Posts Categorized: Review

Friday, January 11, 2019

Amazing Friendships: Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills

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Amazing Friendships: Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills
Famous in a Small Town
Emma Mills
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: January 15th, 2019
by Henry Holt and Co.

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For Sophie, small town life has never felt small. With her four best friends—loving, infuriating, and all she could ever ask for—she can weather any storm. But when Sophie’s beloved Acadia High School marching band is selected to march in the upcoming Rose Parade, it’s her job to get them all the way to LA. Her plan? To persuade country singer Megan Pleasant, their Midwestern town’s only claim to fame, to come back to Acadia to headline a fundraising festival.

The only problem is that Megan has very publicly sworn never to return.

What ensues is a journey filled with long-kept secrets, hidden heartbreaks, and revelations that could change everything—along with a possible fifth best friend: a new guy with a magnetic smile and secrets of his own.
-A copy was provided by Henry Holt and Co. for review-

I slept on Emma Mills for AGES but with a little peer pressure, I finally binge read all of her published books last year. I can honestly say that it was life changing. Not necessarily because her books in of themselves changed my life but they were so good and I was so happy to finally have them in my life. WHAT I AM TRYING TO SAY is that if you still have not read a single Emma Mills novel in your life, you need to fix that. If you have, then I am guessing you’re gonna pick this book up regardless of anything I have to say so hope you have a nice life. Here, have some cookies on your way out! I made them myself!

Lately, I feel like there has been an upsurge in novels where characters struggle with change and that’s so, totally, completely my thing. I hate change so much and I struggle with it a lot so anytime I get to read about a character who is as stubborn about change as I am, I feel so seen. Sophie does not like change. There are reasons for this I cannot elaborate but if it were up to her, she and her friends would stay frozen in time and in their small town forever. Which does make it seem like she is a shitty friend, but I promise she is the most loyal friend in the world and unafraid to both be there for her friends but also call them out when they are WRONG.

There is a lovely romance in this novel, but at its core, this is a novel about friendship. I mean, its a novel about Sophie but her friends make up a huge part of who she is because her friendships are so essential to her existence. And of course, the best part about these friendships is that they are honest and complicated and lovely. Sophie messes up. Her friends mess up! But at the end of the day, they are there when it matters. This feels redundant because I already talked about the kind of person Sophie is but I do feel that emphasizing how important and well-written these relationships are because they are what make up this novel and give it life.

The one thing I am not entirely sure about within this novel was a twist that appears later on. It’s not that I saw it coming that bothers me. It is that I didn’t see it coming? Which implies that it is well written but honestly, it just seemed to be thrown at us for maximum emotional punch and no unpacking???????? AND THAT IS THE BANE OF MY EXISTENCE. I do want to say that it didn’t necessarily impact my overall enjoyment of the book (BECAUSE TRULY, I Love these characters) but it was still upsetting and felt so unlike Mills.

Ugh.

Anyway, so, if you’re an Emma Mills fan and still reading, I’d say read the book because twist aside, it has her characteristic goodness and charm. If you are new to Mills, READ THIS but not first. She has three other books out and all of them are excellent. YOU HAVE A LOT TO CHOOSE FROM.

3.5 Stars
3.5 Hot Espressos

Ridiculously Awesome and Fun: The Disasters by M.K. England

Ridiculously Awesome and Fun: The Disasters by M.K. England

Posted by on 12/24/2018 • 1 Comment

I dove into The Disasters with almost no expectations. I had grabbed it on a whim and only vaguely remembered it had something to do with space. I’d say I regretted doing this but honestly, it was truly the best way to read this book because I ended up being taken completely by surprise by its awesomeness and just, IT WAS SO GOOD and it’s so GREAT to have a book completely surprise you.

There are many space books out there and it’s likely you’ve read and loved some of them. I am here to tell you The Disasters is better (or at least I think it is.) It’s the space book I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW I NEEDED. Are you tired of all those space books that are super…

Summer-y YA for Winter Blues Mini Reviews

Summer-y YA for Winter Blues Mini Reviews

Posted by on 12/19/2018 • 1 Comment

 

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…

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…