The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven Blog Tour ( Review+Blog Tour)

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Goodreads Summary:

Eighteen-year-old Izzy O’Neill knows exactly who she is—a loyal friend, an aspiring comedian, and a person who believes that milk shakes and Reese’s peanut butter cups are major food groups. But after she’s caught in a compromising position with the son of a politician, it seems like everyone around her is eager to give her a new label: slut.
Izzy is certain that the whole thing will blow over and she can get back to worrying about how she doesn’t reciprocate her best friend Danny’s feelings for her and wondering how she is ever going to find a way out of their small town. Only it doesn’t.
And while she’s used to laughing her way out of any situation, as she finds herself first the center of high school gossip and then in the middle of a national scandal, it’s hard even for her to find humor in the situation.
Izzy may be determined not to let anyone else define who she is, but that proves easier said than done when it seems like everyone has something to say about her.
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June 5th

June 6th

The Night Faerie – Review + Favourite Quotes
Book-Keeping – Review
A Dream Within A Dream – Promotional Post
Pages and Pugs – Promotional Post

June 7th

TBR and Beyond – Review + Playlist + Favourite Quotes
Staircase Wit – Review + Favourite Quotes
Luchia Houghton Blog – Promotional Post

June 8th

Kait Plus Books – Review + Favourite Quotes
Maddie.TV – Review
Confessions of a YA Reader – Promotional Post
My Bookish Escapades – Promotional Post

June 9th

Bookish_Kali – Review + Favourite Quotes
Little voids – Review
Literary Meanderings – Promotional Post

June 10th

Jill’s Book Blog – Review
Twilight Reader – Review
The Reading Life – Promotional Post

June 11th

Belle’s Archive – Review
The YA Obsessed – Review
BookCrushin – Promotional Post
My Rating: 4/ 5 stars
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
My Thoughts
This is such an important book. I’ve read many feminist books and while some of them have been really great, there always seems to be a struggle to balance tackling these complicated issues while also maintaining a coherent and solid plot. The Exact Opposite of Okay discusses so many pertinent issues while still having a well crafted plot and strong characters. The discussion of these feminist issues felt very natural which is really important when reading a book like this. This book had so many amazing points and it was done in such an eloquent manner. It’s an incredibly timely book that can be used as a starting point for discussion on multiple relevant issues.
One of the things that made this book so unique was the main character, Izzy.  Her humor and view of the world made everything that she went through all the more interesting. She was strong, stuck to her beliefs and didn’t let anyone define who she was. She was such an amazingly strong character and incredibly confident in who she was as a person. These personality traits made the moments where she was very vulnerable and close to breaking down all the more powerful.
As I previously stated, so many important topics were discussed in this book. These subjects include slutshaming, consent, “nice” guys” and revenge porn. I absolutely loved reading about Izzy’s view on all these topics and felt that the way they were approached was very tactful and it was seamlessly woven into the plot. It was also really interesting because not only did she have to deal with shit from strangers but also from people who she genuinely cared about.  I really liked how she grappled with these betrayals.
In addition to an amazing main character, there was some really great side characters. I loved Izzy’s grandmother. She was so funny and it was so sweet how supportive she was of Izzy. I also really appreciated the fact that they were struggling as poverty rep in YA is still very limited. I also really loved Ajita’s character arc. I really hope we get to see more of her in the sequel. One thing that kind of rubbed me in the wrong way was that Izzy accidentally outs Ajita which didn’t really seem essential to the plot. I personally could have done without the forced outing. Nonetheless, I think it did show how flawed Izzy was which I think is pretty important. I just wish that there was a less harmful way to demonstrate that.
Giveaway (US ONLY)
Starts: 5th June 2019
Ends: 19th June 2019
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The Wise and The Wicked Rebecca Podos Blog Tour (Review+ INTL Giveaway)

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Goodreads Summary:

