All Things Bookish | Review | Solitaire

“I think you should know that I make up a lot of stuff up in my head and then get sad about it. I like to sleep and I like to blog. I am going to die someday.” 

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Title: Solitaire

Author: Alice Oseman

Publisher: Harper Collins Children’s Books UK

Genre: Contemporary / Romance/ Young Adult

Page number: 392

 

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

In case you’re wondering, this is not a love story.

My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that’s all over now.

Now there’s Solitaire. And Michael Holden.

I don’t know what Solitaire are trying to do, and I don’t care about Michael Holden.

I really don’t.


[2/5]

You know that feeling when you really want to like a book, but you just…don’t?

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I should start off by saying that one of the worst things that could exist in a book is an annoying main character – and that, sadly, is exactly what Tori is. She’s selfish, unnecessarily rude, and trying way too hard to get pity from the reader. She has a mental illness which is never directly mentioned throughout the whole novel, and I don’t know how the reader is supposed to magically know what it is. Sure, some may recognise the symptoms (although other reviewers have pointed out that they are hardly that) but authors need to understand that readers aren’t walking encyclopedias. We can’t always guess if a character has a mental illness, or what it is, especially if our experience with it is minimal. I once read a book where the main character was supposed to be bipolar, but that was hardly ever mentioned and I didn’t find out he was until I read others’ reviews about it. That hardly counts as representation.

Speaking of representation…there is a disorder that is mentioned, except it’s made fun of.

Tori actually makes fun of an anorexic girl because she sees her reading The Hunger Games. I can’t tell you how disgusted I was. We’re supposed to feel ‘sorry’ for Tori because, “Oh, poor girl, she’s so broken she can’t even smile anymore,” but excuse her when she makes these judgmental comments? She goes around criticising everyone for the most ridiculous reasons like going to parties or wearing a certain type of clothing. She’s supposed to be suffering from low self-esteem, but she acts like a self-absorbed queen bee.

As if that weren’t enough self-contradiction, a few chapters into the novel we are introduced to Lucas, Tori’s childhood best friend whom she hadn’t seen in years. She expresses happiness upon seeing him, and the will to catch up and become good ol’ buddies again.

And then she proceeds to ignore him and snap at him for the rest of the book.

And poor Lucas is never anything but nice! He never insults her, and in fact always seems especially shy around her, and Tori can see this – but she decides to be spiteful towards him and put him down just because! Wow, why is Tori not my favourite character again?

Don’t ask me about Michael, because I seriously have no clue what I’m supposed to think of him. He was interesting at first, until he became annoying too, especially when I couldn’t even make out what type of person he’s supposed to be.

And then there’s Solitaire.

In the book, Solitaire is supposed to be this top-secret group that brings ‘justice’ to teenagers (or something like that.) They’re oh-so-feared because they can play music on speakers without the school’s permission and hack the computers in the computer lab to have them type out a message in MS Word. (Also, uh…don’t schools networks have, like, firewalls or something?)

Am I the only one who found them extremely childish? And when the perpetrators were finally revealed, it just felt like an even bigger joke. And don’t even get me started on their final act. It just made all teenagers seem like immature delinquents who want to “get revenge” on society because of the “faulty education system”. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of education systems are messed up, and I’d love to see some change going on, but please tell me how Solitaire’s act was supposed to fix that.

I don’t think these characters realise how privileged they are. They seem to complain about everything (*cough* Tori and Michael *cough*). The teenagers in this book think they’re above all, that they’re doing everything right, that they’re so deep and real we should be idolising them. It’s sickening.

I think the main reason I stuck with this book was for Nick and Charlie. Now if the book was about them, that would’ve been awesome, because I felt like they really had a story to tell. (I know there’s a comic and a novella about them, but that’s besides the point.)

So, in a nutshell: haughty main character, ridiculous love interest, poor representation. Oh, and the fact that every teenager absolutely loathes school and wants to tear it down brick by brick.

That sounds accurate.

Have you read Solitaire? What are your thoughts?

Stay creative,

Angel

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All Things Bookish | Review | Dear Martin

“You ever consider that maybe you not supposed to ‘fit’? People who make history rarely do.”

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Title: Dear Martin

Author: Nic Stone

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers

Genre: Contemporary / Young Adult / Race / Social Movements

Page number: 210

 

 

Synposis (from Goodreads)

Raw, captivating, and undeniably real, Nic Stone joins industry giants Jason Reynolds and Walter Dean Myers as she boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning debut.

