Swear On This Life by Renee Carlino

Book Review

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Ratings

3 stars

Plot: 7/10

Setting: 7/10

Writing style: 6/10

Character building: 5/10

Enjoyment: 7/10

Overall: 6/10

My Opinionated Review

 

Intriguing and emotional-heavy story but disappointing characterisation

Swear on this Life is a gripping and emotional story with a wonderful premise but flawed execution. This book made me feel, and cry, and root for the characters so much. It was a beautiful and heart-wrenching love story that would be worth my highest rating if not for quite a few disappointing outcomes. Nevertheless, despite the negative aspects, I thoroughly enjoyed the story.

The book is about Emi, a struggling writer that does not seem to be able to get published, stuck in a passionless relationship with her ex-athlete boyfriend of 7 years, and having trouble dealing with her traumatic past. So when she starts reading a new bestseller by a mysterious writer J. Colby, she is shocked to find the book to be about her. This brings a lot of painful memories, tears, and anger towards the author – her first love who she has not seen for 12 years.

This book really has many wonderful aspects. First, the premise of the story. I thought it was brilliant. The reader gets to read the book inside the book, transferring them to Emi’s painful past and the wonderful friendship between her and her childhood best friend and first love, Jace. The reader also gets to experience the present timeline, seeing Emi as a grown-up woman trying to deal with her feeling towards her story that is put into words, and her anger and longing towards the writer who cannot be anyone other than her best friend who has been MIA for 12 years ago. This dual timeline gives the story mystery, especially since the reader is introduced to the past through a work of fiction, that is sometimes just an interpretation of one perspective and not necessarily what actually happened.

I really felt the connection between the main characters. These two had a tough and cruel childhood, they took care of each other and loved each other when no one else did. I felt every single thing that Emi felt while reading her story, and it was heart-breaking but truly wonderful at times. Moreover, it was exciting to see how these two people will react when finally coming face to face after years of silence. It was delightful to see the two different journeys that the main characters took, both hopeful and emotional. It really made me feel.

However, I have to acknowledge the problems with this book. It is my second book by Renee Carlino, and I am again faced with the same problem as I was when reading When We Were Strangers. I liked one timeline but found the other one a bit boring. In this book, the fictional novel was really well-crafted and emotional. Characters made silly choices and mistakes, but considering their traumatic experiences and a young age, it was understandable. However, they did not seem to change one bit during the 12 years they spend apart, I saw zero character development, they acted childish and immature, and most of the time I just did not understand their behaviour at all. The long awaited moments seemed anti-climactic and unreasonable, without much emotion. The characters’ portrayals and their actions failed to have any coherence. Especially with so much build-up and emotional trauma, the present story came out flat. The ending was an utter disappointment, and I can just say that I expected much more.

I feel like if I have read this book a few years ago, I would have appreciated it more. But when you read a lot, it becomes very easy to distinguish well-executed books from poorly-executed ones. It is sad that this story must fall into the latter category as it showed signs of potential. In no way it is a bad book, since I found it extremely difficult to put down, plus it did make me cry. I am actually angered to see such an interesting premise and a long build-up be flushed down the toilet.

All in all, I did like this book. I cried, and I laughed. But some of the characters’ actions were really out of character, and some decisions did not make sense. Plus, the dialogues were really boring. It is disappointing to see good premise being poorly executed, yet I still think it is a compelling and decent contemporary romance, better that a lot of similar books that I’ve read. So if anticlimactic endings and characters acting like teenagers when they are in their late twenties do not bother you, then this book really will be a wonderful read.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Do you think it is a great contemporary romance, or do you have examples of the better ones? I eagerly await your thoughts.

Book Playlist

  1. David Gray – Flame turns blue
  2. Counting Crows – Round Here
  3. John Paul White – Ghost in this house
  4. Sara Bareilles – Breathe again
  5. Wilco – True love will find you in the end

 

 

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It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

Book Review

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Ratings

5 stars

Plot: 10/10

Setting: 9/10

Writing style: 9/10

Character building: 10/10

Enjoyment: 10/10

Overall: 10/10

My Opinionated Review

It has been several hours since I have finished reading It Ends With Us, and I am still unable to stop the train of emotions that hit me while reading this book. I am so behind my reviews right now, but I need to write this one right this instant. Not because I want to get everything out while it is still fresh because I am certain I will remember this story and all the feelings it brought out of me for a long time. But because it is not only the best book that Colleen Hoover has written to date, but it is one of the few books that affected me so deeply, that I think deserves to be read by every single person on this planet. The only other contemporary book that has affected me this much is In The Stillness by Andrea Randall.

