Friday, 21 October 2016

Can a hypnotist cure you of your dreams? | The Cure for Dreaming

The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

Published: October 14th 2014 by Harry N. Abrams
Genres: young adult, historical, paranormal

Summary: Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout.


For some reason, I have always been hesitant to pick up a book by Cat Winters, because I thought she only wrote books set during World War One and I’m not a fan of this time period, to be honest. But I kept seeing positive reviews for her books and added one to my TBR, in hopes to read it someday, before deciding October was the month to do so, with Halloween around the corner. Now I just want to slap myself for not reading The Cure from Dreaming sooner, because it was absolutely fantastic!

This novel captured my attention from the first page. I was swept away in 1900 Oregon and was walking along Olivia the entire time. The fact that Cat Winters added black and white photographs helped a lot to picture this era, even if it was pretty easy for me. The author really did her research perfectly, because she captured the feeling of that time period.

To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever read a book about the suffragist movement before, but I was so involved along these women and now I would love to learn more about that. I was shocked to see women speaking against other women: I can understand women not fighting for their rights, but it’s so frightening to see women fighting for not having rights, even though it happened. It was so hard to read everything men said to women during the entire book, how they belittled them, but sadly it happened and the worst part… Is that it’s still happening. This book definitely made me go through a wide spectrum of emotions, and anger was definitely part of them, because seeing women being bullied is so infuriating.

Olivia was an amazing heroine. She was headstrong, independent and wasn’t afraid to fight for what she wanted. In the fact, the more her father was trying to tame her, the bolder she became and I was admiring her so much. At first, she was a character with beliefs but didn’t act on them too much, until she truly became active as a suffragist and stood for herself. She was definitely relatable and likeable and she’s my new favourite.

At first, Henri appeared distant, because he was this mysterious hypnotist performer but the more we got to know him, the more we saw he was human and flawed. I personally loved his close relationship to his sister, because as you might know by now, I’m always a sucker for sibling bonds. Moreover, I was digging his French accent, as I’m French myself, because it’s so enjoyable to understand a ‘foreign’ language in a book, as it was written in English.

The secondary characters had an importance place in this novel, to the point they even saved the day, at some point. It was very interesting to read about all these women that fought for their rights and to see how mentalities were changing in this new century.

I loved Olivia and Henri’s relationship. This book didn’t focus on the romance and actually I would have loved for it to. For once, I’m complaining about that, who am I? Olivia and Henri were the perfect partenaires all along the book and it was interesting to see how Olivia came to trust him, even if she didn’t rely on him too much. Between the two, she was clearly the stronger one by the end, which is so rare in books. Nevertheless, these two brought out the best of each other and I would love to read a sequel or an epilogue about them.

I confess I was drawn to this book because of the hypnosis aspect, and I was completely satisfied. The first chapter of the book was dedicated to Henri Reverie’s first show and I felt in love right away with this book because of it. I love how hypnosis was part of the American folklore and that the author incorporated to her book so beautifully. Indeed, the ‘paranormal’ aspect, with Olivia seeing the world as it actually is, was just a metaphor for us as human beings, and the way we acted, because Olivia could actually see the wickedness in people, which was so interesting. Cat Winters never completely explains how Henri hypnotized people, but it was part of the magic of this book, but we still got to understand how to resist it.

The ending was definitely faithful to Olivia and for that, I think it wrapped the book perfectly. However, I thought I would get one more chapter after it, so when I realized the book was over, I started to cry, because I would have loved an epilogue. I’m feeling so bittersweet, because I do understand the ending, but I just want more time with these characters. It’s so rare I’m that attached to characters during standalone novels, but right now it’s the case and I need to see them again. Please.

Overall, this book came as a huge surprise and I know I will be thinking about it long after I’ve finished it. It is a story about equality, pursuing one’s dreams and how oppressing a minority will only make it fight harder. I adore this book with my whole heart, and I would love to see Olivia and Henri again. I think this one is a perfect read for Halloween, so go ahead, you won't be disappointed!

