Alex & Eliza



I have been obsessed with the Hamelton soundtrack. There I said it. My student’s swayed me at the end of the school year and I’ve been enamored ever since.

Alex & Eliza seemed like a perfect opportunity to live in my Hamelton bubble a little longer. While much more innocent, a bit slower, and wrought with against, I enjoyed this book a lot. It takes its own liberties with Hamelton’s story (as does the Hamelton play) and I think they enhance the story De La Cruz tells. What I can appreciate more than anything, De La Cruz is telling a different story. One all her own. Eliza is a main Character in this book, half the story told through her eyes, the other half through Alexander’s. This is a story about love above all other things. While Hamelton, the musical, was about so much more than just their love.

I’m confident the characters are not teenagers (historically speaking they were not around this time) the book feels like a YA. I believe it is a YA but more than whether or not it is, it feels like one. Some books don’t. That being said, it’s a surface story. A bit lighter than I wanted. I wanted more. I wanted more detail, more history, just more.

I have a love for Melissa De La Cruz and it has not changed. This book wasn’t quite what I was hoping for, but I struggled to put it down all the same.






We cured everything, cancer, common cold, and well…. we caused the Zombie Apocalypse. Twenty years after the rising life has moved on. Not to say it’s any better, but it’s continued. The landscape of America has drastically changed from politics to lawn parties. It’s a different America then the one we were raised in. Georgia and Shaun Mason are on following a story so big, it might explain why the rising happened and who’s prevented a cure. When the dead begin to uprise, so did the art of news. Hollywood was no longer the center of attention and large news sources couldn’t be trusted to be honest. When the dead started to rise, so did the likes of young bloggers who had a sense of what journalism needed, a healthy dose of integrity.

When Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire) wrote FEED, I don’t know think she knew how politically poignant it would be a few short years later. Or maybe she did. Admittedly, Grant is pretty bad ass. In the truest of Grant/McGuire fashion, there is incredible world building and realness to her novels. Feed has clearly been researched and then when you think it’s been researched enough, it’s researched some more.

While at times, info-dumping occurs, (Always intelligent and they feel necessary to the story) and I would have been more surprised if the antagonist of the story had been a different character, I still enjoyed this book an insane amount. There are zombies, political undercurrents (something I normally don’t care for but it’s written so well I can’t help but love it), and unique relationships which aren’t common. I was griped from page one to page six-hundred-and-one.

I haven’t had much luck on book twos lately, so I’ll hold off for now on reading it. Not because it won’t be great, but because I want to enjoy this feeling some more before I chance loosing it. Mark my words, I will read book two and I am excited at the prospect of greatness.




I am a girl boss and if we’re all being perfectly honest, you can be too.

I started watching the new Netflix original #GirlBoss a couple of weeks ago and damn if I wasn’t pulled in right away. It’s smart, funny, and…wait for it… Loosely based on true events. That was enough for me to go digging for the book. #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso, the founder of Nasty Gal, was a quick click away. While the audiobook was not read by Amoruso, it was still a good read.

Was the book as good as good as the show? Shockingly no. I really expected that the book would rise above the show but it did not. This was one of those rare moment when Netflix outshines everyone and made #GIRLBOSS just slightly flater than I’d hoped for. It did have some fun moments, and some good advice about being your own girl boss,  but all in all, I think this was one of those situations, where the Netflix has the magical ability of turning an okay book into A+ tv.




Book two from Lauren Oliver, in the DELERIUM series, PANDEMONIUM. I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. When I read DELERIUM, I couldn’t put it down, I couldn’t stop listening. But book two… meh. It was good, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t as page turny as the first. Well, up until the last page. That last page forces me to read book three. But overall, my book two theory takes hold for another crushing win.

Lena is back and the world is as dangerous as ever. In the second installment, Lena is in the Wilds and a part of the growing resistance. She’s left her old self behind in Portland, with Alex, the boy who she fell in love with, who was shot down, murdered in front of her. Grief sucks her and almost swallows her whole. Surviving in the unregulated Wilds is hard and the leader, Raven, is not about to let her slack off.

