Follow Me Back Review

FMBHoly plot twist! I honestly don’t know where to begin with this book. The second I finished the book my jaw dropped and I went to go see if the sequel was released yet (it has not, but is coming up later this year on June 5th) because I needed to read it. This book was filled with so many twist and turns you won’t be able to keep up.

Follow Me Back by A.V .Geiger is about a girl named Tess who has agoraphobia and anxiety following a traumatic occurrence at a New Orleans arts program and loves a celebrity named Eric Thorn. So much that she has a large collection of Eric Thorn merchandise in her room, listens to the songs all the time, writes stories about him, and even has a huge following on her fan twitter account for him after creating a hashtag #EricThornObsessed.

Eric Thorn is a celebrity and the star that thousands of girls love. He has also been extremely paranoid lately after a fellow celebrity is killed by an obsessed fan and is getting tired of constantly having to do what his label says. So when Eric decides to make a fake troll account hating on himself so that other girls will hopefully become less into him he never expects to have it go on for more than a few tweets. However once he and Tess cross paths and begin to DM the story and lies become even more dark, twisted, and deeper than anyone could of ever imagined.

Let me start off with what I really liked about the story which is definitely the plot. I don’t read a lot of YA thriller books though whenever I do I seem to always enjoy them. This one had to be one of the best I’ve read. While the plot does become even more twisted and sinister as the story continues I never felt like this was something that was 100% unrealistic. Sometimes an author can write a thriller that ends up being similar to a soap opera plot by the end due to all the ridiculous plot twist or reveals. This book’s reveals though will keep you on your toes till the very end.

I really loved the ending and without giving too much away it really comes out of almost nowhere, but in the best possible way. It bind sides you and makes you crave the next book as soon as possible. I honestly need it to be summer now so that I can my hands on the next book and conclusion of this duology.

Another thing I really enjoyed was the characters. I could related a lot to Tess’s love of being in a fandom and the comfort she found in it. I can’t speak much on the agoraphobia because I do not have agoraphobia, but I would hope that it is respectful representation. I did have some issues though with the book causing it to be a 4 stars and not a 5 star.

My biggest issue with the book probably was Eric. I really didn’t understand who making a troll account would turn other fans against Eric. Why would they listen to some random troll account when they could keep loving and enjoying Eric Thorn. I also did not really like how he treated Tess while messaging her. First of all he is technically catfishing her and some of the messages that he writes are things that I felt were way too inappropriate even if he was joking. I really did not like Eric too much and while I understood his paranoia and fear that he would be attacked, I do not feel that he went about it the right way at all and his internal reactions to certain things like girls telling him they loved him felt pretty cruel and dumb seeing as he is a celebrity so you are going to have fans say things like that to you whether you like it or not. Another issue I had with the story was some confusing points regarding a character named Brie. Without giving too much away the last third of the story became a little confusing after introducing that character. While we do see and understand who he is near the end of the book, I felt like between when he was introduced and when we find out who he is the story gets little confusing regarding how Tess reacts and how a social media hacking occurred. Finally, I had a few problems with some other characters that I hope are addressed in the next book namely Tess’s mom and her therapist. Tess’s mom does not seem to understand her daughter’s agoraphobia at all and is constantly treating her horribly and belittling her because of it. There are some small parts here and there in which she actually shows some concern & she does have her daughter see a therapist, but other than that I felt like her mother was a huge problematic character that I hope is called out in the next book or that will see her wrongdoings. The second character I had a large issue with was Dr. Regan or Tess’s therapist. I really liked her until she abandons Tess in a time of need and is more worried about a malpractice suit. It feels like it came more out of nowhere and is something that felt very uncharacteristic for this specific character. I hope we get more answers to those questions in the next book.

Overall I really liked this book. I feel like it was extremely thrilling and leaves me wanting to read more until the last page (and even then I want to read the next book asap). While I can see some issues regarding the characters, story, and some people disliking the ending I personally really enjoyed it and hope you do too.

-Jessica

 

 

Photo Credit Link 

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More In Depth Look At My Review/ Rating Policy

Dear Readers,

Hello. I will probably be reposting this on my contact page later next week. However, I wanted to stop for a second and inform everyone my process and thoughts behind my star rating system and review. I usually follow a similar format when going into my reviews and just wanted to explain that more and why I would give books 1 stars or 2 stars or 3 stars or 4 stars or 5 stars.

So without further ado…

My Review Policy:

The books that I choose to review I usually write in a certain format or fashion. This format includes a hook/initial thoughts about book, original summary of the book (basically what I would write for a back cover copy of this book if I could), what I liked about the book, any dislikes about the book, and then conclusion/my overall feelings about the book. Then finally I add in at the end my star rating and any photo credit links I feel need to place in the post.

This format is usually is how I do my reviews though I will sometimes deviate from this norm depending on the type of book I am discussing or my feelings toward that certain book.

My Rating Policy: 

Throughout my time here on my blog and with my GoodReads account you may notice that I can sometimes rate books high or low ratings for different reasons. I wanted to help clear some things up by going more into why I would rate a book the particular star rating I give it.

