Reviewing the Unreviewed: April

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. I thought I’d start doing a post once a month  with just the couple thoughts I shared on Good Reads.

See Me

See Me by Wendy Higgins. Read April 13-15. 1 Star.

While this book had some cute moments, it was not for me. I think maybe the very young spectrum of YA readers might enjoy this (though there is some mild language and some sexual situations, but it’s not graphic so it could still be ok -as an aside, I find the increasingly graphic scenes in YA is kind of alarming, but I am in the minority of that, so many people may find nothing objectionable at all for the young readers.)

I found the plot of the story pretty laughable (not in a good way) and the characters were not all that likable. I HATED the main character’s younger sister. Like every single thing she did bothered me.

I believe this is a standalone, but the ending was a little too open for me to be satisfied with it.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)

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

While slow paced and a little silly, I enjoyed this book. The main character was really likable and I found that I appreciated how naïve she was about things, as opposed to the type of experienced characters there are in most YA novels. I was super naïve in high school myself, so I found that relatable. I was a little disappointed that this wasn’t a standalone, but I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

What I Thought Was True

What I Thought was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick. Read April 19-23. 1 star.

I was pretty disappointed with this book. I enjoyed My Life Next Door and was looking forward to another sweet read, but this just wasn’t it. Most of the characters weren’t very likable and I felt like it left too many storylines open.



Untold (The Lynburn Legacy, #2)

Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan.

I enjoyed this book just as much the second time around. I can’t wait for the next book. September is so far away!


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

I’ve been in a bit of a reading rut lately where noting new sounds interesting. Rainbow Rowell to the rescue! I love this book. If you haven’t read it, you should.


Monday’s Minutes


I apologize to all those that may care that I haven’t posted much lately. I haven’t really felt much like reading lately and what I have read I haven’t felt like reviewing. But, nevertheless, here is my Monday’s Minutes

The Last Letter from Your Lover


The Last Letter from you Lover by Jojo Moyes. While I disapprove of infidelity, I’m mostly enjoying this book so far. This is my first Jojo Moyes book and I’m quite impressed with her writing. The character development is A-mazing!


Sweet Reckoning (The Sweet Trilogy, #3)  Silenced (Alaskan Courage, #4)

Tomorrow Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins and Silenced by Dani Pettrey comes out, so they are probably next on my list.

What are you reading?


Review: The Art of Keeping Faith (Uni Files #2) by Anna Bloom

The Art of Keeping Faith (Uni Files #2)

Synopsis from Good Reads:

Lilah and Ben. They are meant to be a thing.

Well, they were. The best thing ever. That was until Lilah decided to teach herself a lesson and let go of Ben since she’s learned The Art of Letting Go.

Now it’s a new academic year, and Lilah has it all to play for and it all to lose as she battles scary lecturers, evil PR girls, and her own inability to make the right decision at the right time.

Life has moved on for Lilah and her friends, and life off campus is more complicated than any of them would have guessed. As the reality of being second-year students sets in and the study starts to build up, cracks begin to appear in the very fabric of their friendships. There is a chance that none of them are going to complete Year Two in one piece.

Facing down her worst enemy, herself, Lilah has to try and change her own past mistakes when she realizes that the only way she is going to get the future she wants is if she manages to learn The Art of Keeping Faith in herself.

The Art of Keeping Faith is the second year in The Uni File Series and continues Lilah McCannon’s diary as she searches for love, tries to find and earn trust, and ultimately discovers who she is really meant to be.

Sometimes the only way to meet your future is to face your past.

While I enjoyed the first book in the series, The Art of Letting Go, I had some issues with both the main characters. Ben was a little stalkerish and intense and Lilah was very immature and very drunk. However, towards the end of the book they both had grown and I was looking forward to seeing what happens next.

For about the first half -maybe a little more – of this book Lilah is still the same immature, drunken mess. Ben is splitting his time between becoming a rock star in the United States and coming back home to Lilah and living their everyday lives. They struggle through Lilah’s jealousy of tabloid photos of Ben with his PR agent and other random groupies and Ben’s jealousy of Lilah’s growing friendship with Richard.

