Now Quoting: Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

18812437LET’S GET LOST BY ADI ALSAID

Published by Harlequin Teen on July 29th 2014

Genre(s): YA, contemporary, romance, coming of age

Format: Hardcover, library copy

Would I recommend? Yes. I wouldn’t say that it was a particularly memorable book or had a long-lasting effect on me, but it was definitely an enjoyable read and had a great concept and very unique and colorful cast of characters. Find my full review here. 

Rating: ★★★★☆


Five strangers. Countless adventures. One epic way to get lost.

Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named Leila. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most.

Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila’s own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth—sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you’re looking for is to get lost along the way.

-Goodreads.com description


“I know there may be universes out there where I made different choices and they led me somewhere else, led me to someone else. And my heart breaks for every single version of me that didn't end up with you.”.png


Have you read Let’s Get Lost? What did you think? What are some books that you’ve found particularly quotable lately?

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Review: Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

18812437.jpgLet’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Published by Harlequin Teen on July 29th 2014

Genre(s): YA, contemporary, romance, coming of age

Format: Hardcover, library copy

Would I recommend? Yes. I wouldn’t say that it was a particularly memorable book or had a long-lasting effect on me, but it was definitely an enjoyable read and had a great concept and very unique and colorful cast of characters.

Rating: ★★★★☆


Five strangers. Countless adventures. One epic way to get lost.

Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named Leila. She crashes into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most.

Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila’s own 4,268-mile journey that she discovers the most important truth—sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you’re looking for is to get lost along the way.

-Goodreads.com description


My Thoughts

Let’s Get Lost had a lot of hype surrounding it before its release, and rightfully so. I was really looking forward to reading this book because of all the potential the unique concept held. I absolutely love road trip books (seeing the term “road trip” in a book’s synopsis is one of the most foolproof methods of getting me to check it out!), and you all know how big a fan I am of coming of age books. Plus, the idea that one person – in this case, Leila, the main character – could make such a big impact on the lives of four different people in a small amount of time is incredible to me – definitely something I wanted to read about.

I loved Leila. Although I’ve seen a lot of versions of her in many other YA books, her vibrant personality and sassy dialogue kept me engaged throughout the whole read. She’s outspoken, opinionated, caring, and hilarious – definitely someone who I would love to be friends with.

The other characters were great too. Their stories and backgrounds did all seem somewhat stereotyped and typical, but their personalities were all very unique and every one of them brought something new to the table. I found myself getting very emotionally engaged in each character’s individual story, only to have that part of the book end and move on to another character’s perspective. The endings of each character’s POV weren’t very satisfying because it seemed like the story was stopping before it even got started, which was pretty frustrating for me. I wish the author would have taken a little more time with each story so we would have gotten to know the characters better.

The author’s writing style is gorgeous, filled with lots of humor and engaging dialogue. I’ll definitely have to check out his other books!

Final Thought

A very unique and interesting concept, filled with humorous writing and colorful characters. Although I did have a couple minor issues with it, all in all it was a very enjoyable read and definitely something I’d recommend.

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars


Have you read Let’s Get Lost? What did you think? I’d love to hear what you guys have to say in the comments!

Review: Things We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby

 17571215.jpgThings We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby

Published by HarperTeen on April 21st 2015

Page Count: 304

Genre(s): YA, contemporary, romance, coming-of-age, grief

Format: Hardcover, library copy (but will be purchasing a shiny hardcover copy of ASAP!)

Would I recommend? Yes, absolutely. This is by far the best book I’ve encountered this year and one of the most perfect books I’ve ever read. A unique concept, lovely characters, and a brilliant, long-lasting effect. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone.

Rating: ★★★★★


When Quinn Sullivan meets the recipient of her boyfriend’s donated heart, the two form an unexpected connection.

After Quinn loses her boyfriend, Trent, in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the pieces of her now-unrecognizable life. She hears back from some of them, but the person who received Trent’s heart has remained silent. The essence of a person, she has always believed, is in the heart. If she finds Trent’s, then maybe she can have peace once and for all.

Risking everything in order to finally lay her memories to rest, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas—a guy whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into more, sparking an undeniable attraction. She doesn’t want to give in to it—especially since he has no idea how they’re connected—but their time together has made Quinn feel alive again. No matter how hard she’s falling for Colton, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she’s lost…and all that remains at stake.