I am not sure if I want to outline all my emotions in full detail, or leave it vague because I went into this book completely unaware of what the story was about, and it was an incredibly rewarding experience. So for those who have not read this book just yet, all I can say is just read it. It follows an incredibly mature, strong and wonderful character Lilly who narrates a tremendously deep storyline with many life lessons, love stories, terrible and wonderful actions, life-changing experiences, friendships, family bonds, and overall, the perfect outline of what is like to be human. It gives much-needed perspective on life and certain actions us humans often need to take. At least it changed my perception on quite a few sensitive topics.

The strength of the book comes from Lilly’s character, and the wonderful writing technique Colleen Hoover uses in telling her story. A first person’s point of view results in the reader sharing the same emotions with the main character. The story’s continuation throughout several years, also giving insight into Lilly’s past through diary entries addressed to Ellen DeGeneres, provides tremendous depth of the story. But mostly, it surprises the reader making them fall in love with all the characters, excusing their wrongful behaviour on several occasions, and seeing the reasoning behind it.

Not only it is an incredibly powerful story, it also is a great lesson. I believe every single person can find something relatable in this book. Colleen Hoover really outdid herself with this one. Although I have loved all of this woman’s work, when I think about some of her books now, I am not sure that the present me would like them as much as the past me. However, I guess with me maturing, I can see Colleen Hoover developing as a writer as well, and giving me exactly what I need with her every piece.

So if you have not read this book just yet, I could not recommend it enough as it is truly life-changing. But be warned of an emotional roller-coaster that is guaranteed to fall upon you. I have read this book during a long coach journey, and I hope not that many people saw me crying for a good couple of hours. So find a comfortable spot, preferably not in public, and read it.

Discussion

Now for those who have read this book or are not too bothered with some spoilers, I will continue with my ramblings since I do need to get all the emotions that I am feeling out right now.

Abuse and the romanticizing it has been a topic that really gets me worked up for quite a while now. I believe far too many books make the abusive alpha males into people who are supposed to be admired and desired. Whereas some texts show only the really horrible parts of the abuse. Coleen Hoover struck the middle of it, exploring the idea of the abuse when it is not just black and white. She completely changed my perception on abuse, towards the abuser, and especially towards the victim.

I am one of those people who see the victims of domestic abuse as stupid if they do not have the strength to leave this kind of life instantly after such incident occurs. Experiencing abuse myself on quite a few occasions, it was always hard for me to understand how this kind of behaviour can be excused. I have felt the physical abuse from my mother’s boyfriend, and abuse by words from my step-grandfather, and I could never understand how my mother and grandmother could be so weak and not leave those men. Especially since this abuse was directed towards me. I do not know if it affected my development as a person, but I always want to think that I dealt with it in the best possible way. I never took it, I never stayed silent, I was never afraid, and I always felt in the position of power. I did sometimes feel disappointed in the examples the women in my family were setting though.

Now I do understand that it is not that easy. I guess my thick skin and the ability to see reason comes from the lack of emotion towards my abusers. But this book has opened my eyes to the reasons why some women find excuses. Some abusers are not just bad, and with love involved, the good part can easily overshadow the bad. I have seen this example in my step-grandfather. He is an alcoholic, therefore has two personalities: when he is sober, he is good and caring, and when he is drunk – he is the meanest person on Earth. I always hear my grandmother telling everyone how good he is, but I was never able to excuse his bad parts just because he has good ones. I still do not excuse this behaviour, and never will, but I can see why she chooses to see the good instead of the bad.

Regarding this book, it was haunting how relatable I found Lilly’s relationship with her father and her mother. But what confused me profoundly was the way I felt about Ryle’s character. I believe that abuse is never excusable, and yet I found myself trying to find reasons behind his behaviour and hoping for a happy ending for him. I loved that character, and although it is impossible to compare real feelings, I do get it now why many women forgive their abusers. I liked the outcome of the book very much, and believe that Colleen Hoover has written the most touching, realistic, and informative story about domestic abuse, and how it is almost never as white and black as you usually wish it was. My perception has changed so profoundly after I finished reading It Ends With Us, my heart was shattered into a million pieces, and yet I think this book should be read by every single woman on Earth because it shows the true colours of life.

