The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
Synopsis:"Dry, sarcastic, sixteen-year-old Cam Cooper has spent the last seven years in and out hospitals. The last thing she wants to do in the short life she has left is move 1,500 miles away to Promise, Maine - a place known for the miraculous events that occur there. But it's undeniable that strange things happen in Promise: everlasting sunsets; purple dandelions; flamingoes in the frigid Atlantic; an elusive boy named Asher; and finally, a mysterious envelope containing a list of things for Cam to do before she dies. As Cam checks each item off the list, she finally learns to believe - in love, in herself, and even in miracles.
A debut novel from an immensely talented new writer, The Probability of Miracles crackles with wit, romance and humor and will leave readers laughing and crying with each turn of the page."
Review: I am filled with emotions because of this book. I was honestly quite skeptical BUT LET ME EXPLAIN WHY. I connected with Cam A LOT. I started reading this book with a VERY realistic view and everything that occurred made me laugh or shake my head at the craziness. However, I found myself wishing for more and more miracles as the book went on.
Now let's back up to the beginning of the story. I loved the way Wendy Wunder wrote this novel. Cam is definitely one of the funniest characters I have ever read about. She is sarcastic and throws jokes, but her pain and suffering make her feel real. I could honestly imagine meeting Cam in real life, which is something that can be hard to say especially when reading a fiction, young adult novel.
I absolutely LOVED the plot. Ridiculous at times, but that just made it even more hopeful and inspiring(? don't know really how to describe it.) The vibe of this book is just unbelievable and not something I can even put into words (SO JUST GO AND READ IT ;) !),
Cam is one of the most inspirational bookish characters. She is funny, smart, and adventurous and it makes this novel such an adventure to read. Then there is Asher, who is fictional boyfriends goals. He is sweet, and caring and almost too perfect. Their romance is a sweet very traditional YA love story types, but it's cute and who doesn't love a good YA romance!
(FYI) This is the PERFECT summer book. I felt that summer haze feeling as soon as Cam entered Maine. Since it is currently summer, it felt really nice to read!
Favorite Quote(s): "Magic, Cam knew from a lifetime of working for the Mouse, was a privilege and not a right."
"The whole sky turned to indigo and the stars blinked on, slowly at first, and then all at once, blanketing the sky with pixie dust."
Thieving Weasels by Billy Taylor
*I received an ARC from Penguin First Reads, but this in no way affects my review.*
Synopsis: "Skip O’Rourke is dragged into one last con . . . but he doesn’t know the con’s on him in this funny, page-turning debut YA for fans of Winger and Ocean’s Eleven.
Cameron Smith attends an elite boarding school and has just been accepted to Princeton University alongside his beautiful girlfriend, Claire. Life for Cameron would be perfect, except that Cameron Smith is actually Skip O’Rourke, and Skip O’Rourke ran away from his grifter family four years ago…along with $100,000 of their “earnings” (because starting a new life is not cheap). But when his uncle Wonderful tracks him down, Skip’s given an ultimatum: come back to the family for one last con, or say good-bye to life as Cameron.
“One last con” is easier said than done when Skip’s family is just as merciless (and just as manipulative) as they’ve always been, and everyone around him is lying. Skip may have given up on crime, but there’s one lesson he hasn’t forgotten: always know your mark. And if you don’t know who your mark is . . . it’s probably you.
Witty and irresistibly readable, this standout debut will always keep you guessing."
Review: I am slightly sad that this book did not make it up to my full expectations. I had a good mix of mystery, action, and romance, but I couldn't find that spark while reading this book. Although this book was not particularly up my alley, I think that this could be a great read for someone really into mystery and action.
Thieving Weasels had a lot of potential and that is why I liked the core of the novel, but I think it could have been built upon more. There were many scenes I found that went on for too long and other scenes I wanted more of. The characters were all present and had interesting roles, but the confusion and constant conning left me a little lost on all the character development. I found myself very partial to keeping Skip happy (and alive), but I didn't seem to know anyone else well enough to really want to have them have their happily ever after.
The romance was a bit unrealistic for me. I found it practically impossible for them to resolve their issues with just a single conversation. However, I liked that there was romance included in the novel, because a lot of action or mystery novels seem a lot more focused on the mystery/action part. The relationship also helped Skip seem more realistic (even though the relationship didn't seem realistic if that makes sense?).
