Top 5 Wednesdays: Books Without Romance

Top 5 Wednesdays is a meme on Goodreads created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey and is currently hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. This week the topic is:

Books without Romance:

I imagine this week’s topic could be quite hard for a lot of readers. Especially those who mainly read Young Adult books. It seems like there is an unwritten rule among YA authors that “Romance is a must in YA” It could be a novel about shadowhunters, intergalactic warfare, or even rebellious teenage vampires but somehow there is always a romantic element added in there somewhere.

I’m a sucker for romance, so I don’t mind romance in books but apparently, there are some people out there who don’t obsess about OTP’s and love triangles. This week is for those readers who are tired of the romance getting in the way of the storyline. Let’s have a look at some of my favorite books without romance (or books that the romance isn’t the focus of the story):

Salt to the Sea Ruta Sepetys

There technically is a bit of romance between two of the characters in the book, but the story does not revolve around it. Salt to the Sea focuses more on how children and teenagers were affected by World War II. This book is beautiful and heart-breaking.

The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas 

I enjoyed this book so much! The Darkest Corner is a Mystery/Thriller novel, which is something I hardly ever reach for. There is definitely no romance to be found in this book.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars is not one of my favorite books. I don’t even consider it a book that I’ll reread or recommend to anyone. My memory of reading this book isn’t too clear, but I know that I wasn’t too crazy about it. That said, it is an interesting book and has (if you don’t figure it out early on) a good plot twist. The focus on this book has nothing to do with heroism or romance. So yeah…

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Every Heart a Doorway is one of those hidden gem novels out there. I wasn’t super tempted to read the book after reading the synopsis, but I read it anyways. And damn! It completely blew my mind (although it was way too short) This novel is all about teens living together at a boarding school type place. That’s the perfect setting for romance, love triangles and broken hearts. But no, you’ll find none of that in Every Heart a Doorway.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doeer 

This is another World War II novel. And another novel that focuses more on other issues that young love. I don’t feel like going into too much detail because I want everyone to read this book and have their own opinion. 🙂


So that’s my top 5 favorite books without romance. What other books should I read if I’m looking to get away from all the romance?

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Top 5 Wednesdays: Hate to Love Relationships

Top 5 Wednesdays is a meme on Goodreads created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey and is currently hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. This week the topic is:

Hate to Love Relationships: 

It appears that I am the only person who misunderstood this week’s topic. I initially thought the topic is all about ships that I hated but now love, but apparently, the topic is about the Hate to Love Troupe. This is one of my favorite troupes ever. I’m a complete sucker for relationships born out of hate or serious loathing. So, without further ado, here is my Top 5 Favourite Hate to Love Relationships:

1 Bianca Piper & Wesley Rush: {The DUFF by Kody Keplinger}

I recently reread this book and I still absolutely love this pair. Bianca cannot stand Wes because she thinks he’s just another womanizing asshole. Turns out that Bianca and Wes are more alike than either of them knew. One thing leads to another. Things happen (Very steamy things) and love blooms and Bianca and Wes live happily ever after.

2 Scarlet Benoit & Ze’ve Kesley: {Scarlet by Marissa Meyer}

Technically Scarlet and Ze’ve didn’t start out hating each other. After Scarlet’s grandmother goes missing Scarlet suspects that Ze’ve might have something to do with it. When he convinces her that he had nothing to do with it, they embark on a journey to have her grandma. Needless to say, after a romantic encounter on a train, Scarlet gets quite pissed off when she discovers that Ze’ve is the Alpha of the pack, responsible for her grandmother’s death. But of course, misunderstandings change to understandings and love is born.

3 Hannah Wells & Garrett Graham: {The Deal by Elle Kennedy}

I absolutely LOVE the Off-campus series. The Deal is my second favorite book in the series. Hannah makes a deal with Garrett where Hannah helps Garrett pass a class, and Garrett helps Hannah score a hot guy she has a crush on. Hannah and Garrett fall in love instead and it is beautiful. I love this couple forever and always!

