If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales and Cale Dietrich

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What do you do when your two favorite young adult authors come together to write a new book? You freak out and read it all in one sitting!

Thank you Wednesday Books for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: Eighteen-year-olds Ruben Montez and Zach Knight are two members of the boy-band Saturday, one of the biggest acts in America. Along with their bandmates, Angel Phan and Jon Braxton, the four are teen heart-breakers in front of the cameras and best friends backstage. But privately, cracks are starting to form: their once-easy rapport is straining under the pressures of fame, and Ruben confides in Zach that he’s feeling smothered by management’s pressure to stay in the closet. On a whirlwind tour through Europe, with both an unrelenting schedule and minimal supervision, Ruben and Zach come to rely on each other more and more, and their already close friendship evolves into a romance. But when they decide they’re ready to tell their fans and live freely, Zach and Ruben start to truly realize that they will never have the support of their management. How can they hold tight to each other when the whole world seems to want to come between them?

As expected, I absolutely loved this book. These authors are phenomenal and work together so beautifully. This book mimics the rumors about the band members from One Direction, so if you are aware of those, you will love this book too. Honestly, if you are a fan of boy bands in general, you will also love this book. I really appreciate how inclusive this book was which makes me recommend this for all readers even more. Enjoy the adventure these boys go through and watch them grow and learn in front of your eyes. It’s the best!

5/5 Stars

Roxy by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman

This dynamic team of father and son never disappoint! I’ve had my eyes on this book for a long while, and I’m excited to share it with you.

Thank you Simon Teen for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: The freeway is coming. It will cut the neighborhood in two. Construction has already started, pushing toward this corridor of condemned houses and cracked concrete with the momentum of the inevitable. Yet there you are, in the fifth house on the left, fighting for your life. Ramey, I. The victim of the bet between two manufactured gods: the seductive and lethal Roxy (Oxycontin), who is at the top of her game, and the smart, high-achieving Addison (Adderall), who is tired of being the helpful one, and longs for a more dangerous, less wholesome image. The wager—a contest to see who can bring their mark to “the Party” first—is a race to the bottom of a rave that has raged since the beginning of time. And you are only human, dazzled by the lights and music. Drawn by what the drugs offer—tempted to take that step past helpful to harmful…and the troubled places that lie beyond. But there are two I. Rameys—Isaac, a soccer player thrown into Roxy’s orbit by a bad fall and a bad doctor and Ivy, his older sister, whose increasing frustration with her untreated ADHD leads her to renew her acquaintance with Addy. Which one are you?

This is a deep story. If you struggle with drugs or are affected by someone who does, let this be a warning to you. I can see how this book can affect people from all walks of live who have dealt with OxyContin and/or Adderall. I think this is an incredibly thought-provoking story and really unique in it’s plot. It brings to light a lot of societal issues that really do need to be addressed. While I have seen reviews from people who are concerned about the way Adderall is expressed in this book, I didn’t find offense to it or think it was not shared in an appropriate light (and this is coming from someone who has taken this medication on and off in my lifetime to treat my ADD). I think the character development and relationships shared in this story really are what make this read all worth while.

4/5 Stars

All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman

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This book has been staring at me on my kindle for quite some time. I’ve been so anxious to read it, but I wanted to wait until the spooky season to get into it. Here we are just a day before it’s publishing birthday to share the tale!

Thank you Tor Teen for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: The Blood Moon rises. The Blood Veil falls. The Tournament begins. Every generation, at the coming of the Blood Moon, seven families in the remote city of Ilvernath each name a champion to compete in a tournament to the death. The prize? Exclusive control over a secret wellspring of high magick, the most powerful resource in the world–one thought long depleted. This year, thanks to a salacious tell-all book, the seven champions are thrust into worldwide spotlight, granting each of them new information, new means to win, and most importantly: a choice – accept their fate or rewrite their story. But this is a story that must be penned in blood.

You know that feeling when you pick up a book that seems familiar and you start to get a little nervous about it? Is this something I’ve read before? Will this live up to the hype? These feelings were strong with this read, and it really came out strong on the other side! I really enjoyed this one! I loved how this book mashed magic, fantasy, mystery, and adventure all into one. It really is Hunger Games meets the world of magic. It’s intense and jaw dropping – it’s wildly entertaining! The worst part about this read? It leaves you hanging on a vine. It sets-up for the next book in this new series, but it left me really wanting more. I wanted just a tad more of a pretty bow-type ending, but I guess I just need to wait to see what’s coming next!

