Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Rating: Five Simons 😛

Why shouldn’t everyone have to come out and tell the world their sexual orientation? Why is it only a big deal if someone “comes out” as gay? Becky Albertalli’s novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, is fan-freaking-tastic!!! She explores what it’s like to be a kid falling in love for the first time in a day and age, where social media can make or break you. What I loved most about this novel, is that Simon coming out as gay fuels the plot line but it isn’t the only motivating force. Albertalli, tells a vivid story that explores all types of love from familial, friendship based, and romantic perspectives. She portrays Simon and Blue’s emotions as valid, real, and not “abnormal”.

I guess I’m getting ahead of myself here. The main character of the novel is Simon Spier, a sixteen-year-old who’s got the “perfect” life, except for one secret: he’s gay. He’s got an amazing family, cool dog named Bieber, and friends who love him. Yet, he can’t seem to tell them he’s gay. When someone else anonymously comes out on the high school Tumblr page, Simon reaches out. A budding romance develops between them under the pseudonym of “Jacques” and the mysterious “Blue”. Throw in some blackmail with other teen drama and you’ve got a winner. When I say this novel is fan-freaking-tastic, I mean it’s FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC! I read the book within a few hours; I could not put it down. The novel is quirky, nerd-loving (heck yah Harry Potter for life), and genuine. Albertalli, makes some incredibly insightful and moving points that can move the reader to question our societies’ norms, I know I did. My recommendation? READ. THIS. NOVEL.

P.S. Read it before going to see the movie. Trust me. They are two different beasts and you’ll do yourself a disservice if you see the movie first. Don’t get me wrong the movie is great. I enjoyed it, just keep the movie and book separate in your mind. Again, I repeat, READ THE NOVEL 🙂




The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


Buy the physical novel and read it, that’s good too. BUT if you’re treating yourself BUYS THE AUDIO BOOK!!! It’s narrated by the one and only Christian Coulson – i.e. the actor who played teenage Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. His reading of the novel was described to me as, “So sexy I almost crashed my car”. I can attest to the accuracy of that statement as I made a few questionable lane changes while listening myself. The novel’s main character, Henry “Monty” Montague, an English youth of noble breeding must be read in a British accent. Therefore it must be read by Christian Coulson’s British accent. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. Click on this link to hear a sample of Coulson’s swoon worthy tones.

I promise I’m getting to the review – I just want to make sure you understand how life changing the audiobook is. Coulson’s reading is pleasing to the ear for all and my attempt at a British accent is nothing in comparison. I’m done now, I promise. A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee follows roguish Henry “Monty” Montague as I stated earlier. Lee writes the character into reality. His personality is palpable and he literally reads off the page – I wait with batted breath for a movie or television adaptation because Lee’s characters deserve human manifestation. Monty has been born and raised to be a gentleman but no level of education or parental reprimand can contain his passions – for gambling, drink, and “waking up in the arms of women or men” (Lee, 2017). The novel follows Monty as he goes on his tour of Europe which would ideally be the enactment of living his most unvirtuous life. If only life could be as we imagine it. Instead, Monty’s plans are derailed by his domineering father and he is sent off on his great adventure with his sister Felicity as charge and a chaperone who will insure that Monty has no fun. The one solace he has is that his best friend, Percy, will still go on tour with him and Monty plans on flirting with his as much as possible. Its harmless fun right? Monty’s antics quickly turn the tour sour and results in an arduous voyage across Europe that makes Monty question everything. Intrigued? You’ll have to read to find out.

