By the Book Review

Mary Porter-Malcolm has prepared for high school in the one way she knows how: an extensive review of classic literature to help navigate the friendships, romantic liaisons, and overall drama she has come to expect from such an “esteemed” institution. When some new friends seem in danger of falling for the same tricks employed since the days of Austen and Tolstoy, Mary swoops in to create the Scoundrel Survival Guide, using archetypes of literature’s debonair bad boys to signal red flags. But despite her best efforts, she soon finds herself unable to listen to her own good advice and falling for a supposed cad—the same one she warned her friends away from. Without a convenient rain-swept moor to flee to, Mary is forced to admit that real life doesn’t follow the same rules as fiction and that if she wants a happy ending, she’s going to have to write it herself. 

My Review

I checked this book out from the library. It took me a while to read because a thing called life and sleep demands me! The whole story was very interesting. It takes a different spin on high school with Mary’s knowledge of books to create Scoundrel Survival Guide. The plot builds up and then during the Winter Formal things fall apart for Mary where I felt for her. All the characters in the book are real people. They all had unique characteristics and some were friendly. I love the interaction with all the characters too.

Since the story takes place in high school, there will be high school things such as friendship, finding out who you are and dating. There is some drama but it is not overly done. I think it’s relatable. I love how Mary’s family has trivia night!

There was this one quote that I have to share from the book that was so good. “I shook my head. “”The part about chemistry. Spark. Finding someone you actually like, who’s also sensible dating option. A nice, safe romantic object…person.“”

SIGHS

The ending of the book is really nice too. Check it out if you are looking for something different and cute to read that takes place in a high school setting.

How Not to Fall in Love Review

Summary:
Harper works in her mom’s wedding shop, altering dresses for petulant and picky brides who are more focused on hemlines than love. After years of watching squabbles break out over wedding plans, Harper thinks romance is a marketing tool. Nothing more. Her best friend Theo is her opposite. One date and he’s already dreaming of happily-ever-afters. He also plays the accordion, makes chain mail for Ren Festers, hangs out in a windmill-shaped tree house, cries over rom-coms, and takes his word-of-the-day calendar very seriously.
 
When Theo’s shocked to find himself nursing his umpteenth heartbreak, Harper offers to teach him how not to fall in love. Theo agrees to the lessons, as long as Harper proves she can date without falling in love. As the lessons progress and Theo takes them to heart, Harper has a harder time upholding her end of the bargain. She’s also checking out her window to see if Theo’s home from his latest date yet. She’s even watching rom-coms. If she confesses her feelings, she’ll undermine everything she’s taught him. Or was he the one teaching her?

I received an e-arc from Netgalley and HMH Books for Young Readers for an honest review! So here it is!!

My Review
I received this story as an e-arc. Oh my gosh! I could not stop reading it. I did have some issues trying to download it. Luckily I did get some help from Netgalley! Thank you.

Back to the story – I love all the names in this book for the characters. The beginning of the book hooked my attention and kept going throughout the entire story. When I kept reading on so many interesting things were happening with Harper. I loved the fact she helped her mom out and that their relationship was pretty interesting.

I had a hunch that this book would be up my alley to read and it was.

I can see how some people might see this book as a triangle love story but to me it seemed more about Harper’s sense on love and how to figure out how love works in a relationship. She learns how to cope with those feelings. I also believe these same concepts go to Theo. The story focuses on Harper as the main character and I think Theo would be the second main character. Felix, Pippa, Harper’s mother and Theo’s family also come into play which is great.

Such a sweet novel with friendship and love! I really liked it.

So if you are looking for something sweet, fast paced, coming of age of what love is, friendship and a geek like me who likes great endings, then you need to read it.

(Sorry if this is review is a bit different than my usual ones but I just loved the whole book!)

Some things that I liked:

Harper helping her mother out at the bridal shop

Communication between Harper and her mom about birth control

Loved Theo’s creativity of stories and LARPing

Harper and Theo sharing a tent

Treehouse

Kissing

Harper and Theo share and help each other with SAT/ACT vocabulary. There were some words I did not even know.

