{Review by Kayla} The Awakening (Gifting #2) by K.E. Ganshert

Review by Kayla, In Love & Words Teen Reader

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: The Awakening
Author: K.E. Ganshert
Series: (Gifting #2)

Synopsis:
“I can’t go home. It’s not safe. Nowhere is.”

Tess Eckhart isn’t crazy. She’s not suffering from psychosis. She and Luka Williams are part of The Gifting. Before they can find out what that means, the man with all the answers turns up dead. The only thing he left behind? A few patient files that lead to the nation’s most lawless city.

With authorities chasing them, Luka and Tess escape into the very heart of peril and against all odds, find an underground community of people just like them. They aren’t gathered together for the sole purpose of survival, either. They have a plan and a purpose—to awaken as many people with The Gifting as possible. It’s dangerous and deadly work. Tess wants to help. Luka is desperate to keep her safe—a task that proves increasingly difficult as Tess’s gifting comes to light.

Could Tess Eckhart be the One they’ve been waiting for? The One who can save them all?

GOODREADS

 

Review

Reading this series feels like running through words that are both killing me but keeping me alive at the same time.

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{Review by Kayla} The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead (Bloodlines #6)

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: The Ruby Circle
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines #6

Synopsis:
THEY WILL BE TESTED

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives.

Their forbidden romance exposed, Sydney and Adrian find themselves facing the wrath of both the Alchemists and the Moroi in this electrifying conclusion to Richelle Mead’s bestselling Bloodlines series.

When the life of someone they both love is put on the line, Sydney risks everything to hunt down a deadly former nemesis. Meanwhile, she and Adrian becomes enmeshed in a puzzle that could hold the key to a shocking secret about spirit magic, a secret that could shake the entire Moroi world and alter their lives forever.

Don’t miss their unforgettable final chapter. . . .

LOVE WILL CONQUER ALL

GOODREADS

Review

The series is over. Yes, I loved the ending, no I am not okay that it’s completely over.

I am so attached to all of these characters and this entire world and let me tell you, this was an amazing book to end the whole series but I can’t help but think how I want more and more and more and different POVs from every single character. But either way, I loved how this story played out. It was like a breath of relief- well after the rollercoaster I was put through- when I finally finished. It was one of those books when you’re on the very last page and you read those last few lines and when you are done, you just smile. I think in this last book especially, you see how much Adrian matured and how confident Sydney has become. One of my favorite things about this series is the character relationships and the never failing rollercoaster that the plot gives you. For everyone who’s read Vampire Academy (If not, you totally should!), you NEED this series in your life and I can guarantee you will be just as attached to all of the characters more than you thought.


Age recommendation: 14+


Book Boyfriend Rating: 5 stars

5-stars

 

 

 

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell {Review by Kayla|

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell

Synopsis:
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?

GOODREADS

Review

I have been reading such good books lately and this one definitely is one of them!

Where do I even start with this book?? First of all, I want to talk about how real this was and I could totally see this as being someone’s actual life which was really interesting to see. Then there are the characters in this book which I absolutely loved. The main character, Cath, is so relatable especially to me since she is a writer and I think almost all writers out there will easily relate to her on many levels. With the minor characters, I really enjoyed that I either completely loved or completely hated them (in a good way) based on their relationship with Cath and just the overall role played in her life. Towards the end when I finished the book, I felt like I wanted more of the story. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the way it ended but part of me I wanted more of an in depth description. Overall, what really pushed this book to a five star was the book boyfriend (of course) because he was basically perfect. See for yourself!


Butterfly Rating: 4 Stars

4-stars


Book Boyfriend Rating: 5 stars

5-stars


Age recommendation: 14+

 

 

 

ARC Review: By the Book by Amanda Sellet

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: By the Book
Author: Amanda Sellet
Format: eARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Synopsis:
As a devotee of classic novels, Mary Porter-Malcolm knows all about Mistakes That Have Been Made, especially by impressionable young women. So when a girl at her new high school nearly succumbs to the wiles of a notorious cad, Mary starts compiling the Scoundrel Survival Guide, a rundown of literary types to be avoided at all costs.

Unfortunately, Mary is better at dishing out advice than taking it—and the number one bad boy on her list is terribly debonair. As her best intentions go up in flames, Mary discovers life doesn’t follow the same rules as fiction. If she wants a happy ending IRL, she’ll have to write it herself.

 

GOODREADS

Review

A personal anecdote for you that, I swear, relates to this book: I work with a lot of ivy league graduates of the scholarly nature and our main character, Mary’s parents are so painfully, triggeringly, pin-point-perfectly depictive of those types of people.

I truly wondered if I would make it through this book with all the eye-twitching I had going on any time her parents spoke.

Mary’s parents have the uncanny ability to overcomplicate when communicating and they are in need of constant validation and awe with their usage of SAT words in normal conversation.

Honestly, that goes for everyone in Mary’s family. Including our narrator. I tolerated it because her voice makes total sense given her upbringing and obsession with classic novels.

The narrator honest-to-goodness threw in the word “erstwhile.” As soon as I read that, my eye started twitching because I have a vivid experience at work in which my boss’s boss tried to come at us with an email communication to the community using that word, and we (in the marketing/communications department) immediately vetoed it.

