Category: YA Books

Book Review: All the Bright Places (Jennifer Niven).

All the Bright Places

– Jennifer Niven.


I read All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven for the second time this week. The YA novel left a different kind of impact on me this time around. The story focuses on two main characters – Violet Markey and Theodore Finch; who help each other find hope and love.


Violet is deeply disturbed by her sister’s recent death and wants to get over with the graduation so she can leave her Indiana town. Finch is fascinated with the concept of death and its always thinking of some ways he might kill himself. Violet is on the ledge of the school bell tower, still reeling from the ache of her sister’s death, and maybe for a minute, she wonders if she should jump off. Finch is on the same ledge thinking along similar lines. It’s a bizarre first meeting for sure but in a way, they save each other’s lives. This is where their story begins.


Violet and Finch end up getting paired up for a project at school which sees them embark on a road trip across unusual places in Indiana. The first time I read this book years ago, I missed out on all the little clues about Finch’s mental health which this time I understood. His struggles are heartbreaking and relatable. He doesn’t understand himself sometimes; forget about anyone else understanding him. His friendship with Violet I think is something he thinks might save him and Violet wants to save Finch but she doesn’t know how to save him.


The narration shifts between Violet and Finch which makes the characters much more real and relatable to readers. It helped me understand the characters and gave me an insight into them. They are young and they think their love can conquer all and they can save each other. Violet starts putting her past, her guilt, and her grief behind her and wants to move forward with Finch. In the meantime, Finch struggles to control his obsession with death and that scares Violet. Their characters signify contrast themes in the novel. Violet wants to forget and move on; she wants to live and Finch is fascinated with death to a point where it does seem like he wants to die.


In the end, Violet and Finch’s love for each other is not enough to survive everything but they do save each other. Violet learns to live and hope again because of Finch no matter how it ends. Finch’s death is suicide but this time it does happen unknowingly. He doesn’t jump into the lake with the thought of killing himself but that’s what his actions lead to. Another thing that plays an important part in the story is to enjoy the present to its fullest because of the thought of ‘what could be or what could have been’ takes a toll on a person.


All the Bright Places isn’t a typical love story in any way. It tackles the impact of death and mental illness on individuals and how people struggle with grief. The end is heartbreaking and knowing how it ends from start; didn’t stop my tears. The book is about love and hope but it raises awareness about mental health and grief in such a subtle yet impactful way. This book stays with you for a while because of the way the story and the characters touched your heart. It is a beautifully heartbreaking book.

*Click on the image above to get a copy.

Books Review: Just For Now (Sea Breeze #4).

Just For Now (Sea Breeze #4)

-Abbi Glines.


I read the Vincent Boys series by Abbi Glines. I enjoyed reading those books and then I turned to this series by the author. I didn’t read Just For Now in the order it was intended but it didn’t take me away from the story at all.

Just For Now focuses on the love story of two characters Amanda Hardy and Preston Drake. They come from two completely different backgrounds and his reality is much different than hers. Amanda has a crush on Preston since her teens and he is her brother’s friend. Preston is kind of aware of her innocent crush but makes sure to keep a distance from her. The story begins when Amanda is successful in getting Preston’s attention for one night and it doesn’t end well for her emotionally.


The point of view keeps shifting from Amanda to Preston which works really well because it gave me an insight into the characters. This also went a long way in making the characters likable and relatable I think. Amanda and Preston’s paths cross a few weeks after that one night and this is where the pace of the story picks up. Preston is eluded to be doing something shady from the start but as the story progresses it is made clear. It was unexpected yet hinted at so not a complete surprise. For me, not completely knowing the backgrounds of supporting characters from other books of the series wasn’t an issue. This was Preston and Amanda’s story so it didn’t matter to me.


Amanda’s character can be naïve at times but she makes the right decisions when it matters. Her crush on Preston, in the beginning, is so rosy and idealistic but after how things end the night she finally manages to get his attention are eye-opening. After this, she realizes that Preston is not as perfect as she made him out to be in her imagination and looks at him realistically accepting that he has flaws. Preston is such a different character. There are so many things about him that don’t seem right with his sleeping around, his drinking, his job but he is trying his best to be a better person.


