REVIEW: The Fountains of Silence – Ruta Sepetys

43220998._SY475_Title: The Fountains of Silence
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Rating: ★★★★

The Fountains of Silence is a beautiful story about a period of history that I was wholly unfamiliar with prior to reading this. This is my first book by Ruta Sepetys and I can see where all of her high praise comes from. The Fountains of Silence blew me away with it’s gorgeous writing, compelling characters, and thought-provoking story.

The Fountains of Silence is set in Spain 1957 following the end of the Spanish Civil War. This was not a portion of history that I had been familiar with and so it was very eye-opening. Ruta Sepetys did a fantastic job weaving elements of a fictional story with real aspects of history. I was very easily captivated by all of the different plot lines and history lessons.

One of the things about this book I liked the most was the varying points of views. It was especially poignant comparing Daniel’s views as an American tourist to those that were experiencing the effects of Franco’s fascism, such as Ana and Rafa. I think this difference really made point of how things really were in Spain during that time period and how easily the hardships were concealed to the rest of the world.

The Fountains of Silence is a story perfect for fans of historical fiction of any age. The writing was beautiful, the characters were easy to fall in love with, and the story was very moving. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a lovely book to fall into.

Contemporary Romances That Had Me Swooning This Summer

Hello everyone! I haven’t been as active the past few weeks. Unfortunately, I’ve been feeling very overwhelmed with classes and clinicals and work that I haven’t felt up to reading or blogging lately. One of my favorite genres to read in the summer is contemporary romance, and now that summer is officially over, I thought it’d be the perfect time to wrap up my favorites!


THE UNHONEYMOONERS

42201431No one writes contemporary romances quite like the amazing duo of Christina Lauren. As soon as I read the synopsis, I knew I had to read this. Two enemies pretending to be in love while on vacation? Heck yes. The Unhoneymooners checked all of my favorite things: a quirky, relatable heroine, witty banter, scenes that make me laugh out loud, and a swoon-worthy love interest. This was super lighthearted and fun and made for the perfect summer read!


THE FRIEND ZONE

42785825The Friend Zone was a bit of a rocky start, but I’m glad I stuck with it because I ended up really enjoying it! While it definitely fits the fluffy, flirty contemporary romance mold for a summer book, it also contains an unexpected emotional complexity that really gave the story added character. I’m not a fan of the male lead in this one, however, I liked the protagonist, Kristen. Her story is very moving and it’s hard not to feel for her throughout the book.


FIX HER UP

39854434This book was not only lighthearted and funny, but also hot as hell. Fix Her Up is another contemporary romance featuring the tried-and-true trope of fake dating. The way the relationship unfolds from genuine friendship to something more between Georgie and Travis was amazing. Don’t let the charming cover be deceiving: some of the scenes in here were extremely steamy! This book is perfect for sexy, lighthearted summer read!


ONE THE CORNER OF HATE AND LOVE

42587433For anyone who enjoys a slow-burn romance, childhood friends-to-lovers, and a healthy dose of angst, then I highly recommend On the Corner of Hate and Love. This book delivered everything I wanted in a summer book. It was fun, witty, and charmingly romantic. The first kiss between Emma and Cooper gave me butterflies, and the major scene between them later in the book had me honest-to-God swooning.


HOW TO HACK A HEARTBREAK

41887423This book is absolutely perfect for those out there (including myself) sick and tired modern dating in a digital age. Honestly, How to Hack a Heartbreak was so relatable. Melanie was such an intelligent, charming character and it’s impossible not to root for her to find love and a great guy in a world full of swiping left or right. The book sheds light on the ups and downs of dating apps in a funny, cheerful story perfect for summer.


NO JUDGEMENTS

43386668No Judgements was the perfect mixture of charming, romantic, and light-heartedness for a summer read. The romance between Bree and Drew was excellently written. The obvious chemistry and tension was really fun to read, and the slow-build between them was very believable. The story was really heart-warming and romantic and the perfect contemporary romance for summertime!

REVIEW: No Judgements – Meg Cabot (ARC)

43386668Title: No Judgements
Author: Meg Cabot
Rating: ★★★★

ARC received through #booksfortrade on Twitter.

