the once upon a time book tag

Hello, everybody, and welcome back to Quote, Unquote!

Today I’ll be participating in a fun tag co-created by Merie Shen of Imperial Scribis. This one has been sitting in my inbox for a little while now as I’ve been stewing over my answers, and I think it’s finally time to share them with the world!

Without further ado…let’s jump right in.

the rules

  • thank the person who tagged you
  • use the tag graphic above (optional) (I opted not to for this one!)
  • name a book for each of the following 12 categories
  • tag as many people as you would like

the fairytales

Cinderella: a book that changed your life

Does the Bible count? I mean, technically it did change my life, but I don’t think that’s the answer y’all are going for here.

This one took me a lot of thought, but I’d have to say Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli.

I read Stargirl in middle school. It was one of the first books that I read that could be considered YA romance (though it’s honestly debatable whether it’s YA or MG), and it kicked off my love for the genre. Pretty soon I was reading more and more of the genre, and that lead to me wanting to write it. I credit Stargirl, in part, with my love of writing.

Sleeping Beauty: a book that took you forever to finish

I received Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights for my birthday in December of 2021, started it, and didn’t finish it until last month. Whoops.

Technically speaking, I took a long break, but if you classify “taking forever to finish” as “the interval between which one started and finished the book being long,” I’d say fourteen months is a pretty long time. (In fact, it was almost exactly fourteen months!)

Also, can we take a second to appreciate the Penguin Clothbound Classics editions? One day I am going to own every single one of them. They are gorgeous.

A Thousand and One Nights: a book you couldn’t stop reading

I started Crumbs by Danie Stirling in the afternoon, and when my mom poked her head in my room to tell me to come help with dinner, I felt like I was waking up from a trance. I plan to post a book review very soon, so I don’t want to spoil too much, but this is the best graphic novel I have ever read. It was just so CUTE. And the art style was AMAZING. And I LOVED IT SO MUCH. I couldn’t put it down. AAAAHHHH.

Little Red Riding Hood: a book you recently read in an unfamiliar genre

I had to look way back in my reading log to find something that wasn’t contemporary, fantasy, memoir, or dystopian sci-fi, and the earliest deviation I found was from October of last year.

#MurderTrending was recommended to me by a friend who loves thrillers. I’m not super into them, but I’ll read them from time to time, and I had to admit that this was a fairly interesting read. It was certainly fast-paced and action-packed and kept me on my toes. It was a little bit too gory for my taste, but then again, I am unable to handle even the slightest amount of gore, so that might just be me. Overall, a pretty good book.

The Wild Swans: a book with your favorite sibling relationships

The entire Boxcar Children series holds so much nostalgia for me. The original series was twenty-one books (one of which I have been searching for for years), and they’re all chock-full of the siblings solving little mysteries.

They’re intended for a younger audience and published in the 1920s, so there isn’t a whole lot of plot (they just happen to discover a lot of lucky things), but I love it. Sometimes it’s nice to read something lighthearted, you know?

And I love Henry and Jessie and Violet and Benny (and, of course, their grandfather). Their dynamic is just so sweet. I highly recommend all of the Boxcar Children books.

Snow White: a book filled with beautiful prose

You know it already. I’ve ranted and raved about The Book Thief so often on my blog. This was the book that taught me how to write prose. The descriptions, the emotion, the phrasing—yes. Just yes. If you haven’t read The Book Thief yet, you are missing out spectacularly.

Rapunzel: a book that you procrastinated on reading after buying

There are several books that I have acquired years ago and still haven’t read. Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke, Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson (although in my defense that thing is a brick), The Summer of Broken Things by Margaret Peterson Haddix…I could probably keep going. I need to get on that.

The Little Mermaid: a book that took you on a magical journey

Um…all of them?

I recently reread the WondLa series after a few years and ohhh boy. Ohhhhhh boy. I love these books so much. They’re such well-thought-out, well-written, all-around-amazing books with a teensy little bit of social commentary on humanity and nature.

