Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Four Dead Queens,” by Astrid Scholte

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
  • Pub Date:  February 26, 2019
  • Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
  • Publisher: Putnam
  • Product #: 9781984814128
  • Pages: Hardcover, 432

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This story was very interesting, to say the least, but it was hard to get through.

Now, before you jump into conclusions, I want to say that this 3 starred review is not a bad review, nor because I said that this book didn’t do it for me doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. I just felt like the overall story wasn’t interesting to me. The storyline was great, the actual characters we very well developed, and yet, the story fell flat to me.

In this story, we follow the young character Keralie, who ran away from her parents to become a thief under the command of one of her good friends. In this world, there’s a nation divided into four quadrants, each of which has its own queen. The queens live in one palace all together, and from there they rule their respective quadrants. There’s an assassin in this story trying to kill the queens and Keralie has taken upon herself to stop the killings from happening and warn the queens before its too late. With the help of her friend Varin, they set into an impossible task of sneaking away from dangers and trying to save their lives at the same time.

“Loving someone means risking your heart being broken,” … “But those moments you are together triumphs over any darkness.”

As for the logistics of the book, there was a lot going on and too much information to process in the first 5 chapters. I was so overwhelmed by the time I reached chapter five, I had to stop reading the book for a couple of hours and rest my brain for a little bit because of information overload. The writing of the author was odd too. She would use weird words to describe her characters’ physical appearance, which at often times it made her writing seem a little careless. On the other hand, there were times where her writing excelled. She wrote some very powerful and emotional scenes where she could really make us feel what was going on.

The characters were well written, but I still feel like there was much going on. You see, besides Keralie’s POV, there were other POVs throughout this story. The most important ones were the POVs of the queens. Each had their own dedicated chapters to them, but those chapters were so full of information that it was hard to process everything at once. Something that I appreciated about Keralie was how funny she was. She managed to stay upbeat and always looking forward, despite all of her problems. Her connection with Varin was very cute and I absolutely loved their chemistry.

Scholte spends a lot of time in world-building, which I think its a great thing because of the way her world is structured. Her story wasn’t too long but there were times when the story seemed to drag on forever. And I don’t know why, but the ending seemed a little bit rushed to me. I feel like authors struggle with this a lot, they focus so much in giving us a great beginning that they forget about the ending. Although the ending in this book was okay, it still felt rushed but there wasn’t a major cliffhanger that left you feeling incomplete.

Yes, there were some things that fell flat for me in this story but other ones that didn’t. There are many things to look forward for in this book, so please give it a try!

If you like Three Dark Crown, Red Queen, Blood Rose Rebellion, Six of Crows, The Gilded Wolves, etc., then you’ll most certainly enjoy this book. If you are 12 years old and older you can read this book. And as always I want to thank you for taking the time for reading my post, I truly appreciate it.

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Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Rayne and Delilah’s Midnite Matinee,” by Jeff Zetner

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  • Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Pub Date:  February 26, 2019
  • Genre: Ya, Contemporary, Fiction
  • Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
  • Product #: 9781524720209
  • Pages: Hardcover, 400

What a great book, you guys. I loved it so much.

Let me start by saying I have never laughed as hard reading a book as I did reading this one. This book was awesome you guys! I couldn’t stop reading it once I started it. We have a little bit of everything going on in this book. There’s your adorable romance, there’s your invaluable friendship, there’s your crazy story, there’s your down moments, but above all, there’s your love.

Those who don’t work hard for a long time will have a hard time for a long time

Josie and Delia are best friends that host a show on channel six that airs every Sunday (I believe)  from 11 pm to 1 am. Their show is about critiquing old horror movies while playing a role in front of the camera. They have been doing this show together for over a year and a half now. Delia struggles with the lost of her father and the fact that she and her whole family have mental issues. Meanwhile, Josie struggles with deciding what to do with her life after high school, her decisions lie within staying in town helping Delia with the show or moving on and working on her career as being a TV show host.

