Mini Book Review: Dead Jed: Adventures Of A Middle School Zombie

Dead Jed Adventures Of A Middle School ZombieBook: Dead Jed: Adventures Of A Middle School Zombie by Scott Craven

Published December 2013 by Month9 Books|226 pages

Where I Got It: Kindle store

Series: Dead Jed #1

Genre: Middle Grade

You can find Dead Jed: Adventures Of A Middle School Zombie on goodreads

Goodreads Summary: 

Dead Jed is Shaun of the Dead meets Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Jed’s not your typical junior high geek. He is, to use the politically-correct term, cardiovascularly-challenged. And while his parents have attempted to shield him from the implications of being ‘different’ for as long as they could (Jed was 8 and at a friend’s sister’s birthday party when he blew his lips off onto the cake in front of everyone, finally prompting the “Big Talk” from his parents and an emergency SuperGlue repair by his dad), 7th grade at Pine Hollow Middle School as a target of Robbie the supreme school bully and his pack of moronic toadies is rapidly becoming unbearable.

From being stuffed in a filled trash can as “dead meat” and into a trophy case as the bully’s “prize,” to literally having his hand pulled off in the boys’ room (Jed’s always losing body parts. Luckily, a good stapler and some duct tape and he’s back in the action) and a cigarette put in it and try to frame him for the recent reports of smoking in the school, Jed’s had enough and is ready to plan his revenge. Besides, it’s awesome what you can do when you’re already dead.

What I Thought:

I don’t read a lot of middle grade, but I liked this one!  I haven’t read the Diary Of A Wimpy Kid books, but from what I know about them, I think kids who like those books will really like Dead Jed.

I like Jed, and how hard he tried to fit in, even though he has a medical condition that basically means he’s a zombie.  I really like that it’s something that he has to deal with during the entire book, and that you see who Jed really is.  Being a zombie is only part of who Jed is, and he’s just a normal kid trying to get through 7th grade.  It made the book a lot more original and different, and it really highlighted how horrible it can be to be different in middle school.

Dead Jed is definitely clever and light-hearted and witty, and I couldn’t help but laugh a few times throughout the book.  It’s definitely a fun book that also has a lot of heart.  And Jed is definitely bullied and has to deal with people who aren’t tolerant of his condition, but I really liked how he dealt with it.

I liked the pop culture references, especially the zombie pop culture references.  You can’t go wrong with Michael Jackson’s Thriller, especially at a school dance!

Let’s Rate It:

Dead Jed is a fun book, and it’s definitely a great middle grade read- but I think a lot of people would enjoy this story, regardless of age.  Dead Jed gets 3 stars.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten New Series I Want To Start

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish.  Every week, bloggers from all over share their own top ten list based on the topic of the week.  You can find all Top Ten Tuesdays here.

Top Ten New Series I Want To Start

So, new series!  Like, last couple of years new.  This is actually right up my alley, since I read a lot of series, and there are so many I want to read.  It definitely helps that I tend to go for the more recent releases, and I honestly could have picked any number or series.  I honestly could do several lists just based on this topic alone…but I did narrow it down to ten.  (I just wish I knew how I managed that).

  1. The Diviners by Libba Bray.  I’ve wanted to read this one for a while, especially after reading her Gemma Doyle series. I can’t wait to read it!
  2. Partials by Dan Wells.  I’ve been intrigued with this sci-fi series, especially because it’s about these beings identical to humans.
  3. Venom by Fiona Paul.  I’ve wanted to listen to this one for a while, so I’m just going to have to one of these days.  Plus, it’s in Venice!  You can’t go wrong with a novel set in Venice!  I’m also intrigued with Renaissance Venice, since I don’t normally read books set in that time period…
  4. Just One Day by Gayle Forman.  A lot of people seem to love this series, and I LOVED If I Stay, so I’m going to have to read it soon.
  5. For Darkness Shows The Stars by Diana Peterfreund.  I’m very intrigued by a Luddite nobility, plus, I’ve seen quite a few positive reviews.  And it’s inspired by Persuasion, so that makes me want to read it even more.
  6. The Testing by Janelle Charbonneau.  I’ve been meaning to read it for ages, but forgot to download the ARC from netgalley before it was archived…so I’ve never read it, even though I did eventually buy a copy to read.
  7. Pivot Point by Kasie West.  I very much want to read this book someday, because I’m very intrigued by the idea of a girl who can look into the future and see both possible outcomes.
  8. The Archived by Victoria Schwab.  I feel like this list is full of series I’ve meant to read but never got around to, and this one is no exception.  I mean, it’s about a girl who works in the Archives of the dead!  It’s totally up my alley.
  9. Tandem by Anna Jarzab.  I’ve seen a lot of positive reviews for this book, and I’m intrigued by going into parallel worlds to stop war.
  10. Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins.  Partly because I wanted to include something a bit more recent, but also because I like the idea of a Southern Belle who becomes a Paladin.

