Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple

Sometimes these cars have Idaho plates. And I think, What the hell is a car from Idaho doing here? Then I remember, That’s right, we neighbor Idaho. I’ve moved to a state that neighbors Idaho. And any life that might still be left in me kind of goes poof. -Bernadette

Where'd You Go BernadetteTitle: Where’d You Go Bernadette

Author: Maria Semple

Stand Alone

Genre: fiction, mystery, contemporary

# of Pages: 326

Published: January 1, 2012

Synopsis: Bernadette Fox has vanished.
When her daughter Bee claims a family trip to Antarctica as a reward for perfect grades, Bernadette, a fiercely intelligent shut-in, throws herself into preparations for the trip. But worn down by years of trying to live the Seattle life she never wanted, Ms. Fox is on the brink of a meltdown. And after a school fundraiser goes disastrously awry at her hands, she disappears, leaving her family to pick up the pieces.

Which is exactly what Bee does, weaving together an elaborate web of emails, invoices, and school memos that reveals a secret past Bernadette has been hiding for decades. Where’d You Go Bernadette is an ingenious and unabashedly entertaining novel about a family coming to terms with who they are, and the power of a daughter’s love for her mother.

My Thoughts:

I LOVED BERNADETTE FOX!!

Bernadette was an absolutely fantastic character and the book isn’t even in her point of view. She made me laugh and she made me want to cry. She was eccentric, maybe crazy, but has good intentions. She was incredibly cheeky as well (hence the quote at the top).

“What you’ve heard about the rain: it’s all true. So you’d think it would become part of the fabric, especially among the lifers. But every time it rains, and you have to interact with someone, here’s what they’ll say: “Can you believe the weather?” And you want to say, “Actually, I can believe the weather. What I can’t believe is that I’m actually having a conversation about the weather.” But I don’t say that…” -Bernadette

See she is absolutely wonderful and says exactly how I feel. Above all of her other fun qualities, I can also see parts of myself in her.

“Getting into fights with people makes my heart race. Not getting into fights with people makes my heart race. Even sleeping makes my heart race!” -Bernadette

This book started out a little iffy for me. I had trouble getting into the format of the book. If you don’t know, it is written in a weird form involving a slight narrative from the daughter Bee and then a mix of reports, letters, and notes. I didn’t know any of the characters in the beginning and didn’t understand what was going on, so I felt a bit lost. I wasn’t sure if I would continue, but it was so highly recommended that I pushed through and started to love it about 50 pages in.

I am not big on comedy, but I’ll admit that this book was hilarious!! I laughed out loud so many times. You could really see the characters (more like cartoons in my mind) playing out these events and it is just too funny.

By the end I was attached to Bernadette and the family. I felt for them and how they each viewed their current situations. I did love the ending as well. I won’t lie, some parts are kind of slow, but the overall story stole my heart! Great and original read!!

 

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Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

I want to believe there is a somebody out there for me. I want to believe that I exist to be there for that somebody.

Dash and LilyTitle: Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares

Author: Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Series: Dash and Lily #1

Genre: young adult, fiction, romance

# of Pages: 260

Published: January 1, 2010

Synopsis: So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors ofNick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a cosmic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

My Thoughts:

The premise of this book is intriguing and makes you want to go out and strategically place your own notebook around town in hopes some cute boy picks it up. At the beginning I really liked this book. It was cute and witty, but as it continued it became more and more far-fetched.

First, I have decided that these are not normal sixteen year olds. I was sixteen a few years ago and felt that I was a bit more mature than either of them seemed to be, but they also over thought everything. I liked Dash from the start, but Lily got on my nerves. She seemed sort of whiny and babyish.

Dash’s ideas to do in a bookstore were really interesting. He claims that sometimes he goes to the bookstore and tackles a single letter by checking out all the authors that begin with that letter or a single section/genre or a certain color. I really want to try that one day when I have tons of time to kill.

Like I said, the characters were extremely interesting and not like anyone I have ever met in real life, but I do respect the term: frequaintance- which is a person who is somewhere between a friend and acquaintance. I am definitely going to be stealing this word.

