Book Reviews

Seeking Perfect by Jeri Bronson – Book Review

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This book deals with a lot of heavy issues, but it has the perfect balance of fluff to make up for it. Seeking Perfect is a romance novel following Jesse, a girl on her senior year of high school. Her home life is a daily struggle, with a drunk, neglectful mother who steals all her money, and her mom’s awful boyfriends tagging along. Jesse is set on going to college and leaving her life behind, and she wants nothing to get in the way, but then she meets Derek.

I went into this book expecting a lot of terrible scenes with Jesse’s mom, but I was surprised by the amount of great people Jesse had in her life. Jesse worked at a bookstore, whose owner, Charlotte, was like a mom to her. She got to have a home away from home, and it made her life a little easier. Not only did she have Charlotte, but also Russ, Charlotte’s husband, and Jeremy, Charlotte’s son. These were all wonderfully sweet characters who offered Jesse nothing but love and support, and I was so grateful for them.

Derek was also really nice. I had a few issues with him wanting to “fix” Jesse. I didn’t like the way he kept saying that. He said the same thing about his ex-girlfriend, Missy. He was always upset about not being able to “fix” Missy, making her a better person. I don’t think it’s ever a guy’s job to fix a girl. I also didn’t like the way Missy’s character was very stereotypical and mean. I understand she was the villain of the story, but a villain should be complex. Those were my main issues.

The romance was sweet. I thought the bond between Jesse and Derek was believable, if a bit too rushed. I was happy with the way things wrapped up, and the epilogue was great. I should mention trigger warnings for attempted rape and violence. Those were big things that suddenly happened and had me kind of queasy.

If you’re into contemporary romance with warm characters, you should definitely check this one out.

3,5 stars

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star by Brandon Mull


Everything with a beginning has an ending. Any magic that can be done, can be undone. Anything you make, can be unmade.

The Rise of the Evening Star is the second book in the Fablehaven series. It follows Kendra and Seth, siblings that are set to inherit a secret magical preserve that their grandparents run. The problem is another secret society is set on demolishing them to get ancient artifacts. 

I gave the first book an average of three stars, and left it with the doubt that I would ever come back to the rest of the books. Over the passed year I’ve gotten more into middle grade books. When I’m in a book slump or life slump, there’s something about them that brings me a certain comfort. As I figured this out, I found my mind drifting back to Fablehaven and its characters. I wondered how they were doing, if the books got better as many others claim. So I picked it up, and I’m glad I did.

At the end of the first book, everything seemed pretty tied up. I thought the reader and Seth and Kendra finally knew everything the grandparents did. I was wrong. Things that appeared tied up were not, or they were more than it was appeared in the first book. This really brought the book into an interesting place. Also last book a lot of it had them not knowing anything about magic. This time they knew about the magic, but also the grandparents told them more secrets in the beginning. Which also helped the book a lot. I hate plot hooked on secrets. It’s mostly frustrating, and simply makes me uninterested in reading it.

Kendra and Seth continued to grow in this book. I like how they are growing while still being kept their age. Seth acts just like my boyfriend’s nephew which yeah can be annoying, but also lovable. There are also new characters introduced in this book which only serves to flesh everyone out better.

The stakes are getting higher and more intense, and so did my enjoyment of the story. The ending caught me completely by surprise, and I find myself eagerly waiting for my next trip to the library so I can pick up the third book.

4 stars

Book Reviews

Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi – Book Review

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“Why did I think I’d be capable of running an entire continent? How did I allow myself to imagine that a supernatural ability to kill things with my skin would suddenly grant me a comprehensive understanding of political science?”

My love for Warner is still strong. That much has stayed consistent throughout the series. But, of course, Restore Me is about many, many other things besides Warner — unfortunately.

I devoured the first three Shatter Me books when they were only a trilogy. I read them all over a weekend, and then re-read them recently with Nicole. She reviewed all three of them before, but now it’s my turn.

Restore Me picks up about sixteen days after the end of Ignite Me, which continues to be my favorite book in the series. We follow Juliette and Warner in the aftermath of taking over The Reestablishment. There were a lot of loose ends to begin with, and some of them were covered, but many were not. I’ll break this down.

The characters: Anyone who’s read this series is well aware that it’s very character driven. The characters make the series worth reading. We still have Juliette, though her character development is doubtful. I still don’t know what to make of her, especially after the ending. I definitely do not trust her to run a nation. My personal favorite, Warner, is still a sweet boy (who’d hate me for calling him that). He claims he never changed, but there’s an obvious change to him, both outside and inside. Aside from the haircut, Warner is learning to be less selfless, and trusting of other people outside of Juliette. We have Kenji, possibly the greatest character ever written. Kenji is everything that’s good with the world, and more. He’s comic relief at its finest, and we finally learn more about his past.

I loved some of the new characters, but I feel like there wasn’t a lot of them outside of Nazeera, who was fantastic. I was grateful for such a wonderful female character, who Juliette actually got along with. I liked seeing more of Adam and James, but other than them, the other characters faded to the background. I found myself missing them, and overall just wanting more.

