You Love Me by Caroline Kepnes Review

Settle in lads. This one is a long one.

Just when you think things couldn’t get crazier for Joe, he is thrown into the small town of Bainbridge where all he wants is his librarian but there are so many people standing in his way. Naturally. But this time it’s different for Joe, he’s a different person than he was before, he has a son now and he is a better person. He will not kill anyone.

Spoilers from here on out, although anytime I do a blog post review there’s always spoilers but I feel like I need to start warning people so yes. All the spoilers here, stop reading now haha.

You know, I thought it was kind of crap that Joe said he wouldn’t kill anyone this time around, but he didn’t! That’s not to say there wasn’t a lot of death though because there definitely was, but none of it was at Joe’s hands! Hooray! Proud of him, this is growth lol.

So yeah, we are with Joe out there in the world after getting out of prison. I was confused when I first started reading because I thought I had missed something but I hadn’t. Joe got out of jail with the help of the Quinns but they paid him off so he would disappear and so now he is in Bainbridge, pining after a new girl while stalking Love’s Instagram to check up on his son. Also Love named their son Forty and that is so gross.

Naturally, getting this new girl Mary Kay is not going to be easy for Joe. There are always obstacles and by that I mean people in his way to getting his “prize”. First of all, the overbearing best friend, Melanda. Joe does not exactly hit it off with her and she immediately becomes annoying af. So maybe Joe should just kill her and it will all be fine right?

No he can’t. He’s reformed. He’s not that person anymore. But then when Melanda catches him hanging around outside Mary Kay’s house she ends up kidnapped and in Joe’s whisper room. Sounds so familiar right? No it was a misunderstanding, Melanda thought Joe was after MK’s daughter, but he wasn’t and now he has his future girlfriend’s BFF hiding out in the basement. Cool.

Surprisingly Joe doesn’t kill Melanda, but he knows he can’t keep her in the basement forever. He spins some story about her moving away and finding love and ditching Mary Kay. Which Joe thinks is good for her because they are too co-dependent and Melanda doesn’t even like Mary Kay.

While Melanda is locked up in Joe’s basement, he finds out there’s another huge obstacle in his way to Mary Kay – she’s MARRIED. And worse, he’s a musician and an ex-drug addict. Bad news. And also again, potentially someone Joe might kill off?

But he doesn’t kill the husband either, he just pretends to be a huge Philstan – yeah probably the worst thing I’ve ever heard of – to try to convince Phil to divorce Mary Kay. Seems straight forward enough and so different in comparison to the old Joe. Proud of him, yet also itching for him to just kill the low life? I mean I don’t know why I’m rooting for a serial killer to kill people but like everyone in this book was SO ANNOYING that I wanted them gone as much as Joe lol.

Some time passes and Joe thinks he is beginning to win over Mary Kay and maybe everything will be alright for them. Until there’s another complication. Enter Oliver, he was hired by the Quinns to spy on Joe. Super fun. Joe has a stalker. Now he definitely can’t get caught killing anyone because otherwise Oliver could report back to the Quinns and Joe will never get the chance to be with his son.

Too bad for Joe, as he decided to be nice to Melanda and finally move the TV into the whisper room for her to be able to see more clearly. That was his mistake. I knew there was a reason that Melanda was begging for the TV, she ended up smashing it and using the glass to kill herself. Bad news for Joe, he now has a dead body in his house and he has to get rid of it. Even though he didn’t kill her, he can’t just leave her here or call anyone because it’s hella sus she was there in the first place.

So Joe tries to get rid of the body, only to be caught by his buddy Oliver. This is when he strikes a deal with Oliver so that he doesn’t tell the Quinns what he saw. Basically if Oliver wants something, Joe buys it for him. Turns out Oliver got screwed over by the Quinns and isn’t getting paid as much as Joe. And this is when Oliver literally becomes the worst and most annoying person in the book and I kind of just want Joe to kill him. But he can’t, if he does then Oliver’s brother will kill him and no one wants that. So Oliver sticks around.

Meanwhile, Joe is still trying to worm his way in with Mary Kay and he thinks it’ll be easier now her BFF is no longer in the picture. But there’s still the husband. Although turns out he didn’t have to worry about him too much because he does win over the girl in the end, but they’re seeing each other on the sly until Mary Kay can get the divorce sorted.

But it’s not over for Joe just yet because while he and Mary Kay are hooking up, Phil overdoses. So I guess Joe is getting lucky with everyone offing themselves so he doesn’t have to lol. Although this time everybody knows about it and Mary Kay is shutting Joe out because if she hadn’t have been with him then maybe her shitty husband would still be alive. Yikes.

