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Review: By Your Side

Review: By Your SideTitle: By Your Side
Author(s): Kasie West
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance, YA
Pages: 346 (Paperback)
Source: Own
For: Personal Interest
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

My Thoughts

I decided to read By Your Side because I needed a fluffy romance, but I got more than I bargained for.

I found I had so much in common with Autumn. Not so much my high-school self, but my current self because of her anxiety disorder. I suffer from depression and anxiety and it’s amazing how much your body plots against you. West did such a great job of showing that in Autumn. I almost wonder if she or someone she knows has an anxiety disorder.

I also loved watching Autumn and Dax together. I loved watching their friendship blossom and it turn into more.

This has happened with both contemporary novels I’ve read by Kasie West. The novels start out so-so. I like them, but I think I’ll only give them three stars. But by the end of the novel, I’ve fallen in love with the characters and the story that I can’t help give the book five stars. I now wonder if this will happen with all her books. I guess there’s only one way to find out.

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Review: The Marriage Pact

Review: The Marriage PactTitle: The Marriage Pact
Author(s): Michelle Richmond
Genre(s): Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 433 (Kindle)
Source: Library
For: Personal Interest
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.

My Thoughts

I decided to read The Marriage Pact because I had heard such good things about it from other readers and my hold from the library came in fairly quickly.

I really enjoyed reading The Marriage Pact even though it was very over-the-top. Each time I put it down, I wanted to pick it up again so I could find out what happened. It made me glad The Pact doesn’t exist in real life. Or, does it? 🎶dun dun dun🎶

I really enjoyed the setting of the bay area, especially since I just traveled there last month. It was fun visualizing all the places they talked about in the novel. And, I really liked Jake and Alice. I rooted for them from the get go.

The only reason I’m giving The Marriage Pact three stars is because I felt the book was a little too long and the ending wasn’t as satisfying as I wanted it to be. All in all, though, it was an entertaining thriller.

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Review: A Wrinkle in Time

Review: A Wrinkle in TimeTitle: A Wrinkle in Time
Author(s): Madeleine L'Engle
Series: A Wrinkle in Time #1
Genre(s): Fantasy, Middle Grade, Science Fiction
Pages: 256 (Paperback)
Source: Own
For: Personal Interest
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

When Meg and Charles Wallace Murry and Calvin O'Keefe learn that Mr. Murry has been captured by the Dark Thing, they time travel to Camazotz, where they must face the leader IT in the ultimate battle between good and evil--a journey that threatens their lives and our universe.

My Thoughts

I decided to read A Wrinkle in Time before the movie release since I had never read it. I knew it was fantasy and I knew it had to do with darkness and light, but I don’t know what I was expecting because this wasn’t it.

I enjoyed the fantasy and science aspect of the story. In fact, that is probably what I liked most about the story. Well, that and Charles Wallace, the 5-year-old brother of the main character Meg. I enjoyed reading about wrinkling/tessering. And, I loved the mix of fantasy/science with religion. I thought that was rather unique.

What I didn’t like is Meg. She was so annoying and unless I can connect with the main character, I don’t usually fare all that well with the book. I’m not one of those readers that like books with unlikable characters just for the sake of the plot and character development.

I also didn’t like how short the book is. Without the introduction, afterword, acknowledgements, etc., the story is only 203 pages. I know this is meant for children, but I feel like this book could’ve been fleshed out so much more. I felt like the characters, other than the main three, were very one-dimensional. View Spoiler » I also have so many unanswered questions that I feel could’ve been answered with a longer book. View Spoiler »

Overall, I liked the story and I’ll continue the series at some point, but I don’t feel like the book lived up to the hype.

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Review: City of Heavenly Fire

Review: City of Heavenly FireTitle: City of Heavenly Fire
Author(s): Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments #6
Genre(s): Romance, Urban Fantasy, YA
Pages: 733 (Kindle)
Source: Library
For: Personal Interest
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary’s own brother. Sebastian Morgenstern is on the move, systematically turning Shadowhunter against Shadowhunter. Bearing the Infernal Cup, he transforms Shadowhunters into creatures of nightmare, tearing apart families and lovers as the ranks of his Endarkened army swell. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian--but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance…

My Thoughts

I have wanted to read City of Heavenly Fire since I knew it was going to be a book! Why did it take me so long to get to it?! I should’ve dropped everything else I was reading for it. I wish I had read it sooner, but now I’m sad I’m done with Jace and Clary as the focus main characters. Oh, I know they’ll show up in the other companion trilogies, but “their” story is over. It’s now other Shadowhunters’ stories to tell.

City of Heavenly Fire was so good. I absolutely adored it. It was everything I wanted it to be and more. I loved reading from all the different perspectives, some I hadn’t had a chance to read from yet. I also loved exploring new places and new magic. I always wonder how Cassie is going to top herself, but she always finds a way.

City of Heavenly Fire is such a fantastic ending to The Mortal Instruments series, which it needed to be with it being the sixth book in an epic urban fantasy. I loved seeing that Cassie wasn’t afraid to do what was necessary. I’m just glad that one unnamed thing isn’t going unreversed. (Ha! How was that for unspoilery?! 😂)

I can’t wait to start The Dark Artifices trilogy now. A new adventure awaits. I have a feeling that it’s going to be tough to get through since I know the characters a little bit, I know what Cassie has hinted toward, and I know the Law. Oh, my heart. I hope I’ll survive.

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Review: On the Fence

Review: On the FenceTitle: On the Fence
Author(s): Kasie West
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance, YA
Pages: 296 (Paperback)
Source: Borrowed
For: Personal Interest
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows--including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she's spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.

My Thoughts

I borrowed On the Fence from my friend Suey over a year ago. 😳 I know, right?! I decided it was high time I read it and, boy, am I glad I did! I finished it in two sittings!

I adored On the Fence! It is the first 5-star read of the year. Heck, it’s the first new 5-star read of the last two years! It’s a new favorite. I loved the relationship that Charlie had with Braden and watching it build from friendship into something more. Friendship to romantic relationships are the best!

I also loved watching Charlie discover herself. She’d only ever known herself in one way before. Once she was thrown in all these difference social situations, she wasn’t sure who she was. She discovered she could be herself and a little more girly at the same time.

View Spoiler »

Anyway, I’m glad I read On the Fence and I wish I had read it sooner. I look forward to reading more books by Kasie West.