ARC Reviews: 9 Days and 9 Nights, Love Songs and Other Lies, and August and Everything After

Posted May 9, 2018 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments

^ can we just talk about how many times the word “and” appears up there??

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.

ARC Reviews: 9 Days and 9 Nights, Love Songs and Other Lies, and August and Everything After9 Days and 9 Nights by Katie Cotugno
Series: 99 Days #2
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Published by Harper Collins on May 1, 2018
Also by this author: 99 Days, Fireworks, Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet, Top Ten, Liar's Beach
Format: ARC (272 pages) • Source: Borrowed
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The irresistible sequel to the bestselling 99 Days.

Molly Barlow isn’t that girl anymore. A business major at her college in Boston, she’s reinvented herself after everything that went down a year ago . . . after all the people she hurt and the family she tore apart.

Slowly, life is getting back to normal. Molly has just said “I love you” to her new boyfriend, Ian, and they are off on a romantic European vacation together, starting with scenic London. But there on a Tube platform, the past catches up to her in the form of Gabe, her ex, traveling on his own parallel vacation with new girlfriend Sadie.

After comparing itineraries, Ian ends up extending an invite for Gabe and Sadie to join them on the next leg of their trip, to Ireland. Sadie, who’s dying to go there, jumps at the prospect. And Molly and Gabe can’t bring themselves to tell the truth about who they once were to each other to their new significant others.

Now Molly has to spend nine days and nine nights with the boy she once loved, the boy whose heart she shredded, without Ian knowing. Will she make it through as new, improved Molly, or will everything that happened between her and Gabe come rushing back?

You know those books you finish and you wish you could have a sequel, but you also really don’t want one because you feel like it’ll get ruined? Well when that sequel ends up happening and the original story DOESN’T get ruined, it’s one of the best feelings as a reader. I’m here to confirm that totally happened for me with 9 DAYS AND 9 NIGHTS. Katie Cotugno writes the messiest characters and situations that have me on the edge of my seat, anxious the whole time, and completely enthralled too. I read 99 DAYS in one sitting, way past my bedtime, and I did the same thing here (luckily a little earlier in the night though).

Preamble aside… that was so fucking good. I loved it. Almost maybe more than the first one, or at least very close? Everything in Molly’s head felt so real, as it did before, and I loved every conversation that happened. It was just so authentic. In a lot of books, if the main character has a boyfriend but is considering someone else, there’s usually something super wrong with that guy. It’s obvious from the get-go that he’s not right for her and the breakup is logical and tidy. Ian was a really great guy in this story. He was funny, thoughtful, and fairly perfect most of the time. Then of course… there’s Gabe. The guy she can’t help being drawn to after everything is said and done. He’s not perfect and their situation is by no means perfect, but it won’t go away that easily.

Molly’s “struggles” at college will resonate for a lot of readers. She has changed nearly everything about herself so she can avoid making the same mistakes she made in the past. She reinvents herself and, instead of it being a nice fresh start, she finds herself living a life that isn’t her own. She has an authentic voice that the reader can recognize and relate to, but her new personality and boring clothing style are a shield.

I enjoy books involving international travel, especially because I still haven’t been out of the country yet. (Yes, this is on my to-do list within the next couple of years!) If I had one complaint about the book, I’d say that I wish there were maybe 20-40 more pages so they could explore the countries a liiiiittle more. I think she did a good job of making the book be about Molly and her journey, without making it strictly a “girl goes on a life-changing trip” kind of book, but I would have enjoyed a little more exploration maybe!

I loved the ending so much too. I won’t spoil anything but I was extremely happy. I had it in my head at the beginning that I would force myself to be okay with any outcome because I know how Cotugno’s books can be (messy, heartbreaking, wonderful, etc. – you know). I liked that there was character growth for Molly but also that she learned she DOES deserve happiness, regardless of her mistakes. 99 DAYS really resonated with me because I was a big messy mistake-maker in high school too… and this book just made me feel the same way Molly needed to – deserving of happiness despite the flaws.

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.

ARC Reviews: 9 Days and 9 Nights, Love Songs and Other Lies, and August and Everything AfterLove Songs and Other Lies by Jessica Pennington
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Published by Macmillan on April 24th 2018
Format: eARC (288 pages) • Source: Publisher
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It’s summer romance and second chances, the songs that stay in your head, and the boy you’ll never forget.

