Colleen Hoover Appreciation Post

This year for me was he year of Colleen Hoover. From Verity to Regretting You, Colleen’s writing has been maturing to serious, jaw dropping, heart stopping issues.

Whenever I read her books, I feel like I am friends with the author because of her witty humor and character personalities. I have never felt like that for any other author I have read!

Verity

Verity by Colleen Hoover
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book is unlike anything Colleen ever wrote before with its psychological thriller themes. I listened to it on audible and immediately became engrossed in the story – so much so that I found excuses to go on walks that were hours long just to continue listening. It was a wild ride that will make your breath stop. It definitely has less romance compared to her other books but it is seriously incredible. I can’t wait for her to release another book similar to Verity!

It Ends With Us

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book started my Colleen Hoover binge from November to December 2019. I listened to the audio while I was cooking and near the ending I just had to stop from my heart breaking. This is what introduced me to her books about serious heart breaking problems. This book made me feel so much more than any book has made me feel. Colleen has a way of writing about the characters that make you so connected with them, that when something terrible happens to them you feel it in your gut.

All Your Perfects

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This was the perfect one to continue my streak of heart wrenching Hoover books. It was more of a slow burn about the characters marriage compared to when they first met. I thought it was such a beautiful way to write a story to experience how much love can change throughout a marriage. I think it especially a beautiful story for people who have struggled to conceive to read because they would be able to connect with the characters even better. It also shows how important communication is in a relationship!!

November 9

November 9 by Colleen Hoover
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Now I delved in to her younger works which I still enjoyed. November 9 was so sweet because of the pure connection between the characters. When something didn’t go as planned, it made me hurt so bad because you know what they have is so important. There was one point where I got so mad for one of the characters but since you hear both of their sides it tears you apart.

Confess

Confess by Colleen Hoover
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It was so cool that the confessions used in this book came from actual readers! I know it adds depth but I get frustrated when characters seem like a bad person on the outside but they’re truly good on the inside. I know a few of her books have those themes but it makes me just want the other character to know how they truly are!! In some part it is refreshing that the perceived “good guy” is bad in reality with the “bad boy” being good in reality.

Hopeless

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book made me go back and forth from being happy to upset since the relationship was such a ride. The main premise with their love was so beautiful though.

Losing Hope

Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I didn’t realize at first that this book s just Hopeless from the guys perspective. I wish I waited more time to read it because it essentially felt like I was reading the same book that I just read again. The good part was that I could compare the stories to each other. It was definitely important to hear Dean’s side.

Regretting You

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book was very different because instead of focusing completely on romantic relationships, the family relationship was more important. I can’t say I agreed with the mom’s way of dealing with everything but it was definitely still a wild ride. I think it is kind of easy to tell the twist from the beginning but it is still amazing nonetheless.

I recommend Colleen Hoover books to people who like romance. If you like more YA romance I would suggest November 9 and Losing Hope. If you enjoy more mature romances then definitely It Ends With Us and All Your Perfects. If you’re into psychological thrillers, then definitely Verity!

❓Have you read any Colleen Hoover books?

REVIEWS: All We Ever Wanted, The Covenant, Red Queen

December has truly been the month of reading for me! I don’t know if it’s the fact that there isn’t a lot of tests right now or I’m just on a reading spree. I have read about 16 books already this month – I have seriously never read that much! I wasn’t even pushing to do it, I just keep reading book after book. Without further adieu, here’s some reviews!

REVIEW: All We Ever Wanted

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Published: June 26, 2018
Audiobook
Contemporary

If you love to read juicy gossip about Nashville’s high society, this book if for you. A few teenagers that attend an elite Nashville high school get in trouble when an inappropriate photo from a party circulates. The book goes over the difficult decisions made by parents to protect their children, even when the kids would rather forget about it to save face at school. It is told in 3 POV, which in the audiobook all of the voice actors were fantastic. I found the book to be drawn out with not a lot of action. Nonetheless, the book does an excellent job with presenting each characters stance on the issue.

REVIEW: The Covenant (1 Abram’s Daughters)

The Covenant by Beverly Lewis
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Published: September 1st, 2002
Ebook
Amish, Christian Fiction, Romance

This was my first ever Amish fiction book! I would see other readers post about it can decided to try it out. This book follows an Amish family and their day to day life. Since there are 4 daughters, one of them named Leah is the designated tom boy who helps her dad on the farm while the rest help their mom in the house. The story especially focuses on Leah’s older sister Sadie during her “Rumspringa” where she has the opportunity to see what is outside the Amish community. It follows Leah’s and Sadie’s love lives as they approach the age to get married. This book really taught me a lot about the Amish and after reading more about them, it seems quite accurate. I definitely plan on reading more in the future!