And just when Joe thinks he’s back in with MK after all the grieving and what not, Phil’s brother rolls into town. And honestly, does Joe never catch a break? I mean I guess I shouldn’t be rooting for Joe to be happy but I always secretly am, I thought he would’ve been happy with Love but that wasn’t working out, but it looked like him and Mary Kay had a real chance…but no all these people be getting in the way.

Phil’s brother hangs around for a while, he’s annoying and is a life coach who tries to tell women that their feelings aren’t real and to think with their head and it sounds like the worst thing. Yet Joe still ain’t about to kill anyone so he tries to find other ways to take down the brother and then he hits the jackpot. Turns out Phil’s brother is a creep and has forced himself on multiple women and so he gets taken out by the #MeToo movement. Woo! Goodbye brother, hello Joe and MK forever.

But it still ain’t over hahahaha. Honestly even writing this it’s wild. But in comes LOVE. Yeah that’s right Love wants to see Joe. And that’s weird, because I thought she never wanted to see Joe again and I’m wondering if this is following a little along the lines of the TV show and how Love is also crazy and the same as Joe. Although somehow on the TV show I think it’s way more escalated and Joe’s more afraid of her on the TV show.

Anyway, Love demands Joe fly out to LA so he does and he finds Love in a hotel room with a GUN. Yikes. I thought Joe might die but I didn’t think it would be at the hands of Love. Turns out she is mad that Joe has moved on from her and their son. And she knows that Joe would have preferred to watch them from afar which is why she was always posting on Instagram, but then Joe stopped watching them and he moved onto a new family.

Love is clearly crazy and depressed and Joe can’t talk her down and next thing you know, Joe is shot in the head. Oh my God. Honestly thought this might have been where it ended, but it didn’t because there was still some book left so Joe lives, HE LIVES! But unfortunately Love committed suicide. Yep another suicide. This book is wild, why does death follow Joe everywhere he goes? He’s cursed for sure.

So Joe wakes up in hospital to find out Love had post-partum depression and she didn’t really want Joe to leave her she thought he would fight for her and their son but he didn’t. So she tried to kill Joe and then she killed herself. Super dark Love. Like I didn’t think she had this in her, but depression does bad things to people.

After Joe finds out from Love’s dad that he will never see his son again he goes back to Bainbridge to try to win MK back one last time. She isn’t happy that he bailed on her even though he literally got shot like come on sis, give him a chance. But she sends him away so Joe goes back home to rest, because he got shot so he should rest.

LOL NO REST FOR JOE. He’s being kidnapped by Seamus, MK’s other friend who is all about CrossFit and the definition of toxic masculinity and I hate him. Seamus is going to kill Joe because he came back for MK and he can’t have that. Seamus was finally gonna get the girl after Phil left but nah, Joe got there first. And so here we are with Joe trapped in the forest and possibly going to die AGAIN. And seriously, Joe can’t catch a break.

This time it’s worse though because I so did not want him to die at the hands of Seamus, of all people. Like what? Nah. Joe deserves to be taken out by a true villain and not just some annoying dude who has been waiting in the wings for years. I mean no doubt Joe deserves to die after everything he’s done but like not like this. I mean I guess exactly like this but not because of Seamus lol.

Luckily Joe gets rescued by Oliver! Yay! Oliver has a purpose! Sort of. I mean glad he came to Joe’s rescue but he’s still annoying af and talking to Joe about this TV show he’s gonna pitch about Joe’s life (lol sounds familiar You on Netflix much). And so Joe is safe but he’s still paying for Oliver’s crap and again, if Joe was gonna make one kill this book, could it be Oliver?

Finally, after ALL of that. Joe gets the girl. He and MK get married and it’s cute and I’m finally like yes, this is it. They live happily ever after, Joe deserves it he literally escaped death twice and he should definitely have some PTSD or something but he’s fine and he’s with his girl…

And then MK’s daughter tries to put the moves on Joe and it’s weird and uncomfortable because she is a CHILD. And this is when Joe learns that Seamus was sleeping with the daughter this whole damn time and so when Seamus kidnapped Joe it was actually about the daughter and not MK and it’s so so so gross. And then it makes me think this is why Melanda attacked Joe in the woods and assumed he was after MK’s daughter. Maybe she knew about Seamus…hmm well can’t ask her because she’s dead.

But anyway, MK comes in and finds her daughter trying to seduce her new husband and is furious. And then there’s a lot of mother daughter fighting and next thing you know…MK has been pushed down the stairs by her daughter.

