Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli Book Review

So, hi. I loved this book and I’m still smiling because of this book.

Ever since I read Simon vs the Homo Sapien’s Agenda, I have been impatiently waiting for the arrival of this book. I pre-ordered it from Amazon and it came the day of its release. I was that excited for this book, I didn’t read anything else around the day of its release. I wanted to be able to read the novel as soon as it came in the post. Honestly, I was so excited.

The book definitely didn’t disappoint!

Also, I loved the cover of the book, I know I say that a lot, but it gave me fun summer vibes. The illustration of Leah on the front cover was beautiful. I loved the contrast of the yellow against the blue background.

The blurb allowed a brief insight into the questions and problems that arise in the novel. It didn’t dwell too much on the plot but gave hints of what was going on. It’s perfect because it allows you to read the book without knowing indefinitely what is going to happen.

This novel brought back the much-loved characters that we followed throughout Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. It was brilliant being allowed to be brought back into that friendship group yet see it from a fresh perspective. We got to see what was happening with Simon and Bram and how their relationship has progressed since we last seen them. We get to follow other characters such as Abby, Nick, Norah, etc. It was incredible. I love being able to see what my favourite characters are up to.

Let’s talk about my favourite character; Leah Burke. Leah Burke, I found, is the most relatable character I’ve read in such a long time. Becky Albertalli explored Leah’s personality so thoroughly and I found myself falling in love with her. Her sarcasm, her perception of the world and her relationship with friends was so accurate. I loved her. I found myself laughing with her, getting upset with her and wanting to be her friend. Becky Albertalli creates fantastic modern fun characters.

Also, I loved how Leah was different from most protagonists. She wasn’t thin, exceptionally beautiful, or straight. She is overweight and overthinks everything. I swear, she is me. She’s secretly bisexual and falling in love with one of her best friends. She has raised by her single hardworking mother who has started dating someone, Leah is sure how she feels about this.

This story was so beautiful and it warmed my heart. It was perfect! It was definitely as good as Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, if not better. I don’t know but it’s definitely close between them. In fact, I don’t think you can compare them as they are different novels but they’re wonderfully written books.

I was completely absorbed in the characters and what will happen at the end of Senior Year. I was rooting for Leah to come out and tell her friends that she was bisexual. I was loving the moments between her and the ‘friend’ she’s in love with. It was such a fun book.

There was humour, teen attitude, hilarious accidents, issues with self-identity and a beautifully sweet romance. Becky Albertalli never fails to write a compelling story with characters dealing with issues that have not been explored and written about in such a way before. I love the representation that she has within her books. She’s incredible. I can’t wait to finally read her first novel; The Upside of Unrequited.

Please, go buy this book. You’ll love it especially if you’ve read, Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. As soon as you open the first page, it feels like you’re coming home. I hope there is more of my favourite Creekwood students in the future.

Read this book this summer and I guarantee that you won’t be able to stop smiling.

Thank you.

Twitter-  @LaurenKnapper

Instagram- LozzysThings

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Emergency Contact Book Review

There was so much hype and love for this book all over Twitter that I had to see what it was about. People kept recommending it and I knew it was something I would love. It was described as fun and flirty.

The first thing that attracted me to this book was the cover. I loved the colours and the illustrations. It’s beautiful. I think it really sets the tone for the book as well.

The blurb had me hooked. The small section from the book highlighted the quirks of Penny’s character. I found myself relating to her even in this extract. It demonstrated the beginning of Sam and Penny’s relationship as emergency contacts. It was incredibly cute and I couldn’t wait to read more.

I enjoyed this book so much. It was a cute relationship between two characters, Penny and Sam. These two meet, surrounded in their own problems, and decide to become each other’s emergency contacts. I loved the concept. It felt so modern but also reminded me of one of my favourite movies; You’ve Got Mail.

Choi manages to create a fun contemporary novel that centres around Penny moving to college. I haven’t read many books with the protagonist moving away to college and it’s something that I really enjoyed. Also, I related to Penny so much and I loved her quirkiness. All the characters were written brilliantly that I found myself thinking of people I know that are similar. It brought me that much closer to the book.

There’s an unexpected twist in the book that I didn’t know about or hadn’t seen anyone writing about. It left me surprised. It knocked me back, all I wanted to do was protect Penny. It was truly heart breaking the way she spoke about a traumatic past event and how she had never shared the information.

I loved this book. I loved Penny and how she wasn’t a traditional protagonist. Penny was fresh, interesting and Korean. The novel was different and wonderfully engaging. I found myself smiling at Sam and Penny throughout the book. I was completely involved in their relationship and how it developed. I could have read so much more of them. I didn’t want it to end.

Emergency Contact is the perfect summer read. I couldn’t stop smiling when I finished this book! It was beautiful.

