Review: The Space Between Heartbeats by Melissa Pearl 

Reviewer: E

I received an e-ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

This book is about a girl called Nicole, who goes to a party and wakes up in the middle of the forest, badly injured, with no memory of the night before. As she is then dying, she has an out-of-body experience and floats everywhere like a ghost. I thought that part was a little weird. No one can see her except for one person, and they go on a hunt to find her body before she dies. The plot was good, but a little overdone, and some dynamics were just not necessary to move the story forward. 

The characters are somewhat 2D. Nicole’s friends: mean; Nicole: simultaneously mean and Mary Sue; Dale: nice yet Gary Stu. However, the character relationships were strong- you know, “bringing out the best qualities in each other”. Nicole developed a lot as a character. 

The writing in this book was interesting to read. I sort of glided through the pages. It was a soft and comforting kind of book. Some of the technical issues bugged my inner editor, such as starting sentences with “And” or not using proper grammar or something. Oh, the horror! Also, I don’t know if this was just me, but the ebook was formatted really weirdly, making it harder to read. Oh well 🙂 

All in all, this was a good book recommended to fans of romance and magical realism. 4/5 stars!

Review: Lumière by Jacqueline Garlick

Disclaimer: I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Reviewer: J

I was a little disappointed in this book. It had many great elements to it but it was all ruined by one thing. 

This book’s premise seemed interesting. Steampunk isn’t a genre I’ve explored much but I’ve always been interested in it. But sadly the book didn’t exactly stay true to the premise because it was overshadowed by the romance about halfway into the book. 

Anyway I did love the plot for the most part! During the first half the storyline was a mix of steampunk, fantasy, and historical fiction. I thought that worked really well and turned out to be surprisingly intriguing. 

I also thought the protagonist was fairly likeable and a good narrator for the story, although she could be a little immature and apathetic at times. 

As you can see, I was loving all of those aspects to the story! But the romance was so forced, so unrealistic, and so cheesy that it destroyed the appeal for me. Plus it all happened so fast, like the two characters went from strangers to dating in practically no time at all. 

That one major flaw has caused me to deduct 2 stars unfortunately. 

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen 

Reviewer: E 
Water For Elephants is a fun book about Jacob, lost in life, who jumps a boxcar and runs away with the circus. Hmm, where have we heard that before? But Ms. Gruen did something really great with the plotline and story, making for a very interesting read. One thing I liked was the dual setting- an elderly Jacob reliving his past adventures, and the long flashbacks that were set when he was young in the 1930s. You can glean some knowledge about the Depression era. 

The writing was entertaining. It was free-flowing and captivating. The author overused some certain words, adverbs, and dashes. 

The characters were very relatable and enjoyable to read about. They did make some stupid and dumb decisions, but they were realistically flawed and imperfect. 

All in all, Water For Elephants was a great modern classic title. 4.5/5 stars. 

Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Reviewer: J

Finally, a book about cancer that’s not just a Fault in our Stars knockoff. Hallelujah!

The book is about an average high school kid named Greg who befriends a girl who has leukemia. Be this book a typical “sick lit” novel, they would fall in love, etcetera, etcetera, she dies in a tearjerking and dramatic finale. 

But one of the things I love most about this is that none of the above happens. I despise the popular idea that it’s impossible for boys and girls to be “just friends.” This book really worked against that stereotype, I found. 

Also, I was definitely not expecting how funny this book was. The main character has such a hilarious voice and I just loved all the little innuendo-y jokes. 

I think this book’s synopsis is a little misleading because I thought I was going to be reading some sappy romance novel with “poetic” prose and dark themes. I couldn’t have been more wrong. 

Anyway, I would strongly recommend this to any teenager. The author has created a surprisingly realistic and laugh out loud funny debut. 

Rating: 5 stars

Review: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

Reviewer: J

Ugh. I’m tired of reading pointless YA romances. 

Honestly, I would’ve preferred if To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before had no sequel. I understand that the author wanted to cash in on the book’s success, et cetera, but the first book perfectly wrapped up everything. Seriously, an ending like that is rare and shouldn’t be messed with. 

Because of the unnecessariness (is that a word?) of the second book, the plot felt very draggy (again, word?). Romance, scandals, and *gasp* a love triangle? Those things work for some readers but not for me. 

This book was just a cute beach read. It’s enjoyable under the right circumstances but it lacks some substance and its charm wears away quickly. I know you’re probably saying, J, you hate romance! Why are you doing this to yourself? Blame E for recommending me them. The point is that I can’t really be trusted with accurate opinions on romance books because most of them less than entertain me. 

This was a decent read that a more dedicated fan of Jenny Han would enjoy.

Rating: 3 stars

Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Reviewer: E 

First of all: forgive me, bloggers, for I have sinned. I haven’t been on in a while. \_(•-•)_/ And secondly, this picture is blurry because my phone is bullying me. 

Clockwork Angel is a prequel series to The Mortal Instruments, all of which I have read. It is set in the same demon-, vampire-, werewolf-infested world. It centers on (American) Tessa Gray, searching for her brother in Victorian era London. The plot did seem like an extended and slightly varied version of The Mortal Instruments. However, I really enjoyed the time period/setting. 

The writing was engaging and interesting. It was boring in some places; Ms. Clare seems to sometimes unnecessarily drag out bits of the story. 

The characters were very likable. Maybe not so realistic, but endearing. They were pretty 2D.

Clockwork Angel is a great book recommended to lovers of fantasy and historical fiction. I liked it better than it predecessor series. 4.5/5 stars. 

Review: A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman

Reviewer: J

I went into this book knowing almost nothing about it, other than the fact that it was written by Padma Venkatraman, whom I like to joke is my “favorite author” because I hated her other book Climbing the Stairs so much. So when I saw this book at Barnes and Noble, I pretty much bought it as a joke. 

Anyway, I’m actually glad that I stayed so open-minded. I ended up really enjoying this! It’s written in gorgeous, flowing free verse poems, which added to the spiritual and philosophical themes of the book. 

I loved the historical/cultural elements of the book. They add some depth and realism to the story. I also loved the diverse cast of characters; the main character is disabled and many other characters are Indian/POC.

The book’s plot was so amazingly inspiring — any reader would love it! It’s about a girl who is a skilled dancer, but loses one of her legs in an accident and learns to accept herself and appreciate her talents. The book had many hidden meanings and bigger themed throughout. 

Overall, this is a great book that deserves way more popularity, so if you’re interested by this review, you should definitely add it to your to-read list. 🙂

Rating: 4.5 – 5 stars