About The Book A smart and funny modern day 13 Going on 30 from New York Times bestselling author Jen Calonita! A tween girl finds out it is like to be 22 when she jumps in time with the help of a mysterious TikTok filter. Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/3JXcm9s
This book had me at its synopsis. It is essentially a ‘13 Going On 30’ retelling, but in book form. My inner 12 year old was doing a happy dance. One fun little fact about me is that I use to be a lover of all romantic comedies, and anything starring Jennifer Garner.
In the book, we follow tween Harper, who is dying to be a social media star and loves Taylor Swift. Harper as a character reflected a tween growing up in a society where being an influencer is all the rage. And everyone is online. I’m very glad that I wasn’t as obsessive about fitting in as Harper was throughout the majority of the story.
Harper wants to grow up so fast, which I can relate to, because I’m pretty sure all of us wanted to skip to adulthood at 12 years old. However, Harper was not ready to grow up at all, and was a bit immature, which was partly the reason her parents didn’t take her seriously.
There were also some interesting side characters in the story, like Harper’s young sister’s future self, her best friend and her other best friend/crush. And, of course we have the mean queen bee, Lucy Wyman. But are popular, clique girls even a thing anymore?
“I’d love to get more followers. I barely have a thousand.”
I found the story to be very enjoyable and fast-paced. The writing was fun and light. Although I would classify its genre somewhere between middle grade and young adult, the writing didn’t feel too immature. One of the great things is that I got all of those ‘13 Going On 30’ vibes that I was so desperately hoping for.
The only con I have is that I’m not a fan of characters with the desire to fit in and be like everyone else. Also, characters that can’t speak up for themselves drive me crazy as well. I like me some confident, badass bitches in books. But, that might just be a me thing and not really a problem with the book.
Overall, Harper had good characters development and the ending was cute. The book shows that you can’t run away from your problems, but have to face them head on. Also, it made me realize that I’d never want to go back to being 12 years old again. I’m happy to have moved out of my tweens and teens.
In the comments, let me know what age you’d go back to if you could. Don’t forget to give my blog a follow to get notified whenever there’s a new post!
About The Book An emotionally complex portrayal of secrets, loss, and grief from Dante Medema, Indies Introduce author of the Indie Next Pick title The Truth Project. This compelling puzzle of a story, filled with engrossing twists and turns, is written in alternating prose and text message formats. Teens will gobble up this fast-paced page-turner. Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/3TrFEQH
I’m not exactly sure how I feel about this book. The plot follows Bailey as she tries to cope with her best friend’s death. Bailey uses a program that lets her send messages to Vanessa’s phone and receive response that mimic ones Vanessa would send.
Throughout the book, we get insights to their relationship, and the accident that took Vanessa’s life. Grief, and letting go, is a very prominent theme in the book. However, I think it was done well. It showcases how, when someone you love passes away, you try everything to keep them alive.
Bailey does struggle with feeling guilty, and wonders if she could have done something to stop the accident. This is an issue that is touched on in a lot of YA books that deal with loss. Also, the story mentions how people only care about people once they’re gone. It’s not genuine grief.
“How devastating it is to miss her and hate her with the same breath.”
Throughout the story, we see that people aren’t perfect, and do make mistakes they can’t take back. Vanessa made some mistakes, and by the end of the book, I wasn’t sure if she would have been redeemable if she had lived. However, I liked the message that even if someone hurts you, you can still love them.
There is a romance that develops between Bailey and Vanessa’s boyfriend, which might seem weird, but in grief you connect with others that are grieving as well.Their relationship formed naturally, and didn’t seem like they were together just because of their shared grief.
Overall, I liked the way Bailey handled her grief. The story was a sad, but still a good read. So, if you are looking for a book that deals with loss, you should pick this one up!
In the comments, let me know if you’ve read this book. I would love to know your thoughts on it. Feel free to support my blog by giving it a follow!
I haven’t shared many of my anticipated book releases for 2023, so I thought I should talk about some of the romances that I can’t wait to read. Let’s face it I’m a YA contemporary romance girl at heart, which made it a little difficult to narrow this list down to only 5 books.