Lana is sent on a mission that takes her to observe 18-year-old Julian Fineman, the prominent son of a cured in New York. He hasn’t undergone the cure yet because of previous surgeries due to a brain tumor. On the day of Julian’s cure, Lena and Julian end up imprisoned together. A bond forms and although I personally don’t know how I feel about it, it’s sweet.

PANDEMONIUM alternates between “Then” and “Now” chapters taking place roughly six months apart. I wasn’t sure I liked it at first but Oliver does a seamless job and I don’t think it would have had the same impact had the story been told from beginning to end.

I think I’ll have a final decision on the Lena front after I read book three. I will have to know how this ends. Considering what’s happened in books two, book three will be a storm.




What if Love was outlawed? In Lauren Oliver’s book DELIRIUM, Love is a disease and there is a cure. All citizens of the United States must take the cure at age eighteen and be rid of the disease once and f28664211896or all. City’s are fenced in to protect the citizens from the Wilds where love sympathizers lurk. Lena is less than three months away from her cure date. She’s counting down the days until she’s matched with her future husband and is ready to be out from under her aunt’s thumb. Everything changes when she meets Alex. He’s a guard with secrets. Secrets and a wild past. What would you do for love?

I enjoyed DELIRIUM so much. I went in hesitantly. Unbelieving that O266964fe496904d37f5340c14a35a689.jpegliver could write yet another mind blowing book. Can she continue to produce amazing books? Is she flawed? Maybe but I didn’t see it in in this book. I’m a sucker for a good dystopian book. And the premise of LOVE being outlawed = Mind Blown. I loved how she managed to keep a lot of the book grounded around a semi-normal society. It wasn’t like THE GIVER or MATCHED or even DIVERGENT. It takes place in Portland and could easily be mistaken for a normal city. Minus the regulators, fences, and every person over the age of eighteen walking around like happy zombies.

I’m excited to take on book two. I don’t even feel the need for a break between books, like I often do in series. I’m ready to delve feet first and find out what happens to Lena and Alex. The cliffhanger ending is impossible to walk away from. 9f5a03023528442320b1ce8605b3d8f6.jpeg

Before I fall

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If there is one story I can read, reimagined time and time again, it’s the groundhog day – 12 days of chirstmas – butterfly effect – repete this day until you finally get it right – story. BEFORE I FALL was the perfect reimagined version of this. I was a fan of Lauren Oliver when I read PANIC, but I’m in love with her after BEFORE I FALL.

For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.

However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.

From the first pages, Oliver grips you and drags you into the depths of her story. Wave of emotions pound at you until the very last page. I worried that living the same seven days would fall flat on paper but Oliver manages to raise questions about love, life, death, and how we are all interconnected. In a lot of ways this reminds me of Jay Asher’s THIRTEEN REASONS WHY. It explores some of those same themes, what you do in life effects those around you. Living seven days through Sam’s eyes, was heart breaking, exilerating, and shatering all in the same breath.

Growing up, I was Juliet Skyes. I had my own version of Sam’s group. I never went so far as to consider suicide over their mean and hateful pranks, but I was lucky. I knew that after high school, none of it would mater anymore. I’d get a fresh start and they’d still be the shity person they were. Sometimes all of that’s hard to admit. No one wants to admit that they were bullied in school. Or that they were a bully.

I loved the transformation we see Sam go through. From mean girl to a girl who cares. She makes personal amends in every aspect of her life. With her parrents, sister, friends, people she doesn’t know, and ultimetly with the one person who needs it the most.

BEFORE I FALL was thoughtfully writen and it will go down as one of my favorites for years to come.





FANGIRL is my third Rainbow Rowell book and so maybe my love of ELEANOR AND PARK and KINDRED SPIRITS should have been the clue that reading more of Rainbow’s stuff was a good idea. But if I’m being honest, I had this fear that I’d be let down. It happens sometimes. You build an author up in your head and then fall that much harder when they fail to meet such high expectations. Maybe ELANOR AND PARK was a fluke and when I read FANGIRL or any other book by Rainbow, I’d be disappointed. I couldn’t face being such a low after I’d fallen so hard for the other two books.

