Living for the Books

Living for the Books

A book review blog dedicated to giving honest reviews on YA books.

2 Stars
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Red Queen - Victoria Aveyard

After reading many glowing reviews of this book I was really looking forward to being blown away. Unfortunately, <i>Red Queen</i> fell short of my expectations.

Mare Barrow is a lowly Red and she's a lot like so many other heroines that you could probably interchange them and there wouldn't be much of difference personality wise. She's ruff, unladylike, hates makeup, fancy clothing, and everything that would make her seem feminine because heaven forbid we have a badass character that likes feminine things. The world would probably implode. Enough with the heroines that aren't pretty and judge other girls for wanting to wear dresses and makeup. It seems like most of the books I read have characters like this and normally it doesn't bother me if a character doesn't want to be feminine, but it was especially annoying in this book. It was just another way to set Mare apart for the other girls in the court and create more of a divide between her and Evangeline.

Evangeline is character that I could have done without. From the moment the two girls meet, they hate each other. Evangeline is portrayed as this stuck up bitch with a whole group of girls just like her and it's a constant battle between her and Mare. There is no depth to Evangeline's character and it's widely accepted by many characters that she's a bitch.

There's also a sort of love square going on and I was never really hoping that Mare would end up with anyone. I was leaning towards Maven, but that quickly went south, although I think he might be my favorite character. I wasn't overly fond of Cal, mostly because I didn't understand why he liked Mare. They didn't know each other and they barely spent time together. I'm actually satisfied with how the events at the end of the book played out because it wouldn't have been realistic if Mare's plan actually worked. I don't have much of an opinion on Kilorn, mostly because he's hardly even in the book.

The thing that saved this book was that I felt compelled to keep reading. The plot was engaging, even though it wasn't the most original. I loved the diversity of abilities and I really enjoyed reading about Mare's ability because it isn't very common in books that I've read. I'll probably end up reading the next one because I kind of like the villain and it will be interesting to see where the story goes.

3 Stars
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
These Broken Stars - Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner

I'm pleasantly surprised by how much I ended up enjoying this book. It was difficult to get into it in the beginning, but a little less than halfway through I found myself enjoying it.

The beginning is mainly Tarver and Lilac traveling on the planet that they crashed on. I rarely read survival books, mostly because they can be extremely boring. It also didn't help that I had no sympathy for the characters at this point, so Lilac and Tarver's attitudes towards each other and in general were less than appealing to me. Lilac is the spoiled daughter of the most powerful man in the galaxy, while Tarver is a war hero. They were raised in completely different worlds and obviously Tarver is more prepared for surviving on an unknown planet than Lilac, but that doesn't stop her from being horrible to him.

Even though I wasn't particularly enjoying the story at this point, I kept reading anyway and my persistence was rewarded when the characters started to change and develop. Lilac seems to grasp the situation better after a near death experience and she starts to change from the rich girl that just wants to wait around for rescue to someone that is capable of saving herself. Tarver also starts to be more sympathetic towards Lilac and realizes that she's not as useless as he thought she was. Eventually they come to respect and trust each other, which was huge development for both of the characters since they basically started out hating each other. The best part was that none of their development seemed forced or rushed, it felt natural. Obviously, Tarver and Lilac fall in love. I actually liked their relationship because it made sense. They had to trust each other in order to survive on the planet, so of course they're going to form a strong relationship.

There was also a sort of paranormal aspect to the book that seemed a little weird and out of place, but by the end it starts to make a little more sense. It's easy to see why there is such a wide range of ratings for the book because while it does have some flaws, it also has so really great aspects as well. It mostly comes down to how much a person enjoys survival and romance stories.

5 Stars
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, Book 4) - Maggie Stiefvater

I don't think there has ever been a series quite like this one. It always seemed so unique and I guess that's why I love it so much. This was exactly what I needed to get out of my reading slump.