The plot: I was very intrigued by the sudden world-building drawn out. There was a lot of explanation about the world, and the leaders of the different continents. However, there wasn’t much expansion of some pressing issues because the romantic drama kept getting in the way. Then I realized what series I was reading, and I wasn’t angry about it. Basically, there were a lot of plot holes, but Warner’s hot, so all is forgiven.

The romance: The love I have for Warner runs deep. Juliette is okay. I fear that the roles have switched between him and Juliette. I thought it was natural the way he closed off from her. There was a big reason for that. I didn’t think Juliette fought enough to get inside Warner’s head, though. My problem with Juliette is her selfishness. She doesn’t realize how awful she tends to be, and Warner sees her as a perfect woman. There are so many issues with their relationship, but I gotta say, I’m still rooting for Warner’s happiness.

Representation: The anxiety rep was amazing. Suffering from anxiety myself, I can’t explain how incredible it felt to see myself in this book. My anxiety tends to make me feel like a burden sometimes, but seeing it represented so well here made me hopeful. I want the stigmas to be removed, and I think it’s important to incorporate this into stories. There was a trans character, but she was outed without consent by a transphobic character, so heads up for that. Aside from that, there were characters from different countries who spoke different languages, but again, they were far from the focus of the story. I feel like I hardly learned anything about them.

There are trigger warnings for panic attacks, depression, mention of suicidal thoughts, and transphobia.

I still haven’t gathered my thoughts completely. That ending left me breathless. I don’t know what to make of it, but I know that I cannot wait for book five. Or maybe a novella in between? We’ll see.

This weekend we’ll have a spoiler review of Restore Me on our podcast, so look out for that.

4,5 stars

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Princess Kindness Khumalo by Catherine Amandla Clark, Ed. D. – Book Review and Giveaway

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Princess Kindness Khumalo is a children’s book surrounding African history. Kindness is a young girl who is very curious, and throughout the book asks her Mother Khumalo many questions. All the while, Mother Khumalo teaches Kindness about her African culture. There are four stories, and each one has a different message.

The book is full of images of dolls to represent all of the characters, as well as the dolls that belong to the characters. There’s an explanation of the words in different languages. I really liked how much African culture was interwoven into a story of a smart little girl who wants to learn about the world. Kindness wants to be kind, and she wants to be well educated in her culture and the moon and the universe. I thought it was a very sweet book that deserves to be read. It has a strong message of love and acceptance that I think is very important.

Buy it on Amazon.

4 stars


If you’re interested in reading this, we’re having a giveaway starting today. If you want to be entered, all you have to do is comment on this post saying you’d like to be entered into the giveaway. We will pick one winner on 3/20/2018 at 10pm CT. So you have until then to enter. Good luck, everyone!

Book Reviews

Collecting Secrets by PE Kavanagh – Book Review

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Collecting Secrets follows Camille, a young woman who lost her parents to a terrible accident. Her freshman year at Princeton, she meets Jenna King and her entire, charming family. Camille and Jenna become friends almost instantly, and soon Camille becomes part of the family. Among the family is Jackson King, the beautiful guy who becomes Camille’s best friend.

The story is told in present day with flashbacks to different times during the span of a decade. Usually, I don’t enjoy flashbacks, but this book did it so well I didn’t mind them at all. The flashbacks were helpful in letting me see a different side of Camille and Jackson, and understand their strong connection. I loved their friendship over those ten years. I thought they were so sweet together, and I was rooting for them.

The romance took some time to get use to. I’m not used to reading steamy scenes, and there were quite a lot of steamy scenes one after the other, so I found myself skimming those parts. Thankfully, there was a great balance between plot and romance, so I was able to enjoy other aspects of the book. I also really liked the inclusion of the King family. They had an interesting dynamic, and I wanted even more of them.

The plot was interesting. I don’t want to get into it too much, but there is a mystery and secrets that keep coming out, and it all made for a very satisfying conclusion. I would recommend this book to anyone into heavy romances that are born in friendship.

3 stars

Book Reviews

Knit One, Girl Two by Shira Glassman – Book Review


Knit One, Girl Two is a sweet short story where two Jewish girls fall in love. Just from that premise, I knew I had to read it.

Clara has a sock club where she dyes yarn and sells it to anyone interested over a period of six months. One day, she gets inspired by the artwork of Danielle, a beautiful woman who is all-too charming. They decide to work together to make this yarn inspired by the artwork. Romance ensues.

I loved the simplicity of this story, as well it’s uniqueness. The tragedy in the story was something I rarely ever see. I was expecting a death in the family, or something similar, but that didn’t happen. And I was so relieved.

The cat, The Phantom, is also the best cat I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. He’s such a sweetheart, and I adored him. Overall, this was definitely a feel-good story, and I think everyone should read it.

4 stars

Book Reviews

Saga volumes 1-4 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples – Book Review

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The first volume of this amazing story starts off with a pretty ordinary premise that turns into something extraordinary. Alana and Marko are two star-crossed lovers from two opposing worlds at war. Alana is from Landfall, and Marko from Landfall’s moon, Wreath. On top of that, the two had a baby named Hazel, and her very existence throws everyone off. They want to kill all of them, so both their home worlds call for help to stop them. The villains who go after Alana and Marko are just as interesting.

