Review Roundup: Capt. Hook, Even in Paradise, and Love Letters to the Dead

It’s time for another Review Roundup! RR is a feature in which I briefly review books that didn’t inspire enough feedback for a full review. In this edition, I’ll be recapping Capt. Hook by J.V. Hart, Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot, and Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira.

Capt. Hook: The Adventures of a Notorious Youth by J.V. Hart

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I love how sinister Jas is. At the start, he reminded me of a Brony Friendzoni waiting to happen (“His position and stance were those of a skilled swordsman.” with a corresponding illustration totally made this worse), but he redeemed himself. Jas is so fearless, y’all. And while it was so cool to see Hook as a kid, I would have loved to have seen how he got to be so sinister and unafraid of being a villain. We are told more than shown, and this was disappointing.

I am so in love with the references to Peter Pan, such as the way Jas sees Neverland by squeezing his eyes too tightly. I hate action scenes, but I love a good friendship, and Jas/Jolly totally delivered on my BrOTP dreams. There are parts that were hard to understand, like the Wall Game and why there were so few consequences for the awful behavior of these students (?!). But it is all so worth it just for Ananova. I need a book series and movie adaptations all about her RIGHT NOW. She’s so fun and inspiring, even though her relationship with Jas was instalove. Still cute, and I still ship it.

I didn’t finish this book, but that’s not its fault. I had just gotten new books and it was my fourth Peter Pan themed book in a row. My biggest feeling after I put it down was “I really need to use the phrases ‘good/bad form’ and ‘topping swank’ more in my life. I gave this book four stars.

Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot

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One of the big reasons I picked up this book was the thought that it was based loosely on The Great Gatsby. It took me a while to get into it, and the events never really reminded me of TGG. It had amazing quotes, though.

“I felt like I could make out his individual fingerprints on my skin. Could you feel touch in your veins? As he held my wrist it seemed possible.”

“If I had to pinpoint one moment, pick an exact second when it happened, I would say it was that night – when Julia, Sebastian, and Cordelia stood side by side daring, just daring anyone to say anything to any of them – that I fell in love with the Buchanans.”

When I finished reading this book, I had one thought. It’s not based on the plot of Gatsby. It’s based on the emotions evoked in the reader.

I loved so much of this novel, but it was slow to suck me in. I recommend it for fans of Gatsby, Looking for Alaska, and Anna Godbersen. I gave this book four stars.

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

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Ugh. One of the most disappointing reads I’ve ever experienced. I’m pretty easily emotionally manipulated by books, and this one is about a girl who lost her sister. I’m pretty close to my sister, so I knew this would make me cry a lot. I was wrong. I felt pretty much nothing. It had gorgeous writing, but the characters fell flat. Unfortunately, the cover was the best part of the book. For a while, I tried to find ways to keep this on my shelf, but I couldn’t keep its space reserved when there are so many books out there that are so much better.

I gave this book three stars.

There’s another Review Roundup! Sound off in the comments: Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Do we agree or disagree on any points? Let me know!

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