April Minireviews (in May)

So once again I’m super behind on reviews.  Here we are in May, and I have written basically zero April reviews!  So even though my memory is a little hazy on some of the ones I read earlier in the month, here we go!

The Last Equation of Isaac Severy by Nova Jacobs (finished April 7) – 4*

//published 2018//

This is one of the hazy ones.  I picked up this book because the subtitle was “A Novel in Clues,” which intrigued me.  However, the clues were sadly lacking, and even the mystery wasn’t as engaging as I wanted it to be.  It’s definitely more novel-y than thriller-y, and there is a LOT of math in this book.  It is really more of a straight novel, looking at a family after the sudden death of the patriarch. There is a bit of suspense, but it is not the driving force of the story. Still, I did overall enjoy the story and the characters, even if this wasn’t exactly what I was expecting.  There were also a lot of dark themes throughout, which I wasn’t completely prepared for – child abuse, vigilante justice, drug abuse, suicide, etc.  In a way, this story was a lot more about the main character coming to grips with her family, both adopted and not, and her place with them, than it was about Isaac’s mysterious equation.  While I did give this book 4* for being a read that kept my attention, it wasn’t a book that I wanted to go back and read again.  And I still feel a little ripped off about the misleading “novel in clues” bit!

Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery (finished April 8) – 5*

//published 1909//

Frankly, I’m always going to give every book in this series 5* because I have no objectivity.  I’ve read these books since I was a little girl, over and over, and I love every page of them.  A while ago some other blog that I follow was reading these books for the first time (I honestly can’t remember which blog this was or I would link to it) and she seemed to feel that there was a real up and down to the series.  If I remember correctly, she liked about every other book and felt like the rest were filler content.  However, in my own prejudiced way I absolutely love this entry to the series.  Here, Anne has set aside her personal ambitions to do the right thing for the people she loves – and comes to find that it was the right thing for her as well.  While not preachy, there is an overall reminder throughout the story that sometimes life doesn’t go the way we had planned out, and that’s not always a negative thing.

If I have a criticism of this story, it’s that I would love to have more stories involving Anne’s group of friends.  They are such a fun crowd, and it would have been nice to Diana’s romance mature instead of just sort of appearing.  Still, this is still a book that I love and thoroughly enjoyed revisiting.

Leave It To Psmith by P.G. Wodehouse (finished April 10) – 5*

//published 1924//

No one can make me feel better about life than Wodehouse.  From the opening chapter of “Dark Plottings at Blandings Castle” through the delights of “Sensational Occurrence at a Poetry Reading” and “Almost Entirely About Flower-Pots” (followed by “More on the Flower-Pot Theme”), this book made me laugh out loud on more than on occasion.  Yes, Psmith himself can be a bit much, but the overall story is so fun and full of such fun characters and completely absurd situations that I could barely put this one down while I was reading it.  It’s another reread that just gets better every time I revisit it.

Moonlight Becomes You by Mary Higgins Clark (finished April 12) – 4*

//published 1996//

Despite the fact that I quite enjoy mystery/thrillers, I’ve read almost nothing by MHC.  Recently, I got an entire box of mysteries, including several of her stand-alone titles, and this was the first that I picked up.  The first chapter opens with the main character, Maggie, trapped inside of a coffin (SO CREEPY).  From there, we go back in time a few weeks to find out how she ended up there.  The hook of that opening, knowing that that doom is yet to come, is absolutely fantastic, and the pacing from there is perfect.  While I really enjoyed this story a lot, there’s a supposed romantic relationship between Maggie and one of the other characters that felt like the big weak point of the story and was what kept me from giving this more than 4*.  A lot of the climax hinges on his desperation to find her, but I couldn’t quite find that believable since we hadn’t really had much interaction between the two of them during the rest of the book.  Still, this was a great one-off read that made me quite intrigued to read some more of Clark’s writing.  Plus, it randomly took me to Rhode Island for my #ReadtheUSA2020 challenge, which was a great bonus!