I wasn’t disappointed.

There are so many reasons to love FANGIRL. So many reasons to run screaming through the streets, praising this book. Beyond whatever I can say, what I love about this book is the way it stirs my heart and warms my soul. It’s like drinking a cup of something I didn’t know I was missing.

Cather is a Simon Snow fan. She’s also one of the most popular writers of Fanfiction online. Being a fan has been Cath’s whole life. It’s the one thing she’s really good at. She and her twin sister Wren have drifted apart. College has brought on some new challenges. Cath is on her own for the first time and far out of her comfort zone. Her English professor believes that fanfiction is the equivalent of plagiarism. Her roommate is moody with a charming boyfriend who is always around. Oh and the boy at the library who only wants to use her words. Does moving on mean she has to give up Simon too?

This was beautifully written. I’m liquid and in love. Watch me pretend like I wasn’t a big fan before… because yea, it’s official, I love Rainbow Rowell. Hard. I love her books so hard I want to force them down my friend’s throats until they have to like her too. That’s not weird is it?


Charlie and The Chocolate Factory 

I Miranda Boyer have never read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Well, I hadn’t until yesterday anyway. The thing is, unlike everyone around me, I was never a fan of the movie. Either of them. It just didn’t tickle my funny bone or make me dreamy. Roald Dahl’s book however, that’s another story. 

From the beginning it has that same Dahl voice I’ve come to love. It’s vibrent, it’s  engaging, it’s endearing and full of magic.  I love that a common them in Dahl’s books, involves some grown ups being bad and rightfully punished for their actions. No this case children as well. There are always strong good and bad themes. If you are good, good things happen to you. If you’re bad, bad things happen to you. 

I can officially check off Charlie pt. 1 and Matilda  from my Dahl collection. I’d like to make my way through them all this year. Wish me luck! 

Ronit & Jamil

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RONIT & JAMIL by Pamela L. Laskin is a Lyrical novel in verse. It’s a fresh retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet where the star-crossed lovers are in modern-day Israel and Palestine stuck in the middle of their countries conflict.

There were a lot of reasons I picked up this book: the cover art is beautiful, the idea of a modern Romeo & Juliet, and I’m a sucker for star-crossed love – end of story. While the poetry is beautiful at times, it does come across very middle grade. I’m not sure who the audience is supposed to be, but it feels young. Truth be told, wasn’t Juliet 12? So maybe that is the intent.

I thought it was interesting that the verses almost seemed to mirror on her side and his throughout the book. They each have individual lives, on either border of Israel and Palestine, but they are so similar. Even the day to day is similar. I could be off base here, but it felt like the author was trying to convey that despite their differences, these countries are more alike than they maybe would like to admit. So for that reason, I thought it was beautiful rendition. I don’t know that the audience as a whole would appreciate the themes in this book, and for that, I’m a little sad.


More Happy Than Not


I think most readers of Adam Silvera’s MORE HAPPY THAN NOT, probably don’t remember Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but I do. Silvera’s first novel brings this idea of erasing bad memories, to a new generation. A rollercoaster of emotions have wrecked havoc on my emotional state while reading this book. I kept hoping for a happy ending, for the book to go a certain way and it never did what I thought it might. It’s hard to surprise me in a book and so for that, I’m thankful.

MORE HAPPY THAN NOT is about a boy who is considering a memory altercation procedure to help him forget that he’s gay. He believes that living a life as a straight teenager would make him happier and ultimately be easier on himself and his friends. Silvera himself says this book is about, “…science versus nature, friendship, sexuality, and a quest for happiness.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

I’ve lost two people in my life to suicide, one of them just over a year ago. It breaks my heart that Homophobia still exists. That there are those who go out of their way to hurt another human over love. I’ll never wrap my head around that kind of hate. I teach at a middle school and I watch teenagers self-harm because they feel no one in the world understands what they’re going through. Books like these must continue to authored and must continue to be read. If all else, to give a ray of hope to those who are suffering, that they’re not alone.

Silvera’s book is unforgettable, painful, beautiful, and so many more words I can’t conjure at this moment.