I understand that the whole idea was far-fetched, but it just became more and more to the point that I grew bored with how unreasonable the story got. I didn’t really love the ending, but was glad to get there. Honestly, it was a cute book, but I am not quite sure I understood where all the hype was coming from. Perhaps if I was younger I would have liked it more.

 

These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf

You were a wish that we made every morning when we woke up and a prayer we said before we went to bed each night.

These Things HiddenTitle: These Things Hidden

Author: Heather Gudenkauf

Stand Alone

Genre: fiction, thriller, mystery

# of Pages: 337

Published: January 1, 2011

Synopsis: When teenager Allison Glenn is sent to prison for a heinous crime, she leaves behind her reputation as Linden Falls’ golden girl forever. Her parents deny the existence of their once-perfect child. Her former friends exult her downfall. Her sister, Brynn, faces whispered rumors every day in the hallways of their small Iowa high school. It’s Brynn–shy, quiet Brynn–who carries the burden of what really happened that night. All she wants is to forget Allison and the past that haunts her. But then Allison is released to a halfway house, and is more determined than ever to speak with her estranged sister. Now their legacy of secrets is focused on one little boy. And if the truth is revealed, the consequences will be unimaginable for the adoptive mother who loves him, the girl who tried to protect him and the two sisters who hold the key to all that is hidden.

My Thoughts:

I bought this book in a book buying frenzy along with nine other novels. I have been slowly making my way through all of them. I really didn’t have any expectations, because I don’t normally read the genre nor have I read anything by the author. I just picked it randomly as the book I would attempt to read on the twelve hour roadtrip home from Tennessee… little did I know I would be hooked from the first page.

Honestly, I have no clue what about this book made me like it. I wanted to devour the pages and couldn’t seem to read them fast enough. I felt that the writing was so fluid and it connected. I am not much for thrillers, but the plot engulfs you and makes you think and for a long time you really have no clue really what is going on, but in the end when you finally make the connection and connect all the dots it makes perfect sense and you feel absolutely satisfied.

Now it is not a happy book (and I normally read happy books or sad books that are becoming movies), but it is not necessarily sad either. It is just kind of mysterious. The ending doesn’t make you jump for joy, but it doesn’t leave you completely devastated either. I’m not really sure how I feel about the ending yet, but I did feel that it was fitting.

I didn’t really feel overly attached to any of the characters, but I felt for them and I could see parts of myself in some of them. Brynn, the younger sister who was stuck behind her sister’s shadow, was definitely one I could relate to. Not necessarily that I am stuck in anyone’s shadow (more like the opposite for my older brother), but I understood her anxiety and fears about people watching her and talking about her and I also understood just wanting to leave and never come back.

One aspect of the book I liked were the parts about adoption. I am a strong advocate for adoption and plan to adopt when I get older. I loved the scene about the “gotcha story” and loved how they were so upfront with their child from the very beginning about how he came to be… well as much as they knew and that his little heart could hold.

I love stories where multiple different people’s lives intertwine and connect, so this book definitely did that for me. I was so giddy at the end when all the pieces were falling into place and everything started making sense.

In conclusion, this book kept me thoroughly entertained and begging for more. I will definitely be reading more of this author and of this genre. It gets a solid 5 out of 5 stars from me!

 

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

“Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.”

If I StayTitle: If I Stay

Author: Gayle Forman

Series: If I Stay #1

Genre: romance, young adult, drama, fiction

# of Pages: 261

Published: April 6, 2009

Synopsis: In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family. Now a major motion picture starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Mia’s story will stay with you for a long, long time.

My Thoughts:

This is one of those books that I have been passing in bookstores for years, but it just never jumped out at me as a must read. I saw a trailer for the movie when I went to see The Fault in Our Stars and I figured I might get around to reading it before the movie comes out, but it still wasn’t a must read. Then I was looking at some of my favorite blogs and it seemed that everyone and their dog was reading If I Stay and they were loving it. It came highly recommended… so I bought it.

