Book Tag – MidYear Freak Out

We were tagged to do this book tag by our bookish friend over at Books and Rainy Days. Go check their blog out to see some great bookish posts! Let’s dive right into this week’s book tag –

Best book you’ve read so far in 2018 – 

Amanda: This is hard. I don’t like to pick stuff like this because I love so many books. So I’m going to list a few that I really really liked and have stuck with me.

Air Awakens Series by Elise Kova 
The Paper Magician Series by Charlie N. Holmberg
The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson

Antonia: Beheld by Alex Flinn. This one was easy because 1. This book was amazing and 2. I’ve only read two books so far this year that weren’t part of a series. See my review of this book here.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018 – 

Amanda: Okay, so I’m going to pick one where I started the series before this year for this one instead of a series I read all the way through. I’m going to go with Hell in a Handbasket by Denise Grover Swank (even though I really want to pick A Court of Frost and Starlight I don’t think it counts because it’s technically a novella.)

Antonia: I’ve read some really great sequels this year but I think I have to choose Blade of Empire by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. It exceeded all my expectations which, considering I waited seven years for this book to come out, I had a lot of.

New release you haven’t read yet but want to – 

Amanda: How am I supposed to pick just one with these questions?

The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth
War Storm by Victoria Aveyard
The Summer Children by Dot Hutchison
Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts

Let’s just make this easier for me. Why don’t you go to the “Upcoming Books” page on our blog and there’s a list of all the books that I’m looking forward to reading? If I haven’t reviewed it, then I haven’t read it yet.

Antonia: I agree with Amanda; just take a look at our “Upcoming Books”. I think Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts is still top of my list though.

Most anticipated release for the second half of 2018 – 

Amanda: It’s 100% a completely equal tie between Hank Green’s An Absolutely Remarkable Thing and Cassandra Clare’s Queen of Air and Darkness.

Antonia: Hmm… I think if I had to choose it’d be between Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa and Of Blood and Bone by Nora Roberts. Nora’s pretty much automatic for me and Kagawa’s new book sounds like nothing I’ve ever read before.

Biggest disappointment – 

Amanda: This one is actually easy, The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (reviewed here).

Antonia: I haven’t really been disappointed by any books so far this year. I think if I had to choose I’d pick The Wild Swans by K.M. Shea. She has a long list of fairy tale retellings; nothing I’d consider favorites but they were fun reads. This is the only one I didn’t like as much. I just found some of the characters a little annoying.

Biggest Surprise – 

Amanda: A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas. I think I’m choosing this one just because it wasn’t really what I expected and I was a bit surprised at the behavior of one specific character. Check out my review here to get a more detailed explanation of my thoughts on this book.

Antonia: The Dragon’s Gift series by Linsey Hall. I’m including all four sub-series of this for this question. I was not expecting to like these books as much as I did. They’re kind of amazing. You can check out my review here.

Favorite new author – 

Amanda: This is another hard one that I had to think about. I’m going to say Elise Kova. Her Air Awakens series was so incredible I will no doubt be reading anything else that she’s written that I can get my hands on.

Antonia: Either Linsey Hall or Agatha Christie. I really loved what I’ve read of theirs and can’t wait to read more.

Newest fictional crush – 

Amanda: Okay, so not really new, but a rekindled crush because I reread the series earlier this year, but the Darkling from the Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. I love me some villain, and I’m not sorry about it.

Antonia: Definitely not a new crush but the only character this year that comes close is Percy Jackson from The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan. I love him so much.

Newest favorite character – 

Amanda: Hmm. Liana Castell from The Girl Who Dared series by Bella Forrest (reviewed here) The final book came out and I just still really love her and how much she’s grown throughout these books.

Antonia: I have to choose Ember from The Talon series by Julie Kagawa. She’s not technically a new character for me since I was introduced to her a few years ago. I didn’t love her back then but as I finished the series recently and saw all her character development, I really loved the person she became.

Book that made you cry – 

Amanda: This is an unfair question. I”m currently seven months pregnant and have been pregnant for the entirety of 2018 so pretty much everything makes me cry. But the most memorable crying sesh that I’ve had has to have been the one while I was reading the Air Awakens Series (it was a boxed set on my Kindle, so it was like reading one book) by Elise Kova. I sobbed for like an hour after a certain part. I think my husband thought I was never going to stop.

