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“Luckiest Girl Alive” by Jessica Knoll

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Book Riot recommended this novel via their YouTube channel several months ago and I ended up picking up my copy at the airport on the way to Cancún. I finished it within the week I spent on vacation last Thanksgiving with my parents. Yes, even while in Cancún, the novel grabbed my attention enough for me to make time to find out how it ends.

Where do I begin? I don’t want to say, “it’s sooooooo good,” and sound so basic, if you will, for lack of a better word, but that is one way to describe it. Now I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before and I haven’t searched my own blog to check, but thrillers are not my favorite thing to read or watch. Needless to say, I made an exception for this book. That black rose on the cover intrigued me, to say the least, in a way that I was drawn to the idea that pretty things like pretty girls have not just a layer of dark secrets, but a layer of ugly. This layer is hidden underneath, waiting to be pulled back. So you see, I had to turn the pages to find what I was looking for, especially when the back cover claimed this girl had the perfect life.

Spoiler alert: she did not. But she does break it down to you slowly what happened in her past, using flashbacks and jumping back and forth between the past and the present. When she gets to the “aha!” moment, you feel so bad for what happened to her, her secret layer, you wish no girl has to ever go through what she went through as a teen and you wonder if a girl like her is really lucky to be alive. But then again, if she had not survived, there’d be no girls out there who could lend a voice to all the other girls out there who experienced the same kind of horror.

Because you see, this book may have been fiction, and I have never met the author or was present in her life when she was younger, but there is some raw truth in here that if you have not gone through what she has gone through you would want to listen and reach out.

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“The Colony” by Fred Colton

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Watch out for Fred Colton. This guy is a beast in the thriller world of words and takes Word Hustler to a whole new level with his debut novel, The Colony. As someone who hasn’t read many thrillers, I found this one to have a “Mission Impossible” and “007” vibe that brings the big screen onto the page. I want to be best friends with some of these people, ones who run super fast in space and get face transplants to turn into an exact copy of another person and run around on the moon and deceive the government and…trust me, you just have to read the book to find out if America or China wins when it comes to colonizing up there.

Not going to lie. There are a lot of characters and a lot going on that sometimes makes it hard to keep track of everything, but this may just be a personal thing for me as well as I tend to have trouble keeping up with the haps with books with many characters. This is still kudos to Colton, though, as he seems knowledgeable about the technology, the space terms, and how politics and the government would run such a hypothetical global future so boy did his research for sure.

I could see Colton took aspects of his love of running in his real life into this story. I enjoyed the backstory about the brothers, Tom and Kyle, and the surprise at the end when it all comes together, truly a mesh of imagination, creativity, and reality at its best.

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“Fangirl” thoughts

It’s been a minute since I last made a YouTube video, but I didn’t want to leave out my third and last BTR review from my first set. I’m not sure if I’m going to make this into a tradition of some sort and keep making BTR videos or I’m just going to review books as I read them. We shall see. But as usual, I stuck to my crazy writer talking self and just let my raw ramble loose.

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a taste of steampunk

Some of you may already be familiar with steampunk. That’s awesome! I recently finished reading my first novel set in a steampunk world. I really enjoyed myself with this adventure story about a 16-year-old professional thief. I made a video of my thoughts and like I promised, I’m going to update you all on my progress at making videos. Not that long ago I figured out how to add music to my videos. This one I was able to add music that I felt gave off a steampunkish vibe. The only problem is, it ended up being a little bit louder than me talking, so I apologize if it’s a little hard to hear me. 😦 If you have trouble hearing, I did leave a link in the video to my written book review. See for yourself:

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Christmas/New Year’s read: “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han

p. 192 – “‘No. I like Tommy. It’s not that. It’s scary when it’s real. When it’s not just thinking about a person, but, like, having a real live person in front of you, with like, expectations. And wants.’ I finally look at Peter, and I’m surprised by how hard he’s paying attention; his eyes are intent and focused on me like he’s actually interested in what I’m saying. ‘Even when I liked a boy so much, loved him even, I would always rather be with my sisters, because that’s where I belong.'”

This is just one of the many passages that I liked in the book. Jenny Han knows the good girl well. She has captured the fear of relationships precisely here. I’d like to venture and say that despite the fact that Lara Jean is in her teens, some people struggle with this well into adulthood.

Well, without further ado, here is what I thought of her book:

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Squirrel!

I think I ended up more excited about the cover design of A Little Something Different than the actual story. Oops! Nah, the novel is a fast, light read. How can you turn down anything that includes POVs from a bench and a squirrel? Some people are going to wonder why there’s a bench in this story, but I gave it some thought and I think we need the bench in the story because it brings Lea and Gabe together and allows them to talk to the same squirrel. Go awkward Chinese American girls! Woot!

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TFIOS

If you’ve been following my YouTube journey, you know that I’ve been doing mostly bookish posts. You also know that I’m not trying to be a professional filmmaker or anything. I just want another way to be creative and have fun with a project. I am about to post my next video for you guys and it is another book review. I do realize it is kind of long, but I also had a lot to say about “The Fault In Our Stars.” I tested out new lighting and background and it still came out a little crooked, but at least I talk more confidently in this one. I still ramble, but I tried to give this one a theme. I’ve now learned how to create a thumbnail for a video, but I haven’t added any special effects or anything. Can’t wait to try! We’ll see. I’m going to make it my goal to make my videos a lot shorter and less rambly (is that a word?). OK, ready now? Dun, dun, dun…