Review: Prodigy (Legend #2) – Marie Lu


Prodigy (Legend #2) – Marie Lu

Prodigy (Legend, #2)

Title: Prodigy (Legend #2)

Author: Marie Lu

Release Date: January 29, 2014

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 371

Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother to an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic’s most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots – a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring down the Republic. But can they trust them or have they unwittingly become pawns in the most terrifying of political games?

4 out of 5 stars


THE ENDING. WHAT?!

Ugh the end of this book broke me. I almost started crying, so I’m not feeling very prepared for the ending of Champion because I’ve heard it’s so sad. Wow, okay coherent thoughts….

Prodigy is the second installment to the Legend trilogy. It follows Day and June as they escape from the Republic and join the Patriots, the rebel group. The Patriots have always wanted Day on their side because he’s the best criminal in the whole country, and June is the Republic’s prodigy. They’re wanted because they’re extremely valuable. Not to mention, they’re on the run from the Republic with no money, and Day can barely walk. They get taken in by the Patriots, and things seem too good to be true, but are they?

Wow.

The only reason I didn’t give this 5 stars was because it was fairly slow during the middle 1/3. It kind of fell into the “second book syndrome,” where it was a lot of explaining and figuring out the whole world and why things are going wrong, proving that things aren’t what they seem. I think this book is *obviously* detrimental to the trilogy, but it was slower than I would have liked.

There were so many scenes that had me on the edge of my seat *while laying in bed…* that I was anxious about! Anxious in a good way because I COULDN’T STOP READING for the last 1/3. The last parts redeemed the whole book for me, but the ending was SO SAD.

SPOILERS:

If you haven’t read this book you can click off, k thanks.

Why the frick wouldn’t Day tell June the real issue at the end?!

I’m just confused, because this might just solidify that BOYS R DUMB or that he’s actually a super great guy who didn’t want to put burden on the girl that he loves. But my goodness they love each other so much why didn’t he just tell her. It just breaks my heart. You could feel June’s heart breaking in the last chapter. She didn’t know what to do, and knew that Day was hiding something, but didn’t want to push this issue and ugh.

I like June and Day, but I also kind of ship June and Anden… Is that wrong? I know that the whole idea of adding him as a romantic interest is to create the love triangle, but I’m kind of here for it. I usually am not a huge fan of love triangles, but I can he here for this one. Day and Anden are SO different from each other, so it’s almost hard to compare them, thus the love triangle is justified… in my mind.

END OF SPOILERS.

I’m really enjoying this series and am so glad that I re-read Legend before continuing on. I can’t wait to read Champion because I NEED to know how the trilogy ends. Wow I’m just kind of blown away tbh.

Also, Champion will be my first “real” read of Booktubeathon! I’m participating in Booktubeathon again and I’m so excited! I’m daily vlogging on my YouTube channel (aubreyjoybooks) so a video should be up tonight or tomorrow morning. I’m so excited to see how much I can read! My TBR is probably overly ambitious, but we’re gonna go for it.

Series:

Legend (Legend #1)

Champion (Legend #3)

Review: Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina – Michaela DePrince


Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina – Michaela DePrince

Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina

Title: Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina

Author: Michaela DePrince

Release Date: January 1, 2014

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Format: Audiobook

Page Number: 256 pages

The extraordinary memoir of Michaela DePrince, a young dancer who escaped war-torn Sierra Leone for the rarefied heights of American ballet.
Michaela DePrince was known as girl Number 27 at the orphanage, where she was abandoned at a young age and tormented as a “devil child” for a skin condition that makes her skin appear spotted. But it was at the orphanage that Michaela would find a picture of a beautiful ballerina en pointe that would help change the course of her life.
At the age of four, Michaela was adopted by an American family, who encouraged her love of dancing and enrolled her in classes. She went on to study at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at the American Ballet Theatre and is currently a member of the Dutch National Ballet’s junior company. She has appeared in the ballet documentary “First Position,” as well as on “Dancing with the Stars, Good Morning America,” and “Nightline.”
In this engaging, moving, and unforgettable memoir, Michaela shares her dramatic journey from an orphan in West Africa to becoming one of ballet’s most exciting rising stars.

4 out of 5 stars


It’s always hard for me to review memoirs because it’s such a personal story, but I really enjoyed this one.

I listened to this book on audio through Scribd (amazing app if you haven’t used it). I think it was really nice to listen to on audiobook because you really felt like you were there with her. I don’t believe she narrated the book, but it was smooth and nice to listen to.