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.


[3.5/5]

Dear Martin is a much-needed novel in everyone’s lives.

I’m actually in awe at how a mere 210 pages could have such a huge impact on me – this book is definitely a must-read because it keeps things real, and highlights the problem like it is.

Yeah, the writing isn’t the best; I wasn’t a fan of the dialogue-style writing that randomly pops up. And it does feel fast-paced.

But guys, this book is important. It will show you how easily police officers can abuse their power, how distorted the mindset of American teens can be, and how corrupted the justice system actually is. I’m glad that we follow this story from Justyce’s point of view, and not anyone else’s – he’s a smart kid with a lot to fear solely because of the colour of his skin. He’s conscious of all the discrimination that goes on around him, no matter how subtle or well-hidden it may be. Honestly? I applaud him for being able to stand in the same room with people like Jared. I had to refrain myself from punching the book every time a racist comment was thrown across the room.

I personally feel like the characters in this book are what really makes it shine. Sure, they all seem to be either righteous or evil at the start, but there is some phenomenal development that goes on later during the book – especially when you think about Manny and Sarah-Jane and Jared. Every character contributes into the story, every character has their own say in what happens. Watching Justyce battle through all that is incredibly emotional – you just wanna throw yourself into the story and help him. It’s not fair what he has to go through, and the relentless manner in which the court treats him is infuriating – highlighting exactly what goes on in our society today.

One under-appreciated character that I absolutely have to mention is Doc – Justyce’s teacher. The whole time, I felt like he doesn’t actually speak to the characters – he speaks to the readerAll those thought-provoking dilemmas and words of gold definitely help Justyce, but I also feel like they’re meant for the person holding the book. Doc raises such crucial points to keep in mind, and he tells it like it is – stating that yeah, the system is rigged against black people, and it’s extremely difficult to drastically change that, so the next step would be in deciding who Justyce chooses to be in a world plagued with hatred and discrimination.

The world is infuriatingly unfair; Justyce knows that. Stone knows that. Everyone who’s ever lived should know that (and it upsets me when I see that there seem to be a lot of ignorant white people out there.) It’s true that it’ll take a long time for change to happen, but it’s the little things that matter. We have to choose who we are in a world as unforgiving as this one. Dear Martin portrays that excellently.

Have you read Dear Martin? Do you plan to? Let me know!

Stay creative,

Angel

All Things Bookish | Review | The Belles

“Lies are as dangerous as a sword. They can cut to the bone.”

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Title: The Belles

Series: The Belles (#1)

Author: Dhonielle Clayton

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Genre: Fantasy

Page number: 448

Book club read with: The Book Bound Society

 

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision. 

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.


*opens laptop*

*cracks knuckles*

*takes deep breath*

*prepares to type*

How do I, uh, words?

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Seriously, you guys. This book left me entirely speechless.

To be honest, I had no idea what to expect from The Belles when I first started it.

The synopsis really pulled me in, but I also had to remind myself not to give into the hype – incredibly tricky thing, I know.

And even though it has its flaws, we can’t ignore its tragically-realistic concept. I really fell in love with that – a world where everyone is ugly save for a select few? Where beauty keeps changing, and no one is ever satisfied with how they look?

This is a remarkably unique take on beauty standards in our society, really.

I was particularly fascinated by the Belles (as, in the sisters), because every one of them has something different about her. The beauty is diverse. Dark-skinned, light-skinned, curvy, skinny – the whole thing. I was really happy to see that all body types are represented.

Though, I have to mention that there is this one scene involving Edelweiss that I didn’t like, because it seemed to me like she was shaming skinny girls. That’s not okay, you guys. If this was to show a flaw in her character, I understand – but I didn’t really see anyone correct her?

What I love about Camellia is that she sees beauty in everyone. Countless times, she is asked if she thinks someone is beautiful, and always, her answer is yes – I personally think she’s seeing beyond their looks; seeing them as a person. These little things tell us what beauty is truly about.

I wish we could have known more about the lives of Padma, Valerie, and Hana – I was really interested in their characters! Then again, there’s a second installment coming up (…and I’ll have to actually wait for it 😭) so I’m hoping to see more of them!