Have you read any books by Cat Winters? Have you read this one? What did you think? Have you read other books involving hypnosis? What do you like to read around Halloween?

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

That awkard moment when you don't care about the characters anymore... | Ghostly Echoes

Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby #3) by William Ritter

Published: August 30th 2016 by Algonquin Young Readers
Genres: young adult, fantasy, mystery, historical

Summary: Jenny Cavanaugh, the ghostly lady of 926 Augur Lane, has enlisted the investigative services of her fellow residents to solve a decade-old murder—her own. Abigail Rook and her eccentric employer, Detective R. F. Jackaby, dive into the cold case, starting with a search for Jenny’s fiancé, who went missing the night she died. But when a new, gruesome murder closely mirrors the events of ten years prior, Abigail and Jackaby realize that Jenny’s case isn’t so cold after all, and her killer may be far more dangerous than they suspected.

Fantasy and folklore mix with mad science as Abigail’s race to unravel the mystery leads her across the cold cobblestones of nineteenth-century New England, down to the mythical underworld, and deep into her colleagues’ grim histories to battle the most deadly foe she has ever faced.


I remember really enjoying the first book in the series, last year, because it was original and I was digging the Sherlock and Doctor Who vibes. Nevertheless, when I picked up the sequel, I remember having a hard time getting through it and thought it was because I wasn’t the mood. But, it seems like it happened again with Ghostly Echoes, which makes me so sad.

I really liked the world Ritter created: it’s rich and has endless possibilities, which he showed at the end of this third book. However, I sometimes find it very confusing, because supernatural creatures are everywhere and they’re all so different. I can’t process all of the information most of the time, which leads me to forget some important parts of the stories.
Moreover – and I had this impression in the second book – I think that because of the endless possibilities, the resolution of the mystery comes out of nowhere, because you can’t really see it coming. What I want, with mystery novels, is to be kept guessing, not to be left in the dark 90% of the novel, which leads me to understand… Nothing.

I was very excited about the plot of this third novel, because we were about to resolve Jenny Cavanaugh’s murder, Jackaby’s local resident ghost and I wasn’t disappointed on that point, because it was part of a much bigger plot, which will be resolved in the fourth book. Thanks to this plot, we dived more into Jenny’s past and to get to know her. In this novel, because of the foes encountered, we also learnt more about Jackaby’s past, which helped me to understand him even more.

However, I’m sorry to say that I didn’t care much for the characters in general. I had the feeling that Abigail was slowly fading, because we had so much backstory about other characters, but not about her in this one. The mystery aspect was very important but because of that, she was lacking a little character development, even if she was essential to the story at some point. However, for a few chapters, I felt like she was only a spectator and telling other stories. When finally, she had way more action, I thought it didn’t last long enough.

I felt exactly the same towards the ending. The revelation didn’t come as a shock, because I had been bored and confused for some time. In fact, the action I was interested didn’t happen until the last few chapters, which left me with a bittersweet taste in my mouth, as I was disappointed.

Overall, I don’t know if, I, as a person that reads so many books, is the problem, or if the book is. It’s just that in the middle of all the books I read this year, I don’t think I’ll remember a lot from this book – which is already the case with Beastly Bones. I still think the concept of the series was original though, so I don’t regret reading three books about Jackaby and Abigail, but I’m not sure I’m attracted to this series anymore.


Have you read any books in this series? If so, what did you think? Do you have recommendations for fantasy novels set in a historical setting?

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Grabby Hands #10 | October 2016 Releases

I'm excited for a few books this month, but it wasn't as bad as in September where all the books were released. I didn't buy all of those I wanted and won't be able to get some until Christmas *weeps* But anyway, let's talk about the books I'm most excited for that will be published in October!

                                                                          October 4th                                                                      

Nemesis by Anna Banks - The cover is finally growing on me, but I'm still not a fan of faces on covers... I haven't read this author's mermaid series, but this is high fantasy and I can't resist it. I don't know much about it, except that the main character has great power and falls in love with her worse ennemy (like it's written on the cover...) and hate-to-love relationships are so exciting to read.

