Mini-Review: A Midsummer Night #nofilter by Brent Wright

Thursday, 28 January 2016 0 comments
A Midsummer Night #nofitler, by Brent Wright
Publication: January 5, 2016, by Random House BFYR
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Classics
Pages: 112
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed

Imagine: What if the fairies and star-crossed lovers of the forest had smartphones? A classic is reborn in this fun and funny adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays! Four lovers who can’t decide who they have a crush on. One mischievous fairy with a love potion. Total chaos in the fairy world, the human world, and everywhere in between!

My Thoughts:

This is a bundle of joy. I have been meaning to get a glimpse at these emoji-Shakespeare retellings that all les bloggers have been talking about lately, and since I have never really known about A Midsummer Night and what it promised for readers, I was thanking the library gods that my local branch had picked this one up. There are many, many reasons or situations that will enforce you to pick this book up. And of course, as I always do with books that I enjoyed, I will tell you why and when to. 

This is your ultimate Shakespeare go-to.

If you're a HUGE Shakespeare fan (as I am), and if you're just looking for a quick read that will take you (and your vocabulary-emoji skills) a quick amount of time to read, this is perfect. I could seriously say that it was. I wish that I had read the original play beforehand so I could compare, but I seriously bet that Brent Wright did a magnificent job creating a redo of the epic story that everyone has been talking about for centuries, literally. It does not seem like this is fiction. Wright includes IM messages, notes, secret conversations between the characters and group messages that spun me around. It seemed like I was hacking into Shakespearean characters' phones and reading what they were up to. I felt easily connected to the characters and that some were even relatable to. Not the donkey, though. Not the donkey.

The abbreviations and emojis add an extra spin of magic.

So there are fairies. Marriages and engagements that are going wrong. Girls hiding their secrets about who they actually love deep down. But one of the best ways that all of this bizazz was expressed was through the use of emojis. YES. It was such a modern, hip but still original use of the story that we all have heard of and had on our TBR lists for years. You need this 112 paged novel if you're one of those people who cannot read the original playwright, because I totally understand. 

I made ships.

Ships do not always work when we're reading a legit classic that was set in the sixteenth century or whatever. But I honestly found people (HERMIA, DEMETRIUS, LYSANDER!) who should be together and everything was so wonderfully placed together that I adored it.

I sincerely recommend picking this, or any of the other emoji Shakespeare books up, no matter what kind of reader you are. It's a quick, fast-paced half hour read that will leave you giggling and going to buy all of William's books online, Amazon Prime shipping to your house with drones. It's that chaotic and gorgeous.

Have you read anything by Shakespeare, the master of all? Would you read this edition?

Madly by Amy Alward // Magical in its Distinct Way

Monday, 25 January 2016 2 comments
Madly (Potion #1), by Amy Alward
Publication: September 29, 2015, by Simon and Schuster BFYR
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Magic
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed
Rating: ½

When the Princess of Nova accidentally poisons herself with a love potion meant for her crush, she falls crown-over-heels in love with her own reflection. Oops. A nationwide hunt is called to find the cure, with competitors travelling the world for the rarest ingredients, deep in magical forests and frozen tundras, facing death at every turn.
Enter Samantha Kemi - an ordinary girl with an extraordinary talent. Sam's family were once the most respected alchemists in the kingdom, but they've fallen on hard times, and winning the hunt would save their reputation. But can Sam really compete with the dazzling powers of the ZoroAster megapharma company? Just how close is Sam willing to get to Zain Aster, her dashing former classmate and enemy, in the meantime?
And just to add to the pressure, this quest is ALL OVER social media. And the world news.

No big deal, then.

