be surrounded by magic and lights and wonder.

 

Quotables:

“Maybe he’d try to kiss me, and if he was nice enough I might even let him. Or not, but the option of a real kiss was almost always better than a night in bed with a book.” (Mara, p. 25)

 

“It’s not the amount of time that makes something real. It’s what happens in that time.” (Gabe to Mara, p. 278)

 

More to come soon…

K.

 

P.S. Song of the Day? Funhouse by P!NK.

 

Also, I apologize for the long delay. Been a little busy of late. Sorry fellow bookworms. I love you.

From Wattpad to Hardcover (Textrovert – A Book Review)

Textrovert
Author: Lindsey Summers
Published: May, 2017

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Rating:Full boltHalf bolt

 

Keeley Brewer is gearing up for her senior year…well, sort of. She and her best friend, Nicky, are spending the last of their summer at the fair when Keeley loses her phone and accidentally picks one up that she thinks is hers. She quickly discovers this from a late night call from a mystery guy that calls himself Talon. She has his phone and vice versa. They begin talking to each other back and forth and before Keeley knows it, she’s falling for him and his obsession with peeps, but it turns out that he has secrets that he isn’t sharing with her and that quickly jeopardizes their budding relationship. More so, rifts start to grow between her and those she loves and she’ll have to choose sides, something she’s not good at.

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This book made a bad thing happen for me. It brought out the editor in me which is not a good thing for a reader. I almost took a pen to it. This book is published, which means that shouldn’t happen. I desperately wanted to have a grip on Textrovert. The novel doesn’t feel finished. Some parts feel forced while others don’t have enough information to make them feel complete.

I read this on Wattpad first, as The Cell Phone Swap, and it was so cute and sweet with that innocent high school love that I pre-ordered it—Textrovert—on Amazon. It really did remind me of those 90’s chick-flicks in which the characters fall in love in a weekend. The issues were relatable and Talon and Keeley had depth that extended beyond that romance. It hooked me.

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I figured that this story would be added on tt and fluffed up beautifully what on top of what was already laid out. Sadly, I felt like this story took two giant steps backwards when I read the book.

I wanted to get into this story so badly and I was so excited, but I couldn’t get a grasp on what these characters looked like. The depth that I’d found in the Wattpad version was completely gone, like licking the only the filling out of the Oreo instead of just dunking the whole cookie in milk.

Click here to read the version on Wattpad The Cell Phone Swap and the book is sold on Amazon.

My comparisons between the two versions start here so if you haven’t read both versions of the story and/or you aren’t okay with spoilers turn back now. Otherwise, here’s a collaboration.

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The Cell Phone Swap vs Textrovert

The Cell Phone Swap: I felt like Keeley had a lot of depth because she wasn’t solely focused on Talon. She had a job and there were issues at her workplace that she had to work through.

Textrovert: Sadly, the entire bit was taken out. Nonexistent.

 

The Cell Phone Swap: The story behind Talon’s love for the marshmallowy goodness of peeps derived from his late grandfather who would tell him stories of his great-grandfather. It was something special the two of them shared.

Textrovert: The story behind the peeps is that Talon was made fun of for being fat and his grandfather cheered him up with the sugary treats.

 

The Cell Phone Swap: Nicky is a fun and loves food. She and Keeley are both working to go to Europe. Nicky is there to give advice when Keeley needs it.

Textrovert: Nicky is selfish and brash. She becomes jealous of Talon for having all of Keeley’s time even though she has found several excuses outside of her extra classes to blow Keeley off.

 

The Cell Phone Swap: Brent is Keeley’s tutor and she has deep feelings for him and even tours a campus just to see him.

Textrovert: Randy is referenced as the boy who broke Keeley’s heart multiple times in the book and there’s even a brief encounter.

 

There are more comparisons, but these are only a few that really stuck out to me. They are also the ones that deeply bothered me.

 

I truly wish that this book was amazing, but I will be going back to The Cell Phone Swap to reread the story.

 

Quotables:

“She moved her jacket off the seat. As he sat, she caught a whiff of his cologne—a mixture of wood and Old Spice. He smelled good. The dangerous kind of good that could get a girl in trouble.” (p. 97)

“Truth or dare?” he challenged, his eyes fixated on her lips. Every cell in her body came alive as she realized what he was asking.” (p.146)

 

More to come soon…

K.

 

P.S. Song today? You Get What You Give by New Radicals.

Don’t Tell Mom I’m Dating an Alien – (LUX: Consequences – A Book Review)

Lux: Consequences
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published: 2014

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This is the second installment to the special collector’s edition of the YA series, LUX.

Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

After finally succumbing to her feelings for Daemon Black, discovering and getting a handle on the intense powers as a result of being healed by him, and dealing with the heavy loss of friends, Katy Swartz was not prepared for the return of Daemon’s brother, Dawson, who’d been missing for over a year. Nobody was prepared. He doesn’t waste any time in wanting to find his still missing girlfriend, Beth, and he’ll do anything to get her back, even put everybody else in danger.

