Book Review

Review | No Exit by Taylor Adams

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No Exit
Author: Taylor Adams
Published: September 24th 2019
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 336
Genres: Thriller, Mystery
Rating: 5 Stars

Synopsis

A brilliant, edgy thriller about four strangers, a blizzard, a kidnapped child, and a determined young woman desperate to unmask and outwit a vicious psychopath.

A kidnapped little girl locked in a stranger’s van. No help for miles. What would you do?

On her way to Utah to see her dying mother, college student Darby Thorne gets caught in a fierce blizzard in the mountains of Colorado. With the roads impassable, she’s forced to wait out the storm at a remote highway rest stop. Inside are some vending machines, a coffee maker, and four complete strangers.

Desperate to find a signal to call home, Darby goes back out into the storm . . . and makes a horrifying discovery. In the back of the van parked next to her car, a little girl is locked in an animal crate.

Who is the child? Why has she been taken? And how can Darby save her?

There is no cell phone reception, no telephone, and no way out. One of her fellow travelers is a kidnapper. But which one?

Trapped in an increasingly dangerous situation, with a child’s life and her own on the line, Darby must find a way to break the girl out of the van and escape.

But who can she trust?

With exquisitely controlled pacing, Taylor Adams diabolically ratchets up the tension with every page. Full of terrifying twists and hairpin turns, No Exit will have you on the edge of your seat and leave you breathless.

Review

It’s taken me a bit to collect my thoughts, but I’m ready to write it all down. I didn’t know if I was going to like No Exit, simply because of all the hype surrounding it. When a book gets THAT hyped-up, my expectations go too high, and I always end up getting disappointed. But not this time. This time, all the hype is true. This story deserves all the awards because it is officially my favourite thriller of all time.

Darby Thorne is rushing back home during winter break in hopes of seeing her mother before she goes into surgery. She didn’t know her mother was sick until recently, and the guilt over their estranged relationship had her packing and hitting the road as quickly as possible. She needed to make amends with her mother before it was too late. But the weather had other plans for Darby. When she gets storm stayed at a rest stop in the middle of nowhere, Darby meets four other people, and they are forced to wait out the storm together. When Darby goes outside to try and find a signal on her phone she discovers a little girl caged inside one of the parked cars. Someone in the rest stop was a kidnapper.

I love Darby. She is brave and doesn’t take shit from anyone. She has faults and recognizes them. She doesn’t fool anyone but most of all she doesn’t fool herself. I connected with her instantly, making me excited that she is the main character of this story.

Every single chapter had me holding my breath. Just when I thought I had things figured out, the author throws in a huge plot twist. I voiced my shock multiple times throughout this book and even threw it again the wall at one point. That’s how invested I was. The tension, the mystery, the pain, the plot twists that I never could have anticipated. This book is a complete masterpiece. I could talk about it for hours and hours. I finished it a few hours ago and I already want to re-read it.

It’s been such a long time since I’ve been completely blown away by a book. Yes, I’ve rated 5 stars to other novels for great writing and characters but to have a plot throw me off guard as many times as this book did is insane. Books like No Exit are the reason I read. I love being blown away by all aspects of a story. Everything happened for a reason. Every little thing was important. Taylor Adams, I don’t know how you did it, but I think I found my favourite book of the year and it’s only February. Hell, I think I found my favourite book of all time. If you haven’t read No Exit, I highly urge you to pick it up. I promise you, you will not regret it.

If you’ve read this book let’s chat in the comments. I need some people to talk too about this! If you haven’t read this book, don’t look at the comments because there will most likely be spoilers.

5 Stars

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

author-photoTaylor Adams directed the acclaimed short film And I Feel Fine in 2008 and graduated from Eastern Washington University with the Excellence in Screenwriting Award and the prestigious Edmund G. Yarwood Award. His directorial work has screened at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival and his writing has been featured on KAYU-TV’s Fox Life blog. He has worked in the film/television industry for several years and lives in Washington state.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday (2): Last 10 Books that Gave Me a Book Hangover

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme that is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week we are given a prompt to create a list! All prompts are posted in advance over on her blog! I’ve always loved this tag, and I am so excited to be taking part again!


This week’s prompt is the last 10 books that gave me a book hangover. I have to be really invested in both plot and characters to get a book hangover. And I’ve read some great books recently that kept me invested even after the last page. Here is my top 10:

Click on the titles of the book to be re-directed to their Goodreads page so you can learn more about them. 

