DEAR EVAN HANSEN // Book Review!!

Hey all! I know it’s been ages since I’ve posted a review, but that’s because I’ve been on the Teen Board at teenreads.com  and I’ve been busy reviewing books there. Also I stopped posting around senior year exam time and since college started I haven’t found that much time either.

But anyway, without further ado, I present to you my review of the DEAR EVAN HANSEN book! In case you weren’t aware, the hit musical has been adapted into a novelized form, and I was fortunate enough to receive a copy as a teenreads reviewer!


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DEAR EVAN HANSEN by Val Emmich with Steven Levenson, Ben Pasek and Justin Paul

Publisher: Poppy

Publication Date: October 9th, 2018
Page Number: 368

Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 0316420239

My Rating: 4 stars


Synopsis:

Based on the hit Broadway show, DEAR EVAN HANSEN tugs at the heartstrings of readers in a new way that even people who didn’t watch the show will find themselves loving. High school senior Evan Hansen is assigned by his therapist to write letters to himself about having a good day. When one of these letters ends up on the wrong person, Evan’s latest letter is taken out of context and throws Evan into a world of grief, lying and trying to do the right thing. After the loss of their son, Connor Murphy’s parents finds the letter their son stole from Evan and think that the letter includes Connor’s last words. After the Murphy’s confront him, Evan goes along with them and gives them the closure they so desperately need about their son. The one problem? Evan wasn’t Connors’ best friend like the Murphy’s believe he was, and the letter was always Evan’s, not Connors’.

What I liked: 

I flew through this highly anticipated novel in several days and loved how fast paced it was. The writing was so immersive and I could really understand the motivations behind each character. I really liked not knowing the plot beforehand. With every plot twist and new development, my sense of shock was very genuine. It was also fun piecing together what I already knew about the musical, (which was slim to none). I knew the phrase “The Connor Project” from a quote in the musical, and so when it came up in the book I instantly felt excited. As someone who has not seen the musical, I was still able to enjoy this book a lot, and I know if I ever do see the musical, I think I’ll appreciate it more. For those that loved the musical, I would still recommend this book as it’s still a great insight for readers. With books, there is so much more details behind characters and their thoughts and I know that the book form of DEAR EVAN HANSEN will just give musical lovers a greater appreciation for this piece of work.

What I didn’t like: 

I usually dislike the snowball effect of lying trope in movies and books where the main character either tells a lie or doesn’t dispute a lie and it snowballs into a huge lie that would be hard to untangle without people getting hurt. DEAR EVAN HANSEN relies heavily on lies and secrets and for me personally, I couldn’t stand how many lies Evan told and the repercussions he faces at the end of the book are slim to none. Evan’s rise to fame and popularity essentially are contrived from an unfortunate suicide and Evan lying to a grieving family. I just couldn’t see Evan as this great hero protagonist that the book was trying to make him out to be. It was very hard for me to wrap my head around the romance in the book in addition to Evan’s recovery from anxiety. Evan’s anxiety is portrayed as pretty extreme and it’s heavily hinted that Evan broke his arm in a suicide attempt. I just can’t believe he stops taking his medication and faces no side effects from that.

Verdict: 

Overall, I would recommend this book to people who already loved the musical. The book is able to go into so much more character and plot depth than the musical was probably able to because of the nature of books in general. If you’re eager to learn more about the world of DEAR EVAN HANSEN than I would highly suggest you read this book!


 

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April 2018 Wrap Up!

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Hello everyone! This has been a slow reading month for me as I’m nearing my IB exams and the end of school. I only read 5 books this month, so I really need to pick it up to meet my Goodreads goal!

I actually watched quite a few movies this month, I’ll list them at the end of the wrap up!


First up, I finally got around to reading, THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS by Marieke Nijkamp! I also read I HAVE THE RIGHT TO by Chessy Prout. 

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I’ve been seeing THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS everywhere for a while now so I’m so glad to finally have read it especially since the topic of school shootings is very prevalent now.

Similarly with I HAVE THE RIGHT TO, the topic of sexual assault is a very current topic and it was inspiring to read about the bravery that Chessy Prout displayed throughout the aftermath of her sexual assault.


I highly enjoyed ACE OF SHADES by Amanda Foody, as well as JEK/HYDE by Amy Ross and FATAL THRONE.

