Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—& even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—& a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?
The plot of this book is simply: A team of 6 astronauts goes out for a mission to Mars. This is the third time the mission has taken place and the first two times have been successful. During day 6 of being on Mars, a sandstorm occurs and 5 of the astronauts are able to safely return to their spaceship. Mark Watney is the 6th astronaut and he has been left behind. The crew he was with are under the impression he is now dead and are forced to abort the mission and leave Mars. Mark is injured, but far from ready to give up. Not only is he a botanist/mechanical engineer/an effin genius, he has the mentality of a survivor and refuses to look for a corner to sulk in. Equipped with food and tools that were meant to last six people for thirty-one days, Mark is determined to do whatever he has to do in order to make it last for four years. That is when the 4th mission to Mars is scheduled to take place and Mark knows it will be his only chance at being rescued.
The first few chapters were really hard for me to get through. Mark’s character is incredibly intelligent and he has no problem throwing out all sorts of formulas and concepts that were hard to wrap my brain around. All the scientific talk was beginning to feel overwhelming, but I’m so glad I decided to stick with this book! I kept trying to understand every single one of the formulas until I stopped and realized that the chances of me ever being quizzed and asked to explain these formulas were slim to none. The odds of me deciding to drop photography to be an astronaut were even smaller! Ha! I finally stopped getting in my own head about wanting to make sense of every single thing. All I needed to focus on was that “I’m willing to dedicate all but an emergency 50 liters to the cause. I can feed 62.5 square meters at a depth of 10 centimeters. About two-thirds of the Hab’s floor.” meant “I have enough.” At first, I wanted for the Andy Weir to just talk in layman’s terms, but then I realized that would take away from the experience. The author’s job was to make this book so realistic that I wouldn’t question him. He definitely accomplished that! There is no question that Weir has to have done extensive research when writing this book!
Mark Watney’s humor was easily my favorite thing about The Martian! This book is filled with so much sass and sarcasm that had me laughing out loud more times than I can recall! Mark is far from being unrealistic about his present situation and his bluntness with it all just makes you root for his success every step of the way.
“If the oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the water reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I’ll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death. So yeah. I’m fucked.” -Mark Watney
The ending was extremely thrilling! The book comes to a point where it’s do or die (literally) time and there are less than 10 pages left! Because of this, the conclusion felt very abrupt. I don’t think all books need an epilogue, but this one was definitely missing one. The feeling of being cut off when I wanted more has made watching the movie adaptation a must!
My boyfriend will only read a couple of books a year, but this is one he devoured in 2 days which is completely unheard of for him. If you’re like me and try to find books that you can bond over with your significant other, then this is a great pick! Plus you get to treat each other to a movie date afterwards! ♥
Sixteen-year-old heiress and paparazzi darling Liddi Jantzen hates the spotlight. But as the only daughter in the most powerful tech family in the galaxy, it's hard to escape it. So when a group of men show up at her house uninvited, she assumes it's just the usual media-grubs. That is, until shots are fired.
Liddi escapes, only to be pulled into an interplanetary conspiracy more complex than she ever could have imagined. Her older brothers have been caught as well, trapped in the conduits between the planets. And when their captor implants a device in Liddi's vocal cords to monitor her speech, their lives are in her hands: One word and her brothers are dead.
Desperate to save her family from a desolate future, Liddi travels to another world, where she meets the one person who might have the skills to help her bring her eight brothers home-a handsome dignitary named Tiav. But without her voice, Liddi must use every bit of her strength and wit to convince Tiav that her mission is true. With the tenuous balance of the planets deeply intertwined with her brothers' survival, just how much is Liddi willing to sacrifice to bring them back?
Haunting and mesmerizing, this retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's The Wild Swans strings the heart of the classic with a stunning, imaginative world as a star-crossed family fights for survival in this companion to Stitching Snow.
Spinning Starlight is a retelling of The Wild Swans a fairy tale about a king who has 11 sons and 1 daughter, Princess Elisa. He remarries to a wicked queen who turns out to be a witch that casts a spell on her 11 stepsons turning them into swans and banishes Elisa when she realizes that she can’t curse her. Elisa has to knit shirts for her 11 brothers in order to save them and also has to take a vow of silence in the process. Any word spoken will cause the death of her brothers.
When I first read the plot for this book what I got was sci fi fairy tale retelling and of course the first thing that came to mind was Marissa Meyer’sThe Lunar Chronicles. I was immediately interested! Although the story is a solid 3 stars, I was a bit let down because I went into it with such high expectations.
R.C. Lewis really hit the ground running from the first chapter. There was a lot of jargon thrown all at once and it sort of felt like I was reading book 2 in a series without having even skimmed book 1. It was easy enough to follow along with the gist of it. Our main character is Liddi Jantzen, a 16 year old heiress, who is constantly in the spotlight and feels like she can’t live up to the expectations that her 8 older tech-savvy brothers have set forth. She is set to run the family business when she is old enough, but one night chaos strikes and she gets thrown into a tail spin. What lost me was the explanation of the worlds, the portals, and how they worked. The best way I can explain it is it felt like being told “The chocolate tarp reads shoes for death.” and then the author would explain that meant “Liddi felt prepared.” Wait what?! Exactly! Lol So that was basically the first 3rd of the book for me. Too much was happening so my brain was trying to simultaneously process the world it was being thrown into AND the actual story itself. I stayed with it and luckily towards the second 3rd the book really slowed down. Although this might be the part that will bore some to death, this is when all the jargon finally started to make some sense.
