Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next DoorMy Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Publisher: Dutton Books

Date of Publication: 29th September 2011

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 384

Synopsis (Adapted from Goodreads)

Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

REVIEW

Lola and the Boy Next Door is the second novel in the Anna and the French Kiss series and is about seventeen-year-old, aspiring costume designer Lola Nolan. Lola lives with her two dads and their dog Heavens to Betsy in San Francisco. Yes! Their dog’s name really is Heavens to Betsy! Lola has a sexy boyfriend and a kickass best friend. Everything seems to be perfect for Lola until the Bell family move back into town, and she must deal with her feelings over a lost friendship and her broken heart.

I really am a sucker for Young Adult Romances. It’s so much sweeter and more innocent than New Adult Romances and just full-blown Romance novels. I completely fell head over heels in love with Anna and St. Clair in the first novel. And I now I have completely fallen head over heels in love with Lola and Cricket Bell. Lola and Cricket’s attraction to each other was a bit steamier and sexier than I thought it was going to be. But nevertheless, I loved it so much.

Lola and Cricket’s relationship was so sweet right from the very start. They knew each other since they were little kids, and even shared their first kiss at the age of six (I stand to be corrected) Some years later Lola and Cricket’s relationship takes a sharp turn for friendship to an almost-relationship. Before love can fully bloom, Cricket and his family move away and it leaves Lola heartbroken. When Cricket comes back into Lola’s life years later, it is obvious that neither of them has forgotten the feelings they once shared.

Cricket is such a sweet guy! Probably one of the sweetest fictional guys ever! He’s so sweet I think I might have a couple of extra cavities because of him now. (Ha-Ha) He is absolutely crazy about Lola and doesn’t waste any time showing her how he feels. That said, he also respects Lola completely. Cricket knows that Lola has a boyfriend and never crosses any lines that would cause Lola any trouble in her relationship.

Lola, on the other hand, is stuck between a rock and a hard place. She has a boyfriend who she loves, even though things aren’t always easy between them. And she also has these intense feeling for Cricket Bell, her first love. With the help from her friends Anna, St. Clair and Lindsey, Lola realizes that if it’s true love it should be easy. Stories about first love are dear to my heart because I know the power that first love has.

I had so much fun reading Lola and the Boy Next Door. Lola and Cricket are so quirky and unique. I read and re-read their encounters and conversations because it was so cute, and had me feeling all warm and fuzzy on the inside. There are so many things I could say about this novel and these characters and all of them would be good. But instead let me just say this:

Lola and the Boy Next Door was the perfect sequel to Anna and the French Kiss and I think everyone should read the series. At least once!

Also, if you read my review for Anna and the French Kiss, you’ll know that I was hoping to see Anna and St. Clair in the next novels of the series. I’m glad to report that Anna and St. Clair do make an appearance and they are still perfection!

What did you think about Lola and the Boy Next Door? Did you enjoy it or did the story pale in comparison to Anna and the French Kiss?

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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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Review: The Duff by Kody Keplinger

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Publisher: Little Brown/Poppy

Date of Publication: 7th September 2010

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 280

Synopsis (Adapted from Goodreads)

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

REVIEW

“Slut, bitch, prude, tease, ditz. They were all the same. Every girl felt like one of these sexist labels described her at some point. So, maybe, every girl felt like the Duff, too?”

I’ll start off this review by saying that the synopsis for The DUFF does not do the book justice. If you took the time to read the synopsis instead of just scrolling right down to my review, you’re probably thinking that The Duff sounds just like another YA angsty romance novel. But oh, my dear reader friend! It’s so much better than that.

Admittedly, I am a sucker for a good love story. Especially if the two characters cannot see that they are perfect for each other. (I am not at all a fan of “Love at first sight) The Duff has just the right amount of romance, misunderstandings, humor and interesting characters to make this a fun & quick read.

In my opinion, the book’s theme is centered around self-esteem, and how everybody struggles with low self-esteem at least at one point in their lives. This, however, is not the only topic covered in the book. Alcoholism, Teen pregnancy and coping with divorce is also themes in the book.

I have read The Duff twice now, and it is definitely a book I will read again. I’ll read it when I am in a reading slump. And I will read it when I just need some good YA romance in my life. The Duff was so interesting and enjoyable. I really wish the synopsis (and the movie) did the book more justice.

