Novella review: Torn Hearts by Claire Contreras

Torn Hearts by Claire Contreras
Series: Hearts #1.5
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
Links: Amazon • Goodreads
Publication Date: August 17, 2016
Source: Freebie
I met a boy once. He made my heart go into a frenzy every time he looked at me, and my knees go weak whenever he touched me. Our love was so beautiful, that even its demise was bittersweet.

I met a girl once. Her world, full of possibilities, made me feel like even I had a chance at being someone. She believed in me. She loved me. We were so secure, that even our breaking point seemed hazy. Until we reached it.

Here’s the thing: If you’re going to call Paper Hearts book two in the series, I shouldn’t have to read some random novella before I can get started if I’ve already read book one. That would make Paper Hearts book three in the series. If a book is #1.5, it should include some extra information that’s fun for your readers, but it shouldn’t be required reading to understand what happens in the next book. I think I might be in a bit of a mood right now because this is really getting to me.

Anyway, on to the review.

I didn’t love it. I didn’t even really remotely like it. I don’t agree with Jensen’s choices and I feel like I’m not going to enjoy Paper Hearts because of it. This novella includes so many of my romance novel pet peeves that I honestly wish I could stop right here, but, alas, the reading challenge. I have made awful choices this month.

I think I should probably just put it all out there because I know this would be a hard nope from me had I known what it was about going in.

Spoilers under the jump.

Continue reading

Birthday book tags!

So, in case you hadn’t figured it out by the title of the post, today is my birthday! I saw these book tags over at Siobhan’s Novelties and thought I might as well participate since they looked like so much fun! Also, shameless Twitter plug — I’m doing a birthday giveaway over there and it ends today. Feel free to enter if you haven’t already!


24 – 5 = 19, so the 19th book on my bookshelf is… Carry On by Rainbow Rowell! I loved this book so much!


I think I’d have to go with Rose Calloway from Kiss the Sky by Krista & Becca Ritchie. As for why, she’s a really strong, empowering character and I bet she’d go all-out to make sure the birthday celebration was fun for everyone. She’d probably also bring all the Hales, Meadows, and Cobalts, so it would be a party for sure.


I actually had a lot of trouble coming up with a book set in spring! I finally settled on this one, which I read in 2016. It’s about a town that goes underwater when the spring rains start before the ground has thawed from winter.


If my Read the Rainbow challenge has taught me anything, it’s that I hardly read any green books at all! (Especially not emerald green.) This book was really great, though, and I highly recommend it.


I’m a 90s baby through and through. I love (almost) everything about the 90s and I feel like it was really the time period I belonged in. If I had to pick a different time period, I’d do the 80s. I love 80s music, movies, and tv shows.

The Rules

  1. Always Always Always pingback/link to icebreaker694‘s site (she wants to see your answers).
  2. Post this on your birthday!!! Or not, y’know, you do you.
  3. Answer the questions! (You might have to do some digging, hope that’s not a problem.)
  4. Tag as many bloggers as you can! (At least 1+ so the tag won’t die!)

When’s your birthday (month + day)?
May 24

What’s your Zodiac sign?

What’s your birthstone?

Do you know someone with the same birthday?
Actually, yes. My uncle has the same birthday as me. Also: Bob Dylan, Greg Berlanti, and Queen Victoria. And G-Eazy, who mentions being a “crazy f*cking Gemini” in Him & I.

What historical event occurred on your birthday?
I don’t think anything really amazing has ever happened on May 24, but according to Wikipedia, the Brooklyn Bridge opened and the first Eurovision song contest was held.

What do you usually do to celebrate your birthday?
Well, now that I’m a Certified Adult, I usually celebrate by going to work just like any other day. Usually my coworkers will get me cupcakes and the boss will buy me lunch. This year I’m not sure because our surgeon just quit (yesterday was his last day) and so things are a little awkward at the office.

My boyfriend’s birthday is two days after mine (and one or both of our birthdays typically fall on Memorial Weekend), so his family usually comes up to celebrate. As usual, we’ll be celebrating in Brooklyn… but his sister-in-law’s baby is due any day now, so the celebration might be in a hospital this time! (Honestly, a new baby would be the best birthday present!)

Were you born in the morning, afternoon or night?
Morning. 10-ish, I think.

If you could have any present in the world, what present would it be?
My own personal library would be nice!

How did you get your name?
Well, the story goes that my mom wanted to name me Rose (she really likes flower names) but my dad vetoed that. He was really into Hall and Oates so I’m Sara with no H.

Have you ever forgotten your birthday?
I don’t think so. If nothing else, Facebook will remind me!

Book flash: Five books you’d want to be given on your special day!
Well, this is an incredibly easy question.

  • Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka
  • At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson
  • The Anatomical Shape of a Heart by Jenn Bennett
  • a preorder of What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera
  • a preorder of Save the Date by Morgan Matson

I’m tagging:

  • Anybody with a birthday coming up! I can’t really expect you to do a birthday tag if it’s not your birthday, can I?

Book tags: The Reader Confession Tag + The Sunshine Blogger Award!

It’s time for a couple new tags! It always makes me so happy when I see that I’ve been tagged in something, so thank you to Siobhan and Yes More Blogs for putting a smile on my face recently! I have a few more tags coming in the next few days but I figured this was good for today.

As always, if I’ve tagged you to do something you’re not interested in, feel free to ignore me! And if you like being tagged in things and I never tag you, just drop me a comment and I’ll get you next time!

I was tagged by Siobhan @ Siobhan’s Novelties to do the Reader Confession Tag! Thanks so much for tagging me!

Have you ever damaged a book?
Yes, unfortunately. I once dropped a book in the bathtub (so cliche), which is probably the worst I’ve ever damaged one.

How long does it take you to read a book?
I think most books probably average two days? Although it can be longer or shorter depending on how much I like or dislike it.

Books that you haven’t finished?
I really don’t DNF very often! There are only a few since I started keeping track:

  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman (I talked about this before. I was moving across the country and life was a little crazy. I think I just need to try again.)
  • By Blood by Ellen Ullman
  • The Returned by Jason Mott
  • Next August by Kelly Moore
  • Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Hyped/popular books you don’t like?
There are so many! I generally expect hyped books to be amazing and I get really disappointed when they aren’t.

  • Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner
  • Kissing Max Holden by Katy Upperman
  • Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
  • I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin

Is there a book you wouldn’t tell anyone you were reading?
I’m pretty open about what I read but I guess it depends on who’s asking. It’s not like I want to have a conversation about the merits of erotica with my boss.

How many books do you own?
According to my Goodreads shelf, it’s 447, but that might be a little off.

Are you a fast or a slow reader?
I’m usually a pretty fast reader, but it really depends on how much I’m enjoying it. If I’m really into it, I can fly through a book in one sitting. But if I’m not really into it, it can take me two or three weeks to read 300 pages.

Do you like to buddy read?
I’ve never done a buddy read but I would love to! I need somebody to rant and rave with!

Do you read better in your head or out loud?
Definitely in my head, although I can do a pretty decent job of reading to toddlers!

If you were only allowed to own one book, what would it be and why?
I’m assuming that I can still read other books, I just can’t own them? I scrolled through all of my five-star reviews on Goodreads and I think the best option is Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren. Honestly, this book was just so good and gave me so many emotions and it was just such good storytelling.

I’m tagging:


I was nominated by Yes More Blogs for the Sunshine Blogger Award! Thank you so much for nominating me!

The Rules

The guidelines for this award are straightforward.

  • Thank the blogger(s) that nominated you in the post and link back to their blog
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you
  • Nominate 8-11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award Logo on your post and/or in your blog

Questions from Yes More Blogs:

Short or long chapters?
I prefer short chapters because I like to wait for a chapter break to put a book down. When the book has 87-page chapters, I have to keep reading forever even if I’m falling asleep and then I won’t remember half of it anyway.

Favourite reading spot?
I like to read in bed with my cat. We also have a hammock in the middle of our house that I was totally opposed to for the first three years, but it’s starting to grow on me as a reading spot.

Best bookish moment?
Probably when I got an ARC of Renegades. I never expected to get such a hyped book and I’m honestly not sure how it happened!

Most books by one author?
According to Goodreads, it’s Francine Pascal (36), which is because I read the entire Fearless series one summer in high school. More recently it would be Krista & Becca Ritchie (15, soon to be 16 if I can ever find the time to read The Raging Ones).

Bookshop or online?
I usually buy online. I love talking to and getting recommendations from booksellers, but I have trouble saying no even when I know the book would be a bad fit.

Bookmarks or page fold?
Bookmarks, always.

Library or buy the book?
My bank account prefers the library but there are some books that I just have to own!

Let people borrow or guard with your life?
It depends on the book! I’m totally fine with lending out most of my books. There are some, though, like my signed hardcover of Starry Eyes, that are never ever leaving my shelf.

Favourite book of all time?
This is the hardest question of all time! I honestly don’t even think I can answer it. I’m actually working on a favorites page for my blog because I have so many of them.

Best book to movie adaptation?
I don’t watch a ton of movies, but Love, Simon was a great adaptation of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda and I preferred the movie version of The Perks of Being a Wallflower over the book.

My nominated blogs are:

(I’m not doing 11 nominations, sorry.)

