Bookish Feels: The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

The Book: Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life. (From Goodreads)

My Feels: I had the pleasure of reading this beauty last week, and I'm so glad I did. The best word to sum up this book: relevant. As in this is so relevant to our times I wish everyone would read it. We've heard a lot about #ownvoices and the need for it, but I don't think the urgency really clicked with me until I read this book. Once I got to the end and was able to digest this as a whole, I found myself wishing there was something like this for me as a teenager.

This made me think a lot about our current society, the connection and understanding I have with POC, but it also awakened this deep sadness within me. Why don't people see that racial comments are hurtful? Why do they see it as humorous? Has society normalized it as so? It's frustrating. Like really frustrating. Especially being a POC and deemed 'sensitive' when I bring up my concerns on this. I won't go into a further rant, but I do want to say that this is the kind of book that made me look inwards and outwards. For that, I can't recommend this enough. Pick up a copy if you haven't already.

Bookish Feels: This Savage Song by Vitoria Schwab

The Book: There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives. (from Goodreads)

My Feels: I finished this a while back, but I'm still dealing with fresh feels. What's amazing about Schwab is her ability to create such memorable characters. Combine that with beautiful prose, the thrilling pacing, and creepy monsters, and you get this amazing page-turning book.

My favorite part of this book is August's point of view. I loved his existential bits and his relationship with his sister, and his desire to do what's right. And then you have Kate who's tough on the exterior, but wants to be noticed by her dad. Beneath the thrilling pace and action scenes, there's a heart beating beneath this story, which for me, made it so enjoyable that I couldn't put it down. This is definitely one of those books you cozy up with when the rain is pouring and you have a flashlight in your hand, unable to sleep because you need to finish. As you can tell, I'm looking forward to the second installment!

 

Bookish Feels: Heartless by Marissa Meyer

The Book: Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king's marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.

Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.  (from Goodreads)

My Feels: Remember how in my last post I said Mic let me borrow her ARC of HEARTLESS? Well, here is the proof! I think I devoured this in about 2-3 days. What can I say, I'm obsessed with Meyer's work. This beauty comes out November 8th, and it's been one of the Fall reads I've been anticipating. This standalone completely differs from The Lunar Chronicles in terms of world building and societal norms. TLC gives you the future, but HEARTLESS brings us back into the past, at times reading like a YA Victorian novel--I absolutely adored it. Also Cath's character ARC was so perfectly aligned with the plot. And Cath and Jest! Be still, my heart!

What really shined for me was the characterization. Meyer put her own spin on these memorable characters that made reading this retelling so refreshing. Not to mention, Cath bakes! I don't know why, but I loved this side of her and all the similes/metaphors using food.

If you love Meyer as much as I do, you won't be disappointed picking this up. Make sure to get some yummy desserts as a reading companion while you gobble these words up!

Bookish Feels: Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers

The Book: When "Perfect" Parker Fadley starts drinking at school and failing her classes, all of St. Peter's High goes on alert. How has the cheerleading captain, girlfriend of the most popular guy in school, consummate teacher's pet, and future valedictorian fallen so far from grace?

Parker doesn't want to talk about it. She'd just like to be left alone, to disappear, to be ignored. But her parents have placed her on suicide watch and her conselors are demanding the truth. Worse, there's a nice guy falling in love with her and he's making her feel things again when she'd really rather not be feeling anything at all.

Nobody would have guessed she'd turn out like this. But nobody knows the truth.

Something horrible has happened, and it just might be her fault. (From Goodreads)

My Feels: So I've been in a total book slump, and decided to pick up this book by Courtney Summers because 1.) I love her raw, writing style, and 2.) she always leaves me with a book hangover. Why it took me so long to pick this up since I loved ALL THE RAGE and SOME GIRLS ARE is beyond me, but I'm glad it was there to break my reading slump.

Okay. So my feels. At first, I wasn't sure I was going to like Parker. She's bitchy and completely unlikeable, and if I couldn't understand why she was like that or empathize with her, I knew I wouldn't make it through the whole book. But Summers has this talent for bringing to life the characters on the page, that they all seem familiar and completely real and imperfect. And within a couple of chapters, I found myself starting to relate to Parker (not completely, but enough to get hooked).  

Perfection is something I dealt with constantly in high school. As a new student at a school where everyone knew each other since their diaper days, it was difficult for me to climb up the social ladder. It was only when things started to fall apart for me that I realized how stupid it all was and how miserable striving for perfection made me. That's what made this book so unflinchingly real, that I consumed it in one sitting (like all of Summers books).

If you aren't on the Summers bandwagon, I highly suggest you get on it pronto. You won't regret it. This one deals with the tough stuff: regret, identity, secrets, anxiety, suicide. There's no sugarcoating, and that's what I love about it.

Bookish Feels: Blood For Blood by Ryan Graudin

The Book: The action-packed, thrilling sequel to Ryan Graudin's Wolf by Wolf.

There would be blood.
Blood for blood.
Blood to pay.
An entire world of it.


For the resistance in 1950s Germany, the war may be over, but the fight has just begun.

