Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Blog Tour: Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins | Review

Blog Tour: Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins | ReviewSummer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories by Stephanie Perkins
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on May 17th 2016
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher, Netgalley
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

Maybe it's the long, lazy days, or maybe it's the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom.

Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.

picadillyblueWhen I heard that Stephanie Perkins was editing (and contributing to) another collection of young adult short stories, I was beyond ecstatic.  I was a fan of My True Love Gave to Me and I’ve really come to love collections like this one.

This is a little hard for me to review since if I had the time, I’d review each story separately.  Who knows, maybe I’ll get around to doing that eventually but today I’m just going to touch on the book as a whole!

Pros:

  • Authors: Summer Days and Summer Nights has a wide variety of authors, some I’ve read before and others that were new to me.  It’s also great that it’s not just one genre represented.  It didn’t hurt that a few of my favorite authors were included here (Leigh Bardugo, anyone?)  I feel like readers who already love these authors will enjoy getting even a little bit more from them and if the book includes new authors for you, maybe you’ll find some new books to check out.

Okay, that’s really the only point I can make in a pros and cons review.  The rest is just going to have to be more traditional.  I tried but I just don’t know how to word it to make things fit with all the stories.

Let’s break it down here:

My favorite story would have to be Stephanie Perkins’ (no surprise there) but I also loved Brandy Colbert’s and Tim Federle’s and I’ve never read any of their books.  I also really enjoyed Nina LaCour’s and look forward to reading more of her work.  A few others that were up there on my list were Lev Grossman’s, Jennifer E. Smith’s, and Jon Skovron’s.

Stories that were right in the middle for me were Libba Bray’s and Francesca Lia Block’s.  I’m not really a huge fan of either author so I didn’t know what to expect with these two which actually helped me like them more, I think.  I went in with no expectations so they couldn’t really disappoint me.  I know that’s sad but it’s true.  I think if you enjoy either (or both) author you will like these stories from them.

I was let down a bit by both Leigh Bardugo and Cassie Clare’s stories.  I think for Leigh Bardugo’s it had more to do with the subject than the author.  I still love her writing but I wasn’t impressed with the story and just didn’t get into it.  As for Cassie Clare, I think I’ve just read too much of her work and need a break from it all.  I find her stories to be really fun and that’s what I expected from this one but it just didn’t hit the right note with me.

Overall, while Summer Days and Summer Nights had a few stories I didn’t love, I really did enjoy it as a whole.  Overall, take some time to read through this one.  Not only did I get the chance to read some new things from some of my favorite authors, I got to read a couple new authors (Lev Grossman is a new one for me) that I’ll have to check out more from now.  Summer Days and Summer Nights really is the perfect book to take out with you on a summer day!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Blog Tour: The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters | Review + Giveaway

Blog Tour: The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters | Review + GiveawayThe Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters
Published by Amulet Books on March 8th 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
4 Stars

A thrilling reimagining of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, The Steep and Thorny Way tells the story of a murder most foul and the mighty power of love and acceptance in a state gone terribly rotten.

1920s Oregon is not a welcoming place for Hanalee Denney, the daughter of a white woman and an African-American man. She has almost no rights by law, and the Ku Klux Klan breeds fear and hatred in even Hanalee’s oldest friendships. Plus, her father, Hank Denney, died a year ago, hit by a drunk-driving teenager. Now her father’s killer is out of jail and back in town, and he claims that Hanalee’s father wasn’t killed by the accident at all but, instead, was poisoned by the doctor who looked after him—who happens to be Hanalee’s new stepfather.

The only way for Hanalee to get the answers she needs is to ask Hank himself, a “haint” wandering the roads at night.

picadillyblue

The Steep and Thorny Way is my first foray into Cat Winters’ work but it won’t be my last.  While the Hamlet retelling aspect of this one was what first caught my attention, it was Cat Winters’ writing that kept it.  I’ll hold out judgment until I can read at least one more of her books but I think she may earn a place on my favorites shelf.

