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After a slow start to the month, I found some magical reading energy and powered through quite a few young adult romance novels by the end of March. It’s still quite sad to look at my reading list this year so far because there are clearly some strong reading slumps that I’ve avoided with easy reads. While there’s nothing wrong with easy-reads, I feel like I need to grab for heavier books and topics, and I need to finish a lot of unfinished series! Plus, even though I’ve never managed to actually stick with a TBR list, I should give it a go in April… I should, and I know could.. but would I!? Probably not.
Well, it took me two months but I finally finished The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss in the middle of March and now everything hurts. It hurts because the story is not over but the third book is not yet out, and the waiting will be painful. It already is. Plus, there are certain chapters in the first and the second book that describe a set of three different silences which get me every time. It’s just so well written, slowly but surely building the tension, and that is just the element of the story that is happening in the present! I can’t even start describing everything our main protagonist Kvothe is telling about his life because it’s so vast, filled with adventure, wisdom and emotions. Simply amazing. There are really not enough positive words for The Kingkiller Chronicle which is ironic, since Rothfuss has a knack to write a lot of words, and all of them tend to be the right ones, in their right place, delivered with just the right amount of passion. One of my all time favourite books, one of my favourite main characters, all written by one of my all time favourite authors.
After such a heavy book, and the devastation of having to leave the world of Kvothe, I set my sights on easier reads. Plus, I was spending a lot of time on buses last month, so reading ebooks on my phone seemed like the way to go. Either way, Operation Prom Date caught my eye, and now I’m sitting here and wondering what it was all about. Honestly, it was a quick read and apparently quite forgettable, which makes me wonder that my two-cup rating wasn’t that far off. All I can remember is that the main characters were pretending to be in a fake relationship, a story element I love, but Operation Prom Date by Cindi Madsen didn’t do it for me. I think part of the dislike was because it was written from both perspectives, the girl’s and the boy’s, which killed the mystery and didn’t help along to build some tension. Plus, there wasn’t anything that stood out for me enough to gush over it, which is a shame really. So Operation Prom Date was simply a disappointment.
Youtuber books are not typically on my radar because I’ve slowly lost interest in most of the Youtubers over the years. But there’s this one woman I’ve watched since forever and her name is Estée Lalonde, who I will continue to watch until she makes videos. She seems authentic and not altered to the main-stream Youtube community, her ads never feel forced and her personality is so soothing to me that I feel like we could be best friends! But all that fangirling aside, I was thrilled to receive Bloom for my birthday this year and I was even more excited to read it. Unfortunately, which is by no means a criticism towards Estée nor her book, I didn’t enjoy Bloom from start to finish. My issue with it is the fact that I felt like the stories and examples, which gave me an even better insight into this amazing woman’s life, didn’t hit me hard enough. Which is weird, since it seems I have a lot in common with her – we both have divorced parents (granted, mine divorced just a few years ago but my relationship with my father is similar to what Estée describes her’s to be), both struggle with weight and body confidence, and we both have tried to fit in while not really fitting in. So how come a book that discusses all these things feel like it didn’t really discuss anything? I think part of the problem is the fact that instead of focusing on the negatives, Bloom is all about the positive – which is completely fine and admirable but part of me wanted the ugly, and the sad, and the reality which is so often sugarcoated with Instagram filters and video edits. That being said, I still liked it, and maybe someday I’ll be in a better place mentally and emotionally, which will help me enjoy it more because I know I still need to bloom into a woman I could be proud of as well.
Another one of those quick ebook reads I enjoyed while riding the bus, waiting in line to get my treatment, and riding the bus back – it helped to pass the time but that was probably all it did. The Bad Boy Bargain by Kendra C. Highley is again a fake relationship story with two perspectives. And again, similar to Operation Prom Date, having point of views from both of our main characters isn’t giving the book anything good to grab onto. Plus, the bad boy isn’t even a bad boy and it’s all just an act, which makes the book even more boring than it should be. All in all, another disappointment and even though it looks like I’m not a fan of the fake relationship theme, I’m still a fan of it.. I just have read a few books now that haven’t delivered enough in terms of plot and writing style. Plus, I feel like I was cheated a bit in terms of the title, which is completely misleading. It doesn’t matter that the guy is thought as a bad guy, I was expecting him to be one, which would have been far more interesting and thrilling.