I love the worldbuilding and the transformation of the characters, watching them grow up in just three books. I love the way the story never goes exactly where you expect it to. I love everything about this series, and I think that it’s a tragedy that it doesn’t get as much press as some of the more mainstream dystopian series.

The Frog Prince: a book that made you want to turn into a frog because you hated it so much

How about Apologia Exploring Creation through Chemistry?

Nah, just kidding. Chemistry and I have a mutual hatred.

It took me a while to find this book in my reading log, but once I read the synopsis, I was reminded why One Night That Changes Everything had the “would not reread” tag on it.

The premise was promising, but the characters were flat, the plot was unrealistic, and the writing was terrible. I put it down feeling completely dissatisfied and like I had just wasted my time reading it. Not a good feeling to walk away from a book with.

(I’m going to be honest—I hate trashing books like this. I’m terrified that the author is going to see it and be hurt. So if you’re Lauren Barnholdt and you are reading this, I am so sorry.)

Peter Pan: a book that reminds you of your childhood

My copy of The Wishing Spell is so beat up by now that the entire book split in half. I loved this whole series as a kid, probably because the bookish, introverted, overly geeky heroine reminded me of myself. I remember my mom getting this for me at a homeschool book sale (because of course) and being utterly absorbed in it for the rest of the day. Good times.

The Goose Girl: a book you had low expectations for but ended up loving

I am not particularly a fan of John Green. When I first read The Fault in Our Stars, I didn’t really get what all the fuss was about. It was slightly absurd and overly pretentious. So I wasn’t expecting to like Paper Towns, but I ended up falling in love with it.

It’s still absurd and pretentious, mind you, but the premise, the plot, the characters are all so three-dimensional. The high stakes kept me on the edge of my seat. I still reread it every so often, even though the long philosophical ramblings don’t really make much sense. (I feel like you either love or you hate John Green’s style. I’m not quite sure how I feel about it.)

Hansel and Gretel: a book that made you hungry

The Magic Cake Shop by Meika Hashimoto feels like a fever dream of mine. When I was a kid, elementary school perhaps, I used to check this book out of the library at least every other week. There was just something about it. Maybe it was the illustrations that looked somehow exactly like the illustrations in the American Girl books of the time.

I barely remember what happens in this book. It feels like something my fourth-grade brain made up, but I just asked my sister and she remembered it, so I guess not? Unless it was a shared hallucination.

Anyway, there was cake. Lots and lots of cake. I remember that. I mean, obviously.

Okay, I just checked, and our library still has it. I’m going to read it and report back to you.

the tags

Honestly, tagging people on blog tags has always been a struggle for me, so I’m going to just leave this open for whoever would like to participate. Let me know if you do! I’d love to see your answers.

Thank you again, Merie and Diamond, for this lovely tag! I had a lot of fun answering your questions.

Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll see you next Wednesday!


the only summery book list you need

Hello, everyone, and welcome back to Quote, Unquote!

Today is June 1st, also known as the beginning of summer. Yes, I know that it’s not technically the beginning of summer yet, but I’ve never been one for technicalities.

Now that summer’s rolled around, you probably have a lot more free time than you did during the school year. (Sorry to the adults who read this who have to work.) This means you’ll probably be reading a lot, which means you’ll run out of books really fast, which means that you’ll be desperately searching for new books to read, which means that you’ll need book suggestions from yours truly. Right?

So I’ve compiled a short and by no means exhaustive list of some fluffy, happy, contemporary YA romance books that just feel like summer to me. Here you are; you can stop panicking now.

100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons

When 16-year-old poetry blogger Tessa Dickinson is involved in a car accident and loses her eyesight for 100 days, she feels like her whole world has been turned upside-down.

Terrified that her vision might never return, Tessa feels like she has nothing left to be happy about. But when her grandparents place an ad in the local newspaper looking for a typist to help Tessa continue writing and blogging, an unlikely answer knocks at their door: Weston Ludovico, a boy her age with bright eyes, an optimistic smile…and no legs.

