Source: Library

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P.S. I Still Love You Review

August 29, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★★

P.S. I Still Love You ReviewP.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2) by Jenny Han
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on May 26th 2015
Pages: 337
Source: Library
Also by this author: Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3)
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four-stars
Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?
In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I've Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

This was a delightful companion novel to the wildly popular “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.” I’m going to start things out a little differently by recapping the book since it’s been awhile since the first book was released so some who read it then may not remember all the details. If you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you check it out before you read any further.

Towards the end of the first book, Lara Jean and Josh kiss and she also realizes that it’s really Peter who she wants to be with. She makes out with Peter while they are away on a school trip and Lara Jean hears that Peter is telling people that they had sex. Regardless of how betrayed she feels, she still knows that it’s Peter who she is in love with. The book ends with Lara writing a letter starting with “Dear Peter” and that’s it.

In “P.S. I Still Love You” it picks up directly with the letter which I think was really smart of Jenny Han since readers were desperately wondering what Lara Jean would say to him. In the letter, she admits that she loves and cares about him. She goes and delivers the letter to him herself and the two end up getting together. Drama then pretty much goes down again and again in the book. The most important drama that happens between them is that Peter starts hanging out with his ex girlfriend Gen, while a blast from both of Peter and Lara Jean’s past gets in contact with Lara. John is one of the guys who received the letters from the first book but he just now got back to her. Lara will have to somehow make a choice between two boys that she has loved for a long time now.

The thing about Jenny Han’s writing is that you get automatically swept up in every character but sometimes you may not always absolutely love that character. Honestly, I found Lara Jean to be beyond
irritating and whiny at times. She also really let her insecurities take over as she attempted to push people she cares about away. However, she does grow so much as a character and I think it’s great that she has these completely relatable flaws. Peter is a complicated character but I’ll talk about him more in the next paragraph. My favorite character is definitely Kitty, Lara Jean’s little sister who is so mature that it’s easy to forget she’s still in middle school. One of the funniest moments came from Kitty confessing that she watched The Sopranos, I literally laughed out loud. She’s the comic relief of these books for sure.

I don’t understand why Jenny Han has to have love triangles in the majority of her books. (Besides the Burn for Burn books) If you can’t already tell, I can’t stand love triangles. I love the relationship between Peter and Lara Jean although it does have it’s flaws, but they still make sense together. Lara Jean’s fascination with John, a sweet childhood friend of both Peter and Lara Jean, also makes sense in its own way. Although it’s over, Peter and Gen also made sense together and Lara Jean struggles with seeing them together, even though Peter picked her. The boy has communication issues and he doesn’t stand up for her like he should, but it’s clear that he cares for our girl Lara. I won’t lie, at times I was rooting for John and I’m sure you might feel that way as well. The ending is just completely satisfying and that’s the main reason why I rated this a 4 instead of a 5.

I know fans of the book are probably hoping Han will write another novel since all of her others are trilogies. Personally, I’m more than happy with her closing this story here because I think we were given more answers and no more questions. Regardless, I’ll always love these stories and will continue to buy any book written by Jenny Han!

four-stars

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All The Rage Review

August 29, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★★

All The Rage ReviewAll the Rage by Courtney Summers
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on April 14th 2015
Pages: 321
Source: Library
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four-stars
The sheriff’s son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything—friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy’s only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn’t speak up. Nobody believed her the first time—and they certainly won’t now — but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear. 
With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women after an act of sexual violence, forcing us to ask ourselves: In a culture that refuses to protect its young girls, how can they survive?

I said that I was going to be taking a break from depressing and heavy books for awhile, but I’ve been wanting to read this book for awhile now so I had to give it a try! This book is extremely powerful, even more so than what I was initially expecting. It’s honestly difficult to read at times because the kids are just so cruel, but it’s still an important read for everyone.

Romy has been receiving horrible bullying since she told the truth about the Sheriff’s golden boy son Kellan. No one believed her because she’s from the wrong side of town so the kids at school instantly come to his defense. Her only safety is the diner she works at where no one knows about Kellan. The rest of the book consists of the disappearance of a girl who has ties to both Romy and Kellan, and the night before she disappeared where Romy last saw her but can’t remember. It’s a story that will keep you guessing until the last page.