‘Never Vacation with Your Ex’ by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka (Released: April 4th)
“Forgetting Sarah Marshall meets Crazy Stupid Love in a YA second chance romance from fan-favorite author couple #Wibbroka!”
Not going to lie I have a love-hate, but mostly hate, relationship with this author duos books. They always seem to fall short for me, yet I still always find myself reading them.
‘Promposal’ by RaeChell Garrett (Released: April 4th)
“An overachiever must decide if risking her heart by working with her former crush turned enemy is worth the reward in this snappy rom-com, perfect for fans of Tweet Cute and Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry.”
This is a new to me author, but the premise of this book sounds so cute. I’ve never went to high school, so I don’t get the whole promposal thing. Also, I love me some enemies-to-lovers.
‘Margo Zimmerman Gets the Girl’ by Brianna R. Shrum & Sara Waxelbaum (Released: May 2nd)
“This charming YA rom-com follows Margo, who suddenly realizes that she’s gay but has no clue how to express her identity, so she enlists out-and-proud Abbie to act as her tutor on everything “Queer 101”…and first love.”
By now you probably know that I love exchange of services plots. This one sounds a bit different than the ones I’ve read before and I’m excited to see how this story unfolds.
‘Borrow My Heart’ by Kasie West
(Released: June 13th)
“When a girl overhears a guy getting verbally destroyed by his friends for being catfished, she jumps in to save the day–and pretends to be his online crush. A young adult romance from the critically acclaimed author of Places We’ve Never Been.”
I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t mention Kasie West newest book on this list. Just like all her other books I’m sure that this one is going to be an amazing read!
‘The Borrow a Boyfriend Club’ by Page Powars
(Released: September 12th)
“A high school boy must master the art of romance to join his new school’s most illustrious (and secret) club to ensure his classmates see him as his true gender, and soon finds himself falling for the club’s prickly president.”
This story follows a trans main character, which I haven’t read about before. I love seeing diverse representation in books. And, this sounds like a grumpy, sunshine romance, which is going to be a lot of fun.
There you have some of the young adult romance books who releases I cannot wait for. In the comments, let me know what 2023 romance books you are greatly anticipating. Before you go hit the follow button so you never miss a post.
About The Book Daniel doesn’t believe the woods behind his new home are haunted by an evil witch and her terrifying beast. But then his little sister disappears and it’s up to him to find her. This chilling graphic-novel version of Mary Downing Hahn’s popular page-turner will thrill readers who love spooky stories. Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/3LsAVvY
This is a middle grade graphic novel/ghost story, of sorts. It focuses on 13 year old Daniel, who moves with his family to a new town, into a house near the woods. There are rumors that kids are taken by an evil witch, and her man eating razorback hog. One day, Daniel’s sister, Erica, goes missing, and the prime suspect is the old witch.
The plot was very slow moving. I don’t know if that was a plot problem or a writing one, but I just wasn’t as interested in the plot as I would have hoped. I thought this was going to be a spooky ghost story, like the Goosebumps series.
However, the novel was pretty creepy. The witch was very evil, so I’d say it is a good October time read. And, the artwork was really beautiful, and brought the story to life. Honestly, the artwork made the story a lot more enjoyable.
The characters in the book were fairly basic. Daniel and Erica were simple, ordinary kids. Also, their parents were fairly unlikable. I found them to be cold, and not loving to their kids.
“People were so fragile, so easily broken, so hard to put back together.”
The biggest issues I had with the story was the mature content. I believe that the book is intended for tweens, but I wouldn’t recommend it for them. There is a lot of focus on child abuse, and some intense seems about it.
Now it’s not a super horrifying abuse story, but it isn’t something I’d say is appropriate for middle schoolers. The abuse aspect made the story less spooky and more sad, which was just weird.
Overall, I don’t think it is a successful “ghost story”. It felt like a middle grade graphic novel that wanted to pull in more mature readers. But, for me child abuse is a bit of a trigger.
In the comments, let me know if you’ve read this book, and don’t forget to follow my blog for more book reviews.