Cut the epilogue, Joe has moved to Florida, and opened the bookstore him and Mary Kay always talked about opening. Turns out Mary Kay went into a coma but they are going to be pulling the plug on her. And Joe is once again alone, the daughter packed up and went off to college so at least Joe didn’t have to deal with that. But yeah…he opens the bookstore and naturally there’s a women who walks in and you’d think that Joe might give up by now but no, he wants to know this girl…

And that is where we end it. Finally. Honestly the end was a roller coaster, after the Love thing it just kept going and going and I didn’t really like it? I mean yes okay the whole series is far fetched and wild and crazy but this really was next level. And I really don’t like when books do that, like ramp it up to 100 at the very end and just keep throwing in things last minute like hi I didn’t need Nomi (the daughter) to suddenly come out and throw herself at Joe like nah, gross.

I guess it would make sense that Joe would end up losing another girl and in line with this book he didn’t even kill her. Sad. I would’ve been fine with him riding off into the sunset with Mary Kay in their bookstore. It would’ve been cute but life can’t be that simple, not for Joe.

I wonder if there will be another book or if this is the end. I think I would be fine if this was it, I mean Joe’s been through a lot and there’s only so many of these books you can do before it becomes too much. I mean it’s always going to be Joe chasing after a girl and probably killing the odd person here and there, so it makes sense to end it here. Especially because so much craziness happened this time around it felt like the end.

So yeah, I’m fine leaving Joe here but because I enjoy the writing style so much I would also be okay if there was another one lol but I think four is the limit. But we see what happens.

On the bright side there is always season 3 of the Netflix show. I’m not sure what it will be like because I believe it was written before or at the same time as the third book so it will probably be different. Especially since Joe didn’t go to jail in the TV show and Love is still around and crazy too lol. So I’m excited to see where that goes and if it will be just as wild.

In the meantime it’s time to go on and probably read something lighter haha. Hopefully something that doesn’t have six plot twists at the end would be nice.

American Royals: Majesty by Katharine McGee Review

I wasn’t planning on writing a whole blog post about this but then I started writing my Goodreads review and it kept growing and growing and so hi, how are ya?

We are back with the American Royals and even though it’s been over a year since I read the first one, I jumped back in like I never left. Which is good, considering the book still follows the point of view of five different characters and I didn’t want to spend a lot of time catching up again.

So in this book we are on the run up to Beatrice’s wedding because now that she is queen, she has to be married because apparently women are not capable of running a country on their own. *Rolls eyes*

But Beatrice is not the only one who is struggling when it comes to love. Everybody has issues with it in this book. I guess the first book was similar but I felt it was more prominent in this book. That or it just felt kind of repetitive?

Everyone was pretending to love someone but actually fell in love or realised they loved someone else and it was just a lot for one book. Like it definitely felt like every rom-com cliché ever wrapped into one book. Which was still enjoyable to read but like they could have made one plot line not involve loving someone else you know?

One love storyline I didn’t really like was the whole Jeff, Daphne, Ethan, Nina love square. Like date someone outside your own circle lads. I guess it makes sense for the drama and every TV show does something similar but I don’t know, Nina could’ve dated a nice boy from somewhere else and Daphne could’ve just kept hooking up with Ethan on the sly and that could have been fun. Ooh that’s totally fanfiction somewhere. Maybe I’ll write it lol.

Everyone else was fine, I mean the whole Sam and Marshall thing was totally obvious, but I was rooting for them. And actually the whole time I was reading about them it just made me think of Bridgerton because the exact same thing happens to Daphne and the Duke. And well I’m a sucker for those kind of stories it seems haha.

Beatrice and Teddy I was surprised about to be honest. I thought Beatrice would have wanted to be with Conor but it makes sense for her to fall for Teddy. And so I support it because Teddy is a great guy.

But what we love more than Beatrice falling in love is her becoming the strong independent queen of America. I think it’s great she is not going to get married right away and rule on her own. She doesn’t need a man, it’s nice she found a man but she don’t need him to rule her country. We stan Queen Bee.

Speaking of ladies we stan, I also love Daphne. She gives me Blair Waldorf vibes and I am here for it. We love a strong woman who will do what it takes to get what she wants. Even if that means alienating the man she wants from everyone else so she can become a princess.

I just can’t believe Himari forgave her for the coma and sending her away to Japan. But that’s what best friends do I guess lol. Himari is the Serena to Daphne’s Blair. I kind of hope Himari does come back for some kind of revenge because that would be totally Gossip Girl and I would eat that shit up.

Overall I really loved this book. I gave it 4/5 because of all the love stuff which was too much for me. Especially towards the end, everyone is declaring their love for everyone and I’m like “tell me what the security threat was please” lol. Though the security threat turned out to be nothing I would have loved a little plot twist thrown in there.

