Review | Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas

“Time passes by you like a bullet,” he says, “and fear gives you the excuses you’re craving to not do the things you know you should. Don’t doubt yourself, don’t second-guess, don’t let fear hold you back, don’t be lazy, and don’t base your decisions on how happy it will make others. Just go for it, okay?” 4.25/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: doughnuts, tattoos, candles, pool tables, lingerie, pizza, 80s music, fixed cars, babysitting, extra shifts, birthday wishes and a taboo romance.


He took me in when I had nowhere else to go. He doesn’t use me, hurt me, or forget about me. He listens to me, protects me, and sees me. I can feel his eyes on me over the breakfast table, and my heart pumps so hard when I hear him pull in the driveway after work.

I have to stop this. It can’t happen.

My sister once told me there are no good men, and if you find one, he’s probably unavailable. Only Pike Lawson isn’t the unavailable one.
I am.


I took her in, because I thought I was helping. As the days go by, though, it’s becoming anything but easy. I have to stop my mind from drifting to her and stop holding my breath every time I bump into her in the house. I can’t touch her, and I shouldn’t want to.

But we’re not free to give into this. She’s nineteen, and I’m thirty-eight.

And her boyfriend’s father.

Unfortunately, they both just moved into my house.

I devoured this book like no man’s business. I don’t read about forbidden romances very often, but I really loved this one!

This story is considered a taboo romance because of the age difference between the main characters – the girl is 19 years old and the guy is 38 years old. With that said: the romance was amazing. It was a perfect slow burn romance to me! Jordan and Pike have amazing chemistry and that was probably the main reason why I loved this book so much. And their age gap didn’t bother me because they were both very mature, there was a true love story there and for the way their relationship developed. 

The plot wasn’t based on superficial attraction, but on real feelings. They actually liked each other in a deeper way and they enjoyed spending a lot of time together. And in case you are wondering, yes, this is definitely on the steamier side!

Probably not everyone will like this book for the taboo aspect of it, but I really enjoyed it! Penelope Douglas is an amazing romance writer and I’ll be reading more from her.


Review | You Should See Me In a Crown by Leah Johnson

“I never needed this race, or a hashtag, or the king to be a queen. I was born royalty. All I had to do was pick up my crown.” 4.25/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: outsiders, promposals, homophobia, scholarships, clarinets, panic attacks, hashtags, campaigns, pound cake, corsages and crowns.

Liz Lighty has always believed she’s too black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town. But it’s okay — Liz has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor.

But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz’s plans come crashing down . . . until she’s reminded of her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen. There’s nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington.

The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack. She’s smart, funny, and just as much of an outsider as Liz. But Mack is also in the running for queen. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams . . . or make them come true?

This was so cute, I loved it! I admit never paid too much attention to this particular book until other readers started recommending it to me non-stop – so thank you to all the people who told me I had to read it!

This is not your typical prom book. This story is about an awkward high school girl coming out of her shell and understanding her true value and potential. Liz was an amazing strong female lead and I really liked her perseverance, kindness and strength.

And of course, there is a cute romance to pair with the story! Liz falls in love with another girl running for prom queen, just like her. Mack was a very likeable character as well and she made the cutest pair with Liz!

I also really liked the other relationships in this book, especially the one between Liz and her brother! They share a very special bond and it was so nice to see how they got each other’s back.

I really liked this book! It’s a relatable book for teens who are still trying to discover their identity and it’s done beautifully. It’s the perfect book to binge on a weekend.


Review | The Host by Stephenie Meyer

“It’s not the face, but the expressions on it. It’s not the voice, but what you say. It’s not how you look in that body, but the thing you do with it. You are beautiful.” 4/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: old newspapers, deserts, hunger, powerful medicine, raids, aliens, wanderers, brotherhood, meetings, bread, caves, transplants, stories and hosts. 

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, didn’t expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

As Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she’s never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.

I admit I was apprehensive when I first picked this book. A science fiction book (not my favorite genre) with over 800 pages? My friend who borrowed me the book asked me to give it a shot and go into it with an open mind, so that’s what I did. And… surprise, surprise: I actually really liked this story.

The concept of this book was very interesting: aliens taking over bodies in different planets. These aliens think they’re doing what’s best for the Earth because humans are evil and have a destructive behaviour. Well, the thing is that one of the aliens (Wanderer) took over a body that still had its original host (Melanie). So now two souls are inside the same body!

I really liked how Melanie and Wanderer’s relationship developed and how strong their bond got throughout the book. And there’s a… love triangle? Well, I don’t think I can’t consider it that, but there is romance here – which was very interesting considering the situation the souls are in.

The ONLY thing I think could be different is the length of the book. The portuguese version – the one I read – is over 800 pages long, and I feel like the story could perfectly be half its size. There was no need for a lot of scenes there.