It was sad to find out about Preston’s past with his family and how his mother doesn’t care at all about him. He is responsible for his three younger siblings and is practically taking care of two households at once. Preston purposely keeps Amanda at bay or tries to because he knows she is going to leave when she finds out what his “job” is but it doesn’t go according to plan. Amanda starts to discover things about Preston’s family life and supports him through tough situations. They have a good relationship except for his lying part which he is constantly guilty about but still, he does lie.


Their love story is cute, dramatic, and different than I expected it will be. The relationship between them develops naturally and they open up to each other slowly. The part where Amanda’s brother finds out is slightly dramatic but it doesn’t seem unnecessary to the plot. Preston and Amanda have good chemistry from the start so when for a brief period towards the end they are not together anymore makes you feel their hurt over its end. The characters go through changes slowly but steadily as the story moves ahead and this makes the conclusion satisfying. It has a happy ending.


I read the first couple of chapters and then kept it aside while I finished A Streetcar Named Desire. Once I picked it up again, I finished it in 24 hours. It is an engaging, fun, cute, and steamy romance novel. I loved reading this book. This book was exactly the kind of novel I needed to read during this lockdown period because it cheered me up. I might add this book to the re-reading list, I enjoyed it.

*Get a copy for yourself. Click on the image above.

Book Review: Perfect Regret (Bad Rep #2)

Perfect Regret (Bad Rep #2)

– A. Meredith Walters.


I have read quite a few books written by A. Meredith Walters and I really enjoyed reading all of them. Perfect Regret is the second book of the Bad Rep series. I didn’t read the first one because I didn’t think I’ll like it. It didn’t make any difference at least I think it didn’t that I read this book as a standalone novel.


Riley Walker is a self-assured and ambitious individual. She has all these plans about her life and she makes sure to work towards it. Riley gets dumped by Hunter who she thinks was a perfect person for her and that makes her second guess herself. Garrett Bellows is a lead guitarist in a band and is drifting aimlessly in life. He is the kind of person Riley can’t stand and they don’t get along very well but tolerate each other for their friends’ sake. Garrett and Riley hook up after a party and Riley immediately regrets this but things start changing for her.


I liked the characters of Riley and Garrett. They are opposite of each other but when they are together it makes sense. They are not as different as Riley believes them to be. Their love story unfolds in a cute and natural manner which I liked. The reservations Riley has about Garrett at the beginning about his behavior and lifestyle choices seem justified concerns. She sticks to her guns and can be too stubborn at times but she doesn’t come off as completely unreasonable at any point.


Garrett’s character had much more depth than I thought he would have. He seems typical in the beginning but as the story progresses there is a whole new side to him. As you go ahead, I could understand and sympathize with some of his actions and why he seems purposeless in life. Riley can be mean to him at times and you do feel bad because he doesn’t exactly deserve this behavior. The way the story is written, the chemistry between the characters is palpable from the beginning. The emotional connection that they develop happens so naturally.


I loved reading this book. Riley and Garrett both have their own issues and baggage which they learn to deal with individually first and then together. The story is relatively simple and straightforward but the characters are complex, layered and sometimes, completely relatable. I liked the pace of the story and the fact that there was no unnecessary drama. I know this is a story I’ll reread over the years.

*Buy a copy on Amazon by clicking on the book cover.

Currently Reading (March 2020)

My reading list for this month so far.

1) Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

I read this book almost 6 years ago. I loved the book but never re-read it. I saw the Little Women movie recently and I realized how many details from the book I have forgotten. So, I am going to read the book again this month. I loved the characters and their relationships with each other. The story has subtle emotional undertones throughout which I like because it’s not explicit for the reader all the time. I am excited to read it for the second time.

2) Perfect Regret by A. Meredith Walters.

This book is part of the Bad Rep series but I am not planning to read the one before because I don’t think I’ll like it, guessing by the description. So, I’ll read this one as a stand-alone novel. I started reading it last night and I read 5 chapters at once. I like the characters and how natural the flow of the story is so far. Not reading previous book is not an issue; I didn’t feel lost because of it. I am intrigued to see how the story unfolds as the plot moves forward.

3) 1984 by George Orwell.

I wasn’t able to finish this book last month as I had planned. I read it less than I anticipated because it can get heavy at times due to its dystopian elements. It’s very interesting and engaging but I am not being able to read the book at a stretch. I will finish this book before I properly start the other ones. Hopefully, next week I will post a review of this book.

