Book Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Genre: YA Paranormal

Number of Pages: 624

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis: By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her, if there can even be a future for the chimaera in war-ravaged Eretz.

Common enemy, common cause.

When Jael’s brutal seraph army trespasses into the human world, the unthinkable becomes essential, and Karou and Akiva must ally their enemy armies against the threat. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people.

And, perhaps, for themselves. Toward a new way of living, and maybe even love.

But there are bigger threats than Jael in the offing. A vicious queen is hunting Akiva, and, in the skies of Eretz … something is happening. Massive stains are spreading like bruises from horizon to horizon; the great winged stormhunters are gathering as if summoned, ceaselessly circling, and a deep sense of wrong pervades the world.

What power can bruise the sky?

From the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond, humans, chimaera and seraphim will fight, strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

At the very barriers of space and time, what do gods and monsters dream of? And does anything else matter?

Discussion: When I finished this book I closed it and stared at the cover for a solid ten seconds.

Be prepared for a sucky review. I can’t even.

The only way to share my thoughts is through GIFs.

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WAIT…It’s over?

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Did it really satisfy me? But–but–I can’t even. This is so unfair.

movie animated GIF

Can’t deny my love for this series.

That’s the gist of it. I mean, it’s amazing. No more explanations.

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Book Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Genre: YA Paranormal

Number of Pages: 513

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis: Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Art student and monster’s apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

Discussion: Days of Blood and Starlight was just as good as the first book. The setting still isn’t the USA or UK. And even though Karou flees Prague and goes to the chimaera, and then they go somewhere else, it’s a cool setting: Morocco.

So what else did I like about this book?

Zuzana and Mik

They are Karou’s best friends, and I was very glad that the book started from their POV. [The beginning scene is quite funny, actually. Zuzana is trying to convince Mik to pee on Kaz. XD] The two add much needed humor, and light in Karou’s life. Zuze and Mik get along pretty well with other people and are quite easygoing, so I wasn’t too surprised when the chimaera liked them better than Karou. Mik could play his violin for them, too, which they liked.

violin animated GIF


This book has a lot of POVs. And not just one, or two, but a lot. You have Zuzana and Mik, Karou, Akiva, Liraz, random wild chimaera, Ziri, random angel [I think], random person, and group of random people. And that’s all I can remember. At least eight or nine. But I really liked the POVs. Unlike DoSB, where it’s only Akiva and Karou, you get to know what the opposing side is doing.

The White Wolf and Karou

[I’m not talking about their characters, but their relationship.] Thiago, AKA White Wolf, was in love with Karou when she was Madrigal. But she loved Akiva, and he got angry. He is very greedy and wants to get everything he desires. So when Karou comes to be with the chimaera, he is still very “in love” with her. But it isn’t really love in my opinion.

not amused animated GIF

I compared it to Snape and Lily’s relationship from Harry Potter. Snape is in love with Lily, but Lily loves James. Unlike DoSB, Lily and James die, leaving their son. Snape is absolutely devastated and then is mean to Harry.

In DoSB, Thiago becomes quite obsessed with Karou, as Snape does with Lily. He’s not really stalking her, but he tries to be near her a lot and things like that. That happens with Madrigal. Then, when Karou comes, he thinks he can win her back [even though he killed her].

He can’t. DUH.

But back to the point. That “love” Thiago has for Karou and Snape has for Lily is not real. Maybe in the beginning it was, especially with Snape, but soon it became a desire to have what they want. I think Thiago never really loved Karou the way Snape loved Lily in the beginning. He just wanted her because she was pure and Kirin. Maybe he saw other things in her, but that was the only evidence suggesting his “love” for her.

Can I just talk about a spoiler for a second?


When Thiago attempts to rape Karou, that is further proof that he does not love her. He just wants to win her so he can get what he wants. And the rape was a) digusting and b) not something I thought would happen, but when it did, it kind of made sense.

And then she kills him.

I was so happy; you don’t even know. I was like, “Die, die, die!” And she did it. :D Oh, nad the part about putting Ziri’s soul into Thiago’s body? Brilliant.


This book was amazing. You better read it if you haven’t. [After DoSB, of course.]

Have you read this series? Will you now? Any more thoughts? Tell me in the comments below.

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Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Genre: YA Paranormal

Number of Pages: 418

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis: Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?


This book is pretty freaking amazing. I guess I’ve read a lot of great books lately, but this one is funny and demon/angel-y and has romance and is written beautifully and I JUST CAN’T EVEN.

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This is going to be a boring review. It will just be me fangirling and you reading and I just can’t even. It is too perfect for words. So let the fangirling discussion begin!

Karou. Was. My. Fave. SHE IS THE BEST. And the wishbone end part thingy—okay, so I kind of saw that THING coming, but I was unsure, so I think Taylor did a good job at dropping subtle hints. Karou was sweet and sarcastic and beautiful and amazing.

In class, we had to write about the book we were reading, and I wrote this about Karou:

“I also very much enjoy the main character, Karou. She is a mystery, and enigma perhaps, who makes wishes of blue hair and itches, and is, essentially, a master of two worlds. Karou has her normal life: a best friend, art school, ex, and sketches, and she has her secret, fantastical one, of monsters and trafficking for teeth, and her complex and unknown family.”

