Search This Blog

Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody

A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody
Release Date: August 2nd, 2016
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

When I made the wish, I just wanted a do-over. Another chance to make things right. I never, in a million years, thought it might actually come true...
Sixteen-year-old Ellison Sparks is having a serious case of the Mondays. She gets a ticket for running a red light, she manages to take the world’s worst school picture, she bombs softball try-outs and her class election speech (note to self: never trust a cheerleader when she swears there are no nuts in her bake-sale banana bread), and to top it all off, Tristan, her gorgeous rocker boyfriend suddenly dumps her. For no good reason!
As far as Mondays go, it doesn’t get much worse than this. And Ellie is positive that if she could just do it all over again, she would get it right. So when she wakes up the next morning to find she’s reliving the exact same day, she knows what she has to do: stop her boyfriend from breaking up with her. But it seems no matter how many do-overs she gets or how hard Ellie tries to repair her relationship, Tristan always seems bent set on ending it. Will Ellie ever figure out how to fix this broken day? Or will she be stuck in this nightmare of a Monday forever?

I feel like I've been on a roll with YA contemporaries lately. I've read a
 few in a row and I've really enjoyed all of them. A Week of Mondays is no 
exception. It started out a little rocky for me, because I intially pegged 
Ellie as unlikeable and whiny. As I got further into the story and Ellie 
got further into her predicament, I started to feel for her and genuinely 
cared about what was going to happen to her. 

I knew where I wanted things to end up, and I could see the potential for it 
there, but honestly I wasn't sure if it was going to go that way in the end. 
Ellie was so dead set on her endgame and while I admired her tenacity, 
I wasn't sure she was going to  "wake up and smell the roses" so to speak. 

And can we just take a moment to discuss the fact that having the day that 
reoccurs over and over be a Monday really sucks. I mean, come on! Once 
things go back to normal, if they go back to normal, you will still have 
a full week to go through. On top of all of those Mondays. Ick!

Oh, and shout out to her best friend Owen! What a cool kid. He's the kind of 
guy I would have absolutely been friends with when I was her age. 
You know what, I'd probably be friends with him now, too! 
And he was the best kind of best friend, truly there for Ellie.
A Week of Mondays was really fun and SO cute! At first I wasn't sure if
I was going to like Ellie but as the Mondays went on I got to like her more
and more. I liked how she learned new things each Monday, and how these things
gave her more insight into the people around her. It was a fun, quick read
and really pretty funny.
Definitely a solid YA contemporary!
*Advanced copy provided by publisher for honest feedback*

Thursday, July 21, 2016

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Release Date: July 26th, 2016
Publisher: Point

What if the person you were falling for was a total mystery?

While Lily is spacing out in Chemistry one day, she picks up her pencil and scribbles a line from one of her favorite songs on the desk. The next day, someone else has written back to her on the desk! Soon enough Lily and the mystery student are exchanging notes, and lyrics, and even sharing secrets. When Lily finds out that her anonymous pen pal is a guy, she's flustered -- and kind of feels like she's falling for him. She and her best friend set out to unravel the identity of the letter writer -- but when the truth is revealed, the guy is the LAST person Lily could have ever imagined it to be. Now that Lily knows the truth, can she untangle her feelings and gather the courage to listen to her heart?

I absolutely love the idea of a mystery pen pal romance. So I decided to make P.S. I Like You my first Kasie West book. And I was not disappointed. This book was overflowing with cute and had so much wonderful snark. Our main gal Lily liked to stay under the radar. She loves good music, playing guitar, and dreams of being a successful songwriter. Of course, she's got to actually finish a song first.

She jots down a line to her favorite song on her desk in chemistry and the next day, whoever sits at her desk in a different chem class, wrote the next lyric to the song in response. Thus begins the pen pal relationship that is central to our story. Lily and her mystery pen pal find it easy to confide in each other and they start to grow closer without knowing who either of them are. 

It was fun reading their back in forth, especially because it was pretty obvious early on who the mystery pen pal was, but even though I had it guessed it didn't ruin the story. I think it actually made it better, because I was so curious how it was all going to come out and how they were going to handle it when they found out the truth. 

This book was chock full of good banter, awesome friendships, and crazy family that come through in the end. I will definitely be picking up other Kasie West novels, because I am hoping for more adorable and solid contemporaries just like this one!

*Advanced copy provided by the publisher for honest feedback*

*Cover and blurb from Goodreads

Monday, July 18, 2016

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
Release Date: June 2nd, 2015
Publisher: Soho Teen

In the months after his father's suicide, it's been tough for 16-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again--but he's still gunning for it. With the support of his girlfriend Genevieve and his overworked mom, he's slowly remembering what that might feel like. But grief and the smile-shaped scar on his wrist prevent him from forgetting completely. 

When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron's crew notices, and they're not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can't deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can't stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute's revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is. 

