Review: A Survivor’s Struggle and Strength in The Cruel Prince by Holly Black


The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)
Page Count: 370 pages
Publication Date: Jan 2, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Purchased
Goodreads: The Cruel Prince
cw: murder, physical and sexual abuse, suicide


I really forced myself to just to power through this one but dang am I glad I did.

When I was younger, my family would spend our entire summer at the town pool. My brothers would always rush right in, but I’d camp out in my mother’s favorite spot by the picnic tables in the shade. I’d put on my sunscreen, maybe read a little bit of my book (one summer I outlined my entire 40 chapter fanfiction in one afternoon at the pool) and then was I was ready I would get in line at the diving board and dive in literally head first.

That’s literally how I start reading hyped books.

I’m slow you guys. I don’t jump on the bandwagon right away. But eventually, when I get there, I’m obsessed. Continue reading “Review: A Survivor’s Struggle and Strength in The Cruel Prince by Holly Black”


Review: The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak: An Intricately Intentional Novel about Relationships and the Lasting Effects of Genocide

general information


The Bastard of Istanbul

Page Count: 368 pages
Publication Date: January 18, 2007 (Viking)
Age Range: Adult
Source: Library
Goodreads: Bastard of Istanbul
TW: rape, genocide




This entire novel belongs in a museum.

I realized as I’m typing this that it’s going to be physically painful for me to format this like I would for a typical review. This book is too gorgeous and is unworthy for any type of garbage that I’m going to just spurt out of my brain. I also am struggling to stay focused on what are actually important in reviews, like do I really need to summarize this???? Nothing I write will compare!!

The Bastard of Istanbul is a story about women. The numerous types of women is this book is absolutely incredible and I loved how women are depicted as strong, varied, independent, interesting, intelligent, etc. Honestly, this would’ve been the perfect book to write a college paper on; there is just so much rich material. Continue reading “Review: The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak: An Intricately Intentional Novel about Relationships and the Lasting Effects of Genocide”

Review: American Street by Ibi Zoboi

American Street


Page Count: 336 pages
Publication Date: February 14, 2017
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Library
Goodreads: American Street
CW: abusive relationships, gun violence


“On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—the good life. But after leaving Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud, American cousins—Chantal, Donna and Princess—the grittiness of Detroit’s west side, a new school, and a surprising romance, all on her own. Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola must learn that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?” (Source) Continue reading “Review: American Street by Ibi Zoboi”

Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

General Information

The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)
Series: The Diviners, Book 1
Page Count: 608 pages
Audio Length: 18 hours 18 minutes
Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Audiobook
Goodreads: The Diviners


Official Summary

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City–and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult–also known as “The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies.”

When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer–if he doesn’t catch her first. [Source]


There is so much to unpack here that I’m breaking up this review into fictional elements (characters, setting, plot, diversity, audio narration, and of course, the ending) in order to accurately address my feelings towards this brilliant work of art. (I couldn’t decide how to order them so alas they are alphabetical!) Continue reading “Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray”

Review: Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins

General Information

Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love StoriesPage Count: 388 pages
Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Library
Goodreads: Summer Days and Summer Nights


Official Summary

“Maybe it’s the long, lazy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.” (Source)


[I’m setting up this review a little differently than previous ones. I’m going to start by reviewing the collection as a whole, then move onto mini reviews for each piece.] Continue reading “Review: Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories edited by Stephanie Perkins”

Review: Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

General Information

Page Count: 245 pages
Publication Date: October 1st, 1995
Age Range: Young Adult
Source: Library
Goodreads: Like Water for Chocolate


Official Summary

“Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit. The classic love story takes place on the De la Garza ranch, as the tyrannical owner, Mama Elena, chops onions at the kitchen table in her final days of pregnancy. While still in her mother’s womb, her daughter to be weeps so violently she causes an early labor, and little Tita slips out amid the spices and fixings for noodle soup. This early encounter with food soon becomes a way of life, and Tita grows up to be a master chef. She shares special points of her favorite preparations with listeners throughout the story. The Spanish language edition of the best-selling “Like Water For Chocolate” is a remarkable success in its own right.” (Source) Continue reading “Review: Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel”

Review: Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

General Information

Page Count: 336 pages
Publication Date: July 11, 2017
Age Range: Adult
Source: Purchased
Goodreads: Meddling Kids

TW: suicide, sexual assault

Official Summary

“SUMMER 1977. The Blyton Summer Detective Club (of Blyton Hills, a small mining town in Oregon’s Zoinx River Valley) solved their final mystery and unmasked the elusive Sleepy Lake monster—another low-life fortune hunter trying to get his dirty hands on the legendary riches hidden in Deboën Mansion. And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids.

1990. The former detectives have grown up and apart, each haunted by disturbing memories of their final night in the old haunted house. There are too many strange, half-remembered encounters and events that cannot be dismissed or explained away by a guy in a mask. And Andy, the once intrepid tomboy now wanted in two states, is tired of running from her demons. She needs answers. To find them she will need Kerri, the one-time kid genius and budding biologist, now drinking her ghosts away in New York with Tim, an excitable Weimaraner descended from the original canine member of the club. They will also have to get Nate, the horror nerd currently residing in an asylum in Arkham, Massachusetts. Luckily Nate has not lost contact with Peter, the handsome jock turned movie star who was once their team leader . . . which is remarkable, considering Peter has been dead for years.

The time has come to get the team back together, face their fears, and find out what actually happened all those years ago at Sleepy Lake. It’s their only chance to end the nightmares and, perhaps, save the world.

A nostalgic and subversive trip rife with sly nods to H. P. Lovecraft and pop culture, Edgar Cantero’s Meddling Kids is a strikingly original and dazzling reminder of the fun and adventure we can discover at the heart of our favorite stories, no matter how old we get.” (Source) Continue reading “Review: Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero”

Book Review: Camp Rolling Hills by Stacy Davidowitz

General Information

Series: Camp Rolling Hills #1
Page Count: 256 pages
Publication Date: May 10, 2016
Age Range: Middle-Grade
Source: Purchased
Goodreads: Camp Rolling Hills

Official Summary

“Finally, it’s summer! Stephanie—aka Slimey—has been counting the days until she can return to her favorite place in the entire world, Camp Rolling Hills. And this year she’s especially happy to be back—she’ll have eight blissful weeks away from home, where life has been decidedly rocky. New kid Bobby, on the other hand, is pretty sure he’s in for the worst summer of his life. He does not understand his weirdo cabinmates, the group singing, and the unfortunate nicknames (including his: Smelly). But he does understand Slimey, and the two soon fall in crush. This summer might not be so bad after all! But then a fight sets off an epic, campwide, girls-versus-boys prank war. Bunks are raided! Boxer shorts are stolen! And it’s up to Slimey and Smelly to keep the peace.” Continue reading “Book Review: Camp Rolling Hills by Stacy Davidowitz”