All The Bright Places

Author: Jennifer Niven
Publisher: Ember
Genre: young adult, novel, contemporary romance
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/5


I thought this book was so great. It took me back to high school and it wasn’t really something I wanted to bring back. I went to a different school for my sophomore year and life got a lot better for me there. But my freshman year was really difficult. I couldn’t understand who I was and my friends didn’t really feel like my friends. I relate so much to Finch that I kept reinventing myself in that one year. I could really relate.

It’s a high school story but if your high school experience was like Violet or Finch, you can really relate. Violet lost her sister and everyone was tiptoeing around her. She didn’t feel like she could go back out in to the world. She didn’t even life riding in cars almost a year later. Finch was struggling with mental health and finding himself and his place while also struggling to stay in the present. Unfortunately, he was labeled as a freak.

Lovely is a lovely word that should be used more often.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

I would definitely reread this book. I even watched the Netflix movie. The movie wasn’t as great, they cut a lot out from the book but it was still kind of nice to see it play out. I would put this one in my reread pile.

I enjoyed the writing style. It’s two different points of view, switching between Violet and Finch. It kind of starts off a bit slow, but picks up in about 100 pages or so.

Once it started picking up, I really got in to the story and it actually made me want to do a wandering adventure of my own hometown. I’m happy to say that I have wandered a bit since reading this book and I discovered some gems in my hometown so far that I didn’t know were out there and I look forward to finding more.

When you consider things like the stars, our affairs don’t seem to matter very much, do they?

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

There is talk about suicide in this book. If you’re not okay with that, I think you should avoid this read. But it’s very much a wanderlust and finding yourself after losing so much and rebuilding from the ashes kind of thing. Definitely a good read.


2022 Reading Goal

Book #5 out of 50

Lore

Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Hyperion
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5


January 2022 Book of the Month!


What a fantastic read! I’ve always been interested in Greek mythology. It’s a really interesting topic to study. This story brings the Greek gods in to the modern world. There’s Greek language, fighting scenes, betrayal, and a little bit of love. I was in love with the story from the beginning but don’t get me wrong, there were still some points that were frustrating, like the characters. But as far as the story goes it was so well written and there were twists and turns that felt like a roller coaster. It was great.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes reading stories based on Greek mythology and fantasy reads set in modern times. There’s a ton of action and there’s a ton of great interaction between characters. No spice but there’s a bit of love. There is a lot of dying though and gore if you’re okay with that. But I recommend this book whole-heartedly.

This book is definitely in my reread pile. As a matter of fact, it was my Book of the Month for January. My top pick for the month. I’d reread it in a heartbeat if I wasn’t so busy trying to read 50 books this year. Once I hit that goal, I don’t mind rereading my 5 star picks.

I really enjoyed the author’s writing style. There was suspense and I was hanging on to every word as I was going. I took 7 days to read because I was reading it for a reading challenge and needed to read at least one hour every day. If I had my way I think it would have taken me two or three days tops. It is definitely a page turner for me. I had to physically stop myself from continuing on to the next chapter most times to drag out the story.

As far as characters go, Lore was a great main character. Her tragic past and the story building up the past seven years of her life. Castor was surprising and also a bit annoying to me. I’ll leave it at that. Miles may be my favorite character, I was really worried about him throughout the story. Athena was so frustrating and I have really strong feelings about her. She’s so wise and yet so dumb.

All in all, I think it’s a great read and I don’t like to give away too much about some stories. I think you just kind of have to read the synopsis and read the story for yourself.


2022 Reading Goal

Book #4 out of 50

One Of Us Is Lying

Author: Karen M. McManus
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Think the Breakfast Club + Murder. A nerd, a jock, a bad boy, a popular girl, and the school’s gossip all find themselves in detention one afternoon. All seems normal until a loud crash and a dead body. The school’s gossip is dead. And there were only four students and one teacher in the room with him. Who killed him and why?

The four students aren’t supposed to be interacting with each other, but this one event changes their lives forever. Now they’re connected through tragedy. All of them are about to get their deepest secrets exposed. High school sleuths, they find key evidence that help solve the murder, even though they know they should stay out of this and keep their mouths shut.

There was ONE plot twist, which I didn’t see coming until about halfway through. It was an interesting read for sure. I couldn’t relate with the high school students because it was nothing like my high school as far as I experienced, not until late senior year really.

I don’t normally read mystery books because sometimes they’re trash or sometimes they’re so easy to solve it’s no fun, but this one was surprisingly a great mystery. It was a great mystery and I wasn’t expecting the outcome that’s for sure.

I recommend this book IF you like young adult mysteries. I was really just here for the mystery to be solved. All the plot surrounding it, I wasn’t too interested in much. But to each their own.


2022 Reading Goal

Book #3 out of 50

Light of the Jedi

I found this book at Walmart. It can also be found in Target and possibly your local bookstore.


Author: Charles Soule
Publisher: Del Rey
Genres: SciFi, Action/Adventure
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Following the perspectives of several characters in the Star Wars galaxy, we follow a timeline of an accident in hyperspace and the consequences of it. Then we follow along various events that occur around the galaxy simultaneously, political decisions, secret hideouts, and rescue missions.

It’s a wonderful adventure that dives deep into the Star Wars galaxy and we get to see a glimpse of the new version of the High Republic. I’m still bitter that Disney canned all the Old Republic and Solo twins etc. But I was pleasantly surprised with this story all the same and I am definitely going to read the next book.

The bridge ripped open. Hedda Casset died, not knowing if she had saved anyone at all.

Light of the Jedi

Learning how the Jedi dynamic was during the High Republic was very interesting. Plus their technology was way cooler back then as well. The detail and story telling of what technologies are available, how hyperspace works, and how disconnected the Outer Rim was during the High Republic and then the question of why it’s still disconnected during the Old Republic timeline.

