Tag: Bookish Ames

Buddy Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Posted July 17, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Buddy Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny HanTo All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
Series: To All the Boys I've Loved Before #1
Also in this series: P.S. I Still Love You, Always and Forever, Lara Jean
Published by Simon & Schuster, Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers on April 15, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Point of View: First Person
Pages: 355
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them… all at once?

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

Lara Jean Song Covey is about to start her junior year of high school. Everything in her life is fine. She’s got a great relationship with her family, she’s got a great but imperfect friend and even though she’s sad that her older sister Margot is goint to Scotland for college, she’s happy for Margot. Sure, she still gets a little pang in her heart at the thought of her boy best friend Josh being in a relationship with her sister but she wrote him a letter and got everything out and she moved on. She really did.

It’s what she does. When she falls in love with a boy and can’t have that boy for whatever reason, she writes them a letter and pours her heart and soul into that letter and then that letter goes into a box for safekeeping because of course, she was never going to send those letters out. So far, she’s written five letters to five different boys.

Things get really interesting when those letters get sent out…

Rowena: Alright, Ames. We’re back in action after a brief hitaus (haha, meaning we have been stinking it up in the last couple of months) and our first book is To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han in preparation for Netflix’s release of the movie next month.

What did you think?

Ames: Ok, first of all, I’m going to say I enjoyed it. But it took me a while to warm up to it in the beginning and Lara Jean annoyed me a bit, but in the end I really like how it all came together. That ending though!!!

What about you?

Rowena: When I got to the ending, I laughed out loud because I was like, “Oh, that’s why Ames was so annoyed” but yeah, I totally would have felt the same way if I didn’t have the next two books to read right away…and I did start the next book right away. I couldn’t help myself.

I enjoyed it too. It didn’t take me long to jump right into the story but I found myself wanting more Peter really early on. He’s such a boy. Josh was super perfect and because of things that we found out about him and Margot, I knew that I wanted Lara Jean to find her own person. Someone that was hers and hers alone and while Peter was still dealing with his nightmare of an ex, Lara Jean was important to him and I loved seeing them fall in love.

I’m super excited about the Netflix movie too. I cannot wait to see this story brought to life. I bet you the movie is going to get the same ending as the book. Haha.

Ames: I would have been rooting for Lara Jean and Josh too, I mean she did like him first. But we find out what we did about him and Margot and Peter was coming across as more interesting anyway. Josh was too known to Lara Jean, there was no challenge there. Peter was the perfect guy to bust Lara Jean out of her bubble, and man does Lara Jean have a big bubble! I think Josh would have kept her in her small world. I did like all the jealousy though between Peter and Josh as the story developed.

Ok, how awesome was Kitty’s character? I loved her! She was so decisive and the sass she threw Peter’s way was cute. I honestly didn’t care for Margot. That ish she pulls at the end, going to their dad? Not cool, sister. And how she barely kept in touch with Lara Jean while she was gone?

Rowena: I adored Kitty! I think outside of Peter, she was my favorite character. I just loved how sassy she was and how caring she was. She didn’t apologize for who she was but she also cared a lot about everyone in her life. When Peter became of those that she cared for, I cheered. I loved seeing the two of them together and I really loved the way that Peter was with her. Kitty’s birthday present from Peter and Lara Jean was the best thing ever. Also? I loved the dance that they did for Peter and Peter’s reaction to it. I hope that made the cut in the movie.

I agree with you about Josh. Josh was perfect and he was very book boyfriendy but I liked that it was Peter, the not so perfect boy who ended up being Lara Jean’s person. I enjoyed the jealousy on both sides with Peter and Josh. I thought Peter was perfect for Lara Jean and I loved that he did force her out of her bubble and I’m so glad that he did because she is so happy and I love it.

Margot annoyed me too when she played the snitch. That wasn’t cool. You don’t ever do shit like that, no matter how mad you are at your sister.

I think I enjoyed this book a bit more than you did because for me? I give this book a 4.5 out of 5. What about you?

Ames: Kitty and Peter becoming friends was definitely a highlight for me. And Peter’s notes! Like the one he gave Lara Jean to say he wanted to drive Kitty to school in his two seater car. *swoon*

Lara Jean annoyed me – she was very immature in my opinion. The way she acted without thinking of the repercussions. Like jumping on Peter because she didn’t want to deal with Josh coming down the hall. HOWEVER, this immaturity was consistent with who she was as a character and a teenager so even though it annoyed me, it was understandable.

Ok, now I feel like a Grinch. I’m giving this 3.75 out of 5. LOL

Rowena: Yeah, Lara Jean was annoying and immature but Jenny Han did a great job of making that a consistent trait of hers and it fit with her inexperience in all things boys and her world being so small so it didn’t bother me at all. And YES, Peter’s notes! Those were the best.

