Mini Book Reviews #2 ~ May 2018

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

330 pages
Dates Read: April 23-May 3, 2018

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My Mini Review: While this book is written in third person, it is expertly told in almost every character’s POVs. I was thoroughly impressed. I had a hard time finding any of the characters remotely likable though. I especially disliked Marco. His actions and decisions were unforgivable. The ending was a bit predictable early on in the story. It was just a matter of learning how exactly everything went down. The way characters were described and talked about made it too easy for me to guess whodunit. I absolutely hated the ultimate end. I truly thought I was going to be happy with everything until the very last twist. I was so, so disappointed. This book was definitely an engaging, well-written page-turner but, I just didn’t completely feel the mystery factor… it was there but, it wasn’t exactly the main point of the novel. I never connected with nor did I ever root for any of the characters, and like I already stated; I wished for a different ending to the story.

My Rating: 2.5/5 stars
Read the synopsis and my favorite quotes from this book, here.

Hidden Bodies (You, #2) by Caroline Kepnes

448 pages
Dates Read: May 3-May 10, 2018

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My Mini Review: Sequels are never, ever as good as the original. This sequel to You was no different. The plot was nearly the same as the first book but this time; Joe travels, there are more settings and characters introduced. I really enjoyed the variety and stories of each character– they were all incredibly fleshed out. I was able to develop a connection with each and every one of them. I love the way Caroline Kepnes writes as Joe Goldberg, she uses extra crude language but makes it sound so poetic and dare I say it? …beautiful. One thing I enjoyed about this book over the first one is that it dives into Joe’s family and his childhood. He has a super colorful past that I want to know more and more about. There were some parts in the story that really dragged on, and I mean they reeeeally dragged on… I especially hated reading the movie ideas that Forty and Joe come up with. The smooth references back to the first installment, You, were genius. If there was a third book, I’d definitely read it. I truly enjoy Joe and his antics.

This book will become a TV Series on the Lifetime Channel and Joe Goldberg will be played by Penn Badgley!! (That’s Dan from Gossip Girl, if you didn’t know).

My Rating: 4/5 stars
Read the synopsis and my favorite quotes from this book, here.

Beneath A Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson

240 pages
Dates Read: May 11-May 13, 2018

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My Mini Review: The first few pages were really confusing, they didn’t make sense to me, at least… not right away. I was nervous this book would be too poetic and filled with hidden meanings I’d never dream of understanding but, once the story started; I was instantly reeled in. I had a hard time at first because the author doesn’t use quotation marks when her characters speak, she instead italicizes the dialogue. It took a little getting used to but it became easier and easier to understand. The narrator switches from her past to present smoothly; I was equally interested in both. I’ve never read any stories about Hurricane Katrina… it was so devastating. This one was fiction but, I know it was real life for someone out there. My heart was literally breaking more and more with each word I read— I honestly cried like a baby. My eyes were filled with so many tears over and over again. I definitely related to the meth part of the story, it was all too real for me. I remembered going through the exact same things that Laurel went through. I physically felt so much hurt for her. I felt as though I was really trying to save an addict that I personally knew and cared for. The character in this story, Moses, was a true angel, his character was the brightest light in one of the darkest tales. I really loved this book; the writing style was exquisite.

My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Read the synopsis and my favorite quotes from this book, here.