1 . No Exit by Taylor Adams. This is the last book I’ve read, and I still can’t stop thinking about it. The twists and never-ending suspense had me reeling after I finished this one.

2 . Slay by Brittney Morris. Slay was incredible. After the book ended, I couldn’t stop thinking about the video game developed in the book and all the creativity it took to write it. The characters were so genuine and I thought about this story for days.

3 . Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi. This is the sequel to Children of Blood and Bone and oh my goodness I can’t wait for the third and final book in the trilogy. These characters have found a place in my heart. And not knowing what is going to happen to them is driving me crazy.

4 . Say You’ll Remember Me by Katie McGarry. This cute stand-alone made my heart melt, and it left me in a huge book hangover. When a juvenile delinquent and the governor’s daughter fall for each other, nothing goes as planned. Katie McGarry always makes me fall for her characters.

5. Rose’s Ghost by Theresa Dale. I haven’t read many adult paranormal books. But this one had me reeling for weeks. After the last page, I didn’t know what to do with myself, so I started ranting to my fiancé about everything I loved about it. Even after talking his ear off I still felt like I was going to explode if I didn’t get more to this amazing story. And now I have book two and I can’t wait to read it!!!

6. Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff. Everyone is obsessed with this trilogy, so I don’t think I need to explain why it gave me a book hangover. It also destroyed my heart only to glue it back together. Again and again. I can’t wait to read Obsidio.

7. Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid. Let’s get Lost was full of adventure and the last few chapters left me amazed. I did not see that ending coming which left me in one of the biggest book hangovers of last year.

8. The Rose & The Dagger by Renée Ahdieh. I know that everyone thinks The Infernal Devices is way better than this series. I am one of the few readers that disagree. The Mortal Instruments will always be my favourite Shadowhunter series and that is because of Jace and Clary. Their relationship has so many ups and downs but their spark and love for each other never left during the entire series. I could feel their chemistry like a burning candle. And I love them so much.

9. Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter I didn’t think I was going to get so invested in this book, but I did. None stop action and suspense left me breathless as two teens race against the clock to save themselves against to predators in the Alaskan wilderness. I love Ally Carters writing so much and I was in a book hangover for at least a week.

10. The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour 5 teens on the open road during their last summer break together. A broken friendship. These band mates try to make the best of their summer before they go off to college and everything changes. The friendship dynamics were incredible and heartbreaking. Hangover for days.

And there you have it. The last 10 books that gave me a hangover. What books are on your list? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to chat with you!

 

 

What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

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This blog meme was created by The Book Date! It is a meme where you showcase the books you are currently reading, and the books you are planning to read next.


I ‘m only focused on Dawn at the moment. I’m putting the other 3 on the back burner for a bit, I explain why below.

  • I’m about 20 pages into Dawn. I don’t enjoy reading these types of stories, but they are important to our history and this story is well written.
  • I only read the first couple of chapters of Cross her Heart. I think it’s going to be good, but I have it on the back burner right now.
  • Cross her Heart just arrived in my BookOutlet package, but I’m trying to get through my library books before I continue on with the story.
  • I’m waiting for One of Us Is Lying and Know my Name to be available from the library to continue reading them. I was originally reading these two on my kindle but I’ve been getting bad migraines lately so I am trying to minimize the amount of time I spend looking at a screen.

It might take a while for me to read the last 3 so this is the last time I am going to mention them in What are You Reading Monday until I actually pick them up again.

After these 4 novels, I am planning on picking up a few graphic novels since I didn’t get to them last week! It took me a full 7 days to finish No Exit because I wanted to savour every last second of that story.

  • I was really surprised that I liked the first volume of Sex Criminals as much as I did. So I’m going to continue on to volume 2.
  • The Walking Dead is my second favourite graphic novel series of all time, so I will be continuing on with volume 8.
  • I love Nancy Drew, however, I’ve never read a graphic novel involving Nancy Drew, so I am excited to read this one!

And these are the books I am hoping to get to this week. What books are you currently reading? Are there any books on my list that you have read or want to read?? Let me know in the comments!

Movie Review

Cinema Sunday (1) | Feb 9th – 15th

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I originally created Cinema Sunday last year so that each Sunday I could step away from books and do a review of a movie that I’ve recently watched instead. I love movies so much because they bring stories to life. If you want to participate in this blog meme, feel free to use my banner, and don’t forget to link back to my Cinema Sunday section on my blog! I can’t wait to see your posts! 

