Review | Love in the Friend Zone by Molly E. Lee

Title | Love in the Friend Zone
Author | Molly E. Lee
Series | Grad Night, #1
Pages | 200
Publisher | Entangled Teen
Genre | YA Contemporary Romance
Release Date | August 14, 2017

The only thing worse than not being able to tell your best friend you’re head over heels in love with him? Having to smile and nod when he enlists your help to ensnare the girl of his dreams.

Braylen didn’t even want to go to Lennon Pryor’s epic graduation-night party, but when Fynn begs her to be his “wingwoman,” she can’t deny him. Talking up her BFF—how he’s magic behind a camera, with a killer sense of humor and eyelashes that frame the most gorgeous blue eyes in the history of forever—is easy. Supporting his efforts to woo someone so completely wrong for him? Not so much.

Fynn knows that grad night is his last shot before leaving for college to find true love. And thanks to Bray, he gets his chance with the beautiful Katy Evans. But over the course of the coolest party of their high school careers, he starts to see that perhaps what he really wants has been in front of him all along. Bray’s been his best friend since kindergarten, though, and he’d rather have her in his life as a friend than not at all.

Where should I start with this review? Entangled fiction tends to be simplified romance that is cute and sweet. They’re great to pass time, and better to help you get over book hangovers. Love in the Friend Zone, although a Entangled fiction story, completely smashed my stereotype. Molly E. Lee has written such a fabulous tale of romance that I cannot stop thinking about. And I finished the book a week ago!

“That sounds either super Prince Charming-y of you or borderline rapey.”

Love in the Friend Zone is story of a girl who is in love with her best friend, but is all secretive about it. It’s got the whole cliche ‘everybody knows but you two’ element, but it was tasteful. The main thing I loved about the book was that it was a story of a single day, spread out over 300 pages. Normally, this kind of thing just doesn’t slide with me. It can get boring, and I can literally want to shoot myself. Not once did that I get that feeling with this book though. NOT ONCE! Instead, the books pacing and tone was so perfectly executed the novel sort of just drifted by. Once second I’m sitting down with my kindle, the next I’m cursing because I’ve spent four hours fixated to a screen. It didn’t get boring at all. It didn’t feel overly-simplified and the plot was really cute to follow.

There were times when I thought of Zoey as the most intelligent girl I knew, and then there were time I wanted to strangle her for making everyone else’s problems look so easy to fix.

This was one of the latter times.

The characters were adorable. I’m not going to lie; I did expect there to be this awkward-as-hell love triangle going on for a while. If there is one thing I hate in a romance novel, it’s a love triangle. Simply not got the time for them. But Braylen and Fynn were simply two cute for words. While the characters were quite two-dimensional, merely as they didn’t have to face much more than relationship issues, they were quite charming. I appreciated Braylen’s love of Fynn, but her need to preserve her friendship and ensure her best friend’s happiness. I mean, who wouldn’t? I’ve been there and I’m sure many other millions of girls have. Fynn was also incredibly adorable, but I constantly wanted to beat him around the head with the book and tell him to man up. 

My reading has been few and far between recently with a list of family issues myself, but this was perhaps the easiest book I’ve read this year. The flow and movement of the plot, the characterisation and the flawless writing from Molly E. Lee have definitely made this one of my favourite romance books. I think I’ve just gained a story I can come back to during a book hangover.

Clearly the universe is sending me a million signs not to explain things to him.

Perhaps my only grievance with the book is that I live in the United Kingdom. This book was simply amazing, but to add it to my physical collection would be a costly task – as the prices here would be between £15 and £20 for a paperback edition, not including shipping. However, this will not affect the scoring of Love in the Friend Zone as that is an issue for the publisher and not the author. However, if you are able to get your hands on a physical copy; go ahead and do it! This book deserves to be read, and the author definitely deserves massive support. I’m giving Love in the Friend Zone a high five snowflakes for simply peeking up my summer and making me feel the burn to read again. Thanks Molly E. Lee!

Kim @ Kimberly Faye Reads says “Love in the Friend Zone was a sweet friends to lovers book.”

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Review | My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

Title | My Best Friend’s Exorcism
Author | Grady Hendrix
Series | None
Pages | 336
Publisher | Quirk Books
Genre | YA Paranormal Horror
Release Date | May 17, 2016

Abby and Gretchen have been best friends since fifth grade, when they bonded over a shared love of E.T., roller-skating parties, and scratch-and-sniff stickers. But when they arrive at high school, things change. Gretchen begins to act . . . different. And as the strange coincidences and bizarre behavior start to pile up, Abby realizes there’s only one possible explanation: Gretchen, her favorite person in the world, has a demon living inside her. And Abby is not about to let anyone or anything come between her and her best friend. With help from some unlikely allies, Abby embarks on a quest to save Gretchen. But is their friendship powerful enough to beat the devil?

