the girls

Written by: Emma Cline
Rating: 2 / 5 stars

Summary: Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence, and to that moment in a girl’s life when everything can go horribly wrong.

Continue reading “THE GIRLS”




Written by: Liane Moriarty
Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Summary: The story follows three women, each at a crossroads. Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, Celeste and her husband are looking set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay. Single mom Jane, new to town, is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

Continue reading “BIG LITTLE LIES”

WWW Wednesday // 3.8.17


Hey, y’all! Sorry I’ve been a little sparse with the book reviews lately, but life happens, and reading is (unfortunately) not always my #1 priority. To alleviate my time between reviews, I decided I’m going to jump on the meme train! WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @Taking On A World Of Words, where I have to answer three simple questions: what am I currently reading, what I have recently read, and what I want to read soon. I did this for the first time last week and really enjoy this meme, as I am always reading multiple books at once and queueing my next choices right on my nightstand. So, here we go!

What am I currently reading?

crooked kingdom   outlander   sabriel

  • Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo: I loved the first installment in this series, as I did Bardugo’s previous Grisha Trilogy series. Pretty much right after I set down Six of Crows, I vehemently searched to see which library was the closest to me and had a copy of the book available. The one right by my house had it, which I believe to be pure destiny. I am excited to see how Kaz’s Dreg crew figures out how to save their missing member and their money at the same time.
  • Outlander (Outlander #1) by Diana Gabaldon: Good historical fiction is the bane of my existence – and by bane, I mean its biggest blessing. I’ve had multiple people recommend this book to me, although I am definitely beginning to see the beginning of what others don’t like about it: mentions into domestic abuse. So, definitely be warned if that triggers you; I am willing to keep reading the book to see if that improves, and because Gabaldon is an incredibly talented writer who transports the reader with Claire to the Scottish Highlands.
  • Sabriel (Abhorsen #1) by Garth Nix: This is another YA fantasy novel series that I’ve had people recommending to me left and right, and I’ve just never had enough drive to pick it up. My understanding is that it is about a girl descended from a powerful sorcerer who can help prevent ghosts from haunting this world, but who struggles with her powers especially as her father and mentor disappear. I’m only about three chapters in and I’m already kind of lost, as it seems to be a complex new world and I’ve received little to no explanation of what’s going on. I hope this improves throughout the story.

What did I recently finish reading?

the rose society   when the night comes   cress

  • The Rose Society (The Young Elites #2) by Marie Lu: Okay, so disclaimer – I don’t like Adelina, nor have I ever, and I think that really hurts the rating of this book since most of the book was just following her around and being angsty bordering on psychotic. I really learned to love the Daggers in the first book, and they’re basically never mentioned in this book; even the new characters in this novel are rarely mentioned, with the story focusing on Adelina almost the entire time. The plot seemed to take longer than it needed to, while the battle at the end seemed too rushed and easy. All of the humor and joy and strength that I liked about the first book is completely lost in the unnecessary darkness of the second. Considering how much I loved its predecessor, I was extremely let down by this book. Rating: 3 / 5 stars, review coming soon.
  • When the Night Comes by Favel Parrett: This is another book that I had to read and evaluate for potential use in the University of Florida’s 2017 Common Reading Program for first year students and faculty. When I finished reading this book and met with the rest of the group, I automatically said no, absolutely not. Although Parrett’s style of writing is interesting, as it sometimes almost comes across as poetry, I’m still not really sure what this book is supposed to be about. The back makes me believe that the main character, Isla, is going to suffer some loss or face some turning point in her life… but I don’t think that ever really happens? I honestly am still confused. Rating: 1.5/5 stars, review coming soon.
  • Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer: This is still one of my favorite series to date, because it is a truly unique idea. Although retelling fairytales isn’t anything new, the world that Meyer creates by the addition of the Lunar aliens and the combination of the different fairytales is incredibly interesting. Additionally, Meyer’s stories are fast-paced and entertaining on every page; there is humor and heartbreak, battle scenes and lengthy dialogues, and always the question of who is actually on the right side of things. Cress is a continuation of this and I love Cress as a character; I think she might actually be my favorite character out of the three heroines we’ve met so far, but we’ll have to see where Winter takes all of them next. Rating: 4/5 stars, review coming soon.

