I don’t normally read contemporaries, but I’m glad I picked this up! I had just read a heavier book and was in a bit of a funk over it, so this was the perfect fun, fast, cute read! It was sort of a pallet cleanser for me. And even though I had a couple of issues with it, I am still interested in reading the other books in the series!
The thing I did really like was the plot! I’m a sucker for a fake dating plot! I think they are so funny and cute and how could it not create a little va-va-voom between the characters?!
Okay the issues I have are a little sporadic. I liked all of the characters but they all had some major flaws. Maybe it’s my age (27), so I couldn’t relate anymore, I don’t know. Also, let me say, that I have had quite a few people tell me I reminded them of Lara Jean when I was in high school.
Lara Jean. She was so cute and naive. But I hated that she had a crush on her sister’s ex, Josh. Not that she did in the first place, but that she did after they broke up. Now, I don’t have sisters, only brothers, so maybe I don’t understand how she could do that. It just seemed kind of icky.
Josh. I know a lot of people liked him, but he was my least favorite character. He was kind of a schmuck, but acted like the nicest guy. Maybe he was both?
Peter. He was kind of the opposite of Josh. He was a sarcastic meanie some of the times, but he was actually really nice.
Also, I’ve got to say Margot was kind of annoying. She dumps her boyfriend so she can have fun in college. Wow. So mature…
Do y’all read contemporaries? What do you like?
*Disclaimer for CONTENT WARNING. This is so parents can make a decision. It does not necessarily reflect my personal views.
CONTENT WARNING: They are in high school so lots of sex talk and some bullying. Kissing scenes. Minor swearing.
OTHER CONTENT: Strong friendships, family bonds, forgiveness, how to navigate bullying.
*Gorgeous sign by Bookish Signs! I have a code too! Lauren20 to save on two or more items!*
This was a weird book. But in a good way. I don’t normally like Magical Realism. But I actually enjoyed this one! It was a tad bit more on the magical side than real, which helped. I found the mystery extremely compelling and interesting.
I loved how the relationships in this book played out. Even though it was only over a week, they went through really traumatic experiences individually and together. I think going through something with someone no matter how long you’ve known them, creates a connection.
Character growth was done really well too. Especially for a 300 page book. Everyone confessed something and grew from it.
I really enjoyed the writing style! It was very beautiful but also straightforward. If that makes sense. She did a really good job of having the main character likable despite her awful secret. It’s a hard thing to do! I liked that it was from two different points of view! There is Ruby, and then there is this mystery character. Very well done.
The only thing a slightly disliked was that it took awhile to get into. The first half was really slow. But the last half I couldn’t put it down. I had to know the secret of the treasure and Island.
And the ending broke my heart and I wasn’t expecting that. I actually like when books do that though, because it’s surprising.
So, if you think a weird, magical realism, mystery about treasure and an Island sounds good to you, then you should read this. I really don’t have anything to compare it to. It was very different.
*I have read a lot of reviews that compare this to The Raven Boys. I am not sure why. I have read that book and didn’t think it was that similar. Her writing style DOES remind me of Maggie Stiefvater’s though!
Do you like Magical Realism?
*Usual disclaimer about the content warning, I just put these here for YA books for parents who want to make the decision to let their kids read or not to read a book. This does not necessarily reflect my own person opinions.
CONTENT WARNING: Swearing, mention of rape but not following through with it, sexual talk, kissing, murder, death, depression, lying, trauma, assisted suicide, bullying
OTHER CONTENT: How to handle a traumatic event, healing, friendship, healthy relationships, telling the truth, dealing with bullies
What’s Christian Non-Fiction doing here? Well, I decided to really review every book I read. Non-Fiction takes me the longest to read, over 3-4 months, so I don’t read very many books like this. I am always glad I do though! Especially because I went through a traumatic experience while I was reading this book and it absolutely helped me with the anxiety that I have because of my experience. I used so, SO many page markers for this book. I want to make sure I remember the things that really stuck with me while reading.
