Monday, September 4, 2017

If There's No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout

If There's No Tomorrow 
By: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Released: September 5, 2017
Source: Edelweiss
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*An advanced reader's copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Lena Wise is always looking forward to tomorrow, especially at the start of her senior year. She's ready to pack in as much friend time as possible, to finish college applications and to maybe let her childhood best friend, Sebastian, know how she really feels about him. For Lena, the upcoming year is going to be one of opportunities and chances. 
Until one choice, one moment, destroys everything. 
Now Lena isn't looking forward to tomorrow. Not when friend time may never be the same. Not when college applications feel all but impossible. Not when Sebastian could never forgive her for what happened.  For what she let happen.  With the guilt growing each day, Lena knows that her only hope is to move on. But how can she move on when tomorrow isn't even guaranteed? (Goodreads)

I really enjoyed If There's No Tomorrow and I had a difficult time putting this book down. This emotional story and its message on making a mistake and finding forgiveness will definitely stick with me for a long time.

Lena was a well developed and realistic protagonist. When she's not working or practicing for volleyball, she loves to read. She also spends her days worrying about her upcoming last year of high school and trying to avoid her dad, who she hasn't spoken to in years. Her whole life changes in one night though with one decision that has awful consequences. She makes a mistake thinking that nothing bad would happen and now she has to live with that guilt. I could relate and empathize with Lena in so many ways. She didn't trust her gut in the moment that it mattered most because she genuinely didn't believe that anything could happen. She learns a lot about herself as the book progresses and I believe that Lena's story is an important one to read.

If There's No Tomorrow also had several great side characters. I loved Sebastian! Lena and Sebastian have been neighbors and best friends since they were kids. I loved the relationship these two shared because it was obvious how important they are to each other. I also loved Lena's other best friends Dary, Abbi, and Megan. I loved the friendship that these girls shared with each other. 

If There's No Tomorrow made me smile and cry a lot while I was reading. I felt like this book definitely made me more emotional than some of Armentrout's other books. The plot was paced fairly well and I really liked how the story unfolded. However, I felt like it did drag on a bit towards the end. I also really loved the subplot about the relationship between Lena and her parents though. Lena and her father haven't spoken in years and Lena blames him for leaving.  

Overall, I really enjoyed If There's No Tomorrow. It was a heart-wrenching story about making mistakes, finding forgiveness, and moving forward. If you're a fan of Armentrout's previous books or enjoy contemporary books, then this is a must-read. It's a story that I will be thinking about for a long time to come.         

My Review:

Monday, August 14, 2017

Lucky in Love by Kasie West

Lucky in Love
By: Kasie West
Released: July 25, 2017
Source: Purchased
Purchase the Book: Amazon

Can’t buy me love…Maddie’s not impulsive. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment— She wins! In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun…until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.
Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

I really enjoyed Lucky in Love! Kasie West is an auto-buy author for me and I couldn't put this one down.

Maddie's whole life changes when she wins the lottery. Her family is struggling financially and her parents are always fighting. The money seems like the answer to all of Maddie's problems at first, however, it also creates new problems for her. I really liked Maddie a lot and thought she was a well developed character. When she's not working at the zoo, she spends her time studying with her best friends. She is focused on getting into her dream college and her future. Her priorities start to change though when she wins the money. She's realistic and she makes mistakes.

There were several interesting side characters as well. I liked Maddie's best friends, Blaire and Elise, but I felt like I never really got to know either of them that well. My favorite was Seth though. He works at the zoo with Maddie and I especially wanted even more of him in this story. I loved the relationship between Maddie and Seth. Most of my favorite moments in this book were the scenes when Maddie and Seth were working together.    

The plot was paced well and I finished reading it rather quickly. There were plenty of fun and sweet moments throughout the book, but I also liked that West touched a bit on some more serious topics as well. I would have liked to see some of those more serious issues developed more though. However, I especially loved the setting at the zoo where Maddie worked. It was such a fun and lively setting and I loved how much of a role it played within the story.

Overall, I really enjoyed Lucky in Love. It wasn't my favorite book by Kasie West, but I could still see myself rereading this one again. It was a sweet and fun story that I would definitely recommend to anyone who enjoys contemporary books. It will also make you wonder how you would spend all that money.

My Rating:

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Coming Up For Air by Miranda Kenneally

Coming Up For Air
By: Miranda Kenneally
Release Date: July 1, 2017
Source: Netgalley
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*An advanced reader's copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework. Bed. Repeat. All of Maggie’s focus and free time is spent swimming. She’s not only striving to earn scholarships—she’s training to qualify for the Olympics. It helps that her best friend, Levi, is also on the team and cheers her on. But Levi’s already earned an Olympic try out, so she feels even more pressure to succeed. And it’s not until Maggie’s away on a college visit that she realizes how much of the “typical” high school experience she’s missed by being in the pool. Not one to shy away from a challenge, Maggie decides to squeeze the most out of her senior year. First up? Making out with a guy. And Levi could be the perfect candidate. After all, they already spend a lot of time together. But as Maggie slowly starts to uncover new feelings for Levi, how much is she willing to lose to win? (Goodreads)

I really liked Coming Up for Air! I love the Hundred Oaks books and this was another story that I couldn't put down. It wasn't my favorite book in the series, but I still enjoyed it a lot.  