Ruby Chernyavsky has been told the stories since she was a child: The women in her family, once possessed of great magical abilities to remake lives and stave off death itself, were forced to flee their Russian home for America in order to escape the fearful men who sought to destroy them. Such has it always been, Ruby’s been told, for powerful women. Today, these stories seem no more real to Ruby than folktales, except for the smallest bit of power left in their blood: when each of them comes of age, she will have a vision of who she will be when she dies—a destiny as inescapable as it is inevitable. Ruby is no exception, and neither is her mother, although she ran from her fate years ago, abandoning Ruby and her sisters. It’s a fool’s errand, because they all know the truth: there is no escaping one’s Time.
Until Ruby’s great-aunt Polina passes away, and, for the first time, a Chernyavsky’s death does not match her vision. Suddenly, things Ruby never thought she’d be allowed to hope for—life, love, time—seem possible. But as she and her cousin Cece begin to dig into the family’s history to find out whether they, too, can change their fates, they learn that nothing comes without a cost. Especially not hope.
About The Author:
Rebecca Podos’ debut novel, THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES, was a Junior Library Guild Selection and a B&N Best YA Book of 2016. Her second book, LIKE WATER, won the 2018 Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Children’s and Young Adult. THE WISE AND THE WICKED, her third novel, is forthcoming in May 2019.
A graduate of the Writing, Literature and Publishing Program at Emerson College and the Creative Writing Program at College of Santa Fe, Rebecca’s fiction has been published in journals like Glimmer Train, Paper Darts, and Smokelong Quarterly. By day, she works as a YA and MG agent at the Rees Literary Agency in Boston.
Find Rebecca Online
Buy The Wise and The Wicked
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May 22nd

May 23rd

Moonlight Rendezvous – Review + Playlist
The Book Return – Review
The Reading Corner for All – Review + Dream Cast

May 24th

BookCrushin – Guest Post
Utopia State of Mind – Review + Favourite Quotes
Writing with Wolves – Promotional Post

May 25th

Chrikaru Reads – Review
Here’s to Happy Endings – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Layaway Dragon – Review + Favourite Quotes
A Conjuring of Lit – Promotional Post

May 26th

The Clever Reader – Interview
Betwixt the Pages – Review
The Caffeinated Reader – Review + Favourite Quotes

May 27th

Kait Plus Books – Guest Post
Novel Ink – Review
A Dream Within A Dream – Promotional Post

May 28th

@wewhotellstories – Review + Playlist
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
My Thoughts:
The Wise and The Wicked is the magical realism book of my dreams. From page one, I was drawn in by the magical  world of the Chernyavskies, and by the time I finished, I was devastated that it was over.
I’m not the hugest fan of fantastical elements in books and I tend to steer away from fantasy, which is why I’m always wary of magical realism. I like this genre because it’s a nice middle ground between contemporary and fantasy, but sometimes the fantasy elements are too much and and I struggle to read it. Thankfully, the  fantastical elements in The Wise and The Wicked didn’t bog the story down but made it all the more enthralling. Poddos crafted such an intricate world that combined Russian culture and magic in such an interesting way. The concept was one that felt familiar, but was done in a completely new and unique way.
All of the characters in this book were absolutely fantastic. I love the way in which the  grey areas between being good and bad was explored. There was a quote towards the end which I thought summed up the book really well: “Maybe there weren’t any villains or heroes in the world. Maybe there were just people.” I love books that explore the complexity  of human nature and I thought that this was a novel that tackled the subject quite well.  The main character, Ruby, was absolutely fantastic. She was deeply flawed and made many serious mistakes, but she acknowledged these mistakes and grew stronger because of them. I love the different relationships she had, especially the ones with her parents. I thought the friendship she had with her cousin Cece was absolutely amazing, and their bond was really well developed. I also love the complex relationship she had with her mother, and thought that the way it unfolded it. Finally, I really enjoyed the messy relationship she had with her sisters. They were all so extremely different, which made the dynamic really interesting. Though they fought a lot, it was clear that they cared a lot for one another.
This book would have been fantastic without a love interest, but there a romance and it made the book all the more amazing. I absolutely loved Dov and the chemistry between Dov and Ruby was absolutely on point. I can’t speak for the trans rep, but I personally found it to be very well done and made the book all the more beautiful.
One thing that detracted from my enjoyment was how quick the ending was. I felt like the buildup was quite slow, and then everything happened all at once and it was a little difficult to process all of it. Also, I’m not sure how I feel about the ambiguous ending. I know that there’s currently no plan for a sequel and I think this is a book that can stand on its own, but a sequel would definitely be interesting.
Giveaway
Prize: Win a copy of THE WISE AND THE WICKED by Rebecca Podos (INT)
Start Date: 22nd May 2019
End Date: 5th June 2019

Tin Heart by Shivaun Plozza Book Review

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Goodreads Summary:

When Marlowe gets a heart transplant and a second chance at life, all she wants to do is to thank her donor’s family. Maybe then she can move on. Maybe then she’ll discover who she is if she’s no longer The Dying Girl.

But with a little brother who dresses like every day is Halloween, a vegan warrior for a mother, and an all-out war with the hot butcher’s apprentice next door, Marlowe’s life is already pretty complicated. And her second chance is about to take an unexpected turn.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

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

My Thoughts:

Going into Tin Heart, I definitely didn’t think that this book would affect me as much as it did. The subject of heart transplant is one that I’ve seen a lot in fiction, but this book was really able to get to the core of this topic and hit its readers eight in the feels. The raw emotion felt by Marlowe was written so well. I felt her pain as though it was my own, and I loved seeing her emotions evolve throughout the book. Her feelings were very complex and they felt very real and it was really interesting to see how these feelings affected the way she held herself and the way she made her decisions.

