Love & Luck
Jenna Evans Welch
Addie is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s over-the-top destination wedding, and hoping she can stop thinking about the one horrible thing she did that left her miserable and heartbroken—and threatens her future. But her brother, Ian, isn’t about to let her forget, and his constant needling leads to arguments and even a fistfight between the two once inseparable siblings. Miserable, Addie can’t wait to visit her friend in Italy and leave her brother—and her problems—behind.
So when Addie discovers an unusual guidebook, Ireland for the Heartbroken, hidden in the dusty shelves of the hotel library, she’s able to finally escape her anxious mind and Ian’s criticism.
And then their travel plans change. Suddenly Addie finds herself on a whirlwind tour of the Emerald Isle, trapped in the world’s smallest vehicle with Ian and his admittedly cute, Irish-accented friend Rowan. As the trio journeys over breathtaking green hills, past countless castles, and through a number of fairy-tale forests, Addie hopes her guidebook will heal not only her broken heart, but also her shattered relationship with her brother.
That is if they don’t get completely lost along the way.
I love a good road trip book but I especially love a good road trip book that centers sibling relationships. I am pretty sure many people will take one quick look at the cover and automatically assume that this is yet another YA summer romance, and while there is definitely a bit of a romance, this book is much more about siblings, families and all that jazz.
Addie and Ian used to be inseparable, now they are not. The only thing that Addie has to look forward to is visiting her best friend, who moved away, in Italy this summer. But then, plans change and suddenly she is joining her brother and a random stranger he met on the internet on a road trip, in a shitty car.
Over the course of this trip, Addie deals with her heartbreak and sees a different side of her brother AND GETS TO SEE COOL Ireland sites. Love & Luck is not just a perfect summer read but such a nice and warm book (even though it is set in Ireland) to snuggle up to in this cold weather.
The Geography Of Lost Things
After Ali’s father passes away, he leaves his one and only prized possession—a 1968 Firebird convertible—to his daughter. But Ali doesn’t plan on keeping it. Not when it reminds her too much of all her father’s unfulfilled promises. So when she finds a buyer three hundred miles up the Pacific coast willing to pay enough money for the car to save her childhood home, Ali can’t wait to get going. Except Ali has no idea how to drive a stick shift. But guess who does?
Ali’s ex-boyfriend, Nico. And Nico has other plans.
He persuades Ali that instead of selling the car, they should “trade up” the items they collect on their trip to eventually reach the monetary amount Ali needs. Agreeing with Nico’s crazy plan, Ali sets off on a unique adventure that is unlike anything she ever could have expected.
And it’s through Ali’s travels, through the strangers she meets and the things that they value—and why they value them—that Ali eventually comes to understand her father and how his life may not have been as easy and carefree as she previously thought. Because just like the seemingly insignificant objects Ali collects, not everything is exactly as it appears.
THIS IS ANOTHER ROAD TRIP BOOK. And yes this does feature a romance and its all summer-y and I am reviewing this snuggled up under a blanket and definitely not in a car. Yes thats a long sentence and I do sort of regret writing it but whatever. ANYWAY. SO. Second chance romances? DO YA LIKE THEM? I do and this book features one.
Ali’s father passed away and all he left to her was his prized 1968 Firebird convertible. She should be sad but because of him, her mother is so far in debt that the bank is about to foreclose their home. The home that she has so many memories in. What is meant to be a short road trip to sell the car somehow turns into an adventure where they try to trade up items to something of value.
Of course, like any good road trip, Ali learns lessons about life, herself and her relationships with people around her. The Geography of Lost Things is another fun contemporary to cozy up to and features a good character arc!!
500 Words or Less
Juleah Del Rosario
Nic Chen refuses to spend her senior year branded as the girl who cheated on her charismatic and lovable boyfriend. To redefine her reputation among her Ivy League–obsessed classmates, Nic begins writing their college admissions essays.
But the more essays Nic writes for other people, the less sure she becomes of herself, the kind of person she is, and whether her moral compass even points north anymore.
I went into 500 Words or Less not knowing what the book was about at all so I was in for a bit of a surprise when it wasn’t actually a fluffy contemporary? It doesn’t really belong with the other two books but I am NOT trying to do themed mini reviews so it’s chill.
Nic Chen is a complicated MC. She cheated on her ex, who everyone knew to be a great human being. Worse than that, she cheated on her ex with his best friend (who coincidentally, her ex is still talking too…so…) But she doesn’t want to known as the girl who cheated on her ex so she starts writing people’s college essays for them. But the more time she spends writing essays, the less sure she is of herself or how she perceives her classmates.
Honestly, Nic Chen is one of the most well written characters ever. There are so many layers to her and she feels SO REAL. She is not perfect and it is wonderful that she can make such huge mistakes and somehow not be villainized. In so many stories, she’d be a bitchy side character but del Rosario has offered her multidimensionality.
It’s been months since I’ve read this book but I still haven’t forgotten it because Nic Chen has left such a remarkable mark on my mind. EVEN IF YOU HATE CHEATERS i really hope you’ll give Nic Chen a chance because she is worth it, and this book is worth it.
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Liz @ Bent Bookworm
All three of these were already on my TBR! Ugh now I really need to get to them…I loved Jenna Welch’s first book so I’m super excited to read this one (set in one of my favorite places EVER).