Review: Lock & Key by Sarah Dessen

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Goodreads Summary:

Ruby, where is your mother?

Ruby knows that the game is up. For the past few months, she’s been on her own in the yellow house, managing somehow, knowing that her mother will probably never return.

That’s how she comes to live with Cora, the sister she hasn’t seen in ten years, and Cora’s husband Jamie, whose down-to-earth demeanor makes it hard for Ruby to believe he founded the most popular networking Web site around. A luxurious house, fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future; it’s a dream come true. So why is Ruby such a reluctant Cinderella, wary and defensive? And why is Nate, the genial boy next door with some secrets of his own, unable to accept the help that Ruby is just learning to give?

Best-selling author Sarah Dessen explores the heart of a gutsy, complex girl dealing with unforeseen circumstances and learning to trust again.

My Review

This was my first Sarah Dessen book! My friend lent me it and mentioned that it was a quick read! She was definitely right! The story was sweet and emotional all the way through. It touched on all the toughest life subjects you can think of.

Lock & Key follows the point of view of Ruby, a teenage girl who was recently abandoned by her lowlife mom. She thinks she can handle things on her own but soon finds herself in the custody of her older sister whom she believed to have walked out on her and her mom years ago. Now her life has taken on a mind all its own, as she learns to adjust to a completely new world. Fortunately, she finds an unlikely friendship (or more than friendship) in the boy next door. However, she is determined to keep the secrets of her past from him, but she begins to wonder if he’s keeping secrets of his own.

This book was heart wrenching throughout. I felt for Ruby’s situation. She was so determined to be independent and keep herself boxed up, but life just finds a way sometimes to make you learn the most unexpected things about yourself. I loved all the characters too! Each one had their curves and edges all their own. I think Dessen did an excellent job of showing the ways in which you can be a product of your environment, which I am a sound believer of! I admit, I was expecting this book to be more centered around the romance, but that really wasn’t the case. It was more focused on self-discovery, and the ability to accept that you don’t have to be alone, and you can always ask for help.

If you are looking for an emotionally touching read, with a dash of romance, then I would most definitely recommend you read Lock & Key!

Buy it on Amazon!

Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

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Goodreads Summary:

With this stunning debut novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver emerged as one of today’s foremost authors of young adult fiction. Like Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why and Gayle Forman’s If I Stay, Before I Fall raises thought-provoking questions about love, death, and how one person’s life can affect so many others.

For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.

However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.


My Review

I’ll be honest, I had never heard of this book until I saw the preview for the movie. The concept definitely intrigued me. I decided to listen to it on audiobook, and wow, just wow. This story was unexpectedly heart wrenching and real, so so real.

The story centers around the life and death of Samantha Kingston who has climbed her way to the top of the popularity tower and happens to be friends with the top dogs. She’s essentially a bitch and so are her friends. That becomes apparent immediately, however, when she wakes up in the morning after experiencing her death to find that the day she lived yesterday is on repeat, she soon discovers she is stuck in a loop unless she can do something to change her path and the situation around her.

It was so incredibly interesting to see Oliver create the same day in multiple different unique ways. I kept thinking throughout, how is she going to change it this time, how is she going to give this story a happy ending? Well folks, don’t expect a happy ending, but do expect an ending that makes sense and will certainly give you chills. Though I definitely disliked Sam’s character in the beginning, I began to appreciate her and her character evolution as her repeated days continued. She grew so much and developed into a wonderful female lead. And though I so wish the story had ended differently, I understand why it concluded the way it did. And even though it kills me inside, I am content in a certain way with the way things played out.

The message in Before I Fall is absolutely beautiful and makes you appreciate life and humanity. It teaches you to take in every small wonderful detail of your existence, because even the most insignificant aspects of life have a role to play, a role that could be so much more impactful then you ever realized.

I would definitely recommend you read Before I Fall if only to feel all the emotion that this story has to bring and appreciate it’s meaning. I can only hope that the movie brings that emotion to life just as well as the book.

Buy it on Amazon.

Review: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

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Goodreads Summary: 

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

My Review

Everything, Everything was a surprisingly refreshing contemporary romance! I thoroughly enjoyed it from cover to cover!

I had seen this book all over bookstagram for months before I saw the movie trailer for the first time and realized what it was about. It seemed sweet and endearing, although I had a feeling about the direction the story was going to go in.

Everything, Everything follows the life and perspective of Madeline, a girl with a rare disease that requires her to never step outside for fear of it causing her body to shut down and kill her. She is resigned to her fate, that is until the day that Ollie moves in next door. She can’t help but feel drawn to him, and what starts out as a simple fascination grows into a real connection when they begin to speak over the internet. Soon she finds herself falling for him no matter how much she knows it’s doomed to fail.

As circumstances progressed, I couldn’t help but wonder how the author was going to play this out. Obviously the story could go one of two ways. Fortunately, and also unfortunately, the main plot twist is one I predicted from the very beginning. Though I was not a fan of the predictability, that did not stop me from feeling satisfied with the overall turn of events. The story was fast paced, the characters were absolutely lovely, and the style of writing was wholly unique. I listened to it on audiobook which was a little bizarre for the way it was written, but it still worked, and I found myself utterly gripped by the story.

