Screen Queen by Lori Goldstein Blog Tour (Review)

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June 18th

June 19th

Moonlight Rendezvous – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Reading Corner for All – Review + Favourite Quotes
Young Adult Media Consumer – Review + Favourite Quotes
Devouring Books – Review
Confessions of a YA Reader – Promotional Post

June 20th

Snark and Squee – Review
Wall-to-wall books – Review

June 21st

The Hermit Librarian – Interview
Book-Keeping – Review + Favourite Quotes
A Few Chapters ’til Love – Review + Dream Cast
Hauntedbybooks – Review + Favourite Quotes

June 22nd

L.M. Durand – Review + Favourite Quotes
Magical Reads – Review + Playlist
Kait Plus Books – Review + Favourite Quotes
Musings of a (Book) Girl – Review + Favourite Quotes
Pooled Ink – Promotional Post

June 23rd

The YA Obsessed – Review
Belle’s Archive – Review
Frayed Books – Review
Firstbooklove – Review
Dazzled by Books – Review + Favourite Quotes

June 24th

Morgan Vega – Review + Playlist + Favourite Quotes
The Clever Reader – Review + Favourite Quotes
Bookish In Bed – Review
Mind of Luxe – Review
Kourtni Reads – Review + Favourite Quotes

Goodreads Summary:

Three thousand applicants. An acceptance rate of two percent. A dream internship for the winning team. ValleyStart is the most prestigious high school tech incubator competition in the country. Lucy Katz, Maddie Li, and Delia Meyer have secured their spots. And they’ve come to win.

Meet the Screen Queens.

Lucy Katz was born and raised in Palo Alto, so tech, well, it runs in her blood. A social butterfly and CEO in-the-making, Lucy is ready to win and party.

East Coast designer, Maddie Li left her home and small business behind for a summer at ValleyStart. Maddie thinks she’s only there to bolster her graphic design portfolio, not to make friends.

Delia Meyer taught herself how to code on a hand-me-down computer in her tiny Midwestern town. Now, it’s time for the big leagues–ValleyStart–but super shy Delia isn’t sure if she can hack it (pun intended).

When the competition kicks off, Lucy, Maddie, and Delia realize just how challenging the next five weeks will be. As if there wasn’t enough pressure already, the girls learn that they would be the only all-female team to win ever. Add in one first love, a two-faced mentor, and an ex-boyfriend turned nemesis and things get…complicated.

Filled with humor, heart, and a whole lot of girl power, Screen Queens is perfect for fans of Morgan Matson, Jenny Han, and The Bold Type.

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

My rating: 4/5 stars

My Thoughts:

The minute I read that this book was perfect for fans of “perfect for fans of Morgan Matson, Jenny Han, and The Bold Type.” I knew I had to pick this beauty up. Paired with the fact it was about women navigating the male dominating tech world, I could already sense that this was going to be an epic read. Screen Queens certainly didn’t disappoint and delivered on the fronts that drew me in initially.

While I struggled to get into the book at first, once I got a feel for the writing style ad the different POVS, I was hooked. This story has the classic formula of a group of people who are forced to worked together and despise each other, but as the stakes become higher, they start o bond and realize that working together isn’t as bad as they had thought.  It’s a trope that I really love, and it was done quite well in this book. I really liked seeing their dynamic evolve throughout the book, and see them go from enemies to friends. Individually, they were all really strong and complex characters and together they truly thrived. One thing that I would have liked to see just a little more was them just hanging out because while we did get to see them work together as a team we didn’t get to see them just hang out, quite as much. I think one or two more scenes that reinforced their friendship would’ve been nice.

The topic discussed in this book is one that is so important and I really enjoyed seeing it being discussed throughout the novel. There’s a huge disparity in the number of men in the tech field vs the number of women in the tech field and Screen Queens did an excellent job in exploring the difficulties that these women face. It was so frustrating to see how the women in this book were treated and its just so disheartening to think that such discrimination still occurs ion the work force . I also really appreciated the fact that they pointed out how it’s even more difficult when you’re a WOC. In so many books like these, we a see a lot of white feminism and very little intersectional feminism, so this small ad and the fact that there was some PoC protagonist made me appreciate the book even more.

Have You Read Screen Queens? Do You Want To? Let Me Know in the Comments Down Below.

 

 

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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?
  • 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?

    The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North Book Review

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    Goodreads Summary:

    SOME STORIES CANNOT BE TOLD IN JUST ONE LIFETIME.
    Harry August is on his deathbed. Again.
    No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes.
    Until now.
    As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. “I nearly missed you, Doctor August,” she says. “I need to send a message.”
    This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.