“You really shouldn’t trust a soul in this game. Not when everyone has something to gain or lose.” (Luc to Katy, p. 284)”

Then suddenly, Blake, friend turned enemy, returns to town, demanding that Katy and Daemon help free the Luxen that turned him into a hybrid from Daedalus, a facility experimenting on Luxen and hybrids like him and Katy. Tensions run high as the group tries to figure out a way into Deadalus and it tests the strength of Daemon and Katy’s new relationship.

And then Katy becomes the newest captor of Daedalus. What does Daemon do? What he does best. He goes after her, and after finally finding her, the two realize that Daedalus has a lot more in store for Luxen and the hybrids besides the horrifying experiments they’ve heard about.

It’s soon discovered that their enemies aren’t just wearing lab coats and camouflage, but are a lot closer to home than expected and it shocks everybody. And, their allies are the last people they expected. They’ll need all the help they can get when their problems escalate beyond earth.

“Oh shit. ET so phoned home, kids.” (Luc, p. 772)

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Where do I start!? I’m still in that lush state from reading this series and there’s still one book to go. As I told you in my very first post on here about LUX: Beginnings, I am not one for Sci-Fi, but Jennifer L. Armentrout has reeled me into it with the perfect balance of thrilling action and lip-biting romance. Daemon Black joins the ranks of book boyfriends with his ego, vibrant green eyes (my favorite), and the sneaky ways he makes the reader blush with his words that if you try hard enough, you can hear him whisper in your ear. Then again, maybe that’s just me. We all have book boyfriends or girlfriends like that.

And let’s not forget that smirk. *insert crimson blush here*

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(Yep, I’m still imagining that it’s Cody Christian. I’ve tried denying it. It didn’t work.)

The quick pace of this story is flawless. It doesn’t feel too rushed, which is a beautiful thing. Every detail is delightfully written, very much like a movie in my head, and that’s how I love my books. The twists and turns in this next edition were kicked up a notch compared to the first one. I know that there were moments that made me think that this couldn’t escalate any higher and I kept getting blown away. I’ve got nothing but praise for this series.

This is one of those reads you can’t put down and I recommend it to everyone who’s looking to try something new. This special edition contains both the third and fourth book as well as some delectable bonus content (I won’t gush about it, but it’s great). I will hopefully be getting to the fifth one soon. Just like my craving for chocolate, my fingers are twitching for it.

Have you read it? What did you think? Tell me in the comment section below.

 

Quotables:

“If we’re not together on everything, then how can we really be together?” (Katy to Daemon, p. 60)”

“Elation swelled in my chest, and as we lay in each other’s arms, our breaths coming in and out ragged, our bodies tangled together, we still couldn’t get enough of each other. We kissed. We talked. We lived.” (Katy, p. 346)

“Several moments passed before she spoke. “I’ve always wanted a Mogwai.” (Katy to Daemon, p.521)”

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(I’ve always wanted a Mogwai too. Just ask my mom. I ask for one every Christmas.)

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Song today? Sign of the Times by Harry Styles.

 

Follow me on Twitter: CheshireKat_92

Sometimes I’m funny and sometimes…maybe not.

K-I-S-S-I-N-G (Naomi + Ely’s No Kiss List – A Book Review)

Naomi + Ely’s No Kiss List
Author: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Published: 2007
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Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltHalf bolt

 

Naomi and Ely, best friends, who grew up in the same building and went through everything together, even the divorce of Naomi’s parents, though that’s partly because her dad slept with one of Ely’s moms. That’s only the tip of the it’s complicated train. Naomi is irrevocably in love with Ely and dreams that one day they’ll get married. A slight hitch? Ely’s gay.

Naomi and Ely created a No Kiss List of people so that they never get into a fight. And then Ely break that list by kissing Naomi’s current boyfriend. Cue the explosion. This epic betrayal tests their friendship and both wonder: will they ever get past this? Can they get past this?

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Now, I couldn’t get fully on board with this book for a couple of reasons. It was a nice book about two friends needing to see where they could go and fit into the world without each other, but it struggled at doing even that. Cue Spoiler: I couldn’t get past how neither character could take the responsibility for anything they did wrong. While it’s ridiculous that I say this, I couldn’t handle how self-absorbed they were either. Their disregard for people around them was a bit unbearable, but that didn’t make the book terrible. Not at all. I just didn’t like the characters. It happens sometimes.

However, the in-depth and personal look at lifelong friendship was intense and really made me question if friendship really can withstand anything. This book is a great example of how gut-wrenching heartache can be when it’s caused by somebody you’ve shared everything with and trust with your entire being.

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I love-love-loved the way this was written with emojis, and through other characters’ POV. The emojis made the book more fun and kept in touch with how the characters communicate while also bringing the reader to the modern day of technology. The use of other characters’ POVs (point of view) gives the reader great perspective to not only how the main characters are imploding, but to how the outside characters are affected by it as well. It puts the reader with them as if they live in the building with Naomi and Ely, making them a part of the drama.

The heartache stays with you. It comes from every direction-friends, family, lovers and even crushes, bringing real issues to the front line, like divorce, financial problems, identity crisis, and more. Which, shows that sometimes a heart can’t be completely repaired no matter how much you love somebody and that people change even when you don’t realize it right away.