This book follows Michaela DePrince who was born in Sierra Leone to a loving family, but was eventually sent to live at an orphanage after the death of her parents. Her early childhood was hard to read and listen to because I can’t even imagine what it would have been like for her and her sister. Her life was so hard for her before she even knew it was bad. It’s just so terrible that this is happening all over the world.

While at the orphanage she found a magazine photo of a beautiful ballerina from a magazine, and kept it with her. She knew that when she got adopted she wanted to be a dancer. Her life got turned around when she got adopted by the same parents as her best friend in the orphanage. Now the two best friends were becoming sisters.

They got to the United States and had to learn how to adjust to the culture. It was completely different from anything either of the girls had known before. Michaela asked her parents if she could take dance lessons, and her career blossomed from there.

Michaela DePrince is an accomplished ballerina who helped to make a difference in the dance world by showing that black girls can be ballerinas, too. She was in the documentary First Position and danced with Dutch National Ballet.

I, myself, am a dancer so I always love to read about other people’s dance stories. This one was inspiring, and it was beautiful to see Michaela’s passion for dance from the beginning.

Review: The Thousandth Floor (The Thousandth Floor #1) – Katharine McGee


The Thousandth Floor (The Thousandth Floor #1) – Katharine McGee

The Thousandth Floor (The Thousandth Floor, #1)

Title: The Thousandth Floor (The Thousandth Floor #1)

Author: Katharine McGee

Release Date: August 30, 2016

Publisher: Harpercollins

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 437

New York City as you’ve never seen it before.

A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible—if you want it enough.

Welcome to Manhattan, 2118.

A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. But people never change: everyone here wants something…and everyone has something to lose.

Leda Cole’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.

Eris Dodd-Radson’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.

Rylin Myers’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will her new life cost Rylin her old one?

Watt Bakradi is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy by an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.

And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is Avery Fuller, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

Amid breathtaking advancement and high-tech luxury, five teenagers struggle to find their place at the top of the world. But when you’re this high up, there’s nowhere to go but down…

3 out of 5 stars


I liked this book, but wasn’t blown away with it. I buddy read this book with Molly from her YouTube channel, Molly Strzelecki. I plan on talking about it more in my video wrap-up at the end of this month!

This book was a super cool concept because it was so futuristic and there were so many things that seemed viable and interesting, but I don’t know if the execution was what it could have been.

There were 5 different perspectives, and although I could understand and follow along with all 5, there were times that I had to think about who was who. Which could just be a me thing, but I was confused at times.

I liked that there were characters from many different social classes. It added some diversity that isn’t usually shown all at once in a young adult book. There were very poor people and excessively rich in comparison. It really made you think about where you would fall ranking-wise in this dystopian/futuristic society.

The ending was crazy! I’m so excited to read the second book in this series because I know that it’s going to answer so many questions I have. Also, I completely forgot about this until I was almost to the end, but the prologue of the book was actually the ending.

So we learn right at the beginning that someone is going to fall off the top of the Tower, which never happens, so it’s super mysterious and makes you wonder who it is. But I COMPLETELY forgot it was even a thing. So it was nice to remember that I had something to try and figure out. I correctly guessed who fell off the tower, but for the completely wrong reasons. Crazy stuff.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes dystopian because it was a very cool world. I wasn’t the biggest fan of all the characters, but they weren’t bad. I’m just feeling kind of torn with this book in regards to how I feel. It was good, but there were parts that were kind of bad. I just don’t know.

Lol even after all that nonsense, I’m excited to read the second book and look forward to reading it soon!

Review: Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) – Tahereh Mafi


Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) – Tahereh Mafi

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)

Title: Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1)

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Release Date: November 15, 2011

Publisher: Harpercollins

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 338

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

3 out of 5 stars


I buddy read this book with Emily from her Booktube channel emibookish!

This is a dystopian novel following a girl named Juliette. She has a power that means she is unable to touch anyone without killing them, or coming close to killing them. She has never been loved. She hasn’t touched anyone or been touched in over three years. Oh, and she’s been in solitary confinement in an insane asylum for 264 days.

I loved the writing style of this book. It was beautiful and poetic and rambly, but it a wonderful way. The words flowed so perfectly that sometimes it felt like I was reading free verse poetry. I honestly think this was the easiest writing style to read!

I’ve always been intrigued by this book, so when Emily asked me to buddy read it with her I said ABSOLUTELY. ps. I LOVE buddy reading. So much fun. Anyway, I have always wanted to read this because it sounded interesting.