Why does happiness have to be so hard?

Aaron is just a regular kid who hangs out with his friends from the neighborhood, spends time at the comic book store, and hangs out with his girlfriend. Of course, Aaron has been through some pretty intense stuff in his relatively short life and somedays are harder than others. His best friend acts weird around him lately and he's starting to question whether his girlfriend is really the one he wants to be with. Once Thomas comes into Aaron's life, his discontent seems to lessen, things start to feel like they are falling into place for him, and he just genuinely seems happier. I just really wanted Aaron to come out on top.

So when things with Thomas take a turn, I was really bummed that Aaron wanted to turn to the Leteo Institute. Sometimes life sucks and you just really wish you could forget all of the pain, but that's also the stuff that makes us who we are. I guess I understand to some extent, especially because there were so many people that behaved so horribly in reaction to the things going on with Aaron, but the people who truly mattered loved him anyway and that's why I had a hard time agreeing with the decision Aaron was making.

This book had me all over the place trying to decide what was really going on. And I never could have guessed how it would actually end. It definitely got me teared up on a couple of occasions and in the end just left me wanting to give Aaron a hug.

I thought this was a great story and even though I'm a little behind on reading it, I'm glad I finally did. I'm really looking forward to what Adam Silvera has to offer next.

*Cover photo and blurb from Goodreads

Saturday, July 9, 2016

My Weekend at ALA Annual 2016!

I have been wanting to attend a book event like ALA or BEA for years, but for many reasons I have never been able to attend one. This year, though, ALA came to Orlando, which is just a short road trip from where I live. So I got my best friend Shanon on board and we made our way to Orlando!

It was held in the West Concourse of the Orange County Convention Center, which prior to MegaCon in May, I had never been to. Having just been there the previous month, though, I felt a little more comfortable making my way around the area. Let me just say, the OCCC is really nice and the area is so pretty. We were so excited we neglected to actually take any pictures of the convention center, the exhibit hall, or any of the awesome posters and advertisements that were all over the place. The picture of the convention building is actually from their website...

So we got ourselves parked and made our way into the building. Having never been to anything like this, we had no idea what to expect. We got our badges, programs, and tote bags and headed over to the exhibit hall. There was so much to see along the way. There were signs and posters everywhere and they even had images covering the staircases. Very cool. When first walked in it was totally overwhelming and we honestly didn't know where to go first. We ended up at the HarperCollins booth first and it was kind of a whirlwind from there.

It was honestly a little like living in a dream, because there were books everywhere and there was always someone there eager to tell you about what books they were excited for. It felt really strange to pick up a book to read the description and then have someone tell you to please feel free to take one. I mean, don't all of us as book lovers dream of places where there are endless amounts of books and people are just giving them to you?

I guess it stayed pretty overwhelming for about the first half of the day. Amidst all of that, though, we stumbled across some really awesome books that we might have never known about otherwise. While in the Penguin Random House booth, one of the lovely ladies working there started telling me about a book called Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer. It wasn't one that I had known about previously, but once she told us it was about a high school where kids start to spontaneously combust, I knew it was something I had to read. It is one of the books I got that I am most excited about reading and I'm so grateful to have discovered it at ALA!

Spontaneous by Aaron Starmer

Later in the day we had a few signings that we wanted to attend. We met up with a few other YA contemporary fans and started the line for the Emery Lord signing at the Bloomsbury booth. Then we headed over to Simon & Schuster to have books signed by Morgan Matson and Siobhan Vivian. They were all so incredibly sweet and charming, and Morgan Matson is one of my absolute favorite contemporary YA authors, so getting to meet her was really cool!

There was one book that was at the top of our list to try and get while we were at ALA, Caraval by Stephanie Garber, and it was even more exciting because she was there to sign copies. Unfortunately, when we went to get in line for the signing, we were told that it was for librarians only. We were seriously bummed, but we were having so much fun anyway, we didn't let it get us down for too long. We went by the Macmillan booth a little while later, just to see if they had an ARCs left of Caraval, and they did! We weren't able to get it signed, but we were so excited and grateful. Our ALA trip was made.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber!

I'll admit, I'm a little embarrassed by how many books I ended up bringing home with me. I came home with way less than I could have, but quite a few more than I had planned on. This is the reason we ultimately decided not to go back on Sunday. While we know it would have been another amazing day, and there were a couple of signings we wouldn't have minded attending, we knew the allure of books and book excitement would have been in full force and we already felt greedy. 

After a long, very warm, day in Orlando! This was the only pic we remembered to take of ourselves :0)

We are so grateful to generosity of all of the publishers and authors at ALA Annual this year! It was so much fun hanging out with all of the bookish folks and their excitement for stories. If we get the chance to make it to Midwinter in Atlanta next year, we'll look forward to seeing everyone again!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...