Review: Turtles All The Way Down by John Green!

Title: Turtles All The Way Down
Author: John Green
Publisher: Dutton
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Hardcover, 304 Pages
Published October 2017

Summary: Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis. Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts. 

Anybody that knows me knows I'm one of the biggest John Green fans around. I loved Looking For Alaska so much that I made it my graduation quote and even decorated my graduation cap with it. So when I found out that a new book was coming, I was beyond excited. Especially since it's been so long since the last one. When John read the first chapter of the book during one of his Vlogbrothers episodes, I even had a response post to that. Needless to say, I am a huge fan of John and Hank Green, so I've been itching to get my hands on this book from the very beginning. And then it happened. And now I am left departing yet another roller coaster of emotions.

Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, sky and outdoor

So, needless to say, I practically bowled down the post room worker when I got the email that my package arrived. I dove into this book immediately, and I couldn't wait to just curl up and settle into another story that I was hoping to love. What I really liked about this book before it was even put in my hands was all of those times where John Green mentioned it in his Vlogbrothers and when he talked about how this book was particularly near and dear to his heart because he has apparently suffered from OCD and thought spirals for many years, and he found a way to express his experiences through Aza's character, which I think was a very brave move and I really respect that. This made Turtles different than many of his previous books, and I was eager to see the change.

I also really enjoyed both Aza and Daisy's characters, especially because they were so wildly different. Aza was a lot more quiet and stuck in her own head all of the time, leading the reader through her illness, which Daisy was outgoing, sarcastic, brave, funny, and basically contrasted Aza's character in every way socially. I liked seeing the dynamic of their friendship and seeing that two totally different people were able to remain such good friends even with their opposing natures and their own unique struggles that they were each going through in their life. It made me smile and think back to my own best friends, who are sometimes wildly different than I am but we still click so well, and I really think that is such an interesting phenomenon. 

Another aspect of the story that I really enjoyed was Davis's. Even if his story was a lot more complicated and it fuzzied the plot further, I really like how he interacted with Aza and her friends, and how he handled everything with Noah. I just really enjoyed the sweetness and the steadiness of Davis's character throughout the book. While he definitely wasn't my favorite (because Daisy's hilarity definitely holds that title), he as another great addition to the story.

The only thing I wasn't crazy about in this book was the lack of really gripping drama. There were a few moments (which I will not name here because I don't want to spoil it for you -- go pick up the book yourself!), but I feel like there definitely could have been more of it than there was. And I'm not talking about Aza's struggles with her thought spirals, because that was prevalent in the book from start to finish. (Okay, I have to spoil a little bit now to make my point, so please skip to the next paragraph if you haven't read this book yet!) For example, there were some scenes like the car accident and Aza cracking and drinking the hand sanitizer in the hospital that made me keep flipping the pages and wanting to see what happened next. But other than those instances, I can't really think of many more that had me gripping the book so tightly and being caught up in the whirlwind of emotion. A lot of the drama was much more subtle, which isn't a bad thing, but I occasionally tend to prefer a little more action. But like I said, that's just my opinion on the subject! If you're not into super action-packed, page-turning reads, this book can change you in so many ways without all of those things. 

Overall, I really, really loved Turtles All The Way Down and I will definitely be recommending/lending it to friends and family, and of course all of my lovely Twitter friends! If you're on the fence about this book, I definitely recommend at least giving it a try. You never know what you may like, and I may be totally biased because I love John Green, but I'm not the only person that's been raving about this book -- so I hope everyone will give it a try and hopefully you'll find an aspect of the story that you like!

And now if you'll excuse me, I'll just wait here, patiently awaiting the next John Green book, which probably won't come out until I'm almost in my 30's and have graduated and gone to grad school, at the rate his current writing pace is going. But I will happily wait all of that time, because time and time again, his books captivate me, draw me in, and remind me of why I'm a fan in the first place.

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Haven by Mary Lindsey!

Mary Lindsey
Published by: Entangled Publishing
Publication date: November 7th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

“We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”
Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere. He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.
Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.