The plot line was really what kept me reading. I may not having liked some parts of this book, but the plot did have me questioning what the conclusion of this book would bring. There were also many surprises along the way. This book is not something I would usually pick up, but I'm glad I did because even though it didn't become my favorite book I think that this would be a great recommendation for those who love a good action filled young adult novel with hints of mystery!
Favorite Quote(s): "They're a pack of weasels. Who knows why they do what they do?"
The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry
Synopsis: "Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.
Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start... until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.
That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.
Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken."
Review: This book has left me in one of those trances where when you close the book you can't seem to stop thinking. Emily Henry touches on SO many of life's lessons in just a short 396 pages.
By using Native American influences stories, she is able to recreate a surreal story that has readers impossible to turn away.
Let me just admit in the very beginning of the novel I was quite confused. (PS: this is NOT a good book for people easily offended by different religious views... good thing I'm not one of those people because I liked this book!) For me, this book didn't completely capture my attention until about 100 pages in, BUT once I was in, I was IN. The world Emily creates is gorgeous and although obviously is fiction is surprisingly good at mirroring our world.
My favorite part of this had to be the Native American stories. Some just had the purpose to connect with the plot, but many really had me thinking about life. Each and every story drew me in and left me feeling sad, happy, confused, and about every other emotion possible.
The fantasy aspect of this novel was very fitting with what seems to be very popular in 2016: Time Travel. Yes time travel is a very large part of this novel as well as traveling through dimensions. This was another aspect of the novel I really enjoyed. Emily Henry really knows how to describe the smallest details and makes it feel like all of us are right in the scene with Natalie and Beau!
Talking about Natalie and Beau, this is how the young adult aspect kicks in. Their love is just the typical YA love, but just as cute all the others. It starts quick and feels slow until they hit a problem that threatens their relationship. The novel infers their love is true, yet at the same time I felt a bit skeptical even with their obvious connection with their abilities, it felt too quick of a romance for me.
Overall the novel was an incredible read, but my one complaint would have to be the ending. I was SO CONFUSED. I still am... I understood some parts and others I really have no idea. I may just have to read that again. (Though I don't think I'm the only one who thinks this because I asked a friend in hope for some answers, but she was confused as well.) Oh well.. maybe we just weren't deep enough to understand the philosophy and analogies?
I would really recommend this book to anyone looking for a romance + life lessons sort of book, someone who really wants to think about life, or even people who are solely interested in only the Native American stories (because those were quite amazing!).
Cover: ★★★★★ (UM ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS COVER)
Favorite Quote(s): " 'I saw my whole life for what it had really been, and even though I was goddam terrified of all the things that could happen to you, when I looked at you it was like all the bad things had been a dream, and I was finally waking up. That's how I know, sugar cube. This is only the beginning. If you want the good, you can't give up.' "(pg. 206)
"The sky split open then.
The stars fell like silver rain.
The world stopped turning. The Universe held its breath." (pg. 389)
Highly Anticipated Books
Ahh the infamous mile long TBR list.
(these are in no particular order)
Comment below if any of these books are on your TBR list or if you're as excited as me for these to be published !! Have a happy sunday!
Cress by Marissa Meyer
Synopsis: "Even in the future. there are damsels in distress...
In the third installment of the Lunar chronicles, Cress, having risked everything to warn Cinder of Queen Levana's evil plan, has a slight problem. She's been imprisoned on a satellite since childhood and has only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress a great hacker. Unfortunately, she's just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress involving Cinder, Captain Thorne, Scarlet, and Wolf goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes as a high price. Meanwhile, Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has."
Review: As you guys may know from my review of the first two books in this series I AM LOVING IT! The characters, the plot, the EVERYTHING is AMAZINGGG. Marissa Meyer has me completely hooked in this world.
In this novel there is obviously a main focus on Cress (aka Rapunzel) and Thorne being her 'prince'. I found this novel easier to read compared to Scarlet just because I got a bit more used to the way the character viewpoints switch and because Cress meets them much earlier on than Scarlet did with Cinder.
