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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Review Roundup: The Little Prince, Elephant’s Graveyard

RR 1.22.16

Welcome to another Review Roundup! This is where I talk about books that I didn’t have enough to say to justify an entire review. This time, we’ll be talking about The Little Prince, Elephant’s Graveyard, and The Infinite Moment of Us.

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This is one of those books that you’re surprised you’ve never read it because it seems everyone else has. I really enjoyed it, and the narrative reminded me of A.A. Milne in that it sounded like an adult’s inner child was speaking. This was a really charming yet heartbreaking book, and I can tell it’s going to be one I start collecting. I don’t want to say too much because I think it’s a story you need to read without much background. Five stars!

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This was read to knock of ‘a play’ and ‘recommended by a friend’ on my reading challenge last year. It’s based on a true story, of the town that hanged an elephant in 1916. This was absolutely chilling, and I really want to see a production of it. I tore through this script and no matter how much research I do on the story, I still have a hard time believing it really happened. Five stars for this play.

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I got this book at NTTBF last year and was really excited about it. But it was one of those books that I had an immediate visceral reaction to, and really questioned it after the last page was turned. I related pretty heavily to the emotions felt by the characters, but not all of the situations. It was not feminist by any standard, and Lauren Myracle really struggle with that. She also heavily romanticized condom-less sex, which makes me really mad since she’s a YA author! She knows teens will read this and will get ideas from it. Ugh. I reallllly hated Starrla, and the side-characters could have been fleshed way out. But I don’t really expect great quality from Myracle? I gave it three stars.

Sound off: Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts on them? What would you recommend to fans of these books? Let me know!

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Review Roundup: Perfect Couple, My Life Undecided, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, 17 First Kisses, and Melt

RR 2.28.14

Since I’m way behind on my book reviews, I decided to start a feature for books I need to review but don’t have enough to say to qualify for a full post. Welcome to the first review round up!

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Perfect Couple (The Superlatives #2) by Jennifer Echols

I love love LOVED Biggest Flirts, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. It was breezy, fun, light, and perfect. If you need a beach book or something to pick you back up after a heavy read, This is a great book for that! 5 stars.

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My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody

Really cute book! I found myself yelling at the main character because she seriously makes the WORST decisions, but that’s the whole reason this book is happening. It was interesting to think about the tagline: Would I put my fate in the hands of blog readers? Probably not. But if I did, what would happen? 4 stars.

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

I thought this book was going to have a way different format, but I really like how Jenny Han incorporated the letters into the story. It was much more organic and less of a writing gimmick. I am so ready for the sequel! Plus, I don’t think I could ask for a prettier book to grace my shelves. 5 stars!

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17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen

I expected to hate this book, because I read it for the ‘Book with Bad Reviews’ on my reading challenge. But maybe the reviews I read were for ARCs, because a lot of the problems they had with the story were either way smaller than said, or gone entirely. I think the author could have done so so much more with the plot, and there was a world of psychology left untouched in the abusive relationship story, so I’m iffy on it. 3 stars.

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Melt by Selene Castrovilla

This was a pretty good book, and I loved the alternating writing styles: Dorothy in her prose, and Joey with his free verse. It was gorgeous to read, but definitely had a bad case of the instalove. Also, there were way too few ties to the Wizard of Oz aside from Dorothy’s name to earn the cover and everything.

Selene Castrovilla really delved into the mind of an abused teen trying to forget his problems and save those he cares about. I would like to see what comes next from her.

Thanks for reading the first Review Roundup! Let me know in the comments: Have you read any of these? Are you going to look for them? What are your thoughts?

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