Pros:

  • The writing: As I said, the writing definitely got me with this one.  The Steep and Thorny Way is historical fiction with a twist and Cat’s writing is perfect for this type of story.  It’s atmospheric and haunting.  The story itself was extremely interesting and I was hooked for that aspect but the writing definitely added to my enjoyment.
  • The history: I’m a huge history buff and I loved that Cat Winters didn’t choose the typical 1920s to portray.  The Steep and Thorny Way shows a darker side of the 1920s and it’s not always easy to read.  And while it is very much fiction, Cat Winters did a great job making her story as accurate as possible.  She doesn’t shy away from the reality that would have been Hanalee’s life as a mixed race teenager in that time period.
  • Hanalee: Hanalee certainly had her flaws but I really liked her overall.  She reminded me a lot of myself in some of the things that she did.  I felt that I could relate to her, even though our situations are nothing alike.  She was strong and capable but she didn’t always think things through before acting.  I couldn’t fault her for that but sometimes I could see how things would happen because of her actions.

Cons:

  • The other characters: I was not a huge fan of any of the other characters.  While I felt like I could relate to Hanalee, she was the only one I felt that way about.  Everyone else needed to be a bit more rounded out and I felt like I never really got to know or like them.
  • The retelling aspect: I love Hamlet.  I took a Shakespeare class in high school and college and I’ve loved everything I’ve read by him but especially Hamlet.  I feel like saying this is a retelling was a little bit misleading.  There were definitely things about it that tied back to Hamlet but I would say it was more inspired by Hamlet than a retelling.

Overall, The Steep and Thorny Way really did impress me.  I love that I have found a new author that I feel can do the historical fiction genre justice.  I look forward to checking out the rest of her books and if you haven’t already, this one is definitely a good place to start.

Giveaway

5 US readers have a chance to win their own copy

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour!

Week One:

2/29/2016- Adventures of a Book Junkie Interview
3/1/2016- The Forest of Words and Pages Review
3/2/2016- Two Chicks on Books– Guest Post
3/3/2016- A Dream Within A Dream Review
3/4/2016- Stories & Sweeties– Excerpt

Week Two:

3/7/2016- Jessabella Reads Review
3/8/2016- Bookish Lifestyle– Guest Post
3/9/2016- Katie’s Book Blog- Review
3/10/2016- The Fox’s Hideaway– Interview
3/11/2016- MEREADALOT– Review

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Silence (Hush, Hush #3) by Becca Fitzpatrick

book cover of Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

Title: Silence (Hush, Hush #3)
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Release date: October 4, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Pages: 448
Source: Bookstore
Reading level: YA

Nora Grey can’t remember the past five months of her life. After the initial shock of waking up in a cemetery and being told that she has been missing for weeks – with no one knowing where she was or who she was with – she tried to get her life back on track. Go to school, hang out with her best friend, Vee, and dodge mom’s creepy new boyfriend.

But there is this voice in the back of her head, an idea that she can almost reach out and touch. Visions of angel wings and unearthly creatures that have nothing to do with the life she knows.

And this unshakable feeling that a part of her is missing.

Then Nora crosses paths with a sexy stranger, whom she feels a mesmerizing connection to. He seems to hold all the answers…and her heart. Every minute she spends with him grows more and more intense until she realizes she could be falling in love. Again.

