0

Always and Forever, Lara Jean | Review

The Lara Jean series (otherwise known as To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before) has always been one of my favorite contemporary series, ever since I first read them in 8th grade. I love the cuteness, the little details, the innocence. When Jenny Han announced that she was writing a third book, I was over the moon: I liked PSISLY, but I wanted more.

Image result for always and forever, lara jean

ADORABLE picture from PaperTrailDiary.com (it’s so cute ahh!!)

This book was just what I wanted.

Those who don’t like books that have no specific plot likely won’t enjoy this story. And really, I think it was in a way a delayed coming-of-age story. It continues with Lara Jean’s past personality, and she makes more mistakes, but she’s somehow more mature. She has to make actual, important decisions (like college) and it feels more real. Whereas with the other books I enjoyed them but couldn’t connect to them, with this one, I could see my future self having to go through the same things.

(I haven’t even gone through college application stuff yet–but it’s looming over me, so it was really interesting reading about it.) Then of course, all of the small things that made me love this book: Lara Jean and Peter’s relationship, the cute little decorations, baked goods, etc. etc.

I hadn’t been completely immersed in a story that filled me with happiness in a while, but I was with this one. It may not have the best writing, plot, or characters, but it made me happy and I think that’s why it deserves 5 stars.

Have you read this series? What did you think of this bittersweet conclusion?

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

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4

The Sun is Also a Star: Or, This Book is Also a Star

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon is one of those books where (as I talked about in my previous post) I was not expecting to love it. I read Everything, Everything as an ARC, and although I liked it, I definitely did not love it.

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But, when I saw a brand new copy of this beautiful book in my school library just standing there [see: above], I decided I’d give it a shot and pick it up. My first reaction was how diverse this book was. Both main characters aren’t white (one is Jamaican, and the other Korean-American) and the book deals with issues like racism and stereotypes, which I thought were done very well. (This a spoiler-free post.)

The other thing I noticed was how…readable it was. A lot of times I force myself–even if I’m enjoying it–to continue reading books. It’s not that I don’t like reading, but because I find I procrastinate if I don’t motivate myself. This was one of the books where I didn’t have to do this. Once I started reading, that’s all I wanted to do.

It had everything I look for in a contemporary novel, and not only were the characters unique, but the book itself was unique too. It would switch POVS (but not in an annoying way) and go to someone else’s perspective which just added so much more to the story. So, not only would you get the main characters’ perspective, but also minor characters that influenced the story and the characters. On top of that, there were little chapters of “history” or “a story of ______” that again added perspective to why certain characters were acting in certain ways.

This book of course was not only about romance but about family and love in general. What even is love? Why do humans do certain things? What would happen if we didn’t do certain things? And things like this. It made me think about things that are always in the back of my head but I don’t actually question.

If I absolutely HAD to choose something bad about this book it would be–and not necessarily bad–to make the romance a little more slow paced. It did feel kind of insta-lovey, because the whole book took place in a single way, but there are reasons certain things happened which is why it really didn’t bother me. It didn’t have an instalovey feel because it felt like you know the characters for so much longer.

The characters! Oh god, the characters. ❤ I think this is getting a bit too long, and I don’t want to give anything away. Again, you can totally read this without knowing anything so I think it’s best if you just gave it a shot and hopefully fell in love with it like I did. 🙂

5 stars for this star of a book!

Have you read this book? Did you love it as much as I did? I hope so! Let’s discuss!

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

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1

Why Were My Expectations So High? Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White Review

Hey guys! Last month I read Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White, so here’s my review! (As the title says, I wish my expectations hadn’t been so high…)

*I tried to insert the cover but it wasn’t working and I’m way too tired to investigate why…sorry!*

3.75 ish stars!

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, but I was ultimately let down by it. Coming into this book, I expected to love it as much as And I Darken, which is one of my favorites. I had also heard that it was really good from a lot of reviewers I trusted so my hopes were really high.

Until about halfway through the novel–which is like only 140 pages–I was really let down. Don’t get me wrong, I never hated it, but I wouldn’t have given it more than 3 stars. I didn’t like reading from Jessa’s POV so much, and nothing happened despite the fact that this book is really short. The romance between Jessa and Finn wasn’t TOO instalovey, considering the fact that this book is really short, but I would have liked a more slow-burning romance with less of Jessa swooning over how attractive Finn’s collarbone is every two seconds.

