When We Collided: review

When We Collided: review

Sometimes, you’ll meet a girl who bursts into a room and draws all eyes to her. Someone so charming and vivid that you can’t help but love and envy her–and perhaps wonder at how she burns so brightly, because there are times when it almost hurts to be in her orbit. Vivi Alexander shows up in a sleepy beach town one summer, and turns Jonah’s life upside down. In the stoic routine and worry of his life, Vivi is dazzlingly beautiful in her vintage dresses and bright lipstick, as well as kind to his little sister and wise beyond her years. Their attraction is immediate, and they’re soon sneaking kisses when people aren’t looking, he’s making her caprese sandwiches and leaving them outside her door, and she’s pulling him into a whirlwind of joyous outings and scandalous liasons. Their romance is sweet and funny and endearing, especially because they’re drawn… Read more »

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A Gathering of Shadows: Review

A Gathering of Shadows: Review

I will give Victoria Schwab credit: she sure knows how to build a captivating world full of deftly defined characters, and a creeping, sentient magic. It  also doesn’t hurt that she has in her arsenal the capacity to wield a wicked sentence or two. But it’s a strange feeling when you give a book a 3 star rating, yet still feel as though you are a black sheep. I was absolutely enchanted by the first volume, but this one didn’t quite hit the same mark for me. We pick up the story four months after the events of A Darker Shade of Magic. Lila has taken her adventuring to the high seas in her delightfully audacious quest to see “everything.” Kell and Rhy are left behind in Red London struggling with the consequences of the powerful decisions made at the end of the first book. Their storylines converge when all… Read more »

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A Curious Beginning: Review

A Curious Beginning: Review

If you’ve been itching to curl up with an absorbing historical mystery that will make you laugh and swoon, then A Curious Beginning is right up your alley! I am not usually much one for mystery novels, but the combination of features here, Victorian London, an intrepid and super sassy heroine (also a lady scientist, yay!), and a developing romance hit all the right checkmarks for me. I’m glad I gave this one a try as it really is a super enjoyable set up to what could, finger crossed, be a long and rewarding series! The story begins with our heroine, Veronica Speedwell, burying  her last “relative” and remaining connection to her childhood. A foundling, Veronica had been raised by two spinster sisters, often moving at a whim around the country, causing constant upheaval in her life. Veronica soon discovers, though, that her very life is under attack, with mysterious… Read more »

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A Fierce and Subtle Poison: Review

A Fierce and Subtle Poison: Review

I’m not quite sure what to write about Samantha Mabry’s debut, A Fierce and Subtle Poison. It’s an absorbing novel – magical realism isn’t generally my thing, but Mabry’s prose made this novel really work well for me. It is incredibly beautifully written, you all. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it. It’s been one of my favorite reads of the year so far. Additionally, I started and finished A Fierce and Subtle Poison in less than 24 hours, so there’s that. So. The book is a retelling (I think) of Hawthorne’s short story, Rappaccini’s Daughter, of which I remember … not a whit. The premise of the novel is something like this: there’s a legend about a cursed house in Old San Juan, where no birds will fly over. In it lives a cursed girl, with green skin and grass for hair. Lucas and his friends have both heard and… Read more »

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The Library School Diaries: Part II

The Library School Diaries: Part II

  Hello, friends, and welcome to another installment of the Library School Diaries! I am so sad that library school keeps me basically incapable of keeping up with you all on blog posts, Twitter, Instagram, and all other places of social fun. I have been diligently plugging away at my second semester of studies for Master of Library and Information Science with a specialization in the School Library Certification Program at the University of Pittsburgh. Just like last semester, I’m taking five classes again. It’s a huge course load, and I also have two part-time jobs, so things have been super busy for me! But without further ado, let’s take a look at what I’ve been learning in my second semester.     I’m in the school library program (I hope to be a high school librarian one day!), and as someone without a previous education background, this means I am also working… Read more »

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The Serpent King: Review

The Serpent King: Review

With its contemporary setting, religious themes, serious subject matter, and known tearjerker elements, The Serpent King isn’t the sort of book I would typically love. But I went into it with an open heart and a strong desire to like it. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite agree. I felt that the weighty material the book wants to cover ultimately couldn’t be carried by the comparatively weak character portraits. Let’s delve into it. The story centers on three main characters, Dill, Lydia, and Travis. Dill is living under the shadow of his snake-handling preacher father who has been in jail for several years now after a conviction on possession of sexual images of minors. In his small, Tennessee town apparently the sins of the father are visited on the son, as Dill must deal with an angry, judgmental community. He also struggles with the weight of his own conflicted feelings on faith… Read more »

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The Love That Split the World: Review

The Love That Split the World: Review

I’d been slow to read Emily Henry’s debut novel The Love That Split the World (in part because it’d been advertised as the lovechild of Friday Night Lights and The Time Traveler’s Wife, and … I irrationally dislike that book). The Love That Split the World is chock-full of the sort of themes I very much enjoy in young adult novels: relationships, belonging, figuring out one’s identity and one’s place in different communities. And in The Love That Split the World, those were the aspects I most enjoyed. Give me all your feelings! The trappings of time travel or parallel universes, while interesting, were often confusing to me. And while understanding those things was necessary for plot purposes, it wasn’t necessarily all that important in terms of the story’s emotional impact, which was – at least for me – much more powerful. Still, I feel conflicted about The Love That Split the World. Here’s why. The premise is… Read more »

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