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (finished April 13) – 4.5*

//published 2013//

If you’re noticing a reread theme in April, you would be correct.  When I’m feeling stressed or not really feeling like reading, I go back to revisit old friends.  I find books that I’ve loved in the past to be comforting and safe to read.  I’ve been wanting to reread Fangirl for quite some time.  I had only read it once before and I really liked it, and I was curious as to whether or not I would still enjoy it the second time around.  The answer – yes!  I may have even enjoyed it more.  I’ve read several of Rowell’s books, and genuinely feel like this age of character is her sweet spot.  She captures Cath’s insecurities and uncertainties so well, while making Cath be more than just those things.  I really love how romance isn’t the driving story here – instead, we also see a lot of family relationships that Cath is trying to learn how to balance as she heads into adulthood.  I would absolutely love to have a story during this exact period of time focused on Cath’s twin, Wren, who was also going through a lot of growth and change during this time, although in a completely different way.

One thing that kind of made me roll my eyes a few times was the fact that Cath and her sister have lived in Omaha all their lives and are now going to school in Lincoln, but they act like the other students there are basically a bunch of hicks instead of cool city people like Cath and Wren are.  And like… Omaha is NOT that big of a city (I’ve been there), and Omaha and Lincoln are not that far apart, so that felt a little random to me.  However, overall this is book is so funny and well-written that I was able to forgive it a few small issues and just roll with what was happening.

April Minireviews – Part 2

Oh look, the last of March’s reviews!!!

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell – 4* – finished March 15

//published 2019//

I’ve seen a lot of love for this book, and since I like Rainbow Rowell and also needed to read a graphic novel to check off some challenges, I decided to give this one a whirl.  The artwork is pretty adorable and I loved the background story with the escaped goat!!  I always enjoy stories that are set in the country, and this one definitely had that going for it.  While the story was a bit simplistic, it was still perfectly fun and happy.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery – 5* – finished March 18

//published 1908//

What can I possibly say about this book that hasn’t already been said?  I first read this book probably when I was 9 or 10 and have read it countless times since then.  I love absolutely every page – the warmth, the honesty, the humor – Montgomery writes people so well – even small characters are still perfectly sketched in just a few sentences of description.  Despite the fact that I’ve read this book so often, it still got me all choked up on multiple occasions.  This book is a classic for a reason, and it’s crazy to think that this was Montgomery’s first published novel!

Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin – 4* – finished March 19

//published 2015//

A lot of mixed feelings on this one that I can’t completely get into without spoilers.  Overall this was a very engaging read that really pulled me in and made me want to keep reading.  However, I did feel like in some spots the tension was lacking.  I also wasn’t completely satisfied with the ending, but since it did technically make everything work I’m okay with it.  Overall while I enjoyed reading this one, it didn’t particularly make me feel like rushing out to see if Heaberlin has written other books.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie – 5* – finished March 26

//published 1926//

(Did I really go almost a week without finishing a book??  No, of course not.  I read a truly dreadful “Regency” romance and also struggled through half of another book before bailing on it.  My reading stats are partially low in March and April because of so many DNFs!)

If there is some way that you’ve never read this book, you DEFINITELY should.  And I highly recommend knowing as little about it as possible, because if you know nothing, the ending will blow your mind.  It’s a twist that has been used since, but Christie was one of the earliest pioneers of this concept – sooo good!  Christie’s writing is strong enough that even though I’ve read this one several times, and obviously know the twist, I still greatly enjoy seeing how she carefully sets it all up, giving us clues and hints as we go along.  This is one of her finest books, and a hallmark of the genre.

Hot Ice by Nora Roberts – 3.5* – finished March 30

//published 1987//

I’m haphazardly working my way through Roberts’s backlog because it’s so easy to find her books everywhere!  This one was a romantic suspense, a genre she usually writes really well (and that I greatly prefer to her paranormal stories).  This one felt VERY 80’s but was still fun for a one-time read, despite the somewhat high body count, and the fact that just because the baddy went to jail in the end, I was NOT convinced that he would stop trying to avenge himself!  Still, when I’m looking for a fun romp of a read, Roberts rarely disappoints.

White Stallion of Lipizza by Marguerite Henry – 4.5* – finished March 30

//published 1964//

Regular visitors here know that I have a huge soft spot for Henry’s work, which I read over and over again as a child.  Over the last few years I’ve been revisiting her books, and have been pleasantly surprised to find that most of them hold up well as an adult.  Part of it is immense charm of Wesley Dennis’s illustrations, and White Stallion is no exception.  Dennis has a brilliant knack of sketching emotions, and also understands that just as no two human faces look alike, animals all of different looks to them as well – thus his horses and dogs especially become distinct characters on the page, even in a book like this one where theoretically a bunch of large, white horses should all look basically the same.