Lee does a brilliant job of representing love. Love between a brother and sister, best friends, and romantic love between two young men. The way Lee writes, you don’t question Monty’s romantic choices. He loves because he loves and it doesn’t matter the gender of that person. It’s beautiful. I didn’t feel like Lee wrote this book in order to make a statement about love and politics. She simply wrote realistic characters and made me as a reader root for their love! No matter your political leanings, this is an artfully written novel that uses a historical perspective to explore the social realities we’re facing today. I, for one, am a big fan and hope you take the chance to become one yourself 🙂

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Have you ever read a book that has you smiling ear to ear like a giddy preteen about to get their hands on the final Twilight book? When Dimple Met Rishi was that book for me. Once I got started, I couldn’t put it down. I read in the car. I read while walking across campus for class. I read on the sardine packed Aggie bus and proceeded to fall over because I was paying more attention to Sandhya’s magical book instead of holding on for dear life as the driver hit the brakes. I’m not being hyperbolic when I say this book is magic.





If you’re reading this and shaking your head because YA romance just doesn’t float your boat, I implore you to hear me out. This book is more than boy meets girl, tragedy strikes and tears them a part, and somehow they end up with their happily ever after. Sandhya’s book is a coming of age story with a complicated, driven, and strong female lead. Dimple Shah refuses to be the perfect Indian daughter her mother wants. She doesn’t like wearing makeup, feels more comfortable in jeans and converse, and prefers her “specs” over contacts (Girl same, you will never see me without my glasses). Her mother’s biggest concern is making sure Dimple finds her I.I.H – Ideal Indian Husband and that’s the farthest thing on Dimple’s mind. She wants to be a badass computer coder and go to Stanford to make that dream a reality.

Insomnia Con is a budding coder’s heaven – the chance to code an app all summer long competing for the prize of a life time – having THE Jenny Lindt, powerhouse female coder, help you get your app market ready. Dimple doesn’t believe her frugal parents would ever pay for her to attend Insomnia Con yet how could the plot of the book develop without Dimple going??

According to the summary on the back of the book, “Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic”. He’s also the perfect Indian son. He wants to please his parents, in his wife choice as well as career choice. Rishi has no interest in Insomnia Con, but if it means a chance to meet his future wife – why not? Rishi, his parents, and Dimple’s parents are already writing up the marriage announcement but if I’ve done any justice in describing Dimple, do you think she’ll go along without a fight? You’ll just have to read the book to find out!

Sandhya’s writing style is quick and witty. She artfully pens what it is like to be an Indian-American teenager and the cultural pressures that entails. I know I butchered the Hindi word pronunciation and if I had one “issue” with the book it would be that there wasn’t a pronunciation guide at the back of the book. Instead I just bugged my friend who speaks Hindi endlessly until I was saying the words correctly – sorry not sorry Divya! I loved learning about Indian culture and it was eye opening to see even a small representation of the cultural conflict children of immigrants face. I cannot say it enough – I LOVED THIS BOOK!! It’s unique, quirky, with a realistic and empowered female lead, and REPRESENTATIVE! I learned so much, laughed, cried, and never wanted to leave the vivid world Sandhya crafted.

All American Boys By Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely

All American Boys

By Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely


I have not read a book that has impacted me as much as this one in a long time. I was shaken while reading this book, shaken to my core. This novel by Reynolds and Kiely is powerful, raw, eye-opening, and thought-provoking. The novel is written from two perspectives, Rashad Butler and Quinn Collins, a black teen and white teen respectively. Rashad is a high schooler, a part of R.O.T.C. because of an obligation to his father. He’s your average student and has a passion for creating comics. He’s also violently beaten by a trigger-happy cop who assumes he’s shoplifting. The reader is able to experience the beating and subsequent arrest with Rashad as it happens. Then they’re offered Quinn’s experience as he witnesses the violent act. Quinn, who is a family friend of the arresting officer and has grown up with this man as a father figure in his life. The novel switches between the two boy’s perspectives as they try and process what has happened. Both must learn to live with this new reality and decide how they want to act moving forward.

