The Bakersville Dozen by Kristina Mcbride Book Review

Goodreads Summary:
You have four days to locate five treasured trophies. Break the rules and you all die. Happy hunting!

Back in September, the town of Bakersville, Ohio made national news when a video went viral featuring thirteen of the high school’s elite in compromising positions. Now it’s May, and every month since the “Bakersville Dozen” made their infamous appearance on the national stage, one girl has gone missing. Officials are no closer to identifying the criminal.

Bailey “Like a Virgin” Holzman is getting really fed up with the scrutiny. She just wants to enjoy the rest of her senior year and have an epic summer before heading off to college. So when she discovers a note in her locker on the last day of school inviting her on a scavenger hunt, she thinks it’s just a sweet surprise from her boyfriend trying to cheer her up.

But following the clue leads her, instead, to the first official casualty. And another sinister envelope. The killer is close, and it could be anyone. Even the people Bailey’s always trusted most—her best friend, her perfect boyfriend, or the boy-next-door she’s always pined for.

With the clock ticking, she faces a terrifying choice: play the game by the killer’s rules—follow the clues, tell no one, and no cops—for a chance to save the rest of the missing girls, or risk becoming the next grisly victim. 

My rating:4/5 Stars

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My thoughts:

I feel that books like these are always quite a toss up an whether or not I like it depends on the big reveal or plot twist. I definitely didn’t predict the ending and while I did have some issues with the way the book was told, I really thought it was a good book. It definitely was entertaining and I finished it very quickly which is always fun.

The premise was really interesting and I thought that the concept of the video was an interesting setup for a thriller. There’s something really entertaining about an event in a story being national news. I think it adds an interesting dynamic.

One thing that I liked about the girls involved in the video was that despite the fact that despite the fact that all the girls were being targeted for something sexually related and the main character Bailey was “like a virgin.”  in the video there never was any slut shaming from anyone really.  They were only ever seen as the victims which was really nice. I also loved seeing how Bailey and the other girls supported each other and how much they cared about each other.

I was excited to find out who was behind the video and the other stuff and I wasn’t disappointed. I had my suspicions and I was partially right but I was pretty surprised. I do wish that there had been a bit more exploration to the motive behind these heinous acts. We did get some explanation but I would’ve liked just a little bit more.

I really liked seeing the friendship between Bailey and her best friend Hannah. I feel as though positive friendships are so rare in YA, so it’s always nice to see best friends who support each other. I also liked the relationship between Bailey and her brother which is also really positive. I’m still unsure how I feel about the romantic aspect of the novel: I have mixed feelings about it and I feel like it could’ve been developed just a little bit more. One thing that I found really odd was how absent the parents are. We get nothing about them and when we did they almost felt as though they weren’t real people. I think they could have played a much bigger role.

I also felt as though Bailey wasn’t developed enough. Obviously her life was currently centred almost entirely on all the crazy things that were happening, but we really didn’t know much about her or any of her passions. She was a little one-dimensional which didn’t affect the story that much but it would’ve been nice to just get a little more background.

Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills Book Review

Goodreads Summary:
A contemporary novel about a girl whose high school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream leads her to new friends—and maybe even new love.
The day of the last party of the summer, Claudia overhears a conversation she wasn’t supposed to. Now on the wrong side of one of the meanest girls in school, Claudia doesn’t know what to expect when the two are paired up to write a paper—let alone when they’re both forced to try out for the school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
But mandatory participation has its upsides—namely, an unexpected friendship, a boy band obsession, and a guy with the best dimpled smile Claudia’s ever seen. As Claudia’s world starts to expand, she finds that maybe there are some things worth sticking her neck out for. 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:5/5 stars

My thoughts:

Contemporaries are always a hit or miss: I either love them with all my being or I couldn’t care less about it. I’m always scared when I read a new contemporary author because how is it going to live up to the amazingness that is say Anna and The French Kiss or Simon Vs The Homo Sapien Agenda. Foolish Hearts is everything I want in a contemporary and so much more.

I was hesitant with the first fifty pages or so because I though there would be a lot of petty drama and girl hatred but there wasn’t and honestly god bless? Of course like any contemporary there was drama but it was reasonable and not super cringey. I hate when drama is caused unnecessarily just for the sake of plot.

Like the majority of contemporary it does have a romantic aspect to it ( which is adorable) but I loved how their was also a huge focus on friendship and family. I loved Claudias relationship with her best friend, Zoe and I really loved how well they worked for their problems. I honestly loved how the ending really highlighted how important Zoe’s and Claudia’s friendship was and how that never changed despite things that happened throughout the novel.The second friendship that was honestly so great was between Iris and Claudia. Though Iris can be seen as a sort of an antagonist at first and is the reason why they have to work on A Midsummers Night Dream she really grows as a person. Iris is an immensely flawed character but her friendship with Claudia really helps her grow as a person. I loved how she got Claudia into her favorite band and how they bonded over it, it was really sweet. The last friendship that I thought was great was between Gideon ( the love interest) and his best friend Noah.  I loved how much they cared for each other and how close they were:YA needs more positive male friendships honestly! 

