Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Best YA Book Boyfriends

September 15, 2015 Features 10

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Best YA Book Boyfriends
You know the drill, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is a freebie topic, so naturally, I chose to talk about my ten favorite YA book boyfriends. I’m definitely going to be leaving out many, these are just some that I thought of off the top of my head.

1. Adam Wilde from If I Stay
Isn’t the kid who played Adam in the movie just gorgeous?! Obviously, he isn’t as great as Adam from the book though. Adam is just one of those characters that immediately became one of my favorites. He’s such a passionate and genuine guy, plus he’s a musician. That’s the whole package deal right there.

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Regardless of my feelings towards Lola, it’s impossible not to love Cricket. He’s loved Lola for forever and I love the fact that there’s no other girl that he’s secretly involved with. He’s clear with his feelings for Lola from the beginning and he continually proves them as well.

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If you haven’t read this book yet, pick it up immediately. It’s just such a touching read. Olly is such a hilarious and witty love interest that you can’t help but swoon over.
4. Jonah Griggs from On the Jellicoe Road
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I’m not going to say anything else for fear of going into over fangirl mode.

5. Perry from Under The Never Sky
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He’s such a selfless character and his love for Aria is so touching and heartbreaking. I just love him so much, even when he’s doing pretty terrible things.

6. Jase Garrett from My Life Next Door
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Jase is such a breath of fresh air from all the bad boy love interests in YA. He’s a complete and total good boy. He does everything for his family, and he loves Sam with all his heart. What more could you want in a love interest?

7. Levi from Fangirl
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I wasn’t sure how I felt about Levi at first, but wow he definitely grew on me. He completely gets Cath out of her shell and sees her for who she really is. He’s totally swoonworthy to say the least.

8. Four from Divergent
Tobias/Four is very very attractive. Not to mention how incredible and loving he was in the books.

9. Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars
I felt like this couldn’t be left off of here.

10. Dexter from This Lullaby
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He’s yet another musician, but Dexter is just so quirky and has such a good heart. I love how awkward he is, even though you typically wouldn’t expect that from a lead singer of a band.

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Just One Day Review

September 14, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★½

Just One Day ReviewJust One Day (Just One Day, #1) by Gayle Forman
Published by Speak on August 20th 2013
Pages: 416
Source: Library
Also by this author: Where She Went (If I Stay, #2)
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three-half-stars
A breathtaking journey toward self-discovery and true love, from the author of If I Stay.
When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

I’m a pretty big fan of Gayle Forman’s writing. I think that she weaves story together in a beautiful and effortless sort of way. She also creates such memorable and awesome characters. There aren’t many characters of hers that I haven’t connected with or cheered for. Comparatively, this book didn’t hit me as hard as If I Stay did. However, it is unfair to compare the two since it’s such a different story. This one was definitely more upbeat and filled with a lot less sadness. I like books that have adventures and this one certainly has that going for it.

Allyson Healey is in her last summer before she heads off to college. Her parents sent her on a three-week European tour with a group from her school as a graduation gift. On the last day, she meets a boy named Willem, who acts in Shakespearean plays and goes wherever the wind blows. Willem is unpredictable, the complete opposite of the careful and safe Allyson. She decides to shake things up in her life and go with Willem to Paris, a place she desperately wanted to see but didn’t have a chance on the tour. There is where the pair share grand adventures as they share one unplanned day in the city of love together. She wakes up to find Willem gone, so she finds her way back to the states on her own, completely heartbroken over his disappearance. As the months at college fly by, Allyson can’t get the day that she spent with this boy out of her mind. So she decides to down whatever it takes to track him down.

I liked hearing the story from Allyson’s point of view. She was a decent narrator and I liked seeing her develop as the story went on. She could be a little annoying at times considering how jealous she was of every single girl who even looked Willem’s way. However, I enjoyed that she was uptight and safe but gradually turned into someone else, a person who doesn’t plan everything out and just goes with the flow. Obviously, she’s more that person around Willem than she is on her own, but I still thought it was fascinating to see. Willem was a fun character that I really enjoyed. He had a ton of personality and was hard to pinpoint. While I wish he would have opened up to Allyson more about her life, that just wasn’t his character I guess.