I have to agree with everyone else- this is a fantastic novel. I ended up reading it in just under two days. It really holds your attention and doesn’t let it go until you reach the last page. This was my first Gayle Forman novel to read and I really liked her writing style. It was like you were just listening to a friend tell a story. It flowed so well and I just kept flipping the pages.

It was rather short (only 234 pages), but it was packed with love, laughter, and tears. I didn’t necessarily find it that sad; I didn’t cry, but there were times when I thought “wow her life sucks”, but other times when I felt that she must feel super loved. I really liked the characters too. Mia, the main character, was very likable; I wanted her to succeed and to figure out life and to stay. Her parents were probably my favorite though; I felt they were so sweet and real and different… I like reading about parents, because all parent-characters are so different. It is fun to compare them to the parents you have or you know.

Overall it is a quick read, but will leave you pondering the question– “would I stay?” The novel has a sequel, but honestly it was good on it’s own and doesn’t really need one. I will definitely be reading more from Gayle Forman though.

 

The Vincent Boys by Abbi Glines

“Trouble can be a lot of fun. It’s the straight and narrow that makes life tedious and boring.”

The Vincent BoysTitle: The Vincent Boys

Author: Abbi Glines

Series: The Vincent Boys #1

Genre: new adult, romance, fiction

# of Pages: 259

Published: October 12, 2011

Synopsis:  Ashton is getting tired of being good, of impressing her parents and playing ideal girlfriend to Sawyer Vincent. Sawyer is perfect, a regular Prince Charming, but when he leaves town for the summer, it’s his cousin Beau who catches Ashton’s eye. Beau is the sexiest guy she’s ever seen, and even though he’s dangerous, Ashton is drawn to him.

Beau loves his cousin like a brother, so the last thing he wants to do is make a move on Sawyer’s girl. Ashton is off-limits, absolutely. That’s why he does his best to keep his distance, even though he’s been in love with her forever. When Ashton wants to rekindle their childhood friendship in Sawyer’s absence, Beau knows he should say no.

Ashton and Beau don’t want to hurt Sawyer. But the more they try to stay away from each other, the more intense their urges become. It’s getting way too hard to resist…

My Thoughts:

Abbi Glines is a great author for a short, fun, guilty pleasure read. I feel like I have short, one to two day flings with her books. I have only read two, but I have enjoyed them both so much! I refuse to pay full price for them, because they are addicting and I finish them so quickly.

This book was not her best, but it kept me entertained from the first page. I will say that the dialogue was a bit TOO cheesy for my taste. Sometimes I think she knows exactly what should be said in a situation, but that is not at all how it would play out, so it isn’t very believable… but in her defense most “bad boy meets good girl” stories aren’t believable anyway.

I liked Beau, but that is because I was supposed to. He was supposedly a “bad boy” but I feel that was only because he grew up white trash and had a girl draped to his arm (but in his defense it was the same girl throughout this book). My favorite quote from him was: “I was already headed for Hell, I might as well enjoy the ride.” If you watch Vampire Diaries, I felt that he was a lot like Damon. Always going after his brother/cousin’s girl, but claiming he shouldn’t, but then not being able to stop himself. The brothers fight and then the other comes to terms with the situation. Besides not being vampires, the situation seemed all too similar, but hey, I don’t mind one bit.

Ashton wasn’t very likable in my eyes. She was okay, but I didn’t really side with her because she knew she shouldn’t go to the watering hole (especially wearing a revealing bathing suit) while still with her boyfriend. Obviously that is the appeal to the book, but honestly what did she think was going to happen. Also, I kind of think Glines has a skewed version of what a “good girl” is. I had this issue in the other book I read (and also in another New Adult book). She wore revealing clothing and pretty much secretly threw herself at Beau. Any small town preacher’s daughter would not have gotten away with this behavior. Her dad didn’t act much like a preacher either. It just didn’t seem very accurate from the tales I have heard.