I think that part of the reason why this book just works so well is because the characters are so very real and unforgettable. It's been over a year since the last book and I haven't forgotten a single thing about the characters, maybe a few minor details here and there, but honestly it didn't feel like I should have reread any of the other books before starting this one. The characters are like real people and while reading you can feel that. And the friendship that the characters share doesn't feel forced or fake, it's like real friends.

You'd think that a series that basically starts off warning that Blue would kill her true love would be all about that and feature a lot of romance, but shockingly it doesn't. This book probably has the most romance out of the four, but it doesn't take over the plot. Instead it feels natural and like it belongs. I love Blue and Gansey's relationship because it evolves from friendship and they just seem so perfect together. I've been shipping Adam and Ronan since the last book because they also just seem to be perfect for each other.

Overall, I'm very satisfied with how this book and how the story ended. It had the perfect amount of intrigue to keep me reading and it ended in a way that seems very fitting for this series. There is a fairly large cast of characters, but it wasn't hard to keep track of them all and somehow none of them were flat. They were all interesting and when it switched point of view to one of the more minor characters I wasn't hoping that it would go back to the main crew because the side characters were just as interesting.

It has been a long time since I have felt this satisfied with an entire series and I could go on and on about how much I love these characters and how much I'm going to miss them. I would say more but I don't want to spoil anything by accident, so all I have left to say is that everyone should give this series a shot.

3 Stars
Winter by Marissa Meyer
Winter (The Lunar Chronicles) - Marissa Meyer

This series has always been surrounded by hype and for the most part I think it deserves it. It is unique, interesting, funny, and just fun to read. I remember I absolutely adored the first three books in the series and I don't ever regret picking up the book. However, I think the way I read Winter and the large gap between books may have caused me to be less invested in the story and to be more critical of it.

I think my one complaint throughout the series was that it was predictable. You can pretty much guess what's going to happen and there was never really any twists that had me shocked. If you can get past the predictability then you'd probably enjoy it, but if you're looking for something to wow you with twists and turns you never saw coming I would skip this series. 

As I said before I think the fact that it has basically been four years since I read the first book in this series caused me to forget why I originally liked the characters and why I was rooting for them. I think that taking so long to read the book too also might have had something to do with it because while I really love Cress and Thorne, I was kind of neutral about Cinder and the rest of the gang. But ven though I was kind of neutral about some of the characters I really enjoyed the intimate scenes between Cinder and Kai, as well as the ones with Scarlet and Wolf and of course I loved the ones with Cress and Thorne. Those passages were heartwarming, cute, and earned a smile or an internal aw.

While I liked some of the more romantic moments, this book tended to drag for me. It probably didn't help that since I'd been reading it for so long I kind of just wanted to finish so I'd get a little frustrated when they would get close to succeeding only to end up basically right back where they started. There was a fair amount of unnecessary events in the book that definitely could have been cut out to make it a bit more fast paced. By the end of it I was mostly like let's just get this thing with Levana over with. Also I kind of thought that their plan to just make Cinder queen wasn't really that great because she really had no idea how to be queen, but my issues with that thankfully got resolved. And what exactly are they planning on doing with the wolf soldiers? Especially if some of them don't want to stop fighting their war.

In the end though, this book was a satisfying conclusion to a series that I have really enjoyed. It's a fun read even though some of the stuff that happens throughout the series and in this book is the very opposite of fun, somehow I still don't think of it as a very serious book probably because of the humor and the romance.

5 Stars
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
The Song of Achilles - Madeline Miller

Like so many of the people that have read this book, I absolutely loved it. Even though I'm not a huge mythology nerd, I found myself immersed in this world and completely in love with the story. I knew enough about Greek mythology to recognize most of the characters and know the important characters' stories, but even without that knowledge I feel like I still would have enjoyed it.

I knew going into this book, that it is primarily a love story. There is war and other elements, but don't be fooled. If you go into this book thinking that it's a fast paced war story, you will be disappointed. The writing is beautiful and poetic, but the pace is extremely slow. It begins with Patroclus as a young boy. Years go by before the start of the Trojan war and I believe they are around 27 when the book ends.


