Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen
Format: eBook
Page Count: 352
Synopsis: Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.

No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.

But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes? 

Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.
Review: I'd heard lots of great things about this book before going into it, so I was excited. And at first, I really enjoyed this book. It had a lot of things going for it--humor, a relatable protagonist, easy-to-read prose. But unfortunately, things went downhill from there.

   Overall, I felt this book tried too hard. It tried to be meaningful, tried to be moving, tried to be one of those life-changing, turn-your-perspective-upside-down, walk-away-a-better-person novels. And ultimately, it failed. Instead, it came across as a transparent, sub-par imitation of a John Green novel.

   I'll mention the good things first. Ezra Faulkner. He's our main character, the golden boy turned outcast. I liked him. I thought I wouldn't, but I found him surprisingly relatable and likable. He's funny and pretty genuine. I also liked the humor of this book. The dialogue is really witty and dry. There are also many pop culture references littered throughout the novel, which I enjoyed. Also, I really loved the secondary characters, particularly Toby and Phoebe. Toby was Ezra's best friend when they were younger, but Ezra ditched him when he became popular. Toby was hilarious and such a good friend! I also loved Phoebe, a girl in Toby's clique. She's gutsy, animated, and all-around adorable.

   But then, you enter Cassidy Thorpe, Ezra's love interest, and all the good things suddenly become dull and negligible. You see, Cassidy Thorpe is a bit of a Manic Pixie Dream Girl--you know the type: strange, adventurous, there to suddenly change moody boy's life. That's her. And while I'm usually fine with MPDGs, I hated her. She was just about the most transparent and obnoxious character ever. She was so typical. She liked to go on adventures and wear vintage dresses and think of life in a "new" way and weave flower crowns--basically the exact same as any other girl who is meant to be depicted as "different." But she wasn't. The author desperately tried to make Cassidy into some kind of mysterious, exciting girl, but failed. Cassidy was over-the-top dramatic and thought she was much more charming than she was.

   As mentioned before, the book was too ambitious for itself. I didn't buy into anything the author wanted me to. It wasn't emotional or meaningful and it certainly didn't make me see people/the world differently. Cassidy's last scene where she begs to be "misremembered" was so unspeakably pathetic. It hit me with full force then that I wasn't absorbing anything beautiful from this book. It only fanned the flames of my irritation.

   This book had so much potential, it really did. But the character that Cassidy Thorpe turned out to be completely ruined its chances of being an enjoyable book for me. Looking back on it, there were great things about this book: I loved the writing, the humor, and some of the other characters. But that was all eclipsed by Cassidy.

   I wanted to love this book a lot more than I did.

   2.5 keys.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Champion by Marie Lu

Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Format: eBook
Page Count: 274
Synopsis: He is a Legend.

She is a Prodigy.

Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps-Elect, while Day has been assigned a high-level military position. 
But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them: just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything. 
With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

Review: I wish all trilogies were like this one. Marie Lu has crafted an incredible trilogy that only improved with each book. Champion is undoubtedly my favorite of this trilogy. The plot raced along at a breakneck pace, the characters were developed and exciting, and the conclusion was wrapped up well.

   My favorite character of the trilogy has always been June, and she still remains my favorite. She is so intelligent, yet has hints of vulnerability. I love her loyalty, her fierceness, and the way she reacts to everything that's thrown at her. I also love Day, too. Day's loyalty lies with his family above all else, which I respect. Sometimes, I found myself frustrated with Day, but overall, he was a remarkable character.

   The romance between June and Day in this book ripped my heart to shreds, honestly. The insurmountable crack between them due to June's actions before she truly knew him was so heartbreaking. There's nothing worse seeing two people who love each other, but also hurt each other. The angst, the drama, the misunderstandings... it tore my heart! I love the two of them together too much to accept anything else.

   Marie Lu definitely knew where she was going with this conclusion. The plot was always exciting and fresh. Every scene was absorbing, every decision thrilling. It was action-packed and suspenseful and emotional. It was everything I want the last book in a trilogy to be.

   Champion is a beautiful conclusion to a thrilling trilogy--undeniably one of the best conclusions I've read. I'd recommend this trilogy to everyone and anyone, as its breathtaking conclusion has confirmed this trilogy to be among one of my favorites.

   5 keys.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Fire with Fire by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Publication Date: August 13, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Format: ARC
Page Count: 528
Synopsis: Lillia, Kat, and Mary had the perfect plan. Work together in secret to take down the people who wronged them. But things didn’t exactly go the way they’d hoped at the Homecoming Dance.

