BOOK REVIEW : SAINT ANYTHING BY SARAH DESSEN

23009402
Title: Saint Anything
Author: Sarah Dessen
Published: May 5th 2015 by Viking
417 pages
Source: Purchased

Click here to find it on Goodreads

Maria’s thoughts:

Sydney’s older brother gets charged with a drunk driving conviction. While everyone in her family is so focused on him and his well-being, Sydney feels like she is the only one who cares about the boy who was injured in this accident. She changes schools, starts a new job and develops a very special friendship with siblings Mac and Layla. The Chathams were an awesome family. I enjoyed every second of this beautiful book! The characters were both amazing and relatable. I loved how the author portrayed family and relationships. Sarah Dessen has a writing style that is very dear to my heart. It brings back many memories as I grew up reading all of her books.

5 stars on Goodreads

Mackenzie’s thoughts:

This was definitely my favorite Sarah Dessen book that I’ve read, I’ve read two other of her books years ago; just listen and that summer. I can really see how much her writing and story telling has improved over the years with this book. I really enjoyed the main character Sydney and how she really cares for her family and friends, I also enjoyed the Chathams family and learning about their family. I did not enjoy Sydney’s parents and Ames; he was just so creepy. Towards the end of the book I just couldn’t stand Sydney’s mom because she made Sydney out of the bad child and Peyton as the good guy. She took a lot out on Sydney and never bothered to see how she felt, which I didn’t like. I really liked how the relationship in this book happened throughout the book and not right from the beginning like most books. When I first read about Mac I was trying to figure out what it was short for, when I found out it was Macaulay, it was funny because that’s my brothers name. Overall I really enjoyed this book and I would recommend it!

5 stars on Goodreads

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BOOK REVIEW : IT WAS ME ALL ALONG BY ANDIE MITCHELL

20484545Title: It Was Me All Along
Author: Andie Mitchell
Published: January 6th 2015
240 pages
Source: Purchased

Click here to find it on Goodreads

It Was Me All Along is a memoir written by food blogger and instagrammer, miss Andie Mitchell. In this inspiring piece of literature, Andie talks about her childhood, her long-time struggles with weight loss and her fear of gaining it all back. It’s so much more than just a book about diet and exercise. She isn’t telling you what you should eat to get skinnier or what she did to magically lose all of her weight, she shares her true life story without sugar coating any of it.

So many things about this story made me reflect on my life. I could relate to the narrator in more ways than one. At times, I felt as if the author were an actual friend of mine and I was sad when the last chapter came to an end. It Was Me All Along really inspired me. I can’t think of a better word to use, than inspire. I can honestly say that I learned a lot by reading Andie’s weight-loss story, especially when it comes to BALANCE. It also peaked my interest when it comes to health, nutrition and self-help books. I would love to get my hands on other books like this!

What made this book so great was knowing that it was real. Andie Mitchell is a real person, just like you and me. I loved checking out her Instagram page and blog after finishing this book. Her blog posts are awesome and motivating. I highly recommend you all check out this new non-fiction author.

Click here to learn more about Andie on her BLOG

maria

BOOK REVIEW : THE SELECTION BY KIERA CASS


10507293Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Published: April 24th 2012 by HarperTeen
336 pages
Source: Purchased

Click here to find it on Goodreads

I am pretty late to the game when it comes to the Selection series. I’m pretty sure this was on my TBR back when I was reading the Hunger Games. However, I finally picked up book #1 and i’m very very very happy with how much I enjoyed it.

America Singer comes from a very poor family, so when she is asked to sign up for a competition to help them financially, she can’t say no. Much like the popular TV show, the bachelor, 35 outstanding girls are selected to move into a palace and compete to become Prince Maxon’s future bride. America is welcomed into the royal lifestyle with amazing food and gifts from the prince. She is surprised by his generosity and how much she really does begin to like him. The only problem is that she is in love with someone else back home.

I enjoyed this lovely dystopian/romance so much more thanI thought that I would! It sucked me in from the very first page, when I met miss America Singer. America is such a kind hearted, down to earth main character. She is never afraid to be her true self and I love her funny/stubborn attitude. Prince Maxon is simply everything that a girl would want in a prince. I must say, I don’t think I would be as cool as America is when it comes to sharing him with so many other beautiful ladies.

I was afraid that the Selection would be too girlie and princessie for me personally, but I was so wrong. It’s like reading this book gave me that chick flick fix that i’ve been needing! At this point, having only read the first book in the series, I’m totally rooting for America and Maxon. I have no idea what’s in store for book #2 and #3, but I am excited to find out! If you’ve read the Selection series already, let me know your thoughts in the comments below (without spoiling the other books for me.) XOX.
maria

BOOK REVIEW : ON DUBLIN STREET BY SAMANTHA YOUNG

Title: On Dublin Street
Author: Samantha Young
Published: August 31st 2012
322 pages
Source: Purchased

Click here to find it on Goodreads

Jocelyn/Joss moves to Scotland after finishing her studies, to make a new life for herself. Ever since her parents and younger sister died in a car crash years earlier, she’s been doing her best at avoiding dealing with this trauma and keeping her emotions in check. She ends up moving into a flat on Dublin Street with a girl named Ellie. Ellie and Joss hit it off, becoming fast friends. Not long after, Joss meets Ellie’s wealthy and very attractive brother, Braden. That, my friends, is where the story takes off.

Jocelyn feels attracted to Braden since their very first encounter in a taxi. Braden wants Jocelyn. Jocelyn has long sworn off relationships, not wanting to let anyone in. It takes a guy like Braden to break her walls down. I ADORED THIS. ADORED!

