Book Review, YA Contemporary Fiction, ya romance

Book Review | THE BEST LAID PLANS, by Cameron Lund

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The Best Laid Plans, by Cameron Lund

Publish Date: April 7, 2020
Published by: Razorbill
Length: 368 pages
Genre: YA Contemporary/Romance
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

It seemed like a good plan at first.

When the only other virgin in her group of friends loses it at Keely’s own eighteenth birthday party, she’s inspired to take things into her own hands. She wants to have that experience too (well, not exactly like that–but with someone she trusts and actually likes), so she’s going to need to find the guy, and fast. Problem is, she’s known all the boys in her small high school forever, and it’s kinda hard to be into a guy when you watched him eat crayons in kindergarten.

So she can’t believe her luck when she meets a ridiculously hot new guy named Dean. Not only does he look like he’s fallen out of a classic movie poster, but he drives a motorcycle, flirts with ease, and might actually be into her.

But Dean’s already in college, and Keely is convinced he’ll drop her if he finds out how inexperienced she is. That’s when she talks herself into a new plan: her lifelong best friend, Andrew, would never hurt or betray her, and he’s clearly been with enough girls that he can show her the ropes before she goes all the way with Dean. Of course, the plan only works if Andrew and Keely stay friends—just friends—so things are about to get complicated.

Cameron Lund’s delightful debut is a hilarious and heartfelt story of first loves, first friends, and first times—and how making them your own is all that really matters.


My Review: 

This was a fun, adorable read that had me smiling non stop. It was engaging, had some great characters, and it dealt with sex and losing ones virginity in both a meaningful and positive way. There were ups and downs, teenage woes, and far too many moments that had me screaming internally for the two main idiots to get it together already and just say the truth (I also really wanted to slam the book repeatedly against something hard, but unfortunately it was an ebook edition so that would have been a bad idea). Continue reading “Book Review | THE BEST LAID PLANS, by Cameron Lund”

Book Review, YA Contemporary Fiction, ya lgbtq, ya romance

Book Review | HAVING HER BACK, by Ann Gallagher

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Having Her Back, by Ann Gallagher

Publish Date: May 19, 2017
Published by: Createspace Independant
Length: 250 pages
Genre: YA Romance/LGBTQ+
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Trevor Larson is a Navy brat. He’s used to moving every few years, and thanks to social media, he can stay in touch with the friends he leaves behind. But shortly after he leaves Okinawa, his best friend, Brad Gray, cuts off contact and disappears.

Four years and two bases later, Brad resurfaces—and announces his family is coming to Trevor’s base in Spain. But a lot’s changed in four years, and Trevor is stunned to find out Brad is now Shannon. Their reunion isn’t quite what either of them had hoped for, but they quickly find their footing, both relieved to have each other back.

Except nothing is ever all sunshine and roses. The military is a small world, and there’s no keeping Shannon’s transition a secret. Parents warn their kids away from her. She can’t attend school on-base for fear of harassment or worse. And although her parents try to hide it, being ostracized by their only social circle while they’re thousands of miles from home is taking a toll on them too.

More and more, Shannon leans on Trevor. But she’s also drawn to him, and he’s drawn right back to her, feeling things he’s never felt for anyone before.

Trevor’s scared, though. Not of dating a trans girl. Not of damaging his chaplain father’s career or reputation. After finally getting his friend back, does he dare take things further and risk losing Shannon a second time?


My Review: 

This was an okay read but the writing left a lot to be desired. Continue reading “Book Review | HAVING HER BACK, by Ann Gallagher”

Book Review, YA Contemporary Fiction, ya fiction, young adult

Book Review | WHAT IF IT’S US, by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

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What If It’s Us, by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera

Publish Date:  October 8, 2018 
Published by: HarperAudio/HarperTeen
Audiobook Narrated by: Noah Galvin & Froy Gutierrez
Length: 9 hrs 48 min (437 pages)
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction/Romance/LGBTQ+
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

ARTHUR is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

BEN thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them . . . ?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t nail a first date even after three do-overs?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

What if it’s us?