I never read much about Achilles, or if I did I don't remember it, but I love how he was portrayed with all of his qualities, not just as how Patroclus would like to see him. He's proud, egotistical, and lethal, but his softer side comes out when he's with Patroclus and he's shown as gentle and loving. There's more to him than his reputation on the battlefield and I think this book will forever change the way I see him.

No book is without its faults and I can definitely see why some people may not enjoy this book. Patroclus is the narrator, but he spends most of his time describing Achilles and thinking about how great he is once they become friends. It seems like Achilles is everything to Patroclus and for most of the book he is, but by the end he grows to become someone that loves Achilles, but he no longer hero worships him, like he once did.

It's not a surprise that Patroclus and Achilles will die. Near the beginning of the book, Thetis outright tells Patroclus that he's going to die. Later Achilles learns that he will also die, but only after he has killed Hector. This begins a sort of joke between them because Achilles likes to say that Hector has done nothing to him, so he has no reason to kill him. The foreshadowing was very obvious to me (possibly because I knew most of the story anyway), but that didn't take away from the ending at all. It almost made it even more sad because the reader could see all the pieces fall into place for the tragic ending. 

The way all the characters were written felt true to their stories, especially Odysseus. If Madeline Miller ever writes a book about Odysseus, I won't hesitate to read it.

2 Stars
Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
Let's Get Lost - Adi Alsaid

Honestly, I don't see why so many people love this book. Yes there's some intrigue, but it was just so cheesy and cliché. It was very fast paced and I definitely got a John Green vibe from it, but the five different stories failed to deliver. I came out of this book feeling like I could have gone the rest of my life without reading this book and I wouldn't have been any different.


The first part of the book is told from Hudson's point of view. He's a mechanic and his father wants him to become a doctor. He has an interview with a college to get a scholarship so that he can get into a good college. Cue manic pixie dream girl (aka Leila), add some insta love and you can probably guess most of Hudson's story. From the very beginning I knew where this was heading and I kept thinking that maybe there will be a twist, but unfortunately I was wrong.

Bree's story was a little more interesting, but it still didn't do it for me. She's been traveling around by herself since she had a falling out with her sister. Leila meets her randomly and they end up doing all sorts of illegal things. After finding out a little about Bree's past, it also wasn't that hard to see where her story was going.

The next story was probably my least favorite. Elliot is in love with his best friend Maribel and he confessed his love for her, but she rejected him. His solution is to get drunk and that's when Leila runs into him. They spend the entire night trying to figure out how to win Maribel over. While I was reading I kept thinking that it isn't the end of the world if she doesn't like him, so Elliot needs to stop behaving that way.

I think that Sonia was my favorite character, but her story was ridiculous. When she meets Leila, she's trying to get away from Jeremiah for awhile and they end up driving out of Canada. Little does she know, the rings for her dead boyfriend's sister's wedding are in the jacket she took from Jeremiah. When she realizes this, they try to get back into Canada, but Sonia lost her passport and they won't let Leila back in since she just crossed the boarder. The things they do to try and get back would have been funny, if they had been slightly more realistic.


Finally, Leila's reasons for going on this trip are revealed and honestly they weren't that shocking. Definitely sad, but I didn't think that anything good would have caused her to go on this trip. It was very difficult to connect with Leila throughout the stories, mostly because she didn't seem real. She would have this great insight into other people's lives that made her seem way older than she actually was and it wasn't realistic at all because no one her age would have the experience to know how to solve other people's problems or give advice like she did.


I think the fact that each character's story was about 100 pages or less, made it really difficult to develop them and for me to become invested in each one's story. It wasn't a horrible story, but it also wasn't what I was hoping it would be.

5 Stars
Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
Blue Lily, Lily Blue - Maggie Stiefvater

*May contain spoilers from previous books

I swear this series just keeps getting better and better. I've been saying this a lot, but this time I really can't believe that I waited months before getting around to this book. I'm pretty sure I bought this book on the day it was released or close to that and I just started it this month. Once I started reading I didn't want to stop, so when I realized that I was only a few pages from the end I put the book down for a little bit because I didn't want it to be over. It was just that good.