-Goodreads.com description

My Thoughts

I really, really tried to word a review that would do this book justice, but I just couldn’t. Not in my typical review format, anyway. One of my blogging resolutions for 2016 was to play around with some different review formats, so who knows, maybe I’ll try doing something like this again in the future! There’s no need to worry about spoilers in this review; as always, there is none. Hopefully reading this post will give you a little insight as to why I loved and needed this book so much.


Dear Jessi,

I went into Things We Know By Heart with pretty high expectations. After you completely stole my heart with your lovely novel In Honor, how couldn’t I? When I was perusing Goodreads one day and stumbled across your latest novel (and this was before I even knew you existed, mind you), I instantly fell in love with the title, cover, synopsis, everything. I knew from that day that Things We Know By Heart would be a definite 5-star read, and I certainly wasn’t wrong.

Things We Know By Heart was a beautiful, utterly perfect novel. I honestly couldn’t have asked for anything more. I read some reviews and noticed that a few people said that the novel’s concept is a bit cliche or stereotyped, but really, how could it be? There may have been a few common tropes I recognized, but every novel has those. The concept in its entirety is so unique, so brilliant, that I don’t think any other author has ever written anything like it before.

I already knew from reading In Honor that your writing style is gorgeous, Jessi, but Things We Know By Heart gave a whole new definition to amazing writing. Your prose is so seamless and flows so well that I found myself reading every sentence twice in effort to savor every word. There was also lots of dialogue, which I adored. What struck me most about your writing, though, was the descriptions. I absolutely loved how you described the setting of the novel in such a powerful and poetic way that left me thinking, hey, I want to go there! A few days ago in English class, we were discussing how setting can make such a big impact on the overall effect and theme statement of a book, and I really saw this aspect come into play with your novel. A big part of your book took place at a beachy setting, which I really appreciated because I could relate to Quinn’s and Colton’s connection with nature on a very personal level.

When I read this novel, I was in a pretty tough place. It was near the end of the year and I was stressing out about all the assignments teachers were piling up, I hadn’t read any good books lately, I hadn’t gotten a chance to go on an ocean swim recently, swim practice was super stressful. Honestly, I was just really tired. I felt like I needed a long break, like life was this never-ending cycle of stressfulness and tough situations and I had to fight to make it through every day. This is why I was so, so thankful that I read Things We Know By Heart when I did. I needed to read that novel desperately just then, and you, Jessi, allowed me to do just this. So thank you. Thank you so much.

Although I thankfully hadn’t ever gone through an experience similar to the one Quinn had to go through, I still related to her and empathized with her so much. You have a way of carving out characters that manage to find their way into your heart within the first few chapters, and I’m so grateful for this. I’m so grateful that I had the pleasure of meeting Quinn, and of learning about – no, living – her incredible story. She is such a strong, unique, and very real character, and I genuinely felt while reading this book that I experienced some degree of every emotion she went through. I understood her, I empathized with her, I cried with her. At first glance you might think that it’s unrealistic and naive for a young character to be going through this much grief after the death of a boyfriend, but once you get to know her and understand the bond she and Trent shared, it makes so much sense. I feel like going looking for Trent’s heart recipient was exactly what I would have done if I was in her shoes. I understand why she wanted to look for Colton in effort to find a piece of one of the people she loved the most. She was incredibly strong, but she definitely had some flaws, too. Her mistakes and weaknesses were what really made me be able to love her and relate to her so much.

Alright, now I should talk about Colton. Earlier in my review I talked about some of the aspects of your book that made such a lasting impact on me, but in all honesty, Colton’s character was what really made the difference. I started this novel feeling small, tired, and relatively insignificant. I finished this novel feeling empowered, inspired, and ultimately fulfilled. This was the result of having the pleasure of meeting a lovely character by the name of Colton Thomas.

Colton’s character was just wonderful. He was one of the most real, fleshed-out characters I had ever met, and definitely one of my favorites. He’s sweet, quirky, idealistic, weird, observant, and independent. He cares so much for Quinn and his family, and he’s a real gentleman. He’s strong, flawed, and pragmatic. He has had to go through so many tough experiences, and these experiences have helped shape the lovely person he is. What struck me most about his character, however, was his passion for nature. He literally lived every day like it was his last because his experiences had taught him to, and he taught Quinn to do the same. He fed his passions boldly and fearlessly, and invited others to do the same. He had such a deep connection with nature – the ocean, in particular – that it immediately made me want to put on a bathing suit and dive in to the 56 degree surf.