The underlining moral that I got out of this reading was that just because you think you know someone or they appear to be one thing, doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a chance to be the real them or who they want to be. Looking beyond the surface and figuring out who you are were themes that really stood out and I enjoyed her take on them. I feel that a lot of girls can identify with Ashton’s situation of trying to be perfect for a boy, but then falling short and not knowing what to do with the guilt.

I enjoyed this book very much, especially because it is one of my guilty pleasure reads, but it is entertaining and addictive. Looking forward to reading the next one!

 

The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

Don’t take my advice. Or anyone’s advice. Trust yourself. For good or for bad, happy or unhappy, it’s your life, and what you do with it has always been entirely up to you.

The Best of MeTitle: The Best of Me

Author: Nicholas Sparks

Stand Alone

Genre: romance, fiction

# of Pages: 333

Published: September 14, 2010

Synopsis: In the spring of 1984, high school students Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole fell deeply, irrevocably in love. Though they were from opposite sides of the tracks, their love for one another seemed to defy the realities of life in the small town of Oriental, North Carolina. But as the summer of their senior year came to a close, unforeseen events would tear the young couple apart, setting them on radically divergent paths.

Now, twenty-five years later, Amanda and Dawson are summoned back to Oriental for the funeral of Tuck Hostetler, the mentor who once gave shelter to their high school romance. Neither has lived the life they imagined . . . and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever changed their lives. As Amanda and Dawson carry out the instructions Tuck left behind for them, they realize that everything they thought they knew — about Tuck, about themselves, and about the dreams they held dear — was not as it seemed. Forced to confront painful memories, the two former lovers will discover undeniable truths about the choices they have made. And in the course of a single, searing weekend, they will ask of the living, and the dead: Can love truly rewrite the past?

My Thoughts:

I am a Nicholas Sparks fan and have been an avid reader of his books for about five or so years now. I had especially high hopes for this novel, not only because I have liked most of the books I’ve read by him, but also because of the quote on the back of the books I have: “A classic… I could not put it down… The Best of Me will rank with Message in a Bottle and The Notebook – it was that good.” After reading that I was wowed, but once I started reading it I have to say that I was not so wowed.

First I thought it was extremely slow. I liked the whole idea of them being long lost high school sweethearts, but getting to their first meeting seemed to take ages. Then it was like they were never going to kiss (and yes *spoiler* she was married and I’m not one for committing adultery, but seriously!).

I really couldn’t stand Amanda’s husband either. Any time it referred to him or talked about him I cringed. Her kids were cute and backstory sad, but I just couldn’t really get into this book.

Dawson was by far my favorite character and I felt for him, but they couldn’t do this whole ‘I’m the boy from the poor side of town and your rich” deal forever or the ‘I’m married, but I love you and I’ve always loved you’…. I just wished something would happen with them or between them. I wanted the story to get somewhere.

Being an avid Sparks reader, I know the ending will be sad and someone will die. But I have to admit I wasn’t sure what he was planning for this one. I will also admit that the story picked up when the sad part started. Dragging her son into it was a great plot twist and I did generate a few tears. I was figured it out that Jared received Dawson’s heart which was soooo sweet, but sooooo sad, but I was also glad that Jared got to live. Even though he became sober, I really kind of wished that something would have happened to the husband.

Overall it wasn’t horrible, but definitely not my favorite. I definitely wouldn’t say it was The Notebook level, but definitely check out some other Sparks novels before writing him off.

The Selection by Kiera Cass

It’s always the fear of looking stupid that stops you from being awesome.

The SelectionTitle: The Selection

Author: Kiera Cass

Series: The Selection #1

Genre: young adult, dystopian, fiction, romance

# of Pages: 327

Published: January 1, 2012

Synopsis: For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

My Thoughts:

I have passed this series so many times while browsing through bookstores, but yesterday I decided to give it a try. At first, I wasn’t so sure. It started a little slow and I was a bit bored, but I was determined to get all the way through it before making up my mind. I’m glad I didn’t quit. Once I got about a third of the way, I was actually really into it.