Want to know a heart-breaking thing about this book? The Gris are all desperate to be beautiful. And when I say that, I mean they will do literally anything to be as beautiful as they could ever imagine – and how upsetting is that? It’s almost like we’re looking at our own world. In fact, none of the Gris even believe it when someone compliments their looks:

“Your nose shape fits well with your face. The heart shape- ”

“You’re so kind.” She pats my hand and gulps down the rest of her tea. “Do they train you all to lie so well?”

“If I could have you rebuild me from the bones out, I’d do that as well. I can tolerate it. I’m strong.” Her eyes glaze over with tears. “I’d do anything to be beautiful.”

Sophia reaches her hand out to me. I take it. She squeezes.

“Make me the most beautiful,” she says, then closes her eyes.

Oh, and did I mention that is physically hurts every time the Gris have their features changed? And yet some of them did things so insane, there had to be laws to govern the minimal size of a waist and the maximum size of breasts.

The writing in this novel is spell-binding. The descriptions are stunning, and the character portrayals felt so real, like I’m watching a movie. This really makes up for the slowed-down plot in the middle. There’s this phase in the book in which nothing really happens, besides minor developments here and there, but like I said, the writing is just so addictive, I couldn’t put it down. The world-building is excellent. Pretty much everything is explained, and I really appreciate how the Belles aren’t overpowered, despite having abilities the rest of the kingdom would kill for.

(Spoiler below!)

However, there’s one thing I’d like to point out: can authors please stop killing off queer characters? There weren’t many of them to begin with – so why was one of the few queer characters in this book killed? It was really upsetting to read that. I mean, imagine reading a book with a character who actually represents you…only for for them to die? Not the best reading experience.

(Spoiler above!)

Overall, this book is a masterpiece, albeit with flaws – I simply can’t wait for the next one.

Also, I have to say this: I LOVE RÉMY. HE’S AMAZING. I THINK I FOUND MYSELF A NEW BOOKISH CRUSH.

Have you read The Belles? Would you like to? Let me know!

Stay creative,

Angel

All Things Bookish | Review | Let’s Talk About Love

“If knowing you’re asexual makes someone see you differently, then they don’t deserve to be in your life.”

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Title: Let’s Talk About Love

Author: Claire Kann

Publisher: Swoon Reads

Genre: Contemporary / Romance / Young Adult

Page number: 304

Book club read with: The Book Bound Society

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting–working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating–no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.

But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).

When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.


Just a heads-up: this review might not make much sense, but uh, this novel had me exploding from happiness, okay?

You don’t read a book like this everyday.

But, really, you should.

What drew me to this book is the synopsis, because guys, a biromantic asexual woman of colour as a main character?!

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2018 is already lookin’ good.

Let’s Talk About Love is a book that will put you on the spot. It will strike down all myths spreading around about asexuality and give you the truth, straightforward and simple:

“Love shouldn’t hinge solely on exposing your physical body to another person. Love was intangible. Universal. It was whatever someone wanted it to be and should be respected as such.”

And while I’m not an ace myself – hence I can’t go into depth about the rep – I really appreciated this. I’ve read reviews by ace people that expressed their love for this book, and that just put a smile on my face!

What I love about Alice is her independence. She comes from a rich family, yet she refuses to accept help from them – she wants to deal with her problems on her own. And although they tire her to no end, she’s determined to carve her own path and find her place in the world. At the same time, she manages to be the bright person she is, smiling her way through life – seriously, this girl deserves a medal. (She’s also obsessed with aesthetics, like yours truly, so that’s an added bonus).

This quote is one of my favourites:

“She didn’t want to be known as Alice the Asexual. She wanted to be Alice who had an (admittedly) unhealthy obsession with all things cute and ate ice cream in the winter and taught all her friends how to make a Soul Train line and, and, and…”

*hugs* I’ll take care of you, Alice. ❤

This might be a minor part of this book, but there’s something about Feenie, Alice’s best friend, that I really adore: she wants to be a stay-at-home mom. 

Nowadays, the media’s feeding us the idea that mothers have to work to be known as “independent” women, but who says a stay-at-home mom isn’t smart and badass too? That’s Feenie. She’s not afraid to pick a fight, is fiercely-loyal, and will drag you to the craziest adventures. Wanting to spend time with your husband and children is not “anti-feminist”.

