Tuesday, August 1, 2017

August Releases I'm Most Excited For

August 1st:
These Things I've Done by Rebecca Phillips - This book sounds amazing and also sad.  I look forward to seeing what happens in it.  I wonder what the main character did to accidentally cause her friend's death.  I know the author's agent loves this book a lot and has talked about it online.

These Things I've Done

August 8th:
Little and Lion by Brandy Colbert - I read Brandy Colbert's first book, Pointe, a few years ago, and it was good.  I'm looking forward to reading another own voices book by her.  And I like that the MC is both black and Jewish.

Little & Lion

August 29th:
Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney C. Stevens - Courtney Stevens is a great author, which is why I will definitely need to read her newest book about life in a small town.
You Don't Know Me But I Know You by Rebecca Barrow  - This book sounds really good.  It is about a girl who was given up for adoption who gets pregnant in high school and has to decide what to do about her own pregnancy.

Dress Codes for Small TownsYou Don't Know Me But I Know You

Monday, April 24, 2017

ARC Review: How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

How to Make a Wish All seventeen year-old Grace Glasser wants is her own life. A normal life in which she sleeps in the same bed for longer than three months and doesn't have to scrounge for spare change to make sure the electric bill is paid. Emotionally trapped by her unreliable mother, Maggie, and the tiny cape on which she lives, she focuses on her best friend, her upcoming audition for a top music school in New York, and surviving Maggie’s latest boyfriend—who happens to be Grace’s own ex-boyfriend’s father.

Her attempts to lay low until she graduates are disrupted when she meets Eva, a girl with her own share of ghosts she’s trying to outrun. Grief-stricken and lonely, Eva pulls Grace into midnight adventures and feelings Grace never planned on. When Eva tells Grace she likes girls, both of their worlds open up. But, united by loss, Eva also shares a connection with Maggie. As Grace's mother spirals downward, both girls must figure out how to love and how to move on.


My Review: 5 Stars


I received an ARC of this book from the publisher and read it back in September.  This book was amazing, and since I've loved both this and Suffer Love, that's enough books to make Ashley Herring Blake one of my favorite authors.  And I also think her next book sounds amazing too, but it's a 2018 release, and I'm writing this review in September 2016, so...it'll be a while.  But anyway, this book was super great.  All of the character dynamics were done with nuance, and it was both beautiful and painful.  I'm so glad that I got to read this one early, and I think everyone else should read it too.

I loved the way that they portrayed the relationship between the mothers and daughters in this book.  Grace and her mom Maggie had never had a conventional mother-daughter relationship, and it was hurting Grace.  She was forced to grow up too young with an unreliable mother who drank a lot and had an endless string of boyfriends.  She was forced to go to seedy clubs with her mom and fend off older men hitting on her.  Obviously, it wasn't a healthy way for her to grow up.  And it's super interesting to watch the dynamics of Maggie and Eva.  Eva has just lost her mother who was very important to her, and Maggie swoops in as a mother figure.  Eva doesn't realize how much about Maggie she just doesn't know yet.  Grace doesn't really want Eva to know about Maggie, and there is a bit of jealousy in the fact that Maggie is making a necklace for Eva that she's always told Grace she'd make for her, and things like that.  All of these relationships show a lot of nuance.  Maggie isn't necessarily likeable, since I often didn't like her, but she isn't just a completely evil character.  She's a woman who lost the man she loved and didn't know how to deal with her grief, and how to really raise her daughter in his absence.

I also loved the relationship between Grace and Eva and how it developed.  It was a bit of a slow burn, and a bit painful, and also cute.  Eva captivates Grace right away when she comes into her life.  She is intriguing to her.  The two find exactly what they need in each other to help balance their pain and grief with something happy.  They are both a bit broken, but it isn't irreparable.  I loved their connection and the moments that they share on the lighthouse.  

Another part of the story that I loved was Grace's relationship with Luca and Emmy.  Luca was her best friend who was basically a brother to her.  There was never anytime when the two of them were interested in each other as more than friends, and it was great to see a solid, strong friendship between a boy and a girl where the two care about each other deeply but are never anything other than platonic.  Luca had times when he questioned Grace's decisions and wanted her to do things differently than she did.  And they did argue with each other sometimes, but it didn't mean that they didn't care for each other.  And I loved how Emmy was like a second mother to Grace, and probably more of a mother to her than her actual mother, Maggie, is.  I think Emmy has a really great heart.  And also, it was great of her to take in Eva and do the best that she could with suddenly becoming the guardian of a girl who was grieving.