Author Bio:
Mary Lindsey is a multi award-winning, RITA® nominated author of romance for adults and teens. She lives on an island in the middle of a river. Seriously, she does. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, two Cairn Terriers, and one husband.
Inexplicably, her favorite animal is the giant anteater and at one point, she had over 200 "pet" Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. The roaches are a long story involving three science-crazed kids and a soft spot for rescue animals. The good news is, the "pet" roaches found a home... somewhere else.

We'd like to thank the incredible team at Xpresso Book Tours for once again giving us this opportunity to participate in yet another great book blitz & giveaway!


Waiting On Wednesday: This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine where we highlight some of the upcoming books we can't wait to read!

Emily's Waiting on:

Title: This Mortal Coil
Author: Emily Suvada
Genre: YA SciFi
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: Nov. 7th, 2017

Summary: Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash through firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want. And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius.
That’s no surprise, since Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus, leaving Cat to survive the last two years on her own.
When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he managed to create a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.
Now Cat must decide who she can trust: The soldier with secrets of his own? The father who made her promise to hide from Cartaxus at all costs? In a world where nature itself can be rewritten, how much can she even trust herself?

I'm honestly not always a huge fan of SciFi, but there's something about this that's pulling me in. It's got the science fiction with the DNA recoding and a bit of mystery with the "shadowy organization. I'm predicting a possible uprising and a bit of romance between Cat and Cole (yes, I've all started theorizing). This is the first book in what the author is saying will be a trilogy, so I'm excited to watch the characters grow, as well as the story. If ScFi is your thing, let me know what you think about this new series and any theories you may also have!

What are you waiting on this week? Leave your links so we can stop back!

Review: Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

Title: Maybe Someday
Author: Colleen Hoover 
Genre: New Adult Romance
Publisher: Atria Books
Summary: Sydney is living in an idyllic bubble—she's a dedicated student with a steady job on the side. She lives with her best friend, has a great boyfriend, and the music coming from the balcony opposite hers is fast becoming the soundtrack to her life. But when Sydney finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, the bubble bursts. The mysterious and attractive man behind the music, Ridge, gives Sydney hope that she can move on and they begin to write songs together. But moving on is harder than she expects, Sydney can only hope…. 
Maybe someday… 
Colleen Hoover draws you in to this passionate tale of music, love and betrayal… 

Colleen Hoover does it yet again with the heart ache. Like my heart physically aches when I read her books. I get so invested in everything she writes that, at most, it'll take me a day and a half to finish one of her books.

This book is a perfect example of wanting what you can't have. Ridge and Sydney, basically from the moment they meet, have an undeniable attraction towards each other, but they have to hold back. Sydney just found out that her boyfriend of 2 years is cheating on her with her best friend, she lost her job, and now has no where to live. Ridge lives in the same apartment building and invites Sydney to stay with him. Together they write music and as Sydney begins to move on, she realizes her and Ridge have more than just innocent feelings for each other. But there's one thing stopping them from being together, Ridge has a girlfriend. Now both of them are trying to fight these feelings for each other and Sydney is desperately trying not to turn into her best friend. 

I loved loved loved this book. Seeing Ridge and Sydney fighting there feelings for each other, I honestly thought they weren't going to be able to hold back. Also the way they worked together, they just instantly clicked. With everything going on in each of their lives, all the secrets and drama, they were able to stay grounded.

(Okay, some major spoilers ahead so skip to the last paragraph)
Please tell me I wasn't the only one who was completely shocked that Ridge was deaf? Like I was literally so confused. He just came out and said it so bluntly that I didn't really believe him at first. Honestly, if I were Sydney I don't think I would have been able to just slide right into that. She just found it so normal right away.

I loved that they were so comfortable with each other so fast. Ridge automatically expected Sydney to just know everything about him as if they had known each other for years. Especially when it came to them writing music together, it's just like they knew exactly what to do and when to do it. Also the fact that Ridge is telling Sydney stories from his childhood that he hasn't even told Maggie, his girlfriend. Towards the end, when Maggie ends up in the hospital, Sydney is still there to support both of them. Even after Ridge tells her she needs to move out. 

Okay, lets just take a moment to discuss Ridge speaking for the first time. Just the fact the he spoke to Sydney and said "I will never regret this" had me in tears. Ridge hasn't spoke out loud since he was 9 so you can't tell me he's not madly in love with Sydney! That moment just made me so happy. 

