The Dickens Mirror, by Ilsa J Bick 4 Stars

DickensGood, but not as good as the first. The first one had me thinking Stephen King all over the place. I think the setting of this one just didn’t work for me as well.

I think it picks up pretty much where the first one ended(it’s been a while) and I had little trouble getting back into the characters, but by half way through the book gets very confusing, especially on an audiobook since you can’t easily flip back to check stuff. My brain started to hurt thinking about how hard it must have been to write. It kind of made it hard to care about the characters too much because I was spending so much time trying to figure out what was even going on.

Once things got straightened out in my head I thought it ended strong. The ending totally makes you feel a little loopy like you aren’t sure what real is, and I’m pretty sure that was Bick’s goal.

Without a doubt worth a read, but I’d suggest skipping the audiobook! (Even though it is read really well!)

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, 5 Stars

FANGIRL_CoverDec2012-725x1075This is one of those books that’s I’m going to gush shamelessly about. I loved it. I loved it from the moment it started to the moment it ended. I loved the actual story, and I loved all the pieces of Simon Snow that are in the book. I loved the main character and everyone else. I LOVED THIS BOOK!

 

This book tells the story of a year in the life of Cath, a wanna be author and loner in her first year of college. she spends a ton of her time either thinking about the fictional characters from the Simon Snow series, or writing fanfiction about them. She doesn’t party and she doesn’t even really like to leave her room. Change a couple minor details here and Rowell has written my first year of college. I was Cath, I was home alone in the dorms on Friday nights when everyone else went out partying. I was checking my view counts for my fanfiction.

And yes, that’s why I loved this book, because to me it rang as totally true. The characters were realistic and the way they interacted felt so true as to be almost painful. I wanted this story to go on forever. I wanted to read all 8 Simon Snow books as well as Cath’s fanfiction about it. I think that was what really got to me, how invested I was in those characters, even though they are only around in short bursts. After this I want to read everything by Rowell and I might just have to read this book again at some point. It was perfect. It wasn’t really a coming of age novel, but it also sort of was. It was about Cath finding her place in the world without anything major ever happening, just like how most people find their place. Little things happen and we muddle through until suddenly we realize we know what we are doing and we are comfortable with it.

Five stars, my only complaint was that it ended.

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We Are The Goldens by Dana Reinhardt, 4 Stars

18189424What an easy read this was. It felt like nothing to sit and get through a large chunk of it at a time. That was despite the fact that I wasn’t in love with the story telling style. I’m just not that into books that read almost like letters. That’s what is keeping this book from being 5 stars for me.

Even with a story telling style I wasn’t digging, I still found this to be a captivating read. It took no effort for me to care for both girls as well as the secondary characters. I think that was what saved the book for me. The characters are compelling and it’s hard not to want to know what is going on with them.

This is all told from Nell’s POV as if she is telling it to you. She takes the reader through a few months of her freshman year, letting them deep into her mind as she tries to sort out what is going on with the boy she likes, with her sister who is pulling away from her, and what her own feelings are for her best friend Felix. The telling of all this is so honest and raw that you forget it isn’t real.

Overall this feels like a peek into someone’s world, which is what all the best books feel like.

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Because Of Her by K.E. Payne, 5 Stars

Because-of-Her-cover-193x300When Tabby leaves her small town and moves to London she’s certain it’s the worst thing that ever happened to her. Instead it turns out to be the best when she meets Eden. Smart, funny, and beautiful, Eden gets right into Tabby’s head.

This was great love story that was hard to put down. I was completely drawn into Tabby’s life. Every internal feeling and worry she had about Eden was so real and familiar that I felt myself aching with her. The ups and downs were realistic and everything seemed to play out exactly the way it would in real life.

Since the book takes place in London, it is full of British English, which might turn some American readers off, but I personally loved. To me that just added another layer to the story and made it easier to fall into.

Overall I loved this book. All the main characters were well fleshed out and easy to keep track of, the pace was perfect, loved it!

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