Can I just say that the kids Romy goes to school with are absolutely evil? It really blew my mind just how cruel they can be, they don’t even treat her like she’s a human being. That is completely unacceptable to me and it broke my heart but also made me angry. I felt this way because it was very real, high school sucks and Summers accurately portrayed bullying the best she could. Romy is an incredible main character. It broke my heart to see her thoughts about not being good enough or believing what all those kids said about her.

Leon is a guy who works at the diner with Romy and doesn’t know about what happened with Kellan. She likes being with him because she feels like she’s a different girl when she’s with him. It broke my heart to see how she felt about him actually treating her with respect since her experience with a guy was so terrible. I think the most heartbreaking and touching moments was the surprise that Romy felt when she asked Leon to stop and he instantly did. This was a tragic and real experience that is really educational for readers that may not know much about sexual assault. I’m not saying that those who have never experienced it can possibly understand what all they must go through after that, but it still provides some perspective.

I didn’t give All The Rage five stars because I was so confused and dissatisfied with the ending. I walked away with a ridiculous amount of questions. On one hand, it’s good to not be able to stop thinking about a book once you finish it, but on the other I felt like not enough was explored. I wished that we would have gotten to see Kellan for even just a few pages, he doesn’t have to be a main character but I would have liked at least some interaction. The ending was really abrupt and I was looking for some general closure. Overall, the message of this book was beyond powerful. This is the first Courtney Summers book I’ve ever read and I’m excited to read her other books. You need to read this if you haven’t yet!

four-stars

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The Sky is Everywhere Review

August 26, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★★

The Sky is Everywhere ReviewThe Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Published by Dial Books on March 9th 2010
Pages: 288
Source: Library
Also by this author: I'll Give You the Sun
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four-stars
Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life - and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie's own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they're the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can't collide without the whole wide world exploding.
This remarkable debut is perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Francesca Lia Block. Just as much a celebration of love as it is a portrait of loss, Lennie's struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often hilarious, and ultimately unforgettable.

Jandy Nelson has recently received a lot of attention for her sophomore novel, “I’ll Give You The Sun.” I decided to start with her debut novel before I get to that one. I found this book to be very powerful and filled with many different emotions. It was a pleasant read for me that has made me all the more excited to read her latest. This book is still relatively heavy in terms of the subject. I’ve just read a ton of YA books recently about death so I think it’s time for me to take a break from that for a little while anyway. If you are like me and live under a rock and somehow missed this one, definitely seek it out and read it!

Lennon is a bookworm and band geek who is dealing with the recent abrupt death of her big sister Bailey. Now Lennie is forced to pick up the pieces and keep going on with her life. However, she feels guilty to experience happiness when her sister no longer can. So she starts spending time with her sister’s longtime boyfriend Toby, who is the one person that seems to be struggling just as much as she is. Then she meets Joe Fontaine, a new boy who was living in Paris, and who has serious musical talents. Lennie has to make the choice if she wants to be happy and start fresh with Joe, or stay in the darkness with Toby.

I instantly loved Lennon due to her name, she’s named after John Lennon because her mother was a total hippie. We learn this information because Joe is the only person who questions it and I love that he starts calling her that. Other things I love about Lennon include: her love of books, her passion for music, and the poems that she writes and leaves in random places. Lennie only has two main parent type figures: her Gram and Uncle Big since her father isn’t in the picture and her mom left when the girls were little. I didn’t like Toby at all, but I did understand that grief is something that connects people so it’s natural that he turned to Lennon as a comfort with Bailey gone. I can’t stand love triangles, and this was really no exception but I felt like it was automatically obvious that she wouldn’t end up with Toby.

There is so much to say about Joe Fontaine, he’s just one of those totally swoon worthy characters that you come across every now and then. He’s a genuinely good guy and I love that his feelings for Lennon were so clear from the beginning. There was no game going on between them where neither would admit to liking the other, she learns pretty early on that he likes her. I adored that music was a huge connection for them and I loved that he would write music for her to play so it could be a duet between them. I think that he’s the perfect guy for Lennon since he has so much brightness and happiness radiating from him the entire time and she desperately needed that as she dealt with her grief.