The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #2) by Rick Riordan - I know most people loved The Hidden Oracle but didn't love The Sword of Summer, but for me, it's the contrary. I'm very interested in Norse mythology, because it's something we don't learn enough about. Moreover, this series has a very diverse cast of characters and it's so funny (the humor didn't really work on me in The Hidden Oracle). I'm so excited to read about Magnus again !

Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh - This novel seems perfect for Halloween! It seems so eerie, because it's set in 1913 on an island where the main character is a witch that's scared of the ocean, because his grandfather drowned with a smile on his face and now it's happenning again! It's so exciting and creepy and I need to read it for Halloween.

This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills - I’m not often excited for contemporary novels, but I had heard good things about Emma Mills’ first novel, First and Then, but also about this one. I’m intrigued about this one because it involves a missing painting and a family, and you know how much I love to read about fictional families. Moreover, one of the supporting characters is a social media star, which sounds fun!

When the Moon was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore - I'm ashamed to say I still haven't read The Weight of Feathers, even though I was so intrigued by it, because it reminded me of The Night Circus. I'm intrigued by When the Moon was Ours, which is a magical realism novel with LGBTQIA+ themes, the main character is transgender! Also, this cover is just gorgeous.

                                                                      October 11th                                                                      

The Midnight Star (The Young Elites #3) by Marie Lu - The Young Elites is such a great trilogy, with an antihero as a protagonist, which I’m digging. The world is amazing, because it’s inspired by the Renaissance so the aesthetic is gorgeous! Considering where The Rose Society left off, I’m dying to get my hands on this sequel and conclusion.

                                                                      October 18th                                                                      

Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - Illuminae was an amazing book, a crazy ride set in space, with a unique format. I think this trilogy functions in the same way than Starbound (the other trilogy Amie Kaufman co-wrote), because it introduces new characters, that will be the main ones, but we’ll still hear about the previous ones, which means it’s kind of a companion series? Because of the way the first book ended, I cannot wait to read this. Marie Lu took care of some of the illustrations and I’m so excited to see her art.

A Study in Scarlet Women (Lady Sherlock #1) by Sherry Thomas - I haven’t read this author’s fantasy series but I’m so excited for this book! It is a gender-swap Sherlock retelling set in Victorian era (meaning the time he actually lived in) and I’m obsessed with this time period. I must have it.

Are you excited for any of these books? What's your most anticipated book that will be released this month (mine are Gemina and The Midnight Star)?

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Florence, Italy + Uni started | September 2016 Recap

Galerie Dorée, Paris

At the beginning of the month, I was finally on holidays (but spent only five days without having to worry about university, ugh) and travelled to Florence, in Italy, with my boyfriend for a few days. It was an amazing city and I'm so grateful I got to discover amazing museums and castles. We also went to Pisa, because that was where we took our plane and went to see the Tower, obviously.

The place with the cathedral & Vecchio Palace

Food :D

The Birth of Venus by Boticelli & a room in the Pitti palace

It made me eager to discover the world even more. I'd love to go to Scotland and Prague next (funnily enough, both are related to Outlander's TV show, but I wanted to go before the obsession started), maybe I'll travel to one of these locations next summer? *fingers crossed*

When I went home in France, I had to be in Paris for a couple of meetings for university. Classes started again two weeks ago and while it's been very stressful, I'm happy to have a new routine (which will change again as I'll have an internship starting during the second half of October). I've been exploring the city more lately and went to a couple exhibitions, which was so great. Now that I'm studying Cultural Heritage, I'm planning to visit museums and such more, which isn't a chore as I love it.

Blogging-wise, I'm starting to be out of my slump (it's the third post I wrote for Tea, Books and Fun today!) and created a new blog in French, where I'm talking about culture, including books, of course. It's a new adventure and I'm so excited. 