The real challenge for R.C. Lewis here is that our main character doesn’t speak for about 90% of the book! Our villain has set it up so that a single word spoken by Liddi will cause the death of her brothers. The author did a great job at taking us through Liddi’s thought process and emotions without her actually speaking. My only issue with this was that it was expected for us to know why Liddi couldn’t just take out good ole pen and paper to say what she needed to say. It isn’t until page 62 that we get an explanation and by then I had just come to the conclusion that it was just not an option for no other reason other than it just wasn’t an option. *insert shrug* Once the author actually explained why pen and paper weren’t an option then it made sense and that’s when I really began to enjoy seeing Liddi learn how to communicate with other characters without being able to speak. I fell in love with her sarcasm filled mental media-casts which were Liddi’s assumptions of what headlines would read if the media saw her doing what she was in that moment.
Another thing I really liked was the Daglin holiday celebrated in Ferinne! It is basically a day when everyone stops whatever they are doing and spends it cleaning up the town! If only that was an actual thing! Think about how much cleaner our planet would be.
Something I wish we would’ve got more of was the Jantzen brothers in the present. After each chapter we’d get a little blast from the past with a backstory to the Jantzen family. This is really the only time the reader gets an insight into the brothers that Liddi is trying so hard to rescue. Knowing so little about them made me want them to be rescued but only for Liddi’s sake, not because I felt invested in any of their characters.
Although I was confused with the tech talk for quite a while, I still enjoyed this book for the most part. I also plan on checking out Stitching Snow, R.C. Lewis’ other retelling book which is based on Snow White!
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.
Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.
Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?
It’s hard to review the final book in a series without giving away spoilers so I won’t go into too many details, but I will say that Marissa Meyer exceeded every single one of my expectations! Her smooth way of weaving together intricate story lines is just mind blowing. Although there is so much going on, there’s never any confusion in the plot and Meyer’s writing so easily plays out in your mind like a movie. This entire series was filled with heart stopping moments and Winter was definitely no exception.
Throughout Winter the crew is split up into different groups and although I loved keeping up with them all, my favorite duo was Scarlet and Winter! Their characters are just so polar opposite with Scarlet being rough and no nonsense while Winter is all fluff and bleeding walls. (lol you should get that reference if you’ve read Cress) Somehow, them being so different is what makes the two work! I was pleasantly surprised to get quite a few laughs from the unlikely pair.
Nobody can question Marissa Meyer‘s talent when it comes to character development. Most books/series will have the reader rooting for 1-3 people, but Meyer manages to make you feel 100% connected to 9+ characters! That is just not something remotely easy to accomplish. It’s crazy to think that a cyborg, an emperor, a farmer, an android, and a mutated half-wolf-half-man (just to name a few) can all be part of one epic series! Every single one of these characters came such a long way!
It’s impossible to pick just one favorite character overall, but in this final book we get to really see Cinder shine. She is learning to lead and feel comfortable with who she really is. The girl we all grew to love from Cinder shows us just how far she’s come and I don’t think I’ve ever felt more proud! As I was nearing the end of Winter, it teared me up a little to see her “all grown up” and ready to take her rightful place. I wanted her to get a happy ending above all.
This series completely sneaked up on me. I knew early on that I was really enjoying it, but I don’t know the moment it skyrocketed to the top of my favorite’s list! All I know is that I couldn’t sleep the night of November 9th just knowing I would have Winter in my hands the next day. It’s filled with such a diverse group of memorable characters that I know I’ll constantly think back on. It’s sad to see the this story reach it’s final destination, but I look forward to revisiting it many times in the future!
“And they all lived happily to the end of their days.”
About Marissa Meyer
Marissa Meyer is the New York Times-bestselling author of The Lunar Chronicles. She lives in Tacoma, Washington. She’s a fan of most things geeky (Sailor Moon, Firefly, any occasion that requires a costume), and has been in love with fairy tales since she was a child. She may or may not be a cyborg.
Kate Carter thought she married her soul mate. She thought she had her happily ever after. But seven years into Kate's marriage, she realizes that her husband Nick is not what she wanted. He's selfish, he's oblivious and he doesn't love her anymore.
Maybe she doesn't love him anymore either.
Divorce is the only option if either of them wants to find happiness.
Kate and Nick thought they knew what they wanted, but neither is prepared for the heartache that separating will bring them. The journey they embark on is not the freedom they wished for, but a painful look at the people they've become.
At the end of it, Kate has to decide if this is really the life she wants or if maybe there's a way to salvage her broken heart.
“I thought back and tried to remember the last time he looked at me, really looked at me, and couldn’t remember. When was the last time he saw me? When was the last time we hadn’t been fighting long enough for his clear blue eyes to look into mine and a make a real connection? It had been years. Maybe he had never seen me.” -Kate
Every Wrong Reason is a story about making tough decisions and starting over. In it, we meet Kate and Nick who have been married for 7 years and are experiencing a terrible case of the infamous “seven-year itch”. Kate has the stable career of being a teacher while Nick has opted out of the adult life to play on a band with his friends.
