Tag Archives: review

Review: In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It – Lauren Graham


In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It – Lauren Graham

In Conclusion, Don't Worry About It

Title: In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It

Author: Lauren Graham

Release Date: April 3, 2018

Publisher: Random House Audio

Format: Audiobook

Page Number: x

Source: Scribd

“If you’re not where you want to be on this day – don’t worry about it. Because the spotlight aspect of life? That’s not the satisfying part.” 

In this expansion of her 2017 commencement speech at her hometown Langley High, Lauren Graham reflects in her hilarious, relatable voice, on growing up, pursuing your dreams, and living in the here-and-now. “Whatever path you choose, whatever career you decide to go after, the important thing,” she writes, “is that you keep finding joy in what you’re doing, especially when the joy isn’t finding you.” She reminds us to be curious and compassionate, no matter where life takes you. “Whether you hope to be an actor or a politician or a mathematician, I’ve learned that empathy and kindness are your most valuable tools.” Grounded and inspiring, this is Graham’s roadmap to a happy life: “Be a fan, not a theater critic.”

4 out of 5 stars


This was just a quick audiobook listen whilst getting ready in the morning, but I thought it was very inspiring and well spoken.

I started watching Gilmore Girls with my mom, and we really enjoyed the episodes we watched. I think Lauren Graham is inspiring and beautiful and an amazing actress, so it was nice to get a little behind-the-scenes look at her life. This makes me want to listen to Talking as Fast As I Can also by Lauren Graham.

I think it’s always so important to realize how lucky you are and live in the moment more than you normally would. I fall victim to only thinking about the future and worrying WAY too much, so it was nice to have someone successful just tell you to chill out and have fun. As long as you put in the work, you’ll get there.

This applies to dance for me, because I definitely get into my own head and worry about pleasing other people pretty much all the time, but I need to let myself be happy when I’m dancing. I just need to relax, and not worry about it.

I think if you’re looking for something inspiring to get ready to, this would be perfect for you.

Review: Wanderlost – Jen Malone


Wanderlost – Jen Malone

Wanderlost

Title: Wanderlost

Author: Jen Malone

Release Date: May 31, 2016

Publisher: HarperTeen

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 321

Source: Barnes and Noble

Not all those who wander are lost, but Aubree Sadler most definitely is on this novel’s whirlwind trip through Europe.

Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe.

Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story.

But her relationship with Sam is threatening to ruin her relationship with her sister, and she feels like she’s letting both of them down. Aubree knows this trip may show her who she really is—she just hopes she likes where she ends up.

3 out of 5 stars


This served it’s purpose as a cute contemporary, and I think I can now say that I’M OFFICIALLY OUT OF MY READING SLUMP!

Wanderlost follows Aubree Sadler as she takes her older sister’s place as a tour guide in Europe for a group of senior citizens. Aubree has never left home, so she is nervous going into the trip, then accidentally leaves her phone and her sister’s pre-prepared information binder on the airplane before going to the first hotel. She freaks out, and everything seems to be going south, until she starts having phone check-ins with the tour company. She talks to a cute boy, Sam, on the phone and everything seems fine. She just has to keep pretending to be her older sister for the rest of the month-long trip. What could possibly go wrong?

This book was cute and fun to read, but it wasn’t anything super special. I was intrigued originally because the main character’s name is Aubree *spelled wrong, but you do you* and she was going to travel in Europe. Hello my name is Aubrey and I’m going to take my first trip this December *omg yay.*

I liked the romance of the book even if it was a little dramatic at some points. Sam was super cute and really sweet to Aubree, even though he only knew her by the name Elizabeth. Even if it was kind of insta-lovey, I found myself enjoying the fast paced nature of it.

I liked the group of senior citizens she was with. They were all fun, and I REALLY loved that the author made them real people. When people get older they don’t lose their personality, and I think sometimes we forget that they’re *what* still people?! Yeah. Crazy concept. I really loved that they were portrayed as individuals and not just “the group of old people.”