I had a pretty good reading month. I'm starting to read less books than at the beginning of the year, I only read one entire book since I started classes (but finished two I had already started, so it's fine?), I'm scared for my reading year. I even lowered my Goodreads challenge to 100 books and I'm done! So no stressing over about it anymore, yay! Except for two disappointments, I read so many amazing books. I'm so obsessed about A Torch Against the Night, Far from the Madding Crowd and Crooked Kingdom. <3

Lorenzaccio by Alfred de Musset 2 stars
A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes #2) by Sabaa Tahir 5 stars
Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J. Maas 4.5 stars
Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy 5 stars
Phobos (Phobos #1) by Victor Dixen 4 stars
Les Enfants Jéromine by Ernst Wiechert 4.5 stars
Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby #3) by William Ritter 3 stars
Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo 5 stars

Side note: I'm dropping Tea & Screens for now so the blog will be back to be completely a book blog and I will talk more in-depth about it on my French blog. Because of that, I'll talk about the movies and TV shows I watched in my wrap-up!


Far from the Madding Crowd - After finishing the book, I had to watch the movie and I'm so obsessed with it. The soundtrack is just amazing and I keep listening to it, especially Let No Man Steal Your Thyme, sang by Carey Mulligan and Michael Sheen. Oh and Matthias Schoenaerts was attractive and now I love Gabriel Oak even more! #obsessed

Warcraft - I watched it with my boyfriend and enjoyed it, but it would have been better with more information on the world to begin with, because it was adapted from a video game. But it would have been way too long because of that, so...

TV Shows

Outlander (season 2) - I am obsessed. I was apprehensive because it would be set in Paris, but I was wrong, because it was realistic and they hired French actors, so I was pleased. I just love this season so much and the ending was heartbreaking and pushed me to finally read the books.

Jane the Virgin (season 2) - This show is so addictive, it's a pure guilty pleasure. However, the first season was so much better, because sometimes, they're using the same twists, which makes me mad because they could do so much more! It ended on a big cliffhanger so I'm very excited to see where it goes! I'm still #teamrafael.

iZombie (currently watching season 1) - I only have three episodes left and so far, it's good. For the investigations, I find it repetitive, because I'm not very into police shows and all, but the zombie aspect is just amazing! I love how it add a lot more to this show, who would feel generic without it. It makes me really like zombies, because they're clever, not stupid.

I’m stopping to put a lot of pressure on my shoulders with my TBR, because most of the time, I was writing down endless lists each month. I’d rather do monthly TBR now, like the one I did in my Top Ten Tuesday post, so you can go read it to see what I’m planning to read until Christmas. I’m currently reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, which I’m so excited about and after that I’m planning to read The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbrait, because a thriller would be great near Halloween. After that, I would love to get to Gemina and/or The Midnight Star, that will be published this month, because I’m so excited for them!

How was your month? What did you read? Any new favourite books?

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Books on my Fall TBR List | Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and The Bookish, this week’s prompt being about our Fall TBRs. I recently decided I didn’t want to do monthly TBR anymore, because I pressure myself a lot with what I need to read before the month is over and that’s why I do want to make seasonal TBR. Fall is definitely my favourite season and it’s also the time I’m craving historical fiction and fantasy, so I’m all excited about that!

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – Yes, I know, I’m finally reading this! I finished binge-watching the second season two weeks ago, and I’m still a mess. Right after finishing (and sobbing), I knew I just had to order the books, so I bought the first three, so I could catch up before the third season. I’m totally obsessed with Outlander now and I haven’t even read the books yet, but it’s happening people, and I couldn’t be more excited! Update: I actually couldn't resist and as you're reading this... I'm currently reading the book (!!!!!!!!).

Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon - While I'm at it, I should read the second book, because I need to read at least the first three before the third season, right? Because of that, I won't be reading a lot of books, because these are huge, but I do not regret it!

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo – No one should really be surprised about that, as Six of Crows was one of my favourite books of last year, and it will remind me of that glorious night I met Leigh Bardugo in Rotterdam (I still can’t believe it!!). Anyway, I can’t wait for my copy to arrive!

