Undying (Unearthed #2) – Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Undying (Unearthed #2) – Amie Kaufman & Meagan SpoonerTitle: Undying (Unearthed #2) by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Publishing Info: January 8, 2019 by Disney Hyperion
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Date Completed: December 26, 2018
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Related Posts: Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1), Gemina (The Illuminae Files #1), Unearthed (Unearthed #1), These Broken Stars (These Broken Stars #1), Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3)

Trapped aboard the Undying's ancient spaceship and reeling from what they've learned there, scavenger Mia and academic Jules are plunged into a desperate race to warn their home planet of the danger humanity's greed has unleashed. From the mountains of Spain to the streets of Prague, the sequel to Unearthed is a white-knuckle ride that will send readers hurtling back to earth, and leave them breathless until the last page.

The earth's fate rests in Mia and Jules's hands in the epic conclusion to New York Times best-selling authors Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner's tomb-raiding sci-fi duology.


UNEARTHED was one of my favorite books from 2018 so naturally I was dying to read UNDYING! The way UNEARTHED ended was such a killer and I couldn’t wait to see what happened next!

UNDYING was quite a solid progression in this series and had some great plot-building and overall concepts that continued building the series, but basically until this review was published, I didn’t realize this was the last book and that there were only two. The whole book read like it was going to be the second book in a series and it felt like a good stepping stone. It had some incredibly interesting elements that I was guaranteed to love, and I did, but I almost wished those things that had been revealed as things that had already happened in the past had been a main part of the book, because they were things I love reading about. (That’s a complicated sentence but without spoilers, it’s a little difficult to word, but you get what I mean.)

I loved the space/other planet element of UNEARTHED and it was part of what made me love the book so much with the added bonus of mysterious alien elements and a treasure hunting feel. UNDYING had a much different feel for me, and it wasn’t a bad thing but it didn’t have that same special feel that UNEARTHED did. The more I think about it, the more noticeable it feels so that’s kind of a bummer. I did still enjoy UNDYING and I liked where the series went, but it didn’t feel as magical and as exciting. Mild spoiler (sorry) to say that we make it back to Earth somewhat quickly in the beginning of the book and so that space element is lost and it just wasn’t as thrilling for me in that respect. The change of setting gave the book quite a different feel for me.

This is where my review gets extra complicated — The whole time I was reading this book, I was sure it was the second book in a trilogy. It just sounded and felt like it was and didn’t feel like it was leading towards the end. There was so much that was left to happen and I thought this was another one of those series (*cough* Renegades *cough*) that was advertised as two books but was getting stretched into three. That’s how not-a-last-book this felt. So as I was reading, I had many “second book” feelings. I was expecting a cliffhanger at the end like the crazy way we were left in UNEARTHED and I was disappointed at the lack of cliffhanger (so I guess thank goodness there wasn’t one). There kiiiind of was something that happened that was supposed to be shocking but I also kind of knew it wasn’t going to stick? (Another complicated non-spoilery sentence but you’ll know what I mean if you’ve read it.) Especially me thinking it was only the second book, I just didn’t feel like it was something that would be permanent so I wasn’t too worried about the shocking moment. If I had known better, I would have been a bit more panicked. I also really loved that the other cliffhanger from book one was a reveal about the plot and history and we didn’t have that same sort of feel here. There were a lot of reveals within the book that were cool and surprising, but they were also surrounded by action so it didn’t have time for it to sink in, at least for me.

I have to say, the blow that this was the last book in the series really affected my love for it. I suppose if I had realized that as I was reading, it would have changed much except for my knowledge while I was reading it, and it may have actually taken away more enjoyment from my reading experience because it really didn’t feel like an ending at all. There was so much left to explore and there wasn’t enough time in UNDYING to cover it, or rather, the book could have spent more time with the neat reveals instead of holding them for the end if this was how it was all going to conclude. The more I think about UNDYING, the less excited I feel, sadly. It’s still quite a solid read and very enjoyable, but I just didn’t get that level of excitement or engagement that I was hoping to achieve here.


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Kept Me Hooked On: Sci-fi future. I love seeing how things “may be” in the future and what’s happening on out planet… and others. This series has a great way of making you think about everything and its consequences!
Left Me Wanting More: Space. I just loved the setting of being on another planet in the first book. So much. Being back on Earth here just didn’t have as much of a thrill.

Addiction Rating
Read it

It’s still worth the read but the more I think about it, the more upset I am that this was the ending. The first book was SO GREAT and this felt disappointing.




Passenger (Passenger #1) – Alexandra Bracken

Passenger (Passenger #1) – Alexandra BrackenTitle: Passenger (Passenger #1) by Alexandra Bracken
Publishing Info: January 5, 2016 by Disney Hyperion
Source: Audible
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: January 5, 2018
Related Posts: The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1), Never Fade (The Darkest Minds #2), In the Afterlight (The Darkest Minds #3)

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them—whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home... forever.


I obsess over time travel books so I was really excited to read PASSENGER! I had only read THE DARKEST MINDS before this (not the whole series yet — just the first book) and really loved it and connected with Alexandra Bracken’s writing. I have yet to go back and finish The Darkest Minds trilogy but I was really in the mood for time travel and had this audio from a sale so I wanted to give a whirl!

My first impressions upon finishing (and throughout the book) were that of… disappointment is a harsh word, but I did feel disappointed that I personally didn’t enjoy it like I had hoped. The concept was great but it just didn’t move despite traveling to so many times and places. The characters themselves moved but it didn’t seem like the plot really pushed forward as much as it could have despite having plenty of opportunity to do so. I did like that it wasn’t just different times but also different places. It was fun to travel the world and through time! I could really picture each place and time pretty vividly.

The characters were what really did it for me, though. They just fell super flat for me and I had trouble connecting with any of them and didn’t feel that spark in the romance either. Etta was feisty and strong, but it seemed to be on a surface level and I just didn’t really feel like she was this well-rounded character who felt it. I think of characters like Puck from THE SCORPIO RACES and it just is her entire being and personality to be this feisty, strong, independent character. She feels like a real person and I just never got that from Etta. The romance seemed abrupt, the character personality developments seemed abrupt, and I just didn’t think those character developments really flowed throughout the book. Throw in an evil villain and I just started getting lost. I would have loved a bit more of a grey area, whether by controlling leader or by simply the concept of breaking the time travel rules, and I would have been more interested. It gets a little boring with purely evil characters.

The ending actually got a lot better and things got interesting but I started to feel bored towards the middle. It just kind of felt like so many other plots and characters that I’ve read before and I thought this was going to be something that would really surprise me and sweep me away. Since it’s only a two book series, I’ll likely finish it but I’m just really bummed that I didn’t fall totally in love like I had expected.


