Book Review: Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover (Hopeless #2)

My Rating: ★★★★★

Genre(s): New adult; contemporary romance

Plot: [Copied from Goodreads] In Hopeless, Sky left no secret unearthed, no feeling unshared, and no memory forgotten, but Holder’s past remained a mystery. Still haunted by the little girl he let walk away, Holder has spent his entire life searching for her in an attempt to finally rid himself of the crushing guilt he has felt for years. But he could not have anticipated that the moment they reconnect, even greater remorse would overwhelm him… Sometimes in life, if we wish to move forward, we must first dig deep into our past and make amends. In Losing Hope, bestselling author Colleen Hoover reveals what was going on inside Holder’s head during all those hopeless moments—and whether he can gain the peace he desperately needs.

Pros:

  • I thought I couldn’t love Holder more than I already did
  • I was wrong about that
  • Knowing the plot going into this made it so much harder to read because I knew what was coming
  • No one writes male POV like Colleen Hoover
  • There were some things in Hopeless that weren’t really addressed until Losing Hope, like Leslie, so it wasn’t like reading an exact copy
  • The letters wrecked me

Cons:

  • I wanted this to be a happy story, even though I obviously knew what was happening

Quotes [Only listing a few here because I loved the whole book]:

  • “I wonder if it’s possible for people to fall in love with a person one characteristic at a time, or if you fall for the entire person at once.”
  • “I’ve loved Hope since we were kids. But tonight? Tonight I fell in love with Sky.”
  • “I don’t want her to feel nothing when I kiss her. I want her to feel everything.”
  • “I can’t explain to you how perfect this girl is. And when I say perfect, I mean imperfect, because there’s just too much wrong with her. But everything wrong with her is everything that draws me in and makes her perfect.”
  • “I didn’t just live her. I love her. I’ve loved her since we were kids.”
  • “My attention is constantly homed in on her like I’m a compass and she’s my North.”

My Thoughts: I wasn’t too sure about reading the same story from a different point of view, but I quickly realized — it is so not the same story. At all. In Hopeless, you’re only getting Sky’s POV and Sky’s memories. In Losing Hope, you’re getting Holder’s POV and so many things about his past are revealed. You’re in his head in moments when Sky was wondering what the fk he was thinking. You understand him as more than just the brooding, mysterious guy she fell for.

This book may have even been harder to read than Hopeless, because I knew what was coming and Holder’s thoughts were my thoughts and it was just so hard because I really wanted them to just be happy and to protect Sky from what I knew was coming.

No one, not one single person, writes male POV quite like Colleen, and this book — like all of her others — did not disappoint.

Links:
Goodreads
Amazon
Colleen Hoover

Book Review: Hopeless by Colleen Hoover **SPOILER FREE**

My Rating: ★★★★★

Genre(s): New adult; contemporary romance

Plot: [Copied from Goodreads] Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies… That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried. Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever

Pros:

  • Dean. Fricking. Holder.
  • First kiss
  • The twist… and then the other twist
  • It hit me right in the feels
  • Colleen Hoover can do no wrong by me
  • I really loved Breckin like so so much
  • “Live”
  • Sky is a bookworm, and she rebels by baking sweets

Cons:

  • The truth about Sky’s past was so hard to read

Quotes [Only listing a few here because I loved the whole book]:

  • “Fuck all the firsts, Sky. The only thing that matters to me with you are the forevers.”
  • “I live you, Sky,” he says against my lips. “I live you so much.”
  • “Sometimes you have to choose between a bunch of wrong choices and no right ones. You just have to choose which wrong choices feels the least wrong.”
  • “Holder: “I thought Mormon’s weren’t allowed to have caffeine?”
    Breckin: “I decided to break that rule the morning I woke up gay.”
  • “I’m pretty sure my addiction to reading has just reached a whole new level.”

My Thoughts: I feel like it’s really pointless for me to review Colleen’s books because I just love her so much and can give her books nothing but praise… yet here I am, reviewing a Colleen Hoover book.