In fact, that’s just what I did after finishing this novel. I put your book down, careful not to bend any of the pages, slipped into my favorite one-piece, drove down to the beach, and plunged into the frigid ocean. I floated out there for a while, feeling the waves lap against my body, feeling the seaweed thread in between my fingers, watching the way the sun set over the water, feeding my passion boldly and fearlessly just as Colton had. This book was one of the most powerful, inspirational, impactful books I’ve ever read.

So thank you, Jessi. Thank you for creating characters that I could empathize with and relate to. Thank you for your beautiful writing that made me want to get up at 6am every morning to read it. Thank you for making me smile, cry, laugh, swoon, think, and act. Thank you for creating such wonderful relationships between your characters and your readers (AKA me). Thank you for inspiring me and moving me in a way that no book has ever inspired me and moved me before. I appreciate it so much. If you ever end up reading this letter, Jessi, I hope it gives you even the smallest insight to how much I loved and appreciated you book. Really, it meant the world to me.

Love, Paige

Rating: 5/5 Stars


Woah, that was a long post. To everyone who managed to get to the bottom of all that: thank you so much! I hope you enjoyed it, despite my rambles.

Let’s talk: have you read Things We Know By Heart? What did you think of it? What is your favorite Jessi Kirby book?

8 Beach Reads I’m Planning On Reading This Summer

Am I Too Easy Of A Rater- (1) 2.jpg

Hi guys! So, summer has started, and you all know what that means….beach reads! The following list I compiled to share some of the beach reads I’m planning on reading this summer.


17838528.jpg   15832932.jpg   16101126.jpg  16034187.jpg   16067180.jpg   8535449.jpg

8613620.jpg   9091814.jpg


Have you read any of the books I listed above? What did you think? What are some of the beach reads you’re planning on reading this summer?

Review: Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby | A Letter to Jessi Kirby

 17571215.jpgThings We Know By Heart by Jessi Kirby

Published by HarperTeen on April 21st 2015

Page Count: 304

Genre(s): YA, contemporary, romance, coming-of-age, grief

Format: Hardcover, library copy (but will be purchasing a shiny hardcover copy of ASAP!)

Would I recommend? Yes, absolutely. This is by far the best book I’ve encountered this year and one of the most perfect books I’ve ever read. A unique concept, lovely characters, and a brilliant, long-lasting effect. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone.

Rating: ★★★★★


When Quinn Sullivan meets the recipient of her boyfriend’s donated heart, the two form an unexpected connection.

After Quinn loses her boyfriend, Trent, in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the pieces of her now-unrecognizable life. She hears back from some of them, but the person who received Trent’s heart has remained silent. The essence of a person, she has always believed, is in the heart. If she finds Trent’s, then maybe she can have peace once and for all.

Risking everything in order to finally lay her memories to rest, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas—a guy whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into more, sparking an undeniable attraction. She doesn’t want to give in to it—especially since he has no idea how they’re connected—but their time together has made Quinn feel alive again. No matter how hard she’s falling for Colton, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she’s lost…and all that remains at stake.

-Goodreads.com description

My Thoughts

I really, really tried to word a review that would do this book justice, but I just couldn’t. Not in my typical review format, anyway. One of my blogging resolutions for 2016 was to play around with some different review formats, so who knows, maybe I’ll try doing something like this again in the future! There’s no need to worry about spoilers in this review; as always, there is none. Hopefully reading this post will give you a little insight as to why I loved and needed this book so much.


Dear Jessi,

I went into Things We Know By Heart with pretty high expectations. After you completely stole my heart with your lovely novel In Honor, how couldn’t I? When I was perusing Goodreads one day and stumbled across your latest novel (and this was before I even knew you existed, mind you), I instantly fell in love with the title, cover, synopsis, everything. I knew from that day that Things We Know By Heart would be a definite 5-star read, and I certainly wasn’t wrong.

Things We Know By Heart was a beautiful, utterly perfect novel. I honestly couldn’t have asked for anything more. I read some reviews and noticed that a few people said that the novel’s concept is a bit cliche or stereotyped, but really, how could it be? There may have been a few common tropes I recognized, but every novel has those. The concept in its entirety is so unique, so brilliant, that I don’t think any other author has ever written anything like it before. And if you do know of a book that deals with a similar topic, please point me in its direction!

