Tag Archives: contemporary

Book Tour
Book Title:
American Panda
Book Author:
Gloria Chao
Page Count:
322
Publishing Date:
February 6th, 2018
Publisher:
Simon Pulse
Date Read:
January 31st, 2018
Source:
eARC from publisher via NetGalley - Thank you!

Synopsis

An incisive, laugh-out-loud contemporary debut about a Taiwanese-American teen whose parents want her to be a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer despite her germophobia and crush on a Japanese classmate.

At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth—that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?

From debut author Gloria Chao comes a hilarious, heartfelt tale of how unlike the panda, life isn’t always so black and white.

My Review

From the very first chapter of this book, I knew for a fact that this was going to wind up being a 5 star read.  It’s been a while since a book has really captured my attention and made me … Continue reading

13 Comments
Book Tour
Book Title:
Fade to Us
Book Author:
Julia Day
Page Count:
320
Publishing Date:
February 6th, 2018
Publisher:
Wednesday Books
Date Read:
January 29th, 2018
Source:
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Fade To Us is a story about found families, the bond of sisterhood, and the agony and awe of first love.

Brooke’s summer is going to be EPIC--having fun with her friends and a job that lets her buy a car. Then her new stepfather announces his daughter is moving in. Brooke has always longed for a sibling, so she’s excited about spending more time with her stepsister. But she worries, too. Natalie has Asperger’s--and Brooke’s not sure how to be the big sister that Natalie needs.

After Natalie joins a musical theater program, Brooke sacrifices her job to volunteer for the backstage crew. She’s mostly there for Natalie, but Brooke soon discovers how much she enjoys being part of the show. Especially sweet is the chance to work closely with charming and fascinating Micah--the production’s stage manager. If only he wasn’t Natalie’s mentor…

When summer comes to an end, will Brooke finally have the family she so desperately wants–and the love she’s only dreamed about?

My Review

Fade to Us is a moving novel about family, first love, and what it means to be a great sister, even when circumstances make it difficult to be your best. I went into Fade to Us wondering just how much … Continue reading

8 Comments
Book Tour
Book Title:
Nice Try, Jane Sinner
Book Author:
Lianne Oelke
Page Count:
416
Publisher:
HMH Books for Young Readers
Date Read:
January 25th, 2018
Source:
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

The only thing 17-year-old Jane Sinner hates more than failure is pity. After a personal crisis and her subsequent expulsion from high school, she’s going nowhere fast. Jane’s well-meaning parents push her to attend a high school completion program at the nearby Elbow River Community College, and she agrees, on one condition: she gets to move out.

Jane tackles her housing problem by signing up for House of Orange, a student-run reality show that is basically Big Brother, but for Elbow River Students. Living away from home, the chance to win a car (used, but whatever), and a campus full of people who don't know what she did in high school… what more could she want? Okay, maybe a family that understands why she’d rather turn to Freud than Jesus to make sense of her life, but she'll settle for fifteen minutes in the proverbial spotlight.

As House of Orange grows from a low-budget web series to a local TV show with fans and shoddy T-shirts, Jane finally has the chance to let her cynical, competitive nature thrive. She'll use her growing fan base, and whatever Intro to Psychology can teach her, to prove to the world—or at least viewers of substandard TV—that she has what it takes to win.

My Review

I heard that Nice Try, Jane Sinner was funny, but I wasn’t expecting to fully enjoy it and laugh as hard as I did.  From the very first page I caught myself laughing, and as the book went on, I … Continue reading

7 Comments
Book Title:
The Chaos of Standing Still
Book Author:
Jessica Brody
Page Count:
403
Publishing Date:
November 28th, 2017
Publisher:
Simon Pulse
Date Read:
December 14th, 2017
Source:
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Over the course of one chaotic night stranded at the Denver airport, Ryn confronts her shattered past thanks to the charm of romance, the uniqueness of strangers, and the magic of ordinary places in this stunning novel from the author of Boys of Summer.

Ryn has one unread text message on her phone. And it’s been there for almost a year.

She hasn’t tried to read it. She can’t. She won’t. Because that one message is the last thing her best friend ever said to her before she died.

But as Ryn finds herself trapped in the Denver International Airport on New Year’s Eve thanks to a never-ending blizzard on the one-year anniversary of her best friend’s death, fate literally runs into her.