Book Review: Code Name Verity

Code Name Verity CoverBook: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Published May 2013  by Disney-Hyperion|339 pages

Where I Got It/Format: paperback from Barnes & Noble

Series: Code Name Verity #1

Genre: YA Historical Fiction- World War 2

You can find Code Name Verity on goodreads & Elizabeth Wein on Twitter and her website

Goodreads Summary: 

Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy? 

A Michael L. Printz Award Honor book that was called “a fiendishly-plotted mind game of a novel” in The New York Times, Code Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other.

What I Thought:

I finally read Code Name Verity!  I’ve been putting it off for ages, because so many people have loved it, and I was scared that it wouldn’t live up to the hype.  I liked Code Name Verity, but for some reason, the story wasn’t what I was expecting.

To be honest, I found Verity’s story to be confusing, and the story didn’t make sense until Maddie took over the narration.  I really felt like I was missing something, and I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a total idiot or if I wasn’t paying attention, or if maybe it takes at least a couple reads for it to make sense.

Multiple narrators are very much hit-or-miss for me, and unfortunately, this was a huge miss for me. I wasn’t expecting the first half to be narrated by one person, and the second half to be narrated by another person. Part of it is that I’m very used to alternating chapters, but I also felt like Code Name Verity had two different stories that didn’t go well together.  By the end of the book, I just didn’t really care about either girl or what happened to them.  I felt disconnected from what was going on, and I didn’t really find either girl’s story to be compelling.

The way the story was told didn’t work for me- Maddie’s story is woven in through Verity’s part of the novel, alongside the information that her German captors want.  I think that is largely why Verity’s narration didn’t work for me, because the different styles didn’t work together.  Maddie’s half of the story was infinitely more interesting but at that point in the book, I was just wanted to be done with it.  I know their stories are connected, but the way the two stories were told made the book seem more confusing and jumbled than it needed to be.

I know the book is about their friendship, and what they’ll do to save each other, but I…their friendship…there’s something about it that felt a little bit forced and fake.  It just didn’t seem that believable to me, and I have no idea why.

Still, I like that the book focuses on two girls doing their part in the war effort, and that one is a spy, while the other is a pilot. I also like that Wein includes a bibliography at the end of the book, which is quite unusual for YA historical fiction (n my experience).

Let’s Rate It:

Maddie’s narration is what made Code Name Verity much more interesting.  Overall, I felt like Maddie and Verity’s stories would have worked better on their own, because their own stories didn’t come together for me.  Part of it is that I went in with too high expectations, and I’m feeling like the odd woman out for not connecting with it the way everyone else has. It’s still an interesting novel with World War 2 as a backdrop, and I like that it focuses on a different element of the War.  Code Name Verity gets 3 stars.

Book Talk: This Reading Slump Is Getting A Lot Better

Book Talk is a new and occasional feature where I talk about non-review bookish things.

Book Talk

Today, I’m revisiting the topic of reading slumps.  I’ve been in one for quite a few weeks now, and it was really weird for me, because I don’t really remember going through one before.  It’s been a totally weird and new experience for me, but I’m also glad I’ve gone through it.

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I was really starting to come out of it, because my reading habits have gone back to normal…for the most part.

It was actually a big help to talk about it, and after that original post, I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders, and I definitely felt better about my disinterest in reading.  I really do feel like it was my mind’s way of telling me to take a bit of a break and to slow it down for a while.  You can only keep it up for so long before it catches up with you.