REVIEW: Red Queen (1 Red Queen)

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Published: February 10, 2015
Audiobook
Fantasy, YA, Dystopian

I have had my eyes on this book since it came out in 2015. I have a soft spot of YA dystopian fantasy novels and plus, the cover is gorgeous. But I must admit this book was a little bit of a disappointment to me. I think partially it may have been from listening to the audiobook instead of actually reading it that I started to get some of the characters names mixed up by the end. I felt like the story was not really special either – the main character Mare ends up being special along with some deceit and rebels. All in all I think I will continue with the series but I don’t feel like I’m DYING to read the next one.

I’m Back! + REVIEWS: Big Lies in a Small Town, The Chain, Crown of Midnight

It has been awhile my friends!

I really missed writing in this blog. I would think of posts for the week then it would go by without me posting anything. Life and school would get in the way and in the blink of an eye it went on for about 3 months?

School Update

I am currently in the middle of finals right down (4 down, 3 to go!) and so it’s the fake illusion of having extra time since it’s a break from clinic. I was really upset back in October when I found out we don’t really have much time off for the holidays. I felt like I heard that they had more time last year. I don’t like to travel around the holidays anyway but it would have been nice to have a break since we have been going nonstop since May.

In September my class was applying to places to go for our externships next year. Externships are basically “month long interviews” at hospitals you are interested in going to for your residency. I was so excited that I got all of the places I want to go on the first try and they all picked my first choice month. I look forward to it but I know it will be a lot of work!

I am also working on a research paper for my school’s journal and a poster for a surgery conference!

I finished by surgery rotation back in September and started Ortho/Peds in October. A lot of people would complain about this rotation and I can definitely say that it’s tiring – especially Wednesdays when I am in clinic from 9am to 8pm. Other than that, there a lot my workshops which I really like – it makes me feel like we are learning more instead of being slaves in the clinic (lol). But with more workshops comes more practical exams (I heard they’re not too bad though!). One concern my profession has as a whole is that it’s becoming to surgery focused while forgetting about basic biomechanics and orthopedics. Being in this rotation really gave me an appreciation about how much you can help people by putting something in their shoe rather than cutting them with surgery. It made me realize that when I come out of residency, I want to be able to do everything instead of only doing surgery.

Review: Big Lies in a Small Town

Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Published: January 14, 2020

Synopsis: This book follows the lives of 2 women – Anna Dale (1940) and Morgan Christopher (2018). Anna Dale was chosen anonymously to paint a mural for the post office in Edenton, North Carolina. Being from New Jersey, she decides to visit the small town to learn about what matters to the people who live there in order to make the new mural design. The townspeople are sour because they were hoping an artist named Martin Drapple from their small town would win. Eventually they began to warm up to her an insisted that she stayed while she worked on the mural. Fast forward to 2018 and Morgan Christopher was in prison for a crime she didn’t commit. After being in prison for about a year she is visited by the daughter of her favorite artist saying that there’s an assignment that only Morgan can perform so she can get out of jail early. The job is to restore an old mural. Morgan has been through 3 years of art school but has never taken on a task so daunting. But since it’s her only chance to get out, she willingly accepts.

Review: I was shocked by how much I enjoyed this book. Before I read it, I was in kind of a “reading slump” – not super into the audiobooks I was working my way through and only giving 3 stars max to books I was reading. This book reminded me what a 5 star book felt like – wanting to constantly continue reading, always wondering what will come next, and finishing the story in about 2 days. This book had the perfect amount of mystery to keep you guessing what was going to happen next, was organized with whose POV you were reading, and the ending came together perfectly. This was my first Diane Chamberlain book and I definitely look forward to reading more!

Recommend: I would recommend this book to people who like historical fiction and mystery! But warning – there is some racism and sexual abuse.

Thank you Netgalley & St. Martin’s Press for the ARC!

Review: Crown of Midnight

Synopsis: This book picks up with Celaena doing her work as the King’s assassin. You find out shortly that she’s not so complacent – she has been “killing” people by telling them to run away and change identities while grabbing bodies that were already dead to bring to the king. While training and working for the king, Calaena and Chaol start to get closer. While working on the next assignment, something happens that changes Calaena’s world and outlook forever.

Review: I thought this book was better than the first book in the Throne of Glass series but I still wasn’t as impressed with it compared to ACOTAR. It looks like the 3rd book gets even better so maybe it’s just a slower start to the series to get the reader acquainted with everything? I definitely still look forward to continuing it (once my library book is ready…)

Recommended: For people who like ACOTAR and fantasy.

Review: The Chain

The Chain by Adrian McKinty
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Published: July 9, 2019

Synopsis: It’s not about the money, it’s about the chain. Rachel got a call that would change her and her daughter’s life forever – her daughter was kidnapped. In order to get her back, she needs to pay a ransom and kidnap another child to keep the “chain” going.

