Friday, February 5, 2021

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

About The Book
The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.

A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.

My Review

This book was not for me… and scrolling through Goodreads just proves that I’m one of the few that didn’t enjoy this book. It was just so boring to me. There was so much build-up for… nothing.

I went into this book almost completely without knowing what it was about. All I knew was it’s a Romeo and Juliet retelling. Unfortunately, this just was not for me. I felt like this book was extremely slow-moving and the ending was so abrupt.

It’s getting two stars instead of one because I liked the concept of the book. I just didn’t like the execution.

I’m debating whether or not I should pick up the second book when it’s released…

(I’m keeping this review short because I hate writing negative reviews)

2/5 Stars

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

About The Book
Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?”

A dazzling novel about all the choices that go into a life well lived, from the internationally bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive and How To Stop Time.

Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?

In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting new novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.

Trigger Warnings:
suicide attempt, depression, death of an animal

Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Kindle ~ Audiobook ~ Book Depository 

My Review

This is probably going to be one of the most impactful books I have ever read. I feel like I have read this book at a perfect time in my life. I’ve said this many times since my grandpa passed, my mental health has been trash.

The Midnight Library is about Nora. More specifically about Nora wanting to take her own life. She’s depressed. She can’t seem to find a reason to be alive. Once she’s completed to act she’s chosen to take her life. she’s placed in this limbo that is a library. At this library, there is Mrs. Elm. Mrs. Elm was the librarian at one of Nora’s schools when she was a child. She technically is there to help Nora decide to live.

This isn’t an ordinary library though. It’s a midnight library. The time doesn’t move. The books are filled with variations of Nora’s lives that she can choose to live if she so pleases. There is also the big book of regrets. What were to happen if she changed one of those regrets?

I loved this book. I was a bit skeptical going in. I didn’t know if I was mentally ready to read a book like this. I’m glad a coworker wanted to read this together because I honestly don’t think I would have picked it up otherwise. This book definitely gave me a huge new insight into life. If I could go back and change something, it could mess up something else.

I am grateful for this book. It is definitely one I will try and read more than once. 

5/5 Stars

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein

About The Book
The past seven years have been hard on Avery Abrams: After training her entire life to make the Olympic gymnastics team, a disastrous performance ended her athletic career for good. Her best friend and teammate, Jasmine, went on to become an Olympic champion, then committed the ultimate betrayal by marrying their emotionally abusive coach, Dimitri.

Now, reeling from a breakup with her football star boyfriend, Avery returns to her Massachusetts hometown, where new coach Ryan asks her to help him train a promising young gymnast with Olympic aspirations. Despite her misgivings and worries about the memories it will evoke, Avery agrees. Back in the gym, she’s surprised to find sparks flying with Ryan. But when a shocking scandal in the gymnastics world breaks, it has shattering effects not only for the sport but also for Avery and her old friend Jasmine.
My Review

Meet my first five-star book of 2021! I honestly didn’t have high hopes for this book as I have only read Love At First Like by Hannah and I really disliked it. I decided to give Hannah a second chance and I’m glad I did.

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that’s centered around gymnastics. I adored the gymnastics aspect. Minus the scandal that happens, of course. This book doesn’t only focus on the sports side, it also focuses on the strain that gymnasts are dealing with. Whether it be too much exercising or extreme dieting. Our main character Avery wants to bring all that to the surface.

I honestly loved everything about this book. I especially love that the main focus was working on mental health. Avery is depressed because she hurt herself before being able to compete in the Olympics. She thinks she’s useless. She dropped out of college and her boyfriend breaks up with her. She finds that yoga helps make her feel better.

She realizes that there’s no way she’s the only one who feels like this due to sports. UGH. I just loved this book so much. I’m super happy I gave Hannah another shot!

5/5 Stars

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

We Used To Be Friends by Amy Spalding

About The Book

Two best friends grow up—and grow apart—in this innovative contemporary YA novel

Told in dual timelines—half of the chapters moving forward in time and half moving backward—We Used to Be Friends explores the most traumatic breakup of all: that of childhood besties. At the start of their senior year in high school, James (a girl with a boy’s name) and Kat are inseparable, but by graduation, they’re no longer friends. James prepares to head off to college as she reflects on the dissolution of her friendship with Kat while, in alternating chapters, Kat thinks about being newly in love with her first girlfriend and having a future that feels wide open. Over the course of senior year, Kat wants nothing more than James to continue to be her steady rock, as James worries that everything she believes about love and her future is a lie when her high-school sweetheart parents announce they’re getting a divorce. Funny, honest, and full of heart, We Used to Be Friends tells of the pains of growing up and growing apart.

