City of Bones by Cassandra Clare | Review

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Rating: ★★★★★

Release Date: March 27th, 2007

Pages: 485

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.


R E V I E W

I think I’ve made it pretty clear in my reading career that I am trash for the Shadowhunter Chronicles. This doesn’t mean I can’t acknowledge the fact they are trash. However, the nostalgia is so raw that I can’t help but feel like I’m coming home when I pick up this book. I get taken back to when I felt uncomfortable picking it up in the library as a 13-year-old because of the half-naked guy on the front. Now, here I am holding the 10th-anniversary edition which is stunning.

My point is, I know City of Bones is highkey a bad book. Trust me, it became so clear in this re-read that I was cringing at every other interaction and how much I hated Clary. But, I can’t help but be sucked into the world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders. It’s a problem. Cassandra Clare’s writing has improved so much, though, so I feel no shame for this being one of my favourite series ever.

City of Bones begins with Clary Fray. A firey red-headed artist (basically her description, oh the cliche) who is simply trying to get through high school with her best friend, Simon, and stop fighting with her mum. Her mum has hidden a whole world from her though, a world that Clary is born to be a part of. Strange, right? I’m pretty sure she’s sixteen too? I’m not even sure, honestly. Anyway, this all changes after she is an underage club one night with Simon and sees something that no one else can see. She’s thrown into a world where she discovers the lies her mothers told to protect her and who she is. Also along the way, she makes some new enemies and even finds out who her father is, which is something I would rather die than do.

Clary Fray may possibly be one of the most annoying female leads. She seems to forget her mum is missing and remember at times convenient to her. She’s much happier to fantasise over the male love interest, Jace Wayland. Who is annoyingly arrogant. I keep picturing him as the actor from the film City of Bones and it has ruined my 12-year-old picture of him, honestly. I’m not a fan of the actor. Nor am I a fan of Dom Sherwood. That’s neither here nor now though. Clary is happy to live her normal mundane life until she discovers the Shadow World. The only problem is she isn’t content to just take herself down. She drags her completely human best friend with her.

I hated Simon when I first read these. I was a big Jace fan and Simon came in as a love interest and I gagged. However, during every re-read, I love Simon more. He is an adorable nerd who is simply just in love with his best friend. It’s kind of tragic and definitely cliche, but the growth of his character over the series is one of my favourites. Alongside Isabelle. That is in the other books though, not City of Bones.

There is some hardcore girl competition too. Neither Isabelle or Clary like each other in this book and it makes me sad since I am such an advocate for girl friendships in books. It gets better later, but I feel if Cassie Clare had had the friendship grow from the book once it would have been a lot better.

This book is also pretty messy. The writing style is all over the place and my friend who’s studying nursing says all of the medical terminologies throughout this series is wrong. Which, are only little things but they amuse me so I feel you should be aware. I do love the humour throughout City of Bones but I’ve heard it’s been ripped off from Buffy The Vampire Slayer? I’m not sure, just covering my bases so no one yells at me for being naive.

The plot line and plot twist in this book make me gag though, every time. I feel like everyone knows what the twist is but if not skip this part because of spoilers. The fact that Jace and Clary are portrayed as siblings (which gets proven wrong in book three) but remain romantically involved or have been romantically involved makes me want to throw up. Honestly, what the heck was Cassie thinking? Possibly the most disturbing storyline ever, especially for me considering I had step-brothers when I read this book and thought of them as bio brothers and could never imagine what Jace and Clary do.

I also just want to say I hate Magnus. I’m not sure what it is but I’ve never meshed well with his character. This is an irrelevant part of my review but I do like his growth with Alec and I felt I should mention this, if not briefly.

Ultimately, is City of Bones a good book? No. Will I still give it five stars for nostalgia? Yes. This is definitely a great series to use to transition into the fantasy world when you just start reading. It’s what I used it as. It is also just a great series for me when I don’t look in analytically. It’s like a big warm hug and coming home.


Happy reading everyone!