I am a young white woman. I openly acknowledge that I have white privilege. I don’t get to control how others treat me because my skin is pale in complexion. What I can control is how I decide to live my life. Do I stand by and watch as those around me are oppressed and treated differently because of their skin color? Or do I speak up and advocate for all to receive equal treatment? These are the questions that plague Quinn after he witnessed Rashad’s beating. Unlike me, Quinn is not only white, but a white male, therefore increasing the innate privilege bestowed upon him by U.S. society. I was able to relate to Quinn because we’re both white. I haven’t seen police violence in person and seeing Quinn’s internal struggle over what to do in this situation is overwhelming. It’s hard not to feel judgmental of him for not instantly reporting what he saw, yet at the same time, you feel bad for his internal conflict. What I loved most about Quinn’s perspective was how he grew by the end of the novel. It gives people like me, who were born with privilege, ideas on how to combat this privilege. Just because I have it, doesn’t mean I can’t fight for others and stand up against it.

We’ve heard their names all over the news and even though it’s only recently that they’ve received national attention, people of color have been victims of racial profiling and wrongful shootings for a long time. Rashad’s beating may be fictional, but his story and experience rings with truth and realism. Reading Rashad’s perspective is hard. If you’re an empathetic person like me, you feel anger, outrage, sympathy, and pride for him. It allowed me insight into something I will never experience. I am not black. I will never know what it’s like to be treated like Rashad, but reading his perspective was a small window into what it must be like. I cried during this book. I cried a lot. This book is so powerful and educational for everyone from all walks of life, white or black. This novel is especially pertinent in our current political atmosphere and after the recent attack in Charlottesville, North Carolina. Just to give you a taste of this novel, here’s one of my favorite quotes:

“As I heard them, my mind sort of split in two – one part listening, and the other picking up the ideas I’d been kicking around in my head all day: Would I need to witness a violence like they knew again just to remember how I felt this week? Had our hearts really become some numb that we needed dead bodies in order to feel the beat of compassion in our cheats? Who am I if I need to be shocked into my best self?”

                                                                                          (pg.296, All American Boys)

All American Boys is a novel that everyone could benefit from reading no matter what age, race, or positionality. This novel is a modern, realistic, and impactful tale that is extremely relevant to today. If you read this novel and love it as much as I do, come out to the Texas Teen Book Festival at St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX on October 7th, 2017!!! Jason Reynolds is this year’s keynote speaker along with Marie Lu. I’ll be there and excited to see these amazing authors; I hope you will be there too!!


The Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu

The Legend Trilogy

Legend (Book #1)

Prodigy (Book #2)

Champion (Book #3)

By Marie Lu

            Day is one of the most elusive and sought after fugitives of the Republic. He’s so good at what he does that the Republic doesn’t even have an accurate description of his appearance let alone the knowledge of his true identity. June is the exact opposite of Day. She is the Republic’s shining star, their golden girl. She is the prodigy of the Republic and advancing through their military teachings and hierarchy at an unprecedented rate. What could be more interesting than seeing the lives of these two formidable characters intertwine? Marie Lu’s Legend Trilogy details the lives of Day and June as their two seemly separate worlds collide. The series is definitely dystopian in nature with insightful social commentary on our current culture of extreme capitalism and consumerism. The books also delve into the hard topics of death, revenge, justice, and what it means to selflessly love one another. I would call this series a mash up of The Hunger Games and the show Revolution meets the show The 100. If you enjoy action, this is the book series for you. If you enjoy realistic relationships, this is the book series for you. If you enjoy being taken on a ride with unexpected turns and endings that aren’t 100% satisfying because they have a ring of reality, then this is the book series for you.