This story starts off on the verge of yet another argument at bedtime where Katie is feeling simply fed up. She’s had a long day while Nick has had enough free time to go for a run and have a beer with his buddies. Walking into a wet bathroom floor, for what seems like the millionth time, was the last thing Kate needed. One thing leads to another and before the night is over, the “D” word has been thrown out and Nick is sleeping on the couch.
This book takes place over the period of one school year and is told entirely from Kate’s perspective. We’ve all had that breakup where you find yourself on the fence going back and forth. Nobody can make a decision as hard as divorcing your spouse without second guessing your choice, contradicting your words with your actions, breaking down, or thinking about backing down at least once. Reading a character’s thoughts as they are going through every thought process and emotion can be frustrating at times, but the author does such a great job. She keeps Kate’s character very human throughout the entire process and that’s what made this story totally realistic for me.
Most of the books we read start with two people who meet and run into some trouble when they are dating, but before the book is over they figure things out and the book finishes shortly after vows are exchanged. What made this story so different is that in it we get the aftermath. We don’t just get a look a few months after marriage, but a whole 7 years down the line when the newlywed stage has well worn off!
When I first read the plot I didn’t know how I would feel about it. For me, marriage is a once in a lifetime kind of thing and I didn’t know if having such a strong opinion on the matter would make me too biased. I’m glad I didn’t let that hold me back! I was actually on board with the idea from very early on. Although I have a strong opinion on marriage and divorce, I also am a firm believer in the fact that life is too short to be spent anything but happy. Within the first chapter it is clear how miserable Kate and Nick are and how much they bring out the worst in each other.
“We might be good people separately, but we were monsters together.” -Kate
When we hear about two people getting divorced our minds instantly assume something drastic: “Someone must have cheated!” or “They must have been abusive!” The majority of the time we are way off and it’s just two people who have fallen out of love and over time have only drifted further apart. I loved that Rachel Higginson kept things very simple here. They are splitting up because of the little things. Kate is simply tired of Nick not aspiring to have a stable job that can help her with the bills. She’s tired of him forgetting to clean the toothpaste off the sink and leaving the milk out. She’s tired of getting her soaks soaking on a wet bathroom floor because he forgot, yet again, to clean up after himself. Hell, I got tired of hearing Kate whine about him only 7 pages in so I can’t imagine being in her shoes wet socks (hehe) for 7 years. She feels like the spark is long gone and their marriage is not moving forward. The years are passing her by and she just doesn’t want to see herself dealing with this for yet another year. It’s all the little things piled into one big thing that has broken the camel’s back and that only made this book even more realistic.
I really enjoyed seeing these characters and their dynamic evolve as time passed and I was very happy with the ending they each received. Also, I think this is a book I would turn to if I was to ever find myself in their situation.
You by Caroline Kepnes – Boy meets girl. Boy becomes obsessed with girl. Boy stalks girl. Boy turns himself into girl’s dream man. Boy becomes girl’s boyfriend. Boy is willing to murder anyone that tries to get in his way! O.O
Intensity by Dean Koontz – Dean Koontz has been highly recommended to me and everyone seems to agree that Intensity is one of his best works. It tells the story of a murderous sociopath and a surviving victim determined to stop him.
172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad – Three teenagers have been randomly chosen for the trip of a lifetime to the moon, but only one is coming back. It doesn’t seem like this book belongs on this particular list, but the friends who have recommended it have all used the words “absolutely terrifying” when describing it!
House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski – At a whopping 705 pages, this book is intimidating! People seem to either love it because it is SO good or hate it because they were too scared to finish it! That alone made me add this book to my tbr list!
The Ruins by Scott B Smith – Two couples are on a Mexican vacation when someone goes missing and the others decide to venture into the jungle to look for him. Things quickly take a very bad turn and the horror begins. Just to be macabre, I’ll be squeezing this one in before my trip to the Mayan ruins next month!
The Ruins by Scott B. Smith – I have seen the movie based on this book and it totally freaked me out, so I imagine the book would be even better. Four friends get trapped in the Mexican jungle and they find an ancient ruins site one day and everything goes crazy.
The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich – The first thing that caught my eye with this book was the cover. It’s creepy and looks like it would have some good scares. When I read the synopsis I was even more intrigued because the stories revolves around a girl with two personalities. I love psychological horror stories, and this seems right up my alley.
Diary of a Haunting by M. Verano – A girl from LA moves to Idaho with her mom and brother and are now living in a creepy old mansion. I love creepy old buildings. I would never live in one, but I’m interested in what happens in them. Not only does this book have a creepy mansion, there’s also a crazy cult that used to live there and perform spiritual “experiments.” All and all it sounds pretty awesome and like the kind of book that will have you checking your closets before you go to sleep.
Bird Box by Josh Malerman – In this book a sort of an apocalypse happens. It starts in Russia and spreads throughout the world. People see something, no one can say what, and it drives them to violence. People commit suicide and homicide and no one knows what this something is, what it wants, or even what it looks like. I don’t know about you, but unseen forces are absolutely terrifying to me. Being scared of something that you can’t identify or fight is scarier than any ghost or monster. I can’t wait to read this book and see how it all plays out.
