If I Stay – Bookish Thoughts


If I Stay
By Gayle Forman

Rate: 3.5 / 5 stars

What I thought:

I liked this book, but I’m a little unsure of it. I had no problems getting through it, but something about it just didn’t sit right with me.

Nothing happened. Nothing. The accident happens in the beginning and then, boom. Flat-lined. (No pun intended?)

Sure, I loved the anecdotes. I loved how I came to appreciate and even love each character which every passing memory. But really there was no plot. The themes that I were expecting didn’t bleed through, and it left the reading experience a bit dry. I understand that “Ghost” Mia was unfeeling and cut off, but it just didn’t work for me.

The book dealt with a very emotional thing, but I felt nothing until the last 5 pages. The only character I ended up feeling anything for was Adam when he poured his heart out at the end. I ultimately had no empathy for the characters.

I liked the story; I liked the characters. I just didn’t take anything away from this story. And with this serious of a plot, I expected more. However, I will read the sequel, and I’ll probably check out the movie, too.

p.s. I did cry at the end. Those last few pages really did save the book for me.

p.p.s. I’ve been really critical of books lately. I need something to come along and wow me asap.



Shatter Me – Bookish Thoughts


Shatter Me
By Tahereh Mafi

(Book 1 of the Shatter Me trilogy)

Rate: 3.5 / 5 stars

What I Thought:

So this story is totally predictable and cheesy and 100% like every other popular YA dystopian on the market, but I did still enjoy it.

The characters are nothing special, but they’re likable enough. I do appreciate Warner’s character, he’s a good example of a dynamic villain, and I like how his character “plays” with Juliette, the protagonist. However, Juliette is definitely not one of my favorite characters. But that has to do with the writing style more than anything.

To put it bluntly: the writing style reminds me of a try-hard, pretentious teenager writing a #deep story for their creative writing class. It was particularly painful in the first 10 or so chapters, with all the cross outs, run on sentences, and broken phrases. It was killing me. Does Mafi even know how to use commas? Because every single compound sentence was lacking the comma before the conjunction, and it was absolutely tortuous to me. There were so many over-the-top metaphors and descriptions that made the text come off unnecessarily pompous. The writing was not creative and did not add to the richness of the plot; all it did was distract the reader.

The romance was gag-worthy, but I expected it. I also have to admit that I did get swept up in it from time to time. I just love reading about love sometimes, okay? It was a plot point, and it worked well enough, so I can’t complain. But yeah it gets goopy at times; be warned.

The whole “special” abilities thing for this story was just okay. I had a lot of questions, but with 2 more novels and a couple of novellas, I hope they’re answered. As for now, the whole super power thing is kinda lost on me, but I’m not giving up yet.

Bottom line: Nothing too spectacular about this series thus far. However, the story did intrigue me, and I had an enjoyable experience reading it. I do plan to finish out the series.


Bout of Books 10!!!

First off, I apologize to my (very few) readers. School and colorguard and everything else took over for a while, and I had a lot to focus on. With exams and competitions and stress out of the way, I’ll get back to regular blogging. This is my way of easing back in. I’m still a little feelsy from everything ending and I need some time. A perfect excuse to read as much as I want!

Over winter break I did the Bout of BooksRead-a-thon, and it was so much fun that I’m doing it again! Starting tomorrow, I’m going to try to read as much as I can for a whole week. I haven’t been reading nearly as much as I would like to, but since I’m finally free for the summer it’s the perfect time!

So what exactly is this reading thing?

“The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.” – From the Bout of Books team

Bout of Books

Since I’m still a little worn-out from my semester I think I’m going to keep my goals simple.


1. Read about 100 pages a day.
2. Finish at least 2 books.
3. Complete 2 challenges.
4. Participate in at least 1 tweet chat.
5. Review all of my finished books.

Books I’ll be Reading:

1. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
2. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
3. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I might swap in something or not even get to the third book, but this is what I’m planning on right now. Obviously I’m on a goopy, sappy story kick right now. Ain’t nothing wrong with that right? (I’m going to regret this when I’m sobbing from extreme post book depression.) And that last one is just because I’ve been putting it off for too long even though I really want to read it! Now’s the time.


Anyway, I’m super excited for my second Bout of Books! Yay for having enough time to dedicate a whole week to just reading and talking with others that love reading just as much as I do! Maybe some of my readers will join in with me?

Happy reading!

xoxo Gigi.

Beautiful Disaster – Bookish Thoughts

Beautiful Disaster
Jamie McGuire

Rating: 2/5

What it’s about: A really dysfunctional relationship. But in a really stereotypical college contemporary way.

What I thought:

I was totally about this book for the first 200ish pages, but then things got really weird. The story was repetitive, boring, and predictable. So many people recommended this, and it has great reviews, but honestly it was just another boring teenage love story.

The characters were kind of unrealistic; I still don’t understand what kind of person the main character Abby was supposed to be. Actually, that goes for every character. I found the back-and-forth of Travis and Abby’s relationship so tiring and annoying. I wanted to give up on the story around page 300, just after the whole Las Vegas bullshit, and I totally could have without missing out on anything. Nothing happened except for more angst and terribly written sexual tension.