“All humans make mistakes. What determines a person’s character aren’t the mistakes we make. It’s how we take those mistakes and turn them into lessons rather than excuses.”

It really was a hunting story, it affected me on such a deep emotional level, and confused me in the way that allowed me to grow up some more. More books lie this should exist.

Sorry for my ramblings, but sometimes getting everything out is a necessary step you have to take. I am certain I will remember this book for a long time, therefore my thoughts will always by here to be read whenever I need it.

Book Playlist

  1. 10cc – I’m Not In Love
  2. Fool’s Garden – Dreaming
  3. Iron & Wine – Flightless Bird, American Mouth
  4. The Lumineers – Slow It Down
  5. Tom Odell – I Think It’s Going To Rain Today

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Book Review

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Ratings

3 stars

Plot: 6/10

Setting: 8/10

Writing style: 7/10

Character building: 6/10

Enjoyment: 5/10

Overall: 6/10

My Opinionated Review

Anna and the French Kiss is a cute, funny and realistic romance story, with imperfect characters finding their own perfect world. It is very different from the usual contemporary romance: no misogyny, no over-the-top declarations of love, and no insta-love nonsense. It is a pure, simple, and very relatable book about love, life, and finding your place in the world.

This book is about Anna and her journey towards becoming an independent adult. Forced into going to spend her last high school year in an American boarding school in Paris, she has to deal with leaving her family and friends behind, and adjust to a new culture, new people, and an unfamiliar place. However, after befriending a group of students, she starts developing new relationships, gaining independence and self-identity, becoming a new and improved person, and realising that Paris might be quite an amazing place. This isn’t just a romance. It’s a story about growing up and finding your place in the world. It gives insight on both positive and negative aspects of life.

I loved the realistic portrayal of teenage life Stephanie Perkins gave to the readers. It was not just a romance story, it was life and struggles that come with it. Filled with disappointment and happiness, mistakes and forgiveness, and most of all, giving a perfect point of view of a girl trying to fit in in a foreign city, I found the story to be very relatable, since I am a foreigner myself. Plus, who doesn’t love a romantic Paris setting!

However, the most important part of the story was the romantic plotline, and although I found both of the characters honest and entertaining, the supposedly cute love story did not draw out many emotions out of me. There was nothing wrong with this book. Objectively, I see all the reasons why many people adore the story. But after hearing so many great things about it, my high expectations prevented me from really appreciating it. It was realistic and cute, and I respect the author for writing such a simple story. However, this simplicity ensued a very average outcome.

The main problem that affected my rating of the book was the lack of connection that I felt towards the characters. I ended up enjoying the life aspect of the book much more than the romantic plotline. St. Claire was a well-crafted character, very different from the usual love interest. But I just did not manage to really connect with him. I did find his and Anna’s misunderstandings quite amusing, it was very similar to what happens in real life. Yet, it just wasn’t anything special.

Despite not enjoying the book as much as I have hoped for, I still feel that more books like this one should exist. Actually giving a realistic point of view about romance and life in general, without those stupid over-the-top needy love stories, Anna and the French Kiss becomes a delightful break from the unnecessarily dramatic books. Nevertheless, considering so many good things that I have heard about this book prior to reading it, it came to me as a bit of a disappointment.

I still recommend reading it is you want something cute, simple, and refreshing. It might be your cup of tea despite it not being mine.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this romance, and your reasons for liking/disliking it.

 

Book Playlist

  1. Eagles – New Kid in Town
  2. Francoise Hardy – Tous les Garcons et les Filles
  3. Hélène Ségara, Joe Dassin – Et si tu n’existais pas
  4. Andy Williams – Moon River
  5. Twenty One Pilots – Can’t Help Falling In Love

 

 

On Every Street by Karina Halle

Book Review

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Ratings

4 stars

Plot: 6/10

Setting: 8/10

Writing style: 7/10

Character building: 8/10

Enjoyment: 7/10

Overall: 7/10

My Opinionated Review

Note: This is a prequel in The Artist Trilogy series. You can find the review for the first book here

Sins & Needles by Karina Halle review

On Every Street is a book that left me utterly conflicted. I have not expected to like the story, however, it surprised me in the best possible way. This prequel completely changes the game, giving the reader a different kind of perspective by telling the whole story between Ellie and Javier. Now, understanding the reason behind Javier’s actions makes the story at the same time clearer and more confusing, and leaves me with more love for the character. Although this story did not change my feelings towards the bad wolf Javier by much (I do not want to see Ellie and Javier as a couple in the future), it definitely made me appreciate the character’s complexity and multi-layer-ism.