Overall, this book had me all in my feels and I just adored the hell out of Peter. And haha, you are a Grinch for that grade but it’s all good.

Final Grade

Ames: 3.75 out of 5
Rowena: 4.5 out of 5

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Series

four-stars


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Buddy Review: Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

Posted March 14, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Buddy Review: Burn for Me by Ilona AndrewsBurn for Me by Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #1
Published by Harper Collins, Avon on October 28th 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Point of View: First Person
Pages: 400
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Add It: Goodreads
four-half-stars

#1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews launches a brand new Hidden Legacy series, in which one woman must place her trust in a seductive, dangerous man who sets off an even more dangerous desire…

Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.

Burn for Me is the first book in the Hidden Legacy series by Ilona Andrews and it really sets up this series nicely.

Nevada Baylor is a private investigator who takes her job very seriously. She’s the head of her family PI firm but when her employees are all in school, she’s the only full time employee that can actually do the work. Her latest case was forced on her and she hasn’t a prayer of surviving it but she has to try to figure things out anyway because her family is at stake. Nevada will do anything for her family.

When the case brings Mad Rogan into her life and he kidnaps her, Nevada finds herself partnered up with the head of House Rogan, who also happens to be Hurucan, the guy that can break cities. They’re partnered up and going after Adam Pierce, a Prime Pyrokinetic, who is trying to burn down Houston. Something bigger than Adam Pierce is going on and they’re determined to figure it out and stop the bad guys from harming anymore people.

Rowena: Alright, Ames….spill. How much did you freaking love this book and Mad Rogan?

Ames:: OMG I loved this book so much I jumped right into the second one…and as I’m writing this I’ve already started the third! haha

I love the Kate Daniels series and Ilona Andrews has definitely created another heroine I can get behind! For Nevada Baylor, family is everything. And that remains true for her character. She’s so strong and kick-ass and awesome. And every great heroine needs an awesome partner and Rogan definitely has the makings of a great hero. He’s a Prime…meaning super powerful and he’s definitely an alpha hero. But he’s in no way an alpha-hole. I heart Rogan. So bad. LOL Seriously, he gives me heart eyes.

But the book isn’t just about Nevada and Rogan. Nevada’s whole family plays a big part in the story and I loved all of them. Her 70 year old mechanic grandma, her sniper mother, her gifted cousins and younger sisters. They’re all awesome.

What about you Wena? I’m so glad you got me to read this book!

Rowena: Oh man, did I love this book. I’m super thrilled that Holly has been on me to get this book read because wasn’t it just the best book you’ve read this month? Gah, I loved the heck out of this book. There wasn’t much that I didn’t like about it.

I loved Nevada, Rogan, Nevada’s family and the way that they functioned as a unit. When we start to get to know Rogan better and better, I thought he was such an asshole but I still loved him to pieces. I wasn’t expecting how funny this book was going to be. I prefer my paranormal books to be on the more serious side and even though this isn’t a paranormal book, I thought that it would be a little more serious but holy cow, the humor had me up late into the night giggliing like a little school girl. Brenna came into my room and told me to knock it off because I was giggling so much that it was creeping her out. She was right. I was giggling a lot but I don’t care that I was creeping her out because I had a good ol’ time with this one.

When Rogan called Augustine Pancakes? I about died laughing. When he couldn’t get over her circle work? I couldn’t stop laughing. When they were flirting back and forth and she told him she wasn’t going to handle his snake? I laughed and laughed and laughed. Gah. I can’t say that I loved this book enough. It gets all of my heart eyes.

Ames: Oh yes, the humour was excellent! I liked that for sure. Even Rogan’s attitude about killing people – I know this is awful to say but it is fiction – it was somewhat funny, especially when he uses a building to get the job done. Like he just doesn’t give a shit. And that’s why this book works. Yes Rogan is all super-powerful but Nevada brings him back down to earth. She’s reminds me of his humanity and keeps it real for him. She’s equal in that way. The other thing is she keeps him on his toes. She’s full of surprises.

Honestly, I can’t think of anything about this book I didn’t like. Even the mystery surrounding Adam Pierce was engaging. The world-building was excellent and the way Andrews describes settings and scenes, I could picture everything so clearly in my head.

Rowena: I agree. It’s very easy for me to read quickly through scenes where there’s a lot of description, scenes that kind of set something up and I’ll gloss over scenes but I read every single word and enjoyed every single word that was written in this book. Ilona Andrews has the magic writing stick because I was wrapped up in everything from beginning to end.

Adam Pierce was an interesting antagonist and his whole story was interesting as well. I was really curious to read more about this shady business he was a part of because with the ending, you just know that there’s gonna be more drama to come. This stuff isn’t over and I’m so.here.for.it.

Overall, the book was wonderful. The world was magical and the characters were the best. I give this book a 5 out of 5. You?