I am kind of hoping for another book in the series just because I want to see Beatrice really step into her role as queen, and Sam and Nina on their adventures with no boys and of course Daphne and how she deals with losing the boy she really loved.

At the same time though I know this could lead to a slippery slope where it starts off strong and then loses its way and I don’t want that to happen. So if there’s another book I’ll be down for the ride but I just don’t want it to get out of hand where it becomes terrible but redeems itself in the last book because that’s how these things go.

So those were my thoughts on American Royals. I am going to be digging into the first Bridgerton book next and I’m excited but also not sure what I’m going to be getting into. Just because you like the TV show doesn’t always mean you’ll like the books, so we see what happens. I’m sure I’ll be back soon to share all my thoughts on it.

Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline Review

After leaving the Oasis three years ago, we are back again with the sequel to Ready Player One. Not gonna lie I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one and after my boyfriend said it got mixed reviews I was worried it was going to be terrible.

It wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t great either to be honest. I mean, Ready Player One is the kind of book that I think didn’t really need a sequel but they gave it one anyway and I guess it was just okay.

In this one, we see Wade on a new quest within the Oasis except this time, it’s more of a life or death situation. He must work to find the Seven Shards of the Siren’s soul before he and thousands of other Oasis users are trapped forever, thanks to a villain in the shape of an AI version of Halliday.

Honestly, the whole storyline was so wild and farfetched, which is crazy to say considering the first book but yeah I don’t know this whole evil Anorak/James Halliday situation was not my favourite. I suppose that doesn’t bode well for me if I wasn’t feeling the story right out of the gate but we stuck with it.

Plus, Wade was kind of the worst in this book. He was so helpless? He couldn’t do any of his quests alone to save his life and it was sad. I mean I guess there is some underlying lesson here, that he shouldn’t isolate himself in the Oasis or in his real life or something but even so, he didn’t seem to think for himself at all.

Also sad that L0hengrin wasn’t mentioned more I thought we would hear more from her after her introduction but unfortunately not. She at least sounded like an interesting character who probably would have made it further in the quest than Wade if he hadn’t had the help of his friends.

Naturally along with the first book, this book referenced a lot of things I had no idea about. Like all the John Hughes movies and Prince. Which is fine, but part of me felt like this book just spent a lot of time describing things that were so unnecessary, like is it important to note every character an actor played in a John Hughes film while trying to complete a quest? I don’t think so. But then again, it’s been a long time since I read the first book so I don’t remember if it was the same in the level of detail it provided in things. Even so, I felt like there was a lot of stuff that could have been cut out.

Don’t even get me started on that ending though.

Again, it sounds wild given the whole idea from the first book but the whole “everyone-live-in-the-Oasis-as-an-AI-even-after-you-die” thing is so farfetched and ridiculous to me. At least the idea of the actual Oasis seemed easier to get behind because I guess we have similar technology now but yeah maybe I’m just being harsh for the sake of being harsh. I know I’ve gotten behind some pretty crazy storylines in TV shows and books before but I guess I just wasn’t buying this one.

Overall the actual story was okay, I think it would make an interesting movie but when reading it. it fell flat for me. I’m hoping there won’t be another book because I don’t see where we go from here and I’m not sure I want to go there. But yeah, no big deal, now we’ve read it, we know what happens and we can move on, hopefully to something I’ll enjoy a little more.

One of Us is Next by Karen M. McManus Review

We are back with the sequel of One of Us is Lying.

This one was okay, I didn’t find myself enjoying it as much as the first one but there’s not really much to complain about. I don’t know what it was about this one that I didn’t like as much, I guess because there wasn’t as much suspicion around the main characters when it came to the murder? I don’t know.

I think one of the main things is that I missed the old gang. I mean they were still a part of the story, but the focus had been moved onto a younger group, featuring Bronwyn’s sister, Maeve, her friend Knox and a girl called Phoebe.

I also think I was expecting the Truth or Dare game to last longer than it did, and be a little bit more dramatic? It seemed a bit tame to be honest, which I guess is wild considering someone did die but I don’t know I thought there would be more suspense for it.

This book still followed along with the same vibe of the first one, I liked the fact things stayed consistent with the writing and the world even though the story was different. It made it easy to get sucked into the world again and I enjoyed that.

Obviously things escalated towards the end in ways that I wasn’t expecting, I had no idea who was the killer this time and I didn’t really try to figure it out. I mean I had an idea that something was going on with Phoebe’s sister but it definitely took a turn that I wasn’t expecting.

I also wasn’t a huge fan of the last twist in that it actually turned out to be Owen, Phoebe’s little brother who told Jared to continue on the game like I don’t know why but it seemed like something that would just never happen. I guess it adds shock value but eh, could have done without it.