This prequel tells the story of Ellie when she was Eden White, and ready to get her revenge on the man who destroyed her life. But when she decides to play Javier, a dangerous drug lord, to get to Travis, she soon sees that her game is turning to real feeling. The story is not new, we see these characters’ older selves in Sins & Needles. But it gives a different kind of perspective, allowing the reader to understand the past much better.

First of all, the fact that I never like prequels, or side stories, or other characters’ perspectives, needs to be acknowledged. They just don’t do it for me. I like the main story and that is it. However, often, I find myself forcing to read them in order to be able to enjoy the main story better. I believed that I needed to learn about Ellie’s backstory when she was Eden White and in love with a villain of Sins & Needles. I was prepared to skim the book but happened to be pleasantly surprised how this story completely allured me and brought up new feelings. It probably was one of the best prequels I have ever read. I am so glad that I read Sins & Needles first because knowing Ellie as a strong and conniving woman has made her actions as Eden White more understandable. Also, it completely changed the viewpoint of Javier. He is portrayed as a complete villain in the first book, and here the reader can get insight on what drew Ellie to him.

So although I definitely enjoyed the story, and I felt the chemistry between two main characters, it still remained a dysfunctional relationship. There are many books that try to glorify those harmful love stories, but in this case, it wasn’t it. The reader is never misguided, thinking that Javier is some kind of hero, as well as made aware of Ellie’s reasoning behind her actions, making her naïve persona easily relatable.

In this book, Ellie is Eden, and at times it felt like I was reading about a completely different character. Although I prefer Ellie, the strong and smart con artist, it was quite easy to understand and relate to Eden. She grew up without love, filled with hate and thirst for revenge, and was never appreciated. She is also young and naïve, still an innocent girl trying to find her place in the world. So when Javier admires her, loves her, and is ready to give her the world, she decides to ignore the reality and live in a lie. It is easy to avoid reality, easy to believe the lie and forget the truth, especially when it makes you feels good. Javier works as an escape for Ellie. She escapes her life, escapes even herself, and these are such human emotions that everyone can relate to.

Javier really has the ability to make your heart melt. Being so loved, especially by a man who should not be able to love, would make anyone feel special. Javier definitely possesses quite a few redeemable qualities. However, he is also a killer. The scenes where he would open up about his feeling towards Eden, and towards himself, really made me feel for the character. Nevertheless, I never stopped seeing him as a villain. Therefore, knowing that the relationship was doomed and Ellie would soon be getting on a journey to becoming her best self, made me enjoy the ride without judgements and eye-rolling. Plus, the fact that the book is insanely does not harm at all.

There were moments where Eden’s actions were really unwise, but the author always acknowledged her stupidity, making the character human with a desire to love and be loved. Javier was never made into a ‘perfect’ boyfriend, Eden knew she was living an illusion, at times even questioning whether Javier’s actions were romantic or creepy. This awareness gives the reader a completely different perspective of this dysfunctional relationship – Javier’s bad actions and Eden’s willingness to ignore all the bad stuff are never glorified, but the ability to love a bad man is never judged as well. The voice of reason here was Gus, and he made both Ellie and the reader aware of the relationship being a delusion. And that, plus the horrible stunt that Javier pulls, allows Eden to turn back into Ellie, and become the character I love very much.

I feel there has to be more story to tell behind Javier’s actions. Now he is definitely a villain – a killer with an obsession. However, I still feel he possesses some redeemable traits. So off to the next book, where I hope to find more answers.

I definitely recommend reading this prequel after Sins & Needles, but before going into Shooting Scars

 

Book Playlist

  1. Dire Straits – On Every Street
  2. Nine Inch Nails – Wish
  3. Calexico – The Vanishing Mind
  4. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – People Ain’t No Good
  5.  Elliott Smith – Bottle Up and Explode

Sins & Needles by Karina Halle

Book Review

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Ratings

4 stars

Plot: 6/10

Setting: 6/10

Writing style: 6/10

Character building: 9/10

Enjoyment: 8/10

Steam factor: 9/10

Overall: 7/10

My Opinionated Review

Sins & Needles is a refreshing contemporary romance with a darker twist and well, who doesn’t love a great con artist story?