But here’s the thing. I’m wonderful at avoiding spoilers/knowing anything about books before I read them. So I really had no idea what this was about, but I knew a lot of people loved it. So I was excited to pick it up, and it was absolutely NOTHING like what I thought it was going to be. Any preconceived notion was wrong.

Not bad wrong, just completely wrong. It’s actually comical how much I had no idea what this book was about.

This was so much darker at the beginning than I was expecting. The book starts out with Juliette in her solitary confinement and she’s pretty much going crazy because she hasn’t seen another human being in 264 days. Then Adam comes and becomes her roommate in her cell. She has no idea why he’s there, but she remembers him. She went to school with him and he is now with her. Alone. In her cell. Where she’s been alone. She doesn’t know how to cope, so she kind of freaks out.

But then the story progresses and Juliette gets taken away and finds out that Adam is a soldier who has been spying on her. INTENSE.

I enjoyed this book, but I do have to admit, the beginning was kind of slow. I’ve heard that the rest of the series is amazing, so I’m definitely going to continue on! I already downloaded the rest of the series onto my Nook…. oops.

I can’t wait to read more from Tahereh Mafi because her writing style was GORGEOUS!

Review: Simple Matters: Living with Less and Ending Up with More – Erin Boyle


Simple Matters: Living with Less and Ending Up with More – Erin Boyle

Simple Matters: Living with Less and Ending Up with More

Title: Simple Matters: Living with Less and Ending Up with More

Author: Erin Boyle

Release Date: January 12, 2016

Publisher: Harry M. Abrams

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 192

For anyone looking to declutter, organize, and simplify, author Erin Boyle shares practical guidance and personal insights on small-space living and conscious consumption. At once pragmatic and philosophical, Simple Matters is a nod to the growing consensus that living simply and purposefully is more sustainable not only for the environment, but for our own happiness and well-being, too. Boyle embraces the notion that “living small” is beneficial and accessible to us all—whether we’re renting a tiny apartment or purchasing a three-story house.
 
Filled with personal essays, projects, and helpful advice on how to be inventive and resourceful in a tight space, Simple Matters shows that living simply is about making do with less and ending up with more: more free time, more time with loved ones, more savings, and more things of beauty.

5 out of 5 stars


I loved reading this book and it REALLY inspired me to be more minimalistic with my home and wardrobe.

I think this was the perfect time for me to read this book. My mom read this and knew that I would love it, so she bullied me *lightly* into reading it. I’m just about to move into my first house away from home in August for my second year of college. I lived in the dorms the first year and there is only so much you can add to a dorm to make it your own… cohesively. Anyway, I think this is the most influential time for me to read this because it has so much to do with making your home your safe, happy, cozy place.

I have always had a mindset of minimalism, but haven’t really put that into action. I’m a collector of things, but recently I’ve become overwhelmed with the sheer quantity of items I own. I’ve purged and gotten rid of half my wardrobe, and still have an overflowing closet. I’ve vowed to not purchase any more books unless I know that they’re going to be favorites. I’m just ready to live more simply, and this book was so inspiring for that.

There were some pieces of advice throughout this book that really struck me.

Only keep a few items on surfaces around your space.

Use mason jars for dry goods that you can purchase from a bulk store.

Try and make some of your own beauty and cleaning products.

Move products from the original packaging *with labels* into glass containers.

I just loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who has felt overwhelmed by their things in their house. I’m ready to live a more simple and meaningful life with less.

REREAD Review: Legend (Legend #1) – Marie Lu


Legend (Legend #1) – Marie Lu

Legend (Legend, #1)

Title: Legend (Legend #1)

Author: Marie Lu

Release Date: November 29, 2011

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 305

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

5 out of 5 stars


This is the second time I’ve read this book and I’m so excited to actually continue on with the series now!

Here is my original review from last year.

I forgot how much I enjoyed this book the first time I read it, but I can’t wait to read the rest of the series! I’m starting this thing with myself that I’m only going to try and have 2 series going at once (unless they’re not complete), just to keep myself accountable. This is my brother’s favorite book series and he asked me if I would read the whole series this time around. I told him absolutely, because he never gives me recommendations lol.

This book was so fun to read and it is SO fast paced. I feel like I flew through this! I’ve been reading it for a little less than a week, but I’ve only read it for three days… if that makes any sense.

