Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

** Thanks to Penguin Teen for my copy in exchange for an honest review**

Genre: YA

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

It’s turtles all the way down..

You’re trying to find the turtle at the bottom of the pile, but that’s not how it works.

This was my first John Green experience and have never heard of a tuatara till now. 😜

To be honest, my feelings for this book fall right in the middle. There were things I liked and disliked, but overall, found it entertaining.

What didn’t work for me:

• The bulk of the book was living inside Aza’s head. Based on the description, I was actually expecting more of a mystery and manhunt for Davis’ missing dad. Instead, his disappearance takes a back seat.

• While the author did a great job of representing mental awareness and what it’s like to get lost in your own spiral of thoughts, I also found it distracting and tiresome at times.

• Aza’s self-harm was disturbing (i.e swallowing hand sanitizer).

• Russell Pickett’s disappearance story ends rather abruptly and felt rushed. It was too coincidental in my opinion.

What I enjoyed:

• When I wasn’t lost in Aza’s thoughts, it was an easy read. The characters were well-written, even though I didn’t really like any of them…except maybe Davis and the billionaire tuatara 😆

• I enjoyed the courtship between Davis and Aza. It wasn’t the eye-rolling insta love. I also thought it was refreshing to see that Davis was a total geek and not your cliched rich kid jock.

• I’m SO glad there was an explanation/reference to the title. I was starting to wonder halfway through the book, what the hell the connection was.

While I was hoping for a different outcome, I liked that it wasn’t your typical happily ever after sort of ending. Something you don’t come across too often.

Have you read this one?

It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward. Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

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[#BookReview] When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Genre: YA

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

This was a highly talked about book last summer. I literally saw it on every bookstagrammer’s feed! And of course, I fell victim to FOMO and wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

I alternated between audiobook and ebook, but somehow I still found myself struggling a bit to finish it.

Unfortunately, this was just another overhyped read for me.

What I did like..

It was a cute rom-com and I liked that it wasn’t your typical YA novel. Dimple & Rishi were college bound.

I thought Rishi was really sweet despite his initial treatment from Dimple.

I actually liked Dimple’s headstrong attitude. Yes, she came off as being rude, but it was honest.

What didn’t work for me..

Rishi’s insta love was like a double-edged sword. On the one hand I liked it was the guy who fell in love first, but I just wasn’t entirely convinced. I get the whole arranged marriage set up, but something was missing from this love story.

I also thought this story was cheesy at times. When I wasn’t reading it, I found myself not really caring to pick it back up. I know..that’s bad right?!

Overall, it was still an enjoyable read, but I wasn’t over the moon about it.

Have you read it? Did you love it?

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

[#BookReview] The Sword And Dagger by Robert Cochran @torteen @RaincoastBooks

Genre: YA

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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I LOVED the TV Series 24, and was really excited to snag a copy of this book. I was interested to see how Robert Cochran’s vision and storytelling would pan out in novel form. I have to admit, I did have my reservations. When it comes to the Crusades, I have zero interest! So this could have gone either way: incredibly well or a total snore fest.

I ended up loving it (no snoring here) and feel like it’s an underrated book. For me, the pacing was perfect with a lot of events that occur, making it an entertaining read.

The Characters..

Prince Conrad

A knight who’s got your typical male ego and doesn’t like to be undermined, particularly by Elaine who was his bride-to-be. He was my least favourite character intially, but warmed up to him near the end. I appreciated his nobility and value of honesty.

Princess Elaine

She was annoyingly stubborn at times, but I loved that she was a fierce female lead. She was fearless and had the heart of a warrior.

Rashid

He’s a trained assassin who finds himself struggling between what he was taught and his own conscience. He was actually one of my favourite characters to watch!

Overall, this story will boil down to personal preference, but I gobbled it up and flew through the pages.

Have you read it? Have you watched 24?

When empires clash,
a Princess, a Knight, and an Assassin
embark on the quest of a lifetime

During the time of the Crusades, an unlikely trio—a Christian princess, her affianced prince, and a Muslim assassin—embarks on a quest to the court of the most fearsome warrior the world has ever known, Genghis Khan.

A rousing tale of adventure and romance about three young people who must grapple with fundamental issues of loyalty, friendship, faith, honor, and courage against the backdrop of conflicts that still resonate today.

[#BookReview] Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippencott, Mikki Daughtry, Tobia Iaconis #overhypedbooks

Genre: YA

My Rating: ⭐⭐1/2

This was a DNF after chapter 6.

I seriously tried! I intially really liked this story, but Stella just started to get on my nerves and annoy the shit out of me.

Here you have a guy (Will) who supposedly has been handed a death sentence and is no longer eligible for a lung transplant, which is the only thing that will pretty much save him and extend his life. Knowing this, he just wants to live his life..whatever is left of it anyway. I totally get that and agreed that he should. Afterall, it’s his life and he should do what makes him happy! But then, you have this complete stranger (Stella) who has control issues, pestering him about the things he no longer wants to do (I.e follow a scheduled regime, lecturing him about his med trials, etc).

There’s nothing more frustrating than someone telling you how to live your life when they haven’t got a clue as to why you are doing it. Nor should you have to justify it.

Sorry, but I just couldn’t take it anymore!

Have you read it? Did you love it like everyone else?

[#BookReview] Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

Genre: YA

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

This book started off really strong with a really great cast of characters. Jack is a genuinely great guy and you can’t help but want only good things for him.

