Tag Archives: contemporary

Book Title:
The One Memory of Flora Banks
Book Author:
Emily Barr
Page Count:
304
Publishing Date:
May 2nd, 2017
Publisher:
Philomel Books
Date Read:
May 4th, 2017
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora's brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend's boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this one memory breaks through Flora's fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake is responsible for restoring her memory and making her whole again. So when an encouraging email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world, Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step toward reclaiming her life.

With little more than the words "be brave" inked into her skin, and written reminders of who she is and why her memory is so limited, Flora sets off on an impossible journey to Svalbard, Norway, the land of the midnight sun, determined to find Drake. But from the moment she arrives in the arctic, nothing is quite as it seems, and Flora must "be brave" if she is ever to learn the truth about herself, and to make it safely home.

My Review

The One Memory of Flora Banks is probably one of the best books that I’ve read to date – it was deep and told such an incredible story that was both heartwarming and heartwrenching at the same time. The One … Continue reading

3 Comments
Book Title:
Cheesus Was Here
Book Author:
J.C. Davis
Page Count:
272
Publishing Date:
April 11th, 2017
Publisher:
Sky Pony Press
Date Read:
April 20th, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Delaney Delgado knows miracles aren’t real—if they were, her kid sister wouldn’t be dead. So when the image of baby Jesus appears on a Babybel cheese wheel, she’s not buying the idea that God’s got a dairy obsession. Soon, religious signs begin turning up all over Del’s hometown, tiny Clemency, Texas. Overnight, news vans fill the streets and religious pilgrims start searching for God in the discount aisle of the grocery store.

Hell-bent on proving the so-called miracles are fake, Del convinces her best friend, Gabe, to help her find the truth. While Gabe’s willing to play detective, as a preacher’s son he’s more interested in finding evidence that supports the miracles. But when the whole town becomes caught up in religious fervor and even the late-night talk show hosts have stopped laughing and started to believe, finding the truth might cause more trouble than Del can handle. This novel is neither pro nor anti-religion, and will appeal to fans of contemporary YA novels that explore deep themes with an element of humor. The voice and characters are funny, strong, and full of heart. This is a book for anyone who loved Saved!

My Review

With a title like Cheesus Was Here and a cover that matches perfectly, this book is one of those books that I couldn’t help but want to read.  The entire book – cover, synopsis, and title – all sound like … Continue reading

4 stars
6 Comments
Book Title:
It's Not Like It's a Secret
Book Author:
Misa Sugiura
Page Count:
400
Publishing Date:
May 9th, 2017
Publisher:
HarperCollins
Date Read:
May 2nd, 2017
Source:
eARC from publisher via Edelweiss - Thank you!

Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Sana Kiyohara has too many secrets. Some are small, like how it bothers her when her friends don’t invite her to parties. Some are big, like that fact that her father may be having an affair. And then there’s the one that she can barely even admit to herself—the one about how she might have a crush on her best friend.

When Sana and her family move to California she begins to wonder if it’s finally time for some honesty, especially after she meets Jamie Ramirez. Jamie is beautiful and smart and unlike anyone Sana’s ever known. There are just a few problems: Sana’s new friends don’t trust Jamie’s crowd; Jamie’s friends clearly don’t want her around anyway; and a sweet guy named Caleb seems to have more-than-friendly feelings for her. Meanwhile, her dad’s affair is becoming too obvious to ignore anymore.

Sana always figured that the hardest thing would be to tell people that she wants to date a girl, but as she quickly learns, telling the truth is easy… what comes after it, though, is a whole lot more complicated.

My Review

From the very moment that I heard of It’s Not Like It’s a Secret until I finished the book, I absolutely wanted to love this – it had such an interesting premise, diverse characters, and a fun plot that really … Continue reading

3 stars
4 Comments
Book Title:
Between Two Skies
Book Author:
Jamie O'Sullivan
Page Count:
272
Publishing Date:
April 25th, 2017
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Date Read:
April 29th, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Hurricane Katrina sets a teenage girl adrift. But a new life and the promise of love emerges in this rich, highly readable debut.