I loved the writing in this book, and the characters stole my heart. I would most definitely recommend reading Everything, Everything. Especially if you are looking for a heartwarming contemporary read! I can’t wait to see the movie now, I just hope it lives up to expectations.

Buy this beautiful tale now!

Special Release Day Launch: Sweet Sixteen by Brenda Rothert

Sweet Sixteen by Brenda Rothert is having a really exciting release! This book is available for FREE! You can read an episode each week on the INKLO app and react in real-time and chat with your friends! All you have to do is download the app and follow Brenda and the book Sweet Sixteen. Make sure to click “follow” on the book page so you will get a notification of each chapter’s release on the app!

To follow Brenda, go to the bottom of the Sweet Sixteen main book page, click on “More from Brenda Rothert” and then click “follow”. You will get notifications when Brenda releases new titles on the INKLO app!

 

Sweet Sixteen by Brenda Rothert

A contemporary title available to read for FREE on the INKLO app! 

Check out INKLO and read how to download the app!

 
Book Blurb:

In Roper, Missouri, football is everything. At least, to everyone but high school senior Gin Scott. Gin plans to escape her hometown as soon as she graduates, but her plans to stay under the radar until then are ruined when her secret crush, quarterback Chase Matthews, offers her a coveted spot as one of the Sweet Sixteen. It’s an honor Roper girls dream of, but for independent Gin, it’s more like a nightmare. By rejecting Chase’s invitation, she is ostracized from her classmates, and eventually, most of her town. How sweet it is.

ABOUT INKLO:
INKLO is a mobile app and digital self-publishing platform that turns written stories into real-time, social experiences.
The app is very user-friendly. Once you’ve downloaded the app, you will be able to follow authors and/or stories to read the new chapter posted each week. Reading stories on INKLO is and always will be FREE.

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

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Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.

AUTHOR LINKS:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | | Wattpad | Amazon

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Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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Goodreads Summary:
Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words… And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

My Review

I have been meaning to read Fangirl since I discovered the title years ago when it first came out. I mean a book titled Fangirl? The very thing I epitomize, I had to get my hands on it! I bought it over the summer and here I am months later and I can’t believe I hadn’t read this little wonder sooner!

I related to Fangirl on almost a cellular level! Which might be kind of sad depending on how you look at it, I mean I am definitely not as socially awkward or introverted as Cath but I definitely felt like we were kindred  spirits when it came to certain characteristics. Rowell created a character who was so very aware of her vulnerablity but was still proud of who she was. She embraced her nerd on all platforms and was happy to show it. The story follows Cath as she enters college with her twin sister but must come to terms with the fact that her sister whom she’s shared everything with since birth is growing in a very different direction than she is. She is thrown into an atmosphere that is totally alien to her and she must adapt in the only way she knows how which is to further embrace her introversion.

Cath’s experiences and reactions were so heartfelt, and even though this story isn’t entirely fast paced, I found myself consumed by the content. The characters just felt so real, and the situations got to me. I had to make sure that Cath was going to be okay with so many new developments. I wanted to see her succeed, and most importantly, I wanted to see her relationships blossom. Fangirl is a beautiful coming of age story that spoke volumes to me and made me reflective. Rowell wrote so many amazing lines, that had me putting down the book to just contemplate what she said.

If you are looking for a lovely contemporary romance or college coming of age story, then I would most definitely recommend you reading Fangirl! Buy it on Amazon here!

Review: Paper Towns by John Green

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Goodreads Summary:

Who is the real Margo?

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew… 

My Review

I listened to Paper Towns on audiobook which may or may not have been a mistake. I definitely feel like I missed some of the great lines from this book that were probably really profound. I’m honestly not really sure if I would have enjoyed Paper Towns more if I had physically read the book or not. I didn’t dislike Paper Towns by any means, but I wasn’t in love with it.

The story focuses on the point of view of Quentin who is a senior in high school and is just trying to make it through to graduation. He has known Margo Roth Spiegleman almost all of his life but they have drifted apart over the years. That is until she takes him on a wild night full of adventure and crime! However, when she disappears the next day, Q is determined to find her no matter what it takes. Though finding her is much easier said than done.

The beginning of Paper Towns was complete perfection! I was hooked on the characters from the beginning and thoroughly entertained! Though I totally found myself totally annoyed by Margo as time went on!! She just seemed like such a conceited b****, granted I didn’t feel so strongly in the beginning, but as events progressed I began to dislike her more. Although I was really intrigued by Quentin and his friends. Each one of them was so layered and structured. Their interactions were hilarious! Though the beginning and a lot of the middle and some of the end were very well done, I couldn’t help but feel super agitated by the conclusion! I just expected so much more after such a big buildup! I was left feeling bereft.

I still recommend reading Paper Towns, however I would exercise caution when approaching the end. Don’t look for things to work out as planned. I’m starting to notice a pattern with John Green and his endings…

Buy Paper Towns on Amazon here!