Okay, so this book review has been a long time coming. I seriously mean that – when I finished reading Grady Hendrix’s My Best Friend’s Exorcism, I had planned to review it the day after – when the book was fresh in my mind and completely new to me. But it has serious taken me over SEVEN months to catch my thoughts about this book. Despite all the variables that have put me off, I think it’s finally time I sat down and put out a review. I think the one way to describe the book is: spell-binding.

“I love you, Gretchen Lang. You are my reflection and my shadow and I will not let you go. We are bound together forever and ever! Until Halley’s Comet comes around again. I love you dearly and I love you queerly and no demon is bigger than this!”

This book was completely out of my comfort zone from the get-go. Very rarely will I pick up an adult fiction book. I’m of average intelligence, but sometimes the writing style in adult fiction tends to be too complex for my little mind to comprehend. And when I was given this book, I assumed that it was young adult. So the complexity of the book made it a challenging read, but I was happy by the time I got through it and to the end. While it wasn’t something I wasn’t pleased with in the book, it would be unjust to penalise the author for it as I was reading something totally out of my comfort zone. And in all honesty, the sophisticated, in depth writing style was incredibly impressive – so hats off to Mr Hendrix there.

“Corn dogs,” the exorcist said, “are all the proof I need that there is a God.” 

Also, the book was definitely a lot darker than I expected, as it falls into the horror genre. Horror is something I avoid like the plague – it is not my style and I hate to be freaked out. My Best Friend’s Exorcism definitely has its moments where I debated doing a Joey Tribbiani and hiding it in the freezer. But as I had a digital edition, I couldn’t stick my kindle in the freezer. The plot however, is incredibly strong. Maybe it’s because I avoid the style, but it was completely and utterly original. I hadn’t seen that kind of plot anywhere else – not really in movies or anything either. Again, something I will point out is that the setting was the 1980s – something I was not around for so I didn’t exactly understand a few odd references here and there.

“By the power of Phil Collins, I rebuke you!” she said. “By the power of Phil Collins, who knows that you coming back to me is against all odds, in his name I command you to leave this servant of Genesis alone.” 

Of course it is only fair to give a mention to the fabulous cover that encases the brilliant novel too. It was admittedly (although I make no secret of it) one of the main things that drew me to the book in the beginning. Yet at the same time it was something that I used to mistake the book for young adult fiction too. However, the moody attitude of the novel and sense of isolation is tied together perfectly on the front cover. Whoever designed it did a wonderful job.

Brother Lemon and Abby looked at each other, eyes gleaming in the shadows, and then he stood up. Rummaging in one of his duffle bags, he pulled out an athletic cup and slid it down the front of his pants. He caught Abby staring.

“First place they go for,” he explained. He adjusted himself and picked up a well worn bible.”

I am glad that I read to the end to discover what happened to Abby and Gretchen. I was impressed with how their friendship withstood the novel. It was an all-around amazing read. The story definitely has a stellar ending, and I would more than likely recommend the book to someone who it would suit. If I overlook the fact that this was not in my comfort zone, the book earns a fabulous four stars. Perhaps I shall give Grady Hendrix’s further works a read when I’m feeling brave, because I was quite impressed with this one.

Still unsure on whether this book is the one for you? Have a look at what other bloggers have to say.

Flavia @ Flavia The Bibliophile says “I highly recommend this book to those who like the 1980s, who like to read about the power of friendship, and those who are intrigued by the prospect of a book which mixes the spooky with the hilarious!”

Jackie @ Never Imitate says “I had expected to enjoy this story more than I did. “

Yvette @ Book Worlder says “I don’t see myself rereading this one, demons just aren’t my thing.”

Top Ten Tuesday | Books On My Spring TBR

It’s Top Ten Tuesday; and today I get to share with y’all what I have on my ‘to-be’read’ list! It’s bee a long time since I’ve done one of these, so I’m so excited to finally share with you what I’m reading!

[ If any of these books take your fancy, all you need to do is click on the image and you will be redirected to their Goodreads page! ]

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Book One
Catastrophe Queen | Emma Hart

Though not a young adult novel, the book is contemporary romance which is right down my avenue. After recently reading a lot of romantic comedies, I’ve put myself into a little bit of a binge: and Catastrophe Queen sounds like it’s going to live up to the challenge.

Also, the book is only a total of 195 pages long, making it a short, sweet read I may need to kick my arse back into gear.

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Book Two
Our Child of the Stars | Stephen Cox

Again, not a young adult book but the reviews on this thing are absolutely incredible. I really wanted to read the book back in January when it was released, but it got pushed onto the back burner.