Not even close.

For now, it looks like they got away with it. All they have to do is move on and pick up the pieces, forget there ever was a pact. But it’s not easy, not when Reeve is still a total jerk and Rennie’s meaner than she ever was before.

And then there’s sweet little Mary…she knows there’s something seriously wrong with her. If she can’t control her anger, she’s sure that someone will get hurt even worse than Reeve was. Mary understands now that it’s not just that Reeve bullied her—it’s that he made her love him.

Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, burn for a burn. A broken heart for a broken heart. The girls are up to the task. They’ll make Reeve fall in love with Lillia and then they will crush him. It’s the only way he’ll learn.

It seems once a fire is lit, the only thing you can do is let it burn...
Review: I read Burn for Burn last year and enjoyed it. I think I recall comparing it to potato chips: addicting, but not all that satisfying. It was an entertaining read, but only that. Fire with Fire was a lot different. If the series continues improving like this, I cannot wait for the next book.

   There's something incredibly spellbinding about Fire with Fire. There is never a single dull moment. I am in awe of how Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian created a story that captures your attention and doesn't let go. The pages fly by so quickly, despite the rather large page count. Fire with Fire is 528 pages long, but I wouldn't be surprised if most readers read it in one sitting. It's addicting.

   Lillia, Kat, and Mary are still our protagonists. They're a trio of unlikely friends with common goals of revenge. But after their plan went wrong, they were unsure of themselves. The chapters alternate in the three girls' perspectives, although I didn't really see a pattern. Each girl sounds distinct from each other, but they're all relatable and likable.

   My favorite character was Lillia. She's a bit of a princess--she lives a privileged life, but she doesn't usually act that way. Sure, she likes to indulge in luxuries, but that doesn't make her egotistical nor does she dangle her wealth over people's heads. Kat is gritter. Her family barely gets by, she associates with some sketchy people, but she's still really likable. She's incredibly loyal and although she's temperamental, to me, it made her even more likable. Plus, she was definitely the comedic relief of the three girls. And finally, there's Mary. She's a strange one--the one that labels this novel as paranormal. She's a really vulnerable character, although she has immense power. I cannot wait to see which direction her character goes in.

   Most of the characters are really nicely developed, especially Rennie and Reeve. I was extremely surprised at the conflicting feelings I felt for Reeve. Also, Rennie always surprised me. She's a bit of a typical mean girl with some stellar twists.

   The predictability of Fire with Fire is tricky. Some plot points were very obvious, and while I was reading, I thought I knew what was going to happen. Lillia's feelings were predictable, as was Rennie's New Year's "surprise." Near the end, I already assumed I knew what was going to happen. But then, I didn't. The ending was one of the craziest and biggest "WTF" moments I've ever experienced while reading (and not at all in a bad way!). After reading the last couple of pages, I was left so confused and breathless--and it was amazing.

   I'm extremely impressed with Fire with Fire, honestly. With well-rounded characters and an ending that will leave you begging for the next installment, Fire with Fire blows its precedent out of the water. There's drama, romance, humor, and of course, revenge. I'm so excited for the rest of this series!

   4.5 keys.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Requiem by Lauren Oliver

Publication Date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 391
Synopsis: Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.

After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancĂ©e of the young mayor.

Requiem is told from both Lena’s and Hana’s points of view. The two girls live side by side in a world that divides them until, at last, their stories converge.
Review: Where to start... There was probably a lot riding on this book. It's the conclusion to a well-loved trilogy, and based on how Pandemonium ended, Requiem should have tied up many different plots. But it didn't. Not completely.

   Requiem starts off slowly. It moves consistently, but it's rather uneventful. And in all honesty, it lacks the passion and romance and beauty that were abundant in the first two installments. It's that kind of passion that made me a fan of this dystopian trilogy, because the love all felt heartfelt. This book strayed from that kind of theme, and instead, turned to the road of plotting action and executing it in a way that I thought was boring.

   It's a dual POV narrative, which I didn't think was all that necessary. I didn't feel like Hana's story was so important that half of the book had to be told in her perspective. This might be because I never liked Hana in Delirium. She was more likable in this novel, but I still am not a huge fan of her character.