4 Penryn Young & Raffe: {Penryn and the End of Days by Susan Ee}

Not only is Penryn & the End of Days one on my favorite YA series ever, Penryn Young is also one of the very few protagonists that I love. Who can resist a kick-ass chick falling in love with a fallen angel? I certainly can’t. Especially when humans and angels are at war and “enemies” fall madly in love.

5 Marguerite Caine & Paul Markov: {Firebird Series by Claudia Gray}

Marguerite is told that her parents were murdered by Paul Markov, an assistant, and protege of her parents’. And yet by a weird twist of faith, Marguerite and Paul manage to fall in love. Crazy, right? Falling in love with your parents’ murderer… Indeed a hate to love relationship.


So that’s it for this week’s topic! What are some of your favorite Hate to Love Relationships?

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Top 5 Wednesdays: Books I Felt Betrayed By

Top 5 Wednesdays is a meme on Goodreads Created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey and is currently hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. This week the topic is:

Books I Felt Betrayed By: 

What books (or characters) did you feel betrayed by, for whatever reason…big or small.

It happens every so often that I start reading a book, begin to really love it and then the author decides to break my heart or piss me off properly by throwing a MAJOR plot twist my way. It usually ends up being great, but sometimes you’re left feeling betrayed. Nothing irks me more than when an author does something just for the sake of a shock factor. Here are 5 books/characters that left me feeling completely betrayed.


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern: I felt betrayed by this book for the simple reason that I just didn’t enjoy it. Everyone is always saying how good this book is, and it sounded like it would be an interesting story. But for some reason, I just couldn’t get into it, and I felt betrayed by the hype around the book and it not living up to my very high expectations.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer: This one will sound super silly, so I’ll keep it short and sweet. Vampires aren’t supposed to sparkle! EVER.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas: This book… I have many things to say about this book, and it’s not good. The biggest problem (or betrayal) is the main character, Celaena. She is supposed to be this kick ass, skilled AF assassin, but you never really see her in action. This is the worst case of “All Talk, No Action”

If I was Your Girl by Meredith Russo: Biggest betrayal by a character… I’m talking about Bee of course! If you haven’t read If I was Your Girl, then you totally should. It’s so good, but be warned… The ultimate betrayal awaits.

November 9 by Colleen Hoover: This betrayal is similar to If I was your Girl. I’m not going to spoil anything because I really enjoyed this book. The events that took place was luckily “justified” in a sense, so I don’t hate the character involved. But I did feel betrayed at the time.


So that was 5 books that I felt betrayed by. Do you agree with any of my choices? And what are some of the books that you have felt betrayed by?

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Top 5 Wednesdays: Fictional Jobs I’d like to Have

Top 5 Wednesdays is a meme on Goodreads started by Lainey. This week the topic is:

Fictional Jobs I’d Like to Have: Any fictional career you’d want to have? Remember, T5W is always open to movies, tv, and video games as well.

I’d like to start of this post by quickly just saying CONGRATULATIONS to my boyfriend on staring a new job today. I’m so happy that he gets to do the work that he really wants to do.

With that said today’s topic is quite fitting as I have been thinking a lot about making a career change myself. I’m stuck between becoming a Muggles Studies teacher at Hogwarts or a shadow hunter in NYC. I am of course only joking, but how great would any one of those be? Let’s have a look see at some fictional jobs I’d like to have:


Muggles Studies Teachers at Hogwarts:

I really wasn’t kidding when I said I wanted to work at Hogwarts. And Muggle Studies would be the class that I’d be great at teaching. Who better to teach young witches and wizards about crazy muggle objects like telephones and rubber duckies, then a Pure-Blood Muggle? I’d say that in my 24 years living in the muggle world, that I’m more than qualified for the position.

Amity Faction “Representative”:

Since the first time that I read Divergent I knew that I’d either be in Amity or that when I became of-age that I’d transfer there. Amity is known for being peaceful and will try to find solutions to problems in non-aggressive ways. That’s me! I don’t like aggression or conflict either. They are also the farmers of the land and just down right chilled out. At first I thought that they were hippy-dippy losers, but I agree with a lot of their ways. They are VERY diplomatic and do not recognize a leader. They have Faction representatives instead. I’d like to do that! I’d like to put new faction members through initiation* and just be part of a very chilled out community.

