Review: This Is Kind Of An Epic Love Story by Kheryn Callender

This Is Kind of an Epic Love StoryTitle: The Is Kind Of an Epic Love Story
Author: Kheryn Callender
Genres: Young Adult contemporary

A fresh, charming rom-com perfect for fans of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and Boy Meets Boy about Nathan Bird, who has sworn off happy endings but is sorely tested when his former best friend, Ollie, moves back to town.

Nathan Bird doesn’t believe in happy endings.

Although he’s the ultimate film buff and an aspiring screenwriter, Nate’s seen the demise of too many relationships to believe that happy endings exist in real life.

Playing it safe to avoid a broken heart has been his MO ever since his father died and left his mom to unravel—but this strategy is not without fault. His best-friend-turned-girlfriend-turned-best-friend-again, Florence, is set on making sure Nate finds someone else. And in a twist that is rom-com-worthy, someone does come along: Oliver James Hernández, his childhood best friend.

After a painful mix-up when they were little, Nate finally has the chance to tell Ollie the truth about his feelings. But can Nate find the courage to pursue his own happily ever after?


I have quite a lot of complicated feelings about this one. I liked it, I liked the writing style and I definitely looked forward to picking this book up every time I got the chance, but I just didn’t *love* it. I definitely didn’t love this as much as I expected to, because I definitely went into it expecting it to be a new favorite.

The characters and their relationships felt incredibly real and were super messy, which I loved on the one hand, but also started to annoy me a bit after some time. Especially the main character. He kept messing up and it started to get really hard to root for him, because we mostly saw his not-so-great side. He was pretty pessimistic and tended to run away from his problems, which I could kind of relate to, but it just… it wasn’t a lot of fun for me to read about. And I adored the LI and thought he deserved better, so while I did like the relationship and I’m a sucker for the best-friends-to-lovers-trope, I had a hard time cheering them on. Lees verder

Review: The Bigfoot Files by Lindsay Eagar

The Bigfoot FilesTitle: The Bigfoot Files
Author: Lindsay Eagar
Genres: Middle Grade

From the author of Hour of the Bees comes another captivating story that deftly blurs the line between reality and magic — and will leave you wondering What if?

The Loch Ness Monster. The Frogman. Bigfoot. Twelve-year-old Miranda Cho used to believe in it all, used to love poring over every strange footprint, every stray hair, everything that proved that the world was full of wonders. But that was before her mother’s obsession with monsters cost Miranda her friends and her perfect school record, before Miranda found the stack of unopened bills and notices of foreclosure in the silverware drawer. Now the fact that her mom’s a cryptozoologist doesn’t seem wonderful — it’s embarrassing and irresponsible, and it could cost them everything. So Miranda agrees to go on one last creature hunt, determined to use all her scientific know-how to prove to her mother, once and for all, that Bigfoot isn’t real. Then her mom will have no choice but to grow up and get a real job — one that will pay the mortgage and allow Miranda to attend the leadership camp of her dreams. But when the trip goes horribly awry, will it be Miranda who’s forced to question everything she believes?


Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC of this book.

This book is incredibly captivating, and it sucked me in from the first word. I just couldn’t put it down. The writing is magical; it feels both heavy and light at the same time, but the overtone of the book is definitely darker. Something I didn’t expect from the synopsis, but something I definitely ended up loving.

I really enjoyed spending some time in the head of the main character, because I liked her a lot as a character, and I could relate to her very much. Miranda is a logical girl; her mother has been searching for these creatures for years and they haven’t found any evidence besides some footprints and scats, which very well could be from another animal. And once Miranda starts to see things that indicate that these strange creatures might actually exist, she banishes these things to the very back of her mind and tries to find logical reasons for everything that’s happening.

Miranda is also a girl who takes on a lot of responsibilities and who wants everything to be absolutely perfect. When she doesn’t succeed in this, the only thing that can calm her down is pulling out hair. This ground her, and gives her a sense of calmness. I’ve never personally dealt with trichotellomenia before, but I do have anxiety and that part of Miranda’s personality was incredibly relatable.