Meg Cabot is a staple of my reading experience growing up. The Mediator series continues to be one of my favorite sets of books ever, and so I was really excited to see she was writing a new series of contemporary romances! No Judgements was the perfect mixture of charming, romantic, and light-heartedness for a summer beach read.

The thing that reeled me in the most about No Judgements was how relatable I found both the story and Bree! We share the same nickname so that was a unique aspect that I haven’t read before and definitely added to my liking. And as someone born in Florida–and who spends a good deal of vacation time down there these days–I also really loved the Key West setting!

The romance between Bree and Drew was really well written. The obvious chemistry and slow-build tension was fun to read, and the way their relationship was built was very believable. Bree and Drew are both animal lovers and it was great to see them work together to help the pets left behind by their owners during the hurricane.

No Judgements was a heart-warming, romantic story perfect for a summer read! I had a lot of fun reading this and I look forward to more stories from Meg Cabot in this series.

REVIEW: How to Hack a Heartbreak – Kristin Rockaway

41887423Title: How to Hack a Heartbreak
Author: Kristin Rockaway
Rating: ★★★½

“And the way things were going, I’d likely be single and debt-ridden for the rest of my life.”

There’s nothing more enjoyable than reading a fun rom-com in the summer! How to Hack a Heartbreak is the perfect book for those everyone out there (including myself) that is sick and tired of the trials of modern dating in a digital world.

When I read the synopsis of this book, I knew I had to read it. Similar to myself, our protagonist, Melanie, is completely fed-up with dating apps. After her latest fiasco, she decides to secretly develop her own app to weed out the men taking advantage of online dating. She not only has to balance the unexpected popularity of her new app, but as the only female employee at her tech job, she also has to deal with incompetent jerks that continually belittle her knowledge. 

Everything about Mel and her story was so relatable! It’s hard to not find enjoyment in her growth as a character, and it’s impossible not to root for her in her journey to find love in a world full of swiping left or right. How to Hack a Heartbreak sheds light on the trials and tribulations of modern dating in a funny, light-hearted way that made this the perfect book for summer.

REVIEW: The Dragon Republic – R. F. Kuang (ARC)

41118857Title: The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2)
Author: R. F. Kuang
Rating: ★★★★★

ARC provided by the publisher through Edelweiss.

This review took me forever to write, because I couldn’t quite put into words the perfection of this book. There is no second book syndrome here, and no need to worry that it won’t live up to the hype: The Dragon Republic shines just as bright – if not more – than The Poppy War. Once again, R. F. Kuang has written a masterful fantasy story. 

Grimdark fantasies can be difficult to get through, but R. F. Kuang does an excellent job blending the darker aspects of the novel with lighter elements and some humorous dialogue. There’s a lot more political maneuvering happening in this book, as well as the consequences of actions taken in The Poppy War begin to make an appearance.

I think I enjoyed The Dragon Republic immensely more than The Poppy War for one major reason: the characters. New characters are introduced in this book that are essential to the story, such as The Dragon Warlord (Nezha’s father). I really enjoyed the complexity of his character and found myself easily understanding Rin’s reasoning for supporting him. Along with new faces, a couple of my favorite characters return from The Poppy War: Kitay and Nezha (!!!). The three of them are together for a good chunk of the book, it was amazing to watch Rin’s relationships with each of them deepen and grow. They really take center stage in this book, which I think is why I loved the book so much. Also, I don’t want to get too spoilery, but R. F. Kuang really gave me the fuel for my ship and my shipper heart was so thankful. ❤️

“Fire and water looked so lovely together. It was a pity they destroyed each other by nature.”

My original review was much different than this, because R. F. Kuang pulls a plot twist out of nowhere and nearly destroyed my will to live. The entire book is action-packed and fast-paced, but the tension really builds during the last few chapters with an ending that is going to sucker punch you in the face. Holy shit. I have no idea what to expect in the next book, but it is riding at the top of my list for most anticipated releases for next year. I’m going to spend my wait obsessively thinking about Rin/Nezha and crying into the void.

The Dragon Republic gave me a serious book hangover. Similar to The Poppy War, this stellar sequel is full of non-stop action, amazing morally-complex characters, political intrigue, and worldbuilding unlike any other. The world is not ready for this book.