My Review: 

I was sadly unimpressed by this book. I really wanted to like it, and that first chapter really had me hooked and ready to go. But after that, things started to decline.

Continue reading “Book Review | WHAT IF IT’S US, by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera”

Book Review, YA Contemporary Fiction

Book Review | FOOLISH HEARTS, by Emma Mills

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Foolish Hearts, by Emma Mills

Publish Date: December 5, 2017
Published by: Henry Holt and Co.
Pages: 320
Genre: YA Contemporary/Romance
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

When Claudia accidentally eavesdrops on the epic breakup of Paige and Iris, the it-couple at her school, she finds herself in hot water with prickly, difficult Iris. Thrown together against their will in the class production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, along with the goofiest, cutest boy Claudia has ever known, Iris and Claudia are in for an eye-opening senior year.


My Review:

This was an absolute doll of a book. It made me laugh so much and I loved it. It was cute and funny, with some loveable characters (although I’m still not convinced Gideon Prewitt could actually exist. He is just too good for this world), and a storyline that was simple but full of such wonder, joy, and a nice touch of drama. Continue reading “Book Review | FOOLISH HEARTS, by Emma Mills”

Book Review, YA Contemporary Fiction

Book Review | THE SUMMER OF JORDI PEREZ, by Amy Spalding

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The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles)by Amy Spalding

Publish Date: April 3, 2018
Published by: Sky Pony Press
Pages: 284
Genre: YARomance/LGBTQ+
My Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (2 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Seventeen, fashion-obsessed, and gay, Abby Ives has always been content playing the sidekick in other people’s lives. While her friends and sister have plunged headfirst into the world of dating and romances, Abby’s been happy to focus on her plus-size style blog and her dreams of taking the fashion industry by storm. When she lands a great internship at her favorite boutique, she’s thrilled to take the first step toward her dream career. Then she falls for her fellow intern, Jordi Perez. Hard. And now she’s competing against the girl she’s kissing to win the coveted paid job at the end of the internship.

But really, nothing this summer is going as planned. She’s also unwittingly become friends with Jax, a lacrosse-playing bro-type who wants her help finding the best burger in L.A.; she’s struggling to prove to her mother—the city’s celebrity health nut—that she’s perfectly content with who she is; and she’s desperately trying to remain behind the scenes and off-camera where she feels she belongs, when she hangs out with Jordi, who documents her entire life in photographs.

Though crazy, summer’s been fun, and just as Abby starts to feel like she’s no longer the sidekick in her own life anymore, Jordi’s photography surprisingly puts her in the spotlight for the first time, and it feels more like a betrayal rather than a starring role. Can Abby find a way to reconcile her positive yet private sense of self with the image that other people have of her?


My Review:

I was looking for something that would make me super happy and swoony with romance and…sadly this was not it. I so wanted to like this book because I had heard such good things about it, but it just didn’t hit the right spots for me, you know?

Continue reading “Book Review | THE SUMMER OF JORDI PEREZ, by Amy Spalding”

Book Review, ya dystopian, ya fiction

Book Review | WILDER GIRLS, by Rory Power

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Wilder Girlsby Rory Power

Publish Date: July 9, 2019
Published by: Delacorte Press
Pages: 354
Genre: YA Contemporary/Sci-Fi
My Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ (1 out of 5 stars)

**I received an ARC of this as a bookseller in anticipation of the August YA Book Club, as well as an egalley through Edelweiss in return for an honest review**


Synopsis:

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.


My Review:

This book was kind of horrifying to be honest. I felt like a lot of the time I didn’t know what I was reading. It was fast-paced but strange, full of questions and unending mysteries that I felt like the characters were never closer to solving. The writing style was a little all over the place, with a beginning that was almost difficult to understand. It is also riddled with moments and scenes that could be extremely triggering for some people (see list at the end of review). Part of me wanted to like this book, but a larger part of me just spent it going “WTF?” the entire time I was reading it. It’s one of those books that I think could be right up some peoples’ alleys, but definitely not mine.

Continue reading “Book Review | WILDER GIRLS, by Rory Power”