Review | The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

“He is a weapon, a killer. Do not forget it. You can use a spear as a walking stick, but that will not change its nature.” – 4.25/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: curses, training, girl’s clothes, fake weddings, weapons, armors, prophecies and true love.

The story was so cute! There were so many things I love about these books. Not only I keep learning about greek mythology, but I also have a lot of fun. The story of The Song of Achilles was absolutely beautiful.

His story is told by Patrocles, known by being his right arm in life and in war. The story starts with him growing up with his parents and after accidentally killing a young boy, he is exiled to live with Achilles’ father on their island. There he meets some boys and Achilles. They become friends after a while, and he then starts to develop feelings for him. They become inseparable, even when Achilles is called to lead the greek to Troy and to get Helen back.

There are no words to describe how beautiful this book is. I don’t know a lot about mythology, so I was very interested to find out if the story was true to history. I did some digging after reading this book and I found a few interesting things. The first thing I wanted to know was if the romantic relationship was real, which was never confirmed but there are a few suspicions that it was a real thing. I also kept wondering if Philoctetes trained Achilles like it was mentioned in Hercules, but turns out Philoctetes was a hero himself – and a human by the way – who had nothing to do with his training. I would say overall, the story is very true to what happens in the Ilíad!

I really liked this and I highly recommend everyone to read this. Perfect for mythology lovers and the Iliad readers!

xoxo, Neide

Review | Michigan vs. the Boys by Carrie S. Allen

This is the separate-the-men-from-the-boys part. Lucky for me, Im all girl. 4.25/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: skates, Gatorade, statistics, punches, first dates, broom closets, bruises, earphones, college applications, hockey jerseys and ugly bullying.

I don’t think I have ever felt so frustrated and angry by reading a book.

I actually read this a few days ago, but I couldn’t write my thoughts right away, because of the way I felt. I needed some time to process the story and all the events to give my final thoughts… so here we go!

I knew I would love this book from the moment I read the synopsis. This book is about Michigan, a girl who plays on her school’s girl hockey team. She finds out the school is cutting her team’s budget, so everyone on the team goes their separate way by joining other teams – and even changing schools to keep practicing. But hockey is her passion and she can’t afford to practice somewhere else, so she decides to apply for the boy’s hockey team. Since she is crazy good, she gets a spot on the team but the boys are not happy with that and they start pranking her to make her quit. So the book is basically her trying to fight back the pranks and working hard to maintain her spot on the team!

What really surprised me was how serious the book is. I remember at some point I was starting to wonder why the boy’s “pranks” were escalating so much. To be completely honest, I was expecting a little cute twist mid-book where the boys would flip their behaviour and defend her in an external situation and then everyone would get along… well, that’s not what happens. Their behaviour starts to escalate and becomes more and more abusive by the day.

At some point it gets painful to watch, but I was rooting for Michigan the entire time. Sometimes it’s difficult for a girl to prove her value in a man’s world, so I completely understand what she was feeling and that’s why I felt so angry for her. I also appreciate the author keeping some of her hockey girlfriends near! There is something magical about girl power.

I really loved reading this not only because I really liked the story, but because it gave me such strong feelings – which does not happen often. Don’t be fooled, this is not your ordinary contemporary girl-beats-boys book. It’s a story about bullying and perseverance, even when the world seems against you. Definitely a book I will not forget.

I feel like this book is very underrated! I would highly recommend this book if you like feminist books with strong female leads. Just be aware of trigger warnings for abuse, bullying and violence throughout the book.

xoxo, Neide

Review | The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

“The ghosts, she had sobbed. The ghosts wouldn’t like it.” 3.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: poisonous plants, smart houses, dusty attics, stolen necklaces, disobedient kids, doll heads, baby monitors, job interviews, dead crows and turning keys.

I have weird mixed feelings.

Since The Turn of the Key is a book everyone under the sun is recommending, I finally decided to give it a go! When I finally picked it up a few days ago, I was fully immersed in the story, I was scared most of the time and – because of the power of any good mystery novel – I was intrigued to know how it was all going to end. There’s definitely something nerve racking about the house history, and the poison garden and the previous family. Even the Happy application was kind of creepy sometimes!

The problem is, when I finally reached the end I was disappointed. What made me so interested in the story is the fact that there was so much build-up and backstory and twists throughout the book… but then you get to the conclusion, and the explanation is week and rushed.