This book had me laughing, crying, and swooning just like all CoHo books. Give anything and everything by her a chance. If you've read this book or anything else by Colleen Hoover let us know your opinions! 

Pro Advice On The Publishing Industry!

Have you ever finished a first draft of your prized manuscript and not known where to go from there? Did you have an overwhelming feeling of dread or fear about not knowing what to do? 

Don't worry. Us too.

As a new writer, it can definitely be difficult and scary to make your way in the world. While a lot of writers and agents may give advice on what to do after you're published, it's a lot more difficult to find specific information about where to go and what to do right after you finish your first draft. Because we've all gotta succeed together!

So have no fear. We're here for you. We've spoken to dozens upon dozens of agents, authors, and even some publishing companies to get their thoughts and advice on the subject. So without further ado, take a look around (and even check out the credentials of some of the people who gave some advice!). What you'll see may surprise you, but hopefully, more than anything, it will help inspire you and guide you in the right direction...because everyone wants to end up with their books on a shelf in a Barnes and Noble somewhere. So let's make that happen together!

So, I just finished my what do I do?

"If your goal is traditional publishing, a well-crafted query letter is essential. Sites like Absolute Write (the Query Letter Hell forum) and Query Shark can help you learn how to write one and then polish it to perfection. It's really tough to boil a manuscript down into a few words, but getting several sets of eyes on it will definitely help. When you're ready to query, Google is your friend. Research agents before reaching out to them, and always follow their guidelines to the letter. It's possible to get published without an agent, but a good one can make all the difference." - Rebecca Philips, author of These Things I've Done

 - Romina Russell, author of the Zodiac series (from the Latinx in Pub newsletter)

"It is a good idea to get an editor because it can improve the odds of getting a publishing deal. If it doesn't work out, an aspiring author will need one to self-publish a book anyway." - Free Eagle Studios, Publisher

"Love editing. Learn to enjoy the process. Become excited by the idea of taking your book apart and rewriting it from scratch. Take pleasure in killing your darlings. No book is published without edits. If your goal is seeing your work in print then editing must become your new best friend." - Kate Evangelista, author of No Love Allowed

"When just finishing a first draft, my first piece of advice would be to continue editing as much as you can. You don't always have to go out and get professional editing, but it's important that you make sure you go through as many revisions as possible to make sure that your manuscript is in the best place it can be. While there are agents out there that will spend time with editing, there are many that expect a manuscript to be heavily edited already that way they can focus in on smaller rounds of edits before sending it to editors.  You can always start your research for agents after your first round, but I highly advise not to send out a first draft to agents. It's only going to hurt your chances. If you want to start researching agents and build up a list for once you have finished, here is a list of websites I recommend checking out: New Agency Alerts (Writer's Digest)Publisher's Marketplace (Requires Subscription), and Manuscript Wish List. These are just a few of many great sites out there! These are just some of the resources that will help you find legitimate agents. You always have to be careful, and make sure that the agents you are sending to is legitimate. It's also important to note that a lot of newer agents will not be listed on Publisher's Marketplace yet. If you have any questions, please follow me on Twitter (@Justin_941) and watch for when I do #AskAgent sessions and ask me questions during those time slots. I usually don't have time to answer a lot of questions outside of that." - Justin Wells, Jr. Literary Agent at Corvisiero Literary Agency 

"The best advice I can give is to remember that you're not alone. Every time someone finishes a book, they become a beginner all over again. New agents, new beta readers, new CP's, new pitch contests, and a new way of going about finding the perfect place for their work of art. Everyone is a beginner and everyone is consistently stumbling and making mistakes within an industry that is continuously changing and based solely off good timing and luck. Find your people you can trust to stumble with you, learn with you, help you pick yourself off the ground, and never look back. The publishing industry is a lonely place, and friends who understand your journey make it a whole lot easier. Always trust your gut and if a CP, beta, or agent just don't feel right for you and your story, they probably aren't. Remember that your agent should be your professional friend too, as they guide you, support you, and want the best for you. There's nothing wrong with saying, "this isn't the right path for me," and continuing your artistic journey, finding the RIGHT people to support you along the way." Kelly Peterson, Corvisiero Literary Agency 

"Believe in yourself. You're the only one who can keep fighting for your story." - Taylor, blogger at Stay On The Page