It Ain’t Me, Babe by Tillie Cole

466 pages
Dates Read: May 13-May 15, 2018

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My Mini Review: First of all, I was annoyed by the huge amount of typos in this book but never mind that, that was easy to get past. I wanted to read a book that was part of a series and Goodreads had recommended It Ain’t Me, Babe to me. The synopsis was different and not something that I would typically choose for myself. So, in that sense, it was exactly what I was looking for. I thought this was going to be a bit more fantasy-ish but, oh, was that my mistake. It’s very much a romance novel packed with way too many graphic sex scenes. I don’t mind a few here and there; I’m not a prude… this novel just needed less of it… those scenes distracted from the real story, they would always cut in at such crucial times. The plot was way too strong to be bombarded that way so often. I did appreciate that the answers I was looking for were revealed shortly after them though. You don’t have to wait until the end of the entire book to find out ALL of the answers. Tillie Cole creatively comes up with a problem and a solution for that problem until yet another problem arises, there are plenty of peak, action points which kept me turning the pages rapidly. (Except, of course, when I was pulled into an annoying sex scene– seriously, they were like commercials while you’re watching a good show!! And no, I’m not over it yet.) I love love LOVED Styx and the entire story of Styx and Mae from beginning to end. The romance between them is fiery and passionatetheir characters are both extremely lovable. I was always hoping their wishes would come true and never did I feel against them. I was able to empathize with their constant pains and I felt actual anxiety at all the right times. It does worry me that Mae has never actually experienced the real world; she’s only ever experienced the two worlds these novels are based on: The Hangmen Clubhouse and the Commune she came from but, she clearly seems happy. Mae’s love is so pure and real– she’s seriously perfect (she’s a fictional character so that means perfection is definitely possible). The stutter that Styx has does get a little annoying to read. He bothered me with how much he attempted to talk even though he’s a LEGEND and is known and even feared for being a mute already. He had nothing to prove, he was just embarrassing himself for no reason. It was aggravating and pointless. Rider’s ending and reveal freaked me the fuck out. His whole role in this story truly surprised me, my jaw dropped all the way to the ground. I can’t even begin to explain how shocked I was. Beauty and Letti were such fun characters, too. Beauty and Tank’s relationship is adorable. I also loved Flame even if his actions made me flinch more than once. Ky’s love for Styx, their friendship, it made my heart warm and fluttery. There was a large variety of characters in the motorcycle gang and every single one of them was extremely well-developed. Though, there were quite a few to keep track of; I was quickly able to remember who was who because their personalities were all so very distinct. The descriptive writing in this book is perfection, too. I was able to make a completely clear picture in my head of what I imagine the Hangmen clubhouse looks like; I’d love to hang out there. I am in love with the danger of it all. I would honestly choose the same path that Mae does, I totally understand her decision. This was one of the most exciting books I’ve ever read. I will definitely be reading the next book in this series. I think there are like 7 or 8 of them! It’s not quite fantasy but, it does feature two extremely foreign and bizarre worlds that don’t seem at all possible, though, terrifyingly so could be— we just have no idea about them. I wish with all my heart that I could give this book a full 5 stars but… those sex scenes are the sole reason why I have to minus .5 from the rating. Yep, I’m still mad about them.

My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Read the synopsis and my favorite quotes from this book, here.

All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

385 pages
Dates Read: May 15-May 17, 2018

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My Mini Review: I’m still trying to wrap my thoughts around All The Missing Girls. If I had to describe this book in one word it would definitely be: eerie. It was hard for me to understand the story as it was going backwards in time. I hated that. The plot and ending were intriguing enough that this story could have been told properly. I had zero ideas about what was going on in this book the entire time but, I knew just enough to make me want to continue. I could not wait to get to the ending but, I mean that in a bad way. You don’t know how glad I was that everything was splayed out nicely in the end, that the real occurrences were revealed in an easy way to understand unlike the rest of the book. I was confused until 90% through though and I am being completely serious here! I was constantly wondering, “what the hell is going on?”. I did not feel a connection with the protagonist, Nic. She was very distant, not only with me but also, with all of the other characters in the book, too. If the story wasn’t told the way it was, I do believe her character would have gotten a higher chance of being likable. She was super unreliable but, I adored Tyler. I liked that Nic was her most normal self with him; that he was proof to us that she even had a normal self. Everett seemed like such a pointless character but, in a way, I do see why he needed to be included… the story would have definitely made sense without him though. I feel terrible for Jackson and I’m still confused about Bailey. I did like the ending of this book and I was happy with Nic’s realizations about home and family. Megan Miranda’s writing was good but, it didn’t have a nice flow to it. I found it hard to stay focused on the story– my mind wandered often– which made me frequently panic because I would forget the events were being told backwards, I kept thinking I was missing important details. Also, each one of the characters could have used more development, none of them ever felt real to me. Sure, I did like a few of them… but, they all needed more. I respect the unique way this story was told, I do, and I found it incredibly intelligent the way Megan Miranda pieced this story together… the way everything unravels is surprising yet gives you those “wow, the answers were always there” feels. Those are the best feels to get after finishing a psychological thriller, right? Well, I thought so, yet, this book did not completely satisfy me.