I’ve been a huge fan of these comics for a while, and I really love the direction it’s been heading. But in order to talk about that, we must start at the beginning. There will be spoilers ahead.

Prince Robot IV is among the villains, and his story was the most fascinating to me. He’s from Landfall’s ally planet The Robot Kingdom, and he’s a prince who’s been at war for years, finally returning home to his princess to build a family. Except, now he has to go after Alana and Marko, and he’s not too happy about that. There are two freelancers after them as well, The Will, and The Stalk. But as it turns out, getting to Marko and Alana ends with more disasters than victories.

Hazel’s babysitter, Izabel, is one of my favorite characters. She’s so down to earth, and so helpful to everyone, but she doesn’t get enough credit. Even though The Stalk was pretty cool, I think that if Prince Robot IV hadn’t killed her at the beginning, she would have captured Alana and Marko. So, yeah, maybe he killed her unjustly, but it worked out in the end. Also, my poor Robot doesn’t get to come home to his wife and baby. Give him a break.

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In the second volume, we learn a little bit more about Marko’s childhood. He saw war first hand as a kid, and he was taught to hate people from Landfall. Of course, things changed along the way. We also get to meet Marko’s parents, who are fierce people that are really not trustworthy of Alana. I liked Barr, despite him butting heads with Alana at first. I was really sad to hear he was dying, but I was glad he built a relationship with Alana before passing.

We finally get to meet Gwendolyn here as she finds The Will. She wants to get to Marko–her ex-fiance–to get back the translation rings that belonged to her family. The Will is too worried about saving a Slave Girl, which makes Gwendolyn jump on board. They finally get Sophie out of Sextilion and to safety. But just as they’re about to reach Alana and Marko’s rocket ship, they get shot at by this weird planet that’s an actual living thing, which nearly kills my dear Lying Cat.

I loved the way this ended with Prince Robot IV going to Quietus, the planet he knew Alana and Marko were hiding simply by reading Alana’s favorite novel. He’s truly good at his job, because they had all been there for a while. Anyway, my favorite thing to see was Sophie finally safe. That poor girl didn’t deserve what was happening to her. It was so sad to see Barr die, though. I don’t think he deserved to go so soon.

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The third volume shows Marko in a different light. He shows signs of depression as he deals with his father’s passing. The press is a big part of this volume. I have to admit, I wasn’t a big fan of this storyline. Sure, the tabloids want a story, but I just didn’t care about how they got it. I did like the insight into Alana’s past. The reporters go to Alana’s old house to interview her dad, but instead we find a young woman who married him and calls herself Alana’s mom. It’s obvious why Alana left to join the military.

I thought the whole meeting Mr. Heist was very realistic. The guy was drunk, in his underwear, and he threw up on Hazel. What a way to portray authors. But honestly, is that such a lie? Anyway, I was glad to see that he did live up to Alana’s expectations. And that his romance novel did really have a message hidden, which Alana and Marko understood. I think Mr. Heist was an incredible character, and I loved his relationship with Klara.

The entire exchange between Prince Robot IV and Mr. Heist made me uncomfortable. Obviously tensions were high, but I kept waited for something terrible to happen. And then what happens? Robot wants to die. Yeah, and he shoots Mr. Heist, but mostly, he just wants to die.

The whole thing with The Will hallucinating was totally trippy. For a second, I really thought The Stalk could somehow talk to him from beyond the grave. But no, apparently he was being drugged from the food on the planet. Sophie ended up stabbing The Will due to the same reason, and Gwendolyn panicked because it turns out she had feelings for him all along. In fact, Gwendolyn threw caution to the wind as she found her way to Quietus, killed Mr. Heist, all in search for Marko to save The Will. The worst thing, though, is that Robot gets hit, falls injured, and is rebooted to something he isn’t.

Marko and Alana and Hazel all survive the encounter with Gwendolyn, which is more than we can say for pretty much everyone else. And I loved that the end of the volume shows Hazel all grown up now. It kind of closes that chapter of their lives.

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Volume four is where all things go to hell. Alana starts working for the Open Circuit, and she gets into drugs. Meanwhile, Marko spends time with some girl who is totally flirting with him, and he seems oblivious to it all. To make matters worse, Prince Robot IV is totally off his rockers lost in Sextilion, until he realizes his wife is dead and his baby is missing. I mean, things just couldn’t get any worse for all of them.

I know this volume has a lot of important storylines, but it is just so depressing. I hate seeing Alana high off her mind, and Marko with that Ginny girl, and Robot mourning his wife and looking for his baby. I didn’t appreciate any of that. I loved seeing Gwendolyn and Sophie working together, trying to help The Will.

I hate that Dengo dude that kidnapped Robot’s baby. He’s completely heartless. I get that he has a sad story, but that doesn’t give him the right to kill everyone on his path. However, the ending of this volume brings a lot of hope. Robot and Marko are together, and they’re on the hunt for Dengo to save both of their families. That’s the perfect ending.

So far, the series has not disappointed. I recommend it to absolutely everyone.


5 stars