Ames: Oh I liked that Adam’s story was wrapped up extremely satisfyingly but that there was a whole bigger arc to the story that joins all three books. I’m looking forward to finding out more in book 3!

I’m stingy with my 5s so I’m giving this one a 4.5 out of 5. Still a high recommendation from me!​

Final Grades

Ames: 4.5 out of 5
Rowena: 5 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Buddy Review: Living Out Loud by Staci Hart

Posted February 28, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Buddy Review: Living Out Loud by Staci HartLiving Out Loud by Staci Hart
Series: Austen Series #3
Published by Staci Hart on February 1st 2018
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Point of View: Alternating First Person
Pages: 324
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Add It: Goodreads
three-half-stars

Bestselling author Staci Hart brings you another installment of the Austen Series, inspired by the works of Jane Austen, with a heartfelt contemporary retelling of Sense and Sensibility.

When Annie Daschle arrives in New York City, the only thing she can control is her list.

Not her father’s death or the loss of her home. Not the hole in her heart or the defective valve that’s dictated so much of her life. But she can put pen to paper to make a list of all the ways she can live out loud, just like her dad would have wanted.

See the city from the top of the Empire State Building: Check.Eat hot dogs on the steps of The Met: Check.Get a job at Wasted Words: Check.

What wasn’t on her list: Greg Brandon. And just when she thinks she’s figured out where to put him, everything changes. In the span of a few staggering heartbeats, she finds herself caught in the middle of something she can’t find her way out of, with no clear answers and no rules.

List or no list, she realizes she can’t control anything at all, not even her heart.

Not the decisions it makes, and not the moment it stops.

​Living Out Loud is the third book in the Austen series by Staci Hart. The story follows Annie Daschle as she moves from a small town in Texas to the bright lights of New York City. After her father dies, Annie’s life is thrown for a loop and she’s determined to live every day like it’s her last so she makes a list of things she wants to do in New York.

Landing a job at Wasted Words, a coffee shop/bar/bookstore makes Annie super happy because she led such a sheltered life back in Texas and she’s hoping to come out of her shell here in New York and meeting Greg has helped with that goal. A friendship that Annie treasures sparks up between her and Greg and once she lets herself open up more, things start happening for her and she gets so wrapped up making memories and developing relationships that she spends a good chunk of the book trying to figure out what’s real and what’s not.

Rowena: Alright Ames, start us off. What did you think?

Ames: I have to be honest-I was all over the place with this one.l I really enjoy the original Sense and Sensibility and so when I realized who’s story Annie’s was based on I got nervous! But I loved Greg. He was a great guy. But Annie… Annie was 18 and grew up sheltered due to a heart condition and I felt like in some situations she really showed her immaturity and that annoyed me. But I was engrossed enough in the story to keep reading through the annoyance. Lol What did you think Wena?

Rowena: I was the same way. The beginning was slow for me and I kept waiting for something to happen instead of all that gloom and doom thoughts from Annie. Then once the story takes off, I started getting annoyed but then when Greg makes himself known, I cried. So yeah, I was all over the place too.

Overall though, I thought​ ​this book was just okay. It was much too fluffy for what I was in the mood for and everything just seemed to happen perfectly for Annie at the same time that everything was so dramatic and just…meh.

Ames: I agree, it was fluffy and that would have been ok but for Annie. She was just too…sunshine and rainbows for my taste. I have a really hard time believing that Greg who was ten years older than her would really have fallen for someone so naive and innocent. Despite that, I can see that he would be a good guy to grow up with. But it just seems unfair to him. The relationship could potentially be uneven, with him giving of himself all the time.

I was happy with the way every turned out though. Annie learned some lessons that weren’t too painful and we were introduced to the awesomeness that was Greg. Overall, Living out Loud was an ok read and I’m going to give it a 3.5 out of 5.

One last thing though, how awesome would it be to work at Wasted Words?

Rowena: I thought the same thing, too. I thought that Greg gave a lot to the relationship and that Annie…didn’t because she was much too young and naive and that kind of got on my nerves. Greg made the book for me though. I loved him. I thought he was a great hero and that I felt bad that he couldn’t catch a break where Annie was concerned. Imagine, never falling in love and then when you finally do, it’s with someone so much younger than you, someone in a different place in life than you but your heart wants what it wants and homegirl just kept right on messing with your plans?

Like I said, this book was not a bad book but it was a fluffy and much too sweet for what I wanted to read. Still, Greg was great and YESSSSS! I think it would be awesome to work at Wasted Words because that historical mixer? Loved it. I also loved that Annie was a huge Julia Quinn fan. Haha, that brightened me right up reading that.

I’m giving this book a 3 out of 5.

Austen Series

Final Ratings

Ames: 3.5 out of 5
Rowena: 3 out of 5

three-half-stars


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