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

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

Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett

Chasing Lucky

I’m a huge fan of Jenn’s. She is one of the best at creating a feel-good young adult romance/coming-of-age story! Here’s her latest novel, Chasing Lucky!

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

Synopsis: Budding photographer Josie Saint-Martin has spent half her life with her single mother, moving from city to city. When they return to her historical New England hometown years later to run the family bookstore, Josie knows it’s not forever. Her dreams are on the opposite coast, and she has a plan to get there. What she doesn’t plan for is a run-in with the town bad boy, Lucky Karras. Outsider, rebel…and her former childhood best friend. Lucky makes it clear he wants nothing to do with the newly returned Josie. But everything changes after a disastrous pool party, and a poorly executed act of revenge lands Josie in some big-time trouble—with Lucky unexpectedly taking the blame. Determined to understand why Lucky was so quick to cover for her, Josie discovers that both of them have changed, and that the good boy she once knew now has a dark sense of humor and a smile that makes her heart race. And maybe, just maybe, he’s not quite the brooding bad boy everyone thinks he is…

Ugh, I wanted to love this way more than I did. Part of it is because I think I’ve read so many young adult romance novels in my lifetime that I feel like every single one of them is a story about a girl and trying to survive a move with their single parent. I just felt like the beginning of this story has been done so many times and I’m ready for something new and unique. I still love Jenn’s writing and great way at capturing all the emotions on paper, I just was hoping for something slightly different. I’m still adding this to my library!

3/5 Stars

Again Again by E Lockhart

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If you’re like me, it’s so exciting to see a new release from E Lockhart! We Were Liars is one of my all-time favorite books!

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

Synopsis: If you could live your life again, what would you do differently After a near-fatal family catastrophe and an unexpected romantic upheaval, Adelaide Buchwald finds herself catapulted into a summer of wild possibility, during which she will fall in and out of love a thousand times—while finally confronting the secrets she keeps, her ideas about love, and the weird grandiosity of the human mind. A raw, funny story that will surprise you over and over, Again Again gives us an indelible heroine grappling with the terrible and wonderful problem of loving other people. 

Noooo 😦 I had such high hopes for this one! I think trying to make other books live up to it is just asking too much. This one was different in many aspects and really should never even be considered to compare to WWL. The book has parts where you can see the main character act a scene out in a few different ways to see the possible outcomes. This was just too much for me. There was no telling when it would happen or how many different outcomes you would read about, and they just didn’t make sense…it’s an interesting concept but it ruined the book for me.

2/5 Stars

Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales

OH how I loved this book…let me count the ways!

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

Synopsis: Summer love…gone so fast.
Will Tavares is the dream summer fling―he’s fun, affectionate, kind―but just when Ollie thinks he’s found his Happily Ever After, summer vacation ends and Will stops texting Ollie back. Now Ollie is one prince short of his fairy tale ending, and to complicate the fairy tale further, a family emergency sees Ollie uprooted and enrolled at a new school across the country. Which he minds a little less when he realizes it’s the same school Will goes to…except Ollie finds that the sweet, comfortably queer guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High. This Will is a class clown, closeted―and, to be honest, a bit of a jerk.
Ollie has no intention of pining after a guy who clearly isn’t ready for a relationship, especially since this new, bro-y jock version of Will seems to go from hot to cold every other week. But then Will starts “coincidentally” popping up in every area of Ollie’s life, from music class to the lunch table, and Ollie finds his resolve weakening.
The last time he gave Will his heart, Will handed it back to him trampled and battered. Ollie would have to be an idiot to trust him with it again.
Right? Right. 

Need a feel-good book? THIS IS IT! GOSH I loved this book and read it so fast because it was so dang good and oh my gosh I just didn’t want this book to end! Think of an LGBTQIA version of Grease. Summer lovin’ turned to every day reality. The characters were lovable and relatable too. It’s freaking adorable, emotional, and had a wonderful ending! It’s not graphic in it’s sexual content at all (something I have seen people ask about). It’s just so dang cute.

5/5 Stars

YA Book of the Month Club September HUGE DISCOUNT

If you’re anything like me, you’re broke but want to buy all the books.

I’ve got a solution for you because I have the best discount code you could ever imagine!

Have you checked out YA Book of the Month Club’s September picks? They are STELLAR and you can choose one today for just $5!

Haven’t seen them yet? I’ve blogged about 2 of them…but check all the choices out!

