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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: 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.

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Review: Eliza and Her Monsters

Review: Eliza and Her MonstersTitle: Eliza and Her Monsters
Author(s): Francesca Zappia
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance, YA
Pages: 385 (Kindle)
Source: Library
For: Personal Interest
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

My Thoughts

I had never heard of Eliza and Her Monsters until I saw Suey review it on her blog and then I saw it on a couple of other blogs right after that. After Suey’s review and her recommendation, I decided I needed to read it. Fortunately, it was available on Kindle at my library so I could.

I loved Eliza’s story. I loved her webcomic. In fact, I really want Zappia to publish a novelization of her webcomic as well as a graphic novel of Monstrous Sea now. The story was so interesting and sounds like something I would enjoy so much!

I wanted to strangle Eliza’s parents. I know they meant well like most parents do, but there were times when I felt like these parents just didn’t care because it’s not what they did. I felt like they didn’t try to understand her. It’s not completely their fault. Eliza could’ve talked to them more as well, but as her parents, it’s up to them not her.

I adored Eliza and Her Monsters. I adored the double entendre of the title. And, I sobbed as I read parts of Eliza’s story. Even though I’m not an introvert, per se (I’m an introverted extrovert or an extroverted introvert, lol), I related to Eliza and even Wallace in so many ways. I shared some of their monsters in high school and reading about them made me want to hug them both and tell them, “It’s okay. Life gets better.”

I’m glad I read Eliza and Her Monsters. I’ll definitely keep a look out for more of Zappia’s work.

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Review: The Sugar Queen

Review: The Sugar QueenTitle: The Sugar Queen
Author(s): Sarah Addison Allen
Genre(s): Magical Realism, Romance
Pages: 278 (Kindle)
Source: Library
For: Book Club
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

Twenty-seven-year-old Josey Cirrini is sure of three things: winter in her North Carolina hometown is her favorite season, she’s a sorry excuse for a Southern belle, and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her hidden closet. For while Josey has settled into an uneventful life in her mother’s house, her one consolation is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night.... Until she finds it harboring none other than local waitress Della Lee Baker, a tough-talking, tenderhearted woman who is one part nemesis--and two parts fairy godmother...

My Thoughts

My book club read The Sugar Queen for December. I didn’t know what it was about, but when I saw that all the chapters were named after sugary treats, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read it. To be perfectly frank, I was worried one of the characters was always going to be eating delectable goodies, making me crave them, and I don’t need that in my life. Fortunately, the story didn’t make me crave sugary goodies.

I actually ended up really liking the story. I loved the magical realism and how it was part of the characters’ everyday lives. It made me wish books would just appear out of thin air (as long as they’re books I want to read, lol).

I liked that the story followed two main characters instead of just one. There were a few side characters as well. To be honest, I didn’t really care about the side characters. Okay, mainly just Josey’s mother. But, I was thoroughly invested in both Josey’s and Chloe’s happiness.

This is the first novel I’ve read written by Sarah Addison Allen. Because I enjoyed it as much as I did, I’ll definitely give another one of hers a try. If you’ve read any others, which one(s) would you recommend?