Tag Archives: young adult book blog

REREAD Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur


Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur

Milk and Honey

Title: Milk and Honey

Author: Rupi Kaur

Release Date: November 4, 2014

Publisher: Createspace

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 204

Source: Walmart

milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.

4 out of 5 stars


Oh little naive 2017 Aubrey.

I originally read this book before my painful breakup. Before I realized I was in an unhealthy relationship. Before I admitted to myself that I wasn’t happy. I didn’t understand then how beautiful and true these feelings were.

When I originally reviewed this I rated it 2 stars because I didn’t connect with any of it. I didn’t understand. I actually read part of it on my then boyfriend’s front porch. I was just naive. But that’s okay because everyone is supposed to have a point of naivety in their life, mine just lasted a little longer than it probably should have.

This book touched me and reached me so differently than the first time. I don’t really know why I was drawn to reading it for a second time because I didn’t enjoy it the first time, but I’m so glad I picked it up. I strongly believe that people won’t enjoy this unless they’ve experienced a painful heartbreak. Even if it’s you breaking up with a significant other, it’s still painful.

I know that maturity made me love this book. I now see why people love it so much.

Rupi Kaur writes about four different stages in her life: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, and the healing. The book is split into these four sections and takes a different tone for each. I related to the sections “the loving” and “the breaking” the most, but still appreciated the others.

The prose is beautifully written and easy to consume. The stories are tragic and true.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVo4q6xsWNc

Some of my favorite poems/quotes:

what i miss most is how you loved me. but what i didn’t know was how you loved me had so much to do with the person i was. it was a reflection of everything I gave to you. coming back to me. how did i not see that. how. did i sit here soaking in the idea that no one else would love me that way. when it was i that taught you. when it was i that showed you how to fill. the way i needed to be filled. how cruel i was to myself. giving you credit for my warmth simply because you had felt it. thinking it was you who gave me strength. wit. beauty. simply because you recognized it. as if i was already not these things before i met you. as if i did not remain all these once you left.

 

losing you was

the becoming

of myself

 

most importantly love

like it’s the only thing you know how

at the end of the day all this

means nothing

this page

where you’re sitting

your degree

your job

the money

nothing even matters

except love and human connection

who you loved

and how deeply you loved them

how you touched the people around you

and how much you gave them

Aubrey Joy

April Wrapup *how did I forget about this until now?*


Read:

  1. Begin Again: The Brave Practice of Releasing Hurt and Receiving Rest – Leanna Tankersley and Shauna Niequist *review*
  2. Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) – Leigh Bardugo *review*
  3. Small Graces: The Quiet Gifts of Everyday Life – Kent Nerburn *review*
  4. REREAD Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1) – Maureen Johnson *review*
  5. P.S. I Like You – Kasie West *review*
  6. The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious #2) – Maureen Johnson *review*

FAVORITE BOOK OF THE MONTH

The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious, #2)

Aubrey Joy

The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious #2) – Maureen Johnson


The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious #2) – Maureen Johnson

The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious, #2)

Title: The Vanishing Stair (Truly Devious #2)

Author: Maureen Johnson

Release Date: January 22, 2019

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 384

Source: public library

All Stevie Bell wanted was to find the key to the Ellingham mystery, but instead she found her classmate dead. And while she solved that murder, the crimes of the past are still waiting in the dark. Just as Stevie feels she’s on the cusp of putting it together, her parents pull her out of Ellingham academy.

For her own safety they say. She must move past this obsession with crime. Now that Stevie’s away from the school of topiaries and secret tunnels, and her strange and endearing friends, she begins to feel disconnected from the rest of the world. At least she won’t have to see David anymore. David, who she kissed. David, who lied to her about his identity—son of despised politician Edward King. Then King himself arrives at her house to offer a deal: He will bring Stevie back to Ellingham immediately. In return, she must play nice with David. King is in the midst of a campaign and can’t afford his son stirring up trouble. If Stevie’s at school, David will stay put.