The trips they took and the places they went made me feel an extreme amount of wanderlust. But what’s new? That’s literally always me. But I do wish they would have talked about the places they were in more than just merely mentioning them. I get that this is a romance book, but I wish there was a little more emphasis on the plot.

Overall, this read a lot like a Sarah Dessen book, so if you enjoy her writing style, then you’d probably enjoy this. I think this book fulfilled it’s duties of a cute contemporary, but it didn’t blow me away. I’m so thankful that I’m now out of this reading slump though, because I was getting really bored with reading, but I feel renewed now. yay books

Review: Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) – Neal Shusterman


Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) – Neal Shusterman

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1)

Title: Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1)

Author: Neal Shusterman

Release Date: November 22, 2016

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 435

Source: Public Library

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

4 out of 5 stars


This book was so good and I TOTALLY understand all the hype surrounding it now.

Scythe follows Citra and Rowan, who are chosen to be apprentices to Scythe Faraday. It’s unheard of, but not against the rules, to take on two apprentices. The scythes are trained to glean, or kill, people based on different statistics because humanity has beaten death. People don’t die naturally anymore, so people have to take care of death. The apprentices are trained and undergo three tasks that will show if they’re fit to be full scythes.

Reading a politically fueled book like this makes me wonder why I’m so interested in fictional politics, but not American politics. They just fall into separate categories, obviously, but I LOVE READING BOOKS FULL OF FICTIONAL POLITICS. They’re so fueled and realistic and I’m just here for it. The whole governmental system of these scythes is so interesting and there are so many things right under the surface that could be easy to look over, but are so beneficial to the story.

I wasn’t too sure how I felt about Citra and Rowan right away, because it’s set up that they’re going to fall for one another, but I ended up loving them individually and separately. Distance makes the heart grow fonder… I really enjoyed that Citra and Rowan ended up separated for part of their training because it really showed them growing individually, but also how they’ll *eventually* complement each other.

The actual writing style was simplistic, but still detailed enough that it kept you interested. I have decided that I don’t love short chapters. These chapters were SO SHORT (aka 40 chapters in this 435 page book) and it just took me out of the story a little bit. I do appreciate being able to stop at a chapter break, but there were just so many of them.

I loved that before every chapter there was a journal entry from one of the scythes mentioned in the book. A lot of them were from Scythe Curie and Scythe Faraday, but you also got to see other perspectives. I think this was a super cool addition, and you got so much background information from it. I think the way the book was set up was very telling of the skill of Neal Shusterman’s writing.

The only reason I’m giving this 4 stars instead of 5 is because the pacing seemed very off to me. The beginning was fairly slow, and the ending happened so quickly. I’m all here for the slow burn of a great book, but I just found that I wasn’t dying *pun intended* to pick up my book every second. If I were to rate the last half of the book, it would FOR SURE be 5 stars because so much happened and it was beautifully arced and crafted.

Okay. This ending. Wow wow wow. I couldn’t put my book down for the last handful of chapters because they were so perfectly written. You can tell a lot of care was given to the ending of this book, because everything worked out just how you wanted it to. Even if the decisions weren’t ideal, they were as ideal as they could have been. The cliffhanger at the end was absolutely perfect and I NEED the next book right now.

Also, the relationship between Citra and Rowan. Leaves just enough to the imagination that you are dying *ha* to see more, but there are also some things you’re concerned about. Why did Rowan become so violent? How will they regard this relationship now? How the hell is anything going to work out?!

I’m just so excited to read the second book, Thunderhead, because I know so much is going to be explained. I hope I love it as much as I loved the last half of this book!

Yay for being out of my month-long reading slump! I’m so excited to be excited about reading again. I think I just need to space out my re-reads a little bit, because I was getting a little burnt out with the Cassandra Clare books. But I’m back and ready to read YAY!