Romance wise we also mostly see developments happening between Cress and Thorne, a bit more for Cinder, and close to none for Scarlet (read it and you'll see why.) As usual Marissa Meyer is amazing at young adult romancing (is that even a word?) and this novel really not only retells Rapunzel's story incredibly well we also get to see a different kind of love bloom when a certain doctor reappears!
Although I really loved the strong independent women Marissa Meyer put into the first two novels it was also nice to see a timid girl that believed in love more than anything. Cress put in a new kind of perspective into the Lunar Chronicles which was really refreshing to read. I think she also represents many of us stereotypical book lovers: shy, quiet, awkward, but lovable and pretty smart sometimes!
Cinder and Kai! yes something happens but no spoilers right!?
This novel also has one heck of a plot. I literally gasped out loud or said really strange comments out loud and I didn't care at all because SO MANY MIND BOGGLING THINGS HAPPENED. If you've read my reviews before you guys know I love predicting things and a lot of the time I can accurately guess something but this novel just had me completely entranced.
PS. Marissa Meyer writes so beautifully that I have too many favorites quotes so I may have to cut some out... ;(
Cover: ★★★★★ (CAN YOU BLAME ME?!)
Favorite Quote(s): " 'You know, when I was a kid, I was tricked into thinking that princesses wore tiaras and hosted tea parties. Now that I've met a real princess, I must say, I'm kind of disappointed.' "
"The sky was a haze of violet, and where that faded away - blue and black and stars. The same stars she'd known all her life, and yet now they were spread out like a blanket over her. Now there was an entire sky and an entire world ready to engulf her."
It's been A YEAR since I first started this website... I don't even believe it. Time has passed so quickly and not enough books have been read!
Thanks for all the amazing support! The bookish community is honestly just a group of the nicest people ever (especially on the internet there are practically no trolls or hate! even for people with huge amounts of follower/readers, I barely see ANY negativity!)
In the last year alone I have been able to: - write a decent review (whereas I had no idea at the start)
- take much better pictures for bookstagram!
- read around 50 books?
- really get to understand the YA book community
- visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- obtain 40 books and counting :)
It's really strange, but I realized that reading has brought me a bit out of my shell. I feel like I understand myself a bit better by reading all these different stories.
Thanks for joining me in my little story and I'll be posting more reviews, blogs, and whatever else I have to say soon!
PS: fun fact, my signature and logo are both a crown because that's the definition of Stephanie!
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Synopsis: "Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner."
Review: WOW I absolutely LOVED this book! Marissa Meyer really knows to how to write a good retelling. It was action packed, filled with romance, and had me turning pages until the very last word.
I loved the way Marissa Meyer was able to bring Cinder and Scarlet together. For a moment or two I was a bit frustrated with the switching between stories but I couldn't have been happier at the meeting scene! I was incredible to see these two seemly different worlds slowly connect and collide into one.
Romance is obviously a huge aspect (since it's even a large part of fairy tales in general). I think I became emotionally invested in Wolf. Honestly, I do have to admit I did doubt his loyalties at times, but Wolf's character was by far my favorite in this book. Cinder obviously was not able to add too much in terms of romance since her prince charming was thrown off her course in the previous book. Scarlet and Wolf. Ahh the typical teen/young adult romance, always tragic but it always makes the reader want it even more. Scarlet and Wolf do NOT seem like a very likely couple, but throughout the course of this novel they have probably become my OTP.
As usual, every YA/ fantasy book can't be missing out on some good action. With every twist it turn, it felt like watching some magical team solve puzzles and dodge bullets and kick some ass. These girls are AMAZING. I could not be any more thankful for the women supporting community that is the book community. These girls that I read about and so many other younger girls read about really inspires people. Just like the way young girls used to strive to be the disney princesses I honestly believe that one day little girls will read the Lunar Chronicles and strive to be like Cinder and Scarlet. They both represent the best kind of girls in our modern society. They are humble, strong, and prove to be much more than what you see at the first glance. They inspire me.
The Lunar Chronicles is NOT a series you want to miss out on! If you have not yet read Cinder GO (it's the first book of this amazing series!)
Favorite Quote(s): "You just never know when a stranger will want to take you somewhere you don't mean to go." (pg 25-26)
"Mirrors couldn't be fooled by glamours."
A fan of anything fiction, furry, & fun.