Our Dark Duet

Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity, #2) by Victoria Schwab

My rating: five stars

Genre: YA, fantasy, dystopian

Edition: paperback


KATE HARKER isn’t afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she’s good at it.

AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.



Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waiting—one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims’ inner demons.

Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?

I can’t believe it took this long to read this book after the first one, but I finally did! I wish I had read this duology a long time ago, because it is now one of my favorites! I honestly wish that it was a full long series instead of a duology. However, I am happy how it turned out.

Likes: The change in personalities Kate and August have gone through since the first book was so realistic and is something that most books are missing. So many tragic events happened in the first book, it makes complete sense that they would be different people. They were stronger in some ways, but in others they were haunted by their past. They were forced to be people they didn’t want to be in an effort to help humanity. It was a painful but beautiful thing to read about. I liked how we got to learn more about other characters in this story – mainly August’s family. We also got to learn more about how their army works and how the city is functioning now that Kate’s father is gone. The new monster in this story is awesome. Of course, it is bad, but how it works is interesting. This book was so complex and deep – even more so than the first one – that I would love to read it over and over just to see if I missed anything.

Dislikes: I am wracking my brain trying to think of something that I did not like, and I honestly can’t think of anything. The ending broke me, but in a good way, so I can’t really say that’s a dislike. Sorry, I don’t have one, I guess.

Overall, this book was incredibly intricate, on a level I haven’t seen in many books. It had me laughing, gasping, and sobbing. Victoria has a way of writing that brings emotions straight to the surface. I was so invested in this story, I would recommend this book to everyone and it is towards the top, if not at the top, of my favorite books of all time. Though I wish the series was longer, it wrapped up well and in a way that I think a continuation would ruin the beauty of the story.

I’m Not Dying with You Tonight

I’m Not Dying with You Tonight by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal

My rating: four stars

Genre: YA, fiction

Edition: Hardcover

Goodreads summary: Lena has her killer style, her awesome boyfriend, and a plan. She knows she’s going to make it big. Campbell, on the other hand, is just trying to keep her head down and get through the year at her new school.

When both girls attend the Friday-night football game, what neither expects is for everything to descend into sudden mass chaos. Chaos born from violence and hate. Chaos that unexpectedly throws them together.

They aren’t friends. They hardly understand the other’s point of view. But none of that matters when the city is up in flames, and they only have each other to rely on if they’re going to survive the night.

This was the September book club pick for the Barnes and Nobles YA Book Club. Honestly, I don’t know if I would have read this book if not for that, simply because contemporary is not my favorite genre and books that take place over a short time span aren’t my favorite. HOWEVER, I am so glad that I did read this!!

Likes: Having two authors writing the book from each of their own perspectives – as a black American and a white American – was interesting and I thought it made it sound more realistic. Sometimes you can tell when the author has not experienced something with how they write out scenes, but I think having two authors who grew up with different lives added an element of realism to the book. I loved how this book made me think. It made me ask hard questions and evaluate life around me and even my own life. It got me thinking and looking at life differently. I always enjoy books that make me look at the world in a new way and help me sympathize with the characters. This story did that and in that way, it was a perfect book for the book club because it really got us talking with each other for a long time trying to dissect this book. The way that the two girls find friendship is great. They were different in so many ways, and didn’t care for each other at the beginning, but they worked around their differences and learned to like each other for them. They found ways in which they were similar and learned from how they were different. It was beautiful to read about.

Dislikes: The main thing that I did not like was that Lena spends almost the entire book trying to get to her boyfriend, when he treats her like absolute garbage and does not care about anything other than impressing his friends. They could have avoided so many dangerous scenarios if they hadn’t spent so long trying to get to him. They literally continued walking through the riot trying to get to a tattoo shop that he was supposed to be at! The fact that he didn’t care that she was in so much danger and how poorly he treated her and her friend got on my last nerve. I also still do not enjoy books that take place in one day as much as others. The ending just seems like a cliff hanger. So much happened to the two main characters in such a short amount of time, I am extremely interested in how this affected them, which was never shown. It was just annoying that I didn’t get to see if there was any long-lasting character growth.