*Not much is known about the Amity initiation, other than that it involves fruit picking and sing-a longs.

Owner of Taki’s Diner:

I really wasn’t a huge fan of The Mortal Instruments Series and I really have no desire to become a shadow hunter. A job that would be pretty flipping awesome to have, would be to own the downworld diner where Shadowhunters, downworlders and even mundanes come together for a nice bite to eat. Wouldn’t it be awesome to see all the different types of creatures that come to visit Taki’s? From vampires to shadowhunters to werewolves. I’d be one of those nosy owners who’d want to hear everyone’s stories, and what brought them to my diner. That’d be pretty cool!

Grand Minister of Luna/Artemisia:

This one is going to be a huge spoiler to those of you who have not finished ready The Lunar Chronicles. I’d recommend that you NOT read this one.

Okay… so those of us who have read The Lunar Chronicles knows that Cinder turns out to be the missing princess Selene Blackburn. Things happen and Cinder becomes queen of Luna. More things happen and Cinder decides to stop the monarchy on Luna and turn it into a democratic country. Such a great ending by the way. Obviously, it would take some time and patience to turn a country around. I’d love to be the Grand Minister that can make decisions that would make Luna a great country.

Ilona, of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons.

Okay I know this isn’t a job, it’s a title. But the holder of those titles has a very important job of like freeing slaves, flying around on dragons, marrying Khal Drogo and just being the most kick ass female ever. I’d be a great Khaleesi! I’d fly Drogon around town, yelling at evil people in Dothraki or Valerian. Then I’d also meet up with Jon Snow and be like “Hey Bro! Let’s rule the Seven Kingdoms together!” 🙂


What are some other cool fictional jobs that you’d like to have? Maybe you want to be gamemaker in The Hunger Games or an Assassin. 🙂 Let me know in the comments down below!

 

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Top 5 Wednesdays: Book Trends I am Tired of

Top 5 Wednesdays is a meme on Goodreads started by Lainey. This week the topic is:

Book Trends You’re Tired of: What are some things you are tired of seeing that are trends in publishing? Maybe something that pops up on a lot of covers these days, or the popularity of certain tropes in a particular genre? Let it out!

There are many reasons that we love certain books the way we do. Some books keep our interest by introducing us to new new topics that challenge our way of thinking. Other books keep us entertained through humour or great plots. Unfortunately, with the good there is always bad close by.

This week we’re having a look at some trends that have been so over used that we are just tired of seeing it. Here are my Top 5 Book Trends I’m Tired of Seeing:

1.The “Chosen” One:

This seems to be the plot for every YA fantasy book being released today. There is always one character who is destined to save the world/stop the villain/change the world. These character also happen to mostly be women (Yay for the ladies!) What I’ve come to notice, and what annoys me endlessly, is how these characters just effortlessly slide into the role of Chosen One. Oh! You used to be a teenage girl hanging out with your befriend, and now, three weeks later you’re a kickass assassin? I don’t buy it! Another thing regarding the Chosen One topic that I absolutely hate, is the fact that the day is hardly ever saved by ONLY the chosen one. There are always a whole much of people involved, but Hoorah! the Chosen One has done it!!

2. Character Deaths to Force Emotion:

I cannot describe to you how I hate it when a character is killed just for the sake of evoking some emotions, either in the protagonist or the reader. It’s usually the likable best friend, or perhaps the mentor/parental figure. Why do you do this authors? It doesn’t make me sad, it makes me angry and annoyed. Stop with the unnecessary deaths! *cough* Manchee *cough*

3. Novellas:

Have you ever started reading a series that you though had a total of three, maybe four books in? And then shortly after getting invested in the series you see that before EVERY book there is a novella. Instead of releasing 6 novellas in between 3 Main books, just work it into the actual books. The 63 pages of a novella can certainly be worked into the main novels easily. The only novellas I didn’t mind reading was the novellas for The Lunar Chronicles.