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The side characters were my baes, too. Zuzana and Mik were wonderful additions, and I’m glad to see them again in Days of Blood and Starlight.

The setting. It is set in Prague, in the Czech Republic, and thank you Taylor for choosing this country! I am and eighth Czech and have always wanted to visit there; now I feel like I have. The city is described wonderfully, painting magnificent images of everything from the little teashop to the cathedral at sunrise.*

*Which, by the way, was one of my favorite scenes.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone reminds me of Ink by Amanda Sun. I read it a few months ago. It is about an American girl who is sent to Japan to live with her aunt. Then she meets—who else—a boy who loves to draw, and he draws these creatures—that eventually come to life, threatening to destroy him, and the girl. I actually ordered Ink and the sequel, Rain on Amazon. At least, I added them to the cart. I’m not sure my parents will let me order all the books I added…

All in all, Daughter of Smoke and Bone was a wonderful read and I highly recommend it. If it is on your TBR, buy/order/read it ASAP. I also got an IRL friend of mine to read it—SQUEE!!!

Have you read Daughter of Smoke and Bone? Did you enjoy it? Tell me in the comments below.

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Double Book Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door AND Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Stephanie Perkins is the queen. Whch is quite obvious. And [somewhat] irrelevant.

I am reviewing both Lola and the Boy Next Door and Isla and the Happily Ever After in one post because I finished them both so fast. So yeah. There aren’t any spoilers, by the way, although I may have a small section for Isla. Because I have thoughts about that.

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Genre: YA Contemporary

Number of Pages: 338

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Synopsis: Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Discussion: Lola was okay at the beginning. I was kind of meh about it. Lola seemed quite eccentric to me, with her costumes and all. Which I guess I was really judgmental about. [I’m sorry!] And then there was Max. WHHHHY????

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I honestly disliked him from the beginning. Why?

  1. The age gap.
  2. They just didn’t click to me! It felt awkward whenever they were together and very insincere.
  3. He was very…fake to me. Nerdy, but rocker band? Like WHAT?

I also did not really get Lola’s parents. It was cool that she had two dads, but the brunches and phone calls and stuff seemed very out of place. She is seventeen. LET HER LIVE. I get the overprotective parents part, but COME ON.


Then Cricket came into the picture.

From the very start, I was like, “DATE HIM ALREADY!!! DUMP MAX AND DATE CRICKET.”

No spoilers or anything, so I can’t express my TRUE opinions.

And there was Anna and Etienne. That was pretty freaking awesome, to see them as an adorable couple. I love how they were true friends to Lola and gave her wise advice.

Speaking of friends, let’s talk about Lindsey. She was very awesome, kind of like a Nancy Drew. I wished we could’ve seen more of her. She was very interesting to me and I wanted to get to know her better, but this book kind of flew past the best friend stuff.

Despite all my complaints, I thought this book was ineffably and utterly cute. Once Cricket got there, I was 100% on board. He was funny and tall and witty and perfect.

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That end, though. THAT END KILLED ME. :’(

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Genre: YA Contemporary

Number of Pages: 337

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis: Love ignites in the City That Never Sleeps, but can it last?

Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart.

Featuring cameos from fan-favorites Anna, Étienne, Lola, and Cricket, this sweet and sexy story of true love—set against the stunning backdrops of New York City, Paris, and Barcelona—is a swoonworthy conclusion to Stephanie Perkins’s beloved series.

Discussion: Isla was just as amazing. Maybe better, even. Yeah, better. The premise was not promising, however I was hooked as soon as I started reading.

I could completely relate to Isla. Hopeless crush? Tell me about it. However, I am blonde and she is red-haired. I am tall, she is short. I have blue eyes, she has green. We both have freckles!

yes animated GIF I appreciated the fact that Kurt was visible, unlike Lindsey in Lola. And I was even happier when he and Isla didn’t fall in love. They sleep together, but no more than sibling-esque love. Those love triangle-thingies get old. *cough* Cassandra Clare *cough** And we got to interact with Kurt and see his feelings and obsessions and everything.

*JK I love Cassie’s books


I was a bit sad to see Josh and Rashmi break up, but…

This book hit me in the feels, though.


I just have to spoil and rant.


It was amazing. I was so happy for them.

And when Josh got expelled? Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl; Asdfghjkl;

There are no words.


I honestly have no more words for this book. I am sorry. It is just perfection. Stephanie Perkins is queen. <3

Have you read these lovely bookies? If so, what did you think? And if not, will you? Tell me in the comments below.

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Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Anna and the French Kiss

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Genre: YA Contemporary

Number of Pages: 372

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis: Can Anna find love in the City of Light?

Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So she’s less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.

But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Étienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he’s taken —and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she’s waiting for?

Discussion: beauty and the beast animated GIF

Oh my god I’ve found true love in a book. That’s it. Ship me off to Paris. Point me in the direction of cute American-English-French boys. Or Étienne. That would work too. This book is too adorable and lovely for words. I. CAN’T. EVEN. It’s too perfect!

So what makes this book so amazingly perfect in every way? Let me list my feels the ways:


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She was love struck, obsessed, and absolutely cute. At first, she seemed like every girl out there, but as I learned more about her, I liked her more and more. Her complicated writer father was another interesting part. He’s an &**%#@!. I loved her hair; it sounded awesome, despite what Amanda Spitgirl thought.