My Rating: 3/5 stars
Read the synopsis and my favorite quotes from this book, here.

The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds

272 pages
Dates Read: May 18-May 20, 2018

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My Mini Review: Oh, my heart. Matt’s grief after losing his mother is expressed so vividly in this book. His pain is deep and described perfectly so. I love Chris, Matt’s best friend. Their friendship felt so real; Matt loves Chris and it’s super cute how he tells us that in all kinds of ways but never gets mushy gushy about it (because he’s a “man”, ya know). I did shed a few tears before I even made it halfway through the story because of a poem that had nothing to do with Matt nor his mom… but don’t worry– this is a happy story. It is all about loss, grief, and how to deal with it, yes, but it’s happy. Trust me. Matt’s love interest, Love, is brought into the story in such a perfect way. The development of their relationship is the sweetest thing, ever. I do wish there was a little more of them together; that their relationship would have started sooner. The story seemed to drag on a bit in the middle. It seemed Jason Reynolds made sure that she wouldn’t come into the picture until exactly 50% through. It got a bit blah but, I’m grateful it quickly picked back up. The ending chapters were a whirlwind of emotions. I admire how the author was able to connect every single one of the characters to each other, it was very well done. Everything and everyone became woven together so neatly. I also loved the recipes included. Matt’s passion for cooking and how his mom wrote those recipes specifically for him; it’s all really important to him and has a huge significance in his healing process. I melted every time he expressed his love and expertise on cooking. The poems in this book are what got me, they were real tear-jerkers. Overall, this was a simple and cute YA novel. I’m glad to have read it and if you’re into YA novels, as I am, I highly recommend The Boy in the Black Suit to you!

My Rating: 4/5 stars
Read the synopsis and my favorite quotes from this book, here.

Close Enough To Touch by Colleen Oakley

336 pages
Dates Read: May 21-May 24, 2018

rsz_closee_enough_to_touch My Mini Review: I adored the font, the little dividers in between paragraphs, and the cover of this book. Everything looks so elegant and pretty. I enjoyed reading the story from both Eric and Jubilee’s perspectives. I am a huge fan of books with alternating POVs and Colleen Oakley was able to switch between voices fluidly. It never felt like I was somehow missing a chunk of the story, I was never hoping to just get back to the other character. In the beginning, you’ll think Jubilee’s life is just a little more interesting and her quirkiness is more drawing, but Eric’s voice and character has much more depth, more emotion. I did have a problem with the way the author would describe him, though. He never sounded “hot,” no matter how many times the characters would say he was… and his lips were often said to be crusty and dry (yuck!). Eric was always having a tornado of obstacles thrown at him… he was struggling with so much yet, Jubilee, quite frankly, only had her disease. I felt in the moment with Eric while Jubilee… felt a little distant, even at the times when interesting things would happen for/to her. The side characters were fun, too. I really liked Madison, Jubilee’s new BFF (and the way their whole friendship unfolds), but I LOVED Aja, Eric’s adopted son. The odd but, close relationship that Jubilee creates with Aja is the one that made my heart flutter the most in this story. The whole time I was reading this book, I was thinking, “this is going to be a 5 star book!!”. It is immensely well-written and I never wanted to put it down. I deeply inhaled every single word, every single sentence. I didn’t want to miss a thing! But, the ending had to make me knock a star off. It was EXTREMELY rushed. The last chapter abruptly ends then, the author smashes together two different endings in a way too short epilogue. I’m not mad about the way the story ended, just about the way it was written.

My Rating: 4/5 stars
Read the synopsis and my favorite quotes from this book, here.