About The Book Red and her friends are on a road trip. When their RV breaks down in the middle of nowhere with no cell service, they soon realize this is no accident. They have been trapped by someone out there in the dark, someone who clearly wants one of them dead. Buy The Book: https://amzn.to/3ZN2zI9
Honestly, I had such high hopes for this book after reading the ‘A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder’ trilogy (even though I wasn’t a fan of the last book). But, I thought this would be a fast-paced thriller. However, I didn’t find it to be engaging. I’d even say it was a bit boring.
I didn’t like any of the characters, and I hate when authors try to make us feel sympathy for the main character. I kept hoping that the plot would pick up, but I was sadly disappointed.
It didn’t feel like a mystery/thriller at all. I wasn’t excited to pick it up, but I’m not disappointed that I finished it. Although, I would have been better off DNFing it.
I didn’t like being in the main character’s mind at all. She was such a plain, boring, and depressing character. And, I wondered why any of the characters were even friends. I personally wouldn’t have been friends with any of them. Especially Oliver, whom I despised.
“This is turning into Lord of the Fucking Flies. We’re going to end up killing each other, forget about the sniper.”
There were a few twists in the book. Some I saw coming, and others I didn’t. But, the twists weren’t enough to make up for the slow and uninteresting plot. In my opinion, there has to be more to a story than a few good twists.
The book reminded me a lot of ‘The Woods Are Always Watching’ by Stephanie Perkins, which I did DNF. Truthfully, I finished for the author. But sadly, the writing just wasn’t on the same level as her previous trilogy.
I did hear that the author wrote this book in somewhere between 6-8 weeks, and it shows. Perhaps if it wasn’t so rushed and she took more time, the book would have been more developed. However, I’m not sure if more time would have help make the plot more interesting, or the characters more likable.
Overall, if you are looking for an interesting mystery/thriller, look somewhere else. Better yet, just pick up Holly Jackson’s ‘A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder’ books, because they better showcase the authors talent. Related Post:A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder // Book Review
In the comments, please tell me I’m not alone in my distaste for this book. Don’t forget to like this post, and hit the follow button!
I decided to do a ‘Friday Reads’ post to share with you my weekend reading plans. Currently, I’m reading ‘The Housemaid‘ by Freida McFadden and I will for sure be finishing it this weekend. It’s a mystery thriller book that I’m really enjoying.
Next, I plan on making some progress on ‘Furyborn‘ by Claire Legrand. I’m hoping to get to the 50% mark by the end of the weekend. This is a YA fantasy that is a part of my 12 book challenge for 2023.
There you have the books I’m hoping to pick up this weekend. Hopefully I will finish two of them, but we’ll see how the weekend goes. In the comments, let me know what you are currently reading. Don’t forget to hit the follow button to get notified whenever there’s a new post.
It’s TBR time once again! I’ve decided to take part in the ‘Final Book Support Group’ month long readathon created by Steph Loves. I’m going to be on ‘The Stag’s Antler’ team, and the prompts seem pretty easy to fulfill. As always, I still did five “The Sims Picks My TBR” prompts, so I’m going to try to make the books work for multiple prompts.
Sims Prompt:12 Book Challenge
This is perfect because I’m February I started ‘Furyborn’ by Claire Legrand, which is on my ‘12 Book Challenge’. I’m just going to roll this over into March.
Sims:New To Me Author
‘The Bandit Queens’ by Parini Shroff is also on my ‘12 Book Challenge’, and I’ve never read anything by this author.
Sims Prompt:Short Story Collection
Not going to lie, I was a little bummed when this prompt came up. I have read a few short story collections and I don’t typically love them. However, I read ‘Whiteout’ last December, and I currently own ‘Blackout’ – see where this is going? I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to read this book! Both books are collections of short stories that all intertwine. They follow a diverse selection of teens, and are written by some wonderful authors.
Sims Prompt:Published in 2021 or Before Final Book Prompt:Final Book
‘This Coven Won’t Break’, which is the last book in the ‘These Witches Don’t Burn’ series by Isabel Sterling, was published in 2020. So, it works for both these prompts!
Sims Prompt:Illustrated Cover Final Book Prompt:Illustrated Cover
I’m going with ‘For Better or Cursed (The Babysitters Coven, #2)’ by Kate Williams. Even though I’m not really in the mood to read this book, I did enjoy the first book enough to want to continue on with the series.