Speaking of husbands (or to-be husbands, anyway), Ryan is an absolute sweetheart. I love him, and I love how he’s always there for Alice, no matter what. That’s friendship goals right there.

And now we come to Takumi, Alice’s love interest.

For the most part, Takumi is a sweet cinnamon roll who must be protected from all evil. He’s thoughtful, witty, and hilarious. He supports Alice all the way, and his relationship with her is a joy to read.

“‘That’s okay. Everyone has moments when they’re less than their best.’

She bumped his shoulder and smiled. ‘Did you steal that off a Hallmark card?’

‘Don’t insult me, Alice,’ He raised an eyebrow. ‘I can come up with my own cheesy lines without resorting to petty thievery.'”

Such scenes just had me bursting with delight.

But then again…sometimes, Takumi would have these moments which really made me question if he’s really suitable for Alice. At one point, his behaviour when he and Alice are alone is compared to that of a “sly, scavenging hyena”, which really struck me as more repulsive than romantic. He does some things that make me wonder what scale he’d be on my “Creep-Code” – I mean, he once takes pictures of Alice while she’s sleeping. Without her consent. Er, kinda weird, dude. These things aren’t “swoon-worthy”. I’m sort of questioning why Alice is okay with all this.

Moving on to the plot. Yes, it isn’t perfect. Yes, it’s riddled with cliches, but they aren’t the type that I personally find annoying. It’s not the best plot out there, but it’s definitely good enough to keep you reading. I’d say that all the odds stacked against Alice are what really fills the reader with suspense, because we want our precious baby to be happy, okay? Protect Alice with everything you’ve got, kids. And give her food. She’ll love you forever.

Have you read Let’s Talk About LoveWould you like to? Let’s talk about it!

Stay creative,

Angel

All Things Bookish | Review | Flight Season

“Why is it that we don’t want to let the dead be gone?”

[4/5]

(Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review!)

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Title: Flight Season

Author: Marie Marquardt

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Expected publication: 20th February, 2018

Genre: Contemporary / Young Adult / Realistic Fiction

Page number: 352

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Back when they were still strangers, TJ Carvalho witnessed the only moment in Vivi Flannigan’s life when she lost control entirely. Now, TJ can’t seem to erase that moment from his mind, no matter how hard he tries. Vivi doesn’t remember any of it, but she’s determined to leave it far behind. And she will.

But when Vivi returns home from her first year away at college, her big plans and TJ’s ambition to become a nurse land them both on the heart ward of a university hospital, facing them with a long and painful summer together – three months of glorified babysitting for Ángel, the problem patient on the hall. Sure, Ángel may be suffering from a life-threatening heart infection, but that doesn’t make him any less of a pain.

As it turns out, though, Ángel Solís has a thing or two to teach them about all those big plans, and the incredible moments when love gets in their way.


Flight Season is a sweet read, lovingly packaged and wrapped in a soft, velvety, pink bow made of floating hearts and twittering birds.

Yep. It’s that fluffy.

This might be more of a personal opinion, but what drew me into this book from the get-go was the avian trivia sprinkled throughout. It made the book soothing and peaceful to read – I felt like I could connect with something. Plus, Vivi’s take on these beautiful creatures is endearing. A bit silly, but hey, that’s why we love her.

This novel deals with tragic themes excellently, and portrays the characters’ grief towards them in a way that is simply heart-breaking. Vivi’s struggle is a perfect example: she is an absolute mess after her father’s death, and things get even worse when financial problems strike her household. She goes through depression, heartbreak, and disappointment – Marquardt is not afraid to show tragedy like it is, and that’s what makes this story so powerful.

But we aren’t left hanging. Vivi slowly learns how to heal and move on; to make peace with the pain of her past. It’s an emotional journey that demands a lot of hard work from her, and that’s why we can’t help but cheer her on.

The romance in this book is both hilarious and lovable – it’s impossible to not root for TJ and Vivi. I personally loved the gradual and steady pace at which their feelings for each other escalated; there’s no ‘insta-love’ here, and definitely no annoying, prolonged denials. In fact, their ‘denial’ phase is actually really cute! I’d say TJ and Vivi are the perfect example of a love-hate relationship, especially at first. Also, can I just get a round of applause for TJ here? Because honestly, that guy’s respect for women is exactly what this world needs. I really loved the Brazilian rep here, too! (And I may or may not have picked up on some Portuguese swear words.)