I know there are a lot of people out there who don’t really care for this series but I have to say that I’m not one of them.  I adored Hush, Hush and while I haven’t loved the rest of the series as much, they are still some great reads.  Silence is definitely a fabulous addition to this series!
I’ll start with the things I didn’t like about Silence since there aren’t very many of them.  My biggest issue was just Nora.  She has always been whiny in the books and that hasn’t changed.  She cries quite a bit and she always relies on other people to save her when she gets into trouble.  She doesn’t even remember Patch and yet she still expects him to come to her rescue in a few parts of the book.  He’s a stranger to her and she trusts him more than she trusts herself.  I can’t get behind that and it really bothers me about her.  I want her to be stronger and just more independent.  However, in this case, it bothered me but it didn’t make me dislike the book all that much.
The story kind of threw me for a loop at first.  Things have changed drastically since the end of Crescendo and for a little bit I was kind of scratching my head wondering what the heck I was missing.  Things were explained pretty quickly though and it started to make sense why things were so different.  Nora’s memory is completely wiped and so it was almost like the first book all over again with her discovering the fallen angels and Nephilim and things like that.  She definitely learned some new things in Silence though that she didn’t know about before.  There was just enough mystery for me to be kept guessing right along with Nora and it kept me hooked.  Silence may have had it’s issues but it is still one book that is extremely hard to stop reading once you get started.
Nora is still the same girl as I mentioned before but she is the only one who is still the same.  Patch is a very different guy now and I almost think I like him more this way.  He’s a bit more reserved, back to his secretive ways, very protective, and super mysterious.  He’s not all lovey dovey although he does have some of those moments too.  He’s just a little aloof and I really do like the tall, dark, handsome, and mysterious air about him.  Vee is also rather changed.  Things have not been going her way since the last book and she has kind of turned into a man hater.  Her comments cracked me up and I have to say that Vee is probably my favorite character out of them all.  She has such an awesome sense of humor and while she does make some mistakes, she’s a really good friend to Nora.  Nora’s mom, however, changed and not for the better.  I couldn’t stand her for most of the book.  She was overbearing and I get that she wanted to protect Nora but she wasn’t doing a very good job of it.  
Overall, while Silence isn’t my favorite book in this series, I enjoyed it and it’s got me eager to finish out Nora and Patch’s story. 


What others are saying about Silence:

Confessions of a Book Addict’s review: “Silence sets us up for what I hope will be an epic ending to the series.” 

Books That Spark’s review: “Once again, Fitzpatrick presents a fast-paced plot which is never short of action, suspense and romance.”

I’m Loving Books’ review: “Overall, definitely a disappointment but I can’t say that I’m really surprised after Crescendo.”

Series:
Hush, Hush (#1)
Crescendo (#2)
Silence (#3)
Finale (#4)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Short Story Saturday: Scenic Route by Carrie Ryan

Short Story Saturday was created by Lauren at 365 Days of Reading.  I can’t guarantee that I’ll post a review every Saturday but I will post one as often as I can!

I am currently reading Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions.


book cover of Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions edited by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong
Short Story: Scenic Route
Author: Carrie Ryan
Anthology: Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions

Scenic Route by Carrie Ryan is a short story set in the world of Carrie Ryan’s Forest of Hands and Teeth series. I have not yet read that series but if this short story is any indication, it’s a fabulous series that is supremely creepy. There isn’t a lot of background regarding the world that Scenic Route is set in and that is my only complaint about this short story. However, I feel like if you’ve read The Forest of Hands and Teeth, you will already know plenty about the world.

This story is more creepy in a realistic way than in a horror way. Sure there is talk of the dead wandering around killing people but that’s not really the danger in Scenic Route. It’s other people, living people, that cause the danger to Margie and her sister. I read this story late at night and I felt like I needed to get up and make sure all the doors were locked. It’s that kind of creepy.

Overall, Scenic Route had some flaws but it was a pretty great short story in the end.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Short Story Saturday: Niederwald by Rachel Vincent

Short Story Saturday was created by Lauren at 365 Days of Reading.  I can’t guarantee that I’ll post a review every Saturday but I will post one as often as I can!

I am currently reading Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions.

book cover of Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions edited by Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong

Short Story: Niederwald
Author: Rachel Vincent
Anthology: Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions

Niederwald is set in the world of the Soul Screamers series and I have to admit, it was a little confusing for me. There was a lot of back story to the characters that I did not have and I feel like this story was a little spoilery if you haven’t read the Soul Screamers series.
Emma and Sabine are in Niederwald, Texas for some unknown mission of Sabine’s. Emma really just got dragged along. Sabine is a world class bitch who cares only for herself. The whole reason she’s in Niederwald is to see if the guy she likes will ever break up with his girlfriend. Really? Immature much? That wouldn’t be so bad if she wasn’t putting Emma’s life in danger. Emma’s human and the other inhabitants of Niederwald are not. Yikes.
I will admit there was a lot of action and intrigue in this short story that made me really enjoy it. I didn’t know what exactly was going on at all times and I had no clue what was going to happen. I enjoyed that about Niederwald even if I didn’t feel like I knew everything I needed to know to fully enjoy the story.
Overall, if you haven’t read the Soul Screamers series, you might want to skip this one. It’s a good story but, like I said, seemed a little spoilery and confusing.
Friday, January 17, 2014

Unbreakable (The Legion #1) by Kami Garcia

book cover of Unbreakable by Kami Garcia

Title: Unbreakable (The Legion #1)
Author: Kami Garcia
Release date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Pages: 305
Source: ALA
Reading level: YA

I never believed in ghosts. Until one tried to kill me.

When Kennedy Waters finds her mother dead, her world begins to unravel. She doesn’t know that paranormal forces in a much darker world are the ones pulling the strings. Not until identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart break into Kennedy’s room and destroy a dangerous spirit sent to kill her. The brothers reveal that her mother was part of an ancient secret society responsible for protecting the world from a vengeful demon — a society whose five members were all murdered on the same night.

Now Kennedy has to take her mother’s place in the Legion if she wants to uncover the truth and stay alive. Along with new Legion members Priest and Alara, the teens race to find the only weapon that might be able to destroy the demon — battling the deadly spirits he controls every step of the way.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Kami Garcia’s solo venture but I was pleasantly surprised by it. Unbreakable is a fabulous start to an interesting new series and I am eager for more in this new world from Kami Garcia.
Unbreakable has been compared to the tv show, Supernatural, and I couldn’t find a better comparison. To be honest though, there were a few too many similarities between the show and the book. I could not stop comparing things between the show and the book. That’s truly the only reason I gave Unbreakable 4 stars instead of 5. If you haven’t seen Supernatural, you won’t have this problem but if you do watch the show, just try and stop making comparisons.
The characters were fabulous. Kennedy starts off a little whiny and I was almost positive that I was going to hate her. I thought she was going to be one of those girls who needed a man to protect her. At first, it does seem like that’s the route she’s going to take but that ended up not being the case at all. She’s eager to learn how to hunt and kill ghosts. She knows that she’s a risk to the Legion until she knows how to defend herself and she wants to change that. She’s fierce and awesome and pretty bad-ass, just like the rest of the Legion. Jared and Lukas are twins who are both super hot. They both have different reasons for wanting to help Kennedy but they are both drawn to her and she’s drawn to both of them. It was a little instalovey but not too bad. Priest and Alara were better than Jared and Lukas, in my opinion. Priest was my favorite. He was a well rounded character that I hope to learn more about in the next book. Alara was a little bitchy at first but I grew to like her.
The story is super creepy and I loved that! I’m not a big fan of horror stories but Kami Garcia did it right. The ghosts, the demons, everything was perfect. Normally horror books don’t scare me. I actually find them cheesy a lot of the time. This time I was actually creeped out and I applaud Kami Garcia for that.
Overall, Unbreakable is a must read for horror fans. I loved it and I can’t wait for more!
What others are saying about Unbreakable:
Finding Bliss in Books’ review: “A little predictable in some areas, with other flaws could’ve made this an underwhelming read but the constant action, suspense and horror will satisfy!”

Miss Page-Turner’s City of Books’ review: “Kami Garcia always has another spooky spirit up her sleeve and the legion’s five teens are easily my new favourite ghost hunters!”

A Dream of Books’ review: “I enjoyed Garcia’s world building and I loved some of the action sequences but some aspects of the book just didn’t work for me.”