The tantalizing riddles behind the Ellingham murders are still waiting to be unraveled, and Stevie knows she’s so close. But the path to the truth has more twists and turns than she can imagine—and moving forward involves hurting someone she cares for. In New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson’s second novel of the Truly Devious series, nothing is free, and someone will pay for the truth with their life.

5 out of 5 stars


I loved this book. I was engaged the entire time, and wanted to keep reading and learning what would happen. This is the first book in a long time that I’ve had the “okay just one more chapter” over and over again.

The Vanishing Stair follows Stevie Bell coming back to Ellingham Academy to try and solve the Ellingham case from the 1930s. She was sent home after events that happened in the first book, Truly Devious, and finds herself back at the school. She’s allowed to go back to the school because Edward King, her friend David’s father, sends her back to keep an eye on his son. Even though the reasoning behind her being back may not be the most honest, she still finds a way to do some research and questionable exploring with her friends back on the Ellingham campus.

Guys.

This was a fantastic sequel. I don’t know what to do with myself after the ending because I really just want the next book now! It’s crazy because I enjoyed the first book, but this one blew me away.

The characters are great and mysterious and had me wondering THE WHOLE TIME. What is David’s deal? When will they figure out what happened? What was this riddle about from Ellingham?

The riddles and clues throughout this book were so fun to try and figure out. (I totally didn’t, but was just here for the ride lol) I loved the introduction of the new materials and clues Stevie found out about because it added so much to the story.

I’m usually really annoyed by the presence of love triangles, but omg. This is a good one, actually. I really like David, but Hunter is so sweet. David is mysterious, and Hunter is an open book. Hmmm.

The most underrated character in this series is Larry the security guy. He’s so cool and values Stevie so much. He genuinely wants her to succeed and tries to help her stay at the school. What a cool guy. And they trust each other with information about the case yay for real relationships.

I’m really excited to read book three because SO MUCH HAPPENED RIGHT AT THE END. I’m actually shook. It all happened so fast, but I feel like that’s what would have happened if this were a real case. The influx of information would have happened so fast, and Stevie is just so fricking smart. So smart. It blows my mind every time she comes across something new for the case. 

Series:

Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1)

REREAD Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1)

Aubrey Joy

Review: The Bane Chronicles – Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Cassandra Jean


The Bane Chronicles – Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Cassandra Jean

The Bane Chronicles

Title: The Bane Chronicles

Author: Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Mauren Johnson, Cassandra Jean

Release Date: November 11, 2014

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 507

Source: Barnes and Noble

Fans of The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices can get to know warlock Magnus Bane like never before in this collection of New York Times bestselling tales, in print for the first time with an exclusive new story and illustrated material.

This collection of eleven short stories illuminates the life of the enigmatic Magnus Bane, whose alluring personality, flamboyant style, and sharp wit populate the pages of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.

Originally released one-by-one as e-only short stories by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Rees Brennan, this compilation presents all ten together in print for the first time and includes a never-before-seen eleventh tale, as well as new illustrated material.

5 out of 5 stars


I love Magnus Bane.

I’ve already read all these stories, but it was nice to reread them and get back into following one of my favorite characters from this series. My favorite stories were the ones with Alec, of course. Alec and Magnus are one of my favorite couples from this series and I love getting to see them together again.

It’s crazy how many of these stories I had forgotten. I’ve always been up to date with the Cassandra Clare books and read them right when they come out *except for QoAaD, but we don’t talk about her yet….* so I read this originally back in 2014, which is 5 YEARS AGO. Crazy stuff.

I don’t have a ton of thoughts behind these stories because I’ve already read them so I knew all the little connections, but it was fun to read about old characters again. I really like Raphael’s stories and it was cool to see Tessa in today’s time instead of Victorian London.

I’m excited to continue my reread of this series; I’m almost to The Dark Artifices again!!