Add it to your summer reads!

Thank you!

@LaurenKnapper

Instagram – LozzysThings

Why I’m not doing a TBR this month

So, last month I set myself a TBR list and you’re probably wondering, well you probably don’t care, where this month’s list is. It’s non-existent. Last month, I set myself a list of five books to read and ended up reading ten books.

I was proud of that achievement considering I was in the midst of handing in final assessments and preparing for my exam. I was swamped with deadlines and lists of to do things which is why I don’t have a TBR this month.

This month I’m taking time to myself and going to read books based on what I’m feeling at the time. I’m honestly curious to see if this will lead to me reading more books or less. I can’t wait to see how much reading I get done.

Also, I want to spend this month writing. I want to write all the ideas that are floating around in my head and get them down on the page.

What about you? Have you set a TBR or are you a mood reader?

Comment below.

Happy reading!

Twitter- @LaurenKnapper

Instagram- LozzysThings

Everything, Everything Book Review

This book was so creative.

I loved the writing, the fast brisk pace of the text and the small illustrations and doodles in the novel that made me feel like I was reading Madeline’s diary. I haven’t read anything quite like it in a very long time. I’ve mentioned before how much I love when writers experiment and do new things that I haven’t necessarily come across in writing because it makes it a refreshing read.

This book, like so many others, have been sat on my shelf for way too long. I wasn’t kidding when I said I buy too many books and never have time to get through them all. Honestly, it’s insane. I am so motivated this year to read and get through my monsterous TBR pile.

The cover is so beautiful. I love how wonderful the illustrations are in this book. The cover completely pulled me in and made me want to read the book. I have never read a book, where the protagonist, actually lived in a bubble for her entire life. She’s so sheltered until Olly moves in next door.

The blurb didn’t give too much away. Once I read the book, I realised that the blurb told me the very basic plot for the story. I was incredibly grateful for it because there’s so much more to the story than what the blurb mentions.

I read this story in the space of two hours. I loved it. It was so incredibly beautiful! I love Madeline’s character and how vulnerable Olly was. It made for an interesting dynamic between them; both of them becoming stronger for each other.  It was such a heart warming and thought provoking read. I wasn’t expecting it.

It made me question my life and what I wanted from it. Am I doing what I want to be doing? I wasn’t expecting to think this during the book but I kept thinking it and found Madeline quite inspiring.

This book is such a wonderful, beautiful, quick read that you should read. If you haven’t already.

Happy reading!

Instagram – LozzysThings

Twitter- @LaurenKnapper

Will Grayson, Will Grayson Book Review

John Green you’ve stole my heart again and David Leviathan you’ve done it again too.

For some reason this particular book has been sat on my shelf for a while (at least a year) and I can’t give you a good explanation for it. There isn’t one. Now, that I’ve read the book I’m so mad at myself for not reading it sooner.

Besides, Turtles All The Way Down, this is the only book I haven’t read of John Green’s. His characters and plots are so creative, fun, and fills me so many emotions it’s impossible not to love his books. David Leviathan is the same for me, I need to read more of his books. I’ve only read How They Met and Other Stories which was one of the best modern short story collection that I’ve read. The stories were beautiful and unexpected.

I loved the cover to this book. So simple but colourful and I think that’s such a good representation of this book.

I was completely in awe of this book, however, and how they accomplished it by collaborating. They were the perfect combination. I loved how different the two Wills were. The first Will Grayson keeps to himself, quiet despite his best friend being a very loud character. The other Will Grayson is intrevorted, he’s gay but keeps it to himself. He doesn’t think it’s anyone’s business. I loved this attitude.

The story is surrounded in fun, love, friendships and families. It’s so modern and contemporary. I loved how original the second Will’s narrative. I love it when writers play and experiment with writing. It makes it far more exciting.

Also, the concept of the story? Its great. Like, can you imagine meeting someone who’s a similar age to you with the same name? I would be completely freaked out but I would love it.

I read this book on holiday and I couldn’t put it down. Also, the end was fantastic! I was completely hooked on the story. I could have read more and more. I’m so angry that I made myself wait to read this fantastic book. It’s original, fun and a beautiful story with so many interesting characters.

Instagram – LozzysThings

Twitter @laurenknapper

A Monster Calls Review

I don’t know what to say. This book is incredible. It left me emotionally stunted after reading it. I cried. It was beautiful.

The cover intrigued me to this book, immensely so. I found it quite different, the dark blue background and the darkness of the branches that seem to wrap themselves around the front cover of the book.

This story pulled at my heartstrings and made me physically cry. I haven’t done that in a long time. Patrick Ness it was such a clever intelligent concept. The monster following Conor and telling him these stories with unexpected endings until Conor reveals his truth.