The story itself is delightful as usual – a young boy, growing up Vienna, loves the stallions and yearns to become a rider.  Based on a true story, as most of Henry’s tales are, eventually this young hero overcomes the odds and learns the discipline of riding these magnificent horses.

When I was in high school, the Stallions toured through my city and we went to see them – it was genuinely indescribable.  It’s amazing how long this breed of horse has been around, performing their almost-magical feats of agility.

July Minireviews – Part 2 – #20BooksofSummer

Sometimes I don’t feel like writing a full review for whatever reason, either because life is busy and I don’t have time, or because a book didn’t stir me enough.  Sometimes, it’s because a book was so good that I just don’t have anything to say beyond that I loved it!  For whatever reason, these are books that only have a few paragraphs of thoughts from me.

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley – 3*

//published 2016//

I really struggled with rating this book.  There were a lot of things I liked about it, including the main characters (for the most part), the concept of the bookstore with its letter room, and the way the book explored grief and healing.  But I hated the way this book ended so much that I almost gave it zero stars.  It was never going to be a 5* read, but it definitely could have rated higher if the ending hadn’t been so incredibly cliched and stupid.  Plus, there was tons of swearing – it felt excessive for a YA book, especially since people are just, you know, hanging out having regular conversations.  Sorry, I don’t need f-bombs every three paragraphs.  Honestly, the further I get away from finishing this book, the more I can only remember the things that annoy me, and I’m already thinking about dropping my rating another star…

The Chance of a Lifetime by Grace Livingston Hill – 3.5*

//published 1931//

A lot of GLH’s books are way too preachy or saccharine, but every once in a while she writes one that’s just a nice story with characters whose faith is very central to their lives, and that’s where this one falls.  I actually really liked the people in this book, and felt that the central theme about what a “chance of a lifetime” really means was developed well.  While there were times that the plot was over-simplistic, on the whole it was really an enjoyable book.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle – 3.5*

//published 1962//

I was going to wait and review this book after reading some more of L’Engle’s books, but I’m realizing that even though they are loosely connected, they aren’t all exactly a series in the traditional sense.  I’m reading all her books in their published order that have crisscrossing characters.  Which means I actually should have read Meet the Austins first, but didn’t realize until it was too late…

Anyway, I hadn’t read Wrinkle since probably junior high.  I remember having a vague feeling of not-liking it, but this is considered a classic, and I’ve heard so many people talk about how much they love this book, plus it’s a Newbery Award winner… so I thought I would give it another whirl.  At the end of the day, I just felt kind of ambivalent towards it.  It was a decent and interesting story with likable characters, but it didn’t really have that intensity that made me love it or feel like I urgently needed to keep reading.  I didn’t mind having a lot of “God talk” in the story, but the religious message felt a little vague to me, and it also seemed like the entire point of saving Earth from this “darkness” was really rather left open-ended.  Like, is Earth still under attack or….???

So all in all, not a bad read, but not one that I loved.  I still found it interesting enough to want to try some of L’Engle’s other books.  As for this one, a good read and also #5 for #20BooksofSummer!

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – 4*

//published 2008//

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve joined a “Traveling Book Club” where each member chose a book to mail out, and each month receives/mails the next book in the circle.  Eventually, I should get my original book back, complete with annotations from all of its travels.

Funnily enough, this month’s book was another Newbery Award winner.  I had only ever read one other Gaiman book before, quite a long while ago, so I was interested to pick up another of his stories.  I still hear so much about him around the book blogging world, and have several of his books on my list.  This one was quite enjoyable – an engaging story with a unique setting and memorable characters.  It didn’t capture me completely, but I still really enjoyed it, especially the gentle humor throughout (“he had died of consumption, he had told Bod, who had  mistakenly believed for several years that Fortinbras had been eaten by lions or bears, and was extremely disappointed to learn it was merely a disease”).

While I’m not racing to find my next Gaiman book, I’m still interested to read more of his works as I come across them.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell – 4.5*

//published 2011//

I initially read this book back in October 2016, and was pretty excited when it came up on my random draw for my #20BooksofSummer list, as I’ve been wanting to reread it.  Honestly, this book was even funnier and more perfect than I remember it being.  Lincoln is such a wonderful character and I love the way that he doesn’t necessarily have to change himself, but change his perspective of himself in order to become more content and comfortable with his life.  You can read my old review for more details.  For here – a genuinely funny, happy, yet thoughtful read that I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting.