Like A River Glorious by Rae Carson – I feel in love with Walk on Earth A Stranger at the beginning of the year and I’ve been craving to read the second book ever since. I’m fascinated by the Gold Rush era and I’m so excited for this second book, because they will actually be looking for gold! Also, I’m totally partial to the cover, which is one of my favourites of ever: just look at this bluuuue!

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - Illuminae is glorious and I need the sequel more than I need to breathe (but I guess it’s not that easy in space, right?). Even though these books are huge, you can get through them pretty quickly, thanks to the unique format. Moreover, as Marie Lu is doing the art, I just need this even more!!!

The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman - When I saw the book had just been released in French, I was a little ashamed, as I received this one for my birthday, in February and ever since then, I’ve been excited for it (because I have the Infernal Devices vibes and I can’t handle them) but still haven’t read it. I was saving it for the perfect time, and it’s NOW. However, I think they changed the cover design or something for the second book (but I can’t seem to find it on Goodreads yet, only on Twitter and Instagram), and I’m so mad, because I loved the first design (they also did that for Legacy of Kings and now it won’t match, uuuugh).

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith - It’s another situation where it’s just time to read the damn book. I just borrowed this from the library, so it’s happening soon. I used to put J.K. Rowling on a pedestal and because of that, I didn’t want to read her other books. But I have to admit that I’m pissed off she’s adding new content to Harry Potter every second. I want to have the right to imagine and she’s stealing me that. I’m sorry but these books have been out for years and now it’s our turn to have our interpretations. While I loved Harry Potter and the Cursed Child when I read it, because the characters were back and that’s all I wanted, I saw the hundred different ways this book was problematic. And now, J.K. Rowling isn’t this all-powerful author in my heart anymore, which means I’m ready for the Cormoran Strike novels. Moreover, the Fall is the perfect time for thrillers!

The Midnight Star by Marie Lu - This trilogy is coming to a close, which makes me so sad because I remember the wreck I was after I finished Champion. I don’t have the same emotional involvement than in the Legend trilogy, but I love these books so much and I cannot wait to see how it will all conclude for the characters, because it was tense where we left them off!

The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters - I have to confess I still haven't read any of this author's books and I'm ashamed. But it came to my understand that it was historical fantasy, which is perfect around Halloween time. This book involves a hypnotist and seems a little dark, so I'm definitely excited.

Phobos² by Victor Dixen - Like I said in my last post, I'm trying to read in French again. I read a book by this author three years ago - a Goldilocks retelling - and loved it. Because of that, I started his trilogy about a speed-dating reality show where the candidates... are going to Mars. I enjoyed the first book a lot and am eager to know what will happen next.

What are you planning to read this Fall? Is there a genre you’re more attracted to during that season than the rest of the year?

Friday, 23 September 2016

Update + I'm kinda back!

I feel like I’ve tried to write this post a thousand times, but it never fitted. I’m trying again, one last time, because finally, I want to write it. Like you might have noticed, I haven’t posted… In a very long time (at least for me, it’s the first time it happened). I’ve been in this huge slump and to be honest… I didn’t miss blogging that much. But now I do.

For the past four months, my life has been crazy. For many parts, like getting my internship and going on holidays with my boyfriend, it’s been clearly amazing. But there are some other not-so-funny parts I can’t talk about in public that crushed me. On top of that, while this new school year is very exciting (I’ll be back at the internship again and I’m so pumped!), it’s also SO stressful, because of this huge dissertation I’ll have to turn in at the end of the year (it could be the equivalent of the senior thesis for American students, but we’re doing five years, soooo?). Anyway, my life is crazy, overwhelming and I have no idea how I’m even gonna survive the year. I just wanted to update you a bit on my life, for you to understand why I had been away.

On top of that… I wasn’t very happy with my blog anymore, for two reasons.

Like you know, I’m French, and since I started blogging here, I stopped reading in French, altogether. I’ve been having so much fun thinking in English 50% of the day for the last year and a half, but sometimes, it feels like I’m betraying my own country, and that I don’t fit anywhere, because I’m in the middle. I started to think a lot about this topic while seeing Australian bloggers talking about Aussie YA lit… Because I couldn’t do that for my own country. So yeah, I've started to read in French again and I won't be able to talk about it here.