I’m not going to go into detail about the books in order to avoid giving away any spoilers. Instead I’m going to give you the rough brushstrokes of what I thought about each one. In my opinion the first book, Legend, began extremely slowly. Tediously slowly even, then again it might just be that I am not the biggest fan of dystopian post natural disaster America tales. Dystopian might not be your cup of tea either. That’s not a problem. As I said, they aren’t mine, but I still stuck it out and gave Legend a chance, and I’m very happy I did. Once I got to page thirty or so, I was hooked. The storyline, the characters, and the depth of Marie Lu’s writing all pulled me in. I fell in love with how the book wasn’t only told from the perspective of Day but June as well. I really enjoyed the fact that the chapters were printed in different colors and fonts that added to the development of Day and June as characters. I know some might find the color choice for Day’s point of view a little off putting, but I relished it. The differing in point of view allows the reader to get into the minds of these two characters and to hear not only a strong male voice but an equally strong female voice. Overall, Marie Lu does a masterful job of introducing the characters and laying the groundwork for the greater plot of the story within this first book. The reader has no choice but to continue onto the next book.

If I thought the first book was slow going at the start, the second book, Prodigy, is like jumping onto an already going treadmill set to 50 miles per hour. There’s action, emotional turmoil, victories, and failures. Things happen one after another, and you can’t set the book down. Lu is able to add more depth to her characters, and the reader gets to explore who Day and June are to their core. I love how the point-of-view change between Day and June allows for the reader to pick out differences in their personalities. Specifically, you can really get a sense of how meticulous June is. How every time she enters a room she calculates every exit point or how many tiles there are on the ground or how long it would take to cross certain distances. You get to experience June’s prodigy, her calculating mind. We also learn in the second book how the United States as we know it today crumbled and just how the Republic and the Colonies came about. I, for one, was getting antsy not knowing the history behind this dystopian future that referenced the U.S. we know today.

Now I’ve strayed away from just giving the rough brushstrokes haven’t I? I’ll wrap this up quickly then. The third and final book, Champion, might not be everything you want it to be. There might be some tough calls and valiant efforts made that aren’t made without some losses. The ending might be a little too realistic for your taste. I will admit I wasn’t originally a big fan of the ending. My romantic tender heart wanted less reality and more dreams come true. That being said, after rumination, I adore the ending. It’s unexpected and extremely accurate. I wonder what you’ll think of the ending… so tell me in the comments!!! Half the fun of reading books is hearing what other’s thought of them! In conclusion, I am a major fan of Marie Lu as a writer and a definite fan of Day and June.


The Remnant Chronicles

The Remnant Chronicles

The Kiss of Deception (Book #1)

The Heart of Betrayal (Book #2)

The Beauty of Darkness (Book #3)

By Mary E. Pearson

Arabella, better known by her affectionately given nickname Lia, is not your typical wayward princess running from a marriage she didn’t choose. A strong, fierce, and empowered young woman, she does what her betrothed was too afraid to do. She flees their politically arranged marriage on the day of their nuptials with her trusted maid and friend, Pauline. In her wake, Lia leaves two kingdoms, historically at odds, meant to be joined by this marriage at the brink of war. She leaves the scorned prince determined to track down the young woman braver than him. Lastly, she also unknowingly leaves an assassin tasked with taking her life. Mary E. Pearson creates an inviting, intricate, and consuming world within the Remnant Chronicles. There is mystery, intrigue, magic, myth, legend, and ultimately, hope. The Kiss of Deception, which I’ve summarized above, sets the ground work for an enthralling series. The following quote will give you a taste of what you have in store if you read the series (WHICH I HIGHLY SUGGEST):

“Today was the day a thousand dreams would die and a single dream would be born.

            The wind knew. It was the first of June, but cold gusts bit at the hilltop citadel as fiercely as deepest winter, shaking the windows with curses and winding through drafty halls with warning whispers. There was no escaping what was to come.”                                                                                                                              –Kiss of Deception

There is no escaping The Remnant Chronicles once you begin. They’re just too good. Mary E. Pearson truly spins a web that tramps you after the first page. The books are from the perspective of three individuals: Lia, The Prince, and The Assassin. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I will say read the first book in the series carefully. Mrs. Pearson is quite a trickster, and I received a massive shock at the end of the first book. If you figure out what I’m talking about, please tell me your hypothesis in the comments section!