Kept Me Hooked On: Unique time travel. I really did like the time travel concept in this book! It wasn’t just travelling through time but also to different places around the world. It was fun to visit so many new and exotic locations and it kind of reminded me of Claudia Grey’s Firebird trilogy, really expanding out of that box that we see so many other books take.
Left Me Wanting More: Character development. I just really didn’t feel it! I didn’t really connect to Etta or Nicholas at all and I was just really hoping for more there.

Addiction Rating
Try it

I seem to be in the minority on this one because I’ve see so many rave reviews! I’m not sure why I didn’t connect the way so many others have but it’s worth a try because you may love it like everyone else!




Time After Time (Time Between Us #2) – Tamara Ireland Stone

Time After Time (Time Between Us #2) – Tamara Ireland StoneTitle: Time After Time (Time Between Us #2) by Tamara Ireland Stone
Publishing Info: October 8, 2013 by Disney Hyperion
Source: Audible
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: November 19, 2016
Related Posts: Time Between Us (Time Between Us #1)

Calling Anna and Bennett’s romance long distance is an understatement: she’s from 1995 Chicago and he’s a time traveler from 2012 San Francisco. The two of them never should have met, but they did. They fell in love, even though they knew they shouldn't. And they found a way to stay together, against all odds.
It’s not a perfect arrangement, though, with Bennett unable to stay in the past for more than brief visits, skipping out on big chunks of his present in order to be with Anna in hers. They each are confident that they’ll find a way to make things work...until Bennett witnesses a single event he never should have seen (and certainly never expected to). Will the decisions he makes from that point on cement a future he doesn't want?
Told from Bennett’s point of view, Time After Time will satisfy readers looking for a fresh, exciting, and beautifully-written love story, both those who are eager to find out what’s next for Time Between Us's Anna and Bennett and those discovering their story for the first time.


I had waiting so long to read TIME AFTER TIME that I think I to a little too disconnected from the series and story line here… I just wasn’t AS interested in this book as I was with the first but it was truly at least three or four years (I think I borrowed someone’s ARC of TIME BETWEEN US) sine I had read the first book so while I really loved TIME BETWEEN US, I didn’t really feel that strong of a connection to TIME AFTER TIME.

That being said, the story was still a lot of fun! I really enjoy Bennett’s POV and I always enjoy a good male POV because I read so many female ones in YA. It’s an interesting change of pace and sometimes it’s nice hear things from the flip side. I couldn’t remember if Anna had a POV in TIME BETWEEN US while I was reading TIME AFTER TIME (she didn’t) but either way, Bennett’s POV was a great and refreshing voice from what I had been reading recently.

I always like the time travel aspect of a story and this was no different. I liked Bennett’s abilities, the rules, and consequences of his traveling. There were even more rules and details in this book and I really enjoyed that there were a few more rules to his ability… But I also didn’t really know who invented these rules. I felt like since it was science-fiction that I was looking for more reason as to why he had this ability but I guess I don’t really need that because I never question it in a fantasy setting!

I really did like the ending a lot! It was a nice way to close everything off because I was wondering what was going to happen there. I was going back and forth for a while thinking I knew what was going to happen and then ended up wondering again. I also think I just read this at a hard point in time because I wasn’t able to focus as much BUT that was also part of the reason why I wanted to read it. I knew it would be nice going back to a series I had already started and a solid romance was what I wanted!


Kept Me Hooked On: Time Travel Romance. I loved how this romance spanned multiple years… through time! It was really neat to see these two characters connect over different time spans.
Left Me Wanting More: Connection. I needed to do my own time traveling here because I just left in between book one and book two!

Addiction Rating
Read it!

This is such an enjoyable duology! I really enjoyed both books — I just wish I hadn’t left so much time in between each one!



(Click the cover to see my review!)


Blog Tour: The Square Root of Summer | Time Capsule

Square Root Summer Blog Tour Banner

Welcome to the blog tour for
THE SQUARE ROOT OF SUMMER by Harriet Reuter Hapgood!

I love this fun twist on a blog tour! In celebration of the release of THE SQUARE ROOT OF SUMMER, I’m on the massive blog tour with a time capsule-themed post! The lovely folks at Macmillan asked us to answer some questions about ourselves back in March and then to answer them again in May to see how much we’ve changed just over the past few months and of course I was up for the challenge!

Before we jump into the tour, let’s take a second to check out some details about the book:

Blog Tour: The Square Root of Summer | Time CapsuleTitle: The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood
Publishing Info: May 3, 2016 by Macmillan
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: April 12, 2016

Gottie H. Oppenheimer is losing time. Literally. When the fabric of the universe around her seaside town begins to fray, she's hurtled through wormholes to her past:
To last summer, when her grandfather Grey died. To the afternoon she fell in love with Jason, who wouldn't even hold her hand at the funeral. To the day her best friend Thomas moved away and left her behind with a scar on her hand and a black hole in her memory.
Although Grey is still gone, Jason and Thomas are back, and Gottie's past, present, and future are about to collide—and someone's heart is about to be broken.


As I answered these questions, I realized exactly how boring/unchanging of a person I am! I like to keep things fairly steady so my answers didn’t really change much from February until May in the same calendar year. I tried to come up with something a little different for each question but some things just don’t change! 🙂

What Brings You The Most Joy In Life?

  • Feb/March 2016: My husband, reading/blogging, connecting with friends, traveling
  • May 2016: All of the above plus making candles, quiet moments, completing projects

What Are You Reading?

    • Feb/March 2016: I just finished The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye and I’m in the middle of the audiobook of Calamity by Brandon Sanderson!
    • May 2016: The Raven King! Omggg I’m not ready for this to end! (I actually finished over the weekend! Now I’m reading Love, Lies and Spies and The Passion of Dolssa)

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What Is Something  You’re Really Looking Forward To?

    • Feb/March 2016: BEA 2016!
    • May 2016: Still BEA but it’s ALMOST HERE NOW. Hopefully planning a vacation in the summer or a few quick weekend trips! We’ve been talking about maybe jetting up to Minneapolis for a weekend and taking a quick little vacation. Also really looking forward to the Fierce Reads event on 5/6 and Sarah J. Maas on 5/14!! 

What Is One Thing That’s Worrying You?

