What If It’s Us by Adam Silvera & Becky Albertalli | Review

Thank you so much to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC. All thoughts and opinions in this review are my own and receiving a copy of the book did not impact my views. 

Star-Divider

Book Depository | Booktopia | Amazon |

Star-Divider

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Release Date: October 9th, 2018

Dates Read: August 16th, 2018 – August 16th, 2018

Trigger Warnings: a homophobic scene on a train which escalates to threats, cheating, ignorant comments about race (called out), panic attacks

Pages: 448

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: young adult, contemporary, romance, LGBT+

Goodreads blurb:

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

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August Wrap Up | 2018

Wow, August went by fast. I’m not even sure why. I think it’s because I had to do so much for university as I tried to get ahead before I start work experience in September. I don’t think I’m going to get much reading done in September, yikes. I typically read over ten books so I’m a little nervous. But, that is not this month.

I didn’t do a lot throughout August. I did multiple university assignments, started walking my dog every day, my arthritis medication finally started to work. I didn’t do anything socially, so it was a tad bit of a boring month in terms of a social life.

My reading month was all over the place though. I read some books I loved and I read some books I hated. I had some of my most anticipated releases let me down and I had some shock books that I absolutely loved. I read way more books than I even thought I would this month as well.

Over August I read 26 books and 7,929 pages. I find the page count interesting, so I’m going to start adding it to my wrap-ups!

A lot of my reviews I have written for my August reads haven’t been published yet. I scheduled all my posts for September, which are mostly these reviews. I hope you all stick around to read them!

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Top 17 Books of 2017

Wow, 2017, what a year. So much has happened in my life. There have been so many hardships throughout this year and sometimes it was a mess. Sometimes it left me having a relapse in my room at 3am and sometimes it ended with me on top of the moon being so glad of all the progress I made.

But, you’re not all here to read about my mental health and my hardships of this year. You’re all here to read about what are my top 17 books of 2018. This was strangely an easy list to format. I tried to keep it mainly to 2017 releases, but some are just books I read this year and I adored. So, let’s get stuck into it. This list is in no particular order, so don’t assume because a book is higher up or lower it has more value.


1. Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas | Review

This is the one that will have people screaming at me the most I think. I know so many people despise Sarah and her books, but her representation of PTSD really helps me. So, having Chaol, the main character, suffering throughout the book was something that resonated with me and left my feelings all over the place. It was also interesting to learn about his recovery, my mum had been in a car accident and told she’d never walk again (she did and does) so it was interesting to read about something that upsets her too much to talk about.

2. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesa Zappia | Review

I think this hit a lot of people’s favourite books this year. The fandom representation and anxiety throughout hit the nail on the head. It was also interesting to see a character who wrote and fanfiction to be incorporated into a novel. I used to write fanfiction (cringe) so I sincerely enjoyed this dynamic because I met one of my closest friends from writing it.

3. Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu | Review

Now, this had to be one of my top books of 2017. It was incredible. It was the book I needed when I was younger and not sure where I fit in the world. When I truly needed some girl power. Honestly, I’m still speechless about this book but I will continue to scream about it and shove it into anyone’s hands I can.

4. Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare | Review

Okay, so obviously Lord of Shadows was my favourite book of the year. I’ve made it clear how much I adore Cassandra Clare’s books and The Dark Artifices series is no exception. Her writing has improved so much over 10 years so I’m even recommending this series who didn’t like The Mortal Instruments. I really am still speechless over this book. I will definitely be re-reading before Queen of Air and Darkness releases next year.

5. The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty | Review

Now, The City of Brass is a shock favourite of the year honestly. It was such a magical read that really drew me in. The culture and just, overall, the story was so absolutely incredible. I am still unable to really grasp what happened in it and it’s another book I want to shove onto absolutely anyone who will listen.

6. The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee | Review

Mackenzi Lee’s work is one book that has stuck with me since I read it months ago. It was so what I needed. A story about two young men and a girl causing mischief throughout Europe with a sense of adventure and serious tones throughout the novel. My favourite thing about this particular work was the inclusion of epilepsy. As someone who’s mum has epilepsy, it was incredible to see it represented in fiction with such a raw emotion. It truly is difficult to see someone you love suffer.

7. Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco | Review

I absolutely loved the first book in this series and the second book was no exception. I loved it. Honestly. This book also had some PTSD representation throughout it, that in my opinion, was so well done. The storyline is just as incredible as the first, even if I guessed the killer in this one. Maniscalco is just an incredible writer who I sing the highest of praises to.

8. A List of Cages by Robin Roe | Review

I read this book before I had my blog and really had a chance to rave about it. There are a lot of triggers in this book I wasn’t aware of but I read it in one sitting and was awake until late in the night crying over what happened. I still think about this book. My best friend actually bought me a physical copy for my birthday and I’m just so in love. It was just such an emotional punch so be prepared for that.

9. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor | Review

This is probably the most shocking book on my list. I put this book down after starting it and wasn’t expecting to ever go back. I had bought it because it was pretty and $11. One day though I picked it up on a whim and wow. This book. I am completely in love with Lazlo. Yet another book I am recommending endlessly to my friends and family. I really think this particular one is a good fit for anyone.

10. They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera | Review

I just loved this book. There are no words for me to even describe how great it was. Read it. Now.

11. Everless by Sara Holland | Review

This is a debut I just loved. The concept is just so intricate and so elaborate. I was blown away by it, not at all expecting a favourite book to come out of reading it. Sure, it doesn’t come out until next year for the US but this book is just so incredible you need to preorder now. 

12. How To Make A Wish By Ashley Herring Blake | Review

Similar to They Both Die At The End I have no words to describe this book. I am trying to shove it on my sister quite aggressively (because it needs to be shared) but she refuses to read it and it frustrates me. So, to everyone reading this you need to pick up this book. Obviously you need to pick up every book on the list, but still.

13. Renegades by Marissa Meyer | Review

I knew I was going to love Renegades. So, I wasn’t shocked when I loved Renegades. Recently its been the target of some homophobic reviews which is really annoying because this book is incredible. I absolutely love the anti-hero concept so I sincerely loved reading about it in Marissa’s beautiful writing style.

14. Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan | Review

This one kind of speaks for itself. It’s the final book in a series and makes the list because Rick Riordan is an incredible writer. His inclusion of the mythologies in his worlds are so flawless and engaging that I can’t help but fall in love with absolutely everything.

15. The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones | Review

This was probably the biggest shock for my list. I picked it up on a whim because the ebook was on my phone was some reason. I thought it was a series as well, I’m not sure why? I fell in love completely. This book is so underhyped. Why haven’t more people read it? I don’t understand, honestly. It is truly a masterpiece. The writing, the storyline,  the romance. All. So. Incredible. Pick this up, please.

16. The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed | Review

If you like Moxie, then you’ll love The Nowhere Girls. These two go right together with feminism movements. However, this one is a tad darker and intense. The girls fight back and a movement begins to protect others. It also made me realise some things about my own life I had to move through mentally. It was, however, such a powerful feminist read and I highly recommend it.

17. The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie | Review

Another unexpected favourite. This book got really popular on Goodreads for awhile and I decided to jump on the hype train. It’s such a beautiful f/f romance with pirates involved. Was not what I expected at all but I am glad to have it on this list!


So, there we have it! My top 17 reads of this year. Obviously, I recommend them all highly and sincerely suggest you give them as gifts to yourself (or others) this holiday season. All 17 books meant something important to me this year.

Have you read any of the books on this list? What are some of your favourite reads of 2017?

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera | Review

19542841Book Depository | Booktopia |


Rating: ★★★☆☆

Trigger warnings: suicide, homophobia, depression, cheating, ableism

Release Date: June 2nd, 2015

Pages: 304

Publisher: SoHo Teen

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

Adam Silvera’s extraordinary debut confronts race, class, and sexuality during one charged near-future summer in the Bronx.

Part Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, part Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Adam Silvera’s extraordinary debut confronts race, class, and sexuality during one charged near-future summer in the Bronx.

The Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-relief procedure seems too good to be true to Aaron Soto – miracle cure-alls don’t tend to pop up in the Bronx projects. But Aaron can’t forget how he’s grown up poor or how his friends aren’t always there for him. Like after his father committed suicide in their one bedroom apartment. Aaron has the support of his patient girlfriend, if not necessarily his distant brother and overworked mother, but it’s not enough.