I read this book in one sitting. On Dublin Street had me so invested so fast. It took me on such an emotional roller coaster. So much happened in only 325 pages. SO MANY FREAKING FEELS. I feel deeply for Braden, Joss and Ellie. These three characters are rough and real. Now that it’s over, I just want more.

Does that sound like rambling to you? How many times can I say SO in one single book review? I’m sorry, but I just barely put this book down and just HAD TO share my thoughts and spread the love. I don’t want to give too much away, as I went into this book blind. If you’re even a tiny bit interested in the new adult genre, and you’re looking for a steamy read with an extremely good storyline – you MUST read this book. I can’t wait to try some more of Samantha Young’s work. 5 out of 5 stars, clearly…
maria

BOOK REVIEW : FREAK THE MIGHTY BY RODMAN PHILBRICK

8953Title: Freak the Mighty
Author: Rodman Philbrick
Published: June 1st 2001 by Scholastic Paperbacks
169 pages
Source: borrowed
Click here to find it on Goodreads

As I said in my previous TBR post, I’m currently doing four weeks of practice teaching for my on the job training. In my seventh grade english class, we are starting to read Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick. Today, I finished the novel for the very first time and I’ll be reading it for the second time in class to my students. I’m really surprised to have never heard of such a heart warming young adult book and I have a feeling that this story will stay with me for quite a long time.

Freak the Mighty is the story two young boys with total different personalities, who become the best of friends. Max is big and Kevin is small. Max is a slow learner and Kevin is a genius. Together, they are Freak the Mighty.

Both characters are extremely easy to love and very relatable. This story focuses a lot on their friendship, but also touches growth disorders. Kevin, also known as the Freak throughout this novel, is diagnosed with Morquio syndrome. This means that his insides are essentially growing faster and bigger than his outsides.
freak_the_mighty_doodle_by_rinime_kafu-d5kqm8qFreak the Mighty is extremely thought provoking and touching. I enjoyed this quick read so much and I highly recommend it. 5 out of 5 stars.

Click here to view the authors website!
maria

BOOK REVIEW : THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN BY PAULA HAWKINS

22557272Title: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Published: January 13th 2015 by Riverhead Books
336 pages
Source: purchased
Click here to find it on Goodreads

The Girl on the Train is about a woman named Rachel, who takes the same train everyday. She finds herself staring out of her window, a gin and tonic in hand, observing the houses that pass. She becomes interested in one specific home, where a young couple are often found enjoying the morning with one another on the front porch. Rachel doesn’t really know these people, but she’s watched them for so long that she feels as if she does. When the woman goes missing, Rachel somehow becomes involved in this complicated case.

What made this story so interesting was definitely the unreliable narrators and the twisted plot. I felt so many emotions while reading this. I went from hating Scott, to liking him, from hating Anne to liking her, from liking Megan to hating her… As frustrating as the main character Rachel was, I always enjoyed reading from her point of view. She could seem a little crazy at times, but I still liked her character overall and I genuinely felt bad for what she had gone through. I sometimes questioned if what she was saying was true, due to her alcohol intake. I wanted so badly for her to remember the events of the night that Megan went missing, and hoped that she wasn’t to blame. Paula Hawkins did an incredible job at writing such complex characters. Every single one of them is extremely flawed and difficult to trust.

Not once did I have the ending figured out. The story flowed quite nicely and every plot twist had me hanging on the edge of my seat. I haven’t read a book that had me glued to every page like this since I read Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. I think I may have been even more captivated by this one. After I read about Megan’s disappearance, I couldn’t put this book down until I had it all figured out. The Girl on the Train is worth all of it’s hype in my opinion. If you’re in the mood for a great thriller, be sure to pick this one up! 5 out of 5 stars!
maria

BOOK REVIEW : ATTACHMENTS BY RAINBOW ROWELL

8909152Title: Attachments
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: April 14th 2011 by Dutton Adult
323 pages
Source: purchased
Click here to find it on Goodreads

Maria’s thoughts:
Attachments is narrated by Lincoln, who’s job is essentially to read other peoples emails. One day he stumbles upon an email from two very interesting women, and as much as he knows it’s wrong – he can’t stop reading. The more he reads, the more he falls in love with one of the two ladies…

I really loved Lincoln’s character growth throughout this book. He was portrayed as the cute, but awkward, computer guy. He was very unsure about who he was and where he was headed in life. Jennifer and Beth were fantastic female characters. Both of them were Hilarious. I definitely enjoyed reading their emails written to each other just as much as Lincoln did. Those conversations were my absolute favourite parts of this book.

At some points, I wasn’t certain about where the story was going. Beth had a boyfriend throughout the whole book, and Lincoln was way too scared to even approach her in person. It all tied together quite nicely in the end though. Rainbow Rowell’s endings never fail to WOW me. No matter how I feel in the beginning or middle of her books, the endings always blow me away. I thought that Attachments was a very original, fun, contemporary read. I am really glad that i’ve gotten around to reading more of Rainbow Rowell’s work. 4 out of 5 stars.

Mackenzie’ thoughts:
Before going into attachments, I was very excited because I previously loved Eleanor and park and Fangirl. Attachments was probably my least favourite out of the three, but still very good. I loved that it was set in the 90s and the concept of the book was so interesting to me. I loved reading the emails between Beth and Jennifer. At first I wasn’t crazy over our main character, Lincoln. I was really frustrated with him throughout the book. I really loved the side characters like Doris, she was always great! Overall I still recommend this book, it was really funny and enjoyable. 5 out of 5 stars!