The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

IMG_20181105_080307_856

5stars

“But your best is not good enough sometimes.”
“Sometimes… you have to stop trying and just let someone else try their best. In order to survive.”

Title: The Wicker King
Author: K. Ancrum
Number of pages: 305 (hardcover edition) + 40 pages (novella in ebook)
Good things about this book: Heart-wrecking, emotional, complex, raw.
Bad things about this book: Nothing, I had also a novella and the ending was perfect.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Yesterday after lunch I wrote a couple of reviews and then went to bed with the intention of reading a few chapters of The Wicker King. I couldn’t put it down: didn’t eat, didn’t go to the bathroom, didn’t blink. Long story short: the book was over before dinner time.

It wrecked me, this descent into madness of these two boys: one seeing the other losing grip of reality, and being overwhelmed by the weight of it all, the other seeing a different world he needs to defend and can’t do it alone. Jack living in both the real world and the fantasy world was portrayed in a way that kept me glued to the pages. I needed to know more, I needed to know he was going to be okay That they were going to be okay in the end. It was a freaking rollercoaster. I exhaled a long sigh of relief after I finished it.

August’s heart seized.
He didn’t … know he could have this.

I knew it was a queer book from all the Instagram posts, but it wasn’t immediately obvious, and I found myself both curious as to how they were going to face their not so subtle feelings, and bothered by the miscommunication that brought our August to not know he could wish for more, risk asking for more, so he fooled around a lot. It broke my heart, because the feelings were there, as twisted and complex, but they were there!

“If you drop the weight you are carrying, it is okay. You can build yourself back up out of the pieces.”

It wasn’t the easiest of books to read, their friendship was unhealthy, super codependent and the negligence of the adults was absurd and irritating, but it was surely a book that I’ll keep with me forever.

36507382

The novella that was a sort of companion of the book, gave us Jack’s pov and a sneak peek into the fantasy world his mind was creating; I loved the way both the book and the novella ended. I’m so happy now. Five glorious stars for Jack and August, The Wicker King and his Champion.

firmablog

Advertisements

Alan Cole Doesn’t Dance by Eric Bell

IMG_20181022_080932_894

5stars

“You know what a good friend said to me once?”
“What?”
“He said, I’d rather have a hard time being myself than an easy time being somebody else.”
“Whoah.”
“Yeah. You’re being yourself, and that’s what matters.”

Title: Alan Cole Doesn’t Dance
Author: Eric Bell
Series: Alan Cole #2
Number of pages: 288 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: Fantastic, important, emotional.
Bad things about this book: I want more books now but I’m happy how this ended.
Do I recommend it? Of course. You need to meet Alan.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Alan made me cry. He did it again with his innocence and good nature and his courage to be himself without having to endure bullism. Standing for himself and for all the people that don’t have the strength to do it. Defeating evil with kindness, with his art, one step at a time. To see the difference you want to see in the world, you have to start somewhere, right? If you don’t do anything, nothing will change, and that’s exactly what Alan thinks and why I love him so much. I adored this little book so much. I couldn’t put it down, finished it in one afternoon.

Alan is the sweetest of boys and Odin was a great addition to the narration. Odin and Alan were the cutest together; from “rivals” to art buddies. Smiles and laughter they didn’t share with anybody else, a past and present not so easy. Innocent and sweet. My heart couldn’t take all the adorableness. Alan’s friends, his family, things aren’t always great; they fight, because for things to get better, a little confrontation is necessary.

Having more queer books out in the world is the most amazing thing in the world and having more and more queer books for middle graders is even greater; this is the kind of book kids nowadays need, a book that normalizes their feelings because they aren’t wrong, they aren’t disgusting, their love is as much true as the ones of other people. They should never feel ashamed of who they are and books like this one give me so much hope they will have a safer world to live and be themselves.

firmablog

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig

5stars

Title: Last Seen Leaving
Author: Caleb Roehrig
Number of pages: 352 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I wanted to know more and more, I couldn’t stop reading.
Bad things about this book: Flynn’s lies were a little irritating.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

As good as I expected it to be. I kept wondering what happened to January, Flynn’s girlfriend, and I kept being on edge about Flynn lying and keeping an important part of himself hidden, a part he just wasn’t ready to tell the world.

I kind of love seeing teenagers getting justice with their own hands because their truths can’t be shared with the police and they think they can do better jobs at finding the bad guys and get them arrested. It’s fun because, in reality, it can’t happen without real consequences, but in fiction it’s all allowed, and I love it. Give me teenage vigilantes!

Flynn is a flawed character, but he is so easy to love. Yeah, I’m aware of the age gap between him and Kaz, but things kind of evolved in a very natural way that I forgot at some point they weren’t the same age. He’s is 3 years older I think, not much but enough to have more maturity when it comes to life and things in general. I just hope that in this fictional world, they can build a safe relationship and if either of them feels it’s too much, they call it quits and move on.

The ending satisfied me, as the rest of the story. I’m not usually a fan of thrillers because I need to know who did it, how and when, so I skim read, but with this one, that had also coming of age, coming out, and romance, I was glued to the pages until the very end.

I recommend it and, after this second book by this author, I can officially say that I will continue reading his books in the future. There’s come coming out on January and I can’t hardly wait, it sounds great!

firmablog

[ARC] A Summer Soundtrack for Falling in Love by Arden Powell

41729246

3stars

Title: A Summer Soundtrack for Falling in Love
Author: Arden Powell
Release date: October 29th 2018
Number of pages: 318 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It was very easy to get into the story!
Bad things about this book: It dragged a bit in my opinion!
Do I recommend it? Yes, give it a chance.
Rate: 3/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC from NetGalley

It was cute and infuriating!! All the miscommunication bothers me a lot! And here there was so much of it!! Kris kept postponing his coming out as bisexual because he didn’t want the dynamics of the band to change, but then by not coming out his potential relationship with Rayne, who he was falling hard for, was at risk.

I couldn’t have been hard for him to tell Rayne what he felt because he was surrounded by really supportive people. He was afraid, and he shouldn’t come out if he isn’t ready, but he had more than one occasion to speak his heart, to tell Rayne even in confidence, that he was feeling things beyond friendship. Without labeling it, without coming out, he could have been more honest with Rayne. You could see from miles away how smitten they were for each other, pining for no reason, just because they were stubborn and kept things to themselves.

I always kind of like books with music bands in them. Imagining what kind of music they do, how they behave on stage and out. This was really nice, it dragged a bit, though; I thought it was almost ending when it was only at 50%. Maybe cutting some things out it would have been so much better.

Nevertheless, it was a nice book, even with the weird cult and the random peacock!

firmablog

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

IMG_20181009_231305_990

5stars

“I barely know him. I guess that is every relationship. You start with nothing and maybe end with everything.”

Title: What If It’s Us
Author: Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera
Number of pages: 448 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: The sweetest love story I’ve read in a long time, so true and relatable!
Bad things about this book: I wanted a second epilogue, I wanted more!
Do I recommend it? Yes, two of my fav authors collaborating will always be a YES from me.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Lately it’s becoming hard for me to write reviews. I don’t know why but I struggle a lot to come up with words that describe perfectly, or in very simple words, how I felt about the book I’ve just read. It’s infuriating. I can’t seem to write anymore, and my reviews skills are getting worse. Still I persist because I quit too many times and that’s something I’m trying to do for myself: finish what I start.
I decided, though, not to write much because this book needs to be lived. Whatever I write might spoil the experience, and you know how much I love that!

PLOT —
The plot is pretty simple: boy meets boy, boy loses boy, boy finds boy again, boys fall in love, but boys don’t live in the same city, are boys are destined to be heartbroken? All of that with a lot of musical references, videogames, coffee breaks, and very sweet characters in a beautiful city.

“An actual date with a boy. This is possibly, definitely the number one best thing that’s ever happened to me. And I have no chill about it. None whatsoever.”

CHARACTERS —
Arthur is really adorable: musical geek who talks a lot, believes in fate, and goes the extra mile to find a boy he thinks the universe wants him to be together with. Ben is sweet and confused, but he decides to believe in second chances and a little bit in fate so, even with his heart still healing from a bad breakup, he decides to trust his gut and try things out with this chatty boy he barely knows. The side characters are just as great, and yes, I kind of hated the ex-boyfriend, but it was just because I wanted so much the boys to be happy. So yeah, I liked them all.

It’s highly possible that this is the best I’ve ever looked. Either that or the douchiest. It could go either way.

