Review Mash-Up: Need It, Borrow It, or Avoid It



Hiyaaaaaa guys!!! Today I’m bringing you my thoughts on six YA titles I have read recently!!! Enjoy and I hope your weekend is great!




I’ve read a few LGBT books lately and most have been on the heavier side, which don’t get my wrong I really enjoy those, but this was just ADORABLE and like a breath of fresh air! Simon, while sometimes nervous and shy, completely owns who he is when it comes down to it. It’s so nice to see this illustrated in YA along with all the heavier books. I feel books like this are really opening the doors to be more relatable to ALL teens! The relationship he has with his parents and siblings is the absolute BEST, and while his friends kind of made me mad a few times, they had his back when it mattered. The relationship between Simon and “Blue” is just downright adorable, I mean it’s cuter than a basket full of puppies! I also really love when books include conversations through emails, texts, or letters, I think it just seems so much more personal, and I feel like I’m truly in the characters head. Basically you should buy it, read it, give it a Oreo Kingdom of it’s own!

I just absolutely love SIMON and this book caused a smile so big my cheeks hurt! Thank you Becky <3

Also Jenna did a longer review on this one a while ago, you can see it here.


I have been really intrigued by this title for a while, so I was really glad to have received it from Harper. I’m always intrigued by books about mental illness and this one did not let me down. I really loved all the characters and being inside Alex’s head really brought this story alive. Since Alex can’t tell from reality and her delusions on a daily basis this story really kept me guessing on trying to figure out what was real and what wasn’t. But even though Alex couldn’t always tell what was real and what wasn’t she was such a strong character and she was funny. I really liked the relationships that she made at her school, I especially liked her and Miles dynamic. I definitely, DEFINITELY think everyone should have this on their shelves!




What a twisty read that had me trying to figure out what was happening and what had happened the whole entire time. The book was broken down into Parts, and switched the view from Amber and Violet. Between these two girls we learn about Ori, and the way she impacted both of their lives. I really enjoy switching POVs. I like to get inside different heads and see how things are seen from the different characters, I only wish that there would have been some PoV chapters from Ori herself.

I was REALLY intrigued from the first page. The story threw me right in and I had so many questions just after the first few pages. When I’m full of questions that quick it really drives me to want to read quicker and makes me so much more interested in the book. I had so many theories while reading about what was going on, while a lot were right there were still a lot of twists that I did not see coming at all.

I really really really really really adored this book. SO why am I suggesting you borrow it instead of NEEDing it? Welllllllll, it’s because the end gets kind of super confusing for a minute there AND because I think this is one of those books that some will love and others just won’t. I particularly enjoy a good book that will jack with my mind a bit, but not everyone does. SO if you don’t or are just unsure, I would definitely suggest borrowing this one!

OR you could just buy it because the cover is absolutely beautiful ;P


I wasn’t a fan of Cruel Beauty, it wasn’t that I found that book bad, I just stayed confused the majority of the time, for that reason I was a little hesitant to pick up Crimson Bound, BUT THAT COVER ♥♥♥♥♥
Luckily for me, I enjoyed Crimson Bound so much more. This book is completely different from Cruel Beauty. Now I wouldn’t say it was perfect, or even one of my faves, but it definitely worth the read! I really liked the fact that this focused more on fantasy and an easier mythology to understand. The mythology behind the story was weaved in between chapters and I really enjoyed how that was done. I liked the MC, Rachelle, and the way she goes about handling stuff when it gets tough.
Now my main issue with the book was THE ROMANCE!!!!
***SPOILER—there is a triangle, it is not done well.
I saw from early on a triangle potential, which is fine with me when done right, but the turn it all took was just not believable on either side to me. There was virtually no build up for where either relationship lead. I can’t say much more bc it would be major spoilers but it was all very- wait, what just happened? – Kind of confusion.
My only other major issue was that the dialogue was little rough to me at moments, especially Rachelle’s. Since I am reading an arc, maybe this is something that will be fixed with the finished copy.




DNF at 30%. The beginning started off entertaining enough but it’s just getting worse as I go on. Way too twilight feeling and the dialogue is just ridiculous at points.


DNF AT 35% I’ve been struggling since the beginning with this one. I’m finding to be pretty predictable and it isn’t holding my attention at all. I skipped to the end and I was right on what happened. I think there will be some who enjoy it, but it just isn’t working for me.


Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think? 


    • Crystal says:

      Ah glad I’m not alone on that one! I even questioned for a bit if it was intentionally meant to be a Twilight parody! I hope you enjoy CB!

  1. Maraia says:

    I 100% agree about Simon. I love that everyone really can relate to his story on some level. Just seeing the book sitting on my bookshelf makes me grin like mad.

    I haven’t read Made You Up yet, but it’s at the top of my list. I’m glad you liked it!

    I also agree about The Walls Around Us. I wasn’t sure what to think going in, and I can see why it wouldn’t work for everyone, but it fascinated me. I can’t really picture myself reading it again, though.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. Ashley says:

    God, Simon was SO AMAZING. I am forcing it on all my friends.

    I also just want to say that I really like this format!

    • Crystal says:


      And thank you!!! It really helps when we have a lot of reviews to do!

  3. Carina Olsen says:

    Stunning reviews Crystal. <3 Yay for reading lots of great books :) So happy you loved Simon. <3 I must read it soon, I hope. But ugh, Crimson Bound. I own it. But I will NEVER NEVER NEVER read it. I have heard details of that triangle. THE WORST IN THE WORLD. Seriously. Staying away, lol :p YAY for loving The Walls Around Us 😀 I did too. So damn awesome, sigh. It was perfect :) Thank you for sharing your thoughts sweetie. <3

  4. Olivia says:

    Made You Up is one I need (but sorta have oops xD) as well! I would also love to have Crimson Bound actually, because I have been going crazy for retellings lately.

  5. Merel (Lucy) says:

    I’ve been eyeing Made You Up for a while now, I’m so intrigued by the whole concept and I really want to read about mental illness again. Glad you liked it, now I know it deserved the hype and that I need it in my life!

  6. Morgan @ Gone with the Words says:

    I bought Simon because I saw so many positive reviews of it! And I really like fluffy, cute books so I’m super excited to read this 😀 I’ll probably get Crimson Bound from my library because I’m a little unsure of it even though I did love Cruel Beauty. Glad you liked it more! Sucks the triangle isn’t very good :/ I like these mini review roundups though!

  7. Orchid @ The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia says:

    Well, I must say that Velvet never caught my interest (that was just from looking at the cover then reading the synopsis). It just didn’t sounds like something I’d enjoy…glad to know I was right. *valuable reading time saved*

    I haven’t read any of the others (either), but I’m considering borrowing Cruel Beauty from the library just out of curiosity. =)

  8. Tessa says:

    Being a ‘Nana’ who loves YA reading, I’m happy to find your blog.

    Thank you for doing this. Love to find reading suggestions.

    “Here there be musing” blog

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