Speaking of rep, Ángel is another great example! He’s from Guatemala, and speaks Mam. There are a lot of tidbits about his country and its culture – these bits are possibly the most nostalgic, and my favourite. His point of view is really endearing! Ángel is a lovely, optimistic ray of sunshine who doesn’t let his sickness weigh him down. And while it might seem like he could care less about things, all you have to do is read on to realise that he’s been through a lot. Ángel talks about the saddest aspects of his life in a cool manner, almost as if he’s trying to convince himself that “meh, it’s fine, not a big deal”, but it’s evident to the reader that it matters to him. Very much.

The friendship that develops between Vivi, TJ, and Ángel is probably one of the best in all the contemporaries I’ve read so far. No unnecessary fights or jealousy, no complications just for the sake of stretching out the plot … simply some authentic, genuine friendship between three people – and as unlikely as it seems at first, you know it’s the type that will last for a long time.

In short, this book is a must-read for those of you who love realistic fiction and charming romance. Sure, it has its flaws, but Flight Season is a novel that I won’t be forgetting any time soon.

Have you heard of Flight Season? Would you want to pick it up? Let me know!

Stay creative,

Angel

All Things Bookish | Favourite Bookish Couples

“I mean, love is great, but have you ever worn a shirt straight out of the dryer?”

I’m a sucker for book couples. You better believe that when I ship something, I ship it with my heart and soul. 

So, I was thinking the other day and realised – hey. The couples I tend to fall in love with actually share a lot of similarities! So lo and behold: my favourite bookish couples!

(I mean, I guess they could be any couples, not just bookish, but sshhhh!)

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#5: The ‘Let-Me-Love-You’ Couple

featuring: that one stubborn character who refuses to admit their feelings (JUST SAY IT ALREADY DAMMIT), their S.O who is literally the most precious thing on Earth (protect this child at all costs, you got that?) and that one character who’s just WAITING for them to get together (we all feel you, buddy)

Let-Me-Love-You’s are cute. They’re a delight to read about. They have the sweetest, most meaningful moments.

… But they are also damn frustrating because PERSON B JUST REFUSES TO ADMIT THEIR FEELINGS.

You’ve got Person A, who is either a flirt or just a really sweet cinnamon roll, and they always go out of their way to make Person B smile and laugh and just have a good day in general.

AND THEN YOU HAVE PERSON B, WHO PRETENDS LIKE THEY’RE SO INDIFFERENT ABOUT IT ALL, BECAUSE HOW ELSE WILL AUTHORS TORTURE US???

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Person A: *grins* Happy birthday! *gives gift*

Person B: …

Person B: …

Person B: I DON’T EVEN LIKE THIS COLOUR SO –

*later, at home*

Person B: *hugs the gift to sleep*

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STOP DENYING IT PERSON B. WE ALL KNOW YOU SECRETLY LOVE THEM, JUST ADMIT IT ALREADY.

‘Let-Me-Love-You’ Couple: Solangelo (Will Solace + Nico di Angelo), The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan

(These two are my babies and I will FIGHT YOU IF YOU HURT THEM.)

#4: The ‘Oh-Crap-I’m-Falling-In-Love-With-My-Best-Friend’ Couple

featuring: inside jokes (that almost always turn into adorable flirting), blackmail (those embarrassing moments they had in the past, ya know?), and occasional friend-zoning (*pats* it’s okay, they’ll notice you eventually … eventually … )

Here’s the thing about best-friends-turned-to-lovers couple: it has to be executed properly. And when it is, it’s the best fluff material you could ever need.

You have Persons A & B, who’ve known each other their whole lives – they know their best moments, their worst moments; what makes the other happy, or upset; what food they like, what food they absolutely cannot stand (so they can sneak it in, hah!)

But usually, as the two transition from “they’re a really good friend!” to ” … do I like like them??”, there’s a fight in between. You know what I’m talking about. THAT FIGHT THAT MAKES EVERYTHING AWKWARD UNTIL SOMETHING HAPPENS AND THEY MAKE UP.

Or make out.

I mean, whatever floats your boat. 😏

But probably the best part about this couple are these scenes:

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Person A: *slyly* -remember that time you –

Person B: *immediately* SHUT. UP.

Person A: *continues* I have a pic and everything 

Person B: *dangerously* You wouldn’t dare.