I feel like I needed a little longer to process everything when Maeve figured it out though because this story had a lot more going on in terms of how the game was orchestrated and all that, so I think maybe if that was drawn out a tiny bit more it could have helped. Though I know for the pace they were going for that wouldn’t have worked.

But yeah overall a good read, sad that it didn’t hold quite the same interest for me as the first book but I can’t really tell you what was off-putting to me besides missing the original group. Though could have probably done without all the talk about Cooper and him being a big baseball star and all that, we get it, he’s cool. But I did love that Nate and Bronwyn were end game because that’s all I needed in my life after the first book really.

And so that is where we leave Bayview High for now. I don’t know if that will be us leaving for good but I don’t really know where they would go from here. Though I am still interested in that TV show they are making, I just need to keep a look out for it in the future.

Not sure what I’ll be reading next, but I think it would be nice to step back from the murder mysteries for a bit. That being said I think half my Amazon Prime First Reads are murder mysteries at the minute lol. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll find something.

One of Us is Lying By Karen M. McManus Review

Here we go, another murder mystery. I feel like every time I read one of these I try not to get my hopes up because I always end up disappointed by the end lol. I don’t know what I’m expecting when I find out what happens because I feel like no one is going to blow it out of the water with some brand new concept that we haven’t seen before. Not that you can’t enjoy a good cliche.

But that being said I wasn’t disappointed in this book. I would say that it wasn’t the most shocking reveal or anything ever but it definitely had me reading until the end. I needed to know what happened and how everyone was involved and why. And I’m glad they gave it to me because honestly halfway through I was thinking that we would never find out and this investigation would go on forever.

So, here we have a boy called Simon, he died in detention with four other students and no one knows what happened. But Simon wrote a blog, very Gossip Girl-esque where he spilt the tea about his fellow classmates, making everyone suspect. Especially those who were in detention with him and this is where investigation unfolds on those four.

And boy did we have a lot to take in because this book switches between those four character’s point of views a lot and it takes me a while to settle into a new world of characters so I thought this was going to be hard. But luckily for me I kept notes lol, I guess I wanted to see if I could figure out the murderer before it was revealed.

I just looked back at my notes on the book and I thought maybe Simon had faked his death so I guess I was kind of close! He did do this to himself, he just had a way more elaborate scheme than I thought.

I think what was wild to me was that he got Jake in on it. Like mate someone needs to lock him up forever because he really hated his girlfriend so much for cheating he would frame her for murder? Yikes. I mean Simon also had plenty of problems but this guy was just a pyshopath.

Anyway yeah so we find all this stuff in the last 100 pages of the book. Which is fine I guess, but I just kind of hate how there’s a while in the middle where nothing is happening and then everything comes out at once. Which I know if they reveal things halfway through you ain’t gonna wanna read to the end but I don’t know…pick up the pace a little guys lol.

As for the “murder club”, the four in detention with Simon they were cool people. I knew none of them would have killed Simon, it was obvious from their point of views that none of them did it. Otherwise I feel like the author would’ve thrown in a mystery person or something.

I just wanna say though, the secrets they had were not super shocking, kind of the stuff you would expect honestly. Like the nerdy girl caught cheating on a test, the perfect jock with the perfect girlfriend being gay, the girl who is so in love with her boyfriend cheated on him, and then the rebel guy being on probation for drugs. Meh. Nothing special. I need these people to have bigger secrets than their high school stereotypes please and thanks lol.

Also I called Bronwyn and Nate getting together from the start. I mean their relationship is also cliche as hell but I really love a good love story. I couldn’t help shipping them when they started their phone calls and what not. I’m all over something like that if it is written well and this was so yes I am shipping them forever and I have no regrets about being mushy about it.

I also thought Addy would get with TJ but after all the emotional trauma she went through with Jake, I’m glad she is taking time to be the independent woman that we need and love. Honestly I was so proud of her coming into her own person after being under a control freak for so long.

And then there was Cooper who was honestly dull af to me. Like yeah he was gay and it was shit that everyone found out he was gay because of a police investigation and all that but we knew everything was going to work out for someone perfect like him anyway. So yeah, I mean I like a nice guy as much as any but he was never in any real danger of being destroyed as much as the others.

So yeah those are my thoughts. There is another book in the series which I will be picking up right away because I’m interested in what happens next. From the blurb there is no indication if the O.G four will be back but considering they were all on the brink of turning 18 I am going to say no. Which I guess is sad because I will miss them but still, interesting to see where we go from here.

I also Googled and saw that the book is being made into a TV series? I don’t know when that’s coming out but I will be giving it a watch. Although if they overplay this loose Breakfast Club vibe the cover has and all that then I’m out lol. I just think it’ll be interesting how it’s played out as a series rather than a movie.

