Top Ten Tuesday: Popular Books that Lived Up to the Hype

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl in which we create bookish lists about everything from our favorite characters to love triangles and everything in between!

This Week's Topic: Popular Books that Lived Up to the Hype

We all know those popular books that everyone reads, even non-readers. They're the books that made it big, weather it was made into a blockbuster movie or just a bestseller with a big fanbase, almost everyone knows them. In my opinion, these novels help people realize their love for reading and unite the book world with those outside of it. These are some of my favorite books that I believe lived up to their hype.

1. Divergent by Veronica Roth

2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

3. Paper Towns by John Green

4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

5. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

6. To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee

7. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

8. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

9. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

10. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Camp NaNo 2018 Wrap Up!

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Hi there, everyone!

We can't believe that July is already over, and that means that Camp NaNo is, too! This is the first year we ever participated, and we're so glad that we did, because it really helped us get a good chunk of our current stories completed!

Jessica's goal this year was to write at least 30K of her 50K novel in the month of July, and she completed it with a week to spare! So now she's feeling super empowered and motivated to finish off her story strong and polish it off so she's sure that it's ready for Pitch Wars in October!

All in all, Camp NaNo was such a great experience for us. We got to be in a cabin with all of our amazing blogger friends that we met up with at BookExpo, and we even did some virtual write-ins together that helped us boost our word counts! It was really great to be in a big group with so many different projects of all shapes and sizes going on. We loved hearing about them and cheering on our friends!

What were your goals this month?

We hope everyone else had a great Camp NaNo season, and even if you didn't technically "win," don't worry -- even writing a single word or editing a single line is better progress than nothing! 

Can't wait for NaNoWriMo this November -- who else is participating? :) 

Guest Review: The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana

Title: The Library of Fates
Author: Aditi Khorana
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Publisher: Razorbill
Hardcover, 320 Pages
Published July 2017

Summary: No one is entirely certain what brings the Emperor Sikander to Shalingar. Until now, the idyllic kingdom has been immune to his many violent conquests. To keep the visit friendly, Princess Amrita has offered herself as his bride, sacrificing everything—family, her childhood love, and her freedom—to save her people. But her offer isn't enough. The unthinkable happens, and Amrita finds herself a fugitive, utterly alone but for an oracle named Thala, who was kept by Sikander as a slave and managed to escape amid the chaos of a palace under siege. With nothing and no one else to turn to, Amrita and Thala are forced to rely on each other. But while Amrita feels responsible for her kingdom and sets out to warn her people, the newly free Thala has no such ties. She encourages Amrita to go on a quest to find the fabled Library of All Things, where it is possible for each of them to reverse their fates. To go back to before Sikander took everything from them. Stripped of all that she loves, caught between her rosy past and an unknown future, will Amrita be able to restore what was lost, or does another life—and another love—await?

Today on the blog we have a guest review from Stephanie over at Holed Up In A BookShe was kind enough to stop by and review The Library of Fates and share her thoughts on it, and we couldn't be more excited to have her here as our guest reviewer for today! So without further ado, let's get into it!

This was definitely a book where I suckered in because of its gorgeous cover but unlike other books where only the cover was worth my time, I actually found myself enjoying this book immensely.  It was a very quick read (it only took me a day to finish!) and the pacing of the book was just right.  The characters were also likeable.  My only qualm in regards to the characters would be that they weren’t fully developed but for this book, I think it ended up being more than fine.

I really liked the premise of the book. I liked how Amrita, the main character, was willing to essentially sacrifice her freedom and herself for the sake of her people from the conqueror, Emperor Sikander. Even though I did find her to be a bit tedious in the beginning because she was always a step too slow.  However, I also understand that she was in shock and therefore some of her thoughts and actions was influenced by that.  I was glad though, that by the end of the book, she matured into someone that I can admire more.  Rather than taking the easy way out, she took the right path which is usually a lot harder than one might think. 

Another aspect that I really liked was how the author went on a completely different direction from what I had originally anticipated.  Obviously I knew that something about turning back time would occur since it was stated in the synopsis but the way how they went about it was completely different. It was a good plot twist and made me enjoy the book even more. 

When Amrita found herself in the past to change the future, I’m really glad that the author put in some context in terms of how Sikander came to be this way and what was his history.  I have realized that in a lot of fiction these days, all of the “bad characters” don’t really get to speak up and explain themselves.  So I was pleased to read about Sikander’s past and understand him more.  It made him much more real to me and I was able to get why he did the things that he did. Obviously, it still doesn’t excuse him for doing so but at least I was able to at least understand him just a bit more.

