Posts Tagged: YA

Thursday, May 31, 2018

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

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A Delightful Summer Read for Your TBR: The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo
The Way You Make Me Feel
Maurene Goo
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: May 8th, 2018
by Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers

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From the author of I Believe in a Thing Called Love, a laugh-out-loud story of love, new friendships, and one unique food truck.

Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn't so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind? 

With Maurene Goo's signature warmth and humor, The Way You Make Me Feel is a relatable story of falling in love and finding yourself in the places you’d never thought to look.
-A copy was provided by Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers for review-

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 back for damages.

Now, I am not necessarily a fan of makeover stories but I don’t know if The Way You Make Me Feel would really count as a ‘personality makeover’ story but honestly, Clara’s character arc is delightful and I loved seeing her bloom into someone who was more driven and aware of her worth while retaining her wit and charm.

The Way You Make Me Feel is a story about family, friendship and first love, but at its heart it is really a love letter to LA and LA food culture. The food truck aspect of the book was definitely something I was intrigued by and was glad that it wasn’t just vaguely in the background but actually a significant part of the book. I really felt like I could imagine not just being in the food truck with Clara and Rose but in LA itself. I know world building isn’t really considered a characteristic(???) of contemporary novels but there is something to be said about how an author brings a real/fictional setting to life in realistic/contemporary novels. If I can imagine breathing the same air as the characters, that’s a good sign right?

Anyway. It’s summer which means there are a truck load of summer reads coming out, and many that might try to grab your attention as you start figuring out all your poolside summer reads. The Way You Make Me Feel is worthy of being on your summer reading list. It is filled with lots of good vibes, good parent(s), new friendships, cute boys and FOOD THAT WILL MAKE YOU HUNGRY.

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

Didn’t Love: American Panda by Gloria Chao

Didn’t Love: American Panda by Gloria Chao

Posted by on 02/02/2018 • 3 Comments

American Panda was one of my most anticipated novels of 2018 so it is truly unfortunate that I did not, in fact, love it. I do want to start off by saying that I don’t intend to discourage anyone from reading the book in this review, just convey my experience with it. We are at a point in time where even though there is a large influx in diverse books, we still don’t have nearly enough. Stats show that the number of diverse books published by diverse authors every year is so dismal. I hope that this book will allow many many many kids to see themselves reflected in the story and that they will be able to cherish it.

That said, my biggest issue with the book is not…

A Fairy tale about Fairy tales: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

A Fairy tale about Fairy tales: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Posted by on 01/30/2018 • 4 Comments

I think it’s fair to say there has been some mild hype surrounded The Hazel Wood. I mean, that gorgeous cover and the synopsis are kind of hard to resist so it makes sense. BUT, is the book worth it? This is a slightly complex question to answer because I ~know~ this book won’t be for everyone. To be honest, I also kind of avoided reminding myself what the book was about before I read it because I dreaded the hype getting the better of me and my tastes. I came out pleasantly surprised.

The Hazel Wood is part urban fantasy, part fairy tale and part a book about stories. If someone had told me that before I read the book, I would be intrigued but also nervous because…

Complex and Feel-Good: Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

Complex and Feel-Good: Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

Posted by on 01/24/2018 • 9 Comments

Let’s Talk About Love surprised me. I went in expecting good vibes and it still blew my expectations out of the water. It is NOT a perfect book, I am nitpicky and its hard for books to be perfect for me, but Let’s Talk About Love is damn well a fantastic read that is worth your time.

Do you love a feel-good romance that will sweep you off your feet? Do you love reading about friendships that have true-to-life complexity? Do you love some angst (the good kind)? Let’s Talk About Love is an ode to not just romantic love but all kinds of love, it explores the complexities of all kinds of relationships and it’s just a GOOD BOOK.

So why am I a nit picky bastard? Well because…

An Avalanche: Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

An Avalanche: Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

Posted by on 01/19/2018 • 4 Comments

I am behind on the times because this is my first time reading a book by this dynamic duo. To be fair, These Broken Stars has been on my tbr since 2012 and we’re just going to ignore the fact that 5 years later (or 4 years since it came out,) I still haven’t read it. BUT, I WASN’T GOING TO LET THAT HAPPEN WITH Unearthed. If I remember correctly, at some point it was pitched as Indiana Jones in space. I also got serious National Treasure vibes from the synopsis and I  am garbage for anything that involves a treasure hunt and secrets.

For those wondering, yes Unearthed 110% lives up to those comparisons. Unearthed is a fantastically written book that you WILL gobble up because it is…

Truly Clever: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Truly Clever: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Posted by on 01/17/2018 • 6 Comments

I somehow missed that Maureen Johnson had a new book coming out this month and only found out like a month or two ago. That shows you how I’ve been doing on keeping on top of all the new releases. Spoiler alert, its not good.  I actually had not read any Maureen Johnson prior to reading Truly Devious but had heard so many good things about her other books. Plus I am absolute garbage for books that have boarding schools and this one even had a fun murder mystery involved. I am going to be a spoilsport though and start off by focusing on the bad because I really enjoyed the book and would rather end on a more positive note.

Ellingham academy sounds amazing but… I felt like it…

2017 Releases You Shouldn’t Miss Out On

2017 Releases You Shouldn’t Miss Out On

Posted by on 01/04/2018 • 8 Comments

It is NO LONGER 2017 but that doesn’t mean you cannot revisit the past and read some amazing books that came out last year. This list is based on what I’ve read and still isn’t entirely complete because I HAVEN’T READ SO MANY BOOKS that came out last year. I also wanted to narrow it down so as not to dump too many books on your tbr! The following is a list of some of the best books out in 2017 in my opinion. Looking for a book to make that will make you cry, or at the very least, make you FEEL? These books might have something in store for you. Just as an FYI, all of these books involve death.

Saint Death by Marcus Sedwick

What…

4 Anticipated Sequels That Will Make it Even Easier for Me to Say Bye to 2017

4 Anticipated Sequels That Will Make it Even Easier for Me to Say Bye to 2017

Posted by on 12/19/2017 • 4 Comments

2017 has been an absolute garbage year not just on a political level but like a personal level (for me at least.) Back in 2016, I was so excited to bid the year adieu and yet here we are, again. I am not particularly looking forward to 2018 because wow, what a scary path ahead of us, but there are some books coming out that I’ve been waiting for since before I was born and I just wanted to scream about them for a little bit to make myself feel a little bit more pumped to bid this year GOODBYE.

1. Trouble Never Sleeps by Stephanie Tromly

I’ve been waiting for this book since 2016 and its unfair that I still have to waitttt. If you haven’t read this…