"As someone who is Looking to publish, I'm going the traditional route and searching for an agent. I guess the advice would be write the stories you want to read and do your research when subbing to agents." - Camille, blogger at camillesmaby

"I’m Kat Brzozowski, and I’m an editor at Swoon Reads, a division of Feiwel & Friends at Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. As an editor, I acquire YA manuscripts of all genres, from horror to romance to fantasy, and I’m always looking for my next favorite book to come across my desk. If you’ve recently finished your novel, my first suggestion for you is to get it out in the world and get feedback from other writers. Done that? Great. Now we would love for you to consider submitting your completed manuscript to Swoon Reads. On,  you can upload your finished YA novel, receive comments from other writers, readers, and book lovers, and have the chance to get a book deal. Here’s how it works:  We use our site to find the best and brightest new YA manuscripts to publish – the manuscripts that are getting a lot of love from our readers, the manuscripts that Twitter can’t stop talking about, and the manuscripts that we fall in love with because they’re full of voice or create an exciting new world or showcase irresistible characters. Three times a year, we select a list of new manuscripts to publish in hardcover. From there, our authors get a standard Macmillan publishing contract and a full team of dedicated book lovers from editors to marketers to publicists to jacket designers who make the book great. Our whole process is centered on readers, and we involve our community in every step of the publishing process, from choosing a cover to soliciting blurbs for the book jacket to providing editorial updates from our authors about what it’s really like to be published.  If you’re still in the writing stage and not ready to submit, we provide tons of writing advice, prompts, and lessons about craft on our blog at  And we’re always available to answer your burning questions about publishing and what really goes on behind the scenes; you can tweet at us @SwoonReads. We hope we’ll see your amazing YA manuscript on our site very soon. Happy writing!" - Kat Brzozowski of Swoon Reads Publishers

Some Other Helpful Resources!

*The Novel Gent put together an entire page of excellent resources about indie publishers that accept unsolicited work, query agents and editors, and all sorts of other incredible information that anybody can utilize! They provided so much information that we had to create a whole separate post to contain it -- so you can click HERE to see it!

*Gloria Chao, author of American Panda, has an entire page on her website dedicated to writing/querying/drafting resources -- click HERE to view it!


Justin Wells was awesome enough to offer a giveaway for you all -- so three (3) lucky winners will receive a query critique from Justin! The giveaway ends on October 29th, so enter while you can!

Hopefully this information was of use to you guys! If you're an author/agent/publisher with some more advice you'd like to add, feel free to add it in the comment section down below. And if you think this information was helpful, please let us know! Let's tackle the writing world together, people: We've got this.

Review: Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Title: Dear Martin
Author: Nic Stone
Publisher: Crown Books
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Harcover, 224 Pages
Published October 2017

Summary: Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can't escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out. Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it's Justyce who is under attack.

Emily and I both received advanced copies of this book at BookCon, and things have been so crazy that I haven't had a chance to pick up this book until now. It turns out that I have excellent timing, because this book came out to the public just a few days ago, so now whoever you are, you're totally capable of getting your hands on this book as well!

As the summary explains, Justyce is a senior in high school, all set to go to Yale, and he finds himself unfairly put in handcuffs after a misunderstanding where he was helping his drunk ex-girlfriend get into her car while the police assumed something different. Throughout the rest of the book, Justyce encounters many different scenarios in which he realizes the racial injustices that happen on both sides, numerous times, and some of these altercations even lead to shocking results. And throughout it all, Justyce is partaking in a self-inflicted social experiment in which he tries to channel the energy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in behaving the way he would have and handling situations in ways he would best be known to do. However, Justyce soon realizes that some things are trickier than he could have imagined.

What I really liked about this book was all the different topics and scenarios it managed to cover. This book wasn't just about Justyce getting arrested for something he didn't do because of a misunderstanding after being racially profiled. This book also covered many different important topics and alluded to several popular cases that have happened recently in American and worldwide media. This book creates conversations that span from racial profiling to "affirmative action" and even what it's like for people not being able to "take a joke." I really enjoyed how this book went in several different directions, but it also managed to somehow go in all those directions simultaneously and everything was executed flawlessly. 