Overall, I think this book is under-hyped.  The rating on Goodreads isn’t the greatest and I’m surprised by that.  I would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a good, quick read.

We'd like to once again thank Stephanie for stopping by The Book Bratz today to post this guest review. You can read the original review over on her blog by clicking HERE!

** Psst! Interested in guest reviewing on The Book Bratz? Shoot us an email at or DM us on Twitter (@thebookbratz) and we'd love to have you!

ARC Review: Lovely, Dark, and Deep by Justina Chen!

Title: Lovely, Dark, and Deep
Author: Justina Chen
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Rating: 3/5 Stars
Hardcover, 352 Pages
Publication Date: July 31st, 2018
Summary: What would you do if the sun became your enemy? That's exactly what happens to Viola Li after she returns from a trip abroad and develops a sudden and extreme case of photosensitivity -- an inexplicable allergy to sunlight. Thanks to her crisis-manager parents, she doesn't just have to wear layers of clothes and a hat the size of a spaceship. She has to stay away from all hint of light. Say goodbye to windows and running outdoors. Even her phone becomes a threat when its screen burns her. Viola is determined to maintain a normal life, particularly after she meets Josh. He's a funny, talented Thor look-alike who carries his own mysterious grief. But the intensity of their romance makes her take more and more risks, and when a rebellion against her parents backfires dangerously, she must find her way to a life -- and love -- as deep and lovely as her dreams.

I received an ARC of Lovely, Dark, and Deep by Justina Chen in exchange for an honest review, and the story of how I did is actually pretty awesome! Every day on our Twitter, we Tweet a question of the day under the hashtag #BookBratzQOTD. So one day, we asked a question about the kinds of awesome things you've learned from books you've read. Our answer was that we learned about Geocaching from another one of Justina's books, North of Beautiful, and then she loved the Tweet and DMed us asking us if we wanted a copy of her newest book, and we couldn't resist! So that's how we got a copy of this ARC, and we even got to give another one away, so it was just a nice little story that we wanted to share. :-)

As the summary explains, Viola is a hardworking girl that seems to have a pretty normal life. She's involved in a lot of things at school, super dedicated, and she knows exactly what she wants to do with her life. But then, through a freak accident, she finds out that she's allergic to the sun. Like, completely. Cannot be near anything that emits UV rays -- the sun, lights, and even her computer and phone screens. Even being outside in the shade during the daytime can seriously harm (and potentially even kill) her. So her life is turned completely upside down -- especially since she wants to be a photojournalist in the desert, something she absolutely cannot do with her condition. So,'s pretty messy.

Reading this book was really intriguing because it covered such an interesting concept that I hadn't thought about much before. Being allergic to the sun -- to the point where I can't even go outside or sit by a nightlight without getting severe, super-painful blisters -- completely baffles me and sounds like such a difficult time. So seeing how Viola handled this condition was intriguing to me because I had never known that this was something anyone could experience before, so it gave me a peek into a life I hadn't ever really known much about before.

My favorite characters in this book were definitely Viola's parents, even if it sometimes felt like they were being a little bit too much for her. They were super loyal and super thorough when it came to wanting to keep her safe, so as annoying as it could be, you knew that their hearts were in the right place and that they adored their daughter very much. Plus, their love for each other was super cute, and seeing their marriage and work partnership work out so well gave me some hope for love in the world, which made my heart feel warm and fuzzy!

As for characters I didn't enjoy very much, I wasn't a huge fan of Roz. She seemed really bratty and spoiled and entitled, even up until the very end, and the fact that their parents let things fly like that for so long (even in front of their faces) without saying anything about it was kind of frustrating to see. But when Viola actually pushed back a bit, I was cheering her on immensely, because Roz definitely needed to hear it!

My favorite parts of this book were all of the comic book collaborating sessions between Viola and Josh. Not only were they super interesting, but it also served as inspiration for me to sit down and brainstorm some ideas for the current story that I'm working on, so that helped keep me motivated whenever I wasn't reading!

Something that I enjoyed most about this book was the way that Viola's life turned around in a direction that she wasn't expecting, but she still found a bunch of ways to reroute her life and make it something she could enjoy. While all of her troubles didn't dissipate and some of her dreams would have to be left unachieved, in the end, she didn't give up, and that's a kick of motivation that I hadn't even realized that I needed.