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ACE OF SHADES was a delightful surprise for me this month and I absolutely loved reading it! I thought that JEK/HYDE was a tad predictable, even for someone like me who isn’t familiar with the original story. FATAL THRONE was interesting as I’m highly fascinated with everything involving King Henry VIII and his wives so this was a gem to read for me.


Some movies I watched this month including re watches are:

-Mulan and Mulan II

-Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

-Lady Bird

-Suicide Squad

-Call Me By Your Name


What books/movies have you read/watched this month?!

-Calliope

March 2018 Wrap Up!

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Hello everyone! My wrap up is slightly earlier this month than I’ve been normally posting my wrap ups this year and that is because I’m going on vacation when I usually post my wrap ups!

Also in other news, I’ve finally committed to a college so I have a future! Wooh!

Now let’s get right into the wrap up! I read 8 books this month!


First up I read: LOVE, LIFE AND THE LIST by Kasie West as well as THE FUTURE OF US by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

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Kasie West is really churning those contemporaries out and unfortunately I find the quality lacking even though the quantity is there. While the book was cute it was also predictable and just a typical Kasie West book but names changed. I did still enjoy reading and gave it a 3 star rating.

THE FUTURE OF US had such an amazing concept which I’m not going to get too much into because of spoilers but it was so interesting. The characters themselves were stereotypical YA characters that had me rolling my eyes but I really liked it! 4 star rating.


So far I have to say my favorite book of the year has to be STRANGE THE DREAMER by Laini Taylor. I also read DEAR MARTIN by Nic Stone

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Oh my god STRANGE THE DREAMER was amazing! It took me some time to get into the book but when I did I was sucked in and stayed up so late to finish the book. I cannot wait to read the second book! 5 star rating!

I also loved DEAR MARTIN but I wished it was longer! I read it in one sitting I think and I just wanted more! Also 5 stars!


I read two anthologies that I reviewed for teen reads, A TYRANNY OF PETTICOATS and THE RADICAL ELEMENT both edited by Jessica Spotswood

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I think I liked the second installment, THE RADICAL ELEMENT a little more, probably because the first book focused on historical fiction and strong females and the historical aspects sometimes bored me. I really like both books, though anthologies kind of irk me because I hate starting books. It takes me a while to get past the first few chapters and enjoy myself, especially with fantasies and with these short stories every time I finally started to get into it, the story would end.

A TYRANNY OF PETTICOATS gets a 3.5 star rating from me and THE RADICAL ELEMENT gets a 4 star rating!


Finally I read a book for my English class: CHRONICLE OF A DEATH FORETOLD by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and also I read CALL ME BY YOUR NAME by Andre Aciman before I watched the movie

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I really enjoy CHRONICLE it has to be one of my favorite books that I’ve read for school actually, I gave it 4 stars and I also really enjoyed CALL ME BY YOUR NAME and gave it 4 stars as well!


I’m on spring break right now, and it’s scary to think that when I come back my exams are around the corner and then I’m basically done with high school!

How was your March? Link me up to your wrap ups!

-Calliope

February 2018 Wrap Up!

Predict My Life In Books Tag!

Hello! February was a rather short month but I’m glad to say I was able to read 8 books this month which is quite good as I’ve been very busy with school.

I am at 19/100 for my reading challenge for the year, so I’m on track and I am currently reading Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West which is quite entertaining so far.

Anyways, let’s get right into the wrap up!


First up this month I read some YA fiction: Saving Hamlet by Molly Booth and the Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn Anderson

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I discovered SAVING HAMLET through the Teenreads review list and added it to my TBR. It was a good book and I loved the plot, having read ‘Hamlet’ last year for my English class it was fun to actually understand the references to the book. I gave the book a 4 star rating on Goodreads.

THE VANISHING SEASON has been on my TBR for a while now and I’m so happy I finally read it! I also gave it a 4 star rating.


I also read some YA fantasy books: Illusions of Fate as well as And I Darken, both by Kiersten White

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These two books were my favorites of the month for sure! ILLUSIONS OF FATE is my favorite of 2018 so far I think! I gave it a 5 star rating because I was gushing all over the place with the plot and the characters as well as the romance. I haven’t read a book in a while with actual chemistry between the main characters and I relished in that.