Another thing that I really liked was how flawed Marlowe was. She made some really stupid mistakes, and didn’t always think of the consequences of her actions, but she learned  from these faux-pas. I really appreciated how not everyone forgave her instantly, once she realized her mistakes.  A lot of the time in books, everyone just instantly accepts the character’s apology which just isn’t how life works. I thought that this realistic approach really added another layer to this story, while offering the hope that an apology could be possible in the future.

The different relationships that Marlowe had throughout the book were phenomenal. I especially loved the relationship she had with her brother.  He was such a precious character and I really liked seeing how Marlowe’s relationship with him shifted throughout the book. THere was this scene towards the end of the book that had me dying of laughter and it just did a great job of showing how much Marlowe loves her brother. I also thought that the relationship she had with her mother was really great. I feel like the vegan thing was just a little over the top but it also provided some of the funniest moments. I would’ve liked just a little more insight into Marlowe’s mom  but I really liked what we got.

The love interest provided just another reason to like an already amazing book. He definitely wasn’t the best thing about the book, but I really liked the chemistry between him and Marlowe. I love books that involve the enemies to lovers trope, so it was really fun to see how their relationship evolved. Their banter was hilarious and I just think that overall, the romance was really well done and developed.

One thing thast kind of bothered me was how easily Marlowe was able to find  her donor’s family. It just a little bit unrealistic and too easy for me. it didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the book, but it was just one of those times where I had trouble suspending my disbelief.

Have You Read Tin Heart? Do You Want To? Let Me Know In The Comments Down Below?

 

 

Mini Reviews of Books I’ve Really Enjoyed Lately (You Asked For Perfect, Darius The Great Is Not Okay and Maybe In Another Life)

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Today I’m bringing you three mini-reviews of three books that I recently really enjoyed. I have so many ARCs that I need to review and I don’t have that much to say about these books, so I’d thought I’d just clump these books into one glorious posts. I’m just going to do bullet points because who doesn’t love a fun point form review?(also I’m at the point in the semester where full fledged sentences seem pretty much impossible)

1. You Asked For Perfect by Laura Silverman

Goodreads

Rating:4.5/5 Stars

  • The perfect mix of serious and fluff.
  • The Jewish rep was really great and it was really cool how Ariel sought comfort in his faith. Also now I need to find if there’s a decent vegetarian recipe for Matzo Ball Soup because I feel as a Jew it’s my responsibility to eat all the good jewish food
  • I loved the relationship between Amir and Ariel. It was so incredibly adorable.
  • The part towards the end where Ariel says “they asked for perfect and I’m not” killed me and had me in tears. This book seriously wrecked me in many ways.
  • I would’ve liked more about Ariel’s friends and family. I really liked what we saw but just a little more would’ve been great.
  • This is more of a personal thing but the Harry Potter references really grated at my nerves and felt forced. I’m usually a huge fan of pop culture references but I found that it was a little unnatural

2. Darius The Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Goodreads

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

  • There was such a subtle beauty in this book.
  • Darius was so soft and I just really love this tea-loving nerd.
  • The different family dynamics were done so well!!! I especially loved the relationship Darius had with his father, it was so nuanced.
  • Also his friendship with Sohrab was so great. I loved how open they were about their feelings which is really rare to see in male friendships. Give me more male friendships that don’t reek of toxic masculinity
  • The food descriptions were sublime oh my god!!! I know need to try absolutely everything that was mentioned, because everything just sounded so delectable.
  • While I liked his friendship with Sohrab, I feel like it lacked a little development. They went from being strangers to best friends, a little too quickly in my opinion.
  • A lot of people have shelved this as lgbtq rep on goodreads and I’ve seen a few reviews that have labeled Darius as queer. I totally see that and there were definitely moments that can support him being read in that way. I just want to note that in case you’re looking for explicit queer rep, this book doesn’t offer that.

3. Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Goodreads

My Rating: 4/5

  • This is my first book by Reid and I wanted to start with The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, but this was the only one that my library had so this is the one I decided to read.
  • I loved seeing the two situations play out. I thought it was really interesting to see what was different in the two different outcomes and what stayed the same.
  • I loved the friendship Hannah had with her best friend, Gabby. It was so beautiful and I loved how they supported each no matter. I honestly could’ve done without the romance ( though it was pretty cute) and just have an entire book dedicated to Hannah’s and Gabby’s friendship
  • I’m kind of convinced that this book is about me. I mean my name is also Hannah, I also view cinnamon rolls as the ultimate food and if I had a dog I would totally name him Charlemagne. In conclusion: I related to Hannah a lot and not just because we have a lot of things in common. She was such an amazing character.
  • I feel like the chemistry in both of the romantic situations was a little lacklustre at times. I liked the love interests but there was just a little bit of a spark missing

  • Have You Read You Asked For Perfect, Darius the Great is Not Okay or Maybe in Another Life? Do you Want To? What Have You Been Reading Lately?
  • In The Neighbourhood of True by Susan Kaplan Carlton Blog Tour ( Review+ Giveaway—US Only)

    Book Summary:

    After her father’s death, Ruth Robb and her family transplant themselves in the summer of 1958 from New York City to Atlanta—the land of debutantes, sweet tea, and the Ku Klux Klan. In her new hometown, Ruth quickly figures out she can be Jewish or she can be popular, but she can’t be both. Eager to fit in with the blond girls in the “pastel posse,” Ruth decides to hide her religion. Before she knows it, she is falling for the handsome and charming Davis and sipping Cokes with him and his friends at the all-white, all-Christian Club.
    Does it matter that Ruth’s mother makes her attend services at the local synagogue every week? Not as long as nobody outside her family knows the truth. At temple Ruth meets Max, who is serious and intense about the fight for social justice, and now she is caught between two worlds, two religions, and two boys. But when a violent hate crime brings the different parts of Ruth’s life into sharp conflict, she will have to choose between all she’s come to love about her new life and standing up for what she believes.
    About The Author:
    Susan Kaplan Carlton, a longtime magazine writer, currently teaches writing at Boston University. She lived for a time with her family in Atlanta, where her daughters learned the fine points of etiquette from a little pink book and learned the power of social justice from their synagogue. Carlton’s writing has appeared in Self, Elle, Mademoiselle, Seventeen, Parents, and elsewhere. She is the author of the young adult novels Love & Haight, which was named a Best Book for Young Adults by YALSA and a Best Book by the Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street Books, and Lobsterland.
    Find Susan Online:
    Buy The Neighborhood of True Online:
    My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
    Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
    My Thoughts:
    Finally a Jewish historical fiction book that isn’t set during WW2!!!! My little jewish heart is so happy. I’m seriously loving how many different perspectives on Judaism we’ve been getting and I can’t wait to see more.
    I absolutely loved how Carlton depicted the character of Ruth, as she struggled between keeping true to her faith and hiding her faith in order to be popular. I thought it was an interesting premise and I really enjoyed seeing how everything played out. I thought that the way that Ruth’s conflicting emotions were portrayed was done extremely well. She had so many interesting thoughts and revelations that are especially relevant in today’s political climate.
    The subject of this book is one that is really important. I feel like a lot of people see anti-semitism as this very distant issue that ceased to be a problem once the war ended, and fail to understand just how pervasive the bigotry was and continues to be. By showing this untold part of Jewish history, I think it will really help in spreading awareness onto a subject that many people don’t see as an issue. Just because Jews aren’t in concentration camps, doesn’t mean discrimination no longer occurs. I actually learned a lot from this book and I had no idea about the bombings of synagogues during this time period.It’s made me want to look more closely at my people’s history to better understand how we’re at where we are now.
    While I really enjoyed the premise of the book and the character development of Ruth, at times that the execution wasn’t as strong as it could be. All the elements were there , there was just a little something missing. One of my main problems was with the voice and dialogue. First thing was that the dialogue was really stiff at times and it just felt really unnatural to me as I was reading. The other thing was that the voice of Ruth sounded quite immature to me at times. She’s supposed to be a junior in high school, but she really doesn’t sound like one at all. Honestly I feel like this book could’ve been possibly been a middle grade novel. There’s a few parts that wouldn’t really work as a middle grade, but the overall tone seemed very juvenile to me. This may be because of the time period though, but even when taking that into consideration, it seemed a little off.
    The last thing is that I wish there was more!! It just felt way too short for me. I feel like the really intriguing stuff was rushed and wrapped up too hastily, when those plot elements could have easily been the crux of the novel. I was really getting into the end, and it was just done and I was really disappointed.

    Favorite Quote:

    I bought of all those nights, at the club and not at the club, and how I’d still somehow never seen a constellation. And I thought, constellations weren’t the point. Constellations were just a bunch of separate stars. They didn’t become constellations until you connected them, one to another. Like families, like sisters, like friendship, like prayers.

