Review #48

Morgan Matson’s The Unexpected Everything was phenomenal. Spectacular. Beautiful.

I’m struggling to find the right words to convey how good it was. Matson is one of the most talented writers I’ve ever read. She slowly builds worlds and creates characters that are right next to you as you’re reading, and then the plot sneaks up on you so suddenly you didn’t even realize you were missing it. Her writing is quality and I love it.

She also seems to have a deep understanding of loss, and that is shown in almost all of her books. Her characters experience feelings that we experience, and that makes them relatable. 

The Unexpected Everything slowly built a story that was light, happy, and moving in the right direction. But in classic Matson style, everything good was ripped away, and left shattered. You realize as you’re about to finish the book that there’s no way out. It’s over, ruined. I walked away for five whole minutes, swearing I was done with it… But then I came back just to see what would happen. And in a completely real way the story seemed to fix itself, not by giving us a perfect ending, but by letting life go on (which, in a way, is perfect). As I reached the last few pages my head was spinning with a million thoughts “wait, what… YES, oh well that’s kind of sad… Dang it, WAIT, oh my gosh, YES… Wow… That’s… Wow”. You won’t realize it at first, but this book is one that you’ll come back to read again. 

I hope you read it. 

With Smiles,

Ivy B. Lake 

Currently Reading

I’ve read a certain book by Morgan Matson every single summer of my life, and now I’m reading a different one of hers. The Unexpected Everything. Maybe this will be another one to come back to. I hope so.

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With Smiles,

Ivy B. Lake

Review #47

Fairest by Marissa Meyer was another example of skilled writing, but I just didn’t like Levana. After all, we’re supposed to hate her. But sometimes reading a book about someone you hate is kind of… frustrating? I love Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles, and I was exited for another installment, but there was just no way she could make Levana a ‘good’ character. She’s innately bad, manipulative, and delusional. So yes this book was good… but I can’t really say that I liked it.

I know, I’m confused too.

With Smiles?

Ivy B. Lake

Review #46

The List by Siobhan Vivian was suprisingly good. Not because I didn’t expect greatness from her, but because it was shockingly true.

Wow. It’s sad to admit that high school is really like how she described it to be. We should be ashamed that we act that way, as if hair, makeup, clothes, noses, dress sizes, and boyfriends are all that matter. Vivian laid it all out for us, clear as day, and it’s almost too real to accept.

This book shows the good, the bad, and the ugly (literally) and dives into the lives of 8 very different high school girls of each grade level. It’s dramatic and fresh, but it’s also sad when you look back at it.

With Smiles,

Ivy B. Lake


Review #45

No time for currently readings. Must… make… reviews…

Love and Luck by Jenna Evans Welch.

In this adorable book set in gorgeous Ireland we get to live the life of Addie, Lena’s best friend from Love and Gelato. It has just the right amount of sass, love, heartbreak, honesty, and Ren! I loved this book, and I thought it was a sweet sequel to the first novel. I would highly recommend it. Jenna Evans Welch is very gifted in the way that she transports you instantly into a different country.

I can almost feel the raindrops…

With Smiles,

Ivy B. Lake


Review #44

Alas! I’m back. It’s been a busy year.

To catch you up: Italy, gelato, stuck in Norway, work, work, work, baking, cello, flute, studying, work, learning another language, not sleeping for 72 hours, “wait… is it really Summer?”, and here we are.

To kick this season off, let’s start with John Green’s newest book, Turtles All the Way Down.

This book is very real. Who am I kidding, all of Green’s books are. But this one in particular was acutely in tune with a different kind of teenage reality. It wasn’t all about love, mystery, or death. It explored mental illness, and in a shockingly vivid way.

At times this book was redundant, and the characters were sometimes frustratingly imperfect. Annoying even. You could almost critique this book for that, but not quite. Because after reading it I realized that it was that way on purpose. We’re surrounded by books filled with perfectly designed character arcs, satisfying endings, good relationships, and solutions. This book was repetitive and flawed because mental illnesses are repetitive and flawed. Green doesn’t need to make his characters pleasant to make them award winning.

At times you will want to scream at Aza to stop thinking about spirals. But I want you to think about how she must feel.

I bet she wants to scream too.

With Smiles,

Ivy B. Lake