Antonia: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan. The. Ending. Killed. Me. Annabeth and Percy finally get back together after Percy was kidnapped and now they’re stuck in Tartarus?! (Tartarus=Hell) Then Riordan made the dedication of the next book “To my wonderful readers: Sorry about that last cliff-hanger. Well, no, not really. HAHAHAHA. But seriously, I love you guys.” I am so done.

Book that made you happy – 

Amanda: Renegades by Marissa Meyer. Superheroes, duh.

Antonia: All of them? But I’ll pick Beheld by Alex Flinn since it’s the only one that gave me that happy bubbly feeling in my chest when I finished it.

Favorite book to movie adaptation this year – 

Amanda: I haven’t actually seen any of the book-to-movie adaptations that have been released this year. (I’m forever a year or two behind when it comes to movies.) So I’m going to choose the one I’m most excited to see which is, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, but also Fahrenheit 451.

Antonia: I also don’t keep up with new movie releases. The closest answer I have would be The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. I haven’t actually read this yet but I’d like to and the movie looks really good as well.

Favorite review you wrote this year – 

Amanda: I’m going to say all four reviews that I wrote for the four books in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas because this is one of my all time favorite series and I’m excited to have all four books reviewed and posted on the blog. (A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury, A Court of Wings and Ruin, and A Court of Frost and Starlight)

Antonia: I have to choose Beheld by Alex Flinn (review). I just really enjoyed reading the book AND writing the review.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought this year – 

Amanda: The Bone Witch & The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco both have absolutely gorgeous book covers, which yes, is part of the reason I bought them.

Antonia: The Talon series by Julie Kagawa. I love these covers so much.

What books do you NEED to read before the end of the year – 

Amanda: Can I just refer you to our “Upcoming Books” page again?

War Storm by Victoria Aveyard
The Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead
Impostors by Scott Westerfeld
Wind Rider by P.C. Cast
Archenemies by Marissa Meyer

I could keep going, but like I said, they’re all listed and if I haven’t posted a review it means I still need to read it.

Antonia: This one’s particularly hard for me because pretty much everything I read is based entirely on my mood at the time. Maybe Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. I’ve been wanting to read this series for forever but somehow never got to it. Amanda and I were talking about it the other day and it’s made me want to finally read them. I already have books one and two sitting on my shelf.

We’re going to tag Danielle over at YA Allegiance. We hope you have as much fun (we’re lying this one was hard because we love so many books.) as we did with this post. Can’t wait to see what you choose for these questions.

Anyone else reading this that thinks it would be fun to do, consider yourself tagged and feel free to tag us in your post.

milk and honey & the sun and her flowers by Rupi Kaur

Milk and Honey Summary:
milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity.
The book is divided into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.

The Sun and her Flowers Summary:
From Rupi Kaur, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of milk and honey, comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry. A vibrant and transcendent journey about growth and healing. Ancestry and honoring one’s roots. Expatriation and rising up to find a home within yourself.
Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, the sun and her flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. A celebration of love in all its forms.
Review:
I am not a bookworm that usually enjoys reading poetry. So this will likely be a short and a little unusual sort of review. I don’t have enough to say about these collections to review them as two separate books, but they’re by the same author so I thought it would be acceptable to review them in one post together.
Like I said above, I don’t usually like poetry so these are not books that I would pick out for myself to read or pay money to own. The only reason I read these two poetry collections was that a fellow bookworm sent me the ebooks for free. Even though poetry isn’t a top choice for me, these two books have gotten enough hype and attention to peak my interest. I read these purely because they were free and I wanted to see what everyone was going crazy over.
All of this being said, I was honestly pleasantly surprised with milk and honey as well as the sun and her flowers. I surprised myself by actually liking them. I read milk and honey so quickly, I just couldn’t get enough. I took a little longer with the sun and her flowers so that I could really give it a chance. I liked these poems way more than I thought I was going to. They were honest and meaningful and really hit all the right emotions to be memorable. They spoke of challenging topics in a way that says it’s okay to talk about these ideas that for some unknown reason have become controversial. These words aren’t what you’d expect when you think of traditional poetry and I think that’s why so many people love them, they’re easy to read and relatable. I think they’re a great example of more modern and contemporary poetry.
While I was surprised by the fact that I did actually like these two poetry collections I don’t want to leave the impression that I’m over the moon about them like many others are. I liked them, I didn’t love them. I don’t generally like poetry at all. But some of the poems in these two collections were a bit simple and more like sentences than poems.
Ultimately, I liked (not loved) these two collections. I didn’t think I was going to like them at all, so that’s great. I would love to hear some opinions from those readers out there that genuinely love poetry. What did you poetry lovers think of these more modern ideas of poetry? Be sure to let me know in the comments!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault by Candace Robinson