   In the previous books, I really liked Lena. But in this installment, she frustrated me. I hated the way she treated Julian. (***Mild spoilers for Pandemonium***) If I brought Julian into the Wilds, promising a great life of freedom, and the Wilds ended up being a nightmare, I would feel ashamed. I would feel so sorry for Julian and embarrassed by my promise. But no. Instead, Lena felt ashamed of Julian. Julian, the boy that trusted her word and escaped the world he had known just because he loved her. Julian, the boy who was trying so hard to fit in to the Wilds. (***End of spoilers***) Honestly, I wasn't won over by Julian in the previous book, but I really liked his character in this book. It revolted me how Lena treated Julian in this book because he honestly didn't do anything to deserve it.

   I thought this book was very predictable. I feel like Lauren Oliver took the most obvious route for the plot and added the most cliche drama/tension. I felt everything coming before it happened, and I was disappointed by the lack of originality and creativity.

   The beginning was slow, and then the ending was rushed. Everything happened so quickly, and Lauren Oliver didn't elaborate enough on the way things concluded. Hana's plotline was left dangling helplessly. The reconciliation between Lena and her love was ridiculously short and passionless, and this happened without any sever between Lena and the boy she didn't choose.

   All in all, I was disappointed by Requiem. I expected much more from it, including better development and a satisfying conclusion. It wasn't a bad book. Lauren Oliver's writing is still great, and she tells the story well. It just wasn't what I was hoping it would be.

   3 keys.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Publication Date: September 1, 2005
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 550
Synopsis (from back of the book because I like it better than the Goodreads one): It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

By her brother's graveside, Liesel Meminger's life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Grave Digger's Handbook, left there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordion-playing foster father learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel's foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel's world is both opened up and closed down.

Review: I don't know how to start this review. But I do know that this is probably going to be looooong. Be prepared, and if you make it to the end of the review, I seriously love you. I guess I'll first list my initial thoughts while reading this book.

   Initial thoughts:

  • The narrator is... Death? What? That's cool.
  • I feel no attachment to Liesel. 
  • Liesel is so selfish.
  • Markus Zusak, your writing style is definitely strange.
  • Where is the plot? Honestly!
   As said, those were my initial thoughts. My initial thoughts are extremely different from my final ones. Here's a little hint on how I feel about this book: I stayed up reading this book, shed so many tears that the rhythm of the droplets hitting my blanket began to resemble a soft drum beat, and upon finishing the book, stayed awake for perhaps an hour before closing my eyes long enough to fall asleep. 

   I'm going to be honest and say that if The Book Thief wasn't my required reading for school this upcoming year, I would have probably dropped it and never looked back. The first half of the novel (and I seriously mean the first half! I wasn't invested until well over 200 pages in) was dull, in my opinion. I felt like there was no urge for me to keep reading. I couldn't identify the main plot, nor did I have an ounce of desire to follow the rest of Liesel's story. Thank goodness to BookTube-a-thon (a YouTube readathon) and the fact that it's my summer reading, otherwise, I probably wouldn't have finished this book. I was honestly spending weeks on this one book that everyone had praised so, so much. That's another thing: everyone under the sun seems to be obsessed with this book, and when I started reading, I felt so left out because I couldn't understand the hype at all. 

   Liesel was a character I didn't like for a long time before slowly changing my mind. I think this was because the protagonist and the narrator are not one and the same. The narrator is Death himself which I thought was a really great and unique idea. However, because of this, I felt distant when it came to Liesel. I was receiving her story second-hand and I didn't have an emotional connection to her. On several occasions, I found her extremely selfish, and in turn, found myself disliking her. 

   This all changed around half-way in. Something changed for me. There was a plot suddenly. Liesel developed as a character. Of course, she still had flaws, but there was more to her than the things I disliked. Her relationships with all the characters suddenly glowed right in my face. I especially loved the development of Hans Hubermann, Liesel's foster father, and Max Vandenburg, the Jew they hide in their basement. Both characters were so compelling to read about, I just loved them. And, of course, I absolutely adored Rudy Steiner. 

   After finishing the book, I understand now. I understand why so many people love and praise this novel. I see the investment that people put into this book. Based on my experience, after finishing the book, I felt like I had lost a piece of my soul within the 550 pages. The ending of this novel affected me so much. I had no idea this book could do that to me, especially after such a rocky start. 

   Back to Death as a narrator. (Sorry for the lack of organization in this review. So many scattered thoughts!) I found it unique, but I feel like there were flaws. (Obviously not everyone will agree with me on this.) I thought that Death was an inconsistent narrator. There are times when he makes snarky comments, and there are other times where his monologue-ish thoughts are really mushy. And when it came to the plot, it was the most non-linear plot I've ever encountered. Death likes to jump back and forth, revealing spoilers that will happen in a few years or a few months, and then he goes back in time. He tells you what's going to happen and then goes back to lead up to it. I don't exactly know how I felt about that. 

