Review Roundup | PS I Like You, The Forgetting, Kiss Cam, and Reunion

Posted March 8, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 6 Comments

Before the regularly scheduled programming… Happy International Women’s Day!

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In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 backlist books I’ve read or listened to recently. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews!


Review Roundup | PS I Like You, The Forgetting, Kiss Cam, and ReunionP.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Published by Scholastic on July 26th 2016
Also by this author: The Distance Between Us, Pivot Point, On the Fence, Split Second, The Fill-In Boyfriend, Lucky in Love
Format: Audio/Physical (330 pages) • Source: Borrowed, Hoopla
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four-stars

Signed, sealed, delivered…

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

I think you’re aware of the fact that I tend to hoard my favorite authors’ books so I always have at least one to read when I REALLY need it. Kasie West is one of those authors. Sometimes I just need to read her words because I know she won’t let me down. For PS I LIKE YOU, my sister had been hounding me to read it and lent me her copy. I went ahead and got the audiobook from Hoopla to crank it out and MAN do I love Kasie West still. I read it just as BY YOUR SIDE was coming out and I was borrowing LUCKY IN LOVE from a friend. So, it was safe to read this one finally 😎

The story was cute, albeit incredibly predictable. I don’t mind the formulaic nature of many YA books because it’s comforting to get that HEA at the end. I knew who the secret pen pal was literally within the first chapter or two of the book and the rest of the story was equally predictable from there. I know my romance tolerance is lower than usual, so I tried to not let it sway my opinion of this fluffy book by a favorite author.

There was a huge “mean girl” plot element that annoyed the shit out of me, as usual. I just don’t believe this happens as often as YA authors think it does, and I wish the narratives didn’t have to be pushed along by those interactions and altercations. Mean girls exist, absolutely, but not every heroine needs to face the worst of the worst in order to reach her HEA.

I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.

Review Roundup | PS I Like You, The Forgetting, Kiss Cam, and ReunionThe Forgetting by Sharon Cameron
Series: The Forgetting #1
Genres: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Dystopia
Published by Scholastic on September 13th 2016
Format: Audio/ARC (403 pages) • Source: Gift
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four-half-stars

What isn't written, isn't remembered. Even your crimes.

Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person's memories – of parents, children, love, life, and self – are lost. Unless they have been written.

In Canaan, your book is your truth and your identity, and Nadia knows exactly who hasn't written the truth. Because Nadia is the only person in Canaan who has never forgotten.

But when Nadia begins to use her memories to solve the mysteries of Canaan, she discovers truths about herself and Gray, the handsome glassblower, that will change her world forever. As the anarchy of the Forgetting approaches, Nadia and Gray must stop an unseen enemy that threatens both their city and their own existence – before the people can forget the truth. And before Gray can forget her.

So this was an interesting one! I read a bunch of glowing reviews, but also saw some comments about the slower beginning to the story. I certainly noticed that once I started! I began with the audio through Hoopla, but quickly realized I despised the narrator’s voice. It was so breathy and whisper-filled that I wanted to rip my ears off. I switched back and forth between the audio and my ARC, but only with the audio at a faster speed!

I think the first half did a good job of introducing the reader to the world and slowly understanding how they live there. It wasn’t an info-dump because there were definitely THINGS happening at the same time. The action picked up in the second half and I began a fucking SHIP like you wouldn’t believe. I loved Nadia and Gray so much. He got her to open up and they trusted each other so fully. I loved seeing that develop throughout the story.

I don’t want to say too much and will keep this review very short… because pretty much everything is a spoiler! I couldn’t stop reading for the last 100 pages. I am so eager to find out what will happen in the next book. I have a few ideas and theories 😉

I received this book for free (hey, thanks!) in exchange for an honest review. I promise that this does NOT affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. For real.

Review Roundup | PS I Like You, The Forgetting, Kiss Cam, and ReunionKiss Cam by Kiara London
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Published by Swoon on October 18th 2016
Format: ARC (272 pages) • Source: Around the World ARC Tours
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two-half-stars

In Kiss Cam, teen author Kiara London asks, what's a little harmless kissing between friends?

Juniper, Jasper, and Lenny have been friends forever and co-own a vlog channel called WereVloggingHere. Their fans are huge "shippers" who believe that Juniper and Jasper are perfect for each other, and, despite warnings from friends and family, a simple Truth-or-Dare inspired kiss soon spirals out of control into a whole new world of making out and surprise kisses.

Juniper and Jasper's relationship begins to shift. But as fan requests for different "Kiss Cam" segments keep pouring in, Juniper puts her worries aside and convinces herself that it doesn't mean anything. After all, it's just kissing… right?

Oh man. KISS CAM. This was one of my more anticipated reads – and a major cover love of mine – but the book just didn’t live up to what I was expecting. The premise implies that these two best friends start kissing for their vlog and you just know that one or both of them will realize some feelings. I LOVE friends-to-more stories and this one seemed cute!

