Book Review

Book Review | AGAIN, BUT BETTER, by Christine Riccio

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Again, but Better, by Christine Riccio

Publish Date: May 7, 2019
Published by: Wednesday Books
Length: 373 pages
Genre: YA Fiction (with a little bit of fantasy)
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane’s made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that? 

Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time’s a ticking, and she needs a change—there’s nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She’s going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure! 

Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart. 

Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.


My Review:

This is one of those books that takes my own what-ifs and brings them into a reality I could only fantasize about. Going into this book, I was hopeful but hesitant. I have not followed Christine Riccio on any social media platform, but I knew she was popular from seeing her name a lot. So when I saw that she was getting a book published I was trying not to expect too much. The premise sounded interesting, to be sure, especially since I too have a lot of regrets about college and decisions I made that I wish I could go back and do again, so I was immediately intrigued when I first read the description. And surprisingly, by the end of the book, I could not stop smiling like a drunken idiot. Continue reading “Book Review | AGAIN, BUT BETTER, by Christine Riccio”

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Book Review

Book Review | STAY SWEET, by Siobhan Vivian

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Stay Sweetby Siobhan Vivian

Publish Date: April 14, 2018
Published by: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 368
Genre: YA Fiction/Contemporary
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

Summer in Sand Lake isn’t complete without a trip to Meade Creamery—the local ice cream stand founded in 1944 by Molly Meade who started making ice cream to cheer up her lovesick girlfriends while all the boys were away at war. Since then, the stand has been owned and managed exclusively by local girls, who inevitably become the best of friends. Seventeen-year-old Amelia and her best friend Cate have worked at the stand every summer for the past three years, and Amelia is “Head Girl” at the stand this summer. When Molly passes away before Amelia even has her first day in charge, Amelia isn’t sure that the stand can go on. That is, until Molly’s grandnephew Grady arrives and asks Amelia to stay on to help continue the business…but Grady’s got some changes in mind…


My Review:

I picked this up on a whim because I decided I wanted a cute fun summer read to get me in the mood for the season. I thought this book was going to put a smile on my face, and while it did, there were some ups and downs getting there. Continue reading “Book Review | STAY SWEET, by Siobhan Vivian”

Book Review

Book Review | LEAH ON THE OFFBEAT, by Becky Albertalli

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Leah on the Offbeatby L. M. Montgomery

Publish Date: April 24, 2018
Published by: HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray
Pages: 343
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.5 out of 5 stars)


Synopsis:

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.


My Review:

After reading and loving both Simon vs. and The Upside of Unrequited, I knew without a doubt that I had to read the latest book by Becky Albertalli. And from the start I was swept into the story. She gives her characters such clear voices – they are so realistic and down-to-earth that it is easy to relate to them in many ways.  Continue reading “Book Review | LEAH ON THE OFFBEAT, by Becky Albertalli”

Book Review

Book Review | EMERGENCY CONTACT, by Mary H. K. Choi

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Emergency Contactby Mary H. K. Choi

Publish Date: March 27, 2018
Published by: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Pages: 400
Genre: YA Fiction
My Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 out of 5 stars)

**I received an ARC of this from the publisher as a Barnes & Noble Bookseller in return for an honest review.**


Synopsis:

For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him. 

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.


My Review:

I had been hearing about this book all over the internet for a while before we received the ARC at work, and immediately snatched it up. It sounded like it was going to be a cute romance that is perfect for our modern age and I was eager to see what it was about. And while I wouldn’t say it was a “cute” romance, it was certainly an entertaining read with great characters and writing that kept me engaged. Continue reading “Book Review | EMERGENCY CONTACT, by Mary H. K. Choi”