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Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu | Review

Thank you so much to Penguin Random House Australia for kindly sending me a copy in exchange for honest review. All thoughts are my own. 29749090.jpg

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Release Date: January 2nd, 2018

Trigger Warnings: abuse, parental abuse (off page but applied), dead parents

Pages: 250

Publisher: Penguin Random House Australia

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city’s elites are being executed as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he’s forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.


R A M B L E

I read Batman: Nightwalker in one sitting. I went to my mums work to wait for her to finish so I could drive home (I’m a terrible driver so at almost 20 I’m still learning). I pulled out this book and within the two hours I had to sit there I was done. I was done before the two hours were even up. It was so good. I’m not even sure I can tell you how good this book was. I just need you to go click those links below the cover and preorder this now.

You may have either loved or hated Wonder Woman: Warbringer which is okay. If you loved it, you’ll love this addition. If you hated it, you’ll love this edition. Either way, I promise you’ll love this version of Batman. Marie Lu is such a fantastic writer that it is impossible to say otherwise.

But, why did I only give it four stars? Well, I felt the story went by too fast. I really felt it could have done with an extra 50 pages to really help the story across. Don’t get me wrong, I loved how fast this was. But, I was really hoping for more oomph in the ending. I did like the open ending though (wow something I never say). I just really need more. I don’t know if I mean more Bruce Wayne or Marie Lu. Maybe a mixture of both.


P L O T

Now, my friends, don’t go into this expecting Batman straight up. I did, for some reason. I don’t know why. I really need to read blurbs. Anyway, this is an origin story. It is Marie Lu’s take on how Batman became Batman. Not that that is in the text, but it’s heavily implied.

Most things remain the same as the comics, I guess, with Bruce Wayne’s parents being murdered and him coming into a large sum of money when he turns 18. Which is where this story begins and we really get brought into the impulsive and rash decisions of Bruce Wayne.

Sice this book is really short like seriously 250 pages really weren’t enough, the plot doesn’t stop. It is fast and you aren’t bored for a moment. I found myself so easily sucked into the world that is Bruce Wayne and his friends (though I wish they had gotten more development).

I just really enjoyed this plot. It was in no way what I was expecting but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy myself completely. Marie Lu could write toilet humour and it could be a work of art though.


C H A R A C T E R S

#B R U C E    W A Y N E 

Bruce Wayne has faced a lot of tragedy in his life for an 18-year-old. With his parents being murdered and having his butler raise him in his parents expensive home you can’t expect him to really be a normal guy. Especially when he comes into his inheritance on his 18th birthday, inheriting a company and his parent’s fortune. Honestly, a problem I wouldn’t mind.

I find Batman in the films to be quite bland. I never quite find him to be relatable or just really that great. Marie Lu’s version of Batman brought me in and made me fall in love. I really can’t put it any other way. She changed my perspective so much and gave her version of the hero. Truly the best version of the hero. A friend of mine screamed at me the whole time I read it in envy, and I’m more so jealous of everyone who gets to read this for the first time.

I’m about to get off tangent, but only Marie Lu could create such an incredible character in 250 pages. I have to keep mentioning that because this book is so short and it both feels it and longer. I don’t even know how to explain it. I was so absorbed in Bruce’s story and his personality. He is caring and compassionate. Only wanting to do his best.


O V E R A L L

Overall, Batman: Nightwalker has hit my favourites in 2017. I highly recommend picking it up after its release in early 2018. You will not be disappointed. Trust me.

Marie Lu manages to create a character of Batman that follows his typical origin story with her own twist on it. I will be passing this book along to my sister ASAP since she’s a Batman fan. But, even if you’re not like I’m not, you will enjoy this book for the writing and creativity.


Happy reading everyone!

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Renegades by Marissa Meyer | Review

Thank you, Macmillian Australia for sending me a copy to review. All thoughts are my own and not impacted by receiving this copy. 


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Rating: ★★★★★

Release Date: November 14th, 2017

Pages: 576

Publisher: Pan Australia

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.


R A M B L E

Renegades by Marissa Meyer was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017. Which meant I was incredibly cautious when it began approaching its release date. At this point in this year, I have been let down countlessly by books I was excited about. It’s gotten to the point where I try to feel indifferent in order to save myself from disappointment or get incredibly excited when the book is amazing. I’m so happy to tell you that Renegades falls into the amazing category.