Knowing how angry and afraid Tessa is feeling, Weston thinks he can help her. But he has one condition — no one can tell Tessa about his disability. And because she can’t see him, she treats him with contempt: screaming at him to get out of her house and never come back. But for Weston, it’s the most amazing feeling: to be treated like a normal person, not just a sob story. So he comes back. Again and again and again.

Tessa spurns Weston’s “obnoxious optimism”, convinced that he has no idea what she’s going through. But Weston knows exactly how she feels and reaches into her darkness to show her that there is more than one way to experience the world. As Tessa grows closer to Weston, she finds it harder and harder to imagine life without him — and Weston can’t imagine life without her. But he still hasn’t told her the truth, and when Tessa’s sight returns he’ll have to make the hardest decision of his life: vanish from Tessa’s world…or overcome his fear of being seen.

100 Days of Sunlight is a poignant and heartfelt novel by author Abbie Emmons. If you like sweet contemporary romance and strong family themes then you’ll love this touching story of hope, healing, and getting back up when life knocks you down.

Content warnings: cursing (a small amount), some bullying and body shaming

You Have a Match by Emma Lord

From the beloved author of Tweet Cute comes Emma Lord’s You Have a Match, a hilarious and heartfelt novel of romance, sisterhood, and friendship…

When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it’s mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie…although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front.

But she didn’t know she’s a younger sister.

When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents ― especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself.

The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby’s parents gave Savvy up for adoption. But there are complications: Savvy is a rigid rule-follower and total narc. Leo is the camp’s co-chef, putting Abby’s growing feelings for him on blast. And her parents have a secret that threatens to unravel everything.

But part of life is showing up, leaning in, and learning to fit all your awkward pieces together. Because sometimes, the hardest things can also be the best ones.

Content warnings: Cursing, injuries in detail

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.

A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.

In her signature pitch-perfect style, Sarah Dessen explores the hearts of two lonely people learning to connect.

Content warnings: cursing (a small amount), teenage alcohol use

Along for the Ride is out now as a Netflix movie!

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own.

Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence.

This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking.

A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

Content warnings: cursing, teenage alcohol use

Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welsh

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything Lina knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

Content warnings: death of parent, pregnancy out of wedlock

Love and Gelato is coming to Netflix on June 22, 2022!

Love and Olives by Jenna Evans Welsh

Liv Varanakis doesn’t have a lot of fond memories of her father, which makes sense—he fled to Greece when she was only eight. What Liv does remember, though, is their shared love for Greek myths and the lost city of Atlantis. So when Liv suddenly receives a postcard from her father explaining that National Geographic is funding a documentary about his theories on Atlantis—and will she fly out to Greece and help?—Liv jumps at the opportunity.

But when she arrives to gorgeous Santorini, things are a little…awkward. There are so many questions, so many emotions that flood to the surface after seeing her father for the first time in years. And yet Liv doesn’t want their past to get in the way of a possible reconciliation. She also definitely doesn’t want Theo—her father’s charismatic so-called “protégé”—to witness her struggle.

And that means diving into all that Santorini has to offer—the beautiful sunsets, the turquoise water, the hidden caves, and the delicious cuisine. But not everything on the Greek island is as perfect as it seems. Because as Liv slowly begins to discover, her father may not have invited her to Greece for Atlantis, but for something much more important.

Content warnings: potentially triggering panic attacks and disorders

Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer

Chronic overachiever Prudence Barnett is always quick to cast judgment on the lazy, rude, and arrogant residents of her coastal town. Her dreams of karmic justice are fulfilled when, after a night out with her friends, she wakes up with the sudden ability to cast instant karma on those around her.

Pru giddily makes use of the power, punishing everyone from public vandals to mean gossips, but there is one person on whom her powers consistently backfire: Quint Erickson, her slacker of a lab partner. Quint is annoyingly cute and impressively noble, especially when it comes to his work with the rescue center for local sea animals.