   As mentioned before, Markus Zusak's writing is strange. Honestly, I can't think of a better word to fit his writing style. I'm sure many readers are eager to label Zusak's writing as "beautiful" and "poetic," which in some cases, is very, very true! Please don't get me wrong. But at other times, he makes the strangest analogies. His figurative language ranges from "wow, that was breathtaking" to "how does that even make sense." My friend fell in love with Zusak's prose, as many other readers did, but I'm not a quick fan. Some things were just so weirdly worded, or the analogies were so far-fetched, that I couldn't help but choose strange over beautiful

   I think that's all I wanted to mention. I understand that this review is ridiculously lengthy. There is just so much I had to say about this novel. Based on my reading experience, The Book Thief is a certain kind of gem that needs a bit of polish before you can see its beauty. But once the dirt is gone, prepare to be blinded by how this novel shines.

   4.5 keys.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 435
Synopsis: Luke is the perfect boyfriend: handsome, kind, fun. He and Emaline have been together all through high school in Colby, the beach town where they both grew up. But now, in the summer before college, Emaline wonders if perfect is good enough.

Enter Theo, a super-ambitious outsider, a New Yorker assisting on a documentary film about a reclusive local artist. Theo's sophisticated, exciting, and, best of all, he thinks Emaline is much too smart for Colby.

Emaline's mostly-absentee father, too, thinks Emaline should have a bigger life, and he's convinced that an Ivy League education is the only route to realizing her potential. Emaline is attracted to the bright future that Theo and her father promise. But she also clings to the deep roots of her loving mother, stepfather, and sisters. Can she ignore the pull of the happily familiar world of Colby?

Emaline wants the moon and more, but how can she balance where she comes from with where she's going?

Sarah Dessen's devoted fans will welcome this story of romance, yearning, and, finally, empowerment. It could only happen in the summer.
Review: If you know me, you know I'm a big Dessen fan. I've yet to encounter one of her books that I loved as much as The Truth About Forever, but Dessen still manages to make me invested in her characters, their story, and how one summer allows for their development.

   People critique Dessen by saying her books are calculated and formulaic. And, yes, while I'll admit that it's pretty true, The Moon and More kind of throws readers for a loop. While there are still the constant Dessen elements of personal growth, family issues, and romance, it's the last one that is significantly different in this book. It's not as different as in Dreamland (because, let's face it, Rogerson is the opposite of a classic Dessen boy), but neither love interest is like Wes or Dexter or Owen.

   First, let's talk about our main character, Emaline. Emaline is a girl who has lived her whole life in Colby. She loves the beach town, but she yearns for something more. Part of her wants to stay with her roots, but another part of her wants to break free and do, see, discover something more than Colby. She's smart on paper (hello, the girl got accepted into Columbia!), but I don't think she really acted all that studious or intelligent. However, I did become fond of her character. She's hardworking, even when she doesn't have to be, and she's nice. She wants to help almost everyone, which sometimes can be annoying on other characters, but I didn't feel that way with Emaline.

   Emaline and Luke have been dating since freshman year, which is quite impressive. And in this small town, that's basically like paving the path to marriage. But then Luke does something despicable, and the couple splits. This is where I had a problem. Considering they've been together throughout all of high school, Luke did something to basically end that. It seemed extremely out of character to me. I felt like it was just a catalyst in the plot to create room for the new love interest, Theo. But I digress.

   Oh, Theo. This boy drove me up a wall sometimes. Dessen manages to create an unlikable love interest in Theo. And it's not an extreme dislike either, considering he doesn't abuse the main character (Rogerson from Dreamland), nor does he get the main character in a car accident that leaves her hospitalized (Macon from Someone Like You). No, he's just... not likable? He almost has the dorky, nerdy appeal that sometimes gains momentum, but then he'll do something that erases all progress. He is labeled as sophisticated and exciting in the synopsis, but in reality, he's immature, egocentric, and embarrassing. (He's the kind of boyfriend that makes a big show about every. little. thing.)

   More on Emaline. I liked her character a lot. She wasn't as passive as some of Dessen's other leads, but she definitely didn't do much whenever Theo did something embarrassing. I wanted Emaline to step up for herself and maybe even do the smallest of things like telling Theo she didn't want to go to an Asian restaurant. But there is one thing that I loved about Emaline: the kind of ex-girlfriend she is. She's not at all one of those catty ex-girlfriends that thinks mean thoughts if her ex has moved on. She doesn't close off all ties with her ex. No. She just acts normally and kindly and it's a breath of fresh air! She acts like a great ex-girlfriend should, which I positively adored.