I’m aware that it’s obvious that the two are only together for one day, but I still found myself craving more of Willem. I know that the second book is dedicated to his point of view during the time they were apart, but I just didn’t like the flow of this one. Allyson at college was just kind of boring to me and I found myself skimming through it honestly. Overall, I loved the first part of the story because any story in Paris is automatically awesome in my book.

three-half-stars

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Biggest Flirts Review

September 13, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★½

Biggest Flirts ReviewBiggest Flirts (Superlatives, #1) by Jennifer Echols
Published by Simon Pulse on May 20th 2014
Pages: 336
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one-half-stars
Tia and Will’s lives get flipped upside down when they’re voted Yearbook’s Biggest Flirts in this sassy novel from the author of Endless Summer and The One That I Want.
Tia just wants to have fun. She’s worked hard to earn her reputation as the life of the party, and she’s ready for a carefree senior year of hanging out with friends and hooking up with cute boys. And her first order of business? New guy Will. She can’t get enough of his Midwestern accent and laidback swagger.
As the sparks start to fly, Will wants to get serious. Tia’s seen how caring too much has left her sisters heartbroken, and she isn’t interested in commitment. But pushing Will away drives him into the arms of another girl. Tia tells herself it’s no big deal…until the yearbook elections are announced. Getting voted Biggest Flirts with Will is, well, awkward. They may just be friends, but their chemistry is beginning to jeopardize Will’s new relationship—and causing Tia to reconsider her true feelings. What started as a lighthearted fling is about to get very complicated…

I think I’m just too old for this book. This is really weird because the book has mature content, including sexual content from pretty much the first chapter. I mean, it’s nothing totally graphic, but it just seemed weird since I had the impression that this was supposed to be meant for like middle grade/freshman in high school. The drama that fills the pages from the first page fully maintains it’s speed until the last. If young adult contemporary romance is your kind of thing, you might give this one a shot. I typically enjoy the genre and still found that this one wasn’t for me, but Jennifer Echols is still a decent writer, maybe you’ll personally enjoy her style.

Tia is just about to start her senior year of high school and has decided that she has no time for relationships. She only looks for casual hookups, nothing more than that. She’s never had a real boyfriend because of her fear from seeing what happened to her sisters who got seriously involved with boys and subsequently were knocked up by them. At one of the last parties of the summer, she meets the new kid from Minnesota, Will Matthews. Things immediately heat up between the two on that first night, but Tia takes a step back when she realizes that he wants more than just a casual hook up. After she turns him down, he decides to ask out somebody else. Everything gets even more awkward between Tia and Will when the pair are both voted Biggest Flirts of their senior class.

I wasn’t a fan of Tia. I felt like their just wasn’t enough growth involved with her character. She was constantly changing her mind and looking to pick a fight with Will, which never failed to annoy me. Will wasn’t much better though. I didn’t find him to be all that swoonworthy. Honestly, I actually liked Sawyer, the boy who friends with benefits with Tia better. I’m glad that he’s going to have his own story though because he and Tia aren’t a good match for each, but I just liked his character better than Will’s all around. Will had just been through a pretty bad breakup, the girl he loved from back home cheated on him with his best friend and he found out through pictures. With that being said, it didn’t make any sense to me why he would be rushing to get into a new relationship if he had just had his heart stomped on. Not to mention the fact that Tia and Will are constantly arguing about everything from competing for being the captain of the drum team, to about what boy Tia is flirting with. It was simply exhausting how much drama they started with one another. Having two unlikable main characters obviously results in a disaster for me personally.

To be honest, I ended up skimming through a lot of it because I was so ready for it to be over. I know that probably sounds harsh, but this wasn’t a realistic book about high school in my opinion. I’ve read many great ones, but this one missed the mark by quite a bit. I didn’t know anybody in high school who acted the way that these kids did. There was a lot of relationship drama of course, but never at this type of level.

one-half-stars

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The Heir Review

September 12, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 1 ★★★½

The Heir ReviewThe Heir (The Selection, #4) by Kiera Cass
Published by HarperTeen on May 5th 2015
Pages: 346
Source: Library
Also by this author: The Crown (The Selection, #5)
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three-half-stars
Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn’t expect her Selection to be anything like her parents’ fairy-tale love story. But as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she always thought.