It by Stephen King – I’m going to be honest, I might never read this book. I saw the movie as a kid and it totally scarred me. A thing disguises itself as a clown in order to lured in young children so it can exploit their fears and terrorize them. Yeah, it’s terrifying, but hopefully one day I’ll face my fear and read the book.
From the acclaimed author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Do comes a breathtaking new novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold—with stunningly different results.
At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.
Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?
In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?
Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.
This is a story about 29 year old Hannah Martin who has recently moved back to her hometown of Los Angeles. During a night out with her best friend Gabby, she runs into her high school sweetheart, Ethan. Gabby is ready to head home, but Ethan offers to give Hannah a ride if she wants to hang out a little longer. So, does she go home or take up Ethan on his offer? In Maybe in Another Life, the story splits into two storylines and we get to see the aftermath of both decisions. I’m someone who usually thinks through every possible outcome of every decision I make, so I was totally sold as soon as I read the synopsis. I couldn’t wait to see how the two parallel realities developed!
“I know there may be universes out there where I made different choices and they led me somewhere else, led me to someone else. And my heart breaks for every single version of me that didn’t end up with you.”
Hannah was a character that I quickly fell in love with. I could really relate to her in some ways. She was someone who didn’t want to settle anywhere because it never felt like she fully belonged. She moved around the US quite a bit, changed jobs frequently, and dated more than Taylor Swift. She loved wearing her hair in a bun and spent her days daydreaming about heavily iced cinnamon rolls. <— All of that basically describes me 2-3 years ago. (Hair buns and cinnamon rolls are still a must!) Slowly things started clicking into place for me, I found true happiness, and then I finally allowed myself to set down roots. Nothing was perfect about the way things fell into place for Hannah, but it was all fate when looking at the big picture.
Her friendship with Gabby was also something I totally loved. That friendship was a constant in both storylines and being able to see Gabby’s life play out along with Hannah’s was exciting! I was so happy that the author doesn’t add any unnecessary cattiness between the two just to spice up the story. These girls share a genuine bond and that’s always a big plus for me.
Taylor Jenkins Reid is a genius! This is the first book of hers I’ve read, but as soon as I closed it I jumped on Amazon to order her other two books Forever, Interrupted and After I do. There’s just something about her writing. She doesn’t overdo the dramatics or play up a plot twist just for shock value. As readers, we constantly find ourselves rooting for a specific outcome, but Reid is so brilliant that it allowed me to just trust her choices. I would’ve been perfectly fine with whatever ending she gave this book, but the one she chose was very fitting. The entire idea of the multiverse theory was fascinating! Some might be left with a sense of wonder; I was left with a sense of peace.
“My fate will find me.” -Hannah
Let me know in the comments below if you’ve read this book before and what you thought of it! Also, look out for reviews on her other two books soon!
Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her.
They aren't love letters that anyone else wrote for her, these are ones she's written. One for every boy she's ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the first book in a duology and is told from the perspective of Lara Jean over a period of about 5 months. It’s filled with quick chapters (72 in total) that make the story move along quickly. If you’re looking for an action packed suspenseful read, then this won’t be your cup of tea. However, if you love the “fluff” and are looking for a cutesy YA contemporary, then you’ve picked a winner!
This was my second Jenny Han story and she does not disappoint! Her writing style reminds me a lot of Rainbow Rowell, which I love. This specific story’s concept also reminded me a bit of The DUFF except I enjoyed this one a whole 2 stars more!
Lara Jean is starting her junior year in high school a little different from her previous school years. She is the middle child of three girls and will have to take on a lot more responsibilities at home now that her older sister, Margot, will be leaving to college. Their younger sister, Kitty, completes the trio known as “the Song girls” who live with their widowed father.
Lara Jean has loved 5 boys before, but she’s never had a boyfriend. Writing love letters to these 5 boys has served her as therapy when she falls out of love, except she doesn’t actually give these letters out. She keeps her letters safely stored in a hat box and has never bothered to worry about them getting out. That is until she is approached by her first kiss with one of her letters in hand! Lara Jean now has to figure out how to handle the situation without losing friendships and without having to be home schooled to avoid the embarrassment.
“They’re not love letters in the strictest sense of the word. My letters are for when I don’t want to be in love anymore. They’re for good-bye. Because after I write my letter, I’m no longer consumed by my all-consuming love. My letters set me free. Or at least they’re supposed to.” -Lara Jean
A lot of times I’ll read YA books and cringe at the idea of my high school nieces reading it. I know kids nowadays grow up a lot faster than they did in my day, but I still don’t feel comfortable with giving them 300+ pages of ideas. There’s a gap between middle grade books and new adult that is meant to be filled by the young adult genre, but a lot of times that mark is completely missed. I’ll still enjoy the book, however it’s not something I’ll recommend when my nieces ask for a good book. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the perfect example of a great YA! The Song girls set a great example of girls that aren’t perfect, yet they show respect not only for others, but for themselves.
As the youngest of 7 (1 boy and 6 girls), I absolutely related to the Song girls and their bond! You can make thousands of friendships growing up, but the bond shared between sisters is so much more special. You fight about clothes and chores, but at the end of the day those are your best friends. I loved how close these 3 were and how respectful they were to their dad. They were each mature for the age from the beginning, but still did so much growing up throughout the book. My favorite of the bunch was Kitty! Maybe it’s that she’s also the baby, but that girl has so much spunk. To sum it up, I’m pretty sure the phrase “kids say the darnest things” was created for Kitty!