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Who Am I? | Book Tag

I haven’t done a book tag in a loooong time, but when I saw this book tag on Charlotte Annelise’s blog, I just had to do it. So, allow me to introduce… well, me.

What is the meaning of my name?

My name is Ilona. Here is the meaning of my name according to Names.org:

“The name “Ilona” is of Hungarian origin, and it means “Light”. It’s a name commonly given to girls.”

What is my Meyer-Briggs Personality Type? (Link)

I am the Mediator Personality (INFP T)

Famous Mediators: 

J.R.R Tolkien
Amelie Poulain
William Shakespeare

 

 

 

 

 

What is my Zodiac Sign?

I was born on the 15th of February. So that makes me an Aquarius.

 

What is my Hogwarts House? (Link)

I am proud to say that I’m a Slytherin! 

What are my Learning Styles? (Link)

According to the test, I have a mild kinesthetic learning preference.

  • Visual 7
  • Aural 3
  • Read/Write 9
  • Kinesthetic 13
Am I Left or Right Brain Dominant? (Link)

 

What is my Blood Type?

My blood type is A+

What career am I meant to have? (Link)

Apparently, I am meant to be a writer. I’m kind of surprised that I should be a writer.

“You have a skill for language, your imagination is vast and you are artistic and creative. Your brain is just overflowing with ideas, and all you have to do is get a piece of paper and share it with the world. You were born to turn words into magical stories.”

Which Divergent Faction do I belong in? (Link)

I knew I’d end up being Divergent. I think my traits are spread out between all factions. Maybe not equally, but I can definitely see myself being in all factions. And yet in none of them.

What does my birth order say about me?

The Baby

Stereotype: Free spirit, risk taker, charming.

Why it’s true: Parents are less cautious. (Hey, the older ones ate the dog’s food and lived!) And they also probably have more resources than they did when starting out. “Parents are more lenient, so youngest kids tend to be less rules-oriented, and yet they still get lots of attention,” says Salmon.

When it’s not: “Some babies resent not being taken seriously,” says Linda Campbell, a professor of counseling and human development at the University of Georgia, in Athens. “They might become very responsible, like the oldest, or social, like the middle.”


This Book Tag was so much fun. I learned so many new things about myself, and some things that I always suspected to be true, were proven to be so. 🙂

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Top 10 Tuesdays: Best/Worst Fathers in Literature

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly feature/meme created by Broke and Bookish.

This week’s Top Ten Topic is:

Best/Worst Bookish Fathers:

It’ll be Father’s Day soon, so this week’s Top Ten topic is obviously going to be father-orientated. I already did a post about some of the best father’s in literature (in my opinion of course). I decided that this time I’d talk about fathers that made an impact on characters or on me. Not all fathers are good, and not all fathers are bad. I guarantee that if you have not read the books these fathers are in, some things might be spoiled. So please read with caution. So, let’s have a look at some of the best/worst fathers/father figures in Literature:

WORST: Vernon Dursley {Harry Potter Series} Let’s start off this list by mentioning one of the biggest villains in the Harry Potter series. What? You think that Voldemort, the Death Eaters, and Umbitch were the only bad guys? Nah! Vernon Dursley was just as bad as any of them. I mean what kind of person raises a young boy to believe that he has no value. What kind of person forces a young boy to live in a cupboard under the stairs? And my last point and argument, what kind of father figure would encourage one child to beat another with a walking stick? Terrible fathers and terrible people. Vernon Dursley!

WORST: Valentine Morgenstern {The Mortal Instruments} While we’re riding on the terrible father and person train, I only have three words to say for my second choice of fathers that made an impact: What. An. Assnozzle!

BEST: Abe Mazure {The Vampire Academy} He’s not a great father but he does care about what is his. Abe won’t let anything stop him on his mission to save his little girl! He’s one of my favorite characters in the whole Vampire Academy Series!

BEST: Mr. Linh (Cinder’s adoptive father) {The Lunar ChroniclesMr. Linh is such a great guy. Not only is he a badass cyborg doctor that saves the life of a young princess, he also then takes said princess and hides her from the people who is trying to kill her, by adopting her, and giving her a home in New Beijing. Unfortunately, the family is not too accepting of the half-cyborg girl, but Mr. Linh never gives up on Cinder (Surprise!! The girl is Cinder) up until his death, Mr. Linh loved Cinder just the same as he loved his own two girls, Pearl and Peony.