Coming Up for Air is the story of Maggie whose whole life is centered around swimming. She loves to win and is training to qualify for the Olympics. However, swimming almost every day means that she doesn't have much time for anything else, such as hooking up with a guy. This leads her to asking her best friend, Levi, to teach her since they already spend so much time together anyway. 

Maggie was a well developed and realistic character. I loved how passionate she was about swimming and her dedication to it was clear throughout the book. She sometimes struggles with getting into the right mindset while swimming though and I could understand why. Maggie is under a lot of pressure and she has so little time to herself. Just reading about what an average day is like for her made me exhausted.

Levi and Maggie share a close bond because they've been swimming together since they were little. They understand how much of a commitment swimming is and Maggie goes to him for advice because she trusts him. However, I felt like the way everything develops from friendship to something more between them felt a bit forced. I wanted Levi to be developed more.    

I loved Maggie's best friends from school though. Georgia and Hunter were great side characters and I wanted even more of them in this book. I loved that they make the time to support each other. It was also fun to see the return of some characters from the previous books in the series as well and read what they are up to now. 

The plot was paced fairly well. As soon as I started reading, I couldn't put it down. I quickly lost myself in the story and before I knew it, I was reading the last chapter. It's one of my favorite things about Kenneally's writing. The plot had a good balance of humor, drama, and romance. There were quite a few moments in this book that even made me laugh out loud. However, I felt like there were a couple of loose ends left after I finished the book. 

Overall I really liked Coming Up for Air! If you're a fan of contemporary books or enjoy sports-related stories, I recommend picking this one up!

My Rating:

Monday, April 3, 2017

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

By: Ashley Poston
Released: April 4, 2017
Source: ARC from NYCC
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*An advanced reader's copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first. Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again? Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom. (Goodreads)

This geek loved Geekerella! It was such a fun retelling of Cinderella and I didn't want it to end.

Elle was a well developed protagonist who learns a lot about herself as the story progresses. She was definitely a character that I could really relate to. She doesn't get along with her stepmother or stepsisters and feels like she isn't wanted in her own home after losing her dad. She doubts herself a lot and questions her own self-worth. However, Elle does have Starfield and runs a blog dedicated to the classic sci-fi show. Starfield means a lot to her because she grew up watching it with her father. Now her favorite show is being rebooted into a movie though and Elle wants to enter the cosplay contest at ExcelsiCon with her father's old costume. 

Darien was a well developed character as well. He's a teen actor who will be playing the lead in the Starfield movie. Before he was famous, he used to love to attend cons and be a part of the Starfield fandom. However, he now questions if he is the right guy to play his favorite character. I enjoyed that the chapters alternated between Darien and Elle because it helped move the story along. I also loved reading about what Starfield meant to both Darien and Elle. It held a special place in their lives for both similar and different reasons.

This book was also packed with some great side characters too. My favorite character though was definitely Sage. Sage works in the food truck with Elle and I loved the friendship that develops between them. I wouldn't mind reading a whole book about Sage next  

The plot was paced well and I didn't want to put this book down once I started reading. My favorite aspect though was how Geekerella captured the feeling of belonging to a fandom and attending a convention. I've been attending Comic Con for the past seven years and Poston truly conveyed all of the reasons why I love attending conventions. She even captured the generosity and kindness of the people who attend conventions.

Overall, I loved Geekerella! This book made me smile and laugh. If you're a fan of contemporary books, then I definitely recommend picking this one up.    

My Rating:

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give
By: Angie Thomas
Released: February 28, 2017
Source: Edelweiss
Purchase the Book: Amazon
*An advanced reader's copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl's struggle for justice. (Goodreads)

The Hate U Give is a must-read! This powerful book will stay with you long after you finish reading it. Starr's voice and story is certainly going to stick with me for the rest of my life. 

Starr was a well developed and complex protagonist. She lives in a poor neighborhood, but attends high school in a more wealthy suburb. She feels like she lives two different lives though and worries about letting those lives merge. Then one night, after a party in her neighborhood, she witnesses the fatal shooting of her unarmed childhood best friend by a police officer. Starr knows the truth about what happened that night and she must decide for herself how she will use her voice.  

This book is also packed with several great side characters and relationships. I especially loved Starr's family though. The love and support this family shared was evident on every single page.

Just a few of the relevant topics that The Hate U Give takes on are racism, police brutality, class, stereotypes, and justice. This is definitely a book packed with so much that can start up a discussion after you listen to what this story is saying. The plot is paced well and I stayed up late reading because I couldn't put it down. Both the main plot and the subplots were well developed too. This book is infuriating, heartbreaking, and hopeful. Angie Thomas is truly a talented writer. Her writing style is stunning and I'm already looking forward to reading what she publishes next.    
Overall, I loved The Hate U Give! It's an honest, real, and important story that I highly recommend picking up. I will personally be recommending this one to everyone I know. If you only read one book this year, let it be this one.

My Rating: