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

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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.

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Hunter of Demons by Jordan L. Hawk

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4stars

Title: Hunter of Demons
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Series: SPECTR #1, Series #1
Number of pages: 153 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It has great elements and a lot of potential.
Bad things about this book: It was kind of insta-lust but in this case it was okay.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

PLOT —
Paranormal boy possessed by a vampire falls in love with an exorcist with a butt made in heaven, and they solve demon crimes together. That’s it, that’s the story and it was just the kind of story I usually love with a mix of different elements that I definitely didn’t hate. The story was short, so I didn’t have a chance to get to know the characters but there’s so many more books. There’s time to see if I like them or not.

CHARACTERS —
Caleb was difficult to picture at first but then I imagine him as a long-haired hottie, like one of the many male models I follow on Instagram and I was involved. John on the other hand, was like a buff male model, a bit like I picture Jacob from the Psycop books that I adore. Yes, I need to have a clear picture of the characters in my head to fully enjoy a book. Now that I have a clear picture and that I’ve really liked this first book, I’m curious about what’s going to happen right now that Caleb is in that dire situation.

THOUGHTS —
The story is quite simple but really nice. I got a sort of Venom feeling; a human (well, not entirely) possessed by another entity, in this case the spirit of a vampire, and they communicate through thoughts. And if completely possessed he turned into said entity. I loved it. I can already see the polyamorous love between them and John. I can’t wait.

CONCLUSION —
This was exactly the kind of book I like!!! Demons, spirits, possessions, vampires, exorcists!!! And love…more lust right now, but they’re soft and sweet and I expect great things from this series! I bought the whole set in ebook!

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[ARC] Surreal Estate by Jesi Lea Ryan

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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.

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Restless Spirits by Jordan L. Hawk

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4stars

Title: Restless Spirits
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Series: Spirits #1
Number of pages: 204 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I just love how this author tells stories.
Bad things about this book: Nothing.
Do I recommend it? Yes, there are ghosts.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Stayed up until 2am to know how this was going to end. I was hooked. I love ghost stories and this one was great, worth of losing a few hours of my beauty sleep! I wish I’ve found out sooner about this series by the amazing Jordan L. Hawk; I’m happy I now have started it. The characters are diverse, they come from different backgrounds and they all have their own opinions, being them frustrating or totally reasonable. Being set in the past I knew there were going to be things that’ll anger me, frustrate me to no end, and there were. Oh my, I could have punched more than a couple characters real hard!

Vincent and Lizzie are a very peculiar couple of friends, each one of them with secrets well hidden. Vincent is dealing with an exorcism gone bad and he is struggling to live his medium life, and the consequences of his “medium block” might be the end of his and Lizzie’s job and economic stability. When the opportunity to earn easy money with a haunting present itself, Vincent is forced by Lizzie to help her. They will find that the case is not at all as easy as they thought it was going to be.

Enter Henry and his cousin. Henry was scammed by a fake medium and has devoted his life to use science to get rid of ghosts and spirits. He thinks every medium is fake and will never trust any more of them. But then he meets Vincent and everything he has vowed himself not to do, is hard to follow because the temptation of this man, so beautiful and flirty, is throwing him off his science path.

I had a very hard time trying to like Henry: from the high of his white privilege, he didn’t see how his behavior could damage the people around him. Let’s see how he acts in the remaining books to see if I like him or not. If he deserves to be with handsome Vincent or not. So far, he has only angered me. He may be sweet, and I know he now cares about Vincent, not only because of his appearance but also because of the man he came to know during their days in the haunted mansion.

The second book promises to be just as good. What will happen?? I need to read it as soon as I can!

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A Tiny Piece of Something Greater by Jude Sierra

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5stars

“You are a normal person. We all are. We all have brains that work differently, that’s all. You guys have been handed challenges. But you are worthy of happiness and health and help.”

Title: A Tiny Piece of Something Greater
Author: Jude Sierra
Number of pages: 258 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: It’s a very sweet book with a good portrayal of mental illness.
Bad things about this book: It’s hard to read. Read the trigger warnings first.
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course. It’s a story to be read by everyone.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Pretty intense. Read with an aching but hopeful heart. I cared for these characters and, even if I won’t know what choices they decide to make, I will know in my heart that they’ll be okay and living day after day. Together.

Books about mental illnesses are always very hard for me to read. Books like this are somewhat triggering but I can’t help but read them; I feel the need to know other point of views, to learn more, to be able to help myself and others with new information. It won’t ever be easy for me reading about someone struggling to keep themselves afloat. It won’t ever be easy for me reading about someone using unhealthy behavior.

He tries to give his body over to the sounds of a great big earth around him, understanding that he is very small, a tiny piece of something greater, a small glimmer of either light or darkness, depending on his choices and will.

Reid suffers from an illness called cyclothymia that I have never heard of before. It was hard to read how he struggled in the past, is struggling with recovery in the present, and will struggle with it for the rest of his life. Reid is a magnificent boy who has a brain that works in a very peculiar way and it makes his life very difficult. He really tries his best. Reid touched my heart with his personality and the way he wants to be seen by the world, and by the amazing and handsome boy he starts crushing on, Joaquim.

Joaquim finds himself in it too deep and too soon with Reid. Reid is not an easy person to be with, but it won’t be a mental illness the cause for him to walk away from someone he can see himself building something concrete with. Why would he run away when things get difficult? He asks a lot of questions and is destined to make mistakes, but he is a very patient boy and his feelings are deep and real. He can’t run from them.

Reid doesn’t pray, but sometimes he likes to think that the energy he and the others put out into the world might make a small difference.