Death camp survivor Yael, who has the power to skinshift, is on the run: the world has just seen her shoot and kill Hitler. But the truth of what happened is far more complicated, and its consequences are deadly. Yael and her unlikely comrades dive into enemy territory to try to turn the tide against the New Order, and there is no alternative but to see their mission through to the end, whatever the cost.

But dark secrets reveal dark truths, and one question hangs over them all: how far can you go for the ones you love?

This gripping, thought-provoking sequel to Wolf by Wolf will grab readers by the throat with its cinematic writing, fast-paced action, and relentless twists.  (from Goodreads)

My Feels: So I've been putting off writing this bookish feels because it means there's some finality to this series, and no amount of rereading it will undo the damage to my heart. Ugh. My heart.

Okay, so HUGE THANKS to Michella, who was kind enough to share her ARC with me. I'll try my best not to post any spoilers, so let me just start with some advice: grab a box of Kleenex and keep a pint of your favorite ice cream in the freezer so you have it ready to console you afterwards.

Stylistically, the sequel was different due to the three POVs instead of just Yael's. I think it amped the pace and intensity of the plot, but I missed the rhymic and poetic feel of the first book. Nonetheless, I thought the three POVs were executed perfectly and Luka's character arc was just so perfect. Ugh. SO PERFECT. His character really shined.

And then, a return of a character. *clamps mouth shut from uttering the name* YES! YES! YES! 

And then the passage about the stars slowly disappearing, but Luka looks up to a star-filled sky. That metaphor. Wow.

And then the fact that the plot kept twisting and turning.

The ending that made me want to punch a character seriously in the face.

Yael & Luka <3

Tattoos!

*weeps*

Okay, this bookish feels probably will not benefit you because you have no idea what I'm talking about, so I guess you'll just have to snag a copy of this heartbreaking beauty when it comes out November 1st. Okay? Promise? Okay good.

 

Bookish Feels: The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne

The Book: Kate Quinn’s mom died last year, leaving Kate parentless and reeling. So when the unexpected shows up in her living room, Kate must confront another reality she never thought possible—or thought of at all. Kate does have a father. He’s a powerful politician. And he’s running for U.S. President. Suddenly, Kate’s moving in with a family she never knew she had, joining a campaign in support of a man she hardly knows, and falling for a rebellious boy who may not have the purest motives. This is Kate’s new life. But who is Kate? When what she truly believes flies in the face of the campaign’s talking points, she must decide. Does she turn to the family she barely knows, the boy she knows but doesn’t necessarily trust, or face a third, even scarier option? (From Goodreads)

My Feels: I felt like this was a fun book to read. Again, this one comes recommended by Michella! The rollercoaster of emotions Kate goes through pulled at my heartstrings. I couldn't help but be sympathetic to her character and her plight. Getting pulled into the spotlight and trying to acclimate to a new family is dizzying for sure, and I thought Kate did it well. In addition to her, I thought the character arcs were excellent. I liked the changes that everyone went through. Like Meg, the stepmother who could have been really awful, but wasn't. The twins who were both different in their own ways. The book was a little long at times, but I think the pacing made up for it. If you like political dramas YA contemp style. This one's for you.

Bookish Feels: Please Don't Tell by Laura Tims

The Book: Joy killed Adam Gordon—at least, that’s what she thinks. The night of the party is hazy at best. But she knows what Adam did to her twin sister, Grace, and she knows he had to pay for it.

What Joy doesn’t expect is that someone else saw what happened. And one night a note is shoved through her open window, threatening Joy that all will be revealed. Now the anonymous blackmailer starts using Joy to expose the secrets of their placid hometown. And as the demands escalate, Joy must somehow uncover the blackmailer’s identity before Joy is forced to make a terrible choice.

In this darkly compelling narrative, debut author Laura Tims explores the complicated relationship between two sisters, and what one will do for the other. It’s a story that will keep readers turning pages and questioning their own sense of right and wrong. (From Goodreads)

My Feels: OMG. THIS BOOK. So dark, complicated, compelling, and twisty. Laura Tims is a debut author to watch out for.

A million thanks to my friend, and book blogger extraordinaire, Michella! She was kind enough to share her ARC with me despite us being on opposite coasts (she's the best, isn't she?).

If you like complicated stories, with interesting characters, and a side of tension. This is for you.

First, you have these two twins, Grace and Joy, who have a complicated sibling relationship seen through each of their POVs. The characters are just so raw and real, I found myself enraptured the whole time. Then throw in a blackmailer and you also get some mystery into the mix. Granted, I kind of knew who the blackmailer was, but that didn't detract the enjoyment I got from seeing the story unravel.

What I loved about this story were the layers. This is a book about sisters. About friendships. About rape. And also, revenge. Issues were woven into the story that elevated the piece as more than just a book. The characters (even the secondary ones) came to life (I love, love, love Grace's POV and Levi as a character). They, along with the plot, captivated me in such a way I couldn't do anything but finish the book. So my fair warning to you is to let yourself have a space of time where you can read this uninterrupted.

This book is so multi-dimensional. I love it. I can't wait to buy my copy on May 24th. It's just one of those books I know I will reread. Now, mark your calendars for the release day!