All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Published: January 6th, 2015

“Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him. Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death. When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink. This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.”

All I can say is wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. I did not expect this book to be the way it was. I thought it was going to be a funny, young-adult quick read that I would easily forget about. Jennifer Niven makes it so that the reader will never forget this book. It is so serious, yet comical and romantic. It was truly beautiful. It’s gripping and intense right from the beginning, and you will not be able to put it down. Violet is an ex-cheerleader/popular girl that survives a car crash that kills her sister. Theodore Finch is a kid that doesn’t have the best home life but tries to make the best out of every situation. Violet is scared to drive and bikes/walks everywhere. Finch is unstable to say the least. They meet on a bell tower where Violet doesn’t know where she is, and Finch wonders what it would be like to jump. Finch ends up saving Violet’s life, but as word spreads around school, it seems that people think it’s the other way around. Theodore Finch is also known as ‘Freak’, so Violet knows that they both have baggage. They find love, and find the power over fear. This book grabbed my attention from the start, and I would recommend this book to a young-adult that is looking for a quick read with a fascinating story.

Rating: ★★★★★

Faithful By Alice Hoffman

Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Publisher: Simon Schuster
Rating: ★★★

Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt. What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night. Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.


This book was pretty heavy. You learn in the beginning that two friends, Shelby and Helene, are in a car accident. Helene’s life is pretty much over, bedridden and unable to move or speak. Shelby has a lot of survivor’s guilt and treats her life like it’s the worst thing in the world. She wishes it were her instead of Helene, and tries to show everyone, including her parents, that. This book does have a few triggers in it, so be careful of that.

Alice Hoffman wrote a wonderful tale about luck running out, just to be found again. Faithful takes you through Shelby’s life as she learns to how to take care of herself. Sure, there’s a few bumps on the way, but it’s Shelby’s obligation to figure out how to overcome them. The ending of this book was the best part. I didn’t like how slow this book was in the beginning, but it did provide a moving feeling to the reader at the end. This was a powerful book to show how to rise up through tragedy.


The Five People You Meet In Heaven Series by Mitch Albom

#1: The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Publication Date: September 23rd, 2003
Publisher: Hyperion
Rating: ★★★★

“Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination, but an answer. In heaven, five people explain your life to you. Some you knew, others may have been strangers. One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie’s five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his “meaningless” life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: “Why was I here?”


I had to read this book in my freshman year of high school. When I read it for the first time, I feel like I was a little too young to understand what was going on in The Five People You Meet in Heaven. I reread this book my senior year of college. I was 22 and I feel like that age gap of 14-22 really was able to change my perspective on how I read this book. I understood so much more about Eddie and what was happening when I was older because the older you are, the more about life and death you start to understand.

Rereading this book, I was able to see the spirituality that this book provided instead of just “having to read it for a grade”. I was able to see the connection with Eddie and spirituality. The ability to grasp that was almost life-changing for me in that moment. Being so stressed with finals and needing a book to really open my eyes, this novel was able to do that for me.

Mitch Albom has a way with words and does with every book he writes. After reading this novel, you hope to see what is going to happen in your “afterlife”, whatever that may be. The Five People You Meet in Heaven really makes you think and I enjoyed that.

The final thing that I really enjoyed about this novel were the very memorable quotes. Like I said, there were a lot of spiritual moments in this book, and the quotes made it that much better. Mitch Albom was teaching life lessons along with telling his story. It’s very rare when an author can really touch a person’s soul and he did just that.

“Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves.”


The Next Person You Meet in Heaven

#2: The Next Person You Meet in Heaven
Publication Date: October 9, 2018
Publisher: Harper
Rating: ★★★★

In this enchanting sequel to the number one bestseller The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom tells the story of Eddie’s heavenly reunion with Annie—the little girl he saved on earth—in an unforgettable novel of how our lives and losses intersect.

Fifteen years ago, in Mitch Albom’s beloved novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, the world fell in love with Eddie, a grizzled war veteran- turned-amusement park mechanic who died saving the life of a young girl named Annie. Eddie’s journey to heaven taught him that every life matters. Now, in this magical sequel, Mitch Albom reveals Annie’s story.

The accident that killed Eddie left an indelible mark on Annie. It took her left hand, which needed to be surgically reattached. Injured, scarred, and unable to remember why, Annie’s life is forever changed by a guilt-ravaged mother who whisks her away from the world she knew. Bullied by her peers and haunted by something she cannot recall, Annie struggles to find acceptance as she grows. When, as a young woman, she reconnects with Paulo, her childhood love, she believes she has finally  found happiness.

As the novel opens, Annie is marrying Paulo. But when her wedding night day ends in an unimaginable accident, Annie finds herself on her own heavenly journey—and an inevitable reunion with Eddie, one of the five people who will show her how her life mattered in ways she could not have fathomed.