4/5 Stars

You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao

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I’d been hearing so much hype about this book from the beginning of this year, I’m excited to finally get a chance to dive right in!

Thank you Wednesday Books for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Julie has her future all planned out—move out of her small town with her boyfriend Sam, attend college in the city, spend a summer in Japan. But then Sam dies. And everything changes. Heartbroken, Julie skips his funeral, throws out his things, and tries everything to forget him and the tragic way he died. But a message Sam left behind in her yearbook forces back memories. Desperate to hear his voice one more time, Julie calls Sam’s cellphone just to listen to his voicemail. And Sam picks up the phone. In a miraculous turn of events, Julie’s been given a second chance at goodbye. The connection is temporary. But hearing Sam’s voice makes her fall for him all over again, and with each call it becomes harder to let him go. However, keeping her otherworldly calls with Sam a secret isn’t easy, especially when Julie witnesses the suffering Sam’s family is going through. Unable to stand by the sidelines and watch their shared loved ones in pain, Julie is torn between spilling the truth about her calls with Sam and risking their connection and losing him forever.

Unfortunately, this one did not live up to my expectations. I was shocked at how uninterested I became so early in the story. I think the story was supposed to be full of emotion, and the only emotion I got was confusion. I felt there were so many missing pieces that were left unresolved for most of the book. I also didn’t really get this raw emotion from Julie that I would’ve expected from how the story started off. The writing was jumbled and the pace was too. A nice premise for a popular trope, but not a great execution.

2/5 Stars

Once More Upon a Time by Roshani Chokshi

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The Gilded Wolves was a hit novel by this author which lead me to following to see what awesome tales she comes up with next!

Thank you Sourcebooks Casablanca for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: Once upon a dream, there was a prince named Ambrose and a princess named Imelda who loved each other…But alas, no more. “What a witch takes, a witch does not give back!” their friends and family warn. They resign themselves to this loveless fate…A year and a day pass. And then their story truly begins...Embark on a perilous journey with Imelda and Ambrose as they brave magical landscapes and enchanted creatures on their quest to reclaim their heart’s desire… But first they must remember what that is…

If you are big fan of classic fairy tales, this book is just for you! There are multiple classic tales in this book (ie. Sleeping Beauty and Twelve Dancing Princesses vibes) and I think that’s what makes this such a unique book! The author did an amazing job of intertwining these fairy tales together without completely overdoing it. It’s an adorable story and folks of all ages will enjoy reading this one. This is a second chance romance story which is my absolute favorite tropes. This one comes highly recommended this fall season (a perfect time to read it)!

5/5 Stars

The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin

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I’m a huge weather nerd – so this book was a must-read for me!

Thank you Sourcebooks Fire for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: For centuries, witches have maintained the climate, their power from the sun peaking in the season of their birth. But now their control is faltering as the atmosphere becomes more erratic. All hope lies with Clara, an Everwitch whose rare magic is tied to every season. In Autumn, Clara wants nothing to do with her power. It’s wild and volatile, and the price of her magic―losing the ones she loves―is too high, despite the need to control the increasingly dangerous weather. In Winter, the world is on the precipice of disaster. Fires burn, storms rage, and Clara accepts that she’s the only one who can make a difference. In Spring, she falls for Sang, the witch training her. As her magic grows, so do her feelings, until she’s terrified Sang will be the next one she loses. In Summer, Clara must choose between her power and her happiness, her duty and the people she loves… before she loses Sang, her magic, and thrusts the world into chaos.

I thought this was such a unique story; I loved it! This is a contemporary young adult fiction book with a touch of magic and fantasy that was so well done! I think it helps that I’m a science geek and environmentalist by trade. I was just utterly engulfed in the story and it had the cutest touch of romance. This is a perfect read for any time of the year!

5/5 Stars

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

There’s something about reading a young adult fiction book in the summer that just completely captivates me. This one is no exception!

Thank you Delacorte Press for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: Evie Thomas doesn’t believe in love anymore. Especially after the strangest thing occurs one otherwise ordinary afternoon: She witnesses a couple kiss and is overcome with a vision of how their romance began . . . and how it will end. After all, even the greatest love stories end with a broken heart, eventually. As Evie tries to understand why this is happening, she finds herself at La Brea Dance studio, learning to waltz, fox-trot, and tango with a boy named X. X is everything that Evie is not: adventurous, passionate, daring. His philosophy is to say yes to everything–including entering a ballroom dance competition with a girl he’s only just met. Falling for X is definitely not what Evie had in mind. If her visions of heartbreak have taught her anything, it’s that no one escapes love unscathed. But as she and X dance around and toward each other, Evie is forced to question all she thought she knew about life and love. In the end, is love worth the risk?