    And anyway, it turned out Nattie was memorizing all eighty-eight constellations. I didn’t need David in order to fall in love with the night sky.”

    What About You? Do you want In The Neighbourhood of True? Let Me Know in The Comments Down Below

    APRIL 3RD

    APRIL 4TH

    Novel Ink – Review
    Bookish_Kali – Review
    The Book Return – Review + Favorite Quotes

    APRIL 5TH

    Wishful Endings – Guest Post
    The Book Thief Without Words – Review + Favourite Quotes

    APRIL 6TH

    APRIL 7TH

    The Book Return – Review + Favourite Quotes

    APRIL 8TH

    APRIL 9TH

    Kait Plus Books – Guest Post
    Cheyenne Reads – Review
    Journal of the Lost One – Review + Dream Cast + Favourite Quotes
    A Dream Within A Dream – Promotional Post

    Giveaway

    Win 1 of 2 copies of In The Neighbourhood of True. ( US Only)

    Start Date: April 3rd 2019

    End: April 16th 2019

    Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d9681b86354/

    Just For Clicks By Kara McDowell Blog Tour ( Review + US Giveaway)

    Goodreads Summary:

    Mommy blogs are great . . . unless the blog happens to belong to your mom.

    Twin sisters Claire & Poppy are accidental social media stars thanks to Mom going viral when they were babies. Now, as teens, they’re expected to contribute by building their own brand. Attending a NY fashion week and receiving fan mail is a blast. Fending off internet trolls and would-be kidnappers? Not so much. Poppy embraces it. Claire hates it. Will anybody accept her as “just Claire”? And what should Claire do about Mom’s old journals? The handwritten entries definitely don’t sound like Mom’s perfect blog persona. Worse, one of them divulges a secret that leaves Claire wondering what else in her life might be nothing but a sham . . .

    About The Author:

    Born in the mountains and raised in the desert, Kara McDowell spent her childhood swimming, boating, and making up stories in her head. As the middle of five children, Kara entertained her family on long road trips by reading short mystery stories out loud and forcing everyone to guess the conclusion. After graduating from Arizona State University with a BA in English Literature, Kara worked as a freelance writer. Now she writes young adult novels from her home in Arizona, where she lives with her husband and three young sons.

    Find Kara Online:

    Website/ Goodreads/ Twitter

    Buy Just For Clicks:

    Barnes & Nobles/ Amazon/ Book Depository

    My Rating:4/5 Stars

    Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an

    honest review.

    February 11th

    The Book Addict– Review

    February 12th

    The Candid Cover– Review & Favorite Quotes

    February 13th

    Irisheyz77– Review & Favorite Quotes

    February 14th

    The Book Return– Review

    February 15th

    Bookish_Kali– Review
    The Clever Reader– Review & Favorite Quotes

    My Thoughts:

    The phenomenon of internet fame is one that I found fascinating and it’s a subject that I love seeing being discussed in books. It’s mind-boggling to me that there are people out there who are famous basically for just existing. Before Just For Clicks, I had a vague idea on how popular mommy bloggers were, but this book really shed light on a subject that I had never really thought about before. I absolutely loved seeing Claire’s struggle between wanting to make her mother and sister happy, and removing herself from the spotlight. The discussion about internet culture that occurred throughout the book was super fascinating and it made me think a lot about the role internet fame plays in our society. There’s always a danger for subject like these to sound preachy, but that wasn’t the case in this book which I really appreciated. I really liked how Kara McDowell showed both the ugly and glamorous parts of fame. One that thing I think could’ve been addressed a little more was the enormous amount of privilege that Claire had because of her fame. There were off-hand comments where she did acknowledge her privilege but it still rubbed me the wrong way.

    No contemporary is truly complete without a swoon-worthy love interest, and Just For Clicks definitely delivered with Rafael. He was super sweet and caring and basically everything I could ask for in a love interest. It was so excruciating to have to read through so many near-kisses, wondering each time if this would be the time where one of them would finally reveal their GODAMN FEELINGS. Even if it was definitely frustrating, it made them getting together all the more satisfying. Claire and Rafael’s chemistry were to die for and I just wish there was less miscommunication drama and more swoon worthy moments.

    I expected this book to be a pretty run of the mill contemporary, but McDowell hit me with some unexpected and heartbreaking plot moments. There was a point in the book that had me gasp aloud which like very rarely happens. At times I did find Claire’s reaction to this particular plot point to be a little stubborn but I did appreciated her development and her end reaction to it.