    • Feb/March 2016: Health, new businesses, finding time to clean the house and do everything
    • May 2016: Oh gosh, still all of those. Still working on finding time to clean the house!! We just have to get better at doing things right away instead of doing the fun things first. Health issues/concerns are totally the worst thing ever but I think our lives are finally starting to get a little bit back to normal. Now I need to worry about getting the house clean before Alyssa and Amy are here next week for BEA!!! (It’s a disaster haha!) 

What Is Something That You Always Have With You?

    • Feb/March 2016: Phone, a book, purse, lotion
    • May 2016: Ummm the same? My purse pretty much holds all of my essentials! I truly never go anywhere without a book though. Even if I only have my phone, I always have my Kindle app and audiobooks loaded on there!! 

What Is Something That You Wish You Could Change?

    • Feb/March 2016: Easier aspects in our jobs, cold weather!
    • May 2016: The job things have kind of resolved themselves so that was wonderful! I mean things could always change moving forward but one problem at a time, right? 😉 And bye bye cold weather! It’s a little chilly today but we’ve had a couple days of 70s and 80s!

So that probably wasn’t the most exciting time capsule but I will share a little time capsule gem of my own… some old blog graphics! It’s embarrassing and yet fun to see how much they’ve changed over the years!

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Future Shock – Elizabeth Briggs

Future Shock – Elizabeth BriggsTitle: Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs
Publishing Info: April 1, 2016 by Albert Whitman & Company
Source: Edelweiss
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Time Travel
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: March 3, 2016

Elena Martinez has hidden her eidetic memory all her life--or so she thinks. When powerful tech giant Aether Corporation selects her for a top-secret project, she can't say no. All she has to do is participate in a trip to the future to bring back data, and she'll be set for life.
Elena joins a team of four other teens with special skills, including Adam, a science prodigy with his own reason for being there. But when the time travelers arrive in the future, something goes wrong and they break the only rule they were given: do not look into their own fates.
Now they have twenty-four hours to get back to the present and find a way to stop a seemingly inevitable future from unfolding. With time running out and deadly secrets uncovered, Elena must use her eidetic memory, street smarts, and a growing trust in Adam to save her new friends and herself.


I’m always so impressed with the different ways authors explain how time travel is possible in their stories and I’m constantly floored by the way science and fiction blend. FUTURE SHOCK ended up not really working for me on that level so it was a hard adjustment to make while reading.

As a whole, this book was… okay for me. The very first chapter started out great and the book really didn’t waste any time getting into the meat of the story. That’s usually something I appreciate because it’s hard when I get halfway through a book to feel a chance in pacing or action, but with FUTURE SHOCK, I really felt like things moved a little too fast. There didn’t seem to be much explanation at all about how the time travel worked and yes, the teens involved in this project were in great need of the money that they were offered in exchange for participating but I feel like someone should have asked a few more questions before BAM, kids in the future. It was a little hard to make such a quick leap from not even knowing time travel was possible to fully accepting and not even needing answers before agreeing to be shot ahead in time.
Aside from the characters getting to know more about the process, I personally also wanted to know so much more. How was it possible? Who designed the technology? What’s the science behind it? I felt like the book glossed over the explanation and it was mentioned briefly instead of really being a solid part of groundwork that made up the book.

FUTURE SHOCK just felt a little inside the box for me. The time travel aspect felt like something I’ve read so many times before and there wasn’t too much that made this book really stand apart from the rest. There were a few twists that kept me reading and there were a couple dynamic characters (although two of the secondary characters felt exactly the same to me) but it just felt like it fit into too many different molds and didn’t really stand out as something unique and noteworthy. I waffled back and forth for a while, wondering if I really wanted to continue and I did something I NEVER do — I skipped to the end to see if it was worth reading. I actually did like the little twist that I discovered (YES, I spoiled the book for myself. Let’s all gasp!) so I kept on reading but I still didn’t find myself as engaged as I had hoped. Once the book wrapped up, I was still happy with the twist but I still found myself feeling less than impressed.

Don’t get me wrong — FUTURE SHOCK wasn’t a bad book. I just didn’t feel like it stood out at all for me. It was a solid, middle-of-the-road read but not one I’d really lean towards recommending. There are just so many more impressive and creative time travel or alternate universe stories that I would recommend first. It was nice to read a stand alone though because so often time travel books turn into series so it was great to read it and have the full story.


“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

future shock GR updates



Kept Me Hooked On: Time travel. I always love a good time travel and it’s always so interesting to see how the author spins their own story.
Left Me Wanting More: Originality. 30 years into the future? I was totally getting a Back to the Future Part II vibe… more than once. It just felt a little too like so many other time travel stories I’ve read before.

Addiction Rating
Get a second opinion

Some seemed to enjoy this but this wouldn’t be one I’d jump to recommend. I’d say check out some reviews and see what you might like/dislike and make a decision from there!



(Click the cover to see my review!)


Blog Tour: The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry | Playlist

Blog Tour: The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry | Playlist

Welcome to the blog tour for
by Emily Henry!

I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour today for THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD by Emily Henry! I finished the book a couple weeks ago and I am still so in love with everything about it. This was truly a special book and I’m truly thankful that I get to be a part of the blog tour too! Today’s post features a playlist of songs that Emily Henry has selected for one of the main characters and male lead Beau and I have to tell you… they’re absolutely perfect!

Before we jump into the tour, let’s take a second to check out some details about the book:

Blog Tour: The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry | PlaylistTitle: The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry
Publishing Info: January 26, 2016 by Penguin
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult, Parallel Universe, Time Travel, Science Fiction
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: January 17, 2016
Related Posts: The Love That Split the World

Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.
Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start... until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.
That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.
Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.


For the tour today, Emily Henry put together a playlist for Beau! I absolutely adore it and love her selections. Take it away, Emily!  

When I made a playlist for Natalie, earlier, I made the decision to focus the tracks on things I thought she would listen to. Beau’s playlist is a little bit different. Some I think he would listen to, but others just capture him, I think. Odds are he’d listen to a lot more country I’m not familiar with or old rock I don’t like enough to know about but I also think he’d keep some of the classics close to his heart. I actually asked my husband to help me with this, and we jointly decided that even though Beau has a complex relationship with his father, a lot of the music Beau would listen to would’ve come from his dad. (Sidenote: while we were making this, my husband asked me if Beau likes Elvis and without missing a beat, I said, “No, but his grandma does, and he calls her ‘granny.’” So there’s that.)  

See the full playlist on YouTube!