 

Quotables:

“Buffy could be a bitch, but cut the girls some slack—she once had to kill her true love in order to save the world. I get it, Naomi. You’re like Buffy.” (Gabriel to Naomi, p. 118)

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(I know, me and the Buffy gifs. Can you tell I’m a fan?)

“…even though I really liked her as a person, I didn’t really think I liked her as a girl, because when you like a girl, there’s this ignition—you can feel it—and with her, there wasn’t any ignition…” (Boy Robin, p. 156)

“You didn’t think it would be easy, did you?” (Neal to Ely, p. 198)

“It’s like Naomi always used to say: Life tells you to take the elevators, but love tells you to take the stairs.” (Ely, p. 209)

 

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Song today? Secrets by OneRepublic.

To the Future! (The Time Machine – A Book Review)

The Time Machine
Author: H.G. Wells
Published: 1895

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Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltHalf bolt

 

A brilliant time traveler holds a dinner to tell his tale of a harrowing journey he just returned from. He tells his guests of the people he met and the places he saw with incredible detail when he visited the year 802, 701.

I think that at the time none of us quite believed in the Time Machine. (p. 11)

The time traveler describes those he meets as ‘exquisite creatures’ of ‘futurity’. He goes on to describe their elfin and china-like features and how innocent and delightful they are. Honestly, I kept thinking about Minions since the people of this community that the time traveler landed in all look alike.

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Soon enough the time traveler comes to miss an important part to his machine that prevents him from getting home. More so, Morlocks, who I pictured to be a creepy rendition of skeletal ghost-like creepies, dwell in the tunnels beneath the oasis that is right where London used to be. While trying to get home, the time traveler tries to protect his new friends.

Author of War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells created an entire futuristic world of complete awe. His attention to detail is phenomenal and this tale is all being told in the past tense of having happened already. That’s what really made me like this so much. The point of view was unlike anything I’ve read so far. This classic Sci-Fi piece is an adventure and a unique and beautiful look into the future.

 

Quotables:

“We are kept keen on the grindstone of pain and necessity, an, it seemed to me, that here was that hateful grindstone broken at last!” (p. 29)

“Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life.  thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. I thought of the great precessional cycle that the pole of the eart describes.” (p. 54)

 

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Song today? Science Fiction/Double Feature from The Rocky Horror Picture Show….It just came on and I pressed repeat.

Hey there, Duffy. (The DUFF – A Book Review)

The DUFF
Author: Kody Keplinger
Published: 2010

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Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Designated. Ugly. Fat. Friend.

Bianca Piper is tough, witty and carefree. Nothing bothers her, not until Wesley Rush,  high school’s golden flirt (and the one we’ve all crushed and swooned and melted over before even though we also wanted to punch him) labels her a DUFF. In one swift fling her soda soaks him, and their complicated, flirty-ship begins. While handling, or rather  denying and running away from her parents’ divorce which has threatened her dad’s sobriety and her unrequited love for Toby Tucker, she now is grappling with Wesley’s words. Could he be right about her? Her two best friends, Jessica and Casey were pretty hot, but did that make her the DUFF? Unable to let it go, her life begins to spiral out of control and Wesley tags along for the ride.

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Bianca uses Wesley to further run away from her problems until she starts wondering…is he such a bad guy?

 

I remember the day I bought this book I wary because I’d seen the movie and I loved the movie. And so I didn’t read it until I felt okay enough that I wasn’t going to solely judge this book on the movie. That alone would ruin it for me. A SUPER rare thing happened though, after reading it. I LOVED both the movie AND the book!

The DUFF

They were amazing. Both of them are completely different, but it’s like they live in the same universe. If I could compare it I would say it’s like The Flash with its multiple earths. (If you haven’t seen the show or even read the comic books you have your work cut out for you.) Both Biancas shared problems of being a DUFF. And they both handled them differently. While the book Bianca tried to run away, the movie Bianca tried to change herself completely.

Now, I can’t tell you everything because that would be spoiler-y. But! What I can say is that I can relate to Bianca so very easily. We all can. It’s so easy to believe that we are not good enough. There’s always a small bit of insecurity. And you know what? That’s all-freaking-right.

This book was hilarious and lovable on so many levels. I think it’s a book that many up and coming of age teenagers should read, though, be warned there is a hint of sexual content. Bianca paves a path that many will be able to relate to such as family struggles or even having trouble getting out a single syllable to your crush. Upbeat and witty to my own heart, certainly pick up this book and do not put it down.

 

Quotables:

 

“…Wesley Rush doesn’t chase girls. They chase him.”

(Wesley to Bianca, p. 28)

 

“Why couldn’t my life be a sitcom? Then again, even the Friends crowd had issues.”

(Bianca, p. 78)

 

“I felt like my world was finally spinning out of control. And this time, I couldn’t deny it. I couldn’t ignore it. And I definitely couldn’t escape it.”

(Bianca, p. 173)

 

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Song today? Over My Head (Cable Car) by The Fray.