Best New Fantasy: A Curse So Dark and Lonely 

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Goodreads Summary:

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse. 

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom. 

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

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Spoiler free Summary:

Oh. My. Gosh.

This was such an amazing book! It is a retelling of beauty and the beast and the author did an amazing job. It reminded me of A Court of Thorns and Roses, I would say if A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury were one book, this is it!

Harper gets thrown into this amazing alternate universe and is thrust into the throws of this dying kingdom called Emberfall. Harper is such an amazing and dynamic character. She is the badass female that I love seeing in these types of YA novels. She wont take no for an answer and does whatever she wants. One thing I love that the author did is that she gave the main character a disability, but in no way does she let that effect her life. She has cerebral palsy, which in the case of this character gives her a noticeable limp. It is something that, in my reading experience, has not been done in a YA fantasy novel.

The world building also blew my mind. Brigid Kemmerer is spectacular at describing this universe so well that you can picture everything in your head. I need to see a map of this fantasy land immediately because of how much I have fallen in love with it.

This book is one of those books that has you turning each page until you have read the last word. Then once you finish, you just want more. It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way, and the ending blew my mind!

If you have not ordered this book, you need to go do so immediately!

**This was an advanced readers copy I received to review**

From your local bibliophile, until next time!

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Imprison the Sky

Imprison the Sky

Author: A.C. Gaughen

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Goodreads Summary:

Stolen from her family as a child, Aspasia has clawed her way up the ranks of Cyrus’s black market empire to captain her own trading vessel–and she risks it all every time she uses her powerful magic to free as many women, children, and Elementae from slavery as she can.

But Cyrus is close to uncovering her secrets–not only that Aspasia is an air Elementa with the ability to sail her ship through the sky, but that she is also searching for her lost family. And if Aspasia can’t find her younger siblings before Cyrus does, she will never be able to break free.

Armed with her loyal crew full of Elementae and a new recruit who controls an intriguing power, Aspasia finds herself in the center of a brewing war that spans every inch of the ocean, and her power alone may not be enough to save her friends, family, and freedom.

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Spoiler free Summary:

Reign the Earth was one of my top reads last year and holds a special place in my heart. Considering this I was very weary when I read the description of this book and the main character was not Shalia. She was such an amazing and influential character that I didn’t think she could be topped or even that another character could come close. A.C. Gaughen has blown me away once again, not only with her powerful characters, but also amazing plot.

A.C. Gaughen has expanded even more on this fascinating world that she has created and made me fall in love with. Aspasia was the character that I didn’t know was needed and was the perfect fit for the sequel. She is what I call a dynamic character. She comes from such a harsh background and just keeps adapting, to keep not only herself going, but helping those around her that she loves.

In the past I am usually the type of person that always wants the same characters in every book. I typically don’t like when authors try to have a million new characters in every book and have it all connect somehow in the end. A.C. Gaughen is wonderful and she pulled it off and I loved every second of it!

This book has everything you need in life. You have badass characters, pirates, fighting, and even a little romance. It makes the perfect mixture for an outstanding fantasy. She has amazed me once again and I can wait to see what she has in store for the next book in the series. If you haven’t read Reign the Earth please go read it right now! Also don’t forget to pick your copy of Imprison the Sky tomorrow!

From your local bibliophile, until next time!

**this was advanced readers copy that I received from the publisher**

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Paper Princess 

Paper Princess

Paper Princess.jpg

Author: Erin Watt

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult

Goodreads Summary:

From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself.

These Royals will ruin you…

Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone.

Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.

Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals.

He might be right.

Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees.

Spoiler free Summary:

Over the holidays I decided to purchase the ebook for Paper Princess because over the years I have heard many good things about it and loved her book When It’s Real. I wasn’t sure if I would like it because the description of it sounded a bit odd and unlike something I would typically pick up. It surprised me so much! It was a little difficult getting into it for the first couple chapters, but after I was hooked.

This book is definitely very different from When It’s Real, but this was also at the beginning of her writing career. There were spots in the book where I definitely felt that it was almost another writer. Though her character development amazed me just as it did in her other book. Erin is amazing when it comes to plot and character development and I think that is what truly hooked me in.

This series is geared for more of a mature audience because there are sexual scenes throughout all of the books. This was such a fun read and kept me on my toes through not just the first, but all of the books throughout the series. I would recommend this to anyone likes contemporary!

From your local bibliophile, until next time!

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Top 18 Books of 2018

The time has finally come for me to compile a list of my top books of 2018. This was honestly the hardest thing ever because I read 150 books in 2018 and so many of them were amazing books! Many of these were series I read and I just included my favorite book that I read in the series.