I’m pretty tough when it comes to The Selection series. Personally, I did enjoy parts of the first three books. But I just disliked all of the drama and the love triangle. In the second book in particular, America was so possessive over Maxon, even though she herself was secretly cheating on him. But anyway, The Heir had its moments for me. It’s absolutely necessary for you to read the first three books before checking out this one. I’ve read all of them and even I was a little lost at times because I’d forgotten different characters and events from the other books. For fans of the series, this will be a pleasant and intense read.
Eadlyn is the daughter of Prince Maxon and Queen America Singer. This book picks up 20 years after the last book. The country of Illéa is currently in a bad place. Maxon got rid of the social classes and this caused even more of an uprising from the people. In an attempt to ease the tensions, Maxon and America convince Eadlyn to allow them to bring back The Selection. Despite having no intentions of finding a man to marry, Eadlyn reluctantly agrees to participate although she still plans on scaring away the boys one by one. Will she change her mind and actually find that The Selection isn’t so terrible after all?

Surprisingly, I disliked Eadlyn even more than I disliked America in the earlier books. She’s different from her mother in the respect that she has things handed to her, she’s spoiled, and she thinks she’s better than others. America was never really like that, she was just unlikable because of her jealousy and possessiveness. The most likable characters included her twin brother Ahren, who didn’t have to host his own Selection because he’s already found his future wife. I liked the strong bond that they shared and how Ahren was never scared to set his twin straight when she was totally out of line. It was strange seeing characters that we know from America’s story through her daughters point of view. Meaning, she sees her mother’s old boyfriends in a completely different light. It’s just a new perspective that really brings something new to this story. Anyway, Eadlyn was still a difficult character to follow considering her attitude that stays pretty strong throughout most of the book.

As far as the romance goes, Eadlyn starts out having 35 guys to pick from. She immediately begins winding the pool down and cuts 11 guys, who she barely had one more than one conversation with. While there are many potential love interests, the main one is still obvious from the very beginning. This love interest I’m talking about is Kile, who is Marlee’s son, America’s servant and friend from the previous stories. He is selected to be one of the contestants in The Selection, much to his dismay. Kile and Eadlyn immediately bump heads, but they also pretty quickly form a mild friends with benefits relationship. Meaning, Eadlyn still tells him she dislikes him but she still wants to kiss him, which doesn’t make much sense. I didn’t like the way this relationship went down in this book and I hope it improves more in later novels. The other boy I liked was Henri, who doesn’t speak much English. He has a translator named Erik who stays by his side at all times. While Eadlyn enjoys Henri’s personality and company, she slowly grows closer to Erik as well, even though he isn’t technically apart of the competition. It’s unclear (but probably Kile) who she will choose, but this should become revealed to readers in the next book.

This was a quick read and I liked catching up with characters that we’ve grown familiar with. I didn’t give it a higher rating because I was unable to click with Eadlyn at all really. She does grow more as a person there towards the end, but I just didn’t like her attitude. It’s hard for me to absolutely love a story if I can’t get past how the main character treats other people. I do think that fans of The Selection will enjoy that the story didn’t end with America.

three-half-stars

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Maybe Someday Review

September 11, 2015 Reviews 0 ★★★

Maybe Someday ReviewMaybe Someday (Maybe, #1) by Colleen Hoover
Published by Atria Books on March 18th 2014
Pages: 367
Also by this author: It Ends with Us
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three-stars
At twenty-two years old, Sydney is enjoying a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her best friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers that Hunter is cheating on her—and she’s forced to decide what her next move should be.
Soon, Sydney finds herself captivated by her mysterious and attractive neighbor, Ridge. She can't take her eyes off him or stop listening to the passionate way he plays his guitar every evening out on his balcony. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either. They soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one.
A passionate tale of friendship, betrayal, and romance, Maybe Someday will immerse readers in Sydney’s tumultuous world from the very first page.

I’ve read a lot of Colleen Hoover novels lately. I love her writing style, it really involves you in the characters and you truly become invested in them. As you probably already know if you’ve read my previous reviews, I’m obsessed with music. I’m not a musician, but I love just listening to a wide variety of genres. What I loved most about this book was how music was such a major part of the story. I’ve read several books that have included song lyrics, but this one took it a step further by providing actual songs you can listen to while reading. If you enjoy music, this book might be worth a read for you also.