Family was another great aspect of it: I loved seeing the dynamic between Claudia and Alex(her older brother by one year) compared with the dynamic between Claudia and Julia( her older sister by 11 years). I really loved seeing them bonding over their shared interest in Battle Quest While I think family is a pretty important theme, I would’ve liked to see a little more of it especially with Claudias parents.

Gideon was honestly the best love interest ever and I loved him so much. He was such a pure character which such a loving and caring heart and I just need a million books with characters like Gideon. I loved how eccentric he was and just everything about him was wonderful!!The development of the friendship between him and Claudia was executed amazingly and everything about it was perfect. Gideon is a precious cinnamon role and I wish he was real.

The other thing I liked was the romance between Iris and Paige and them work through their problems. Throughout the book I was either I want a relationship like Iris has with Paige or like Claudia has with Gideon: they were both such relationship goals even though they had their troubles!

One tiny problem I had with the book was that I found that Claudia’s character needed something a little extra to really complete her character but I feel like we didn’t get to know her as much as we could have.

As a final note: this book was freaking hilarious!! In the first few pages alone, it had me laughing out loud on multiple occasions.


Brooding Ya Hero by Carrie DiRisio Book Review

Goodreads Summary:Have you ever wished you could receive a little guidance from your favorite book boyfriend? Ever dreamed of being the Chosen One in a YA novel? Want to know all the secrets of surviving the dreaded plot twist?
Or maybe you’re just really confused about what “opal-tinted, luminous cerulean orbs” actually are?
Well, popular Twitter personality @broodingYAhero is here to help as he tackles the final frontier in his media dominance: writing a book. Join Broody McHottiepants as he attempts to pen Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me, a “self-help” guide (with activities–you always need activities) that lovingly pokes fun at the YA tropes that we roll our eyes at, but secretly love. 
As his nefarious ex, Blondie DeMeani, attempts to thwart him at every turn, Broody overcomes to detail, among other topics, how to choose your genre, how to keep your love interest engaged (while maintaining lead character status), his secret formula for guaranteed love triangle success, and how to make sure you secure that sequel, all while keeping his hair perfectly coiffed and never breaking a sweat. 

My rating:4.5/5 stars

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

My thoughts:

If you’re on twitter and you’re not following @yabroodinghero, you need to go and remedy that because it’s honestly so golden. It’s probably one of my favorite twitteraccounts so when I found out a book was coming out I was over the moon. I was really unsure whether it’d translate well into a book format but it was honestly so great.

This is one of those books where you really have to have read the cliche YA novels to fully appreciate the humour of it because  god the shade was incredible. From talking about “letting go of the breath they didn’t know they were holding” or the classic “character wakes up and describes themselves while looking in the mirror”, the author mocks countless tropes and it had me laughing out loud quite a number of times. While being funny, it also focused on some serious problems with YA literature like the token characters and killing off PoC to further the main characters. I think the discussions about diversity were on point and were delivered in such a wonderful way.

I thought the characters of Broody McHottiepants and Blondie DeMeanie were hilarious and I loved the discussion we got about feminism from Blondie: everything I read from both characters was so on point and accurate. It was just so fun reading it and being like “that’s exactly how it is!”

Honestly if you’re in the mood for a good laugh and some great commentary on diversity and feminism: I highly recommend it. I think of the most important parts of this books is that it doesn’t look down at YA novels: it’s a totally friendly mockery. YA novels are amazing but you can laugh at even the greatest of things, right?

What are your Favorite/least favorite  tropes in YA literature?

Mirror Books 

So back in April I wrote a blog post talking about representation that would mean a lot to me.  Before then I hadn’t read any that featured characters like me but since then I’ve actually find some and it’s a really great feeling. Mirror books are so important, as it’s always nice to see yourself in books and I really hope that I continue to find books like this.

1. Tash Hearts Tolstoy By Kathryn Ormsbee

This honestly was so surreal to read and I’m still not over it. To see the word asexual on the page, to see a character embrace that identity was honestly so incredible. On its own it was a great book but having ace rep made it 1000x better. I want hundreds of books like this: I honestly can’t even describe how it feels to see a character like me. It’s wonderful 

2.How To Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

The bi rep was great and I loved how it was never a question: it just was. I also loved how no one ever questioned her identity and accepted her. While coming out stories are great, it’s also nice to just have stories where the character is comfortable in their identity. This book was beautiful.

3.Ten Things I Can See From Here by Carrie Mac

Honestly seeing anxiety rep really validates my feelings and makes me feel a lot less alone. Not only was the wlw aspect great but the anxiety rep was really accurate at least in my opinion.  It’s such a complex and delicate subject but I think the author did a great job. 

4. Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

This was another book with bi rep and honestly I just want to read all the books involving bi characters. I think it’s so i,portent to have bi characters that aren’t just stereotypes.  Queens of Geek was great and the bi rep was amazing. I also really identified a lot with some of the feelings that the character with autism had: especially regarding anxiety so that was great.

Unfortunately I still haven’t read any books with Jewish rep though I do have a copy of Little &Lion  that I’m going to read soon.

What are some mirror books that you’ve read lately?

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