Person A: *smirks* Then give me what I want.

Person B: …

Person B: …

Person B: *gives ice cream*

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I mean, what are best friends for, if not for that sweet, sweet blackmail?

‘Best-Friends-to-Lovers’ Couple:  Romione (Ron Weasely + Hermione Granger), Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

(I called it. I CALLED IT.)

#3: The ‘Different-Universes-One-Feeling’ Couple

featuring: lots of confusion (“you’re from WHERE now??”), trivial bickering (“WHAT DO YOU MEAN WE CAN’T EAT IT RAW?? THAT’S HOW WE DO IT!”), and deep convos late at night (also, subtle flirting)

Reading about this couple is like watching a rom-com. They feature two people, from two completely different worlds, who somehow stumble into each other and start getting the fluttery butterflies.

This is found a lot in fantasy, and as cliché as it can be sometimes, I just have a soft spot for this duo. They have the most hilarious moments, like when Person A has no idea how B’s world works and does the stupidest stuff that often land them into trouble.

Or when Person B struggles to understand the most basic concept and has to keep asking A about it.

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Person B: *deep in thought* So I have to … press this button, right?

Person A: *sighs* Yes, just press it, but make sure to –

Person B: *presses button*

*mushed fruit sprays everywhere*

Person A: …

Person A: YOU –

Person B: I’M SORRY!

Person A: I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO USE A DAMN BLENDER!

Person B: WE DON’T HAVE THOSE WHERE I COME FROM, OKAY??

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Yep. Expect a good laugh out of those two.

Oh, and a rocky start – but hey, the love is real!

‘Different-Universes-One-Feeling’ Couple: Rook + Isobel, An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Yeah, it was cheesy, but Rook and Isobel have the funniest moments that just had me laughing like crazy.

#2: The ‘We-Ride-Or-Die-Together’ Couple

featuring: unbreakable loyalty (God forbid you hurt one of them), scary-awesome skills (usually with weapons and other deadly stuff), and questionable morals (“it’s not stealing if they allow you to take it.” “THAT’S BECAUSE WE’RE POINTING GUNS AT THEM.”)

Ah, yes. The criminals. The partners in crime. The anti-heroes.

I love this couple. They’re the type that quickly make it to the top of your OTP list, and the funniest part is that you don’t even remember when they got there. They just did. And now you’re stuck with them.

As if you needed more ships in your life.

Well, too late. Now you’re in love with how they click, the way they’ve got each other’s backs, and how they show no mercy to anyone that messes with them. They like teasing each other, flirting at times (hell yes), and are just an overall amazing couple.

“Except for the crime part?”

*laughs* Oh, innocent reader – especially the crime part.

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Person A: *cocks gun* I’d just hand it over, if I were you.

Enemy: *laughs* Oh, yeah? *starts to pull something out*

Person B: *from nowhere* Was that an attempt at retaliation?

Enemy: …

Enemy: *gives whatever they want, including their dog*

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Example: Kinej (Kaz Brekker + Inej Ghafa), Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo

This ship. THIS SHIP.

HATS OFF TO KINEJ.

#1: The ‘I-Really-Wanna-Hate-You-But-I-Think-I’m-Slowly-Falling-In-Love-With-You’ Couple (a.k.a ‘Love-Hate’)

featuring: denials (an avalanche of ’em), snappy replies (especially when confronted), and reluctant displays of affection (“if anyone asks, I don’t even know what hugs ARE, okay?”)

I’m addicted to these types of couples, and so are you, and probably your grandma, too.

This is the couple that everyone sees coming from 392,635,120 miles away, and the couple that has us screaming the most, because STOP DENYING YOUR LOVE ALREADY!

Usually, Person A and B are total opposites. Optimist and pessimist; reckless and cautious; extroverted and introverted – really, the list goes on. And the two can’t agree on anything to save their life.

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Person A: WHAT DO YOU MEAN, YOU DON’T LIKE CHOCOLATE?? NO WONDER YOU’RE BORING AS HELL.

Person B: SHUT UP, I CARE ABOUT MY HEALTH UNLIKE YOU, OKAY?

Person A: DO YOU EAT SOUP WITH A FORK TOO? ARE YOU SECRETLY A SPY? ARE YOU EVEN HUMAN??

Person B: I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHY I PUT UP WITH YOU.

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… And cue that one character who always has to make sure things don’t get too out of hand.