My Thoughts:

Amy Alward's Madly was like a never-ending cycle of doubt. I had high hopes, I had low hopes, I had high hopes again, it went downhill once more. I honestly just based my rating off how I felt with the ending, because I did, and still do not know what to expect with this great author's writing, after all. Madly was not the best book out there, and it certainly does not look to be the worst, either. I'm playing with words here, and depending on your intake with magic and potion-related events, then this could turn out pretty great for you. It seems very scientific, in fact. Mixing the potions and learning about how an author living in a contemporary world sees another world with love potions and all of the mythical things we as children learned about through fairy tales was an absolute new experience that I could never throw out of my mind. 

Madly is about destiny and revenge. And did I mention that there are also sparks of envy here and there? We have a kick-ass protagonist who basically is placed in her situation to ruin the day for the royal Princess Evelyn, and snatch her boy-toy (ew, that word is hideous), Zain, because she always watched him from afar and knew that she had to get him. Put it all into perspective, and you could picture another contemporary romance, with bits of fantasy and potion mixing here and there. No biggie. *sarcastic voice plays in your mind* Samantha is a character to remember, there is parts of her in every girl who ever wanted to get a guy when she knew there was no possible chance to. 

I could say that this was cliché, but then I keep slamming myself, reminding me of the fact that there is no YA book out there that deals with alchemy in such a wicked environment. This could be modern day, in fact, where the characters are in some parallel universe that is fractured with kingdoms and text messages. In parallel universes, anything is possible. Now I have come to realize that I am getting too ahead of myself. Moving on... it is a distinct, unique story that has never been created before. It hasn't. I usually could state in my reviews books that are similar—"If you liked so and so, this book is for you!"—and in this case, I cannot. Sorry that I am sounding blunt, but this is a wicked, positive thing that Alward established.

I praise this story. Even if it was weak here and there (and it was), I have so much respect for it, as well as all of the characters who were in it. It was so intelligent and smart, and seems so real, even though it was absolute fantasy and Zain could never, ever come into my life and rescue me. I really enjoyed the ending especially—which blew my mind and kind of broke my heart to pieces—and I would never regret giving this a chance, even if it was not my favourite.

Samantha kicked everyone's butts and made sure she still did the right thing at the right time. People say that she is annoying, that she is stuck-up and selfish. But aside from that (because everyone has those moments), I loved her intelligence and hope. She had her reasons for everything, like for her doing what she did so she could be heard because she realizes her future. She does not want to change her fictional kingdom—no. She just wants to add a little bit of action into her life so she could remember it when things get tough. This was mega, mega interesting.

Zain was freaking adorable and I just wish—no I won't say it. Let us just say that the author blew me away and did give in a few surprises here and there. Never mind—she gave in millions of surprises. Everything made sense and I just loved the way everything turned out for all of the characters, even though some had not turned out as happy as they were supposed to, in a way. I adore Sam and Zain's feelings towards each other, even though—AGH I CANNOT SAY IT. Even though it seemed hesitant all the time. And okay, maybe it was only Sam who felt it for the most part. *winks*

Madly made me feel mad, but of course only in that crazy "Mad Hatter" way. I adored the ending, and saw so many surprises added by the author that my head was ready to explode. This book is seriously for everyone, and I recommend it truly if you have a thing for alchemy and magic. This was entertaining and special—a memorable read for sure.

Have you ever read a YA book about alchemy? Do you like the subject in general?

Perdita by Faith Gardner // Death, Mystery and Imaginative

Friday, 22 January 2016 0 comments
Perdita, by Faith Gardner
Publication: August 1, 2015, by Merit Press
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 224
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher

Granted, Arielle has a vast, excitable imagination. But she's not imagining how strange and out of control her life becomes after the death by drowning of her older sister's best friend, Perdita. Not only does this death echo the death of Arielle's own older brother, ten years before, it leads to dreams and visions in which Perdita seems to be reaching out to Arielle, asking for her help. The only other explanation—that Arielle's high-strung emotions have finally caused her to break with reality—is even more terrifying. A story that builds to greater and greater heights of suspicion and fear, Perdita is also a multi-layered literary achievement that leaves no emotion untouched.