THOUGHTS —
This book made me want to go see Hamilton again. I saw it in London last June and loved every second of it. I’ve already listened repeatedly to the soundtrack and knew it by heart, but it was like seeing it for the first time. Seeing as Arthur loves Hamilton and I love it too, I trusted his taste and listened to the whole soundtrack of Dear Evan Hansen and now I know what musical I want to see next. I’ve had Only Us stuck in my head all day! I love that song! Thanks, Arthur!!!

“Maybe this won’t work out and I won’t care about it ending. But I can’t get from A to B without us being A and B first. Live in the moment.”

CONCLUSION —
I’m not a 100% satisfied with the ending but that’s just me being picky. This book was just the right amount of fluffiness typical of Becky with a bit of “if life gives you lemons they’re probably rotten” typical of dear Adam. I keep thinking about the book, how I’ll love it when the movie comes out, how I want to wait at least a month before listening to the audiobook if it’s available, and how I picture these two boys living their best lives. I don’t usually go there, but I think I might need fanfiction. Yes, that’s how much I love it, I don’t want it to end.

firmablog

[ARC] Surreal Estate by Jesi Lea Ryan

41188050

4stars

“I don’t care where I sleep as long as I get to wake up with you.”

Title: Surreal Estate
Author: Jesi Lea Ryan
Release date: November 5th 2018
Number of pages: 271 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: There is a psychic character who can sense the spirit of houses!
Bad things about this book: Nothing of relevance, it depends on you.
Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s a very nice story.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

PLOT —
Homeless musician, who is also a house psychic, is called by an abandon house to live inside of it. Creepy? Not much really. Besides a few paranormal episodes with houses, the story is more focused on Sasha’s issues with his mom and his past, and Nick’s financial problems. The fact the Sasha could sense what houses wanted and felt, was really helpful for Nick and also for himself. It was a nice touch.

CHARACTERS —
The characters were likable and not annoying. I had a couple of tiny issues with Nick, thinking unnecessary things, but I can forgive him because he was figuring a huge thing about himself out. I liked Sasha and I liked how he was very optimistic even if everything seemed to go wrong in his life. I like them separately and I loved them together. That was some attraction at first sight and I liked it.

THOUGHTS —
I loved the lack of real drama. There was something weighting on them, with Sasha having his addict mom taking really bad decisions, and Nick having a loan shark waiting for him to fail just to punish him hard. I liked how things evolved between the two men. It felt natural even if quick. Nothing bad, just feelings and real life. It was a really nice read.

CONCLUSION —
This little book was so entertaining, and I was intrigued, I needed to know what was going to happen. Having real life mixed with just a tiny bit of paranormal, psychic powers, was just perfect. I missed reading about psychics and this is my first time reading about someone who can sense the feelings of places, houses to be precise. If you like paranormal books, easy to read, with nice characters, steamy and explicit scenes, and a nice ending, then this is a book for you.

firmablog

[ARC] The Academy by Quinn Anderson

the academy

3stars

Earlier, when the party was in full swing, I looked around and thought to myself that something was missing. From the party. From my apartment. From my life. I couldn’t figure out what it was. But now, as I lay here, I think I finally know. It’s you.

Title: The Academy
Author: Quinn Anderson
Release date: September 17th 2018
Good things about this book: The characters are really nice and the feelings super sweet.
Bad things about this book: It could’ve been shorter, imo.
Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s a sweet love story.
Rate: 3/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

PLOT —
It dragged a little with the inner monologues and the Academy, the college they were in, and the title of this book, was soon forgotten. I would have loved to see more things happening in the Academy, but it was still nice to experience the college life through Nick’s eyes.

CHARACTERS —
Nick was a bit too overdramatic. Everything was this big guilt trip for him and also for Sebastian. Everything. They couldn’t enjoy anything with pages and pages of inner monologues why they shouldn’t be enjoying said thing. I wanted to slap some sense into both of them. There were really cute scenes, though. Some borderline cheesy as hell. I love those. Sebastian is a cutie!

THOUGHTS —
I liked the idea of a playboy finding real love for the first time and leaving his playboy days behind. It’s one of the many tropes I love, so I was completely okay with how the story unfolded. It had its ups and downs, being a little slow, but in the end, it was a cute and sweet story. And we had a couple of steamy scenes and wow, I liked those a lot.

CONCLUSION —
I liked the ending, the epilogue was really nice and all the on-page characters, mains and sides, were all interesting. I will certainly keep reading books by this author. They are both romantic and emotional.

firmablog