Love that Theo plays the accordian

Funko Pop is mentioned

Harper finding out who she is and what love it

Theo finding out who he is

Pippa’s description

The ending!

Review: It Sounded Better in my Head

Summary:

When her parents announce their impending divorce, Natalie can’t understand why no one is fighting, or at least mildly upset. Then Zach and Lucy, her two best friends, hook up, leaving her feeling slightly miffed and decidedly awkward. She’d always imagined she would end up with Zach one day―in the version of her life that played out like a TV show, with just the right amount of banter, pining, and meaningful looks.

Now everything has changed, and nothing is quite making sense. And then, an unexpected romance with Zach’s older brother comes along and shakes things up even further…

My Review:

This book was great! I managed to finish this book in a day and it was checked out from the library. The cover is so cute.

I could identify with the main character Natalie regarding to having acne. I did have it in high school and was so worried about it. Natalie does go on about what she tried and how she felt about acne. She was even teased by it in the story. I felt bad for her and it may have had her self esteem be a little low. She’s in her last year of high school and is ready for a new adventure. I think all high schoolers want to do that. I know I did!

Natalie isn’t that social but she has two best friends: Zach and Lucy. She is totally fine with hanging out with them. I think having one or two best friends is a great thing to have. I can relate to Natalie about this. She did think at one time that Zach would be her boyfriend but that eventually disappeared. While she hangs out with her friends, she has a crush on Zach’s brother’s friend : Owen. So she gives it a shot to go to the party that Owen invited her. Well she was excited and nervous! Once she arrives, it doesn’t go the way she thinks it does but Alex is there. This is a typical high school party. It did included drinking and people partying.

Somehow Natalie’s feelings begin to fall towards Alex in liking him a lot. They connect on a real level. I really liked that. Alex is a good guy and is trying his best to be successful. He feels like he has to prove to be good for his parents. Natalie does comfort him which is great. While she is connecting with Alex, she is also trying to figure what happens after high school, her relationship with her friends and her parents getting divorced. There is so much going on for her. Does everything work out at the end?

A great story with reality and heartfelt moments! If you are looking for something that is fast paced, this would be it. I would read more from this author. Check it out.

Review: The Code for Love and Heartbreak

Summary:

When math genius Emma and her coding club co-president, George, are tasked with brainstorming a new project, The Code for Love is born.

George disapproves of Emma’s idea of creating a matchmaking app, accusing her of meddling in people’s lives. But all the happy new couples at school are proof that the app works. At least at first.

Emma’s code is flawless. So why is it that perfectly matched couples start breaking up, the wrong people keep falling for each other, and Emma’s own feelings defy any algorithm?

Review:

This book took me a few days to read while juggling with a few other things on my plate. Hey life huh? Anyways, back to the book. I really liked Emma. Emma is a teen who is totally focused on school studies and her coding. She loves to code and thinks it is the best thing. She believes school is important and that love and dating isn’t that important as school. She also tends to be an introvert, she really doesn’t want to go socialize. Will these concepts stay the same for her?

Since she’s in the coding club, she springs up an idea and it seems to go well. George her good friend has some thoughts on this idea related to matching love. What could possibly go right or wrong?

During the story Emma begins to think on things. She learns things such as friends fight and forgive when needed, family is important and that love happens in different ways not just by math. She learns to open herself up a bit which tells me that she is going through the rite of growing up. (Heck you still learn and grow later in life too!!). Sometimes you find a friend that can turn into something more. It is possible!

I thought the story was lovely, cute, respectful, had a nice take on high school and it gave me a sense of what’s important in life. I did read this book rather quickly because I wanted to know what was going to happen next for Emma. I thought the ending was nicely wrapped up. I do keep seeing that this book is suppose to be a retell of “Emma” but to me it could be a combination of that and modern day. I think the author did her own thing which was great!

If you are looking for a quick, sweet and fun book that falls into the world of teens, then give it a shot.

Just to let you know: there is a tiny bit of bullying and a scare of health issues.

