ARC Review: Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

~ I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of this book on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review ~

I was really excited to read this book, as I’d heard a lot about it in the bookish blogger world online and felt it was going to be a perfectly romantic and fun read involving diverse characters and time travel!

Opposite of Always is about Jack, a boy in his last year of high school who has always felt average at best in everything he’s done. One night, he meets Kate and feels for the first time that she might be his chance for something much more than “almost”, something that’s everything. But then Kate dies and Jack is somehow sent back in time to the day they met. He relives their time together over and over, each time trying to figure out how to save Kate, his friends and himself.

I really like the premise of this book and for the most part, it delivered a comical and touching story. But I feel like time travel plots as a central arc are a really hard thing to get right and unfortunately with this book I didn’t always feel like it was. I struggled getting lost in the story at times and that was partly due to the repetitive nature of the narrative. That is not to say that Jack doesn’t do things differently each time he goes back to the past because he certainly does and each time is entertaining in its own way, but there were still certain key plot points that I just found myself being either bored with or frustrated by. It simply didn’t grab me as a story as much as I’d hoped. I finished the book because I wanted to know what happened in the end, but I didn’t always love the journey there. This meant that I couldn’t connect with Jack and Kate’s romance as much as I wanted to because the plot felt a little disjointed.

Another reason I struggled with reading this ARC is that it was poorly formatted for kindle. Though of course I appreciate receiving it for free and that it’s not the final copy, the lack of proper formatting didn’t help my general reading enjoyment.

Moving on from the negatives, there are things that were really strong in this novel that made it a good read. First of all, the characters are dynamic, genuine and hilarious. Jack is a fantastic main character, I really enjoyed his perspective and his overall journey throughout the book. Kate is both sassy and vulnerable, which is an interesting mix especially when you know she’s going to die. There are many scenes between the pair that are adorable and funny. Jack’s best friends Franny and Jillian are great additions to the story, though I found some of their roles in the plot frustrating and also got annoyed at the way they always told Jack how selfish he was, even though I kind of thought they were being selfish?

Also, a sidenote: do teenagers really say “man” and “baby” a lot? This is not exactly a good thing about the book in my opinion, but maybe it is realistic for a group of teens to all sound very similar? I’m not sure here, just putting that out there as a thought I have.

But moving on.

My favourite part of this book is how Justin A. Reynolds portrays the importance of love and time. The exploration of first love and the importance of never taking your time on this planet for granted is the main purpose and worldly lesson in this book. A very important theme and one that is relevant for every single person living in this world today. So, read this book just for the simple reason that it is a story about making the most of your time and spending it with the people you love. A lovely reminder in the form of a fun and sweet book that isn’t without its faults but is certainly worth reading.

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Are you planning on reading Opposite of Always and buying it when it comes out next year? Let me know what you think of my review/your own thoughts!

Jasmine @ Thesepaperwords

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ARC Review: Jilted by Lilah Suzanne

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~~ I received an ARC of Jilted on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review ~~

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I enjoyed Lilah Suzanne’s Jilted more than I expected. While I’m not a big reader of contemporary adult romance, I found this book an entertaining and fun read about romance, self love and relationships. It does have its faults, which I will get to in this review, but overall I found it an interesting and moving story.

The basic premise of Jilted is that when Link, a non-binary character, is left at the altar by their almost-wife Jamie, Carter is also dumped by his fiance Matt. Both in heartbroken Dumpedville and within the lively surroundings of New Orleans, Carter and Link meet and through their bond, they begin to repair their hearts and experience the possibility of new love. Of course, things are complicated and don’t make sense and it doesn’t all go to according to the plans in Carter’s head.

There are a few things I really loved about this book. Firstly, I loved Link and the fact that they are non-binary as I haven’t read many books with characters who are. They were so unique, sassy and vulnerable and I really enjoyed their arc throughout the novel. Secondly, Carter is a genuinely likeable, insecure and sweet character. It’s through his perspective that we read the whole novel and I really liked seeing how he grow throughout the story. His sibling relationship with his sister Paige was honestly one of the best things about this book. They are so hilarious and snarky together and I really enjoyed reading all of their scenes. Thirdly, I loved the messages about relationships and love in the book as well. There were some beautifully written moments, some of which involved references to The Princess Bride.

Now, onto Carter and Link. I did really like them together and I always enjoyed reading their scenes, but I sometimes felt like their romance was a little fast paced or that there just wasn’t enough slow burn for me. There was definitely a lot of pining and angst and I still always felt like they belonged together, but I wasn’t always convinced about how they really felt for each other. I don’t know if that has something to do with the sex scenes, as I personally don’t go for semi-graphic, smutty scenes. I think I wanted to feel a bit more of the love and it just didn’t always resonate with me.