Someone has to mop up the blood, after all.

The best part about this couple, though, is that – if anyone else insults one of them – THERE WILL. BE. WAR.

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Person A: … What did you just say?

Person A: *unsheathes knives* Shall I start with the throat or the heart?

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It’s definitely worth sticking with this couple until the end, because, when done correctly, their get-together ends up being the most hilarious / endearing / adorable / all of the above get-together there is. 💕

‘Love Hate’ Couple:  Lara Jean Song Covey + Peter Kavinsky, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

(Maybe not exactly, but hey, we all loved their endless bantering. 💗)

I’ve been told that The Hating Game by Sally Thorne also features a love-hate couple, so you can bet I’ll be picking that one up!

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What are some of your favourite bookish couples? Any other types you love to gush about? Let’s talk about it!

Stay creative,

Angel

All Things Bookish | Review | #Prettyboy Must Die

(Thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan for providing me with an Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for an honest review.)

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Title: #Prettyboy Must Die

Author: Kimberly Reid

Publisher:  Macmillan

Expected publication: 13th February, 2018

Genre: Thriller

Page number: 288

 

 

Synposis (from Goodreads)

A CIA prodigy’s cover is blown when he accidentally becomes an internet sensation in #Prettyboy Must Die, inspired by the #Alexfromtarget story.

When Peter Smith’s classmate snaps a picture of him during a late night run at the track, Peter thinks he might be in trouble. When she posts that photo–along with the caption, “See the Pretty Boy Run,”–Peter knows he’s in trouble. But when hostiles drop through the ceiling of his 6th period Chem Class, Peter’s pretty sure his trouble just became a national emergency.

Because he’s not really Peter Smith. He’s Jake Morrow, former foster-kid turned CIA operative. After a massive screw-up on his first mission, he’s on a pity assignment, a dozen hit lists and now, social media, apparently. As #Prettyboy, of all freaking things.

His cover’s blown, his school’s under siege, and if he screws up now, #Prettyboy will become #Deadboy faster than you can say, ‘fifteen minutes of fame.’ Trapped in a high school with rabid killers and rabid fans, he’ll need all his training and then some to save his job, his school and, oh yeah, his life.


[1/5]

*sigh* I wish I didn’t have to do this.

Here’s the thing about this book: the concept is great. Teen spy on the run from revenge-thirsty ex-soldiers? Might be cliche, but I really enjoy these types of stories. I started this book filled with excitement, expecting some serious thrill and action to be heading my way.

… Well, I guess it’s quite disappointing when you think you’re in for a YA, but end up reading what sounds like a middle-grade novel instead. Not that I have anything against those, but why is this listed as YA then? It doesn’t read like one.

Anyway, that’s not the main issue. The main reason why this book was simply too tiring to read is because I really, really don’t care about Peter/Jake. Not only is he arrogant, but he also looks down on pretty much everyone, and assumes girls can’t be more than air-headed side characters. I mean, really? Does he seriously disregard Katie from the suspect list of hackers because she’s a girl? Are you kidding me?!

I really, really can’t stand Peter’s “know-it-all” attitude, especially when the entire plot would be missing had it not been for his mistakes.

What’s up with him treating Bunker – his best friend – like trash, by the way? And why is Bunker so loyal to him? I never understood the friendship between those two, if you can even call it that in the first place. Sure, there are times when Peter is grateful, but most of his point of view is just grumbling about how much of a liability Bunker is.

Let’s play a little guessing game: what do you think is the nationality of the villain?

Yep. That’s right. Ukrainian. 

*sigh* … Really? Do we always have to have this in spy books? Please just give us American villains for a change, and a Ukrainian/Russian hero instead. I’d love that. I think we’re all tired of this stereotype.

Aside from that, I feel like this plot is falling apart. You’ve got these bizarre scenarios going on that don’t even make sense at times, almost like the author just throws in gadgets/solutions merely for the sake of writing clever escape plans. Additionally, the reaction of the students made no sense in some situations. Some of them could be so casual in the danger they’d be surrounded with, and that had me springing up a hundred question marks. I know I’d personally be running for cover, not skipping around school and looking for an attractive guy.

This book had me pausing in confusion a lot, and most of the time, just skimming through. Really wish this were better.

How do you feel about this book? Would you still like to read it? Let me know!

Stay creative,

Angel