I'm pretty certain that I say this in all of my reviews of Maggie Stiefvater's books, but I need to say it again. Stiefvater has a gift with words. I always look forward to reading her latest books and I doubt I'll ever get tired of her writing style. It's so easy to picture all the scenes in the book and the descriptions don't slow the pace down, it only adds to the story. At some points I went from laughing to intense shipping to wanting to cry. I'm looking at you, Chapter 26.

I love how flushed out all the characters are. The dynamic between Blue, Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and even Noah is just so real and I can't help but love all of them. I love the scenes with Blue and Gansey because they're so cute, but it's also really heartbreaking since he's supposed to die at some point, probably soon. I also really enjoy the scenes with Adam and Ronan. Ronan's wild and completely unpredictable and Adam is this honest, hardworking, reliable guy and I feel like the two characters compliment each other so well because neither of them will ever admit it, but they kind of need each other, especially Ronan.

As expected, the romance has been pushed to the side for most of the book, but in the next book we'll probably get a lot more and I'm really hoping that something will happen between Adam and Ronan. I don't think I'm ready for something more to happen between Blue and Gansey, but at the same time I really want it to happen. I can't wait for the next one and my guess is that I'm going to need a lot of tissues when I read it.

4 Stars
The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
The Mime Order - Samantha Shannon

It has taken me way too long to read the second installment in this series. I could give you so many excuses for why I didn't read it sooner, but no one wants to hear about that. The important thing is that I finished it and I'm ready for the next one.

The Mime Order is vastly different from what I remember of The Bone Season. Not only does it focus on the organized crime groups, but the Rephaim are kind of pushed to the side while Paige is trying to figure out how to make it look like she has returned to her old life. I love the complexity of the syndicate and the relationship between mimelord and mollisher.

I love the dynamic between Jaxon and Paige because there are layers upon layers of history that influence their interactions. How often does that happen in YA? Not often enough in my opinion. Obviously Jaxon isn't the best role model, but he also gave his employees a family, instead of a life of poverty. Paige and all the others have a feeling of loyalty towards their mimelord because unlike all the others he isn't unjustly harsh, instead they have a home and I feel like Jaxon planned for them to feel that way and it really shows that he's actually quite brilliant. There's just so many layers to this character and I love that he's not quite a villain, but he also isn't a hero because that's what real people are like.

The pacing after the murder of an important character in the syndicate slowed down drastically. It felt like nothing was happening from that part of the book until the scrimmage near the very end of the book. It was mostly planning for how to continue the rebellion against Nashira. I wish that the scrimmage was more important part of the book because it was the most exciting to read about and for something so important I feel like it should have played a larger role than it did.

I'm still not entirely sold on Paige and Warden's relationship. Thankfully, their relationship is pushed to the side because there are obviously more pressing matters for Paige to be worrying about other than her love life, especially since having a relationship with Warden is forbidden and could ruin her chances of saving all the voyants.

I had high hopes for this book after really enjoying the first one and while the book has its faults, it was still very enjoyable to read. I will definitely be reading the third book.

*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

3 Stars
The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey
The Infinite Sea (5th Wave) - Rick Yancey

Unfortunately I'm pretty disappointed by  this book, especially after the awesomeness of the first book. It isn't awful, but it also isn't what I was hoping for.


I have discovered that I can't stand Cassie's point of view. I remember liking in in the previous book, but in this one I always got extremely bored and sometimes uncomfortable while reading from her points of view. For a good portion of the book Cassie constantly insists that Evan will find her and that he's not dead, even though there's mounting evidence pointing to his death. She refuses to accept that he's dead and maybe that wouldn't be so bad if I actually liked their relationship. Even in the first book their relationship bugged me. To me Evan feels like a creeper and to be honest I like Ben and Cassie way more than Evan and Cassie because Ben's relationship with Cassie actually develops, while there wasn't much development with her relationship with Evan.