(Major spoilers ahead, so please skip to the next paragraph if you haven't read the book yet!) When the incident with Manny happened, I was honestly so shocked that I dropped the book. I was totally taken off guard. I had known Manny was going to die because I accidentally dropped the book while reading it, and when I picked it up, it was open to the last page and I hadn't realized until I started scanning it. So at first, I was super disappointed in myself for spoiling such a major plot point, but I was still shocked with the way things played out, so I'm still going to say that Nic Stone caught me off guard with an aspect of the story that I definitely hadn't seen coming.

My favorite character in this book was definitely Justyce. Even when things were getting tough around him and he found himself to be the victim of accusations he had no part of, he was working so hard to channel the inner mind of one of the greatest and most influential men of his century, both in America and across the world. There were some times that things got really, seriously tough, and Justyce held on tight and help his ideals in mind and didn't give in. (Although there were some moments when he lost his temper, which were honestly a long time coming and so deserved, and it was good to see him let out his anger and frustration. Nic Stone did an excellent job of showing the day-to-day injustices that people of color face, and as a non-POC reader, it was eye-opening and made me rethink a lot of what I've seen going on around me in my life. This book brings so many different important topics to light that all need to be talked about, and I'm very, very glad that she did. 

The only thing I didn't enjoy about this book was the length! I really wish this book had been just a little bit longer, because Justyce's story hooked me right from the start and I just wanted to keep going. But other than me wishing the book was longer (which isn't a real complaint, if you know what I mean), there's nothing more I can really critique about this book. It was very tastefully done and packed a punch in all the right ways.

Overall, I really liked Dear Martin. I am pleasantly surprised at how shocked this book made me at all the right times, and how interesting it was to be in Justyce's head. This is a book that everyone needs to read. Similar to The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, this book will touch you and shake you up in ways that you didn't expect. And it's the kind of shake-up that you need -- so you should add this book to your TBR as soon as possible and experience this excellent story for yourself.

Waiting on Wednesday: Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine where we highlight some of the upcoming books we can't wait to read!

Jessica's Waiting on:

Title: Not If I Save You First
Author: Ally Carter
Publisher: Scholastic  
Publication Date: March 27th, 2018

Summary: Maddie thought she and Logan would be friends forever. But when your dad is a Secret Service agent and your best friend is the president's son, sometimes life has other plans. Before she knows it, Maddie's dad is dragging her to a cabin in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness. No phone. No Internet. And not a single word from Logan. Maddie tells herself it's okay. After all, she's the most popular girl for twenty miles in any direction. (She’s also the only girl for twenty miles in any direction.) She has wood to cut and weapons to bedazzle. Her life is full. Until Logan shows up six years later . . . And Maddie wants to kill him. But before that can happen, an assailant appears out of nowhere, knocking Maddie off a cliff and dragging Logan to some unknown fate. Maddie knows she could turn back- and get help. But the weather is turning and the terrain will only get more treacherous, the animals more deadly. Maddie still really wants to kill Logan. But she has to save him first.

I'm a huge fan of anything by Ally Carter, so I'm super excited to get my hands on this book. The entire plot sounds like something I haven't read before, and it's always nice to read something refreshingly new. The title and the cover itself (as well as the little blurb on the cover!) also have me hooked, so I'm eager to see exactly where this story takes me.

PLUS it comes out the day before my birthday. It's pretty much a sign...right?

Counting down the days for this release!

What are you waiting on this week? Leave your links so I can stop back! 

Jessica's Review: Warcross by Marie Lu

Title: Warcross
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: Putnam
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Hardcover, 368 Pages
Published September 2017

Summary: For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation. Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

I won a copy of Warcross in a giveaway, and I honestly wasn't sure what to expect. I figured that I'd give the book a try since I had a copy, but I was not a huge sci-fi fan and I've never read anything by Marie Lu before, so I went into this entire ordeal totally blind. Amber has read and enjoyed some of Marie Lu's books before, but other than that, I really had no idea what to expect.

However, I was delightfully surprised. As someone who isn't a huge sci-fi fan, this book had me hooked from start to finish. It's also such a great feeling to be giving two books in a row five-star ratings, which is something that hasn't happened to me in the longest time. From the second I opened this book, I was immediately immersed in Emika's story. This book had just the right moments of sadness, action, badassery (yes, I recognize that as an official literary term), and even heart-fluttering gasps. Emika's story and the futuristic world that she lives in is so complex and gripping that any reader will find themselves wrapped up in its awe.