My only concern is the science fiction side of the book; though I doubt that will be a massive issue as I’m trying to widen my reading genres this year.

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Book Three
Have a Little Faith | Candy Harper

This book came out forever-ago and I still never managed to get round to reading it. I was moving a few books over to my dad’s flat and found this little gem, all brand new and untouched.

I cannot believe I never managed to get round to reading the book! I’m definitely going to have to sit down at some point and open it up!

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Book Four
Close Your Eyes | Nicci Cloke

You may have recently noticed that I read Nicci’s other books, such as Follow Me Back. Nicci is one of my favourite psychological YA authors, and her books always deliver the goods for me.

Again, this is another book that’s been sat on my shelf for a long time, acquiring nothing but dust. But I promise, I’m finally going to stop neglecting them.

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Book Five
Dare to Fall | Estelle Maskame

I absolutely adored the DIMLY series by her, and when I was gifted this book by a friend, I knew she had made the right decision to buy me it.

Unfortunately, it was shelved and lost to all eternity, until this week. So this is another shelf find that will be working its way through my review system at some point in the near future. I’m pretty excited though, I won’t lie.

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Book Six
You’d Be Mine | Erin Hahn

Another day, another romance story – because why the hell not? I love reading cute little romance stories while I’m tucked up in bed. It’s very therapeutic.

When this book drops in April, I will be doing everything I physically can to get my hands on a shiny paperback copy. I do, however, have a digital copy to tide me over in the meantime, so expect a review coming VERY soon!

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Book Seven
Every Moment After | Joseph Moldover

Guys, you know I love my contemporary novels, so there was no way this book was not going to be on my list.

The book sounds absolutely gripping, and I’m now wishing April 9th could hurry up and get here already! This book sounds like everything I like in a story.

This dark little read is one of my favourites on this list – I simply cannot wait for it’s release!

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Book Eight
Serious Moonlight | Jenn Bennett

If you haven’t already heard of Jenn Bennett, where have you been? The girl is seriously a romance goddess – her books are absolutely fantastic.

Naturally, her newest is on my list for when it drops and I really don’t feel like I owe any explanation as to why. Her book are just that good.

Also, if you haven’t heard of her, go hit GoodReads!

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Book Nine
Fake It Till You Break It | Jenn R Nguyen

I didn’t realise until compiling this list, just how many books I want to read fall into the romance category. I seem to be a creature of habit, without even realising!

Another book or author who doesn’t need explaining. So I’ll just leave this here and move onto my next and final book of the top ten!

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Book Ten
Last Girl Lied To | Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Of course a thriller was going to make my list, and by an author as good as Laurie Elizabeth Flynn was a no-brainer!

I have been waiting since 2016’s Firsts (review coming VERY soon) to read more of Flynn’s work and now it’s here! This is probably the book I’m looking forward to most, out of all the books!

So that’s this weeks top ten over and done with. So many good books coming out, a lot of fantastic releases in April – so look out for my upcoming April Releases post!

Did you find any new books you want to read? Any thoughts on the books I’ve mentioned above? Let me know in the comments!

Review | 23:27 by H.L. Roberts

Title | 23:27
Author | H. L. Roberts
Series | None
Pages | 284
Publisher | N.A
Genre | YA Contemporary
Release Date | November 24, 2017

Fame. Money. Glory.

These were all the things that you would expect from being famous. The bait that the producers of the industry would tempt you with to get you on their side.

What they don’t tell you though are all the inner tragedies that come along just as quickly. They don’t tell you about the heartache that occurs when you realize that this wasn’t what you wanted at all.

They don’t tell you about the pressure that’s always on the verge of crushing you when you’re forced to do everything that the public demands for and not what you truly desire.

They don’t tell you about the self hatred that would soon take over your entire being at the thought that you will never be good enough.

No – they don’t tell you these things at all.

But, Lilith Rose will.

When Lilith Rose, lead singer to one of the most famous rock bands around gets tired of all the lies and secrets that comes with being famous. She decides that it’s time for all of it to stop and ends up revealing everything on a Facebook live stream.

The result…

“Part of me wants to die tonight, part of me wants it to be an accident, and part of me wants someone to notice and save me.”

Sometimes when I sit down to write a review, I don’t really have an idea on what I should say. This is normally because my thoughts are so scattered about a particular book. Today, that book is H. L. Roberts 23:27. Summarising the book up in one word would result in a strong use of the word ‘emotional’.

The story plot was something that I wasn’t expected. I was aware from the get-go that the book was a romance, but I didn’t realise it would be one of those stories that made you ball your eyes out. It reminded me of a Nicholas Sparks novel, because I simply cried that much. The book puts a very bright spotlight on the issues of suicide and racism – two things that are very much prevalent in today’s modern society. I adored how the book shows that there is still a lot of racism in the music industry, and even in the film industry. While times are changing, certain groups are being marginalised by the top people in society.

