Book Review: None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

None of the Above

Title: None of the Above
Author: I.W. Gregorio
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication date: April 7, 2015
Pages: 328
Source: Borrowed
Summary (via Goodreads): A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she was born intersex… and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.

 

What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant?

 

When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She’s a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she’s madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she’s decided that she’s ready to take things to the next level with him.

 

But Kristin’s first time isn’t the perfect moment she’s planned—something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy “parts.”

 

Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin’s entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?

 

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Such a good book. I personally don’t know much about what it means to be intersex, so I loved learning more and reading Kristin’s story. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

 

So I actually bought an ebook copy of this book for a diverse book event several months ago, but I wanted to read a hardcover copy instead of using my Kindle, due to eye strain. I reserved a library copy when I saw this book on the list for #ReadProud. It’s been on my TBR list for way too long, so I had to rectify that situation.

 

Kristin was such a great main character. I learned a lot about what it means to be intersex because of this book, so yay for that! I love being able to open my eyes to new things, to be able to understand things more, to keep my mind open/accepting of everyone. My heart hurt for some of the things Kristin had to endure. People, especially teens, can be so cruel.

 

I’m glad she had a great support system built of family and friends to turn to. I definitely cried during emotional parts in the book. So fair warning, you might cry too. I just know Kristin is going to be okay, especially because her support circle got bigger as the book continued. It really goes to show you that some people are actually good.

 

There was some romance in the beginning of the book, and then some at the very end. I like the romance at the end better. The ending was perfection. I was beyond happy that Kristin was in a better place emotionally, and that things were starting to look up for her all around.

 

I can’t say for certain, but I think Darren will be an addition to my book boyfriend list. He was super sweet, but I feel like I didn’t get to see enough of him. I wanted more! I also really loved his mom. Kristin’s dad was another great character; he’s kind of intense after what happened with Kristin’s mom (no spoilers), but he’s so accepting/supportive after Kristin received her diagnosis. More parents should be like him. In addition to these characters, I loved Gretchen, Jessica, and a few others.

 

I didn’t make many status updates on Goodreads while devouring this book in two days, but here’s a quote I loved: “One day I would find my own place. I couldn’t run there, though, because it didn’t exist yet; I had to build it myself, out of forgiveness, truth, and terrifying gestures of friendship.”

 

Final note: An amazing book! I’m so glad I picked this book for the final #ReadProud weekly challenge. Get yourself a copy of this book ASAP. It’ll open your eyes and your heart.

 

5 stars

Book Review: Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

Everything Leads to You

Title: Everything Leads to You
Author: Nina LaCour
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Publication date: May 15, 2014
Pages: 312
Source: Borrowed
Summary (via Goodreads): A love letter to the craft and romance of film and fate in front of—and behind—the camera from the award-winning author of Hold Still.

 

A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.

 

Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.

 

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I loved this book. It was utter perfection. If you’re looking for a cute, slow burn love story, a f/f romance, etc., I highly suggest you read this book. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars.

 

I’d gotten this book from the library before, and didn’t have time to read it. When I saw it on the list for #ReadProud, I was super excited to finally cross it off my TBR list. I’m upset that I didn’t read this book sooner, before it was so good. I pretty much loved all the characters in this book: Emi, Charlotte, Ava, Jamal, Toby (even though you don’t see him much), Emi’s parents, etc. There were only a couple characters I didn’t like, for reasons you’ll see if you read this book.

 

Emi was a fantastic main character; I adored her. The book mostly takes place in the summertime, which allows us to see Emi’s super amazing job as a set designer. I loved seeing all the little details, like shopping at Goodwill, going to garage/estate sales, etc. They really helped sell the authenticity of the job, in my opinion.

 

Another character that I loved was Ava. Her life, and backstory, leapt off the page. My heart hurt for everything she had to endure. There was a bit of a mysterious aspect to this book, which I thought was nice. You slowly learn more and more until you have most of the picture presented to you by the end of the book. There were still some questions left unanswered, but I thought that was a good metaphor for life: you don’t always get answers to everything you want to know.

 

I loved the slow burn romance, and the perfect ending to this beautiful story. I say yes to this book. I need to buy a copy ASAP to read over and over again. I only made note of one line that I really liked: “And I understand what this is. It’s the opposite of the collapse of the fantasy. It’s what happens when the illusion pales in comparison to the truth.”

 

Final note: I will push this one on people constantly, because it was such an amazing book! I’m so glad I finally got around to reading this book for the #ReadProud challenge this month. Get yourself a copy ASAP if you haven’t read this yet!

