Tag Archives: contemporary

Book Review: Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

Published in 2017

286 pages

5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Sypnosis:

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.

Let’s Talk about the Plot:

I actually really enjoyed this book, which frankly, sounds odd, because there were some parts that I found completely agonising (like when Aza constantly fed herself hand sanitizer, because she thought it was helping her). But honestly, the plot constantly kept me intrigued. There was quite a bit of mystery to it, and I honestly didn’t know what would happen next, and the writing didn’t feel too forced, everything flowed perfectly and the characters felt really real and relatable. Definitely my new favourite John Green, I didn’t actually think I’d enjoy this, the only book of his I wholly enjoyed was The Fault in Our Stars, but this one had me wholly invested in Aza and her journey. I really liked the mystery aspect too, I had no idea what might’ve happened to Davis’s dad, but I knew I needed to find out.

Let’s talk about the characters:

Aza definitely was a character I related to; I admit, when I was younger I used to be a hypochondriac, forever obsessing about germs and illness. To this day, part of me still thinks about this and once that switch is triggered, it’s hard to turn off. Now, although Aza wasn’t exactly that, she definitely, I would say, was worried about germs in her body and for that, I could definitely relate. Even to the extent where she wouldn’t kiss someone, I have been there. I was once (and perhaps still am) terrified of too many germs entering my system. Anyway, I know I’m stalling, but I will say Aza was a loving daughter and a loyal friend, even though she wasn’t always mentally there for Daisy. I actually enjoyed, in fact I found it refreshing, because she was written so human. Her thoughts summed up how I’ve felt about things in the past, and honestly my heart ached for her mental pain. I just wanted her to realise that she is an amazing human that’s doing her best.

I’ll also never not think of her when I see or use hand sanitizer again, truthfully. The parts where she drank it chilled me, honestly I ached that she had to go to that extreme and how she thought she was so insufficient. Even though I couldn’t exactly relate to these aspects of her personality, I definitely found Aza to be one of the most relatable characters, and it’s a total surprise that this book is a new favourite. I need more characters like Aza in my life.

I loved Daisy too! I absolutely adored her friendship with Aza, and I’m glad Daisy sort of pushed Aza in to realising certain things, even if it lead to a nail biting scene. Both characters complimented each other perfectly, to be honest: and Daisy really loved Aza; they were always there for one another, just in different ways. And I thought Daisy’s Star Wars obsession was fun, definitely a quirky aspect to the story, with her passion for Chewbacca and Rey and writing Star Wars fic. Some of the scenes mentioning this really made me laugh, and actually the same can be said for Daisy. At times she was a really funny character, and at times she was definitely what Aza needed, I think.

Davis was great too, he was constantly going through his own grief, his father’s disappearance being the context of the mystery in the book, and I definitely felt for him. I loved reading his blog entries, with quotes from people such as Shakespeare and Terry Pratchett, which echoed Davis’s thoughts. I really liked his scenes with Aza too, I feel like both characters went really well together, and he was really understanding of her nature. Their scenes were written so simply, it was utterly wonderful and refreshing; and I love how much he cared for Noah, his younger brother. It was so precious reading the parts where Davis was talking about Noah, I really felt for those two.

Let’s Talk About the Writing:

I was addicted. This book has reawakened my faith in John Green. The Fault in Our Stars has always been a long time favourite book of mine, and this beauty is definitely standing proud next to it. I’ll read this again, easily. It was such a unique story and the writing was packed full of everything, it made me laugh, cry and flail with sad frustration at times, and Aza has definitely helped how I see things in life, so I’m definitely grateful for this book.

Until next time, happy reading.

Brooklyn 🙂

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Book Review: You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LaCour

Published in 2016

250 pages

4 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really?

Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed.

That is, until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way.

When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other—and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

Told in alternating points of view by Nina LaCour and David Levithan, You Know Me Well is a story about navigating the joys and heartaches of first love, one truth at a time.