The side characters: Mer, Rashmi, Josh, Bridgette, Toph, and, of course, Seany!

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Okay, so, to be honest, Mer annoyed me a little. At the beginning, I thought she was going to be really mean, but I was happily surprised. But the jealousy factor? Just, nuh-uh. STEP AWAY FROM THE BOY. Mer ended up being a really sweet and loyal friend, despite the incident.

Rashmi was kind of strange in my opinion, but she did have a heart of gold. Or silver. XD She was pretty awesome, though, and I can totally see myself in her when she badgers Josh to be a good student. Because I would totally do that to my [imaginary] boyfriend.

I have to say, Josh exceeded my expectations. At first, he seemed like a totally cool comic relief/best friend/artist person. And that was it. But once he got a bigger part, I was kind of surprised. THEN. HE DOES BAD THINGS. Yet I still liked him. Josh seemed like a sweetie to me, even with THE ISSUES.

Bridgette and Toph…

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I can be very scary at times. Sorry.*

Despite being horrid friends, they did do some good. They added more conflict to the story!** And more reasons for Anna to be angry and angsty and give us more background. Plus,*** what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! :D

SEANY! He is just your stereotypical innocent, adorable little kid. He makes me want to hug somebody. *hugs you*

*Not sorry. >:)
**Yes, I am that evil.
***I really hate saying “plus” because I know someone who says it way too much.

The setting

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Okay, pop quiz time! What country am I absolutely obsessed with?

If you said “France,” you are correct! I love Parisian and French things and have a mini Eiffel Tower, a PARIS block-thingy, a painting of a street in France, and a French-girl hat. [Think Madeline’s hat.] And many more.*

So, having Anna and the French Kiss set in France was just—amazing. I loved reading about the touristy places, not to mention the food and baked goods, which all sound fabulous, and the little shops and the weather and EVERYTHING.

*It is kind of an unhealthy obsession. I haven’t even been there! What if I hate it?


He is now on my [growing] list of fictional boyfriends.* His hair, his eyes, his voice—everything. HE IS PERFECTION.

There are no more words.

*This list includes Leo Valdez, Percy Jackson, Simon Lewis, Will Herondale, Levi, and Augustus Waters.

Stephanie Perkins’s writing is quite beautiful and simple at the same time. I felt like Anna was talking to her best friend.

Have you read Anna and the French Kiss? What did you think? Tell me in the comments below.

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Book Review: Four by Veronica Roth

Four by Veronica Roth

Title: Four

Author: Veronica Roth

Genre: YA Dystopian

Number of Pages: 285

Overall Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis: Two years before Beatrice Prior made her choice, the sixteen-year-old son of Abnegation’s faction leader did the same. Tobias’s transfer to Dauntless is a chance to begin again. Here, he will not be called the name his parents gave him. Here, he will not let fear turn him into a cowering child.

Newly christened “Four,” he discovers during initiation that he will succeed in Dauntless. Initiation is only the beginning, though; Four must claim his place in the Dauntless hierarchy. His decisions will affect future initiates as well as uncover secrets that could threaten his own future—and the future of the entire faction system.

Two years later, Four is poised to take action, but the course is still unclear. The first new initiate who jumps into the net might change all that. With her, the way to righting their world might become clear. With her, it might become possible to be Tobias once again.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth comes a companion volume to the worldwide bestselling DIVERGENT series, told from the per-spective of the immensely popular character Tobias. The four pieces included here—THE TRANSFER, THE INITIATE, THE SON, and THE TRAITOR—plus three additional exclusive scenes, give readers an electrifying glimpse into the history and heart of Tobias, and set the stage for the epic saga of the DIVERGENT trilogy.


Very. Freaking. Awesome. Four isn’t my favorite character in the Divergent trilogy, but I do have a soft spot for him. He was always kind of a mystery to me, so this cleared a lot up. We see his father, the Choosing Ceremony, and his POV on some scenes that we see originally from Tris’s POV.

The Transfer

We experience Four transferring from Abnegation to Dauntless in this story, and we see his father. I really enjoyed this story because it is two years before Tris.

Inside the unlocked trunk was a blue sculpture. It looked like falling water, but it was really glass, perfectly clear, polished, flawless.

The sculpture from his mom! The feels.

<<insert GIF of feels>>

I open my palm over the coals. I feel like they’re burning in my stomach, filling me to the brim with fire and smoke.

I am free.

This is the scene. He breaks free, away fom his father and Abnegation and the world he feels so alien in. However much I liked this, I found it quite similar to Tris. THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE DIFFERENT PEOPLE.

“I’ve got a transfer over here with only four fears.”

Toria points at me, and Amar nods.

“That’s gotta be a new record,” Tori says.

“Well done,” Amar says to me. Then he turns and walks toward Tori’s table.


The Initiate

Now, he is training to become Dauntless. The initiation process is much more different than the version two years later. You ahve to get a certain score to pass; you don’t have to go against your fellow peers. I think this is better.

I’m not going to share any more quotes, because I have a lot.

I really enjoyed this book and it was a good extra to Divergent. Roth did pretty well writing from Four’s POV, but I still think it is too close to Tris and how she thinks.

So my mouse is dying right now, and I am struggling. A lot.