Hopeless was something special. Dean Holder is the ultimate book boyfriend. He’s romantic, he’s protective, he’s been through a whole hell of a lot so he understands how to react when people have troubled pasts, and he’s not afraid to say what’s on his mind. And Sky is awesome because she’s sheltered from being homeschooled but she’s also tough and can hold her own because she’s not stupid. Their connection is instant, and I was hooked right away too.

I enjoyed the way that Colleen added flashbacks every so often, giving away just a little more each time until I was like WAIT WAIT NO WHAT. She has a way of completely disconnecting the two until it’s absolutely necessary that the details overlap, and it shook me in a big way once I connected the dots completely.

It’s hard to write this review without spoiling the whole plot, so I’m going to keep it vague. This book surprised me. I had my suspicions based on aspects of Sky’s behavior, but my suspicions were like tiny hills compared to the roller coaster of plot twists that were thrown at me. I don’t cry when I read books, but I’m sure that this book would make me cry if I did. I had to set it down for a bit and come back because the emotions were just too much.

As always, I would hands down recommend this book. It’s possibly triggery, but it is such a great read and Dean Holder is seriously the hottest book boyfriend I’ve ever read.

Links:
Goodreads
Amazon
Colleen Hoover

Book Review: Last Train Home (Home #1) by Megan Nugen Isbell

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Genre(s): Young Adult; Young Adult Romance

Plot: [Copied from Goodreads] 17-year-old Riley Regas has spent her entire life in Boston, so when she learns she’ll be picking up and moving to her mother’s childhood home of Carver, Kansas, she is less than thrilled. In fact, she is downright furious. Riley’s only visited Carver a handful of times. She barely knows her family that lives there and she has no desire to spend her senior year among the backward, simpleminded residents of Carver. Reluctantly though, her views begin to change, despite her encounters with Adrienne, a girl Riley quickly realizes is determined to make her life miserable, when she meets Alex Bettencourt. Alex is popular and gorgeous and Riley’s never seen brown eyes quite like his before. While Riley couldn’t be happier, she knows Jesse, her best friend in Carver, isn’t sure of her new relationship with Alex. She soon finds a balance between Alex and her friends though and life in Carver doesn’t seem so bad after all, even if her relationship with her mother is rocky at best. Just when Riley thinks she might be happy in Carver, a single decision changes it all, leaving her to find out who she really is and who matters most in her life before she loses everything.

Pros:

  • This was an easy read. I read it in one sitting.
  • I lived in a place like Carver basically my entire life, and I can totally see the pros and cons of the town.
  • Jesse is such a great character.
  • I learned that ultramarine is a color, one that I would definitely use to at least paint an accent wall.
  • It’s part of a series, which is cool because I liked this and may pick up the others.
  • Grandma is pretty awesome.

Cons:

  • It was sort of predictable.
  • Sometimes the writing was only so-so.
  • Riley was such a snob about Boston sometimes that even I was annoyed.
  • Alex. Fk that guy.
  • Some things were repeated a few times, which makes me question the editing.

My Thoughts: I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I predicted the ending within the first third of the book or so, but even as I kept reading I really enjoyed it. I really felt for Riley throughout the book, but I also felt for her mother, who had to deal with Riley’s hormonal teenager self. The characters were believable — so much so that I was picturing them as people from my high school — and the plot moved along well. I was team Jesse the whole time, and when Alex came along, I wanted to scream because I knew he wasn’t right for her. But Riley’s friends were so supportive, and that’s great.

While I could really relate to Riley’s feelings toward Carver, having grown up in a place like Carver and then moving to the LA area later on, I felt like that was maybe brought up a few too many times. There were also a few things that were mentioned a bunch of times, as if for the first time, and a few cliches were over used.

But overall, I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading at least the next couple of books in this series to see where it goes.