Bayou Perdu, a tiny fishing town way, way down in Louisiana, is home to sixteen-year-old Evangeline Riley. She has her best friends, Kendra and Danielle; her wise, beloved Mamere; and back-to-back titles in the under-sixteen fishing rodeo. But, dearest to her heart, she has the peace that only comes when she takes her skiff out to where there is nothing but sky and air and water and wings. It's a small life, but it is Evangeline's.

And then the storm comes, and everything changes. Amid the chaos and pain and destruction comes Tru a fellow refugee, a budding bluesman, a balm for Evangeline s aching heart. Told in a strong, steady voice, with a keen sense of place and a vivid cast of characters, here is a novel that asks compelling questions about class and politics, exile and belonging, and the pain of being cast out of your home. But above all, this remarkable debut tells a gently woven love story, difficult to put down, impossible to forget.

My Review

Between Two Skies takes us inside the life of a girl who had a happy life before Hurricane Katrina hit, and the aftermath that she is forced to deal with after the storm.  This book is heartbreaking, yet inspiring, at … Continue reading

5 stars
4 Comments
Book Tour
Book Title:
How to Make a Wish
Book Author:
Ashley Herring Blake
Page Count:
336
Publishing Date:
May 2nd, 2017
Publisher:
HMH Books for Young Readers
Date Read:
April 26th, 2017
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

Grace, tough and wise, has nearly given up on wishes, thanks to a childhood spent with her unpredictable, larger-than-life mother. But this summer, Grace meets Eva, a girl who believes in dreams, despite her own difficult circumstances.

One fateful evening, Eva climbs through a window in Grace’s room, setting off a chain of stolen nights on the beach. When Eva tells Grace that she likes girls, Grace’s world opens up and she begins to believe in happiness again. How to Make a Wish is an emotionally charged portrait of a mother and daughter’s relationship and a heartfelt story about two girls who find each other at the exact right time.

My Review

Last year, I had completely fallen in love with Ashley Herring Blake’s debut novel, Suffer Love, and this year, I’ve fallen in love again with her second novel, How to Make a Wish.  This is probably one of the most … Continue reading

4.5 stars
9 Comments
Book Title:
Pretty Fierce
Book Author:
Kieran Scott
Page Count:
320
Publishing Date:
April 4th, 2017
Publisher:
Sourcebooks Fire
Date Read:
March 22nd, 2017
Source:
eARC from publisher via NetGalley - Thank you!

Synopsis

Kaia has been on the run her whole life. The daughter of professional assassins, she knows true danger—and she’ll do anything to survive. After her parents vanished during a job gone bad, Kaia’s spent the last year in hiding, trying to blend in as an ordinary teenager, and there’s no one who makes her feel more normal or more special than her boyfriend, Oliver.

But when she’s jumped by a hit man, and Oliver catches her fighting back, Kaia’s secret is exposed. In a split-second decision, she flees the small town, taking Oliver with her. With professional killers stalking their every move, can Oliver and Kaia protect each other long enough to uncover the mysteries of her past?

My Review

I haven’t read anything by Kieran Scott before now, although I have heard a lot of praise for writing over the years.  I was pretty excited when I started reading Pretty Fierce, because spy thrillers are definitely my thing.  I … Continue reading

3 stars
6 Comments
Book Title:
Just Another Girl
Book Author:
Elizabeth Eulberg
Page Count:
256
Publishing Date:
March 28th, 2017
Publisher:
Scholastic
Date Read:
March 24th, 2017
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

You resent her. You can't stand her. You might even hate her.

But you don't know her at all.

Hope knows there's only one thing coming between her and her longtime crush: his girlfriend, Parker. She has to sit on the sidelines and watch as the perfect girl gets the perfect boy . . . because that's how the universe works, even though it's so completely wrong.

Parker doesn't feel perfect. She knows if everyone knew the truth about her, they'd never be able to get past it. So she keeps quiet. She focuses on making it through the day with her secret safe . . . even as this becomes harder and harder to do. And Hope isn't making it any easier. . . .

In Just Another Girl, Elizabeth Eulberg astutely and affectingly shows us how battle lines get drawn between girls -- and how difficult it then becomes to see or understand the girl standing on the other side of the divide.