So, happy new year everyone!

Book Review: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Looking for AlaskaLooking for Alaska by John Green

Title: Looking for Alaska

Author: John Green

Genre: YA Contemporary

Number of Pages: 256

Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis: Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter’s whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the “Great Perhaps” (François Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

After. Nothing is ever the same.

Discussion: I was having a very difficult time reading Specials, so I decided to take a break from fantasy and dystopian and read a John Green ConRomCom. I finished it in about seven to eight hours. However, I was driving to my grandparents’ house, so I spent a long while in the car.

Like most of John Green’s books, Looking for Alaska features an average geeky boy who falls in love with a spectacular girl. I recognized parallels to Paper Towns. This book was very spiritual in a way, and it makes you think.

Just like what I did for The Bane Chronicles, I used sticky notes. :) So I shall look at those.

Before we get into those, let me just say that Alaska seemed to me a mixture of Margo from Paper Towns and Stargirl from Stargirl. Very spunky, rambunctious, enjoys pranking, and a knockout.

She turned to me as we made our way through the darkness and said, “When you’re walking at night, do you ever get creeped out and even though it’s silly and embarrassing you just want to run home?”

It seemed too secret and personal to admit to a virtual stranger, but I told her, “Yeah, totally.”

For a moment, she was quiet. The she grabbed my hand, whispered, “Run run run run run,” and took off, pulling me behind her.

This is really the first time we see depth to Alaska. She is not some goddess or queen or otherworldy being. She is human. And she has her flaws. Just like Margo Speigelman. ;)

“…And in my classes, I will talk most of the time and you will listen most of the time. Becuause you may be smart, but I have been smart longer…”

This teacher just cracks me up. XD

“…You know what the capital of Sierra Leone is?”


“Me neither,” he said, “but I intend to find out.” And with that, he stuck his nose in the almanac, and the conversation was over.

This is a good introduction to Chip, aka the Coronel, who is Pudge’s [the MC] roommate and friend. He memorizes facts about cities and states in his free time.

“Anyway,” Alaska said to me. “I thought the way he treated you was just awful. I wanted to cry. I just wanted to kiss you and make it better.”

“Shame you didn’t,” I deadpanned, and they laughed.

“You’re adorable,” she said, and I felt the intensity of her eyes on me and looked away nervously. “Too bad I love my boyfriend.” I stared at the knotted roots of the trees on the creek bank, trying hard not too look like I’d just been called adorable.


feels animated GIF

“Why do you smoke so damn fast?” I asked.

…”Y’all smoke to enjoy it. I smoke to die.”

Is this a hint of suicide? Does she actually want to die? Or is she joking? IDK. AND IT’S KILLING ME!!!

The coach screamed, “You’re bothering my players!”

“THAT’S THE POINT, SHERLOCK!” the Coronel screamed back. The ref came over and kicked him out of the game. I followed him.

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“But why Alaska?” I asked her.

She smiled with the right side of her mouth. “Well, later, I found out what it means. It’s from an Aleut word, Alyeska. It means ‘that which the sea breaks against,’ and I love that. But at that time, I just saw Alaska up there. And it was big, just like I wanted to be. And it was damn far away from Vine Station, Alabama, just like I wanted to be.”

Finding out how Alaska got her name was very fun for me. “That which the sea breaks against” is so beautiful.

This next section has pretty bad language, so I altered it.

“Oh crap did you just diss the feminine gender / I’ll pummel your butt then stick you in a blender / you think I like Tori and Ani so I can’t rhyme / but I got flow like the Ghostbusetrs got slime / objectify women and it’s freakin’ on / you’ll be dead and gone like ancient Babylon.”

So not only is Alaska spunky and unpredictable, she’s a rapping feminist!

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I have a lot more sticky notes, and maybe I’ll talk about them in another post, but for now, I’d like to have a discussion.

Near the end of the book, Dr. Hyde presents his class with a very deep question:

How will you–you personally–ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering?

This labyrinth of suffering, for me, is insecurity. Whether I’m insecure about how I look or what people think of something I say or do or if I have real friends. More suffering: the past, a jumble of people and words and love. The past that creeps up on me every day. Those people I always feel stiff around, because we have a past that we can’t escape from that makes everything awkward.

How will I get out of this labyrinth? Is the only way out what Alaska said: straight and fast?

I know that sometimes the only way to escape this labyrinth, if only temporarily, is to cry or scream or vent. I will break at any given time and just cry, for no reason or too many to name. Maybe if I just ignore what people say, if I just be me without anyone’s criticism or confirmation, I can escape the labyrinth.

In reality, I think there is no end to the labyrinth. You jsut learn how to cope and suffer through it. Even when you die, there will be suffering. Whether it’s missing the living or we’re reborn into another labyrinth, there will be some form of suffering.

We can choose to live trying to escape the labyrinth, forever searching for pure, serene happiness, or we can live our lives to the maximum the labyrinth allows and be happy, even through the suffering. Life isn’t about crying for yourself, alone and secluded–you have to enjoy life and have experiences. You have to experience love and hate and happiness and melancholy.

Looking for Alaska is a good, light read on the surface. But if you look underneath the romantic and lighthearted plot, you discover a philosophical, deep layer that definitely surprised me.