Besides Miranda, Miranda’s mother is also an incredibly interesting character. She’s incredibly messy, doesn’t always behave in a way you’d expect a mother to behave, and you quickly learn to agree with Miranda: her mom is no good and needs to grow up. But after a while you learn that there’s definitely more to her mom. The not-great stuff she does is definitely not excused, but you get to see that there’s more layers to her, and that’s what makes her so incredibly interesting.

Overall, this book was definitely different than what I thought it was going to be, but I was pleasantly surprised and I’d definitely recommend this book to all of you.

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Review: Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Darius the Great Is Not OkayTitle: Darius the Great is Not Okay
Author: Adib Khorram
Genres: Young Adult contemporary

Darius doesn’t think he’ll ever be enough, in America or in Iran. Hilarious and heartbreaking, this unforgettable debut introduces a brilliant new voice in contemporary YA.

Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s about to take his first-ever trip to Iran, and it’s pretty overwhelming–especially when he’s also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life. In Iran, he gets to know his ailing but still formidable grandfather, his loving grandmother, and the rest of his mom’s family for the first time. And he meets Sohrab, the boy next door who changes everything.

Sohrab makes sure people speak English so Darius can understand what’s going on. He gets Darius an Iranian National Football Team jersey that makes him feel like a True Persian for the first time. And he understand that sometimes, best friends don’t have to talk. Darius has never had a true friend before, but now he’s spending his days with Sohrab playing soccer, eating rosewater ice cream, and sitting together for hours in their special place, a rooftop overlooking the Yazdi skyline.

Sohrab calls him Darioush–the original Persian version of his name–and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he’s Darioush to Sohrab. When it’s time to go home to America, he’ll have to find a way to be Darioush on his own.


Let’s start off with the only negative thing I’m going to say so we can get that out of the way, which coincidentally is something that’s, I’m pretty sure, of no importance to you: the formatting of the e-ARC. I’m still going to mention it here because it definitely did influence my reading-experience. The e-ARC was formatted in a way where a line in the book took up one and a half lines on my e-reader. It’s a bit hard to explain, but the effect was that there were added pauses to the sentences which interrupted the flow of the book. This is one of the reasons why I really want to reread it as a final copy, because I’m sure the book would’ve been even better if the formatting of the e-ARC had been correct.

I really loved the way mental health was explored in this book. Darius and his dad are both depressed and take medication, and just seeing them talk about it, seeing Darius’ dad remind him to take his medication… that was so incredibly special and important and meant the world to me.

The dynamics between Darius and his dad were super interesting to read about. Darius often feels like a failure compared to his dad, who, in his eyes, is The Ultimate Man, and he is convinced that his dad doesn’t like him. But then a conversation happened at the end of the book that made me sob. Literally sob. I cry often at books, but it doesn’t happen very often that I actually sob. Wow.

The other family dynamics in this book were incredibly interesting to read about as well. In the book, Darius visits his family in Iran for the very first time and suddenly he has this whole group of people that care about him and he doesn’t really know what to do with that. He also deals with feeling not Persian enough for the first time, after always feeling too Persian when he’s in America. You can see Darius grow a lot throughout his stay in Iran, and that was amazing to see.

I’m a huge sucker for food descriptions and this book was full of amazing food and yummy tea, and it was the best. This was that kind of book where I had to stop halfway through a sentence just to google a certain dish and bookmark a recipe, and I just love that.

Honestly, I could go on and on about how much I loved this book and how special it is to me, but please, just pick it up and see for yourself. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

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Review: I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman

I Was Born For ThisTitle: I Was Born For This
Author: Alice Oseman
Genres: Young Adult contemporary

For Angel Rahimi, life is only about one thing: The Ark – a pop-rock trio of teenage boys who are currently taking the world by storm. Being part of The Ark’s fandom has given her everything – her friendships, her dreams, her place in the world.

Jimmy Kaga-Ricci owes everything to The Ark too. He’s their frontman – and playing in a band is all he’s ever dreamed of doing. It’s just a shame that recently everything in his life seems to have turned into a bit of a nightmare.

Because that’s the problem with dreaming – eventually, inevitably, real life arrives with a wake-up call. And when Angel and Jimmy are unexpectedly thrust together, they will discover just how strange and surprising facing up to reality can be.


I Was Born For This meant the entire world to me, and more.

One of the things I appreciated most about the book was the anxiety rep. Jimmy, the main character, has anxiety and has a few panic attacks throughout the book, and everything about this was so incredibly relatable to me. From the fear of the plane crashing even though you know it’s probably not going to happen, to the full on panic attacks he experiences. I had tears running down my face while reading some of his scenes because I felt understood in a way that I’ve never felt before, and that’s so important to me. Lees verder

Review: Fresh Ink edited by Lamar Giles

Fresh Ink: An AnthologyTitle: Fresh Ink
Edited by: Lamar Giles
Genres: Young Adult anthology

In partnership with We Need Diverse Books, thirteen of the most recognizable, diverse authors come together in this remarkable YA anthology featuring ten short stories, a graphic short story, and a one-act play from Walter Dean Myers never before in-print.

Careful–you are holding fresh ink. And not hot-off-the-press, still-drying-in-your-hands ink. Instead, you are holding twelve stories with endings that are still being written–whose next chapters are up to you.

Because these stories are meant to be read. And shared.

Thirteen of the most accomplished YA authors deliver a label-defying anthology that includes ten short stories, a graphic novel, and a one-act play. This collection will inspire you to break conventions, bend the rules, and color outside the lines. All you need is fresh ink.


I have said this before and I’ll say it again: I’m not the biggest fan of anthologies. Short stories often just don’t work for me so, why do I keep picking them up? Because in every single anthology there’s always at least one short story that I absolutely adore, and that makes the entire anthology worth it. And, luckily for me, this anthology had quite a few of those stories.

Here’s a little overview of my thoughts on all of the stories:

Eraser Tattoo by Jason Reynolds, 4 stars – Jason Reynolds is one of my favorite authors, and I always love his writing and his characters. But I think I like his full-length books more than his short stories.
Meet Cute by Malinda Lo, 5 stars – A f/f story set at a convention? Sign me up! I loved this a lot, and I kind of want a longer version of this.
Don’t Pass Me By by Eric Gansworth, 4 stars – I always really enjoy Eric Gansworths writing, and the story was very important. Loved the characters.
Be Cool for Once by Aminah Mae Safi, 3 stars – This was enjoyable and I liked the setting, but me and Amina Mae Safi’s writing just don’t match.
Tags by Walter Dean Myers, 4 stars – I normally never read plays so it was a bit confusing at first, but this was incredibly chilling and powerful. (TW: death, gun violence)
Why I Learned to Cook by Sara Farizan, 5 stars – If you can get me to cry over a story within just a few pages, you automatically deserve 5 stars. Plus, I’m just a sucker for food descriptions and cooking scenes.
A Stranger at the Bochinche by Daniel José Older, 4 stars – Daniel José Olders writing is just incredible, and I really enjoyed this story.
A Boy’s Duty by Sharon G. Flake, DNF – This just did not work for me at all. The setting was great, it was very atmospheric, but I felt very lost. Plus, you know something’s wrong when a short story feels like it’s never going to end.
One Voice by Melissa de la Cruz, 3.5 stars – It was an enjoyable story, but the ending felt super abrupt.
Palladin/Samurai by Gene Luen Yang and Thien Pham – This was basically impossible to read on my kindle, so I really hope that’ll be fixed in the final copy. But the illustrations looked really good, as far as I could see.
Catch, Pull, Drive by Schuyler Bailar, 5 stars – This was very hard to read, mostly because my eyes were filled with tears the entire time. (TW: transphobia)
Super Human by Nicola Yoon, 5 stars – Nicola Yoon’s stories in anthologies are always so unique and I love them a lot. This was incredible. (TW: gun violence)

This was definitely one of the best anthologies I’ve ever read (not that I’ve read many, but still), and I’d totally recommend all of them!

(trigger warning: besides the trigger warnings next to certain stories, almost every single one of them deals with racism.)

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Review: To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin

To Be HonestTitle: To Be Honest
Author: Maggie Ann Martin
Genres: Young Adult contemporary

Savannah is dreading being home alone with her overbearing mother after her sister goes off to college. But if she can just get through senior year, she’ll be able to escape to college, too. What she doesn’t count on is that her mother’s obsession with weight has only grown deeper since her appearance on an extreme weight-loss show, and now Savvy’s mom is pressuring her even harder to be constantly mindful of what she eats.