  1. Glenn Campbell – Gentle on My Mind: This classic is just so fitting for Beau and what he wants out of life. Natalie is ambitious and driven and searching, but Beau’s got a simpler idea of happiness and contentment, which this song captures well.
  2. Neil Young – Heart of Gold: I just came up with an elaborate backstory for why this song matters to Beau. This is 100% not in the book, but I made him up, so I’m allowed to do this. Growing up, Beau really looked up to his dad’s older brother, who was just sort of a kind, laid-back dude who travelled a lot with weird, random jobs, but died when Beau was thirteen or fourteen. At his funeral, a friend of his played and sung a not-great cover of this song, and it’s stuck in Beau’s heart since. He wants to be the kind of man his uncle was.
  3. Charlie Feathers – Can’t Hardly Stand It: I love the drawl of this song. It’s perfect dive-bar rockabilly but also super classic. I mostly like to imagine this playing on the jukebox wherever Beau and his brother are playing pool. As a sidenote, let’s please make sure we never get rid of jukeboxes.  
  4. Ryan Adams – The Shadowlands: I don’t know whether Beau would listen to Ryan Adams. Natalie and Megan would listen to Ryan Adams and be like, “Ughhh, this is just like Beau!” and then Beau would just smile and think it was charming but have no intention of ever listening to Ryan Adams. HOWEVER, this song makes me think of him. He’s had a pretty rough life. If Natalie were PMSing and she heard this, she’d start crying immediately. Wow, it’s so sad and beautiful.
  5. Rolling Stones – Play with Fire: Mostly needed something upbeat, and I love this song. But Beau is a liiiiitle “dangerous” (heavy on the air quotes) for a girl like Natalie. I also do think Beau likes the Rolling Stones. (I bet his dad would listen to them while sitting in a folding chair in the garage, drinking beer and drumming on his belly, before he got sober.) 
  6. Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Hey hey, My My (Into the Black): I imagine he listens to this while he’s working on his car. That’s incredibly vague because I know nothing about cars, but BEAU does, and he definitely listens to this while he’s fixing them.
  7. George Harrison – I Live For You: Frankly, I do not think Beau cares about the Beatles. I think if you asked him what he thought about them, he’d be like, “They’re all raht.” And you’d be like, “Did you hear me? Because I said The Beatles. Arguably the most significant band of all time.” And he’d be like, “I like George all raht.” Because George was the most country. Plus this song relates to Beau’s idea of a good life. Beautiful place, doing things you love, with a person you’d do anything for. 
  8. Tom Waits – In Between Love: Natalie would totally show Beau Tom Waits, expecting him to love it, and then Beau would make fun of Tom Waits’s voice. He’d be like, “This guy sounds like he’s been eating lit cigarettes.” Nat would get mad and Beau would admit he liked it. I honestly don’t know if he’d be lying or not. I bet it would grow on him.
  9. Bob Seger – Night Moves: Beau’s dad probably played this song while they drove around in his truck when Beau was little. Beau hated it then but loves to listen to listen to it while he drives his truck around  now, not that he’d ever tell his dad. 
  10. Big Star – Ballad of El Goodo: This is so fitting for Beau and his life. It’s such perfect “summer daytime driving with the windows-down” music, and that’s Beau’s favorite kind.
  11. Willie Nelson – Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground: I’d guess Beau’s a big Willie Nelson fan. I certainly HOPE he is, and that he has a Willie Nelson T-shirt, although I don’t know where he’d get it. He definitely doesn’t buy clothes. Maybe his brother bought it and Beau just started wearing it. I think he “gets” most of his clothes from the floor and doesn’t question where they came from. All that to say, he loves Willie Nelson and this song reminds him of Nat, for sure. 
  12. Joe Cocker – Something: See “I Live For You” for a long explanation on Beau’s opinions on the Beatles. BUT, once you put a Beatles song in Joe Cocker’s voice, everything changes. I’m sure he’d love this cover, and it would remind him of Natalie.
  13. Johnny Cash – Hurt: Beau’s more likely to listen to classic Johnny Cash than this Nine Inch Nails cover, but I had to use it because it’s so powerful and ultimately lines up too perfectly with Beau’s feelings about himself, Nat, and the world. 
  14. Glen Campbell – I’m Not Gonna Miss You: This song. Hnnnnnnnngh. It’s one of the saddest things I’ve ever heard. Glen Campbell’s team helped him record this while his Alzheimer’s was aggressively deteriorating his memory. It’s about how, when he forgets the people who love him, he won’t be sad. He won’t know what he’s missing. Nat and Beau have gone eighteen years not knowing each other. They wouldn’t have ever had to cross paths, and then this crazy thing happens and they’re thrown together. Two people who shouldn’t ever have met fall in love and it has this bigger-than-time effect. It leaves them feeling like they’ve been missing one another all along. They weren’t, but now that they have one another–and are afraid of losing that–they know what they were missing.
  15. Claude Debussy – Clair De Lune: Beau is a pianist, and while I don’t think he spends much time listening to classical music, I imagine he plays somewhat like this: sparse, beautiful, delicate songs. 
  16. Rolling Stones – Wild Horses: This song just makes me cry immediately, and I’m not sure why. I don’t think Beau knows why it makes him feel something either (if I don’t, he stands no chance, being the sort of person who isn’t concerned with these questions). So much of Beau and the book are wrapped up in the song–thoughts about freedom and love, holding on and letting go, and ultimately about clinging to hope. I don’t want to give too much away, but I feel like this is the song to listen to when you finish the book.

Thanks, Emily! This playlist is stunning and absolutely perfect. Gahhh, my feels just thinking about these songs in relation to Beau! It kills me (in a good way)! 

Have you read The Love That Split the World yet? What songs would you choose for Beau? Aren’t Emily Henry’s selections just perfect!?

Don’t miss the rest of The Love That Split the World blog tour stops! The Young Folks 1/18 – Interview Reading Teen 1/19 – Guest post 1 It Starts at Midnight 1/20 – Top 10 list The Hollow Cupboards 1/21 – Book soundtrack
Http:// Owl Always Be Reading 1/22 – Review & giveaway Fiction Fare 1/25 – Guest post 2 Buttermybooks 1/26 – Interview The Hardcover Lover 1/27 – 25 Random Things About Me Effortlessly Reading 1/28 – Interview
Http:// A Midsummer Night’s Read 1/29 – Review & giveaway The Forest of Words and Pages 2/1 – Character playlist Love is not a triangle 2/2 – Would You Rather? The Book Addict’s Guide 2/3 – Character playlist 2 Once Upon a Twilight 2/4 – Dreamcasting post MuggleNet 2/5 – Review & giveaway

The Love That Split the World – Emily Henry

The Love That Split the World – Emily HenryTitle: The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry
Publishing Info: January 26, 2016 by Penguin
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Science Fiction, Time Travel, Parallel Universe
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: January 17, 2016

Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves.
Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start…until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.
That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.
Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.


