Tag Archives: review

My New Crush Gave to Me

My New Crush Gave to Me Book Cover My New Crush Gave to Me
Shani Petroff
Young Adult Fiction
Swoon Reads
October 31, 2017
288

Eager for a date to the holiday season "Lover's Ball," school newspaper editor Charlie rigs the school's Secret Santa exchange to woo the boy of her dreams.

 

Review:

“My New Crush Gave to Me” would have been much better as a short story.  As a book, it’s cute and a quick read, but there is a lot of filler in there.  Once it finally picked up around the middle I enjoyed it, though I could never spend much time in real life around the main character, Charlie!

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

 

Content Warning:

Language, Mild Sexual Situations

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe Book Cover Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe
Melissa de la Cruz
Fiction
Wednesday Books
October 17, 2017
240

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe from New York Times bestselling author, Melissa de la Cruz, is a sweet, sexy and hilarious gender-swapping, genre-satisfying re-telling, set in contemporary America and featuring one snooty Miss Darcy. Darcy Fitzwilliam is 29, beautiful, successful, and brilliant. She dates hedge funders and basketball stars and is never without her three cellphones—one for work, one for play, and one to throw at her assistant (just kidding). Darcy’s never fallen in love, never has time for anyone else’s drama, and never goes home for Christmas if she can help it. But when her mother falls ill, she comes home to Pemberley, Ohio, to spend the season with her family. Her parents throw their annual Christmas bash, where she meets one Luke Bennet, the smart, sardonic slacker son of their neighbor. Luke is 32-years-old and has never left home. He’s a carpenter and makes beautiful furniture, and is content with his simple life. He comes from a family of five brothers, each one less ambitious than the other. When Darcy and Luke fall into bed after too many eggnogs, Darcy thinks it’s just another one night stand. But why can’t she stop thinking of Luke? What is it about him? And can she fall in love, or will her pride and his prejudice against big-city girls stand in their way?

 

Review:

I’m giving “Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe” a three because it’s cute – for someone on the younger end of the ya reading group.  I’m not really sure how it got classified as adult romance, but it does not belong there.  It’s a two at best when in that category.  There really isn’t anything else for me to say about it. Not recommended.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

The Hanging Girl

The Hanging Girl Book Cover The Hanging Girl
Eileen Cook
Hmh Books for Young Readers
October 3, 2017
320

Another unputdownable, twisty, cat-and-mouse thriller by the author of With Malice about a girl who claims to have a psychic vision that could help find a missing teenager.

 

Review:

“The Hanging Girl” is a good read for someone in the mood for a quick and fun young adult mystery.  The plot is entertaining and would come in handy for someone needing a break during the holiday season by escaping for a while.  The only problem I had with it is the main character, Skye.  No matter how much her character’s deeper history was revealed I just could not bring myself to like her.  Recommended for a light read!

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

 

Content Warning:

Language, Sexual Situations, Violence

 

The House at 758

The House At 758 Book Cover The House At 758
Kathryn Berla
Young Adult Fiction
Amberjack Publishing
October 17, 2017
250

Sixteen-year-old Krista is having a hard time. She's still grieving the recent death of her mother when her father's girlfriend, Marie, moves into their home, and Krista feels like there's no one she can talk to about her sadness. To make matters worse, her best friend, Lyla, is heading to Maine for the summer to spend time with her grandparents. Krista feels pressure from the people around her to resume a normal life; her father wants her to find an activity to occupy her summer, and her neighbor encourages her to return to therapy. However, Krista doesn't feel ready to be -normal- again; she'd rather hang out in a tent she'd pitched on her roof, or sit in her car obsessively watching a mysterious house, the house at 758. Just when things start to feel too hard for her to bear, she runs into Jake, a fellow classmate and the cute sales associate at a store where she shoplifts. A young romance quickly forms, but Krista has a hard time opening up to Jake. She remains guarded and manages to push him away. One day, her father informs her that her grandfather, a Hungarian Holocaust survivor who lives in Venezuela, is coming to town for a visit. Krista is at first irritated that she'd have to babysit her foreign grandfather whom she barely knows, but soon realizes that he may be just the person she needed in her life. Krista's grandfather begins telling her stories of his past, of tragedy, hope, and forgiveness, and with these new developments, Krista begins to open up and embrace life again. She ends up confronting her grief and gains a greater understanding of her family's past and what she has to look forward to in life.

 

Review:

“The House at 758” is a coming-of-age story centered around grief and the unhealthy ways people deal with it.  I found Krista and those around her intriguing and I genuinely worried about her mental health and safety.  It’s an odd story in the way it reads and that adds to the appeal.  The storytelling fits the plot perfectly and almost becomes a character unto itself.  Recommended!