Between her mom’s diet-helicoptering, missing her sister, and worrying about her collegiate future, Savvy has enough to worry about. And then she meets George, the cute new kid at school who has insecurities of his own. As Savvy and George grow closer, they help each other discover how to live in the moment and enjoy the here and now before it disappears.


Thank you so much to Macmillan for sending me an ARC of this book.

To be honest, I was very afraid of reading this book. The main character in this book is fat, and her mom is constantly trying to lose weight to try and keep up with the weight she lost after being on an extreme weight loss program, and her mom tries to pressure her to lose weight too.

The reason why I was scared is because I’m a fat woman too, and I’ve been around people who try and pressure me to lose weight for a long long time. I’m trying to feel positive about my body, but it’s incredibly hard. And I thought reading the mom’s comments would get to me. And it did. Luckily the main character, Savannah, was very fat positive and made me feel a lot better. I loved that, and we need so many more fat-positive books. Lees verder

Review: Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow by Siobhan Curham

Don't Stop Thinking About TomorrowTitle: Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow
Author: Siobhan Curham
Genres: Young adult contemporary

Fourteen-year-old Stevie lives in Lewes with her beloved vinyl collection, her mum … and her mum’s depression. When Stevie’s mum’s disability benefits are cut, Stevie and her mother are plunged into a life of poverty. But irrepressible Stevie is determined not to be beaten and she takes inspiration from the lyrics of her father’s 1980s record collection and dreams of a life as a musician. Then she meets Hafiz, a talented footballer and a Syrian refugee. Hafiz’s parents gave their life savings to buy Hafiz a safe passage to Europe; his journey has been anything but easy. Then he meets Stevie… As Stevie and Hafiz’s friendship grows, they encourage each other to believe in themselves and follow their dreams.


Thank you so much to Walker Books for sending me a review copy of this book. 

I was in a bit of a reading slump when I started Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow, and it pulled me right out of that slump, and I ended up finishing the book in a little more than a day. This book is the perfect slump-beater. It’s easy to get into, a very quick-read, and the chapters are very short because you keep switching between perspectives which was perfect for me because I tend to get a little bored while reading long chapters, and lose my focus.

The mental health representation in this book is something I feel conflicted about. Stevie’s mother suffers from depression and anxiety and she spends all day in bed. I liked how the book explored therapy and medication, but I didn’t like how Stevie’s mum quite suddenly got better after changing her medication and going to therapy once. This is something that happens quite often in books and I feel like it’s quite harmful, because when I got ill, all of my friends expected me to be better in a couple of weeks. That obviously didn’t happen. We need to show that recovery is, often times, a long and slow process, and I wish we’d seen a little more of that in the book.

Stevie also talks about “catching her mom’s depression” in the book, which is also just a very harmful thing to say. Depression, nor any other mental illnesses, are contagious.

I loved both main characters, Hafiz and Stevie, and how passionate they both were for the things they loved. Hafiz about soccer and stories, and Stevie about music. I also really loved the friendship that blossomed between them, and even though there were definitely some hints at romance (spoiler) I’m honestly really glad this book solely focused on the friendship. We need more of that in YA.

A big thing that kept me from 100% loving this book though, was the fact that this book wasn’t ownvoices. From statistics I’ve seen it’s incredibly clear that not enough stories by people of color are published worldwide, and also in the UK, so the fact that this story that focused a lot on the refugee crisis in Syria wasn’t written by someone who’s lived through this experience feels wrong. And I couldn’t stop thinking about how much more real this book could’ve been.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that the author chose to shed light on such an important topic, and I really hope people are going to pay more attention to what’s going on because of it, but… yeah.

Overall, I did like reading the book and I’m incredibly grateful for the fact that it got me out of my slump, but there were definitely a few things that kept me from loving it.