4. Romance Everywhere!

Why, oh why must every adventure lead to romance? It seems that it is impossible for two characters to be together for a period of time without falling in love. I hardly even see adventures ending in friendship. No matter the plot, it seems that love will either be the main focus or a very important side plot. But I am now getting really tired of it! 🙂

5. Underwhelming Battles:

The final battle is usually something that I get very excited about. It’s usually the climax of a trilogy, or the deciding factor of what happens to our protagonist. But imagine reading a trilogy that builds up to the final battle over the course of all three books, and then the battle lasts about 2 measly pages. Or there is a huge build up, and then there isn’t even a battle at all (I’m looking at you Twilight Saga) I want action and drama and fighting!

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Top 5 Wednesdays: Favourite Polarizing Books

Top 5 Wednesdays is a meme on Goodreads started by Lainey. This week the topic is:

Favourite Polarizing Books: These are books that people either tend to love or hate, with no in between. Pick some of your favorites that fall into this category.

You either love them or you hate them. Here’s a look at some books that have readers either going “OMG YESSS!!” or “UGH, NOOOO”.

  1.  Harry Potter {J.K Rowling}

Star Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I’ll just start this week’s topic off with the Harry Potter Series. This is no doubt one of my favourite series of all time. It’s also one of my favourite polarizing books, because people either obsess about the books, or they honestly just don’t give an eff about it. I’ve never met someone who hated the books, but I have met people who just doesn’t care for it.

  1. Divergent {Veronica Roth}

Star Rating: ★ ★ ★

Divergent isn’t my favourite YA dystopian series, but it sure is pretty damned polarizing. People really either love the series, or hate it. Or love the series except the last book, Allegiant. I personally really enjoyed the whole series (except the stupid ending).

  1. The Fault in Our Stars {John Green}

Star Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

The Fault in Our Stars is one of my favourite books of 2016. It didn’t make it into my Top 10 Favourite books, but it’s still pretty high up. This book made me feel all the feels. It was really great to read. But I’ve been reading a bunch of reviews, and watching BookTube videos, and apparently TFIOS isn’t quite as popular as I thought it was. People really aren’t feeling this book.

  1. The Mortal Instruments {Cassandra Clare}

Star Rating: ★ ★ ★

I decided to read The Mortal Instruments series in 2016 because everyone was losing their shit about it, because it is: “The Best Series EVER!!”. After reading all 6 books, I can honestly say I cannot agree less with the hype. I did not enjoy the story line or the characters. I really think you are either fully invested in this series, or you just really don’t like it. Like me! 🙂 (Review)

  1. Eleanor & Park {Rainbow Rowell}

Star Rating: ★ ★

Another over-hyped book that I read in 2016 was Eleanor & Park. People love love love this book about star crossed lovers, and here I am, feeling like I might have missed something. I did not love love love this book. (Review)

BONUS!
  1. Fifty Shade of Grey {E.L. James}

Star Rating: 

This makes it 6 polarizing books, I know, but I think Fifty Shades of Grey is probably the most polarizing book series ever. I cannot understand why people love this book, but clearly they do. This book blew up a couple of years ago, and after reading it, I cannot for the life of me understand why.

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Top 5 Wednesdays: 2017 Debuts I’m Excited About

Top 5 Wednesdays is a meme on Goodreads started by Lainey. This week the topic is:

2017 Debuts I’m Excited About : There is already a ton of hype for well established authors, but here is an opportunity to discuss some debut (new) authors and showcase their books. There are plenty of debut author challenges and lists you can find if you are having trouble with this one 🙂

It’s a new year and that means there are new book releases to look forward to. I’m not usually one who waits and waits and gets crazy excited for new books to be released. I have SO many books still TBR. But this year there are some books coming out that I am actually really excited about. Let’s check them out:

  1. Wire and Nerve, vol 1 {Marissa Meyer}
  2. The Hate U Give {Angie Thomas}
  3. Strange the Dream {Laini Taylor}
  4. You’re Welcome, Universe {Whitney Gardner}
  5. Once and for All {Sarah Dressen}

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2017 Goals

So, we just entered the second week of 2017 and it already feels like a promising year. I’m not a very big believer in the “New Year, New Me” hype at the start of the year, but I do set myself some goals for the year ahead. It helps keep me on track on things I want to accomplish or improve during this year.

