Books

Foolish Hearts spoiler-free review & an ode to Emma Mills

Hello friends and fellow book lovers! It’s Friday on bookishlyrebecca and I’m here for my monthly book review. May has been a great reading month for me, but the book I was most looking forward to was Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know I love Emma Mills and have enjoyed her previous two novels. Foolish Hearts was no expectation but let’s get into my review of it.

This is a spoiler-free review as I want everyone to love Emma Mills! 

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Goodreads Blurb: A contemporary novel about a girl whose high school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream leads her to new friends—and maybe even new love.

The day of the last party of the summer, Claudia overhears a conversation she wasn’t supposed to. Now on the wrong side of one of the meanest girls in school, Claudia doesn’t know what to expect when the two are paired up to write a paper—let alone when they’re both forced to try out for the school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

But mandatory participation has its upsides—namely, an unexpected friendship, a boy band obsession, and a guy with the best-dimpled smile Claudia’s ever seen. As Claudia’s world starts to expand, she finds that maybe there are some things worth sticking her neck out for.


What I liked about Foolish Hearts

  • The characters. Somehow Emma Mills writes the most realistic high school characters especially our main character, Claudia. Everyone in the novel had their own things going on and no one really overshadowed the other.
  • The relationships. While there is a romance with our main character, she isn’t the only one who gets one. There are obviously multiple f/m romances but also a f/f romance which was refreshing.
  • The fandom. Though it’s not mentioned in the blurb, this book focuses a lot on fandom, fandom culture and introducing your friends to your fandom. It’s clear the author is either part of a fandom or did a lot of research.
  • Friendships galore! Even though the story does have an underlying romance, friendship is the main topic of the novel. There are old friendships, new friendships, and unlikely friendships. Watching the friendships grow and change throughout the story was one of my favorite parts.
  • Good family relationships. While most YA books have absent parents, this one is the exact opposite. The parents aren’t only involved with their kids lives but play a role in the story. It’s incredibly refreshing. Speaking of family, there are some awesome sibling relationships, too.
  • Writing style. This should come as no surprise, but I love Emma Mills’ writing style!

Honestly, I could go on and on but let’s get into the few things I didn’t like.

What I disliked about Foolish Hearts

  • Mean girl tropes. One thing I really didn’t enjoy was the inclusion of the “popular mean girl” trope. I think the story would have been already if that wasn’t included.
  • Lack of communication. Another issue I had was the lack of communication between characters. I know a lot of issues could have been solved if the characters had just talked to each other.

Overall, I don’t have much to complain about as I loved this book. I gave Foolish Hearts 5 out of 5 stars. 


Now onto the second part of my review! For this second part, I’m going to be talking about why I love Emma Mills, her books and what order I think you should read them in.

It’s hard to pinpoint why I love Emma Mills. I first heard about her from Jane of ItsJaneLindsey on Youtube. She raved about her and I went out on a limb, picking up First & Then. The story immediately drew me in and I couldn’t wait to pick up her next novel.

Mills has such an incredible writing style and writes such compelling yet flawed characters. I don’t think I’ve fallen in love with an author like this since I read the BSC series. Something about her writing style, the way she talks about fandom and friendship, it’s so refreshing to me.

I can’t recommend her enough if you love contemporary books or want something that’s a little different from general YA books. I could go on and on about her books, but I’d be here all night because she’s easily my new favorite author.

In terms of reading her books, I’d say go in publication order.

I don’t want to keep rambling, but I love Emma Mills and her books so much. I want all of my friends and followers to love her too. Anyways, hopefully, you enjoyed my Foolish Hearts review and my only slightly creepy love for Emma Mills.

Have you read anything by Emma Mills? If not, did I persuade you to? 😉

 

Books

This Adventure Ends Spoiler-Free review

Hello friends and fellow book lovers. I’m back with another book review and let me just say: I have been killing it with the books I’m reading March. So far, I’ve enjoyed almost all of them. Regardless, this week I’ll be talking about This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills.

For those of you who followed my Contemporary-A-Thon progress, you’ll know I read her debut novel: First & Then last month. I thoroughly enjoyed it so I knew I had to pick up This Adventure Ends. Thankfully, I enjoyed this book every bit as much as her last.

As I always mention, my reviews are spoiler-free. If you haven’t read this book, please read it and love it so we can talk about it. Here’s my review of This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills. 

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The writing style for this was very similar to First & Then. I didn’t notice any huge differences and it was consistent. Personally, I enjoy Emma Mills’ writing style because it’s very conversational. She knows how to write YA without dumbing it down or making her reader feel stupid so no complaints there.

The plot of the story is interesting as it has the main plot of Sloane moving to a new town, making friends and trying to help her friends. That’s as basic as it can be without spoilers, but the story encompassed so much more. I found the main plot to be exciting and the resolution for it was satisfying albeit not what I had hoped.

In addition, Mills features multiple other storylines including Sloane’s dad dealing with writer’s block, the twins dealing with the loss of their mother and the multiple relationships within the group. I enjoyed the other plotlines, but I would have liked to explore more of the twins backstory.

Speaking of the twins, let’s look at the characters. Sloane is our main character, a 17-year-old girl who is musically talented and friendless before moving to town. I loved Sloane because she felt like a real teenage girl and I could relate to her and her feelings on different levels.

Sloane becomes friends with twins: Vera and Gabe. Vera is a social media queen who is full of pizzazz while Gabe is quieter and reserved. The two shared a unique bond with each other and Sloane I couldn’t help but fall in love with.

The other members of the group are Remy, Aubrey and of course, Frank. I would have enjoyed more development with Aubrey but I loved them all. Each played a role in the story despite being side characters. I also loved Sloane’s family especially her dad being basically a fictionalized Nicholas Sparks.

All of the characters had flaws as well. I picked up on it in First & Then, but she really knows how to write multi-layered characters. I enjoyed all the characters, but they were all messy. Nothing was ever perfect especially with Sloane. Seeing them unravel and come back together was glorious.

What really drew me in was the friendship, the appreciation of fandom and the romances. The friendship between the group but especially Sloane and Vera was everything. Everyone supported each other and they were like their own little family, I’m getting heart eyes, just thinking about it.

There were a few nods to fandom in the book, but nothing compared to all the fanfiction talk. As someone who loves fanfiction and is a former fic writer, I think it was done well and represented a huge world. Fandom might not have been as big of an aspect, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

I won’t give away any spoilers about the romance, but it was wonderful. One thing I appreciate about Mills’ relationships is she never rushes them along. The two characters have time to fall in love and come together even if it’s on the last few pages. I’m so used to seeing characters fall in love immediately so it’s a nice change of pace.

Since I just gushed about the book, I did have one complaint. I don’t know if it was just me, but I had trouble getting into the story at first. The first 50 pages or so were hard to get into it. After I passed them, I flew through the book and couldn’t put it down.

Overall, This Adventure Ends was wonderful. I can’t stop thinking about it and all I want to do is pick up Foolish Hearts. It was full of friendship, fandom, family, some romance and relatable characters. I can’t believe I waited this long to read Emma Mills.

I gave This Adventure Ends a 5 out of 5 stars.

Have you read This Adventure Ends