It’s a beautiful story from start to finish. The main reason I give it a four is because of Toby, yes it made sense why it was there, but there were a few things about the intensity of the relationship that I wasn’t a huge fan of. It was unfair for her to do that to Joe, especially when she is aware of his feelings for her (mild spoiler alert) and that he’s been hurt before. Nelson’s writing is just so realistic and I loved how poetic it was. It was different from many books I’ve read about grief, and it’s insanely memorable and fascinating.

four-stars

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The Start of Me and You Review

August 26, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★★½

The Start of Me and You ReviewThe Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury Children's Book on March 2015
Pages: 231
Source: Library
Also by this author: Open Road Summer, When We Collided
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four-half-stars
Following her pitch-perfect debut Open Road Summer, Emery Lord pens another gorgeous story of best friends, new love, & second chances.
Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.
It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

Open Road Summer was a bit of a disappointment for me. I just couldn’t connect with the female protagonist, so I was a little hesitant to jump into this one. I was pleasantly surprised by how relatable Paige and the rest of Emery Lord’s characters are. This is a must read about love, grief, forgiveness, acceptance, growing up, and taking risks.

For the last year, Paige has been identified around her smallish town as the girl whose first boyfriend drowned in a freak accident. Paige is finally trying to move past this identity and make a name for herself. She starts by making a list of things she wants to do during her junior year. One item on her list is going on a date with her longtime crush Ryan. Things change once Paige joins the Quiz Bowl team with Ryan’s dorky cousin Max Watson, who recently transferred back to their public school. Paige is finally getting her big chance to take risks and go outside of her comfort zone, and that all starts with Max.

I mentioned this earlier but I just want to stress again that I was shocked that I connected with Paige the way that I did. I’ve never experienced the death of a boyfriend, but I do understand the process of grief in general and how she felt as if she didn’t know him very well, but she liked the attention he gave her. Every girl wants to be noticed and it can be tough getting over the loss of someone who saw the real you. I felt like the supporting characters were well written, especially Paige’s support system aka her group of best friends. Her very best friend is the beautiful and strong Tessa and her other close friends are Kayleigh and Morgan. I loved that these girls went to the ends of the Earth to support and protect one another. There was never any seriously dramatic fights between them and I appreciated that promotion of uplifting female friendship. Ryan obviously wasn’t as likable as Max, but I still felt like his character was well developed enough, he had his own fair share of loss and longing.
I wasn’t sure if any male love interest from Emery could compete with Matt Finch but Max was pretty great in his own respect. What I most loved about their relationship was all the banter and witty pop culture that bonded them together. I thought it was absolutely adorable when Max told her that she was more of a Jane than an Elizabeth (from Pride & Prejudice) and then called her Janie throughout the rest of the book. He’s just such a smart, caring, and nice guy, I found myself desperately wanting Paige to open her eyes up much sooner than she did, but she did wake up eventually.

There’s not much for me to add except: read this! It’s an eye opening book filled with a beautiful plot paired with some of the most memorable characters that I have managed to come across in YA throughout 2015. I also keep begging over and over for Max Watson to be real! Fingers crossed that there is still a chance of him existing.

four-half-stars

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The Beginning of Everything Review

August 24, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★

The Beginning of Everything ReviewThe Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider
Published by Katherine Tegen on August 27th 2013
Pages: 335
Source: Library
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three-stars
Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.
No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.
But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?
Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings.

This book started out really strong and I was sure it was going to end up being one of my favorite books. However, I think what stops it from being so great is due to several different minor details that ended up being a big deal to me in the long run. I recommend reading this one if you want to read something with eccentric characters with a fascinating plot, although things sort of get off track. I found myself really enjoying Schneider’s writing, Ezra’s narration in general was memorable. Anyway, this is a good book, but not a great one.

