Title: We Come Apart
Author (s): Sarah Crossan and Brain Conaghan
Release Date: February 2017
Overall Rating: 5/10
Genre: Coming of age, Romance, Contemporary, Poetry
“And my eyes don’t close for sleeping,
and it raining in my stomach,
and it storming in my heart,”
– We Come Apart ARC
It’s been quite a while since I last posted a review, with We Come Apart’s release coming up this week, I thought what a perfect time to write a review. I have a love/hate relationship with this book because there are some points that I hated and some things that I loved in this book but this book just wasn’t for me. Before reading this book, I had high expectations as I love poetry books and I really enjoyed Sarah Crossan’s other novel, One. However, I was disappointed and it didn’t quite match what I had imagined.
I loved the concept and themes that they explored in the novel, a refugee and a girl falling in love despite what the people around them thought. Especially with what’s happening with the world around us, this novel was highly relevant. Unfortunately, it wasn’t executed as well as I thought. There wasn’t really any relationship development and I didn’t quite feel the connection between the two characters. I thought that the characters fell in love for the sake of proving a point. There wasn’t really any depth to the relationship. I could definitely feel how Nicu fell in love with Jess but to me, it felt like puppy love.
In addition, I found the writing hard to read. I understand that the writing was trying to reflect the two main characters- Nicu and Jess but at times I couldn’t quite understand or follow what was going on. Although the two characters had two completely different voices, at times I was confused as to whose perspective I was reading from.
Maybe it was because I found it a bit difficult to relate to the characters but this wasn’t my most favorite read. Don’t get me wrong, I still really enjoyed reading about the characters but there were just a few flaws to the book that let it down. However, when you do have the chance definitely check the novel out!
Have you read We Come Apart before?
book and song:
if you liked these books you’ll love we come apart:
The other day, I opened the door and to my delight, a box full of goodies arrived on my step: The Bella Box. I couldn’t be any more excited. My first ever subscription box and I couldn’t be any more satisfied with what I received. For those who have never heard of Bella Box subscription service, it is an Australian monthly box subscription service that delivers five or more beauty and lifestyle products and samples to your doorstep. You can then trial and use the products and if you find a product you really like you can buy the product from their website here. Bella Boxes are normally $18 per box but I have a special link that can let you guys receive your first Bella box for $10. Check it out here!
When you first open the box this is what it looks like. This month’s box was brown rather than its usual blue but that is due to the size of the products. I love how unique the packaging is. The Bella Box logo is placed all around the cardboard box and the black tissue paper is a simple yet nice touch to the design of the package. I do wish I could see the blue box packaging. In addition, I was given a personalized message in the box which was such a nice personal touch. I also received card with a list and description of the products featured in the box. The card included the theme of this month’s box which was “Summer Glow”, the price of the products and where to buy the products.
Overall, I’m very happy with the products that Bella Box provided. They were all good quality and reputable products that were easy to use. The price is definitely worth it as you are given not only samples but also actual full sized products. There were some emerging brand products in the box, such as gilded cage as well as some famous products, such as Revlon. All the products in this month’s box are things that I love and would definitely use.
These were products that were in my box. A 7-day fitness guide was also in my box! My favorite products are the Gilded Cage Charisma Lipgloss, the Revlon Professional Hair Treatment and the Pure Paw Paw Ointment, I can definitely see myself using these products in the future. Overall, I am impressed by the number of products they gave me. With seventeen dollars, I could never see myself buying so many products and so it definitely is worth the price. I actually really love this box and I highly recommend it for anyone who is a fan of beauty products or is looking for a good Christmas present because this box is definitely worth the hype and price. Hopefully, I will get another one of these boxes in the future.
That’s all for my Bella Box review. Thank you so much to Bella Box for sending me the box and don’t forget to use my coupon link: http://bit.ly/2hLCB2D to check out the product! What do you think- will you be getting the Bella Box anytime soon?
I received Bella Box from Bella Box Aust., in exchange for a review. Please note that this does not alter, influence or change my opinions on the box, in this post.
Title: The Light That Gets Lost
Author: Natasha Carthew
Release Date: April 2015
Overall Rating: 5/10
Genre: Adventure, Thriller, Action, Coming of Age
“He promised the demon that was forever watchful inside,”
Natasha Carthew, The Light That Gets Lost pg8
I recently read The Light That Gets Lost by Natasha Carthew but much to my surprise, I have mixed feelings upon finishing the novel. When I first picked it up the title and cover caught my attention, I loved the name of the novel and the blue colors splashed across the cover won me over- I couldn’t wait to read the book. However, after three chapters my heart sunk because it turns out this book wasn’t as good as it seems, in fact, I didn’t like it at all. There were bits that I thought were still somewhat well done and so lets begin with that.
I enjoyed how Carthew began with a really exciting prologue. The scene in which Trey’s family was in danger sparked lots of questions in me which caused me to really want to continue the story. I wanted to find out what happens to Trey, why his family was killed and many more questions. However, when Trey set foot in the camp the story began to tumble down for me.