After I finished the book, I sent John Green a tweet.

He still hasn’t replied. :(

Overall, I saw nothing at all wrong with this book and I loved it, even though the ending was shocking.

How will you escape the labyrinth?

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Book Review: The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Maureen Johnson

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Maureen Johnson

Title: The Bane Chronicles

Author: Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Maureen Johnson

Genre: YA Fantasy

Number of Pages: 507

Overall Rating: 4.62/5 stars

Synopsis: Fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices can get to know warlock Magnus Bane like never before in this collection of New York Times bestselling tales, in print for the first time with an exclusive new story and illustrated material.

This collection of eleven short stories illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality, flamboyant style, and sharp wit populate the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.

Originally released one-by-one as e-only short stories by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Rees Brennan, this compilation presents all ten together in print for the first time and includes a never-before-seen eleventh tale, as well as new illustrated material.

Discussion: [Note: This review might be long-ish. It is over 3,000 words. You were warned. There also might be minor spoilers for the other series by Cassandra Clare.]

If you haven’t read The Mortal Instruments or The Infernal Devices yet, where have you been?

The series is simply fabulous.

Just like Magnus Bane.

He was a mere side character in the books, helping Shadowhunters when they were in need. I always liked him; how could you not like him? He was Magnus Bane, High Warlock and glam king.
“Magnus Bane, go insane, throw some glitter make it rain!” Don’t tell me you’ve never heard of that.

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Okay. Before we get into the review, I’d like to make a comment about the cover. Yes, it is beautiful [I actually love it]. BUT THE HAND. IT DOES NOT WORK.


So, I put sticky notes on parts I wanted to remember. That will be the basis of my review. I will do a quick review of each story, show you the parts I marked, and include GIFs. Sound fun? Let’s get to it.

What Really Happened in Peru

This story really opened up Magnus for us, showing us what he does in all his years of immortality. As readers of Clare’s previous books may know, Magnus is banned from Peru. He mentioned it once or twice, but we never really knew why. This story is supposed to explain it, right?


We go through the entire 50-ish pages trying to figure out which of Magnus’s adventure’s was the culprit of his banishment, and then… Well, I won’t spoil it for you. >:)

Let’s see my notes!

“I’m still not sure about any of this,” Ragnor said. “I’m not even sure where you got that hat.”

Magnus adjusted it for maximum jauntiness. “Just a little something I picked up. Seemed appropriate for the occasion.”

“Nobody else is wearing anything remotely like it.”

Magnus cast a disparaging look around at all the fashion-challenged sailors. “I feel sorry for them, of course, but I do not see why that observation should alter my current extremely stylish course of action.”

Oh, Magnus. How witty you are. And how fashionable, of course. I found this quite hilarious.

The llamas could not be judging him.

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Without any background, how is this not funny? XD What happened is, Magnus is trying to play an instrument and failing. It just so happens that llamas are stampeding at the same moment he is playing, and he thinks it is pure coincidence. They could not be judging his music.

Even in the midst of heartbreak, you could still find yourself laughing.

Not only is Magnus fashionable, but he has many words of wisdom. Just a bit of sentimentality from the funniest warlock.

“Magnus, you were trying to flirt with your plate!”

“I’m a very open-minded fellow.”

You didn’t laugh? Let me walk away.

The way mundanes in this part of Peru practiced medicine, it appeared, was to rub a guinea pig all over the afflicted sufferer’s body.

Some of these need no explanation.

I loved this story. It was quite entertaining throughout the pages. I was never bored. And it was full of laughs!

The Runaway Queen

It’s about the French Revolution, I believe. Marie Antoinette and stuff. It was okay…

My only note:

…when Claude picked him up like he’d been monkey-plucking all his life.

Some of these need no explanation.

Vampires, Scones, and Edmund Herondale

To be completely honest, I don’t remember exactly what happened in this. Let’s see if the quotes will help me remember. Sorry!

“After all,” Magnus remarked aloud to himself, swinging his monkey-headed cane, “attractive and interesting persons do not simply drop out of the sky.”

It was then that the fair-haired Shadowhunter that Magnus had spotted at the Institute somersaulted from the top of a wall and landed gracefully in the street before him.

“Devastating ensembles made on Bond Street with red brocade waistcoats do not simply drop out of the sky!” Magnus proclaimed experimentally to the Heavens.

This is, like, the only thing I remembered. Because it was so funny. I didn’t get it at first, but read it through a few times.

When one was immortal, one tended to forget the passing of time. Still, there was no excuse for wearing a bonnet last fashionable in the era of Napoleon I.

Ah, his fashion sense is impeccable.

“Go, Charlotte. You know your duty,” said Fairchild.


“Capital!” said Edmund Herondale…

[May I just say: Herondale???!!!!] What does ‘capital’ mean like that…?

…and produced a necklace. The ruby glinted in the light of a nearby streetlamp, its heart the rich color of blood.

“It is a pretty thing,” said Magnus.

“Very pretty.” She sounded amused at the understatement.

“Not worthy of your beauty, of course, but what could be? There is one small thing besides prettiness to reccomend it. There is a spell on the jewel, to warn you when demons are near.”

Camille’s eyes…

IT IS IZZY’S NECKLACE. And it is being given to the vampire Camille. How did Izzy obtain it?

