Wednesday, November 1, 2017

November Releases I'm Most Excited For

November 7th:
Kat and Meg Conquer the World by Anna Priemaza - This sounds like a great read about friendship.  I'm not sure if I will get the stuff in it about gaming since I don't do that, but it sounds like a worthwhile read for getting to read about a main character with anxiety and a main character with ADHD being friends.
Now is Everything by Amy Giles  - This sounds like it has the potential to be both amazing and heartbreaking.  It deals with domestic abuse and involves some mystery it sounds like.  I'm excited to get to read it.

Kat and Meg Conquer the WorldNow Is Everything

Katie

Sunday, October 1, 2017

October Releases I'm Most Excited For

October 3rd:
Top Ten by Katie Cotugno - I think this book will be good and has potential to be my favorite of Katie Cotugno's books so far.  I think I will like the main character, and I like how it focuses on a best friendship between a guy and a girl.  The format should also be interesting.

 Top Ten

October 17th:
Dear Martin by Nic Stone - This sounds like it will be a powerful book dealing with how black people are treated by the police sometime.  It seems like it would be a good read to be paired with The Hate U Give.  I look forward to reading it.
Like Water by Rebecca Podos  - This seems like it should be a good book.  I never read the author's first book, though I have a copy of it that I intend to hopefully read soon.  This book deals with Huntington's disease, so that should be interesting.
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erica L. Sanchez - This sounds like it will be a good read dealing with heritage and culture.  It should be interesting to find out what the main character discovers about her sister.  According to reviews, it looks like this book also does a good job dealing with mental health.

Dear MartinLike WaterI Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

Katie

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Review: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

They Both Die at the End On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They're going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they're both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There's an app for that. It's called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day.

My Review: 5 Stars

So I read this book very quickly during college, which is surprising because I often barely read during my semesters.  And maybe I should have been working on lab reports instead, but it's alright since it was Friday night and I needed a break and I've finished a lot of my lab report by now so it won't be a problem.  But anyway, the reason I read this so quickly during a college semester was because I loved it and couldn't put it down.  I fell in love with Mateo and Rufus and their stories.  This book is heartbreaking but also hopeful at the same time.  And yes, you know how the book will ultimately end though you don't know specifically how, but the journey of the story is the important part.

The entire premise of the book is interesting.  I have no idea how Death-Cast actually knows who's going to die each day.  But that didn't really detract at all from my enjoyment (probably the wrong word) of this book.  I am curious, though, what would happen if Death-Cast knew who was supposed to die but didn't tell the people.  Because maybe knowing that they're supposed to die somehow makes some kind of self-fulfilling prophecy psychological phenomenon occur.  I don't really know though.  It's just a theory I have.  

I loved both Mateo and Rufus.  Mateo is just such a sweet guy who would never hurt anyone.  He's scared of going out into the world and doing things, because he isn't really about taking risks.  He wants his End Day to be as long as it can be, and he is afraid of anything that could potentially shorten it, yet he also wants to get out into the world and do things and have new experiences on his last day.  And Rufus I loved as well.  He may not have seemed like someone I would love when his first scene was of him beating someone up.  But I quickly learned that that wasn't really what Rufus is like normally and he definitely regretted.  He had some pent-up anger from the deaths of his entire family.  But Rufus was also a sweet guy.  And when he and Mateo met through the Last Friend app and began to bond it was really sweet and nice.  They both helped each other in ways.  And the development of their relationship was quick, but also made sense since they were trying to live the rest of their lifetimes in one day. 

Something I loved was how scattered throughout, in addition to the perspectives of Mateo and Rufus, were the perspectives of various minor characters.  Some of them were more directly connected to our main characters, and others were definitely more tertiary, but I enjoyed them all.  If you have read The Sun is Also a Star, it is similar to the other perspectives that were used in that book (and that book also took place over one day).  My favorite was probably Lidia.  She was Mateo's best friend and their friendship is so precious and adorable.  Lidia is a single mom who is raising her daughter, Penny, and Mateo is super supportive of her and helps her out with her daughter when she needs it.  This was such a great example of a strong, completely platonic friendship between a guy and a girl.  And if Adam Silvera wanted to write another book about Lidia, I would so be there to read it (except knowing Adam's books it would probably be tragic and I don't want that for Lidia since she's already lost her boyfriend and best friend).

