Friday, July 8, 2016

Review: Run by Kody Keplinger

Run Bo Dickinson is a girl with a wild reputation, a deadbeat dad, and a mama who's not exactly sober most of the time. Everyone in town knows the Dickinsons are a bad lot, but Bo doesn't care what anyone thinks.

Agnes Atwood has never gone on a date, never even stayed out past ten, and never broken any of her parents' overbearing rules. Rules that are meant to protect their legally blind daughter -- protect her from what, Agnes isn't quite sure.

Despite everything, Bo and Agnes become best friends. And it's the sort of friendship that runs truer and deeper than anything else.

So when Bo shows up in the middle of the night, with police sirens wailing in the distance, desperate to get out of town, Agnes doesn't hesitate to take off with her. But running away and not getting caught will require stealing a car, tracking down Bo's dad, staying ahead of the authorities, and -- worst of all -- confronting some ugly secrets.

My Review: 5 Stars

Before reading Run, my favorite Kody Keplinger book was either The DUFF or A Midsummer's Nightmare, but now this book has easily stolen that number one spot.  It's definitely her best so far, and takes a bit of a different tone than her earlier books.  I have read it two times now.

The friendship between Agnes and Bo is the strongest part of this book.  This friendship is one that surprised both girls when it happened, but it was a really genuine and strong friendship.  It's clear how much they both care about each other and love each other.  Sometimes their friendship isn't always the best for them, especially for the situation that it got Agnes into, but it is still obvious how much Bo cares about her.  Bo doesn't want to drag Agnes in her mess, but she also needs Agnes with her, because she needs a friend.

I loved Bo's character so much, and felt sad for the life that she had to live.  Her mom didn't really care about her at all, and sometimes her mom got arrested, which made Bo be put into foster care.  Her dad left when she was fairly young.  In town, everyone has misconceptions about her, and rumors that they spread about her.  Everyone assumes that she sleeps around, which is why it is shocking to Agnes when she finds out this might not be so true.  I think Bo just really needed someone to care about her, since she was a genuinely good person given a bad lot in life.

Agnes was a blind girl who was extremely overprotected by her parents.  They wouldn't even let her walk home from her school bus stop.  Ultimately, her smothering by her parents is what made her run away with Bo (and also because she wanted to be there for Bo and wasn't going to let Bo run away alone).  She has some important conversations about how they treat her differently than they treated her older sister and her age and how it's clearly because she's blind.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Review: Tumbling by Caela Carter

Tumbling Work harder than anyone.
Be the most talented.
Sacrifice everything.
And if you’re lucky, maybe you will go to the Olympics.

Grace lives and breathes gymnastics—but no matter how hard she pushes herself, she can never be perfect enough.

Leigh, Grace’s best friend, has it all: a gymnastics career, a normal high-school life... and a secret that could ruin everything.

Camille wants to please her mom, wants to please her boyfriend, and most of all, wants to walk away.

Wilhemina was denied her Olympic dream four years ago, and she won’t let anything stop her again. No matter what.

Monica is terrified. Nobody believes in her—and why should they?

By the end of the two days of the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials, some of these girls will be stars. Some will be going home with nothing. And all will have their lives changed forever.

My Review: 5 Stars

This book is a realistic look at the cutthroat nature of competitive gymnastics.  As someone who has always loved watching the Olympic gymnasts, I really enjoyed this look at the Trials.  This had a variety of characters, focusing on the perspectives of 5 of them.  They come from several diverse backgrounds, and I liked getting to know all the different characters.  I'm going to write a paragraph about each character below.

Leigh is my personal favorite of the characters, because she seemed to be the one who was most genuine in wanting to be friendly to people, instead of just being competitive with them.  She is a very skilled gymnast who is one of the top in the US.  She is hiding the fact that she's a lesbian, because she wants to be known for her gymnastics, instead of just being known as the "lesbian gymnast."  The only people who know her secret are her parents and her best friend, Grace.  Her parents want her to live a more normal life, so they made her go to high school even though she wanted to homeschool instead.  I really liked her story.  I didn't like something that happened to her at the end though, because I really liked her and it wasn't good for her.