My Thoughts:

This book is life, honestly. I seriously could not believe that I loved it so much! You know when your expectations blow you away and you discover that a book was just so freaking amazing when your initial reaction was down the toilet? Yeah, that is what happened with Faith Gardner's Perdita. It's mesmerizing, but not full of fantasy as I expected it to be. Sure, our main character, Arielle, sees ghosts, but it is not the main point or theme of the novel. In fact, it is just a small itsy-bitsy plot addition that made readers and myself want to continue reading. It was full of racing, heart-pounding moments where I, myself, wanted to solve the mystery and help the characters deal with the grief that they have been going through, in multiple layers—like a top-tiered cake.

This was a story that had many layers, when you think about it. No, seriously. There was romance (a gorgeous one, in fact), a paranormal mystery and loss. Everything that is the worst possible situation in your life was switched and crumbled into this beautiful story. I adore this cover, the water lily making the book seem so dark with a few rays of light making me feel better. This is a special book, no doubt about it. 

"It's not easy having a shrink for a mom—she's rarely home, and when she is, she's got all sorts of theories about my behaviour. Most if not every one of those theories often leads back to what I "could do better" and ways I "could improve." Fun stuff. Anyway, I could definitely improve my being a teenage scaredy-cat, apparently." (20)

Arielle was the absolute highlight of Faith Gardner's tale. Her attitude was contrasting, different than every other protagonist's personality with a whip of her own thing going on. She was naïve, but in that interesting way that did not give the answer and solution of the issues in the book out to all readers from the fiftieth page or so. It is a quick, juicy read that made me tremble, need a blanket, and a cup of good ole hot chocolate to warm me up because MAN, that was overwhelmingly scary. I find that I am being shocked quite a bit lately with these new thrillers coming into my face. Egh.

This mystery made absolute sense. When Gardner flashed the answer to readers' eyes and when Arielle herself solved it like a good Nancy Drew, I understood why. I find that authors sometimes are not the best at keeping a secret for a long time, and hints are given out throughout the whole story. This? Nada, nothing. And I loved it. I was not here reading it so I could find the answer myself and then rant for the whole review, saying that it was given away. No sir-ee. The answers were put out, we discovered a little more insight on the side characters who seemed too suspicious for this story to go on without them, and the story moved on, sadly.

I'm not looking for a sequel, but for more by Faith Gardner. Her writing instantly flows with the mood and themes of the book. The clip at the cover of the novel, "Is a dead girl trying to reach her?" has nothing to do with the story, and although that was a horrible mistake, it did shock me to see how much I actually enjoyed the story. The romance was there, I fell in love with the characters and the way the events progressed as I flipped through the pages. More contemporary novels should be like Perdita, it is a guideline, in fact, for enjoyment.

"I could go. I can imagine it. I could hop on the back of his motorcycle and we could ride to another state. Somewhere snowy in the winter, somewhere nestled in pine trees, some small town where no one knows who the Delaneys or the Dells are. We could get jobs, GEDs. We could start a life together. We could be so happy." (219)

It is so realistic, as you could see from the quote above. It is absolutely difficult to mix a contemporary with paranormal and hope for the best... but Faith did it. And I seriously recommend this book to all, wishing for everyone to give it a chance (GIVE IT LOVE) and adore it as much as I did. It was truly magical. Wooo!

*Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a finished copy to review!*

Has a book ever tricked you into thinking that it was actually revolved around a different genre? Would you read a book that went from ghosts to reality and contemporary?

Waiting on Wednesday #27: P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

Wednesday, 20 January 2016 4 comments
P.S. I Like You, by Kasie West
Publication: July 26, 2016, by Point
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 304

What if the person you were falling for was a total mystery?
While Lily is spacing out in Chemistry one day, she picks up her pencil and scribbles a line from one of her favorite songs on the desk. The next day, someone else has written back to her on the desk! Soon enough Lily and the mystery student are exchanging notes, and lyrics, and even sharing secrets. When Lily finds out that her anonymous pen pal is a guy, she's flustered -- and kind of feels like she's falling for him. She and her best friend set out to unravel the identity of the letter writer -- but when the truth is revealed, the guy is the LAST person Lily could have ever imagined it to be. Now that Lily knows the truth, can she untangle her feelings and gather the courage to listen to her heart?
From beloved author Kasie West (The Distance Between Us) comes an utterly charming story about mixed messages, missed connections, and the magic of good old-fashioned secret admirer notes.

