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.
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?
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
2. Darius The Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
3. Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My Rating: 4/5
“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.”
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Win 1 of 2 copies of In The Neighbourhood of True. ( US Only)
Start Date: April 3rd 2019
End: April 16th 2019
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:
Buy Just For Clicks:
My Rating:4/5 Stars
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an
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.
Ends February 22nd 2019.
Have You Read Just For Clicks? Do You Want To? Let Me Know In The Comments Down Below
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.
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
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!
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.
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!
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.
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?