Sydney is a twenty-two year old college student who is fairly satisfied with her life. She has a nice job, safe boyfriend she loves, and a best friend who is also her roommate. Everything comes crumbling down when she finds out that said boyfriend has been cheating on her with her said best friend/roommate. At the same time, she also loses her job. She then seeks safety in the mysterious boy that lives next door who plays the guitar out on his balcony. Sydney begins writing lyrics to go with his music, and Ridge allows her to stay with him and his roommates. Sydney and Ridge are supposed to have no future as a couple, but will the music connect the duo anyways?

I had some issues with Sydney, especially her attitudes towards other women. She obviously is still not over what her best friend did, but that’s not an excuse for her to judge others. When she gets to Ridge’s apartment, she meets a girl in a Hooters shirt and immediately makes assumptions about her. Yes, the girl (who turns out to be one of her new roommates) is rude to Sydney and makes her own judgments, but it still rubbed me the wrong way. Ridge was really sweet and I loved how passionate he is about music. It really surprised me when we first discover that Ridge is deaf. I felt like that added a unique and refreshing take on the musician thing. However, I wanted to shake Ridge more than once for how he shuts Sydney out. He ultimately redeems himself in the end, but I still wasn’t a fan of some of his actions.

The romance between Sydney and Ridge is more than a little bit complicated and I had serious doubts about it throughout the book. Ridge has a girlfriend of five years, and for the larger part of the book, he is dead set on his feelings for her instead of what he feels for Sydney. You also can probably already tell that I hate love triangles, so why did I bother with this one at all? I wanted to give it a chance because I like Colleen Hoover and the plot being about music drew me in. I’d also read reviews saying that the love triangle didn’t really feel like a true love triangle. Meaning, there was never really him making a huge choice about one girl over the other. I still had bad feelings about it in general, but I did see the chemistry between Sydney and Ridge. It just would’ve been a better love story if the girlfriend was out of the picture completely. I will say that I absolutely loved how Ridge and Sydney were able to communicate with one another.

The story had both its positives and negatives about it. Maybe Someday is a book that I’ll remember partly because I can’t get the songs from it out of my head. I also enjoyed several of the supporting characters and felt like they added something more to the story. In the end, this may not be a good choice for those of you that hate love triangles. But I’m mostly glad that I gave this one a read.
three-stars

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Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour Review

September 11, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★★½

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour ReviewAmy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on May 4th 2010
Pages: 344
Also by this author: Since You've Been Gone, The Unexpected Everything
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four-half-stars
Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it's Amy's responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn't ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip - and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar - especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory - but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.

I’ve recently read one of Morgan Matson’s other books, Since You’ve Been Gone and I loved it. So the bar was set pretty high going into this one. It’s safe to say that this book was everything I hoped for and even much more than that. This author has definitely made me a huge fan of her work, although I’ve still yet to read Second Chance Summer but that’s on my TBR list after liking these ones so much. This was a great read about friendships, relationships, grief, forgiveness, and letting go. I really enjoyed Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour and recommend it if you’re looking for a fun and sweet read.

Amy is a likable and relatable main character. I personally related to her since she was involved in theatre and that was something I always loved growing up. While this is obviously something that not every person out there is going to relate to, it just caused me to have more of an investment in the character, if that makes any sense. What can I even say about Roger? He’s on the nerdy side, but he’s also beyond sweet and charming. I found his love for history and specifically explorers to be extremely endearing. He also made the best road trip mixes of them all. Seriously, one of the huge highlights of the book for me was getting to read Roger’s latest mix which was mostly relevant to the state they were visiting or something on the topic of road trips. Both of the pair’s personalities balanced one another out, and I loved them as they got to know one another better on their big road trip.

As a couple, they really worked for me. They didn’t know hardly anything about each other when the trip first began, but gradually they formed a friendship that slowly but surely developed. Part of me wished that Amy would have been more aware of Roger’s feelings for her when us as a reader began to notice his attraction and protectiveness over her. However, the other part of me knows that the relationship moved at a more realistic pace the way that Matson wrote it. Anyway, the relationship between them was just so real and rather swoon worthy.