Ezra believes that everyone has to have a great tragedy happen to them. His childhood best friend Toby got his tragedy in the form of a severed head landing on his lap at Disney World on his birthday one year. Golden boy Ezra got his when he found his girlfriend cheating on him then managed to get in a car crash that ruined any chances of playing tennis ever again, all in one evening. He finds himself reuniting with his old best friend Toby, who now runs with a very different crowd from Ezra, and is also fascinated by the mysterious new girl Cassidy.

Ezra was a charming and lovely narrator. You can’t help but love him and feel bad for him right from the beginning. However, I do feel like Ezra is more than a little bit whiny at times. His best friend Toby is easily my favorite characters. He’s a geek but in the most endearing way. Cassidy was completely annoying to me, I didn’t like her at all. I felt like some of the “mystery” to her was just pointless to the plot.

The reason why this book received three stars from me was mostly due to not connecting with Cassidy. I felt like some of her actions made no sense at all and I just wanted to punch Ezra for not running far away from her sooner. I also wasn’t at all satisfied with the ending. I would have preferred for it to have been wrapped up in a more clearcut way. All in all, I think this is a good book and I do think that most people will enjoy it. It has a lot of interesting and well rounded supporting characters that make you want to keep reading, which is an automatic positive for me. But don’t expect to be completely blown away from this book.      

three-stars

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My Heart and Other Black Holes Review

August 23, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 1 ★★★★

My Heart and Other Black Holes ReviewMy Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
Published by HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray on February 10th 2015
Pages: 302
Source: Library
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four-stars
Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.
There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution: a teen boy with the username FrozenRobot (aka Roman) who’s haunted by a family tragedy is looking for a partner.
Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other’s broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together. Except that Roman may not be so easy to convince.

Going into this book, I was expecting something completely and totally depressing. For most of the first half of the book, it’s just that. However, if you’re someone who stays clear of dark books that talks a lot about depression, don’t shut down this book just yet. It’s surprisingly witty due to the narrator Aysel’s sharp sense of humor. This is a different type of book and one that I strongly recommend for a number of reasons.

Aysel is a girl who no longer wants to live. She finally puts her suicide plan into action by going online and finding a suicide partner. She finds Roman, a boy who lives pretty close to her and who is nothing like she pictured once they meet in person. He isn’t a geeky looking kid, he is an athletic and attractive boy who seems to have no reason to want to die. However, a family tragedy haunts him and causes him to be determined that he doesn’t deserve to live. Once the two get closer, Aysel starts to see all of the dark parts of Roman and still likes him anyway. Is that enough for the two to live?

It’s hard to describe it, but Aysel is a one of a kind character. I love how quick on her feet she is, and the way she uses sarcasm and witty comebacks as her weapon of choice. I also loved how the author worked in physics into the plot. Aysel is obsessed with Einstein’s theories and is constantly questioning gravity. I found that to be unique and even though I personally am not a fan of Science, I still thought that it was interesting. Roman is something else completely. I love how real and down to earth he seemed. I also liked that he was into art and him drawing Aysel is one of my favorite scenes in the book. My heart breaks for him in terms of why he wants so desperately to die. I just wanted to give him a hug. I enjoyed his relationship with Aysel and watching it grow, despite both of their objections to let anybody in.

The reason why this book didn’t receive a perfect rating from me is because of the end. I won’t spoil it, but I felt like it wasn’t the right route to go considering how the first part was written. Meaning, it just didn’t seem in character considering all that was developed in the first half of the book. It’s difficult to explain without explicitly stating it, but you’ll know what I mean once you read it. Overall though, it’s a beautifully written debut that really captures the realities of mental illness in a refreshing and real way. I got seriously wrapped up in the main characters and invested in what was going to happen next to them. I definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a read that will instantly catch your attention.

four-stars

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What I Thought Was True Review

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

What I Thought Was True ReviewWhat I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Published by Dial Books for Young Readers on April 15th 2014
Pages: 422
Source: Library
Also by this author: My Life Next Door, The Boy Most Likely To
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four-half-stars
From the acclaimed author of My Life Next Door comes a swoony summertime romance full of expectation and regret, humor and hard questions.
Gwen Castle has never so badly wanted to say good-bye to her island home till now: the summer her Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, takes a job there as the local yard boy. He's a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island's summer people happy. Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she'll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen's dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.
A magnetic, push-you-pull-me romance with depth, this is for fans of Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, and Deb Caletti.