THIS BOOK. ALL THE FEELS. I jumped into this one without having read the synopsis, and I think that made this book all the better. You’ll laugh, cry, swoon, and cheer throughout the whole book. It’s utterly beautiful and I wish more books were like this. I feel like Nicola is the Sarah Dessen of this generation! Also, be sure to read the Author’s Note at the end – it’s a tear jerker, but also wonderfully beautiful.

5/5 Stars

Tell Me When You Feel Something by Vicki Grant

With summer coming up, I’m getting my young adult fiction vibes. I LOVE reading young adult novels in the summer time. I mean, yes, I love reading them at all times, but there’s something just so addicting about a good YA summer book!

Thank you Penguin Teen for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: It seemed like a cool part-time program — being a simulated patient for med school students to practice on. But now vivacious, charismatic Viv lies in a very real coma. Cellphone footage just leads to more questions. What really happened? Other kids suspect it was not an intentional overdose — but each has a reason why they can’t tell the truth. Through intertwining and conflicting narratives, a twisted story unfolds of trust betrayed as we sift through the seemingly innocent events leading up to the tragic night. Perhaps simulated patients aren’t the only people pretending to be something they’re not . . .

I really wanted to like this one so much! I thought it was such a cool premise, but there were way too many characters and such short snippets of what truly happened. If there were two points of view with more in-depth details, this would be so much better. It was tough to stick this one out all the way through. There also should be multiple trigger warnings for this one.

2/5 Stars

The Ivies by Alexa Donne

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Hello to all my Karen McManus fans out there – I have a new book for you to checkout!

Thank you Crown Publishing for my gifted ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: Everyone knows the Ivies: the most coveted universities in the United States. Far more important are the Ivies. The Ivies at Claflin Academy, that is. Five girls with the same mission: to get into the Ivy League by any means necessary. I would know. I’m one of them. We disrupt class ranks, club leaderships, and academic competitions…among other things. We improve our own odds by decreasing the fortunes of others. Because hyper-elite competitive college admissions is serious business. And in some cases, it’s deadly. Alexa Donne delivers a nail-biting and timely thriller about teens who will stop at nothing to get into the college of their dreams. Too bad no one told them murder isn’t an extracurricular.

This was such a fun read! It’s addictive and keeps you super engaged. The characters are extremely well developed. I wasn’t as big of a fan of “One Of Us is Lying” like others are, so this was a HUGE win for me! I want more!

5/5 Stars

Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses by Kristen O’Neal

There may be a lot of chronic illness books out in the wild for young adults (and adults too, let’s be honest), but there aren’t a lot that cover the realm of invisible illness. I’m excited to share one that releases this week.

Thank you Quirk Books for my gifted copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: Priya worked hard to pursue her premed dreams at Stanford, but a diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease during her sophomore year sends her back to her loving but overbearing family in New Jersey—and leaves her wondering if she’ll ever be able to return to the way things were. Thankfully she has her online pen pal, Brigid, and the rest of the members of “oof ouch my bones,” a virtual support group that meets on Discord to crack jokes and vent about their own chronic illnesses. When Brigid suddenly goes offline, Priya does something out of character: she steals the family car and drives to Pennsylvania to check on Brigid. Priya isn’t sure what to expect, but it isn’t the horrifying creature that’s shut in the basement. With Brigid nowhere to be found, Priya begins to puzzle together an impossible but obvious truth: the creature might be a werewolf—and the werewolf might be Brigid. As Brigid’s unique condition worsens, their friendship will be deepened and challenged in unexpected ways, forcing them to reckon with their own ideas of what it means to be normal.

As someone with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, POTS, and Endometriosis, it’s really exciting to see a book that includes all three and makes me feel like I could’ve written it myself. I literally was thrown back into my high school years where I did the same thing as the characters in this novel – connected with others online who struggled with chronic illness like myself. There are a few controversial reviews about this book and how it’s advertised as an #ownvoices read. I want to make clear that this is written as #ownvoices in the chronic illness realm, not necessarily in race identity. There are many reviews that provide resources to guide you in the direction about the cultural appropriation displayed in this novel and I encouraged you to read and research as such. In terms of the chronic illness portrayal and friendships developed in this book, I really liked it!

4/5 Stars