 

Aubrey Joy

Review: Up to This Pointe – Jennifer Longo


Up to This Pointe – Jennifer Longo

Up to This Pointe

Title: Up to This Pointe

Author: Jennifer Longo

Release Date: January 19, 2016

Publisher: Random House

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 361

Source: Thrift Store

Harper Scott is a dancer. She and her best friend, Kate, have one goal: becoming professional ballerinas. But while Kate is a naturally gifted dancer, Harper has had to fight for every step. And now it’s make-it-or-break-it time: if their auditions go wrong, their dreams are over. Harper won’t let anything—or anyone—get in her way, not even the boy she and Kate are both drawn to.

Harper may not be a natural, but she is a Scott. She’s related to Robert Falcon Scott, the daring explorer who died racing to the South Pole. So when Harper’s life takes an unexpected turn, she finagles (read: lies) her way to the icy dark of McMurdo Station…in Antarctica.

Extreme, but also somehow fitting—apparently she has always been in the dark, dancing on ice this whole time. And no one warned her. Not her family, not her best friend, not even the boy who has somehow found a way into her heart.

3 out of 5 stars


This book was good, but I wasn’t blown away.

For some reason I decided to not finish the last 50 pages of this book before leaving for my 17 day England travels, so when I came back and finished it, it felt a little disjointed. That was all on me, though, because I just chose not to prioritize it…

Up to This Pointe follows a girl named Harper Scott who wants to be a professional ballet dancer. Her dream has always been to be in a ballet company, but something happens and her dreams are momentarily put on pause. She decides she needs to get some distance from San Francisco and finesses her way into going to Antarctica for researching for 6 months.

She jumps on a plane and heads out to the frozen tundra where she is finally able to be seen as herself and not just “the dancer.” She meets people and makes new friends who help her see she has other interests instead of just dancing.

I related to the whole “oh my gosh my life isn’t what I thought it would be right now and I have no idea what I want to do with my life” more than you will ever know lol. I have been having all these same feelings for a couple months, so I related so much to this! I also don’t know if I want to go into the professional dance world even though I’ve been dancing for almost 15 years of my life. Life is weird, guys.

I didn’t love the relationships or the ways they were portrayed throughout this book. Harper meets this super cute and sweet guy in San Francisco who really likes her, then she just leaves and goes to Antarctica. Fine. No worries, I guess, but then she meets another guy while she’s there. I don’t think she really likes him I just think that she’s “dating” him because it’s convenient and she wants attention. But then other times I think she actually does like him. I don’t know. But the original super sweet awesome cute boy from San Fran is sending her emails and letters and she just doesn’t read them.

?

What the heck. Why wouldn’t you read them and respond? She likes him. A lot. Or so she said before she left, so idk why she wouldn’t look at them. Plot device? I don’t know.

He also just keeps sending them even though she isn’t responding. I admire that his character has resilience, but that is totally not what would have happened. He would have emailed for maybe a month and then got the message that she wasn’t interested. Because that’s what she was portraying to him. Just seems a little fishy to me.

There was also LITERALLY NO WAY she would have gotten the opportunity to go to Antarctica.

  1. She’s not even a science student. She’s not going to college and she graduated school early.
  2. She has no skills that they would have possibly known would be useful to being there.
  3. She applied to go and knew she was going within such a short time.

Not realistic at all. People would be waiting to go and working for years and years to get a spot on the list. There literally no possible way that could have happened… but this is also just a book, so I’ll give it a little grace.

I know there was a lot of negative in this review, but I actually did enjoy a lot of this book. I love books about dance, even though it’s not always done in a way that makes a ton of sense.

The reality of dance is this: it’s a lot of hard work for not a super great reward all the time. You work for hours a day and might not get a part because you’re too tall or won’t fit into a costume. Dance is so subjective and that makes it so difficult. You could have amazing technique, but your body doesn’t fit the type they want. Again, a lot of work for not always a great reward.

