Publisher: Farrar Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

For the summer feel-good vibes: I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

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I received this book for free from Straus and Giroux (BYR) in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

For the summer feel-good vibes: I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene GooI Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux (BYR) on May 30th, 2016
Genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary, YA
Source: Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Buy on Amazon

Desi Lee believes anything is possible if you have a plan. That’s how she became student body president. Varsity soccer star. And it’s how she’ll get into Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds guidance in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Steps to True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and staged car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.

I honestly cannot believe I haven’t seen more hype for I Believe in A Thing Called Love because it is one of my favorite books of the year (out of the 100 I’ve read so far.) It’s charming, a little unrealistic but PACKED with fun, joy, and general happiness.

Those are very general, descriptive terms that could describe any fluffy book that some people might write off all together but you know what? They would be missing out. For one, ‘fluff’ isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Charles Dickens wrote commercial fiction (and while it wasn’t fluff, he was getting paid by the sentence so those painfully boring pages weren’t because he was being ~literary~), Shakespeare’s works were definitely mean for entertainment, etc etc.

On the surface, I Believe in a Thing Called Love is the story of a girl who just wants to find true love. In high school. But more than that, it is a story about making mistakes, grief and growing up. Desi is not perfect even though she tries hard to be. She learns over the course of the book that it is impossible to do and be everything at once.

This book is part coming of age (although we could argue that all YAs are technically coming of age novels) part romance and just plain, old fun. It also just focuses on a large array of relationships outside of a romantic one. Desi has a good group of friends who put up with her as she tries finding to get a guy to fall in love with her and they call her out when she is being over the top (and still help her out because they love her anyway.) Desi also has a really good relationship with her father who is adorable and a romantic as well.

Overall, if you are looking for adorable books to add to your summer TBR, then this needs to be on it because I Believe In a Thing Called Love is 110% worth it. Also it is reminiscent of old school YA novels in some of the best ways possible (old school in this case means pre 2010 because that was 7 years ago and I am not over the fact that 2010 was that long ago.)



5 Hot Espressos

Review: After the Woods by Kim Savage

Posted by on 02/26/2016 • 2 Comments

My feelings about After the Woods are complex. I think it is a great novel on the whole but there are also bits about it that bothered me. Either way, if you are looking for a psychological thriller with a potentially unreliable narrator, After the Woods is for you.

The reason why I am not completely ready to say I loved this book though is that I am not satisfied (I’ll never be satisfied.)  There are so many questions left unanswered by the end of the novel. It feels unfinished, like there is more of the story to be had. Not necessarily in terms of plot but in terms of character development and understanding the motives. Also what actually happened in the woods.

Don’t get me wrong, I love books…

Review: Calvin by Martine Leavitt

Posted by on 11/13/2015 • 2 Comments

This book, though short packs quite a punch. It’s fun and quirky, but also serious as well. It follows Calvin who has schizophrenia on an extremely dangerous adventure. I enjoy reading books about mental illness when they are told in the POV of the person who has it. It is a scary and sad thing to know what they are going through, but my curious mind is always interested. I work in a field that deals with mental illness, so I am no stranger to it, but I am fascinated with how the brain works and I really do love books like this.

Calvin was a really great character in so many ways. He is smart, funny, and determined. Yes, he may have schizophrenia, but that is just one…

Review: If I Were You by Leslie Margolis

Review: If I Were You by Leslie Margolis

Posted by on 05/05/2015 • 6 Comments

This was a super cute and fun read. It’s middle grade book, so the characters are quite young. About to go into middle school actually. They have been best friends forever, until a boy comes between them. Their looks are completely opposite. Where melody is blonde, curvy and pretty much perfect (not to mention the boys all want her), Katie feels frumpy and has no curves to show off. Both are secretly jealous of the other though, not because of boys, but because the others life seems so much better. When they both wish to start over summer as the other and the wish comes true, it’s like a second chance to save their friendship and to understand each other a little better. Maybe even be closer than ever. It’s…

Review: The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver

Review: The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver

Posted by on 04/13/2015 • 12 Comments

I don’t know why exactly, but stories that involve twins always intrigue me. The whole growing up with a lookalike deal sounds just really cool to me. Though I imagine it has its ups and downs >.< But this is what initially caught my attention with this book. Then the whole taking-over-her-sister's-identity plot line is what sold it. It does have its flaws, but I was overall pleasantly surprised with the depth this novel reached. I also found the characterization fantastic - yes, the main character can be selfish at times with a frustrating lack of self esteem, but her character was realistic and her voice, compelling. In short, Ella and her twin sister get into an accident, her sister dies, and from the guilt of having taken her life...

Review: Cut Me Free by J.R. Johansson

Review: Cut Me Free by J.R. Johansson

Posted by on 01/21/2015 • 8 Comments

Cut me Free’s plot involves lot of disturbing happenings and broken characters, so it’s really unfortunate that it wasn’t the emotional read I was expecting. I was really loving it at first, but at the end I felt kind of meh about the whole thing.

I think it will all depend what you expect from it. After I read the blurb that talks of abusive parents and death and memories, I though this would be an emotional wreck of a read; a psychologically dense story. Instead, it focuses mostly on the thriller aspect of the plot – the new psycho that seems to be stalking her – while grazing over the psychological aspects. I do like my thriller books, though, so this was still highly entertaining, I just found…

Review: Evidence of Things Not Seen by Lindsey Lane

Review: Evidence of Things Not Seen by Lindsey Lane

Posted by on 09/01/2014 • 11 Comments

What in the world…

This was really just a bunch of novellas about people either getting raped, beaten, or dying. POVs lasting for one chapter to never be visited again. It was weeeeird. Most stories/characters were not even related at all to the main storyline. Seriously! I don’t get it!

Let’s start at the beginning. A guy disappears, while learning a bit more about him we find out that he was convinced he could get to alternate dimensions, and we’re led to believe that that’s where he disappeared to. Everyone who knew him believes that as well, even the police question people about that as if they would actually be considering it. Okay, whatever. I can dig a sci-fi vibe in an otherwise contemporary novel. I loved Between the…

Review: My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal

Review: My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal

Posted by on 05/09/2014 • 24 Comments

I’m beginning to think that YA murder mysteries just aren’t the thing for me. Movies filled with twists and turns and murder, yes please! But for some reason it just never feels like it is pulled off as well in book form. My Last Kiss is basically a murder mystery featuring stupid decisions and supercharged teen hormones that had me cringing at the explanation behind everything that happens.

We start the book off seeing MC Cassidy’s very first kiss that she shared on a bridge with the boy she liked Ethan. Once that chapter is over we are taken for a quick turn as we realize we are still Cassidy only she is no longer in her body and is a ghost trying to solve the case of her murder….