But after about 40% through, I found myself just skimming and wanting to get to the end. Yes, it involves time travel, but it got a little too repetitive. Some parts could have been scaled down, where others needed a little more attention and explanation.

It also takes a while before we find out what’s going on with Kate, which is what kept me hooked in the first place. This may have been a DNF had it dragged on any longer.

Overall, it’s still worth a read. It’s a feel-good story that explores friendship, relationships and really asks the question: If you could do things differently, what would you change?

Have you read it? What were your thoughts?

Jack Ellison King. King of Almost.

He almost made valedictorian.

He almost made varsity.

He almost got the girl . . .

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack. Jack’s curse of almost is finally over.

But this love story is . . . complicated. It is an almost happily ever after. Because Kate dies. And their story should end there. Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Beautiful, radiant Kate. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind. Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do—and let go—to save the people he loves.

Warcross by Marie Lu @PenguinTeenCA @PutnamBooks @Marie_Lu #Warcross

Genre: YA, Sci-Fi

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Every locked door has a key.

Every problem has a solution.

Sci-Fi is not a genre I typically read, but every now and then I like to read something out of my comfort zone. Aside from the pretty unicorn-coloured font, this book received a lot of hype on Instagram. Of course, I was curious and had to see it for myself.

WOW! This book was wild! It was full of action and beautiful scenery. At one point, I seriously wished it was a graphic novel cause I could only imagine how awesome the graphics would be.

I loved Emika and her style! I totally dug her rainbow coloured hair!!

I have to say, I had Zero figured out pretty early on, but it didn’t take from the excitement of the story. 🙂

I’m definitely going to be reading Wildcard! I can’t wait to see what happens next!!

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

ADD IT TO YOUR TBR: Goodreads

Have you read it? What did you think?

Book vs Film: Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy #dumplin #bookstofilm

**Caution: spoiler alert**

Genre: YA, Chick Lit

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This was one of the rare times where I watched the movie before reading the book. I loved the movie! So of course, I went out and bought the book the next day!

Just like any book to film adaptation, changes were made to the fit the movie.

Rosie Dickson

Film: Will didn’t have a relationship with her mom growing up. Her aunt Lucy took that role.

Book: Will and her mom are complete opposites and have different views, but have a relationship throughout the whole story. In fact, Rosie helps Will where she can.

Mitch

He was a pretty important character in the book and helps Will through some of her struggles! I’m not sure why they cut his character from the movie.

Hannah Perez

Again, another character they took out in the movie but had a big role in the book.

Bo Larson

Book: Bo struggles with his feelings for Will throughout the novel and has a hard time articulating how he feels for her at first. He wasn’t as likeable in the book in my opinion.

Film: It was clear without saying, how Bo felt for Willowdean. You could see it in his eyes and gestures.

Ellen Dryver

Book: Not only was she tall and blond, but the loss of her virginity & friendship with Callie explain the true fallout between her and Will

Film: El has brown hair. The strain in her relationship with Will happens later on during the pageant and is very minor compared to the book.

The Hideaway

Book: The hideaway took a bit of a back seat in the book.

Film: This was my favourite part in the movie and had a much larger role. I think they did an amazing job at highlighting Dolly Parton Night.

Willowdean

Book: There were times where Will really annoyed & pissed me off. I get that she has insecurities, but she’s afraid to tell the people she supposedly cares about how she’s feeling and is so self sabotaging.

Film: Will’s character has a bit of a stronger personality. She’s not as afraid to speak her mind. I liked her more in the movie!

Final Words..

The ending kinda leaves you hanging which is understandable since there’s a second one (Puddin). But I still enjoyed the book! We get an indepth look into Will’s relationship with her mother, her insecurities about her weight and relationship with Ellen. There were some major differences from the movie! So if you haven’t read the book, don’t write it off just yet. I’d still recommend it! 😊

Overall, I still kinda liked the movie more 😜

Have you read the book? Seen the movie? What did you think??

Book Review: The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Genre: YA, Dystopia

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The darkest minds tend to hide behind the most unlikely faces.

This book totally reminded me of Eleven’s story from Stranger Things. I really enjoyed this read and found it highly addictive, but there were a couple things that kinda bugged me which made it a 4 star, rather than a full 5.

What bothered me..

While I loved getting to know Ruby and what she was capable of, I also hated that she kept referring to herself as dangerous and a monster. There wasn’t anything she did throughout the book that made me feel like she was badass or particularly “dangerous”.

Yes, she had special abilities, but she was definitely no Jean Gray! You know..from X-men?? If anything, I thought Zu was more dangerous and powerful than her.

For someone deemed orange, I hated that Ruby was very self-loathing and weak-minded. I found it a bit annoying at times.

What I enjoyed..

The overall storyline was great. I really enjoyed the whole journey and action throughout the book.

Zu was so adorable! She was one of fave characters, along with Liam & Chubs.

Have you read it? Or seen the movie?

Add it to your TBR: Goodreads

First Line Fridays

First Line Fridays is hosted by Hoarding Books where we share the first line or lines of a book we are currently reading or going to start soon.

WHEN THE WHITE NOISE WENT OFF, WE WERE IN THE GARDEN, PULLING WEEDS.


The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Genre: YA, Dystopian

I seriously don’t know why I bothered to come up with a reading list this month, cause I haven’t really stuck to it.

I finally decided to read this and enjoy it so far.

Have you read it or seen the movie? What are you reading??

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