September Wrapup


It has been a HOT MINUTE since I’ve posted anything on my blog, but I’ve not been reading that much, sadly. I’ve started school again and just have been so busy, and honestly not in the reading mood, but I have a plan for my October reading.

I’m going to read right when I wake up in the morning and read until I fall asleep every night. My goal is to start reading around 10 or 10:30 so then I get a good chunk of reading done before I fall asleep around 12. I’m really excited to get back into reading! I’m also going to dive FULL FORCE into my Booktube channel (aubreyjoybooks) and a new lifestyle Youtube channel (aubreyjoy). I want to document my life at this time and I’m feeling super inspired at the moment.

Anyway, onto the books I read this month!

Read:

  1. REREAD: Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) – Cassandra Clare *review*
  2. REREAD: City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4) – Cassandra Clare *review*

August Wrapup


Read:

  1. Champion (Legend #3) – Marie Lu *review*
  2. A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel – Hope Larson, Madeleine L’Engle *review*
  3. I Have Lost My Way – Gayle Forman *review*
  4. Love & Gelato – Jenna Evans Welch *review*
  5. Almost Adulting: All You Need to Know to Get It Together (Sort Of) – Arden Rose *review*
  6. The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big & Small – Kath Stathers
  7. Entrepreneurship: The Practice and Mindset – Heidi M. Neck, Christopher P. Neck, Emma L. Murray
  8. City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3) – Cassandra Clare *review*
  9. Leah on the Offbeat (Creekwood #2) – Becky Albertalli *review*

Review: Leah on the Offbeat (Creekwood #2) – Becky Albertalli


Leah on the Offbeat (Creekwood #2) – Becky Albertalli

Leah on the Offbeat (Creekwood, #2)

Title: Leah on the Offbeat (Creekwood #2)

Author: Becky Albertalli

Release Date: April 24, 2018

Publisher: HarperCollins

Format: Audiobook

Page Number: 343

Source: Scribd

Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

4 out of 5 stars


I listened to this on audiobook on my drive back to college and it made the 5 hour drive FLY by. I always listen to my audiobooks at 1.5x speed, so that’s how I was able to finish it during the drive.

I really enjoyed this book and I think it was a good continuation/conclusion of the Creekwood series. I liked that Simon and the rest of the characters were almost central characters. The story stayed within the friend group which was kind of cool. I wish that I would have read this right after I finished Simon Vs. The Homosapiens Agenda, but I don’t think it was out when I read it.

I was kind of annoyed with how much swearing there was throughout this. It was so unnecessary and really didn’t have anything to do with the plot of the story. I think unnecessary swearing is one of my biggest pet peeves, so this could just be me being hyper-focused, but…

I think Leah was a cool character and some of her stories and scenes were very relatable. I find it kind of interesting that the whole book is about Leah being bisexual, but there wasn’t much about her wanting to be with a guy. She was very focused on being with a girl, which is fine, but I didn’t see how it was about her bisexuality, though.

I loved seeing Simon and Bram from the first book because they’re just so cute. I really think that that is one of my favorite relationships from a YA book.

Series:

Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda (Creekwood #1)

Review: Almost Adulting: All You Need to Know to Get It Together (Sort Of) – Arden Rose


Almost Adulting: All You Need to Know to Get It Together (Sort Of) – Arden Rose

Almost Adulting: All You Need to Know to Get It Together (Sort Of)

Title: Almost Adulting: All You Need to Know to Get It Together

Author: Arden Rose

Release Date: March 28, 2017

Publisher: HarperCollins

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 208

Source: Scribd

For fans of Grace Helbig and Alexa Chung comes a fresh, hilarious guide to growing up your way from social media influencer and lifestyle vlogger Arden Rose.

In Almost Adulting — perfect for budding adults, failing adults, and eaters of microwave mug brownies — Arden tells you how to survive your future adulthood. Topics include:

-Making internet friends who are cool and not murderers

-Flirting with someone in a way to make them think you are cool and not a murderer

-Being in an actual relationship where you talk about your feelings in a healthy manner??? To the other person???????