AND I DARKEN was equally amazing however it was such a long book I thought that it dragged in some placed. I’m giving it a 4.5 star rating and I can’t wait to read more of Kiersten White’s books!


The books I reviewed for teenreads.com this month were Votes for Women! and Eat Your Feelings

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Both of my reviews for these books should be up on the teenreads.com site or going up soon. I enjoyed both books and gave them both a 3.5 star rating.


Lastly I read a nonfiction book as well as an erotica, Because I was a Girl and Say My Name

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I haven’t read a book like BECAUSE I WAS A GIRL ever and I found it to be such an empowering read. Some of the stories were more entertaining than others and I would give this book a 3.5 star rating.

I was in the mood for an erotica and so I picked up SAY MY NAME after DNF-ing another erotica book a few chapters in. I’ve read great things about this book from other Goodreads users but I really couldn’t get into it. Maybe because it’s a spinoff series? Anyway I would give this book a 2.5 star rating.


Thanks so much for reading! Link me up with your February Wrap Ups and I’ll be sure to check them out!

-Calliope

January 2018 Wrap Up

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Hello everyone, I’ve survived another month of school and am that much closer to graduation. Senioritis has arrived very swiftly and I find myself very unmotivated especially since I’ve gotten into college now.

However, my reading definitely has not suffered and I’m happy to say I’ve set my goal for my 2018 reading challenge of 100 books! I’ve also read 11 books this month despite midterms…maybe I was reading instead of studying? Probably.

Anyway, let’s get into the wrap up!


First up I read some YA: Dividing Eden, Turtles All The Down, and Top Ten

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I found the first half of DIVIDING EDEN very satisfying and I was so upset when the second half fell short of my expectations. I would give this book a 3.5 star rating because the first half was truly good!

TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN was a very real and raw book and usually John Green’s books are a hit or miss for me and with a 4.5 star rating for me I’m glad to say this one was a hit!

TOP TEN was interesting but also long and the story dragged on. While the dual perspective and top ten moments were an interesting way to structure the story at times it took away from the plot. I gave this book a 4 star rating on Goodreads.


I also read Kiss me in New York, It’s Kind of a Funny story and Seven Ways We Lie

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KISS ME IN NEW YORK was as very cliche and predictable and despite the cute plot and storyline, I did not feel emotionally connected to any of the characters. I gave this book a 3 star rating on goodreads but it’s really a 2.5 for me.

IT’S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY was such a relevant book in terms of teen stress and standards for school and college. I gave it a 4 star rating on goodreads and also watched the movie which obviously could not compare to the book but was decent!

Similar to DIVIDING EDEN I thought that the first half of SEVEN WAYS WE LIE was slow but the second half really picked up. I gave it 4 stars!


I read Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe, What a Goddess Wants, and The School for Good and Evil 

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PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND MISTLETOE was a beautiful disaster that I flew through and liked in terms of the cute hallmark factor. However, this was not a hallmark movie, it was a novel that I was expecting a lot more from, especially from author Melissa de la Cruz. From the cringe of the main character to how unlike Pride and Prejudice is in terms of romance and character development this book was a flop. Seriously, the personality of the characters was like that of a limp tissue. I gave it 2 stars on goodreads but it’s a 1.5 star rating from me.

WHAT A GODDESS WANTS was my erotica/romance for the month. I originally wanted a different book but live-brary/overdrive didn’t have so I settled for this one. I mean sure it was a fun read and the first quarter was promising but then it kind of fell apart for me, it was semi enjoyable though so I gave it 3 stars.

I’ve been meaning to read THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL for so long now ever since it was recommended to me by a mom at taekwondo several years ago and I’m so happy I finally got to it! It was a pretty big book and I’m quite proud that I read it, it is middle grade I’m pretty sure but it reads almost like a YA novel. I liked it and gave it a 4 star rating!


My books for teenreads this month were Zenith and Busted, and I was so lucky to get the ARC of Zenith!

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Ok let’s talk about ZENITH. I didn’t really include this in my ZENITH review on teenreads but this book is extremely controversial. There are so many one star ratings bashing this book and I don’t understand why. The bitterness and jealousy of the success of ZENITH really is astounding. Sure it had a lot of flaws but so do most books. Because Sasha is a booktuber obviously getting ZENITH published was easier for her but I don’t think her books deserves negative reviews for that. It should be judged on the content. You can definitely disagree with me on this but overall I’m satisfied with ZENITH and will be reading the next book. 4 star rating.