Most of the time, I’ve heard of a book before going into it so I kind of know what to expect and who will (hopefully) end up with who. That was totally not the case with this book. Some people might have realized it early on, but it didn’t hit me until well past the half way mark! Somehow, that helped me enjoy the story even more.
I’m not usually a fan of duologies that could have been summed up in just one book, but I’m okay with it in this case because I’m looking forward to getting more from characters I really enjoyed. The only thing I wish would’ve been done differently, is that we could’ve got at least a few chapters from our male protagonist’s POV. I would have loved to see things develop from his perspective!
My only recommendation when buying this book is to go ahead and purchase book two, P.S. I Still Love You. There’s just no way you can read the ending of book 1 and not be left wanting to know what happens next. Plus, these covers are beautiful and will look fantastic in your bookshelf!
I began to read the Harry Potter series for bedtime and can’t believe I waited so long to finally read these books! At first I put it off because I didn’t want to read the books, feel to old for them, and then hate a series that’s considered such a classic for so many. Boy was I wrong! Reading these books makes feel like a kid again and I’m absolutely loving it. I’ve reserved these books for bedtime because it’s a great story to wind down with and a real plus has been the awesome dreams they’ve given me!
Ok, so I started reading two books: Until We Meet Again and Wuhtering Heights. I recently signed up for the Until We Meet Again Blog Tour so I wanted to start reading it now, and Wuthering Heights I picked up because my TBR said so (check out my Instagram account to know what I’m talking about, lol). Enjoying both so far!
Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.
For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.
The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…
“There are people you meet and get to know, and then there are people you meet and already know.”
This is exactly what I needed to end my treacherous reading slump! I didn’t have a specific genre when I was browsing for my next read; all I knew was that I had to pick something that I knew would be a for sure 4+ stars. Colleen Hoover nailed it! The title Confess is a clear indication there are secrets that need to be revealed, and honestly that was all it took to draw me in.
There were two things you’ll absolutely LOVE about this book:
First, how easy Colleen makes it to be able to relate to the characters. I could totally see myself being friends with them in real life!
Auburn and Owen are able to bring something special out of each other. Nothing feels forced or unnatural. Both of their struggles will tug at your heart and I completely understood why they make the decisions they each make. CoHo throws several curve balls, but I kept hope that she would give them each a deserving ending.
“I don’t feel lost in him at all, because it’s the first time I’ve ever felt like someone truly found me.” -Auburn
“I’ll take whatever you’re willing to give me. Because I know that if you walk out that door, then ten years from now . . . twenty years from now . . . we’ll wish we had listened to our hearts when we think back on tonight.” – Owen
My favorite character was Emory! Every girl needs a friend like her in their circle. She was hilarious, blunt, loyal, and a total bad ass! She always said exactly what she was thinking and I absolutely loved her for that! She reminded me tons of Warren from Maybe Someday. I vote for her getting her own novella like Warren did with Maybe Not!!
“It’s not gossip when I’m saying it to both your faces. It’s called conversation. We’re discussing how you guys are attracted to each other and you want to fall in love..” -Emory
Second, I was a huge fan of the art gallery concept. As mentioned in the book description, Owen is an artist. He doesn’t just run your typical art gallery though. He has a slot on the front door of his studio where people walking by can drop in an anonymous confession of their choice. Owen then takes these confessions and uses them as inspiration for his paintings. Some are cute and others are sad, but the one thing they all have in common is they are real! The author, Colleen Hoover, took real confessions from real people, incorporated them into this story, and gave them beautiful art work which she includes in the book! Here’s an example:
“I’ve never let anyone see me without makeup. My greatest fear is what I’ll look like at my funeral. I’m almost certain I’ll be cremated, because my insecurities run so deep, they’ll follow me into the afterlife. Thank you for that, Mother”
If you’ve ever read a CoHo book, you know she likes to gives us something extra. With Maybe Someday it was music and with Slammed it was poetry. Well, with Confess, she gives us a way to confess our own truths! There is a @ConfessYourTruth on Instagram where you can direct message your confession and Colleen Hoover chooses some to be shared on the page anonymously! How cool is that?!
This story had a little bit of everything. Countless times I caught myself smiling from ear to ear like I was the one being flirted with. Some parts made me laugh so hard I cried. It also had it’s fair share of suspenseful moments that made me turn the page so fast I nearly ripped it one of at some point! (true story) If you’ve yet to read it, I hope you love it as much as I did! If you already have, let me know what your thoughts were in the comments below!
About Colleen Hoover
Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, This Girl, Point of Retreat, Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, Maybe Someday, Ugly Love, Maybe Not, Confess, and November 9. She lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys.
This heart-wrenching novel explores what it is like to be thrust into an unwanted marriage. Has Naila’s fate been written in the stars? Or can she still make her own destiny?