This looks absolutely wonderful... fabulous even. I adore Kasie West's writing, and the COVER IS THE CUTEST THING EVER. My life depends on July 26. I have read every other book by Kasie, and they evolve to be the best fluffy reads ever. I feel like saying a corny pick-up line here, but I guess that just will not work out here. I love this and I need it. *prays for BEA*

What are you anticipating the most this week? Do you enjoy Kasie West's writing?

The Cellar by Natasha Preston // Revenge and Utterly Freaky

Tuesday, 19 January 2016 4 comments
The Cellar (The Cellar #1), by Natasha Preston
Publication: March 1, 2014, by Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Thriller, Mystery
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Rating: ½

When sixteen-year-old Summer Robinson goes missing one night, her family, friends and boyfriend are devastated. Nothing ever happens in Long Thorpe, so the disappearance of a school girl shocks the whole community. The police waste no time in launching a search and investigation, but with nothing to go on and no trace of Summer, hopes of finding her quickly fade.
Colin Brown, is a thirty-year-old solicitor living alone after the death of his mother. He suffered a traumatic and abusive childhood, and is left with no sense of right or wrong. Desperate for the perfect family, Colin, referring to himself as Clover, turns to drastic measures to get what he wants.

My Thoughts:

The Cellar is the scariest book that I’ve read in ages. And by scary, do not expect horror or anything of that kind. Natasha Preston delivered the most thrilling, action-packed, adrenaline-churning story, more crazier than her cult-based Awake, more life changing than any psychological thrillers I have read… ever, practically. Get ready to pee to your pants, ask for more, and even perhaps never look at flowers the same way anymore. Yes, it is one of those scarring stories. Only stories like these seemed to just come out of the movies. This is freaking reality, my friends. You never know what kind of people that the world contains until you confront them, and after that, you just cannot look at the world the same way anymore. Geez… I literally sound creepy myself. 

The Cellar features our outgoing main character and protagonist, Summer, who is living a great life with her happy family and boyfriend, Lewis. Everything is going swell until she goes out to a party, looking for a friend in the park where a man confronts her, throws her into a white van, and next thing she knows, is thrown into a cellar in the basement of his house and is named “Lily,” living with three other girls with similar names. Violet, Poppy, Rose―some of them seem possessed by the actions of this guy―Clover, and her world collapses around her. In the meantime, her family and boyfriend are mourning, trying to search for clues, knowing that their daughter/sister/girlfriend would never leave without saying anything. As the days pass, Summer would never let Clover touch her, or even look at her. Little does she know that her world is going to change forever.

The ending was corny, okay? But then again, I cannot imagine another ending to come about in any other way. It is just not possible for a beautiful, abrupt story to destroy readers’ emotions to the biggest case possible. No spoilers, I promise. The rest of the story flowed in ways that I could not have imagined or pictured in my head again without picking up the book once more. It was fast-paced, but had those little itty-bitty moments during scenes where the author knew that readers would want more detail and inside gossip on the truth. I always adore reading a book where I know the answer, the answer to the mystery while there still is a group of people who do not. In this case, it was the loved ones of Summer. I couldn’t help but squeal and scream to tell the people what to do. It was seriously a glorious experience.