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There seriously isn’t a bad book in this stack. ALL of these are on my list to read! Right now, you can pick one for just $5 by using this link here and entering promo code YALIT. This deal ends September 30th or when these books run out which is getting pretty close! Don’t experience FOMO!

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

It’s no surprise that I love Young Adult Books. I JUMPED for JOY when Book of the Month started a young adult box! I have ALWAYS loved that you can get a brand new book (sometimes even before they are released in stores) for WAY less than what they cost in stores new. Plus, they come hardcover 🙂

I’m ESPECIALLY OVER THE MOON EXCITED that my most highly anticipated read this year is one of their September books. I have read both David’s wife Nicola Yoon’s books as soon as they came out (see my past reviews on them!), so it was no surprise that I was THRILLED that he has written his first book.

Synopsis: High school senior Frank Li is a Limbo–his term for Korean-American kids who find themselves caught between their parents’ traditional expectations and their own Southern California upbringing. His parents have one rule when it comes to romance–“Date Korean”–which proves complicated when Frank falls for Brit Means, who is smart, beautiful–and white. Fellow Limbo Joy Song is in a similar predicament, and so they make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom. Frank thinks it’s the perfect plan, but in the end, Frank and Joy’s fake-dating maneuver leaves him wondering if he ever really understood love–or himself–at all.

It’s AMAZING and looks like there will even be a sequel! You can get your copy TODAY for only $5 using the code “YALIT” through this link here. They ship super fast too so you won’t have to miss out on reading this soon. Let me know what you think of it!

Rules We’re Meant to Break by Natalie Williamson

It’s been a rough few days at our house. With that being said, I needed a really good young adult novel that I can’t stop reading. Cue the review!

Thank you Swoon Reads for gifting me a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis: Amber lives by strict rules to survive her mother’s love life: Always keep your eyes on the horizon and never get close to anyone connected to Mom’s boyfriends. But after they move in with Kevin, the latest of her mom’s “soul mates,” the rules become increasingly difficult to follow. Kevin’s daughter, Cammie, keeps acting like Amber’s friend, even though she’s definitely not. And Jordan—star basketball player, hottest boy in school, and Cammie’s best friend—keeps showing up at the most inconvenient moments.Amber has reasons for every one of her rules, and following them is the only way to protect her heart when her mom inevitably moves on. But as she spends more time with Kevin, his daughter, and especially Jordan, she starts to wonder if the rules might be worth breaking this time.

This book is the epitome of a perfect YA summer read! If you are a Sarah Dessen fan, you will love this book! I could not put this book down once I started it. I’m a sucker for stories about high school first loves and family drama. It’s so stinking adorable, I can’t stand it! I’m ready to read this one a second time, I loved it!

5/5 Stars

Finale by Stephanie Garber

Finale (Caraval, #3)

THE TIME HAS COME! I have waited for this day for a long time. I can’t believe this series is coming to an end! If you haven’t read the previous books, you may not want to read any further. No spoilers here…it just won’t make much sense to you.

Thank you Flatiron Books for gifting me an e-copy in exchange for my honest review.

Synopsis from Goodreads: It’s been two months since the last Caraval concluded, two months since the Fates have been freed from an enchanted deck of cards, two months since Tella has seen Legend, and two months since Legend claimed the empire’s throne as his own. Now, Legend is preparing for his official coronation and Tella is determined to stop it. She believes her own mother, who still remains in an enchanted sleep, is the rightful heir to the throne. Meanwhile, Scarlett has started a game of her own. She’s challenged Julian and her former fiancé, Count Nicolas d’Arcy, to a competition where the winner will receive her hand in marriage. Finaly, Scarlett feels as if she is in complete control over her life and future. She is unaware that her mother’s past has put her in the greatest danger of all. Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun―with lives, empires, and hearts all at stake. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win…and those who will lose everything. . .

As it is said, all good things must come to an end. I love that this book is written in both Scarlet and Tella’s point of view. I wish the second book was the same! If you have been following my reviews for long enough, it’s no surprise that I loved the first book way more than the second book. In fact, a good friend of mine says that she’s still trying to get through reading the second book. I hear that quite a lot from people. This book is different! It reads a LOT like the first book which made me so happy! Stephanie has such a talent for detailing her stories so beautifully. I could read her descriptions for days and days. They’re just so magical! If you don’t like love triangles, then this book isn’t for you. I, on the other hand, LIVE for love triangles and just devoured this story. I squealed the entire time. My husband could guess which book I was reading from miles away. It was a wonderful ending to the series in my opinion and I will cherish this story for years to come.

5/5 Stars