When Pru resigns herself to working at the rescue center for extra credit, she begins to uncover truths about baby otters, environmental upheaval, and romantic crossed signals―not necessarily in that order. Her newfound karmic insights reveal how thin the line is between virtue and vanity, generosity and greed . . . love and hate… and fate.

Content warnings: cursing (a small amount), teen alcohol use (a small amount)

I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan

Eighteen-year-old Bronwen Oliver has a secret: She’s really Phoebe, the lost daughter of the loving Lilywhite family. That’s the only way to explain her image-obsessed mother; a kind but distant stepfather; and a brother with a small personality complex. Bronwen knows she must have been switched at birth, and she can’t wait to get away from her “family” for good.

Then she meets Jared Sondervan. He’s sweet, funny, everything she wants — and he has the family Bronwen has always wanted too. She falls head over heels in love, and when he proposes marriage, she joyfully accepts. But is Jared truly what she needs? And if he’s not, she has to ask: What would Phoebe Lilywhite do?

Content warnings: mentions of sex out of wedlock

That’s all for now! If you were looking for some beach reads this summer, consider yourself informed.

This is not the last booklist of this summer! Keep an eye out for more suggestions over the next few months.

Until next time,

Book Review: Girl on a Plane by Miriam Moss

The plane’s roar fills my head.

The man’s eyes are wild. The gun in his hand shakes. “Sit in your seats!” he screams. We sit, still as stone.

I’m in a film, on a movie set. I must me. It can’t be real…I…

The man is sweating. He twists his mouth to wipe it with the back of his free hand.

But the gun, the gun…


Jordan, 1970.

After a summer spent with her family, fifteen-year-old Anna is travelling back to her English boarding school alone. But her plane never makes it home.

Anna’s flight is hijacked by Palestinian guerillas. They land the plane in the Jordanian desert, switch off the engines and issue their demands. If these are not met within three days, they will blow up the plane, killing all the hostages.

The heat on board becomes unbearable; food and water supplies dwindle. Anna begins to face the possibility she may never see her family again.

Time is running out . . .

Based on true events, this is a story about ordinary people facing agonizing horror, of courage and resilience.


I picked this book up in the library because the cover intrigued me, and I have to say, I was not disappointed.

The entire time I was reading this story, I couldn’t believe it was real. It was written in such a detailed, matter-of-fact way that left me doubtless it was, but the horrors described and the vivid descriptions were so moving. It made me feel like I was there with the characters, going through the things they did, and I was nearly in tears by the end of the story.

One of my favourite parts of this novel was the character development the narrator, Anna, went through. After such a terrifying experience as this, one is bound to experience a paradigm shift, and Moss captured that perfectly. I enjoyed how, even in the midst of a terrible situation, Anna still helped others and made friends. There was still that little bit of everyday life mixed in with the hijacking.

Overall, this book is an eye-opening read for anyone who enjoys recent historical fiction.


Pages: 277
Genre: historical fiction
Year of publication: 2016
Content warnings: the occasional swear word, violence, mention of sexual assault
My rating: 9/10

If you liked this book, you also might like D B by Elwood Reid.

The My Life in Books Tag

Hello, everyone, and welcome back to Quote, Unquote!

I know I’ve probably been doing too many tags on this blog, and I’m planning to step back from them a little in the summer, but my friend Em from Quill of Hope tagged me on this one and it was too good to pass up.

Let’s jump right in!

Find a book for each of your initials.

L: Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver

Liesl and Po is definitely on my favourites shelf, if not because of the story then because of the fact that literary Liesls are highly rare, and when I find them, I treasure them.

R: Race the Night by Kirsten Hubbard

I read Race the Night for a literature class once and it remains one of my favourites to this day. If you’ve read it and liked it, there’s also a companion called Watch the Sky. I think I’ve read it, but it didn’t strike me like Race the Night.