As the summary explains, Emika is a teenage bounty hunter in New York City. Warcross is a popular virtual reality game of sorts for the generation, and Emika one day finds herself accidentally hacking into one of the largest Warcross championship screenings in the world. She figures that she's going to get arrested (since that is a crime), but instead, doors open for her that she couldn't dream of even in her wildest imagination. Hideo Tanaka, the business mogul who coined the game and was officially one of the richest (and most eligible) young men in the world, immediately takes an interest to Emika. He even winds up hiring her for a secret job to help discover someone who was threatening the future of Warcross...but what Emika steps into is a mess that she never could have imagined.

What I liked best about this book was Emika's personality. She was tough and brave and stood up when she needed to, and she was incredibly intelligent. I mean, she manages to attract the attention of one of the most famous men in the world because of her excellent hacking skills, and then finds herself with the bounty hunter job of a lifetime. How cool is that? (Minor spoilers coming, so please skip to the next paragraph if you haven't read this book yet!) I also really loved the blooming relationship between her and Hideo. Especially those scenes where they got super close -- I remember openly squealing in public while I was reading them and blushing from head to toe because it was just so damn cute. But I also really liked how their relationship wasn't the primary focus or goal of the book -- it was Emika completing her mission and being a total badass in the process. I also really liked the futuristic world of Warcross itself -- it's such a unique idea that basically turns The Hunger Games up to 1000000 and makes things even more badass. There is seriously so much badassery in this book -- I can't handle it. This book made me want to go out and start hoverboarding through New York City and catching bounty hunters and being fierce and brave and cool. I wish.

I really can't think of anything I didn't enjoy about this book, which is shocking to me since I'm normally really confused by sci-fi and therefore always have at least one thing to point out. This book had me hooked from start to finish, and it was riddled with plenty of twists and turns to keep things interesting. There were several plot twists (especially towards the end) that I weren't expecting, and I found myself delightfully shocked and surprised. I'm satisfied with how the book left off, but I'm also itching to get my hands on the next copy to see where Emika goes with everything and how everything pans out. 

Overall, I absolutely loved Warcross. I've already added the unreleased second book to my TBR on Goodreads and I'll be eagerly anticipating it. This book had me hooked from start to finish and I tore through it much faster than I've read any book in awhile, and I'm incredibly grateful and thankful towards Marie Lu for giving me the reading bug again -- something which is pretty hard to come by when you're in college and drowning in midterms! I literally carried this book with me everywhere I went and read it on the walks to and from class (without tripping on too many things, thank goodness). If you think Warcross isn't your cup of tea and you find yourself shying away from it, I encourage you to pick up the book and give it a shot anyway. It got me hooked in ways that science fiction books haven't since I first read the Zodiac series by Romina Russell. I really, really loved Warcross and I will officially be pushing it on everybody I know -- which includes you! So what are you waiting for?

Preparing For NaNoWriMo 2017!

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Hi everybody! National Novel Writing Month is officially only a few weeks away, which means that writers all over the world are gearing up for an entire month of noveling mayhem. This year, once again, that includes me! This will be my fourth year participating in NaNoWriMo, and I'm super excited for the chance to flex my writing muscles again. I'm hoping to utilize NaNoWriMo to write (and complete!) a story idea that I've been toying with for awhile and I can't wait to bring it to life. I'm a little nervous about how everything will work out since I'm also going to be juggling college classes and extracurriculars again, but I'm confident that I can make it happen.

I know that we spend a lot of time on The Book Bratz talking about books and reviews, but this is just a heads up that throughout the month of November the occasional NaNoWriMo post or two may pop up, so be on the lookout for that. I'll be checking it from time to time to talk about my progress, what I'm expecting out of the rest of the month, prompts, write-ins, etc. I'm excited to see how it all goes this year, and I can't wait for the victorious confetti when I CRUSH it again!! (I mean, I'm really just hoping it'll happen. But there's nothing like pure, unadulterated confidence to help with writing motivation, right?)