*Buy a copy on Amazon by clicking on the books covers.

Book Review: The Boy Most Likely To (Huntley Fitzpatrick).

The Boy Most Likely To

-Huntley Fitzpatrick.


When I started reading it, I had no idea it was part of a series and I simply picked it up because I thought it was interesting. So, I read this book as a standalone novel and now I will probably read the first one. The Boy Most Likely To is the first book I have read by the author.

The main protagonists of the book are Tim Mason and Alice Garrett. Tim has a lot of emotional baggage and has made questionable decisions in the past but is trying really hard to change his life and it’s actually working. As you are reading, you know Tim has made mistakes in the past but his genuine efforts to change his life makes him such a sympathetic character. He believes the worst about himself because people around him, especially his family, have always pointed out his mistakes. They constantly think he is going to screw everything up even when he hasn’t done anything.


Alice has a lot of responsibility on her shoulders. She is taking care of her younger siblings, worrying about her parents and finances and studying to be a nurse. I liked Alice’s character a lot. She is headstrong, confident and self-aware yet vulnerable; she doesn’t let anyway get away with anything and it is such a cool trait to possess. She is unsure about her feelings for Tim, who is younger than and her brother’s best friend. Even the secondary characters of the rest of the Garrets including Jase who is Tim’s best friend and his girlfriend Samantha are well-rounded characters.


The best part of the story for me was the characters. The development of the characters throughout the story seems natural and realistic. They don’t grow overnight and just trying their hardest to better themselves and that makes them incredibly relatable. All the characters seem genuine; their thoughts or emotions do not seem fabricated. I teared up a couple of times while reading. I liked the portrayal of the inner struggle these characters go through and both Tim and Alice have a different yet parallel approach to things. The list of The Boy Most Likely To which Tim keeps pinned on his fridge hits his struggle home.

The relationships in the book are my second favorite part. The relationship between Tim has with his twin Nan is the only somewhat healthy relationship he has with his family. He thinks more of Garretts as him, family, then his parents which is a little sad but the way his father treats him that is understandable. Tim and Jase are more like brothers than a best friend and the rapport between them is completely organic. Even the central romance of Tim and Alice takes a while to get off the road but it keeps you intrigued and they develop a good understanding between them as time passes.

As I said before, I read this book as a standalone novel yet I never felt that I missed anything because I didn’t read the first one. I liked this book a lot. The pace is good, it doesn’t slow down in between; its consistent throughout. I pretty much finished it in one sitting. It is genuine, funny, sweet and sad.

Story on Wattpad: Stole My Heart

This is a story I wrote in 2012 when I was seventeen years old. I had just discovered Wattpad and was completely fascinated with it so I decided to give writing a shot.

I always liked writing but I never went out of way to write anything excpet journal enteries as any teenager would. Its because of this story that today I write; I discovered my passion.

Now, ‘Stole My Heart’ is a love story; set in high school and written by a teenager. I am proud of it so I want to to share it here. Recently, I have started editing it so its not polished yet.

Do give it read and let me know what you think of it. 🙂

https://www.wattpad.com/story/1145452-stole-my-heart-editing

Book Review: The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold).

The Lovely Bones

by Alice Sebold.

I picked this book on a whim in the library the other day because I found the title and the blurb on the back very interesting. I didn’t know anything about the book prior to reading it except having heard the title of the book. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down and finished it in two nights over the weekend.

The Lovely Bones is a story of a 14-year-old girl named Susie Salmon who is raped and murdered walking home from school in December 1973. Susie is the narrator of the story as she watches over her family and friends from ‘her’ heaven. The first couple of chapters of the book are difficult to get through because of the descriptions of rape and murder but the descriptions play a part in the overall plot of the book. Susie’s heaven is what she wants it to be but she still she is stuck there. She watches the effect her death has on her family and feels helpless to do anything about it.

The reaction to her death is different for each family member. Her father wants the murderer to be found yet as hope that maybe Susie is alive since no dead body was found; her mother closes off and revaluates her life. Lindsey and Buckley, Susie’s siblings have to grow up way too fast and deal with whispers of people around them. The story gets a lot sadder before it gets better.

The part where Susie watches her murderer getting away with his crime is frustrating as there is solid evidence against him. Somehow, Susie makes contact with her family and friends; they see her in mirrors, a fleeting shadow and unknowingly Susie has been talking to her little brother Buckley, who is 6 at the time of her death.