Years later another desperate Herondale boy with blue, blue eyes would come to his door, shaking with the cold of the rain and his own wretchedness, and this one Magnus would be able to help.


I loved all the references, as you can tell. It’s just fun to see another character mentioned. :)

So this story didn’t really stand out to me, but it was okay.

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The Midnight Heir

When I finished reading this one, it was my favorite. But now I think it’s a tie between “The Last Stand of the New York Institute” and “The Course of True Love (And First Dates).” You shall see why soon.

But back to the Heir. The first half is about James Herondale. YEAH. THAT JAMES. And the second half is freaking creepy!

It took Magnus nearly twenty minutes to notice the boy shooting out all the lights in the room, but to be fair, he had been distracted by the décor.

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This one sentence explains Magnus. XD

“Trust. It is like placing a blade in someone’s hand and setting the very point against your own heart.”

Quite possibly the only words of quality spoken by a drunk James Herondale.

“What an excellent idea,” Magnus said. “I have heard alcohol only improves a man’s aim. The night is young. Imagine how many barmaids you can shoot before dawn.”

I laugh out loud every time I read this.

“We are but dust and shadows, as the saying goes,” said James. “Of course, the saying does not add, ‘Some of us also turn into shadows occasionally, when the mood takes us.’…”

As twisted as James is, this dry comment is quite funny in my mind…

“There isn’t any chance,” Magnus asked, without much hope, “that you are a rather nice fellow who believes he is cursed and must make himself seem unlovable to spare those around him from a terrible fate? Becuase I ahve heard that happens sometimes.”

Yeah. It happened to James’s father: WILL HERONDALE. OMGOMGOMGOMG

And here’s the second part:

“My father was cursed,” James said from the darkness. “Whereas I? I’m damned.”

Do we get to learn anything more about this? NO. So much suspense!!!

“Did she?” Will asked. “It’s not as if the girl looks like a toad in a bonnet.”


The painted ships appeared to be sinking in clouds of dust.

I just thought this was so poetic.

This one was really good. We got to see Tessa and Will’s family, and then–Jem! Or Brother Zachariah. And he still plays his violin. <3

The Rise of the Hotel Dumort

This one was about vampires. And blood. And illegal alcohol consumption. I mean, I think there was blood. I’m not entirely sure. [This one didn’t stand out to me as much, too, if you can’t tell already.] There’s only two quotes. O.O

The first quote is kind of long, so I’ll put a snippet and explain the rest.

Then all at once, the lights came up again. But the speakeasy was gone.

Some background info: It’s 1929 in the USA, and alcohol is illegal. A speakeasy is a place where people drink illegaly. And Magnus had his own.

The police have just announced their arrival. This has happened more than once, apparently. What Magnus does, however, is use magic to transform the speakeasy into somthing else. This time it is a book club. And they are drinking tea and listening to jazz music. It’s quite hilarious once the authorities enter.

My other sticky note marks a date: October 24. WHICH IS MY BIRTHDAY. So, pretty awesome. :)

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Saving Raphael Santiago

As you may know, Raphael is a vampire that appeared in TMI. It is mentioned that he and Magnus have some sort of relationship, but it is never elaborated on. Turns out, Magnus helped Raphael when he turned into a vampire. Juicy stuff.

It was the sun getting to him, Magnus thought later, that had filled him with the desire to be a private eye. That and the Raymond Chandler novel he had just completed.

I thought this was quite charming–a great bit of detail.

“Oh, God, not the bloody vampires again,” said Magnus. “No pun intended.”

Get it? Get it? :P

Go to faeries for gossip about vampires, to werewolves for gossip about faeries, and do not gossip about werewolves, becuase they try to bite your face off: that was Magnus’s motto.

And a great motto it is. :)

…remembered his mother and how she had not been able to touch him once she’d known, and how his stepfather had held him down under the surface of the water.

A little glimpse into Magnus’s past. I wish there was a story about his childhood; thatw ould be very interesting. This line gives it much more depth.

“…the cazadores de sombras…”

“Shadowhunters” in Spanish. I thought this was cool.

Once Raphael was gone, he thought, he was getting a cat. And he would always throw his cat a birthday party.

Did we ever witness a party for Chairman Meow? Because I’d read that. Or look at a drawing of it. [Hint, hint…if anyone can draw.]

“I never get attached to Nephilim!” Magnus protested.

Ragnor coughed, and in the midst of the cough said soemthing that sounded like “blerondale.”

“Well,” said Magnus. “Hardly ever.”

;) “Blerondale.”

El hambre agudiza el ingenio,” said Raphael.

Hunger sharpens the wit.

“Good proverb,” said Magnus. “However, like most proverbs, it sounds wise and yet does not actually clarify anything.”

Words of wisdom. Should be a proverb. ;)

“Get out,” Magnus told him. “Out! I want you out. I’m going to throw a party when you leave, and you know you hate those. Along with fashion, music, and fun as a concept…”

When Magnus was being created: a dash of intelligence, a cup of warlock-ness, a dash of fashion and music and fun–whoopsie! Guess that’ll be five cups. ;)

[Am I using a winky face too much? Is it weird?]

I liked learning more about Raphael Santiago, because he was just kind of…there before.

The Fall of the Hotel Dumort

This was the really bloody one. LOTS about vampires. And high vampires.