I received this book on the 27th of October. My sister called me while I was sitting at a train station in Brisbane to tell me because I was going away for two weeks. So, I had to wait two weeks to get home for this book and I was pretty damn excited about it. I honestly wouldn’t shut up about it and honestly found it hilarious that it turned up an hour after I had left my house because at that point it was the only book I wanted to read. Just my luck, right?

This book was just incredible and I’m pretty sure this review will be mostly incoherent because what the fuck did I just read? This book has honestly shot straight to my favourites ever, and especially into my favourites of this year. It was truly such a spectacular book that really felt like it was from the same author as The Lunar Chronicles (which Heartless didn’t feel to me).

I really feel that in Renegades Marissa Meyer creates one of the best worlds to date. Creating such an interesting world filled with grey morals and ethics. This particular book shows that things aren’t as straightforward as people tend to believe, leading to a spectacular story with complex characters who go through their struggles as they try to decide what side of the good or bad line they fall on.

It’s not even that Marissa Meyer creates great main characters, which she does, but her side characters are what really drive the book and keep you interested. She doesn’t forget them among the plot and main character drama, they still continue to play a large part. I love that.


P L O T

I found the plot for Renegades to be incredibly complex. Not in the way that it was difficult to understand, more so that I found it so mind-blowingly intricate and I felt as if there were so many clues in the text for what is to come if you’re keeping an eye out for them. Truly, this plot is incredible. It’s been a while since I’ve been invested in a plot as much as this one. Hell, it’s been a while since I even gave a book five stars. But, Renegades deserves it.

Nova and Adrian are on different sides. Nova is an Anarchist, has been since she was six. Adrian is a Renegade, has been since he was born to his superhero mother. They both believe their side is, ultimately, the right one. But, how can the villains be right when they’re villains? Doesn’t matter that the people meant to protect the city are slightly shady, the Anarchists are the enemy and should be seen as such.

I really loved the development of this story, completely. From the romance between Nova and Adrian to the overall set up for the plot. Like, to get into the writing style for a second, Marissa Meyer has one of the best writing styles I’ve ever read and that is really highlighted in this book. Especially through her dialogue. Hell, her dialogue has to be my favourite part of this book. I truly adored how it all connected and made me physically laugh aloud, a rare thing for me while reading.


C H A R A C T E R S

There are many characters throughout this story that play large roles, on both the Anarchist and Renegade sides. For this section, I’ll only briefly talk about our two main characters and my thoughts and feelings on them as our leads.

#N O V A 

Nova is the girl who has had everything go wrong in her life. She has nothing but the few members of the Anarchist left. No one but them even knows about her. I mean, the world knows her alias, Nightmare, but apart from that nothingThat doesn’t stop her, though. Nova is one of the most kickass women in YA fiction, I’m calling it now. She was so incredibly badass and willing to physically kick ass that I was proud to be supporting her.

Our main character Nova has an incredible amount of snark as well. She was always there with a comment that could get in her trouble, a comment she was willing to say even if it would get her in trouble. She’s also smart, resourceful and a villain. But, is she?This is a question Nova struggles with throughout Renegades and I absolutely loved it. Not that she was struggling, but the way Marissa Meyer wrote this internal struggle she faced. I feel as if it was incredibly well done.

I really hope in the sequels that we get to see more of Nova’s power (the ability to put people to sleep with skin to skin contact, leaving them vulnerable). We got some small snippets throughout Renegades but I really would like a larger focus on it.

#A D R I A N 

Heres the thing with Adrian, I hated him at first. It was nothing against him but I have a thing against guys named Adrian. It’s a long, personal story that isn’t meant for my blog so I’ll skip it. However, I may have just fallen in love with the Adrian that features Renegades.

Adrian is honestly a sweetheart. He has grown up a Renegade, with his late mother being one of the original six. His adopted fathers are also part of the original six, having been best friends with his mother. All he’s known is that he wants to know who killed his mother. How does a hero that can fly die falling off a building? It’s not logical. No, seriously, it really isn’t logical, like what the heck? Anyway, Adrian is a Renegade to the bone and willing to do absolutely everything to be a hero like his mother and fathers.