Naila’s conservative immigrant parents have always said the same thing: She may choose what to study, how to wear her hair, and what to be when she grows up—but they will choose her husband. Following their cultural tradition, they will plan an arranged marriage for her. And until then, dating—even friendship with a boy—is forbidden. When Naila breaks their rule by falling in love with Saif, her parents are livid. Convinced she has forgotten who she truly is, they travel to Pakistan to visit relatives and explore their roots. But Naila’s vacation turns into a nightmare when she learns that plans have changed—her parents have found her a husband and they want her to marry him, now! Despite her greatest efforts, Naila is aghast to find herself cut off from everything and everyone she once knew. Her only hope of escape is Saif . . . if he can find her before it’s too late.
I could not have chosen a better book to complete my Goodreads 2015 reading challenge of 100 books!!
Written in the Stars is a beautiful eye opening novel for anyone who is ignorant in the subject of arranged marriages. I had heard of them before and knew the basics of what it was, but as a Hispanic it is not something I ever felt the need to really learn about. My favorite thing about reading has always been that it gives you the ability to see life through the eyes of someone who isn’t you. Through this story, I was able to see life through the eyes of a scared 17 year old Pakistani-American girl facing a forced marriage.
“My mother always says when you fight destiny, destiny fights back. Some things, they’re just written in the stars. You can try, but you can never escape what’s meant to be.” -Naila
Although Naila’s parents are immigrants from Pakistan, she has only ever known life in Florida, USA. Living far away from their birth country has never stopped them from continuing to practice the same beliefs, religion, and culture. From the age of ten, Naila has been told that she can choose her career, her clothing, and the length of her hair, but who she will marry is not her decision to make. Her future husband will be chosen by her parents.
For a year now, Naila has been hiding her relationship with Saif who’s family is also Pakistani. In this culture, one of the most important things is not doing anything to bring shame to your family’s reputation. Unfortunately, Saif’s family is looked down upon by the rest of the community and is therefor not someone her family would even consider. When Naila’s parents find out of their relationship, they are determined that visiting their roots will change the way she feels.
Naila agrees to make the trip to Pakistan under the impression that they are there to visit family for the summer. What Naila doesn’t know is that her parents are really trying to set up her arranged marriage! Now, she is in a completely different country that is run by a different set of rules. She knows what she wants is back in America, but leaving Pakistan seems impossible when her own family has turned on her.
“I know I will forget many details of this moment, but I will never forget the slap across my face. Or my chacha storming inside, my hands upon the cold concrete floor, the metallic taste of blood in my mouth…” -Naila
I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that made me feel so helpless and angry! What upsets me the most is that Naila is such a good daughter. She is graduating salutatorian and has earned a scholarship into med school. Even with everything that is thrown at her, she doesn’t want to bring dishonor and shame to her parents. I was obviously not raised in her culture, but a hard working and respectful 17 year old is just a rare gem these days and it made me angry that it wasn’t enough for her parents. They cause her so much heartache and scars that will run deep psychologically.
“Maybe, I think, if I don’t look up, if I simply look down and never look up again for the rest of my life, the feelings buried within will never rise to the surface.” -Naila
Aisha Saeed, the author, made the chapters very short and it allowed the novel to feel fast paced without being rushed or important details being overlooked. I quickly fell in love with her writing style and ability to make a story flow. She leaves an author’s note explaining how although Naila’s story is fictional, arranged marriages are very real. Pakistan is only one country out of the many, including the United States, where forced marriages happen.
“It is my hope that this novel will provide a voice for so many girls who see themselves in Naila and who shouldn’t have to suffer in silence.” -Aisha Saeed
I really enjoyed getting to see the world through the eyes of a different culture! There were words used that I was not familiar with, such as kamiz and salwar, but I never felt lost. Using context clues made it easy to put things together. However, the author includes a glossary in case you need any help!
If you’ve read this story let me know what you thought of it down below. If you haven’t, but have read something similar also let me know. I fell in love with this this story and I’m intrigued to read others like it!
We’ve all heard the phrase “never judge a book by it’s cover” and, as book lovers, we know that to be incredibly true. However, when we’re strolling the aisles of our favorite bookstore or library, we can’t help but be drawn in by those with intriguing covers. Let’s take a minute to appreciate the eye candy covers of these 2015 new releases!
Confess – What I love most about this cover is how simple it is at first glance. Just a plain white cover with a few splashes of paint. Once you look closer you can see that it’s actually a canvas with the beginning of a beautiful painting! It also ties perfectly into the story.
Fisher’s Light – I’m a total sucker for a beautiful sunset/sunrise as it is, but when you throw in a silhouetted lighthouse and the words “I will find my way back to you” I get instant feels!
The Secret’s We Keep – You can’t love photography and not appreciate bokeh (the light circles) done right! That is what initially draws me in. Then you have the silhouettes of two identical girls which adds an air of mystery and I love how well it looks when it’s all put together!
Magonia – Just look at it! If tattoos were my thing I would totally have this masterpiece permanently placed on my body!
The Heir – It’s no news that The Selection series has some of the most beautiful covers. One look at these dresses and I’m left wanting to be 15 years old again and trying to decide what dress to wear for my quinceañera! *sighhhhhh*
Made You Up – If you’ve ever spent more than 25 minutes on Pinterest, then you’ve seen the project where you prop up a plain canvas, hot glue crayons to the top, and run a blow dryer over the crayons to make the colors melt and “rain” down the canvas. This cover reminded me of just that! The added umbrella that blocks the color is genius! (If you have a Pinterest account and have managed to spend less than 25 minutes on it, then you must have magical powers! ;)
Until Friday Night – The typography + the sunset + a football field = a bookshelf must-have for me! Although I was less than pleased with the book itself, this cover brings back the high-school “Friday night game” feeling!