If you like good books that are also sad, read this book.

Katie 

Friday, September 1, 2017

September Releases I'm Most Excited For

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera - Adam Silvera is a great author and I am so excited to see what he does next in this book.  And also I'm curious if it will really end the way that the title says.

They Both Die at the End

Katie

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Review: These Things I've Done by Rebecca Phillips

These Things I've Done A contemporary YA perfect for fans of Courtney Summers and Jessi Kirby, THESE THINGS I’VE DONE is the story of a seventeen-year-old girl who accidentally caused her best friend’s death and, a year later, is still grappling with the consequences.

Before:
Dara and Aubrey have been inseparable since they became best friends in sixth grade. However, as they begin their sophomore year of high school, cracks in their friendship begin to form, testing the bond they always thought was unbreakable.

After:
It's been fifteen months since the accident that killed Aubrey, and not a day goes by that Dara isn't racked with guilt over her role in her best friend's death. Dara thought nothing could be worse than confronting the memories of Aubrey that relentlessly haunt her, but she soon realizes it isn't half as difficult as seeing Ethan, Aubrey's brother, every day. Not just because he's a walking reminder of what she did, but because the more her feelings for him change, the more she knows she's betraying her best friend one final time.


My Review: 5 Stars

I read this book over the span of one day, starting in the early afternoon and finishing at 1:30 AM.  This book made me feel all the emotions of the story, and it is a sad book for many parts of it, so I finished it feeling a bit sad.  And I realized I definitely cared about Aubrey dying even though she was a fictional character.  This story jumped between the timeline of present day (senior year) and the timeline of sophomore year leading up to Aubrey's death.  In the sophomore year timeline, I tried not to be attached to Aubrey's character since I knew she was going to die but I ended up loving her character anyway.

The book does a good job showing the strong friendship of Aubrey and Dara in the past timeline sections.  It is clear that they care a lot about each other and are there for each other when things are tough.  There is a slight rift between them that is created when Aubrey starts dating her first boyfriend, Justin, a boy who Dara had had a slight crush on before his relationship with Aubrey began.  Dara finds herself not always able to feel happy for her friend because she is instead jealous.  Despite this, I never felt that the friendship became toxic like some other friendships I've read in YA.  Instead, it was clear that they still both cared a lot about each other and really just needed to have a good talk and forgive each other's mistakes.

Ethan is the boy who Dara had thought of as just Aubrey's little brother and a friend for a long time, but now, after having been away for a year, she suddenly notices that he has gotten quite attractive in her absence.  And the feelings that she starts to have for him are not longer the type of feelings you would have for someone who is like a little brother to you.  Ethan is a really sweet guy and while Dara thinks he has the right to be angry at her, since her actions caused the death of his sister who was very important to him, he never once treats Dara in a way that shows that he blames her.  In fact, they have conversations about what happened and he specifically says it wasn't Dara's fault.  When their friendship evolves into something more, it is cute.  I think I would have also been okay with them staying just friends, but them becoming a couple also worked for the story.  I still wonder how they will get past the hurdle of his parents, since that wasn't really explicitly stated. 

I really liked Dara's family and how it showed how they struggled too to figure out how they should treat her in the present timeline.  Tobias was her little brother who had become kind of scared of Dara since she wasn't the same daring and fun older sister that she used to be.  Dara overheard her dad saying she should have waited another year to come back which led her to think that he didn't like her when really he was just thinking about what would be best for her.  Her mom is the one who seems the most caring throughout, though I'm sure she struggled plenty too.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.

Katie