Genre: Contemporary

ARC Review: Meet Cute

Posted January 3, 2018 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Review: Meet Cute

Further down you’ll find reviews for each story with their own star ratings, but my overall feelings about the book are right below. I really loved all of these stories overall, and this anthology left me with a really positive feeling… compared to other anthologies I’ve read! Meet Cute anthology Some People are Destined to Meet Edited by Jennifer L. Armentrout Average rating: 3.75 stars Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors. Readers will experience Nina LaCour’s beautifully written piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service Tweet, Sara Shepard’s glossy tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s imaginative take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s charming love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a riveting transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes a sweet story about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a heartwarming and funny tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a […]

Holiday Book Buddies: Bittersweet

Posted December 18, 2017 / Book Buddies Reviews, Book Reviews / 5 Comments
Holiday Book Buddies: Bittersweet

Cristina and I are teaming up for our seasonal Book Buddies read! This time, we chose BITTERSWEET by Sarah Ockler. I wanted to keep up with my usual holiday review theme for the month but we obviously have a little something more for you at the bottom! As usual, don’t forget to check out Cristina’s post too! Story I’ve had mixed experiences with Sarah Ockler so far. I loved one and felt so-so about another. This book unfortunately falls more into that second category, but I definitely enjoyed it a bit more. The diner setting was a lot of fun; I always love books that take place in restaurants of some kind (like some classic Dessens). Hudson, in addition to figure skating again, bakes insanely delicious-sounding cupcakes for the diner too. Each chapter started off with a little description about one of the cupcakes and it made me so hungry. I loved her brother and their relationship. Her mom expected a lot from her but I didn’t find it overly unreasonable, especially because Hudson kept her in the dark about everything going on in her life. I enjoyed the friendships she developed with the hockey boys but hated how she treated Dani. Hudson was a selfish character with a few goals she had laser focus on, so it was hard to like her at times. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels I wasn’t expecting full-on holiday feels for this one because it doesn’t allude to that in the synopsis, but it […]

Holiday Reviews: My New Crush Gave to Me and Winter Solstice

Posted December 15, 2017 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
Holiday Reviews: My New Crush Gave to Me and Winter Solstice

Story I was really hoping for something cute and Christmassy, which I got in some ways. Unfortunately I spent most of the book incredibly frustrated by the clueless yet often bitchy and domineering main character. I like predictable holiday stories because they’re comforting but there was literally no surprise for any element of the plot. By a quarter of the way through the book, I knew every detail about how it was going to end. The side characters were fun and nice people who definitely put up with Charlie FAR longer than I would have. Her best friend was too understanding but it helped that there wasn’t a best-friend-fight subplot. The general storyline is that she is determined (with absolutely no actual evidence) that Teo is the perfect boyfriend for her, so she stops at nothing to make this happen… and I mean nothing. She refuses to see any kind of sign that maybe he’s not the right guy for her and ignores the compelling evidence that perhaps someone else is. I definitely wanted to give her a swift kick in the ass 99% of the time, which doesn’t make for the most fun holiday read. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels The book took place in Connecticut, which I love, but they didn’t really make it a point to reference that too much. The main character has (in the past) loved Christmas and she celebrates pretty hard with her mom when she’s not working. (I literally can’t even remember if […]

Review Round Up | Kissing Max Holden and Follow Me

Posted December 4, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 2 Comments
Review Round Up | Kissing Max Holden and Follow Me

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! My sister lent me her copy and has been bugging me for MONTHS about reading it. I can’t say that I blame her now that I’ve finished it. What a wonderful contemporary I didn’t know I needed! I had just went through a binge of mysteries and other non-contemporaries when I decided I should give this one a try. It ended up being so perfect that I read it in one sitting and stayed up until 3 AM to finish. I would call this fluff, but it’s a liiiittle more serious that fluff often implies. There is a LOT going on, family-wise, in this book. I absolutely hated her dad the entire time I was reading and was hoping she would tell him off at some point. The familial relationships were incredibly complex, both for Max and Jill. Max’s dad was recovering from a stroke that changed their relationship and, as I mentioned, Jill’s dad was basically a dickhead. I loved seeing her relationship with her stepmom grow throughout the book too. The romance was solid. I love childhood friends/neighbors-to-more SO much, because you can just feel the history bubbling into something new. They had a solid base to build a real (romantic) relationship and it showed […]

ARC Reviews: A Dangerous Year, The Key to Everything, and The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett

Posted November 6, 2017 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: A Dangerous Year, The Key to Everything, and The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett

I immediately saw comparisons to Ally Carter’s books, plus a little bit of Pretty Fierce by Kieran Scott, when I first saw this book on Goodreads and Netgalley. I was definitely intrigued, as I love the whole teen-spy genre. Add in the fact that this takes place at a Connecticut boarding school and I was HERE FOR IT. I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. There were some potentially problematic sentences that really rubbed me the wrong way, and I initially felt that this book would definitely be under the three-star mark as a result. The author said things like “hooker red lipstick,” which is rude, and didn’t understand how something like Man Crush Monday or Woman Crush Wednesday worked. I know that one is small potatoes but it still definitely bugged me as I was reading. If you’re going to write for teens and about teens, you should run those passages by a couple of them. The cab driver said his name was Steve and the MC thought, because of his accent, it should be more like “Tariq or Malik.” And one other thing that bugged me, more in terms of the MC as a friend or human:  Aside from those things, the book was sub-par until the very end. The last 10% was an absolute whirlwind. I thought I had everything figured out pretty early on, but there were a LOT of twists. The ending was definitely a cliffhanger too, so I’m really curious to […]