“He kicked her hard in the stomach, making her scream in pain. Something cracked, and I pressed my fist to my mouth as a wave of nausea hit me. I slumped down on the sofa and crawled back, curling back into a ball.” (248)

Summer seemed to be talking to me. Just me. Not to sound selfish or anything, that was the perfect reading experience. I felt her fear, her longing for Lewis and the life she once had, the way she wanted to get out of there, the courage and strength she kept throughout to know that she will eventually get out. I loved her character. It is hard to realize that she is not out there, that her story does not exist because it seemed the most realest novel ever. And with the mix of the mystery, thrill, plaguing of suspense, it all made complete sense and there was no mystery at all.

I even began to like Clover by the end. Not for his psychopathic behaviour, but also for his character and what he contributed to the story―his weird doings made it all fifty billion times better. (Not that I would promote his doings or anything. HE IS OUTRAGEOUSLY INSANE.) This story turned out fantastic by the end. I found myself continuously surprised with everything that occurred in the novel, never having to seek for more. Lewis was adorable, I loved his personality and not being able to distinguish what he’s feeling since he’s so secretive but… CARING. It all works out, I tell you.

You will pee your pants. You will not be able to sleep at night. And there's also a slight chance that you will go ahead and buy every book that this amazing author has written. Did I also mention that there's a sequel out that's supposed to be (not as) good? I am still debating whether it is the right thing for me. But seriously, this contained so many themes that are found in realistic stories, and it was ultimately perfect. (My favourite flower was Poppy. She was so kick-butt. But then we saw where that went.)

It's sad that you cannot live with a specific book forever and have it contain the same dosage of romance, mystery, whatever it is. I want my wishes to come true, and only (at the moment) with this precious story by Natasha Preston. It is not your typical mystery-thriller, but more importantly, it is not the expected. In fact, it is the unexpected but in a perfect way, and I would recommend it to all forever and ever. I will never, ever, head to my basement ever again without holding someone's hand. But that someone's hand will definitely not be Clover's hand.

Did you ever have a fear of your basement/cellar? Do you like psychological thrillers with a dash of mystery that you are basically part of?

The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick // The First Was Better!

Monday, 18 January 2016 0 comments
The Boy Most Likely To, by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publication: August 18, 2015, by Dial Books
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 425
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed

Tim Mason was The Boy Most Likely To find the liquor cabinet blindfolded, need a liver transplant, and drive his car into a house
Alice Garrett was The Girl Most Likely To . . . well, not date her little brother’s baggage-burdened best friend, for starters.
For Tim, it wouldn’t be smart to fall for Alice. For Alice, nothing could be scarier than falling for Tim. But Tim has never been known for making the smart choice, and Alice is starting to wonder if the “smart” choice is always the right one. When these two crash into each other, they crash hard.
Told in Tim’s and Alice’s distinctive, disarming, entirely compelling voices, this novel is for readers of The Spectacular Now, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, and Paper Towns.

My Thoughts:

Years and years and years ago, in a fictional land far away, I fell in love with Huntley Fitzpatrick's writing. The Boy Next Door seemed to be the perfect contemporary story for me—it featured first love, exquisite characters whom I cannot forget about to this day, and the utterly most brilliant storyline in contemporary fiction that I have read in ages. I could honestly close my eyes at night and recall the events of the story and everything. That was (three?) many years ago. Now, we are back, in 2016, with a new addition to the story that I liked to call my home for a little while. I fell in love with the characters, and they seemed so real that I completely related to them. This time around, Fitzpatrick features a new generation of Garretts and Masons, this time with a beautiful couple comprehending of Alice and Tim, who are not generic as they seem to be. 

The Boy Most Likely To has a title that just captivates readers to fill in the blanks, you know? You fill in the blanks and hope that Tim is "the boy most likely to steal my heart" or some kind of cutesy details. It certainly was not as great as the first one was, but this is just another case of second book syndrome. Fitzpatrick's writing has progressed weaker, or should I say, "more likely to disintegrate," and I expected better from the whole package. Better romance, better expectations, better characters. I wanted to relate to Alice, alright? 