And his name is Xander.

When the two accidentally swap phones, Ryn and Xander are thrust into the chaos of an unforgettable all-night adventure, filled with charming and mysterious strangers, a secret New Year’s Eve bash, and a possible Illuminati conspiracy hidden within the Denver airport. But as the bizarre night continues, all Ryn can think about is that one unread text message. It follows her wherever she goes, because Ryn can’t get her brialliantly wild and free-spirited best friend out of her head.

Ryn can’t move on.

But tonight, for the first time ever, she’s trying. And maybe that’s a start.

As moving as it is funny, The Chaos of Standing Still is a heartwarming story about the earth-shattering challenges life throws at us—and the unexpected strangers who help us along the way.

My Review

I haven’t read a lot of books by Jessica Brody – while I have quite a few of the ones that she has written so far, the only one that I have actually gotten around to reading was Addie Bell’s … Continue reading

3 stars
14 Comments
Book Title:
Off the Ice
Book Author:
Julie Cross
Book Series:
Juniper Falls, #1
Page Count:
320
Publishing Date:
February 28th, 2017
Publisher:
Entangled Teen
Date Read:
December 13th, 2017
Source:
NetGalley

Synopsis

All is fair in love and hockey…

Claire O’Connor is back in Juniper Falls, but that doesn’t mean she wants to be. One semester off, that’s what she promised herself. Just long enough to take care of her father and keep the family business—a hockey bar beside the ice rink—afloat. After that, she’s getting the hell out. Again.

Enter Tate Tanley. What happened between them the night before she left town resurfaces the second they lay eyes on each other. But the guy she remembers has been replaced by a total hottie. When Tate is unexpectedly called in to take over for the hockey team’s star goalie, suddenly he’s in the spotlight and on his way to becoming just another egotistical varsity hockey player. And Claire’s sworn off Juniper Falls hockey players for good.

It’s the absolute worst time to fall in love.

For Tate and Claire, hockey isn’t just a game. And they both might not survive a body check to the heart.

My Review

I’m going to start off my review by saying that I’m not really one for sports romances or books that are centered around sports.  I’ve never really cared for sports in general, so reading about them usually tends to leave … Continue reading

4 stars
13 Comments
Book Title:
A Line in the Dark
Book Author:
Malinda Lo
Page Count:
288
Publishing Date:
October 17th, 2017
Publisher:
Dutton Books for Young Readers
Date Read:
October 24th, 2017
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

The line between best friend and something more is a line always crossed in the dark.

Jess Wong is Angie Redmond’s best friend. And that’s the most important thing, even if Angie can’t see how Jess truly feels. Being the girl no one quite notices is OK with Jess anyway. While nobody notices her, she’s free to watch everyone else. But when Angie begins to fall for Margot Adams, a girl from the nearby boarding school, Jess can see it coming a mile away. Suddenly her powers of observation are more curse than gift.

As Angie drags Jess further into Margot’s circle, Jess discovers more than her friend’s growing crush. Secrets and cruelty lie just beneath the carefree surface of this world of wealth and privilege, and when they come out, Jess knows Angie won’t be able to handle the consequences. When the inevitable darkness finally descends, Angie will need her best friend.

“It doesn’t even matter that she probably doesn’t understand how much she means to me. It’s purer this way. She can take whatever she wants from me, whenever she wants it, because I’m her best friend.”

A Line in the Dark is a story of love, loyalty, and murder.

My Review

When I first heard about A Line in the Dark, I was eager to jump into reading it.  With the creepy cover and the synopsis that promised a slightly creepy story that was bound to keep me on the edge … Continue reading

4 stars
9 Comments
Book Title:
Vanilla
Book Author:
Billy Merrell
Page Count:
320
Publishing Date:
October 10th, 2017
Publisher:
Push
Date Read:
October 19th, 2017
Source:
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Vanilla and Hunter have been dating since seventh grade. They came out together, navigated middle school together, and became that couple in high school that everyone always sees as a couple. There are complications and confusions, for sure. But most of all, they love each other.As high school goes, though, and as their relationship deepens, some cracks begin to show. Hunter thinks they should be having sex.Vanilla isn't so sure. Hunter doesn't mind hanging out with loud, obnoxious friends.Vanilla would rather avoid them. If they're becoming different people, can they be the same couple? Falling in love is hard. Staying in love is harder.