While there is really not a lot that goes on, I enjoyed reading the relationship between Lilah and Ben when they were together. I also liked when Lilah starts to become independent and was able to live her life and even be a little happy when Ben wasn’t around. I didn’t like that her friends started questioning her love for Ben just because she wasn’t miserable all the time while he was gone.

With all the jealousy and miscommunication that is going on, it’s not a surprise when something tragic happens that seems to split them up for good. Even though the situation was awful, I think it’s the best thing to happen to Lilah. She finally starts to get her life together and really evaluate what she wants from life and from Ben.

I thought Bloom’s writing also improved with this installment of the Uni Files. Even when the pace was slow, I couldn’t put the book down. The writing was extremely emotive and Bloom does a great job of making Lilah a likable character, despite her many flaws.

Overall, I enjoyed The Art of Keeping Faith. While the first half or so of the book seemed to be just “more of the same” from the first book, I really liked Lilah’s turning point and how the rest of the story played out. I hope we get another novella from Ben’s POV as I would love to see what happened with him in the States and the real story behind some of the out-of-context paparazzi photos.

Rating (out of 5):
Plot: 3.5
Characters: 3.5
Readability: 3.5
Enjoyability: 3.5
Overall Average: 3.5 stars

Monday’s Minutes


Monday’s Minutes is my weekly post where I share what I’m reading and what I’m reading next.


The Art of Keeping Faith (Uni Files #2)

The Art of Keeping Faith (Uni Files #2) by Anna Bloom. I’m about half way through. I’m a little annoyed that Lilah is still an alcoholic and almost every day ends with a drunken blackout. However, I just can not stop reading. Bloom’s writing has just completely sucked me in and I’ve gotten quite invested in the dysfunctional relationship of Lilah and Ben.

What I Thought Was True

What I Thought was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick. I got about four or so chapters in before The Art of Keeping Faith completely distracted me. The story hasn’t grabbed me yet, but I’m still going to work on it.


The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars, #1)

The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham. I love Veronica Mars. I loved the movie. I’m really hoping I love this book.

What are you reading?

What’s Cobie Smulders going to do!?!

So this weekend I was having dinner with my brother and I mentioned that I liked “that loud guy” on Parks and Rec. And he said, “you know who that is, right?” I did not. We then spent quite a bit of time watching YouTube videos of Billy Eichner. This video was our favorite. Enjoy!


Review: Don’t Look Back by Jennifer Armentrout

Don't Look Back

Synopsis from Good Reads:

Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it’s one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took “mean girl” to a whole new level, and it’s clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She’s getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she’s falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn’t just buried deep inside of Sam’s memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

When I read a mystery/thriller I want to be surprised, but I also want to figure it out. I want for it not to be obvious right away, but I don’t want the end coming out of left field, either. I had about three big suspects throughout most of the book: Sam’s boyfriend, Del, her childhood friend, Carson, and her dad. At different times I leaned heavily into one of these three, only to change my mind soon after. Once I became positive of who it was, I was wrong about the motivation at first. It took a couple more chapters for me to figure it all out, but after that everything else that happened until the big reveal seemed a little like filler to me. However overall, I think it was written really well.

Sam was a likable character, but I didn’t like that her loss of memory changed her whole personality. I mean, it’s an improvement, but it felt too easy that she didn’t have to really take responsibility for her mean girl past. I would’ve liked a little more of the brief glances of memory we see of her past life, just to round out her character a little more. I also would’ve liked more of those memories to involve Cassie. We barely get anything about her.

I really liked Sam’s brother, Scott, and would’ve liked more of him. I mostly liked Carson, but he’s not my favorite Armentrout Guy by a long shot. Sam’s parents, friends – old and new – and boyfriend all could have been developed a little more for me, as well.

Overall, I did enjoy Don’t Look Back. It was a good mystery with twists and turns with an ending that made sense. Sam’s story as she tries to piece together her old life and figure out what happened the night she disappeared, while beginning to question her own sanity kept me up late into the night.