B: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Another literary Liesel (albeit spelled differently than mine)! My best friend recommended this book to me and I fell in love with Zusak’s writing style. I’m actually halfway through one of his other books, Bridge of Clay, now. (If you want to read my book review, you can do so here!)

Count your age along your bookshelf: What book is it?

Homer’s Odyssey by Gwen Cooper

Recommending this book to people is really funny because they always say, “That’s such a big book, I don’t think I could read it!” and then I explain that it’s actually a touching memoir about an eyeless cat and they just go, “Ohhhh.”

Seriously, though, if you love humour, cats, and memoirs, please read this book.

Pick a book set in your city or country.

The Boys’ Club by Diane T. Dignan

I actually have a funny story about this one. Buckle up.

Three, four years ago (I think? Don’t take my word for it), I was trick-or-treating in my neighbourhood on Halloween, and as we’re walking down from one of the houses, I notice the car in the driveway has a license plate that says “NVLWRTR.” I point it out to my dad, and my dad is the type of person that will sit next to someone on a plane and be the best man in his wedding six weeks later, so of course my dad drags my little introverted self back up to the door and asks about it. Turns out that the woman who lives there has actually written two adults’ books and a children’s book, and she gave us free copies of all of them. It was such a cool experience.

Anyway, this book is set in my native home of Michigan, pretty close to where I live (because again, the woman who wrote it lives just down the street). It does have some more mature content in it, so I would recommend doing some more thorough searches on it if you decide to check it out.

Pick a book that represents a destination you’d love to travel to.

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

I have always wanted to go to Canada, but especially Prince Edward Island (after I stop in Ontario, of course, to meet a couple of friends). It just seems so idyllic and peaceful. I love it.

Pick a book that’s your favourite colour.

The Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning by Chris Colfer

All of the Land of Stories covers are absolutely *chef’s kiss* gorgeous. They say never judge a book by its cover, but honestly, if I saw any of these books on the shelf in a bookstore, I would definitely pick it up.

Which book did you have the fondest memories of?

The Book with No Pictures by B. J. Novak

If I’m honest, I still love having this book read to me. It’s so silly. I love it.

Who doesn’t want to hear, “My only friend in the whole wide world is a hippo named BooBooButt”?

Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

I know this is supposed to be a classic and all, you know, Hemingway, but I just do not see the draw of this book. What is the point of reading about a guy fishing for a day? It was so dense and honestly kind of depressing. But I got through it for school.

What book on your TBR pile will give you the biggest accomplishment when you finish it?

Um…all of them? My TBR is huge.

If you go read Em’s post, you’ll find that I sort of copied her answer, but it’s true:

The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien

I’ve been wanting to read this for so long, and I started it, but then I stopped because it bothered me for unknown reasons. Since we’re reading The Hobbit for school this year anyway, I might as well just read it soon.

That’s all for now! I’m not going to tag anybody this time around, but if you’d like to do this tag on your own blog, feel free to and let me know when you do.

Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll see you next Wednesday!

May Library Haul + Mini-Reviews

Hello, everyone, and welcome back to Quote, Unquote!

I know what you’re thinking. Where’s our monthly book review? (Or maybe you’re not thinking that, in which case…well. Anyway.)

This month…I’m not doing a book review.

I’m doing five!

In May, I got a whole load of books out from the library. (My back felt broken by the time I hauled them home.) For proof:

With fox friends Ruby and Blue

I’ll be introducing you to the ones that stood out to me the most in a few sentences.

Let’s dive right in!

Note: All synopses are taken from each book’s respective Amazon page

Exodus by Julie Bertagna


Less than a hundred years from now, the world as we know it no longer exists. Cities have disappeared beneath the sea, technology no longer functions, and human civilization has reverted to a much more primitive state

On an isolated northern island, the people of Wing are trying to hold onto their way of life-even as the sea continues to claim precious acres and threatens to claim their very lives.