I was super intrigued by his ability, the power to draw things and they come to life. I would love for him to draw me some of the dinosaurs he drew throughout this particular book. I just freaking love dinosaurs. It was interesting to see how he used his power too. I’ll leave that there, just so you can feel a bit surprised when you read this book (seriously, read this book, you know where the buy links are on this post!).

He was truly just a sweetheart, the way he cared for Nova and his team was quite beautiful.


O V E R A L L

Overall, someone needs to put book two in my hands now. The ending has left me with major grabby hands and honest embarrassment for my desperation for the sequel. Truly, this book was a masterpiece. I can’t fault it on one single thing.


Happy reading everyone!

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If you use my Book Depository link I will receive a 5% commission from your order at no expense to you. I would sincerely be grateful if you chose to use it.

The same goes for my Booktopia link, which is a great service for Aus and NZ residents.

This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis | Review

3/5 STARS.

I received an eARC but all opinions/thoughts are my own.

BUDDY READ Solomon,

One word to describe this book?

Fucked.

I have never been both utterly disturbed and confused when reading a book. This Darkness Mine manages to successfully do this, however. I was stunned. Completely stunned into silence. I started to get really into this book while I was waiting at the train station to pick up Caitlin, and I’m pretty sure everyone in my surrounding area was confused while I whispered “what” to myself over and over.

The premise of this book was confusing but reading it was even more messed up. I couldn’t grasp some aspects and since I did most of the reading of this at night I was afraid to fall asleep in case I had had a twin in the womb (lmao I checked, I didn’t).

Sasha Stone is a good girl though. She plays the clarinet, is in the first chair, and is on her way to being accepted to a prestigious music school. She and her boyfriend fit and she gets good marks. She’s the definition of a goody-goody who follows strict rules. Things start to get weird though when a boy who doesn’t fit her definition of life starts acting as if they have a thing, and that she gave him her number. Something she knows she didn’t do. It’s here the book takes a turn I didn’t expect. A turn that had me staring at my phone like what! Shit gets weird. It gets wild and I could barely keep up with the story. Turns out our main character had absorbed in the twin in the womb. But, Sasha’s heart hadn’t been very strong so the twin’s heart came into play and now the twin wanted to live. Live in a very different way to our protagonist.

There were boring bits, which had me rolling my eyes and wanting a lot more crazy. Though the crazy would hit and I would be begging for the book to return to the normal because seriously. However, the writing style was brilliant. It was a tad jerky in some parts, scenes suddenly changing but that could be because it isn’t the final version.

I have so many questions for the author. How did they create this idea? A book that still has me jumping in the dark and making sure there are no messages from random boys in my phone (there aren’t, boys are lame).

I recommend you all check out this book when it releases – especially if you’re looking for a weird book.

Reading Pet Peeves

Reading pet peeves, we all have them. Some people can only read paperbacks and others refuse to buy paperbacks until they are all the same size. Some people hate using bookmarks and some others think that people who dog-ear are the spawns of Satan.

So, here are four of my bookish pet peeves.

  • When Series Change Covers Mid Way Through

This could possibly be my biggest problem with books. My eye twitches every time I see a publisher has decided to change the covers before the series is complete. What do you expect me to do?! Buy the series with these new fancy covers? No. I am poor.

  • When The Plastic Comes Off Your Paperback

No real explanation for this, I just want to die every time it happens. It’s like when the plastic starts coming off my bank card so I simply cancel it and order a new one (because it stops my card from working). I can’t just cancel my book and get a new one, thought that would be a great business idea. Someone do that.

  • When Someone Borrows Your Book and Destroys It

This has only happened to me one time. I loaned a book to a friend because she wanted to use it for a school assignment. The good friend I am I did it. It took six months to get the book back. I later learnt she had just shoved it in her school bag every school day for six months. Just shoved it in. With her water bottle, lunch, textbooks and notebooks. My precious baby had been disrespected. She didn’t even apologise either. Just handles the book back and walked away. We aren’t friends anymore.