Summary:
Some see it… Some don’t…

People in the town of Deer Park, Texas are vanishing. There is a strange museum, known as Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault, that appears overnight. Perrie Madeline’s best friend and ex-boyfriend are among the missing. Perrie and her friend August go on a pursuit for them in the mysterious museum. Could the elusive Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault have anything to do with the disappearances?

Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault is the start of a thrilling duology full of magic, danger, and romance.

glass vault
Review:
I received this book as an e-book version advanced readers copy (my first ARC ever!) from Parliament House Press. I was interested in the summary of this book along with the fact that it’s a horror/fairytale retelling – oh, and the cover. How cool is this cover? I’m trying to expand my reading tastes and horror books are not usually high up on my tbr list, but I’m glad I went out of my usual books and requested this book.
This story follows our main character, Perrie (I love this name.) while she’s trying to figure out what the hell is going on in her town. We get to meet her cousin/best friend Maisie, who was probably my favorite character in the entire book. Maisie wears eye patches that she designs and wears for fun. She doesn’t give a hoot what anyone thinks and knows that she’s an oddball. I love that she’s super enthusiastically her own person and doesn’t let anyone tell her she should behave differently. Though her silly, oddball personality ends up getting her into trouble.
Now, our main character, Perrie, she’s a total band geek who just wants to finish high school and figure out what she wants to do with her life. She has some mommy issues because her mother left when she was younger. Perrie is a super relatable character and I liked her, mostly. She seems to be trying to move forward from a hard breakup. Neven used to be one of her best friends as well as her boyfriend. The circumstances of their breakup are not revealed until a decent way into the story. This was a little annoying to me and I don’t know that it was entirely necessary to create so much suspense and mystery around the reason that Perrie broke up with him.
The last character I want to mention is August. There’s so much I’d like to say about him that I can’t because it would be a spoiler, but I will say what I can. I love August. I love his friendship with Perrie – even through the plot twist that I totally did not see coming. He was funny and charming and seems to be a great friend. He played an interesting part in the friend group. The three of them together, Perrie, Maisie, and August were entertaining to read about. They were relatable high school kids.
There were a few things that I didn’t like about this book. The writing was a bit awkward here and there. There were just a few places that the writing was awkward and things could have been written a bit better. At the beginning of the story, Perrie and Maisie say things like, “Oh darn.” But then later they’re swearing up a storm. They seemed to go from super innocent to mostly normal high school kids; it was just a weird change. The start of this story was a bit slow. It took me a few days and reading sessions to get into it, but once I got into the story I stayed up way too late to finish it. Much to my dismay, CLIFFHANGER. Oh, how I hate cliffhangers.
I enjoyed the storyline once I got fifty or so pages into the book. It’s a very unique and creative fairytale retelling. And not a retelling of just one tale, there are several different fairytales involved in Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault and I was definitely entertained by the horror aspect that the author used.
Ultimately, I liked this book. The writing could have been a bit better, but the story was interesting and creative enough for me to look past that. I really enjoyed the characters. They were relatable and entertaining. I especially enjoyed the plot twist because I did not see it coming at all. Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault was a fascinating mix of horror with the traditional fairytales. I would recommend this book to the older end of young adult readers because of the horror aspect. I would also really like to know when the second book is being released because the cliffhanger ending was killer and I need to know what happens next.
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Book Tag – The Ultimate 25 Bookish Questions

Happy Saturday bookworms!

Welcome to our second book tag post! Last week’s was just so fun that when I saw this one I knew Antonia and I had to do it together. I found this book tag in my reader, Alana over at The Bookish Chick posted it and it looked like fun. Thanks for posting Alana!