As soon as I started reading, I knew that THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD was a special book. Emily Henry’s writing immediately hooked me and I was instantly transported into Natalie’s world, fully involved in her story. Even after thirty pages, I knew that I would fall in love with this book. With moments that reminded me of childhood favorite WALK TWO MOONS, I was immediately invested (in so many ways, really) and this turned out to be a very special read for me.

At first, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD. From the synopsis, it sounded like a book about alternate universes but I couldn’t tell if it was going to be more contemporary, more science-fiction, or none of the above. I ended up with a lot of contemporary romance feelings as I read about the epic romance between Natalie and Beau and I easily got swept up in their whirlwind romance. I absolutely loved that there was a sense that these two simply belonged together. There are books that proclaim destiny and connections but Emily Henry’s writing truly convinced me that these two souls were irrevocably connected, which left me feeling quite impressed! The way the story was written and how everything fell into place really had me feeling that connection instead of just being told it was there. I become utterly involved in Natalie and Beau’s story and couldn’t tear my eyes away from the page!

The characters were wonderfully developed! Each character had many layers and each of their relationships did as well. Of course I can sing praises of the romance but really one of my favorite relationships in the book was Natalie’s friendship with Megan. Their friendship really reminded me of my own with my best friends and it just felt so genuine and true. It was an easy friendship and the two girls also had an incredibly strong bond, able to talk about anything and everything, including some humor that you only experience with a best friend. I instantly connected with their friendship and it really developed their characters even more!
I was also pleased to see the relationship that Natalie had with her family. Being adopted, she does struggle at times to feel like she fits in, especially when her siblings are actually biological children, but they do have a special familial bond that also just felt so genuine. I could really feel the hesitation as Natalie tries to find out if and where she fits in but she still has a strong love for every person in her family.

Natalie’s self-discovery was also incredibly so well-done. Having her hallucinations/visions sets her apart even more, on top of the fact that she’s adopted and looks nothing like her family (Natalie being of Native American heritage and her family having pale skin and red hair). She struggles to find out where exactly she belongs and as high school ends, the crisis escalates even further. It was wonderfully subtle and obvious all at the same time and I really felt for Natalie as she tried to figure out exactly who she was and where she fit in. I think we’ve all been through a similar phase but Natalie faces much bigger questions, especially as her life comes to a major crossroads with her latest “visitation” from a wise figure that she calls Grandmother.

As much as the book was partially a love story, it was also quite magical. I loved the Native American traditions and folklore that really set the tone of the novel and tied into Natalie’s current timeline. It was just wonderful to read each story and connect it to a specific moment, even if I couldn’t make that connection until later on in the book. Natalie learns and and repeats creation myths, tradition origins, and life lessons through each story and I really loved experiencing and learning about each one as I read. I also felt like it offered a little explanation and left clues for what was happening to Natalie and why.

I do want to touch on large concept of the book involving the concept of parallel universes and the sci-fi/magical aspect but I don’t want to give anything away so all I will really say about that is how much I loved it and how well everything connected. Natalie, Beau, and the readers are really trying to figure out throughout the book why their surroundings keep changing, why their friends are acting differently, and what the deal is with what is happening to them. It was an incredible journey and discovery to witness so I’ll leave all of the details inside the pages of the book but I was so impressed with the way it was done, including all of the reveals. The tension and suspense really picks up towards the end and I had a few rushes of emotion as things finally took shape and started to reveal themselves. It felt like a wonderful take on a commonly used concept and I just really loved how original it all felt!

Oh wow, clearly I can gush for days on end about this book but when it comes down to it, I can sum it up by repeating how special this book really was. I had feelings on top of feelings with a dash of amazement and a thirst for knowledge. THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD was so incredibly well-written and I think it’ll appeal to such a wide audience, spanning genres and age ranges alike. Don’t miss this book, friends! It’s a keeper.

“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

the love that split the world gr update


Natalie // Character Obsessions: A mission, fitting in, friendship, Beau, Brown. 
I just adored Natalie. She was a wonderful mix of so many things and just felt so real. I also really adored her sense of humor. It was a humor that I feel like I use a lot but doesn’t come across well in books but this just made her even more genuine for me. She was such a wonderful character and really a delight to get to know.
Beau // Character Obsessions: Friendship, football, crossing, Natalie. 
Beau = Tim Riggins. It took me a while to realize this but once I did I was like, “Ohhhh” and then fell even more in love. (He’s not really Tim Riggins but totally reminded me of him.) I just loved how he and Natalie came together and give me that dark, brooding type in a book any day!


Kept Me Hooked On: Contemporary/Sci-fi mix. I think the last book that really did this for me was TIME BETWEEN US by Tamara Ireland Stone. The romance and connection between the two characters was so important that there was a lot of love story and a lot of feelings combined with a sci-fi concept.
Left Me Wanting More: Ending. This wasn’t really an open ending but I was just enjoying the book so much that I wanted it to keep going! I could have used a couple more paragraphs or even a couple more sentences but I understood the ending just the same.

Addiction Rating
Buy it!

Oh, friends. This book was so special for me. I think so many readers will love it no matter their go-to genre or age range. It’s so easy to relate on a personal level with Natalie and the “other world” concept was done so well.



(Click the cover to see my review!)


Once Upon a Kiss – Robin Palmer

Today’s review is a little something different to bring back some 80s nostalgia! Penguin Teen invited me to be a part of a really fun review campaign in which reviewers of ONCE UPON A KISS add a little 80s and 90s flair to their review posts! Naturally, I immediately said yes –because how much fun is that? — so today’s review will have a little extra blast from the past for you! Enjoy!

Once Upon a Kiss – Robin PalmerTitle: Once Upon a Kiss by Robin Palmer
Publishing Info: January 5, 2016 by Penguin
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Alternate Reality, Time Travel
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: January 8, 2016

It's 1986 and sixteen-year-old Zoe Brenner's world revolves around Depeche Mode, Judd Nelson, exercise-obsessed parents, and her best friend Jonah. Then one day, in a freak Fun-Dip choking accident, Zoe falls unconscious, and awakes in the year 2016. So much has changed, and Zoe needs Jonah to help her make sense of it all. But in this life, Zoe is the most popular girl in school, and she soon realizes this Zoe doesn't associate with nerds like Jonah. As Zoe juggles new technology, attempts to hide her enthusiasm for poet blouses, and manages to keep her super jock boyfriend at bay, she tries to rekindle her friendship with Jonah and use her popularity for a good cause. Will she ever get back to 1986? And more importantly, does she want to?