  • 5 Stars – This book has no issues, does everything right (or most things), and is something I would 100% recommend to almost anyone.                                                                    This book may have one or two slight issues that I can easily look past, but may feel need to bring up just because.

 

  • 4 Stars-  This book was pretty good and is something I would recommend probably.                  This book has some problems that I state, but either the good outweighs the issues I have with the book or the issues in the book are things I feel that people can easily look past.

 

  • 3 Stars- This book has a mix of both good and bad elements.                                                           This book  book was good, but not very memorable or something I would want to reread again.

 

  • 2 Stars- This book has mainly problematic elements and stuff that I dislike usually content wise (sometimes format wise too or in place of content).                                                   This is a book I would probably not recommend to anyone or recommend if I know that it is part of a certain niche group or genre that they would really like (though I would probably warn the potential reader about the issues I had with the book before they read it).

 

  • 1 Star- This book has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.                                                               I would not recommend this book at all.

 

I hope this post was helpful and gave more information behind how I conduct my reviews and decide my ratings. On rare occasions I will rate a book a little higher or lower than this grading scale suggest depending on my feelings toward that particular book, but 99% of the time I feel that this is the thought process behind my rating policy.

Thank you all for reading and please be sure to like this post, comment, and follow my blog for more bookish fun.

Until next time dear readers…

-Jessica

Book Blogger Confession Tag

Hi Everybody!

I have not done a tag in a while so thought I would try this one.

The original poster was apparently at this address though it is not working at the moment.

I found the link here though.

So without further ado..

1.Which book, most recently, did you not finish?

The only book I DNF as of late is Echo After Echo by Amy Rose Capetta. I thought the romance was intriguing and the story of murders at a theatre was also interesting, but the narrative structure of the book was something I could not deal with and was making it hard for me to continue reading. Thus the book is now in my “books for trade”/ “books to giveaway” pile.

2. Which book is your guilty pleasure?

I do not think I actually have a book that is my guilty pleasure. I can’t really think of any books I enjoyed that I feel are my secret shame or anything like that. I think if I would have to stretch here I’d say Ugly Love by Coleen Hoover because even though I am not a huge CoHo fan and feel most of her books range from okay to awful, I do have a sweet spot for Ugly Love. There are definitely some things in that book that are problematic and/or not good, but I do think out of all the CoHo books I have read this one is her best. It is not in my top 10 books anymore, but maybe it would be in a Top 20.

3. Which book do you love to hate?

A book I love to hate on is We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. I really do not understand the hype for it and only really enjoyed the little 1-2 page stories based on fairytales. Those are the only interesting parts of the book and I am sorry, but I really do not get the hype regarding it. The twist felt stupid, the main character was annoying, the writing style was confusing, and the family of the book felt very dull and just snobby rich people.  I make sure to also mention this whenever I have the chance to talk about a book I don’t like. Due to this I have to say this book is definitely one I love to hate on.

4. Which book would you throw into the sea?

The book I’d throw into the ocean would probably be This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen. While I usually enjoy this author and would consider her to be in my top ten favorite authors It is probably my least favorite SD book ever. I hated the relationship in the book between the MC and love interest, I didn’t really like the other characters in the story, and hated the ending. Most of my hatred stems from the dislike of the borderline stalker behavior of the love interest in This Lullaby, but there are still a lot of things I dislike about this story. So would I chuck it into the ocean if given the chance…heck yeah.

5. Which book have you read the most?

The book I have read the most is probably The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. I have read it probably 6 or 7 times in my entire lifetime. I have not re-read any books as of lately, but I may try to make it 7 or 8 times someday in the future.

6. Which book would you hate to receive as a present?

The book I would hate to receive as a present would be Twilight. I don’t like Twilight anymore and even when I was in my Twilight phase I did not even like it that much. Most of my hype was just me pretending to enjoy it to get along with others who did really enjoy it at the time. I also have my own copy of Twilight currently on my basement stairs waiting to be either put on a shelf or in my giveaway pile so I would really hate for that to be under my tree next Christmas seeing as I don’t like the book and I already have a copy of it anyway.

7.  Which book could you not live without?

The book I could not live without would probably be Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia. While this book is not in my favorite books it is definitely in my top ten & probably one of my favorite representations of a character with mental illness I have ever seen, as well example of fandom life. I really liked this book and feel that the great MI rep is exactly what I want and need, especially when I was reading this book for the first time. I have not had the chance to re-read Eliza (or any book for that matter), but maybe I will later this year.

8. Which book made you the angriest? 

The book that made me the angriest had to be The last Divergent book: Allegiant by Veronica Roth. I remember reading the ending and almost throwing the book across the room (and this was during my high school psychology class). I don’t want to give away spoilers but it has one of the worst endings and payoffs I have ever read in a book, especially seeing as the book was one of the longest books I have ever read in my life.