So here goes!

Do you get sick while reading in the car? 

Amanda- No, thank god. I wouldn’t have survived my childhood if I had motion sickness (like my brother does). Books were the only thing that kept me sane on family road trips and vacations.

Antonia- Usually only if I’m in the backseat. It can be pretty random though, long car rides when it’s raining and mercury is in retrograde. There’s not really any rhyme or reason to it, but sometimes I get car sick and sometimes I don’t.

Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why? 

Amanda- I’m going to say Ellen Hopkins just because the way she writes her books is so unique and I’ve never seen any other books (aside from poetry) written the way she has them set up. Also, the topics she writes about are hard and serious topics that need to be discussed more.

Antonia- Patrick Rothfuss because the books are narrated by the main character as if they’re talking to you and telling you their story. He also uses a really good mix of descriptive writing and does a great job of showing us what’s happening instead of just telling us.

Harry Potter Series or Twilight Saga? Give three reasons to defend your answer.  

Amanda- Harry Potter (nothing against Twilight though because I was a huge fan before those horrible movies came out)

  1. Hogwarts, who doesn’t want to go to school there?
  2. Wizards, who doesn’t want to be a magical witch or wizard?
  3. I read the Harry Potter books first and loved them first, so they hold first place in my heart. (Sorry Twilight.)

Antonia- Harry Potter (said with a duh tone of voice.)

  1. The Twilight movie
  2. Magic is my favorite and I’d love to be a witch.
  3. I just love the Harry Potter world that Rowling created better than what’s in the Twilight books. It’s so well planned and thought out and it’s become a place that millions of people dream of going to.

Do you carry a bookbag? If so, what’s in it (besides books)?

Amanda- Okay, so I carry a small backpack as a purse. I’ve hated carrying “shoulder purses” for years now, so I stick with mini(ish) backpacks, but I wouldn’t consider it a bookbag. I always have either my Kindle or whatever I’m currently reading (sometimes both), my mascara and some lipstick for when I need to feel fabulous at a moments notice, about a hundred lip balms because I’m addicted to buying them, all the pens of life (I’m actually a pen thief so watch out), my wallet, keys, sunglasses and whatever miscellaneous junk rolls around at the bottom.

Antonia- No, I just carry a purse. I don’t really even put books in my purse anymore because half the time they don’t even fit so I just carry them.

Do you smell your books?

Amanda- I’m sorry, are there people that don’t smell their books?

Antonia- Of course, what kind of bookworm doesn’t smell their books?

Books with or without little illustrations? 

Amanda- Only if they’re significant to the story. If they’re just random little drawings then I don’t care, but I do enjoy when the illustrations add to the story.

Antonia- I enjoy them because I think it adds a little something and helps me picture what’s going on a little better.

What book did you love while reading but discovered later that it wasn’t quality writing? (We’re just going to mention books that we outgrew, who are we to say what’s good writing or bad writing.)

Amanda- I’m thinking the House of Night by P.C. & Kristen Cast. I’d say I outgrew these, mostly because I never even finished the series and I don’t know that I have any interest in ever doing so.

Antonia- I definitely outgrew Twilight by Stephenie Meyer because of a combination of the movies being awful and just growing up in general. I still have fond memories of the books (I mean they kind of started my friendship with Amanda,) but I could never read them again.

Do you have any funny stories from your childhood involving books? Please share!

Amanda- This is super not funny (though my siblings will say differently) but my step sister and my older brother used to steal my books while I was reading them to make me chase them around to get my book back. They did this because they wanted me to play with them and I wanted to read. It was not funny and actually traumatizing, but I’m sure they would tell you it was hilarious.

Antonia- So I totally convinced my mom to let me have Christmas lights in my room because I “didn’t like the dark” but in reality, it was so that I could read past my bedtime without anyone seeing light from my flashlight under my door. And if someone came to check on me I could just slip my book under the covers and pretend I was sleeping.

What is the tiniest book on your shelf?

Amanda- It’s between The Alchemist by Paul Coelho and The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis. I could get up and actually check the page count, but I’m lazy so I’m not going to. I could also probably google it too but I’m not going to do that either.

Antonia- The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. 

What is the thickest book on your shelf? 

