I started a new blog, check it out!

Hello all, it’s been a long time! A few months ago I decided to start a brand new blog. This one is more lifestyle geared, but will also include everything books and books related.

I just felt I needed something under my own name that I can be proud to share with people, something a little more professional.

If you want to check my new space out it’s: ilonakaydanov.wixsite.com/website 

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!


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


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.


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!


April 2018 Wrap Up!

May 2016 Wrap Up!.png

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. 

9781492622468_p0_v5_s550x406 811zgug7A2L

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.

ace of shades.jpg jek fatal throne.jpg

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?!


March 2018 Wrap Up!

July 2017 Wrap Up!.png

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

35068742 10959277

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

28449207 24974996

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

22020592 29748943

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

23878 98687

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!