I loved the family dynamic because everyone was so close; it reminded me a lot of my own. I’m so close with everyone in my family, so it’s nice to see a strong family unit that doesn’t have any disruptions in it.

Overall I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone that dances because there are some little tidbits of info that only a dancer would understand :)

Review: Girl, Wash Your Face – Rachel Hollis


Girl, Wash Your Face – Rachel Hollis

Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be

Title: Girl, Wash Your Face

Author: Rachel Hollis

Release Date: February 6, 2018

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 240

Source: Gifted

Do you ever suspect that everyone else has life figured out and you don’t have a clue? If so, Rachel Hollis has something to tell you: that’s a lie.

As the founder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite.com and CEO of her own media company, Rachel Hollis developed an immense online community by sharing tips for better living while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own life. Now, in this challenging and inspiring new book, Rachel exposes the twenty lies and misconceptions that too often hold us back from living joyfully and productively, lies we’ve told ourselves so often we don’t even hear them anymore.

With painful honesty and fearless humor, Rachel unpacks and examines the falsehoods that once left her feeling overwhelmed and unworthy, and reveals the specific practical strategies that helped her move past them. In the process, she encourages, entertains, and even kicks a little butt, all to convince you to do whatever it takes to get real and become the joyous, confident woman you were meant to be.

With unflinching faith and rock-hard tenacity, Girl, Wash Your Face shows you how to live with passion and hustle–and how to give yourself grace without giving up.

5 out of 5 stars


This book was filled with so much wisdom and great advice, and I think any female-identifying individual would gain insight from this book. There were so many moments that it felt like Rachel Hollis was speaking directly to me! I loved pretty much everything about this book!

The writing style made this book so memorable to me. Rachel Hollis is so honest with all of her stories and advice, that it makes it so much more believable. Some self-help books make you feel like the author has it together and has this perfect life and is above you because they know something you don’t, but Rachel Hollis writes like she’s a real person. Crazy concept, but that’s what makes it so great! She doesn’t talk down to her readers, and just wants to create something useful for people to read.

There were a few chapters that I couldn’t completely relate to because I’m not married and I don’t have kids, but I there was something I could gain from every page of this book. I’m so excited to have kids in the future, so I know that I will be able to remember some of this book or reread it to help me more once I’m in that stage of my life.

I already want to reread this even though I just finished it. I feel like that always shows how great of a book it is! I annotated this book, so I have sections I liked underlined for future reference. I think I will love being able to flip through this book and read my underlined passages when I need some inspiration.

Another thing, this book was so inspiring. It made me want to get up and actually live my life. I’m only 19, so I think it’s an amazing thing that I already feel like this, but I don’t want life to just pass me by. I want to be the one controlling my world, and I think that’s where the main message of the book comes in.

You are responsible for your own happiness.

I think I will come back to this mantra time and time again because IT’S SO TRUE. My mom has always told me that “you choose happiness” and that is exactly what the message of this book was, so I could completely relate to it. I love this because you truly are the one who decides your own life. Yes, there are situations you can’t avoid, but you choose how you react to those situations.

FAVORITE QUOTES:

“You are in control of your own life. You get one and only one chance to live, and life is passing you by. Stop beating yourself up, and dang it, stop lettings others do it too. Sop accepting less than you deserve. Stop buying things you can’t afford to impress people you don’t even really like. Stop eating your feelings instead of working through them. Stop buying your kids’ love with food, or toys, or friendship because it’s easier than parenting. Stop abusing your body and your mind. Stop! Just get off the never-ending track. Your life is supposed to be a journey from one unique place to another; it’s not supposed to be a merry-go-round that brings you back to the same spot over and over again.”

“Stop waiting for someone else to fix your life! Stop assuming that some day it will magically improve on its own. Stop presuming if you only had the right job, the right man, the right house, the right car, the right whatever that your life will become what you’ve always dreamed of. Be honest about who you are and what you need to do to make change.”