Five Ways to Fall Out of Love Review

  • Author: Emily Martin
  • Grade Level : 7 – 9
  • Hardcover : 336 pages
  • Date: March 16, 2021
  • Publisher : Inkyard Press
  • Social Media: Twitter Instagram

I received a free E-Arc for an honest review from the publisher and Netgalley.

Summary:
Aubrey Cash learned the hard way not to rely on love. After all, Webster Casey, the new boy next door she’d been falling for all summer, stood her up at homecoming in front of everyone with no explanation. Proving her theory that love never lasts seems easy when she’s faced with parents whose marriage is falling apart and a best friend who thinks every boy she dates is “the one.” But when sparks fly with a boy who turns out to be Webster’s cousin, and then Webster himself becomes her lab partner for the rest of senior year, Aubrey finds her theory—and her commitment to stay single—put to the test.

As she navigates the breakdown of her family, the consequences her cynicism has on her relationship with her best friend, and her own confusing but undeniable feelings for Webster, Aubrey has to ask herself: What really happened the night Webster stood her up? And if there are five ways to fall out of love…could there perhaps be even more ways to fall back in?

My Review:
This story took me back to high school for a bit. Down memory lane I go but sadly I did not date when I was in high school. Being a teenager isn’t always easy. Anyways, Aubrey is trying to figure out how love relationships works. She sees struggles with her parents which I think makes her guess if is even possible to happen for her.

Aubrey becomes friends with Webster who is new. I wished the author put a bit more of that relationship in the beginning before the story went on on how Webster just kinda of did not click with her anymore. So there are ups and downs with Aubrey and Webster. I don’t know if the characters did not know what to do or if they were trying to figure stuff out. High school times, everyone is figuring stuff out and hormones!! Some people know while others even when they are an adult are still trying to figure it out. Anyways, I did like how Webster and Aubrey click at various times. They both liked to talk about baking, sweets and pies which showed they had a common interest. I thought that was pretty cool.

Now when Aubrey is with Webster’s cousin, Holland seemed like a perfect relationship but to me it was missing the spark. I did love the conversation between the two though. Even their love for dogs was a nice touch!

Aubrey and her friend Reese friendship was enjoyable. I loved how the two talked about a variety of things. It was really nice. And of course in the relationship there are ups and downs but in the end these two are really good friends.

The story covers friendship, love, high school, and family relationships. All these are related to every day life! I think the story was cute teen read. I have a bit of mixed emotions on it because the story just seemed a tiny bit all over the place. The one focus that stayed with me was relationships which I could understand. I did rushed into the pages at the end because I wanted to know what was going to happen and I was pretty much satisfied with the ending!

Just to give you heads up there is a bit of sexual actions going on in the book.


Update Reading

Fall is coming….
The leaves are starting to change colors here.
Anyone else seeing that?

My reading has been up and down lately due to life! I have been getting some E-Arc’s on Netgalley and trying to keep up with that along with the library books that I have checked out. Plus my brain is thinking of one gazillion things….anyone else have this problem?

Perhaps I need to set up a schedule…hrmms…but sometimes doing that life throws you curveballs. I guess I’ll do the best I can. So here is the update of my world of reading.

Finished this E-Arc book….
I posted a review on it earlier. Go look.

Currently Reading….E-Arc Book
So far so good..
I am enjoying this but I need time to sit down to read.

Library books on my table eyeing me to read me at the same time!

I spy Teen Books

I spy Teen Books!!
Check them out to see if any spark your interest!
I think all of them look like great stories to read!

When her parents announce their impending divorce, Natalie can’t understand why no one is fighting, or at least mildly upset. Then Zach and Lucy, her two best friends, hook up, leaving her feeling slightly miffed and decidedly awkward. She’d always imagined she would end up with Zach one day―in the version of her life that played out like a TV show, with just the right amount of banter, pining, and meaningful looks. Now everything has changed, and nothing is quite making sense. Until an unexpected romance comes along and shakes things up even further.

