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

Review | The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious #3) by Maureen Johnson

“The wonderful thing about reality is that it is highly flexible. One minute, all is doom; the next, everything is abloom with possibility.” 4.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: marble watches, old paintings, domes, lakes, storms, moving toes, secret passages, lost diaries, dynamite and a hand on the wall.

I was waiting for this book to come out for a very long time and I was not disappointed with the outcome! I instantly fell in love with this series when I read the first book – Truly Devious – and fortunately, the third book is just as amazing as the previous ones.

What took me by surprise is how the Alice kidnapping still had a lot of secrets to unveil. You would think that after discovering who kidnapped Alice in the second book the mystery was finally solved. Well, it’s not over yet! There were still a lot of secrets and information that were revealed in this book that were needed to understand the whole picture.

The writing is super good and I love that there were so many references to other mystery novels like Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None! I personally was not a fan of every single character – especially David who I forgot was super annoying and a complete douchebag – but Stevie will forever have a place in my heart.

I would say the main mystery is definitely the coolest part of this series. Every detail is carefully layered so that when you think you know everything, the author drops another bomb and you will question everything again.

I am very sad that this series is over, but I have to admit the conclusion was very good and very well planned. If you like mystery and YA books, this is definitely a treat. It’s fun, it’s young and the mystery will knock your socks off! It’s completely worth it.

xoxo, Neide

Review | Moment of Truth by Kasie West

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” 4.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: masks, lakes, small islands, Slurpees, old trucks, dead siblings, challenges, fears, apple cider and swimming awards.

Oops, she did it again: Kasie West stole my heart with one of her books! Is anyone even surprised? I honestly can’t get enough of her contemporary romances.

The story is super cute! It follows a teenage girl who takes her swimming lessons very seriously so she can get a scholarship to college. But at one of her swimming competitions a masked boy appears and messes up with her head leaving her angry and unfocused. She loses the competition and quickly decides that she is going to figure out his identity with her best friend! Not only that but her parents are grieving a brother she never met and are constantly putting him and his memories above her.

I have to say how impressed I am by the mystery! First I thought it was obvious who the masked Heath Hall was, but I was very surprised to see how everything turned out. I thought it was original and very well planned, I never would have guessed it!

This particular book is part of a set of companion novels with crossover characters. The other books that are part of this set and are already published are Love, Life and The List and Fame, Fate and the First Kiss. Originally this book was going to be named The Sun, the Moon and the Truth, but unfortunately for reasons related to the editor the book ended up being named Moment of Truth. I wish the title wouldn’t change so it would match the set, but I digress!

The thing I really love about this is how it reminds me of her older books, which are my favorite! Even though I like her new releases as well, there is still a very noticeable difference between her older and newer work. Then I discovered this was actually an older story that she picked up recently and I couldn’t be happier that this story wasn’t left behind.

Kasie writes my favorite YA soft romances, so I would definitely recommend her books for anyone looking for a light summery read – especially her older books!

xoxo, Neide

Review | Undercover Bromance (The Bromance Book Club #2) by Lyssa Kay Adams

“ – You’ve read too many romance novels.
– And you haven’t read enough.”
4.75/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: gold cupcakes, microphone recordings, nightclubs, cheese, feisty roosters, cute twins, stolen recipes, farm animals and sexual harassment.

I’m in love with this series!

I’m usually pickier when it comes to adult romance, and this for me is the whole package for an amazing story. The romance was amazing, the banter made me smile throughout the book, the steaminess was on point and even though it’s a lighter romance novel, it still has some depth to it.

In this book, we follow the love story of Mack – a book club member – and Thea’s sister, Liv! I personally think this sequel is just as good as the first book The Bromance Book Club. The main difference between both stories is that the first one is lighter and the focus is on the couple, and second story is not focused on the romance but on sexual harassment. Still, I really liked how Mack and Liv were so different that they actually worked in a perfect way. Liv is a very independent, strong woman that doesn’t open her heart for anyone, and Mack is a very caring and protective man. It just works!

You can read this book without reading the first one, but if you can you should definitely pick the first one before going into this. Not only because you’ll understand the characters and the origin of the Bromance Book Club better, but also because the first story is so incredible and worthy to be read.

I would definitely recommend this series for a romance lover. I can’t wait for the third book coming out in October!

xoxo, Neide

Review | To Best the Boys by Mary Weber

“Mr. Holm and Holm Manor bear only slight responsibility, liability, and legal obligation for the future societal changes that may result from your female children believing it is within their power and right to become whomever and whatever they desire—and in doing so, to change the course of history.”3.75/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: narrow passages, fishermen, labyrinth cakes, riddles, sirens, tents, glowing chemicals and boy’s clothes.