The characters were so full of life. Josie and Delia have the most amazing friendship ever, it’s so unique that people think they are sisters all the time despite either one of them not looking like each other. They made me laugh so hard throughout this entire story. There’s a scene in the book (not spoilers I promise) where there’s a fight going on, like a professional looking fight, there’s a ring, boxers, etc., and Delia shouts:

“Make him feel like every day is Monday”

I don’t know why, but I laughed so hard during that scene I had to stop reading and wipe the laughing tears under my eyes. Josie and Delia make me feel so happy and despite the fact that they have their own problems, they still find their way back to each other.

Delia’s mom has mental health issues and that is something that Delia struggles with too, but something that I loved seeing in this story was the fact that Zetner didn’t make her hate her mom. Delia loves her family, however broken it may be. And her mom turns out to be one of the coolest moms out there despite her issues with herself. I also have to say that Delia is my favorite character on this book. Not only does she have a name similar to mine, but she feels so real throughout this entire story. I have a story similar to hes and her character hit home for me. Moreover, people said that this was the one book from Jeff Zetner that wouldn’t make you cry and they lied. I cried like a baby. There were moments in this book that I suffered through and it honestly was my fault for thinking that I wasn’t going to cry.

I get lonely sometimes, but so does everyone else. We’re all looking for some sort of salvation in something.

I read this whole book thinking that this book is 100% Zetner. I can see him liking mix martial arts, old horror movies, and fart jokes. Yep, all of that is in this book. If you want to die laughing, then please read this book. If you like Adam Silvera (but not in his everyone has to die way), Becky Albertalli, David Levithan, etc., then you’ll for sure love this book. If you are 10 years old and older, you can also read this book. And as always, I want to thank you guys for taking the time to read my post. I truly appreciate it.

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Fame, Fate, and The First Kiss,” by Kasie West

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  • Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
  • Pub Date: February 5th, 2019
  • Genre: YA Fiction, Romance
  • Publisher: Harper Teen
  • Product #: 9780062675804

Aww, this book was so adorable. I truly enjoyed reading this book. Reading a Kasie West book always makes me lighthearted and happy 🙂

In this book, we follow the story of Lacey Barnes who just get this gig in an upcoming movie that will make her career flourish as an actress. She’s a seventeen-year-old actress with dreams of becoming a superstar one day. In this film that she’s working on, she’s working with famous actor Grant James, which will bring people to see the movie and at the same time make people notice her.

In this book, Lacey is faced with what any teenager would face being in her position. She’s still trying to finish school while at the same trying to find chemistry with her co-star and living under the roof of an overprotecting dad. Her career seems to take more of her time though, so that’s why her dad hires a tutor to help her with her school work so she doesn’t fall behind. Enter tutor, Donovan, he’s a student from the school who choose to sponsor her independent study and he’s the cutest guy ever.

Lacey is very funny, determined and strong-minded. There are people who believe she might be a nobody and that are trying to ruin her career but she wants to prove to everyone that she can make it. She made me laugh so much and she’s such a witty and easygoing character. I fell in love with her immediately.

This book talks about insecurities, how to deal with divorced parents, friendships, how to handle fame, and more. I did like the spot that Kasie gave the superstar main actor, Grant James, because the fact that he was famous, she still showed him down to earth and vulnerable. Amanda is another one of Lacey’s co-stars who like Grant, but she isn’t snobby either, which is normally to be expected but in this case, it wasn’t. She was a great friend to Lacey and enjoyed their friendship.

West’s writing is still beautiful–it manages to pull you through and she makes the book stick with you even months after you’ve finished reading. This book was also original in its own way. Normally when authors write about movie stars or the filming of a movie, they usually make the not known star fall for the very popular one and in the process manages to make everyone else look very snobby and entitled. This read was such a refresher for me and I cannot wait to read her next one! I seriously own all of her books, she’s such a good writer.

If you like Morgan Matson, Jennifer E. Smith, Jenna Evans Welch, Ashley Poston, Becky Albertalli, etc., I would recommend you reading this book. If you are 12 years old and older you could also read it. Also, I want to thank you for taking the time to read my review. I truly appreciate it.