I was meaning to pick up this book for a long time. After seeing all the good reviews on Goodreads, my expectations were quite high. I guess that was my mistake, I expected too much, therefore finding a few problems along the way was bound to happen. However, despite that, I truly enjoyed this book, the story was captivating and intense, characters – so wonderfully messed up, and the romance – hot.

Meet Ellie Watt, she is a con artist, a very interesting character, who carries a lot of anger and a lot of issues. She is a criminal, a con artist, but has her set of morals, making her a complex and likable character. Her portrayal was so wonderfully human, I loved that she was not that typical innocent girl/perfection. She makes stupid decisions, blames the world for her misbehaviour, is smart and conniving, and has an entertaining inner voice about all her hormonal swings. Her problematic persona really made her a great female lead. Moreover, her cons are catching up to her, her past is trying to find her, and a criminal thriller twist adds so much to the story, that it ceases to be just a contemporary romance, and becomes a steamy intense ride, filled with twists and secrets and bad decisions.

Now meet the love-interest Camden McQueen. Bullied for his Goth appearance in high school, he grows up to be a tattooed sex-god. His character was really well-crafted. I was never able to understand him completely, and that results in a great multi-dimensional character construction. He has his issues, has his charms, made mistakes in the past, is very talented and passionate, and most of all, he is a true match for Ellie. Their whole relationship is a blend of love and attraction and hate and revenge. So when he catches Ellie in the middle of her robbery, things get really complicated and interesting.

So their relationship was a very refreshing portrayal of romance. I used to be a huge fan of contemporary romance, but lately, the genre just makes me cringe. In this case, I was pleasantly surprised. The weren’t any cliques, misogynistic ideals and creepy declarations of love that usually comes in some form of a male owning a female. Both these people were doing what they wanted to do, giving in to passion, but actually plotting their own schemes. Ellie – a robbery, and Camden – catching Ellie in the act. And what actually made me really start liking their relationship was the fact that Camden does not take Ellie’s shit. He calls her a bitch when she really deserves it, but never steps over the line. And even if their relationship has some major problems, I believe that both these characters are on equal terms, without one being better or worse than the other. And having so much passionate sexy scenes did not hurt at all.

Somehow I seem to express only my love for the book. I really thought that it was great, but in the beginning, I guess I just kept expecting more. And although I have been thoroughly enjoying the story, I did not think that it was anything spectacular. The characters were great, their relationship started on interesting terms, and they have shared a complicated past. But I guess this classic formula just stopped doing anything for me.

Moreover, I really had a bit of a problem with the writing at first. The sentences seemed a bit clumsy at times, and I had issues with actually getting into the story. It might have been because I have read so many spectacularly written works beforehand, or I just wasn’t used to the writer’s voice, but it was a troubling factor for me. Later in the book, I got used to it and it ceased to be an issue.

Lastly, the switch between first and third person when writing ‘then’ and ‘now’ chapters annoyed me a little bit. It always gives me an impression of trying too hard.

With all that said, I thought that the story really picked up in the second half of the book. Although romance still existed, it ceased to be the main focus, and the complicated line between trust and betrayal and love and hate just made me care about the characters much more. The suspense and fear that Javier brought to the table really changed the pacing and the concept of the story, and my opinion of the book went from quite enjoying it to really really liking it. The book was filled with so much action and horror and passion in the end. I cannot wait to see where the story goes next.

So overall, it was a really enjoyable read. I am a bit confused about the following books. When it comes to the series, I usually enjoy the first book the least, since it takes me a long time to start caring about the characters. However, when it comes to contemporary romance, I don’t think I have ever read a sequel that I really enjoyed. But since it stopped being only a romance and now has much more danger and suspense to it, I have hopes for a thrilling ride.

Book Playlist

  1. Calexico – Better and Better
  2. Dire Straits – Fade to Black
  3. John Paul White – Neon
  4. Radiohead – Last Flowers
  5. Nine Inch Nails – Only

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Book Review

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Ratings

4 stars

Plot: 7/10

Setting: 8/10

Writing style: 8/10

Character building: 8/10

Enjoyment: 8/10

Overall: 8/10

My Opinionated Review

If you are looking for a fun, light, and entertaining summer read, Since You’ve Been Gone is a perfect book for you. Filled with great character development, fun interactions, and bucket list fulfilments, it offers everything you can hope from a fun young adult summer book.

