Posts Tagged: Contemporary

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Summer-y YA for Winter Blues Mini Reviews

Posted by 1 Comment


 

Love & Luck
Jenna Evans Welch

GOODREADS | PURCHASE

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

GOODREADS | PURCHASE

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

GOODREADS | PURCHASE

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.

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…

Pretty Toxic: Fight or Flight by Samantha Young

Pretty Toxic: Fight or Flight by Samantha Young

Posted by on 11/09/2018 • 3 Comments

Okay so we are diving right into this review because I have a lot to process and break down. Fight or Flight started off as a book that I didn’t expect too much from. I went it basically hoping I wouldn’t hate it and unfortunately, things didn’t turn out the way I had hoped. Let me back up here for a sec tho, for the first couple chapters I was NOT a fan but the book started growing on me a lot but then a THING happened and I ended up extremely disappointed and sad. I mean, the book wasn’t perfect aside from the thing but I was still enjoying it so it sucks. While keeping that in mind, I am breaking down this review into the good and the…

Adorable and Emotional: A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

Adorable and Emotional: A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

Posted by on 10/24/2018 • 2 Comments

A Very Large Expanse of Sea is my first Tahereh Mafi book and I definitely hope it won’t be last. Reviewing this one is particularly hard because it was one of those books I ADORED while reading but a couple hours of reflection definitely allowed me to pick up on several holes within the plot and various arcs of the story.

The book hits on a particularly complex social issue that’s about as relevant today as it was two decades ago – islamophobia. This book is an #ownvoices tale and particularly so in that it is very much inspired by Mafi’s own experiences growing up after 9/11. One of my favorite things about this book is that sometimes, even when the sentences aren’t perfect or I have issues with…

Really Funny and Over-the-Top: Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Really Funny and Over-the-Top: Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Posted by on 06/21/2018 • 2 Comments

Save the Date is neither unpredictable nor does it really break any moulds. It is exactly what you would expect it to be and it is fucking amazing. If you, like me, are a connoisseur of rom-coms & chick-flicks and are upset by how few are being made lately, this book is what you deserve.

Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this week, her family home is being sold, and her brother who she nor her parents have spoken to in almost two years is gonna be coming back for the wedding. To add to the stress, Charlie’s long-time crush and her are feeling the sparks which makes things awkward because a certain brother is crashing with her crush instead of with the fam. Charlie just wants…

A Delightful Summer Read for Your TBR: The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

A Delightful Summer Read for Your TBR: The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

Posted by on 05/31/2018 • 3 Comments

I Believe in a Thing Called Love was one of my very few five star reads of last year so I was eagerly anticipating the release of The Way You Make Me Feel. While The Way You Make Me Feel was not a five star read for me, it was still absolutely delightful.

Clara Shin is the class clown. Her life revolves arounds making snarky remarks and pranking her enemies. When her prom prank results in the school almost being burned down, both her and her arch nemesis are suspended. Clara’s dad is able to negotiate a deal that may just be worse. She has to spend the entire summer working on her dad’s food truck with her arch nemesis Rose and use her earnings to pay the school…

Lackluster Poolside Read: Airports, Exes and Other Things I’m Over by Shani Petroff

Lackluster Poolside Read: Airports, Exes and Other Things I’m Over by Shani Petroff

Posted by on 05/17/2018 • 0 Comments

I love a good travel story. I specifically love a good travel story involving airports and things going horribly wrong. Partially because I travel relatively often and because I have a couple of bad travel stories in my own pocket. I don’t think this is really a trend in YA though and it NEEDS TO BE. Jessica Brody’s The Chaos of Standing Still was basically everything I wanted in such a story and I was hoping Airports, Exes and Other Things I am Over would deliver on a similar scale. It didn’t.

The book feels like it’s missing something honestly. It starts with Sari walking in on her boyfriend and his ex kissing. She runs away, doesn’t talk to him and spends an entire week and a half brooding over…