“You couldn’t believe we could let two of the most talked about members of United Misfits become a powerhouse couple? For God’s sake, you’re black and she’s white!”

23:27 is also an excellent book for it shines a light on the manipulation that goes down when becoming a famous. Everybody wants to be famous in some way, right? I loved how H. L. Roberts shows that management teams don’t always have your best interests at heart – they sometimes have their own to protect. Its sad and its horrible, but its reality, and I really appreciated this being shown in the story.

Lilith was definitely a strong character for what she had to do. Her weaknesses were used against her a lot in the story, which puts a lot of pressure on her. Its interesting to see how she deals with things, and how her outlook is on life. She’s not your everyday female protagonist. Perhaps the strongest characterisation was on Alec. Alec has to watch most of the story unfold quite helpless, and although he lost his cool a few times, his reaction is ultimately justifiable. Most of the narrative is told from his point of view, which is interesting to see. Alec is quite a complex character in reality, and his love and passion is something that only makes him even more adorable.

“Her mind may have chosen him, but her heart will always choose you.”

I must admit that I did feel that the last half of the book seemed a little unnecessary. I would have been more than happy with the first half of the book being a standalone novel. But this is not a massive criticism, and so I will not push on it. I did actually quite enjoy the book. The pacing was easy and simple, and I finished the book within three hours. This was something I’d definitely purchase, and I look forward to future works from H. L. Roberts.

Alternatively, here are a few fresh perspectives on the book:

Pop the Butterfly says “I think this book can be a good resource for those who want an inside look into what depression and suicide looks like.”

She Always Reads says “This book is more than meets the eye, while it is a quick read it holds a lot of vital messages that factor into our everyday lives and eloquently showcases a positive outcome of what could have been a horrid tragedy.”

Review | Obscured by C.M. Boers

Title | Obscured
Author | C.M. Boers
Series | Obscured, #1
Pages | 216
Publisher | None
Genre | YA Fantasy Romance
Release Date | August 29, 2017

Abby Martin thought she was an ordinary girl about to start high school. But when her mom announces that they’re moving to Arizona, vivid nightmares start plaguing Abby’s nights. As she settles into her new school and a cute guy named Pete catches her eye, she hopes that life might somehow get back to normal. To Abby’s horror, “normal” becomes a thing of the past as she’s swept up into a world of immortal protectors wielding supernatural gifts. When Abby realizes she’s a pawn in a centuries-old feud, she must figure out who she can trust before she’s caught in the crossfire.

Prepare yourself for heart-pounding suspense in the world of Obscured, where nothing is as it seems and danger lurks in unexpected places.

It’s not very often in the world of fiction where I find myself unable to read a book. Even if I get that nagging feeling at the back of my head, I will push it away and soldier on. Sadly, this was something I could not do when I was reading C.M. Boer’s Obscured. It was simply too hard for me to read, and not because of the complexity of the book. No, I found myself struggling simply because the type of writing was not my usual form and seemed all too basic for me.

The review for this book is not going to be very long admittedly. I made it to the end of the third chapter and just felt so simply underwhelmed by the book that I had no option but to shelve it. Let it be made clear that I do not fault the author – everyone has a different writing style and sometimes some books are just incompatible with specific readers. I do have however, a large amount of respect for the author as I understand that writing and even publishing a book can be a very hard task to accomplish. Kudos to her on that ground.

Abby seemed incredibly two-dimensional for my liking. She didn’t seem to have a personality or a substance beyond what I read. In the politest way possible, Abby Martin needed more development. It came across that she was more of a draft-copy of the protagonist, lacking the direction and strength a reader could need. With improvement on her personality, and the depth she is given I could have liked Abby more. But I didn’t, and I’m quite regretful of that.

This did seem like a book would I like off the bat, albeit the out of character genre of YA Supernatural. When starting the book, it felt like I’d already read it before. This is because the beginning of the book is like something I would find on the draft novels on Wattpad.com. Most of the information I was given within the first few chapters seemed so basic and irrelevant to the novel. I could simply not finish the book, and that really sucks.

To conclude, I wish the book had been better. It is not often when I give a book one star, but I feel like the book needs redrafting and rewriting. It is a god draft, but there is a lot of development – in both the plot, the writing and the characters – that needs to be done before I could possibly make it to the end of the novel. Thank you to the author for allowing me the chance to read the book. I’m sorry I could not enjoy the book.

Still unsure as to whether this book is the one for you? Have a look at what other bloggers had to say about the book!

Julie @ Fangirls Read It First says “It was well worth my time and I enjoyed reading it.”