And so yeah, I’ll probably be back with another post soon about the next book. I think it’ll be a little more thrilling since it’s a truth or dare vibe. I could see that playing out well on screen, but until then I’ll have to get to reading.

Shine by Jessica Jung Review

I was really excited about this one. Mainly because I thought it would be loosely based off of Jessica’s own experiences as a KPop trainee and her time in Girls’ Generation. And who doesn’t love some tea disguised as fiction?

Honestly though, I’d like to imagine that Jessica’s trainee days were just a little less dramatic than they were made out to be in this book. I mean I think we would have known about a love triangle between her, another trainee and one of the biggest KPop stars at the time.

But anyway, I still really enjoyed this book, based on real events or not there was never a dull moment as we followed Rachel Kim’s story as she worked to debut and pursue her dreams of becoming a star.

I also felt like while we got a lot out of the story, there is still a lot to be discovered and explored in this world and that’s why I’m so glad there’s going to be a sequel. It might not come out until October but I am ready for it because at the end of this book I was left with a lot of questions.

For example, what is the deal with Mina’s family and DB Entertainment? There’s something shady going on and I wanna know what it is. Plus there’s going to be fall out from Mina’s dad hiring Rachel’s. Things are gonna get messy but I love that, because I love the drama. But I will also be sad if it causes a lot of damage to Rachel’s family because we know Mina loves to ruin Rachel’s life.

Then there’s Jason and the fact his family owns like half of that town in Canada, are we going to find out more about that? Also he’s weird meetings with the execs and stuff does he also have something to do with Rachel debuting? But even more so than that is he thinking continuing his relationship with Rachel will be good for him and the fame? I just have lots of questions about Jason in general.

I wanted to believe Jason was the cute KPop boy in that band that we all love and wanna date and then when you are dating him that he’s actually perfect and wonderful but he’s so not that. Rachel believed he was and was heartbroken so we can’t be falling for his act anymore. But he’s definitely not going away anytime soon.

Plus, the book ends with Rachel debuting in a nine member group called Girls Forever (sound familiar?) so obviously I’m wondering about all the drama that comes with being in a group of girls who don’t really like you.

And also there will probably be more stories there based on Jessica’s actual time in Girls’ Generation – which honestly is probably half the reason people bought the first book to begin with. That being said I like to believe that the girls got along, despite some rivalries and fights along the way. I mean I hope it wasn’t like how it feels in the book but I guess we’ll never fully know.

So yeah there are lots of things building and yet to be discovered, I’m not sure if this is expected to be a full blown series or end after book two but I’m fully in for the ride either way.

I would recommend this book if you are interested in learning more about the KPop life. I mean I have had my eyes opened a few times to the tough life of a KPop trainee but this really gives you a good idea of the work that goes into making sure you’re good enough. It’s a crazy life but it definitely makes you appreciate the work that the idols do so much more when you know what they go through.

I also recommend if you just love some drama because there is more than enough to go around here, and that’s always a fun time.

Overall the book was a fun read and definitely more enjoyable than my last book. But I’m not really sure where I’ll go from here, I have a lot of Amazon Prime First Reads that I’ve been getting every month but not really reading. They can definitely be hit or miss for me and the last one was a miss so not sure if I’ll be taking the chance or reading something I know I’ll enjoy. Either way you can find me on Goodreads if you are interested in what I’m reading next.

Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella Review

The final shopaholic book. I almost forgot about this one but I got a notification on my kindle app and here we are. I am glad I got to read a festive book at Christmas time, especially this year when things are probably the least festive they can be.

So here we are back with Becky and her usual shenanigans. Honestly didn’t know if I would enjoy this one considering the last couple of books were just okay. I wasn’t a fan of the storyline but this time, it’s Christmas so what’s not to love?

This was a really fun read and a great last book to the series. Becky trying to organise Christmas herself is exactly the kind of chaos we need to end the year.

Naturally, I thought that it was going to be a lot of Becky buying all this stuff she doesn’t need which I guess is true but I think she actually had a lot more going on than just shopping. Which is saying a lot.

Between meeting everyone’s Christmas demands, an old flame returning and trying to find the perfect present for Luke…it’s all a mess. But a fun kind of mess that was just the right level of drama.

I found it hilarious that Suze thought Becky and Luke were going to end up having “multiplayer sex” with Becky’s ex and his girlfriend. And I will only be calling it multiplayer sex from now on.

I can’t say I was too keen on the fact the girlfriend ended up being crazy thinking she was entitled to Luke’s money and all that. Plus the idea that she would ruin Becky’s Christmas is wild. Not the twist I wanted but I guess there’s always one person who tries to ruin Christmas in a Christmas story.

