Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West: Review

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Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: December 26th, 2017/
Dates read: February 2nd-4th, 2018
Genre: Contemporary romance

Rating★ ★ ★ ½ / 5 Stars

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Seventeen-year-old Abby Turner’s summer isn’t going the way she’d planned. She has a not-so-secret but definitely unrequited crush on her best friend, Cooper. She hasn’t been able to manage her mother’s growing issues with anxiety. And now she’s been rejected from an art show because her work “has no heart.” So when she gets another opportunity to show her paintings Abby isn’t going to take any chances.

Which is where the list comes in.

Abby gives herself one month to do ten things, ranging from face a fear (#3) to learn a stranger’s story (#5) to fall in love (#8). She knows that if she can complete the list she’ll become the kind of artist she’s always dreamed of being. But as the deadline approaches, Abby realizes that getting through the list isn’t as straightforward as it seems… and that maybe—just maybe—she can’t change her art if she isn’t first willing to change herself.

Review:

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The Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

Time to get salty…Just kidding, but actually. I have a lot of unpopular opinions so I figured this tag would be perfect for me! Please don’t hate me for some of these, because I totally respect you if you disagree with me. This tag was created by TheBookArcher on Youtube, so make sure to check out her video here! Let’s get into it!

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Authors I’ve Met

Between BookCon, New York Comic Con, and various book signings in my area, I have been fortunate enough to meet a huge number of authors over the past few years! I thought it would be fun to make a post reflecting on these amazing experiences!

Scott Westerfeld – September 2014

Scott Westerfeld was the first author signing I ever went to! I had just finished reading his Leviathan trilogy and I absolutely loved it, so when I saw that he was coming to my local bookstore I freaked out! My mom was nice enough to take me and my sister and we went and had a great time. There weren’t a lot of people there, so we got to have a nice conversation with him and his wife. He was so nice, and the event was so fun!

CAgRXdBVIAEXxPMLauren Oliver & Gayle Forman – March 2015

Lauren Oliver and Gayle Forman were two of my favorite authors at this time, so I was absolutely stoked to meet them. They were so funny in their book talk and super sweet in person. Though they aren’t my favorite authors anymore, it was still a really cool experience to get to meet them both at the same time!

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Favorite Fictional Couples

Like most fans of YA literature, I can get very attached to the couples in my favorite books, and I never pass up an opportunity to talk about how much I love them! I feel like I haven’t talked about them much on this blog, and with Valentine’s day coming up, I wanted to make a post to spread the fictional love and see if I had any favorite couples in common with anyone else! This list is going to be in no particular order because that would be like trying to rank my favorite children, so just know that I love them all 😍

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Radio Silence by Alice Oseman: Spoiler-free Review

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Publisher: HarperTeen
Release date: March 28th, 2017
Dates read: January 29th-February 1st, 2018
Genre: Contemporary

Rating★ ★ ★ ★ ½ / 5 Stars

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Frances Janvier spends most of her time studying. When she’s not studying, she’s up in her room making fan art for her favorite podcast, Universe City.

Everyone knows Aled Last as that quiet boy who gets straight As. But no one knows he’s the creator of Universe City, who goes by the name Radio Silence.

When Frances gets a message from Radio Silence asking if she’ll collaborate with him, everything changes. Frances and Aled spend an entire summer working together and becoming best friends. They get each other when no one else does.

But when Aled’s identity as Radio Silence is revealed, Frances fears that the future of Universe City—and their friendship—is at risk. Aled helped her find her voice. Without him, will she have the courage to show the world who she really is? Or will she be met with radio silence?

Spoiler-free Review:

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Reasons To Read The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

I’d like to talk more about some of my favorite books that may be underrated, so I’m starting a new post series called “Reasons to read ____”  every once in a while! Every time I post one of these, I’ll choose a book, usually an underrated one that I think more people should try, and talk about why I love it and why I think you will too!

My first pick is The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes! This is a two book series that is criminally underrated. Here’s what it’s about:

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Sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick has spent her entire life on her grandfather’s ranch. But when her estranged sister Ivy uproots her to D.C., Tess is thrown into a world that revolves around politics and power. She also starts at Hardwicke Academy, the D.C. school for the children of the rich and powerful, where she unwittingly becomes a fixer for the high school set, fixing teens’ problems the way her sister fixes their parents’ problems.

And when a conspiracy surfaces that involves the family member of one of Tess’s classmates, love triangles and unbelievable family secrets come to light and life gets even more interesting—and complicated—for Tess.

Sold yet? I thought so! But just in case you’re not, here are a couple more things to persuade you to pick up this amazing book:

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A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab: Spoiler-free Review

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Publisher: Tor Books
Release date: February 21st, 2017
Genres: Fantasy
Dates read: March 2017 / January 2018

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½ / 5

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THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS FINALLY TIPPED…
The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.

WHO WILL CRUMBLE?
Kell – once assumed to be the last surviving Antari – begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?

WHO WILL RISE?
Lila Bard, once a commonplace – but never common – thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.

WHO WILL TAKE CONTROL?
And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay.

Review:

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Books I loved as a Child

I was a HUGE reader as a kid, and one of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t keep some sort of record of all the books I read when I was younger (although, what 8 year old does that?). However, there are still a ton of books I read when I was a kid that I remember really well because I absolutely loved them, and I’m curious if anyone else had the same childhood favorite books as me! So, in no particular order, here is a list of some of my favorite books from when I was a child!

(Note: I’m defining childhood here as 12 and under)

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1. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

Honestly, this is a series that I think I would still enjoy equally as much if I re-read it today. These books were so cool and had great characters, secret missions, codes, and everything I loved as a kid. If I were to make a favorite series of all time list, this trilogy would definitely be on it. I low-key want to re-read it now…

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Dear Martin by Nic Stone: Spoiler-free Review

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Publisher: Crown Books
Release date: October 17th, 2017
Genre: Realistic fiction/Contemporary
Dates read: January 10th-12th, 2017

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ /5

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Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.

Spoiler-free Review:

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Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta: Review (+Buddy Read!)

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Publisher: HarperCollins
Release date: August 26th, 2008 (Originally published August 28th, 2006 in AUS)
Genre: Contemporary, mystery
Dates read: January 5-10th, 2018

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ /5

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Taylor is leader of the boarders at the Jellicoe School. She has to keep the upper hand in the territory wars and deal with Jonah Griggs – the enigmatic leader of the cadets, and someone she thought she would never see again.

And now Hannah, the person Taylor had come to rely on, has disappeared. Taylor’s only clue is a manuscript about five kids who lived in Jellicoe eighteen years ago. She needs to find out more, but this means confronting her own story, making sense of her strange, recurring dream, and finding her mother – who abandoned her on the Jellicoe Road.

The moving, joyous and brilliantly compelling new novel from the best-selling, multi-award-winning author of Looking for Alibrandi and Saving Francesca.

This was a buddy read with Heather from bookstrustandpixiedust, and you can check out her review right here! Thanks for reading with me, Heather!

Review (with mild spoilers):

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