Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Review: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Title: Starry Eyes 
Author: Jenn Bennett
Published April 3rd 2018 by Simon Pulse
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I found this book browsing the nominees for the Goodreads Choice Awards. Normally, the awards tend to be just a popularity contest, but with this book I have no doubt that the majority of its readers actually voted for it because they loved it.

Because I loved it too. So much. It embodies every single thing I used to love about Young Adult literature. Smart characters who grow into awesome people, fun new experiences, the drama of becoming their ownselves. I enjoyed every minute of this book and it filled me with hope that not everything is lost for Contemporary YA.

The story is about a couple of best friends who go through bad circumstances (a failed Great Experiment) and end up becoming sort of "enemies". Zorie is a young girl obsessed with planets and stars, and Lennon is a reptile lover, punk rocker, Bear Grylls-extraordinaire. I love them to bits. They both reminded me so much of myself when I was a teenager, stressed and confused but also always trying to move forward. The author got it so right.

I also appreciated how quick and intense the book was, filled with awesome scenes both in the city and the wilderness that had me on the edge of my seat. And don't even get me started on all the amazing side characters and their own nail-biting stories, like Joy's marriage  or Mac's teenaged homelessness. I thought everything added an extra depth to an already brilliant story.

I can't recommend this enough. This book is already on a straight path into my favorites. Even now writing a review about it, I can't help but smile, reminiscing how great it was. Loved it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Review: 9 Days and 9 nights by Katie Cotugno

Title: 9 Days and 9 nights 
Author: Katie Cotugno 
Published May 1st 2018 by Balzer + Bray
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Despite all its complicated, messy, morally corrupt ways; I loved 99 Days. Maybe because of all of that. I’ve spent five years and as many times re-reading the book that I can assure you, it doesn’t get more real and human than that. I liked that it challenged me to rethink my convictions and see the other side of things. 

9 Days and 9 Nights comes five years after I first read 99 Days, and I am far from the twenty-year-old that read it back then. Much like Molly Barlow, I’ve also learned that our screw-ups are an important part of who we are, even if they are in our past.

While there was definitely less drama involved this time, I was blessedly compensated by so much growth. Like, I was so proud of every single character, Molly, Gabe (who has honestly become my favorite Donelly by a long shot), Imogen, Diana Barlow, Ian, even Sadie. I don’t think I have ever quite liked every single character, flaws and all.

I also rejoice by how expertly Katie Cotugno managed to write a book that actually teaches you something without sounding preachy. You can make bad decisions and not be a bad person. You can take control of your body and having it be your business and not a single person should convince you otherwise. You can move to the other side of the world with your boyfriend of two months and not be considered stupid. Sometimes the people we love are the ones we hurt the most, but we are allowed to ask forgiveness. 

There were also a few things I didn’t like, like how maybe Ian was thrown under the bus for a bit there, to make a (very important, I must admit) point, but I felt a little bit cheated because I’ve managed to believe he was pretty darn great. It was also a bit easy to figure out where everything was going from a mile away, still the ride was enjoyable enough to ignore it. 

I think I can say that I was not at all disappointed with this sequel that came out of nowhere for me. I didn’t expect it, I didn’t ask for it, but now that I have it, I must confess I am really glad I got it.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Review: How To Break a Boy by Laurie Devore

Title: How To Break a Boy 
Author: Laurie Devore
Published January 31st 2017 by Imprint

My last thoughts after reading How To Break A Boy are somewhat troubled. I can't decide if I loved it or hated it, but one thing is for sure, it was all around a very interesting, very eye-opening experience.

I knew this book was going to be about some mean girls, and I thought I was prepared for it: I wasn't. This book was a whole 'nother level of nastiness. It makes Regina George seem amateour.

You know how there is a common thought that when there is a car crash or an accident people can't look away from the magnetic pull of the wreckage? Well it's never been like that for me, I can't look. That's why it was so, so hard for me to watch pretty much ALL characters on such an obvious path of self-destruction. I wanted to shake everybody. But then again, it all comes down to perspective, and who knows what I would have done in their place.

At the end of the day, I really think I honestly enjoyed the book. I thought there wasn't going to be a way to make right of the whole mess the characters got themselves into but I was surprisingly satisfied with the way things ended. And I can tell you this, no matter what, this story will have you at the edge of your seat.