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Everless,” by Sarah Holland

4.5/5 Stars

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This book is a great way to start the year! My goal this year is to read 100 books. I know, pretty bold of me, seeing as I work full time and go to school full time. But I’m excited about this new year and I cannot wait to read some incredible books that I know are waiting for me in 2019.

Anyways, I’m so glad I picked up this book for my first book of the year because I enjoyed it so much. It was such a simple book and it was very refreshing. It was a fast read for me but with enough content to satisfy my appetite.

The story follows the narration of our main character Jules, she was banished from Everless with her father, both of them ran from the castle to run from evil hands. Unfortunate circumstances have her coming back to the castle as a servant and there she

Jules is very determined and hard headed and most of the time, hard-headed people annoy me in books–but in this case, it works in her favor. Because of her determination, she gets to find out who she is and discover the dangers that looms inside the kingdom.

There are so many things going on and not too many at the same time. It’s like information brought to you is satisfying but not enough. Which is a good thing because the author won’t let you put the book down.

The princess, the queen, Roan, Liam, and every other character is very well developed. The ending of the book is very unexpected. Liam was that unexpected character that you hate to love. And, honestly, Roan is too convenient. He’s like too good to be true. But I’m glad the book ended the way it did.

The actual ending, like in the final chapters, that I didn’t like. I was expecting more from the author. Like, I was expecting that killer cliffhanger that would have me dying until I finally read that other book. But, overall, this story about time stealing, lies and deceit is very interesting and I would recommend it if you liked Wayfarer, Wintersong, Timekeeper, and Ash Princess. Twelve-years-old and older can read it.

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “What If It’s Us” by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

4.5/5 Stars

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Wow, this book was incredible. I can’t believe I procrastinated that much. I want to punch myself in the face, I should’ve read it as soon as it came out but I don’t know what’s wrong me. Anyways, Becky and Adam should be writing in DUOs from now on.

This book was a perfect combination of everything you need in a fiction/romance YA novel. This is a perfect story about relationships, friendships and just so much more. There’s a lot of cultures mixed in with this book and I cannot get over how Adam always tries to bring his roots in his writing. I love reading about Puerto Rican culture, seeing since I’m Dominican most of our things are kind of similar.

Both authors did a great job in developing the story, we got an excellent look at Ben and Arthur and neither character felt poorly written to me. I absolutely loved the relationship that Ben had with his best friend Dylan, to the point where I wished I had a Dylan, lol.

Arthur and Ben met because destiny wanted them to meet and well, from the incredible encounter in the city of New York to all of their “first-dates”, this book was great. I also liked that this book is very modern and talked about many subjects that are true to us as millennials and generation z. Never once did I get lost throughout this book and never once did I feel overwhelmed. Something else that I like to point out is that every time I’ve read a book about gay characters, there’s always focus on their coming story, which, don’t get me wrong, I love. But I always wonder what comes after the coming out part. That’s something that I really appreciate about this story, how it doesn’t focus on that. It focuses on two teenagers who are very new at love and that are trying their best to be together for however long they can.

The humor in this book will have you falling off your chair. I laughed so hard throughout this entire book, cried a little even. But it was so worth it. I would recommend for all those gays out there that feel out of place, that are afraid of finding love, of committing to friendships, of a new beginning. Anyone fourteen years and older can read this book. Also, read this book if you are a fan of both Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli, or as I like to call them Silvertalli. Read this if you like Jennifer Niven, John Green, has nothing to do with magic but I have a feeling Harry Potter fans would love this, as well as fans of Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, and many other musicals.

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Sea Witch” by Sarah Henning

4.5/5 stars36502054

 

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Smoke in the Sun,” by Reneé Ahdieh

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4.5/5 Stars

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Wow, once again mind-blown by the beautiful Reneé Ahdieh and her amazing writing. Even though half of the time throughout this books I had no idea what she was saying because many of the words used to described things were in a different language–though there’s an intensive glossary in the back–I didn’t get lost, not even once.

