This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills Book Review

Goodreads Summary:

Sloane isn’t expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that’s exactly what happens.

Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera’s twin brother and the most serious person Sloane’s ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins’ late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins’ lives.

Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars.

This is the only second book I’ve read by Emma Mills, but I can safely say that she writes some of the most well rounded contemporaries I’ve ever seen. With many contemporaries the main focus is typically romance with a little smidgen of quirky friends and a dash of a loving family, and I just always want less romantic subplot and more of the book focused on the other relationship dynamics. That’s not to say that I don’t love those type of contemporaries because I do but there always feels like there’s something missing. With Emma Mills, you get a great love interest, interesting and complex friendship dynamics and a family that doesn’t conveniently disappear halfway through the book. If this is what all of her books are like, I seriously need to read her first book and her latest one.

This book gave me serious The Perks of Being a Wallflower( the movie not the book) vibes which just made fall in love with the book all the more. I couldn’t help making parallels with the two set of character, and it definitely made my reading experience much more interesting. So like in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, you’ve got an outsider who kind of finds their way into this friend group who have been friends forever and do everything together, and this outsider slowly begins a part of the friend group and just aghhh I didn’t realize how much I love this trope until I read This Adventure Ends. I absolutely loved seeing how the main character, Sloane, integrated into this friend group and I loved seeing how the individual members and the group as a whole responded to her. Additionally, I loved learning about the different friends. They were all such different people with different ambition and personalities, but they formed an amazingly cohesive friend group. I also appreciated the conflict that occurred towards the end of the book. It felt very natural and necessary to the progression of the story and it didn’t feel like it was added just for the sake of drama.

Even though this was a contemporary there was some very hard hitting moments that made this book feel all the more real. I finished this book in tears with a huge lump in my chest which are the best type of books. The journey of discovery that Sloane went through during the book was something that I related to immensely. I thought the way she developed from someone with a lot of apathy to someone who realized that that wasn’t the way she wanted to live was really interesting. The way Mill’s constructed Sloane’s personality was super fascinating and she was an incredible protagonist. I loved her humour and how loyal she was. There are some characters that you love because they’re a well developed character and then there’s character’s that make you feel as though someone stole your innermost thoughts and emotions. Sloane is the latter.

It’s usually pretty rare that one of my favorite character’s is one of the MC’s parent’s, but Sloane’s dad was amazing. He’s this renowned author who writes Nicholas Sparkesque books but he’s currently in a rut. While he’s in this rut, he discovers the world of fandom and falls in love with this Teen Wolfesque show. He begins to read Fanfiction of the show and even tries his hand at writing his own. I’m not a huge fan of fanfiction but I thought all the discussion surrounding fanfiction was super interesting. I loved seeing Sloane’s dad talking about coffeeshop and next door neighbor AU’s and tbh I would read an entire book about him. The one thing that I would’ve appreciated more about was Sloane’s mom. We really didn’t know anything about her which was a little frustrating.

Have You Read This Adventure Ends? Have You Read Mills’ other books? What Did You Think of Them? Let Me Know In The Comments Down Below.

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The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich Book Review

Goodreads Summary:

There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. 
Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome.

The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

My Rating: 2/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

You know when you read a book with the most epic concept ever and you’re expecting it to be your new favorite thing and then you read it and it just falls short in every single area? That was what reading The Love Interest was like for me. A book that featured a love triangle where the guys fall for each other instead of the girl is arguably the best subversion of the trope possible and the fact that this book was horribly executed makes me so frustrated.

It’s so hard to pinpoint just one thing that frustrated me but one of my biggest source of anger was the lacklustre world building. The Love Interest is set in this weird dystopian/sci-fi world that somehow feels like the modern world and I had so many unanswered questions. Like the main character, Caden, has this romantic coach to like help him win over the girl he needs to fall in love with and this romantic coach can read his mind. Which is totally cool and awesome and yes please give me more books that feature mind reading, but I needed to know more about this. Is this something that was like created in a lab or something that came about supernaturally? Also her reading his mind seems to be on and off basis and was only employed when it was convenient for the plot which was super frustrating. I really don’t mind if there’s some unanswered questions in books like these because it’s hard to fix all the holes, but when the story is completely filled with holes it’s really hard to ignore it. Another thing that really contributed to the poor world building was the lack of description. I could not for the life of me picture the compound where Kaiden was raised and all of the places that were described felt like skeletons instead of fully fleshed out places. I think the thing that made the most frustrated was that there was absolutely no contrast between how Caden experienced the outside world vs the world he was used to. The only thing he knows about the real world is what they fed to him and you’re telling me that there’s no culture shock? I don’t believe that. I would’ve loved to see that confusion depicted because without it, it just made the world all the more one dimensional.

I could’ve forgiven the crappy world building if the characters were anything to write home about but they weren’t so this book became even more disappointing. I get that the characters were supposed to be a play on the typical archetypes one finds in YA novels which is fine, great even! I love the idea that Caden is forced to be Nice while Dylan is forced to be Bad, and I thought the way the author portrayed the trope of the boy next door vs the brooding secret softie. The only thing that was missing was development and there really wasn’t any. I didn’t feel like any of the characters grew or became better people or went beyond what they were taught. Obviously it’s hard to unlearn something that has been instilled in you for almost your entire time but I would’ve liked just a little indication that there was going to be growth in their future. Another thing that infuriated me was the way the girl that Dylan and Caden were fighting to fall in love with, Juliet, was portrayed. She’s supposed to be this genius who’s destined to do amazing world-changing things and yet that intelligence is shown at such a basic level. If I weren’t told that she was intelligent, I wouldn’t know because the way she acts, talks and her general personality isn’t indicative of that all. She was reduced to a crappy side character with no agency whatsoever and that infuriates me. If you’re going to subvert cliche characters then you actually have to do work and you can’t claim that you’re doing it.