Mini Review:

This was such a beautiful story of friendship and love and slightly self discovery too, in my opinion! It was wonderful getting to read about these great characters and get swept up into their everyday lives, this book was full of angst and love, but it wasn’t over the top; the characters felt really natural and the writing was really fast paced! I was dying to know what would happen next and not to be too spoilery, but there was a delicious amount of lgbt relationships throughout the story; and I felt so proud for these people embracing their pride!

And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading, Brooklyn 🙂

Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Published in 2013 by St Martin’s Press

459 pages

5 out of 5 stars

My Review:

I read this book last year and instantly became obsessed with everything about it! It was my first Rainbow Rowell book, and it instantly became a favourite! Cath is such a relatable character, if not the most relatable character ever! She and Wren, twin sisters, have such a unique bond, and I loved her quirky friendship with Reagan as it developed! It’s funny, as I read this, I found I was experiencing similar emotions to the first time I read it, I absolutely HATED Nick (I have reasons!) and I found the writing to be as fun and addictive as the first time! I feel like it’s still pretty rare to have a character that is a canon Fangirl (no pun intended), but it’s one of my favourite things to read about! And I have to acknowledge how clever Rowell is to take her own characters from her work and completely change it up. I loved the page breaks in between with Cath’s fanfiction! So unique and refreshing and fun.

And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading 🙂

Brooklyn ~

Book Review: Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Published in 2012 by MIRA Books, an imprint of Harlequin UK Limited

260 pages

4 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

“I’ve left some clues for you.

If you want them, turn the page.

If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.

My Review:

This was such a sweet read! It constantly kept me engaged, I loved both characters and I was anticipating what would happen next! It was the perfect start to my festive reads for the month!

I found the writing style to be refreshing, I liked the note exchanges that both characters swapped, and I enjoyed them going through one another’s riddles that they left the other. Both characters were definitely polar opposites, but loveable all the same; there were some parts in this book that made me roll my eyes, but all in all a wonderful, festive read. I definitely recommend this to anyone that likes cute and unexpected romances, and I’ll definitely be reading book 2 soon.

Oh! I must add, I really like both authors’ writing style, so I’m looking forward to reading more of them in the future 🙂

Note: I’m going to go back to writing mini reviews, I just find I don’t have the time to write full length ones, and my reviews tend to stray to the shorter side, mostly *ahem*. XD

Until next time, Happy Reading!

Brooklyn 🙂

Book Review: Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven

Published in 2016

388 pages

2 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for every possibility life has to offer. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything. 

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.

My thoughts:

Let me start by saying I had high expectations for this book! “All the Bright Places” is one of my all time favourite books, and when I saw Jennifer Niven being interviewed about this book earlier in the year, I was instantly intrigued; one of the main characters suffers a unique problem; he can’t always recognise faces; and Libby sounded like an intriguing character. When I started this book, I was definitely feeling like it was so unique! Jennifer Niven writes characters so intricately, you can’t help but be pulled in! I was excited to read more….

But, as I did read on, I just found the book didn’t really go anywhere? I mean sure, Libby did some great things, I’m glad how much she evolved as a character; same with Jack – but oh my goodness there were times when both characters started to get on my nerves; some of the things that they did made no sense! Like, what was with Libby’s sexual urges,the fact that she thought she could have sex to lose all the weight? Just cause she saw it on tv? Didn’t do it for me; and Jack was great, honestly, but ugh I got so annoyed when he suddenly decided something about 3/4 in the book, it’s like ‘what the heck?’ I then felt like Jack was the biggest walking contradiction. Honestly. And then the last 1/4 of the book didn’t do much for me at all, I feel like it was just even more repetitive. I really hope Jennifer Niven writes something similar to ‘All The Bright Places’ next! That book just tugged at my heartstrings in all the best ways, and honestly it’s still with me today!

I’ll leave it there, until next time happy reading!