As I hit the 50% mark, I began to find Mary charming, funny, and observant, which made for a great reading experience and I fell more and more in love with her big, quirky family. Yes, even her parents whose arms must hurt from all the self back-patting.

I grew up in a big family (3 siblings, lots of cousins) and seeing it depicted in books and movies always warms my heart – especially when done well. It’s why I tear up watching Little Women and why I adored To All the Boys I Loved Before. This was no different.

I say the following with both praise and warning:
The writing style is very nobody-talks-like-that-but-we-love-to-see-it Dawson’s Creek meets SAT prep with a lot of Gilmore Girls, but with classic literature references instead of pop culture references. There is even a glossary of literature references made at the end of the book.

You know how there is a Rory Gilmore reading challenge? I totally could see a Mary Porter-Malcom reading challenge stemming from this book.

All that being said, I think this book is very self-aware. I believe (and hope) that it is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, in which case, it is done incredibly well.

And now, I shall gush, because it’s what I do best:

I loved seeing how Mary’s world clashed with contemporary high school – how she interpreted everyday high school drama and how everyday high schoolers interpreted her.

The friend group in this was so, so refreshing. All three girls have such vivid personalities with little focus on looks, which I so appreciated. I seriously WISH I had friends like those in high school. I’m many, MANY years out of high school and I even wanted to hang out with them.

And who would I be if I didn’t talk about the romance in this book?

YA romances can be pretty predictable, but I’m going to be honest, this one wasn’t nearly as predictable as most YA novels I read. There were SO many sweet, swoony moments. The type of tiny moments that are significant simply because of the build-up.

The inclusion of Mary’s diary entries were not extra fluff. They directed the story in significant, but subtle ways. They weren’t boringly long, they were short and sweet, but packed a punch.

When I closed this book (figuratively speaking because I read the eARC for this), I felt exactly how I hope to feel every time I open one… a little giddy, a little nostalgic, and a lot satisfied.


Butterfly Rating: 4 Stars

4-stars


Re-read Worthiness: Maybe


Bookshelf Placement: Yes

I love the cover!


Book Boyfriend Rating: 5 stars

5-stars

 

 

 

{Review by Kayla} Silver Shadows (Bloodlines #5) by Richelle Mead

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: Silver Shadows
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines #5

Synopsis:
In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

GOODREADS

Review

Deep breaths. There’s one more book to go.

Wow.

I didn’t see that one coming.

But seeing as this series never fails to surprise me, the only thing I’m not surprised is that it’s going to continue to test my abilities to withstand this amount of suspense. What’s with the book hangers?! They are killing me, but I have to say I’m not complaining.

One thing that I can say about this book is that you really get to see Adrian’s true character – to say the least. Throughout this series I always talk about how much Sydney has grown and changed, but the same goes for Adrian. Not only is he charismatic and charming, but he is also the most caring person ever. He originally was introduced as a selfish, brooding character, but he grew to be so much more than that and willing to sacrifice anything for his loved ones. And that is what makes a swoon worthy character. The fact that I only have one more book to go and knowing that

I will be finished with these characters both terrifies and excites me.


Butterfly Rating: 5 Stars

5-stars


Book Boyfriend Rating: 5 stars

5-stars

 

 

 

Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali

4-stars
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Title: Love From A to Z
Author: S.K. Ali
Format: Hardcover purchased from Book Outlet

Synopsis:
A marvel: something you find amazing. Even ordinary-amazing. Like potatoes—because they make French fries happen. Like the perfect fries Adam and his mom used to make together.

An oddity: whatever gives you pause. Like the fact that there are hateful people in the world. Like Zayneb’s teacher, who won’t stop reminding the class how “bad” Muslims are.

But Zayneb, the only Muslim in class, isn’t bad. She’s angry.

When she gets suspended for confronting her teacher, and he begins investigating her activist friends, Zayneb heads to her aunt’s house in Doha, Qatar, for an early start to spring break.

Fueled by the guilt of getting her friends in trouble, she resolves to try out a newer, “nicer” version of herself in a place where no one knows her.

Then her path crosses with Adam’s.

Since he got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November, Adam’s stopped going to classes, intent, instead, on perfecting the making of things. Intent on keeping the memory of his mom alive for his little sister.

Adam’s also intent on keeping his diagnosis a secret from his grieving father.

Alone, Adam and Zayneb are playing roles for others, keeping their real thoughts locked away in their journals.

Until a marvel and an oddity occurs…

Marvel: Adam and Zayneb meeting.

Oddity: Adam and Zayneb meeting.

GOODREADS

Review

I was a little scared going into this book for the same reason why I wanted to read it in the first place.

You see, the main character, Adam, has Multiple Sclerosis. While I always appreciate representation of this particular chronic illness – the fact that I have it, too, is a little scary to read about.

I wasn’t so much worried that it would be misrepresented – after all this disease varies greatly from person to person – it’s more that knowing everything that COULD happen to me always terrifies me.

So, let’s start off with that.