The portrayal of mental illness is done in detail, wonderfully, and painfully. Nothing graphic, nothing just to give us some drama. Things aren’t okay, and they’re explained in a way that you understand both how Reid is feeling and how Joaquim is elaborating the info he’s getting. It’s a painful process, but it’s liberating. Joaquim is seeing Reid for who he is; he is not his mental illness, he is a boy fighting to get better, who wants an adventurous life and to love and be loved. Reid and Joaquim were sweet and cheesy and adorable. All the kisses, the hugs, the little touches, they were all elements that made their love story, one to desire. I will never be loved like that and it makes me sad.

When I finished the book last night, I closed it and realized I wasn’t in the mood for anything else; I was left empty yet full, no space for anything more. I went to bed and waited to fall asleep recalling one of my many happy made-up scenarios, because I knew that if I started thinking about the book, I’ll stayed awake analyzing every single aspect of my life. I hope I’m not the only one that uses made-up fantasies to fall asleep in order to avoid falling into the endless stream of anxious thoughts about life.

I keep sighing thinking about Reid and Joaquim. Those boys stole my heart. I’m so glad I somehow found this little book and impulsively bought it. I knew my impulsiveness had more pros than cons!

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Running With Lions by Julian Winters

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5stars

“Bastian, you can do whatever you want, when you want. The only thing in life you have to do is live it.”

Title: Running With Lions
Author: Julian Winters
Number of pages: 299 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: I loved the characters and how the story was told, so simply yet so deeply.
Bad things about this book: An epilogue maybe? A couple years into the future. I’m greedy, I know.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I loved it!
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Life is a summer storm of insecure thoughts. There’s an umbrella of precautions to prevent insecurity, but it doesn’t always keep the rain out of your face.

I don’t know almost anything about football (or soccer, or however you call the sport with 11 players each team and a round ball). I don’t know much about sports, period. I have read books with characters involve in some kind of sport (real or made up) and I’ve stuck with it and was intrigued by it because the book wasn’t really about the sport per se, but about friendships, love and family. Team spirit gets to me, the comradery, the feelings that come from loving something so much and putting every ounce of you in it: my heart melts!

So when I saw for the very first time someone talking about Running With Lions, I knew that I was going to love it. Diverse book with a sweet love story, relatable themes and full of queer characters? Count me in! And it came out during Pride Month; that had to be a sign I needed to buy it and read it. I’m so glad I did. It was one of the sweetest books I’ve read in quite a while. It did have my dreaded miscommunication that made the characters waste so much time, but the story flowed to well that I almost didn’t mind my frustration. Almost.

“People dislike other people for the wrong reasons,” Emir says. “Doesn’t mean we should act like them.”

This book is sweet and deals with something I haven’t seen dealt with in none of the books I’ve read; male body issues. Sebastian is struggling with his body; he was chubby in the past and the bullism left him so scarred he exercised too much, hates looking at himself in the mirror, and he spirals into self-hate when he sees a tiny bit of fat on his body. His mind makes him see his body as a horrible vessel he’s forced to carry. I struggled a lot reading some scenes because I got him, I really got what he was going through, and I was worried he was overexerting himself with running and too little food.

For such a sought-after emotion, love sure comes with a lot of answerless questions.

I came to care about all the characters, all their different personalities, their flaws, their feelings for each other. I read the book with just a break for dinner. I wanted to see how things were going to end between Sebastian and Emir, how the characters would grow, learn from their mistakes and live their last year of high school being as happy as they could be, surrounded by people they trust and love. Running with Lions put me in such a nostalgic mood: a little sad and a little happy. Those boys have all their lives ahead of themselves. They’re so lucky.

“Just because people create rules doesn’t mean those are your rules.”

With a few tears but a big smile on my face, I can’t but recommend you this book. I’m glad there are much more books like this in this world today. We need them and I’m so happy teenagers today can grow up seeing themselves represented on paper and see that there’s nothing wrong with them. I’d love them to feel that there are people out there that will love them exactly for who they are and that, whatever obstacle is put in their way, they aren’t alone to face them.

Happy Pride Month, everyone! Be proud of who you are!

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White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig

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4stars

Title: White Rabbit
Author: Caleb Roehrig
Number of pages: 320 (hardcover edition)
Good things about this book: It’s really entertaining and captivating.
Bad things about this book: The bullying is always a sore spot for me.
Do I recommend it? Yes, I say you can give it a chance.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I started it midafternoon yesterday and finished it at a little bit past midnight. I couldn’t put it down. While it wasn’t without flaws, I kind of liked how it was written and how over the top it was. Like a movie or tv show with teenagers doing unnecessary things in criminal situations instead of going to the police. I can think of at least five shows exactly like this (Riverdale, people??). Totally unlikely in real life but extremely entertaining.

I wanted to know how it was going to end so until the last page I couldn’t stop reading. I needed to know who the murder was or I was going to dream about it! I liked the mystery and I liked how the two characters with obvious unresolved business were put together in this ridiculously dangerous journey that would also help them talk about the past that left Rufus heartbroken. I hated Sebastian for most part of the book. What he did to Rufus, how he made him feel, for whatever reason he thought he was doing it, was too much.

I would have given it five stars if it wasn’t for the bullying. Everyone bullied and threw ugly degrading words at Rufus, yet nobody did anything about it. He knew better than to say anything because the adults, as much as his schoolmates, were absolutely useless. Is it really like that in schools with rich kids? I hope not but I’m afraid to know the ugly truth.

As random and ridiculous as it got, there were many sweet parts that made me forget for a bit the bad ones. Rufus and Sebastian were cute and frustrating and I couldn’t stop myself from shaking my head when they were stubborn and annoying and so clearly in love with each other.

Recommended to fans of shows like Riverdale, fans of mystery books and thrillers, and fans of over the top narrations that you can’t stop reading!

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