2017 will be my first full year of blogging, so while I have some personal goals I also have a couple of blogging goals. And seeing as though my blog is of course book related, I also have a couple of reading goals I’d like to achieve.

I’ll break down my goals into 3 categories, namely:

  • Reading Goals
  • Blogging Goals
  • Personal Goals

READING GOALS

  1. Reflect. Review: This is, after all, my blog’s slogan or whatever you want to call it. This year my goal isn’t to read as many books as possible, but to rather read less, and really take the time to reflect and process what I’ve read. Instead of rushing from one book to the next.
  2. Try new Genres: If I had to think of a book genre that ruled in 2016, it would lean heavily towards Young Adult. Most of the 86 books I read last year were in fact YA. This year though, I really want to start branching out. I’d like to try something different. That is why I’m taking part in the Genre Bingo Challenge on my blog.
  3. LOTR & ASOFAI: What the heck does that mean?! It looks like I’ve just smashed my face into my keyboard instead of writing down my third goal. Well in all honesty, I kind of feel like doing just that (smashing my face into the keyboard) when I think of this… I want to FINALLY read the complete The Lord of the Rings AND A Song of Fire and Ice series. *Gasp* Am I crazy?? Nah, probably not, but it will take me some time to get through those massive books.
  4. Read more Books: I mean physical books. 🙂 In 2016 I read a grand total of 1 physical-copy, hard-cover, flip-an-actual-page type of book out of the 86 books I read in total. What can I say? Secretly reading at work is a lot easier when you don’t have to hide and actual book.
  5. Complete Reading Challenges: Or at least make it half way. I really enjoyed doing a bunch of reading challenges in 2016, but I started most of them at the end of July. So, I had less than a year to complete them. This year I have a bunch of new Challenges that I’m hoping to complete. 🙂

 

BLOGGING GOALS

  1. Blog More. Procrastinate Less: Well I guess that’s self-explanatory. I often tell my boyfriend (and myself) that I’m going to take some time and work on my blog. But what starts as genuine blog research turns into me browsing Goodreads and other blogs for hours instead. So, I want to stop that. And just blog more. At the very least once a week.
  2. Increase Monthly Blog Views: My blog is still very new, and I am probably the only 23-year-old female who hasn’t master the art of Twitter, but I have been getting more views recently. And I hope to keep improving on that.
  3. Social-Media-ize: I wasn’t kidding. I really suck at social media. I set up some accounts for my blog, to promote and socialize with other bloggers and readers. But I have no clue what I’m doing, but I intend on changing that in 2017.
  4. Review More: I intend on reading less books this year so that I can really focus on what I’m reading. That also means reviewing the books I’ve read. That is after all a huge part of why I started my blog. I want to really try to review as many books as possible.
  5. Organize. Success: I’ll definitely be taking a more organized approach to my blogging this year. I’m certain it will not only relieve a lot of pressure. I’m going to try to write blog posts well ahead of time, so that I already have conent available at all times.

PERSONAL GOALS

  1. Be a Girl: Well I guess I can tick that off right off the bat!  Just kidding. What I mean is I want to try to be more girly. Weekly home manicures. Daily makeup routine. Shaving my legs more than once a month. You know? Girly things.
  2. Practice Yoga: Actually, I just want to exercise more. But I really want to focus on my Yoga Practice. I have been doing yoga on and off for a couple of months now, but this year I want to make a habit of it. Really focus and improve.
  3. Draw More: I really enjoy drawing. I don’t consider myself at all good at it, but I enjoy it so much. This year I want to draw more. And just be more creative in general. I also want to knit a snuggly blanket before the winter… but let’s take it slow.
  4. Focus on Family: I have a very large family and we are all spread out far and wide across South Africa. In 2017 I want to improve some important relationship that have frayed over the last couple of years. I want to be closer with my mother and sisters.
  5. Be Honest: with myself, is what I mean. I have a terrible habit of over estimating my abilities to do certain things. Some would call me a dreamer, and some would call me the chaser of things that are literally impossible. This year I want to focus on me and my happiness. 🙂

 

Those are my goals for 2017. I will try my very best to complete the all. Although makeup and nails seems like something that might not make it to the end of the year. But hey! We’ll just have to wait and see.