I already knew from reading In Honor that your writing style is gorgeous, Jessi, but Things We Know By Heart gave a whole new definition to amazing writing. Your prose is so seamless and flows so well that I found myself reading every sentence twice in effort to savor every word. There was also lots of dialogue, which I adored. What struck me most about your writing, though, was the descriptions. I absolutely loved how you described the setting of the novel in such a powerful and poetic way that left me thinking, hey, I want to go there! A few days ago in English class, we were discussing how setting can make such a big impact on the overall effect and theme statement of a book, and I really saw this aspect come into play with your novel. A big part of your book took place at a beachy setting, which I really appreciated because I could relate to Quinn’s and Colton’s connection with nature on a very personal level.

When I read this novel, I was in a pretty tough place. It was near the end of the year and I was stressing out about all the assignments teachers were piling up, I hadn’t read any good books lately, I hadn’t gotten a chance to go on an ocean swim recently, swim practice was super stressful. Honestly, I was just really tired. I felt like I needed a long break, like life was this never-ending cycle of stressfulness and tough situations and I had to fight to make it through every day. This is why I was so, so thankful that I read Things We Know By Heart when I did. I needed to read that novel desperately just then, and you, Jessi, allowed me to do just this. So thank you. Thank you so much.

Although I thankfully hadn’t ever gone through an experience similar to the one Quinn had to go through, I still related to her and empathized with her so much. You have a way of carving out characters that manage to find their way into your heart within the first few chapters, and I’m so grateful for this. I’m so grateful that I had the pleasure of meeting Quinn, and of learning about – no, living – her incredible story. She is such a strong, unique, and very real character, and I genuinely felt while reading this book that I experienced some degree of every emotion she went through. I understood her, I empathized with her, I cried with her. At first glance you might think that it’s unrealistic and naive for a young character to be going through this much grief after the death of a boyfriend, but once you get to know her and understand the bond she and Trent shared, it makes so much sense. I feel like going looking for Trent’s heart recipient was exactly what I would have done if I was in her shoes. I understand why she wanted to look for Colton in effort to find a piece of one of the people she loved the most. She was incredibly strong, but she definitely had some flaws, too. Her mistakes and weaknesses were what really made me be able to love her and relate to her so much.

Alright, now I should talk about Colton. Earlier in my review I talked about some of the aspects of your book that made such a lasting impact on me, but in all honesty, Colton’s character was what really made the difference. I started this novel feeling small, tired, and relatively insignificant. I finished this novel feeling empowered, inspired, and ultimately fulfilled. This was the result of having the pleasure of meeting a lovely character by the name of Colton Thomas.

Colton’s character was just wonderful. He was one of the most real, fleshed-out characters I had ever met, and definitely one of my favorites. He’s sweet, quirky, idealistic, weird, observant, and independent. He cares so much for Quinn and his family, and he’s a real gentleman. He’s strong, flawed, and pragmatic. He has had to go through so many tough experiences, and these experiences have helped shape the lovely person he is. What struck me most about his character, however, was his passion for nature. He literally lived every day like it was his last because his experiences had taught him to, and he taught Quinn to do the same. He fed his passions boldly and fearlessly, and invited others to do the same. He had such a deep connection with nature – the ocean, in particular – that it immediately made me want to put on a bathing suit and dive in to the 56 degree surf.

In fact, that’s just what I did after finishing this novel. I put your book down, careful not to bend any of the pages, slipped into my favorite one-piece, drove down to the beach, and plunged into the frigid ocean. I floated out there for a while, feeling the waves lap against my body, feeling the seaweed thread in between my fingers, watching the way the sun set over the water, feeding my passion boldly and fearlessly just as Colton had. This book was one of the most powerful, inspirational, impactful books I’ve ever read.

So thank you, Jessi. Thank you for creating characters that I could empathize with and relate to. Thank you for your beautiful writing that made me want to get up at 6am every morning to read it. Thank you for making me smile, cry, laugh, swoon, think, and act. Thank you for creating such wonderful relationships between your characters and your readers (AKA, me). Thank you for inspiring me and moving me in a way that no book has ever inspired me and moved me before. I appreciate it so much. If you ever end up reading this letter, Jessi, I hope it gives you even the smallest insight to how much I loved and appreciated you book. Really, it meant the world to me.