    I really appreciate all the relationships in this book but I especially love the dynamic between Claire and Poppy. It felt very realistic to me and the author did a great job of depicting the love-hate relationship that so many siblings have. Things became especially complicated as the story progressed, and I love seeing how their relationship shifted throughout the novel. While I really did like their relationship, I would’ve appreciated a few more moments where we really get to see their sisterhood shine.

    Giveaway (US Only)

    Ends February 22nd 2019.

    Have You Read Just For Clicks? Do You Want To? Let Me Know In The Comments Down Below

    This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills Book Review

    Goodreads Summary:

    Sloane isn’t expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that’s exactly what happens.

    Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera’s twin brother and the most serious person Sloane’s ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins’ late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down, a journey that takes her across state lines—and ever deeper into the twins’ lives.

    Filled with intense and important friendships, a wonderful warts-and-all family, shiveringly good romantic developments, and sharp, witty dialogue, this story is about finding the people you never knew you needed.

    My Rating: 5/5 Stars.

    This is the only second book I’ve read by Emma Mills, but I can safely say that she writes some of the most well rounded contemporaries I’ve ever seen. With many contemporaries the main focus is typically romance with a little smidgen of quirky friends and a dash of a loving family, and I just always want less romantic subplot and more of the book focused on the other relationship dynamics. That’s not to say that I don’t love those type of contemporaries because I do but there always feels like there’s something missing. With Emma Mills, you get a great love interest, interesting and complex friendship dynamics and a family that doesn’t conveniently disappear halfway through the book. If this is what all of her books are like, I seriously need to read her first book and her latest one.

    This book gave me serious The Perks of Being a Wallflower( the movie not the book) vibes which just made fall in love with the book all the more. I couldn’t help making parallels with the two set of character, and it definitely made my reading experience much more interesting. So like in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, you’ve got an outsider who kind of finds their way into this friend group who have been friends forever and do everything together, and this outsider slowly begins a part of the friend group and just aghhh I didn’t realize how much I love this trope until I read This Adventure Ends. I absolutely loved seeing how the main character, Sloane, integrated into this friend group and I loved seeing how the individual members and the group as a whole responded to her. Additionally, I loved learning about the different friends. They were all such different people with different ambition and personalities, but they formed an amazingly cohesive friend group. I also appreciated the conflict that occurred towards the end of the book. It felt very natural and necessary to the progression of the story and it didn’t feel like it was added just for the sake of drama.

    Even though this was a contemporary there was some very hard hitting moments that made this book feel all the more real. I finished this book in tears with a huge lump in my chest which are the best type of books. The journey of discovery that Sloane went through during the book was something that I related to immensely. I thought the way she developed from someone with a lot of apathy to someone who realized that that wasn’t the way she wanted to live was really interesting. The way Mill’s constructed Sloane’s personality was super fascinating and she was an incredible protagonist. I loved her humour and how loyal she was. There are some characters that you love because they’re a well developed character and then there’s character’s that make you feel as though someone stole your innermost thoughts and emotions. Sloane is the latter.

    It’s usually pretty rare that one of my favorite character’s is one of the MC’s parent’s, but Sloane’s dad was amazing. He’s this renowned author who writes Nicholas Sparkesque books but he’s currently in a rut. While he’s in this rut, he discovers the world of fandom and falls in love with this Teen Wolfesque show. He begins to read Fanfiction of the show and even tries his hand at writing his own. I’m not a huge fan of fanfiction but I thought all the discussion surrounding fanfiction was super interesting. I loved seeing Sloane’s dad talking about coffeeshop and next door neighbor AU’s and tbh I would read an entire book about him. The one thing that I would’ve appreciated more about was Sloane’s mom. We really didn’t know anything about her which was a little frustrating.

    Have You Read This Adventure Ends? Have You Read Mills’ other books? What Did You Think of Them? Let Me Know In The Comments Down Below.

    The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich Book Review

    Goodreads Summary:

    There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

    Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. 
    Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome.

    The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

    Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

    What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

    My Rating: 2/5 Stars

    My Thoughts:

    You know when you read a book with the most epic concept ever and you’re expecting it to be your new favorite thing and then you read it and it just falls short in every single area? That was what reading The Love Interest was like for me. A book that featured a love triangle where the guys fall for each other instead of the girl is arguably the best subversion of the trope possible and the fact that this book was horribly executed makes me so frustrated.