I’ve decided to change things up a bit though. Instead of doing one big review, I’ve decided to do mini-reviews for all the movies that I’ve seen during the week. You can put your own spin on Cinema Sunday, by doing one or multiple reviews. By simply talking about all the movies you’ve seen during the week. By talking about movies you can’t wait to see! I want everyone to feel like they have room to be creative. To make this blog meme work for everyone who loves movies and wants to talk about them.


lord_of_the_rings_the_two_towers_2002__intl_original_film_art_35f6601c-8036-41fe-aa02-625fd3cef7d3_2000xThe Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
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I watched the first Lord of the Rings movie a few weeks ago, and it kind of fell flat for me. But, after some major convincing, I decided to watch The Two Towers, in hopes that I ended up liking it more than the first one. And I freaking loved it! My eyes never left the screen for a second as the action picked up and the stakes got higher. There was never a dull moment. I found my favourite characters and held my breath during the fight scenes. I never thought I would like The Lord of the Rings. But I was so wrong.


mv5bnza5zdnlzwmtm2nhns00ndjjltk4nditytrmy2ewmwzlmty3xkeyxkfqcgdeqxvynzkwmjq5nzm40._v1_The Lord of The Rings: Return of the King (2003)
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You best believe that I jumped right into this movie after finishing The Two Towers. The last movie in the Lord of the Rings trilogy took action to two hundred percent. Battle after battle left me breathless and anxious, praying that my favourite characters – everyone in The Fellowship, except Frodo. I’m sorry I just really didn’t like him for some reason – would be okay. And that ending! I was so sad after I finished this movie because I wanted more adventures with this cast. I’m planning on watching The Hobbit but I don’t think it’s going to be the same.


mv5boguymjljnwuty2fjnc00yji3ltk0nwqtzjg4ndk1m2zmn2ywxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvynju2odm5mju40._v1_To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You (2020)
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I wanted to love this movie as much as the first one but I just couldn’t. I did enjoy it for the most part. I loved the romance between Lara Jean and Peter. Being able to see them as an actual couple was awesome! I liked seeing more of Chris and Lucas too! However, I didn’t like the love triangle aspect, and I didn’t like how there were barely any scenes with Lara Jean’s family. I understand that the producers are trying to stay true to the book, and I loved the book so much! But, I don’t think these YA tropes worked as well after being brought to screen.


mv5bmdc1mmvjmdqtogu3os00otjklwjmogqtndmzmwrjndazy2y2xkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymtk5mze1mty40._v1_47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019)
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I love shark movies, so when I saw this one added to prime, I started watching immediately. This movie was everything a shark movie should be. A group of friends, non-stop terror. Life or death. There was never a dull moment. My heart was racing during this entire movie. I even jumped in my seat a couple times after getting scared. The actors were amazing. I believed every word they said. I do wish we got to see a little more of the aftermath at the end. But shark movies usually leave me wanting more in the end.


7611372645763xxl47 Meters Down (2017)
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After watching the newest 47 Meters Down movie, I decided to check out the first one. I don’t usually watch movies out of order, but these had complete separate casts. My hopes were really high after watching the second one. But I was really let down with this movie. There were plot holes, and scenes that dragged on for way too long. I absolutely hated the ending. And I got really bored at some parts. I did like the actors though. Claire Holt made everything a bit better. But I’d recommend the second movie because if I had watched this one first, I don’t know if I would have continued on to the second one at all.


So these are my thoughts on all the movies I’ve watched this week. Have you seen any of these films? Do you agree with my thoughts? What movies have you watched this week? Let’s chat about it all in the comments!

Book Tag

The Valentine’s Day Book Tag

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I discovered this awesome tag over at As Told By Tina. This tag was created by CC’s Books on YouTube, but her channel no longer exists. So thank you CC, for creating this tag.


Happy Valentine’s Day lovelies! I figured there was no better way to celebrate all the romance in the air than doing Valentine’s Day book tag!

1 . Stand Alone Book you love:

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I’m going to have to choose Five Feet apart, this book hit me right in the feels, and I can’t mention it enough.

2. Dystopian Book you love:

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Divergent is still my favourite Dystopian, and I don’t think that’s ever going to change. It was the first dystopian I’ve ever read, and it holds such a special place in my heart.