Amanda- It’s tied between Cassandra Clare’s two books Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows. They’re both around the same size and that size is giant.

Antonia- Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon. 

Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself being an author in the future?

Amanda- That’s the goal. I’m actually in the middle of writing two stories at the moment, one short story and one (hopefully) novel. I have a few short stories and half-finished novels already along with tons of ideas that have yet to make it to paper.

Antonia- Yes, that would be lovely, if I could ever finish writing a book.

When did you get into reading?

Amanda- When I would go to visit my mother for the weekend. I would spend the whole time reading with my Nana and Great Aunt because that’s all I’d ever see them doing, so I wanted to see why. I started with  The Ugly Duckling by Iris Johanson and haven’t stopped reading since.

Antonia- I don’t remember a time that I didn’t love books.

What is your favorite classic book? 

Amanda- The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, mostly because I don’t read many classics but I read these as a kid.

Antonia- The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Duman

In school, what was your best subject?

Amanda- English, duh.

Antonia- Math.

If you were given a book that you had read before and hated as a present, what would you do? 

Amanda- I don’t think this would happen to me because people don’t buy me physical books unless I tell them a specific book I want. But if it did, I would probably be honest and say that I’d already read and that I didn’t love it. (I would be nice and wouldn’t say it was garbage or anything.)

Antonia- It would depend on who gave it to me. If it was Amanda or my mom I would be honest and say that I’d read it and it was awful. But if it was my MIL or something, I’d probably awkwardly thank her and keep it, maybe eventually donate it.

What is a lesser known series that you have read that is similar to Harry Potter or the Hunger Games? 

Amanda- The Secret of Spellshadow Manor by Bella Forrest is a series about kids with magic (though a different sort of magic from those in Harry Potter) who all go to this school together that the rest of the regular world doesn’t know about it. I actually loved these books, so read them (ahem, Antonia.)

Antonia- The Valkyrie Series by Linsey Hall is the only series I can think of that can even come close to being okay for this question. Everything else I’ve read that’s similar to either series is super well known. So, here you go magic school (kind of.)

What is a bad habit you always do while blogging?

Amanda- Once I’m blogging I’m fine, but I’m forever procrastinating everything. So not blogging is my bad habit?

Antonia- Getting distracted by the internet.

What is your favorite word?

Amanda- Befuddled.

Antonia- Ostentatious.

Are you a nerd, dork or dweeb? Or all of the above? 

Amanda- Nerd, more specifically a book-nerd. If you’re going to call me names, at least use the right one.

Antonia- NERD. (Nerd Camp forever.)

Vampires or Faeries? Why?

Amanda- Faeries, How can I not choose faeries when I have so much love for Rhysand from ACOTAR. They’re just way cooler (and I’m not sorry for saying that.)

Antonia- Faeries, they usually have more magic and also their own special realms. Vampires mostly just hang out in the real world and kill stuff or sparkle.

Shapeshifters or Angels? Why? 

Amanda- Shapeshifters mostly because the books I read with angels in them are usually fallen angels, so regular angels seem pretty lame in comparison.

Antonia- Shapeshifters because of the variety of what they can do. Angels are just angels but shapeshifters can be anything.

Spirits or Werewolves? Why? 

Amanda- Spirits. Love me some ghosts man. Just think of the stories they have? Plus werewolves always want to eat people or have to struggle to refrain from eating people.

Antonia- Neither? I don’t hate either, but they’re certainly not go-to topics for me.

Zombies or Vampires? Why?

Amanda- Vampires because zombies pretty much terrify me.

Antonia- Vampires because they’re not always soulless monsters whereas zombies legit don’t have brains so they can’t exactly make interesting characters.

Love Triangle or Forbidden Love? Why? 

Amanda- Forbidden love. I feel like stories with forbidden love just have more to them. The stories more interesting and has more depth. The love triangle has been totally overdone and is just annoying.

Antonia- Forbidden love because I’m so so sick of love triangles.

Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in?

Amanda- Both. I love me some sappy mushy sexy romance novels, but I also really love seeing characters kick butt and save the world.

Antonia- Also both, it depends on what I’m in the mood for. Sometimes I love super sappy love stories and sometimes I like more fighting and action and suspense.

 

That’s all the questions we have today! I hope you had as much fun reading this as we did writing it. Feel free to tag us if you choose to participate in this book tag!