#8 for #20BooksofSummer!

Attachments // by Rainbow Rowell

So I think I have actually now read all of Rowell’s books except for her newest, Kindred Spirits.  While I have enjoyed her books for the most part, Attachments definitely jumped to the top of her list for me, with Fangirl close behind.


//published 2011//

In Attachments, it felt like Rowell really got her setting right.  All of her characters were believable with their ages and situations in life, and the setting of just before Y2K was a great way to give the novel a time that was specific and fun without weighing it down with too many references.  I adored Lincoln, and really liked the way that Rowell had his character grown and change throughout the story.

If you haven’t read it, Attachments is about Lincoln, who has a job at a newspaper – he’s in charge of reading everyone’s emails.  It’s all part of the company’s policy to make sure people are only emailing about appropriate, work-related things.  Lincoln is a little uncomfortable with the job, but it is what it is – until he starts reading the email exchanges between Beth and Jennifer.  Their emails are definitely “between friends” with all kinds of gossip and stories, and Lincoln should definitely issue a warning to them for “inappropriate” use of company email…  except he’s kind of finding himself interested in their lives.

Here’s the thing: this book sounds like Lincoln should be really creepy, but somehow Rowell pulls this off.  I  never felt uncomfortable with Lincoln or his actions.  Instead, he comes through as incredibly likable.  I was also concerned about how in the world Rowell was going to make everything come together in the end without being super weird – but she did it.  A+ ending.


//perfect collage is perfect//source//

One of my favorite things about this story was how Rowell never portrayed various hobbies or lifestyle choices as being immature or wrong in and of themselves – it was the motivation behind them that made them so.  Throughout the story, Lincoln plays D&D, lives at home with his mom, and doesn’t socialize much.  At the end of the book, many of Lincoln’s circumstances are the same – he’s still playing D&D and going to the movies by himself – but it’s obvious that Lincoln has grown as a person and is way, way more comfortable with who he is as a person, instead of feeling stuck there.

The side plots in this book were also really good.  Beth’s relationship with her boyfriend and the whole situation with Jennifer and her husband trying to decide if they should start a family – they were things that were handled well, adding a lot of depth to the story.  Rowell did a great job giving the right amount of information about the “other” characters – enough to make them feel like more than cutouts, but not so much that it interfered with the main movement of the story.

All in all, I really enjoyed Attachments.  4/5 and recommended.

Carry On // by Rainbow Rowell

//published 2015//

//published 2015//

So I read Fangirl a while back, and it was pretty delightful.  I told my sister to read it, and she legit fell in love.  She read Fangirl twice – in a row – and so of course that’s what I got her for Christmas.  While I was at it, I figured I would go ahead and get her Carry On as well.  Of course,  being the great sister that I am, I told her that I got it for her, and then kept it so I could read it first.  ;-)

On the whole, I enjoyed Carry On just fine.  It was a pretty solid 3/5 for me.  A good one-time read, but not really a book I picture myself reading again.  I liked the world Rowell had created, and I quite liked Simon and Baz (although not as a couple).  The story clicked along at a decent pace, and I definitely wanted to see how everything came together.

The problem, I think, is that I was introduced to Carry On in the context of Fangirl.  In Fangirl, Simon Snow is set up as a Harry Potter-esq series of books.  So even though Carry On wasn’t really a lot like Harry Potter, I couldn’t stop drawing comparisons between them.  I think that if Rowell had written this book first, and then later written Fangirl, I may have enjoyed Carry On better.  Truthfully, it isn’t a whole lot like Harry Potter.  (Magical boarding school, yes, but there are plenty of magical boarding school books.  “Chosen One” concept, yes, but there are also plenty of books with a reluctant hero.)  The world of magic/nonmagic that Rowell creates is quite different from Harry Potter, but I couldn’t stop contrasting them, and, frankly, Carry On came up wanting in every comparison.