I read this book in two hours. I couldn’t put the book down. I was compelled to find out about the monster, I wanted to help Conor and tell him it was going to be okay. My heart was breaking at the relationship between him and his sick mother.

This book had an elements of fantasy, family, innocence, love and grief. It dealt with how to heal. Even, if it was about a child healing, it’s easily related to adults because when we lose someone we love we’re still children, helpless and confused.

Patrick Ness’ writing is truly beautiful and captivating. I’m also fascinated that he expanded on an idea that Siobhan Dawd never got to finish exploring before she died. I can’t wait to read more by the both of them.

It’s the most beautiful story I’ve ever read dealing with the monsters of real life and fantasy, merging them to create something truly amazing.

– Twitter @LaurenKnapper

– Instagram @LozzysThings

Son of the Dawn Book Review

Son of the Dawn is the first in Cassandra Clare’s ebook series Ghosts of the Shadow Market and it follows Jem Carstairs during his time as a Silent Brother.

As you all know, I love the shadow world and Clare’s writing. She’s even better when she works with other writers. And, she does the same with this series. This book was co-written by Sarah Rees Brennan.

I loved the cover of this book. The light purple background and the illustration matched beautifully. It reminded me of the first edition covers of The Mortal Instrument series.

The blurb made me so excited to read it. The mention of a young Lightwood family taken in Michael Wayland’s orphan, Jace, and Raphael had me jumping straight into the book. I love these characters and it’s always delightful read when I get to read something new that involves them. Obviously, it was even better when I realised that Jem Carstairs was a huge part in it too.

The novella allowed readers an insight into the complicated mind of Jem as Brother Zachariah. It made my heart break to see him so determined to remember his past and there was a beautiful moment with his staff that I couldn’t help but smile at! I won’t spoil it for you.

It was so interesting to see how Clare and Brennan made characters like Alec, Izzy and Jace so innocent and young. In such a small amount of time, I felt so much sympathy for Alec, who was trying to hide himself from his family and becoming the unhappy teenager we met in City of Bones. It was interesting to see how open he was to getting know people, even a downworlder!

I also enjoyed seeing the first meeting of Alec and Jace. I loved seeing more Lily especially, her nicknames and her relationship with Raphael.

The story began in the Shadow Market and it was so clever how the story stemmed and grew together from there. I really enjoyed this first book in this new series Ghosts of the Shadow Market. It was filled with tender yet action packed moments that the world is so loved for.

Go read and take a comforting step back into the world of Shadowhunters.

A little side note: I really want to reread the Shadowhunter books and was wondering if this was something you would be interested in reading on here?

Comment and let me know. Thanks for reading!

Twitter- @LaurenKnapper

Instagram- LozzysThings

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy Book Review

Well, it’s fair to say that Cassandra Clare never fails to steal my heart, crushes it and I still come back. I don’t know how she does it.

I’ve read all the Shadowhunter series but have failed to keep up with the companion novels. I only read The Bane Chronicles last year and now, I have finally read this one. I don’t know why it took me so long to read it! As I’m writing this, my heart is still sore from the bundle of emotions I have felt during these six hundred pages.

The cover to this book is simple yet empowering. The young man, Simon, shooting an arrow. The Academy in the background. It’s a perfect set up for the story.

The book is separated into nine short stories that take place after City of Heavenly Fire. It follows Simon Lewis who enrols himself into the Academy to become a Shadowhunter.

The blurb explained very briefly the background of the story and where the protagonist, Simon Lewis, was at in his life. However, it gave nothing away about the delightful stories within the book. This is something that I like to read in a blurb, a set up for the story and the hint of something going wrong.

This book was incredible. Once again, Clare managed to have the danger,suspense, the fantasy, the friendships, political issues and love all wrapped up in an engaging combination. I couldn’t put the book down. I was completely focused on the story and lost myself into the world of Shadowhunters and the characters I loved from The Mortal Instrument series.

Each story was a wonderful read and contained at least one character appearance from the other loved Shadowhunter books such as; The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices and The Dark Artifices. It was interesting to see what was going on with Simon and his complicated perspective on the world of Shadowhunters and demons. Though the book is a collection of stories they all connect together so well that is rather like reading novel. Also, I loved the relationship and the dynamic of him and Izzy throughout.

It’s almost impossible to choose my favourite story from this collection. I definitely couldn’t rank them for you. However, the story Born to Endless Night, by Cassandra Clare and Sarah Rees Brennan, I adored. Alec Lightwood and Magnus Bane was in it and I love their relationship more than anything. It’s always refreshing to see more moments between them and this one allowed us readers to a see huge step in their relationship. I’m still squealing! All the writers; Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson and Robin Wasserman, that worked on this book made it something special.