The final thing that pissed me was the horrible pacing. The climax took place over a span of about 30 pages and so much happened in such little time that it was hard to believe any of it. Revelations and tragedy happens left and right that it was impossible for me to care about what was going. The ending was weak and while it was a happy one that I would’ve been happy with in any other situation this book didn’t earn that easy ending. I feel like the author focused too much on some things( like the size of the MC’s abs) and not enough on more important things( like why the fuck Juliet would believe Caden when he tells her that he’s a spy.) I’m all for suspicion of disbelief but this was taking things a little too far.

If this had featured a straight MC I totally would’ve one starred it, but I do think that the exploration of Caiden’s sexuality was what salvaged the book a little bit. I love that we’re getting more books about gay people that go beyond the normal contemporary genre. This book may have not been for me but I really hope that a gay teen will one day pick this book up and feel a little less alone.

Did You Read The Love Interest? What Did You Think of It? Let Me Know In The Comments Down Below!

Down The The Tbr Hole #2

So I have a serious problem with adding books that I’m only mildly interested in just because I like the cover or everybody is talking about it. I really want my to be read shelf to be an accurate representation of the books I’m going to read so I want to pare down on the 3000+ titles. So I thought Down The Tbr Hole which was created by Lia over at LostinaStory, would be a perfect way to do so

The rules are simple:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if youre feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

So let’s tackle my tbr!

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1. I Am J by Cris Beam

I’ve  heard really bad things about this book and like I don’t even think it’s #ownvoices so I don’t think I’m ever going to want to read it.

Verdict: Go

2. Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot

I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve read by Cabot and while I don’t know when I’ll read it since I don’t own a copy, I’m going to keep it since it sounds like a really great lighthearted book.

Verdict: Keep

3.The Princess Bride by William Golding

I know everybody loves the Princess Bride movie but I personally find it to be super overrated. Like it”s funny but it’s not the cult classic that everyone makes it out to be. So I don’t think I’d rlly enjoy the book either.

Verdict: Go

4. Blood Red Road by Moira Young

I tried to read this a couple of years ago but I couldn’t get pass the first 50 pages. It had this weirdly weird dialogue with no quotation marks and it just really bothered me. I don’t think I’m ever going to give this book a second chance.

Verdict: Go

5.Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

I’ve been dying to read this book for so long and I’ve just never gotten my hands on it. It sounds amazing like who wouldn’t want to read about a bookstore that’s open 24 hours a day? That’s the ultimate bookworm dream.

Verdict: Keep

6. Choker by Elizabeth Woods

I remember Ariel Bissett and Raeleen Lemay really loved this book ( I pretty much got all my book recs from them) but I just reread this synopsis and it really doesn’t seen like my thing. Like maybe if a book with a similiar concept came out now I would read it but it was published in 2011 so it’s probably super outdated.

Verdict: Go

7. Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony

This is a book that is told almost entirely through pictures which is just such a cool concept. I’m not sure where I’ll be able to find a copy but if I ever do I’ll be really excited to read it. It sounds like a beautiful book.

Verdict: Keep

8. Grafitti Moon by Cath Crowley

This doesn’t seem like something I’d really be into but someone whose opinion I trust a lot reviewed it on Goodreads and said she loved it so I think I’m going to keep it.

Verdict: Keep

9. A Wounded Name by Dot Huthinson.

I have absolutely no recollection of ever adding this book and I can’t imagine a time where a book like this would ever interest me. It’s a paranormal romance which is pretty much my least favorite genre. It’s a no for me.

Verdict: Go

10. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Seventh Grade Hannah may have loved this but I’m looking at the synopsis now and cringing so so much. It seems super predictable and not someting that I’d enjoy at all.

Verdict: Go

11. See You At Harry’s by Jo Knowles

This is another one where though I don’t know exactly when I read it, it’s still something I really want to read. It looks like heartfelt coming of age YA which is my favorite type of story.

Verdict: Keep

12. Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

This seems like a cliche dystopian with not much substance. Unless the concept is super unique and well executed, I’m pretty much done with dystopians.

Verdict: Go

13. Ageless by Jeanne M. Haskin.

I have actually no idea why I added it because it looks super bad and weird. Why did 2014 Hannah add so many random books?

Verdict: Go

14. Banquet of Lies by Michelle Diener

This book is set in regency London and is about spies. Umm yes please?!!!!

Verdict: Keep

15.The Iron Fey Volume 1( The Iron King+ The Iron Daughter) by Julie Kagwa.

I’ve never read a Kagwa book before and like even though she’s a prolific author and a lot of ppl seem to like her books, I’m just not a huge fantasy person. I’d love to be able to enjoy books about fae and the like but it just doesn’t click with me.

Verdict: Go

16. How To Save a Life by Sara Zarr

This seems like a really sweet and emotional contemporary and I’d definitely like to pick it up one day.

Verdict: Keep

17. In The Chat Room With God by Todd Hafer.

This is just a whole new level of weird….whyyyyyyyyy.

Verdict: Go

18. Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk

I’m not a huge fan of horror books or short story collections so I think I’m good.

Verdict: Go

19. Possession by Elana Johnson.

This sounds like yet another boring dystopian. The number of variations on the same plot that are out there is astounding.

Verdict: Go

20. Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S King

I have a lot-hate relationship with her books but I think this is one that I’d really enjoy. I’ve been wanting to read for 5+ years but have just never gotten around to it. One day, one day.

Verdict: Keep

Final Results:

Keep: 8

Go:12

Did I Get Rid of Any Books That You Loved? Kept Any Books That You Hated? Let Me Know In The Comments Down Below!