Two years after rock-song-worthy heartbreak, Virginia Miller is looking forward to a fun, carefree summer. Her friends just landed a spot on a battling bands reality show, and Vee is joining them for her dream internship on tour. Three months with future rockstars seems like an epic summer plan. Until she learns she’ll also be sharing the bus with Cam. Her first love, and her first heartbreak. Now Vee has more than just cameras to dodge, and Cam’s determination to win her forgiveness is causing TMZ-worthy problems for both of them. With cameras rolling, she’ll have to decide if her favorite breakup anthem deserves a new ending. And if she’s brave enough to expose her own secrets to keep Cam’s under wraps.

I like music a lot, but probably less than most people? I have the same artists/bands I listen to and don’t go out of my way to look for new music EVER though. I don’t listen to it very much because I spend so much time listening to audiobooks and podcasts. So, I have to admit, books about music or bands don’t appeal to me as much as they do other people. Either way, I loved the idea of this book because there was a reality TV concept thrown in… and the second chance at love trope.

This missed the mark for me but lots of other people seem to love it. I don’t know – I didn’t think that a lot happened? There wasn’t enough depth to the novel, in my opinion, and I was hoping for a lot more from it…. The whole reality TV show battle of the bands premise was SO interesting but it took a total backseat to everything else. I wanted to know more about the competition, the shows, the other bands, the eliminations, the cities they toured. This book is fairly short (under 300 pages) so I feel like she could have dedicated a few more pages to exploring the actual concept a bit more.

I liked the then/now concept too; it gave good insight into their relationship and history. I didn’t really ship them and honestly didn’t care that much about their relationship. I can’t pinpoint why! I skimmed quite a bit while reading and speed-read a lot of it. I just wasn’t into it.

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.

ARC Reviews: 9 Days and 9 Nights, Love Songs and Other Lies, and August and Everything AfterAugust and Everything After by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Published by Sourcebooks on May 1, 2018
Format: eARC (336 pages) • Source: Publisher
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Summer on the New Jersey shore offers Quinn a new start at life and love, but only if she can come to terms with her past

Graduation can't come soon enough. Desperate for a fresh start, Quinn is eager to escape to her aunt's house on the New Jersey shore for the summer…away from teenage drama and having to answer everyone's questions about "what comes next" after high school.

Quinn can't bear to focus on the future. She doesn't even think she deserves one—not after her best friend died in a car accident that Quinn feels responsible for. But when Quinn meets Malcolm, a musician who has been trying to escape his own demons, she starts to believe in second chances.

It’s out of character for me to read a suuuuper summery book (especially with the actual word August in it) during the month of May because I just CRAVE these on the beach later in the season. I figured I should read this one around the pub date instead 😉 I’ve had this author on my TBR before and even own one of her books. I’ve been meaning to check her out so this egalley was a great motivation to get myself going. I prefer fluffy summertime books but this one involves the death of a best friend and a brooding musician (two things I really have to be in the mood for to enjoy). It’s nice to hop out of my comfort zone every once in a while though… even though some books remind me why I don’t do it that often.

I definitely didn’t love this one. I didn’t mind the writing style at all but felt zerooooo connection to the characters. There wasn’t enough tension or build-up or SPARK for anyone or anything. It was all VERY rushed (romance-wise) and involved a lot of telling instead of showing. I didn’t see the appeal of Malcolm (or Quinn for that matter). She did a lot of the things I loathe in a main character when the author is trying to drum up drama, like seeing something, jumping to conclusions, and running away before the person can explain themselves. There was a lot of focus on her mistakes, like feeling responsible for her friend’s death and some other issues that happened during high school, but there wasn’t enough depth to anything for me. It was edgier and more dramatic than a fluffy YA, but didn’t have enough oomph to really feel like a darker contemporary… if that makes sense.

It was predictable in some areas, but I was genuinely surprised at the ending. It seems like the story was supposed to be about Quinn moving on from what happened and finding herself, but most of that was sidelined due to the back-and-forth romance. This ties back to my feelings on the ending: View Spoiler » Don’t go for this one if you don’t like instalove, either. I liked the Jersey Shore setting but that’s about it?

4 responses to “ARC Reviews: 9 Days and 9 Nights, Love Songs and Other Lies, and August and Everything After

  1. I hate having to use long titles in my blog post title LOL. Love Songs & Other Lies sounds cute, I think I might have to try it. And that’s a shame about August, I liked her other Jersey shore set book a lot.

    Morgan @ The Bookish Beagle recently posted: TBR Book Tag

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