ONCE UPON A KISS was exactly what I thought it would be — adore, cute, and just a feel-good book! I’d say it’s 13 Going on 30 meets Mean Girls, except instead of simply moving forward into her own future like Jenna does in 13 Going on 30, Zoe Brenner ends up in an alternate present-day life where all of her friends and family are the same but 2016 is their reality instead of 1986. The concept was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed this new take on time travel and alternate realities where the two really end up blending!

I really enjoyed how ONCE UPON A KISS was a blend of contemporary with a little bit of science-fiction! I wouldn’t necessarily call it a time travel book but what happened to Zoe really did span the boundaries of time and also ended up skewing into an alternate reality where her life in 1986 got shifted to what life would be like at the same age, in the same house, with the same people but all in 2016. It was really fun to see how her entire life would have shifted if she was living the same teenage years in 2016 instead of 1986 and how her family was adjusted to that change as well!

The book was definitely adorable but at times actually a bit too cutesy for me. I really loved the switch from 1986 to 2016 and it’s always interesting and fun to see how the author adjusts each person’s life from the day to day routines in 1986 and how much different those same lives would be in 2016. It was highly entertaining to watch the same lifestyles adapt to modern day, especially Zoe’s parents and their work out videos! They were a bit silly and over the top sometimes but it was also hilarious to see the new name drops of celebrities that helped them endorse and participate in their work out routines!

I’ll admit that the use of modern-day jargon was a bit too much for me at times. I think I was more okay with it when they were being silly with overuse of 80s jargon because it amped up the 80s atmosphere (and hey, I was a baby in the 80s so I can’t tell you how many of these words were actually used and how often) but the 2016 catch phrases, abbreviations, and terms got to be a bit too much for me at times. People don’t really use that many buzz words in everyday speech (well, if they do, they’re not people I know) and the 2016 vocabulary felt a bit like overkill for me sometimes… BUT that also amps up the 2016 feel for Zoe and allows room for laughs as she tries to figure out what the heck these people are talking about! It was one of those moments where it was definitely cute but maybe went a bit too far for my personal taste.

Right off the bat, I was shipping Zoe with her best friend Jonah. If you know my reading tastes at all, you know that I adore best friend to romance relationships so even when I wasn’t sure if that was the idea of the book, I was already on board with it when the book first took off! I totally felt for Zoe when she ends up in 2016-life and a best friend who doesn’t even really know this new version of her. I thought the friendships and romances throughout the whole book were really well done! I enjoyed the romantic aspects of the book as well as the various friendships that Zoe both maintains and strives to acquire. She really worked hard to be a good person, include everyone that she could, and went out of her way to befriend others!

ONCE UPON A KISS was definitely a quick, fun, and light book! It bordered a bit more on the fluffy side for me but it was perfect timing because that was exactly what I needed! I wished there was a bit more to the plot development and I could have used a bit more possible explanation why Zoe was transported to the future and why her life there was different, but I did love the character development and how everything really varied from 1986 to 2016. I had a great time reading the book and it was definitely a delight!

“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

once upon a kiss gr updates


Zoe // Character Obsessions: Everyone getting along, Jonah, getting back to the past. 
Zoe was a really fun character! She was just so enjoyable to get to know and I really loved how positive she was. She really took that whole “new world” thing as easily as she could and I always admired how much she really just wanted equality for everyone. I wish I had known more about why the switch from 1986 to 2016 happened but she seemed to adapt really well!


Kept Me Hooked On: Alternate realities. I really liked this take on an alternate reality! Instead of a parallel universe or straight time travel, Zoe ended up being in 2016 instead of 1986 that was an alternate reality of her life and not just an alternate universe or possibly future.
Left Me Wanting More: Explanation. I think the thing I was really missing from the book was why Zoe was transported to 2016. I suppose there doesn’t have to be a reason but it’s always nice!

Addiction Rating
Try it

I wasn’t totally wowed but it was such a cute book. It was definitely on the lighter side for me but a fun take on an alternate reality and definitely adorable.



(Click the cover to see my review!)



In honor of ONCE UPON A KISS, I’m also sharing some of my favorite 90s nostalgia! Since I was barely born in the 80s (’87 baby!), all of my childhood memories are from the 90s so we’re bringing back some of the most awesome things from the decade!

Honestly, Buzzfeed summed up my 90s childhood pretty well with 45 Things From Your 90s Childhood You Probably Forgot About (YES to literally everything on this list) but there were so many trends at my school that didn’t make the list! Some of my other favorite things that were big when I was a kid were pogs, keychains for your backpack and/or purse (like, as many as you could possibly find. From Claire’s, of course), mood rings, and for some reason it was a thing to wear tall white socks (but I think that was just a thing at my school because I haven’t found other people who did this)! I also loved rocking my fake work boots, which for some reason was also a thing. Can’t forget that light green eye shadow and buying/gifting tons of lotion from Bath and Body Works!


Were you an 80s or a 90s kid? What were you favorite items/trends??

10 Things I Felt About This Book | Loop by Karen Akins

10 Things I Felt About This Book is a mini-review feature to give you a quick run-down of a book without those long, lengthy paragraphs. It’s designed to give you a concise impression without bogging you down and a way to keep reviews creative!

10 Things I Felt About This Book | Loop by Karen AkinsTitle: Loop (Loop #1) by Karen Akins
Publishing Info: March 24, 2015 by Macmillan, St. Martin's Press
Genres: Science Fiction, Time Travel, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: February 28, 2015

    At a school where Quantum Paradox 101 is a required course and history field trips are literal, sixteen year-old time traveler Bree Bennis excels…at screwing up.
After Bree botches a solo midterm to the 21st century by accidentally taking a boy hostage (a teensy snafu), she stands to lose her scholarship. But when Bree sneaks back to talk the kid into keeping his yap shut, she doesn’t go back far enough. The boy, Finn, now three years older and hot as a solar flare, is convinced he’s in love with Bree, or rather, a future version of her that doesn’t think he’s a complete pain in the arse. To make matters worse, she inadvertently transports him back to the 23rd century with her.
Once home, Bree discovers that a recent rash of accidents at her school are anything but accidental. Someone is attacking time travelers. As Bree and her temporal tagalong uncover seemingly unconnected clues—a broken bracelet, a missing data file, the art heist of the millennium—that lead to the person responsible, she alone has the knowledge to piece the puzzle together. Knowledge only one other person has. Her future self.
But when those closest to her become the next victims, Bree realizes the attacker is willing to do anything to stop her. In the past, present, or future.