Wicked King by Holly Black

wicked king

I was so lucky to be able to attend Book Expo and score one the 100 copies of Wicked King that they gave out. This was definitely the hardest book to get and I am so glad I got it because let me tell you it was AMAZING. Holly Black has changed the whole dynamic for everything written about fae in the past and I am living for it. If you haven’t already picked up this series, please stop what you’re doing and go get it!

Wildcard by Marie Lu

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This was another book that I was lucky enough to get at Book Expo and I honestly think this is the first time in my reading history that I have enjoyed a sequel more than the first book in the series. Marie Lu is such an amazing writer and this series shows how passionate she is for not only writing fantasy, but also her love for gaming. I can’t wait to see what she writes next.

The Black Witch by Laurie Forest

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I honestly didn’t think that I would like this series because it is more of a high fantasy,  which I don’t typically read. Laurie Frost changed my mind on high fantasy because the two books out in this series are amazing! I devoured each of them in a day. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book after the cliff hanger at the end of the second book.

Scythe by Neil Shusterman 

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This concept pulled me in because I had never heard of anything like it before. It tugged at my childhood heart because when I was a kid I always watched the Grim Reaper show on Cartoon Network. Throughout the whole book I was guessing and couldn’t put the book down. It is one of Neil’s best works in my opinion.

Reign the Earth by AC Gaughen 

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This was another book that tugged at my childhood heart because it reminded me so much of Avatar the Last Airbender. I honestly love when any book has elemental powers in it. Then bring in some action and it becomes on of my favorite reads.

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

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It honestly amazes me that there hasn’t been a popular superhero YA novel before this. Not only did she bring to life all these amazing superheroes, but so much thought went into creating this world and its characters. I love that she did not go with the typical super powers. You see powers such as turning into butterflies, putting people to sleep, sketches coming to life, and turning into smoke.

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

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One of my favorite books off all time is Throne of Glass and this book reminded me so much of it! It had a badass female main character, awesome battle scenes, and not making romance the focal point of the whole book. Tricia Levenseller is an amazing reader and I am so glad that I decided ton read this series.

When It’s Real by Erin Watt

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I have always been into read Mortal Instruments fan fiction and this book was just like so many of them and I loved it! In the past I never really read much contemporary, but I this year I went out of my comfort zone and really enjoyed it. This book is amazing and if you like contemporary you need to read it.

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

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This is a reimagining of the Arabian Nights tale and Renee really brings it to life with her amazing characters and world building. I read this in a single night because it is a book that you never want to put down until the last page. I love all of Renee’s writing and can’t wait for her vampire series that she is currently writing.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

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PSA I read this before I even knew that it was going to be a movie on Netflix. This book was the book that truly propelled me into seeking out more contemporary novels. The concept is so amazing and you never want to put it down because of all the ups and downs that Lara Jean has to go through to get her perfect ending.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo 

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I put this book off for so long and finally decided to pick it up this September. I think I put it off because it was so hyped, but oh my gosh it freaking deserves the hype! I loved everything about this book and can’t wait to finish the series. I finally know what everyone means when they talk about the darkling now 😉

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

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Kasie West has become my favorite contemporary writer. I have read most of her books this year and this one was by far my favorite. The whole time I was reading it I kept trying to guess who was writing the notes and I loved it. I did guess right in the end though 🙂

Caraval by Stephanie Garber 

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This book was unlike anything I have ever read in the young adult world. I honestly was guessing the whole time throughout the book. I met her at BookExpo and asked how she came up with the idea. She said that the first spark was when she was watching grand fireworks.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

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Rainbow Rowell is an amazing writer and I think her book Eleanor & Park was the first contemporary I ever read back in college. This book embodies every one of us book nerds out there. Then Rainbow did the impossible and literally made a book inside of a book and I think that is so amazing and I can’t wait to read Carry On.

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

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This book reminded me a lot of Fangirl, but in a different light. I loved that the author include illustrations because it really brought the book to life and to a whole new level. I read this so fast and was sad when it was over because I absolutely adored it.

The Afterlife of Holy Chase by Cynthia Hand

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This book was, in a way, a reimagining of A Christmas Carol. I almost didn’t read this because the synopsis doesn’t sound as good as the book truly is, but all of the book bloggers were reading it so I decided to buy the ebook. I enjoyed everything that this book had to offer and am so glad that I read it and let me tell you I did not guess that ending!