Looking back, I think I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to always be reading, and to be reading constantly, and to have a lot of books going on at once, even if I didn’t realize it at the time.  Now that I’ve had a bit of a break, and am not constantly reading something, I felt like I had to read all the time because otherwise, I’d be a horrible book blogger because I wasn’t talking about what I was reading.  I definitely felt like I had to read a certain number of books a week, and that I need to keep up with how much I’ve previously read.

But book bloggers talk about all kinds of things, and it’s okay to take a step back and talk about those other things.  Like reading slumps and cookbooks and anything else that comes to mind.  It’s definitely not the end of the world.  Getting back into reviewing has been a little bit hard, because I haven’t been doing it as much, but it’s also good to be talking about what I’m reading.  And to be excited about what I reading (sometimes) and to actually WANT to pick up a book again.

I’m not going to lie, it’s been nice to read less than what I have been, but I also missed reading that much, so I’m glad to have several books going on at once.  

Still, I’m definitely going to try to keeping things at 4 or 5 books, because while I can handle 6 books, I also don’t really want to right now.  And I’m definitely going to be working in more audio books, because listening seems more my speed right now than reading.

I’ve definitely learned a lot from this reading slump:

  • For one thing, it’s okay to have periods where I don’t read as much or where I’m not super-interested in reading.  It doesn’t make me a horrible reader, and sometimes, I just need to curl up in bed with some good t.v. or sit on the couch crocheting. Just going with it and not stressing about it is really important- I think it’s just part of being a big reader and a book blogger.
  • And another thing is to try listening to audio books- there is something about having a book read to you, and it’s something I’ll have to try the next time I’m in a reading slump.  And maybe try print too?  For some reason, e-books weren’t doing it for me, so switching formats is something that’s worth trying out.
  • Also: re-reading books may work.  That’s another thing to try the next time I’m in a reading slump- reading old favorites may get me back to reading (but I also won’t know until I try, so there is that).
  • Another thing for next time: switching genres and reading things outside of my YA comfort zone.  Why did I not think of this earlier?

I’m definitely glad to be reading again, and even though it was weird at first, I’m glad that it’s over and that I went through it. I know that sounds weird, but I think it’s been good a take a bit of a break.

ARC Book Review: Goebbels: A Biography

Goebbels A Biography CoverBook: Goebbels: A Biography by Petere Longerich, translated by Alan Bance, Jeremy Noakes & Lesley Sharpe

Expected Publication is October 14, 2014 by Random House: Expected Number Of Pages: 920

Where I Got It:, which hasn’t influenced my review in any way.  Promise!

Series: None

Genre: Adult Nonfiction- History/World War 2/Nazi Germany/Holocaust

You can find Goebbels: A Biography on goodreads

Goodreads Summary: 

From renowned German Holocaust historian Peter Longerich comes the definitive one-volume biography of Adolf Hitler’s malevolent minister of propaganda.

In life, and in the grisly manner of his death, Joseph Goebbels was one of Adolf Hitler’s most loyal acolytes. By the end, no one in the Berlin bunker was closer to the Führer than his devoted Reich minister for public enlightenment and propaganda. But how did this clubfooted son of a factory worker rise from obscurity to become Hitler’s most trusted lieutenant and personally anointed successor?

In this ground-breaking biography, Peter Longerich sifts through the historical record—and thirty thousand pages of Goebbels’s own diary entries—to provide the answer to that question. Longerich, the first historian to make use of the Goebbels diaries in a biographical work, engages and challenges the self-serving portrait the propaganda chief left behind. Spanning thirty years, the diaries paint a chilling picture of a man driven by a narcissistic desire for recognition who found the personal affirmation he craved within the virulently racist National Socialist movement. Delving into the mind of his subject, Longerich reveals how Goebbels’s lifelong search for a charismatic father figure inexorably led him to Hitler, to whom he ascribed almost godlike powers.