Basically, they’re feeding off mundanes who are addicted to cocaine, and they overfeed.

Yeah. Happy stuff.

[Well, Magnus does make it a bit lot sunshinier.]

“What do you do?” the woman asked.

“This and that,” Magnus said.

“Are you in fashion? You look like you’re in fashion.”

“No,” he said. “I am fashion.”

Getting haughty, are we, Magnus? Although, he is pretty much living, walking, talking fashion. And glitter.

Now that it was a more of a civilized hour, people were out. Gay couples walking hand in hand, in the open, during the day. That was fairly new. Even as the city seemed to be falling apart, something good was happening.

This is in 1977. So pretty cool, right? I thought it was good of Magnus to make this observation, and good of Clare to include. It says a lot about Magnus.

Magnus looked at the broken-down facade of the Dumont. Someone, he noticed, had changed the n to and r. Dumort. Hotel of the dead.

Thank you, Cassandra Clare, for explaining this! At last! I was so confused about the Dumort VS Dumont thing.

This story was quite bloody, but still filled with Magnus’s charm and wit. It had its moments. Not my favorite, though.

What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (And Who You’re Not Officially Dating Anyway)

A very adorable Malec moment. But the real Malec thing is soming up. :)

And he wears truly awful sweaters, Magnus thought, and was dismayed when the thought brought with it a rush of affection.


…as he rummaged for his big blue coffee cup that said BETTER THAN GANDALF across the front in sparkly letters.

I just thought this was fabulous. How is it not? And wherever did he find it?

“It wasn’t funny for Bill Herondale!” said Magnus. “Oh, damn it. Now you’ve got me doing it.”

Let me set the scene: This demon and Magnus are talking about stuff, and Will Herondale comes up. But the demon calls him Bill. This actually really funny because Will’s name is William, and Bill can be short for William. So his nickname could be Bill. ;P

“Flattery from you makes me nervous,” said Ragnor. “It means you want something. Doubtless something awful. I am not becoming a pirate with you again, Magnus. I don’t care how much you pay me.”

They were pirates??? XD I guess when you’re immortal, you get bored… I wish Ms. Clare would elaborate on this.

They [vampires] were messing up his love life as well as being inconsiderate party guests who had got blood in Magnus’s stereo system at his last party and turned Clary’s idiot friend Stanley into a rat which was just bad manners.

HE IS NOT AN IDIOT AND HIS NAME IS SIMON AND HE IS MY LOVE. And just bad manners? Uh-huh. Simon got turned into a vampire because of that!!!

So, yeah, a quite adorable chapter, but the real stuff is coming soon.

The Last Stand of the New York Institute

This story is all about Valentine and the Circle and I was EXTREMELY close to crying. I had tears in my eyes. He is killing these poor Downworlders for “crimes” they ahd apparently commited. You see all these Shadowhunters–Jocelyn, Maryse, Luke!–killing these innocents and it’s heartbreaking.

“I can get Ragnor to help me.”

“Ragnor’s in Peru,” said Catarina. “He says he finds it very peaceful without your accursed presence, and that’s a direct quote.”

Ah, remember Peru?

“You gotta come,” he said as he stumbled in. “They have my family. They’re here.”

“Who are here?”

“The crazy Shadowhunters everyone’s freaking about. They’re here. They have my family. You gotta come now.”

D’: The tears begin NOW.

“I am Lucian Graymark,” said the young man with the thin clever face at the front of the group.

LUKE!!! :’O

“Maryse, Robert, please. Valentine is a noble man!” Lucian said…

O.O MARYSE. ROBERT. *flails*

“I am fighting for a better world for myself and my son,” said the woman called Maryse.

“I have no interest in the world you want,” Magnus told her. “Or in your doubtless repellent brat, I might add.”

He just called his boyfriend a repellent brat. Think about it… O.O *flails*

The next quote is much too long, but I have an image.


There is a twelve-year-old werewolf girl, tied to a chair with silver rope. Silver coins are pressed to her eyes, smoke coming from them. Silver is deadly to werewolves, and Valentine is using it to torture her for information.

This was the saddest part. I was very close to crying right here.

The last part I tabbed is also very long.

Let me set the scene. Jocelyn enters Magnus’s apartment, holding a red-haired little girl of about two. She wants her child to be kept away from Shadowhunters, even though she is one, to be a mundane.

Tessa is there with Magnus, and she is wearing a shirt that reads WILLIAM WANTS A DOLL. It was a feminist statement. This makes me love Tessa even more. Mainly because she starts ot in the 1800s, feeling it;s strange to wear pants and making boys do things for her. Now she’s a feminist.

This was my favorite story. No more words.

The Course of True Love (And First Dates)

AKA Malec Malec Malec. It was freaking adorable.

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Let’s get to my notes!

“No, it doesn’t really,” said Catarina. “You’re sarcastic twelve hours a day, but you’re almost never spiteful. You have a good heart under all that glitter.”

Now, isn’t that sweet. But it’s not Malec yet.

If Jace was gold, catching the light and the attention, Alec was silver: so used to everyone else looking at Jace that that was where he looked too, so used to living in Jace’s shadow that he didn’t expect to be seen. Maybe it was enough to be the first person to tell Alec that he was worth being seen ahead of anyone in a room, and of being looked at longest.