This is one of the books I was most excited to read and yet it was in my tbr pile for a very long time. Well… I grabbed, I read it, and I loved it!

What really caught my attention – besides the stunning cover – was the synopsis! A girl living in a man’s world, competing for a scholarship in a labyrinth against other boys? Sign me up!

What I wasn’t expecting was a full on feminist book. A big part of the book is about the female main character, Rhen, not having a say on what happens in her life. The boys study and rule the world and girls are meant for house shores, having kids and baking. She loves science, and she is a very intelligent girl that feels powerless with her reality. Her mother is sick and she can’t find a cure, a rich boy wants to court her even though she doesn’t want anything to do with him, and even though she is just as smart as the boys, the society doesn’t expect her – and girls for that matter – to enter the annual scholarship challenge. Well… except she decides to participate and compete, and everything changes!

My only complaint is that this should be written to be – at least – a duology. I confess I grabbed this book mostly because when I read the synopsis I thought it was great to have such a complex story in a single book. But then I reached the middle of the book and I thought it was weird that I still didn’t get to the labyrinth part. So I quickly concluded that everything would go very fast – and it did. The story was rushed to fit into the current amount of pages and unfortunately the story was left undeveloped. This had so much potential to be an incredible book, I just wish the author developed the story in a deeper way.

I also took more time to finish because the book is written in a formal format. I mean, I get it and it makes complete sense given the time that it’s portraying, but english is not my native language. So I had to take my time to read the book slowly to understand every sentence!

I’ll admit it’s not a perfect book, but I had a lot of fun reading it and I would do it again. I know it’s not going to happen, but I honestly think this story would make a great movie!

xoxo, Neide

Review | They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

“But no matter what choices we make – solo or together – our finish line remains the same… No matter how we choose to live, we both die at the end.” 2/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: diners, “mad bravery”, last friends, bikes, the police, Instagram posts and pictures.

I’m so disappointed with this book… it was so boring!

When I first saw this book in my local bookstore I fell in love with the cover and I was intrigued by the title. I didn’t know what the story was about, but that title stuck with me – seriously, who are they and do they actually die in the end? Long story short: it’s been on my mind for a while now, so I decided to finally pick it up.

The main reason why I’m not giving this a lower rating is because I actually like the writing and the concept. I thought the idea of having a service that calls you on your death day to notify you is very interesting! You have the possibility to see what the characters would do on that day knowing that at some point they were going to die. With that said, that was the only thing I found interesting. I thought the book was VERY slow paced and nothing interesting really happened. The beginning and end were okay, but I had to drag myself to go through the book.

It kind of reminds me of Nicola Yoon’s The Sun is Also A Star because the entire book is also set in a single day and you know something bad is going to happen later in that day. Which gives you a very sad, nostalgic feeling while reading.

The characters were okay, I liked the main duo’s dynamic and they definitely brought out the best in each other. They were likeable characters but there was nothing special about them. I liked Mateo’s best friend and her daughter, she was probably my favorite character of the book.

I feel like the purpose of this book is to make you think about death and to live your life like it’s the last day on Earth, but the story didn’t work for me. I didn’t care for their stories, or their insta-love or even what they did to feel alive on their last day. Overall, I was not impressed.

xoxo, Neide

Review | Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard

“Anyone can betray anyone.” 5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: superpowers, stolen coins, stone earrings, diamond walls, secret passages, broken hands, underground trains, arenas, lost cities, silver makeup, motorcycles, red blood, lightening, flame and shadow.

This was sooooooooo good!

Seriously, what took me so long to finally pick this up? I really like dystopian books, so I knew I would like this anyway, but it’s been a while since I had this much fun reading. It reminded me a lot of The Selection series by Kiera Cass – which is one of my favorite books of all time -, so if you like that series you will probably enjoy this one.

I personally really liked our red-blooded fierce main character, Mare. She reminded me of Katniss from The Hunger Games for her sense of justice and smarts, even though she got scared sometimes. The other characters were also great, my favorites were definitely Cal, Julien and Lucas. The only character I really disliked was the queen… she was vile!

As for the romance, I thought it was on light side. There were only a couple romantic scenes in the entire book, and I wish there were more but I have a feeling the next books are going to be jet packed with romance! Also, at some point I was confused because I was identifying three possible love interests… but the end of the book cleared that out fortunately!

The story is complex and it is easy to be immersed in the world. I’m still in disbelief by the fact this was written by a 24 year old author. She did an amazing job creating this book, and I can’t wait to continue this series. I honestly couldn’t recommend this enough. If you still didn’t pick it up, you definitely should! It’s a YA book full of action, deceit and betrayal… and I’m here for it!

xoxo, Neide