The main thing is, it felt like I was picking up the final book in a trilogy.  While we get references to various backstories, we don’t actually know the backstories.  So this whole years of Simon and Baz being enemies thing felt a little weak.  Sure, Simon and Baz tell us that they were enemies, but I don’t actually experience that in this book, because they are working together for the majority of the story.  There wasn’t a lot of emotional impact from these forever-enemies becoming cautious friends, because I basically only ever knew them when they were trying to be, if not friends, at least not enemies.

There were other things in the story that felt that same way: I just had to believe that all these things had happened in the past, and that now they were super different.  I don’t really know how to explain it, but it literally felt like I had started reading in the middle of a book instead of at the beginning, and I really didn’t feel a lot of strong emotions about the story because of that.

I was definitely not a fan of the multiple first-person narration, either.  It’s not a form I’m usually fond of anyway.  It’s too many voices and they didn’t sound different enough to make it work.  I also think that a third-person narration could have filled in some of those backstory gaps a lot better than random memories from random first-person narrating.  I especially find first person narrating a drag when there is romance because then I have to listen to this person blather on about their feelings, which I find incredibly boring, especially when I don’t really feel like the romance is remotely believable.

In general, I don’t really read a lot of LGBT romance anyway; not my thing.  In this particular instance, the romance between Simon and Baz felt completely unbelievable, not just because of them both being guys, but just because it was super random.  I don’t know, it just didn’t feel like that was the real story.  Them becoming friends, yes.  Lovers, no.  And possibly part of the reason I don’t read a lot of LGBT romance is because I get really tired of the internal “Oh my gosh, I think I might be gay!” monologue.  If you’re a dude and you’re enjoying kissing another dude, you’re probably gay.  I’m not sure why I have to listen to pages of you contemplating whether or not that’s a thing.  It’s pretty boring and it does absolutely nothing to actual move the story forward.

Like I said, I don’t have a lot of patience for first-person romance anyway.  I think I like him.  He’s so cute.  He fills me with butterflies.  Oh!  His kiss!  So perfect!  I daydream about his kiss for the next five hours even though I’m supposed to be doing something useful with my life that would actually make something happen in this story.  Did I mention the kiss?  He’s so cute.  Wow, the kiss.  I just can’t stop thinking about that kiss.  I should probably be figuring out how to rid the world of this evil menace except…  kiss!  My gosh, please stop.  Just please.  Stop.

The whole big plot with the Insidious Humdrum and Simon’s mentor, the Mage, is a bit disjointed.  We probably could have gotten better resolution and direction with that if we didn’t bother with romance, and that would have been great.  It kind of made sense, but also felt rather abrupt, which goes back to that whole I-felt-like-it-was-the-middle-of-a-book thing.

So, in short, if you always though Dumbledore was a jerk, and that Harry and Draco should start kissing, you’ll probably find a lot more to like in Carry On than I did.  For me, while a decent tale, it was a bit too disjointed and directionless to add to my permanent collection. However, I think that Rowell has a lot of potential for writing some fun and engaging fantasy if she starts at the beginning of the story instead of in the middle.


//by Rainbow Rowell//published 2013//


So this is my third Rowell book.  Landline, which I never got around to reviewing, was the first.  Then, not long ago, I read Eleanor & Parkwhich, unexpectedly, I actually enjoyed.

Fangirl wasn’t like either of those.  It was more lighthearted.  There were some genuinely funny characters, some fantastic dialogue, and some solid conversations/themes underneath.

The main character is Cath.  A college freshman, Cath is nervous about being on her own for all the usual reasons, and some that aren’t so usual.  She can’t believe that she is going to be rooming with another random student in the dorm – she’s always shared a room with her twin sister, Wren, but Wren has shown a spark of independence by declaring that it’s time to meet new people, have new experiences, and embrace life – which means having a new roommate in a different dormitory.

Cath is a huge fan of Simon Snow.  As Rowell explains to us via an “Encyclowikia” entry at the beginning of the book, Simon Snow is the main character of a fantasy series that sounds a great deal like Harry Potter.  Cath isn’t just a fan, though – she writes fanfiction about Simon Snow, and her stories are immensely popular.

Throughout the story, Cath adjusts to her new life, and we learn more about her old life, and why she is the way that she is.  Cath is an incredibly relatable and likable heroine, and I really enjoyed reading about her ups and downs of college life.  There is plenty of good stuff about family, relationships, friendships, and just overall becoming-an-adult stuff, and Rowell handles it all well.  I really loved watching Cath’s relationships with her dad and her sister transition from relating as a child to relating as an adult.  It’s one of those weird things about growing up that people don’t really talk about – while you’ll never be a contemporary of your parents, you do become an equal.

