‘Innocents’ (Dusty #1) – Mary Elizabeth & Sarah Elizabeth

A few months ago, I wrote a blogpost about one of my favorite fanfiction stories ever; Dusty. And now, this amazing story (or at least the first part of it) has finally been published for real under the name of Innocents. Mary Elizabeth and Sarah Elizabeth have finally released their monster upon the world! And of course I had to buy my own copy to see how much of the original Dusty had remained.

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What is this story about?

The girl with an innocent heart knows all about bad choices, but has yet to make them for herself. Searching for freedom, she finds it in the delinquent down the hall.

The troublemaker with summer-sky blue eyes knows he should stay away, but can’t resist the blissful wonder who makes his house a home.

She’s a hopeless romantic. He’s just hopeless.

She’s his reason, but he might not catch her when she falls.

She loves him. He loves her crazy.

This is what happens when a love made of secrets is kept with rules instead of promises.

My rating? 5/5

What I thought of it?

I know I have already written down my opinion on this story a few months ago, but now that it’s officially published, I felt the need to go over it again so I can convince you all that this book should be high on your to read list.

First of all, I’m so, so, so relieved that the story hasn’t changed. That was what frightened me most because it was perfect as it was. It’s a real story. With real people and events that actually happen to people that age, as sad as it may seem. It’s confronting and heart-shattering, but it’s real. In this book, the bad boy is actually a bad boy. He isn’t a stranger to drugs, violence, lying and cheating. So if you’re looking for a sappy, sweet love story, this isn’t what you’re looking for.

The only big change that has been made, is that the story has been split into two books, so you haven’t read the entire story yet if you’ve finished this one.

What I love most of all about this book, is definitely the way it’s written. It’s like floating on air, going with the stream. It’s simple, yet so poetic. The Elizabeths sure have a way with words. I already found the fanfic story to be a piece of art, but this book beats it all. Now that it’s polished off and actually published, it’s even better than before. It grips you from the first page and you won’t be able to let the story go, even after you’ve finished it.

Secondly, the characters are so well-thought out. There isn’t a single one out of place and they all contribute to the story in their own way. I loved (love) every single one of them. But when it comes to Dusty himself, I once again had this love-hate relationship. You want him so badly to just stop being the asshole he is, but you know that he can’t because it’s been his reality for so long. He’s not bad at heart, but he’s just so swallowed up in his fucked-upness. And while sometimes I really wondered – once again – why Leighlee still bothered with him, I just knew that’s not how love works. She loves him, flaws and all. And he loves her, even though he’s well aware that she’s too good for him.

Either way, this first book in the series is still somewhat gentle because it only covers the younger years of their lives. It’s basically the baby brother of what I expect “Delinquents” to be (if the second part is the same as in the “original” story of course). And I can’t wait for October to read the rest of this story. You can be sure you’ll be able to read all about it here as well!

Until next time,

With love, Ellen

‘An Abundance of Katherines’ – John Green

All of John Green‘s books have been on my list ever since I finished ‘The Fault in Our Stars’, but after the – for me – somewhat disappointing ‘Looking for Alaska’, I had put of reading any other of his books. But now I finally gave ‘An Abundance of Katherines‘ a chance.

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What is this story about?

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun–but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.

My rating: 2,5/5

What I thought of it?

I must once again congratulate John Green on his originality, because I’ve never read anything quite like this story. Nonetheless, I found it a tad bit boring. Things where actually happening, but I couldn’t really see the point of it.

Throughout the entire book, I also couldn’t stop thinking about how on earth you can date 19 Katherines while only just having finished highschool. I mean, it could have been nine Katherines, and it would still be impressive; but 19! Nah. Or maybe I’m just missing the point of this book.

I also found Colin quite boring, to be honest. I feel like there was more to his character, with him being a prodigy and all. But I totally loved Lindsey and Hassan. They were definitely my favorite characters, and they made this book worthwhile for me.

And John Green’s writing. Only John can make a somewhat lifeless story sound beautiful just by using the perfect words. To me, John Green will forever be the master of the quotes!

But all in all, I’m not really impressed by this book. So far I’ve only liked The Fault in Our Stars a lot, while the other John Green books have left me hanging… I had expected more from this book. I had expected a fun roadtrip story, while actually they only spend one day in a car to get to one town  and just stayed there the rest of the time. So yeah, I guess it’ll take some time before I read another one of his stories (because yes, I’m still determined to read them all!).

Until next time,

With love, Ellen

‘Me Before You’ – Jojo Moyes

I had planned to start reading ‘How to fall in love’ by Cecelia Ahem first, but considering my book hadn’t arrived yet, I had to settle for something else first. My choice fell upon ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes because the plot seemed so interesting. Nonetheless I was a bit bummed that I couldn’t start reading my first choice first, although that was soon about to change after reading a few chapters in this book.