Still, I really liked it. I think it’s a good book to think about what really means to be a human and to be compassionate. For a science fiction book, I was very surprised in a positive way. I know there’s a movie adaptation for this book, and I’m very curious about it!


Review | If I Can’t Have You by Charlotte Levin

“They say there’s a fine line between love and hate. But I don’t think there’s a line at all. They’re the same thing. What we love we hate for loving. What makes us more vulnerable than love? What hurts so much? It’s a tightrope that we walk. Wavering from one side to the other. Desperate to keep our balance. But sometimes you can’t. Sometimes it tips and there’s nothing you can do.” 3.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: creeps, cigarettes, scars, coffee, vodka, diaries, cemeteries, anoraks, keys, tiaras, elephant plushies, wedding dresses, birthday surprises and missing pens. 

Samuel, the day we met I knew I’d finally found what I’ve been waiting for.


Happiness, at last.

Then you left me.

And now I am alone.

Everyone I love leaves in the end.

But not this time.

I’m not giving up on us.

I’m not giving up on you.

When you love someone, you never let them go.

That’s why for me, this is just beginning.

For a debut novel, I have to say I’m very impressed. The plot was really good and the story was very well written. It was really interesting to see a life from the point of view of someone who has a strong obsession for someone else and the extreme the situations they put themselves to.

I think the only two reasons why I didn’t rate this higher was because of the pacing of the story and the main character. Regarding the pacing, I have an unpopular opinion. The book felt a bit monotonous. I felt like the story didn’t develop a lot throughout the pages, it was a lot of the same things. The only part that was really surprising to me was the ending. I was really shocked and I would have never predicted the story ended that way.

Now our main character, Constance. Well, Constance wasn’t my favorite main character. To be completely fair, I know she’s supposed to be crazy and obsessed – because that’s the whole point of the book -, but even feeling the smallest empathy for her, I just couldn’t connect to her as a character. There were so many times I thought “Girl… you need to get a hobby. Like, a real one.” It was so frustrating to see her making decisions! But I applaud the author for that. It’s a good book if you have strong feelings for it… it means it did its job!

Friendly reminder: this is only my point of view on the book and from what I saw, it’s an unpopular opinion. There were a LOT of people who loved this book that don’t share the same opinion as me, so I would still recommend checking it out!


Review | The Good Girls by Claire Eliza Bartlett

The thing is, girls can tell. There’s a little voice in our heads that says get out, get out, but men spend years telling us to ignore it. To tell ourselves we’re wrong. 4.25/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: diary entries, cheer practice, rivers, scholarships, interviews, wigs, big coats, videos, gunshots, championships, drugs and a lot of secrets.

The troublemaker. The overachiever. The cheer captain. The dead girl.

Like every high school in America, Jefferson-Lorne High contains all of the above.

After the shocking murder of senior Emma Baines, three of her classmates are at the top of the suspect list: Claude, the notorious partier; Avery, the head cheerleader; and Gwen, the would-be valedictorian.

Everyone has a label, whether they like it or not–and Emma was always known as a good girl. But appearances are never what they seem. And the truth behind what really happened to Emma may just be lying in plain sight. As long-buried secrets come to light, the clock is ticking to find Emma’s killer–before another good girl goes down.

Well, this book has A LOT going on… but my experience is very positive!

What I liked so much about this book was definitely the mystery. The plot is really well made and (in my humble opinion) the outcome of the story was not predictable. And that kept me interested the entire book. After finishing a chapter, I got more and more intrigued and I still couldn’t put my finger around what was going on.

Another thing I really liked about this book is the format. The book is composed of a mixture of interviews, “normal” chapters, reports, tweets, blog posts, etc. It really made the book even more interesting! There are also several points of view in this, but it’s made tastefully and you will not be confused by the characters.

I will say the only thing that didn’t make me rate this higher was the timeline. It was a bit confusing and sometimes I had a hard time trying to figure out if the story was in the past or present within the same chapter – especially in the last chapters. But to be honest, it didn’t bother me too much.

Overall I really enjoyed this book! For me it was the kind of mystery that I couldn’t figure out the truth until the very end, and that was really satisfying for me as a reader.The truth is: it’s a VERY heavy book, in a lot of ways. I don’t want to spoil anything, but the book deals with very serious matters that I personally wasn’t expecting to read. So here’s your warning: if you’re considering reading this book, please know there are major trigger warnings for sexual assault and substance abuse.


Review | Night Swim by Megan Goldin

“To tell you the truth, I don’t get how we can almost unanimously agree that murder is wrong, yet when it comes to rape some people still see shades of gray.” 4.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: trials, rape kits, small town gossip, podcasts, letters, witnesses, golden boys, secrets and nightingales.

