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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Bookish Tattoos

Bookish tattoos are my favorite thing. I am constantly looking at them on instagram. I actually have four of my own!

Current Bookish Tattoos:

The mortal Instruments

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As you can probably tell by my blog name, I am a huge fan of the mortal instruments. I read it for the first time at 16 and one quote always stuck with me. This was “All the stories are true.” Then when I was 18 in college my friend wanted to get a tattoo, so I decided to spur of the moment get the quote on my foot. Honestly, looking back I wish I had put more thought into it because I didn’t know the font or size I wanted and let the artist pick it out. Luckily it turned out pretty well.

Bibliophile

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When I was looking through bookish tattoos when I was 16 I found one where bibliophile was tattooed on a wrist. I loved this because then you can see bibliophile every time you are reading a book. I knew I wanted it, but waited until my 21st birthday when I finally got it. I am glad I put more thought into this one, unlike my first one. I ended up getting it in my favorite font and moved it a little from where it was on my inspiration picture.

A Court of Thorns and Roses/Percy Jackson

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I read A Court of Thorns and Roses when I was 19 and ever since it has been my favorite book and I wanted to get a tattoo for it. I have loved the night court symbol since I read A Court of Mist and Fury and wanted to incorporate into the tattoo. I started looking up ACOTAR tattoos for inspiration. I found one that I liked, but I wanted it a little different. I ended up drawing my own design and giving it straight to the tattoo artist. The night court symbol is for ACOTAR, lotus flower is for Percy Jackson, and the crescent moon is sailor moon because my sister and I watched it constantly as children.

Harry Potter

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Harry Potter has been a huge part of my life since the first movie came out when I was 5. It was the first fantasy movie I had seen and my dad read the books to me when I was little. I always knew I eventually wanted a Harry Potter tattoo since it always been so important to me. I didn’t want it to look like the deathly hallows that everyone else has. So, I asked my artist to try to get it to look similar to my ACOTAR tattoo.

Nerdy Tattoos that I Want:

Book Tattoo

As you can tell from my current tattoos I love floral tattoos. I love this one because it incorporates books and floral. It also really reminds me of beauty and the beast!

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Throne of Glass

Throne of glass is another series that holds a dear place in my heart. I have debated back and forth if I want a Throne of Glass tattoo. The only reason I wouldn’t get it would be because I already have another Sarah J Maas tattoo. Currently I am leaning more towards getting it, but we shall see!

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Star Wars

This isn’t book related, but I have loved Star Wars since I was little and have always wanted a light saber tattoo. I think this will be my next tattoo. I am deciding between behind my ear, on my finger, or on the opposite of my wrist from where my bibliophile tattoo is.

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Do you have any bookish tattoos?

 

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

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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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The Pirate’s Booty

The Pirate’s Booty

Author: Alex Westmore

Genre: LGBT, Historical

Goodreads Summary:

When Quinn Gallagher’s childhood friend is abducted from a dock in Ireland, she’ll do whatever it takes to come to the rescue—even if that means dressing as a man and joining the crew of one of the most notorious pirate captains the world has ever seen.

Quinn soon finds there is much to enjoy living as a man, in particular the company of other women. When she finds herself falling hard for Lady Fiona, a woman far above her own station, she is torn between revealing her true identity and continuing the façade of being a male pirate. Love is never easy, especially in the sixteenth century and especially under false pretenses.

Can Quinn live with one foot in two different worlds, or must she consign herself to either the lusty life of a pirate or the loveless life of a noble woman? Come sail the high seas in this exciting and erotic adventure with the fierce pirate Gallagher as your guide. You’re in for a wild ride and may even score some booty along the way.

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Spoiler free Summary:

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

I have only ever read one other historical novel before, so this was such an interesting ride for me. The Pirate’s Booty is an exciting read about a lesbian having to do a she’s the man and disguise as a male pirate to rescue her best friend. I loved how the author took overdone plots and totally mixed them up!

I feel that a lot of LGBT books out there really lack action. It seems as though people assume LGBT can only apply to contemporary novels, but I LOVED the action that was weaved int this story. I mean you cant have an awesome pirate adventure without a fight or two!

The character development was outstanding. I felt like I could really get into the story since she made these characters so personable. Quinn/Kieran was definitely much different and refreshing from any other characters that I have read in the past.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this interesting take on a pirate adventure!

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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The Darkest Minds

The Darkest Minds

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

Goodreads Summary:

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.

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Spoiler free Summary:

Alexandra has created an intricate dystopian world for you to get lost in. This novel was nothing like anything that I have read in the past. I honestly do not know why I had never heard about it until this year!

I felt that the novel had a bit of a slow start, but once you get over the halfway hump it cannot be put down! The author definitely kept me on my toes with multiple plot twists that I did not see coming. She will make you think once thing and totally reverse things on you and I loved it!

The character development was amazing. I could really see Ruby have some serious growth from beginning to end. Throughout most of the novel there were four main characters, but there are a lot of other characters introduced throughout and it got a little confusing keeping them all straight, but otherwise I loved all of the amazing characters that she brought to life.

I honestly cannot wait to see The Darkest Minds movie. I can only hope that they do this novel justice, but it is always hard to be spot on when the novel is five hundred pages. I can only hope that it will be as close as they can.

This was a riveting novel and I suggest reading it before the movie comes out in August!

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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