The thing that bothered me the most about Cassie was how she talked about Grace. She doesn't know anything about her and she immediately dislikes her because she's extremely attractive and she used to be with Evan before he knew Cassie. It bugged me so much because Cassie has absolutely no right to say anything derogatory about this person that she doesn't even know.


The character that saved the book is definitely Ringer. I absolutely love her point of view and I am really glad that her story became more important in this book. I also love that the book went more in depth into Poundcake's tragic past and uncovers the reason for why he doesn't talk.


Overall this book isn't what I was hoping for, but I will probably end up reading the next one anyway.

4 Stars
Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan
Unmade - Sarah Rees Brennan

I don't think I could have wished for a more perfect ending to this fantastic series.Unmade has all the humor and fun that the previous books have and the ending is very satisfying.

Like in the previous books, the characters are a major focus. The plot does have more precedence than in Untold, but it is clear that the characters are the most important and where Brennan's talent can shine the most. Every single character, major, minor, or villain is three dimensional. Even Rob shows some development though not nearly as much as everyone else. Holly has show some of the most character development throughout the series. She goes from completely rejecting Angela and the entire idea of being a lesbian, to being confused by her feelings for most of Untold, until she finally seems to accept her sexuality in this book.


The whole relationship with Kami and Jared is still being worked out for the majority of this book and that is understandable. It's obvious that they both love each other, but Kami's link with Ash makes everything awkward for them because he feels everything that Kami feels and always knows what's happening with her. So that makes their relationship practically impossible because it's like they can never be alone and since they both care about Ash, they respect that he probably doesn't want to be a part of their romantic relationship.


The main reason that this book didn't get five stars is because part of the ending seemed a little too convenient. I'll try to avoid spoiling to much, but I think I need to say that not that many major characters die, even though it's clear that their plan should have resulted in at least two more deaths than there actually were. It almost didn't feel right, even though I was happy that they survived.

I'm sad that this is the last book in this series because these characters have really grown on me, but at the same time the ending is tied up nicely and for the most part it ends on a happy note.


4 Stars
Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan
Untold - Sarah Rees Brennan

After the heartbreaking ending of Unspoken I thought that I was ready for Untold over a year after I read the first book. In the beginning of the book I barely remembered what happened in the last book. I only really remembered the major stuff, like Kami breaking the link with Jared, but aside from that I was kind of lost and a little worried that I wouldn't enjoy this book as much as the first one. Thankfully in the beginning there were little reminders of the events that took place in the previous book that were extremely helpful and perfectly timed.


I completely adore the characters and I went through this book with a smile on my face (for the most part) because the characters are extremely witty and sarcastic. Yes there were a few cringe worthy lines because they were really cheesy, but those were overshadowed by the brilliant remarks of Kami and her friends.

The major complaint I have about this book is that it takes forever for the plot to get going. Most of the book focuses on the characters and while I love the characters and how they developed, I feel like there was too much emphasis on them and not enough on the actual plot. Until over halfway through the book, it is mostly Kami calling meetings with her friends where practically nothing gets done combined with an overload of angst. Character development is extremely important to me, but there is also only so much angst I can take and that is why this book did not get five stars.


While there was definitely a lot of teenager angst, it is also kind of understandable. Both Kami and Jared are learning how to deal with losing their link. Neither of them have ever lived without the other constantly in each other's minds. The way Jared tries to explain this link to Ash is perfect:


"Every dark moment you ever had in your life," Jared said. "Every time you were a kid hiding under the covers convinced that nobody in the world existed, that it was just you and the nightmares. Every time you felt alone in a crowd, alone by yourself, forever and essentially alone, and don't pretend there weren't moments like that. Every time you felt worthless, every time you thought there was no purpose to existing, no center to the world and no peace to be found. I never had a single moment like that, I was never lonely a day in my life, until now."