Here we follow the story of Mariko and Okami as they were dragged to the place following immediately after the ending of the last book A Flame in the Mist. In this book, we get different perspectives from various different characters and its written in the third person. Following the ambush of the Black Clan, Mariko has to figure out a way to save Okami and has to find a way to become someone of importance for the Black Clan. There’s political turmoil from within, family’s betrayal, broken hearts, and desperate cries. But at the end, we find our joy.

Mariko is not the same girl we started with in the first book, though in the first book she always seemed full of conviction, in this book we see it being part of her core. Spending time with those men in the woods taught her to believe in herself and to become stronger than she’s ever been before. We see her beeing tested throughout this book time and time again, yet Mariko’s resolved never faultered. She believed in a cause, and one cause only, and she would go to unknown lenghts to regardless of the consequenses, to save her people, to save Okami. She make sure they followed through. That’s something I admired from her in this book, in this story she had to make a choice for herself, could’ve chosen an easier route, but yet she didn’t. She choose to fight, and I truly apprecite divergence.

Ahdieh manages to bring one more time her beautiful writing in this one, and every once in awhile throughout this book I felt like I was reading a beautifully written folklore book that a grandma from Ireland was reading to her children. You know, the kind that passes by generations and that have the kids enthralled all the way to the end of the story. I honestly think she did a great job with world-building and the fact that she used the characters native language throughout this book made the story more diverse, made the story different. The way she portrayed the characters never felt lacking of anything. Renee made you feel the way the characters felt when you read them, if that makes any sense and each of thier thoughts were easy to follow.

If I do have to complain about anything I would say that the book felt a little bit rushed. There are moments throughout this book that I think she could’ve prolonged and/or moments that she could’ve added. There’s still some questions that I need answers to. Some scenes, especially in the last fifty pages or so felt rushed, and the book itself wasn’t very long, so I wouldn’t have mind if she were to add a couple pages to end just so that it can be more solidify. The didn’t necessarily end with a cliffhanger which is why I am confused as to whether there’s going to be another book or not.

Anyways, I would recommend this book if you liked her one, A Flame in the Mist, if you like Mulan, if you like Asian characters, if you like Mulan, oh, an if you like Mulan! There are some sensored sexy scenes in this book, so I would recommend it for ages 14 and up!

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Legendary,” by Stephanie Garber

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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I just finished reading Legendary by Stephanie Garber and OMG it was such a huge improvement from the first one. If you read my review on Caraval which I wrote about more than a year ago, you know I did not like that book at all. I felt like it lacked character and purpose and the actual main character Scarlett truly pissed me off.

In this book, we follow the story of Scarlett’s sister, Tella. Donatella decides its time for her to play the game of Caraval herself this time instead of participating because in doing so she would finally be reunited with her mom who left them a long time ago. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still the conniving lies, mysterious people, and treatures adventures full of pain, loss, and sacrifice, but somehow in this book there seem to be more of a purpose. In this story, the players of the Caraval tell Tella that this time Caraval is much more than a game–the game is real this time and maybe that’s why I liked it even better.

We immediately see the differences between the two sisters in this story. Where Scarlett’s decisions were all made out of fear, Tella’s were made out of finding out what came next, her fear pushed her to be more. There wasn’t one time throughout this whole book where I felt annoyed by Tella’s decisions if anything I found myself agreeing to many of the decisions she made and found myself nodding along with her statements while playing the game. Tella is a super strong character, stronger than Scarlett for sure, but after reading this book, I do have to give Scarlett some credit because she did play out of love for her sister when it was her turn in the past book.

We are introduced to more characters in this book, there are some that we already know and that we get to know more intimately, and we are introduced to the Fates in this story who are some sort of immortal beings that ruled the earth centuries ago, who are also apparently evil creatures. Oh, and you won’t believe who’s Tella’s love interest on this one, it made me laugh with her at the end so hard LOL!