In a way, Susie tries to live her life through her sister Lindsey. The things Lindsey experiences growing up which Susie will never get to live, it is heartbreaking. I think one of the main draw points of the book is maybe after death there is someplace better you go. Everyone has lost someone in their life; the notion of an afterlife in the book is in a way a comforting sentiment. The reaction of individuals during a tragedy especially in the family unit pulls at the reader’s heartstrings.

The book has multiple perspectives as Susie follow the life on earth of the people she cares about. There is almost an innocence in the narration of Susie which kept reminding me that even if it’s been years since her murder, she is still 14 because she never got to grow up.

The book doesn’t weave moral complexities but it draws out feelings of sadness, hope, disturbing images yet a comfort throughout the story. Susie watches over her loved ones for a long time almost ten years before she finally moves on. It starts with disturbing cruelty and by the end, in its own way it can be called a happy ending. 

I really liked reading the book, it makes you think about the world and pulls emotions out of you but I don’t think I’ll reread this one.

*Get a copy by clicking on the book cover above.

Book Review: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (John Boyne).

The boy in the striped pyjamas

By John Boyne

I have been on a historical novel reading spree for a while now. This book has been on my radar because of its World War II setting. I wanted to read this book for so long, years actually. I finally read it and I am still reeling from it a little bit.

The boy in striped pyjamas is a Holocaust novel set during World War II. The two main characters of the story are Bruno and Shmuel who share the same birthday are 9 years old. The story is narrated from Bruno’s point of view. Bruno’s family is well off, his father is in the army in Nazi Germany and they live in Berlin. Bruno’s father is promoted to Commandant and they have to move from Berlin to concentration camp Bruno calls ‘Out-With’.


The narration of the story through Bruno is a great idea. He is 9-year-old and he doesn’t understand what is going around him. There is an innocence and purity in the narration because Bruno is an innocent child. He is distraught about leaving his life, friends and grandparents in Berlin and like any child would especially when he doesn’t understand the circumstances. He doesn’t like the new house, there are no kids around except his sister and he wonders about the camp he can see his from his window. His character is relatable as he is always seeking adventure and likes exploring. It is this curiosity that leads to Bruno meeting Shmuel.


Bruno and Shmuel become friends almost instantly. There is a sharp contrast in the life of Bruno and Shmuel and it is depicted in a heartbreaking way. Bruno is living in a big house with his family and has access to all necessities. While Shmuel lives in the concentration camp in terrible conditions. It was difficult for me to read the dialogues for Shmuel. This little boy has been through so much and seen things no 9-year-old should see. Bruno doesn’t understand Shmuel’s world but he feels bad for him. Their friendship is so innocent, Bruno sneaks food out of his house because he realizes Shmuel is very thin and sickly.


The end of the book was devastating, it was hard to control the tears after that ending. I know the book has some inaccuracies especially with the way the boys meet but it doesn’t take anything away from the story as a whole. It is a very good book and it is different in a way as the protagonists’ characters are kids, their point of view is completely different. The horrors of the Holocaust during World War II are depicted in a sensitive manner in this book and gives a sense of that horrible time in history. The pace of the plot is fairly quick and doesn’t drag on at any point.


Even though the book is targeted for younger audiences, it is recommended for readers of all ages. I might not read the book again because I don’t think I’ll be able to but it is a must read. Now that I have read the book, I am going to see the movie based on it.

*Get a copy by clicking on the book cover above.

My Favorite Fantasy Book Series

My Favorite Fantasy Book Series

I don’t read fantasy books that frequently but I have read a few fantasy book series now. This list is based only on the book series I have read till now and specifically the one I really liked. So, I made a list of the fantasy book series I have loved so far.

1) Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling.

Harry Potter was my initiation into fantasy books and also into book series. Before I never read book series preferring to read standalone works. What can I say about this series which hasn’t been said before; I can say that I love it! I have re-read the series over the years and it still brings me the same joy. The characters and the story is what hooked me when it came to these books. It remains one of the favorite books of all time.

2) The Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

I binge watched the first three seasons of Game of Thrones one summer during college. I loved the show and decided to read the book series. The pace of the books is slower in places but it is very interesting. The character insights and motives are something which is limited on screen but in the book, you get a perfect sense of the characters. It is actually my favorite thing about these books, the characterization. The books differ from the show but it is just as intriguing and wonderful experience reading the books as it is to watch the tv series. I hope the next book comes out soon, the last one ends on a cliffhanger.