What do I think I’ll read next?

book of life   passenger   the man in the high castle

  • The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3) by Deborah Harkness: This is a series that although it started off a little rough and I definitely still have some large transgressions with it, I’ve grown to love it in a very begrudging manner. This is the finale to a series in which a powerful witch named Diana works alongside vampires (including her husband), demons, and humans alike to determine the origin of the supernatural beings and find out why they seem to be decreasing in number. I’m butchering the explanation of this, but the plot line is only part of this book; Harkness is an incredible writer and is immensely intelligent, so her books are a bit of a more challenging but entertaining read than most.
  • Passenger (Passenger #1) by Alexandra Bracken: This is one of those books I’ve been seeing all over the Internet in the last year or so, and I decided to give it a try. Also, it sounds incredibly sic-fi, which is my kind of thing. After tragedy strikes, Etta finds herself transported from the world she knows into a different one, forced across time and space to find a long-lost object at the behest of a family she’s never known. This sounds so incredibly interesting and promising, and I am very excited to start this book and check it out.
  • The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick: This book has been at the tippy-top of my reading list ever since Amazon started a TV series based off of it more than a year ago, but it has continuously been pushed back down by other books. I’ve been in a historical fiction kick, especially alternative history fiction, recently, so this seemed perfect to finally pick it up.  I’m incredibly excited as my minor in school is in history and World War II specifically, so to see the aftermath of a world in which the Axis Powers won instead of the Allies is interesting indeed.

WWW Wednesday: 3.1.17


Hey, y’all! Sorry I’ve been a little sparse with the book reviews lately, but life happens, and reading is (unfortunately) not always my #1 priority. To alleviate my time between reviews, I decided I’m going to jump on the meme train! WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @Taking On A World Of Words, where I have to answer three simple questions: what am I currently reading, what I have recently read, and what I want to read soon. I did this for the first time last week and really enjoy this meme, as I am always reading multiple books at once and queueing my next choices right on my nightstand. So, here we go!

What am I currently reading?

kings-cage   jane-eyre   american-gods

  • King’s Cage (Red Queen #3) by Victoria Aveyard: The next installment of Mare Barrow’s adventure is finally here! This YA series takes place in a country called Norta, where people with “silver blood” and powers rule over those with red blood, who are believed to have no powers. Mare is a Red herself, but she has the powers of a Silver that wind her up in a lot of trouble that I will not go into too much detail about in fear of spoilers. I’ve reviewed the two previous novels in the series (Red Queen (#1) and Glass Sword (#2)), and although the second book was kind of a letdown from the first (which I loved), I’m hoping that Aveyard picks up the pace again in this third book.
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: So, sadly, my love for classic literature started a little late in my life, and now I’m playing catch up. While many people read this book back in high school for one class or another, I was reading war novel after war novel after war novel mixed with a little Shakespeare, and although I’m not complaining, I wish we had delved a little more into the classics. I was re-reading The Princess Diaries a few weeks back and fifteen-year-old Mia goes off about how much she loved Jane Eyre, so I figured that was as good a place to start as any. I’m only 100 pages in, but I’m here for the long haul.
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman: If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times – I will spend so much money on books with modern day retellings of mythological stories, and American Gods was promised to me as kind of/sort of that. My AP Literature teacher from high school who I still keep in contact with all but threw this book at me, saying I would love it and even buying a copy for me for high school graduation that I totally forgot I even had until I bothered to move my bookshelf over winter break. Despite my slowness in getting to it (and forgetting about it), I am very excited to read it! Also, they’re making it into a TV show which looks fantastic, so of course I have to read the book first.