3. A Book that you love but no one else talks about: 

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This book was so freaking good! And it breaks my heart that no one seems the have heard of it. It was originally supposed to be a trilogy, but after the second book flopped in sales, the author is unsure as to whether she will be creating a book 3. And I want a third book so bad! This book is for spy lovers. It is so intense it kept me at the edge of seat the entire time I was reading it.

4. Favourite book couple:

Honestly, choosing a favourite couple is impossible for me. I’ve got too many attachments to characters that I’ve fallen in love with. So I’m just going to link you to my favourite fictional couples post. I don’t want to betray my ships.

5. A Book that others love but you haven’t read yet:

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I feel so ashamed that I haven’t read Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda. I have this book on my TBR shelf, but I never end up getting around to it. And I want to jump on this bandwagon so bad! It’s officially a new year’s resolution to read this book!

6. A book with red on the cover:

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This book is incredible! I urge you to pick it up if you haven’t already!

7. A book with pink on the cover: 

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I read this book last week and gave it a 5-star review. It was absolutely amazing, and you should at it to your TBR if it isn’t already on your list.

8. You were given a box of chocolates! What fictional boyfriend/girlfriend gave them to you?:

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Definitely Jace. I’ve been in love with him since I was starting middle school. Don’t judge me for letting his sarcastic attitude and gorgeous looks win me over.

9. You are single on Valentine’s Day and spending you time at home. What book are you reading? What tv show are you watching? What movie are you watching?

I’d probably torture myself by indulging in adorable, romantic fiction.

I’d re-read Pushing the Limits because Echo and Noah’s romance is everything. Plus the hard-hitting topics make this book heartbreaking. And since I’m alone on Valentine’s day, why not torture myself even more. 

I’d re-watch To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before so I can cry over the fact that I wish I had a Peter Kavinsky. And because the movie is so cute and perfect.

And I’d watch Big Brother Canada because after the first two, I will definitely be sick of romance and I will probably be in a sad mood. Reality TV involving some sort of competition always put me in a better mood. 

10: You are at the bookstore when all of a sudden you get shot with Cupid’s Arrow. Which new release will you fall in love with?

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Echoes Between Us by Katie McGarry because I have fallen in love with every single book she has ever written. This is Katie McGarry’s newest release, the only story of hers I have yet to devour. And I know that I am going to love it, just like all her other stories.

I tag anyone who wants to do this tag. While I think it’s fun to tag friends, I always think about the bloggers that feel left out, wishing they were tagged. I know I did when I first started blogging. So I’ve decided that every time I do a tag, I’m tagging you all. Have some fun and answer these questions. I hope you all have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Book Review

Review | Slay by Brittney Morris

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Slay
Author: Brittney Morris
Published: September 24th 2019
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 323
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Rating: 5 Stars

Synopsis

By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honours student, a math tutor, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, she joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm, who believes video games are partially responsible for the “downfall of the Black man.”

But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and SLAY is labelled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals. Even worse, an anonymous troll infiltrates the game, threatening to sue Kiera for “anti-white discrimination.”

Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity and harness what it means to be unapologetically Black in a world intimidated by Blackness. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process?

Review

I was really excited to jump into this story because I love video games. The idea of a young teen creating an entire VR game seemed so interesting, and I was excited to see where the author took us in her story. I think it’s safe to say I was not disappointed in the slightest.

Kiera Johnson seemed like such a genuine and cool person. I felt connected to her character immediately, and I agreed with her take on the world. Kiera had such a warm heart, which led me to root for her to succeed until the very last page. If I knew someone like her in real life, I would be so honoured to be her friend.

Now let’s talk about Slay. Slay is a video game that Kiera created. As the book progressed, we got to learn about how her game worked, and the reasons behind its creation. It is one of the coolest game ideas that I have ever heard of. I got so excited when I was reading about game battles and the types of battle cards that were being created for the game. After I finished the book, I was wishing that I had a game similar to Slay to play. It is so unique and thought-out, and I felt like I was seeing the creation through the author’s eyes, because of all the descriptions of the beautiful landscapes and ideas put into this game.

There is a lot of drama surrounding Slay after a teen gets brutally murdered in real life after a dispute between two Slay players. Everyone starts talking about how horrible the game is, and that the person who created it should be taken to justice. This honestly broke my heart, because the only thing Kiera wanted, was to create a safe place for dark-skinned people to feel accepted, without having to worry about the racist slander that she personally experienced while playing other games.

