Book Review

These Things I’ve Done by Rebecca Phillips

These Things I’ve Done by Rebecca PhillipsThese Things I've Done by Rebecca Phillips
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 1st August 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Before:
Dara and Aubrey have been inseparable since they became best friends in sixth grade. However, as they begin their sophomore year of high school, cracks in their friendship begin to form, testing the bond they always thought was unbreakable.

After:
It's been fifteen months since the accident that killed Aubrey, and not a day goes by that Dara isn't racked with guilt over her role in her best friend's death. Dara thought nothing could be worse than confronting the memories of Aubrey that relentlessly haunt her, but she soon realizes it isn't half as difficult as seeing Ethan, Aubrey's brother, every day. Not just because he's a walking reminder of what she did, but because the more her feelings for him change, the more she knows she's betraying her best friend one final time.
 

I hadn’t read anything by Rebecca Phillips before I read These Things I’ve Done, so I took a chance on an unknown (to me) author and it paid off massively. These Things I’ve Done is a tough subject matter. Dara, the main character, returns to her hometown after having spent a year away. Dara spent the past year away from hometown because she accidentally killed her best friend.

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The Wrath and the Dawn by Reneé Ahdieh

The Wrath and the Dawn by Reneé AhdiehThe Wrath and the Dawn by Reneé Ahdieh
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #1
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 12th May 2015
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: one-star

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?
 

I can’t remember the last time I was this disappointed in a book. I had been looking forward to reading The Wrath and the Dawn before it was even released, and I spent a lot of money on a pretty hardback copy when I was in the US. I was so excited to finally pick it up because I’d heard that it was outstanding, but it was actually pretty shit. I’m so sad.

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Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny HanAlways and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
Series:
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 2nd May 2017
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?
 

I’ve been a massive fan of this trilogy from the start, but I have to admit that I wasn’t particularly looking forward to the third instalment. It’s not that I was dreading it, but I didn’t think the series really needed to be a series. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before was a cute standalone, ya know? But regardless, I read the sequels because I’m a huge Jenny Han fan (is there a name for us? There should be.) and I ended up enjoying them both. Continue reading

Hello, Sunshine by Leila Howland

Hello, Sunshine by Leila HowlandHello, Sunshine by Leila Howland
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 11th July 2017
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-half-stars

Becca Harrington is a reject. After being rebuffed by every college on her list, she needs a fresh start, so she packs up everything and moves to LA, giving herself one year to land an acting gig or kill herself trying. 

Unfortunately, not everything turns out as planned, and after a few grueling months, LA is looking like the worst idea ever. As hard as she tries, Becca can’t land an agent, she's running out of cash, and her mom is hounding her to apply to more schools. In an act of desperation, Becca and her friend Marisol start posting short videos online—with the help of their adorable filmmaker neighbor, Raj—and the videos catch the attention of a TV producer. Could this be it? Her big break? Or will she have to move back home with nothing but some bad head shots and a monstrous credit-card bill? 

Becca may not get the Hollywood ending she was hoping for, but perhaps she’ll learn there’s more than one way to achieve her dream.

Sometimes you’re just in the mood for a sunny, fun, fluffy YA contemporary, ya know? I was in one of those moods when I requested this book, even though recently I’ve been avoiding YA contemporary like the plague. I have my reasons. Don’t judge. I hoped to just lost myself in Hello, Sunshine and pretend I lived in Los Angeles for a bit because the English weather has been a bit crappy this week, and lose myself I did.

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The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

The Couple Next Door by Shari LapenaThe Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: 14th July 2016
Publisher: Transworld Digital
Source: Bought
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Fast-paced and addictive, THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR announces a major new talent in thriller writing. You never know what's happening on the other side of the wall.

Your neighbour told you that she didn't want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn't stand her crying.

Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You'll have the baby monitor and you'll take it in turns to go back every half hour.

Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She's gone.

You've never had to call the police before. But now they're in your home, and who knows what they'll find there.

What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?

I read The Couple Next Door in one sitting after weeks and weeks of battling through a reading slump. Apparently all I needed was a really good thriller. Who knew? I’m really happy with the way this turned out, so much so that I’ve pre-ordered Lapena’s next thriller so I can read it right away when it comes out later this month.

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