The plot is generic, it is actually superbly weak. Alice and Tim meet out of nowhere when fate somehow puts them together... because of a romance that occurred between their siblings. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES? This is your cheesy, ultimate ordinary contemporary romance that basically popped up because the series needed more publicity. In fact, I did not ask for this sequel to be published, nor did many other fans, but I was excited either way. I am not ranting nor cheering about the outcome of this story, hence I seemed to be upset from the beginning. I apologize, my lovebugs.

Alice and Tim meet, there's a baby in between (BUT NOT THEIRS) and their love story shoots for the stars. In one sentence, I could thoroughly describe the contents of the book without feeling like some gigantic event is missing from between the lines. Nothing was missing. It is very basic, but overall an entertaining read that I would not trade my experience for—it is Huntley Fitzpatrick, after all.

I prefer... contemporary with action. This was too slow-paced, and if I honestly wanted to read about a romance, I could have picked up any YA of any other genre and could have found romance in that—and would have enjoyed it ten times more. Alice and Tim clicked, but then there were moments where I felt that they did not. The baby got in the way of things as well as the age difference. This is not what I would call real YA.

But at the same time, what is real YA? It is a novel written by an author who understands teenagers and readers. They understand people who want to relate to characters who are just like them, or completely different, stuck in weird life situations that they spend the whole novel getting over. I had issues relating to the characters, but I promise that it had not disturbed my whole reading experience. 

The Boy Most Likely To had a nice whirl to it. For anyone looking for a companion novel to a cute romance, this is it. Fitzpatrick promises a bunch of great traits in this novel to all, though some may not completely see it. I personally had a good experience with Alice and Tim's story, and would definitely recommend it to lovers of Miranda Kenneally's writing. (She's my favourite author!) It's such a beachy read, and it makes sense that many audiences have fallen in love with another book with that gorgeous striped spine and dramatic, romantic cover. This fits for everyone's likes... and even dislikes.

What do you look for in a companion novel? Have you read anything by Huntley Fitzpatrick?

Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed // Culturally Diverse and Simply Romantic

Friday, 15 January 2016 2 comments
Written in the Stars, by Aisha Saeed
Publication: March 24, 2015, by Nancy Paulsen Books
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 277
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed
Rating: ½

This heart-wrenching novel explores what it is like to be thrust into an unwanted marriage. Has Naila’s fate been written in the stars? Or can she still make her own destiny?
Naila’s conservative immigrant parents have always said the same thing: She may choose what to study, how to wear her hair, and what to be when she grows up—but they will choose her husband. Following their cultural tradition, they will plan an arranged marriage for her. And until then, dating—even friendship with a boy—is forbidden. When Naila breaks their rule by falling in love with Saif, her parents are livid. Convinced she has forgotten who she truly is, they travel to Pakistan to visit relatives and explore their roots. But Naila’s vacation turns into a nightmare when she learns that plans have changed—her parents have found her a husband and they want her to marry him, now! Despite her greatest efforts, Naila is aghast to find herself cut off from everything and everyone she once knew. Her only hope of escape is Saif . . . if he can find her before it’s too late.

My Thoughts:

Written in the Stars is one of the most culturally diverse novels I have ever read, and its message and themes are certainly one of the most diverse in all of young adult history and mankind. Aisha Saeed bases this story coming from a young curious girl's life off her own in a way, where she is in an arranged (happy) marriage. If I could look up in the sky and actually see stars (which is literally impossible these days in urban or suburban areas), this novel would certainly be written in the stars with love and perfection.

I heart this book. Thank you to my amazing friend who read it and recommended it to me because she knows that I am the ultimate romance-contemporary lover—I heart you too. This may seem like a simplistic novel at first, which features your regular high school romance plot, including a secretive relationship (because what teenager in books don't have one), adorable romance, and that killer ending that will leave you hanging and unable to think about anything else for the rest of the night. And in that case, it includes dreams. Although I do not remember my dreams from last night, I do have this inner feeling that Saif, Nalia's true love, was part of mine. He is so dreamy. 