The reason I wanted to read this book was that of the letter on the last page of Caraval, the one that Tella’s friend wrote to her, and Garber didn’t disappoint. I have to hand it to her, that women can write! Her world building was beautiful–the way she describes the places and buildings throughout the book made me want to read every single detail of it (because sometimes I do skip details LOL), her descriptions were life if you were able to read music without actually listening to the sounds. The story felt so alive, she made you feel as if you were in the story with the character. Hell, I found myself playing along–participating in Caraval–with Donatella trying to figure who is Legend (which we do find out who he is in this book but I won’t tell you muahaha imagine evil laugh here) trying to find a way of not dooming the whole to the hands of the fates, trying to save herself and also trying to find her mother.

There are many things going on in this book but never once did I get lost nor did I feel like I should put the book down because it got too overwhelming–if anything every chapter of the book made me want to finish it faster, hence why I finished the book at 3 a.m. (not ashamed). Congratulations Stephanie on this beautiful masterpiece, you managed to make me truly enjoy this book and I cannot wait to read the next one, especially with that little teasing note that you left at the end of this one! How dare you?! LOL

I would recommend for ages 13 and up! Read if you liked Caraval, Ace of Shades, Six of Crows, and Crooked Kingdom! You’ll truly enjoy this one!

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Listen To Your Heart,” by Kasie West

4/5 Stars

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This book was too cute, just like any other of her writings. Kasie West is truly an amazing author and every time she comes out with something new I cannot wait to read it. This book is one of those books that I consider remedy for the heart. You read anyone of her books and then she has you feeling like if you just ate cotton candy. You feel fluffy filled with glee.

In this book we follow the story of Kate who lives near a lake and for the most part–hates people. Her best friend Alana convinces her to join the school podcast program but never did she think she was going to be one of the people hosting it. In this book Kate gets over her fer of being shy and thinking she sounds over the mic, and finds true courage behind the spotlight. There’s adventure, there’s a guy named Diego, there’s another one named Frank and there’s a lot to laugh about in this book.

Kasie’s books are always filled with that bubbly sweet and innocent romance. I can recommend this book if you like Morgan Matson, Jenna Evans Welch, and Stephanie Perkins. If you are over 12 years-old and plus, you would really enjoy it too.

Books · Reviews - Teen Books

Non-Spoiler Book Review | “Love & Luck,” by Jenna Evans Welch

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So, first off,  let me start by saying I’m finally out of school! At least for the summer. It’s going to be a crazy one and I’m so excited. This is the first summer in forever where I’m not taking classes–which means that I going to read all summer, I’m going to catch up on TBR pile and I’m going to bring it down! I’m also trying to be more active in my social media, so make sure you follow me on that @deniareads

3.5/5 Stars

Now, enough about me ranting, let’s get to the review, ’cause we all know that’s what you are here for. Do you like sour candies? The really sour sour kind? Like at first when you put it in your mouth, the candy is so sour you can barely handle it, but after a few minutes the really sweet flavor of the candy starts coming through, but it takes you a long while to get to that sweet part of the candy. Well, that’s how I feel about this book.

This book follows the point of view of Addie and her journey through Ireland. She’s going through a recent heartbreak and that’s literally what the book is about. Her brother Ian keeps pestering her to tell her mom about something that happened before school ended. In the story Addie tries to fix her relationship with brother because of that situation. This was my sour moment. I think that the author dragged their issue way too long throughout this book when she totally could’ve fixed it in, like, the first three chapters, but instead we get a whole 200 pages of them fighting and honestly it was so hard to get through it. I really wanted to like this book because I loved her other book, Love and Gelato, it was amazing, and Jenna is amazing. She’s like the sweetest person ever. But, Oh God, this book.

However, there were some sweet moments, I like the part of the heartbreak and how this book guides Addie through it and helps her deal with her pain. The book gets better in the last 50 pages. I also loved how Jenna describes places, I feel like she’s my own tour guide that took me through Ireland for a couple of days, but the trip was kinda moppy because of Addie and her heartbreak and her fights with her brother. I would like to travel with Jenna though, I feel like she would be the perfect tour guide as I mentioned above.

I would recommend for all of you who liked her first book, which is also correlated to this one, because this is Lina’s best friend that we meet briefly in Love and Gelato. But, anyways, read this book if you like traveling, have a broken heart and love Ireland. 14 years old and up.