Seventeen is nothing like Codi Teller imagined.

She’s never crashed a party, never stayed out too late. She’s never even been kissed. And it’s not just because she’s gay. It’s because she and her two best friends, Maritza and JaKory, spend more time in her basement watching Netflix than engaging with the outside world.

So when Maritza and JaKory suggest crashing a party, Codi is highly skeptical. Those parties aren’t for kids like them. They’re for cool kids. Straight kids.

But then Codi stumbles upon one of those cool kids, Ricky, kissing another boy in the dark, and an unexpected friendship is formed. In return for never talking about that kiss, Ricky takes Codi under his wing and draws her into a wild summer filled with late nights, new experiences, and one really cute girl named Lydia. The only problem? Codi never tells Maritza or JaKory about any of it.

If you could live your life again, what would you do differently?

After a near-fatal family catastrophe and an unexpected romantic upheaval, Adelaide Buchwald finds herself catapulted into a summer of wild possibility, during which she will fall in and out of love a thousand times–while finally confronting the secrets she keeps, her ideas about love, and the weird grandiosity of the human mind.

A raw, funny story that will surprise you over and over, Again Again gives us an indelible heroine grappling with the terrible and wonderful problem of loving other people.

Shoshanna Greenberg loves working at Once Upon, her favorite local bookstore. And with her moms fighting at home and her beloved car teetering on the brink of death, the store has become a welcome escape.

When her boss announces a holiday bonus to the person who sells the most books, Shoshanna sees an opportunity to at least fix her car, if none of her other problems. The only person standing in her way? New hire Jake Kaplan.

Jake is an affront to everything Shoshanna stands for. He doesn’t even read! But somehow his sales start to rival hers. Jake may be cute (really cute), and he may be an eligible Jewish single (hard to find south of Atlanta), but he’s also the enemy, and Shoshanna is ready to take him down.

But as the competition intensifies, Jake and Shoshanna grow closer and realize they might be more on the same page than either expects…

Meet Rico: high school senior and afternoon-shift cashier at the Gas ‘n’ Go, who after school and work races home to take care of her younger brother. Every. Single. Day. When Rico sells a jackpot-winning lotto ticket, she thinks maybe her luck will finally change, but only if she–with some assistance from her popular and wildly rich classmate Zan–can find the ticket holder who hasn’t claimed the prize. But what happens when have and have-nots collide? Will this investigative duo unite…or divide?

A broken world.
An overwhelming evil.
A team of warriors ready to strike back.

#1 New York Times-bestselling author Marie Lu is back with an adrenaline-laced novel about the lengths one warrior will go to fight for freedom and those she loves.

Talin is a Striker, a member of an elite fighting force that stands as the last defense for the only free nation in the world: Mara.

A refugee, Talin knows firsthand the horrors of the Federation, a world-dominating war machine responsible for destroying nation after nation with its terrifying army of mutant beasts known only as Ghosts.

But when a mysterious prisoner is brought from the front to Mara’s capital, Talin senses there’s more to him than meets the eye. Is he a spy from the Federation? What secrets is he hiding?

Only one thing is clear: Talin is ready to fight to the death alongside her fellow Strikers for the only homeland she has left . . . with or without the boy who might just be the weapon to save―or destroy―them all.

Loyalty is life.

Midnight Sun Review

  • Author: Stephenie Meyer
  • Hardcover : 672 pages
  • Date: August 4, 2020
  • Publisher : Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

    Summary:
    When Edward Cullen and Bella Swan met in Twilight, an iconic love story was born. But until now, fans have heard only Bella’s side of the story. At last, readers can experience Edward’s version in the long-awaited companion novel, Midnight Sun.

    This unforgettable tale as told through Edward’s eyes takes on a new and decidedly dark twist. Meeting Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing event he has experienced in all his years as a vampire. As we learn more fascinating details about Edward’s past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle of his life. How can he justify following his heart if it means leading Bella into danger?

    In Midnight Sun, Stephenie Meyer transports us back to a world that has captivated millions of readers and brings us an epic novel about the profound pleasures and devastating consequences of immortal love.