This comprehensive biography documents Goebbels’s ascent through the ranks of the Nazi Party, where he became a member of the Führer’s inner circle and launched a brutal campaign of anti-Semitic propaganda. Though endowed with near-dictatorial control of the media—film, radio, press, and the fine arts—Longerich’s Goebbels is a man dogged by insecurities and beset by bureaucratic infighting. He feuds with his bitter rivals Hermann Göring and Alfred Rosenberg, unsuccessfully advocates for a more radical line of “total war,” and is thwarted in his attempt to pursue a separate peace with the Allies during the waning days of World War II. This book also reveals, as never before, Goebbels’s twisted personal life—his mawkish sentimentality, manipulative nature, and voracious sexual appetite.

A harrowing look at the life of one of history’s greatest monsters, Goebbels delivers fresh insight into how the Nazi message of hate was conceived, nurtured, and disseminated. This complete portrait of the man behind that message is sure to become a standard for historians and students of the Holocaust for decades to come.

What I Thought:

I’m definitely fascinated with World War 2, especially with Nazi Germany, so when I was intrigued by this biography of Goebbels when I saw it on netgalley.  I know the name and that he was charge of propaganda, but other than that, I didn’t know anything, so I definitely wanted to learn more about him.

This biography is definitely daunting and very, very detailed- it’s an astounding  900+ pages, and it was definitely a marathon of a book.  Nothing really jumped out at me as particularly interesting, other than Goebbels studied philosophy and that he was loyal to Hitler, to the point of murdering his children before taking his own life.  I feel like, at the end of the book, I knew as much about him as I did before I started the book.

It’s definitely dense (and on the dry side) and I had to fight the urge to skim the book (which I maybe did at certain points throughout the book).  I don’t know that it’s the best book for someone who doesn’t know much about Goebbels, and since it leans more to the scholarly end of things, it might be better suited for people who are really into World World 2 and Nazi Germany (especially those close to Hitler).

This biography really goes into depth about Goebbels and why he did the things he did, and what made him tick.  It’s also a really good look at some of what was going on during that time, because of his journals.  It’s also why it’s a slow read, because it’s very meticulous.

 Let’s Rate It:

This biography is definitely not a book for everyone, but still worth checking out for historians and students or for anyone studying the Holocaust or the Nazi’s (or World War 2).  Goebbels: A Biography gets 2 stars.

ARC Book Review: Stitching Snow

Stitching Snow CoverBook: Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis

Expected Publication is October 14, 2014 by Disney-Hyperion|Expected Number Of Pages: 338

Where I Got It:, which hasn’t influenced my review in any way.  Promise!

Series: None (as far as I can tell)

Genre: YA Re-telling/Fairy Tales/Science Fiction

You can find Stitching Snow on goodreads & R.C. Lewis on Twitter, Facebook & her website

Goodreads Summary: 

Princess Snow is missing.

Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s assuming she wants to return at all.

Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.

What I Thought:

So…I liked Stitching Snow, but not as much as I was expecting.  I felt like the story described in the summary is a different story than the story that unfolded.  And yet, there was much more to the story than I ever realized.

Stitching Snow very much reminded me of Cinder, so there may or may not be quite a few comparisons throughout my review.  Essie very much reminded me of Cinder, and Dimwit really reminded me of Iko, and Dane reminded me of Captain Thorne.  And her step-mom reminded me of Queen Lavana.

Basically, I’d describe the book as Cinder in space but with Snow White instead of Cinderella.

It’s not a horrible book- I did like it, and I like the idea of Essie fleeing to a different planet as a child, and surviving on a very different planet than the one she grew up on.  I like that she did what she needed to do to stop a huge war and take control of the crown.

It just wasn’t as compelling as I thought or hoped it would be.

Mostly, because this book seems to be a stand-alone and so the world-building and character development seemed minimal and glossed over.  We got bits and pieces of this world, but not to a level I would have liked. I think it’s because I went in expecting Stitching Snow to be a series- because, honestly, these kinds of stories usually are- so I was disappointed to see that the story was pretty much resolved by the end of the book.

I felt like nothing was really explained, and there were a few things about this world (Exiles and Transitioning, mostly) that were really confusing and made no sense whatsoever.  There are all of these different planets and the people that live on them have this history with each other, and yet, I could not tell you a single them about them.  And it’s the same with the characters, who didn’t really stand out to me.

