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Showing posts from 2018

The Summer of Jordi Perez

The Summer of Jordi Perez by Amy Spalding (275 pages)
Overview: Abbey's summer has a lot of missions. She wants to rock her internship at a local boutique that features plus sized clothes and hopefully turn it into a part time job in the fall, she wants to have an epic summer with her best friend, and she wants to find the best burger in LA with her friend Jax. She never thought that the summer would also include falling for her coworker Jordi who she barely ever noticed at school, but, suddenly, Jordi Perez becomes her summer. Overall: 4.5 

Characters: 4 Abbey is awesome. She's confident, bold, cute, and also honest. She runs a plus sized fashion blog and knows her stuff. She also talks a lot about loving her body, but having heard her mom talk about "if only she were skinnier" for so long, she has lingering doubts about if others could see her as beautiful as she is. Abbey's other problem is that she's obsessed with the idea that she's just the sidekick i…

The Me I Meant To Be

The Me I Meant To Be by Sophie Jordan (January 1)
Overview: Girl code means don't date your best friends ex. Even if you've loved him longer than she has. Even if he's your next-door neighbor. Even if he's finally interested in you after all these years. High school code means that you don't date the dorky Merit Scholar when all your exes wear football pads and are on a winning team. These are the problems that cellist, Willa, and popular girl, Flor face. Their friendship hangs between their relationship problems, and it's in danger of dying out. Overall: 4 

Characters: 3 High school stereotypes abound in this book. It made it really hard to get through the opening because the characters felt flat and lazy. The only character injected with an ounce of charm was football star, Zach, but that's not to say it isn't out of character for the football star. Luckily, as Willa gets closer and closer to Zack and their relationship progresses she starts to come to …

Books in Schools

I've noticed that every time I talk about how schools make poor choices in their reading curriculum on Twitter, I get like twenty more likes than usual (which means I get twenty likes), and so I thought I'd bring it here to spread the conversation some more.
I'm finally in my final year of high school English, so I'd say I have a pretty broad feel of what the general curriculum looks like. Mostly, it's books written by older white men from the distant past writing for adults from the same distant past. And, for some reason I haven't quite figured out yet, some governing body took a select few of these novels published for adults of the time, dubbed them "classics" and proceeded to shove them down the throat of every American teenager.
I'm not sure what they were trying to accomplish with that plan, though. You're giving a book to the wrong audience. While thrillers like Steven King might have crossover appeal, most adult books are marked to a…

The Astonishing Color of After

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan (472 pages)
Overview: Leigh's mother dies by suicide. The image haunts her mind. She and her father grapple for why as the grief sets in. All that she left behind are crossed out lines, an attempt at a note, and one mentions wanting her to remember. Remember what, Leigh doesn't know. But when a giant, red bird that must be the next incarnation of her mother delivers a package full of relics from her mom's family in Taiwan, she knows that she has to go visit them. Her father, an scholar in East Asian studies, arranges a trip for her to meet her grandparents for the first time, and, despite the language barrier, Leigh begins to connect with her mother's parents and heritage all while trying to piece together what her mother is trying to communicate before time runs out. Overall: 4 

Characters: 4 Leigh sees and communicates with the world with colors. Emotions are not happy or sad but parrot green and magenta. The other sense…

Odd One Out

Odd One Out by Nic Stone (309 pages)
Overview: Courtney knows he's straight. The only problem is that he's in love with his lesbian best friend, Jupiter. While he tries to come to terms with the fact that he and Jupiter will never be a thing, he keeps wondering if there's a hope as Jupiter has always acted flirtatiously with him, and they spend many nights cuddled in the same bed. Then new girl Rae moves to town, and it's clear that both Courtney and Jupiter both want to date her. They're also both terrified of losing each other if Rae becomes either one's significant other. Even though Rae starts out thinking she's straight, Jupiter makes her question everything she's believed. Overall: 3 

Characters: 3 Courtney would be a super interesting character if he ever did more than moan and grown about Jupiter. He's on the cheerleading squad in the basketball off season, and he's grown up with Jupiter's dads as his father figures since his died in a…

Save the Date

Save The Day by Morgan Matson (417 pages)
Overview: When your mother fictionalizes every aspect of your life, you always have to watch your back so that you don't end up in the newspaper pages, or, at least, that's how Mike feels, and he hasn't been home in over a year, so he doesn't really matter. Charlie loves her mom's strip, and she has no desire to speak to Mike. They'll all be forced to get along, though, because the family is coming home for Linnie's wedding. That's not the only thing that can go wrong at the wedding. Charlie spends the day leading up to it and the day of running around with the substitute wedding planner putting out fires. Maybe... just maybe, Linnie will get the chance to get married without everything falling apart. Overall: 4

Characters: 4 I loved the big family ensemble cast. Charlie offers a unique prospective as the youngest of five. Most of her siblings had moved out of the house before she was really old enough to know the…

Solitaire

Solitaire by Alice Oseman (357 pages)
Overview: Tori Spring hates everything. And she doesn't think that's an exaggeration. Well, she might like films, but not that much. While she just wants to get through school, cutting class and waiting in the computer room for the day to be over, scrolling through blogs. That's until she follows a trail of Post-its where she finds a website, solitaire.uk.co and Micheal Holden. When the allusive Solitaire's pranks around school become increasingly dangerous, Micheal and Tori set out to find out who's behind it. Overall: 4

Characters: 4 Oseman has a knack for capturing people as people. Tori is depressed. She tries to isolate herself, pulling away from her old best friend, who just feels stale, and resisting friendship with Micheal. She both recognizes this as a problem and justifies it away as just her pessimistic personality.
Micheal recognizes these tendencies in Tori and reaches out to her. He understands how their steps forwa…

What I'm Looking Forward to in 2019

There are so many awesome books that I got the chance to read and review early in 2018, and it really helped me read both more current books and debuts. I've decided to make a list of books that I either have ARCs for or can't wait to read coming up in 2019. You should expect to see reviews for all of these as the year goes on, and I hope to add even more to the list! Let me know in the comments if there's any you're looking forward to. Everyone should also check out the Novel 19s on Twitter to hear about and support debut authors for the 2019 publishing year. I'm splitting the list into the season's they're releasing so that it's easier to digest, and, at the end, I'm throwing in a mini review of January 1 release, The Similars!