    My Review:
    The story took me down memory lane of reading Twlight back in the day. I did rush out to grab the books and waited for each one to arrive! Anyways, it was interesting to see Edward’s thoughts and perspective of meeting and connecting Bella. Wile I was reading it, the vibe gave me a sense of Louis from Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire. The emotions of dealing with the hunger, guilt and wrestling with emotions. To me the writing from Meyer and Rice felt parallel to each other just a bit. I think this shows Edward’s darker side that he battles with his darkness. There was so much more drama, emotions, personality and flirting between Edward and Isabella. Even the cute moments between Edward and Isabella was thrilling. I think this book just takes you down memory lane and the writing is just so rich. I can’t explain it. So if you are fan of Twilight, pick this book up and read it. I am glad that I purchased this book. This book is going to hang out with the other books.

Echoes Between Us

ECHOES

Veronica sees ghosts―more specifically, her mother’s ghost, thanks to the blinding migraines that consume her whole life and keep Veronica on the fringes. But the haunting afterimages make her wonder if there is something more going on….

Golden boy Sawyer is handsome and popular, a state champion swimmer, but this All-American is hiding an adrenaline addiction that could kill him. Drawn to each other after a chance meeting, can they help each other battle the demons that haunt their every step or will they push their luck too far and risk losing it all…including their lives?

My Thoughts:
I can’t recall where I saw this book in the first place. Let me try to think, maybe I saw it from another blog or it was on instagram? Anyways,  I was at my local library trying to find a book to read.  I decided to bring up my list on goodreads.  The book cover immediately popped up.  Next up was to find it the library catalog and luckily they had it.  Next step was to the shelves to grab this beauty.   I managed to get this book before the stay home went into effect.

I thought this book was going all about ghosts and teenagers but I was wrong.  There is more to the story than meets the cover!

There are two main characters: Sawyer and Veronica.  Sawyer is seen as the good guy who has everything.  Veronica is seen as the weirdo girl.   Will they connect?   At first Sawyer and Veronica are wrapped up in their own worlds.  Each of them are struggling with things and yet neither one of them knows.  This part of the story made me think that everyone is struggling somehow.

Eventually when Sawyer and Veronica connect, it is awesome.  I love how they connect and talk with each other. It is like they almost understand each other.   I can’t explain it. Perhaps they bring the best out of each other and that’s how relationships should be.  I just think it is awesome.   They also eventually tell each other their struggles which made them realize that they are helping themselves and each other.   Once their struggles are told to each other, they had to deal with their parents also.  That was the next step.  Will they survive it?

I loved the line on page 129 : “For lions, and tigers and bears? Sure.”  This reminded me of the part in the “Wizard of Oz” when Dorothy and her friends were scared and yet they had each other to lean on.  I believe the author may have used that line to demonstrated  the same feeling towards Sawyer and Veronica.

Another thing I want to point out is that on page 110 Sawyer mentions of  having an “IEP” which is  I thought was nice to see since most stories that I have read have not mentioned about that.  Sawyer has dyslexia so that was why he has an IEP and he tells Veronica this.   If you do not know what an IEP — it stands for Individualized Educational Plan.  IEP is a plan or program developed to ensure that a child who has a disability identified under the law and is attending an elementary or secondary educational institution receives specialized instruction and related services.

I do want to mention that Sawyer ends up with a diary from a girl named Evelyn who had TB in the 1900s.  The diary just pops up to him.  It makes me wonder if a ghost did that or was it just destiny.   The snippets of the diary is mentioned in the story which was pretty cool to read and learn a bit of history.   The story also made me wonder if the diary was haunted.   Could  that be possible?

I  could not get enough of this story.   Fate, life, recovering, romance, ghosts and many more themes just made this story amazing.   The cover is stunning.  It catches your eye and the font is sticking out.  It’s almost like art!   Then again I think of every book that I pick out has an amazing cover.  That draws me towards a book along with the summary of the story.   Hope you like the short review and that you will check it out too.