9. Which book made you cry the most?

I have had a few books that made me cry so it is hard to tell which one I cried at the most. I would probably have to say Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies At The End by Michael Ausiello. I remember reading that book and sobbing at 3 a.m. as I sat in my dorm reading my review copy from Netgalley. That book was one of the saddest and most heartfelt books I have ever read. If you want to read a book that is a real tear jerker then I would pick this one.

10. Which book cover do you hate the most?

I don’t usually have huge opinions regarding cover design mainly because I just happen to like a lot of different ones for a lot of different reasons. However, if I had to name a cover I really did not like it would have to be Tash Hearts Tolstoy. While I did not hate the cover and I did in fact like the book, I just did not think the cover was that great and felt it could have had more or less effort put into it. I felt the black and white photo of Tolstoy on the cover did not make the book look too appealing (no offense to Tolstoy) and made the book seem like a totally different book than it actually is. When I look at the cover I would think this book is some kind of nonfiction story about Tolstoy and while that would possibly be interesting and there are Tolstoy facts sprinkled throughout the story, this isn’ that kind of book. I think Tash Hearts Tolstoy is a good book, but I do think the cover leaves something to be desired and does not give the right impression regarding the book. I think if Tolstoy had been on the cover as well as something else then that could have made the book cover more appealing, but just the title text, author name, and black and white photo of Tolstoy does not really make me want to read the book. Luckily I try not to judge books by their covers (both literally & figuratively). So while I was not a huge fan of the cover design I do regardless think you should check out this book.

 

So what are your book blogger confessions? Please comment below and let me know what you think of my choices and let me know your own.

Until next time dear readers.

-Jessica

The General & The Visitor Review

CoverI have not read a book of short stories in a long time, so when I was given the chance to review this book I did not know what to expect as this was not a novel I would usually have much knowledge about.However, I am very glad that I did decide to read these stories as they were both thought provoking and emotional.

The General (by: Richard Billing) & The Visitor (by: Mark Brooks) are the names of the two stories featured in this small 64 some page book. The General tells the story of a army and chief of that army who believes he is doing right by his country when ordered by the king to attack a land and people who did not know really much about. The chief soon learns though that what he may have believed prior to their attack, may have not been true. The Visitor tells the story of a man named Mike who is dealing with his grandfather’s last days in a hospice, while also thinking about his own life choices and feelings regarding himself.

The General had both positives and negatives regarding it. Something I really appreciated about The General is the ending as it does allow the readers to contemplate things regarding orders given to them without any facts. I feel this story will remind make readers to think critically as the chief in the story did not seem to do so thus the ending of the story. I really liked seeing that moral dilemma in the story regarding following orders for what you believe to be a good purpose or thinking and researching more into what actions you’re doing and what consequences may occur by doing those actions. The story really delves into that  in just a few pages, something I appreciate and I feel to be the sign of a great storytelling. The negative for me was that I really did not connect with the story and characters until the end. I was little confused following the writing and felt that when I compared this story to the later I was able to more clearly comprehend what was happening in The General rather than The Visitor. This could just be me as I am more used to reading stories similar to The Visitor rather than The General, but again this is just my opinion and my negative reaction for this particular story. I do not feel that this story was bad though & do think that the ending really helps it.

The Visitor was a tale I actually had the opposite reaction to regarding my positives and negatives. This is not to say the story was bad as it was actually my favorite of the two stories. However, for my positive regarding this story I liked the storytelling and writing of this story. I felt that it delved into a lot of things in a short time as the previous story had such as hardship and the consequences of our actions and life choices. I really liked being able to see how Mike’s family reacted to Mike’s grandfather and I really enjoyed the story that Mike’s grandfather told him and the lesson he gives him. I thought the narrative connected so many different parts of the main characters life to this tragic event in such a short time and gave a reminder about how things can change at any moment and how we need to help others whenever we can. My issue with this story as I said was the opposite of the first one as in I liked the writing for this story, but felt that the ending was lacking. Without giving too much away I felt that the ending could have been a little more connected to Mike’s lesson his grandfather tried to teach him and also give us a little more closure regarding something in the story besides his grandfather’s death. While I understand the story is supposed to be a short one & not have to have everything wrapped in a neat little bow, the ending felt a bit too abrupt and I would have liked a little more regarding Mike’s story. The General left me on such a stimulating note though wise I was hoping that the ending of The Visitor would be the same or at least give me so kind of content ending. This story did not seem to have either of those things though. While the middle of the story does give the readers a lesson about doing good for others when you can, the ending jut left me with a feeling of something to be desired rather than a feeling of closure or at least contentment. The Visitor didn’t have as good of an ending as The General did, but I still enjoyed the writing and narrative more than I did The General and on its own of course.

Overall, I really enjoyed these stories. They both had their ups and downs and goods and bads, but I don’t feel any resentment or strong feelings of dislike or negativity toward anything in these stories. I think that if you are looking for a book featuring two short stories that will make you evaluate your life and the choices you make/reasoning behind the choices you make then this is your kind of book.