My first review of this book has more coherent thoughts about plot and characters, but I love Day and June. I love them together and I love them individually. I completely forgot how cool it was how Metias left the message for June. I love that he knew she was smart enough to actually figure it out. So cool.

I can’t wait to see where this series goes! My brother said the last book made him cry but is the best book he’s ever read. Who knows. I’ll probably LOVE it :)

Series:

Prodigy (Legend #2)

Champion (Legend #3)

Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3) – Stephanie Perkins


Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3) – Stephanie Perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss, #3)

Title: Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3)

Author: Stephanie Perkins

Release Date: August 14, 2014

Publisher: Dutton

Format: ebook

Page Number: 352

From the glittering streets of Manhattan to the moonlit rooftops of Paris, falling in love is easy for hopeless dreamer Isla and introspective artist Josh. But as they begin their senior year in France, Isla and Josh are quickly forced to confront the heartbreaking reality that happily-ever-afters aren’t always forever.

Their romantic journey is skillfully intertwined with those of beloved couples Anna and Étienne and Lola and Cricket, whose paths are destined to collide in a sweeping finale certain to please fans old and new.

5 out of 5 stars


YOU GUYS.

This is my favorite book from this series and it’s just so cute I’m fricking smiling to myself and having heart palpitations. o m g. Coherent thoughts, Aubrey. Get it together.

Isla and the Happily Ever After follows Isla as she finally gets to be in a relationship with the boy of her dreams. Her crush for over three years, Josh. He’s been friends with Etienne and the gang from Anna and the French Kiss for forever and was dating the same girl for two years. He is finally single, but shy Isla doesn’t know how to talk to him. She gets nervous and overthinks everything (#relatable), but when she’s hopped up on drugs after getting her wisdom teeth removed she finally talks to him…. and he starts falling for her.

I literally can’t express how cute this was. Yes, it was typical. Yes, it’s a very classic and somewhat cliche romance book. BUT, I couldn’t get enough of it. Oh man who do I get my thoughts together for this one.

I loved that the romance started right away. I love that this relationship happened quickly. I love that there wasn’t any apologizing when it came to them having sex. It felt so organic and real. This book felt the most realistic out of all the books of this series to me because it was so… frantic feeling. In the best way possible.

Isla has been in love with Josh for three years and her crush is MAJOR, so I loved that they pretty much started dating right away. It’s a romance book after all, I want the romance to happen. The majority of this book took place in the first month of them being together and it felt so real. Yes, I can be here for a slow burn romance, but a fast paced one is so refreshing every once in awhile. I love that they confessed their love early, because sometimes you just know.

I love that they didn’t make it such a big deal about having sex. I think everyone can choose what they want to do and when they want to do it, but I think so many young adult books apologize for containing sex. I can’t even express how refreshing it is to read about two people in love without a bad consequence in that regard! They weren’t shunned by their friends. They weren’t looked down on by their parents. They were happy and loved and it was just so nice. It was a healthy and safe relationship.

I related to Isla in so many ways. She was such an over thinker. Just. Like. Me. It sucks because it’s so hard to balance it because most of the time the other person you’re freaking out over literally doesn’t even give the conversation you’re obsessing over a second thought. I can speak from experience lol. I do think that she got annoyingly angry at Josh, but hey it all worked out so it’s fineeeee.

Everything was going way too smoothly the first half of the book, so you knew something bad was going to happen to ruin it. I kind of called it because they decided to take an unauthorized trip to Spain but didn’t think about telling the right people to not report it to whoever. Obviously something was going to go wrong. But there was a somewhat steamy sex scene which was cute and safe and just the right amount of detail.

Of course they’re going to get back together because why wouldn’t they. Again. YA contemporary. But I was kind of convinced near the end that it wasn’t going to happen. I’m SO glad that first inkling was wrong because it got SO MUCH CUTER. yay aww.

The characters from Anna and Lola showed up! And we saw Etienne propose to Anna which was quite possibly the most adorable thing I’ve ever read.

These books just read like a movie. I could see the whole thing unfolding in my mind and it was so vivid in detail. I think this is one of my favorite series of all time because it’s just so damn cute. I know cute is the word of this review, but there’s no other way to describe it!

This is one of those books that you get the ‘have to kind of hold your breath but try and breathe at the same time without making stupid girly aww cute noises.’ I know you know what I mean lol. I mean I hope you do. But DAMN SO GOOD.

I love this series and will FOREVER recommend it to everyone who needs a new book. Please read it; you will be grateful.

Series:

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss #1)

Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss #2)