Review: I was intrigued with this book just from the synopsis. While reading it, I could easily imagine it as a horror movie. The first part of this book was really good at showing Rachel’s emotions and hardships she was dealing with to get her daughter back. In the second part of the book every other chapter was about the people who began the chain – their upbringing all the way to present. I thought it was an interesting way to let the reader see both sides of it. Thank you Orion Publishing Group & Netgalley for the ARC!

Recommended: For people who like movies like “Saw” or mystery/thriller books.

Moving Forward

I am going to do reviews like this from now on instead of having separate posts for each book.

I aim to post 2-3 times a week – my other posts being about traveling and whatever else I feel like talking about. I would see a lot of people only talking about books on their blog/instagram and having different accounts for different things and I’m not really into that. I tried to do that on instagram but how I see it is that this blog is mine and so you’ll get all the different pieces of me – whether that’s school, travel, cooking, reading, etc.

I missed everyone that takes the time to look at this blog. I hope you are as happy as I am to be back ❤️

REVIEW: The Selection by Kiera Cass // Who will be chosen to be the next queen?

WARNING: Spoilers

The Selection by Kiera Cass
Duration: 336 pages
Format: ebook
Genre: YA, Romance
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“But no matter what, I want you to be loved. You deserve to be loved. And I hope you get to marry for love and not a number.”

Page 26, The Selection

Synopsis

Against all odds, America Singer was chosen out of all of the applicants from where she lived to participate in the selection – a competition for the possibility to be Prince Maxon‘s queen. When America sent in her application, she had no intention of participating because her heart was with a man named Aspen – who was in the caste below her.

When America arrives at the airport, she already gets a taste of how the other girls in the competition will be. She immediately got along with Marlee – a bubbly, kind girl who introduced herself by hugging America instead of shaking her hand. The rest of the girls were not as kind but still formal.

After arriving, America was overwhelmed with all the rules in the palace – not being able to go outside, wear comfortable clothes, and less communication with her family. The first night she tried to get to the backyard but the guards stopped her. This caused her to faint when suddenly Prince Maxon showed up and walked her outside.

As the competition continues, the true colors of the contestants are revealed as the pool gets smaller and smaller.

Review

Cover: All of the covers in this series are beautiful with the elegant gowns – I think that is what made so many YA reading girls drawn towards the series.

Plot: I like the idea of this plot – seeing 35 girls compete for the chance to be the next queen. To have better opportunities for their families and to live a better life. My only problem is, just by reading the official synopsis, you can guess pretty much the whole book. It’s too obvious – you can infer that the main character will be the girl Prince Maxon likes the most and so she will still be around by the end of the book (or else there wouldn’t be so many other books!). I can already guess in the future – she will be the one who wins. There was maybe 1 twist I didn’t see coming, but everything else was too easy. I have heard that the other books get more intense so I am hoping there will be more exciting events.

Writing: The writing was simple and enjoyable to read. It was the aspect of the book that made be not able to put it down.

Characters: I love the relationship between Prince Maxon & America in the beginning with America being his confidant/spy among the contestants. Slowly, America realizes she is falling for him and starts to get upset when he is going on other dates with girls and when she hears about him kissing other girls. I understand America’s anger, but it is also unfair because she was the one who pushed him away originally. Aspen (America’s boyfriend from back home) also drives me crazy when he becomes a guard at the palace because when he spends time with America, she could get in huge trouble if they are found. The other competitors being cutthroat keeps the competition interesting.

Overall: I really enjoyed the easy reading of this book so I will definitely be continuing the rest of the series. Despite the book being completely predictable, I am exciting to read what happens next.

“No, I’m not choosing him or you. I’m choosing me.”

Page 253, The Selection

REVIEW: Across the Universe // A journey to a new life

Across the Universe (Across the Universe #1) by Beth Revis
Duration: 399 pages
Format: audiobook
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

WARNING: Some spoilers

Synopsis

This book starts with Amy and her parents being frozen in cryochambers in the hope to help cultivate a new planet to life. They are put on a spaceship called Godspeed to spend 300 years traveling through space to this new place.

There has been several generations on the ship – made up of a race of people who all have similar characteristics. Everything is orderly – generations are born at the same time and the generations all live and die together. The leader of the ship is named Eldest and his next-in-line is named Elder.

Elder was talking to someone else on the ship who had a suspicion that there was a hidden level on the ship. So, Elder took it upon himself to check it out. This is when he found all of the frozen bodies in cryochambers.