Moreover, while I love books and it’s one of the most important part of my life – especially since they helped me build myself back last year – it’s not the only thing I love in life. For example, I love history. Now that I’m studying Cultural Heritage (but even before), I’m going to so much more exhibitions, and I can’t talk about them on Tea, Books and Fun, because they are in France and you guys… Aren’t. For a year, I made Tea Books and Fun a book blog and I’m glad it’s this way… But I needed another place, where I could share everything I love, without restrictions. And that’s why, at the end of August… I started a new blog, this time in French. If you understand the language, you can come say "Hi!" on Wishes and Pages (hence my new Twitter & Instagram handles, that I’m totally digging), I would love it!

Nevertheless, I’m not giving up on Tea, Books and Fun, because I’ve realized I can’t. At some points, in this past week, I’ve been feeling worthless, because of the stress of this first week at uni. I needed to remind myself I was great and I thought of my book blog. Sure, I’m not a huge blog but I’m proud of what I created here and I love you guys so much. So because of that, I’m coming back, but I won’t be there as much as I used to, because I need to take care of two blogs now and it’s gonna be very time-consuming, considering I’ll also have an internship two days a week and my dissertation/thesis to write.

Anyway, that’s all for today guys. I also wanted to thank you, because I saw that my page views didn’t stop during my “hiatus”. Y’all rock and I can’t wait to get back into the swing of things! <3

P.S. Sorry for the sappy post, my heart got the best of my brains.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Mini-Reviews | YA Contemporary Edition

Look, it's the end of the summer and I *finally* read some contemporary novels! I'm so proud of myself, because it's a genre I don't reach for a lot... I've been very late on my reviews (I read the first two books of the post a month ago... Oops), so I choose to do a mini-review post, as it's been awhile, and you'll also have everything in one place. Yay! I've also been in a blogging slump, because I don't have a lot of alone time these days, but I'll try to fix this in September (but uni will start again so I don't know if I'll be able to *sobs*).

The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I have a complicated relationship with Jennifer L. Armentrout's books. I loved her Lux series and Don't Look Back but never got into her other paranormal series, because they felt so cliché and I couldn't bear with it. I haven't read her New Adult books either, because it's a genre I hardly ever reach for - except for Colleen Hoover's novels - but I wanted to give this one a go.

In my opinion, this book is important, by the topics it brought and the message behind that. At times it could be a bit hard to read (urm listen to as I had it as an audiobook) because it didn't sugar-coat anything and I loved it. It felt so realistic and wasn't about privileged teens. If you're interested in reading about children abuse, foster kids, gangs… It was a good coming-of-age story about a girl who barely talk and I could totally relate to that (even if I don't have her trauma) and how it's frustrating not to know what to say, but also how people can judge you for it.

However, this book was way too long and it's one the main reasons I couldn't love it until the last part of the book that was fast-paced and a total page-turner. Moreover, the romance was so cringe-worthy. Mallory kept going on, and on, and on, about how hot Rider was and it was so frustrating: I GET IT, UGH. While I could feel the characters connection through it all, the way it was written made my eyes rolled, especially when the author was ending a chapter right before they kissed for the first time and then described it in details. There is a difference between romantic and cheesy…

Overall, this book tackled down some important topics and sometimes, I didn't see it coming. Nevertheless, I felt like there were so much drama at times and once again it could have been avoided (even if I understand that the characters are teens and all of that). The romance was cheesy and made me rolled my eyes more than once…

You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour & David Levithan

I went into this book without having really read anything by these authors before - except Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which David Levithan co-authored, but I definitely want to read more of their books now that I finished You Know Me Well. I picked this up because I wanted a quick read and it's definitely what I got, because I read it in a couple of hours.

It was refreshing to read a dual perspectives book where you knew, from the beginning, that the main characters weren't going to end up together. I feel like the authors' writing styles clicked well together, even though Mark and Kate's voices were distinct from each other, and I could relate to them both in different ways. Almost every character (except the parents?) were part of the LGBTQIA+ community and it was just there, for you to assume it, when the contrary happens more often than not for straight characters.

