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review 2016-11-04 08:47
Rambling Review: P.S. I Like You
P.S. I Like You - Kasie West

P.S. I Like You

by Kasie West

**Collective Updates for P.S. I Like You



Signed, sealed, delivered…

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk.  The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her.  Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer.  Only, who is he?  As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

Okay.  So here are my thoughts:

I really, really, really enjoyed reading this book.  In fact, I'm actually quite pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book.  To be honest, the past two Kasie West books I've read have been a little deflated, and a little bit of a step down from what I'd associated with Kasie West based on the first two books I'd read of hers: Pivot Point and The Distance Between Us.  Up to last year, The Distance Between Us was my favorite of the Kasie West books currently published.

The rest of the books I've read since The Distance Between Us have been enjoyable, but just never on that same level of squee-worthy love.

Until now.

I'm not the type to go hardcore fangirl too often.  Okay, maybe I am.  But I often see a lot of reviewers tout a recent release by a favorite author as "the best of so-and-so's work," and I often wonder if that's not too exaggerated.  I mean, maybe you love it that much because it's new and older works are a distant memory, you know.  Then again, everyone has their own preferences, and I can understand why people would make such an absolute declaration.

Because I'm probably about to do the same... or at least something similar here.

Kasie West is an author I follow and love.  She may not be an all-time favorite, but I do, absolutely enjoy the wit and humor she infuses into her books, when that particular quality is present.  I'm not going to lie:  On the Fence and The Fill-In Boyfriend were two enjoyable books on a superficial level; but both books seemed to lack that dry sarcasm and nonsensical, charming appeal that I'd long ago associated with Kasie West based on her first two works, Pivot Point and The Distance Between Us.

It had actually been because of the Pivot Point and The Distance Between Us combo that had me automatically dishing out more money than was necessary for each following Kasie West book.  But with two not-as-squee-worthy books in a row bought, I ended up a little hesitant of West's work.

So instead of automatically buying and jumping into the next of her books (this one), I put myself on a hold request wait list for a library copy.  And now I'm a bit conflicted, but with P.S. I Like You, everything that I loved about Kasie West has returned... and now I need to decide whether it'd be worth it to spend ten dollars on my own Kindle copy to add to my Kasie West collection.

Because, to date, I am fairly certain that P.S. I Like You is my favorite of all the Kasie West books written.

Quirky characters, quirky main character, quirky friendships, quirky family... a sweet, fun, and cute little love story...  P.S. I Like You was so enjoyable that I found myself finishing the darn thing before I realized that I should probably get some sleep.

I only get Book Hangovers for books I really, really got into.  I only get Book Hangovers with books that I truly want to continue reading once I've reached the end, even if they are just random scenes for the sake of cute.  Because between Lily and her mystery man (no spoilers), there was definitely a lot of cute!

I wish I could talk about who Lily's mystery pen pal is, but I don't know if that would end up being a big spoiler.  I'm not sure if the identity of this guy is meant to be a secret or not, because honestly, the moment he's introduced in the book, I already figured out how the entire story would go down.

And you'd think that, with the predictability, it would take away from my enjoyment of this story.  Instead, the way in which the story was presented, coupled with all the wonderfully created characters, and the awesome character interactions made the journey from beginning until the end very, very enjoyable.  The moment that Lily discovers who her mysterious pen pal is and the new conflict happens was wonderfully presented; all the new interactions between Lily and mystery pen pal were sweet and sweet and so darn sweet.

I really wish I could talk about Lily's mystery pen pal without spoiler tags, if only because he's present from the start and I want to talk about his development.  Because I loved how West played up their relationship.  Then again, like I said, it's quite obvious from the way he's written in who the main love interest is--it's a Kasie West book after all, and all the signs are there.

There are quibbles, of course.  I had my doubts about the love story in the beginning, but I'm actually quite okay with how everything worked out.  And I had a slight problem with how the ending dragged out.  And I think that the entire book could have done without the whole "Mean Girls" angle--it felt highly unnecessary.

But then you have best friends who squee at creating a morning routine tradition, an older sister who keeps walking in on you talking to yourself, a crazy family who is more likely to scare away new acquaintances just by being their normal selves, and a pet rabbit who pees on your blind date's sock...