Honestly, this book is The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor. It is an interesting mix of dystopian, romance, and young adult.

“If you don’t want me to be in love with you, you’re going to have to stop looking so lovely. First thing tomorrow I’m having your maids sew some potato sacks together for you.” – Maxon Schreave

As I was looking around the web for insight on this book, I realized that there are teams for the different boys in America’s life. Team Aspen verses Team Maxon. This seems a little silly and too “Twilight” for me, but if I had to choose, I am leaning toward Maxon. He’s adorable, innocent, and charming. He honestly has no idea what he is doing and I love the way he and America banter together. Their relationship is so pure and I just really like the way it has panned out and I can’t wait to keep reading to see how it ends up.

“No, I’m not choosing him or you. I’m choosing me.” – America Singer

I don’t love America. She isn’t my favorite character nor is she a really awesome female protagonist, but I can appreciate her. I liked how she wasn’t all excited to be apart of the competition and wanted something more than some guy who was willing to use all these women, but in the same way I appreciate how she gave the poor guy and chance. I do love how she was adamant about not changing herself. She is very keen on remaining who she is throughout the whole thing and that I respect.

The whole part about this book being a dystopian is interesting, because that part isn’t really necessary or understood. There isn’t much of an explanation as to how their society came to be or how it is run. It just is, so I am hoping that more is explained in the rest of the books.

It doesn’t have serious similarities to The Hunger Games, but I don’t think it is so much so that it takes away from the story. It is pretty original and I am finding it entertaining. It is definitely not nearly as dark; it is more of a light and fluffy read.

 

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

I think grief is like a really ugly couch. It never goes away. You can decorate around it; you can slap a doily on top of it; you can push it to the corner of the room—but eventually, you learn to live with it.

Leaving TimeTitle: Leaving Time

Author: Jodi Picoult

Stand Alone

Genre: fiction, drama

# of Pages: 398

Published: August 14, 2014

Synopsis: For over a decade, Jenna Metcalf obsesses on her vanished mom Alice. Jenna searches online, rereads journals of the scientist who studied grief among elephants. Two unlikely allies are Serenity Jones, psychic for missing people who doubts her gift, and Virgil Stanhope, jaded PI who originally investigated cases of Alice and her colleague. Hard questions and answers.

My Thoughts:

I had been highly anticipating this novel. I bought an e-reader, so I could read the prequel. I went to a meet-and-green with Jodi. I have a signed copy of the book. But I have to admit that it is not my new favorite. I just didn’t love it. Being an avid Picoult reader, I love how she never fails to deliver a twist ending and I must say that this one really threw me for a loop.

What I liked:

I found the incorporation of elephants to be a refreshing addition to the story. It was packed full of facts that I thought were very interesting. I don’t want to give too much away, but a couple of my favorites facts are that elephants hold grudges and have trunks that stretch like accordions.

The relationship between Thomas and Alice in the beginning. Thomas was so nerdy and cute with his glasses fogging up when he came to Africa for the first time; plus his adorable little trick with the origami elephant. “It was almost as if there was a tear in the fabric I was made of, and he was the only color thread that would match to stitch it back up.”

The twist ending was completely out of the blue… well at least for me. I won’t give it away. I will say that I don’t think it was one of her most creative plot twists, but it was definitely one that I didn’t see coming. I always try to figure out where she is headed, but for some reason what she picked never crossed my mind. Which was a nice surprise.

Jenna and Virgil’s friendship was really genuine to me. There is just something about a washed up, old detective and a preteen hanging out and having some good laughs that is just so sweet. I love weird, unexpected friendships and this one had moments that really made me smile. As the story progressed, I really liked how he became protective over her, like the father figure she never had.

