Genre: contemporary

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Lucky Few: Review

Lucky Few: Review

It’s interesting that the blurb for this book compares it to Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. While I can see some common threads of interest (namely the contemplation of mortality), this is a very different book. First, no one in this story is actually dying. Next, the dynamics of relationships between the characters, the nature of their revelations, and the overall tone of the story is wholly different. Lucky Few is a funny contemporary that examines relationships, growing up, and the very nature of change through a sweetly morbid lens. The story is eminently readable. From the first page it flows with self deprecating humor and charm. The chemistry and interaction between the three main characters feels natural and adds a rhythm to the story that is noticeable for its absence when the characters are apart. Stevie is wry and judgmental, but with a good nature and easy… Read more »

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Places No One Knows: Review

Places No One Knows: Review

What a strange impossible dream of a story this book is. For the first ¾ of it I had no idea entirely what to make of it. Here is a girl who doesn’t sleep, but basically sleepwalks through her life. The (probably intentional) sense of numbness did nothing to make this an enjoyable reading experience.  It was like reading through a haze of drear and gray. And then, in the final act, it was as if a flower had suddenly turned to bloom. My heart was aching, and I was gripping the pages turning them furiously while shouting at the heroine in my head. I went from feeling sort of meh to full on adoration. This is one of the hardest times I’ve ever had rating a book. I’ll tell you right off the bat that a part of the reason I had trouble connecting is that I found the… Read more »

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Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here Blog Tour: Friendships in the Age of Social Media

Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here Blog Tour: Friendships in the Age of Social Media

This is the funniest YA book I’ve read in years. YEARS. I laughed so hard as I was reading it, because the outrageous observations and pull-no-punches dialogue fly fast and furiously like a Gilmore Girl high on pie and coffee. The book is so freaking smart, with some surprisingly poignant moments near the end–as well as perfectly in tune with teenagers and their weird, obsessive world. I’ve never felt more affection for the fanfic culture and pop culture references and girl friendships and boy crazies than I did reading this book–it’s like FANGIRL without the manic pixie dream kids, starring one of my favorite YA girls in recent years. Scarlett is a fucking heroine. She’s all the teenage girls who passionately love all the things people make fun of her for, and she hands it back to them with a smart slam. (One of my favorite moments in the book… Read more »

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Girl Against the Universe: Why Anxiety Doesn’t Make Us Weak + international giveaway

Girl Against the Universe: Why Anxiety Doesn’t Make Us Weak + international giveaway

This is where I would usually write an introduction about why you should check out Paula Stokes’ new book Girl Against the Universe, but honestly, her guest post does a brilliant job of that already! It’s a contemporary YA novel about a girl named Maguire who feels guilty for surviving a bad accident and has started to believe she might be the cause of anything bad that happens around her, and it’s a story that’s strong on friendships, parent/teen relationships, positive therapy experiences, and more. I think many readers can relate to being introverts, or feeling nervous in social situations, so I’m honored to have Paula here to talk about how fear can manifest in an anxiety like Maguire’s. She’s also generously offering up an autographed hardcover to our readers, so stick around for the giveaway at the end. Why Anxiety Does Not Make Us Weak by Paula Stokes I… Read more »

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When We Collided: review

When We Collided: review

Sometimes, you’ll meet a girl who bursts into a room and draws all eyes to her. Someone so charming and vivid that you can’t help but love and envy her–and perhaps wonder at how she burns so brightly, because there are times when it almost hurts to be in her orbit. Vivi Alexander shows up in a sleepy beach town one summer, and turns Jonah’s life upside down. In the stoic routine and worry of his life, Vivi is dazzlingly beautiful in her vintage dresses and bright lipstick, as well as kind to his little sister and wise beyond her years. Their attraction is immediate, and they’re soon sneaking kisses when people aren’t looking, he’s making her caprese sandwiches and leaving them outside her door, and she’s pulling him into a whirlwind of joyous outings and scandalous liasons. Their romance is sweet and funny and endearing, especially because they’re drawn… Read more »

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The Serpent King: Review

The Serpent King: Review

With its contemporary setting, religious themes, serious subject matter, and known tearjerker elements, The Serpent King isn’t the sort of book I would typically love. But I went into it with an open heart and a strong desire to like it. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite agree. I felt that the weighty material the book wants to cover ultimately couldn’t be carried by the comparatively weak character portraits. Let’s delve into it. The story centers on three main characters, Dill, Lydia, and Travis. Dill is living under the shadow of his snake-handling preacher father who has been in jail for several years now after a conviction on possession of sexual images of minors. In his small, Tennessee town apparently the sins of the father are visited on the son, as Dill must deal with an angry, judgmental community. He also struggles with the weight of his own conflicted feelings on faith… Read more »

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The Love That Split the World: Review

The Love That Split the World: Review

I’d been slow to read Emily Henry’s debut novel The Love That Split the World (in part because it’d been advertised as the lovechild of Friday Night Lights and The Time Traveler’s Wife, and … I irrationally dislike that book). The Love That Split the World is chock-full of the sort of themes I very much enjoy in young adult novels: relationships, belonging, figuring out one’s identity and one’s place in different communities. And in The Love That Split the World, those were the aspects I most enjoyed. Give me all your feelings! The trappings of time travel or parallel universes, while interesting, were often confusing to me. And while understanding those things was necessary for plot purposes, it wasn’t necessarily all that important in terms of the story’s emotional impact, which was – at least for me – much more powerful. Still, I feel conflicted about The Love That Split the World. Here’s why. The premise is… Read more »

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