Category Archives: YA

REVIEW: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

RATING: 4.5 STARS/5

“Josh is Margot’s boyfriend, but I guess you can say my whole family is a little in love with him.” – To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.”

– Taken from Goodreads

It has definitely been a little while since I read a book where I thoroughly loved the protagonist.

Maybe because I was on a bit of an Asian author reading kick (I must admit that I am secretly jumping for joy that more Asian authors are gaining fans!!!) I decided to finally read, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly I bonded with Lara Jean and related to all her mannerisms. I jumped for joy in finding a soul sister who shared an equal amount of petrified anxiety while driving (however many years it has been since I first started —who’s counting?) as well as general social anxiety. Lara Jean’s innocence, her bond with her family, geekiness, quirk, her total loyalty… I loved her more and more with each page.

Kitty (Katherine) is Lara Jean’s little sister. If I ever had a little sister I would have wanted her to be exactly like Kitty. That girl had spunk and she said what she wanted to regardless of who it was. Her one liners kill me. Can I adopt her? I really want to adopt her. Please?

Margot is the rod that holds the family together. She keeps everyone in check and alive. The one who made sure her grades were good and that she would get into the school she wanted. Type A. Since she went off to Scotland for school I didn’t get as attached with her.

I’m not going to get into the male characters or other supporting characters as I don’t want to spoil them for anyone but I really liked how much detail Jenny Han put into her descriptions of her characters although some were less developed.

When I finished TATBILB, I jumped right into P.S I Still Love You even though it was already past 12am =)

Would I re-read this: Yes! Yes I most likely would.
Would I recommend this to a friend: Absolutely!

TSR, Tru

(DISCLAIMER: I did not receive this book from anyone — nor was I paid from anyone to read and review it. The above review is solely my own opinion, good or badAmazon links are a part of their affiliates program so any purchases made through those links will give me a small percentage of income.)

REVIEW: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

RATING: 3.5-4 STARS/5

“Walking to school over the snow-muffled cobbles, Karou had no sinister premonitions about the day.” – Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

“Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?”

– Taken from Goodreads review

Angels, devils, monsters, humans… otherworlds. I was pretty excited to get my hands on this book to say the least. Paranormal romance has always been my favorite genre.

Since Dreams of Gods & Monsters came out and the trilogy is now complete I thought I’d give it a try.

The descriptions of the drawings in Karou’s sketchbook fascinated me as well as the scenery, Prague and all the other places Laini Taylor described, the teeth. There was enough detail so that I could picture everything but not so much that it made me skip pages trying to get to action. I loved the aspect of hope and wishes. The give and take relationship between getting something you think you wanted but for what price? It makes you think. It’s realistic and not ohhhh everything comes so easy! I liked that Karou wasn’t a delicate little thing. Her ‘job’ could get her hurt, and she did get hurt. She was tough and could handle it. These things I liked.

One thing that bothered me while reading was the extensive use of the suffix “-ness”. Oh.my.gosh! It was getting on my nerves. Beautiful-ness. Great-ness. Whole-ness. Blue-ness…. but that’s just me.

Another was that for the greater part of the beginning of the book it was in Karou’s POV (which I liked) and then abruptly switched to Kaz’s (her ex-boyfriend). From there it went back and forth between different characters. This wasn’t a major deal but it caused it to be a choppy read for me.

All-in-all I did like the book. I’d lean closer to 3.5 stars for the majority of the book.

Would I re-read this: Probably. Most likely after I finish the whole trilogy to see what I missed.
Would I recommend this to a friend: Yes I would.

TSR, Tru

(DISCLAIMER: I did not receive this book from anyone —I borrowed it from my library— nor was I paid from anyone to read and review it. The above review is solely my own opinion, good or bad. Amazon links are a part of their affiliates program so any purchases made through those links will give me a small percentage of income.)

REVIEW: Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

RATING: 3 STARS/5

“I didn’t recognize the name on the street sign.” – Don’t Look Back

Don't Look Back

Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it’s one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took “mean girl” to a whole new level, and it’s clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She’s getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she’s falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn’t just buried deep inside of Sam’s memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

– Taken from Goodreads overview.

I started reading Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout (the first Armentrout novel I’ve read) shortly after finishing up We Were Liars. This was definitely an improvement and I starting getting my reading grove back. I finished it within 6 hours of starting which tells you that for me at least it was an easy and quick read.

After reading the overview what you basically get from it is that something bad happened and Samantha (Sam), the resident B***H, lost her memory which allows her to become a completely different person. Don’t Look Back is Mean Girls meets Clueless meets Beverly Hills 90210 and so on. A mystery of what happened to the pretty uber-rich girls.

Sam didn’t get on my nerves. A lot of the time when characters lose their memory it feels really fake. The way Armentrout wove parts of the old-old-Sam (before Cassie) in with the old-Sam (during Cassie) made new-Sam (after Cassie) feel believable. It also helped that the people around her talked about all 3 periods and how she was.

I enjoyed reading Sam “meet” every one from her life. Her internal dialog with everyone felt real and like how a teenager would feel and think or how I would digest meeting someone I didn’t remember anything about. Sam meeting Del, her group of friends, seeing Carson for the first time, every time was like discovering a new layer to who Sam was.

My favorite characters were Carson and Scott. They were funny, caring, and if I was living in Sam’s world I would definitely want to be friends with them.

Even though it was easy to figure out certain things before they were really revealed I didn’t mind it all that much. This was still a good read.

Would I re-read this: Most likely not.
Would I recommend this to a friend: Yes. It’d be a nice and easy read.

TSR, Tru

(DISCLAIMER: I did not receive this book from anyone —I borrowed it from my library— nor was I paid from anyone to read and review it. The above review is solely my own opinion, good or bad.  Amazon links are a part of their affiliates program so any purchases made through those links will give me a small percentage of income.)