What I disliked:

The characters in general were not very likable. There is a preteen, a psychic, and an ex-detective. Yep, I know, a bit cliche. Then add the missing mother and crazy father who both happen to be scientists, and throw in the extended family consisting of the three others who work with elephants. Jenna- I felt for her wanting to find her mom and everything, but I thought her character was a bit far-fetched. She was thirteen years old, but came across more like eighteen. She just seemed to be a bit too mature and was just way too street smart and book smart to be taken seriously. Serenity- I am not one for psychic stories, but I liked her the most from the beginning. I felt she had the most character development and I could really see her story being real (minus the actually believing in psychic things). I found her to be funny, confident, and maybe I’m biased, because she drove a yellow VW bug and I am obsessed with those. Virgil- I don’t care much for drunk characters, but I thought it was a bit lazy to create a character with the alcoholic ex-detective stigma. He was just too easy and not very original. Alice- the mother; I thought she was great in the prequel and in her younger years having so much attitude and spunk, but I started to dislike her as the story progressed. Thomas- I liked him in the beginning and I never actually came to a point where I hated him, but I felt he was doomed from the start. He was extremely smart, had a mental disorder, his disorder causes him to have an abusive lapse, and then ends up being cheated on. “A bruise is how the body remembers it’s been wronged.” Poor guy. I would crack too.

Infidelity is not something I necessarily like to read about. I understand that not all relationships are perfect, but even when things get tough, I don’t think it is ok to just peace out and find the next best thing. Or not peace out and just do in secret. The relationships were pretty messed up in this story and I partially blame Alice for this; she didn’t really seem to understand what marriage means. It seemed to me like she gave up too easily.

The storyline is really quite confusing. It was so full of theories and subplots that I just found it to be really hard to follow at times. Once I made it past the halfway mark, it started to pick up speed and make more sense. But then you hit the last fourth of the book and the twists start coming out and the confusion comes back.

What I thought overall:

It was a good novel, but not a Picoult masterpiece. If you want to learn a little about an amazing animal, while reading an interesting book about a young girl searching for her long lost mom… then I would definitely look into it. It provides some great laughs, lots of interesting facts, and a few smiley/teary moments. Was this my new favorite Jodi Picoult novel? No. Will I read her next book? Yes. Do I recommend reading it? Yes (specifically for avid Picoult readers).

 

Confess by Colleen Hoover

I’m afraid if I listen to my heart once, I’ll never figure out how to ignore it again. -Auburn

ConfessTitle: Confess

Author: Colleen Hoover

Stand Alone

Genre: new adult, romance, fiction

# of Pages: 306

Published: March 10, 2015

Synopsis: Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…

My Thoughts:

Confess is the latest novel by Colleen Hoover and to say it is my new favorite would be an understatement. I started this book at midnight and I finished it the next day at 9. I just could not stop turning the pages. I was absolutely enthralled with the story.

“Owen smiles and I suddenly wish we were in the cleaning aisle, because someone is going to have to mop me up off this floor.”

Let me just start by stating how much I loved both of the main characters. Owen and Auburn were a breath of fresh air. They were so adorable and cute and my age that I just couldn’t help, but fall for them both. The above quote was from Auburn and it was one of the many that just made me laugh out loud. She was just so innocent and I think one of the reasons I liked her so much was because she reminded me of me.

“But the hesitation I’m feeling is due in large part to me and my inexperience, because I’m not sure I’d know what to do with my hands if it came down to it.”

There were so many lines in the book that just reached out and pulled me in deeper, because I could relate so much. This was one of them. Some of Auburn’s lines literally spoke my mind. I like that Auburn had insecurities that were realistic; insecurities than any girl might have. She didn’t have some super dark past that only twenty people in the world can relate to, but she was a fairly normal twenty year old and I appreciated her character so much!

“What are these ridiculous, shallow thoughts that are plaguing my brain? I don’t care about muscles or six-packs or skin that looks so flawless, it makes me want to chase his father down and give him a high five for creating such an impeccable son.”

Owen, on the other hand, was just as wonderful a character. He was so kind and thoughtful that you couldn’t help, but fall in love with him. I really liked the fact that Hoover didn’t dwell on his appearance. She describes him once and then you get glimpses here and there, but for the most part it was about his actions and his thoughts that create the man he is. Once you get that inside look, he honestly just makes you melt.

“You can love a lot of things about a person but still not love the whole person.”