Series:
Unbreakable (#1)
Unbound (#2) – 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Believe (True Believers #3) by Erin McCarthy

book cover of Believe by Erin McCarthy

Title: Believe (True Believers #3)
Author: Erin McCarthy
Release date: January 21, 2014
Publisher: InterMix
Source: Netgalley
Reading level: NA

Robin used to be a party girl… until she got black out drunk and woke up in bed with her best friend’s boyfriend. Now she’s faced with being THAT girl, and couldn’t be more disgusted with herself. She can’t even tell her friends the reason for her sudden sobriety and she avoids everyone until she meets Phoenix—quiet, tattooed, and different in every way that’s good and oh, so bad…

Phoenix is two days out of jail when he meets Robin at his cousin’s house, and he knows that he has no business talking to her, but he’s drawn to her quiet demeanor, sweet smile, and artistic talent. She doesn’t care that he’s done time, or that he only has five bucks to his name, and she supports his goal to be a tattoo artist.

But Phoenix knows Robin has a secret, and that it’s a naïve dream to believe that his record won’t catch up with them at some point. Though neither is prepared for the explosive result when the past collides with the present…

Believe, the third book in the True Believers series, is a fabulous addition to this new adult series. The stories in these books are nothing too spectacular but I find myself hooked all the same.
Believe is the story of Robin. Robin’s story got started in the previous book, Sweet, but that was just the beginning. Her life has changed drastically since that time. She’s a different person now. I didn’t like Robin in the previous books but that definitely changed with Believe. She was no longer a selfish party girl who only wanted to hook up and drink. She matured and realized that she couldn’t continue living her life that way. Phoenix helped her with that. After spending some time in jail, Phoenix is rather mature for his age. He hasn’t had an easy life and he’s not looking for a relationship. That doesn’t matter when he meets Robin. They immediately hit it off as friends and they go from there.
Robin and Phoenix’s relationship was a little unusual but it worked. They were good for each other. They were able to be honest with each other and they talked about anything and everything. They kind of moved a little fast for me but I still liked them. I wouldn’t advise getting a tattoo of your new girlfriends face but hey, whatever works. That was really one of the only irrational things about their relationship though.
The characters from the previous two books all make appearances in Believe, even the ones that I would rather have not seen. The friendships are as strong as before but they are tested throughout this book, some maybe beyond repair. Honestly, the friendships are what make these books so great. Even if the Mann brothers are related, they still don’t have to be as close as they are. It’s easy to see the love between everyone. That’s what keeps me coming back to these books although the steamy romances don’t hurt either.
Overall, Believe is a fast read that is thoroughly enjoyable. If you’re a new adult fan, I’d definitely recommend this series.
What others are saying about Believe: 
A Novel Idea’s review: “I’m glad I took a chance with this book, because I fell in love with Phoenix and Robin’s story.”

Series:
True (#1)
Sweet (#2)
Believe (#3)
Shatter (#4) – June 17, 2014

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sweet (True Believers #2) by Erin McCarthy

book cover of Sweet by Erin McCarthy

Title: Sweet (True Believers #2)
Author: Erin McCarthy
Release date: October 15, 2013
Publisher: InterMix
Pages: 257
Source: Netgalley
Reading level: NA

Jessica Sweet thought going away to college would finally make her free of her parents’ constant judgments and insistence she play chastity club role model for their church events, but if anything, the freedom has made her realize she can’t go home and be a hypocrite anymore. Tired of dodging their questions, she stays at school over the summer and lands in an unexpected crash pad: Riley Mann’s house.

Sarcastic, cocky, and full of opinions, Riley is also sexy personified with tattoos and biceps earned from working as a roofer all day. Not the right guy for her even if Jessica was looking for a relationship, which she is definitely not. But Jessica knows that Riley hides the burden of having to raise his younger brothers behind that grin and as she helps him get his house in order for a custody hearing, they begin to fall hard for each other, and she is forced to question what she’s hiding herself.