As you can probably tell from my review of Huntley Fitzpatrick’s first novel My Life Next Door, I loved her debut. She continues the trend of solid main characters, strong supporting characters, and a breathtakingly descriptive setting on an island. The book is beautiful and unique to say the least. Although far from being a light read, this makes a great summer read that I definitely recommend.

Gwen is entering the summer before her senior year and she desperately wants to escape from the year that she’s had. Hoping to breakaway from her typical summer of working at her dad’s pizza parlor, she takes on a job of taking care of Mrs. Ellington, an older woman from the island. She then comes face to face with the yard boy: Cassidy Somers, the one boy she’s trying to forget. The rest of the summer consists of Gwen coming to terms with the fact that what she thought was true about the people in her life might not be true at all.

In this book, the characters were one of my personal favorite parts. Gwen was a character that you couldn’t help but sympathize with. She was misunderstood and viewed as “easy” by her peers, but she was simply just misunderstood. It broke my heart that she didn’t see her true value, but she slowly gains more confidence and grows as a person throughout the book. Cass was an amazing and genuine guy, even though I wasn’t sure what to make of him at first. The supporting characters are extremely well developed including her cousin Nic, his girlfriend who is also Gwen’s best friend Vivien, her little brother Emory, and the hilarious Mrs. Ellington. Mrs. Ellington brings humor to the table with obsession with graphic romance novels that she makes Gwen read out loud. All of the characters are complex and easy to relate to.

The book goes through the flashbacks and reveals what really happened between the two very very slowly, but in the end, Cass still redeems himself. The relationship between both of them is obviously tense at the beginning until at least the middle of the novel. However, it does become a lot better and more romantic. I found myself frequently looking back at My Life Next Door and comparing the two main love interests. I didn’t think anyone could be as incredible as Jase, but Cass was certainly just as polite and caring. He treats Gwen and everyone he meets with tremendous respect. He also teaches her little brother Emory, who isn’t autistic but he is definitely different from other kids his age, how to swim which is totally swoonworthy.

What I Thought Was True was a pretty lengthy book, but I found that I absolutely couldn’t put it down. I was drawn in from start to finish. I kept on reading because I wanted to see what it was that Cass did to Gwen that was so bad. I won’t ruin anything, but it turns out that it was more of a misunderstanding than anything else. The flashbacks occurred at random times, some of them seemed rather out of place. All in all, I think this was a brilliantly written book that further proves that Huntley Fitzpatrick in incapable of writing a bad book.

four-half-stars

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Attachments Review

August 8, 2015 Reviews 0 ★★★½

Attachments ReviewAttachments by Rainbow Rowell
Published by Dutton on April 14th 2011
Pages: 323
Source: Library
Also by this author: Fangirl, Carry On
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three-half-stars
"Hi, I'm the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . "
Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It's company policy.) But they can't quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.
Meanwhile, Lincoln O'Neill can't believe this is his job now- reading other people's e-mail. When he applied to be "internet security officer," he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.
When Lincoln comes across Beth's and Jennifer's messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can't help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.
By the time Lincoln realizes he's falling for Beth, it's way too late to introduce himself.
What would he say . . . ?

Rainbow Rowell is one of my favorite authors. I’ve read and reviewed two of her Young Adult books, Eleanor and Park and Fangirl. Although you’re probably living under the rock if you haven’t heard of those. However, I was a little slow on the uptake when it comes to her adult titles. I didn’t know anything about this book until recently, but I was pleasantly surprised by it. It’s a really creative concept and I enjoyed Rowell’s brilliant writing.