The Heart of Betrayal and The Beauty of Darkness have darker tones than the first book. It is in these two books that the overarching plot of the series truly comes to light. These books are grittier. They deal with love and loss. They deal with trust and betrayal. They deal with desire and duty. These books will take you through the gamut of emotions multiple times before their conclusion and what a conclusion it is. I can say with utter conviction that I loved this series. I read all three books within a week. I am NOT a fast reader. I truly mean this. Those who know me don’t believe this because I can read three books within seven days. Yes, I can do this, but it’s because I will literally sit in the same spot for three days reading from the minute I wake up until 2 a.m. and then begin the whole process over again. Mary E. Pearson’s The Remnant Chronicles are a series worth losing sleep over.

Everything, Everything By Nicola Yoon




Spoiler alert: This isn’t John Green’s A Fault in Our Stars — no one unexpected dies.

            Second spoiler alert: This book is amazing, read it. Don’t just watch the movie.

            SCID – Severe Combined Immunodeficiency. If you were diagnosed with SCID tomorrow it would mean you’re basically “allergic to the world” in the words of Madeline Whittier. In other words, you don’t get to interact with said world. Nicola Yoon weaves a realistic, quirky, and heart wrenching story centered around Madeline Whitter, a young girl with SCID, in her novel Everything, Everything. You are exposed to Madeline’s: day to day routine, her medical test results, online shopping orders, spoiler book reviews, and so much more.

When I say you’re exposed to these things, I literally mean exposed because they’re printed on the page. There are endless graphics, designs, and artwork throughout the short novel. The interspersion of the graphics/artwork amongst the regular text of the novel allows the reader to fly through story at an alarming rate, or at least I did and I openly acknowledge that I am a slow reader. The art work doesn’t only break up the text and allow for diversity in form but it’s also extremely realistic of a 21st century high school girl. There are text exchanges, emails, and notebook entries; all exposing the raw and unfiltered thoughts of a teenage girl who has been quarantined in her own home for the majority of her life. Of course it’s not a real depiction of a teenage girl’s life unless a boy is involved and what could be better than the boy next door?

Olly and his family move into the house next to Madeline and what could be more exciting for someone that’s been confined to the same square footage for nearly 18 years? Olly is more of a surprise than Madeline could have ever expected. His favorite color is black and that’s what he wears every day from head to toe. He runs at walls, chills atop roof tops, and captures Madeline’s attention and heart almost instantly although she tries to deny it. If you’re not someone who enjoys “boy meets girl” stories then this novel might not be for you. What I can say is that it’s not your typical high school romance novel. There are massive plot twists, in depth relationships, and sadly too realistic family scenarios. Olly’s character development is just as intensive as Madeline’s and it’s a joy to read.

I was delighted and engaged throughout the entire read. That being said, I did have an issue with the ending. I won’t give away any spoilers but I will say that the ending comes extremely fast. A major plot point is revealed and less than fifty pages later the novel is finished. Personally I was happy with the ending, but not the way it was written. I needed more finality, more closure. The ending would be great if I knew it was intentionally left vague in order for there to be a sequel but this novel is a standalone. Please comment with what you thought of the ending because I would love to know your thoughts!  I really had the best time reading this novel and recommend it to all who appreciate realistic fiction, teenage love, and the journey of growing up and finding yourself.

A Court of Thrones and Roses (ACOTAR) Trilogy

A Court of Thrones and Roses (Book #1)

A Court of Mist and Fury (Book #2)

A Court of Wing and Ruin (Book #3)

By Sarah J. Maas

            …. I am lost for words. The ACOTAR trilogy by Sarah J. Maas took my breath away, had me balling my eyes out, laughing myself silly, and literally running around my house screaming when my Nook began losing power in the last one-hundred pages of final book. I found my Nook charger and plugged it in in time; I know you were worried for me.