Then Thomas shows up. He has a sweet movie-watching setup on his roof, and he doesn’t mind Aaron’s obsession with a popular fantasy series. There are nicknames, inside jokes. Most importantly, Thomas doesn’t mind talking about Aaron’s past. But Aaron’s newfound happiness isn’t welcome on his block. Since he’s can’t stay away from Thomas or suddenly stop being gay, Aaron must turn to Leteo to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he is.


R A M B L E

If you know me, you know I love Adam Silvera. As a person, his books, everything about him. I’ve never met the man, but I religiously follow his tweets and Instagram stories. His books have torn me about and put me back together. I had yet to read the debut though. They Both Die At The End and History Is All You Left Me were two of the books I have cried the most in. They were so beautifully woven. However, More Happy Than Not fell short on me. I didn’t cry, once. Maybe I’m used to Adam’s more heartbreaking books but this book just fell a tad short. I totally get why people do cry, because I sure was upset but not a single tear dropped.

If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll also know I rarely read blurbs. I don’t know why. I like to be completely shocked when I go into a book, I guess. My guess of what More Happy Than Not would be was in no way accurate. I don’t know why I was expecting something maybe similar to The Fault In Our Stars but much more heartbreaking. I really don’t know where that idea came from, honestly. I assume you have actually read the blurb from Goodreads I’ve included in my review and can determine how much of an idiot I am for yourself (spoiler, the answer is a big one).

This book also contained themes I wasn’t too excited by, especially the cheating. The relationships in Adam’s books tend to be messy, but the ones in More Happy Than Not felt extra messy. This definitely had the feeling of a debut novel. I think if this had been the first Adam Silvera book I’d read I wouldn’t have continued with his work either.


P L O T

The plot was…interesting. It was a contemporary universe featuring diverse characters but had a science fiction addition. This is through the memory wiping service that allows individuals to get a fresh start when something traumatic has happened. For the case of one character, his twin brother is killed because of something he did. Not something that is easy to get over. The characters are given a fresh start but everyone around them remembers. They all have to be cautious about what they say because these memories can return with the right triggers.

Aaron is our main character. He goes on a long journey throughout More Happy Than Not. I really can’t say too much because it is too easy to give away spoilers and I really do try to keep my reviews spoiler free if I can.

I did enjoy the big twist. Enjoy is the wrong word, but it shocked me and kept me interested in what I was reading. But, this definitely wasn’t the best book. It was definitely a bit sloppy and I really struggled to get over the cheating aspect and some of the characters behaviours towards Aaron.


C H A R A C T E R S

#A A R O N

I really can’t say much here, because again spoilers, I will say Aaron was not my favourite character. Adam Silvera did well to create a complex and layered character, but I’m not sure it really meshed well with this particular narrative. At least for me, he didn’t.


O V E R A L L

Overall, I still love Adam Silvera and will read everything he publishes. I wasn’t expecting the best book ever from More Happy Than Not, just something a little different than what was given.


Happy reading everyone!

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First Line Fridays #3

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I’m really loving this meme, I’m not sorry y’all. It is so fun, honestly. Plus talking about some of my favourites is one of my favourite things.

Anyway, I hope you’ve all had a great week! My week was…interesting. Definitely not what classes for good interesting either. But, can only hope next week will be better! How was your week?


So, what’s it about? 

First Lines Fridays is a weekly — obviously — feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words where we dare to ask: What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author, or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? It is a meme that allows us to explore the world of fiction.

I myself judge books by their author, cover, and notoriety. So, seeing people do this challenge for months has had me pick up some pretty amazing books.

How it works? 

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be a current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page.
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t provide any other details about the book just yet — let’s see if it hooks the reader in!
  • Finally…reveal the book!

Death-Cast is calling with the warning of a lifetime—I’m going to die today. Forget that, “warning” is too strong a word since warnings suggest something can be avoided, like a car honking at someone who’s crossing the street when it isn’t their light, giving them the chance to step back; this is more of a heads-up. The alert, a distinctive and endless gong, like a church bell one block away, is blasting from my phone on the other side of the room. I’m freaking out already, a hundred thoughts immediately drowning out everything around me. I bet this chaos is what a first-time skydiver feels as she’s plummeting out of a plane, or a pianist playing his first concert. Not that I will ever know for sure.