Love, Paige

Rating: 5/5 Stars


Woah, that was a long post. To everyone who managed to get to the bottom of all that: thank you so much! I hope you enjoyed it, despite my rambles.

Let’s talk: have you read Things We Know By Heart? What did you think of it? What is your favorite Jessi Kirby book?

Now Quoting: It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

248704.jpgIt’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

Published by Miramax on May 1st 2007

Page Count: 444

Genre(s): YA, contemporary, mental health, humor, romance

Format: Paperback, purchased

Would I recommend? Yes, absolutely! This was a super honest, raw read, and really funny in a strange way. The writing is just gorgeous as well. 🙂 I will be writing a review on this one in the near future!

Rating: ★★★★☆


Ambitious New York City teenager Craig Gilner is determined to succeed at life – which means getting into the right high school to get into the right job. But once Craig aces his way into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School, the pressure becomes unbearable. He stops eating and sleeping until, one night, he nearly kills himself.

Craig’s suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety.

Ned Vizzini, who himself spent time in a psychiatric hospital, has created a remarkably moving tale about the sometimes unexpected road to happiness.

-Goodreads.com synopsis

I read this book a few months ago, and I absolutely loved it! The author himself experienced similar circumstances as the main character, Craig, had, and you could definitely tell by the realistic and honest portrayal of mental illness in this novel. I realize I’m extremely late to the party on this one as it was released almost 9 years ago, but better late than never, right? XD


“I know there may be universes out there where I made different choices and they led me somewhere else, led me to someone else. And my heart breaks for every single version of me that didn't end up with you.” 2.jpg

Although I’ve never experienced any circumstances like Ned Vizzini or Craig did, I’m still able to relate to this quote incredibly on a personal level. I don’t like book characters to be “perfect and ready to explode,” as Vizzini puts it; I like them screwed-up and realistic. Vizzini wasn’t afraid to capture these flawed, messed-up characters in his writing, which is a huge reason why I loved this story so much.


Have you read It’s Kind of A Funny Story? What did you think? Have you seen the movie? Have you read any books lately that you’ve found particularly quotable?

 

7 Reasons Why I’d Recommend Love Letters To The Dead by Ava Dellaira To Anyone

18140047Love Letters To The Dead by Ava Dellaira

I first read Love Letters to the Dead three years ago, and I absolutely loved it. It was the book that first got me into YA Contemporary, which is now probably my favorite genre. Because of the fact that I read this book three years ago and I don’t remember very much of it, and because I’m too lazy to write a full review on it, I decided to compile a list of why I think everyone would benefit from reading this amazing book.


The Writing. 

Seriously, I can’t even begin to explain how gorgeous Dellaira’s prose is. I found myself scrambling throughout the entire book for my quote notebook and my highlighter. (Yes, I highlight my books. Don’t hate, okay?😉 )

Laurel.

I love a narrator that I can really understand and sympathize with, and Laurel definitely has these qualities. Her voice was mature, but not too unrealistic, and her decisions and actions were often flawed, which I think is very important.

ALL THE FEELS. 

I know there’s people that specifically avoid books like this for that very reason, but I, particularly, happen to find myself attracted to tear-jerkers. Grief is a very difficult subject to write about, and Dellaira definitely handled it well. In my opinion, the best kind of books are the ones that really make you feel something.

The Unique Concept!

I mean, come on: who isn’t intrigued by the idea of writing letters to dead people? This topic is really interesting to me, and it’s cool to see what a strong role all these people had in both Laurel’s and May’s lives. I also loved this unique format, because I normally don’t read books written in letter format, but I really enjoyed how Dellaira handled it.

The Romance.

I loved, loved, loved Laurel and Sky’s relationship! There was no insta-love, and I really enjoyed watching the characters gradually get to know each other. While I didn’t love Sky as a character, I loved to see him with Laurel.

May and Laurel’s Relationship.

Strong sister-sister relationships are something I’d love to see more of in YA, and it was done beautifully in this novel. Laurel’s voice describes some of her past experiences with May, some of them random, and some of them completely magical, which I think mirrors how relationships are in real life.

The Theme. 

One of the most important elements in a good book is the theme. This book really made me think, and caused me to view grief in a different way.


So….let me here your thoughts! What did you think about Love Letters to the Dead? If you’ve read this book, were there any specific quote(s) that resonated with you? What book have you read recently that you’ve found particularly quotable? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!:)