If you’re like me and have had this book unnecessarily sitting on your shelf then you should go read it. It will allow you to relive the magic of this world all over again.

p.s I’m thinking of rereading this series and posting some posts on here about it. Would you be interested in seeing this on the blog?

Follow me on Twitter @LaurenKnapper

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Thank you!

-Lauren

Poor Unfortunate Soul by Serena Valentino Review

This series gets better and better! I’m obsessed. I’m a huge Disney fan, and to see the retellings of my favourite villains is enchanting. I love how Valentino manages to create sympathy and pain for these monstrous villains that make them human.

The covers to this series are honestly beautiful. I love the black background in contrast to the colours of the villains. I like how the two identities associated with the villains are on the cover. Half of one face on the front and their other half joining on the back of the book.

The Blurb doesn’t give too much away. It’s short and offers a brief insight to the book. It doesn’t give away the story which is what I like.

I am completely enthralled in the series and the introductions of the Odd Sisters.

I loved the twists and turns of the book and how relationships change in this retelling. The most important being the relationship between Ursula and Triton. This storyline emphasises how there are two sides to every story and how someone can alter a story to benefit them. Two characters use stories to make them appear far better than what they actually are. It mades me think about how there are two sides to every story and how easily we believe people.

However, not only was I completely hooked on Ursula’s story and her desire for revenge but also, enthralled by the Odd Sisters and the exposure of Nanny’s secret. However, there is a lot left to tell about who Nanny really is and I can’t wait to read the next one to find out. I’m hugely intrigued by the three witches and their little sister Circe. I’m highly anticipating their own novel at the end of the series and see how it all comes together.

This is such an easy wonderful read of villains, witches, princesses and love. I would definitely recommend you read it.

I’ve reviewed The Beast Within – Book Two in this series and briefly mentioned in that the first book; Fairest of Them All.

The Villian Series in Order:

Fairest Of Them All

The Beast Within

Poor Unfortunate Soul

Mistress of All Evil

Mother Knows Best – Tale of the Old Witch ( released in August 2018)

An Odd Sisters Novel (January 2019)

– Lauren

April TBR

I have loads of books. My bedroom is filled with them and so is my room at my grandparents. Every now and then, one of my family members find another floating around in a drawer or the top of a cupboard. So, I’ve made a commitment to myself that I’ve found very hard.

I must go through each sections of books and read them all before I begin buying masses of books again. It’s very hard. I’m constantly walking into bookstores and buying new books. However, I have managed to refrain so it’s not as much anymore.

TBR is a term I recently come across through booktubers and book bloggers. I had no idea what it meant until I researched it. It was pretty obvious once I saw that it meant To Be Read. I was struck with the idea then to write a list each month and read books from that list. This way I’m getting through my books and reading the ones I want much faster.

So, for this month from the 6th April to the 6th May. My TBR is:

1. Poor Unfortunate Soul by Serena Valentino

How did the sea witch, Ursula become so twisted and filled with hatred?

Determined to be with her new love, Ariel makes a dangerous deal with Ursula. Will the cost of losing her enchanting voice and nearly her soul prove too high for Ariel, or will the power of good prevail.

This is book three in Valentino’s series. Read my review of The Beast Within Here: https://lozzysthings.wordpress.com/2018/03/14/the-beast-within-review/

2. Tales From the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson and Robin Wasserman.

This book is a collection of stories from Simon Lewis as he enters the Shadowhunter Academy. This is a sequel of sorts from Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones series. It takes place after the last book, City of Heavenly Fire. This is one of my favourite series and I honestly can’t believe I still haven’t read this book!

3. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Conor has the same dream every night, ever since his mother first fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that don’t quite seem to be working. But tonight is different. Tonight, when he wakes, there’s a visitor at his window. It’s ancient, elemental, a force of nature. And, it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.

4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

‘I, Willy Wonka, have decided to allow five children to visit my factory this year. These lucky five will be allowed to see all the secrets and magic.”

This may seem like a random choice but I have never read the book and I’ve always wanted to, haha.

Bonus:

I doubt I’ll be able to read this within the the month as well but, if I do, I’ll be reading There’s Someone Inside Your House by Shannon Perkins.

Makani Young thought she left her dark past behind her in Hawaii, settling in with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska. She’s found new friends and has even started to fall for mysterious outsider Ollie Larsson. But her past isn’t far behind.

Then, one by one, the students of Osborne High begin to die in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasingly grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and her feelings for Ollie intensify, Makani is forced to confront her own dark secrets.

Wow. This list seems so small. The only reason the list is short is because I have three end of year assignments due this month and one exam at the very beginning of May. Student life. Yay.

I’ll be reviewing each book once I’ve read them. Let me know what you’re reading this month in the comments below!

-Lauren