Overall, I liked this book and would recommend it if you enjoy a modern romance story with great characters that’s also about finding and loving yourself as much the person you love. Jilted will be published on the 8th of this month, so grab yourself a copy!

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Until next time,

Jasmine @ Thesepaperwords

The ABC Book Challenge *F*

Since getting back to blogging over the last couple months, I’ve really wanted to add something new to my weekly posts. And lo and behold, I’ve been inspired by fellow blogger Soffi @A Book. A Thought. (Follow her!) Soffi’s ABC Book Challenge posts were so fun, I decided I just had to do my own! 😊 So, every week I’ll be posting my favourite, most memorable books and books from my TBR, moving from A-Z.

Previous ABC posts: A + B + C + D + E

(PS. Whoever came up with this challenge, I don’t know who you are but thank you!)

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*F*

Memorable Titles

Fahrenheit-451 is easily one of my favourite modern classics and one I read purely for pleasure and not to study during my degree (which makes it even better, tbh). It’s a clever and incredible book and I devoured it. Fangirl is still one of the best contemporary YA’s in recent years in my eyes. When’s your next book again, Rainbow Rowell? The Five People You Meet In Heaven is one of the first books my fiance recommended for me to read and it will always hold a special place in my heart because of that. Flipped is easily one of the best middle-grade coming-of-age/love stories I’ve ever read. The film is also adorable!

To Be Read

Speaking of when new books will come out, I am nearly biting my fingers off in anticipation for Jandy Nelson’s elusive Fall Boys and Dizzy in Paradise. I mean. The waiting is painful and I’m afraid it won’t live up to my expectations when I finally get to read it! Fans of the Impossible Life is a book that’s been on my radar for so long and though it involves a love triangle, I usually avoid stories with that involved so this time I think I can cope :P. The Female of the Species sounds baddass and I just love stories involving feminist issues and rape culture! So excited about this one. Famous in a Small Town is another book I can’t wait to read (hello it’s Emma Mills!) and also the cover is so pretty 😍. A great selection of TBRs for F books, I think!

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That’s it for my ABC Challenge this week! What do you think?

I’m off on a road trip in the Netherlands and Belgium for a few weeks tomorrow, so may not be posting on my blog for a bit, but you never know!

Until next time,

Jasmine @ Thesepaperwords

Top Five Wednesday: Cosplay Characters

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Whoops I’m a little bit late with this one! Actually, I haven’t taken part in any of the Halloween-themed t5ws the last couple weeks because Halloween isn’t really my thing (sorry!) It’s not as big in either Australia or the UK as it is in America. But anyway. I liked this weeks topic though, because even if I don’t/wouldn’t get dressed up for Halloween, it would be fun to cosplay or go out there on a costume for a birthday party, etc.

So, here are the five characters I’d cosplay as 😀

 

1.

Luna Lovegood 

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2.

Samwise Gamgee 

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3.

Sabriel 

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4.

Kady Grant

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5.

El-Ahrairah

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T5W was created by Lainey @gingerreadslainey, and is now hosted by Sam @ThoughtsOnTomes. If you want to join, go to the Goodreads group by clicking here.

The ABC Book Challenge *E*

My Post (5)

Since getting back to blogging over the last couple months, I’ve really wanted to add something new to my weekly posts. And lo and behold, I’ve been inspired by fellow blogger Soffi @A Book. A Thought.  (Follow her!) Soffi’s ABC Book Challenge posts were so fun, I decided I just had to do my own! 😊  So, every week I’ll be posting my favourite, most memorable books and books from my TBR, moving from A-Z.

Previous ABC posts: A + B + C + D

(PS. Whoever came up with this challenge, I don’t know who you are but thank you!)

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*E*

Memorable Titles 

 

You might have already noticed my admiration of Adrian Tchaikovsky, and this isn’t the first time his books have made an appearance in my ABC Book Challenge, nor will it be the last. His trilogy Echoes of the Fall is a tremendous, breathtaking fantasy that I urge every one of you to read. Please do, you will be truly  taken away with his characters and world building. The two books staring Eleanor’s, Eleanor & Park and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine are memorable in completely different ways. The first is one of my favourite all-time YA contemporaries when I really started getting into them back in 2012 and the second is one of the few adult fiction books I’ve read recently and it truly surprised me in how good it was. Emergency Contact is definitely one of my favourite reads this year, it has such an original and snarky voice and I fell in love with the gritty characters and how their relationship developed over the course of the book. Lastly, Eliza and Her Monsters, which is actually my favourite of these five E books. It was incredible ❤❤❤. You need to read it if you haven’t already ASAP!!!