What are some of your Goals for 2017? 🙂

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Top 5 Wednesdays: Books I want to Finally Read in 2017

Top 5 Wednesdays is a meme on Goodreads started by Lainey. This week the topic is:

Books That I Want to Finally Read in 2017 : These are those books you meant to read in 2016 or 2015 or 2014 and never got around to. Those books that have been sitting on your TBR for a while, and you really want to get to. These aren’t upcoming 2017 releases; these are older books that need your love too!

This list is probably one of the easiest T5W I’ve ever done. I currently have 142 books that I still want to read on my GoodReads page. But there are a couple I’m so excited to finally start reading. But unfortunately 2016 was just way to sort to read them all. So here are the 5 Books I want to finally read in 2017:

covers

  1. Six of Crows {Leigh Bardugo}
  2. The Nightingale {Kristin Hannah}
  3. Room {Emma Donoghue}
  4. Heartless {Marissa Meyer}
  5. The Beauty of Darkness {Mary E. Pearson}

 

What are the books that you’re looking forward to finally read in 2017?

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Top 5 Wednesdays: Books That Took Me the Longest to Read

Top 5 Wednesdays is a meme on Goodreads started by Lainey. This week the topic is:

Book That Took You The Longest to Read: These are the books that you had on your nightstand “in progress” for months or years. The books that you took weeks to read because they put you in a slump. Those books that were an uphill battle. These are books you started and actually read, not books you’ve just had on your shelf the longest.

Some books take a week to read and some take only a day. Today I’m looking at some books that took me longer than usual to read for whatever reason. This excludes all books prescribed for school, for obvious reasons. So let’s have a look:

Books That Took Me the Longest To Read:

A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones {George R.R Martin}

With 835 pages A Game of Thrones is one of the longest books I’ve read this year. Actually it’s one of the longest books I’ve ever read. I really enjoy the TV series, so I thought I’d try out the books and see what details the show left out. It took me about two weeks to read the book, and I really enjoyed the book. I really took my time with A Game of Thrones and I don’t regret it.

 

 

Suicide ForestSuicide Forest {Jeremy Bates}

Suicide Forest wasn’t really all that long. At 440 pages the book should’ve taken me only a couple of days. The plot was not enjoyable, at all. I read the summary of the book and I thought that it would be great, I mean who wouldn’t love a book about a creepy Japanese forest known as the Suicide Forest? I just did not expect that the characters would be so unlikable. The plot so flat. And the ending so lame!

 

 

city-of-glassCity of Glass {Cassandra Clare}

I am currently reading The Mortal Instrument series. At the moment I’m busy reading City of Fallen Angels. The series is funny and action packed and just so good. I did have a bit of trouble finishing City of Glass, because of the main characters Clary and Jace. Their relationship is getting pretty damn annoying now. On top of that Simon! You know him… the unlikable bestie who is super important all of a sudden. City of Glass almost made me not continue on with the series… But I’m glad I’m continuing the series!

Read my Review of City of Glass to see my thoughts on the book.

 

The Night CircusThe Night Circus {Erin Morgenstern}

I decided to read The Night Circus because everybody is always raving about it. My expectations were sky high going into it, and that is always a bad thing. I just couldn’t get into the book. Some parts were amazing and enticing, whereas other parts was a total snooze-fest. This book didn’t technically take me long to read… I actually haven’t finished it… so yeah.

The Night Circus Review.

 

 

FangirlFangirl {Rainbow Rowell}

This 445-page piece of Young Adult/Contemporary literature won the hearts of boys and girls all around the world. But for some reason I was not one of those people. It took me about two weeks to read Fangirl, because I could not get into the book. Not only could I not get into the book, the parts of Carry On, simon or whatever, were just so very boring. At first I attempted to read those parts of the book, but eventually I just skipped over it.

 

 

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