You know how some contemporaries with this trope will have some back-and-forth, where one character likes the other one while the other one is sitting around like a moron? And then they switch again, where one person moves on as the other realizes their feelings? This happened SO MANY TIMES that I can’t even count. I don’t mind it happening as one back-and-forth of feelings vs. moving on, but the entire second half of the book was pining or being mad or not communicating. It was pretty terrible and soooo frustrating.

I loved the ship in general and wanted Jasper and June to finally get together, but the road to get there was just not fun at all. I didn’t enjoy reading the second half of the story at all. Too much angst for my liking. If you want a second opinion from an actual teenager, my fifteen year old sister loved it. She’s a huge fan of the angst though. I think this would be great for the younger YA crowd for sure, but will be harder for the older young adults or people in their mid-twenties who happen to read YA. Does it meet its target audience? I’d say so.

I did like the friend group, but wished for MORE about both Lenny and Allison. They were characterized with tiny, specific, somewhat stupid details… but that’s it. I literally know nothing about Lenny (and he was really the third “main character”) except that he loves Eva Longoria and ice cream. I wish I had a dollar for every time the book said that. Can’t he have some other characteristics? Any at all? For other side characters – the parents were all weirdly absent and not absent at the same time. I can’t fathom that her dad was okay with the sleepovers and the kissing! Jesus.

Review Roundup | PS I Like You, The Forgetting, Kiss Cam, and ReunionReunion by Hannah Pittard
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Published by Hachette on October 7th 2014
Format: Audiobook (288 pages) • Source: Hoopla
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three-stars

Heartbreak and hilarity come together in this story of a far-flung family reunited for one weekend by their father's death, by the author of the highly acclaimed The Fates Will Find Their Way.

Five minutes before her flight is set to take off, Kate Pulaski, failed screenwriter and newly-failed wife, learns that her estranged father killed himself. More shocked than saddened by the news, she reluctantly gives in to her older siblings' request that she join them--and her many half-siblings, and most of her father's five former wives--in Atlanta, their birthplace, for a final farewell.

Written with huge heart and bracing wit, REUNION takes place over the following four days, as family secrets are revealed, personal deceits are uncovered, and Kate--an inveterate liar looking for a way to come clean--slowly begins to acknowledge the overwhelming similarities between herself and the man she never thought she'd claim as an influence, much less a father. Hannah Pittard's "engaging and vigorous"* prose masterfully illuminates the problems that can divide modern families-and the ties that prove impossible to break. (*Chicago Tribune)

REUNION had been on my radar for a long time, even though the reviews were not so hot. I love stories about reunions and families coming back together after time apart. I saw the audio on Hoopla, narrated by my FAVORITE – Julia Whalen, and I figured I would give it a shot anyways. I was knee-deep in a few heavy/fantasy books at the time and needed an easy contemp to switch up my commute. I ended up listening to most of the book while skiing – like PS I LIKE YOU above – and it was another good way to pass the time.

Kate is not a likeable main character at all. You can somewhat see her motivations for how she acts, but that doesn’t let her off the hook that easily. I can totally get why she hated her dad and why she’s not as broken up as her siblings, but she didn’t give them a chance to grieve or be understanding of their feelings. AT ALL. On top of that, she somehow thinks that her soon-to-be-ex-husband is going to forgive her for cheating on him because her dad died? She’s incredibly selfish and deluded for the majority of the story. I didn’t have any sympathy for her. I like imperfect characters who make mistakes, but she was well beyond that point. I would have liked a LOT more character development from her.

The whole thing was pointless, and frankly underwhelming in almost all aspects. It’s weird because I did kind of enjoy listening to it. I know this is mostly because of the audio narrator but it was also just an easy story to listen to. I don’t think I could have physically read this one; I might have DNFed it. I’m not mad I read this one and I’ll try more by this author, but overall… meh.

6 responses to “Review Roundup | PS I Like You, The Forgetting, Kiss Cam, and Reunion

  1. I also loved P.S. I Like You! And I just finished By Your Side as well and now I’m thinking that this will be the year that I catch up on Kasie West books. I still have to read On the Fence and The Fill-In Boyfriend (and Lucky in Love when it comes out) and then I’ll be up to date. Kasie is truly one of my favorite authors at this point. I’ve yet to read a book by her that I didn’t love.

  2. I looooved PS I Like You and I’m the same way- I don’t mind predictability in YA contemps because I like knowing there will be a HEA. It’s how I feel about romantic comedy movies too 🙂 Plus I like knowing the secrets so you can read more into the little looks and what the characters say hehe. I still need to read The Forgetting! It sounds so different and interesting and mysterious.

    • Exactly!! As long as there are a few “surprises” or new elements, I’m fine with predictability. Rom-coms and YA contemps should always have happy endings 😉 You should totally read The Forgetting! I think you’d really enjoy it.

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