• Book Review: “Identical” by Ellen Hopkins

    I first read Identical by Ellen Hopkins when I was in high school. I’d started with Crank (if you haven’t yet read an Ellen Hopkins book, I highly suggest you start there), and was so eager to get my hands on more. The first time I read Identical was an experience I have only encountered once since. I didn’t see the ending of Identical coming, just as I didn’t see the ending of The Fault in Our Stars coming. These are the only two times that an ending has surprised me so much that I still, to this day, wonder how their authors so masterfully left me dumbfounded. I think this is the most disturbing Ellen Hopkins book I’ve read…

  • Book Review: “Half Blood Prince” by J.K. Rowling

    First of all, I’ve got to start by wishing J.K. Rowling a very happy birthday. 52 years ago, the world was gifted with a light, a passion, and a perseverance that has inspired me every day of my writing life. Today we celebrate you, Jo. Wishing you the happiest of birthdays. There was just something particularly magical about this book. Half Blood Prince is among my three favourites in the series. I’ve reviewed my other two favourites, Prisoner of Azkaban and Deathly Hallows. Half Blood Prince is particularly memorable not only because of the massive steps forward in plot (Dumbledore and Snape, hello!), but because the character relationships in this…

  • Book Review: “Prisoner of Azkaban” by J.K. Rowling

    Book Review: Prisoner of Azkaban

    Ugh, this book. Prisoner of Azkaban is the Harry Potter book that made me really fall in love with the series. Obviously I enjoyed Philosopher’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets, but it was Prisoner of Azkaban that made me really fall in love. I have fond memories of running through forests to find a place to sit and read this book. I wanted to feel like I was at Hogwarts, so I found places that reminded me of the Forbidden Forest. I’d sit for hours, reading about Hermione and the Time Turner. This is the book that turned J.K. Rowling into my personal hero. Prisoner of Azkaban is a refreshing…

  • Book Review: “Cracked Up to Be” by Courtney Summers

    Cracked Up to Be

    I think Cracked Up to Be is one of the best debuts I’ve ever read. Courtney Summers has masterfully crafted an “unlikeable” female protagonist who somehow makes you root for her. If you’re going to read one Summers book, make it Cracked Up to Be. Parker Fadley used to be the cheerleading captain, girlfriend of the most popular guy in school, and future valedictorian. Now, she’s failing classes and drinking in school. What the hell happened? Nobody knows except Parker. I love how beautifully damaged Parker is. Her incessant need to prove to everyone that she isn’t worth the time is incredible. You want to hate her, but you still…

  • Book Review: “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green

    The Fault in Our Stars

    There are very few books that have ripped my heart out and mended it quite like The Fault in Our Stars has. This book is beautiful in every single way: it’s the perfect length, its plot advancement is steady, and the characters are so realistic. This is one of the only books I’ve ever read that I continuously had to put down while reading and ask myself, Was that okay? The Fault in Our Stars tells the story of Hazel Grace Lancaster, a teenager who’s suffering from terminal cancer. Through a support group she meets Augustus Waters and they quickly form a friendship that breeds love. They teach each other…

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