This book helped me to just live today. Not tomorrow, not yesterday. Today. This hour. This minute. This second. This breath. I truly cling to that. I love that in today’s culture, which is fast moving and you always have to do more, more, MORE, someone wrote a book that just says, stop and breath. God has you where you are for a reason. Stop and listen, there you will find contentment. You CAN be happy where you are. You can find joy in every life circumstance. I have/ am learning to love this small moment. This in- between waiting time.
I loved her ideas of just finding a bench somewhere and sitting and talking with God, or your neighbors, or just breathing. I love that she says that it’s more than okay to dream and ask God for those dreams, but to just know He has something better for you than you could ever imagine. I’m not just talking about Heaven, I’m talking about right now in this lifetime. I have tried to apply some of the ways Freeman walks out her life. From her journaling suggestions to how she sees a situation. I really loved this book y’all! I plan on reading all of her books now!
Yeah, yeah, I know, what a mushy gushy post. Don’t worry, I will be back to posting regular nerdy reviews on my next one. This book was just really important to me not to share!
I 100% recommend this book to anyone who loves smart, clever mysteries. I reminded me a bit of Inception or Shutter Island! Inception because of the plots within plots within plots, and Shutter Island because you have no idea what is going on at all until the end! I want Leonardo DiCaprio to direct this movie (if it becomes a movie). I literally cannot say enough good things about this book.
Aiden is a smart, witty character in a situation that he doesn’t understand. The reader figures it out along with him, as time goes on. It’s amazing to see what he conquers and what he doesn’t! Each time Aiden repeats a day he loses a bit of himself and you fear it might be too late for him. I mean, he doesn’t even know who he is! It’s a really crazy ride that I didn’t want to get off of. I really can’t say much more because any little thing would be a spoiler.
I’ll just leave off with, THAT ENDING BLEW MY MIND!!!!
If you’ve read this, I would love to talk about it with someone!! I also highly suggest reading this for a book club. It has soooooo many discussion points that would keep you talking for a long time!
Kayla Olson is a traditional story teller. It gives me a nostalgic feel whenever I read one of her books. It just feels old fashioned, in a good way. She is also a plot driven, not character driven, writer. Here’s the thing, USUALLY I am a character driven reader, BUT I love her writing and story telling so much AND her plots are suuuuuper well thought out, that I get sucked into the books right away. Her books are a go-to when I need a readers palette cleanse! She has a really unique writing style that sets her apart from other authors.
I didn’t dislike any of her characters by any means, it’s just that you don’t get their full thought processes, you just get snippets of who they are. And in this case, I am okay with that. Lindley was still a well rounded character. The reader still understands why she made the decisions she made. As long as I can understand WHY the character did the things they did, then I don’t complain! The five other side characters rounded out nicely as well. Even though you don’t get their POV, you still SEE them. And understand their choices, even if you don’t agree with them. And boy did they have a lot of really hard choices!
Literally, everything goes wrong. I started getting anxiety every time because it just seemed like they were all going to die at any given moment. And I mean, some did. I kept trying to figure out, who the killer was, AND how they were going to fix their many problems. I never got it right. It was intense. Plus, my knowledge of space stations is next to zero, so, there’s that.
The tiniest bit a didn’t like, and I mean really tiny, half a star tiny, is that the ending seemed a bit rushed. Everything resolved itself, it just seemed really fast.
So, Kayla Olson is one of my favorite authors. She is an autobuy and I’ve never rated one of her books under 4 stars. I am so excited to see what she comes up with next!
*I got positive feedback on my new content addition to my reviews. Again, I am putting the disclaimer of this is for parents who want to know the content of the book without having to read it, to see if it is something they want their kids to read. I LIKE YA! These are NOT my personal views on whether or not a book should or should not have specific content!
CONTENT WARNING: Violence, death, murder, dead bodies, blood, a couple of kiss scenes.
OTHER CONTENT: Courage, dealing with fear, healthy grief, perseverance, how to deal with tragedy, how to be a leader, how to deal with people, friendships, overcoming pride.