You think you have an enemy. But she's just another girl.

My Review

This book had so many promising points that it completely fulfilled – a feud between two girls for the same boy, learning to understand others who may be dealing with more than you could ever know, and Rube Goldberg machines. … Continue reading

4.5 stars
8 Comments
Book Tour
Book Title:
Someone Like You
Book Author:
Sarah Dessen
Page Count:
304
Publishing Date:
June 1st, 2012 (Reprint)
Publisher:
Speak
Date Read:
April 17th, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - thank you!

Synopsis

The world is a terrible place not to have a best friend.

Scarlett was always the strong one.

Halley was always content to follow in her wake.

Then Scarlett’s boyfriend died, and Scarlett learned that she was pregnant.

Now Halley has to find the strength to take the lead and help Scarlett get through it.

Because true friendship is a promise you keep forever.

My Review

Okay, so this is the first book by Sarah Dessen that I’ve read, despite the fact that I’ve been reading young adult books for like 15 years now and the sheer amount of books that I’ve torn through in that … Continue reading

12 Comments
Book Title:
Fireworks
Book Author:
Katie Cotugno
Page Count:
336
Publishing Date:
April 18th, 2017
Publisher:
Balzer + Bray
Date Read:
April 18th, 2017
Source:
eARC from publisher via Edelweiss - Thank you!

Synopsis

From the New York Times bestselling author of 99 Days and How to Love comes a stunning new contemporary novel—all about boy bands, girl bands, best friends, and first love—perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson.

It was always meant to be Olivia. She’s the talented one, the one who’s been training to be a star her whole life. Her best friend, Dana, is the levelheaded one, always on the sidelines, cheering Olivia on.

But everything changes when Dana tags along with Olivia to Orlando for the weekend, where superproducer Guy Monroe is holding auditions for a new singing group, and Dana is discovered too. Dana, who’s never sung more than Olivia’s backup. Dana, who wasn’t even looking for fame. Next thing she knows, she and Olivia are training to be pop stars, and Dana is falling for Alex, the earnest, endlessly talented boy who’s destined to be the next big thing.

It should be a dream come true, but as the days of grueling practice and constant competition take their toll, things between Olivia and Dana start to shift . . . and there’s only room at the top for one girl. For Olivia, it’s her chance at her dream. For Dana, it’s a chance to escape a future that seems to be closing in on her. And for these lifelong best friends, it’s the adventure of a lifetime—if they can make it through.

Set in evocative 1990s Orlando, Fireworks brings to life the complexity of friendship, the excitement of first love, and the feeling of being on the verge of greatness.

My Review

While I own copies of both How to Love and 99 Days, I haven’t read either of them yet.  When I saw the cover for Fireworks, however, I thought it was one of the prettiest book covers that I’ve seen … Continue reading

3.5 stars
8 Comments
Book Tour
Book Title:
Girl Out of Water
Book Author:
Laura Silverman
Page Count:
320
Publishing Date:
May 2nd, 2017
Publisher:
Sourcebooks Fire
Date Read:
April 12th, 2017
Source:
eARC from publisher via NetGalley - Thank you!

Synopsis

Fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen will fall in love this contemporary debut about finding yourself-and finding love-in unexpected places.

Ocean breeze in her hair and sand between her toes, Anise can't wait to spend the summer before her senior year surfing and hanging out on the beach with friends. Santa Cruz is more than her home-it's her heart. But when her aunt, a single mother, is in a serious car accident, Anise must say goodbye to California to help care for her three young cousins.

Landlocked Nebraska is the last place Anise wants to be. Sure, she loves her family, but it's hard to put her past behind her when she's living in the childhood house of the mother who abandoned her. And with every Instagram post, her friends back home feel further away.

Then she meets Lincoln, a charismatic, one-armed skater who challenges her to swap her surfboard for a skateboard. Because sometimes the only way to find your footing is to let go.

My Review

If you are looking for a fun summer contemporary that will have you racing for the beach and the warm sand, Girl out of Water is probably one of the best reads that will definitely perk up your summer days! … Continue reading

10 Comments