If anything, I'm just absolutely in love with Lily's entire family, as well as Lily herself.  I'm in love with the craziness of Lily's family.  I'm in love with all the character interactions, whether good or bad.  It's just all very lovable, really.

On a side note, aside from the passion for song-writing, and the whole getting-a-boyfriend thing, I can totally related with almost everything else in Lily's life.  Lily's socially awkward, introvert personality was essentially me during my teens.  Lily's tendency to be more eloquent on paper as opposed to in-person is so similar to how I've always been my entire life.  Even down to her off-trend sense of fashion and her dislike for P.E.

I just really, really enjoyed this book.  And I truly hope that the next Kasie West book will be just as excellent!


2016 Reading Challenges:
Goodreads Reading Challenge
BookLikes Reading Challenge



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2016/11/rambling-review-ps-i-like-you.html
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text 2016-05-09 06:42
Most Anticipated - May Edition

Bah! It's only the first week of May and I'm falling behind on posts and reading.  Already this month I've had to make a hard call on not finishing a book. I hate doing that, especaily when I've been excited for the book.  Anyway, more on that in another post.  Only a week behind, but these are my Most Anticipated releases for this month!


Release: May 3

Author: Todd Lockwood

Genre: Fantasy

Series: The Evertide #1

Shelf: Library


Maia and her family raise dragons for the political war machine. As she comes of age, she anticipates a dragon of her own to add to the stable of breeding parents. Her peaceful life is shattered when the Summer Dragon—one of the rare and mythical High Dragons—makes an appearance in her quiet valley. Political factions vie for control of the implied message, threatening her aspirations, her aerie, her entire way of life.


Release: May 3

Author: Sarah Jude

Genre: Young Adult

Series: Stand Alone

Shelf: Library


Stay on the roads. Don’t enter the woods. Never go out at night.


Release: May 10

Author: Taran Matharu

Genre: Fantasy & Young Adult

Series: Summoner #2

Shelf: Library


More demons, epic battles, and fights to the death: introducing the unmissable next installment in the Summoner Trilogy...


Release: May 17

Author: Joe Hill

Genre: Horror

Series: Stand Alone

Shelf: Library


The fireman is coming. Stay cool.


That's everything!  Four books this month have caught my eye, and already been added to my Holds list.  This month I've added something different.  Each book cover goes back to their Goodreads page so everyone can check out large synopses and any early reviews.   


What about everyone else?  Anything else coming out in May I should keep my eye on?


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review 2016-03-02 13:00
Thoughts: Stars Above
Stars Above: A Lunar Chronicles Collection (The Lunar Chronicles) - Marissa Meyer

Stars Above -- Marissa Meyer

*a short story collection of the Lunar Chronicles series


Actual Rating: 4.6 Stars
-- Personal Rating of 5.0 Stars


To be fair, I had already read four of the nine short stories presented in this collection, and so kind of skimmed them a second time while reading through Stars Above. I probably wouldn't mind rereading them, especially The Little Android or Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky, but since they are still fresh in my mind from reading them very recently, I decided to mostly skip them.

Nonetheless, the five brand new short stories were just as excellent to enjoy; entertaining with that nostalgic feeling you get when encountering an old friend. I know it hasn't been long since the ending of Winter (and with it, the ending of the Lunar Chronicles series), but it doesn't hurt to see our gang of beloved characters once again in different forms.


• The Keeper: 3.5 Stars
This short story details the time before the series begins, focusing on Michelle Benoit and young pre-teen Scarlet. We get to see a lot of the thoughts going through both these ladies minds and especially the situation surrounding Michelle Benoit's involvement with Princess Selene's rescue and subsequent life-altering events.

It's slightly monotonous, but DOES manage to answer some questions that fans might be asking about Scarlet's grandmother's life before she was presented as a crazy old woman who gets captured for her knowledge about Princess Selene.

• Glitches: 4.0 Stars
• The Queen's Army: 4.0 Stars

I read both of these short stories some time, a little under a year ago at the beginning of 2015. I recall enjoying both, as they give a slight insight into the young lives of Cinder and Wolf. Glitches details the moment that Cinder is brought to the Eastern Commonwealth--on top of that, giving us another reason to thoroughly despise her stepmother and stepsister, Pearl. The Queen's Army details the moments when Ze'ev Kesley becomes Wolf as he is taken from his family and forced into servitude under the guise of honorable allegiance to Queen Levana.