My Book Of Life By Angel by Martine Leavitt

256 pages
Dates Read: May 24, 2018

rsz_book_of_lifeMy Mini Review: My Book of Life By Angel is not for the light-hearted. It’s written in verse and the story goes quick. You could finish this in one sitting but, I started it before bed so I fell asleep and finished it the next day. I love the Author’s Note at the end, especially how she lists the names of the real girls who lost their lives. She makes it clear that though this particular story is fiction; for some… it was/is real life. The protagonist, Angel, has the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever known. She goes through so much trauma, pain, and agony yet, she still finds it in her to constantly put everyone else she cares for above herself. I felt intense pain in my chest for her. I needed her to have a happy ending. Martine Leavitt’s writing is incredible, it really is. I felt real connection, empathy, and love for Angel, Widow, and Melli… they were three completely different girls on the same path, yet, they were all given their own stories and personalities in such a short tale. Even the missing girl, Serena, is given enough of a backstory and personality that you’re able to feel for her. It is unbelievable how much Martine Leavitt is able to achieve writing in verse. She has pure talent! This book is heartbreaking, raw, and real. I highly recommend it– it’ll take you around 3 hours to read, that’s it.

My Rating: 5/5 stars
Read the synopsis and my favorite quotes from this book, here.

Start Without Me by Joshua Max Feldman

288 pages
Dates Read: May 24-May 28, 2018

rsz_start_without_meMy Mini Review: Okay, so, I think I went into this book looking for the wrong thing and I was never in the right mindset for it. This book was incredibly well-written… I did think there was a weird amount of colons and semi-colons used though. The author also uses tons of acronyms; I had no clue what half of them actually stood for and neither did Google. The characters were complete and well-fleshed out, there was depth and a bit of spunk to each and every one of them– even the characters with smaller roles. I was equally interested in Marissa and Adam, never one over the other. I was eagerly anticipating all of their next moves. There were some unexpected twists in both of their lives; I was caught by surprise once or twice. This was an easy read, you don’t have to pay attention to every single word and there’s nothing you need to remember. The plot gets thicker and thicker (but honestly, not that much more interesting) throughout the entire book and that’s what kept me turning the pages. Sadly, the ending fell flat. Completely and utterly flat. There was so much that could have been done to make this a 5 star book but, instead the ending was rushed and I couldn’t help but feel jipped out of a real or better one. The author, Joshua Max Feldman, is obviously talented… but, it seems he wrote this book solely to prove that. There is entirely too much scenery descriptions and he writes about the smallest little details… he includes actions that people do on the daily that are pointless; things that are better left unsaid. (For example: when Adam flicks his penis after he pees.) It’s fine, I guess, it just seems a bit show-offy. None of it has anything to do with the story. Anyways, this is a mindless book, if that’s what you’re looking for; you may enjoy it more than I did. It’s all about Thanksgiving Day and family… so, uh, don’t ask me why I thought it would be a good idea to read this at the end of May. I have no idea. I’ll admit that my rating is probably not so reliable and it might’ve been higher if I read it during the appropriate time of year and if I had checked the genre before blindly diving into it. On top of all that, this book was written in 3rd person… you guys probably know by now that I usually only read books written in 1st person but I have been trying to teach myself to enjoy 3rd person, too. After this book, I’m finished with that little experiment.

My Rating: 2.5/5 stars
Read the synopsis and my favorite quotes from this book, here.


I have to mention how weird it was that in both Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes and The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds had the protagonists’ love interest named Love. They both say how odd the name is, too.

Have you read any of the books I reviewed above? Do any of them sound like books you’d want to read? Were any of them already on your TBR list?

XO, Hunida

11 thoughts on “Mini Book Reviews #2 ~ May 2018

  1. The book, “It Ain’t Me, Babe” sounds so interesting! Aside from the intriguing review summary you gave, I’m an aspiring speech-language pathologist (I’ll officially be one in 2 years!) and the speech impediment part definitely caught my interest. I’ll have to check this out sometime 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that’s awesome!! Yeah, he stutters but is able to talk to his best friend, dad, and his love interest only. So it seems a bit far-fetched but I could be wrong! 😛 I hope you like it if you do end up reading it!

      Like

    1. If I read right before bed I don’t last very long but when I read first thing in the morning, I can get through a LOT. Audiobooks make me fall asleep no matter what time of day it is haha. Happy reading! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I might want to read the couple next door, just because it’s different? I might have screenshot that already when you posted your favorite quotes from it. I’ll definitely give it a read eventually lol.
    Anyway, this is a great amount of books for one month, I bet you could easily do the 52 books a year challenge lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you like it if you do. 🙂 I set my goodreads goal for books in a year to 60!! I’m only 3 books ahead right now so I hope I can stay consistent and hit my goal. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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