  • EXCITED. I love a good time travel book and this one somehow wasn’t even on my radar until Andi of Andi’s ABCs recommended it to me! I saw her pushing it and knew it was my kind of book.
  • DELIGHTED. As soon as I started reading, I knew it was true. This was totally a “me” book! Time travel + a feisty main character? Yes, please!
  • FRIENDLY. I loved the characters in this book and I felt like I got along really well with Bree and her friends! It’s always so great when I find characters that I instantly want to be friends with.
  • CURIOUS. The wheels were turning! The scene was set where Bree first met Finn but I was so confused how this all played out since her first encounter was when he was a bit younger than her.
  • IMPRESSED. I knew I should trust in Karen Akins and… she totally nailed it. The time travel story line always loops (Ha. Hahaha. Sorry. Bad pun.) and I LOVED how it folded on top of itself, looped back around, and always had more clues and insight coming!
  • FEELSY. I absolutely, positively developed some serious Bree and Finn feels. I loved Bree’s attitude and I loved Finn’s reactions to her. They were seriously adorable together and gahhh even thinking about them while I’m writing up my thoughts is giving me all the butterflies again!
  • NERVOUS. These kids also made me pretty nervous. I mean, of course you hope (and assume) that things will come together, but what if they don’t? What if they get themselves into or remain in serious trouble? It was a good kind of nervous that kept the plot going!
  • HOOKED. I really didn’t want to put the book down. LOOP is what one might call “sci-fi lite”. I actually haven’t looked up the “technical” definition of sci-fi lite but to me it means that things don’t get insanely technical and the overall feel is a bit lighter in the sense that a wider audience can appreciate the book and not just hardcore sci-fi fans. This can also be a double meaning for LOOP because I loved the humor throughout the book as well!
  • SLEUTHY. There were some mysteries in this book that NEEDED solving. One was actually kind of obvious for me (there were some fun clues along the way) and others totally surprised me but I was so anxious to solve them all!
  • HAPPY. LOOP just really left me with an overall great feeling! It easily became a favorite and although I didn’t give it five full stars, the amazing feelings it left me with easily bumped it up to a favorite in my book!


“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!



Kept Me Hooked On: Time Travel. I always love some good time travel but it’s interesting to see the different ways that authors choose to have it all work out! I love seeing the different rules in each book and how everything works. It just fascinates me!
Left Me Wanting More: Twists? I’m really not sure what I would say is “missing” from LOOP because I just loved it overall but there was something holding me back from giving it a big old five-star rating. There was one twist that I was able to guess and it was neat and yet cheesy all at the same time haha! Definitely a lot of fun but I also think a few more big surprises would have totally knocked me over.

Addiction Rating
Read it!

LOOP was SO much fun! I don’t know why it took me so long to get my feelings out into a review but now that I have, I feel even more anxious to read TWIST and finish the pair!



(Click the cover to see my review!)


Mini-Review: Firstborn | DNF Report: Proof of Forever, An Ember in the Ashes, The Eye of the World

It’s time again for a collection of mini-reviews and reports with feedback on a few things that I’ve read recently (or started reading and chose not to finish)!

Mini-Review: Firstborn by Brandon Sanderson | DNF Report: Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer
DNF Report: An Amber in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir | DNF Report: The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

Mini-Review: Firstborn | DNF Report: Proof of Forever, An Ember in the Ashes, The Eye of the WorldTitle: Firstborn by Brandon Sanderson
Publishing Info: July 20, 2010 by Tor Books
Source: Read for free on
Genres: Adult, Science Fiction
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: April 29, 2015
Related Posts: Mistborn: The Final Empire (Mistborn #1), The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2), The Hero of Ages (Mistborn #3), The Alloy of Law (Mistborn #4), Legion (Legion #1) & Legion: Skin Deep (Legion #2), , The Emperor's Soul, The Eleventh Metal (Mistborn #0.5), Shadows of Self (Mistborn #5), The Bands of Mourning (Mistborn #6), Calamity (The Reckoners #3), , Perfect State, Mistborn: Secret History (Mistborn #3.5), Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell, Elantris, The Rithmatist (Rithmatist #1), Warbreaker (Warbreaker #1), The Way of Kings (The Stormlight Archive #1), Snapshot, Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive #2), Edgedancer (The Stormlight Archive #2.5), Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive #3)

Of the son of a High Duke of the interstellar Empire, much glory is expected.
And expected.
And still expected, despite endless proof that young Dennison Crestmar has no talent whatsoever for war. But the life Dennison is forced to live will have its surprising lessons to impart-


FIRSTBORN is a bit misleading for a title if you’re a fan of Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy (and companions). It actually has nothing to do with that series whatsoever so don’t be too surprised if you start this and feel totally lost! I actually did know that it was not related when I first started reading but I still felt lost in the beginning of FIRSTBORN. I’ve read all of the Mistborn books published to-date and a few Sanderson novellas plus his YA series, The Reckoners, and yet reading a new story from Sanderson, I never quite know what to expect.

Since this was an independent short, it was a bit hard to just jump into the story where it began. It’s quite a different world from anything I’ve ever read from him so it took me a while to adjust to the feel, the characters, and the general conflict. The story was interesting once I got a firm grasp on it but I think the world building and character development would have really benefitted from a full novella instead of just a quick short.

I wasn’t totally in love but there were some really nice twists packed into a very short story! That’s one thing that Sanderson always seems to accomplish. I wasn’t wholly satisfied with the way the story closed but overall, it was enjoyable. I think I had wished for more since it didn’t quite wow me but I’m glad I read it!

Mini-Review: Firstborn | DNF Report: Proof of Forever, An Ember in the Ashes, The Eye of the WorldTitle: Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer
Publishing Info: June 2, 2015 by HarperCollins
Source: Edelweiss
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Time Travel
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: April 27, 2015 | DNF at approx 25%

Before: It was the perfect summer of first kisses, skinny-dipping, and bonfires by the lake. Joy, Tali, Luce, and Zoe knew their final summer at Camp Okahatchee would come to an end, but they swore they’d stay friends.
After: Now, two years later, their bond has faded along with those memories.
Then: That is, until the fateful flash of a photo booth camera transports the four of them back in time, to the summer they were fifteen—the summer everything changed.
Now: The girls must recreate the past in order to return to the present. As they live through their second-chance summer, the mystery behind their lost friendship unravels, and a dark secret threatens to tear the girls apart all over again.
Always: Summers end. But this one will change them forever.