Both were interesting back stories for two of our main characters, and though they may not have been the most exciting, they were written very well, with some heart-tugging tinges and I recall really, really liking them.

• Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky: 5.0 Stars
• After Sunshine Passes By: 3.5 Stars

I read Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky previous to this Stars Above collection as well and absolutely adored it. I'd have to say that it might have been easier to like after reading Cress because I was already thoroughly in the "I ♥ Thorne!" camp. So seeing him as an overly ambitious child with his typical sneaky ways was quite interesting.

Here is a link to my previously written brief review.

After the Sunshine Passes By is cute and short, just like Cress. It gives us a brief look at Cress as a child and how she came to be imprisoned in her satellite as a slave to Levana as the Lunar’s most powerful spy weapon.

• The Princess and the Guard: 5.0 Stars
The Princess and the Guard could be my favorite of the short story collection. The story presented shows us the events leading up to young Winter’s decision and determination to never use her Lunar gift. It also gives us a look at the relationship between Winter and Jacin before both of them lost their childhood innocence and naivete to Queen Levana’s power hungry evils.

It is a bittersweet story and further cements that Winter and Jacin are my favorite of the romantic couples in Lunar Chronicles. While I love all the characters and love all the interactions and relationships, the romance couples in the series never really stood out for me, and instead, I loved all the friendships a whole lot more. Winter and Jacin’s love story is somehow simple and sweet even despite it not really being quite so simple.

• The Little Android: 4.5 Stars
The Little Android is another of the short stories I read prior to the Stars Above publication. One of my more favorite stand-alone fairy tale retellings, The Little Android takes place in the Lunar Chronicles world and even gives us a brief glimpse of Cinder before the events of the series, but it stands by itself just fine.

See my short review of this short story.

• The Mechanic: 4.0 Stars
I see how The Mechanic would be placed as the second to last short story in this collection as it kind of gives you a board to jump off of into the last short story in this collection. The Mechanic gives us a brief look into Prince Kai’s side of his first meeting with Cinder and what’s going through his mind at the time. I had always viewed Kai as a standard, carbon-copy storybook prince with no outstanding… anything. Let’s face it, for the first three books, he’s the one with the grand conflict, but he’s also the one with the most boring character description and I really didn’t care much for him. It made it hard to care for the main series’ storyline romance no matter how much I adored Cinder and her development throughout the entire series.

But then came Winter and Kai did a complete one-eighty and surprised me and I finally found something about him that I liked--when pushed to the snapping point, I kind of like the new Devil May Care behavior he exhibited in the concluding book.

And The Mechanic also gives more of a personality to Kai outside of “Potential Princely Love Interest” to Cinder. I definitely approve, which is why I gave this story such a high rating when others seemed not to care for it so much.

• Something Old, Something New: 5.0 Stars
Finally, as the title of this short story will tell, this last one brings us to a final conclusion of the entire series altogether with a wedding. I think it’s the reunion and gathering of our nine favorite characters that really seals the LOVE factor in this last short story. Because there was so much cheese and so much tacky that I couldn’t help feeling second-hand embarrassment for the characters themselves for their dialogue and how everything just seemed kind of "Couple Curtain Call" tacky.

I'm not a fan of Couple Curtain Calls, because a lot of times it's just a sloppy way of concluding a series or a story with a cheesy Happily Ever After to make the hopeless romantics in all of use swoon.

But what am I complaining about? Wedding’s are always about the gushy cheese and this story was definitely gushy romantic. And we get to see all of our favorite couples being couples and we get to see Iko being her typical flamboyant android self, and everyone else just hangs out in a peaceful way and things come to a lovely Happily Ever After.

So I'm absolutely content with how this story turned out. Especially since Marissa Meyer manages to handle the Curtain Call quite well anyway.

And then there’s Thorne. There wasn’t much of Thorne, and to be honest, he felt kind of mellowed out in this story, but Thorne was here and I love that I got to see Thorne again.

"I ♥ Thorne!"

Overall Thoughts
Stars Above is that perfect wrap-up for fans of a series who just want to see a little bit more of their favorite characters in their favorite world. It’s a nice little treat without having to go digging for fanfiction or writing your own possible post-series scenarios in your head, just to continue living in that world you fell in love with.

Overall, this is an enjoyable collection of short stories that fans of the Lunar Chronicles will be sure to love.

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