 

5 stars

Book Review: George by Alex Gino

George

Title: George
Author: Alex Gino
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication date: August 25, 2015
Pages: 195
Source: Borrowed
Summary (via Goodreads): BE WHO YOU ARE.

 

When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.

 

George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part . . . because she’s a boy.

 

With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.

 

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This book was so good. I feel like it should be mandatory reading for younger children, to help expose them to literature about transgendered people. These kinds of books will let kids know it’s okay to be who you are, as the first line in the summary says. I gave this 5 out of 5 stars.

 

I read this book for #ReadProud. I ended up reading it in one day, because I didn’t want to put it down and it’s a pretty short book. I’d heard some great things about this book, and they were definitely all correct. George is such a great main character. I felt for her while she tried to let the world know that she was a girl, not a boy. Her story touched my heart, and I’m sure it’ll touch your heart too!

 

First off, I really love Kelly, George’s best friend. Kelly was always there for George and didn’t judge her like a lot of other people did in the story. Kelly encouraged George to try out for Charlotte’s part in the play, and even helped George be Charlotte after the teacher said no. Kelly encouraged George to embrace being a girl in other ways as well, and I have to say bravo to Kelly’s character. If it wasn’t for her, it might have been harder, and taken George longer, to embrace her true identity.

 

George’s mom kind of annoyed me for most of the book. She kept dismissing George’s words, kept dismissing George when she tried to tell her mom that she wasn’t a boy. She comes around towards the end, but I feel like she’s going to take a while to come to terms with this. I wish more parents were accepting of their children, no matter what. George’s dad isn’t really in the picture, and we only hear mentioning of him a few times. George’s brother Scott was a pretty great character overall. He’s a little brash at first, but he comes around to the idea of George’s true identity much faster than the mom.

 

Of course, some kids can be cruel. Kids like Jeff, Rick, etc. are why more kids don’t come forward with their true identities. It breaks my heart that kids, and even adults, have to endure that kind of pain. Bullying is beyond wrong; I know from firsthand experience, but my reasons for being bullied were different. No child should have to endure bullying. But despite being picked on, George prevails. The ending was absolutely perfect. I just know George is going to be okay, even if she experiences some ups and downs.

 

Before I finish the review, I just want to point out one line that really stuck with me. It was said about George and I think it fits perfectly: “My point is, it takes a special person to cry over a book. It shows compassion as well as imagination.”

 

Final note: Another amazing debut! I read this book for the #ReadProud challenge this month, and I regret nothing. You can buy a Kindle or Nook copy of this book for $2.99 right now. Go get a copy ASAP!

 

5 stars

Book Review: If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

If I Was Your Girl

Title: If I Was Your Girl
Author: Meredith Russo
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication date: May 3, 2016
Pages: 288
Source: Borrowed
Summary (via Goodreads): Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.

 

And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met—open, honest, kind—and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself…including her past. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.

 

Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.

 

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Okay bear with me, because this review is going to be intense. It’ll include a lot of gushing praise, some of the heartache I experienced, and so much more…without being spoilery of course. This book is definitely 5 out of 5 stars in my book.

 

I read this book for #ReadProud, even though it’s been on my TBR list for quite a while now. I’m so glad I finally read it. Because of the summary, you already know some of the backstory of Amanda’s life. But knowing that backstory still didn’t prepare me for the roller coaster of emotions that were contained in the 288 pages of If I Was Your Girl. I thought Meredith did such a great job with the subject matter at hand. My heart went out to the main character, Amanda, so many times. As a straight female, I know I don’t know what it’s like to be trans, but seeing life through Amanda’s eyes was eye-opening. I’d like to think I’m pretty open-minded and accepting, especially after seeing the reactions of some people in this book. I say be who you are, be with whoever makes you happy, etc. because life’s too short.

 

Amanda was a fantastic main character. I liked that Meredith had some passages scattered throughout the book that showed us Amanda’s past, showed us what she had to endure and deal with. It made me get attached to her character even more. Grant was a pretty good guy overall, but he’s not an addition to my book boyfriend for a few reasons. One is that I just wasn’t attracted to his character. He sounded cute, but I didn’t feel myself falling for his character. The other reasons I don’t want to share, because they’re spoilers.

 

I thought the female friendship in this book was one of the highlights. Layla, Anna, and Chloe were amazing, especially towards the very end of the book. Amanda is lucky to have friends like them. Bee was okay, until she wasn’t, but I understand she served a purpose in the book. I really liked that Amanda got to feel like ‘one of the girls’ when she lived in Lambertville. It made my heart happy for most of the book.