Links:
Goodreads
Amazon
Megan Nugen Isbell

Book Review: Girl in Piece by Kathleen Glasgow [Partial Review]

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow has been phenomenal so far. I’m about halfway through and it’s just so real so and so raw, and I can see why the authors who praised it called it a “necessary” book, because it touches on some very important things, the most important of all of these being self harm. I don’t like to leave books unread when I request to review them, but this book is having a negative effect on me, and I feel the need to take a step back for a while. When I come back to it, I will leave a proper review.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review

Book Review: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon **NO SPOILERS**

My Rating: ★★★★★

Genre(s): Young Adult

Plot: [Copied from Goodreads]Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.
Daniel:
I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store for both of us.
The Universe:
Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

Pros:

  • This book has been on my watchlist for a while, and it did not disappint at all
  • I’ve been the kid planning to go to college to please my parents and become a doctor when I really just wanted to be a writer (spoiler alert, I followed my dreams)
  • Daniel and Natasha were so vastly different, but it was easy to relate to both of them and their beliefs
  • Families embarrass their kids, and I’m glad that this was addressed in this book
  • All of the intricate threads that wove into the story to make everything come to the conclusion that it did
  • The end really threw me for a bunch of loops
  • I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I finished it
  • The cover is absolutely stunning, and ties into the plot so well
  • Nicola Yoon writes characters of color and that is so, so important
  • All of Natasha’s “observable facts”

Cons:

  • I felt my heart break so many times, but I’m not sure if this is necessarily a bad thing
  • It ended
  • Charlie really is a bag of dicks on fire

Quotes :

  • “I didn’t know you this morning, and now I don’t remember not knowing you.”
  • “There’s a Japanese phrase that I like: koi no yokan. It doesn’t mean love at first sight. It’s closer to love at second sight. It’s the feeling when you meet someone that you’re going to fall in love with them. Maybe you don’t love them right away, but it’s inevitable that you will.”
  • “We’re kindling amid lightning strikes, a lit match and dry wood, fire danger signs and a forest waiting to be burned.”
  • “The thing about falling is you don’t have any control on your way down.”
  • “Maybe part of falling in love with someone else is also falling in love with yourself.”
  • “Sure, but why not more poems about the sun? The sun is also a star, and it’s our most important one. That alone should be worth a poem or two.”
  • “It’s a long life to spend doing something you’re only meh about.”

My Thoughts: I’m not even sure where to start with this review, to be completely honest. I kind of skimmed the synopsis of this book, but I didn’t read it thoroughly because I didn’t want to know what I was getting into; and I’m very glad I did that. Nicola Yoon (with the help of the universe) brings two startlingly opposite characters together through a million twists of fate, and brings up the question of What if? and makes the reader think of all of the alternate universes that could possibly exist from all of the infinite choices and paths life could take.

From the beginning, Daniel and Natasha are likeable and relatable. It’s clear that they are two very different characters, but opposites attract and this is no exception. Daniel, the Korean American poet on his way to a medical school interview, and Natasha, the scientific realist about to be deported for her father’s mistakes, are so completely different, and fate kept interviening and bringing them together. They. were. meant. to. be. I loved the way Natasha viewed the world– scientific, black and white, explainable– but I also loved the way Daniel viewed the world– controlled by fate, chance, love, and passion. I felt like I could very easily relate to both of them, and it made me fall that much harder and feel their emotions that much deeper as I made my way through the book.

In addition to wonderful characters and a plot that kept me guessing, Nicola Yoon did something that not a lot of young adult authors do– she wrote main characters of color. I’m a huge advocate for diverse books, and I was very pleased to see not only diverse characters, but how their equally diverse parents dealt with life in a country surrounded by white people.

Finally, I absolutely loved the way this book was written– Natasha and Daniel had their own chapters, but the important characters, the ones who helps twist fate just a little bit, were significant enough to have their own chapters as well.

Overall, this book was absolutely beautiful. The characters, the plot, the concept of fate and timing. It was just what I needed to read tight now, which just proves that timing really is everything. I’m pretty sure that Nicola Yoon is my favorite young adult author. She’s two for two and just keeps throwing these amazing books at us and I hope she keeps doing this.