Also loved the whole deal with Becky’s parents trying to be hip and cool and moving to Shoreditch. It was something so random but fun and way better than that crazy story that was spun about Becky’s dad in the last couple of books. Glad to see her parents are being back to the way they should be, which is totally embarrassing for Becky.

Along with that we also see Becky being a good friend to one of the mums at Minnie’s school which is nice. I feel like usually Becky isn’t always the best when it comes to helping people but she was doing a good thing and I am proud of her for being there for someone and not thinking it was just going to resolve itself in usual Becky fashion. So yay for growth!

And on top of all that you have to admire Becky’s bravery as she goes to the extreme lengths to get Luke’s Christmas present. I mean I thought it was a little extreme even for Becky but we love that it came together because of the holidays. I mean if anyone can charm her way into a billiards club for men just for a suitcase, it’s Becky.

I guess you could say this book was a little far fetched in terms of everything that goes down. But that’s just the nature of this book series. And I’ve really enjoyed following Becky in all her crazy adventures this year.

I’m also glad that the series ends on this light and festive note. And it was definitely something that helped me feel festive this year. I can’t even be mad that everything wrapped up in the best way possible because that’s just what you hope for during this time of year. And even if it’s not going right in real life, I am glad I can count on the fictional world to bring me that joy.

So I think this is a great book to end the year on. Though I can’t promise I won’t start another one between now and the new year. I just think it’s an accomplishment to read a festive book at the correct time of year and finish it on time lol.

Now just to think about my reading goal for next year and figure out what to read next. If you have any suggestions than let me know!

Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer Review

Oh boy…

It has been a while since I allowed myself to revert back to my Twilight phase. Yes I had one, who didn’t?

It’s crazy to think about now, being so long ago but it’s always a time I look back on fondly…though it was also very cringey. I mean when you think of a Twilight fangirl you have a certain image in your head and well I was definitely one of them.

And with the release of this new book, I definitely fell back into that world a little bit. Though a little more mature after all this time – at least I like to think so.

I actually haven’t been away from the Twilight world that long in terms of books. It was only a couple of years ago that I finally got around to reading Life and Death – though it was something different and I wasn’t a fan.

This time, we were brought back to the real Twilight world. Our O.G Edward and Bella story. But this time, we got to hear Edward’s point of view, his and everyone else’s because he has that mind reading thing going for him.

I have to say it was pretty great to submerge myself in this world again. I mean, the story is nothing new, I know it a hundred times over but I think it’s the familiarity that makes it great. Plus I enjoyed this new perspective.

I suppose this can’t always be said for books like this (i.e. Grey – that book was awful) because it can be repetitive reading the exact same dialogue and everything just from someone else’s viewpoint and it ain’t great. But I think because it has been so long since a Twilight release that it was okay and made sense. I know that Stephenie was torturing us all by keeping this from us for so long but maybe it was a little bit strategic?

Either way, I was a fan. I mean I was getting a little bit fed up maybe around halfway through because the book is so big and I felt it dragging just a little. Sometimes Edward’s thoughts were just annoying but I powered through and made it to the end.

I think I was probably most interested in knowing the dynamic between Alice and Edward and how they worked together. I think what I really needed was a whole novel on Alice to be honest. Like Edward is fine, I like hearing the thoughts of others around him and stuff but other than that he can be really depressing. Alice has always been one of my favourite characters so I definitely enjoyed that a lot.

I also did think it was interesting the way Edward saw Bella, I mean it definitely helped put things into perspective. I mean we all roll our eyes when it comes to the stories of the seemingly average girl who everyone falls all over themselves to be with – because that doesn’t happen in real life. But somehow with Edward, I could see it. But I suppose I’m just biased from my love of Twilight to begin with…Plus I guess the whole blood temptation thing is also something above other love stories.

Oh and I think the whole pomegranate seed thing was overplayed, like okay I understand the choice of book cover now but it was just something that was mentioned more than I needed it to be.

But other than that, I suppose there’s not much to say. We all know the story, there can’t be that many surprises out there for us. It was still great to revisit this world though, and I was sad to see it come to an end. It’s definitely a nice distraction from what’s actually going on in the world. It was a simpler time when all I had to concern myself with was my Twilight fanfiction and whether Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart were actually dating.

Though I suppose it’s not all sad, apparently Stephenie has two more Twilight books in the works so it’s not the end yet. I wonder how many books it will be before it’s truly the end. I don’t think I could ever complain about more Twilight books but sometimes it’s better to let a world have it’s ending before it gets out of hand…I mean I was never a big fan of Harry Potter but sometimes I just wonder how that world can keep going on forever…I don’t know, it seems a bit excessive.