Review Round Up | Ringer, The Broken World, and Turtles All the Way Down

Posted October 19, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 8 Comments
Review Round Up | Ringer, The Broken World, and Turtles All the Way Down

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! The cool thing about this series is that there are multiple ways you could read it. You can read one girl’s story all the way through and then read the second girl’s, or you could alternate back and forth to create a dual POV. I can’t help but compare this experience to REPLICA. In that book, I was equally interested in both Gemma and Lyra’s stories as I was reading them. I liked reading Gemma’s all the way through and then learning Lyra’s after to see how they connected. I could see how reading the book that way OR alternating back and forth would both work. I wish I could say the same about RINGER. I wasn’t a huge fan of this one. Gemma’s story, which I read first, was somewhat boring and not as shocking as I thought it would be. I wish I read Lyra’s chapters in between because I think that method actually would be better for RINGER. Lyra’s story was generally more interesting than Gemma’s and would have provided some extra context in between, plus balance out the boring parts. SO if you’re curious about what it would be like with both reading experiences for this series, I recommend trying REPLICA with all […]

ARC Review: The Nowhere Girls

Posted October 9, 2017 / Book Reviews / 3 Comments
ARC Review: The Nowhere Girls

Initial Excitement & Summary I was over the moon when I got approved for this book. It ended up being one of those digital ones you can’t use on your Kindle, so I added it to my other ebook app. Loooong, annoying story: the book was set to expire on 9/13 (and I just happened to open the book up that day, thinking maybe I’d read it). I decided to binge it in one day to finish before it expired, updated Goodreads, and made my reading plans for after work. The next time I opened the book that day, it had expired. I spent a good 30-45 minutes trying to figure out if I could redownload it and screaming at my computer. I ended up just having to go to Netgalley and redownload it onto my iPad. SIGH. ANYWAYS, all of these issues led up to me just reading the book anyways. The story is about three girls from very different backgrounds who band together against the horrible boys in their high school. A former student was gang raped and no one believed her. Grace, Rosina, and Erin start “The Nowhere Girls” to take on the school’s sexist, lopsided views of what happened and try to make it a better place. Storytelling & Characters The chapters focus on the individual girls, plus a bunch of chapters called “Us.” I thought those chapters were incredibly powerful, as they focused on various girls around the town and what they were feeling. Those […]

Bite-Sized ARC Reviews: 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You & The Knowing

Posted October 5, 2017 / Bite-Sized Reviews, Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Bite-Sized ARC Reviews: 36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You & The Knowing

I know I have full reviews and I have mini review round-ups, but there are some books that could be reviewed in just a few sentences. This is mini round-up I’ll have sometimes for books that really don’t need much more than my small Goodreads review and progress updates say. First up, we have a pretty disappointing reality check for a book I was really excited about. I’ve heard about the 36 question study where people develop a connection by the end of it and the thought always fascinated me. When I saw a book based on that study, I immediately requested it. I wish I DNFed because it was not nearly as good as I expected. 🙁 Next, a companion novel I was SO excited for! I loved THE FORGETTING and was so excited to learn more about Canaan. I didn’t realize it was a companion novel at first, but I’m happy to report that it was as good as expected. Many thanks to Ellice for letting me borrow this one <3

Review Round Up | Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, Love & Gelato, and Finding It

Posted September 22, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, Love & Gelato, and Finding It

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! I had high expectations for this one since I’m a huge fan of Morgan Matson. I still need to read quite a few of her books and honestly wondered if I’d ever actually read AMY & ROGER. I love books about road trips and people who go on them together falling for each other, so it was actually right up my alley. I think I was afraid I’d be disappointed somehow. Yet again, my excellent book club was there to rescue me and force me to read things. Amy is dealing with the loss of her father when she embarks on a road trip with Roger, planned by her mom. They decide to take an ~epic detour~ to take care of business and sight see across the country. Her family has been in shambles since her dad died, with her mom moving to Connecticut (and making Amy move as well) and her brother in rehab in North Carolina. The story involves some really fun elements, like playlists, scrapbook pages, and other things they grabbed along the road. It was a nice touch for sure! The serious and sad elements were woven nicely throughout the story, between flashbacks and Amy finally opening up a little bit. I loved the different places that they decided to adventure to! […]

ARC Review: A Short History of the Girl Next Door

Posted September 20, 2017 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: A Short History of the Girl Next Door

Initial Excitement & Summary This book was added to my TBR the minute Laura announced it. I loved the premise and then, of course, the cover once it was released. Best-friends-to-more (especially if they were childhood friends and neighbors) is one of my favorite tropes. I was even more excited when I got approved on NetGalley for it and didn’t waste much time. (I read this back in July!) The synopsis shares that Matt has recently realized he’s in love with his best friend and neighbor, Tabby. This, of course, coincides with the time she finds an upperclassmen boyfriend instead. Matt’s still grappling with her new relationship and essentially pines after her for most of the novel. I can’t say much more, because spoiler city. Storytelling & Characters I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one, because you assume the book may go two ways. Is there a happily-ever-after, where she realizes that Matt is the one for her? Or does he move on and this book isn’t considered ~romance~ at all? Well, I can’t really answer that question because spoilers. But let me tell you, it was a rough ride to get there. I did not see anything coming. And that’s all I’ll say on that. I really liked Matt as a character. I feel like everyone’s been in his shoes before, pining over someone who isn’t interested in you. He was really honest too; being in his head was refreshing. He would think of something fucked up […]