Review: My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

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The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.
As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase’s family embraces Samantha – even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha’s world. She’s suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

Yes. Yes. Yes. This book is such a good debut and such a pleasant surprise! I’ve been a tiny bit peeved recently because I’ve been powering through books on my shelf and I haven’t really been enjoying them as much as I’d like…until this.

Where do I even start? I’m used to contemporaries, and I have a soft spot for them. But this is a contemporary with one hell of a twist. I was enjoying this book, and about halfway through was left wondering what was happening, a little bored perhaps. It was lovely, fluffy…but that was it. I needed more.

Hell, did Fitzpatrick give me more.

““You have to kiss me,” I find myself saying.”

Some people may say the twist was a little too intense for such a fluffy romance, but I am not one of those people. This book really needed the twist to pull it apart from the rest. But it wasn’t just the twist that I loved. For one, this book includes family and friends and such a large cast of characters, but I loved them all and I thought they were all so well built. Everyone played an important role in the story and Fitzpatrick is so good at creating well-rounded characters. I really liked Samantha, and I actually love that she was a rich girl. She challenged the whole rich girl stereotype and proved there is more depth to the spoilt princess we expect.

This book took me through so many emotions. Boredom, slightly, yes. But also love, confusion, tears, happiness, laughter and so much more. I spent some of this book trying not to cry, and other parts bursting out into giggles. It displayed the rollercoaster of Samantha’s life perfectly.

“”Yeah.” He leans closer. “I do.””

So honestly, the best part of this book was definitely the characters, whom I adored. I loved the big Garrett family and the natural way they were represented. I loved George, who came across with traits of aspergers to me, and made him even more lovable. I loved the dynamic between Sam and her mum, because even though it was heart-wrenching, I think it was written beautifully.

My only criticism? The pace. As I briefly mentioned above, I thought halfway through this book that that was it. And later on, I felt the ending was a little rushed. I just think if the twist had happened a little sooner, with the first half of the book being more compressed and the second half having a little more longevity, it would have been absolutely perfect.

★★★★★
4.5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: The Heir (#4) by Kiera Cass

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Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she’d put off marriage for as long as possible.
But a princess’s life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can’t escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests.
Eadlyn doesn’t expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn’s heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she’s always thought.

Oh my god. Why oh why did this series carry on? I was so happy with the end of The One. I cried for gods sake! We really didn’t need to see 20 years on with America and Maxon’s bratty daughter. Okay, I’ve always heard people complain about narrators being annoying etc, but Eadlyn was another level. She is SUCH A BRAT. She spends most of her time complaining, getting massages, and sitting at a desk. I say sitting at a desk because although this book repeatedly says she is ‘working’, all I know her to do is sit in her room looking through forms from the Selected. All of these books have been about the Caste system and how important abolishing it was, yet all Eadlyn does is talk about how beneath her everyone else is, and how she is the best person in the whole world.

“You can be brave and still be feminine. You can lead and still love flowers.”

She’s selfish, self-centred and she even tries to get her brother to choose between her and the love of his life because she doesn’t want him to go. And SHE IS OBSESSED WITH TIARAS. She’s a princess, she can have all the tiaras in the world, and yet she throws a stupid baby hissy fit when a little girl in the palace (someone who claims is like a sister to Eadlyn), borrows one. When this book claimed Eadlyn’s obsession is like a hobby, I actually snorted with laughter. It really sounded so bratty.

“Most importantly, you can be queen and still be a bride.”

So Eadlyn was definitely the worst part about this book, on top of the fact it wasn’t needed. But at least she kind of gets better, I guess. I mean I started seeing tiny spurts of her good side towards the end of this book, and I’m just hoping the next one will be better and more hopeful.

★★
2 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: The One (#3) by Kiera Cass

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The time has come for one winner to be crowned.
When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants.

I started this book rolling my eyes, and I ended it with tears slowly leaking out of them. I found the first half of this book completely different to the second half, as knowing there was five books I didn’t know how much more I could take.

All I could think of reading those first pages, was I can’t have this repeated for another 3 books. I can’t keep reading about the bitchiness and the indecisiveness. Whenever Celeste was bitchy or the girls fought I just wanted it to all be over.

“Break my heart. Break it a thousand times if you like.”

But the fact I hated this book at the start made the turn-around even bigger than I thought it would be! And when I did fall in love, I fell hard. It turns out, this book turned out so perfect. It wrapped up all the loose ends, it endlessly surprised me, and it had a great ending overall. This book really sounds like the last one of a series right? More on that in my review of The Heir.