Overall, I thought this book was a fast read that had a lot of good, eye-opening content. I would have preferred it to be longer to see how all the new information and experiences affected the characters, but I still liked it. I think this book would broaden people’s view of the world and it did a good job in showing two completely different view-points. I think no matter who reads this, there is something to learn and get out of it.

Silent Kingdom

Silent Kingdom (Silent Kingdom, #1) by Rachel L. Schade

My rating: three stars

Genre: YA, fantasy

Edition: Kindle

Goodreads summary: Chosen by truth. Marked for death. Halia must choose to save her kingdom, or let it fall.

Misroth’s king has died, and the entire kingdom is in mourning—or so it seems. After her father is crowned regent in his brother’s stead, Princess Halia discovers a terrible truth that could end her life. But when she flees to live in hiding, she discovers that the Royal Guard are not all she has to fear. Dark creatures stalk her, reports of oppression and war reach her ears, and her burden to protect her kingdom—at any cost—will not be silenced.

I am the type of reader that likes to read several stories at once and who likes to read all the time. So that means that I usually have a physical book (or several), an audiobook, and an eBook going on. I honestly picked this book because it was free on Kindle and sounded interesting.

Likes: The storyline itself was pretty cool, the idea of only being able to speak the truth was something I don’t often see in fae-less books. The friends that she meets on her journey are fun and I really enjoyed their interactions. To be completely honest, this book had so much potential, I think the writing itself just wasn’t that great.

Dislikes: The writing. Throughout the book there were so many repetitions. She almost fell or did fall down like a million times in one chapter. This is the main one that I noticed, but there were so many other instances of repetitions – like her choking on her words. Along with that, the pacing was slow in the middle of the book which made it difficult to read. It seemed like the very beginning and the very end of the book was fast paced but this whole big chunk in the middle was slow. Overall, I thought this book had so much promise. The story line seemed interesting and I did enjoy the characters. However, the overly repetitive writing alongside the slow pace just didn’t do it for me. I ended up giving it three stars, though I am interested in what the rest of the books are like and if the writing gets any better. 

This Savage Song

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1) by Victoria Schwab

My rating: five stars

Genre: YA, fantasy, dystopian

Edition: paperback

Goodreads Summary: There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

This. Book. Is. So. Freaking. Good. I cannot believe I waited this long to read it. To be honest I hadn’t ever heard of it, which is such a shame because it was phenomenal! I am going to try and immediately pick up the second one.

Likes: I LOVE the cover. It is so simple and yet has a bunch of little details that you will find if you look closely. I can tell that a lot of thought was put into the cover and I really appreciate that. (I am speaking about the US cover because that is the one I own. However, the UK cover is so beautiful I am tempted to buy it too.) I also like how there are different types of monsters based on the tragedy that happened that created them. That is so creative, I have never heard of anything like that before. The powers that August has and how Victoria Schwab describes them is beautiful and terrifying at the same time. Every time he uses his powers I get chills. That is another thing that I like – Victoria’s writing style! I know she is extremely popular and now I know why. Her writing is so descriptive, I can actually visualize what is happening and it makes me not want to put the book down. I also liked the complexity of the main character. Here we have August who thinks he is evil and a monster, when really he is a pretty good character, and we also have Kate who thinks she is good whereas she is planning to do some bad things to please her father and is overall morally gray. The contrasting visions of themselves really put some depth in the book.

Dislikes: I literally don’t even know. There were characters I didn’t like but she wrote them to be unlikable – it was purposeful on her part. The ending wasn’t my favorite ending ever. I see why she did it, but at the same time I feel like there were so many other options on the character’s part, what happened didn’t need to in my opinion.

Overall, this book was incredible! I feel like I have been saying this about so many books lately, but it another favorite!! I am glad that I have been reading so many good books recently, and this one was definitely towards the top of the list! This book had complex characters, a deep storyline, and very descriptive writing. It almost doesn’t seem YA with how dark it gets, which I love. I feel like people are often judged for reading YA because people don’t think the genre is mature, and this book proves that wrong. It is deep and dark and something that really made me think about life. I loved it!