Final Book Prompt:Random Emoji Generator
The emoji that I got was 🔱, which instantly made me think of ‘Part Of Your World’ by Liz Braswell. This is part of the Twisted Tales series, and one that I’ve been really wanting to read.
Final Book Prompt:Hardback Book
I’m going to cheat a little here, since I am solely an audiobook reader (and I’m also not ashamed of that). But, I decided to pick a book that is only out on hardback right now. As far as I can tell ‘Our Violent Ends (These Violent Delights, #2)’ by Chloe Gong is only available in stores in hardback.
Final Book Prompt:Something Calm and Majestic
‘This Spell Can’t Last’ is a novella in the ‘These Witches Don’t Burn’ series. The word majestic makes me think of magic and with this book being short that is pretty calming to me.
There you have my March TBR, but I have a ton more books I’d like to read as well. Also, for my book club ‘The Reading Rabbits’ over on the Novellic app, I’m going to roll over the February book, which was ‘The Housemaid’ by Freida McFadden.
In the comments, let me know what you’ll be reading in March. For more posts like this, be sure to follow my blog!
In this Toss-Up Tuesday post, I wanted to share a wishlist of mine with you guys. I have been itching to switch up my wardrobe lately, which typically happens during every new year. I’ve been gravitating more towards online clothing stores. When RIHOAScontacted me, I didn’t know much about them, but found their clothing to be super cute. So, I have put together a list of 5 of my favorite items on their site.
The Balloon Sleeves Satin Crop Blouse ($30.00)
I’m not so sure how good this top will look on me, but I’d love to have it in my closet. And, out of all three colors the purple is my favorite. I’m typically an all black clothing girl, but something about this top and this color screams, “Buy me!”
The High Waisted Plaid Pleated Skort ($41.00)
Yep, another skort. This one is giving me all the school girl and ‘Clueless’ vibes, and I’m living for it. This item is on my wishlist not only because it’s cute, but it also makes my 90’s girl heart happy.
All of these pieces and pretty much everything on the RIHOAS site makes me feel like these outfits are straight from a historical fiction novel. What more could a book lover ask for? In the comments, let me know which of these pieces is your favorite. Don’t forget to like and share this post with others!
About The Book Perfect for fans of Kasie West and Jenn Bennett, this “sweet and funny” (Kerry Winfrey, author of Waiting for Tom Hanks) teen rom-com follows a hopelessly romantic teen girl and her cute yet obnoxious neighbor as they scheme to get her noticed by her untouchable crush. Buy The Book:https://amzn.to/3js9G9h
I think every YA contemporary lover should read this book! I seriously can’t think of one negative thing to say about it. I loved the enemies-to-lovers romance. The female main character, Liz, is very likable, and a hopeless romantic. Wes, the male lead, is super swoon-worthy.
I love the plot of these two enemies coming together because Liz needs Wes’ help to get a guy. Something about exchange of services plots always get me. And, the fact that there were romance movie quotes through out the book made it better.
As a main character, Liz was really likable to me. It was sweet that rom-coms, and being a romantic, made her feel closer to her late mom. But it did also show that she was still grieving for her mom. Also, I love that she made playlists for people. It was a small detail, but a very interesting aspect to her character.
Liz and Wes definitely had some great chemistry, and their feeling for each other developed naturally. Honestly, I liked Wes as well, and found him pretty charming. The other side characters were similarly likable, which made the story even more enjoyable.
“Love is patient, love is kind, love means slowly losing your mind.”
Now, there was declaration of love that I found to be cheesy, but still pretty cute, and it did leave me in tears. I think every YA contemporary has to have a little bit of cheesy, which I don’t mind at all.
Not only did I love the romance (like, it was seriously the best part of the entire book), but I also found that Liz’s character development was great. It was nice seeing her become her own person. She realized she can keep her mom’s memory alive without having to be just like her.
Overall, it was wonderfully written, made me laugh and even cry. I’m going to be recommending this book forever. I am for sure going to be rereading this book in years to come. Honestly, like the titles says it is 100% better than any teen romance movie.
In the comments, let me know if you loved this book as much as I did. If you like book reviews, then give this post a like, and follow my blog.