That quote perfectly explains Jared and even Kami's behavior. They now will have these feelings and doubt themselves because they don't have each other to tell them that they shouldn't be doubting themselves and feeling so alone. Most people learn to deal with feeling alone because they have to, but Kami and Jared never learned this essential skill because they didn't have to. There was another quote that I can't find, but I believe Jared said while trying to explain the feeling to Ash and he said that it was like asking a fish about water (or something like that).

There was also a love triangle, but it wasn't all that bad because all the characters involved are three dimensional and not just there to create drama. It's also really obvious how the characters actually feel even if they won't admit it. Probably the best side character is Angela because I feel like she really developed as character. Angela is dealing with her fallout with Holly after she tried to kiss her friend because she thought that Holly also liked her. Throughout the book, Angela is trying to work out how to come out as a lesbian and fix her relationship with Holly. It's a really great addition to the story because the way it is handled is believable.

I already bought the next book, so I'll be starting that as soon as I have the time.

4 Stars
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Eleanor and Park - Rainbow Rowell

It took way longer than it should have for me to finish this book, mostly because I didn't want to finish it. I got so close to the end and then I just put the book down because I felt like I wasn't ready for it to end and I wasn't happy with where the ending seemed to be going.

The two main characters are both outcasts. Eleanor is more of an outcast than Park because when she goes to her new school she has no friends and she's bullied. I've never been the new kid at school, but I bet there are plenty of people out there that will be able to connect with Eleanor and how she feels about being the new kid. Park has some friends and he isn't really picked on, but he still doesn't quite fit in with all the other kids and I guess that's why their relationship works so well.

The main reason that this book didn't get five stars was because of how their relationship started. The first thing that Park says to Eleanor "Jesus-fuck just sit down" and they kind of end up hating each other for the first part of the book, until suddenly they don't. It was a little weird, but once I got past that, I ended up really liking the book.

All the characters were extremely real in every way. Some people might be turned off by the use of vulgar language, but I think it just made the characters that much more realistic. Park and Eleanor both had characteristics that make them stand out among other young adult characters and I'll probably remember them for quite awhile.

I really wish the book hadn't ended where it did because now I can't stop thinking about the ending. I just know it's going to stay with me for awhile and I guess that's the whole point. I'll definitely be reading more of Rainbow Rowell's books in the future.

3 Stars
Review: The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead
The Fiery Heart - Richelle Mead

The Fiery Heart is almost entirely centered around Sydney and Adrian's relationship. So if you're someone that prefers less romance and more plot then this book probably won't be for you. I know it's important to show that their relationship has grown and that Sydney is ready to take it further than she thought she would, but sometimes it just got to be too much. They were constantly in a state of romantic bliss and that's nice for a little while, but an entire book of that just isn't for me. 

The other characters are practically nonexistent for most of the book. Sydney and Adrian aren't the only two characters I like from this series, so I would have liked to see more of Jill and the others. There was an appearance from Rose and Dmitri, but that was also short because obviously this series isn't about them.

The ending was by far the best part because finally something happens to really move the plot forward. It isn't a surprise what happens to Sydney because it is pretty obvious that the author set everything up for this exact ending, but that didn't take too much away from the ending for me.

In the end, I would have liked more action and just a little less romance from this book, but I still enjoyed it.

2 Stars
Review: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
Ruin and Rising - Leigh Bardugo

There are many readers out that there that absolutely adore this series and I guess I must have missed something because throughout the entire series I had this feeling of it's good, but I've read better.

The part that kept me reading was the unique setting and the Darkling. To be completely honest, I hardly cared about the other characters. The quest for the amplifiers was also something that kept me hooked. I remember be completely bored for most of the first book until they were hunting the stag, mostly because I found Alina and her friends unappealing.

The main problem with this book is how the ending was handled. There are numerous hints that the Darkling isn't beyond redemption and that maybe, just maybe Alina can save him, however in this book very little good can be seen in the Darkling. He also hardly ever makes an appearance in the book, it was mostly Alina and her friends traveling around with little reminders that the big bad Darkling is still out there. It made the ending less satisfying and would have probably bothered me a lot more if I had enjoyed the rest of the series more than I did.