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

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Warcross and Ready Player One reminded me so much of each other, but so opposite at the same time. I am glad that I read them close together because it really helped me enjoy both of these very unique gaming worlds. The movie was a little bit of a let down, but the book was wonderful.

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas

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You knew this had to be on my list because Sarah J Maas is my all time favorite author. I didn’t include A Court of Frost and Starlight because I honestly thought it was the worst of all her books, it just seemed a bit muddy and out of place. I did enjoy Kingdom of Ash because it finally brought an end to one of my favorite series. It wasn’t my favorite of the whole series because it seemed a little too drawn out, but still amazing 🙂

 

Hope you enjoyed my top 18! What was yours?

 

From your local bibliophile, until next time!

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Wildcard

Wildcard

Author: Marie Lu

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Goodreads Summary:

Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she’s always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.

Determined to put a stop to Hideo’s grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone’s put a bounty on Emika’s head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t all that he seems–and his protection comes at a price.

Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?

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Spoiler free Summary:

OH. MY. GOD. I don’t think I have loved a sequel this much since my all time favorite, A Court of Mist and Fury. I went into this expecting it to be good, but not amazing just like most every other sequel out there. Marie is Queen and blew me away!

Right off the bat you step right into the action and are sitting on the edge of your seat, never wanting to put the book down until the very last sentence! There were so many scenes where I had to put the book down and process what Marie had just put me through (have I said that I love her yet? Haha). She will make you think one thing and totally reverse things on you and I loved it!

The character development was amazing. I really thought that Emika had so much happen to her in the first novel, so there couldn’t be as much development in the second book. Then she is forced through so many new trials in this novel and grows and changes with the things thrown at her. You get to dive more into the lives of Hideo and Zero, aka Sasuke, Hideo’s younger brother, that left us hanging at the end of Warcross.

I can’t wait for everyone to read this and express their love with me. I can only hope that everyone agrees with me about how amazing Marie is. I am so sad that this series is over, but she had such an amazing ending to such an amazing series. I cant wait to see what she comes up with next.

Please go now and read this amazing second novel in the Warcross series!

From your local bibliophile, until next time!

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To Be Honest

To Be Honest

Author: Maggie Ann Martin

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult

Goodreads Summary:

Savannah is dreading being home alone with her overbearing mother after her sister goes off to college. But if she can just get through senior year, she’ll be able to escape to college, too. What she doesn’t count on is that her mother’s obsession with weight has only grown deeper since her appearance on an extreme weight-loss show, and now Savvy’s mom is pressuring her even harder to be constantly mindful of what she eats.

Between her mom’s diet-helicoptering, missing her sister, and worrying about her collegiate future, Savvy has enough to worry about. And then she meets George, the cute new kid at school who has insecurities of his own. As Savvy and George grow closer, they help each other discover how to live in the moment and enjoy the here and now before it disappears.

Image result for to be honest maggie ann martin

Spoiler free Summary:

Happy release day to Maggie Ann Martin!

Body shaming is a serious topic and I am so glad that an author addressed this! This was a cute and honest read, with a great message: If you like how you look, screw everyone else!

I loved the topics that are addressed because not many authors I have come across have plus size characters or address eating disorders (just my opinion). Not only does it address plus size girls, but also being a nerd in high school. Man can I tell you I related! I wasn’t necessarily amazing when it came to school, but I was definitely a nerd (book nerd). The author shows you how, just because you are nerdy, there is always someone out there for you. You really see what body shaming can do to a person, for both her and her mother, and I thought it really added depth to the novel.

The character development wasn’t super apparent because the characters were pretty stagnant, just growing their relationship. I love that she showed two different perspectives on how body shaming can effect a person. One being Savannah, who is very comfortable with who she is. Then there is her mother who went through a show, Shake the Weight (like Biggest Loser), because her husband left her and she feels it was because of her weight.

Overall, this wasn’t one of my top books of the year, but I still enjoyed reading it. It was a super sweet and cute read. I would suggest it to anyone looking for a nice contemporary read that addresses some real life topics.

From your local bibliophile, until next time!

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Best. Adaptation. Ever.

When I heard that this was being made into a movie and by Netflix I was a little scared since they have never done one before. I am always weary when it comes to book to movie adaptations because usually there are major plot lines missing. I don’t think I have ever seen one done as well as this one, definitely the best contemporary book to movie adaptation. The characters were spot on, all major plot points were there, Lara Jean’s fashion was on point, and the music was perfection. I mean obviously there were some things missing because you can’t fit EVERYTHING into an hour and a half.

What did I notice was missing?

