Posts Categorized: Review

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Summer-y YA for Winter Blues Mini Reviews

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Love & Luck
Jenna Evans Welch

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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.

 

 

38355173The Geography Of Lost Things
Jessica Brody

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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!!

3 Hot Espressos

 

34104980500 Words or Less
Juleah Del Rosario

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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.

Some Mystery and Bland Characters: The Lonely Dead by April Henry

Some Mystery and Bland Characters: The Lonely Dead by April Henry

Posted by on 12/14/2018 • 1 Comment

Ugh I don’t even know how to word as I write this review. I’ve written and deleted the first sentence about a 100 times. BUT. I guess. Here is the thing, I read an April Henry novel years ago, liked it, and read a BUNCH by her this year. Just looking at the books in the chronological order they were published, it seems that the books have gotten progressively worse? Which is to say, that her later books have lost that kick a lot of her earlier books had.

If you’ve been a fan for a while and coming to this book because you have come to expect some thrill and some mystery from April Henry, you should stay. If you want anything more than that, like character development and…

Heisting Were-Dragons: Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst

Heisting Were-Dragons: Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst

Posted by on 12/12/2018 • 0 Comments

THIS BOOK HAS WERE-DRAGONS AND HEIST. If that alone isn’t enough to get your interest, there is no way I could change your mind with my boring-ass words. But I do have a review to write so I guess you could stick around if you felt like. I’d much rather you just read the book though.

MOVING ON. I’ve been reading Sarah Beth Durst for quite some time now and I’ve never read a book by her that I didn’t like. I expected Fire and Heist to be set in a high fantasy world so it took me a little longer to get around to read it but it’s actually set in an urban-fantastical world and I LOVE URBAN FANTASY. When you dive into a book featuring heists and were-dragons,…

Not the Worst: Inkling by Kenneth Oppel

Not the Worst: Inkling by Kenneth Oppel

Posted by on 12/10/2018 • 1 Comment

I love Kenneth Oppel. I’ve been reading him since I was but a wee lass (middle school.) I was extremely excited to read Inkling but honestly, it didn’t live up to my expectations. It’s not that it isn’t a good book, but Kenneth Oppel is not a writer of good books, he is a writer of excellent books and nothing about this book in particular screamed excellent too me.

Don’t get me wrong, it has a lot going for it, but I think I never really connected to the characters and perhaps I am just too fucking old now to appreciate adorable monsters created from Ink.

Ethan has a hard-knock life. His mother passed away a while ago and his father does not know how to function as a human…

Lush & Powerful: Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Lush & Powerful: Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Posted by on 12/05/2018 • 6 Comments

I am a mood reader and my mood this year has led me to read WAY WAY WAY more contemporary novels than fantasy novels, even though there was once a time when I would avoid contemporary novels like the plague. I dove into Girls of Paper and Fire because it sounded great but also came highly recommended from a friend. The first time around, I got to about 10% and then stopped reading because I just didn’t have the energy for a fantasy but then, I picked it up again and got completely sucked in. Girls of Paper and Fire was so refreshing not just because it’s so wholly different from the contemporaries I have been reading lately but also because it takes some common fantasy tropes and puts its…

New Beginnings: Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews

New Beginnings: Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews

Posted by on 11/23/2018 • 0 Comments

I’ve been obsessed with the Hidden Legacy for years now so I was more than a little sad when it came to an end. OF COURSE, they announced a spin off and we got the first hint of that in this little novella.

Nevada and Rogan are getting married! FINALLY! And of course, given how things just happen around them, the wedding planning isn’t going as smoothly as anticipated. A family heirloom goes missing and there might be someone plotting a wedding murder.  In comes Catalina (also the narrator of the spin-offs I believe) who is put to the task of solving this mystery without alerting Nevada to the on-going shenanigans.

So, I went into Diamond Fire with no idea what the novella was about or that it…

A Fresh Take On P&P: Pride by Ibi Zoboi

A Fresh Take On P&P: Pride by Ibi Zoboi

Posted by on 11/21/2018 • 1 Comment

I consider myself a ~connoisseur~ of Jane Austen retellings so when I heard about Pride, I was P U M P E D. As a ~connoisseur~, I realize that some of them are basically indistinguishable but Pride takes the best elements of Pride and Prejudice and transforms them into something unique. It is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in a Brooklyn neighborhood that is slowly becoming gentrified.

Zuri Benitez is not gonna be everyone’s favorite heroine. She is stubborn, hates change and is definitely the kind of person who likes to win an argument. BUT she is extremely loyal to her fam, sisters, friends and neighborhood. She is also passionate about the world around her and is determined to leave her mark on it.  While she isn’t…

Extremely Addicting: Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Extremely Addicting: Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Posted by on 11/19/2018 • 5 Comments

Not to be extremely dramatic or anything but I’d kill to read the sequel to Little White Lies (and to The Long Game but that’s a whole other story.) This is probably an odd sentence to start a review with but honestly, that’s just how J Lynn Barnes’s books make me FEEL. Barnes has a knack for writing addicting novels that you cannot stop reading even if they are over 400 pages long. Little White Lies is not only addicting but it reads like a puzzle, clues dispersed everywhere that you need to connect to form the bigger picture.

Sawyer Taft’s life changes when her grandmother shows up on her doorstep and offers her a deal she is unable to resist. Soon she is drawn into the world of…