Jessica has never had a problem getting naked with a guy, but when it comes to showing Riley how she truly feels inside, her fear of rejection may just ruin the best thing—the best guy—to ever happen to her…

Sweet, the second book in the True Believers series, is a great addition to the new adult genre.  This is one of my favorite series’ in the genre so far. 
Riley and Jess have undeniable chemistry even if they are always at each others throats.  They have a very fun banter going between them and it’s easy to see that they are attracted to each other.  Their relationship starts off differently than most and I enjoyed that about them.  There was no insta-love with these two even if they were instantly attracted to each other.
Riley is older than most love interests, even in NA.  I actually really liked that about him because it gave him a bit more maturity.  He was a smart guy (even though he did some dumb things) and he balanced Jess’ relative immaturity.  Jess wasn’t annoyingly immature but she worried about some really dumb things and did things that she knew were stupid.  However, I still liked her.  She was someone I could easily see myself being friends with.  
The story was pretty much just a romance but there was more about the Mann family from the first book.  Riley is 25 years old and capable of taking care of his family but he hasn’t been given legal custody of his youngest brother yet.  With Jess’ help, Riley has to get the house looking like a home so the social worker won’t take him away.  Other than that though there really wasn’t a lot going on.  Luckily, the romance between Riley and Jess is rocky enough to keep readers entertained.  
Overall, Sweet is a really fun read that sets things up perfectly for the next book in the series.  This one makes for a great rainy day read.
What others are saying about Sweet:
Smexy Books’ review: “Sweet is a sexy, romantic, emotional coming of age new adult that uses a different approach to the defining romance than the usual NA offerings.” 
Dark Faerie Tales’ review: “Even with its flaws, Sweet was still a good read for me.” 
Steamy Guys After Dark’s review: “Sweet had everything I love about New Adult–snarky girl, hot guy, and problems that are realistic for someone in their age group.”
Series:
Sweet (#2)
Believe (#3) – January 21, 2014
Shatter (#4) – June 17, 2014
Sunday, January 12, 2014

You Are Not Here by Samantha Shutz

book cover of You Are Not Here by Samantha Schutz

Title: You Are Not Here
Author: Samantha Schutz
Release date: October 1, 2010
Publisher: Push
Pages: 292
Source: Bookstore
Reading level: YA

Annaleah and Brian shared something special – Annaleah is sure of it. When they were together, they didn’t need anyone else. It didn’t matter that their relationship was secret. All that mattered was what they had with each other.

And then, out of nowhere, Brian dies. And while everyone else has their role in the grieving process, Annaleah finds herself living outside of it, unacknowledged and lonely.

How can you recover from a loss that no one will let you have?

You Are Not Here is only the second book I’ve read that is written in verse and I have to say that this style is really growing to become one of my favorites.  Samantha Schutz has written an amazing story of love, loss, and finding out how to keep living.  
Annaleah is not an easy character to like at first.  She’s very naïve and on top of that she’s rather rude to her friends.  She cuts herself off from the world and she just stops caring about living.  The remainder of her life is all about Brian, even though he was only a part of her life for a few short months and she wasn’t even fully a part of his life.  Her day revolves around the time she can visit his grave and she looks to him for signs of what she should do with her life.  She’s not a healthy person but seeing her change is probably the best part of the book.  And as she changes it becomes easier to see why she let Brian dictate so much of her life and why she couldn’t move on.  I didn’t like her in the beginning but I sure did in the end.
Secondary characters are the hardest part of verse novels for me.  I feel like they don’t get nearly enough page time and it’s hard to connect to them.  That really wasn’t the case with You Are Not Here.  Joy, Parker, Marissa, and Ethan were all great people and awesome friends.  None of them were in the book a whole lot but their personalities really came across when they were there.  Joy cracked me up, as did Parker.  Marissa and Ethan were a little more serious but they still managed to make me laugh and I loved how much they cared for Annaleah.  I would also say Brian was a secondary character in this book, at least through flashbacks.  I never really connected to him but it at least shows how Annaleah got so caught up in their relationship.
The best part about a book written in verse is how fast-paced it is.  No matter how slow the story might be (in this case not slow at all) the writing helps speed it along.  You Are Not Here had the benefit of both being written in verse and having a fascinating story.  This is a book you can fly through in a couple hours.
Overall, if you are a fan of verse novels and haven’t checked out You Are Not Here, what are you waiting for?  If you aren’t a fan of verse novels I highly recommend checking one out and this one would definitely be a good place to start!
What others are saying about You Are Not Here:
The Book Scout’s review: “You Are Not Here was a stunning novel filled with heartbreakingly beautiful passages and stunning writing.”