The reason why I didn’t give this book five stars is very picky of me. I just kind of wish there was more character and plot development. Not everything was resolved between Amy and her mom. The ending was cute but I was hoping for more of a conclusion to officially wrap everything up. Needless to say, I loved the music choices made by Matson, all the characters, the road trip plot, and so much more. It was just the kind of book I needed to read after all of these heavier angst filled books I’ve been reading lately.

four-half-stars

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The One Thing Review

September 10, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★

The One Thing ReviewThe One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis
Published by Disney-Hyperion on September 8th 2015
Pages: 336
Source: Netgalley
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three-stars
"Funny, sweet, and hopeful."--Kirkus Reviews
Maggie Sanders might be blind, but she won't invite anyone to her pity party. Ever since losing her sight six months ago, Maggie's rebellious streak has taken on a life of its own, culminating with an elaborate school prank. Maggie called it genius. The judge called it illegal.
Now Maggie has a probation officer. But she isn't interested in rehabilitation, not when she's still mourning the loss of her professional-soccer dreams, and furious at her so-called friends, who lost interest in her as soon as she could no longer lead the team to victory.
Then Maggie's whole world is turned upside down. Somehow, incredibly, she can see again. But only one person: Ben, a precocious ten-year-old unlike anyone she's ever met. Ben's life isn't easy, but he doesn't see limits, only possibilities. After awhile, Maggie starts to realize that losing her sight doesn't have to mean losing everything she dreamed of. Even if what she's currently dreaming of is Mason Milton, the magnetic lead singer of Maggie's new favorite band, who just happens to be Ben's brother.
But when she learns the real reason she can see Ben, Maggie must find the courage to face a once-unimaginable future...before she loses everything she has grown to love.
Praise for The One Thing:
"Sometimes lost things are not truly lost, we just have to look for them in new places. The One Thing hits this important note, and the music is beautiful." -Courtney C. Stevens, author of Faking Normal, The Blue-haired Boy, and The Lies About Truth.
"The One Thing is heart-burstingly good. So smart and funny and tender and romantic!" Sharon Huss Roat, author of Between the Notes.
"A soaring tale of life and love, of sacrifice and renewal, and learning to see people as they really are."--Catherine Doyle, author of Vendetta
"It's a wonderful story with a full cast of characters to fall in love with (especially Benand Mason!) and had me crying and laughing in turns." -Kat Ellis, author of Blackfin Sky

I can’t tell you how badly I wanted to LOVE this book. Even now looking at Goodreads, I see so many perfect ratings and such positive reviews. On one hand, I do agree with a lot of what is being said, but I can’t completely push aside the issues that I had with the book either. I think it could have used a lot of more character growth and plot development, among other things. The big reason for reading this is that the characters are all larger than life and spilling with personality. I really enjoyed that part of it, particularly Ben and Maggie (more about them later) but in the end that just wasn’t enough to make me forget the questionable sides of the book.

Maggie Sanders lost her ability to see six months ago due to a nasty illness. Her life has totally changed since then. She no longer can play soccer, a sport that she loved, and she’s also lost all of her friends. On top of all that, she’s forced to meet with her new probation officer because of a prank that her school didn’t think was so funny. She’s spent the majority of her time listening to her new favorite band. A strange thing happens to Maggie when she meets a ten-year-old boy named Ben who she can actually see and she can also see things around him. She strikes up a genuine friendship with the boy and then happens to discover that his older brother is the lead singer of her favorite band. What follows is an adventure as Maggie discovers the one thing that is her “thing.” This is something that Ben brings up to her and he means the one thing that you love and that makes you happier than anything else. This is an interesting concept that comes up repeatedly in the book.