My main problem for this book, however, was that it wasn’t character driven. Nothing really happened until like 200 pages, and that’s the majority of the novel. I felt like Jessa just WAITED for the villain to do something and THEN she decided she needed to do something about it. I did like Jessa’s character, especially towards the end, but her stubborness was annoying at times. Nonetheless, she wasn’t a terrible character, but definitely not a favorite of mine.

The same goes with all of these characters. Either because the book was too short or the characters were too trope-y for my liking, I don’t know, but none of them really clicked with me, even the villain. I did not fall in love with Finn and didn’t much care what happened to anyone, really.

That being said, the plot does get really interesting in the last 100 pages. There are multiple plot twists that I didn’t see coming, though I did suspect certain things with certain characters. The writing was really easy to get through, despite the fact that I finished this in a long time considering it’s really short. Another aspect I really enjoyed was the politics with the countries because it represented how some things are in our times as well. Oh, and, Jessa is a woman of color, and she struggles through being accepted both as a woman and a person of dark skin, so I thought that was a great addition too. 🙂

Overall, I did enjoy this novel but I thought it could have been better. The last few scenes were really cut short and I think it could have been extended to at least 300 pages. In general, though, I do recommend this if you want a fun fantasy that’s not too confusing and has plot twists.

How did you like Illusions of Fate? Do you agree with me? Let me know!

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

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5

It Could’ve Been Better: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Hey guys! Last month I read Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes and I wrote a review on it, describing my conflicted feelings and why I was disappointed. You can check it out on Goodreads here and see the cover here:

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Rating: 3.75 stars.

I think one reason why I was let down by this book is because it sounds like everything I want in a high fantasy. I heard, before reading, that it had numerous plot twists, amazing characters and plot, etc. etc. So going into it I expected to love it. (I’ll be discussing spoilers, so if you haven’t read this book yet, do so now.)

Now, despite the fact that the book certainly was super fast paced and easy to read–it was also entertaining–I was…let down. It feels like The Kiss of Deception all over again: I thought I would love it, and I didn’t hate it, but it was just okay. I did enjoy this one more than TKOD, but ultimately there were a lot of things that bothered me.

First of all, none of the characters pulled me in. They just didn’t have that spark that I usually like in my fantasy characters. I hated reading from Cleo’s point of view basically until the last page when she finally decided to become badass. She wasn’t strong, and not in the physically strong sense. She literally could NOT stand up to the asshole Aron, and she needed someone to save her from every situation. Look, I don’t mind if a character is whiny. If she gets her stuff done by the end and uses her brain. When she got into trouble, she started thinking of her dear Theon and would wish for him.

“There was nothing easy about this. But Cleo was confident that Theon was going to win. He was her hero. He’d saved her once. He would save her again.”

An example from pg. 294.

My favorite POV I read from was Magnus’, but there was something that put me off. His feelings for Lucia. This did not add ANYTHING to the story besides me being put off by Magnus, while I would have liked him much more. I get that they’re not really siblings, but it doesn’t work that way. Magnus has known Lucia his whole life as a sister and the fact that he is attracted to her romantically is sick. It doesn’t matter if they’re not really siblings, or if Magnus is a morally ambiguous character. I like Magnus, okay? But you can’t sugarcoat that he’s normal.

I found Lucia to be way too perfect. If she had shown some type of flaw I would have liked her better, but she didn’t. Aron I hated. And Theon? I didn’t know him enough to be able to develop a solid opinion. He was only used as a tool to rage Cleo on, and their “romance” felt too pushed for me. Frankly, I didn’t care at all that he died. I also did like reading from Jonas’ point of view and I am curious as to see how his plans with Cleo are going to work out in the future.

Now onto some more positive things: this book was incredibly easy to read and although I was quite annoyed at times, I did enjoy it. As I was reading it I didn’t realize how quickly time flew and I finished it really quickly–less than 3 days. I feel like the world wasn’t as complex as I would have liked, but maybe it will be touched more upon in the next few books. I feel like I’m being harsh right now because I had expected so much.

I did like the plot twist that Eirene was the exiled Watcher, but, I knew that Emilia was going to die from the start. And I expected there to be many more plot twists besides this one. In future books I predict that the Watchers will become a bigger part of the story and I am much more interested in the magic of this world.

All in all, I did really enjoy this book. But, I think I read it at the wrong time. If I had read it a year or more ago, I know I would have fallen in love with it as I wanted to now. However, my reading tastes have changed and since I am now a more critical reader, I didn’t find this to be as complex and intriguing as other high fantasies I’ve read. The characters fell flat, and so did the world. That being said, I do want to continue on with this series just because I know it will improve, based on the ending.

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

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2

The Crown by Kiera Cass: Where’s the FLUFF????

My review for The Crown is finally here! Or kind of rant. Explaining why I was disappointed, haha. This review will be primarily spoiler-free, and I’ll warn you when the spoilers are coming. You can check this book out on Goodreads here, and here’s the cover:

Before I begin giving my feelings on this book, I’d just like to say that I adored The Selection series when I read them over a year ago. I knew they weren’t the best books, and they weren’t really my favorites, but they were perfect in the sense that:

a) They were cute
b) They could get annoying, but the romance covered it all up
c) They made me feel happy and fluffy and there were also some underlying messages that I liked.

And so, I rated them all five or four stars, because I wasn’t reading them for the knowledge or amazing plot or anything, I read them as my guilty pleasures, and they succeeded in pleasing me.

However, in this book I could not get the pleasure I got from reading the other four books. I was actually part of the minority that didn’t hate The Heir, and I thought it was just as cute as the previous books. So I was actually pretty hopeful getting into this one. Sadly, it disappointed me.

This book felt like a novella: stretched out, not needed, with not really a plot. The only reason I kept reading was to find out who Eadlyn ended up with, and I was disappointed with that. It didn’t have any of the qualities that I loved in the previous books. There was practically no cute romance, and although Eadlyn’s personality got better, I didn’t enjoy reading from her.

It still had some fluffiness, I’ll give it that, but it was minimal and I wasn’t crazy about it. See, the thing with the actual Selection books (the first 3) was that America only had two love interests and she was primarily with one the whole time. Eadlyn…well because SHE had to choose someone, she went through so many memories with all the boys and after one point, I just gave up. I didn’t really care about any of the guys except for Kile. I mean, they were great and all, but their personalities lacked some charm that I loved about Maxon. SPOILER in italics: [And she didn’t even end up with Kile! ]

Smh.

And then…the plot. Like I said before, there was barely any plot. It was just so flimsy. Ah yes, that’s the word! This book was FLIMSY. The plot isn’t there, even though it could’ve been better, and the romance was flimsy too. If the author decided to add a dystopian plot, she should at least add on to it so it feels REAL! I did like the multiple plot twists, though I did see the one with Hale coming.

Anyways, with all its faults aside, I didn’t hate this book. I really didn’t. It annoyed me that it could’ve been better, but I did enjoy some things. I just don’t think it was worth publishing two extra books for this ending. SPOILER IN ITALICS: [They make SUCH a big deal out of The Selection, and then in the end, Maxon tells Eadlyn she can choose the other dude??? Who is not even PART of The Selection??? I call BS. What was the point of making it such a big deal if she could [put an end to it just because she didn’t want to marry the guy she said she would? This part frustrated me the MOST, ohmygod.]

3 stars. I still think the first three books are perfect for their fluffiness, however not this one.

Do you agree with me on this book? Let’s discuss! (And rant!)

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

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4

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury | Mini Review

Hey everyone! I read The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury back in July and wrote a mini-review, but never posted it. You can check it out on Goodreads here. The cover: (By the way, this is spoiler-free so you can read it if you haven’t read the book yet.)

Really enjoyed this one!! I thought it had some flaws—mostly due to the pacing of the story and getting into it—but otherwise I highly recommend it. The writing was beautiful, and it was so unique for YA. Again, I love the Arabian Nights aspect to it as well as this twist on Aladdin. The romance didn’t happen quickly, and like everything else in this book it was written beautifully. I also thought that the plot itself and the world was EXTREMELY well thought out. It was so complex and intricate, the gods and the jinn, and I actually think Jessica Khoury could pull off another book in this world. Not necessarily a sequel but maybe a companion novel just because its so obvious how much thought she put to it (especially the details!) and how I think she can delve even further into the world.

Sometimes I felt a bit detached from the story, and at first I had a bit of a hard time getting into it, but once I was reading it thoroughly I started really liking it. I do have to admit it was a bit slow-moving even for me, but the writing makes up for it with the lush descriptions. Those are my only complaints, besides Zahra being a bit predictable (except at the end, that was wonderful) in her actions. A lot of times I could tell what was going to happen next, but the ending definitely made up for it.