And silver, though few people knew it, was a rarer metal than gold.

Didn’t your heart just m e l t ? This is too cute and adorable and sweet. Everything we love about Malec.

“Stupid, sexy Shadowhunters.”

Hehe. Magnus thinks Alec is sexy. :) THEY ARE TOO ADORABLE FOR WORDS.

Words seemed to explode out of Alec in a rush, though judging by his expression he wished he could hold them back. ‘It was my fault. I got everything wrong before I even showed up, and you knew how to order at the restaurant and I had to stop myself laughing at that song on the subway. I have no idea what I’m doing and you’re, um, glamorous.”

AWWWWW!!!! <3 <3 Too cute. He thinks Magnus is glamorous.

Then there is a very steamy scene in Magnus’s apartment. But I can’t post that.

I loved thsi story so much; it was just so adorable and perf and I just can’t even. I am a total Malec shipper. SO MUCH.

The Voicemail of Magnus Bane

This is the voicemail from his cellphone from one day. A lot happens. And it has to do with the Malec breakup. Or just Ma/lec. D’:

“…I honestly do feel bad for Alec. He’s a good guy. Much less annoying than Jace. I’ve always felt like, given the opportunity, we could be friends. Maybe bros. Maybe we could be bros who shoot arrows together.”

Isabelle convinced Simon to leave a message on Magnus’s voicemail to try to get Alec and him back together. And that happened. XD

Izzy tries very very very hard. It’s quite funny. For example, one time she pretends to be a lawyer for Alec and says a bunch of fancy stuff and it’s hilarious.

And then Raphael Santiago calls, and this is how he has to begin:

“Greetings, Magnus Bane, High Warlock of Brooklyn, from Raphael Santiago of the New York vampire clan, loyal servant of our glorious Queen Maureen, forever may she reign in dark glory, and the future Prince Consort Simon, babelicious rock god.

“We have to begin all our telephone calls in this manner now. Including our nightly call to a place called Hot Topic…”


And that brings me to the finale of my book review. I thoroughly enjoyed this lovely collection of stories about the glorious Magnus Bane.

Hello, lovelies. I do apologize for the length of this review. If you made it all the way here, thank you.

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Book Review: Pretties by Scott Westerfield

Pretties by Scott Westerfield

Title: Pretties

Author: Scott Westerfield

Genre: YA Dytopian

Number of Pages: 370

Overall Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Synopsis: Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she’s completely popular. It’s everything she’s ever wanted.

But beneath all the fun — the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom — is a nagging sense that something’s wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally’s ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what’s wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold.

Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life — because the authorities don’t intend to let anyone with this information survive.

Discussion: I think the first book was better, to be honest. This one had a lot of unnecessary stuff in my opinion. And I didn’t enjoy Tally as much.

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That GIF basically explains my feelings about this book. I guess there were mini-climaxes, but I didn’t really want to read on sometimes. There was a part where I had to cover up the page because I was so excited to read it. But overall, it was “meh.”

I can’t wait to read Specials, though; I feel like this is the bridge between the two.

Honestly, I don’t know what to say. I do, however, like Zane. He’s pretty awesome.

Sorry that this is such a short review. I am very very very very tired. I got Twitter! I’m @revelinginwords. Follow me! :)


Book Review: Paper Towns by John Green

6442769Paper Towns by John Green

Title: Paper Towns

Author: John Green

Genre: YA Contemporary

Number of Pages: 305

Overall Rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis: Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life—dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge—he follows. After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues—and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew…

Discussion: So, I reread this book, because I didn’t review it the first time I read it. [IDK]

You start the book feeling like this:

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La-di-da-di-da, another sweet contemporary John Green book.

Then stuff goes down.

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And there is a freaking DEAD GUY and Margo and Q find him and they are nine years old.

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Okay. Okay. I’m okay. I’m fine. Great. Fine. Yeah. Cool. C-A-L-M.

Let’s talk about the book.

A lot of people have said that John Green’s books are all the same, with some nerdy guy who falls in love with a hot girl. This is my second John Green book, and the first was TFIOS, so I’m not sure what to say about that. But Paper Towns does have the same structure as abovementioned. Q, the nerdy guy, falls in love with Margo, uber-cool, mysterious, perfect popular girl. And his next door neighbor.

The basic plot of the book is trying to find Margo, because she ran away. Q thinks she left behind clues for him.

I actually really liked it.

I thought Q was adorable and headstrong, if a bit of a coward at times. [I have a thing for socially-awkward guys. Especially in books. Like Simon Lewis.] And his best friends we and were hilarious. Radar and his Omnictionary thing was a great little quirk. Ben was kind of…perverted, but still really sweet and funny.

And Margo. Mysterious, queen of school Margo. Super awesome. Super headstrong. All in all, a great character. The supporting girls, Laney and Angelica [although we don’t see much of her], were also really great. Laney was at first really “popular” but she ends up being a major character and quirky.

The one thing that bugged me about this book was how much time was spent searching for Margo. I was kind of like, an we speed this up please? But the book needed a plot.

The last scene. The feels. I was like, kiss already! That last sentence. Oh my gods.

kawaii animated GIF I quite enjoyed this book. Did you? Tell me in the comments below.