After the first season of her true crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall is now a household name―and the last hope for thousands of people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help.

The small town of Neapolis is being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. The town’s golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping a high school student, the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season Three a success, Rachel throws herself into interviewing and investigating―but the mysterious letters keep showing up in unexpected places. Someone is following her, and she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister twenty-five years ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insists she was murdered―and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody seems to want to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved.

Electrifying and propulsive, The Night Swim asks: What is the price of a reputation? Can a small town ever right the wrongs of its past? And what really happened to Jenny?

I really liked this book. It’s not an easy book to read in the sense that the topic is very heavy and heartbreaking. If you don’t know this book is about, check the sinopsis below, but it basically talks about topics such as sexual assault and consent – major trigger warnings for this: if it is a sensible topic to you, please know that this book talks about it in a very detailed way.

I am fortunate enough to have never experienced anything like this before, but I can relate to feeling afraid or trying to protect myself the best way I can if I’m walking alone at night (even during the day).

There are so many scenes that made an impact on me, but one that I will never forget was when the girl was in court and she had to answer very intimate questions about the night in question. I can’t imagine the humiliation real victims must feel when they have to talk about such intimate details in a room full of strangers.

The writing is really good and the book is easy to follow. I’m not sure if it’s available, but this would be very interesting to listen to as an audiobook. This book has a lot of podcast entries, so it would be cool to listen to it from the perspective of a podcast fan.

This book made me very uncomfortable, but I’m very happy I read it. This is such an important conversation to have and I highly recommend it to everyone. Consent is not a joke and no is a full sentence.


Review | Sunkissed by Kasie West

“Sometimes staying in the box we’ve made for ourselves is so easy. It’s comfortable and familiar in there. And a lot of times, the people around us want us to stay in there, too, because that’s how they’ve always known us: in that box. (…) But sometimes we start to change, grow, and the box begins to get small and cramped. And yet, we fight to stay inside because the walls are high and climbing out seems harder than staying.” 4/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: Oreos, bears, bands, bows and arrows, moon circles, songwriting, mobile apps, slides, signs, festivals, popsicles, make-up wipes, fireworks, playlists, bingo nights, videos, followers, spilled coffee and no Wi-Fi.

After being betrayed by her best friend, Avery is hoping for a picture-perfect summer. Too bad her parents have dragged her and her sister to a remote family camp for the entire summer. And that’s not even the worst part. Avery also has to deal with no internet, a cute but off-limits staff member, and an always-in-her-face sister.

But what starts as a disaster turns into a whirlwind summer romance as Avery embarks on an unexpected journey to figure out what she truly wants and who she wants to be.

Another perfect summer book from the amazing Kasie West! I think this may be one of my favorite books from her newer releases (of the last couple of years).

I was really into the camping theme in this one, but I have to say it reminded me a lot of Camp Rock. I don’t know if it was the camp aspect, or the music/songwriting or the shy girl who can sing paired with the rockstar but… it was impossible not to remember the Disney movie. Not a bad thing, just interesting!

I liked the romance, it was cute! I think they had chemistry together but things developed very fast with their relationship. I wouldn’t consider it insta-love, but it all happened very quickly – well, the book is not that long, to be fair. I think they made a cute pair, though!

I also really liked how this book is not only about romance, but also about family bonds. It was nice to see how her relationship with her parents and her sister developed over the summer. It was obvious she didn’t have a very close relationship with her sister because there was a lot of miscommunication and lack of interest in each other’s lives, so it was very satisfying to see them fix their relationship throughout the book. It was definitely my favorite part of the book, to be honest.

If you love cute, fluffy contemporary young adult romances, you really need to check out Kasie West books. I always recommend her. I personally prefer her older books, but I would still recommend her newer ones… and this is one you should definitely try!


Review | Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

“We lead our lives like water flowing down a hill, going more or less in one direction until we splash into something that forces us to find a new course.” 6/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: fishermans, white paint, sake, hair ornaments, gifts, obis, okiyas, elaborate hairdos, manners, jewelry, debt and beautiful gray eyes.

This story is a rare and utterly engaging experience. It tells the extraordinary story of a geisha – summoning up a quarter century from 1929 to the post-war years of Japan’s dramatic history, and opening a window into a half-hidden world of eroticism and enchantment, exploitation and degradation.

A young peasant girl is sold as servant and apprentice to a renowned geisha house. She tells her story many years later from the Waldorf Astoria in New York. Her memoirs conjure up the perfection and the ugliness of life behind rice-paper screens, where young girls learn the arts of geisha – dancing and singing, how to wind the kimono, how to walk and pour tea, and how to beguile the land’s most powerful men.

I don’t have enough good things to say about this book other than that it is absolutely beautiful and a new personal favorite. 