BUSTED was a strange one but also entertaining and I gave it 3 stars on goodreads but it’s more of a 3.5 for me.


Thanks for reading! Link me up with your January Wrap Ups and be sure to tell me what you read in the comments!

-Calliope

December 2017 Wrap Up!

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Hello! I can’t believe 2017 is over! It’s so scary how fast time flies! This month I read 8 books and beat my 2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge by exactly 1 book! That’s right, this year I read a grand total of 113 books! Wooh!


So first up this month I read a book for school, Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys as well as Earth Hates Me by Ruby Karp.

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I thought Wide Sargasso Sea was okay for a school mandated book. If I read it for fun I probably would not have liked it as much. I did find it cool to read about such a well known English classic character, the mad woman in Rochester’s attic from Jane Eyre. I gave this book 3 stars and out of the 2 books I’ve read for English so far, this one was my favorite.

Earth Hates Me was so on point and relateable at some points and totally off kilter and strange with other parts. I totally agreed with the FOMO thing however! I ended up giving this one 4 stars.


I also read some contemporaries, If There’s no Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout and A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck.

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I thought that both of these books were very typical YA contemporaries with nothing too special. I was rather bored by both of them in fact, so I gave If There’s no Tomorrow 3 stars and A Short History 4 stars because I related hardcore to the whole teen angst and hating everyone and being the protagonist to your own story kind of thing.


I finally read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie! It’s about time! And then I read Because You Love to Hate Me finally as well.

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Funny enough, A Short History has references to The Absolutely True Diary and I was reading both at the same time and I really loved knowing exactly what the references were talking about. I would give The Absolutely True Diary 4.5 stars because it was so heartwarming, but I felt a tad disconnected from the narrator.

I liked Because You Loved to Hate Me! I gave it 4 stars and though I extremely disliked the booktuber input, I loved all of the other stories so I’ve chosen to pretend that the booktuber input does not exist.


And lastly I read That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston as well as Warcross by Marie Lu.

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The first half of That Inevitable was very slow and boring and I almost DNF’d, but I pushed through and I’m glad I did because the second half was a lot better! I did end up giving the book 3 stars because of how complicated and unnecessary most of the first half was.

I also really liked Warcross! It did remind me of other books I’ve read like Ready Player One, however I really did like it though some elements of the game were confusing. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads, but it’s probably more of a 4.5 star book for me!


How was your year in reading?! Link me up with your December and yearly wrap ups!

-Calliope

November 2017 Wrap Up aka I’m stressed out

What Did I Read This Month

Whoever said senior year of high school was easy has clearly never taken IB. College can’t possibly get any harder than this.

So yes I’m stressed out and have not been blogging…like at all…but I have read 12 book this month and have smashed my 100 book goal for 2017. I’m at 105 right now and will hopefully surpass last year’s final of 112? Maybe, we’ll see.

Let’s get started!


I read some books for a book trivia competition that I do every year called Battle of the Books!

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It’s funny, usually I’ve already read two out of the three battle books but this year I’ve never heard of any of them. I liked all three and if I had to choose one to study for the competition I would say probably ‘Tell Me Three Things’ because it’s the most contemporary and easiest to memorize, unlike ‘Starflight’ which is very intense and would be a pain to memorize facts and the little obscure things about it.


I read some random books that are all from different genres and authors as well!

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I know that ‘Without Merit’ and ‘There’s someone inside your house’ are controversial but I think that they were both okay books. I definitely see both sides of readers’ arguments and I agree with a lot of the negative but also the positive things about them. I really liked ‘Renegades’ as well as ‘They Both Die at the End’.

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All of these authors except the Lizzie Borden book I’ve already read and loved so though these latest books did not match up to my already set expectations of them through their other books I still liked these books. I actually almost DNF’d the Lizzie Borden book because it was so boring but I pushed through it in the end.


Lastly, I finished the Sinners on Tour series!

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I read the first book last month so it doesn’t count, this month I read books 2-5, but I just didn’t feel like cropping the first book out of the picture so here it is.


In others news my first college app is due tomorrow so yay, I’m slowly crawling through the year.

What did you read this month? Link me up with your November Wrap Ups!

-Calliope