   I feel like Emaline's relationship with her immediate family (including her step-family) was sacrificed for the emphasis with her relationship with her half-brother, Benji, and her father. I understood why it was chosen to put the focus there, and Dessen does include little snippets of a growing relationship between Emaline and her step-sisters, but I kind of wish it was a more well-rounded family development.

   All in all, I really enjoyed The Moon and More. If I could fix something, it would be plot. The plot does move pretty slowly, which made it difficult to keep on reading. However, overall, The Moon and More spotlights a teenage girl trying to balance her own growth while strengthening her relationships with the people she cares about. Though I don't think it's Dessen's best novel, I still liked it, and I'd recommend it to other Dessen fans.

   4 keys.

P.S. Sorry for all the references and comparisons to Dessen's other works. I know some people probably won't like that, but it's difficult to refrain when you've read so many of the same author's other books!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Reminder: Bye Google Reader, Hello Bloglovin'!

As you might know, Google Reader is going to be gone by tomorrow, July 1. But, there is no need to panic! There's an easy alternative.

Bloglovin' is a super easy and efficient way of browsing through your feed! Right when you sign up (whether by email or Facebook), you're offered the one-click option of importing your feed from Google Reader, so you'll still have all the blogs that you used to.

I know I've already posted about this before, but seeing as tomorrow, Google Reader will be gone, I thought I'd post a quick reminder.

Here's a GREAT post about Bloglovin', how to get started, and its benefits: CLICK ME!

You can follow The Book Basement by clicking here or by clicking the little icon on my sidebar. And of course, subscribing by email is always an option!

Hope y'all are having a great day, and decide to move over to Bloglovin'! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Format: eBook
Page Count: 368
SynopsisWhen sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.
Review: The biggest lesson learned from this book: Never doubt Gayle Forman. Ever. If you think something won't work, just leave it to Gayle Forman. She'll leave you breathless and shocked.

   If I'm being honest, I probably wouldn't have picked this one up if it wasn't written by Gayle Forman. But I loved If I Stay and Where She Went so much, I had to get this one. And at first, I wasn't really feeling it. I was reading it for the sake of reading. Allyson was kind of dull, her best friend Melanie was just a pain, and everything blurred together. Even when Willem was introduced, I wasn't feeling him either. He seemed too much of a playboy, and not much of a sweetheart.

   When Allyson returns from her adventure as Lulu after Willem leaves her, she kind of falls into a depression that lasts months. She neglects her schoolwork, distances herself from her family, doesn't socialize--I like to say that she pulls a Bella from New Moon. (But at least Bella did her schoolwork.) It's extremely easy to get frustrated with her during this period. You want to shake her and maybe scream, "Quit with all this teenage angst and get on with your life!" You just have to bear through this section, because it gets better. Way, way better.

   Allyson starts taking new classes and meets a new friend. Things start looking up. She grows into a stronger, better version of herself, though she still struggles to understand who she wants to be. At this point, I fell in love with Allyson's character. She was more focused, more logical, and she began to nurture an admirable determination. And when she decided to go back to Paris to get answers, I was all for it.

   The plot takes a huge turn here because it turns exciting. It's almost like a game that Gayle Forman plays--she builds up so much hope that Allyson will find Willem again, and then she crushes it... several times over. By this section, I was reading it because I enjoyed it. In fact, I couldn't put it down. It was exciting, suspenseful, emotional, and beautiful. And oh my goodness, the ending had me screaming. I cannot believe Forman ended the book there. And then, she has the gall to add ONE page of the next book, which does nothing but increase my anxiety and arouse more questions!

   There's not much of Willem in this book, and I don't really know how I feel about him. On one hand, we don't know much about him, so it's difficult to judge. But on the other hand, we hear so many despicable things that he's done (granted: from word of mouth), and you can't help but judge him! I'll have to decide when I read the sequel. He has a long way to go if he wants to win me over, though!

   All in all, Just One Day is an emotional roller coaster of a ride that combines a flawed, but thoughtful protagonist with a beautiful journey. Gayle Forman weaves together a gorgeous story that will leave readers aching for the next book, like I am.

   4.5 keys.

P.S. i have a video review for this book up on my youtube channel here.
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