Anyway, I don’t think there’s been news on what these new books will be about but you know I’ll be picking them up too. I’ll be interested to see where the story goes from here, or will we just expect more of Edward’s point of view? I guess we have to wait and see.

~ Courtney x

Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen Review

I picked this book up at the start of the year in Waterstones, I almost didn’t but I was buying a few books that day anyway and decided to take a chance. I am so glad I did.

I loved this book.

The story is about Ever, an Asian American who’s parents want her to attend medical school when she has a passion for dance. I suppose it is the age old story we all know, where the child’s parents are pushing them to do something that they don’t want to do.

On top of this, Ever’s parents have sent her to a summer in Chien Tan in Teipai, it is a summer school for the Asian American Elite. And is definitely not how Ever thought she would be spending her last summer before college.

I am not familiar with the culture but I found it interesting to learn about through the book. Supposedly parents send their children off to summer schools like this to find suitable partners for them. Hence the title Loveboat as everyone is hooking up and partying and trying to make the best out of the situation they are in.

Ever is thrown in the deep end at Chien Tan with a roommate who is hell bent on taking full advantage of Loveboat, while Ever decides to spend the summer breaking all the rules her parents set for her.

As the novel progresses, Ever realises that instead of trying to do things because she can that she should focus on doing things because she wants to, and she begins to come into her own identity.

I found myself relating a lot to Ever in the story, as I understand a lot of the pressure that Asian families put on their children. I mean my parents have never been pushy or anything about what I should be doing with my life, but it’s an underlying thing. You know how much they have sacrificed of their own lives for you and you feel the need to repay them in some way.

I know these feelings are not specific to Asian culture but it is definitely stronger there, especially if the family has emigrated from Asia to a Western country. They gave up everything and worked hard to give you the opportunities you have, so turning around and declining to do something for them feels like a betrayal. Which is how Ever feels about choosing dance over medical school.

Aside from the conflict of identity and breaking rules, Ever also has her own loveboat experiences as she ends up tangled in a bit of a love square? I can’t say I was super surprised about her love interests but I think I was surprised about the way things ended up.

I think it was a bit crap how things ended up with Xavier, the boy who didn’t get picked in the end, I guess I just hoped that he and Ever would remain friends, because they were friendly for a while before Ever chose Rick. But I guess when you have feelings for someone who doesn’t feel the same way, it’s best to stay away from the other person and protect yourself.

Overall an enjoyable read and I was super excited to find out that someone has bought the film rights to the book. I would love to see it come to life on screen because I think it would be amazing to see Taipei and this world come to life on screen.

I also found out that there will be a sequel to this book so I wonder where it will take us, I think it stands well as a solo book but I will definitely pick up a sequel if it’s released.

If you haven’t read this yet, I highly recommend it as I enjoyed it a lot, and I think it’s a great way to kick off some summer reading.

~ Courtney x

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood Review

I started reading this immediately after the Handmaid’s tale. I think I read the first 20 pages or so and then didn’t touch it for like almost a week and a half haha.

Again like the previous book, I found this one hard to get into. I guess I just sort of throw myself into books without taking time to digest the characters and making sense of what was going on.

But in this book there were three different point of views and naturally it took me a while to figure out which was which. Especially because two of them were named very similar, the difference being an A or a B at the end.

After a while though I picked up what was happening.

I really enjoyed this book. I think way more than the first. In this book we find out more about how the other women lived in Gilead, the Aunts and the little girls who were growing up to become wives.

This world fascinates me a lot which I think is why even though I took a long period away from reading this book I went back to it. I had to know what happened.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when jumping into this one. I was surprised that they didn’t mention Offred from the first novel directly. Though it is assumed that she was the mother of both the girls in the story.

Overall, I found it to be a good read. I can definitely understand why the series gets a lot of attention.

I don’t know if there will be more books to the series, though I see it being quite an easy series to add to over time. But that being said I would also be glad if it was just the two books.

I still have yet to watch the TV show but I think I will be adding it to my list of shows to watch now I’ve read both books. I know it will only be loosely based on the first book since the second one was only released last year but that’s fine. I’m just interested to know where they take it.

And with this book complete I am now halfway to my goal of reading 30 books this year! I think I’m making good progress and am a little bit ahead of where I should be so that’s nice.

I’m glad that even in our current circumstances and even with my excessive amounts of Animal Crossing play that I can still find time to read lol.

Not sure what my next book will be, I think maybe one I picked up from Waterstones at the start of the year.

As usual you can expect some kind of reading update in the future. Whether it is here or on GoodReads.

~ Courtney x