Written in the Stars is surprisingly about a girl who has to go through an arranged marriage. I never saw this coming. But at the same time, I never really read the synopsis in depth and all, and it literally tore me apart. It hurts to read about a girl's dreams not coming true. I am not complaining, but fiction is supposed to be about dreams coming true and happy plots! This surely was not a flaw through Aisha Saeed's writing; in fact, it was a beautiful thing that made the book so much more unique than anything else I have ever read in my entirety of being a teenager reading YA fiction, my one and only. Nalia is a senior and her graduation is coming very soon, hoping to go to the college of her dreams and could be with her secret boyfriend, Saif, and her best friend, Carla. When her parents discover the relationship she is having with Saif, they send her off to Pakistan, as a punishment in a way, to have her forget about her past with love. They arrange her in a marriage where she does not even know her husband's name, but she will never forget about the life she left behind.

"But Saif isn't my boyfriend. He's Saif. The boy who brings me my favorite granola bars and teases me relentlessly, until my sides ache from laughter." (31)

Even though this is obviously a fictional story, it has a message and teaching to share. I have heard about arranged marriages ever since I could remember, and always imagined and wondered how it worked, what people and locals thought of it. Yes, I knew that it occurred in specific religions and nations, like Pakistan, but what about in North American, modern society? What did teens think of it? Aisha Saeed tells a story that is not relatable to some, but shares a message of diversity, first love, and all of the hardships in life that are clumped together to give teenagers a tough time in life, aside from arranged marriages. I loved this and wish that it was brought to my world sooner. I know I need more of it, and it will provide you a waterfall of tears of joy and sadness, depending on the chapter or event.

Saeed is an exceptional writer. She makes readers have to pick between two sides, between who Nalia should pick: the boy from America who she has always loved, or the new man, her new husband, in her life. It seems to be an easy decision when you have not yet read this book, but it is extremely difficult for readers, and for Nalia, of course. I did not know what to expect or who to become part of Nalia's life for good. And this is one of those cases when rebellion against "haters" is essential for one to experience a healthy, well-balanced life. It is such a real subject.

One of my favourite parts of this book (I encountered many) was the realism of the story. Aisha Saeed has experience, she plays with the Pakistani-American culture and has readers feeling like we're actually there, holding Nalia's hand as she encounters one of the worst possible situations of her lifetime. Things take a turn quickly when Nalia makes a bad decision and gets peer pressured by her best friend, Carla. Usually, it ends with consequences, but Aisha did such a beautiful job making me believe (oh, my gullible self) that everything will be fine. OF COURSE IT WOULD NOT BE ALL RIGHT.

"The harder I struggle, the more painfully destiny pushes down my fate. How long can I push against it? Should love involve pulling the person you claim to love deeper into your own destructive life, to be destroyed along with you? Saif and I tried. We failed." (200)

And guess what, my fellow reviewers and friends? I promised myself that I wouldn't cry or explode of feels. The first part was a complete promise, but I did grow in outrage with Nalia's parents and realize that things will never be the same for such a relatable, beautiful protagonist who deserves the world. She is smart, easy-going, and such an innocent person who gets forced against her will to marry a man that she has never met before, or whose name she does not even know until after the ceremony. It's pressure, that's the big theme of this book. Many are forced against their will to do things, which leads to other atrocious situations, like rape. But this is not a story about that, it is a powerful one of love and rebellion.

Saif and Nalia were unstoppable. Their passion and wills to do whatever it took to be together... that's magical. But at the moment, it is your turn to experience this beauty.

Written in the Stars is a famous book in my heart, when you really think about it. I have so much love towards it, and I seriously beg you all to read it, fall in love with it, and look for everything that you could ever ask for in a story like this. Nalia and Saif will become your next new ship, which will dock at your heart. (See what I did there? *giggles*) My love for it is undoubtedly impossible to explain or describe.

Have you ever read a fictional story about arranged marriages? What was the most diverse book of 2015 for you?