loveforwords's reviews
150 reviews

The Heart Principle, by Helen Hoang

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emotional funny informative inspiring lighthearted relaxing medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.25

When I need to think about something else than my life and personal problems, Helen Hoang delivers. Her books fill me with peace and happiness, and I learn so much from them in little ways.

As usual, I loved the cast. The main characters are so sweet, but not too much as to not feel realistic. (Also, series that focus on different characters from a family are one of my favorite "tropes" (it's not a trope but I don't know how to qualify it, bear with me).)

The story is lovely, and I was rooting for the couple all along. I like how they don't take 2k pages to get together. It's a romance book, we know from the start they're going to have a relationship, and we don't have to wait through a painful slowburn to see them coming together. Thank you Helen Hoang.

(The reason why this book is written in first person is because the female lead is the character Helen Hoang relates to the most, and for some reason that made me all "awww" and "oohhh".)
The Wild Ones, by Nafiza Azad

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adventurous emotional inspiring sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.75

Oh... mygosh.

I had been yearning to read this book since I first saw the cover and synopsis last year and boi did I drop everything to read it as soon as I got it.

We stan the queens. Paheli and Valentina own my heart. All the Wild Ones and Taraana and Lalie do too, but Paheli and Valentina could ask me to give up my favorite books and I would.

The. writing. is. so. beautiful. It's even more magical than the Between.

I wasn't 100% invested in the plot, but give me magical doors and for some reason I forget everything.

The girls' struggle and pain aren't hidden or sugarcoated, they're stated on the page and visible through their actions and words, and Nafiza Azad does it in a really powerful way, allowing them to reclaim their life and their body.

Catch me recommending this book until my last breath.
The Secret History, by Donna Tartt

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dark sad tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.75

I finally read it.

It was intriguing and captivating, but it could also have been shorter.

It felt a bit pretentious in the languid way that some classics do, and it's not going to bring any reader any joy. It's heavily sad in tone and plot. The characters are complex but royally messed up.

The end honestly surprised me.

Almost 4 stars then? It was entertaining, and the writing is beautiful. It's one of the only books that I've kept reading even though I wasn't rooting for any characters.

I guess it's one of those "must read". Now I can finally say I've read it.
The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig

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adventurous emotional inspiring reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.5

I loved the concept of this book. Is it a bit cliche? Yes. Is it a bit corny? Yes. But *insert shrug emoji*. It's nice to read about evidently motivational stuff. And even nicer since it involves parallel universes and travelling through books.

The ending was obvious (the plot part at least, not so much the details) throughout the book, but it was still nice to get there.

Some characters are adorable and I would totally die for them (i.e. Ash and Molly, Mrs. Elm).

The writing isn't exceptional. It can get to be a little cringe-y. But it's easy to look past it because the story moves along quite fast.

All in all, I think it was a case of the right book at the right time. I might have been less onboard with it if I'd read it in another mood, but it was okay.

Bonus points: short chapters! Please read it for the short chapters if anything.

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Not My Problem, by Ciara Smyth

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funny inspiring lighthearted slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.5

Fairest Son, by H.S.J. Williams

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adventurous emotional fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.75

I read Fairest Son in a couple of hours when I was sick and sad, so I'm really grateful for the company.

It's predictable but quite sweet. Even if I don't like any love that develops too fast, I don't really mind this one because the book was really short. Idris is such a sweetheart.

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A Witch in Time, by Constance Sayers

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dark emotional mysterious sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.75

Heartstopper, Volume One, by Alice Oseman

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emotional funny lighthearted relaxing fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0

To all the people who wonder what the point of the story is because it's too sweet and "gooey". That's the point. Hearstopper's target audience 100% is AO3 fluff fans/writers.

(PS: I was reading this with the Luca/chiquitita sound in the background, 11/10 would recommend)
Blackout, by Angie Thomas, Dhonielle Clayton, Ashley Woodfolk, Nic Stone, Nicola Yoon, Tiffany D. Jackson

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emotional hopeful reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

Well that was sweet.

I thought it was going to be an anthology, but it's not quite? Most stories are one-chapter stories, and they are all somehow connected (e.g. by two characters who know each other, or who go to the same school), then there's one story divided into chapter that each separate two other stories. It's a nice format.

My favourite stories were Mask Off by Nic Stone, Seymour and Grace by Nicola Yoon and Made to Fit by Ashley Woodfolk (see this review for summaries). I've loved Nic Stone's writing, and I'll definitely check out her novels.

I don't think I can pinpoint what I liked about the book exactly, it's more of a general vibe. It reminded me of Meet Cute , which also features work by Dhonielle Clayton and Nicola Yoon.
S.T.A.G.S, by M.A. Bennett

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adventurous dark mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Loveable characters? No

2.0

This is a direct consequence of my obsession with Dark Academia from two months ago. It might have hit differently if I'd read it then.

2 of the things that made me rate it 2 stars:

- The rushed conclusion. SOOOO much happens in the last 20 pages that could have easily taken 100 more. The vibe is the same as when a kid peacefully sits on the seashore and a wave crashes on them, and every time they sit up and try to suck some air in, another wave hits them square in the face.

- It quickly went from YA to middle-grade-ish? The characters' behaviour, the writing style, and the dynamics. And the romance *ugh*.

- The main character is such a moron. And connecting with anyone from the cast is so hard.