Only fifteen-year-old Mara has the vision and the will to lead her people in search of a new beginning in this harsh, unfamiliar world.

This compelling and powerful story set in the near future will hit home with teens, especially those who are ever more aware of the increasingly controversial climate crisis we face in our world today.

My Thoughts

A bit hard to understand what happens at first (which is not helped by the fact that it’s written in a strange tense–third person present), but the story does a good job of clarifying itself as it goes along. Eccentric, but a poignant view of our human experience.

Rating: 4/5

Zenith by Julie Bertagna


Sixteen-year-old Mara and her ship of refugees are tracking the North Star, desperate to find a homeland in the melted ice mountains of Greenland. The vast, floating city of Pomperoy is just one of the shocks that are not in their navigation plans. Unwittingly, the refugees bring catastrophe in their wake for Tuck, a gypsea pirate-boy, and also for Ilira–a land whose inhabitants exist in a state of terror at the top of the world.

Back in the drowned ruins at the feet of the towering sky city, Fox is beginning his battle with the cruel, corrupt forces that rule the New World. But separated from Mara, his resolve begins to waver . . .

My Thoughts

This book did a good job of wrapping up Exodus‘s loose ends, but I felt that the book had some unsolved loose ends of its own. Overall a very ethereal and touching tale, but it left me somewhat dissatisfied.

Rating: 3/5

The Gone Away Place by Christopher Barzak


Ellie heads up her high school yearbook, and until the tornadoes come, her biggest worry is how to raise enough money to print them. But since the day when a rash of powerful tornadoes touched down in Newfoundland, Ohio–killing more than half of the students in her school, not to mention dozens more people throughout the town–she’s been haunted: by the ghosts of her best friends, by the boy next door, even by her boyfriend. And the living are haunting her too, all those left behind in the storm’s wake to cope with the “gone away” pieces in their lives. A chance encounter with one ghost leads Ellie to discover a way to free the spirits that have been lingering since the storm, and she learns that she’s not the only one seeing the ghosts–it’s a town-wide epidemic.

My Thoughts

A very stirring and real narrative with an accurate portrayal of grief. The character development is spot-on, and the characters have a life of their own. The emotions are all very real, and all the alternate perspectives add depth and flavour to the story.

Rating: 4.5/5

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd


Midnight Gulch used to be a magical place, a town where people could sing up thunderstorms and dance up sunflowers. But that was long ago, before a curse drove the magic away. Twelve-year-old Felicity knows all about things like that; her nomadic mother is cursed with a wandering heart.

But when she arrives in Midnight Gulch, Felicity thinks her luck’s about to change. A “word collector,” Felicity sees words everywhere–shining above strangers, tucked into church eves, and tangled up her dog’s floppy ears–but Midnight Gulch is the first place she’s ever seen the word “home.” And then there’s Jonah, a mysterious, spiky-haired do-gooder who shimmers with words Felicity’s never seen before, words that make Felicity’s heart beat a little faster.

Felicity wants to stay in Midnight Gulch more than anything, but first, she’ll need to figure out how to bring back the magic, breaking the spell that’s been cast over the town…and her mother’s broken heart.

My Thoughts

This book has a little bit of everything–family relationships, bits of magic, even a touch of romance…. The plot was linear and wrapped up all the loose ends neatly. It’s marketed as a middle grade book, but it really should be read and enjoyed by all ages.

Rating: 5/5

A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody


Sixteen-year-old Ellison Sparks is having a serious case of the Mondays. She gets a ticket for running a red light, she manages to take the world’s worst school picture, she bombs softball try-outs and her class election speech (note to self: never trust a cheerleader when she swears there are no nuts in her bake-sale banana bread), and to top it all off, Tristan, her gorgeous rocker boyfriend suddenly dumps her. For no good reason!