It really is a shame, because I felt like some of the relationships could have had a lot more to them.  Like, Essie and her step-mom or Essie and her dad, and even her step-mom’s issues with her mom.

Everything felt really rushed to me, and I really do feel like Stitching Snow could have benefited from being a series, just to let everything develop over a slower pace.

Still, I like the overall story, and I’d definitely recommend to die-hard fairy tale fans and to people who haven’t read the Lunar Chronicles yet.  And if you have read the Lunar Chronicles, you may like it too, but maybe not as much.

What I Thought:

I liked Stitching Snow and the overall story, but I also wish that things didn’t feel as rushed, because I felt like the book had so much potential.  Stitching Snow gets 3 stars.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Places Books Have Made Me Want To Visit

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish.  Every week, bloggers from all over share their own top ten list based on the topic of the week.  You can find all Top Ten Tuesdays here.

Top Ten Places Books Have Made Me Want To Visit

One of my favorite things about reading is that it lets me travel without leaving the comfort of home.  Granted, reading isn’t the same as actually going places, but books makes me want to travel to both fictional places and real places (and reading will just have to do until I can afford to travel).

  1. Hogwarts.  I am still waiting for my letter to Hogwarts.  Who wouldn’t want to go to Hogwarts or the wizarding world?
  2. Narnia.  As a kid, I would hide in the closet in hopes that I’d be transported to Narnia.  Narnia sounds amazing.
  3. Middle Earth.  I’m not a big fan of the Lord Of The Rings (but I will admit that I LOVE the movies) and yet I still find myself wanting to visit Middle Earth.
  4. Candyfreak by Steve Almond did make me want to visit all of the candy factories he mentions in the book.
  5. Paris.  All because of Anna And The French Kiss.  This book makes me want to go to Paris so bad.
  6. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern makes me wish such a circus existed because I would to LOVE to visit a circus like this.
  7. India sounds like an interesting but bustling place because of Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts.
  8. England…I can’t pick just one book that makes me want to go there, because there are so many!  I think it’s all of the books I’ve read about the Tudors…
  9. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han makes me want to visit a place like Cousins Beach and spend the entire summer there.
  10. New Orleans is a place I want to visit, notably because of the Arelia LaRue series and Out Of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys.

Audio Book Review: Dangerous Creatures

Dangerous Creatures CoverBook: Dangerous Creautures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, narrated by Khristine Hvam

Published May 2014 by Hachette Audio|Run Time: 9 hours, 41 minutes

Where I Got It:

Series: Dangerous Creatures #1

Genre: YA Paranormal

You can find Dangerous Creatures on goodreads & you can find Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl on their websites

Goodreads Summary: 

Ridley Duchannes is nobody’s heroine. She’s a Dark Caster, a Siren. She can make you do things. Anything. You can’t trust her, or yourself when she s around. And she ll be the first to tell you to stay away especially if you’re going to do something as stupid as fall in love with her.

Lucky for Ridley, her wannabe rocker boyfriend, Wesley Link Lincoln, never listens to anyone. Link doesn t care if Rid’s no good for him, and he takes her along when he leaves small-town Gatlin to follow his rock-star dream. He teams up with a ragtag group of Dark Casters, and when the band scores a gig at a hot Underground club, it looks like all of Link’s dreams are about to come true.

But New York City is a dangerous place for both Casters and Mortals, and soon Ridley realizes that Link’s bandmates are keeping secrets. With bad-boy club owner Lennox Gates on her heels, Rid is determined to find out the truth. What she discovers is worse than she could have imagined: Link has a price on his head that no Caster or Mortal can ever pay. With their lives on the line, what s a Siren to do?

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthors of the Beautiful Creatures novels, are back to cast another magical spell. Their signature blend of mystery, suspense, and romance, with a healthy dose of wit and danger, will pull fans in and leave them begging for more.

What I Thought:

When I heard that there was going to be a Beautiful Creatures spin-off, I knew I had to read it.  And while spin-off series make me a little nervous, I am glad to say that I really liked Dangerous Creatures!