I loved Adam’s character, first of all. Of all the characters in the story, I liked him the most. Despite going through a lot of tough things, he has a very calming personality. He’s a great balance to our heroine, Zayneb.

His experience with MS was pretty different than mine, even though we both had Optic Neuritis. I can’t say that it was an inaccurate representation because I don’t know enough about the different ways it presents itself, but he had blurry vision whereas for me (and for most of the accounts I’ve heard) it’s more eye pain and flashing lights/broken glass vision.

He did get a steroid infusion and I wish side effects were addressed. It was also strange that there was no talk of long term treatment, especially for someone his age. And HOW he kept it a secret from his parents, I have no idea considering all the medical procedures necessary to diagnose.

It seemed very secondary to what the novel was about and I’m not sure how I feel about that.

As far as the book itself, the story, and Zayneb… I enjoyed it. The romance was sweet, but I found reading Zayneb’s story so frustrating and hard to read. Especially knowing that the hate she endures is very real. I understand why she is such an angry character, but that doesn’t mean it was easy to read. I think her aunt, Adam, and her friends were a nice balance to her character.

One of the things I loved the most about this was the meetcute. Adam and Zayneb meet in the airport and they happen to have the same unique journal. I always love a good meetcute!


Butterfly Rating: 1 Stars

1-star


Re-read Worthiness: No


Bookshelf Placement: Yes


Book Boyfriend Rating: 3 stars

3-stars

 

 

 

The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3) by Richelle Mead

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: The Indigo Spell
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines #3

Synopsis:
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets–and human lives.”
In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch–a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood–or else she might be next.

GOODREADS

Review

These books are just a reminder of how much I enjoy reading.

It took me a while to finish this book because I had a bit of a book break (definitely one of the worst breaks to have). But after I finally got sucked into the book, I can proudly say this book break has finally ended. Richelle Mead seems to love putting her readers into an emotional rollercoaster that is so hard to come back to reality.

I am already looking forward to the next book and I can’t even imagine what I am about to go through.

Overall, my favorite thing about this book was obviously whenever Adrian and Sydney were together. They just have this amazing chemistry and are so different yet, for some reason, they understand each other so well. Back when I first met Sydney in Vampire Academy, I would have never thought about her connected with Adrian or even associating with Adrian.

But let’s talk about Adrian for a minute, he’s easily one of the most swoon worthy guys. He’s protective and mysterious but he also has that bad boy reputation that is completely different when you get to know the real him. All I can say is that I’m excited to start reading again.


Butterfly Rating: 5 Stars

5-stars


Book Boyfriend Rating: 5 stars

5-stars
I have been shipping them forever, it’s about time!

Age Recommendation: 14+ stars

 

 

 

{Review by Kayla} The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines #4) by Richelle Mead

#-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: The Fiery Heart
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines #4

Synopsis:
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the wolds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives.

In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her…

But the struggle isn’t over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there’s still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure — and re-education — looms larger than ever.

Pulses will race throughout this smoldering fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe.

GOODREADS

Review

This series has made me decide I will not come out of my reading position until I am done with this series.

Currently, I’m frantically writing this review so I can move on to the next book because when I tell you the cliffhanger is killing me, I mean my heart is beating so fast and I can tell I am going to have a major book hangover when this series is over. But can we talk about the dual POVs in this book??? I LOVE how I got more of Adrian’s point of view and it worked out perfectly. Another thing that just makes this book even more enjoyable is the friend group. Between the Moroi, dhampirs, and Sydney it’s definitely a diverse friend group to say the least. With each book, you can see just how much closer they get and how willing they are to make sacrifices for each other. I cannot wait to see what happens in the next two books.


Butterfly Rating: 5 Stars

5-stars


Book Boyfriend Rating: 5 stars

5-stars


Age Recommendation: 14+

 

 

 

Bloodlines (Bloodlines #1) by Richelle Mead

Review by Kayla, In Love & Words Teen Reader

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: Bloodlines
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines #1

Synopsis:
I wasn’t free of my past, not yet.

Sydney’s blood is special. That’s because she’s an alchemist – one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives. But the last encounter Sydney had with vampires got her in deep trouble with the other alchemists. And now with her allegiences in question, her future is on the line.

When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she’s still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir – the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir – is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill’s guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the unlikeliest of places: a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. The last thing Sydney wants is to be accused of sympathizing with vampires. And now she has to live with one.

The Moroi court believe Jill and Sydney will be safe at Amberwood Prep, but threats, distractions, and forbidden romance lurk both outside – and within – the school grounds. Now that they’re in hiding, the drama is only just beginning.

GOODREADS

 

Review

This is the POV we all needed without really knowing it!

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The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) by Richelle Mead

Review by Kayla, In Love & Words Teen Reader

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: The Golden Lily
Author: Richelle Mead
Series: Bloodlines #2

Synopsis:
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. Alchemists protect vampire secrets – and human lives.

Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California – tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formorly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age-old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and her sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi – the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that – special, magical, powerful – that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Braydon, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else – someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she’s supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she’s been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

Should she trust the Alchemists – or her heart?

GOODREADS

 

Review

The characters in these books are everything!

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