(trigger warnings: depression, anxiety, racism, refugee crisis, stories about death) 

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Review: Hullmetal Girls by Emily Skrutskie

Hullmetal GirlsTitle: Hullmetal Girls
Author: Emily Skrutskie
Genres: Young Adult Sci-Fi

Aisha Un-Haad would do anything for her family. When her brother contracts a plague, she knows her janitor’s salary isn’t enough to fund his treatment. So she volunteers to become a Scela, a mechanically enhanced soldier sworn to protect and serve the governing body of the Fleet, the collective of starships they call home. If Aisha can survive the harrowing modifications and earn an elite place in the Scela ranks, she may be able to save her brother.

Key Tanaka awakens in a Scela body with only hazy memories of her life before. She knows she’s from the privileged end of the Fleet, but she has no recollection of why she chose to give up a life of luxury to become a hulking cyborg soldier. If she can make it through the training, she might have a shot at recovering her missing past.

In a unit of new recruits vying for top placement, Aisha’s and Key’s paths collide, and the two must learn to work together–a tall order for girls from opposite ends of the Fleet. But a rebellion is stirring, pitting those who yearn for independence from the Fleet against a government struggling to maintain unity.

With violence brewing and dark secrets surfacing, Aisha and Key find themselves questioning their loyalties. They will have to put aside their differences, though, if they want to keep humanity from tearing itself apart.


Thank you so much to PRH International for sending me an ARC of this book. 

I was incredibly excited for Hullmetal Girls when I first picked it up.  I read Emily Skrutskie’s The Edge of the Abyss and absolutely loved it, and I had heard that the protagonist of Hullmetal Girls identifies as aroace. But, I also felt a little… scared. I don’t tend to read a lot of sci-fi so I felt a little intimidated (what if it’s too difficult for me? What if I don’t understand?), and a review had just came out which said that the marginalized characters in this book weren’t treated very well. I almost didn’t pick the book up because I was scared I was going to get hurt, but I had the ARC so I read it.

Did I end up liking the book? Ehm, that’s a difficult question, honestly. Let’s start with the positive. Lees verder

A Few Middle Grade Recommendations (or, Mini Reviews)


Hi everyone! If you’ve been following my blog you might know that I’m a complete sucker for middle grade books. I might write a post on why I love middle grade so much another day, but today I want to share some of the middle grade books that I’ve read recently and absolutely loved with you. So this is going to be a bit of a recommendations/mini reviews post, and I’m incredibly excited about it because I can’t wait to share these books with you.


The Science of Breakable Things by Tae KellerThe Science of Breakable Things

The Science of Breakable Things was a very hard book to read. It’s about a girl, Natalie, who’s mom has depression. She tries very hard to understand her mom and to help her, but she doesn’t always get it right. As someone who deals with mental health issues herself, the things that Natalie sometimes thinks about her mom are definitely painful to read about, but also very understandable things for a girl her age to think.

This book is absolutely incredible. It made me cry multiple times, it made me laugh, and it has such an incredible message. I never expected a middle grade book to deal with depression and mental health in such a touching and sensitive way, which might have been a little naive of me. I just want to push this book into the hands of everyone I know, because it deserves all the love and attention. Lees verder

Review: Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Katherine Webber

Only Love Can Break Your HeartTitle: Only Love Can Break Your Heart
Author: Katherine Webber
Genres: Young adult contemporary

Sometimes a broken heart is all you need to set you free… Reiko loves the endless sky and electric colours of the Californian desert. It is a refuge from an increasingly claustrophobic life of family pressures and her own secrets. Then she meets Seth, a boy who shares a love of the desert and her yearning for a different kind of life. But Reiko and Seth both want something the other can’t give them. As summer ends, things begin to fall apart. But the end of love can sometimes be the beginning of you…


I was send a copy of this title for review by Walker Publishing. This does not influence my opinion of the book in any way. 

When I first saw the cover of this book I knew I had to request it. I already bought a book by this author last year – Wing Jones – and while I hadn’t gotten around to reading it myself, I had heard the most wonderful things about it from people I trust, so I was sure this book was probably going to be wonderful as well. And it was.

The writing in this book is very atmospheric and pulls you into the book from the first page on, and doesn’t release you until you’ve finished the whole thing. That’s how I ended up reading the whole evening instead of studying for my finals, which might not have been the best decision but I don’t regret any of it. And no matter how heavy the subjects you read about are, the writing still feels so incredibly comforting. It’s almost like a big, warm hug. Lees verder