BEST: Cress’ father {The Lunar Chronicles} As this is a major spoiler in the series I’ll just say that Cress’ father made the ultimate sacrifice to save his daughter. He committed treason by saving his shell daughter, he ran away and abandoned his people to work with the “enemy” and kept his identity secret even after meeting Cress after years of thinking that she was dead. This guy is amazing and I love him!

BEST: Amanda Hardy’s father {If I was your girl father} I’ll keep this one quick. Here we have a father who is fighting so hard to accept his transgender teen. His character growth and eventual acceptance are both beautiful and inspiring. (Also, shout out to Amanda’s mom! What a great mom!)

BEST: John Tucker {The Goal} First off let me just say that the Off-Campus series was amazing! John Tucker is the protagonist in the last book of the series (The Goal) and he is perfection. Sweet, sexy and a downright gentleman, Tucker is easily one of the best guys in the whole series. But the reason I mention him now is that not only is he a great guy, but he becomes a great father. When his “girlfriend” Sabrina gets pregnant he does not hesitate for one moment to give his everything to his baby and Sabrina. This is so great because he could’ve easily told Sabrina to hit the road because he’s too cool to be held back by a knocked-up booty call. But he did not. He took responsibility, stepped up and treats his lady like the queen she is. And loves his baby completely.

BEST: Daniel LeBlanc {All the Light We Cannot SeeThis man hands down one of the best fathers in literature (in my opinion). He raised his blind daughter all by himself while still working full-time at a museum. The thing that makes him even greater is the lengths he goes to in order to make her feel normal and protect her. He builds her a model of their town so that she can walk around by herself, he takes on long journeys to keep her safe from war. And ultimately, he makes her believe that she can do anything that anyone else can. Best father ever!

WORST: Count Olaf {A Series of Unfortunate Events} I know you’re probably thinking that I’ve lost the plot. Count Olaf is NOT supposed to be on a list about dads. He is a vile and evil man. This is all true, of course. But he also happens to be the guardian (or father figure) to the Baudelaire children for a brief time. He is also the character that drives the plot for the thirteen books of which these series consist. He causes the first unfortunate event (and most thereafter) in what becomes The Series of Unfortunate Events that befall the Baudelaire children.

WORST: Anna’s Stepdad {Dis Ek Anna} This book is heart-breaking and has stayed with me since the day I read it. It is one of the very first books I read because I just felt like reading, and the content was so shocking to my young and innocent mind. Basically, Dis Ek Anna is a detailed account of a girl (Anna) who is molested, by her step-father, from a very early age up until she’s a teenager. This story and this evil man had such an impact on me as a young girl. Especially around the time, my mother remarried and I was moved into a new house, with my new family. I am lucky to say that Anna and I don’t share the same story, but Anna’s story made me question people and their motives a lot more than I did before.

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March Wrap Up

How is it possible that it’s already April 2017?! I feel like this year is flying by like it’s nobody’s business, and I’m still stuck back in January worrying about New Year resolutions and 2017 TBR lists!

Luckily my reading isn’t moving too slowly. I’ve already read 17 books so far this year. Which I’m really happy with right now. March was a great reading month! I read a grand total of 6 books and I’m happy to report that I enjoyed everyone of those books. Usually there are one or two books that I end up not liking, but March was chock-a-block full of good reads. Yay for me!

Reading Wrap Up

Books Read:

Favorite Book of the Month: 

It’s impossible to choose a favorite! I liked them all so much! 🙂 All of these books were amazing in their own respective genres.

 

On the Blog

If I’m not mistaken then I’m pretty sure that March was my most active blogging month. I’m really happy with the content that I posted in March, and I hope that I’ll get better at posting more frequently. I try to add new ideas to my blog, but lately I’ve just been sticking to what I’ve already got going on. April should be a more productive and creative month. I can just feel it in my bone! Here’s what you might have missed this month on One Girl, Infinite Books:

Reviews:

Other:


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Review: End of Days by Susan Ee

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Publisher: Skyscape

Date of Publication: 12th May 2015

Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Dystopia

Pages: 344

Synopsis (Adapted from Goodreads)

End of Days is the explosive conclusion to Susan Ee’s bestselling Penryn & the End of Days trilogy. After a daring escape from the angels, Penryn and Raffe are on the run. They’re both desperate to find a doctor who can reverse the twisted changes inflicted by the angels on Raffe and Penryn’s sister. As they set off in search of answers, a startling revelation about Raffe’s past unleashes dark forces that threaten them all.