I was definitely curious about what would happen after the events of Dangerous Dream, the prequel novella. I kind of wish I had listened to it ahead of time for a refresher, but thankfully, you don’t need to read the prequel to know what’s going on. Although, if you haven’t read the original series, you might want to because it’s awesome, and because the world will make more sense.  (It does stand well on its own, though).

I am glad that Ridley and Link get their own story, and the world they get caught up in.  It was really weird seeing them on their own, with no Lena or Ethan or Amma or John or Liv or any of the other characters, but I feel like we’re getting a different side of the Caster world.  Of course, I do miss Gatlin and everyone there, and I didn’t quite fall in love with the new characters the way I fell in love with the characters from Beautiful Creatures, but I’m hoping that I’ll warm up to them by the end of the series.  At the same time, new characters fit with the story, and with a new series, it would be a little weird to have those familiar characters have a major role in the story.  (Still, they could pop up later on, given certain things that happen in the beginning).

I do love that we see the Caster world outside of Gatlin and how much of an effect Lena’s actions had on the entire Caster world, and not just the one in Gatlin.

What I like about Ridley being the narrator of the book is that we see how hard on herself she is.  I really felt for Ridley, and being a Siren has a lot of downsides I didn’t really think about in Beautiful Creatures.  This is a darker world, and I like that it’s darker than its parent series.  Ridley is definitely damaged and broken in her own way, and this dark Caster world…Ridley does seem to fit into really well.

And Link…I’m not sure how I feel about him.  Honestly, Ridley and her story took center stage…and I didn’t pay that much attention to Link, even though they travel to New York together and have quite the…adventure…there.  It’s such a great book for the fans of Beautiful Creatures.  It’s definitely a whirlwind, and I’m looking forward to the next book, because I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Ridley and Link, especially with that cliffhanger of an ending!

As for the narration, I thought Khristine Hvam was a great choice as a narrator!  I also liked that Kevin Collins made a few random appearances, singing as Link, and part of me wishes we got a bit more of Link singing.

Let’s Rate It:

Dangerous Creatures definitely doesn’t disappoint!  It’s a very different series than Beautiful Creatures, but I like that it’s such a different story.  I really felt for Ridley, and I’m hoping we get more of Link and the new characters in the rest of the series.  Dangerous Creatures gets 4 stars.

Book Review: Isla And The Happily Ever After, WITH SPOILERS

Isla And The Happily Ever AfterBook: Isla And The Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Published August 2014 by Penguin|258 pages

Where I Got It: Nook store

Series: Anna And The French Kiss #3

Genre: YA Contemporary

You can find Isla And The Happily Ever After on goodreads & Stephanie Perkins on twitter, tumblr and her website

 Goodreads Summary: 

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

What I Thought:

SO: SPOILERS ARE AHEAD, BECAUSE I CAN’T TALK ABOUT THIS BOOK AND NOT MENTION SOMETHING THAT HAPPENS AT THE END.  YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.  I also apologize in advance for all of the caps I may or may not end up using…


It’s amazing.  Seriously amazing.  I can’t remember the last time I loved a book this much, and I am so glad to be excited about a book again.

Isla did this.  I love it as much as I love Anna And The French Kiss, and I love that book something fierce.

I just love Isla and Josh together, and I’m so glad we got to back to SOAP and revisit some characters that we got to see a little bit of in Anna.  I’m so glad they got their own book and story, because they are perfect together.  And they’re nearly as adorable as Anna and St. Clair.  Nearly.

All I feel like doing right now is squeeing.  With lots of arm flailing.  This is that kind of book.  I’m also that kind of person, and this book just brings that out even more than normal.  Just imagine me doing a happy dance.

Especially with the ending.  Because OH MY GOD ANNA AND ST. CLAIR GOT ENGAGED AT THE END OF THE BOOK.

WHY IS THERE NOT ANOTHER BOOK?  Because I have never wanted a sequel more than I want one right now, just to see Anna and St. Clair get married.  I think, of the three books in this “series,” Anna and Isla are my favorites.  I am thankful that Cricket and Lola and Calliope are what bring St. Clair and Anna back to Paris, but I still much prefer Anna and Isla.  (And St. Clair and Josh, of course).