Brooklyn 🙂

Book Review: Made You Up by Francesca Zappia 


Published in 2015

Pages: 428

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

Reality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook and Liar.

Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn’t she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal. 

Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up. 

My Review:


I’m honestly not even sure where to begin here, this was such a beautiful and unique read. I’ve rarely read books with such strong mental illness theme, and in this book, it’s the main character, Alex, who suffers from schizophrenia and paranoia. 

Now, as far as paranoia and mental illness goes, I’ve seen both closely; and I felt like I could relate to Alex, to a small degree. This book was honestly so well written and it was paced so quickly, I could hardly put it down. The reader is literally thrust into the world of Alex’s, where, without being too spoilery, we don’t know what’s real and what’s not; and honestly, I’ve read nothing like this before, and daresay I never will again, but hey, never say never. The emotions through this book were unreal, I felt like I was feeling as Alex was, and whilst I was expecting some things to not be real; when I found out what wasn’t; I couldn’t believe it! Honestly, it was such a shock, I’m still reeling even as I type. 

There was some really cute romance throughout this book, honestly; I loved how Zappia developed that part of the storyline, but at the same time, it didn’t feature too heavily throughout the story. Miles, who had gone through some hardships of his own; he was honestly such a fabulous character and I was cheering when he spoke towards Alex’s parents. Now, without being too spoilery, they were definitely interesting characters; but there were times where I didn’t exactly like her mum, I mean, she was brutal sometimes; but at other times you could tell both Alex’s mum and dad really loved their daughter; and there were definitely some tender moments between Alex and her parents, which I loved. 

What I loved even more though, is Alex’s bond with her little sister, it was honestly so perfect and beautiful. The whole book was such a unique, eye opening delight to read, and I definitely felt like it was an invitation into the character’s life, and I definitely felt like I went on her journey with her!
And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading, 

Brooklyn 🙂 

Book Review: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson


Published in 2010 by Walker Books Limited

Pages: 310

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey.
But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to centre stage of her own life – and suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two boys. One boy takes Lennie out of her sorrow; the other comforts her in it. But the two can’t collide without Lennie’s world exploding.
My Review:


Let me just say, firstly, I had high hopes for this book, partially because the sypnosis sounded really feely, and it was; and also I’ll Give You The Sun (by the same author), is one of my all time favourite reads. 

So when I started this book, I found it raw and emotional; what with Lennie explaining how her sister had died suddenly, and it was definitely sad to read about; I mean, how would I feel if I lost a loved one? Heartbroken, definitely. Throughout this book, Lennie goes on a journey of sorts of dealing with her grief, and I definitely found that aspect effective and emotional, however; I didn’t like how much romance was brought into this story; honestly, it wasn’t necessary and in my opinion, both make love interests were exceptionally underdeveloped and tiresome characters; and it is these characters that change Lennie, honestly she started to annoy me with her constant thinking of both of them; however, I did love the flashback notes between Lennie and her beloved sister Bailey; I loved how Bailey’s presence was constantly felt throughout the book, along with various revelations that definitely made her death even more sad! 

I also enjoyed the interactions between Lennie and her grandmother; it showed how grief affects everyone and there were definitely some sad moments between the two, I only wish we learnt more about her gran’s thoughts; and love interests aside; I did like Lennie’s character, for most part. I mean she was definitely unique, named after John Lennon, a bookworm (yet I still don’t understand why she and her gran hacked up a copy of her most beloved book?) because, to me, the literary references throughout were always a part of Lennie’s character, and indeed I related; but anyway; this was definitely an interesting story of love and loss, and coming to terms with grief. I just wish some things were given more page time than others. 

And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading,

Brooklyn 🙂 

Book Review: Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli


Published in 2015 

Pages: 303

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met. 

My Thoughts:

Well, this was definitely an addictive read. I finished it in the space of an afternoon and evening, only stopping for my work shift and food. I enjoyed this even more than Albertalli’s “The Upside of Unrequited.” It was such an endearing and empowering read! 