I think a huge issue with this book was that I found it extremely hard to connect to the storyline and its characters. For one, I have never experience or been through the issues many of the characters faced and the character’s background and personalities weren’t quite like mine. For example, I couldn’t connect to Trey at all, his actions annoyed me and his decisions were nothing like what I would do. He was reckless and angered which got on my nerves during many situations. With Kay, I couldn’t quite connect with her either. I think that because I had couldn’t click or relate to the characters, I found it difficult to enjoy the book. I believe relatable characters or characters which pull you in are vital to creating a good book but there was a lack of that in this novel. The dialogue between the characters was also quite hard to understand the jargon and slang used by the characters made it pretty difficult to follow.The storyline was also quite hard to follow there were issues and problems here and there
The storyline was also quite hard to follow there were issues and problems here and there that added layers of confusion. I think there were too many loose ends in the book- the demons that lived inside of him was extremely confusing. There was no mention of demons in the first quarter of the book and they suddenly came into the story about 60% of the way through the novel. It made the story seem unrealistic and childish. I understand that it was a metaphor for his evil nature but I did not like the idea at all. In addition, the relationship development between Kay and Trey was quite poorly done. I didn’t see much romance or development between them and they didn’t even get together in the end. It felt like puppy love to me and I was really disappointed at the end of the book.
I wouldn’t say this book was a disappointment because I had high expectations, there were some things here and there that were enjoyable to read but overall, I didn’t quite enjoy it. I thought there were two many loose ends and I found it difficult to relate and connect with the characters. Perhaps, it was because I have never really experienced what had happened in the novel, which caused me to dislike the book. However, I have to say that I didn’t like it. Have you read The Light That Gets Lost? What did you think?
book + song:
if you liked these books you will love natasha carthew’s the light that gets lost
“And what she found in that soft, warm darkness had no beggining and no end, for this time was their own, and it created it’s own eternity”
– Alexandra Bracken, Passenger
You must all be thinking at this point, ” This is just another review on that Alexandra Bracken book, *skip*” Seriously though just stay around for a few more sentences because I’m going to try to convince you that it’s worth the read. Passenger was different in so many ways to my recent reads: it transports you to a whole new dimension and drags you along as a passenger on this riveting journey. There is everything you ever wanted in this novel: a cute couple, a gripping storyline and an unforgettable setting. However, I’ll admit I wish there was something more, just something that would stun me to edge that I could give this book a full 8-8.5! Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I highly recommend it if you love a good adventure, beautiful writing or a not-over-depressing story!
Passenger follows the story of two vastly different characters: Etta and Nicholas. Both are completely different people, who would never have imagined meeting each other. Etta is a violinist and Nicholas is a time travel, who travels through life on a ship. One day, Etta’s life is completely switched around. Following the events of a shooting of one of her closest people, Etta gets thrown into another dimension of Earth, where she meets Nicholas and what she discovers changes her life forever. Together with Nicholas, Etta has to throw herself into this unknown world to save her mother, her closest people and Nicholas. Along the way, they discover that things don’t look quite like they seem!
I had so much fun reading this novel! Passenger begin with a prologue, which set me on my feet! As I read about this mysterious Nicholas and Julian, I was constantly questioning myself: What is happening? To be honest, despite the ambiguous start, I actually love prologues like these because they always stick to the back of my mind and it truly made the story a lot easier to understand. Often we get prologues like these but they never end up making sense as the story progresses. Meeting Etta was interesting. At first, I was expecting her to be super annoying and frustrating due to the fact that she was such a goody-two-shoes at the start of the novel. However, her character was definitely more enjoyable as the story continued. Etta character had seemed complex right from the beginning. As a reader, I began to understand her history and how her whole life was plagued by her violin career (I actually felt so bad for her! )
After we got through a few chapters of the story, I got somewhat bored, as they explained the whole world and began to set the scene. Not only that but there was an overload of characters, which made it a bit hard for me to remember who was who. However, as soon as we got to the adventure, everything was turned around and I was constantly page turning. Nicholas’ character originally seemed very shut off. We didn’t get to know much about him, even though, I desperately wanted too. As the story progressed, Nicholas began to show cracks and we got to know more about him. I really wanted to know more about his history and past and I want to see him bump into Julian again!
The romance between Etta and Nicholas was slightly rushed. As soon as Etta washed aboard it was literally love at first sight (Who else isn’t a big fan of instant love?) but I’ve got to admit, they were cute. Towards the end of the book, they had some really cute moments that made me smile and fall in love with this new ship (Ahaha! Like a passenger! Get it?). I loved how Nicholas called her pirate because I mean, what reader doesn’t love it when a male character has a nickname for their love! ❤ Overall, though Nicholas and Etta were so cute and the fact that they were saving each other by risking their lives was something that was really commendable.