Isla and Josh have their issues, which were frustrating at times, but I also loved seeing how hard it was for them.  They have such an intense relationship- it’s an intensity we never saw with Anna and St. Clair or with Lola and Cricket.  And Isla is such a different person than Anna or Lola- definitely more moody, I think.  And much more unsure of herself, which I actually  really liked, because I can so relate to her being unsure of what her future holds.

This book is special.  REALLY SPECIAL.  This is a book you really need to read.  It was a long wait for Isla, but it was so worth it. So very, very worth it.

I am glad that things worked out for Isla and Josh, who are are different than I ever imagined they would be when they first appeared in Anna.  Who knew that Josh was so talented?  I knew it was there, but I didn’t realize how much until this book. And Isla…I’ve already talked about how much I relate to her, and I just love her.  SO MUCH.

And I’m actually really glad that the covers were redesigned, because this cover?  Something about it makes me think of romance and happy endings and it’s just BEAUTIFUL.

Let’s Rate It:

So…in case you couldn’t tell, I LOVED Isla And The Happily Ever After.  LOVED.  IT.  It makes me wish I could give it many, many stars.  Okay, I might not be able to do that on goodreads, but this is my blog, and I’m giving every damn star I can possibly give it.  Officially, it gets 5+ stars!

Currently Obsessed With Interlude #3: The Article Edition #2

In my last Currently Obsessed With post, I said I was going to do a separate post for all of the articles I’ve come across because I couldn’t make up my mind about which ones I wanted to share.  So this is said post!

Before I get started, I thought I’d share how I pick out the articles I share.  Throughout the month, I bookmark (or star in my bloglovin’ feed) different articles and blog posts I come across.  Once it’s time to do my currently obsessed with post, I pick the handful that were super interesting to me.

And last month, I found that I came across quite a few things I wanted to share!  So here they are…

  1. A Banned Books Infographic by the Huffington Post.  I found that the map showing the number of challenges each state had to be particularly interesting.  I hate to say it, but it’s not surprising (to me) that Texas had the highest number, and quite honestly, I expected the south and midwest to have more challenges than the rest of the country.  I know it’s horrible to stereotype entire regions of the country and that I shouldn’t do it, but still…I was definitely surprised and intrigued.
  2. I have one major issue with this article about why reading is a good way to spend time.  Notably, that reading is learning. It just frustrates me that it seems implied that reading is the only way to learn.  There are other ways to learn things besides reading.  Also, you can be curious about the world and not be a reader.  You can also be comfortable on your own and not be a reader.  Also, you can be intelligent and not be a reader, because I feel like like there are different kinds of intelligence.  Now that I’m done with my mini-rant, I do like that it’s about why reading is awesome.
  3. Back to banned books, I love this post over at Book Riot about Banned Books Week.  I never thought about it like that, and to be honest, I always forget about it until it’s over.
  4. Also: Diversity In YA has an interesting post about diversity and book challenges.  I have no thoughts on this one, but it’s still interesting to check out.
  5. Speaking of diversity, I love this blog post about authenticity and diversity in literature.  Diversity in the book world really is a topic in and of itself, but this post in particular struck a chord with me.  I don’t read as diversely as I should, and I wouldn’t even know where to start (but Diversity In YA will likely be a big help and a good resource).
  6. This article over at The Guardian about how young adult novels speak to people whereas adult novels don’t really frustrates me!  As much as I love young adult (I mean, most of what I read is YA, after all), it doesn’t mean adult books don’t speak to people.  I definitely feel like the author of that post is making assumptions about adult books the way that some people make assumptions about YA.  But it’s still worth checking out, especially with recent articles about how reading YA is something to be ashamed of.
  7. This is a really interesting interview about how Harry Potter, Twilight and 50 Shades have influenced the lives of several young women.
  8. A million times yes to this blog post about strong women.  This is another one that could fill goodness knows how many posts, but I agree that all kinds of women are strong and have stories that need to be told- and that certain stories aren’t better than others just because a female character has characteristics we don’t like.
  9. And a final- but completely fun and awesome note- I LOVE this article about the stall that lived.  It totally made my day when I read it.