My Review

Boy this is a hard review to write.  Vanilla has been getting a bit of backlash from the book community lately, and I wasn’t sure why – I mean, don’t get me wrong, the book isn’t perfect, but as a … Continue reading

3 stars
4 Comments
Book Tour
Book Title:
Dear Martin
Book Author:
Nic Stone
Page Count:
224
Publishing Date:
October 17th, 2017
Publisher:
Crown Books for Young Readers
Date Read:
September 29th, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Justyce McAllister is top of his class, captain of the debate team, and set for the Ivy League next year—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. He is eventually released without charges (or an apology), but the incident has Justyce spooked. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood, he can’t seem to escape the scorn of his former peers or the attitude of his prep school classmates. The only exception: Sarah Jane, Justyce’s gorgeous—and white—debate partner he wishes he didn’t have a thing for.

Struggling to cope with it all, Justyce starts a journal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But do Dr. King’s teachings hold up in the modern world? Justyce isn’t so sure.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up. Way up. Much to the fury of the white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. And Justyce and Manny get caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack. The truth of what happened that night—some would kill to know. Justyce is dying to forget.

My Review

It’s so very rare that I give a book a 5 star rating.  It really has to shake me to my core, make me question things, and be something that I believe everyone needs to read for me to rate … Continue reading

8 Comments
Book Title:
By The Time You Read This, I'll Be Dead
Book Author:
Julie Ann Peters
Page Count:
225
Publishing Date:
January 5th, 2010
Publisher:
Disney-Hyperion
Date Read:
October 17th, 2017
Source:
Purchased

Synopsis

Daelyn Rice is broken beyond repair, and after a string of botched suicide attempts, she’s determined to get her death right. She starts visiting a website for “completers”— www.through-the-light.com.

While she’s on the site, Daelyn blogs about her life, uncovering a history of bullying that goes back to kindergarten. When she’s not on the Web, Daelyn’s at her private school, where she’s known as the freak who doesn’t talk.

Then, a boy named Santana begins to sit with her after school while she’s waiting to for her parents to pick her up. Even though she’s made it clear that she wants to be left alone, Santana won’t give up. And it’s too late for Daelyn to be letting people into her life…isn’t it?

My Review

Trigger Warning! Before I start in with my thoughts about this book, I think that it’s important to point out that there are some trigger warnings.  If suicide, self harm, or severe depression are triggers for you, you might want … Continue reading

3.5 stars
3 Comments
Book Tour
Book Title:
The Cresswell Plot
Book Author:
Eliza Wass
Page Count:
288
Publishing Date:
Paperback Publication - October 10th, 2017
Publisher:
Disney-Hyperion
Date Read:
October 2nd, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

The woods were insane in the dark, terrifying and magical at the same time. But best of all were the stars, which trumpeted their light into the misty dark.

Castella Cresswell and her five siblings-Hannan, Caspar, Mortimer, Delvive, and Jerusalem- know what it's like to be different. For years, their world has been confined to their ramshackle family home deep in the woods of upstate New York. They abide by the strict rule of God, whose messages come directly from their father.

Slowly, Castley and her siblings start to test the boundaries of the laws that bind them. But, at school, they're still the freaks they've always been to the outside world. Marked by their plain clothing. Unexplained bruising. Utter isolation from their classmates. That is, until Castley is forced to partner with the totally irritating, totally normal George Gray, who offers her a glimpse of a life filled with freedom and choice

Castley's world rapidly expands beyond the woods she knows so well and the beliefs she once thought were the only truths. There is a future waiting for her if she can escape her father's grasp, but Castley refuses to leave her siblings behind. Just as she begins to form a plan, her father makes a chilling announcement: the Cresswells will soon return to their home in heaven. With time running out on all of their lives, Castley must expose the depth of her father's lies. The forest has buried the truth in darkness for far too long. Castley might be their last hope for salvation.

My Review

I had heard about The Cresswell Plot back when it was first published last year, and I didn’t really have the chance to read it, and I guess part of me forgot about it being on my to read list.  … Continue reading

6 Comments