  • When Someone Tells Me I’m Too Old For Young Adult

My family came over to our house when we moved last year and they checked out the house. Mainly, the checked out the three bookshelves in my room and huffed. This was just before I turned nineteen and they felt it was necessary to tell me I had a young reading style. I was pretty annoyed considering, I don’t care. I’ll read what I want when I want. If I enjoy it or if I don’t is my business and my business alone. I may be twenty this year, but I will read young adult until I don’t want to anymore. 

So, I don’t really have the bookish pet peeves a lot of people do. I don’t care if you dog-ear, I’m not a bookmark fan myself (gasp) and I really don’t care about the height of my books (you can’t in Australia or you’ll just cry).

What are some of your bookish pet peeves?

The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice & Virtue by Mackenzi Lee | Review

5/5 Stars.

TRIGGER WARNINGS: homophobia, epilepsy, racism, ableism, PTSD, alcoholism, parental abuse.

SIDE NOTE: I’m not 100% on all those triggers, I’m not a diversity blogger (despite loving when it is featured) so I will do some more research as this book continues to be reviewed and come back and edit this at a later date!

Going into this book I had little to none expectations. Why? Purely because I kept seeing this book hyped on all social media platforms. Everyone was saying it was great. I received an early copy but wasn’t able to get around to it before the books release, unfortunately. Now that I’ve read it, I wish I had made time for this book because wow. 

This story follows Monty, Percy and Felicity in a Victorian era. The trio are going through Europe on Monty’s Tour – but each of them have conditions that will be met when they return to England at the end of the year. Felicity will be at finishing school, Percy going to law school, and Monty taking over his father’s business. Sounds fantastic, right? Wrong. There are underlying problems that make each circumstance that may sound fantastic, not.

The major problem that we learn comes around about 30% into the two years. Now, I have been hunting for a book that features epilepsy for around five years. I have found nothing or simply books that don’t interest me. Epilepsy is using the brunt of jokes in books as well. However, Mackenzi Lee writes epilepsy perfectly within this book. At least for me.

My mum had her first fit when I was 10. Terrifying. She was in a coma for four days and died three. It didn’t happen again and I simply forgot. Until I was 15 and they started again. However, they didn’t go away. For five years, my sister and I have been caring for my mum and facing the repercussions that come with the stigma of epilepsy. So, seeing a fit written perfectly, in my opinion, had me sobbing in my room.

Now, I’m not a minority in any way. I’m cis, white and straight. But, seeing epilepsy represented in YA fiction is so important to me. I’ve seen people flinch when I tell them my mum has epilepsy and my sister has had friends bully her over it. So, a positive representation of epilepsy was very important to me.

I’ve read a review saying that they DNF’ed this book at the point the epilepsy was introduced because of ableism themes. The ableism themes that are featured though are accurate to what I felt when my mum received her diagnosis. How can I fix this? How is this going to affect my life? Sure, that’s wrong and I admit that but I was 15 and my family had just left a domestic violence situation. I think Monty’s reaction to discovering his best friend had epilepsy was very real.

I also want to touch on the PTSD that is featured in this book. That too was real. I suffer from PTSD and the descriptions are scenarios I have felt. There were times when a touch to my face would give me a panic attack. So seeing a character suffer from another circumstance I had faced? Amazing.

I’m not even sure how to get into the plot. I am just so in love with every event and scenario that took place. I was never bored. Not once during a single scene which is amazing. I fell so in love with the writing style, the dialogue and even the descriptions of scenes. I felt each character was fleshed out perfectly and not a single one was unnecessary to the plot.

The romance as well! I’m not a big fan of romance in books. I love plot over romance. But, around one chapter in I was already in love with the romance between Monty and Percy. They were both such beautiful characters that made me want to cry, whether they were together or not. They are simply so beautifully written.

I mean, just check out this perfect fan art of them;

source: https://twitter.com/ToriRyan90 

Felcity is also the love of my life and actual girl crush.

My only problem with this book was that Monty got a little annoying to me. I was rolling my eyes sometimes at his actions. However, the fact he had great communication skills in other scenes gave me the ability to overlook that.

I just can’t recommend this book enough. If not for its diverse cast, then for the fact this book displays PTSD and epilepsy in such realistic ways that this will stay with me for a long time.

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.