Aurora Rising

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle, #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

My rating: four stars

Genre: YA, Sci-fi

Edition: audiobook

Goodreads Summary: The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm

A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates

A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder

An alien warrior with anger management issues

A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

I am going to be honest and say that I don’t usually read space-themed books, however, this book has been all over BookTube and so I just had to see what all of the talk was about. 

Likes: One, the audiobook was really good! I don’t think I have listened to a full cast audiobook before and it helped me comprehend who was who so much easier than one-reader audiobooks! As for the story, one aspect that I appreciate is how there isn’t an automatic set romantic couple. It seemed like all of the characters had some sort of connection and chemistry with each other. There weren’t automatic “couples”, which was fun because it truly allows the reader to put characters that they like together instead of the author doing it for them. This doesn’t often happen in books and I found it refreshing! Especially since romance wasn’t a main theme in the book, so it allowed a lot to the imagination in terms of who should be with who. The pacing was also pretty good. It was a little slow at parts but the majority of the pacing was fast and the slow parts made sense and didn’t last too long. The mystery behind Aurora was intriguing and I enjoyed how I would get snippets of information throughout the whole story instead of no information the whole time and then all of it at the end. I tend to like the styles where I get some information throughout and then at the end I get a larger influx. 

Dislikes: The ending was great, don’t get me wrong. It was just a little much for me. So much happened at the end, and a lot of it was just so different from the rest of the book it unnerved me. All of a sudden, so many different elements were added to the story and the pace ramped up a crazy amount. I still enjoyed where they went with the ending, I guess it was just so unexpected and sudden that I couldn’t feel a deep connection to the book. 

Overall, this was a great read that I would definitely recommend! The difference between a four and five star read for me is honestly just a feeling. If I love the book and don’t really have anything wrong with it, but don’t feel a deep connection to the book, it will get four stars. I need that feeling of loving the book and wanting to read it again to give it five stars. For some unknown reason I just didn’t feel that way about this book, which is why I gave it four stars.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, #3) by Jenny Han

My rating: five stars

Genre: YA, Romance

Edition: Paperback

Goodreads Summary: And there’s still so much to look forward to: a class trip to New York City, prom with her boyfriend Peter, Beach Week after graduation, and her dad’s wedding to Ms. Rothschild. Then she’ll be off to college with Peter, at a school close enough for her to come home and bake chocolate chip cookies on the weekends.

Life couldn’t be more perfect!

At least, that’s what Lara Jean thinks . . . until she gets some unexpected news.

Now the girl who dreads change must rethink all her plans—but when your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

I absolutely loved the first and second books, so of course I immediately picked up this one right after finishing P.S. I Still Love You!

Likes: This last book takes place when Lara Jean is trying to figure out a place to go to college, and this transition from high school to college is an interesting turn of events. Life in high school was so different than life in college that I enjoyed seeing how the characters changed and grew. I feel like I could relate to it more since I was in college a couple years ago. This book focuses more on the transition from childhood to adulthood instead of solely relationships which was a nice change of pace. Not that I don’t like the focus on relationships – because I definitely do, it was just interesting to see what other stressors are in Lara’s world besides guys. The journey of Lara trying to find herself when everyone in her life was telling her to do different things was so relatable. I could see myself in her, which is usually when I have the most fun reading books. This story was more relatable and more real to me than any of the other books, even though the first one still might be my favorite. 

Dislikes: This book was a story about finding yourself and choosing between following your heart or doing what your head – and other people – tell you to do. So obviously there were some people saying annoying things and butting in to Lara Jean’s life when they really should have been supportive and helped her find out what she wanted to do. However, that is life I suppose.