One of the coolest parts of this book is that the proceeds of it go to Ranelagh House Care Home, a UK based residential care home. So by purchasing this book you are helping people in need, something that is similar to the lessons of this story especially as shown in The Visitor.
All in all I would give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.

4 out of 5 Stars

**** out of *****

 

I was sent this book by the authors in exchange for an honest review

Mini Book Reviews

So I have been reading a lot of books since January began. In fact I have read/finished 7 books since start of January. The issue I have is trying to put into words my feelings for these books. I feel like I have positives and maybe one to a few negatives for each book that I’ve read so far in 2018. So due to my inability to make a full review out of these books I decided to do something else. I am going to write my pros and cons for a select few of the books and my overall conclusion next to each one. I am not going to do all seven books, just books that I feel I can make a few statements about regarding my feelings for a particular novel.

So without further ado…

OFASOf Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst 

Pros: I loved the romance between the Mare and Denna in the book. I also enjoyed the characterization of certain characters especially Mare and the character development we saw. I also enjoyed the ending of the book immensely and it made me extremely anticipate the sequel.

Cons: The kingdom politics, names of different kingdoms, and the magic plot lines could get a bit confusing at times and hard to follow.

Overall Observation: I really enjoyed this book and the romance between Denna & Mare. While there were some issues I had with the fantasy and political side of the book, I felt that it made up for it with the romance, story, character arcs, and great ending. Can’t wait for next book.

4 out of 5 stars

 

51j8ClOJzoL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green 

Pros: The anxiety rep was good and OCD rep was own voice and from what I have heard is good rep (I do not have OCD so if there was something problematic about the rep please let me know though I think seeing as it was own voice I don’t think there is a high chance that the OCD rep), Aza was an interesting character, Aza’s relationship with her mom and friends were nice, story was well written, and I enjoyed the look into Aza’s grief regarding her dads death.

Cons: The book overall was good/okay, the pretentious teen writing (I know it is John Green so I expect it but some books of his it works in my opinion like TFIOs or Paper Towns due to the characters, but here it just felt strange) was an issue, the romance was just okay, and the mystery felt like of abandoned part of the way even though we do get a conclusion to it.

Overall: I do not think this was the worst John Green Book ever (Like Abundance of Katherine’s imo) or the best (like The Fault in Our Stars). I think the book is somewhere in the middle where the scale of good regarding John Green’s books are concerned. I really like seeing Aza and her life, though I was not as taken by the romance or the pretentious teen writing (again I know it was expected cause it is John Green) as I was with something like TFIOS or Looking for Alaska. So overall this book was a good book. It is not the greatest JG book ever, but certainly not the worst.

4 out of 5 stars

 

THTTash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee 

Pros: While I understand the rep for this book is not ownvoice exactly and I am not asexual myself so I can’t say exactly if this is for sure good rep I do think that from what I have heard from others the book is good asexual representation, I enjoyed exploring the life of a youtuber who makes a popular web series, the book delves into the good and bad of internet fame, Tash’s parents were cute, and I loved Tash’s relationships with her friends and family and how we get to see those relationships grow and develop in the book.

Cons: The middle of the book felt very slow paced to me and the ending of the book felt like there were a lot of  plot lines that were left unanswered.

Overall Observation: I really enjoyed the book exploring a character who is asexual and the life of a web series creator and to the best of my knowledge did so well. I do hope their is a sequel though because I felt there were a lot of answered question that I wanted more answers to in the end. I also felt that the middle of the book could have gone faster and possibly explored the issues I had regarding the book. Overall though this was a good book and something I would 100% recommend.

4 out of 5 stars

 

41DB+9wgwfL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_Operation Prom Date by Cindi Madsen 

Pros: I loved that this book had a MC who was involved in fandom life, so many Arrow references and references to other popular shows that have a decent following, the romance between Kate and Cooper was adorable, and the look into Coopers’s relationship with his dad was interesting.

Cons: The rowing practice parts of the book were not that interesting & I felt the story was dull at times.

Overall Observations: I really liked the fandom love that this book gives to its readers and the look into Kate and Coopers lives with each other and with their family/friends. The book was a cute read, but kinda dull at times especially during the rowing scenes. Overall I thought the book was just okay, but still good enough to recommend to any Olicity shipper who may want to read a book involving a MC who watches Arrow.

3 out of 5 stars

IOO.jpgThe Inside of Out by Jenn Marie Thorne

Pros: I thought the look into the role of an ally was interesting and the fact that they have sort of a problematic main character that redeems herself in the end. I liked that the book explored different hardships of those who are in the LGBT+ community in and out of school. I also enjoyed the romance between both Adam & Daisy and what we saw of Hannah & Natalie. I also felt like some of the issues I had in the book at the beginning where resolved or called out by the end to some degree.

Cons: While the fact that Daisy does not seem to understand what asexual actually means is brought up again at the end and she does apologize for it, I felt like the club should have called her out of that more on it and let them know how wrong it was (though her apology and somewhat better understanding of things regarding the LGBT+ community did help make this book the rating it did instead of a lower start rating). Also I also may have missed it, but I felt we didn’t really get to find out what Hannah’s dad said to her when it was hinted at a few times in the book.