     

    My Rating:5/5 Stars

    My Thoughts:

    If there is one thing that I love in fiction more than anything, it’s stories  that deal with time in some way.  Whether it be time travel, parallel universes  basically  anything that discusses time in any way.,if time plays a factor  a book, T.V show or movie I will most likely love it. Time is honestly one of the most interesting parts about this universe and I love thinking about all the possibilities that we have yet to unlock. I took  an English class last semester that was all about time travel and it was the most interesting class I’ve ever taken.  Saying a book, TV show or movie involves time is the quickest way to get me to read it.

    So when I read the synopsis of this book and saw that it was about a man who when he dies, he is reborn as the same person with all his previous knowledge intact, I knew that I had to read it. And I was not disappointed. This book was so interesting and unique and I loved every single second of it. It kind of reminds me of Life After Life but just a much more intense version.

    While it took me a while to really get into it, once I did I was hooked. As the name suggests, we follow the first fifteen lives of Harry August and boy are his lives interesting. The novel is told in this very interesting non-linear manner so we are constantly jumping around from life to life which I found was an excellent choice. I loved seeing how each life was different and seeing how he changed as his life progressed. The plot was super duper fascinating and I loved all of the elements that were brought together especially towards the second half of the book. Time was being played with a lot more and it was so interesting to watch it unfold. It definitely made me think a lot about the multiverse. It also made me speculate about our own world.  I admit that there were times when I was reading it where I was like “what if people like this actually exist?” and “what if I’m on those and I’m just living my first life”. This is one of those books that I definitely will be thinking for many months to come.

    I do have one minor qualm with the book which is that I feel as though the characters weren’t as strong as they could have been.  Honestly it’s more of a personal preference as I’m someone who loves characters and this is the type of book where it’s hard to have a super strong feeling for the characters but I would have liked to have just a little bit more development in order to just slightly improve the novel.

    Have You Read This Book? Do You Want To? What Are Your Favorite Books Involving Time? Let Me Know In The Comments Down Below!

     

     

    This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp Book Review

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    Goodreads Summary

    10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

    10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

    10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won’t open.

    10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.

    Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

    My Rating:3/5 Stars

    My Thoughts:

    When I first heard about This Is Where It Ends I was so excited: everyone was talking about it and singing its praise and it was on the NYT bestsellers list so I knew that I had to pick up. And I picked it up a year after it had been published and… I was disappointed. It was a BAD book but it wasn’t nearly as good as I expected it to be. I’ve read her other book as well and I wasn’t impressed with that one either so I definitely think that this an author who just isn’t for me.

    One of the good things about this book was the diversity.  Nijkamp is at the forefront of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks moments and it really shows in all the characters that she  writes. There are two queer girl characters, one of them whom is Latina and then there’s a Latino character and all of these are main characters. So 3/4 of the perspectives are diverse which is really great!!  While I love books that feature queer girls, honestly the romance between the two of them was very unbelievable and I just couldn’t understand the chemistry that was supposed to make them in love.

    I think my main problem with this book was the fact that it just wasn’t very intriguing. Like yeah it takes place over like a period of an hour or something like that but I was really bored while reading it. Like people were dying left and right and yet it didn’t feel like it at all? That may be due to the excessive amount of flashbacks that occurred throughout the book which were definitely  needed so the reader could better understand what was going on but it took us out of the book and made what was currently happening less impactful.  I think that the flashbacks could have been written better so the contrast between past and present could’ve been much more important.

    Another thing that really bugged me was the fact that the shooter’s motives were never clear and while I definitely wouldn’t have wanted a killer perspective, I would’ve liked just an inkling as to why the shooter felt the need to do what he did.  Also this is probably just a personal preference but in this day and age, it really bugs me when books are written about school shootings and there’s no pertinent discussion. Obviously since this only takes place within a very short period of time it wouldn’t make sense but I’m just not that interested in books like these. They rely too heavily on the shock factor.

    While it seems like I hated the book, I didn’t! It was just a very meh book that didn’t impress me as much as I thought it would. I still really liked the writing style, and it was a pretty interesting book. It just wasn’t my thing and wasn’t what I was looking in a book like this.

    Have You Read This Is Where It Ends? Did You Like It? Let Me Know In The Comments Down Below!

     

    I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios Book Review

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    Goodreads Summary:If Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing separating Skylar from art school is three months of summer…until Skylar’s mother loses her job, and Skylar realizes her dreams may be slipping out of reach.

    Josh had a different escape route: the Marines. But after losing his leg in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be.