The only thing I wanted to know a bit more about is Viola's condition. There really isn't a cure for what's going on with her, but maybe knowing a little bit more about it or what makes it happen (or the routes of treatment that she and her parents decided to take) would've been beneficial. While the loose threads are tied up by the end of the book in terms of friendships and relationships and having a different-yet-satisfying life, we don't get much more on the progression of her condition, which was something I would've been interested in seeing.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Lovely, Dark, and Deep. Justina Chen is a super sweet and amazing person, so I'm so grateful that she decided to reach out and offer me a copy of this book. This story showed me a situation that I didn't even know existed and in addition to learning a lot about it, I also loved the themes of motivation and overcoming difficult obstacles that may uproot your life plans. So this book covers a lot of ground for sure!

Hats off to Justina Chen -- she's impressed me with her writing yet again!

Camp NaNoWriMo + WIP Aesthetics!

Camp NaNoWriMo is the same thing as NaNoWriMo except that it takes place in July rather then November, and you also get to customize your own goal. This year 2 of the 3 Book Bratz decided to take part in the challenge to get their WIPs moving a long. This July Amber's goal was to reach 25,000 words and Jessica's was to reach 30,000 words total of her 50K novel goal. With our excitement of our WIPs we we wanted to take a moment to show our friends and followers what we have been working so hard on in the last month! 

Amber's WIP:

The story I am working on has been an idea I been expanding on for a little while now, but I actually wasn't brave enough to attempt it. It takes place in a little suburban beach town in the summer after high school graduation and where it is a cutesy romance it is going to pack a punch on some issues that I hold very close to my heart. Below I introduce my aesthetics for my main characters Emerson and Alex. I am super excited that I am spending my summer writing their stories! 

Jessica's WIP:

I'm sort of keeping things under wraps for now and not talking about it much, but I can disclose that my WIP is the story of a girl whose life is seemingly perfect and she has everything she ever wants...until she finds out that she has a sister she never knew about. Even worse? That sister is coming to live with her, and before long, my MC has to adjust to this new family life while also dealing with the fact that this new girl is turning her life upside down.

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So those are our updates for Camp NaNo! What are yours? Comment down below!

Review: My Boyfriend Is a Bear by Pamela Ribon

Title: My Boyfriend Is a Bear
Author: Pamela Ribon
Illustrator: Cat Farris
Publisher: Oni Press
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Paperback, 176 Pages
Published April 2018

Summary: Nora has bad luck with men. When she meets an (actual) bear on a hike in the Los Angeles hills, he turns out to be the best romantic partner she’s ever had! He’s considerate, he’s sweet, he takes care of her. But he’s a bear, and winning over her friends and family is difficult. Not to mention he has to hibernate all winter. Can true love conquer all?

I received a copy from this book by Margot Wood, who used to work at EpicReads and now works for Oni Press, a publishing company that releases graphic novels. Margot sent me a copy of My Boyfriend Is a Bear after we met up with her at BookExpo, and I'm so glad she did! It's a little embarrassing to admit, but this is the first graphic novel that I've ever read -- but now, thanks to this, I'll definitely be reading a lot more!

As the summary explains, Nora hasn't had a lot of luck with men in the past, so when she meets a bear while she's hiking in California, she decides to give him a chance, because why not, right? It turns out that he's the best boyfriend that she's ever had -- he's smart, caring, and super attentive. Not to mention really funny and handy! It may be hard to get a lot of her friends and family on board with her plan, and there are some logistics that definitely need to be worked out (such as, you know, yearly hibernation), but for the most part, Nora and the Bear had a near-perfect life, and it was super adorable.

This book was so enjoyable to read. Nora's voice was really funny and conversational, and definitely really easy to follow. When I first saw the cover of this book, I thought that maybe her boyfriend was a human that got cursed and turned into a bear, or some Freaky Friday stuff ended up happening. But nope, she actually fell in love with a bear. Which felt a bit weird and awkward to understand at first, but then it came super hilarious really quickly, and I found myself unable to be torn away from this story. I kept flipping the pages and wanting to know what would happen next! (Also, speaking of illustrations, I really enjoyed them in this book as well! I loved all of the bright colors and the fine details in all of the images, which I felt really helped to bring the story to life.)