It has definitely raised a lot of questions for me and I suppose I’ll just have to keep reading to learn more. I highly recommend this read for Star Wars fans out there. Even if you’re just as upset or more upset about Disney’s takeover and erasure of the old content, it’s still a really great read and it adds more to the galaxy we all love. If you’re not a Star Wars fan or haven’t seen any material from Star Wars at all, you might get confused by alien species and some other stuff but you don’t need to have watched the movies beforehand. You could be absolutely new to Star Wars and you’ll be able to follow along.


2022 Reading Goal

Book #2 out of 50

Blood Like Magic

This book was a BookTok recommendation. The author is @lisellesambury on TikTok if you want to check her out. The sequel to this book is coming out later this year.


Author: Liselle Sambury
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Voya Thomas has finally Come of Age. She is ready to receive her Task, Pass, and become a full witch with a Gift of her own, just like her grandma, parents, and cousins before her. She has difficulty making decisions and has little confidence in herself to actually pass her task, but nevertheless, she doesn’t want to let her family down. However, she is given an impossible task. She must destroy her first love in order to save her family’s magic. If she chooses to decline her task, every Thomas after her will never receive magic. If she accepts and fails her task, every Thomas alive today will be stripped of their magic. How can she be the one to hold the fate of her family’s magic all on her own? She can’t fail her family.

This book is set in the not-so-distant future of about 2030, but in this future, it’s all about genes and genetic modification. It’s also about the struggles of the marginalized black community; how it’s difficult to make money and get an education, not unlike today. The importance of heritage and culture is also spotlighted in this story. Family is literally one of the pillars of this book.

The ancestors of these witches may grant those who pass their task a gift that could be anything from reading minds to fire manipulation. Each witch also has access to magic through blood and intent. They’re split into those who are pure and those who are impure. Impure witches get the majority of their power through spilling someone else’s blood. Each family has a Matriarch. She is able to speak with the ancestors and lead her family.

I love the mechanics behind the magic and how every family in their witch community is connected. The characters and their stories are great. The backstory of how their community became the way it is because of the influence of genetic modification and those who have money to get modifications and those who don’t.

I wish the other characters had more depth. Voya and her cousin, Keis, are in the story much more than everyone else and they have a bit more depth to them than everyone else. It feels a little rushed when we’re introduced to characters and then it’s very shallow and not very flushed out. For example, Luc is our arrogant love interest who has some sort of hobbies and back story that we get little snippets of and then we’re moving on. I wish we could have learned more about Alex, another Thomas cousin, and Luc.

The hardest part for me with this book was I couldn’t connect with it. That’s really just me though because I am not black myself and I don’t know anything about Canada and Trinidad. I don’t know some of the words she used or the cultural references. It was really great to read about another culture, but I found it very hard for me to connect with the story which is why I relied more on the characters and their stories. It took me a lot longer to get through this story than I would have thought but I still loved it and I can’t wait for the next book to come out.

I highly recommend this book if you like fantasy stories about magic and love. If you like stories rooted in family values and morals, this is the one for you. If you want to read a story about a black girl, written by a black girl, this one is definitely for you.


2022 Reading Goal

Book #1 out of 50

The Undiscovered Descendants Book #1 of the Nordri Series

This book was an Advanced Reader’s Copy (ARC). Its publication date is November 14, 2021. It is currently not available for pre-order on Amazon. Here is my review and recommendation for this book.


Author: Jo Visuri
Publisher: Pohjola Press
Genres: Sci Fi & Fantasy, Teen & YA, Children’s Fiction
Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/5

On a remote island in the heart of a northern archipelago, lives a teenage girl named Elin Bodil. She lives a happy, normal life with her family and friends in their small town. However, the new school year sees new circumstances as her friends are now attending school on the mainland and she finds herself all alone. That is until several new faces move to the island, one mysterious family and a mysterious young man meant to find them. Elin is suddenly thrust in to the world of the supernatural and finds herself in the middle of it all. Secrets, untruths, hidden powers, and sinister schemes await you on Auor Island.

This book is the start of what I’m sure will be a great fantasy series. If you like awkward teenage girl who has multiple love interests or fantastical made up worlds that are connected to mythology, this is the book for you. If you like magickal powers and abilities or unlocking your hidden potential, this is the book for you. If you like stories about friendships and strong family ties, this is the book for you.

I was completely taken in to the world of Auor Island and the Clans. It was such a good read, that I finished this 600+ page story in less than 24 hours, I could not put this book down for a second. I don’t think I made myself water or ate anything while I was reading this book. If you do pick up this book, please remember to eat and drink something, sleep can wait.

Undiscovered Descendants is not without its faults. It is a really slow burn for about 60% of the book and then all of a sudden you’re going a mile a minute and the story is over. Everything happens in the last 40% and there still wasn’t enough time to resolve anything, but it leaves a lot to be explored in the coming books, as long as the rest of the series addresses those things, fingers crossed they do.

If you’re not a fan of seeing the same events multiple times through multiple perspectives, this might not be the book for you. Virtually every chapter circulates points of views between our three main characters. I think there was a singular not-important-to-the-plot event that was described by all three of them in their respective POV chapters. Not to mention it’s not always clear whose POV we’re reading from in the beginning of the chapter.

However, I feel like the story is fairly well written enough that you can still get lost in this world and feel the magick it has within. Yes it will get boring in some spots and it will be a depressingly slow build. Yes it has a lot of things going on and they might feel insignificant, but there is so much potential for this series to be amazing and we can only hope that it is. If you want to go on this journey, I highly recommend reading this book.