I try to keep my expectations low, but it’s difficult when everyone seems to love this book. I mean, I get it. I have to admit it was really entertaining and for the most part it’s still a good thriller/mystery. The final explanation was what ruined it for me!

xoxo, Neide

Review | The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewel

“It all happened so slowly, yet so extraordinarily quickly, the change to our parents, to our home, to our lives after they arrived. But that first night, when Birdie appeared on our front step with two large suitcases and a cat in a wicker box, we could never have guessed the impact she would have, the other people she would bring into our lives, that it would all end the way it did.
We thought she had just come to stay for the weekend.”
4.25/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: black robes, fake passports, herbs, fancy apartments, fiddles, music videos, hippies and a rabbit’s foot.

My first Lisa Jewell book – and the first of many, I hope!

I actually enjoyed this a lot! I have to admit the storyline is a little weird and creepy, but it’s engaging and it will make you hooked from the start.

I’m going to try to keep this very vague because, of course, it’s a mystery novel. In this book, our main character Libby, who just turned 25 years old, inherits an old mansion from her biological family. She was adopted when she was only a few months old and she doesn’t know much about her biological family, but she then discovers through some newspaper articles that her biological parents died in a very weird way, inside of the house she’s inheriting. And that’s all I’m going to say about the plot!

The story occurs in two timelines, past and present, and there are three points of view from which we don’t know much about until the story develops and converges. The plot itself is very complex and overall well made, and the mystery is layered so you discover something new in each chapter, making it easy to keep the interest in the story. I would describe this as a lighter thriller, stronger on the mystery aspect.

I personally really liked the ending and how disturbing it was. I wouldn’t consider it an open-ending, but there isn’t a solid conclusion to the story. I will say it’s not an ambiguous ending in the sense that the story feels incomplete, so I didn’t have a problem with that.I liked this a lot! If you like thrillers/mysteries that involve dysfunctional, weird families, this is a good one to pick up.

xoxo, Neide

Review | The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

“Aren’t we all drawn to friends in the beginning by trifling things? True bonds develop afterward, when character is revealed.” 4.25/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: unique clothes, boxing matches, flowers, skinny dipping, picnics, red roses, cute dogs, daggers, hair dye, bandits, gloves and shadows.

Tricia Levenseller may become one of my favorite authors – I just need to read Warrior of the Wild first to confirm it!

I read The Daughter of the Pirate King duology last year and it became easily one of my favorite book series of all time. I decided I would pick up her books whenever I could, and I was not disappointed when I picked this!

There is something about her characters that grip me to the story. She writes the best, fierce female main characters, and that is only one of the motives for why I love her books so much. In this case, I loved Alessandra and how devious, unapologetic, strong and sure of herself she was. And her perfect match, Kallias, was also an amazing male lead and love interest. If you like slow burning romances with some contact here in there, this is a great one!

The setting for the story was also one of my favorite things about this book. I have a thing for dark books and strong romances, so this was a treat! The story is fantastic and complex, and there is a small mystery with a plot twist in the end.

One thing I struggled with in this book was the amount of fancy names. It was kind of difficult to keep track with who was who, especially because of the amount of side characters! But eventually I figured it out.

I would also say this is a subtle feminist book, which I wasn’t expecting and really enjoyed! Alessandra wants to be queen not only to rule and give orders, but also to give women the opportunity to have the same rights men have. 

This is marketed as young adult, but be aware that sex is mentioned frequently – not in a specific and detailed way, but be aware of that!The book is amazing and if you can, you should definitely pick this up. I would also highly recommend her duology The Daughter of the Pirate King. She is so underrated!

xoxo, Neide

Review | Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

“It’s weird, how you have no idea how far you’ve come until suddenly you can’t find the way back.” 3/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: monster cake, hashtags, swimming practice, Mean Girls, grilled cheese sandwiches, freckles, the Met steps and a Twitter war.

It was okay. The romance was okay, the characters were okay, the story was okay. For most of the things the story offers, I don’t have strong opinions:

  1. The romance was cute and cheesy, but I didn’t care much about it;
  2. The New York setting didn’t do much for me;
  3. The characters were likeable, but not very memorable and special in my opinion;
  4. I’m not the biggest fan of social media books, so… there’s also that.

I will say I liked how the story was developing and how complex it was – regarding the food and recipes – and stories like these make great books to read at the beach because of how light they are.

It’s still a cute romance, but I dare to say it is kind of an over-hyped book. I just didn’t connect and feel invested in it like I would like to be. Not a bad book, just okay.

xoxo, Neide

Review | Eat, and Love Yourself by Sweeney Boo

“I don’t want to be afraid of you anymore. I don’t want to be afraid of me. I see how hard you’ve tried in the face of everything. I know how difficult it’s been. And… I love you. I want to break the cycle. For me. And I’m going to be okay. I’m going to be great.” 5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: coffee shops, magic chocolate bars, hurtful friends, cute cats, old crushed and eating disorders.