Queen of Shadows – This cover is any fantasy lovers dream! Please don’t throw sharp/heavy objects at me, but I haven’t started reading this series yet. *runs for shelter.* The covers are all incredible, but I’m holding off until I can marathon it! However, I don’t have to read the books to know that I want her on my side if we’re going to battle.
Ten Thousand Skies Above You – As a photography enthusiast, there’s just so much to love about this cover! This is the kind of photography that pays my bills so when I see my “second love”(photography) on the cover of my “first love”(books) well it warms my heart a little!
Winter – This cover is simple yet so magical! The entire Lunar Chronicles series has been given amazing covers, but Winter is hands down my favorite! Also, I love how that typography screams fairy-tale!
Perfect for fans of Michael Connelly or Nevada Barr, this gripping Layla Remington thriller from International Thriller Writers Award finalist Gil Reavill plunges readers beneath the glittering façade of Hollywood and into a terrifying underworld where beautiful women can just . . . disappear.
Malibu is crumbling. A monster earthquake has just ripped apart some of the priciest real estate on the planet. In a bizarre twist, it has also unearthed a grim secret buried for years beneath one particularly unstable hilltop: a steel barrel containing the mummified remains of Tarin Mistry, the beautiful starlet who went missing more than a decade ago. When Detective Investigator Layla Remington looks into that wretched metal coffin, she realizes she’s just landed the case of a lifetime.
But before Layla even strips off her latex gloves, a pair of hotshot LAPD detectives arrive on the scene and remove her from the investigation. Undeterred, she pursues her own line of inquiry. Risking her badge and her life, Layla’s determination to track down Tarin’s murderer takes her from the rarified air of exclusive canyon communities to seedy downtown sex clubs and the secluded lair of one of Hollywood’s most powerful men. But while Tarin’s case may be cold, her killer is poised to strike again—and in Layla, this depraved sociopath may have just found fresh prey.
13 Stolen Girls is a thriller that follows detective Layla Remington as she tries to solve the case of a murdered young Hollywood starlet. She went missing over a decade ago, but has never been fully forgotten. Between the original detectives wanting their case back and a Hollywood hot shot derailing her investigation, Layla really has her work cut out for her. Now there is a new victim and Layla thinks the two murders may have a connection: a series of BDSM books with a fan base that might not know the difference between reality and fiction.
The only thing that made this story a bit difficult to follow were the multiple names. Every character seemed to have two names and at one point or another the different names would be used. For example, detective Layla Remington sometimes went my Layla and others by Remington. That doesn’t seem confusing at all when it’s only one character, but in a mystery novel with 10+ characters where you are trying to remember as many details as possible, it became a little much at times.
This book mostly follows Remington, but it is told in third person narrative and with this, the author allows the reader to see other angles of the story. This also allowed me to figure out some of the mystery before Remington herself! Gil Reavill did an amazing job at setting up the reader to feel like they were one step ahead of the main character in cracking the case, but then he surprised us all! 13 Stolen Girls is by no means a predictable book and I found myself saying “OMG” out loud more than once! If you like a good mystery, then you’ll really enjoy the thrill this book brings!
Disclosure: Although this is the second book in the series, it is not necessary to read book 1 beforehand.
I’ve always let my past dictate my future, letting it paint a picture of exactly what I don’t want to be. Where I don’t want to end up.
Drake Chambers is as arrogant as I am stubborn. A college quarterback, a national star. I thought he was just another one of those guys … the type every girl should stay away from, but he’s carrying more than the weight of the football team on his shoulders.
He unravels the feelings and beliefs I’ve held onto for so long.
I thought we had it all figured out. Two people who’d finally found their happily ever after, but the past always has a way of sneaking into the present.
With one decision, everything changes … forever.
This Rains series is made up of three companion novels & one novella; each book follows one of three friends. This second book gives us the story of Emery (Kate’s roommate from book 1) & Drake and is told in alternating POVs between these two main characters as they cross that familiar line from hate to love.
Emery is meant to portray a strong female protagonist who is determined to have a bright future no matter how much work it takes. She’s never been the party girl, so skipping college parties in order to study is no big deal.
Drake is the star quarterback who is counting on going pro to set himself up for a prosperous future. He’s not a fan of the distractions (girls and the parties), but he’d rather do that then be caught in a library.
They both come from a less than ideal family situation, but the main thing these two have in common is how stubborn they are and this caused major frustration for me as the reader! Usually, when crossing the line between hate/love, the characters waver a bit which causes an interesting plot. These two, on the other hand, grabbed that “line” and decided to play jump rope with it! I mean, seriously! There was so much back and forth that it just felt completely unhealthy. As a reader, you want to root for a happy ending, but if this was a real life situation I would’ve told both parties it was best to call it quits. These two had such great banter the first third of the book so the foundation of their relationship was really set nicely, but the constant fighting drained their story. The “twist” in the final chapters also caused for a rushed ending.