My emotions reached quite a few highs and lows throughout reading this book. It made me see certain topics in a new light. This book captured my heart, and I would like to thank the author for creating such a powerful and genuine story. The premise may be about what happens when a video game is taken to far, but it turned into something more powerful. Kiera is one of my new favourite characters because she knew what she wanted to stand for.

I could gush about the brilliance of this book all day long. So I am going to end this review here. I am giving it 5 stars, for capturing me from the beginning, and making me take the time to really think about some topics that I hold dear to my heart. I highly encourage all of you to pick up this book. From the descriptive duels fought in Slay to the young teens fighting for a place to feel safe amongst our society, this book will captivate you. 5 Stars

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

18443440Brittney Morris is the author of SLAY. She holds a BA in economics from Boston University because back then, she wanted to be a financial analyst. (She’s now thankful that didn’t happen). She spends her spare time reading, playing indie video games, and enjoying the rain from her house in Philadelphia. She lives with her husband Steven who would rather enjoy the rain from a campsite in the woods because he hasn’t played enough horror games.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday (1): Favourite OTP’s

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme that is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week we are given a prompt to create a list! All prompts are posted in advance over on her blog! I’ve always loved this tag, and I am so excited to be taking part again!


This week’s prompt was a freebie about love. So basically I could come up with any top 10 list as long as it involves love. I decided to go for my top ten favourite OTP’s (One True Pairing). I’ve become invested in so many relationships over the years. But the ones mentioned below are my all-time favourites.

1 . Stella and Will from Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott. Stella and Will are so adorable. Their relationship melted and broke my heart at the same time. They are two loveable characters, and I couldn’t help but root for them since the first chapter. 

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2 . Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. No surprise that this book made my list. It is known for one of the cutest relationships in YA fiction. I’d smile ear to ear every time I read a scene between Lara Jean and Peter.

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3 . Echo Emerson and Noah Hutchins from Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry. These characters are the reason I love young adult contemporary romance. Echo and Noah were two broken individuals, but together they learned how to heal and what love truly means. They made my heart melt, break and pound out of my chest throughout their story. And they will always be held close to my heart.

4 . Emily and Oz from Nowhere but Here by Katie McGarry. I really didn’t think it was possible for Katie McGarry to create another relationship that I would fall for after Echo and Noah. But after reading this book, I had another favourite relationship to add to my list. Emily and Oz are steamy and forbidden and so freaking cute together. They made my heart race throughout the entire book. Katie McGarry is a master of relationships. And that is why she is one of my favourite contemporary authors.

5. Sadie and Jax from Breathe by Abbi Glines. These two took me by surprise. I was not expecting to love their story and relationship as much as I did. But their cute flirting and dates had my heart melting and I couldn’t help but root for Sadie and Jax until the very end. I didn’t think I was going to like this story because Jax is a rockstar and Sadie is a maid at his home, but it was just the right amount of perfect.

6. Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters from The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. I don’t even need to explain why these two made my list. Hazel and Augustus are known as one of the cutest fictional couples of all time. Their story is heartbreaking.  Their love is pure and beautiful. I will love them forever.

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7. Bria and Rowan from Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard. Bria and Rowan meet at a hostel while they are backpacking through South America.  Their sparks become more intense as the novel progresses leaving a feeling of anticipation and butterflies in your stomach.

8. Jace and Clary from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I know that everyone thinks The Infernal Devices is way better than this series. I am one of the few readers that disagree. The Mortal Instruments will always be my favourite Shadowhunter series and that is because of Jace and Clary. Their relationship has so many ups and downs but their spark and love for each other never left during the entire series. I could feel their chemistry like a burning candle. And I love them so much.

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9. Rose and Dimitri from the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. Their forbidden romance has been one of my favourites since I got into reading in middle school. Their relationship made my heart go wild. Their relationship had me captivated the entire series. And they will always in my heart.

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10. Cassia and Ky from Matched by Ally Condie. Their relationship felt so right when everyone said it was wrong. Cassia and Ky were meant to be, but the society they lived in had other plans for them. Having these two characters fight for one another until the very end made their love undeniable. They had my heart from their first interaction.

And there you have it. My 10 favourite OTP’s. Do you agree with my choices? Who would have been on your list? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to chat with you!