Firstly, I felt so sympathetic to Simon! He was an amazing narrator and I was instantly drawn into his world, his friends, his rehearsal of the school musical, his family and his emails with the mysterious Blue. Albertalli definitely wastes no time getting into the story and building her characters, for each of them goes through a fair bit of growth, namely Simon! Who doesn’t want to come out to his family or really his friends, he prefers his drama to be in the rehearsal room! But this made me feel sad at times because no one should be afraid to express who they are! Simon projects his thoughts and feelings via email to Blue, who he doesn’t know, for neither of them have actually met. 

Or have they? 

I can’t go into too much detail because of spoilers, but I loved how the book was split up into the chapters and then inside the chapters were the emails between the two characters. These scenes were so precious! It gave the reader such a great insight into both these wonderful humans, and how they think and feel; and gosh did they have some laughs too, and friendly banter. It was amazing! They bonded over a love of Oreos (might I add here that this book made me hungry) and honestly so much more than that. I was constantly dying throughout for them to meet, and I was definitely feeling angst when one said they didn’t want to exchange numbers. Also when someone pretends to be Simon on “the Tumblr” and posts something mean. 

All the characterisation in this book was perfect. Actually, no, this whole book was perfect. I can’t fault it. I was hooked from the start and couldn’t put it down. It’s a contemporary full of feels, and I promise you’ll love it too! This book is definitely a perfect blend of friendship, family, love, and more! 

I could keep ranting but no spoilers so I’ll leave it there. Until next time, happy reading!

Brooklyn The Bookworm 🙂 

Goodreads Monday

Hi bookworms, it’s Brooklyn The Bookworm back after a little bit! I hope everyone is well and is having a great reading month so far! 

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme where one picks a book off their TBR and showcases it! So without further ado, presenting this week’s Goodreads Monday choice!


PS I Still Love You by Jenny Han! 

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.

She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.

When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

My Thoughts:

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is one of my favourite contemporaries, it was such a light, sweet, fun and feely read. Lara Jean Song is one of my favourite characters in a contemporary, she’s so relatable: she’s a homebody and loves spending time with her family and baking. She definitely grew a lot in the first book and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for her in books 2 and 3! 🙊


Happy reading, bookworms!

– Brooklyn The Bookworm 📚🗝

Book Review: Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde


Published in 2017

Pages: 263

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Goodreads:

When BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever.

Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Reese Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.
While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own.
Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.
My thoughts:

This was such a cute read, I loved how passionate each character is about their fandoms, and fandom life in general so that’s definitely something I could relate to on all the levels. And I love that both Charlie and Taylor learn to speak up for themselves too, both female characters went on a great growth journey through the book. 

It was told in split points of views, from both Taylor and Charlie’s perspectives, and that was great because I felt like I was feeling all their emotions and thinking what they were thinking. On a personal level, Taylor is one of the most relatable characters ever, not just for her geekiness, but for her social anxiety and her constant overthinking. Throughout her chapters, she internally vocalises her thoughts, fears and feels, and that’s something I definitely understand. I was so proud of her as she learnt to accept herself and see herself ad the amazing girl she is, and she once posted the most uplifting messages to everyone on Tumblr after she was bullied. 

Charlie herself was a great character too! It was amazing to have a diverse character that is just so open and comfortable in herself. Whilst trying to escape her ex boyfriend, Charlie runs into her vlogger idol and it was amazing to see what happened next. 

There were two sets of romance in this book, and it was so cute seeing both develop. There’s something in this book for everyone, and it is something I’d definitely read again! It was definitely refreshing and will become a bit of a comfort read! I found Alyssa and Charlie’s conversations to be empowering, and these characters felt like friends! I also loved the banter between the trio of Charlie, Jamie and Taylor, they have such a beautiful friendship and they’re definitely there for one another through it all. 

A fantastic book that I recommend to all! And that concludes my review, until next time, happy reading,

Brooklyn 🙂