Overall Observation: I liked the book and felt that some of my issues with the book that would have made it 3 stars were resolved in the end. I would have liked some of the questions I had at the end of the book answered though and also there could have been some more call out in the club or from other people regarding some of Daisy’s actions in the story rather than just going along with or encouraging it. Overall, I did enjoy the book and felt the story arc for Daisy was nice along with a few other characters. While it did have its issues I feel like this is more of a book that people have to decide for themselves in they want to read due to some of the more problematic elements of it. Though personally I enjoyed it.

4 out of 5 stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Photo Links

Inside of Out 

Operation Prom Date

Tash Hearts Tolstoy 

Turtles All The Way Down 

Of Fire and Stars 

Eat Your Feelings Review

Picture1It is a new year, so lets try something new. Today I am reviewing a cook book…sort of. This book is not really your average cook book and I liked it like that. This book is called Eat Your Feelings: The Food Mood Guide and was written by food coach and published author Lindsey Smith.

The book is half food/health guide and half cook book. What makes this book unique is the book discusses not only nutritional information and cooking tips (and recipes too of course), but the fact that it explains how food can affect people’s emotions and the different types of food that can positively or negatively impact emotions.

My favorite part of this guide is the fact that the recipes are all split into chapters pertaining to different emotions like sadness, anxiety, tiredness, boredom, and hunger. Smith not only gives the recipes too you, but explains why and how the ingredients in these recipes help with these emotions and making someone feel less stressed or more energetic. The fact that the author gives you more of an explanation into this is something I have not seen in any other types of cook books and is a welcome surprise.

The recipes themselves are also not very hard to make and taste good. Many of them are only three ingredient recipes and some do not even need the use of an oven. There are also a wide variety of the types of things you can make from drinks to entrees to desserts and more. All of these recipes are for the most part pretty healthy too. I actually made one of these recipes called cookie dough contraband and it was delicious. If you want to see more about that click here to got to my bookstagram where I feature a few photos of the food I made from this guide.

Overall, I really liked this book and think that it is a interesting take on food and something I have not seen before. If I had to say one issue with the guide it would probably be some of the chapter content felt a little repetitive when talking about the positives of eating what we crave (while I did like that part of the book it felt like it may have been repeated a few times). Other than that though I really enjoyed this book and think many others out there will too.

4 out of 5 stars.

**** out of *****

-Jessica

I was sent this review by the literary agency in exchange for an honest review. 

Bookish Goals of 2018

With a new year I have a few bookish goals for 2018 regarding the books I want to read, how I want to read, blogging, and my future career in the publishing industry. So without further ado here are my 5 Bookish Goals for 2018.

  1. Read Different Genres, Authors, and Age Groups

I read a lot of YA books, mainly contemporary. You can see that probably from the types of books I have reviewed on my blog. However, this year I want to change this. I began doing this last month, but this year I want to try to read more books at least in other sub-genres like YA science fiction and YA fantasy. I have been picky in past regarding the choices I make with science fiction and fantasy, but I want to try to change that this year and keep more of an open mind with science fiction and fantasy. I really like Marie Lu’s Warcross so I may try to read more of her other books this year. Speaking of authors, I also want to try to read more books by authors who I’ve only read a few of their books. I started reading books by Adam Silvera and Marie Lu last year and wanna read more of their other works. I also know a lot of authors that people talk about that I have not read and want to give a look at like Mackenzi Lee. Finally, I want to read more regarding different age groups. I have been reading so many YA books, especially in past few years. I would love to try and read more books pertaining to the New Adult genre (not Colleen Hoover) and adult genre. I also would like to try to read more Memoirs and Middle Grade books. I read a few books from both these genres last year, but hope to read more this year.

2. Blogging Schedule

I really want to try to have more of a schedule for my blogging, rather than just blogging whenever. I feel I have been good about scheduling posts, but I am scheduling post kind of erratically or a little too much. That meaning some weeks I have three post up and others I have a whole weeks worth scheduled. I don’t think I will be able to continue to have content every day, but having content possibly two or three times a week does not seem too implausible. I don’t know what exactly the schedule will be like, but at the moment I would try to aim for every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (with some weeks occasionally having special exceptions to this rule or alterations if need be). This is not something set it stone, but is something I would like this try this year with my blog.

3. More Reviews On Blog

I feel that I have been lacking in reviews with my blog, especially during the school semester. That I hope to change this year and try to have at least one review of every week or two weeks (this does not count top 5 reason to read post). I do a lot of listicles during the school semester because they are easier to write and work better with my busy schedule. This year though I am hoping to write more review post for books I read. Even if it is only once a week I feel I read enough to have at least two to four book reviews per month. I may not be able to do a ton of books reviews, but having lengthier book reviews on this blog is something I am hoping to try in 2018.