Amanda & Antonia.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Summary:
Live life in a bubble…
Or risk everything for love?
My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.
But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean, and wearing all black-black t-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.
Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I, Maddy, am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

everything everything
Review:
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon was an expected read for me. I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. I checked it out from the library a few days ago, mostly because I’ve heard all the hype about it and I wanted to read it before I eventually watch the movie. Also, my sister read the book and she really liked it, which means a lot because neither of my sisters read very much. So I went into this read not really expecting all that much, maybe a quick fun love story about a sick girl. Boy was I wrong. This book surprised me in so many ways.
The first surprise was how much I genuinely liked our main character, Maddy. She has this innocence about her (likely because she’s never really left her house or interacted with anyone other than her mother and her nurse) that just was surprising but also super realistic. I learned by reading the pages in the back of the book that the author, Yoon, used a few situations from her very young daughter to portray that innocence in Maddy. It was very well done. Because of this innocence, I wanted to love and snuggle and protect Maddy forever, so when the new family next door includes an attractive boy the same age, I knew it wasn’t going to end well. With that said, Maddy also knew it wasn’t going to end well. She even tells herself that she’s not going to talk to him anymore, a couple times, because she knows she will just get hurt. But you can’t fight that forbidden love. Also, the main character that likes to read and write book reviews, c’mon, are you going to find a bookworm anywhere that doesn’t love this trope?
I thought the story was going to be just that, forbidden love and how the two fall in love anyway and it either kills Maddy or breaks her heart. I certainly did NOT expect what actually happened. The plot twist in this book was absolutely insane, but also incredibly written. There weren’t any hints that it was coming that I noticed. Everything, Everything started off sweet and innocent like a typical YA love story, but took a turn to pretty dark a bit over halfway through which I think is what made me like this book so much. I really love books that can surprise me and that’s exactly what Yoon did with this novel.
The secondary characters were also great. The main players were Maddy’s Mom, her nurse, Carla and of course, Olly. I loved the relationship between Maddy and her mom (for most of the book anyway), probably because it’s the relationship I always wished for with my own mother. They play board games together and actually talk about everything. I feel really bad for Maddy’s mom for a bit once Maddy starts talking to Olly because Maddy really neglects her relationship with her mom. She cancels movie nights and starts telling lies, it just didn’t sit well with me until our plot twist. I absolutely adore Carla. She’s the actual best. She lets Maddy get away with things that her mother wouldn’t because she wants to make sure Maddy is safe. You can just tell how much Carla really loves Maddy and I really enjoyed reading about their relationship.
Now, the main event, Olly. The handsome boy next door. I loved getting to know Olly. His back and forth banter with Maddy had me laughing out loud (which was bad because I read this book in bed after my husband went to sleep and I almost woke him up a few times.) He’s just so real and genuine toward her and it warmed my little heart. I think a part of this was that I loved Maddy so much and she so deserves to be loved. Olly just seemed like an all-around good guy. He wanted to make sure that Maddy was okay all the time. He would push the boundaries a little bit, but never too much. He actually communicated with her, which was nice to see instead of a broody macho man (which I like sometimes, but not for this book.) They were just a really good couple, they complimented one another and I’m glad they got their happy ending.
Everything, Everything has little illustrations throughout the story. I thought these were a really nice touch. They just added a little extra to the story. I also thought it was super sweet once I found out that it was Yoon’s husband that drew all of the illustrations and that she used to wake him up in the middle of the night to draw things when she was inspired. It just added something special to the story.
Overall, I liked this book so much more than I thought I was going to. Like, I read it in four hours last night before bed, the book was just that good and I couldn’t stop. These characters that wormed their way into my heart got their happy ending, but not in that annoying “and everyone lived happily ever after” kind of way. It was real and made sense. Maddy got what she wanted, but not without needed to work through some things. I just liked that the book didn’t end with a little bow that tied everything up. The characters were flawed and they had just learned how flawed they really were and how much work they’d need to put in to work on those flaws. But they were all moving forward despite their flaws and struggles. I could go on and on, so I’m going to stop here. If you haven’t read this book because you’re like me and are sometimes hesitant to read the hyped up books, then get over it and read this. You won’t regret it, I swear.
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.