 

The ‘past’ sections were pretty emotional overall. They really tugged at my heartstring, for lack of better words. Some were happy, but mostly they were showing the emotional, and physical, abuse Amanda endured. My heart ached that people could treat other people like that, like they were nothing. Society is so wrong at times that it’s enough to make me scream. The book ends on a slightly happier note, especially since Amanda always has her friends no matter what, and she has her whole life ahead of her to see what happens next.

 

Final note: I’m glad I read this book for the #ReadProud challenge this month. Such a great debut! I’d highly recommend it! I need to buy a copy for myself to own so I can keep experiencing the feels over and over again!

 

5 stars

Book Review: The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

The Distance Between Us

Title: The Distance Between Us
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication date: July 2, 2013
Pages: 312
Source: Purchased
Summary (via Goodreads): Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

 

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company.

 

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

 

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This is by far my favorite Kasie West book to date. Caymen was a great main character, and I found the sarcastic nature of her character to be refreshing and entertaining. This book was 5 out of 5 stars to me, and it was added to my favorites list.

 

Overall this was a fast, easy, enjoyable read. I’d highly recommend it to lovers of contemporary romance. Since I’d just read On the Fence recently, I recognized some of the characters from that book in this book. I can’t remember if there was any character overlap from The Fill-In Boyfriend.

 

This book wasn’t very fluffy overall, which was fine by me. I like books with a little more substance, with some issues/problems scattered throughout. It’s more like real life. I won’t spoil what happens in the book, but there’s definitely some drama, some problems, that occur. I think Kasie did a great job with the story, making it slightly suspenseful, even though I pretty much guessed most of what would happen before it did. But nevertheless, I still loved the book.

 

In addition to loving Caymen, and wanting to be her best friend, I also liked Skye a lot. I felt like I got to know Skye more in the book than in On the Fence, because Caymen is her best friend. Xander was another great character. I absolutely loved the interactions between him and Caymen. They seemed like the perfect pairing. Xander has definitely been added to my book boyfriend list. *swoon*

 

I didn’t make a lot of status updates because I was so busy reading, but I did make note of one line I really liked: “Feelings, my dear daughter, you will perhaps learn one day, can be the most costly thing in the universe.”

 

Final note: If you had to read one Kasie West book, I’d tell you to read this one. It was my favorite by a wide margin. I can’t wait to read Kasie’s sci-fi/fantasy duology and her new book coming out later this year.

 

5 stars

Book Review: The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright

The Heir and the Spare

Title: The Heir and the Spare
Author: Emily Albright
Series: Untitled #1
Publisher: Merit Press
Publication date: January 18, 2016
Pages: 288
Source: Borrowed
Summary (via Goodreads): Family can be complicated. Especially when skeletons from the past pop up unexpectedly. For American Evie Gray, finding out her deceased mother had a secret identity, and not one of the caped crusader variety, was quite the surprise. Evie’s mom had a secret life before she was even born, one that involved tiaras.

 

In this modern day fairytale, Evie is on a path to figure out who her mom really was, while discovering for herself what the future will hold. Charged with her late mother’s letters, Evie embarks on a quest into her past. The first item on the list is to attend Oxford, her mom’s alma mater. There, Evie stumbles upon a real life prince charming, Edmund Stuart the second Prince of England, who is all too happy to be the counterpart to her damsel in distress.

 

Evie can’t resist her growing attraction to Edmund as they spend more time together trying to unravel the clues her mother left behind. But, when doubts arise as to whether or not Edmund could ever be with an untitled American, what really ends up unraveling is Evie’s heart. When Evie uncovers all the facts about her mom’s former life, she realizes her mom’s past can open doors she never dreamed possible, doors that can help her be with Edmund. But, with everything now unveiled, Evie starts to crack under the pressure of new family responsibilities and the realization that her perfect prince may want her for all the wrong reasons.

 

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I wanted to like this book, because a friend with similar reading tastes recommended it highly. She kept telling me how cute, and adorable it was, and so I rushed to read this when the library finally got my hold copy in. But this story didn’t do it for me. I ended up giving it 2 out of 5 stars.

 

Before I start talking about why the book didn’t work for me, I just want to say that it looks like I’m part of an unpopular opinion regarding this book. Most people thought it was really cute like my friend did, and the average rating is 3.49 stars on Goodreads. Just because I didn’t like it doesn’t mean others wouldn’t (obviously, since my reading tastes aren’t the end all be all of the book world haha).