4. Read More E-books

I used to be pretty dedicated to reading only physical copies of books and e-books when I had to. Then as I began to review more and more ARCs, galleys, and documents for internship purposes I started to appreciate e-books more. Now that I have a Kindle I enjoy them vastly more. E-books are not always going to be my first choice when getting a book, but I have discovered a lot of positives when it comes to regarding books on an e-reader compared to having a physical copy of books. You can have so many books on one device, you can carry them without having to stick a bunch of books in your purse or bag, you can get better deals on certain books during sales/deal events, you can have access to books that are only available in e-book format, and I even found that I actually read books faster on an e-reader than in physical book format (though I am a fast reader in general). This year I hope to take more advantage of having an e-reader and can’t wait to see the books I will be reading on it in 2018.

5. Career Goal Progression

This goal is more of a personal one, but it is something that I have been working towards a long time. That goal is that I want to make some kind of progress in my career and dream of working in the publishing industry. I am not 100% sure if this means I will be accepted into the Summer Publishing Institute at NYU or get a paid internship at a publishing house or even get my dream job as soon as I get out of college (probably won’t happen, but one can dream). I am not sure how long it will take me or what the future holds, but I hope that after graduation I will have some sort of plan in place that will help make my dream of working in the publishing industry a reality.

 

So those are my 2018 Bookish goals. I don’t know what will happen or if they will turn out the way I want them too, though I hope they do. I will just have to wait and see what is in store for me in 2018. Let me know in comments below what your bookish 2018 goals are.

-Jessica

Top 5 Reasons To Read Crushed Lilies

crushed_liliesYesterday I had the pleasure of reading a manuscript by author Moriah Chavis. The manuscript is free to read on Swoon Reads and I will be posting the link here if you want to read and rate the book. And please please do because I honestly would go out and buy this book tomorrow if it was published. I can not begin to tell you how much I loved this story, the characters, the mystery, the references, and so much more. There are so many reasons I loved this book so I decided to do a Top 5 Reasons to Read in hopes of boosting peoples desire to read Crushed Lilies.

 

 

 

5. The Mystery

Something that I enjoyed about this book was the mystery that had me guessing throughout the story. There is a storyline in the book regarding murders of local girls and the story keeps you wondering who the culprit is. I had a few guesses throughout the story and one of them even ended up being true. I won’t say any more, but let me tell you this mystery is one that will keep you on your toes and have you wondering along with the characters who is committing these heinous crimes and why.

4. The Romance

The romance the main character Morgan has with her friend Cash is adorable. There were so many moments that had me swooning while reading the book and I can not even begin to tell you how cute I found Cash and Morgan’s romance to be. They watch Arrow together and have a romantic scene in a library together. If that does not peek your interest and make you want to ship them I do not know what will.

3. The References

I will admit the thing that hooked me into this story was finding out that there were references to my favorite Show: Arrow and my OTP/Favorite Arrow Ship: Olicity. However, once you read this story there are not just so many clever Arrow references that I could relate to thinking about, but so many pop culture references that made me smile. In some forms of media using to many pop culture references can make something seem too much like the form of media is trying to sell out or like it is trying too hard to be cool. This book though worked in the references at just the right times and made the story even more enjoyable than it already is.

2. The Characters

Besides Morgan’s kidnapping and her dislike of chocolate, I couldn’t even keep track of how relatable Morgan’s character was to me. We both love reading, Olicity, watching Arrow, watching Netflix, sewing, crafting, musicals, etc. There were so many times that Morgan would say something in this story that made me want to cry or cheer or just had me loving her even more. This can go for most of the characters. Even the minor characters like Morgan and Cash’s teacher or Penny, the woman who helps with the school theatre costumes have enjoyable moments that made me smile. The author even is able to take a character I thought was awful in the beginning and make me somewhat sympathize with her by the end. The characters in this book are well written, have unique attributes and personalities, and can be relatable in so many ways to personal struggles to likes or dislikes.

1. The Story

I loved this story. If I had to describe it I would say it felt like a YA version of The Room with a mix of Criminal Minds in there. A story about a kidnapping victim after they are home is something I have not read a lot of stories about, especially YA ones. So this book having that premise really helps. I also enjoyed the smaller story lines woven into the book such as Morgan’s letter writing project, the romance, the relationship Morgan has with her family, Cash’s struggle with wanting to be a musician instead of a football player, Cash’s aunts journalism/take on Morgan’s side of the kidnapping, Morgan’s PTSD, Pressley’s panic disorder, and so much more. There is so much of this story that I love and feel is there too love. There is so much drama, suspense, happiness, sadness, romance, and more in this book that I don’t think you’ll be able to put it down.

 

Again this story is available for free on Swoon Reads. It is currently not published, but you could help change that. If you read and rate the story on Swoon Reads you can help the author possibly have the book published. Please refer to the link at the top of this post to read the story and to possibly make that happen.