Rating (out of 5):
Plot: 3.5
Characters: 3
Readability: 4
Enjoyability: 3.5
Overall Average: 3.5 stars

Monday’s Minutes


Monday’s Minutes is my weekly post where I share what I’m reading and what I’m reading next.


See Me

See Me by Wendy Higgins. Faeries. Leprechauns. Magical humans. This book is a little odd. I’m not very far in, but so far I’m not terribly impressed. The plot and the writing is not up to par with Higgins Sweet Evil series. I’m going to give it a few more chapters to see if it picks up enough for me to want to finish it.


I’m just not sure yet. I feel like I’m in a bit of a reading rut and nothing sounds interesting to me right now. Any suggestions?????

Review: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Scorpio Races

Review from Good Reads:

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

I spent the first half of this book wanting to like it and the second half actually really liking it.

When I first read “water horses” in the summary, I was picturing seahorses…


…But that’s obviously wrong. They are kind of sea monsters that look like horses that live in the ocean and occasionally come onto the island of Thisby where they are either captured and trained to race or go on a murderous rampage. They are called capaill uisce (which is apparently a real legend, but Stiefvater takes some liberties with it). They mostly come to shore in October and the race day is November 1st (my birthday, by the way). If you can keep your water horse from dragging you out to sea or from eating the other horses during the race, you may live through it and maybe even win. Despite their treachery, most people from the island love them.

Sean Kendrick (oh, Sean Kendrick) has a special ability to work with the capaill uisce. He saw his father die in the Scorpio Race, but has gone on to run in it and win four years in a row. Kate “Puck” Connolley has never attended the race and her parents were killed by the water horses, but has decided to enter to help her family.

OK, let’s stop here to where I have issues.

-First off, capaill uisce? Couldn’t an easier name be used? It’s over ten chapters in before a pronunciation is given – “Coppie Ooshka”. But at the end of the book in the Author’s Note she says it’s pronounced “CAPple ISHka.” It’s maddening.

-Why is Kate’s nickname Puck? This is never addressed.

-Puck’s reason for entering the race is kind of dumb. Her older brother, Gabe, is leaving the island and she tries to buy a few more weeks before he goes by entering the race. He still plans on going after. Eventually, though, the idea of prize money becomes a necessity, so I can overlook the original reason.

-Gabe. I wanted to like him. Or at least understand him. I didn’t really get either. He doesn’t have much a reason for leaving the island and he has seemingly no care that he’s leaving his younger sister and brother to fend for themselves. And it’s hinted at that he was having an affair with his friend’s mother, but nothing is confirmed or even mentioned again after the original incident.

-Sean Kendrick (who is almost always referred to by both first and last name) is a bit of a mystery. Though the story is told through dual 1st person POV, we never get to know Sean as well as we do Puck. Puck thinks once that Sean Kendrick uses one word when others use five or six and that’s how his chapters seemed. He loves the island and sea horses – most especially Corr, who is basically his best friend. He wants to be able to buy Corr off his boss, but his boss is a jerk.

I was annoyed enough by the things mentioned above, as well as the slow-pace, that I was not enjoying the book. Somewhere around half way through, though, I started to get into it. I think it’s because Sean Kendrick and Puck finally started interacting and the events surrounding the race began to pick up the pace of the story.

One thing Maggie Stiefvater does really well is romance. By that I mean that she tells a story that has romantic elements, without it being a romance. Much like Gansey and Blue in The Raven Boys series, Puck and Sean Kendrick’s relationship is a subtle slow build and Stiefvater manages to make even the smallest touch or briefest word significant and intense. But this never overshadows the actual story going on around them.

Overall, I did end up enjoying The Scorpio Races. It was beautifully written with two strong and likable character leads. It’s also a stand alone book, which is something I’ve come to appreciate.

Rating (out of 5):
Plot: 3
Characters: 4
Readability: 3.5
Enjoyability: 4
Overall Average:  3.625 stars