Like the first two books, I give this one five out of five stars. Also like the first two books, I will not deduct a star just because there are character traits or decisions that I do not agree with. When people love you they will try to do what is best for you, even if it doesn’t seem like they are at the time. In this story I truly believe most of the characters are making certain decisions because they love Lara Jean and want what is best for her. So though it is frustrating, I can see why they are acting the way they are. I would 100% recommend this series, it is one of my favorite romance series’, and I really hope they put the whole trilogy on Netflix!!

2020 Resolutions

This is the first time I am actually writing my resolutions down and putting them out in the world, and I hope that it will help me keep them! Feel free to comment some of your own resolutions and we can help keep each other accountable!

In 2019 I finally plucked up the courage to create an bookstagram and blog. In 2020 I want to focus on being more consistent on these platforms and creating better content. A lot of my resolutions are about this, but I also want to focus on myself more this year. My mental and physical health aren’t where I want them to be and I would love to focus on being happier overall.


  • Go to church. I haven’t ever regularly gone to church, but I did go to a Christian school for elementary school through high school. I feel like I have lost that connection with God and would love to get that back.
  • Go to therapy. It is so frightening to go to therapy but I believe I will benefit from it. I have mainly been putting it off because I know that it is going to cost a lot of money, but this year I am going to focus on me because being in a good place mentally is priceless.
  • Along the same lines as the last resolution, I would like to get massages done once a month. Now this is going to be pricey. However, I have a desk job and hold a lot of stress in my shoulders. I usually get around 2 massages a year and after each massage I notice headaches abating and my overall physical health improving.
  • Improve my heath. Mainly, stop eating sweets and start working out. This is kind of vague and so I am going to say that I want to lose 15 lbs, just to make it more concrete. However, if I feel really healthy at the end of the year and I don’t weigh any less, then that is completely fine with me.
  • Learn Japanese. I took a couple years of it in high school and college but it has been a while since then. I want to get back into studying it because I am hoping to go there within the next couple years!


  • Read 36 books. Last year my goal was 24 and I ended up reading more than that, so I have decided to increase my goal this year.
  • Read the Harry Potter illustrated edition books.
  • Complete one or more of these series: Throne of Glass, Warriors, or all of Cassandra Clare’s books in the Shadowhunter world (Mortal Instruments, Infernal Devices, etc).
  • Write a review for every book I read.

Social Media

  • Get to 1000 followers on Instagram. I know this isn’t a huge goal – I am at 600 right now – but numbers aren’t the most important thing to me. I don’t want to make my goal too large so it doesn’t become too important to me.
  • Include more pictures on Instagram besides book photos. Include more hobbies! Skin care, fitness, crafting, etc. Don’t feel stuck in the book box!
  • Post on the blog at least once a week.
  • Create new content for the blog besides book reviews. (This post is even part of that!)
  • Pluck up the courage and create a Youtube! You can do it ❤

P.S. I Still Love You

P.S. I Still Love You (To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, #2) by Jenny Han

My rating: five stars

Genre: YA, Romance

Edition: Paperback

Goodreads Summary: Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.

She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.

When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

I read this book because I saw the first movie on Netflix – which is incredible, by the way, if you have not seen it! Then I read the first book which is equally as good, if not better, so naturally I had to pick this up! The second movie is even coming out February 2020, so I had to get ready for that. 

Likes: I will always love the romance in this book series, it is just so cute I can’t get enough. But what I love about this story is that there is not only great love between the two main characters, but the familial and friendly love in this book is also wonderful. I feel like so many romance books focus solely on the two main characters (or a third if it is a love triangle) as if they are in their own little world with no other life but the one that they have with their love interest. They just don’t seem realistic. I enjoy how this one focuses on other relationships that are equally as important as the romantic relationship – the relationship between Lara Jean and her sisters, the relationship between the sisters and their father, between her and Josh, etc. 

Dislikes: Like with the first book, the lack of communication between characters is so annoying. Peter is just so attached to his ex and he refuses to tell Lara why. I understand that being able to keep secrets is important, but when it goes so far as to hurt your relationship then it can be toxic. I am not saying he should tell her the secret, but at least explain to her in general terms what is going on so that Lara feels more secure.