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What is this book about?

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

My rating: 5/5

What I thought of it?

This is the first time I picked up a book I hadn’t heard the title of before. I just came across the book randomly on goodreads, read the summary and added it to my to-read list instantly. Nonetheless I must say I started reading it without expecting too much of it, but boy was I wrong. This book really has such an amazing story and it’s so heartbreaking. I can’t remember the last time I cried so much over a book.

Reading this book is a constant struggle. I was constantly hoping for Will to will find the desire to live again, but on the other hand, I couldn’t help but sympathise with him. Stuck in a wheelchair, unable to move and constantly needing people around you just so you could be able to have a bit of a life. I’m pretty sure I’d want to end my life as well if I were him. But then I just couldn’t help but fall in love with this sarcastic, moody man that I was rooting for Lou so badly to give him a reason to live.

I didn’t really have a favorite character, although I must say that I prefered reading from Lou’s perspective. When it changed perspectives for a chapter, I was hoping that there would be a chapter from Will’s point of view as well – except for the first chapter of couse – but it never happened. I would have loved to get a better idea of what was going through his mind.

But I definitely had a least favorite character. Katrina is such a selfish bitch. I can’t even begin to say how much I hate her. She’s not really an obvious villan in this book, and she did have her sweet moments, but god I hated her selfish ass!

I’m not going to say anything about the ending of this book, because I don’t want to spoil anything. All that I’ll say is that this is such a beautiful story about two people falling in love, but there is this big giant elephant in the room called quadriplegia.

Anyway, it’s a must read. It’s definitely one of my favorite book this year. It had a strong story, amazing characters and an important theme was being addressed subtly. I loved it.

And now I have this struggle because I really, really want to read ‘How to fall in love’ but I feel like it’s going to be too much of the same, so I guess I’ll postpone it for a while. I’m really in need of something light now, so if anyone has any recommendations, please let me know.

Until next time,

With love, Ellen

‘Wonder’ – R.J. Palacio

I don’t think I’ve ever read a more captivating summary of a book than the one of ‘Wonder’ by R. J. Palacio, so of course I had to read this book as soon as possible. And I finished in less than a day.

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What is this book about?

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?

What I thought of it?

This book was so different from everything I’ve read before, and I really liked it. Auggie’s story is so touching and this entire book is a whiplash of emotions. There is humor, tragedy, friendship, kindness and so much more.

At first, I had a hard time getting into it and I thought this would be a pretty boring story, but as I progressed and got to know the characters more, I found myself falling in love with this unique story. It’s simple but yet has such a strong message. When looking for the cover image to add to my post, I found this sentence “Don’t judge a boy by his face” and I loved it because that’s exactly what this book is about. Auggie is more than his face. He’s an amazing boy with many talents, but he’s always judged by his appearances.

My favorite character is definitely Auggie himself because he’s such a strong, little boy who doesn’t give up even when things get hard. My second favorite is Summer, because she’s just the kindest girl and if everyone were like girl, life would be much easier for people like Auggie.

The writing was simple, but with so many great quotes and words. My favorite one is definitely one of Mr. Browne’s percepts; “When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.” There is so much truth behind that quote and it’s so appropriate for this story.

But what is most definitely true, is that the universe was not kind to Auggie Pullman.

Until next time,

With love, Ellen

‘Lola and the Boy Next Door’ – Stephanie Perkins

Ever since I finished ‘Anna and the French Kiss’ by Stephanie Perkins, the second one in this series ‘Lola and the Boy Next Door’ has been on my read-list. And I finally got around reading it.

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What is this story about?

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion…she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit–more sparkly, more fun, more wild–the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket–a gifted inventor–steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

What I thought of it?

Once again I have this happy sappy feeling now that I’ve finished this book. It’s so cute, just like the first one. And I totally loved it.

As you can see in the summary, this story is not really a sequel to Anna and the French Kiss. You can totally read Lola and Cricket’s story without having read the first book. But Anna and St. Clair do make a few appearances in this book. In the beginning I wanted to know more about them instead of Lola and Cricket, but soon enough I fell in love with these new characters as well.

The main storyline isn’t very intriguing – girl and the boy next door -, but the characters are so. very. much. I loved Lola. She’s quirky, funny and sweet and just so interesting. And then Cricket; ahhhhh; you can’t help but fall for him. And the fact that Lola is being raised by two – gay – dads; awesome!

But while some things are predictable, I still couldn’t stop reading. It’s such a sweet story, and it reads like a train. I just love the way Stephanie writes. It’s so beautiful.

So just like the first book, this one is a total must read for anyone who loves a good romance story. It’s total chicklit and I can’t wait for the next one ‘Isla and the Happily Ever After’ to be published mid-August!

Until next time,

With love, Ellen