Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

I have mixed feelings on this book. I felt the ending fit, and although I found myself hoping it wouldn’t end the way it did, I can understand why it happened that way.

When I started reading I found it hard to believe that Sam could be redeemed. Her character just seemed too lost in herself to actually learn anything from what happens to her. In fact, she even gets worse at one point. But somehow, Oliver was able to write the change in Sam so well, it fit and didn’t seem forced at all. I had completely changed how I felt about Sam, and was deeply touched by the ending.

I was also impressed that Oliver wrote the ending the book deserved and needed, instead of the one people would have wanted. I will gladly read anything else Oliver writes, if she continues to write the story she wants to tell, and not the stories other want her to write.

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If I Stay by Gayle Forman

This book really moved me. It’s all about Mia’s decision to stay on Earth, or pass on into whatever the afterlife is with her family. It’s extremely moving and compelling.

It starts by showing Mia and her family just being a family. They are happy and things are going well for them. They go on a drive, and during that drive, they crash. Mia suddenly is viewing herself as a separate entity. She learns of her brother’s death, and knows she is the only surviving member of her family.

She watches as the people that love her try and convince her to stay, all the while she leans towards going with her family. After all, there isn’t much left for her on Earth now. Ultimately, her boyfriend’s plea, that he wants her to stay, even if it means he never sees her again, that makes her chose to live.

It was a book the moved me to tears, and stayed with me for days after I finished. It is definitely a must read.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna was a refreshing book to read; it was sweet, not too complicated, but still enough that I couldn’t put it down (figuratively).

When I started reading, I was a little worried it was going to be one of the cliché filled high school/teen books, and while on one level it was, it was written in such a way that I didn’t even notice. I was completely entranced by Anna’s story and kept up my hopes that she’d get St. Clair, only for those hopes to be dashed, yet build again.

It was a quick read, but a very good one. I’m looking forward to reading Perkins’ next book when it comes out.

The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen

I’ve read the other books by this author, and enjoy them for their style, and focus on one main storyline. This was yet another one of those books.

I love how connected every character is in the book, meaning long explanations of characters and building of connections could be left out and I could just sit back and enjoy.

Matched by Ally Condie

When I started Matched, I wasn’t sure I would enjoy reading yet another love-triangle centered book, but I still decided to give it a try. I’m very glad I did. While there is a love triangle, it is not focused on, rather, it only adds to the confusion Cassia feels regarding how her world is run. She decides almost nothing, and for many years, she never questioned that. In Matched, a few things shake her and make her start to really think about if her life is really her own.

Both guys in the book are wonderful. One is her best friend and supposed match, and the other is someone she’s seen, but never really noticed. Her best friend is safe, and she knows she’d be happy if she followed society’s rules, but once she realizes what else is out there, through Ky, she wants more.

The ending was enough to hold me over until the next book, and I can’t wait until it’s released and I have it in my hands.

The Secret Confessions of Anne Shakespeare by Arliss Ryan

I’m a huge historical fiction fan, so this book was right up my alley. I really enjoyed getting to know Anne, and found that her personality really drew me in. She was a strong woman that used her mind to get what she wanted.

It was an interesting take on the theory that Shakespeare was not the author of the plays written under his name. It showed the ways of the theater pretty well and there weren’t any obvious inaccuracies.

The “love” part of the story, and Anne’s different relationships were interesting to follow. It never really seemed like she loved being a mother. She loved her kids, and it was a challenge for her to leave them, but the draw and her love for writing and the city seemed to take control. Her love and affection for William was a draw as well, because she cared for him as a person, but I feel like the love they had was more of a familiar love, as compared to a romantic love. In the beginning, I think she was more in love with the attention she was receiving than with William.

Overall, I enjoyed it. I gave it 4 stars because, while it was well written and a good story, it was not one that I was still thinking and obsessing about days later.