Where to begin with this series…where to begin? The first book, A Court of Thrones and Roses, could be described as a take on Beauty and the Beast, but that’s too simplistic of a description in my opinion. Similar to the Disney movie, the book does have a female protagonist, Feyre, and a so called “beast” in the immortal faerie of Tamlin. Feyre is taken away to a magical faerie land, Prythian, against her will in a bargain of sorts similar to one made by Belle for her father. There is also a curse on Tamlin and his people in Prythian like the movie, and there is the potential for romance between Feyre and Tamlin like Belle and the Beast, but the similarities between the movie and book stops here.

Sarah J. Maas is a masterful world builder. She has created three different lands and multiple races of humans and faerie species. She has constructed social orders not only amongst the humans, but the fae as well. She has developed intricate war histories dating back thousands of years. She has crafted various courts for the faeries each with their own personalities, abilities, and reputations. Sarah J. Maas has built a world that consumed me; I was completely transported into their world, and I never wanted to leave. I devoured the first two books within days. I then had a tortuous three month wait in between A Court of Mist and Fury and the release of the final book, A Court of Wings and Ruin. You are lucky. If you’re just starting the trilogy, you can read all three books consecutively.

I am seriously at a loss of words … how can I accurately explain how much I LOVE this trilogy? I can’t. It’s that simple. I will never be able to articulate just how obsessed, enamored, and enthralled I am with these books. There’s intricate plot and character development. A bit of more than PG-13 sex scenes – be warned.  There are harrowing fight scenes and battles that illustrate the grit and grim involved in warfare. Some people might say the first book is slow paced, that it inches to a climax. Fine, say what you will, BUT I will fight you if you say the second and third books in the trilogy are slow. Maybe fifty to a hundred pages in they hit a certain point, and then they are flying. There is a major battle, a new twist in the plot, and something else tugging on your heart strings one thing right after another. I’ve never read a 626 page book as fast as I did when I read A Court of Wings and Ruin. Gaaahhhhhh, I feel a flurry of emotion and odd summersaults in my stomach writing about this trilogy. It’s that good. It’s that consuming. I can proudly say I indoctrinated one of my friends into the ACOTAR Trilogy lifelong fan club; that’s how good this series is. I hope you join us and start reading the books right now! Please let me know if you’ve joined the club in the comments section!

As I’ve reiterated multiple times, I feel like my words fail to express how much these books impacted me. Click the link for a brilliant GIF review a fellow ACOTAR Trilogy lifelong fan club member posted on Goodreads. It accurately describes all I wish to express in images.


The Raven Cycle Series

The Raven Cycle Series

The Raven Boys

The Dream Thieves

Blue Lily, Lily Blue

The Raven King

By Maggie Stiefvater




  1. a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep.


  1. experience dreams during sleep.
  2. contemplate the possibility of doing something or that something might be the cause.


Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle series forces the reader to think about dreams in a radically new way. Dreams are no longer something that only occurs when you’re sleeping. Dreams are no longer what you wish for your future. The characters relationship to dreaming is nothing like ours. Dreams become reality with the way that Stiefvater spins her literary magic; dreams are her words on the paper. The series follows the interconnected and tangled lives of Blue Sargent and her Raven Boys: Richard “Dick” Gansey III, Adam Parrish, and Ronan Lynch. The tale Stiefvater creates involves psychics, lay lines, mystical hidden Welsh kings, and endless possibilities.

The first book in the series The Raven Boys pulls the reader in with Stifvater’s unique way of writing. The way she writes cannot be boxed into a single descriptor. The point of view of the book is not written in first person perspective or second person perspective. It’s not an omniscient observer or even a single character perspective. It is constantly changing and jumping from little storyline to little story line that comes together to weave the big picture. Sometimes I found myself becoming frustrated with her way of writing. I wanted a clear understanding of one character and their perspective on what was happening around them. I’m happy that’s not what I received because the more I read, the more I found myself dreaming along with the characters. Once I got over the “strangeness” of the writing, I was able to follow its cadence. I followed its notes to the very end and rushed to begin reading the second book.