    What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and, soon, something deeper.

    Compelling and ultimately hopeful, this is a powerful examination of love, loss, and resilience.

    My Rating:3/5 Stars

    I’ll Meet You There is a touching story that deals with poverty, PTSD and love similar to Making Faces by Amy Harmon. While I was not the hugest fan of the romance and wasn’t completely sold on the chemistry between Skylar and Josh, I thought that the portrayal of poverty and PTSD was excellent.

    So few books feature characters who are truly poor. There are definitely YA books who have characters that struggle with money but I’ve seen very few books accurately depict poverty so accurately.  It’s important to write about teenagers from all different types of backgrounds because I think that it creates a very interesting and unique plot because the majority of YA protagonists are comfortable and don’t need to worry about money. I also really loved how despite the fact that she was very poor, she kind of looked down on those people and couldn’t wait to escape her town and how throughout the book she realized how her looking down on the people in her town wasn’t okay. This was especially shown in her friendship with her best friend which was really well done and endearing.

    The other great thing about this book was the depiction of PTSD. I honestly love reading about characters with PTSD because it’s such an important issue that is often ignored when people commemorate soldiers. Though the majority of the book was told in the perspective of skylar, there were chapters that were from Josh and they were like him talking to on his friends who died in combat and those chapters were so amazing. The way that his trauma was depicted was so on point and raw and it affected me so much. It was so well done and I applaud the author for her depiction! Josh was such an interesting character and I really loved seeing his journey throughout the novel.

    I know it seems like I really enjoyed the book so you may wonder why my rating is only 3 stars? While I did really like this book, there was one reoccuring element that really annoyed me and made the book less enjoyable and that was the bigotry. There was a lot of homophobic slurs and people calling things “gay” and it was just so unnecessary. I don’t know why the author felt that these words were essential to the dialogue but it just ruined the story for me. Though it is called out, it’s called out in this very passive way and I just don’t see the point in it being there. Every time this would happen, I had to stop and reasses my enjoyment of the story because it just took me out of the novel which really sucks.There were no gay characters and bigotry wasn’t a plot point so it just so felt weird and unnecessary. I felt like I was reading a book from the early 2000s and it just made my enjoyment of the book decrease considerably.

    Have You Read I’ll Meet You There? What Did You Think Of It? Let Me Know In The Comments Down Below!

     

     

    Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley Book Review

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    Goodreads Summary:

    In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever.

    Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily.

    Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept separate but equal.

    Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another.

    Boldly realistic and emotionally compelling, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a brave and stunning novel about finding truth amid the lies, and finding your voice even when others are determined to silence it

    My Rating: 2.5/ 5 Stars

    This could’ve been a great book. it had all the elements of a book that I could fall in love with. Awesome characters? Check. Queer Black MC? Check. Interesting plot about  an important time period? Check. This would’ve have been easily one of my favorite reads of 2018 if not for one issue. Lies We Tell Ourselves is written by a white women and for a book about such an tumultuous time and important event not be ownvoices rings so wrongly to me. Had this book been published this year, the book community would be in an up-roar but unfortunately this book was published in 2014 where books like these were still considered revolutionary. We didn’t have books like The Hate U Give, Dear Martin or Tyler Johnson Was Here. #ownvoices books that are so powerful and successful and that have touched so many people lives. If I had read this book when it had come out I would have probably loved it but I’m more aware now and I just can’t condone it.

    Am I saying that white authors can’t write black characters? Of course not. But there are certain issues that haven’t been written about by black authors so for white authors to pave the way is kind of disgusting.  To my knowledge, Talley was the first and quite possibly one of the only YA authors to write about integration in schools and it really sucks because if a black author ever wants to write about this, they’re going to be compared to Talley. If a black author had written this book, I probably would have loved it but when reading Lies We Tell Yourselves I felt like Talley was profiting off of the oppression of black individuals. To add to this this is also a book about a black queer teenager which I honestly can’t remember ever seeing in any other book so yet again Talley is overstepping her boundaries.  I also really hated how often the n word was used and like I know it’s supposed to be “authentic” but I could have done without that.

    Putting that huge issue aside, I really enjoyed the character of Sarah and really enjoyed reading about her struggle in integrating into an all white high school. I felt that the white perspective of Linda was really uneeded and though I know that she supposedly learned about her mistakes, she never really saw the errors of her ways and merely saw Sarah as the exception. Also the romance in this was super unbelievable and there was no chemistry whatsoever.

    Have You Read Lies We Tell Ourselves? What Did You Think of It? Let Me Know In The Comments Down Below!