 

Overall, this was a pretty fast read. That’s always a good thing, but honestly if it hadn’t been highly recommended, I probably would have stopped reading early on for few reasons. First, the writing felt off/unnatural to me sometimes. Some places the dialogue felt forced, like people wouldn’t actually say those things in real life, that they were just thrown in there because they could be. Second, Evie felt kind of childish for being 19-20 years old in the book. While I was reading, some of the things she thought and said made me kind of want to smack my forehead, or quite honestly, smack her.

 

Edmund was okay, but he’s not in my top 10 book boyfriends or anything. I’m not even sure he’s in my top 100. The romance between Evie and Edmund was a little slow for my tastes, and they kind of had no clue what the heck they were doing. I kind of wanted to yell at them to get their shit together. The one highlight of the book was the romance towards the end. I did like the ending more than the rest of the book, but the journey there was kind of painful to read. The only reason I stuck through the entire book was that I was hoping it would get better, that I would fall in love with it like my friend did. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Even though the ending was better than the rest of the book, it didn’t make up for the 250+ pages it took to get there.

 

Final note: I just couldn’t get into this book. I probably should have not finished it instead of making myself keep reading. Oh well, lesson learned. I really hope others enjoy it more than I did!

 


2 stars

Book Review: Winter by Marissa Meyer

Winter

Title: Winter
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #4
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication date: November 10, 2015
Pages: 824
Source: Purchased
Summary (via Goodreads): Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.


Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.


Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

 

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I really enjoyed the final book to this series (besides the novella bind up Stars Above, which I still have to read). I started reading this book last year, but life got in the way. I finally read it all the way through earlier this month in 4 days. This is my second favorite book, after Cress. I gave Winter 5 out of 5 stars.

 

For the most part, it’s the same cast again, except when everyone gets to Luna. Then there’s a new cast of characters, although most aren’t prominent; they’re mostly background characters, there for a purpose. I loved seeing all the different sections, told from different POVs. I’m not usually in favor of multiple POVs, but Marissa does a great job of showing each character’s unique thoughts/actions/personalities. The book was super long, maybe a little too long, but it was very enjoyable.

 

I really love all the pairings, but Cress and Thorne are my all-time favorite couple. Each pairing has their moments, their pros, though. I want all the male main characters to be my book boyfriends. I can trade them out daily, or weekly! And of course, all the female characters are fantastic. I’d love to be friends with all these BAMFs.

 

Each book in the series is a fairy tale retelling, and this book is loosely based on the Snow White fairy tale. There are definitely some elements throughout. Winter has always been the “fairest” on Luna, much to Levana’s irritation. There’s the fact that she likes apple candies, and then something else I don’t really want to give away.

 

I only wrote down one line while I was reading: “It’s not proper for seventeen-year-old princesses to be alone with young men who have questionable intentions.” The only other updates I made were my impressions (What the f*ck!?!?!?, Ugh! I have Levana., and Yay!!! This makes me so happy.) a few times, otherwise I was too absorbed to do much besides update my page position.

 

Final note: A great final book to an amazing series! I’m so glad I got around to reading these books finally. Check out the series if you haven’t already. I’d highly recommend it.

5 stars

Book Review: The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

The wrath & the dawn

Title: The Wrath and The Dawn
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication date: May 12, 2015
Pages: 395
Source: Borrowed
Summary (via Goodreads): One Life to One Dawn.



In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

 

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

 

Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.

 

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I absolutely loved this book! The writing was amazing, and I loved the characters. Some of my favorites were Shahrzad and Khalid (obviously!), Despina, and Jalel. I read the book in two days, and I immediately wanted the sequel right after. I ended up giving this 5 out of 5 stars.

 

Shahrzad is a great main character. I loved that she was strong, that she had a plan in mind and tried her hardest to put it into action. But then she fell in love, and she was torn. Does she sacrifice everything for her love, or does she sacrifice her feelings? There’s a decent amount of romance, but I still wanted more, probably because I absolutely love Shahrzad and Khalid together. Every time something romantic would happen between them, I was swooning and giggling like a school girl.

 

Renee’s writing is beautiful. I wanted to immerse myself into this world. I didn’t realize until I finished the book that there was an index with terms and definitions. I wish I’d realized sooner, because that would have helped clear some things up a little, would have helped me understand the story a little more. But nevertheless, I still really enjoyed the book.