While this book involved romance aspects, it was more of a coming-of-age story about how you can't always get what you want, but also how it's okay to be lost. Moreover, it focused a lot on friendship and how you can bond with someone when you expect it the least and how it can change your life forever. You Know Me Well wasn't set at the beginning of the school year, which happens 85% of the time in contemporary, but during the last few days, where you can feel independence and freedom on the tip of your tongue. Moreover, it showed that college isn't the only way after high school, that sometimes you can need a break and it isn't discussed enough, in my opinion. It involved a lot of art, which was so fascinating and discovering the world behind all of it was interesting.

Overall, I read this coming-of-age story pretty quickly, it was addictive and I had so many feels while reading. If you're looking for a LGBTQIA+ book, I would definitely recommend this one!

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

Kasie West is one of my go-to contemporary authors, because her novels are always so cute, even if predictable, but well… We're talking about YA romance novels, I've given up on being surprised! Of course, when P.S. I Like You was released, I wasn't able to wait and read it almost straight away, I devoured it and oh, how I loved it.

The concept of the story was unique, because it was about getting to know someone through notes, so it was about who he was and it didn't focus on the physical aspect. It was so much fun to imagine the characters writing entire letters during class, I would've been found out straight away, but it was so cute. Of course, I had figured out the pen pal's identity straight away, but I was curious to see how the author would make me fall for this character… And oh damn, she did it! I was shipping the characters together so hard and I loved their character development, because we learnt so much about them through the letters and it brought a new light to them.

I loved the family aspect of the story, because I'm from a big family and it's a personal pleasure to read about these dynamics. Kasie West definitely captured what it felt like to be part of such a family, how you don't feel like you exist for yourself sometimes, because you always need to help your parents out, or how your family must seem crazy to strangers and it can mess up some aspects of your social life. All of that felt so realistic and Lily's family will remain one of my favourite fictional ones (I need to make a post on the subject I think!).

Overall, I think this book was amazing for a cute contemporary romance. I was rooting for the characters and fell in love along with Lily, so the author was definitely successful. I would 100% recommend Kasie West's books and you should start with this one, as it's my favourite!

Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour

After reading You Know Me Well, I was excited to read something by Nina LaCour and I had heard so many great things about Everything Leads To You. The hype was so real but it was so well-deserved, in my opinion. I'm excited to read anything she'll write next.

It was my first F/F romance actually (if we don't count You Know Me Well) and I really enjoyed it, I will definitely read more of them in the future. While this book involved a romance, it wasn't the main focus of the book, even though the characters interacted a lot. Indeed, this book was also about a mystery surrounding a movie superstar and its legacy, it was interesting and I was as involved as Emi and Charlotte in this search.

Moreover, this novel was set in Los Angeles and it was basically a behind-the-scenes of Hollywood, which I loved, because it's so interesting to read about it. Emi was an aspiring set designer and it was compelling to read about her having new opportunities and how everything she put in place was important for a movie. I have to say the design is something I don't always focus on (even if sometimes I'm awe-struck by rooms and need my apartment to be like that, haha). In fact, I'm glad that we saw everything about the pre-production and the book ended while they were starting filming, because it means we didn't get the glamorous parts, but what ends the fantasy, as the characters say.

I enjoyed reading about these characters, most of the main ones were so lost in their life and I was rooting for them to find their way, which they definitely did. I was shipping the characters together and I'm glad they got together at the end and not while they were in the middle of their own personal drama. Nina LaCour did great with the representation part, because there were persons of colours and people from different type of sexualities and I felt so pleased with that.

Overall, I wasn't blown away by this book, because it was easy to follow but it wasn't breath-taking. Nevertheless, it was a nice romance with characters I was rooting for and it brought to light some aspects of Hollywood we don't always see in books. If you're looking for a LGBTQIA+ book, I would definitely recommend it!

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? What was the last contemporary novel you read and loved?