This historical novel published for the first time in 1997 by Arthur Golden is an absolute masterpiece! This book is about a very young girl from a small village in Japan who is taken from her parents to become a Geisha in Gion. It follows her life experiences and her path to becoming one of the greatest japanese Geishas of all time.

The author claims the story and the characters are entirely fictional, but the representation of japanese culture is incredible and you will learn a lot about the Geisha culture and traditions (the good and the bad).I think this would be a great book to pick if you love historical novels! I fell in love with this story and I think – I can’t believe I’m actually saying this – it’s probably my favorite book of all time.


Review | Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

“Look at someone every day for long enough and you stop seeing what everyone else sees. You start to see what no one else sees, what is kept hidden from most people.” 3.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: rivers, creepy ladies, newborns, depression, folk tales, motherly love, CCTV footage, good police officers and a set of interesting twins.

After a traumatic birth, Lauren is alone on the maternity ward with her newborn twins. Her husband has gone home. The nurses are doing their rounds. She can’t stop thinking about every danger her babies now face. But all new mothers think like that. Don’t they?

A terrifying encounter in the middle of the night leaves Lauren convinced someone or something is trying to steal her children. But with every step she takes to keep her babies safe, Lauren sinks deeper and deeper into paranoia and fear. From the stark loneliness of returning home after birth, to the confines of a psychiatric unit, Lauren’s desperation increases as no one will listen to her. But here’s the question: is she mad, or does she know something we don’t?

Loosely inspired by the ghostly folktale The Brewery of Eggshells, where a mother becomes convinced her twins are in danger, Little Darlings offers a fresh perspective on modern motherhood, postnatal psychosis and the roles women play. It has always been thus: folk tales do not spring from whimsy; they warn us and teach us, and speak to the fear in us all.

After seeing this book everywhere on Instagram, I knew I had to pick it up! I honestly didn’t love it as much as I thought I would, but I still enjoyed it for what the story was. 

It’s not the kind of thriller that will keep you on the edge the entire time, but I admit there were some scenes there that made me shiver – especially with the things the twins did… yikes!

The writing is good and the pacing was okay. It’s an easy book to follow and there are not a lot of characters to keep up with. I really liked Lauren and the female officer – they were definitely my favorite characters. They were so strong and loving in their own individual way. And for some reason, I really didn’t like Lauren’s husband – well, I do know why, but you’ll have to read to know why I don’t like him!

One thing that really stood out for me from this story was the motherhood aspect. I think the author did an amazing job describing the feeling of love and protection over the babies. I don’t have kids of my own, but I could feel her love, pain and struggles as a new mother. I can only imagine how troubling it must be to read this thriller as a mother!

Overall, I liked it. I think maybe the popularity of the book gave me expectations that weren’t met in the end for me… but I did enjoy it.


Review | Under the Lights (The Field Party #2) by Abbi Glines

“In life you face obstacles, and you have to fight through them. If you’re lucky enough, you find someone to fight for you, too. I was lucky.” 4/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: blueberry muffins, chocolate chip cookies, heritages, tree houses, family secrets, stolen kisses, elite families, broken homes, bad decisions, sweet grandmas, grief and love triangles.

In the follow-up to Abbi Glines’s #1 New York Times bestseller Until Friday Night—three teens from a small southern town are stuck in a dramatic love triangle.

Willa can’t erase the bad decisions of her past that led her down the path she’s on now. But she can fight for forgiveness from her family. And she can protect herself by refusing to let anyone else get close to her.

High school quarterback and town golden boy Brady used to be the best of friends with Willa—she even had a crush on him when they were kids. But that’s all changed now: her life choices have made her a different person from the girl he used to know.

Gunner used to be friends with Willa and Brady, too. He too is larger than life and a high school football star—not to mention that his family basically owns the town of Lawton. He loves his life, and doesn’t care about anyone except himself. But Willa is the exception—and he understands the girl she’s become in a way no one else can.

As secrets come to light and hearts are broken, these former childhood friends must face the truth about growing up and falling in love…even if it means losing each other forever.

Since I like this type of YA books, this was another good read for me. I usually go for more romantic books like the first book in this series, but I’m loving this series and how different the books are. 

The books in this series are companion novels, which means they are placed in the same universe but each book focuses on different individuals within the group of characters. This is one of my favorite formats because I like to see how different the characters are and how they all interact. It’s still a romance book, but not like the first one. This story is way more complex than the first one. Both main characters have a lot going on!

This book has a love triangle, which made it very interesting, but I’m thinking about how unnecessary it was. The story would have been perfectly fine without it.

I wish there was a more complete conclusion to the story. At least one more chapter or an epilogue to describe a bit better what happened in the end. But it honestly doesn’t bother me that much.

I’m loving revisiting these books! They are perfect for a binge reading session.