When I first heard about this book, I was REALLY excited for the concept. I always love time-travel novels so I was really anxious to pick this one. Looking back, I probably should have thought about this a bit more… It’s not so much time travel as traveling back into one’s past. The time travel elements I seem to enjoy the most are individuals who physically move through time (so for example, like Back to the Future when even if you travel back/forward in time, there is still a past-you who exists in that time period). PROOF OF FOREVER was much more like (in fact, almost identical to) the Hot Tub Time Machine concept — going back into one’s own past and actually reliving that chain of events as oneself instead of being able to view it as an outsider. Long story short, this concept just felt incredibly cheesy and kind of irritating to me as a reader.

I actually loved Hot Tub Time Machine but the concept worked for me, I think, because it was a comedy. It’s poking fun at itself (I mean, how goofy is that) so it all just sort of works. PROOF OF FOREVER has a contemporary feel but it’s much more on the serious side so without that humor, the concept really just fell flat for me and I couldn’t help but make comparisons to the movie the whole time I read. I really tried not to but there were too many parallels that really stood out for me.

The book also read very young for me. Each girl’s voice sounded a lot younger than… 17? 18? And I’m of course assuming each girl will learn some valuable life-lessons and to grow throughout the book, but they were really hard to relate to in the beginning and I didn’t feel the desire to witness that change. The four different POVs also felt very unnecessary. The different voices were all written in third person so it felt awkward to have that POV shift. It sort of felt like it was originally written in first person and then was changed to third? It works for some books but it just didn’t seem like the right choice for this one (or at least it just didn’t work for me).

I found myself not enjoying the writing really at all and I didn’t really care to see what happened to the characters. I was discussing with someone else who was reading at the same time and ended up getting the rest of the scoop from her to see if I even wanted to continue and I’m kind of glad I didn’t. This one just was not the right match for me.

Mini-Review: Firstborn | DNF Report: Proof of Forever, An Ember in the Ashes, The Eye of the WorldTitle: An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1) by Sabaa Tahir
Publishing Info: April 28, 2015 by Penguin
Source: ALAMW15, Audible
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: May 5, 2015 | DNF at approx. 25%

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.


This was a tough decision for me. There’s been lots of hype about this book — even before its release — and I was so excited for Steve West and Fiona Hardingham to narrate that I pre-ordered the audio. I NEVER pre-order an audio. Ever. I was so excited to listen to them narrate, claiming I could listen to them read the phone book and I would still just love the sound of their voices… But then I went and ate my words because I just didn’t feel the desire to keep listening to this book even with two of my favorite narrators bringing it to life. (There’s also possibly the issue that I LOVED Steve and Fiona so much in The Scorpio Races that they will always be Sean and Puck to me so it was just too hard to adjust to them narrating something new.)

I think I could have fallen in love with the audio and adjusted to my favorites narrate something new but… really the story wasn’t grabbing me either, and if you don’t get along with the heart of the story, there’s really no hope for narrators saving it. I actually really loved the first couple of chapters. The beginning was exciting, lively, and suspenseful.. but from there my interest waned and somehow the sharpness of the book started to slowly dull.

I didn’t really like either of the main characters very much. Laia seemed very blah and one-dimensional and it seemed like her personality flip-flopped a lot. She went from being paralyzed with fear to being take-charge. She was terrified and then brave. I suppose that is how real life works and we force ourselves into situations when life makes us do so but the transition or decision to go from terrified to brave just didn’t feel natural. It seemed like a light switch was flipped instead of seeing that internal conflict and Laia pushing herself to work past her fear.

Elias was all right but again, seemed very blah to me. He was excellent, he was special, and of course all he wanted was to be normal. To NOT be where he was, to not be related to who he was… Of course things go deeper than that but it felt like Laia was exactly one side of the spectrum and Elias was Laia’s exact opposite. She felt weaker, he felt stronger. She was outcast, he was in the midst of the elite. They felt a bit too polarized and it just sort of irked me.

I also wasn’t a fan of a few of the plot points. Too many things felt familiar or tired, like I had read it all before. I made some direct parallels to other books and other things just seemed to convenient. (Oh look, a random prophecy that came out of nowhere! And of course it involves the boy who doesn’t want it! And it comes with very, very specific rules! How convenient!) I just felt like I had read it before and it was done better.

I really struggled to put this one down because so many people had loved it… But I shared my feelings on social media and found that there were a lot of people who really didn’t as well. The ones who felt similarly to the way I was feeling said it really didn’t get much better for them. Others said they chose to DNF as well. I was hoping I could get back into the story but I think I would continue to have the same issues. I just think this book wouldn’t get much better for me so I should devote my reading time to something I would enjoy more.

Mini-Review: Firstborn | DNF Report: Proof of Forever, An Ember in the Ashes, The Eye of the WorldTitle: The Eye of the World (Wheel of Time #1) by Robert Jordan
Publishing Info: November 15, 1990 by Tor Books
Source: Audible
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: May 5, 2015 | DNF at approx. 40%

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.


I picked up THE EYE OF THE WORLD for a couple reasons — firstly that Alyssa was loving it and she’s been giving me great fantasy recs lately and secondly that Brandon Sanderson eventually picked up this series after Robert Jordan’s death. Where I went wrong though is that Alyssa actually didn’t recommend this one to me. She and Amy were reading it and I wanted to join in the fun too but I didn’t realize she had a very good reason for not recommending it to me too. It’s just not a Brittany book.

There was absolutely nothing wrong with the book but it’s just not my type of pacing, really. It felt slow and I even through the action scenes, I never really got into it. Part of it is that it’s the whole “journey” concept. It’s been compared to The Lord of the Rings (I guess) in that sense and that was one of the reasons I really couldn’t get into that series either (yes. It’s true). I’m not sure why that’s one of my issues but there’s something about it that prevents me from really getting into the book.

It wasn’t that I wasn’t liking the story but it always felt like it dragged. And for a 30-40 hour audiobook to drag. Ummm, that’s not good. I took the time to make it all the way to 40% and finally put it on hold after much debate. Then FINALLY four months later, I decided it’s time to DNF. I don’t have the heart to continue with the book and I shouldn’t have to PUSH to finish when I’m not enjoying it. This series is HUGE so what’s the point of pushing to finish a book if I’m not even going to continue the series? Just seems silly.

Again, not a bad book but I should have opened my ears before choosing it and not just picking it up because I didn’t want to be left out in my group of friends. SILLY. Also another case of a favorite narrator not being able to save a book. Don’t rely on that, friends. It doesn’t work.

Have you read any of these yet? I’d love to hear your thoughts! I know there were soooo many mixed reviews about AN EMBER IN THE ASHES. Do tell!