Attachments is about Lincoln who is less than thrilled when he discovers that the job as a “Internet security officer” consists of writing up reports on inappropriate company emails. The company is The Courier, a newspaper where Jennifer and Beth work and send personal emails through the company address. These emails are constantly flagged but Lincoln can’t bring himself to write either of them up. Instead, he’s fascinated with their humor and wit, especially Beth’s. Once he discovers that the “cute guy” Beth is referring to in her emails is really him, he starts to believe that maybe they could have a future together. But how could that ever happen when she has a serious boyfriend?

Lincoln is the main character that Rainbow follows. I love how we get to see his infatuation with her gradually grow. We also get to see how sensitive and romantic he is. Beth and Jennifer are also incredibly witty and hysterical characters. I love all of the pop culture references that are in pretty much every email they ever send.

The romance part of Attachments is a little bit weird but unique to say the least. It’s hard to be completely invested in the relationship between Beth and Lincoln when they have very few interactions throughout the majority of the book. However, I did like the fact that they both were immediately drawn to the other for two different reasons. Lincoln was drawn to Beth’s personality before he even saw what she looked like. On the other hand, Beth was drawn to him based on his looks. She told Jennifer that he looked like Jason Bateman, which I found funny and adorable.

This isn’t my favorite Rainbow Rowell book by any means. I found that I definitely prefer her Young Adult books, but she still managed to create a dreamy and swoon-worthy leading male, which I really liked. I gave the book this rating because her writing is so beautiful and descriptive, plus the characters were all instantly likable. While I liked that it was a unique idea, I felt like some of the writing was impersonal and that it was hard to truly get inside the heads of these characters. It was a decent read as a whole and I’m glad I finally read it.

three-half-stars

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My Life Next Door Review

August 7, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0 ★★★★★

My Life Next Door ReviewMy Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Published by Dial Books for Young Readers on June 14th 2012
Pages: 394
Source: Library
Also by this author: What I Thought Was True, The Boy Most Likely To
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five-stars
four-flames
"One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time."
The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.
As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase's family embraces Samantha - even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha's world. She's suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?
A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

Huntley Fitzpatrick has written a remarkable and much-loved Young Adult Contemporary Romance Novel with My Life Next Door. I’ve been reading a lot of these types of novels lately, but none of them (besides Anna and The French Kiss) have been able to compete with this one. It’s a book that I could read over and over again and still love it just as much. It has a certain charm that’s difficult to fully explain, all I can really say is that it’s a wonderful read.

Samantha is seventeen-years-old and she’s lived next to the huge Garrett family for her whole life. However, she has simply watched them and never talked to them before. Her mom is a politician and has raised Sam to believe that she’s above people like the Garrett family. One day though, she crosses the line and finds her life intertwined with the Garrett’s. Meanwhile, she falls in love with Jase Garrett and the summer holds many adventures and drama.

Part of what makes this story so easy to read is the well developed characters. While Samantha and Jase are at the center of it, all of the supporting characters are entertaining and hilarious. Each of them provides a certain level of funny moments in their own right. My favorite though is Jase’s little brother George, he’s adorable and not afraid to ask Samantha tough questions. There’s just some fantastic moments for this little boy. Outside of the Garrett family, I also love Tim, Samantha’s best friend’s screwed up older brother who also forms a bond with Jase. He’s getting his own story called The Boy Most Likely To, which is featuring Jase’s sister Alice, coming out later this month. In short, this is a book filled with characters that you’ll instantly fall in love with.

The relationship between Jase and Samantha is realistic and incredible to follow. It’s safe to say that I loved every second of it. I wasn’t a huge fan of the drama between them involving Samantha’s mom and her campaign manager, but at least it wasn’t a love triangle! Sam made some stupid decisions and at times I just couldn’t wait for to wake up, but Jase was perfect and patient with her. Don’t get me wrong, both of the characters are extremely well written. The growth of Samantha is quite evident as the book progresses. Jase is one of my personal favorite YA book boyfriends. He’s a total good guy, which is surprisingly rare to find in Young Adult books, a lot of them tend to favor bad boys. I love this couple, definitely one of my favorites.

To me, this book doesn’t have very many flaws. It’s a fast paced read and you instantly find yourself wrapped up in each individual characters and their personal stories. This is aimed at readers who love a good Young Adult book that is sure to make you smile the whole way through.