As far as Mondays go, it doesn’t get much worse than this. And Ellie is positive that if she could just do it all over again, she would get it right. So when she wakes up the next morning to find she’s reliving the exact same day, she knows what she has to do: stop her boyfriend from breaking up with her. But it seems no matter how many do-overs she gets or how hard Ellie tries to repair her relationship, Tristan always seems bent set on ending it. Will Ellie ever figure out how to fix this broken day? Or will she be stuck in this nightmare of a Monday forever?

My Thoughts

There was no real message to this story, and the premise seemed a little cliché to me. I didn’t feel like there was a character to root for–the MC made sudden changes to her personality, which I understand was part of the plot, but nothing ever stayed the same. I did appreciate the fact that, for a “typical” YA romance novel, it was pretty much clean.

Rating: 2/5

That’s all for now! I checked out several more, as you can see, but some of them weren’t clean enough or, frankly, interesting enough to review here. I would advise you to do some more research on any of these titles before reading them, as every reader’s standards are different.

Thank you so much for reading, and I’ll see you next week!

Until next time,

Book Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The second eye jumped awake and she caught me out, no doubt about it. It was exactly when I knelt down and extracted his soul, holding it limply in my swollen arms. He warmed up soon after, but when I picked him up originally, the boy’s spirit was soft and cold, like ice cream. He started melting in my arms. Then warming up completely. Healing.

For Liesel Meminger, there was the imprisoned stiffness of movement and the staggered onslaught of thoughts. Es stimmt nicht. This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening.

And the shaking.

Why do they always shake them?

Yes, I know, I know, I assume it has something to do with instinct. To stem the flow of truth. Her heart at that point was slippery and hot, and loud, so loud so loud.

Stupidly, I stayed. I watched.


Taken from Amazon

When Death has a story to tell, you listen.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement. 

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak, author of I Am the Messenger, has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.


I was recommended this book (quite vehemently) by a good friend of mine. I put off reading it for quite some time, if I’m honest, because to my uneducated ears it sounded like yet another flawed YA dystopian novel. But when I cracked it open, I found something wonderful in the pages.

Where do I even begin?

I have to start with the story itself. I’ve read so many books about WWII, and each of them offered something of the same perspective. This, however, was a new, fresh take on the Holocaust, from the perspective of a young German girl ripped from her family.

(I have to insert in here, really quickly, that one of the things that got me to read this book was the fact that the MC’s name is Liesel. You don’t see many Liesls/Leisls/Liesels in the literary world. Okay, back to the review.)

Maybe it was that the book was marketed towards young adult instead of the middle grade WWII books I usually read. Maybe it was the brutality and reality of it all. But something about the story gripped me.

Or maybe it was the choice of narrator. This book is told from the point of view of Death, and the way he speaks is poignant and sentimental, often including small dictionary entries, lists, and what can only be described as blatant foreshadowing into the narrative. I would say that they did get a little irritating after a while, though, because some of them tended to pull the reader out of the flow of the story.

Or maybe it was the prose. Zusak did not tell; he only showed, making unusual comparisons that can only be described as masterful. Honestly, as a writer, I often found myself jealous that I can’t write like that. (Maybe someday!)

However, this book did have its drawbacks. I will tell you right now that if you like happy endings, this book is definitely not for you. I will also tell you that there was a fair amount of swearing, both German and English. And I would make the unpopular argument that some of the characters did seem a little bit flat, sometimes nothing more than a couple of anecdotes.

All in all, if you are interested in reading a heartrending, beautiful WWII story, pick up The Book Thief on your next library run (that is, if you can remember how to spell thief).


Pages: 550
Genre: YA historical fiction
Year of publication: 2006
My rating: 7/10

Content warnings: proficient cursing, depression, murder, verbal abuse, physical abuse, violence, death

If you enjoyed this book, you also might enjoy The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.

Also, today will mark the six-month anniversary of this blog being up and running! I want to thank each and every one of my readers and subscribers for supporting me so much on here. I’ve loved blogging for these six months, and hopefully Quote, Unquote will be growing steadily in the years to come.