-Eating enough protein

-Assembling a somewhat acceptable adult wardrobe when you have zero dollars

-Going on adventures without starting to smell

-How sex is supposed to feel, but, like, actually though

By the end of the book — a mash-up of essays, lists, and artwork — you’ll have learned not only how to dress yourself, how to travel alone, how to talk to strangers online, and how to date strangers (in PERSON!), but also how to pass as a real, functioning, appropriately socialized adult.

3 out of 5 stars


Almost Adulting by Arden Rose is just a random hodge-podge of events from Arden’s life, but random in a good way.

Arden Rose is a YouTuber who now lives in LA. She’s mastered the art of not caring what people think and being happy about what she’s doing. I think she’s admirable when it comes to how she’s living her life, but there are obviously some things I would do a little differently.

Arden reminds me of my best friend, Kaitlyn, because they’re both a little free-spirit, like having cute vintage things, have a distinct style, and are confident in who they are. I admire Arden even more because she reminds me of Kaitlyn.

I listened to this on audiobook from Scribd, and I really enjoyed hearing Arden narrate this book. It felt like she was letting you in on some secrets from her life. She is very open and honest with everything in this book.

I liked the chapter where she talked about sex and virginity. Her take on it isn’t exactly like mine, but I loved how open she was about the whole conversation. Her idea is that it’s your body, you can do what you want with it. I agree, and I love that she added that you can have sex if you want, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to. She also talked about how important it is to spread positivity when it comes to talking about bodies.

I think this is a great audiobook and I would recommend it to anyone who likes Arden. I think the next time I see this book in a store I’m going to flip through it so I can see some of the artwork, but I’m glad I could listen to Arden read it.

Also. I love the name Arden.

Review: Love & Gelato – Jenna Evans Welch


Love & Gelato – Jenna Evans Welch

Love & Gelato

Title: Love & Gelato

Author: Jenna Evans Welch

Release Date: May 3, 2016

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 389

Source: Public Library

“I made the wrong choice.”

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

5 out of 5 stars


I loved this book so much. I’m just having such great luck with contemporaries lately!

This book followed a girl named Lina who goes to live with a father she’s never met right outside of Florence after her mother dies of cancer. Lina gets to Italy and realizes that she’s going to have to live in a house at a cemetery. It’s a WWII cemetery and is no longer used for new burials, but still. She goes on her daily morning run and meets a boy her age named Ren. They quickly become friends and she starts spending a lot of time with him. In the meantime, one of her father’s friends gives her a journal from her mother during her time living in Italy. She reads through it piece by piece, but the journal becomes an object of mystery. Her mother explains stories about her time in Italy and Lina realizes her father might not be who she thinks he is…

This reminded me so much of my trip to Italy that I took two years ago. The description of travel was so accurate it almost hurt. Lina’s initial response to walking up to the Duomo in Florence was exactly how I felt. It was amazing.

Her first taste of gelato was exactly how I felt. The small adventures were just as important as the big ones. It was the perfect depiction of having new experiences.

Then there’s Ren. Oh my gosh I love him so much. Right away you know that she’s going to fall for him because she HAS to. He’s cute, half-Italian, quirky. He’s perfect. I love them together.

I love her father. He’s so sweet and loves her so much. I love that it’s not a “typical” familial tie but it works so well.

I love that there’s a little mystery when it comes to the journal.

There was just so much to love about this book and it just makes me want to go travel in Italy again!

Review: I Have Lost My Way – Gayle Forman


I Have Lost My Way – Gayle Forman

I Have Lost My Way

Title: I Have Lost My Way

Author: Gayle Forman

Release Date: March 27, 2018

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 258

Source: Public Library

Around the time that Freya loses her voice while recording her debut album, Harun is making plans to run away from everyone he has ever loved, and Nathaniel is arriving in New York City with a backpack, a desperate plan, and nothing left to lose. When a fateful accident draws these three strangers together, their secrets start to unravel as they begin to understand that the way out of their own loss might just lie in help­ing the others out of theirs.