“Girl, get ahold of your life. Stop medicating, stop hiding out, stop being afraid, stop giving away pieces of yourself, stop saying you can’t do it. Stop the negative self-talk, stop abusing your body, stop putting it off for tomorrow or Monday or next year. Stop crying about what happened and take control of what happens next.”

Review: My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies #1) – Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows


My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies #1) – Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies, #1)

Title: My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies #1)

Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Release Date: June 7, 2016

Publisher: Harper Teen

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 512

Source: Half-Price Books

Edward (long live the king) is the King of England. He’s also dying, which is inconvenient, as he’s only sixteen and he’d much rather be planning for his first kiss than considering who will inherit his crown…

Jane (reads too many books) is Edward’s cousin, and far more interested in books than romance. Unfortunately for Jane, Edward has arranged to marry her off to secure the line of succession. And there’s something a little odd about her intended…

Gifford (call him G) is a horse. That is, he’s an Eðian (eth-y-un, for the uninitiated). Every day at dawn he becomes a noble chestnut steed—but then he wakes at dusk with a mouthful of hay. It’s all very undignified.

The plot thickens as Edward, Jane, and G are drawn into a dangerous conspiracy. With the fate of the kingdom at stake, our heroes will have to engage in some conspiring of their own. But can they pull off their plan before it’s off with their heads?

4 out of 5 stars


SO CUTE.

I was hoping I would like this book, but it totally exceeded any expectations that I had before going into it. I wasn’t sure about the comedy aspects of it as I don’t find “typical” comedy actually comedic, but I was pleasantly surprised.

This book is super hard to explain, but the synopsis does it justice. Pretty much, King Edward is dying, and he appoints his best friend and cousin, Lady Jane Grey, to become the next queen of England. He arranges a marriage for her to the son of his advisor person, and on top of all of these political shenanigans, there are people called Eðians who can turn into different animals.

This was totally not what I was expecting, but again, I was pleasantly surprised. I don’t typically gravitate towards historical fiction, but I’m obsessed with pretty much everything England related, so this book appealed to me because of that. I loved the Eðian fantasy element to the story. It kept it super interesting, and I was engaged the entire time. I think it was so surprising, that I just happily went with it.

This is the perfect example of a book that it’s fun to go into without knowing anything about it first. I love doing that with books and am usually good with the outcome.

Another thing. The characters were so cute. Of course I loved Jane; she was obsessed with books and reading, but she was also unbelievably stubborn and opinionated. I loved that there was some girl power from her. I also really loved Gifford, Jane’s husband. He was so sweet and loved her so much, you just couldn’t help falling for him.

Edward wasn’t my favorite, but that could just be because I was half-expecting him to try and end up marrying Jane, and I was REALLY not here for that. I think he was an okay character, and it was obvious he wasn’t the main character in this story even though every third chapter was written from his perspective.

I think I loved this book so much because I was in the exact right mood for it. I have been doing my reread of the Shadowhunters books, and of course I love them, but it was nice to have something new and different. I needed a cute book with lots of *sometimes unnecessary* drama.

The only reason I didn’t give this 5 stars was because there were some aspects that fell short to me. I think some of the decisions that were made were just so stupid. For example, you would give up a dagger instead of having to go fight a bear. You would talk to your significant other before just assuming something is 100% true. Some of the decisions just didn’t make that much sense to me, but what can you do sometimes?

I also LOVED the narrator sections. I don’t typically enjoy when the narrator actually interrupts the story, but it added such a fun layer of humor. I didn’t laugh out loud, but that’s also just not my style; I still found it funny, though.

This book was set in London, so it just made me THAT MUCH MORE EXCITED FOR MY ENGLAND TRIP WHICH IS LITERALLY HAPPENING IN 10 DAYS. Sorry for the screaming, but I’m so excited wow.

I would recommend this book to pretty much anyone who enjoys YA books. It was easy to read and kept me hooked. I also loved the way the story played out. Super cute. Super fun. Highly recommend :)