Grace is Leigh's best friend, and typically second place in the country for gymnastics, after Leigh.  She is under a lot of pressure since her dad is her coach and expects only the best from her.  She wants to come in first place in the Olympic Trials.  She is hiding an eating disorder, which really does not help her performance at all since it makes her weak.  She also puts gymnastics over her friendships, and it's nice to see her work on fixing this throughout the book.

Camille was supposed to be in the Olympics four years ago, but she was disqualified when she was injured in a car accident.  She comes back again this year, and is known as "Comeback Cammie" to her fans.  She is struggling with whether or not the Olympics is actually her dream anymore or if she's just living out her mom's dream for her.  She has a boyfriend who wants her to give up the Olympics because he thinks gymnastics is hurting her.  Camille has a decision to make about the Olympics, but which decision will she make?

Wilhelmina just missed the age cutoff for the Olympics four years before.  Now this is her first chance to be in the Olympics.  She has worked on staying strong for four years, and her coach has helped her.  She hasn't played by the rules of the Olympic team coach, though, so that could potentially hurt her.  That coach hasn't seen her perform so she's worried that putting her on the team could be a risk.

Monica is a nice young girl who is in the Trials.  She is relatively unknown and is an underdog type character.  No one really notices her until she starts doing well in the Trials.  Suddenly she is someone to pay attention to and watch out for.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.


Monday, July 4, 2016

Review: Colorblind by Siera Maley

Colorblind Harper has a secret...and it’s not that she likes girls. She has a rare and special gift: she can see how old other people will be when they pass away. Nothing she does changes this number, and that becomes especially clear when her mother dies in a car crash. With only one other person in the world who knows about and shares her gift, Harper is determined to keep her distance from everyone. Then she falls for Chloe… whose number is 16.
That means that Chloe doesn’t have twelve months to live. She doesn’t even have six.
She is going to be dead by the end of the summer, unless Harper can find a way to stop it.

My Review: 5 Stars

So this is now the second Siera Maley book that I have read and the second Siera Maley book that I have read really quickly.  The only reason that I didn't finish it one night was because it was late and I was tired.  But then I finished it the next morning.  This was an adorable romance and a great story.  It had one very small paranormal element but was completely normal other than that.  And since I've taken a long time to write this review, I have actually read this book twice and loved it just as much the second time.

Harper and Chloe were seriously one of the cutest ships ever and I ship them so much.  They had so much chemistry and a clearly mutual attraction from basically the beginning.  It was a major slow burn waiting for Harper to finally decide to be with Chloe, even if she was going to end up losing her by the end of the summer.  I loved reading this romance so much.  It got to the point when I really just wanted to see them be together, but I loved the journey to get to that point as well.  This is definitely one of my new favorite ships.  
It was interesting to see how Harper's ability to see what age people will die at affected how she lived her life.  It made her more cynical and afraid to get close to people, which made for a lonely life for her.  She was basically only close with her dad, and Robbie, who shared her ability and understood how she felt about it.  Both her dad and Chloe said some very true things to her about how she wasn't really living her life.  They didn't know about the ability, but they did know that she was scared of losing people because of losing her mom.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.


Friday, July 1, 2016

July Releases I'm Most Excited For

July 5th:
Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally - I have always enjoyed Miranda Kenneally books and I don't think this one will be an exception to that.

 Defending Taylor

July 12th:
Shiny Broken Pieces by Sona Chairaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton - I look forward to reading this sequel to Tiny Pretty Things and seeing what happens next to these characters.

Shiny Broken Pieces (Tiny Pretty Things, #2)

July 26th:
Gemini by Sonya Mukherjee - This book will be interesting and unique since it's about conjoined twins.  I'm excited to see how they deal with making choices in their lives when they have to stay together.
PS I Like You by Kasie West - This looks like it will be another cute contemporary by Kasie West.

GeminiP.S. I Like You