 

I didn’t really like Tariq that much. He kind of annoyed me a bit, especially when he tried to make Shahrzad do things she didn’t want to do. The ending leaves you hanging, wondering what’s going to happen next. I’m glad I read this book so close to the sequel; I’m not sure I could have waited nearly a year to find out what happens next!

 

Some of my favorite lines: “Joonam. He’d called her that before. My everything.” and “Some things exist in our lives for but a brief moment. And we must let them go on to light another sky.”

 

Final note: Overall this was a great retelling. I’d highly recommend it, and I’m impatiently waiting for the sequel! I want it NOW! Read this if you haven’t already.

 

5 stars

Book Review: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

P.S. I Still Love You

Title: P.S. I Still Love You
Author: Jenny Han
Series: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #2
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication date: May 26, 2015
Pages: 352
Source: Borrowed
Summary (via Goodreads): Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.

 

She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.

 

When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

 

In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of what makes it so amazing.

 

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As soon as I finished the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before audiobook, I had to get this sequel from the library. After the cliffhanger ending in the first book, I had to know what happened next in Lara Jean’s story. And Jenny Han did not disappoint. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

 

Book two picks up where book one left off. Lara Jean is such a great main character, and Kitty was super adorable once again. I pretty much devoured this book in two days after getting home from work. It was so good that I didn’t want to put it down. Sure there were a few flaws, like Lara Jean’s naivety at times and the overall predictable plot, but the swoony romance among other things made up for it.

 

Lara Jean is a boy magnet kind of, what with Peter and the “boy from her past”. Honestly, I don’t think she could go wrong with either one. They both have good and bad qualities. But I still love Peter, even though he has some douchebag moments. He made me swoon in the first book, and he made me swoon some in this second book. I think this book was less focused on romance than the first book, or maybe it’s just because the romantic parts were split between boys that I felt that way. Hmm. Something for deeper thought. But the romance that’s there is super cute.

 

A couple of my favorite lines: “Things feel like they’ll be forever, but they aren’t. Love can go away, or people can, without even meaning to. Nothing is guaranteed.” and “Why did God give me a mouth if I’m just going to say dumb stuff with it?”

 

Final note: An adorable end to this duology. I can’t wait to re-read these books for years to come, both in print and via audiobooks. I’m positive you’ll get a kick out of Lara Jean (and Kitty), so read these books if you haven’t already!

 

5 stars

Book Review: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Open Road Summer

Title: Open Road Summer
Author: Emery Lord
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Publication date: April 15, 2014
Pages: 352
Source: Borrowed
Summary (via Goodreads): After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own.

 

Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence.

 

This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking.

 

A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

 

review6

 

This book was really good. I read it after The Start of Me and You, which I loved hardcore, so it didn’t blow me away with awesomeness, but it was still a 5 star read for sure! After reading both of Emery Lord’s published novels, she’s on my auto-buy list forever. She’s such a great writer.

 

I think one of the reasons I didn’t love Open Road Summer quite so much was because I didn’t relate to Reagan entirely. She was a really interesting main character, but she was vastly different from me. Nevertheless, the story pulls you in. I really liked Lilah/Dee, and I loved Matt Finch. He was adorable. I finished the book in a few days because it was kind of hard to put down, especially towards the end. There was some drama, there was some tears (from me, obviously), and there was love for Matt (from me and Reagan).

 

Reagan was really into photography, which I think really helped with her character development. I love when characters put their hearts and souls into a hobby. There were some darker moments in the book where we found out about Reagan’s ex. Honestly, this book had a little bit of everything in it. I laughed, I cried (see paragraph above), I squealed, and I really wanted to scream sometimes. If a book can make you do all that, it’s got to be really good, right?!?

 

One thing I really love about Emery’s book are that she has “normal-ish” male romantic interests. They’re smart, sweet, funny, etc. Sure they’re hot too, but their personality is what really hooks me the most. Nice guys don’t always finish last. I added Matt to my book boyfriend list, because he’s fantastic. And checking now, I have 28 book boyfriends. You can never have enough book boyfriends in my opinion! 😉

 

Some of my favorite lines from the book were: “Matt proceeded to show us his entire stock of camera expressions: Surprise Mugshot, Blinky McStupid, and Double Chin for the Win.” and “When his hands drop from my body, it feels like withdrawal, like I could develop the shakes.” and “I can’t have him knowing that it feels like heartstrings are a real thing inside me and that he plucks them.”

 

Final note: Another great book by Emery Lord. Emery Lord FTW (for the win)! I’m positive you won’t be disappointed if you give this book a shot.

 

5 stars