So my novel is outlined, my typing fingers are ready, and I'm all set to get as much candy as possible on Halloween so I'll have plenty of fuel for late night midterm-studying and novel-writing sessions. I'm excited to get this year under my belt because I've been slacking with writing lately (thank you, overwhelming amount of college responsibilities) and I'm ready to get back on the metaphorical horse, so to speak!

So, are any of you guys participating in National Novel Writing Month? What are some of your plans and your goals? Are you looking for some writing buddies? Comment down below and share all of your NaNo-related (or not!) thoughts! I can't wait to read them. :-)

Review: Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover (Jessica's Review)

Title: Maybe Someday
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Atria Books
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Paperback, 385 Pages
Published March 2014

Summary: Sydney is living in an idyllic bubble—she's a dedicated student with a steady job on the side. She lives with her best friend, has a great boyfriend, and the music coming from the balcony opposite hers is fast becoming the soundtrack to her life. But when Sydney finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, the bubble bursts. The mysterious and attractive man behind the music, Ridge, gives Sydney hope that she can move on and they begin to write songs together. But moving on is harder than she expects, Sydney can only hope…

Emily and I are huge Colleen Hoover fans, so I was more than eager to get my hands on this book. It's a little large (about 370 pages), which normally isn't a big deal, but as a college student with such a small amount of free time, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to actually sit down and enjoy this book without having to take a million pauses to get everything done that I had to.

However, I was wrong to worry about it at all, because I tore through this book so quickly that my eyes couldn't scan the pages fast enough. Maybe Someday had me hooked from start to finish, and every passing chapter was filled with so much love and drama and emotion (and even some heartbreak) that made me want to keep reading. There were also plenty of moments where some of the characters would throw in quips that kept me laughing -- so this book truly has everything!

As the summary explains, Sydney finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her, and her life seems to be going downhill from there. She finds herself single, homeless, fired from her job, and on top of everything, incredibly hurt and heartbroken and furious. She ends up moving in with her neighbor Ridge, who is a musician and ends up enlisting her help with writing lyrics for some songs. Before long, things between Sydney and Ridge start to change, and some incredibly important and shocking secrets are unearthed...and messiness undoubtedly follows.

What I really loved about this book was the dynamic between Sydney and Ridge. There were some parts of this book that literally had me swooning and sighing out loud -- the people on the train with me weren't as enthusiastic as I was. There were some pretty classic CoHo scenes with lots of heavy, heart-racing stuff and also some sweet, adorable moments that brought tears to my eyes. This book just has so many layers and different relationship dynamics, and you learn so much more with every page that you turn. Out of all of Colleen's books that I have read, it's safe to say that this one is undoubtedly my favorite.

There are some pretty big spoilers in this paragraph, so please skip to the next one if you haven't read the book yet! I was completely shocked when I found out that Ridge was deaf. He said it so point-blank that I actually gasped and went back and reread, because it was a total plot twist that I wasn't expecting. I actually really like how Colleen didn't mention it right away when Sydney first met Ridge, but ended up letting the reader know after they may have already formed some opinions about Ridge's character in their minds. I almost dropped my book with surprise at first. And as the book continued, I really enjoyed seeing how Ridge was able to be a musician while lacking arguably one of the most prominent senses when it comes to music itself. The ways he made it work, and the way he made everything with Sydney and the rest of his friends work was also incredible to see. Ridge's lack of hearing made him aware of so many other things that able-bodied people may miss -- including the sound of his own heartbeat. This book just really opened my eyes towards what it would be like to live as Ridge does and I also got to explore the dynamics of the relationships with everyone around him. I'm really glad I got that chance, and I'm incredibly grateful that Colleen gave me the chance to witness it.

This was the first five-star rating I've given in quite some time, and I fully believe that this book deserves it. Maybe Someday had me hooked from start to finish, tearing through the pages and being met with sadness when I finished. However, I can happily shelve this book filled with satisfaction after the emotional rollercoaster it took me on. Easily now becoming one of my favorite books, Maybe Someday is filled with heartbreak, emotion, drama, love, laughter, overcoming boundaries, taking leaps, and everything in between.

Hats off to Colleen Hoover. If this book isn't on your to-read list, I recommend that you head over right now and fix that right away. You won't be sorry!