He was a complex character with a slightly darker past, but that wasn’t who he was. He had created it into something special and created a man in himself that was worth getting to know. I appreciated how he was the overly protective, jealous guy that is in all the books being written lately. Yes, he loved her and yes, he was there for her when she needed him, but he didn’t forbid her to do this and that and claim her as his own and I really, really liked that.

“I went to China for two weeks without telling anyone. When I returned, no one noticed I’d been gone.”

The idea for Owen’s art studio was so creative and it drew me in. Having art that is based on anonymous confessions is so intriguing and I wish it was a real thing. (I’m going to Google that!). I honestly wish I could have been in that studio reading those confessions, because I could relate to so many. The quote above was a confession that I identified with. Not that it actually happened to me, but that there are moments when I believe people don’t notice I’m gone and I fear that one day this will be me. It is crazy to think that my fear is someone else’s reality.

Of course, there was one character that I loathed, but I didn’t like him, because technically I would consider him the villain. The story line involving him kind of irritated me, but I understand that it was needed to make the story progress. It wouldn’t be the story that I love without it. It wouldn’t have led the characters to do what they did without it.

There was some serious twists and turns that I was not expecting, but they were so good! They only enhanced the story more. As for the ending– it was the best! I was smiling and tearing up. I actually got so into this book. It was so cute, but serious, while still being fairly realistic. I enjoyed it and it was a much needed read!

This is the first book in a long time that I have actually wanted to share with someone. After I finished the last page, I literally jumped in my car and drove to my best friend’s house to demand she read it. It was that good!

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

We’re meant to protect each other, but not from everything. Not from the truth. That’s what it means to love someone, but let them be themselves. -Jace

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra ClareTitle: City of Lost Souls

Author: Cassandra Clare

Series: The Mortal Instruments #5

Genre: fantasy, young adult, fiction

# of Pages: 544

Published: May 8, 2012

Synopsis: Jace is now a servant of evil, bound for all eternity to Sebastian. Only a small band of Shadowhunters believe he can be saved. To do this they must defy the Clave. And they must act without Clary. For Clary is playing a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. Clary is willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love? 

My Thoughts:

As excited as I am to have almost completed The Mortal Instruments series, I am equally sad. I just haven’t had enough Clary/Jace, Maia/Jordan, Isabelle/Simon, or Alec/Magnus… I have become so attached to the characters and their relationships that I am not ready to let them go.

BUT I did enjoy this book. It wasn’t my favorite by any means. I wasn’t a huge fan of Jace and Sebastian’s storyline of being tied together. I mean it worked, but it was just kind of getting old after 300 pages. I like Jace’s character so much, so the story was really lacking without his usual antics.

I absolutely adore Maia and Jordan. I love everything about them. I never thought Maia was right for Simon anyway and then when we meet Jordan and realize who they are to each other I was like YES! I could read a book about just Maia and Jordan and be perfectly happy even if they are in that puppy-love stage… it’s just plain cute.

I am also a huge fan of Simon and Isabelle. Their whole we have a thing, but we aren’t a thing should get annoying and will soon, but right now it works, because of Izzy’s personality. She doesn’t want to seem vulnerable yet she wants Simon to be with her. It’s also funny how close she is with Alec and Jace yet she thinks Simon should just know she likes him… ummmm he’s a boy! But I hope to see more of them as a couple in the next book.

As for Jace and Clary– I like them, I do. I believe the whole ‘they were made for each other’ stuff and I like how alike they are in the sense that they would do whatever for the people they love and how reckless they both are, but sometimes I’m like get over yourselves. It cracks me up that they are like 17 and have only known each other like less than a year, but they act like they have been a couple for 10 years. That part is a little obnoxious, but I like them still.

In my opinion, Sebastian needs to go to Hell and stay there. I am so tired off all this evil just coming back and never actually getting killed. I am really concerned about Maureen’s new status and fear for them all. It is really cool to me how the stories connect and the action never stops. The series really is powerful and a fun place to escape to.