Not only was the ending for the Darkling unsatisfying, but all the character development for Alina throughout the entire series is more or less thrown out the window. She goes from an orphan to a powerful Grisha to back where she started.

Nikolai is pretty much the best character in this book and the only one that I actually cared about, but like the Darkling, he doesn't have many lines and is hardly ever present. Originally I shipped Alina and Nikolai, but I realized that she hardly deserves him, especially if she's constantly pining over Mal.

If this series had ended differently, it could have been fantastic. I think even some huge fans of this series will be majorly disappointed, especially if they liked the Darkling.

5 Stars
Review: Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater
Sinner - Maggie Stiefvater

This is the closure I've been waiting for since I read Forever back in 2011. I very clearly remember thinking that I needed there to be some sort of happier ending for Cole and Isabel and now I finally have it.

I absolutely loved returning to this world and I didn't realize how much I missed this series until I started this book. I adored Cole and at first I wasn't sure about Isabel, but as the story progressed I loved both of the characters because they were so real. It's very clear that Cole and Isabel belong together, but also a little difficult to explain why. They have both been through so much together and it's hard to imagine them not ending up together.

Both Isabel and Cole have messed up lives, but together somehow they're so good for each other. I found myself smiling and laughing at all the cute moments and I was also genuinely upset when something happened between them. There is never a dull moment in the book and I really enjoyed how it is from both Cole and Isabel's point of view.

Isabel is a girl that doesn't take shit from anyone. She's cold to everyone, even if she likes the person. Isabel is also incredibly real with real life problems that many people could be dealing with. Had she stayed an ice queen, I probably wouldn't like her as much as I do, but her character went through major changes by the end of the book and she ended up being more likeable.

Cole is by far my favorite character from this series because he's funny and can be quite charming when he isn't being an arrogant asshole. He also went through some dramatic changes throughout the series and I love that even though his life has been difficult, he's still willing to keep going.

I know I've said this before, but Maggie Stiefvater is definitely one of my all time favorite authors. She never fails to deliver believable characters and an intriguing storyline to go with them. I can't wait to read more of her books and I'm so excited for the next book in the Raven Cycle series.

4 Stars
Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver
Panic - Lauren Oliver

I'm familiar with Lauren Oliver's style of writing and I admit to being a huge fan of Before I Fall and a fan of the Delirium series so I already knew that her writing is beautiful and I had high hopes for Panic.

The characters are the main reason that this book was so good. They're realistic and as a teenager myself I really connected with some of their concerns. Heather, one of the main characters, shows tremendous character development throughout the book. She starts off as a heartbroken girl that doesn't believe that she's lovable, so she joins Panic on a whim after her boyfriend breaks up with her. She grew up with a mother that drank too much and to her she doesn't seem to have a future outside of Carp.

The one character that didn't work for me was Dodge. In my opinion, he comes off as sort of creepy. He's hell bent on revenge, so he plays Panic with the hope that he somehow fix what happened in the past. I get why he wants to do what he does, but at the same time I thought he was scary. He's also had a major crush on Nat and he royally messes that up with her by saying some things that would have been best kept to himself. I kind of understand his reasons for everything that he does, but I can't bring myself to like him.

I really liked the idea of Panic. In some reviews I noticed that people were saying that it wasn't realistic, but I never thought that. I don't know if that's because there's an elimination game at my school that's played by the seniors for money, so the idea of a game like Panic wasn't all that foreign (of course the game at my school isn't nearly as intense as Panic). It was interesting to see each of the characters' motives for playing the game.

I really liked the romance, especially when I wasn't sure what was going on with Bishop. Bishop is by far my favorite character from this book and I loved all the scenes with him and Heather because it was easy to tell that there is history between them and that they care about each other even though they don't admit it until much later in the book.

I'm really looking forward to reading more books by Lauren Oliver in the future.