3) Lux Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The Lux series is a fantasy book series which has five books in it. I have read works of this author before so when I read the premise of this book I picked it up. It is a really interesting read. I finished the first book almost overnight and the other four the following days. Katy moves into a new alien and meets her infuriating neighbor Daemon. The chemistry between these two characters is pretty evident from the start and I really liked the way their relationship evolved over the books, It is a teenage romance with fantasy and science fiction elements to it. It can be predictable at times but the overall experience was very enjoyable.

4) The First Law by Joe Abercrombie

The First Law is a trilogy written by the British author Joe Abercrombie and its set a mythical world. Honestly, I had never heard about this series before but the premise seemed intriguing so I read it. The books are unpredictable, violent yet maintain certain a sense of humor though it is gritty in nature. The series is a delightful fantasy series which kept me on the edge as the complicated characters draw you into their worlds. I went through this series pretty quickly and loved reading it.

5) Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

I know Twilight is kind of a controversial choice. I read Twilight when I was a teenager and I loved it. I found Bella pretty relatable with her awkward, clumsy and introverted nature. I am aware these books are not masterpieces but they hold a certain appeal especially to a specific demographic. I am fond of the series because it is nostalgic to me. I finished the books back to back and I have re-read them. I think the books are much better than the movies in comparison. Even in my early 20’s now, I still like this series for some reason.

These books are some of the best fantasy books I have read so far. I am sure there are much more amazing book series in the fantasy genre which I haven’t even read. This list might see some additions to it over the period of time.

Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng.

Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng

It’s a book I have been meaning to read for a while now. Finally, when I got around to reading it, I finished reading it really quickly and it’s amazing. It is a good book no doubt but it’s not exactly an easy read. The novel is about an American Chinese family. The book begins with the disappearance of Lydia Lee; she is the middle child of James and Marilyn Lee and also their favorite. The book is set in the 1970’s in a small town in Ohio. The lives of everyone in the family are turned upside down once Lydia’s body is found at the bottom of a lake. The narrative then encompasses each of the family members perspectives and it shifts from past to present.

The book is written beautifully, every single emotion felt by the characters is described so perfectly, there is never a sense of detachment towards any characters because of this. The oldest son Nath is such a sympathetic character, he is brushed aside by his parents his relationship with his father James is strained because Nath is different than the person James wants him to be. Hannah is the youngest daughter and she is pretty much neglected by everyone in the family. The tone of the book lingers in sadness from the start but Hannah’s chapters just hits you hard; she is a quiet little girl who is the most observant one in her family, she blends in the background so often that the characters don’t even know if she is in their presence.

In the beginning, I’ll admit Lydia’s character didn’t intrigue me much but as the story unravels I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. She is the sole focus of her parents, she is pressurized by her parents knowingly as well as unknowingly. James and Marilyn pin all their lifelong hopes on her without realizing that it’s crushing her. As the past of James and Marilyn is slowly revealed through flashbacks you understand where they come from; James as someone who couldn’t fit in the “American” society and Marilyn who gives up on her aspirations and lives with regret.

The novel tackles sensitive topics like casual racism, sexism, and miscegenation without actually becoming a story about either of these topics. The subtleness weaved throughout the plot makes it much more effective and dramatic. All the characters are relatable and none of their emotions seem fabricated and the flow is very natural. The minor characters too like- Marilyn’s mother and Jack also play an important part in moving the plot ahead and it all adds up to the ending.

The dynamic between this family is tangible though I thought it was dysfunctional most of the time. Relationships between the characters at times are normal and at times are not, for example, Nath and Lydia. They are close but Lydia needs Nath a lot more as a support system than he needs her and the thought of him leaving for college disturbs Lydia. The plot stays focused on Lydia’s death and explores the lives of the family past and present through this incident.

The book was emotionally draining which was the reason I couldn’t read it as fast as I wanted to. It is a beautifully written book, it moves from past to present with perspective from each of the four characters seamlessly without the plot becoming confusing. The novel keeps you guessing from the beginning and you can’t wait to find out all the answers. I think it’s a must-read.

*Get a copy by clicking on the book cover above.