Must Reads and Let Downs: so far in 2017

It was part of my yearly goals and semester goals to read more books this year and it’s started off great! I’ve already got four (and a half) books read, which means I already met my semester goal of three!

Nothing like working at a library to spark your desire to read right? Yes, I got a new job. Which means I work two jobs now. That’s not what this post is about though, but watch out for a new post on balancing two jobs and college soon!

Related: How to Effectively Juggle a Job in College

Must Reads and Let Downs: so far in 2017 | College with Caitlyn

Today I’ve got three let downs and one must read for you. I’m not going to tell you which is which until the end, though! That way you still read the description of each book to decide whether it’s a good fit for you!

Or maybe it’s just me being evil and making you read a little extra. Muahah!

A Whole New World: A Twisted Tale by Liz Braswell Review

A Whole New World

I was so excited to start this book because I love historical(-ish) books and Disney!! Plus, Aladdin and Jasmine are two of my favorite Disney characters. I always wanted to be Jasmine when I was younger because I loved her outfit the most. Forget princess dresses! And Aladdin is my second biggest Disney prince crush.

One of the things I loved most about the book was how the author the furthered the character developments. I thought this was great because even though we do know who the characters are, I certainly didn’t know everything about them. Like who Aladdin’s mom was! Plus, the book made Aladdin seem even more hot and dreamy. (Someone had to say it.)

However, the plot fell a little short of my liking. The book was basically the same as the second part of the movie when Jafar stole the lamp from Aladdin, so it really wasn’t too different from the movie, like I thought it would be.

Still a good read and worth the time! Can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

Description from GoodReads:

“Welcome to a new YA series that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways. Each book asks the question: What if one key moment from a familiar Disney film was changed? This dark and daring version of Aladdin twists the original story with the question: What if Jafar was the first one to summon the Genie?

When Jafar steals the Genie’s lamp, he uses his first two wishes to become sultan and the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Agrabah lives in fear, waiting for his third and final wish.To stop the power-mad ruler, Aladdin and the deposed Princess Jasmine must unite the people of Agrabah in rebellion. But soon their fight for freedom threatens to tear the kingdom apart in a costly civil war.

What happens next? A Street Rat becomes a leader. A princess becomes a revolutionary. And readers will never look at the story of Aladdin in the same way again.”

Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten Review

Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls

This book had been on a reading list for almost a year, so I had very high expectations for this book. Sadly, they were not met.

The book was a little all over the place, and highly unrealistic at times. Or maybe I’m just too naive to believe the things that happen in this book are actually possible by kids my age. Who knows? Also, the chapters told from Delia’s POV were so vague and didn’t seem like real writing to me. It was just words tumbling all over the place that made no sense, so I always rushed through those chapters. Good thing they were always extremely short.

The ending also really confused me. Like I had no idea what happened, so I looked up reviews to see what other readers thought and there are so many different theories. I guess the author wanted to leave it up to the reader to decide.

There were some good things about the book though. There were quite a few quotes and passages that I highly related to or had to sticky note because I loved them so much. I also really enjoyed how the characters seemed very realistic and not just people on paper.

Description from Amazon:

“They say Delia burned herself to death in her stepfather’s shed. They say it was suicide.

But June doesn’t believe it.

June and Delia used to be closer than anything. Best friends in that way that comes before everyone else—before guys, before family. It was like being in love, but more. They had a billion secrets, binding them together like thin silk cords.

But one night a year ago, everything changed. June, Delia, and June’s boyfriend Ryan were just having a little fun. Their good time got out of hand. And in the cold blue light of morning, June knew only this—things would never be the same again.

And now, a year later, Delia is dead. June is certain she was murdered. And she owes it to her to find out the truth…which is far more complicated than she ever could have imagined.”

The Merciless II by Danielle Vega Review

The Merciless II

After finishing the first book in the series, I couldn’t wait to read this one! But to be honest, it was quite a let down.

What I loved about the first book was how out of the box and real it was, but the sequel didn’t have that same feel. It seemed too cliche and not as thought-out as the first book. There was still tons of wicked imagery and insane events though. Plus, Jude has such a great backstory and realistic personality that it makes the book still worth a read.

This installment may have been a let down, but I’m still hype for the third book that comes out this summer!

Description from GoodReads:

“Sofia is still processing the horrific truth of what happened when she and three friends performed an exorcism that spiraled horribly out of control. Ever since that night, Sofia has been haunted by bloody and demonic visions. Her therapist says they’re all in her head, but to Sofia they feel chillingly real. She just wants to get out of town, start fresh someplace else . . . until her mother dies suddenly, and Sofia gets her wish.

Sofia is sent to St. Mary’s, a creepy Catholic boarding school in Mississippi. There, seemingly everyone is doing penance for something, most of all the mysterious Jude, for whom Sofia can’t help feeling an unshakeable attraction. But when Sofia and Jude confide in each other about their pasts, something flips in him. He becomes convinced that Sofia is possessed by the devil. . . . Is an exorcism the only way to save her eternal soul?”

One was Lost by Natalie D. Richards Review

One Was Lost

I go in and out of loving thrillers, and this one came along just when I needed it.

I picked this book up on a whim when I was perusing Target’s book section (always a bad idea – well bad for my bank account but good for my soul) and I have no regrets.

I think the best part about this book is that it’s about a hiking trip, and I’ve been absolutely dying to go hiking again. Okay, maybe I shouldn’t use that terminology in reference to this book.

Anyways, another awesome thing I loved about this book was trying to figure out who is hunting the kids. The author throws so many different people it could be at you and my guess was way wrong. And I’m usually pretty good at predicting those sorts of things!

One thing I didn’t like about the main character Sera, is how she keeps referring to herself as her mother and how she needs to stay away from boys because “giving in” to your feelings towards them is bad. It’s so annoying how much she whines about it and I personally don’t agree with that viewpoint.

Description from GoodReads:

“Damaged. Deceptive. Dangerous. Darling. Are they labels or a warning? The answer could cost Sera everything.

Murder, justice, and revenge were so not a part of the plan when Sera set out on her senior camping trip. After all, hiking through the woods is supposed to be safe and uneventful.

Then one morning the group wakes up groggy, confused, and with words scrawled on their wrists: Damaged. Deceptive. Dangerous. Darling. Their supplies? Destroyed. Half their group? Gone. Their chaperone? Unconscious. Worst of all, they find four dolls acting out a murder—dolls dressed just like them.

Suddenly it’s clear; they’re being hunted. And with the only positive word on her wrist, Sera falls under suspicion…”

Have you guessed which one is the must read? *cough* The last one *cough*

Which book would you want to read? And what have you been reading lately? Let me know in the comments below!

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