As I mentioned earlier, Maggie is the total highlight of the book for me. She’s filled with a hilarious amount of sass and sarcasm. She doesn’t take crap from anyone and I just love that. She’s just a likable narrator and she’ll have you laughing out loud more than once while you read this story. I also really loved Ben, the ten-year-old that Maggie can see. This kid is seriously mature for his age and I love all the random and awesome topics that he brings up to Maggie. It’s hard to describe it here, but take my word for it that there are plenty of humorous moments from him. To balance the humor out, of course there are more than your fair share of sad and heartbreaking moments as well. Ben’s brother Mason, who plays an important role in the book, was a complicated character for me. He automatically is suspicious of Maggie for wanting to hangout with his little brother. He thinks that she is faking her blindness because she’s a major fangirl of his band. (The first time he meets her she’s wearing his band’s T-Shirt) I just felt like Mason was a jerk for no reason and that (spoiler alert) the relationship between Mason and Maggie didn’t develop enough. They hardly talk in the book yet we are expect to believe the romance between them? That’s just not realistic to me personally.

I’m not going to launch into serious details, but another huge problem I had with the book was the reason behind why Maggie can see Ben. I just feel like it could have been handled in a more realistic way. I mean, obviously every scenario involving this brief moment of being able to see is going to involve fiction, but I just had a hard time understanding it. Anyway, this is still a book filled with beautiful and memorable characters with a fairly unique and important story that young adult contemporary fans will likely love.

three-stars

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Waiting On Wednesday: Save Me, Kurt Cobain

September 9, 2015 Features 3

Waiting On Wednesday: Save Me, Kurt CobainSave Me, Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer
Published by Delacorte Press on March 8th 2016
Pages: 272
Also by this author: Save Me, Kurt Cobain
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What if you discovered that Kurt Cobain was not only alive, but might be your real father? This nuanced and bittersweet YA debut will keep you guessing until the end.  Nico Cavan has been adrift since her mother vanished when she was four—maternal abandonment isn’t exactly something you can just get over. Staying invisible at school is how she copes—that and listening to alt music and summoning spirits on the Ouija board with her best friend and coconspirator in sarcasm, Obe. But when a chance discovery opens a window onto her mom’s wild past, it sparks an idea in her brain that takes hold and won’t let go.
On a ferry departing Seattle, Nico encounters a slight blond guy with piercing blue eyes wearing a hooded jacket. Something in her heart tells her that this feeling she has might actually be the truth, so she follows him to a remote cabin in the Pacific Northwest. When she is stranded there by a winter storm, fear and darkness collide, and the only one who can save Nico might just be herself.

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Breaking The Spine. It basically is where you share upcoming releases that your anxious about or books that are on your TBR list that you haven’t gotten around to yet.

I’m excited about this one for a number of reasons! First and foremost, I absolutely love Kurt Cobain. Nirvana is one of my all time favorite bands. I just think it’s weird in the best way that this Young Adult fiction book is mentioning him. Another reason why I’m excited is because I read an early review on Goodreads from author Laurie Flynn (I’m also looking forward to her debut coming out next year but I’ll save that for another week) that was beyond beautiful. She wrote, “Music has a lot of powers. It soothes and it incites, motivates and empowers, empathizes and hurts, sometimes makes us feel that we’re less alone. For fans, music can be a companion, a friend, an escape. But does music have the power to save someone? That’s one of the themes in Jenny Manzer’s riveting debut, SAVE ME, KURT COBAIN.”

So I can’t wait for this book to come out next year!

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Top Finished Series I Have Yet to Finish

September 8, 2015 Features 16

Top Finished Series I Have Yet to Finish
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week, the theme is ten finished series that I have yet to finish. This is a difficult but good topic and I’m happy to do it!

1. Under The Never Sky

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I’ve only read the first book in this series so far, but I’m working on the others now!

2. Sloppy Firsts: Jessica Darling Series

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I’ve heard a lot of really great things about the Jessica Darling series so I’m not sure why I haven’t managed to pick this one up yet? I can’t believe the first book has been out since 2001!

3. Weetzie Bat Series

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It’s probably even worse that I somehow managed to miss this one. But in my defense, it was released before I was even born so I just completely missed out on it.

4. Harry Potter

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I have only read the first four books so I feel like I have to read the other books at some point. I just got hopelessly stuck on the fifth book and gave up completely. But one day I do plan on checking out the whole series again.

5. Perfect Chemistry

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I read the first book but I plan on reading the others in the series also. It’s a fascinating concept and I loved this book way more than I first expected.

6. Cinder

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The first book immediately drew me in but I’m sort of holding back on reading the others. Also, I know this one has more books coming out (or at least one) so I’m definitely cheating here, but I felt like it needed to be thrown in there anyway because it’s a huge one on my list!