I also liked how even secondary characters were written with nuance.  Maggie makes Grace move in with her boyfriend and his son, and his son happens to be Grace's ex-boyfriend.  It was clear that Jay had been a jerk when they broke up, but he wasn't completely bad.  He was still a bit of a jerk in this book, but he was also supportive of Grace and Eva's relationship, and there were times when he seemed to genuinely care about Grace's life.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.

Katie

   

Saturday, April 1, 2017

April Releases I'm Most Excited For

April 11th:
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli - This is by the author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, so of course, I will be buying a copy and reading and loving it.  This also sounds like the type of book that I would really love, since it's for the late bloomers in relationships, which describes me well.

The Upside of Unrequited

April 18th:
The Edge of the Abyss by Emily Skrutskie - I loved The Abyss Surrounds Us a lot, so I can't wait to get to read this and find out what my favorite characters are up to now.
Fireworks by Katie Cotugno  - I have read and enjoyed both of Katie Cotugno's other books so far.  This isn't actually the 2017 Katie Cotugno book that I am most excited for.  That honor goes to October's Top Ten.  But this still does sound like a good story of friendship.

The Edge of the Abyss (The Abyss Surrounds Us, #2)Fireworks

Katie

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

March Releases I'm Most Excited For

March 7th:
You're Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner - This book sounds like a good story and the main character is deaf, which I haven't read before.
Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner  - At the time of writing this, I have actually already been reading some of this one.  I am not yet finished with it, but it is an amazing and nuanced look at grief from the perspective of a teenage boy.

You're Welcome, UniverseGoodbye Days

March 14th:
Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde - This sounds like a super fun and cute read with good friendship and romance, and I really look forward to it.

Queens of Geek

March 28th:
Dead Little Mean Girl by Eva Darrows - This sounds like an interesting read about high school stereotypes and how the people actually are in real life.

Dead Little Mean Girl

Katie

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Review: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

The Sun Is Also a Star Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?


My Review: 5 Stars

I loved Nicola Yoon's Everything, Everything when I read it last year, so I was not surprised when I also loved this one.  It took me barely anytime at all to become invested in the characters, since I loved both of their voices and cared about them pretty much right away.  The dual POV with typically short chapters made the book feel like it flew by very quickly.  I had to know what would happen next, and I kept turning the pages to find out.
  
Natasha is a Jamaican girl who is being deported from America in a day.  I thought the deportation storyline was powerful, because Natasha was only 8 when her parents brought her over, and she didn't have any control over this, or choose to be in America illegally, and now America has become her home and she is being forced out of it because of a mistake that her dad made.  And her brother Peter was born in this country, but he actually is okay with leaving and going back to Jamaica.  Natasha is determined to stop the deportation.  I love how we got glimpses of her family, and how they didn't have a very good life always, and how the relationships between the parents and between Natasha and each parent had evolved over the years.

Daniel is a Korean American boy who is being pressured by his parents to become a doctor, even though it isn't really what he wants.  Daniel is a dreamer who writes poems and believes in true love.  He has a tough family life, with high expectations on him, and a brother who doesn't like him.  The relationship between him and his brother Charlie was slowly revealed throughout the story, and I liked getting glimpses into that.  I liked how we got to see bits of Korean culture, such as norebang (which is like a type of karaoke).

The meetings between Natasha and Daniel may have almost involved too many coincidences at times, but it was cute.  I liked their romance, though of course it progressed fast since the story took place over the span of one day.  I liked how Daniel was the one into the relationship, while Natasha was the one who was more skeptical about love.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.

Katie 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

January Releases I'm Most Excited For

January 17th:
History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera  - More Happy Than Not has cemented that I will read anything that Adam Silvera writes.  I expect this one will be amazing and quite possibly heartbreaking.

History Is All You Left Me

January 24th:
After the Fall by Kate Hart - This looks like an interesting read about consent.
Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson  - This sounds like it will be a really interesting read about a murder that the main character probably didn't actually commit.

After the FallAllegedly


Katie