Quotes:
“Is Jase already gonna marry you?”

I start coughing again. “Uh, No. No, George. I’m only seventeen.” As if that’s the only reason we’re not engaged. 
“I’m this many.” George holds up four, slightly grubby fingers. “But Jase is seventeen and a half. You could. Then you could live in here with him. And have a big family.”
Jase strides back into the room, of course, midway through this proposition. “George. Beat it. Discovery Channel is on.”
George backs out of the room but not before saying, “His bed’s really comfortable. And he never pees in it.”

“Why do all the hot girls want the jocks and the good boys? We losers are the ones that need you.” 
“The Garretts were my bedtime story, long before I ever thought I’d be part of the story myself.” 

five-stars
Rating Report
Plot
four-half-stars
Characters
five-stars
Writing
five-stars
Pacing
four-stars
Cover
five-stars
Overall: five-stars

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Every Day Review

July 28, 2015 Reviews, Young Adult 0

Every Day ReviewEvery Day (Every Day, #1) by David Levithan
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on August 28th 2012
Pages: 322
Source: Library
Also by this author: You Know Me Well
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
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Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.
It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

I’ve read a lot of amazing books lately, and this one is definitely one of the best. I think what makes it such an incredible story is Levithan’s talented writing ability combined with this unique concept. It works out to be one of the most mind blowing books I personally have ever read.
Every Day is about A, who has no known gender or identity, but isn’t the devil either. A spends every day in a different body and he/she never finds himself in the same body twice. This means A never develops any relationships, family, or unique memories. Things change when A lands in the body of Justin and falls in love with his girlfriend Rhiannon. Every day A wakes up as someone different, sometimes a girl, sometimes a boy. No matter who’s life A is living, Rhiannon is still who A wants to be near. What follows is a beautiful, tragic, and complicated look at the true meaning of love and relationships.

A is our lovable and insightful narrator. I love hearing things from his point of view because he describes everything that happens on a day to day basis with such careful observation. A is one of the most standout characters I’ve seen in awhile. Our other main character is Rhiannon, who is sort of a tough character to totally figure out. We actually get to see her side of all these events in the companion novel, “Another Day” which is coming out this fall. I actually already have a copy so I will be reviewing it soon! Anyway, A sees Rhiannon as a sad girl who is dating this douchebag who doesn’t treat her right. I think we can tell a lot about her simply by how quickly she trusts A. From what we can tell, she’s a fascinating character and I can’t wait to learn more about her.

The relationship between A and Rhiannon is obviously ridiculously complicated. However, I think it’s still really beautiful how real it seems. They don’t have an easy path, they encounter more road blocks than most, but I like how the issues weren’t your typical YA couple drama. I can’t reveal much else about the relationship itself, but let’s just say that I loved it.

This is such a mind blowing concept for a book and David Levithan executes it in such a natural fashion. Whenever I would attempt to put this book down, I’d find myself thinking about it. Even now that I’ve finished it, I’m still thinking about everything that happened. To put it simply, it’s a great read and I doubt I’ll come across another book that is so unique and haunting in the best way.

Quotes:
“There will always be more questions. Every answer leads to more questions. The only way to survive is to let some of them go.”

“People are rarely as attractive in reality as they are in the eyes of
the people who are in love with them. Which is, I suppose, as it should be.” 

“This is what love does: It makes you want to rewrite the world. It makes you want to choose the characters, build the scenery, guide the plot. The person you love sits across from you, and you want to do everything in your power to make it possible, endlessly possible. And
when it’s just the two of you, alone in a room, you can pretend that this is how it is, this is how it will be.” 

“I am a drifter, and as lonely as that can be, it is also remarkably freeing. I will never define myself in terms of anyone else. I will never feel the pressure of peers or the burden of parental expectation. I can view everyone as pieces of a whole, and focus on the whole, not the pieces. I have learned to observe, far better than most people observe. I am not blinded by the past or motivated by the future. I focus on the present because that is where I am destined to live.”

“It’s one thing to fall in love. It’s another to feel someone else fall in love with you, and to feel a responsibility toward that love.”

 

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