Your eleven questions:

  1. What’s a weird fact that you just happen to know?
  2. If you could pick one food that you’d never have to eat again, what would it be?
  3. What’s your favorite season of the year and why?
  4. You can have dinner with five famous people, alive or dead. Who do you pick?
  5. Imagine you have a personal assistant to do everything you hate or don’t want to deal with. What do you have them do for you?
  6. If you could teleport anywhere, where would you go right now?
  7. What’s the last book that you recommended to someone?
  8. What’s the last book that someone recommended to you?
  9. Used books or new books?
  10. Do you listen to audiobooks?
  11. Have you ever dreamed about a book? If so, which book?

Blog tour (+ giveaway!): The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde

The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde
Series: standalone
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: AmazonTBDGoodreads • B&N iBooks • Kobo
Publication Date: May 22, 2018
Source: ARC from Xpresso Book Tours

A teen rockstar has to navigate family, love, coming out, and life in the spotlight after being labeled the latest celebrity trainwreck in Jen Wilde’s quirky and utterly relatable novel. 

As a rock star drummer in the hit band The Brightsiders, Emmy King’s life should be perfect. But there’s nothing the paparazzi love more than watching a celebrity crash and burn. When a night of partying lands Emmy in hospital and her girlfriend in jail, she’s branded the latest tabloid train wreck.

Luckily, Emmy has her friends and bandmates, including the super-swoonworthy Alfie, to help her pick up the pieces of her life. She knows hooking up with a band member is exactly the kind of trouble she should be avoiding, and yet Emmy and Alfie Just. Keep. Kissing.

Will the inevitable fallout turn her into a clickbait scandal (again)? Or will she find the strength to stand on her own?

The Brightsiders was actually one of my most anticipated books of 2018. I mean, a book about a teenage rock star and her awesome friends with some scandalous friends-to-lovers romance happening on the side? Sign me up! That said, I was a little nervous to read it because I was expecting such great things, but…

Guess what? I loved it. This book was so much fun!

I knew I was in for a wild ride when Emmy was spiraling out of control at 10% in — but I felt that Wilde handled all of the conflicts really well. I loved all of the main characters and would love to be friends with them if I were ten years younger. (Maybe at this point in my life I can be a surrogate big sister.) All of the characters are complex and fully fleshed out and although there’s a wide variety of representation (bisexual, pansexual, genderqueer, nonbinary, different races and ethnicities, mental health issues) nobody feels like they’ve been added to the story just to check a box.

This is exactly what I’m looking for when I read YA and I can wholeheartedly recommend it to anybody looking for a fun contemporary. If you’ve read Wilde’s Queens of Geek, keep an eye out for some cameos by characters you already know and love.


Author Bio:

Jen Wilde is a writer, geek and fangirl with a penchant for coffee, books and pugs. She writes YA stories about zombies (AS THEY RISE), witches (ECHO OF THE WITCH) and fangirls (QUEENS OF GEEK). Her debut series reached over three million reads online and became an Amazon bestseller. Her next book, THE BRIGHTSIDERS, comes out May 2018, and GOING OFF-SCRIPT releases Summer 2019.

When she’s not writing, Jen loves binge-watching her favorite shows on Netflix, eating pizza, traveling to far away places and going to conventions in Marty McFly cosplay.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook Page / Facebook Group / Twitter


Follow the blog tour here!

Top Ten Tuesday: Best character names

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today’s theme is best character names, which was actually a pretty hard one for me. There were some character names that immediately came to mind, but I had to think really hard to come up with a list of ten!

  1. Holland Vosijk, from V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic series. Holland is one of the villains of the story and he has a great redemption arc. I would like to adopt Holland even though he’s probably much older than me.
  2. Farrow Keene, from Krista & Becca Ritchie’s Like Us series. Farrow is the bodyguard and love interest in the series.
  3. Lennon Mackenzie, from Jenn Bennett’s Starry Eyes. I actually thought that I would hate this name when I saw it in the blurb, but it ended up growing on me so much! It was really fitting for the character, a quirky sort of goth boy who loves the outdoors.
  4. Julian Lefray, from R.S. Grey’s The Allure of Julian Lefray. This is just one of those names that you can feel yourself swooning over. Julian was a great character with a great name.
  5. Evie O’Neill, from Libba Bray’s The Diviners series. I love Evie, America’s sweetheart who just so happens to be psychic, and her name is perfectly fitting to her character.
  6. Simon Spier, from Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. What can I say? I have a soft spot for this book and I love that the name basically means he’s nosy.
  7. Theodore Finch, from Jennifer Niven’s All the Bright Places. I might not have loved this book or the message that it sells, but that’s a good name.
  8. Wallace Warland, from Francesca Zappia’s Eliza and Her Monsters. I don’t know what it is about the name, but it immediately evokes the exact picture of the character: a big, burly football player that’s actually a total teddy bear.
  9. Simon Snow, from Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On. Also known as the worst chosen one ever chosen and the first (and, so far, only) fictional wizard to have stolen my heart.
  10. Victor Vale, from V.E. Schwab’s Vicious. What a perfect name for a villain!

Are there any character names that really stick out in your memory?