An emotionally cathartic story of losing love, finding love, and discovering the person you are meant to be, I Have Lost My Way is best­selling author Gayle Forman at her finest.

5 out of 5 stars


This book was AMAZING.

This book fulfilled the challenge of ‘read a book with a beautiful spine’ for Booktubeathon. I’m right on track! It’s such an amazing feeling :)

Wow, okay this book was just what I needed. It was the perfect mix of loss, grief, happiness, and love. I just can’t express how beautifully it was written and how it came together so seamlessly.

This story followed three main characters who fatefully meet up when a girl falls off a bridge onto a stranger, and the whole event is witnessed by a boy walking in the park. The girl, Freya, is a musician. She’s about to be known as “famous” because of her YouTube channel and her music deal with one of the biggest producers available. She’s about to really “make it” when she loses her voice. She falls onto a boy named Nathaniel. He is visiting New York City and is just slowly making his way through life. He’s depressed. He doesn’t know what to do. He’s broken. The whole scene is witnessed by a boy named Harun. Harun is about to be sent to Pakistan to find a bride, but he hasn’t told his family his biggest secret. He’s gay, and he’s known since he was 9 years old. He knows they would disown him, so he just runs off for the day trying to get away from his family…

Now, this plot sounds all over the place, but it comes together so beautifully. There are so many little nuances that make it feel so real and right. I’m just so impressed with this book. The friendships that developed were so… real and raw. They needed each other and it was just so perfectly written.

I loved the characters from this book and was so invested right away. I think this book took place over one day, and I loved that it was such a short time line. I just loved so much about this book and was blown away by it. There were so many different layers to the story that just added so many different levels.

I highly recommend this book and can’t wait to read more by Gayle Forman.

Review: A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel – Hope Larson and Madeleine L’Engle


A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel – Hope Larson and Madeleine L’Engle

A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel

Title: A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel

Author: Madeleine L’Engle

Release Date: October 2, 2012

Publisher: Margaret Ferguson Books

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 392

Source: Public Library

Late one night, three otherworldly creatures appear and sweep Meg Murry, her brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin O’Keefe away on a mission to save Mr. Murry, who has gone missing while doing top-secret work for the government. They travel via tesseract — a wrinkle that transports one across space and time — to the planet Camazotz, where Mr. Murry is being held captive. There they discover a dark force that threatens not only Mr. Murry but the safety of the whole universe.

Never before illustrated, A Wrinkle in Time is now available in a spellbinding graphic novel adaptation. Hope Larson takes the classic story to a new level with her vividly imagined interpretations of Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who, Mrs Which, the Happy Medium, Aunt Beast, and the many other characters that readers have loved for the past fifty years. Winner of the 1963 Newbery Medal, A Wrinkle in Time is the first book in Madeleine L’Engle’s Time Quintet.

1 out of 5 stars


I read this book for the challenge of ‘read and watch a book to movie adaptation’ for Booktubeathon!

I read the novel of A Wrinkle in Time back at the beginning of this year and didn’t really enjoy it, but was SUPER excited for the movie. For some reason I didn’t go and see the movie when it was out in theatre, so I thought this would be the perfect book to read for this challenge. 

But…. I really did not enjoy this book…. at all.

Firstly, the art style was not the type of art that I like. It just didn’t flow how I thought it should and the characters looked kind of creepy.

Secondly, I would have been SO LOST had I not read the original novel before reading this. I was so confused even though I knew what was supposed to be happening. There was absolutely no cohesion when it came to anything.

Thirdly, the storyline just doesn’t appeal to me. I understand that it’s a children’s book, but it was way too confusing to be a good story. There were so many random things that had nothing to do with anything special.

The only reason I read this was because I’m looking forward to the movie. I still plan on watching the movie, and hopefully I’ll like that better than this.