1. There only made cookies once, and they were chocolate chip.

I was really hoping to see the famous fruitcake cookies IRL, but alas it was a part that was taken out. I mean at least they made cookies once!

2. No Car Crash

In the book Lara Jean get into a car crash and Peter pulls over to help her. It was a contributing factor to him driving her once they start their relationship since her car is out of commission. I was a little confused that this wasn’t in it, but once again not a huge deal.

3. No Visiting John Ambrose

I think this was the biggest part that was left out. In the book Lara Jean goes to a model UN to confront John Ambrose about the letter and then chickens out when she sees him. In the movie he suddenly shows up in the end after some credits, obviously to set it up for another movie.

John Ambrose McClaren comes to Lara Jean's house.

4. The Hot Tub Video

This video doesn’t leak until the second book. So I wish they maybe would have done something else here that was in the first book.

5. Setting Changes

There were many scenes that happened at different locations in the book, but that is fine, not a huge change.

I mean I can sit here all day pointing out small details that were different, but those can be because of budget issues and such. Overall I think they did such a stupendous job on this movie. I can only hope that Netflix makes a sequel like they hinted and make more book adaptations!

What did you think of the movie?

 

 

From your local bibliophile, until next time!

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Stalking Jack the Ripper

Stalking Jack the Ripper

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Genre: Mystery, Historical, Young Adult

Goodreads Summary:

Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling, #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.

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Spoiler free Summary:

This book has been on my TBR pile for a super long time. I kept putting it off because I don’t typically read historical books. I decided to finally read it since I want to meet Kerri Maniscalco at BEA and BookCon and oh my gosh I loved it!!

Kerri Maniscalco has recreated an amazing world loosely centered around true events. I think it is amazing that the author was able to put true parts of the Jack Ripper history into the book. I have never really learned a lot about Jack the Ripper, so it was such a fun read to experience. This book was nothing like I have ever read in the past.

This author keeps you on your toes the whole time guessing who around the main character could be Jack the Ripper and why they are doing it. You will not want to put this down until you have read the very last sentence.

The character development was outstanding. Kerri Maniscalco makes you thinking a certain opinion about a character and show the growth of them to becoming such an outstanding character. I absolutely loved the development of Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell.

I cannot wait to read Hunting Prince Dracula and fall more in love with Kerri Maniscalco’s characters and beautiful writing. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in history, mystery, or a novel that you will not be willing to put down. Please, please go read this now!

From your local bibliophile, until next time!

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Attachments

Attachments

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult

Goodreads Summary:

“Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you…”

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now- reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.

What would he say . . . ?

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Spoiler free Summary:

I recently read a couple books about people who met online and later met in person and found this while looking for another similar to the others. I have heard so many good things about this book over the years and was excited to read it since I loved Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. I ended up starting this when I got on my cruise, but honestly had the hardest time getting through the first half, it just seemed to go on and on with useless information.

I thought some things that didn’t seem like they belonged were the Y2K aspects and the going to the Sacajawea concerts. I mean don’t get me wrong after halfway through I was fully invested and loved it, I just had a hard time getting to that point. Then when things began to speed up I couldn’t put the book down and Rainbow Rowell’s genius came out to shine.

I really think this can be a very good book for people to read because all of the topics that it touches, just know not to give upon on it if you don’t like the beginning. I will definitely try reading more of the authors book in the future.

I would recommend this to anyone likes contemporary and romance!

From your local bibliophile, until next time!

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Alex, Approximately 

Alex, Approximately

Author: Jenn Bennett

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult

Goodreads Summary:

The one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Classic movie fan Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online as Alex. Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new archnemesis. But life is a whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever it is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…

alex cover

Spoiler free Summary:

I recently read P.S. I Like You by Kasie West and really enjoyed it and wanted a read similar to it and found this book in the search. This is one of those super easy and fun reads that could help you get out of a reading slump if you want. I started and finished this book on my two flight today and really enjoyed it!

I really enjoy when authors can incorporate things such as texting and messaging so well into novels. One thing I hate is when it is hard to distinguish the difference between messages and real life and the author did an awesome job on letting you know. It really shows people where we have come over the years, being able to making friends over apps who share your hobbies, without ever knowing who they truly are.

I really liked the growth that the author showed in the characters from beginning to end. One thing that I didn’t like was that the author gave away the mystery by revealing who Alex would be in the book description. I mean I still guessed it in this book and P.S. I Like You, but I still enjoy to be questioning it until the very end. So, I would say that was the biggest downfall in the whole book. Otherwise it was such a fun read!

I would recommend this to anyone likes contemporary and romance!

From your local bibliophile, until next time!

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