Poignant and beautiful, filled with unexpected twists, The Next Person You Meet in Heaven reminds us that not only does every life matter, but that every ending is also a beginning—we only need to open our eyes to see it.


In The Five People You Meet in Heaven, we meet Eddie who dies saving a young girl from a certain death from a ferris wheel. We looked at Eddie’s spiritual journey throughout the book to see who he meets in heaven when he gets there.

In The Next Person You Meet in Heaven, we meet Annie who is the little girl that Eddie saved all of those years ago. We learn about Annie, her childhood, her growth and her love-life. When Paulo enters, we learn that Annie and Paulo were childhood sweethearts that reconnected and found themselves getting married. When Paulo and Annie are in a bad accident on their wedding night, we see Annie’s journey through her eyes like we did with Eddie in the first novel of this series.

Just like The Five People You Meet in Heaven, you feel the spirituality running through each page. The stages of life that you feel everyday were definitely felt throughout this book. Again, just like the first in this series, there were many memorable quotes, especially about death and what happens in your afterlife.

“At certain moments, when death is close, the veils pull back between this world and the next. Heaven and Earth overlay. When they do, it is possible to glimpse certain souls already departed. You can see them awaiting your arrival. And they can see you coming.” 

The characters and their development were both incredible throughout both books. Learning about Eddie’s life and why he helped little Annie that day was the perfect set up for a sequel without even realizing it. The sequel did come out 15 years later, but I feel as though there was no time in between. It felt as though one story ran beautifully into the next without any time in between.

Like I stated before, I loved the quotes in the first novel in this series, but I liked them even more in this book. There were so many quotes that I highlighted that I thought I would get bored, but I read them and enjoy them every single time. Mitch Albom really does have a way with words and I hope he keeps blessing us with his wisdom.

“No act done for someone else is ever wasted.”



Save The Date By Mary Kay Andrews

Publication Date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Rating: ★★★★

A wedding florist finds love and trouble in this delightful new novel by the New York Times bestselling author of Ladies’ Night. A Savannah florist is about to score the wedding of a lifetime—one that will solidify her career as the go-to-girl for society nuptials. Ironically, Cara Kryzik doesn’t believe in love, even though she creates beautiful flower arrangements to celebrate them. But when the bride goes missing and the wedding is in jeopardy, Cara must find the bride and figure out what she believes in. Maybe love really does exist outside of fairy tales after all. Told with Mary Kay Andrew’s trademark wit and keen eye for detail, mark your calendars for Save the Date!


I absolutely adore the premise of this story. It’s something you never really hear of, something that hasn’t been done that much. Cara Kryzik is a florist in downtown Savannah with a cute little flower shop. There’s one thing about Cara to remember: she doesn’t believe in love. She creates these beautiful arrangements for weddings, and it’s the one thing she’s absolutely against.

When her dog Poppy goes missing, she searches around Savannah trying to find him. That’s when she meets Jack, who insists that his dog is actually his dog, Shaz, and not Poppy. Their relationship starts out rough, not liking each other the least bit, but of course (like always), their enemy relationship turns to a loving one. Does Jack change Cara’s mind about love? I loved this book. Absolutely love. Would recommend 100%.


Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews

Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Rating: ★★★★★

Annajane Hudgens truly believes she is over her ex-husband, Mason Bayless.  They’ve been divorced for four years, she’s engaged to a new, terrific guy, and she’s ready to leave the small town where she and Mason had so much history.  She is so over Mason that she has absolutely no problem attending his wedding to the beautiful, intelligent, delightful Celia.  But when fate intervenes and the wedding is called to a halt as the bride is literally walking down the aisle, Annajane begins to realize that maybe she’s been given a second chance.  Maybe everything happens for a reason.  And maybe, just maybe, she wants Mason back.  But there are secrets afoot in this small southern town.  On the peaceful surface of Hideaway Lake, Annajane discovers that the past is never really gone.  Even if there are people determined to keep Annajane from getting what she wants, happiness might be hers for the taking, and the life she once had with Mason in this sleepy lake town might be in her future.


This is my favorite book ever. I don’t think I’ve read another book that has struck me like this book has. It starts out with Annajane Hudgens at her ex-husband’s wedding. If that doesn’t grab your attention, what can? So many questions flooded my mind immediately. Why are they divorced? Who’s he getting married to? Did someone cheat? Do they have any kids? Who is the new wife? I needed to keep reading to find out. I finished this book in two days. I couldn’t put it down. This story was so angsty and emotional, but showed love in its purest form. I would read this book over and over and over again. Mary Kay Andrews is one of my favorite authors, so I might have a favoritism towards her, but anyone who can read would love this book.