The Story Siren’s review: “An emotional and fast read, You Are Not Here is a beautiful story of love, loss and forgiveness.”

YA Librarian Tales’ review: “This book will do best with teens who have experienced a deep well of emotional grief themselves, whether that is with the death of a boyfriend or just the death of a close loved one, friend or family. ” 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Boy Recession by Flynn Meaney

book cover of The Boy Recession by Flynn Meaney

Title: The Boy Recession
Author: Flynn Meaney
Release date: August 7, 2012
Publisher: Poppy
Pages: 246
Source: Publisher
Reading level: YA
Challenge(s): None

The population of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, is shrinking as families move to cities and towns with greener pastures, and the local high school is hurting: nearly all of the area’s most eligible guys have moved or transferred schools.

With little competition, the remaining boys find their stocks on the rise, and even the most unlikely candidates have a good chance at making the team and getting the girl. Guitar-strumming slacker HUNTER FAHRENBACH has made an art of blending into the background, but now desperate coaches are recruiting him and popular girls are noticing his scruffy good looks. With a little help, Hunter might even by boyfriend material…

The Boy Recession is the first book I have read by Flynn Meaney but it will definitely not be the last.  The Boy Recession is such a cute contemporary and I loved it.
First off, I love the idea of a boy recession.  Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, where the story is set, doesn’t have a lot of boys to begin with but it gets even worse when most of the hottest, most popular guys in school start transferring to bigger, better schools.  The boys that are left soon become extremely wanted by the female population and it doesn’t matter how nerdy/stonerish/weird they are.  And the girls of Whitefish Bay are willing to do almost anything to get the guys.  
One of my favorite things about The Boy Recession is the setting.  I actually went to high school in a tiny village in Wisconsin and Whitefish Bay was definitely like my village. It seems like a lot of books these days are set in huge high schools, big cities, and other popular locations and it was really refreshing to read a book set somewhere like Whitefish Bay.  The setting also made the book have an almost cozy feel.  The story starts at the end of the summer and spans a whole year but a lot of the crucial parts of the story take place in the winter and just reading about it made me want to curl up under the covers with a cup of hot chocolate.  The setting just added another layer to a great book.
The characters in The Boy Recession are some of the most real characters out there. These teens seem like people that I might actually meet in a high school and definitely befriend.  Everyone was quirky, funny, and completely individual.  Kelly was smart, funny, and kind of shy.  She didn’t have experience with guys so she was a little awkward but it made her seem like a true teenage girl.  Then there was Hunter.  Hunter reminded me so much of my guy friends from high school.  He was so clueless!  He couldn’t see what was right in front of him.  He did some stupid things but he acted like a true guy.  Flynn Meaney really captured the spirit of the typical teenage guy with Hunter.  He was clueless but he was still extremely cute and awesome.
Like I said, the story spans a whole year but it never drags.  The chapters are quick and there is so much going on that you will never get bored with the story.  There isn’t a whole lot of action to the story but that doesn’t matter.  Once you get started and get to know Kelly and Hunter you will want to know how their story ends.  And there are plenty of laugh out loud moments thrown in that will keep you entertained.
Overall, The Boy Recession is the perfect book for a rainy day.  It’s a great contemporary novel and while Flynn Meaney’s previous book is not contemporary, I will definitely be checking it out. 

What others are saying about The Boy Recession:

The Bookish Babe’s review: “If you want a fun, mostly light-hearted story that will put a smile on your face, The Boy Recession just may be the book for you!” 

Refracted Light Reviews’ review: Overall, if you’re looking for a funny, lighthearted book that will induce spontaneous bursts of giggling from start to finish, then pick up The Boy Recession.” 

Supernatural Snark’s review: “Ms. Meaney has a wonderful sense of humor, and will certainly be an author I seek out when I need a quick reminder of why reading is so much fun.”