My Review

This book is basically all about a one-sided friendship. I felt everything that James felt at one point or another in my life. Most of my friendships have always been one-sided, which is why I've come to realize I'm better off without them! This is a book I wish I would have been able to read years ago. This book is just so relatable to all my friendships in the past.

James and Kat were friends for the longest time. Unfortunately, they grow apart. Kat doesn't understand why James isn't talking to her like she used to. 

I think this book explains so much of how one-sided friendships can be so toxic. It was done extremely well and made me feel validated for ending certain friendships in the past. 

Unfortunately, I felt like this book was kind of slow and a bit boring at times. I wish that this book was more focused on Kat trying to better herself instead of waiting until the last two chapters for her to realize that she's kind of a crappy person. 

3/5 Stars

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella

About The Book

Call Ava romantic, but she thinks love should be found in the real world, not on apps that filter men by height, job, or astrological sign. She believes in feelings, not algorithms. So after a recent breakup and dating app debacle, she decides to put love on hold and escapes to a remote writers' retreat in coastal Italy. She's determined to finish writing the novel she's been fantasizing about, even though it means leaving her close-knit group of friends and her precious dog, Harold, behind.

At the retreat, she's not allowed to use her real name or reveal any personal information. When the neighboring martial arts retreat is canceled and a few of its attendees join their small writing community, Ava, now going by "Aria," meets "Dutch," a man who seems too good to be true. The two embark on a baggage-free, whirlwind love affair, cliff-jumping into gem-colored Mediterranean waters and exploring the splendor of the Italian coast. Things seem to be perfect for Aria and Dutch.

But then their real identities--Ava and Matt--must return to London. As their fantasy starts to fade, they discover just how different their personal worlds are. From food choices to annoying habits to sauna etiquette . . . are they compatible in anything? And then there's the prickly situation with Matt's ex-girlfriend, who isn't too eager to let him go. As one mishap follows another, it seems while they love each other, they just can't love each other's lives. Can they reconcile their differences to find one life together?

My Review

I had high hopes for this book. I thought this was going to cute and fluffy. It was not cute. It was more serious than fluffy. I do love a serious book, don't get me wrong. This cover does not show the readers that this book deals with the seriousness that is relationships. It could be cute at times, but most of the time I sat there wondering why the heck are these two incompatible people are trying to make this work???

This entire book was about Ava and Matt trying to make a relationship work. In my opinion, they should have just called it quits. It felt like they were trying to force a relationship to work when they obviously don't like a lot of things about each other. They were trying to make a vacation fantasy work. They met in Italy on a retreat and by the end of it, they were telling each other that they loved each other? 

I'm sorry, it's a fantasy. You guys only just met and you didn't know anything about each other. It's not love, it's lust. 

I did still enjoy parts of this book. Not all of it was bad. I was pretty happy with how it ended. And I have to give kudos to Ava and Matt because I would have given up if I were them. 

I really like Sophie Kinsella's writing. This book was so easy to read and understand. I'm definitely planning on picking up more books by her in the future!

3/5 Stars

Friday, January 15, 2021

Royally Matched by Emma Chase

About The Book

Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry Charles Albert Edgar Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.

He’s not handling it well.

Hoping to force her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora goes on a much-needed safari holiday—and when the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:

Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.

A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world's most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.

While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.

The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit…and her naughty sense of humor.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.

My Review

This book was soo close to being a five-star read! So close. Emma Chase did something that I kinda hate in books. I don't even know why I hate this... she added an epilogue at the ending and added some much-unneeded stories. I didn't need to know all that. I also kinda wish that she didn't include the army stuff at the end.

I love the story of Royally Matched. I thought it was fun! I'm not going to lie though, I hate all things Bachelor related. I was shocked to find that I enjoyed this story of Prince Henry on a television show to find his Queen.

The main reason I loved this book was Sarah. I adore her. She's so flipping cute and shy. I think she's the perfect match for Henry. They compliment each other very well. He's very outgoing and he tries to change himself to fit with that quiet, shy girl. 

Sarah, of course, works on her shyness as well. Knowing she's falling for someone who's going to be in the public eye all the time. I loved watching her coming out of her shell. She finds herself throughout this book.

Also, it broke my heart when Henry accidentally broke her book. I was just in tears over that part!

As much as I loved reading this book and I remember loving Royally Screwed, I don't think I'm going to continue on with this series. I just feel like there's only so much you can do without it feeling repetitive. 

4/5 Stars

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