    It’s so hard to pinpoint just one thing that frustrated me but one of my biggest source of anger was the lacklustre world building. The Love Interest is set in this weird dystopian/sci-fi world that somehow feels like the modern world and I had so many unanswered questions. Like the main character, Caden, has this romantic coach to like help him win over the girl he needs to fall in love with and this romantic coach can read his mind. Which is totally cool and awesome and yes please give me more books that feature mind reading, but I needed to know more about this. Is this something that was like created in a lab or something that came about supernaturally? Also her reading his mind seems to be on and off basis and was only employed when it was convenient for the plot which was super frustrating. I really don’t mind if there’s some unanswered questions in books like these because it’s hard to fix all the holes, but when the story is completely filled with holes it’s really hard to ignore it. Another thing that really contributed to the poor world building was the lack of description. I could not for the life of me picture the compound where Kaiden was raised and all of the places that were described felt like skeletons instead of fully fleshed out places. I think the thing that made the most frustrated was that there was absolutely no contrast between how Caden experienced the outside world vs the world he was used to. The only thing he knows about the real world is what they fed to him and you’re telling me that there’s no culture shock? I don’t believe that. I would’ve loved to see that confusion depicted because without it, it just made the world all the more one dimensional.

    I could’ve forgiven the crappy world building if the characters were anything to write home about but they weren’t so this book became even more disappointing. I get that the characters were supposed to be a play on the typical archetypes one finds in YA novels which is fine, great even! I love the idea that Caden is forced to be Nice while Dylan is forced to be Bad, and I thought the way the author portrayed the trope of the boy next door vs the brooding secret softie. The only thing that was missing was development and there really wasn’t any. I didn’t feel like any of the characters grew or became better people or went beyond what they were taught. Obviously it’s hard to unlearn something that has been instilled in you for almost your entire time but I would’ve liked just a little indication that there was going to be growth in their future. Another thing that infuriated me was the way the girl that Dylan and Caden were fighting to fall in love with, Juliet, was portrayed. She’s supposed to be this genius who’s destined to do amazing world-changing things and yet that intelligence is shown at such a basic level. If I weren’t told that she was intelligent, I wouldn’t know because the way she acts, talks and her general personality isn’t indicative of that all. She was reduced to a crappy side character with no agency whatsoever and that infuriates me. If you’re going to subvert cliche characters then you actually have to do work and you can’t claim that you’re doing it.

    The final thing that pissed me was the horrible pacing. The climax took place over a span of about 30 pages and so much happened in such little time that it was hard to believe any of it. Revelations and tragedy happens left and right that it was impossible for me to care about what was going. The ending was weak and while it was a happy one that I would’ve been happy with in any other situation this book didn’t earn that easy ending. I feel like the author focused too much on some things( like the size of the MC’s abs) and not enough on more important things( like why the fuck Juliet would believe Caden when he tells her that he’s a spy.) I’m all for suspicion of disbelief but this was taking things a little too far.

    If this had featured a straight MC I totally would’ve one starred it, but I do think that the exploration of Caiden’s sexuality was what salvaged the book a little bit. I love that we’re getting more books about gay people that go beyond the normal contemporary genre. This book may have not been for me but I really hope that a gay teen will one day pick this book up and feel a little less alone.

    Did You Read The Love Interest? What Did You Think of It? Let Me Know In The Comments Down Below!

    Our Year of Maybe by Rachel Lynn Solomon Book Review

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    Goodreads Summary: Aspiring choreographer Sophie Orenstein would do anything for Peter Rosenthal-Porter, who’s been on the kidney transplant list as long as she’s known him. Peter, a gifted pianist, is everything to Sophie: best friend, musical collaborator, secret crush. When she learns she’s a match, donating a kidney is an easy, obvious choice. She can’t help wondering if after the transplant, he’ll love her back the way she’s always wanted.

    But Peter’s life post-transplant isn’t what either of them expected. Though he once had feelings for Sophie too, he’s now drawn to Chase, the guitarist in a band that happens to be looking for a keyboardist. And while neglected parts of Sophie’s world are calling to her—dance opportunities, new friends, a sister and niece she barely knows—she longs for a now-distant Peter more than ever, growing increasingly bitter he doesn’t seem to feel the same connection.

    Peter fears he’ll forever be indebted to her. Sophie isn’t sure who she is without him. Then one blurry, heartbreaking night twists their relationship into something neither of them recognizes, leading them to question their past, their future, and whether their friendship is even worth fighting for.

    My Rating:5/5 Stars

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

    My Thoughts:

    As with Solomon’s debut,You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, it’s hard to pick just one standout aspect about the book because there’s  so many to chose from. You have complex friendships, even more complex romantic relationships,  fascinating family dynamics, feelings about religious identity and the list just goes on and on.  If this is what she can do with her second book, I can’t wait to see what type of wonderful things will come out of her third or fourth book.