7. Delirium

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Not sure how I missed out on this one. I actually haven’t read anything by Lauren Oliver even though I know she’s a huge Young Adult author. I don’t know, I guess I’ve just always figured that her books aren’t my thing, but I can’t help but consider giving them a try and see what happens.

Okay so I’m going to fall a little short on getting ten on this list because I’m way too tired. This was way more difficult than I expected it would be! I mean, the most difficult part of it was trying to remember series that I want to read that are actually completed. Most of the ones that I’m interested in are more recent and still coming out with new books. Anyways, I look forward to seeing what everyone else could up with for this list!

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Since You’ve Been Gone Review

September 5, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 2 ★★★★

Since You’ve Been Gone ReviewSince You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
Published by Simon & Schuster on May 6th 2014
Pages: 449
Source: Library
Also by this author: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, The Unexpected Everything
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four-stars
It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.
On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?
Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.
Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?
Kiss a stranger? Um...
Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane's list. Who knows what she’ll find?
Go skinny-dipping? Wait...what?

Since You’ve Been Gone is one of those books that I wish I would have picked up sooner. Part of my hesitation was honestly because I knew I’d be singing the Kelly Clarkson song in my head the entire time I read it. Despite my fears, I heard so many great things about it and about how swoony the male lead is. So I eventually gave it a shot and I’m so glad that I did. I’ve never read anything by Morgan Matson before even though I know she’s becoming a pretty popular YA author. However, I am definitely interested in reading more from her.

Emily is an awkward and shy teenager who planned on spending the summer with her best friend Sloane. But Sloane mysteriously took off without telling Emily anything, all she sent behind was a list of things that she wanted Emily to accomplish. Emily quickly makes the connection that every item on the list is something that scares her. Her summer takes an unexpected turn when she starts hanging out with Frank Porter, the class President and total good kid. She also forms a friendship with his best friend Matthew Collins, and Dawn, a girl who works next door to the ice cream shop where Emily works. All three of her new friends help her knock off each item on the list one by one. For Emily, it turns out to be one summer to remember.

I love the characters in Since You’ve Been Gone. Emily is such a relatable main character. Sometimes in Young Adult books, it can be annoying when the main character considers herself to be awkward just because she trips on her own feet or has difficulty talking to a cute guy. Emily is a genuinely awkward girl who has trouble fitting in. She’s awkward through the fact that she has trouble forming sentences in front of people that she doesn’t know, not just boys. I really related to how she relied on Sloane to help her socialize with others. Sloane was a people person and Emily’s more social side came out when she was around her. I’ve been in that position before, so I totally got where Emily was coming from. I also loved some of the supporting characters like Matthew Collins. I loved how Emily would notice his subtle changes in behavior and how she got to the bottom of what was going on with him. I love stories where the supporting characters are complex and we get to see the main character bond with them. That doesn’t always happen in Young Adult novels and I think this was extremely well done.

Frank Porter is such a great character and I absolutely loved him. It’s always awesome to see the love interest be such a solid guy. I mean honestly, how many books have you read where the guy was the class President and smart guy who also happens to have incredible taste in music. I think part of his general appeal is that his characteristics are very similar to real high school boys. Many high school boys in YA books are portrayed as being these perfect and flawless guys who have every girl drooling over them. On the other hand, Frank has flaws just like real guys you meet in high school have. I loved how his relationship with Emily started as a friendship and slowly built into more. Pretty much every scene between them was so incredible to read. I just loved the average interactions that they had and all of the random things they bonded over. It all felt insanely realistic to me.

The big reason why this book didn’t get a perfect rating from me was that Frank had a girlfriend for the majority of the book. At the beginning, his relationship is introduced as being perfect since they are both insanely smart kids who are very involved in school. Anyway, I felt like the plot was completely pointless. It became more and more obvious that something wasn’t right between Frank and his girlfriend as the book went on. I feel like I would have been even more invested in the relationship and the plot if there was no girlfriend at all. The book would have just flowed a little more naturally and smoothly for me if that was the case. Don’t get me wrong though, this book is fast paced and really great aside from that minor issue.

four-stars

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