The Dream Thieves, the second book in the series, was not what I expected it to be. If the first book focused more on the character of Blue, then the second book was all about Ronan – my favorite character. The second book in the series finally answers many questions that come up in the first book. I won’t go into detail in order to avoid spoilers, but let’s just say Ronan plays a pivotal role in terms of dreams. The character development that occurs within this book is astronomical. The reader not only learns more of the background of each character but meets more of their family members. The reader finally begins to see a more holistic view of each character and the discoveries are immense. If you couldn’t already tell, I loved the second book. I devoured it in less than two days and moved straight into the third book.

Lily Blue, Blue Lily is the third installment in the series and Stiefvater just keeps the ball rolling. One second you think you know where the story is headed, and in the next second, she’s gone in an entirely different direction and thrown in a new character to boot. I thoroughly enjoyed all the twist and turns of the story and appreciated not being able to guess the ending. Too often when reading books or watching TV shows, if you pay close enough attention, you can predict the ending. That is not true with this series – it’s a roller coaster with hidden turns from start to finish.

The Raven King is the fourth and final installment in the series. Stiefvater ends the series like a beautiful symphony; all the players have made their entrance and had their solos. The crescendo has been reached and the final lingering note played. That single note keeps playing, letting the listener imagine what should come next. The ending is satisfactory yet allows for the continuation of dreaming. Stiefvater has dreamt this amazing world to life, but now it’s up to the reader to dream the rest. The Raven Cycle series is one of disbelief, vivid emotions, and endless possibilities. It is a dream made reality and whispers for you to never stop dreaming.

The Cellar by Natasha Preston

Rose. Poppy. Violet. Lily. Four exceptionally beautiful, pure, and innocent women. A family cultivated by Clover and seemingly perfect in every way. Excluding the fact that all four of these women were kidnapped, renamed, and are being held by Clover in the cellar beneath his home.


The Cellar by Natasha Preston follows the story of Summer, a feisty sixteen year old who lives in the boring old town of Long Thorpe, England where nothing exciting happens to anyone, until the day it happens to Summer. Violently abducted and shoved into her kidnappers hidden cellar, Summer is forced to become Lily. She’s thrust into Clover’s “family” along with Rose, Poppy, and Violet because in Clover’s mind he is saving his “flowers” from the corruption and filth that taints the world. He is their protector and deserves their gratitude for his noble work.

Preston writes The Cellar from the point of view of Summer, her boyfriend Lewis, and even her abductor Colin, better known as Clover. The change in perspective allows the reader to put themselves in the shoes of all involved, to try and understand each mindset and their emotional journey. The reader experiences the crushing fear and despair that consumes Summer. They experience the manic drive propelling Lewis in his search for the girl he loves. They enter the deranged and distorted reality of Colin and are able to glimpse the rational he uses to commit different actions and why he believes he’s doing the “right” thing. The way Preston switches between characters is masterful and allows the reader a chance to breath. If there weren’t the changes in perspective or flash backs to before Summer was taken, I know I wouldn’t have been able to finish the book. I felt an overwhelming sense of unease and terror as I read through Summer’s point of view. A pressure built up in my chest as I read through Summer’s fears and feared for her myself. The pressure continued building the longer I read and soon I felt like I was suffocating because although this is a fictitious book, it’s a sad reality of our world that things like this actually happen. The segmenting of the book allows for the reader to step back and remember that the book is a work of fiction. It’s okay to breath.

This book is captivating, exhilarating, and impossible to put down. When I did finish The Cellar, I felt very unsatisfied with the ending until I realized that there was going to be a squeal entitled You’ll Always Be Mine which I plan on starting today. This book will keep you with bated breath, wanting to cry and scream at the same time, and riding a wave of anticipation. If you want to be swaddled in rainbows and butterflies, this is not the book for you. If you find yourself horrified yet fascinated by the heinous acts of this world, this is the book for you.