If you have read this novel, you can not dodge the fact that Bracken’s writing is amazing and I think we all aspire, to have a writing style as beautiful as her’s. Her writing has hit that point where it’s not too verbose and not too colloquial and undescriptive. It’s just right as at times her writing really makes you feel a certain way through so many words, yet, you aren’t constantly getting bored by too many descriptions! I love the fact that they incorporated time travel in this novel. It’s so hard to find a good book which takes Time Travel and transforms it into something worth reading. I think Passenger did this perfectly and for that reason, it made this book something really special!
The ending left me in tatters! I wanted to know what happened? After getting my heart attacked, when I nearly thought that Nicholas was going to die (Oh this better not be another Allegiant), Etta nearly dies and I was like, “Oh no! Save me!” I actually still can’t believe it ended like that! I want to know if Nicholas and Etta were ever going to perfectly stay together and I couldn’t believe her mother, either. Even though she supposedly tried to help Etta, she was really not that great of a mother. Please let there be another book because honestly I need it!
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken, was special and unique in its own way. Bracken’s writing is something truly unforgettable and I loved following the adventure of Etta and Nicholas!
Title: Saint Anything
Author: Sarah Dessen
Release Date: May 2015
Retail Price: $16.99
Overall Rating: 8/10
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Family and Drama
Do you ever have a dish at a restaurant and they followed the recipe perfectly- perfect amount of seasoning, sauce and herbs? Well, that is pretty much what Sarah Dessen’s Saint Anything was like. It left me tingling and lighthearted. Often young-adult romances are lacking a pinch of salt but Saint Anything was pretty much perfect. However, with a few faults here and there Saint Anything is one of the closest novels that is a perfect contemporary. It delivered an amazing novel, which I devoured. I hadn’t read a Sarah Dessen novel before this one and after reading this novel- I know why she is now considered a legend of contemporaries.
Saint Anything follows the story of Sydney, who has always been kept behind stage. No matter where she goes she always gets judged on her brother- Peyton and her parents aren’t much help either. Her parents’ main focus is all Peyton that Sydney feels left out. After moving schools she meets the loving family of the Chathams, a family that is totally different but it’s here where she gets pulled into a second family. She meets Layla and Mac who both help her as crisis in her own household begins to grow.
*SPOILERS FOR SAINT ANYTHING AHEAD*
First of all let me just say this book was almost perfect, it ended happily but was still deep- unlike All The Bright Places and Eleanor and Park (which are my favorite contemporaries) Saint Anything actually ended on a happy mood but Sarah Dessen still dealt with dark, relatable teenage themes.
Sydney has to deal with the fact that her parents do not care much about her and assumes her behavior based on her brother’s. Most of us who have siblings have gone through that feeling of emptiness and disappointment when our parents have your sibling as their main focus. I also really enjoyed how Sydney dealt with the guilt of her brother. That was a really interesting theme to explore- bearing someone else’s guilt. I personally would have reacted the same way as Sydney as I would feel guilty for her brother’s act as her family treated Peyton like he didn’t do anything wrong. I like how it ended with Sydney, gaining the courage to go up to David to apologize and to make an effort to get to meet him.
Whilst exploring this theme many other typical teenage drama was also executed in the novel, such as, the romance of Mac and Sydney and also that typical “new girl at school” drama. I really enjoyed how she dealt with a really unique theme whilst having that typical cliche drama, as it adds a lot of depth to the normal cutesy romance.
We all love a cutesy romance contemporary but usually they are too superficial to be consider the best contemporary novel. However, if you, like me, love contemporaries which are genuine, dark but at the same time have that cute romance blossoming, Saint Anything sure didn’t disappoint. Sydney, the main character, seemed like such a genuine person. She had her flaws and perks- just like any normal person would. She was truly 3D and you can really see that through her thoughts which were written on the page. When she felt agitated and mad, I felt the same way. Sarah Dessen’s writing is not over-descriptive yet under-descriptive and little lights of humor and teenage personalities still shone through. The characters of the story had so many inside jokes that we discovered and it felt as if we were friends with the characters for a very long time.
The events which took place in the story seemed so real that reading the story was like watching it unfold in front of your eyes. The story was the perfect length- it was thick but not too long and wasn’t super short like many contemporaries. However, with its positive there must be some negatives. As I was reading the story, in one of the last few chapters I started to freak out because there were so many unsolved problems- Mrs Chatham was hospitalized, her parents were extremely mad with her and her relationship with Mac was going through a rocky time. There were too many problems which needed a resolution once we got to the 5th last chapter, which lead to the book ending abruptly and it felt forced. Saint Anything was meant to be a contemporary cutesy romance and at times I felt lost and nearly forgot about the romance of Mac and Sydney in the background. I think it could have been better if there were perhaps more moments to remind us about the romance.
Sarah Dessen’s Saint Anything was a truly special read and I would love to read it again and again as it felt like a roller coaster. I can’t wait to read more of her other novels which I will definitely be picking up. I totally recommend this novel if you loved Stephanie Perkins. It was the perfect recipe for a book!