    One thing that I really appreciate about her characters is how incredibly flawed they are. The two main characters, Peter and Sophie, don’t always make the right decisions or say the right things and yet that’s what makes them so real.  They make impulsive decisions, decisions that had me screaming NOOOOO DON’T DO IT and yet it’s these imperfections that made them so relatable and authentic. Solomon is truly skilled because so often authors try to give their characters real flaws but it just results in the readers disliking the characters. With Our Year Of Maybe, despite all their mishaps and mistakes, I felt their pain as if it was my own. To be able to create characters who have clear flaws and yet still have readers rooting for them is something that requires an immense of talent, which is just one of the ways that her skill shows.

    Give me a book with complex relationships and you’ve pretty much given me my new favorite book. I absolutely love books that have relationships that evolve, shift and grow throughout the story. There are so many different relationships in this book that were each amazing in their own special way that I don’t even know where to start. Of course the relationship at the forefront of the book was the one between Sophie and Peter which was so interesting. I love books about childhood friends and as much I try to deny it, I’m such a sucker for the trope of  “secret crush on said childhood friend”  The dynamic between Sophie and Peter was incredibly fascinating and I loved learning about their childhood friendship and then seeing how it developed throughout the book. I really like the turn their friendship took and felt it was very true to life.  Another relationship I really loved was the one between Sophie and her sister. It was really nice to see how their perspective of one another changed as the book progressed.  One relationship that I would’ve liked to see a little more expansion on was the one between Peter and his mom. It seemed that there could’ve been some development there but there was this tension that was introduced but never really resolved.

    Another thing that I loved was how casually Peter’s bisexuality was talked about. It’s pretty rare to see bisexual male characters and I just loved seeing the relationship between Chase and Peter blossoming. It was really interesting to see how Peter’s feelings towards Chase contrasted with those he felt towards Sophie. I also really appreciate the fact that the book could’ve taken the cheating storyline route and it didn’t which was just really refreshing to see.

    The final thing I want to talk about is the element of the story that made this book 100x more amazing than it already was. That element was the way that Peter’s Judaism and his feelings towards the religion was portrayed. Peter is half jewish but since his father is he jewish one, he would not be recognized as Jewish amongst traditional Jews.  This is exactly like my situation and to see Peter’s conflicted feelings about Judaism was so relatable. I swear all the thoughts about being Jewish were ones that I’ve had multiple times. I’ve never felt more seen and I just really appreciate the fact that Solomon portrayed two very different approaches to Jewish identity. I can always trust her to have some quality Jewish content and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

    Have You Read You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone? Are You Going To Read Our Year Of Maybe? Let Me Know In The Comments Down Below!

    Dear Heartbreak: YA Authors and Teens on The Dark Side of Love Edited by Heather Demetrios Book Review

    Goodreads Summary:

    This is a book about the dark side of love: the way it kicks your ass, tears out your heart, and then forces you to eat it, bite by bloody bite. If you’ve felt this way, you’re not alone…

    In this powerful collection, YA authors answer real letters from teens all over the world about the dark side of love: dating violence, break-ups, cheating, betrayals, and loneliness. This book contains a no-holds-barred, raw outpouring of the wisdom these authors have culled from mining their own hearts for the fiction they write. Their responses are autobiographical, unflinching, and filled with love and hope for the anonymous teen letter writers.

    My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

    Disclaimer: A copy of this book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.

    My Thoughts:

    Dear Heartbreak is one of those books that I would have devoured when I was 12 or 13. I remember owning this Chicken Soup For The Preteen Soul book  and being absolutely obsessed with it. I would reread over and over again and to this day some of those stories have stuck with me. To read some of my favorite authors give advice about heartbreak in a similar format to the chicken soup book was really eye-opening and made me look at some of them in a new light.

    Even though I had a little trouble relating to some aspects of these letters, other aspects hit me really hard and helped me in reinforcing things that I keep on trying to tell myself.  I think this could really help some people and to hear it from their favorite authors would make it all the more powerful.

    One thing that I think is really great about this book is how different and diverse the authors are. It’s not just the classic  white straight hearbreak which I think is so incredible because it’s oftentimes marginalized teens that need to be supported the most. I absolutely loved reading advice from Sandhya Menon, Nina Lacour, Becky Albertalli and so many more. My only qualms is that I wish there were more male authors involved in the project. I think it would’ve made the book a lot stronger because heartbreak in males is not looked at in the same way as heartbreak in females. Young teenage boys need to be taught that it’s okay to hurt and that that hurt doesn’t need to be channelled in a violent or angry manner.

    All in all it was a quick, heartfult read that I can see being instrumental to many teen’s lives.  I think maybe it would be interesting to do a companion of sorts with inclusively marginalized voices.

    If You Could Get Hearybreak Advice From Any Author Which One Would You CHose?