Genre: Contemporary

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 […]

ARC Review: In Some Other Life

Posted August 11, 2017 / Book Reviews / 7 Comments
ARC Review: In Some Other Life

Initial Excitement I adore parallel life books. Anything involving that premise goes on my TBR immediately. The concepts of fate and destiny vs. free will have always been super interesting to me. I’ve enjoyed the synopses of Brody’s books but hadn’t managed to pick one up until this one. I think I’ll definitely try her other sometime soon! Summary & Storytelling The story starts with a fairly long glimpse into Kennedy’s real life where she chose the public high school. She’s the school newspaper editor and helped revive it from being shut down. Soonafter the story starts, she discovers her best friend and her boyfriend kissing at his house. She rushes to the Windsor Academy, where she’s been secretly pining over the fact that she got in and didn’t go, and promptly hits her head. She wakes up from this concussion and is in the parallel universe where she said yes to Windsor Academy and started there instead. There’s no newspaper, she’s in Robotics Club, and plans to major in Economics in college. Basically, her life is super different. I loved that her younger brother, Frankie, is incredibly smart for his age and interested in physics. She was able to talk with him about what happens and he came up with theories about the parallel universes out there. Usually books like this involve the main character having no one to talk with about what’s going on with them. It was annoying because she knew what happened when she moved into the […]

Bite-Sized Reviews: The Last of August & Lucky in Love

Posted July 10, 2017 / Bite-Sized Reviews, Book Reviews / 10 Comments
Bite-Sized Reviews: The Last of August & Lucky in Love

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 the sequel to A Study in Charlotte. I enjoyed the first book but it wasn’t a favorite. I felt really disconnected from the characters and those issues definitely continued in book two. I’m still intrigued by the “retelling” of Sherlock Holmes vibes, so I will probably read the next book. Next, the newest Kasie West book! She’s clearly in my top three favorite authors. I always love her stories and have not rated one less than four stars. This wasn’t my favorite by her, but it was a solid story about winning the lottery and finding your own way.

ARC Reviews: What to Say Next and Hello Sunshine

Posted July 4, 2017 / Book Reviews / 7 Comments
ARC Reviews: What to Say Next and Hello Sunshine

OH MAN, I loved this book. I don’t think I have a lot to say about it because I can’t put the feelings into words. The setup is that Kit’s father died a month ago, so she decides to sit with David at lunch to get away from her friends. The two of them end up talking and she’s refreshed by his honesty and bluntness with her, since everyone else has either been tiptoeing around her feelings or acting like she should be behaving normally. David is on the spectrum and was really interesting to read about. I work with a pediatric neuropsychologist that specializes in testing for ADD, autism, etc. so I’m fairly well-versed in those areas. I liked being able to understand where David was coming from because of that, but I also think he was a character that anyone could really connect with. Buxbaum did an amazing job explaining how he was feeling or why he said certain things. I loveeeed the family relationships in this book. David is close with his sister Lauren, who was a cool girl in HS that no one messed with her (or him). They had a great relationship and she taught him some everyday “rules” for fitting in with everyone else. His parents were great and supportive too. On Kit’s side, she pretty much just had her mom. They were close throughout the grieving process but there were moments of tension in the second half of the book as well. I just […]

Saying Goodbye to the Hundred Oaks Series | ARC Review: Coming Up for Air

Posted June 26, 2017 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
Saying Goodbye to the Hundred Oaks Series | ARC Review: Coming Up for Air

This is it! The end of the Hundred Oaks series by Miranda Kenneally. I’ve looked forward to each new installment since I read BREATHE, ANNIE, BREATHE back in 2014. I thought because of the cover that it wasn’t included in the same series, so I read it first. I ended up going back soonafter and reading the rest of them in order. Some of these books are all-time favorites and MK became an auto-buy author for me. I thought the final review for the final book would be a great place to share how much I love the series as a whole and rank them in order of favorites. Favorites, Ranked:     #1- Catching Jordan – 5 stars – Football This one had me at football, but I love friends-to-more! #2 – Breathe, Annie, Breathe – 5 stars – Running Clearly my expectations for the rest were high right off the bat. #3 – Jesse’s Girl – 4.5 stars – Music There was something so addicting and cute about this one! #4 – Coming Up for Air – 4 stars – Swimming Super steamy and a wonderful conclusion to the series!    #5 – Stealing Parker – 4 stars – Softball I loved reading about Parker and c’mon… Corn Dog. #6 – Defending Taylor – 4 stars – Soccer Taylor was a frustrating character, but the story was good. #7 – Racing Savannah – 3.5 stars – Horseback Riding This one just lacked a spark I can’t put my finger on, but still good! #8 – Things I Can’t Forget – 3 stars – Camp Too much religion […]