As a summary, this book didn’t blow me away, but it definitely was worth the read and I would 100% pick up another book set in this world. 🙂

I’d rate this book around four stars–it was great, but of course I’ve read better books.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

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Airplanes in the Night Sky Regular

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10

My Newest Obsession:And I Darken by Kiersten White

You know that feeling when you’re completely besotted with a book? When the other books you read, to be honest, are just not as good? Or, even if they are good, you find yourself comparing thr book you’re reading to that amazing book?

That, my friends, is what happened to me while I was reading/after I read And I Darken by Kiersten White. If you didn’t know, I had been anticipating this book for quite a while. When I had seen it about two years ago, I was pumped for it because it was set in the Ottoman Empire. I’m Turkish, and I ALWAYS love it when there are Middle Eastern aspects set in books. So I had really high expectations—which were met.

Anyways, here’s the beautiful US cover:


PLEASE READ THIS BOOK GUYS. I NEED MORE PEOPLE TO FANGIRL WITH. This is the review I wrote on Goodreads about how much I loved it:

 My heart is broken. Not broken, but as if its been stretched too tight, it hurts. You’ve probably seen this book around, as a lot of people have been raving about it, but I want to give you guys my reasons. Reasons why YOU, my friend, should read this book:

1. Its incredibly dark and complex. Lada is a DARK character. She’s an actual anti-heroine (I love her even more than Adelina as of now). She doesn’t take shit from anyone, she’s fierce and BRUTAL. She’s ugly and not kind, but she’s strong. She’s like my favorite female character right now.

2. The other characters. I thought they were all amazing. Beautiful Radu, and then Mehmed…I’m in love with him oh my god. I saw a lot of people talking about how much they hate Mehmed, but I don’t understand why. Yea, he’s not perfect and super handsome and all, but he’s more realistic than a TON of YA love interests. Unlike a lot of YA love interests, he accepts Lada for who she is. Not once does he tell her to calm down, to stop being so fierce, to stop fighting, to be nicer. He doesn’t want her to go to war, but that’s reasonable especially for the time period. Spoiler in italics: Even at the end, even though his heart is breaking, he allows Lada to leave because she wants to. He’s not an evil controlling freak.

3. Diversity & Time Period. All the characters, as I said, were extremely complex, and forget all that, but how many books do you see set in the Ottoman Empire? I may be biased, as I’m Turkish and I LOVE learning about the Ottoman Empire, but I thought Kiersten White’s representation of it was very accurate. She showed the beautiful side and the dark side, and she didn’t sugarcoat anything. As wonderful and magnificent as any empire is, there are dark things that lurk in corners and evil traps everywhere, as evident in this one. Also, can we just appreciate how she showed Islam ACCURATELY? Thank you Kiersten White. Thank you.

4. The plot itself was so intriguing. It was a bit slow moving, but it was made up with how well written it was. 

5. The ROMANCE. Rhjshsshsjalvdka the ROMANCE. This was definitely NOT a main point of the story, but I savored every bit of it. Every conversation Lada and Mehmed had (especially for the last one because NOOOO) I looked forward to, especially their heated first kiss. I LOVED THAT SCENE SO MUCH.

All in all, this book was worth the wait and the hype. I was so worried about it going into it for a lot of reasons: I had way too high expectations, and I was scared that the Ottoman Empire would be portrayed in a really bad way. Luckily that did not happen.

Yet, my heart is still broken. Now I just want to discuss spoilers in a few sentences so if you haven’t read this book please leave and READ IT!

The ending broke me. I am absolutely in love with Mehmed and Lada. I love Mehmed with all my heart, and how he begged Lada to become his wife broke me. Of course, Lada saying no just proved further how strong of a character she is, but still. I swear. If these two do not end up together I’m gonna cry. I’m serious. I don’t care if the rest of the world dies, I just want these two to be together. Please. Pleeeeease. I just hope that Mehmed does not stop loving Lada. I’m sure Lada won’t, because she consciously chose to leave him, but what if Mehmed does? What if their relationship crashes down???? IM SO SCARED :((((

I think that’s long enough. Now, I must find (or create, if need be) a fandom for this book while I die as my heart is stretched over even further until Book 2 comes out.

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silanur

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