When the angels release an apocalyptic nightmare onto humans, both sides are set on a path toward war. As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious? Forced to pick sides in the fight for control of the earthly realm, Raffe and Penryn must choose: Their own kind, or each other?

REVIEW

I cannot believe I’m done with Penryn and the End of Days. I read this whole series in about a week. This was a series that blew my mind from the very first book. This series has everything from action, romance, awesome characters and awesome story progression. End of Days is the last book in this YA, Urban Fantasy series and it did not disappoint.

End of Days is where it all comes to an end. Penryn and Raffe is reunited. We finally find out why Paige is so important, and we see that Penryn’s mom is completely crazy and completely awesome. I really enjoyed getting to know a bit more about the angel politics and all the crazy shit Uriel did to fake the start of the Apocalypse.
Just like the previous two books, the characters did not disappoint me. Penryn and Raffe have officially become an OTP for me. I ship them hard!! I also really like that the side characters had a key role in the ultimate battle between humans and angels. Credit for saving the world didn’t fully go to Penryn, which is a troupe that I really hate in YA literature. It didn’t take just one hero to save the human race. In fact, correct me if I’m wrong but for me, the true heroes in this series are Tweedledee and Tweedledum. They are awesome and some of my favourite book characters ever.

I am so happy to say that Penryn and the End of Days has a satisfying ending. This book does not disappoint like many other last books in a series (I’m looking at you Allegiant) I don’t know what else I can say other than that everyone should take the time to read this Trilogy. This is one YA, Urban Fantasy, Dystopian series that I’ll re-read a lot in the future.

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Top 10 Tuesdays: Books I’ve Read in One Sitting

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly feature/meme created by Broke and Bookish.

This week’s Top Ten Topic is:

Books I’ve Read in One Sitting:

I don’t often have time to just sit back, relax and read the whole day away. So, today I’ll be looking at some of the books that I’ve read in one day, or books that were completely unputdownable that I probably would’ve read in one day if I had the chance. So let’s have a look:


Books I’ve read in One Sitting: 

  1. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (Review)
  2. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire (Review)
  3. To all the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  4. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  5. The Selection by Kiera Cass (Review)

 

Books that are Unputdownable:

  1. Angelfall by Susan Ee (Review)
  2. Heartless by Marissa Meyer (Review)
  3. My Lady Jane by Multiple Authors (Review)
  4. Winter by Marissa Meyer
  5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K Rowling

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Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Publisher: Skyscape

Date of Publication: 21th May 2011

Genre: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Dystopia

Pages: 288

Synopsis (Adapted from Goodreads)

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

REVIEW

I’ve had the Penryn and the End of Days series on my TBR for a very long time now. When I first added it to my TBR is was like: “Oh this series sounds pretty cool. I should read it someday.” And then I kind of just forgot about it. It took me more than a year to finally decide to just give this series a go, and boy am I glad that I did. Angelfall is the first book in the series and it has set some very high expectations for the rest of the books in the series.

In short, Angelfall takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where humans and angels are at war. Penryn (a human) is on a mission to find her baby sister who was taken by angels. Raffe (an angel) is on a mission to have his angel wings re-attached after they were cut off by his enemy and fellow angel, Beliel.

Things happen, and Penryn and Raffe end up as travel companions on the road to aerie (the angel HQ basically) where Penryn’s sister is probably being kept. It sounds like just another YA dystopian novel, but it’s so much better! Penryn isn’t this “the chosen one” character, who must single-handedly rescue the world. No, she’s just a girl looking for her baby sister. Penryn and Raffe don’t instantly fall in love with each other at first sight either. What I really enjoy and appreciate about Angelfall is that Susan Ee doesn’t try to force all the most popular YA troupes down my throat. Thank you for that!

Another thing that I really enjoy is the characters in this book. I hardly ever like the main character(s) but I really like Penryn and Raffe. Of course, Penryn has flaws just like everyone else, but I just really like her drive, wit and humor. Penryn’s mother is also another very interesting/creepy AF character. I feel like she’s going to play an important role in the next books.

I read this book relatively quickly and I’m sure I could’ve read it in one sitting if I had the opportunity. Angelfall isn’t a very long book and it’s really easy to get sucked into this post-apocalyptic world. Once you finish it, you’ll grab World After immediately just to see what’s going to happen next. I know I did. Penryn and the End of Days is definitely one of my favorite fantasy series ever.

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