What did I recently finish reading?

big-little-lies   bend-not-break   six-of-crows

  • Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty: Well, color me surprised. This was a book that I had written off as a hyped-up novel due to suburban mom book clubs, but I finally picked it up once they made it into a HBO show with the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Alexander Skarsgard, and Adam Scott. Although 9 times out of 10 I despise the movie/show that arises from a book, nothing gets me to read the book faster than announcing there’s going to be some sort of adaptation of it. But Big Little Lies was more than I had expected it to be. Although not overwhelmingly creative or well written, it was an easy read that took me no time at all considering it’s 450 pages, and she kept me invested and guessing all the way throughout and up until the end – and that is a feat. 4/5 stars, full review coming soon.
  • Bend, Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds by Ping Fu: I received this autobiography to judge for the University of Florida’s Common Reading Program 2017. I’ve been trying to read more non-fiction books recently, and thought that this would be a good choice; however, I was immensely disappointed when I rolled onto Goodreads and saw that Ping Fu, the author of the book, had largely fabricated her own story, exaggerating and lying about different aspects of her story. Even if what she had said was true, Fu tended to sound like she was bragging about rather than sharing her story, even adopting a condescending tone when trying to discuss the advanced world of 3D printing technology to the reader. 1/5 stars, review not even worth it; was red listed for CRP choice.
  • Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo: I have loved Leigh Bardugo ever since I picked up her Grisha trilogy almost three years ago now. The world that she has created – with the Shu, Ravkans, Kerch, Fjerdans, and more – is a twist on a trope in which a select portion of the population has powers, but she does it so beautifully that it doesn’t even seem cliche. I was nervous about her adding to the same world, as Six of Crows runs parallel rather than perpendicular to the original Grisha trilogy – but that was for nothing. Six of Crows was like Ocean’s Twelve taking place in the world of the Grisha – and I loved every second of it. Additionally, there is no love triangle in this book either (*sounds of angels singing from heaven*), but it does suffer from what I call “convenient love” – where there are six of them, and all of them are nearly paired up by the end of the novel. All in all, it really was an incredible book and only received a 4.5 / 5  because I couldn’t quite get into it at the start. 4.5 / 5 stars, review coming soon.

What do I think I’ll read next?

the-shift   heir-of-fire   born-a-crime

  • The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients’s Lives by Theresa Brown: So, obviously this one is for school (#StudentNurseLife), but I am interested to see what stories she feels so inclined to share during this book. Theresa Brown is an RN (Registered Nurse) who after becoming a mother, left the world of English academia behind to become a nurse. She’s written two books about her time as a critical care/palliative/oncology nurse, and this is her second book. We’re required to read it for class to understand how much can happen in one shift, and how even the most mundane things can greatly affect our patients’ lives. I’m actually weirdly excited to start it.
  • Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas: It’s not that I’m having a hard time getting through the Throne of Glass series or anything, but I just can’t seem to quite get super invested in it. I think that the premise of the story is creative and enticing, but Maas’ execution in telling it doesn’t quite seem to match. I think she took a dip in the second book with her quality of writing as well, so I’m really hoping she gets herself out of the rut in the third installment of the series.
  • Born a Crime by Trevor Noah: I LOVE Trevor Noah. He’s basically one of my favorite human beings of the moment, and the only good thing that has come out of Trump getting elected besides hilarious SNL skits is my continuing love, respect, and admiration for Trevor Noah. I had the opportunity to see him come do a show and talk at my university last year, and it’s still one of my favorite college memories. I was a little wary of him replacing Jon Stewart, who I almost three years ago now and who was genuinely so funny and brilliant right off the bat, but Noah himself is the same way and more. This autobiography is about how he was born, half-white and half-black in apartheid South Africa, which, as the title would suggest, is a crime. I am super excited to finish reading it to allow for my respect for him to only continue to grow.



Written by: Yaa Gyasi
Review: 5 / 5 stars

Summary: Effia and Esi are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.

Continue reading “HOMEGOING”