Tag: YA

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.

Currently Reading (May ’20)

Currently Reading (May ’20)

My reading list for this month.

  1. Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught.

I read ‘Perfect’ written by Judith McNaught and I liked her writing style. I found this book pretty randomly. I haven’t read historical fiction and romances much before but I think it is a fascinating genre. I started reading this book a couple of days ago and I have already finished 200 pages of it. The plot of the book focuses on the passionate and star-crossed love story of Elizabeth Cameron and Ian Thornton. The book is fast-paced and interesting. I think I’ll finish this one very quickly.

2. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.

I borrowed this book a couple of years ago from a library but never finished it back then before I had to return it. I was almost halfway through the book back then and now that I have a copy, I am going to start from the beginning. I have read just a chapter of it as of yet but the premise of the story keeps you hooked. Never Let Me Go is a dystopian novel yet it is grounded in the real world with its setting which enhances the impact of the story. This time I am going to finish reading it quickly so there are no breaks in continuity for me while reading.

3. All the Bright Places by Niven.

This is one of my favorite books of all time. I read it at least 4 years back for the first time. Its been too long so I am going to read this again because I liked it so much the first time. The story of Violet and Finch is fun, self-aware, and heartbreaking. The character of Finch is so well written and the way Violet and Finch help each other is beautiful. I can’t wait to read this book again even though I am sure it’s going to end with me crying over it again.

4. Selected Stories by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

I have been reading a lot of short stories lately. I never felt brave enough to start reading Crime and Punishment or any other works by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Reading classics can seem like a task at times but I want to read his works so reading the short stories will kind of ease me into his writing style. I read the first two stories and they are really good. The descriptions and the writing style is unique and it’s not as heavy as I expected it to be.

*Get a copy from Amazon. Click on the book covers above.

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.

My Thoughts on “Eleanor and Park”

   Eleanor and Park 

                   – Rainbow Rowell

I wanted to read this book for months. Last week I finally bought a paperback copy for myself. It took me just two days to finish reading it because it was difficult to keep it down. The book is a refreshing take on a teen love story. The narration of the story is straight forward, it doesn’t digress and it’s both from Eleanor as well as Park’s point of view. Both the characters do not fit the exact mold of stereotypes shown in high school stories maybe that’s why they are so relatable because in reality very few actually fit the clichés we read about teenagers.

Eleanor and Park are two people who are very different from each other, not only their personalities differ but family backgrounds too. You can empathize with both of them but personally I felt really bad for Eleanor. Both of them have their own set of problems and an entirely distinct approach and perspective to them. All teenagers are a mess, some more so than the others; the book captures that turmoil pretty perfectly. Eleanor stands apart from the rest of the girls in school and is picked on for it but they don’t know how difficult her life is and being insensitive they just add to her troubles.

There are always such people around you especially in high school. It’s such little nuances that shine through in the book that keep you curious; you can’t wait to find out what going to happen next; it wasn’t what I had guessed. The inner conflicts the characters go through is portrayed so well that you feel all those emotions along with the characters and that is one of the reasons I liked this book so much.

There is sub-plot of identity crises in the story which as a Cultural Studies student was very fascinating to me but that might just be me overanalyzing the situation. Park struggles with his feelings for Eleanor because he didn’t think much of her in the beginning and it is a task for him to come out of that mind set. Like any teenager Park is concerned about the thoughts of his peers which prompts him to keep a distance from Eleanor which doesn’t work out. Eleanor on the other hand is guarded around people and I think she is incredibly brave in dealing with crises but she has a lot of baggage. Eleanor’s behavior stems from insecurity and anxiety that she has to live with every day.

There is a whole different dynamic to the story solely because of good characterization.  There are many popular culture references which emphasize the fact that the characters are teenagers and adds an element of reality. The serious conflicts in the story aren’t explicitly described in the novel but subtle hints are woven throughout the plot from the very beginning.

The plot of the book wasn’t overly complicated or dramatic in anyway but it leaves an impression on the reader, that’s for sure. The title of the book is the names of the two protagonists and the plot remains dedicated to them instead of going in other directions which has happened in the books I have read before. Overall I really enjoyed reading Eleanor and Park. It is not exactly a light read typical love story, there is a darker theme constantly underlining the plot and the tone of the novel. I am sure I will read this book again and enjoy it just as much as I did reading it the first time.

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

Top Five Favorite YA Books

I have read a lot of young adult books lately and while some didn’t interest me at all, others were mostly predictable. By the first couple of pages I was bored and finishing them started to feel like a task. Finally I was able to find the kind of books I love reading. I must admit I ended up reading some of these books more than once. This is a list of the books which left a long-lasting impression on me because I found them relatable. I know at the end of the day these books are fiction but still they seem to be grounded; realistic which is why I loved them.

1. Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher.

There are no words to describe the roller coaster ride of emotions this book takes you on. The plot is engaging and fast paced, the characters are so real that nothing feels forced or a plot convenience. The first couple of pages are enough to suck you in. Just a suggestion; keep a box of tissues handy while reading this one.

2. All the Bright Places – Jennifer Niven.

I had a hard time recovering emotionally after reading this one. The story deals with a heavy subject like mental health to an extent also about death but the book can’t be simple classified as sad. Violet and Theodore pull you into their story; make you happy and sad and everything in between. Watch out for the ending.

3. We Were Liars – E. Lockhart.

I started reading this book with one thing in mind but it turned out to be something entirely different. It markets itself as the story of four super privileged kids and the summer of their lives but it is so much more thrilling and heartbreaking than you expect it to be. This book will make you turn right back to the beginning of the story after you have finished reading the end.

4. Looking For Alaska – John Green.

John Green loves to make us sad; this book is another example of it. Reading this book will put you through so many emotions, you will be overwhelmed. The first half is a fun-filled ride but that is just a devious ploy to make us think this book might not be a cry fest like The Fault in Our Stars. It stays in your mind long after you have finished it.

5. Maybe Someday – Colleen Hoover.

I realized that this is the only book on my list which is actually a light read. It is full of emotions and turmoil but at the heart it is a love story. The characters fall in love in such an organic way and you can’t help but feel all giddy inside yourself. I read ninety percent of this book in one sitting till I was too exhausted to keep my eyes open, I had to know what happens next. It is engaging from start to finish.

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