The story starts with the main character Emily trying to find her best friend Sloane since she has been MIA for a couple of weeks. But the only clue that Sloane has left Emily is a crazy and challenging list that the main character has to complete. Hoping that by the crossing of every single item on the list, Emily will somehow find her best friend, she attempts to face her fears. But unexpected circumstances lead Emily to become quite a different person, develop new friendships, and get out of her comfort zone.

So at the heart of the book, you have the main protagonist Emily, who’s journey from a scared, shy, socially-awkward girl towards a fun, friendly risk-taker is the most entertaining part of the story. At first, I had a bit of a trouble liking this character. She seemed a bit bland, boring, and quite depended on her friendship with Sloane. It was like without her best friend, she ceased to exist. So I was quite glad to see Sloane go because without her in the picture, Emily actually managed to form her own personality. She took risks, did crazy things, and became a delightful character in the process. It was quite easy to relate to a character, because I guess everybody has things that scare us, making quite a few people hide in their comfortable places, and not really doing anything spectacular in the end. Therefore, after reading Emily’s journey, it makes me want to do something similar as well.

I loved that the romance in the book, although present, was not the main part of the story. It felt more realistic and relatable. The characters seemed like real people, with their faults and issues. Therefore, the author did wonders by avoiding the clique perfect innocent girl and a misunderstood guy structures, did not make the romance silly or unrealistic, and actually made me care for the characters individually before inserting an idea of a romantic involvement.

Morgan Matson has incorporated a great female narration with a fun plot, and by focusing on a sole character development and the importance of friendships rather than making the character change because of the guy, wrote quite a remarkable book. Of course, I did see a few faults, like lame teenager misunderstandings, expected resolve of the story, certain actions not making much sense, and, well, being a bit childish at times. However, despite having faults, it never failed to entertain. It was fun, heart-warming, and hopeful.

Overall, a perfect read to relax. If you are looking for something fun and light, it is a book for you. Especially if you feel like you are too closed off in your comfort bubble, this book might change your perspective on things.

Book Playlist

  1. Neon Trees – Everybody Talks
  2. Of Monsters and Men – Dirty Paws
  3. Twenty One Pilots – House of Gold
  4. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Home
  5. Eric Church – Springsteen

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Book Review

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Ratings

4 stars

Plot: 7/10

Setting: 8/10

Writing Style: 8/10

Character building: 9/10

Enjoyment: 9/10

Overall: 8/10

My Opinionated Review

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda offers such a great feel-good story. I could not stop smiling throughout the whole book! I heard so many good things about this book prior to reading it, and it did not disappoint at all. The author has successfully avoided cliché young adult romance themes and crafted a very realistic, family orientated, witty characters filled school romance, without the need to go into epic big gestures and barf moments.

This story is about a thoroughly delightful and very funny character Simon, his struggles of coming out, and finding support and love in an unlikely place – the Internet. It explores the themes of family bonds, what it actually feels to be in high school, identity struggles, and more. And everything is explored in such a simple and well-thought out manner, that it brings the reader joy and feels real. The book is not about the dark and unaccepting society where everybody judges the guy for coming out. Nor it has a tragic family dynamics or the most epic angst-driven romance plot. And these are the main reasons why it is so darn fun!

This is definitely an example of how YA books should be written. The simplicity of it was brilliant and refreshing, so nice to break out of the usual over-the-top bombastic love stories that makes me roll my eyes so much. The realistic and very lovable characters, friendships, relationships and family bonds just made this book so enjoyable. The characters were great, especially Blue and Simon, bringing me close to tears from laughter more than a few times. The romance was realistic, making it much more fun to read. This book was just pure JOY.

Although I have guessed Blue’s identity quite early in the book, it was not really meant to be a mystery. It actually worked out for the better, with the message that sometimes the thing that you are looking for is just in front of you, but you are too blind to see it.

It was a nice break from intense, action-packed fantasy/sci-fi books that I have been reading lately. And I would definitely recommend it to everybody who is looking for something light, fun, and joyful.

Book Playlist

  1. Brandon Flowers – Only the Young
  2. The Pierces – Boy in a Rock and Roll Band
  3. George Ezra – Blame It On Me
  4. Mumford and Sons – I Will Wait
  5. American Authors – Best Day of My Life