The worst part was hands down the ending. It was incredibly unrealistic and made me want to gag. I really hope teen girls don’t read this and think that’s how relationships should be. (Especially the sex. Seriously, does anyone even know what foreplay is anymore?)

Everything about this story was just so bland and redundant. I’ve read fanfiction written by 13 year olds that is better. Bottom line? Don’t bother with this story. I really wanted to like it and it just pained me to finish.

The Lady with the Pet Dog by Anton Chekhov (Short Story Review)

Rate: 2.5/5 stars

Disclaimer: I had to read this for a class, this was the response I wrote for it.

Chekov’s short story “The Lady with the Pet Dog” seemed like it was going to be a charming piece, but it was instead disjointed and disturbing. Once past the choppy, excessive descriptions, the reader could finally focus on the fact that this bored middle aged man was preying on young girls to pass the time. The story was unsatisfying, the characters were left undeveloped, and the plot overall was unengaging.

Other than the main characters, everyone was just so transparent; they didn’t have characteristics or anything really that described them as something other than human. The writing of the characters definitely left something to be desired. It was odd how Gurov was able to leave his family for long periods of time without explanation, and Anna’s background was confusing and uncompleted. Both characters just came across underdeveloped, especially by the end when they finally fell in “love.” Their love story felt unfinished and immature. Although the plot embraced the idea that love can happen to anyone at anytime, the whole thing seemed out of place and inappropriate.

Many enjoy the writing style of Chekhov, but the pompous, stream-of-consciousness was overall irritating. There were specific parts that had wonderfully written phrases and thoughtful ideals, such as, “He had two lives: one, open, seen and known by all who cared to know, full of relative truth and of relative falsehood, exactly like the lives of his friends and acquaintances; and another life, running its course in secret.”  It was the pieces like this that made the story any bit bearable and worthwhile.

The plot line was predictable, and the characters were unlikeable and underdeveloped. Overall, the short story was disappointing, bland, and surprisingly very forgettable.

xoxo Gigi.

Breaking Point – Bookish Thoughts


Rate: 3/5 stars

This book was nothing fantastic. It did its job, which was basically filling the space between the expositionary debut novel and the conclusion in the last novel. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t phenomenal or anything.

It took me a while to really get into the book, despite that I already knew all the characters and everything. The writing just wasn’t drawing me in. The dynamic between all the characters just seemed really off to me and it was throwing me out of the book. I did, however, find that the individual characters were written really well. The character growth seen in the main character Ember was one of the saving graces of the novel.

What bothered me the most in this book was probably the execution of the action scenes. They were just excruciatingly hard to follow, and once again, I found myself getting thrown out of the book a lot. You know when you’re imagining a room and then the author includes something that makes you have to rearrange the entire scene in your head? Well that happened multiple times with literally every action scene. Things weren’t set up and explained well and it really screwed with the experience.

The plot was pretty good, especially the ending. This book left me wanting more story, so I’ll definitely be reading the next book, the writing just left something to be desired. I did find myself having an emotional attachment. I was most engrossed in the book during like the middle 200 pages. And I did cry a bit at the end. (I cry at everything though… like literally every book I will at shed at least one tear.) So yeah, not fantastic, but definitely not terrible. I’m still looking forward to the next installment.

Bout of Books Read-a-thon Wrap-up


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Books read: 2.5/5
Pages read: 907
Goals reached: 2/4

So I basically gave up half way through the challenge, and it shows in my statistics. I had plans every day from Wednesday through Sunday. It was really hard to find time to read. I did, however, read more in this week than I read during my entire fall semester. I think that makes this a pretty successful read-a-thon overall. I just overestimated how much I had to do this week and how long the books I chose were.

For the books themselves, it was kind of all over the place.

My first book was Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons, the sequel to Article 5. It was a disappointing sequel. I usually tend to fight for sequels, because I feel like people miss the point of them and bag on them too much, but the writing was just very dull. I did get through it fairly quickly though, and I will be reading the next installment when it comes out

For my second book I picked up a short novel that has been on my TBR list for over a year, Make Lemonade by Virginia Wolff. It was phenomenal, touching, and easy to read. I don’t really have much else to say about it other than it was perfect.

My last book was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and man am I confused. This book is… letting me down. People seem to praise this book to the high heavens, but I’m on on page 300 and I’m still not drawn in! I just don’t get it! I’m kind of bored, and feel like it’s magic isn’t working on me. There’s still over 200 pages to go, and I’m sure that it’s going to surprise me in the end. But those 300 pages were frankly a waste of my time. I’m going to push through and see how I feel after I finish it.

So that’s how my first ever Bout of Books went! I’m disappointed in myself and in most of the books I read, but I did read a lot and it wasn’t for nothing. Maybe my next read-a-thon will go better? I will be posting full reviews of these 3 books over the next week so stay tuned!

Happy reading!
xoxo Gigi.