Soon after one of the bodies was found to be thawing. Luckily, Elder and the Doctor were able to get her out of the liquid and she completely thawed and lived. Amy was the one who came back alive about 50 years too early. She is starkly different form the population on the ship with bright red hair and green eyes. She is in shock to find out that she was thawed early and her parents are still in their cryochambers. Eldest doesn’t make it any easier for her by telling the whole ship that she is crazy.

The rest of the story is focused on finding out who is thawing the bodies? And why are they doing that? Will they really make it to the new planet in 50 years?

Review

Cover: The cover is definitely eye-catching with the beauty of space, Amy, and Elder. In the story there is some romance between them but it is confusing for both of them. I hope there is more in the future books!

Plot: The premise of this story is really interesting. At first I was drawn to what it was like being in a cryochamber. I always assumed you were just asleep – kind of like when you are sedated for surgery. But, with Amy it seemed that her mind was pretty lively for all of those years despite being frozen. Then when you experience Eldest training Elder and telling him how they were able to prevent war with each other – I found that fascinating too. This story is very different from anything I have read before.

Characters: The characters in this story definitely keep things interesting. Even seeing how the “normal” people in Godspeed act by having no emotions and mating at certain times is fascinating. You can feel Amy’s frustration when she finds out that she’s not at the planet yet but she somehow kind of comes to turn with it. The dynamics between Eldest and. Elder are interesting too – especially how Eldest can make everyone on the ship essentially worship him.

Overall: I really enjoyed listening to this book and look forward to reading more in the future! It was a really unique plot with enjoyable characters throughout the story. The twists and turns kept the story interesting and enjoyable.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

August Wrap Up & Favorites

I kept up the reading momentum in August by reading a total of 15 books! This year has been incredible since my goodreads goal was 25 books (last year it was 12). So I have already greatly surpassed my goal thanks to reading challenges and this book community!

Favorite Audiobook

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

This book had be enthralled from the start. It captures you into it’s world and leaves you in shock with what is going on. I know this book isn’t everyone’s cup of tea – but I highly recommend you try it (even if you don’t typically read sci-fi books). You can read my full review here.

Least Favorite Audiobook

Marked by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast

I was looking forward to starting this series but I wasn’t really impressed. I felt like not a lot happened in the book. You can read my full review here.

Favorite New Series

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I can’t believe that I ended up reading all of the books in order one right after another – this series is that good. The hype is definitely real. I highly recommend – especially if you’re into YA Fantasy. Read my full review here.

Book I was really looking forward to

The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen

Sarah Dessen has seriously been my favorite author since middle school. I was so excited that she was releasing a new book this month and it definitely didn’t let me down! While reading this book I really wished I was on a lake this summer. Check out my review on this summer read here.

Books I look forward to in September

Gypsy Secrets by J. L. Vampa

I received an ARC for this book by the incredible J. L. Vampa. She is a newer author but the Queen’s Keeper series has definitely been amazing so far. This novella releases in 2 days!

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

After starting this series with the book Scythe back in July – I am excited that I finally have this book from the library!

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

After finishing the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, I needed something else for my Sarah J. Maas fixing. I am patiently awaiting to start this series once my library hold is finished!

Other Faves

Sea Salt & Orchid Candle from Queer Candle Co.

I usually don’t buy candles, but when I smelled this candle I knew I had to buy it. Even when it isn’t lit and you have the lid off, it distributes a pleasant aroma. I can’t wait to see what it’s like when I do light it!

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp Sanrio Fortune Cookies

I think today is the last day for this collection but they are seriously so cute and perfect. 2 of my favorite things coming together. The little twin stars set is my favorite!

Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie Recipe

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 4 frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 scoop PEScience strawberry cheesecake protein (can also use a plain vanilla protein)
  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)

Blend the 1st 5 ingredients until smooth. Pour into a cup and mix in chia seeds.

How was your August? Are you excited for Fall?

WWWW Wednesday 5

This meme is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

What I am currently reading

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles 2) by Marissa Meyer
I just finished the first book in the series called Cinder. I really enjoyed it and so I rented the 2nd book from Libby as an audiobook!
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
After reading The Nightingale, I knew Kristin Hannah would be one of those authors I would continuously read. A classmate recommend I check out this book by here and I am glad I have started it!

What I recently finished

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles 1) by Marissa Meyer

This book is definitely not your average princess story re-telling. This book takes you to a completely different place that makes it seem like an entirely different story except for some subtle similarities.

Uglies (Uglies 1) by Scott Westerfield

I was not sure if I read this book when I was younger but I have to say, I really enjoyed it. I look forward to the rest of the series!

What I am reading next

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
After being disappointed by Marked, I hope this vampire series will be more enjoyable!
Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman
I know I said I was going to read this last week but my hold was kind of suspended and I got involved with other books. Hopefully I will get to it because I love this series!