My biggest misstep this month was Ella’s Twisted Senior Year by Amy Sparling, which I set aside midway through because it got too mushy too fast. Sparling rushed the romance, the characters weren’t even established enough for the romance to feel anything special. As far as I remember, the main characters were best friends and she was in love with him but they had a falling out and now she hated him.. but then the book starts like 3 or 4 years after they stopped being friends and their fallout is explained and pretty much forgotten like immediately. It was so badly described and written, that I couldn’t keep reading so I just did not finish this one.
Things got a little better with Adorkable and I actually enjoyed this one because it was a slow burn, surprise surprise, fake relationship storyline. I know, it’s been a very fake month, but I wanted to get it right so I ended up picking up one more book and this one by Cookie O’Gorman managed to get it right. It had a very sweet character development for both, and it actually took its time to introduce us to them before jumping in. Though the way the fake relationship was set to sail was a little bit weird and not believable enough to be described as perfect, the whole story made up for it by the end. What I loved about the book was how sweet the end game was, but it also was a little bit annoying, because nobody can be actually so clueless. That being said, Adorkable was adorable and filled with all kinds of Harry Potter references and other pop culture snippets, which brought a smile to my face.
Alright, some of you might recognise these books because I picked both up for the third time this month.. I think it’s official, this is my favourite young adult romance series. Also, it features a fake-relationship so you now know where my addiction to that theme started from. Should I even talk about this book because I feel like once I start, I can’t stop but I’ll try to keep it short. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han is a brilliant story filled with great characters and well established back stories. If it has a flaw, it has that one tiny little element of having a bit of a clueless main character who catches on too late at times. Then again, our main character Lara Jean would not be Lara Jean if she weren’t so innocent and clueless – so really, it’s part of the charm this book and this series is all about. But as seen, I’ve rated the second book a bit lower than the first, and it’s because I feel like the ending of the second book lost it’s focus a little. It was rushed and it didn’t feel right by any means.. and to think, the second book was supposedly the last one, before the third one was announced. So while the second book got the ending all wrong, Han is now giving us a third book, and if that third book gets the ending wrong, I’ll be disappointed. I don’t even want to think about which boy is the end game because if the one I need to be the end game isn’t the one for Lara Jean, I’ll be devastated. And also, by the way, I just had a crazy thought.. what if Lara Jean gets pregnant? That would be an interesting turn of events that would never happen but after the problematic end to the second book, I kind of want something utterly real and scary to shake Lara Jean’s world. But it will never happen, Han will create a different kind of problem for Lara Jean and she will overcome it and she will live happily ever after with…..
This was a surprise addition to this month’s wrap up because I didn’t expect to finish it in one sitting, but I did and I had a very hard day at work the following day – which was a punishment I was willing to accept. Anyway, Anna and the French Kiss is a YA romance novel/series I’ve heard a lot about, and I never thought I’d pick it up.. until I saw the entire series at my local bookstore and I was like… fine, I’ll buy it. The first book is about Anna, a 17 year old who is sent to Paris to finish her last year in this high school meant for English speaking students. She is very hesitant to go because high school is hard enough on its own, add to that moving across the world into an unknown country and entering a very small sized high school as the new kid. But she quickly finds friends and those friends help her blend in. Stephanie Perkins writes so smoothly and effortlessly that it was impossible to put the book down. And even though the plot did have its flaws, and I could see the novelty of the novel wearing off, I still liked it a lot. Granted, the main characters had some very stupid moments and they felt naive at times, but that’s teenagers for you, which I guess makes Anna and the French Kiss more real. There was also a little plot devise that some might not like but I didn’t mind it because I think the other character of said situation wasn’t present enough to feel completely wrong. But I’ve heard the second book is the best in the series so I’m looking forward to continue on with Perkins and her series.
Have you read any of the books I completed this month? Do you have any recommendations for me in regards to fake relationships in books because I’d like to read more of those, please!