-Jessica

 

Eliza and Her Monsters Review

EAHMThis Christmas I was lucky enough to be gifted with a Kindle Fire and am happy to say that one of the first books I ever bought with this gift was a book that I can honestly say I have 0 bad or negative opinions about. This book was so good that I may have to replace Ugly Love as one of my top ten favorite books and put Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia there instead (not 100% sure off top of my head what number spot it was at though). To say I loved this book and would recommend it would be an understatement. This book did so many things right and I know I have said this about a ton of books I have read that have to do with anxiety and fandom life, but this book I think probably did it the most accurately or at least on par with All The Feels by Danika Stone.

This book is the story of Eliza Mirk a girl who lives two lives. In real life she is a shy and introverted high school student who is getting ready to graduate soon. Online though Eliza is someone else. She is LadyConstellations the author of a viral webcomic called Monstrous Seas. Eliza loves having her two lives seperate and being anonymous. But when a new student named Wallace arrives and Eliza is asked to show him around things may become more complicated than ever before. Especially after realizing he’s a fan and has no idea who Eliza really is.

There are so many things I like about this book I don’t know where to begin. First off lets talk about the fandom life and culture in this book because I think the author was spot on when she wrote this book concerning people who has a large internet following or spend a lot of times online immersed in fandoms. The author touches on everything from live blogging to trolls to cosplay to fan art to feelings that fans have from excitement about content to entitlement regarding content or celebrities (this is something I have seen first hand at cons) and so much more. And even past that she discusses how it feels to be apart of a community online and behind a username. She talks about how other people view fandoms and how it can be not as easy for some people to understand who do not get the fandom life or creating content for people. I especially love how the author wrote the parent’s and Eliza’s family. How they did not understand and later try to. This is something that I really can relate to with trying to explain how being online is fun and is not just a distraction from what I really need to be doing or anything like that. I really enjoyed the relationship Eliza has with her family and how they show it to have its good and bad parts and how both Eliza and her parent’s are struggling in their own way and eventually become more understanding other both points of view by the end. I love how they showed parents who think you shouldn’t do something except to make money. They do even show how people can make money with fandom related merchandise or content they create which is something else I enjoyed. I like how they showed even parents who have their own mental health issues to deal with (though the subject of what I am speaking of here didn’t have exactly the happiest ending to say the least). That brings me into the next part of what I enjoyed regarding this book, the mental health representation.

The mental health rep in this book is great, especially concerning how Eliza deals with it and how they show Wallace, her boyfriend dealing with it himself. Eliza and Wallace are both shown to have signs of depression and anxiety and I really enjoyed how the author showed that realistically. There were times when this book gets dark and I do think it is important to warn readers about that before going into this book regarding places someone can eventually get to when it comes to anxiety and depression. The rep though regarding these things was 100% spot on. I love that they showed how internet relationships and fandoms and everything can both help mental health struggles, but also sometimes make it worse. Both things I have personally experienced. I also really enjoyed how this is not a story where a main character falls in love with someone and that magically makes her not depressed or anxious. They don’t show that just being in a relationship solves everything. In fact, Wallace and Eliza both end up going to therapy by the end of the book and it shows to help. We even get to see Eliza’s session with a therapist and it is not something played for laughs like sometimes therapy is seen in certain types of media. I really love when books have mental health rep where the main character gets help from a therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist or counselor it is not seen as some joke or used as a punch line. Getting help mentally is something I really would like to see in more books that focus on characters with mental illnesses and I hope that this is something that continues. Wallace and Eliza are able to be a couple, but that doesn’t mean either fixes one another completely. They get to be people with their own interest & who are working through their own issues in life, but also are together as a couple.

The last things I really want to discuss is the style of this book which I really enjoyed. I loved how this book was written where not only did it have a great and flowing narrative, but it also had a lot of other extra things that made the book extra-special. Like for instance the book had illustrations of the comics that Eliza created, message board transcripts, private message transcripts, letters, etc. sprinkled in the story. I really loved how the author added these into the book as it was a real treat to be able to see more of Eliza life online and her creation, as well as what her creation inspired others to write.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story and can not think of one bad thing to say about it. If you want a book that has great mental health rep, great story, great characters, great fangirl rep, and just so much more then please pick up Eliza and her Monsters.

 

 

 

 

 

Book Photo Credit Link 

Snowsisters Review

snowsistersUpdate: In my original review I posted I insinuated that a character being problematic about a certain issue was not very realistic. After talking with a few people and rereading my review over again I have seen that I was wrong in my thinking, have edited that portion out of the review, and just wanted to apologize. In the future I will try to think more and do more research on issues that I fully do not understand. I apologize for anyone I may have harmed or insulted with my original post. That was not my intention at all and I do see now how my belief of a character being unrealistically problematic in a certain sense was actually problematic. Again I apologize for my actions and I will try to do better in the future regarding my opinions of certain plots and stories and my research, especially when it comes to things that I personally cannot relate to. 

The second I heard about this book I was interested. I really liked the idea of a winter girl writing camp and a romance between two of the narrators of the story. I read this book in one sitting in a few hours and I have to say there were moments that made me go “awww,” but also many moments that made me annoyed and confused. And this review will explain all of that.