“It was only ever yours to break anyway.”

I can’t help it, this series ended up stealing my heart. Of course it wasn’t without it’s faults, which were many at times, but the faults were outweighed by my love. Yes, these books are predictable in a way, but I did end up surprised. And even though these can be a little trashy, they’re so poetic. And I’m embarrassed to say this, but I actually cried a bit when I finished it.

So that proves that even though I didn’t enjoy all of this book, the hopeless romantic in me can’t help but loving it a hell of a lot

★★★★
4 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: The Elite (#2) by Kiera Cass

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The Selection began with thirty-five girls.
Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon’s heart is fiercer than ever—and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen?
America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want—and America’s chance to choose is about to slip away.

What can I say? I finished this book in a day. I might have been sick and in bed resting at the time, but it’s still rare for me to get through books this quickly! I can’t help it or control myself, these books are so addictive even though I can still see the problems with them.

For one, not much happened? Which sounds weird to say because I got through it so quick, but even though not much happened I still enjoyed the slight plot. If I’m right in saying, this book started with 6 girls in the Selection and ended with 5. But I have to say, I did enjoy the other details, even if they seemed a little absurd sometimes.

“You know you’ve found something amazing, and you want to hold on to it forever;”

As with book one, America did kind of annoy me but I still can’t help but like her sometimes! But I have to say, predictability has officially gone out the window…yay! I can’t believe that I honestly didn’t know where this book was going, and I think that’s why I wanted to carry on reading so much.

“and every second after you have it, you fear the moment you might lose it.”

The love triangle thing does get a little old, I’m not going to lie. There were some times when I kind of wanted to push America off a cliff at points for not being able to decide what she wants. But even though America does annoy me, I can’t help but relate to her struggles sometimes. I’m a hopeless romantic and I couldn’t help but understand why she was confused sometimes.

So again, this series continues to win my heart in the end. I can’t help but love this book and I can’t wait to start the next one!

★★★
3 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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Review: Legendary by Stephanie Garber

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A heart to protect. A debt to repay. A game to win.
After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister Scarlett from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.
The only chance of uncovering Legend’s identity is to win Caraval, so Tella throws herself into the legendary competition once more—and into the path of the murderous heir to the throne, a doomed love story, and a web of secrets…including her sister’s. Caraval has always demanded bravery, cunning, and sacrifice. But now the game is asking for more. If Tella can’t fulfill her bargain and deliver Legend’s name, she’ll lose everything she cares about—maybe even her life. But if she wins, Legend and Caraval will be destroyed forever.
Welcome, welcome to Caraval…the games have only just begun.

I loved this book. But did it capture my heart? Not exactly, and that little fact makes me want to cry. You see, Legendary, for me, had a hell of a lot to live up to. Caraval was something extremely special, and it absolutely captured my heart. When I finished that book, I made mood boards and playlists. It made me feel like magic was really woven between the beautiful paper pages.

And although I still really loved and admired this gorgeous book, I don’t feel as though my heart has been captured right now. It’s really hard to describe what was wrong here, but I’m going to try. For a start, it took me a week to read. And yes, that’s a personal thing, and I have a lot on my mind at the moment, but I just didn’t feel as though I needed to be inside the pages of this book all the time. Trust me, there were parts when I couldn’t stop reading, but it wasn’t so constant.

“Her heart was still a little heavy,”

Let’s talk about the things I love. Well, I love Tella. I felt as though there has been enough space between the first book so I wasn’t too sad about missing Scarlett as a narrator, and I really liked Tella’s character. She just felt real – she had her own difficult decisions and confusion and she didn’t always know where her life was heading. I loved her struggles and her torture, because it made her the relatable and lovable girl she is.

I also really enjoyed the story and other characters. I liked the way Legendary explores Tella’s relationships and friendships with not just her mother but with many other characters. They provided a really interesting development for me, and I did want to read on to find out which paths Tella was about to choose. Can I just also mention something? THE LOVE. AHHH. Okay. So Garber still leaves me shipping couples, and the romance was definitely the best part of this book for me. God, Garber knows how to write romance and kisses.

“but she’d decided carrying it around would only maker her stronger.”

So thinking about all this, compared to other books, this one could easily be 5 stars. However, I can’t help but compare this to Caraval. And that makes me feel as though this series has just lost it’s vibrancy. I really wanted more vivid descriptions of the world and game itself, as I remember Caraval being very setting heavy. And that’s the reason why, I’m sorry to say, I’m going to give this one…

★★★★
4 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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