Another thing that I really enjoyed reading about this book was how quickly I was able to do it. I'm usually a pretty fast reader, but with my summer job starting to pick up again, as well as Camp NaNoWriMo, I've been really busy and I don't have much time to block out just to sit down and read. But since graphic novels are perfect for speed readers like me, I managed to read this entire book (100+ pages!) in a little under an hour. As I explained on Twitter, I started reading this book during my break at work, and my coworkers were so intrigued with the title and the cover that they started reading over my shoulder. We had our own little reading party where we were all laughing and enjoying the story!

What surprised me most about reading a graphic novel for the first time was that I never really expected to find romantic comedies as graphic novels, which definitely sounds a little silly now that I say it because duh, of course romantic comedy graphic novels exist, since I just read one! But yeah, I'm glad that I found a genre of graphic novels that I enjoy, because it will make finding them much easier (and much more exciting) now!

Overall, I really loved My Boyfriend Is a Bear and I will now be pushing it on Emily and Amber to read ASAP. This book made me feel all of the emotions -- from laughter to crying, and everything in between! I'm so glad that Margot introduced me to my first graphic novel and that I loved it so much, because now I will definitely be on the hunt for more romantic graphic novels that I can read and enjoy. If you haven't read any yet and you're not sure where to start, I'd definitely recommend this one!

Have any graphic novel recommendations for me? Leave them in the comments down below!

Waiting On Wednesday: Sadie by Courtney Summers

"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: Sadie
Author: Courtney Summers
Genre: YA Mystery 
Publisher: Wednesday Books 
Publication Date: Sept. 4th, 2018

Summary: A missing girl on a journey of revenge and a Serial-like podcast following the clues she's left behind. 
Sadie hasn't had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she's been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water. 
But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie's entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister's killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.
When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie's story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie's journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it's too late.

It's been too long since I read a good mystery. I've always loved mysteries but haven't picked one up in a while so this is high on my TBR. I received a copy of Sadie at BookExpo and was immediately attracted to the summary, a girl set out to find her sisters murderer. I'm excited to see the directions this novel takes as well as the outcome. Will Sadie ever find her sisters murderer? Or will she get too caught up in the mystery and end up getting herself hurt? Be sure to be on the lookout for a review very soon!

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Books With Sensory Reading Memories

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl in which we create bookish lists about everything from our favorite characters to love triangles and everything in between!

This Week's Topic: Books With Sensory Reading Memories!

You guys, I am super excited about today's TTT theme, because it's super creative and something that I haven't really thought of before. Today, I'm going to be showcasing ten books (in no specific order) that I have some sensory memory attached to. I'm sorry if these make no sense to you or feel a little bit weird, but these are the honest memories I have attached to these books! 

1. Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert

Memory: I vividly remember the wind in my hair and the smell of the lake when I was reading this book out on a boat during summer vacation last year!

2. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Memory: For no real reason other than the fact that the title has the word "French" in it, I keep thinking of French toast. And now I'm really hungry.

3. All of This Is True by Lygia Day Penaflor


Memory: Fun fact -- we grew up in the area that this book takes place, so reading this book gave me a whole slew of memories of visiting these places and checking them out, and even eating all of the delicious food at the restaurant mentioned!

4. The House of Night series by P.C. and Kristen Cast

Memory: Zoey's grandmother uses a lot of lavender to burn in this book series, so I always think of lavender whenever I used to read the series, or even when I think about it now.
5. Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi

Memory: This book has deckled pages, which usually annoys me when I'm reading, but this time I remember running my fingers up and down the pages when I was reading and getting into the story, and it was super soothing.
6. Looking for Alaska by John Green

Memory: I can just smell (and taste) cigarettes when I think about this book, even though it's one of my favorites of all time but smoking is so bleh.

7. Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

Memory: I can practically taste the coffee.

8. The Nancy Drew series

Memory: There's one picture of me when I was much younger reading one of these books on the beach during an air show, and I can still feel the sand between my toes and hear the airplanes overhead.

9. The Trixie Belden series

Memory: My grandmother used to buy me these books and give them to me whenever she saw me, and I remember being so happy and excited whenever I would get them! 

10. A Map For Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor

Memory: I can pretty much taste the salt in the air and vividly see some of the white-sand beaches I've visited, and I can totally picture them as an abandoned island, even though I definitely don't want to get stuck on any of them! 

What are some books that you have sensory reading memories with? Comment down below and let me know -- I think this is a super interesting topic, and I want to hear everyone's responses!