Another thing I had a problem with were the inconsistencies. There were quite a few scenes in this second book that were changed from the novella, After the Rain, which was book 1.5 in the series. Ex: In After the Rain, Cory is the person who invites Drake to the party and Beau isn’t too happy about it. That same scene in Changing Forever, Beau is the one who invites Drake and they actually seem like pretty close friends.
The one part of the story I did enjoy was the friendship between Emery and Kate! I’ve always loved a good friendship where there is no drama. The two are genuinely there for each other and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside! It also felt really good to see Kate getting along so well after everything she went through in When it Rains.
After having enjoyed book 1, When it Rains, so much, this was really a let down. Luckily, these are companion novels so they can also be read as standalone. I still really recommend reading book 1!
This week I’m reading “A Curious Tale of the In-Between” by Lauren DeStefano. I picked up this ARC at B.E.A. this year because I love a good ghost story! This will be my first DeStefano book, though I’ve been told I will love her other books too. So far so good, though the beginning is quite dark for an 8-12 year old. Prim died before she was born, her mother hung herself from a tree in front of a hospital…it’s a bit deep. Though I’ve just started I can’t wait to see how it turns out.
This week I’m reading The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. This is the first book I’ve read by this author, but so far I’m enjoying it. This is an interesting mystery. I feel like I know where the story is going, but at the same time I feel like I’m missing a lot of pieces in the puzzle. I’m about half way through this book and I’ve realized that this story is full of secrets and I can’t wait until they’re all revealed!
I’m currently reading Cinder by Marissa Meyer at bedtime. I had decided to put the series off until the release of Winter, the final book in The Lunar Chronicles series, and when I heard about the #TLCreadalong I knew it was perfect! It’s been hard to stick to only reading a few chapters every week to make the book last an entire month, but it really helps build up the anticipation! As a first timer with this series, I quickly realized why so many people love it as much as they do. It includes a feisty cyborg Cinderella, a dreamy prince, and a wicked villain who is determined to get her way. So what’s not to love?
Beau Bennett has been my best friend since I can remember. He was my first crush before everything came crashing down, and now he wants more, but it's more than I can give him. Things are different now. I wish I could tell him why, but I can't.
I haven’t told anyone.
I never knew how much I really needed him until the day he left for college, and I was completely alone.
Then one day, Asher Hunt rides into town with his dark, captivating eyes and cocky grin. He doesn't care who I used to be, he's simply breathing life into what’s left. People warn me to stay away from him, but he helps me forget the pain that has held me hostage for so long; something I thought was impossible before he walked into my life.
I’ve been hurt.
I’ve been saved.
And I’ve found hope.
I thought my story was written that night, but now I know it was only a new beginning. Until one secret turns my world upside down…
I randomly ran across When It Rains by scrolling on Goodreads and there was just something about the cover that caught my eye! After reading the book description I just knew I had to read it asap! My tbr is pretty long but I moved it to the top of my list and I’m very glad to have done so. This is a story that I needed to read. Every now and then it’s good to read a book that completely grabs you by the heart & makes you feel & When It Rains did just that.
This is a story about a 19 year old girl, Kate, who has graduated high school but has decided to stay home and work in the town’s diner instead of going off to college like everyone else. Something horrible has happened to Kate & she has spent the last two years keeping it a secret. In doing so, she has pushed away everyone except for her mom & her bestfriend & first crush, Beau.
Timing has never been right for Beau & Kate; he’s now confessed his love for her, but Kate isn’t whole enough to handle a relationship with him or anyone.. or so she thinks. Beau is willing to give her space while he’s away in college & wait for Kate to be ready, but neither of them were counting on a new guy entering the picture! Asher Hunt wasn’t expecting anything more than fries & a shake when he walked into the diner, but there’s just something about the waitress with the green eyes & now, Kate isn’t the only one with a secret.
It wouldn’t be fair of me to not warn you so here goes nothing: When It Rains isn’t the kind of book that eases you into a plot. You are thrown into it as soon as you open the cover! I had to take a minute to gather my thoughts after having just read the prologue. The writing style is fantastic! We get the deep stuff thrown at us from page 1 and then, as the story develops, we are taken back in time and slowly given more details. Lisa De Jong also did an amazing job at character development and at some point I just decided I was gonna root for both Beau AND Asher! Lol crazy, but true! In the end, I think it was a perfect ending and I felt proud of Kate for how far she had come.
My reasons for this book not having been a full 5 stars will be part of this spoiler section, but I only recommend reading them after having read the book. I really enjoyed Kate & Beau’s friendship from the beginning! I’m a total sucker for best friends that cross over to a relationship, so I was really rooting for them. Having said that, Asher made it really hard not to root for him as well! I appreciated the way he didn’t care to push for answers but instead just wanted to get close to Kate. View Spoiler »What bothered me with the love triangle was how quickly Kate pushed Beau to the side when Asher entered the picture. This has been your best friend since age 5, the one person who has stuck by you when you pushed everyone else away, and you completely push him to the side like an old toy that’s no longer in your age range?! My heart broke for Beau! I had a really hard time with the “exit” (really trying to avoid major spoilers here lol) of one the characters, but « Hide Spoiler I think the author did a great job at breaking our hearts just enough to keep us reading. A box of tissues later, I am happy with the ending & am more emotionally prepared for the next book in the series!
I hadn’t heard any buzz for this book, but have any of you read it before? If so, what were your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments below!