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Credit @ L_O_Attraction

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The book is They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera.

Buy Links: Amazon | Book Depository

Trigger Warnings: death, anxiety

My Rating: ★★★★★

Genre: young adult, dystopia, romance, science-fiction, LGBT+

Goodreads Synopsis:

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day.

I don’t have too much to say about this piece of work. My best friend and I reference it constantly since we were lucky enough to read an eARC. We’ve both taken to trying to be daring (in very different ways), which we feel is the overarching message within this book. I just love it so much. Have tissues handy, my one piece of recommendation is to have tissues handy.

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera | Review

5/5 Stars.

Buddy read with Caitlin.

TRIGGER WARNINGS: anxious thoughts, death, violence, suicide

an ARC was provided but all opinions are my own.
I was definitely grateful to receive an eARC copy of this particular book. Since I read History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera I was desperate to get my hands on this and it didn’t disappoint.

Going into a book which is titled They Both Die At The End, you don’t really expect it to happen. That doesn’t even matter because almost the whole book I’ve been crying. The whole concept of this book is heartbreaking. Imagine knowing you will die within the next 24 hours? You may not even get the full 24 hours. You just know you’ll die by the end of the day. That’s terrifying and honestly, gives me the chills.

That is what happens to our two main characters, Mateo and Rufus. The pair are complete strangers, on different paths, when they receive the call. The call informing me them that they will be dying. They meet through an app where strangers are able to meet up and have fun on their last day on Earth. Now that I think about it, that’s incredibly morbid.

Despite how morbid I am now realising it is, I found myself completely in love with the idea. I couldn’t stop reading. It was actually the first book I read before Caitlin did, a miracle, trust me. The friendship shared between Mateo and Rufus was beautiful. I loved their interactions and how their friendship progressed organically into what it did throughout the story. The pair say their final goodbyes to the people they love, as well as suffering repercussions of actions that happened before their D-Day phone call.

I did have my problems with the story, mainly the ending but the writing is so flawless that I can’t fault too much. I found Mateo and Rufus to be complete people, maybe people I would meet. They did not seem one dimensional at all. One complaint I can say without spoiling too much is that I wished this novel was longer. I was left wanting more when I turned the last page!

Adam Silvera manages to craft a word that I would hate to live in and a world that has made me realise I need to take chances; I need to go on that random adventures with my friends, ask that cute boy I’m crushing on for his number and to truly take risks. I need to experience life fully.

June Wrap Up

HELLO DEAR FRIENDS

So, it’s been a hot minute since I posted and I honestly don’t have much of an excuse. My bookish bestie came to visit so all my time was focused on giving her a great holiday, I’m sorry. I was meant to have some blog posts prepared buuuut I got sick (damn that immune system I say).

This wasn’t the best reading month for me. I only read 14 books and most of them I didn’t actually enjoy, which was disheartening. I did only DNF two books, something that needs to be acknowledged. Maybe my serial DNF days are coming to an end?

Nah.

Okay, but without further ado, because I’m sick again (I hate my body), here is the list of books I read this month and what I rated them:

  1. The Darkest Magic by Morgan Rhodes – 3/5 Stars.
  2. Obsidian Blade by Morgan Rhodes – 5/5 Stars.
  3. Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts – 4/5 Stars.
  4. One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus – 2/5 Stars.
  5. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Megan Spooner – DNF, 1/5 Stars.
  6. Trickery by Jaymin Eve & Jane Washington – DNF, 1/5 Stars.
  7. Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling – 5/5 Stars.
  8. Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett – 3/5 Stars.
  9. All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven – 1/5 Stars.
  10. They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera – 5/5 Stars.
  11. The Dogs I Have Kissed by Trista Mateer – 3/5 Stars.
  12. Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee – 4/5 Stars.
  13. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi – 2/5 Stars.
  14. This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis – 3/5 Stars.

Expect some more blog posts in the future, I have some plans on how I want to set out my reviews (which I want to do a few of). I hope you all had an excellent reading month in June! If not, let’s hope July is our month!

HAPPY READING EVERYONE.