This review does contain some possible spoilers (though I tried to be as spoiler free as I could) and some comments regarding possible unchallenged homophobia and transphobia.

Soph is a New Yorker who enjoys writing poetry and feel strongly about social justice. Tess is a girl from a farm who enjoys writing fiction about her favorite TV show and wants to join the military after high school. These two girls seem so different, but a week long writing camp may change the way they see not only their writing and their world view, but each other.

Let me start off with what I liked in this book first. First off the romance between Soph and Tess was the cutest. There were so many times that I smiled when reading scenes between them. Without giving anything away there is a scene at the end that really made me feel this way in a flash-forward. I just loved the cute scenes that author’s Tom Willinsky and Jen Sternick wrote for them together. Whether they were cooking or walking in the snow or just talking to each other, you could see the chemistry between the two which is something that really helps to show a good couple and is not always easy to show, especially in writing. Willinsky and Sternick pulled it off though and applaud them for that.

Another thing I liked about the story is the character development we see, especially with Tess and Soph. We get to see Tess become more take charge and stand up for herself, while we get to see Soph become more understanding of other people’s situations. Soph’s character development was something I especially appreciated and liked that we saw Soph become more understanding after Tess showed her another point of view that she was not personally used to (though there was an issue I had with this character development that I talk about later in this review).

The last thing I want to say about this book is I felt like the writer’s knew about the subject of english and some history too. They make a lot of points regarding different poetry, types of stanzas, fiction, writing advice, and more. I felt the author’s knew what they were talking about and did reference not only past historic events and artifacts that related to the story, but even recent ones (like the Pulse Club shooting in Florida). I really appreciated that about the novel and how the authors incorporated a variety of knowledge into this story.

Now onto the bad or the stuff that kept me from rating this book 4 or 5 stars. I really wanted to give this book at least 4 stars because of the writing, character development, and relationship between Tess and Soph. So what stopped me? Well a few things. First off as much as I did like Soph’s character development I had some issues with Soph’s narrow-mindedness regarding safety and coming out. Soph has never felt scared to come out to her family or friends and believed that everyone who was gay should just come out. Now later in the book Tess shows her that coming out is not always as easy as she thinks and that people who are gay in more close-minded communities have to worry a lot about safety and feeling safe to come out and to who. The issue is I felt like Soph still did not really understand why her previous views were wrong after Tess explained the situation. While by the very end I felt she understood much more than before, Soph writes a writing assignment and says that she feels that everyone who doesn’t tell their secrets is ashamed of themselves and there is no other reason for keeping secrets. While this is questioned by the woman helping her with her writing, it felt like something Soph should already of realized after what Tess said and explained to her about why some people have to stay in the closet for their own protection and fear of violence, bullying, prejudice, potential homelessness, and more. It just felt like after Soph heard and seemed to understand all that she did from Tess, she shouldn’t five minutes later go back to thinking everyone who keeps secrets is doing it because they are ashamed of who they are. It felt very regressive for a character who seemed to be having such good character development. Like I said in the very end she seems to understand better, but this point was still near the end and still bugged me.

Another issue I had in this book is how a transphobic character is handled. In the book a girl Chris is transphobic towards her roommate Orly. Chris misgenders Orly a lot calling her a boy or referring to her as “he.” Chris also laters also plays a mean “prank” on Orly by making insinuating her snowsister is a really a man as she places the carrot nose in her lower half of the snowsister. While Chris’s behavior is called out throughout the book and Chris seems to sort of see why what she did was wrong, it did not feel as addressed in the book as it should of been or called out as much as it should have been. While other characters in the book and Orly do tell Chris off and explain why her thinking is wrong, it never feels like there was any real apology or calling out of her behavior. Chris I felt got off the hook too easily and for someone who calls herself a feminist, to be transphobic to a transwoman is a very un-feminist thing to do and just something that no person should do at all. I felt the book could have been more direct with calling out Chris for her prejudice and harmful thinking, talking, and behavior. Chris is never even punished for this behavior after the staff of the camp finds out about it, they make her apologize but from what we are told in the book and from Orly it seems to be a very insincere expression of regret and wrongdoing. I would have liked the authors to be more  upfront and hard on Chris and showed that this type of behavior was not okay. It just felt like Chris got off too easy and Orly, while she seemed somewhat happy with the outcome, wasn’t given the fairness and consideration she and other transpeople deserve.

Overall, I did enjoy this book to a degree. I liked the relationship and romance between Soph and Tess and felt the writing/character development in the book was solid. I had some issues with some of the character’s prejudices and closeminded beliefs not being as called out or as altered as the book either made it seem and/or I hoped they would. I don’t think these issues technically make this book a bad book, but I don’t think it makes this book a 4 or 5 star book either. If you want a cute story about gay teen girls at a writing camp I would pick this book up, but only if you feel comfortable or okay with reading about or a book that could possibly be seen as having transphobia and homophobia in it and not properly called out or altered.

*** out of *****

3 out of 5 stars

I received this an uncorrected e-galley from Interlude Press in exchange for an honest review

 

 

 

 

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