I would recommend this book to fans of Rainbow Rowell and John Green, but really anyone looking for a great read that will take you for an emotional ride would love this book. I couldn’t put it down, and neither will you.

Links:
Goodreads
Amazon
Nicola Yoon

Book Review: What Light by Jay Asher **SPOILER FREE**

My Rating: ★★★★★ [I actually rated this 4.5 stars, but 4 stars are not enough so I’m rounding up]

Note: This review is technically spoiler-free, with only the details given in the synopsis revealed. If you are going into this book blind, do not read any further than this point, please. I will be discussing the general plot from here on out.

Genre(s): Young Adult

Plot: [Copied from Goodreads] Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it’s a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other.  Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other. By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb’s past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.

Pros:

  • I’ve waited for this book for so long, because Jay Asher is basically my fave
  • It’s about Christmas
  • All of Jay Asher’s characters are always so real and relatable
  • The resolution of Caleb’s past (because family is important)
  • This book was just cute in general
  • Sierra’s friendship
  • Caleb’s friend’s name is Brent; my husband’s name is Brent and his best friend’s name is Caleb (not really a plot point but I thought this was cool okay)
  • Jay Asher really has a way with storytelling
  • Their gift exchange made me feel all tingly
  • Sierra really does have the coolest friends when it comes to advice
  • Peppermint mocha

Cons:

  • The insta-love thing was kind of meh but it worked given the timeline
  • Sometimes Sierra would say/narrate things that drove me crazy in context (because of how obsessed she is with vocabulary words), but would make sense if any other teenager said them out of context
  • I could not stand Devon

Quotes :

  • [There is so much of this book that I want to quote but I didn’t highlight like I normally do and I forgot most of them. Plus, spoilers.]
  • “I don’t know how to fully enjoy any of these moments without wondering if it’s the last.”
  • “It’s your heart. No one else gets a say in that.”

My Thoughts: I’ve waited for this book for SO LONG. When it finally arrived, I had to force myself to start it. I’ve always had a soft spot for the Christmas romance and Christmas miracles and all that jazz, and I was hesitant to read a book that fell into this category after reading Thirteen Reasons Why. Part of me thought it would be epically and heart wrenchingly painful, and I think I was afraid of the emotions I would face. But I read it anyway.

And I am so glad I did.

The romance aspect was just fluffy enough to enjoy, but not so over the top that I was rolling my eyes. The characters were all flawed and relatable. It was written smoothly and simply, so it could easily be picked up again when the time is right (winter, when I need something fluffy, etc). And my peppermint mocha intake definitely increased while reading this book.

The main theme of this book is forgiveness, and each character goes through it at some point– Caleb, Sierra, Sierra’s parents, Caleb’s friends. The emphasis on letting things go and trusting yourself is heavy throughout the whole book, and it gives the entire novel a feeling of coming of age, even without the plot being entirely centered around that.

I would recommend this book to any of my YA loving friends, especially those with a soft spot for Christmas and tingly romance.

Links:
Goodreads
Amazon
Jay Asher

Book Review– The Illustrated Book of Sayings: Curious Expressions from Around the World by Ella Frances Sanders

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Genre(s): Nonfiction; Art

Publication Date: September 13, 2016

Plot: [Copied from Goodreads] From the author of the New York Times bestseller, Lost in Translation, come this collection of 52 artistic renderings of sayings from around the world that illuminate the whimsical nature of language.

Pros:

  • I have a serious obsession with the roots of words and sayings
  • This book had excellent illustrations, which perfectly fit Sanders’ artistic style
  • It’s one of those books that could work as a gift or something to keep on your desk or coffee table for people to read

Cons:

  • Nothing really

My Thoughts: This book is absolutely adorable. I really loved all of the fun illustrations, and seeing where the sayings came from was a bonus. This book was a lot of fun, and definitely something I will keep on my coffee table to pick up and look through from time to time.

I received this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.

Links:
Goodreads
Amazon
Ella Frances Sanders