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

 

Content Warning:

Language

 

 

A Messy, Beautiful Life

A Messy, Beautiful Life Book Cover A Messy, Beautiful Life
Sara Jade Alan
Young Adult Fiction
Entangled: Teen
October 2, 2017
239

Life is funny sometimes. And not always the ha, ha kind. Like that one time where a hot guy tried to kiss me and I fell. Down. Hard. And then found out I had cancer. I’m trying to be strong for my friends and my mom. And I’m trying so hard to be “just friends” with that hot guy, even though he seems to want so much more. But I won’t do that to him. He’s been through this before with his family, and I’m not going to let him watch me die. So, I tell myself: Smile Ellie. Be funny Ellie. Don’t cry Ellie, because once I start, I might not stop.

 

Review:

“A Messy, Beautiful Life” tossed my emotions around like a clothes dryer, wrung them, flipped them upside down, and tossed them out.  It’s a book about cancer, but not at all like any of the other books you probably had pop into your mind.  Everything about it feels so real.  I felt their joy and their pain, and I am not ashamed to admit that I cried like a baby.  Highly recommended!

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

Select (The Select, Book 1)

Select Book Cover Select
Marit Weisenberg
JUVENILE FICTION
Charlesbridge Publishing
2017
352

Coming from a race of highly evolved humans, Julia Jaynes has the perfect lifeEor so she thinks. After she accidentally disrupts the Jaynes' delicate anonymity by falling for a normal human guy, Julia is banished to the one place meant to make her feel inferior: public high school.

 

Review:

“Select” is one of those books that sounded so good and then failed to live up to the hype, in my opinion.  The plot is a very slow burn.  It seemed to take forever for something, anything, to happen.  On top of that, I just did not care for the characters or the love interests at all.  It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t good, either. If it sounds interesting to you, give it a try, but I can’t recommend it.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

 

Content Warning:

Language, Sexual Situations, Violence

Rescued

Rescued Book Cover Rescued
Peter Zheutlin
Pets
Penguin
2017
256

"In the follow-up to his New York Times bestseller Rescue Road, acclaimed journalist Peter Zheutlin offers a heartwarming and often humorous new look into the world of rescue dogs. Sharing lessons from his own experiences adopting dogs with large personalities as well as stories and advice from dozens of families and rescue advocates, Zheutlin reveals the often surprising and inspiring life lessons rescue dogs teach us." -- Back cover.

 

Review:

I’m an animal lover and strong advocate for rescue animals.  “Rescued” is written for anyone like me.  Instead of focusing solely on the dogs it focuses on rescuers and how the dogs have impacted their lives.  Recommended for all lovers of second-hand dogs.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

But Then I Came Back

But Then I Came Back Book Cover But Then I Came Back
Estelle Laure
Hmh Books for Young Readers
April 4, 2017
320

From the author of This Raging Light comes the story of Eden Jones, a seventeen-year-old girl who feels lost after surviving a near fatal accident. Unable to connect with her family and friends, Eden forms an unlikely relationship with Joe, a boy who comes to the hospital to visit Jasmine, a friend who may soon be gone forever. Eden is the only person who can get through to Jasmine, but is she brave enough to face a world that's bigger and more magical than she ever would have allowed? Lyrical, unexpected, and romantic, Estelle Laure's new novel is about interwoven lives, long goodbyes, and the imperfect beauty of young love.

 

Review:

While I was back and forth on my feelings toward the magical realism contained in “But Then I Came Back,” I had to give it four stars for the beautiful portrayal of what it’s like to come back after a serious head injury.  The struggles physically and mentally were portrayed well, but it also covered the existential questions that often come up after a life-changing event.  That is something I have rarely seen in a novel.  There is also a nice romance on the side.  Recommended!

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

 

Content Warning:

Language, Sexual Situations, Underage Drinking

Freefall

Freefall Book Cover Freefall
Joshua David Bellin
Young Adult Fiction
Simon and Schuster
September 26, 2017
368

Cam is eager to leave Earth with the rest of the elite 1% until he connects with one of the 99%, Sofie, and joins her in the fight for Lowerworld rights.

 

Review:

I am definitely in the minority with this, but “Freefall” felt blah to me.  There was a good story and good world-building in there, but it feels like it moved at a snail’s pace getting to anything exciting.  I also felt disconnected from the main characters. This is one of those where I can neither recommend nor not recommend it.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

 

Content Warning:

Language, Sexual Situations, Violence

A Short History of the Girl Next Door

A Short History of the Girl Next Door Book Cover A Short History of the Girl Next Door
Jared Reck
Young Adult Fiction
Knopf Books for Young Readers
2017
272

After years of pining for the girl next door, fifteen-year-old Matthew Wainwright must deal with Tabby dating a popular senior just when he needs her most.

 

Review:

I’m not sure how to rate “A Short History of the Girl Next Door.”  If I say too much, it will take away from the surprise.  I can say that it was a roller coaster of emotions that takes the reader from crying with laughter to ugly sobbing with heartbreak within the span of just a few pages.  If you’re ready for some strong feels and a story that will stay with you long after you are finished, then I recommend it.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

 

Content Warning:

Language, Sexual Situations

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