 

To Be Read

Three books I have wanted to read for quite a long time here! I have never been able to get my hands on a copy of Every Last Word, which does make me pretty sad because I’ve heard so many great things about it and it truly sounds incredible. I’ve wanted to read Everything Is Illuminated ever since seeing the film and because I feel like it would be a great choice to get me out of my YA Contemporary bubble for a bit. I am actually desperate to read any of Nina LaCour’s books, she sounds like a fascinating writer and I hope I’ll finally get to read Everything Leads To You and it is as good as I am imagining 🙂

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That’s it from me this week. Please let me know what you think and tell me what books you would’ve chosen!

See you soon,

Jasmine @ Thesepaperwords

Book Review: What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

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Right, so. Take a deep breath, Jasmine. Breathe.

I finished this book, oh I don’t know, an hour ago after reading it all day (an awesome day, by the way) and just wanted to say first of all: Thank you Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, I have been waiting for this for so long and you did not disappoint. Your amazing collaboration created a true gem of story and a group of characters I really, super madly wish I knew in real life.

Before I say anything else, this review is SPOILER FREE. It’s funny, I write reviews for books I love but I normally only read book reviews AFTER I’ve read the book the reviews talking about. Well, that was a long-winded sentence. Anyway, I truly dislike accidentally getting spoilers and simply love diving into a book without knowing much more than the basic premise and maybe the names of the main characters. I like to be as surprised and therefore as moved as possible by the story without having ideas or theories in my head beforehand. Stories are so much better that way.

With that in mind, here is what you really need to know about What If It’s Us.

  1. It’s a book that heals. It’s about love, it’s about heartbreak and it’s damn relevant to anyone who has ever experienced love that didn’t work out and/or found a love that did.
  2. It’s a book that has so many Harry Potter references in it I pretty much died every time. It has a lot of other awesome nerdy pop culture references in it, too.
  3. It’s a book that will make you laugh. Even if you don’t have a sense of humour, I promise you, you will laugh.
  4. It’s a book that might make you tear up or cry or sob. Whatever is your go to for too many feelings.
  5. It’s a book about the strength of friendship and damn, does it have some wonderful characters in it that make up those friendship circles.
  6. It’s a book that has awesome, cool parents in it, too.
  7. It’s a book that shines with two amazing main characters. I know you will love Arthur and Ben as much as I and anyone else who has read this book does!
  8. It’s a book for everyone.
  9. It’s true and honest and remarkable.
  10. It’s a book you should be reading right now!

And that’s all I will say. Back to my squealing and my crossing fingers for a sequel and a brilliant film adaptation!

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Let me know if you’ve read What If It’s Us or plan to! I would love to chat more about it with you!

Until next time,

Jasmine @ Thesepaperwords

The ABC Book Challenge *D*

My Post (5)

Since getting back to blogging over the last couple months, I’ve really wanted to add something new to my weekly posts. And lo and behold, I’ve been inspired by fellow blogger Soffi @A Book. A Thought. (Follow her!) Soffi’s ABC Book Challenge posts were so fun, I decided I just had to do my own! 😊 So, every week I’ll be posting my favourite, most memorable books and books from my TBR, moving from A-Z.

Previous ABC posts: A + B + C

(PS. Whoever came up with this challenge, I don’t know who you are but thank you!)

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*D*

Memorable Titles

It’s pretty fitting, actually, that I couldn’t think of any other memorable books I’ve read starting with D, because Stephen King’s The Dark Tower is on a league of its own. It’s an absolutely phenomenal series and if you haven’t read it, take a deep breath and dig in! King is magnificent here (he usually is), the world he built and the characters unforgettable, awe-inspiring and often impossible to comprehend – in terms of how ON EARTH he imagined it all AND got it down on paper in such an gob-smacking way. Just wow. This is a series in need of countless re-reads, discussions and fangirling. Seriously. READ IT PLEASE.

To Be Read

Here we are, three amazing sounding YA Contemporaries with male perspectives I can’t wait to read and a YA fantasy series that’s been on my radar for ages! The Dangerous Art of Blending In kind of reminds me of Aristotle and Dante in summary, which is the exact opposite of being put off, i.e it sounds amazing! And of course it will have its own unique style and story. Darius The Great Is Not Okay first peaked my curiosity because of the cover and when I read the blurb I was doubly excited about the prospect of reading a story set in Iran about a pretty nerdy sounding guy and a new friendship :D. I am super excited to read Dear Martin, because I know it will pack an important punch about so many important issues, plus I’ve only heard great things about Nic Stone. And then there’s the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series, one I’ve read nothing but raving reviews about from fellow bloggers and it really excited me because it’s actually not like anything else I’m reading at the moment. Wow, can I possibly read all of these at once please?