Eleanor & Park was about a pair of high schoolers; Landline is about a middle-aged couple; but I really felt that Fangirl was where Rowell belongs – she brought life to her college characters incredibly well, capturing that awkward whoa-we’re-adults-except-we-have-no-idea-how-to-adult feeling perfectly.

Fangirl was a super fun read.  I could have done without some of the passages of Cath’s fanfiction, but overall the story moved well, the characters were both likable and believable, and the story was adorable.  4/5.

Eleanor & Park

//by Rainbow Rowell//published 2013//

71LkLmxqgjLSo Rainbow Rowell is one of those authors that I keep hearing people go on about and keeping thinking that I should read.  I actually did read her book Landline back in the early summer, but that was right before the house-buying chaos broke loose, and I just never reviewed it.  But I found the writing to be engaging, and decided that it would be worthwhile to check out her other titles, which brings us to Eleanor & Park.  

First things first: I actually enjoyed this book.  The word that keeps coming to me while I’m thinking about this book is thoughtful.  Not quite to “profound,” but definitely a book that gives you something to chew on.  There is more going on than just the bare bones of the story.

But here are the bare bones of the story nonetheless:  Eleanor is the new girl in high school, and she’s all wrong.  Her hair is crazy, her clothes are crazy, she says things that are crazy.  In high school, where the mantra is blend in, Eleanor does her own thing.  Park is one of those quiet, middle-ground guys.  Not popular, but no one messes with him, either.  But when he ends up sharing his seat on the bus with Eleanor, both of their lives change.

The book cover says “This is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds – smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.”  And really, that’s the type of sentence to make me back away from a book as quickly as possible, but I’m glad I looked past it, because it’s truly an incredibly inaccurate statement.

Eleanor & Park is so much more than a teenage love story.  I walked away from this book with a strong conviction, a reminder that there is so much more to people than we can see.  We see someone around and wonder why they dress or talk or act a certain way, a way that, to us, seems really rather absurd.  But the truth of the matter is that we have no idea what has brought that person to where they are now.  We have no idea what forces have shaped them, what circumstances face them at home, or what fears haunt them.

For me, that was what this book was about.  About two teens who at least got a glimmer of the importance of learning to accept people where they are and for who they are, instead of expecting them to conform to some preconceived idea of what a certain person should look like.

The story itself was engaging.  Eleanor and Park are both very likable, despite (because of?) their flaws.  I loved the fact that Park comes from a happy family, with parents who are still married and still love each other. So refreshing.  Especially since Park recognizes it as something really great, as something that he wants for himself someday –

His parents never talked about how they met, but when Park was younger, he used to try to imagine it.

He loved how much they loved each other.  It was the thing he thought about what he woke up scared in the middle of the night.  Not that they loved him – they were his parents, they had to love him.  That they loved each other.  They didn’t have to do that.

None of his friends’ parents were still together, and in every case, that seemed like the number one thing that had gone wrong with his friends’ lives.

But Park’s parents loved each other.  They kissed each other on the mouth, no matter who was watching.

And Park’s happy home life felt every bit as realistic as Eleanor’s bleak one.  It never felt like Park’s parents were special, or superhumans, to have stayed married all this time.  One gets the strong sense of choice.  Eleanor’s parents made very bad ones, while Park’s have tried to make good ones, starting with the choice to stay together, and, more, to stay in love.

I also appreciated that the physical aspect of Park and Eleanor’s relationship was not the main focus.  They become friends first.  This isn’t a story of instalove, and it isn’t a story of passionate necking whenever they get a spare second (although there is a bit of it), it’s a story of friendship.

He tried to remember how this had happened – how she went from someone he’d never met to the only one who mattered.

It’s a story that sounds like it should be a bit cheesy, but somehow isn’t.  It’s a story that sounds like it should be overly-dramatic and depressing, but somehow isn’t.  It’s a story that sounds like something I would hate, but somehow isn’t.

Eleanor & Park comes away with 4/5 and as a recommended read – a narrative that manages to be thoughtful and engaging, despite being a teenage love story.