This book really hit home.

As someone who has struggled with being overweight most of my life, this book touched me. Fortunately I didn’t struggle with eating disorders like the main character does, but I definitely identified myself with Mindy in a lot of ways.

This story is about a girl who is overweight and struggles with eating. In front of her family and friends she tries not to eat, but when she’s alone she eats until she feels sick. She is also criticized for not eating regularly and people are constantly making comments while she’s eating. She is very depressed and she wishes she could change the way she is, but she feels stuck. One day, she goes to the store to grab some things she needs and she picks up a chocolate bar she never heard about. Turns out the chocolate bar is magical and it takes her back to when she was about 12 years old. In those flashbacks, she revives some moments with her parents and friends and she starts to understand where her disorder began.

I honestly loved this book so much. It’s been a while since a book made me this emotional! Mindy is a very relatable character, and watching her deal with depression and food broke my heart. It’s a book not only about self acceptance, but also self love!

I also really appreciate the representation of hurtful close friends – even if they have good intentions – because it’s not something that’s talked about often.

The art and the colour palette were beautiful, and the drawings were perfectly linked to the story making it very easy to understand. I would definitely grab more graphic novels from this author!

If you are considering picking this up, please keep in mind that there are trigger warnings for eating disorders, body dysmorphia, depression and body shaming. 

I honestly think this is such an important book for young readers! It is very touching, personal, relatable and will probably make you cry. Definitely worth it!

A big thank you to NetGalley and Boom! Box Paperbacks for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review!

xoxo, Neide

Review | The Sisters by J.S. Ellis

“Jenny had always been first and excelled in everything she did. She’s the perfect one. I am the black sheep. The misfit. The outsider.” 4/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: Fires, book signings, interviews, engineering, tweets, toxic marriages and home improvement.

Wait wait wait… what just happened?! For such a small book, this sure has a dark punch to it!

This short story is about Evie, who has a perfect older sister. She has it all! She is blonde, tall, smart, has a great career… and she’s everything Evie is not. She has been living in her sister’s shadow since the day she was born. One day her sister brings home her perfect boyfriend for her family to meet. I wish I could say more but you’ll have to read it to know what it’s about! Let’s just say that these sisters may have more in common than what you first think! 😉

This is great if you want to read something quick and don’t have the energy or patience to read a full book. Very entertaining for a quick dark read. I’m still processing that ending!

A big thank you to BookSirens for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review!

xoxo, Neide

Review | The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren

“Relationships are a lot like houses: without a good foundation, they’ll crumble.” 2.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: Fires, book signings, interviews, engineering, tweets, toxic marriages and home improvement.

I’m so bored.

I appreciate how the book is honoring people who work in the background, but other than that there’s not much to say about this story. The romance and the characters were boring, the story is slow and nothing exciting happens. To add to the mix, I’m not the biggest fan of famous people and social media all together, so that didn’t work in my favor to love this book as well.

Well, it’s not terrible, just boring and bland. Maybe Christina Lauren’s books are not for me?

xoxo, Neide

Review | A House at the Bottom of the Lake by Josh Malerman

“What was dark but the absence of light?” 3.75/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: Lakes, wetsuits, graffitis, rafts, indoor pools, floating dresses, green canoes, pepper shakers and open doors.

What a weird little book.

This book was recommended by three Booktubers – yes, Booktube made me do it… again – and all three of them rated it 5 stars. Needless to say, I was intrigued and I wanted to find out why.

This story follows two teenagers that go canoeing at the lake for their first date. Everything is going well until they discover a house at the bottom of the lake. As you can probably tell, it gets pretty creepy from that point on.

Let me start by saying I completely understand why people love this book. It’s a very mysterious book that makes you constantly think about what is going on and why. Not only that but the writing is amazing, the story is very original and inspired and you will probably be terrified the entire time – if you like that, of course. There is something so eerie about this story that it gives you a feeling of constant unsettlement. I wouldn’t say it’s a heavy horror story, but it’s still pretty creepy in my opinion.

I personally don’t love ambiguous stories and unanswered questions drive me nuts, so I don’t think I’m the right audience for this book. But I have to recognize that it’s still amazing. 

You honestly can’t forget a story like this, even if you try.

xoxo, Neide