Winter
The Me I Meant To Be by Sophie Jordan Even If I Fall by Abigail Johnston Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe- 
I've already gotten the chance to read this one, and I was laughing all the way th…

Truly Devious

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson (420 pages)
Overview: There was a murder in 1936. Not just a murder, but a kidnapping and a double homicide. One victim was a student at the elite boarding school on a mountain, Ellingham Academy. One was the wife of the school's illustrious billionaire founder, Albert Ellingham. The second kidnapping victim who is still missing is his daughter. Despite the cold case and the lingering fear of the Truly Devious who sent a poem foretelling the murder a few days before, the school continued to attract the best and the brightest with the allure of a free, prestigious boarding school.
Stevie's dream is realized when she gets accepted to pursue a criminology curriculum tailored to her because her main case of interest took place on the very grounds she's moving to. Though her original mission was to solve the Ellingham cold case, when a student mysteriously dies on campus, her attention is shifted. Did Truly Devious strike again? Overall: 4 

Charac…

Neverworld Wake

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl (327 pages)
Overview: When Beatrice goes back to Wincroft to meet up with her four former best friends for the first time since their sixth member, and her boyfriend's death, something nearly unexplainable happens. They wake up from a car accident to find that they're repeating the same day over and over. At first, they struggle to understand their fate, but after a few wakes, they realize that they must use this time to discover what really happened when Jim died if they ever want to break the wake. The answer to the question will reveal who will get the groups unanimous vote to be the lone survivor of the Neverworld. Overall: 4 

Characters: 4 Each character was interesting with their own quirks and distinct personalities. They filled out to requisition parts of any good, dynamic group. It's unfortunate that each of these characters didn't really have a huge chance to be explored. The setting of the Neverworld was the main character in t…

Top Reads of 2018

This year's best of 2018 list has tons of new categories to fit all of the amazing books I read this year. I've had the chance to read so many advanced books and recent releases, so most of what I read were books that came out in 2018. I mostly choose contemporary, so I've started with my favorite debut as well as the best books in other genres I've ventured into. After that, I have smaller categories in the contemporary genre. I hope you find new books to love and give to your friends and family for the holidays. If you're interested in learning more about the books on the list, click their titles to go to my reviews. Let me know if these are some of your favorites in the comments, and tell me your favorite books!
Best In Genre Top Debut
Nothing Left To Burn by Heather Ezell Nothing Left To Burn gave me the craziest book hangover. I was so immersed in the story, and I couldn't stop reading to do anything that I actually needed to be doing. There is a toxic relat…

The Foreseeable Future

The Foreseeable Future by Emily Adrian (387 pages)
Overview: At the end of senior year, Audrey doesn't know what she's going to do with her life besides two things: She's not going to Wheton for college where both her parents are professors, and she's going to work nights at a nursing home. Both of these are to the great dismay of her parents. Audrey wants to get out of Crescent Bay, but she's not sure how yet. Over the summer, though, she stumbles into the perfect boy and the perfect job, the only problem is the job is in Seattle and the boy is firmly rooted to the California beach. She'll have to decide which path to follow before September. Overall: 4 

Characters: 4 I liked Audrey. I thought that she made for a nice point of view character, and he struggles with facing college and disappointing her parents felt relatable. I could say the same about most of the other characters like her boyfriend, Seth, or her best friend Sara. The only problem is that none of …

Eliza and Her Monsters

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia (385 pages)
Overview: Eliza is regarded as a freak at school. Sweatpants and oversized clothes with her lanky frame must mean she's dangerous. Kids avoid her like the plague, and that's fine because that's who Eliza Mirk is. Even Eliza Mirk doesn't like being Eliza Mirk, but she loves being LadyConstellation, beloved creator of the online webcomic Monstrous Sea. No one knows LadyConstellations real identity (not for lack of trying) and the online world and fandoms gives Eliza a chance to be the invincible person she can't be in real life. And then Wallace transfers into school, and he's a Monstrous Sea fan. Though weary at first, Eliza hides her identity as she bonds with Wallace and realizes that the world outside of her screen might not be as poisonous as she believed. But with each day, the truth creeps closer and closer to the surface, and disaster strikes when it comes out. Overall: 5+++++++++ (I'm still so in …

What I Want to See More of In YA

As the year comes to a close, I'm reflecting on the books that I read (and loved) this year, and I'm eagerly putting my TBR together for the next. In the coming weeks, I'll be posting about my favorite books of the year, what I'm looking for next year, and a deeper look into some of the statistics behind my reading. While I've been working on those posts, though, I've seen trends in books that I'm drawn to and underrepresented areas in YA that I want to see more of. This post is my ultimate future wish list as well as a call for other readers to speak out about the kinds of books they want to see represented more on the book shelves. Let me know in the comments if some of these are on your list, or if there's other books you want to see!

College YA I'm starting off with my main wish. I absolutely love YA set in college, and there's absolutely not enough of it. Publishers seem to be scared of venturing that murky space after the summer before fre…