I gave this book five out of five stars because I did still truly love the story. As with the last book, I am not going to deduct a star just because of lack of communication – that has to do with character personalities and is honestly a realistic representation of the real world. This book was so much fun and I feel like it focused more on other character relationships than the first book. I love Jenny Han’s writing style and truly believe I this will be one of my favorite series for an extremely long time.

The Selection

The Selection (The Selection, #1) by Kiera Cass

My rating: five stars

Genre: YA, Romance

Edition: Kindle

Goodreads Summary: The first book in the captivating, #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series! Discover a breathless fairy-tale romance with swoon-worthy characters, glittering gowns, fierce intrigue, and a dystopian world that will captivate readers who loved Veronica Roth’s Divergent, Ally Condie’s Matched, and Lauren Oliver’s Delirium.

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape a rigid caste system, live in a palace, and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her, and competing for a crown she doesn’t want.

Then America meets Prince Maxon—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

I have heard so many things about this series but I wasn’t really interested, simply because I thought it would be exactly like The Bachelor (which I have never been super into). However, I decided to pick it up because it was free on my Kindle and I was in the mood for some romance. I am so glad that I did!! 

Likes: I loved the pacing of this story. It was pretty fast paced through the entire book which did make me finish it much sooner than I wanted to, but it also kept me hooked the whole time. How the women are selected seems a little strange (very hunger games but with judges instead of picking randomly) but it was funny to see the theatrics all the girls go through to try and be picked. The whole time I was laughing at a lot of the women which was surprising. I honestly didn’t expect it to be a comedic book but it was! The women were really going at each other to try and be with the prince and I enjoyed reading about their endeavors. There was also a side plot that I didn’t expect with the government that was a nice addition to the story. The caste system was interesting but really sad. Basically, if you are a woman it is pretty bad if you marry below you because you are then that level caste. Depending on your caste you can only do certain work and make a certain amount of money. It made the romance at the beginning tragic. 

Dislikes: There was one girl character that was the absolute worst and I just don’t get why the prince didn’t eliminate her immediately. That part just didn’t seem realistic. Everyone in the entire castle knew how terrible this woman – except the prince apparently. She starts to do some horrible things to other girls and I don’t understand how she was getting away with it. 

Overall, this book made me want to fly through the entire series (if only I owned the other books…)! It was less superficial than I thought it would be, it actually had some depth to it. There were side stories that I enjoyed, and a complexity in the world that was unexpected. I still say that it is similar to the Bachelor, but with more intrigue and less pettiness.

Wilder Girls

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

My rating: four stars

Genre: YA, Dystopian Thriller

Edition: Hardcover

Goodreads Summary: It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

Can we please talk about this cover?? Even if Wilder Girls wasn’t the August pick for the Barnes and Nobles YA book club, I think I would have still bought and read this book because of the cover. The art style, the different textures, and the colors are just so beautiful; this has to be one of my favorite covers of the year. I also enjoy dystopian novels so I am glad that it was the August pick! 

Likes: The whole mystery of the story was intriguing. There were so many questions that I had, but it wasn’t too frustrating not knowing the answers at the beginning because I loved coming up with theories. How did the Tox start? Why does it change their bodies in drastic ways? Why are the woods so dangerous and life-like? I had so many questions at the beginning of the story but I wasn’t annoyed like I usually would be because she slowly explains some of it or she explains the girl’s opinions and theories which was interesting. She kept the story moving when it could have easily become slow or boring – I mean it takes place on an island, how much could happen? (apparently a lot!)

Dislikes: Honestly, the ending was the whole reason that I only gave it four stars. I am not going to give spoilers, but let’s just say it was a little unbelievable. There was a part where I just didn’t understand how everyone didn’t have a different, better solution to what was going on. It didn’t ruin the book, but it definitely made me question things. 

Overall, I gave Wilder Girls four out of five stars. It was an imaginative story that I loved falling into. The writing style was beautiful to me, and yet was really easy to read. A part before the end was honestly what caused me to deduct a star.